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Old 07-04-2006, 07:14 PM   #58
Dojo: Finger Lakes Aikido
Location: Cortland, NY
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 980
Re: Brawling with a friend

Luc Saroufim wrote:
Hello everyone,

what I am probably about to type is not new to many veterans out there, but hopefully will clear up some issues for beginners like me.

in the 10 months i've been training, there has been one resounding positive effect: confidence. i am simply more confident in myself.

so my best friend and I got together this weekend. mind you, i've known this guy forever, the last thing he does is insult me, or want to hurt me, but we always have "friendly" fights.

this time, we decided to turn it up a notch. i figured we could, because we trust each other, the same way an uke trusts his tori.

we cleared the living room and began to "fight." now here is what i learned about Aikido, and hopefully i will get some advice from the older students:

1) I attacked first. Basically, as soon as I did that, I lost the fight. Aikido really is a non-violent martial art. even though i knew some beginner techniques, i could not employ them, because i didn't allow my friend to attack me. therefore, i had no 'ki' to work with.

2) You have to move fast in Aikido for it to be effective. if it's not instinctual, it will not work. he *did* grab my wrists a few times, and as soon as i "connected" with him, he simply let go, and the "ki" was lost.

3) In spite of all this, i still had a chance to take him down. i had him set up for a perfect sankyo, and couldn't do it correctly.

summary: sometimes people think Aikido doesn't work. in this case, it didn't at all. but it wasn't O' Sensei's fault.

if i waited for my friend to attack first, I might've had a chance. i always acted too hastily and tried to take him down. this goes against everything Aikido teaches you.

second, if you don't practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, you will never employ the technique correctly. they require a swift, instinctual motion, with no delay or hesitation. hesitate for a second, and you have lost the technique. if you rest on your laurels, you don't stand a chance.

looking back on what i just typed, this sounds like a lot of common sense. however, i've seen a lot of "Aikido doesn't work" threads recently, and I have to agree: if you let your oppenents play their game, it will not work at all.
Back when I started karate -- the very beginning of my martial arts journey -- I would spar with my best friend and sometimes friends of his. They would frequently confound me with things I had not seen in the dojo -- namely low kicks and fakes. I have continuied in traditional karate all this time and still never seen counters to those particular things. But I still learned to watch from them and over time, performed my own blocks. Your best bet my be to take the same approach, not say "It didn't work!" but as a learning experience, to watch for what confounds you and develop your own counters to them.

My karate sensei at the time always said three things:

1. Every move has a countermove.

2. You won't win all the time.

3. There's always someone out there who knows something you don't.

Again, your experience and mine proves him right. So there is no need to get upset over it. Just take it in stride and learn from it.
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