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Old 10-23-2004, 05:05 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1
a quick question...

I have been in Aikido now for about 7 months, and I absolutely love it. I do have one small question though, and I want anyone to answer who can because I have little experience and am open to anything. My buddies keep teasing me and saying, "hey man do a cool move" or "block this" and most of the time I can not defend myself against some of there strikes, and they say that this art is not practical even though I do not agree of coarse. I've tried to tell them, that I am still a novice, but they still think the art is not useful in a real fight. I am a pacifist and I do not want to fight, but I do like having a form of self-defense under me. So my question is, what can I show to my buddies or tell them to prove that Aikido is practical and a very useful art? Thanks for reading.
sincerely, JPC
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Old 10-23-2004, 05:34 PM   #2
Janet Rosen
Janet Rosen's Avatar
Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,340
Re: a quick question...

While most aikido instructors won't tell you this, you are essentially learning via a kata: a set form in which one partner attacks with a prescribed attack direction and energy and one partner does a technique that is ideally suited to the prescribed direction and energy: it is role playing in order to get this stuff into "muscle memory."
Outside of this kind of practice, aikido is not a technique one imposes on another, it is an organic response to an individual situation, subject to change moment to moment, so that a recognizable "technique" is not sought but found in the situation.
I know this isn't much help when your buddies grab you....but there you have it.
Practical advice? You could demonstrate how getting off the line and into a safe place is possible from whatever opening attack they do. If you did find a technique to do, THEY don't know the proper role to play in response, and instead of ukemi they can get hurt....so the best advice, really, is to get their butts into the dojo!
happy training

Janet Rosen
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 10-24-2004, 12:50 PM   #3
Kevin Leavitt
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Team Combat USA
Location: Olympia, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Re: a quick question...

Agree with Janet. Get them to come to the dojo if you can to see for themselves.

I have run into this issue with people over the years, just smile and drive on with your training. That is what I have had to do. It shows a lack of knowledge and understanding on their part since they are setting up a set of conditions that make it hard for a novice to demonstrate the effectiveness.

If I run into this now after all the years I have trained in MA, I try to explain that if someone threw one punch at me I would probably get hit. The question I always ask them "are you really willing to go the distance and find out what I might do to protect myself?" I then would smile and say lets drive on and talk about something else.

After 7 months, you aren't going to have much experience to have a "bag of tricks". That is not the point of most aikido dojos. Aikido tends to be an internal art and as such it is designed to teach you principles. This approach offers you a solid foundation to build a martial career, but it takes a while to develop.

If you want to learn a few "tricks" I would recommend going to a more bare bones system like a BJJ or Mixed Martial Arts. It will teach you fast, but your skills may be limited for a long time to just a realitively few things. Eventually though you can learn the same things as aikido as far as principles go, but the path IMHO will take you much longer and may amplify bad habits. (this has been my personal experience).

It sounds like based on your personality of being a pacifist that aikido may suit you and your philosophy of non-violence. Just look at your friends actions as practice for real in the real world. Figure out how to irimi and smile and just realize that it is not about proving to them what you are learning, but proving to yourself. I do believe that your confidence in your training will show them that it must be worthwile more than a few cheap tricks.

Good luck!
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Old 10-24-2004, 01:49 PM   #4
Location: Florida, USA
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 185
Re: a quick question...

I agree with what Kevin said...

Brazialian Juijitsu, Shootfighting, Wing Chun, Judo, Japanese Jujitsu, Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Muay Thai, Boxing, Wrestling, etc. may help you better yourself for Self Defense. MMA training is the way to go in that area.
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Old 10-24-2004, 02:51 PM   #5
Neil Mick
Dojo: Aikido of Santa Cruz
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 225
Re: a quick question...

I used to take Capoeira, at the same time I was (still am) practicing Aikido. I put a question to both my Sensei, and my Mestre: if you saw an altercation btw a woman and a man that was ready to come to blows (as I did, at the time), what would be the best response?

My Mestre said: throw a kick, and then run like hell. If the cops catch you, then you'll wind up in jail.

My Sensei said: it depends upon the situation, who's life is being threatened, etc. Measure the response, to the situation.

Capoeira prepared me for a fight; Aikido prepares me for life.
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Old 10-24-2004, 07:29 PM   #6
SeiserL's Avatar
Location: Florida Gulf coast
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,888
Re: a quick question...

John Carmody wrote:
... what can I show to my buddies or tell them to prove that Aikido is practical and a very useful art?
Tenkan off the line of attack.

Show them an attitude of discipline, patience, and humility. That's more practical and useful than any simple piece of self-defense trickery.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 10-25-2004, 04:55 PM   #7
Bronson's Avatar
Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,677
Re: a quick question...

Stab them in the neck with your car key....that'll show 'em
(I may be talking with the "shodothugs" too much )


"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 10-25-2004, 10:49 PM   #8
Shane Mokry
Dojo: Mokurin Dojo
Location: Louisiana
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 26
Re: a quick question...

I'm with Bronson...atemi!

As soon as they can say hey block thi.... you should be sticking your hands in their face!

I guess I'm (somewhat) a shodothug too.


Last edited by Shane Mokry : 10-25-2004 at 10:55 PM.
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