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Old 01-04-2007, 09:40 AM   #7
Kevin Leavitt
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Dojo: Team Combat USA
Location: Olympia, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Re: So What Is a Fight Anyway?


You conveyed my intent pretty well. The example was used to demonstrate just what you said, that aikido in a fight would not look like aikido. That is all this meant.

I hope no one took what I said as all fights end up on the ground. All fights can end up on the ground, gravity pretty much assures us of that!

Back to my comments on close distance, clinch, takedown submit.

This is pretty much the universal fight plan. All fights pretty much follow this pattern for the most part. The issue is we all end up with a fixation of what this means to us and our imaginations.

Let me explain what I meant further.

Close distance. In order for a fight to occur distance must be closed. Distance is defined by a number of things. Weapons, perception of weapons, no weapons, desire of the fighters, emotions etc. However in an engagement of any type, the fighters must close distance and physically connect somehow. The fighter that can effectively close the distance and seize the upperhand will usually win the fight, unless something else enters the fight like a buddy or another weapon say like a gun....but lets throw those variable out for now.

we have various scenarios, no weapons, one guy with a weapon, both guys with a weapon. Lets stick to sticks and knifes as guns definitely win the battle since physical contact can be made with little or no martial ability.

Now go watch some fights on you tube, or watch the dog brothers on See what happens with the plan. Fighter meet, they close distance and they hit, kick, or punch until one of the fighters is taken out, or overwhelmed. You might win at this range and the fight stops...most certainly! Common sense would dictate why go further. If not, you continue to try and overwhelm your opponent, if that does not work you must proceed to the clinch in an attempt to improve your position or disengage.

Disengagement has it's own issues as you can take some serious hits trying to back out of the situation. You might lose the upper hand. Fear and emotions, and the fact that the fighters are tired will typically drive them to the clinch.


Again, watch the videos, people naturally clinch. Some simply know how to do it better. Those that practice it and learn it, will typically gain dominance. Yes you can clinch with knives. What choice do you really have anyway?? Might as well learn how to do it correctly. Separating from the clinch can be very dangerous if you simply try and push away, therefore you should develop skills....hence the takedown.


This is where we start having issues in our minds. When you hear takedown it means different things to different people. BJJ guys in sport may mean ride him to the ground. However, takedown simply means you break his balance and put him in a position that is off balance and inferior to your own. You could go from clinch to the back in classic iriminage. You could do a kotegaeshi, you could do o'sotogari or any number of hip throws or what not. This is no different than any aikido you study, just a different place to start.


Again, take your pick of submissions. where ever you are if you are standing do a standing submission, if you are on the ground do a ground submission. It is all situational dependent.

A lot of what we talk about is scenario driven. I train for BJJ matches different than I train for Building Clearing. For example, if I am in a five minute match and I am mounted I may take my time depending on my points to escape. Whereas if I am mounted in combat, I may try like hell to get out from under the guy as fast as possible, not concerned about anything else.

If I have the Rear Mount in a match, I may try for a RNC, in combat I may simply hold him there for my buddy to butt stroke.

The point is, not what you do, it is what you train to both examples the skill sets are the same, the applications much different based on the situation.

So yes, I believe basic fighting strategies all follow the same basic continium. Close Distance, Clinch, Takedown, Submit. Thousands of hours of training, and hundreds of videos I have watched have never proven otherwise.

The problem many of us have when looking from an aikido context is we want to apply what we learn at the same timing, distance, and ma'ai as we learn in the dojo. I could demonstrate to you that closing the distance for the clinch is no different than shomenuchi ikkyo, or munetsuki ikkyo, you simply aren't extending quite as much and things get much smaller and quicker.

Clinching properly is not much different than say some of the dynamics of kaitenage or iriminage...but again it is closer, and the affects are slightly different.

The point is, I believe that we must all be very careful about what is is we are training to do. If you are trainng for UFC you train a certain way, if you are trainng to learn principles of aikido you train a certain way, if you are a police officer doing DT you train a certain way, if you are training for the street or combat you train a certain way.

There is a common thread in all of them at the core though, and when you enter the realm of non-compliance, a new dynamic is in play and there are only so many ways to defeat that game. Close Distance, Clinch, Takedown, Submit.
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