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Old 04-22-2006, 08:56 AM   #76
dps
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

" You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run."

From the song "The Gambler" by Kenny Rogers
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Old 04-22-2006, 01:44 PM   #77
Nick Pagnucco
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Ya know, I really should know by now to define my terms. I was using definitions closer to Kevin's. My bad
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Old 04-22-2006, 07:37 PM   #78
Neil Mick
Dojo: Aikido of Santa Cruz
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
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?
Yeah, it does. And, the differences are semantical.

And not to get too far into semantic-land (I hate that!), but to even think of the parts of the word, reinforce my usage.

A-void...to make oneself absent; to, literally, make a void.

Quote:
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.
Point taken.

Quote:
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.
Funny you mentioned this. Just the other day I chose the "slow down to the minimum speed limit" tactic when a misguided driver decided to tailgate.

But...

Quote:
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....
Exactly. Now, let me tell you of a situation using avoidance that actually DID happen, and DID resolve the conflict. Or, at least, resulted in a life saved.

A rather remarkable woman who briefly trained at my dojo once came home and saw several guys about to beat a woman up, apparently to rob her. She realized that she didn't have time to call the cops (this was before cell phones); and she probably couldn't overpower them. So she yelled, Hey! leave her alone! Take me!

And the thugs came after her, having to cross the street. She used the time to run inside, lock the door, and call the police. The would-be victim also had time to run away.

(Was this Aikido? To this day, I'm not sure)

So, this is only one example where avoiding conflict, resulted in a lessening of injury. True, the thugs weren't caught (they ran away); but this woman attempting to employ budo in that moment would have been folly.

Quote:
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.
yep.

Quote:
Nicholas Pagnucco wrote:
Ya know, I really should know by now to define my terms. I was using definitions closer to Kevin's. My bad
No prob.
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Old 04-23-2006, 02:10 AM   #79
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Neil,

I like your example.

I think it doesn't matter if it was aikido or not. I think we worry too much about labels!

What she did was selfless, compassionate, and courageous. All good qualities of budo, all good qualities of humanity...all things that aikido embodies.

We all focus so much on technique and labeling it aikido or not aikido...when we realize that we may be faced one day with a situation that calls us to step up to the plate...then if we don't...well what are we then, and what are we practicing?

good conversation, but I think we are way off topic now!
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Old 04-23-2006, 08:15 AM   #80
DH
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Quote:
Neil Mick wrote:
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!


insert [About my comment: Judo, MMA better equipped to handle stress using Aikido no harm principles.....]

We can agree, to disagree.

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!"

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.

Ok......... I'm going to be blunt. Mostly as a result of indirectly (by inference in your fire fighter story) just being told that the thousands of educated and well balanced men who train to fight and my open example of having accepted challenges-are warped.

The idea of Judoka MMA or jujutsuka perhaps being more able to handle a situation without causing harm is due to preparation for it and training in active resistance. Theirs is the training that inculcates a far more "real" ability and lets say- increased chance- to one day have to step up to the plate and handle someone while not causing undo harm. It is my view that many who train this way could toss most people around with impunity.
As well there is a mindset and intent that is trained in and has to be earned not learned. There is not way to get it other than by fighting through frustration and losing and winning. This intent-the Chinese call it Shen or Yi- cannot be taught through theory.
Line?....... Ass...get on. Then and only then will you earn it.

Preparation for trial, trial for testing. testing for measured accumen and increased success. This "truth" or attitude is prevalent everywhere and in most every other aspect of life. BUT...Aikido.
Only a fool would choose an untried car mechanic who only practiced car theory, or a Doctor who just graduated, over people with field experience.
So it is with fighting. Only a fool would imagine he was ready with only "training" and no real fight experience.

Last
throughout the thread we read the repeated refrain echoed in your last statement. That those who like to fight and train and to accept challenges were or are of a warped mind (yes we all know no one directly says it- they just continually allude to it)
To those- offer this:
Why are you following in the footsteps of men who accepted challenges and willingly trained to fight? Most all the men you admire were fighters and were tried...and true.
Were they themselves to come alive and face the likes of this pacifism without strength, they would -I'm sure-have much to say after disowning you. And I am sure even then-you wouldn't listen.

Passive /aggressive personalities, personal issues with competition, fear of failure, don't fair well in any of the worlds arts that have real challenges, Judo, Jujutsu, MMA, Muay Tai etc. They tend to address those issues quickly and resolve them, while not avoiding them. For those who only theorize and dream of real skill things get sorted out without much debate. It is in just those places you find men of "real" fighting skill.
You are never going to see Aikido-pure aikido-prevail in a test with the likes of those men. It can't and never could.

And if it isn't a fighting art-then what are we talking about anyway?
A philosophy? A faith?
Then why this talk about fighting?
Is it the "level" of resistance it can prevail against? The idea or ideal of what it can handle, avoid, or run away from?
How would anyone know if they could handle someone? Should avoid someone? Or should run away?
Is that another skill? Do you teach cardio to be able to run away fast?

****************************************
Dan Harden wrote:
I'd be willing to betcha that faced with an assault 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 generalization Dan?

Regards,
Mark

*****************************************

Experience Mark
If I could take 5 young men and send them off train in Aikido's method for 15 years with 5 different masters
Then take another 5 and have them train with me for only 5 years.
I would bet on my men any day of the week, and double odds at that.
There is only one way to know what you're made of and that is to have you tested. And as many men have discovered and know there is another strength. That is in you yourself knowing what you can in fact DO or not. It makes those questions and decisions above- easier to make. You know, without the Nikes.

For twenty-five years I have said the same thing. "Fighting is NOT a complicated subject. Experienced guys can answer most questions quickly."

Fighting "theory" on the other hand?
Libraries full-most wishing they actually knew how to fight.

In closing I'd like to add that My Dojo, many other MMA clubs Judo schools,and BBJ schools don't seem to have many of these "debates" if at all. I wonder why that is?

Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 04-23-2006 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 04-23-2006, 12:39 PM   #81
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Experienced guys will also tell you that they know somewhere out there is a fight that they can or will lose. It may not be because they were of lesser skill than the man they fought, it may be luck, fate, the wrong day, the wrong conditions or what not.

They only thing you can do is to prepare yourself. Training and improvement might improve your odds, it may give you the experience that expands your chances to suceed, or the experience to know how to respond most appropriately.

When and if that loss comes, you must also prepare yourself for that day as well so your whole world does not cave in around you.

Based on the philosophy of aikido i really don't know how you would construct a challenge of the physical nature!

I was reading Krishnamurti some this morning and this popped right out at me. I think it applies to aikido. Measuring ourselves against others, systems, etc limits our ability to become an individual. The process of competition and measuring, at least philosophically leads to conflict if not externally/internally. If you read the works of many great writers from aristotle, Ayn Rand, Krishnamurit, Ghandi, Ueshiba...they all hit upon the same thing!

I think guys like Kano and Ueshiba intrinsically understood this and constructed their "DO" arts to assist us in reconciling this process. I think most of us may not be able to grasp the entirety of what they really want/wanted us to learn from them!

So, IMHO, if an aikido instructor was following the path of O'Sensei, I don't see how accepting a challenge to simply to prove who was the better martial artist would even compute! That said, I could see if the right conditions were met, and the situation might warrant some challenge of guiding an individual down the path that they are seeking might be construed as a "challenge"....I think though...this is not in the same vein as many are speaking of the concept of "challenge".


Dan,

I know where you are coming from, and there is a tendency within BJJ schools to be very sensitive about "keeping it real" and "Keeping it honest". I think though that BJJ and Aikido approach the same stick from opposite ends. WHich is why I think and have found that they work well together!

What I like about BJJ is that measurement and effectiveness are very easy to quantify at least physically! Belts don't really matter a whole lot. You can walk into a dojo and be wearing a black belt from another school. In about 5 minutes of rolling your true skill level will be apparent. So you won't find many people that can hide behind the dojo garbage that many arts are suseptible to.

Aikido being a DO art is very suseptible to this mindset. Much easier to hide behind the veil offered by protocol, hakama, belts etc. That is, when you are talking about physical techniques. Mentally and spiritually I think (I hope) that most shihan and sensei can judge adequately this area.

I think BJJ and MMA tends to be weak in all the harmony, spiritual, emotional, and philosophical stuff. Most that do this don't really care too much about it.

In terms of personal growth. To me it is much easier to measure physical growth, proweness, and competence. Much harder to measure the internal stuff that aikido represents.

So to me, it stands to reason that BJJ and other MMA type arts would not have a problem with challenges of a physical nature.

What really bothers me is that I think that many people out there are really confused with aikido and what it is really geared toward. Maybe not in the upper ranks, but but maybe in the lower Kyu ranks.? Maybe the Dan ranked people are not doing enough? Or maybe they are and the Kyu ranks refuse to believe them or accept it. Of maybe many people are happy deluding themselves into thinking that they are something they are not and simply like to pretend! I don't know. That is a question for each individual to ask of him or herself and for Shihan and Sensei to assist them on the path.

I am only too happy to help people that I work with on a daily basis experience what little I have to share with them from my limited experiences!
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Old 04-23-2006, 12:40 PM   #82
Neil Mick
Dojo: Aikido of Santa Cruz
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
Ok......... I'm going to be blunt. Mostly as a result of indirectly (by inference in your fire fighter story) just being told that the thousands of educated and well balanced men who train to fight and my open example of having accepted challenges-are warped.
Sorry, never said this: never meant to imply it. This is called putting words in my mouth. To be succinct:

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
thousands of educated and well balanced men who train to fight and my open example of having accepted challenges
does not equal

Quote:
Neil Mick wrote:
those firefighters who comment that they cannot wait to get a real challenge of a fire (a hazmat fire, for example) to "test" themselves.
it's not the same thing.

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
Preparation for trial, trial for testing. testing for measured accumen and increased success. This "truth" or attitude is prevalent everywhere and in most every other aspect of life. BUT...Aikido.
That all depends upon how you define "trials." I would certainly argue that Aikidoists actually DO "test" themselves, through trial.

We just don't need to go around proving it to everyone else,,,generally.

And again,

Quote:
Only a fool would choose an untried car mechanic who only practiced car theory, or a Doctor who just graduated, over people with field experience.
does not equal, in analagy, to

Quote:
So it is with fighting. Only a fool would imagine he was ready with only "training" and no real fight experience.
I don't know about you, but I am not "training" solely to deal with fighting. Mechanics and Doctors, however DO train to deal with cars and ailments of ppl. So, your analogy does not apply.

Quote:
Last
throughout the thread we read the repeated refrain echoed in your last statement. That those who like to fight and train and to accept challenges were or are of a warped mind (yes we all know no one directly says it- they just continually allude to it)
Again, you miss the reference. I think that people who go around seeking out conflict are "warped:" NOT people who train for it (I'd have to include MYSELF as being warped, were that so).

Quote:
To those- offer this:
Why are you following in the footsteps of men who accepted challenges and willingly trained to fight? Most all the men you admire were fighters and were tried...and true.
Were they themselves to come alive and face the likes of this pacifism without strength, they would -I'm sure-have much to say after disowning you. And I am sure even then-you wouldn't listen.
And I'm sure that--even then--you will attempt to put words in my mouth.

Quote:
Passive /aggressive personalities, personal issues with competition, fear of failure, don't fair well in any of the worlds arts that have real challenges, Judo, Jujutsu, MMA, Muay Tai etc.
They tend to address those issues quickly and resolve them, while not avoiding them. For those who only theorize and dream of real skill things get sorted out without much debate. It is in just those places you find men of "real" fighting skill.
You are never going to see Aikido-pure aikido-prevail in a test with the likes of those men. It can't and never could.
Oh, riiighht. Please, just do me one favor...OK? Just go to the DC Dojo; look up Saotome Sensei, politely bow, and repeat this pretty speech (especially those last 2 sentences).

Oh, and could you either inform me of the date so that I could attend; or videotape the ensuing carnage...?

Quote:
And if it isn't a fighting art-then what are we talking about anyway?
A philosophy? A faith?
Then why this talk about fighting?
To some: Aikido is a philosophy.
To others: Aikido is a faith.
According to Anno Sensei: O Sensei actually considered calling it something else, besides a martial art. But, in the end, O Sensei was undefeated. Yes, he accepted challenges: but I seem to have difficulty remembering quotes from him admonishing his pupils to go forth and challenge the world.

No, what he ACTUALLY said was that true victory is victory against oneself: NOT against anyone who comes to your dojo, looking to fight.

Quote:
the "level" of resistance it can prevail against? The idea or ideal of what it can handle, avoid, or run away from?
How would anyone know if they could handle someone? Should avoid someone? Or should run away?
When should a firefighter run out of a building? If a guy comes up and starts punching out the firefighter for breaking his door down, should the firefighter punch back?

Quote:
Is that another skill? Do you teach cardio to be able to run away fast?
Do I train with a bokken, because I expect to some day use a live blade (or even, a wooden one) in actual battle?

Last edited by Neil Mick : 04-23-2006 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 04-24-2006, 04:54 AM   #83
Mark Freeman
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Dan Harden wrote:
I'd be willing to betcha that faced with an assault 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 generalization Dan?

Regards,
Mark

*****************************************

Experience Mark
If I could take 5 young men and send them off train in Aikido's method for 15 years with 5 different masters
Then take another 5 and have them train with me for only 5 years.
I would bet on my men any day of the week, and double odds at that.
There is only one way to know what you're made of and that is to have you tested. And as many men have discovered and know there is another strength. That is in you yourself knowing what you can in fact DO or not. It makes those questions and decisions above- easier to make. You know, without the Nikes.

For twenty-five years I have said the same thing. "Fighting is NOT a complicated subject. Experienced guys can answer most questions quickly."

Fighting "theory" on the other hand?
Libraries full-most wishing they actually knew how to fight.

In closing I'd like to add that My Dojo, many other MMA clubs Judo schools,and BBJ schools don't seem to have many of these "debates" if at all. I wonder why that is?

Cheers
Dan

Dan,
you really are a betting man aren't you.

Your reply did nothing to answer my question at the head of this post. I asked why you would think that 'most' Judo/MMA folk could apply aikido non voilence theory better than most aikidoka

Your reply was to say that any 5 guy's trained by you for 5 years are a better 'bet' than 5 others trained by 5 Aikido masters for 5 years, ( in fact double odds are offered! ). This does not address my question.

A couple of things come to mind here.
1 A better bet in what respect? that they would 'win in a fight'? That they would be better human beings?
2 IMHO the boastfulness of your statement about your own abilities and those of your students is quite astounding.

My own aikido teacher was taught aikido by the All Japan Judo champion at that time ( Kenshiro Abbe, 10 years aikido with O Sensei ), so after 15 training with him as well as a few other direct students of O Sensei, he would be no match for one of your 5 year students? I think if I were a betting man I know where I'd risk my money. I've been with my teacher for a little bit short of 15 years, so I don't even qualify to go up against one of your 'men'. And at the end of the day why would we want to? What is there to be proven? What would you gain? What would we?

Think of this, your 5 'men' meet up with the 5 poor 15 year aikido students, for the Dan's Ultimate Fighting Challenge. The bets are being furiously laid, the odds fluctuate wildely as the crowd anticipate the coming contest/bloodbath.
During the head to head of the contestents while the ref is laying down the ground rules ( as I'm sure you wouldn't want there to be no rules as the odds may go against you ), the aikido guys start talking to Dan's men in a way that engages their minds and the discussion involves the idea that they all would be better off going down the pub to talk things through. This leaves the baying crowd angry as they have paid to see someone get a 'whupping' and all bets are off so, even more angry punters
Who won, no one, who lost? those who want to see a winner and a loser.

Fighting is simple, I agree. Looking for a path beyond fighting is not so easy.
Your speculations do not progress much beyond I'm better than you so there.
Train to fight and you have to look for fights to justify your own existence.

I couldn't really care less if I got beaten up by one of your 'men', but why would he want to do that?? To win his teacher a bet? to prove his own worth? To show that aikido is not what it claims to be?.

I'm too busy practicing aikido to be worried about fighting some Judo/MMA guy. In fact I'm wondering about the point / lessness of this post altogether.

regards

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 04-24-2006, 07:01 AM   #84
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

[QUOTE Dan Harden wrote:
I'd be willing to betcha that faced with an assault without any choice: Most Judoka and MMA'ers would be able to "apply" Aikido non-violence theory better then most Aikidoka.


I too believe that there are many bullies and self delusional Aikido instructors out there. They operate without regard for, or fear of, consequences for their action. They start to believe their own delusions. One local Aikido instructor came to train at the Shindai Dojo for a while and believing he had the right stuff ask one our instructors (who is also a Shodokan Karate teacher) to spar with him. He was backed across the mat a pined to the wall with punches and kicks coming at him faster then he could believe. Having spent so much time tossing his students with ease left him with little practical skill. There should occasionally be consequences in our training if we believe we are training in a martial art. If Aikido is something other that a martial art to us (and that is fine) then we should not be self delusional about our abilities.

Here is a true story;
At a big time dojo in the northeast a challenger waited outside the dojo for the first person to exit. The first person to leave was a young lady of Shodan rank. The challenger proceeded to pound her. A male Sandan came out and engaged the attacker who apparently had boxing skills and was suppressed at his lack of effeteness and was soon overcome by the power and speed of the attacker. The third person out was a Nidan who also happened to be a very good Karate practitioner. He took the guy out quickly. The Sandan confided in me latter that his Aikido did not work. I said of course it didn't work you never tested your self. If you believe you are going to get into a fight then occasionally test yourself. There are usually people in the dojo that will help you. Many Aikido teachers would never allow a student to spar with them as do most Karate and Judo teachers, they would never give the student an equal chance. They prefer the dominance role.

Aikido is not alone in this.

Last edited by Dennis Hooker : 04-24-2006 at 07:07 AM.

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Old 04-24-2006, 07:19 AM   #85
roosvelt
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote:

During the head to head of the contestents while the ref is laying down the ground rules ( as I'm sure you wouldn't want there to be no rules as the odds may go against you ), the aikido guys start talking to Dan's men in a way that engages their minds and the discussion involves the idea that they all would be better off going down the pub to talk things through. This leaves the baying crowd angry as they have paid to see someone get a 'whupping' and all bets are off so, even more angry punters
Who won, no one, who lost? those who want to see a winner and a loser.
What a brilliant idea!

You should apply your brain to solve the world conflicts. I'm sure you can get Israel with peach with its neighbors, US and Iran/Iraq cease fire, China and Taiwan unite again.

I'd like to see an idealist young man at work.
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Old 04-24-2006, 07:59 AM   #86
Mark Freeman
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Quote:
Roosvelt Freeman wrote:
What a brilliant idea!
Thanks??

Quote:
You should apply your brain to solve the world conflicts. I'm sure you can get Israel with peach with its neighbors, US and Iran/Iraq cease fire, China and Taiwan unite again.
None of that makes any sense to me. You might try and rephrase it without the patronising tone.

Quote:
I'd like to see an idealist young man at work.
so would I

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Old 04-24-2006, 10:53 AM   #87
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Dennis Hooker wrote:

Quote:
There should occasionally be consequences in our training if we believe we are training in a martial art. If Aikido is something other that a martial art to us (and that is fine) then we should not be self delusional about our abilities.
Thanks for taking the time to reply. I agree 110%.

Mark Freeman,

I really have no issues with your latest post, however, this thought comes to mind as I read. What happens when you get a guy say like me, that is somewhat well versed at MMA/BJJ and pretty decent at the understanding and applying aikido? Does that take away all the excuses? I mean, I think I could do a pretty decent job of demonstrating the breadth and depth of both aikido and be able to still go toe to toe with most guys off the street.

I guess my point is much like Mr. Hooker's.

If we care about this kinda thing, and find it important....do we owe it to ourselves to be honest and develop ourselves as more well rounded, versatile martial artist. Or do we make excuses and hide behind the trappings of our art?

I don't know the answer for you or anyone else. I do know it for myself though!
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Old 04-24-2006, 02:12 PM   #88
Chuck Clark
 
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Wink Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

This has been a very interesting thread. There are challenges and then there are challenging training atmospheres, etc. I, however, question the definition of many people's use of the word "fight" or "fighting", and come to think of it, the oxymoron of "combative sports"...

Training, in my opinion, no matter what the level of "challenge" is not fighting. There is much I'll not do while training, at any level, (and have done for just over 53 years now) that I would do whenever necessary in a fight or engaged in combat. The beauty of proper training is that it prepares us to be creative in ways that can't be done in training but will enable us to have a much better chance to survive in fighting or combat. Along with training that should give us a chance to efficiently survive and, if need be, take away that option for another human being we must also learn when to fight or commit to combat and when to not engage.

In short, there are challenges that I'll accept now in my life and challenges that I won't. If left with no choice, I cheat really well. This sort of "fighting" doesn't belong in a dojo. Training where you have a high expectation of going home to your loved ones is not fighting. Sport or organized competitions, in my opinon, are not fighting nor combatively sporting. There are rules that are there to protect the competitors and give them that expectation of mutual survival. I reiterate, it ain't fighting.

(off the soapbox now...)

Dennis, if this "seminar" happens, let's get a front row seat. I'm sure it'll be interesting.

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 04-24-2006, 02:32 PM   #89
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Mr Clark,

I agree with your opinions about competition and sport specifically combative sport. No argument from me that it is not real fighting!

There is a place and time for combative sport. The Military, specifically the U.S Army in the past couple of years has introduced combative sport in the form of NHB/MMA/Grappling type fighting as one of the basis of developing our warriors.

What we train has applications in combat, and we are also very careful to ensure what we are training is as realistically as possible to prepare soldiers to face situations that may require hand to hand or non-projectile based wepons.

That said, we do spend a great deal of time discussing the "sport aspect" of fighting and how you have to be able to discern the "game" from "reality".

What we have found is that in training you must always have rules and ettiquette to keep people from getting hurt and to promote/encourage a healthy learning environment.

We have also found that basing it on a competive model that can be measured appeals to soldiers. The model we use also seems to best stress the individual to the rigors of physical toughness necessary in combat.

In short, it seems to be very successful in building mentally tough fighters that will be willing to close with and destroy the enemy. It is also fun.

Another benefit is that soldiers get to know each other, build confidence, and team work....that is interdependence. All things that most dojos try to achieve.

So I believe there is a great deal of merit in competitive, combative training methodolgies. They may not be focused as heavily on the spiritual and philosophical development aspects of martial arts, but these models can and do develop seasoned fighters and warriors.

However, you basic premise i agree with, it ain't fighting!
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Old 04-24-2006, 03:18 PM   #90
Mark Freeman
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Dennis Hooker wrote:



Thanks for taking the time to reply. I agree 110%.

Mark Freeman,

I really have no issues with your latest post, however, this thought comes to mind as I read. What happens when you get a guy say like me, that is somewhat well versed at MMA/BJJ and pretty decent at the understanding and applying aikido? Does that take away all the excuses? I mean, I think I could do a pretty decent job of demonstrating the breadth and depth of both aikido and be able to still go toe to toe with most guys off the street.

I guess my point is much like Mr. Hooker's.

If we care about this kinda thing, and find it important....do we owe it to ourselves to be honest and develop ourselves as more well rounded, versatile martial artist. Or do we make excuses and hide behind the trappings of our art?

I don't know the answer for you or anyone else. I do know it for myself though!
Hi Kevin,
I'm not sure what mean about excuses?
I too agree with Mr Hookers post, Although I haven't personally come across the bad Aikido instructors he speaks of, I'm sure they are out there. There are good, bad, mediocre and great teachers in all the arts. The best of them are accepting of the others, the bad and mediocre ones perhaps tend to have issues with their own abilities, therefore have a greater need to either prove themselves or hide behind whatever they can.
Personally, I have a great respect for traditional Judo as I do Jujitsu, the former I did when I was young ( sadly that seems along way off ) the latter through watching.
If you train in more than one art, good for you, and being honest is the only way to go. We all need to recognise the pluses and minuses of whatever it is we are doing.
There are obvious weaknesses in traditional aikido practice, as there are with all the other arts.
At the end of the day, each of us have to decide how important it is to be 'up for the challenge' to train for the day when 'it' might happen. Some may decide to practice for the sheer joy of practice and for the obvious benefits that it gives them in their daily lives. These people don't usually worry or even less care about how 'good' they are in comparison to other martial artists. The relative importance of effectiveness is just that 'relative'.
A 6' 6" male ballet dancer maybe able to beat a small thin martial artist in a fight, does that make ballet martially effective?

There is so much hot air generated in cyberspace, we should find a way of harnessing it to drive some electricity generators, we could all have free power to our PC's

I'm wondering whether Dan's bluff has been called with the invitation offered. If it does go ahead, it will certainly generate alot of interest, TV rights anyone?

keep it real!

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 04-24-2006, 03:28 PM   #91
Mark Freeman
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Mr Clark,

I agree with your opinions about competition and sport specifically combative sport. No argument from me that it is not real fighting!

There is a place and time for combative sport. The Military, specifically the U.S Army in the past couple of years has introduced combative sport in the form of NHB/MMA/Grappling type fighting as one of the basis of developing our warriors.

What we train has applications in combat, and we are also very careful to ensure what we are training is as realistically as possible to prepare soldiers to face situations that may require hand to hand or non-projectile based wepons.

That said, we do spend a great deal of time discussing the "sport aspect" of fighting and how you have to be able to discern the "game" from "reality".

What we have found is that in training you must always have rules and ettiquette to keep people from getting hurt and to promote/encourage a healthy learning environment.

We have also found that basing it on a competive model that can be measured appeals to soldiers. The model we use also seems to best stress the individual to the rigors of physical toughness necessary in combat.

In short, it seems to be very successful in building mentally tough fighters that will be willing to close with and destroy the enemy. It is also fun.

Another benefit is that soldiers get to know each other, build confidence, and team work....that is interdependence. All things that most dojos try to achieve.

So I believe there is a great deal of merit in competitive, combative training methodolgies. They may not be focused as heavily on the spiritual and philosophical development aspects of martial arts, but these models can and do develop seasoned fighters and warriors.

However, you basic premise i agree with, it ain't fighting!
Hi again Kevin, good post. Have you read Richard Hekkler's "In Search of the Warrior Spirit?? If you have what did you think? If you haven't I think it would be worth a read.

Any other forum readers got any comments on this book.

I personally really enjoyed it. I come from the old hippy socialist end of the political scale, but buy the end of the book I had a much greater appreciation of the men in the forces and the need highlighted to create a 'modern warror' mentality.
Mind you, as much as I have respect for the warroirs on the front line, my distaste for the guy's pulling the strings is just as bad as ever

regards,
Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 04-24-2006, 09:08 PM   #92
siwilson
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

A new one for you.

A few years back I had an instructor from an Aikikai group try to kidnap my then Sensei's dojo. I was his number two and was teaching that night and "played" with him while my Oppo taught the class. The point is that I protectected the students from what was going on.

He was much senior to me and somehow I saw him off. After him waving all his certificates at me too.

If you have the strength of your convictions you can face an enemy ten thousand strong!

Osu!
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Old 04-24-2006, 11:05 PM   #93
MikeE
 
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

The last time I was challenged was about 4 years ago. A student brought in a "friend" from his work that was a sandan in a karate style. He got all limbered up, as we talked. He told me of his instructor (who was a acquaintance of mine-- although he didn't know this), and I asked him politely to sign a waiver and hand write a note saying that he was doing the challenge on his own, and wouldn't hold me responsible for anything that happened. I gave him a clipboard and a piece of paper to write the note, and went to my office to write my own for him. I came out...he was gone. It seemed like shodo o seisu...and I didn't even have to fart Rock

Mike Ellefson
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Old 04-24-2006, 11:55 PM   #94
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Mark,

That thread I wrote really didn't warrant a response. I wrote it in a hurry and it was not very well thought out. Sorry about that.

My comments were not directed at you, but in general. I guess my point was this:

Some people, not saying anyone in particular, seem to discuss or be concerned with what aikido is lacking or what they feel are their personal weaknesses.

I am of the school that does not think aikido in it's methodology lacks anything at all! Also there is much more there than I or many will probably ever be able to grasp!

I guess my thoughts at that moment were this. If you feel you are lacking in an area, then go out and do something about it! If it is a priority in your life then do it!

Nothing more than that really. Just one of those post that did not come out right! Sorry about that!

Anyway, Yes I have read Dr Strozzi-Heckler's book. I read it about 10 years ago about the time I started in aikido and after finishing Ranger School.

Several years ago, around 2000, The Marine Corps started up there program. Dr Strozzi-Heckler was a part of that process. I read about it and became very excited as at the time I was in a position to influence the Army National Guard in this area. I corresponded with him back and forth a bit trying to figure out how to navigate those waters.

Believe it or not, about the same time, the Active Army started coming forth with the new Combatives program and that was the way they went, so my ideas went no where....Then 2001 hit...and we are where we are today!

Anyway, It is a wonderful book and well worth the read!

While I feverently support the Army's combatives program as it is a huge step in the right direction, I also see that in our current and future operational environment...we can do much better! That is my opinion...not the DoD's or the Army's.

What I mean by better is teaching personal interaction skills, and empathy skills, and the things that Dr Strozzi-Heckler discusses in his book.

If you are familar with the Army and have read his book....you would have a huge appreciation for how dangerous it is though to play in these waters! Part of the process is evolution, change in culture, and paradigm. Done the wrong way you can cause more damage that when you started!

I think right now in our point in history, that what we are doing with combatives in both the Marine Corps and Army are a huge step in the right direction.

Anyway, this is a subject for a different topic.

What is related though is I think this book is a wonderful, wonderful example about a traditional aikido sensei and the HUGE challenge he undertook with the Army Special Ops community. He openly and heartfully discusses the challenges, issues, controversies, and lessons learned during this "challenge".

If you want a good example of what a challenge is and how well aikido stands up to the skeptics in your life...I recommend reading "In Search of the Warrior Spirit".

Thanks for pointing that out Mark...I had forgotten about that!
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Old 04-25-2006, 06:20 AM   #95
philippe willaume
 
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Well, I do not now if that counts but my sensei always says it is a challenge to teach me…

Last edited by philippe willaume : 04-25-2006 at 06:23 AM.
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Old 04-25-2006, 07:59 AM   #96
Stephen Kotev
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Quote:
Dennis Hooker wrote:

Here is a true story;
At a big time dojo in the northeast a challenger waited outside the dojo for the first person to exit. The first person to leave was a young lady of Shodan rank. The challenger proceeded to pound her. A male Sandan came out and engaged the attacker who apparently had boxing skills and was suppressed at his lack of effeteness and was soon overcome by the power and speed of the attacker. The third person out was a Nidan who also happened to be a very good Karate practitioner. He took the guy out quickly. The Sandan confided in me latter that his Aikido did not work. I said of course it didn't work you never tested your self. If you believe you are going to get into a fight then occasionally test yourself. (snip)
Dear Dennis,

Your story troubles me.

How did the Sandan become ranked Sandan?

Shouldn't the testing process actually act as a "test?" I am confused as to what the purpose of testing for rank is if it creates results as you have illustrated in your story. What did the Karate practitioner test that the Sandan did not?

It's disturbing to hear that a Sandan, at THIRD degree black belt, had this happen. I would hope that at this level there would a greater proficiency than what was presented. Don't get me wrong, I know we are not perfect… yet this still happens. Why not let them remain 2nd degree until their skills improve. At Sandan it is not unusual to have them teach, thus providing the opportunity to pass on the error to the next generation.

That thought it truly troubling.

All the Best,
Stephen
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Old 04-25-2006, 08:40 AM   #97
Stephen Kotev
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Quote:
Stephen Kotev wrote:


That thought is truly troubling.
Is not it.

That thought is truly troubling.

Where is the edit post function when you need it...
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Old 04-25-2006, 10:32 AM   #98
ikkitosennomusha
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Well, no. However, I have challenged a wondering stranger which was probably not the right thing to do but under the circumstances, it proved effective to convey my point.

I kept having a new student that was curious about aikido talk to me about how great their style of karate was and how the philosophy was undeniable. After many attempts of persuasion that karate is not the invariant truth in the universe, I finally put the student to the test to end all doubt to my ability and the ideology of aikido.

So, I waited to extend a rare opportunity to the student after class as I did not want to take class time for such things. I told the student to attack me as he felt necessary to bring me down. The student was aloof for a moment. I explained to him that he has been saying how superior his karate was and how effective it is and that it is unstopable and that it is not good for our purpose here to demean my teachings so now, you have to opportunity to discover something for yourself. I told him again to attack me any way he wishes and there would be no hard feelings.

He comes at me with a full committed round house kick to which I deflect and immediately put him on his butt. I asked him if he felt the need to attack again, he declined my offer. I said ok, next time you come to aikido practice, come as an aikido student. Funny thing is, I never saw him again. My purpose was not to have a contest of ego but to make a whole believer out of him and open his mind. I also learned from my mistake, not to do that again as it might intimidate and make the student uncomfortable.

Perhaps if I am ever in that situation again, I will have to continue to talk to the student and offer verbal instruction instead of by example????

Last edited by ikkitosennomusha : 04-25-2006 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 04-27-2006, 11:19 AM   #99
akiy
 
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

I have split off the discussion regarding the "jo trick" and other similar exercises to this thread:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10242

In the future, please start a new thread when the discussion veers well off of the original topic.

-- Jun

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Old 04-28-2006, 10:47 AM   #100
Dirk Hanss
 
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Sorry, guys. I just feel that we are walking away from the subject of this thread. If there is something new here, I would like to read about challanged or not challenged sensei.

May may open another "aikido is (not) BS", or did I just missed the message? I did not find the original topic for a couple of posts now. So it is not a specific post, I want to blame. Some deviation is fine. I just feel it is gone very far now.

Kind regards Dirk
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