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Old 01-31-2006, 03:12 PM   #42
Michael Varin
Dojo: Aikido of Fresno
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 567
Re: Self-defense art?

Wow! A lot of back and forth since I've been gone. I have high hopes for this thread and don't want to see the Does aikido work in a fight? thread that never goes anywhere.

Stating that it takes a long time to be effective with aikido (because that's how it's always been/that's the way my teacher did it and he's the greatest) just doesn't cut it for me. Be innovative. How can one attain effectiveness sooner? How can we move toward, as Edwin said, the limitless? What methods should be used? Can it be done?

Also, George Ledyard said: "When I think about functionality I am usually thinking in terms of "martial arts". I have always been fond of Ellis Amdur Sensei's definition of "martial arts" as training to fight another professional."

OK. So one guy does kyudo (archery) and the other does judo and they are 10 meters apart. The judo guy is in trouble. None of his techniques will work, yet he was training to fight other martial artists. Why do we always think of boxers when we talk about self-defense, real fighting, etc?

The people who are most likely to assault you are either cowards, sociopaths, total idiots, or very highly trained. All of these with the exception of the idiots are going to favor the use of weapons and/or numbers for their assault.

Just the presence of a knife drastically alters the situation. Jab, you die. High kick, thigh is cleaved to the bone. Double leg, you die. A good right hand, with the element of surprise, will KO most anyone, so I'm not arguing that one. But you get my point. Back to my original questions. What are ways we can enhance the training? Assuming your other layers of security have been breeched, What makes an art viable for self-defense?

Something that I have been experimenting with for about the last year, is the execution of techniques when either uke or nage is holding a knife. Most people instantly recognize why they would use a technique such as shihonage. Even the traditional attacks are clear in their usefulness (How many times have you heard these are just for learning the techniques?), and in fact become legitimate techniques themselves.

Don't take what I just said to mean that aikido has no empty-hand v empty-hand applications, because it clearly does.

Again thanks for all of the comments.

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