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Old 05-15-2006, 03:02 PM   #26
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Lethality implied

Hopefully we can choose our level of force. I think this worries me more than anything else. I am not so sure in a actually battle that I could have a choice to have the degree of control to de-escalate to not kill in many cases.

Also, I agree David. You bring up some good points.

I remember having a conversation in my old dojo with a "technique hound" that was always looking at the lethality of aikido. knowing my background, he kept pushing me to get sucked into a conversation about a robbery scenario and what technique I would use to resolve it.

I asked him where was I? He said 7-11. I said, "what aisle?"

He look quizically and said..."what difference does that make?"

I said again, "big difference...what aisle?....can I be on the can goods aisle?"

He said, sure okay....(like whatever dude!)

I said then I'd start picking up the cans and chucking them at the guy then rip the shelf off and proceed to beat the crap out of him until he was down on the floor...then after I felt safe i'd maybe ikkyo or nikkyo pen him if he was still moving around!

Then he said, "well what does that have to do with aikido?"

"exactly! I replied!"
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Old 05-15-2006, 03:34 PM   #27
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Re: Lethality implied

Kevin,

give up the money.

dave
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Old 05-15-2006, 04:08 PM   #28
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Re: Lethality implied

hmm...at what point should we resist and at what point should we capitulate. Sounds like a whole other thread (which Kevin will want to run as variation in the "Aikido will never work...." thread no doubt :-))

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 05-15-2006, 04:38 PM   #29
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Re: Lethality implied

I felt my rage transform into something beautiful in judo.

I rediscovered my mortality with some help from a parent who did not share my views on restraint.

To make my point - I didn't get good in judo until I released the rage and felt joy in the movement - I was able to move freely and defeat even one of the Senseis when I felt belongingness, and not the desire to kill. (To clarify - I was able to throw this larger more experienced man, in randori or free play - most of the time.)

I was just speaking to a friend here who grew up close to how I did. He said that "if you are raging you can do anything; breaking a neck is nothing, easy".

Again, this is heavy stuff, and you can choose not to believe me, but I welcome discussion. Am I missing something obvious?

dave
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Old 05-16-2006, 03:04 PM   #30
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Re: Lethality implied

Rage can also work against you as well.

In Submission fighting sometimes I will attack my opponent fast and agressively, pushing and slamming into him. My only intent is to upset him emotionally to force him into a a state of frenzy and return the force. I will then move on and try and use that emotional state against him.

anger and rage can motivate you, it can also serve to cloud your judgement just as you point out Dave!
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Old 05-16-2006, 03:42 PM   #31
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Re: Lethality implied

Well Kevin,

I think I am going to have to conclude that lethality is in the mind of the beholder. One of OSenseis visions (ref. Steven's The Art of Peace) was that he was perceived all the techniques he had ever learned become techniques for bringing peace.

That may be as enlightened as he ever got, but I think that's pretty good.

Thank you all for your thoughts. I appreciate your insights as I continue
my own journey

david
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Old 05-16-2006, 04:30 PM   #32
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Lethality implied

you know, I am a pretty philosophical, peace loving dude myself. I am a vegetarian, try and follow the tenets of buddhism. I think killing is wrong in all cases. (hence why I am a vegetarian). Although it is sometimes not possible to avoid killing. I try to make myself a conduit for peace and harmony and within the confines of my abilities and situation try not to cause unecessary harm of suffering.

So, all that said.....

Saying lethality is in the eye of the beholder...not sure I agree, unless I misunderstand you meaning. lethality is lethality. You can percieve whatever you want, but if the other guy is going to kill you...well it doesn't really matter what you believe or percieve...you are going to die.

I have no problem with aikido principles and methodology being tools for peace and harmony. Frankly that is why I am here!

It is critical however, that we do not confuse philosophy, perception with reality and lethality.

I equate this to "walk softly and carry a big stick". We should try to live our lives as peaceful and as an example for peace and harmony, but sometimes we must bow to reality and deal with the immediate.
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Old 05-16-2006, 05:08 PM   #33
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Re: Lethality implied

Kevin,

Lethality is lethality. Peace is peace.

Aikido is based on brutal, violent, sudden death dealing techniques. Choosing to turn That study into a study of ourselves is genius - beating swords into plowshares. Maybe it is inherent in the human mind.

I feel like I'm reading canon, not speaking from my own point of view, but I know you will kick me if I've left an opening! bring it on!

dave
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Old 05-17-2006, 09:37 AM   #34
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Re: Lethality implied

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
I think killing is wrong in all cases. (hence why I am a vegetarian). .
Kevin, by this logic you would be happy to eat animals that have died of natural causes, is this so?

Quote:
I equate this to "walk softly and carry a big stick". We should try to live our lives as peaceful and as an example for peace and harmony, but sometimes we must bow to reality and deal with the immediate.
Walk softly and carry a big stick... one of the first bit's of fatherly advice given to me wheni was just a kid.... I wonder just how old it is?

If we all lived as an example of peace and harmony, there would be no need for 'self defence'.

Aikido is a means of moving towards this goal.

regards,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 05-17-2006, 01:43 PM   #35
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Re: Lethality implied

Yea good one Mark! I suppose philosophically that would be true concerning animals dieing of natural causes. But, alas, that is not how the system of processing animals works in our modern world. (come on, you vegan, tofu eating, aikidoka out there gotta help me out!)

Yea that is the ironic thing about peace and harmony.

I also like the zen koan..."stop harm". two simple words demonstrate the paradox. of it all.

It is easy for vegetarians to get all a holier than thou attitude...but in the end it is impossible to completely prevent killing or harm in some form or another. However, we can all make choices to reduce or minimize conflict, harm, and/or killing. Which to me is what it is all about....that and a daily practice that reminds me that I do have the ability to make choices and affect change in some small way.

David, not exactly sure what your thoughts are. It is hard to post here sometimes and convey meaning on things to others. So, not sure if the following relates to your above post.

I read alot of the dali lama's stuff. Lethality is lethality...peace is peace. If you read about the "lessons learned in Tibet"... you will find that the are connected. The Tibetans did not defend themselves against the Chinese out of their beliefs in peace. I am not so sure that the Dali Lama is not conclusive that the course of action they chose was necessarily the only one and that some degree of miliary action on the part of the tibetans might have been necessary. He is not conclusive on this (he is almost never conclusive on anything!)...but recognizes that pacifism is not always the best course of action.

Lethality is connected to peace. You can look at it as Yin/Yang. I think philosophically...enlightment is the abolishment of peace...but if you don't know conflict (lethality), how can you recognize peace?

Kinda back to Mark's comments on self defense.

It all makes my head hurt sometimes!
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Old 05-17-2006, 03:05 PM   #36
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Re: Lethality implied

Kevin,

I was trying to connect back to the supposed theme of the thread. We study gentler forms of terribly violent techniques - their lethality is implied if you appreciate how fragile the human body is.

I think it's important to note that peace is implied at the same time, though it's not as obvious. I guess I was remiss in not mentioning this in the theme of the thread, but I am not interested in mush. I eat that for breakfast because i'm middle aged. I'm interested in meat, not a lame hybrid meaty grain, or grainy flesh, but the real thing.

I think it's important to seek peace. I think it's important to not delude oneself into thinking that aikido is a 'tame' art. Far from it. I think about it as I think about the Hindu Fakir (I hope I'm getting these words right) who sits upon the skin of a tiger as he meditates - to remind him that the beast is within and needs to be conquered. My own beast is not a pussycat.

more arcane, or does that help? or am i talking just to hear myself?

dave
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Old 05-17-2006, 03:24 PM   #37
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Lethality implied

I better understand what you are saying now. We are on the same sheet of music. Lethality may be implied, however, I don't think it is literal...somewhere we got off on that discussion during this thread.

I would not necessarily say lethality is implied, but maybe violent action, or conflict is implied more like explicit vice implicit though.
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Old 05-17-2006, 04:34 PM   #38
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Re: Lethality implied

Kevin,

I get it. I have a grounded (pedestrian?) mind, but a flair for the poetic when I write. Speech, is right out!

Let's try: Aikido is Jujitsu reborn in a Saint's body. pretty darn poetic.

The violence inherent in martial arts is expressed as moving meditation in Aikido. hmm spiritual.

Aikido teaches one to live close to the blade (of aggression) but not get cut by it. sloganny.

you try?

dave
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Old 05-18-2006, 07:51 AM   #39
Mark Freeman
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Re: Lethality implied

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
(come on, you vegan, tofu eating, aikidoka out there gotta help me out!)
They would but they haven't got the strength Kevin!

Quote:
It is easy for vegetarians to get all a holier than thou attitude...
Yeah, why don't you guys when you open a Veggie restauant offer an 'omnivore' alternative, I feel persecuted

I am a born again omnivore, so am prone to looking back on my past with a sideways glance.

If animals learned self defence perhaps we wouldn't be able to eat so many of them!

That's given me an idea,...cowkido classes,...

Sorry for the lack of seriousness in the Lethalithy thread...but 'sometimes' I just can't get too serious about rhetorical questions.

Cheers
Mark
p.s. The bacon sandwich I'm eating at the momont is mmmmmm

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 05-18-2006, 08:47 AM   #40
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Lethality implied

You know it doesn't really bother me that people eat meat. You make your own choices in life, some choose to have negative karma..others don't!

I always love submitting my 18 year old soldiers and then ask them "so how does it feel to be dominated by a 40 year old, liberal, vegetarian.

Not that there is any ego or gratification involved in the process.

Broccoli can make you very lethal by the way.
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Old 05-18-2006, 09:38 AM   #41
Mark Freeman
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Re: Lethality implied

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
You know it doesn't really bother me that people eat meat. You make your own choices in life, some choose to have negative karma..others don't!
In my next life I will return as a vegetable, is that what you are saying?

Quote:
Broccoli can make you very lethal by the way.
yes, true, I usually give the broccoli eaters '5 minutes' before following

regards
Mark
p.s. It doesn't bother me that some people chose not to eat meat.

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 05-18-2006, 09:40 AM   #42
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Re: Lethality implied

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote:
Walk softly and carry a big stick... one of the first bit's of fatherly advice given to me when i was just a kid.... I wonder just how old it is?
"Speak softly and carry a big stick, you will go far."- President Theodore Roosevelt, January 26, 1900.

"Don't hit at all if you can help it; don't hit a man if you can possibly avoid it; but if you do hit him, put him to sleep." - President Theodore Roosevelt

Interesting facts,
In 1904 Isamu Takeshita introduced ju-jutsu to President Theodore Roosevelt.
In 1935 he demonstrated aiki budo to judoka and reporters in the United States.

http://www.raabcollection.com/detail...cat=32&man=255

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article...hlight=Ueshiba
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Old 05-18-2006, 10:49 AM   #43
David Orange
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Re: Lethality implied

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
I am a combatives instructor for the Army at our major training site in Europe.

Ironically, we don't focus or care about secret lethal techniques in empty handed martial arts.
Kevin, I had a student who was a retired Army Colonel. We worked a lot on aiki and sword and the relation between them. One night, we worked at length on a deadly aikido striking technique. The next week, he e-mailed me an old Army combatives manual. Then I noticed that, typically, you guys wear HELMETS....makes that deadly striking technique just a little less likely to work, doesn't it?

But as far as throwing someone to death, if the attacker has a good bit of rough-and-tumble sports experience in American football or rugby or the like, he might be a LOT harder to hurt than old Hakama sensei might lead us to believe.

I meet so many aikido people who believe they can just twist their hips and Mr. Monster will fall down and go BOOM! And then he won't bother them any more.

Baloney, as you know. MANY people will not only get right back on their feet, but, if you haven't already RUN a long way, they will come back at you with less wildness and MUCH MORE sneakiness, trying to back you into a corner. And if they can close off your routes of movement, you can suddenly find yourself wondering if you, yourself will survive. As you must know very clearly.

Another angle to this is people who think that just doing an aikido technique more forcefully and "rougher" will transform their aikido into "aikijujutsu". But as I'm sure you know, the difference is not mere level of meanness, but actual nuance of technique.

My main avenue of inquiry these days is the idea that aikido and aikijujutsu were developed by watching young children at play:

http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=1985

And if you want to talk about "hard to kill," just watch babies get to their first year of age. It is horrifying!

One night, well before my son could walk, he was sitting on the bed when he suddenly leaned back and fell backwards off the bed!

I almost had a heart attack! He cried terribly, but he was okay. You can watch them all you want, but just as in a fight, you WILL at some point, be distracted by something and THEN he'll do something unbelievably dangerous.

My boy fell off the bed many times, pulled table cloths and almost brought large, sharp-angled heavy objects down on his head. Many times, I've barely caught him before he dove head-first off something. Then they start CLIMBING anything they can reach.

Ooooohhhhhhh!!!!! My liver is quivering!!!!

Recently, he tried to dive head-first off the bed. My wife barely caught him and he wound up hanging upside down for a few seconds, looking at the floor, before she could get a solid grip to pick him back up.

When he got back up, he was really frightened and cried very seriously until we could get him calmed down. Then he started doing dangerous stuff again.

Human beings have both an innate drive for survival and apparently, a structure that is pretty dang durable, when you get right down to it.

Still, I recently watched a karate tournament in which one fighter died. It wasn't particularly tough karate and both guys were wearing full protective gear. But one guy got tapped on the side of the neck and within a few seconds, he was dead. One moment, he was standing up, bouncing around, no one thinking death was already in the room. Next minute, he's dead.

So, yes, technique is sometimes deadly when we don't want it to be. But in a life or death struggle, I guess we shouldn't count on that. Especially if the attacker has a lot of fighting/hard sport/brutality experience. If he gets the idea that you're really trying to kill him by making a rougher technique, you might only enrage him and find out what a real fight for your life is.

All that aside, I'm glad I'm not doing aikido against any mujahideen in Iraq.

Best wishes to you and thank you for your service.
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Old 05-18-2006, 11:13 AM   #44
dps
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Re: Lethality implied

No wonder I felt like a child when I first started Aikido!


Quote from David Orange's article,
http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=1985

"These toddler actions are the real roots of aikido and all other martial arts:

gripping

pulling

reaching

sitting up

falling over

catching oneself by putting an arm down

pulling up

falling down

standing upright

lifting and dropping the weight

walking

The root of kiai is standing upright."
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Old 05-18-2006, 01:35 PM   #45
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Re: Lethality implied

David Skaggs, thanks for pointing that out about Roosevelt. I already knew that, and that is sort of were I got the quote from. There was a lot that Theo Roosevelt understood about things in general. A great human being!

I recently produced a video on the history of Martial arts in the Military, and we have a small segment on Roosevelt and his influence on military combatives. I am sorry I can't share the video with anyone as it belongs to the army right now.
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Old 05-18-2006, 01:53 PM   #46
dps
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Re: Lethality implied

Kevin,
During the quick research on the web I found some more interesting articles about Teddy that I did not know. I intend to do some more reading about him, is there any resources you could recommend that you used in making your video?

Thanks
David Skaggs
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Old 05-18-2006, 03:12 PM   #47
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Lethality implied

Actually, a couple of our guys did it...I only provided the format and framework....not sure where they pulled the info from, it was very limited info in our video...probably no more than you already found on the web.
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Old 06-01-2006, 03:43 PM   #48
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Re: Lethality implied

Kevin:

I am interested in catch as catch can. Perhaps you, as a member of the military, can clear a doubt I have: was this style present in the techniques that Wesley Brown taught to the Navy in WWII? If you can give me an example, I will be very pleased and thankful to you.

Sorry for the question, but is a doubt I wanted to ask to someone like you. And congratulations, yes, for your very big curriculum in Martial Arts! Modesty, one of your main atributes, speaks for itself.

About lethality, I agree that body can take a lot, and that it is not easy to kill average persons barehand... But who is the guy anyway? Is he strong enough? Maybe he has a cardiac disease? I say this because one person can be killed with a punch, and another person can bear this same punch with little harm. It hangs on the person, the hitter and the receiver. The environment, the day, everything is influential, and thatīs why everything is so uncertain when dealing with violence. Nothing written on stone.

So, letīs better avoid fighting at all. A single pressure of your thumb in charotid artery can put Johnny to rest, or can kill Peter...

Regards
DudSan
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