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Old 03-22-2009, 09:07 AM   #101
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
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Re: Aikido IS a practical contemporary martial art

Quote:
Jonathan Weis wrote: View Post
Options and choices are all about what make us human and better, smarter, and more adaptable people. Because we condition our body, mind, and spirit to focus energy and move or react a certain way we can reflexively act in a myriad of ways.

I.E: If a person is charging at us with a knife we can:
*disarm them
*roll out of the way
*lock arm and pin
*throw the person
*sidestep
*Ask them to stop
etc
I think there's an important distinction to be made, though, between a)the options for response to a situation, b)the subset of those options that is within the curriculum of aikido, c)the subset of those options that you, as an individual practitioner, are capable to executing, and d)the subset of those options that you, as an individual practitioner, are capable of executing in a specific, non-theoretical encounter. Using your situation as a person charging at you with a knife as an example, aikido doesn't teach non-physical de-escalation: you can quote from "The Art of Peace" until you're blue in the face, but the truth is, you will not learn or practice these techniques as part of your aikido training. Aikido does teach a variety of physical responses, some of which you outline above, but it's not like buying a car with an option package: you buy the car, you get the power steering and built-in DVD player, but signing up for aikido (and even showing up at the dojo and training for yea many years) doesn't automatically give you the ability to roll or lock the arm or whatever. Even if you do have one of these abilities, you may not be able to execute it in a given situation, with a violent, noncompliant attacker. If the attacker is much bigger than you, your options narrow; if he/she is much faster than you, your options narrow.

This is why I find discussions about whether aikido is "practical" to be, frankly, unutterably silly. "Practical" for what, for whom, in what situation? I've never been confronted by someone charging at me with a knive, or anything remotely like that. Given that, does it make sense to judge the "practicality" of what I'm doing by how well it would work in that situation -- and who ever said that I was doing this in order to be "practical" anyway?

I think this is a guy thing, I really do. Women who train in martial arts don't so often seem to feel the need to constantly grasp for a justification for what they're doing.
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Old 03-22-2009, 01:21 PM   #102
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Re: Aikido IS a practical contemporary martial art

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post

This is why I find discussions about whether aikido is "practical" to be, frankly, unutterably silly. "Practical" for what, for whom, in what situation? I've never been confronted by someone charging at me with a knive, or anything remotely like that. Given that, does it make sense to judge the "practicality" of what I'm doing by how well it would work in that situation -- and who ever said that I was doing this in order to be "practical" anyway?
Good question. What's practical to me might be silly to you.
I think when people use the term practical it implies the martial effectiveness of Aikido in a life or death situation.

Stage aikdo might be practical for a school play but not in a fist fight. So it boils down to how you are using the word.

When I hear practical I think does it work when someone is trying to physically hurt you. The martial part of martial arts.
If someone else does aikido to get some exercise in or time away from stress then it's practical to them I guess.

If you're hungry, keep moving.
If you're tired, keep moving.
If you value you're life, keep moving.

You don't own what you can't defend
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Old 03-22-2009, 03:25 PM   #103
Aikibu
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Re: Aikido IS a practical contemporary martial art

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I think this is a guy thing, I really do. Women who train in martial arts don't so often seem to feel the need to constantly grasp for a justification for what they're doing.
HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!! You hit the nail on the head Mary!!! Most "guys" don't even know that this "self justfication" is a part of thier subconcious biology...If you're not the biggest chest thumping plumage wearing peacock on the block or the last ram standing after locking horns all day you're not getting noticed by the girls...

One of the many themes of Aikido I love is to channel this pontentially destructive male energy into something postive and productive in "nature" and not to suffer the trap of agression, escalation, and violence.

On a side note it seems that most every male student (including me) goes through a period of black belt-itis where thier technical acumen blinds them to Aikido's "spritual" purpose...Don't get me wrong but most of the Gendai Arts seem to have this "phase of development"

William Hazen
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Old 03-22-2009, 03:50 PM   #104
lbb
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Re: Aikido IS a practical contemporary martial art

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!! You hit the nail on the head Mary!!! Most "guys" don't even know that this "self justfication" is a part of thier subconcious biology...If you're not the biggest chest thumping plumage wearing peacock on the block or the last ram standing after locking horns all day you're not getting noticed by the girls...
Heh, well...I should clarify what I said, because I didn't mean it the way it sounds. Saying "it's a guy thing" would imply that it's something all guys have, and I don't believe that's true. It's just that as I was writing my comment, the thought floated through my mind that I can't remember ever seeing a woman go through the exercise of proving (or disproving) that a given martial art is "practical". I've seen women get caught up in justifying their practice (or lack thereof) based on other issues, but not practicality. I wonder if my impression has any basis in fact.
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