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Old 03-08-2001, 12:21 PM   #1
Erik
Location: Bay Area
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,200
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We spend a lot of time questioning whether the art is effective or not but I'm not really sure what constitutes effectiveness. I think the tendency is to think we must be able to whip all the folks in all the other arts or it isn't effective. In other words, if one Gracie jiu jitsu dude can kick our butts, our art sucks. I'm not so sure on this one, so just for whatever's sake, here's some questions/thoughts I had on effectiveness.

If you got into it with someone, and significantly hurt them (broke something or worse). Is your aikido effective?

If you escaped an attack unharmed (or significantly less harmed than you might have been), while only getting off the line, is your aikido effective?

What if you got off the line before the attack even began by just being more aware of someone's intent. In other words, the attack never happens. Is your aikido effective?

What if because of your aikido practice you responded differently in a verbal confrontation. Is your aikido effective?

What if you learned something about yourself through your training but you never physically use your aikido. Is your aikido effective?

What if because of all the blending and connecting that most of us do in our practice, you found yourself able to be more open, receptive and willing to listen to your mother, girlfriend, boss, whatever? Is your aikido effective?

[Edited by Erik on March 8, 2001 at 11:23am]
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Old 03-08-2001, 12:49 PM   #2
DiNalt
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 82
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IMHO your Aikido is effective if

a) it gives you something, anything positive.
b) a) includes the ability to survive a physical fight.

Unfortunately from my uneducated point of view, while there are certainly "lines of attack" in Aikido training, the actual "lines of attack" in a real-life fight are not sufficient to make any use of them.

They barely extend toward you at all, just enough to hit, and impossible to evade.
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Old 03-08-2001, 12:53 PM   #3
sceptoor
Dojo: http://ctr.usf.edu/aikido/
Location: Tampa, Fl
Join Date: Nov 2000
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To all the questions, I would have to answer YES. The first one depends on whether or not their injury could have been avoided and became a last resort, but still, YES.

I think the tendency is to think we must be able to whip all the folks in all the other arts or it isn't effective.

Personally, I don't agree with that. I realize you don't either, and you're just pointing out that there are aikidoka that may have this tendency. People question the effectiveness I think because they don't understand the static, basic exercises or what they are for, especially in the beginning. Someone here said it best when they described Aikido as preparing to defend oneself from different "types" of attacks, and not limited to just shomenuchi, yokomenuchi, etc, etc, etc. You must learn to walk before running, and the average Joe that joins a class for a week and leaves is usually because of a lack of patience. They want to get right to the running and learn how to fight, and when they learn that aikido is not fighting and that it's a complicated MA to grasp, they leave. Aikido isn't for everyone, not everyone has the patience or mental attitude to continue.

C. Martin

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Old 03-08-2001, 01:52 PM   #4
Nick
Dojo: Aikido of Greater Atlanta
Location: Atlanta, GA
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I like where you were going with that-- perhaps I might add that the basics are like conditioning exercises so that when you start to run, you don't run out of breath?

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 03-08-2001, 11:07 PM   #5
giriasis
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
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I have to agree that aikido is effective depending on how you define effectiveness.

Effectiveness to me is not about being an ultimate fighting machine. I have a wing chun friend who is always pointing out the weaknesses in other arts, including aikido, and therefore, he knows how to defeat them and therefore wing chun is better. The the thing is he, admittedly likes to fight, and he wants to be a great fighter. I tell him to stick with wing chun then.

Effectiveness is about attaining the goals we wish to acheive through aikido. For me I have two goals self-betterment and self-defense. To learn these I need the practice of aikido. After only a year and half of practice, I can already see changes in myself. As for the self-better side of aikido, yes, it is effective. As for the self-defense side, I have yet to be in a situation where I was required to use it so I really don't know.

So yes, effective is relative to what we want out of it.

Anne Marie
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Old 03-09-2001, 05:49 AM   #6
petra
Dojo: samourais,Eindhoven
Location: the Netherlands
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Quote:
Erik wrote:
We spend a lot of time questioning whether the art is effective or not but I'm not really sure what constitutes effectiveness. I think the tendency is to think we must be able to whip all the folks in all the other arts or it isn't effective. In other words, if one Gracie jiu jitsu dude can kick our butts, our art sucks. I'm not so sure on this one, so just for whatever's sake, here's some questions/thoughts I had on effectiveness.

If you got into it with someone, and significantly hurt them (broke something or worse). Is your aikido effective?
No. This may sound crazy but IMHO what you do then is not aikido, it's selfdefence, aikido to me is a study of body and mind not how can I destroy my attacker.

Quote:
If you escaped an attack unharmed (or significantly less harmed than you might have been), while only getting off the line, is your aikido effective?
Yes, mind over body.

Quote:
What if you got off the line before the attack even began by just being more aware of someone's intent. In other words, the attack never happens. Is your aikido effective?
Yes, mind over mind

Quote:
What if because of your aikido practice you responded differently in a verbal confrontation. Is your aikido effective?
Yes, mind connecting with other mind

Quote:
What if you learned something about yourself through your training but you never physically use your aikido. Is your aikido effective?
Yes, consciousness and growth

Quote:
What if because of all the blending and connecting that most of us do in our practice, you found yourself able to be more open, receptive and willing to listen to your mother, girlfriend, boss, whatever? Is your aikido effective?
Yes, definately and a great improvement to your life.


The only way to find out if you will be able to defend yourself is when you are physically attacked, I try to avoid that as much as I can. Does that make my aikido ineffective? No, of course not, I study because it is fun and somehow it makes me more pleasant to be around with.

Petra

I haven't failed, I have found 10.000 ways that won't work.
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Old 03-09-2001, 09:35 AM   #7
ian
 
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Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
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1. I think sometimes we make martial arts seem like some super-human ability. Lcukily a lot of the time attacks are by drunk thugs, and so just the exeperience of training in physical body contact from attack situaitons can help us (which applies to basically any martial art).

2.Also the martial art is only as good as the martial artist.

3. No two situations are the same. I know of someone who had trained in aikido for several years and was hit from behind in the spine with a crow bar; he fell down and couldn't stand up again for about half an hour (lucky he wasn't paralised). No-body is unbeatable.

4. Constant practise in whatever martial art helps you to react instinctively to situations. Most of the time even a poor technique can be carried off because the opponent is unsuspecting. As mentioned previously in another thread, there is a lot of psychology involved.

5. Some martial arts of probably better for different situations (e.g. aikido is often thought one of the better ones for armed attacks, but is harder against people who box/jab).

So basically, to be effective in more and more situations, train more and more and you have a better chance of beating the odds.

Ian
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