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Old 04-01-2012, 03:17 AM   #126
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

Quote:
Lars Beyer wrote: View Post
I get your point, and I want to add that paramilitary training and uncontrolled spread of firearms leads to conflict and civil war.
We only need to look to those countries that Nato and UN have decided to engage.
It is my belief that Aikido can help change the world for the better, maybe not in a giant leap but inch by inch and it starts on the individual level.

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Groucho Marx
I disagree that the firearms are the problem. They are tools which empower. The root problem is what needs to be addressed which is greed, imbalance of power, corruption etc. As it becomes institutionalized those in power want to take this away from those that don't have it.

In the countries that we are in as NATO and UN, the problems are much more complex than the weapons. Sure we are there because the weapons have empowered what ever cause or conflict is being fought, but they are not the root problem.

The ones you don't here much about where the people don't have any means or the willingness to fight back, well the attrotcities are there, just because we are not there does not mean they are not occurring. Yes, I think we do tend to get involved in areas where the people are armed.

I think there is probably a correlation most definitely to them being armed. We tend to go where people and governments have hope to make positive change. Without this willingness of the people to fight for themselves, then you really are wasting your time as eventually they will be subjugated again by the few.

Unfortunately in today's world possessing the means to fight back with force is a reality in most places. One day maybe this will change. Of course in the west, we do have the luxury of being able to do much of this with civil means. However, I think it is important for us to not lose sight of the fragile nature of this.

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Old 04-01-2012, 04:05 AM   #127
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Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I disagree that the firearms are the problem. They are tools which empower. The root problem is what needs to be addressed which is greed, imbalance of power, corruption etc. As it becomes institutionalized those in power want to take this away from those that don't have it.

In the countries that we are in as NATO and UN, the problems are much more complex than the weapons. Sure we are there because the weapons have empowered what ever cause or conflict is being fought, but they are not the root problem.

The ones you don't here much about where the people don't have any means or the willingness to fight back, well the attrotcities are there, just because we are not there does not mean they are not occurring. Yes, I think we do tend to get involved in areas where the people are armed.

I think there is probably a correlation most definitely to them being armed. We tend to go where people and governments have hope to make positive change. Without this willingness of the people to fight for themselves, then you really are wasting your time as eventually they will be subjugated again by the few.

Unfortunately in today's world possessing the means to fight back with force is a reality in most places. One day maybe this will change. Of course in the west, we do have the luxury of being able to do much of this with civil means. However, I think it is important for us to not lose sight of the fragile nature of this.
Itīs true we have the luxory to fight with civil means and itīs wise to continue along this path I think.
Cheers
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:30 AM   #128
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Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

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Jim Redel wrote: View Post
Here's where we might be seeing the world a little differently ...

I'm sure it has been asked before, but given a martial artist in a tough neighborhood, in which case do we consider his art more effective ...
- He/she gets into a 'street fight' and 'wins' (however we choose to define it)?
- He/she does not get into a fight?

The corollary ... who is most likely to get in a street fight -
- The martial artist who is convinced that there is trouble coming, and hurries along.
- The martial artist who is convinced that there is trouble coming, but has trained 10 years for just this moment.
- The martial artist who understands that 'being convinced that there is trouble coming' is just a thought ... a thought that is free to come and go ... and so the thought goes..

The last question ... if being 'dominant' (the 2nd martial artist in the above question) is such an advantage, why is it that nearly every bar fight begins with a confrontation involving the biggest guy in there?
There are people in the world that live in areas for whatever reason that they cannot leave of avoid the circumstances they are in. Why do people persist on living in Darfur?

There are people all over the world that live in bad areas and are constantly at risk for violent encounters. They cannot avoid them, they are not asking for them..they are just there and it is their life.

I am sure they have developed habits and mechanisms to avoid and mitigate it as much as possible, but sometimes it is a reality that they must face it.

For many of us, this may hold true as well. At some point in our life, as much as we try, we may be faced with making tough choices about our actions. It may not matter how we live our lives, how much we go to church, how big or strong we are, or how much we stay in well lit areas etc....

At some point in time we may be faced with that which we have worked hard to avoid or mitigate.

So what do you do? What are you prepared to do? What choices do you make? What choices do you really have? How much dissonance are you experiencing?

We should not live our lives in fear of this or develop a survivalistic paranoia that has us looking costantly for potential trouble.

However, budo should be about achieving balance and awareness. Being martially effective is not just about knowing 12 killer moves, or intimidating, or avoidance either...it is about being mindful and prepared personally. It is about understanding self, your limitations, your triggers, your emotions, and understanding as much as possible your "enemies".

Can't answer why big guys get into bar fights. There is a lot of irrational stupidity in those situations that I tend to avoid. I have though gotten into those stupid things before and when I look back, yea...I was part to blame at some level for my involvement.

There have been other situations in which it was not intended and for whatever reason...well there I was....had to quickly figure out what I needed to do. Most times it was not exacerbating the situation and breaking the decision cycle of the risk I was facing and simply walking away. Others I have had to engage in someway, again quick action to disrupt the decision cycle of my "opponent" and decisive action helped me to minimize and mitigate the situation.

I'd say that my background in budo was very important because the methodology provided me a means to understand management of stress and fear. I've used that same methodology to train in weapons and to understand my limitations and capabilities in various scenarios. If trained correctly, it wires you to respond in appropriate ways.

So, I can't answer they various what ifs..or provide solutions to avoidance or mitigation necessarily. I can tell you that if you do train properly and appropriately that you will begin to understand self and begin to see things with an expanded perspective. The more you experience, the more data you have, the better decisions you can make, and hence the more effective you can be.

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Old 04-01-2012, 04:32 AM   #129
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Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

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Itīs true we have the luxory to fight with civil means and itīs wise to continue along this path I think.
Cheers
By all means Lars! Thanks for the discussion!

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Old 04-01-2012, 06:16 AM   #130
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Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

Okokok, Iīll shut up and fix my bike... thanks !
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:20 AM   #131
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Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

As everyone else has stated, it all depends on the situation. If you have a gun and I am more than 10 ft away from you I am running my ass off to remove my body from your sight.

If we are talking about physical confrontation with someone with equal or greater martial skill, good strong atemi is very likely the only way you will be able to gain control of your opponents center and execute any aikido technique.

I train and spar with a very talented long time martial artist trained in Ninjutsu from time to time and maybe one out of 7 battles I can control his center and pull off an aikido technique. This is always due to irimi, timing and a quality atemi. Quite frankly he is a far better Martial Artist then I, and he generally kicks my ass all over the place, so I am tickled to death when my timing, Atemi, and Irimi is correct and I can take his center, Hell I am overjoyed when I can land a strike!! *laughs*.

Some drunk yahoo at a bar who's feeling angry and real tough, I feel sorry for them cause they are going to be pinned with their nose to the floor in a couple of seconds after they decide to commit to violence. Anyone with a basic understanding of Aikido body movement and a few techniques under their belt should have no problem defending against a roundhouse punch and taking drunk bar guy to the ground.

Lastly I have to say that I agree I see weak attacks all the time in the dojo. A good attack doesn't have to be fast and strong, or full speed, in fact slow to medium with good intention and ki and good but not intense resistance is an amazing learning tool for how to do a technique properly and know if you have done it correctly. You can just feel when it is right and when you have taken Uke's center.
You don't have to go full speed but you should be trying to hit me, if I am there when the punch lands then that is my fault...

E
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:15 AM   #132
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Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

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Without this monopoly there would be no state.. so it sounds a bit contradictory to me.
Agreed.... The legitimized use of violence defines the state...at least that's an accepted premise among a vast majority of Western Political Scientists.

William Hazen
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:33 AM   #133
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Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

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Agreed.... The legitimized use of violence defines the state...at least that's an accepted premise among a vast majority of Western Political Scientists.

William Hazen
And a lot of Aikidokaīs. I think itīs ok to accept violence as a means to solve conflict, at least as long as people behave like apes thats the name of the game...but this should only make us aspire to set the bar higher.. No ?
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:04 PM   #134
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Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

Yes, we should be striving for a higher bar. As long as we recognize reality.

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Old 04-03-2012, 03:51 AM   #135
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Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Yes, we should be striving for a higher bar. As long as we recognize reality.
Reality.. either a series of boring facts that will surely end all dreaming and reaching for higher goals
or a sphere where everything is possible if you believe in it.
Or somthing in between. I canīt stop likening Oīsensei to the guy in "the allegory of the cave" by Plato who walked out into the sun and saw something still a product of the same "reality" but removed from the schackles and restrictions of perception and expressing true freedom, like any other true art btw.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:14 AM   #136
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Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

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at least as long as people behave like apes thats the name of the game...but this should only make us aspire to set the bar higher.. No ?
of course you need to set the bar higher, them monkey can really climb. matter of fact, you should just put bars all around, safer that way.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:56 PM   #137
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Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

The martial art that we call aikido is a technical curriculum whose application is in the art of man-to-man conflict. As civilians, we have some allowance to redefine this application to a broader sense of conflict, not necessarily militant.

I think if you argue to remove the successful demonstration of technical knowledge you are no longer talking about a martial art (a technical education), but rather a liberal art (a general education).
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:35 PM   #138
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Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

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The martial art that we call aikido is a technical curriculum whose application is in the art of man-to-man conflict. As civilians, we have some allowance to redefine this application to a broader sense of conflict, not necessarily militant.

I think if you argue to remove the successful demonstration of technical knowledge you are no longer talking about a martial art (a technical education), but rather a liberal art (a general education).
As far as I know Oīsensei redefined aikibudo to aikido in the course of his martial career..? He also stated that Aikido is the budo of love and compassion. He also engaged in religious activities in a religion that now promotes Esperanza because the goal is to unite all of mankind, to break down the barriers between "us and them".
I am no expert in Omoto Kyo at all, but I have read some of their texts and their goals and to me it seems that Aikido is the physical realisation of Omoto Kyo. Actually doing basic Aikido training
is practising Omoto Kyo principles.. This also goes very well in hand with the fact that Onosaburo Deguchi encouraged Oīsensei to use his martial skills to build a budo of love..?
So I guess in that sence we are allowed to define Aikido as liberal as we wish for as long as Aikido stays connected to itīs martial roots. And can still be considered a martial art. I think the true genius lies in the seemingly dualistic compromise we feel is somewhat a huge bite to chew that love and war are two pieces of the same puzzle.. they are inseperable in fact.
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:40 PM   #139
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Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

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of course you need to set the bar higher, them monkey can really climb. matter of fact, you should just put bars all around, safer that way.
Now youre talking ! We make a Zoo with people inside the cages behind glass and the animals on the outside having fun studying us.
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:49 PM   #140
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Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

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Now youre talking ! We make a Zoo with people inside the cages behind glass and the animals on the outside having fun studying us.
Maybe they allready do..
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Old 04-03-2012, 03:38 PM   #141
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Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

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Lars Beyer wrote: View Post
As far as I know Oīsensei redefined aikibudo to aikido in the course of his martial career..? He also stated that Aikido is the budo of love and compassion. He also engaged in religious activities in a religion that now promotes Esperanza because the goal is to unite all of mankind, to break down the barriers between "us and them".
I am no expert in Omoto Kyo at all, but I have read some of their texts and their goals and to me it seems that Aikido is the physical realisation of Omoto Kyo. Actually doing basic Aikido training
is practising Omoto Kyo principles.. This also goes very well in hand with the fact that Onosaburo Deguchi encouraged Oīsensei to use his martial skills to build a budo of love..?
So I guess in that sence we are allowed to define Aikido as liberal as we wish for as long as Aikido stays connected to itīs martial roots. And can still be considered a martial art. I think the true genius lies in the seemingly dualistic compromise we feel is somewhat a huge bite to chew that love and war are two pieces of the same puzzle.. they are inseperable in fact.
Sure....you are free to do whatever u wish. People connect to things in different ways. However, I think you also have to consider that as real as MS Flight Simulator maybe....it still is not flying a real plane. I think at some point you cross the line and it ceases to become martial. Where that is...might be exactly hard to define, but for me, I also see no reason to compromise the martial integrity to achieve the same results. Unfortunately, in my experiences, I have seen enough examples of compromise that we have way too many people doing stuff that does not really quality as a quality practice.

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Old 04-03-2012, 10:00 PM   #142
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Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

I tend to agree with Kevin here. At some point there needs to be a concrete manifestation of separation where aikido movement is no longer considered martial. For me, that point is at least manifest if one cannot demonstrate the function of the martial aspect of the art.

I think if you argued a technical education as it related to law, or medicine, or engineering... Is a doctor able to maintain her license to practice medicine if she cannot competently perform surgery? What about a lawyer? They went to school. They received an education. But there is a practicality component to a technical education that aikido people sometimes ignore. This is not necessarily a problem if we cease to consider our education technical. The problem comes in when we think we are doctors with our 5 year liberal arts degree in appreciating Pink Floyd's "The Wall" album...

I think we face a challenge to either perform a technical function (and retain our technical education status as a martial art) or leave behind the technical designation and embrace a general education that allows us to pursue personal ideology.
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:42 PM   #143
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Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

I presume that when Ueshiba named his art, there already was the understanding that a 'do' was an art that had transitioned away from purely technical (practical) utility. I could be mistaken here.

Is it possible it's his students that continually want to bring aikido back from the land of 'do'.

What do you make of him kneeling in seiza, his students rushing in, laying hands on the top of his head and then doing a forward roll?

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Old 04-04-2012, 12:49 AM   #144
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Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I tend to agree with Kevin here. At some point there needs to be a concrete manifestation of separation where aikido movement is no longer considered martial. For me, that point is at least manifest if one cannot demonstrate the function of the martial aspect of the art.

I think if you argued a technical education as it related to law, or medicine, or engineering... Is a doctor able to maintain her license to practice medicine if she cannot competently perform surgery? What about a lawyer? They went to school. They received an education. But there is a practicality component to a technical education that aikido people sometimes ignore. This is not necessarily a problem if we cease to consider our education technical. The problem comes in when we think we are doctors with our 5 year liberal arts degree in appreciating Pink Floyd's "The Wall" album...

I think we face a challenge to either perform a technical function (and retain our technical education status as a martial art) or leave behind the technical designation and embrace a general education that allows us to pursue personal ideology.
I agree and had the same thought, concerning something along the lines of demonstrating technical proficiency or accountability. I think that by nature aikido (or aikidoka) tend to de-emphasize the technical education in an attempt to prevent aikido from turning into a rote mechanical, step-by-step processed practice. This has probably been the greatest challenge for me to reconcile in my own practice. I hope that I am at a point now where I can interpret and assess what I consider to be "Quality". I think I have reached that through an number of awesome teachers both in Aikido and other arts over the last 20 years of training.

When we look at methodology for training, I think it is best to maybe train in some more basic fundamentals that would provide a foundation prior to doing a more advanced practice such as Aikido.

I think alot of the issue may be that many teachers in Aikido simply teach what they learned or what they are interested in working on. If you are going to get a PhD in Nuclear Physics, you don't enroll in the PhD program, you spend some time/years on some fundamentals that lead up to that practice.

Unfortunately, in most aikido organizations, we hang up a sign that say "aikido classes....come join"..and we through beginners into a methodology that while they like the fact that it is gentle, they agree with the philosophy and can identify with the dojo members...they simply do not have the fundamentals, training, or have developed the prerequiste structure to begin such a practice.

So, we have a high failure rate of students sticking with the art.....of those that stay...you end up with people that have prefected what I call "dojo-fu" and can follow the patterns and movements, and yes, they become very good at "aikido". However, from my obeservations, they operate in some very tight constraints and conditions. They conduct class they way they were taught, they cannot interpret or synthesize new concept well, teaching adaptively with students that present different challenges and paradigms well. They stick to the agenda, or "reciepe" that "sensei" taught them since that is what they know. In alot of cases, at each generations, without synthesis, or exposure, a small bit is lost along they way in translation.

I think if the model were to teach students to a basic black belt level a very solid, fundamental martial curriculum, then say, after 5 years of so...then "graduated" to a "aiki" level of curriclum then you'd be better of then taking the "one size fits all" 0 to 60 MPH curriculum that we tend to do.

That said, I have also seen aikido instructors without a solid background try establish a basic/fundamental basic practice...and it ends up being a static "one-step" process that EVERYONE reaches the conclusion that it is a waste of time.

Personally, i feel there is probably a reason that most Sensei I have respected and feel are worth there weight have spent a great deal of time in arts like Muay Thai, Judo, and BJJ where they learn how to move in non-cooperative environments. I am also intriqued by the IS/IP methods that are being done as well as a method of development/preparation. However, a hodge-podge of the two, don't seem to work well.

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Old 04-04-2012, 01:37 AM   #145
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Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

Japanese martial arts have a long tradition of linking philosophy/religion with practice but I do think Aikido tends to suffer more of the philosophy dictating the practice rather than growing out of and guiding the practice. This manifests itself at the beginners level and all the way up to instructors.

I still remember being visited in the first dojo I opened up with an earnest young man clutching his little red book (shades of Mao but it was John Steven's) insisting what I was doing was not Aikido. I still wonder how his views changed once he actually started training but the truism is that many people who come to the art already have a very strong opinion what that art is supposed to be.

The principles of Aikido practice are in the waza. The training using paired practice, drills and randori are meant to make those waza martially effective and through them we can incorporate the philiosophy.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 04-04-2012, 04:20 AM   #146
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Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

Perhaps I should add that Aikido has become a victim of its own popularity. These is so much out there both in book form and the internet that someone new to the art is already fully loaded with the various interpretations of philosophy that it is easy to forget the base of the art.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:36 AM   #147
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Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

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How do you measure martial ineffectiveness?
Can the person deal with a decent attack? Can they reliably stop the other guy?

Of course in order to do that you have to have people who are skilled at attacking - and that's where a lot of aikido clubs seem to fall down. The minute you lose that selection pressure the rest of it starts to go squify.

To a certain extent, if you know what a decent attack looks like, you can just eyeball it. Some things you can look at and see how wide open the other person is - how inefficient their movement. And you know, sure as sure, if that's the best they can do, you could take them.

It's harder to judge relative skill. You can generally tell if you can take someone less skilled than you - but it can be hard to judge who's just a little bit more skilled than someone else when they're both less skilled than you. Then again, I'm not sure whether there's much merit in measuring such small differences in skill to begin with. One or two belts between people... a lot of the time, it could still go either way, in my opinion.

Quote:
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Can you do so in a dojo?
A fair bit of what someone'd actually do in a fight just comes down to what sort of person they are. As far as the effectiveness of their technical skills goes though - sure.
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:55 AM   #148
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Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

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Sure....you are free to do whatever u wish. People connect to things in different ways. However, I think you also have to consider that as real as MS Flight Simulator maybe....it still is not flying a real plane. I think at some point you cross the line and it ceases to become martial. Where that is...might be exactly hard to define, but for me, I also see no reason to compromise the martial integrity to achieve the same results. Unfortunately, in my experiences, I have seen enough examples of compromise that we have way too many people doing stuff that does not really quality as a quality practice.
"You have seen enough".. that sort of explains it all.
Peace
Lars
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:15 AM   #149
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Thumbs up Re: Martial Ineffectiveness

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"Slow is smooth and smooth is fast".

This is an adage in the tactical shooting arena. The goal of tactical shooting is to draw and put effective rounds as fast as possible on the target. There are a couple of elements. one, you want to be faster than the other guy. Yes, but you also want to be accurate.

So in order to train that, you have to imprint the right patterns of movement. So, by slowing down, you gain accuracy. Training this way allows you to imprint good and correct habits, which allow you to gradually increase speed until you can find the sweet spot between speed and accuracy.

So, even in practices where martial effectiveness is even MORE relevant like CQB, Combatives I spend my coaching time trying to get guys to slow the heck down more than I ask them to speed up!

If you can't do it right slow...adding speed is going to make it better? in most cases no. However sometimes speed and audacity count for alot too! usually not....we strive for a better product than one that depends on timing and luck!

George, that is a really great post. Thanks for that!
George's post is awesome, but George already received well deserved kudos, I'll chime in here.

Good observations here.

"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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