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Old 07-21-2001, 10:33 PM   #1
Kestrel
Dojo: Aikido Shobukan Dojo
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Question Using Aikido against other martial arts

I've been practicing Aikido for about a year now. This past semester I also took a karate class (Tang Su Do to be precise).

While practicing karate and sparring there was one recurring question on my mind. While my experience says that an aikidoka could fairly easily take on a karate practicioner of the same (relative I know!) skill level given one thing. That thing being that most aikido techniques I am familiar with involve making a connection with your opponent and then using that connection to take her/his center.
The techniques we were taught in that class all emphasized keeping your distance from your opponent. With kicks an ever-present thread how would an aikidoka be able to move in and avoid being pummeled by his/her opponent while seeking the connection necessary to take the opponents center?

To give due credit to the teacher tradition karate techniques were not the only thing taught. He also introduced a beginning sample of judo techniques useful in escaping common attacks that you might expect to see on the street. But there wasn't any attempt to integrate the two styles.

My (rather lengthy I know) question is what if anything people know about using aikido against a harder striking style and/or about integrating a striking style (perhaps as atemi?) into aikido.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated...

Tim
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Old 07-22-2001, 02:13 PM   #2
Brian Crowley
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Tim,

Not sure I agree with your assessment that an Aikidoist could easily beat a Karteka on the same skill level. Not sure it's important either. My advice for getting more effect from your Aikido (& a couple other things you may want to consider) is below:

I think it would be very helpful for you to read "Dueling With O-Sensei" by Ellis Amdur (I think you have to get it from his web site). Specifically, chapter 5 - Atemi: Striking to the heart of the matter addresses some of your current questions. I will try to provide a brief (but incomplete) summary below. I suggest that you pick up the book.

O-Sensei is quoted as saying that 90% of Aikido is atemi & yet it is rarely taught that way. Mr. Amdur suggests that in order for an Aikido technique to be effective atemi must be possible at any point during the application of a technique - from first contact until contact is broken. The continual possibility of atemi "demands the attention" of your partner & reduces his ability to stop or counter the technique.

Amdur warns against simply trying to add techniques from other martial arts to your aikido. Often the styles/philosophies are too incompatible for the average person to synthesize. He provides some training suggestions to help develop your ability to apply atemi & mentions a couple teachers that he thinks have succeeded in integrating atemi in Aikido. His comments on the sensitivity necessary to achieve this are very insightful !

I think that chapter will probably improve your ability to use Aikido effectively, however I think you need to ask yourself why you are studying Aikido. Is one reason for self-defense ? If it is, then you may want to consider cross-training in something that has a strong self-defense focus. I would strongly suggest Ki Chuan Do, created by John Perkins. It is an internal martial art with a self-defense orientation (it incorporates close-combat, tai-chi & Native-American techniques). His book, Attack Proof, is excellent - especially good if you can't find a local class or seminar. Check out his web site for more details. The book is also available at amazon & other book sellers.

Hope this helps.

Regards,
Brian
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Old 07-22-2001, 02:42 PM   #3
cguzik
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Timothy,

You have a great opportunity to find the answer to your question, because of where you train. Try to make every class whenever Saotome Sensei is teaching; it may not be obvious what he is doing but over time it will become more apparent. To establish connection with your partner, you have to irimi, which is not easy if their attack is strong. I certainly cannot tell you how to do it, but Saotome Sensei emphasizes this aspect a lot. If you watch how he moves, you will see that there is a way to enter deeply and safely and take your partner's center, even if your partner knows how to kick and punch very well.

Regards,

Chris Guzik
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Old 07-22-2001, 03:52 PM   #4
Brian H
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Kicking isn't everything

At my dojo we occasionally practice kick defenses. It's not that defending against a kick is difficult and to be avoided, it's not. The main problem is the ukemi is very difficult and fast. The attacker only has one foot planted (even sweeps/reaps require you to unweight the attacking foot) and if Nage takes your balance, it's over pretty quickly and dramatically. At one of our randori classes a senior black belt was being attacked by a group of other black belts (each had a designated technique as a safety precaution) and one of the attackers was assigned "front kick." That attacker spent more time down than all of the rest of the attacker combined. It simply took less time and effort to unbalance and throw him than the attackers who were on two feet. The
suggestion that one must enter deeply to defend against a kick is not necessarily true. You have to enter into uke space, but in most kicks uke must extend himself to kick, so modest movement on Nage part can yield a "deep" irimi.
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Old 07-22-2001, 05:29 PM   #5
dainippon99
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Cool

hey all

atemi in aikido are thought of in the wrong way, i think. most people think its some sort of punch or kick to a weak spot, which isnt incorrect,just narrow. Atemi can be performed in many ways with all parts of the body. The main part of utilizing atemi is to find the times when it is useful and just ponder on it endlessly. Ma ai is definately a player in the equation as well.

Chris- nice to see another local boy around here. drop me an email, maybe we can toss around some discussion!

phatygruv@aol.com

Last edited by dainippon99 : 07-22-2001 at 05:32 PM.

Always be well,
Bobby David
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Old 07-22-2001, 09:01 PM   #6
cbrf4zr2
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Simple answer

If there were a bet to be made I would simply put my money on whoever has the fastest reflexes. Who ever gains the early (and possibly only) advantage will most likely "win." Someone does not necessarily need to have been practicing any striking art for a long time to have "quick hands" if they can throw a few quick punches in and dance around...it's tough.

I've noticed with aikido we normally practice against deliberate attacks. (at least I have so far) Well...news for all of us out there who haven't run into sparring with someone from another art...be prepared to get hit a few times before you can start a technique.
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Old 07-23-2001, 03:13 AM   #7
dainippon99
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i agree with edward, some people have to realize that in giving atemi, you have to be prepared to take atemi. And whoever gets the "jump" does not always win. its who can control the situation, or at least gain control of the situation using atemi or any other type of technique

Always be well,
Bobby David
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Old 07-23-2001, 10:27 PM   #8
Kestrel
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Talking

Quote:
Originally posted by Brian Crowley
Tim,

Not sure I agree with your assessment that an Aikidoist could easily beat a Karteka on the same skill level. Not sure it's important either. My advice for getting more effect from your Aikido (& a couple other things you may want to consider) is below:
Well my opinion was based on several months of class with one particular instructor. Very large class compared to your average MA class so that may have had something to do with it. While there was (naturally) a lot of emphasis on striking and blocking there was very little emphasis on escaping from holds, learning to take falls etc.

The instructor DID do some basic judo stuff with escapes from about 8 basic grab attacks but that was about it.

The other thing is that while I think the aikidoka would have an advantage once inside that the karateka would have an advantage as long as he/she could keep the aikidoka from making a connection with him.

Opinion only..I haven't been able to dragoon a striker into experimenting with me
I need to talk to the other person in my dojo who took the same class. She might be able to shed some light on the subject.
Quote:
I think it would be very helpful for you to read "Dueling With O-Sensei" by Ellis Amdur (I think you have to get it from his web site). Specifically, chapter 5 - Atemi: Striking to the heart of the matter addresses some of your current questions. I will try to provide a brief (but incomplete) summary below. I suggest that you pick up the book.
Thanks for the suggestion!
[quote]
O-Sensei is quoted as saying that 90% of Aikido is atemi & yet it is rarely taught that way. Mr. Amdur suggests that in order for an Aikido technique to be effective atemi must be possible at any point during the application of a technique - from first contact until contact is broken. The continual possibility of atemi "demands the attention" of your partner & reduces his ability to stop or counter the technique.

[quote]
I am aware of the "hidden" atemi present in many of the techniques and the necessity for giving uke a reason to stay connected. I'm unsure about how to apply those atemi without getting relatively close to uke though.

[quote]
Amdur warns against simply trying to add techniques from other martial arts to your aikido. Often the styles/philosophies are too incompatible for the average person to synthesize. He provides some training suggestions to help develop your ability to apply atemi & mentions a couple teachers that he thinks have succeeded in integrating atemi in Aikido. His comments on the sensitivity necessary to achieve this are very insightful !

[quote]
Again thank you The reason I posted this was that I also felt that simply adding karate striking techniques to Aikido would be insufficient. It could be very confusing to an opponent to switch from one to the other though

Quote:
I think that chapter will probably improve your ability to use Aikido effectively, however I think you need to ask yourself why you are studying Aikido. Is one reason for self-defense ? If it is, then you may want to consider cross-training in something that has a strong self-defense focus. I would strongly suggest Ki Chuan Do, created by John Perkins. It is an internal martial art with a self-defense orientation (it incorporates close-combat, tai-chi & Native-American techniques). His book, Attack Proof, is excellent - especially good if you can't find a local class or seminar. Check out his web site for more details. The book is also available at amazon & other book sellers.

Hope this helps.

Regards,
Brian
Thank you again for your comments Brian. Appreciation of aikido's philosophy, a desire to excercise better, and wanting to be able to use aikido for self defense were all reasons that I started. I recognized that aikido has a very slow learning curve and that it would be quite a while before it could be something really effective for me. Thats why I tried the karate class. It gave me some interesting techniques and I'd like to be able to integrate both into a larger understanding.

Hope I got this whole quote/nonquote thing right....
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Old 07-23-2001, 10:31 PM   #9
Kestrel
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Re: Simple answer

Quote:
Originally posted by cbrf4zr2
If there were a bet to be made I would simply put my money on whoever has the fastest reflexes. Who ever gains the early (and possibly only) advantage will most likely "win." Someone does not necessarily need to have been practicing any striking art for a long time to have "quick hands" if they can throw a few quick punches in and dance around...it's tough.

I've noticed with aikido we normally practice against deliberate attacks. (at least I have so far) Well...news for all of us out there who haven't run into sparring with someone from another art...be prepared to get hit a few times before you can start a technique.
Yeah I noticed something similar. One of the things I was trying to figure out was how to get inside or make connection with my opponent/partner quickly enough to avoid being totally pummeled.

I'm not adverse to taking a hit or two when sparring but I'm allergic to being whacked. I get these black and blue spots where people hit me. Especially given that a lot of the striking schools hit VERY hard.
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Old 07-23-2001, 10:35 PM   #10
Kestrel
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Unhappy

Quote:
Originally posted by cguzik
Timothy,

You have a great opportunity to find the answer to your question, because of where you train. Try to make every class whenever Saotome Sensei is teaching; it may not be obvious what he is doing but over time it will become more apparent. To establish connection with your partner, you have to irimi, which is not easy if their attack is strong. I certainly cannot tell you how to do it, but Saotome Sensei emphasizes this aspect a lot. If you watch how he moves, you will see that there is a way to enter deeply and safely and take your partner's center, even if your partner knows how to kick and punch very well.

Regards,

Chris Guzik
I haven't been lucky enough to see Saotome Sensi train yet. I missed the last time he was visiting the dojo. Hopefully next time I'll be able to make it.

Though the thought of being uke for Saotome Sensei is rather intimidating. Lucky for me I'm still all whites so I probably wouldn't get picked
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Old 07-24-2001, 06:45 PM   #11
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The other thing is that while I think the aikidoka [vs. karateka] would have an advantage once inside ...


What do you have in mind?

The reason I posted this was that I also felt that simply adding karate striking techniques to Aikido would be insufficient. It could be very confusing to an opponent to switch from one to the other though

I guarantee that no opponent worth mentioning will give a damn what "style" you are using. Even karate techniques are better then nothing.
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Old 07-24-2001, 10:55 PM   #12
Jim23
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Re: Simple answer

Quote:
Originally posted by cbrf4zr2

I've noticed with aikido we normally practice against deliberate attacks. (at least I have so far) Well...news for all of us out there who haven't run into sparring with someone from another art...be prepared to get hit a few times before you can start a technique.
I agree.

I think that many aikidoists (and aikidoka) would be in for a shock if they were to spar with a good karateka - not just someone who can kick and punch. I mean someone who you can't block, who is in complete control and almost impossible to redirect.

I would be an enlightening experience, to say the least.

Jim23

Remember, all generalizations are false
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Old 07-25-2001, 05:26 AM   #13
Sam
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It is true that facing a karateka can be extremely worrying.
I am lucky enough to have a brother of the same build as myself whom is at the same level of progression in karate as I am in aikido.
So when we practise together I can make some comparisons between what we have learnt.
In general I would say that we are pretty evenly matched. I find that even though I have not learnt traditional style atemi, they seem to happen anyway as they are to a certain level instinctive.
One of the fantastic things about aikido is that you only have to be successful once. By this I mean that a karateka (usually) has to deliver more that one strike to end the bout. But if I am successful once with shihonage, the bout ends in a submission.

The biggest problem is combination attacks which are hard becuase if you want to stop one, you have to be quick an catch the first attack and create balance-break before the second, or you have to keep out the way of several attacks.
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Old 07-25-2001, 08:44 AM   #14
Kestrel
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Exclamation Cool!

Quote:
Originally posted by Sam
It is true that facing a karateka can be extremely worrying.
I am lucky enough to have a brother of the same build as myself whom is at the same level of progression in karate as I am in aikido.
So when we practise together I can make some comparisons between what we have learnt.
In general I would say that we are pretty evenly matched. I find that even though I have not learnt traditional style atemi, they seem to happen anyway as they are to a certain level instinctive.
One of the fantastic things about aikido is that you only have to be successful once. By this I mean that a karateka (usually) has to deliver more that one strike to end the bout. But if I am successful once with shihonage, the bout ends in a submission.

The biggest problem is combination attacks which are hard becuase if you want to stop one, you have to be quick an catch the first attack and create balance-break before the second, or you have to keep out the way of several attacks.
Thanks for your reply. The fact that you only need to get in one good technique to end the confrontation was one of the reasons I made my (evidently ill-advised *grins*) comment about thinking that an aikidoka could match up well against a karateka of the same skill level.

The thing that appeared the most worrysome to me was the speed of karate techniques. How do you deal with the quick punches and kicks? I know that when I sparred in Tang Su DO there were usually several distractor techniques before I attempted to score with a punch or kick.

By the same token I was most often scored on when there were a succession of techniques to draw my guard away from the target area.
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Old 07-25-2001, 10:05 AM   #15
nikonl
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Ai symbol

well...in that case,since karate is so effective against aikido,then why learn aikido?might as well juz learn karate right?
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Old 07-25-2001, 10:40 AM   #16
Jim23
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Or Hapkido.

If aikidoists were better at atemi and were able to trade a strike or two (while evading/redirecting/blending/blocking) before the finishing aikido technique, then they could be very effective.

And yes, I know that atemi is part of aikido, but somehow I keep forgetting it. Remember, someone trained in karate, etc., (if they're good) will block and (while) attack(ing), so, sometimes the silly distracting strike will invite another directed back at you.

I find it funny when people don't question their ability or skills. Always assume that the other person could be better than you are or that they won't feel any pain (it's probably one of the few times that assumptions are good).

Jim23

Remember, all generalizations are false
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Old 07-25-2001, 08:00 PM   #17
dainippon99
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its all in the ma ai, guys.
and the zanshin.

if you just stay outside the karateka's range, eventually he will overextend himself, so that will be your chance. in theory, this is the way to go about things. i guess it really comes down to whether the aikidoka is willing to take a beating to get close to the karateka, because ideally, you want to be right in next to them, all personal like.

Always be well,
Bobby David
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Old 07-25-2001, 08:51 PM   #18
Juan Alberto
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Aikido vs Karate

If I remember correctly once a kick or punch is initiated it's direction can NOT be changed, therefore if your opponent initiates a kick to your mid-section or whatever other area you can irimi or tenkan to get out of the line of attack and defend against said attack or counter (if you prefer) An opponent can only kick or punch at one time possibly kick & punch simultaneously but giving Nage an even wider opening. For some reason in these discussions most people seem to think that AIKIDOKA (Aikidoists) are weak and slow. Come on people HAVE confidence in AIKIDO.

Sincerely,

Juan Alberto
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Old 07-25-2001, 09:29 PM   #19
Jim23
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Re: Aikido vs Karate

Quote:
Originally posted by Juan Alberto
If I remember correctly once a kick or punch is initiated it's direction can NOT be changed
Oh, really?
For some reason in these discussions most people seem to think that AIKIDOKA (Aikidoists) are weak and slow.
Many are.

Jim23

Remember, all generalizations are false
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Old 07-25-2001, 09:37 PM   #20
Juan Alberto
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Why are you so synical towards AIKIDO is it that you don't know how it works? I know for a fact that my AIKIDo works...does yours? If you don't believe me try punching (with commitment) at a focused point and have someone at anytime once you initiated the punch tell you to change its direction. I'll bet you can't.

Sincerely,

Juan Alberto

Last edited by Juan Alberto : 07-25-2001 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 07-25-2001, 09:58 PM   #21
Jim23
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Right. How many people would put all of their energy into a committed "all out" punch? Maybe a drunk swinging wildly.

Too many people are just fooling themselves regarding their aikido. When I first started, I had (fairly) senior people say "no, really hold tight and push", etc. Then they couldn't complete their technique.

The same thing also happens in karate and other MAs too.

I've seen people punch, turn on a dime and deliver a spinning kick right on the mark. Some even set you up with a fake strike (not only done by aikidoists). You are funny though.

Jim23

Remember, all generalizations are false
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Old 07-25-2001, 10:06 PM   #22
Juan Alberto
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I sure am but most of all I am an accomplished Aikidoka. You seem to just knock Aikido yet you spend your time on na Aikido discussion group. I saw your "PROFILE" nothing there that seems to be the status quo for people who like to knock others when they really have nothing to say... best of luck with what ever MA you study. I know my AIKIDO works sorry to hear yours doesn't.

Sincerely,

Juan Alberto
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Old 07-25-2001, 10:26 PM   #23
Jim23
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I find it funny (sad actually) that aikidokists hate when someone dares to be critical of an aspect of aikido or low standards. We are critical in most other areas in life, but not here!

I train in aikido, but am critical always. The day I become overconfident, I'll quit.

Aikido is great. Most of it. Not all. I've come across some very stupid logic from some pretty senior people.

Jim23

Remember, all generalizations are false
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Old 07-26-2001, 12:23 AM   #24
PeterR
 
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I am in total agreement with Jim on this one. Falling into self delusion brought about by lack of self critique is a serious problem. We are after all a Budo not a cult.

As Budoka we are learning to deal with agression not just by other Aikidoka. The question on how we can deal with a person who emphasizes this in their training is a valid one and finding the holes in our own training is part of the process.

Let's face it - the average Aikidoka does not train for violent confrontation, we have compliant Uke, we hide behind a false sense of moral superiority, and talk/write way more than we should.

On the other hand I know of several Aikidoka who train and compete in full contact PK sports and I have done a little bit myself. These people tend to agree with me when I say I will put up a well trained Aikidoka against a Karateka any day. The trick is to deal with the opponent based on your strengths not his. Most who train in Karate have their own set of limitations.


Quote:
Originally posted by Jim23
I find it funny (sad actually) that aikidokists hate when someone dares to be critical of an aspect of aikido or low standards. We are critical in most other areas in life, but not here!

I train in aikido, but am critical always. The day I become overconfident, I'll quit.

Aikido is great. Most of it. Not all. I've come across some very stupid logic from some pretty senior people.

Jim23

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-26-2001, 09:10 AM   #25
arvin m.
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firstly i believe that while its good to be confident in your aikido, i sensed a whiff of too much of it in some posts. Perhaps the truest test of whether a technique works or not would be its acutal application in a real fight? Until one gets into one, god forbid that he should, and successfully extricates himself can one really claim that his technique works. One's AIKIDO would work if he hadnt even fought at all unless there was no other way out...just my two cents worth

Many of us tend to forget atemi, karateka live and breathe such body blows. Hence, as suggested ma ai is of quintessence. Perhaps also some of the basic irmi and tenkan...just keep as relaxed as u possibly can and allow for him to commit to the attack, after all if he doesnt its a win win situation since no one gets hurt...if a karateka really knew his stuff, chances are he wouldnt be flaunting it (ok this is really naive right?)

irimi and tenkan, thats the mantra folks..let him come with the tsukis and just tenkan out of the way...or sidestep...or enter on yer own...easier said than done i guess but hey, thinking abt it is a start no? For me, i play defense...wait for him to attack then counter

im only a blue belt so this is the fairy tale world i live in as always comments and criticisms are most welcome...i might ask my judo friends to see if i can cross train with them in school..might be interesting? Any ideas on how to handle judoka perhaps?
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