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Old 08-09-2000, 02:40 PM   #23
Dojo: Tacoma Aiki Dojo
Location: Olympia, WA
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 3
Let me simplify my question.

I thank all of you for the fine replies and thoughts you have been so kind to share on this question.

Let me cut to the core, though, as I feel that there is one critical point that has not been addressed.

What happens to randori if you deliberately and consciously drop all locking techniques and restrict yourself to only performing breath throws (kokyu nage, irimi nage, etc.)?

I am already experimenting with this and am finding that street speed randori is coming into my reach. (Now if I can just recover from this #$%&* knee injury!).

When locking techniques and atemis are added, this breaks up the flow and seems to slow things down.

I believe this is what Ota Sensei may be doing. (I am waiting for his reply to my email. I have already spoken some two months ago to himby telephone).

However, if this adaptation proves true it could provide a special dimension to Aikido practice which I suspect would be quite welcome.

To be blunt, if we can do Aikido throws at full speed, it would extend the sphere of Aikido to include street realistic training which would actually be superior to purely striking approaches.

Why? Because you just can't do striking in practice as you would do on the street. If you wear protective equipment, the effect of the strike is not the same and if you don't wear equipment you must pull the atemis to not injure your uke. It is just not the same. It can't be. And this has been a problem with martial arts in general for as long as I am aware.

But if indeed we can use full speed movements in practicing Aikido (by excluding locks and atemis) then we can practice what would happen in a street situation in the dojo with no compromise.

I see nothing wrong in practising locks and strikes. I have done them for many years and in several other arts as well as Aikido. (I am not young). I am not intending to "challenge" any other art nor the practise of Aikido by any school or stylist.

All I'm wondering is if by concentrating on aiki nages alone, what seems to be true IS true in the experience of others as well - that FULL speed Aikido without serious injury becomes the norm AND becomes therefore truly EFFECTIVE street defence. This is what I understand Ota Sensei claims to be doing.

If so, then we see the fulfillment of what I believe to be O'Sensei's dream of a non-violent and effective martial art which can be fully practised in all circumstances.

One writer intelligently pointed out the context of the street set up, such as when someone sucker punches a person or, I might add, distracts them verbally while another attacker blindsides the intended victim.

In such (common) street cases, the predominant reflex will be the response of the nage. If that nage responds from the reflexes of practising full speed Aikido aiki nages in full speed randori, then the nage MAY slip the attack and do just fine. I want to see if the ukes can be unleashed to perform ANY attacks they wish eventually.

The difference is more than just one of preference in how to train for self defense in general. Again, as I see it, ALL current common approaches to self defense MUST compromise in practise what they intend for the street. In this sense, one writer was most accurate in stating that the dojo is not the street.

But if these ideas are valid (and I am trying to test them currently) then the dojo CAN duplicate the street and without compromising basic Aikido principles or ethics!

THAT I find to be a very exciting idea.

Again, I deeply appreciate the exchange of ideas here. I hope I have clarified my intention. I am VERY willing to be proven incorrect but I hope that this is actually a valid idea.

Thanks again,

George Smith

George Smith
Tacoma Aiki Dojo
Volunteer instructor Lakewood YMCA
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