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Old 12-23-2010, 06:05 AM   #301
Flintstone
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Re: Got pwned by boxer =-(

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
How many of those people have you actually trained with? Video is pretty misleading -- two aikidoka can look the same but not feel the same. I certainly wouldn't want to make blanket statements about any of the uchi deshi (or any senior aikidoka) without actually having trained with them.

Katherine
Video? I train regulary in the Yoseikan lineage for some 8 years now and being flirting with Iwama Ryu for some years too. Aikikai 10 years now. I know what I'm saying. Video? Who said video?
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Old 12-23-2010, 07:00 AM   #302
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Re: Got pwned by boxer =-(

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I keep repeating these things over and over because this is what I was taught by my own teacher and I think it is important that someone be "fighting the good fight" so to speak. Rather than shrink this amazing art of Aikido to fit ones "little mind" of all of our psychological issues why not try to change ourselves for the better and tap into a "Big Mind" understanding of the art? Of course that is far more difficult. Letting go is the hardest thing we can ask of ourselves. But don't try to make Aikido into just another system that emanates from the fearful mind, that will never change anything for the better because it simply buys into the essentially fearful, oppositional mindset that we all have. Technique alone is not the answer. There are folks out there who could tear you apart with their Aikido whom I wouldn't for one second wish to emulate on a personal level. I hope people will look for something greater than that.
I admire your persistence George. Your head must really be starting to hurt from repeatedly banging it into that brick wall. Talk about hidden in plain sight...

Best,

Ron
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Old 12-23-2010, 07:03 AM   #303
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: Got pwned by boxer =-(

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Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
I admire your persistence George. Your head must really be starting to hurt from repeatedly banging it into that brick wall. Talk about hidden in plain sight...

Best,

Ron
+1
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Old 12-23-2010, 07:05 AM   #304
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Re: Got pwned by boxer =-(

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Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
What was that about nobody trying to do O Sensei's Aikido?
Just as easily might have been an instruction as pejorative observation. For example, "You're not doing my Aikido!" as in, "Do your own Aikido!"

Best,

Ron
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Old 12-23-2010, 07:24 AM   #305
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Re: Got pwned by boxer =-(

I think George's post (#294) was great. Worth re-reading.

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Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
Quote:
George Ledyard wrote:
The internal power training which has been discussed at length is about focusing on oneself and bringing the various components of the mind-body into an integrated state. It is largely a solo endeavor, although I really appreciate the way Dan H teaches many of the exercises under load with a partner. Anyway, you are not trying to do anything to anyone else. You are integrating yourself.
For fighting effectiveness.
No.

There's a misunderstanding here. Daito ryu aiki (which = the aiki that Ueshiba's had which = a physical body skill) is a changing of the body to allow the body to work at a very fundamentally different manner than normal. This aiki isn't a "tool" and isn't a "technique" as most of the world defines those terms. The exercises of aiki rewire and rebuild a body to internally work differently such that the aiki body is a more "martial" body.

That isn't to say it can *not* be used in other venues, but someone with aiki who then proceeds to learn a martial system will stand out significantly. The very real and important point here is that aiki, by itself, will not create a martial artist, a fighter, a boxer, etc. One must learn those martial systems.

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Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
Quote:
George Ledyard wrote:
But O-Sensei changed the form of the practice to focus on these principles and the trans-formative effect on the individual of integrating oneself with these principles. It was meant to be a spiritual practice.
ONCE he became proficient technically speaking.
Not really. Look back at the timeline. Ueshiba first started training with Takeda in 1915 but it wasn't extensive. He moves to train with Deguchi in 1920. Then in 1922, he trains extensively with Takeda for about 6 months. By 1922, he had two years with Takeda and two years with Deguchi. He was already intertwining aiki with spirituality. By the 1930s, he had at least 7 years of devoted training using both. It wasn't a matter that he became technically proficient first. He became proficient in both at the same time.

There's more than a few pre-war students from the Kobukan era who are quoted saying that they didn't understand Ueshiba's lectures. And it was debated whether Ueshiba was his best pre-war or post-war. However, some talk about his power and how he felt like lightning/electricity in pre-war and then some talk about how ghost-like and soft he was in post-war.

I think Ueshiba changed both his techniques and his spiritual ideology throughout his life. But, he did so with both technical and spiritual as one entity, starting from the beginning.

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Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
There is for me and I'm not O Sensei. Do you really believe that it took him 50 years of rigorous training to begin to even understand Ikkyo? Was he that bad?
No, he wasn't that bad. But, both aiki and spirituality are an ever evolving entity. Throughout the Japanese arts and the Chinese arts, those martial artists who had aiki continued to talk about how they kept progressing and getting "stronger" (budo or martial strong, not physical) even as they aged.

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Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
Quote:
George Ledyard wrote:
Anyway, you become what you train. If you take the idea that you can just focus on technique and spiritual thing will come later, you will inevitably hit a dead end in which your technique stops progressing because the limiting factor will no longer be something physical. You can see this in innumerable high level practitioners. Their stuff hasn't changed in years and years because the focus of their training was outward on technique and how one could apply it to defeating an opponent outside oneself. A inward focus, both technical and spiritual, gives one the freedom to keep developing technically indefinitely. That's why O-Sensei's Aikido at the end of his life didn't look like what he did in his fifties and didn't look like what most of his students ended up doing. He kept changing, they didn't. They never understood his spiritual ideas and how they related to the practice and chose instead to master the form but not the content.
I cannot agree with you here too. So I need the spiritual to keep progressing in my technique? Does it work too for Chess or Civil Engineering? Sorry but no. No.
We're talking martial arts, not engineering or games. And I think George is stating that focusing solely on techniques as it relates to defeating an opponent will only get you so far. I think he's right. Even Kodo said his art was formless. These men worked on becoming the best that they could be and IMO that focus was derived by physically changing their body, mentally changing their minds, and by changing spiritually. Ueshiba just took it to the extreme in the spirituality area.

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Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
Quote:
George Ledyard wrote:
Of course, there is a continuum I am talking about. Some teachers freed themselves more from technical restraints of form and pursued some notion of a spiritual underpinning and others seemed almost entirely uninterested. But it is clear to me that O-Sensei's Aikido was meant to reveal the truth of non-separation, of the essential interconnectedness of things. Technique was a tool for that study. If ones interest is in fighting, all ones training starts with the fundamentally dualistic mindset that virtually precludes understanding this fact that way the Fonder understood it.
You mean then than prewar students did not understand a thing. Frankly, what's the different between those prewar deshi's techniques, the pictures of Noma Dojo, and Iwama Ryu's? Where is that technical progress?
The pre-war students had just as much a hard time understanding Ueshiba's spiritual talks as the post-war students did. Few got it. That's a fact. That isn't to say they didn't understand a thing. They got something from Ueshiba -- a bit of aiki. It only takes a quick glance at people like Shioda, Tomiki, and Mochizuki to see that they didn't really, totally agree with Ueshiba's spiritual ideology or how he changed things.

Techniques are a completely different thing. Anyone can mimic techniques. Look at the Ohio students who studied diligently from books and then showed up at a Tohei seminar. Tohei was impressed with what they had done. Look at Kisshomaru stating that it should only take a couple of years to learn techniques. In a cooperative training environment such as Modern Aikido, anyone can mimic the techniques. For 40 years, we have proven that true. However, that is not the same as doing the techniques as Ueshiba did them. The form is the same but the function is completely different.

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Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
For what purpose were Aikido techniques created? Were they created by O Sensei? Or they predate him by hundreds of years? Were they not created to defeat and prevail in armed and unarmed confrontation?
Ueshiba changed and modified the Daito ryu syllabus for his own personal, spiritual goals. Those were created by Ueshiba, yes. Do they look similar to Daito ryu techniques? yeah. Are they the same? No. Even Ueshiba is quoted as saying that he hated teaching at the military schools because it was all about winning and killing.

Looking back to the demonstration where Ohba, as uke, changed his attacks to be completely realistic, we can see Ueshiba having to revert back to *other* things than what he wanted to show. Ueshiba was furious about it, too. That was not his aikido. And it didn't look like any other demonstration he had given.

Compare Daito ryu and aikido techniques with koryu jujutsu techniques. Why are they different? Compare Sagawa with Ueshiba. Why was Sagawa not impressed with Ueshiba's "techniques"? Why was Mochizuki not happy with Ueshiba when Ueshiba changed and altered techniques? Why did Tomiki try to add some sort of "competitive" element? Why was Shioda's school chosen for the police but Modern Aikido wasn't? Did not Ueshiba teach at many military schools? What changed?
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Old 12-23-2010, 07:42 AM   #306
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Re: Got pwned by boxer =-(

I'd disagree. The techniques in aikido are related to using aiki. It's why the techniques in Daito ryu and aikido look different than koryu jujutsu. The primary point of aikido techniques aren't about using a weapon. For Ueshiba, that primary point was aiki and spirituality intertwined. And as one pre-war student said, nikkyo (or one of them) was about body development not about it being a technique.

In another place, there's mention of working on a wrist technique, not for practical purposes but because as uke, doing it one way caused pain while doing it another way, nothing was felt by uke and the "technique" didn't work. In other words, they were working out why if you did it correctly, it negated the lock. Not that it was an efficient manner of dealing with someone who had a weapon.

Aiki works armed or unarmed (That isn't to say that an unarmed person would fare well against an armed one). Modern Aikido, though, is different. It lacks aiki, so the context of practice is very different. I still wouldn't say those techniques rely upon weapon usage. Just look at some of the Filipino arts and you can see how they intertwined empty hand with weapons usage. Or koryu jujutsu where, I believe, a weapon is implied. None look anything like aikido or Modern Aikido.

That also isn't to say that you can't use aikido or Modern Aikido in a weapons usage manner. But, that isn't the primary function of either, IMO.

Mark

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Michael Varin wrote: View Post
Let's end this once and for all.

The techniques you see in aikido are related to the use of weapons.

MMA is looking at small sliver of all combat. It is highly refined for what is does.

But for a moment imagine the poor boxer who says, as the life bleeds out of his body, "I got pwned by the kyudo guy." Believe me there is a reason why boxers don't fight archers.

Face a boxer, kick-boxer, muay thai, wrestler, or bjj'er with a sword and witness the difference. All those styles are completely ineffective against a sword. All of their attacks and defences and strategies will result in death for the practitioner against a sword. Do you think samurai were stupid? They fought and killed and died for a living.

Reflect on the context of weapons, multiple opponents, and surprise and aikido will cease to be a mystery... Don't be disappointed as mastering it still will be!

If you knew that someone was going to use a weapon on you, or that they always carried weapons, what might your method of attack look like? What might your strategies be?

If you were a man who always carried weapons and favored using them, what might you want out of a martial art? What situations would you prepare for?

Any aikidoist who desires to understand the practical application of the techniques of their art, must consider these questions.
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Old 12-23-2010, 08:30 AM   #307
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Re: Got pwned by boxer =-(

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Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
No. He did not. I just say that prewar exponents' techniques and Iwama Ryu's techniques are very similar. And all of them very different from all that's in the middle (chronologically speaking).

I don't buy that those in the middle are/were doing what O Sensei taught them. What was that about nobody trying to do O Sensei's Aikido?
As someone who's studied both boxing and aikido (since that's where this discussion began)... thanks for laying it out like this and saving me the trouble, Alejandro. With all respect to what George has been saying, I still hold that the MARTIAL side of aikido is as important as the ART side. If you study aikido only to grow as a person and reach spiritual tranquility, that's absolutely your prerogative and I wish you well. Just don't be surprised if it doesn't work IF avoidance and verbal disarmament (what I call "real" aikido) fail. Once you learn the martial, you begin to understand the art.

Also, a quick bit of props for boxers: you want to talk about spiritual development? Try standing up and fighting someone in front of a couple hundred strangers. That, coupled with the shugyo of a boxing regimen, taught me as much about myself as any randori or misogi session. Most of the boxers I met (and many I've seen interviewed, for that matter) defied the stereotype and were/are thoughtful, peaceful people outside of the gym/ring, just like aikidoka.

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Old 12-23-2010, 10:38 AM   #308
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Re: Got pwned by boxer =-(

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Nick Porter wrote: View Post
As someone who's studied both boxing and aikido (since that's where this discussion began)... thanks for laying it out like this and saving me the trouble, Alejandro. With all respect to what George has been saying, I still hold that the MARTIAL side of aikido is as important as the ART side. If you study aikido only to grow as a person and reach spiritual tranquility, that's absolutely your prerogative and I wish you well. Just don't be surprised if it doesn't work IF avoidance and verbal disarmament (what I call "real" aikido) fail. Once you learn the martial, you begin to understand the art.
I always find myself in the position of playing devil's advocate on these forums... when I'm talking to someone like Graham I end up sounding like Attila the Hun and when I'm responding to someone like Tony I end up sounding like some New Age, wishful thinking Aikido practitioner.

So, just to clarify... Aikido should be a balance between the martial and the spiritual. They are equally important. Note I said equally. Very few people I encounter seem to be able to hold those two aspects simultaneously' This was true of the deshi as well. This is the source, I believe, of O-Sensei's frustration that "no one is doing my Aikido".

Seattle tends to be a hotbed of "spiritual" Aikido, so normally, I am reaction against the tendency to be in love with Aikido and notions of O-Sensei that are based on very little, if any, factual information. The martial side is weak on the West Coast generally, with some notable exceptions. But folks are serious about the art as a transformational path.

On the other hand, the East Coast, where I am from, likes to think of itself as really martial and the make fun of the West Coast non-martial paradigm. However, I am often struck by how unthoughtful many of these folks are about what they do. It's just a form of martial exercise for them. Or a pursuit of power designed to make fearful people less fearful.

The number of folks, like a William Gleason or a Matsuoka Sensei, who can walk the talk on the mat and also have pursued a vision of Aikido that is something more than jiu jutsu is too small for my liking. The Aikido of O-Sensei, a vision passed onto me by my own teacher Saotome Sensei, is an "endangered species". We have gotten to the point at which the martial boys aren't even doing very good martial arts and the "spiritual folks" aren't doing anything with very deep spirituality.

When I talk about these things, I am generally referring to the teachers, the folks who have voluntarily set themselves up as transmitters of the art. I constantly encounter teachers of Aikido who have never read Aikido Journal, never participated on the forums nor have they read the threads, never bothered to read Peter G's developing masterpiece here on Aikiweb... Often these teachers have no background whatever in any martial arts apart from Aikido. They have little or no knowledge of weapons, of striking arts, grappling, boxing, knife / stick arts, pretty much zero experience in anything but Aikido.

So, you have an art that is being transmitted by people who don't know the history of the art, don't have the least idea about the spiritual foundations of the art as the Founder understood them, don't have a solid martial background and can't offer their students much depth in any area. These folks skipped the Aiki Expos. They have ignored, even actively resisted, the opportunities that now exist to tap into teachers from outside who have been willing and even eager to help Aikido folks be better at what they do, like Aukuzawa, Mike S, Dan H, Toby Threadgill, Howard Popkin, etc.

So when I see on the forums those folks who seem to believe that Aikido is just some form of jiu jutsu, whose Aikido, as expressed through their posts anyway, seems to be limited to what I would call the "bop and torque" school of Aikido, I try to point out that it is far more than than what they seem to see in the training. I think this is really a thoughtful martial art for thoughtful people. Pursuit of martial prowess for its own sake isn't why the art was founded. It misses half the picture.

On the other hand, the "wishful thinking" school of Aikido is missing the other half. They are full of lofty ideals which they have virtually no ability to connect to their actual technique. They love the idea of O-Sensei as the un-defeatable martial artist / spiritual genius but have made no effort whatever to become that themselves. They do bad martial arts and call it spiritual. It's just as out of balance with O-Sensei's Aikido as the "bop and torque" folks are,

In a past post I referred to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, one of my favorite books. Pirsig talks about these two paradigms, which he refers to as the rational / scientific worldview and the "groovy" world view (it was written in the 70's when that term was in common usage).

In the Aikido community, one sees both of these paradigms functioning, with the rational / scientific folks pursuing technical mastery with little thoughtfulness beyond what is practical, beyond what works and the "groovy" folks who love the ideas, adore O-Sensei (even though they know very little about him), and have absolutely no idea how to apply the techniques of the art in a martial encounter and don't generally care that they don't.

I think that the point of Pirsig's book was that genuine wisdom only happens when these two seemingly oppositional paradigms are unified, like Yin and Yang, inseparable, constantly ebbing and flowing around each other, but having a balance that is always present. Real mastery of Aikido is the same. It should have a balance between the martial and the spiritual. One should be free to manifest technique in any way that is required. Technique designed for exploration of the principles of connection isn't going to be the same as technique that is designed to save your life in a deadly encounter. A solid underpinning of knowledge both intellectual and martial should be the goal if one is striving towards mastery.

So, addressing the original topic of the thread, what I see as the issue with most of the ways folks have addressed the issue of boxing type attacks, shows a lack of sophistication in their understanding of the principle of irimi. There was a story about Shioda Sensei after the war... He and his students did a demo for some American service men. After the demo, the service men, who had a Golden Gloves boxer in their midst, asked about how they'd handle bxing style attacks. Initially, Shioda had his boys try to deal with the boxer but he "owned them". They couldn't get any of their cool locks etc without getting nailed repeatedly. So then Shioda, to preserve the honor of the art, came out and faced off with the boxer. When the boxer jabbed, instead of trying to snag the jabbing arm, as his students had tried in vain to do, Shioda slipped the jab, went straight in, snagged the back arm and dropped the guy with what I guess was a shihonage or figure four.

Anyway, this is where the difference lies between a focus on what seems to work, what is effective in a limited sense and developing an understanding of deeper principle through better training. Irimi is a very deep principle and it is not well understood. Even Shioda's tough boys made the mistake of trying to deal with the attack whereas Shioda went to the center. There was no second strike possible. That was "irimi". When irimi is executed properly, there should be no second strike possible.

So, all the sparring type responses to boxing, where there's a give and take, where there's even a chance for the boxer to throw a combination, are not ultimately what you are shooting for. What you really want is to not let the boxer determine the timing of his strike, which you do by initiating, and you want to occupy the space he needs to be in to hit you. If you can do that, then a boxer is no different than any other striking attacker.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 12-23-2010, 11:33 AM   #309
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Re: Got pwned by boxer =-(

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Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
Video? I train regulary in the Yoseikan lineage for some 8 years now and being flirting with Iwama Ryu for some years too. Aikikai 10 years now. I know what I'm saying. Video? Who said video?
You didn't answer the question. How much direct physical knowledge do you have of the differences between pre-war and post-war aikido, particularly as practiced by uchi deshi from those periods?

Just because a dojo belongs to the ASU, that doesn't mean the chief instructor -- much less the students -- has any ability to replicate what Saotome Sensei is doing. So I'm generally skeptical of the assumption that a particular lineage necessarily replicates the aikido of its founding instructor.

Katherine
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:59 PM   #310
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Re: Got pwned by boxer =-(

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
So, all the sparring type responses to boxing, where there's a give and take, where there's even a chance for the boxer to throw a combination, are not ultimately what you are shooting for. What you really want is to not let the boxer determine the timing of his strike, which you do by initiating, and you want to occupy the space he needs to be in to hit you. If you can do that, then a boxer is no different than any other striking attacker.
And a good boxer would never let you get his center, but now it's me playing devil's advocate .

I agree completely; like with everything, balance is necessary. You train in the dojo for the necessary physical response. You train outside of the dojo to grow the necessary mental responses (e.g. learning in-depth the history of the Arts), and eventually the physical and the mental merge and you train inside and outside the dojo and acquire the necessary spiritual responses.

Cheers,
Nick

---
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Old 12-23-2010, 04:18 PM   #311
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Re: Got pwned by boxer =-(

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Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
No. He did not. I just say that prewar exponents' techniques and Iwama Ryu's techniques are very similar. And all of them very different from all that's in the middle (chronologically speaking).

I don't buy that those in the middle are/were doing what O Sensei taught them. What was that about nobody trying to do O Sensei's Aikido?
Kihon Waza is kihon waza. Saotome Sensei's kihon waza is pretty much the same kihon waza as the Yoshinkan / Iwama folks, with minor differences. The question is really whether it all stops there or keeps going. Both Saotome Sensei and Ikeda Sensei do their Aikido on an entirely different basis when they are not just teaching basics. Each can manifest technique in a multitude of ways depending on the purpose at the time.

Saito Sensei saw his mission as preserving O-Sensei's Aikido, as he was taught that Aikido. Repeatedly one would hear later deshi saying that if one wished to know how a technique was done earlier by the Founder, one should ask Saito Sensei. Saito Sensei even walked around when teaching with a little book of O-Sensei's technique, saying "See, I didn't change a thing!".

While valuable for the rest of us to have a moment of Aikido history frozen in time that we can refer back to, I do not think that this is what O-Sensei had in mind. He was on the record as saying that one can get trapped by technique and to be wary lest that happened. Many of the post war greats, like Yamaguchi Seigo, worked out their own Aikido. To me that is the point. To work out your own Aikido and keep working it out until you pass away. Everyone who limits himself to imitating someone else's Aikido inevitably falls short. Only if you add something from your own investigations into the mix and make that Aikido truly your own can you hope to go as far or farther than ones own teacher. Only that way can the art grow rather than shrink with each generation.

Not one of Saotome Sensei's students looks like him, not Ikeda Sensei and not any of the rest of us. And Sensei is quite overtly proud of that fact. He taught us how to train but didn't try to tell us what to train. He left that for us to find out. Each of his students has taken a different path on that journey, and the best of them will leave Aikido with something that is his or her unique contribution.

As far as I am concerned, that is the process as it should be.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 12-23-2010, 04:31 PM   #312
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Re: Got pwned by boxer =-(

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And a good boxer would never let you get his center, but now it's me playing devil's advocate .

I agree completely; like with everything, balance is necessary. You train in the dojo for the necessary physical response. You train outside of the dojo to grow the necessary mental responses (e.g. learning in-depth the history of the Arts), and eventually the physical and the mental merge and you train inside and outside the dojo and acquire the necessary spiritual responses.

Cheers,
Nick
Well, of course, that's martial arts... no one lets you get anything. You have to take it. It's back to that old question of who would win when an Aikido guy meets a guy who does art X/Y/Z? The answer is the guy who is best at what he does.

Ushiro Kenji, when asked what would happen if two opponents met who both understood what he was teaching. He replied that the guy who would win would be the guy who got inside the best. That is a perfectly good Koan to reflect on and one, the answer of which, will change with time and understanding.

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Old 02-12-2011, 07:51 PM   #313
Keith Burnikell
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Re: Got pwned by boxer =-(

OP, engaging any more-experienced martial artist looking for a favorable outcome is a tall order.

Can Aikido be effective against other martial arts? Yes.
The issue appears to be 'why does it appear to take so much longer to become 'proficient' in aikido?

Many reasons. The two most obvious are repetitions and training mindset.
Repetitions. I'll explain.
Haganah has 16 week rotations. Lot of reps. Krav Maga has similar drills.
How many punches does a boxer throw in a year? How many combos thrown in Karate, TKD, MuayThai? How much uchikomi is done in a Judo class? Assuming that all of the MAs have good instructors it boils down to how quickly the requisite skills are gained and NOT playing the other guy's game. Note I said skills, not techniques.
I believe that the answer lies in lots of quality repetitions. Going through full throws in Aikido (especially projections) eats up a lot of time and exhausts ukes quickly. Not so in other martial arts. So, there's a potential for disparity in the efficiency of gaining knowledge. This can be remedied by stopping short of the actual throw/pin 4 out of 5 times. Then there's the 'talking'. How many times have aikidoka had to sit through 10-15 minute breaks expounding about O'Sensei and other such topics and crucial time is taken away from a 2 hour class. In many Aikido dojos, there's simply far too much talking.

Training mindset:
Go to a boxing gym and look at the training dedication, focus and discipline. They don't hide behind philosophies for why their techniques don't work, they train to fix the issues.

Perhaps that's why dedicated boxers with ~ 3 years under their belt are usually far better at boxing than the usual 3 year aikido practitioners are at aikido. It's not just skill, it's the peripheral aspects. They're fitter and tougher mentally. They learn their sport thoroughly and WILL annihilate you if you stand in front of them. Evading won't help much. They're masters at eating up space and not overcommitting. However, after hanging out with my friend who was a pro-fighter he demonstrated very subtle deflections and parries. I was amazed at how soft they were. In fact, at his level (and he was good) I saw a great similarity to Systema.

I have trained with an Aikidoka that I felt trained in Aikido with the same fire and focus that boxers train. His aikido is impressive. He's a no name to most people on here but I have seen him mix it up with a trained fighter. Aikidoka was 150lbs soaking wet. The guy he fought was 230lbs, highly trained and younger. Result, the big guy was a dish rag when he was done. No aikido principle was broken at any time that I could see. Aikido works.

Story two: I've witnessed an Aikidoka use aikido to stun a proficient MMA practitioner! It did involve the appropriate use of atemi. IMHO, those instructors (no matter the rank) that fail to include atemi waza in the training of their students are doing them a HUGE injustice or poorly trained themselves.

Given enough repetitions, the inefficiencies disappear and you distill your skills down to the fundamental principles. Then you can train for specific opponents but the principles remain the same.

As to the previous comments concerning carrying firearms: I agree, firearms are highly effective but use of a firearm WILL be a life changing event for you. Period. My breaking anyone's arm while controlling him is a lot different to resorting to shoot him in the face in response to a dangerous beat down. In addition, there are many times I am not allowed to have a weapon on my person...e.g. airports. Aikido's really nice to know in such a circumstance.

Summarizing, if Aikidoka trained with the same focus and efficiency as boxers/Muay Thai practitioners their learning curve would be much steeper. I don't believe that such an approach to training would in anyway compromise the philosophical benefits of Aikido.
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:50 AM   #314
Eric Winters
Dojo: Aikido of San Leandro and Berkeley
Location: Emeryville, CA
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Re: Got pwned by boxer =-(

Hi Keith,

Great post.

Eric
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Old 02-13-2011, 03:06 PM   #315
lbb
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Re: Got pwned by boxer =-(

Quote:
Keith Burnikell wrote: View Post
OP, engaging any more-experienced martial artist looking for a favorable outcome is a tall order.
OP started this gazillion-page thread two years ago. I doubt he's still reading.
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Old 02-14-2011, 08:52 AM   #316
tlk52
Dojo: Aikido of Park Slope/NY Aikikai
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Re: Got pwned by boxer =-(

one sensei who has an extensive boxing background is Harvey Konigsburg of Woodstock NY.

he'll be teaching with Yamada Sensei at the
Midwest Aikido Center/April 30th - May 1st
4349 North Damen Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60618
Telephone: 773.477.0123
info@midwestaikidocenter.org
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:11 AM   #317
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
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Re: Got pwned by boxer =-(

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
OP started this gazillion-page thread two years ago. I doubt he's still reading.
He's probably got his black belt by now and is teaching the beginners this thread has gone on so long...

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 02-14-2011, 11:28 AM   #318
Eric Winters
Dojo: Aikido of San Leandro and Berkeley
Location: Emeryville, CA
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 81
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Re: Got pwned by boxer =-(

Don't all you neebies understand that restarting an old thread is just plain stupid. All of us aikiweb sempei have read through these threads and came up with THE ANSWERS.

Jeez, how totally kohei of you.

Eric "aikiweb sempei" Winters
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:23 AM   #319
DonMagee
Location: Indiana
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Posts: 1,311
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Re: Got pwned by boxer =-(

Quote:
Keith Burnikell wrote: View Post
OP, engaging any more-experienced martial artist looking for a favorable outcome is a tall order.

Can Aikido be effective against other martial arts? Yes.
The issue appears to be 'why does it appear to take so much longer to become 'proficient' in aikido?

Many reasons. The two most obvious are repetitions and training mindset.
Repetitions. I'll explain.
Haganah has 16 week rotations. Lot of reps. Krav Maga has similar drills.
How many punches does a boxer throw in a year? How many combos thrown in Karate, TKD, MuayThai? How much uchikomi is done in a Judo class? Assuming that all of the MAs have good instructors it boils down to how quickly the requisite skills are gained and NOT playing the other guy's game. Note I said skills, not techniques.
I believe that the answer lies in lots of quality repetitions. Going through full throws in Aikido (especially projections) eats up a lot of time and exhausts ukes quickly. Not so in other martial arts. So, there's a potential for disparity in the efficiency of gaining knowledge. This can be remedied by stopping short of the actual throw/pin 4 out of 5 times. Then there's the 'talking'. How many times have aikidoka had to sit through 10-15 minute breaks expounding about O'Sensei and other such topics and crucial time is taken away from a 2 hour class. In many Aikido dojos, there's simply far too much talking.

Training mindset:
Go to a boxing gym and look at the training dedication, focus and discipline. They don't hide behind philosophies for why their techniques don't work, they train to fix the issues.

Perhaps that's why dedicated boxers with ~ 3 years under their belt are usually far better at boxing than the usual 3 year aikido practitioners are at aikido. It's not just skill, it's the peripheral aspects. They're fitter and tougher mentally. They learn their sport thoroughly and WILL annihilate you if you stand in front of them. Evading won't help much. They're masters at eating up space and not overcommitting. However, after hanging out with my friend who was a pro-fighter he demonstrated very subtle deflections and parries. I was amazed at how soft they were. In fact, at his level (and he was good) I saw a great similarity to Systema.

I have trained with an Aikidoka that I felt trained in Aikido with the same fire and focus that boxers train. His aikido is impressive. He's a no name to most people on here but I have seen him mix it up with a trained fighter. Aikidoka was 150lbs soaking wet. The guy he fought was 230lbs, highly trained and younger. Result, the big guy was a dish rag when he was done. No aikido principle was broken at any time that I could see. Aikido works.

Story two: I've witnessed an Aikidoka use aikido to stun a proficient MMA practitioner! It did involve the appropriate use of atemi. IMHO, those instructors (no matter the rank) that fail to include atemi waza in the training of their students are doing them a HUGE injustice or poorly trained themselves.

Given enough repetitions, the inefficiencies disappear and you distill your skills down to the fundamental principles. Then you can train for specific opponents but the principles remain the same.

As to the previous comments concerning carrying firearms: I agree, firearms are highly effective but use of a firearm WILL be a life changing event for you. Period. My breaking anyone's arm while controlling him is a lot different to resorting to shoot him in the face in response to a dangerous beat down. In addition, there are many times I am not allowed to have a weapon on my person...e.g. airports. Aikido's really nice to know in such a circumstance.

Summarizing, if Aikidoka trained with the same focus and efficiency as boxers/Muay Thai practitioners their learning curve would be much steeper. I don't believe that such an approach to training would in anyway compromise the philosophical benefits of Aikido.
I've always believed it was not the bag work, uchikomi, or pushups that made me a better fighter, but the sparring, randori, and mental desire.

One set of training builds conditioning and muscle memory and the other builds creativity and working knowledge of how to use it. If I had two boxers who were identical in every way except for one omitted sparring from his training, I know where I'd be putting my money down in vegas.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:19 PM   #320
Keith Burnikell
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Re: Got pwned by boxer =-(

Don, I agree with you. The boxers who spar are the most creative and would be where I'd put my money too. But, before you spar you do the 'reps'! It's just easier to get to sparring in boxing.

How can anyone appreciate George's description of the ikkyo curve unless they've done a few thousand ikkyos themselves?
How does a trainer discuss combinations if he's working with a boxer who doesn't have a fluid punches in his/her repertoire?

Unfortunately, I know far too many Shodans/Nidans that simply would not be able to acquit themselves in a scrap, let alone against a boxer with just 6 months training. So the question remains: In 4 years how many jabs does a boxer throw sparring vs ikkyo by a Shodan? 100:1 ; 1000:1 How many minutes of randori vs how many hours of sparring?

I'd hazard a guess that Saotome, Chiba, Saito, Shioda, Tomiki would have all been more than capable in a scrap by Shodan/Nidan level. Not only because they are/were exceptional students but because their preparation was far more 'rigorous' and focused.

I believe there's an opportunity here!
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:14 AM   #321
Michael Varin
Dojo: Aikido of Fresno
Join Date: May 2005
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Re: Got pwned by boxer =-(

Quote:
Keith Burnikell wrote:
But, before you spar you do the 'reps'! It's just easier to get to sparring in boxing.


Unfortunately, I know far too many Shodans/Nidans that simply would not be able to acquit themselves in a scrap, let alone against a boxer with just 6 months training. So the question remains: In 4 years how many jabs does a boxer throw sparring vs ikkyo by a Shodan? 100:1 ; 1000:1 How many minutes of randori vs how many hours of sparring?


I believe there's an opportunity here!
I do, too!

But I strongly dispute the notion that an aikidoist can't be at the same level as a boxer in 6 months, all other things being equal.

A boxer obviously prepares for boxing. What are we preparing for? Boxing?

True. That will not be accomplished in 6 months, primarily, because it is a foolish pursuit.

How could training in techniques that are not designed for the context of boxing prepare you for that context?

On the other hand, it you train the techniques of aikido in their proper context (weapons and multiple opponents) and with resistance, i.e., sparring, it is very possible to develop competent martial artists in a time frame closer to what we expect from boxing or bjj.

That is the new frontier of aikido.

-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 02-26-2011, 09:54 AM   #322
Keith Burnikell
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Re: Got pwned by boxer =-(

Michael, you're absolutely right, a boxer prepares for boxing.

Aikidoka prepare for life. Unfortunately, life contains folks that prepare unlike us and we, on occasion, have to deal with them. Training in a vacuum in this regard is dangerous. It creates an unrealistic notion for many of the students.

We're agreed. Aikido students can be developed faster than is normally the case, but a modification of some of the teaching methodologies is needed.
I know that there are people far more knowledgable than I who are working on this. I'm excited to see the results.
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:33 PM   #323
AsimHanif
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 480
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Re: Got pwned by boxer =-(

Good points Keith. One of my main focuses is showing how the principles (not techniques) of boxing and aikido are the same. I agree though, the methodology has to change along with a certain mindset. Basically people have to be willing to do the work; the hard physical work. We have to get out of theorizing and work from an honest standpoint.
In the (self serving) video below, the kid I'm working with will do that combination or variation uncountable times. Constantly polishing his mirror so to speak. I just don't see a lot of aikido people who work at that level of consistency.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwBtkuJ6HPI
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Old 02-26-2011, 02:44 PM   #324
Keith Burnikell
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Re: Got pwned by boxer =-(

Exactly!
For those that train like you say, their aikido's impressive and they just seem to learn faster than anyone else. Funny how that works!

This problem is compounded when we try to absolve ourselves of any responsibility for our training by saying they're gifted. They're just willing/able to work harder and sacrifice more than the rest of us.

Quote:
Asim Hanif wrote: View Post
I just don't see a lot of aikido people who work at that level of consistency.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwBtkuJ6HPI
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