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Old 07-09-2012, 03:44 PM   #26
Mark Freeman
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Re: Can somebody who's never thrown a person, claim they can - and do - throw people?

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I totally agree with what you said about goals: I - too - am interested by the 'internal power' element, from a purely intellectual/philosophical perspective, regardless of any practical applications (although they would be a plus), and I hope to train with Dan Harden when he's in the UK, to hopefully get a glimpse of it.
Hi Graham,

why only interested in the 'internal power' element from an intellectual/philosophical perspective?

The only reality in my experience, is that you can either manifest internal power practically or you can't. There are 'levels' of power of course, but reading and talking about internal power doesnt give you a small rung on the ladder to the first step. Dan has been to the UK on three ocassions already, you have missed an opportunity to get a massive leg up onto the first step. Do whatever you can to make it to his next visit, you will be shown the how, which is much more valuable than knowing the why and the what for.

regards,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 07-09-2012, 03:48 PM   #27
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Re: Can somebody who's never thrown a person, claim they can - and do - throw people?

Graham,

reading back through your post concerning testing and 1 on 1 challenges.....recommend this book on Mitsu Maeda "The Toughest Man who ever lived"

http://www.amazon.com/The-Toughest-E...hat+ever+lived

It even mentions Ueshiba in the book.

While not about Aikido, and not entirely a biography...it does a good job of painting the picture of the times that guys like Maeda, Yamamoto, etc were sent forth to expand their systems in the world. You get a good sense of the culture, politics, economics, and entertainment at that time. All things that forged what we respect today around the turn of the century in the early 1900s. The formatives years of Judo and subsequently Aikido.

It is important to understand this critical juncture in martial arts history if we hope to understand why we do what we do today. After that, there was a large "normalization" or commercialization that took place with servicemen returning home from the west in the 50s, 60s. In the 70s...we had the TV generation of Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee and of course, the "feel good" generation that did the KI or CHI based things. We are now in the "UFC" or MMA revolution...combined with the "Internet age"...in which we have a fusion of new information and a return to the roots or a re-discovery of the stuff the guys were doing 100 years ago.

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Old 07-10-2012, 08:42 AM   #28
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Re: Can somebody who's never thrown a person, claim they can - and do - throw people?

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Does it make sense - if you want to actually gain the ability to throw somebody - to start your martial arts training with aikido?
Regardless of whether your aikido is good enough, and you could actually throw somebody in a live situation (i.e., not one ever encountered in an aikido class; one where the other person knows what you want to do, and does all they can to nullify your attempts), can you ever claim that a throw you do in aikido class is genuinely effective?
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I remember, a few weeks after I started training BJJ (after three years of aikido): I was doing standing randori with a guy, and he was really using all his weight, and strength, to try and wrestle me to the ground; I then realised there was a way I could throw him, and I did: I threw a man, who was a live opponent, and I did it by using technique.
There is no doubt that the throw works, and that I can throw someone who is hell-bent on not being thrown.
Maybe I'm missing something but aren't YOU an example of someone that learned to "throw" someone by learning in a cooperative manner and then was able to pull it off in an competitive environment?

I do think that getting into that environment (competitive) does give you the confidence or eye opener that some need ( I did, thanks Judo).
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:50 AM   #29
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Re: Can somebody who's never thrown a person, claim they can - and do - throw people?

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Ha back atcha!!

That's one thing I've learned for sure, my perspective is gonna to continue to change as I learn more. The awesome thing is that there's increasingly any number of folks (some very near you I expect) that are chasing their progress in directions that are of interest to me. I think quite a few folks have looked at aikido and other arts such as judo, bjj and mma (Henry Ellis Sensei and his son, I believe, both generations would have an interesting perspective on those topics) either with regard to verifying martial integrity in their own practice or transitioning to martial sports.

Regarding internal strength, I look at it in the same light as the title of your thread -- there's many that think they're doing some or all of it. There's many that aren't sure they are doing it, aren't sure if they care and/or aren't sure what the whole mess is about. I made sure not to speak too much about it until I got firsthand experience. Even now after spending some years exploring the subject, I know better than to say too much definitively because each year, it seems like I've peeled back another layer of the subject as an onion .

As for folks that do speak definitively of their martial skills, but I suspect haven't really had a chance to test them, credibly, I usually live and let live unless they rub me the wrong way for some reason. As I used to tease you before, a lot of times you're addressing someone's belief system rather than anything concrete or objective, so you aren't going to change anyone's mind that doesn't want to change. Sometimes the best you can do is provide an example for someone genuinely seeking answers to engage in fruitful discussion and get options for additional exploration.

Good luck in your training.
Thanks a lot.

I think my big problem back then, was that I thought randori was purely competitive, and so technique would become discarded, and people would really on brute force.
However, i've always tried to relax, and use technique, when I spar in BJJ - learning (even if you fail) is winning: that's the point; one time getting strangled, or arm-locked, is so much more informative than a dan grade stopping you while you're attempting irimi-nage, and telling you how you're doing it wrong,

It's true that there are people who spar like it is a fight, and that ending up in a bad position is 'wrong' - but they don't get the most out of it, and will never fulfil their potential.
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:53 AM   #30
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Re: Can somebody who's never thrown a person, claim they can - and do - throw people?

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Hi Graham,

why only interested in the 'internal power' element from an intellectual/philosophical perspective?
Hi Mark.

I meant I am interested in learning it - and manifesting it practically - to satisfy my intellectual curiosity/desire.

I have wanted to train with Dan, when he's been over; unfortunately, like so many young people recently, I have struggled financially, and employment-wise.
Hopefully circumstances will have changed by the time of his next visit, and I will be allowed to attend his workshop.
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:59 AM   #31
Gorgeous George
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Re: Can somebody who's never thrown a person, claim they can - and do - throw people?

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Graham,

reading back through your post concerning testing and 1 on 1 challenges.....recommend this book on Mitsu Maeda "The Toughest Man who ever lived"

http://www.amazon.com/The-Toughest-E...hat+ever+lived

It even mentions Ueshiba in the book..
Thanks for the recommendation, Kevin: i'll take a look.

I meant to respond to your last post.
I totally agree. When I first started BJJ, I was basically just using it as a medium to practice my aikido, and keep in pratice, as I only got to practice aikido once a week; now, I train BJJ four times a week, and haven't been to an aikido class in a few months.
I find that if I do some aikido warm-ups before class - torifune, and things of that nature - it really helps me to practice BJJ with a pleasing feeling, and come away feeling good: it's just about conditioning your body to respond/move in a certain way, I think.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:11 AM   #32
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Re: Can somebody who's never thrown a person, claim they can - and do - throw people?

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Maybe I'm missing something but aren't YOU an example of someone that learned to "throw" someone by learning in a cooperative manner and then was able to pull it off in an competitive environment?

I do think that getting into that environment (competitive) does give you the confidence or eye opener that some need ( I did, thanks Judo).
I used a judo throw on the guy.
I did, however, learn some good things in aikido: to relax, as that is how to respond in the most effective manner possible; to use the hips/centre, etc., and this has given me a big advantage over a lot of beginners in BJJ.

What i'm interested in, though, is teaching aikido in such a way as it can be directly applied to such situations - rather than having to be expressed through other martial arts/techniques.
Aikido techniques would be really good if you were a police officer, with a gun, and truncheon - but most martial/self-defence contexts nowadays, in everyday life for most people, don't involve the need to stop someone preventing you drawing a weapon, and killing them.

...and of course, uke is taught to maintain contact at every moment of a technique, in order to stay alive, essentially; the thinking being that when he fails to, you'll then strike him down/kill him (and this is what would reasonably happen, in a real confrontation: the attacker wouldn't be able to keep up with you...) - but this eventuality is never explored in aikido.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:51 AM   #33
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Re: Can somebody who's never thrown a person, claim they can - and do - throw people?

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...and of course, uke is taught to maintain contact at every moment of a technique, in order to stay alive, essentially; the thinking being that when he fails to, you'll then strike him down/kill him (and this is what would reasonably happen, in a real confrontation: the attacker wouldn't be able to keep up with you...) - but this eventuality is never explored in aikido.
Am I reading this correctly? Are you saying that in your aikido training you have never played with role changes in which uke does exploit openings and becomes nage and does a throw or a pin?

I don't mean in the staged kata versions, where the whole class practices what was demonstrated as in: here, when nage applies ikkyo to you, turn this way and do shihonage.
I mean specifically, as you put is, exploring the eventuality...because I think many of us have.

Janet Rosen
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Old 07-10-2012, 03:29 PM   #34
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Re: Can somebody who's never thrown a person, claim they can - and do - throw people?

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I used a judo throw on the guy.
I did, however, learn some good things in aikido: to relax, as that is how to respond in the most effective manner possible; to use the hips/centre, etc., and this has given me a big advantage over a lot of beginners in BJJ.

What i'm interested in, though, is teaching aikido in such a way as it can be directly applied to such situations - rather than having to be expressed through other martial arts/techniques.
Aikido techniques would be really good if you were a police officer, with a gun, and truncheon - but most martial/self-defence contexts nowadays, in everyday life for most people, don't involve the need to stop someone preventing you drawing a weapon, and killing them.

...and of course, uke is taught to maintain contact at every moment of a technique, in order to stay alive, essentially; the thinking being that when he fails to, you'll then strike him down/kill him (and this is what would reasonably happen, in a real confrontation: the attacker wouldn't be able to keep up with you...) - but this eventuality is never explored in aikido.
Did you learn Judo before Aikido? In both there is kuzushi before anyone is thrown. I'm not sure why you would think it was different in Aikido. Even in Judo you learn cooperatively before you compete. (uchikomi).
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:17 PM   #35
Gorgeous George
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Re: Can somebody who's never thrown a person, claim they can - and do - throw people?

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Am I reading this correctly? Are you saying that in your aikido training you have never played with role changes in which uke does exploit openings and becomes nage and does a throw or a pin?

I don't mean in the staged kata versions, where the whole class practices what was demonstrated as in: here, when nage applies ikkyo to you, turn this way and do shihonage.
I mean specifically, as you put is, exploring the eventuality...because I think many of us have.
That's not what i'm talking about, as I think that you're still abiding by certain conventions: e.g., you're presupposing that the other person will respond in a certain way, and if they - for example - slump to the floor, instead of maintaing posture/contact, then you don't have any technique to apply, as it's regarded as bad aikido/not the ideal, so is looked down upon; it's never punished.

Whereas in BJJ randori, for example, sloppy technique is punished time after time by submissions/being put into very uncomfortable positions; in BJJ, you'll learn first and foremost, how to 'do' BJJ on people with poor ability - whereas in aikido, it can be (and indeed is) said that you can only 'do' aikido when the other person can do it.
Time after time, when trying to perform ikkyo on a beginner, for example, the beginner will slump to the floor, and you will be unable to practice the technique.
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:22 PM   #36
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Re: Can somebody who's never thrown a person, claim they can - and do - throw people?

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Did you learn Judo before Aikido? In both there is kuzushi before anyone is thrown. I'm not sure why you would think it was different in Aikido. Even in Judo you learn cooperatively before you compete. (uchikomi).
I did not. I did aikido for three years, then started BJJ; I learnt some basic judo throws in BJJ.

I think that even the co-operative practice in judo is superior to that of aikido: uchikomi is a great way of really drilling the feeling you're searching for, and ingraining it into muscle memory; something comparable in aikido would be great.

As Kevin said: aikido has great principles that are broadly applicable to all martial arts (power through posture, and relaxation; use of the hips/centre) - but I think you need to look outside the art to put them into practice, unfortunately.
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:59 PM   #37
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Re: Can somebody who's never thrown a person, claim they can - and do - throw people?

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Time after time, when trying to perform ikkyo on a beginner, for example, the beginner will slump to the floor, and you will be unable to practice the technique.
This makes no sense to me at all.
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:24 PM   #38
Menisong
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Re: Can somebody who's never thrown a person, claim they can - and do - throw people?

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Does it make sense - if you want to actually gain the ability to throw somebody - to start your martial arts training with aikido?
Regardless of whether your aikido is good enough, and you could actually throw somebody in a live situation (i.e., not one ever encountered in an aikido class; one where the other person knows what you want to do, and does all they can to nullify your attempts), can you ever claim that a throw you do in aikido class is genuinely effective?

Much is made of the lack of rules in aikido - but the supposed lack of rules is never truly felt: somebody will say "You had an opening there; your posture was bad; etc." - but it's entirely theoretical, and 'though the principles are sound ones, well worth adhering to, they are never informed by practice: a form of sparring/randori, where the rules are supposedly an unbearable restriction of aikido practice; is the rule that there is to be no randori, not a rule?

I remember, a few weeks after I started training BJJ (after three years of aikido): I was doing standing randori with a guy, and he was really using all his weight, and strength, to try and wrestle me to the ground; I then realised there was a way I could throw him, and I did: I threw a man, who was a live opponent, and I did it by using technique.
There is no doubt that the throw works, and that I can throw someone who is hell-bent on not being thrown.

So does it make sense for people who have no experience of such things, to think that solely by training co-operative aikido (leaving Tomiki aikido aside, for the sake of discussion), they can learn to throw people - with a reasonable degree of ability?

(I'm not interested in the face-saving anecdotes like 'I once irimi-nage'd a drunk.', and so on; if you cannot use your martial art ability against other martial artists, and people who know what you're doing, then it's not really legitimate.

Again: i'm not interested in 'Aikido works fine for me: I just want to relax/be spiritual/be aware of bad alleys not to walk down.'; i'm talking about aikido as a martial art: the martial element: what it fundamentally is).

If live training, where you are confronted - beyond any shadow of a doubt - with the limitations of your technique, is the most efficient element of a martial art's teaching pedagogy, shouldn't it be part of aikido?
If so, what form would the randori take?
I'm not a fan of Tomiki aikido randori - at all: I think something else would be needed.

Please: let's avoid descending into the all-too-frequent 'Well if you define X as Y, then Elvis is still alive, and living in Jamaica.' kind of discussion: it's boring.

And even if not deliberate, it disregards the implied, and actual, meaning of the question; you lack the ability to quieten your ego, and understand someone.
How's that aikido training working out for you?
Can the same be said for randori versus a real self defense situation?
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Old 07-11-2012, 04:02 PM   #39
Gorgeous George
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Re: Can somebody who's never thrown a person, claim they can - and do - throw people?

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This makes no sense to me at all.
Oh.
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Old 07-11-2012, 04:04 PM   #40
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Re: Can somebody who's never thrown a person, claim they can - and do - throw people?

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Can the same be said for randori versus a real self defense situation?
Can you be more specific? To what part/s are you referring?
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Old 07-11-2012, 04:34 PM   #41
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Re: Can somebody who's never thrown a person, claim they can - and do - throw people?

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Can you be more specific? To what part/s are you referring?
IMO, it seems like you are comparing Aikido training versus randori. Whether or not you can throw someone when in fact you have never thrown them in an "alive" situation. In this case the alive situation being randori. I am just wondering if the same argument can be made between randori and real combat.

Can you throw someone when in fact you have never thrown them in a combat(self-defence) situation?

Last edited by Menisong : 07-11-2012 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 07-11-2012, 06:00 PM   #42
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Re: Can somebody who's never thrown a person, claim they can - and do - throw people?

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IMO, it seems like you are comparing Aikido training versus randori. Whether or not you can throw someone when in fact you have never thrown them in an "alive" situation. In this case the alive situation being randori. I am just wondering if the same argument can be made between randori and real combat.

Can you throw someone when in fact you have never thrown them in a combat(self-defence) situation?
There's a very strong body of evidence that says yes: you can.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6V97...layer_embedded

http://youtu.be/GJX9QnrZtfc?t=1m

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08mSN2ol5ek

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkscY...layer_embedded

I think a big part of the reason why the Gracies were able to easily defeat TMA guys, is because they are far too theoretical in their approach (no randori); they presuppose that any opening given will always prove fatal (it won't: these karate guys - even when they land a strike - don't finish the guy); and these two reasons combined lead to a conclusion: they aren't preparing for the reality of combat as most people will face - i.e., on the street, against somebody who you're not in a life or death confrontation with.
What's the point of a modern martial art/budo if the ethos/technhiques - if applied - might well land you in gaol? - Not to mention the fact that the overwhelming majority of attackers won't be armed, and that a more peaceful outcome can be achieved with different techniques, like those of BJJ.

The thinking behind aikido, and judo, is that you should use minimum effort to accomplish your goal; and for me, with regards self-defence, BJJ is an excellent example of this.
It's proven, and it's not dogmatic (a few minor examples aside): it's always refining itself, because different scenarios are coming up, and different answers are being given.
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Old 07-11-2012, 06:21 PM   #43
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Re: Can somebody who's never thrown a person, claim they can - and do - throw people?

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There's a very strong body of evidence that says yes: you can.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6V97...layer_embedded

http://youtu.be/GJX9QnrZtfc?t=1m

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08mSN2ol5ek

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkscY...layer_embedded

I think a big part of the reason why the Gracies were able to easily defeat TMA guys, is because they are far too theoretical in their approach (no randori); they presuppose that any opening given will always prove fatal (it won't: these karate guys - even when they land a strike - don't finish the guy); and these two reasons combined lead to a conclusion: they aren't preparing for the reality of combat as most people will face - i.e., on the street, against somebody who you're not in a life or death confrontation with.
What's the point of a modern martial art/budo if the ethos/technhiques - if applied - might well land you in gaol? - Not to mention the fact that the overwhelming majority of attackers won't be armed, and that a more peaceful outcome can be achieved with different techniques, like those of BJJ.

The thinking behind aikido, and judo, is that you should use minimum effort to accomplish your goal; and for me, with regards self-defence, BJJ is an excellent example of this.
It's proven, and it's not dogmatic (a few minor examples aside): it's always refining itself, because different scenarios are coming up, and different answers are being given.
I didn't see any body of evidence that showed otherwise. Two of the videos I could not see and one was of a Gracie. The videos showed nothing that supports your claim or debunks my question.

My question is if one has not actually been in an authentic street fighting situation can one say he has really thrown someone?
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Old 07-11-2012, 06:27 PM   #44
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Re: Can somebody who's never thrown a person, claim they can - and do - throw people?

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That's not what i'm talking about, as I think that you're still abiding by certain conventions: e.g., you're presupposing that the other person will respond in a certain way, and if they - for example - slump to the floor, instead of maintaing posture/contact, then you don't have any technique to apply, as it's regarded as bad aikido/not the ideal, so is looked down upon; it's never punished.

Whereas in BJJ randori, for example, sloppy technique is punished time after time by submissions/being put into very uncomfortable positions; in BJJ, you'll learn first and foremost, how to 'do' BJJ on people with poor ability - whereas in aikido, it can be (and indeed is) said that you can only 'do' aikido when the other person can do it.
Time after time, when trying to perform ikkyo on a beginner, for example, the beginner will slump to the floor, and you will be unable to practice the technique.
I've actually never had a beginner slump to the floor on ikkyo. Lots of weird things, but never that. However, if they did, what's the problem? Keep the arm control, follow them down, do the pin.

Again, in kata-based training, yes, there is a "proper form" for ukemi. But if nage can maintain some kind of connection to uke it is often possible to find the called-for technique and if itis no longer the appropriate technique because uke has changed things up, then why would nage be bound to stick to ikkyo? Especially as you are comparing it explicitly to BJJ randori and I have never heard of aikido randori insisting on a given technique being applied.

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Old 07-11-2012, 08:37 PM   #45
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Re: Can somebody who's never thrown a person, claim they can - and do - throw people?

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(I'm not interested in the face-saving anecdotes like 'I once irimi-nage'd a drunk.', and so on;
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??
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Old 07-12-2012, 05:09 AM   #46
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Re: Can somebody who's never thrown a person, claim they can - and do - throw people?

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aikido has great principles that are broadly applicable to all martial arts (power through posture, and relaxation; use of the hips/centre) - but I think you need to look outside the art to put them into practice, unfortunately
i think you need to research "centre" a bit more, it doesn't include your hips, and neither do you move it with your hips

I don't think after 3 years you can dismiss so much about Aikido, I've been practising for the same time period and am only just starting out
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Old 07-12-2012, 06:25 AM   #47
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Re: Can somebody who's never thrown a person, claim they can - and do - throw people?

[quote=Graham Jenkins;312732]
What i'm interested in, though, is teaching aikido in such a way as it can be directly applied to such situations - rather than having to be expressed through other martial arts/techniques.
Aikido techniques would be really good if you were a police officer, with a gun, and truncheon - but most martial/self-defence contexts nowadays, in everyday life for most people, don't involve the need to stop someone preventing you drawing a weapon, and killing them.

QUOTE]

For me, AIkido is about methodolgy of teaching Aiki and not about Tactics, Techniques, or Procedures (TTPs) as we call them in the Military.

Aikido uses a " martial framework" to teach these things. Some of these "things" look like TTPs, and certainly in many cases the DNA is there. Problem for me is that a direct translation to reality is not necessarily there.

How I train in BJJ, how I train in AIkido, and how I train policie officers, military, civilians all differ. Why? because you have to define the conditions, constraints, and scenarios to acheive the effects you want to achieve.

So, while certainly Iriminage is appropriate martially, i teach it, or really I don't for reality as the conditions dictate how it looks etc. Principles are the same.

Same for ground work. I don't teach BJJ to soldiers. I do teach many things that are in the curriculum as principles, but the actual strategy for fighting...no.

So, for me, I would not say "I want to apply Aikido techniques to situation X". I might say "I want to see how an Arm Bar would work in situation X"....but not define it by the methodology.

Arm Bar is a tactic, Aikido is a methodology.

Does that make sense?

I think it is important to understand the application of methdology and pedagogy if we are making assessments, formulating curriculum, or trying to identify TTPs that work for particular applcations.

Research and Development in developing martial strategies is actually a fairly involved process that requires alot of good people that are constantly debating the variables, constraints, controls, and conditions as the assess the endstates.

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Old 07-12-2012, 06:49 AM   #48
chillzATL
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Re: Can somebody who's never thrown a person, claim they can - and do - throw people?

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Graham Jenkins wrote: View Post
Oh.
FWIW Graham, I agree with him. You describe things things in aikido that are simply bad aikido to a lot of people. That's not to suggest that our practice is "alive" in the way that you're looking for, but it's a long way from what you're describing.

You seem to want aikido to be something that it has never been, going all the way back to Ueshiba and probably Takeda.
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:42 AM   #49
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Can somebody who's never thrown a person, claim they can - and do - throw people?

Graham, you are really missing the whole point of Aikido. If you want to train in others arts, go ahead. I think your throwing the whole art of Aikido out after 3 years of training is a bit premature but we all get what we are looking for.

If a beginner slumps to the floor in ikkyo or spins out of a sankyo they don't need to be punished (though I do understand what you are saying for another person... not a beginner ) they need to be taught. Yes, co-operative practice....(learning how to be uke is just as important as being nage) is part of Aikido training. It is the nature of the art as I practice it.

Why complain about it?...just train in what you train in. Aikido isn't for everybody.

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