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Old 10-01-2006, 04:58 AM   #26
mut
 
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Re: Realistic Tanto Training

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote:
I don't think the street can be recreated in the dojo; it is a common martial art fantasy. In aikido, we have the kihon waza, which are a strong introduction to the art of aikido. Even a master of chess, or Go, studies basic strategies and defenses. But the real battle field is not created. There are basic lessons; they give you a sort of map. The street is always 'another story'. In my own case, I always remember the story of a 3rd dan who was stabbed to death with a butcher knife by a 13 yr old. He was pursuing the kid for reasons I cannot remember. the kid ran to the cab of a truck; and when the 3rd dan opened the door to the truck cab, in a moment of sheer violent surprise,he was stabbed and fell bleeding to death in the street. No, it is best not to fool ourselves and give ourselves confidence that is futile; we need to simply make a regularity of our practice and our serious intent to practice.

In gassho,
Mark
i agree its best we stay real, however ive been attacked in the street several times, and aikido has completley worked for me, but not exactly as it is done in the dojo, most techniques work but not without atemi, but sertanly the tai sebaki and unbendable arm. just to quote words from my sensei ( how many aikido techniques do you think work in the street?.....none....its you the individual that makes it work). i think to many people practice aikido to nicely they misunderstand harmony, yes be pleasant but remember you are harmonising with the energy of the attack not the person, if someone is attacking you with a blade then i really dont think they all that nice, practice for real, i mean when you attack your partner with a tanto, do it with the intent to kill him, you need a commited attack, deal with that and it MIGHT just save your life on the street.
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Old 10-01-2006, 12:08 PM   #27
Al Williams
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Re: Realistic Tanto Training

First of all let me just thank everyone for their contributions. I thought I might get a few posts but nothing like this.

Another way to look at this issue is to focus on the way that nage is being attacked. I have trained with a few schools and it was a common theme that the uke would follow you through the technique.

This aggravates me more then any other MA issue. The way I view ukemi is not about rolling or following. It's purely about the attack. I am not focused on following or judging where I will roll or fall. The attack-that's it.

If technique is correct I will only be able to think about one thing. In a street situation, your attacker is not wondering how he will receive the technique that you use to defend yourself. He is only focused on the attack.

This can be illustrated in an amusing experiment one of my instructors undertook. A person was confronted by a signal attacker. Both uke and Nage were unaware of what would happen. The uke would attack with full intensity and a randori would follow. At some point a person wearing a bear suit would came into the dojo and back out dancing all the way. When randori finished, neither aikidoka recalled the dancing bear.

This sheds some light not only on the sense of humour of the instructor, but also on the focus of uke during an attack.
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Old 10-01-2006, 08:45 PM   #28
dps
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Re: Realistic Tanto Training

Quote:
Alistair Williams wrote:

This aggravates me more then any other MA issue. The way I view ukemi is not about rolling or following. It's purely about the attack. I am not focused on following or judging where I will roll or fall. The attack-that's it.
Uke better know rolling and falling if uke is going for all out attack and nage does the technique correctly.

Quote:
Alistair Williams wrote:
In a street situation, your attacker is not wondering how he will receive the technique that you use to defend yourself. He is only focused on the attack.
You better know good ukemi if you have to use it in response to your attacker. As my sensei says' " Ukemi is about survival."
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Old 10-02-2006, 10:57 AM   #29
Brion Toss
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Re: Realistic Tanto Training

So far, I don't believe anyone has covered the matter of steering the attack. Even in the kihon waza, we are trained to stand a certain way for shomen uchi, another for yokkomen; a little experimentation will show that the respective stances make their respective attacks more "attractive" to uke. Similar stance-taking notions will tend to produce other specific attacks, especially when you add in arm and hand position, body angle, and spacing between you and uke. Now it's only a tendency, but such things can, in my experience, give nage a tremendous advantage, to the extent that nage knows what the attack is going to be — and is thus already dealing with it — before uke does.
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Old 10-13-2006, 12:33 PM   #30
kiaiki
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Re: Realistic Tanto Training

Hi all. My first post here. I am a firm believer that Aikido needs to include:

Strong atemi which would cause damage if not met with effective technique.

Effective weapons practice which commits the attack at a level which tests and endangers Tori should he fail to meet it.

Firm links to the Japanese lineage and language of our art.


Shudokan Aikido (a Yoshinkan derivative) used to train with live tanto. We would start with wooden tanto and progress to steel, then 'live' steel.

From 1st Dan onwards, grading included a live (sharp) tanto 'jiyuwaza' (freestyle'). Uke chose the attacks without any required or restriction on attacking techniques, incliding deceptions, feints etc.

This meant what it said: random successive attacks with a live tanto. Yes, there were injuries and the attacker's (Uke's) aim was to bring the defender ('Tori') 'close to death'. Few would now risk this, with litigation etc. but how much 'martial' training have we lost by being fearful of being sued?

Using a marker pen or wooden/rubber tanto is fine for practice, but lacks the one key element in a 'real' knife situation - FEAR.


If we practice regularly with a live tanto there are several possible outcomes IMHO:We get better, arrogant, and think we can handle a street attack better.

2.
We get better, and complacent, and think we are invincible.

3.
We get better, but apppreciate that a street attacker may use entirely different attacks or have no MA experience at all, and this makes the experienced Aikidoka realise that he may survive, he may win, but he WILL get cut.

IMHO only 3. is true. However much we practice and however familiar with a knife attack, the likelihood is we will get cut. Recognise this and you may be able to defend your life. It's a fine balance: Too much fear and you freeze - and die. Too much confidence and you engage - and die.

Have I tried it on the street? Yes, but to put it in context, alcohol was involved in one attack, PCP in another, so both attacks were pretty poor. If an attacker were sober and skilled, I don't know what the outcome may be. I've handled baseball bats and unarmed attacks without injury, but a knife? I can only hope I would be OK and it would be an arrogant SOB who would claim otherwise IMHO.

One critical issue. Without strong and committed atemi, Aikido on the street is worthless IMHO.. A guy on drugs or enraged and 'pumped up' is not going to let you apply any lock or throw without it. Forget fancy footwork and 'taking his balance' - strike first
!
In the UK, if you feel you are under threat of attack, atemi is fine under law, even as a pre-emptive move - but you'd better have witnesses to back up your need to use it.

Frankly, here in the UK, police knife amnesties have been worthless: locally, it trawled in granny's kitchen knives, 'wallhanger' katanas and kukris and a Klingon weapon which looked ready to cut the head off anyone daft enough to use it. meanwhile, on the street, knife crime grew even faster!

The punk on the street will always carry. Sadly, in this decade, it's a growing risk that he'll be tooled up with a gun. Gun ' jiyuwaza' anyone??

Last edited by kiaiki : 10-13-2006 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 10-14-2006, 06:38 AM   #31
Al Williams
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Re: Realistic Tanto Training

Nice first post mate

Quote:
Have I tried it on the street? Yes, but to put it in context, alcohol was involved in one attack, PCP in another, so both attacks were pretty poor.
The quality may have been bad, but they were attacks none the less. They may have required very little in terms of technique or response-but attacks they were (hope point 2 is not sneaking in there).

Quote:
One critical issue. Without strong and committed atemi, Aikido on the street is worthless IMHO.. A guy on drugs or enraged and 'pumped up' is not going to let you apply any lock or throw without it. Forget fancy footwork and 'taking his balance' - strike first
Now that is going to raise hell. I'm a cop and deal with guys on drug, mentally ill offenders often. I fully behind you that atemi is a vital part of street aikido but not the be all and end all. Atemi is never the end to a technique- it is part of it. If you focus on one aspect of a technique you will be trapped by it.
Giving Bob McNutto a tap on the chin will give you an opening- but if you are under attack there is always an opening. For a person to attack you, they give themselves to you. Some are able to minimize the openings in their attacks, but they are still there. If your first though is strike- there you will stay.

There is no fancy footwork in Aikido, IMHO. When you use ken- fancy footwork? No. Same with open hand techniques.

Quote:
not going to let you apply any lock or throw
There is no "let" about it- if you are trying to do something then that is the wrong thing to be doing. From an attack the technquie reveals itself- technique prediction will trap your mind.

Aikido does not require the attacker or uke to be compliant in any way.

I have used aikido to defend myself and others, with and without atemi. Some situations require atemi, some don't- being able to correctly observe this is the key.

TRAIN HARD AND OFTEN
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Old 10-14-2006, 11:29 AM   #32
kiaiki
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Re: Realistic Tanto Training

I think I get your point. It does, of course, depend upon the timing, distance and balance issues which typify our art. It may be that even a simple evasion will work, but IMHO we need the full arsenal of Aikido at our disposal in order to have the options open.

In UK law, I believe a pre-emptive strike is allowed if you fear for your safety and are about to be attacked....lots of witnesses helps! But if a guy has a weapon?

Take a simple kote gaeshi: works fine in a dojo, but at the point where direction is reversed and the lock applied we 'encourage' the reversal of the direction of the attacker with a strike to the face. (Try it on a beginner without a strike (or good feint) to move them backwards.)

Of course you don't always have to atemi, but IMHO there's too much Aikido around which is ineffective due to training methods which fail to question 'why' our attacker leaps about or lets us apply techniques.

I've seen very little hard and fast atemi. It may be that the original students of O Sensei would have been expected to know atemi anyway, but today I think it needs to be a core element of any syllabus.

I've seen a lot of 'habitual' practice where everyone knows what's expected and goes along with it. IMHO the chances of dealing with weapons or using atemi outside the dojo are very poor if practice inside the dojo is routine and predictable - oe even completely absent. Is it still even 'proper' Aikido with no atemi being taught (and I don't mean a floppy wristed flipper) ?

It's usually shown up in such dojo when a beginner turns up and is then made to feel somehow that the reason techniques don't work on him is his fault, not Sensei's.

Classic case: a local 'Ki' Aikido club I went to watch made Uke fall to the floor with a pointy finger going up and down in thin air - it worked on all the students - all that is, who knew the 'script'.

Next, the Sensei could move a whole row of students with a tiny push, the guy at the back flying backwards as the 'Ki' apparently shot him into the back wall.

Call me an old cynic but your average knife wielding kid in a UK city centre does not know this 'script' and I've never, ever seen it work outside a dojo. I've seen unbendable arm, guys you can't lift or push over due to simple biodynamic circus tricks, but IMHO very little of 'wepons defence' Aikido works well without good atemi. (I seem to remember some guy called Ueshiba saying the same thing about atemi in Aikido in general, and Shioda, and... . )

For me, the 'harmony' in Aikido is simple: Another person is causing disharmony and you do what is necessary to restore the balance - and if that includes hard atemi, use of weapons etc. then as long is it is proportionate and tries to minimise damage that's fine. That's harmony as a general principle.

The 'harmony' of using an attacker's energy is much the same - the aim is to restore balance and completely neutralise the attack. In Yoshinkan there are 'blocks', so again we don't have to assume that Aikido is all about 'blending' or even circular in all respects.

On another forum a wiser Aikidoka than me summed it up:

'Do not change the art but let the art change you'.

IMHO there are too many people now teaching a version of Aikido which lacks the 'martial' element, a key element of which is atemi and weapons practice. I've almost concluded that the term Aikido should be abandoned and only the style names used:
Yoshinkan, Aikikai etc.
That way there would be no arguments about 'proper' Aikido at all.
(Dream on... )

Last edited by kiaiki : 10-14-2006 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 10-15-2006, 01:38 AM   #33
Mark Uttech
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Re: Realistic Tanto Training

wow david, you are carrying a lot of chips on your shoulders. Your whole post seems to be: whimper and whine."
In gassho,
mark
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Old 10-15-2006, 09:13 AM   #34
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Realistic Tanto Training

Quote:
David Green wrote:
Of course you don't always have to atemi, but IMHO there's too much Aikido around which is ineffective due to training methods which fail to question 'why' our attacker leaps about or lets us apply techniques. ...
IMHO very little of 'wepons defence' Aikido works well without good atemi. (I seem to remember some guy called Ueshiba saying the same thing about atemi in Aikido in general, and Shioda, and... .
The problem with atemi is not in their use, but in their improper use. A guy drunk, stoned or hopped up enough on Meth or PCP, could take the worst strike I could give in the wrong place and never even stop coming. A minimal strike in the RIGHT place however, will destroy his stability structure, regardless of this perception of impact or pain. Aikido is about reorienting structure to break under its own weight, in which atemi play their part, but are no substitute for the true objective.
Quote:
David Green wrote:
In Yoshinkan there are 'blocks', so again we don't have to assume that Aikido is all about 'blending' or even circular in all respects.
Any block to an attacker with a knife or blade is a very poor musubi -- such weapons are too easily reversed -- try "blocking" a trained knife fighter or swordsman. You generally get one and only one shot to close and blocks have nothing to do with it

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 10-15-2006, 07:13 PM   #35
Simbo
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Re: Realistic Tanto Training

Quote:
Tim Fong wrote:
You really have to learn how to use the knife first before you can defend against it.
What's a good source of learning how to use a knife, without looking like a psycho when you ask/read/whatever about it?

You'd be surprised at how much aikido philosophy you can pick up on at the end of the party when there's just a couple drunk sempai and you.
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Old 10-15-2006, 10:49 PM   #36
Peter Ralls
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Re: Realistic Tanto Training

I think the big question here is, what really is realistic training? I have been a cop for twenty three years, and have been in some good fights, and have responded to and investigated hundreds more. When I read martial arts forums, it seems to me that a lot of martial artists' perceptions of what happens in a fight are based more on watching professional ring fighting matches like Ultimate Fighting Challenge or Pride, than they are with what my experiences have been with fights on the street.

Aikido as a method of self defense is pretty much based on defending against a fully committed attack. As a result, it really isn't designed for sparring, or for a ring fighting venue. I know very few aikido practitioners that can use their art very effectively in sparring.

But in my experience, attackers in real life do attack with big, fully committed attacks. Generally, in real life, whoever "gets in firstest with the mostest" is going to win, and this is what aikido is designed to defend against. People in real life don't dance around each other throwing jabs and thigh kicks. So my own opinion, for what it is worth, is that some aikido training is not realistic not because aikido practitioners don't spar, or have a competitive format, but because in the dojo, the attacks they give each other aren't intense enough to be realistic. I don't think that giving one person a marker pen, and having him try to mark nage, knowing full well what nage is going to try and do in response, is necessarily very realistic.

What I do think is realistic training is,

Using a high degree of intensity in attacking, so that each person can only go for a few minutes before becoming tired.

Using non traditional attacks, such as hard shoves, punches to the face, and tackles.

After drilling techniques using the above methods, go to jiyu waza using the same methods.

As far as atemi goes, I think there is also some misconceptions about using atemi to set up techniques like sankyo or nikyo. In law enforcement, a control hold like sankyo is going to be used at a pretty low level of force, before someone is coming at you to knock your head off. If the other person is really going for it, his adrenaline level is going to render him pretty impervious to pain, both from a control hold or an atemi. At that level of force, I think you are going to want to either throw your attacker or knock him down. I think that atemi are pretty much for knocking people down. As other persons have mentioned, people aren't going to feel a lot of pain in a real fighting situation, so just hitting someone, without knocking them down, is probably not going to help you much.

In terms of knife attacks, as other persons have mentioned, you probably aren't going to realize the attacker has a knife in the beginning. People don't wave knives around like they are Zorro before attacking you with them, That's why I don't think the magic marker style training method is particularly realistic. Maybe training to avoid getting stabbed while you are grappling with your partner would be better.

Anyway, that's my two cents worth.
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:37 AM   #37
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Realistic Tanto Training

Quote:
You generally get one and only one shot to close and blocks have nothing to do with it
Just to clarify, the Yoshinkan word for "block" is yoke, from yokeru, to avoid. When it comes to dealing with an edged weapon, your best options are to avoid the situation entirely, or to get a weapon of your own (preferrably one which provides an advantagous ma ai). But if pressed, I would always recommend the use of the "bone shield" when entering into the armed attackers space. Sometimes even the pressense of the bony parts of the arm can save you from a sudden slash as you enter...and I'd probably rather take that slash on the bony parts of my arm, rather than to my throat (jugular or carotid) or my groin (femoral).

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 10-16-2006, 04:32 PM   #38
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Realistic Tanto Training

Peter Ralls,

I pretty much agree with your assessment of what it takes to train for dealing with reality.

I am of the school that does not think that it is aikido's focus to teach these things, since the methodology was designed for an entirely different purpose (the whole peace and harmony thing).

While certainly the basic premise and principles of aikido are relevant in theory, but I have found it to not be the best paradigm to develop a defense or fight strategy if this is your goal in life.


I agree that most "committed" knife attackers do not reveal there "fight plan" until it is too late and all the irmi/tenkan, breathing exercises, and what not, will not adequately and appropriately prepare you for that moment of first contact.

This is why I do as you say, train to avoid/minimize damage from the clinch/grappling as it assumes what I consider to be the 99% solution, that you failed to prevent the attack and now you must keep your attacker "close hold" to avoid further damage.

Aikido, IMO, was designed to teach good dynamics of movement etc, to refine character and all that good "DO" stuff. By focusing on the practical aspects of what those movements might lead to in "real attacks" dilutes that what the founder wanted to teach, and also does a poor job of teaching what to do for real...therefore it becomes a practice of mediocrity and a waste of time.

If you really want to train to condition yourself for a real fight, get a low voltage taser and conceal it. Pain is a great teacher!
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Old 10-16-2006, 04:41 PM   #39
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Realistic Tanto Training

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
I am of the school that does not think that it is aikido's focus to teach these things, since the methodology was designed for an entirely different purpose (the whole peace and harmony thing).
While certainly the basic premise and principles of aikido are relevant in theory, but I have found it to not be the best paradigm to develop a defense or fight strategy if this is your goal in life.


I agree that most "committed" knife attackers do not reveal there "fight plan" until it is too late and all the irmi/tenkan, breathing exercises, and what not, will not adequately and appropriately prepare you for that moment of first contact.[/quote]

This is why I do as you say, train to avoid/minimize damage from the clinch/grappling as it assumes what I consider to be the 99% solution, that you failed to prevent the attack and now you must keep your attacker "close hold" to avoid further damage.

Aikido, IMO, was designed to teach good dynamics of movement etc, to refine character and all that good "DO" stuff. By focusing on the practical aspects of what those movements might lead to in "real attacks" dilutes that what the founder wanted to teach, and also does a poor job of teaching what to do for real...therefore it becomes a practice of mediocrity and a waste of time.

If you really want to train to condition yourself for a real fight, get a low voltage taser and conceal it. Pain is a great teacher! [/quote]

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 10-16-2006, 05:03 PM   #40
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Realistic Tanto Training

Sorry for the dupe dummy respsone; stupid keyboard ...
Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
I am of the school that does not think that it is aikido's focus to teach these things, since the methodology was designed for an entirely different purpose (the whole peace and harmony thing).
Peace and harmony -- through superior firepower Let's face it. There are always more devastating means of applied energy, if we have the time and wherewithal to bring them to bear. Aiki is a certain choice of stategic posture and applciation, regardless of the weapons in play.
Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
While certainly the basic premise and principles of aikido are relevant in theory, but I have found it to not be the best paradigm to develop a defense or fight strategy if this is your goal in life.
Aikido is a poor art for domineering intimidation. Having said that, its defenses are almost purely offensive in movement (IRIMI), although not in contact (tenkan) so go figure.
Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
I agree that most "committed" knife attackers do not reveal there "fight plan" until it is too late and all the irmi/tenkan, breathing exercises, and what not, will not adequately and appropriately prepare you for that moment of first contact.
I am fond of the old saw that is is never the knife you see that cuts you ... or the one that goes -- the last guy to know he is in a knife fight is that guy without one. Always train -- AS IF -- this is how I was taught aikido even in pure tai-jutsu.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Aikido, IMO, was designed to teach good dynamics of movement etc, to refine character and all that good "DO" stuff.
I disagree. As I said somewhat earlier (or was it eslewhere) I find more and more that what distinguishes aikido in my mind from aikijujutsu is not the abandonment of the "-jutsu" for the "-do", but the abandonment of surviving remnant of "ju" and "goju" principles in favor of aiki alone.

In some respects I think the "-do" almost inevitably flows from that choice, which is how I think O-Sensei came to that conclusion, espcially given his own, very brutal life history.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
If you really want to train to condition yourself for a real fight, get a low voltage taser and conceal it. Pain is a great teacher!
But an exceeedingly poor strategist ... And I thought that the point of budo was to harden one against the counsels of pain and hardship through the ministrations of shugyo -- not to follow them.

Not that they are not relevant considerations, but they are not the soundest basis for choosing every action either.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 10-16-2006, 11:24 PM   #41
Peter Ralls
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Re: Realistic Tanto Training

Kevin Leavitt

I am of the belief that aikido is a martial art, even though each practitioner has to find his or her own interpretation of how it is to be used in a violent confrontation.

I agree that aikido by itself, in my opinion, is not a complete answer when developing fighting/self defense skills, but then none of the other martial arts I have trained in have been either, including BJJ. In doing law enforcement defensive tactics training, we try to do a wide and shallow range of very simple self defense training, to try and cover as many different situations as possible in the very limited training time we have. And I am not including the firearms and impact weapons training that we do as well, or tactical awareness training, or hazmat training, or defensive driving training. Aikido, and most other martial arts as well, just don't cover that much ground.

I think that cross training in several different martial arts that cover a wide spectrum is the best solution for an unarmed fighting strategy. None the less, I have found aikido very useful in my law enforcement career in a number of different situations.

I think the most important thing to have in developing ones ability to defend themselves in a fight is to actually have been in some fights and gained some experience in what actually works for you and what doesn't. This lets you gain insight in how to apply whatever skills you have, in addition to teaching you how to function in a crisis. I was already a black belt in aikido before I got involved in law enforcement, and I've found that what being in actual physical struggles has taught me is what kind of circumstances aikido is going to work for me and when it isn't. And I learned that by sometimes having stuff work, and sometimes having stuff not work. But since I have done a bunch of cross training, when aikido wasn't working for me, I could pull something else out of the tool drawer. Still, in my first couple of fights, I didn't do very well. It wasn't until I had a little experience that I started (sometimes) to be able to make stuff work.

I don't have any military experience, like you do, but it's been my understanding that combat experienced troops are generally considered much more effective than troops that haven't yet experienced combat. I think that unarmed fighting is probably much the same.

Given a decent foundation in aikido, including some more realistically oriented training on a semi frequent basis, in addition to cross training in some arts that cover areas that aikido doesn't, and with the addition of a little real life experience, I don't think aikido is a bad choice for an unarmed self defense strategy.
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Old 10-17-2006, 09:17 AM   #42
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Realistic Tanto Training

Quote:
Peter Ralls wrote:
I think that cross training in several different martial arts that cover a wide spectrum is the best solution for an unarmed fighting strategy.
This prompted a larger set of questions for me, so I a started a thread on Peter's point and some questions I have::

This: "Cross-training or Cross-purposes?"
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...976#post155976
Quote:
Peter Ralls wrote:
I think the most important thing to have in developing ones ability to defend themselves in a fight is to actually have been in some fights and gained some experience ... teaching you how to function in a crisis.
And this: "Training for Crisis?"
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...978#post155978

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 10-17-2006, 01:35 PM   #43
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Realistic Tanto Training

I agree with your comments Peter. Cross training is the way to do things, your experiences and perspective parallels my own.

Erick also brings up some good points that gets me thinking.

These are the thoughts that come to mind. There are two basic mindsets we all know, the DO and the JU for simplisty sake.

To me, DO is fairly simple in that it is concerned wtih the core of you, mind, body,and spirit. While the practice and methods my be complex and multifaceted, the concept of it is simple.

JU, though is interesting to me. we are concerned with the external or practical applications of techniques, or what we call ëxternal effectiveness.

JU is of course interlocked with DO, because you cannot manifest or practice the DO with out the external part.

I do believe that even in the JU that in order to be effective, you must be whole. (Book of Five Rings stuff!)

So it gets very hazy and cloudy quickly about the intent and reasons for our practice!

I think arts like aikido are really concerned about the DO, and yes, there are JU aspects, and I will say that my aikido training has benefited my purely JU aspects in my Military career.

But, when we start looking at solely practical aspects or effecient methodologies to defeat attacks (JU), then we are now looking at a small slice of the whole and we have now defined things differently.

This is where I state such things that "aikido is not a efficient/effective methodology for training these things".

All that said, what is most important I think is that everyone define the reason for their training and what they think is most important and seek out that which best supports that.

If I were "knife centric" and really concerned with learning to fight/defend against knife fights, í'd find a knife fighter, not an aikido instructor.

A good analogy would be Business School, while a good formal education can certainly give us a good base to be successful, if you really want to learn to be a successful entrepreneur, go find one and learn from him/her.

I suppose that is all I was trying to say, but not very well.
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Old 10-17-2006, 08:36 PM   #44
Peter Ralls
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Re: Realistic Tanto Training

Kevin

I understand your point and heartily agree with you. but I think probably most people who have trained for a while have a variety of reasons for practicing, and get a variety of benefits from their practice. And things change over time. When I was younger I was very focused on "Ju", and practical application. As I get older I am finding myself becoming more focused on "Do".

Also as I get older and well into middle age, I am finding my survival strategy for daily living is changing. I am thinking more about training in a way that protects my body's health, and in general reducing my level of stress. I am thinking more about this as a survival strategy rather than putting all my energy into training to deal with a physical assault. Since the statistics still show that a huge percentage of cops die within five years of retirement from health problems, and relatively few get killed on the job, I think this is a good mental change.

If I was younger and thinking solely in terms practical techniques for fighting, or even self defense, I think you are correct, aikido wouldn't be the way I would go. But I have found that for law enforcement, a lot of the tactical training in aikido is very good. Keeping the kind of maai we do in aikido is just right for contacting a potentially dangerous person. Approaching that person with the goal of de-escalating rather than immediate confrontation is very beneficial, and is, hopefully, a product of aikido training. These kinds of things are certainly related to surviving conflict, as well as the ability to apply technique physically when things go to s..t. One of my training officers told me when I was a brand new cop, "it's not your gun or your vest that's going to save your ass, but what's between your ears." I have found this to be so true, and I think aikido has a lot of potential benefit for developing the right mindset for survival.

In addition to that, I believe that I have obtained such benefit from aikido in every area of my life, having started when I was a teenager, that I am very thankful that I have been involved in it. Even though I have spent (and still spend) a good bit of time training and experiencing a wide variety of other martial arts, I have always maintained aikido as my primary art, and in hindsight, I wouldn't change a thing.

So, to sum up, on the level of basic practical fighting techniques, I absolutely agree with you, aikido has some severe limitations. But in terms of getting some self defense technique, and a whole lot of other good stuff as well, including some good self defense tactics, on both the physical and mental level, aikido has a lot to offer. I think you and I are on the same page as far as our practical experiences and the lessons we have drawn from them. But though I recognize aikido does have some significant areas it doesn't address, for me, and what I am training for, aikido's benefits far outweigh it's shortcomings.
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Old 10-18-2006, 07:31 AM   #45
ian
 
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Re: Realistic Tanto Training

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Peter Ralls,
since the methodology was designed for an entirely different purpose (the whole peace and harmony thing).

While certainly the basic premise and principles of aikido are relevant in theory, but I have found it to not be the best paradigm to develop a defense or fight strategy if this is your goal in life.
Hi Kevin. I'd say there are definately aspects that are not taught in aikido (avoiding confrontation with body language, verbally and your day to day behaviour). There are no 'ideal' self-defence strategies, but aikido training I believe is very good. It certainly saved my life in a knife attack once and good self-defence instructors will say 'get out the way of the attack'.

Also the method of aikido I do not believe is about peace and harmony. It is about training in dangerous techniques safely and repeatedly, and as Peter said, developing distance and timing.

I think the main problem is often people do not know how to relate their training to real attacks because they either have no experience of real attacks or they believe that this or that technique is more important than the fundamentals the techniques are teaching.

Although people do aikido for different reasons, I do believe that the focus of improvement must be application. If this is not the case aikido should no longer be considered a martial art. The blending principles could easily be used (and are used) in other sports and activities. Also, I do know a small thin and quite frail man in his 60's who was attacked by a young drunk bruiser that swung at him and he managed to knock him out with tenchi nage.

Thus, it is often not aikido that is the problem, but the way we perceive we will use it practically, and thus this changes the focus of our training. And yes, I agree, we should never be complacent.

Last edited by ian : 10-18-2006 at 07:33 AM.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 10-18-2006, 12:01 PM   #46
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Realistic Tanto Training

If you are unarmed and an assailant has an edged weapon, there is no knife defense. The very idea of "knife defense" is what gets people killed. The only way you can survive an attack by someone who has any idea what he is doing with a blade is to go to the center and take him out. You protect those openings that would get you killed if he stabbed you and you make sure that when he does cut you he only gets one try.

If you look at most knife attack stories, the person who is killed almost always had multiple cuts and stabs. They were "defending" against the knife. One needs to get to the center and deliver enough decisive atemi waza that the attacker himself becomes the defender. If, for some reason, you decide to do some waza which goes for control and a de-escalation of the encounter, you only do so after you have already "won" and it is safe for you to do so. In other words you destroy the guy and then, and only then, do you choose not to finish him off completely.

If you want to practice "real" edged weapons attacks, you need to get a Model mugging type suit and go at it. You give the armored attacker that silly magic marker and then you proceed to knock him so hard that he can't effectively use the marker on you. If he is down and out and you only have marks on you that would have been non-lethal, you won. The fewer marks, the better, but it's really about taking the guy out before he gets a target that will kill or maim you.

If you are practicing without the ability to strike the attacker with full speed and power, your training is inherently unrealistic. Almost all dojo knife defense, in pretty much all arts, is inherently unrealistic. It is crucial that people understand the difference between training and a real encounter. Training gives one an understanding of entries and technique but it has little to do with fighting.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 10-18-2006 at 12:04 PM.

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Old 10-18-2006, 12:59 PM   #47
kiaiki
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Re: Realistic Tanto Training

In answer to those who think I whine, and to expain 'blocking' to those who have not been taught this aspect of their art:

I lament the alomost total disappearance of hard and fast atemi.

'Blocking' in the Yoshinkan school means BEFORE the strike has had any opportunity to gain momentum. You don't block a full force tanto strike, or indeed any other whch has gathered momentum. That's just common sense.

The assumptions made embarrass the 'poster' as it shows a lack of understanding that Aikido is NOT about harmonising and 'blending' all the time, but about nullifying the attack, thereby restoring harmony.

Ron Tisdale:

Hi. You have translated but IMHO misunderstood the block. It is always undertaken before Uke has built up any momentum. It has nothing to do with avoidance, as Tori steps in (linear) directly to take the initiative away from Uke.

Avoidance of a tanto is just asking for another attack. Uke must be controlled by Tori - whether block or blend is utilised, and the Uke disarmed. The classic case is shomen-ate, where Tori's block is 'irimi' with tegatana and accompanied by the strike to the chin, as Uke draws back the arm in preparation for a strike.

You never, but never, allow Uke to came back with a second armed attack. You should fail a 1st Dan grading by not disarming Uke.

Hope this clarifies.

Last edited by kiaiki : 10-18-2006 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 10-19-2006, 07:04 AM   #48
DonMagee
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Re: Realistic Tanto Training

Quote:
Alistair Williams wrote:
F
Another way to look at this issue is to focus on the way that nage is being attacked. I have trained with a few schools and it was a common theme that the uke would follow you through the technique.

This aggravates me more then any other MA issue. The way I view ukemi is not about rolling or following. It's purely about the attack. I am not focused on following or judging where I will roll or fall. The attack-that's it.

If technique is correct I will only be able to think about one thing. In a street situation, your attacker is not wondering how he will receive the technique that you use to defend yourself. He is only focused on the attack.

This can be illustrated in an amusing experiment one of my instructors undertook. A person was confronted by a signal attacker. Both uke and Nage were unaware of what would happen. The uke would attack with full intensity and a randori would follow. At some point a person wearing a bear suit would came into the dojo and back out dancing all the way. When randori finished, neither aikidoka recalled the dancing bear.

This sheds some light not only on the sense of humour of the instructor, but also on the focus of uke during an attack.
I have never experienced this. I find i'm well aware of what is going on around me even in the most intense sparing sessions. I think this is because usually i'm sparing in a room with a lot of other guys sparing, and if we are not aware, well it could get messy. Even in the ring, a strong fighter is aware of his attackers intent, body language, position, his position, relative distance and angle to your corner man, are your hands up? How is your foot work, where is he open, is he attacking in a pattern. It's not just "Let's throw this punch". I think if I get attacked on the street I will fight the same way. Because this is how I train day in and day out.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 10-19-2006, 12:57 PM   #49
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Realistic Tanto Training

Quote:
Also the method of aikido I do not believe is about peace and harmony. It is about training in dangerous techniques safely and repeatedly, and as Peter said, developing distance and timing.

I think the main problem is often people do not know how to relate their training to real attacks because they either have no experience of real attacks or they believe that this or that technique is more important than the fundamentals the techniques are teaching
I would tend to agree with you that principles are more important than technique...in the long run. I think end state is even more important, and that is where many martial artist lose focus.

I obviously do not agree with you on the purpose of aikido, which in my opinion is a critical point in defining end state. Sure, it teaches ma'ai. however, understanding the principles of ma'ai, and being able to apply them in a fully violent situation is another thing.

I do agree that people do not know how to relate to real attacks because they do not have experience with them, or train for them. When you do focus on real attacks, technique can become very important, as you need to find a few things that you can do well based on the "average scenario", based on your size, ability, flexibility, skill level, etc. The focus is to train to defeat a scenario in which you will probably face.

This is 180 degrees IMO from aikido.

Prison guards will train drills to subdue prisoners and how to survive in certain situations. I train military guys on how to apprehend, subdue, and survive attacks in close quarters combat. All technique driven, but also have underlying universal principles found in aikido.

It is not that they have nothing in common, just that their are two different endstates to the reasons for training and that is a huge difference.
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Old 10-21-2006, 07:51 PM   #50
David Humm
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Re: Realistic Tanto Training

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Prison guards will train drills to subdue prisoners and how to survive in certain situations. I train military guys on how to apprehend, subdue, and survive attacks in close quarters combat. All technique driven, but also have underlying universal principles found in aikido.

It is not that they have nothing in common, just that their are two different endstates to the reasons for training and that is a huge difference.
I was a UK Prison Officer for seven and a half years working within Category A (High Security/Risk) establishments; I have faced several (a small number of) shank wielding prisoners and with the exception of one instance I can remember, someone always got cut, that would either be me or one of my fellow officers. I've been wounded twice, thankfully both minor injuries however, my point is this -

There is only one truth in a fight involving a knife: someone is going to get cut, the important factor is however .. "how badly"

My sentiments with regard to surviving a fight with a knife is ensuring I'm in a position to get to the hospital before I bleed to death. In terms of technique; I'm always looking to deal with the person and not a weapon they may have (this is something I always assume).

As for realism; that's a state of mind as far as I'm concerned. Ask your uke to grab a wooden tanto and really try to stab you with it in the upper torso, I'll think you'll find that when the stab is successful, you'll know about it fairly quickly.

The arms are fairly resilient objects which can take a fair amount of punishment; I've seen instances of injuries to the upper and lower arms with improvised knives, sometimes very deep wounds and yet the individual is ok [for want of a better description] Taking a hit to the torso however isn't obviously a good idea, even relatively short bladed objects used with force are able to penetrate deep enough to cause fatal injuries, lets not even discuss how vulnerable the neck is. What I'm suggesting is that we must prepare ourselves both technically and mentally for the inevitable, what we must do is control the level at which the inevitable occurs. In training we must be totally honest with ourselves and acknowledge when and where our bodies come into contact with the tanto, this is after all no different to taiso and closing the openings which exist in that form of practice.

Last edited by David Humm : 10-21-2006 at 08:01 PM.
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