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MM
03-11-2006, 02:58 PM
I've heard that one of the major reasons people start to learn a martial art is self defense. Digging deeper, though, one finds an almost daydream-like quality on how the martial art training is viewed. That daydream is where the person is at the center of some fight and becomes the hero. There are a myriad of aspects to these daydreams, but the common theme is multiple assailants, some kind of distress, and the hero overcoming all. Typically, it is viewed as just that -- a daydream.
However, there can come a point in one's training where the daydream seems to be something possible. Where the trainee is getting better at his martial art and confidence is setting in. Here is where daydreams, delusion, and reality can become distorted.

I'm going to change the subject, but I promise there is a point to all this. A few years ago, I had two wolf hybrids. The older one I helped raise with his mother. When the mother died, we were both hit hard. I found another hybrid pup. The older one was about five. Fast forward to a couple of years and the older one is now seven and the younger one is two. The older one weighs in at about 90 pounds and the older one has filled out to about 125 pounds. The young one is starting to assert some dominance on the older one. Well, one night, I heard some growling and fighting and looked into the back pen. They each had one end of a raccoon. I went outside and stepped near them to put a stop to it. For some reason, the dead raccoon was on the ground between them when I got there. The young one had his ears back, his hackles up, and fangs bared. And let me tell you that there was *NO* larger nor more fearsome thing in the whole world at that time (I've been that close to an enraged bear, but that's another time and story) for me. You see, I was close enough that I could reach out and touch him. He wasn't directing his fearsome-ness at me. No, it was directed at the older one. But, at that point, I came to realize just how fragile a human can be. I realized that if he ever directed that towards me (he never did), the end result … well, to be frank, I didn't give myself all that much chance.

Today, I read the story here:
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20060311/D8G9D62G0.html
An alpha male was caught unaware by eight wolves from another pack. It wasn't even a contest really. The alpha male was killed. I don't know how much anyone reading this knows about wolves, but you don't get to be an alpha male by being slow, weak, or stupid. And I don't know how many of you have ever gotten close to a wolf, let alone one that isn't happy with you. A trip to the zoo doesn't count. But, given an alpha male versus an unarmed human, my money is on the alpha male.

So, back to my initial topic to bring all this to a point. Daydreaming about what one can do with their martial arts training is one thing, but believing that you can handle yourself in a dangerous situation can border on delusion. I'm not talking about believing in yourself or believing in your abilities. That's all fine and good as long as you're being realistic in those views. But if you've trained for a number of years and think you can competently handle yourself in a dangerous situation, well, I hope that you never have to because you may find yourself just like the alpha male in the story. Beset by a rival gang that is truly out to kill you. Train like it matters, train the best you can each time, but don't fool yourself into believing that you can handle whatever comes along. Take a good, hard, realistic look at your abilities and keep that in mind. Be alert to your surroundings when in public. Know when to retreat before a situation goes from bad to worse or even learn how to diffuse those situations. If something does go wrong, then use all of your abilities and anything in the area to survive. But don't go into it with a mindset that your training will win the day.

Mark

mj
03-11-2006, 05:08 PM
Hard work without talent beats talent without hard work. :)

RebeccaM
03-11-2006, 06:25 PM
Yes, but hard work with talent beats out them all. :/

Mark Uttech
03-12-2006, 04:21 AM
Training in Aikido is a sort of training in enlightenment. The wolf story is a good example. Two basic Aikido principles: Getting the 'big picture' and getting off the line of attack are life-long training principles. Hard work and talent are friends, meaning that they help each other. A person just has to keep going, that's all; world without end.

SeiserL
03-12-2006, 11:42 AM
Train to rid yourself of self-limiting illusions (de-lusion) and make the dreams you have during the day (day dreams) your reality.

James Kelly
03-13-2006, 01:24 PM
An old sempai of mine used to say, “be careful of what you day dream because you might make it happen.” Meaning, if you think about getting jumped and winning the day, look out, because you might bring the getting jumped part on and not be up to the winning the day part. I haven’t heard from him in years. I hope he’s ok.

Qatana
03-13-2006, 01:32 PM
Oh, heck, you mean I'll never be like Ultraviolet and be able to wipe out 700 armed commandos by spinning around in a circle with my katana?

Ron Tisdale
03-13-2006, 01:59 PM
Nice post Mark. I spent a day at a wolf preserve in Lancaster, Pa. Wolves are REAL intense. One of the scariest things is looking into the eyes of a buffalo wolf. When they look back...it makes you shiver, even when they are on the other side of the fence. There is no question who wins a contest with one of those.

http://www.wolfsancpa.org/index.htm

I've had those day dreams you mention. I have no delusions though...I know they are just day dreams. The other day some friends of mine and I did 3 on one boxing. Fighting off the wall is incredibly difficult. I was able to do aikido evasions to start, but without actually 'taking out' the opponants, sooner or later I get tired and get trapped. Interesting training...

What got you into raising hybrids? Did they ever show agression toward you? How were your neighbors on the whole thing??? Inquiring minds want to know...

Best,
Ron

MM
03-13-2006, 02:52 PM
Hi Ron!

Hope you're doing well.

Yes, wolves are intelligent and intense. I got to get close to the mother of the "young one". She was all white, a little bit sick (she had the pups and then surgery for an illness), weighed about 150 (down 15 pounds from being sick), and very beautiful. I don't know who was more intelligent, me or her. But I she definitely had more presence. It was that kind of quiet calm encapsulated around iron strength of spirit. I'd love to be able to have that. :)

Yeah, I've had those daydreams, too. I'd be willing to bet most of us have. Even three on one is very dangerous if those three are really out to kill or maim. The end result of mutual harmony with no one getting hurt is an admirable goal. But I'm not close so I'll stick to training with effective aikido that does include using whatever is available.

Long ago while I was in the Air Force, my room-mate's friend dropped by. He said he was moving and had to give up his female hybrid. I said I'd take her. She said that she was pregnant. LOL. I said I'd take her anyway. She was a beautiful off-white and kind of small. Probably 65-70 pounds. But she was way smarter than me. And she loved people. I helped her dig her den and raise the pups. I kept one and some of the family got a few. (The one my Aunt took ended up being a Search & Rescue "dog".) Those two were family. So one day, years later, when the mother died, it really was a hard hit. The "old one" was about five and he howled for weeks. So I got another to help with the loss. That was the "young one".

They never showed aggression towards me. Only love and attention. (Although a very bad rivalry developed between the old one and the young one. Nasty stuff, but that's another story.) I learned a lot from them.

Mark

Ron Tisdale
03-13-2006, 03:07 PM
On the hybrids, I'm jealous!

On the three on one, we didn't allow head shots, but the shots to the body were fairly hard. We were using 16 ounce gloves (I also had a pair of grappling gloves I use for bag work, but we didn't use those...you could kill someone using those! I don't know how those ufc guys take such a pounding). So it wasn't anywhere near as bad as it would actually be if there were 3 guys really set on banging on you. The most interesting things to me were that the aikido evasions really did work while I had the energy to do them...and that it is possible to move with the incoming strikes while on the wall to aborb the punishment, then go into a spurt to fight off the wall.

The problem is that real attackers often target the head quite a bit. If my friends had been taking head shots as well I would have been toast once I got trapped like that.

Best,
Ron

Michael O'Brien
03-13-2006, 05:04 PM
I've had those day dreams you mention. I have no delusions though...I know they are just day dreams. The other day some friends of mine and I did 3 on one boxing. Fighting off the wall is incredibly difficult. I was able to do aikido evasions to start, but without actually 'taking out' the opponants, sooner or later I get tired and get trapped. Interesting training...
Best,
Ron

Ron,
I Love this whole training concept/idea. Never thought of doing anything quite like that. I'm sure it can do wonders to help build endurance.

One nice thing to think about is as you said, you weren't 'taking out' your opponents which did lead to your getting tired. If it was an actual street encounter that escalated to that point then you would be taking guys out to survive. Hopefully that would happen before you got tired and trapped.

MM
03-14-2006, 07:10 AM
On the hybrids, I'm jealous!


I have some pics that can be viewed here:

http://l--o--l.com/dragonheart_pets

(There aren't any pics of the mother in that group, though.)
I found that personalities of the parents mattered a lot. The mother's personality of loving to get attention got transferred to her pups. But, the young one ... his parents were really more wild than tame and it showed in him. He was a lot more independent than the old one.


On the three on one, we didn't allow head shots, but the shots to the body were fairly hard. We were using 16 ounce gloves (I also had a pair of grappling gloves I use for bag work, but we didn't use those...you could kill someone using those! I don't know how those ufc guys take such a pounding). So it wasn't anywhere near as bad as it would actually be if there were 3 guys really set on banging on you. The most interesting things to me were that the aikido evasions really did work while I had the energy to do them...and that it is possible to move with the incoming strikes while on the wall to aborb the punishment, then go into a spurt to fight off the wall.

The problem is that real attackers often target the head quite a bit. If my friends had been taking head shots as well I would have been toast once I got trapped like that.

Best,
Ron

How many bruises did you end up with? :) I think that doing this kind of training every now and then does add a touch of reality to one's place in training. I think, too, that randori done correctly can also be used.

I agree with Michael in that if it were real, then hopefully, one would be taking out attackers as quickly as possible. I kind of like the advice usually given in handgun classes. No one is superman, so you'd better be going for a defensive position *while* you're drawing your gun. Besides, a moving target is harder to hit. :)

Mark

nathansnow
03-14-2006, 09:49 AM
Come on Ron, I'd take you in a 3 on 1 fight any day!! If I have this confidence in you, then you should have this confidence in yourself. If those guys were really trying to knock your block off, I would think that you wouldn't hesitate to throw some atemi to the throat or groin. Get one of them in a choke control keeping the other 2 at bay. If you popped his tracia with a good solid choke, it's down to 2 on 1!!
I think that if you're going to use aikido in a real situation like that, you have to really follow through with the technique (meaning you have to break the wrist with a kotegeishi, or make sure that he lands back on his shoulders and head with a kokyunage or iriminage).
Having said this, I know it can't be practices.... I mean who will volunteer to get their wrist broken this week!! lol If you find a particular partner that you really trust and is able and willing to go harder than anyone else, you can push the techniques to the edge and not kill each other!!

Oops, have to get back to work... this site is tooooo addicting!!

Ron Tisdale
03-14-2006, 10:16 AM
:) Thanks for the vote of confidence...

The point of the exercise wasn't to do aikido waza...part mental toughening, part physical toughening, part awareness of the difficulty of dealing with multiples. We started doing push hands, two of the guys do tai chi. Both are good...one is fantastic (he's also really good at aikido). They also do tai chi boxing, and do the two/three on one whenever the opportunity presents. It was very educational.

The standing chokes are actually a very good response if you know quick ways to apply them. But it would have been against the idea of the exercise. One step throws are also good.

Best,
Ron

nathansnow
03-14-2006, 10:52 AM
Underst ;) ood!!
I've done something similar to this in the past. One person would line up across the mat from 2 attackers. The timer yells GO!! and the 2 attackers try to take you down. Kicking, grabbing, and some shots to the body are all perfectly acceptable. 15 seconds is all you get.... but it seems like forever!! :crazy: It can really test your aikido and takes you to a different speed!! After getting taken down a bunch of time you can start to develop some strategies..... and god forbid, implement them and have them work halfway decent!! :D
Just another thing you might try!!

MM
03-14-2006, 11:05 AM
Nathan,
Isn't that just called Randori? :)

Mark

Ron Tisdale
03-14-2006, 11:59 AM
How many bruises did you end up with?

Well, being a little dark (cough, ahem) ;) I don't bruise all that easily. 16 ounce gloves helps too!

Those pictures are great! Happy is one brave pup!
Best,
Ron

MM
03-14-2006, 12:25 PM
Ron,
Gloves do help. Not getting hit at all does wonders! LOL!

I might try to add in some randori next class. We have some boxing gloves at the dojo, too.

Mark

Ron Tisdale
03-14-2006, 12:40 PM
well, this was an informal, 'out of dojo' experience with skilled people, no beginners. Just to be clear...

Best,
Ron

MM
03-14-2006, 12:49 PM
Yep, it's clear. It just reminded me that some randori practice would be nice right about now. Okay, maybe not "nice" but good training. :) I hate to see what I look like on video doing randori, though. The phrase "running around like a chicken with its head cut off" comes to mind. LOL!

Mark

Ron Tisdale
03-14-2006, 12:53 PM
**Like** a chicken is better than **being** the chicken, in my limited experience! ;)

B,
R

MM
03-14-2006, 01:03 PM
**Like** a chicken is better than **being** the chicken, in my limited experience! ;)

B,
R

ROTFL,
It's a good thing I put my tea down when I clicked the refresh button.

Mark

Michael O'Brien
03-14-2006, 04:10 PM
Yep, it's clear. It just reminded me that some randori practice would be nice right about now. Okay, maybe not "nice" but good training. :) I hate to see what I look like on video doing randori, though. The phrase "running around like a chicken with its head cut off" comes to mind. LOL!

Mark

Mark,

Can we get some video clips of this next randori training session?

:D

MM
03-15-2006, 06:16 AM
Mike,
LOL! Video Clips here? And spoil my chances on America's Funniest Videos?

Mark

Mark Uttech
03-15-2006, 10:56 AM
How did "Dances with wolves" get into this thread?

Thalib
03-15-2006, 11:46 PM
I got your point.

Veering off topic a bit going towards wolves, how could an alpha male be an alpha male if he does not gain respect from his pack? I don't know, I think it's an abomination that an alpha male could get mobbed by his pack; first time I've ever heard of this happening. A coup d'etat in the natural world.

Anyway...

Yes... My perception at first was exactly what you are saying, I do want to be the hero, but the more I learned the more I understand.

Learning martial arts did not teach me on how to defend myself nor it did teach me how to fight but it did teach me about acceptance. Of course this all depends on your journey. Learning martial arts is slowly cutting away my arrogance (mind you, there is still a big piece to cut off), it taught me how fragile and weak the human body really is, how helpless humans are, how mortal we are. I have accepted this truth, and no matter how we try to compensate for these short-comings, in the end we are still weak creatures.

I'm not going to the spiritual side of the matter here, because accepting that means accepting death, and we will go on to a long spiritual discussions that might bore most of you.

In the end, what is perceived as reality could actually be the delusion and vice versa. Dreams will easily be shattered. There is no absolute truth in this relative world.


Regards,

K'

MM
03-16-2006, 06:06 AM
I got your point.

Veering off topic a bit going towards wolves, how could an alpha male be an alpha male if he does not gain respect from his pack? I don't know, I think it's an abomination that an alpha male could get mobbed by his pack; first time I've ever heard of this happening. A coup d'etat in the natural world.

Anyway...

Yes... My perception at first was exactly what you are saying, I do want to be the hero, but the more I learned the more I understand.

Learning martial arts did not teach me on how to defend myself nor it did teach me how to fight but it did teach me about acceptance. Of course this all depends on your journey. Learning martial arts is slowly cutting away my arrogance (mind you, there is still a big piece to cut off), it taught me how fragile and weak the human body really is, how helpless humans are, how mortal we are. I have accepted this truth, and no matter how we try to compensate for these short-comings, in the end we are still weak creatures.

I'm not going to the spiritual side of the matter here, because accepting that means accepting death, and we will go on to a long spiritual discussions that might bore most of you.

In the end, what is perceived as reality could actually be the delusion and vice versa. Dreams will easily be shattered. There is no absolute truth in this relative world.


Regards,

K'

Hello!
In regards to the alpha wolf. It wasn't his own pack that attacked him, but members from a rival pack.

Good post.

Thanks,
Mark

Mark Freeman
03-16-2006, 08:07 AM
There is no absolute truth in this relative world.

Absolutely true! ;)

Josh Reyer
03-16-2006, 10:18 AM
There is no absolute truth in this relative world.Absolutely true! ;)

Only a Sith deals in absolutes.

Ron Tisdale
03-16-2006, 10:21 AM
Happy Birthday Joshua!

B,
R

MM
03-16-2006, 11:06 AM
Only a Sith deals in absolutes.

Well, if that's true, then when dealing with one, you might as well accept the inevitable because *drum roll* Sith Happens. LOL!

Mark

Josh Reyer
03-16-2006, 12:21 PM
Happy Birthday Joshua!

B,
R

Say, thanks! Actually, it passed about 3 hours ago. It's 3 AM, March 17 here in Japan. :D

Just turned 30. Weird how my 20s seemed simultaneously short and long...

Mark Uttech
03-17-2006, 10:37 AM
How did "dances with wolves" morph into a birthday party? Happy birthday anyway.

Ron Tisdale
03-17-2006, 10:50 AM
Just to go full circle...Delusion, Daydreams, Reality

then Dancing with wolves,

then Birthdays (I liked the little cake next to his name),

and now....

Morphing. So when the topic changes, it morphs...which topic is the delusion, which the daydream, and which the reality?

I dreamt I was a butterfly, and didn't know when I awoke if I was a man who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly who now dreamt he was a man.

Chuang Tzu's dream
500 Years BC

Seems appropriate somehow. Perhaps a better name for the thread would have been "[Self]-Delusion, Daydreams, and Reality"...

Best,
Ron

Mark Uttech
03-17-2006, 11:20 AM
Self delusion is actually very big in the martial arts.

MM
03-17-2006, 11:51 AM
Yeah, I try to be as self-deluded as I can in my martial arts. Then I wake up! :)

Seriously, though, I never cease to be amazed by all the claims of some people in the martial arts world. Some of their backgrounds reads like a list of Hollywood movie credits. 10th degree combat jujitsu, 10th degree World Federation Kan Do, 9th degree taijutsu do, 8th degree yada yada yada, on and on for pages. Sheesh, where did they get the time to achieve all these ranks and still only be 40 years old?

Mark

Michael O'Brien
03-17-2006, 12:32 PM
Yeah, I try to be as self-deluded as I can in my martial arts. Then I wake up! :)

Seriously, though, I never cease to be amazed by all the claims of some people in the martial arts world. Some of their backgrounds reads like a list of Hollywood movie credits. 10th degree combat jujitsu, 10th degree World Federation Kan Do, 9th degree taijutsu do, 8th degree yada yada yada, on and on for pages. Sheesh, where did they get the time to achieve all these ranks and still only be 40 years old?

Mark
Right here on e-bay Mark. :D

Here is your instructors certificate for cane fighting:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Kenpo-Martial-Arts-Videos-Hapkido-Tang-Soo-Do-Cane_W0QQitemZ7227443752QQcategoryZ79779QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Here is your instructors certifcate for stick fighting:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Kali-Stick-Kenpo-Martial-Arts-Videos-Self-Defense_W0QQitemZ7226488788QQcategoryZ79779QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Here is your black belt in Shorinkenjitsu and American Tiger Jujitsu:
http://skkaacademy1.tripod.com/

People are selling rank all over the place now. LOL

MM
03-17-2006, 02:06 PM
Right here on e-bay Mark. :D

People are selling rank all over the place now. LOL

Don't forget this one:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Aikido-to-2nd-Degree-Black-Belt-DVDs-Distant-Course_W0QQitemZ7227722081QQcategoryZ79780QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

If you buy now, they throw in a second nidan for your training partner for free!!!

Wonder if they have a program for up to 10th degree? Seems everything can be found for sale on the Internet. I saw a place a few months ago that sold Ph.D. degrees for $399. And for just another $100, you can have all A's on your transcript. LOL!

Mark

Michael O'Brien
03-17-2006, 03:41 PM
Don't forget this one:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Aikido-to-2nd-Degree-Black-Belt-DVDs-Distant-Course_W0QQitemZ7227722081QQcategoryZ79780QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

If you buy now, they throw in a second nidan for your training partner for free!!!

Mark

LOL ... Missed that one in my quick search this morning; I love the quote about "techniques are easy to follow."

See in a matter of weeks for a few hundred dollars we can all be black belts in a variety of martial arts AND have our PHD with straight A's to boot to show how well rounded we are.

MM
03-17-2006, 06:12 PM
If I'm going to go for the delusions and daydreams part, I'm going to get all of that, then get me one of them Soke titles. Throw in a grandmaster title. Then, I'll add to it. I'm thinking something along the lines of: O-Soke Great Grandmaster Ichi Kaiso Hyakudan.

O-Soke (To elevate me to being above all the other Soke)
Great Grandmaster (Elevating me above the other Grandmasters)
Ichi Kaiso (Number 1 top founder of the organization -- all others must start at 2)
Hyakudan (I'll have 10 - 10th degrees thus securing my spot as a 100th degree).

ROTFL at the silliness of it all,
Mark

Mark Uttech
03-17-2006, 06:13 PM
That is why we have to practice.

kaishaku
03-18-2006, 01:26 AM
People are selling rank all over the place now. LOL

I signed up for the $9 American Tiger Jujitsu. The web site says I can be promoted by the honor system by e-mailing the seller when I've learned the appropriate techniques. I'm so excited! I'll go buy myself a blue belt from the karate shop and add it to my resume. My cage fighting prowess will increase exponentially with all my new submission expertise!

Mark Uttech
03-19-2006, 06:24 AM
I am going to repeat myself now: "That is why we have to practice..." Rank means something in real dojos in real lineages; this is something not to forget. So we have to continuously ask ourselves why we are practicing; not why people practiced in the past, but why we are practicing now. There's an old story about a marine who was practicing aikido and made the observation that he "doesn't beat his kids anymore."

Budd
03-19-2006, 10:20 AM
I like what another Aikiweb poster *winks at fellow AC grad* said to me when we were chatting off the mat during Ellis Amdur's recent seminar in Maryland, which I'll badly paraphrase, but roughly amounted to, "Rank only means something between you and your instructor".

That seems about right to me.

MM
03-19-2006, 11:34 AM
I like what another Aikiweb poster *winks at fellow AC grad* said to me when we were chatting off the mat during Ellis Amdur's recent seminar in Maryland, which I'll badly paraphrase, but roughly amounted to, "Rank only means something between you and your instructor".

That seems about right to me.

Budd,
Hello! Hope you're doing well. We met at the Amdur seminar. How's training going?

Yeah, for the most part, I'd agree with that statement. But, it seems like a lot of people put stock in "Rank" when dealing with people outside their organization. I think it gives them a way of comparing what these "new" people know in relation to how they've interacted with similar ranks in their own organization. So, in that aspect, it becomes important to them.

Mark