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Old 06-29-2011, 03:43 AM   #26
dps
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Blend with Uke ( Musubi)

Position Uke (Tsukuri)

Break Uke's balance (Kuzushi)

Finish Uke (Kake)

dps
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:05 AM   #27
phitruong
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

question, are we assuming that the attacker isn't outclass us in every way? if our attacker is stronger, faster, more experience, can out think us, can out class us in weaponry, empty hand, etc and etc, do we still think we can do what we do and live?

just curious about folks expectation. reminded me of a quote "plan for the worst, hope for the best".
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:19 AM   #28
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
Cherie and Hugh, no fair, you guys both are working on IS, correct? Hugh through Gleason sensei, and Cherie after working with Mark Murray. I understand the approach to the topic from the point of view of the practitioner of IS.
i
I don't consider myself a practitioner of IS I consider myself an aikidoka and the answer I gave you cam from my experiences as such to date. IS did not enter the picture until you asked me what I thought about it. I then answered you that question honestly based again on my experience. I'm not sure I understand why it matters if I have experience with IS or not since my earlier comments were not related to that subject.
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:33 AM   #29
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

I'm into the IS aspects these days, but having used my aikido in a couple of fights long before I knew about IS I would say it's just good technique earned through hard, honest practice with people who aren't just giving it to you. At least that's the best answer I can give because I don't really have anything better to point too as to why it worked for me when it did. Especially when so many people want to say it doesn't work.

Last edited by chillzATL : 06-29-2011 at 07:36 AM.
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:48 AM   #30
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
question, are we assuming that the attacker isn't outclass us in every way? if our attacker is stronger, faster, more experience, can out think us, can out class us in weaponry, empty hand, etc and etc, do we still think we can do what we do and live?

just curious about folks expectation. reminded me of a quote "plan for the worst, hope for the best".
It is what I tell my students: we practise to 'defeat' the attacker we cannot 'defeat'. Everyone that already can be 'defeated' is not of interest form a learning point of view.
In actual battle: be the best you can be and hope for the best (the other can make mistakes...

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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Old 06-29-2011, 08:18 AM   #31
gates
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Given that in aikido, we do not overcome an attacker with superior strength, how is it that we survive an attack and defeat aggression?

When I hear a question such as this it reminds me of the famous Terry Dobson train story. Not just because it exemplifies the power of Aiki (Love - not the other one), but because I often think about the old man.

Consider the old man faced with the aggressive drunk, you assume stronger and physically more able to fight (although drunk). What is it that the old man has that enables him to act to control the aggressor with such ease?

Is it that he was a secret IP master that gave him his confidence? I doubt it. Is it that he had nothing to fear as he was half dead already? Maybe a little. Or is it his life long experience that gave him wisdom, wisdom enough to see to the motivation of the young drunk?

"Budo: Bu - Physical movement; Do - Tao, Logos.
The true way of physical action exactly follows the activity of a priori Life Will. This definition was later narrowed to apply only to the martial arts of Japan. The goal of their exercise was to open up to their highest human capacity. Today people misunderstand this to mean self-defence or a sportive activity."
(First person who can PM me where this quote came from I will donate $50 to the charity of their choice)

Last edited by gates : 06-29-2011 at 08:28 AM.

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Old 06-29-2011, 08:28 AM   #32
Mario Tobias
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
Tim and David. Tough guys, eh? There might be more practical interpretations of what I said about "one w/ the universe" then you are allowing for. I am pretty strongly interested in practical usage, though you seem to think by my words I am airy-fairy.

Mario and Jon, I like what you have said, it is kind of what I was thinking of when I started the thread: if you have an interest in being able to fluently maintain kuzushi (Jon), if you want to take "you" out of the equation (Mario), then how does aikido enable that? What about our art makes that possible? In other words, how does it work? Aikidoka should be able to say how "what we do" operates.
I suggest you take a look at Endo sensei's videos in youtube. He is the closest example of what I am saying taking "you" out of the equation and you just being the medium of the physical laws.

The reason I said this is because Endo sensei doesn't grab any part of uke. He just redirects uke's energy and let physics take over.
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:18 AM   #33
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
question, are we assuming that the attacker isn't outclass us in every way? if our attacker is stronger, faster, more experience, can out think us, can out class us in weaponry, empty hand, etc and etc, do we still think we can do what we do and live?

just curious about folks expectation. reminded me of a quote "plan for the worst, hope for the best".
I think you have to outclass the attacker in some way (numbers, speed of running, whatever), or any "victory" is a matter of luck. Like you said, plan for the worst, hope for the best. It's the planning that provides how we could potentially outclass the attacker.

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Old 06-29-2011, 11:31 AM   #34
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Blend with Uke ( Musubi)

Position Uke (Tsukuri)

Break Uke's balance (Kuzushi)

Finish Uke (Kake)

dps
yeah, I like this set, although, now I'm curious what the difference might be between awase and musubi. My understanding is that awase is closer to the meaning of blending, while musubi, implies more of a connection...might not be much difference in this context?
In terms of function, I tend to think of musubi as "tracking," though it implies some related action, which certainly sounds like blending to me...
Hmmm...

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Old 06-29-2011, 11:35 AM   #35
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

I am one of those who come from more aggressive strength oriented bashing arts.

IMHO, intelligence and mobility are good points to start with.

Thoughts?

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:44 AM   #36
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Hi all, I'm really glad to read these replies, thanks! I hope anyone in the future who has more technical, strategeic, or philosophical answers can add them to the thread.

What I am seeing is that even if a person tries to speak directly to non-IS people, you still get similar answers as if you asked IS types, as long as people are talking in vague/general enough terms. If borne out by further replies, this would suggest that even on the internet, it is apparent that aikido folks are interested in the ideas and material that IS folks are discussing and teaching.

Still thinking about the replies, but I have to go b/c there is work to do in 'real life'..

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
question, are we assuming that the attacker isn't outclass us in every way? if our attacker is stronger, faster, more experience, can out think us, can out class us in weaponry, empty hand, etc and etc, do we still think we can do what we do and live?

just curious about folks expectation. reminded me of a quote "plan for the worst, hope for the best".
Yeah, sorry the original question is so ridiculous! Obviously if totally outclassed, it is close to impossible to defeat aggression. But I think some of the replies here speak to what I was getting at-- do we just have to be smart about judging skill level, strength, speed, weapons, etc, or is there a "something else" at work in aikido besides all that.
The something else would be a transcendent quality that people like O-sensei, Endo sensei, Sunadomari sensei, etc seem to address. I think that's the heart of "aiki," so the question is, how does one develop that in aikido? If you do IS it is a no-brainer, but if you don't, there must still be some answer!
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:47 AM   #37
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
IMHO, intelligence and mobility are good points to start with.

Thoughts?
I value those very much!
One thing though, the idea of merging (ai, blend, musubi, however you parse it), is coming up more and more in the thread and I think that is right on. If you say "mobility" people might think "escaping" rather than merging.
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:57 AM   #38
dps
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
I am one of those who come from more aggressive strength oriented bashing arts.

IMHO, intelligence and mobility are good points to start with.

Thoughts?
Intelligence, like when outclassed, outnumbered, outgunned mobility kicks in as in feet don't fail me know?

I agree.

dps
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Old 06-29-2011, 12:05 PM   #39
Ketsan
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
Hi guys, I would like to ask a question specifically of the people who are NOT into the whole Internal Strength thing. Some people are feeling left out of conversations, and I'd love to hear what you have to say. It's the kind of thing that interests non-IS pursuers as well as IS practitioners. You don't even have to be into sparring or anything-- this is a theoretical budo question.

The question is:
Given that in aikido, we do not overcome an attacker with superior strength, how is it that we survive an attack and defeat aggression?

I don't mean what technique to use, or other "ask your sensei" type things. I mean, in the big picture, theoretically, how does it happen? Not because we are bigger and stronger. Are we faster? Smarter? Not interested in 'defeating?' What lets us as aikidoka come out alright, theoretically?

For instance, if you say, "we use our attacker's power against him so he defeats himself," how is it that we are able to do that? I have been playing with a guy who spars and does judo, and let me tell you, if you are messing with his "power" to use it against him, he will rapidly change where he is putting power as soon as he feels that. So how does an aikidoka affect his power without him knowing? Would you do it through tricks (playing with his mind, baiting him, etc), or do you strive to do things more quickly than he can change? (In the case of the latter, that means you survive just because you are faster.)

I know how I currently would answer, but I am interested in discussion that reveals common ground with people who don't feel like part of the whole "bring back internals" thing. Thanks!
Personally I don't buy into the "using his own strength against him" thing; that sounds to me rather like Judo which I regard as being radically different technically from Aikido as I have experienced it.
For me Aikido has always been about rapidly acquring a position which neutralises his ability to generate power and then using your own to defeat him.

If you consider Shomen uchi irimi nage where is uke's power and where is it going? It's mostly in their arm and it's heading via an arc into the mat but irimi nage is about bringing uke around in another circle around your hips; clearly uke's power isn't contributing to the technique.

For me Aikido has become about waiting for the moment when uke is open and then performing a movement such that my initial contact destoys uke's posture rendering them helpless. That's Aikido for me in nutshell; the technique that comes after it is almost an irrelevence because if you've broken uke's posture you can do what you like.
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Old 06-29-2011, 12:43 PM   #40
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
What I am seeing is that even if a person tries to speak directly to non-IS people, you still get similar answers as if you asked IS types, as long as people are talking in vague/general enough terms. If borne out by further replies, this would suggest that even on the internet, it is apparent that aikido folks are interested in the ideas and material that IS folks are discussing and teaching.
I think they're "same same, but different." I'm not an IS guy per se...I'm barely an "ES," guy, for that matter. They seem to be two sides of the same coin, one is more top-down in approach while the other is more bottom-up, but they both develop the body's ability to withstand and generate force. I don't think either one is necessarily superior to the other. Then again, I'm ignorant.
I'm mostly replying to this thread because I grew up the smallest kid in class who was friends with (and wrestled with) the biggest kids in class and so I've thought about this question in one form or another for a long time (I actually have a sense of having real experience here, which is rare). What eventually came to mind was the idea that while I couldn't control the bigger kids, I could control the context of their attack. So I would present something to be attacked and then suddenly change that something. It worked a lot for me (relatively speaking); I even remember one time a friend of mine who was a foot taller and outweighed me by 40lbs (I was 12-ish) charged at me. So I charged at him, only I stopped just short of contact and then continued forward again. I ended up pushing him backward even though I was nowhere near as strong as he was. In my current line of thinking, I see it as having bounced my ki off the ground to over extend him and then entering to exploit it. At the time I just thought, "psych!!!! ...Hey I just pushed him backwards!!!" (Something I don't think I ever was able to accomplish as well again). This has always seemed to typify for me a good way for meeting a superior force head on: on my own sneaky terms. The ability to suddenly change directions (mobility) became my M.O. for dealing with my much stronger friends...and I developed an awareness of that by being forced to be smarter about how I engaged them (intelligence).

Last edited by mathewjgano : 06-29-2011 at 12:50 PM.

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Old 06-29-2011, 12:47 PM   #41
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

I'm reminded of something that my sensei says: "'When' is the most important thing, 'where' comes after that, and 'what' is least important." Successful aikido, I'd say, is one where you learn the "whats", but more importantly, learn when and where to use them.
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:40 PM   #42
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Something also to consider. If the bigger, stronger, more skilled guy is acting in anger and aggression he is not in full control and is going to leave openings that someone who is calm, cool, collected and not allowing emotion to color his actions can exploit. And if that person is in full control and not acting in anger or aggression... well there is nothing to defend against.
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:51 PM   #43
Hellis
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Quote:
Cherie Cornmesser wrote: View Post
Something also to consider. If the bigger, stronger, more skilled guy is acting in anger and aggression he is not in full control and is going to leave openings that someone who is calm, cool, collected and not allowing emotion to color his actions can exploit. And if that person is in full control and not acting in anger or aggression... well there is nothing to defend against.
Dear Ms Cherie

Something also to consider. If the bigger, stronger, more skilled guy is acting in anger and aggression he is not in full control

Just curious, have you ever faced such a person ??

Henry Ellis
British Aikido
http://britishaikido.blogspot.com/
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Old 06-29-2011, 02:03 PM   #44
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Quote:
Mario and Jon, I like what you have said, it is kind of what I was thinking of when I started the thread: if you have an interest in being able to fluently maintain kuzushi (Jon), if you want to take "you" out of the equation (Mario), then how does aikido enable that? What about our art makes that possible? In other words, how does it work? Aikidoka should be able to say how "what we do" operates.
From a basic point of view, kuzushi is the state of unbalance, musubi is the state of dependency. Aiki is the entire interaction of connecting to you partner and maintaining that connection. I will also say that I believe there is a logical order of things: break your partner's balance, transition you partner's balance structure onto your balance structure, extend your movement through your partner.

I believe that the "connection" in aikido is simply seizing your partner's balance to be dependent upon your structure. Effectively, in this state of musubi (unification of center) your partner's balance and yours become one (your balance). Once joined, the kuzushi state is easier to maintain. So it is really not as much about removing "you' and is it about creating "us". Aikidoka like Endo Sensei or Saotome Sensei simply always are "us".

Second, kuzushi is about seizing balance and not giving it back. This sort of principle exists in many arts, not just aikido. I personally look to judo and daito ryu aikijujitsu because I think they have good fundamental techniques that illustrate this point. In fact, I think the old judo stuff better defines kuzushi than many aikido people.
In sticking with a judo illustration, I love to demonstrate this principle with harai goshi:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gzk4M3OA0U
(I am not familiar with this judo club - I simply picked a youtube clip to illustrate the throw)
You can see in harai goshi, after nage seizes his partner's balance you have this obvious transition of balance from tori to nage; you can also see that tori's balance becomes wholly dependent upon nage. Finally, you see nage fit tightly with his partner, making nage's movement affect his partner. While not aikido, this is an example of kushi and musubi.

Now, aikido has more subtle interaction, but we have to start somewhere... Our kata needs to be precise. Almost palm up is not palm up. Left foot forward is not right foot forward. Kinda getting kuzushi and getting kuzushi are two different things. After we have precise kata and can perform kata no kihon waza with some success we develop these rough techniques. As we train and improve our techniques they will become more efficient, which means less force is required for the same effect.
I think a lot of the IS guys are going to advocate that we should already have a strong internal structure before starting waza, and I do not disagree.

Without wishing to tangent the thread, I think it is realistic to expect aikido people to know what it is they are doing, explain what they are doing, and solicit a desired response every time they do it. Aikido becomes a whole lot more complicated when you start throwing out zen koans and teaching by mystery. Not that aikido should not explore those things, but I think students have a right to receive clear instruction.

You have your balance; I am going to take that balance, make your ability to stand dependent upon my structure, then I am going to move you as I please.

Martial arts were made for people to fight against others who are in some respect a better fighter. A valid martial art must be able to prepare its students to deal with an opponent better then they [are].
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Old 06-29-2011, 02:17 PM   #45
Janet Rosen
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
I value those very much!
One thing though, the idea of merging (ai, blend, musubi, however you parse it), is coming up more and more in the thread and I think that is right on. If you say "mobility" people might think "escaping" rather than merging.
Running with this: I tend to think of it as connecting or uniting rather than blending for just that reason. I have been part of too many "blending exercises" that focused just on timing and position w/o connection and as a result became empty dances.
To me connecting or uniting gets to the heart of the fact that in a center to center connection hopefully I as nage am providing the structural integrity for a unified system that includes both of us - if I'm not, then uke is and should take over
Can I always do it? Of course not...but its what I aim for all the time....

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Old 06-29-2011, 02:23 PM   #46
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

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Henry Ellis wrote: View Post
Dear Ms Cherie

Something also to consider. If the bigger, stronger, more skilled guy is acting in anger and aggression he is not in full control

Just curious, have you ever faced such a person ??

Henry Ellis
British Aikido
http://britishaikido.blogspot.com/
Yup.
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Old 06-29-2011, 02:40 PM   #47
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

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Cherie Cornmesser wrote: View Post
Yup.
Dear Ms Cherie

Would you care to share such an experience ?

Henry Ellis
British Aikido

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Old 06-29-2011, 02:57 PM   #48
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Quote:
Henry Ellis wrote: View Post
Dear Ms Cherie

Would you care to share such an experience ?

Henry Ellis
British Aikido

http://britishaikido.blogspot.com/
Lets just say that being a child growing up in a violent home, who was also the victim of a lot of physical bullying by school mates and neighborhood kids, before the lesson was learned, is very educational in that department. I would much prefer not to revisit these things in detail.
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Old 06-29-2011, 02:59 PM   #49
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I think you have to outclass the attacker in some way (numbers, speed of running, whatever), or any "victory" is a matter of luck.
not necessary luck. necessary will. as in willing to die to take the other person down with you, i.e. almost suicidal. can't fight with that sort of people if you are not willing to risk everything. log bridge concept. on death ground, fight.
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Old 06-29-2011, 03:06 PM   #50
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

The experience of Matthew and the video of the monks of Graham shows that a fearless and strong attitude of our whole body and most important of our face is a main point too.

Another point is what our teacher told us in yesterdays class, that we should think of our weight and our strong position and when we use our hips put 2 or 3 times our real weight in the technique. That will take many years to learn too, but we have our all life to learn every detail step by step
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