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Old 01-04-2007, 10:51 AM   #16
Avery Jenkins
Avery Jenkins's Avatar
Dojo: Litchfield Hills Aikikai
Location: Litchfield, CT
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 158
Re: So What Is a Fight Anyway?

Kevin Leavitt wrote:
but my question is more direct in nature to actual physical violence. If that is our concern, wouldn't you want to train in someway that best taught you to win?
Which is why I train in aikido, because as you aptly point out, aikido teaches principles, not technique. Let me make an analogy...

In my practice, I do a lot of acupuncture. You can basically approach acupuncture two ways: You can get a cookbook, and when a patient comes in and you diagnose disorder X, you look up disorder X in the cookbook and stick the needles in where it tells you. That's technique. That'll give you joy about 75% of the time.

Or, you can go beyond simply diagnosing disorder X, and try to understand where/how things have gone awry. You apply the principles of traditional Chinese medicine to understand what's happening to that patient, and develop your treatment plan based on those principles. That'll get you a better percentage, maybe 85-90% (nobody's 100%, and if they say so, they lie).

Yeah, the principles approach takes more study, more thought, more experience. But it gives you that extra 10-15%. And the guys who truly *master* the principles of TCM, like Osensei, they are awe -inspiring in what they can do.

Same with MAs. BJJ could give me that 75% quick, and given the narrow odds that I'm going to actually end up H2H with someone ugly, that would be enough in most cases. But if I know the principles as well, I'm even further ahead.

I can see where you're coming from, Kevin -- you have to ramp up your students as fast as possible, with limited attention because of the many other skills that a soldier must master and maintain. So a focus on technique, with what principles you can manage to embed in your teaching is the best way to go.

I've got a lifetime (ok, half a lifetime) to master this stuff. So for the first 15 years, I keep my mouth shut and stay away from biker bars...

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