Join Date: Mar 2005
It's tricky in Aikido (and other martial arts, often) about "what is allowed", even though common sense would tell you that you need to learn to respond to all things if you're going to fight. Notice that there are a number of set "attacks", like tsuki, shomenuchi, yokomenuchi, etc. The attack is called for and expected. There is a set way to respond in order to "do the technique correctly" in most dojo's
this is exactly why Aikido as well as other traditional training systems will continue to have trouble with todays real fighters as well as with a uncooperative attacker or attackers armed or unarmed.
Also, if they do practice striking it is usually done in a half hearted prearranged telegraphed mannor, everything is expected or done with their idea of what real intensity is. Have them try adding in broken rhythm, half beats, 4-5 move hand/foot combinations, knees, elbows, headbutts, and eyegoudges. Do that exact same thing with a knife or stick added in, using everything described above including grappling and ground work with and without a blade, then pay attention to how an aikido man or woman will deal with it. When you put that aliveness into your training you will always get different results than when your training cooperatively. Havent you ever wondered why all the real fights you see involving martial artists and anyone else dont look very appealing to the eye? Its because the techniques done under pressure in a high intensity uncooperative situation are different than what your used to, your takin out of your confort zone because that is not how you have trained In a real world violent encounter you will not be able to rely on fine motor skills, you will not be able to catch punches unless you just get lucky, and you will not be able to rely on a joint lock or a throw! So you cut out all the crap, rely on gross motor skills, and train for the worst scenerios. Most martial artists dont do that, some dont even want to do that, its a personal choice. But i promise you from years of experience in real life situations, you had better train with the worst case scenerios in mind because how you train is whats going to dictate what you do for real. I recently had a conversation with a LEO who is an aikido teacher and trains LEO and military agencies. He said that the main reason that some of his aikido tecniques worked was because the person being arrested was only half heartedly resisting him. He told me that in the cases where the person being arrested was actually trying to hurt him, his partner, or someone else, he had to esculate the force continum. Because someone that is truly resisting just wont comply with a joint lock or throw much less when you try to catch their hand out of the air. When you add in adrenaline, determination, pain tolerance etc, the scenerio changes. Thats why you must train how your going to fight, with the worst case scenerio in mind! That can be anything your imagination can dream up, i usually train with the mindset that the attacker is bigger, stronger, faster, meaner, on meth, and knows how to fight. I also imagine there may be more than 1, armed and unarmed in a variety of enviroments. We used to train where we would be doing a ground fighting exercize in class, maybe we were using a knife, maybe not, but at any moment someone else in class could come over at anytime they wanted and jump in on us, attacking whomever they wanted, with or without a blade or stick. When you add exercizes like that, it really changes your mindset about training Try this exercize sometime, run, swim, jump rope, hit a heavybag, do windsprints or ANY cardio exercize for 3 minutes as hard and as fast as you are able, then IMMEDIATLEY have your training partner attack you using whatever means they wish (stick, knife, emptyhand etc) Make sure nothing is prearranged, or telegraphed, have them use combinations, broken rhythm, half beats, stop hits etc. Do this with full intensity, just freakin attack you all out like your the only thing standing between them and their drowning child. Then you may begin to see if your tecniques even come close to maybe working under pressure. I promise you you wont be able to catch that punch and your tecniques wont look as smooth and pretty as they do in your dojo. Sometimes i think people are so amazed with the legends of what the old masters could do that they miss their own truth. A good martial artist once coined it "the classical mess" and said its like swimming on dry land! You will never be able to experience the waters until you get your feet wet, just as someone who has never lived through a violent encounter has no clue about what it takes to survive one.
Forget what may or may not have been long ago, and start training with realism, only then will you get to whats at the heart of your training, or why you even train at all