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Jordan Steele
05-11-2004, 02:35 PM
I hear a lot of conversations about the issue of an opponents size or strength not making a difference, particularly from Aikido practitioners. I am a long time AIkido practitoner among other arts and can genuinely say that the size of somebody makes a huge difference, they don't even have to be strong. I'm 5'7, 150 and solid. I have been strength training for years now and it only works to my benefit. I am just so confused as to why the majority of Aikido people feel so confident against much bigger people. I have been in real fights and can honestly say that all the stuff we do in class gets thrown out the window(no pun intended) when the first fist gets cuffed across your jaw. And you will get hit in a real fight, it's impossible not too. An untrained drunk will hit you more often than a sober expert. Size makes an enormous difference and you will not be able to toss them around, especially a goal oriented big guy. Sadly to say, Aikido's throws are not very effective on a larger opponent, but their joint locks work very well. If you like throwing and want to take down a larger person, take judo. It's more aggressive and uses a lift and toss method as opposed to projection. Just my thoughts.

Chuck Clark
05-11-2004, 02:55 PM
You're absolutely correct! Size and strength does matter.

The coordinated application of force with posture (structural integrity), correct movement and distance, along with good timing allows you to put that force on target.

Growing up with strong judo practice, I always heard that "A Good Big Man Defeats A Good Little Man"...

Of course that saying is based on an even skill ability. If one or the other has enough of a skill edge, then it may be different.

Then again, there are "trade offs" in any comparison of size, strength and skill.

My teachers have always tried to teach me to be "efficient" with enough force applied to allow natural laws to work. Many of us often try to overcome lack of skill by adding more muscular power and speed. It doesn't solve the basic problems.

Skill and willingness are important.

Gambatte!

paw
05-11-2004, 03:12 PM
Chuck has made a rational, logical post that is absolutely correct and true.

Be that as it may, I imagine it will be ignored shortly.

Regards,

Paul

Chris Birke
05-11-2004, 03:22 PM
Well duh. =D

shihonage
05-11-2004, 03:31 PM
The goal is not to throw a big guy, but to avoid being thrown by one while re-positioning yourself in a way which either gives you an exit, or minimizes damage he can do to you and maximizes damage you can do to him.
If he throws himself in the process, that's his problem.

As for the real fights, yes, EVERYTHING gets tossed out the window when the attacker delivers a solid hit to your head. Everything gets tossed out, not just Aikido.
Boxers at this point have a reflex to close the distance and seize the opponent's arms because they are now dizzy and they know they cant dodge the barrage of the shots that are about to follow.
I don't see a point you're trying to make with this statement.

As for your last sentence, I personally can't say that my goal in life is go around "throwing large people" because "I like it".
That sort of behavior is not very wise, because it usually leads to early hospitalization or imprisonment.

Chris Birke
05-11-2004, 03:52 PM
Everything doesn't get thrown out if you are used to getting hit in the head, by the way. But, I will reserve my comments until the debate truely begins.

Tharis
05-11-2004, 04:30 PM
I agree that size matters, but...

I think it's worthwhile to say that the more you train, the less size matters. Eventually, though it probably takes years of practice, skill will eventually make size nearly irrelevant and a smaller person may even have the advantage due to being faster, more agile, etc.

On a similar note, I worked at a restaurant a few years ago and there was this guy there who was just plain massive. He must've been something like 6' 7" and 300+ lbs. Apparently he'd served a jail term for assault. Some guys were talking and he said he'd much rather take someone on who was roughly his size than take on a skinny 5'9" 140 lb shrimp like myself, basically because skinny types like myself were much harder to hit as we moved around so much. In his opinion, of course, he'd still win eventually, of course, but it would take much longer.

So, yeah. Size matters. Size is also one factor among many, and the relative importance of uke's size is inversely proportional to the length of time nage has spent practicing.:confused:

Does that make sense?

Yours in ukemi,

Thomas

gasman
05-11-2004, 04:41 PM
The way we train aikido will enable the youngest, oldest and weakest of us to escape grabs and holds from much bigger people. At a very high level, the weaker can asswhip the stronger. The way we train aikido, the advantage goes to the smaller person. It's because we focus on the posture and dynamics, the ma-ai and the use of ki to steer and control the situation.

So Aikido is as much a way of training as it is a martial art.
Only by the use of non-force can the weak overcome the strong.

Also, Jordan, I would like to say that I have been in a few fights, and nobody has managed to land a punch on me yet. How do you train aikido?

Ninja Mike
05-11-2004, 04:50 PM
I agree with thomas, the more you train the less size matters.
in my opinion, the way it's supposed to work is that you don't see a need to fight, and that your able to walk away, so you shouldn't have to wory about a big guy beating the hell out of you. and in the case that you have no other choice but to fight having aikido under your belt is more of an advantage than no training at all.

Fausto
05-11-2004, 05:15 PM
I think that there's nothing more to say it is clear that size matters but with hard and realistic training size will matter less and less.

Jordan Steele
05-11-2004, 06:25 PM
Thanks for the feedback, I wasn't trying to make any point in particular, just wanted others thoughts because the city I train in has three or four dojos including mine, but my dojo trains with a much different physical and mental attitude. Our dojo trains with a humbleness that the techniques we learn are not necessarily a solution that will work on anybody especially large against small. We improvise alot. Whenever our dojo has practice with a couple of the other dojos(we all have a good relationship by the way), their Aikido is so arrogant and they think they can just toss us around. We co-operate with them out of respect, but honestly they have a false sense of security. I can't throw large people, I can perform various takedowns, but throw no way. Have you ever tried picking up a beach log and projecting it. Unless you toss is like a caber, it won't happen. Then attempt the same thing with a large man that isn't as dumb as a log.

NagaBaba
05-11-2004, 11:00 PM
I am just so confused as to why the majority of Aikido people feel so confident against much bigger people.
Answer is very simple --- aikido practice is based on cooperation.
It is impossible to compare who is more efficient, ppl from your dojo or other dojos. It is impossible to know if "size(strength) does or doesn't matter" without some kind of competition, sparrings and such. And for sure, the results of such sparrings will be different depends of rules.

Aikido isn't a sport activity -- it is a Budo. Budo practice include weapons, also hidden weapons. There is no sportmanship spirit. There is no fair play.There are no rules.

Aikido is not limited to few throwing techniques and few locks. You are not learning some "tricks" to help you win bigger/stronger Bad Guy. Of course, it takes time to understand all implications, but think a bit about it. and find a good instructor --- a Master. Without such Master you will always be confused.

Cat
05-12-2004, 02:25 AM
Have you ever tried picking up a beach log and projecting it. Unless you toss is like a caber, it won't happen. Then attempt the same thing with a large man that isn't as dumb as a log.

This is a topic that is close to home for me - I am only 5ft, and often wonder how effective some of the things I am learning would really be against a determined big man. However, I think the analogy above is misleading - I'm not going to try to throw someone who is acting like a log and not moving, because I couldn't do it. But if they are attacking me, they are in motion, and my understanding of Aikido so far (not claiming any expert status) is that it is about using the energy the other person is throwing your way. If they give you enough energy, and you do the technique properly, AND choose an appropriate technique, size becomes far less important (although not irrelevant).

Having said that, I think getting to the point of being able to do that is many many years away for me!! Am I way off the track?

batemanb
05-12-2004, 03:00 AM
However, I think the analogy above is misleading - I'm not going to try to throw someone who is acting like a log and not moving, because I couldn't do it. But if they are attacking me, they are in motion, and my understanding of Aikido so far (not claiming any expert status) is that it is about using the energy the other person is throwing your way. If they give you enough energy, and you do the technique properly, AND choose an appropriate technique, size becomes far less important (although not irrelevant).

Having said that, I think getting to the point of being able to do that is many many years away for me!! Am I way off the track?


Sounds like you're very much on the right track to me.

Another very important part of the equation is kuzushi. You shouldn't even begin to think about technique if you haven't taken uke off balance first. Most techniques fail because tori is so focused on doing the technique they try to apply it too soon. If uke is strong and solid you have little chance of doing any technique effectively, or certainly not without using more strength and power, hence bigger stronger is an advantage in this instance. But if you perform kuzushi and put them off balance initially, their body becomes reliant upon you for support, you can then lead them where you want them to go, as long as you maintain their dependance upon you i.e. keep them unbalanced throughout, to the instant you apply the technique. Basically they should be falling into the technique as a result of kuzushi, this does not require you to be bigger or stronger. It requires an understanding of body mechanics, the ability to feel how your uke's body is moving and where, with your whole body, not just your hands, and the ability to move in harmony with your uke to influence and create kuzushi.

If uke is big and solid has not made any attacking motion towards you, there is no need for technique, just stop and walk away/ step back, re-establish your ma ai so that he has to make the motion towards you first, then he's yours ;).

With regards to getting hit in a fight, that's a different matter and can be a result of many things. I would like to hope that I can avoid any fight in the first instance, if not, I would like to hope that my Aikido keiko, specifically ma ai, movement and zanshin would help me avoid getting hit with any kind of substantial blow. I don't intend waiting around for a punch, but you never know, we only prepare as best we can and work it out on the day.

Regards

Bryan

drDalek
05-12-2004, 03:18 AM
The fundamental "fighting" stratagy of Aikido is so completely the opposite of every single competitive martial art that this thread is not even relative (but it is interesting). Sure if you plan on clashing with someone, or allowing them to load some weight onto you, either body weight or "muscular weight" then the guy that can handle (and apply) the most weight would win out in the end.

Have you ever forcibly blocked a shomenuchi that was in the "coming down" stage? Hurts doesnt it. How about blending (as opposed to blocking) a shomenuchi in the development (going up) stage? Much, much easier.

The way I see it, with Aikido the ideal is to take control of the situation from the outset, either take control and de-escalate immediatly, failing that, strike first and make it count, failing that, evade until the situation and timing is just right to apply a lock or a throw or an unbalancing atemi.

In Judo, if your timing is not right, you can still use your strength to "force" the throw, even if someone's balance is not broken you can push them down to the floor with enough muscular strength. The throws in Aikido are all about breaking balance, there are multiple stratagies for breaking balance, but if balance is not broken the technique "wont work". Folding someone's arm over towards their back wont throw someone who still has his balance, infact I believe the thing you do with Uke's arm in shihonage is purely to have a lever to control uke's fall, make it faster or slower, damaging or gentle or direct it into some strategically important direction. If you have a lot of muscle, you can pull down on Uke's arm and eventually (depending on Uke's strength) he will go down, either to avoid damaging himself or because his supports gave out under all the weight you placed on him.

The reason why you practice Aikido is to be able to find ways to unbalance your opponent without using a lot of force, its not to hammer into muscle memory the physical manifestation of the techniques but the principles that allow you to break balance and put your uke down from certain archetypical attacks and some static holds that place you at a disadvantage. If you practice these static holds and try and muscle your way out of them and try and muscle uke to the ground you are missing the point.

As an Aikidoka, the stratagy you need to use to deal with a fight is not to go and square off and start trading blows, neither is it to rush in, grab whatever appendage is closest and try and twist it in some way, the stratagy is to maintain distance until your opponent gives up (in which case you win) or rushes you with something that he thinks is going to put you down and relieve his frustration at you (in which case you evade and depending on the situation re-establish distance or apply a projection or a lock or an atemi)

This is part of the problem with showing Aikido to your friends, as well as practicing it in class. If you want to show a friend, you politely ask them for an appendage and then manipulate it in some way, then they invariably turn out of it, untwist said appendage or in some other way "defeat" your technique, usually with a sh*t eating grin and a "guess you need more practice mate" Aikido is not just manipulating your opponent's body, its an entire stratagy for dealing with an opponent who wants to kill or hurt you and you cannot show stratagy as easily as technique. Even if you taunt a friend into sparring with you, its bloody hard to show real Aikido, if he tries to "sneak" into the clinch you cannot apply damaging keep-the-hell-away-from-me atemi out of sportsmanship and respect for your friendship and if your friend goes into trading blows mode, your continual evasion will be seen as anything but manly or heroic.

Taliesin
05-12-2004, 03:52 AM
So the conclusion is that size matters but skill matters more. I also point out that while the poster (Jason) did concede "joint locks work very well". This leaves me with the question - if joint locks work why try and use throws. Of course it is always useful to have a number of strings to your bow - because not all opponents are the same.

batemanb
05-12-2004, 04:11 AM
So the conclusion is that size matters but skill matters more.

I'd rephrase that to say that size only matters if you are doing it wrong. Size doesn't matter if you are doing it right.

I also point out that while the poster (Jason) did concede "joint locks work very well". This leaves me with the question - if joint locks work why try and use throws. Of course it is always useful to have a number of strings to your bow - because not all opponents are the same.

The technique you end up doing should be a response to the situation/ position, it shouldn't be a planned reaction to a particular attack. Therefore the throw happens because that's where you are, likewise with the locks. If you only study one of the two, you may well end up in a position where you can't do anything, which may result in you getting your clock cleaned.


rgds

Bryan

Taliesin
05-12-2004, 08:05 AM
Bryan

Personally I'd stick with my conclusions. I don't think that size only matters if your doing it wrong - it matters because you should be able to respond in a way that is effective to the attacker. No matter how good iIever get I don't think I'll ever try to apply a hip throw on anyone whose weighs 20 + Stone.

It's also not a matter of a planned response, so much as being able to adapt your response to apply appropriate techniques.

although I must admit that my greatest challenge would be people who are skilled strikers - people who can strike hard with out giving me any energy to work with.

batemanb
05-12-2004, 08:35 AM
No matter how good iIever get I don't think I'll ever try to apply a hip throw on anyone whose weighs 20 + Stone.

I agree with that, actually at 6'2" with bad knees, koshinage is something that I tend to stay away from full stop ;).


It's also not a matter of a planned response, so much as being able to adapt your response to apply appropriate techniques.

I agree there too, actually more what I was trying to say

although I must admit that my greatest challenge would be people who are skilled strikers - people who can strike hard with out giving me any energy to work with.

If they are striking, then they are giving you energy.
I don't claim to be an expert here, certainly not to have anywhere near mastered this. Working with hard punchers isn't so much of a problem but I agree, working with guys who can punch quick makes for an altogether different practice.

rgds

Bryan

MaryKaye
05-12-2004, 10:00 AM
If you only know joint locks, you have no way to deal with multiple attackers. That's one reason for knowing throws. People who rush you very fast are probably another.

We have a shodan who is extremely small, and he gives average-sized people like me a taste of what it's like to be the "big guy". Across that skill differential it does me no good at all. Shihonage seems to be a particularly effective throw for him, but he can basically do anything he pleases. If my feet are not under my center of gravity, being larger and heavier just means falling harder.

Mary Kaye

Terencentanio
05-12-2004, 10:40 AM
Interesting ;) I just had to post.

One thing I haven't seen mentioned here is endurance. Although this may not apply to all larger people, I think it does for most.

I often find that blows to myself are hardly effective at all no matter where they land.

Also, I accidentaly got into a fight with someone who was supposed to be a Karate master and was speachless that I managed to keep on my feet. Any kicks and punches that I couldn't block had almost no effect, and when I retaliated and he tried a counter attack e.g a lock I just grabbed him by any open area and threw him down or pushed him away. Also, a technique he used frequently was to jump at me and leap back then jump back in and strike me. After he used this 2-3 times I became wise of it and when he leaped in I grabbed him by lose clothing and then released him.

I can honestly say that out of the 4 fights I've had in my life, 3 of them with experienced martial artists, I've never thrown a single punch and I've never hit the ground.

Now, I know I'm only speaking from my point of view and my experiences, and the results could come down to style and training (the guys weren't trained very well and were too confident) but I'm sure others have had similar experiences and this could be used as an example that sometimes size does matter even against skill...

To be true, I've never been against an Aikidoka... so I can't really comment there... :P

Just my views .. hope they help the progression of this thread.

happysod
05-12-2004, 11:20 AM
One thing I haven't seen mentioned here is endurance. Although this may not apply to all larger people, I think it does for most I'm missing something here, are you implying big people have no endurance? more?

On the main topic, training can reduce the imbalances caused by size and strength, but can't negate them all together (I believe Bob Sap would be a good example? Paul, you can probably correct me on this as I'm not a UFC fan). You've also got to consider the environment you're fighting in as the only times I've seen the small person win against large odds, is if they have the room to win a positional advantage.

As for the wrist locks... some people can take an awful amount of pain, up to and including broken bones, I'm always a bit wary of pain compliance.

Does strength matter? Yes unfortunately (says the short weak bugger) but that's why weapons were invented...

tedehara
05-12-2004, 11:35 AM
I've been taught that the First Principle of Aikido is to get out of the way. If someone throws a punch, get out of the way and not get hit. If they kick, get out of the way. If they charge at you or try to grab you, get out of the way. After you've done that, then you can decide what technique to do.

Usually what happens is an argument before the fight. So when someone throws that first punch, ma-ai is already broken. Also people never tell you what they're going to do, they just punch, grab, kick - whatever. So in order to apply this first principle, you need to remain relaxed in a stressful situation.

If you can successfully apply this First Principle in a real situation, then strength and size will not matter.
Don't collide with bullet.

paw
05-12-2004, 12:42 PM
On the main topic, training can reduce the imbalances caused by size and strength, but can't negate them all together (I believe Bob Sap would be a good example? Paul, you can probably correct me on this as I'm not a UFC fan).

Bob Sapp fights for Pride, not the UFC. That said, he's a great example. He's big; he's strong; he's very athletic....and despite having only a bit of martial training, he has been a threat to people who have been training martial arts their entire lives.... not people who train three times a week at the local dojo, but professional martial artists who make a living fighting.

Regards,

Paul

Terencentanio
05-12-2004, 01:33 PM
I'm missing something here, are you implying big people have no endurance? more?

Sorry,

I wasn't implying they had none, I was saying it's more likely that big people would have more natural/physical endurance, unlike the people who can do the most painful things purely through mental and spiritual strength.

I say this as you'll find alot of larger people are effected less by a normal blow... say, someone with a 6inch gut isn't going to mind a blow to the stomach.. etc.

Sorry you misunderstood.

Suru
05-12-2004, 01:41 PM
My brother and I wrestle from time to time. I try Aikido and he tries not to let me do it. He is extremely strong. When he grabs my wrist (kosa or katate,) I can't figure out what to do. His grip is so tight that I can't bring my hand around for nikkyo. I can't break his grip by "drinking a beer." When I would practice techniques on a girlfriend, I would be able to do anything. Therefore, strength does matter. However, if my sixth sense was more refined, I could begin my movement just before he actually grabs (but after he has commited.) This was taught often by one of my sensei. This takes impeccable timing, however, and is thereby challenging to accomplish.

Drew

jimvance
05-12-2004, 02:20 PM
Strength matters in a "closed" competition, that is, where all possible outcomes are limited to those instances that have been practiced within the exponent's particular repertoire. The human need to grapple or to wrestle brings us back to the same old riddle, "what matters more, strength or skill?"
I feel that to be a true "martial" art, we must take into account the element of lethality as well as the element of restraining a person using force.
As someone above mentioned, they could do their repertoire with their girlfriend, but couldn't budge their brother. Had his brother been an assailant intent on really hurting him, other "open" options would become available, such as threatening or damaging the vital organs. Most people would find it difficult to maintain a crushing grip if you poked them in the eye with your finger, let alone if you buried your finger into their eyesocket.
Levels of force move from easy moral gradients up to deeper, more complex levels of human interaction, and giving hard and fast rules about all, treating them all as equal, is somewhat counterproductive to the many reasons we pursue the study of martial arts.

Jim Vance

Chris Birke
05-12-2004, 02:42 PM
Just about anything that works for a small person, works for a big person. Plus, they're bigger. Yes, you can get too big and fat, but generally bigger equals better. Anecdotal evidence of one or two fights does not dispute the fact that just about every competitive fighting sport has weight classes. Hundreds and hundreds of fights with similar skilled opponents reveal that yes, weight matters. It matters on the street too. Bigger stronger people have an advantage that you can only counter with skill, and only to a certain extent. You think you have a magic tactic that will work if things get really rough? So do they! And they're bigger. For self defense's sake, at a certain point as much can be accomplished by hitting the gym and bulking up as by hitting the bag.

Also, the grass is indeed green, cats meow, and teenagers are hormonal. Anyone who thinks otherwise...

Tharis
05-12-2004, 03:07 PM
My brother and I wrestle from time to time. I try Aikido and he tries not to let me do it. He is extremely strong. When he grabs my wrist (kosa or katate,) I can't figure out what to do. His grip is so tight that I can't bring my hand around for nikkyo. I can't break his grip by "drinking a beer."
Drew

A humble suggestion:

One trick Jim Sensei taught me was instead of trying to raise your arm, lower your hips. If you can't lift your arm above his, then lower your body below his and lift up with your hips. It makes a big difference.

Also, keep training. Getting to a point in aikido where you can bring down anybody (even a grappler bigger than you are) takes a long time (think years). I would not assume that because your technique doesn't work against someone bigger that all technique doesn't work in similar circumstances.

Of course, that's just my opinion...

Yours in ukemi,

Thomas

Tharis
05-12-2004, 03:28 PM
Just about anything that works for a small person, works for a big person. Plus, they're bigger. Yes, you can get too big and fat, but generally bigger equals better. Anecdotal evidence of one or two fights does not dispute the fact that just about every competitive fighting sport has weight classes. Hundreds and hundreds of fights with similar skilled opponents reveal that yes, weight matters. It matters on the street too. Bigger stronger people have an advantage that you can only counter with skill, and only to a certain extent. You think you have a magic tactic that will work if things get really rough? So do they! And they're bigger. For self defense's sake, at a certain point as much can be accomplished by hitting the gym and bulking up as by hitting the bag.

If that's the sort of practice you want, then go to it and just make sure you don't accidentally put someone in the ICU...:freaky:

Fact: It is unlikely that someone who decides to attack me is going to be smaller than me, unless he's got an extra advantage (like a knife or a gun).

Fact: I will never be the strongest man in the world.

I'm not saying this to debase strength-based fighting styles, but practically, it doesn't work for everybody. For a physically smaller or weaker person, force-based arts don't pay off as well as more aiki-based arts. There's only so much some people can get out of pure strength training. Also, there are guys so incredibly huge that hitting them or muscling them to the ground would be laughable.

As I said before, I won't say that strength doesn't matter. What I will say is that aikido or similar arts can level the playing field, so to speak. By being defensive and using ukes momentum and energy, it neutralizes some of the "brute force" advantage.

Yours,

Thomas

paw
05-12-2004, 03:42 PM
I'm not saying this to debase strength-based fighting styles, but practically, it doesn't work for everybody.

Mind giving an example of a strength-based fighting style? I'm not aware of any.

Regards,

Paul

L. Camejo
05-12-2004, 04:09 PM
Very interesting thread. I like Bryan B and Wynand's approaches.

When training against weapons I often inform my students not to get too mesmerised by the weapon. The same goes for size and other such intimidation factors.

I personally believe that strength, size (and any other factors) matter only when we allow them to. Generally speaking, good technique depends on good tsukuri. Good tsukuri depends on effective evasion, alignment, kuzushi or atemi before one even gets into what technique may work in a given situation.

Yesterday we had folks practicing aigamae katate dori nikkyo (kote mawashi) with and without resistance. It was interesting to see that those who tensed up and reacted to increased muscular and bodily force with muscle resistance of their own was not able to make things work at all, regardless of size. However, when one decided not to be taken in by the increased force or size bearing down upon him/her, and instead relax, and utiliize correct i do ryoku (power of movement) and toitsu ryoku (focus of power), even the smallest female in the class (about 5ft, 100 lbs) got things to work against the largest guy in the class (about 6ft, 340 lbs ). Funny how even the smaller female was able to shut down the technique of the much larger male when resistance was correctly applied as well.:) It works both ways.

So to agree with some above, size does not matter as long as the skill level is there to level or invert the field. The power one can generate by using size when off balance is a very small fraction of the power the same individual can generate when in balance. So I guess kuzushi is one of the keys.

This does not mean however that techniques may not need to be modified slightly to deal with the sheer increased mass that is attacking you. We may need to make bigger circles, do more efficient tai sabaki, more powerful hip movement and other things to get things to work against the bigger opponent. But in the end, the principle used should be the same regardless.

Also, in competitive Aikido, divisions are based on skill level and not weight, as it seeks to deal with exactly the question being asked here, among other things. Effective technique should work regardless of size, with out necessitating the use of Judo techniques etc. It's all about how you train and what you focus on.

My 9 cents.
LC:ai::ki:

Chris Birke
05-12-2004, 04:14 PM
I didn't know that about aikido competitions having no weight classes. I find it fascinating.

paw
05-12-2004, 04:25 PM
I didn't know that about aikido competitions having no weight classes. I find it fascinating.

I presume that Larry is refering to tanto shiai, which of course, involves a tanto (weapon).

Larry, please correct me if I'm wrong.

Regards,

Paul

Nick Simpson
05-12-2004, 04:32 PM
Hitting someone much larger/stronger isnt laughable if you hit them in the throat or some other such area, I know of a short statured aikidoka who has reduced many larger and stronger opponents to quivering heaps on the floor by hitting them. Its hard to break someones face, it isnt that hard to crush some ones windpipe, all depends on whatever level of force you are prepared to employ...

Chris Birke
05-12-2004, 05:30 PM
"Bigger stronger people have an advantage that you can only counter with skill, and only to a certain extent. You think you have a magic tactic that will work if things get really rough? So do they! And they're bigger."

VS

" I know of a short statured aikidoka who has reduced many larger and stronger opponents to quivering heaps on the floor by hitting them. Its hard to break someones face, it isnt that hard to crush some ones windpipe, all depends on whatever level of force you are prepared to employ..."

Discuss!

batemanb
05-13-2004, 02:50 AM
My brother and I wrestle from time to time. I try Aikido and he tries not to let me do it. He is extremely strong. When he grabs my wrist (kosa or katate,) I can't figure out what to do. His grip is so tight that I can't bring my hand around for nikkyo. I can't break his grip by "drinking a beer."

Without seeing you do this it's hard to advise, but second guessing blindly I would say that your focus in drinking a beer is on moving your arm, and you are getting wrapped up because you can't. You need to move your arm with your whole body. When someone grabs your wrist, that is all that they have of you! Too many people forget this, they focus on the fact that they can't move their arm, i.e. strength vs. strength. If you move your whole body instaead, then it will be very difficult for the person grabbing to hold on, because your whole body is more powerful than his grip. The hard part is figuring out where to move your body to, that's why we practice ;).

Regards

Bryan

batemanb
05-13-2004, 03:01 AM
This does not mean however that techniques may not need to be modified slightly to deal with the sheer increased mass that is attacking you. We may need to make bigger circles, do more efficient tai sabaki, more powerful hip movement and other things to get things to work against the bigger opponent. But in the end, the principle used should be the same regardless.


This is a very good point. When practicing one should always make their Aikido as big as possible, over exagerate the movement as much as possible. If you do this, you will stretch your uke out further which can only assist kuzushi. If you think and practice like this, it will help get past the all to common point of trying to do technique before uke is in a position to receive it. Magnifying your movements causes uke's movement to be magnified, this in turn makes it easier for you as tori to feel what's going on and see what's happening, i.e. will help make it easier to understand the principals involved in the technique. Large movements also generate a lot of power.

Once you've got it large, then you can make it small, but you make it small with large power ;).

rgds

Bryan

batemanb
05-13-2004, 03:07 AM
Had his brother been an assailant intent on really hurting him, other "open" options would become available, such as threatening or damaging the vital organs. Most people would find it difficult to maintain a crushing grip if you poked them in the eye with your finger, let alone if you buried your finger into their eyesocket.

This is another very good point that is often forgotten when larking about with friends, especially if they do not train in the dojo. Because they are friends, we treat them nice and often forget the open routes.

rgds

Bryan

Green Machine
05-13-2004, 05:42 AM
There seems to be a lot of different oppinions here, I am still quite green in my training and this week we was doing everyones favourite nikyo. I was told to hold a dan grades lapel and he was to turn bend my arm and apply nickyo. The teacher told me to hold really strong I did and the dan grade was unable to do the technique because my arm would not bend. The teacher decided to have a go and told me to hold really strong so I did. The teacher could not bend my arm, I was concerned now that I may have upset or embarressed my teacher and co partner in some way but the treacher simply turned forcing my arm to bend and just did another technique. I am 5'11 weigh a meassly 73kg and have 13 and a half inch arms. So I would have to say that size does not really matter but technique is what is important. I am still training in a static form and this I am told will develop my kokyu. Later I will get to practice in a moving environment. So a non moving object is harder to move than a moving object, as stated above I weight approx 11 stone my teacher weighs 15 - 16 stone yet could not bend my arm using weight or strength but managed it with technique.

Regards Andrew

paw
05-13-2004, 06:09 AM
Had his brother been an assailant intent on really hurting him, other "open" options would become available, such as threatening or damaging the vital organs.

Honestly, given some of these responses I'd rather not meet any of you in real life if you think it's appropriate, legal or ethical to respond to a wrist grab with lethal force. (tongue mostly in cheek....mostly)


Andrew,

So a non moving object is harder to move than a moving object, as stated above I weight approx 11 stone my teacher weighs 15 - 16 stone yet could not bend my arm using weight or strength but managed it with technique.

Instead of thinking that technique and strength are separate, you might try re-framing to think that technique is appropriately applied strength.... Or go back to the first reply on this thread where Chuck talks about efficiency.

Incidentally, a moving object can be considerably more difficult to move than a stationary one, particularly if the object is moving towards you at great speed and you wish to move it backwards.


Regards,

Paul
----still waiting for a strength based martial art example

bob_stra
05-13-2004, 06:24 AM
----still waiting for a strength based martial art example

Viking death combat? ;-) Benchpress dueling? Sumo?

In any case, a smart man once said "Strength is its own martial art"

It's all applied strength, but that's another topic...

Green Machine
05-13-2004, 06:49 AM
paul watt
Incidentally, a moving object can be considerably more difficult to move than a stationary one, particularly if the object is moving towards you at great speed and you wish to move it backwards.

In reality if the force is much greater then the object can be moved back although there would be an initial clash, yet this is not aikido true aikido would allow the force to continue on it's path hence blending with it rather than trying to stop it. If a car was heading towards me at high speed I would not try to stop it but rather step to the side and let it continue in it's direction.

Regards Andrew

Steven Scott
05-13-2004, 06:52 AM
If size does matter, yet everything is thrown out the window, then why does size matter.

Are larger people less susceptible to bricks, chairs, knives than smaller people ?

Are stronger people more aware of an attackers friend clipping them from behind ?

Can fitter people outrun a bullet ?

So why does size matter, because in todays world all of these come in to play.


Just a passing thought.....

L. Camejo
05-13-2004, 07:02 AM
I presume that Larry is refering to tanto shiai, which of course, involves a tanto (weapon).

Paul is correct. However, there is also something called Toshu, involving two empty handed opponents attempting techniques and countering in a continuous engagement. This however is no longer an aspect of competitive tournaments, but is used more as a training method to deal with non-tanto attacks. In the same way tanto randori develops into tanto shiai, there is also toshu randori, which includes all the elements of resistance, technique and principles contained in tanto randori.

As far as the absence of divisions based on weight, there is a nice article on this on Aikidojournal here - http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=243 .

As Tomiki said - "Waza no shinri wa hitotsu," -"The truth is in the technique".

Also, regarding the Sensei who could not apply the technique from a static position, I feel a bit badly or him. Even in a static situation, there is energy that one can utilise and exploit. If it is not enough, there are exercises that involve generating movement in uke when there is little energy. Sort of pro-active kuzushi instead of re-active kuzushi. If he utilised these principles to break posture or balance the technique that he initially planned should have worked.

Just my thoughts.
LC:ai::ki:

paw
05-13-2004, 09:35 AM
If size does matter, yet everything is thrown out the window, then why does size matter.

I disagree that everything gets thrown out the window, so I disagree with your premise. We tend not to rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. (Isn't that Lynn's signature?)

Are larger people less susceptible to bricks, chairs, knives than smaller people ?

Of course not. Which is the point of weapon development...to negate the advantage of size and strength.

Having said that, a stronger person is capable of creating much more force with an impact weapon (brick, bottle, pool cue, boken, jo...) than a smaller person, training being equal.

Paul is correct. However, there is also something called Toshu, involving two empty handed opponents attempting techniques and countering in a continuous engagement. This however is no longer an aspect of competitive tournaments, but is used more as a training method to deal with non-tanto attacks. In the same way tanto randori develops into tanto shiai, there is also toshu randori, which includes all the elements of resistance, technique and principles contained in tanto randori.

I think if more people engaged in toshu randori, these questions would answer themselves.


Regards,

Paul

Green Machine
05-13-2004, 09:39 AM
I think it is just one of those things at the end of the day, mental attitude also plays a big part in this debate.

Also, regarding the Sensei who could not apply the technique from a static position, I feel a bit badly or him. Even in a static situation, there is energy that one can utilise and exploit. If it is not enough, there are exercises that involve generating movement in uke when there is little energy. Sort of pro-active kuzushi instead of re-active kuzushi. If he utilised these principles to break posture or balance the technique that he initially planned should have worked.

trust me on this one my sensei is a very powerfull bloke and receiving morote dori koyo dosa from him I thought I was going to go through the floor. On the other hand I may have a small frame for my height but I have increadable strength so most people would have real difficulty in bending my arm. It was just one of those things I would just like to clear that up for I have the utmost respect for my sensei.

Regards Andrew

ian
05-13-2004, 12:13 PM
We specificially train in two different ways in our dojo to understand both body emchanics and timing. For beginners (esp. women) I think it is important to do stationary techniques where someone grabs really hard, and the proper body mechanics (i.e. hips and centre move and not the point of contact) enable movement. This is very hard with very strong people unless you do it correctly, however once done correctly it provides a lot of confidence.

The second aspect is timing - and this is done slowly at first, but has to be consistant movement.

Ideally these two are integrated so the timing is correct, but the position you are in at any time is extremely strong. I feel many dojos only stress one or the other.

Ian

PeterR
05-13-2004, 07:39 PM
Toshu randori has been back for quite a while. It fell out of favour for a while mainly because it is much more difficult to do and ref. It has the potential to become Judo randori too easily.

makuchg
05-13-2004, 09:05 PM
I do not believe strength plays a role unless you are making all other technical aspects equal, which is not realistic. I have taught submission techniques for military and law enforcement and I have seen many female officers who can handily subdue a much larger, stronger adversary. It is they have learned to utilize all their weapons (flexibility, endurance, training, or whatever they may be). If a weaker person stands toe to toe with a stronger person and trades punches, well first that's stupid, second they are allowing the stronger individual to utilize their strength.

Take a look at past UFCs. The originals had no weight classes. Royce Gracie was outweighed by over 30 lbs by every opponent, all competent, dangerous fighters. He handily defeated every opponent. Smaller, weaker technically superior fighters routinely defeat much larger fighters.

Greg Makuch

PeterR
05-13-2004, 09:37 PM
Take a look at past UFCs. The originals had no weight classes. Royce Gracie was outweighed by over 30 lbs by every opponent, all competent, dangerous fighters. He handily defeated every opponent. Smaller, weaker technically superior fighters routinely defeat much larger fighters.
But they do now - basically because size was such an overall advantage. I must say I also disagree with the term routinely.

Weight classes introduced in Judo because of the man mountains the western countries put against the Japanese. Promotion shiai in Japan still have no weight classes and neither does Shodokan Aikido shiai. In both these cases I've seen smaller defeat larger but there is still a serious size advantage.

Now more specifically - we all practice all techniques with everyone. A tall guy like me practicing shihonage against a short person - practiced even though in reality its ridiculous. Size dictates what would work and what doesn't - same with strength. With a much stronger opponent you must have vastly superior timing. I would even say more skill than he has more strength.

Nafis Zahir
05-14-2004, 01:02 AM
My brother and I wrestle from time to time. I try Aikido and he tries not to let me do it. He is extremely strong. When he grabs my wrist (kosa or katate,) I can't figure out what to do. His grip is so tight that I can't bring my hand around for nikkyo. I can't break his grip by "drinking a beer."

Drew




There are many variations of doing nikkyo. But if you are trying to 'bring your hand around', then you're not doing nikkyo, you're muscling. I don't know the position you were in, but whenever I've had someone strong grip me really hard, (and I'm pretty strong myself) I relax, keep my shoulder down, and turn my hip. That is where the power comes from. Here's an example. Someone strong grabbed be katatori. His grip was strong. Too strong to take his hand off. Trying to take his hand off is not Aikido. I grabbed his hand, pressed it even harder against my body and then turned my hip. The more he held, the more it hurt him and he did let go of the grip. SInce I already had his hand in my hand, I was able to do another variation of nikkyo to finish him off. Size may matter in what technique you choose to do, but that's with any art.

shihonage
05-14-2004, 01:46 AM
My brother and I wrestle from time to time. I try Aikido and he tries not to let me do it. He is extremely strong. When he grabs my wrist (kosa or katate,) I can't figure out what to do. His grip is so tight that I can't bring my hand around for nikkyo. I can't break his grip by "drinking a beer." When I would practice techniques on a girlfriend, I would be able to do anything. Therefore, strength does matter. However, if my sixth sense was more refined, I could begin my movement just before he actually grabs (but after he has commited.) This was taught often by one of my sensei. This takes impeccable timing, however, and is thereby challenging to accomplish.

Drew

I've participated in this sort of thing many a times, and I've discovered that this usually happens when:

a) you compete with your arm muscles vs. his arm muscles.
The point is to completely channel your hip power into the arm in order to generate the necessary power. If there's any tension in your muscles, you will fail doing this with a stronger person.

b) you're set on doing nikkyo while you should be set on doing what is possible. Nikkyo may as well be not possible, especially considering that he now knows what you're doing.

In your situation a tenkan (if he foils it, transition to sumi-otoshi) should work, but you need to make sure that your upper body muscles are doing precisely 0% of the work.
Imagine that your elbows are stapled to your hips, and thats where the power goes into the arms from.
Make sure you don't lose this sense of being in control and being able to move after he grabs you.

I have a friend to whom I tried to slowly demonstrate basic principles, but he already knew that I was going to do tenkan, and he completely blocked it (my fault also because I wasnt doing it adaptively enough), so I transitioned to sumi-otoshi and he dropped on the floor.

I''ve managed to do shihonage and sankyo on a 300lbs man from a handshake. He blocked one of them, I transitioned to the other.
Needed to go wayy on the edge of his sphere of power.
If the beginning of the technique isnt done correctly, if you give up control of yourself to the "grabber", the rest of the technique will have very low chance of working as prescribed.

JessePasley
05-14-2004, 03:28 AM
Standing, yes, size absolutly matters. I have a pretty decent punch, but I'm a short guy....without the reach it doesn't matter. With aikido techniques it's almost the same sort of range; my instincts tell me to clinch in close.

Now, on the ground, though strength is still dominant, the actual size of the opponent becomes less of a problem. In fact, I prefer taller guys with those long arms....so much easier to armbar. Of course, ground wrestling isn't exactly in Aikido's syllabus, but the same sort of control of the arm that is dominant in Aikido can easily be transferred to ground practice.

bob_stra
05-14-2004, 06:50 AM
An oldie but a goldie from Frank Benn ("The Myth and the Math")

http://tinyurl.com/29bat

L. Camejo
05-14-2004, 07:17 AM
Nice link Bob.

But I thought the idea was to utilise the force given/used by the bigger person to help you, thereby changing the balance of power to work for you and not for the other person.

So if the bigger guy has 10 units of strength/size and you have 5, you let him exert his 10, get out of the way (making him waste energy), unbalance him (sufficiently enough to reduce his 10 to at least 4 at this point as he redirects energy towards regaining balance) and then use your now superior power to put him down.

Imho one can only exert their mass/strength effectively if one is in a state of balance to begin with, otherwise that mass and strength works against him/her.

It all comes back to making the other fight your fight and not the other way round. Following Aleksey's post in A) above - if you start thinking that your smaller size/strength will work against their greater size/strength on a level playing field you've already lost. The idea of technique and tactics are to create imbalance in that field, hopefully in your favour.

Imho strategy is an extremely important aspect of Aikido's effectiveness, long before any technique can be applied at any level. If we are drawn into the other's game from the outset, ANY advantage that the other has becomes a problem for us, whether it be a weapon, size, mass, superior skill, or their ability to get us into an environment where they are skilled and effective and we are not. It's up to us to keep things where we are in control and not the other way round.

Just my 2 cents.

LC:ai::ki:

paw
05-14-2004, 08:01 AM
Now, on the ground, though strength is still dominant, the actual size of the opponent becomes less of a problem.

Not true. Check the winner of the Absolute division in any Pan Ams or Mundals, it is never a small person. Ze Mario destroyed Royler when they met in the Absolute. Also check out ADCC. Again, the absolute champion is never a small man, it has generally been the heavy weight champ.

Try this experiment. Lay on the ground and have a friend place 50 pounds on your chest. As quick as you can, return to a standing position. Repeat the experiment with 100 pounds. Then with 200 pounds. Which was most difficult? Now allow that 200 pounds to have 3 or 4 years of training in ne waza (folkstyle wrestling, bjj, judo, sambo....) and be allowed to stop your efforts.

Skill can and does overcome strength and size, but generally, the skill differential must be significant. This is true standing or on the ground.

Regards,

Paul

paw
05-14-2004, 08:10 AM
Take a look at past UFCs. The originals had no weight classes. Royce Gracie was outweighed by over 30 lbs by every opponent, all competent, dangerous fighters. He handily defeated every opponent. Smaller, weaker technically superior fighters routinely defeat much larger fighters.

Royce had a huge skill advantage.... Something like 20+ years against guys who had 0 experience in groundwork. Also Royce sparred with Rickson prior to the first UFC and had extensive experience in mma fights....something every other competitor had little or no experience in.

Regards,

Paul

Chris Birke
05-14-2004, 12:10 PM
Royce later got smashed by the less skilled but much bigger Shamrock. At their first meeting, Shamrock was simply outclassed and surprised. The second time he knew what to expect, and with just a little more ground training, was able to tip the balance such that his size let him win. Size isn't everything, but if you think it doesn't matter, you're nuts. =D

paw
05-14-2004, 12:23 PM
Royce later got smashed by the less skilled but much bigger Shamrock. At their first meeting, Shamrock was simply outclassed and surprised. The second time he knew what to expect, and with just a little more ground training, was able to tip the balance such that his size let him win.

Officially, the fight was a draw. Chris' point, however, still stands. In the second fight, there was no surprise factor and Ken went the distance (over 30 minutes as I recall).

Also, I don't think Ken Shamrock was that much bigger (although he was and is far, FAR stronger and more athletic than Royce --- no disrespect to Royce). From memory, I want to say Ken was 215 while Royce was 185. If my memory is correct, that's only 30 pounds --- and shows how even a relatively "small" size difference can have a very big impact.

Regards,

Paul

makuchg
05-14-2004, 02:00 PM
My point was, which I will attemp to be clearer on, is that a "real" fight is not staged. There are no rematches. In the first UFCs, every fighter went in there believing they were proficient, yet a smaller, extremely technically proficient fighter easily defeated them. With hindsight being 20/20, the opponents learned how to defend against his style of jujitsu.

However, in a real fight, you only get one try. The illusion that strength will tip the balance against a technically proficient fighter is simply not true. I would agree that if EVERY other circumstance is the same, then yes, strength would matter, but the reality is, every other circumstance is NEVER the same. Technical proficiency is more useful the strength.

When the UFC fighters were defeated by Royce, they didn't lift more weights to make themselves better, they increased their technical proficiency. They realized more muscle would not help them, so they went to the ground.

Greg Makuch

paw
05-14-2004, 02:25 PM
My point was, which I will attemp to be clearer on, is that a "real" fight is not staged.
Neither are UFC matches.

There are no rematches.

Nor are there any guaranteed rematches in the UFC.

The illusion that strength will tip the balance against a technically proficient fighter is simply not true.

It's not that simple. After UFC 4, the UFC was dominated (and some who argue still dominated) by US wrestlers, men who had/have a background in folkstyle wrestling.

While not having the submission skills of bjj'ers, wrestlers were vastly more athletic than most of the traditional martial artists they faced....particularly in regards to strength. A paradigm example is the battering of Amaury Bitetti by Don Frye.

What MMA has shown is that it behooves one to be both technical proficient and athletic in a hand to hand confrontation. Further, these two skills --- technical ability and athletic ability --- may be developed at the same time with appropriate training methodology.

Regards,

Paul

JessePasley
05-15-2004, 04:25 AM
Paul wrote:
Not true. Check the winner of the Absolute division in any Pan Ams or Mundals, it is never a small person. Ze Mario destroyed Royler when they met in the Absolute. Also check out ADCC. Again, the absolute champion is never a small man, it has generally been the heavy weight champ.

Um, yes, true. I mostly talking about arm reach with regards to standing. A guy standing can put a lot of his weight into his punches....a guy on the ground, in the midst of grappling, simply cannot do it as well. As I mentioned before, I don't have the reach....the best option when I'm getting pounded in a slugging match with a taller guy is to take it to the ground.

paw
05-15-2004, 05:48 PM
A guy standing can put a lot of his weight into his punches....a guy on the ground, in the midst of grappling, simply cannot do it as well

Only if you are on the bottom. If you have the top position (mount, side control, within the guard) it takes little training to learn to deliver blows that carry weight.

Regards,

Paul

Zato Ichi
05-30-2004, 08:58 PM
<lurk off="true">

Not to resurrect a dead thread or anything (nothing more annoying than a zombie that won't stay down), but the link which Bob gave sounded really familiar. I couldn't place it until last night when I was re-reading Kano Sensei's [I]Kodokan Judo[I]. Lo and behold:

... let us say a man is standing before me whose strength is ten, and that my own strength is but seven. If he pushes me as hard as he can, I am sure to be pushed back or knocked down, even if I resist with all my might. This is opposing strength with strength. But if instead of opposing him I give way to the extent he has pushed, withdrawing my body and maintaining my balance, my opponent will lose his balance. Weakened by his awkward position, he will be unable to use all of his strength. It will have fallen to three. Because I maintain my balance, my strength remains at seven. Now I am stronger than my opponent and can defeat him by using only half my strength, keeping the other half available for some other purpose.

Just a little aside for anyone interested.

</lurk>

PeterR
05-30-2004, 10:31 PM
I couldn't place it until last night when I was re-reading Kano Sensei's [/i]Kodokan Judo[i]. Lo and behold:
Did we inspire you on Saturday. That makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

I would not mind re-reading that book myself - can I borrow it off you some time.

DaveO
05-31-2004, 09:55 AM
Hi all!
Allow me to put my own worthless two cents into the fray.
First, the question: "Does size make a difference". Of course it does. Size is a variable; as are with strength, experience, age, training et. al..
Size - depending on the specific dimentsions - confers several advantages; two of the most critical are reach and inertia. A tall person with long arms has a distinct reach advantage over a smaller person; while a more massive individual has much greater inertia - and is therefore harder to move - than a lighter person. By contrast; size also confers certain advantages on smaller people as well - a lower center of gravity for short people, giving them better stability, and less inertia for lighter people; giving them a quickness advantage (less mass to accellerate).
So yes; at the most basic level size does matter. But how much does it matter?
Good question. The answer is "it depends". It depends on what the situation is. If you're practicing technique; ideally it will not matter a whit. If you're randoriing in the dojo, it matters a bit more.
But if it's a real situation, well....
Why the heck does everyone have to default to the standard "If I'm in a fight..."? Fights - while common - are just about the least common - and in many ways least dangerous - examples of violence one can experience in real life. They're absolutely the last place your aikido skills are going to manifest themselves effectively. God; let's look at the list for a moment shall we? There are domestic assaults. Muggings. Sexual assaults. Arrest/detainments. Robberies. R.A.V.'s. Violent mental conditions. The list goes on and on.
I don't give a wet slap about how long someone has been training in whatever system; when an average-sized man attempts a violent sexual assault on an average-sized woman; his size is very, very definitely an important consideration. It might seem shallow or mean; but anyone who says "Size isn't important" is quite frankly naiive when it comes to real-world violence.
When an attack takes place; it doesn't happen in front of you with a bow to start. It doesn't manifest itself as 'an attack'. It hits like an avalanche; with all the attacker's intent behind it. Whatever he's there for; it's not to fight; but to dominate. Mind; I'm talking about violent criminal acts here; there are a whole range of defensive conditions to which that would not apply - dealing with a big boy with Down's syndrome, for example. Still, the effect is the same. Size confers an enormous advantage on the violent attacker; one which must be overcome if the defender is to succeed in defending him/herself. This is very difficult; because it's not the only advantage he has - he also has the advantage of surprise, of force, of aggression, of intent, of preparation and very likely of experience. All these advantages must be overcome if the defender is to succeed. See where I'm going with this?
Barring mental difficulties; a person is not going to attack unless he believes he will be successful. That means he'll have stacked the deck as far in his own favour as possible before attacking. That stacking will/may include weapons and partners. Basically, if someone attacks you with violent intent; the chances are 10-to-1 he's going to succeed.
If that sounds grim, it is - that's why it's far, far better lo learn to avoid the situations in which you may find yourself a victim.
I look up at this thread and see - once again - the UFC and Pride cited as examples of effectiveness. Forget about it. MMAers crow about the fact there are no rules in the Octagon. Well, there are - a lot of them. Both those that are written, and those which are accepted. You'll never see a fighter bring a shiv into the octagon, for instance. Or a handgun. Or 10 of his buddies. MMA is a tough, often violent competition, but it is a competition; not an assault. Both fighters have agreed to be there; both face each other knowing they each have a fair, balanced chance against one another. They also know there is a ref right there; EMT crews standing by, etc.
I've got nothing but respect for those guys; they're tremendous atheletes, every damn one of 'em.
But if it was real - and I mean real; how long do you think they'd last?
I loved watching Royce Gracie - a fantastic fighter. Suppose I pitted off against him in the Octagon - I wouldn't last two seconds. But if it came down to life-or-death in an alley somewhere, what then? Keeping in mind I've had people try to kill me; with a variety of weapons. And keeping in mind I've been forced to take life. So if you're comparing notes on violence; the UFC is not the yardstick to use.
Next - kuzushi. Gonna be blunt here - In short; you are maintaining your own stability while taking the attacker off his. Have you thought about the fact that that's exactly what he's trying to do? And since he's attacking; he gets the chance to do it first? So the size advantage is still an advantage; since the stability of the two parties is going to balance out. Aikido is wonderfully effective as a defensive art; but when a person is actually attacked for the first time; it's likely to fail horribly for this reason: the guy attacking you is not an uke. He's not going to just lose balance when you want him to; because he is very likely either conciously or unconciously going to be working to keep his own stability. I've had the priveledge of training with some superb instructors; done ukemi for the likes of Koichi Kashewaya Sensei and Henry Kono Sensei - both of which I top by at least a foot and outweigh by at least 80lbs. When they demonstrate their techniques I go flying; but it must be remembered I'm in 'passive' mode; doing ukemi. During my time in aikido I've yet to experience a single throw or joint lock I couldn't overcome if I decided to. Example: I nikkyo very easily - with well over a dozen bones broken in my arms from time to time and arthritis in the right arm; nikkyo is devastating against me. BUT - jointlocks don't work very well in violent encounters. I have a standing bet going that if anyone can put a jointlock on me that can prevent me from hanging them off the nearest light fixture; I'll concede the point - so far; no-one has. Jointlocks cause pain - big deal. Pain's nothing; even ignoring the fact that an attacker hyped beyond reason on adrenaline isn't likely to feel it.
So to sum up; in an ideal world; size wouldn't matter to an aikidoka.
But if it was an ideal world; you wouldn't be attacked either.
Cheers!

Aiki U-Dansha
05-31-2004, 04:18 PM
As told somewhere else... we must remember that japanese Senseis were all very "small" people in front of the big Sumotori o the Americans. O'sensei was a small man either :)

I'm a small man to the nowadays standards and i've had the same problems of height, 15 years ago when I started Aikido. In those days I asked my Sensei about my problems making iriminage o shihonage to man taller than me. He teached me a simple concept: the Uke must be influenced by Tori (o Nage) and not viceversa. Now I understand he was right... :)

P.S. excuse my english but i'm not used in righting in english eheh

Marty
05-31-2004, 10:34 PM
Hi,

Ok well I want to make a few points and if I am repeating anything that has been said, I am sorry, I have not read all of the post but I do think I can add something to this.

First I am a big guy, I am 23 years old 6'2" and 270 (not completely solid but not too fat either) most think I am strong and I am stronger than most. Even in the dojo most people think I am too strong and too big to do things on. But they are wrong, if they rely on strength then I will win if they blend (don't care about winning) then I will fall. This for me is not some esoteric argument, it happens to me all the time. One of my sensei is a small woman, maybe 5'4" and 120, not what anyone would call strong. But I must tell you every time I attack her I end up on my but. I trained for 6 years in a striking art and I can hit hard and solidly it does not matter. Now some say that well after years it starts to mean less and less. Again I must say that is not completely true, we had a student who just started training and she wanted to know something simple and effective that she could do now. We showed her a basic self-defense movement that involves her putting her arms out and impacting the chest of the attacker (no I am not describing it well and it really isn't important) well the point is for whatever reason after a few tries (with me trying to hit her as hard as I can) she entered the attack and ducked, my first thought was O MY GOD I HIT her (she was not standing in front of me anymore. Then I looked down and saw the ceiling between my feet, what a shock. She LET me throw my self. I tell this story to say that there is no magic it really is something that anyone can do and really does with out realizing it at times. (she thought she did something wrong)

I have seen the other side of the coin as well, my Dad trains as well, and let me tell you he is strong, he could out lift me 3 to 1 on a good day. And you know what I could not get anything to work no matter how hard I tried. Then I realized that I was trying and that was not letting him fall. Now I can "throw him" not because I got stronger and can hoist him but because I let him throw himself. In Aikido we Don't fight, if we fight then size strenght and speed matter if we blend it does not. It might take time to learn how to bleand maybe my whole life but that does not change the fact.

Just wanted to add my experiences to the group and I hope it helps

Marty

Bronson
05-31-2004, 10:48 PM
she entered the attack and ducked,

That was fun to watch too :D

Bronson

Aiki U-Dansha
06-01-2004, 12:45 PM
I also remember there are also many nage moves, you make in hanmi antachi waza in Aikido :)

TexV2
06-04-2004, 04:18 PM
I just can't leave this one alone. Though I am a novice Aikidoka I have a whole lot of street experience.I studied American Kenpo most of my life, I made my living as a bouncer for years and have been in hundreds (no bs) of altercations in real world scenarios. I will say this with the up most confidence. Size does not matter. Skill, experience, rational thought and common sense. Those matter. None come easy. Lets not forget that everyone, regardless of skill, can be victim to random circumstance. The hay maker you never saw coming.
I stand 6'1" 180 lbs & have fought individuals 6'8" 300+lb individuals and soundly whipped them simply by turning things to my advantage and using all tools available and by adapting to the situation. Flip side to that is have been throughly schooled by individuals much smaller than myself using the same thought process.

A good "Big" Judo practitioner will always beat a good "Small" Judo practitioner is true. But A "Big" Judo practitioner will not beat a good "Small" Boxer. You can't throw what you can't grab. The most important tool in any street situation is common sense. Don't try and throw a 300 lb pound man if you stand 5'5" and weigh a buck thirty. Don't trade punches with a boxer if your a Grappler and vice versa. Know where your abilities end and where your advantages are. Always have a way out.

The most successful tool I have used in any street altercation is simply, posture. I couldn't tell you how many times a guy has run his mouth, some have pulled knives some have pulled worse and all I did was stand there. Centered, focused, confident and quiet. (Not to mention, on several occasions, scared S***-less but thats just between us folks.) More often than not they ran out of gas and walked away.
Most people begin a martial art because they are trying to avoid an impending conflict or trying to avoid a re-occurrence of a conflict which has already happened. Either way in most cases they are self-manifesting their own fate. If you go looking to fight sooner or later your gonna find one. Hope that your prepared. If you are constantly on guard and expecting a fight sooner or later one's gonna find you.
There are no black our white answers in this game. There are always exceptions to every rule. There is no "one" style. I chose Aikido because I feel it can give me the balance that I have been looking for. Aikido offers something more than just the ability to defend yourself. It has given me the opportunity to be a better person. Right now that is all I can ask for.

Respects
Marc
P.S. I had a seventy year old man who weighed about 140lbs toss me like a rag doll last night in class. I assure you I was resisting.

:ai:

paw
06-05-2004, 06:13 AM
Size does not matter. ....
A good "Big" Judo practitioner will always beat a good "Small" Judo practitioner is true. .... Don't try and throw a 300 lb pound man if you stand 5'5" and weigh a buck thirty.

Are you certain? These statements you made seem to imply it does.

But A "Big" Judo practitioner will not beat a good "Small" Boxer.

Orlando Weit v Remco Pardoel says otherwise.

Regards,

Paul

Aiki U-Dansha
06-06-2004, 05:25 AM
Mifune sensei of Kodokan Judo was not a tall man and he used to throw big judokas....

paw
06-07-2004, 06:09 AM
Mifune sensei of Kodokan Judo was not a tall man and he used to throw big judokas....

An exception that proves the rule? A huge skill differential? Even in judo, open weight events are not won by small competitors.

Regards,

Paul

Aiki U-Dansha
06-07-2004, 01:59 PM
An exception that proves the rule? A huge skill differential? Even in judo, open weight events are not won by small competitors.

Regards,

Paul


Maybe yes or maybe not: always remember that the old asian's stock (I'm one of them) were smaller than the indoeuropeans stock.... remember also the Hanmi Hantachi Waza where you are in seiza and Uke moves while he is standing.

Remember also the force of the women that are teorically smaller and less strong than man but are really good in many tecniques such as Koshi Nage...

:ai: :ki: is what's really necessary not the constitution.

paw
06-07-2004, 02:42 PM
Maybe yes or maybe not...

Let me be more clear, because you evidently missed it. Mufine throwing a bigger judoka is the result of: Mufine being considerably more skilled OR a cooperative training session OR the rare time that Mufine "got lucky".

"Ai Ki" is what's really necessary not the constitution.

Immediately (and I do mean immediately) after running a marathon, try practicing aikido. I'll bet money your performance suffers greatly.

Regards,

Paul

Jorx
06-07-2004, 03:01 PM
I do agree with you Paul that the smallest guys don't win absolutes... but don't you think that usually the ones winning are middleweights and light-heavyweights? It boils down to this who can make the other one play his game (especially with the gi).

Of course some sports have rules favouring the big guys (judo, wrestling) but in bjj or submission wrestling it's maybe not that exaggerated.

I of course agree that size matters but in sports a smaller guy with more confidence and more skill and experience doing his thing his delivery system can bust his way through. (win)

And in street in average streetfights (if such things exist:) )we are talking already huge difference in skill and experience. (In the favor of properly trained fighter... whoever that might be, the attacker or the one being attacked).

Aiki U-Dansha
06-07-2004, 03:25 PM
Let me be more clear, because you evidently missed it. Mufine throwing a bigger judoka is the result of: Mufine being considerably more skilled OR a cooperative training session OR the rare time that Mufine "got lucky".


Thinking this way..i guess what someone has learned of Aikido and of Martial art's spirit... I'm not polemich but it makes me think..


Immediately (and I do mean immediately) after running a marathon, try practicing aikido. I'll bet money your performance suffers greatly.


I think that it will probably suffer but will show me many things.
Long time ago, my sensei told us that only when you are very tired, you're able to know if a tecnique you make has some problem or it's nearly ( and for nearly he said not so bad..) good enough.This because many time you put many energy on any move while when you are tired probably you're not able to put any muscolar energy and only in this moment you show how much tecnique you have. It's surely a good practice to run and then take a session of Aikido training....



Sayonara,

Sung Gyun.

paw
06-07-2004, 03:41 PM
but don't you think that usually the ones winning are middleweights and light-heavyweights?

Off the top of my head, it's the light-heavyweights that tend to win. I would guess that's because there are fewer heavyweights, hence the overall quality of the heavyweights is lower.

Of course some sports have rules favouring the big guys (judo, wrestling) but in bjj or submission wrestling it's maybe not that exaggerated.

I don't see how wrestling or judo rules favor larger people.



Long time ago, my sensei told us that only when you are very tired, you're able to know if a tecnique you make has some problem

Respectfully, I believe your partner will show you if your technique is good enough (it either works, or not). Being tired will show you your current limitations as an athlete.

Regards,

Paul

Aiki U-Dansha
06-07-2004, 03:50 PM
Respectfully, I believe your partner will show you if your technique is good enough (it either works, or not). Being tired will show you your current limitations as an athlete.




Probably i'm too newby in martial arts and in Aikido to speak with you... ;)

Jorx
06-09-2004, 07:27 AM
Off the top of my head, it's the light-heavyweights that tend to win. I would guess that's because there are fewer heavyweights, hence the overall quality of the heavyweights is lower.
l
May be trues yes... but in the top level general I don't think that heavy-heavyweights:) are overall less skilled than lighter guys... But really I don't know right now... have to think about it.

I don't see how wrestling or judo rules favor larger people.
l
Umm... in judo you get points for pins... it's easier to pin smaller people than you... same goes for putting one on his back in wrestling.

Respectfully, I believe your partner will show you if your technique is good enough (it either works, or not). Being tired will show you your current limitations as an athlete.
l
Word!;)

csinca
06-09-2004, 10:13 AM
If size didn't matter, would it be such a common topic of discussion on martial arts forums? Of course size matters.

All other things being equal, the bigger guy has the advantage. All other things being equal, the faster guy has the advantage. All other things being equal, the more skilled guy has the advantage. We train so that all things are not equal!!!

Of course you can overcome some size advantage with skill or other attributes (speed, ability to take a shot, good running shoes, a weapon). The bigger the size difference the bigger the other differences have to be to make up for it.

Looking at size from "technique selection" angle, you'll see that some techniques are better suited for a smaller person to perform on a larger person (shiho nage for example). It is simply easier for a smaller person to get under a larger person. I'm 6' 2" and my shiho is different when I'm working with some of our shorter 5' 5" folks than when I work with the guy that's 6' 9". I'm not saying which is better, but I do them differently because size does matter.

Chris

Ron Tisdale
06-09-2004, 10:46 AM
Sung Gyun wrote:
Long time ago, my sensei told us that only when you are very tired, you're able to know if a tecnique you make has some problem


[Paul responded] Respectfully, I believe your partner will show you if your technique is good enough (it either works, or not). Being tired will show you your current limitations as an athlete.

I agree with both of you...being tired will show your limitations...but in my experience, at least in aikido, if the principles and techniques come out spontaniously and well when you're tired, it goes a long way to showing your level of training. I don't see the two statements as being exclusionary of each other.

Good form should show tired or not, and good form applied effectively when tired shows a pretty high level of skill.

Ron

MitchMZ
06-09-2004, 11:52 AM
I am about 160 pounds and 5'11, I have a little bit of muscle...

Let me just say this, my friend Shawn who is 250 pounds and also 5'11 cannot move me. My dad is also around 250 maybe a little over and has high rank in Judo and Hapkido and cannot move me hardly at all when I ground myself. Is it that I'm stronger or have more weight? No. It's because with ther Judo, Hapkido, BJJ and little bit of Aikido experience I have I've learned at a somewhat basic level how to more efficiently use the muscles I have. I can say with the principles I've learned I have 2x the strength I did before. This could possibly be why Aikijutsu was considered by many in fuedal Japan to be superior to Jujutsu in terms of effectiveness. More effective use of muscle power and perfected technique.

I also tend to think suprise is the most important element of a technique. Because I'm 100% sure I could stop most techniques if I knew they were coming. Knowledge is power. If you could read exactly what a person could throw at you, you'd be awesome. That is how a master is.

csinca
06-09-2004, 12:30 PM
Sounds like your skill advantage has overcome their size advantage. Of course it also depends on how things are set up as has been pointed out previously. If you are stationary and grounded and your dad is trying to move you from a static technique that you know is coming, I can see where it would be very difficult. But what about a little atemi to disturb your base...

Chris

MitchMZ
06-09-2004, 01:04 PM
Yeah, atemi is a really vital aspect. I think atemi is really what can bridge the gap of size, that and skill, chance, etc. Hapkido has really helped me with that aspect of Aikido.

Also, everyone has their preferance as to which type of opponent they would hope to be attacked by in a self defense situation. Personally, size matters less to me than the fighting skill of the opponent. Because I really wouldn't want to be assaulted by a small, quick guy that is a good boxer. Nor would I want to be by a big guy that is fairly fast and has tons of power, and is a good boxer.

My sensei says to always presume the person that will be attacking is bigger and stronger, because otherwise they probably wouldnt be attacking you. He also says luck is a factor; you could be trained much better than someone else and win 9 times out of 10, but if he catches you with a good punch to the face and you get knocked out.....your done. Whether you were more skilled or not...your wallet is gone and your face is bloody.

Since my Aiki is still WAY less developed than it should be, I would probably rely more heavily on crude methods of defending myself...such as low kicks to the legs and other strikes. I can't wait for the day when I am skilled enough to use Aikido to end a conflict as nonviolently as possible...if one ever even occurs. I avoid conflict...always.

Jeff Haynes
06-09-2004, 04:02 PM
Right away I think of stories I read about O'Sensei, putting on an exhibition with local police departments. Taking on several officers at a time; many bigger than him. If I remember correctly he did not throw them all or even execute counter joint movements on most of them. On one occasion the officers and onlookers were amazed at the fact that they could not simply attack him, because he would be in a different place as soon as the attack began. Using the most basic movements of Aikido- moving his feet-blending with the attack and ending up behind them or to the side or where ever.
Just because someone attacks you doesn't mean you have to go toe to toe with them. In fact it's not smart to do so. I am a paramedic and have seen people seriously injured from one punch to the face. If that person had, even in clumsy way, thrown their arms up to block as they stepped and turned with the attack, it would have been much less devastating and they would have had a chance to exit the situation.
There are different kinds of attackers and different kinds of attacks and I believe that's what we are learning. Learning from a genius. O'Sensei spent his life on this, and his teaching, sayings and examples are very important. We learn to be smart as we practice Budo.
Sometimes "victorious" means uninjured. I know all the techniques contain the same thing- the basics.
I hope I don't sound like a know-it-all, because I am, most definitely, not. Thanks for your time.

csinca
06-10-2004, 12:11 PM
[QUOTE=Jeff Haynes]
Sometimes "victorious" means uninjured.

I'll second that!

Chris

MitchMZ
06-10-2004, 01:57 PM
Yeah I've always been taught the best defense is not being there. I think it is supposed to be a vague statement.

If you are going to go to a party but realize that X number of people there don't like you and something will probably occur if you do go...don't. IMO, that is Aikido at its finest.

Good comments from people on this forum...how does size or strength have any influence if the bigger guy doesnt have any contact with you? I may be able to crush a fly in my hand with tremendous ease (seeing as I'm much bigger and stronger...hopefully!), but it is not that simple...because that same fly is somewhat hard to catch and usually evades me. Unless it remains stationary! *swat* Don't be there. That is :ai: :ki: