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Old 12-31-2008, 12:22 PM   #1
marlon10
 
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Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

I know this issue has been buried to death. However I wanted to get your opinion on some ideas of mine. In a previous post I asked for advice on finding good Aikido schools in the Maryland area. Thanks for all the wonderful replies I have received from such a terrific community of practitioners and teachers. I have only had some introductory classes in Aikido years ago, so my experience with it on a physical level is limited. I have, however been involved in the Martial Arts since I was 12 and now I am 33 years of age. I have always kept an open mind towards the various martial arts styles based on the early exposure I had to the concepts and philosophy of Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do. I have been involved with traditional martial arts as well as more modern reality based styles. The conclusions that I have come up with is that many people want to train to protect themselves but few have ever really needed to demonstrate those skills they work so hard to perfect. Also by the very nature of studying how to deal with true combat (definition meaning that the result can leave someone dead or maimed, definition excluding local bar fight to prove how tough you are) you realize how serious physical confrontation is that you do your best to avoid it. It is my belief that O'sensei grew old enough to realize that most people will never need the type of combat skill soldiers need. That is why the techniques he taught his students evolved during the years into less "lethal" methods with dealing with an aggressor. Anyone who has seen a lot of fighting knows that the only constant in fighting is that anything can happen and you can't prepare for everything. Having been in very limited amounts of confrontations I have discovered one simple concept. Avoidance. 90% of all fights are avoidable. Combat situations like muggings where the assailant intends to kill the victim, rapes, and other criminal activity can possibly avoided that percentage of the time with awareness. The point I am trying to make here is that first we have to identify the definition of types of physical confrontation and then we have to really honestly ask ourselves whether or not we are committed to avoiding it. Violence is serious business, needles to say, MMA training is great for sport but without the awareness training, and clear definition of what type of violence you are training for it is just as susceptible to any of the flaws that traditional Martial arts is criticized for. To sum this up I chose Aikido because spiritually it is a vehicle for greater enlightenment. But BJJ, and other arts can be as well if I choose it to be. It is up to the individual. There really are no great Martial Arts, there are great Martial Artists. But even they are not defined by how many people they killed or defended themselves against, but how many people they influenced. With the spiritual base of Aikido, especially in the latter years of O'sensei's life you can influence so many more people with the love and lifestyle that Aikido has the potential to promote then you can with all the fists thrown. Love and harmony with the universe is something that you can practice no matter how old you get. This is why I chose Aikido.
 
Old 12-31-2008, 12:29 PM   #2
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Personally, I think that was well put.

"The mind is everything. What you think you become." - Siddhattha Gotama Buddha
 
Old 12-31-2008, 02:28 PM   #3
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Then you have chosen wisely

Tony
 
Old 12-31-2008, 07:06 PM   #4
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Good thoughts Marlon! O'Sensei I think had a keen understanding of the balance between violence and peace. I think he taught the way he did to help us better understand and appreciate that balance. The practice of aikido really becomes a reconciliation. Have a Happy New Year!

 
Old 01-01-2009, 11:04 AM   #5
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

A paragraph would have been nice, but who am I to judge, hahaha!

Is Aikido a "vehicle to enlightenment"? I am a proponent of Aikido. There are lots of things about it that I think are awesome. I think its philosophy has the possibility to help enlighten.

But most Aikidoka are arrogant and egotistical. Most Aikidoka are passive aggressive, angry people. Sure everyone talks about love and harmony, but as soon as things become challenging or different we often become a hateful lot.

 
Old 01-01-2009, 12:54 PM   #6
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Yes Chris sorry for the long post. When I look back at it I can't believe how much I wrote. I should probably just start a blog. But the point I am trying to make is that so many of us here train for the wrong reasons. Martial Arts was a means of survival back a long time ago. That is why you can trace methods of organized instruction of fighting back to almost any countries history. Not just the Asian one's. Countries in Africa and Europe as well. The thing about it is that times have changed. You don't have honorable people willing to look you in the eye and issue a challenge. You have rob first, clean up the mess later types of situations. Martial Artists of the past lived a lifestyle that cultivated there ability to defend themselves 24 hours a day. Now a days we may devote 4 hours at most 3 -5 days a week in controlled conditions for the possibility of a maybe one life or death confrontation in our lives. It just doesn't add up anymore. Samurai were great warriors because anything less carried the probability of there demise. Today people don't have the time to devote to that type of dedication. And should we even. I mean even if you watch the news everynight where murders and muggings are always being reported do you really believe that the chance of you getting mugged is that great. You have a much better chance of being in a car accident, yet most of us have not devised a martial science of driving safely. And for all you reality based artists who think that I am wrong about your chances of being involved in a confrontation, just take a poll on this forum full of Marital artists and ask how many of these people have been in life or death combat and can back it up with proof. I am not trying to belittle anyone here. All I am saying is for people to stop putting down Martial Arts for their lack of reality, especially Aikido. You may, if your unlucky, be involved in one situation in your life where your Aikido techniques were put to use. But every day of your life the spiritual benefits of your art may be put to the test. Criminals live a lifestyle that dictates they fight and scratch for every minute of their existence. Remember hard core criminals don't usually live a 9-5 existence as we do. They are to busy planning there next hussle or chance to take advantage of them. So they have a lot of experience fighting someone. And most of the times they will only do it on their own terms. This is where regardless of what art you practice you have to incorporate awareness training. Not just Ki but what are the signs of a possible mugging or set-up. Remember even Rickson Gracie or Bruce Lee is susceptible to a sucker punch they don't see coming. The funny thing about the Reality based stuff was they always would train you so that you could feel like you could walk down the middle of compton, california and dodge bullets. That mentality is just as dangerous as a martial art that doesn't prepare you for a real fight because you spend all your time doing Kata. What I am saying is just a regurgitation of some of the reality based authors that don't believe it is possible to build a rambo in 10 easy steps. But blending this type of mentality and awareness training with my study and love for Aikido will allow me to improve my odds of ever getting into another confrontation and also spiritually find a balance that will have me more in synch with the Universe and world around me. I really believe that one can develop enough skill to neutralize an attack without hurting a less skilled attacker. That is why I chose arts the involve some sort of grappling. Aikido specifically because it doesn't involve grappling with the purpose of taking someone to the ground with me being there as well. Plus I believe Aikido is the best answer to empty hand vs. weapons and multiple attackers. Having been on the receiving end of both, albeit they weren't life threatening although the knife incident could have escalated to that point, I think Aikido meets the requirements of an art that teaches very applicable self-defense concepts and principles. I apologize I just can't keep these posts short. I promise this will be my last long post for at least today. Please let me know if I am full of hot air or you can make suggestions or agree. I am always open to differing points of views.
 
Old 01-01-2009, 01:26 PM   #7
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Bruce Lee isn't susceptible to sucker punches. He's dead.

Tell me something, which does more damage: an elbow strike to the chin, or a kotegaishi for all you're worth? I know which I'd rather be on the receiving end of.
 
Old 01-01-2009, 03:38 PM   #8
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Mary,

But do you understand the point I am trying to make. What does what you are saying have to do with what I am saying. I am talking about defining our purpose for studying Martial arts.
 
Old 01-01-2009, 04:20 PM   #9
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Marlon Hester wrote: View Post
But do you understand the point I am trying to make. What does what you are saying have to do with what I am saying. I am talking about defining our purpose for studying Martial arts.
Are those questions or are they statements? I don't understand "the point" that you are trying to make because you appear to be attempting to make several, including:

1)In modern times, the average person's need for physical self-defense is not great enough that it makes sense to martial arts with a primary objective of developing physical self-defense skills.

2)Aikido is better than other martial arts because it involves grappling and therefore is less likely than other styles to result in serious injury in a physical confrontation.

I agree with the first; I think the second is hooey.
 
Old 01-01-2009, 04:42 PM   #10
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Tell me something, which does more damage: an elbow strike to the chin, or a kotegaishi for all you're worth? I know which I'd rather be on the receiving end of.
When I do a kotegaeshi for all I'm worth, I often throw in an elbow strike to the chin as part of the throw, so the question is moot.

Last edited by Joe McParland : 01-01-2009 at 04:45 PM. Reason: more detail

 
Old 01-01-2009, 05:15 PM   #11
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Mary,

I believe that I always preceded my statements with the reason that "I" chose Aikido. I don't believe that it is a better art then any other. I believe that based on my experience it fits my needs best. And based on the inherent spiritual aspects of Aikido I believe it more closely fulfills the requirements of today's martial artist. Please let me apologize if I did not make myself clear. I have written some very long posts so my meaning may get lost. Not to mention my spelling and punctuation.
 
Old 01-01-2009, 05:16 PM   #12
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Imo, one must understand, realize and 'fess up' why they're taking MA. Is it for health? (Join a gym) well being? (self help group) self defense? (see below) Spiritual 'enlightenment' ? ( join a guru) Flexibility? ( take yoga) "Traditional Asian mystic"? (most common reason) They like the way they feel in a Gi? ( yeah, right {but most'd be surprised} Some unknown reason? (at least 10%). I have no problem with any of those, but IMO, what's important to me is to be realistic about why they are practicing MA (as opposed to some other venue). I suspect most'd say self defense, but realistically, with modern technology, true self defense is mace, a taser and a gun and there's plenty of folks to most effectively teach those skills. For self defense, I have and carry a CWP ( concealed weapons permit), mace, a taser and a gun, but I study/practice Aikido, to relax, find my center and my ki. Btw, the 'Asian tradition' thing is my least favorite thing about all this.

Last edited by GeneC : 01-01-2009 at 05:24 PM.

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
 
Old 01-01-2009, 05:48 PM   #13
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Marlon Hester wrote: View Post
Mary,

I believe that I always preceded my statements with the reason that "I" chose Aikido. I don't believe that it is a better art then any other. I believe that based on my experience it fits my needs best. And based on the inherent spiritual aspects of Aikido I believe it more closely fulfills the requirements of today's martial artist. Please let me apologize if I did not make myself clear. I have written some very long posts so my meaning may get lost. Not to mention my spelling and punctuation.
Hi Marlon,

I'm not disputing your choices in the least. I'm only saying that I think it's a bit of a fallacy (well, no, a whole lot of a fallacy) to believe that aikido training allows one to do less damage to an attacker, for all practical purposes.
 
Old 01-01-2009, 05:50 PM   #14
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Clarence Couch wrote: View Post
Imo, one must understand, realize and 'fess up' why they're taking MA. Is it for health? (Join a gym) well being? (self help group) self defense? (see below) Spiritual 'enlightenment' ? ( join a guru) Flexibility? ( take yoga) "Traditional Asian mystic"? (most common reason) They like the way they feel in a Gi? ( yeah, right {but most'd be surprised} Some unknown reason? (at least 10%). I have no problem with any of those, but IMO, what's important to me is to be realistic about why they are practicing MA (as opposed to some other venue). I suspect most'd say self defense
I think there's also a fair number who are looking for a form of exercise that will be more interesting and engaging than training in a gym. I know that's why I started.
 
Old 01-01-2009, 05:58 PM   #15
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I think there's also a fair number who are looking for a form of exercise that will be more interesting and engaging than training in a gym. I know that's why I started.
The YMCA offers personal trainers, for free, that'll get you to your goal exponentially faster.

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
 
Old 01-01-2009, 06:06 PM   #16
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I think there's also a fair number who are looking for a form of exercise that will be more interesting and engaging than training in a gym. I know that's why I started.
I am just amazed that such a thing escapes some people.
 
Old 01-01-2009, 06:07 PM   #17
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Hey Marlon,

Here is a blog of mine where I address some of the issues I believe you are talking about.

http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/christo...-as-budo-3398/

I believe what you are talking about is budo, as opposed to bujutsu. Studying martial arts for the sake of self development, vs. study for practical fighting skill.

What I was saying in my first post, was Aikido as a budo; a way of self development, or "enlightenment" seems to be lacking. The reason I say this is because so many of us (I wouldn't exclude myself here) seem to be no more enlightened then the average Joe.

 
Old 01-01-2009, 06:30 PM   #18
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Hey Marlon,

Here is a blog of mine where I address some of the issues I believe you are talking about.

http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/christo...-as-budo-3398/

I believe what you are talking about is budo, as opposed to bujutsu. Studying martial arts for the sake of self development, vs. study for practical fighting skill.

What I was saying in my first post, was Aikido as a budo; a way of self development, or "enlightenment" seems to be lacking. The reason I say this is because so many of us (I wouldn't exclude myself here) seem to be no more enlightened then the average Joe.
I would love for to to explain why you feel that way because you have trained very hard think outside the box and often display humility in your posts.

We never did get a chance to practice together Chris I hope that changes someday but perhaps this discussion would be more fruitful with some great food after a hard practice.

Despite all my training and life experiance with the Martial Arts there would be no way for me to answer that question. Having studied Military History and been an Enthusiast (aka Grognard) of Conflict Simulations (aka Wargames) Since 1970 the only thing I could draw upon is books like John Keegans "The Face of Battle" Ernest Sledge's "With the Old Breed" and the recent well researched War Drama Passchendaele and frankly Melee Combat seems to be nothing more than Mass Umitigated Slaughter No matter what era or training you have. The whole point would be just to survive. Modern Combat is so horrible that our Armed Forces try as hard as possible to use technology to "stand off" conflicts between our soldiers and enemy combatants.

How Aikido would factor in such a scenario is beyond me.

William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 01-01-2009 at 06:37 PM.
 
Old 01-01-2009, 06:45 PM   #19
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Hi Marlon,

I'm not disputing your choices in the least. I'm only saying that I think it's a bit of a fallacy (well, no, a whole lot of a fallacy) to believe that aikido training allows one to do less damage to an attacker, for all practical purposes.
Hi Mary,
I've been having a good long look at the whys and wherefores of practicing Aikido leading up to my shodan grading. I fervently believe that it was the choice in Aikido that led me away from other martial arts.

I had a confrontation with my father, an ex-soldier, that at the time left me with an option of getting pummelled or doing him a severe injury (I had been training in Kyokushin for quite some years at this point). It appalled me afterwards that I could only defend myself by hurting my attacker.

After practicing Aikido, one truth I have begun to understand is that now I at least have a choice as to whether to injure an attacker, it is no longer a given.

I agree, and in some ways am thankful, that various techniques that we practice in Aikido can be devastatingly powerful and could potentially lead to a significant injury to an attacker, but I also think that the mindset and the application set it apart.

Sure, I can do kote gaeshi and shatter an opponents arm, or irimi and slam them head first into the ground, but thats not what I'm intending, nor is it the reason I see Aikido the way that I do.

Everyone has their own decision to make at the time (and I must admit that Marlon makes some good points in his initial post). Everyone has their reasons, everyone learns what they want and how they want, and everyone applies what they've learnt within their own boundaries and values. And therein lies Aikido....
 
Old 01-01-2009, 06:54 PM   #20
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Hey Marlon,

Here is a blog of mine where I address some of the issues I believe you are talking about.

http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/christo...-as-budo-3398/

I believe what you are talking about is budo, as opposed to bujutsu. Studying martial arts for the sake of self development, vs. study for practical fighting skill.

What I was saying in my first post, was Aikido as a budo; a way of self development, or "enlightenment" seems to be lacking. The reason I say this is because so many of us (I wouldn't exclude myself here) seem to be no more enlightened then the average Joe.
I'd add, military and LE have history as a training guide. Specific battles, shootouts, firefights, etc with plenty of debriefing to develope a much more effective training program.


Quote:
Chris Hein wrote:
What we train when we study any martial art is Budo. We train not to be physically unstoppable, but spiritually undefeatable; Budo.
Hmmm....

Last edited by GeneC : 01-01-2009 at 06:59 PM.

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
 
Old 01-01-2009, 07:54 PM   #21
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post

But most Aikidoka are arrogant and egotistical. Most Aikidoka are passive aggressive, angry people. Sure everyone talks about love and harmony, but as soon as things become challenging or different we often become a hateful lot.
God I hate it when you say that!
Love,
jen

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
 
Old 01-01-2009, 08:02 PM   #22
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Sean Kelleher wrote: View Post
Sure, I can do kote gaeshi and shatter an opponents arm, or irimi and slam them head first into the ground, but thats not what I'm intending, nor is it the reason I see Aikido the way that I do.

Everyone has their own decision to make at the time (and I must admit that Marlon makes some good points in his initial post). Everyone has their reasons, everyone learns what they want and how they want, and everyone applies what they've learnt within their own boundaries and values. And therein lies Aikido....
My point was a much simpler one. Intent is all well and good, but no matter what your intent, no matter what "decision" you make, you're not in absolute control of the damage you do. Furthermore, because of the nature of the techniques, I think you're more likely to do lasting damage with aikido techniques. I've recovered from a dislocated shoulder, and I've recovered from a boot to the head. The latter was over and done with in a matter of days; the former will probably always trouble me.
 
Old 01-02-2009, 08:05 AM   #23
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Chris,

I finally read your blog entry concerning this subject and I must say that I enjoyed it very much. Essentially you have already said, more eloquently, what I tried to say with this thread. I think that the minute we all agree that fighting and combat are two different things we can come to some common ground. As Chris said there are flaws in all the styles that we pracitice, as it relates to dealing with street lethal situations. I remember when I was a student of a pretty well known Reality based instructor who taught a style that evolved out of Bruce Lee's JKD I was initially entralled by the realism of the training. It was fantasitic we trained with weapons from day one. We learned techniques and de-escalation methods and just about anything you could think of. We sparred hard with weapons and without. But after a short period I realized: 1. I was becoming this lethal killing machine for a situation that may never come. 2. Spiritually the only thing I was learning was to not take sh@t from anyone. Which fed into my disharmony with the world around me. 3. The real reason I was taking this art to begin with was based off of some stupid high school fantasy that romantically had me kicking the butts of all those school bullies I had dealt with. 4. No matter how prepared I was it just didn't amount to the type of emotional turmoil an actual life and death confrontation puts you through. I mean military servicemen train for this type of stuff for years with the most realistic training possible and they still talk about the fog of war and come out of conflicts with post-traumatic stress disorder. And contrary to popular belief the bad guy is not always the one who goes to jail. If a jury of your peers (who don't train in the same art you train in) feel that you used excessive force defending yourself then you will have all the ample opportunity to test your Martial arts skills in jail. Remember the police don't always prevent crimes they are often tasked with cleaning them up. And if it comes down to your word against a dead mans, or a man seriously injured sometimes it will not go your way.
 
Old 01-02-2009, 08:17 AM   #24
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Marlon,

May I suggest that you divide your posts into paragraphs? Sorry to nitpick...it's just that when I see a big blob of text, I not only find it difficult to read, it also makes me think I'm reading an excerpt from the Unabomber's manifesto.

Last edited by allowedcloud : 01-02-2009 at 08:21 AM.
 
Old 01-02-2009, 08:21 AM   #25
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

lol! You are absolutely right. I know when I see blobs of text like that I hardly ever read the whole thing, if at all.
 

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