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Old 07-13-2013, 03:22 PM   #10
Dojo: Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido
Location: Bracknell
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 642
Re: Aikido as an educational system

Ewen Ebsworth wrote: View Post
I wonder whether the boy was filled with rage and it was the intensity of his attack that overwhelmed the 6th dan? I wonder whether psychologically the 6th dan couldn't bring himself to fight a teenager even in self-defence? Whatever the reason this is a poor indictment of Aikido.

I'm sure there are many more cases of Aikido being used effectively in self-defence. But it's an important reminder that training with like minded people who respect one another in the dojo can be deceptive if we don't respect our opponent in a real life attack, a little like a boxer underestimating their opponent as they are too focussed on winning the world title further into their career. Achieving the more moral and philosophical state of mind that O'Sensei discovered and encouraged and the transcendancy of strength in technique is if you like many an Aikidoka's world title. But we must not overlook or underestimate the necessity of making Aikido work in reality while on the journey.
With due respect - do you really think that someone would not fight back if he was being battered, even if it was a 16 yr old boy.
In the late 1950s / 60s I worked on the London night club scene - I used Aikido successfully many times. I never expected my opponent to harmonise with me, but I did harmonise with them.

I will add a little story of my teacher Kenshiro Abbe Sensei - this incident happened after we finished practice one night in London.
I have c/p this from my son Rik's site " Aikido in MMA :

` Are you prepared to die ? `

1959 - It was late one evening as Kenshiro Abbe Sensei left the Sandwich Street dojo in the King Cross area of London.

Sensei was just a few minutes ahead of the following students.

As Abbe Sensei walked towards the underground station, there were four yobs sitting on a wall, as Sensei approached they made a semi circle in front of him and the leader demanded " Give us yer wallet mate !! " -- Abbe Sensei stopped, eyed them all carefully, he then reached inside his jacket for his wallet, he slowly pulled out his wallet and dropped it between his feet.

For a moment the yobs looked at each other a bit bemused, the leader spoke up again demanding " Kick yer wallet over ere mate or else " -- Abbe Sensei calmly replied " No ! -- I am prepared to die for my wallet -- are you ? " -- with that the yobs again looked at each other, unsure what to make of this man. Without speaking they all took a few steps backwards, with a few defiant words of abuse they bravely retreated into the night.

Abbe Sensei didn't tell them that Aikido is love and he would give them his wallet and a cuddle, his very presence was so intimidating they knew he would destroy them.

We now live in a world where so many grade themselves or each other as if they are swapping cigarette cards. Abbe Sensei summed it up perfectly.

Kenshiro Abbe Sensei

" No matter your pretence - you are what you are, nothing more.

Henry Ellis
Co-author `Positive Aikido`
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