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Old 10-20-2011, 09:00 AM   #1501
Alberto_Italiano
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Rich Hobbs wrote: View Post
Watching my friend's baby crawl around the other day it occurred to me that they would never win an olympic gold medal sprint using those methods; I immediately insisted that my friend put running shoes on his child and send them out to the nearest running track at dawn every day.

I never realised how much of an imbecile my friend was until they replied that their child was going to learn to walk before trying to apply their ambulatory skills in a more serious and advanced setting.
True.
The problem is: that moment of martial "adulthood", in a few dojos, seem to arrive... never. And this not because the pupils (or the "infants") are not ready yet, but because we have the strong impression, at times, that it is that very same goal that is not only never pursued, but even discouraged and poscribed.

This is why we are exposed to this type of accusations
I am trying to understand why we are accused of this so insistently, without extracting too many convenient excuses or justifications from my quiver (to be clear: not implying by this that you would have been doing that! I am just trying to convey what I am trying to elaborate here: seeing the part of truth in the accusation)

Last edited by Alberto_Italiano : 10-20-2011 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 10-20-2011, 09:11 AM   #1502
Chris Evans
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Wink Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Alberto Italiano wrote: View Post
True.
The problem is: that moment of martial "adulthood", in a few dojos, seem to arrive... never. And this not because the pupils (or the "infants") are not ready yet, but because we have the strong impression, at times, that it is that very same goal that is not only never pursued, but even discouraged and poscribed.

This is why we are exposed to this type of accusations
I am trying to understand why we are accused of this so insistently, without extracting too many convenient excuses or justifications from my quiver (to be clear: not implying by this that you would have been doing that! I am just trying to convey what I am trying to elaborate here: seeing the part of truth in the accusation)
"poscribed"
those that will not taste "bitterness" will never learn 'gong fu' (skillfulness) in personal-combat/martial arts.
the impressions are that aikido attracts and replicate many that cling and hone comfortable delusions on practice. it's human nature, the same reason why 96% of golfers cheat: humans have a hard time accepting truths as they are. "let it be" is far easier to be talked than walked.

Last edited by Chris Evans : 10-20-2011 at 09:25 AM.

"The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools."
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Old 10-20-2011, 12:20 PM   #1503
Gerardo Torres
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Alberto Italiano wrote: View Post
The "accusation" in the title of this by now immensely popular thread is, in fact, true and accurate -
Alberto, no offense but you keep coming back passing "final judgement" on the subject, and yet your posts suggest that you have no idea what aiki is, and have yet to encounter it. So you're in no position to say that "aikido (the way of aiki) doesn't work in... whatever". That would be like me going to a physics forum and start proclaiming that Superstring Theory doesn't work. The first thing that somebody might ask is, have I gone through the equations -- the basic math -- to be able to reach such a conclusion? Nope, I can't do the math, therefore I can't say whether the theory works or not. Superstring Theory might be popular nowadays, but the fact is that very few people in the world can work the equations and therefore have any sort of valuable insight on whether it's valid or not.

Aikido is Ueshiba's art and he used aiki -- a martial ability -- to prove himself and that aiki and therefore aikido worked in a martial context. After him others have done the same. The status quo doesn't matter. The fact there was one, or a few or more who knew aiki and could show its martial viability is enough to consider the matter (different from reaching a final conclusion) of aiki as a valid martial avenue.

I'm not saying that some of your suggested curricular changes are to be entirely dismissed, only that there are certain things you need to know and train first, before you go down the path you suggest, otherwise you're going to steer aikidoka farther down the wrong path (they'll never learn aiki, the basic skill that fuels aikido).

Quote:
otherwise why this topic should gain such popularity only in Aikido forums?
Because there are people who have no idea what aiki is and yet insist on passing judgement on what aikido (the way of aiki) can or cannot do? Maintaining this impassable position will guarantee a thread's longevity.
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Old 10-20-2011, 12:40 PM   #1504
Alberto_Italiano
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Gerardo Torres wrote: View Post
Alberto, no offense but you keep coming back passing "final judgement" on the subject, and yet your posts suggest that you have no idea what aiki is, and have yet to encounter it. So you're in no position to say that "aikido (the way of aiki) doesn't work in... whatever". That would be like me going to a physics forum and start proclaiming that Superstring Theory (...snip...)

Aikido is Ueshiba's art and he used aiki -- a martial ability -- to prove himself and that aiki and therefore aikido worked in a martial context. After him others have done the same. The status quo doesn't matter. The fact there was one, or a few or more who knew aiki and could show its martial viability is enough to consider the matter (different from reaching a final conclusion) of aiki as a valid martial avenue.

I'm not saying that some of your suggested curricular changes are to be entirely dismissed, only that there are certain things you need to know and train first, before you go down the path you suggest, otherwise you're going to steer aikidoka farther down the wrong path (they'll never learn aiki, the basic skill that fuels aikido).

Because there are people who have no idea what aiki is and yet insist on passing judgement on what aikido (the way of aiki) can or cannot do? Maintaining this impassable position will guarantee a thread's longevity.
Whoever may be genuinely interested in aiki, would never dare say he knows what aiki is. It's an implied gentlement's agreement for me.

Yet as a matter of fact, the fact we have no canonical definition of it so that immediate consensus about it can be won, opens the concept of aiki to broad speculation.

But if you place aiki among the most refined achievements of aikido, as I assume it ought to be placed, then you should not consider it as something that can be acquired cheaply or as something that may be granted to anybody.

Given that assumption, whoever plans to discover aiki would never say: i now know with finality what aiki is.
In your reasoning, Torres, you are replacing my alleged intention to be final about this thread, with your alleged intention of being final about what aiki is.
But swapping tits for tats won't help Aikido to solve the resons that make this accusation (of being martially ineffective) flung at it so often, so frequently, so insistently.

Speaking of this immaterial, unnamed aiki as if it were the true tao which cannot be named or explained, as the reason because a certain type of aikido is totally ineffective against brutality, is only another way to keep the accusation come: because it won't cease of being flung simply because we place a phantom along its path, with the hope that it may fend it off with its spectral weapons.

The accusation is thrown at aikido from a ground and a world that is made like this: show me your aiki by defeating this ruthlessly violent challenge.
As long as you won't meet the challenge, the quest won't be won, the accusation will keep coming, and aiki will keep being considered an excuse for covering up martial incompetency (not saying you are not competent Torres, don't read me wrong here! I am just reproducing the reasoning behind this accusation - a reasoning that has its part of valid rationality and truth).

Last edited by Alberto_Italiano : 10-20-2011 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 10-20-2011, 12:56 PM   #1505
Richard Stevens
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

If "true" aiki is an essential element in the determination of whether Aikido works in a fight does that mean that it takes twenty years of standard Aikido training, a realization that said training was fruitless, then a handful of years focusing on internal power before it works?
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Old 10-20-2011, 01:26 PM   #1506
MM
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Alberto Italiano wrote: View Post
Whoever may be genuinely interested in aiki, would never dare say he knows what aiki is. It's an implied gentlement's agreement for me.
That's just the opposite of what the founder stated. When asked what was aiki, Morihei Ueshiba replied, "I am aiki!". When asked why people couldn't do what he did, he answered, "Because you do not understand in yo."

Sagawa stated aiki was a body changing method. Horikawa's wife stated that one must steal it by watching the body.

Just because you might not want to say you know what it is, doesn't mean others are the same. Some of us have done our research, have gone out and met people, have trained with both aikido and Daito ryu people, and have found aiki. Morihei Ueshiba's aiki. Not Modern Aikido's aiki, which is completely different.

Quote:
Alberto Italiano wrote: View Post
Yet as a matter of fact, the fact we have no canonical definition of it so that immediate consensus about it can be won, opens the concept of aiki to broad speculation.
Maybe you don't, I don't know. But it definitely is not a "matter of fact". I know a whole lot of people who have a fairly good grasp of what aiki is and they are working on changing their bodies with specific exercises, so that, sometime down the road, they will be able to say the same thing Ueshiba said, "I am aiki!"

Quote:
Alberto Italiano wrote: View Post
But if you place aiki among the most refined achievements of aikido, as I assume it ought to be placed, then you should not consider it as something that can be acquired cheaply or as something that may be granted to anybody.
Aiki was a closely guarded secret. Aiki was the power and skill that made Takeda, Sagawa, Horikawa, and Ueshiba stand out. However, if one does the exercises, one will acquire aiki. Anyone.

Quote:
Alberto Italiano wrote: View Post
Given that assumption, whoever plans to discover aiki would never say: i now know with finality what aiki is.
In your reasoning, Torres, you are replacing my alleged intention to be final about this thread, with your alleged intention of being final about what aiki is.
I would disagree. Takeda, Sagawa, Horikawa, Ueshiba all said they knew what aiki was. They also said that it was very deep. They never thought that they had found the totality of aiki but they most certainly knew what aiki was. So, too, did other people. There is a concrete, understandable, and demonstrable concept of aiki which shows a finality to defining it.

Think about it. Many competent and very good martial artists crossed paths with the aiki greats that I listed above. Nearly ever single martial artist who did came away wondering what it was that they had experienced. It was beyond their known experiences. Think about that. 10, 20, 40, 60 years in the martial arts and these people meet someone (an aiki great) whom is outside their years of training such that they can not comprehend how these aiki men are overwhelming them. Yet, all of these aiki men knew what aiki was and how to train it.
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Old 10-20-2011, 04:10 PM   #1507
Alberto_Italiano
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

I am trying to make sense of this accusation, rather than to dismiss or snub it with acts of denegation.

Although I am not so naive to assume this accusation (that Aikido is ineffective) comes out of good faith, nonetheless I want credit it (and consequently treat it) as if it were an instance of what is called "constructive criticism"; you know, that type of criticism that, though abrasive, can still make you grow - this also because, in case it was instead or indeed an instance of "destructive criticism", we can always turn evil into good by elaborating it as if it were the former rather than the latter.

I believe that this approach can be conducive to a positive solution.
But nothing of this can be achieved if we are totally impervious to admit the possibility of any shortcoming in our turf, and if we are totally inaccessible to self-criticism. We must be able to concede something and, arguably, also a bit more than just some desultory something.

This if we are interested in addressing this accusation in a manner that may solve it - because, evidently, many of the manners attempted earlier did not prove successful at dispelling it.
Does my intention make sense?
Of course, we may not be interested in solving it, and choose to be so obdurant to refuse giving this accusation any legitimacy whatsoever and keep treating it as an awoved enemy. But I am writing for those who want to follow the other path.

This accusation comes out from that point of view accordingly to which the true validation test of any martial art is: confronting violence.
Not violence in the sense you will exert it as an initiative of your own, but in the sense of neutralizing violence with physical actions (which as such may not be reciprocating punches, but meeting brutality and weapons with locks, leverages, and throws).

What is the growing ground whence this accusation comes from?
We can call it: "the street". Perhaps I might provide also, as an additional example, an Army: it would fit, but I don't want to defile the sacrality of those who gave their lives for their country, using the Army as an example for an... Aikido issue.

In the "street" there are two criteria, and two only, that make you earn your respect:
1) Sacrifice: in a deep sense, in the tragic sense. Either you sacrifice your life, or something significant (from a limb to the life of a significan other) in the name of a superior cause.
2) Kick ass

Whatever falls short of those two criteria, which are the only ones enabled to make you earn your respect, won't qualify at all. If you refuse yourself to both, you are automatically ranked either among those who are meant to be easy game, or among those who are only worth of indifference: just another shnook whatsoever in the neighborhood...

You are cornered by two guys. They are taller than you, they may have knives, they are athletically prepared and they are decently competent at fighting: in fact, they have already a few dozens of souls in their roll...
They don't want your money, or your wallet. Oh no.
They want your life.
Why such a thing? Well, you know: because.

They are predators, they enjoy smashing skulls for sport, and to them taking a life is a funny diversion like joyriding on an elevetor can be for a bored downtown boy.

You won't get out of that corner explaining to them that you have aiki powers; you won't get out of there explaining that you are a power ranger; you won't get out of there flashing a police card: talks and credentials are a currency that doesn't run here...

They now will get your life, investing you with a fury or pure brutality and violence that will dispose of you in a couple of seconds, and slit your throat at the very first chance they get. You will be left on the concrete with your guts disemboweled, and as you are ending your agony you will have to listen to them taunting you. Because that's the type of violence these guys happen to enjoy.

Now, what these guys that inhabit this world are saying is: use your aikido techinques (and only those, and nothing else, if you want to re-evaluate... aikido) to come out of this corner.

You need to be able to kotegaeshi and make them hit the concrete and break their hips. You need to be able to ikkyo them and make them see their teeth on the sidewalk if there is no other way out (and there is not).

You won't earn respect in any other way.
As long as we don't understand that it is out of that type of world that the accusation comes, we will be never dealing with the proper interlocutor.

We may refuse to fight and go away saying that aikido is not for this: in this case, the accuse will stay, because there is one way only to get out of it.

KICK ASS using AIKI-DO, and you're outta this thread.
Don't do it, for as many perfectly valid and legitimate reasons as you wish, and the accusation shall persist.

This is why I said: randori on steroids. 15 more dojos like that per state, and we would finally stand good chances of solving this reputation problem.

KICK ASS AIKI-DO, is the only answer to this thread.
And it is so whether you like it or not.

Last edited by Alberto_Italiano : 10-20-2011 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 10-20-2011, 04:29 PM   #1508
Gerardo Torres
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Alberto Italiano wrote: View Post

Whoever may be genuinely interested in aiki, would never dare say he knows what aiki is. It's an implied gentlement's agreement for me.
Well, pardon my ungentlemanly behavior, but it was exactly because I was genuinely interested in aiki (and not peripherals like "technique" or "fighting") that I was able to find people who had aiki abilities, and could demonstrate it and explain itů in excruciating detail. Thus my current understanding (as limited as it may be).

Quote:
Yet as a matter of fact, the fact we have no canonical definition of it so that immediate consensus about it can be won, opens the concept of aiki to broad speculation.
You're right in that there is no consensus, mostly due to the fact that so many teachers have thrown aiki into the realm of the rhetorical, spiritual or personal interpretation. However there are more concrete definitions, supported by Ueshiba's writings and a long history of Asian martial arts (what makes aiki work is not unique to aikido).

Quote:
But if you place aiki among the most refined achievements of aikido, as I assume it ought to be placed, then you should not consider it as something that can be acquired cheaply or as something that may be granted to anybody.
Aikido is the way of aiki. Aiki should not be a "final destination" but a path. You should be training and trying to physically manifest aiki from day one. Unfortunately aiki has been either guarded or largely unknown, so this is not the norm. Practitioners, especially beginners, should not concentrate on techniques or applications and leave aiki to manifest through some 20-year game of chance.

Quote:
Given that assumption, whoever plans to discover aiki would never say: i now know with finality what aiki is.
In your reasoning, Torres, you are replacing my alleged intention to be final about this thread, with your alleged intention of being final about what aiki is.
I don't pretend to have finality or totality, only the best I know at this point. My understanding of aiki comes from people who were able to demonstrate it, explain it and teach it, and it's supported by the study of Ueshiba's writings and his own training background. It is the best manifestation of aiki that I've encountered that would allow me to pursue the goal of using harmony to deal with conflict as proposed by the philosophy of Ueshiba's art. If anybody can offer a better aiki and deliver in person, I'll be the first one to go out and beg them to teach me.

Quote:
Speaking of this immaterial, unnamed aiki as if it were the true tao which cannot be named or explained, as the reason because a certain type of aikido is totally ineffective against brutality, is only another way to keep the accusation come: because it won't cease of being flung simply because we place a phantom along its path, with the hope that it may fend it off with its spectral weapons.
Aiki is not immaterial, unnamed, a phantom, or a spectrum. It's real and happening on the mat. The accusations that it doesn't work are the phantom, because they mostly come from an uninformed and inexperienced position. The switching from "fight", to "violence" to now "brutality" is yet another argumental clutch.

Quote:
The accusation is thrown at aikido from a ground and a world that is made like this: show me your aiki by defeating this ruthlessly violent challenge.
Would most Tai chi people be able to deal with "ruthlessly violent attacks"? Does that invalidate it as a martial art that can be used in a fight? Does that mean that there are no Tai-chi people who are capable and able to mitigate a fight using Tai-chi principles and skills? The same questions can asked about iaido and violent swordfights.

Quote:
As long as you won't meet the challenge, the quest won't be won, the accusation will keep coming, and aiki will keep being considered an excuse for covering up martial incompetency
Aiki is a martial ability that can give you an advantage. You either know it or not, to various degrees of proficiency, and you can either use it or not in any venue you're familiar with. It is only an "excuse" to those who don't understand it or have never encountered it. The accusation can keep coming forever, it's not going to make them more informed or true. Who is making the accusation and to whom, specifically? "Aikido" includes millions of practitioners over a span of 6 decades, including Ueshiba, Tohei, etc. Are you ready to lump all that together and throw it away? To anybody who wants to add something and not just "join in the accusation" I suggest they do their homework and get enough information before casting the same aspersions.

Furthermore there are teachers here with a wide and varied background including aikido and fighting arts. The whole harping on violence, brutality and the real world in the face of some of these teachers is ratherů disingenuous. Do you honestly think they haven't been around the block, that they haven't met "the challenge" as you put it? Perhaps you're giving your own experiences waaay too much credit.
Quote:
(not saying you are not competent Torres, don't read me wrong here! I am just reproducing the reasoning behind this accusation - a reasoning that has its part of valid rationality and truth).
I suck, Alberto. Seriously, I do. I have no delusions. And I know it because I have met and trained with people who are on an entirely different level and can do things that the majority of practitioners (including many of those with a much harped "realistic" bad-ass approach to aikido) could not do. I've done my homework.
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Old 10-20-2011, 04:37 PM   #1509
Alberto_Italiano
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Guys, my previous post is, about this issue, final. Stating that, my cup is empty about this. I consider that the final reason - it does not invalidate other viewpoints - I do appreciate Torres for instance.
Yet, I have nothing to add to my previous post. That is.
Call me arrogant (there are worst things in life), but I consider it the answer.

I feel no need to "convince" those (not implying Torres here, uh) who prefer seeing in this accusation so frequently flung at Aikido just a mere instance of (basically) nonsense. If they are satisfied with such an explanation, to me it is fine.

Mine is not a crusade.
Only, the answer compartively closer to solving this amazingly obdurate issue is not another one.
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Old 10-20-2011, 04:45 PM   #1510
genin
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Aikido may work in a street fight, but it is not based around street fighting. MMA works well in a street fight because it is very much based around the tactics used in common street fights (striking and grappling). Krav Maga works great in a street fight, because it is designed specifically for that purpose.

That being said, a skilled aikidoist would already know the limitation of his martial art, so he would likely know the appropriate course of action to take in a street fight in order to give himself an advantage. Perhaps engaging his adversary in a conventional way, then looking for opportunities to apply locks, levers, and throws when the moment is right.

And just to make sure I have used the apparent minimum quota of the word "aiki" in my post....aiki aiki aiki aiki aiki aiki aiki aiki aiki aiki.
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Old 10-20-2011, 05:01 PM   #1511
Gerardo Torres
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Alberto Italiano wrote: View Post
I feel no need to "convince" those (not implying Torres here, uh) who prefer seeing in this accusation so frequently flung at Aikido just a mere instance of (basically) nonsense. If they are satisfied with such an explanation, to me it is fine.
I was just asking the "accusers" for two things: (1) To not cast such broad aspersions as there is a wild variety of skills in aikido (as well as other arts), to make their claims more specific; and (2) To qualify their claims by showing their understanding aiki, aikido and fighting. Am I being so unreasonable?

The last person that called me by my last name was my high school principal. *shudder*

-Gerardo
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Old 10-20-2011, 07:53 PM   #1512
Don Nordin
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

This is actually a silly question that comes up in many arts. A "real fight" never goes according to plan. A real fight is an ugly display of violence the is the result of many things sometime bad communications, maybe crime, or jealousy. Most of this thread is not about The principles of Aikido at all or their effectiveness. They are about how can i hurt someone who is attacking me. You have already lost at that point. Its easy to hurt someone it's very hard to control a conflict without hurting someone. It's even harder to avoid the conflict in the first place. My advise to those of you who want to kick ass is to go out this weekend and get in a bar fight. When the blood flows and people cry and scream you may find out that ass kicking ain't all you think it is.

Last edited by Don Nordin : 10-20-2011 at 07:54 PM. Reason: Clarity
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Old 10-20-2011, 08:30 PM   #1513
kewms
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

No one goes into a fight thinking they're uke.

But someone is going to lose. Maybe it's you. And maybe that has nothing to do with what martial art you study or how long you've studied it, and everything to do with who is bigger and meaner and (maybe) has a knife that you don't see until it's too late.

Maybe it's better to avoid fighting.

Katherine
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:24 AM   #1514
genin
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

The title of this thread could stand to be changed to something a little less antagonistic. It's slightly inflammatory and I think people feel compelled to come on this thread just to defend Aikido, based solely off the vibe the title of this thread gives off. I agree that violence is ugly and unpredictable and fighting is stupid. But if a fight or violence of any sort finds you, then you may have to act. Will/does Aikido prepare you to adequately defend yourself in the case of a random attack? It may better help you to avoid conflicts, rather than give you a decisive tactical edge once combat begins. Aikido moves can be effective but difficult to rely upon in the heat of battle. However, you may never need to use them as most people don't fight or go into battle. So in that sense it's a moot issue, although it's still worthy of discussion imo, especially for those with a genuine interest/concern in the martial aspects of this art.
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:58 AM   #1515
Chris Evans
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Smile Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
No one goes into a fight thinking they're uke.

...Maybe it's better to avoid fighting.

Katherine
true, until it isn't: will you avoid fighting when confronted with murders or kidnappers that have cornered you and your dependent love ones? Then, if you can not survive, you must resist the "evil" to leave a physical trail of evidence for the law enforcements to clue in to. Will you have avoided fighting on that Flight 93, Sept. 2011?

martial arts = self-defense = self protection = fighting, but knowing when might take wisdom before words or thoughts (Prajna Paramita): That's one of the reasons why i sit in zazen meditations. I have actively avoided fighting, but when the time calls for action to save life I hope to not hesitate, for courage is when you've had the courage to do the things before. More "practical" open-minded training is more fun and develops deeper trust and friendships

My advise to those of you who want to 'kick ass' is to "fight" in amateur MMA competitions where seeming realistic pressures are balanced with having ref', judges, medic, and no law suit or criminal charges. Merely sparring with prospective MMA players has given me priceless insight & humility.

Last edited by Chris Evans : 10-21-2011 at 09:10 AM.

"The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools."
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:38 AM   #1516
kewms
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Chris Evans wrote: View Post
true, until it isn't: will you avoid fighting when confronted with murders or kidnappers that have cornered you and your dependent love ones? Then, if you can not survive, you must resist the "evil" to leave a physical trail of evidence for the law enforcements to clue in to. Will you have avoided fighting on that Flight 93, Sept. 2011?
But how many of us will ever be in that sort of situation?

Yes, of course one would like to be prepared should the need arise. But if you look at the statistics, your life (or someone else's) is much more likely to be saved by your ukemi skills or your defensive driving skills.

Katherine
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:43 AM   #1517
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
But how many of us will ever be in that sort of situation?
Very few, fortunately. But what matters is the physical and psychological forging this kind of training provides.

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Old 10-21-2011, 11:07 AM   #1518
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

I tend to think like Katherine here. My thinking is that even if all Aikido practicioners are unprepared for even an "average" fight, it's not that important on the whole because most people aren't going to encounter one anyway...let alone that worst-case scenario. What matters is that they make no presumptions about their training. If they make no presumptions about their ability to fight, even a person who has mild athletic ability is going to generally be in a better position to handle themselves than someone who has little to none. Activities which develop coordination and a sense of timing/spacing are generaly going to help rather than hinder, when compared to a complete lack of experience.
My expriences with Aikido don't fit with the presumption of the title, despite coming to Aikido being rather unconcerned with being able to defeat a good fighter (it simply wasn't a prominent part of my search criteria). I thought it could help, but I've always relied on my wits: brains over brawn, because they're more widely applicable/useful for self-defense. Between Kannagara Aikido and Shodokan Aikido, all I've seen is stuff that is relatively useful, but I also see it as depending almost entirely on how the individual applies their mind/intent to their training for how effective it can be. I haven't seen Aikido give false confidence to people any more than I've seen other systems do so; less in fact. Granted I have about 3 years of training experience and minimal exposure, but per my sample that's how it appears.
Then again, I grew up seeing a few things which set a relatively gritty understanding on the nature of self-defense. Many of my friends growing up liked fighting. They sought it out as a leisure time activity (thank you Eazy E and pals)...which again, to my mind, points to a major fallacy surrounding the "system x doesn't work in a fight." Different people comprise the art and some of them go into it with a fairly realistic understanding that doesn't just go away because some guy says he's a martial arts teacher.
I say, go ahead, bag on my martial art; dismiss it outright. As a small guy I've often enjoyed the presumptions of my opponants (in other activities; like Chuck Norris, I've never been in a "real" fight).

Last edited by mathewjgano : 10-21-2011 at 11:10 AM.

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Old 10-21-2011, 11:48 AM   #1519
kewms
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Very few, fortunately. But what matters is the physical and psychological forging this kind of training provides.
Why does that matter? Yes, we can all agree that physical fitness and mental toughness are good things, but exactly what is the crossover of "ability to succeed at fighting" to other aspects of life? Why is fighting better preparation than competitive activities generally, or "standard" aikido training? I wouldn't say that professional fighters are particularly noted for their life skills...

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Old 10-21-2011, 11:51 AM   #1520
Chris Evans
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Smile Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
But how many of us will ever be in that sort of situation?

Yes, of course one would like to be prepared should the need arise. But if you look at the statistics, your life (or someone else's) is much more likely to be saved by your ukemi skills or your defensive driving skills.

Katherine
Statistics is irrelevant to an individual: the ideal is to be happy while being prepared and demonstrating to others how to do that, always. The purpose of a martial art is to train the mind with sincere realistic training, rather then the comfortable compliant training thus limiting a dojo into a moving-yoga-tumbling-social-club. Training joyfully with tough training forms the mind to handle all challenges, in all aspects of life.

Last edited by Chris Evans : 10-21-2011 at 11:55 AM.

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Old 10-21-2011, 12:09 PM   #1521
kewms
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

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Statistics is irrelevant to an individual: the ideal is to be happy while being prepared and demonstrating to others how to do that, always. The purpose of a martial art is to train the mind with sincere realistic training, rather then the comfortable compliant training thus limiting a dojo into a moving-yoga-tumbling-social-club. Training joyfully with tough training forms the mind to handle all challenges, in all aspects of life.
Right. No argument there. I'm just questioning the value of the kind of training that prepares you to succeed in fights, specifically, relative to other kinds of "tough training." There's a wide spectrum between "full contact sparring" and "yoga with tumbling." As any competitive athlete knows, you can develop quite a lot of mental toughness without ever getting punched in the face.

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Old 10-21-2011, 01:17 PM   #1522
Gerardo Torres
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

I think experiencing what being hit is like can be an invaluable tool to forge the body and mind and avoid collapsing either mentally or physically in a real situation. Same with weapons, pain can be a good teacher.

That said I'm of the opinion that not all training should be "on steroids" or "high adrenaline" and there should be a balance between more structured training and free or high intensity training, whether the goal is to survive in a fight or not. I've seen in a program and read on the news where an experienced grappler (primed for aggressive/competitive action) was too eager to take down an assailant and he didn't noticed a knife being pulled out and got stabbed multiple times (one was a combatives drill I saw, the other I read about and unfortunately happened for real). So as long as we're talking street and not sports it's not about "kicking ass" but about surviving. Most koryu have highly structured training and yet they offer some of the best "I'm going home tonight" type of mental conditioning. This could have as much if not more value as "randori on steroids" when it comes to training for survival. I've been in situations where have I opted to "kick ass" in the traditional combat sport sense it would have resulted in a change in dynamics and me dead. Sometimes an eagerness to "kick ass" can stop one from properly seeing things before they escalate and assessing a situation and taking proper protective action to ensure survival.

Last edited by Gerardo Torres : 10-21-2011 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 10-21-2011, 01:44 PM   #1523
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

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Gerardo Torres wrote: View Post
I think experiencing what being hit is like can be an invaluable tool to forge the body and mind and avoid collapsing either mentally or physically in a real situation. Same with weapons, pain can be a good teacher.

That said I'm of the opinion that not all training should be "on steroids" or "high adrenaline" and there should be a balance between more structured training and free or high intensity training, whether the goal is to survive in a fight or not. I've seen in a program and read on the news where an experienced grappler (primed for aggressive/competitive action) was too eager to take down an assailant and he didn't noticed a knife being pulled...
Seconded. Or the two friends approaching from behind as one friend of the family recently encountered. No matter how trained you are, fights have a nasty habit of degenerating to very base instincts. Avoidance is almost always smarter in my opinion: Better a bruised ego than a bruised brain.
Plus there are studies which suggest the more aggression you act with, the more aggression you tend to respond with; given the above I think it more useful to start with a degree of calm and work on infusing that calm with increasing degrees of intensity.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 10-21-2011 at 01:48 PM.

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Old 10-21-2011, 01:55 PM   #1524
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Why does that matter?
Because is what makes the difference between training in a form of budo and training in, for instance, basketball.

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Old 10-21-2011, 03:30 PM   #1525
kewms
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Because is what makes the difference between training in a form of budo and training in, for instance, basketball.
But why is budo training better? And why is this specific type of budo training -- training which seeks to prepare you for real fights -- better than less "realistic" budo training?

Closely related is the question of what "real" means, anyway. Which is more real? Full contact sparring with gloves and protective gear, or paired koryu sword kata with live blades?

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