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keane
11-23-2005, 02:39 PM
Sorry i know this topic has probably been brought up like 1232144 times,but i seriously need to know whether if you guys are confident to take on and judokas or grapplers?I remember reading a book about Koichi Tohei sensei, he had no problem taking on judokas or anybody.And from what i read it seem like Aikido is able to counter Judo easily.Tohei sensei and his students had no problem.But personally,when my friends try wrestling and stuff,i cant seem to defend myself properly.Though it's playing,i tried my best,but still.. Thats why i have been questioning myself whether if i have been practicing correctly?or why is it my aikido isnt effective?Aikido is suppose to be able to defend against ppl that are bigger, but i seem to have no confidence in doing that..i cant even defend myself against a friendly game with my friends.So can anyone help me pls?

justin
11-23-2005, 02:56 PM
defence will come natural if the attack is real enough imo, and how long have you been training is a big question, and your right it has been asked 1232144 times and i still feel the same the only one i am fighting against in aikido is myself.

keane
11-23-2005, 02:59 PM
i have been practicing aikido for abt 5-6years now..thats why i am questioning myself..yeah i know ppl might start with stuff abt not starting a fight...but afterall Aikido is still a martial art..i still want to be able to defend myself

Don
11-23-2005, 03:00 PM
Well, could be that it's because you are playing a friendly game with your friends. Let me explain what I mean. Many beginers (and I don't know if you are one or not) are taught shihonage in a nice controlled way in which uke's arm is taken straight back against them. This protects uke's arm and gives nage a chance to learn proper position. It also allows uke to take a nice easy backfall. Now, watch some old film of O'Sensei or Kanai, or the other shihan doing "at speed" shihonage. They are turning their hips and taking the arms sideways and back. If uke doesn't "get ahead" of the throw (which requires a high level of skill and knowledge of what's going on) their arm will at least be badly wrenched or perhaps dislocated.

Are you willing to dislocate your friend's arm?

Also, in judo or wrestling you start in a clinch. That's not where aikido starts. In fact that is a very unfavorable place to start for the aikidoka. Are you willing to punch your friend HARD in the face or at least deliver a punch with such vigor that they THINK you will punch them? That is one way to "lead" or divert their attention from the clinch and give you an opening to use a technique.

So, if you aren't willing to use aikido techniques fully, then in a friendly game of "let's wrestle" aikido may not work. Of course even if you are on the ground, and you put a good nikkyo on them, it will stop the match :)

My two cents

jss
11-23-2005, 03:11 PM
Some thoughts and suggestions:

Tohei did judo before he did aikido, which give him a huge advantage over the judoka who knew little about aikido. Secondly, we can evaluate Tohei's aikdo at least as 'decent'. ;)

The distance in judo is generally smaller than in aikido, so try not to get into judo range. Never box a boxer, never judo with a judoka, etc. Make 'em all do aikido (preferably ukemi).
Also, when an aikido technique goes wrong, you often end up at judo distance...

Read David M. Valadez his november column and the thread about it. It's hard to play with judoka, because you need to strike them or threaten to do so to prevent them from calmly closing in you, grab your gi and lauch you through the air. If they need to be mindful of striking, they need to close in quickly, which gives you more energy to work with (or get run over by, of course).

Roy Dean
11-23-2005, 03:25 PM
Keane,

The question is, how often to you engage a fully resistant opponent in your Aikido practice? If the answer is "rarely", then that's where you should look for improvement. The techniques of Aikido are nothing special and are in no way tactically superior to the hand to hand techniques of other martial systems. It's actually training method that distinguishes effectiveness from non-effectiveness.

Forget the arguments of "you have to break it or it doesn't work." Wrestling and Judo don't start in a clinch, either. 10 years ago, I engaged in a very similar experiment, and lost time after time to a wrestler with a smattering of BJJ exposure. You have to be competent in all ranges, not just the Aikido range, so if you wind up in the clinch or on the ground, you know how to escape and get back into "your" zone.

That passage by Tohei had a tremendous impact on me as well, since I was a Judoka before coming to Aikido. While that instance did happen, I have also heard anecdotes of not-quite-so-smooth demonstrations when audience members have been called up. Why didn't he write about those?

Sincerely,

Roy Dean

keane
11-23-2005, 04:04 PM
hm yeah..i have been wanting to get the video tape where Tohei sensei toook on those challengers in Hawaii,because its like the only footage of aikido used effectively against other forms of MA (judokas,wrestlers and karatekas)instead of the usual ukes in Aikido.Anyone knows where to get them?

And I really wanna know if aikido techniques wld turn out smoothly like the practices we do in class.And i cant see to be able to perform any Aikido techniques on my friends.Its like they just come..creeping closer and closer..in practices Uke always seem to be commited when attacking.

Roy i wld love to know more abt those not so smooth demostrations.and can you gimme some tips on how to improve my Aikido?

Sorry ppl..its just some insecurity i have after i tried out those friendly games with my friends.I am like 1st kyu..thats why i am starting to question my abilty..my training..

George S. Ledyard
11-23-2005, 04:14 PM
This is a non-issue! It is good thinking directed in a completely wrong direction.

The demographics would indicate that only about 1% of the population has any interest whatever in doing martial arts. As we all are aware,
90% of those folks will quit before they get anywhere. Very few at all attain any real level of proficiency. So statistically speaking the probability of you needing to defend yourself against another trained martial artist is miniscule. Thes folks aren't out mugging people or starting fights in bar... they're generally in their dojos teaching and training.

Most Thai Boxers would make mince meat of the average Aikidoka in the ring. But last year there was a kick boxer who ran out of his gym to try to keep his car from being stolen. He was shot and killed. Muy Thaiu meets handgun, guess who wins?

If you've ever seen "Surviving Edged Weapons" you would have seen interviews with an array of police officers who survived attacks with edged weapons (the ones who didn't couldn't be interviewed). Not a single one even knew he was being attacked with an edged weapon until after he had been stabbed, usually several times.

The reality of self defense on the street is that most attacks will almost certainly involve weapons and usually there will be multiple attackers. Why in the world do people keep worrying about fighting BJJ, UFC, Muy Thai, Judo, Karate, Kung Fu, Jeet Kun Do, fighters? The average Aikidoka is more likely to have a meteor fall on his car as he drives down the freeway than to have to defend himself against another serious martial arts student.

Serious self defense involves weapons, preferably a firearm, at least an impact weapon or a knife. Ideally it involves training in that weapon for realistic situations. Having a background in a martial art will make ones use of the weapon more competent but don't be the idiot who brings his Aikido to a gun fight. The Japanese figured this out back in the eighteen hundreds when sword masters with thirty years of hard practice were mowed down by a bunch of peasnt conscripts with guns and six months training.

I know that there are folks who live in rough areas... all my cousins live in NYC and everty one of them has been mugged at one time or another. But the average Aikidoka simply isn't living somewhere where the crime rate is such that the need to protect oneself from armed bad guys justifies the increased risk of having a firearm around the house. For most people, having a gun around increases their risk due to the vastly increased liklihood of suicide, domestic violence, accidental shooting of a minor etc. You have to be under serious continual threat to make it worth having a gun handy all the time where it could do you any good in an attack.

Why is that? Because any attack that comes will be a surprise attack. Predators do not give away that they are about to pounce. So whatever you are going to rely on needs to be accessible all the time. So ones martial arts training actually is most functional in the initial stages of a true assault functioning to give one time to access ones weapon. Aikido is actually quite good for this as it involves movement, allows one to evade effectively, offers techniques in case one is grabbed or ones weapon is grabbed. I would much rather have Aikido as a back up for deployment of a weapon than Muy Thai or BJJ. It's what the movements were originally designed for, after all.

If you are worried about real legitimate self defense issues, go down to Colorado and do a weekend with Peyton Quinn at the Rocky Mountain Combat Applications center. He will give you better defense skills in a weekend than you will get doing Aikido or any other martial art for years. It's very real, very earthy and I can guarrenty that you won't be practicing against attacks from Judo trained muggers, Gracie Jiujutsu rapists, Muy Thai home invaders, etc. This is simply not a real concern.

keane
11-23-2005, 04:31 PM
I understand what you are implying and i shldent be over concern abt the whole self defense thing.But i don't understand why Tohei sensei and his students can defend themselves against judo practioners but i cant?it has got to do with my training right?i really need alil help here.Need to know whats wrong...

George S. Ledyard
11-23-2005, 05:02 PM
I understand what you are implying and i shldent be over concern abt the whole self defense thing.But i don't understand why Tohei sensei and his students can defend themselves against judo practioners but i cant?it has got to do with my training right?i really need alil help here.Need to know whats wrong...
Ok, here goes... Those guys could do that stuff because they trained one piss load harder than most people train today. They trained morning, noon, and night under the direct supervision of the Founder. Most of the deshi also did other martial arts, many judo, and had a solid martial arts foundation before they ever got on the mat to do Aikido.

How long have you trained? How many hours a day, how many times a week? Does your teacher even address issues like Judo style attacks? I've seen the films of Tohei doing a demo against a wrestler and what he did was essentially atemi waza. Since it was friendly he kind of just slapped him around and eveded his attempts to get a hold on Tohei until Tohei could snag something to execute a technique on. I'll bet you haven't practiced that in the dojo, am I right?

The guys in the thirties got a much more martially oriented training than what was later done after the war. Japan was gearing up for war and the need to be able to fight was on everyone's minds. Many of the deshi ended up using their art in combat in various ways, Tohei included. Have you been in combat? I suspect not.

What I am saying is that these guys trained for application. They were mostly combat veterans by the time the war ended. Their mindset was different than yours and their training was different than yours. Most of these guys were sent overseas to introduce Aikido around the world. They were expected to be able to handle themselves because they couldn't afford to have the new art be embarrased, otherwise no one would take it seriously. These boys could mambo.

If you want to be like that you have to train like that. If defeating Judo practitioners is your goal in training then you darned well need to get together with a bunch of Judo guys and work out. I suspect that you aren't very senior in this art and you may not be able to puzzle out how to apply the amount you know against people who train every day against resistant opponents. You will then need to go to someone quite a bit more experienced than you are and ask them to help you develop technique designed to defeat Judoka. You may have trouble finding anyone who is willing to spend time with you for such a limited and seemingly irrelevant purpose but maybe not... I don't think I'd bother but that's just me...

Or you can train for a very long time, very hard and actually acheive some mastery of traditional Aikido technique. At that point you will probably be able to see how you would apply your deep understanding of technqiue and principle against a Judoka, should you still have any interest in doing so at that point...

Look, I am familiar with this issue. We all know that the old guys, including O-Sensei, could handle challengers from all sorts of styles... I acknowledge that very few people these days are doing their Aikido in such a way that they will acheive that level of technical ability. Find an Aikido teacher who is Shihan level and train like crazy, do some other martial arts to give your Aikido context, in other words train like the people you are referencing and you will learn what you wish to know. If the issue is beating a Judoka, sneak up behind him with a club and beat him over the head. If you wish to defeat him with your Aikido then you need to train with a teacher who has that capability, and train as hard and as frequently as the folks of old who could do these things. It's all in there but you have to find it.

Amassus
11-23-2005, 05:53 PM
I'm going to chime in here, mainly to play Devil's Advocate concerning George's comments.

I think the poster understands that he is never going to be mugged by a judoka and yes, I agree that the chance of having to actually take on another serious martial artist 'on the street' is remote. However, I think the poster is asking why he can not use what he has learned as an Aikidoist to thwart someone studying Judo? It concerns him as his very belief in what he is studying is in jeopardy.

We all know of times in the past when we have questioned our martial art. I think this is what it comes down to. Not necessarily just how to beat a Judoka.

My response to the original question is that it is not the martial art, but the martial artist that wins the fight (if that is your intention). The character with the most determination, the better timing and greater preparation will triumph. Sometimes, dare I say it. It just comes down to luck!

I think you will find more of your answers as you continue your training, as long as you train with a questioning mind. Train sincerely, don't just go through the routine of training.

Why does it matter so much that you beat a judo student anyway?

keane
11-23-2005, 06:23 PM
Hey Dean,thank you.I guess you really understood how i really feel.Its not really abt beating a Judo student,its just that i read a book about Tohei sensei,and in it,it made it seem like Aikido is the nemesis of Judo kinda thing.I really like Aikido alot.I believe in the philosophical aspect of Aikido as well,but i started learning Aikido as a martial art.And i believe i shld at least be able to defend myself after like 5-6 years of training.Abt getting getting in combat, i use to get into alot of fights when i was younger.Occasional use of weapons but mostly fist fights.Aikido changed my life in a way,i stopped all those crap after i started training in Aikido.But it struck me recently when i realise i cant seem to be able to use Aikido to defend myself against my friends when we were doing some wrestling kinda game.Thats when i really started questioning abt my Aikido.Sorry i know i might seem to be repeating myself alot ard here,but i just hope i can get the right msg across.

And er, i really hope someone knows where to get the footage of Tohei sensei fending himself in Randori while he was in Hawaii.Lotsa ppl wanted to put Aikido down, but he proved all of them wrong and demostrated that Aikido works! i really wanna see it.I hope you guys have sources on it.

ad_adrian
11-23-2005, 06:37 PM
gozo was a black belt in judo i think 2nd or 3rd dan
and he saw a demonstration by o sensei
and gozo thought it was all fake and couldnt be real, and at the end o sensei asked anyone to take him on, and gozo being the arrogent man he said he was at the time, took him on, and the next thing he knew he was across the room upside down,
he immediatly joined up after that

George S. Ledyard
11-23-2005, 07:15 PM
Hey Dean,thank you.I guess you really understood how i really feel.Its not really abt beating a Judo student,its just that i read a book about Tohei sensei,and in it,it made it seem like Aikido is the nemesis of Judo kinda thing.I really like Aikido alot.I believe in the philosophical aspect of Aikido as well,but i started learning Aikido as a martial art.And i believe i shld at least be able to defend myself after like 5-6 years of training.Abt getting getting in combat, i use to get into alot of fights when i was younger.Occasional use of weapons but mostly fist fights.Aikido changed my life in a way,i stopped all those crap after i started training in Aikido.But it struck me recently when i realise i cant seem to be able to use Aikido to defend myself against my friends when we were doing some wrestling kinda game.Thats when i really started questioning abt my Aikido.Sorry i know i might seem to be repeating myself alot ard here,but i just hope i can get the right msg across.

And er, i really hope someone knows where to get the footage of Tohei sensei fending himself in Randori while he was in Hawaii.Lotsa ppl wanted to put Aikido down, but he proved all of them wrong and demostrated that Aikido works! i really wanna see it.I hope you guys have sources on it.

It's all about your teacher. Seriously. Are they teaching Aikido as serious Budo or are they more into energy and conflict resolution? In the end there is no separation between these but most people more less fall into one camp or the other. If you want to do what Tohei and the other deshi did you have to train. The video you are talking about is rather disappointing, nothing big deal. It does not represent Tohei taking on some UFC type fighter...

If you want some better example, look at Shioda during the war. He and a companion got cornered by some Chinese Green Gang members in a bar. The first guy through the door got a broken bottle in his face. The next guy through threw a kick and Shioda broke his leg. That's Aikido as self defense in a real sense. not cool stories of conflict resolution and verbal deescalation but a life and death encounter.

Now one could say that we aren't training in those prewar techniques these days... but what do people think they aredoing when they do a tsuki, empty hand or with the sword? The applied version is a knife or a broken bottle. The thing is that people are training in the motor skill but they aren't training with the attitude. Everything you need to handle that hypothetical Judoka is in the kihon waza of Aikido but you have to train with the right mindset and you have to have partners who are training with the right mindset. You absolutely have to have a teacher who sees what he is doing as Budo and preferably has some background in martial arts on top of Aikido.

I don't have any idea of what your training situation is but you are talking about handling a Judoman after five years or so of training which means you be a Shodan at that point. Tohei was a Shihan at the point you are describing. Are you talking about defeating a Judo man of the same level as you or are you talking about defeating the types of Judo men Tohei dealt with (Shihan level judo practitioners)?

At five years of hard training I doubt you'd handle a good five year judo man. At five years an Aikido student is still trying to learn the basic principles of the art. At five years the Judo man has been throwing resistant subjects for years in competition.

You have to understand how the old guys trained... O-Sensei had a match with a Judo man and the fellow went to do a koshi on O-Sensei. O-Sensei delivered an atemi to his hip and the collision broke the fellows back. If you feel the absolute necessity of getting to this place you'd get there sooner by doing the art that all this came from, namely Daito Ryu.

Aikido is one of the most sophisticated arts. Its hard enough to be good at it simply within its own context much less getting to the point where your understanding is such that you can spontaneously apply its principles to freestyle application with trained people from other arts. I am not saying that it can't be done but its a whole different focus than what most folks are doing in their dojos. If you want to do this you are talking about training for twenty or thirty years the way most of us train. Tohei is considered on of the giants of modern Aikido. If that's how good you want to be then you need to make your entire life revolve around Aikido and give ity everything you've got... and then be innately talented to boot.

The time when you could get to Toheis level in five or six years is past. That just isn't happening any more...

xuzen
11-23-2005, 07:58 PM
Hello forumers,

All this talk and yet no one mentioned about how devastating our:
1) ultra cool Ki-blast,
2) No, I barely touch him" atemi and not to mention our ultra secretive (shihan level)
3) "Hey, I did not do anything" nage-waza aka no touch throw.

Judo people will be pulverized by the three above techniques. <resistance is futile>. Take your pick

Ketsan
11-23-2005, 08:00 PM
I've had something of a change of opinion about Aikido actually. I've spent the past couple of months doing Ju-jitsu in a dojo that's very application centred and suddently my Aikido has become very powerful. On one course the dan grades were slating me because I'm an Aikidoka only to come back 10 minutes later and ask me to stop using my "airy fairy" Aikido because I was being too rough on them, which would have been fine except I was only throwing them as hard as I thow the 5th kyus in my dojo because I knew the Ju-jitsu dan grades ukemi wasn't up to the Aiki version of irime nage.
So I've gone back to Aikido, although I still go to Ju-jitsu once a week.

Devon Natario
11-23-2005, 10:01 PM
I happen to agree with George here on a lot of aspects.

He has commented that you train to be a fighter. People like the old timers were training to beat other styles. This is what made a style successful back then. No one wanted to study an art that could not compare to "place the top martial art here".

We had Kimura challenging Gracie, we had etc etc challenge all the time to prove which art was more successful.

What George is simply stating is that it isn't the Aikido that lacks, it is the way you are being trained. If you feel your instructor is not teaching you the way you want to be taught you are either going to 1) ask him how to defend against whatever you want to know (more than likely a private lesson) 2) Find an instructor that teaches what you want 3) Join Judo 4) Join BJJ 5) etc etc.

Your instructor can only teach you so much. This is why cross training is so important if you feel you want to use your skills in self-defense. Its also important to challenge and compete like the old timers did to increase knowledge and skill. To beat another art, you must know that art and how to defend from it.

Good luck, keep training

AlexisB
11-23-2005, 10:49 PM
Thanks to Mr. Ledyard, Devon Natario and Alex Lawrence for your comments. You all have helped clear a lot of doubts i had about the art.

(I will be a 1 year aikidoka in december. Yey!!!)

Where can one read about Sensei Shioda or Sensei Tohei experiences you just told? Any books or website anyone can recommend?

Thanks.

ald1225
11-23-2005, 11:14 PM
Where can one read about Sensei Shioda or Sensei Tohei experiences you just told? Any books or website anyone can recommend?

Thanks.

My Aikido Interlude
by Robert W. Smith
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=640


A Road That Anyone Can Walk: Ki
by William Reed
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0870407996/103-5599937-0056669?v=glance&n=283155&v=glance

ald1225
11-23-2005, 11:38 PM
Sorry i know this topic has probably been brought up like 1232144 times,but i seriously need to know whether if you guys are confident to take on and judokas or grapplers?I remember reading a book about Koichi Tohei sensei, he had no problem taking on judokas or anybody.And from what i read it seem like Aikido is able to counter Judo easily.Tohei sensei and his students had no problem.But personally,when my friends try wrestling and stuff,i cant seem to defend myself properly.Though it's playing,i tried my best,but still.. Thats why i have been questioning myself whether if i have been practicing correctly?or why is it my aikido isnt effective?Aikido is suppose to be able to defend against ppl that are bigger, but i seem to have no confidence in doing that..i cant even defend myself against a friendly game with my friends.So can anyone help me pls?


Intersting enough that no one from Ki Society (founded by Tohei Sensei) has answered yet (I think) but I will try. For some weird reason, there's some martial artists that comes/used to come to our dojo to have training in :ki: They try to challenge the dojo's sensei yet they were sent by their actual sensei to train in ki. They get so frustrated because they've been training for several years now (some are even are blackbelts in other arts), yet they don't know this concept.

We also get a lot of harsh criticisism from the aikido community because we are the "not so simple to understand, so soft" than "normal aikido"

My advice to you relax completely and keep your weight underside.

Anyway here's a blurp from a Ki Society site:
"We practice to feel the intent before the fist. When an opponent is very close, we must move on this intuitive feeling. A good punch or kick thrown at close range moves too quickly to react to. So we don't look at hands or legs or even weapons, but take in the whole person. When distance allows, we are still sensitive to the opponent's Ki, but move a little later once the attack is committed."

:ki:
http://www.geocities.com/tedehara/ks_archive.htm#study
http://hometown.aol.com/trcaikido/index.html

PeterR
11-23-2005, 11:44 PM
Here is an observation for personal and second hand experience.

A well trained Aikidoist can go and cross-train in a Judo dojo and find that much of what he has learned is directly applicable.

The period of adjustment can vary depending on how they trained in Aikido and other personal factors but there will be one. The reason is you are playing a different game vis a vis the preferred combative distance. Still, the learning curve should be far steeper than a complete novice.

If you play the Judo game (and you should since it is their dojo) they have the advantage. If they play yours you should have the advantage. That's what experimentation and research is all about.

I have my personal example but a really good one is Kieran Felton who won gold at under–90kg level in the kyu grade competition in the British Nationals. Less than a year before he had not done any Judo just Shodokan Aikido. The guy has talent but his Aikido training didn't hurt him in the least.

Jorge Garcia
11-24-2005, 12:41 AM
It's interesting to me that we tend to use the phrase, "Aikido" and "Aikido techniques" generically as if they are all the same. I have trained a little in enough styles to know that there are radical differences in how the techniques are executed and applied. I agree with Sensei George and would add the following.
1) It may be the type of Aikido that you are learning may not work well against judokas.
2) It may be that your personal Aikido isn't very good (for whatever reason).
3) Your own training in the dojo may not lend it self to defending against judo players.
4) You might need to reevaluate what Aikido is. My teacher says two things. 1) Aikido has no form. 2) There aren't any rules in Aikido (there are rules for practice and rules for the dojo but no rules for Aikido.) I recently asked him that if Aikido has no from, then what is waza? Waza are the means by which we learn and train in Aikido principles. Once we learn the principles, these are what manifests formlessly in a conflict and they adapt to whatever attack comes.
If you are trying to use Aikido techniques to defeat judoka, you may be going about this completely in the wrong way. Indeed, without understanding these ideas, you may have been training with a completely different outlook than for what it takes to engage in a conflict with someone of any martial art or even no martial art. It isn't judo players you need to worry about - it's everyone! Maybe you should go back to square one.
Best,

xuzen
11-24-2005, 01:17 AM
Here is a link of the Judo God himself, K. Mifune (30 minutes streaming video, may take a while to upload... took me half a day, but absolutely worth it) ...
http://www.vsocial.com/video/index.php?d=428
Towards the end of the clip, I clearly see K. Mifune teaches aikido'esque stuff to his students, tenkan being one of them. I see his student coming at him in a shomen tsuki attack and K. Mifune just tenkan and did what appears to be a crude kaiten nage with atemi.

Personally I would be comfortable sparring with Judo guys... and that would certainly involve me holding a little thingy called Jo. Not fair you said? Who said anything about being fair? If a Judoka wishes to be a dojo yawara at my dojo, he will have to play by my game... :D :D :D OK, I will stop being a virtual tough guy now, and resume being my geeky self.

Boon.

Kevin Leavitt
11-24-2005, 01:35 AM
George Ledyard: Thanks for your comments! I agree with you 100%

A thought keeps coming to mind. I wonder how checkers would do against chess? I mean they both are board games, and they both use the same board, and the same number of plastic pieces, with essentially the same objective. Try that...next time some one wants to play checkers...you say "okay" but I will use my chess pieces and my chess rules.

Sounds ridiculous when we look at it in this light, but somehow when we look at martial arts, we lump them all together and think they should be "plug and play" cause they have the same basic taste, smell, and look as well as the supposed end state. It is not quite that easy.

batemanb
11-24-2005, 03:03 AM
.... Its hard enough to be good at it simply within its own context much less getting to the point where your understanding is such that you can spontaneously apply its principles to freestyle application with trained people from other arts....

I like that.

batemanb
11-24-2005, 03:04 AM
I've had something of a change of opinion about Aikido actually. I've spent the past couple of months doing Ju-jitsu in a dojo that's very application centred and suddently my Aikido has become very powerful. On one course the dan grades were slating me because I'm an Aikidoka only to come back 10 minutes later and ask me to stop using my "airy fairy" Aikido because I was being too rough on them, which would have been fine except I was only throwing them as hard as I thow the 5th kyus in my dojo because I knew the Ju-jitsu dan grades ukemi wasn't up to the Aiki version of irime nage.
So I've gone back to Aikido, although I still go to Ju-jitsu once a week.

I like that too :D

keane
11-24-2005, 06:39 AM
Alright thank you all for your replies =) But the thing is i was firstly inspired by O Sensei, I rem reading that he easily threw both Shioda and Tohei Sensei when they "challenged" him.Both of them had Judo background.I know this isnt the best example.But Tohei Sensei cld defend himself against them too, needless to say Shioda sensei.Then i also read that Tohei Sensei's students cld do it too.I repeat his students as well.I believe when they accepted those challenges, the odds wasnt favorable to them.I need to know whether if i wld be able to defend myself if i continue practicing Aikido.Like i said before i started Aikido because i love the philosophy behind it and the martial aspect.I don;t want to learn it for like 15yrs, and i cant defend myself with it.And actually teach it to ppl when i am not even confident in defending myself.There must be something wrong somewhere.I am sure all the earlier practitioners cld defend themselves without a problem.Alright just want to know if you guys can take on your friend in just a friendly,you know,wrestling kinda thing.Not questioning the ability of anyone.I just need assurance.

Sorry i am now in a stated where i am confuse again.I really want to continue believe that Aikido is the Art that i have been looking for.But now i cant even defend myself against layman? I wld really hope if someone has the footage when Tohei sensei takes on other ppl like i mentioned just earlier.Just that probably seeing is believing.

NixNa
11-24-2005, 06:54 AM
I havent gone thru the entire thread, but one piece of advice is to always supplement your aikido with other stuffs. To know a judo guy, do judo; to know a boxer, box. Live outside the paradigm and work with your friends from other arts. Have them try their stuffs on you and keep doing it and doing it. :)
Just ma 2 cents' worth

crbateman
11-24-2005, 08:14 AM
Is there a rule somewhere that states that when you defend yourself, you must be limited by the tenets of a single art exclusively? My experience is that, in a real fight, both (or all) participants will use whatever weapons or methods will avail themselves. The primary object is to win, or to survive. Aikido training will give you more options, and perhaps afford the opportunity to keep yourself from harm, all the while minimizing damage to the opponent(s). As for Judo vs. Aikido, I think Judo brings better grappling techniques to the table, whereas Aikido is stronger on movement and avoidance. I'd much prefer to have Aikido "in my toolbox" than not.

Ben Joiner
11-24-2005, 09:49 AM
Just a quick coda from the UK. I understand that to all you ladies and gentlemen from US the most effective self defense means carrying a gun and learning how to use it/deal with the consequences of using it, and that no-one's likely to attack you who's had any training in MA etc. This may be very true of the average American. It is not really the case over here. Whilst gun crime is unfortunately on the increase it is alcohol related violence that tops the charts in the likely risk of personal injury cat'. There is something of a drinking and fighting culture in areas of most town centres at night. People who go looking for trouble often know how to punch without giving their balance and falling over. They'd be pretty stupid to go looking for trouble otherwise. Many people especially in Wales have grown up playing rugby - a full contact sport with elements of grappling. I don't think it's that strange for someone relatively new to the art to wonder how their techniques would stand up under the pressure of a 'real' encounter. Especially if they've played anround with friends and had difficulty executing effective technique. As has already been stated the answer is to train hard with the right teachers and be patient. I Just feel that the question should perhaps not be dismissed so readily by those speaking from within a cultural paradigm that may not be the same as the posters.

Just my two pennies.

Ben

George S. Ledyard
11-24-2005, 10:16 AM
Keane,
A number of people have tried to explain. You are not listening... It's clear that you don't trust your Aikido. You need to train more and harder and probably better. There are plenty of teachers out there in Aikido who couldn't fight their way out of a paper bag. I have no idea what kind of training you are getting but it sounds like its not very good. I had some of the best training available anywhere under Saotome Sensei. We didn't have this type of crisis of confidence (if anything, we were all quite full of ourselves - unrealistically I might add). If you are questioning whether your Aikido works it almost certainly doesn't.

As Ikeda Sensei says "It's not Aikido that doesn't work, it's YOUR Aikido that doesn't work."

Stop whining about wanting reassurance. Everyone has told you the solution to your problem: a) train more, harder and better in Aikido and b) learn something about other martial arts. What do you want to hear? "Oh yes, Keane, Aikido is the ultimate martial art. It is an undefeatable style!" (please supply your own out of sync soundtrack). It's not. I'm sorry, there is no Santa Claus and you are not getting slef defense competency in your stocking for Xmas.

Stop worrying about "seeing the video", it's not that interesting to someone who already knows what is going on in Aikido, in fact it's somewhat disappointing. Everybody went ga ga over Tohei's performance in the old days because no one had seen Aikido in action before, To them it was all somewhat incomprehensible. Now there are tens of thousands of folks doing the art. This stuff isn't "magic" although there is plenty that is quite "magical". Judo is an art that takes place at "grappling" range. What Tohei did was move continuously and basically slip any attempt to establish a solid platform for throwing. He didn't allow them to get him caught at "grappling range". Occasionally he'd snag something and unbalance one of the attackers who were all over committed trying to get to him. IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH SELF DEFENSE AND FIGHTING It was a demo with friendly ukes who Tohei didn't want to hurt.

You seem like a sincere guy... but you don't even know enough to understand what people here are telling you. I really think you should quit Aikido and go off and do a few years of mixed martial arts. That should take care of your confidence problem since no one is more over-confident about their own training than the mixed martial arts / UFC crowd. (It used to be a tie between Aikido people and the Tae Kwon Do folks but now we're tied for second.)

George S. Ledyard
11-24-2005, 10:36 AM
Just a quick coda from the UK. I understand that to all you ladies and gentlemen from US the most effective self defense means carrying a gun and learning how to use it/deal with the consequences of using it, and that no-one's likely to attack you who's had any training in MA etc. This may be very true of the average American. It is not really the case over here. Whilst gun crime is unfortunately on the increase it is alcohol related violence that tops the charts in the likely risk of personal injury cat'. There is something of a drinking and fighting culture in areas of most town centres at night. People who go looking for trouble often know how to punch without giving their balance and falling over. They'd be pretty stupid to go looking for trouble otherwise. Many people especially in Wales have grown up playing rugby - a full contact sport with elements of grappling. I don't think it's that strange for someone relatively new to the art to wonder how their techniques would stand up under the pressure of a 'real' encounter. Especially if they've played anround with friends and had difficulty executing effective technique. As has already been stated the answer is to train hard with the right teachers and be patient. I Just feel that the question should perhaps not be dismissed so readily by those speaking from within a cultural paradigm that may not be the same as the posters.

Just my two pennies.

Ben

Actually, unless you live in some horrid neighborhoods over here its really the same. The only people I know who've used their training in self defense situations, aside from my police students, were all at places where males consume alcohol. Stay away from those places and the liklihood of the average middle class person needing to use a technique for self defense is very small.

Yes, you don't have the ability to carry firearms that we do but you don't have the liklihood of encountering a firearm used against you that we and quite a few other countries have (Russia being high on the list). The big danger in the UK is edged weapons. Once again , usually used without any warning in a fight, often from behind by a mate of the guy you are fighting. There are some films of this on various sites on the web... very scary stuff. But I'd rather have Aikido in a crowded multiple attacker situation in which people might / probably have edged weapons than Muy Thai or BJJ for sure. The only people who do REALLY effective training for this type of situation is the Russian martial Arts folks. We actually do some of their drills when we practice randori - three person knife attacks at close range. Nothing scary, all done it slow to medium speed but it gives you a sense of how you'd have to move in a real situation...

Even in your country where guns aren't very likely, I'd rather have a weapon of my own than deal with a knife attacvk empty handed. Canes are still legal anywhere. One from Canemasters will take the same beating as an expensive bokken. Facing a bunch of skin heads who really want to hurt you, I'd definitely want to have my knife if I couldn't have my gun. It's just realistic. Technology changed things hundreds of thousands of years ago. It's how this puny little being who wasn't big, wasn't strong, wasn't fast, could become the dominant animal at the top of the food chain. Nobody but a fool would purposely choose not to have a weapon when he could reasonably expect to encounter weapons being used against him.

Amassus
11-24-2005, 01:39 PM
Um, this thread is starting to sound a little paranoid. "Beware of ninjas around every corner"
It has become the same old SD thread that we see so often.

As George said, the chances of an average Joe being caught in a mix up is small. All this self defense talk starts to tire me out. Hell, in NZ (where I live) you have a greater chance of dying in a road accident. If I was worried about protecting myself I am better off studying a Defensive Driving Course than a martial art.

Keane, either keep training or not. Words only get you so far.

Dan Rubin
11-24-2005, 02:12 PM
Keane

You are confusing yourself (and us) by focusing on Tohei's ability to defeat judoka. What does that have to do with your situation? Try deleting Tohei and judoka from your question, and you'll be left with this:

You were wrestling around with your friends. They did not attack you with shomenuchi, katatedori, or any of the other cool aikido attacks. In fact, they didn't "attack" you at all. Instead, they stalked you. This is totally different from the way your classmates behave in the dojo, yet you were determined to deal with your friends in the same way that you deal with your classmates in the dojo. As your friends crept toward you, you thought "ikkyo." As they crowded you, you thought "kotegaeshi." And when, finally, from a distance of one foot (30 cm) they suddenly grabbed your collar with both hands and pushed you back on your heels, you concluded that aikido doesn't work against grapplers.

This situation isn't really worthy of self-doubt. In fact, it's simply a scenario to present to your sensei. I suspect that he (or she) will explain what others have explained in this thread, about how you were playing your friends' game, how you were reacting to what they were doing instead of taking control of the situation, and how you were at a disadvantage because they knew that you were not willing to hurt them. Basically, you defeated yourself by concentrating on your concept of what aikido is, instead of concentrating on the situation as it presented itself.

Your sensei will show you what aikido looks like when applied to a friendly wrestling match with your friends. That is not what aikido looks like when applied in a public demonstration by a shihan being attacked by judoka (the Tohei example). It's also not what aikido looks like when one is attacked by thugs (the Shioda example). Nor is it what aikido looks in a movie (Seagal) or in daily life (Tohei again) or in the dojo.

You don't know what you don't know. Even though you have been practicing aikido for 5 or 6 years, you have a whole world of knowledge ahead of you (as do we all).

Keep training.

Dan

Ulises Garcia
11-24-2005, 02:31 PM
Hello Keane,

I am not knowledgeable about aikido, as I am probably 30th kyu. However, it does seem to me that the most important thing that you have to grasp from your trianing is learning and understanding the principles of Aiki. Once you make the principles of Aiki yours, the amount of techniques available become countless. Perhaps the problem that you are having with the Judoka is the slow wrestlers approach, in which no energy is delivered to you to work on. What about making them provide the energy? What about a little taunting? What about a little "trash talking" (think of it as ATEMI. But not too hurtful, as you don't want to really hurt their feellings. Besides, it is only play fight)? If you have learned your fundamentals of Aiki, balance, movement, ma ai, etc., I think you'll be able to keep yourself just out of grabbing reach, while the guys gain momentum and provide the energy you need to best them when they go chasing after you. After all, in a fight the most valuable tool is intelligence, being closely followed up by technique, drive to win, etc. Be confident that Aikido as a martial art, provides all the tools to handle many scenarios, with little harm to the opponent. The trick, however, resides in how you apply the tools you were given. Sometimes taking somebody's balance doesn't necessarily mean physically. Sometimes it's mentally.

-U- :)

CNYMike
11-24-2005, 06:06 PM
Tohei did judo before he did aikido, which give him a huge advantage over the judoka who knew little about aikido .....

Yeah, but O Sensei wasn't a Judoka, and he sent Judo black belts like Tomiki flying across the room. So the "you need Judo to beat Judo" has a very big hole in it.

CNYMike
11-24-2005, 06:43 PM
Sorry i know this topic has probably been brought up like 1232144 times,but i seriously need to know whether if you guys are confident to take on and judokas or grapplers?I remember reading a book about Koichi Tohei sensei, he had no problem taking on judokas or anybody.And from what i read it seem like Aikido is able to counter Judo easily.Tohei sensei and his students had no problem.But personally,when my friends try wrestling and stuff,i cant seem to defend myself properly.Though it's playing,i tried my best,but still.. Thats why i have been questioning myself whether if i have been practicing correctly?or why is it my aikido isnt effective?Aikido is suppose to be able to defend against ppl that are bigger, but i seem to have no confidence in doing that..i cant even defend myself against a friendly game with my friends.So can anyone help me pls?

Hi, Keane,

First off, get this in your head: There's nothing wrong with Aikido. There's nothing wrong with your sensei. There's nothing wrong with the way you practice. There's nothing wrong with you.

What is the bad word here? "Wrong." Or any other word with a negative connotation. You do not want to start thinking badly in any way about whatever art you are doing. You want to emphaszie the positive -- what am I getting out of it? What am I learning? Yes, you want to be aware of where things might not work so well, but you don't want that to color your overall perception of the art.

My Kali instructor provides a good example here. He loves boxing -- not only watching it on TV but doing it himself. "It flows very nicely," he says, and even tells you what boxers excel at, like how they "know how to hit you when you think you can't be hit. They're the masters of their range." But he will also tell you what boxing doesn't address. But does this mean anything is inherently wrong with Boxing? No.

It sounds like splitting hairs but I think it's important: There's a fine line between being aware of what you do and don't train for and putting down what you do, even a little bit.

My first karate sensei also said the same things over and over again:

1. Every move has a counter move.

2. You won't win all the time.

3. There's always someone out there who knows something you don't.

Did this color the way he talked about karate or taught it? Not that I could see. But it means you shouldn't be flustered if you find someone who is better than you. It's only natural. In fact, this is why I wasn't floored when the Gracies started taking out strikers. They were proving my sensei right, so what was the big deal?

I sometimes wonder if some people are drawn to Aikido by reading aboout the feats of O Sensei and his disciples and think they will become invincible. When that doesn't happen, they go the other way and think Aikido is almost worthless. That may be why you start to see things like "Aikido is not about fighting," or "We train for the street, not a sport," or even, "Master such-and-so knew Judo before he knew Aikido, so of course, he could beat Judoka." So your choices are you are either invicible or totally helpless -- all or nothing.

That helps. Yeah. Right. :hypno:

Reality is somewhere in the middle. Guro Dan Inosanto always says, No one art has all the answers, but everything has something to offer. Aikido does work and does have something to offer you, but it may take a while to dope out what. Confusing, I know.

I agree with what Leyard Sensei says about how rare martial artists are in our culture, but in your situation that can sound like sour grapes: "Ok, so you pinned me again, but I'm not going to get mugged by a wrestler! <sniff>" Doesn't really help, and can lead to having negative feelings and a chip on your shoulder at the same time.

So what can you do about your friends?

Well, what's happening is you are being faced with techniques you have not and will not see in the dojo, and they are screwing you up. Again, it is only natural that would happen. I ran into the same situation myself twenty years ago, when I started karate. I would spar with friends of mine who had some training and a lot of street experience, and they constantly counfounded me with the things they did. The fakes and tricks were bad enough, but the main thing were the low stomp kicks and side kicks to my kneecaps. They weren't full force, thank God, but they screwed me up because we didn't train against them in the dojo. (Shito-Ryu karate does include a knee kick, basically a standard front kick at knee level, but we never used it in ippon kumite and never learned how to counter it.) However, in time, I learned to watch for the things they did, and even learned to improvise blocks to those kicks. Does that mean my karate training was bad? No. If anything, my training gave me the skills I needed to come up with those counters on the fly. (At the time, in fact, I was in cat stance the whole time and never realized it until afterwards. My best friend, who was watching, noticed that.)

So my advice to you is as follows. First, remember your friends aren't (or shouldn't be) trying to hurt you. (If they are, bail.) This means there's no pressure to "win" except in your own mind. Believe me, it can be there even if you think it's not! Have fun.

Second, if you didn't see this coming, Watch what they do! Pay attention and remember the specific things that screw you up and/or how they get to those positions. The you can think about improvising counters. Note the plural. In grappling, you want at least three counters to any move he makes. If there's just one and it doesn't work, you're toast. If you have two, it's AB or BA and so after two tries, you are toast. However, with three, there are at least six orderings. The more the better. You will find out what confounds HIM; he'll let you know. "Man, what was that? What did you do to me?" Then you can gloat, in a harmonious, non-egotistitcal way, of course. Think about Aikido's principles; this is what you will draw on to generate techniques.

I make it sound like you will be giving it a lot of thought; in reality, you may find yourself learning what to watch out for, and then responding to it on the fly. But again, it should be based on principles, not trying to force a specific technique.

So I hope this helps. Remember: Have fun, don't get mad, and try to learn from watching what they do instead of getting flustered by it. It's a game. Have fun and don't be a sore loser when it happens.

With Respect,

Mike

CNYMike
11-24-2005, 06:54 PM
Alright thank you all for your replies =) But the thing is i was firstly inspired by O Sensei, I rem reading that he easily threw both Shioda and Tohei Sensei when they "challenged" him.Both of them had Judo background.I know this isnt the best example.But Tohei Sensei cld defend himself against them too, needless to say Shioda sensei.Then i also read that Tohei Sensei's students cld do it too.I repeat his students as well.I believe when they accepted those challenges, the odds wasnt favorable to them.I need to know whether if i wld be able to defend myself if i continue practicing Aikido.Like i said before i started Aikido because i love the philosophy behind it and the martial aspect.I don;t want to learn it for like 15yrs, and i cant defend myself with it.And actually teach it to ppl when i am not even confident in defending myself.There must be something wrong somewhere.I am sure all the earlier practitioners cld defend themselves without a problem.Alright just want to know if you guys can take on your friend in just a friendly,you know,wrestling kinda thing.Not questioning the ability of anyone.I just need assurance.

Sorry i am now in a stated where i am confuse again.I really want to continue believe that Aikido is the Art that i have been looking for.But now i cant even defend myself against layman? I wld really hope if someone has the footage when Tohei sensei takes on other ppl like i mentioned just earlier.Just that probably seeing is believing.

Hi Again, Keane,

I read this message after replying ton your initial post, and I find that you are proving one of my points spectactularly: You went into Aikido thinking, even subconsciously, it would make you invincible, and when that hasn't happened, you are starting to vere to the oppisite extreme: "There's something wrong somewhere." All or nothing. It doesn't help. Reality, as I said above, is between those two extremes. But it may take a while to figure out what it is.

As for whether Aikido is the art for you, the question is, Do you like it? Do you like doing it? If the answer is yes, then what else do you really need?

For myself, I have just had an object lesson in why one should read the whole thread first. :o

Don't worry about it. Have fun.

Mike

aikidoc
11-24-2005, 08:46 PM
One thing likely is that the pre-war yudansha that are now shihan might have tested their aikido on different arts. I have read that Shioda did so or at least more street oriented challenges. My sensei (Jorge and I have the same one) related in conversation at our last seminar that he used to work out with karate and judo black belts when he was younger to make sure his Aikido worked with them.

As pointed out by others, perhaps it's not that aikido does not work but rather you have not found how to make your aikido work. I visited a judo/jiu jitsu dojo once several years ago (1995) and guys of comparable rank in judo had some difficulty throwing me unless I let them. The kept telling me to relax which I was doing but to them relaxing meant to let them enter on me. By extending my ki and the old unbendable arm, it was difficult for them to get inside. So they tried to sweep my feet, I would simply lift my foot and let the sweep pass by while keeping my arms relaxed and unbendable and controlling my center. Now keep in mind none of us were very high ranked and I wasn't doing anything exceptional-just adapting to the different form of attacking. I just tried to maintain good aikido principles and adjust the best I could.

doronin
11-25-2005, 01:18 AM
But I'd rather have Aikido in a crowded multiple attacker situation in which people might / probably have edged weapons than Muy Thai or BJJ for sure. The only people who do REALLY effective training for this type of situation is the Russian martial Arts folks. We actually do some of their drills when we practice randori - three person knife attacks at close range. Nothing scary, all done it slow to medium speed but it gives you a sense of how you'd have to move in a real situation...
George, those "Russian MA folks" you mentioned - do you mean their Aikido people, or MMA?

jss
11-25-2005, 01:37 AM
Yeah, but O Sensei wasn't a Judoka, and he sent Judo black belts like Tomiki flying across the room. So the "you need Judo to beat Judo" has a very big hole in it.

O-sensei had experience in Sumo, which is close range grappling, just like judo.

And more importantly, I said having some experience in judo is an advantage against a judoka; I never said you need judo to beat judo. If you want to beat judo to beat judo, you better be the better judoka!
I did judo as a child and when playing around after aikido class I noticed how easy it is to give a cautious attack, twart the other person's attempt at aikido, which will make you end up in close grappling range and then use judo. You need to be really good to apply aikido to the cautious attack or to apply aikido principles at a closer range than they were designed for.
So to generalise, if you want effective aikido, get comfortable in ranges that are not aikido, especially get to know some close range grappling. A year of judo, bjj or wrestling would be plenty. You're not doing it to master those arts, you just want to get the basic idea what they're about. That way when someone closes in on you, your experience will give you a chance to look for aikido principles. Otherwise you'll get uncomfortable, need too much time to adapt and to think, and you will lose.

DaveS
11-25-2005, 04:55 AM
I read this message after replying ton your initial post, and I find that you are proving one of my points spectactularly: You went into Aikido thinking, even subconsciously, it would make you invincible, and when that hasn't happened, you are starting to vere to the oppisite extreme: "There's something wrong somewhere."


To be fair, if after five or six years of learning a technique, you find that you can't apply it to an uncooperative opponent, it's reasonable to question whether you've been doing something wrong. I haven't been learning aikido for bvery long, so I'll defer to the more experiencesd types who are disagreeing over the answer.

On the other hand, I would venture to suggest that the OP risks crippling his spiritual development and harmony with the universe by trying shodokan - I'd have thought that if you can learn to stay standing up and counter in shiai, it'll at least help you to do so when playfighting with your friends...

PeterR
11-25-2005, 05:43 AM
The Judo guys (and yes us Shodothugs too) have a thing called tokui waza. A small number of techniques that you can pull out of a hat and apply in a number of situations. The difference betweeen a beginner and a more seasoned individual may just be in the number of tokui waza that they have honed.

One problem with much Aikido training is the vast breadth of technique that we can get lost in. Try to find what part of Aikido works for you rather than getting all of Aikido to work.

dbotari
11-25-2005, 06:58 AM
Keane,
I'm sorry, there is no Santa Claus ...


I am devastated by this revelation! :eek: So I guess I won't be getting a reply to the letter I wrote. :uch:

Dan

Ketsan
11-25-2005, 07:51 PM
Actually the question seems a bit odd to me since I started Ju-jitsu. At the moment I can't really seperate Aikido from Ju-jitsu and by extension Judo. I think really it boils down to ukemi. An Aikidoka can harmonise with or breakfall out of anything the Judoka or Ju-jituska can do but the same is not true the other way around.
A Judoka's ukemi isn't designed to cope with being spun around by the head before having their feet whipped 5ft in the air. If the Aikidoka keeps hold and drops to their knees and pile drives the Judoka's head through the floor you can pretty much rule out ukemi anyway. The same with Shiho nage, if they fail to take the proper ukemi and their shoulder pops it's all over. The most they can do in reply is drop us and we can cope with that.

CNYMike
11-25-2005, 11:26 PM
.... I said having some experience in judo is an advantage against a judoka; I never said you need judo to beat judo.....

My mistake; mea culpa. :o

CNYMike
11-25-2005, 11:27 PM
To be fair, if after five or six years of learning a technique, you find that you can't apply it to an uncooperative opponent, it's reasonable to question whether you've been doing something wrong....

Maybe, but the trick is to not let your own expectations get in the way. MUCH easier said than done.