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Old 07-27-2002, 12:16 PM   #26
jimvance
Dojo: Jiyushinkan
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Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote:
However, I see the kind of 'works' you are referring to as a very peripheral issue. Unless you go out and test the techniques in real combat (or some kind of free sparring situation that is very close to it), it is merely an exercise in fantasy, speculation, and hypothetical head games.
I think the crux of the issue is not whether Aikido will destroy someone more effectively than any other method, but rather, that the metaphysical underpinnings differ radically from typical fighting arts. We do live in a causal universe, so success can only be determined by feedback. The feedback should not be "will this work?", but rather "will it work using these criteria?" Kata training (the classical Japanese educational model) never sought to create techniques for combat. It existed to encourage strategy, pattern recognition, proper movement and posture, so that the exponent would have an advantage in a life and death situation.

Interest in combative realism is a valid argument IF the precepts of Aiki are followed. If that question is allowed to devolve to a purely mechanical level, then aiki is lost. Swinging the philosophical pendulum the other way, towards a non-combative attitude also destroys the integrity of aiki principle. This is the razor's edge.

We are talking about a radical shift in fighting mentality, not a new version of an old idea. Aikido is a better combination of mind and muscle than anything else that exists out there, in my opinion. Everything else is valid in its own way, but I think Aikido is just a little notch up on the evolutionary ladder. We get to be part of a new species in a sense. Trying to pull it back down into more familiar territory ("art", "sport", "war") will kill it.

Don't forget that speculation and fantasy discovered the New World, built airplanes, put a man on the moon, and allowed you to read this message.

Jim Vance
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Old 07-27-2002, 12:23 PM   #27
Kevin Wilbanks
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We did some stuff in JKD class today that was Aikido-like. But, as you say, there were many strikes - the joint locks were there to set up the strikes. If I were to continue with JKD indefinitely, I could see my Aikido training blending in with all the other types of techniques.

Some aspects of my Aikido are already useful - others are not. For instance, I have built in the habit of keeping my elbows down, even when I would practice punching on bags. In a boxing context, this leaves the head too open, so now I'm having to protect it by raising the shoulder during punches and elbows, which is totally unfamiliar. In some ways, it's refreshing to start something new and allow myself to be a clueless yutz again. When I started Aikido, I got a lot out of that, but as time went by, it became increasingly difficult to assume beginner's mind.

***

Just to clarify what I was saying earlier, I don't think issues of effectiveness are irrelevant to Aikido at all, but 'effectiveness' has to be judged in terms of what works in an Aikido training context - this can be directly experimented with, and so experiential knowledge can be gained. However, expanding judgements of effectiveness to broader contexts takes one out of the realm of knowledge and into pure speculation and wishful thinking. Witness how on another thread someone with fairly minimal Aikido experience was talking about going out and using tanto-tori techniques to teach a knife-weilding mugger a lesson...

K.
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Old 07-27-2002, 12:41 PM   #28
jimvance
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Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote:
However, expanding judgements of effectiveness to broader contexts takes one out of the realm of knowledge and into pure speculation and wishful thinking. Witness how on another thread someone with fairly minimal Aikido experience was talking about going out and using tanto-tori techniques to teach a knife-weilding mugger a lesson...
Yikes.

That is why we have dojo. They are, as one of my teachers calls them, "dilemma rich" enough for me not to go looking for muggers.

We still have a long ways to go when it comes to education and Aikido. Perhaps one day the descendant form(s) of Aikido will be standard human etiquette, like language and codes of social conduct. Perhaps it will be instrumental in expanding human consciousness enough to end war, and as a species, become more compassionate and aware of our place in the universe.

I like to look at the big picture every now and then. That is also why we have dojo, to see in the "lab" a fleeting glimpse of what could be.

Jim Vance
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Old 07-27-2002, 12:55 PM   #29
mike lee
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Thumbs down consciousness

Quote:
Perhaps it will be instrumental in expanding human consciousness ...
I believe it already has, though many people are unaware of it. But it seems any kind of utopia is still a very long way off. People as a whole only seem to make real progress when it becomes a matter of survival. When they begin to realize that survival depends on spiritual growth leading to enlightened beings, the world may begin to change for the better. But as it stands now, it seems that greed has the upper hand.
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Old 07-27-2002, 04:37 PM   #30
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
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ARE YOU BLIND!!

I wish my little Italian grandmother was alive so she smack you idiots up side you heads and say, " Whatsa matta with you!"

Aikido works, if you understand where it comes from, how it has been changed to allow practice in its present form, and the openings it has for blending into almost all martial arts.

You must the guys who watch Tai-chi and think it is a pretty dance?

Wake up and smell the pressure points, striking applications, and various adaptations from thousands of years of fighting arts.

You Aikido doesn't work in the street because you have been ASLEEP in class. Get your brain in gear and see the practice as practice, and openings for its true application.

These are the demons of safe practice verses application verses your own control over ego and animalistic behavior to destroy, fight, or tear things down. Finding the harmony that cuts through this destructive behavior should be your crucible in forging the heart of Aikido.

How violent do you want to train to show off how BAD you are?

That is not the way of Aikido.

We learn how to use our intelligence to be benevolent, our spirit to give us strength, and our Aikido to protect ourselves and others.

If you want to be the baddest dude in town there are any number of explosive devices that will destroy you and whatever enemy you percieve ... almost counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and atom bombs.

The fact is ... we train in aikido for our own spiritual security, our own physical safety, and because it creates so many more openings for other martial arts without creating the injurys found in other martial arts ... when practiced properly.

How fast you perform techniques is a matter of safety, but it is also a matter of opening your eyes to infinite possibilities for introducing openings for more serious techniques that could kill or maim your attacker, or training partner.

So don't go crying because you haven't put the time in to find out what the hell you are doing in Aikido.

Get your ass in gear. Find the reason why your practice is not violent, but provides opening for injury or death. It will make you appreciate the Art of Aikido that gives you a safe practice but contains street applications for martial arts.

I agree with "Aikido works, your Aikido doesn't."

So ....

Find out why .... make it work.

I ain't gonna tell you how to make it work, cause you wouldn't have started this stupid thread if you still didn't want to fight and show how bad your are.

Just don't be surprised if some little old man / woman knocks you on your ass doing those flowing Aikido moves that don't work on the street for you cause you didn't take the time to find their applications with a better frame of mind than to prove how skilled a fighter you are on the street.

Yeah, emotional control comes from having the proper benevolent spirit, too.

That is the true strength of Aikido.
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Old 07-27-2002, 05:19 PM   #31
wanderingwriath
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Well said Bruce. Perfect practice makes perfect Budo. Don't just train the harmony like you mean it, train the SKILLS like you mean it.
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Old 07-27-2002, 06:04 PM   #32
Kevin Wilbanks
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No offense, Bruce, but you sound awfully hostile and hotheaded for someone filled with high levels of Aiki harmony.

Of course there are plenty of opportunities to see openings for strikes and other ways to cause more damage in Aikido. There are many miles between seeing and intellectualizing something and being able to do it. Likewise, I have all kinds of ideas about how to deal with a vicious, angry person with kick boxing skills that comes at me with about 14 powerful strikes in the same span of time as one practice thrust on the mat. So what? Imagining and doing are completely different things. In my experience with other kinds of training and practice, in a crisis situation, the imagining/planning part of the brain drops out of the picture, and you respond with what you have done and experienced... in this case that would be what? Standing there and daydreaming about how to take advantage of openings?

You sound so certain: exactly how many times have you used your Aikido in street fights? And, since you have insinuated that all the others in the thread that disagree with you 'don't know what the hell they're doing', exactly how many decades have you been training Aikido?

Last edited by Kevin Wilbanks : 07-27-2002 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 07-28-2002, 04:24 AM   #33
mike lee
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Cool 4-year plan

I wish I could take a video tape of an average university-club dojo in Japan and show it on this forum. It's truly amazing the level of proficiency that they can achieve in only four years.

The atmosphere is joyous. The pace is fast and furious. The energy-level is high. The talking is minimal. There's very little standing around -- thinking, or wondering, with the exception of the brand new students. The emphasis is on watching and copying the movement, and making it reflexive -- not trying to understand it intellectually.

Everybody just wears a white belt (no colors), but you can readily see if it's their first, second, or third year of training. And the shodan are great! I know they could use aikido in the street, because they really know how to move their ass -- they really just react; they just do it!

P.S. I suggest new students put themselves on a four-year plan with the goal of achieving a high level of proficiency in all basic techniques. Keep the dialogue to a minimum, keep the action to a maximum, keep your eyes open and your mouth shut. In four-years time, you will be a very well-conditioned fighter with a bright and optimistic spirit. This is the magic of aikido.

Last edited by mike lee : 07-29-2002 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 07-28-2002, 02:56 PM   #34
Kevin Leavitt
 
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AikiDO: the DO means way....just like Budo means war or martial way. Jutsu mean basically practical application or technique. i.e Aikijutsu or Bujutsu.

I know these are all semantics, but you have to look at the philosophical underpinnings of the martial arts to understand WHY you are studying them.

Are you studying as a way of life (long path) or as a pratical application?

As a long time warrior in the military having taught military doctrine and martial tactics (both hand to hand and modern weapons) there really is a difference between doctrine and tactics. We teach both in the military. Doctrine (Do) makes up your framework to base your tactics (Jutsu) on.

Yes it is possible to learn a few basic tactics in 6 months effectively. However, how can you predict what your potential opponent will use against you? 6 months of effective "techniques" will not give you the experience you need to be successful in all potential and infinite situations.

the "DO" , way, or doctrine will give you the basis to adapt your skills to the situation.

Unfortunately, you can spend your whole life studying the "DO" and never master it all. Or is that fortunately!!!

If you want a quick warm and fuzzy I would go to the various schools and academies that will make you combat effective in a few years. There are more of them out there than there are schools concentrating on the true "DO". (Many of them are actually very good too!)

But remember, the road to true and ultimate success is a long one.

I don't recommend any internal system such as aikido, tai chi, etc to those that want to be "combat effective" in the short term.

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Old 07-28-2002, 09:00 PM   #35
Gregory King
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I would have thought that any martial art is only as good as the exponent of the art, there is no shortage of poorly trained people and no end to the number of ways you may be defeated, enjoy training, enjoy life and try not to concentrate on the arts effectivness until you need it.

Peace

Greg

Greg
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Old 07-28-2002, 10:59 PM   #36
MaylandL
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Quote:
Kathryn Cole (Kat.C) wrote:
...

I really hope you'll be willing to share what you find out.
Hello Kathryn

I've only started and have got some videos and material from Mr Peyton Quinn. I'm trying to get a hold of some material from Mr Marc MacYoung. As you can see I'm in the very early stages.

I'll need to do some reading before I can start to experiment and sort out the stuff. Its likely to be quite a wait.

In the meantime, I'm continuing with training

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
...
Yes it is possible to learn a few basic tactics in 6 months effectively. However, how can you predict what your potential opponent will use against you? 6 months of effective "techniques" will not give you the experience you need to be successful in all potential and infinite situations.
...
Hello Mr Leavitt

I would most wholeheartedly agree. My understanding of your comment (please correct me if I have misinterpreted) dojo training may provide a person with some techniques in some situations but there are so many variables in a potential or actual life threatening situation that there are inherent limitations in dojo training. I guess unless a person has been in those situations and has used techniques, changed them to suit the circumstances and/or dealt with the stress of the situation, you will never know for sure. I guess actual combat experience is one of the key things - the veteran soldier vs a recruit straight out of boot camp.

Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote:
...

There are many miles between seeing and intellectualizing something and being able to do it.

...

Imagining and doing are completely different things. In my experience with other kinds of training and practice, in a crisis situation, the imagining/planning part of the brain drops out of the picture, and you respond with what you have done and experienced...
...
Hello Mr Willbanks

I would agree. If you've never been in a situation of needing to defend yourself, you may not have experienced the impact of a massive jolt of adrenalin to the body or how you would react or not react.

I'm not saying that aikido in not martially, street, defensively effective (or whatever term you might wish to make) but I think as intelligent and questioning practitioners, we need to understand the strengths and limitations of our training and to keep an open mind on what other training is required to make what we do martially effective (assuming that this is something an individual practitioner wishes to achieve).

All the best for training.

Last edited by MaylandL : 07-28-2002 at 11:34 PM.

Mayland
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Old 07-29-2002, 05:50 AM   #37
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Mr. Long,

Yes, that is basically what I am saying. Keeping that in perspective has helped me in my training long term.

That being said though, you should still try and expose yourself to as many situations, and experiences (in the dojo!) as possible.

My one criticism of my Aikido when you consider it a martial art is that it does not adequately prepare you emotionally to deal with extreme stress that a "bar fight" or a "mugging" might bring forth. I think after years of habitual training of refining your character etc it will help your ego avoid those situations. It may also help you form habits that would decrease that stress....but I believe this is the one area of weakness. (and every art has at least one weakness!)

I personally reccomend people to work with "hard style" practicioners (karate, jujustsu etc.) if they are really interested in learning how to deal with the emotional stress "inside the cauldron" of a real situation. It is not for everyone though.

The one warning I offer is that tactically you will learn somethings that counter correct technique. You also could personally develop some affects that will potentially undo some of your training. (typically tensing up, grabbing, breaking posture etc.) But you can also over come all that.

Point is I guess is that expose yourself to many things. That is the only way to gain true insight and experience. It is also fun to experiment!

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Old 07-29-2002, 09:13 AM   #38
Ghost Fox
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Question

Quote:
Erik Jurrien Knoops (erikknoops) wrote:
Just a couple of comments:

3) Just claiming that a quick, easy and lousy snapshot with a $10 camera is more usefull at representing reality seems a case of overconfidence in modern technology and part of the "getting things for free" mentality. Even for photographs to be useful and showing exactly that what you want to show one needs experience and lots and lots of practise!
Question: Is this modern "getting things for free" mentalitly what drives people the effectiveness of Aikido?

Most self-defense programs are streamlined versions of martial arts. The lack the philisophical and beauty found in most martial arts. You take some wazas and drill them into somebodies head until they can do them by rote. You teach them to put on a aggresive and negative mentality in order to survive.

Most martial arts take decades to truly learn. I don't think Master Ueshiba was a great martial artist from the get go. It took years of extensive practice to become a "master". Not all of the aspects we learn in aikido are directly applicable to self-defence. Then again when you go to college, not every class you take is directly releated to your major. The intent is to make you a well rounded individual. Not just a doctor, lawer, etc...

Peace and Blessings,

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Old 07-29-2002, 09:54 AM   #39
erikmenzel
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Quote:
Damion Lost (Ghost Fox) wrote:
Question: Is this modern "getting things for free" mentalitly what drives people the effectiveness of Aikido?
I think a lot of the people staying with aikido are the ones that are willing and capable of letting go of the "gettig things for free" mentality.

As for effectiveness, I think that it is ok to look for it as long as it does not ruin your normal training and progress.

I sometimes fear training with absolute beginners that are completely focussed on effectivity. They simply lack the skill to see in what danger they are in and confuse the efforts their partner makes to NOT hurt them or to NOT let them hurt themselves with ineefective aikido and being safe all the time.

Erik Jurrien Menzel
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Old 07-29-2002, 11:40 AM   #40
bcole23
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I was just reading over this and a couple of thoughts occured to me.

When I was a kid, I lived in the 'bad' part of town. I also had 3 siblings and we fought all the time. The experiences I had as a kid and young adult, many people in aikido have never had. There's a certain ingrained ability that you acquire from being thrashed constantly. They say if you want to find the best fighters, look in the poorest areas.

Now from this perspective of actually being able to fight, I've uke'd seriously for a few people where the intent was not to let the aikidoka do technique, but to give an honest "attack". This doesn't mean just one attack with honest intent, but a total attack with quite honest intent.

Some of the aikidoists have no clue what to do. However, when faced with the persons who can actually 'do' aikido, it's so very eye opening how effective it really is. It's like trying to fight a wall, the wall doesn't get angry or try to hurt you, but the more you attack it the more you realize you're not going to win and it really hurts.

All that ties into my second thought. O sensei fought and scraped and participated in many different arts before developing his own. Nowdays, people just try to gain enlightenment without experiencing life. So when they find something lacking, they say that it's not effective blah blah blah and say to go do all those things that o sensei did before finding his way. I think that these experiences are all an essential part of the whole. I think we all could expand our field of vision to include the world that is and not just the world that ought to be.

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