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Old 11-22-2017, 08:48 AM   #26
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

I'm sorry, every time I see this topic I grit my teeth at the non-word "orientated". Ugh.
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Old 11-22-2017, 10:30 AM   #27
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I'm sorry, every time I see this topic I grit my teeth at the non-word "orientated". Ugh.
Well, if you're British it's a perfectly cromulent word.
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Old 11-22-2017, 08:15 PM   #28
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Because you say so or because you have proof?
There are many reasons, some of which I already referenced, but the #1 reason why it's the closest Aikido has come to being an effective self-defense system, is because it's the only Aikido style which successfully, and gracefully, integrated drills for dealing with retractable punches with follow-ups, into its training method, all the while remaining distinctly Aikido. It's not Aikido plus boxing, it's Aikido philosophy and design, successfully extended into a closer, faster ma-ai.

Having hard randori with random street attacks doesn't hurt, either. Well - it does literally, but you know what I mean
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Old 11-23-2017, 06:35 AM   #29
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

Sorry but these reasons are not proof. When I asked you for proof I meant things like Police reportings, CCTV recordings, court documents, news or any other kind of evidence of people trained in Tenshin Aikido having succesfully used it in self-defense.

Drills and randori, no matter how good they look, are not actual self-defense.
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Old 11-23-2017, 06:54 AM   #30
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

Quote:
Aleksey Nikolaevich wrote: View Post
.... snip.... is because it's the only Aikido style which successfully, and gracefully, integrated drills for dealing with retractable punches with follow-ups, into its training method, all the while remaining distinctly Aikido. It's not Aikido plus boxing, it's Aikido philosophy and design, successfully extended into a closer, faster ma-ai.......
Well.. I will remember to tell this to the 6th dan sensei I am practicing with this weekend. I distinctly remember him teaching it at last years seminar, but since he is not doing this style I must have misunderstood.....

Seriously: if somebody tells you something like "our style is the only one that understand / practice / do this or that" etc then you should be careful. Very few ideas are created in one place only. It is a big world after all.

As much as I enjoy practicing aikido inspired by Nishio sensei - and regardless of the fact that I believe he had a very unique take on irimi, atemi and a few other things making his Aikido extremely well balanced in a budo perspective - then I am still very sure that other senseis have worked with the same thoughts and principles in ways as good or better at one point. And other interpretations will only broaden my understanding.

Quote:
Aleksey Nikolaevich wrote: View Post
Having hard randori with random street attacks doesn't hurt, either. Well - it does literally, but you know what I mean
It depends... if your skill level is so high that you can rely on skill and not on physical power - then you are right... however, what I see in most videos of such training methods are not 100% 'anything goes' anyway. The attacks are controlled - but just different from the regular kata practice. It's just a matter of what you emphasize in your training.

Regardless of what type of constraints you put on your randori you also need to understand that this is a tool and not the goal.

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 11-23-2017, 05:47 PM   #31
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Sorry but these reasons are not proof. When I asked you for proof I meant things like Police reportings, CCTV recordings, court documents, news or any other kind of evidence of people trained in Tenshin Aikido having succesfully used it in self-defense.

Drills and randori, no matter how good they look, are not actual self-defense.
This is true. Which is why I chose my words carefully:

Quote:
Tenshin is the closest Aikido has come thus far to being a functional self-defense system.
I didn't say it has actually crossed the threshold of being a functional self-defense system. But if you look at their methodology in-depth, it will become self-evident that the students of Tenshin Aikido are more prepared to deal with realistic attacks than mainstream Aikido - just by the virtue of actually practicing them - and such innovations in training are certainly to be welcomed - at least, by those who care about Aikido's practical application.
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Old 11-23-2017, 06:09 PM   #32
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

Quote:
Jørgen Jakob Friis wrote: View Post
Well.. I will remember to tell this to the 6th dan sensei I am practicing with this weekend. I distinctly remember him teaching it at last years seminar, but since he is not doing this style I must have misunderstood.....
If that 6th dan Sensei was teaching this drill:

https://youtu.be/RXL1O-283lQ?t=422

... then he took it from Tenshin Aikido.

Quote:
Seriously: if somebody tells you something like "our style is the only one that understand / practice / do this or that" etc then you should be careful. Very few ideas are created in one place only. It is a big world after all.
From what I've seen in the Aikido world, Tenshin is the only style which comprehensively modernized Aikido, or at least gave it its best shot. Every other attempt I've seen, that is actually a style, looks like "Real Aikido" in some way or another - indeed, just more grunting and speed.

Quote:
As much as I enjoy practicing aikido inspired by Nishio sensei - and regardless of the fact that I believe he had a very unique take on irimi, atemi and a few other things making his Aikido extremely well balanced in a budo perspective - then I am still very sure that other senseis have worked with the same thoughts and principles in ways as good or better at one point. And other interpretations will only broaden my understanding.
Not sure what this is about, but the vast majority of Aikido community have not developed a RAM (rapid arm movement) system and integrated it into Aikido like Tenshin style has. This is not some cross-pollinated "idea" or "trick" that "multiple Senseis had".

Moreso, Tenshin is a comprehensive and interconnected collection of modifications made with one goal in mind. It's not just mainstream Aikido with a patch here and there. You may get something Tenshin-like from one Sensei or another, but those are fragmented bits and pieces that you try to integrate into your mainstream style. That is the truth for majority of Aikido practitioners.

Quote:
It depends... if your skill level is so high that you can rely on skill and not on physical power - then you are right... however, what I see in most videos of such training methods are not 100% 'anything goes' anyway. The attacks are controlled - but just different from the regular kata practice. It's just a matter of what you emphasize in your training.

Regardless of what type of constraints you put on your randori you also need to understand that this is a tool and not the goal.
There's a big difference between "controlled attacks" where people are regularly getting hit in the face, taken down and piled up on, and what goes on during randori in your average Aikido dojo. Tenshin randori is different on concept, goals and intensity from mainstream Aikido. Even an "energetic randori" in mainstream Aikido is usually about two-handed grabs, and you're lucky if you found a dojo where the ukes will consistently gang up on the nage if he gives them the opening.

We're not going to debate the merits of developing tight timing and ability to deal with wider attack range, surely.
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Old 11-24-2017, 10:36 AM   #33
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

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Aleksey Nikolaevich wrote: View Post
But if you look at their methodology in-depth, it will become self-evident that the students of Tenshin Aikido are more prepared to deal with realistic attacks than mainstream Aikido - just by the virtue of actually practicing them - and such innovations in training are certainly to be welcomed - at least, by those who care about Aikido's practical application.
Must be I'm not looking deep enough because I only see the same old compliant kata based training against poorly performed half assed attacks.

Could you point me to a clip where they can be seen training realistically against realistic attacks?
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Old 11-24-2017, 10:57 AM   #34
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Must be I'm not looking deep enough because I only see the same old compliant kata based training against poorly performed half assed attacks.

Could you point me to a clip where they can be seen training realistically against realistic attacks?
amen

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Old 11-24-2017, 01:06 PM   #35
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post

Could you point me to a clip where they can be seen training realistically against realistic attacks?
What would be a realistic attack and more importantly what would a realistic defense in your opinion?
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Old 11-24-2017, 02:22 PM   #36
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Must be I'm not looking deep enough because I only see the same old compliant kata based training against poorly performed half assed attacks.

Could you point me to a clip where they can be seen training realistically against realistic attacks?
Yeah, they do use compliant kata-based training. Look, you're preaching to the choir here, as I largely abandoned Aikido for BJJ and some half-assed backyard boxing. But I still recognize the differences in styles, as I watched many of Lenny Sly's videos (and also those of Calderon Sensei from "Last Tenshin Warrior" dojo) and also interacted IRL with a kyu-level practitioner of Tenshin Aikido.

Actually I did link to Lenny's "clip" in a reply to the other person in this thread, but the post was moved to some purgatory for approval, where it's been for at least a day now, so now I'm wary of posting Youtube links.
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Old 11-24-2017, 05:21 PM   #37
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

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Igor Vojnović wrote: View Post
What would be a realistic attack and more importantly what would a realistic defense in your opinion?
First, one has to understand "aliveness" before adressing what realistic training is.
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Old 11-24-2017, 06:14 PM   #38
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
First, one has to understand "aliveness" before adressing what realistic training is.
I train with aliveness and are then criticized as the "uke from hell"

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Old 11-24-2017, 08:15 PM   #39
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
First, one has to understand "aliveness" before adressing what realistic training is.
In the video he is essentially presenting sparring and advanced drilling as "aliveness".

His stick defense is something that bothers me though. Here's a question, how would you react in the situation if somebody would swing at you like the example he gives at 2:20? You would have a stick also of course.
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Old 11-24-2017, 10:40 PM   #40
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

His point, as I see it, isn't about stick fighting, it's about how you train your martial art. I had the "uke from hell" for my last grading. He attacks with full force and full movement and most people can't handle it. I've sought him out to train with at least once a week to practice at that level, and the training is often more failure than success as it challenges you both mentally and physically. However I spent the last couple of years fixing my body structure during movement so I could get benefit from that level of training.

Personally I'm now more interested in this kind of training, but I think it is something that has to be built up to, but is extremely satisfying to do if you have no problem with a lot of failure rather than the always-finishing-a-technique style of Aikido training most of us are used to.

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Old 11-25-2017, 06:32 PM   #41
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

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Amos Barnett wrote: View Post
His point, as I see it, isn't about stick fighting.
I know what his point is, the problem is that he presents sparring as "aliveness" while he actually makes some mistakes in the presentation of steps in training as "dead patterns". Even in the very beginning of the video where he presents, what actually does look like a dead pattern because the guy on the receiving end doesn't fight back, the first "dead pattern" movement you can see that the guy who continuously attacks used a groin attack while in the "alive" part they don't do it although they clearly could have. How is that good presentation of "alive" training?

The reason I mentioned the stick part is because he is to passive on the defensive end. If somebody continuously attacked him he could have been simply overwhelmed by the attack, pushed back against the wall for instance and just pummeled at. I don't know if it was Dan Inosanto or somebody else who said to never lose your body composure like that. Of course maybe the whole point was to just show how some untrained person would attack with a stick so he just took the swing as is.

Last edited by MrIggy : 11-25-2017 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 11-25-2017, 06:49 PM   #42
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

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Amos Barnett wrote: View Post
His point, as I see it, isn't about stick fighting, it's about how you train your martial art. I had the "uke from hell" for my last grading. He attacks with full force and full movement and most people can't handle it. I've sought him out to train with at least once a week to practice at that level, and the training is often more failure than success as it challenges you both mentally and physically. However I spent the last couple of years fixing my body structure during movement so I could get benefit from that level of training.
Essentially, every uke should be "hell uke" at certain levels of grading. I honestly find the fact that people get their grades in Aikido despite not being able to handle somebody, who is actually giving them what they are supposed to be training against, generally disrespectful. Not just to the art but also to ourselves. I mean I know two people who both have 4.Dan. One of them is scary as hell the other one I could probably beat up.

Better to fail in the dojo then on the street.
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Old 11-27-2017, 10:32 AM   #43
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

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Amos Barnett wrote: View Post
His point, as I see it, isn't about stick fighting, it's about how you train your martial art.
Exactly.

Igor, you are focusing on the techniques displayed in the clip, in the external: the stick wildly swung, the knee to the groin on a passive training partner that does not happen when said training partner actively defends...

Aliveness is about the teaching-training methodology, not about the specific techniques.

Quote:
Here's a question, how would you react in the situation if somebody would swing at you like the example he gives at 2:20? You would have a stick also of course.
Well, this is a direct question I can't answer for I don't know how I would react. I know how I have reacted in the past when attacked by an armed (knife) assailtant but I don't think past engagements are totally predictive of future ones. Maybe next time I'll be the one who ends injured, who knows?
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Old 11-27-2017, 05:53 PM   #44
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

I say, “To each his own.” (see video link below)

I like Lenny’s Aikido, but I too would not adopt his way of communicating it – because that’s not me. But, it’s him, so I accept it and him. It does not take away from his Aikido or what I like about it. I’m sure, if you ask him, it actually plays a big roll in the development of his art. His art is certainly not just a manner of grunting; just as whatever that general “Aikido” art might be is also not solely a matter of not grunting. To dismiss or accept something based upon grunting or not grunting, or even to reduce something to grunting or not grunting, seems somewhat ignorant for my taste.

If you want to learn Tenshin Aikido, go train with Lenny. Do not attempt to learn from his videos. Let the videos motivate you to go train with him. Then, you will come to understand and hopefully learn his art. If you cannot go train with him, and if you want to learn his art, then, make it so you can go train with him and then go train with him. Yes, that is what I mean: Go train with him; If you can’t, make it so you can. If you really can’t and you cannot really make it happen, then use his videos as a catalyst for your own explorations in your own practice. In that way, they can function as a kind of art criticism, something that always brings about change. Just do not think you are going to learn his art from a video – my opinion.

I also think calling his Aikido, “Tenshin Aikido” has more social and historical accuracy than trying to lump everything and everyone under one abstract and universal “Aikido.” So, I’m fine with that too. I do think that more folks should be upset about the cultural fiction at work in the universal nomenclature of “Aikido” – but that is just me. To me, it seems that most of the debates and arguments on AikiWeb stem from folks ignorantly buying into this notion that “Aikido,” as a singularity, as something definable, not only exists but that should exist. I could not disagree more on both accounts – again, just me.

I do not believe that Lenny’s style or take on the art is found in an aim unique to him. I do believe that there are many aikidoka out there training with as much martial intent and intensity, which are also interested in martial applications, etc. However, while more than one, on the whole, these people are few in number, and as such, in all likelihood, statistically, you(we) and your(our) dojo is not one of them. So, I’m not a fan of the poster that comments on “effectiveness” or “reality” as a commentator on someone else’s art, especially when that is done only with words. I am thus a huge fan of folks that want to write something to write their own pieces on such aspects of their art. For the commentators, however, I say, show us a video of yourself, so we can better understand the problems you claim to be seeing, and the solutions you have found. Otherwise, I am a fan of silence for such commentators. Here’s mine: https://youtu.be/0Xg0VWt2ccA.

I disagree with the dichotomy between the martial and the spiritual that many have used or implied in this thread. For me, the two are not separable in Budo/Aikido, and the two are not antagonistic to each other. I also disagree with the view that Aikido does and should train operatively in an “if/then” paradigm and not in the Confucian paradigm of “as/if” that is its historically and by design. This is something that has also been implied in this thread. I do not think you can determine the “effectiveness” of an Aikido solely by observing a technique or a series of techniques. Aikido, is not and should not be a “plug and play” kind of art. The point of Budo is not necessarily to make a technique effective but rather to make a budoka effective. Thus, many “techniques” practiced in a dojo are aimed at this latter effectiveness and are thus so even at the cost of the former effectiveness. So, when it comes to “effectiveness,” one has to look at the whole training system – hence, my advice to go train under Lenny if you want to know what he is talking about and if you want to understand what he means by “effective.”

I do not have proof for any of these things, but such proof would not serve you in any way anyways. For me, my Budo has made me disciplined, strong, anti-fragile, skilled at self-detachment, fluid of mind, aware, non-reactive, hard to kill, healthy and well, not prone to depression, or self-sabotage, or depression, or anxiety, or self-medication, successful at work and in my social and familial relationships, lethal, brave, and it has done so repeatedly at the speed of life, at the worst of times, in and outside of the show that is marriage, fatherhood, law enforcement, passing the half-centurion mark, etc. I have my opinion on how and why this has worked for me, but it is just my opinion.

Last edited by senshincenter : 11-27-2017 at 05:53 PM. Reason: Forgot text

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Old 11-27-2017, 10:55 PM   #45
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

Thank you for your insight, David. I've been a fan of your channel for a while now.

Your post, however, shifts from one topic to another, and it's challenging to keep track of.

No, there isn't an objective way to measure comparative self-defense effectiveness of sub-styles of a system which designates a "winner" of the altercation before it even starts.

With Aikido, all one can do is speculate. So I speculate, based on my observation of Tenshin teaching methodology, and based on my experiences with real-world assault, that is is better prepared for such assault than other styles of Aikido.

Yes, there are instructors like you, David, who make their own research in that area. It's not an attack on you. I am just tired of hearing mainstream Aikidoists make fun of Lenny without having a clue of what he's actually doing.

He, and others pursuing similar goals, are trying to save the art from fading out into Tai Chi "health gymnastics" category, and to reconnect it with martial reality of emptyhand self-defense context.

And yes, his punch deflection drills are the most effective (IMNSHO) tools Aikido has developed to deal with fast, non-dedicated attacks encountered in the emptyhand distance. They're not just some external things taken from an alien system - they're well-integrated and follow the same "cutting", "blending" and "glancing swords" principles present in mainstream Aikido.

The system would benefit if they were adopted worldwide. But since its power structure clings to some "noble spiritual goals", plus the notion of keeping Aikido frozen in time like a fossil under museum glass, this will never happen.
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Old 11-28-2017, 06:34 PM   #46
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

Apologies about the shifting of topics. I was jumping from idea to idea as - they popped in my head as I was reading along.

Thanks for your comments. I can understand where you’re coming from and I too hold several of your views as my own.

I agree with your insights from a general point of view, which I believe you are speaking from. Definitely, in a text-based forum such as this, one can only speculate. I agree. Under closer analysis, and including environments outside of the dojo, I think one can supplement speculation with more scientific data however. For example, there are kinesiological and physical principles that can be used to determine work capacities, whereby the higher work capacity could and likely should be determined as more optimal. An example of this would be opting for a ground path over a bracing angle in the architecture of one’s stance. Then, there’s also a one-to-one tactical comparison that can and should be used from the perspective of a desired-for end. An example of this would be: It is better to have anchored elbows over locked and lengthened arms from the perspective of torso coverage; and/or, it is better to have torso coverage over not having torso coverage.

This type of analysis can happen outside of and prior to getting into any kind of ethereal discussions on what “reality” is in human-v-human violence. I also think one can make some general statements overall on combat effectiveness or orientation without entering into those go-nowhere discussions on “reality.” For example: Practices that include training at all tactical ranges and the involvement of modern weapons can be considered more martially effective and oriented than practices that are restricted to one range or that ignite one or more ranges or that do not include modern weapons (defense and utilization). Another example and a very important one: Practices that have developed systematic ways of moving a deshi from form to application are more martially effective than practices that have not.

I believe with these two points of view alone, one has already separated most Aikido dojo out of the category “everyone is doing what Lenny does” and even out if being martially effective or oriented.

So, I lean with you, and maybe do so a lot. I’m not really sided with the view that everything is Aikido, or that everyone’s Aikido is the same, and that everyone is doing what (pertaining to this thread) Lenny is doing. Of course then, I do not think I am doing what everyone else is doing either.

I also hold that all understandings, which includes misunderstandings and no understanding, lead one to develop his or her own technical architectures. As an example, a practitioner that understands the art as utilizing an “as/if” paradigm will see Katate Dori Te-Sabaki in an entirely different way from one that understands the art as utilizing an if/then” paradigm or from one that sees the art as a kind of moving modern-yoga or “health gymnastics” or psychoanalysis. As a result, these people will all have different ways of doing these given Te-Sabaki. In turn then, you will see and can judge differences in terms of “effectiveness” and “orientation” using the above-mentioned methods. I think this is why I get and side with your position that our attempts at martial effectiveness and orientation can and should come from within the art - not from some Frankenstein art that seeks to combine boxing with Kihon Waza, for example. In other words, IT is there, but IT is more not there than there. ;-)

For me, relatedly to your last comment, and where I somewhat veer from what you suggested, the art is impractical or less efficient or less martially oriented not when it fails to adopt “new” aspects discovered by some flavor of the day but rather when we as practitioners are not traditional enough. Drawing a distinction between “traditional” and “traditionalistic,” I say the art falters in this thread’s regard not when it’s stuck in its past but rather when it is stuck in a particular past - a past the saw the art first greatly reduced and then redefined. This, for me, is a past that started with Kisshomaru and continues on to today. For me, the solution is not to look to the new but rather to look past this highly problematic (from this point of view) past, to an older era (and of course without becoming traditionalistic). For example, Aikido kihon does not really find its sensibility until weapons become a real concern, a threat, and a tool to be used. This is a thing from an older era in Aikido’s technical genetic history. We do not need to discover this. We only have to uncover this.

Thanks so much. Be well.

Dave

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Old 11-28-2017, 11:25 PM   #47
MrIggy
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Igor, you are focusing on the techniques displayed in the clip, in the external: the stick wildly swung, the knee to the groin on a passive training partner that does not happen when said training partner actively defends...
At certain points a clear knee to the groin was evident, the reality is that both of them restrained from using them.

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Aliveness is about the teaching-training methodology, not about the specific techniques.
I understand what aliveness is supposed to be. The problem with the video is that he sells sparring as aliveness.

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Well, this is a direct question I can't answer for I don't know how I would react. I know how I have reacted in the past when attacked by an armed (knife) assailtant but I don't think past engagements are totally predictive of future ones. Maybe next time I'll be the one who ends injured, who knows?
Well, how did you react?
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Old 11-29-2017, 05:07 AM   #48
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

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Igor Vojnović wrote: View Post
At certain points a clear knee to the groin was evident, the reality is that both of them restrained from using them.
The reality is delivering a clear knee to the groin to a resisting opponent who is actively defending, moving and counterattacking seems an easy task when seen from the outside.

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I understand what aliveness is supposed to be. The problem with the video is that he sells sparring as aliveness.
Well, sparring is a very important tool in alive training methods.

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Well, how did you react?
Ducking, weaving, footwork and striking until the attacker was knocked out.
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Old 11-29-2017, 05:09 AM   #49
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

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David Valadez wrote: View Post
For me, relatedly to your last comment, and where I somewhat veer from what you suggested, the art is impractical or less efficient or less martially oriented not when it fails to adopt "new" aspects discovered by some flavor of the day but rather when we as practitioners are not traditional enough. Drawing a distinction between "traditional" and "traditionalistic," I say the art falters in this thread's regard not when it's stuck in its past but rather when it is stuck in a particular past - a past the saw the art first greatly reduced and then redefined. This, for me, is a past that started with Kisshomaru and continues on to today. For me, the solution is not to look to the new but rather to look past this highly problematic (from this point of view) past, to an older era (and of course without becoming traditionalistic). For example, Aikido kihon does not really find its sensibility until weapons become a real concern, a threat, and a tool to be used. This is a thing from an older era in Aikido's technical genetic history. We do not need to discover this. We only have to uncover this.
Totally agree.
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Old 11-29-2017, 09:30 AM   #50
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Re: What do you think about the combat orientated styles?

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Totally agree.
For many years now I have pointed out that Morihei Ueshiba's art was not created as one of the next martial arts, but it is an unique art of reacting to any direct attack (with or without weapons) from one of 9 directions (3x3 square) - an attack that can not achieve the goal.This is an art without a second chance, where confrontation should be completed immediately. All its techniques, all without exception, they are so thoughtful that they may end up dying of the attacker by his neck break or safe and controlled instant fall on his back. This is due to simple observations.

This was the beginning of my 3 cents for discussion. Whatever we have in mind by traditional or innovative styles of aikido, none of them has focused so far on the two basic attributes of Morihei Ueshiba's art. I mean, descending from the line of an attack and speed of techniques. Thus, the whole discussion becomes pointless.
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