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Old 06-08-2007, 12:07 PM   #1
rgfox5
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Aikidoka attacks

First, a little bit about my martial arts background. I spent 10 years doing Tang Soo Do, to shodan level. Then I started aikido, I have been doing aikido for 12 years, shodan level (testing for nidan soon I hear). I have been boxing for about 4 months.

I am becoming more and more disenchanted with aikido. I think that the main reason is that the skill and intensity of attacks generally on the mat is so terrible. Notice I said generally - there are a few exceptions. It simply is not realistic and not challenging. Especially after dealing with boxers in the ring. Sure, the level of defense reached on our mat is sufficient to handle say, a drunken fool at a bar, or a regular hothead on the street, but there is no way, given a skillful and intense attack, that 95% of the aikidoka on our mat would survive.

I personally have chosen to go from practicing aikido 4 times a week to practicing twice a week and going to the boxing gym 4 times a week, simply because it is more challenging, dynamic, and fun. The set routine of uke and nage with single attacks, no counters, is simply not fun anymore.

What to do? People are not going to stop leaving their arms extended after a punch or shomen. People are not going to stop their lame attacks, because they never get any serious attack training. Aikido is structured the way it is so that people can learn the movement and need uke to cooperate in order to do that, I understand. But doesn't there need to be some level where this cooperation is no longer done? It seems to me that some kind of sparring needs to be introduced. But maybe the nature of aikido joint locks and throws is such that the level of injuries sustained would be prohibitive. Certainly in boxing without the gloves serious and/or fatal damage would happen frequently.

I don't know what the answer is. I just know that training on the mat isn't doing it for me anymore, it is like Training Lite. Just my attitude? Maybe. Should only train with the 2 or 3 in my dojo who are badasses? Maybe. I suspect that the real answer is to crosstrain, which I am doing. But this crosstraining is leading me away from the dojo, which is no longer very challenging.

Rich
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:25 PM   #2
Keith R Lee
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Re: Aikidoka attacks

Word.

Different strokes for different folks man. Do what you need to do to make you happy. Unless you're a LEO or in some other sort of dangerous profession, the only reason to be training is because it's fun. If it's not fun for you anymore, move on.

Keith Lee
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:37 PM   #3
rgfox5
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Re: Aikidoka attacks

My question and the reason for posting this thread: what is your experience of this issue in your own dojos?
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:41 PM   #4
Basia Halliop
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Re: Aikidoka attacks

I've heard of people practicing their aikido with a friend fromanother martial art as their uke, or doing some jiu-waza type stuff with them... Not quite the same idea as saying cross-train, since their goal was to try to use their aikido training with people trained in different attacks.

It seemed like a neat idea to think about, anyway.
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Old 06-08-2007, 01:34 PM   #5
lifeafter2am
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Re: Aikidoka attacks

Quote:
Richard Fox wrote: View Post
I am becoming more and more disenchanted with aikido. I think that the main reason is that the skill and intensity of attacks generally on the mat is so terrible. Notice I said generally - there are a few exceptions. It simply is not realistic and not challenging. Especially after dealing with boxers in the ring. Sure, the level of defense reached on our mat is sufficient to handle say, a drunken fool at a bar, or a regular hothead on the street, but there is no way, given a skillful and intense attack, that 95% of the aikidoka on our mat would survive.
My first question is how many people are going to be attacked by someone with real skill? I would say about 5-10%, maybe as high as 20%, but thats pushing it. So that saves a lot of people there anyway. Second, what is the level of people that you train with, I would assume that these people are not shodan in your dojo, though I could be wrong.
Quote:
Richard Fox wrote: View Post
What to do? People are not going to stop leaving their arms extended after a punch or shomen. People are not going to stop their lame attacks, because they never get any serious attack training. Aikido is structured the way it is so that people can learn the movement and need uke to cooperate in order to do that, I understand. But doesn't there need to be some level where this cooperation is no longer done? It seems to me that some kind of sparring needs to be introduced. But maybe the nature of aikido joint locks and throws is such that the level of injuries sustained would be prohibitive. Certainly in boxing without the gloves serious and/or fatal damage would happen frequently.
We usually practice with just enough resistance as your level should have. If someone is picking it up faster, than we may resist a little more, but the uke shouldn't get harmed by resisting. I would agree that if you want to spar, than find a buddy from another martial art, or even some of the boxing guys and practice with them. Take your Aikido training with you to the gym, and try to figure out what would work and what wouldn't work in situations. In doing so your Aikido will only improve, and you should learn more of the basic tenets and movements of the other art.

In my class there is a pretty good emphesis on what would work and when. The instructors are good about that.

Good Luck!

Last edited by lifeafter2am : 06-08-2007 at 01:37 PM. Reason: Editing

"The mind is everything. What you think you become." - Siddhattha Gotama Buddha
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Old 06-08-2007, 01:44 PM   #6
Millerwc
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Re: Aikidoka attacks

While I agree with you that a lot of the attacks from people in aikido, especially beginners, to put it simply- suck. Where I disagree is that I think this is a function of the group of people you train with, not the art itself. Aikido techniques are often contingent upon a strong, focused attack, whereas a savy fighter will usaully feint several times, and not leave himself open, making timing a technique very difficult, but it can be done. I work out with a pretty diverse group of people, there are some other college age guys and every once in a while we'll just go at it. Makes rondori pretty interesting come test time.
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Old 06-08-2007, 01:50 PM   #7
Jim Sorrentino
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Re: Aikidoka attacks

Hi Rich,
Quote:
Richard Fox wrote: View Post
Should only train with the 2 or 3 in my dojo who are badasses?
I find it difficult to believe that in a dojo as large as ASD, there are only two or three people who present you with an adequate challenge. For sure, you should train with those people. But maybe you should also find some partners who want to attack with more intensity, but who doubt their ability to receive your technique. Can you make your stuff work in a way that doesn't hurt your training partner? If your partner trusts you not to injure him or her purposefully, your partner may be willing to give you a stronger attack. When it comes to fierce uke, sometimes you have to grow your own.

Also, you should talk with the teaching staff about your concerns. You should share this essay by Stan Pranin, which is freely available at Aikido Journal: http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=112

Good luck!

See you on the mat!

Jim
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Old 06-08-2007, 02:54 PM   #8
James Davis
 
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Re: Aikidoka attacks

Quote:
Jim Sorrentino wrote: View Post
Can you make your stuff work in a way that doesn't hurt your training partner? If your partner trusts you not to injure him or her purposefully, your partner may be willing to give you a stronger attack. When it comes to fierce uke, sometimes you have to grow your own.
I agree with this. There are some people in the dojo with whom I train harder, because they can take a hard fall or have a higher pain threshold.

In my opinion, aikido isn't about being a "bad-ass". It's about dealing with the thirteen year old in the psych ward that wants to gouge out your eyes, or dealing with Grandma when she's off her meds and doesn't recognize you. It's about preparation for being gentle. If I need to hit somebody, I know how. It's the not taking them out that's a challenge.

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 06-08-2007, 03:45 PM   #9
DH
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Re: Aikidoka attacks

Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post

In my opinion, aikido isn't about being a "bad-ass". It's about dealing with the thirteen year old in the psych ward that wants to gouge out your eyes, or dealing with Grandma when she's off her meds and doesn't recognize you. It's about preparation for being gentle. If I need to hit somebody, I know how. It's the not taking them out that's a challenge.
Thats just sad. And it may be all your aikido will ever become.

Richard
Aikido attacks,and what the art has become speaks for itself among the Martal art community. Most of whom did not need to "do" aikido to see it for what it has become.
James reply is a perfect example of what the art has become; insiped and freely willing to admit it can't equip someone to actually fight without fighting.

If you want to do better than "handle a 13 yr old" or "grandma when she's off her meds" there are ways to do it. You just need to find the right people who know how.
Ever wonder why Ueshiba had no trouble, nor Takeda? The Problem never was with the original Aikido. The problem is with either Asian Aikido teachers not being forthcoming and revealing what is missing and/or Aikido people who never really understood aikido or how to do it in the first place being allowed to become aikido teachers. Together, the lack of understanding ( many times through no fault of their own) has continued the degredation of the art by ruining the next generation.
Aikido is no longer what it was. It is something entirely different using the same name.
You already know you are correct in your asessment. But you can fix what is missing in your Aikido. In other words how to do Aikido so it is viable again to stand with and against other martial arts and be both dangerous and powerful. You just need to find the right people.

Last edited by DH : 06-08-2007 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 06-08-2007, 04:02 PM   #10
Renzo Roncal Soto
 
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Evil Eyes When Aikidoka attacks ?

I asked myself the same. The problem is not the Aikido or his techniques, the problem is in the criteria are taught and how they are applied.

So, in my dojo, we decided to change the way of how it is taught, to fill certain "emptinesses", that many people want to forget.

Now (according to the case) we took the initiative, we cause that the aggressor initiates a defensive attitude, for this we used sequences of atemis and irimis to open windows, and not to be hoping the attack of the aggressor just to take measures in the last second.

After this strategy, absolutely all the techniques and principles of Aikido are materialized indeed. The secret is in not waiting for the attack and the understanding of : to protect the aggressor, first we must be protected to us.

This can seem outside the philosophy of the Aikido, and this type of practices it turns to us aggressive beings. In order to take the initiative we needed a reason so hard that to take measures to protect to us, seen of another way : we are forced to initiate the "flowing of the ki" ... FIRST !!
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Old 06-08-2007, 06:24 PM   #11
Nick P.
 
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Re: Aikidoka attacks

Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
It's about preparation for being gentle. If I need to hit somebody, I know how. It's the not taking them out that's a challenge.
That is indeed the challenge.
As for being a bad-ass, as you have begun to do, look elsewhere.

Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
what is your experience of this issue in your own dojos?
Growing ukes that attack sounds like the key; I told a newbie training with us "Hit me. In the nose." And he did. NOW I had some energy to work with. I know that when seven of members I train with deliver a shomen-uchi and I don't atemi, redirect or evade, I'm getting that te-gatana in the forehead.

Your like me; 10+ yrs in, nearing nidan, asking yourself "Why do I do this?". Look back and ask yourself "Why did I start this?".

The answer is what gets me to the mat every time; once I'm there, hopefully I can catch that spark that got me there in the first place.

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Old 06-08-2007, 07:07 PM   #12
bkedelen
 
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Re: Aikidoka attacks

We go through this stuff over and over. Whenever we feel that we or our partners are not learning a certain skill, the first thing we do is blame our training system. You went to your dojo, beheld your teacher's abilities, and placed your trust in his ability to transfer those abilities to you. If you now want different abilities, you must make sure you want the new ones more than the ones for which you were originally looking. If you wanted to hit well all this time, why did you either pick a teacher who does not hit well, or does not teach how to hit well? There are hundreds of Aikido teachers with extensive striking abilities (unless you buy into the idea that only Dan and Mike have those skills) and you could have been training with any of them all this time. In addition, nothing about Aikido hinders the development of striking skills. You presumably should have known what good striking is from your Hapkido training, and what you learned in Hapkido should have given you all of the knowledge to maintain strong attacking abilities even in the absence of a teacher who focuses on those abilities.

Last edited by bkedelen : 06-08-2007 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 06-08-2007, 07:24 PM   #13
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Re: Aikidoka attacks

Nicely put Benjamin.
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Old 06-08-2007, 08:43 PM   #14
salim
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Re: Aikidoka attacks

Rick Fox,

I commend you on your honesty and integrity that you have shared from your personal experiences. The truth about the methodology of Aikido, which is practiced today is really not for combat or self defense. It's about peace, love, the attainment of utopia and world togetherness. Aikdio as introduce during the 1940's is not about harm or hurt. You don't use Aikido to defend yourself, you use Aikido for self betterment. These are the core principles of the Shinto religion, which are exercised in Aikido principles. The body movements are more for exercising the body, but not for self defense training. Although some will argue this point, the reality is that Aikido is more Shinto than self defense, combat or BUDO.

Wrist grabs and committed punches don't train for real life altercations in every instance and definitely not for a remotely skilled attacker. Aikido needs to return to it's root's of BUDO and implement more boxing and Judo throws. The Aikido world today is more interested in the spiritual concepts of Shinto religion which is it's bases and the Japanese cultural stimulation. Aikido practiced today, in just about 90% of the dojo's is for Shinto spiritual attainment. Aikido in essences is more about religious philosophical principles and religious customs and less about self defense.

After Ueshiba left Hokkaidō in 1919, he met and was profoundly influenced by Onisaburo Deguchi the spiritual leader of the Omoto-kyo religion, a neo-Shinto religion. “One of the primary features of Ōmoto-kyō is its emphasis on the attainment of utopia during one's life. This was a great influence on Ueshiba's martial arts philosophy of extending love and compassion, especially to those who seek to harm others.” Ueshiba left Aikibudo in which he trained under Takeda Sokaku in 1915 and trained until around 1937. Aikibudo is what he called his combat training at this point in his life. Aikibudo is more about combat and self defense, but is frowned upon by most Aikidoist today. Aikibudo is really for those who are inclined for self defense or combat.

The boxing training along with Judo and Aikibudo techniques would offer a good combination for effectiveness. This is probably the wrong forum for self defense or combat discussions or mentioning the ill-equipped, unrealism, ineffectiveness from most Aikido dojos. I will admit that there are some Aikido schools that probably lean towards BUDO principles and cross train, but they are overwhelmingly in the minority. I think you are doing the right think Rick. Keep up the good work and stay true to yourself.
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Old 06-08-2007, 09:33 PM   #15
xuzen
 
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Re: Aikidoka attacks

Quote:
Richard Fox wrote: View Post
First, a little bit about my martial arts background. I spent 10 years doing Tang Soo Do, to shodan level. Then I started aikido, I have been doing aikido for 12 years, shodan level (testing for nidan soon I hear). I have been boxing for about 4 months.
Impressive resume.

Quote:
I am becoming more and more disenchanted with aikido. I think that the main reason is that the skill and intensity of attacks generally on the mat is so terrible. Notice I said generally - there are a few exceptions. It simply is not realistic and not challenging. Especially after dealing with boxers in the ring. Sure, the level of defense reached on our mat is sufficient to handle say, a drunken fool at a bar, or a regular hothead on the street, but there is no way, given a skillful and intense attack, that 95% of the aikidoka on our mat would survive.
Statistically speaking, on the street, you are more likely to face the type you just mentioned rather than skilled MMA fighter. You see, skilled MMA fighter are too busy in the gym training for their next paid fight. Going at the rate, it is logical that aikido is sufficient, no?

Quote:
I personally have chosen to go from practicing aikido 4 times a week to practicing twice a week and going to the boxing gym 4 times a week, simply because it is more challenging, dynamic, and fun. The set routine of uke and nage with single attacks, no counters, is simply not fun anymore.
Some people like to get punch in the head. I personally get a hard on by someone grabbing my wrist, and squeezing it hard. Some people also get turn on when skilled practitioner twist and turn their wrists... ohhhh what a feeling, oh oh oh.

Quote:
Aikido is structured the way it is so that people can learn the movement and need uke to cooperate in order to do that, I understand. But doesn't there need to be some level where this cooperation is no longer done? It seems to me that some kind of sparring needs to be introduced.
Maybe your dojo have no sparring, but certainly Yoshinkan has Jiyu-Waza to help put theory into practice, Shodokan has RAN-DORI and Yoseikan has Shiai all which are methods to put theory into practice.

Quote:
I don't know what the answer is. I just know that training on the mat isn't doing it for me anymore, it is like Training Lite. Just my attitude? Maybe. Should only train with the 2 or 3 in my dojo who are badasses? Maybe. I suspect that the real answer is to crosstrain, which I am doing. But this crosstraining is leading me away from the dojo, which is no longer very challenging.
Cross training is good, if it leads you away from your dojo let it be. Flow with the go.

Lastly, the term aikido is very wide. Some practitioners do.. interpretive dance aikido

Others may do it differently, while other seem to have other ideas what aikido is. Some heretics dare to call this aikido. Sorry PeterR.. this is just joking. Don't break my wrist please.

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 06-08-2007, 10:20 PM   #16
Robert Rumpf
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Re: Aikidoka attacks

I've got mostly questions for you. You don't have to answer them online, but they are the types of questions I think are important. I've also been doing Aikido for twelve years.

Quote:
Richard Fox wrote: View Post
First, a little bit about my martial arts background. I spent 10 years doing Tang Soo Do, to shodan level. Then I started aikido, I have been doing aikido for 12 years, shodan level (testing for nidan soon I hear). I have been boxing for about 4 months.

I am becoming more and more disenchanted with aikido.
How did you feel about Tang Soo Do when you started Aikido? Do you think you might feel the same way about boxing in another X years and trying something new? That grass can be really green, often.

I don't think there is anything wrong with switching martial arts periodically.. it is the MMA process in serial, as opposed to parallel, I suppose. But then ask yourself - can you expect to get to where the people are who have devoted their life to one thing? Do you even care about that reaching that level?

Also, does your boxing inform your Aikido, does your Aikido inform your boxing, or are you just in general trying to perfect your self defense skills? Are you looking to master an art or to learn to fight, or something else entirely?

At some point, much of what is done in any class when the class is open to general admission is elementary - but that last Y percentage of a given technique (which to me at least still seems daunting, in spite of what I've learned) is what can keep you interested. I think for me it is also important to develop sympathy and tolerance for those who don't know yet (and some who never will), and who benefit from you being there to enable their learning.

I tend to think of my Aikido learning process as being in multiple stages (over multiple skills). Regardless of historical accuracy, I'd characterize them as apprentice, journeyman, and master. Let's say that you're at the journeyman stage in Aikido - what would it take to get to mastery? And in which parts of Aikido are you interested in mastery? It sounds like you know a lot about attacking.. what about the other parts of Aikido? Can you refocus your training at the dojo on other aspects of the art?

Quote:
Richard Fox wrote: View Post
I think that the main reason is that the skill and intensity of attacks generally on the mat is so terrible. Notice I said generally - there are a few exceptions. It simply is not realistic and not challenging. Especially after dealing with boxers in the ring. Sure, the level of defense reached on our mat is sufficient to handle say, a drunken fool at a bar, or a regular hothead on the street, but there is no way, given a skillful and intense attack, that 95% of the aikidoka on our mat would survive.
So are you speaking about the instructors, the senior students, or the junior students? Is it that students are not making enough progress in learning how to attack, that there are simply not enough effective seniors, or that models of effectiveness don't exist or are discredited?

I think it is unrealistic to expect juniors (and many seniors) to be able to attain in a short time or automatically the attacking skills you have attained after that many years of training - how can they catch up if you're always improving? Should they just step off the mat or avoid you if they can't match your intensity?

Perhaps you should offer to teach a class on attacking, or at least to show the willing but less skilled on the side. If noone wants you to teach, or noone wants to learn from you, than maybe that is something else to consider about them or yourself.

Quote:
Richard Fox wrote: View Post
I personally have chosen to go from practicing aikido 4 times a week to practicing twice a week and going to the boxing gym 4 times a week, simply because it is more challenging, dynamic, and fun. The set routine of uke and nage with single attacks, no counters, is simply not fun anymore.
I think its great that you found something more fun, and that can get you interested in learning again. There is nothing wrong with leaving Aikido either fully or partially if you don't enjoy it anymore, and if you're not getting anything out of it. There is little worse on the mat than someone just marking time or who doesn't want to be there.

However, have you asked your partners to attack you more times, to attack more intensely, or to counter you when they are able? Often, as uke, I tend to try to make my attack and ukemi resemble the logic and movement behind what the instructor is doing (be it implicit or explicit). However, if my nage asked for something different (and I trusted the nage, and if the instructor wasn't the type to take offense) I would behave differently.

Trust is an important thing - there have often been cases when I have limited my actions as uke due to my fear of the consequences, both immediate or otherwise, for myself or for them. In addition, I try to believe it is my place in class to enable my partner to learn what is being taught.... but if they want to do something else and so do I <shrug>

Quote:
Richard Fox wrote: View Post
Should only train with the 2 or 3 in my dojo who are badasses? Maybe.
Have you asked the "badasses" or the less skillful but still hardcore what they think about the state of affairs, and what keeps them coming back to class? Maybe you can learn something from their answers. In addition, have you asked these "badasses" to spend extra time with you in such a way that it doesn't impinge on their work with other students? Maybe they would like to train with you more often... or maybe not...

It may also be too that the Aikido you want is not the Aikido that the dojo, students, or instructors want.. or they may want one thing, but actually act towards another. In which case, perhaps you should open a dojo and try to do better, if you can't influence them or yourself.

Another thing to consider is that not all take self-defense as seriously as a goal as you do. They may have other agendas, or none at all. They may also not train as aggressively because they are interested in other things (in the dojo or without). At some point, if it is not your dojo (and probably even if it is), I think you have to learn to accept the limitations of your partners that you can't bypass, if you want to be happy and don't want to be all alone.

Good luck,
Rob
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Old 06-08-2007, 11:15 PM   #17
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Aikidoka attacks

Quote:
Xu Wenfung wrote: View Post
Lastly, the term aikido is very wide. Some practitioners do.. interpretive dance aikido
Interesting exercise.

Good striking should be practiced more, without argument. Good striking requires first an exploitation of dynamic openings. And flow exercises like that dance video are great to explore dynamic openings and their dynamic exploitation.

This whole recurring debate has interesting sociological elements on training for effective aggression that fascinate me.

Dance has a point, like Capoeira has a point, and which the flow exercise in that "interpretive dance" video is very reminiscent to, actually.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8fVGoiM2BQ (old style ca. 1960's) [start at 2:10]

A samurai was considered ill-educated if he do not know proper dance. The same was true of western warriors from medieval times through the American Revolution. Dance is a study in dynamic connection, rhythm and counterpoint rhythm.

No, no martial point to any of that, nosirree. The question in it all is whether the point of a given form of training has been deeply ingrained.

What is striking in the case of the implied negative comment on the "dance" video is its presumed "unmanly" character. That assigns it a low status compared with the more overtly vigorous and therefore supposedly more "manly" competitive forms.

Capoeira was similarly deemed low status, and hid its martial effectiveness in a dance. If anyone deems dance ineffective as martial practice I suggest finding a mestre and comment in Portugese about the supposed lack of virtue of his mother.

And you should know that George Washington was universally acclaimed as marvelous dancer.

Low class poofter.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 06-08-2007 at 11:22 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 06-09-2007, 12:13 AM   #18
xuzen
 
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Re: Aikidoka attacks

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Interesting exercise.
Good striking should be practiced more, without argument. Good striking requires first an exploitation of dynamic openings. And flow exercises like that dance video are great to explore dynamic openings and their dynamic exploitation.
I hope you are being cynical, or else.. OMG, you must be joking.

Quote:
Dance has a point, like Capoeira has a point, and which the flow exercise in that "interpretive dance" video is very reminiscent to, actually.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8fVGoiM2BQ (old style ca. 1960's) [start at 2:10]
Still Ghey!

Quote:
Capoeira was similarly deemed low status, and hid its martial effectiveness in a dance. If anyone deems dance ineffective as martial practice I suggest finding a mestre and comment in Portugese about the supposed lack of virtue of his mother.
Will lion dance make wushu T3H D34LY?.

Using parallel argument, I see such D34LIN3SS in this performance.

Boon.

P/S - Read this post with light hearted humour.

Last edited by xuzen : 06-09-2007 at 12:14 AM. Reason: Addendum

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 06-09-2007, 12:13 AM   #19
Drew Mailman
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Re: Aikidoka attacks

Interesting post, Mr. Mead. It reminded me of the part in Shogun where Blackthorn teaches Toranaga the hornpipe, and he catches it quickly for an "old man".
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Old 06-09-2007, 01:24 AM   #20
James Young
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Re: Aikidoka attacks

Yoshio Kuroiwa sensei was a trained boxer and found something in aikido compelling enough for him to study it and teach it, so maybe you should look at his aikido as a possible means of reconciling the two.
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Old 06-09-2007, 08:03 AM   #21
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Aikidoka attacks

[[BTW your post garbled the hanzi/kanji -- assuming that's what "T3H D34LY" and "D34LIN3SS" are. If you are using Big 5 or something else try Unicode -- it usually comes up on Aikiweb.]]
Quote:
Xu Wenfung wrote: View Post
I hope you are being cynical, or else.. OMG, you must be joking.
Yer just saying that 'cause Xu can't dance.

Partly serious, actually. I am simply saying you are taking a filmed exercise out of context and making categorical judgments about the point of the exercise demonstrated, and making those judgments without any knowledge of the other capabilities of the persons giving the demonstration. I am reminded of Archie in the Rob Roy film -- quite deadly behind his nosegay. To me, I see that they have very good movement. Thus, their martial capabilities are not lightly to be dismissed.

Just because neither of us routinely practice that way does not mean that there is no point to what they are doing.

Saying that dance and martial movement share fundamentals and that one can inform and reflect the other is not the same as saying that merely waltzing will make a deadly warrior. Capoeira is just a case in point. Dance is form of human threat display -- as much as anything -- that's why it is part of courtship ritual, where it doubles as a show of fitness. We imagine we're SO sophisticated -- but the animal in us still comes out, even in our "artifice."

Like I said, interesting sociological points.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 06-09-2007, 08:59 AM   #22
Keith Larman
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Re: Aikidoka attacks

FWIW.

At my dojo we have a few advanced classes that tend to focus on stronger, focused attacks. They require a certain rank to attend to ensure the participants can take the ukemi properly without injury. While the classes often include in depth analysis of basic arts, frequently these classes end up with strong, hard attacks at full intensity and speed. Yes, often with new participants their striking needs improvement. Many in aikido don't have a strong striking background and teaching them to deliver good, strong, focused attacks is a priority. And sometimes we mix things up with different strikes or multiple strikes to simply push the limits. Sometimes people get hit. Some aikidoka come to that class but once we do a class that involves that level of intensity they don't come back. That's fine. The senior fellas teaching it shrug and that's that. Others enjoy it precisely because it pushes the limits of what we do and ups the intensity. Currently we have a guy who has a few decades of karate under his belt. Strong striking skills and it is tough learning to deal with him because he doesn't overextend, doesn't throw stupid punches, etc. Stiffer than a board too sometimes. But quite frankly I enjoy working with him exactly because of that.

Last night we were doing gun takeaways. And the version we were doing we learned from police training and includes a knee drop to the ribcage to help get the gun out once he's on the ground. Some have balked at that because they feel it isn't in the "spirit of aikido". But I'm not so sure about that. Katsujinken. And the fella has a gun that until you get control of can kill you, him, and anyone within a certain radius of where you're struggling to get it away from the guy. And the more time you spend fiddling trying to get the gun out of their hands the greater the likelihood someone is going to die. Aikido doesn't have to mean uber-fluffy, warm fuzzy stuff all the time. You need to have martial effectiveness in order for the all the philosophical underpinnings to be applied. And in my mind that means that sometimes the guy causing the bad situation may get hurt. Maybe badly. Maybe fatally. It depends on the situation and something like a gun elevates it to life and death. The proper "aikido" response is about protecting yourself and others primarily. And quickly. And that means the other fella may get hurt.

So I disagree with the generalization some make about Aikido. That said I've seen folk leave because they didn't like the way we trained. One guy in particular was highly ranked elsewhere, started training with us, then was disenchanted with the gun takeaways in particular but also with many other aspects of our "advanced" training. His attacks were also soft, fluffy, and super flowing. I remember the first time I worked with him in an advanced class he was striking munetsuki. I had moved off the line and decided not to throw. He kept going and danced right up and past me like he was on wheels... I was checking my tai sabaki and watching incredulously as he did a Fred Astaire past me. I asked "where are you going?" and he said "I'm just giving you a good Aikido attack". I just shook my head.

Dancing with the stars...

Anyway, my rambling point is that generalizing about aikido is silly. It is like saying the average person has one testicle and one ovary: It may be true generally but otherwise it is pretty much useless information.

Not all aikido is soft and fluffy. At my dojo you won't generally see the intense stuff until you're at a high enough level of proficiency to do so safely. But some choose to not attend those classes even when they could. Other search them out. And some dojo never explore those things.

So.... Shrug.

Last edited by Keith Larman : 06-09-2007 at 09:11 AM. Reason: Fixed some of the really poor grammar... ;)

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Old 06-09-2007, 07:55 PM   #23
Jim Sorrentino
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Re: Aikidoka attacks

Hi Dan,

Glad to see that you're not avoiding me!

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
If you want to do better than "handle a 13 yr old" or "grandma when she's off her meds" there are ways to do it. You just need to find the right people [emphasis added] who know how.
Ever wonder why Ueshiba had no trouble, nor Takeda? The Problem never was with the original Aikido. The problem is with either Asian Aikido teachers not being forthcoming and revealing what is missing and/or Aikido people who never really understood aikido or how to do it in the first place being allowed to become aikido teachers. Together, the lack of understanding ( many times through no fault of their own) has continued the degredation of the art by ruining the next generation.
Aikido is no longer what it was. It is something entirely different using the same name.
You already know you are correct in your asessment. But you can fix what is missing in your Aikido. In other words how to do Aikido so it is viable again to stand with and against other martial arts and be both dangerous and powerful. You just need to find the right people. [emphasis added again]
Well, Dan, who do you endorse as "the right people" --- apart from yourself (who accepts only a small number of fellow shugyo enthusisasts), Mike Sigman (who is in one of the more remote corners of Colorado), and Minoru Akuzawa --- via Rob John --- (who both are in Japan)? In your opinion, who in the US or Canada is teaching aikido in a manner that would address Rich's concerns? And who (again, I'll limit this to the US and Canada) is teaching aikido in a way that makes it "viable again to stand with and against other martial arts and be both dangerous and powerful"? I look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,

Jim Sorrentino
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Old 06-10-2007, 12:50 AM   #24
Tijani1150
 
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Re: Aikidoka attacks

Richard Fox

Are you assuming that Aikido would not work in a real fight against a skilled martial artist or boxer for that matter or did you actualy go through the experience and discovered that your Aikido training failed you?
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Old 06-10-2007, 02:11 AM   #25
Amir Krause
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Re: Aikidoka attacks

Quote:
Richard Fox wrote: View Post
First, a little bit about my martial arts background. I spent 10 years doing Tang Soo Do, to shodan level. Then I started aikido, I have been doing aikido for 12 years, shodan level (testing for nidan soon I hear). I have been boxing for about 4 months.

I am becoming more and more disenchanted with aikido. I think that the main reason is that the skill and intensity of attacks generally on the mat is so terrible. Notice I said generally - there are a few exceptions. It simply is not realistic and not challenging. Especially after dealing with boxers in the ring. Sure, the level of defense reached on our mat is sufficient to handle say, a drunken fool at a bar, or a regular hothead on the street, but there is no way, given a skillful and intense attack, that 95% of the aikidoka on our mat would survive.

I personally have chosen to go from practicing aikido 4 times a week to practicing twice a week and going to the boxing gym 4 times a week, simply because it is more challenging, dynamic, and fun. The set routine of uke and nage with single attacks, no counters, is simply not fun anymore.

What to do? People are not going to stop leaving their arms extended after a punch or shomen. People are not going to stop their lame attacks, because they never get any serious attack training. Aikido is structured the way it is so that people can learn the movement and need uke to cooperate in order to do that, I understand. But doesn't there need to be some level where this cooperation is no longer done? It seems to me that some kind of sparring needs to be introduced. But maybe the nature of aikido joint locks and throws is such that the level of injuries sustained would be prohibitive. Certainly in boxing without the gloves serious and/or fatal damage would happen frequently.

I don't know what the answer is. I just know that training on the mat isn't doing it for me anymore, it is like Training Lite. Just my attitude? Maybe. Should only train with the 2 or 3 in my dojo who are badasses? Maybe. I suspect that the real answer is to crosstrain, which I am doing. But this crosstraining is leading me away from the dojo, which is no longer very challenging.

Rich
Rich

You should not be disenchanted with aikido, you shuold simply be disenchanted with thte way it is practiced in your Dojo. Start by talking with your Sensei, and if he does not have a solution (such as opening a new advanced group, which practices in a more realistic aproach). Then go and look around if you can't find another Dojo which is better for you, including in other Aikido styles (preferbly stlyes which practice Randori which includes striking).

From my own experiance in Randori, the Korindo way: both sides play freely, mostly striking including combos (if the partner stays in front of you, he should learn his lesson), kicks are allowed (unfortunatly most of us rarely use them) and Counters are welcom...
One should try and train as slowly as possible, since it is better for learning (and more difficult to do). As A beginner, I worked as fast as I could thinking of emulating a fight. It took me years to understand this practicing approach might be a good test for the "real life", but it does not teach me (my teacher kept telling me this all the time, but it takes a long time to penetrate).

Lots of places teach Aikido as a "Symbolic M.A." - Multiple very sophisticated ideas and concepts are hidden in the simple training. Only a few can grasp the ideas this way (self not included) and utilize them for any situation, most can not and should learn in a more explicit way if they wish to significanly improve their fighting ability (as someone mentioned above, this is not the only reason to learn M.A.)

Amir
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