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Old 09-18-2002, 07:21 PM   #51
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Roy,

depends on the Aikidoka, but agree with many of your points. Size does matter. As a big guy I can afford to make many more mistakes and can compensate for the much more than someone of equal skill and smaller size/weight.

There are many dimensions to fighting skills...they are all important, size, skill, experience, and situation dictate which ones a fighter may weight heavier than another.

Some of the dimensions are: size, strength, agility, speed, stamina, reflex, flexibility (mental and physical), adaptability..etc. It really depends on many factors.

A point I like to make frequently is that you do not use "aikido" to fight anymore than you use "karate", judo, or any other style....you use yourself and a multitude of things you have learned over the years.

IMHO, it is nearly impossible to train for street effectiveness...the permutations of "situations" are much to great to develop a set of default techniques that will work everytime. I have trained that way, and I personally believe that in the long run, you are setting yourself up for a very limited skill set.

Aikido in most dojos is set up to teach you the underlying principles, if you understand the principles, you can adapt technique to fit the situation, you develop a better/wider base of experience training this way.

It will seem like it will take you longer to develop your skills, but in reality, it only takes a couple of years to surpass people who train for "situations" or "technique" type training.

All that said, from my experiences aikido does not do a good job of mentally conditioning you to deal with a fight and the emotions that happen in a "real" situation. I recommend seriously that if you really want to learn "street smarts"....that you do spend some time with a good hard/external dojo to gain this experience. Be warned though, I personally developed some very, very bad habits that are taking me years to "undo" through aikido..."unlearning" is what I call it.

Bottom line, there are trade offs studying either way!

Good luck.

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Old 09-19-2002, 04:42 AM   #52
mike lee
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
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no fear

Quote:
Size and strength do matter. A lot. More than people believe or want to believe.
Nonsense. I can do the same waza with the smallest person in the class, and the biggest guy in the class (who outweighs me by 80lbs.) I use exactly the same amount of strength (very little), and make only slight adjustments for height.

In fact, I generally find that working with bigger, stronger people to be easier than short people with a low hara.

Siz and power should be respected -- not feared.
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Old 09-19-2002, 12:31 PM   #53
Roy Dean
 
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Kevin,

Good post. I agree with many of your points as well.

Mike,

Although you may be able to do the same waza with people of varying sizes, I must ask: Are they resisting? Do they ever catch their balance and attack again? Do they ever attack with "unconventional" techniques such as jabs or bear hugs?

In sports and martial endeavors where resistance is encouraged (boxing, wrestling, Judo, etc), why do you think they have weight classes?

In a recent BJJ tournament, there were several competitors that weighed over 400 pounds. Do you still think you could apply your techniques with the same amount of strength? Do you think you would find it easier?

If you're still unconvinced, I encourage you to check out the recent mixed martial arts event called PRIDE Shockwave. On the card, you will see Bob Sapp vs. Rodrigo Nogueira. Although technically superior, Nogueira absorbed a tremendous amount of punishment from Sapp, who outweighed him by 150 pounds of muscle. Nogueira won in heroic fashion, but the myth that size and strength don't matter was shattered forever by this fight alone.

Roy

Discover Who You Are

www.roydeanacademy.com
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Old 09-19-2002, 01:35 PM   #54
Erik
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Quote:
Roy Dean wrote:
In sports and martial endeavors where resistance is encouraged (boxing, wrestling, Judo, etc), why do you think they have weight classes?

In a recent BJJ tournament, there were several competitors that weighed over 400 pounds. Do you still think you could apply your techniques with the same amount of strength? Do you think you would find it easier?
Just as an aside, I recently wandered down to the local Judo school to take a look around. The Sensei was approximately 6' 2" and at least 250 pounds. Honestly, he was probably closer to 300 pounds and while some of it was in the midsection much of it seemed to be located in the shoulders and neck area. My only thought was you've got to be kidding and I'm 6' and a respectably solid 200 pounds. I'm going to throw a guy that size?

I dunno, maybe if I fought really dirty, or didn't engage him the way he wanted, but then it's Judo and they have these rules and with those I'd pretty much have no chance.
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Old 09-19-2002, 01:46 PM   #55
paw
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excuse the interruption, but....

****** a brief tangent

Erik,
Quote:
I dunno, maybe if I fought really dirty, or didn't engage him the way he wanted, but then it's Judo and they have these rules and with those I'd pretty much have no chance.
Aikido has "rules" as well. Sure, they aren't formalized and codified like the IJF has done with judo, but there are still expected ways to behave in every aikido dojo on the planet. I would imagine that if you pin someone and then honestly try to gouge their eyes out being expelled from the dojo will probably be the least of your worries.

Or am I off base?

Regards,

Paul

****** and back to our topic
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Old 09-19-2002, 01:53 PM   #56
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
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AiKiDo has conventions, not rules. That's the difference between spelling them out and not spelling them out. The conventions are there for instructional purposes (to my mind) at least as much as they are there for the sake of safety. You can lay aside particular conventions at any time if you (and your partner) are interested in learning what happens when you do that. It won't necessarily stop it from being AiKiDo (again, to my mind).

The easy way to see the difference is that in any competition fighting sport, you allow yourself to do certain things because you know certain counters are not legal. You have to because you need to use every advantage you've got and so you use the rules to your advantage. In AiKiDo this way of thinking doesn't make sense. What advantage to I get out of ignoring specific possible counters? Perhaps I want to do so for instructional purposes, but I'm not trying to beat anybody so I've got no percentage in ignoring certain realities.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 09-19-2002, 02:30 PM   #57
paw
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Opher,
Quote:
You can lay aside particular conventions at any time if you (and your partner) are interested in learning what happens when you do that. It won't necessarily stop it from being AiKiDo (again, to my mind).
The same is true of judo. The IJF rules are conventions in same sense you are using the word. You can lay them aside and compete under different rules (conventions) if you like. For example, Kosen judo is still judo, but vastly different rules. And judo players have done very well in ADCC events, another set of rules (conventions).
Quote:
The easy way to see the difference is that in any competition fighting sport, you allow yourself to do certain things because you know certain counters are not legal.
If your point is that the context dictates the response, well of course. Judo players in MMA events adopt strategies that are more applicable in that environment. The same is true of self-defense applications. The techniques and principles of judo remain the same. So in my mind, what you're discussing now is strategy, which is something different.... Or have I missed your point?

Regards,

Paul
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Old 09-19-2002, 02:36 PM   #58
Erik
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Re: excuse the interruption, but....

Quote:
paul watt (paw) wrote:
Aikido has "rules" as well. Sure, they aren't formalized and codified like the IJF has done with judo, but there are still expected ways to behave in every aikido dojo on the planet. I would imagine that if you pin someone and then honestly try to gouge their eyes out being expelled from the dojo will probably be the least of your worries.

Or am I off base?
I agree with this. I was thinking about adding that to my earlier post but went with a bit of brevity for a change.

In all fairness, even with rules off (and from behind with a big stick and 3 friends) plus changing the context of a confrontation a guy that size is no trivial matter. No matter how good the relative skill levels.

Last edited by Erik : 09-19-2002 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 09-19-2002, 02:39 PM   #59
opherdonchin
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No, Paul, I think your point is well taken. It seems to me like you are making a distinction between Judo as an art and Judo as a competitive sport.

You are saying a judoka uses the rules (which I still think are different than conventions) of competition as part of his instructional technique, in some sense using competition as a way of learning more about the art. This makes perfect sense to me, and I hadn't really thought about it that way.

I guess I still think there is a fundamental difference between an art that takes competition seroiusly (and trains for it) and one that eschews competition. Even if these are just different training strategies towards the same ultimate end, they are certainly very different training strategies. It seems like the difference would play out in what is ultimately learned.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 09-19-2002, 11:04 PM   #60
Mel Barker
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Humm, this is beginning to remind me of my mother telling what would happen in a gun fight. I somehow didn't think she'd actually studied to topic, but she sure had some strong opinions.
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Old 09-21-2002, 11:09 AM   #61
mike lee
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Cool fear is the mind-killer

Roy. In response to your questions:

Although you may be able to do the same waza with people of varying sizes, I must ask: Are they resisting?

A: They could, but they may get hurt.

Do they ever catch their balance and attack again?

A: They could, but then I would continue using aikido waza.

Do they ever attack with "unconventional" techniques such as jabs or bear hugs?

A: They could, but then I would continue using aikido waza.

In sports and martial endeavors where resistance is encouraged (boxing, wrestling, Judo, etc), why do you think they have weight classes?

A: Because some people are heavier.

In a recent BJJ tournament, there were several competitors that weighed over 400 pounds. Do you still think you could apply your techniques with the same amount of strength?

A: Yes. I would have no choice.

Do you think you would find it easier?

A: Possibly. It would depend on his skill-level.

If you're still unconvinced ...

A: Unconvinced of what?

... I encourage you to check out the recent mixed martial arts event called PRIDE Shockwave. On the card, you will see Bob Sapp vs. Rodrigo Nogueira. Although technically superior, Nogueira absorbed a tremendous amount of punishment from Sapp, who outweighed him by 150 pounds of muscle. Nogueira won in heroic fashion, but the myth that size and strength don't matter was shattered forever by this fight alone.

A: I never said size didn't matter. In my previous post I said that size and strength should be respected, not feared.

In ancient China there was a man named Kwan Kong who swung a weapon that was so large and heavy that it took five ordinary men just to lift it. He killed over 2,000 warriors on his own. His enemies finally gave up trying to kill him using conventional martial arts. Instead, they had a lovely young lady plop some poison in his tea. End of story.

P.S. I'm looking for an old friend named Mel Flannigan, attorney at law. Does anyone know her? She's a University of Wisconsin graduate and aikidoist.

Last edited by mike lee : 09-21-2002 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 09-21-2002, 11:34 AM   #62
mike lee
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amendment to above post

Although you may be able to do the same waza with people of varying sizes, I must ask: Are they resisting?

A: They could, but they may get hurt.

I always ask attackers to grab or strike me with full force, provided they can maintain control over their own bodies. This is to prevent injury. In aikido, a strong and forceful attack makes the waza more effective. The most difficult person to practice with is a wet noodle.

Last edited by mike lee : 09-21-2002 at 11:37 AM.
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