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BC
02-23-2001, 11:28 AM
OK. Someone raised this in another thread, and I think it deserves its own.

"So, do you believe that aikido teaches you to fight?"

"Did you start practicing aikido to learn how to fight?"

"Do you think aikido helps you to fight?"

What do you say to someone when they ask you these questions?

I remember a while ago at the dojo a new student asked one of our instructors after class what one should do if you were fighting someone who practiced <insert another martial art here> and they did <insert attack here>. It was interesting because everyone who had been practicing aikido for a while just basically turned away, rolling their eyes and smirking, while all the newbies turned and waited for the answer. The instructor just looked right at the student and responded "is that why you started aikido, to learn how to fight?" I think that student lasted another month or so, and moved on to the next martial art de jour.

ronin_10562
02-23-2001, 11:54 AM
What is the definition fighting?

Walt

chrisinbrasil
02-23-2001, 12:05 PM
The definition of fighting is exactly the one that will allow everyone to chastize you for saying it, then excommunicate you from Aikido society for being a fighter... hehehe
I´m sure it doesn´t mean "defending yourself", that would be a dead end street. Fighting makes for much more interesting controversy! :)
Hi Robert...

DiNalt
02-23-2001, 12:10 PM
ronin_10562 wrote:
What is the definition fighting?

Walt

I took Aikido for equally self-improvement and the ability to stand up for myself if, say, I'm sitting in a restaurant with my significant other, and her ex-boyfriend comes up and decides to take a swing at me.

I'm of the opinion that there are many arrogant people walking around who haven't been hit in the face once in their life, and sometimes, you just may end up being the person who has to do it before they stomp all over you.

I also think that there are many mislead martial art practitioners who haven't been beaten before, and don't have a realistic view of what's actually going to happen.

The rage, andrenaline, fear, speed, loss of motor skills are nothing but words to people who never have been assaulted.

mj
02-23-2001, 12:12 PM
Aiki teaches aiki. The only thing that teaches fighting is to get in a fight. (Voluntary or not :eek: ) People that get in lots of fights get better at fighting, there is a huge amount of psychology and 'role-playing' involved in real fighting.
I practice aikido so that I don't have to/want to/need to fight.
If someone asks me I say 'Aikido is an art of peace' (Honest)
Also, I get asked this all the time :p

Jim23
02-23-2001, 02:02 PM
I'd have to answer yes to all questions if I were Steven Seagal.

I once drove past a 'fight in progress' on the sidewalk. One guy picked up a metal pipe and swung it like a baseball bat, connecting with the other person's head! The guy (who should've been killed) didn't miss a beat and kept on fighting.

If fighting/defence is the only reason for training, then buy a gun instead.

It's funny, the founders of many martial arts started training because they were frail or sickly as a child and wanted to learn how to defend themselves.

Gim23

[Edited by Jim23 on February 23, 2001 at 02:23pm]

BC
02-23-2001, 02:20 PM
ronin_10562 wrote:
What is the definition fighting?

Walt

OK. I made the mistake of assuming everyone was in agreement on the meaning. For purposes of this thread, let's use the first definition according to the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary:

fighting: to contend in battle or physical combat; especially : to strive to overcome a person by blows or weapons.

Chris P.
02-23-2001, 06:51 PM
BC wrote:
I remember a while ago at the dojo a new student asked one of our instructors after class what one should do if you were fighting someone who practiced <insert another martial art here> and they did <insert attack here>. It was interesting because everyone who had been practicing aikido for a while just basically turned away, rolling their eyes and smirking, while all the newbies turned and waited for the answer. The instructor just looked right at the student and responded "is that why you started aikido, to learn how to fight?" I think that student lasted another month or so, and moved on to the next martial art de jour.

If your teacher mocks you and fellow students laugh at you when you ask an honest question, I think that's a great reason to move on "to the next martial art de jour"; teacher sucks, students suck, it's a waste of your time and money. I'm sure they'll keep on twirling around just fine without you.

Chris Li
02-23-2001, 07:59 PM
Jim23 wrote:
I'd have to answer yes to all questions if I were Steven Seagal.

I once drove past a 'fight in progress' on the sidewalk. One guy picked up a metal pipe and swung it like a baseball bat, connecting with the other person's head! The guy (who should've been killed) didn't miss a beat and kept on fighting.

If fighting/defence is the only reason for training, then buy a gun instead.


Hmm, where I live you _can't_ buy a gun (or carry one either). Any knives over a couple of inches long can get you into trouble also, so that's not really an option :-). In any case even in most places where you can buy and carry guns I think that it would be quite unusual for the average person to carry one around all the time.

Self-defense isn't the only reason that I train, but it's one of them, even in the age of guns.

Best,

Chris

Jim23
02-24-2001, 08:26 AM
Chris Li wrote:
[QUOTE]
Hmm, where I live you _can't_ buy a gun


Just trying to make a point Chris.

Gim23

Axiom
02-24-2001, 09:20 AM
Just a side note- I've heard that someone who is 20 feet away can reach a police officer before they've drawn their gun...granted, a police officer has their gun in a closed holster, but thats probably MORE accessable than the places most people keep a gun. And they're trained to draw quickly.

Just thought that might be an interesting addition to the talk about using guns as a method of defense.


Alex Magidow,
Who is going in aikido withdrawl because the dojo is too far away.

Jim23
02-24-2001, 09:31 AM
Just to clear up a point, I don't support the use of guns. I was just trying to make a point.

Gim23

Erik
02-24-2001, 01:23 PM
BC wrote:
I remember a while ago at the dojo a new student asked one of our instructors after class what one should do if you were fighting someone who practiced <insert another martial art here> and they did <insert attack here>. It was interesting because everyone who had been practicing aikido for a while just basically turned away, rolling their eyes and smirking, while all the newbies turned and waited for the answer. The instructor just looked right at the student and responded "is that why you started aikido, to learn how to fight?" I think that student lasted another month or so, and moved on to the next martial art de jour.

My problem with this is the apparent (it may have been the correct answer) lack of depth in the response. You'll blow students out the door with that type of answer, I've watched it. Sure it's a dumb question in the context it's presented because it's an artificial situation wanting an artificial response. Maybe, if you did things right the "they did" would never happen. Plus, I think we can all agree that every martial art has weaknesses and strengths. However, maybe what the student was asking is "does this stuff work?" People want to know that they are not wasting their time. It's not the same question as fighting and has many different answers and that question won't ever go away.

So, do you believe that aikido teaches you to fight?

Yes and no! Aikido practice, IMO, is not about fighting but about something else. The something else is different for everyone but largely I think it means "making myself a better human being." My practice is definitely not about fighting and I'd bet it isn't for most people. However, were I in a situation requiring me to fight, I would give a much better accounting than I would have pre-aikido. I find this to be a fairly consistent thing in most Aikidoka who have done this stuff for a significant amount of time (say 10 years with a big standard deviation). Also, the connecting, sensitive, touchy feeling stuff we do, is very condusive to good fighting skill.

Did you start practicing aikido to learn how to fight?

Again, yes and no. I got into a fight which triggered my decision to finally start a martial art. I choose Aikido not because of the fighting but because of the ukemi I saw (I wanted to fly) and I was inspired by George Leonard's book "The Ultimate Athlete". No, I don't want to fight, but I do want to have an effective art. For what it's worth, my thinking on this has evolved a bit in recent months.

Do you think aikido helps you to fight?

See above.

What do you say to someone when they ask you these questions?

I try and change the context of the question to what I think they are asking which is "does this stuff work and how does it work?" It will be very difficult to win over the 22 year old with dreams of the UFC dancing in his head. This will be almost impossible if you happen to have a Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy right up the street because that is where he should go in that context.

Ultimately, I certainly don't believe we are about fighting but blowing someone off because we think they are asking about fighting doesn't do us any favors either. Oftentimes, these are the folks that can benefit the most from what we do.

[Edited by Erik on February 24, 2001 at 01:45pm]

BC
02-26-2001, 09:39 AM
BC wrote:
I remember a while ago at the dojo a new student asked one of our instructors after class what one should do if you were fighting someone who practiced <insert another martial art here> and they did <insert attack here>. It was interesting because everyone who had been practicing aikido for a while just basically turned away, rolling their eyes and smirking, while all the newbies turned and waited for the answer. The instructor just looked right at the student and responded "is that why you started aikido, to learn how to fight?" I think that student lasted another month or so, and moved on to the next martial art de jour.

I realize in hindsight that I might have given the impression that this instructor was being condescending or flippant to this student. In fact, he was not. After asking that question, he proceeded to spend a significant amount of his time with this student discussing possible techniques in response to this attack and explaining why he asked the question in the first place. I initially didn't give full details of this in order to just seek comments on how people respond to questions like this. My bad. So please save the flames.

Sam
02-26-2001, 10:26 AM
When I first started Aikido, it was to learn to defend myself. When I was a few years into training I started to worry about how effective it was, especially in the face of common opinion that kicking is best (and after being forced to watch my housmates UFC video collection). I found it particularly disheartening that all my friends could resist my techniques easily. I realized that I didn't train just to defend myself and so forgot all about it.
Then I had an experience that changed my mind. I had trained in a lot of martial arts before, but I found that only aikido seems to work when you are responding on pure instinct. I was very upset by the whole thing for a few days afterward even though I 'won' - but looking back I had been given no choice.
One thing I learned was that everything comes down to basics and now I try to improve those as best I can.
Of course I still worry about defending myself, but I worry because I have a little ability rather than worry because I feel I have none.
When there are discussions on what to do when somebody attacks you in such-and-such a way we all get deeply involved because we love the theoretical problem solving that the question provides, but you often notice the people who have been training the longest often have a quiet smile to themselves becuase they know they have no idea what they would really do but that they would definitely do something.

REK
02-26-2001, 11:00 AM
Jim23 wrote:
Just to clear up a point, I don't support the use of guns. I was just trying to make a point.

Gim23

Why not? Why all the whining by so many people who want to know about "combat effectiveness"? I think your answer to use a gun is an elegant (if indelicate) one. I guarantee the following: If you shoot me, my crisp, sharp shihonage is useless. Despite 19 years of martial arts practice, I still can not block a strike traveling at 984 feet per second. If you want always be able to win, kill, destroy, stop (insert verb of your choice), any technique, shoot 'em. I know that there is no martial art out there that can face a firearm and "beat the bullet". So why bother?

I bother because there are always two aspects: martial and art. In and yo. I'm a hell of shot. I've got the martial. I am trying to learn the art part. Wanna be a badass-killer of men? try out for the SEALs. Wanna learn the stuff that requires more in the journey than the destination? Try the "art".

Thank you for allowing my catharsis. Back to work.

Rob

Steve Speicher
02-26-2001, 01:30 PM
According to some sources, when Morihei Ueshiba (and his group) were ambushed in Mongolia during a religious mission the attackers had guns. Ueshiba escaped that conflict mostly unharmed and had purportedly been able to 'dodge bullets'. He had described it as seeing flashes of blue were the bullets would be travelling in the next instant and had dodged accordingly.

Now I wasn't there to witness, and I have no evidence to offer as to the truth of that whole episode. But, I personally believe that I am on a path (aikido) that at some future point in my development (maybe not in this lifetime) will allow me to go so far as to even dodge bullets if necessary. Of course, I don't intend to test this out (that's for anyone with a gun who wants to offer to test my training :) )

Guest5678
02-26-2001, 01:43 PM
The questions and responses:

"So, do you believe that aikido teaches you to fight?"

No, it may teach you to avoid or possibly survive one though.

"Did you start practicing aikido to learn how to fight?"

No, two older brothers, many years as a bouncer and many sessions in a boxing ring taught me that. I was looking for something more.

"Do you think aikido helps you to fight?"

No. It's not in the blue-prints.


"What do you say to someone when they ask you these questions?"

Just what I said here, then I usually smile and ask when they think they'll actually get a real life.......

Listen, you cannot actually prepare for a fight because you cannot control or predict ANY aspect of it (other than you're probably going to get hit). If you were a prizefighter you could study your opponent's weak points and train to take advantage of them. You don't have that option in a spontaneous situation. This is why we train so long in the basics and the principles. Learn those well and you'll stop wondering about all the fighting crap. Get over it already!

If you REALLY want to know, next time you're out with you're buddies, go bitch-slap the gorilla sitting at the front door of the local night club. I'm sure he can help you find your answer......jeeez!

Regards,

Dan P. - Mongo

Chris Li
02-26-2001, 04:11 PM
Jim23 wrote:
Chris Li wrote:
[QUOTE]
Hmm, where I live you _can't_ buy a gun


Just trying to make a point Chris.

Gim23

Oh, I know that. The thing is, it's a very common response to this kind of question, but when you think about it in depth it really doesn't make sense for most people (my point), which makes it witty but meaningless in practical terms.

Best,

Chris

darin
02-26-2001, 10:51 PM
BC wrote:
OK. Someone raised this in another thread, and I think it deserves its own.

"So, do you believe that aikido teaches you to fight?"

"Did you start practicing aikido to learn how to fight?"

"Do you think aikido helps you to fight?"

What do you say to someone when they ask you these questions?



Aikido is all about fighting. We train to attain perfection in our movements. These movements are designed for one thing. That is defeating an opponent.

Everyone is talking about love. Tell me, what are you tested on at gradings? Your personality? Should we forget about techniques and just all hold hands and sing folk songs.

Most important thing is to train hard. Concentrate on learning the techniques. We shouldn't have to go to aikido to become better people. Its not what it is meant for.

JJF
02-27-2001, 12:35 AM
darin wrote:
Aikido is all about fighting. We train to attain perfection in our movements. These movements are designed for one thing. That is defeating an opponent.
[/B]
I don't think so - I believe they are designed for resolving situations that could potentionally be lethal for one or both parts involved. If possible without any harm, or else with as little harm as possible.
Everyone is talking about love. Tell me, what are you tested on at gradings? Your personality? Should we forget about techniques and just all hold hands and sing folk songs.
[/B]
Actually you should be tested on personality. I would really doubt that someone with a high technical level but the attitude of a bully could get very far within Aikido. If those who hands out the grades doesn't take the personality of the person being testet into account, then I believe they make a great mistake. A Shodan in Aikido is not just an indication of a specific amount of techniqes learned, but just as much - and perhaps even more - an indication of a personal level that this person has reached. I have seen persons being held back from a shodan-grading by a collective of Senseis simply because they had personal issuses that made it impossible to take on the responsibility of an Aikido-shodan and to show the human growth as such.
Most important thing is to train hard. Concentrate on learning the techniques. We shouldn't have to go to aikido to become better people. Its not what it is meant for.
[/B]
You're joking - right ? Otherwise I just have to say that i think it is the other way around. Anyway - don't take it from me. Take a look at the articles under the different sections of this web-site. Some of them are written by Aikidoists with many years of practice and a lot of insight, and I think that most of those articles will back up my view upon Aikido.

Just one example though - from a translation of O-Senseis' teachings in the 'General' section: Aikido is not an art to fight with enemies and defeat them. It is a way to lead all human beings to live in harmony with each other as though everyone were one family

It might be that this quote is not in compliance with you view upon Aikido - in that case we just disagree since you have a different opinion of which you are entitled, but I think it should at least make you stop making statements about what Aikido was designed for or not, when they are so clearly in contrast to the teachings of the man who actually did the 'designing' part.

Just my reaction to your post. You threw the bait and I jumped at it.

Sam
02-27-2001, 03:21 AM
I can see why an argument is going to develop here. The reason is that different people train for different reasons and also there is a real difference in philosophy between different styles.
I didn't start aikido to become a better person and yet I believe I am now - if you train properly in the right company you cannot help it.
If you do aikido just to fight, you will only limit yourself - aikido is much more than just that. But you should feel that you could use it if you needed to.

Aikido is like having a big muscular girlfriend. She takes all your time, and makes you give up all your weekends and tires you out, but if anything ever happens, she'll always look after you ;)

andrew
02-27-2001, 04:25 AM
Sam, I am officially disturbed by your metaphor.

Of course, my girlfriend _did_ put my beard out when I was on fire...
andrew

Sam
02-27-2001, 06:02 AM
Sorry to disturb you.
A friend of mine came up with that one and I just had to share............

Aikidoka2000
02-27-2001, 09:29 AM
If I engage in a fight,
I pit my myself against that of an obstacle.
We compete, so there must be a victor and one who is defeated.
So I ask, wherein does victory lay?
And where lives the defeated?
Conflict is a natural state of the universe.
we cannot avoid this fact, as long as we breathe.
To fight conflict is to go against the grain of nature.
One will surely fracture one obstacle into many if they fight.
I choose to humbly accept such obstacles,
receive their potency,
become one with them,
and pass through them.
Only then does that obstacle truly dissipate.
As I face the next,
It does not end.
Such is one of the many facets of existence.
-Tomu

Nick
02-27-2001, 04:27 PM
Of course I train to be better in a fight, I'm 14 and wehn I fall asleep in class daydream of a climactic showdown between me and the schoolyard bully, where I use my mystical budo training to teach him a lesson, and everyone cheers for me as I leave him sprawled out on the floor.

As of yet, that hasn't happened, and since I usually keep to myself during school, I doubt it will. So I need a better reason to train. I've found that in the philosophy of masakatsu agatsu... you may train for 50 years and never get into a fight. If all you've trained for is to become an ultimate fighter, than are your hours and hours of training over the years all a waste?

I've found that it doesn't matter how many people you can defeat-- if you can't defeat yourself, you've still got a very powerful enemy facing you.

Nick

darin
02-27-2001, 05:28 PM
JJF wrote:
darin wrote:
Aikido is all about fighting. We train to attain perfection in our movements. These movements are designed for one thing. That is defeating an opponent.

I don't think so - I believe they are designed for resolving situations that could potentionally be lethal for one or both parts involved. If possible without any harm, or else with as little harm as possible.
Everyone is talking about love. Tell me, what are you tested on at gradings? Your personality? Should we forget about techniques and just all hold hands and sing folk songs.
[/B]
Actually you should be tested on personality. I would really doubt that someone with a high technical level but the attitude of a bully could get very far within Aikido. If those who hands out the grades doesn't take the personality of the person being testet into account, then I believe they make a great mistake. A Shodan in Aikido is not just an indication of a specific amount of techniqes learned, but just as much - and perhaps even more - an indication of a personal level that this person has reached. I have seen persons being held back from a shodan-grading by a collective of Senseis simply because they had personal issuses that made it impossible to take on the responsibility of an Aikido-shodan and to show the human growth as such.
Most important thing is to train hard. Concentrate on learning the techniques. We shouldn't have to go to aikido to become better people. Its not what it is meant for.
[/B]
You're joking - right ? Otherwise I just have to say that i think it is the other way around. Anyway - don't take it from me. Take a look at the articles under the different sections of this web-site. Some of them are written by Aikidoists with many years of practice and a lot of insight, and I think that most of those articles will back up my view upon Aikido.

Just one example though - from a translation of O-Senseis' teachings in the 'General' section: Aikido is not an art to fight with enemies and defeat them. It is a way to lead all human beings to live in harmony with each other as though everyone were one family

It might be that this quote is not in compliance with you view upon Aikido - in that case we just disagree since you have a different opinion of which you are entitled, but I think it should at least make you stop making statements about what Aikido was designed for or not, when they are so clearly in contrast to the teachings of the man who actually did the 'designing' part.

Just my reaction to your post. You threw the bait and I jumped at it. [/B]

When I teach aikido I have no time to preach to my students about how they should live their lives. I am only 27. How can I tell a 40 year old banker, teacher or parent what to do? Also, I can't refuse someone a grading based on their personality. Each person is different. What they do outside of the dojo is not my concern. They pay me for a service and that is to teach aikido.

As a teacher its my duty to be professional. That is to judge people only on their skills in aikido. They are there to learn how to do the techniques. The art is difficult enough as it is. Why complicate things with mumbo jumbo love talk.

The way you describe aikido it sounds like its some kind of religious cult. Who cares what O'Sensei said. I don't. I never met the guy. He has nothing to do with me. I am not going to live my life based on his or anyone elses ideals. I am just here to learn aikido.

The most important thing in martial arts are the techniques. Training hard will help you develop a strong, fit body, quick reflexes and hopefully an ability to defend yourself. There is more to life than just aikido.

Jim23
02-27-2001, 07:50 PM
I think some people are just natural born fighters (just like some are natural runners, etc). It doesn't mean that they can't be made much better by training, it's just that it comes very easy to them.

We all know of the quiet guy in high school (I think I can remember that far back), who, when picked on by the school bully, shocks everyone (including himself) when he ends the fight with an easy victory - something I've witnessed a few times.

Now, add the 'aikido element' (or ANY MA), and presto ... great fighter (if he/she chooses to fight, that is)!

I was reading a thread (elsewhere), where someone said that way before they started training in aikido (no martial arts experience), they used to get into fights a lot, and sometimes with various martial artists. He also said that he had NEVER lost a fight. He was just a natural, strong, smart (?) fighter with quick reflexes (BTW, he said that he has since matured and mended his ways).

So, whether or not aikido will make you a better person or better fighter, I think really depends on what you are basically like as an individual, without aikido.

I know this all sounds pretty obvious, but you'd never know it based on the all the previous posts.

Jim23

darin
02-27-2001, 08:04 PM
Jim23 wrote:
I think some people are just natural born fighters (just like some are natural runners, etc). It doesn't mean that they can't be made much better by training, it's just that it comes very easy to them.

We all know of the quiet guy in high school (I think I can remember that far back), who, when picked on by the school bully, shocks everyone (including himself) when he ends the fight with an easy victory - something I've witnessed a few times.

Now, add the 'aikido element' (or ANY MA), and presto ... great fighter (if he/she chooses to fight, that is)!

I was reading a thread (elsewhere), where someone said that way before they started training in aikido (no martial arts experience), they used to get into fights a lot, and sometimes with various martial artists. He also said that he had NEVER lost a fight. He was just a natural, strong, smart (?) fighter with quick reflexes (BTW, he said that he has since matured and mended his ways).

So, whether or not aikido will make you a better person or better fighter, I think really depends on what you are basically like as an individual, without aikido.

I know this all sounds pretty obvious, but you'd never know it based on the all the previous posts.

Jim23

That is what I am trying to say Jim. I have met many aikidoka that I don't like. They are either rude or can't be trusted. Some have good techniques and others not. This also goes for high ranking Japanese teachers too.

I don't think aikido itself can change people. Its not designed that way. This is why its important for people to concentrate only on techniques. Train hard. Thats all that matters.

Jim23
02-27-2001, 08:31 PM
darin wrote:
That is what I am trying to say Jim. I have met many aikidoka that I don't like. They are either rude or can't be trusted. Some have good techniques and others not. This also goes for high ranking Japanese teachers too.

I don't think aikido itself can change people. Its not designed that way. This is why its important for people to concentrate only on techniques. Train hard. Thats all that matters.


A lot really depends on the individual.

Years ago I had a TKD instructor, who was an EXCELLENT martial artist (He was also the TKD champion of, I believe it was, Columbia - tough as nails). One of the strongest, skillful and NICEST people you could meet - salt of the earth. This guy was amazing! I heard that years later he successfully caught a teenager who had jumped out of a fourth (I think) storey window, trying to commit suicide. The kid was saved, but the TKD guy ended up in hospital for a long time as a result!

I have also seen the exact opposite. And frankly, I have no use for them. No respect at all, regardless of the style they're in.

BTW, the same TKD teacher told me that there were some guys that he had met in (I think it was) Columbia, that he wouldn't even think of tangling with, even though they had no martial arts experience!

Jim23

Robert Benton
09-27-2001, 03:30 AM
THIS MAY OR MAY NOT HIT ON THE SUBJECT AT HAND AS I AM NEW TO THIS SITE BUT I CONSIDER MYSELF TO BE A VERY HUMBLE PERSON OF 37/150 POUNDS 5/7 AND NON AGRESSIVE AS A GENERAL RULE,BUT AS A SINGER IN THE BAR SCENE,CAN SEE THE ADDED CONFIDENCE THAT I HAVE GAINED BY LEARNING THIS ART AND HAVE A GREAT DESIRE TO CONTINUE MY EDUCATION THUS FAR, NOT TO FIGHT, BUT TO HAVE THE CAPABILITY TO DEFEND MY SELF AS NEEDED AND HAVE NOTICED IN READING THESE THREADS, THAT NOT MANY HAVE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO TEST THERE SKILLS IN REAL SITUATIONS....THAT SHOULD TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THE CALIBER OF PEOPLE THAT ARE ADVANCING IN THIS ART....

SORRY FOR THE LONG SCRIPT FOLKS.
R.BENTON 1RST DAN

JMCavazos
09-27-2001, 02:15 PM
I am not in Aikido to learn how to fight! I have no desire to ever be involved in a fight & I don't think it is a waste of my life learning a martial art - even if I never use it.

I grew up in the Bruce Lee "Enter the Dragon" days & I wanted to learn martial arts to be a great fighter. I started out in Shotokan karate & quickly learned that pulled muscles & bruised shins weren't that much fun. I started Aikido when I was 36 yrs old & I liked it because the emphasis is not on kicking or punching - and the first nikyo I received helped convince me that this could help deter any attack!

I like the fact that Aikido has helped to keep me fit (lost >20 lbs over the years). I think that Aikido will keep me alive for a few more years-simply because it is exercise (the only one I do).

I now feel that I have trained for enough years that I could actually use it in a self defense situation. I know now that the first 4-5 years don't prepare you for any fight. I have used Aikido principles in many situtions, but they were not self defense or fights.

I would prefer that an assailant didn't know that I do Aikido and end the conflict quickly. I don't think that fighting a street smart fighter would be effective for any martial artist because that is "dirty" fighting - standing up and making a long dragged out fight will go against me rather than a quick end to the situation.

I train because I love what I'm doing and it feels great when I go to train & I had a loooong day at the office & I am able to relieve all of my stress in the dojo.

leefr
09-28-2001, 04:32 AM
I found this article very enlightening.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/articles/ajArticles/Homma_ahan.asp

What do you think?

Fausto
10-14-2001, 01:41 PM
Originally posted by darin

I don't think so - I believe they are designed for resolving situations that could potentionally be lethal for one or both parts involved. If possible without any harm, or else with as little harm as possible.

Actually you should be tested on personality. I would really doubt that someone with a high technical level but the attitude of a bully could get very far within Aikido. If those who hands out the grades doesn't take the personality of the person being testet into account, then I believe they make a great mistake. A Shodan in Aikido is not just an indication of a specific amount of techniqes learned, but just as much - and perhaps even more - an indication of a personal level that this person has reached. I have seen persons being held back from a shodan-grading by a collective of Senseis simply because they had personal issuses that made it impossible to take on the responsibility of an Aikido-shodan and to show the human growth as such.

You're joking - right ? Otherwise I just have to say that i think it is the other way around. Anyway - don't take it from me. Take a look at the articles under the different sections of this web-site. Some of them are written by Aikidoists with many years of practice and a lot of insight, and I think that most of those articles will back up my view upon Aikido.

Just one example though - from a translation of O-Senseis' teachings in the 'General' section: Aikido is not an art to fight with enemies and defeat them. It is a way to lead all human beings to live in harmony with each other as though everyone were one family

It might be that this quote is not in compliance with you view upon Aikido - in that case we just disagree since you have a different opinion of which you are entitled, but I think it should at least make you stop making statements about what Aikido was designed for or not, when they are so clearly in contrast to the teachings of the man who actually did the 'designing' part.

Just my reaction to your post. You threw the bait and I jumped at it.

When I teach aikido I have no time to preach to my students about how they should live their lives. I am only 27. How can I tell a 40 year old banker, teacher or parent what to do? Also, I can't refuse someone a grading based on their personality. Each person is different. What they do outside of the dojo is not my concern. They pay me for a service and that is to teach aikido.

As a teacher its my duty to be professional. That is to judge people only on their skills in aikido. They are there to learn how to do the techniques. The art is difficult enough as it is. Why complicate things with mumbo jumbo love talk.

The way you describe aikido it sounds like its some kind of religious cult. Who cares what O'Sensei said. I don't. I never met the guy. He has nothing to do with me. I am not going to live my life based on his or anyone elses ideals. I am just here to learn aikido.

The most important thing in martial arts are the techniques. Training hard will help you develop a strong, fit body, quick reflexes and hopefully an ability to defend yourself. There is more to life than just aikido.


[/B][/QUOTE]

You Darin are a Sensei!!!!!????? you really teach AIKIDO!!!?????? I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!!!!

I'M IN SHOCK WITH WHAT U WROTE :( SORRY CAN'T WRITE MORE I REALLY AM SHOCK OF THE GREAT AMOUNT OF SHI...... u said sorry but that's what i think.

PeterR
10-14-2001, 04:24 PM
Originally posted by Fausto
You Darin are a Sensei!!!!!????? you really teach AIKIDO!!!?????? I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!!!!

I'M IN SHOCK WITH WHAT U WROTE :( SORRY CAN'T WRITE MORE I REALLY AM SHOCK OF THE GREAT AMOUNT OF SHI...... u said sorry but that's what i think.
This strikes me as really really strange.

First of all lets look at what Darin said.

When I teach aikido I have no time to preach to my students about how they should live their lives. I am only 27. How can I tell a 40 year old banker, teacher or parent what to do?
An Aikido grade does not give you moral authority especially at 27 - Darin appears to understand that - bravo.

The way you describe aikido it sounds like its some kind of religious cult. Who cares what O'Sensei said. I don't. I never met the guy. He has nothing to do with me. I am not going to live my life based on his or anyone elses ideals. I am just here to learn aikido.

Well that sounds a little bit extreme at the most basic level but I have to take my own Shihans approach to this. On occaision you get a bit of Ueshiba said this or Tomiki said that but in the context of a great man's appoach to Aikido. The Do comes from within, it developes from hard practice of what are essentially killing techniques. Ueshiba did not require conversion to his religion. What he did provide is a philosophical framework that may act as a guide. I am sorry but the Ueshiba doka ala John Steven's have very little meaning to me and most of the Japanese Aikodoist I know.

The most important thing in martial arts are the techniques. Training hard will help you develop a strong, fit body, quick reflexes and hopefully an ability to defend yourself. There is more to life than just aikido.
Personally I find the Do very important but that (see above) comes from the training of techniques. Once the techniques become less important then it is no longer a martial art. Training hard will develope what Darin listed and eventually the human being (in the Japanese sense). Aikido is not life, it can be a big part of it, it can be almost completely integrated into it, but life itself is far far more important.

Fausto how dare you judge.

guest1234
10-15-2001, 10:26 AM
1. It does not teach me to fight.
2. I did not start in order to learn to fight.
3. I do not fight(other than when ordered into combat ;) )

There are those who say the exact opposite. Nice that there is something for everyone. :)

PeterR
10-15-2001, 10:42 AM
Nice direct post Colleen

let me try.

1. It prepares me for confrontation (only way to really learn how to fight is to do so).

2. I became attracted to the martial arts because the exercise has some relevance but that relevance was not the main reason.

3. I do not look to fight and WILL question orders.

and 4.
I stay in Aikido increasingly for the Do which does not mean I ignore the martial source.

Originally posted by ca
1. It does not teach me to fight.
2. I did not start in order to learn to fight.
3. I do not fight(other than when ordered into combat ;) )

There are those who say the exact opposite. Nice that there is something for everyone. :)

guest1234
10-15-2001, 11:20 AM
Originally posted by PeterR

3. I do not look to fight and WILL question orders.


[/B]

One very nice thing about being a civilian :)

We of course do get to ask one question: is this a lawful order (i.e., does not violate US law or other military conventions, and is not a crime against humanity). But we in the military promise to give our lives if necessary to defend our country, and voluntarily relinquish the personal rights and freedoms enjoyed by the civilians we defend.

Maybe that is one reason, as I mentioned on another thread, that I am careful even at a low kyu level, to understand the goals and beliefs of any system or organization I plan to join, and if I can't accept them I don't join. In my profession, you cannot function if orders are not followed (despite the current slogan of 'an army of one'). It could also be a reason I don't look for martial roots in Aikido.

Brian H
10-15-2001, 01:23 PM
I take Aikido because its more about control than force. That is not only Nage's control over Uke, but Nage's control over Nage. Unlike Colleen, I am not in the military, but in civilian law enforcement. Air strikes are not an option (except in Philadelphia) so I must confront persons who I am called to deal with. If a crime is in progress I must go the scene and help, it would be immoral for me not to. If the situation can not be immediately dealt with than we will surround and contain it. You can not say that every criminal will give up when confronted by the Police (I lost a peer afew months ago who confronted someone over an offense that only would have resulted in a ticket, and had a bullet wizz by the ear of a friend involved in a equally trival incident) Sometimes you have to fight because others will suffer or die if you don't.

Fausto
10-15-2001, 02:00 PM
First of all i didn't judge him and if a gave that impression i really apologize cuz i'm not the appropriate person to judge him, what i wanted to say is that o disagree with him that's all ok Peter :)

I think that a Sensei MUST teach his students to be peacefull and he MUST tell them not how to live their lives but at least he should tell them to use aikido just when there's no other choice but after reading what darin wrote i felt the opposite i repeat that's just a feeling an impression ok and i hope i'm wrong.

I apologize again if u or anyone felt that i was judging him.

Arrivederci ;)

darin
10-15-2001, 11:10 PM
Originally posted by Fausto
[/B]

You Darin are a Sensei!!!!!????? you really teach AIKIDO!!!?????? I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!!!!

I'M IN SHOCK WITH WHAT U WROTE :( SORRY CAN'T WRITE MORE I REALLY AM SHOCK OF THE GREAT AMOUNT OF SHI...... u said sorry but that's what i think. [/B][/QUOTE]

I guess I had a case of verbal diarrhea... got to lay off the forums for a while... Anyone else have the same problem?

darin
10-15-2001, 11:33 PM
Originally posted by Fausto
First of all i didn't judge him and if a gave that impression i really apologize cuz i'm not the appropriate person to judge him, what i wanted to say is that o disagree with him that's all ok Peter :)

I think that a Sensei MUST teach his students to be peacefull and he MUST tell them not how to live their lives but at least he should tell them to use aikido just when there's no other choice but after reading what darin wrote i felt the opposite i repeat that's just a feeling an impression ok and i hope i'm wrong.

I apologize again if u or anyone felt that i was judging him.

Arrivederci ;)

The reason I believe that teachers can't tell people how to live their lives is because most of them aren't appropriate role models. I know some martial arts teachers in and outside of Japan that are no saints. Some of these people are excellent teachers/fighters but are not the type of people I would want to model my life on. If someone is looking for guidance they should take up a religion or see a shrink or read their constitution etc whatever...

What's good or bad, right or wrong is up to each person's point of view. All a teacher can do is set some kind of example. It's up to the student to choose whether the teacher's teaching style is to his or her liking.

A person comes to a martial arts school to learn how to do martial arts. Once in the school you forget about the world outside. A distracted mind can lead to injuries. I think most arts recommend that you leave your worries at the door.

Anyway thanks for taking the time to pick through my sh... I hope you washed your hands after.

Fausto
10-16-2001, 06:55 AM
You are right a Sensei should just give an example but personally i think that you are not a good example for me i repeat for ME beacause after reading what you wrote i didn't felt the spirit of aiki, i know that you don't care about what O'Sensei said but i do cuz how can you not care about what the Founder of what you do said?? i really don't understand maybe i am Stupid i know but that's what i think cuz for example, if you are a Catholic practitioner (excuse the english ok is not my first language) you care about what Jesus said don't you?? so what impression do you get from a Catholic that says "I don't care about what Jesus said" i would have a really bad impression about that person, that's how i am, sorry.

If a person goes do a Dojo just to learn how to fight and not to learn also a little bit of philosophy i think that they should rather go Boxing or something like that cuz, a Martial Art is not only fighting, the problem is that in our days a lot of people does not understand that, they just do Martial Arts to learn how to fight and not to become a better person.

darin
10-16-2001, 10:00 PM
Sorry I am not a kung fu priest...

shihonage
10-17-2001, 12:28 AM
I am Kane.
I will help you.

andrew
10-17-2001, 03:38 AM
Originally posted by darin
Sorry I am not a kung fu priest...

I'm sorry I'm not a kung fu priest too. That'd be cool.

Originally posted by darin
All a teacher can do is set some kind of example.

True.
I do feel, however, that if a sudent is compelled to be polite and well mannered during training that it may help them be simularly well behaved with regard to usage of their aikido outside the dojo. Albeit that an -ssh-l- will probably remain pretty much an -ssh-l-.

andrew

Caio
10-17-2001, 08:31 AM
Originally posted by Fausto
You are right a Sensei should just give an example but personally i think that you are not a good example for me i repeat for ME beacause after reading what you wrote i didn't felt the spirit of aiki, i know that you don't care about what O'Sensei said but i do cuz how can you not care about what the Founder of what you do said?? i really don't understand maybe i am Stupid i know but that's what i think cuz for example, if you are a Catholic practitioner (excuse the english ok is not my first language) you care about what Jesus said don't you?? so what impression do you get from a Catholic that says "I don't care about what Jesus said" i would have a really bad impression about that person, that's how i am, sorry.

If a person goes do a Dojo just to learn how to fight and not to learn also a little bit of philosophy i think that they should rather go Boxing or something like that cuz, a Martial Art is not only fighting, the problem is that in our days a lot of people does not understand that, they just do Martial Arts to learn how to fight and not to become a better person.

I think you are mixing two things that are completely different, religion and martial arts. Comparing Catholic church and Aikido, and even worse, Jesus and O sensei, is really wrong.
I've been to a seminary here in Brazil with a sensei that was O sensei's last uchideshi.
He says that a lot of people think of O sensei as a deity, a mystical being. And he was not.
He was not a saint; he was human, like us.
Sometimes, instead of talking about love and harmony with nature, we should take a look at the world outside and see what we can do to help people in need.
But if you are in the dojo, stop talking and practice.

PeterR
10-17-2001, 08:49 AM
Originally posted by Fausto
If a person goes do a Dojo just to learn how to fight and not to learn also a little bit of philosophy i think that they should rather go Boxing or something like that cuz, a Martial Art is not only fighting, the problem is that in our days a lot of people does not understand that, they just do Martial Arts to learn how to fight and not to become a better person.A little bit of perspective but in my time in Osaka I met only one Japanese who started Aikido specifically to explore the Do. This one example was heavily into chado and shodo, and wanted to examine the same from something more physical. Very interesting lady to talk to but to the point of hand.

Most young Japanese take up Aikido to learn how to fight - philosophy is not high on the list.

Some older Japanese join for fitness rather than self defense but here too philosophy is not really a concern.
Originally posted by Andrew
I do feel, however, that if a sudent is compelled to be polite and well mannered during training that it may help them be simularly well behaved with regard to usage of their aikido outside the dojo.
Well yes and this is one of the things that practice helps us develope. The Do may not be the reason the vast majority begin Aikido or Karate or any of the more martial forms of the path but it is what keeps us there over the lifetime.

Fausto
10-18-2001, 06:03 AM
I used that example cuz i think that if u practice something (any religion any martial art) you can't say that you don't care bout the Founder of what you do said. I didn't said that O'Sensei is a similar to Jesus.

I agree that in a dojo u most practice but if u just practice u will never understand the real meaning of aikido cuz for me aikido goes far beyond Shihonage, Ikkyo, etc i have not understand it yet but i think is there and a little bit of meditation is not bad at all cuz what do you do with a strong body with an empty head??? i think that someone like that is useless.

Caio
10-18-2001, 06:18 AM
You know what I think it's great about Aikido? Is that each one of us can choose the way we practice. Even when we are under the same teacher (if a good one!)
The way I see Aikido is training hard each time I am at the dojo, and through hard training I realize about other aspects of the art, like harmony, non resistance, no ego and other wonderful things that it teaches us.
And I truly believe that if I meet you one of these days in a dojo, we will have a nice time training together, don't you think?

Regards

guest1234
10-18-2001, 11:03 AM
Originally posted by BRIAN H
I take Aikido because its more about control than force. That is not only Nage's control over Uke, but Nage's control over Nage. Unlike Colleen, I am not in the military, but in civilian law enforcement. Air strikes are not an option (except in Philadelphia) so I must confront persons who I am called to deal with. If a crime is in progress I must go the scene and help, it would be immoral for me not to. If the situation can not be immediately dealt with than we will surround and contain it. You can not say that every criminal will give up when confronted by the Police (I lost a peer afew months ago who confronted someone over an offense that only would have resulted in a ticket, and had a bullet wizz by the ear of a friend involved in a equally trival incident) Sometimes you have to fight because others will suffer or die if you don't.

Then it seems like me, you fight as part of your job---but is that why you do Aikido (it may be, it is not for me). There is some chance, in these changing times, that air crew will end up fighting on the ground (look at who made up the majority of POWs during the Gulf War). We may be used to 'visiting' war a la BAT 21, but we recognize more and more that we may end up in the middle of it.

Should I bail out in enemy territory, I think I would find more comfort in my 9 mm (and the fact that I shoot Expert) than my Aikido training (and a lofty 5th kyu).Even with Dan rank, I think I'd still go with the 9 mm. Before my brother joined the FBI he was an LAPD officer, in the first class taught Aikido techniques. The academy brought all the rookies back after a year in the field, to see how that training had gone. My brother said that they recalled very little Aikido, but most had bought saps.

I came to Aikido to change me, not to protect me or control others. If folks want to look for warrior status in Aikido training that is OK with me, but don't expect me to join in. Military life is 24/7 and fills that need in me (and then some). Same thing for those who need it for self defense. I see both of those needs as valid, so they should be able to see those who are seeking a change in self as a third and equally valid reason.

PeterR
10-18-2001, 12:22 PM
The question is Does Aikido teach you to fight.

Seems the answers have deviated a bit. The question does not really relate to why you are doing Aiikido in so far as if you are not interested in fighting it wont turn you into a fighter against your will.

A friend and sempai, who by coincidence spent his time as a ranger in the Israeli army followed by a stint as a VIP body guard said "Aikido's great but if you want self defense buy a gun". His premis wasn't that Aikido was useless in this regard just that there are far easier ways to prepare yourself. However, his approach to Aikido was very much directed towards its roots.

Winning a fight boils down to having the right frame of mind and Aikido training can prepare you for that. Like all training it is preparation - the only way to learn how to fight is through direct experience. The way I learnt my Aikido (with the above mentioned sempai) was a focus on that mental preparation. Never did quite get that explosive aggression which is so effective but pressure under duress was definately part of the training.

Vera Cordwood
10-19-2001, 07:00 AM
Here's another point of view.

Does aikido teach you to fight?

Vera says: Yes.

Sometimes you don't have your gun. Knowing Aikido is better than knowing nothing. Maybe you'll fight your way into a window of freedom in which to run away. Maybe you'll break someone's wrist. Better than standing there doing nothing. This is if your life is threatened, not just your wallet/purse.

Sometimes using your gun would constitute murder, not self defence. I've been grabbed in bars by drunks. I've been threatened by another woman who just wanted to fight. It would be nice to be able to get a wrist lock on someone like that. I had a drunk guy grab me from behind, lock my arms with his, and I couldn't stop him. My friends intervened to get him off of me. The woman who threatened me put me in a head lock and dragged me around. I couldn't stop her either. Aikido would have helped.

Just some observations. I'm not talking about philosophy. I'm talking about why I practice throwing someone using their striking hand motion towards my head or their action of grabbing for my wrist. It's not fun when someone really does grab your wrist/head/shirt and puts you in a helpless position.

guest1234
10-19-2001, 09:56 AM
Originally posted by PeterR
The question is Does Aikido teach you to fight.

Seems the answers have deviated a bit. The question does not really relate to why you are doing Aiikido in so far as if you are not interested in fighting it wont turn you into a fighter against your will.



I am sorry, but I do believe the questions were:
"So, do you believe that aikido teaches you to fight?"
"Did you start practicing aikido to learn how to fight?"
"Do you think aikido helps you to fight?"

I could very well be mistaken, but it does seem to be asking if we are doing Aikido in order to fight, and if that is the purpose and end result of Aikido.

PeterR
10-19-2001, 10:03 AM
So they were - my mistake.

Originally posted by ca


I am sorry, but I do believe the questions were:
"So, do you believe that aikido teaches you to fight?"
"Did you start practicing aikido to learn how to fight?"
"Do you think aikido helps you to fight?"

I could very well be mistaken, but it does seem to be asking if we are doing Aikido in order to fight, and if that is the purpose and end result of Aikido.

JOHNrebhol
10-19-2001, 05:07 PM
I do not understand buying a gun,in situations in life we can find ourselves fighting for very small reasons and not reasons that warrant shooting someone surely your aikido would come in handy in theses situations neh?

Chocolateuke
10-19-2001, 09:59 PM
does Aikido teach you to fight?? well, maye it depeneds I know it teacehes you to defend yourself but fight donno...

well the fact is I have never been in a "real" fight with blood or bad intent in school we push or sometimes get into "mock" fights that are ok.. sure I have posted how I have used aikido thows but the fact in the matter is they were to impress people ( o-sensi scrowling at me in heaven :) but if I want to impress people most of the time I just do the unbendable arm!

do I ever wanna fight? not really I would rather just annoy people!
but if I do get in a fight i feel I have some resourses to stop or end the confrimination without violent intent. sure I might sprain his arm ( only in dire need) but I hope i wont be angry. but then again i have never been in a real life death money no money confrontation... so I am as stupid as a cow... well gotta go.. psat tommrow


cya

Brock Granger
10-19-2001, 10:57 PM
I don't think aikido is about fighting. O sensei wrote "The Art of Peace." I think that aikido is about gaining control of a situation. I believe good aikido defeats an opponent by demoralizing him. If an opponent sees you are in total control of him, he loses his will to fight. If you want to defeat opponents physically, you should try the chinese art of Won Hop Loong Chuan, which is based on Sun Tzu's "Art of War."

IMHO
:cool:

guest1234
10-21-2001, 09:17 AM
Hey, Dallas, good luck on your psat! I think in more ways than one you are much smarter than you think. To read these threads you'd think all we ever did as humans was walk around getting jumped/having our loved ones threatened/all our money stolen.

I have a plaque that hangs at eye level for pilots in my exam room, that I use as a focus point for them when I do a fundoscopic exam. It reads "A superior pilot is one who avoids situations that require use of his superior skills'.

As for the 'buy a gun' response, well: for some of us (military/police), we are given weapons to do our job, and I don't do Aikido to replace mine in a war situation. I understand England and other countries would not have that (civilian) option, but I don't advocate guns for civilians, anyway (uh oh, I feel something bad about to happen). I carry one when issued for conflicts, period.

j0nharris
10-21-2001, 09:31 AM
I do agree that an instructor can't tell his/her students how to live, I do think that we can, and should, let them know that it is possible to live our lives off the mat in the same way that we act on the mat. I.e., with integrity, honesty, and compassion.
Like so many things, we can only show people the door, and they have to decide to go through on their own.
My wife left her study of ba gua with a local instructor because he thinks that he is a guru to his students, telling my wife she would have to stop aikido to learn from him, and punishing one of his students after seeing her in an aerobics class (and you know how dangerous those can be).

Alchemist
10-28-2001, 04:27 AM
Does Aikido teach you to fight????

I would say Aikido, and most other arts teach you to not fight?

Can Aikido teach you how to fight?

No, although it can help you develope certain attributes/skills that are essential to surviving a fight. Ie. sensitivity, timing, spatial relationaship, body mechanics, ect.

Aikido is more 'self perfection' than `self preservation' ( at least in my experience, and from what I`ve researched, and seen)

Aikido is great martial art with many benefits but the development of savvy street fighters is not one of them...Why??
I feel that the attacks in Aikido are extremely unrealistic and quite often telegraphed. It lacks directness, and simplicity. It tends to overcomplicate.
And many Aikidoists that I have trained with
carry on with an attitude that they 'above' using tools such as an eyejab, a headbutt, a knee to the groin, elbows, ect, ect....

Things in Aikido that I feel are useful to self preservation. The locking, the flow, the path of least resistance concept. The weapons work, ( asides from the knife disarms)

Learning to be a competant fighter requires skill in all ranges of combat (Kicking, boxing, trapping/clinch, and ground.) In requires the correct mental attitude( if you`ve decided there is no other option than to fight, then turn on your killer instinct end things ASAP and get out of there) It requires learning how to fight with, and defend against weapons, and improvised weapons. Also, learning to fight requires one to go outside of any system, ( an open mind realizing that no one system has the monopoly on everything) research for yourself, find what you can make work for you, and test things against progressively resisting and varied training partners to see how it it works in real time.

You ever hear the saying he rose to the occation... A fighter never rises to the occassion, he/she dropped to the level of training. You fight like you train.

This post was in no way meant to offend anyone, and »I`m sorry if it has.

Peace,
J

Brian H
10-28-2001, 08:06 AM
Why Aikido? To me the best demonstations of my "skills" outside the dojo as a police officer have resulted in little or no struggle by the arrestee (aka scumbag or "Uke"). I moved to a better position (irimi) and got the arrestee so he had to make gross body movements (like punching around his own head) to get at me. The situation I try for is to get them so they will either give up or I can deal with them more easily than a face to face slugging match (in those fights you loss even when you win - Rodney King et al) I am a realitively big guy at 6'00" tall and 215 lbs., but there are a lot of people out there who are bigger, stonger, motivated or just plain nuts.

So, does Aikido teach you to fight? Yes, but it is better at teaching you to fight smart, both physically and mentally. You can take someones balance without ever touching them. I once went to assist another officer with a loud drunk. The "contact" officer was standing in front of the guy and was keeping him at arms length with verbal commands and hand gestures. I had not said a word to anybody since walking up to a "cover" postion, behind and to the right of the guy. When the guy stepped up to the officer for the tenth time cussing and such, I firmly commanded him to "step back and keep your hands out of your pockets." Well, his head spun around in shock to find little old me standing back there. His whole body twisted 180 degrees, but his feet never moved. As a result he fell flat on his face at my feet (you really shouldn't have you hands in your pockets when yelling at the cops) I thought to myself "ikkyo!"

Trevallion
10-28-2001, 10:15 PM
Aikido does not teach one how to fight, it teaches how to avoid a fight, how to defend against an attack, how to stay within the moment so as to better control the situation. As far as guns are concerned, it is better to have a gun and not need it, than to not have one and need it. If samurai were around today you can be damn sure they would replace their swords with guns, and would be just as effective.

Just some random thoughts...

-Jim.

Jon S.
10-30-2001, 12:09 AM
"If samurai were around today you can be damn sure they would replace their swords with guns"

I'm not so sure. They didn't replace their swords with guns when they were around. Their swords were sacred to them.

Who can really say for certain?

One thing is for certain. It's useful to know Aikido if involved in a fight.

PeterR
10-30-2001, 07:05 AM
Well considering that the primary weapon of the samurai was not the sword during any historical battles and that the winning side of Tokugawa's little power grab did so because they utilized firearms more effectively than the opposition - I think the initial statement is correct.

The sacred sword soul of the samurai is a bit of a romantisization (sp?).

Originally posted by Jon S.
"If samurai were around today you can be damn sure they would replace their swords with guns"

I'm not so sure. They didn't replace their swords with guns when they were around. Their swords were sacred to them.

Who can really say for certain?

One thing is for certain. It's useful to know Aikido if involved in a fight.

aiki_what
10-30-2001, 09:11 AM
Aikido is a form for examining controlled conflict.

Mike Galante
03-22-2007, 04:08 PM
Aikido is all about fighting. We train to attain perfection in our movements. These movements are designed for one thing. That is defeating an opponent.

Everyone is talking about love. Tell me, what are you tested on at gradings? Your personality? Should we forget about techniques and just all hold hands and sing folk songs.

Most important thing is to train hard. Concentrate on learning the techniques. We shouldn't have to go to aikido to become better people. Its not what it is meant for.

At first I thought you were joking, but, sadly, I think now you are not. Here is how I would alter your statement:

Aikido is all about resolution of conflict. We train and strive to resonate with the perfection in the universal which are reflected in our movements. These movements are designed for one thing, striving for the perfection of our souls through the resolution of conflict.
Everyone is talking about love ! When you are tested, your proper Shihan will see the flow of ki from your universal centered spirit. He will see you heart open with gratitude as the forces of heaven and earth merge within you and by extension, to your fellow human. Your techniques flow through you like a deep river and at the completion of your interaction, nothingness prevails. No hatred, or pride of winning. Revenge does not swell in your "opponents" chest.
You have both won the match. No one has been defeated but the harmony of the contact has raised the level of exchange from the animal to the human. Then we can hold hands and sing folk songs.
The most important thing is to train hard (and soft). Concentrate on learning what O' Sensei taught. Inner and outer technique.
We don't have to do Aikido to be better people, we want to do Aikido to be better people.
It is what it is meant for.

Sorry, if I sound self righteous, but I really want to believe you don't mean what you say. But that is just me, idealist to the end.
God Bless you and keep you.
Mike Galante

Saturn
03-22-2007, 05:51 PM
I learned much of Karate, however little of Aikido, the funny thing is I would prefer an Aikido defense rather then to use Karate. If I used Karate I believe I will get hit however mindlessly destroy my attacker, but with Aikido I might even make them smile. I've been in alot of fights and it is not half as much fun trying to kill your attacker dead. It is fun however to practice ma'ai whilst standing as untouchable as a shadow.evileyes

Talon
03-22-2007, 06:38 PM
Whats with the resurection of ancient threads lately?

Jorge Garcia
03-22-2007, 10:46 PM
Whats with the resurection of ancient threads lately?

It looks like a plan.
Jorge

Kevin Leavitt
03-23-2007, 12:35 AM
Wow...this thread brings back memories of a few people I used to practice with years ago.

Necromancy!

I am still waiting for THAT "other thread" to be resurrected! :)

it's the search and suggestion feature that brings them back. People that have not disscussed these things or have questions along the same lines resurrect them.

I'd personally rather have a thread resurrected, than the same topic continuously brought up over and over as if it was an original idea, (of which there are none, btw!).

Aikido taught me how to fight door knobs and push bars on doors that don't work! :)

I think it is all a matter of perspective what you think aikido teaches you to do. However, you don't really know what it teaches you until you use it in those circumstances. Sometimes the best lessons I learn from something don't surface for many years!

Aristeia
03-23-2007, 02:32 AM
crikey - this thread is so old theres' not eve a post from me on it :-0

Largo
03-23-2007, 06:35 AM
It depends on the dojo. If you get a good one, yes, Aikido will teach you to fight (and give aikijutsu people a run for their money). If not, then not.

ChrisBarry
03-23-2007, 10:17 AM
I know this thread is ancient but I'm new here so bare with me :)

So, do you believe that aikido teaches you to fight?"

-Do you mean does it teach you how to fight? As in how to respond to an attack? Yes. As in better than another martial art? That depends on you. Whatever martial art you choose to train in, if you train long enough to gain muscle memory and good timing will teach you how to fight.

-"Did you start practicing aikido to learn how to fight?" No I started with wrestling in high school, moved on to karate in college, learned practical techniques in U.S. Coast Guard's Boarding Team Member school on how to take down armed and un-armed opponents and finally found a home in Aikido. I began aikido after I did some research on different martial arts. What attracted me to aikido was it's sophistication, it's fluidity and it's effectiveness… you can not ignore the process by which O'sensei came to create aikido. He did not just pull it out of thin air but from practical application from a lifetime of study. The techniques work when they present themselves. The secret is being able to do them without thought. Have you ever trained so hard or so thoroughly that you stop thinking about the moves and just flow into them? Another aspect or technique I learned from aikido that I found to be one of the most valuable is how to breathe! People who have never been in a fight or in a dangerous situation tend to not think about how the body reacts… adrenaline, fear, time seems to condense… it's hard to think, there's usually no time to think! Your stomach gets butterflies on speed… hot and cold flashes… all these things happen. One way to imagine it is to remember what it felt like when you came so close to that other car you were sure you were going to get hit! That feeling you got? That sudden flip and your holding your breath, depriving your body of oxygen. So one of the greatest things aikido teaches me is how to breathe and THAT helped me in every confrontation I had.

-"Do you think aikido helps you to fight?"
-By it's self? No. but it sure does help.

Marie Noelle Fequiere
03-23-2007, 10:47 AM
It's funny, the founders of many martial arts started training because they were frail or sickly as a child and wanted to learn how to defend themselves.

Gim23

[Edited by Jim23 on February 23, 2001 at 02:23pm][/QUOTE]

I haven't read the life of every martial arts master who ever lived, but I can say with confidence that Gichin Funakoshi, Chotoku Kyan and, yes, O Sensei were all encouraged to take martial arts by their family not so that they could defend themseves (although that this was considered a welcome bonus), but to strenghten their frail bodies. Remember that at this time, practicing a physical activity for fun was not a widspread as it is today, but the fact that martial arts masters were healthier and lived longer than most of their contemporaries did not go unoticed.

Kevin Leavitt
03-23-2007, 01:15 PM
Helio Gracie is another example of this that is still alive and training today! well into his 90's.