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Old 02-22-2007, 09:35 AM   #26
Keith R Lee
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Re: How would aikido fare in an actual fight?

Quote:
Michael Riehle wrote: View Post
Evan, I'm thinking you're still misunderstanding things. Check out this link:

http://www.newschoolaikido.com/faq.php

under the part about handling karate or jiu jitsu attacks. It illustrates the point pretty well, I think.
If by illustrating the point pretty well you mean completely avoiding the question and exhibiting a strong sense of apriorism, I agree with you.

Keith Lee
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Old 02-22-2007, 09:46 AM   #27
Cyrijl
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Re: How would aikido fare in an actual fight?

wow. and i thought my response was tough.

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Old 02-22-2007, 10:07 AM   #28
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Re: How would aikido fare in an actual fight?

I' no Aikidoka but a Judoka interested in other arts. I've read a lot of the answers above and I dare say: a real fight would never be an option to a real Aikidoka unless given no other chance but to fight!
A sparring is something different because it follows rules - but rules don't exist in the street. Attacked in the street you might not have any other chance but to fight back - never knowing your opponent's (or rather opponents' ) next move. Maybe he/they suddenly has/have a knife or a gun in his/their hands threatening you - and then??? Think about that when you talk about "fihting" the next time.
And yes, it IS the same with Judo, unless you've been also training it a lot of time, training also the selfdefense techniques which really do exist and cannot be compared to what you see in competition.
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Old 02-22-2007, 11:30 AM   #29
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Re: How would aikido fare in an actual fight?

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Armin Quast wrote: View Post
A sparring is something different because it follows rules - but rules don't exist in the street.
Increasingly, I find myself disagreeing with the concept that rules don't exist in the street. I think they do. They are called "laws".

In competition/sparring/training your opponent may violate a "rule" and they will be penalized accordingly if caught. Because your opponent violated a "rule" generally doesn't give you the right to violate the "rule". Similarly, if your opponent(s) violate a "law" they will be penalized accordingly if caught. But that does not give you the right to violate the "law" in your defense.

At least, that's how I'm starting to see things....

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Paul
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Old 02-22-2007, 12:18 PM   #30
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Re: How would aikido fare in an actual fight?

i've been hearing this from some of my friends and i'm starting to adapt to this philosophy:

if you absolutely have to use Aikido in a no holds barred fighting situation, it is better to use the concepts learned rather than the techniques.

IMO setting a guy up for shihonage or kotegaeshi is almost impossible in the real world. however, studying those techniques lets you practice concepts like connection, timing, avoiding, entering, merging, and manipulation of joints. all those are universal concepts in all martial arts, and are highly effective in self defense situations.

when was the last time someone hit you when you weren't there?
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Old 02-22-2007, 12:22 PM   #31
Roman Kremianski
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Re: How would aikido fare in an actual fight?

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Similarly, if your opponent(s) violate a "law" they will be penalized accordingly if caught.
How many people will stick around for the cops to show up after stabbing you?
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Old 02-22-2007, 12:37 PM   #32
Cyrijl
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Re: How would aikido fare in an actual fight?

about 3

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Old 02-22-2007, 01:30 PM   #33
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Re: How would aikido fare in an actual fight?

All due respect, that website is giving advice that I think is irresponsible and not correct about the dynamics of fights. There is a big gap between theory and reality. I have no issue with their theory and philosophy behind what "should" happen, but who actually has that much control over things in a violent situation that possesses the skill to have it work this way.

Not many.

Especially bad advice to give out to new students concerned with violence or fighitng.

As far as rules. Of course their our always established parameters and rules...you simply may not have the same understanding as your opponent, or have consented to his understanding of the rules he is playing by. That causes discourse and conflict between you as well.

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Old 02-22-2007, 01:35 PM   #34
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Re: How would aikido fare in an actual fight?

Let me clarify something I did not in my last post.

The advice is sound in theory, however, you cannot/should not make the assumption that this is all the answers you may need in a fight. Some people may get back up. They may overwhelm you with punches and kicks. You may end up on the ground.

They may not speak your language or care what you say.

lots of variables. Again, in theory...no issues...however, it is easy to draw a convienent tidy conclusion from this as a new student that aikido training has all the answers you need....in this respect, I think they are setting people up for failure possibly.

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Old 02-22-2007, 01:38 PM   #35
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Re: How would aikido fare in an actual fight?

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If by illustrating the point pretty well you mean completely avoiding the question and exhibiting a strong sense of apriorism, I agree with you.
Um, no.

That isn't what I meant.

But I'm sorry you see it that way.

Did you miss the part about them not being able to hit him after he decided not to get into the fight?

I've had much the same experience. Aikidoka who want to "fight" frequently fail, IME, but Aikidoka who simply want to stay safe frequently succeed. It's all about your mindset. Theoretically, what you are physically doing is identical (though, it isn't *actually* from my observations).

The point I was trying to make is that if you go in with a "sparring" mentality and expect to be doing Aikido, you're probably going to lose.

I've had people challenge me both on and off the mat. My successes have - without exception - been when I simply didn't care about winning or losing. My failures have always had an element of fighting in them for me.

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Old 02-22-2007, 01:44 PM   #36
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Re: How would aikido fare in an actual fight?

So, are you saying that randori or shiai that is non-compliant is not aikido?

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Old 02-22-2007, 01:52 PM   #37
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Re: How would aikido fare in an actual fight?

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
The advice is sound in theory, however, you cannot/should not make the assumption that this is all the answers you may need in a fight. Some people may get back up. They may overwhelm you with punches and kicks. You may end up on the ground.
With respect, the evidence from NSA students doesn't bear this out. I know of at least three incidents where a student did use Aikido (or at least it's principles) and the attacker simply gave up the fight.

I do, however, temper the blanket statement that they don't get up myself. My contention is that most of them won't, but that there are exceptions to any rule and the exceptions in this case should be treated as extremely dangerous people. In my opinion, if they get up after the first throw and want to continue the fight, you should assume they are willing and motivated to kill you and act accordingly.

But, I look at the situation where one of the students at NSA was faced with a guy trying to stab his father. The student disarmed him, pinned him for a bit and when the guy with the knife got up he was actually apologetic (though he still went to jail).

This isn't magic or some mystical, new age mumbo jumbo. It's simple, dime store psychology. If you are not hostile, most people lose their hostility when you control the situation. The exceptions are much rarer than TV crime shows will lead you to believe and I believe Aikido actually gives us tools to deal with them as well.

I do know of one incident where the attacker kept going against an Aikidoka after being thrown twice and having his arm broken. The attacker wound up dead. Not an ideal outcome, but my understanding of what happened leads me to believe this guy was going to wind up dead attacking the wrong person eventually anyway.

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Old 02-22-2007, 01:53 PM   #38
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Re: How would aikido fare in an actual fight?

Michael,
I bet I could take him down or hit him whether he cared or not and whether he tried to stop me or not. That is not bragging, that is just the way it is.

-------

These threads just need to stop. They are like a car wreck. No matter how hard you want to refrain from looking you just can't help it.

melior est canis vivus leone mortuo
Bog svsami!!!
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Old 02-22-2007, 01:57 PM   #39
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Re: How would aikido fare in an actual fight?

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Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
So, are you saying that randori or shiai that is non-compliant is not aikido?
No, I don't think so.

But if nage is worrying about the compliance of his ukes - getting into the fight - it's probably not Aikido.

FWIW: I do jiyu waza with my students where reversals are not only allowed, but encouraged. When I play this way myself I find I do much better when I quit worrying about winning and just play.

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Old 02-22-2007, 02:11 PM   #40
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Re: How would aikido fare in an actual fight?

Michael,

Certainly the situations could play out the way you have outlined them. However, for reality, I do not think it is wise to use this as the norm for all situations. (I am not saying that you necessarily believe this BTW).

If we are training for reality, we have an obligation to train our students for point of failure.

I do work with my students on occasion to understand the dynamic of minimal force and de-escalation. Hard to describe here, but I work with them aiki style on once they have disabled to stop pushing or using strength that it is counterproductive and actually causes your opponent to fight back.

However, there is much, much more than goes into action prior to that point of control. We cannot assume it will happen every time, therefore, if we are training for reality, we need to work on other things that compensate for failure of various components/situations.

Aikido CAN give you tools to deal with the reality of situations. It all depends on how you train it, and which situations you are talking about. We can argue that all day.

However, if practiced the way it is practiced in MOST dojos, based on emphasizing principles and waza...it is simply NOT preparing your adequately when we are talking about full on violent force from a non-compliant person.

Absolutely, there are levels of escalation of force. Absolutely aikido does train some very relevant things in these areas...aikido does this better than many other methodologies I believe....however, we need to simply be careful of NOT leading people to believe that it covers the whole spectrum if we simply are NOT training that way.

It could get nasty and ugly. Are you preparing people mentally, physically, and spiritually do deal with this end of the spectrum as well?

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Old 02-22-2007, 02:17 PM   #41
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: How would aikido fare in an actual fight?

I agree Michael, you cannot worry about winning or losing, you fight with the goal of winning, but you do not ponder or regard this while doing it. You simply do it.

Practice develops habits and instincts. When you fight you use what you learn, or default to what you don't learn. For some of us that may result in the fetal position on the ground, for others something entirely different.

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Old 02-22-2007, 02:30 PM   #42
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Re: How would aikido fare in an actual fight?

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
It could get nasty and ugly. Are you preparing people mentally, physically, and spiritually do deal with this end of the spectrum as well?
First of all, I'm getting the very strong sense you and I are not so far apart on this as it may initially appear.

But as for the above quote, one of the things I've learned in my own personal journey is that preparing for that kind of thing comes in three stages:
  1. Recognizing the reality of the possibility and acknowledging it.
  2. Understanding that it's nothing to do with you. You don't have to become a part of the ugliness in order to deal with the ugliness. You can say "no" to the ugliness without denying its existance or denying the other person.
  3. Working out how to apply the resulting attitude when the rubber hits the road.

I think you can work out the first two steps in a very short time. I've seen people get there in less than a year. That last one, though, gets sticky very quickly. For one thing, it can lead to screwing up your accomplishment in the second stage.

In practice I think a lot of people bounce back and forth between the last two stages and some of them go all the way back to the first. The only cure I know of for this is to keep training.

But the bottom line is that you don't have to buy into the nastiness in order to deal with the nastiness. IME, in fact, doing so will only make it less likely that you will be effective.

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Old 02-22-2007, 02:37 PM   #43
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Re: How would aikido fare in an actual fight?

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Practice develops habits and instincts. When you fight you use what you learn, or default to what you don't learn.
As usual, it comes back to: keep practicing.

One of the things I think NSA does very right is that you start doing randori within the first month of training. Okay, it's kind of a cooperative randori, but it still trains a really different mindset than kata practice.

Even in a co-operative randori you have to let go of certain unhealthy ego tricks. Rhythm and movement become way more important than winning. It's funny, as well, how having three or more people trying to take you to the mat (and that part is done with considerable - um - sincerity) points out tiny flaws in your training habits.

Not competing doesn't mean you're not allowed to challenge each other and push yourself to stronger, more meaningful accomplishment.

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Old 02-22-2007, 02:46 PM   #44
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Re: How would aikido fare in an actual fight?

Yes, we probably are not all that far off, it is all in perception really I am sure.

I am not sure I am following you, so correct me if I am wrong.

I have not problem with your three stages on a mental/spiritual level. I have always kinda followed Maslow, which this looks to be the same to me.

It is the physical skills part I am focusing on. Making sure we are training properly in this area.

On one hand we can detach ourselves from the situation and not allow our emotions, anger etc to distract us, or cause us to over react.

That is one way, maybe NOT the aikido way?

Aikido requires compassion. To be compassionate, you have to become emotionally involved, recognize that you are a stakeholder and share in the situation with your opponent.

This is the tough part....

How do you approach from a compassionate standpoint when you must deal with this in a split second and react in sometimes a most violent manner?

I know the answer myself, and it can be done....in fact, this is what BUDO is all about I think.

However, this is on a mental/emotional/spritual level.

The part I am addressing is simply pure physical skills to be able to physcially react appropriately.

I think sometimes in aikido we do a good job of the mental/spirutal/emotional preparation....yet there is a disparity between the physical preparation.

We should caution our students NOT to transfer the emotional/spiritual/mental lessons to the physical. I think this is where many aikido people get in trouble with there friends asking them to prove it...and in some cases with violent opponents who really could careless about the fact that we study aikido.

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Old 02-22-2007, 02:47 PM   #45
Ron Tisdale
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Re: How would aikido fare in an actual fight?

Joseph, what difference does that make? I mean, in the instances (word of mouth, grain of salt, whatever) cited by Michael, students were able to defend themselves. so what you could do is meaningless...you aren't attacking them.

I know there are high school wrestlers that could take me down...I have no doubt of it. I bet I could find a few that could take down most people. But then...I don't get in fights with high school wrestlers, so I really don't give a darn...

Best,
Ron (maybe someone said something stupid on the web page and that is what you are referring to...I have to admit, I didn't bother reading the web page...)

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Old 02-22-2007, 02:50 PM   #46
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Re: How would aikido fare in an actual fight?

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Luc Saroufim wrote: View Post
if you absolutely have to use Aikido in a no holds barred fighting situation, it is better to use the concepts learned rather than the techniques.
At the risk of getting Zen here; the point of learing techniques is to learn principles. The body moves according to certain, predictable rules. No technique every goes as planned, so being attached to a technique will prevent you from applying the principles.

You have to care, but if caring becomes attachment, you will fail.

Quote:
Luc Saroufim wrote: View Post
IMO setting a guy up for shihonage or kotegaeshi is almost impossible in the real world.
Funny this one. Kotegaeshi, in particular, is one where I've never seen anyone "set the guy up for it", but I've seen it used and used it (though my use of it is not, really, a great example of Aikido on some level and it was a long time ago). It's never "set up", it just works out that way.

I think as soon as you start setting someone up for a particular technique you are getting into attachment. Attachment gives the other guy leverage.

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Old 02-22-2007, 03:00 PM   #47
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Re: How would aikido fare in an actual fight?

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It is the physical skills part I am focusing on. Making sure we are training properly in this area.
Ah! I see the disconnect now.

Yes, you are right. You cannot ignore the physical skills. I actually believe that the philosophical/spiritual stuff is embedded in correct practice of Aikido. If you do not practice the physical stuff correctly, you really aren't being true to the philosophy. It isn't that nobody every gets hurt, it's that I won't hurt them. This is really different, I think.

I'm not sure why, but your point reminds me of something someone said on another discussion forum I participate in. Another person had been defending a particularly offensive spammer saying that banning him violated the spirit of love engendered in Aikido philosophy. One of the responses contained the phrase:

"Sometimes love looks more like a firm nikkyo than a group hug."

This, I think, is something that more Aikidoka should keep in mind.

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Old 02-22-2007, 03:11 PM   #48
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Re: How would aikido fare in an actual fight?

My philosphy centers more on having the ability to hurt him, but the compassion and skill to choose not too.

To me, ability also encompasses willingness to hurt.

I am certainly mentally prepared and willing to use extreme, violent, and physical force if necessary.

I train pretty darn near daily to be able to possess the physical skills.

As is the case with most of us...there is a gap, or disparity, between what I am willing to do mentally, what I have the ability to choose to do. I am always trying to shorten that gap.

I personally think aikido does much in the way of assisting us with the mental game, however, I have issues in many cases with the physical reality of what we are teaching....I try not to cofuse the two!

Yes sometimes love is a good nikkyo!

Good discussion!

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Old 02-22-2007, 03:14 PM   #49
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Re: How would aikido fare in an actual fight?

As far as attachment on technique goes. Yes philosophically I agree.

In reality though, there are some high percentage things we should have in our "go to" game that work most of the time.

There are things that I typically do and practice that work for me most of the time.

That said, I do beleive the bulk of your practice should center around principal oriented training, that gives you a sound basis...otherwise, when you hit that point of failure in your kit bag of things, you can respond appropriately..hopefully, and roll with it.

This is a tricky area for sure, as you always want to allow the situation to develop based on the principles. i.e. if you are trying to beat a round peg into a squarehole by forcing something that is not apppropriate for the conditions presented...well you will lose...so attachment in this sense is bad.

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Old 02-22-2007, 03:22 PM   #50
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Re: How would aikido fare in an actual fight?

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I know there are high school wrestlers that could take me down...I have no doubt of it. I bet I could find a few that could take down most people. But then...I don't get in fights with high school wrestlers, so I really don't give a darn...
This paragraph nicely illustrates the problem with these discussions. They always fall prey to the "What if" monster.

No amount of training, no type of training will make you invincible. The ultimate martial art (to borrow from a wonderful book by C.M. Shifflet) is thermonuclear weapons (nikkyo that ).

I used to tell my "tough guy" students that there is always an element of luck in any physical encounter. You cannot remove luck altogether. Life is just like that. What you can do is to reduce the role luck plays.

For the record, they didn't much like that lecture, but they were more inclined to respect me as a teacher afterward. They were looking for realistic expectations and that was it. They would have liked to hear that Aikido would make them invincible, but they wouldn't have believed it in any case.

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