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Old 08-11-2010, 10:14 PM   #1
Gorgeous George
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To What Extent is Martial Effectiveness Necessary...

...to Practice Aikido?

I recently went to a 'ki aikido' class, and after being told by the guy trying to apply ikkyo to me 'Feel free to go down...' because I was still standing, and he couldn't lead me down, I said 'I'll go down when you make me.'.
There was a dan grade practicing with us, and she just completely dismissed me with a patronising and cutting tone, saying 'We don't like to hurt each other here.'.
I thought that the point of aikido was that you should be able to apply these techniques, and that you should do so with little/no pain - certainly in the case of ikkyo, anyway?

My own view is that if you can be thrown quite hard/quickly, and effectively receive, so that you aren't harmed, then you are good at aikido - i.e., you are receiving/harmonizing with a lot of energy.
So too with stuff like nikkyo, sankyo, yonkyo - doing them (viz., having them applied) quite 'strong' will open up and stretch your joints etc., and allow blood, antibodies, ki, what have you, to circulate.
Hence, if you eschew practicing this way, then you will never be as pliable, filled with ki/energy, receptive to ki/energy, etc., as you can be.

In terms of the practice of aikido as a martial art, and using it to hurt people, my own understanding is that o'sensei's conception of budo was that it is a means of preventing greater harm: it is not a means of killing others, but of protecting others; that is, you might have to restrain, or even kill somebody, for instance - but you do it for the good of society - to protect the innocent, etc.
It's all well and good not wanting to hurt people, as these 'ki aikido' people seemed to really believe in, but perhaps sometimes it is necessary, and justified.

What's your opinion on this?
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Old 08-11-2010, 10:22 PM   #2
Adam Huss
 
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Re: To What Extent is Martial Effectiveness Necessary...

Its very tricky to broach this subject without people getting offended. If you're looking for some affirmation of your training principles, please realize that martial practitioners are fully allowed to spend their money and time training where they choose. I have my own personal training philosophies, but that doesn't stop me from having a good time at any style or dojo I train....but that is for visiting. I have visited many dojo on my travels where I would not choose to train again, or rather regularly...regardless of how good a group of people that are there.

Ichi Go, Ichi Ei!
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Old 08-11-2010, 10:44 PM   #3
mickeygelum
 
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Re: To What Extent is Martial Effectiveness Necessary...

OH MY GOD...here we go again !

Aikido is not effective, just ask anyone....this is an A-B-D, do not inquire if you do not want to hear my response....

Go roll around, impress yourselves...

Mickey
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Old 08-11-2010, 11:20 PM   #4
Buck
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Re: To What Extent is Martial Effectiveness Necessary...

You could spend years reading through the threads that ask the same question! Like me explain like this: and then

Last edited by Buck : 08-11-2010 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 08-11-2010, 11:24 PM   #5
Nafis Zahir
 
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Re: To What Extent is Martial Effectiveness Necessary...

Quote:
Graham Jenkins wrote: View Post
...to Practice Aikido?

I recently went to a 'ki aikido' class, and after being told by the guy trying to apply ikkyo to me 'Feel free to go down...' because I was still standing, and he couldn't lead me down, I said 'I'll go down when you make me.'.
There was a dan grade practicing with us, and she just completely dismissed me with a patronising and cutting tone, saying 'We don't like to hurt each other here.'.
I thought that the point of aikido was that you should be able to apply these techniques, and that you should do so with little/no pain - certainly in the case of ikkyo, anyway?

My own view is that if you can be thrown quite hard/quickly, and effectively receive, so that you aren't harmed, then you are good at aikido - i.e., you are receiving/harmonizing with a lot of energy.
So too with stuff like nikkyo, sankyo, yonkyo - doing them (viz., having them applied) quite 'strong' will open up and stretch your joints etc., and allow blood, antibodies, ki, what have you, to circulate.
Hence, if you eschew practicing this way, then you will never be as pliable, filled with ki/energy, receptive to ki/energy, etc., as you can be.

In terms of the practice of aikido as a martial art, and using it to hurt people, my own understanding is that o'sensei's conception of budo was that it is a means of preventing greater harm: it is not a means of killing others, but of protecting others; that is, you might have to restrain, or even kill somebody, for instance - but you do it for the good of society - to protect the innocent, etc.
It's all well and good not wanting to hurt people, as these 'ki aikido' people seemed to really believe in, but perhaps sometimes it is necessary, and justified.

What's your opinion on this?
You are not going to find too many people doing effective aikido. By that I mean the ability to take someone down or make them want to go down. If you were resisting with muscle, you may have been wrong. But if the person was not affecting your body or applying the technique to make you comply in order to avoid injury, then that is a case of not training seriously, imho.

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Old 08-12-2010, 02:28 AM   #6
Michael Varin
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Re: To What Extent is Martial Effectiveness Necessary...

Quote:
Nafis Zahir wrote:
You are not going to find too many people doing effective aikido. By that I mean the ability to take someone down or make them want to go down.
This sounds like it may be a problem. Why is this so?

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 08-12-2010, 03:06 AM   #7
Eva Antonia
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Re: To What Extent is Martial Effectiveness Necessary...

Hello,

in my dojo we are normally advised to resist (as uke) according to tori's level. If tori is a complete newbie then just resist a wee little bit where you feel he might adjust some movements; if tori is at the same level as oneself or better, then just resist as much as you like but without becoming obstructive or hurt. If you don't resist at all it becomes insulting to tori, and he wouldn't learn anything because the resistance helps to identify and correct errors.

However, I have seen many dojos where ukes go to ground immediately and are surprised if I don't. They generally explain this attitude by "avoiding to hurt/ get hurt". I don't agree and feel awkward at over-complying, with exception of shiho nage on my left hand, where I jump out at the slightest pressure to avoid that my wrist, elbow and shoulder articulation get twisted by 360 - that hurts, and the technique cannot be done anyway.

Best regards,

Eva
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Old 08-12-2010, 03:42 AM   #8
Amir Krause
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Thumbs up Re: To What Extent is Martial Effectiveness Necessary...

Quote:
Adam Huss wrote: View Post
Its very tricky to broach this subject without people getting offended. If you're looking for some affirmation of your training principles, please realize that martial practitioners are fully allowed to spend their money and time training where they choose. I have my own personal training philosophies, but that doesn't stop me from having a good time at any style or dojo I train....but that is for visiting. I have visited many dojo on my travels where I would not choose to train again, or rather regularly...regardless of how good a group of people that are there.
Each person and his own approach. So long as one is honest, I have no problem with this.

Quote:
There was a dan grade practicing with us, and she just completely dismissed me with a patronising and cutting tone, saying 'We don't like to hurt each other here.'.
?
I disliked this portion of your experience. In my own onion, it often indicates to lack of honesty to self. the way you describe it implies they do not just dislike to hurt there, they do not know\practice how to do it either, but they are not aware of the latter part.

Amir
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Old 08-12-2010, 04:52 AM   #9
dps
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Re: To What Extent is Martial Effectiveness Necessary...

I can play all of these musical instruments;

1 Wind instruments
o 1.1 Single reed instruments
o 1.2 Double reed instruments
o 1.3 Bagpipes
o 1.4 Brass instruments
o 1.5 Free reed instruments
o 1.6 Voice
o 1.7 Free aerophones
* 2 String instruments
* 3 Percussion instruments
o 3.1 Drums
o 3.2 Other percussion instruments
* 4 Electronic instruments
* 5 Keyboard instruments
* 6 Other
* 7 External links

[700+ lines of names of musical instruments removed by editor]

but is what you hear music?


David

Last edited by akiy : 08-12-2010 at 05:04 PM. Reason: 700+ lines of names of musical instruments removed
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Old 08-12-2010, 05:57 AM   #10
Hellis
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Re: To What Extent is Martial Effectiveness Necessary...

Graham
Looking at the above it apperas you have struck a sensitive chord.

Henry Ellis
http://kenshiroabbe.blogspot.com/
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Old 08-12-2010, 06:57 AM   #11
Ketsan
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Re: To What Extent is Martial Effectiveness Necessary...

Quote:
Graham Jenkins wrote: View Post
...to Practice Aikido?

I recently went to a 'ki aikido' class, and after being told by the guy trying to apply ikkyo to me 'Feel free to go down...' because I was still standing, and he couldn't lead me down, I said 'I'll go down when you make me.'.
There was a dan grade practicing with us, and she just completely dismissed me with a patronising and cutting tone, saying 'We don't like to hurt each other here.'.
I thought that the point of aikido was that you should be able to apply these techniques, and that you should do so with little/no pain - certainly in the case of ikkyo, anyway?

My own view is that if you can be thrown quite hard/quickly, and effectively receive, so that you aren't harmed, then you are good at aikido - i.e., you are receiving/harmonizing with a lot of energy.
So too with stuff like nikkyo, sankyo, yonkyo - doing them (viz., having them applied) quite 'strong' will open up and stretch your joints etc., and allow blood, antibodies, ki, what have you, to circulate.
Hence, if you eschew practicing this way, then you will never be as pliable, filled with ki/energy, receptive to ki/energy, etc., as you can be.

In terms of the practice of aikido as a martial art, and using it to hurt people, my own understanding is that o'sensei's conception of budo was that it is a means of preventing greater harm: it is not a means of killing others, but of protecting others; that is, you might have to restrain, or even kill somebody, for instance - but you do it for the good of society - to protect the innocent, etc.
It's all well and good not wanting to hurt people, as these 'ki aikido' people seemed to really believe in, but perhaps sometimes it is necessary, and justified.

What's your opinion on this?
My own view is that Aikidoka can be split into two groups: Those that can demonstrate their ability to connect and harmonise with another person and those that can't.

Sun Tzu said that if you know yourself and know your enemy you'll never be defeated even if you fight one hundred battles. Well what he's saying here, IMO, is that if you can form a connection with your enemy, empathise with them, understand their motives and how they do things defeating them is easy.

Well save for the word "defeating" that's Aikido. Even then we're messing around with semantics.
Anywho if you can't flatten someone I fail to see how you can claim that you're learned to harmonise, connect or any of the rest of it.
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Old 08-12-2010, 07:45 AM   #12
chillzATL
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Re: To What Extent is Martial Effectiveness Necessary...

as always, it depends on how you choose to define "Martial effectiveness". For me, yes, but everyone trains for their own reasons.
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Old 08-12-2010, 08:01 AM   #13
thisisnotreal
 
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Re: To What Extent is Martial Effectiveness Necessary...

Do some people train for the wrong reasons?
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Old 08-12-2010, 08:12 AM   #14
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Re: To What Extent is Martial Effectiveness Necessary...

Quote:
Josh Philipson wrote: View Post
Do some people train for the wrong reasons?
Is there such a thing?
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Old 08-12-2010, 08:23 AM   #15
thisisnotreal
 
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Re: To What Extent is Martial Effectiveness Necessary...

I don't know. But I suspect so.
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Old 08-12-2010, 09:45 AM   #16
mickeygelum
 
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Re: To What Extent is Martial Effectiveness Necessary...

Hmmpht....If you use your internal powers and skills, you can defeat Shihans,Hanshis, Grand Masters and MMA guys...all of who will remain nameless and disappear from the face of the earth!

But. then of course, there is always the Vulcan Death Grip as a back-up!

Last edited by mickeygelum : 08-12-2010 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 08-12-2010, 09:56 AM   #17
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Re: To What Extent is Martial Effectiveness Necessary...

Quote:
Michael Gelum wrote: View Post
Hmmpht....If you use your internal powers and skills, you can defeat Shihans,Hanshis, Grand Masters and MMA guys...all of who will remain nameless and disappear from the face of the earth!

But. then of course, there is always the Vulcan Death Grip as a back-up!
you actually came back to edit that last line in, bravo!
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Old 08-12-2010, 10:01 AM   #18
Budd
 
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Re: To What Extent is Martial Effectiveness Necessary...

Well, if I'm a guest at someone's dojo, I follow their method of practice - it's considered good manners. If I don't like it, I don't practice there, again.

When someone would come to my dojo and I was being careful and just walking through things with them and they "resisted", I typically would just move onto something else - using their "resistance" to put them down. If they had some ability to mix it up, sometimes it got interesting (I have fun with that, too).

But basically, if you're behaving like an 'arse', then you're less entitled to my 'loving protection' in Ueshiba-speak.
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Old 08-12-2010, 10:05 AM   #19
Gorgeous George
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Re: To What Extent is Martial Effectiveness Necessary...

Quote:
Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
as always, it depends on how you choose to define "Martial effectiveness". For me, yes, but everyone trains for their own reasons.
I think that I was a little too vague - and understandings are easy in this area.
What I meant was, given that 'ki aikido' (to my understanding) is about getting ki flowing through your body, attaining these spiritual insights into harmony and the ki of others, etc., is their training, as I experienced it, realistically an effective means to do this?
Koichi Tohei had to go through years and years of rigorous, tough training to reach his level, and having trained both in a laid back, and a more vigorous manner, I can attest to the more effective nature of the latter method - indeed, I only started making progress when I changed my attitude.

What is the point of practicing the martial techniques of aikido in 'ki aikido' if they aren't practiced for the purpose that they were conceived?
And what's the point of practicing this martial art if you are of the view that you would never hurt someone, under any circumstance? Surely you need a different means of bringing about your goal of alignment between mind and body?

I remember hearing about concscientious objectors in England during WWII: they refused to fight because they were Christians, and asserted that Christ himself would not fight; they were asked if they would fight if the Nazis invaded, and they said no; and they were finally asked if they would fight if a Nazi was attacking their mother - and still they said no.
That is a very extreme devotion to this principle, and it is hard for me to imagine that this woman was so devoted.
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Old 08-12-2010, 10:16 AM   #20
Gorgeous George
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Re: To What Extent is Martial Effectiveness Necessary...

Quote:
Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
Well, if I'm a guest at someone's dojo, I follow their method of practice - it's considered good manners. If I don't like it, I don't practice there, again.

When someone would come to my dojo and I was being careful and just walking through things with them and they "resisted", I typically would just move onto something else - using their "resistance" to put them down. If they had some ability to mix it up, sometimes it got interesting (I have fun with that, too).

But basically, if you're behaving like an 'arse', then you're less entitled to my 'loving protection' in Ueshiba-speak.
Is this...a jibe at me?
If so, it's based on a misconecption, as I didn't go there and start saying 'You lot are a shit - aikido: my arse!', 'You could never take me down with that.' etc.
I abided by their rules and what have you, and although I liked some of the warm-ups, and practicing 'unbendable arm', it's not really worth the trip to train there again.

It was interesting when I was doing nikkyo with one of their coloured belt guys and he resisted...he was very tense; I just stopped pushing and allowed him to push forward, exposing an opening, and the opportunity for me to apply juji-nage.

I try my best to go where i'm lead, and to recognise the purpose of what we're doing, and to act accordingly: I remained standing because it would have been insincere and harmful to have gone down - I was hoping the dan grade would have shown the guy how to effect the technique, but she didn't.
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Old 08-12-2010, 10:23 AM   #21
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Re: To What Extent is Martial Effectiveness Necessary...

Quote:
Graham Jenkins wrote: View Post
I think that I was a little too vague - and understandings are easy in this area.
What I meant was, given that 'ki aikido' (to my understanding) is about getting ki flowing through your body, attaining these spiritual insights into harmony and the ki of others, etc., is their training, as I experienced it, realistically an effective means to do this?
Koichi Tohei had to go through years and years of rigorous, tough training to reach his level, and having trained both in a laid back, and a more vigorous manner, I can attest to the more effective nature of the latter method - indeed, I only started making progress when I changed my attitude.
There was a point in time, as you noted, where the physicallity of the training in ki aikido was significantly different than it appears to be today. They focused on all the ki stuff, but also did hard, resistive waza. if one trains that way then I say yes, it's martially effective to a point. That's where my previous comment of your definition of "martially effective" comes into play. I really can't comment more directly on the ki aikido of today or why things changed and why they do things the way they do now.

Quote:
What is the point of practicing the martial techniques of aikido in 'ki aikido' if they aren't practiced for the purpose that they were conceived?
Are we sure that was the purpose of those techniques to begin with? Is that what Ueshiba intended? Were they techniques for building fighting skills or were they for something else? Maybe just rough approximations of things so that one can practice and build this "something else" and then take it where one wants from there?
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Old 08-12-2010, 10:46 AM   #22
Gorgeous George
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Re: To What Extent is Martial Effectiveness Necessary...

Quote:
Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
Are we sure that was the purpose of those techniques to begin with? Is that what Ueshiba intended? Were they techniques for building fighting skills or were they for something else? Maybe just rough approximations of things so that one can practice and build this "something else" and then take it where one wants from there?
My understanding is that he was devoted to budo - he loved martial arts, and saw them as necessary for the good of society - and religion/spirituality; and he saw aikido as something both martial and religious - a means of practicing both of these.
In fact, as stuff like torifune is both a shinto and aikido practice, it isn't a surprise to me that he attributed his martial prowess to supernatural powers; I was very interested to read this:

http://www.budodojo.com/chinkon-kishin.htm

Edit: I think he wanted to attain the 'something else', but I recall reading a quote from him where he said that you have to have physical power (or words to that effect) allied to wisdom or compassion etc., in order to make the world a better place; I think that the ideal is an enlightened 'warrior', rather than an enlightened person who is removed from the sphere of action/mankind.
A budoka is one who has a key role in society.

Last edited by Gorgeous George : 08-12-2010 at 10:50 AM. Reason: Added something
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Old 08-12-2010, 11:05 AM   #23
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Re: To What Extent is Martial Effectiveness Necessary...

I don't have the full story here. What rank was the person that was applying ikkyo to you? I mean if they were fairly inexperienced it would be inappropriate to be too stubborn with them. At lower ranks, most schools like to see corporation in training so the newbies can learn proper form and work the technique out for themselves. Constantly defeating some one's technique doesn't help a 6th kyu out, and frankly isn't impressive to anyone.

MM
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Old 08-12-2010, 11:18 AM   #24
chillzATL
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Re: To What Extent is Martial Effectiveness Necessary...

Quote:
Graham Jenkins wrote: View Post
My understanding is that he was devoted to budo - he loved martial arts, and saw them as necessary for the good of society - and religion/spirituality; and he saw aikido as something both martial and religious - a means of practicing both of these.
In fact, as stuff like torifune is both a shinto and aikido practice, it isn't a surprise to me that he attributed his martial prowess to supernatural powers; I was very interested to read this:

http://www.budodojo.com/chinkon-kishin.htm

Edit: I think he wanted to attain the 'something else', but I recall reading a quote from him where he said that you have to have physical power (or words to that effect) allied to wisdom or compassion etc., in order to make the world a better place; I think that the ideal is an enlightened 'warrior', rather than an enlightened person who is removed from the sphere of action/mankind.
A budoka is one who has a key role in society.
Since I doubt I can do the subject justice, I would suggest you hit the non-aikido martial arts section below and go back to its initial posts by people like Mike Sigman, Dan Harden and others to better understand the direction our conversation is taking. You can also do some searches here on chinkon kishin. It and any real world benefits it may offer have been discussed before as well. It's quite the rabbit hole..
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Old 08-12-2010, 11:18 AM   #25
Gorgeous George
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Re: To What Extent is Martial Effectiveness Necessary...

Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
I don't have the full story here. What rank was the person that was applying ikkyo to you? I mean if they were fairly inexperienced it would be inappropriate to be too stubborn with them. At lower ranks, most schools like to see corporation in training so the newbies can learn proper form and work the technique out for themselves. Constantly defeating some one's technique doesn't help a 6th kyu out, and frankly isn't impressive to anyone.
I know what you're saying, I understand it, and that's how I see it, too; i'm not an idiot.
Speaking with him afterwards, he said he'd been training for quite a while, and he was either a blue, or red, belt, if memory serves...not that I know what any of the colours signify.
I could tell from training with him that he wasn't such a beginner.
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