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Old 06-04-2009, 03:03 PM   #76
mcrow
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

As far as the training and strikes being unrealistic in Aikido:

Like any MA the techniques are meant to be adapted to situations. An judo chop is the same motion as someone might use to hit you with a bar,hammer, bottle..ect.

Now if you look at a lot of the Aikido techs they represent general motions that you can see in the real world. You just have to think more open minded and not take method so literally. Yes, the attack is a chop but what other attacks use the same type of motion? I think if you do the same for the other attacks you can come up with similar ideas.
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Old 06-04-2009, 04:18 PM   #77
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Maybe it's just me ...but

OK, i'm a newbie here and I'm starting my first Aikido class next week, just keep that in mind.

When researching Aikido while deciding on the MA I wanted to train in I noticed that there was a lot of talk about how Aikido is fake. So I looked some more, watched videos and read posts here.

I've come to a conclusion:

#1- It seems to me that people take the attacks used in traing too literally. For instance, a chop, nobody trys a judo chop in a real fight. This may be true but I'll argue that many other attacks have a similar motion: hitting with a bar,beer bottle, hammer...ect. IMO, the techs are meant to be adapted therefore in training for an attack like a chop you are training for any attack with that same basic motion.

#2- It seems to me that while in most of the videos I've watched the attacker is going with the throw. However, I don't think it is because the move does not work and they want to make it look like it does. To me it looks like the speed and power that can be applied along with the torque on the joints could mean serious injury if you attempt to resist too much. It basically comes down to "I twist this joint, you go with it or it gets busted".

I've decided that I want to train in Aikido and am totally mesmorized by Christian Tessier's skill and amd convinced that anyone who is half as good as he is can probably defend themselves quite well.

I thought, I'd post this just because there seems to be some pretty bad misconceptions about Aikido that seems to be from a lack of observation. If you watch the mechanics and physics of the demonstrations you can tell, should they go full bore, people would get hurt and people probably would fly throught the air.
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Old 06-04-2009, 04:48 PM   #78
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Re: Maybe it's just me ...but

These are pretty good observations for someone who has never had a lesson! I train so that I can take these at full bore! There are Aikidoka out there that could probably hurt you if they wanted to, no matter how good your ukemi was (ability to fall), but that's not the point. There are also Aikidoka out there that you couldn't hurt if you tried, because their ukemi is so well developed.

Have fun on your new adventure! Best of luck and Don't get hurt!

Bruno
"A warrior is not about perfection or victory or invulnerability. He's about absolute vulnerability."
- Socrates
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Old 06-04-2009, 04:58 PM   #79
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Re: Maybe it's just me ...but

Quote:
Brent Smith wrote: View Post
These are pretty good observations for someone who has never had a lesson! I train so that I can take these at full bore! There are Aikidoka out there that could probably hurt you if they wanted to, no matter how good your ukemi was (ability to fall), but that's not the point. There are also Aikidoka out there that you couldn't hurt if you tried, because their ukemi is so well developed.

Have fun on your new adventure! Best of luck and Don't get hurt!
I'm sure you are correct. If your ukemi is good you can probably limit the damage but I would imagine the average thug on the street wouldn't be able to do much against a properly applied technique.
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:17 PM   #80
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Re: Maybe it's just me ...but

Quote:
Michael Crow wrote: View Post
I'm sure you are correct. If your ukemi is good you can probably limit the damage but I would imagine the average thug on the street wouldn't be able to do much against a properly applied technique.
This is a gross simplification, by my experience has been that there is also some luck involved in "on the street" confrontations. As a teenager, I lived in an area that was invested with gangs and drugs. In fact, I literally lived next door to a major cocaine/crack dealer who worked for a Mexican cartel and who had a group of police in our [major SoCal, you would instantly recognize the name] city on his payroll. Some of the things I learned by talking with him about how "average street thugs" operate in an organized manner have stuck with me as lessons in vigilance my whole life.

As has been mentioned here, criminals, just like coyotes/hyenas in the wild, target the easiest-looking victims, and rarely confront them head-on. Much more likely is that they will hit you from behind or slash/stab at you quickly from close range with a hidden weapon if they really mean to attack. Working in pairs, one will distract your attention with menacing behavior, but will have no intent to attack; it's the guy he knows is hiding behind you somewhere that will come up and smack you in the back of the head with a blackjack. The luck I mentioned comes in play when something like this happens, and involves whether you are still physically able to get away from the attack, and whether you survive it.

I'm pretty sure there are a few LEO's on this site...they would be a much better resource for information on what goes on with street crime. But I know it's been said here before - if you want to learn effective self-defense, take a self defense class. I took one as a teenager, and they spent very little time on techniques for physically confronting people...they spent most of the time talking about how not to put yourself in a position to be a victim and how to get away from an attacker as quickly as possible if need be. The actual techniques they taught were fast, basic, brutal, and devastating. I've spent my life since hoping that I never have to do anything like that to another human being.

Just my .02...it's a good discussion going here. Thank you all for providing the food for my thoughts.
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:33 AM   #81
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Re: Maybe it's just me ...but

Quote:
Aaron Finney wrote: View Post
This is a gross simplification, by my experience has been that there is also some luck involved in "on the street" confrontations. As a teenager, I lived in an area that was invested with gangs and drugs. In fact, I literally lived next door to a major cocaine/crack dealer who worked for a Mexican cartel and who had a group of police in our [major SoCal, you would instantly recognize the name] city on his payroll. Some of the things I learned by talking with him about how "average street thugs" operate in an organized manner have stuck with me as lessons in vigilance my whole life.

As has been mentioned here, criminals, just like coyotes/hyenas in the wild, target the easiest-looking victims, and rarely confront them head-on. Much more likely is that they will hit you from behind or slash/stab at you quickly from close range with a hidden weapon if they really mean to attack. Working in pairs, one will distract your attention with menacing behavior, but will have no intent to attack; it's the guy he knows is hiding behind you somewhere that will come up and smack you in the back of the head with a blackjack. The luck I mentioned comes in play when something like this happens, and involves whether you are still physically able to get away from the attack, and whether you survive it.

I'm pretty sure there are a few LEO's on this site...they would be a much better resource for information on what goes on with street crime. But I know it's been said here before - if you want to learn effective self-defense, take a self defense class. I took one as a teenager, and they spent very little time on techniques for physically confronting people...they spent most of the time talking about how not to put yourself in a position to be a victim and how to get away from an attacker as quickly as possible if need be. The actual techniques they taught were fast, basic, brutal, and devastating. I've spent my life since hoping that I never have to do anything like that to another human being.

Just my .02...it's a good discussion going here. Thank you all for providing the food for my thoughts.
It's not a gross simplification. It's a given that there is luck invovled in any sort of threatening situation and yes, there are things you can do to avoid those types of situations. My comment was based on if you were forced to get physical in such a situation that the average thug would probably be on the sore end when faced with a skilled Aikidoka who applied the proper tech and executed it properly.

By my estimation you a grossly over complicating it.
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Old 06-06-2009, 06:39 PM   #82
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

Another reason for aspiring to take really good ukemi, to be "in the moment" if you will, is that openings will often occur. During these openings which are really noticed by "feel" at full speed allow for reversals which one cannot do if one just approaches ukemi as a kite on the end of Nage's string.
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Old 06-08-2009, 06:44 AM   #83
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Re: Maybe it's just me ...but

Quote:
Michael Crow wrote: View Post
It's not a gross simplification. It's a given that there is luck invovled in any sort of threatening situation and yes, there are things you can do to avoid those types of situations. My comment was based on if you were forced to get physical in such a situation that the average thug would probably be on the sore end when faced with a skilled Aikidoka who applied the proper tech and executed it properly.

By my estimation you a grossly over complicating it.
How is it a gross overcomplication to ask, "who do you actually think you're fighting and why have they attacked you?" Violence comes in many different forms and the assumption that there is a one-size-fits-all solution is a very dangerous one to make. It's a bit like talking about how to survive an "average car accident". It makes a significant difference whether you're talking about getting knocked down at a crossing or being in a 20-car pile up on a highway.

Let me give you some realistic violent situations:

1) Two muggers with knives want your wallet
2) A drunk guy's picking a fight with you to show off to his mates
3) A group of bikers have taken offence because they think you're misbehaving in "their bar" and aggressively tell you to leave
4) A group of teenage gang members have surrounded you and start "messing with you" in a parking lot

Which of these is your "average thug"?
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:36 AM   #84
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

What Steve said. Also:

5) Your spouse/significant other tries to physically abuse you
6) A distant relative/boyfriend of a cousin gets drunk and wants to get physical with you at a family reunion
7) A former employee whom you've had to fire comes to your home late at night, unarmed and very drunk, and wants to fight

You cannot meaningfully talk about solutions to a situation until you define what that situation is.
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Old 06-09-2009, 09:39 AM   #85
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Talking Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

"Like any MA the techniques are meant to be adapted to situations. An judo chop is the same motion as someone might use to hit you with a bar,hammer, bottle..ect.

Now if you look at a lot of the Aikido techs they represent general motions that you can see in the real world. You just have to think more open minded and not take method so literally. Yes, the attack is a chop but what other attacks use the same type of motion? I think if you do the same for the other attacks you can come up with similar ideas."


In my humble opinion, that really sums it up. The principals have certainly been proven over time, on many fields of battle and at the cost of many lives. If one makes the appropriate modifications to deal with modern attacks it really shouldn't matter who the attacker is so much as who the practitioner is.

It seems that the real issue is the Aikido practitioner who gets "locked" into the training patterns and doesn't make the necessary modifications for real combat which can be nasty, brutal, and short (ala Kant). They fall into the mental trap that they can somehow just "flip the switch" at the proper moment even though their training and resulting muscle memory say otherwise.Then there is the issue of executing technique after one has been "hit" a few times which Aikido practitioners typically are not exposed to--but that is a separate issue.
Just my 3 cents.
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:39 AM   #86
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

Hello
Yes you are right people do not really make the per-equation between, technique, training method and what you train for.
As well as I think the problem is the "all good or all bad" approach. I think you just need to recognise the limitation of what you do

If you practice an aiki--fluffy style, it is very good and more than enough to deal with a drunk or someone that attacks out of distance and over commit; I.e. Uncle Benny at a party.
It is not going to work in 1v1 or someone that will break the distance by deception and or quick but no overcommitted attack.

Usually combat sport are that useful someone that will break the distance by deception and or quick but no overcommitted attack. That being said it is fine in 1v1 and Uncle Benny case.

Really if SD is not what you do aikido for; getting punched is not really necessary or even important.
If SD is important, well yes hitting and getting hit is important and building core strength will be or dabbing into ground work as part of you aikido training

What ever approach you have your randory/kokyu nague and your basic training should reflect that.

There is really no such thing a muscle memory, however training/pressure testing condition a response to a give stimuli.
Or if you adhere to the cognitive reflex response as opposed to the standard conditioning, it will enable you to recognise a situation and cause the appropriate automatic response overriding the default flinch.
Regardless the action itself is not "conscious and cognitive" and is more a reflex/ flinch like; you will execute it as you have drilled it.

phil

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Old 06-10-2009, 09:32 AM   #87
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

Quote:
Philippe Willaume wrote: View Post
Hello

There is really no such thing a muscle memory...

Regardless the action itself is not "conscious and cognitive" and is more a reflex/ flinch like; you will execute it as you have drilled it.

phil
These two statements seem at odds with each other.

Where do you get your assertion that there is no much thing as muscle memory? I believe that it is a pretty well accepted theory of training. And your second statement, that you will do reflexively what you have trained, seems to agree with the concepts of "muscle memory".

Could you expand your distinction between the two?
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:30 AM   #88
philippe willaume
 
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

Quote:
Marc Evensen wrote: View Post
These two statements seem at odds with each other.

Where do you get your assertion that there is no much thing as muscle memory? I believe that it is a pretty well accepted theory of training. And your second statement, that you will do reflexively what you have trained, seems to agree with the concepts of "muscle memory".

Could you expand your distinction between the two?
Basically muscle memory is the same as explaining the lift on air plane wing with the Bernoulli theorem.
It is a nice shortcut but really has not that much to do with what actually happens

Muscle are not equipped to remember anything and do not have anything that can activate motor neurone directly.
Even reflexes like "tendons reflexes" a receptor have to send a message to the spine in order for the motor neurons to be activated.

That is as far as muscle "memory" goes
http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/conten.../99/2/414#SEC8
http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/content/abstract/70/2/631

It is certain that repetitive exercise has an influence on which and when motor units are fired but that depends on motor neurons not muscular fibres.

As well motor leaning have lasting effect on neuron of the motor cortex which dictates what motor neurons are activated in what order. it seems that “memory cells “ has been recently put in evidence by Dr. Emilio Bizzi and his collaborators.
(Li C-SR, Padoa-Schioppa C, Bizzi E: Neuronal correlates of motor performance and motor learning in the primary motor cortex of monkeys adapting to an external force field. Neuron 2001, 30:593-607.)

If you are interested there was an interesting thread on the flinch where reflexes vs cognition was mentioned.

phil

Last edited by philippe willaume : 06-10-2009 at 11:35 AM.

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Old 06-10-2009, 12:23 PM   #89
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

Quote:
Philippe Willaume wrote: View Post
Basically muscle memory is the same as explaining the lift on air plane wing with the Bernoulli theorem.
It is a nice shortcut but really has not that much to do with what actually happens

Muscle are not equipped to remember anything and do not have anything that can activate motor neurone directly.
Even reflexes like "tendons reflexes" a receptor have to send a message to the spine in order for the motor neurons to be activated.

That is as far as muscle "memory" goes
http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/conten.../99/2/414#SEC8
http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/content/abstract/70/2/631

It is certain that repetitive exercise has an influence on which and when motor units are fired but that depends on motor neurons not muscular fibres.

As well motor leaning have lasting effect on neuron of the motor cortex which dictates what motor neurons are activated in what order. it seems that "memory cells " has been recently put in evidence by Dr. Emilio Bizzi and his collaborators.
(Li C-SR, Padoa-Schioppa C, Bizzi E: Neuronal correlates of motor performance and motor learning in the primary motor cortex of monkeys adapting to an external force field. Neuron 2001, 30:593-607.)

If you are interested there was an interesting thread on the flinch where reflexes vs cognition was mentioned.

phil
Ah.

The muscle memory you are referring to is literal muscle memory.

You are absolutely correct that this does not exist as such. I think, however, most people refer to "muscle memory" as the process of acquiring learned motor pattern programs.

I did not realize that there was a separate "muscle memory" that referred to body building/strength training. Thank you for pointing that out as well.
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Old 06-10-2009, 12:43 PM   #90
Sy Labthavikul
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

Quote:
Philippe Willaume wrote: View Post
Basically muscle memory is the same as explaining the lift on air plane wing with the Bernoulli theorem.
It is a nice shortcut but really has not that much to do with what actually happens
Haha, agreed. I've always gotten a little annoyed when people incompletely explain aircraft lift using Bernoulli's theorem... "the air above the curved wing moves faster, so it has lower pressure than the air below it... " Sure, but who says that air moving over a curved wing moves faster? There's no such thing as "equal transit time" for air; the air above the wing will take its own damn pace traveling, thank you. BUT Bernoulli's theorem is an easy intuitive way to explain the phenomena than a messier explanation that calls on all of Newton's three laws and the Coanda effect.

Quote:
Philippe Willaume wrote: View Post
Muscle are not equipped to remember anything and do not have anything that can activate motor neurone directly.
Even reflexes like "tendons reflexes" a receptor have to send a message to the spine in order for the motor neurons to be activated.

That is as far as muscle "memory" goes
http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/conten.../99/2/414#SEC8
http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/content/abstract/70/2/631
Here we're getting into semantics, the difference between "motor memory' and "muscle memory", though semantics are definitely important.

Those are some interesting papers, but for people who don't feel like slogging through the molecular biology, they basically are about the phenomena and underlying mechanisms that govern how a given muscle has the capability to fairly rapidly re-grow in size and strength in response to exercise after a period of inactivity and atrophy IF it had exercised before; this is a truer "muscle memory" in the sense that the muscle "remembered" its previous state of conditioning and was able to better re-attain that state.

This is different from "motor memory" which is what most people use to describe the phenomena of "doing something repeatedly makes you better at doing it," since this is a function of the motor neurons and your brain, not your muscles.

[/quote]

Quote:
Philippe Willaume wrote: View Post
It is certain that repetitive exercise has an influence on which and when motor units are fired but that depends on motor neurons not muscular fibres.

As well motor leaning have lasting effect on neuron of the motor cortex which dictates what motor neurons are activated in what order. it seems that "memory cells " has been recently put in evidence by Dr. Emilio Bizzi and his collaborators.
(Li C-SR, Padoa-Schioppa C, Bizzi E: Neuronal correlates of motor performance and motor learning in the primary motor cortex of monkeys adapting to an external force field. Neuron 2001, 30:593-607.)

If you are interested there was an interesting thread on the flinch where reflexes vs cognition was mentioned.

phil
Oops, I got ahead of myself, Phillippe said it a lot more succinctly than I.

So anyway, what we're talking about really is "motor memory," the ability of our motor neurons and brains to form more efficient, faster synaptic pathways, our motor units to become increasingly more sensitive to a given neurochemical response, etc.

"Muscle memory" is something else, though for the sake of simplicity of language among laymen, I use them interchangeably too.


---------------------------------
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Old 06-10-2009, 02:33 PM   #91
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Smile Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

Quote:
Phil Van Treese wrote: View Post
As I have said before, train as though your life depends on it. What you put into Aikido is what you will get out of it, or any martial art. Does Aikido work? For me, you bet. I was in Viet Nam, Desert Storm and Mogadishu, Somalia on the Blackhawk Down Rescue mission and I actually did use aikido, and judo, to my defense. Wasn't a good thing that I had to do but that's why I am here.
This is my point. It doesn't matter what martial art you study, they can all be effective. Part of whether or not what you train will be effective falls on the shoulders of your instructor. But the majority of the responsibility of whether or not any martial art is effective rests upon the shoulders of the practitioner. Combat it combat, people get hurt in combat. If you are not willing to hurt someone while defending yourself your defense will be ineffective because your preservation is second in your mind and the safety of your attacker is first. Just my two cents.

Lyle Laizure
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Old 06-10-2009, 03:03 PM   #92
Evan Schmitt
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

Hello,

I'm brand new to this site and this is the first thread I have participated in, but I am very curious about something. There seems to be ALOT of questions similar to this, and people are very concerned and very divided about what is and is not effective. I've seen other, non-Aikido oriented sites that just hammer Aikido as completely useless and than I see Aikidoka fire back, and then what generally comes about is a number of different scenarios and how they should be handled, and which is better for what ect, ect...

My question, for anyone who knows the answer, is what is the true origin of this controversy? When did it start? Is there some historical context for why this is talked about so much or have there just been sooo many individuallly bad experiences from people who have tried Aikido that this debate has come about on it's own accord?

The second part of my question (sorry for the long post), is really just a commentary. I am a sports fanatic and have played basketball, baseball, soccer ect...my whole life. Now I'm not saying that Aikido or Martial arts are the same thing as "sport" but for every other physical activitity that we learn, it is just understood that there is an ongoing process. If you play basketball, you know that first you have to learn how to dribble, then you have to learn how to dribble with both hands, then you have to learn how to shoot a jumpshot, a ly-up ect. ect. And even once you get all of these basics down, you are no where near being able to step onto the court in a pick up game and be at all effective until you play in 100's of pick up games. Why do we treat Martial Arts (at least the physical componants of it) so differntly? There seems to be such a need to walk into a studio and in three months time we expect to "handle our selves in a street sitsuation". I just don't see how that is possible, no matter what the martial art is. Why is this the litness test for effectiveness?

I promise that will be the last time Iu write a post that long. Apologies.

Evan Schmitt
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Old 06-10-2009, 03:13 PM   #93
Ron Tisdale
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

Quote:
Why do we treat Martial Arts (at least the physical componants of it) so differntly?
Good question! No answers here except...people are LAZY.

Best,
Ron

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Old 06-10-2009, 05:00 PM   #94
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

Lazy, or they are taught by instructors that don't know better, or are lazy, or have motives that are less than genuine.

It is all about methodology and endstate. In sports it is usually pretty clear. The basketball example is a good one.

Many martial artist, usually the so-called "budo" crowd will say that they are "basketball players" (martial artist), but in reality they are "dribblers". that is, they are not practicing with the endstate in mind to play basketball, but to perfect the art of dribbling!

Hence they will practice dribbling over and over and over using different techniques, kata, and methods to perfect the art of dribbling a ball. Occasionally they will take a shot at the goal. NEVER will they get on the court with another opponent in a game!

But will talk about how well their "art of dribbling" would do in reality if they were to actually play a game!

It is funny how we adopt languaging in martial arts, it certainly is foriegn to all other practices/sports!

You'd never hear a basketball player ask "how well do you think basketball-do prepares you to play a game of basketball?"

Of course our endstates are a little less definitive, when you are talking concepts such as "self defense", and "perfecting the art of peace", and "learning to be martially effective".

I think most of us that start martial training have no real idea why we do what we do when we start and we certainly have no idea how to measure effectiveness!

It certainly leaves alot of doors open for a wide berth of interpretation about the subject that is for sure!

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Old 06-11-2009, 03:55 AM   #95
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Lazy, or they are taught by instructors that don't know better, or are lazy, or have motives that are less than genuine.

It is all about methodology and endstate. In sports it is usually pretty clear. The basketball example is a good one.

Many martial artist, usually the so-called "budo" crowd will say that they are "basketball players" (martial artist), but in reality they are "dribblers". that is, they are not practicing with the endstate in mind to play basketball, but to perfect the art of dribbling!

Hence they will practice dribbling over and over and over using different techniques, kata, and methods to perfect the art of dribbling a ball. Occasionally they will take a shot at the goal. NEVER will they get on the court with another opponent in a game!

But will talk about how well their "art of dribbling" would do in reality if they were to actually play a game!

It is funny how we adopt languaging in martial arts, it certainly is foriegn to all other practices/sports!

You'd never hear a basketball player ask "how well do you think basketball-do prepares you to play a game of basketball?"

Of course our endstates are a little less definitive, when you are talking concepts such as "self defense", and "perfecting the art of peace", and "learning to be martially effective".

I think most of us that start martial training have no real idea why we do what we do when we start and we certainly have no idea how to measure effectiveness!

It certainly leaves alot of doors open for a wide berth of interpretation about the subject that is for sure!
hello
There is truth in that


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Old 06-11-2009, 05:21 AM   #96
chuunen baka
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
You'd never hear a basketball player ask "how well do you think basketball-do prepares you to play a game of basketball?"
A thought provoking analogy but it doesn't really apply to the field of self defence. A game of basketball is not an unexpected life-threatening event. That is the core problem with discussing the effectiveness of any martial art - it is rare (thankfully) that we have to put it to the test. Sparring and grappling - all that "live" training stuff - might be useful but who was it said "In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is."

I don't train for self defence so it's not an issue for me. But if you were serious about SD, you need a bigger toolbox than Aikido provides. A serious fighter should be very fit and have some experience in a more physical throwing art (Judo or Jiujitsu) and a striking art (boxing or Karate). Aikido can add a lot to that but I don't believe that those who know only Aikido really have much hope in SD.
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:05 AM   #97
philippe willaume
 
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

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Alastair Rae wrote: View Post
A thought provoking analogy but it doesn't really apply to the field of self defence. A game of basketball is not an unexpected life-threatening event. That is the core problem with discussing the effectiveness of any martial art - it is rare (thankfully) that we have to put it to the test. Sparring and grappling - all that "live" training stuff - might be useful but who was it said "In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is."

I don't train for self defence so it's not an issue for me. But if you were serious about SD, you need a bigger toolbox than Aikido provides. A serious fighter should be very fit and have some experience in a more physical throwing art (Judo or Jiujitsu) and a striking art (boxing or Karate). Aikido can add a lot to that but I don't believe that those who know only Aikido really have much hope in SD.
May be the analogy did provoke too much thoughts. What you say is somewhat true but I think you missed his point.

What I understood in what kev said was
if you aim is to compete in judo , you need to train and practice in a relevant manner to what you want to achieve. That is fighting 1v1 with even and non changeable starting condition.

If your aim is to preserve a martial tradition as it was in 17th century Siam. You need to train and practice in a manner that is relevant to preserving the way of teaching and the technique in the 17th century warfare and the Siamese empire

If your aim is SD w you need to practice and train in a manner that is relevant to SD in the 21st century England.

It is not a matter of grappling vs striking, the str33t vs sport, it is a matter of understanding what you want to achieve and what method you need to achieve it.

If you do aikido for self defence you will have atemi that means it and you will put koshy in any wasa.
You will deal with weapons and multiple attackers.
The way you train and apply wasa and randori will reflect that.
And at least you will have take down/clinch separation defence and you will add some judo/JJ/BJJ based ground techniques adapted for MMA ground striking.

basically i thinbk his idea is more about what you want to achieve with a given MA than it is about the effectiveness of the said martial arts

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Old 06-11-2009, 07:52 AM   #98
seank
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

I've often read through these threads and not really been tempted to post in the before, but the way I look at any martial arts effectiveness always begins with the individual.

Many posts talk about life threatening situations and cross training but none of these address the lowest common denominator - how you will react in a given situation.

Some people can click into their training and react, others can become aggressive and react, others will run away and yet others will stand rooted to the spot unable to do anything.

I liken this to a bad car accident I was in a few years ago. We could see the SUV pulling out in front of us and at 110km/h there was no way of us avoiding the accident. We collided and the car came to an abrupt stop.

My very first reaction was to try to re-start the car and move it out of the way of other vehicles. Of course the front of the car had been totally destroyed so that was a non-starter. A split second later I turned to my wife, asked if she was okay and said get out of the car and get straight to the side of the road. She was in shock (as was I) but it took her valuable seconds to respond whereas I was lucky enough to keep moving.

No one was significantly injured thankfully but I turned to watch the driver of the SUV removing a broom from the back of his vehicle to sweep up debris looking as much as if he was sweeping his verandah - oblivious to everything else.

Why did the three of us have such varying reactions?

Granted, this analogy isn't strictly self-defence, moreso self-preservation, but it gave me much food for thought, and was one of things that came immediately to mind in reading this thread.

Your martial effectiveness, your ability to defend yourself goes far beyond your training of your flavour of martial art. Yes you can take the line of military training in breaking down the individual and teaching people to respond in a set fashion, but we don't train for this in the everyday world.

Will Aikido work in self-defence? I would suggest absolutely, but caveat this by saying the individual's response, the situation, their attacker(s), and virtually any other dynamic you could lay name to will impact on the effectiveness.

If you want so simply create as much damage to your attacker as possible then train an art that emphasises this, if you want to have a half a chance of not seriously injuring your oponent, Aikido gives you some options.

Nothing is ever set in stone and the fight you walk away from today could see you lying in the gutter the next day. How you react and how you respond will be feature parts of this. Does this make Aikido effective or not? That is up to the individual.

I have the benefit of being able to fall back on twenty-odd years of other martial arts training if I fail my Aikido, but I train every time to try and find a better way of confronting an attack or aggressor without the need to hurt them.

I agree wholeheartedly that your sensei have an enormous amount to do with your Aikido and the effectiveness of their teaching and your training will have an effect, but I believe it is a mistake to think of Aikido as technique-based. If you train hard enough and look hard enough you will find the answer to the question of this thread for yourself.
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:39 AM   #99
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

Alastair,

I agree that it does not apply to the field of self defense. My comments were not meant as a criticism of Aikido, but as an observation about the inference that many that practice the art (or teach it) make with respect to self defense or tactics in general.

Here are some random examples I pulled off a google search on the "about aikido" section of the website. I did not reference the website however as it is not my point to point fingers.

Traditional Aikido is distingushed by:

The ability to effectively end conflicts without violence, but the strength to use controlled force if necessary.

another one:

Practitioners find from Aikido what they are looking for, whether it is applicable self-defense technique, spiritual enlightenment, physical health or peace of mind.

These are just two websites that I pulled from in random.

So, while it may be true that you and I understand that the field of SD requires a whole different toolbox, focus, methodology, and practice....are dojos really being honest with themselves or others?

I certainly don't want to impose judgement on the two dojos (or any) that I named above, because they may indeed COMPLETELY understand this issue and practice accordingly and appropriately.

However, I think macroscopically though, it has been my experience, and based on the THOUSANDS of post on this board and others, that the whole "self defense" thing is not clearly understood by both students and teachers.

So, you have to ask the question: Does the methodology you aer using REALLY support self defense? and are we really being honest and with ourselves when we develop our "training mission statements?"

Again, in this respect, I think the basketball analogy to be a very good one!

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Old 06-11-2009, 08:58 AM   #100
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

Sean wrote:

Quote:
My very first reaction was to try to re-start the car and move it out of the way of other vehicles. Of course the front of the car had been totally destroyed so that was a non-starter. A split second later I turned to my wife, asked if she was okay and said get out of the car and get straight to the side of the road. She was in shock (as was I) but it took her valuable seconds to respond whereas I was lucky enough to keep moving.
Thanks for the great example!

This is very important to understand when talking about methodology.

We train and develop habits for driving cars daily for what is considered "normal tolerances". As long as we operate within those parameters our driving techniques can be very effective.

However, once we incur new conditions and parameters (as in your wreck example), then we end up with dissonance as you experienced when you tried to move a car with no front end on it.

I have talked to many of my fellow soldiers about the firefight/combat situations they have been in...they always experience the same thing...that is, they do things out of habit...somethings right, somethings wrong...but it is always the same conversation and experience as above.

This is important when you start talking about Self Defense or violent encounters.

"effectiveness" really is a interesting word.

It is not that our training is wrong or bad...most of what I have experienced is very good....PRINCIPALLY.

However, if you don't replicate the environmental conditions and practice in as close as possible stress, pressure, system overload...then you will not find your weaknesses and develop ways to mitigate them or develop new habits.

In reality Dissonance I think will always occur. However, I think there is much we can do to reduce it if we train properly.

If you are going to train women how to deal with the realities of violent rape, well then you need to find a 200lb guy to get up close and personal.

I personally do not feel 100% qualified to do this. Lots of pyschological issues and what not to deal with as you push people way outside of their comfort zone and maybe even cause them to re-live old traumas.

Teaching the old "high heel to the foot, kick to the balls" is okay...but it really does not completely address or prepare women for the full spectrum that will be presented in reality.

However, I think at the same time, we owe it to our students to be very honest in what we are really training them to do and exactly what the weaknesses are in their training so if they choose to go down that path, then they do so in a more infomed way.

I do though think that if someone is serious about preparing themselves to deal with this stuff that they can do so. AND I do believe that AIkido type training, done properly is a very important part of that process.

It is not, however, a quick seminar process, or a RBSD DVD solution.

It requires a multi-faceted, and a long term committment to really reach a level of understanding and training.

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