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Old 05-02-2008, 06:33 AM   #1226
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Instructor: "...It's the best of all martial arts [TKD]"
Prospective student: "I here jiujitsu is really good for balance."
Instructor: "pause, eye roll....no...jiujitsu, sucks."

Had me rolling.

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Old 05-02-2008, 08:47 AM   #1227
CSFurious
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

yes that was my point

JKD taught him to use/apply Aikido more effectively

Quote:
James Cavin wrote: View Post
CSFurious...

I never said that he had to train in JKD in order to make his aikido effective.

In fact, he started training in aikido long after he was training in JKD.

Though I definitely see where you're coming from. He already had the experience from his JKD before he started in his aikido. Maybe that was your point?
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Old 05-03-2008, 12:54 PM   #1228
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

WOW! This thread seems to be beaten to death!
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Old 05-03-2008, 02:14 PM   #1229
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

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Anthony Stebbins wrote: View Post
WOW! This thread seems to be beaten to death!
This thread will never die as long as people keep trying to treat Aikido as some sort of fighting system. As long as folks try to pound a square peg into a round hole, this thread will go on and on as people note that the square peg doesn't fit in the round hole.

Then there will be the never-ending comparison of how other shaped pegs fit more closely into that round hole... all with suggestions about how we can whittle our square peg to approximate these other shapes which more closely fit that round hole.

The end of the process is to have finally whittled the peg into a round peg which fits the hole beautifully only to realize that what has been created in the process isn't Aikido but rather something that has existed long before Aikido was created and the Founder's art is no-where to be found. O-Sensei was as clear as crystal that the peg is square but people simply can't accept that and their fears and insecurities cause them to project their desire to feel "safe" onto the art.

So don't expect this thread to go away any time soon. Folks come and participate until they arrive at their own answer and then they give up and leave and then another generation of folks shows up to debate whether the square peg fits the round hole, whether the peg really is round or whether the hole really is square, and on and on.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 05-03-2008, 05:04 PM   #1230
dps
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
This thread will never die as long as people keep trying to treat Aikido as some sort of fighting system. As long as folks try to pound a square peg into a round hole, this thread will go on and on as people note that the square peg doesn't fit in the round hole.
As opposed to reshaping the round hole (ourselves) into a square hole for Aikido to fit.

David
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Old 05-03-2008, 07:43 PM   #1231
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
As opposed to reshaping the round hole (ourselves) into a square hole for Aikido to fit.

David
Hi David,
I think that most folks believe that training is about reshaping ourselves. It's still question of the shape of Aikido is we might be trying to match.

Folks start training with all sorts of ideas about what the art is... after substantial time in, they should have a different idea (better informed) of what it really is. The ones who always thought it was about fighting almost inevitably start doing more and more cross training because they can't make Aikido work as a fighting system. Eventually, if they are really serious about fighting, they leave to do something that really is a fighting system.

The ones who never thought it was about fighting at all are usually far happier with the art and often have no interest in cross training nor do they spend any time at all on the net arguing about whether the art works "on the street". The big problem with these folks is that they use the fact that it isn't about fighting as an excuse not to look deeply into the principles which govern what we do. We are not talking here about people who can't use the art "on the street" or defeat a challenge from a practitioner of another style, we are talking about folks who cannot do their technique within the Aikido paradigm itself. This isn't about throwing the "un-throwable" man of Dan's description, this is about being able to throw an Aikido trained uke who has some intention and the ability to attack in a balanced fashion simply using the highly stylized attacks of the art. We are talking about people who cannot execute an irimi when given a standard shomen uchi with some intent to strike.

Stating that Aikido is not about fighting, which I do not believe it is, or was supposed to be, is a total cop out unless you have some idea what it really is. O-Sensei believed that Aikido was a budo that "completed" all budo. It is an art which should bring one to an understanding of ai-uchi (mutual destruction) and ai-nuke (mutual preservation) as described in the interview with Chiba Sensei which appears on Aikido Journal Chiba Sensei Interview
Aikido is supposed to be transformative but most people simply adapt their practice to their own comfort levels and stay the same. So, while they may be perfectly correct (in my mind) that Aikido isn't about fighting, they may have only the foggiest notion of what it really is or could be with real effort and good instruction.

If we suppose that effective fighting is indeed represented by the square hole and transformative spiritual practice might be symbolized by the round peg, as described before, most Aikido isn't either.

So we can't just say that we shape ourselves to the art because there is very little agreement as to what the art is.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
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Old 05-03-2008, 08:24 PM   #1232
dps
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
So we can't just say that we shape ourselves to the art because there is very little agreement as to what the art is.
Thank You George,

O-Sensei knew what the art was all about. I think he also knew that he could not describe it in words, but he could show how to figure out the shape by the techniques of Aikido. We can't agree on the shape because we aren't at O-Sensei's level.

David
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Old 05-03-2008, 08:35 PM   #1233
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
This thread will never die as long as people keep trying to treat Aikido as some sort of fighting system. As long as folks try to pound a square peg into a round hole, this thread will go on and on as people note that the square peg doesn't fit in the round hole.
Agreed. A first step might be for those that have the peg to be clear with people what sort of whole it's meant for...

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 05-03-2008, 08:49 PM   #1234
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post

.......This thread will never die as long as people keep trying to treat Aikido as some sort of fighting system.
.......This isn't about throwing the "un-throwable" man of Dan's description, this is about being able to throw an Aikido trained uke who has some intention and the ability to attack in a balanced fashion simply using the highly stylized attacks of the art.
......O-Sensei believed that Aikido was a budo that "completed" all budo. It is an art which should bring one to an understanding of ai-uchi (mutual destruction) and ai-nuke (mutual preservation)
Hi George
I can't hep but ask. With your recent experiences, can you at least see my view with a bit more understanding?
I believe there is a much more *complete" view of the "aiki" based arts than has been commonly experienced. It is this dilemma that has continued to plage the aiki arts. Doesn't some of your recent research demonstrate the power potential I have been so unapologetically advocating these many years? This would include demonstrably showing what Ueshiba believed to be true; the completion of all budo- with what Takeda ascribed to as both a way of life and in his budo-that it "Leaves no openings."

Although your idea of completing a successful irimi against a balanced attacker is fine, it's just so limited and small compared to the fullness of what everyone could be doing. Comparatively, the power potential demonstrated in what you quoted me mentioning (the unthrowable man) is staggering. The greatness of the aiki arts-"aiki" (internal power in use) completes budo, and fulfils it's hope. Of being able to more meaningfully defend without causing harm.

Granted this isn't my goal, but within my parardigm, aiki can be profoundly effective within a resistive environment. Aiki strikes can be devastating, and the body method will work if you train it in MMA, BJJ or anything of your choicing. In much the same way Takeda and Ueshiba made it work in whatever they chose to use it in.

In the end, if or where we are seeing a failure of martial veracity, what we are seeing is not the failure of the way of aiki (aiki-do) but the failure of those practicing and those teaching aiki as a means of power.

I say that the majority of the people doing it are missing what aiki is. Thus they have, over time, incorrectly defined (or said more definitively re-defined) the art in a weakened state from what it once was, and could still be now.

Although I do not do Aikido or Daito ryu anymore, I remain as much of a fan of the potential of "aiki" as I always was. Well, actually no, I guess I am MORE of a fan of its potential in the hands of the few who truly understand it, Although the art has failed (most everybody) in conveying its real power potential- we have the means, and the potential... to fix it.

Last edited by DH : 05-03-2008 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 05-04-2008, 02:20 AM   #1235
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Hi George
I can't hep but ask. With your recent experiences, can you at least see my view with a bit more understanding?
I believe there is a much more *complete" view of the "aiki" based arts than has been commonly experienced. It is this dilemma that has continued to plage the aiki arts. Doesn't some of your recent research demonstrate the power potential I have been so unapologetically advocating these many years? This would include demonstrably showing what Ueshiba believed to be true; the completion of all budo- with what Takeda ascribed to as both a way of life and in his budo-that it "Leaves no openings."

Although your idea of completing a successful irimi against a balanced attacker is fine, it's just so limited and small compared to the fullness of what everyone could be doing. Comparatively, the power potential demonstrated in what you quoted me mentioning (the unthrowable man) is staggering. The greatness of the aiki arts-"aiki" (internal power in use) completes budo, and fulfils it's hope. Of being able to more meaningfully defend without causing harm.

Granted this isn't my goal, but within my parardigm, aiki can be profoundly effective within a resistive environment. Aiki strikes can be devastating, and the body method will work if you train it in MMA, BJJ or anything of your choicing. In much the same way Takeda and Ueshiba made it work in whatever they chose to use it in.

In the end, if or where we are seeing a failure of martial veracity, what we are seeing is not the failure of the way of aiki (aiki-do) but the failure of those practicing and those teaching aiki as a means of power.

I say that the majority of the people doing it are missing what aiki is. Thus they have, over time, incorrectly defined (or said more definitively re-defined) the art in a weakened state from what it once was, and could still be now.

Although I do not do Aikido or Daito ryu anymore, I remain as much of a fan of the potential of "aiki" as I always was. Well, actually no, I guess I am MORE of a fan of its potential in the hands of the few who truly understand it, Although the art has failed (most everybody) in conveying its real power potential- we have the means, and the potential... to fix it.
Hi Dan,
I absolutely do not disagree with you about what you are doing. I'd be happy to train with you and experience things directly and take what seemed to fit and put it into what I am doing. I think what you are doing is great. It's just different than what I am doing.

What you know would fit into my idea of what I am trying to do without any conflict. It's simply the purpose of acquiring those skills that puts us into a different place on it. I would like to acquire more knowledge and skill in the area because that is how I go about perfecting my art. But I have no interest in applying these skills in fighting, in fact just the opposite. I've incorporated a bit of what I got from Akuzawa Sensei's visit and it's been helpful. I am looking forward to more opportunities to add to my knowledge. But I have recently come to exactly the opposite conclusion about the form the art of Aikido has from what you and a number of others have come to.

You've left Aikido and Daito Ryu because they are simply impractical for fighting. You are working out your own take on developing a fighting system which has the skills but is martially effective and practical, designed for application. I am interested in acquiring the very same skills but have little or no interest in changing the actual outer form of my art. The more I do it, the more I understand why the Founder made the form the way he did. The doing of this art can have a profound effect which will not at all be the same if the purpose and form is changed.

When I was younger, I was far more interested in application. I did a few years of koryu with Ellis. I understand what a combat art is from the Araki Ryu experience. I did quite a bit of law enforcement and security training and the stuff I taught proved to be just fine on the street with real bad guys. Not skilled martially trained opponents, just the run of the mill bad guys the cops meet on a daily basis.

I learned quite a lot from those days but that's not what I am into any more. I continue to train with new folks and get more exposure to other things, I am playing with Howard Popkin and getting tremendous benefit. I continue to incorporate the material I've gotten from Ushiro Sensei. I work with the Systema folks regularly, mostly on structure stuff and breathing. All of this fits into my Aikido and makes it better. I am looking forward to the time when I can see what you are doing. I'd like to get together again with Mike S, last time was too short. I have absolutely no doubt that my Aikido will improve with the help of people who are doing other things and have these skills.

But I have no interest in changing the form of what I do. My goal is to eventually have Aikido like Yamaguchi Sensei, Endo Sensei, and of course my own teacher, Saotome Sensei. I think that what they have done with what the Founder gave them would have met O-Sensei's approval. Many of the flaws which you and others point out with the art are only flaws if you start from the assumption that the art must be utilitarian from a fighting standpoint. Taking another paradigm for the art resolves that issue.

I applaud the fact that there are folks out there researching, developing, passing on the skills of aiki in different forms. I have no problem with anyone who is interested in effective martial application, modernizing the form which aiki training takes, etc.But if everyone took that approach Aikido would cease to exist. What you are doing is different, for different reasons, and with a totally different training paradigm. My path is to take my Aikido as far as I can. I'd be happy to take what I can from you and anyone else I come across with skills I want to develop. But my art will still be Aikido at the end of the process, which means it still won't be about fighting. I'm fine with that. And you will have your art, whatever you choose to call it, and you will be fine with that. I don't see any conflict with this process at all.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 05-04-2008, 05:37 AM   #1236
Mark Uttech
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Onegaishimasu. Wonderful post George! And thanks for the reminder that "Aikido is not about fighting." Maturity understands the existence of more than one viewpoint. Maturity also seems to understand that the feeling to stay with one's own heart is 'Chisoku';
"Enough."

In gassho,

Mark

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Old 05-04-2008, 08:23 AM   #1237
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

What's so odd is my martial arts plan is to continue to learn from both Dan and Gleason sensei (and other aikido people especially like George) and resolve any conflicts myself. It seems to me that if we go after principle, the art should work as a fighting system and a transformative system to remove ego and manifest your true self. The conflict point seems only to be in ukemi. And I was planning on the "when in rome" model. When I train with Dan, uke becomes anti-aiki, when I train with aikido folks ukemi becomes an expression of nage when I attack with "normal" strength. As a matter of fact, in continuing my approach of "level-appropriate, progressive resistance" it just means I can continue to turn up my resistance to make things interesting for senior aikido folks too. They give an aweful lot, it would be nice to give back.

In terms of teaching aikido, I really don't plan to stop teaching the way I think will help people the most. If that means I incorporate anti-aiki as needed with my appraoch ("level-appropriate, progressive resistance") then so be it.

I don't see any other conflict points that cannot be resolved. And heck, resovling conflict is what this is all about anyway so I don't fear it.

Rob
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Old 05-04-2008, 08:42 AM   #1238
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

And by the way, isn't my approach going to be more in line with what Osensei was doing and capable of?! -Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 05-04-2008 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 05-04-2008, 10:27 AM   #1239
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
What's so odd is my martial arts plan is to continue to learn from both Dan and Gleason sensei (and other aikido people especially like George) and resolve any conflicts myself. It seems to me that if we go after principle, the art should work as a fighting system and a transformative system to remove ego and manifest your true self. The conflict point seems only to be in ukemi. And I was planning on the "when in rome" model. When I train with Dan, uke becomes anti-aiki, when I train with aikido folks ukemi becomes an expression of nage when I attack with "normal" strength. As a matter of fact, in continuing my approach of "level-appropriate, progressive resistance" it just means I can continue to turn up my resistance to make things interesting for senior aikido folks too. They give an awful lot, it would be nice to give back.

In terms of teaching aikido, I really don't plan to stop teaching the way I think will help people the most. If that means I incorporate anti-aiki as needed with my approach ("level-appropriate, progressive resistance") then so be it.

I don't see any other conflict points that cannot be resolved. And heck, resolving conflict is what this is all about anyway so I don't fear it.

Rob
Rob,
This is what Saotome Sensei has always maintained... that we all have to find our own Aikido. O-Sensei repeatedly said that Aikido has no set form. I think then, what makes it Aikido is that it a) be based on the principles of aiki and b) have a certain set of values at its heart. The Aikido people you are training with can give you a good take can give you a good take on the heart, I think.

So going forth and finding top level training with people who understand "aiki" principles better than the average Aikido teacher or who can teach these principles in a more comprehensible fashion will only benefit you and the art. And how that mix comes together in your person will be totally individual.

Look at what Ikeda Sensei has done with what he has taken from Ushiro Sensei... it's some of the most sophisticated Aikido in the world at this point. Ushiro Sensei is not an Aikido person any more than Dan, Mike, Aukuzawa, or Rob J. But what he has taught Ikeda Sensei has transformed Ikeda Sensei's Aikido completely. I see so many Aikido people who are presented with this material and are simply walking away from it because they don't understand what Ushiro is doing or they can't see past the outer form it takes as Karate. This, despite the fact that Saotome Sensei has flat out stated that he and Ushiro are doing the same thing. Despite the fact that one can watch the transformation of Ikeda Sensei's Aikido right before our eyes.

Aikido desperately needs people like yourself who will go forth and train with the Dan Hardin's, Mike Sigman's, Akuzawa's, Howard Popkins, Ushiros, Kurodas, Vasilievs etc. and then bring that knowledge back into their Aikido. The people who will do this are the ones who have a good sense of the heart of the art and what it should be, staying true to O-Sensei's message. People with little understanding of the heart of the art and its transformative power will simply go train with these other folks and quit Aikido. I am already seeing an exodus of talented young people who never stayed in long enough to get very deeply into the art who have now left to do what they see as "more effective" be it mixed martial arts, Systema, some sort of aikijutsu, whatever... If ones reason for doing Aikido is focused on defeating others, then one will eventually leave Aikido for precisely the reasons that all of these non-Aikido folks have been pointing out.

The only reason for folks to stay in Aikido, as far as I am concerned, is the Founder. He had the vision. Developing an understanding of that vision for oneself and being able to not only understand those principles on a conscious level but also be able to manifest those principles in ones body, on the mat, and be able to take those principles off the mat into ones life, well, that is far more difficult than mastering the principles of aiki for fighting.

Fighting is where we come from. It is where we are. We start with the mind of conflict. It will be the end of us if we can't find another way. The purpose of training can't simply be about fighting. What good is the ability to defeat any opponent in single combat when they fly an airplane in to your building or blow a dirty nuke in the port city in which you live? All the aiki skills in the world will not stop a road side bomb or a suicide bomber. Fundamentally, if we cannot get past this mind of conflict which plagues us as a species, it will be the end of us. Someone will nuke someone else and the whole place will go up. O-Sensei had a vision of budo that he felt would change that mind of conflict. That was the whole and entire point for creating his new art of Aikido, this new budo. I do not see any other reason for the art to exist if it isn't this. But people would rather take the easy way. The way that doesn't call for them to change themselves on the inside, in their hearts, rather than the outside of physical form.

So Aikido needs people like you with a commitment to its underlying mission. It needs people who want to do the work to do a an Aikido with greater depth, a stronger foundation in aiki principle, but who are motivated by the desire to develop an art that will transform them fundamentally as people not just make them better at, what in the end is a fairly useless skill, of defeating others.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
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Old 05-04-2008, 11:21 AM   #1240
DH
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Hi George
We always reach a bit of an impasse on this narrower topic within a topic. I think the failure is mine in not being able to more fully express my ideas in this medium.
Once one is able to express aiki in motion, one is able to do aikido with little effort. Not fighting, not DR but...aikido. With everything it wishes to express in nonviolence and joining of forces.

I'm not approaching my ideal model as an outsider but from having trained within the aiki arts. I am able to 'down grade" my power into responses that are soft and flowing in randori to play with aikidoka and have the ukes responses very much fit-in-line, with everything aikido is meant to look like and be. This play, on my end, just does not involve nearly as much movement from me. In short I can choose to do this art or that art as well as anyone else can. Aikido would be a "choice" on my part.
To make it clearer, what do you suppose your chances of throwing Saotome to be if he does not wish to be thrown? Is he not doing aiki-do then? I seriously doubt most anyone can throw me doing aikido to me but I can throw most people rather easily using aiki. Am I not doing aiki-do to then.
I not only understand the model but on any other day embrace it. I think Ueshiba was a visionary in taking the capturing energy of DR aiki and making it a cast away energy, while retaining the power of aiki, it was not only different in use, but much easier to do or pull off. It was also safer for the uke.
In the end though Aiki-do's aiki is still aiki none-the-less. The non-violent choice of use can be done by anyone who understands aiki, in keeping with Ueshiba's goals. IMO the waza are not techniques, but an expression of that very same aiki. I am quite confident that were I able to impart in you all I can physicall express as aiki in my body, we would share a common view. The power, and ability to manipulate uke would change your views while allowing you to remain doing the exact same 'model" you currently embrace. But isn't that just what Saotome and Ikeda were telling you? That it's all the same? I just can't express that well in the written word.

Last edited by DH : 05-04-2008 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 05-04-2008, 12:00 PM   #1241
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Hi George
We always reach a bit of an impasse on this narrower topic within a topic. I think the failure is mine in not being able to more fully express my ideas in this medium.
Once one is able to express aiki in motion, one is able to do aikido with little effort. Not fighting, not DR but...aikido. With everything it wishes to express in nonviolence and joining of forces.

I'm not approaching my ideal model as an outsider but from having trained within the aiki arts. I am able to 'down grade" my power into responses that are soft and flowing in randori to play with aikidoka and have the ukes responses very much fit-in-line, with everything aikido is meant to look like and be. This play, on my end, just does not involve nearly as much movement from me. In short I can choose to do this art or that art as well as anyone else can. Aikido would be a "choice" on my part.
To make it clearer, what do you suppose your chances of throwing Saotome to be if he does not wish to be thrown? Is he not doing aiki-do then? I seriously doubt most anyone can throw me doing aikido to me but I can throw most people rather easily using aiki. Am I not doing aiki-do to then.
I not only understand the model but on any other day embrace it. I think Ueshiba was a visionary in taking the capturing energy of DR aiki and making it a cast away energy, while retaining the power of aiki, it was not only different in use, but much easier to do or pull off. It was also safer for the uke.
In the end though Aiki-do's aiki is still aiki none-the-less. The non-violent choice of use can be done by anyone who understands aiki, in keeping with Ueshiba's goals. IMO the waza are not techniques, but an expression of that very same aiki.
Hi Dan,
I'm fine with what you are saying... no disagreement. But as I teach around the country I constantly see people who I think have misunderstood the message.

I was training at one event with a partner who was enamored of the whole "you can't throw me" thing. He threw his punch, I entered and was resting, and I do mean simply resting, my hands on his arm. He was so busy anticipating what I was going to do and trying to stop it before I could do it that he was literally trembling with the tension of his contraction. I just sat there in wonderment... Sure he was pretty much immovable. But I was in and had the position of advantage. He was completely open. I wasn't the one that needed to move at that point. He had completely ceased anything that could be called an attack. The level of his tension was so great that he would of been completely unable to defend his openings had I moved to strike him.

What is really sad is that he will NEVER understand what it is that our teachers are doing by training this way. He is fundamentally caught in the mind of conflict and can't let go long enough to learn what Sensei is actually doing.

I think that this is a fundamental misunderstanding of what you are talking about. Being difficult to move is a byproduct of proper training but it isn't the point of the training. In the martial context stopping a technique simply means that the attacker does something else. It's all about kaeshiwaza when we talk about fighting. And kaeshiwaza requires the same joining, the same use of aiki, that all waza requires. The instant you simply stop a technique you have lost the opportunity of reversing it.

So my friend, in his eagerness to feel strong by stopping my technique had thereby made it impossible to counter it in an effective manner and take my center. He simply stopped my technique. When someone tenses up like that, they are like the board being held by a couple guys for breaking. With that level of tension, the strike I do will only have more effect.

I am not saying that this is what you are doing... I am sure it is not. But the way that a number of folks interpret these ideas often gives them a mistaken idea of what they should be trying for in their training. That's why I think it is good thing that you guys are making yourselves available so that folks can get a real hands on take on what you are doing. Because I am absolutely certain that many of the folks I run into think they are trying to do what you are talking about but are, in fact, missing it entirely.

Anyway, there are some good Aikido folks who are getting a chance to play with you that I am hopeful that there will be some movement in a positive direction in the larger Aikido community. But I continue to raise the cautionary flags when I think that people are in danger of misunderstanding what is going on.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
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Old 05-04-2008, 01:47 PM   #1242
DH
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Hi George
Yes I have seen this very thing over the last three years when I opened up the door again. People were expecting allot of different things and came in with some misconceptions about what they were about to feel. Many were either expecting:
1. Static unmoving "braced" resistance
2. Muscle
3. Waza and counters as a way out

I think as most have stated after meeting Mike, Ark, or me is that they were completely taken aback by how different the feel was to the expectation. They were surprised that
1. It all works seamlessly in motion without much thought.
2. It has nothing to do with chambering and muscle-which in fact prevents and or reduces all we have been outlining
3. It has nothing to do with waza.. Personally I do an exercise where I let men try to come and throw me and I keep them at arms length and they cannot get in for kuzuzhi (no not stiff armed judo) Then...I let them do the same thing and I let them get in -within my arms- but when they try to position they are either lifted up at whatever contact point they may have, and loose their feet, or they are weighted and they can't move. So, they dump out and reposition to try again with the same results. Then... I let them get all inside my body range with hands and legs entering for a throw, even to the point they enter because they think they go kuzushi, say I let them fit-in-to an osoto-gari or O-goshi but they simple cannot complete the throw so they dump out.
Las,t I simply start throwing them when they try to throw me with their own power smoothly and without stopping. That one demonstration serves to fully express that I am not not using waza to defend and the point is in the way the body is being carried.
Aikido, I have found, is far, far easier to handle then this type of attack.
Anyway, It is very difficult to discuss on the net as everyone approaches it from their prior understanding.
It's all good though. I just hope some of these guys get out to meet some real masters of these skills. Guys up this way have gone to see a highly ranked DR representative and have been disappointed in what they felt. Others have gone on to meet Howard and were set straight about the difference between DR jujutsu (being taught as aiki) and real DR aiki. There are also guys training with some Taiji master level teachers and having their eyes really opened to what's available.

All in all I can't wait till I'm 60. With any luck I'll have more power and a better grasp at using it.
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Old 05-04-2008, 02:00 PM   #1243
G DiPierro
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I think that this is a fundamental misunderstanding of what you are talking about. Being difficult to move is a byproduct of proper training but it isn't the point of the training. In the martial context stopping a technique simply means that the attacker does something else. It's all about kaeshiwaza when we talk about fighting. And kaeshiwaza requires the same joining, the same use of aiki, that all waza requires. The instant you simply stop a technique you have lost the opportunity of reversing it.

So my friend, in his eagerness to feel strong by stopping my technique had thereby made it impossible to counter it in an effective manner and take my center. He simply stopped my technique. When someone tenses up like that, they are like the board being held by a couple guys for breaking. With that level of tension, the strike I do will only have more effect.
Actually there are a couple of different ways of stopping someone's technique. What you describe is one of them, and the problem is that it is the only one that most people in aikido know about. The typical depth of understanding of the concept of resistance extends only as far two levels: complete non-resistance, where you give away your center and let the nage throw you (typically aikido ukemi) or complete resistance, where you do everything you can to stop the nage from throwing you, paying no attention at all to the openings this creates. These are just two poles on a very complex continuum of resistance, and I think most of the interesting training lies in between them.

It's very possible to stop someone without being open and yet without taking it to the level of full kaeshi-waza. But there is a lot more to being able to do this besides just trying to resist. To be quite honest, I have trained with senior-level people (5- or 6-dan) in a certain well-known major organization who have done the exact same thing you described here, so it would make sense that the lower-level people are copying them and doing the same thing. If your shihan only teach the nage side of the practice, and your senior people don't understand the uke side, then it's unlikely that you are going to have your junior people spontaneously learning these aspects of ukemi.

Last edited by G DiPierro : 05-04-2008 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 05-04-2008, 02:34 PM   #1244
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

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Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
To be quite honest, I have trained with senior-level people (5- or 6-dan) in a certain well-known major organization who have done the exact same thing you described here, so it would make sense that the lower-level people are copying them and doing the same thing. If your shihan only teach the nage side of the practice, and your senior people don't understand the uke side, then it's unlikely that you are going to have your junior people spontaneously learning these aspects of ukemi.
I completely agree with you. This is a failure on the part of the Shihan or other senior instructor(s). It's one thing to leave someone on his own to figure things out. Its quite another to keep promoting him and letting him open a dojo when all he is doing is passing on very bad habits to his students and ruining another generation of practitioners. I think it is wrong. I have publicly objected to this repeatedly. The transmission is largely broken.

It is our responsibility to fix this. No one else's. The folks who created the problem will not be the ones to create the solution. Much of the discussion on the forums here revolves around different folks take on what the issues are and what the solutions are. That is why there is hope. The folks who created the problems with the transmission are not discussing anything. They are not looking for new ideas or alternative methods. They decided these things long ago and are not interested in change. The best of them will at least give you some encouragement if you show signs of trying to do better yourself. The worst of them will actively stand in your way.

But no one except us will fix it. And it will take a community of people who decide to find a better way, not just isolated individuals. It will take people deciding that they need to look beyond the confines of the world as revealed by their teachers, to risk being criticized by the establishment. I am not saying break with the establishment because that is the surest way to end in obscurity and change nothing. But I am saying that it is possible to work within our various systems and organizations to slowly change people's ideas about what they are doing.

The entire old guard of American Aikido will be gone in the not too distant future. The Japanese and the American teachers who have pioneered the growth of the art here are all close in age. Who will take over when they are passed on? It is us. And we need to think about what we would like the art to be and how we expect to take it there when that time comes.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 05-04-2008, 03:18 PM   #1245
aikishrine
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

I think that this statement misses the point. I am reading a good book right now called the "Secret Teachings of Aikido" by O'SENSEI, translated by John Stevens, it is fairly new from Kodansha, but i believe that it hits AIKIDO right on the head, figuratively speaking of course anyway that is just my two cents worth.
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Old 05-04-2008, 03:51 PM   #1246
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

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Brian Northrup wrote: View Post
I think that this statement misses the point. I am reading a good book right now called the "Secret Teachings of Aikido" by O'SENSEI, translated by John Stevens, it is fairly new from Kodansha, but i believe that it hits AIKIDO right on the head, figuratively speaking of course anyway that is just my two cents worth.
I think this book is very important! It doesn't seem to get much fanfare, which is, I think because folks are so worried about technique and find O-Sensei's spirituality to be difficult. But so what else is new? The deshi largely didn't get it, by their own admissions. But for anyone who wants to understand what I mean when I talk about "O-Sensei's Aikido" this book is a must! It's got to more than double the amount of O-Sensei's words which have been translated into English.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 05-04-2008, 08:13 PM   #1247
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

I humbly suggest you find a copy of the takeuchi scrolls, (learn Japanese or get a translator) and then re-evaluate your understanding of that book. -Rob
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Old 05-05-2008, 12:33 AM   #1248
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
I humbly suggest you find a copy of the takeuchi scrolls, (learn Japanese or get a translator) and then re-evaluate your understanding of that book. -Rob
Not likely to learn Japanese at this late date. Why don't you start another thread and give us your take on the book.
- George

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Old 05-05-2008, 12:37 AM   #1249
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I completely agree with you. This is a failure on the part of the Shihan or other senior instructor(s). It's one thing to leave someone on his own to figure things out. Its quite another to keep promoting him and letting him open a dojo when all he is doing is passing on very bad habits to his students and ruining another generation of practitioners. I think it is wrong. I have publicly objected to this repeatedly. The transmission is largely broken.

It is our responsibility to fix this. No one else's. The folks who created the problem will not be the ones to create the solution. Much of the discussion on the forums here revolves around different folks take on what the issues are and what the solutions are. That is why there is hope. The folks who created the problems with the transmission are not discussing anything. They are not looking for new ideas or alternative methods. They decided these things long ago and are not interested in change. The best of them will at least give you some encouragement if you show signs of trying to do better yourself. The worst of them will actively stand in your way.
Well if you ask me the transmission was broken right at Morihei Ueshiba. He learned what he needed to know from his teachers, but he never created a pedagogical method to pass it on. The default pedagogy of mainline aikido was basically adapted from Daito-ryu without much thought about whether and how it should be changed to transmit the essence of this new art. Some of Ueshiba's students (Shioda, Tohei, Mochizuki, Tomiki, etc.) thought they could improve on the default method and broke off and started their own organizations to teach their methods, but I don't think any of them really succeeded at capturing what Ueshiba was doing in a way that could be reliably transmitted.

I think aikido is a good idea for an art in theory but one that as of yet has no good practical implementation. I'm not even sure if it's possible to come up with one, but I do believe that the only way to redeem the art and attain its true potential would be a wholesale overhaul of the existing training method. I simply cannot see this happening within a major group since most groups are essentially defined by their training method. If you start making large changes to that, you are pretty much putting yourself outside of your group.

Either way, it doesn't make much sense to expect the current training system to produce different results than it has been demonstrated to produce. Aikikai aikido is basically geared towards producing large numbers of practitioners who can look good doing complex techniques with a cooperative partner. The people that manage to go beyond this are rare, and they almost have to go against the system to do so. Think about much farther they could go in a system that was trying to help them get to their goal rather than impeding them.
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Old 05-05-2008, 05:52 AM   #1250
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

The solution is kinda simple to change the world. In this day of show me all one has to do is take say the aiki power Dan is talking about and go win something like the olympics in judo. An entire generation of martial artists will have to deal with what they have tossed off as old folk mumbo jumbo. Then with a little luck, as they learn the art they will find out it's not about fighting.

This is what Uesihba seemed to do. He seemed to go pick fights or show up in the right place to engage in one to show people a better way. That practice seemed to die with him (and his first students) however. And in that day, with only word of mouth and maybe some poor video to spread the word, it's not surprising this was forgotten. But I tell you that if you put a guy in a judo match who is unthrowable and doesn't even seem to defend, you will convert them by the thousands, maybe millions. Sure they wont be coming to be find the way of peace, but many will find what they wanted, and what they ended up with might be different things. Just like the guys who start showing up for my judo class who want to be better fighters, and find themselves learning about the art and culture of judo along the way.

I use the olympics as a example here because it is reasonably high profile that most people in judo would see it. Also, unlike say the UFC, it is also reasonable that anyone with the proper skills could get to that level (or at least the national level) without a good PR staff (Getting in the UFC is a lot of politics, getting into high end judo is simply skill).

I'm not trying to call anyone out. I'm just stating that the simplest answer (and one that would kill this thread cold) has been there from the first day aikido was named. In fact it was the method the founder seemed to like to take.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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