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Old 10-26-2011, 01:11 PM   #1601
Janet Rosen
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
If we're working from static we're really not using uke's weight and momentum; what we're doing is using our energy to disturb his centre; this is Aikido..
That's not typical of the aikido I've been practicing in a variety of dojos over the past 16 years.
Uke is making a dynamic attack; my disturbing of his center is in that context.
If uke is static, there isn't much need for us to do much but stand there and smile at each other.

Janet Rosen
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:10 PM   #1602
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
That's not typical of the aikido I've been practicing in a variety of dojos over the past 16 years.
Uke is making a dynamic attack; my disturbing of his center is in that context.
If uke is static, there isn't much need for us to do much but stand there and smile at each other.
Aikido is the only martial art I know of which encourages people to think that there is any such thing as a "static" attack. The whole "you can't move me" mindset needs to be expunged from how we perceive what we are doing and how we go about training it.

"Static practice" is just that... PRACTICE. It is a specialized component of training devoted to teaching proper use of the body and the intent to create connection and to teach proper use of "aiki" to give direction to the energy of that connection.

An uke who thinks that an attack has anything to do with stopping the other guy from moving has no idea about proper attacking or martial application of attacking technique. This kind of uke is only good at slowing down the learning process of his partners. In an applied self defense situation with someone who knew anything at all, he'd get knocked cold.

Aikido is all about understanding relaxation and connection and it gets it power from proper use of the body structure. Neither partner should do anything which restricts his or her complete freedom to move in any direction at any instant. Uke and nage should be doing precisely the same thing in practice. The fact that many folks do not train this way is one of the central issues with Aikido training. Oft times you find uke and nage being equally tense, each using muscle power to accomplish their roles. This way of training simply imprints mental and physical tension in every repetition of a technique. Training should be doing just the opposite.

People need to be taught proper attacks. Grabs are meant to disturb the nage's structure, setting up a throw or a strike. Grabs are every bit as dynamic as strikes. try grabbing your partner's wrist and taking their balance while trying to be "strong" i.e. using muscle power. Unless you are twice the size of the person you are working with, and they have no idea about how to use their own structure, there's no way you can take someone's center with a grabbing attack by muscling them around.

If we are going to get to a better and more effective Aikido, which actually has some "aiki"" operating and contains some spiritual depth (meaning that the techniques relate to the philosophical / spiritual underpinnings of the art as described by the Founder, we need to fix this ASAP.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 10-26-2011, 06:00 PM   #1603
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Olympic judo is really pretty boring to watch, because the two competitors grab each others lapels and ground out, refusing to give any energy that could be used to throw them. (And then after awhile the referee breaks it up, awards a delay penalty to one side or the other, and they start over again...) When throws do occur, they seem to have much more to do with "disturbing his center" than with "redirecting momentum," simply because there isn't any momentum to redirect.

Katherine
Looking at the 2008 Olympics I'm not sure I'd share your assessment.
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:36 PM   #1604
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
That's not typical of the aikido I've been practicing in a variety of dojos over the past 16 years.
Uke is making a dynamic attack; my disturbing of his center is in that context.
If uke is static, there isn't much need for us to do much but stand there and smile at each other.
It isn't typical of Aikido that I've been practicing either. Ultimately there is no uke, uke isn't grabbing tori for the fun of it so tori shouldn't be able to stand there and smile at each other, either tori should immediately be struck or thrown.
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Old 10-27-2011, 12:07 AM   #1605
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

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Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
Looking at the 2008 Olympics I'm not sure I'd share your assessment.
The 2008 Olympics is what I based my assessment on. Clearly you were watching different matches than I was.

Katherine
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:52 AM   #1606
Chris Evans
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

it isn't that Aikido's ineffective, it's that the teachers and advanced students perpetuate overly compliant, unrealistic sell-defense/combat/fight/insert-your-own-euphemism Aikido training (aside from going slow with novices to build a solid foundation: go slow, for a while, to go fast, unscripted, and fluid)

Similar physical delusions are perpetuated in karate, hapkido, and taekwondo, but that Aikido tends to attract more of the gentle wishful thinking imbalanced types than others'. A lot (96%, from on study) of golfers are quite "delusional," FWIW, as it's human nature to cheat or take the easier way.

If an Aikido-ka practice with the mindset (humility, sincerity, and open-mindedness...not the necessarily their physical techniques) of MMA players than the real Aikido may happen, I am guessing, but in a far fewer numbers.

Please, clear me of any delusions, on Aikido or otherwise...

Last edited by Chris Evans : 10-27-2011 at 09:54 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 10-27-2011, 10:02 AM   #1607
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Chris Evans wrote: View Post
A lot (96%, from on study) of golfers are quite "delusional,"
Do you have the citation at hand?

Quote:
If an Aikido-ka practice with the mindset (humility, sincerity, and open-mindedness...not the necessarily their physical techniques) of MMA players than the real Aikido may happen, I am guessing, but in a far fewer numbers.
Shhhh...
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:42 AM   #1608
Chris Evans
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

OT: on Golf cheaters, was a 2010 Golf Digest magazine issue, with Duke University doing an anonymous/"blind" study/poll. If I find the exact citation I'll post...

"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 10-27-2011, 10:45 PM   #1609
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Aikido has worked for me in a street situation many times. The last time was especially good when a maniac on a motorbike had road rage. He got from his bike and hurtled at me. I remained on my bike and never panicked just dropped my head as his fist came in. He hit my crash helmet and I think damaged his wrist.

This I know is not an Aikido technique, but being calm and not panicking is part of my training. Another time I was approached in Laos by 4 youths after my wallet. As i was grabbed I kept turning and 2 attackers were thrown clear. The third who hung on was disabled quite easily with sankyo. If I did not know Aikido then my money would have been gone. But the main point is, that at no time did I panic or feel that I would not overcome these yobs. The 4th one did nothing, as I smartly ran off, in case others were around with knives.
DOES any one know Sensei Max Moss
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:00 AM   #1610
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Terry Johnson wrote: View Post
Aikido has worked for me in a street situation many times. The last time was especially good when a maniac on a motorbike had road rage. He got from his bike and hurtled at me. I remained on my bike and never panicked just dropped my head as his fist came in. He hit my crash helmet and I think damaged his wrist.

This I know is not an Aikido technique, but being calm and not panicking is part of my training. Another time I was approached in Laos by 4 youths after my wallet. As i was grabbed I kept turning and 2 attackers were thrown clear. The third who hung on was disabled quite easily with sankyo. If I did not know Aikido then my money would have been gone. But the main point is, that at no time did I panic or feel that I would not overcome these yobs. The 4th one did nothing, as I smartly ran off, in case others were around with knives.
DOES any one know Sensei Max Moss
This is an interesting situation, in that you utilized your training to stay calm and overcame the violence by virtue of that, rather than by physical force. However, that just means you used Aikido to avoid a fight, not to win it. The other incident you did use actual moves, which were apparently effective. That is telling in itself. But it's also worth noting that those Laotian youths were probably only trying to get your money, and not necessarily trying to do you great harm. So again, was this a "fight" in which you were the victor, or just an event where you were able to neutralize the situation? I'm not trying to take anything away from what you did, because you seemed to have handled it very well in both circumstances.
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:49 AM   #1611
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

staying calm has a lot to do with having faith in courageous, open-minded, and sincere training.

an example of not being "open-minded" is when a karate dojo (or a WTF "Olympic"-only TKD dojang) practices their own cult-like attachments to their narrow range of waza/techniques without being mindful that some impractical waza/techniques can really open a person to vulnerabilities.

Both zazen (shikantaza/samadhi) and martial arts strive to perceive reality (inner and outer) as they are and develop a useful, practical, mindset, without adding a "veil" of wishful thinking "artsy/showy" or "idealistic" ways to practice.

We all know and love the preventive, peaceful resolutions, to potential conflicts in martial arts, esp. in Akido, but may we focus on observations in prevailing or surviving in a fight/self-defense/self-protection upon unavoidable contact, please?

"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 10-28-2011, 01:12 PM   #1612
Janet Rosen
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

That's what we train for. Well done.

Quote:
Terry Johnson wrote: View Post
Aikido has worked for me in a street situation many times. The last time was especially good when a maniac on a motorbike had road rage. He got from his bike and hurtled at me. I remained on my bike and never panicked just dropped my head as his fist came in. He hit my crash helmet and I think damaged his wrist.

This I know is not an Aikido technique, but being calm and not panicking is part of my training. Another time I was approached in Laos by 4 youths after my wallet. As i was grabbed I kept turning and 2 attackers were thrown clear. The third who hung on was disabled quite easily with sankyo. If I did not know Aikido then my money would have been gone. But the main point is, that at no time did I panic or feel that I would not overcome these yobs. The 4th one did nothing, as I smartly ran off, in case others were around with knives.
DOES any one know Sensei Max Moss

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 10-28-2011, 01:16 PM   #1613
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

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Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
Looking at the 2008 Olympics I'm not sure I'd share your assessment.
wasn't that the year the Judoka beat up the referee when he lost?

MM
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Old 10-28-2011, 01:20 PM   #1614
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
wasn't that the year the Judoka beat up the referee when he lost?
I'm pretty sure that was TKD not judo

http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/summer...ory?id=3549903

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 10-28-2011, 01:21 PM   #1615
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

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Don Magee wrote: View Post
I'm pretty sure that was TKD not judo

http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/summer...ory?id=3549903
still, an awesome picture.... bad sportsmanship regardless.

MM
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Old 10-28-2011, 02:17 PM   #1616
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

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Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
still, an awesome picture.... bad sportsmanship regardless.
If the ref knew Aikido he could've blocked that.
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:51 PM   #1617
kewms
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

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This is an interesting situation, in that you utilized your training to stay calm and overcame the violence by virtue of that, rather than by physical force. However, that just means you used Aikido to avoid a fight, not to win it. The other incident you did use actual moves, which were apparently effective. That is telling in itself. But it's also worth noting that those Laotian youths were probably only trying to get your money, and not necessarily trying to do you great harm. So again, was this a "fight" in which you were the victor, or just an event where you were able to neutralize the situation? I'm not trying to take anything away from what you did, because you seemed to have handled it very well in both circumstances.
Maybe the "victory" is in being able to neutralize the situation without a "fight?"

Katherine
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Old 10-28-2011, 06:20 PM   #1618
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Maybe the "victory" is in being able to neutralize the situation without a "fight?"

Katherine
I thought about that. And you're right. A true victory over an opponent is when you are able to avoid a conflict altogether, provided you didn't have to make great sacrifices to do so. If you neutralize the situation that is a better victory than winning a fight through a superior show of force.

However, since this is a thread about Aikido not working in an actual fight, it would be useful to look at situations where physical techniques were actually used during combat. Otherwise the topic would be about Aikido as it relates to conflict resolution, which is a slightly different issue.
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Old 10-28-2011, 07:29 PM   #1619
kewms
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

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Roger Flatley wrote: View Post
However, since this is a thread about Aikido not working in an actual fight, it would be useful to look at situations where physical techniques were actually used during combat. Otherwise the topic would be about Aikido as it relates to conflict resolution, which is a slightly different issue.
I'm going to stand my ground on this one. Terry got to keep his wallet, didn't get hurt, and didn't injure anyone seriously enough to get entangled with the local police. That's about as positive an outcome as it's possible to achieve in a four-on-one situation, and probably more positive than would have resulted if he had decided to "teach those kids a lesson" or something similarly stupid.

Restricting the discussion to "techniques actually used in combat" makes your level of proof far too high. The more senior the aikidoka, the more likely aikido is to "work" for them (one hopes). But the more senior the aikidoka, the better they are going to be (one hopes) at the kind of conflict avoidance Terry demonstrated. So the aikidoka most likely to actually get in fights will be the ones who aren't yet skilled enough to succeed in them. I don't think it's fair to judge any art by its junior practitioners.

There's a story about Saotome Sensei, in which he was accosted by a group of young thugs. The first of the thugs found his head moving toward the corner of a building at high speed. Saotome Sensei stopped him short of that impact, which very well might have killed him, and the thugs ran. Would you have more respect for Saotome Sensei's aikido if he had actually killed the person? Or less?

Katherine
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:17 PM   #1620
Ketsan
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
I'm going to stand my ground on this one. Terry got to keep his wallet, didn't get hurt, and didn't injure anyone seriously enough to get entangled with the local police. That's about as positive an outcome as it's possible to achieve in a four-on-one situation, and probably more positive than would have resulted if he had decided to "teach those kids a lesson" or something similarly stupid.

Restricting the discussion to "techniques actually used in combat" makes your level of proof far too high. The more senior the aikidoka, the more likely aikido is to "work" for them (one hopes). But the more senior the aikidoka, the better they are going to be (one hopes) at the kind of conflict avoidance Terry demonstrated. So the aikidoka most likely to actually get in fights will be the ones who aren't yet skilled enough to succeed in them. I don't think it's fair to judge any art by its junior practitioners.

There's a story about Saotome Sensei, in which he was accosted by a group of young thugs. The first of the thugs found his head moving toward the corner of a building at high speed. Saotome Sensei stopped him short of that impact, which very well might have killed him, and the thugs ran. Would you have more respect for Saotome Sensei's aikido if he had actually killed the person? Or less?

Katherine
I think it's fair to judge an art by it's average practitioners, say, it's dan grades. It's not like we look at BJJ and say "Well yeah the Gracies are good but maybe the art doesn't really work". Conflict avoidence doesn't require a martial art and martial arts are not for times when conflict can be avoided; they are exactly for dealing with conflict.

Quote:
Would you have more respect for Saotome Sensei's aikido if he had actually killed the person? Or less?
It's a martial art; it's to be expected that the ability to kill is part of it.
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:26 PM   #1621
kewms
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

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Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
It's a martial art; it's to be expected that the ability to kill is part of it.
That wasn't the question, though.

Rather, must someone demonstrate that ability in order to prove that their art "works?"

Because, in the kinds of situations we're talking about, there are three choices: aikidoka gets hurt, attacker(s) get hurt, or aikidoka manages to disengage (or persuade attackers to do so). So is hurting the attacker -- at greater risk to oneself -- better proof of effectiveness than disengaging? And why?

Katherine

Last edited by kewms : 10-28-2011 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:45 AM   #1622
Janet Rosen
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

I am getting mighty confused about what a "fight" is. I don't do boxing or MMA so I don't "fight" as a sport. Somebody said they meant "combat", well like many folks who train in m.a. I'm not in the armed forces so don't need to train for combat. I don't go out to bars where people drink, hang out with tweakers, belong to a gang, or in any other way live a lifestyle that puts me into the brawls folks seem to mean by "fights"...
HOWEVER...since I started traveling about the sidewalks and subways of NYC alone at age 13 I had to learn to deal with vibes, attitude, and the possibility of assault with intent to mug or rape. To those posters who suggest multiple attackers going for a wallet did not have intent to committ harm, I have to say how dare you presume to make such an assumption and on what mindreading? Where I grew up every mugger had a knife, if not a gun (which were rare on NY streets in the good old days). I say the fellow who successfully came away from a four person mugging attempt as he described it had an optimal outcome, and yes, won that fight.
And as I told a friend many many years ago surprised to hear I'd pulled a gun to investigate somebody coming thru my bathroom window in the wee hours (turned out to be the neighbor's cat): If I want to live I HAVE to assume anybody breaking in, even if their original intent is burglary, may decide to escalate to rape or murder if they think they can get away with it. Self defense has to make this assumption and not decide, "hey, it's not a fight or combat"....

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:49 AM   #1623
Janet Rosen
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
That wasn't the question, though.

Rather, must someone demonstrate that ability in order to prove that their art "works?"

Because, in the kinds of situations we're talking about, there are three choices: aikidoka gets hurt, attacker(s) get hurt, or aikidoka manages to disengage (or persuade attackers to do so). So is hurting the attacker -- at greater risk to oneself -- better proof of effectiveness than disengaging? And why?

Katherine
Very very well said, Katherine. Doing the least possible harm while being effective is always the best outcome.

Janet Rosen
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Old 10-30-2011, 12:40 PM   #1624
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

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Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
That's not typical of the aikido I've been practicing in a variety of dojos over the past 16 years.
Uke is making a dynamic attack; my disturbing of his center is in that context.
If uke is static, there isn't much need for us to do much but stand there and smile at each other.
DearJanet,
Possibly the static form can be seen as the early stage [Go -hard] of Aikido as described in Saito Sensei s books?This is solid .Satos sensei says that this is the primary metheod of taining in aikido.The 1st stage, Then comes flexible -Ju, then flowing Ki. cheers, Joe.
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Old 10-30-2011, 03:33 PM   #1625
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

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Joe Curran wrote: View Post
DearJanet,
Possibly the static form can be seen as the early stage [Go -hard] of Aikido as described in Saito Sensei s books?This is solid .Satos sensei says that this is the primary metheod of taining in aikido.The 1st stage, Then comes flexible -Ju, then flowing Ki. cheers, Joe.
While this is clearly only my opinion, I would say that I see little evidence over the decades that training with muscle strength and physical tension for some lengthy period magically morphs into relaxed technique and a light touch later on. I am not saying that some work doing static technique with ukes who are not moving with you isn't important. But too much of this leads the ukes to think that "being strong" in this fashion actually has some function and that's how one actually attacks. Tension leads to lack of speed and functional power and a l freedom to move. That is bad martial arts no matter how you cut it.

Too much of the training in Aikido is derived from a notion of training that is fundamentally elitist, deriving from a Japanese notion of how hierarchy works. People train in a certain way. At some point, with very little assistance or explanation, they are supposed to figure out that they need to change certain things to get at what their teacher is REALLY doing. The end result is a very small number of people who have the goods, while the vast majority seem to exist merely to support the folks at the very top of the pyramid who are doing the real thing. Add to that the fact that the art is largely a "closed system" in which most folks only train within the borders of their own styles much less ever get out and train with folks who really know something about other martial arts, So, even many of the most senior practitioners are not necessarily seen as being terribly good martial artists. They are simply excellent at executing certain arcane skills within the rarefied environment of the Aikido dojo.

So, I am a firm believer in deciding what the end point of training should look like and designing a training regimen that will result in that end for the optimal number of practitioners who follow the program. I think there are systems like this. I have seen the methodology used by Chuck Clark Sensei's Jiyushinkai and it is rational, systematic ad progressive. How they train is clearly geared to develop a set of skills without some "magical" shift from what is really wrong to something that is really right. It's not that there won't always be a "pyramid" with someone at the top because there will always be the folks who have more talent and or drive to excel. Clark Sensei's son Aaron is a perfect example, being one of the most solidly trained martial artists I know. But everyone training with any degree of seriousness should have technique that is on track to become high level with only time and effort between them and the top folks, not some ill defined shift that needs to take place at "some" point in the process, which isn't explained or taught but you are supposed to "intuit". Clark Sensei's students are all on the same path as Aaron Clark, they are simply lower on the mountain than he is. Far to much of Aikido training simply will not, now or ever, yield high level skills, nor is it expected to do so. The "real" Aikido is for professionals (Shihan) while the rest of the folks do what I have called "Aikido-lite".

So, it's really "caveat emptor" operating in the Aikido world. Just because a certain teacher reached a given level doesn't mean that he can teach what he knows and produce other people at the same level. Just because a teacher has a big number after his name, doesn't mean that his Aikido is very good. There are clearly as many different standards operating at the top levels as there seem to be at the lower levels. Just one trip ten years ago to the Aiki Expos disabused anyone attending of the notion that rank meant anything at all. There were folks there whose Aikido was truly awful and there were folks there who were amazing. Nothing in common in terms of style or time in grade.

When picking a teacher to train with, it's really a good idea to look, not at the amazing teacher himself, but at his or her students. If the senior students are showing the kinds of skills one would strive for, then it is clear that the teacher has the ability to pass on those skills. But if the teacher is amazing but the students look as if none of them have a clue what the "big guy" is doing, then what is the benefit to you of being associated with an amazing teacher who can't pass on what he is doing?

Anyway, my point here is that just because a certain teacher was excellent and developed a certain training system doesn't mean that he was correct. After forty or fifty years one can now see the results of the training. Did these systems produce people of great skill who are credible martial artists or not? Now that there are a bunch of 6th and 7th Dans all over the place, one can easily evaluate the results of following certain methodologies. Did training that way result in the kinds of skills one is looking for at the end of the process or not?

My own take on it is that the majority of folks who trained stiff and strong when they started are still stiff and strong thirty years later. There are some very notable exceptions, but to me, they stand out as exceptions rather than demonstrating the functionality of a given training methodology. Some folks get really great despite the manner in which they trained...

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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