View Single Post
Old 04-07-2011, 12:11 PM   #76
ChrisHein's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Fresno
Location: Fresno , CA
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,646
Re: Aikido and Weapons: The Connection

David Soroko wrote: View Post
The way we practice, all shomenuchi attacks are initiated by the nage. When nage presents his/her hand for tai no henko, it is a striking hand, the uke has to take it otherwise it will end up in his face. Same in suwariwaza kokyuho. In juyuwaza the nage is encouraged to close the distance and take initiative and not wait for the attackers to gang up on her. I'd say that "Aikido doesn't initiate attack" is a personal interpretation.
I see where you're going with this, but there are some problems with your examples. First off the shomen strike to initiate attacks could be used, but without a reach advantage it's effectiveness on a person who doesn't want to engage, outside of a boxing context are very limited (more on this in just a second when we get to the boxing). The reach advantage comes from a weapon, without the weapon, you're on even ground and you end up in a boxing situation.

For the offering of the hand in tai no henko. My teacher used to love to talk about how if you don't deal with my hand, it's going to be in your face, then he would show me how he could punch me. That sounded like a good point to me, until I started to study boxing. There are a great number of ways to deal with an incoming strike, grabbing the wrist is about the least effective means I can think of. In an unarmed situation the traditional "boxing cover" if a superior technique in every way. I don't need to directly control an unarmed striking hand, I can simply raise my arm to the part that needs to be protected, and cover. If the hand is armed however I must control it, if I don't you could cut and I will not have the ability to block (unarmed).

Engaging early is great, but it's still based on your attackers desire to attack, no attack, no Aiki. And honestly if they are not attacking, why would you want to engage with them? The idea of rushing someone who isn't attacking you is not really along the philosophy of Aikido.

As to Tohei story, it makes no sense to me, a person comes into a dojo with a challenge and then proceeds to be passive to the point that he is "chased" into a corner. In effect the verbal challenge was not followed up by a physical one, logic dictates that the "duel" should have been abandoned in favour of some sake drinking perhaps. Maybe this was impossible due to cultural conventions (e.g. loosing face).
Stories are stories, it's hard to know what happened, using the story to illustrate some points was where I was going.

In the interview Chiba says "leapt", and not as you say rushed, which has a negative connotation. He uses "leaped" in the following paragraph as well which describes O-Sensei fighting a "match" (would this be a "duel"?) :
Leapt, rushed, I don't know, semantics, translations, story telling, it's would be hard to get to the bottom of this.

Yes, Ueshiba fought many duels. That doesn't mean that his system is designed for dueling.

This reasoning makes no sense to me, if a martial art is effective when multiple attackers are present, it must be even more so for a single attacker. If having no "clinch techniques" is not a problem with many attackers why should it be when there is only one?
It would seem that way, but years of randori, sport competition and getting into fights has taught me that they aren't. So why are they different?

First and foremost, duels (one-on-one) fights are held to see who is better. The goal is to decisively defeat your opponent. This goal forces you to constantly engage your opponent, whether they are pressing you or not. This requires things like boxing technique, clinch fighting, and other methods of sustained conflict. Aikido is not designed this way. In Aikido technique I'd be more then happy to let someone not attack me, turn around and go about their business. It is the attackers attack that makes me respond.

What remains is a statement that Aikido is only effective in a "one on one fight" when the Aikidoka is armed, presumably with a sword/tanto but not with say shuriken. Is this your position?
They could have a shuriken as well. Or a pistol, or any other form of handheld weapon.

Have a look at the Nishio sensei's take on striking. Not sure how from "two people "square off" it's a one on one fight" you get a "give and take to the exchange". "give and take" and "exchange" are foreign to Aikido as I understand it but I do not see why is this relevant here.
I've seen Nishio Sensei, I'm not exactly sure what you are highlighting here. Boxing is a different animal then is see in Aikido. It's also hard to get at what "Aikido is" because there are so many different branches of Aikido. Some Shihan, have tried to add much striking, and actual boxing technique to their Aikido. However these techniques are not what all styles of Aikido share. However things like Katate dori, Shiho nage, and Kotegaeshi are things we all have in common.

So Aikido does not mix with unarmed "dueling" and armed "dueling" are not it's strong suit. To what sort of scenarios, in your opinion, is Aikido a good fit?
Armed while facing multiple opponents.

  Reply With Quote