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Old 04-06-2002, 08:15 AM   #1
Kat.C
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Is it the fighter or style that matters?

Hi everyone. I've been reading the forums and am finding all the posts really interesting and informative but I am puzzled about a few things. I was going to wait and not ask anymore questions until I had started aikido (first class should be next week!) but I'm not real good at waiting.
Anyways what I wanted to know is ; Why are people, especially aikidoka, questioning the effectiveness of aikido against other fighting styles,or as self defense against an attack on the street?
Aikido is a martial art so you are learning how to fight(defend yourself). I know I have only a small amount of experience in the martial arts but I never thought that my karate would teach me how to defend myself only against karate attacks or the average bully who doesn't know how to fight but relies on brute force. I assumed that my training would provide me with not only workable techniques, but would also teach me timing, distance & control, and hone all these skills over time, and that the more I trained the faster my reactions would be. I assume the same is true with aikido. So why would it matter what style an attacker is using against me? Would it not just come down to who is more skilled regardless of the art? Wouldn't my martial art be just as effective against a martial artist of a different style,or a boxer,or wrestler or street fighter provided that I was more skilled? Isn't it the skill of the fighter not the style that matters? (Plus luck!)
Well , thats it. Please inundate me with your replies I love learning from your posts!
Kat.

Last edited by Kat.C : 04-06-2002 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 04-06-2002, 09:08 AM   #2
guest1234
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Kat,

When those kinds of questions are asked, it is usually assumed equal skill in the different martial arts, and it is usually asked by either (a) a beginner who doesn't know any better or (b) someone new to Aikido but with other MA experience and he is trying to deal with not knowing as much as he thought he did or (c) someone who does the other MA but not Aikido and is looking for a fight (often obliged).

As has been repeated ad nauseum, 'Aikido works, your Aikido does not work' eventually finds it way into the post and things quiet down again.
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Old 04-06-2002, 09:26 AM   #3
Kat.C
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Colleen, If both fighters are equally skilled would it not come down then, to strength, stamina and luck, not one style verses another?
The other thing that I'm wondering about is if people expect to use only aikido in dealing with attacks? Or should I say aikido techniques? For example; if someone attacked me, I would assume they wish to seriously hurt if not kill me so I would do whatever it took to defend myself. As I usually have my keys handy I would probably try to stab said attacker with them. Preferably in the eyes or throat as that would be most effective but I would also aim for other areas of their body as well as poking a hole anywhere in them would probably benefit me. These are not karate techniques nor do I suppose are they aikido techniques but I would still use them. I am not bloodthirsty but my small level of experience in karate precludes me from worrying about how much harm I inflict on an attacker. And yes our philosophy was to do as little damage as possible too but we were told that until you had reached shodan level worry about survival first. More important of course avoid fighting.
Anyways I don't think that I would use just karate, or once I'm training in it, just aikido in dealing with an attack but would use whatever methods that are handy at the time and thta I think would be effective. I know I wouldn't have time to think really but I couldn't come up with a better word.
Sorry this turned into an unnecessarily long post. Basically what I wanted to know is if people expect to use only aikido techniques if attacked.

Last edited by Kat.C : 04-06-2002 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 04-06-2002, 10:58 AM   #4
guest1234
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Kat,
those are some good self defense ideas, you seem well prepared. Remember, though, in theory-- I've not seen it proved-- a smaller, weaker person could still overcome a larger, stronger one with Aikido--- that is the beauty of this particular MA. Aikido's overall effectiveness? I guess it depends on what you consider 'using Aikido' to be, and why you are doing Aikido.

A very capable sandan (third degree black belt-but you probably know that) in Aikido here, who I think also is a highly ranked ju jitsu black belt (taught it elsewhere), would ask me to go with him after class if he had to use the nearby ATM. I was laughing about this with another student (I am somewhat size challenged and not much for a fight) and said perhaps it was him using Aikido in that he thought I'd see a potential attacker and my scream would warn him. The other student went one better: perhaps by having me around, it discouraged an attack altogether (unique Aiki approach). This is more the way I see myself using Aikido 'in the street': it helps me avoid a situation where violence is the only resolution to conflict.

Besides, many of us don't think about Aikido as a self-defense issue at all. Plenty of long posts elsewhere on this topic, but some of us do Aikido for reasons that have nothing to do with 'in the street' and more to do with 'in ourselves' . Have fun in your first class.
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Old 04-06-2002, 11:46 AM   #5
Kat.C
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Quote:
Originally posted by ca

A very capable sandan (third degree black belt-but you probably know that) in Aikido here, who I think also is a highly ranked ju jitsu black belt (taught it elsewhere), would ask me to go with him after class if he had to use the nearby ATM. I was laughing about this with another student (I am somewhat size challenged and not much for a fight) and said perhaps it was him using Aikido in that he thought I'd see a potential attacker and my scream would warn him. The other student went one better: perhaps by having me around, it discouraged an attack altogether (unique Aiki approach). This is more the way I see myself using Aikido 'in the street': it helps me avoid a situation where violence is the only resolution to conflict.
Smart man. The only time I was attacked on the street was when I had been dumb enough to leave a bar alone & dumb enough to take a short cut through an alley to catch the bus. Some guy decided he wanted my purse. I had been drinking and was in dumb mode. I did not give it to him. I was very lucky that two police officers saw our struggle. They yelled, he ran. I was not hurt and, still dumb, not scared. Until the police got through with me. They severley berated me for all the dumb things I had done. By the time they were through with me I was sober, scared, and thankfully smarter. I avoid dangerous places and avoid being out alone. Alleys and ATM's are dangerous places. By the way it was these two officers who explained about using my keys as weapons. Thankfully I have not needed to use them on anything other than locks.
Quote:
Originally posted by ca


Besides, many of us don't think about Aikido as a self-defense issue at all. Plenty of long posts elsewhere on this topic, but some of us do Aikido for reasons that have nothing to do with 'in the street' and more to do with 'in ourselves' . Have fun in your first class.
Yeah,I first started karate for self-defense reasons but I kept training and now want to train (in aikido) for self-improvement.And of course for the fun!
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Old 04-06-2002, 04:49 PM   #6
paw
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Quote:
Colleen, If both fighters are equally skilled would it not come down then, to strength, stamina and luck, not one style verses another?
Not necessarily. A karate trained fighter has little or no groundwork skill (ne waza). If they are taken to the ground, they will be at a horrendious disadvantage --- so much so that it is safe to say they will loose the fight. Size, stamina and skill will not save the karate fighter, as they simply do not have groundwork in their skill set.

Who do you suspect would win between a karate fighter and a boxer? Clearly, karate is a more complete striking art. Yet my money will be on the boxer (assuming comparable skill levels). The training method of boxing has morely likely produced a superior athlete who will have hundreds of hours more experience (sparring).

Regards,

Paul
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Old 04-06-2002, 05:34 PM   #7
Kat.C
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Quote:
Originally posted by paw


Not necessarily. A karate trained fighter has little or no groundwork skill (ne waza). If they are taken to the ground, they will be at a horrendious disadvantage --- so much so that it is safe to say they will loose the fight. Size, stamina and skill will not save the karate fighter, as they simply do not have groundwork in their skill set.
Why would a karateka be seriously disadvantaged? You can still punch strike and kick while on the ground. Well my senseis could. Quite effectively too. So shouldn't a karateka still be able to fight? And win?

Quote:
Who do you suspect would win between a karate fighter and a boxer? Clearly, karate is a more complete striking art. Yet my money will be on the boxer (assuming comparable skill levels). The training method of boxing has morely likely produced a superior athlete who will have hundreds of hours more experience (sparring).

Regards,

Paul
I'm not sure about this, but boxers don't train to kill do they? Not that karateka do either but our strikes and punches are designed to do this. So wouldn't a karateka or other similiar martial artist have the adavntage? And isn't sparring part of your skill. I mean it teaches you timing and distances and develops quick reflexes, so if one opponent had a lot more sparring practise in they wouldn't be equally matched skill wise would they? I'm not being nitpicky here this is just how it seems to me.
I'm probably wrong, usually am hence the reason for me asking all these questions.
Kat.
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Old 04-06-2002, 07:28 PM   #8
Erik
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kat.C
Why would a karateka be seriously disadvantaged? You can still punch strike and kick while on the ground. Well my senseis could. Quite effectively too. So shouldn't a karateka still be able to fight? And win?
Kat, I think it depends greatly on who took them to the ground. I would bet on the trained wrestler/grappler given the choice. I think the Gracies, if they've done anything, have driven this one home pretty well.

Quote:
I'm not sure about this, but boxers don't train to kill do they? Not that karateka do either but our strikes and punches are designed to do this.
Oh boy, we could go a long way on this. I would just say that from what I've seen it's not quite so easy to put someone down with one strike, even when it connects (and you don't break your hand), plus connecting is a whole nother issue.

As to your comments on criticizing Aikido. Personally, I think we should welcome criticism because if we looked at it, and analyzed it, we just might find that some folks have valid points or experiences and it's in those places that we'll find the things that make the art stronger and more vital. Personally, I'm always adapting my thought process based on new input.
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Old 04-06-2002, 07:40 PM   #9
guest1234
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Kat,

You by now should see that this is why the question is silly, and never resolved to everyone's satisfaction. Just another way of measuring each other's --- --- uhmmm --- stamina.
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Old 04-06-2002, 08:18 PM   #10
Kat.C
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Quote:
Originally posted by Erik
[b]

Kat, I think it depends greatly on who took them to the ground. I would bet on the trained wrestler/grappler given the choice. I think the Gracies, if they've done anything, have driven this one home pretty well.
Umm, who are the Gracies?


Quote:

As to your comments on criticizing Aikido. Personally, I think we should welcome criticism because if we looked at it, and analyzed it, we just might find that some folks have valid points or experiences and it's in those places that we'll find the things that make the art stronger and more vital. Personally, I'm always adapting my thought process based on new input.
The questions people asked about the effectiveness of aikido verses this or that stlye of fighting just made me wonder if that was what it would come down to in a fight. Like, would the outcome be decided on the styles of fighting the combatants were trained in or would it depend (where skill levels are equal) on the individuals strength and stamina? I didn't mean to imply that I thought no one should critissize aikido.
Though why would you .
Kat.
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Old 04-06-2002, 08:20 PM   #11
paw
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Kat,

Quote:
Why would a karateka be seriously disadvantaged? You can still punch strike and kick while on the ground. Well my senseis could. Quite effectively too. So shouldn't a karateka still be able to fight? And win?
The caveat we both mentioned was equal skill. Find someone with equal skill, glove up and see what happens. Some of the Gracie Academies still honor the "Gracie Challenge" if your senseis want to try this out as well.

Quote:
And isn't sparring part of your skill. I mean it teaches you timing and distances and develops quick reflexes, so if one opponent had a lot more sparring practise in they wouldn't be equally matched skill wise would they? I'm not being nitpicky here this is just how it seems to me.
I wouldn't say sparring is skill. I would say that sparring is part of the training method. The skill is being able to strike an opponent. The training method is how that skill is developed. At least, that's how I see things. Does that like a fair definition to you?


Colleen,

Quote:
You by now should see that this is why the question is silly, and never resolved to everyone's satisfaction
It's not a silly question and the resolution is very simple. Glove up and try it yourself. See what happens.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 04-06-2002, 08:36 PM   #12
Kat.C
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Quote:
Originally posted by ca
Kat,

You by now should see that this is why the question is silly, and never resolved to everyone's satisfaction. Just another way of measuring each other's --- --- uhmmm --- stamina.
Colleen,I was kind of puzzled by the comparison of one art verses another. When I was in karate I just assumed I was learning how to defend myself, it never occured to me that it might be ineffective against someone of a different style of fighting, I just assumed skill would decide the outcome of struggles. Now that I want to start aikido I feel the same about it but all the questions of comparisons got me wondering if my reasoning was flawed. Wouldn't be the first time
Kat
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Old 04-06-2002, 08:38 PM   #13
guest1234
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Thanks, Paul, but sparring doesn't appeal to me in the least. My testosterone has alternate outlets.

It will be interesting to see how all of you who do spar resolve this: I predict several 'oh yeah, well BJJ can kick Tae Bo's butt anyday' exchanges, to be followed by "Aikido works, your Aikido does not", then a disjointed reference or two to an obscure MA, with a final pronouncement that boxing rules.
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Old 04-06-2002, 08:42 PM   #14
guest1234
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Kat,

I think you are on the right track... but you'll see for yourself soon enough.

For me, Aikido is not about comparing myself to others, so I don't know what is to be gained by comparing my art to others. Each is a different way for different folks, as long as I enjoy what I am doing, I don't see the point in worrying about someone else's choice.

Let us know how your class went.
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Old 04-06-2002, 08:50 PM   #15
Erik
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kat.C
Colleen,I was kind of puzzled by the comparison of one art verses another. When I was in karate I just assumed I was learning how to defend myself, it never occured to me that it might be ineffective against someone of a different style of fighting, I just assumed skill would decide the outcome of struggles. Now that I want to start aikido I feel the same about it but all the questions of comparisons got me wondering if my reasoning was flawed. Wouldn't be the first time
Kat
Think of it this way.

You've mastered the art of throwing flaming pumpkins.



One day, it happens, you are attacked!



You hurl flaming pumpkins by the dozens....



Your opponent blocks all of them with his shield.



It turns into a really bad day.

Since the "flaming pumpkins" art has nothing about shields in it's curriculum what failed?

ERIK WANTS TO BE ABLE TO EMBED MORE SMILIES.
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Old 04-06-2002, 08:54 PM   #16
Erik
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Quote:
Originally posted by ca
It will be interesting to see how all of you who do spar resolve this: I predict several 'oh yeah, well BJJ can kick Tae Bo's butt anyday' exchanges, to be followed by "Aikido works, your Aikido does not", then a disjointed reference or two to an obscure MA, with a final pronouncement that boxing rules.
Yea, we've been there before.

Thing is, there are things those arts, even Tae Bo (ever notice how many women show up for that sort of thing) can bring to us and make our art stronger. The problem with the above dialogue, and it's what always happens, is that it doesn't help anyone find out what needs to be improved.
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Old 04-06-2002, 08:54 PM   #17
guest1234
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Oh, and I wouldn't worry about any MA being ineffective for self defense if it isn't great against another skilled martial artist... most attackers are not yudansha.

An Aikido joke I heard once defined ukemi as the skilled art of falling/receiving technique, and Aikido as a gentle MA that does not harm your attacker, unless he does not know ukemi, in which case it breaks his arm in three places.

Aikido is not the best thing to go for if you are looking for fast self defense... but I don't think that is what you are after.
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Old 04-06-2002, 08:58 PM   #18
Kat.C
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Quote:
Originally posted by Erik


Think of it this way.

You've mastered the art of throwing flaming pumpkins.



One day, it happens, you are attacked!



You hurl flaming pumpkins by the dozens....



Your opponent blocks all of them with his shield.



It turns into a really bad day.

Since the "flaming pumpkins" art has nothing about shields in it's curriculum what failed?

ERIK WANTS TO BE ABLE TO EMBED MORE SMILIES.
I'm not really sure I should reply to this as I'm not really sure what you meant, but why on earth wouldn't you just take away your opponents shield and hit him?!
Kat
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Old 04-06-2002, 09:05 PM   #19
Kat.C
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You're right Colleen, self-defense isn't the reason I want to do aikido, but it will be an awfully good side effect
Kat
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Old 04-06-2002, 10:48 PM   #20
Erik
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kat.C
I'm not really sure I should reply to this as I'm not really sure what you meant, but why on earth wouldn't you just take away your opponents shield and hit him?!
If I were to tell you the truth, I'd have to just say that I wanted to see if I could tell a story with the smiley's but I'd also have to admit that was a good response.

Last edited by Erik : 04-07-2002 at 03:07 AM.
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Old 04-07-2002, 07:26 AM   #21
Bruce Baker
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Starting Aikido ...

Gracie Jujitsu .... a form of Brazilian jujitsu adapted to streetfighting/close infighting/ grappling with armbars, leglocks, and submissions including punches/chokeouts.

I can honestly say, after my first class in Red Band, NJ ... a new set of grappling rules went into effect about slamming, throwing, and injuring your training partner when I picked up the black belt, senior student, who had wrapped his legs around my arm in an armbar ... I picked him up and bounced him with Kiai to loosen his grip without killing him/major injury. (Long sentence, but dats what happened, 1997. He was 200 pounds and yes I can be a bad gorilla.)

Gracie Jujitsu is a great training forum for those that like to grapple one on one to the mat, but with two or more ... you could take a whooping if you ain't quick to get in and out.
If you get a good teacher who likes judo and jujitsu then grappling will be part of your training. In fact, the Gracies started working closely with Professor Wally Jay in 1996 and they actually corrected/improved many of their moves.

Aikido, will give you many missing items of applying the entering theorized in karate, not always achieved, with many interesting applications of energy, harmony, manipulations, throws, recovery from throws, and a whole bunch of openings for applying things you have learned or will learn as time goes by.

Let me put it this way, it is the difference in playing football and feeling all banged up at the end of the game, or playing a game of tag where you laugh, roll on the ground, and enjoy the day ... physically in those terms, it is for me.

Make no mistake about its effective throws, joint locks, and opportunity for countermeasures, but once you become accustomed to feeling muscle tension to pain inflicted ... there is less tapping in pain and a lot more laughing with riding the wave of energy in each technique. When that smooth transition happens, that is when I start to laugh with joy how much fun Aikido is?

Many of our questions on these threads has to do with the victims we see, or sometimes are from different types of fighting in everyday life, but having experienced other arts merely makes you want to do Aikido all the more.

I look at the puzzle of martial arts as being the broken puzzle from conquering armys, hidden in the shadows, pieces scattered around the world. Some people say they were never hidden, but then why does no one Martial art have all the training answers we seek?

I see many, many good things in Aikido. They are too good to pass up. They will make you a better fighter, but then Aikido also has goals that encourage you to be a better person who strives for a better world.

Try a couple of Aikido classes, and tell me it doesn't look like more fun than getting all huffy at being a certain belt color in Karate who can beat the tar out of a lower belt color? Once you learn to fall down, get up easily (Ukemi) then riding a technique, looking for openings, it is really fascinating.

Look, Listen, Learn ... and have fun, I think you will like Aikido.
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Old 04-07-2002, 11:18 AM   #22
paw
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I really didn't want to go here....

Well this thread has certainly strayed now.

Quote:
Gracie Jujitsu .... a form of Brazilian jujitsu adapted to streetfighting/close infighting/ grappling with armbars, leglocks, and submissions including punches/chokeouts.
Maeda taught kodokan judo to the Gracies. If you have evidence that Maeda had any licenses in jujitsu kindly provide it. Gracie Jiu Jitsu is a Brazilian system of martial art with a teaching method licensed by the Torrence Academy. When refering to Gracie Jiu Jitsu it is implied you are refering to the Torrence Academy or it's affiliates. Otherwise the generic term Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (bjj) is preferred.

Quote:
I can honestly say, after my first class in Red Band, NJ ... a new set of grappling rules went into effect about slamming, throwing, and injuring your training partner when I picked up the black belt, senior student, who had wrapped his legs around my arm in an armbar ... I picked him up and bounced him with Kiai to loosen his grip without killing him/major injury. (Long sentence, but dats what happened, 1997. He was 200 pounds and yes I can be a bad gorilla.)
Slamming one's partner to escape a lock is prohibited in sport bjj competition and considered inappropriate in training. It is inappropriate for the black belt bjj'er to break your arm without giving you a chance to submit. It is also inappropriate for me to hit Sensei in the back of the head while the aikido class is bowing in. These things should have been explained to you, and I am sorry they were not. Who exactly were you training with in 1997 who was a black belt in bjj? (The Torrence Academy has not, to my knowledge, promoted anyone to shodan. Renzo is in New York. Greg Kukuk was with Renzo at the time, if memory serves. Lowell Anderson was probably still at the Torrance Academy, but even if he wasn't he's a good 20 kg short of 200 pounds). ---- to be very blunt, I suspect you were training with David Lentz, who was probably a blue belt when you trained with him. ----

Quote:
If you get a good teacher who likes judo and jujitsu then grappling will be part of your training. In fact, the Gracies started working closely with Professor Wally Jay in 1996 and they actually corrected/improved many of their moves.
The Gracies are constantly re-evalulating their art and have attended seminars with many individuals in order to get different perspectives (Neal Adams and John Saylor come to mind). Given the geographic distances and time commitments of running the Torrence Academy, I'm skeptical that Helio, Rorion and Royce, et al would have had time to "work closely" with Wally Jay. Are you certain about this?

Curious,

Paul

Last edited by paw : 04-07-2002 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 04-07-2002, 03:21 PM   #23
guest1234
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Torrence or Torrance?

Why is slamming prohibited?

If we took out all of the things prohibited by all of the different arts, in order not to hurt someone, then how do we really know which one is 'king of the hill'? Or do we just accept that each art has strong and weak points, and be happy for what our chosen one teaches us?

Since other than in the movies (which, incidentally, is NOT real life, in case anyone wonders)and war (which does not, to my knowledge, use boxing, BJJ, or TKD), folks usually do not fight to the death, and generally have some sort of rules to the competition, isn't trying to compare boxing to karate to BJJ to Aikido, etc like asking who would win between the Ravens and the Orioles? Each practitioner of course chooses a setting that favors his chosen art (with the ensuing maii vs groundwork vs kick vs jab arguments) and we really just go in circles.

Last edited by guest1234 : 04-07-2002 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 04-07-2002, 04:43 PM   #24
deepsoup
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Re: Starting Aikido ...

Quote:
Originally posted by Bruce Baker
Try a couple of Aikido classes, and tell me it doesn't look like more fun than getting all huffy at being a certain belt color in Karate who can beat the tar out of a lower belt color?
Karate isn't my cup of tea exactly, but I really have to object to the assumptions underlying this paragraph. For what its worth I have seen outbreaks of 'huffiness' in Aikido dojos often enough, and I've seen Karate dojos with an excellent supportive environment in which to train.

You really do Aikido no favours by implying it has some kind of monopoly on a good budo 'spirit'.

Sean
x
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Old 04-07-2002, 05:09 PM   #25
paw
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I knew this was going to happen

Colleen,

Quote:
Torrence or Torrance?
Torrance. Specifically, Torrance, CA. Sorry for confusion.

Quote:
Why is slamming prohibited?
In competition it is considered poor technique, a diliberate attempt to injure one's opponent, and poor conduct. You can slam to your heart's content. You will be disqualified and your instructor (if they are worth their salt) will be very upset with you (read between the lines).

Quote:
If we took out all of the things prohibited by all of the different arts, in order not to hurt someone, then how do we really know which one is 'king of the hill'?
Was there a conversation that I missed
I was under the impression that the last post by Bruce was addressing training or competition. It should come as no surprise that both environments have "rules" in place so as to minimize injury. In aikido we release pins when uke taps, we do not break uke's arm nor diliberately throw uke so as to cause injury in training. Bjj is the same.

Just because these things are not allowed in competition or in regular practice does not mean that you cannot still try them or that training should not deal with them. Again, most bjj schools that accept challenges will allow for "anything goes" but you must specify that before hand. (I'd advise against doing that though. If you try to bite, eye gouge, pinch, etc... I can guarantee whoever you face will do likewise) Again, if you're curious, try it out.

Quote:
Since other than in the movies (which, incidentally, is NOT real life, in case anyone wonders)and war (which does not, to my knowledge, use boxing, BJJ, or TKD), folks usually do not fight to the death, and generally have some sort of rules to the competition, isn't trying to compare boxing to karate to BJJ to Aikido, etc like asking who would win between the Ravens and the Orioles?
I don't believe so. I realize some may disagree, but I believe it is possible to have a set of rules that do not favor one style. Boxing and karate are both striking arts. (There's a great deal of money to be made in boxing, not just as a fighter, but as a trainer, coach or sparring partner. So, if anyone believes their art is better at striking someone, there's a fair number of folks who will pay a lot of $$$$ if it's true.) Bjj and Aikido primarily grappling arts. There are some similarities, IMO. Again, glove up and try it out. See what happens based on experience.

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Or do we just accept that each art has strong and weak points, and be happy for what our chosen one teaches us?
This is similar to the original question. If you believe this to be true, then it's not "just the fighter", but it's also the art.

Regards,

Paul
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