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cricketman
10-11-2004, 11:40 AM
Hi!

I've just written my first fiction novel, and one of my characters practises Aikido. Would anyone be willing to answer a few questions about Aikido?

thank you for your time

Rob

Creature_of_the_id
10-11-2004, 11:51 AM
I'm pretty sure if you ask your questions here you will get many varied responses... so feel free.

or are you asking to ask questions privately?
feel free to PM me with questions if that is the case, always willing to share my view point on aikido.
would recommend PMing a few people though

cricketman
10-11-2004, 12:50 PM
I would prefer to PM someone...I don't want to irritate anyone by spamming the board with my questions.

p00kiethebear
10-11-2004, 05:29 PM
What kind of fiction novel is it?

In my experience, i've only read one good fiction novel that did a decent job portraying aikido, and that was the sci-fi by Stephen Gould called "Helm"

He's very good at expressing aikido technique through words so i would definitely recomend reading this.

Best of luck to you! Tell us when it's done!

Larry Feldman
10-11-2004, 05:44 PM
Why don't you use the dojo search engine to find a school near you and go watch a little Aikido.

It may help a lot more than a textual description....afterall you are the writer.

Qatana
10-11-2004, 06:15 PM
Sorta OT but not really- The Watchtower trilogy by Elisabeth Lynn,Sensei- aikido in Fantasy fiction, by one who knows.

aikidoc
10-11-2004, 06:36 PM
Sure PM me.

SeiserL
10-11-2004, 06:38 PM
How may I help? PM me.

Aristeia
10-11-2004, 07:03 PM
Ditto

Aikidoiain
10-11-2004, 07:18 PM
Sorry "Rob",

Ignore my PM - I thought it was a wind up. :sorry:

I do know about Aikido in the "real world" though - as I've used it to save my life. Why don't you read through my posts - they should provide you with enough material.

When I read your PM, I thought you were taking the P. Sorry about that. I tend to get easily riled. Bad temper you see.


Iain. :ki: :)

cricketman
10-12-2004, 02:14 AM
Thank you to everyone who replied. I never expected this many people to be willing to help. I will, over the next few days, contact you.

regards

Rob

JJF
10-12-2004, 02:52 AM
Hi Robert!

I really think you should concider asking at least some of your questions on the forum - at least if you haven't decided what type of aikido your character is doing. There are many variants and the attitude towards aikido might differ a lot between those that are active on this forum.

I do Nishio-ryu aikido. Sort of like aikikai - but not! Involves a lot of sword and jo practice. Both single and paired. You can mail me if you like - but since I've only been doing this for about 6 years i'm probably not the perfect source.

Good luck with your novel

maikerus
10-12-2004, 03:29 AM
Hi Rob,

Please feel free to PM me. I'd be very interested to see what you are looking for.

One thought. You might find you get a broader variety of answers if you post freely and then PM the people who seem to be giving you what you need. As Jargen said above, there are many different kinds of Aikido and variants after that.

I don't think anyone would consider it spam if you get some interesting discussions going.

Good Luck!

--Michael

cricketman
10-12-2004, 06:00 AM
Perhaps it would be a good idea to get different opinions, so here's the setup.

Firstly, Aikido does not play a large part in my novel. My main character, Alex, uses it twice during the book: in the first scenario, two men, one of them wielding a knife, attack him. In the second scene, Alex attacks a man -- the man is one of the baddies, though. :)

I chose Aikido for a few reasons: a) my character is of average build, and Aikido wouldn't require the same body strength as other martial arts. b) in the second scene, Alex does not have the room to manoeuvre that, say, a kickboxer would require.

Why do I want him to do martial arts? Two reasons. One, it makes it easier for him to get out of the two sticky situations. And, more importantly, the book is about a guy who tries his best not to get involved, but eventually, through circumstances beyond his control, he becomes the most involved. He goes from having nightmares about committing theft, to murdering someone, without blinking (of course, a lot happens in-between those two actions, and it's a gradual decline).

Okay, that's a brief background. Here are the two scenes:

Alex is walking home, late at night, when two men rush out of shadows. Both men come from the left. Alex has about four meters between them and himself. The road is on his right hand side. Behind the men are houses, with front garden walls. The man on the right has a small knife. I don't care how the fight plays out, but I want both men injured badly, and I need Alex to see their injuries. This is so I can show his reaction to what his did. Alex must not be injured.


The other scene is where Alex attacks a man. The two men are standing outside an apartment. They have about five square meters to move in. Initially, Alex had a gun in his coat. Long story short, the gun falls out of Alex's coat, and he instinctively reaches out for it. The baddy, who has no weapons in his hands, then knees Alex in the head. How would Alex kill him from there? This needs to be as quickly as possible. I would prefer if the man died, but it's no crucial, since Alex does kill other people. :D

Well, those are the two situations. Any help, as usual, is much appreciated.

Regards

Rob

kironin
10-12-2004, 10:46 AM
Firstly, Aikido does not play a large part in my novel.
...
Okay, that's a brief background. Here are the two scenes:

Alex is walking home, late at night, when two men rush out of shadows. Both men come from the left. Alex has about four meters between them and himself. The road is on his right hand side. Behind the men are houses, with front garden walls. The man on the right has a small knife. I don't care how the fight plays out, but I want both men injured badly, and I need Alex to see their injuries. This is so I can show his reaction to what his did. Alex must not be injured.

The other scene is where Alex attacks a man. The two men are standing outside an apartment. They have about five square meters to move in. Initially, Alex had a gun in his coat. Long story short, the gun falls out of Alex's coat, and he instinctively reaches out for it. The baddy, who has no weapons in his hands, then knees Alex in the head. How would Alex kill him from there? This needs to be as quickly as possible. I would prefer if the man died, but it's no crucial, since Alex does kill other people. :D

Well, those are the two situations. Any help, as usual, is much appreciated.
Regards
Rob


well, my reaction after reading that is,

please pick another martial art.

maybe you could have him be a student of Krav Maga (http://www.kravmaga.com/)

or Brazilian Jiu Jutsu.
:rolleyes:

Chuck Clark
10-12-2004, 11:48 AM
My writing teachers told me to write what I know about...

cricketman
10-12-2004, 11:57 AM
well, my reaction after reading that is,

please pick another martial art.

maybe you could have him be a student of Krav Maga (http://www.kravmaga.com/)

or Brazilian Jiu Jutsu.
:rolleyes:

I'm sorry you feel that way. And I'm sorry if I offended you -- that was not my intention. However, it was never my intention to do an extensive study of Aikido either. Nor was it my intention to portray Aikido in a negative manner. In both those scenarios, Alex is doing what I think anyone else would do -- in the first instance, he is attacked. He has maybe three seconds to react. In the second instance, he stop a few men from killing a five-year-old girl. The result of his intervention is two of the men die.

Reading the two scenes seperate from the plot would, of course, make them appear negative. That is one of the reasons why I was hesitant to post the questions on the board.

Again, I apologise to anyone who is offended by my questions.

regards

Rob

suren
10-12-2004, 12:36 PM
From reading your post it seems that Alex in both cases intentionally or unintentionally hurts his attackers and injures them badly or even kills them. What is his motivation?

If you want motivate him by his Aikido practice, then I think you have to learn first that Aikido does not teach you to kill the attacker or injure him. Aikido is about resolving the situation with the least of efforts and damage.

If his motivation comes from anger or smth like that, he is not a good Aikido practitioner :)

If this comes just natural (like his instincts drive him at that moment), then I don't think he will even use any of Aikido techniques. He would kick, push, bite and grab, but never do a technique :) So in this case Aikido experience does not matter.

Sorry to discourage you, but I don't think Aikido comes along with this story line.

cricketman
10-12-2004, 12:58 PM
If you want motivate him by his Aikido practice, then I think you have to learn first that Aikido does not teach you to kill the attacker or injure him. Aikido is about resolving the situation with the least of efforts and damage.



Nowhere did I state that Aikido motivates him to kill people. Perhaps i did not make myself clear enough: besides the two fight scenes, and the initial mention of Alex practising Aikido, no martial arts play a further part in my book.
As far as his motivation goes, in the first scene, Alex is attacked while walking home. His motivation is that he wants to stay alive. The reason I would like the attackers to be injured is because I want to show how badly Alex reacts to the thought of hurting another human being -- it plays on his mind for a few days after the attack. This is important for later on in the book, when Alex kills the other men.
In the second scene, his motivation is to save the daughter of his friend. He has to kill the men, otherwise the child will die.

I have found someone who is willing to help me with my questions, and I will communicate with him in private.

regards

Rob

kironin
10-12-2004, 03:57 PM
besides the two fight scenes, and the initial mention of Alex practising Aikido, no martial arts play a further part in my book.


then why not something generic like saying he trained in jujutsu ?


As far as his motivation goes, in the first scene, Alex is attacked while walking home. His motivation is that he wants to stay alive. The reason I would like the attackers to be injured is because I want to show how badly Alex reacts to the thought of hurting another human being -- it plays on his mind for a few days after the attack. This is important for later on in the book, when Alex kills the other men.

doesn't sound to me like he reacted that badly if it only bothered him for a few days.


In the second scene, his motivation is to save the daughter of his friend. He has to kill the men, otherwise the child will die.


had to ?
or chose to ?

they may die because of his efforts to save the child, but that's something quite different.

I am not offended, just puzzled that you are setting up one of the severest tests for someone who believes in the values Aikido promotes, yet have no interest in exploring that dilemma this puts on your protagonist. Hence my suggestion you drop in something more generic since you are simply looking for a generic plot device that many martial arts would fit.

cricketman
10-12-2004, 04:30 PM
"doesn't sound to me like he reacted that badly if it only bothered him for a few days."

Does each person react the same?And have you read what his reactions were in those following days? The reason why he only reacts for a short while is because a few days later he is trying to avoid being killed. You can't argue motivations or reactions unless you've read the book.

had to kill the men?
or chose to kill the men?

Again, you're questioning motivations and actions without having read the book. You do not know the setup -- where are the men? How many of them are there? How long does the main character have to save her?
The main character shoots the men because otherwise they will shoot him. He can't get to them beforehand. He cannot disarm them. They know he is coming, and they know why.

"they may die because of his efforts to save the child, but that's something quite different."

No, they do die because of his efforts to save the child.




I am not offended, just puzzled that you are setting up one of the severest tests for someone who believes in the values Aikido promotes, yet have no interest in exploring that dilemma this puts on your protagonist. Hence my suggestion you drop in something more generic since you are simply looking for a generic plot device that many martial arts would fit.


You raise an excellent point, Craig. (values versus actions). So, bearing in mind I know nothing of martial arts, my question is: would other martial arts not have the same values? Also, one of the major themes in the book is how the main character tries to avoid the conflict, but keeps on being sucked into it, not through his own doings. If he had a generic form of training, perhaps he would not be so keen to avoid fighting?

suren
10-12-2004, 05:04 PM
Robert,

Intension of my post was not to offend you in any way, I just express my opinion and explain my reasons.

I have found someone who is willing to help me with my questions, and I will communicate with him in private.

I guess that would not be me? :) Well I also do not like critics, it's just human nature.

And again from all your posts except the very last which were posted before my initial post I would say that Aikido does not come along with this story line.

Also, one of the major themes in the book is how the main character tries to avoid the conflict, but keeps on being sucked into it, not through his own doings. If he had a generic form of training, perhaps he would not be so keen to avoid fighting?

With regards to this post now I can understand why you picked Aikido. I also see that your story is about a person who tries to avoid conflict, but then he is caught up in it and starts to fight back and as the result situation escalates more. (I guess peace is not popular nowdays :D)
Well, you see, I'm not sure if it also plays well as far as Aikido phylosophy goes. Of course phylosopy and theory does not always work in the real life, but at least they give us some directions. Since you don't want to go deep into Aikido phylosophy, I will stop here.

If he had a generic form of training, perhaps he would not be so keen to avoid fighting?

Perhaps not? Most people naturally avoid dangerous situations.

Said all the above I'm still not sure if Aikido is a good choice. Anyway, just my thoughts.

Take care.

cricketman
10-12-2004, 05:07 PM
yet have no interest in exploring that dilemma this puts on your protagonist.


That's actually something that I have been exploring more and more, with each draft I write. Because I have limited knowledge of Aikido, I have not incorporated Aikido's values into the main character's internal conflict. But I can add in that later on. It would have helped if you had stated this rather than told me to find another martial art.
The more I think about it, the more I realise that the main character MUST practice a martial art such as Aikido -- it creates conflict, internal and external. He's going against what he believes. I need to keep the reader interested, and conflict -- created whichever way -- does just that. I believe the main character wouldn't be half as interesting if he wanted to kill or injure the men. And if I'm going to go down the route of making the good guy a willing killer, I might as well give him a military background -- maybe ex-special forces, something like that. That doesn't interest me. An unwilling killer does.

You may disagree, and, of course, that your prerogative.

suren
10-12-2004, 05:17 PM
The more I think about it, the more I realise that the main character MUST practice a martial art such as Aikido -- it creates conflict, internal and external. He's going against what he believes.

And after that you are telling us we do not help you?! :D

Anyway, Aikido (the way of harmony) being a source of the conflict is something intriguing. Let's see how far will that go.

IMHO, in the first enconter "real life" Alex in best case would throw his attackers to the ground and use that moment to run away without killing or badly injuring them.
I'm sorry, but I do not believe in the stories where a person unintentionally kills another person by hitting him with the knife...7 times.

cricketman
10-12-2004, 05:18 PM
Robert,

Intension of my post was not to offend you in any way, I just express my opinion and explain my reasons.



I guess that would not be me? :) Well I also do not like critics, it's just human nature.

And again from all your posts except the very last which were posted before my initial post I would say that Aikido does not come along with this story line.



With regards to this post now I can understand why you picked Aikido. I also see that your story is about a person who tries to avoid conflict, but then he is caught up in it and starts to fight back and as the result situation escalates more. (I guess peace is not popular nowdays :D)
Well, you see, I'm not sure if it also plays well as far as Aikido phylosophy goes. Of course phylosopy and theory does not always work in the real life, but at least they give us some directions. Since you don't want to go deep into Aikido phylosophy, I will stop here.



Perhaps not? Most people naturally avoid dangerous situations.

Said all the above I'm still not sure if Aikido is a good choice. Anyway, just my thoughts.

Take care.


No, I was not offended by your post :) I merely stated that I would corrospond in private because I wanted to avoid making dozens of posts in this forum, in defence of my character's motivations and actions.

suren
10-12-2004, 05:23 PM
Robert, I think you will get a lot for your story just by reading some threads in this forum conserning Aikido training and how it would affect ones behaviour in the real life. I can remember just lately someone was asking if the way we train (in friendly manner) would affect his reaction to an aggression in a real life situation.

cricketman
10-12-2004, 05:25 PM
And after that you are telling us we do not help you?! :D

Anyway, Aikido (the way of harmony) being a source of the conflict is something intriguing. Let's see how far will that go.

IMHO, in the first enconter "real life" Alex in best case would throw his attackers to the ground and use that moment to run away without killing or badly injuring them.
I'm sorry, but I do not believe in the stories where a person unintentionally kills another person by hitting him with the knife...7 times.

Suren, the only reason I want someone injured in the first encounter is so I can show how badly it affects Alex. In fact, it affects him so badly he decides to leave London and go back to South Africa, where he grew up (of course, there are other things too. The attacker -- and more importantly the injuries -- are the final straws). So I must have one, or both, of the attackers injured. And Alex must know that they are injured, of course. I don't think he would react the same way if, say, he threw them to the ground and ran away. Also, another small twist is that the attackers are sixteen-year-olds. Which makes it even worse for Alex. He's notices their age after he's injured them. This is just before he runs away.

cricketman
10-12-2004, 05:27 PM
Robert, I think you will get a lot for your story just by reading some threads in this forum conserning Aikido training and how it would affect ones behaviour in the real life. I can remember just lately someone was asking if the way we train (in friendly manner) would affect his reaction to an aggression in a real life situation.


I most definitely will be doing a lot of post reading over the coming weeks. :)

maikerus
10-12-2004, 06:36 PM
The more I think about it, the more I realise that the main character MUST practice a martial art such as Aikido -- it creates conflict, internal and external. He's going against what he believes.

Looking at Robert's responses, it seems to me like he has picked something that creates conflict in his character as intended. We all seem to have the view that the character be "an expert" and maimed/killed/injured his attackers on purpose.

From an Aikido point of view, all the peace, love and harmony in the world isn't going to help you if you aren't skillful enough to control someone.

What if the character is only good enough to defend himself and kill/maim/injure his attackers. His goal in training might be control and peaceful resolution, but maybe he isn't there yet. Maybe he's only good enough to damage someone in the heat of the moment and this conflict of killing someone paired along with the realization that after all his training he isn't good enough *not* to hurt someone creates his inner turmoil.

Just a thought.

cheers,

--Michael

-

TomanGaidin
10-13-2004, 01:36 AM
On the note of the first scenario, he possibly could pop/break the wrist of the knife wielder with a lock he manages to get in an attempt to disarm the man... wouldn't kill him, but could leave the guy screaming for a bit in pain if it was done suddenly and he wasn't on any drugs that might increase his pain resistance. I'm sure someone screaming like that could affect the person who did it, possibly.

cricketman
10-13-2004, 02:32 AM
Looking at Robert's responses, it seems to me like he has picked something that creates conflict in his character as intended. We all seem to have the view that the character be "an expert" and maimed/killed/injured his attackers on purpose.

From an Aikido point of view, all the peace, love and harmony in the world isn't going to help you if you aren't skillful enough to control someone.

What if the character is only good enough to defend himself and kill/maim/injure his attackers. His goal in training might be control and peaceful resolution, but maybe he isn't there yet. Maybe he's only good enough to damage someone in the heat of the moment and this conflict of killing someone paired along with the realization that after all his training he isn't good enough *not* to hurt someone creates his inner turmoil.

Just a thought.

cheers,

--Michael

-


Michael, that's a very good angle for the conflict, which I had not thought about. After the fights, I could have the main character angry with himself because he wasn't good enough to control the situation. I like that angle, a lot.

thank you.

maikerus
10-13-2004, 03:00 AM
Michael, that's a very good angle for the conflict, which I had not thought about. After the fights, I could have the main character angry with himself because he wasn't good enough to control the situation. I like that angle, a lot.

thank you.

Just writing about what I know <grin>. I'm glad you like it and you're welcome.

cheers,

--Michael

kironin
10-13-2004, 08:56 AM
okay, now it sounds more interesting. :)