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Old 05-21-2010, 02:18 PM   #26
"Reflection"
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Re: The purpose of Aikido?

Thanks for the numerous replies. As much as I would like to reply to everyone's posts, I thinks I'll just comment of some point that were raised re: my thread.

I'm a little perplexed as to why some of you think I was out to injure or harm my ukes, or that I strove to be a tough guy or a badass just because I advocate considering Aikido for its potential as a self-defense system. So if my goal is to train Aikido as a martial art, I'm now something of a Neanderthal who doesn't understand peaceful means of conflict resolution? Why is that? Because I dare ask that aikido be the martial art that it's suppose to be or that it can be?

Contrary to what some of you might think, I've never, not once, hurt or harmed any of my ukes. I've stepped away from several tense situations that might have resulted in a physical confrontation. I'm not one to seek situations to "prove" myself or what I know. Which is why portraying me as an aggressive brute is really way of the mark.

Several of my friends have been attacked and robbed, and one of them was stabbed dead. Maybe some of you are fortunate enough to live in a city or with no crime, and don't mind spending time to studying something as time consuming as aikido. I have more practical concerns. I love aikido for its philosophy, but as a martial art I do think it's far removed from what O Sensei intended when he taught men like Gozo Shioda.

I do know the difference between a combat system, martial art, self defense system and budo. Maybe my post was a little loose on using those terms but I do know the difference between them. I don't want aikido to be a form of RBSD (which it should not be), nor must it be part of MMA. Since Aikido is considered a form of budo, then it should be trained as such.

But as a budo, I feel that Aikido must live up to the "martial" in "martial way". If not, then maybe people should stop calling Aikido a martial way and just consider it a form of moving yoga or flowing zen, with no martial component whatsoever. Which is fine by me, to be perfectly honest. From what I've seen from the aikido dojos around here lately, this "new age aikido" is already here to stay anyway.

Just surfing around here and other online aikido communities indicate that self-defense ability is important to aikido students. Important enough to have students insisting all over the internet that aikido is indeed a martial art.

So spending 6 years as a shodan isn't enough to be ushered into the "secrets" and "hidden wonders" of aikido? If so, then either Aikido has a very inefficient means to teaching its material or its a cop out to explain away why aikido isn't as effective as claimed and advertised. For example, if you get three identical people and teach one of them karate for 10 years, another does judo for 10 years and the other does aikido for the same amount of time, I'm willing to bet that, all things being equal, the first two have a far better chance of surviving an assault than the aikidoka. That sounds harsh but that's my opinion.

The difference is it the way each of them train. After 10 years the karateka and the judoka will have gotten their egos "beaten out of them" by struggling through competitions. And they will have pressure-tested skills which are widely useful in a self-defense situation.The aikidoka will be training in a very predictable and choreographed manner, after being told that the material is "too deadly" to be practiced in any other way. I've seen people practice to make their ukemi look "better" for their nage, and why they do that for me speaks volumes.

It's easy to talk peace and harmony, but it should be done from a position of strength. If aikido should be taken seriously as a martial art, it should remember what "martial" means.

My understanding of self-defense skill is that it's a collection of tools. I'm not looking for the Ultimate Martial Art; there is none. You study various systems and pick up what you need. Aikido as a martial art still has much to offer. If I were train law enforcement officers on ways to arrest, pin and restrain individuals, I would gladly recommend aikido. But saying that one needs to do more than 10 years to benefit from aikido's martial potential doesn't make any sense. "Ah Grasshopper, you question the effectiveness of our system. You need to practice for 20 more years to understand the secrets of our fearsome art". Yes, that sounds ridiculous, but that's the message I'm getting.

How about training aikido as a martial art, practicing and testing its its application to more realistic and authentic attacks? Is that too radical a concept?

I apologize if I sound sarcastic on some points but I'm just trying to make my POV understood. My reply is a little rambling; i just write as a think so I'm sorry for the confusion.

"Reflection"
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Old 05-21-2010, 02:46 PM   #27
Aiki1
 
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Re: The purpose of Aikido?

I think you're bringing up several different points, a lot of which I would agree with you about, at least on some levels. I read several different but related topics here:

- the martial effectiveness of Aikido

- the unchecked ego of some sensei/shihans

- the time it takes to become proficient, and the inherent question of training methodologies (and definitions of proficiency...)

- what is aikido anyway…. budo, spiritual etc….

These are the deep questions that many ask, and the answers are very different for different people. To me there is no "one" Aikido but -many- different styles that are sometimes/often completely different arts. I know my version of AIkido is different, and it addresses what I call martial responsibility, but always performed "invisibly" with Ki. For me, the best of both worlds. If one has no background in any other arts, which some Aikidoka lack, it's hard to judge certain things. But if one has no exposure to energetic and spiritual reality, one also can't judge certain things. Having a strong background in BJJ and Hapkido, but also many years of internal Ki training, I personally include as much as I can in my perspective, and I get to enjoy a range of experiences. It's all so personal and varied, I think there is no one answer.

Larry Novick
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ACE Aikido
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Old 05-21-2010, 03:00 PM   #28
Cliff Judge
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Re: The purpose of Aikido?

What is it about Aikido that people do it for ten years and then suddenly start crying about how it is a lame sissy art that won't help them if they are mugged by BJJ blue belts?
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Old 05-21-2010, 03:04 PM   #29
"What Do I Know"
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Re: The purpose of Aikido?

I just read the reply from the gentleman who started the thread. I want to comment that no matter where you live or what you do, or where you find yourself the reality is this:

If you are so scared of being attacked, get a gun, know the gun laws of your state, get the permits, and get the professional training to go with it. Don't go ghetto and learn it half-assed, like some fool. Don't waste any more of your time or money in any martial art, from Aikido to MMA. The fact is Aikido will fail you, MMA will fail you unless the prep is a complete untrained fool. Keep in mind there are thousands of people taking MMA, and many places have a pit-bull mentality and don't give a damn what punk they teach. Both Aikido and MMA have the same flaw they can't stop a bullet. They can't take a gun away at 6 ft or greater from the hands of some drugged up punk wanting to deliver some respect.

If you are that scared of being hurt, and lack the confidence to avoid a dangerous environment or confrontation then get a gun, get the papers, and understand the law. Stop playing with MMA or other martial arts not designed to deal with real deadly street conflict, or not designed to deal with high stress situations. Go and properly get prepared and the right training. A firemen isn't trained in plumbing to put fires out.
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Old 05-21-2010, 04:11 PM   #30
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Re: The purpose of Aikido?

Quote:
Daren Sims wrote: View Post
Agree Maggie - I was taught that nidan was a more significant level than shodan as the student was now showing aiki through their techniques.

To me its like shodan completes the apprenticeship and then the real work begins.

Cheers

D
Yeah, in my federation you really can't call yourself a completed student of Aikido until Sandan.
I guess with that said, my opinion is the poster of this thread quit before he even started.

MM
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Old 05-21-2010, 04:15 PM   #31
David Board
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Re: The purpose of Aikido?

I should keep my mouth shut as a true beginner in Aikido but I found it interesting that this thread and an article about Bernie Lau from Blackbelt magazine posted on the Aikido Journal followed each other so closely. Since many of the sentiments seemed to be similar I tracked down the date just to investigate how long this "problem" in Aikido has been around. The article was from 1986 and the disillusionment of Lau was in the early 70's.

Going a bit further, I found this reprint of a 2001 article about Bernie Lau and the similarities of the concerns and issues of the OP stood out even more. Both the lack of effectiveness of Aikido [in self defense or police work]:
Quote:
Lau's interest in karate was sparked by two separate incidents in which properly applied aikido joint locks failed to subdue the people he was trying to arrest. "I tried traditional aikido techniques," he says, "and they simply pulled out of them. We're talking big guys who knew how to street fight." He himself did not get hurt as a result, but both suspects and a partner did. This bothered him. "I felt that if I could have better controlled the situation, then things might have turned out differently."
And the concern with Aikido politics:
Quote:
Unfortunately, the Seattle aikido community was not doing so nicely.[...]So, with that thought firmly in mind, he decided to build an apolitical dojo in his backyard.
From a beginner's perspective it is a little troubling that this issue has dogged Aikido for so long without an apparent solution or at lest satisfying response. One quote that struck me from the article was:
Quote:
Many people think that aikido's philosophy is inherent in the techniques. While true in an absolute sense, no one teaches well enough, is skilled enough, or lives by the philosophy so well that he or she can convey the meaning behind the technical skill solely through hands-on experience. Recognizing this, important parts of Tohei's instruction took place during discussions in the restaurant after class.
One last quote (am an in academia I tend to use a lot of quote or at least sources):
Quote:
"It is not a question of which is better, aikijujutsu or aikido," Lau said. "They both have their merits. It is more a question of which system will better serve the needs of the individual: self-protection or self-perfection. The theory of no enemy is fine, but try explaining that to the lumberjack who's trying to relocate your nose."
Combining the last two quotes leaves me with the realization that learning on the mat is very much the path of Aikido but that it will not be the only part of the path.

Now I don't think that this or anything in the articles lead me to any great insight about Aikido. I debated posting anything at all since the only thing I am bring to the conversation is old articles about another person who found Aikido lacking in part. But the repeating concerns and patterns interest me, so I thought others might find them interesting. This is a decades old debate that is not likely to end soon. It forces me as a beginner to look more closely at what Aikido is and what I want out of it. For the time being I find what I am learning useful and satisfying. I am happy to be learning Aikido and taking small steps in self protection and self perfection.

Links to the Articles:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/blog/20...-blackbeltcom/

http://www.ejmas.com/jcs/jcsart_svinth_1101.htm
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Old 05-21-2010, 05:44 PM   #32
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: The purpose of Aikido?

I believe there are alot of bad assumptions and paradigms being made concerning aikido and all martial methodologies in general here. Yes, I call them martial methodologies as essentially that is what most of the so-called systems are methodologies and not "arts" per se. although they could be considered "arts" in the definition of a liberal art, but not as a combatives system or art.

I feel about as qualified as anyone to comment on what makes something a combative system since it is pretty much what I do as a professional day in and day out, and very actively today!

As a combat arms soldier, we have many techniques and methodologies for training various components of what we deem important to be effective at what we do, I suppose you could call all the training I do an "combatives system" or a complete system, yet we don't look at it that way, we look at it as components or methodologies to train.

For example, I am well qualified in CQB and Gun work, however, that is not my expertise and I am not the "sensei" of that stuff per se. My strengths are empty hand or Combatives.

So, the guy that trains me in pistol and rifle close quarter stuff as the subject matter expert is my "student" when we transition to combatives.

We view them as mutually supporting methodologies, but they are separate and distinct in the skills that they are training.

So, I believe that the paradigm that says a "martial art" has to be "effective" an interesting one as it begs the question "effective at what?" what are the boundaries of "effectiveness.

Of course WHAT DO I KNOW? identifies the issue by bringing up the whole "get a gun" argument. which, I think is a wrong perspective/conclusion used typically to invalidate any empty handed training in the way that it is done. However, of course, guns do drive the limitation or constraints of our emtpy handed training and it does need to be kept in mind.

I also believe that empty handed martial arts can be broken down into many different methodologies designed to enhance or reinforce desired endstates and things we want to inculcate into ourselves.

Aikido I believe, trained correctly is one such methodology. Agreed that many don't necessarily understand what that may be, or two people may not agree on what is being trained...and that is okay I think.

For me, Aikido has a place in my training, and you can take it FWIW...but I am a professional like many on here that depend on my "martial skills" as a way of life.

However, as pointed out by the OP and a few others, even though I disagree with alot of the statements, that it is incomplete as a holistic system...but that does not mean that it is not "effective" IT IS EFFECTIVE FOR WHAT IT WAS DESIGNED TO TEACH.

I train predominately in BJJ and Mitliary Combatives. Right now I am preparing my unit to go to war. While we focus in the "off season" on many different things with a heavy "Sport Jiu Jitsu" focus and I spend alot of time in Aikido, now that we are preparing for combat operations, we shift our focus/methodologies to the techniques, tactics, and procedures (TTPs) that our assessment and analysis tells us we need to based on what we are seeing on the battlefield.

My base and background for TTPs is based on the fundamentals that I learned in Judo, Jiu Jitsu, and yes...alot of it in Aikido. Honestly as we tighten our shot group to focus on weapons both enemy, control, multiple opponents, etc...I find my background and base in aikido to be even more important.

Even in the non-violent arena where people skills and body language come into play.

Anyway, each methodology has a strength and it has weaknesses. What is important is not arguing about the categorical effectiveness of an art, but discussing the limitations and constraints and focusing on the things that the art does train well.

It is also important to not try and make it something that it isn't..you'll practice it for 10 years under delusion and then feel ripped off once you meet reality and "X Art" failed you.

I don't think too many of the experienced posters here, none that I know of propose that AIkido is a one stop shop by any stretch of the imagination. Most of the Voices of Experience have a pretty good handle on reality I have found.

Anyway those are my experiences and 2 cents worth.

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Old 05-21-2010, 06:21 PM   #33
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Re: The purpose of Aikido?

OP Wrote:

Quote:
I love aikido for its philosophy, but as a martial art I do think it's far removed from what O Sensei intended when he taught men like Gozo Shioda.
This is what I am talking about when I say "categorical assumption". Could it be that your experiences with aikido led you to this? It is not my experiences, maybe I am fortunate to have a good Shihan? I think many folks have different experiences, but that does not categorically mean that this applies across the art.

OP Wrote:

Quote:
I do know the difference between a combat system, martial art, self defense system and budo. Maybe my post was a little loose on using those terms but I do know the difference between them. I don't want aikido to be a form of RBSD (which it should not be), nor must it be part of MMA. Since Aikido is considered a form of budo, then it should be trained as such.
I agree with this, but then the next paragraph:

Quote:
But as a budo, I feel that Aikido must live up to the "martial" in "martial way". If not, then maybe people should stop calling Aikido a martial way and just consider it a form of moving yoga or flowing zen, with no martial component whatsoever. Which is fine by me, to be perfectly honest. From what I've seen from the aikido dojos around here lately, this "new age aikido" is already here to stay anyway.
You would need to explain this more. It seems like a contradiction to the prior paragraph. How do you define "martial way". I think it is another way of saying "effective", which, you have to define "effective at WHAT?". (BTW, rarely is that done here in my years of this debate").

What is a "martial component". I'd say most of the waza that we do has martial components...shionage, irimi nage...which BTW is VERY effective in combatives situations to understand.

I assume you understand and have practiced irimi nage in aikido, so I must assume when you say "martial component" that you are saying that the WAY it is practice is not martial..which again...circles back around to the "effectiveness" criteria.

OP Wrote:

Quote:
Just surfing around here and other online aikido communities indicate that self-defense ability is important to aikido students. Important enough to have students insisting all over the internet that aikido is indeed a martial art.
I agree, I think there are alot of folks out there that are dishonest in the "Sensei" world. A random survey of ANY Aikido site will almost always have the words "Self Defense" on their website or will allow the inference to float around out there and yet inadequately actually train their students. Absolutely, this is a pet peeve of mine.

However, I don't think because they may do a poor job of it...means that aikido is not a martial art...this conclusion does not follow based on those facts. It just means that that instructor is either being dishonest or doesn't really understand WTF he is doing.

Can what we consider normal aikido training/waza to be beneficial to SD? Absolutely, a wonderful framework to build upon. The key is FRAMEWORK. A foundation does not make a complete house.

Quote:
For example, if you get three identical people and teach one of them karate for 10 years, another does judo for 10 years and the other does aikido for the same amount of time, I'm willing to bet that, all things being equal, the first two have a far better chance of surviving an assault than the aikidoka. That sounds harsh but that's my opinion.
my experiences were different. I studied Karate for about 10 years..aikido was an eye opener for me! It improved my ability to fight 10 fold.

Judo, well, I do that too. All I will say is it is another methodology that is complementary...but AIkido and Judo are two different methodologies trained under different training constraints...both have their pros and cons. If you train extensively in them, then you will understand this. If not, then you make sophomoric statements like this. (Sorry to be harsh, but that is the way I see it).

OP Wrote:

Quote:
It's easy to talk peace and harmony, but it should be done from a position of strength. If aikido should be taken seriously as a martial art, it should remember what "martial" means.
I agree it is easy. I am fortunate in my line of work...I get to do this when doing my job, and it is not something the average person can really say they do or have the ability to influence one way or the other. I try to promote peace and harmony, but also carry a big stick with lots of lethality behind it. I also take my aikido practice very seriously as do many that practice aikido.

I think you'd be surprised at the number of combat veterans on Aikiweb that either took aikido or picked it up after their combat experience. These guys understand the importance of a practice such as aikido in the realm of peace and harmony and also understand the fragile nature of that balance and why it is important to study budo.

OP Wrote:

Quote:
My understanding of self-defense skill is that it's a collection of tools. I'm not looking for the Ultimate Martial Art; there is none. You study various systems and pick up what you need. Aikido as a martial art still has much to offer. If I were train law enforcement officers on ways to arrest, pin and restrain individuals, I would gladly recommend aikido.
Self defense skills are not really so much a collection of tools, but the synthesis of training and building muscle memory correctly to the stimulus of your enemy. Tools are typically thought of as specific and pulled off the shelf when needed. I believe this to be a incorrect paradigm. Yes, you might train in different methodologies to enhance different aspects of your body/responses, but that to me, is not the same thing as a tool...like a hammer, a punch, kick or something else. I know it seems like splitting hairs, but I think alot of paradigms get established incorrectly based on this perspective of "tools".

On the law enforcement statement. No I wouldn't recommend aikido, I'd recommend finding a qualified instructor in arrest and dentention TTPs that understands your departments policies. Now I might recommend aikido if they wanted to develop a framework, but i'd also recommend BJJ, Judo or any other number of methodologies depending on what that person had an affinity for.

OP Wrote:

Quote:
How about training aikido as a martial art, practicing and testing its its application to more realistic and authentic attacks? Is that too radical a concept?
No, not radical at all. I do it all the time as well as many guys here. Chris Hein and Michael Varin out on the west coast are big advocates of this too. I'm down in Florida for a few months with nothing to do on the weekends so if your close by...get with me I am bored and LOVE to train in anything!

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Old 05-21-2010, 06:26 PM   #34
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: The purpose of Aikido?

David Board wrote:

Quote:
I should keep my mouth shut as a true beginner in Aikido but I found it interesting that this thread and an article about Bernie Lau from Blackbelt magazine posted on the Aikido Journal followed each other so closely. Since many of the sentiments seemed to be similar I tracked down the date just to investigate how long this "problem" in Aikido has been around. The article was from 1986 and the disillusionment of Lau was in the early 70's.
Stop reading those magazines! lol! okay I admit it, I have the latest copy of BB sitting on my night stand. To me BB magazine is the equivalent of reading a tabloid, but with a more sophisticate front. Most of the articles in there are from guys that have created a "Self Licking Ice Cream Cone". That is, they write these articles and scratch each others backs in order to self publicize. Lately, they have started covering down on the whole MMA thing as those magazines are selling like hot cakes and yeah occassionally you find something worth reading, but for the most part, I find BB to be basically Martial Porn.

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Old 05-21-2010, 08:31 PM   #35
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Re: The purpose of Aikido?

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
How many top kendo people trained under Ueshiba? So, historically, even kendo people found Ueshiba's aikido worth studying/learning. Ueshiba's "weapons" work was not kendo, yet it applied to kendo. How many can state this today? Which high ranking person in the kendo world trains under a top ranked aikido shihan to learn "taisabaki"?
Err, but don't you think that kendo has moved on somewhat in the time since?

(btw, I don't regard kendo then or now as an archaic form. IMO it's a modern sport form.)
[quote=Mark Murray;257947]
I am unsure what weapons training you are doing, but the weapons training I have done, am doing, and will do is very meaningful in modern day applications. Just because I hold a sword in my hand and practice a cut does not mean that all I am training is to hold a Japanese sword of bygone days and pretend that I'm cutting some thing or some one -- or that someone will attack me using a sword. [/quit]

Perhaps you're not, but then we're doing two different things, and we'll agree to disagree. My first weapons teacher (shindo muso ryu jodo) didn't teach how to use jo against sword by talking about how it would be equally applicable against a baseball bat...for the simple reason that he didn't believe it was. That's where I come down too.

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
I would imagine that the cut is probably the least important factor in weapons training.
That depends on the style, to a degree and on who's doing the teaching. It sounds a lot like what I've read about kyudo, for example, but as far as sword and jo, it's not what I was ever taught.

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Does it really matter at that point if it is a bokken, a katana, a knife, a tire iron, a bat, an article of clothing, etc? Just what should we really be working on when we practice weapons in aikido?
Two different questions. My answer to the first is, yes, it absolutely makes a difference whether the weapon is short or long, if it's edged or pointed or blunt, if it has one "business end" or two. The physical characteristics of the weapon dictate the body of techniques that are developed with that weapon in mind.

With that said, I'll admin that I remain agnostic on the party-line reasoning for practicing weapons in aikido (to improve one's empty-hand techniques). I'm not saying that's a bad reason to be doing it, but I think people frequently confuse the reason and the method. When you've got a sword or a jo in your hands, you should not be acting as you would with empty hands (except, perhaps, at the most abstract level). You should not be trying to do things with a weapon that only make sense with empty hands, and vice versa.

Last edited by lbb : 05-21-2010 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 05-22-2010, 09:47 AM   #36
MM
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Re: The purpose of Aikido?

Hi Mary,
I can go along with agreeing to disagree. I'm primarily talking about aiki weapons training with a smattering of kali training when I talk about weapons work. I'm not familiar with most koryu so I won't speak for them.
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Old 05-22-2010, 12:30 PM   #37
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Re: The purpose of Aikido?

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
David Board wrote:

Stop reading those magazines! lol! okay I admit it, I have the latest copy of BB sitting on my night stand. To me BB magazine is the equivalent of reading a tabloid, but with a more sophisticate front. Most of the articles in there are from guys that have created a "Self Licking Ice Cream Cone". That is, they write these articles and scratch each others backs in order to self publicize. Lately, they have started covering down on the whole MMA thing as those magazines are selling like hot cakes and yeah occassionally you find something worth reading, but for the most part, I find BB to be basically Martial Porn.
I only followed the link from Aikido journal honest!! But thanks for the warning. I remember picking up BB back in Jr. High. The only magazine we get at my house is the Yoga Journal. Two subscriptions even. One I got free for buying my wife a gift (you get a free subscription to YJ with your purchase) and the other my wife's subscription.

Last edited by David Board : 05-22-2010 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 05-22-2010, 05:21 PM   #38
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Re: The purpose of Aikido?

The problem here is clear to me. When we really don't understand the purpose of Aikido. Many times as new students, we are given a bundle of information, depending on the sensei creates large variances of what is said. One dojo sensei will say O'Sensei meant xyz, or another will say it is abc. Personal interpretation of much of Aikido plays a fairly large role identifying Aikido's purpose. The standard by which Aikido was built over the years was been altered, been twisted, personal touch added, or changed for a myriad of reasons from ignorance to self-promotion. If you can't hit several dojos of differing styles there are a variety of Aikido books. Therefore, the percent of new students getting the pure purpose is very small.

Aikido's purpose on the surface is pretty evident and widely known. That being said, there is a significant complexity to understanding its application. Please don't misunderstand. The bad aspect is, when an altered purpose is internalized by the student and when taken seriously, for the purpose to fit particular objectives fails causes some student's to do everything they can to discredit Aikido. Upon the realization Aikido's purpose generally is a complicated mix of diametrical opposing ideas of peace and the way of Japanese ancient warfare -self serving promotion of one's self (Samurai mentality/fighting) creates a feeling of being mis-lead. The art then has no substance, and alternatives are sought that are less complex and seemingly more applicable. The student feels mislead, loses confidence in Aikido and seeks out a martial art that is much more simple and is seemingly more applicable to the individual.

What is the point, well it is that Aikido will always suffer greater from students who be come disenchanted with Aikido because the purpose is complex and has lead to many interpretations, and remodels that make Aikido very complex to understand. As a result, people give up and seek an art that is less complicated, and has less variance in its information and application. At this point, there is no solution to correcting this issue leaving Aikido with those, like the original poster, who will challenge it from other arts.

I too feel Aikido or any other martial art is viable into today's world, to a point. That point is at ground level self-defense. Where, for an example, if you search Google News you will find a story about a store clerk who took a gun away from the person robbing him. The store clerk had studied Aikido to take the gun away, probably Kote gaeshi. As for Aikido being use beyond that or any martial art is not practical. Modern warfare has no need for those old weapons of martial arts. Or the martial arts hand to hand techniques, we practice, any more. That includes all martial arts and mixed martial arts too. All martial arts really than on a personal level are the same. Doesn't really matter what you take.
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:31 PM   #39
"itsudemo"
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Re: The purpose of Aikido?

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
If practiced as a martial art, aikido can be effective. But as I see it, in its current form it's failing as a martial art and as a martial way.
I can't speak for most of Aikido as I have no contact with most of the people practicing it. Training is an individual journey, regardless of the activity. As such, the purpose depends entirely on the individual.
For the sake of argument, maybe the average Aikido student wouldn't be able to throw the average Judo student, and maybe that would prove Aikido is lacking, I don't know. The issue to my mind still comes back to individual responsibility. Aikido is fine where ever people are satisfied by it. Where it fails, in my opinion, is not the problem of Aikido, but of the individual practicing it.
In all things: Assume nothing, check everything, buyer beware.
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:44 PM   #40
Russ Q
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Re: The purpose of Aikido?

Quote:
Aikido's purpose on the surface is pretty evident and widely known. That being said, there is a significant complexity to understanding its application. Please don't misunderstand. The bad aspect is, when an altered purpose is internalized by the student and when taken seriously, for the purpose to fit particular objectives fails causes some student's to do everything they can to discredit Aikido. Upon the realization Aikido's purpose generally is a complicated mix of diametrical opposing ideas of peace and the way of Japanese ancient warfare -self serving promotion of one's self (Samurai mentality/fighting) creates a feeling of being mis-lead. The art then has no substance, and alternatives are sought that are less complex and seemingly more applicable. The student feels mislead, loses confidence in Aikido and seeks out a martial art that is much more simple and is seemingly more applicable to the individual.

What is the point, well it is that Aikido will always suffer greater from students who be come disenchanted with Aikido because the purpose is complex and has lead to many interpretations, and remodels that make Aikido very complex to understand. As a result, people give up and seek an art that is less complicated, and has less variance in its information and application. At this point, there is no solution to correcting this issue leaving Aikido with those, like the original poster, who will challenge it from other arts.

I too feel Aikido or any other martial art is viable into today's world, to a point. That point is at ground level self-defense. Where, for an example, if you search Google News you will find a story about a store clerk who took a gun away from the person robbing him. The store clerk had studied Aikido to take the gun away, probably Kote gaeshi. As for Aikido being use beyond that or any martial art is not practical. Modern warfare has no need for those old weapons of martial arts. Or the martial arts hand to hand techniques, we practice, any more. That includes all martial arts and mixed martial arts too. All martial arts really than on a personal level are the same. Doesn't really matter what you tak
e.

Bloody pithy mate! Well said!

Russ
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Old 05-22-2010, 08:45 PM   #41
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: The purpose of Aikido?

PhB wrote:

Quote:
As for Aikido being use beyond that or any martial art is not practical. Modern warfare has no need for those old weapons of martial arts. Or the martial arts hand to hand techniques, we practice, any more. That includes all martial arts and mixed martial arts too. All martial arts really than on a personal level are the same. Doesn't really matter what you take.
I disagree. It is relevant in modern warfare very relevant.

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Old 05-22-2010, 10:12 PM   #42
RED
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Re: The purpose of Aikido?

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
PhB wrote:

I disagree. It is relevant in modern warfare very relevant.
My school has given private lessons to police academy students.
I know a 6th dan that has(might still be) teaching the police.
The Japanese Imperial Guard are required to train in Aikido to this day.
Honbu has an excelled 11 month Black Belt course for Riot Police. Examples can go on and on.

So basically, I agree with you.

MM
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Old 05-22-2010, 11:51 PM   #43
raul rodrigo
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Re: The purpose of Aikido?

Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
Honbu has an excelled 11 month Black Belt course for Riot Police.
Yoshinkan Hombu.
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Old 05-23-2010, 04:00 PM   #44
RED
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Re: The purpose of Aikido?

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Raul Rodrigo wrote: View Post
Yoshinkan Hombu.
Yes, thank you for the correction.

MM
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Old 05-25-2010, 12:16 AM   #45
Shannon Frye
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Re: The purpose of Aikido?

First off, hats off to Mark for raising such thought provoking questions. I myself must be a resident of that mentioned Fantasy Land, because at the club I bounce at, I deal weekly with the Urban Social Miscreant (tm)- and while the occasional meteor has yet to fall from the sky, the occasional broken bottle, pool cue or pocket knife is not unheard of. While most can simply "avoid such a silly situation", as a worker in the mythical "street", I don't have that luxury, and my art needs to be on point.

Secondly, I think that aikido has a lot to offer everyone. Most martial arts are all about being the 'best', while aikido challenges us to be 'better' and allows us to define what that means. It can attract a wide range of students, from the young brawler to the elder spiritualist. And each can take away something different. Methods vary from dojo to dojo, across styles and organizations, but the student that wants to stick with this art needs to find out what they are looking for. And find a dojo that addresses that need. If you are looking for martial efficiency, seek out a dojo that teaches the budo. If you seek spirituality, likewise seek a dojo that addresses that need. Too often we look at others in the dojo and think "They are not effective", or "I hope they don't get into a fight - they'd lose horribly". I fell into this trap myself. But what we don't get to see on the mat is what the person takes away from the training. Each of us wants something different - the teaching of aikido isn't just how to fight, but how to fulfill our need and respect others as they also seek what they need. I was told that we start by working together on the mat, and by that we learn to work together off the mat. It was hard to see - but I understand much better now.

"In the end there can be only one"

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Old 05-25-2010, 04:46 AM   #46
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: The purpose of Aikido?

Mary,
thanks a lot for your great posts in this thread!
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Old 05-25-2010, 07:40 AM   #47
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Re: The purpose of Aikido?

Quote:
Shannon Frye wrote: View Post
Secondly, I think that aikido has a lot to offer everyone. Most martial arts are all about being the 'best', while aikido challenges us to be 'better' and allows us to define what that means.
The added emphasis is mine, and I added it because it hasn't been the case in my experience, which is mostly in other Japanese martial arts. It seems to me that the notion of persistent effort and improvement is pretty deeply ingrained in Japanese culture, and that is by and large reflected in martial arts practice. Unfortunately, many aikidoka don't see this, perhaps because they lack the experience in other styles...and, unfortunately, because some people within aikido are serving koolade in the form of the notion that aikido alone is the repository of various virtues. Always beware when someone tries to convince you of the superiority of your chosen path: when someone is telling you what you want to hear, there's an agenda at work.
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:09 AM   #48
ruthmc
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Re: The purpose of Aikido?

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How about training aikido as a martial art, practicing and testing its its application to more realistic and authentic attacks? Is that too radical a concept?
Not at all radical, I have trained that way. Before anybody screams, this was in the past, so don't worry I'm not invalidating the current insurance requirements!

At 4th kyu I began training against attacks with a 'live' ie sharp blade. It used to be compulsary for testing, back in the 'old' days I learned a lot from that. By 2nd kyu I'd had experience against a live sword blade. At shodan I was introduced to the concept of defence against attack with a (real) metal chain. During the course of my training, I've had some tuition in police Aikido, and against the sort of attacks one gets in the street, eg. hidden blade, sudden grab by someone you thought was walking past, pinned against a wall, glass to the face, slash to the neck, strangulation and rape situations.

All of the above have been learned in different dojo under different instructors of different rank belonging to different organisations. I would never have found all that in one dojo

The reasons why most folk don't do any of the above these days is because a) we are unable to get insurance to train that way now, and b) most folk are unwilling and / or unable to take the ukemi (or even make the attack) required in those situations.

Perhaps I was lucky that I started training when I did, that I went to train with the instructors I did, that I attended the classes I did, that I was willing to take part in this kind of training because I too wanted to see the real life application of Aikido. It's not for everyone, I know. Perhaps you have not been so lucky, or perhaps you haven't 'been around' as much as you'd need to in order to get this kind of training?

Perhaps this is why I can see the martial applications of Aikido and you can't?

I hope that one day you get the opportunities I had, but bear in mind you may have to travel far and wide to find them

Ruth
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:48 AM   #49
ChrisHein
 
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Re: The purpose of Aikido?

Kevin brings up the point of context. Context is key. What is my system designed to do? That is the most important question you face "Reflection".

There are 3 key components found in every martial art system:

Strategy
Technical syllabus
Training methodologies

The strategy is the underlying principles and theory behind everything you are going to do martially. Aiki, is an example of our (Aikido folk) main strategy. However there are many other things included in the strategy section. Some simple. Like not choosing to go into a clinch, or fight on the ground. There are lots of simple strategic ideas taught in Aikido training.

Technical syllabus is the set of techniques we use. Shihonage, Tenkan, Irimi, Kotegaeshi, etc.

And last we have methods of training. These are the ways in which we train our strategy and techniques. This component is arguably the most important. Because with good training methods, the techniques and strategies will create themselves.

You mentioned Karate, and Judo as good examples of martial arts. You also recognize that what makes these martial arts strong is a live resistance training. Live resistance is a training methodology. All you need to do is add this to your Aikido, and you'll be training like the Judo, and Karate folk.

Now the key to be able to add live resistance as a training methodology is understanding why Aikido strategies and techniques are the way they are. To understand the context of our system. Both Archery and tank driving are martial arts. But if you expect that archery practice is going to make you better at driving tanks, you don't understand your context.

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Old 05-25-2010, 12:41 PM   #50
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: The purpose of Aikido?

Good post Chris!

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