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Old 10-25-2000, 04:27 PM   #1
Geo
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
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I dont know if any of you are subscribers to Black Belt Magazine but I just received the newest issue and I am a little surprised about how they have put down aikido and karate. Here are some quotes from an article. The article is titled "The Benefits Of Judo" and it was written by Dave Lowry. The first thing they say about aikido goes as follows: "Consider the following: An aikido practitioner masters the kote gaeshi, a throw in which the wrist is reversed until the opponent is sent flying. Only it would never work that way. Kote gaeshi, in reality, could very well drop a person and dislocate his wrist, elbow and shoulder. But unless the person was well-trained in aikido, he wouldn't take that big fall. He'd go down in a screamin heap, almost certainly putting the mass of his weigh in a direction with which the aikido practitioner has never had to contend. The aikido exponent, in other words , can never practice his technique against an opponent for real." To me that is extremely harsh. The article deals mostly with how great judo is because they practice things at full speed but aikido and karate practictioners cant. Theres another part about aikido taht goes as follows: "It's interesting, too, that the judoka rarely have the exaggerated sense of their own "deadliness" that you see in karate practitioners - or the romanticized sense of self that one sees in aikido practitioners who believe that they can effortlessly "blend" with any attack and neutralize it." I am extremely upset about the way they basically say that aikido would never really work. How do you all feel about this?

Geoff Long
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Old 10-25-2000, 06:54 PM   #2
Nick
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Lowry wrote that? that seems rather odd, since he is an exponent of karate and aikido, as well as judo and the koryu, and he seems like the last of people that would put an art down in such a way...

I might just have to look into this...

---
Nick Porter
"Do not fall into the trap of the artisan who boasts twenty years of experience, when in fact he has had only one year of experience-- twenty times."
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Old 10-25-2000, 08:11 PM   #3
afwen
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Personally, I agree that judo techniques as practiced in the dojo are more likely to resemble their real-world applications than aikido techniques.

-Alvin

Life is like a long journey with a heavy load. --Tokugawa Ieyasu
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Old 10-26-2000, 01:00 AM   #4
Kevin73
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I have read the article, and I think that Lowry was making a good and valid point. I have heard it more recently concerning jujitsu. But, that is karate people don't know what their techniques can really do because they don't practice them full out on an uncooperative person. They think that their punch can stop a person cold but they really don't know. I think the same goes for aikido as well, I have seen many posts talk about the need for realism in training. He's right about a kote gaeshi, when it's done we know how to break fall to prevent injury, but an untrained person doesn't and will try to fight the technique. I've worked with many people in my style of karate who knew breakfalls and it is almost annoying when they go with the technique and roll with it or go down because I know it won't happen that way on the street. It is very hard to determine if the technique was done well or if they are just working on rolling at the moment.
To me that was the point of his article, all martial artists need some method of feedback where they can practice their techniques as they were designed to be done. And have correct feedback to make the changes necessary. I don't think it was a slam against aikido/karate it just used those as examples of a common dilema facing martial arts in general.
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Old 10-26-2000, 01:19 AM   #5
Erik
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I think that he is at least partially right. Putting a kote gaeshi on someone is going to have painful unintended consequences. The only person I've ever really hurt in the dojo was a Tae Kwon Do nidan who decided to resist my sankyu. Pop! He said he was ok, but we didn't see him again (disclaimer, he could have kicked my butt as he'd done a bunch more TKD than my Aikido at that point). So from the perspective that our techniques would hurt someone I agree. But their going down in a funky place, while probably true, doesn't seem like a major issue to me. I can deal with that.

The aikido exponent, in other words , can never practice his technique against an opponent for real

Here, I disagree. No art practices for real. People don't walk away from that kind of thing and of necessity it escalates. Real to one person might be to square off in the Octagon but to another it will mean a baseball to the back of your head while you are asleep in your home and to still another it will mean a car accident 3 years later. Real gets more real than I want any part of.

Also, Judo has rules and I bet they don't punch or bite much in their classes or tournaments.

the romanticized sense of self that one sees in aikido practitioners who believe that they can effortlessly "blend" with any attack and neutralize it."

This does seem harsh but it's definitely there. Look around and you'll see examples of it. It also gets misconstrued because we practice with a fundamentally different philosophy than other arts. I think the benefit to Aikido is that we have something to scale down to and practice it. I've heard stories of Judo people disabling attackers by bouncing their heads off a car and concussing them into unconsciousness--after the second or third attack (forget how many). It's also kind of hard to scale down a punch.
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Old 10-26-2000, 06:03 AM   #6
REK
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I have always appreciated Lowry's ability to turn a mirror to we budoka and force us to look at things we would prefer to deny.

Kevin and Erik bring up good points. Some aikidoka are too focused on the "art" part of "martial art". These individuals may forget that there is "martial" to it. And, jah, even judo has rules. So whose practice is better? Isn't that the question? Didn't we already have this discussion after that kid who hated his one aikido experience started a thread?

I don't like what Lowry said. But I know that sometimes, it is true. As Voltaire said "...I disagree with what you say, but will defend to my death your right to say it."

Relax harder


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Mors certa, hora incerta
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Old 10-26-2000, 09:00 AM   #7
BC
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I agree with the above posts in that I think Mr. Lowry was just presenting some points to get people thinking. A non-aikido practitioner would never fly over in reaction to a kotegaeshi, and the same goes for those graceful flying breakfalls on shihonage, koshinage and the various kokyunage. Anyone who believes that all the graceful flying, rolling and falling ukemi we do resembles anything close to how someone on the street would react is in need of a serious dosage of reality. We perform these ukemi for safety, so that nage CAN practice their movements at full or near full speed while minimizing the risk of injury to uke.

I also add that I've always enjoyed Mr. Lowry's writing, and just finished reading his book "Moving Toward Stillness," which I highly recommend. In fact, I have been singularly unimpressed with Black Belt Magazine for several years, with the sole exception of Mr. Lowry's contributions.

Also, I would like to remind everyone to please note that Mr. Akiyama has recently changed the forum rules to now require that everyone who posts to the forum provide their full names.

[Edited by BC on October 26, 2000 at 09:05am]

Robert Cronin
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Old 10-26-2000, 01:13 PM   #8
Konni
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Hello Boys and Girls!

Well, how should I start? I didn't read this article myself, but if it was quoted correctly and the context in which it was written was quoted correctly, I tend to get very upset about it. I mean haven't we already had this sort of discussion? Haven't we already come to the point that no martial art is better or worse than another and it's only the practitioner who makes it "work" or "don't work"?
Of course we don't use our full force in training! Otherwise it would be KILLING and HURTING. I don't know the guy who wrote this article. I don't know whether he is experienced in Aikido. But I sure know that last training my teacher demonstrated kote-gaeshi on me. And I can't free-fall. So he did a softer version. And now I KNOW it works!! Referring to the point of "reality-MA": I wouldn't care if an agressor can fall or not. It's my job to protect myself and I wouln't care if I "blend" with his movement. I would just try to get him to the ground and make him stay there until I leave. BUT in training I would try to use as little physical effort as possible, because if it works without power then it also works with it.
At least I think that somebody who says that the idea of non-violent defence which is one of the main ideas of Aikido, was romantic and therefore not usable in reality, simply doesn't know what he is talking about.Yes it may be romantic, but it is usable in reality.
Hope I made my point clear enough.

Greetings to all of you, my friends!
Konni.
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Old 10-26-2000, 09:39 PM   #9
Kevin73
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This is directed towards Konni:

I would read the article first. He doesn't say that judo is better than karate/aikido or any other martial art. The author, Dave Lowry, just talks about that judo has devised a method of training that you can do hard attacks and still minimize the risk so judokas are more used to applying their techniques full power on an uncooperative person and knowing they can get them to work. He never once stated that aikido can't be trained harder like others, just that judo built in a method specifically for that.
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Old 10-26-2000, 10:45 PM   #10
crystalwizard
Dojo: Aikido of Dallas
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I really dont think

anyone expects non-aikido people to do graceful rolls if they wind up on the business end of a technique. The idea there is that you get them away from you, hopefuly in a manner that wont wind up with either you or them hurt. The rolls and graceful falls are specificaly for OUR benifit so we dont get hurt when our partners are practicing said techniques on us(as well as to train us to fall safely in case we take a tumble for any other reason).

_____
Kelly

[Edited by crystalwizard on October 26, 2000 at 10:51pm]
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Old 10-27-2000, 06:49 AM   #11
aiki_what
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I have not read the article but the quotes taken in their printed context have a ring of truth....and they seem to be stated in a non-judgemental manner.

Most martial studies are the examination of conflict in a controlled manner. Many aikido practitioners have turned away form the study of conflict and made aikido the study of cooperation. This is not a judgemental statement on my part.... Just an obversation. There is something that is lost when aikido is taken as a martial study on its own merits and it is forgotten that it is a derivative system based on combat.

just my two cents.

Mark Mueller
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Old 10-27-2000, 08:15 AM   #12
les paul
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I have not read the Article, but do enjoy Lowery's works. Although what I've read above it does appear a little bias towards Judo.

Let's look at Black Belt magizine. We all know it's one of worse publications on Budo in the market. (i.e. it really sucks!) We all know it panders to the TV martial artist and we know that grappling and trashing striking arts is very popular with these bogus practioners. I'm willing to bet that Lowery couldn't get a current article published in Black belt if it didn't have some grappling theme.(remember it is a buisness and grappling is selling, so he probably thought it would be easy money to write a grappling article). Anything in that magizine is junk......nuff said.....

Although this post does bring to light that there are Aikido schools and styles that don't practist Budo, but that's another thread.......

Stay focused and train the hardest you can....Budo is Budo and nothing more.....
Paul from Michigan
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Old 10-27-2000, 03:02 PM   #13
chrisinbrasil
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Cool Mags&Truths

Hi,
I have to disagree about BB Magazine. I think it and all other martial arts are great... for the pictures. The articles, however, are and should be under constant scrutiny.
Next topic...

#1. Judo may train full speed but they don´t drop each other on their heads either, therefore not real.

#2. I´m an Aikido practitioner and love it, but have to admit that many, many, Aikido practitioners DO have an inflated view of themselves and their potential for situational success, and would and generally do get whooped when they´re not good enough at it to be using it.

#3. I disagree that Aikidoka´s objective is to master the kote-gaeshi and that we don´t know what it would do if applied. I would argue that we try to master ALL the technique´s in the ever-growing repetoire(sp?). If you´ve learned how to apply kote-gaeshi, you´ve probably learned that it is a breakfalls-not-included technique, just like the rest.

#4. Disagree? Call 1-800-...-....

At your service,
Christopher Wilson
Hito no tachiba wo kanga eru.
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Old 10-27-2000, 03:06 PM   #14
chrisinbrasil
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Circle addendum

#2 in the above post means not good enough to be trying to use techniques when they should be talking their way out of it or running. Instead they decide to catch the flying punch and deserve the fat lip and/or eye they receive.

At your service,
Christopher Wilson
Hito no tachiba wo kanga eru.
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Old 10-27-2000, 06:20 PM   #15
Uresu
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Quote:
afwen wrote:
Personally, I agree that judo techniques as practiced in the dojo are more likely to resemble their real-world applications than aikido techniques.

-Alvin
Interesting. I fail to see how Juji Gatame, Yamarashi or for that manner any of the strangle techniques wouldn't injure or kill. I've said it onece and I'll say it again, all martial arts are Martial. They were all designed to kill, pretending that they aren't is just short sighted.

Uresu

Centre, centre, centre.
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Old 10-27-2000, 06:50 PM   #16
Nick
Dojo: Aikido of Greater Atlanta
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The reason we practice Aikido in cooperation is that if we didn't, the techniques would be much more dangerous, and any spiritual aspects would take a back seat to broken wrists and black eyes from killer atemi.
Remember that it is a budo, and not bujutsu. And believe me, watching my sensei go at it in randori leaves me in no doubt they could 'make aikido work'.

Cheers,

-Nick

---
Nick Porter
"Do not fall into the trap of the artisan who boasts twenty years of experience, when in fact he has had only one year of experience-- twenty times."
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Old 10-27-2000, 09:02 PM   #17
akiy
 
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Quote:
Uresu wrote:Interesting. I fail to see how Juji Gatame, Yamarashi or for that manner any of the strangle techniques wouldn't injure or kill. I've said it onece and I'll say it again, all martial arts are Martial. They were all designed to kill, pretending that they aren't is just short sighted.
All techniques in aikido can very well injure or kill -- even ikkyo. It's the practitioner, not the art, that makes it any more or less martial.

-- Jun

[Edited by akiy on October 28, 2000 at 08:05am]

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Old 10-27-2000, 10:41 PM   #18
chezmike
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Ok, ok first:

Nikkyo & Sankyo may break my bones, but an opened up Black Belt magazine can never hurt me.

second:

I have seen other arts practiced, and have been involved in some fighting and the two are always different. No matter what you think you know, you don't always know it when you need it. Whatever you feel when you need it is really what you know. Go ahead and practice that without getting hurt or hurting someone. However, over time, I notice I start to do tenkan more naturally in everyday situations without combat. Hmm, maybe I'm learning & maybe that's what's important..

Mike T in Denver

Reality is a figment of your imagination.
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Old 10-28-2000, 04:47 AM   #19
George S. Ledyard
 
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Quote:
BC wrote:
A non-aikido practitioner would never fly over in reaction to a kotegaeshi, and the same goes for those graceful flying breakfalls on shihonage, koshinage and the various kokyunage. Anyone who believes that all the graceful flying, rolling and falling ukemi we do resembles anything close to how someone on the street would react is in need of a serious dosage of reality
Most of the techniques that produce the great looking breakfalls in Aikido are eminently reversible if done the way we do them in practice (if you have a well trained uke). They are basically for show. Against an untrained uke they would be injurious but they usually can't be done a la dojo because the untrained uke won't move like the trained uke with your blend.

There are street applicable versions of all of our techniques that do not require trained ukes. But the application of the techniques must be done at the proper angles. These techniques collapse the subject rather than "throw" him. None require knowedge of rolling. These techniques form the basis for Police Defensive Tactics.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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Old 10-29-2000, 11:06 AM   #20
Brian H
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BB is largely BS

Look no further than the recent cover picture of the "martial arts expert" holding a katana like it was a baseball bat. Kotageshi is a fine defensive technique, with irimi nage running a close second. Which begs the question, "if YOU attack me and try to hurt me, whose fault is it when YOU get an boo-boo." All this talk about could you, would you, should you throw someone into a break fall is mote. Pavement is really hard, even a crisp break fall is likely to result in injury. The idea of good ukemi is to preserve your self and stay mobile and in control when force is applied to you. Yes, you can shatter someone with Kotageshi, you can do it on purpose if needed. The preverbial "Grumpy drunk" that you don't want to hurt can be handled with the same "deadly" techique by exicuting it close to his head w/, w/o atemi) and over his shoulder to take his balance and put his on his back without a break fall.
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Old 10-29-2000, 07:43 PM   #21
Nick
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It's called Black Belt magazine. What does that say about its priorities?

Nick

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Nick Porter
"Do not fall into the trap of the artisan who boasts twenty years of experience, when in fact he has had only one year of experience-- twenty times."
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Old 10-30-2000, 09:04 AM   #22
jxa127
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Principles, not techniques

All,

Hm. I haven't read the article, but the excerpts printed here are not news. Opinion aside, I'm sure most people know that ukemi makes aikido techniques look good, but I'm also sure that most people know the importance of ukemi in keeping training partners around for more than one or two throws.

Anyway, I'm becoming increasingly convinced that we are learning principles (body movement, spacing, timing, blending) rather than specific techniques done in response to specific attacks. The upshot is that I don't expect a technique to work outside of the dojo the way that it does inside, but I expect it to work.

-Drew
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Old 10-30-2000, 09:05 AM   #23
BC
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Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:

There are street applicable versions of all of our techniques that do not require trained ukes. But the application of the techniques must be done at the proper angles. These techniques collapse the subject rather than "throw" him. None require knowedge of rolling. These techniques form the basis for Police Defensive Tactics.
[/b]
I stand corrected (again!). Thank you George.

-BC



Robert Cronin
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Old 11-01-2000, 02:34 PM   #24
Mike Collins
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HAH HAH HAH!!

I laught at Black Belt Magazine.!!

My masters kung fu is much better than theirs!!

(all of the above said while the mouth is moving much more than required).

Who Cares??
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