Dojo: Senshin Center
Location: Dojo Address: 193 Turnpike Rd. Santa Barbara, CA.
Join Date: Feb 2002
These last two posts said some interesting things. Thanks for sharing.
However, it should be pointed out that the original post was merely asking if Osensei took out strikes or not, etc. - a point he repeated later in the thread when people got off his stated topic. The point of a person pulling out of a lock was made by Lau, which was quoted in the original post in order to have us focus on the last line he spoke in an interview (i.e. about Osensei taking strikes out of Aikido proper).
I would not say that Mr. Morgan is merely theorizing. Obviously there is some research here - some historical and some practical. And even some cross-cultural studies can lend some perspective here if we look at the biomechanical make-up of locks vs. holds (say, from Roman-Greco wrestling): Undoubtedly the majority of locks in the aiki arts do rely on one or more points of articulation being brought to a point of excess or near excess -- if not in practice then definitely in potential. If one were just trying to "hold" a person, why would such excess be necessary? I think that is a fair question to ask, and that is all I see Mr. Morgan doing.
I can also see that what Mr. Hocker is saying is also true. As a trainer of law enforcement personnel myself, I have experienced this fact lots of times - folks stepping aside to have my men come in and put the situation under control with a lock/hold they have practiced under me. And, I can also agree with the point that law enforcement personnel are highly under trained and that that under training has a lot to do with the overall (in)effectiveness of whatever it is they are applying -- more so than any other aspect.
However, in such cases, I would like to say that what I see going on is not so much that the lock is holding, but that the subject being detained has stopped resisting - that he/she is allowing for a tactical opportunity for the lock to hold. This means, for me, that though the lock is holding, I would not dismiss Mr. Morgan's perspective outright, because I can admit that the lock is only holding because the subject has allowed or is allowing it to hold.
In my own training experience, with these same officers, situations where we deal with the extremes of arrest and control (and by "extreme" I am noting that we are dealing with cases that while possible are less probable in the line of duty), locks that "work" in the field are overloaded time and time again on the mat simply because in the practice session the "suspect" is told not to surrender no matter what. This experience too would lend credence to what Mr. Morgan is suggesting.
If you, Mr. Hocker, have undergone this type of training in your own setting, I would really like to know what your experiences have led to. Sincerely interested. Do the locks hold for you? If so, which ones? (Note: This setting is reached most efficiently when one is not training with folks of low pain tolerance. I say that, yes, because pain is present, which is when most folks in a dojo "quit", and which is also when most folks in the field may "quit", but I'm referring to a training environment that is set upon the question of: "What if they don't quit?") Have you trained under these conditions and if so, what did you find?
With that said, I do have one point of clarification to make, perhaps even a point of disagreement, concerning Mr. Morgan's position. I would say that a bigger obstacle to applying locks in the field than expecting them merely to "hold" is that of consciously searching to apply a lock or hold. I would say that locks are more something one falls into -- something stemming from traps, which stem from proper positioning, which stems from proper timing, which allows one to capitalize upon a specific tactical environment that allows for a lock to be placed. This is obviously consistent with the tactic of aiki, but it is also the only sure way of making sure a lock is applicable -- something which the addition of strikes will not do nor the completion of an excess on particular point of articulation will do either. If you want the lock to work, you may have to force a joint or two, should the opponent or the suspect not submit to the "hold," but you cannot force the lock itself. As the opponent falls into the lock, we ourselves must also fall into the application of the lock. In my experience it is the fail to do this that makes most applications of locks/holds fallible -- not striking, not breaking, and not holding, or their opposites.