PDA

View Full Version : pre-emptive strikes


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


Lorien Lowe
02-19-2006, 10:23 PM
I'd like (as much as is possible, given the title) as non-political of a debate as possible...

Is it valid, according to the philosophy and practice of aikido, to strike uke before uke moves to strike you? By 'strike' I mean a true attack, not just an attention-getting atemi.
You know that uke is going to attack you - that's uke's 'job.' How important is the timing? And how imortant is the difference between striking and atemi?

-LK

Edwin Neal
02-19-2006, 11:10 PM
yes i believe it is... for example yokomenuchi anywaza we strike both the yokomen uchi and the uke, before they strike us... atemi is striking and includes strikes to distract or kill... i believe that when it is obvious that you are being threatened with physical violence you are empowered to use whatever reasonable force is necessary to defend oneself... including striking first...

Lorien Lowe
02-19-2006, 11:24 PM
Usually I practice yokomenuchi with a pretty dramatic tenkan to the back of the person, starting with a back-handed blend that rolls off and suppresses rather than a simultaneous shomen. It sounds like you must focus on the timing so that your shomen arrives earlier than theirs and thus avoid the clash? How is the ukemi taken for that, and/or what do you do then?
We use a *lot* atemi at my dojo, but it's explicitely stated that the point is to get uke's attention rather than to damage them. Or we put out a fist and allow uke to run into it (assuming uke isn't paying attention) in the course of *their* attack on *us*, rather than moving the fist to them. When we talk about 'if you wanted to hurt someone who is out to get you...' it usually involves joint damage somewhere in the middle of the technique.

-LK

PeterR
02-19-2006, 11:25 PM
First technique in Budo Renshu by Ueshiba M. has tori initiating a strike.

If uke does not respond the stike would work - the technique is great because when uke does respond you get to do him anyway.

Edwin Neal
02-20-2006, 12:17 AM
what i am thinking of is what we term a hantai tenkan movement... stepping back and away at a 45 degree angle while delivering a strike(s) to ukes attack and to ukes head... and the timing is before ukes strike arrives... then an irimi or tenkan movement... as to atemi we use lots too, but with the understanding that it can be either distraction or damage or both usually...

Dirk Hanss
02-20-2006, 05:24 AM
I'd like (as much as is possible, given the title) as non-political of a debate as possible...

Is it valid, according to the philosophy and practice of aikido, to strike uke before uke moves to strike you? By 'strike' I mean a true attack, not just an attention-getting atemi.
You know that uke is going to attack you - that's uke's 'job.' How important is the timing? And how imortant is the difference between striking and atemi?

-LK
In my opinion there is no simple answer.

Training environment:
You know, uke will attack as it is his role, but how does it apply to "real life"?
First situation: sleepy uke. Teach him/her zanshin by stepping in - and striking - first. pure teaching, not related to self defense.
2nd: Multiple attacker randori: you're already threatened. Step in first, unless you feel akready the vibrations of each uke, so you can afford to let them move first.
3rd. One to one. Again in training you know uke has to attack. For training purposes you can strike first. but be aware if you are striking first you might give him/her the pulse of energy uke can use for an aikido technique. Why should uke attack with shomen-uchi, if he/she can just do an ikkyo?
But again what are you training for? You are walking at midnight in an empty street or park and suddenly someone is standing in front of you - with dark, threatening eyes. And you know, the guys in this area are all gangsters. Well , probably it is just another innocent, maybe frightened passer-by. No you should not train for this purpose.*

Someone stands in front of you and says -by all appearance seriously - he is going to kill you / beat you up. Now that is starting an attack. If you wait until he draws a gun/knife or even just is getting in kamae, you risk that one of you might get hurt, though it was avoidable. So it is your task to save yourself and your opponent. If you are able to, step in and knock him out first. that is probably the safest for both of you. Then you can calmly call the police - or run away, whatever seems to be appropriate.

Another scenario: someone does not attack you directly, but his going to attack a weak friend of yours or is going to burn your house, car, etc. How could you protect the other person or your property without attacking first?

So yes in training you can attack first, but always think about the situations, you would apply it in.

Dirk
---
P.S.: This situation reminds me on some fellow karateka and some soldiers, who told "When I was in Chicago/Iraq we were train in a way that if someone would have touched our shoulder from behind, we would have killed him before really recognising, who he was." It does not matter, whether they really had this skills. Who would they have probably killed? A friend, who wanted to say hello, a passer-by, who just wanted to ask a question, maybe (less than 20%, I guess) a thief or some guys, who try to spit in your face. But only one out of a million could be a silly assassin or terrorist, who really gives you a chance. With all the others the first thing you feel would be th knife in your ribs or the stick on your head/neck. So how many people are you allowed to kill, just because of assuming they could attack you?

Steve Mullen
02-20-2006, 07:23 AM
I think the idea of striking uki because you know they are going to strike you, is all fine in the dojo as it is uki's job to strike you, but inthe street i would feel more inclined to make one of those "attention grabbing atemi" first. see if that puts him in a position for you to deal then cut and run if needs be.

An example

I was walking back from training one saturday when some fool came over to me and started pushing, (i say fool as i clearly had my sticks on my back) anyway, he came in again and i cut into his left arm, aimed an 'attention grabbing atemi' at his face, when he leaned back i turned him round and pushed him away, much the the amusement of his friends who promplty dragged him away. I get the feeling that if i stepped up and planted him with a left hook his friends (all 6 of them) would have felt compelled to pile in and give me one hell of a good kicking.

Sometimes less is more

roosvelt
02-20-2006, 09:12 AM
Is it valid, according to the philosophy and practice of aikido, to strike uke before uke moves to strike you?



Don't understand your question. You used "uke" in your question, I'd assume you mean in a dojo setting. Why would you want to strike uke? If you do, you're not practicing Aikido.

ian
02-20-2006, 11:50 AM
I think aikido is about harmony. Not in the, 'lets all hug bears and dance with the rabbits' type harmony, but the harmony of yin and yang. Thus, if 'an uke' is considering an attack, and you can see that they are about to strike, a pre-emptive strike is not only recommended, it is what SHOULD happen. Really nage should initiate the attack - we need to get that interaction between nage and uke as soon as possible. If someone is coming towards you to attack, you don't back off, you move towards them, and initiate - the key thing is that if they use lots of force you can open up and let them come through, whereas if they are very weak you can enter and take them. It sounds aggressive, but it shouldn't be - it should be the promotion of an interaction. However I think practically, it takes alot of time to intuitively read someone's intention. I would not attack if I 'thought' someone may hit me. I would attack to stall someone who was about to hit me.

Of course, although we may 'initiate' attacks as Nage in the dojo, I think it's unfair to just punch someone really hard prior to their attack/response.

I think the timing is fundamentally important. I think striking and atemi are identical in aikido in that any action is not just a dissociated action, but you are aware that there is a consequence (possibly an attempted counter), and you are happy to move/blend respond to this in exactly the moment in which it happens. In the same way, there is no point fighting unless you are fighting for a beneficial outcome (i.e. just beating someone up or responding with excessive aggression usually helps neither you nor them). Atemis are directed at quite dangerous locations on the body (usually) - although we may 'play' a reaction, really you are forcing them to make a decision i.e. get knocked out or get taken with a technique so then I can knock you out.

PeterR
02-20-2006, 09:39 PM
Don't understand your question. You used "uke" in your question, I'd assume you mean in a dojo setting. Why would you want to strike uke? If you do, you're not practicing Aikido.
See my post above.

Ethan Weisgard
02-21-2006, 01:53 AM
In traditional budo you have the timing of sen-sen no sen. This is carried out by leading the initiative of the attacker. Saito Sensei would often use the term "aite no ki wo yobidasu" - to call out the ki of your opponent. When we are training, uke is the designated attacker. As mentioned in some of the other posts - when someone already has the clear intention of attacking you, the person already has his energy focused on this. We are not attacking an innocent person, the aggressive intent is there, but has not become a physical movement yet. The idea of sen-sen no sen is to draw out the physical form of this intention, and use it to neutralize the attack. This does not, in my opinion, make Aikido an aggressive, offensive martial art.

In Aiki,

Ethan Weisgard

Charles Hill
02-21-2006, 04:04 AM
Hi Ethan,

Did Saito Sensei use the term "sen sen no sen" himself?

Charles

tarik
02-21-2006, 03:23 PM
Is it valid, according to the philosophy and practice of aikido, to strike uke before uke moves to strike you? By 'strike' I mean a true attack, not just an attention-getting atemi.

Not only valid, but in my opinion crucial.

The atemi that opened my eyes to the possibilities was delivered by my Shotokan Karate instructor when I was very young. I was unexpectedly knocked on my ass and I never felt the blow that that hit me in the mouth, not even later on with a bruise. This was no accident and believe me, it got my attention AND it was the entire technique and it is everything that aikido is and should be.

I didn't feel anything like that again for a long time, but the most similar thing to that in my experience is shomen-ate and properly done, it is a true attack.

mattnowak
02-21-2006, 04:31 PM
I have read many books and articles; I have also spoken to my Senei about this subject.

According to my understanding, the philospphy of aikido does not permit a strike before it is given to you. Aikido is meant to harmonize the world. Aikidoka are trained to avert any hostile action before it becomes physical, and ff it happens to become physical then we know how to take care of ourselves. As for training: I don't beleive that the dojo is a good example of the real world; therefore, the idea of a pre-emptive stike does not seem that out of the ordinary. In the real world, I believe that any pre-emptive strike is an abuse of the techniques trusted upon you by your teachers.

tarik
02-21-2006, 04:52 PM
I have read many books and articles; I have also spoken to my Senei about this subject.

According to my understanding, the philospphy of aikido does not permit a strike before it is given to you. Aikido is meant to harmonize the world. Aikidoka are trained to avert any hostile action before it becomes physical, and ff it happens to become physical then we know how to take care of ourselves. As for training: I don't beleive that the dojo is a good example of the real world; therefore, the idea of a pre-emptive stike does not seem that out of the ordinary. In the real world, I believe that any pre-emptive strike is an abuse of the techniques trusted upon you by your teachers.

We differ in our understandings then. That's cool. While I wouldn't make it my first choice, I believe it is crucial to recognize that sometimes a pre-emtive strike is absolutely essential to resolve a situation with minimum harm to all involved. I can easily think of such situations where words or waiting for the other side to attack simply will not suffice.

I committed such an act once as a child before I knew anything about Aikido or other martial arts when, after many prior repetitions, I recognized that someone was setting up an after school fight and I didn't know any other way to get out of it. It worked and there was no fight because he was too busy getting stitches in his lip.

When I began training in Aikido, I used to tell that story (in more detail) as an example of not using Aikido and talked about how I was in the dojo to learn another way of dealing with such situations.

Now, after a number of years of training, I see the incident very differently. I am not proud of it, nor am I ashamed of it any longer. It absolutely was Aikido, and I did the least harm necessary to resolve the situation, with the tools I had at the time. If necessary, I would certainly do such a thing again and in my opinion, anyone who would not is a fool.

However, I have learned many other things that allow me to short-circuit and prevent such situations and simply not found it necessary to engage anyone in this way since I began training in the martial arts (even before finding Aikido) and I have spent more years skillfully avoiding or preventing violence than indulging in it.

Regards,

Tarik

Dieter Haffner
02-22-2006, 02:40 AM
I would like to suggest to read a column by George S. Ledyard about the Nature of Aiki.
http://www.aikiweb.com/columns/gledyard/2006_01.html

You have to see these pre-emptive strikes in the context of the third level of aiki, called "aiki of unity" by Ledyard sensei.
For a bystander this looks like nage/tori is the first one to strike (not aikido), but in fact it is uke that had the first intention to strike (what makes it very much aikido).

This might be something you need to see and maybe even have done to you before you can believe it. I have seen it once on a seminar with Shimamoto sensei. It was really an eye opener.

Dieter

Edwin Neal
02-22-2006, 03:34 AM
"According to my understanding, the philospphy of aikido does not permit a strike before it is given to you."

Matthew this is ridiculous! you mean you have to get hit first before you can do anything??? Everyone has the RIGHT to defend themselves and others from violence... A good legal definition is: Self Defense is the right to protect oneself and others against violence or threatened violence with whatever force or means are reasonably necessary.
If some guy says to you 'I'm gonna kick your ass" that is a threat of violence and you have the right to defend yourself, and that does include the option of striking first! His intention is clear, if you cannot escape then you can use reasonable force... you could even shoot him! if it came to that level, and it would be self defense... Please reconsider this and try to understand that i am not saying any one who says a cross word should be smacked up side the head, but believing that you must accept a harmful or potentially fatal attack, before you can defend yourself is clearly not what i consider reasonable or correct with regards to aikido philosophy... you are doing yourself and others a disservice by this position IMHO...

Alec Corper
02-22-2006, 03:55 AM
This has already been answered in many ways. The essence of Budo is awareness. The finer it becomes the sooner you sense the intent to attack. If you respond to the attempt before it physically manifests it may appear on the outside to be pre-emptive, but it is a response, not an initiative.
"Start later, arrive sooner" is not a matter of speed but of awareness. In many ways this should be the focus of the training. Aikido is not about fighting, it is about resolving the conflict in an appropriate manner before it can escalate into something messy. That may mean applying atemi to control the spirit of the other and end the conflict on your terms, whilst still preserving their wellbeing.

Edwin Neal
02-22-2006, 04:00 AM
very well put Alec...

donplummer
02-22-2006, 09:36 AM
At our school we take the attitude that once uke has entered our ma-ai he is fair game for atemi or something more powerful if need be. This is very effective in deterring uke in a self-defense application of Aikido. It is difficult to attack when trying to defend one's self.

mattnowak
02-22-2006, 11:19 AM
"According to my understanding, the philospphy of aikido does not permit a strike before it is given to you."

Matthew this is ridiculous! you mean you have to get hit first before you can do anything??? Everyone has the RIGHT to defend themselves and others from violence... A good legal definition is: Self Defense is the right to protect oneself and others against violence or threatened violence with whatever force or means are reasonably necessary.
If some guy says to you 'I'm gonna kick your ass" that is a threat of violence and you have the right to defend yourself, and that does include the option of striking first! His intention is clear, if you cannot escape then you can use reasonable force... you could even shoot him! if it came to that level, and it would be self defense... Please reconsider this and try to understand that i am not saying any one who says a cross word should be smacked up side the head, but believing that you must accept a harmful or potentially fatal attack, before you can defend yourself is clearly not what i consider reasonable or correct with regards to aikido philosophy... you are doing yourself and others a disservice by this position IMHO...


Many times when someone says they are "gonna kick your ass" they are bluffing. More often than not the person realizes that violence would only complicate things and the attacker become scared. As for the idea that you have to be hit before you can defend yourself...that was not my intention. If you understand Aikido and truly follow its principles then you will be able to avert an attack before you become hit. Here is an idea..."Step out of the line of attack" <-- simple beginner teachings.

Please feel free to ask any more questions about my view of Aikido.

Alec Corper
02-22-2006, 11:28 AM
Condescension is the last resort of the insecure :(

Lorien Lowe
02-22-2006, 02:41 PM
Many times when someone says they are "gonna kick your ass" they are bluffing....
Sunday a stabbing victim came into the ED. Coincidentally, he was pre-emptively stabbed by a man he admits he told 'I'm gonna kick your ass,' although he claimed that he said this in a joking manner. The stabber, not the stabee, was the one arrested and charged.

I personally don't think that it's necessary to stand still and let oneself be hit before taking action, but I think that the wiser course might be to blend with (in the energetic sense) or avoid an innitial strike, rather than hitting back or hitting first. Assuming, of course, that one has the capability in terms of both skill and power to do so - strikes might come out of desperation.

-LK

tarik
02-22-2006, 03:22 PM
Many times when someone says they are "gonna kick your ass" they are bluffing. More often than not the person realizes that violence would only complicate things and the attacker become scared.

Are you suggesting that it's not possible to recognize when someone is bluffing and scared vs. really intent on attacking you?

tarik
02-22-2006, 03:33 PM
Sunday a stabbing victim came into the ED. Coincidentally, he was pre-emptively stabbed by a man he admits he told 'I'm gonna kick your ass,' although he claimed that he said this in a joking manner. The stabber, not the stabee, was the one arrested and charged.

Going from a pre-emptive strike to a pre-emptive stab is stretching the anecdote, is it not? If the victim was truly joking around, than I don't see how this remains relevent to Aikido.

If he was seriously intent on "kicking ass" and got pre-empted, well, again, escalation to a more deadly weapon doesn't seem like Aikido to me, but I'll happily admit that I'll blow the head off any person whom I sincerely believe is trying to kill me or my family (which includes people at large) and still call it Aikido and I'll sleep at night just fine.

That doesn't preclude me from using many different methods to avoid allowing the situation to arise in the first place, and all of those are preferable to the decision of last resort.

I perceive Aikido an a path of causing the least harm to the most people to resolve a violent situation. That isn't non-violence in my understanding of the movement, but it is LESS violent than most of the options.

mattnowak
02-22-2006, 04:58 PM
Are you suggesting that it's not possible to recognize when someone is bluffing and scared vs. really intent on attacking you?

Sometimes, no.

What I do not understand about the thread the idea that Aikido permits a strike before any aggression by the attacker is shown...maybe some people would be better practicing Karate.

tarik
02-22-2006, 05:46 PM
Sometimes, no.

There's a training in itself.

What I do not understand about the thread the idea that Aikido permits a strike before any aggression by the attacker is shown...maybe some people would be better practicing Karate.

I don't see anyone propogating such an idea.

Let me look back...

Nope, don't see it.

I do see a lot of people writing something quite different.

As to practicing karate.. been there, done that.. and my instructors lessons stick to this day. If I'd ever started a fight with what I'd learned, I would have been kicked out of the dojo.

You seem to equate a pre-emptive strike with 'starting the fight'. I just have to disagree and say that perhaps our life experiences are substantially different.

Regards,

Tarik

Michael O'Brien
02-22-2006, 06:23 PM
What I do not understand about the thread the idea that Aikido permits a strike before any aggression by the attacker is shown...maybe some people would be better practicing Karate.
Matthew,
To piggyback off of Tarik said and your statement above:

If there is no aggression shown then there is no attacker. Also, as was mentioned previously there doesn't have to be an actual punch or kick thrown for their to be an attack.

I agree with Tarik also that no one so far has suggested attacking anyone who gets near you to be "pre-emptive". The point being made is once you realize that a physical confrontation can no longer be avoided at that time you can pre-emptively defend yourself from your attacker(s).

mattnowak
02-22-2006, 06:26 PM
Then you become the attacker and not the defender.

PeterR
02-22-2006, 07:13 PM
In the interview where Ueshiba M. says there is no attack in Aikido - a few lines further he says there is no defense in Aikido. Selective quotation will get you no where.

What Ueshiba M.'s statements mean to me is that there is no distinction between the two. In a fight - attack and defense are the same. I've already mentioned waza in Budo Renshu (Ueshiba M.) where tori initiates the action.

There is a huge difference between crossing the street looking for a fight and action when directly facing an aggressive person. If you can't tell the difference between bluster and true intent when a person is facing you - then you need to train more.

I wont comment on the Karate slight other than to say the comment is quite vulgar.

Michael O'Brien
02-22-2006, 07:44 PM
Then you become the attacker and not the defender.

So by this logic if you are backed into a corner by 2 guys with bats, 1 guy with a knife, and 1 guy with a chain you have to wait for each of of them to swing at you to "defend" yourself?

Just because you initiate contact does not make you the attacker in a given situation.

mattnowak
02-22-2006, 08:17 PM
You do not have to wait for anything, you can feel free to strike pre-emptively; all I am saying is that then your action is not in line with Aikido theory and philosophy.

There are NO pre-emptive strikes in Aikido. In the real world, of course there are pre-emptive strikes. The question, however, was whether Aikido has pre-emptive strikes.

Michael O'Brien
02-22-2006, 09:04 PM
Y... your action is not in line with Aikido theory and philosophy...


What is your definition of Aikido theory and philosophy? I'm not trying to be antagonistic, it is a sincere question for your opinion.

Josh Reyer
02-22-2006, 09:07 PM
There are NO pre-emptive strikes in Aikido. In the real world, of course there are pre-emptive strikes. The question, however, was whether Aikido has pre-emptive strikes.

From Budou, by Ueshiba Morihei, published in 1938, describing shoumenuchi ikkyou:

「注 (仕)は右足より一歩前進しつつ右手刀をもって敵の正面を打ち、左拳をもって脇をつく」

"Note: (Shite), moving one step forward with the right leg, strike the enemy's front with the right tegatana, thrust into the side with the left fist."

When the enemy attempts to block the tegatana strike, ikkyou is then applied. So the answer is, yes, it does.

mattnowak
02-23-2006, 09:15 AM
From Budou, by Ueshiba Morihei, published in 1938, describing shoumenuchi ikkyou:

「注 (仕)は右足より一歩前進しつつ右手刀をもって敵の正面を打ち、左拳をもって脇をつく」

"Note: (Shite), moving one step forward with the right leg, strike the enemy's front with the right tegatana, thrust into the side with the left fist."

When the enemy attempts to block the tegatana strike, ikkyou is then applied. So the answer is, yes, it does.

Everyone seems to be finding these techniques explained by O' Sensei that seems to show a pre-emptive strike. Have any of you read anything by the Ushiba family or and current Aikdio theorists? Although the above quotation suggests a pre-emptive strike (I am taking the quote to be valid); it is simply a "Note" so there is no evidence of context and we all know that before violence must occur we should be in tune with our enviroment.

As for the question by Michael: I have read alot from various theorists on Aikdio and have yet to fully establsih my own view of Aikido theory. However, I do not beleive that Aikido is meant to be violent or contain pre-emptive strikes. I beleive that then one reaches a certain level in Aikdio training then they also reach a certain level spiritually. This spiritual level should enable control over agression and allow the two players to come to some sort of agreement. As I stated previously, when there is no chance of peace even after all avenues have been exhausted then Aikdio enables you to defedn yourself after the first attack. The first attack should never come from a Aikidoka, and if you follow the teachings and truly accept them, then that first attack should never come in contact with your body. We learn to "step out of the line of attack."

Dajo251
02-23-2006, 09:31 AM
this topic has been a great read

Ron Tisdale
02-23-2006, 10:13 AM
Everyone seems to be finding these techniques explained by O' Sensei that seems to show a pre-emptive strike.

They do. The source is listed, just go to amazon.com and buy the book, you can check the context for yourself. That is the nice thing about sources. The 'note' is important because the book is mostly pictures of Ueshiba Sensei doing the waza.

Have any of you read anything by the Ushiba family or and current Aikdio theorists? Although the above quotation suggests a pre-emptive strike (I am taking the quote to be valid); it is simply a "Note" so there is no evidence of context and we all know that before violence must occur we should be in tune with our enviroment.

Well, I come from a tradition under Gozo Shioda, and we preserve the waza very much like what you see in the book Budo. So if the Ueshiba family was to take a different focus now, it wouldn't really make any difference to me. I was practicing shomenuchi ikkajo osae ichi last night, with the 7th dan instructor watching us, and we definitely had shite striking first. You pays your money, and you takes your chances. You may well practice in a tradition that doesn't do this. It wouldn't invalidate your aikido, no more than it would validate mine, necessarily.

As for the question by Michael: I have read alot from various theorists on Aikdio and have yet to fully establsih my own view of Aikido theory. However, I do not beleive that Aikido is meant to be violent or contain pre-emptive strikes. I beleive that then one reaches a certain level in Aikdio training then they also reach a certain level spiritually. This spiritual level should enable control over agression and allow the two players to come to some sort of agreement. As I stated previously, when there is no chance of peace even after all avenues have been exhausted then Aikdio enables you to defedn yourself after the first attack. The first attack should never come from a Aikidoka, and if you follow the teachings and truly accept them, then that first attack should never come in contact with your body. We learn to "step out of the line of attack."

The key word here is your belief. But your belief, or my belief doesn't define someone else's belief, much less their practice of aikido under a legitimate instructor, who teaches something at variance to your belief.

Best,
Ron

Edwin Neal
02-23-2006, 12:06 PM
threat of violence is an attack... responding to that threat does not make you the attacker, you are still the defender, the target of violence... use of 'reasonable force' to defend yourself is justifiable... even if that force is used to stop the attacker before they launch their attack... suppose the attacker has a gun, must you wait until he pulls the trigger to do something? if that something is to apply an aikido technique that included atemi how is this not preemptive striking? if the attacker swings and you evade, he misses, and you apply an aikido technique with atemi would this not still be preemptive since you have hit him first... in fact in this light i would consider most techniques include the idea of not getting hit and hitting the attacker first... thus preemptive... striking someone without provacation is violence... defending yourself from the threat (promise) of violence is not, even if you strike them first... say the atacker is going to attack someone else... unless you stop them... apply atemi and a technique before they attack the innocent person or wait until after they actually hit them... the crux of this is WHEN you determine that there will CERTAINLY be an attack hasn't that attack already begun? you can then use reasonable force to protect yourself from this attack... this is not violence, this is 'preemptive' and self defense...
it is quite a stretch to assume that we will always 'step out of the line of the attack' and the'first attack will never come in contact with your body'... while i agree with these statements they are not the be all and end all of aikido... what if you cannot evade an attack that you know is certainly going to happen? apply atemi and a technique first, preemptively... the classic 'irimi nage' is in fact very preemptive... don't we 'hit' uke first?...

Edwin Neal
02-23-2006, 12:15 PM
stabbing someone who says they are gonna kick your ass is not reasonable force... stabbing someone who has a knife and says i am going to stab you is reasonable force... these kind of issues bring us into legal territory... you must use reasonable force... ie what a jury would consider reasonable given the particulars of the situation... to use unreasonable force does indeed make you the attacker and you are then 'in the wrong'... i think of it like you can 'reasonably' use force equal to or less than the attacker, but not more unless you have a good 'reason' to believe that was the only way to save your life...

tarik
02-23-2006, 12:27 PM
stabbing someone who says they are gonna kick your ass is not reasonable force... stabbing someone who has a knife and says i am going to stab you is reasonable force... these kind of issues bring us into legal territory... you must use reasonable force... ie what a jury would consider reasonable given the particulars of the situation... to use unreasonable force does indeed make you the attacker and you are then 'in the wrong'... i think of it like you can 'reasonably' use force equal to or less than the attacker, but not more unless you have a good 'reason' to believe that was the only way to save your life...

I agree Edwin. Legal territory is a bit different than 'Aikido' issues, but escalation of violence almost always is found to be the fault of the escalator in legal circumstances.

That's doesn't actually mess with my idea of Aikido either, since I see Aikido as a means to de-escalate violence.

Tarik

Edwin Neal
02-23-2006, 12:30 PM
yeah Tarik... i think we are in agreement there... just wanted to digress a little...

tarik
02-23-2006, 12:46 PM
Everyone seems to be finding these techniques explained by O' Sensei that seems to show a pre-emptive strike.

As the founder of Aikido, it is only logical that everyone would hold his authority as the original example.

Have any of you read anything by the Ushiba family or and current Aikdio theorists?

I haven't read anything by the current Doshu yet, but I saw nothing to contradict this from HIS father and lots of examples to support it from current and recently passed on Shihan in... Iwama (formerly Aikikai), ASU (Aikikai), USAF (Aikikai), AAA and CAA (Aikikai), Yoshinkan, Tomiki. I do not enough experience with Ki Society to comment on their approach, but those are pretty major branches of Aikido in the United States and abroad.

Although the above quotation suggests a pre-emptive strike (I am taking the quote to be valid); it is simply a "Note" so there is no evidence of context and we all know that before violence must occur we should be in tune with our enviroment.

As Edwin points out, buy the book and read it for yourself.

It's interesting that you talk about being in tune with our environment. Go back and read the comments made earlier in this thread and you will see that being in tune with our environment and recognizing when the intent to attack has been made by our 'opponents' is crucial to acting.

However, I do not beleive that Aikido is meant to be violent or contain pre-emptive strikes.

I believed that at one time very early in my training. I now believe that is wrong. Very wrong, even though I know plenty of people who still believe it. I believe is misleads and misinforms their training, but it is their right to hold that belief.

First of all, violence is inherent in what we are doing. You cannot easily argue against that, even if our goal is the de-escalation of violence. Go look up the definition of violence.

Secondly, you seem to have a lot of emotional attachment to 'attack' and 'defend' as different things, and that attacks are wrong and defense is the only moral choice. I don't agree with this. I believe that as skills, attack and defense are the same thing, and moral and ethical decisions are based in how we choose to use those skills.

A pre-emptive strike is not immoral or unethical for being pre-emptive, which is what you suggest or imply by stating that it should not be a part of Aikido or Aikido philosophy. The reasons and results of a pre-emptive strike are what need to be understood to know if the ethical choice has been made.

I beleive that then one reaches a certain level in Aikdio training then they also reach a certain level spiritually.

I absolutely don't mean this as an insult, but you must be very new to Aikido if you still believe that. As you continue training, you will find that SOME people do in fact develop themselves in ways that could be called spiritual. I like to believe that is what I have been working on since before I started Aikido, but a certain level of Aikido training and a certain level of spiritual development are not very co-related in my experiences.

As I stated previously, when there is no chance of peace even after all avenues have been exhausted then Aikdio enables you to defedn yourself after the first attack.

I would suggest to you that your perception of an attack and my perception of an attack are different. You seem to imply that it must be physical, I am more interested in the intent.

Regards,

Tarik

Neil Mick
02-23-2006, 01:01 PM
My 2cents:

When nage "pre-emptively" strikes uke: nage is responding to uke's intention to attack (this is completely different than nage coming up and slapping uke, out of the blue). If the intention is not there: then "nage" is really "uke," in this situation.

However, I do not beleive that Aikido is meant to be violent

In the words of Jack Wada Sensei: "The opposite of harmony is NOT violence: the opposite of harmony is chaos." Violence may be necessary to restore harmony...but only if the intention to attack is apparent, in uke.

Responding and correctly interpreting uke's intention is, IMO, 80% of Aikido training. Waiting for uke to actually physically strike before acting is, IMO, unnecessarily limiting one's choices.

Alec Corper
02-23-2006, 01:05 PM
Neil,
Yep I'm with you, post18
Alec

Ron Tisdale
02-23-2006, 02:30 PM
One of the most basic, chronic, and perhaps inevitable problems in practicing AIKIDO, is that AIKIDO training can be reduced to an easy going exercise based on excessive compromise between the practice partners (NAGE and UKE). This problem arises because AIKIDO practitioners often base their practice on sincere but ill-founded philosophies and theories. Examples of the many incorrect interpretations of AIKIDO as applied to practice include emphasizing an idea of an "AIKIDO style" ambiance, expressing an "ideology" of AIKIDO, and misconstruing the concept of "harmony".

Just thought I'd throw this in the mix. It's from

http://www.aikidoonline.com/Archives/NoDate/f_mk_ch1.html

Best,
Ron

mattnowak
02-23-2006, 02:36 PM
I do not understand how anyone can claim that pre-emptive strikes are in line with traditional Aikido training.

If you strike first, you are the agressor.

It does not matter if you feel that there is an "intent" for physical harm to you.

Edwin Neal
02-23-2006, 02:36 PM
good one Ron...

Ron Tisdale
02-23-2006, 02:39 PM
Well, I think many people have explained it quite well. Just keep training then...maybe you'll change your mind, and maybe you won't. No biggie...

Best,
Ron

mattnowak
02-23-2006, 02:40 PM
Just thought I'd throw this in the mix. It's from

http://www.aikidoonline.com/Archives/NoDate/f_mk_ch1.html

Best,
Ron


If you don't follow the philosophy, then why bother practicing the art. Too many contradictions

Ethan Weisgard
02-23-2006, 02:41 PM
Hi Ethan,

Did Saito Sensei use the term "sen sen no sen" himself?

Charles

Hello Charles,

Sorry for the late reply. Saito Sensei didn't use this term.

There was an interview with O-Sensei in one of the old Aikido Journals, where O-Sensei replies to the interviewer that Aikido is way above the concepts of go no sen, sen no sen etc. Saito Sensei seemed to have the same attitude in regards to using these, and other standard budo terms in aikido.

Even though Saito sensei himself took a big step in classifying and categorizing many of the things that O-Sensei taught. he wasn't all too keen on using too many terms. (I was faced with this problem when writing the texts for my Bukiwaza books. I wanted to be able to explain certain movements - parries for instance - that were often used, but that Sensei never called by name. )

In my humble opinion, if we mere mortals are to try to understand the details of the concepts upon which aikido is built, then I believe we should be acquainted with the terminology and the underlying concepts inherent in these terms.

In Aiki,

Ethan

tarik
02-23-2006, 02:45 PM
Nice quote, Ron. I'm pretty sure I've read something similar from the Nidai Doshu's writings as well, but don't have the references handy.

Ron Tisdale
02-23-2006, 02:47 PM
You are making assumptions about the philosophy...as we all do from time to time. Did you read the linked material? Do you know who Kanai Sensei was?

One of the reasons I train in aikido is BECAUSE of the contradictions. Everything is one. Shite and Uke are seperate, but they are together. Training should be hard and martial, but it is good for women and children. If I use maximum efficiency, why do I get so tired? ;) Why do I smile when my teacher slams me into the mat 20 times in a row, then he tells me 3 more falls even when I am already exhausted? I have to enter like a bullet, but once there, I have to be soft.

On and on and on...the best things in life are usually highlighted by contradictions.

Best,
Ron

Edwin Neal
02-23-2006, 02:49 PM
I do not understand how anyone can claim that pre-emptive strikes are in line with traditional Aikido training.

If you strike first, you are the agressor.

if you wind up and draw back to coldcock me in the head, and i jab you in the nose... before you hit me... you are still the attacker... my defense preempts your attack... pretty good aikido...

mattnowak
02-23-2006, 03:04 PM
I do not understand how anyone can claim that pre-emptive strikes are in line with traditional Aikido training.

If you strike first, you are the agressor.

if you wind up and draw back to coldcock me in the head, and i jab you in the nose... before you hit me... you are still the attacker... my defense preempts your attack... pretty good aikido...


I don't believe that "a jab in the nose" is "pretty good aikido."

Edwin Neal
02-23-2006, 03:05 PM
so you do not practice atemi waza???

mattnowak
02-23-2006, 03:08 PM
Absolutely; however, there are other techniques that are not as violent and meant to harm.

Josh Reyer
02-23-2006, 03:13 PM
If you don't follow the philosophy, then why bother practicing the art. Too many contradictions

The philosophy of aikido is not "Don't attack first." The philosophy of aikido is "Bring the world into harmony." Ideally, according to Ueshiba Morihei, a fully trained and prepared aikidoka knows when his enemy will attack, perceives the threat to the balance of the universe (because he is one with the universe), and then acts to retain/restore the balance. In Ueshiba's mind, this didn't simply refer to physical action. In Budo he repeatedly talks about taking control of the opponent's mind. The aikidoka senses the impending attack. He offers a shoumenuchi. The threat's intention goes from aggression to defense. The aikidoka then uses his skills to dissipate the bad energy. (Say, with ikkyou, in an ultimate ideal world.)

Go to Aikido Journal's video clips section, and check out either of the "Aikido Classics" clips under the Koichi Tohei section. You'll see a shot where uke sets up behind Tohei, with a tanto. Tohei movies before uke makes his attack, and by the time uke stabs with the tanto Tohei's already into his technique. One may have to allow for the staged nature of the demonstration, but this is the nature of aikido: sensing the attack and moving to neutralize before the attack even begins.

In Budo, Ueshiba says that when you "sense a yokomenuchi attack coming, draw it out..." That is pre-emption. You're not reacting to the attack, you are anticipating it.

mattnowak
02-23-2006, 03:18 PM
The philosophy of aikido is not "Don't attack first." The philosophy of aikido is "Bring the world into harmony." Ideally, according to Ueshiba Morihei, a fully trained and prepared aikidoka knows when his enemy will attack, perceives the threat to the balance of the universe (because he is one with the universe), and then acts to retain/restore the balance. In Ueshiba's mind, this didn't simply refer to physical action. In Budo he repeatedly talks about taking control of the opponent's mind. The aikidoka senses the impending attack. He offers a shoumenuchi. The threat's intention goes from aggression to defense. The aikidoka then uses his skills to dissipate the bad energy. (Say, with ikkyou, in an ultimate ideal world.)

Go to Aikido Journal's video clips section, and check out either of the "Aikido Classics" clips under the Koichi Tohei section. You'll see a shot where uke sets up behind Tohei, with a tanto. Tohei movies before uke makes his attack, and by the time uke stabs with the tanto Tohei's already into his technique. One may have to allow for the staged nature of the demonstration, but this is the nature of aikido: sensing the attack and moving to neutralize before the attack even begins.

In Budo, Ueshiba says that when you "sense a yokomenuchi attack coming, draw it out..." That is pre-emption. You're not reacting to the attack, you are anticipating it.

That is one interpretation.

"Those who are skilled in combat do not become angered,
those who are skilled at winning do not become afraid.
Thus the wise win before the fight, while the ignorant fight to win."

Edwin Neal
02-23-2006, 03:25 PM
violence is about YOUR intention not the action... a jab is violence if you are intending to hurt someone and are attacking them with no just cause such as self defense... a jab is NON violent when you do not intend to hurt your attacker, but intend to protect yourself from an attack in self defense...
harm... that is one subjective point on a continuum from a bloody nose or less to completely crippled for the rest of their life or more, even death... the action arises from the situation or harmonizing with an attacker... you do what is necessary and no more... this may mean nothing, or evading, or atemi, or injury to body parts, or more... it does not rule out preemption if that is appropriate, and necessary to the situation...

The controlling sword assumes the stance of heaven. Quickly move in, strike and evade, cutting to all sides.

If you want to disarm your foe, seize the initiative, step in and cut decisively!
Osensei

mattnowak
02-23-2006, 03:29 PM
violence is about YOUR intention not the action... a jab is violence if you are intending to hurt someone and are attacking them with no just cause such as self defense... a jab is NON violent when you do not intend to hurt your attacker, but intend to protect yourself from an attack in self defense...
harm... that is one subjective point on a continuum from a bloody nose or less to completely crippled for the rest of their life or more, even death... the action arises from the situation or harmonizing with an attacker... you do what is necessary and no more... this may mean nothing, or evading, or atemi, or injury to body parts, or more... it does not rule out preemption if that is appropriate, and necessary to the situation...

The controlling sword assumes the stance of heaven. Quickly move in, strike and evade, cutting to all sides.

If you want to disarm your foe, seize the initiative, step in and cut decisively!
Osensei

Once again, this is a real life situation. I understand that a pre-emptive strike is appropriate in a real life situation. However, you cannot call it Aikido.

Edwin Neal
02-23-2006, 03:34 PM
Why not?

Neil Mick
02-23-2006, 03:36 PM
I do not understand how anyone can claim that pre-emptive strikes are in line with traditional Aikido training.

If you strike first, you are the agressor.

Nope.

If you intend to strike first: you are the agressor.

It does not matter if you feel that there is an "intent" for physical harm to you.

Look, Mathew: I don't know you or your Sensei (it's my biggest problem with these fora...ppl have no idea of the poster's rank, or experience. So, any newbie could be heatedly arguing technique with a Shihan, and never know it)...nor do I know how long you (or your Sensei) has been training, in Aikido.

But, I look at the people who have resonded to you, and I DO know some of their backgrounds. Several of these people have posted in the "Voices of Experience" forum, meaning that they have studied in Aikido for more than 20 years.

Now, with some of that experience telling you that there is an alternative way of considering "strikes..." doncha think that maybe...just maybe...that there is another way of considering this topic, other than "my way is right; and yours is wrong??"

Just a thought, from this clueless Aikidoka, who has learned so little, in his 20+ year's training.

Edwin Neal
02-23-2006, 03:55 PM
"Those who are skilled in combat do not become angered,
those who are skilled at winning do not become afraid.
Thus the wise win before the fight, while the ignorant fight to win."

quoted from whom? i believe it is correct, but i don't see the words or idea, 'no preemptive strikes' in that quote anywhere...

tarik
02-23-2006, 04:24 PM
"Those who are skilled in combat do not become angered,
those who are skilled at winning do not become afraid.
Thus the wise win before the fight, while the ignorant fight to win."

Yep.. and the wise win because they maintain control over their rage and are able to perceive when the time is right to strike... sometimes pre-emptively.


Look, Mathew: I don't know you or your Sensei (it's my biggest problem with these fora...ppl have no idea of the poster's rank, or experience. So, any newbie could be heatedly arguing technique with a Shihan, and never know it)...nor do I know how long you (or your Sensei) has been training, in Aikido.

Actually, it is one of the things I like about online interactions. So much more about each person and their opinions (or willingness to opine) comes out.


Once again, this is a real life situation. I understand that a pre-emptive strike is appropriate in a real life situation. However, you cannot call it Aikido.

Not only can I call it Aikido, I will. It seems to me that for you, Aikido is a utopian ideal that cannot exist in real life, merely be yearned for and worked towards. It's good to have impossible utopian ideals, but it's clear to me that a lot of us here don't see Aikido in the same way you do.

Regarding Atemi-waza

Absolutely; however, there are other techniques that are not as violent and meant to harm.


You mean atemi waza are not designed to deliver an atemi that unbalances and throws your partner without harming them?

tarik
02-23-2006, 04:33 PM
You do not have to wait for anything, you can feel free to strike pre-emptively; all I am saying is that then your action is not in line with Aikido theory and philosophy.

And a whole bunch of us are saying that it is perfectly in line with Aikido theory and philosophy.

There are NO pre-emptive strikes in Aikido. In the real world, of course there are pre-emptive strikes. The question, however, was whether Aikido has pre-emptive strikes.

Here is it again. So according to your philosophy, Aikido cannot or does not exist in the real world?

If you don't follow the philosophy, then why bother practicing the art. Too many contradictions

Actually, I would argue (and suspect from his post that Ron would agree) that the contradictions are only apparent contradictions and much of the study of Aikido is in deepening our understanding of these apparent contradictions until we understand how they really are not [contradictions].

This one is a classic contradiction actually, and you've inspired an excellent thread and discussion of this particular apparent contradiction.

I assure you that many (thought probably not all) of us hear have probably been through similar debates in our past arguing your side of the argument.

Training and study eventually reveal all. If your opinion remains firm, that's fine with me, just don't expect me or others to agree with your implication that we're not being true to the philosophy of Aikido.

Regards,

Tarik

Michael O'Brien
02-23-2006, 05:28 PM
Wow, This forum got busy late last night and today. Interesting discussion.

Matthew,
I'm confused as to how you can say that you don't even have your own philosophy on Aikido yet, but you know for a fact that you can't have a pre-emptive strike in Aikido.

Then when it is clearly quoted from a book about a pre-emptive strike you discount that.

Here is a quote from aikifaq.com on the philosphy of Aikido:

***Despite what many people think or claim, there is no unified philosophy of Aikido. What there is, instead, is a disorganized and only partially coherent collection of religious, ethical, and metaphysical beliefs which are only more or less shared by Aikidoists, and which are either transmitted by word of mouth or found in scattered publications about Aikido.***

Which means merely because you personally feel there are no pre-emptive strikes in Aikido in no way makes that fact or a proper interpretation of the philosophy.

Also here is another quote from O'Sensei:
***
If you wish to weaken
The enemy's sword
Move first, fly in and cut!
O'Sensei
***
Move first, fly in and cut! Sounds rather pre-emptive to me?

Lorien Lowe
02-23-2006, 06:41 PM
Once again, this is a real life situation. I understand that a pre-emptive strike is appropriate in a real life situation. However, you cannot call it Aikido.
Hi Mathew-
are you saying that training in Aikido doesn't have much to do with real life, or are you just making a distinction betweed dojo training and 'real life' attacks?

-LK

Chuck Clark
02-23-2006, 07:12 PM
One of the principles in the aikido that I have learned is that we respond to an attack and we wait for the opponent to go first... however, we must define what an attack is. I respond to someone's intent to attack. An attack consists of a lot more than just a physical movement of our human structure. Sen sen no sen timing is something that is very difficult to talk about but extremely effective in action.

Ueshiba Morihei (as someone stated above) spoke about "instant victory" and "attack and defense are one" as being part of the very core of aikido.

Best regards,

mattnowak
02-23-2006, 08:21 PM
I am simply stating my belief and theory on Aikido. The disagreement and debate is refreshing. I don't feel that I was ever negative towards anyone elses view, I simply stated my belief ans why.

Wow, This forum got busy late last night and today. Interesting discussion.

Matthew,
I'm confused as to how you can say that you don't even have your own philosophy on Aikido yet, but you know for a fact that you can't have a pre-emptive strike in Aikido.

Then when it is clearly quoted from a book about a pre-emptive strike you discount that.

Here is a quote from aikifaq.com on the philosphy of Aikido:

***Despite what many people think or claim, there is no unified philosophy of Aikido. What there is, instead, is a disorganized and only partially coherent collection of religious, ethical, and metaphysical beliefs which are only more or less shared by Aikidoists, and which are either transmitted by word of mouth or found in scattered publications about Aikido.***

Which means merely because you personally feel there are no pre-emptive strikes in Aikido in no way makes that fact or a proper interpretation of the philosophy.

Also here is another quote from O'Sensei:
***
If you wish to weaken
The enemy's sword
Move first, fly in and cut!
O'Sensei
***
Move first, fly in and cut! Sounds rather pre-emptive to me?

I feel that Michael has gotten very defensive and I apologize if any debate has upset you. I believe that the influx of different viewpoints and arguments is what makes a forum beneficial. If everyone agreed it would simply be a bore. I hope that me playing devils advocate did not offend anyone.

Thank you for the wonderful conversation, it was quite a treat.

Edwin Neal
02-23-2006, 08:25 PM
good tenkan!

Michael O'Brien
02-23-2006, 09:28 PM
Matthew,

I apologize if I sounded defensive. I also have enjoyed this debate back and forth and have completely enjoyed the ebb and flow of this thread overall.

I do tend to get passionate on occasion and at times that passion can not be properly percieved or conveyed through a keyboard.

No offense was intended towards you or taken by me.

Neil Mick
02-23-2006, 10:53 PM
Thank you for the wonderful conversation, it was quite a treat.

Good post! :cool:

happysod
02-24-2006, 04:17 AM
For me, the idea of pre-emptive strikes is one of the few areas where some of the basic ki-tests cross over well into "standard aikido". If you wait and watch your uke for a while before doing one of the standard one point tests, you often see slight changes in body tension which allow you to test at a point of weakness, showing your uke where they are losing focus.

Similarly, when using a pre-emptive attack, they are much less effective if your uke is being defensive rather than attacking. From a gross point of view, their body posture may be the same, but if their intent is not attacking, your response often becomes just a poor attack.

Basically, I don't see the problem with reacting to the intent of an attack over a gross physical movement. There's been many threads on the use of verbal atemi and correct posture and distance to remove a threat, this is just one more aspect. Even from a philosophical point of view, your intent is to cause the minimum harm? So isn't it best that you control the situation from the outset rather than relying on the good will of your opponent? But I'm with Chuck, boy is it difficult.

roosvelt
02-24-2006, 09:28 AM
In Budo, Ueshiba says that when you "sense a yokomenuchi attack coming, draw it out..." That is pre-emption. You're not reacting to the attack, you are anticipating it.

So true.

But the topic in discussion is "practicing" pre-emptive "strike", I think.

Chuck Clark
02-24-2006, 10:19 AM
... the topic in discussion is "practicing" pre-emptive "strike", I think.

How do we learn to "do" a pre-emptive strike/atemi/etc. if we don't get to "practice" it? If we are training in katageiko, then it's pre-arranged that uke will attack in a certain manner. Uke must have real intent to succeed with the attack to de-stabilize the training partner's structure both physically and mentally. It's a gift we give each other in order to train. If the tori is then taking this sente away from uke successfully, both partners will learn to recognize "intent" and know when it's there and when it isn't.

Even when training with juniors, seniors must show proper training habits such as this. Appropriate levels of force, speed, etc. must be used of course.

If uke attacks with the intent that it's their job to fall down without causing a real problem for tori to solve, then no one will ever learn to do proper pre-emptive practice.

In my opinion, this ability to recognize intent and take the initiative away before the attack can be successful is real aiki. When it can be done in a pre-emptive manner, so much the better.

Best regards,

roosvelt
02-24-2006, 11:11 AM
Chuck,

The original post wrote "By 'strike' I mean a true attack, not just an attention-getting atemi.".

So, how far do you take the "pre-emptive" strike and "real-life" idea? In "real-life" you don't know how the attacker is going to attack you. If Aikido is a "real-life" simulation excercise, why don't we do more "kick" attack? Why don't we allow "uke" to pre-pre-tmptive strikes? Whould it become fencing or boxing?

Aikido has its training method, which may not be better or worse than other training method. If you deviate too far from the norm training method, you're just raining something with different methodology.

One simple question, do you routinely "strike" your student uke? If not, why not?

Chuck Clark
02-24-2006, 11:52 AM
Roosvelt,

You assume, I think, that I practice and do aikibudo/aikido (same thing in my book) in a similar fashion as you and many others do. If not, I apologize for my misunderstanding. Every strike, grab, etc. that we do in our training method (if done properly..) is a "true attack." We do allow uke to do whatever they like in our randori training. Kata is pre-arranged, but when done properly for enough time, it becomes very real and "juicy."

I, and the other seniors, in Jiyushinkai do indeed try to "strike" our juniors. How else will they they learn? We also teach them very good ukemi first. Paradoxically, our first rule in our training is "Take Care Of Your Partner." They both can be done at the same time. Often pretty scary, but that's the point of training. We must sensitize ourselves to the closest thing to reality that we can in order to have a chance to deal with it. We also train in very strong koryu weapons arts which start out slow and controlled and in a few years can also be very, very fast, strong, and controlled. This discipline of training must go along with the larger view of budo spoken about by Ledyard Sensei and myself above. They must go hand in hand.

I apologize for being a bit pedantic, but I am very passionate about this subject. We all must train the best way we can by finding a teacher and training group that fits our heart. That is most likely the hardest part of training.

Best regards,

Michael O'Brien
02-24-2006, 12:11 PM
One simple question, do you routinely "strike" your student uke? If not, why not?


To piggyback off of Chuck, in our dojo when my Sensei is training with the advanced or intermediate students he will routinely reverse a technique or give an attention getting strike if you leave an opening when doing a technique.

With the newer students he will normally stop them and show them where the left the opening saying "I could have hit you here" and then show them how to close the opening they left.

In our intermediate and advanced classes he not only teaches us, but encourages us, to look for openings in techniques for potential strikes or reversals.

Leon Aman
02-25-2006, 01:25 AM
I'd like (as much as is possible, given the title) as non-political of a debate as possible...

Is it valid, according to the philosophy and practice of aikido, to strike uke before uke moves to strike you? By 'strike' I mean a true attack, not just an attention-getting atemi.
You know that uke is going to attack you - that's uke's 'job.' How important is the timing? And how imortant is the difference between striking and atemi?

-LK

I am not sure if o sensei supports the concept of pre-emptive strike or atemi or I don't fully understand his message :confused: when he states " In the art of peace we never attack. An attack is proof that one is out of control. Never run away from any kind of challenge, but do not try to suppress or control an opponent unnaturally.Let attackers come any way they like and then blend with with them. Never chase after opponents. Redirect each attack and get firmly behind it."


Leon

Mark Uttech
02-25-2006, 05:41 AM
Pre-emptive strikes border on fear and paranoia. We can see a clear example of this on the world stage:it is like the lightbulb joke, "how many aikidoists does it take to change a lightbulb? Just one, but the lightbulb has to make the first move..." It seems to me, that the wisdom of aikido involves being aware of your own openings; when you are concentrating on the openings of your enemy or opponent, you have already 'become' your enemy, your opponent. The Pre-emptive strike theory invites endless war, big business perhaps; but unnecessary business. In gassho

Edwin Neal
02-25-2006, 11:26 AM
Pre-emptive strikes border on fear and paranoia.

While it is true that ANY form of VIOLENCE can spring from fear and paranoia... if one's intent and spirit are in harmony this is not the case... then ones actions spring from aiki... Osensei's words and techniques neither encourage nor discourage the use of ANY technique, including preemptive type strikes or atemi... if this is the 'appropriate' aiki response...

It is necessary to develop a strategy that utilizes all the physical conditions and elements that are directly at hand. The best strategy relies upon an unlimited set of responses. -Osensei

Lyle Bogin
02-25-2006, 04:49 PM
It would really suck if you want for a pre-emptive strike and then knocked the guy cold before you got to apply your spirit-taming kokyunage.

Mark Uttech
02-26-2006, 07:55 PM
Lyle, why does your post remind me of the "shock and awe" bombing campaign of Iraq?

Michael O'Brien
02-27-2006, 03:18 PM
Lyle, why does your post remind me of the "shock and awe" bombing campaign of Iraq?

I would appreciate it if we do not drag politics and political opinions into this forum and discussion and limit it Aikido personally. There are enough forums where political opinions and views are being discussed.

Ron Tisdale
02-27-2006, 03:43 PM
Pre-emptive strikes border on fear and paranoia.

Hi Mark. I don't know about that. The one time I almost had to use physical waza in a situation, it was 3 to 4 on one (I'm not counting my great aunt and her walker). If the head thug had taken a couple more steps in our direction...there is a pretty good chance I would have pre-emptively tried my darndest to stick my elbow through his face as I did sokomen iriminage. But that's just me...seeing as I couldn't run away and leave her, and I also couldn't get overly fancy and start tenkaning all over the place, either.

As luck would have it, something about the situation encouraged them to change their minds...so there was no need to use physical waza. I'll always wonder though if I actually waited too long...or if I even mis-read the whole thing entirely (possible, but I doubt it).

Best,
Ron (if you're gonna take a lickin', get the first lick in)

tarik
02-27-2006, 06:18 PM
Pre-emptive strikes border on fear and paranoia.

As do reactive strikes.

Tarik

George S. Ledyard
02-27-2006, 09:01 PM
Once again, this is a real life situation. I understand that a pre-emptive strike is appropriate in a real life situation. However, you cannot call it Aikido.

This is simply not true...

If you fall into the group that maintains that there is no use of atemi in Aikido, then this statement would be consistent with your general belief that atemi is not part of the art. pre-emptive or otherwsie.

But if you accept the idea that there is legitimate use of atemi in Aikido to any degree then maintaining that a pre-emptive atemi would not legitimately be aprt of the art is an untenable position.

I think that most people believe that a confrontation happens when the first blow is initiated. This is incorrect and dangerous. The confrontation starts when the intention to attack forms in the mind.

A so-called pre-emptive strike does two things:
1) it serves to cut the intention of the attacker. It shifts him in the very first instant of the conflict to a defensive mindset rather than an offensive mindset
2) it puts the would-be attacker in reactive mode rather than active mode; since action is faster than re-action this is a necessary component of good self defense.

This is why Takeda Sensei, O-Sensei, and the other great giants of Japanese martial arts put so much emphasis on developing the intuition. The mental aspect of the art has largely gone by the wayside as training has become a massive world wide endeavor rather than an intimate direct transmission from master to student. But it was an integral part of the training for the older uchi-deshi who had occasion to work extensively with O-Sensei.

Now it is the case that this discussion has raged for hundreds of years in the Japanese martial arts. Some styles purposely wait for the opponent to commit himself to his attack. Other styles champion the idea that one should initiate. Still other styles would teach all of these various concepts and accpet them as simply differing tactical approaches. I would put Aikido in to that category. I have been taught to use all of the various timing possibilities from initiating, cutting down the opponent at the instant he decides to attack to waiting till the last possible instant thereby snatching victory from defeat, so to speak. It's all part of Aikido. One uses one concept or another as seems appropriate to a given situation.

Dirk Hanss
02-28-2006, 04:12 AM
Thanks, George,
that was what I was waiting for from competent source.

As you limited pre-emptive strikes to cut intention and put into reaction.

Given a situation that one is circled by multiple opponents and would knock out the first - probably with the idea of not getting into necessity to break an arm or even kill one of them.

In my view it is still in the spirit of protecting the opponent and thus true aikido. Nevertheless the advice would be: "Improve your technique and/or confidence, so that the next time the knock-out is not necessary."

Am I wrong or just only at the very bottom of the mountain ;)


All the best Dirk

MM
03-01-2006, 07:08 AM
This is simply not true...

If you fall into the group that maintains that there is no use of atemi in Aikido, then this statement would be consistent with your general belief that atemi is not part of the art. pre-emptive or otherwsie.

But if you accept the idea that there is legitimate use of atemi in Aikido to any degree then maintaining that a pre-emptive atemi would not legitimately be aprt of the art is an untenable position.

I think that most people believe that a confrontation happens when the first blow is initiated. This is incorrect and dangerous. The confrontation starts when the intention to attack forms in the mind.


I wonder if this is a matter of semantics. If we break down "pre-emptive strike" into two catagories, we could get:
1. As you stated above, the confrontation begins with the attacker's intent not his physical atemi. Therefore, tori's atemi is used to neutralize the attack.
2. Physical atemi used before attacker's intent is manifested.


Now, there are a lot of ways both situations can occur. However, if we look at #1, it really isn't a "pre-emptive" strike/atemi. We are moving at either the exact same timing of the attacker's intent or very close to it, but we are physically moving before the attacker's physical movement. By eyes alone, this could be perceived as a pre-emptive strike. But it really isn't.

With #2 and using just one example -- if one is facing several attackers, then one can use a pre-emptive strike to set up the situation where one can survive the encounter. By all intents and purposes, yeah, there is a pre-emptive strike. Is it Aikido? Having conversations with some people, no, they wouldn't view what you did as being "Aikido". But, hey, everyone's aikido is different. For me, I agree with you. It can be Aikido.

Thanks,
Mark

Ron Tisdale
03-01-2006, 08:19 AM
Hi Mark,
While I do think no. two is aikido, I also don't care what it is...as long as I survive. ;) That would be the point of that "exercise"...

Best,
Ron

MM
03-01-2006, 08:32 AM
Hi Mark,
While I do think no. two is aikido, I also don't care what it is...as long as I survive. ;) That would be the point of that "exercise"...

Best,
Ron

lol, yes, I definitely agree. Surviving would be critical to me and what I'd call it would be way down on the list of caring.

But, I get times where I can think on concepts and I find myself caught on some very fine lines. Take the example of #2 above. Is it really a pre-emptive strike? If by that time (I mean by the time there are several opponents) you find yourself having to *do* something, then hasn't Aikido already started? You have several opponents who are there for very bad reasons (if not, then we really don't have a situation and don't need to do anything), so the intent has already started. If you use an atemi to redirect things such that you can survive, well, aren't you really just using Aikido to redirect their intent. You're just using a physical atemi to initiate physical blending. You should already be mentally/spiritually blending with the situation.

Looking at it like that, is there really any true "pre-emptive" strikes in Aikido? LOL, I think that's a trick question, also. Because how do you define what O-sensei did when his students would say that there was no "opening" to attack him. Was he using "pre-emptive" technique to not have an opening? Or was he using blending technique to such a fine degree that just when the student thought to attack, O-sensei took the opening away? Will we ever know? :)

Thanks,
Mark

Ron Tisdale
03-01-2006, 08:42 AM
so the intent has already started. If you use an atemi to redirect things such that you can survive, well, aren't you really just using Aikido to redirect their intent. You're just using a physical atemi to initiate physical blending. You should already be mentally/spiritually blending with the situation.

Well, in the situation I mentioned earlier, I was pretty busy from the moment I saw them step off the opposite curb. Since my Aunt was already out of the car, and sitting her back down would take too long, I propped her up between the body of the car and the door so she couldn't fall. I moved her cane to the hand closest to me, and made sure she didn't support herself with it so that I could grab it if needed. I angled my body to watch the 'perps', letting them know I was watching, but not confronting them. I spoke to my Aunt softly, letting her know there wasn't a problem, and that she hd nothing to worry about. I made sure they could see the fanny pack I had positioned in front of me, so they might wonder what I had in it (a lot of people carry a small firearm in those). As they came closer, I angled more directly toward the leader, making sure he knew I knew he was the leader. I was hoping like heck he knew he would be the first to go. ;)

So yeah, the 'battle' started the minute they stepped off the curb, as far as I was concerned. But I wanted them to think that I was completely unconcerned about the whole affair.

Will we ever know?

Nope. But that's ok too...

Best,
Ron

James Davis
03-01-2006, 11:35 AM
Hi Mark. I don't know about that. The one time I almost had to use physical waza in a situation, it was 3 to 4 on one (I'm not counting my great aunt and her walker). If the head thug had taken a couple more steps in our direction...there is a pretty good chance I would have pre-emptively tried my darndest to stick my elbow through his face as I did sokomen iriminage. But that's just me...seeing as I couldn't run away and leave her, and I also couldn't get overly fancy and start tenkaning all over the place, either.

As luck would have it, something about the situation encouraged them to change their minds...so there was no need to use physical waza. I'll always wonder though if I actually waited too long...or if I even mis-read the whole thing entirely (possible, but I doubt it).

Best,
Ron (if you're gonna take a lickin', get the first lick in)

You didn't wait too long; you were only able to move as fast as your aunt could, right? You might have misread their intentions, but who cares as long as you, your aunt, and the (potential) punks all got home alive and uninjured? :)

Don't worry too much about what happened then. Watch your back today. ;)

Ron Tisdale
03-01-2006, 12:20 PM
Yeah, got that right {can you see an image of me turning around trying to 'watch' my back??} :)

I don't worry about it all, sometimes I do think back on it and wonder though. Hmmm....well, maybe that's not entirely true. I worried enough so that I have a 'car tool' that I can have with me everytime I'm down there now. But once I made the decision to have it, I just stopped worrying. I'm not willing to carry a gun at this time, no matter what the threat. She even suggested that I get one. Natch. I respect them (guns), but just prefer not to be around them. Way too easy to do way too much damage without anywhere near enough thought. That is not an indictment of anyone who chooses differently, by the way.

Best,
Ron

Mark Uttech
03-02-2006, 05:50 AM
I think the philosophy of "pre-emptive strike" will bring about endless violence. It is a restless philosophy, not different than the guy who goes to dangerous places to test the effectiveness of his training. There is no art of peace here.

MM
03-02-2006, 06:35 AM
I think the philosophy of "pre-emptive strike" will bring about endless violence. It is a restless philosophy, not different than the guy who goes to dangerous places to test the effectiveness of his training. There is no art of peace here.

Just out of curiousity, how do you explain O-sensei and several of his students?

Thanks,
Mark

Ron Tisdale
03-02-2006, 07:37 AM
Not only that, but my Aunt refuses to move. She lives in a very bad section of North Philly, but it is the house my parents were married in, the house she lived with her husband in and where he died, and the house where she raised her adopted son. She (unfortunately) is not going anywhere (except, as my father says, feet first).

So there is no element of going to dangerous places to test technique here. I will not abandon her, and she will not move. Oh well...sometimes a responsible life carries risks.

Best,
Ron

Nick Simpson
03-02-2006, 08:22 AM
Great thread this. I fully belieive in the use of pre-emptive strikes both in aikido training and outside of it (if the situation so arises).

[/QUOTE](if you're gonna take a lickin', get the first lick in)[QUOTE]

Never a truer word was said.

Ron Tisdale
03-02-2006, 08:35 AM
I was browsing another thread and found this post by David V.:

For me, that party line came from somewhere else - even if it can trace itself back to something Osensei may have said. A big piece of supporting evidence is this for me. In the radio interview Osensei gave late in his life, he was giving his usual spiel from "Takemusu Aiki," and at some point well into the monologue Osensei was delivering, at a point that the radio announcer was seriously (and obviously) lost, he, the announcer, reads an obviously prepared question: "So, isn't it true that there are no attacks in Aikido?" What does Osensei do? Does he say "Yes, that is true." Nope - he says, after laughing at the ridiculousness of the question, (paraphrasing) "Aikido is the harmony of all things. To say that Aikido can be only this or cannot be that - to say it can be only one side of a given dualism - is to deny its harmonious nature - of course there are attacks in Aikido."

Where did the announcer get that prepared question? Obviously he obtained the information via some means, but equally obviously it did not come for Osensei. My guess, some folks, folks in position enough to inform the announcer either professionally and/or incidentally, were touting such a perspective (i.e. there are no attacks in Aikido/Aikido is a non-violent art). For many folks, that perspective has gone on to become gospel. However, was it the position of Osensei or was it the position of folks in power that just used the cultural capital of Osensei "as Founder" to gain the power to determine the party line? I believe it was the latter, but regardless of one's take, one shouldn't act like this history has been decided upon once and for all. It has not - it is still very much up in the air.

I thought it interesting relative to this subject.

Hi Nick. I can' even remember where I heard that...at least I assume I heard it somewhere...it's too good for me to have come up with on my own... ;)

Best,
Ron

MM
03-02-2006, 08:50 AM
I was browsing another thread and found this post by David V.:

I thought it interesting relative to this subject.

Best,
Ron


Ron,
LOL! I read that thread today and even thought about posting that exact section here. I was reading another thread somewhere else and when I got done, checked back here and wow, you'd already posted it.

Mark

Alec Corper
03-02-2006, 09:07 AM
OK,

What do we do with this.
The Doshu's latest book, page 47, Atemi, defined as, and I quote, "pre-emptive strike".
Nishio Sensei's book lists a variety of atemi that naturally go at the beginning of a technique.
The essence of Aikido is irimi, not tenkan.

peace, brothers

Nick Simpson
03-02-2006, 11:00 AM
Hi Nick. I can' even remember where I heard that...at least I assume I heard it somewhere...it's too good for me to have come up with on my own...

well, it's a saying worth remembering where ever it came from :)

Ah, the great thing about aikiweb, things can indeed come back to haunt you/us/them. Muwhahaha. Ahem.

Nick Simpson
03-02-2006, 11:02 AM
The Doshu's latest book, page 47, Atemi, defined as, and I quote, "pre-emptive strike".

Cool. I like that, it's nice to have something to point at people who have a very definate idea about what constitutes aikido/atemi...

jonreading
03-02-2006, 11:41 AM
Michael Jordan (a famous basketball player for the Chicago Bulls) once said in an interview [to paraphrase]: "When I have the ball, I've already scored, my defender just doesn't know it yet."

When does pre-emption begin? If I choose to "pre-emptively" strike someone, does pre-emption only include physical activity? What If my opponent has decided to strike me, but has not found the opportunity to physically execute that decision? Is it fair to restrict the scope of aikido to reaction to physical activity?

If my opponent decides to harm me, isn't that the same as the physical execution of harm? "The opponent that stands before me with malice in his/her heart is already defeated."

It sounds like we're in danger of throwing the baby out with the bath water here. Please don't confuse the benevolent execution of pre-emption with the misinterpretation of hitting someone first. Pre-emptive action, in this case striking, is a valuable tool to training and resolving conflict; in many cases, I call this pro-active aikido.

Michael O'Brien
03-02-2006, 04:28 PM
Ron/Nick,
I read that thread today and immediately thought of this thread when I read David's post as well. LOL

Jon,
Well stated.

Dirk Hanss
03-03-2006, 02:34 AM
When does pre-emption begin? If I choose to "pre-emptively" strike someone, does pre-emption only include physical activity? What If my opponent has decided to strike me, but has not found the opportunity to physically execute that decision? Is it fair to restrict the scope of aikido to reaction to physical activity?

If my opponent decides to harm me, isn't that the same as the physical execution of harm? "The opponent that stands before me with malice in his/her heart is already defeated."

All I learned about aikido is that the goal is, to feel the "vibrations" before anything happens physically.

So simply said, if you know, that the attack has started, you have to act, atemi or other technique. In jurisdiction you have to prove, in aikido you have to know, but it is not enough, just to believe an aggression would come.

And it is not enough to tell others, that you have proof about prepared evil aggression until finally you believe it yourself. But that is another thread.

One can argue, in this case pre-emtive strikes are allowed, when the intension is there, or what is allowed is not a pre-emptive strike as the attack was already alive - even if not visible. To me it is all the same.

Dirk

Mark Uttech
03-05-2006, 07:24 AM
If you go home and find your wife/girlfriend/lover in bed with someone else, it is generally too late for any kind of pre-emptive strike.

Ron Tisdale
03-06-2006, 07:58 AM
Nah, the pre-emptive strike should have been keeping her happy in the first place! ;)

Good one, Mark!
Ron

Nick Simpson
03-07-2006, 06:35 AM
Or warning her not to be naughty...

James Davis
03-07-2006, 12:17 PM
If you go home and find your wife/girlfriend/lover in bed with someone else, it is generally too late for any kind of pre-emptive strike.
For my wife, I guess a good preemptive strike would be to already have a suitcase packed for her. :p

NathanD
03-16-2006, 12:41 PM
You do not have to wait for anything, you can feel free to strike pre-emptively; all I am saying is that then your action is not in line with Aikido theory and philosophy.

There are NO pre-emptive strikes in Aikido. In the real world, of course there are pre-emptive strikes. The question, however, was whether Aikido has pre-emptive strikes.

Mathew,

I have studied Kenpo for the last 13 years and have just recently ventured into Aikido. I am very confused by your understanding of Aikido. If you acknowledge that preemptive strikes are necessary in the real world, but Aikido does not permit them, then you are saying that someone looking for an effective form of self defense should look somewhere other than Aikido, are you not?

Nathan

Mark Freeman
03-16-2006, 12:51 PM
For my wife, I guess a good preemptive strike would be to already have a suitcase packed for her. :p

I'd love to see you explaining that one away when she says "James, where have all my clothes gone?" :D