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Old 06-25-2006, 08:17 PM   #1
Luc X Saroufim
 
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Brawling with a friend

Hello everyone,

what I am probably about to type is not new to many veterans out there, but hopefully will clear up some issues for beginners like me.

in the 10 months i've been training, there has been one resounding positive effect: confidence. i am simply more confident in myself.

so my best friend and I got together this weekend. mind you, i've known this guy forever, the last thing he does is insult me, or want to hurt me, but we always have "friendly" fights.

this time, we decided to turn it up a notch. i figured we could, because we trust each other, the same way an uke trusts his tori.

we cleared the living room and began to "fight." now here is what i learned about Aikido, and hopefully i will get some advice from the older students:

1) I attacked first. Basically, as soon as I did that, I lost the fight. Aikido really is a non-violent martial art. even though i knew some beginner techniques, i could not employ them, because i didn't allow my friend to attack me. therefore, i had no 'ki' to work with.

2) You have to move fast in Aikido for it to be effective. if it's not instinctual, it will not work. he *did* grab my wrists a few times, and as soon as i "connected" with him, he simply let go, and the "ki" was lost.

3) In spite of all this, i still had a chance to take him down. i had him set up for a perfect sankyo, and couldn't do it correctly.

summary: sometimes people think Aikido doesn't work. in this case, it didn't at all. but it wasn't O' Sensei's fault.

if i waited for my friend to attack first, I might've had a chance. i always acted too hastily and tried to take him down. this goes against everything Aikido teaches you.

second, if you don't practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, you will never employ the technique correctly. they require a swift, instinctual motion, with no delay or hesitation. hesitate for a second, and you have lost the technique. if you rest on your laurels, you don't stand a chance.

looking back on what i just typed, this sounds like a lot of common sense. however, i've seen a lot of "Aikido doesn't work" threads recently, and I have to agree: if you let your oppenents play their game, it will not work at all.
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Old 06-25-2006, 09:33 PM   #2
crbateman
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Re: Brawling with a friend

There are so many ways to respond to what you have said, that I wouldn't even know where to start, so I won't, except to say that 10 months into your training is the wrong time to make such a broad indictment. In Aikido, 10 months is less than one second.
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Old 06-25-2006, 09:49 PM   #3
ikkitosennomusha
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Clark conveyed my sentiments well enough. In a few more years of training, you will understand that uke doesn't have to attack first for the conflict to end in victory.

An old joke is, match two aikidoka up and they will stand there forever with no resolution because while one is waiting for the other to attack and vise versa, there is no attacking going on and thus it turns out to be a starring contest! LOL!

This is not the case. Yes, aikido prefers to be nonviolent and harmonize the attacker's energy but thats not to say that you cannot attack first!
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Old 06-25-2006, 09:56 PM   #4
Luc X Saroufim
 
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Re: Brawling with a friend

sorry my friends, did not mean to generalize this art. like both of you pointed out, I wholeheartedly agree that I have barely begun.

I just thought I would shed a pure beginner's point of view. i'm guessing that most of these "aikido does not work" threads are started by beginners like me, who are still trying to figure it out.

Quote:
Brad Medling wrote:

An old joke is, match two aikidoka up and they will stand there forever with no resolution because while one is waiting for the other to attack and vise versa, there is no attacking going on and thus it turns out to be a starring contest! LOL!
this is what i was trying to get at. glad it is not the case, and i'm looking forward to the days when i find out for myself.

take it easy on me,

Luc

Last edited by Luc X Saroufim : 06-25-2006 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 06-25-2006, 10:09 PM   #5
dps
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Re: Brawling with a friend

[quote=
1) I attacked first. Basically, as soon as I did that, I lost the fight. Aikido really is a non-violent martial art. even though i knew some beginner techniques, i could not employ them, because i didn't allow my friend to attack me. therefore, i had no 'ki' to work with.

2) You have to move fast in Aikido for it to be effective. if it's not instinctual, it will not work. he *did* grab my wrists a few times, and as soon as i "connected" with him, he simply let go, and the "ki" was lost.

3) In spite of all this, i still had a chance to take him down. i had him set up for a perfect sankyo, and couldn't do it correctly.

summary: sometimes people think Aikido doesn't work. in this case, it didn't at all. but it wasn't O' Sensei's fault.

if i waited for my friend to attack first, I might've had a chance. i always acted too hastily and tried to take him down. this goes against everything Aikido teaches you.

second, if you don't practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, you will never employ the technique correctly. they require a swift, instinctual motion, with no delay or hesitation. hesitate for a second, and you have lost the technique. if you rest on your laurels, you don't stand a chance.

looking back on what i just typed, this sounds like a lot of common sense. however, i've seen a lot of "Aikido doesn't work" threads recently, and I have to agree: if you let your oppenents play their game, it will not work at all.[/QUOTE]

As soon as you attacked him you showed him your intentions and gave up your balance. If you tried to use muscular strength in your attack you were not relaxed and this would hinder your movements.

There is much more that you did and did not do that you will see as you continue practicing.

It is never O'Sensei's fault that your Aikido did not work and yes practice, practice, practice, practice, all the answers are on the mat.
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Old 06-25-2006, 11:07 PM   #6
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Quote:
in the 10 months i've been training, there has been one resounding positive effect: confidence. i am simply more confident in myself.
Confidence is great, but as you found out, confidence only means one will be more comfortable entering into some related situation.
Quote:
2) You have to move fast in Aikido for it to be effective. if it's not instinctual, it will not work. he *did* grab my wrists a few times, and as soon as i "connected" with him, he simply let go, and the "ki" was lost.
I especially agree with the part about it having to be instinctual. Thinking only seems to distract my ability to respond/act.
Quote:
summary: sometimes people think Aikido doesn't work. in this case, it didn't at all. but it wasn't O' Sensei's fault.
It wasn't exactly Aikido, though, was it? If techniques didn't work, you weren't blending with his movements and getting "inside" of his movements. Ideally, you should never have to struggle: find your partner's intention and move with it.
HOWEVER remember there's a good reason most Aikidoka don't favor competing with people...particualry if the people are still very new: it's easy to get fixated on searching for, and then finding, that opening while you're tangled up with your partner; this can easily lead to dislocated bones or torn ligaments, if you're not sensitive enough to release the pressure you're generating, safely...and a spiral fracture sucks big-time! In addition to this, some techniques, if you pull them off, require uke to know how to move so they don't get hurt...if uke tenses up at the wrong time, it's easy to tear a muscle, or worse.
Kiotsukete while you gambatte!
Take care,
Matt

Last edited by mathewjgano : 06-25-2006 at 11:10 PM.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 06-25-2006, 11:21 PM   #7
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Quote:
Brad Medling wrote:
An old joke is, match two aikidoka up and they will stand there forever with no resolution because while one is waiting for the other to attack and vise versa, there is no attacking going on and thus it turns out to be a starring contest! LOL!
I remember reading something about some wrestlers coming to visit (hombu?) and OSensei allowing some kind of challenge "match." Earlier the wrestlers had visited the Kodokan where they were told to never attack an Aikidoka first, so there was a bunch of circling around before Tohei-sensei finally engaged the wrestler and imobilized him. As I recall, OSensei, got mad that Tohei-sensei had attacked first. I think I read it here on Aikiweb, but I can't recall for sure...might have been Aikido Journal. I don't think it was Tohei relating the story...maybe Chiba-sensei? Anyway...it just reminded me of that story.
Take care,
Matthew

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 06-26-2006, 12:01 AM   #8
Luc X Saroufim
 
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Re: Brawling with a friend

wow, thank you all for your input. looks like I have a long way to go (obviously), but I'm prepared for the long journey.
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Old 06-26-2006, 12:36 AM   #9
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Re: Brawling with a friend

This Thursday I will have been in Aikido for a month now. (but really not at all because we only meet once a week ) Anyways Luc, dont worry, you are not alone in being a noob.

My best friend and I were just messing around yesterday acting like we were fighting. He said we should try a practice where two people stand side to side, foot to foot, and from there try to get the other person to move the outside foot. Anyways, I instictivly let him push into me, and just make subtle movements with my center to bring him off balance. I believe that Ive learned alot (IN MY EYES) for only going to 3 once a week courses, and reading into some books.

To speak ill of anything is against the nature of Aikido
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Old 06-26-2006, 04:12 AM   #10
Steve Mullen
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Luc, you can't build a solid brigde without solid foundations. Right now you are at the stage of surveying the ground. I have been training for 3 years now and feel like im at the stage of boring that first hole into the ground to lay my first support strut.

When you were playing with your friend, you were probably (i would assume) going for a certain technique(s) to the detriment of others, this is something that EVERYONE does to begin with (usually its their favourite technique they go for first) relax and look for his balance first, then something will come to you (hand/head/arm/leg etc).

As for attacking first, when we are told not to attack first it think this means attacks which compromise our balance e.g. huge punches where we have to clear a lot of space to make them connetc. Alos, it comes from an idea of 'if we dont attack first, and the other side doesn't attack then there is no physical conflict, and that's the best way of all to avoid injury to both parties. A nice idea, but not always practical, so next time you and your mate have a bit of a play, aim a few quick punches up and down his body while you move into him to take his balance. balance is the Ki (crap pun i know, im very very sorry )

Just have fun training, pretty soon you will notice the changes and the sublties of your technique.

Steve

"No matter your pretence, you are what you are and nothing more." - Kenshiro Abbe Shihan
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Old 06-26-2006, 04:15 AM   #11
Aristeia
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote:
emember there's a good reason most Aikidoka don't favor competing with people...particualry if the people are still very new: it's easy to get fixated on searching for, and then finding, that opening while you're tangled up with your partner; this can easily lead to dislocated bones or torn ligaments, if you're not sensitive enough to release the pressure you're generating, safely...and a spiral fracture sucks big-time! In addition to this, some techniques, if you pull them off, require uke to know how to move so they don't get hurt...if uke tenses up at the wrong time, it's easy to tear a muscle, or worse.
Kiotsukete while you gambatte!
Take care,
Matt
Doesn't it strike anyone else as odd that on the one had Aikido is touted as the pacifists martial art - subdue your opponenet without hamring them etc etc, and on the other we get these too dangerous to spar type arguments?

Personally I still maintain that it's not an issue of being too dangerous so much as Aikido works best against a particular type of unfettered agression which you don't see alot in sparring and certainly not in two mates facing off in the living room.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 06-26-2006, 04:42 AM   #12
Mark Freeman
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Luc,
Clark's response, should cover most of what you need right now.
If you continue to train for 10 years and your friend does not, then the 'friendly fights' will either become one sided or evaporate completely as you lose interest in the win/lose paradigm of fighting.
Over time in aikido you may realise that the only opponent worth grappling with is oneself. You will provide yourself with many opportunities and almost limitless material to work with.
Friends are for having a good time with, what happens when you do get to the point when you can 'beat' him, will it change the nature of the relationship? will you feel superior to him? will he be pleased for you?
Fighting is such a 'gross' level of human interaction, there are better ways to go about things. Aikido practiced long enough provides the skills to deal with combat effectively. The more you practice the less you want to engage in combat to test your skills. Practice the art for it's own sake, the rewards come slowly, and are dependant on your own integration of the aikido principles into your own life.

Take you mate down the pub, buy him a drink, and have a laugh together, harmony in action

regards,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 06-26-2006, 05:58 AM   #13
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Luc,

Quote:
1) I attacked first. Basically, as soon as I did that, I lost the fight. Aikido really is a non-violent martial art. even though i knew some beginner techniques, i could not employ them, because i didn't allow my friend to attack me. therefore, i had no 'ki' to work with.
You attacked him wrong

No, seriously, i'm a bit tired of people confusing aikido as a defensive art with aikido as reactive art. You should take the initiative before it's too late and things are out of control, better for you and for uke. If you have to make the first move, do it. (of course imho).

Take some time and read this article.

Aristeia,

Quote:
Doesn't it strike anyone else as odd that on the one had Aikido is touted as the pacifists martial art - subdue your opponenet without hamring them etc etc, and on the other we get these too dangerous to spar type arguments?
Interesting, isn't it?

It's one of these aikido contradictions which probably will remain unsolved until the end of time (or when shodothugs rule the earth)

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Old 06-26-2006, 06:11 AM   #14
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Quote:
Aikido practiced long enough provides the skills to deal with combat effectively. The more you practice the less you want to engage in combat to test your skills.
How true, how true...

let me see, by August of this year, I will have been practicing for 5 years alreaady... Luc, I know what you've been through... IMHO I think you're still at the stage where in your taking it all in. Starting to understand how the flow of ki works.. During my first few months, We train from 8 AM to 12 noon every weekend morning. I'd do everything I can to extend my time and even after the session I'd look friends to "play" with... Now that I think about it, I felt like a very happy kid who recieved his first bike... not wanting to stop.

It's all good fun (and even addictive at times) but like Mark posted, The more you practice the less you want to engage in combat to test your skills...

in my experince, I've come to realize that practicing has its place, and so will using it once the need arises. I honestly don't ever want to use Aikido on anyone, Im currently at the stage of continuing to study for the sake of sharpening my skills.... and the art has worked wonders for me in many ways (including career, lovelife etc. etc.)

Good luck on your journey!
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Old 06-26-2006, 07:01 AM   #15
Steve Mullen
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Re: Brawling with a friend

(including career, lovelife etc. etc.)


all that moving from the hips does wonders........so i have been told.

"No matter your pretence, you are what you are and nothing more." - Kenshiro Abbe Shihan
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Old 06-26-2006, 07:40 AM   #16
dps
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Quote:
Michael Fooks wrote:
Doesn't it strike anyone else as odd that on the one had Aikido is touted as the pacifists martial art - subdue your opponenet without hamring them etc etc, and on the other we get these too dangerous to spar type arguments?.
Nope.
The roots of Aikido are in the arts that Samurai used when fighting an opponent and would need to momentarily subdue or disable the opponent before killing him. If the opponents wrist, elbow, shoulder, etc. were injured it did not matter, he was going to die anyway.
We practice Aikido now for different reasons and the techniques have been changed but severe injury can still be done if you are not careful.
Everybody, especially beginners, should never use Aikido techniques when playing around with friends.
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Old 06-26-2006, 09:07 AM   #17
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote:
We practice Aikido now for different reasons and the techniques have been changed but severe injury can still be done if you are not careful.
Everybody, especially beginners, should never use Aikido techniques when playing around with friends.
Even if i agree with you in the "Martial Arts are not for playing around with friends" sense, i'm still dubuious about Aikido being more dangerous than other unarmed arts or sports like Judo, Boxing, Karate, Olympic Wrestling ... where the practitioners engage in full force-contact resistive sparring-randori-shiai-you name it without causing the high amount of fatalities Aikido is said to cause when applied "for real".

What have i missed?

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Old 06-26-2006, 10:33 AM   #18
philippe willaume
 
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote:
Even if i agree with you in the "Martial Arts are not for playing around with friends" sense, i'm still dubuious about Aikido being more dangerous than other unarmed arts or sports like Judo, Boxing, Karate, Olympic Wrestling ... where the practitioners engage in full force-contact resistive sparring-randori-shiai-you name it without causing the high amount of fatalities Aikido is said to cause when applied "for real".

What have i missed?
Being at the receiving end of a few shihonage over the top with koshy nague thrown in, just to make ukemi as difficult as possible, all that when you are not expecting it?

More seriously
I practice horse riding (jousting, jumping and dressage), German medieval fencing with and without Armour on foot and on horse as well as aikido

I have taken my share of over the top by horse; we spare with shinai and crossguard, and fencing/kendo helmet and kote to simulate un-armoured longsword. (I have played rugby and American football).

All of the above is fine, you have the protections and what can go wrong is seriously limited.
And that is simply not the case in aikido, like fencing with live blade; you just not have that level of security if something goes wrong.
Basically akido uses leverage on weak joints at high velocity and focus the strain on those joint. You just do not find that on competitive sport you mention.
We keep it safe because we keep it under control.
For exemple the 3rd bone breaker at the arm, is word for word shiho-nage irimi-omote. And it is to be used as the name aptly says, to break the arm of your opponent.

It will just take your partner, to slip to tense up or to try to get away the wrong way and you will have the pleasure of cutting his meat at every meal for 3 month.

Philippe

Last edited by philippe willaume : 06-26-2006 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 06-26-2006, 11:30 AM   #19
Nick Pagnucco
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Quote:
Luc Saroufim wrote:
looking back on what i just typed, this sounds like a lot of common sense. however, i've seen a lot of "Aikido doesn't work" threads recently, and I have to agree: if you let your oppenents play their game, it will not work at all.
I'm surprised no one focused on this yet. No martial art anywhere will work if you let your opponent play their game exactly the way they want to. Period. Aikido cannot passively let the the agressor stay the agressor, let the initiator keep the initiative

So how does aikido 'mess' with people's game? Lots of ways I barely understand, to be honest. Enter when they expect you to run or resist, and draw out their attack so they become over-extended are two of the easier to list. The only way to figure this out, through, is during practice.

One thing I will say is that almost every aikido technique I've ever heard of works a hell of a lot better on an uke who already has had their balance broken. ...and once again, sadly, the answer to how one does that cannot be found on this board. (Though I REALLY wish it could )

EDIT: Also, I agree... the way aikido is practiced (at a lot of places, at least, from what I hear), I'm unsure that trying to spar afer 10 months is the best way to go for a lot of reasons, safety being a biggy.

Last edited by Nick Pagnucco : 06-26-2006 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 06-26-2006, 11:46 AM   #20
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Quote:
Philippe Willaume wrote:
Being at the receiving end of a few shihonage over the top with koshy nague thrown in, just to make ukemi as difficult as possible, all that when you are not expecting it?
Yes, and it's not funny.

Quote:
Philippe Willaume wrote:
Basically akido uses leverage on weak joints at high velocity and focus the strain on those joint. You just do not find that on competitive sport you mention.
We keep it safe because we keep it under control.
For exemple the 3rd bone breaker at the arm, is word for word shiho-nage irimi-omote. And it is to be used as the name aptly says, to break the arm of your opponent.

It will just take your partner, to slip to tense up or to try to get away the wrong way and you will have the pleasure of cutting his meat at every meal for 3 month.

Philippe
Of course, but you seem to forget a lot of koshi, kokyu, tenchi, irimi.... nage which are not based in ballistically messing with opponent joints and are not much more dangerous than judo throws.

You also seem to forget the authorized (because they are "safe") techniques in shodokan randori. And these are not techniques unknown to a high kyu aikido practitioner regardless of style.

We're not so deadly..., in fact we train to be not very deadly, isn't it?

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Old 06-26-2006, 11:55 AM   #21
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Quote:
For exemple the 3rd bone breaker at the arm, is word for word shiho-nage irimi-omote. And it is to be used as the name aptly says, to break the arm of your opponent.
Well, the waza may indeed be designed to break someone's arm at some level, but let's look at this a bit. Do you know anyone who has broken someone's arm with that technique? Have you yourself ever done it? Have you ever applied sucsessfully to a fully resistant, in shape, trained opponant even a "safe" version of the technique?

Not to be a spoil sport...but it can be really hard to take a strong, fit, aggressive person and put their hand behind their shoulder.

Best,
Ron (and no, I'm not saying that aikido doesn't work)

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 06-26-2006, 12:49 PM   #22
dps
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
(and no, I'm not saying that aikido doesn't work)
Gee Ron, could you rephrase this? Too many negatives for my old addled brain to figure out.
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Old 06-26-2006, 01:12 PM   #23
Talon
 
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Well I haven't seen anyone get their arm broken myself but apparently my sensei had his wrist broken by a showoff nage doing kotegeashi in his days of training long time ago.
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Old 06-26-2006, 03:58 PM   #24
aikigirl10
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Re: Brawling with a friend

Oh you definitely don't have to attack first. My sensei loves to attack as uke, and then totally reverse the technique on myself as nage.
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Old 06-26-2006, 05:15 PM   #25
Luc X Saroufim
 
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Re: Brawling with a friend

i've received a lot of comments about two main areas:

1) the more i train, the less i will feel a need to use my skills in a playful manner.

why is this so? like someone mentioned earlier, i'm still in the "discovery" stages, where everything is new and exciting to me. after class, when i go home, i still want to do Aikido. does this feeling go away?

2) am i really capable of hurting someone at this stage? i've heard a lot of this as well, but i'm training for my 5th kyu test, and am still working on using my center.

Quote:
Steve Mullen wrote:
Luc, you can't build a solid brigde without solid foundations. Right now you are at the stage of surveying the ground. I have been training for 3 years now and feel like im at the stage of boring that first hole into the ground to lay my first support strut.
how did you know i was a bridge engineer?
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