Thread: Full Resistance
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:34 AM   #113
Location: Indiana
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,311
Re: Integration and Awareness!

Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
I'd argue the opposite, Aikido's future is about the development of what it, since the refocusing of Judo onto competition, uniquely has: The ability to overcome an opponent before he can resist.

My personal dislike of the idea of competiton is that it produces a false sense of reality. My experience of Judo convinces me that you're only goot at overcoming the resistance you're trained to produce. When someone resists in a different way everything goes out of the window. Also your ability to resist depends on your level of training; in fact in large part resistance is a product of training.
I think it is obvious that the more you know about how to fight, the better you are going to be at fighting. A untrained person may punch off balance with no power. A trained fighter is going to throw a strong, fast, well placed, well balanced, punch. Because of that, he is also going to have a better guard, because he will have other guys doing the same to him. If he only blocks wild weak haymakers his defense is going to suffer.

Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
Think about this: If we regard training to overcome resistance as being vital to Judo's effectiveness, then it follows that any untrained person can effectively resist Judo, other wise there would be no need to learn how to overcome resistance.

This, clearly, is bollocks. Put any untrained person up against even a low level Judoka and they will get pwned. This leads me to ask the question "Is Judo randori about learning to throw a resisting opponent or is it more about learning how to resist being thrown?"
I submit to you the wrestler, or the bigger stronger opponent. Both could resist a judoka. I submit to you MMA fighting, where judoka have beaten and been beat non-judoka. You train not to overcome resistance. You train WITH resistance. You might ask why. The reason is to get a close approximation of how a person will react when preasure is placed on him/her. Not a guess, or an act, but a real reaction to say being punched in the face, pushed, pulled, thrown, choked, etc.

Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
I'm inclined to believe that since someone with relatively little Judo experience can defeat an untrained person that the answer to the questions is that randori teaches one to effectively resist more than it teaches one to overcome resistance.
Again, I think it is simply that as you become better at fighting you become better balanced, and your techniques have less openings, thus you are harder to attack. I can't possibly see how this could every be a bad thing.

Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
So if we're going to introduce resistance training and competition we'd better ask who we're planning on fighting and we'd better learn to resist as they do and to their level.

Also we need to realise that testing out techniques on each other is pointless in a discussion of effectiveness on non-aikidoka. We've all spent years learning these techniques to the point that they are now intuitive.
Just because we know how to lock them down and reverse them it does not follow that anyone outside of Aikido does, just because we do not commonly resist does not mean that our ability to resist our own art is the same as an untrained person or a person from another art.
I can belt n00bs around the dojo with ease after 6 years of training, but I struggle to move my seniors. This suggests that far from co-operating with me, my seniors have become highly resistant to Aikido, and can resist Aikido far more effectively than any untrained person or anyone from a different art.

The problem, therefore, is not that our techniques do not work, it's that they do not work on someone who is trained to resist them.
Training to produce yet more resistance (just so that we can overcome it) will not help us overcome someone who is not trained or experienced enough to resist in the first place.

As an example of this there is a video on youtube of a karateka getting seriously pwned by a BJJer. How much time did the BJJer spend learning to overcome karate resistance? How much use was the BJJers knowledge of how to overcome BJJ in a fight against a Karateka?
I'd argue that the BJJers abaility to overcome BJJ resistance meant precisely squat when he fought against the Karateka.[/quote[
Again, I believe you are wrong. I have studied TKD for a good while (black belt), aikido for a short while (a few years), judo for a shorter while (still preparing for my shodan) and bjj for 3 or 4 years (2 stripe blue belt).What I have experienced is in direct opposition to your argument.
My TKD was heavily forms based. I did not do any contact sparing, just the occasional no touch/light touch tag game. When I trained aikido we never used any resistance in our training (beyond static resitance of not letting someone move you). When I started judo I was unable to use any of my aikido against a judoka. Basically I would try to do anything and end up flat on my back with a man either looking down on me or pinning/choking me. When I started bjj shortly afterwards I discovered that because of the more limited ground ruleset in judo I was getting up right schooled by 3 month white belts in bjj. Because they were used to dealing with wrestlers they were hard to throw just like my judo training partners (of my level).

Now in bjj we rarely spared standing. The only guys who did were training MMA. I did not train in MMA, so I almost never got to start standing with the bjj guys. However I kept going to judo and kept getting better at throwing judoka. After a few of our bjj guys started asking for more work on takedowns we started sparing standing up more often. I found that in the timespan I had gotten a lot better at throwing bjj guys. Now why does this matter? Because bjj guys do not stand or move like judo guys. BJJ guys are more worried about single legs then harai goshi. So they have a low stiff armed posture with bent knees and a upright head. Ready to shoot. Judo players stand almost upright and a posture that is not protecting of a shot at all. Yet somehow though my training with judo I got better at throwing bjj students.

Why? Because in judo randori I was trying to throw a person who only had two things on his mind.

1) Throw me.
2) Do not get thrown by me.

This means I was learning to create very efficient basics of control and position. I was learning to control the encounter and lead the fight to where I wanted it to go. The throw is inconsequential.

Likewise with bjj. The point of sparing is to improve your control and positioning. The submission are secondary. Because of this my judo ground game (with different rules) improved dramatically. It doesn't matter that the basis of my bjj game is drastically different then my judo ground game (most of my favorite submission and positions in bjj would either get me disqualified from a judo match or force us to stand back up). I was learning solid foundations of position and control that can be applied to any situation.

Overtime I was also able to learn to use some of that TKD and Aikido that I trained. I started slowly modifying the techniques I was taught to deal with the realities of the alive training. I no longer had a partner throwing a unbalanced punch at the direction of my face, but a person hell bent on hitting me with good footwork, timing, speed, and power. He was not going to leave that hand out to grab, but bring it in for defense so I did not do the same to him. I had to learn to draw my opponent out and create openings for my techniques. I've slowly gained a small reputation at the club for being the sneaky guy with the crazy controls, takedowns, and wristlocks.

On top of this, the sparing is forcing me to grow as a fighter. When I first started bjj I had an awesome sholder hold pin and a nice choke from that position. It was dominating my training partners. But after a short while they all knew the trick and not only could defend it with ease (forcing me to learn new things), but they started doing it to me (forcing me to be more aware of my situation).

On top of this we would frequently get new people to spar with. He may be a wrestler looking to get into MMA, or a karate guy looking to learn grappling. Each one brought a new uniqueness to the sparing match. This caused us to be more adaptable to changing situations, and we even adopted some tricks from these guys. You quickly learn things you would never learn without noobs. Such as that while pinching the inner theigh hurts, you can tolerate it, or how to defend fingers being bent back, eyes gouged, biting, etc.

Even greater then this situational sparing is just aliveness. Doing drills with very open rulesets. Allowing the person to give a real response to their partner. MMA sparing does this very well. It is no longer just learning to deal with something limited like judo, bjj, aikido, boxing, etc. But learning to deal with people, some who are better strikers, grapplers, stronger, bigger, faster, more technical, smarter, etc then you are. It forces your defenses to get tighter, your attacks to be sharper, and your mind to be more focused.

Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
So how much more effective will Aikido become against non-aikidoka if we learn to overcome purely Aikido resistance?
Resistance also does not have to be sparing to add drastically to your training. It could be as simple as taking a student and asking him to hit you. Not throw a shomen strike, but hit you and not stop trying to hit you until he has been subdued. Give your partner a real goal besides being a willing participant in his own beat down. Don't say "I want you to shoot a single leg and I will practice defense X", but rather "I want you to try to take me down for 3 minutes any way you know how without striking". Will you have to learn more then you would if your only attacker was a 5'4" 300 pound 16 year old with heart disease? Of course, however I would think being able to beat a trained fighter will make you better at handling a untrained one. For example, if I can block a sharp sniper like boxers attack, I think I can deal with the tells and giveaways of the laymans haymaker with ease.

On top of this, there are some things you can't train without doing it for real. You can't learn what it is like to have someone punch you in the face via kata and compliant drills. You can't learn what it is like to recover from a drastic mistake from compliant drills and kata, you can't learn what it is like to stand back up after you have fallen and are still under attack. You can't learn what it is like to get so stressed you lose awareness and get cornered and pummeled.

Aliveness is about dealing with adversity and learning to control it as best you can. You can't learn to be a great chess master though kata, what would the same not apply to any other art of strategy.

Last edited by DonMagee : 12-31-2008 at 11:38 AM. Reason: fixing quotes

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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