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Old 05-21-2008, 04:56 AM   #126
philippe willaume
 
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
To continue on....

Firepower.

Once you understand how to move, then you have to be able to do something with that movement to end the fight. There is a spectrum, I think, from complete disengagement (running?) to complete engagement (destruction).

Firepower might imply guns, but I think it conceptually involves whatever you have to influence the fight, from fist, elbows, sticks, knives, guns...or your own two legs to remove yourself from the fight.

agreed...how we use them is the tactics of it.

What is important is to understand the linkage between mobility and firepower.

If you can't move, you can't use it.

BJJ says "position before submission". I like that because it drives home the importance of dominance or mobility to the situaiton.

Do a scenario of trying to draw a gun while your opponent in mounted on you...see who wins, the guy with the gun, or the guy with positional control, or mobility!

From an aikido standpoint I think we stress this a great deal in everything we do. Again Iriminage is a wonderful application of this. Those that plant their feet and then reach to grab uke usually find they are not successful, you have to keep moving while letting the situation develop.

Again, what is key is to understand the relationship between firepower and mobility. Firepower without mobility does not work, and vice versa, mobility without firepower does not work.
Hello kevin

We could describe any martial techniques in term of position, isolation and then application. As you said, to translate that into concrete application.

IE he strike shomen he over commits= he as given us isolation buy stepping (tenchin/ tenkan/irimi) we have position because he can not really harm us where we have moved because he is over committed
We are in situation where we have a big window to do something and he has small windows to do something armful to us

He strike shomen and he is stable and balanced, this a totally different story
We will have to do something to make moving safe so that we can gain position
Ideally what ever we do to be safe should as well give us isolation.

You can do exactly as you did before and time it so that you unbalance him.
Obviously this about equal window of opportunity. So to make it work you do need to be significantly better than your opponent

Or you can hit him in the face, throat, lower thoracic area (well anywhere that is good money for value)
That will make the entry safer and get us something in the isolation front
Here you have bigger windows of opportunity than your opponent

But really I would call that only one part of the principle, the principle that pertains to the technical application
I would say we have the necessity of understanding tactical principles as well a generic strategic line.
I think modern martial art tuition , may be except bjj, is not very good at that level (of course there is always exception at the club basis)

If you take medieval fencing manual for example
There are presented in way that gives you techniques, the strategic line and the tactical implementation of that strategy. As well decision making is kind of pre digested so that choice in action is very simple binary (either your opponent is strong or weak in his contact).

As an example
The system has only 5 guards/position that are defeated by 4 strikes
At the end there is only 5 position where you can hold you sword relative to you centre the way the blade is oriented only affect the speed at witch you can react
What ever you do with the sword, you can only have you hands in front and above your centre, at the same vertical level or behind and above, the same 2 possibility down below and of course straight in front of you.
That the strike is protecting against attack on the shortest line of attack starting from an optimised position. So you are going to either deflect it or hit first.

phil

One Ringeck to bring them all and in darkness bind them,
In the Land of Windsor where phlip phlop live.
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Old 05-21-2008, 09:18 AM   #127
rob_liberti
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

I think it is worth making the clear distinction between "transform" and "transcend". In my opinion, the only way through a problem is THROUGH it - not just focusing on another plane of reality to avoid it all together. Which is why I am in agreement with Larry that it would be going too far to suggest that fighting has nothing to do with aikido or anything that is about self-defence for that matter. Aikido doesn't have to be taught like Krav, whatever.. But since Osensei's aikido worked on all challengers, that should be something we aspire to as well.

To that end, I certainly do not think you MUST train competition-oriented initially or even primarily. Of course some will disagree - but level appropriate progressive resistane works for me. No pressure EVER - fine by me - just not my cup of tea and apparently not Osensei's either.

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 05-21-2008 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 05-22-2008, 07:39 AM   #128
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Let me begin by saying: Rob, I don’t think you have noticed …but the tone and content you use with me is different than when you are talking with the gentlemen on this board. Please write in response to me with the respectful tone you use with them…. Thank you.

Now…. some thoughts about fighting and self- defense.

To me: (this is not a judgment of what others do... …folks should train how they want and they can call it whatever they want)
Fighting: is about who wins and loses in a match. There are agreed upon rules and someone to help keep those rules. Ex. (a referee).
Self defense: is about whatever it takes to defend yourself. It’s a whole science of study… just as fighting is. Fighting is just a small part of self-defense.
Here is an example of how I practice Aikido in daily life. I am the front desk co-ordinator in a busy library. Most patrons are wonderful. Some, however, are not. Let’s take David for example. David’s agenda is to get away with whatever he can however he can. He does not mind being rude, mean and faking like he is angry to win. Winning to him is not paying his fines or taking out more than he is supposed to. My practice with David is to not take him personally, to extend ki towards him before he gets to the desk, to turn and face him squarely, to listen intently from my center and to be extremely pleasant as I interact with him.
These are all self defense/Aikido strategies. If David continues to be nasty I have other ideas like walking away or referring him yet again to my boss. David may not be physically dangerous to me…yet he can be very dangerous to my well being and to the well being of the women who work with me and do not train.
Now some minds might think that this has nothing to do with self-defense because it is not about physical fighting. Self-defense starts within. It is a decision to be responsible for one’s self no matter what. It is a very serious commitment and way of living. However, training can be fun. Many assumptions are made on this board about how people train because of how they write. You really can’t know how people train until you train with them.
Resistance and reality testing are a very important part of training. I think they must be used cautiously with careful intention. We use them in our dojo. Our focus is to develop correct feeling which will be dependable in all situations.

Mary
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Old 05-22-2008, 09:15 AM   #129
Ketsan
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Someone in my dojo said something last night which made me think about this thread. In Japan they're as interested in what you can take as they are in what you can dish out, maybe even more interested.

If you're in a dojo which isn't bothered about being able to dish it out, is there going to be anyone in the dojo who has the strength of character to take it? On an individual level is training with someone who can't dish it out (within reason) helping you develop a strong spirit and a strong character?

I make no statements, I just ask questions.
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Old 05-22-2008, 09:18 AM   #130
philippe willaume
 
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Let me begin by saying: Rob, I don’t think you have noticed …but the tone and content you use with me is different than when you are talking with the gentlemen on this board. Please write in response to me with the respectful tone you use with them…. Thank you.

Now…. some thoughts about fighting and self- defense.

To me: (this is not a judgment of what others do... …folks should train how they want and they can call it whatever they want)
Fighting: is about who wins and loses in a match. There are agreed upon rules and someone to help keep those rules. Ex. (a referee).
Self defense: is about whatever it takes to defend yourself. It’s a whole science of study… just as fighting is. Fighting is just a small part of self-defense.
Here is an example of how I practice Aikido in daily life. I am the front desk co-ordinator in a busy library. Most patrons are wonderful. Some, however, are not. Let’s take David for example. David’s agenda is to get away with whatever he can however he can. He does not mind being rude, mean and faking like he is angry to win. Winning to him is not paying his fines or taking out more than he is supposed to. My practice with David is to not take him personally, to extend ki towards him before he gets to the desk, to turn and face him squarely, to listen intently from my center and to be extremely pleasant as I interact with him.
These are all self defense/Aikido strategies. If David continues to be nasty I have other ideas like walking away or referring him yet again to my boss. David may not be physically dangerous to me…yet he can be very dangerous to my well being and to the well being of the women who work with me and do not train.
Now some minds might think that this has nothing to do with self-defense because it is not about physical fighting. Self-defense starts within. It is a decision to be responsible for one’s self no matter what. It is a very serious commitment and way of living. However, training can be fun. Many assumptions are made on this board about how people train because of how they write. You really can’t know how people train until you train with them.
Resistance and reality testing are a very important part of training. I think they must be used cautiously with careful intention. We use them in our dojo. Our focus is to develop correct feeling which will be dependable in all situations.

Mary
Hello mary

You know self defence for the best part is all about not doing stupid thing in stupid place with stupid people.
Self defence is much more about parking 2 level up or down because you do not like the look of the 3 guys chatting near the pedestrian exit or making a detour because you have a bad feeling about a dark alley that it is about permanently imprinting David facial features in your desk mahogany.

In self defence (or any conflict) physical violence is only one tool you have at your disposal. (and it is a tool that if you are not trained with and willing to use, you’d better leave in the toolbox)

I am not Clauswitz but not letting David get to you/get his way is about fighting and winning no matter what periphrases we may thing of not to use those terms.
It is your will against is his will. His well being against your well being.

I think the idea, when we say you need the martial aspect of aikido, is equating to say that the martial aspect is to be willing and able to do what it takes to win.
The will can express itself in manyform but regardless if you choose to use witticism, pin or physical damage. it is done with same willingness to do what it takes to win.
phil

One Ringeck to bring them all and in darkness bind them,
In the Land of Windsor where phlip phlop live.
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Old 05-22-2008, 09:37 AM   #131
Michael Douglas
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
...
To me: (this is not a judgment of what others do... …folks should train how they want and they can call it whatever they want)
Fighting: is about who wins and loses in a match. There are agreed upon rules and someone to help keep those rules. Ex. (a referee).
Self defense: is about whatever it takes to defend yourself. It’s a whole science of study… just as fighting is. Fighting is just a small part of self-defense.
I'm glad you started by giving others a chance to call whatever ... whetever we want, so here I'm stating that surely the 'fighting' you firstly define is not 'fighting' but 'sport fighting'.
If 'Self-defence' is at the other end of the spectrum then there is a huge space to include what I would call 'fighting' which is indeed a part (maybe not so small) of self-defence.
To my mind 'fighting' is physical combat between two or more creatures, humans in our sphere of aikidoish interest. It cannot possibly be restricted in its definition to include a referee or even a winner and a loser!
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Old 05-22-2008, 06:25 PM   #132
Enrique Antonio Reyes
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Lightbulb Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Hi Mary,

I am a new member of this community and I haven't had the chance to review all the posts here.

I believe there are two aspects of fighting "attacking" and "defending"

If you are talking about attacking then I can probably tell you right away won't be effective. Better to use other striking arts like boxing or muay thai or more exotic arts like karate or taekwondo.

When defending there will be various scenarios like single attacker, multiple attackers, whether armed or unarmed, armed with a knife, a stick, a gun, so forth and so on...

I personally believe that pure Aikido works best with Multiple Unarmed Attackers in a way that it lets you use your Irimi and tenkan movements with probably the use of throws and locks to evade the various attacks.

For multiple armed attackers I'd rather not fight, shoot them down or probably run for my life.

For a single armed attacker I would probably use a bit of aikido but mix it up with practical moves (like do a kote-gaeshi but using an x-blocking motion to catch the hand, not expecting them to do a hardfall once I apply the technique among others...

for a single unarmed attacker...personally I would rather choke them out.

But I really don't want to fight so I guess Aikido is my first line of defense especially when the only enemy is my ego...

Have a nice day.

Iking
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Old 05-22-2008, 08:00 PM   #133
DH
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

I see the whole thread as one big excuse for failure in understanding the truth of aiki.
The presumption is that there is or needs to be a fight in handling all forms of agression. My answer is that if you actually had aiki in the first place you would have a deeper understanding of just how and why you could handle and neutralize many forms and levels of agression through aiki. THAT is why there is no fight. It's not because someone is afraid or says they have risen above and no longer wants to fight.

As for those who talk about ki and center as some sort of ghosty aikibunny force? I have found that the pretenders-and that is exactly what they are, even if they don't realize it yet-hold on to the notions of Ki and extending it and all manner of ephemeral shenanigans for several reasons. Some of which is that they really do not want to fight, they don’t have the stomach for it, or they can't fight and are afraid to face that reality. The saddest of all are those who simply have no clue what sort of power is truly available –to them- in understanding moving from center and using Ki and all the other stuff they talk about but have no hope of proving beyond some imaginings. It is the chief reason they keep it at arms length as “a feeling” they try to manifest. The comedy is if you could hand it to them, and they saw the amazing things they could do with it to truly handle people with ease without harm, I’d bet there isn’t one, single one of them who would put it down.
It is very simple to out the pretenders even within their fears or stated disinterest in actual confrontation, all without fighting and without any excuses to “not want to fight.” If they are ever in a room with those who do understand and can manifest these things and their own students are allowed to feel someone with real aiki skills and then test their own teachers- those teachers will be undone. Ki and center is about power. If a teacher states they have it and teach aiki as a way and yet do not have it immediately and instantaneously accessible to them, without any waza - then everyone in that room will know they are fraud. Maybe an unintentional fraud through ignorance, but a fraud none-the-less in that it will be made publicly known that they don’t know what they’re doing. Maybe all they've got is some blending/flowy waza they call "aiki," which actually has nothing at all to do with the reality of aiki.
It’s really that simple.
In the end their students will at least start seeing them and the real potential of the art they were supposedly teaching, in a whole new light.
I agree with Rob that it would be far more powerful to start to ACTUALY learn what aikido was supposed to be. So that in the end some little old lady can actually have power, real and whole and choose not to use it. And at any moment could demonstrate it clearly and definitively for all to see and still…choose to not fight.

Fight would most certainly work in anyones aikido who understands aiki, in the sense that maybe for the first time in their martial careers they could see how they can actually STOP violence...without fighting.
I see the whole idea of there not being fight in aikido as a truly profound loss of understanding of aiki. Further, one big excuse for that failure in understanding it. Again, I'd bet the house if you gave those in denial access to real Aiki power. Not one would put it down and walk away.

Last edited by DH : 05-22-2008 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 05-22-2008, 08:16 PM   #134
Aikibu
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Great Post Dan...and an excellent expression of Budo.

William Hazen
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Old 05-24-2008, 08:28 AM   #135
rob_liberti
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Mary,

I think you may be drawing a false conclusion here.
None of the other gentlemen posted a page from my teacher's website to argue a point I wasn't making. If someone with different genitals did that I assure you the response would have been the same. I have like 800 posts here. You can find my arguing in much the same style with Mike Sigman for like 200 of them and I'm pretty sure he's a guy.

And, no suprise here, I totally agree with Dan, and Larry for that mater.

Rob
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Old 05-24-2008, 08:51 AM   #136
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I see the whole thread as one big excuse for failure in understanding the truth of aiki. The presumption is that there is or needs to be a fight in handling all forms of agression.
SO what you are saying here is that you agree with the main thrust of the thread ...

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
My answer is that if you actually had aiki in the first place you would have a deeper understanding of just how and why you could handle and neutralize many forms and levels of agression through aiki. THAT is why there is no fight. It's not because someone is afraid or says they have risen above and no longer wants to fight.
See, now there we can have common ground.

What the main thrust of the thread is getting at is is O Sensei's point about there being no resistance in aikido and that to attack is to lose before you have begun. Why? Not because some airy-fairy enlightened aura surrounds and protects one from physical harm. I dare say that I have become far more aware of just how vulnerable a person standing around idly really can be.
Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
If a teacher states they have it and teach aiki as a way and yet do not have it immediately and instantaneously accessible to them, without any waza - then everyone in that room will know they are fraud. Maybe an unintentional fraud through ignorance, but a fraud none-the-less in that it will be made publicly known that they don't know what they're doing. Maybe all they've got is some blending/flowy waza they call "aiki," which actually has nothing at all to do with the reality of aiki.
It's really that simple.
If you have it, define it. Shouldn't be hard if it really is THAT simple. My statement of its actual physcial basis is NOT simple, but not incomprehensible or unnecessarily complicated. I may be right or wrong in gross or particulars, but as Freeman Dyson once said I'd rather be wrong than vague ... and for that reason I make independently verifiable statements founded in physical observations, not self-promotion, nor demeaning of others.

To be clear, neither expressing nor not expressing ideas in this manner means nothing about one's physicality, but while some people do not necessarily have the facility to express or make use of both aspects, some do.

SO... for the benefit of those reading, please state, in the simplest physical terms you know how, what you are talking about --- if it is different from what I have talked about and anybody here can go read for themselves what that is. If you want to do that at greater length than appropriate here, take the time and develop your ideas in the aikiblogs and point us to it. I have.

It can be rules of thumb for structure and dynamics like the Aunkai folks are using for their version of tanren, or like those of Rocky Izumi in his "principles" work, or more detailed discussion of what is contained in the various kokyu undo -- those are all perfectly comprehensible and show a valid physical basis for both what they are doing and its coherence with what they say they are trying to do, as well as with what we know of biomechanics and basic physics. There are many useful ways to do it based on careful observiton and description. Akuzawa gets his point across in writing in a coherent way. It need not be as close to the physics as I try to be -- practical descriptions and working principles work just fine.

Why not give it a go, Dan? I promise I won't even critique it.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 05-24-2008, 09:18 AM   #137
Mike Sigman
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
You can find my arguing in much the same style with Mike Sigman for like 200 of them and I'm pretty sure he's a guy.
I am. And hey... I tried to tell you. Worse yet, there's even more facets that I didn't even mention. The suggestion I'd make now is that you find my posts about how Shaolin also uses these same skills, how the dantien works in relation to them, and so on. For instance, Ushiro's approach is certainly a viable approach... but it's the approach of karate and not Aikido. So there's more to it.

Mike
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Old 05-24-2008, 09:48 AM   #138
Dathan Camacho
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

We naturally have an innate tendancy to tense up during conflict right? I think psychologists call that tendancy "fight or flight"?

I've noticed that Aikido has improved my ability to stay relaxed during conflict and resist the "fight or flight" reaction. You know those moments where your practice partner has one of your limbs, is about to apply a technique, and the only way to prevent it from hurting is to relax?

I think learning to relax in those situations has improved (not eliminated ) my ability to relax in situations involving conflict - tense business meetings, disagreements with my spouse, "debates" during pickup basketball games, etc. And learning to appropriately handle conflict prevents fights, right?
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Old 05-24-2008, 11:03 AM   #139
RonRagusa
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
SO... for the benefit of those reading, please state, in the simplest physical terms you know how, what you are talking about --- if it is different from what I have talked about and anybody here can go read for themselves what that is. If you want to do that at greater length than appropriate here, take the time and develop your ideas in the aikiblogs and point us to it. I have.
Hi Erick -

I realize that you meant this for Dan but I thought I'd like to take a stab at explaining what Mary and I are driving at when we write about Ki development and extension of Ki. Keeping things simple is easy since it is, in our view, simple.

Our Ki development work, apart from waza, involves progressively increased pressure testing, in the form of partnered exercises, while standing in various postures and in motion. The primary objective for the tester (uke) is to provide nage with an opportunity to lose one point and become unbalanced. Nage's job is to learn to absorb and redirect the incoming energy so that a state of unbalance is avoided. A combination of metaphor (keep one point, extend Ki etc) and feedback provide nage with images to aid visualization of what is happening inside and reference points from which progress may be evaluated. We have many exercises that we regularly practice in this way.

Ki development is a matter of attaining what Maruyama sensei calls "correct feeling." Please note that the word feeling is used in the physical context; from dictionary.com:

noun
1. the function or the power of perceiving by touch.
2. physical sensation not connected with sight, hearing, taste, or smell.

We also refer to this as mind/body coordination. When mind and body are coordinated we say Ki is being extended. Extension of Ki is not characterized by mysterious action at a distance; it is decidedly an internal phenomenon that can be perceived externally. Demonstrations of so called Ki tricks are examples of what is possible when mind and body are coordinated.

As to how this side topic relates to the central theme of the thread; we do this without introducing the fighting paradigm into our training. Our cup of tea may not appeal to everyone but then again, we only serve to those who wish to partake of their own volition.

Best,

Ron
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Old 05-24-2008, 01:20 PM   #140
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
We also refer to this as mind/body coordination. When mind and body are coordinated we say Ki is being extended. Extension of Ki is not characterized by mysterious action at a distance; it is decidedly an internal phenomenon that can be perceived externally. Demonstrations of so called Ki tricks are examples of what is possible when mind and body are coordinated.

As to how this side topic relates to the central theme of the thread; we do this without introducing the fighting paradigm into our training. Our cup of tea may not appeal to everyone but then again, we only serve to those who wish to partake of their own volition.
Hi Ron,

Interestingly enough we utilize a similar approach in the sense that one is placed in situations to deal with increased targeted aggression by utilizing mind/body coordination. In what we call resistance randori (which is very similar to what goes on in an Aikido competition, i.e. ones partner is fully allowed to stop a poorly executed technique or counter it) it is critical to deal with ones partner/attacker utilizing proper mind/body coordination else one is unable to execute anything that successfully results in a throw or pin of the opponent.

In this sense the removal of the struggle (fight) or fear element in the mind of the student is paramount, otherwise this person will not be able to effectively coordinate mind/body and deal with the imminent, continuous attack. As soon as fear and tension enter the mind and body, coordination becomes quite difficult to the point of being impossible. The result is poor response to the attack and poor technique.

Interestingly enough, as resistance levels are gradually increased and the student systematically overcomes any fears or tensions associated with that increase, he is less and less inclined to resort to fear-driven, gross muscle responses and trains the self to utilize a coordinated mind/body as required for Aiki waza. So in our case, although a "fight" paradigm as defined by Mary to be "sport fighting" is used by us (i.e. resistance randori that mimics Aikido competition), it actually assists the student in being able to manifest quality Aiki waza under conditions that allow the attacker to exercise free will to thwart the execution of Aiki waza.

So imho if one avoids the whole "fight" concept in training then one can be losing out on a whole section of very enlightening experiences and learning. Imho one of the best things about Aiki waza is to remove the potentiality of a "fight" if one has the requisite skills to do so.

Just my 2 cents.
LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
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Old 05-24-2008, 05:09 PM   #141
Tom H.
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Quote:
Dathan Camacho wrote: View Post
We naturally have an innate tendancy to tense up during conflict right? I think psychologists call that tendancy "fight or flight"?

I've noticed that Aikido has improved my ability to stay relaxed during conflict and resist the "fight or flight" reaction. You know those moments where your practice partner has one of your limbs, is about to apply a technique, and the only way to prevent it from hurting is to relax?
That's a very important concept. I believe the military deals with similar problems training its warfighters. I also saw a Da Cheng Chuan exercise that worked to remove the reflexive flinch out of near misses, or even hits, to the face. If you can't stay clinical, relaxed, and in control of yourself and your reactions, you probably won't do well in a aikido, jujitsu, MMA, trial court, or other combative situation, I'd guess.

Tom
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Old 05-25-2008, 06:26 AM   #142
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Teaching soldiers to "relax" can be a tricky thing to get into. I'd be hesitant to go the aikido route as it could cause some issues for them and get them killed if they don't understand it. I'd rather have a tense soldier that fights than one that is relaxed and does not move forward into battle.

Anyway, we do teach relaxation and breathing when teaching marksmanship and reflexive fire. In Modern Army Combatives the lesson is driven home as well.

Basically you train as you fight and will fight as you train. you have to walk a fine line between "good tension and bad", and develop good habits that you will default to.

I think we tend to not deal with relaxation clinically as say we do in aikido, but try and integrate it into the stress model of training where appropriate.

When I was a TAC officer from OCS we induced alot of stress on candidates looking for the ones that would keep their cool under pressure, continue to move on to the objective/endstate AND make decisions.

The point is, there are different levels of relaxation and focus (mushin), and much more to it than being "physically relaxed and responsive".

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Old 05-25-2008, 07:46 AM   #143
RonRagusa
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote: View Post
In what we call resistance randori (which is very similar to what goes on in an Aikido competition, i.e. ones partner is fully allowed to stop a poorly executed technique or counter it) it is critical to deal with ones partner/attacker utilizing proper mind/body coordination else one is unable to execute anything that successfully results in a throw or pin of the opponent.
Hi Larry -

We have a similar exercise where uke and nage continually swap roles as the situation dictates. The first object is for each participant to look for an opening in which to execute a throw. We currently perform this exercise using only grabs so it sort of resembles judo randori w/o the ground work. In order to keep the movement continuous students are encouraged to keep the attacks temporary so that the grabs are continually appearing and disappearing. Students are discouraged from grabbing and clamping down in a 'hold on for dear life ' manner as this would stop the action and thwart the second objective of the exercise which is to explore how energy flows in a two person dynamic.

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote:
In this sense the removal of the struggle (fight) or fear element in the mind of the student is paramount...
I fully agree. One thing though, the fear induced by an attack is often a result of the attacker displaying anger, hostility, obvious intention to do bodily harm etc. In that sense, fight and fear become very different aspects. Resistance training helps the student overcome the fight instinct but the factors that induce fear are not replicable in the dojo in a really convincing way. No amount of controlled fighting on the mat is going to prepare a student for the emotional assault of an attacker hell bent on destruction. What we do is to stress that it's the body part or weapon that's going to do the damage and that the rest is all noise and chest thumping. We've found that training with this in mind actually strengthens ones ability to let negative emotional displays pass by like so much smoke in the wind. Students who work in service industries have told us that they have benefitted greatly and are better able to deal with angry customers than before beginning their training.

Best,

Ron
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Old 05-25-2008, 08:29 AM   #144
Tom H.
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
When I was a TAC officer from OCS we induced alot of stress on candidates looking for the ones that would keep their cool under pressure, continue to move on to the objective/endstate AND make decisions.
Thanks Kevin, I was hoping you (i.e. someone with actual relevant experience, vice myself) would chime in.
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Old 05-25-2008, 09:34 AM   #145
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

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Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
the fear induced by an attack is often a result of the attacker displaying anger, hostility, obvious intention to do bodily harm etc. In that sense, fight and fear become very different aspects.
Though this is correct in a limited sense I have found through experience that as long as the person being attacked realizes that it is upon him/her there is an instinctive increase in pulse rate and an involuntary tension that starts manifesting before the attack makes any contact. This has less to do with the body language of the attacker per se (esp. when there is no time to perceive body language when the attack is already upon you) and has more to do with a basic animal reaction to being in immediate danger imho.

Outside of official classes we have tested this using both models of surprise attack (where there are no or limited signs of impending violence) and a telegraphed attack (where body language, intent etc. is an obvious precursor). These two generally simulate the two basic modes of physical violence (asocial and social) the average civilian may encounter - the sociopath (who will just walk up without warning and take you out) and the bully (who woofs and chest thumps to gain "strength" before actually attacking).

In cases where there is no telegraph of the attack the usual response is tension by way of attempting to brace against the full force of the surprise attack by some means or getting out the way but sacrificing ones physical and mental balance in the process. Both of these responses work against our principles of applying Aiki waza as ones mai ai, tsukuri etc. has already been compromised. In the case of attacks with a precursor of violent intent the effects can be seen by a subtle stepping back before entering to intercept the attack (a result of the mind being stopped by fear of entering), or bracing for the attack without proper tai sabaki etc. In the end, whether the person sees the attack coming from early on or not, the usual response has been an expression of either fear or tension resulting from untrained reflex responses.
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Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Resistance training helps the student overcome the fight instinct but the factors that induce fear are not replicable in the dojo in a really convincing way. No amount of controlled fighting on the mat is going to prepare a student for the emotional assault of an attacker hell bent on destruction.
I agree that it can't be fully replicated yet within a dojo environment. However, there is training within the Aikido randori paradigm that can be undertaken that allows the student to remove the ego from the conflict so that he can deal with the situation at hand. Once again, the emotional assault you refer to must resonate with something within the person being targeted. If one is overly consumed in protecting the ego, ones own life, then this creates fear - the fear of losing ones life, of being hurt, assaulted etc. When there is no ego to protect there is no fear, there is no emotion (mushin??) hence there is nothing vulnerable to being emotionally assaulted. As someone who has experienced violent encounters (both armed and unarmed) I can say that the removal of ego and by extension any fear relating to loss of life etc. was critical to survival in the midst of severe threat. This removal of ego (in my little case) was developed over time by being constantly "stabbed" in full resistance randori where one quickly realizes that any attachment to technique, self preservation etc. would only result in being stabbed more often as the mind and body lost its ability to adapt and respond. The mind had to be clear to deal with the threat. A clear mind resulted in less negative tension in the body, allowing one to move as required to deal with the threat. I also experienced the opposite where fear generated by a need to protect my wife placed me in a mental state where I could not function as required until I could remove that fear. Imho Ueshiba M. was so correct in his whole approach to Aikido and the need to maintain mushin mugamae in th midst of danger.
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Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
We've found that training with this in mind actually strengthens ones ability to let negative emotional displays pass by like so much smoke in the wind. Students who work in service industries have told us that they have benefitted greatly and are better able to deal with angry customers than before beginning their training.
True. But imho an angry customer does not constitute a high threat situation, it is one of the working conditions if you do customer service. This type of understanding can be gained more readily by a good conflict management and customer service training seminar in under a day. Don't get me wrong - if this is the goal of the practice, fine. Like Kevin L. always says- endstate is important to how and what you train.

Getting back to the thread point about fighting. I guess if one is aiming at training to maintain a calm centre when dealing with unruly clients or a similar "threat" level then an approach that does not engage some of the realities of physical self defence such as resistance, serious intent to harm etc. is fine. However, for those who may want to deal with a slightly higher threat level I think there are many things that can be learnt about how the mind/body coordinates and also un-coordinates when faced with various threat levels. Even though we can't replicate real violence in the dojo, there are many many levels between the dojo and outer world environments that can be explored imho.

Best.
LC

Last edited by L. Camejo : 05-25-2008 at 09:39 AM.

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Old 05-25-2008, 09:39 AM   #146
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

[quote=Kevin Leavitt;207245] I'd rather have a tense soldier that fights than one that is relaxed and does not move forward into battle.[quote]

In various posts in the past you have equated relaxation to static "not moving" like you have done again here. I wonder what Vlad thinks about that in training your counter parts in Russia. Systema teaches Spetznats how to move fight, shoot, run, and climb while relaxing.

For that matter free-running utilizes a form of whole body relaxation.
Rickson Gracie trains to relax, and relaxes when fighting. I know Greco Roman wrestlers who talk about relaxing various parts of their bodies while moving and changing positions.

I think everyone talks from their own experiences and levels of understanding. Their "experiences" shape and form their opinions. It neither makes them right, or true, They're just expressing their current level of understanding, and that' all. I think of relaxation as very fast movement, with power and less aerobic taxing of the system and in grappling a far more efficient means to deliver power and move. Like I said though. that's just another "opinion."
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Old 05-25-2008, 10:21 AM   #147
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

FWIW, there are dual ideas and applications of relaxation going on here. With so many opinions, it is hard to follow.
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Old 05-25-2008, 12:49 PM   #148
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Dan,

As you state different levels of understanding and perspective. It depend on if you are looking at it from an institutional view or a personal view I think.

When you are thinking institutionally you have to consider the complexity of the environment and their are tradeoffs.

Much like when you probably teach what you teach at a seminar or what not...you only have so much contact time with your audience so you need to focus on the a few baseline teaching points.

When you look at things from on a personal level, well I think there is a different level of focus and detail.

It is balancing and merging these two areas together that is a challenge.

For example I find the training that I do within budo to be a very important part of my "soldiering" and I think it is what best defines me as a warrior. However, when training soldiers through the institution that is the Army things are a little different in my approach to training.

Various reasons, but the institution is important to consider.

We run into the same thing within the institution of aikido. Each of us has our own opinions about what is important and how we should train, but if we are going to be successful in working with the institution, we must understand it, and consider it, and realize it's importance in what we do.

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Old 05-25-2008, 02:09 PM   #149
RonRagusa
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote: View Post
Getting back to the thread point about fighting. I guess if one is aiming at training to maintain a calm centre when dealing with unruly clients or a similar "threat" level then an approach that does not engage some of the realities of physical self defence such as resistance, serious intent to harm etc. is fine. However, for those who may want to deal with a slightly higher threat level I think there are many things that can be learnt about how the mind/body coordinates and also un-coordinates when faced with various threat levels. Even though we can't replicate real violence in the dojo, there are many many levels between the dojo and outer world environments that can be explored imho.
Hi Larry -

We train to ultimately maintain a calm center regardless of the threat level of the situation. Examples of everyday life applications that our students have been confronted with and successfully resolved run the gamut from midly annoying to outright physical assault. The beauty of Aikido is that it allows us to maintain that calm center along the full spectrum of interpersonal conflicts. Training methodologies are going to be determined by a variety of factors that will differ greatly from venue to venue.

Best,

Ron
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Old 05-25-2008, 02:10 PM   #150
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

I try to be very circumspect in offering opinions on military or LEO. Those are best left to those doing them. That said those teaching in those venues have been and are constantly learning themselves and have a history of making errors and or changing their views over time.
Again, I find it interesting in that the training methods of the Russian Spec ops seems to differ markedly from what you are doing. Their training seems to be far more "relaxed" and "responsive," a couple of things you specifically downplayed at the end of your prior post.
Spetznats seems to embrace what you do not and have been very successful with it. So I though I would add others like Rickson, and Greco Roman wresttlers and free running to the mix as people who train with rapid movement in a relaxed state.
I have debated this with you in the past, that internal training and relaxation improves power, responsiveness, and.....speed in all form of combative movement and workload. No sense arguing about it again, so I'll leave it alone. Seems we have never agreed on this topic and never will. You're not able to see it yet.
Everyone has their own goals and experiences. I choose to focus on what works, and that is for rapid positional change, real power, retained balance in odd situations and speed. All through internal training (aiki). I tend to consider your understanding and opinions as emblematic of your current aikido teachers and that DR guy you invite down to teach. Neither of whom, I think, are equipped to show you anything or help your understanding of what I have been trying to explain to you for years now, so I am going to let it drop. If you continue to pursue training with some men who understand internals and "real" aiki- and walk away from that other stuff for a while, you just might get to a point where you see some vastly different potential in human movement. Until that happens, good luck in your training.

Last edited by DH : 05-25-2008 at 02:18 PM.
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