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Old 11-25-2009, 12:18 PM   #1
Eric Winters
Dojo: Aikido of San Leandro and Berkeley
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Training for a physical confrontation

Hello everyone,

This topic has probably come up before but I am just to lazy to look it up and it is also good to get new insights.

What are some ways of training in the dojo that would help better prepare a person for a physical confrontation with another person? I understand there are all kinds of variables but lets just look at the basic, two people getting into a fight. I also understand that Aikido is much more than just the physical techniques and there are many other great benefits for practicing aikido. That is why I have trained in aikido as long as I have.

I have been training in Aikido for almost 20 years and have about a year of training in each of these systems. Krav Maga, BJJ, Tae Kwon Do and Chinese Kenpo. I have taken some of their training methods and incorporated them when I teach but I would also like to here the opinions of others that are more experienced than me or others that are just really good at this stuff.

Thanks,

Eric
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Old 11-25-2009, 01:09 PM   #2
lbb
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Re: Training for a physical confrontation

Quote:
Eric Winters wrote: View Post
What are some ways of training in the dojo that would help better prepare a person for a physical confrontation with another person? I understand there are all kinds of variables but lets just look at the basic, two people getting into a fight.
There is no such thing as "the basic, two people getting into a fight."
  • Why are they fighting?
  • Did one attack the other?
  • Why did the one attack the other?
  • Are they drunk?
  • Are they arguing over a football game?
  • What is their intention: to steal a wallet, to maim, to kill, or some vague dufus notion of "teaching a lesson"?
  • Does either of them have any level of training or experience in physical confrontations?
  • Where is the "fight" taking place?
  • Is either of them armed? If so, with what weapon, and what's their skill level?
I had a boss once who would always put the brakes on his engineers by asking, "What is the problem you are trying to solve?" If we tried to insist that nevermind all that, just listen to my really cool solution, he'd laugh and laugh and laugh, and say, "How do you think you're going to accomplish anything if you don't know what you're hoping to accomplish?" It annoyed the hell out of me at the time, but it's saved me innumerable trouble in the years since.

IMO, preparing for some generic "physical confrontation" is a waste of time, exceeded perhaps only by preparing for a confrontation that comes straight out of a comic book or a bad martial arts movie and that will never happen to you in real life.
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Old 11-25-2009, 01:23 PM   #3
Victoria Pitt
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Re: Training for a physical confrontation

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
IMO, preparing for some generic "physical confrontation" is a waste of time, exceeded perhaps only by preparing for a confrontation that comes straight out of a comic book or a bad martial arts movie and that will never happen to you in real life.
I disagree. It will happen if you go looking for it which begs to ask, why look for it?

If you have to "prepare" for a fight, you don't stand a chance. You learn things for yourself. You are in tune with your body. Know your limitations. When a true fight breaks out, they never go according to the plans you lay in your head. I know very little when it comes to Aikido but maybe I will use an example anyway- Think of doing roundori. You can't plan exactly what move your going to use when and what direction you're going to go in. You go with the flow.

Prepping for a fight is the wrong attitude to have. Prepping yourself and being the best you can be is the right one to have. Then there is no think if the time should come, there is just do.

Last edited by Victoria Pitt : 11-25-2009 at 01:26 PM.

~Do one thing each day that scares you...~
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Old 11-25-2009, 01:43 PM   #4
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Training for a physical confrontation

I'm with Mary and her list of questions really.

Context is very important.

Taking all that away.

At what range are you practicing?
What Weapons are available?
What is the environmental considerations?
Access to friends?
What is your "point of failure", and is that the place you are going to train from?

Setting up scenario based training after figuring out these questions is probably the best way to train.

Actually I think you approach it just like an engineering problem as Mary states.

"What problem are you trying to solve?"

What are your inputs, situational factors, and desired outcomes?

From there you can then develop assessment critieria in order to gather feedback from the situation, make an assessment and adjust accordingly.

I think training like this, that is, dynamic, is something that simply cannot be boiled down to steps 1,2, and 3. Each person needs to experience it for themselves, have decent observers to critique and then develop your own "game" so to speak.

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Old 11-25-2009, 02:07 PM   #5
Eric Winters
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Re: Training for a physical confrontation

Hello,

Maybe I should be more specific. I did not want this to be a debate as to what is a fight or what kind of fight you are getting into and why etc. It also is not a aikido does not work in a "real" fight debate.

How about how best to train for a fully resistant opponent.
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Old 11-25-2009, 02:09 PM   #6
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Training for a physical confrontation

With a fully resistant opponent.

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Old 11-25-2009, 02:33 PM   #7
chillzATL
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Re: Training for a physical confrontation

Quote:
Eric Winters wrote: View Post
Hello,

Maybe I should be more specific. I did not want this to be a debate as to what is a fight or what kind of fight you are getting into and why etc. It also is not a aikido does not work in a "real" fight debate.

How about how best to train for a fully resistant opponent.
Questions and comments tend to get over-analyzed and over-philosophized around here, but it's pretty simple. Realistic attacks from someone who is going to resist you as much as possible.

Trade out our traditional attacks for the kind of attacks you're going to see on the street and make sure they follow through. This means you might get hit and it means that if they resist you the entire way, they may fall like someone on the street and that's not going to feel good. As uke, work on the bag a bit throwing those attacks (if they're not natural to you) and change it up. Let uke be completely random in what they do so that you have to react naturally.

Keep in mind, there is middle ground there. You can give a 80-90% speed attack and resist 80-90% of the way and still feel good about what you're doing working for you in a real situation while still maintaining some level of safety for you and uke. It doesn't have to be all out, 100%, for you to know that what what you're doing is effective. Uke simply needs to attack with intent and you need to be decisive and quick in your actions with both of you being prepared for what comes next.

Above all, ease into it, take your time and build up to the level that you want to be at.

Last edited by chillzATL : 11-25-2009 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 11-25-2009, 02:41 PM   #8
lbb
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Re: Training for a physical confrontation

Quote:
Eric Winters wrote: View Post
Hello,

Maybe I should be more specific. I did not want this to be a debate as to what is a fight or what kind of fight you are getting into and why etc. It also is not a aikido does not work in a "real" fight debate.

How about how best to train for a fully resistant opponent.
Nobody's debating anything so far; I'm just saying that you need to set some parameters before you can answer your question. Even "a fully resistant[sic] opponent" isn't quite enough: is this a life-or-death situation, or just a really drunk Uncle Joe who wants to prove to you that all that dancing around in a skirt can't match what he learned in the Army thirty years ago? In one situation, the response is lethal force; in the other, it's not. I think that's an important consideration in self-defense strategies but YMMV.
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Old 11-25-2009, 02:59 PM   #9
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Training for a physical confrontation

Aw Mary, you didn't mention the Circus Ponies....

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Nobody's debating anything so far; I'm just saying that you need to set some parameters before you can answer your question. Even "a fully resistant[sic] opponent" isn't quite enough: is this a life-or-death situation, or just a really drunk Uncle Joe who wants to prove to you that all that dancing around in a skirt can't match what he learned in the Army thirty years ago? In one situation, the response is lethal force; in the other, it's not. I think that's an important consideration in self-defense strategies but YMMV.

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 11-25-2009, 02:59 PM   #10
Rob Watson
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Re: Training for a physical confrontation

Quote:
Eric Winters wrote: View Post
How about how best to train for a fully resistant opponent.
Don't train but instead do. I used to offer hoodlums cash if they could knock me out to get some real 'flavor'.

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
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Old 11-25-2009, 03:04 PM   #11
Charles Hill
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Re: Training for a physical confrontation

Hi Eric,

I have been training in Systema for about 4 years and it is chock full of great ideas for what you are looking for. One thing off the top of my head is: before simple one guy attacks, another defends type practice, have the defender do 10 to 20 pushups. This will tire him/her out and simulate the stress he/she will feel in a real situation.
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:09 PM   #12
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Training for a physical confrontation

Quote:
Eric Winters wrote: View Post
Hello,

Maybe I should be more specific. I did not want this to be a debate as to what is a fight or what kind of fight you are getting into and why etc. It also is not a aikido does not work in a "real" fight debate.

How about how best to train for a fully resistant opponent.
Okay. Come visit me and we will go into a room and I will attack you fully resistive wiith no holds barred and then we can talk after that.

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Old 11-25-2009, 06:46 PM   #13
Eric Winters
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Re: Training for a physical confrontation

Really? It is hard to get the meaning of your response when not discussing in person. But I read your response as some sort of challenge. If so, I am not sure how my question came off as aggressive: I really was just asking for some extra help and training methods for teaching those who would benefit from this sort of training.

Thanks to those who have given me helpful suggestions. Please keep them coming.
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:55 PM   #14
Eric Winters
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Re: Training for a physical confrontation

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
Don't train but instead do. I used to offer hoodlums cash if they could knock me out to get some real 'flavor'.
Thanks for the great advice Rob. One of my favorite training methods is walking down the street in West Oakland carrying a sign saying " Please rob me I have a Rolex and three hundred dollars in my pocket!"

PS: I hope to see you at the dojo soon but I hurt my shoulder so it could be awhile.
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:12 PM   #15
Rob Watson
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Re: Training for a physical confrontation

Quote:
Eric Winters wrote: View Post
PS: I hope to see you at the dojo soon but I hurt my shoulder so it could be awhile.
Sorry to hear about the shoulder ...

Maybe we can 'play' during jiyukeiko some time and I'll let my hair down.

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:24 PM   #16
Eric Winters
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Re: Training for a physical confrontation

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
Sorry to hear about the shoulder ...

Maybe we can 'play' during jiyukeiko some time and I'll let my hair down.
Sweet.
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:42 PM   #17
Rob Watson
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Re: Training for a physical confrontation

Quote:
Eric Winters wrote: View Post
What are some ways of training in the dojo that would help better prepare a person for a physical confrontation with another person?
Adrenaline is the biggest differentiation in my book. Toby Threadgill talks about this and it would be interesting to see if we can't get so clues from that area.

http://www.shinyokai.com/Essays_PCSConditioning.htm

There are others as well ("real fighting" by Quinn) which I can loan you but I don't think it goes into much depth besides pumping their service/program.

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
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Old 11-25-2009, 08:23 PM   #18
eyrie
 
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Re: Training for a physical confrontation

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
With a fully resistant opponent.
But not as much fun as tauromachy.

Ignatius
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Old 11-25-2009, 09:03 PM   #19
lbb
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Re: Training for a physical confrontation

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Aw Mary, you didn't mention the Circus Ponies....
Circus Ponies are an advanced topic, only for people who really want to get all hardcore realistic street-lethal and stuff. It's not clear to me that OP is in that category.
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Old 11-25-2009, 09:31 PM   #20
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Training for a physical confrontation

Quote:
Eric Winters wrote: View Post
Really? It is hard to get the meaning of your response when not discussing in person. But I read your response as some sort of challenge. If so, I am not sure how my question came off as aggressive: I really was just asking for some extra help and training methods for teaching those who would benefit from this sort of training.

Thanks to those who have given me helpful suggestions. Please keep them coming.
Understand, no I don't mean it as some sort of challenge other than to answer your question since you are looking for an answer to how to train against a fully resistant opponent.

The only way you can do this is against a fully resistant opponent.

The questions that Mary and I posed were not meant to discuss the value of aikido in a fight, or if it works...only to define the parameters of the situation.

Your response back to this was, "no, I don't want to debate this, I want to know methods for training against a fully resistant opponent."

Hence my answer. It is about the only way I could answer that question since you don't seem to want to discuss parameters.

There really is no other way to do this. My best advice is to attend a school like those offered by Tony Blauer that do this type of stuff on a fairly fully resistive manner with the right gear and the right supervision.

What you will find when you take this course is that Tony's folks will spend a fair amount of time upfront in the classroom talking about fighting, fighitng paradigms, applications, strategies, assumptions, mindset etc...same type of questions we posed above.

From there, they will put you through various drills, forming a frame, thai clinching, clinching, takedowns, dominate body position recover. It really is that simple no big secrets to be had really...other than practice, practice, practice.

So, when I say "come meet with me and I will attack you fully resistant."

I say it i the most sincere way.

But, also please understand, that you basically kinda cut us off at the knees by dismissing the things we were talking about concerning establishing criteria/parameters...so if you can't discuss those.....then all that is left is to say "okay, well lets fight and then we will discuss it."

See my point?

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Old 11-25-2009, 09:39 PM   #21
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Training for a physical confrontation

Here are some scenarios:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynxau0vG8lw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RROf...eature=related

Caveat: I don't necessarily agree with everything Tony does with Spear, but I think it is a good system, better than most for sure.

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Old 11-26-2009, 05:15 AM   #22
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Training for a physical confrontation

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
But not as much fun as tauromachy.
Of course, there's nothing like hanmi handachi waza with a 500 kg uke.

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Old 11-26-2009, 10:10 AM   #23
Eric Winters
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Re: Training for a physical confrontation

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Understand, no I don't mean it as some sort of challenge other than to answer your question since you are looking for an answer to how to train against a fully resistant opponent.

The only way you can do this is against a fully resistant opponent.

The questions that Mary and I posed were not meant to discuss the value of aikido in a fight, or if it works...only to define the parameters of the situation.

Your response back to this was, "no, I don't want to debate this, I want to know methods for training against a fully resistant opponent."

Hence my answer. It is about the only way I could answer that question since you don't seem to want to discuss parameters.

There really is no other way to do this. My best advice is to attend a school like those offered by Tony Blauer that do this type of stuff on a fairly fully resistive manner with the right gear and the right supervision.

What you will find when you take this course is that Tony's folks will spend a fair amount of time upfront in the classroom talking about fighting, fighitng paradigms, applications, strategies, assumptions, mindset etc...same type of questions we posed above.

From there, they will put you through various drills, forming a frame, thai clinching, clinching, takedowns, dominate body position recover. It really is that simple no big secrets to be had really...other than practice, practice, practice.

So, when I say "come meet with me and I will attack you fully resistant."

I say it i the most sincere way.

But, also please understand, that you basically kinda cut us off at the knees by dismissing the things we were talking about concerning establishing criteria/parameters...so if you can't discuss those.....then all that is left is to say "okay, well lets fight and then we will discuss it."

See my point?
Hello Kevin,

Thanks for the clarification. I had wanted to avoid the thread the drifting towards the "Aikido does not work in a fight" or other related subject because people would dismiss this thread without really paying attention. I was thinking more towards drills to ease people into the fully resistant partner while minimizing injuries as much as possible. Also, because there are so many variables and it is impossible to train for all of them, I thought that getting someone to the point of being able to apply technique to a resisting partner would be a good starting point.

Thanks for suggesting a Tony Blauer seminar. I have thought about trying to get to that type of seminar before.

Sorry for the misunderstanding Kevin and Mary.

Best,

Eric
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Old 11-26-2009, 10:37 AM   #24
Rob Watson
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Re: Training for a physical confrontation

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Of course, there's nothing like hanmi handachi waza with a 500 kg uke.
Nice to touch throw at 1:55 ...

Looks easy ... once one knows how the bull will react. Of course, one horn to the guts will make it look much less easy.

How do they keep their pants so nice and white? Really, the key to any physical confrontation is to come out with ones pants intact and clean is for bonus points.

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
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Old 11-26-2009, 11:05 AM   #25
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Training for a physical confrontation

Quote:
Eric Winters wrote: View Post
What are some ways of training in the dojo that would help better prepare a person for a physical confrontation with another person? I understand there are all kinds of variables but lets just look at the basic, two people getting into a fight. I also understand that Aikido is much more than just the physical techniques and there are many other great benefits for practicing aikido. That is why I have trained in aikido as long as I have.
To my mind the "whys" which lead to a physical confrontation are good for prevention, but for dealing with one it's best to look at the underlying principles of force and timing and then tweak them by applying different constraints.
For dealing with resistance levels, I like the method of graduating the intensity: starting out with no resistance and then applying very little, then a bit more and so on. How far to go with it depends on the abilities of the parties involved, but that's one good way to see how resistance levels affect waza.
I also really like kaeshiwaza because it teaches possibilities for regaining the initiative and shows some important factors for how that can be done in the first place. I feel like I've learned a lot about proper posture and engagement/relaxation from kaeshi waza...relatively speaking anyway.
One of the most important aspects of training for me has to do with dealing with different body types because they have different structural qualities. Different people generate power from different parts of the body, sometimes dramatically so. So with that in mind I guess I'd suggest trying to think of variables like that and then playing with them individually. For example, trying the same technique at different ranges (arms almost fully extended; almost fully "contracted;" one arm constrained; etc.).
Graduated speed is another training method I personally like. Training slow I like that it allows me to explore the moment a bit more, while training somewhat fast I have to learn how to move without thinking.
...Stuff like that.
Gambatte!
Matt

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