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Old 05-18-2006, 11:56 PM   #26
xuzen
 
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Re: Aliveness in Martial Arts Video Clip

Hello Aiki-People,

Speaking of aliveness, I just want to get some training opinion.

If in normal aikido practice, a typical aikido people is considered too softie and "unrealistic" and not giving tori good resistant to learn proper aikido... what can we do about it?

How about introducing weapon practice in jiyu waza/ randori practice? And doing lots of it, will it raise the level of the practitioners and make training more alive?

In my own experience, when an uke is coming at me with a jo or bokken, my whole awareness switch to high alert mode which I can't help it. My body will react to this "threat" much more than when a uke comes to me sans weapon.

What do you think? Is training with weapon (even though they are make believe weapons) the way to make aikido more alive and realistic?

Thank you all for future input.

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 05-19-2006, 01:23 AM   #27
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aliveness in Martial Arts Video Clip

Boon,

I think it depends on what you define as realistic. We need more information there.

Weapons certainly increases the need to be more efficient and on your game...i.e moving your feet and hips, better posture etc. So naturally you'd feel that it was "more realistic" as you are doing things "more correctly" with respect to principles of movement etc.

again...it really depends on your definition of reality and what you and your dojo's goals and objectives are.

I mean is it realistic to be chased down the street by a sword or a machete? Might be if you live in certain parts of the world.

Again, gotta define reality. There is nothing wrong with "soft". I love to be soft. That is why I practice aikido to be much more refined and not so forceful or presumptious in my responses to uke.

I don't, however, equate what I do in the aikido dojo as reality...it is one aspect of martial training that is essentially a Layer necessary to understand the full spectrum of martial training.
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Old 05-19-2006, 03:04 PM   #28
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Re: Aliveness in Martial Arts Video Clip

Quote:
Xu Wenfung wrote:
In my own experience, when an uke is coming at me with a jo or bokken, my whole awareness switch to high alert mode which I can't help it.
I've heard a joke that the easiest way to punch someone is to hold a knife in the non-punching hand.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 05-22-2006, 12:46 AM   #29
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Re: Aliveness in Martial Arts Video Clip

Perhaps Mr. Thornton should do a little bit more research on the effectiveness of DEAD PATTERN martial arts like Aikido before he tells his students that they dont work and are actually counter productive. For one maybe he sould read this article.

http://www.aikidoonline.com/Archives...2_bcorner.html
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Old 05-22-2006, 12:44 PM   #30
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Re: Aliveness in Martial Arts Video Clip

Quote:
Paul Nowicki wrote:
Perhaps Mr. Thornton should do a little bit more research on the effectiveness of DEAD PATTERN martial arts like Aikido before he tells his students that they dont work and are actually counter productive. For one maybe he sould read this article.

http://www.aikidoonline.com/Archives...2_bcorner.html
I concider stories like that Anecdotal evidence. I can find a million storys to prove anything I want to prove. The difference is that the majority of people who train with 'aliveness' are effective in what they do, where as the minority of people who train in 'dead patterns' only are not effective in what they do. There are a lot of missing varibles. Did he have past training? Did they spar? Was it previous police training that helped him leverage his techniques? How big was he and how big was his attackers? We could debate this forever.

However there is one thing I think is easy to see and agree with. If you take two sample groups of people, train one in any martial art that does exculsivly 'dead patterns' with no 'aliveness' and train the other in 'aliveness' only for 3 months and then get them to spar, the skill levels will be instantly noticable. Those who have done the 'aliveness' training will be comfortable with the level of contact, have better timing, and be more relaxed then those who did not. Those who trained in dead patterns will not be used to the level of contact, the mental stress of sparing, and the timing needed to use their techniques.

Will there be exceptions? Of course, some people just suck at physical things and will never be good fighters. Some people are super athletic and can just be told what the objective is and pull it off with no training. But the majority will fall along the lines I just layed out. How do I know this? Because if it didn't work, we wouldn't train sports this way. Plus the we can see the results though actual testing.

Everyone likes to think they are the exception. They like to think they will be the one guy who can master the secrets and be untouchable. They will look at actual evidence and say "well this isn't the case for me". But very few people will actually get off their butts and go try something before making a decision. Matt has been on both sides of the fence. I have been on both sides of the fence. I can tell you I gain skill in judo and bjj at least a hundred times faster then I gain skill in aikido. My TKD did not work until I started training with aliveness. You can read my testimonial above (of course that is Anecdotal evidence).

So what does it come down to? Do you need 'aliveness' to be a effective fighter? I would say yes. Without alivness you will not be prepared for a opponent who has trained with 'aliveness'. Do you need aliveness for self defense? If you never plan to defend yourself against a train fighter, you probably dont need 'aliveness'. But if you go against a guy who has trained with 'aliveness' I'm going to say you are going to loose (Unless you have numbers, or weapons on your side). Do you need 'alivness' to enjoy your training? No, but you need to be realistic about your skill level, and what you want from your training, and what you are actually getting out of your training. This is really the core of what Matt is preaching, to be honest with yourself. Its easy misjudge what you are learing and what your skills are like without testing them. I just got back from NAGA in Chicago and my skills were tested. I know exactly where I stand and excactly what I can and can not do with my knowedge. I know what I need to focus on to be a effective grappler. It was much more effective then doing kata and having a instructor tell me my technique needs work. Plus I got to meet a ton of great people who were very encouraging and had great sportsmanship.

In ending ask yourself these things. What do you want to get out of your training? What do you get out of your training? What are your strenghts and weakness? Can having 'aliveness' to your training help you get these goals?

If your not sure, give it a try. It wont hurt to try adding it to your training. You might find it improves your skill. You might find its not for you. But as you diss Matt for saying things without trying them (which is not true), you should make sure the same can not be said about you.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 05-22-2006, 01:00 PM   #31
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Re: Aliveness in Martial Arts Video Clip

Aliveness in which way? Many are assuming that everyone is training for a NHB or grappling paradiqm. I would submit that the goals of aikido are not suited for that, nor the last time I checked are their too many people at the upper levels that are purporting that aikido is good at that type of aliveness.

Aliveness can come in many forms. Aikido is good in many respects, maybe not the paradigm (external) that many hold out as the only test for martial effectiveness.

That said, I have no issues Don with the things you discuss from that paradigm.
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Old 05-22-2006, 01:36 PM   #32
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Re: Aliveness in Martial Arts Video Clip

When I say alivness I simply mean exactly what Matt means.

This comes from aliveness101.blogspot.com

Quote:
Aliveness is timing, energy, and motion.

What do you mean by timing, energy, & motion?

for something to be truly alive in what we do then it has have three key elements, movement, timing, and energy (resistance). If you are missing any one of these then it is not Alive.

Movement means real footwork, not contrived, not in a pattern.... on the ground it means exactly that also... movement.... if the person is just laying there, not moving as you apply your lock or move....that is not Alive. In the clinch its the same... .pushing, pulling, moving.

Timing is of course just that.... if its in a predictable rhythm, a pattern, a repeatable series of sets, then you are not acquiring or developing timing, just motion speed.

And of course energy.... swing the stick like someone would really swing it.... dont stop at centerline. Punch with the energy of someone who wants to hit you. Not locking your arm out so your partner can look good doing the destruction, or trap, or silat sweep, etc.

You must move, have a sense of timing, and progressive resistance
Also I think this is important to training properly. Again from Aliveness101.blogspot.com

Quote:
In fact, the only thing I believe matters is that we are honest within our own self about our own intentions. And that we remain skeptical, and question all forms, and statements of authority. . .for ourselves.
If you want to test your skill, you need to define what you want to do with that skill. For example, if I want to test my ability to stay calm under high stress situations, I will have to eventually put myself in a high stress situation. Doing anything else is just conjecture. If I want to test my effectivness in 1 on 1 combat, I'm going to have to actually get into 1 on 1 combat. To never do 1 on 1 combat and say you can do it is simply a lie.

I do think a lot of aikido training has elements of 'aliveness'. I just think that it stops short of going all the way. Is this true for every aikido dojo? Nope, I'm sure there are aikido dojo's that do full randori 1 on 1 and multiple on one all the time. I just think they are the minority. I am much more sure that the majority of schools do free form exercises with motion, timing, and energy. Where the uke does what he wants, and the nage responds. However, I doubt the majority of schools train with realistic attacks in these exercises.

I am by no means a master of aikido. I can not claim to teach you to be a great aikidoka. I doubt I could teach you much aikido at all. However I know honestly what I am and am not able to do. I have an honest assetment of my ablilities and a platform from which to test if anyting I am shown is bullcrap. I am honest with myself regarding what I want from the martial arts, and what I am getting from my training. If more people work to building that for themselves I think the martial arts would grow in a much more positive way.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 05-22-2006, 01:39 PM   #33
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Re: Aliveness in Martial Arts Video Clip

Quote:
To never do 1 on 1 combat and say you can do it is simply a lie.
Nope. It might be true, it might not. It is simply unproven. Castigating it as a lie is misrepresentation.

Best,
Ron

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Old 05-22-2006, 01:48 PM   #34
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Re: Aliveness in Martial Arts Video Clip

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Nope. It might be true, it might not. It is simply unproven. Castigating it as a lie is misrepresentation.

Best,
Ron

I would agree with you. I guess the word lie is to harsh a word to use there. However I feel a lot of people tell themselves and even worse, tell others unproven things. To me, this is just as bad as lying to yourself.

That said, there are many things that do not work for me. That does not make these techinques worthless, just inefffective for me. For other's they may work great. Everyone is different. Of course this is why we get constant feedback from different people sometimes even contradicting feedback from different people on how to get a technique to work. So unproven may not mean useless and proving a technique does not work for you may just mean you are not skilled enough to pull it off. For example, Eddie Bravo can do some cool stuff from half guard I can't do. I can test his stuff in sparing, it just doesn't work for me. This doesn't mean its worthless, it just means it doesn't work for me yet. maybe at some people I will get faster, or have better timing, or whatever it is I need for those techniques to work. I know how these things work, I can do them perfectly against a guy who lets me in a drill. The little nuances of making things work will never be realized without trying them on a resisting partner.

Last edited by DonMagee : 05-22-2006 at 01:51 PM.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 05-22-2006, 02:07 PM   #35
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Re: Aliveness in Martial Arts Video Clip

Aliveness can take various forms at different levels.

for example. If I am going to teach my soldiers how to effectively engage targets in a CQB scenario, I don't start out by having them go into a full speed run phase for training.

We start out slow, first on basic rifle marksmanship training. We spend hours working on posture, alignment of body with connecting the rifle, breathing, foot work, how to bring the gun up and your body into position, how to turn, which btw is very similar to aikido foot work...all that good stuff that I would equate to good basic aikido training.

I would not say it is time wasted or the opposite of "alive" which is dead...but time well spent developing the basics necessary to go to the next level of training.

Aikido spends most of our time doing just these things. So I would submit that all of aikido is live...we just simply never really get out of the theoretical crawl, or walk phase and go full out into a run phase.

I'm a MMA and BJJ guy and even then, it is not what I would call "alive" or "real" any more necessarily than aikido since we have constraints and rules that we live by to be able to practice.

I would say that the skills learned may be more close to what you would face in a situation, but none the less, nor more alive or real.

A third layer is necessary in order to make it real. Unfortunately, you cannot practice all three layers as one unit, as it would be too dangerous.

I again, equate this to military live fire weapons training. We layer the training so we can have a complete effect. Ultimate would be force on force with real bullets, but that is kinda dumb and not very practical.

So we layer training with overlap so when complete, you have a complete person that has developed all the skills and habits necessary to deal with real combat.

I think the word "alive" is really the wrong term to use, as it connotates that the opposite is "dead" and that is simply not the case when you are conducting "dry fires" which essentially what aikido is to me. A very important part of any training.

So, essentially, most aikidoka would be conducting "alive" training all the time, they simply don't conduct the other "layers". Why? because it is not necessary to understand or conceive of what the goals of aikido are which is to help someone better understand conflict with the ultimate goal of peace and harmony.

It ain't all about the Rear Naked Choke, dominating, submitting, and winning. There is much more to martial arts than that.

Again, I have no issues with how you train and your thoughts Don...frankly I agree with most of them. I simply think that Matt is missing the point in many respects concerning his concept of "alive".

There is much more to it than what he proposes.
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Old 05-22-2006, 02:12 PM   #36
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Re: Aliveness in Martial Arts Video Clip

Don Wrote:

Quote:
Eddie Bravo can do some cool stuff from half guard I can't do
yea no kidding. I have been trying for months to do his Half Guard passes. I can not get them to work. I get the lock down for like 15 minutes, no problem, but go to pass and I am stuck there.

I find his stuff very intriuqing...but can't get most of it to work for me. I did get submitted in a tournament a week ago by a guy using his textbook "rubber guard". In fact while he was doing it I thought "hey that's Eddie Bravo's rubber guard...cool". Right before he tapped me with an arm bar.
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Old 05-22-2006, 02:30 PM   #37
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Re: Aliveness in Martial Arts Video Clip

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Aliveness can take various forms at different levels.

for example. If I am going to teach my soldiers how to effectively engage targets in a CQB scenario, I don't start out by having them go into a full speed run phase for training.

We start out slow, first on basic rifle marksmanship training. We spend hours working on posture, alignment of body with connecting the rifle, breathing, foot work, how to bring the gun up and your body into position, how to turn, which btw is very similar to aikido foot work...all that good stuff that I would equate to good basic aikido training.

I would not say it is time wasted or the opposite of "alive" which is dead...but time well spent developing the basics necessary to go to the next level of training.

Aikido spends most of our time doing just these things. So I would submit that all of aikido is live...we just simply never really get out of the theoretical crawl, or walk phase and go full out into a run phase.

I'm a MMA and BJJ guy and even then, it is not what I would call "alive" or "real" any more necessarily than aikido since we have constraints and rules that we live by to be able to practice.

I would say that the skills learned may be more close to what you would face in a situation, but none the less, nor more alive or real.

A third layer is necessary in order to make it real. Unfortunately, you cannot practice all three layers as one unit, as it would be too dangerous.

I again, equate this to military live fire weapons training. We layer the training so we can have a complete effect. Ultimate would be force on force with real bullets, but that is kinda dumb and not very practical.

So we layer training with overlap so when complete, you have a complete person that has developed all the skills and habits necessary to deal with real combat.

I think the word "alive" is really the wrong term to use, as it connotates that the opposite is "dead" and that is simply not the case when you are conducting "dry fires" which essentially what aikido is to me. A very important part of any training.

So, essentially, most aikidoka would be conducting "alive" training all the time, they simply don't conduct the other "layers". Why? because it is not necessary to understand or conceive of what the goals of aikido are which is to help someone better understand conflict with the ultimate goal of peace and harmony.

It ain't all about the Rear Naked Choke, dominating, submitting, and winning. There is much more to martial arts than that.

Again, I have no issues with how you train and your thoughts Don...frankly I agree with most of them. I simply think that Matt is missing the point in many respects concerning his concept of "alive".

There is much more to it than what he proposes.

I agree that all those steps are required. You can't just drop somebody in a ring with gloves and tell him to go. Matt covers that. But in the hand to hand combat range most effective techniques really only take a few minutes to learn. Then you can practice them with increased resistance until you reach as high as level as the person is comfortable with. Just like in your weapons example, eventually you are shooting things, and doing miles type situations. If you could take it a step further you have to admit it would make your guys even better soldiers. MMA is as close as you can get to real one on one combat. That makes it the best test we have for one on one combat. It isn't a test for inner peace, weapons, two on one combat or anything like that, but it is great for what it does.

I don't think aikidoka need to be out in the MMA ring though. I don't think they need to get into competitions (although I do think competition is good for people and everyone should compete in something at some point in their lives). I think aikido need to take their training and make sure it is progressing in resistance (energy), timing, and movement. I think that at some level you need to do some fully resistance sparing. If you can't handle a single attacker in fully resistant sparing, your going to have trouble with 3. But that is if your goal is being good at defending yourself against a skilled attacker. Unlike firearms, there are very few things in martial arts which are too deadly to do. And if you can't do the basics, you can't logically expect to do the more advanced techniques.

Maybe your goal is a inner goal. I train aikido for inner calmness and balance in life. I had a great test of this last saturday. I faced much larger and more aggressive opponents at NAGA in chicago. Normally, I am extremely nervous and anxious before and during competitions. But this time, I went into a corner and did some exercises and focused on breathing, I kept my center (as much as possible when a much stronger guy is attempting to throw you) and was calm though the whole event. Even my losses didn't phase me. I got up shook the guys hand, had a great time and was ready for the next guy. I think that was an alive test of why I still train aikido. I believe my aikido skill is progressing in the direction I hoped it would.

However I also think Matt's aliveness is just a different path to the same mental aspects that I hold dear in aikido. He covers this on his aliveness101 blog. You can gain a lot of spirituality though sport. I simply choose the aikido path at this junction in time. I'm also thinking about picking up yoga, but thats a different subject all together. I don't think he is missing the point as much as taking a different path in the spiritual side.

I appreciate the fact we can talk about this. I love to examine why I believe the way I do. It helps me better understand myself and others.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 05-22-2006, 02:35 PM   #38
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Re: Aliveness in Martial Arts Video Clip

IK'm not dissing Matt at all. I said before that alot of the stuff he said i agreed with. I think training realistically is definitelly beneficial. I did take offence though to the way he was DISSING other martial arts and saying how they'll never work in a real situation. That he was wrong about because we hear of examples where they worked exactly the way they should by law enforcement practionoers. Therefrore Matts outright comments on the ineffectiveness of these in the real worls are not correct.
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Old 05-22-2006, 03:23 PM   #39
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Re: Aliveness in Martial Arts Video Clip

Don,

You and I have a lot of the same perspective on things it appears.

Personally I do most of the things you talk about for my own training. I agree with the fact that MMA is about as close as you can get to full pressure testing stress and physical fighitng skills.

Also, with regards to spirituality. I have found that it is possible to have the same benefits you derive from the DO arts in a so-called external practice.

I simply defend that aikido is not necessarily "dead" or not valid as a practice. There are different levels of effectiveness and different goals that make it an appropriate study. I do contend that based on Matt's paradiqm and values...it is not as valuable.
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Old 05-22-2006, 04:46 PM   #40
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Re: Aliveness in Martial Arts Video Clip

Thinking about what Mr. Thornton said in the video (and churning it over with some things read on Ellis Amdur's blog), it occurred to me that aikido isn't a full "delivery system", and perhaps was never meant to be.

In the old days, to get an introduction to Ueshiba and become his student, you needed to have an introduction from at least one (sometimes two) known and respected person in the budo world. This meant that you were more likely than not at least a shodan in kendo, or judo, or karate, or something. That was your delivery system. And particularly in the case of kendo and judo, you had something approaching "alive" training. Aikido, as taught by Ueshiba, was a stripped down version of Daito-ryu, focusing more on principle than on technique. And of course, as time went on, aikido was further streamlined by Kisshomaru and Tohei, and made available to the masses. And perhaps this is why some feel that the level of aikido is getting diluted. Too many people are treating it like it's a delivery system, rather than a principle-based system. The early guys blended aikido with what they already had internalized.

I can't say if all that is true or not, but it's kind of where my thinking is heading now.

Josh Reyer

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Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
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Old 05-22-2006, 06:39 PM   #41
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Re: Aliveness in Martial Arts Video Clip

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote:
Thinking about what Mr. Thornton said in the video (and churning it over with some things read on Ellis Amdur's blog), it occurred to me that aikido isn't a full "delivery system", and perhaps was never meant to be.

In the old days, to get an introduction to Ueshiba and become his student, you needed to have an introduction from at least one (sometimes two) known and respected person in the budo world. This meant that you were more likely than not at least a shodan in kendo, or judo, or karate, or something. That was your delivery system. And particularly in the case of kendo and judo, you had something approaching "alive" training. Aikido, as taught by Ueshiba, was a stripped down version of Daito-ryu, focusing more on principle than on technique. And of course, as time went on, aikido was further streamlined by Kisshomaru and Tohei, and made available to the masses. And perhaps this is why some feel that the level of aikido is getting diluted. Too many people are treating it like it's a delivery system, rather than a principle-based system. The early guys blended aikido with what they already had internalized.

I can't say if all that is true or not, but it's kind of where my thinking is heading now.

That makes a lot of sense. I could see aiki priciples being used as a finishing school for your judo or jiujitsu technique. But if that was true it would be up to the teachers to start getting their students to get a delivery system first, or incorprate the needed dilvery systems into aikido. A really interesting way of looking at it though.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 05-22-2006, 09:03 PM   #42
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Re: Aliveness in Martial Arts Video Clip

People practicing so-called 'dead' arts have been using them successfully in real life longer than Thornton has been alive.


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Old 05-22-2006, 09:55 PM   #43
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Re: Aliveness in Martial Arts Video Clip

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote:

In the old days,.
Also didn't most of O'Sensei's students in the old days had some kind of military experience through war that was reflected in their practice of Aikido. The students in the newer days don't have that experience to influence their practice.
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Old 05-23-2006, 06:18 AM   #44
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Re: Aliveness in Martial Arts Video Clip

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Justin Smith wrote:
People practicing so-called 'dead' arts have been using them successfully in real life longer than Thornton has been alive.

I think the focus on exclusively using 'dead patterns' to train is a recent phenomenon. Look at karate, its obvious sparring was a big part of karate training, but not so much anymore. Sparring was removed from most arts because people just simply didn't want to do it. Thus instructors who wanted to make money removed the sparing elements from their training. Even aikido has randori, high value is placed on this randori in older styles of aikido.

I remember in TKD our instructor used to talk about how hard his training was. But our training never got that hard. I asked why we never did that hard training he talked about. He said it was because the forms will teach us everything we need to know, and point sparing had been designed to make it un-necessary to do hard training. But if you really look at it it was because most parents don't want their children to get hurt, and because most adults are afraid of getting hurt. If he did hard sparing his school would not have had millions of little kids and a large supply of adults. Instead he would of been like the kyokushin karate school downtown with only a small handful of students.

I see it over and over. The bujinkan people who say they don't spar because their moves are too deadly and will kill people. But then in the same breath other bujinkan people will say their schools spar all the time and the non-sparing schools must just suck. Well its obvious that if one school can do it then the techniques must not be all that deadly when controlled. I mean its obvious that you can control the force you use in a armbar, you don't have to break the guys arm every single time you apply it. Still others say they do not need to spar because the techniques were developed and sparred with many years ago, and we don't need to prove they work, we know they work. But yet they forget that generations have gone by without testing of these techniques (besides the few police men who did one once to protect themselves which is few and far between to call testing). Though these generations of students with no real 'alive' experience (aka, no sparing, no competition, whatever) techniques are getting modified and changed. People are getting lazy or forgetting details that are required to make it work against a fully resisting opponent. Think about how many small little details are required to make any aikido technique work. Now think about how many more are required when that guy is really trying to hurt you. He is going to be actively attempting to keep his balance and hit you. He is going to grab on, or push away, etc. There are a lot of little details that a person who has never been in this situation will never know about. Martial arts are an oral tradition, and I know we all played 'Chinese telephone' in school. Without a control such as sparing things can get lost in the translation.

But the first students would know these details, because they had other training in 'alive' arts. They would be used to the randomness and little tricks that are needed against a fully resisting opponent. And I bet they did randori a lot. Would I say aikido is a 'dead' art? Definitely not. But I would say that it would be easy for aikido to fall into this 'dead pattern' trap. It just lends itself to having people say "its too deadly to actually use" or "Osensei was a genius, and his techniques were passed down perfectly, we know they work" or even the worse idea that some people get that even though they have never been punched in their lives, even though they are 25-50 pounds overweight and can't do 10 push ups or run a 25 meter dash, they still swear their training has made the ready for a fight. If your winded walking up some stairs, you have bigger problems then self defense. In fact I'd saying learning to walk up stairs and not get winded is the first step to proactive self defense.

Anyways I'll stop rambling and shut-up for a while. My point was 'aliveness' existed in all martial arts at some point. It is a recent convention to remove it (IMHO).

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 05-23-2006, 11:35 AM   #45
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aliveness in Martial Arts Video Clip

Joshua wrote:

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In the old days, to get an introduction to Ueshiba and become his student, you needed to have an introduction from at least one (sometimes two) known and respected person in the budo world. This meant that you were more likely than not at least a shodan in kendo, or judo, or karate, or something. That was your delivery system. And particularly in the case of kendo and judo, you had something approaching "alive" training. Aikido, as taught by Ueshiba, was a stripped down version of Daito-ryu, focusing more on principle than on technique. And of course, as time went on, aikido was further streamlined by Kisshomaru and Tohei, and made available to the masses. And perhaps this is why some feel that the level of aikido is getting diluted. Too many people are treating it like it's a delivery system, rather than a principle-based system. The early guys blended aikido with what they already had internalized.
I kinda tend to lean this way in my thinking!
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Old 05-23-2006, 11:54 AM   #46
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Re: Aliveness in Martial Arts Video Clip

Justin wrote:

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People practicing so-called 'dead' arts have been using them successfully in real life longer than Thornton has been alive.
Sure aspects of the arts they studied, depending on the situation.

I think the point is this: Why would you spend your time training something that is 70% inefficient as a delivery system?

Now I don't necessarily subscribe 100% to this view point, but it is worth considering IF your sole objective is to be effective in a altercation of a fairly high intensity.

I studied TMA for about 10 years. I was soundly made to look like an amateur by a couple of soldiers that had no martial arts background and went to 60 days worth of Army Combatives School.

It really made me take inventory about why I was studying the way I was studying. I have since modified that practice.

Again, it does not mean aikido is not a relevant or not worthwile...it simply means it ain't everything for every situation necessarily. Frankly there are some very good reasons to study aikido.

again, don't look at the opposite of "aliveness" as "deadness" that is simply not a correct analogy. Again, I can understand from Matt Thornton's perspective why he sees things the way he does. Frankly if you are concentrating on the things he is concerned about...he is correct.

Be careful not to fall into the trap of comparison. UNLESS, you really value the things he is studying...then you probably are wasting your time studying aikido. It ain't the end all and 100% solution to every situation or training methodology. It depends on your goals.
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Old 05-23-2006, 12:00 PM   #47
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Re: Aliveness in Martial Arts Video Clip

On another note on aliveness. I had a very interesting combatives class this morning. It was a Platoon of soldiers (35 people) that about 75% of them had fought in Falujah.

When starting the class I asked how many had any martial arts experience...only about 2 hands went up. I asked how many had ever been in a potentially life or death struggle in a "combatives" situation...about 20 hands went up in the air.

There was an interesting "attitude" about how many of them approached their training this morning, more so than I had ever noticed from soldiers I had worked with in the past without combat experience. Even though they were realitively unskilled at what they were doing...there was definitely an air of "aliveness" in the way the approached the training that I had not necessarily seen in this type of class before.

Aliveness has much to do with how you approach your training as well.

Just some thoughts that came to mind today!
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Old 05-23-2006, 12:08 PM   #48
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Re: Aliveness in Martial Arts Video Clip

True, aliveness does have a lot to do with how you act. In fact one of the quotes I like best is "concept of authenticity in all actions". Basically questioning, testing and keeping honest with yourself.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 05-23-2006, 03:58 PM   #49
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Re: Aliveness in Martial Arts Video Clip

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Kevin Leavitt wrote:
I studied TMA for about 10 years. I was soundly made to look like an amateur by a couple of soldiers that had no martial arts background and went to 60 days worth of Army Combatives School.
Shame on you then.

Others have applied their MA successfully in real life.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 05-24-2006, 12:17 PM   #50
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Re: Aliveness in Martial Arts Video Clip

and I acknowledged that a few sentences above what you cut out. Please don't paraphrase me and not include the other salient facts.
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