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Old 04-20-2011, 12:04 AM   #73
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Re: Tanto Practice - Is true Aikido effective for disarming?

Jon Holloway wrote: View Post

I agree with some of what you are saying, but there is some error as well. For one thing, there is no "typical" disarm in the silat or kali/escrima systems, just as there is no "typical" disarm in the aikido systems. Since there are hundreds of styles of silat alone, "typical" is rather hard to define. Secondly, eye flicks are not normally the first technique in a disarm, as you would be defanging the snake and hitting/controlling/destroying the weapon bearing limb on your entry, and, if you can rake the eyes, you have already entered. Those who enter without trying to do something to the blade bearing limb first we generally call "dead men." You are correct, though, in saying that the strip is incidental. In reality, disarms only sometimes present themselves. In real fighting, as I tell my students when I hold up a knife and wave my arm, "The best disarm is when 'dis arm right here does not work anymore." Limb destructions are the norm in many of the Southeast Asian combat systems. Going against a knife armed attacker is extremely dangerous and going against one unarmed is not something that anyone should take lightly or really want to do at all. If you have to do it, though, since the attacker is using lethal force on you, you are generally best served with rendering his weapon arm unusable, and/or rendering him incapable of any aggressive movement (through injury, unconsciousness, death, etc.). You have to be extraordinarily good and very, very lucky to be able to do the "put the guy down without hurting him thing." Generally, you just get cut up if you try, at least from what I have seen in full contact sparring with training blades and in actual attacks with the blade. This brings me to you discussing Mickey's statement on kuzushi. You actually are both correct, since I think you are talking at cross purposes. You are absolutely correct in your definition of pure kuzushi. However, Mickey was talking in this instance about the blade environment, and usually, when he posts, he is posting from a realistic combat perspective, and one where he has survived multiple lethal force encounters as a police officer. In a blade confrontation, as Mickey trains with me and well knows that arm destructions are often the norm when attempting to minimize injury to oneself and control the attacker's blade, he was merely stating that there is going to be pain during the balance disruption (or whenever the attacker comes off his recreational pharmaceutical or adrenaline induced high), because the balance disruption is most likely to occur at the point in time when the attacking limb is destroyed. Broken bones, torn cartilage, and ripped tendons and ligaments hurt. From personal experience I can say that sometimes they don't hurt immediately, but the pain does kick in at some point or other and the connection to center and the damage inflicted sure plays holy hell with your balance if it is done right. Mickey is good at getting kuzushi, and can do it without hurting people. When the fight is for real, though, and his safety is at stake, he, like I, will be taking balance while destroying connective tissue and bones, so we can be sure that our opponent stays down. Just as "shoot to stop" is the mantra in law enforcement firearms training, "hit/throw/etc. to stop" is our mantra when it comes to an empty hand, impact weapon, or blade encounter where we start out unarmed and have to deal with a serious threat of injury or death.
Actually, I would have included limb destruction in my general category of impact technique... but it's not a term that is generally used within the Aikido community so I didn't get into it.

I would stand behind my use of "typical" but only if we are talking broadly... Kali and Silat, while consisting of a huge number of actual styles, do have certain things which would identify them as having a South Asian flavor... I am certainly no expert here. Picked up a bit from students of Guru Dan and trained just a bit with Chris Petrilli. Other than reading Don Dreager, that's the limit of my expertise. On the other hand, it's more than most Aikido folks have, so I offered my opinion.

I taught Defensive Tactics for years... had my own system even. I never had to use what I taught to defend myself... but one of my students, a Seattle PD officer at the time, did survive an attack with an edged weapon and credited the practice we had done with his success. I've also had some lengthy discussion with Peyton Quinn, a man who has survived two attempts to kill him with edged weapons, and we are pretty much on the same page. He definitely falls into the category of using a lot of impact technique on the attacker. Since it saved his life twice I am sticking with him as an authority. Most of the rest of us "experts" haven't actually had to use their technique for real...

While I am an Aikido teacher. I defer to other systems and others folks experiences when it comes to areas in which it is patently obvious that Aikido's standard set of responses are simplistic and unrealistic. I'd trust my skills against an untrained attacker... against my equivalent in a blade guy? No contest... the expert with a knife will beat an unarmed guy every time. Unarmed knife defense is for use against people who aren't trained. Against any other level of skill, well it's pure darn luck if you survive that.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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