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Old 04-19-2006, 03:39 PM   #51
Rocky Izumi
Dojo: GUST Aikido Club
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Rocky-san, you crack me up.

Best,
Ron
Actually, this is all true. It is one of my favourite and most effective techniques against grapplers!

Rock
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Old 04-19-2006, 04:22 PM   #52
Richard Langridge
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Hehe, carefull Rocky, or you'll have a ton of BJJ fanatics telling you how that wouldn't work in the street!
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Old 04-20-2006, 01:38 PM   #53
Budd
 
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

I don't think there's anything wrong with being appropriately challenged. Sometimes that's how it's done when you're the student or teacher, in order to learn something. At the very least, you should always be challenging yourself to get better. The only ones that I really cut loose on in a "challenge" sense are the training partners with whom I share the most trust. I know that they'll acknowledge superior position and "tap" when they need to (whether it's grappling, mma-style or aiki-randori -- each area has merits as a training tool) and I'll do the same with them. We can push ourselves closer to the edge because the trust is there that we're working towards mutual benefit.

I also don't believe that the physical skills that you develop in budo need to be sectioned off as something that can only be applied against resistance in a self-defense setting -- as that seems to imply a lack of control or ability to actualize one's learning unless in a high-stress, reactive state of alarm (ironic, since I think a primary goal of aikido training is to be able to diffuse a situation before it gets to that point).

It's interesting that proponents of both sides of this debate bring up the ego as a reason for engaging in or avoiding certain types of challenges. From the side of the fighter that regularly tests themselves, the practitioner that refuses seems to do so because he or she doesn't want to look bad. From the other perspective, the physical practice is an art that shouldn't be lowered to the level of engaging in 'thuggery' or random, competitive practice.

Assuming that no one is talking about felonious illegalities, I believe that both sides have merit and, like many things, there is no clear answer or best practice to a subjective area that likely requires a case by case approach.

Having said all of the above, my personal view is that I look for ways to challenge myself and my practice from both the standpoint of "Does it work the way it's supposed to?" (based on no one's criteria but my own) and "Am I honoring what my teacher(s) expect(s) of me?" Personally, I hope I wouldn't fall for the bait of someone looking for a fight. But if someone presented themselves with good character and wanted to "workshop" their stuff with me, I probably wouldn't say no, either.

Case by case by . . .
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Old 04-20-2006, 03:16 PM   #54
DH
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Bud
Good post and I agree.
I think its a sense of ownership as well. Some fellows are asked not to accept- even if they wanted to. I would suspect that a given teacher would want them to wait till their skills are polished to a point they make a reasonable representation.
So in fariness you do have guys that have an obligation not to accept. And that is not ego. It is actually "lack of...." and just them being responsible to an art or teachers judgement.
I think others are scared, or have doubts. Still others don't care and don't see a need or interest to go there. Its all fine. No one should have trouble with any of them as long as they are honest to and with themselves and others. I just don't think we need denigrate thos who ask or accept. Well, Depends on how rhey ask. Of the many challenges I have had only two were fellonies in the making and I did it anyway. Most are just guys with experience who wanted to test it. "It" being the operative word. I never take it personal.
I recently messed around with some CMA guys -none of them were concerned I was challenging them or their style. We went at it and had fun. They had fun as well and we are going to meet again. So there is a way to test things and not be advasarial in doing so.
For some guys there is too much emotion invested in a loss. As if there is some tacit understanding of their art being unbeatable. I think that defies reason. The best in the world "lost" to learn to win. Then you may be on a winning streak then lose. It doesn't invalidate anything. Its just training and learning. Rolling in an increasingly amped up venue should be fun and made and thought of that way. So that when you have to fight you are more prepared.
I keep hoping to lose... by a method. Not a person so much-as in "Oh hell, he got me with a "this or that" I already know, but rather some great method. To see something else substantial and interesting in my old age.

I found it in Koryu weapons. But not in body arts.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 04-20-2006 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 04-20-2006, 03:27 PM   #55
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Reminds me. About two years ago at my military post gym I was working out with a few guys doing aikido. One of the Sergeants in my Battalion was grappling with some of his guys in the same room. The guys we were instructing became curious what each of us were doing and it led to a polite discussion about the differences in training.

Anyway, he and I would talk, he kept encouraging me to train with him, I dismissed it for the standard excuses afforded to ground fighting by aiki types. Over a year we'd go back and forth. Finally he roped me into a "challenge" I accepted a NHB match fully expecting to take him out no problem.

Well he "owned" me, not once, but twice. Then proceeded to demonstrate a fair understanding of aikido, found out he was a nidan in judo, blue belt in BJJ, among a few other things.

Well, I accepted him as my teacher. He moved on back to the states, but he hooked me up with some other guys that were his mentors and I study with them!

It was a hard blow to my ego at first, but I am good to go now!

the fine print: Don't take this as a slam on aikido, I have different goals than what the wonderful art of aikido focuses on. So my comments are related to ME only, not aikido!
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Old 04-20-2006, 03:36 PM   #56
DH
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Kevin
Good points. But what if doing these things IMPROVES a persons ........Aikido?
Seems to me thats a good thing
I Trained with an Aikido teacher last Friday. He stared at me saying " What the......?"
I tell em the same thing everytime. "Here...take this home. Make it you're own."

Cheers
Dan
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Old 04-20-2006, 03:47 PM   #57
Neil Mick
Dojo: Aikido of Santa Cruz
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Quote:
Michael Douglas wrote:
If the challenger takes the time and effort to come to your dojo, surely that is enough to skew the perception of the encounter away from simply unprovoked harmful violence to a potentially useful, and potentially aikido-ish combat experience...
The point of Aikido is to avoid conflict, not seek it out.

Firefighters train to fight fires, but I am told that good firefighters aren't "looking" for a "good fire" to fight. Most would rather avoid entering a burning building. It's the same thing with Aikidoists, and fighting.
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Old 04-20-2006, 03:54 PM   #58
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

I understand where you are going Neil, but I think avoiding is the wrong term. If you avoid conflict, you ignore it. It doesn't go away.

Firefighters do train to fight fires, but when the happen they don't avoid them they fight them.

I think your analogy is false. there is a big difference between avoidance and seeking. We should not seek conflict, but we should also resolve it when we can!

Also a big difference between fighting and conflict resolution, but I am too tired to think of a good analogy right now!

Cheers!
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Old 04-20-2006, 04:10 PM   #59
DH
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Neil

Who says what stopping violence means?
Aikido founders and first teachers took challenges.
And isn't it worthwhile to become very proficient at
a.Verbal descalation
b. Implied body de-escalation
c. A physical skill set that is capable of man handling most people and controling them with out much harm?

I'd be willing to betcha that faced with an assualt without any choice: Most Judoka and MMA'ers would be able to "apply" Aikido non-violence theory better then most Aikidoka. If the idea is to stop violence. It is not always advisable nor expediant to do so by avoidance. Sometimes ya just have to step-up-to the plate. In order to make a peaceful resolution of the matter we better no what we're about. Accepting challenges and or venturing out to mix it up is a good way to get there.

As for the corollary to Fire fighters? Thank God there are fire fighters who actually train to put them out expediently and efficiently and when called upon are willing and able...er....fire fighters. I feel the same about Cops, military and my mechanic.
Some Budo guys train to stop an actual fighter and like to practice on actual fighters. For them accepting a challenge is ....training. It makes them better at Budo, and at not harming others so when they are called upon they are willing and able and ready...er....Budo men.
How do we train to stop violence without experiencing any to train to stop? Nike ryu? It is an old dilema faced by many generations.
There are many guys who do BJJ, Judo, MMA and Aikido. I think they're none worse the wear. While they are engaging in "friendly" challenges-they are challenges none the less and they learn how to bring what they learned it into their Aikido. Seems very logical and efficient to me
It's all good.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 04-20-2006 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 04-20-2006, 07:04 PM   #60
Mark Freeman
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
I'd be willing to betcha that faced with an assualt without any choice: Most Judoka and MMA'ers would be able to "apply" Aikido non-violence theory better then most Aikidoka.
I'm curious to know why you would bet on this generalisation Dan?

regards,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 04-20-2006, 07:49 PM   #61
Jory Boling
 
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

In my kenjutsu class, my sensei challenged us every night. At the end of our suburi and dueling sessions (with shinai and bokto- no bogu), he'd stand at one end of the dojo and we'd line up at the other (5-7 of us). He'd take us all on and win every time. I always respected that approach. You can't take on all of your students at one time, win, and fake your skill. Beginners to senior students would participate. I've been trying to locate him since college. Christopher Weller is his name, if any of you know him!

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Old 04-20-2006, 11:10 PM   #62
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Mark, I wouldn't make the statement that Dan made if for no other reason it opens you up for arguments!

What I would say though is that Aikidoka do not have the corner on this market either.

I try hard not to be judgemental because you don't know the scenario, but I do say I am suprised that there are not more stories here about how a guy came into the school trolling for a fight, and the instructor used words, talked to the guy, tried to gain an appreciation and understanding of why he felt the need to fight him, and adapted his strategy for engagement this way.

Now it may be that the guy simply is being absurd and is not genuine about the reasons for his challenge. I'd let him go on his way without the challenge. I think my students would certainly see that I was skillful in aikido if I attempted to constructively engage him and turn the situation into a positive matter.

Going from zero to "Fight" in a few minutes, to me, shows a tremendous lack of skill and personally i'd be very disappointed and let down by my instructor.

I'd be more impressed seeing this guy skillfully taken through the process or having the police called to remove him from the premises.

I have no problems with challenges, as I stated earlier in this post I have challenged every single one of my instructors, albeit in a postive, sincere, and constructive manner. I have also accepted challenges again, postive and constructive.

In all cases my challenges took place over months with dialogue and situations, not a "one fight" to see who wins!

I'd say in most instances if an instructor were to stop class and accept a "5 minute" challenge shows a tremendous lack of skill in conflict resolution. At that point it is more about the ego than anything else.

Some of us preach that aikido is special because it somehow is able to show a better way to resolve conflict through blending and redirecting, then we have instructors who show us the exact opposite and take on a challenge like any other proclaimed martial artist? Doesn't make sense to me!

I'm betting this is what Dan is getting at.
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Old 04-21-2006, 04:57 AM   #63
xuzen
 
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

I think Aikido-ka makes poor challenger. Apart from the Tomiki people, most of us do not participate in a contest type event. We just practice and practice and should one day, our skills are tested in the street, we just hope and pray that it will not fail us.

Should a challenger come to me for a challenge, I will admittedly be quite at lost to what to do to them, aikido-wise. As most aikido dojo do not participate in any competition of any sort, whose rule should we be agreeing on? The challenger's rule? We will surely we playing his game, and therefore easily defeated yes? Aikido rule? Problem is we have none. So how do we accept challenge?

I can see how Judo, BJJ, Boxing etc can easily accept challenge (as in ring fight) because there are already an accepted set of rules.

BTW, I quite often get to challenge people to fights nowadays... by inviting my judo mates or being invited by them for a good round of judo randori. It is fun, with an agreed set of protocol and done in good faith. YAY!

Boon.

p/s This resistance thingy in judo, IMO is overrated. Grabbing each other and running around the mat is quite silly if you ask me in terms of self defense. It is like fighting multiple opponents while in the guard. Just a perspective from a Judo noob.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 04-21-2006, 06:28 AM   #64
Mark Freeman
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Mark, I wouldn't make the statement that Dan made if for no other reason it opens you up for arguments!

What I would say though is that Aikidoka do not have the corner on this market either.

I try hard not to be judgemental because you don't know the scenario, but I do say I am suprised that there are not more stories here about how a guy came into the school trolling for a fight, and the instructor used words, talked to the guy, tried to gain an appreciation and understanding of why he felt the need to fight him, and adapted his strategy for engagement this way.

Now it may be that the guy simply is being absurd and is not genuine about the reasons for his challenge. I'd let him go on his way without the challenge. I think my students would certainly see that I was skillful in aikido if I attempted to constructively engage him and turn the situation into a positive matter.

Going from zero to "Fight" in a few minutes, to me, shows a tremendous lack of skill and personally i'd be very disappointed and let down by my instructor.

I'd be more impressed seeing this guy skillfully taken through the process or having the police called to remove him from the premises.

I have no problems with challenges, as I stated earlier in this post I have challenged every single one of my instructors, albeit in a postive, sincere, and constructive manner. I have also accepted challenges again, postive and constructive.

In all cases my challenges took place over months with dialogue and situations, not a "one fight" to see who wins!

I'd say in most instances if an instructor were to stop class and accept a "5 minute" challenge shows a tremendous lack of skill in conflict resolution. At that point it is more about the ego than anything else.

Some of us preach that aikido is special because it somehow is able to show a better way to resolve conflict through blending and redirecting, then we have instructors who show us the exact opposite and take on a challenge like any other proclaimed martial artist? Doesn't make sense to me!

I'm betting this is what Dan is getting at.
There seems to be a fair amount of betting going on here

I agree with your post, and would like to add that I wouln't mind betting ( I get to play too ) that there are people out there who have never stepped foot inside a dojo who could shame many martial artists including aikidoka with their conflict resolution skills.

My own contribution to the stories given so far would not be very exciting because they both involve just words, no pyrotechnics, just plain old saying the right thing to diffuse the challenge. Mind you as far as I'm concerned that is aikido.

I think the question in my mind is, if someone walked into my dojo and wanted to challenge me, what is it they want? And why give it to them by engaging in their selfish wish.
Do they want to prove that their 'art' is better than mine?
Are they that arrogant that they think they are capable enough to take on a perfect stranger.?
How do they know I would play by their rules?
Who are these people who go around 'challenging' others.

A way out of a challenge to our art is to tell the challenger that he is in the wrong place, we are not doing a martial art, we are practicing a sort of dynamic yoga, so it really is of no interest to him, ( I doubt that may yoga teachers get challenged! ) Then when he has left, go back to training.

There are plenty of arts out there for those with a 'fighting mind'. Personally I would like them to leave me alone so that I can practice my aikido. I'm just not interested in preparing myself for 'real life street fighting', for pitting myself against other martial artists in a ring ( cock and dog fighting has been banned but we dont mind the spectacle of humans beating the living daylights out of each other ), does that make me a coward or a wimp? I don't care.
Aikido is an art that has many faces, the "it doesn't work in a real fight" debate is for me at least, tedious and unhelpful.
Through aikido practice we get glimpses of what it truely is like to be the calm at the centre of the storm, to find the path of no resistance. We learn what it is in ourselves that hinders these moments from happening more often. We slowly chip away at the years of accumulated rubbish that stops us from shining our light into the world. Aikido provides a practice for young and old, weak and strong, to practice together in a spirit of co-operation, all helping each other to improve. No competition, non-contention, a true practice to co-ordinate mind body and spirit.
Why would anyone want to challenge that if they had spent more than a moment to think through what they were doing?

Aikido is not the be all and end all of anything, it may or may not be a 'martial art' as soon as we argue about it we are in uneccessary conflict, I think.. who cares? at the end of the day it is something that some of us do, some as a fighting system, some as a spiritual path, some as a keep fit program, some as a way to meet fit people of the opposite sex.
The core philosophy as understand it is that the founder called it 'The art of peace' and that it was for everyone and so it should be.

In my my daydreaming moments I imagine a dojo in every school and a school in every village in the world, boys and girls together learning mind body co-ordination from an early age. In one generation the world would be a much more peacefull place.

Aikido does not need defending it just is what it is. If someone runs down aikido as being ineffective, laugh and agree with them ( they may or may not be right ). Take them to the pub, have a drink and talk about something else. If aikido practice works for you keep training, there are levels to be reached that you may have seen but not felt yet, or felt but not understood, there may even be undiscovered aspects that none of us have found yet, we must keep pushing the/our boundries, we must keep looking.
Getting involved in fighting with others only hinders us on the path.
If we reach the end of our lives and think "I think I've nearly got it" we can pass on with a smile on our faces.

Thanks for prompting me to write Kevin, I've enjoyed your fairly prolific but well considered posts recently. (Not much to do where you are stationed?? )

regards,
Mark

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Old 04-21-2006, 06:45 AM   #65
Steve Mullen
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

I would have to respectfully disagree with xu's post

The fact that aikidoka don't practice sparring with a set rule structure in place should not make us poorly prepared for anyone to challenge us from any kind of martial art.

Now i'm not saying that because we do aikido we will win, i just feel that us being aikidoka isn't a detriment when it comes to challenges made to us (either in dojo or street settings). I think that many people get lost in this idea of aikido being non-confrontational in its nature to the extent that it becomes thought of as only being a defensive art.

One of my Sensei teaches a technique whereby Tori initiates the attack, by throwing jodan tsuki at uki, when uki guards his/her face ikkyo is applied. This just highlights the idea that Aikido can be used to take the initiative in a situation.

But not everyone practices this style, even so, someone challenges you they already have in their mind to go on the offensive, therefore we, as aikidoka, can sit back and deal with what they throw our way when it happens. This is by no means playing by the challengers rules, we if one fills himself with the mind of waiting for the challenger to make the move then dealing with it, we are playing by our rules, but in a way which makes them think they are controlling the situation

Is this not true Aiki?

Just my 2 pence worth

"No matter your pretence, you are what you are and nothing more." - Kenshiro Abbe Shihan
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Old 04-21-2006, 08:48 AM   #66
dps
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

If your challenged would you not use all of the tools available to you? Would you have time to pick and choose what art or technique you would use? Your reaction would be from instinct as a result of training.
If you limit yourself to a rule of only using Aikido in a challenge you are forcing yourself to think before your reaction and thus slowing your response to an attack.
It is about the artist, the art is the tool.
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Old 04-21-2006, 12:05 PM   #67
jonreading
 
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

I love it. Aikido instructors set up elaborate demonstrations to "share" aikido with observers, but then criticize "challenges" as boosts to ego. Talk about he who speaks with forked tongue...

In my opinion, challenges are issued for one of two purposes: to discredit the instructor challenged, or to establish a hierarchy of dominance in physical skill. In either case, challenges are immature in nature and maybe that's why they are frowned upon in aikido. However, when someone issues a challenge to me, I need to study the purpose behind the challenge in order to address the issue. If someone walks into my dojo with intentions to discredit me or my students, that is a serious offense; if the challenger is honestly looking for an assessment of physical skill, that is a more noble request. I may entertain sparring or comps for those challengers that are respectful and worthy of the experience, even if that means I get my assed kicked.

The problem is there are more instructors physically inferior as martial artists, which makes for a distrustful history when aikido instructors choose to decline a challenge. Rather than admitting the challenger is better (kudos Kevin) and learning from the experience, these instructors excuse themselves for (insert reason here) and leave the challenger to doubt the authenticity of the excuse and skill of the instructor. Honesty is a great policy here and I don't think that we [aikidoka] use honesty in this situation; I think because fighting is what we are "trained" to do, we are embarrassed to admit we're not better fighters than our challengers.

I remember a fight once (in my TKD days) when I thought I'd intimidate my opponent by holding a split kick to his throat a la Van Damme. He puched me very hard in the crotch and proceeded to beat me to a pulp on the school parking lot. I never did that again...
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Old 04-21-2006, 12:32 PM   #68
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Mark Freeman wrote:

Quote:
Thanks for prompting me to write Kevin, I've enjoyed your fairly prolific but well considered posts recently. (Not much to do where you are stationed?? )
Your on to me! I am by myself. I train guys in my battalion in BJJ/MMA, interject a little aikido, but nothing to intellectually challenge me...so you guys are my dojo!

Anyway, great post!

Jon, I think you cut to the chase. I was having a hard time going there because I didn't know how to word it but, I think you are dead on. Right to the core of the matter.
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Old 04-21-2006, 01:37 PM   #69
bratzo_barrena
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Just my 2 cents.
As for what I have read and heard, O'sensei was against competition, but he wasn't against challenges. He himself accepted many challenges, and agreed to his students to accept challenges.
If I remember properly, I read a quote, supposedly from o'sensei, the wording is not exact but the idea goes kind of like this:
accept a challenge as a way to test the sincerity of your training.

So accepting a challange should not be to prove yo are better that the challanger, or than you are invensible, it's just a way to know your own strengths and weakness and improve your Aikido.
And that is not affected by what the challengers intentions may be.

And for those who say that Aikido teaches you to avoid conflict (physical), they're so wrong. They don't know what they are talking about.
Aikido DOES NOT TEACHES TO AVOID CONFLICT, Aikido teaches to solve conflict (physical) and for that reason Aikido techniques/principles were develope.
Aikido techniques/principles were not developed to call the police, to run, or to just walk away from conflict.
Aikido techniques/principles were created to solve conflict in a non-violent, non-destructive, but efficient fashion.

Bratzo Barrena
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Aikido Goshin Dojo
Doral, FL
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Old 04-21-2006, 02:22 PM   #70
Nick Pagnucco
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Quote:
Bratzo Barrena wrote:
Aikido DOES NOT TEACHES TO AVOID CONFLICT, Aikido teaches to solve conflict
I just wanted to compliment you on this; its a clear wording of something I've been trying to figure out for a while. Aikido acknowledges there is violence & conflict in the world, and is willing to actively engage it in the effort to resolve it. I cringe at comments about not wanting to aikido to be 'martial' specifically because I am interested in its philosophical statements. Without the martial element (however defined), aikido starts to avoid conflict, or even worse, ignore it. Dealing with violence effectively must be an organizing principle for aikdo's version of budo.

If I had more coffee, I could explain how that connects to Ellis Amdur's comment that there is no tenkan without irimi... but its friday afternoon. My brain activity is... limited.

As this has nothing directly to do with instructor challenges, I'll now apologize for the thread drift
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Old 04-21-2006, 04:30 PM   #71
Neil Mick
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
I understand where you are going Neil, but I think avoiding is the wrong term. If you avoid conflict, you ignore it. It doesn't go away.
Wrong.

If I swerve to avoid a car while driving: I am not ignoring it. I am, literally, employing technique to miss a collision. No accident, no conflict. It DOES go away.

But certainly,

avoidance does not = ignoring it.

Quote:
Firefighters do train to fight fires, but when the happen they don't avoid them they fight them.
Neither, do firefighters with a healthy sense of their jobs, seek them out. This was my point.

Quote:
there is a big difference between avoidance and seeking. We should not seek conflict, but we should also resolve it when we can!
This was not my point.
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Old 04-21-2006, 04:39 PM   #72
Neil Mick
Dojo: Aikido of Santa Cruz
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
Neil

And isn't it worthwhile to become very proficient at
a.Verbal descalation
b. Implied body de-escalation
c. A physical skill set that is capable of man handling most people and controling them with out much harm?
Yes. I would even add a few:
d. An inquiring mind into learning how to live positively with one's neighbors;
e. A fast set of running shoes!

Quote:
I'd be willing to betcha that faced with an assualt without any choice: Most Judoka and MMA'ers would be able to "apply" Aikido non-violence theory better then most Aikidoka.
We can agree, to disagree.

Quote:
If the idea is to stop violence. It is not always advisable nor expediant to do so by avoidance. Sometimes ya just have to step-up-to the plate.
Sure. But sometimes...even before one chooses to "step up to the plate...it's better to simply run away. In the words of the song by the redoubtable Michelle Shocked: "The Secret to a Long Life is Knowin' When It's Time to Go!"

Quote:
As for the corollary to Fire fighters? Thank God there are fire fighters who actually train to put them out expediently and efficiently and when called upon are willing and able...er....fire fighters. I feel the same about Cops, military and my mechanic.
Some Budo guys train to stop an actual fighter and like to practice on actual fighters. For them accepting a challenge is ....training. It makes them better at Budo, and at not harming others so when they are called upon they are willing and able and ready...er....Budo men.
You miss my point. I am not talking about preparation, or training. I am talking about those firefighters who comment that they cannot wait to get a real challenge of a fire (a hazmat fire, for example) to "test" themselves. With at least 2 firemen I spoke, neither held to this view and tended to think of the minority who did, as a little warped.
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Old 04-21-2006, 04:50 PM   #73
Neil Mick
Dojo: Aikido of Santa Cruz
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Quote:
Bratzo Barrena wrote:
O'sensei was against competition, but he wasn't against challenges. He himself accepted many challenges, and agreed to his students to accept challenges.
If I remember properly, I read a quote, supposedly from o'sensei, the wording is not exact but the idea goes kind of like this:
accept a challenge as a way to test the sincerity of your training.
We are not O Sensei. We should not emulate everything he ever did: he lived at a certain time, had certain religious and political beliefs.

Personally, I like the story of Toyoda Sensei using guile to talk a witless wonder out of a pointless challenge. I used it as an anecdote yesterday while I was teaching a kids' class: that there are alternatives to pointless violence...like using your brain.

Quote:
Aikido DOES NOT TEACHES TO AVOID CONFLICT, Aikido teaches to solve conflict (physical) and for that reason Aikido techniques/principles were develope.
Avoidance, sometimes IS resolution.

Too bad you do not understand this.

Quote:
Aikido techniques/principles were not developed to call the police, to run, or to just walk away from conflict.
So wrong.

Listen, I don't know your background, and I am not about to wave my background at you, but I have numerous examples of personal, related, and Shihan-taught anecdotes and experiences which directly contradict this statement. If you'd like, drop me an email and I will relate a few.

Quote:
Aikido techniques/principles were created to solve conflict in a non-violent, non-destructive, but efficient fashion.
And sometimes, avoidance is the same thing as resolution.

Especially, if it draws out the would-be uke, and causes him to expend himself/themselves in the chase.
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Old 04-21-2006, 04:56 PM   #74
Neil Mick
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

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Nicholas Pagnucco wrote:
Aikido acknowledges there is violence & conflict in the world, and is willing to actively engage it in the effort to resolve it. I cringe at comments about not wanting to aikido to be 'martial' specifically because I am interested in its philosophical statements. Without the martial element (however defined), aikido starts to avoid conflict, or even worse, ignore it. Dealing with violence effectively must be an organizing principle for aikdo's version of budo.
And, just to be clear...

I completely agree with you...Aikido DOES encourage active engagement in an effort to resolve it.

But good tactics, good budo, and (from my limited understanding) Sun Tzu also encourage when, and where, to make your stand.

Avoidance of conflict, is not ignoring it. See?

avoid:
Quote:
a·void ( P ) Pronunciation Key (-void)
tr.v. a·void·ed, a·void·ing, a·voids
To stay clear of; shun. See Synonyms at escape.
To keep from happening: avoid illness with rest and a balanced diet.
Law. To annul or make void; invalidate.
Obsolete. To void or expel.

v 1: stay clear from; keep away from; keep out of the way of someone or something; "Her former friends now avoid her" [ant: confront] 2: prevent the occurrence of; prevent from happening; "Let's avoid a confrontation"; "head off a confrontation"; "avert a strike" [syn: debar, obviate, deflect, avert, head off, stave off, fend off, ward off] 3: refrain from doing something; "She refrains from calling her therapist too often"; "He should avoid publishing his wife's memoires" 4: refrain from certain foods or beverages; "I keep off drugs"; "During Ramadan, Muslims avoid tobacco during the day" [syn: keep off] 5: declare invalid; "The contract was annulled"; "void a plea" [syn: invalidate, annul, quash, void, nullify] [ant: validate]
Nary a synonym or mention of "ignore."

Avoiding conflict can also be considered a tactical retreat, a misdirection, or simply removing oneself from a situation wherein your presence heightens violence.

Last edited by Neil Mick : 04-21-2006 at 05:07 PM.
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Old 04-21-2006, 05:21 PM   #75
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Neil in reading your post it would appear that your use of the word avoidance and mine of resolving may be slightly semantical.

To me avoidance means igoring conflict. I still think avoidance is not a very good word to use. I would choose "resovle", "redirect", "deflect" "heal" or maybe some other words...does this make sense?

I don't think avoiding a car accident is the same as avoiding the same kind of conflict we are talking about. The conflict we are dealing with in aikido is conflict that is caused by someone intentionally, strategical, or tactically trying to cause harm.

Swerving to avoid a car (avoidance) is a good option as typically the intent of the driver was not to cause you harm it was simply an accident. so yes I'd agree that avoidance resolves the situation as it ends it.

Road Rage might be a good example....someone has projected rage toward you, the guy who he percieves is driving too slow in the left lane! Now he pulls up behind you, flashes his lights, and you have a choice. You can either move out of his way, or slow down even more and piss him off that much more.

Now pulling out of his way is avoidance, and placates him for the time being, that is, until he comes to the next SOB that is in his way.

Here's is where we go deeper into the cause and effect of the avoidance theory....

So avoiding him solves your problem, but did we resolve the conflict. No. What he learned is that his agressive driving habit works. So we reinforce in him that his "bullying" works.

so avoidance does not heal or resovle conflict. It simply postpones it. True it may not impact you again...but hopefully we want to do more than this with our skills!

Now this is all theorectical, but we have other options. We could get his license number and call the police. You know, I bet if enough people did this on this guy eventually someone might notice a trend! Maybe not.

If we could somehow engage this guy once he stopped his car, maybe we could talk to him and make him see that his habit is negatively affecting other people. Maybe make him visualize the type of accident he may cause one day, the pain and suffering he might cause. The court dates he'd have to go to. The family he left behind without a father if someone was killed.

Again, this is all theorectical and may not be practical....but we are talking about conflict resolution theory here and the application of aikido and what it might teach us. ..that is how to skillfully deal with conflict.

to me avoidance is simple. We don't need to attend one single aikido class to learn to essentially "irimi" and sidestep conflict. What we need to learn is what to do when we want to really resolve problems, enter the void, or when we don't have a choice! Use the right tools and restore true balance to the equation.
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