Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > General

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-11-2010, 12:06 PM   #76
dps
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,081
Offline
Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

Quote:
Kenneth Bryan wrote: View Post

What I was saying is that it is far easier to gain the "enlighenmet" if you understand what you are doing is viable.
Which is why the goal of making what you are doing viable is more important than making your goal enlightenment.

Look at the life of O'Sensei. He reached his enlightenment as a result of his goal for strength and martial mastery.

David
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2010, 12:55 PM   #77
C. David Henderson
Location: Santa Fe New Mexico
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 607
United_States
Offline
Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

Really? Or did he create his budo out of an enlightenment experience animated by his religious practices? And did his "golden light experience," while reportedly taking place after an encounter with a kendo expert, occur because he practiced a viable budo, or because his budo already was infused and informed by his spiritual practices?

I frankly don't know how to answer this, but it seems like a chicken-and-egg proposition. I think I recall reading, however, that after he begin to involve himself more deeply in his religious practices others reported a marked jump in his "power" as a martial artist.

Respectfully,

cdh
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2010, 12:59 PM   #78
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,620
Offline
Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Which is why the goal of making what you are doing viable is more important than making your goal enlightenment.

Look at the life of O'Sensei. He reached his enlightenment as a result of his goal for strength and martial mastery.

David
David,
I am sorry but that simply is not the case... He reached Enlightenment, so to speak, because he performed all sorts of meditative / misogi exercises every day of his adult life. He spent more time on those than he ever did working on his martial waza. In the end he created Aikido to bring his waza into accord with his spiritual work not the other way around.
- George

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2010, 02:00 PM   #79
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,620
Offline
Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Which is why the goal of making what you are doing viable is more important than making your goal enlightenment.
What is viable David? Does it mean that if someone grabs you as they do in class you can perform a given technique? Then sure, I am all over that. But what does that have to do with the ability to defend oneself? As folks are so fond of pointing out, no one attacks that way.

Real world attacks are almost always ambushes, meant to take you by surprise and defeat you before any waza you might know could be utilized. In most cases, predators work in groups so we are talking about multiple attacker situations. In a very significant number, we are talking about weapons (enough that you have to assume the presence of weapons when you train). In that kind of situation, the first guy you touch needs to go down and not get up.

Is that what you are training for in your Aikido? If so you must be training quite differently than any Aikido I have seen. If self defense in a bar is your goal, you need to train in an environment in which there is furniture, non-combatants, the need to integrate verbal along with physical technique. You need to practice in the type of clothes and footwear you'd be wearing. I have never seen Aikido practiced that way. It's the same if you want to use your skills out on the street... You need to train on slippery pavement, amongst parked cars, etc.

Peyton Quinn, who has actually used his Aikido in real situations once said, "You'd be amazed how well iriminage works when you bounce the guys head off the bar..." Is that what you mean by making your technique viable? Because that's what the stuff looks like in a fight. Are you training that way in your dojo? I'm not saying you have to actually practice it that way... but you have to be thinking about it that way when you practice or you won't apply it that way when you are in the middle of it.

It's not about how hard you throw, it's not about how strong your wrist locks are, or if you can move a guy who trying not to move. If you want viable self defense capability, you need to get out of the dojo and cross train, preferably do some scenario based training in which you can check out if your Aikido works in the environment in which you might have to apply the technique. You need to work on your Aikido with people who aren't doing Aikido.

The amount of wishful thinking in Aikido is tremendous. All sorts of folks convince themselves that what they are doing is martial and "viable" simply because they train roughly. If people are getting injured on the mat, then it must be "real", not like those Aiki bunnies. A lot of this is just samurai wanna be non-sense. When I was younger and not so smart I had a lot of that in me. A lot of years of training has shown me how silly I was. I have done combat arts and Aikido, in any way it is normally practiced, in the vast majority of styles, simply isn't one. Attempting to make it into one is like trying to rebuild your Rolls and make it a hot street racing car. No matter how you try, it will never be that because it was designed to be something else.

If one trains properly, a certain amount of self defense skill will be a by product of the training, yes. But if that is your prime concern, you should do another type of training and / or get out and practice your stuff outside of the dojo.

I only go on about this because I see so many people absolutely missing what is deep and amazing about the art in an effort to shape it into something it is not. There is way better training out there for straight self defense; if that's the primary concern, one should go do that training. Why do you think that there is not a single military, law enforcement, corrections, security, executive protection, or personal protection organization out there which uses Aikido as the central core of its defensive system? It's because it's too complex, hard to train, takes too long, focuses on a lower level of force application than what is required in many situations, etc.

I am really serious about this... If you live in an dangerous area in which you expect to have to defend yourself, or you hang around in bars with men consuming alcohol with some frequency, or you have a stalker problem, or any serious violent threat to your physical well being, do some other training. Don't live in some fantasy that your dojo Aikido training will protect you and your family. It might... but there is a lot of training out there that would be a thousand times more certain if that were my major concern for doing a martial art. This is not Aikido's weakness, it is its strength, in my opinion. But I realize that this isn't necessarily something on which everyone would agree with me.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2010, 02:05 PM   #80
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,655
United_States
Offline
Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I am really serious about this... If you live in an dangerous area in which you expect to have to defend yourself, or you hang around in bars with men consuming alcohol with some frequency, or you have a stalker problem, or any serious violent threat to your physical well being, do some other training.
...and some other things besides training, too. There are many options for dealing with threats, including some very simple, direct, common-sense things like (for example, if you're being stalked) making sure that the building security where you work and live is aware of the problem. If your well-being is in danger, it's probably wise to employ more than just one option in dealing with it, or at least take multiple options into consideration.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2010, 02:34 PM   #81
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,620
Offline
Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
If your well-being is in danger, it's probably wise to employ more than just one option in dealing with it, or at least take multiple options into consideration.
Hi Mary,
This is absolutely true. Real self defense systems are layered. They must address multiple situations, and multiple levels of force. A real defensive system should include weapons training, empty hand training, weapons retention, grappling, use of force training, etc.

A lot of self defense is about strategy as much as technique. And the strategies must take into consideration what your personal requirements are. Are you an LE professional, are you in the military and on the front line? Are you doing executive protection or are you a civilian who just needs some capability just in case?

What many men mean when they say they want to be able to defend themselves is that they want to be able to hang at their local bar or pub and not worry about getting beaten up. Is it really worth taking all the time, money and effort which martial arts training requires just to be able to do that? Or would it be simpler not to hang around in places like that?

You know where Aikido really shines in terms of real world application? Low level force restraint for law enforcement, corrections, and security personnel and weapons retention for anyone carrying a firearm (or other weapon) That's where dojo training most directly applies to some real world application.

Most civilians have little need for low level force restraint capability. Women have almost none. Almost any defensive situation a typical civilian might encounter would be at a threat level in which high level impact techniques or deadly force would be appropriate. Facing a threat of a certain level and responding at an insufficiently low level of force can be disastrous. That's why Aikido, which largely focuses on lower level force application, is not a great art as the foundation for a layered self defense system. Study something that teaches you how to take someone out, fast and violently, then add Aikido to give you some options. I'd have firearms as part of that system unless that was simply impossible for legal reasons and if I couldn't I'd have a couple layers of weapons capability, maybe even if I could.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2010, 10:22 PM   #82
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,371
Germany
Offline
Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

Agree a 100% with your last post George!

  Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 03:09 AM   #83
Michael Fitzgerald
Dojo: AikiKai
Location: Canberra
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 41
Australia
Offline
Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
How do you measure martial ineffectiveness? Can you do so in a dojo?

David
I think honesty, real honesty- with yourself, and the ability to be deadly serious (I don't mean gruff or terse) are madatory if you want to develop 'martial' effectiveness through your Aikido or Karate or whatever etc.
ask yourself- can I look death in the face and maintain a fixed purpose?
This is a tough call, most people aren't capable of answering it honestly.
I mention this aspect because most people (I am guessing) will focus on the 'martial' effectiveness of their physical techniques- and define this by whether there is anyone in their dojo that can 'defeat' their awesome [insert technique name].
I think this type of thinking is a mistake.

drilling your physical techniques is an important aspect of honing martial skill- but your attitude- not only to training, but to your life- the life you are responsible for preserving, is in my opinion a governing factor.

Soo...can you gauge your attitude in the dojo and apply observations from that analysis to your life outside the Dojo?

I think I can.

BTW, I am obviously not an acomplished academic or vastly experienced in Aikido- i am just offering my opinion to add to the discussion- so please don't come at me with that "you can't tell me about boats, I know bout boats!" malarchy. Just take it for what it's worth to you.

kthx.

P.S. this is my deadly serious face
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 07:17 AM   #84
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,371
Germany
Offline
Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

It requires only two things. The physical means to do something about it, and two, the willingness to take action.

  Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 10:01 AM   #85
mickeygelum
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
mickeygelum's Avatar
Dojo: Warren Budokan, Ohio USA
Location: Youngstown, Ohio
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 502
United_States
Offline
Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

Quote:
It requires only two things. The physical means to do something about it, and two, the willingness to take action.
Quite true, Kevin.

Take Kevin's statement, sit in front of a mirror, look yourself straight in the eye and ask yourself the questions....the answer will be readily known.

Train diligently, train well,

Mickey
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 10:24 AM   #86
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,620
Offline
Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

Quote:
Michael Fitzgerald wrote: View Post
I think honesty, real honesty- with yourself, and the ability to be deadly serious (I don't mean gruff or terse) are madatory if you want to develop 'martial' effectiveness through your Aikido or Karate or whatever etc.
ask yourself- can I look death in the face and maintain a fixed purpose?
This is a tough call, most people aren't capable of answering it honestly.
I mention this aspect because most people (I am guessing) will focus on the 'martial' effectiveness of their physical techniques- and define this by whether there is anyone in their dojo that can 'defeat' their awesome [insert technique name].
I think this type of thinking is a mistake.

drilling your physical techniques is an important aspect of honing martial skill- but your attitude- not only to training, but to your life- the life you are responsible for preserving, is in my opinion a governing factor.

Soo...can you gauge your attitude in the dojo and apply observations from that analysis to your life outside the Dojo?

I think I can.

BTW, I am obviously not an acomplished academic or vastly experienced in Aikido- i am just offering my opinion to add to the discussion- so please don't come at me with that "you can't tell me about boats, I know bout boats!" malarchy. Just take it for what it's worth to you.

kthx.

P.S. this is my deadly serious face
Michael,
This is VERY nice.
- George

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 04:30 PM   #87
Rob Watson
Location: CA
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 698
United_States
Offline
Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

Quote:
Michael Gelum wrote: View Post
Quite true, Kevin.

Take Kevin's statement, sit in front of a mirror, look yourself straight in the eye and ask yourself the questions....the answer will be readily known.

Train diligently, train well,

Mickey
This is why the mirror is one of the 'big three' in Japan. Polish the mirror everyday the ensure accurate reflection.

"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.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 05:09 PM   #88
Stormcrow34
Dojo: Yoseikan Budo
Location: Florida
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 96
United_States
Offline
Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
It requires only two things. The physical means to do something about it, and two, the willingness to take action.
Agreed. Your posts are always spot on Kevin.

And to add to that, I think it helps to sit down and honestly decide what is and isn't worth taking action over before the "moment of truth arrives". Make a list now. The last thing we need is a mind muddied and bogged down with an ethical dilemma and a physical freeze while being assaulted.

Last edited by Stormcrow34 : 01-12-2010 at 05:13 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 05:13 PM   #89
Stormcrow34
Dojo: Yoseikan Budo
Location: Florida
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 96
United_States
Offline
Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
This is why the mirror is one of the 'big three' in Japan. Polish the mirror everyday the ensure accurate reflection.
Interesting, what are the other two?
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 06:20 PM   #90
Andrew Macdonald
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 126
Offline
Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

morning everyone

(before morning coffee so this might have to be edited at a later date, please don;t hate me for my lack of caffine)

this is a good an interesting topic, and one that all people in the martial arts have to deal with at some time)

there are many many things you have to consider for Martial effectiveness. Alot of people tried to defien what this effectiveness meant in Aikido, for me this is kind of answer b looking at the training, i am not trained to dodge bullets so i will not ask my aikido to be effective against that, yes i might be able to rol out of the way but that would be down to luck i thnk that any so of battle plan,

Aikido is not a sport so again i would not be expecting myself to go in to a karate arena and conme out with a gold medal, i would hope thoguh that i could use my footwork and some technique to get out of the way (kararte people that i have met punch really hard )

how ever if i am attacked in the street byone or more people that i would expect my aikido to be of some use to me,

by this i don;t mean that i am going to be doing very clean teachniques and walk away without a scratch but that i can use the attirbutes that i learn in aikido , footwork, unbalancing, joint control... to survivie, as this is the area that I am training aikido for

again when you get in to symantics like that you can argue forever about the emanig behind a word or phrase

to make you Aikido effective, you really need good partners, and you need to do resistant training, parneter that are not going ot 'let you off' with having opening in your technique, lots of time in the dojo i have been doing a technique and my uke (for many reason, sometime a higher grade who whants to point somethig out, sometimes a lower grade who isn't sure of the ukemi) has shaken me off and walked out out of the tech.

so muy tachniques have alot of openings, i need to tighten them up, and i need my uke to really try to attack me

mindset is also very inportant, if you are not used to physcial confronttation your stuff will have less chance of working, i have done some training with solders and one of thier ideas it to do some really hig impact CV training and then wheny ou are at your limit then attack each other, you are to tired to think, and you just react

very very nice training in my opinion

if you want to check more on reality training and the adreneline dump check out Geoff Thompson, excellent Martial artist. has writtne alot about effective training
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2010, 07:37 PM   #91
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,655
United_States
Offline
Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

Quote:
Michael Crowell wrote: View Post
Interesting, what are the other two?
Is this a reference to the "three sacred treasures" (the sword, the jewel and the mirror)? These are three artifacts that all have their place in the legends of the founding of the Japanese nation. I remember the story of the sword, but I've forgotten the other two.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2010, 04:59 AM   #92
Lyle Bogin
Dojo: Shin Budo Kai
Location: Manhattan
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 588
United_States
Offline
Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

My karate chop is bigger than your karate chop. And my stare is much harder.

"The martial arts progress from the complex to the simple."
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2010, 09:11 AM   #93
Stephen Kotev
Location: Metro D.C. Area
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 71
United_States
Offline
Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
What is viable David? Does it mean that if someone grabs you as they do in class you can perform a given technique? Then sure, I am all over that. But what does that have to do with the ability to defend oneself? As folks are so fond of pointing out, no one attacks that way.

Real world attacks are almost always ambushes, meant to take you by surprise and defeat you before any waza you might know could be utilized. In most cases, predators work in groups so we are talking about multiple attacker situations. In a very significant number, we are talking about weapons (enough that you have to assume the presence of weapons when you train). In that kind of situation, the first guy you touch needs to go down and not get up.

Is that what you are training for in your Aikido? If so you must be training quite differently than any Aikido I have seen. If self defense in a bar is your goal, you need to train in an environment in which there is furniture, non-combatants, the need to integrate verbal along with physical technique. You need to practice in the type of clothes and footwear you'd be wearing. I have never seen Aikido practiced that way. It's the same if you want to use your skills out on the street... You need to train on slippery pavement, amongst parked cars, etc.

Peyton Quinn, who has actually used his Aikido in real situations once said, "You'd be amazed how well iriminage works when you bounce the guys head off the bar..." Is that what you mean by making your technique viable? Because that's what the stuff looks like in a fight. Are you training that way in your dojo? I'm not saying you have to actually practice it that way... but you have to be thinking about it that way when you practice or you won't apply it that way when you are in the middle of it.

It's not about how hard you throw, it's not about how strong your wrist locks are, or if you can move a guy who trying not to move. If you want viable self defense capability, you need to get out of the dojo and cross train, preferably do some scenario based training in which you can check out if your Aikido works in the environment in which you might have to apply the technique. You need to work on your Aikido with people who aren't doing Aikido.

The amount of wishful thinking in Aikido is tremendous. All sorts of folks convince themselves that what they are doing is martial and "viable" simply because they train roughly. If people are getting injured on the mat, then it must be "real", not like those Aiki bunnies. A lot of this is just samurai wanna be non-sense. When I was younger and not so smart I had a lot of that in me. A lot of years of training has shown me how silly I was. I have done combat arts and Aikido, in any way it is normally practiced, in the vast majority of styles, simply isn't one. Attempting to make it into one is like trying to rebuild your Rolls and make it a hot street racing car. No matter how you try, it will never be that because it was designed to be something else.

If one trains properly, a certain amount of self defense skill will be a by product of the training, yes. But if that is your prime concern, you should do another type of training and / or get out and practice your stuff outside of the dojo.

I only go on about this because I see so many people absolutely missing what is deep and amazing about the art in an effort to shape it into something it is not. There is way better training out there for straight self defense; if that's the primary concern, one should go do that training. Why do you think that there is not a single military, law enforcement, corrections, security, executive protection, or personal protection organization out there which uses Aikido as the central core of its defensive system? It's because it's too complex, hard to train, takes too long, focuses on a lower level of force application than what is required in many situations, etc.

I am really serious about this... If you live in an dangerous area in which you expect to have to defend yourself, or you hang around in bars with men consuming alcohol with some frequency, or you have a stalker problem, or any serious violent threat to your physical well being, do some other training. Don't live in some fantasy that your dojo Aikido training will protect you and your family. It might... but there is a lot of training out there that would be a thousand times more certain if that were my major concern for doing a martial art. This is not Aikido's weakness, it is its strength, in my opinion. But I realize that this isn't necessarily something on which everyone would agree with me.
Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
snip...

You know where Aikido really shines in terms of real world application? Low level force restraint for law enforcement, corrections, and security personnel and weapons retention for anyone carrying a firearm (or other weapon) That's where dojo training most directly applies to some real world application.
George,

These two replies are absolutely amazing. I would like to nominate them for permanent status on this forum. So many of discussions on Aikiweb stem from these issues in my opinion. I wish folks would just read this first and save us the trouble of having to reiterate it all over again. You capture it so conscisely!

Best,
Stephen
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2010, 03:34 AM   #94
dps
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,081
Offline
Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

Personal transformation is not a choice it is what happens in life whether you want to or not.

If you choose to use Aikido (a martial art) as your means for personal transformation then how do you measure your progress if not by the effectiveness of your Aikido?

How do you know where you are at if not by the ineffectiveness of your Aikido?

From the moment we are born we are on a journey of personal transformation. At some point in our lives we make choices about what we will or will not use for this journey. It could be sports like baseball, football, soccer, fencing. It could be music, art, dancing. It could be the work you do.

From his teens to his early forties O'Sensei driving ambition was to be stronger than anyone else and a better martial artist than anyone else. This he accomplished to a great degree. It set the stage for the last forty some years of his life.

I am not talking about wanting to learn an art to kick ass, not does it matter what the neighborhood is like where you live. It is about the vehicle you chose for the transformation.

O'sensei had a martial art that he studied and a philosophy tha he belived in. The goal in his martial art was martial effectiveness.

The goal in his philosophy was separate.

David

Last edited by dps : 01-15-2010 at 03:49 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2010, 04:00 AM   #95
dps
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,081
Offline
Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post

Irimi is at the heart of all martial application. If you go to a dojo and no one can enter without you hitting them, the practice is ineffective. That's my first test... I frequently arrive at dojos to teach and find that not a single student can pull off an irimi when I attack. That's because I REALLY attack. at the majority of the dojos I see around, the students are not really trying to strike their partners. If everyone trains that way day after day, they think they know how to do things they really cannot do. As Frank Doran Sensei says, the "entry" is everything, everything else is just icing on the cake.

Anyway, it's a shock when a bunch of third or fourth dans, or even worse, someone running a dojo, finds that they can't do an entry. They can know 500 techniques and without effective irimi, it's just 500 techniques they cannot do.

The second thing one can spot at a dojo at which the practice is clearly martially ineffective is closely related to the above. Can the students at the dojo strike? With speed, with power? If not, then the practice is being done at unrealistically slow speed. People will not be able to adjust when it gets fast and hard.

What does the "intention" feel like during practice. Once again, you can look at the folks in many dojos and see that they have no projection, no forward intention. You can stand in front of them and feel nothing. They have no idea how to organize a strong forward flow of attention. If you attack them fast, or God forbid, with unexpected timing, they are never ready. You can stand in front of someone like this and know you will hit them before you even start.

One of my students gave me a book on the theory of limits as applied to business. While being over my head math-wise after about three chapters, I got the gist of it. It changed my thinking about how we teach our art. The theory of limits says that in any complex system, like a factory (and Aikido is also a complex system of body / mind skills), one needs to analyze the various elements that go into producing the output of the factory and decide which one is the "limiting factor". You can throw all sorts of money and resources into that factory and have no increase in the production whatever if you don't devote them to improving the "limiting factor".

So, in my opinion, most Aikido practice is done without any regard to this idea. People are studying a wide range of techniques, empty hand and weapons, putting all sorts of time and money into their training with almost no increase in actual skill from year to year because they have not addressed the limiting factor in their Aikido.

For the majority of the folks I see training, the limiting factor is the lack of ability or willingness to train with attacks which have speed and power. Strikes have no body integration and hence no actual power. Grabs tend to be "strong" in a way that is totally ineffective. A grab should be designed to effect the partner's balance and his ability to respond. Turning your partner's hand purple by grabbing really hard has no martial effectiveness whatever and is probably making you tight in a way that limits your ability to move freely.

.
Maybe the " limiting factor" is that they are not practicing Aikido as a martial art, their goal is not martial effectiveness and thus their Aikido is ineffective.

David
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2010, 08:16 AM   #96
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,620
Offline
Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Maybe the " limiting factor" is that they are not practicing Aikido as a martial art, their goal is not martial effectiveness and thus their Aikido is ineffective.

David
Ipso Facto, one might say. Yes, I think you are correct that this is the case. But very few people will tell you this straight out. Folks tend to be very sensitive about this area. Hardly anyone would admit that what they do doesn't work but they don't care about that.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2010, 04:51 AM   #97
philippe willaume
 
philippe willaume's Avatar
Location: windsor
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 317
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
How do you measure martial ineffectiveness? Can you do so in a dojo?

David
By sparing, if possible with other style and situational pressure testing. (So as long as we talk about close quarter, and no fire arms, yes it is possible in a dojo)
In any case sparing/pressure testing will always tell you what does not work

As it as been mentioned before, there is a technical, tactical, strategically aspect to any fight be it in earnest or for play as they used to say in Germany.
To make it simple and for this discussion purpose if we define
Technical as covering how you do things
Tactical as how you go about making things and how they chain together
And strategically has how you prepare yourself and the environment, ideally to have a tactical advantage from the bat and what situation you would like to bring the fight into.

For me the trick is not to know what to apply when, it is to know how you create the situation where you can apply a technique and what you can do it that technique is resisted.
Randori --with kokyu throw version of a given technique is fantastic for that.

You do need to have the degree of fitness and body conditioning adapted to what your policy is.
And you do need to spare to underetand what you can expect from your opponent and what you can reasonably achieve/the steps to create a situation where you will get what you want.

Irimi is important but it is just a technical tool, but you just need to know when you to go against tem to let them go by (another thing they used to say in Germany a few hundreds years ago)

All the irimi in the world are useless, if you get leg baited and don't know how to suck it up or how to see it coming.

I hate to use that word because it makes me sound like the natural son of Candelizza rice and Donald Rumsfeld but to be effective you aikido need to be "full spectrum"
Ie sokumen irimi is exactly the same as elbowing or punching/palm strike /tekatana. Someone in the face/throat. The only difference in the strike is range and the only difference in intensity is what we want to achieve.

phil

One Ringeck to bring them all and in darkness bind them,
In the Land of Windsor where phlip phlop live.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2010, 11:21 AM   #98
Ketsan
Dojo: Zanshin Kai
Location: Birmingham
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 860
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
If self defense in a bar is your goal, you need to train in an environment in which there is furniture, non-combatants, the need to integrate verbal along with physical technique. You need to practice in the type of clothes and footwear you'd be wearing. I have never seen Aikido practiced that way. It's the same if you want to use your skills out on the street... You need to train on slippery pavement, amongst parked cars, etc.
Not really. I think you're assuming people are quite dim and can't react to the circumstances without very specific training. I went into break up a fight about a month back, got into contact with the opponent, slipped on the ice and took him down with me. I extricated myself from under him and got onto my knees and pinned him. I've never trained to do that, never even considered what I'd do in that situaton. I've certainly never trained on ice to have someone land on me while trying to take ukemi while trying to get a choke on. It was just the obvious thing to do with my training in the circumstances.
I was in a position which didn't suit me or what I'm trained to do, so I moved to one that did, that's a principle of Aikido; move to where you're strongest and work from there. I'd argue that for anyone with even a basic level of training in any art that is common sense.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Peyton Quinn, who has actually used his Aikido in real situations once said, "You'd be amazed how well iriminage works when you bounce the guys head off the bar..." Is that what you mean by making your technique viable? Because that's what the stuff looks like in a fight. Are you training that way in your dojo? I'm not saying you have to actually practice it that way... but you have to be thinking about it that way when you practice or you won't apply it that way when you are in the middle of it.
I'd be seriously shocked if we're not all thinking that way. Can anyone here honestly say that they've not contemplated how they would react in a given situtation with the training they have? I think it's true of any art that you care to name that if you don't contemplate it's use outside of training it wont be effective. Otherwise you're just training to train, you're learning nothing except how to learn learning.

In an Aikido context that means you become brilliant at learning Aikido and no doubt your Aikido kata will be excellent, but what good is that? Is being able to perform Aikido kata of any use? Well you can't fight with it, so not martially it has no value. Is the simple repetition of Aikido kata better than the simple repetition of Karate kata? Will you reach any greater spiritual or philosophical insights by performng Aikido kata than you will performing Karate kata? No.

It's only when, IMO, you start imagining how you would apply the lessons of Aikido kata to the real world that you start to really learn Aikido. That's when it ceases to be the repetition of a dead form and becomes a living process and it's only when you start to imagine and mentally reherse its actual application that Aikido becomes an art seperate from any other otherwise you can repeat any kata from any art ad infinitum with the same results.

As you've said, the spirtual content was in O-Sensei's spiritual practice not in his martial practice. So logically the martial practice isn't an efficent route to spirital insights or development. If you want those you have to meditate and practice misogi. Logically the martial side has to stand on its own as martial practice or it is simply a distraction from serious spiritual practice. If it doesn't stand on its own it should be abandoned as a pointless excercise and Aikido should adopt meditation and misogi as it's main practices. Or "recreate" a martially effective form of Aikido.

Personally speaking I practice Aikido because for me it's an excellent martial art. For my spirtual development I go seek the advice and teachings of the monks and nuns at the local buddhist centre, they can help me more in my spiritual practice than my Aikido instructor can.

All the above is IMO of course.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2010, 01:26 PM   #99
Aikibu
Dojo: West Wind Dojo Santa Monica California
Location: Malibu, California
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,295
United_States
Offline
Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

Great Discussion...

I agree with those who wish to practice Aikido as a Martial Art...If it does not work the biggest mistake you can make is fooling yourself into thinking it does especially in physically dangerous circumstances...

Something I see not being brought up...The Huge difference between those folks who come to practice Aikido with Martial Experience and those whose only "Martial" experience is Aikido...

All it takes is one or two Kumite Sessions for a man or woman to know that a huge part of any Martial System is the ability to execute your practice under duress and physical pain. Experienced Martial Artists bring this understanding to Aikido and then learn to transcend retaliation (not sure if this is the way I want to articulate Aikido but it will do for now ) While if one never has the experience of being hit or "fighting" it's harder to embrace this concept in a Practical Sense.

Simply put... Toughing up the Body will lead to Strengthening of the Spirit so to speak (Apologies to Bodhidharma for my simplification) but I am not so sure it works the other way around.

I think (there I go thinking again LOL) that may be one of the many reasons why Shoji Nishio encouraged his students to explore other Martial Practices not because Aikido lacks anything per se....But to fully understand why Aikido must be effective as a Martial Art if it is to be considered as a Budo.

I have also often wondered if this is why O'Sensei kept encouraging Shoji Nishio to innovate Aikido as a Martial Art...so folks would not "get stuck" in it's great spiritual ideology.

William Hazen
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2010, 03:56 PM   #100
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,086
United_States
Offline
Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
Something I see not being brought up...The Huge difference between those folks who come to practice Aikido with Martial Experience and those whose only "Martial" experience is Aikido...
Good point. Different folks approach the same training differently and while they may eventually arrive at a similar result, previous training/experiences will make a huge difference in how the respective learning curves will compare...in both overall progress and individual skills. I had no formal training to speak of before coming to Aikido, but I did have enough "street" smarts to understand a thing or two about fighting, at least in terms of realism (Ironically, it was that "common knowledge" that almost caused me to dismiss Aikido due to the cooperation I saw going on).
Which leads me to the idea that there are different kinds of martial in any given martial situation. I came to Aikido knowing something about relaxing to get out of a pin because I grew up being physically dominated by all my friends. The "practice" I had gained against the mount almost daily for years (I was definately the omega wolf of our little pack) contributed a lot to my sense of practicality for fighting. That's not to say I'm ready for the effects of a solid strike to the head or liver or any other number of circumstances that would seriously affect my performance in any situation, let alone one where my life or someone else's is on the line.
There are few teachers like the physicality of experience, if that makes any sense. Sure, you can still look up at the stars and not see all the light, but generally at least you can see something to guide the way.

Quote:
Simply put... Toughing up the Body will lead to Strengthening of the Spirit so to speak (Apologies to Bodhidharma for my simplification) but I am not so sure it works the other way around.
I think one lends to the other, but neither automatically leads to the other. Certainly the only thing which will toughen the body is a relatively tough/demanding experience, which is more physical in nature (more body-oriented), but when i consider examples such as those monks who set themselves alight to protest during the Vietnam War, I can't help but consider the benefit that might come from occasionally looking to the mind in order to learn how to be tough. Then again, for all I know they trained for it by enduring great pain, so that may be a bad example, I'm not sure...and I'm certainly not suggesting anyone sit down and contemplate instead of doing it on the mat with a bokken flying at your face...the latter probably gets you more bang for your buck.
Anyhoo...
My two bits.
take care,
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Mugendo Budogu - Official Aikikai Hakama now available!



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
"Off-The-Mat" Forum akiy "Off-The-Mat" 6 06-02-2008 12:22 AM
Equitable? Mary Eastland General 390 05-11-2005 08:49 PM
Zen and Martial Art (?!) Don_Modesto General 1 12-09-2003 02:25 PM
Something I wrote for a few friends of mine (long) drDalek General 1 11-18-2002 08:44 AM
Article: Thoughts on Bugei Studies by Karl Friday AikiWeb System Training 28 04-27-2002 05:21 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:11 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate