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-   -   Poll: How important is "being martially effective" in your aikido training? (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8877)

AikiWeb System 09-11-2005 12:30 AM

Poll: How important is "being martially effective" in your aikido training?
 
AikiWeb Poll for the week of September 11, 2005:

How important is "being martially effective" in your aikido training?
  • I don't do aikido
  • Critically important
  • Very important
  • Somewhat important
  • Not very important
  • Not at all important
Here are the current results.

jss 09-11-2005 04:49 AM

Re: Poll: How important is "being martially effective" in your aikido training?
 
In the dojo (i.e. within the aikido paradigm) the martial effectiveness of my aikido is critically important. If my partner attacks me with a full-intent/speed/power shomen uchi I want to be able to perform an effective ikkyo on that attack. It seems to me the only way to experience the full physical, mental and spiritual (if that means something to you) benefits of aikido.
Outside the dojo, as in 'Will this work on the street?', I would like my aikido to be martially effective. I don't know if it is, since I never tried. And I know my training is not aimed towards that goal, sine it consists only of aikido techniques against aikido attacks. So, outside the dojo the martial effectiveness of my aikido is not at all important.
Although it is an interesting question how much of the dojo-effectiveness will translate in street-effectiveness.

SeiserL 09-11-2005 09:28 AM

Re: Poll: How important is "being martially effective" in your aikido training?
 
Quote:

AikiWeb System wrote:
How important is "being martially effective" in your aikido training?.

Very critically important, IMHO otherwise Aikido has no right to promote itself as a "martial" art.

Patrick Crane 09-11-2005 01:22 PM

Re: Poll: How important is "being martially effective" in your aikido training?
 
There's a Karate school right down the street from where I live. I could walk there. But I drive 30 miles each way three nights a week to get my aikido lessons.
Why did I choose aikido and why am I willing to go so far out of my way at $3.10 a gallon to get it?

Easy:
I've watched the Ali - Liston, Ali- Foreman, Ali- Frazier fights dozens of times on DVD.
I was watching on pay-per-view the night Tyson bit Holyfield's ear.
I've watched the Rodney King and Reginald Denny beatings.
I've seen dozens of UFC/NHB matches.
I've been all over the country driving a truck, hopelessly lost and had to stop and ask directions in neighborhoods most suburban white boys won't even think about going to....never had a problem...no reason to...but if I had, I'd have wanted aikido with me.

The legendary general Hannibal was most famous for his strategy of offering only token resistance to an enemy's frontal attack, while launching devastating surprise flanking offensives.

The best running backs love to use the techniques of spinning out of tackles (irimi, tenkan?),
and giving a tackler the old "stiff arm" (atemi?).

As far as I'm concerned, Aikido IS street fighting.

Mark Uttech 09-11-2005 05:52 PM

Re: Poll: How important is "being martially effective" in your aikido training?
 
very interesting post Patrick.

Rupert Atkinson 09-11-2005 10:38 PM

Re: Poll: How important is "being martially effective" in your aikido training?
 
Quote:

Patrick Crane wrote:
I've watched the Ali - Liston, Ali- Foreman, Ali- Frazier fights dozens of times on DVD.

In most, though admittedly not all, of such fights the winner is pretty much as beaten up as the loser. Not much sense in that. And how many beatings did he take to get where he is? Sure, he might be able to fight his way out of a rough bar on the wrong side of town, but part of the reason he is there in the first place is because half his brain cells are working part-time.

Yann Golanski 09-12-2005 02:46 AM

Re: Poll: How important is "being martially effective" in your aikido training?
 
Quote:

Patrick Crane wrote:
The legendary general Hannibal was most famous for his strategy of offering only token resistance to an enemy's frontal attack, while launching devastating surprise flanking offensives.

I never understood why anyone thinks that Hannibal is such a legendary general. He was a good general with awesome tactical abilities for sure. He was maybe one of the greatest tactician of the time. However, he lost. He could not take Rome and Carthage felt.

One man did beat Hannibal every single time they met in battle. He's the one Roman general who defeated not only Hannibal but all of Carthage's armies. He was the first general to think strategically and was very good at it. Of course, he died a lonely death, unwanted and hated by the politician he saved. His name was Scipio Africanus.

B.H.Liddell Hart wrote a great book on the subject which you can get here . It is well worth reading... at least if you are interested in history.

Wow... this was _way_ off topic.

As for Aikido being a "martial art" question: If it does not work, I don't want to waste time learning it. That's why I think randori (as practiced by Shodokan IE with full resistance) is essential to Aikido training.

Paul Kerr 09-12-2005 02:47 AM

Re: Poll: How important is "being martially effective" in your aikido training?
 
Quote:

AikiWeb System wrote:

How important is "being martially effective" in your aikido training?

Crucially important.

DaveO 09-12-2005 06:29 AM

Re: Poll: How important is "being martially effective" in your aikido training?
 
Defiine 'Martially effective'.

There's a general trent to assume 'Martially Effective' means 'Street Effective'.
Personally; I disagree. To me, 'Street effective' means you should be able to defend yourself in a common assault using only aikido. (Good luck...) Using this definition; I vote 'somewhat important'.
Martially effective OTOH means to me at least that it effectively teaches and instills martial principles of movement, relaxation under stress, situational awareness, tactical foresight etc. Using this definition; I vote 'critically important'. :)

rcoit 09-12-2005 08:33 AM

Re: Poll: How important is "being martially effective" in your aikido training?
 
All battles are won or lost in the mind.
This is also why aikido is critically 'martial' in nature.

billybob 09-12-2005 09:18 AM

Re: Poll: How important is "being martially effective" in your aikido training?
 
A good friend I train with defines 'martial' to mean 'hard'. Perhaps the underlying question here is "Can soft technique be effective."

The answer is unequivocally YES. I train soft all the time - correction I TRY to train soft all the time. Old injuries and fears make me tense up, and each time I do I lose power and martial effectiveness.

Question to the Master: "Master, how do you do your technique so effortlessly?"

Master: "I don't use any effort. Do you have any other penetrating questions today?"

Dave

Patrick Crane 09-12-2005 12:17 PM

Re: Poll: How important is "being martially effective" in your aikido training?
 
Quote:

Yann Golanski wrote:
B.H.Liddell Hart wrote a great book on the subject which you can get here . It is well worth reading... at least if you are interested in history.

Wow... this was _way_ off topic.

As for Aikido being a "martial art" question: If it does not work, I don't want to waste time learning it. That's why I think randori (as practiced by Shodokan IE with full resistance) is essential to Aikido training.

Definitely interested. I love history, thanks.

I also agree about randori being essential. Although I think I'm probably several years away from being able to do it myself, I'm always happy to oblige when encouraged by a senior student to "try to kill me." Not literally of course, but almost. If I still have both arms attached by the end of class, I figure I got off easy.

Patrick Crane 09-12-2005 12:43 PM

Re: Poll: How important is "being martially effective" in your aikido training?
 
Quote:

Rupert Atkinson wrote:
In most, though admittedly not all, of such fights the winner is pretty much as beaten up as the loser. Not much sense in that. And how many beatings did he take to get where he is? Sure, he might be able to fight his way out of a rough bar on the wrong side of town, but part of the reason he is there in the first place is because half his brain cells are working part-time.

Yes, exactly why I chose Aikido over boxing or any of the other arts that use striking as a means of brutally, vindictively punishing an attacker/opponent.
Even with Ali's superior skills, making his opponents look like plodding oafs, it usually took him several rounds to wear them down. That's definitely NOT "street" practical when you've got a guy Foreman's size coming at you with brass knuckles and four of his buddies closing in.

When O-Sensei was Ali's age, how quickly and elegantly could he have taught five guys Foreman's size why it's not smart to pick on little old Japanese guys?

Qatana 09-12-2005 08:24 PM

Re: Poll: How important is "being martially effective" in your aikido training?
 
Well, my training isn't about Martial Anything, it is about How Aikido changes me, but I seem to be developing some kind of martial artist's vision. Omne night a couple weeks ago we were working on Blending techniques, variations on tai no henko, mostly. after one demo I was sitting with my jaw dropped and Sensei asked me what was going on, and I said I couldn't see any martial application or even logic in the technique, as he was leading uke, who had a free hand behing sensei's head and coulda grabbed or hit him at any time.
Sensei replied that it doesn't have a martial application, if he had to give a martial response to the same attack---and gave his uke an ikkyo that had him parallel to the mat six feet in the air...
We, as a group, however, are there for the Other Aspects of aikido. Self defense is a side effect....

Hanna B 09-13-2005 06:20 AM

Re: Poll: How important is "being martially effective" in your aikido training?
 
I appreciate the way the question is worded; it says nothing about what aikido is or how it should be, just asks the individuals how they see their training.

Would someone care to define "martially effective"? Martial is a strange word; my dictionary says it has to do with war :o and in the wars of today I think ikkyo is pretty useless. Are you guys referring to "effective self defence" or something else? Usefullnes in a fight, i.e. in beating someone up?

Someone whose judgement I trust once said to me "the way to find self defence through aikido is to stop searching for it".

billybob 09-14-2005 02:00 PM

Re: Poll: How important is "being martially effective" in your aikido training?
 
Dictionary.com "martial art
n.
Any of several Asian arts of combat or self-defense, such as aikido, karate, judo, or tae kwon do, usually practiced as sport. Often used in the plural."

OOOOOOoooooooooo. don't tell the boys at my dojo they're doing a sport!!!

IMHO 'Martial' means simply military. 'Art' refers to in depth or philosophical study as opposed to simply 'Skill' or even 'Science'.

So, I have heard it said that Miyamoto Mushashi was the greatest sworsman ever, and Morihei Ueshiba the greatest martial artist. Both fought in wars, and fought well. I find it interesting that both lived long enough to become philosophers. (I don't think 'philosopher' is a bad word, don't tell anybody.) :)

david

Dirk Hanss 09-14-2005 04:13 PM

Re: Poll: How important is "being martially effective" in your aikido training?
 
Saotome always says: "The dojo is your battlefield"
We can open another thread about what he might mean. At least it is orderly mind and behaviour in classes. To some it might look like military drill, but what I have seen it is just being serious.

And martial art just means the art to survive on the battlefield. Another explanation is to "die awesome", and it is all the same.

You have to learn to do what you have to do without fear, and you have to decide when there is the right time to hide, go away or run.

And while surviving the battlefield "dojo", you are learning to survive on any other battlefield, the next is called "company".

I'd say you need some martial awareness according to the definition above. Effectiveness will come by time. You should not try to enforce it, as you might spoil it.

CU Dirk

DaveO 09-14-2005 04:35 PM

Re: Poll: How important is "being martially effective" in your aikido training?
 
Quote:

Dirk Hanss wrote:
Saotome always says: "The dojo is your battlefield"
We can open another thread about what he might mean. At least it is orderly mind and behaviour in classes. To some it might look like military drill, but what I have seen it is just being serious.

And martial art just means the art to survive on the battlefield. Another explanation is to "die awesome", and it is all the same.

You have to learn to do what you have to do without fear, and you have to decide when there is the right time to hide, go away or run.

And while surviving the battlefield "dojo", you are learning to survive on any other battlefield, the next is called "company".

I'd say you need some martial awareness according to the definition above. Effectiveness will come by time. You should not try to enforce it, as you might spoil it.

CU Dirk

Dude - Sorry; but I have no idea what you just said.

Having experience both in the dojo and on the battlefield - the real one - I can personally attest the two are not related.
Martial Art does not mean 'to survive on the battlefield'. Surviving on the battlefield is getting your head down, getting in close to the enemy, giving flying metal the right of way, and getting out with the same number of holes you went in with. All this 'martial arts is military' crap is pure fantasy.

Can you please elaborate somewhat on your point?

Dirk Hanss 09-14-2005 05:23 PM

Re: Poll: How important is "being martially effective" in your aikido training?
 
Quote:

Dave Organ wrote:
Dude - Sorry; but I have no idea what you just said.

Having experience both in the dojo and on the battlefield - the real one - I can personally attest the two are not related.
Martial Art does not mean 'to survive on the battlefield'. Surviving on the battlefield is getting your head down, getting in close to the enemy, giving flying metal the right of way, and getting out with the same number of holes you went in with. All this 'martial arts is military' crap is pure fantasy.

Can you please elaborate somewhat on your point?

Quote:

Answeres are only easy, if they are incomplete.
Thanks for the help. This answer won't be easy AND it will stay incomplete.

On the "real battlefield" a good martial artist will git his head down, might give a lot of flying metal the right of way and hopefully gets out safely. Anything else would be self-destructive. There are few situations, where you could see the difference. I am not a soldier, even though I did my military service - mostly in an office, sorting paper. And I am not pretending in being a good martial artist - not yet.

On the mat you are not getting up showing everyone "I am invincible", unless you are the teaching sensei. You are approaching your partner without fear, do your technique as good as you can, and you take care that you and all your fellow aikidoka leave the dojo healthy as much as it is in your responsibility. That is all the analogy to the "real" battlefield. But doing this seriously might even prepare you for not being braver than necessary and not being more frightened than needed for being careful.

For all others of us who luckily do not have to fight for live in their "real world" there all these little "battlefields" to be survived, not just living, but healthy and strong. The job, ffriends and family, daily traffic, and hopefully for only a few of us the "city alligators". If the "DO" of aiki, karate, ju, kyo, or iai helps you in those, it is a good starting point.

It is the way on the path of former warriors, but it is not educating or training warriors at all. You have to dive in the mind of that warriors to understand, but you will learn to make up your own mind and to make your own decisions.

Whether that is good or bad for soldiers or law enforcement officers might be subject of discussion. They need something additional for sure.

And if it in war, on the street or wherever - you should use whatever you have and use it in the best way possible. If you have a repertoire of capabilities not to harm unnecessarily and you choose those, which are safe enough and as non-violent as possible, then you learnt your lessons in martial arts.

Hope that clarifies at least a little bit.

Stay safe, wherever you are

Dirk

Patrick Crane 09-14-2005 07:32 PM

Re: Poll: How important is "being martially effective" in your aikido training?
 
When discussing the importance of "martial" (combat?) effectiveness in Aikido training, I think we men often drift into philosophical abstractions because as long as we stay away from bars, clubs, back alleys and bad neighborhoods, we are hardly ever likely to face a wantonly brutal physical assault.
What about from a woman's point of view?
Here in the good ol' U.S. of A., women of all ages, races and economic classes face the very real and consistent possibility of being brutally attacked right in their own home, out on a date, at school, even at work.......really, anywhere, anytime some psycho sex fiend thinks he has a shot.

So the question is not, "does your iriminage work on the mat?"
The question is, "does your nikkyo work from the passenger seat of your date's Toyota when he decides he's ready to go all the way whether you are or not?"

dyffcult 09-14-2005 08:43 PM

Re: Poll: How important is "being martially effective" in your aikido training?
 
Critically important to me that my aikido be martially effective....that's why I train in a martial art.

However, Patrick made me think of something else that I think aikido gave me. A sense of awareness and, for lack of a better term, readiness. Because aikido taught me to be aware of my surroundings and my fellow man, I believe that I am less likely to walk into a dangerous situation blind. At the same time, I think others (read predators) recognize that awareness and my readiness to deal with the situation if I must and look elsewhere for their victims. In other words, my sense of confidence and awareness makes it apparent that I will fight back.

As an example, one day, as I was walking from the parking lot to class, I heard a man and women yelling at each other. Turned out the man was holding the women by the bicep and yelling at her. She was telling him to let go and leave her alone. I relaxed and stared. He noticed me. Asked me "What are you looking at b&*ch? This ain't your business." I kept standing and staring, never said a word. Eventually, he let her go and walked off. I asked if she was okay. She said yes, got in her car and drove off.

To me, this was both aikido, and my aikido training at work. I dont know whether he left because of a witness, or because he perceived I would interfere. But because I appeared willing to stay and take what may have come....he went elsewhere.

Of course, I have also used my aikido far more directly, which goes back to the importance to me of the martial effectiveness of my aikido.

Just my two cents....Brenda

xuzen 09-14-2005 11:48 PM

Re: Poll: How important is "being martially effective" in your aikido training?
 
Quote:

Brenda Allen wrote:
As an example, one day, as I was walking from the parking lot to class, I heard a man and women yelling at each other. Turned out the man was holding the women by the bicep and yelling at her. She was telling him to let go and leave her alone. I relaxed and stared. He noticed me. Asked me "What are you looking at b&*ch? This ain't your business." I kept standing and staring, never said a word. Eventually, he let her go and walked off. I asked if she was okay. She said yes, got in her car and drove off.
Just my two cents....Brenda

Yup, definitely aikido there. Non-confrontational, but ready for anything that may come.

Quote:

Patrick said: Yes, exactly why I chose Aikido over boxing or any of the other arts that use striking as a means of brutally, vindictively punishing an attacker/opponent.
Even with Ali's superior skills, making his opponents look like plodding oafs, it usually took him several rounds to wear them down. That's definitely NOT "street" practical when you've got a guy Foreman's size coming at you with brass knuckles and four of his buddies closing in.
Instantaneous victory... this was what was said in Gozo Shioda's book (aikido shugyo). This is from the basis of kenjutsu, where one cut is all that it takes to end a fight. My aikido (or rather how i was taught) was never to stand one on one to slug it out. In jiyu waza, we may throw uke over and over again, but each throw represent a fight ending technique... the reason my uke still manage to get up from the mat is because I allow him to.

In this sense, I am in total agreement with Patrick. Aikido is a more efficient way of dealing with a situation. Minimal effort for maximum effect, borrowed from Judo lingo.. but all the same.

Hanna B 09-15-2005 03:50 AM

Re: Poll: How important is "being martially effective" in your aikido training?
 
Quote:

David Knowlton wrote:
Dictionary.com "martial art
n.
Any of several Asian arts of combat or self-defense, such as aikido, karate, judo, or tae kwon do, usually practiced as sport. Often used in the plural."

Oh yes, but here we are not discussing "martial arts" but "martial effectiveness". If "martial effectiveness" means "effective in martial arts", then I guess the judoka who has the most olympic gold medals is the most martially effective one. ;)

I suspect most people who talk about martial effectiveness actually mean combat. I belong to the group of people who don't see aikido as something to be used in combat, primarily. From my point of view the art is more about what happens before it comes down to actual combat.

rcoit 09-15-2005 07:00 AM

Re: Poll: How important is "being martially effective" in your aikido training?
 
The comments about & by women are very instructive. I agree that women are actually much more at risk for violence every day and Brenda's response is a good insight into Aikido's 'martial' aspect. When men think of martial they think 'war', 'battle', 'aggression'. It is good to appreciate the women's take on 'martial' - ? security, ?vigilance, ?protection, ?solidarity in the face of aggression. It reminds me of discussions recorded earlier about the feminine/masculine duality in aikido.

jss 09-15-2005 10:14 AM

Re: Poll: How important is "being martially effective" in your aikido training?
 
The current poll results say that 75% of the voters think that 'being martially effective' is critically to very important.
I do not believe that the way aikido is trained and taught justifies the 75%. Ok, maybe I haven't been around enough, but still ... Most aikido practice consists of performing aikido techniques on aikido attacks in a highly controlled environment.
So let me ask this question: apart from the already mentioned full-resistance randori, what part, aspect, drill, ... of your aikido traing leads to martial effectiveness in aikido?


:circle: About self defence.
Quote:

Patrick Crane wrote:
So the question is not, "does your iriminage work on the mat?"
The question is, "does your nikkyo work from the passenger seat of your date's Toyota when he decides he's ready to go all the way whether you are or not?"

Problem 1: we train iriminage on the mat and we train nikkyo against wrist grabs; we don't train nikkyo in cars against undecent grabs.
Problem 2: isn't there a lot more to self defence than what is taught in aikido?


:circle: About non-physical martial effectiveness.
To the people quoted below: what did you vote (if you don't mind my asking)? Not that I want to start a discussion on the meaning of 'martial effectiveness', I'd just like to know what you think it means.
Quote:

Robert Coit wrote:
All battles are won or lost in the mind.
This is also why aikido is critically 'martial' in nature.

So aikido is training the martial mind?
Quote:

Hanna Björk wrote:
From my point of view the art is more about what happens before it comes down to actual combat.

Then why train martial techniques?
Quote:

Dirk Hanss wrote:
Saotome always says: "The dojo is your battlefield."

So the martial effectiveness of aikido lies in training for the victory over one-self?
Quote:

Jo Adell wrote:
We, as a group, however, are there for the Other Aspects of aikido. Self defense is a side effect....

Does this mean you mainly want to learn the Other Aspects and that you decided to learn them through aikido is because you like doing aikido and because self defence is a welcome side effect?


:circle: About instantenous victory.
Quote:

Patrick Crane wrote:
Yes, exactly why I chose Aikido over boxing or any of the other arts that use striking as a means of brutally, vindictively punishing an attacker/opponent.
Even with Ali's superior skills, making his opponents look like plodding oafs, it usually took him several rounds to wear them down. That's definitely NOT "street" practical when you've got a guy Foreman's size coming at you with brass knuckles and four of his buddies closing in.

Quote:

Xu Wenfung wrote:
Instantaneous victory... this was what was said in Gozo Shioda's book (aikido shugyo). This is from the basis of kenjutsu, where one cut is all that it takes to end a fight. My aikido (or rather how i was taught) was never to stand one on one to slug it out. In jiyu waza, we may throw uke over and over again, but each throw represent a fight ending technique... the reason my uke still manage to get up from the mat is because I allow him to.

In this sense, I am in total agreement with Patrick. Aikido is a more efficient way of dealing with a situation. Minimal effort for maximum effect, borrowed from Judo lingo.. but all the same.

First of all, boxing is a sport. What would the Ali-Foreman fight would have looked like not in the ring, whithout gloves and without the rules prohibiting hitting a downed opponent, hitting the kidneys, the back of the neck, below the belt, ...? It would look more like pre-Queensbury rules boxing, but what did that look like? I know too little about boxing to answer that.
Secondly, if you let two of the best heavy-weight boxers of the time fight each other, you should not be surprised if the fight doesn't end in the first round. If you let two of the best aikidokas of today fight each other, do you really think the fight would be over quickly?
I believe the sucess of a technique and thus the amount of time to take someone out is determined by the difference in skill and physical abilities. If the difference is large enough you can have an instanteneous victory. One good punch or one good iriminage, I fail to see the difference.


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