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Old 08-27-2008, 04:55 AM   #126
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Re: Defending Against Grappler Using Aikido

I'm only a first dan in Iwama Aikido but I have been able to tap out several blue belts at my local BJJ club using Nikkyo. I have done this with them in my guard (between my legs). One funny thing is that I usually have to dry my hands on my gi first as the sweat makes getting a good grip difficult. However, I've done Judo for the last 25 years so maintaining the guard position is relatively easy.

With regards beating grapplers I believe Iwama Aikido is quite effective. The bokken and jo subburi teach the student to develop power with pretty much any weapon or object of a similar shape. This level of weapons skill is a key benefit of Iwama Aikido training that should not be overlooked in any self defence situation.

Weapons aside (a big thing to leave out in my opinion) I genuinely don't think that a pure aikidoka would have any chance at all against a seasoned Judoka or BJJ'er in a ground fight. I have invited many highly experienced Aikidoka to my dojo to try ground fighting and they have all come away enlightened and surprised by amount of "ju" and the lack of "strength" that good judo requires and how utterly futile their attempts to fight on the floor are.
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Old 08-27-2008, 07:35 AM   #127
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Re: Defending Against Grappler Using Aikido

Quote:
Neil Harrison wrote: View Post
[...] I genuinely don't think that a pure aikidoka would have any chance at all against a seasoned Judoka or BJJ'er in a ground fight.
Ahhh... but then you must give us a definition of what constitutes a "pure aikidoka".
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:35 AM   #128
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Re: Defending Against Grappler Using Aikido

I'd define it as someone who trains aikido as a martial art and does not have direct competitive sport experience (judo, wrestling, bjj, sambo, etc).

If I take someone to the ground, sweep with a nice flower sweep, secure a mount , dominate an arm, then tap them out with a wrist lock, is that my aikido or bjj training? It would seem I used all the fundamental tactics and techniques of bjj.

However I do not think it should be broken down into pure bjj, pure judo, pure aikido. I think there are two groups. Those who train with aliveness and those who don't. Inside that aliveness group there are two more groups. Those who train for all ranges of fighting and those who don't. MMA for example trains for all ranges of unarmed fighting. BJJ and Judo do not.

But even in a fairly restricted alive style (say boxing) you are developing a sense of timing , motion, and the ability to deal with resistance that simply can not be built any other way. This is what makes successful combative athletes that much more awesome in a traditional martial art. The problem is when people who do not train as these people trained and expect to develop the same type and level of skills. If a high end competitive kickboxer suddenly joined a traditional style of jujutsu and then years later started destorying guys in fights, would you be suprised that his jujutsu students and peers are going to claim it was all jujutsu and point to him as the example of how awesome their art is?

I however, do not believe in using individuals as examples of a good training method. Pointing at a top MMA athlete and saying "see X works" does not prove anything. Neither does pointing at Osensei or some other great. When someone asks me, I point at the green/brown belts in my judo club, or the blue belts in my bjj club. Every one of them has trained for a similar amount of time (for the most part) and has a quantifiable, measurable level of skill. They can all beat guys of lower rank constantly in matches and all have good fundamentals that can be demonstrated against a person who is trying to put a hurting on them.

Are they uber badasses? Nope. Are they prepared to win a street fight against 4 men armed with bats? Nope. What they are is an example of a training method that builds consistent, useful, testable results. And as you move up the chain, you see the same thing all the way up to black belt.

You do not have to be a pro mma fighter to have effective self defense. More so, you do not need to beat a pro fighter for effective self defense. But you do need to be able to take the average tough guy. Most people with a short time of sport training can do that. Not because of some awesomeness in the art, but because of the training method. And they know they can do it because those same tough guys show up and try the classes, get beat up and leave.

In my opinion the only way to develop those skills effectively is the kind of training that combative sports gives you. Explicitly repeatable, measurable, and useful results.

Science can make everything better.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:08 AM   #129
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Re: Defending Against Grappler Using Aikido

Quote:
Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
Ahhh... but then you must give us a definition of what constitutes a "pure aikidoka".
As Don says, someone who's martial arts training comprises of Aikido and no other styles. Clearly an Aikidoka with a heavy Judo / BJJ backgound will fair better against a grappler. In such a case it might be the Aikido that gives them the edge.
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:34 AM   #130
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Re: Defending Against Grappler Using Aikido

Quote:
Neil Harrison wrote: View Post
As Don says, someone who's martial arts training comprises of Aikido and no other styles. Clearly an Aikidoka with a heavy Judo / BJJ backgound will fair better against a grappler. In such a case it might be the Aikido that gives them the edge.
Sorry to sound repetitive here but now... what is Aikido? Do you mean AIKIDO (TM) or maybe the application of aiki principals to (not) fighting? I mean, is Tomoe Nage Judo or Aikido? Me thinks (again) that it depends on the principals used and not on the actual technique itself. I can do a fairly "aiki" Kata Guruma and then outmuscle an Ikkyo out of a resisting opponent. I guess the first Kata Guruma will be Aikido while the late Ikkyo would be... well, just brute force.

Not well defined boundaries in my (poor) view of the arts, but more of blurred and overlapping areas. Just my view, maybe.
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:48 AM   #131
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Re: Defending Against Grappler Using Aikido

For the interest of the discussion (as I outlined above) not all aikidoka are lame, not all grapplers are good either. I agree with Don with the caveat that there is a means and method to train aiki within aikido that
a) does not require experience in grappling
b. does not depend on waza
And delivers the goods...in spades.
And where BJJ and Judo are limited to no punching kicking, Aikido can use at least punching and body parts to hit with can't it? WIth the correct training those body parts can be fight enders for most people. They can also be become very sticky and controlling for set-ups and soft (meaning hard to take or stop) throwing

From that point on -there is the agreed and absolute necessity for training in an alive setting against grapplers to reach expertise. So the real question maybe shouldn't be "What most people in them are doing." Rather "What are YOU doing?"
I think great potentials are there in both arts. Its up to the people doing them to make them something more than collection of waza or a spiritual pursuit....if they so choose. Again, Aikido-so often dismissed due to the large numbers of people with lack-luster skills defnining its potential- is going to be joined by grappling. "Large numbers of hobbyist joining, just to have fun." Who's lack luster skills...will soon be defining -it- as well.
So again its up to the individual.
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Old 08-27-2008, 11:32 AM   #132
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Re: Defending Against Grappler Using Aikido

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
So again its up to the individual.
Amen to that.
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Old 08-27-2008, 11:35 AM   #133
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Re: Defending Against Grappler Using Aikido

The individual being more important than the art.
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Old 08-27-2008, 11:59 AM   #134
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Re: Defending Against Grappler Using Aikido

A good training method is what makes the difference.
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:03 PM   #135
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Re: Defending Against Grappler Using Aikido

Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post

Are they uber badasses? Nope. Are they prepared to win a street fight against 4 men armed with bats? Nope. What they are is an example of a training method that builds consistent, useful, testable results. And as you move up the chain, you see the same thing all the way up to black belt.
well put Don.

Which is the exact opporsite of "it's the person not the style". The style, the method of training - however you want to call it. Should show observable results over time. Those results should be fairly predictable with in a band that allows for fast learners and not so fast learners. But still pretty much predictable.

Because I always come back to the same question - if it's the person not the style, you're really saying it's individual attributes not the training - so why train at all?

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:12 PM   #136
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Re: Defending Against Grappler Using Aikido

Quote:
Michael Fooks wrote: View Post
well put Don.

Which is the exact opporsite of "it's the person not the style". The style, the method of training - however you want to call it. Should show observable results over time. Those results should be fairly predictable with in a band that allows for fast learners and not so fast learners. But still pretty much predictable.

Because I always come back to the same question - if it's the person not the style, you're really saying it's individual attributes not the training - so why train at all?
It is individual attributes that drive them to train the way they do.
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:15 PM   #137
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Re: Defending Against Grappler Using Aikido

tell me more about what you mean by that?

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:30 PM   #138
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Re: Defending Against Grappler Using Aikido

I think those who are driven will find what they seek. If they seek a style, they will find a style. If they seek a better training method, they will find it. Your training is YOUR responsibility, not the style's and not the training method's. It is all about YOU and what YOU want. Budo is very individual. I also think, ultimately, it should be 'style-less.' It is totally and completely an expression of yourself.
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:46 PM   #139
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Re: Defending Against Grappler Using Aikido

I agree, training methods have to be important. If they were not,then why train. You could read a book and be just as awesome as you would be going to class. Physical goods are also important. I don't care what anyone says, If you are 5'7", 280 pounds, smoke, and live on mcdonalds you are at a major disadvantage without about everyone who can walk on their own more then 10 feet in a fight.

What the a good alive training method does is show you your physical and mental strengths and weaknesses. You can then work to minimize the impact of these weaknesses. On top of that you build good solid skills that should work for anyone and everyone (the style). This is the mark of a good style. It should not focus on things that everyone of reasonable fitness can not do and it should focus on improving the health, physical, and mental attributes of it's participants.

I will use me as an example.

I was in TKD my entire youth. The style focused on physical fitness and extreme flexibility. I simply am not flexible. I stretch every single day just to keep a level that most people have from the start. There are techniques in TKD I simply can never do. In my style those were the focus of the higher belts, which put me at an impasse. It was impossible for me to do these techniques. A sign I now know as a sign of a bad style.

Fast forward to my adult life. I got fat, old, lazy. I wanted to change this. I decided martial arts was the way to do this (remembering my military like youth training). I find TKD has watered down into a feel good activity. So I start reading. Eventually things lead me to aikido and that leads me to judo and that leads me to bjj. My first judo instructor was a lot like my aikido instructor in terms of practice. It was a focus on pure technique. To the point that I never really 'worked out' while in class. He, like my aikido instructor do not believe physical attributes or fitness matter. They do not warm up or stretch before class. The only time you are winded or stressed physically are in those small short moments of randori. In my first judo class, that was maybe once a month. The rest of the time we would do slow uchi komi under constant adjustment from the instructor. I made it a few ranks under him, found a love of ground work and started bjj class.

BJJ class was different. The instructor focuses on a training method very close to how I would run a school if I was put in charge of it. First, try to get in the best reasonable physical condition possible. For him this brought on running, crunches, pushups, stretching, two and three man body exercises, body movement drills, squats, box jumps, even weights. If you do not have a good level of fitness, you are not practicing good self defense. Once this was done, he would move on to teaching good fundamental martial movements and techniques. These are things everyone with a good fitness level can do, from 8 to 80 years old. From time to time he would show something 'cool' just to give us ideas on how to leverage our strengths, but 95% of the time, it is fundamentals. Finally, you would spar and spar a lot. Almost half the class time. This is where you learn to take those movements and techniques and learn to minimize your weaknesses and maximize your strengths.

What you find is that gab between the weakness and strength shrinks. In my case I had horrible cardio. I could spar for maybe 2 minutes. I learned how to control my stress levels, breathing, etc and developed better physical shape, that weakness became less and less of an issue. I can now spar for 15 - 20 minutes at a time. I also have very little physical strength. This has increased, but most of my peers are much stronger, so I learned how to use my body to work against their strength. You get the picture.

Eventually I met a judo coach who trains the same way. Working under him got me my brown belt very quickly. I quickly became competitive in judo for my rank.

How much of that was the person? I'd say maybe 25%. You have to have the desire to learn, and the intelligence and creativity to learn how to deal with your weaknesses and apply your strengths. But the other 75% is a good training method that gives you the tools to use those physical attributes.

I guess I'm saying it takes a special kind person to do a flying armbar or a crescent kick to the head. But these things are not required to win fights. Solid fundamental skills trained in an alive manner, along with allowing the creativity to figure out how to solve your own problems (rather then looking for a technique that solves them) will build a much better marital artist in physical confrontation. Just being strong or fast is useless if you have not been taught what to do with that speed and strength.

Again, I don't think this is a should be looked at from a bjj or aikido angle. Look at it from a training method angle.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:49 PM   #140
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Re: Defending Against Grappler Using Aikido

Personally, I'm all for cock-fighting using people.

I just want to have aiki based skills to do it myself. YMMV

Rob
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Old 08-27-2008, 02:35 PM   #141
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Re: Defending Against Grappler Using Aikido

Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post

How much of that was the person? I'd say maybe 25%. You have to have the desire to learn, and the intelligence and creativity to learn how to deal with your weaknesses and apply your strengths. But the other 75% is a good training method that gives you the tools to use those physical attributes.
Gold - great post Don.

A reflection I had after training last night. I probably use aikido every night in sparring. (by which I mean something I can point to and say that's a variation of....) When I first started, such attempts were guaranteed to get me tapped. Now that I have a base level of BJJ those aikido moves (primarily tenchi nage but some others) are extremely effective. But I needed a base of alive training to put them onto.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:05 PM   #142
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Re: Defending Against Grappler Using Aikido

Don and Dan, very good comments and post.

The challenge with training all range of combat is that you must constantly struggle with time management. That is, what do you spend your time doing the most?

My Army buddies discuss this all the time. We have to balance weapons based training along with empty hand, all along with going to work just like everyone else and working a "day job" doing some inane administrative stuff.

I spend most of my time on body work/structure/conditioning and grappling skills as they form the core structure for everything else.

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Old 08-27-2008, 10:00 PM   #143
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Re: Defending Against Grappler Using Aikido

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Don and Dan, very good comments and post.

The challenge with training all range of combat is that you must constantly struggle with time management. That is, what do you spend your time doing the most?

My Army buddies discuss this all the time. We have to balance weapons based training along with empty hand, all along with going to work just like everyone else and working a "day job" doing some inane administrative stuff.

I spend most of my time on body work/structure/conditioning and grappling skills as they form the core structure for everything else.
Because of this thread, I ditched bjj and did some aikido tonight. My perspective still has not changed. I did however learn that my extension still sucks

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 08-28-2008, 04:28 AM   #144
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Re: Defending Against Grappler Using Aikido

Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post
What the a good alive training method does is show you your physical and mental strengths and weaknesses. You can then work to minimize the impact of these weaknesses. On top of that you build good solid skills that should work for anyone and everyone (the style). This is the mark of a good style. It should not focus on things that everyone of reasonable fitness can not do and it should focus on improving the health, physical, and mental attributes of it's participants.
I enjoyed your post - good read.
I could not tell from your post if you still train in Aikido or not and if so how is your Aikido different then before. (i.e., you found a new Judo instructor, did you find an Aikido Instructor that was similar?)

Just curious - and again, a good assessment of the situation in martial arts I would say.

Peace

dAlen

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Old 08-28-2008, 07:00 AM   #145
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Re: Defending Against Grappler Using Aikido

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Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post
I enjoyed your post - good read.
I could not tell from your post if you still train in Aikido or not and if so how is your Aikido different then before. (i.e., you found a new Judo instructor, did you find an Aikido Instructor that was similar?)

Just curious - and again, a good assessment of the situation in martial arts I would say.

Peace

dAlen
I've trained with my current aikido instructor and his instructor who have very similar methods (a shock huh ) and I've trained with another guy who claimed to teach a 'harder style of aikido' which imho really turned out to be a 'less then reputable' instructor (one of those guys with a million belts and claims he can teach you everything from tai chi to mauy thai if the price is right). So no, I have never found an aikido school that has a training method based on my definition of aliveness. I belive my instructors aikido school to be the only legit aikido school within at least an hour of my house.

That said, I do not train aikido often anymore. In fact, last night was the first time in probably 4 or 5 months. I have to get in the mood for it.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 08-28-2008, 10:03 AM   #146
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Re: Defending Against Grappler Using Aikido

Quote:
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Because of this thread, I ditched bjj and did some aikido tonight. My perspective still has not changed. I did however learn that my extension still sucks
And I and a few of my guys walk into BJJ / MMA schools occasionaly and walk away with the same opinions you did about aikido. Then again the last time I did Aikido™ I felt the same way you did also. So I remain firmly in the middle. A staunch advocate for live training, while remaining a staunch advocate for real Aiki...do.
Both arts have tremendous potential in the hands of the right people.
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Old 08-28-2008, 10:37 AM   #147
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Re: Defending Against Grappler Using Aikido

Slighty back on topic (defending against "The evil grappler™")

What worries me is when people points to techniques like the one you can see in this clip (1:37 to 1:44) as takedown defense (as I have seen posted in another forum), especially when they haven't trained it against competent resisting opponents in alive settings.

IMO, giving technical advise about sd/fighting without checking if the technique works in a realistic environment is irresponsible.
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Old 08-28-2008, 10:45 AM   #148
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Re: Defending Against Grappler Using Aikido

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
IMO, giving technical advise about sd/fighting without checking if the technique works in a realistic environment is irresponsible.
Call me irresponsible then. But I bet Mochizuki Sensei put that technique there for a very good reasson. Anyway this is Jutsuri no Kata, translated as the "kata of the construction of the technique" (same ri as in riai). And that takedown is performed... well... in a kata manner. Maybe not the best takedown, and surely not the best technique anyway.

Ey, see you when come to Zaragoza. Hopefully we can share a drink and a fight !
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Old 08-28-2008, 10:52 AM   #149
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Re: Defending Against Grappler Using Aikido

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Slighty back on topic (defending against "The evil grappler™")

What worries me is when people points to techniques like the one you can see in this clip (1:37 to 1:44) as takedown defense (as I have seen posted in another forum), especially when they haven't trained it against competent resisting opponents in alive settings.

IMO, giving technical advise about sd/fighting without checking if the technique works in a realistic environment is irresponsible.
I don't know why you separated any one thing out from the rest of what they were doing as irresponsible and in-effective. Unfortunately, I watched it. I would have pointed out 0:00 to 2:28
You know even the sutemi at 1:57 is so open, and his position so poor that a competent guy would just bend with it and land on him not go over him. Kata or drills are fine but they are meant to instill proper placement and timing at the very least. So even in a staid and static demo the pieces are right.
Live...much of that can go out the window. So if you can't do it in a kata-good luck when Murphy steps up to greet you..
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Old 08-28-2008, 10:57 AM   #150
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Re: Defending Against Grappler Using Aikido

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Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
Call me irresponsible then. But I bet Mochizuki Sensei put that technique there for a very good reason.
Sure he had a good reason but, are you sure he wanted to teach takedown defense?, are you sure nothing was lost in transmission?. Sadly he's not with us, we can't ask him, but we can spar (like he did, and a lot) and see if something is missing.

Quote:
And that takedown is performed... well... in a kata manner. Maybe not the best takedown, and surely not the best technique anyway.
What's the purpose of the kata, then?

Quote:
Ey, see you when come to Zaragoza. Hopefully we can share a drink and a fight !
I hope some day mid september. I'll pm you when I know the date. Take care.

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
I don't know why you separated any one thing out from the rest of what they were doing as irresponsible and in-effective. Unfortunately, I watched it. I would have pointed out 0:00 to 2:28
Because Mr. Villanueva is a long time e-friend of mine. I'm not a "very" bad guy.

Last edited by Demetrio Cereijo : 08-28-2008 at 11:01 AM.
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