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Old 11-05-2013, 08:44 AM   #26
AsimHanif
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Re: How to deal with aggressive, non-compliant attackers? And discussion on atemi.

Speed up to 5:40. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...wEX1jAKA#t=336
To me this is classic aikido, get off the line and counter. Irimi, tenkan, ikyo, nikyo, etc IN MY OPINION are drills to train the body. It is very hard to pull off aikido applications the way it is usually practiced if someone is actually coming at you.
Also notice how relaxed VP was when he punched...aikido.
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:48 AM   #27
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Re: How to deal with aggressive, non-compliant attackers? And discussion on atemi.

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
I don't get it. Please, explain more clearly.

On a possibly related note. . . Just this evening my wife's cousin came over to visit. He is a relatively green correctional officer. But he's huge and ungodly strong. I asked him if he knew a certain deputy who used to train under me. This gentleman is the head of the jail's SRT (they deal with cell extractions and such) and is also huge. There was quite a bit of surprise on the cousin's face as he told me that that was his trainer and he tried to establish what relationship I had to this gentleman. He told me that my former student put him in a certain hold that caused pain to his wrist and he felt like he needed to escape and he did so. This apparently took place in front of a large group and the cousin was severely scolded for his actions. He asked me if the deputy learned this move from me. I informed him that I did teach this gentleman aikido and that he was quite capable and had done things in practice that I had not, but that I did not know what he was teaching the other COs. I showed the cousin sankyo and he confirmed this is the technique the deputy used. I asked him if it hurt when I did it and he said no. Then I asked him to escape it, and I pinned him.

Your attitude and intention are significant. In my experience aikido doesn't work very well when you try to inflict it on another.

Unfortunately LEOs are often put in the place of the aggressor. That's the nature of their work. . . It's not the nature of aikido.
No problem.

My first comment was directed towards the cleanliness of demonstrating the "effective" use of aikido against another person (with martial arts experience). I think aikido videos are difficult to develop; to good and they look fake, too bad and they look sloppy, anything in-between is somewhat contrived to not look fake or sloppy. Moreover, it is difficult to balance the "ah ha" lucky technique from the "I can do this all day" technique in a video.

My second comment was an observation that for randori, I think many aikido people prioritize kansetsu waza to a level not functional in randori (certainly multiple-person randori). For me, I think this both places an inappropriate focus on engagement and also reduces the focus on atemi and irrimi in the beginning. I think as we excel in randori, we are given some freedom to engage our partner with more options.

More as an observation of evolving methods of engagement elsewhere (self-defense and security practices), I am noticing a shift in tactical instruction that focuses less on precision and more on suppression. Partly, I think the shift is due to a specific need to prepare these individuals for their role in a short period of time. Partly, I think "teaching" specific methods of injury does not look good on the stand when an officer has to explain why a suspect's shoulder was dislocated. I do think that these individuals are placed in a role of authority and on occasion are the aggressor in establishing compliance.

One of the hypocrisies an aikido, I think, is that we idealize a role independent of our partner, but practice in such a manner as to require a partner. I think your comment about inflicting aikido on another is a good one. My third comment was directed at the role of our partner and the complex relationship of "connection" - whose job it is to maintain, whose job is it to exploit and whose job is it to break? I think the topic of atemi as a solution to engage our partner is complicated and often not well explained. I think many of us do not appreciate the actual danger we inherit when working with experienced people who know atemi.

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Old 11-06-2013, 12:54 AM   #28
JW
 
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Re: How to deal with aggressive, non-compliant attackers? And discussion on atemi.

Quote:
Logan Light wrote: View Post
Anyone on the streets is more than likely going to throw a strike if both their wrists aren't tied up or if they aren't in the clinch.
And Ledyard sensei has written about that a lot too, not just in that atemi article above. (an examle here) Until the range is closed up by one of the practitioners, striking is a basic "martial language" and anything else that happens must be in the context of the possibility of strikes. I don't know any way to work with this than to train striking.
When the range gets closed up (as discussed in previous posts) then of course the "martial language" changes.. but we can't pretend striking isn't primary before the range is closed.

Quote:
Logan Light wrote: View Post
That's why I think you have to be decisive in any sort of lock and not try to fight it out too much but still, it's a good start.
True but I think it is important to think about the huge issues that one is facing before the lock is even on the table (relative position of you and the attacker, who has advantage, etc). Lots of stuff should come first I think, like kuzushi of the attacker-- lock comes later. "Going for the lock" just doesn't seem right (more likely to get you beat on by the guy who is not thinking so specifically). The other posters have all talked about this here too.

Quote:
Logan Light wrote: View Post
Anyways, back on topic. Me and my buddy were boxing the other day. We decided to do a drill where he was just striking (his style is primarily boxing) and I was defending. The whole time I was looking to tenkan and get to his side but if you don't have someone overly committed or someone who has good footwork, it's next to impossible for me. I was also gonna try to irimi and tie up but even then, thats difficult when they're throwing straights.
I was playing with that too, I really think there has to be a back-and-forth. You don't tenkan or irimi as a response to something uke does. Instead, if you are both in striking range (just for example), each person has to be feeling like the other will strike. Through that interaction, entering may happen but it is in the context of (in the case you described) both people striking or being able to strike. I mean, through your expression of striking, you create irimi. Well, this is hard to verbalize, but I just mean you are expressing yourself through striking when the two of you are striking. Rather than, "when he strikes I will do this big movement, devoid of strikes or the threat of strikes, in response to that." Of course, body movement is critically involved in striking, so that is where you can find the irimi movement.

Last edited by JW : 11-06-2013 at 12:57 AM.
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:56 AM   #29
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Re: How to deal with aggressive, non-compliant attackers? And discussion on atemi.

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
I was playing with that too, I really think there has to be a back-and-forth. You don't tenkan or irimi as a response to something uke does. Instead, if you are both in striking range (just for example), each person has to be feeling like the other will strike. Through that interaction, entering may happen but it is in the context of (in the case you described) both people striking or being able to strike. I mean, through your expression of striking, you create irimi. Well, this is hard to verbalize, but I just mean you are expressing yourself through striking when the two of you are striking. Rather than, "when he strikes I will do this big movement, devoid of strikes or the threat of strikes, in response to that." Of course, body movement is critically involved in striking, so that is where you can find the irimi movement.
methink, this video of Ledyard sensei described quite a bit of this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKiukcxADXA most folks think of tenkan, but not irimi. there is no tenkan! took me awhile to figure that out.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 11-07-2013, 02:17 AM   #30
Michael Varin
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Post Re: How to deal with aggressive, non-compliant attackers? And discussion on atemi.

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
No problem.

My first comment was directed towards the cleanliness of demonstrating the "effective" use of aikido against another person (with martial arts experience). I think aikido videos are difficult to develop; to good and they look fake, too bad and they look sloppy, anything in-between is somewhat contrived to not look fake or sloppy. Moreover, it is difficult to balance the "ah ha" lucky technique from the "I can do this all day" technique in a video.

My second comment was an observation that for randori, I think many aikido people prioritize kansetsu waza to a level not functional in randori (certainly multiple-person randori). For me, I think this both places an inappropriate focus on engagement and also reduces the focus on atemi and irrimi in the beginning. I think as we excel in randori, we are given some freedom to engage our partner with more options.

More as an observation of evolving methods of engagement elsewhere (self-defense and security practices), I am noticing a shift in tactical instruction that focuses less on precision and more on suppression. Partly, I think the shift is due to a specific need to prepare these individuals for their role in a short period of time. Partly, I think "teaching" specific methods of injury does not look good on the stand when an officer has to explain why a suspect's shoulder was dislocated. I do think that these individuals are placed in a role of authority and on occasion are the aggressor in establishing compliance.

One of the hypocrisies an aikido, I think, is that we idealize a role independent of our partner, but practice in such a manner as to require a partner. I think your comment about inflicting aikido on another is a good one. My third comment was directed at the role of our partner and the complex relationship of "connection" - whose job it is to maintain, whose job is it to exploit and whose job is it to break? I think the topic of atemi as a solution to engage our partner is complicated and often not well explained. I think many of us do not appreciate the actual danger we inherit when working with experienced people who know atemi.
OK. That actually does clear up what you meant. And I must say, all very good topics for deeper discussion. You should start threads on all of them

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 11-07-2013, 02:41 AM   #31
Michael Varin
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Re: How to deal with aggressive, non-compliant attackers? And discussion on atemi.

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
Quote:
Logan Light wrote:
Anyways, back on topic. Me and my buddy were boxing the other day. We decided to do a drill where he was just striking (his style is primarily boxing) and I was defending. The whole time I was looking to tenkan and get to his side but if you don't have someone overly committed or someone who has good footwork, it's next to impossible for me. I was also gonna try to irimi and tie up but even then, thats difficult when they're throwing straights.
I was playing with that too, I really think there has to be a back-and-forth. You don't tenkan or irimi as a response to something uke does. Instead, if you are both in striking range (just for example), each person has to be feeling like the other will strike. Through that interaction, entering may happen but it is in the context of (in the case you described) both people striking or being able to strike. I mean, through your expression of striking, you create irimi. Well, this is hard to verbalize, but I just mean you are expressing yourself through striking when the two of you are striking. Rather than, "when he strikes I will do this big movement, devoid of strikes or the threat of strikes, in response to that." Of course, body movement is critically involved in striking, so that is where you can find the irimi movement.
This is good to do. But frustrating, isn't it? I trained very heavily with this type of thing about 11 years ago. I think you're both missing the point. If you commit to irimi or tenkan when your opponent is making a small movement or maybe even feigning a strike, you will find yourself grossly out of position. You can't be said to have any ability with aiki. You are far from it. In fact, you are the one who is over committing. You may even be the "attacker."

You must join your opponent's movements (better to join the movement of their "spirit" than that of their body), but have the mentality that you will stay in an advantageous position. Otherwise you are extrapolating, and no longer responding to anything that is actually present. There is no way other than luck to be appropriate when you respond this way.

I suggest you stop thinking about what you are going to do and start observing and listening to your opponent very carefully. . . and continue to get more subtle with it.

The essence of aiki is not learned in contact, but pre-contact.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:03 AM   #32
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Re: How to deal with aggressive, non-compliant attackers? And discussion on atemi.

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I suggest you stop thinking about what you are going to do and start observing and listening to your opponent very carefully.
Me too.
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:12 AM   #33
Conrad Gus
 
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Re: How to deal with aggressive, non-compliant attackers? And discussion on atemi.

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The essence of aiki is not learned in contact, but pre-contact.
Nicely put.
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Old 11-08-2013, 12:49 AM   #34
JW
 
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Re: How to deal with aggressive, non-compliant attackers? And discussion on atemi.

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
I think you're both missing the point. If you commit to irimi or tenkan when your opponent is making a small movement or maybe even feigning a strike, you will find yourself grossly out of position.
Exactly. You say I'm missing the point, but regarding this first part of your post Michael, it sounds like you agree with my intention to dissuade Logan from "doing irimi" in response to striking, and to instead participate in the striking itself. In other words entering movements would occur in the course of doing striking oneself, rather than in response to uke's striking.

Regarding the second part--
Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
The essence of aiki is not learned in contact, but pre-contact.
Well, this is one thing we disagree about. There can be many reasons, but one may be that we are in different places in our training progress. When I become more skilled and capable with the type of effect that requires good physical contact, I will certainly turn my training emphasis to what I can do with that skill BEFRE contact. But, if I can't do great stuff with good contact yet, I am not ready to use it pre-contact.
Maybe you have already maximized what you can do using physical contact, so you are looking beyond that level.

I'm still rapidly improving my skill within the context of contact.

One result is improved ability to deal with uke in the absence of contact.. but it all comes from contact work.

Of course that's just my opinion about my own training. I do have some reason to say this "primacy of contact work" idea about aiki may be right though:
When O-sensei wanted to firmly demonstrate the value of his art with people like Tenryu and Kenshiro Ab(b)e, he demonstrated what he can do with them through physical contact. (Like extreme versions of the kokyu demos he can be seen doing on stage and on the mat in his later years.) Whereas, when he tested Shioda for 9th dan, he did a non-contact test [Shioda's ability to perceive and utilize openings (or possibly even create them) was the deciding skill].

The picture I am painting here is that the non-contact things are an advanced manifestation of the skills that one has regarding physical contact with the attacker.
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Old 11-08-2013, 01:51 AM   #35
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Re: How to deal with aggressive, non-compliant attackers? And discussion on atemi.

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
This is good to do. But frustrating, isn't it? I trained very heavily with this type of thing about 11 years ago. I think you're both missing the point. If you commit to irimi or tenkan when your opponent is making a small movement or maybe even feigning a strike, you will find yourself grossly out of position. You can't be said to have any ability with aiki. You are far from it. In fact, you are the one who is over committing. You may even be the "attacker."

You must join your opponent's movements (better to join the movement of their "spirit" than that of their body), but have the mentality that you will stay in an advantageous position. Otherwise you are extrapolating, and no longer responding to anything that is actually present. There is no way other than luck to be appropriate when you respond this way.

I suggest you stop thinking about what you are going to do and start observing and listening to your opponent very carefully. . . and continue to get more subtle with it.

The essence of aiki is not learned in contact, but pre-contact.
And how did that training go? I cannot join my opponents movements when they're throwing at least 3 strikes per second.. Let's be realistic here. Pre-contact? How do I tactically move my entire body into a position where I can dominate them without getting knocked out in a second? I don't know anyone mentally or physically capable of doing that. I understand what you're saying but still, "listening to his movements" when he is trying to knock me out is not a good response. How do I join a movement when it is absolutely random and quick? I don't know what he's gonna throw, how to respond, or how to move my entire body in response to a simple attack? And this is sparring. Assume it's self-defense. Let's remove some motor skills and see how I respond then. I just doubt these kind of responses in these situations unless you're ready to get in that range and strike a little. That's just realism.

I don't know who you guys train against but please, tell me what you used. When you have a skilled fighter blitzing down the line throwing good, solid strikes at your face, what do you do? Let's not be too theoretical here. What have you done or what do you feel is a realistic response. I don't see any other logical response other than throwing hands until Aikido presents itself.

Aikido is and always will be a principle based art to me. There's Aikido in boxing. Use that. Also, how can you have 'pre-contact' and not be an attacker? What? How many violent situations have you been in? Aikido is absolutely an effective art if used pre-emptively but you can't expect to always unify your movements with Uke's.
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Old 11-08-2013, 04:40 AM   #36
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: How to deal with aggressive, non-compliant attackers? And discussion on atemi.

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I don't know who you guys train against but please, tell me what you used. When you have a skilled fighter blitzing down the line throwing good, solid strikes at your face, what do you do? Let's not be too theoretical here. What have you done or what do you feel is a realistic response. I don't see any other logical response other than throwing hands until Aikido presents itself.
Duck/cover change level and shot a double/single leg takedown.

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Old 11-08-2013, 05:32 AM   #37
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: How to deal with aggressive, non-compliant attackers? And discussion on atemi.

Logan wrote:

Quote:
I don't know who you guys train against but please, tell me what you used. When you have a skilled fighter blitzing down the line throwing good, solid strikes at your face, what do you do? Let's not be too theoretical here. What have you done or what do you feel is a realistic response. I don't see any other logical response other than throwing hands until Aikido presents itself.
I can't speak for anyone else, but realistically, for me, I use clinching skills. I am at the same skill level as Jonathan Wong it seems. I have not reached the point in my training where I can use pre-contact work to any degree of reality when someone is coming at me in a very real, intentful, and seemngly...I say seemingly, unpredictable way. I say seemingly because it really isn't unpredictable, heck the human body only moves in so many ways so you can pretty much form your responses around a framework. However, that framework for me, at least, fairly narrow. I am not at the point where I can stand off at a distance and control uke that is bearing down on me hard, fast, and agressively with an intent to hurt. That is why I make damn sure my clinching skills are decent.

Maybe one day I can influence a mad man's actions pre-contact...but I am of the mindset that the only one I can influence is myself and how I react to things, so I have tended to build my whole defense and fight strategy around what I can physically do to control someone....if they choose to respond differently to my intent or threat, that is their choice, but I cannot count on that.

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Old 11-08-2013, 09:09 AM   #38
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Re: How to deal with aggressive, non-compliant attackers? And discussion on atemi.

Quote:
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IAlso, on a different note, how essential do you think atemi is in a street fight? Especially with this kind of aggressive attack. Would you use it merely as a distraction, a set-up, or a fight ender alone?
I have often said that I look forward to the day that my first startle response is Aikido.

As it is, "hit first, hit hard, hit often" seems to be my first response.

Guess I have more work to do.

Lynn Seiser PhD
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We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 11-08-2013, 10:33 AM   #39
phitruong
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Re: How to deal with aggressive, non-compliant attackers? And discussion on atemi.

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Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
I have often said that I look forward to the day that my first startle response is Aikido.

As it is, "hit first, hit hard, hit often" seems to be my first response.
don't know about you guys, but my first startle response would be like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vCaMmP1fP8#t=3m39s

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Old 11-08-2013, 06:29 PM   #40
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Re: How to deal with aggressive, non-compliant attackers? And discussion on atemi.

I can appreciate these responses!
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:17 PM   #41
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Re: How to deal with aggressive, non-compliant attackers? And discussion on atemi.

Hi Kevin-
I'm printing this out and pinning it to my wall:
Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I am at the same skill level as Jonathan Wong it seems.

Knowing full well that I am not at your level in any sense, I'm going to have to take that in the less-than-literal sense of "what JW wrote is not totally unreasonable." Which I will gladly take any day, thanks!

Hi Phi-
Your time-index in the video's URL didn't work. For some reason, it took me a ridiculous amount of time to realize that, and as I sat there watching cartoons when I was supposed to be going to work this morning, a sinking feeling of "What the hell am I doing with my life??" set in. Wow, these threads can get really dark really fast!
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Old 11-08-2013, 10:50 PM   #42
Michael Varin
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Re: How to deal with aggressive, non-compliant attackers? And discussion on atemi.

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
Exactly. You say I'm missing the point, but regarding this first part of your post Michael, it sounds like you agree with my intention to dissuade Logan from "doing irimi" in response to striking, and to instead participate in the striking itself. In other words entering movements would occur in the course of doing striking oneself, rather than in response to uke's striking.

Regarding the second part--

Well, this is one thing we disagree about. There can be many reasons, but one may be that we are in different places in our training progress. When I become more skilled and capable with the type of effect that requires good physical contact, I will certainly turn my training emphasis to what I can do with that skill BEFRE contact. But, if I can't do great stuff with good contact yet, I am not ready to use it pre-contact.
Maybe you have already maximized what you can do using physical contact, so you are looking beyond that level.

I'm still rapidly improving my skill within the context of contact.

One result is improved ability to deal with uke in the absence of contact.. but it all comes from contact work.

Of course that's just my opinion about my own training. I do have some reason to say this "primacy of contact work" idea about aiki may be right though:
When O-sensei wanted to firmly demonstrate the value of his art with people like Tenryu and Kenshiro Ab(b)e, he demonstrated what he can do with them through physical contact. (Like extreme versions of the kokyu demos he can be seen doing on stage and on the mat in his later years.) Whereas, when he tested Shioda for 9th dan, he did a non-contact test [Shioda's ability to perceive and utilize openings (or possibly even create them) was the deciding skill].

The picture I am painting here is that the non-contact things are an advanced manifestation of the skills that one has regarding physical contact with the attacker.
Jonathan,

What you wrote is totally reasonable, and I don't doubt that you are on the right track with your training.

I'm quite sure I have nowhere near maximized my abilities with physical contact. I don't believe one should be mastered before moving on to the next.

Maybe I should have said, the essence of aiki is not expressed in contact, but in pre-contact.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:34 PM   #43
Michael Varin
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Re: How to deal with aggressive, non-compliant attackers? And discussion on atemi.

Quote:
Logan Light wrote: View Post
And how did that training go? I cannot join my opponents movements when they're throwing at least 3 strikes per second.. Let's be realistic here. Pre-contact? How do I tactically move my entire body into a position where I can dominate them without getting knocked out in a second? I don't know anyone mentally or physically capable of doing that. I understand what you're saying but still, "listening to his movements" when he is trying to knock me out is not a good response. How do I join a movement when it is absolutely random and quick? I don't know what he's gonna throw, how to respond, or how to move my entire body in response to a simple attack? And this is sparring. Assume it's self-defense. Let's remove some motor skills and see how I respond then. I just doubt these kind of responses in these situations unless you're ready to get in that range and strike a little. That's just realism.

I don't know who you guys train against but please, tell me what you used. When you have a skilled fighter blitzing down the line throwing good, solid strikes at your face, what do you do? Let's not be too theoretical here. What have you done or what do you feel is a realistic response. I don't see any other logical response other than throwing hands until Aikido presents itself.

Aikido is and always will be a principle based art to me. There's Aikido in boxing. Use that. Also, how can you have 'pre-contact' and not be an attacker? What? How many violent situations have you been in? Aikido is absolutely an effective art if used pre-emptively but you can't expect to always unify your movements with Uke's.
I can't answer these questions for you. Go train.

Out of curiosity, how long have you been training?

What you describe sounds mostly like laziness and doubt to me. And trust me, those qualities still exist strongly within myself, so I'm not pointing the finger.

There is no easy way to address these things intellectually. Even if you understand it intellectually it won't help you in physical conflict.

You cannot premeditate and plot your actions or responses. That is the anti-aiki. It's not about strategy. It's not about timing.

All I can say is that you have to demand it of yourself.

P.S. Listen to what Kevin said. Build a strong martial foundation that you can fall back on (even dominate with), but if you are so inclined, train to develop the skills that you think are so elusive. They might be more mundane than you currently believe.

Let's be honest, contact, the clinch, can get you killed in many real world situations. There was and is a good reason to cultivate pre-contact skills. When people mean business they typically bring weapons, and well, you just can't wait till contact occurs or you might be finished.

Human flesh, no matter how structured, cannot withstand the contact of a sword while it is cutting. So what are you going to do? Stand there and die, or move and live?

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 11-09-2013, 05:50 AM   #44
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: How to deal with aggressive, non-compliant attackers? And discussion on atemi.

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Michael Varin wrote: View Post
P.S. Listen to what Kevin said. Build a strong martial foundation that you can fall back on (even dominate with), but if you are so inclined, train to develop the skills that you think are so elusive. They might be more mundane than you currently believe.
This.

Quote:
Let's be honest, contact, the clinch, can get you killed in many real world situations. There was and is a good reason to cultivate pre-contact skills. When people mean business they typically bring weapons, and well, you just can't wait till contact occurs or you might be finished.
You can clinch and go for the kill. Why it seems people always think of unarmed defender vs armed attacker?

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Old 11-09-2013, 09:07 AM   #45
David Orange
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Re: How to deal with aggressive, non-compliant attackers? And discussion on atemi.

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Logan Light wrote: View Post
I have a few scenarios that I'm interested in running through. If I'm faced with ridiculously obvious one strike attacks with compliant attackers, I feel comfortable that I can handle them. But when it comes to someone blitzing straight down the line throwing straight punches, windmills, looping punches, etc., what are some appropriate responses?

Would you time the next attack and hopefully tenkan out of the way? Would you irimi with a good strike and then attempt a throw / lock? Please share your experiences or drills you've tried. I'm interested in transitioning from traditional attacks to more modern and realistic attacks.

Also, on a different note, how essential do you think atemi is in a street fight? Especially with this kind of aggressive attack. Would you use it merely as a distraction, a set-up, or a fight ender alone?
Logan, I'm always amazed at these kinds of questions because they were all addressed in the training system I came up in. When I visit other aikido schools, I see none of it, so I'm not surprised that people wonder how to deal with complex, aggressive attacks and others say you have to go outside aikido technique to handle it. Aikido is swordsmanship. Would anyone tell a swordsman, "You have to go outside swordsmanship to handle this situation?"

If aikido is learned as a martial art, there is a definite progression to the training that takes care of all your concerns.

Begin with the various grabs and learn the basic techniques.

Add punches and develop dexterity applying the techniques against various strikes.

Add kicks. (Note that this means that both partners, by now, are proficient at punching, striking and kicking, as well as all aikido waza.)

Add randori. First, shite randori, in which every technique is specified. Then go to jiyu randori, in which attacks and defenses are not specified. At this point, attackers should come from every direction and with every kind of attack and weapon. Attacks should be powerful and serious, but controlled. People trained in striking and kicking can stop their attacks without hitting the defender, though demonstrating that their attack can penetrate. At this level, aikido technique must be very clean and to-the-point: aikido is swordsmanship. When the attack comes, you cut it down. Nothing more, nothing less. Of course, you should also have the control in aikido to bring any attack to a safe conclusion, meaning that the attacker's own movement is drawn irresistibly into a position where the attacker cannot move at all, cannot generate strength against the defender, is in some reasonable amount of pain, but is not injured. The aikido defender has total control.

Next, up the randori: jiyu chikara randori--free attacks and aikido applications with both partners using strength and resistance where applicable. If the attacker is not thrown in the instant of his attack, he doesn't throw himself but attempts a follow-through attack. In the yoseikan, this follow-up attack could be a second punch or strike, a footsweep, any kind of throw or grab, and it will likely lead to a grappling situation on the ground. There's plenty of aikido in grappling, too. It doesn't end when your feet are off the floor or when your back is on the floor. And in grappling, the original defender either prevails or "gets killed." Every encounter is a serious study of life and death. Exhaustion is a great teacher. Eventually, one learns to take every attacker off his feet and into a locked-down position in the first instant.

Now, if your school doesn't teach this way, it's because the teacher wasn't taught that way and the school can never teach you to reach that kind of level. But if you learn from someone who learned that way and teaches that way, you can apply aikido technique to any attack without going outside aikido technique--which is formless, anyway, so how can it be limited?

The only way to answer your question is through research in training with people who can do it. And that means, you have to ask yourself, how important is this to me? It might mean you have to give up your life and comforts and go somewhere where you can really learn it. And anyone who does go to a high level will naturally take any opportunity to learn anything else that can bring him or her greater understanding.

Aikido is a sword, but it must be sharpened against a stone. And that stone can be any of the other martial arts, such as karate, judo, jujutsu, kendo and kenjutsu. The best aikido has been sharpened with every stone.

Budo is great in that it allows us to experience losing and death, time after time, which gives us respect. And it allows us to work diligently on preserving life.

Best wishes in your search.

David

Last edited by David Orange : 11-09-2013 at 09:14 AM.

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
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Old 11-09-2013, 09:27 AM   #46
AikiTao
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Re: How to deal with aggressive, non-compliant attackers? And discussion on atemi.

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Michael Varin wrote: View Post
I can't answer these questions for you. Go train.

Out of curiosity, how long have you been training?

What you describe sounds mostly like laziness and doubt to me. And trust me, those qualities still exist strongly within myself, so I'm not pointing the finger.

There is no easy way to address these things intellectually. Even if you understand it intellectually it won't help you in physical conflict.

You cannot premeditate and plot your actions or responses. That is the anti-aiki. It's not about strategy. It's not about timing.

All I can say is that you have to demand it of yourself.

P.S. Listen to what Kevin said. Build a strong martial foundation that you can fall back on (even dominate with), but if you are so inclined, train to develop the skills that you think are so elusive. They might be more mundane than you currently believe.

Let's be honest, contact, the clinch, can get you killed in many real world situations. There was and is a good reason to cultivate pre-contact skills. When people mean business they typically bring weapons, and well, you just can't wait till contact occurs or you might be finished.

Human flesh, no matter how structured, cannot withstand the contact of a sword while it is cutting. So what are you going to do? Stand there and die, or move and live?
I've been doing Aikido for about a year and a half but I've trained in other styles for much longer. And I don't think my response makes me lazy. My concern lies in 'staying with their movement'. Sure, if they overcommit, that's quite possible but if you do have someone who has a decent knowledge of striking and doesn't give you that (a boxer, for example), how can you unify your movement with his?

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
Logan, I'm always amazed at these kinds of questions because they were all addressed in the training system I came up in. When I visit other aikido schools, I see none of it, so I'm not surprised that people wonder how to deal with complex, aggressive attacks and others say you have to go outside aikido technique to handle it. Aikido is swordsmanship. Would anyone tell a swordsman, "You have to go outside swordsmanship to handle this situation?"

If aikido is learned as a martial art, there is a definite progression to the training that takes care of all your concerns.

Begin with the various grabs and learn the basic techniques.

Add punches and develop dexterity applying the techniques against various strikes.

Add kicks. (Note that this means that both partners, by now, are proficient at punching, striking and kicking, as well as all aikido waza.)

Add randori. First, shite randori, in which every technique is specified. Then go to jiyu randori, in which attacks and defenses are not specified. At this point, attackers should come from every direction and with every kind of attack and weapon. Attacks should be powerful and serious, but controlled. People trained in striking and kicking can stop their attacks without hitting the defender, though demonstrating that their attack can penetrate. At this level, aikido technique must be very clean and to-the-point: aikido is swordsmanship. When the attack comes, you cut it down. Nothing more, nothing less. Of course, you should also have the control in aikido to bring any attack to a safe conclusion, meaning that the attacker's own movement is drawn irresistibly into a position where the attacker cannot move at all, cannot generate strength against the defender, is in some reasonable amount of pain, but is not injured. The aikido defender has total control.

Next, up the randori: jiyu chikara randori--free attacks and aikido applications with both partners using strength and resistance where applicable. If the attacker is not thrown in the instant of his attack, he doesn't throw himself but attempts a follow-through attack. In the yoseikan, this follow-up attack could be a second punch or strike, a footsweep, any kind of throw or grab, and it will likely lead to a grappling situation on the ground. There's plenty of aikido in grappling, too. It doesn't end when your feet are off the floor or when your back is on the floor. And in grappling, the original defender either prevails or "gets killed." Every encounter is a serious study of life and death. Exhaustion is a great teacher. Eventually, one learns to take every attacker off his feet and into a locked-down position in the first instant.

Now, if your school doesn't teach this way, it's because the teacher wasn't taught that way and the school can never teach you to reach that kind of level. But if you learn from someone who learned that way and teaches that way, you can apply aikido technique to any attack without going outside aikido technique--which is formless, anyway, so how can it be limited?

The only way to answer your question is through research in training with people who can do it. And that means, you have to ask yourself, how important is this to me? It might mean you have to give up your life and comforts and go somewhere where you can really learn it. And anyone who does go to a high level will naturally take any opportunity to learn anything else that can bring him or her greater understanding.

Aikido is a sword, but it must be sharpened against a stone. And that stone can be any of the other martial arts, such as karate, judo, jujutsu, kendo and kenjutsu. The best aikido has been sharpened with every stone.

Budo is great in that it allows us to experience losing and death, time after time, which gives us respect. And it allows us to work diligently on preserving life.

Best wishes in your search.

David
Thank you for that response. Wise, indeed!
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Old 11-09-2013, 09:56 AM   #47
David Orange
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Re: How to deal with aggressive, non-compliant attackers? And discussion on atemi.

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Logan Light wrote: View Post
Thank you for that response. Wise, indeed!
The thing is, these questions can be dealt with intellectually, but it has to be done far in advance of the situation--years in advance. If you think rationally about the reality of life and death, then preparation is the natural response. But "preparation" doesn't mean just going down to the strip mall and signing up for whatever is available. What's the saying? "Better one year with a great teacher than twenty years with a bad one?" It's amazing to me how many people, with a choice between a really powerful teacher or one who teaches pleasant BS, will choose the BS, time after time, art after art. If you want real quality, you have to seek it out.

Second, if you seriously pursue this, you will definitely run into people you cannot affect in any way. Think Minoru Akuzawa and Dan Harden. And I will throw in one you may not have heard of: google Edgar Kruyning.

These people have something that even years of the process I described above will not develop--or, it won't develop it consciously. The process I described will definitely take you far past the level of most mortal humans, but to perfect it requires conscious awareness and rational development, seeking the deeper reason why these people are immoveable when they want to be and unstoppable when they want to move. And this is not something they can really even tell you how to develop. Ordinary waza training will develop a lot of stability, strength and rootedness, but only deep training with an IS expert will develop what Ueshiba called Takemusu Aiki, in which techniques are generated spontaneously on contact. At that point, there's no need for intellectualizing because as Akuzawa Sensei says, "the body is the martial art."

However, look at William Gleason to see someone who took very good mainstream aikido and filled it out with deep knowledge of IS.

And look at O Sensei's students. Even O Sensei could not directly give this knowledge to anyone. They had to feel it in him and learn to produce it within themselves through thinking about it and practicing the methods he showed them in order to feel it within themselves. Without that knowledge, all "generic aikido" feels more or less the same. But with that element, it's a tiger made of fire.

The point is, no existing "art" or curriculum of study will give you much of anything but a return on your own effort. And if you're making effort like that, almost no teacher will be able to show you anything--not because of your "full cup" or ego or being "set in your ways." They won't be able to teach you because their bodies cannot affect your body. And then, poor soul, you'll be forced to search for only the very best to train with.

It's all a question of how badly you want the truth.

Regards.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 11-09-2013, 12:53 PM   #48
mathewjgano
 
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Re: How to deal with aggressive, non-compliant attackers? And discussion on atemi.

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Logan Light wrote: View Post
I have a few scenarios that I'm interested in running through. If I'm faced with ridiculously obvious one strike attacks with compliant attackers, I feel comfortable that I can handle them. But when it comes to someone blitzing straight down the line throwing straight punches, windmills, looping punches, etc., what are some appropriate responses?
...
Also, on a different note, how essential do you think atemi is in a street fight? Especially with this kind of aggressive attack. Would you use it merely as a distraction, a set-up, or a fight ender alone?
Sorry where this might be redundant, and I essentially have only a little more time in than you do, but since I couldn't make it to training today, I'd like to wrap my mind around this a little bit. Although, as scenarios go, the following isn't very specific.
The short answer is always, "it depends." A direct, sustained, and well-balanced attack will lay anyone out unless they can perceive it well enough to stop it in some way. My thinking is "simply" to track/match the movements of the other person with my own body with an aim for readiness in any direction (this means also paying attention to how I'm engaging my own body; I try to have a sense of engaging my whole body; literally feeling as much of my body as possible as I track the other person's); slipping their strength/force and adding to their momentum in an effort to overextend some part of their body and then to continue hyperextending that part until the attacker is immobilized or projecting his body far enough to give me room to run (if he drops straight down and for whatever reason I don't maintain irimi well enough, the attacker could just "bounce" into a takedown...and if they're aggressive, they will). "Wind milling" or straight blast becomes moot until the strike manifests, so I try not to think about that too much. I'm guessing this is somewhat in line with the single strike paradigm; if we can gain control at the initial moment of contact, the 2, 3 of a 1, 2, 3 disappears. The question becomes how to move as a cohesive unit, but that takes some time. In my school we are taught to think of the follow-up attack and more senior students will ask each other to try harder at making that "2" strike happen.
Atemi is crucial. I would use it to whatever extent I could. It could be a fight ender if the right opening presented itself to me (hopefully through my being able to create the opening in the first place...possibly through a "distracting atemi"). There's either an opening or not; beyond that it's a matter of how much of my body I can get behind it (and how much I need).
From the pedagogical standpoint, I really like David's description. My brief exposure to Tomiki Ryu showed a similar kind of pressure progression. Most schools probably use that basic principle, but it stands to reason the differences in emphasis will shape how it gets trained into the body's automatic responses. Basically, when it comes to training for better handling a relatively good fighter, you have to train with relatively good fighters. I remember reading about Bruce Lee describing how a group of martial artists thought he was amateur because he "only" knew 3 kicks. His response was that those 3 kicks could handle whatever they had. So, as always, there's what you know and then there's how well you can apply it to the spontaneous demands of the organic moment.
My freshly minted wooden nickel; hopefully not too disjointed. As usual, I'm being crawled on by my 2-year old (he's pretty aggressive and I am regularly overwhelmed ).
Take care!

Last edited by mathewjgano : 11-09-2013 at 01:02 PM.

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Old 11-09-2013, 02:38 PM   #49
David Orange
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Re: How to deal with aggressive, non-compliant attackers? And discussion on atemi.

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
A direct, sustained, and well-balanced attack will lay anyone out unless they can perceive it well enough to stop it in some way...
It's just like playing a musical instrument. If you can't play a fast, complex tune, unless you have some physical malformation or something, it's due to experience and practice.

On the other hand, playing Mary Had a Little Lamb ten million times will never get you up to playing Rachmaninov.

Extensive experience in fast, high-pressure randori (based on highly-polished kihon waza) will develop the ability to see whatever is coming even as it emerges.

As for things like "windmill" attacks, it's actually a good sign that the attacker doesn't know how to use his body and has no particular skill, or he would use much better techniques. So practice of the basics and development of those basics with speed, complexity and resistance will gradually develop the ability to read and outperform most attackers.

However, you only get out of it what you put in. No one is unbeatable and the best will always stay the best because they intellectually know that and rationally pursue every possible advantage in training.

Regards.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:13 PM   #50
Bill Danosky
 
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Re: How to deal with aggressive, non-compliant attackers? And discussion on atemi.

Anybody done much judo randori? Some really good judoka have better "aiki" than a lot of senior aikidoka. My son and I did a couple of years (back when I was still willing to work out that hard) and I can tell you some of them are very silky. They are able to match and unmatch your rhythm very easily, and time which foot you're leaning on. Kuzushi is always a focus, and there are very few direct throws above novice levels. Kano named it "the Gentle Art" for a reason. High level players are interesting to watch- some of them barely move.

One of the more interesting notions was the importance of the "Shita Hara", a brick-sized area of your lower abdomen that features strongly in some training regimens. Engaging it when you do throws is analogous to Tohei's "One Point", I always thought. Most throws are said to fail, if you don't manage to get your Shita Hara under the other player's. (And a million other reasons our coach was gleeful about pointing out.)
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