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drDalek
04-29-2004, 03:55 AM
O-Sensei said that 70% of a fight is atemi, the rest is instantaneous throws and apparently joint locks and pins are relegated to the realm of dealing with roudy family and drunks.

I have this on some authority because I read it in Aikido Shugyo by Gozo Shioda. A lot of people have said that atemi as an Aikido strategy is inherintly un-Aikido-like. So does this invalidate what the founder said? How widely do you define Atemi anyway? Do kicks count as atemi even though most dojos rarely practice throwing sharp, quick kicks and the kicks we do defend against are laughably untrained, slow and off-balance - completely unlike anyone with some experience in a percussive martial art. How about headbutts? How about a knee to the groin?

The big question though is would the Aikido you use to survive a real fight look anything at all like the idealised Aikido that we practice? If not can you even still call it Aikido?

I would like to site the example of the UFC guys, many of whom claim to have X number of years experience in martial art Y and hold rank Z. Clearly some of this is just to psych-out an opponent but surely some of them are telling the truth and yet any technique just falls apart when the bell rings for the start of a round. They all resort to the standard kick-punch-punch-tackle strategy. Rarely do you ever see the kind of expert take-downs that judoka are capable of in heated competitions.

Another issue, we practice evasion of attacks with tai-sabaki. Are Aikidoka in general too "scared" to get hit? Getting punched or kicked in a real fight is inevitable, its easy in a classroom situation to just stop right there and try again from the beginning but shouldnt we also be able to apply technique even when a hit has been landed?

Surely you can say that in a real fight, a life or death struggle, you must do everything you can to survive but does that include discarding the moral principles of Aikido when it suits us?

Mark Balogh
04-29-2004, 04:36 AM
We had a similar discussion down the pub after a seminar (some present were Yondan) and we basically agreed that being able to handle yourself had nothing to do with Aikido. It's about your background, where your from, if you got out on the town a lot, basically how many scraps you'd had and you'd seen!!! I reckon if you want to use aikido on the street I think you have to be 150% committed to using only Aikido and be very good at it. Half/Half (some aiki, some scrapping) will get you killed IMO. 150% scrapping could save you as well. Serious (well trained) Atemi is another option. :)

SeiserL
04-29-2004, 09:18 AM
IMHO, there is no "cheating" in a "real fight" because there are no real rules. If you "survived" then you did it right.

IMHO, attitude and intention means more in a "real fight" than in training.

deepsoup
04-29-2004, 09:51 AM
Lynn beat me to it, you can't cheat in a real fight.
To paraphrase Sun Tzu, a fair fight is the result of poor planning.

Randal Gore
04-29-2004, 10:02 AM
There is an excellent book titled "Bushido: The Soul of Japan" by Inazo Nitobe, 1st published in 1905. In it is described some of the desirable attributes that a samurai sought after. One of those qualities was a calmness and presence of mind so clear during battle that a samurai could compose and recite poetry :hypno: This apparently also gave the samurai the increased ability to defeat his opponent as his opponent realized what sort of person he was up against.

Anyway, my expierence has been that there seems to be just a few individuals in a real fight (bar, street or otherwise) that actually know what they are doing, the rest just seem to be flinging their arms and fists looking for a lucky hit. Those folks that successfully survive their fights are the ones who were able to control themselves and land well placed punches.

I've asked myself this question: as an aikidoka is it cheating to use whatever means necessary to protect myself and an adversary to prevent serious harm? Chances are the person I'm up against I've never met so why should I try to destroy him? If I can distract him long enough by whatever means necessary so that I can run like hell, that's what I'd probably do.

As far as kicks go... I still like Bruce Lee's statement. To paraphrase: "Kicking someone in a fight is like trying to pucnh someones foot."

aikidoc
04-29-2004, 10:50 AM
I believe somewhere in Shugyu it also states that to not use atemi is unrealistic but I may be wrong.

Saito asserted the lack of training in atemi strikes to vital points is a widespread modern training deficiency and may cause technique to become incomprehensible and meaningless. He considered it an essential element of basic and advanced technique. Shioda pointed out atemi was essential in actual combat in order to manifest power explosively to decide the fight’s outcome. In my opinion, "To fail to use the tools available in a combat situation to ensure a favorable and safe outcome is irresponsible and shows ignorance of the possible implications of violence." (from my upcoming Black Belt magazine article on the topic).

The literature places O'Sensei's emphasis on atemi anywhere from 70 to 99%, depending on the author as John Stevens points out. Is this cheating or does it violate the principles of aikido? I don't think so. Apparently, O'Sensei did not either since he developed the art.

aikidoc
04-29-2004, 10:55 AM
Additonal thoughts. Wynand asked how widely is atemi defined. Best aikido or Best aikido the master's course defines atemi as strikes to vital points. I feel this is good definition but limits the application of other possibilities: manipulation of vital, nerve or acupuncture points via pressing, squeezing, brushing, etc., to effect a change in the attacker's body or the energy dynamics during an attack. While strikes are used more often other pressure points can be squeezed or pressed during an encouter to also have an effect on the set up or execution of a technique within the flow of the technique.

Mark Balogh
04-29-2004, 11:04 AM
You are talking about Kyusho John? A previous Sensei of mine was extremely knowledgable on this. He had studied with the jujitsu/karate community whilst teaching/training aikido and intergrated what he learn't. He was and still is studying hard to understand where it all fits in. He is from a tournament fighting background so his system is very martial. Trouble is, concentrating on such a difficult/vast subject means a lot of time, and you need all you can get to progress in aikido itself!!! :)

aikidoc
04-29-2004, 11:13 AM
Yes, I am talking about kyusho. Anything can detract from one's training. However, if you look at the techniques closely as you practice you will see the suki and the opportunity to apply atemi/kyusho is generally evident in the movement patterns. For example, in katate tori ikkyo there is two-three atemi opportunies and at least one kyusho (pressure point press) possible. This can happen and a part of the movement without changing anything. I don't recommend studying these points when you are trying to learn the basics although I show my studentst he suki and possible strikes/nerve points of each technique. Later, as one becomes more adept they can start to recognize the pressure point opportunities. Just MHO.

Mark Balogh
04-29-2004, 11:16 AM
I agree, my previous sensei will do the same and show all strikes and WHERE to hold for all the techniques. It does become second nature after a while. It's not something I have the time to study properly though, it's his hard work and I've just been taught it. :)

Chris Birke
04-29-2004, 11:49 AM
Randal, you are missquoting Lee. The true quote is: "Kicking someone in the head is like punching someone in the foot." Bruce was a big proponent of low kicks in actual fights, either to setup a straight blast, check someone's distance, or actually blow out their thigh. Good low kicks are a valuable and proven tool in a fight.

Re: UFC
"They all resort to the standard kick-punch-punch-tackle strategy. Rarely do you ever see the kind of expert take-downs that judoka are capable of in heated competitions."

This is rather ignorant. Although some people in ufc are simply their for their freak value, most of them are very well trained. Especially today. A top fighter like Couture, Sherk, or Vitor likely trains more than any of us ever will in our entire life. Every day, many hours a day, cardio, striking, submissions, takedowns, meditation, etc, etc. Their entire life is training; it is their only job. Pride FC has an even higher level of competition. If you think there is no technique, it is because you are blind to it.

Cage fighting is an offense to people with naieve ideals about fighting. Although it is not street fighting, it reveals many things.

One reality is, ground and pound is an excellent strategy. It's very logical. Why stand and trade where there is a chance of getting knocked out? Isn't it much more effective to sit on your opponent, and punch them while they can't hit back?

Another reality is that it is easier to negate some technique than it is to initiate it. Arm bars, chokes, key locks, leg locks - they are all usually unsuccessful. However, by repeatedly attempting them, one eventually gets in, and it only takes one.

Takedowns are an exception - although its easy to make a takedown look ugly, a well timed and executed one is very difficult to avoid. They are rather like hand grenades, in that close is usually good enough to work. I could go on, but... the thread.

Aikido is about whether you hate your opponent and want to kill them, or love and want to preserve them. There are no techniques which are more moral than others. It is the intent behind your execution is what defines that. I think these "no compeitition" and "no striking" rules are mutated versions of the origional intent.

Unarmed hand to hand wise:

Best of all, simply dissuade them from fighting. If they still choose to fight, and then change their mind shortly afterwards, let them go.

I think knocking an attacker unconscious is fine. He might have a headache when he comes to, some bruises, but his life will still be long. I think that is an aiki resolution.

I would only seek to break limbs out of fear. It is a more permanant consequence, still it is not debilitating.

Killing would only the result of gross negligence on my part, or fear.

Seeking to kill, or entering into this with disregard to an attacker, these things are what defines "not aiki" to me.

Ron Tisdale
04-29-2004, 12:37 PM
On Nitobe:

http://ejmas.com/tin/tinart_buchner2_0200.htm

and from one of numerous posts on e-budo:
An interesting article about bushido, Nitobe and the Hagakure is "Death, honor, and loyalty: the bushido ideal" by G. Cameron Hurst III in the journal "Philosophy East & West, vol 40, no 4(Oct 1990) pp-511-527.

Apparently Nitobe knew more about western history and values than he did Japanese and was" the least qualified Japanese of his age to have been informing anyone of Japan's history and culture."
Nitobe's bushido, as Joseph Svinth has pointed out, was largely based on western religious values, not on any universal samurai "code".
The term "bushido" itself is rarely used in historical texts, the Hagakure and the Budo shoshinshu are a part of the handful that do.

This is not to deny that there were no samurai ideals or codes of behaviour, but that they were not at all uniform and universal in the way idealised by Nitobe and by many today. The Hagakure is an example of an extreme ideal not approved of in its time by mainstream samurai.

link to the entire thread:http://www.e-budo.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?threadid=383&highlight=Nitobe+bushido

Just for a little perspective...

RT

Bronson
04-29-2004, 02:45 PM
On Nitobe:...
...Just for a little perspective...

Next you'll be telling everyone it's ok to wash their obi...sheesh, where will this heresy end :rolleyes: :p

Bronson

Ron Tisdale
04-29-2004, 03:01 PM
:)

I was just going to reply with a smile, but I got an error message saying my message was too short.

Juuuuuuuunnnnnnnn?!?!?!?!?!?

:) RT

mantis
04-29-2004, 03:53 PM
O-Sensei said that 70% of a fight is atemi

I hear this a lot.

Does that mean 35% from you and 35% from your opponent?
70% from your opponent and none from you?
70% from you and none from your opponent?

Ron Tisdale
04-29-2004, 04:10 PM
Well,

70% from your opponant and none from you is gonna be a problem...:)

I think it means what *you* will actually use in a fight.

RT

mantis
04-29-2004, 04:24 PM
The last fight I got in, I evaded a punch and did an upper cut to the head, kicked to the groin, pushed the person into the bushes and used an elbow lock to control them after they tried to get me in a headlock once they got up.

This taught me a lot about my reactions in the heat of being attacked. It's like nothing I've done formally in the dojo, but bits and pieces show up here and there.

GaiaM
04-29-2004, 06:59 PM
This thread makes me think about the meaning of Aikido, The Art of Peace. I don't think too much about how I would use aikido TECHNIQUE in a fighting situation. However, I think A LOT about how my training could keep me OUT of such a situation in the first place, perhaps even down to being able to move out of the way of an attack long enough to get away.
I am certainly no expert on atemi, but, at least in my training, I see it mostly as a distraction and a way to control the person's energy rather than a fighting technique.
Just some thoughts from the peacenik...
Gaia

Ian Williams
04-29-2004, 07:54 PM
The UFC cage fighting example is a good one. In the very earliest days of UFC, you had people fighting specifically with their arts - ie a Muay Thai person against a JuJitsu person etc.

Over time, the differences between professional UFC fighters has diminished so that most of them now fight with very similar styles. They all incorporate good boxing techniques, take downs, grappling, ground'n'pound etc, because that is what works - especially against other highly trained martial artists.

IMO if you put even a high ranked Aiki or Jujitsudoka in a cage fight with these people, and the "traditionalists" stuck to their style, they would be slaughtered. This is not to say that a well trained and experienced Aiki or JJ fighter would not be effective against an average joe, or even an above average joe from the street.

Ian Williams
04-29-2004, 07:58 PM
Another issue, we practice evasion of attacks with tai-sabaki. Are Aikidoka in general too "scared" to get hit? Getting punched or kicked in a real fight is inevitable, its easy in a classroom situation to just stop right there and try again from the beginning but shouldnt we also be able to apply technique even when a hit has been landed?


what a peculiar thing to say... We practice Tai-Sabaki to get ourselves off of the line of attack so we don't get hit. Why is this strange? If someone is stabbing me with a knife, my PRIMARY response should be to irimi or nagashi off the line of attack - and then I can worry about disarming or deflecting or what ever technique I want to use.

I don't win any bravery awards by taking a few blows/stabs to show how strong I am.

Brad Darr
04-29-2004, 08:23 PM
I just wanted to throw out that the idea of ground and pound is a good strategy if there is only one attacker. However what happens when there are three guys? Are you going to take any one of them to the ground and then let the other two get you? Not that the BJJ or UFC fighters are not excellent martials artists but when faced with multiple attackers going to the ground does not seem like the best option.

So this is why I think that atemi is a good answer. Take out the first two guys with a strike and them deal with the third or simply avoid them like in a randori situation and escape. I agree with the person that said atemi is all about intention. You can definately do an atemi without actually striking someone, for example sometimes mere body language or the look you have in your eyes can act as an atemi simply because the intention given is one that surprises or changes the attackers motives. Or more classically a well timed kiai can achieve the same goal of offsetting an opponent long enough for something else to happen.

Randal Gore
04-29-2004, 09:23 PM
Randal, you are missquoting Lee. The true quote is: "Kicking someone in the head is like punching someone in the foot." Bruce was a big proponent of low kicks in actual fights, either to setup a straight blast, check someone's distance, or actually blow out their thigh. Good low kicks are a valuable and proven tool in a fight.

So close yet so far away :crazy: Thanks for the correction

Ian Williams
04-29-2004, 09:23 PM
If you are fighting multiple attackers, and they do manage to get you on the ground, having a good understanding of the guard, particularly BJJ can be life saving.

Brad Darr
04-30-2004, 12:15 AM
Yes but what I meant was that when facing multiple attacks why purposely go to the ground. Yes if they get you to the ground you may be better off knowing some BJJ but overall if more than one opponent gets you to the ground not much is going to help. Nothing against BJJ or any grappling art but I have never seen ground defense against multiple attacks. This may be simply my ignorance and if someone has an example of ground work against multiple attckers, I would love to see it. I have a great respect for grappling and think that it is an essential part to self defense but not the only part.

Chris Birke
04-30-2004, 01:46 AM
"Yes but what I meant was that when facing multiple attacks why purposely go to the ground."

No one advocates this.

Why do you think people advocate this? Please find me an example of it.

This is a tired argument, because it has been resolved time and time again. The bjj, wrestling, grappling etc, counter to multiple attackers is not to get knocked down, and if you do get knocked down, stand back up. No art teaches you better how not to get knocked down, and if so, how to get back up, than arts that focus on grappling and takedowns.

When I say, ground and pound is an effective tactic, I did not say that it was the best tactic in all situations, or that it is the only tactic. Simply that it is effective, efficient, and common. Because of this, being familiar with it is very valuable.

Stop attacking a straw man.

Nafis Zahir
04-30-2004, 02:18 AM
In a street fight, there is no such thing as cheating. You may have to improvise, though. Your Aikido technique may not look the same as in the dojo, because the attacker is not going to take ukemi or give you what you need. Therefore, you may apply the technique properly, but it probably won't be pretty. Also, the odds are, that you probably won't get to or need to finish a technique. If you apply a good nikkyo, you may not need to do the take down and the pin.

In reference to kicks, they should be worked on more in the dojo. I had the chance to train several times with the Late Toyoda Shihan, and he had excellent kick defense techniques. I've heard that Chiba does also, but I haven't seen him demonstrate them yet.

Aikidoka are not afraid of being hit. But getting off of the line is part of practicle application. Yes, eventually you will get hit, but you can't let that stop you. That's one reason why I hate to see people give "soft" attacks in class. No matter what martial art you study, when you're on the street, anything can happen. But if you have a good foundation in your art, then you can adapt and deal with the situation at hand.

drDalek
04-30-2004, 02:28 AM
what a peculiar thing to say... We practice Tai-Sabaki to get ourselves off of the line of attack so we don't get hit. Why is this strange? If someone is stabbing me with a knife, my PRIMARY response should be to irimi or nagashi off the line of attack - and then I can worry about disarming or deflecting or what ever technique I want to use.

I agree with you completely, we tai-sabaki to get off the line so we dont get hit. But what if you do get hit?, how big a percentage of the time does getting off the line actually work for you, especially when practicing against someone from another art who is not afraid to track you with his fist. When you do get hit, do you still try and apply a technique from there, actually, what is your strategy if its not "sorry, can we try again please?"


I don't win any bravery awards by taking a few blows/stabs to show how strong I am.

Thats pretty dumb and completely out of context.


Re: UFC
"They all resort to the standard kick-punch-punch-tackle strategy. Rarely do you ever see the kind of expert take-downs that judoka are capable of in heated competitions."

This is rather ignorant. Although some people in ufc are simply their for their freak value, most of them are very well trained. <snip>
If you think there is no technique, it is because you are blind to it.


I dont argue that they are not very well trained or very dedicated to their profession or very good at fighting in the specific context of the UFC but I was trying to tie in how, no matter what art they claimed to study, in the specific context of the UFC it all looks the same. This is not a bad thing, I am all for doing what works but when you get into a bar-room brawl, will your Aikido look like brawling too? Could you still call it Aikido then?

Ian Williams
04-30-2004, 04:13 AM
I agree with you completely, we tai-sabaki to get off the line so we dont get hit. But what if you do get hit?, how big a percentage of the time does getting off the line actually work for you, especially when practicing against someone from another art who is not afraid to track you with his fist. When you do get hit, do you still try and apply a technique from there, actually, what is your strategy if its not "sorry, can we try again please?"


Well, to be blunt, if I get hit I could be knocked out, killed or just stunned, but in most street fights, it doesn't take too many hits to end a fight.. We train so we don't get hit, and the best way to not get hit is to not be there (either run away or off the line). If that doesn't work then hopefully we get a glancing blow and not a direct one.

I'll agree that the "percussive" arts (lol) better train you to deal with a strike than the "kinetic" arts we practice.


I dont argue that they are not very well trained or very dedicated to their profession or very good at fighting in the specific context of the UFC but I was trying to tie in how, no matter what art they claimed to study, in the specific context of the UFC it all looks the same. This is not a bad thing, I am all for doing what works but when you get into a bar-room brawl, will your Aikido look like brawling too? Could you still call it Aikido then?

I doubt it .. MMA looks like it does because it's the most effective means of knocking someone out/forcing a submission within the rules of MMA. There are no groin strikes, eye gouges, throat strikes etc - all valid techniques to use in a street fight. If Aikido or Jujitsu or Yoga or Macrame was better at winning fights in a UFC environment then most people would be doing that.

No argument that the fighting styles within MMA/UFC are very similar, but this is a result of evolution, not a restriction on techniques (other than mentioned above).

Strepto
04-30-2004, 10:37 AM
Hi! I'm new here... but I've been reading the forum for more than a year. I thinik i'll jump in on this one.
I trained aikido for a year not for self-defense... just for fun. But then i wondered: Would this actually work in a fight? What exactly is a fight? How fast the attacks are comming? How does it feel to ge hit? Those were all questions i couldn't answer in the dojo. So, with that in mind I signed up for kickboxing classes. After one year of kickboxing I can answer some of my questions. Of course I don't have a lot of aiki under my belt (1 year :sorry: ) but taking kickboxing lessons change my view on aikido. Before practicing kickboxing i thought that yeah, the aikido i do in the dojo would ressemble the aiki i would use in a fight. But right now i say: Nah, it wouldn't be even close. I now see aikido as a martial art of opportunity (sorry if that does not makke sens... i'm french :eek: ). You can't rely only on aikido in a fight. Of course if an opportunity comes where i could throw the guy or apply a lock on him i would but i wouldn't rely on this to stop a fight.

One of my friend studies chi-na and shaolin kungfu. chi-na looks pretty much like aikido. When watching an instructional video on chi-na we both came to the conclusion that chi-na and aikido cannot be used by itself. It must be combined with a striking art to be a lot more effective in a fight. Then again, I might be wrong... ii didn't train in aikido for 10 years. But right now i feel i'm ready to start practicing aikido again (after a 6 month break) but with a completely different approach.

Ok, i have to get back to work.

dan guthrie
04-30-2004, 11:30 AM
I think a distinction should be made between a street/bar fight with an average Joe or Jill and a fight with another martial artist. If you try to judge your art by UFC standards I believe you're falling into the same trap as those who judge their cars by Nascar. The three people I know who've used aikido "in the street" ended the confrontation with sankyo, nikkyo and stand-up grappling. No one got punched or kicked.
"Are you sure you want to continue this?"
On the other hand, I know of one black belt who tackled a guy and only realized ten minutes later that he could have used aikido.

Ron Tisdale
04-30-2004, 12:31 PM
I do think an important distinction is being and should be made here.

1) a highly trained, physically superior athlete will be a handful -- no matter what art you train in.

2) Most situations outside of the sporting environment, while chaotic, do not deal with item 1. And most of the time when they do, all opportunity should (and usually could) be taken to walk away.

Outside of that, I have to agree that the more sophisticated your art, the better off you are with a solid base in something basic (competitive striking, competitive grappling, etc.).

Ron (none of which is to say that aikido doesn't work)

paw
04-30-2004, 02:06 PM
There are no groin strikes, eye gouges, throat strikes etc - all valid techniques to use in a street fight.

All the techniques named: eye gouges, throat strikes, etc.., may or not be valid according to the law of the land. That is to say, you might "win" the fight, but end up in court and "lose" there. There is a legal component to a fight, as well.

Biting, eye gouging, and groin strikes, while being "fouls" have happened in the UFC. Off the top of my head, they made no difference in the result. The point is, in a world where people have been shot and stabbed, yet still continue to fight, I wouldn't count on any technique being an automatic "fight ender".

Finally, Ron, makes two excellent points.

Regards,

Paul

Ian Williams
05-01-2004, 08:21 PM
All the techniques named: eye gouges, throat strikes, etc.., may or not be valid according to the law of the land. That is to say, you might "win" the fight, but end up in court and "lose" there. There is a legal component to a fight, as well.


I'll worry about the legal aspects of the fight after I've taken care of the SURVIVAL aspects of the fight. It's no use wishing you had done that groin strike or eye gouge when you're lying on the ground having your skull smashed


The point is, in a world where people have been shot and stabbed, yet still continue to fight, I wouldn't count on any technique being an automatic "fight ender".


Certainly not, but these are still tools in our tool bag arn't they. I don't know about Aikido specifcally, but JuJitsu has lots of groin strikes, throat strikes, eye gouges etc. They're valid "unbalancing" techniques.

Ron Tisdale
05-03-2004, 10:58 AM
Biting, eye gouging, and groin strikes, while being "fouls" have happened in the UFC. Off the top of my head, they made no difference in the result.

And there are some more things to remember about these kinds of tactics...

1) I remember a fight in jr. high where I was basically wrestling against someone trying to 'gauge' my eyes out. He clearly had no clue of how to really do it...he was just giving me a deep massage with his knuckles. Didn't really hurt, and I proceeded to use the rough tarmac to abraid the skin off of his back. People generally don't really train to actually do these things...they pantomime it a lot...but they don't really know what the heck it feels like to actually take a finger and stick it through the eye socket with real penetration. I would think you'd have to 'really' mean it...try it sometime...I think you'll see what I mean.

2) Who is going to be in a position to do these things effectively? Its kind of like pressure point fighting in a fist fight...first you have to not get hit yourself, then you have to be in a position to hit the other person, then you have to exert enough fighting pressure to be able to hit particular places in particular sequences...

Generally, the person in a controlling position is the one who gets to use the dirty tactics.

Thanks for the kind words Paul. You're making some good points as well...People may well want to use 'dirty tricks' while in a situation...but the courts may well decide that if it was a situation you could have avoided, the 'dirty tricks' just add some sauce to the pan in which you'll be cooked.

Ron

Chris Birke
05-03-2004, 04:58 PM
People do train dirty tricks; I know some JKD schools do. We practiced eye jabs on hanging tennisballs (as a distraction tactic), eye gouges (for during thai clench), bites in grappling (side headlock defense), and groin grabbing (guillitone defense) - True, I've never gouged anything besides an orange, but I still think the other ones are trained decently. I mean, you grab the crotch as hard as you can and yank, and if you can, try to grab one of the... Not so complex maybe? But, Ron is precisely right in that they come only in the right situation and AFTER learning good control.

Personally, I would never want to use them (besides the eye jab, which is more meant to get a reaction than harm) because they elevate the situation too much (not to mention land you in jail). Still, training them is good, because knowing them is the first step to avoiding them.

Just don't fall into the trap where you assume, that should your aikido fail, you will suddenly have a instictive pool of perfect dirty technique to draw from. That pool is very shallow.

Ron Tisdale
05-04-2004, 08:13 AM
Good points Chris!
RT

Ian Williams
05-04-2004, 06:05 PM
Why is it a pool to use IF your aikido fails? Why not use Atemi against vulnerable spots like the groin or the throat? Is Atemi only valid if it's against parts of the body that will not be hurt by it? What is the point?

I'm talking about using techniques such as throat strikes, groin strikes etc as unbalancing/distraction whilst performing techniques - such as headlock or strange escapes. Like I said before, if someone has me in a headlock, I'll do what it takes to get out of it before I pass out - to hell with the consequences.

Chris Birke
05-04-2004, 08:01 PM
Well, often fights are more over territory than life and death. Someone wants to kick your ass, yes, but they also just want to see you turn tail and run.

If you are in a situation like that, and you grab someones groin, etc, the fight might not necessiarly be instantly over. It might not work, or they may have friends. Now you face two consequences; one, whoever you were fighting will now be trying every dirty trick in the book with intent to see you maimed (not simply chased off), and his/her friends feel the same way.

So, like any tactic, it must be used with careful consideration. Not simply by rote.

Largo
05-06-2004, 12:48 AM
cheating can only occur if you are playing a game where there are rules. If it is a fight, there are no rules, so you can't really cheat. :D

Chris Birke
05-06-2004, 03:03 AM
"Why is it a pool to use IF your aikido fails? Why not use Atemi against vulnerable spots like the groin or the throat? Is Atemi only valid if it's against parts of the body that will not be hurt by it? What is the point?"

Atemi isn't designed to maim. The tactics that I think fall under cheap are meant to cause severe and lasting damage, infertility, blindness, wounds. Atemi is just meant to disrupt their world for a little bit.

Poking someone near or in the eye probably won't hurt them too bad, it will give me just enough time to make the next move. Gouging someone in the eye with intent, however, will be with them for the rest of their life. So there's a bit of a moral element involved, and that's what people want to avoid going wrong of in their Aikido. Can I defend myself without going straight to the most serious consequences is the question. And then, should one hesitate?

tiyler_durden
05-06-2004, 04:45 AM
Hi,

I know I don't post much here but I am here most days reading what you have to say.
This thread has got me hooked though.

I trained Aikido in Belfast.
I lived in Belfast and worked in Security in a huge shopping mall in the centre of town and let me tell you I got into a few "Fights".

I must say though my technique was not usually sloppy and the locks and throws always worked.

I have yet to come across someone who knows another style of fighting when getting into a fight!
This you would be able to see in their movement and also stance!

I know this may sound a little ignorant but it is true form MHO!

I have had two and sometime three people coming at me and have come out on top!
I mean don't get me wrong I have been hit,many times and I have tried a few other styles which include Karate,Win chun,kick boxing etc...yet I find Aikido most effective in a "Fight".

The movements are smooth and all techniques can be used in a small area,unlike some styles!

The locks and throws I find are second to none!

Most fights start with pushing and shoveing clashing of heads and then the punch comes,which you allways see as it is the "Saturday night special" which comes from behind the shoulder and with full force!

this can be caught and used,where applicable!

I hope this was ok and understandable!

Also just my 2 cents

Tiyler-durden

Alvaro Lobato
05-08-2004, 10:17 AM
After one year of kickboxing I can answer some of my questions. Of course I don't have a lot of aiki under my belt (1 year :sorry: ) but taking kickboxing lessons change my view on aikido. Before practicing kickboxing i thought that yeah, the aikido i do in the dojo would ressemble the aiki i would use in a fight. But right now i say: Nah, it wouldn't be even close. I now see aikido as a martial art of opportunity (sorry if that does not makke sens... i'm french :eek: ). You can't rely only on aikido in a fight.

i didn't train in aikido for 10 years. But right now i feel i'm ready to start practicing aikido again (after a 6 month break) but with a completely different approach.

Alvaro Lobato
05-08-2004, 10:30 AM
I have been practicing Aikido for 10 years !

The answer is cross-trainning or a great dojo where you may have more open-minded instructors willing to experiment a bit more "real-fight" situations.

Of course this have a very down side which is the possibility of increasing the risk while trainning.

This a ever-coming subject in this and other forums - Is Aikido worth in the streets ?

I keep spreading my Aikido word whenever I can:

1. A real fight depend on so many considerations such as level of the attackers, type of place, physical abilities of the parties, desire to get involved in such situations, etc.
2. Dirty techniques such as eye gouging, biting and hair pulling are almost necessary.
3. Basic knowledge of grappling and punching/kicking are a plus.

Therefore all I say is that for me, leading my present lifestyle, at my age, I feel Aikido is the best solution.

Nevertheless I also practice, whenever I can, BJJ and Kick-Boxing.

Alvaro Lobato
05-08-2004, 10:41 AM
Hi,

I know I don't post much here but I am here most days reading what you have to say.
This thread has got me hooked though.

I trained Aikido in Belfast.
I lived in Belfast and worked in Security in a huge shopping mall in the centre of town and let me tell you I got into a few "Fights".

I must say though my technique was not usually sloppy and the locks and throws always worked.

I have yet to come across someone who knows another style of fighting when getting into a fight!
This you would be able to see in their movement and also stance!

I know this may sound a little ignorant but it is true form MHO!

I have had two and sometime three people coming at me and have come out on top!
I mean don't get me wrong I have been hit,many times and I have tried a few other styles which include Karate,Win chun,kick boxing etc...yet I find Aikido most effective in a "Fight".

The movements are smooth and all techniques can be used in a small area,unlike some styles!

The locks and throws I find are second to none!

Most fights start with pushing and shoveing clashing of heads and then the punch comes,which you allways see as it is the "Saturday night special" which comes from behind the shoulder and with full force!

this can be caught and used,where applicable!

I hope this was ok and understandable!

Also just my 2 cents

Tiyler-durden
Thanks for the example Tyler.

I feel the same. Most (and I mean almost all of them) of real situation fights are very poor technically probably because most of people do not practice any MA and/or because adrenalyne and lack of self-control do not allow to use the famous Samurai spirit.

I would also like to complimment all the participants for the excelent level of the discussions in this forum.

Tyler, what is MHO ?

Keith Morgan
05-08-2004, 11:53 AM
"Cheating", "real fight", "Aikido." These are just labels,generally thrown around by adults,whose last confrontation was in the school playground perhaps many years ago,and the fear has not left them! Self-defence,whatever that may mean,is a state of mind,not technique.What is a real fight then,that makes it different from an unreal fight? What on earth is cheating? Despite the romanticism of Samurai Spirit,they were professional warriors,and killed.The concept of fair play just did not exist.One thing should be made clear to students who enroll in dojo.The martial arts in general were not designed for self-defence,they were battlefield methods for killing and maiming,period.Many of the Budo arts are simply sports,practised with an understanding of accepted rules to test your skills in a predetermined condition.i.e. Judo players grapple,Karate players punch and kick. Despite my meagre 36 years of training in Aiki Ju Jutsu,I will still avoid a confrontation at all costs.A fight over a spilled pint or any other excuse for a ruck is just not worth it.

George S. Ledyard
05-08-2004, 12:23 PM
Surely you can say that in a real fight, a life or death struggle, you must do everything you can to survive but does that include discarding the moral principles of Aikido when it suits us?
Where in anything the Founder wrote about Aikido does it say that you are discarding moral principles if you survive a an attack in a deadly force situation?

This is a very simplistic sense of what Aikido morality is about. O-sensei said that we should act from a spirit of loving protection for all things. That means that we are expected to act as "care takers" so to speak. Well, that care taking extends to ourselves and all those around us. It means that we must strive for the greatest good, not some rigid and unrealistic sense of what is moral.

If I die in an attack because I failed to protect myself adequately, what was protected? Did I protect the life of the attacker over my own? Where is the larger benefit in that? The person who was willing to kill you is still alive, quite capable of killing another innocent person, and you are dead, quite incapable of protecting anyone. I don't believe that O-Sensei would have viewed this as anything but a failure of your training. You have a duty to use your training to protect society and you have failed if you die.

I run into this all the time when I do women's self defense training. We talk about jamming ones fingers in to the attacker's eyes and some woman will say, "Oh, I couldn't do that." I point out that this person is going to rape her and possibly kill her.. but no, she still can't see herself doing that. So I ask her to visualize an attacker that is going after one of her children and wham! you've got a tigress ready to do what it takes. How did her upbringing so pervert her sense of self worth that she wouldn't do for herself what she would do for another?

Aikido is all about the nature of the universe and natural energy. Well, nature isn't the benign force that a lot of well meaning but naive people make it out to be. In each instant the universe is a process of creation and destruction. Things are coming into being and they are passing out of existence (at least in the form in which they previously existed). O-Sensei's genius was to bring balance to Budo. No longer was Budo focused on the destruction of others but rather on bringing oneself into accord with the will of the Kami. But if you read what O-sensei says about the violent person who is not in sync with the will of the Kami, he doesn't say that that person walks away just fine because we were able to use techniques to restrain him. He pretty clearly states that to be out of sync with the natural harmony of the universe leads to destruction.

In Aikido there is a natural "conservation of the quality of energy". Whatever the intent of the attacker, that tends to be what he gets back. This is why O-Sensei said that there should be no more challenge matches. It wasn't possible to do them without serious injury because the aggressor got back the kind of energy he put in. O-Sensei seriously injured a number of people in these matches... that's why he stopped.

In Aikido we find a certain type of person who thinks that conflict resolution is this nice Terry Dobson-like story in which if people were just nice to each other things would be great. People completely misunderstand why that subway story was so impressive. It's not because the old man was loving to the drunk and therefore the drunk responded by dropping his violent demeanor. It's because there was absolutely no guarantee that he would have done so that the old man's behavior was so amazing. He placed himself at risk. That drunk could just as easily punched him out. That was very brave. But it was a response that fit the situation.

There are predatory psychopathic people out there who are completely unaffected by that type of benevolence. If one of those people came after you, conflict resolution would be killing him. Messing about thinking that there was some "moralistic" low level force technique like nikkyo which would allow you to restrain this would be murderer is simply stupid and would only get you killed.

What about your wife, kids, family and friends? What about all the good you could have done in your life had you lived? How did this misguided understanding of the Spirit of Loving Protection protect anyone but the one person least deserving of that protection, the would be murderer? As the one with training (less than 1% of the population has studied any martial arts) you owe it to society to prevail over this threat to the general welfare. As far as I am concerned failure to do so would be immoral not removing him as a threat to the innocent folks around me.

One of my friends and a former student is a cop. He was presented with a man armed with a knife who was coming towards him. He acted according to the guidelines of his profession, stayed completely cool but was forced to draw the line on the floor at which he was going to shoot this guy if he didn't drop the knife and submit. Just as he shifted his "intention" and was getting ready to shoot, the subject sensed this shift and stopped, dropped the knife, and submitted. Happy ending right? My friend acted impeccably. The poor mentally ill guy lived and was placed in the mental health system where he received the help he needed to become a productive member of society, right? Well. no. As it turned out a number of months later, this fellow was the neo-nazi who went into the Jewish community center in LA and shot those children. I hope you can see how complicated these moral issues get. It's not this sweetness and light BS that so many folks put out.

As my teacher Saotome Sensei has pointed out, "Sometimes conflict resolution means that attacker is dead. Then there's no conflict." Does that mean that it isn't great that Aikido has all sorts of techniques which can allow you to use appropriate force when dealing with violent situations? No. There are all sorts of times when that type of response is wonderful. Not all violence is clear in its intent or is very threatening due to the complete lack of ability on the part of the aggressor. But as Funaksohi said, "If it's not important enough for one or the other of you to die for, you shouldn't be fighting." Aikido folks like to think that they can fight because they have these cool techniques which aren't going to seriously harm an attacker. If the low level force control techniques that we use to practice, work for you in a violent situation, that's great but I would say that you weren't in a REAL fight where the intention was to kill you and the attacker knew something about what he was doing.

Richard Cardwell
05-08-2004, 01:14 PM
Tiyler Durden, which dojo did you train in in Belfast? It's good to know that there are people on this forum apart from Ian Dodkins and I who train(ed) in this corner of the world!

Kevin Leavitt
05-08-2004, 02:52 PM
The only morality I know of in fighting is do use the least force necessary to resolve the fight.

Other than that, how you live your life and the actions you take up until the point you engage in the battle is the only other thing that matters. Why you decided to fight is what matters. After that, you only have to worry about using the least force necessary to protect that what you deem worth protecting.

So if it is truly a life or death struggle, it is neither moral or immoral to use whatever force you have at your disposal to resolve the situation to your benefit. it is what it is, nothing more nothing less....a fight. It is the actions that led to the fight that determine if it is just or not.

shihonage
05-08-2004, 10:29 PM
post


This was a great post, perhaps it should be put as a separate article on Aikiweb.

drDalek
05-09-2004, 07:59 AM
This was a great post, perhaps it should be put as a separate article on Aikiweb.

I agree, utterly, thanks for shedding light on this issue for me. I have had a glimmer of this for a while now, but it has never been put to me in such a clear and definate way.

As for the issue about "cheating" I meant it more along the line of someone who does Aikido for ten years, then gets into a real fight (as opposed to a fight that ends when someone get shoved or someone turns away) and resorts to doing something vaguely reminiscent of bad judo and kickboxing. In a sense cheating on your own training by not using it at all. I realise now that this question has already been answered a few times for me. Every time someone says "dont play the attacker's game, make him play yours"

aikijitsu3
01-05-2007, 04:40 PM
for ne1 whos afraid to get hit in a fight i suggest starting ju-jitsu and some nice sparring will take care of that

Kevin Leavitt
01-05-2007, 05:24 PM
Why? I study ju-jitsu and I am afraid of getting hit. It sucks.

graham
01-05-2007, 07:20 PM
Why? I study ju-jitsu and I am afraid of getting hit. It sucks.

Couldn't agree more. I read a previous comment saying that Aikidoka don't fear getting hit, and all I thought was, "maybe they've never been hit then?' :confused:

Ketsan
01-05-2007, 07:55 PM
I've been hit a lot and not in a nice dojo with gloves and protective gear (although I've been hit a lot in sparring too) either , that's why I don't like being hit.

Gernot Hassenpflug
01-05-2007, 08:51 PM
I don't like getting hit, not because of the pain of the hit, but because of the much greater pain when noses have to be rebroken for resetting (or the wads of paper pulled out rapidly, argggh!), teeth have to be rebuilt, and little injuries in the mouth make eating an unforgettable experience. I've found it much easier to deal with inner leg muscle tears, and various other bruises than with facial injuries. So: keep your guard up and let your body take the hits :-)

Thalib
01-07-2007, 09:01 PM
Why would I not be afraid of getting hit? Especially in the face. The real world is not a movie. Plus, medicals are quite expensive nowadays.

I like what Seiser-san wrote below:

IMHO, there is no "cheating" in a "real fight" because there are no real rules. If you "survived" then you did it right.

If we go up on the ring/competition, there will always be rules. But, out there, there are "no rules" in the truest sense, therefore there is no such thing as "cheating".

I don't really see the need to be chivalrious during these moments. Kick them in the balls, hit them over the head with a bottle, use a gun, knife, or sword, it's all good.

Then again, if I am afraid of getting hit or get a few cuts, why would I be in a fight? I'd rather run away more than anything. Then again, even running away would need a good strategy, it won't be as simple as turning your back and run, I could get killed.

IMHO, attitude and intention means more in a "real fight" than in training.

What Seiser-san said above, is what I also had in mind. If I take a fight in the real world in a competitive way, then I could end up lying in a pool of my own blood.

If I have a choice of not engaging in a fight, I'd rather not. But if there are only two choices left, either engage so that you would still have a chance to live or just let them kill you... well... that's not so much of a choice is there?

Then again the attitude also comes into play. Is the engagement out of fear and desperation?

Tony Wagstaffe
01-08-2007, 10:06 AM
Where in anything the Founder wrote about Aikido does it say that you are discarding moral principles if you survive a an attack in a deadly force situation?

This is a very simplistic sense of what Aikido morality is about. O-sensei said that we should act from a spirit of loving protection for all things. That means that we are expected to act as "care takers" so to speak. Well, that care taking extends to ourselves and all those around us. It means that we must strive for the greatest good, not some rigid and unrealistic sense of what is moral.

If I die in an attack because I failed to protect myself adequately, what was protected? Did I protect the life of the attacker over my own? Where is the larger benefit in that? The person who was willing to kill you is still alive, quite capable of killing another innocent person, and you are dead, quite incapable of protecting anyone. I don't believe that O-Sensei would have viewed this as anything but a failure of your training. You have a duty to use your training to protect society and you have failed if you die.

I run into this all the time when I do women's self defense training. We talk about jamming ones fingers in to the attacker's eyes and some woman will say, "Oh, I couldn't do that." I point out that this person is going to rape her and possibly kill her.. but no, she still can't see herself doing that. So I ask her to visualize an attacker that is going after one of her children and wham! you've got a tigress ready to do what it takes. How did her upbringing so pervert her sense of self worth that she wouldn't do for herself what she would do for another?

Aikido is all about the nature of the universe and natural energy. Well, nature isn't the benign force that a lot of well meaning but naive people make it out to be. In each instant the universe is a process of creation and destruction. Things are coming into being and they are passing out of existence (at least in the form in which they previously existed). O-Sensei's genius was to bring balance to Budo. No longer was Budo focused on the destruction of others but rather on bringing oneself into accord with the will of the Kami. But if you read what O-sensei says about the violent person who is not in sync with the will of the Kami, he doesn't say that that person walks away just fine because we were able to use techniques to restrain him. He pretty clearly states that to be out of sync with the natural harmony of the universe leads to destruction.

In Aikido there is a natural "conservation of the quality of energy". Whatever the intent of the attacker, that tends to be what he gets back. This is why O-Sensei said that there should be no more challenge matches. It wasn't possible to do them without serious injury because the aggressor got back the kind of energy he put in. O-Sensei seriously injured a number of people in these matches... that's why he stopped.

In Aikido we find a certain type of person who thinks that conflict resolution is this nice Terry Dobson-like story in which if people were just nice to each other things would be great. People completely misunderstand why that subway story was so impressive. It's not because the old man was loving to the drunk and therefore the drunk responded by dropping his violent demeanor. It's because there was absolutely no guarantee that he would have done so that the old man's behavior was so amazing. He placed himself at risk. That drunk could just as easily punched him out. That was very brave. But it was a response that fit the situation.

There are predatory psychopathic people out there who are completely unaffected by that type of benevolence. If one of those people came after you, conflict resolution would be killing him. Messing about thinking that there was some "moralistic" low level force technique like nikkyo which would allow you to restrain this would be murderer is simply stupid and would only get you killed.

What about your wife, kids, family and friends? What about all the good you could have done in your life had you lived? How did this misguided understanding of the Spirit of Loving Protection protect anyone but the one person least deserving of that protection, the would be murderer? As the one with training (less than 1% of the population has studied any martial arts) you owe it to society to prevail over this threat to the general welfare. As far as I am concerned failure to do so would be immoral not removing him as a threat to the innocent folks around me.

One of my friends and a former student is a cop. He was presented with a man armed with a knife who was coming towards him. He acted according to the guidelines of his profession, stayed completely cool but was forced to draw the line on the floor at which he was going to shoot this guy if he didn't drop the knife and submit. Just as he shifted his "intention" and was getting ready to shoot, the subject sensed this shift and stopped, dropped the knife, and submitted. Happy ending right? My friend acted impeccably. The poor mentally ill guy lived and was placed in the mental health system where he received the help he needed to become a productive member of society, right? Well. no. As it turned out a number of months later, this fellow was the neo-nazi who went into the Jewish community center in LA and shot those children. I hope you can see how complicated these moral issues get. It's not this sweetness and light BS that so many folks put out.

As my teacher Saotome Sensei has pointed out, "Sometimes conflict resolution means that attacker is dead. Then there's no conflict." Does that mean that it isn't great that Aikido has all sorts of techniques which can allow you to use appropriate force when dealing with violent situations? No. There are all sorts of times when that type of response is wonderful. Not all violence is clear in its intent or is very threatening due to the complete lack of ability on the part of the aggressor. But as Funaksohi said, "If it's not important enough for one or the other of you to die for, you shouldn't be fighting." Aikido folks like to think that they can fight because they have these cool techniques which aren't going to seriously harm an attacker. If the low level force control techniques that we use to practice, work for you in a violent situation, that's great but I would say that you weren't in a REAL fight where the intention was to kill you and the attacker knew something about what he was doing.

Thank you Mr Ledyard!
In other words you do what you have to do! Just do it with all that your worth and no less or die in the attempt!

natasha cebek
01-09-2007, 03:19 PM
Next you'll be telling everyone it's ok to wash their obi...sheesh, where will this heresy end :rolleyes: :p

Bronson

He already did :D and made a big deal about it to :crazy: