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Old 01-04-2009, 10:25 AM   #76
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Extremely insightful second post George. I'm happy you decided to post more than once for the year.

These are concepts that I have been working on for quite some time and the role of fear and tension on various levels have become a focal point as I realize that there is a lot that can be learnt in this area to get a deeper appreciation of what may need to be addressed in training in light of our ultimate goal.

Quote:
I have learned a lot by watching how the Systema folks practice. In my opinion the purpose of Systema training is the same as it is for Aikido. But I think that in many ways they do a better job of it. Right from day one there is an emphasis on developing an awareness of the tension we carry in our minds and bodies and they work constantly to learn to move that energy and release it.
This has become very central to my personal training of late. Very interesting results so far.

This was another great post by Erick:
Quote:
But aikido is emphatically not about non-attachment. When the Founder said "true budo is love" -- that is the answer -- complete connection -- the opposite of detachment.
I was wondering though, if we seek complete connection with someone in a situation of threat or danger (iow we may be hurt on some level), then is it safe to say that we detach ourselves from our sense of self-preservation to some extent? In other words, it is a move towards detachment from the ego? In this light even though we do not seek detachment from the other person (to facilitate complete connection), we do seek detachment from our self in that we cannot be worried about what may happen to us if this connection is not completely safe (i.e. the person uses the connection to hurt us).

Quote:
We need to learn how to stop turning everything we do into conflict in order to survive as a species. I see no other reason to do the art if it isn't about that.
Quite true. The trick is translating this from general theory into specific elements of training so that we can make this a reality in the world we live in every day, wherever we may be at the time.

Best.
LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
http://www.mushinkan.ca
 
Old 01-04-2009, 11:03 AM   #77
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Larry's point about the only other option with fear being non-attachment is true. But aikido is emphatically not about non-attachment. When the Founder said "true budo is love" -- that is the answer -- complete connection -- the opposite of detachment.
Quote:
David Henderson wrote: View Post
To me, non-attachment doesn't mean I don't care; it means I don't dwell on stuff. A hot fire leaves only ashes.
I agree with David.

Additionally: Experiencing complete connection is not the opposite of non-attachment. Some would claim that non-attachment is a prerequisite for experiencing complete connection, adding that attachment interferes with connection.

If someone is intent upon (i.e., attached to) punching you in the nose and you are intent upon (attached to) not moving, you'll likely experience full connection---just not the aikido type.

 
Old 01-04-2009, 11:17 AM   #78
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Joe McParland wrote: View Post
Additionally: Experiencing complete connection is not the opposite of non-attachment. Some would claim that non-attachment is a prerequisite for experiencing complete connection, adding that attachment interferes with connection.
When I read Erick's words, I thought of lines from T. S. Eliot's poem "Ash Wednesday":

Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still.


"...to care and not to care" -- does that perhaps describe the line that separates connection from attachment? Feeling that a connection exists, but renouncing attachment to the outcome? And was Eliot only able to renounce such attachment when he finally accepted that he didn't control the outcome?
 
Old 01-04-2009, 11:36 AM   #79
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Joe McParland wrote: View Post
Maybe before aikido (or surfing, or jumping out of planes, or zazen, or ...), changing the world and changing yourself are different...
How so?

William Hazen
 
Old 01-04-2009, 11:51 AM   #80
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post

Thanks William. You Rock!
No no no no no! You realy Rock! LOL Thank You Jen!

I love your sig line by the way "Wag More Bark Less" Perfect.

William Hazen
 
Old 01-04-2009, 12:42 PM   #81
Joe McParland
 
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
I used to see that poster of the hands grasping wrists with the Quote "A way to change the world" in some Aikido Dojos and think to myself "How fracking arrogent is that!"

To expect Aikido to be the end all be all and to change the world is folly...What we really need to do is use it to change ourselves.
Quote:
Joe McParland wrote: View Post
Maybe before aikido (or surfing, or jumping out of planes, or zazen, or ...), changing the world and changing yourself are different...
Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
How so?
It's a matter of perception, of course

Changing yourself is changing the world, on at least two levels:
  1. You're part of the world, so, if you change, ...
  2. With a little shift in thinking / perception, your view of the entire world can change in an instant. Aikido---and the other activities---can help to create that shift.

The first one is not terribly exciting on the immediate gratification meter, but the second one is large scale with instantaneous results!

But that bit aside, I do think I got the gist of your point. I'm personally leery of the Evangelical Applied Aikidoists---the "I'm right, you're wrong, and peace and harmony will be restored once I bring you to my point of view" folks. I believe the way to change the world is to fix me. If I ever get past that step, I'll see what I can do about anyone else who still needs fixing

 
Old 01-04-2009, 01:11 PM   #82
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Gene, What is your point or agenda here?
No agenda, but definitely a point. The purpose of this website is to:
"AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information" The intent is for topics to be opened and then discussed so that info can be presented for all to glean.

My point is very simple, I don't believe there's anough folks here who have used Aikido often enough in combat to say how effective it is in combat, but I see other folks taking advantage of this thread to further their own agendas. Alot oif stuff has been discussed thathave b=nothing to do with the topic, so I's just merely trying to get the thread back onto being thread specific. My question stands- Who has been in combat and used Aikido with enough regularity to say for sure if Aikido is effective in combat?

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
 
Old 01-04-2009, 01:34 PM   #83
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Clarence Couch wrote: View Post
My question stands- Who has been in combat and used Aikido with enough regularity to say for sure if Aikido is effective in combat?
Define "combat"
Define "aikido"
Define "enough regularity"
Define "effective"

Please. Thanks.

 
Old 01-04-2009, 02:29 PM   #84
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Clarence Couch wrote: View Post
. My question stands- Who has been in combat and used Aikido with enough regularity to say for sure if Aikido is effective in combat?
My definition of combat would include 3 multi-person street fights I've been involved in since I started the art. Win,win,win......

It would also include training in aiki and working with gang kids on a daily basis and leading them to ah-ha moments that result in spending their time finding and getting legitimate jobs at the supermarket for union wages rather than gang-banging. One less headline.

It would also include reducing the amount of pain and confusion I experience from the wreckage of my earlier life; which one might easily (and do) define it as a battlefield. There are many wars going on in this world. Most of them relate to 'the inner war', if not immediately, then eventually.

I think George's post covered some of these things, too.

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
 
Old 01-04-2009, 02:33 PM   #85
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Gene wrote:

Quote:
My question stands- Who has been in combat and used Aikido with enough regularity to say for sure if Aikido is effective in combat?
Okay, here is your answer. Nobody.

Nobody I have ever met meets the criteria you laid out.

So what is your conclusion based on this answer?

I think everyone I know in Aikido would back up this "Nobody" answer as well.

Again, that being the answer...what is your response or conclusion?

 
Old 01-04-2009, 03:33 PM   #86
Mark Peckett
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Joe McParland wrote: View Post
Maybe before aikido (or surfing, or jumping out of planes, or zazen, or ...), changing the world and changing yourself are different...
Perhaps changing the world requires arrogance and changing yourself needs humility.
 
Old 01-04-2009, 03:48 PM   #87
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Mark Peckett wrote: View Post
Perhaps changing the world requires arrogance and changing yourself needs humility.
Perfect.

William Hazen
 
Old 01-04-2009, 04:29 PM   #88
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

I am the author of this post, obviously, and I want to apologize to everyone who has participated in this discussion. I should have never given the title "Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation", because that is not what I was trying to get at. This has been discussed so many times. My real intention for this post was to get at why we train and dedicate so much of our lives to the Martial Arts.

Regardless I can see that enough people feel strongly enough that some of you have added more then a few responses to this thread and I think thats great. My intentions were to touch on the deep rooted reasons as to why we train.

Fighting is always associated with Martial Arts and so little of what we really do can be considered fighting in the practical sense. As a newbie I wanted to first define my thoughts of the difference between fighting and actual street lethal combat. Once we came to that common ground identify whether YOU ALL felt that training for street confrontations is a realistic goal that is achievable.

Then asking the question of those that have been in training for sometime if self-defense is not the goal then what is your real purpose for dedication to the art.

So with respect to all the senior teachers and students here who feel that I am rehashing an old topic, I will say that I only meant to take this issue further a long from the same old "Aikido is to soft" or "Aikido can't beat MMA" arguments.

Having said that I really do appreciate all your comments and perspectives. Once I get up and running with my own Aikido studies I would love sharing my ongoing development of self-discovery.
 
Old 01-04-2009, 05:00 PM   #89
mickeygelum
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Mr. Couch,

Barring your health issues, a man with all your experience and training should be able to enlighten us with the answer to your question. No disrespect intended, but you are requesting an answer to a question that you should already have the answer to....given your training and experience. Even given the fact that you are new to Aikido, most individuals that crosstrain do so to have a complete repertoire in any situation. The sum of ones training affords them the ability to use that which is most suitable for the situation at hand...or the point of now.

As for the "Nobody Response" from Mr. Leavitt...it is most accurate. Even the "Street Warriors" do not engage the populace on a daily/regular basis.

I hope you realize the answer soon.

Mickey

Last edited by mickeygelum : 01-04-2009 at 05:04 PM. Reason: clear double typo
 
Old 01-04-2009, 05:07 PM   #90
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Clarence Couch wrote: View Post
My point is very simple, I don't believe there's anough folks here who have used Aikido often enough in combat to say how effective it is in combat
Ya know what? I don't believe there's enough folks here who have made enough baked Alaskas to say how effective liquid nitrogen is vs. a conventional freezer. Oh, what's that you say? Nobody here is trying to make an argument about the effectiveness of liquid nitrogen vs. a conventional freezer for making baked Alaskas? You're right...and I'm also not seeing anyone make arguments about how effective aikido is in "combat". So why are you arguing against an argument that hasn't been made?

Quote:
Clarence Couch wrote: View Post
but I see other folks taking advantage of this thread to further their own agendas.
Understood, Mr. Pot.
 
Old 01-04-2009, 05:19 PM   #91
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Marlon Hester wrote: View Post
Then asking the question of those that have been in training for sometime if self-defense is not the goal then what is your real purpose for dedication to the art.
Chris Haueter (BJJ blackbelt) once said something like "the goal of sport BJJ is to win and the goal of BJJ as an art is to be as smooth as possible."

Learning Aikido with self-defense skills as primary goal is like practising sport jits only.

 
Old 01-04-2009, 05:34 PM   #92
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
This is one of those discussions that seems never to get resolved. So I will make my once a year contribution to it.Aikido, as an art created by Morihei Ueshiba, has nothing to do with combat. It is not about self defense in a conventional sense although some level of defensive capability should be a by-product of good training.....
Wow, I'm so humbled and humiliated.....Nothing to do with combat? You're kidding, right? Aside from the fact that Osensei joined the Japanese military and taught high ranking officers( or anybody who'd pay- course, it was all about money/fame/prestige) his "art" of killing ( altho, some'd argue what he taught wasn't Aikido) that there's plenty of verifiable info that Osensei was the most competitive individual in all of Japan( to wit- a fact( that he carried all of his life and spoke of at every chance) that he very rarely, if ever, was beaten, at anything).
Btw, Imo, it may never get resolved because the very concept of Aiki may be the most lethal ( destructive) force in the Universe.

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
 
Old 01-04-2009, 05:57 PM   #93
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Clarence Couch wrote: View Post
Btw, Imo, it may never get resolved because the very concept of Aiki may be the most lethal ( destructive) force in the Universe.
So our heads are going to start exploding, is that the deal? Can't wait!
 
Old 01-04-2009, 06:34 PM   #94
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Define "combat"
Define "aikido"
Define "enough regularity"
Define "effective"

Please. Thanks.
Wow, I'm amazed at the (offended) responses to a simple inquiry. What's the problem? Someone asked the Combat effectiveness of Aikido and all of a sudden, everyone get's defensive. Hmmm, wonder why that is?

Ok, so:

combat:
1: a fight or contest between individuals or groups
2 : conflict , controversy
3 : active fighting in a war : action

Aikido: a Japanese art of self-defense employing locks and holds and utilizing the principle of nonresistance to cause an opponent's own momentum to work against him

enough: occurring in such quantity, quality, or scope as to fully meet demands, needs, or expectations

regularity-something that is regular - constituted, conducted, scheduled, or done in conformity with established or prescribed usages, rules, or discipline

effective- producing a decided, decisive, or desired effect

Now, your turn: Answer these simple questions: Have you? Then is this topic moot for you?

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
 
Old 01-04-2009, 06:40 PM   #95
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Clarence Couch wrote: View Post
Wow, I'm so humbled and humiliated.....Nothing to do with combat? You're kidding, right? Aside from the fact that Osensei joined the Japanese military and taught high ranking officers( or anybody who'd pay- course, it was all about money/fame/prestige) his "art" of killing ( altho, some'd argue what he taught wasn't Aikido) that there's plenty of verifiable info that Osensei was the most competitive individual in all of Japan( to wit- a fact( that he carried all of his life and spoke of at every chance) that he very rarely, if ever, was beaten, at anything).
Btw, Imo, it may never get resolved because the very concept of Aiki may be the most lethal ( destructive) force in the Universe.
Humiliated? Really? I usually only feel that when I put my foot in my mouth...although, I do listen better after that.
I think if you read each part in terms of the rest you may find Ledyard Sensei's message makes more sense.

Gambarimashyo!
 
Old 01-04-2009, 06:51 PM   #96
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Clarence Couch wrote: View Post
Now, your turn: Answer these simple questions: Have you? Then is this topic moot for you?
Yes to the first question*, no to the second. However I don't think "aikido" is effective in combat. It's me who is "effective".

What about you, Gene. Have you used your Aikido in combat? How it went?

*Without destroying the universe afaik.

 
Old 01-04-2009, 07:01 PM   #97
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Clarence Couch wrote: View Post
Wow, I'm amazed at the (offended) responses to a simple inquiry. What's the problem?
The problem is that it's not a simple inquiry, it's a loaded question.
 
Old 01-04-2009, 07:40 PM   #98
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
So our heads are going to start exploding, is that the deal? Can't wait!
Hmmm, don't know where that's coming from, but...whatever floats yer boat.

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
 
Old 01-04-2009, 07:42 PM   #99
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Clarence Couch wrote: View Post
Wow, I'm so humbled and humiliated.....Nothing to do with combat? You're kidding, right? Aside from the fact that Osensei joined the Japanese military and taught high ranking officers( or anybody who'd pay- course, it was all about money/fame/prestige) his "art" of killing ( altho, some'd argue what he taught wasn't Aikido) that there's plenty of verifiable info that Osensei was the most competitive individual in all of Japan( to wit- a fact( that he carried all of his life and spoke of at every chance) that he very rarely, if ever, was beaten, at anything).
Btw, Imo, it may never get resolved because the very concept of Aiki may be the most lethal ( destructive) force in the Universe.
Clarence,
It's always interesting to me that the folks who wish to maintain that Aikido is about fighting / combat pretty much choose to ignore the entire last half of the Founder's life.

What he did in the 30's was highly influenced by the times. Not to mention that what he taught initially during that period was Daito Ryu and not Aikido. Shioda, Mochizuki, Shirata, and Tomiki Senseis all had certificates in Daito Ryu. Of these students, all chose to go their own way after the war except for Shirata who stayed with the Aikikai and the Ueshiba family. O-Sensei's take on things evolved continuously until he died in 1969 yet the folks who want Aikido to be the ultimate fighting system pretty much ignore everything after 1940.

There is only a little published material by the Founder from the pre-war period. There is quite a lot more of his writings and even more of his lectures from the post war period. I can find absolutely no indication in these post war works that would lead me to believe that the Founder thought he was creating a system of combat. In fact, it was exactly the opposite.

Yes, the revisionists say! Those works were heavily edited by the Founder's son and the senior uchi deshi like Arikawa and Osawa senseis. They would maintain that they distorted the presentation of the Founder's ideas.

I think the "distortion" idea is valid in the sense that they clearly did two things after the war in their marketing of the Founder. First, like everyone else in Japan, they created distance from the militarists responsible for the war. I know there is continued debate to what extent the Founder shared the views of these men. I know in my own case I have several very close friends in Aikido with whom I share not one shred of agreement on political matters, so I am dubious that O-Sensei was a closet war criminal. I think one needs to go by his actual statements and actions rather than impute guilt by association. Anyway, whatever his views before the war, he was explicit after the war. Aikido is a form of misogi. He created it essentially by channeling insights given him by the Kami. It was created as a way to make the world a better place. Period. He repeats variations on that theme in everything he said and wrote until his death. His son, Kisshomaru recounts these statements as well. My own teacher, Saotome Sensei was with the Founder for 15 years and states the same thing. He once told us that if we were worried about self defense we should by a gun. Aikido was for personal development.

The second distortion by the inheritors of the system after the war was to remove much of the Shinto underpinning in the Founder's explanation of the art. This was partly as part of the above mentioned distancing from the militarists but also simply practical as no one really understood what the old fellow was talking about most of the time.

But to the extent that they did communicate his spiritual ideas, it was clear that the overwhelming message was bringing the world together, creating world Peace, the nature of True Budo as Love, etc.The practice of the art is misogi. He flat out, on innumerable occasions, states that the art is not for the destruction of ones enemies. That's a pretty straight forward statement, not hugely open to wide interpretation I think. Since a martial art that is a combat system would certainly be, first and foremost, about the destruction of ones enemies we must conclude that, ipso facto, Aikido is not an art concerned with combat.

Now, it is not the fault of the art itself that there are practitioners who fail to understand the Founder's message and insist on shaping the art to their preconceptions. As Ellis Amdur so eloquently pointed out, there have been a number of folks doing and even teaching the art who have been quite violent. The techniques of the art and it's training methodology lend themselves to abuse and I wouldn't train with anyone I didn't trust because of that. But that isn't the fault of the Founder or the art itself. It is a problem inherent in having human beings, with all their flaws, practicing the art. But the Founder was widely quoted as saying that "no one is doing my Aikido" and the idea that his concern was that the art as done by these folks wasn't combat oriented enough just isn't born out by the facts at hand. Rather, it seems clear, at least to me that he bemoaned the fact that his students seemed so preoccupied by technique and did not seem as interested in the spiritual principles underlying the art as would have wished.

Three teachers stand out as having tried to understand O-Sensei's Aikido as he himself understood it. Stan Pranin held that Sunadomari Sensei (an Omotokyo follower), Hikitsuchi Sensei (a Shinto Priest), and Abe Sensei were the three students of the Founder who pursued the spiritual side of the art as the Founder had taught it. Not one of these teachers has maintained that Aikido is a combat art. Once again, quite the opposite.

Now there are certainly teachers of styles that fall under the rubric of Aikido that concern themselves more with application. But each of these styles was started by a teacher who saw himself unable to follow O-Sensei in his spiritual quest. If we are talking about the Aikido of the man who created and evolved the art and taught it until his death, then postulating that the purpose of the art was combat, that it is about destruction of some enemy, that its "reason detre" was as a defensive fighting system, is quite simply a distortion of the Founder's art.

Finally, to maintain that "the very concept of Aiki may be the most lethal ( destructive) force in the Universe" is just plain silly. Leaving out the Universe and limiting ourselves to the human realm, our unrealized natures constitute the most destructive force we must contend with. The fact that we have nukes at our disposal is far more frightening than the idea that some person of less than stellar character might posses some "aiki" skills. Let's get real here...

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
 
Old 01-04-2009, 07:55 PM   #100
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Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Marlon Hester wrote: View Post
I am the author of this post, obviously, and I want to apologize to everyone who has participated in this discussion. I should have never given the title "Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation", because that is not what I was trying to get at. This has been discussed so many times. ]My real intention for this post was to get at why we train and dedicate so much of our lives to the Martial Arts.

Regardless I can see that enough people feel strongly enough that some of you have added more then a few responses to this thread and I think thats great. My intentions were to touch on the deep rooted reasons as to why we train.

Fighting is always associated with Martial Arts and so little of what we really do can be considered fighting in the practical sense. As a newbie I wanted to first define my thoughts of the difference between fighting and actual street lethal combat. Once we came to that common ground identify whether YOU ALL felt that training for street confrontations is a realistic goal that is achievable.

Then asking the question of those that have been in training for sometime if self-defense is not the goal then what is your real purpose for dedication to the art.

So with respect to all the senior teachers and students here who feel that I am rehashing an old topic, I will say that I only meant to take this issue further a long from the same old "Aikido is to soft" or "Aikido can't beat MMA" arguments.

Having said that I really do appreciate all your comments and perspectives. Once I get up and running with my own Aikido studies I would love sharing my ongoing development of self-discovery.
Quote:
Marlon Hester wrote: View Post
My real intention for this post was to get at why we train and dedicate so much of our lives to the Martial Arts.
I enjoy the physicality of practice, the satisfaction of doing the techniques effectively. I enjoy the sweating and the exhaustion. I enjoy the effect practice has on my state of mind and the coordination of mind and body. It is addictive and I want more.

Quote:
Marlon Hester wrote: View Post
Once we came to that common ground identify whether YOU ALL felt that training for street confrontations is a realistic goal that is achievable.
It is a realistic goal but there is no way to measure if it is achievable?

David
 

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