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Jay Peezy
09-08-2004, 01:49 PM
Hello all,

I would like to open a thread where you can tell about any time in your life that you actually had to apply an Aikido technique. I'm not interested in "stories" about a high school kid who took out 6 people single handedly. But if you do have an actual event that happened or you witnessed, with Aikido being applied, please share.

I'm starting this thread because I actually used my aikido for the first time 2 weeks ago. (I have taken aikido for 3 years now as well as many other martial arts for a total of 8 years.) I was vacationing in South Carolina and visiting some stores. I was in one particular store when an older looking homeless man saw me buy something and came to ask for change. I didn't have any change because I was paying with credit. He didn't believe me and wanted to rob me with a knife in his pocket. My defenses were up when I saw him reach in his pocket and as soon as I saw the knife come out I grabbed his arm and pulled it across my chest to go for an arm bar. I was so nervous and full of adrenaline that I let his hand slip out of mine and I immediately went to sanko and cranked it. He was screaming and dropped the knife. He turned his back into me and I grabbed him in a rear naked choke, still holding his arm behind his back and walked him outside as my girlfriend picked up the knife. I called to a cop on a bike who came and dealt with the situation.

My experience with this leads me to this conclusion. Things are a lot more scary and fast in a real life situation. If I had let go of his arm I don't know what would have happened. Hopefully I will continue to grow as an Aikido practioner as gain more confidence in the techniques. Does anyone else have an experience to share?

Jay P

akiy
09-08-2004, 03:13 PM
Not to discourage discussion, but if you look near the bottom of this very page, you'll find a listing of "similar threads" which list the following as being similar to the one you started:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1179
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6078
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3363
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3430
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2832

Hope that helps,

-- Jun

Jay Peezy
09-09-2004, 08:56 AM
OK sorry, i was excited about telling someone what happened and didn't really read the forums. I'm new at this as you can tell.
How about we switch up the thread from techniques that you have seen work, to techniques you have tried and find they do not work.
I have been in various martial arts for almost 9 years now. I have taken Brazilian jiu jitsu and muay thai kick-boxing which are two of the most functional arts out there as far as knowing how to really fight. When I started taking aikido i loved learning the wrist locks and ways to control a person without "beating them up" so to speak. What i do not like about the art is the way its trained. There is no aliveness or resistance. If you don't flip when your being uke then you are looked at as being a bad training partner. Even if your partner isn't doing a technique correctly.
But anyway take all that with a grain of salt. Its just my opinion so please don't turn this into a battle of what art is best. I just said all that to say this:
What techniques have you tried and found they do not work. Aikido is a traditional art that keeps the same techniques and just finds new ways of applying those techniques. My question is if aikido believed in keeping the techniques that work and throwing out the useless ones, what would we get rid of?
I take nihon goshin aikido so please excuse me for not knowing the Japanese terms for techniques. One technique i cannot get to work is the Whip Throw. It is a white belt technique where the uke runs at you with hand extended and you catch and pull down on his wrist which sends him flipping through the air. Any time i try this for real on an unsuspecting person, they bend their arm and look at me like I'm crazy. I really believe it is not more time needed to practice, it is just the fact that the technique doesn't work. Any time you want to try something, get your friends out in the yard or on a mat and have them attack you. Since they have no idea what the technique is, when you try it you will see A. it works or B it doesn't. Aikido is about neutralizing an attack so you don't have to hurt your friend to make the technique work. If it works, great, if it doesn't work please tell me about it.

Jay

Dazzler
09-09-2004, 09:24 AM
Jay

Aikido techniques are not techniques. They are a toolset to develop the bases of aikido, in particular the fundamental core of irimi / atemi.

They 'work' very well to develop these bases but certainly would need adaptation for a 'real' situation (see 10 million other posts debating what is a real situation).

Regards

D

ps...do you have a nickname thanks to your rather distinctive surname?

Jay Peezy
09-09-2004, 10:26 AM
i agree with what you are saying but lots of people pay money to learn the self defense side of aikido, locks and throws, and dont know about the other parts of aikido. A parent puts there kid in Aikido to learn how to neutralize a bully not to learn the zen of the universe. I'm not trying to come off as a person downing Aikido, im just making a point that there are things that work and others that do not. Some people dont look at Aikido as a way...just as a group of tactics or "moves" to stop an aggressor.

ps...My name is Josh P. My friends have always called me J Peezy.

Dazzler
09-09-2004, 10:46 AM
i agree with what you are saying but lots of people pay money to learn the self defense side of aikido, locks and throws, and dont know about the other parts of aikido. A parent puts there kid in Aikido to learn how to neutralize a bully not to learn the zen of the universe. I'm not trying to come off as a person downing Aikido, im just making a point that there are things that work and others that do not. Some people dont look at Aikido as a way...just as a group of tactics or "moves" to stop an aggressor.

ps...My name is Josh P. My friends have always called me J Peezy.

Zen of the universe!! very good Josh!...not really what I was promoting so if it came across that way sorry.

Irimi atemi is to enter and strike which is probably the other end of what you call Zen in the aikido spectrum.

(I wouldn't know Zen if it bit me on the rear).

I can see that a lot of parents part with money and I'm sure that those that pay more expect their childs aikido to be proportional to the outlay

Unfortunately aikido can only be learned and absorbed through practice. No one can give you aikido no matter how much you pay. You have to find what works yourself.

In your earlier post you seemed to want to find out what specific techniques were useful for fighting.

Aikido is for not fighting ...with respect to parents I do not agree that they want their child to pick up a bag of tricks to break their classmates wrist with.

However, the bases of aikido ;

position, distance, breathing pattern, body movement ,posture, entering and striking are all appropriate to martial effectiveness.

Having learned them through the sometimes static (but safetly controlled) dojo then they can be applied in whatever proportions are desirable to neutralise a bully or even your mates.

BTW I do not believe aikido is self-defence...If I feel the need to go on the offensive then I reserve the right to do so.

D

ps. I just wondered if you were called easy peezy...not being rude, just thought it was a cool name!

MaryKaye
09-09-2004, 02:31 PM
Recently I got to spend a bruising but enjoyable afternoon training with someone much better than myself (bigger and stronger, too) who said upfront that he did not intend to give me throws, nor to tolerate me giving him throws. It was interesting to see what worked and what didn't. I come from a Ki Society background and we do koteoroshi, with a straight-down movement, rather than kotagaeshi. I confess I'd wondered if this made it less effective (though my teachers can always take me down wiith koteoroshi). But it turned out to be absolutely the most reliable throw in my repetoire (he said, "At least they taught you one thing right.") Ikkyo irimi, on the other hand, which I'd thought I could do fairly well, got stopped every time.

I would never come to the conclusion "This throw doesn't work", though, until I could could say that to my instructors and then avoid being thrown by them. So far, whenever I've said "I don't see how this throw can work" they've been happy to help me out. I've collected a few bruises but learned a lot in the process. I remember this with koteoroshi, in fact: "This is an unbalancing throw, right? You can't actually take uke down just with the wrist control?" "Here, give me your wrist." "Oh!" (from the floor).

We do teach one or two throws that our instructors say flatly are for learning purposes, not fighting purposes: there's an amazing kaitenage in one of the Ki Society taigi that looks very cool but leaves uke far too able to get up to mischief behind nage. But they are pretty clear on labelling these as such.

Mary Kaye

shihonage
09-09-2004, 02:56 PM
i agree with what you are saying but lots of people pay money to learn the self defense side of aikido, locks and throws, and dont know about the other parts of aikido. A parent puts there kid in Aikido to learn how to neutralize a bully not to learn the zen of the universe. I'm not trying to come off as a person downing Aikido, im just making a point that there are things that work and others that do not. Some people dont look at Aikido as a way...just as a group of tactics or "moves" to stop an aggressor.


Whoever still looks at any form of martial arts as a series of moves is going to get his ass kicked by some street hoodlum who doesn't know martial arts and does not limit himself to particular moves, angles, or footwork.

He has a larger goal than to apply an ikkyo, and this goal is to kick your ass.

Ironically many such people, although unskilled in technique, have the truly free and spontaneous movement, continuous attack, fighting spirit, mushin, zanshin and all that other crap that martial arts practitioners spend years trying to find.

What Daren said here, is very right.
Aikido techniques are a toolset.
Over the years you internalize them until your body learns to create it's own, natural, spontaneous movement out of the principles the techniques are based on.

That is how Aikido can be made to work.
Someone gives you an attack, you react according to principles of Aikido, and something comes out of it - something that hopefully keeps you safe, maybe something that involves sinking your thumbs in the attackers eye while immobilizing his knife hand, as a version of "heaven and earth" throw, for instance.
Something you did not plan in advance, does not QUITE look like a "move" you remember, but something that fits well with the situation in-hand.

xuzen
09-09-2004, 09:47 PM
Jay Peezy:I have been in various martial arts for almost 9 years now. I have taken Brazilian jiu jitsu and muay thai kick-boxing which are two of the most functional arts out there as far as knowing how to really fight.

You are a seasoned practitioner, you should already know the answer wrt to what work and what don't.

What i do not like about the art is the way its trained. There is no aliveness or resistance. If you don't flip when your being uke then you are looked at as being a bad training partner. Even if your partner isn't doing a technique correctly.

In my practice, if you don't flip, its ok, we try again. Don't give charity falls my sensei always says. It is dangerous to the shite, he will only develop false confidence. I agree with you on that. However I will flip/ukemi if I am a uke for my sensei or senior sempai, because if not, my limbs will be painful, it is that simple.

What techniques have you tried and found they do not work.

Techniques that don't work: Fancy technique that use many movements; techniques that your uke already anticipate and correct technique that you perform wrongly.

Techniques that work: Things that you do not anticipate to do but did anyway and caught uke by surprise.; techniques that you do where you utilized correctly the principle of aikido i.e., correct timing, proper balance breaking and with full spirit and vigour.

Boon.

Aikidoiain
09-10-2004, 12:37 AM
Hi.

I have just joined and already I see an interesting debate. I have lost count of the amount of times I 've been attacked or amongst violence. You see, I worked in the music business as a Professional Drummer for 30 years, and the scene was full of very dodgy characters. I never made it big in music so I retired to concentrate on Aikido.

Yes, my Martial Arts' skills - namely, Aiki-Jujitsu and Tomiki Aikido (the Hapkido later) - were constantly on demand! I found that in a bar or a club gig, if trouble broke out, the band always ended up in the thick of it. To defend myself, I used joint locks and some strikes (particularly to the knee). I did get injured twice. I was standing at the bar, turned round, and a guy stuck the head in me! The force knocked me out. I awoke in hospital and needed plastic surgery as the strike crushed my nose. The second time - also in a bar- some idiot smashed a bottle over my head! Luckily I had very long hair at that time, so it protected me a little.

Out on the street I've been threatened with knives and all manner of weapons. I've had to deal with teenage gangs as well. Basically, I don't "think" when I'm in such situations - my body simply reacts. Aikido has taught me to keep moving and also to disorientate an attacker with rapid changes of direction. If you get someone in a joint lock like a sankyo, you can also use them as a shield, while using kicks to attend to any others.

All these incidents have spanned over 25 years, so it's not as if I have to fight to leave my flat or anything! As far as my training goes, it is totally "unorthodox". Most of it was done informally, outside the "safe" dojo environment, with people I met through the biz who taught me a lot of stuff. We would "role-play" real life scenarios - thus adding to the realism. We also used real knives. I think this type of training had an enormous effect on my skills. I did attend a Hapkido club and attained a yellow belt, but had to leave due to serious illness. So, on paper, I'm a yellow belt, but that is hardly a true indicator of where I am. When I teach friends, I wear a black belt as a reflection of all the hard work I' ve put in over all those years. Ironically, I have now decided to join the local Aikikai- Aikido club as a beginner! I don't know if I'll grade though. I did my grading in the real world against real violence!

Sorry, I tend to go on a bit! What was the question? Oh yes, now I remember. Yes, I have used my Martial Arts in real life.

Thank you,
Aikidoiain.

xuzen
09-10-2004, 03:46 AM
Hi.

Yes, my Martial Arts' skills - namely, Aiki-Jujitsu and Tomiki Aikido (the Hapkido later) - were constantly on demand! I found that in a bar or a club gig, if trouble broke out, the band always ended up in the thick of it...

I awoke in hospital and needed plastic surgery as the strike crushed my nose. The second time - also in a bar- some idiot smashed a bottle over my head! Luckily I had very long hair at that time, so it protected me a little.

Out on the street I've been threatened with knives and all manner of weapons. I've had to deal with teenage gangs as well.

Yes, I have used my Martial Arts in real life.

Thank you,
Aikidoiain.

OK, hear ye hear ye all insurance agents... This is one dude you do not want to write a policy for. What a liability. Sorry Ian, just a joke. :sorry:

Boon.

Aikidoiain
09-10-2004, 04:33 AM
Hi Boon,

Thanks for the advice mate. Any techniques I use are directly proportionate to the threat. I always abide by the law. One of my teachers was a cop! What about the thugs? What right do THEY have to attack me anyway. They got back what they gave - that's all. Never had a problem with insurance.

Thanks for being my first reply. I'm not offended. I see the humour. Take care.
Aikidoiain.

ian
09-10-2004, 07:20 AM
I've waffled on enough in previous years about my personal experiences with aikido in real life. However I think below is an interesting illustration of often unrecognised benefits of aikido training.

A female friend was walking through town with her mother and saw a man masterbating on a park bench. The man came up to them and said,
"you didn't see anything did you?",
they replied - "no"
" do you want to see something?"
At this point she confidently said "I think you should go now"
And the man skulked off.

My point is, often many situations are avoided by the confidence and honesty (without aggression) which you can gain through aikido.

Aikidoiain
09-10-2004, 09:35 AM
Hi Ian,

When you're walking along the street and a violent aggressor pulls out a knife on you - would you just walk away? All my fight experiences have been unavoidable - in fact, if it wasn't for my many years of Aikido and Aiki-Jujitsu training, I wouldn't be here today!

I have NEVER provoked an attack. I have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time - it happens. I've also had to use my skills to protect my friends from attack. I am a gentle and caring human being - I don't go around looking for trouble. I'm 41 years of age, with a wealth of training and confrontation experience behind me. I feel as though I'm some beginner being scolded! I TEACH Self-Defense! There of course, have been occasions where I have managed to walk away after resolving potentially violent situations. But, it seems that no one wants to hear about these. I am a good negotiator.

Sorry to sound so defensive, but I do feel I'm being harshly judged - and you don't even know me! As you can tell I'm also very sensitive. Perhaps you should read my contribution to "Zen and Jazz" to understand me better. This is like first day at school all over again!

Best wishes,
Aikidoiain. :straightf :(

Hagen Seibert
09-10-2004, 12:38 PM
Hi Iain,

there was no attack on you, especially not from Ian. From Ianīs frequent posts you can tell, that heīs not the person to scold, judge or verbally confront others on this forum.

regards

Aikidoiain
09-10-2004, 12:55 PM
Hi Hagen,

Thanks for the reply. I've only just joined and I tend to become quite passionate about all things relating to Aikido. I'm also very grateful to be invited to join in the first place! I should've realized that anyone interested in joining an Aikido site is unlikely to intentionally upset others - my fault. Afterall. we're all like-minded people following "The Path". I'll calm down in time!

Thanks for the support,
Aikidoiain.

kironin
09-10-2004, 02:08 PM
. So, on paper, I'm a yellow belt, but that is hardly a true indicator of where I am. When I teach friends, I wear a black belt as a reflection of all the hard work I' ve put in over all those years. Ironically, I have now decided to join the local Aikikai- Aikido club as a beginner! I don't know if I'll grade though. I did my grading in the real world against real violence! .


I would say "empty your cup".
otherwise you are just throwing away money.

I mean no disrespect to your experience. Now that you are out of that environment and after years of focusing on the application/self-defense side, maybe you could consider being open to giving your self some slack and round yourself out more by exploring the art / philosophical side of aikido ? You have earned it. It might even help with the sensitivity issue.

shihonage
09-10-2004, 02:41 PM
Hi Ian,

When you're walking along the street and a violent aggressor pulls out a knife on you - would you just walk away? All my fight experiences have been unavoidable - in fact, if it wasn't for my many years of Aikido and Aiki-Jujitsu training, I wouldn't be here today!


Yeah I'm getting a little fed-up with this.

Someone starts a "real-life experiences" thread, and then immediately at least half of it turns into "I avoided an attack today ! It was so Aiki !" or "I trained with my Aikido partner a little harder than usual today ! And smiled !" which are both really off the subject of physical self-defense which was clearly implied by the original poster.

Value of verbal and mental Aikido for diffusing an attack or setting up a situation in your favor is invaluable, but perhaps there should be a thread named "Real-life conflict avoidance experiences" where such stories truly do belong.

Aikidoiain
09-10-2004, 06:33 PM
Thanks Craig, that's exactly why I intend to study Aikido now - for the more spiritual side. I mention this link in my "The Zen in Jazz" reply. I fully recognize the importance of "emptying ones' cup". I am prepared to dedicate my life to this goal - that's how important it is to me.

And Alexsey - forgive my ignorance. I simply had to unload some stuff. Like I said "first day at school" for me! For this, I feel humble. As for conflict avoidance - I recommend the 100 metre sprint!

Thanks for all the feedback. Food for thought indeed. Growth is a continuous process afterall.
Aikidoiain.

shihonage
09-10-2004, 06:49 PM
And Alexsey - forgive my ignorance.


Forgive what ?
Maybe I didn't phrase it very well but I agree with you, and your prior post about your experiences was interesting, too.

xuzen
09-10-2004, 09:30 PM
I am crappy today, my favourite breakfast i.e. 'roti chanai telur' a sort of creppe like pancake with eggs was served late, my 'kopi tarik' (coffee latte) was not hot enough. I feel like wringing the heads of the waiters at the 'Al-Wazer' restaurant as they were giving me some attitude. I could blow off some steam at them and create some kind of scene, but alas with my Aiki training I ...
...
...
...just walk off. Sigh!

shihonage
09-10-2004, 09:54 PM
I feel like wringing the heads of the waiters at the 'Al-Wazer' restaurant as they were giving me some attitude. I could blow off some steam at them and create some kind of scene, but alas with my Aiki training I

I suggest beating up dentists, not waiters.
Much more satisfactory.

xuzen
09-10-2004, 09:58 PM
I suggest beating up dentists, not waiters.
Much more satisfactory.

But why? I do not understand the pun. Sorry :sorry:
Boon.

Ron Tisdale
09-11-2004, 08:23 AM
dentists cause you pain, waiters bring you food....mmmmmm...foooooodddddd......
RT :)

Don_Modesto
09-11-2004, 09:38 AM
I feel like wringing the heads of the waiters at the 'Al-Wazer' restaurant as they were giving me some attitude. I could blow off some steam at them and create some kind of scene, but alas with my Aiki training I just walk off. Sigh!

Aiki? You need aiki for that?

How about mom and dad teaching you self-control when you were growing up?

How about your girl/boyfriend slinking under the table in embarrassment?

How about a lawyer telling you he doesn't accept battery defenses for less than US $5k (non-refundable)?

But then, we have tipping--or not--for editorializing here.

Do you tip waiters--or not--in Malaysia?

guest89893
09-11-2004, 12:25 PM
Aren't waiters wonderful! You ask for stuff and they bring it to you!
Waiter, another drink for myself and my friend Don.

Sorry I missed you here this last weekend, Don. Family would have freaked if I did not stay and "batton down the hatches for Frances."

Don_Modesto
09-11-2004, 01:20 PM
Sorry I missed you here this last weekend, Don. Family would have freaked if I did not stay and "batton down the hatches for Frances."

Me, too, but, geez, it threatened to come in at Cat. 4! Now I'm debating heading up for a visit with Alan in Titusville, although the news seems to be plotting it into the Gulf.

MitchMZ
09-12-2004, 06:05 PM
I was playing airsoft with some people the other day and this kid who found out I am into martial arts dug his rifle into the middle of my back unexpectedly. I put my right arm down and turned my body into him and just happened to have my soft air pistol in my left hand. It ended up with his rifle pointing away from me (my right arm holding it) and my pistol in my left hand pointing right at his goggles. I did not mean for that to happen it just did. I think he was a bit suprised. He then asked me if I was military, lol. I said, "Nope, too much politics involved with that stuff."

xuzen
09-12-2004, 09:47 PM
Do you tip waiters--or not--in Malaysia?

Tip? What is that? Is it giving some extra money to a total stranger for some service provided which you are already charged?

Oh yes, I remember, we don't tip per se here. Over here the F&B industry always include a 10% surcharge on your bill called service tax, inccidently the tax is to be pass back to the waiters, waitresses and other floor staff of any F&B establishment. So patrons do not have a say whether to tip or not, you already tipped the moment you order.

Boon.

Aikidoiain
09-13-2004, 04:34 AM
This is my last word on "real life experiences" (RLE). In one thread someone mentioned to me that going to a dojo to train will refine my techniques. Firstly, that's not why I'm going. Secondly, my techniques work fine.

In a dojo uke is compliant. A real attacker is violent, unpredictable, really wants to hurt you, maybe fuelled by strong mind-altering drugs, may be armed, and is certainly NOT compliant. So, whoever said a dojo will "refine my techniques" is missing the point. I'm going to a dojo for Spiritual reasons.

To this person I say, try and apply a "textbook" technique in such circumstances. If I manage to control the attacker and apply a joint lock, frankly I don't care if it's "perfect" - all I care about is that I've stopped the attack!

Remember, there are no examiners with clip boards standing watching you and rating your "technical performance". Get real!

Here's an example of one attack. While walking home from a friends' late one night, I was approached by two young men. One pulled out a knife while the other stood just at my side - he was BIG! My initially response was to say, "It's okay I'll give you my money, just don't hurt me". I kept eye contact with the knife wielder and saw him relax a bit. Then suddenly I felt the big guy going through my pockets!

I "switched the switch". Struck the guy with knife with a full on front kick to his chest, which sent him and his knife flying. I immediately turned round and tried to grab hold of the attacker while receiving several punches. Eventually I got an arm lock on him and then a kotegaeshi, which took him down.

This happened so quickly, I had no time to think - I just reacted. Whether my locks were "textbook" I don't care. I ran off leaving them shouting abuse at me while crying out in pain, and luckily got a taxi home. That's Aikido in action.

So please, no more preaching. I've been there and survived.

I mean no offense to whoever said I would refine my techniques at the dojo - no doubt I shall, but that's not the point of Aikido anyway - for me.

Iain. :)

guest89893
09-14-2004, 01:22 PM
This is my last word on "real life experiences" (RLE). In one thread someone mentioned to me that going to a dojo to train will refine my techniques. Firstly, that's not why I'm going. Secondly, my techniques work fine.

In a dojo uke is compliant. A real attacker is violent, unpredictable, really wants to hurt you, maybe fuelled by strong mind-altering drugs, may be armed, and is certainly NOT compliant. So, whoever said a dojo will "refine my techniques" is missing the point. I'm going to a dojo for Spiritual reasons.

To this person I say, try and apply a "textbook" technique in such circumstances. If I manage to control the attacker and apply a joint lock, frankly I don't care if it's "perfect" - all I care about is that I've stopped the attack!

Remember, there are no examiners with clip boards standing watching you and rating your "technical performance". Get real!

Iain. :)
Lain,
I once got asked what would make me want to fight someone? The answer: To Survive.
The dojo is a place to learn - whatever you are choosing to learn and whatever the individual reasons. An attack from some one other than a fellow student is not about philosophy, not about refinement, and not about honor, it is onlt about surviving!

Glad you survived your encounter!
Hey anyone see my clipboard?! I need to rate his technical performance. ;)

Jay Peezy
09-18-2004, 11:53 AM
The dojo is a place to learn - whatever you are choosing to learn and whatever the individual reasons. An attack from some one other than a fellow student is not about philosophy, not about refinement, and not about honor, it is onlt about surviving

My thai boxing / brazilian jiu jitsu teacher always says this: "You fight how you train." So i also believe the techniques in Aikido are "not about philosophy, not about refinement, and not about honor". They are a group of wrist locks and takedowns to be trained and used when needed in a life threatening situation. When you think about it and get away from all of the bs in martial arts, you see this. Take bouncers and police officers, both use aikido to escort or apprehend people. They do not practice any "aiki way", they train for real against a person trying to take their head off and they handle the situation. Thats all a martial art is...techniques evaluated that work better in a fight than unprepared wild swinging. Hope this makes sense.

-JP

Bronson
09-20-2004, 12:42 PM
They are a group of wrist locks and takedowns to be trained and used when needed in a life threatening situation.

Someone once posted here, something like, the techniques we do are the "jitsu", how we transfer the lessons learned from those techniques to our life is the "do". I tend to agree.

Take bouncers and police officers, both use aikido to escort or apprehend people. They do not practice any "aiki way", they train for real against a person trying to take their head off and they handle the situation.

I know (because I've asked them) the officers I train with get as much if not more use from the so called spiritual side of our particualr training. They like good effective technique as much as the next guy but say the mental calmness and centerdness they've learned while training is much more useful to them. Many of them will tell you stories of how they used their aikido training in some situation...most of these stories do not involve a physical technique.

Thats all a martial art is...techniques evaluated that work better in a fight than unprepared wild swinging.

That's one of the things it can be. Calligraphy can be just writing, or it can become a deep study of self. A drawing can be just a way to convey information visually, or it can be a deep expression of the inner self of the artist. Anything when studied with that intention can bring lessons that further us along a spiritual path....why should MA's be any different.

Hope this makes sense.

It does, and I hope my differing viewpoint also makes sense to you :D

Bronson