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Old 03-03-2004, 09:40 PM   #1
Ian Williams
Location: Adelaide, Australia
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Faking it

Interested in your guys ideas here. Especially those of you who have had to use your aikido in real life defensive situations.

A common perception of people who watch aikido being practiced is that there is a lot of "faking" and self throwing going on. Ie: the nage waves his hand a bit and uke goes flying

I'm practicing Jujitsu at the moment and the same sorts of things can be said (to a lesser extent) about that art. Obviously uke does dynamic ukemi to stop himself being hurt in practice (ie dramatic looking rolls on wrist twist etc to stop your wrist from breaking).

In a street situation, employing something like rotational unbalance followed by wrist twist (forgive my lack of japanese, I think thats a goshi of some sort - does the Uke go down straight with a broken wist, or are they indeed propelled nearly as much as a non resisting uke in the dojo?

Would a person attacking a competent aikidoka also be seen to be "faking it" if it was filmed, or would it look drastically different?

Last edited by Ian Williams : 03-03-2004 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 03-04-2004, 12:26 AM   #2
p00kiethebear
 
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What i've noticed doing aikido, is that when working with someone newer to the art, you (as uke) do a good portion of the work for them. But then i notice that as the nage improves you begin to do less and less, eventually you find sensei's and when they throw you, you have to do absolutely no work except pray that you tucked your head in in time or something along those lines.

Supposedly, when o sensei would counter grab you, you would feel your entire body go limp, and he would have total control over your actions.

So if someone who is relatively new to aikido is attacked, his employment of techniques may be extremely dangerous to himself, and the attacker/s. And indeed, his technique may be flawed to the point where his attackers can easily resist anything he tries.

The long experienced aikidoka can apply his techniques in such away that the attacker is unable to find weakness, and will feel compelled to roll or sink to the ground in order to save himself from harm.

So I guess in the end, it's all about the skill of a person who's administering the technique.

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
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Old 03-04-2004, 07:24 AM   #3
JohnnyBA
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Quote:
Nathan gidney (p00kiethebear) wrote:
The long experienced aikidoka can apply his techniques in such away that the attacker is unable to find weakness, and will feel compelled to roll or sink to the ground in order to save himself from harm.

So I guess in the end, it's all about the skill of a person who's administering the technique.
Quality answer - I agree.
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Old 03-04-2004, 08:00 AM   #4
Ted Marr
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My guess (and it is only a guess) is that that depends on the attacker as well as the aikidoka executing the technique. I know that when they first come to the dojo, there are some people who will almost let their joints break before they fall, and others who move at the slightest amount of pain. I would guess it to be similar on the streets. If a jujuitsuka just cut loose on a technique (a nice tight reverse kotegaeshi, say), I would expect a broken wrist from the first type, and a "staged looking" fall from the other, possibly with a hurt wrist anyways. With an aikidoka, you could expect possibly less injury, but only because they would be less likely to "just cut loose," and might have enough sensitivity to only apply the neccessary amount of force.
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Old 03-04-2004, 09:50 AM   #5
aikidoc
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Great answers. Training situations are somewhat artificial. If we put a kotegaeshi on full force with an uke that does not know how to take a fall or respond adequately to the technique permanent injury could occur. This type of uke is more likely what you will experience on the street. Does the training situation look unrealistic-of course. However, as students become more proficient the tori can open up more on the technique, of course taking into account the ukemi skills and joint flexibility of the uke to prevent damage. Need to have those practice partners healthy.

I know when teaching a lot of beginners without advanced students I have to be very cautious to prevent injury on inexperienced ukes. As my students get more advanced I can open up so to speak.
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Old 03-04-2004, 10:48 AM   #6
mantis
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All techniques happen because uke does something. (if he pulls his arm in, maybe you do kotegaeshi, if he extends his arm, then maybe an arm bar).

in class, uke has to cooperate (do the proper reaction to the technique you are practicing) or the technique won't work unless you add force (which isn't good training).

if uke resists, then you go with the resistance. This method is more like randori and not kata.

one of the hardest things to learn is to be a good uke. Does that mean throw yourself? No! Does that mean be a rag doll? No!

That just means give an honest attack, and an honest recovery to the initial off balance.

if done with correct adherence to principles and correct timing, the technique will work without uke having to fake it.
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Old 03-04-2004, 10:55 AM   #7
crand32100
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My experience is that aikido ukes should look a lot different than what you will see in the street because aikido ukes should have a bit more knowledge than "the street mob". Ukes should be able to keep their bodies somewhat straight and move from thier centers. Many people walk like gorillas until they take up something like aikido for a few years(at least in my culture).

Another reason may be that ukes should be able to attack in balance. If one strike doesn't make contact, they should have enough physical integrity to keep coming. This is not an easy skill to develop, especially if your first attack is sincere. Also, aikidoists should know some things about distance. Take it from a sword perspective: Two samuri stand tip to tip with katanas. Why don't they stand closer?- Because it's too dangerous for both of them. Why not further apart?- too many steps to reach the other guy. Even when the battle begins, both are struggling for the position where one is safe and the other is not. This applies in open hand. Most people in the street may not be that aware. They may not move to good. They may be running into a burning building and they don't even know it. If you move your feet well, you may not need to do any of these cranking things. Finally, an uke should be learing how to move exactly the way the other guy moves. Uke delivers an attack, but at a certain point it turns over and the nage is in the better position. The uke should be striving to move at the exact same time nage does. Not to slow, because you may end up flying out the window to catch your arm. Not too fast either because it means your not really connected. Uke should move so exactly with the nage that nage has no reason to want to have ideas to do other more dangerous things. Who knows- maybe nage has a blade in his other hand. Too fast or too slow can get you into a bad place. All these things apply to sword as well. I realize that this is not how things are generally taught these days, especially since this philosophy doesn't leave room for all of this resistant uke practice that everyone loves so much (although that's not very street realistic either). Watch O'sensei's ukes on the tape. They move that way because they know something about what they are doing. Their not just falling that way because O'sensei can just make it look that way with everyone.

Something to consider.

TC
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Old 03-04-2004, 05:18 PM   #8
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I saw a video clip of one of O'Sensei's uchideshi (can't remember which one at the moment) doing technique on a skeptical western reporter. The techniques caused the guy to hit the mat, but the ukemi was not pretty (the guy looked like a sack of s**t hitting the ground!).

I wish you could see the clip, I think the initial question would be answered!

A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety.
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Old 03-04-2004, 05:39 PM   #9
Janet Rosen
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Think about how newbies take ukemi: they look stunned, stiffen up, turn away at what seem to us odd angles. I suspect doing technique at speed to somebody who has no idea/expectation you will do anything like it will likewise result in a lot of energy flowing up into the shoulders, a lot of stiffness and resistance, and turning or maybe dumb rooting in pace. Means that if the first unbalancing you do isn't fully effective, be preparared for lots of stiff new energy, either as a new attack or as an attempt to hang on to you for regaining balance. Note: This is speculation on my part!, as I've never needed to try this, but based on watching folks and how they move and react in general, so very open to being told this is dead wrong...

Janet Rosen
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Old 03-04-2004, 06:05 PM   #10
Ian Williams
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Thanks all for some thoughtful answers. I would like to expand the question perhaps and say, would an attacker who is taken completely suprise in a street situation react differently from an inexperienced dojo uke (who is expecting, yet may be fearful of being thrown), or even the western reporter in the situation described above.

If I am a street thug (which I'm not) and I go to punch someone and they perform XYZ technique (aikido, jujitsu what ever) and are taken by suprise, how differently would that look from the performing ukemi badly dojo situation.

Tsutsumi Ryu Jujitsu
Adelaide, South Australia

Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure
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Old 03-04-2004, 06:31 PM   #11
Ian Williams
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apologies to Janet who partially answered my latest question.

Tsutsumi Ryu Jujitsu
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Old 03-04-2004, 06:44 PM   #12
aikiSteve
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Quote:
Ian Williams wrote:
would an attacker who is taken completely by suprise in a street situation react differently from an inexperienced dojo uke (who is expecting, yet may be fearful of being thrown), or even the western reporter in the situation described above.
I guess it all depends on the technique you use. I've never used an aikido throw on anyone outside of the dojo, but I have used both sankyo and nikyo. I'll tell you one what.... Do those techniques right on any person, big or small, on or off the mat, they're not faking.

Some of the throws would look similar to someone who did not know how to fall. But not identical. The big difference is that on the mat once the person realizes they are about to fall they lose focus on the attack and focus on not getting hurt. Whereas i imagine on the street an attacker is going to grab you as they fall.

This is a good reason for nages to get out of the habit of bending their backs to far. When an uke falls, they should be able to grab the nage and not pull them down.

Steve Nelson
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Old 03-05-2004, 07:27 AM   #13
Ted Marr
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I'm in total agreement with Steve on this one, on both counts. I've used nikkyo and sankyo outside the dojo before. The nikkyo was someone who was "curious", thought they were tough, and wanted to demonstrate that those silly throwing arts are useless on someone who resists. The sankyo I did very badly, since I had not yet been taught the technique, I had only seen other people use it. It was still sufficient to convince the person in question (bigger and taller than I) that he shouldn't be getting fresh with me. So, these can both work. Granted, neither person was particularly enraged or committed to attacking me, nor did I need to execute the techniques without forethought at full speed against someone trying to hit me, but then again, I had only started my training...

Also, I've been known to hold on to people in my dojo once they throw me for between a quarter and a half a second longer than is generally done, in order to test their posture. Almost everyone below 3rd kyu stumbles quite a bit. Other people look a bit surprised and get pulled slightly off balance. Except for my teacher. He stays totally unmoved and grins at me. Makes me want to get to that point.
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Old 03-05-2004, 07:58 AM   #14
Kalle Koskinen
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When I was reading this topic, something came to my mind. Have anyone else noticed that in some Karate/Taekwondo/Krav Maga-trainings people are not reacting normally to techniques? They usually bend a little in some direction and let the nage do what he/she wants. They are just like mindless puppets or punching bags...

(Of course I'm not saying that everyone does this)

For example: Uke kicks and nage blocks. Then nage will throw a punch to the face of the uke, pull his head down for some serious knee-kicking. Then uke is thrown to the ground and receives a couple of punches to the jaw. And after uke's kick, he/she stops completely moving/reacting.

A little bit of faking in the start is good, so we'll have some force to deal with. Of course when everyone advances and can deal with a committed attack, then the uke don't have to fake.

A bit off-topic, but please forgive me.
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Old 03-05-2004, 08:34 AM   #15
Aikilove
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Well I've had the (un?)fortune to be attacked by two guys. 'Went like this and you may analyze and draw your own conclusions from it:

I was biking and approached a small bridge over railroad tracks. At the beginning of the bridge were a group of 4 young people (2 girls and 2 boys) around 17-18 years of age.

As I passed them one of the girls accidently hit me with her pull-over as she threw it over her shoulder. I lost balance and had to let go of the bike to not fall myself.

I approached the girl (without any ill intent just to see if she was ok... kind of).

I saw/felt something behind me and turned just as one of the guys were about to give me a right sucker punch. I simply sidestept to his inside and at the same time letting my left hand slightly tuch on the top of his incomming arm (really more as a connection to protect myself, since I was at his reach, than a cut down). The cheer surprice, I guess, of not connecting made him loose balance to the point of falling and tumbling down the side of the bridge (we were not yet over the tracks but still just were there was slopes at both sides). Next I know it the next guy comes in with a straight kick. Again I just sidestepped to his inside (trust me I don't normally endorce going to the inside where you are within reach!) and at the same time I let my right open hand connect with his torso. This made him lose balance backwards and I actually had to grab his shirt with the same hand so that he wouldn't fall on his back head. I continued this pulling motion and let my grip go so that he stumbled to his forward right over the other guy that had almos climbed back up again. They both tumbled back down.

This was in broad daylight with more than one whitness! I called the police and at the same time "convinced" them to stick around which they did. The police asked me, after talking to the whitness, if I wanted to press charges on them. I dind't since I figured they had embaressed themself enough in front of their girlfriends to wake up. (They were both crying when they climbed up again!).

End of story.

Did they fall like in the dojo? No. After training in ukemi I would hope that we could take more gracefull ukemi than the averege Joe. On the other hand. In the first case I didn't even touch him (well barely) and he still fell. And In the second case after the first commited kick that didn't landed he simply was to concerned and surpriced that he found himself trying to regain balance untill he fell over his friend.

That's how I have rationalized the event anyway.

Last edited by Aikilove : 03-05-2004 at 08:40 AM.

Jakob Blomquist
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Old 03-05-2004, 12:31 PM   #16
crand32100
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Bravo, Jacob. I like the fact that you used their energy, rather than leaving a trail of broken bodies.

TC
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Old 03-05-2004, 01:06 PM   #17
shihonage
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Sounds like they were all drunk, Jacob.
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Old 03-05-2004, 02:11 PM   #18
Aikilove
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The police did do a basic intoxication test on them which they all cleared. They were steady on their feet and voice. That doesn't mean the hadn't taken a beer or two. And you know, when the alcohol goes in etc...

Jakob Blomquist
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Old 03-08-2004, 05:58 AM   #19
Aikilove
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Sorry ignore... wrong thread...

Jakob Blomquist
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