Dan Harden wrote:
"For a simple test for comparisons...Ground rules: No fighting techniques, no feints, no Waza of any kind.
Can you do this?
Stand in a room and not use any waza, not use your hands, or any offensive techniques and then.....
1. Have a 220 pound man push your chest with one hand in an attempt to push you over.
2. Then two hands as hard as he can
3. Then have him pile drive into you
4. Then casually.. pull you and push you around while you stand there without moving your feet Over time increasinf the severity.
5. Have him push you slowly and -without you moving- you breathe and he starts to collapse downward
6. Do the above with a stick in your hands while he pushes you with the stick and with you not moving much at all.
7. Place your hands on his chest and not move you shoulders or body in any discernable way and send them 3-6' with your hands.
If you can do that.... . Then I really don't care what you "call" it, you're worth talking too, as you are doing internal skills. In my mind at least, no debate, and a common ground. And If you cannot.....
Then be honest with yourselves and pleased..that there is
something out there you don't know.
I'm worth talking to, as these things can be done by me and many others who practice with my teacher, I'm not sure why there has to be a stipulation that you cannot move though ( why not? ). And why only 1 man why not a whole bunch of them?
I have seen my teacher demonstrate with a large man pushing on his chest while he is sitting on a chair balanced on the rear two legs, demonstration ends when the 'uke' is thrown. I personally can do this but not as well as him (yet).
These are for us, ki development exercises, there are many many seemingly 'not possible' tests of 'strength' that are exercises in mind and body co-ordination. They are as far as I'm concerned no big deal, they are a way to practice co-ordination.
I respect the fact that some people want to become 'ultimate fighters' and I appreciate the fun that can be had doing that.
You only know the aikido you have seen and the aikidoka you have sparred with.
The 'type' of aikido that I am persuing may not mix well with the martial challenges that you are fond of. I want to explore how far I can go with the 'ki' side of aikido. To do this all 'strength' based technique has to be replace by leading of mind/ki. Of course I need a decent ukemi to do this, and in my experience the less physical I get the easier it is to deal with the 'resistors'.
So if I can get a well trained 'serious' aikidoka to attack with speed and sincerity, ultimately I want to dispatch him without effort, if I can do it with minimal or no touch, very good, if I slip and use force, not so good.
This is where the fun is for me, exploring how far I can go in a particular direction. Those that practice aikido with force and resistance, will not find this easy. And may even think that what I say/do is not valid. I personally am not really interested. As you say Dan there is (maybe) more out there than you know.
I have no idea how good I would be in a 'real' fight ( sparring with another martial artist doesn't count ), and to be perfectly honest I don't really care. I know how easy it is to deal with the big stong 'beginners' that I get come to me. So I am obviously better equipped now than I was when I started aikido. But having only been in 1 physical fight in the last 50 ( I was 15 )years, why should I worry about something that may or may not happen in the next 50??
As I mentioned before, If you train to fight, you need to fight to test yourself and to validate yourself, what is the point otherwise?
Personally I train to increase my mind/body/spirit co-ordination so that I can live life more fully each day that I wake up.
Good luck to all you 'fighters' out there 'respect'. But some of us have a different perspective on it all, there is too much lovelyness in the world just waiting to be experienced, to be bothered with fighting 'contest' / win / lose.