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bujin 04-12-2002 01:36 PM

Pointless techniques
Are there any techniques which you consider totaly useless in a fight?
I would say that majority of kokyu nage techniques are pure lŽart pour lŽart.

Armyaiki 04-12-2002 02:15 PM

Let me be the first to say that AIkido is not about fighting and the goal would be to avoid the confrontation. That being said the connection is what it is about and any technique should work. Not saying that I can do them in a defense situation. I heard somewhere, " Aikido is 95% atemi". That statement was attributed to O'Sensei.

On a better note, use your Aikido to stay out of a fighting situation.

shihonage 04-12-2002 04:04 PM

Aikido gives your subconcience the basic building blocks in form of "body memory", and way of movement.

For example I noticed that I have bastardized ikkyo and sankyo variations ingrained in my subconscience and they're the first thing I attempt to do during my "flinch reaction" (when a buddy tries to mock attack, etc).

Some Aikido stuff looks pretty silly, but it should in no way diminish it's value.

We practice idealized techniques the purpose of which is to become building blocks for "bastardized techniques" when shit hits the fan.

Brian Vickery 04-12-2002 04:07 PM

Re: Pointless techniques

Originally posted by bujin
Are there any techniques which you consider totaly useless in a fight?

Hello Juliusz,

Well, I can only speak on how techniques are taught in the particular dojo where I train, so with that thought in mind...

Aikido techniques are divided into two catagories:
1) Traditional Techniques
2) Practical Techniques

Traditional techniques are those which mainly teach technical skills, with little thought concerning self defense. Their main goal is to improve skills like balance, timing, blending, mai-ai, leading control, etc. They're also used as a vehicle to pass along aikido 'tradition'.

Practical techniques on the other hand are just that, practical, focusing mainly on self defense.

Now, here is where things get a bit confusing ...if you were to create a list detailing which techniques fall under which heading, the two lists would be virtually the same. The difference is in how the techniques are applied's not a black & white thing, there's ALOT of overlap when it comes to application.

So what you might consider 'useless' in a fight, can be extremely valuable in teaching fundemental skills and abilities!

...just my 2 cents worth!

deepsoup 04-12-2002 04:53 PM

Re: Re: Pointless techniques

Originally posted by Brian Vickery

So what you might consider 'useless' in a fight, can be extremely valuable in teaching fundemental skills and abilities!

Hi Brian,

I like your explanation (seems like good value for two cents. :))

Over in the Shodokan corner (Hi Peter!) we have a series of kihon exercises that we practice every time we train. (I gather the Yoshinkan folks do much the same.)

One of the most important of these exercises is actually a series of 7 (sometimes 8) kokyu nages taken from the Nage no Kata (or the Koryu Dai Yon). These kokyu nages probably fit into the "useless" category, in the sense that you'd better not try to use them as self-defense techniques in their own right unless you are seriously good at them. But they're a long, long way from useless in the sense that they teach us all kinds of good stuff about maai, irimi, timing, maintaining centre, etc.. when we practice them.


guest1234 04-12-2002 09:25 PM

Interesting that kokyu nage seems impractical, it seems to me often to be chosen in randori...

Greg Jennings 04-12-2002 10:36 PM


Originally posted by ca
Interesting that kokyu nage seems impractical, it seems to me often to be chosen in randori...
In many styles "kokyunage" doesn't really have a firm meaning like, say "shihonage". It's a grab bag of techniques.

I've been given different translations, but I'm convinced that it really means "Overloaded Name To Confuse Student" ;) .

Some are pretty fluffy. Some are very practical. Saito Sensei's Takemusu Aikido Volume Four shows many kokyunage of a practical nature.

Best Regards,

Bruce Baker 04-13-2002 01:59 AM

Useless techniques
I used to wonder why we were doing what I thought were "Useless techniques"?

Until one of us had a weapon, attacking/counterattcking with bokken or jo, a lot of things seem useless ... kind of like ... why do them football guys want to push a coach on that sled thingy?

Where would you ever use that in real life?

Pushing a 300-400 pound boxed item like an outboard motor onto a hand truck maybe? I've done that for over twenty five years, not everyday but when I had to, and moved up to 600pound boxes with nudges to get them out of corners and into position to unpackage. If I had only known to use sounds and some Aikido technique, it would have been that much easier.

You never know when some silly technique actually translates into real life?

bcole23 04-13-2002 08:36 AM

I think everyone has this same view, until they uke for someone that is really very good.

I know some of my kokyu nages still don't work like they should and always seemed like just an exercise. That is until I had that same one that never really seemed applicable in a real life situation actually used on me. They really do work.

You also need to take kokyunages with the ideas of energy and flow. You can't do an ikkyou on a semi. If you can't see how a kokyunage would work in real life, you need to do more randori, lot's more. Randori is meant to be dynamic, it's when you take control (what control there is) of that dynamism that you see opportunities and ways that these techniques can be applied.

If you're below shodan like I am, I'd take any analytical thinking about things like this with a grain of salt. I mean, before shodan, you don't even have the basics down.

Kenn 04-13-2002 08:58 AM

Kokyu Nage isn't pointless, You're kokyu nage is pointless...........:-)

Bruce Baker 04-13-2002 04:58 PM

Useless techniques con't...
You know, I was thinking about the grapplers and wrestlers who somehow get inside and go to ground, or go into the "guard" position.

(Maybe because I was grappling with an old trim and tilt on an old outboard motor today?)

Theoretically, this should not happen if you are Aikido aware, but I have seen it happen more than six out of ten encounters, and sometimes even more with really savvy grapplers?

Should we do some useless grappling releases to take control, or add it to our training as how to cope when a grappler takes control?

I thought it strange at one seminar when an instructor went into the fetal position to protect himself from attackers? Trying to spin on his side with kicks and protecting his face, he recommended making an opening and backing away to stand up, not knee walking or kneeling we use in Aikido? Claiming he could not kick, or protect himself from a kneeling position, he opted for fetal protection to survive the attack?

Is this an area of useless techniques, or an avenue that needs to be more deeply explored and mapped?

bujin 04-14-2002 06:14 AM

Well, to beat a grappler- it is a great deal. But this is another story.
I meant that some instructors teach things that are pointless from any point of view. They donŽt teach you how to keep the right position nor do they help you in self defence.

I think that this division of techniques into traditional and effective ones is correct only to some extent. Of course, at the very beginnig you have to do every technique from the katate tori, even though you know that hardly anybody will attack you that way. But how would you explain the point of doing hanmi handachi waza?



guest1234 04-14-2002 06:31 AM

Hi Bujin,
I'd say we do hanmi handachi for the same reason we do suwari waza ... it teaches us to maintain good posture, not over-reach, move with our hips, and move both 'feet', not just one and leave our stance too wide. If we make these errors standing we might not notice (especially if we compensate with muscle) but if we make them seated, it is harder to muscle and we often land on our nose:confused:

As for the attacks... I could be wrong here, but I'd say katate tori and ushiro attacks are very common, both against women, or against say a kidnapping target (male or female). Not every attack is a punch to the nose in a bar.:eek:

Kat.C 04-14-2002 08:02 AM

I cannot comment on what techniques are useful or not but Colleen is right about attacks on women. I know a few women who were attacked and their attackers grabbed them, as did mine. It is different than dealing with a strike, harder to avoid, (I have found), and when you are physically weaker nearly impossible to get out of. I would find training against such attacks to be very useful.

Jorx 04-14-2002 08:25 AM

Kokyonage pointless?

We are taught that every single technique you do with your breathpower and using the force and movement of the enemy can be called kokyonage... sot it seems to be the ONLY technique (as it really is a bag of tricks of some sort) to use in a REAL situation.

As I get the most... (I hope you get my point) atemi-based throws are kokyonage and these are among the quickest techniques of Aikido.

Some of the BASIC variations are really not much use in a real combat (kaiten-nage would be my pick) and all these slow-grab-thingies. But when you learn the quicker variations after you start getting the hang of the movements then it's a whole new world out there...

Estonian Aikikai

paw 04-14-2002 11:34 AM

if I may?
A brief interuption....

I really don't want to get into a discussion about what techniques are "useless", I would just like to make a comment.

It appears to me that not everyone on this thread is talking about technique when giving examples. So, it may serve if someone takes a step back and clarifies things.

For what it's worth, I would say football players pushing a blocking sled is a conditioning drill and choosing use the "fetal" position in a multiple attack situation is a tactic. I would say hanmi handachi and sawari waza are training methods, at least in the context of modern US culture. At least that's how I see things.

Sorry for the interuption...



Don_Modesto 04-15-2002 01:11 PM

Re: Pointless techniques

Originally posted by bujin
Are there any techniques which you consider totaly useless in a fight?
I would say that majority of kokyu nage techniques are pure lŽart pour lŽart.

In my own inquiries, I always come back to the idea that "MY aikido doesn't work (rather than AIKIDO").

I agree with other posters that KOKYU NAGE can be very effective. Watch Saotome in randori on The Principles of Aikido video. The KOKYU NAGE where you enter TSUKI with UKE running into your extended arm seems not only effective to me, but brutally so. One fellow in my current dojo gives away fifty pounds when training with me, but throws me exquisitely with a Kanai style KOKYU over the knee.

I'm inclined toward gross motor movement techniques anyway. This is probably due to my being 1) 6'1, 200 lbs, and 2) a klutz. My backup techniques--i.e., stuff I use in HENKA to compensate for a flub--involve hugging a lot: Hugging a wrist for HIJI NAGE; turning over the wrist and hugging it with the other arm for ROKKYO; hugging someone and bending over for KOSHI; hugging them the other way for AIKI OTOSHI...

I can't seem to make nikyo, sankyo, yonkyo, or shiho nage work in a pinch. But I don't gainsay the techniques themselves. I still have strong memories of the intense ex-Marine, Miami cop we had who could wrap you into a sankyo in the time it took others to jab.

guest1234 04-15-2002 04:25 PM

Ah, that's because you are at that taller end of the spectrum... now I, at 5'5" and 110#, am not so much into those hugging ones. I like most kokyu nages because they get me out of the way and let uke fall, but of the others you listed, I like nikyo evileyes (because the spiral in it facinates me, my study-buddy at my last dojo accused me of being in search of the perfect nikyo)

MaylandL 04-15-2002 09:46 PM

I agree with the Brian's explanation of techniques. Understanding and training the fundamentals is the first part to applying techniques in different situations.

From a self defence perspective, if I didnt practice the fundamentals in posture, blending, ki extension, hip movement, hamni, positioning of hands, evasion in training I would have been in serious trouble when someone jumped me in the middle of the night while I was taking the garbage out.

Geeze, all he would have to do is ask for the smelly fishbones, rotten table scraps, vege scrapings and I would have given it to him. :D :p

So no, no technique no matter how seemingly innocuous or unglamourous is pointless. It all contributes and informs our practice of aikido.

As for kokyunage, I am reminded of a recent demonstration and seminar by a visiting Shihan (7th Dan) that clearly showed the power and application of kokyunage in aikido training and other applications of technique. Absolutely awesome.

Happy training all :) .

bujin 04-16-2002 05:16 AM

I was also impressed by Christian Tissier shihan doing kokyu nage againt tsuki. Perhaps if I were 7th dan, I would apply this technique in self defence:D.
The problem is that it has nothing to do with real fight.

Kenn 04-16-2002 07:56 AM

Why does it seem so many people are preoccupied with "fighting". Aikido is a great art for self defense, as well as many other things depending on your intentions, however, if you want to learn to fight effectively, in a short amount of time..I would suggest you check out Silat, Boxing, Wing Chun....etc....these arts were created to be learned quickly and be effective quickly...not so with Aikido, I believe anyway.

don't be so worried about fighting, just train train and train some more.


Marc McIntyre 04-16-2002 11:25 AM

Kokyo nage?
Hey Guys (and gals),
I think you guys are really missing something. Kokyu nage works well within a given situation, and a given set of circumstances. Just like EVERY other technique. Aikido places no stress on any particular techniqes. Fighting situations are as varied as fighters, and each fighter has a particular "favorite" set of techniques. Nikkyo may be my strongest today, ikkyo tomorrow. As I journey through, I may find myself embracing koshi as my favorite pasttime. You are in essence recreating yourself with every class. I have caught myself, and have stopped bending Aiki to what I think it is, and I'm allowing Aiki to transform me into what we are together! ;)

Hope that helps.

Bruce Baker 04-16-2002 04:56 PM

Interrupt/previous interuption?
You mean pushing a footballsled could not be interpreted the same as O'Sensei using ki to lift a tree stump?

Or being aware of your situation/attackers could not be with ki awareness, evaluating possible training situations in aikido class too?

I guess it is all in how you percieve the depth of situation, and how you categorize it?

Gut strength is will power is ki is ...

or categorize physical motions as tactics or training methods?

I thought that is what the different kinds of training in our Aikido classes was ... drills, techniques, tactics, training methods, conditioning?

Never mind. I couldn't get those inkblots to mean anything either.

Back to the original subject ....

Depending on how you percieve benefits of mistakes, or comparative training to relate to your insight of what you wanted to do verses what happens is your ability to adapt and change within your expectation or thoughts ... and how fixated your are on the final outcome.

Sometimes ... you get it, and sometimes it just doesn't happen. Either way, did you learn something from it, or not?

If you did, then that is one less mistake you will have when you need to use it.

Simplistic? Maybe? But it applies to everything you do in life.

paw 04-16-2002 06:34 PM

you really don't want me in this thread....

The original question was:


Are there any techniques which you consider totaly useless in a fight?
IMHO, that implies effective technique and in my mind that means we have a resisting opponent. As corny as it sounds, "bricks, boards, tree stumps and blocking sleds are DEAD --- they don't hit back". You can break bricks all you want, but that does nothing to help you hit a living, breathing, moving opponent. It's a dead pattern and a dead end.

So why hit a brick, or punch a bag, or pull out a tree or hit a blocking sled? The only answer that makes sense to me is to develop a physical attribute, hence, I consider such things to be conditioning exercises, just like stretching, cardio work, strength training and the like.

Deciding to go lay on the floor in the fetal position is a tactical decision. By commiting to that strategy, one limits the engagement. That may or may not be a good decision depending upon one's skill set and the situation. As a bjj'er I will cheerfully engage anyone on the ground in any sport/training setting. That's my tactical decision. In a real live "self-defense" situation, I would never willingly choose to engage anyone on the ground. That's another tactical decision. In either case, I have the same skill set and will most likely use the same techniques (practical methods applied to some particular task).

Does that make sense?


I thought that is what the different kinds of training in our Aikido classes was ... drills, techniques, tactics, training methods, conditioning?
Sigh. See Bruce, if I respond to this, then it will be very clear, very quickly why you don't want me on this thread. Let me just say this: If your assertion is true, then we have the question of tactics, conditioning, techniques, drills, training methods (yes, note the order)... for what? It is in answering the "for what" that will give us a goal, and once we have a goal we can then evaulate if the tactics, conditioning, techniques, drills and training methods are the best way to meet that goal. Which I suspect is what bujin is getting at in the original question. At least, that's how I see things....



Bronson 04-17-2002 02:43 AM


if you want to learn to fight effectively, in a short amount of time..I would suggest you check out Silat, Boxing, Wing Chun....etc....
Go to a biker bar, find the biggest guy in there and make a derogatory comment about his mother and the neighbors goat. If you live, keep doing it until win. There, now you can fight. But can you type? :p


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