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Xellous 11-01-2002 10:58 AM

Strategy in Aikido?
 
I was reading through the Art of War, when I started thinking about learning strategy in school. As far as I know, we have no military strategy schools in sweden, and since I'm very interested in military strategy, I looked for other places to learn strategy. I didn't find many. Now, around the 16th century in japan, strategy was taught in martial arts schools. Is it still taught in some martial art dojo's? Does anybody out there attend a dojo where they teach strategy as well as Aikido? I know that Aikido is solely for self-defence purposes, but when defending many people, one can benefit from more advanced strategy than when to move and when to throw.

I think that learning battle strategy would be fun, and I think I'm going to see if I can implement strategy in Aikido, starting with the Art of War.

Now, many of you would probably say that Aikido is about reacting to your opponent, there's no need for learning advanced strategy.

But I think that strategy is just that, reacting to your opponent, and sometimes reacting to what you think your opponent's action will be, when you don't see it. I'm pretty sure my Aikido will benefit from learning strategy.

I might be totally wrong, but at least I think this will turn into an interesting discussion, and then my english skills will benefit from it, so whatever the answer might be, I win.

/Xellous

achilleus 11-01-2002 01:20 PM

good question.

reminds me of trying to remember the difference between tactics and strategy -

tactic:An expedient for achieving a goal; a maneuver. [to achieve a strategy]

strategy:an elaborate and systematic plan of action.

I have found that strategy and tactics are known/enhanced by technical proficiency.

Knowing the range and firepower of all your fleets [technical proficiency] is requisite for you to choose which fleet [tactic] to employ to enter a strait to prepare for an evasion [strategy].

As a neophyte-aikidoka I would enjoy studying strategy but I would also expect that knowledge to make better sense to me after my technical proficiency advances.

As it is the thought of reversals creates total brain fog in me now. I understand the idea and occassionally I can "see" where one goes by feeling the balance, etc. But to employ one as a tactic - not a good choice.

Aikido in a way, to me at least, appears to be a system of strategy. After all, the art itself could be called the strategy of helping the other guy attack you...?

As a fencing teacher I notice that my students fail in developing strategy, and/or employing tactics, when they get sloppy on the technique. If I question them on the srtategy they will usually answer that they really have no clue what they are doing or why. When I press this very important confession a technical problem pops up. And after addressing/correcting that the 'fresh' technique almost always answers the question of strategy for them.

viz. that by not recognising what was being done to them, they had no reply. After identifying the action/offense the course of action was obvious.

just some thoughts while I fade during a very long afternoon at work.

:circle:

DA

aikilouis 11-01-2002 02:13 PM

I've read somewhere that strategy schools are made to keep military officers and civilian amateurs happy and busy during peacetime.

Young-In Park 11-01-2002 11:26 PM

Re: Strategy in Aikido?
 
Quote:

Håkan Carlsson (Xellous) wrote:
But I think that strategy is just that, reacting to your opponent, and sometimes reacting to what you think your opponent's action will be, when you don't see it. I'm pretty sure my Aikido will benefit from learning strategy.

Don Angier of Yangai ryu Aikijujutsu said that the principles of man-to-man combative disciplines are derived from general concepts of military strategy.

In terms of military strategy, Aikido follows the tenants of manuever warfare theory (ie Germany's Blitzkrieg or America's AirLand Battle Doctrine). Two boxers slugging it out toe to toe in the middle of the ring would be an example of attrition warfare theory (ie trench warfare).

On a tactical level, Aikido is similar to air-to-air combat because they both involve concepts of movement and energy.

Personally I find it ironic someone from France would make a comment about studying military strategy as a way to keep the officer corps busy. I guess the French military was too busy building the Maginot Line...

YoungIn Park

jimvance 11-02-2002 11:34 AM

Aikido is Strategy
 
Quote:

Håkan Carlsson wrote:
Now, many of you would probably say that Aikido is about reacting to your opponent, there's no need for learning advanced strategy.

But I think that strategy is just that, reacting to your opponent, and sometimes reacting to what you think your opponent's action will be, when you don't see it.

I have been taught that in both strategy and Aikido, knowing the opponent's methods and applying creativity to this knowledge gives one the upper hand. Yes, strategy is dependent on physical ability and technical competence, but it relies more heavily on the mind, on applying the tools you have. Real strategy, real aikido, real life is about creative action, not merely reaction. Knowing the full range of possibilities is the (educational) purpose of most dojos or most schools of strategy. In the end, the best problem solver with the best intelligence wins the battle of strategy.

Jim Vance

tedehara 11-03-2002 02:23 AM

Quote:

Miyamoto Musashi wrote:
Strategy is the craft of the warrior. Commanders must enact the craft, and troopers should know this way. There is no warrior in the world today who really understands the Way of strategy...It is said the warrior's is the twofold Way of pen and sword, and he should have a taste for both Ways...A Book of Five Rings - The Ground Book

Both the pen and sword were tools for ruling in Miyamoto's era.

The Way of strategy is just that. It is a Way, not something that ends when you step off a mat.
Quote:

Jack Vance wrote:
...Real strategy, real aikido, real life is about creative action, not merely reaction...

I have also found this to be the case.

Bruce Baker 11-03-2002 10:32 AM

Strategy ... book of dirty tricks

Sparring practice?

Learning how to handle the present situation with the available items at hand?

JPT 11-03-2002 03:03 PM

I think that the use of strategies indicates a deeper level of thought & understanding of the chosen art.

Here is a small bit of strategy for you

It is to present a target to your attacker.

For example if you slightly lean your head forward chances are your attacker will try to punch you in the head rather than the rest of the body. To know where uke is going to attack would be a big advantage. I cannot say that I've ever tried it, but I know of some karateka that use this same principle when sparring so that their opponent will commit a certain type of attack which they can counter with a pre-planned technique. Suckering in the opponent so to speak.

:triangle: :square: :circle:

Pretoriano 11-03-2002 07:39 PM

"Now, many of you would probably say that Aikido is about reacting to your opponent, there's no need for learning advanced strategy".

I think strategy starts before to wait adversaries first move.

But, in boxing, karate, chess, Counter-attacking could be devastating, terminant.

The tarjet example given by Mr. Peaty is a good one, there are many of that practicaly efective forms to hook up opponents, and the better here is that if they dont fall here, they fall there, and the worst is we are the same.

When you have the time to weight circunstances, estimate recurses, make calculations and plans do it; but sometimes you dont have it, so surprise, unpredictability, quick decision are best.

Aikido is Not pasive at all, doing so, is mediocrity. Creativity? yes, all about that.

When Musashi were writing he was surely unaware about Big Strategist in other parts of the world.

Praetorian

Kevin Wilbanks 11-03-2002 10:44 PM

I think a lot of what is being said in this thread is way off base. The practice of Aikido has nothing to do with 'reacting' to your opponent, except insofar as we try to unlearn 'reaction' in favor of response. A reaction is an instinctual, habitual, or otherwise unthinking action that happens after an opponent's action or outside event - like flinching.

Aikido, or any decent martial practice, is largely about replacing reaction with response. Yet it's not just about substituting one resulting action for another - part of what differentiates one from the other is active engagement with the situation, such that that which you respond to is not so surprising or random.

As far as the comment about having never tried deliberately presenting a target to the attacker - if so your practice or instruction is lacking. You should be doing this every time you practice a technique. You and your partner establish ma-ai, then you present the target to signal uke and present them with an attack opportunity. I see this misunderstanding all the time when people expect to receive a munetsuki with their hands in the way, or a katate dori with their arm dangling limply at their side. No. You invite the attack, you present the target.

As practice becomes more advanced, you strive to influence uke's actions earlier - my understanding of the Aikido ideal is that the Aikidoka's energy-awareness-connection becomes so keen and penetrating that the attacker begins to fail as soon as they decide to initiate a particular attack.

Perhaps the most illustrative practice for this kind of awareness extension is multiple attacker randori. If you are in a 'reaction' mode, you will be swarmed and overwhelmed. The only way to fare well is to choose who will attack you and go out to meet them in a pattern that is largely of your choosing.

ian 11-04-2002 10:49 AM

I think there are 'tricks' which can be used (e.g. a dummy punch) - to great effect sometimes - however to me aikido has something deeper; it is about truth, and about what is happening here and now. Thus alot of our training revolves around why we would use one technique in a situation rather than another (usually depending on ukes reaction), and to be able to change technique to respond directly to their action. Any 'strategy' can be beaten once the person realises what this is and can work a 'counter-strategy'. However if we are really in tune with our opponent we 'fill their gaps' and respond to whats happening NOW and not what we expect or hope to happen. A sensei I know says 'don't think of the past or the future' the technique is whats happening now.

Saying this, one reason we practise aikido, is for the future (self-defense). Strategies are 'useful' in that they illustrate principles of battle, but they should not be depended on.

Ian

JPT 11-04-2002 11:33 AM

Quote:

As far as the comment about having never tried deliberately presenting a target to the attacker - if so your practice or instruction is lacking. You should be doing this every time you practice a technique. You and your partner establish ma-ai, then you present the target to signal uke and present them with an attack opportunity. I see this misunderstanding all the time when people expect to receive a munetsuki with their hands in the way, or a katate dori with their arm dangling limply at their side. No. You invite the attack, you present the target.
During the normal training routine we tend to do this type of presenting automatically rather than as a conscious effort(although I too have experienced the same sort of misunderstandings generally from novices). To further clarify, I was refering to situations where nage doesn't know what type of attack he is receiving like in randori or street encounters. In our multi attack randori training we do tend to move towards one of the opponents to draw out their attack, which I suppose is presenting the whole body rather than an individual part. Hopefully I'll remember to try it out on my next randori session!.

:triangle: :square: :circle:

Pretoriano 11-04-2002 11:07 PM

To offer a tarjet counsciously or not is just a Tactical Resource, Nothing to do with Strategy in Aikido.

There are no such Strategy in Aikido, ask a Shihan and he will laugh large about it.

When you really know Aikido not only you wont need any strategy, but but the clean and empty you are the better youll do.

Praetorian

JPT 11-05-2002 06:25 AM

Strategy by definition of the dictionary is all about planning & directing, Whilst Tactics are more to do with actions to achieve a particular end.

Take another Strategy used in multi attack -randori this being to throw your attacker into the path of the next opponent to slow them them down. If this is part of your overall plan to do during your randori session then it is strategic, when you actually do it in the session it is tactical.

I believe there are strategies in Aikido but think they are generally manifested through good aikido training.

:triangle: :square: :circle:

aiki_what 11-05-2002 07:09 AM

"I believe there are strategies in Aikido but think they are generally manifested through good aikido training."

May I suggest that Strategy would involve correct posture, confident movement, and miai?

These are the basic things that must be in place for us before we can hang our "techniques" on the frame.

Following that thread "Tactical" would involve short term adaptations of our strategy to fit a situation.....an example would be something mentioned in an earlier thread, a slight change in posture to present a target to an attacker. Tactical would also correspond to the techniques we use for the direction of an attack (i.e. a straight forward attack such as shomen-uchi vs a diagonal attack such as yokomen uchi).

"Operational" is our response to an immediate threat such as the raising of the arm and entering to begin ikkyo.

Strategic, Tactical, Operational. A flow of planning based on perceived time frames.

mike lee 11-05-2002 09:02 AM

clearity
 
Quote:

Strategic, Tactical, Operational. A flow of planning based on perceived time frames.
Outstanding. If somebody wrote a book on the subject, complete with photos and illustrations, and input from a known shihan, I would buy it.

I think such an approach would add an invaluable structure and sense of purpose for instructors

Pretoriano 11-05-2002 08:08 PM

All you must be kidding, starting by Mr pity who have a wrong concept, but probably works for him "overall planning multiple attackers! How old are you pity? are you educated?

Ill buy your book guys and give it as a present to Yamada Shihan, he deserves good laughing.

Pretoriano

JPT 11-06-2002 06:01 AM

Quote:

How old are you pity?
I'am as old as my tongue & a little bit older than my teeth.
Quote:

are you educated?
Let's find out in the open discussions forum!

:triangle: :square: :circle:

aiki_what 11-06-2002 09:10 AM

Maybe when you are sitting down reading our book with your good friend Yamada Shihan you might enjoy a little story that illustrates Strategy, Tactics, and Operations.

Editor's Note: Any resemblance of characters in this story to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

There once was a young lad from South America who was constantly beat upon by his bigger and more machismo playmates. He decided he needed a STRATEGY to deal with his tormentors and make his life better. He chose the martial art of Aikido to help him accomplish his goals. The reason that he chose Aikido was that it taught one to be aware of one's surroundings, to walk with an erect and fearless posture, and the ability to deal with attackers in a variety of ways. He decided to implement this STRATEGY by beginning the study of Aikido diligently.

During his study of Aikido he learned many TACTICS to deal with a variety of attacks including ikkyo, nikyo, sankyo, etc, etc. He practiced these tactics ferociously against a variety of surprise attacks including chops, punches, chokes and kicks. He became very proficient in using these tactics in the dojo against the proscribed attacks.

One day after he had been practicing many years (and managed to develop an opinion about what Aikido was for everyone) he infuriated a colleague by sarcastically attacking an idea. The colleague took offense and attempted to punch him in the nose. The young lad was able to use his STRATEGY (awareness, good posture, Knowledge of Aiki principles) and Deploy his TACTICS (Irimi-nage against a punch) in an OPERATIONAL situation (Someone REALLY trying to punch him in the nose) successfully.

In re-assessing the situation later over a beer he had to reluctantly admit that he did incorporate STRATEGY, TACTICS, and OPERATIONAL planning in the defense of his nose.

And everyone lived happily ever after.

Pretoriano 11-08-2002 07:10 AM

to aiki what: in your story, you interchange he and she in the same person, how come? Im not really sure I understand your story personaje gender.

So you are traslating military concepts and get mixed up with aikido blending up to make look the same thing, its false.

And the girl of your story put her man to fly

using his aikido strategy, and tactics and operations

I need to laugh a little more, Ill buy you a copy.

Pretoriano


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