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Old 11-27-2006, 02:20 PM   #26
Fred Little
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Re: Get Real/ On the street

Quote:
Basia Halliop wrote:
Does everything we do in life have value only based on it's martial usefulness? I find that pretty depressing.
Certainly not, and that certainly would be depressing.

To the extent that I have a point, it would simply be that "martial usefulness" is a broad category that encompasses many pursuits that one may engage in for reasons that have nothing at all do with explicitly martial purposes.

Conversely, discussions of "martial usefulness" by people who restrict their training in and examination of "martial arts" to the context of regularly scheduled practice in a room with padded floors and artificial heating, cooling, and lighting have long struck me as having limited utility.

Knowing "how to fight" when you haven't a clue how to choose the ground on which you will fight, how you will get there in good enough shape to fight, how you will get out intact, nor what the desired outcome of the encounter is and how it will be effected beyond simply "winning the fight" doesn't ultimately work very well.

So ultimately, the "martial" is only "useful" precisely to the extent that it allows us the physical and psychological security needed to pursue other goals without fear of imminent destruction.

Like maybe row to a nice spot and whistle a familiar melody while fishing. If only I could whistle....
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Old 11-28-2006, 07:22 AM   #27
Aran Bright
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Re: Get Real/ On the street

Don and Peter,

Thank you, these have been two of the most enlightening threads I have read on AW.

Reflecting on the question of what is martial, being able to live and survive in a world of conflict and violence whether it be war, street violence or abuse with your spirit intact must surely be considered a martial way.

Thank you, I have just realise how Aikido has help me in another way.

http://brisbaneaikido.com

Brisbane Aikido Republic
Brisbane
Australia
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Old 11-28-2006, 08:56 AM   #28
Basia Halliop
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Re: Get Real/ On the street

I guess if I have a point, it's maybe something like -- many things can provide very significant benefits outside of their core sphere... just like in all the examples given, things that are at their base basically non-martial (painting) can have significant martial benefits and usefulness (propaganda), that goes inthe other direction too -- things that are more 'martial' can still have lots of non-martial benefits and usefulness... Same goes for academic, etc, or many other categories.

Like it's OK to say 'Studying _____ has benefited me in many ways that are very non-martial' (and it doesn't necessarily meaning that you are claiming that ____ is or isn't 'martial', which would be another question altogether). Although I do find it kind of interesting that people get so attached to that particular word.
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Old 11-28-2006, 09:07 AM   #29
Basia Halliop
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Re: Get Real/ On the street

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
If our art is about defenses against ancient attacks that never happen anymore, then is it truly still martial? or is it a historical martial art.
Well, you could certainly make a good argument that the primary modern martial arts are the proper use of an AK-47, how to build a better long-range missile, and related skills.

There seem to be many martial arts that if you asked them your question, they'd just say 'yup, you've got it exactly, it's a historical martial art". My sister did fencing all through university... Hand to hand arts seem to get different attitudes because they don't centre as obviously around technology that can go obsolete (like the sword).
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Old 11-28-2006, 09:40 AM   #30
DonMagee
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Re: Get Real/ On the street

Quote:
Basia Halliop wrote:
I guess if I have a point, it's maybe something like -- many things can provide very significant benefits outside of their core sphere... just like in all the examples given, things that are at their base basically non-martial (painting) can have significant martial benefits and usefulness (propaganda), that goes inthe other direction too -- things that are more 'martial' can still have lots of non-martial benefits and usefulness... Same goes for academic, etc, or many other categories.

Like it's OK to say 'Studying _____ has benefited me in many ways that are very non-martial' (and it doesn't necessarily meaning that you are claiming that ____ is or isn't 'martial', which would be another question altogether). Although I do find it kind of interesting that people get so attached to that particular word.
I agree that it is ok to gain non martial benifits from martial arts. However, I see many instructors actually advertising this as the main reason to train, with the martial part a 2nd or even 4th reason.

Why train TKD?
1) Help gain flexibility
2) Gain new friends
3) Improved happyness
4) Learn morals and respect
5) Self defense.

It seems that self defense is a side effect of TKD in this case and not a primary reason to study. Many things can have a martial side effect. For example hunting can have a side effect of allowing me to defend myself with a shotgun. But I don't think I should call it martial duck hunting. I submit that the primary reason for studying a martial art should be, well martial.

I do not tell people I'm a martial artist. I study combat sports, interpersonal conflict, or how to effectively hit someone with the planet then choke them. I train solely for person fitness, and growth. I do not feel that marital arts actively describes what I do. BJJ and judo are not warlike skills. Sure they could be useful to a soldier, but they are as closely related to war as cooking is. Knowing how to do both can save your life, but that doesn't make it a modern study of war (Martial line cooks?). 99% of the benefits I get are purely non-marital. The only one even close is personal self defense. I think a more accurate description would be self defense arts.

A martial art would be a study of modern warfare. Using modern weapons, tactics, and training methods. It may contain non martial trainings to build teamwork and self confidence (bjj in the army?), personal self defense tactics, how to row a boat, etc. But at it's core will be the purpose of something martial. That something is training soldiers to fight wars.

The term however has other meaning now. And it is just as important to accept the evolution of language. Just like hacker no longer means a guy who plays with technology, a martial artist is now anyone wearing silly clothes with semi athletic or acrobatic.skill. In fact, a martial artist no longer even requires the ability to defend oneself. For example XMA is a martial art. It consists of showmanship, screaming, and a lot of cheerleader type dancing. Having watched my nephew train, I know they do not even discuses self defense, they only talk about what impresses judges and looks fancy and which songs are more popular. Is it an impressive display of fitness? Sure. But it is not a marital art in my opinion.

I think this is the reason I tend to not want to associate myself with the word martial artist. It is now as defining as say human. It could mean I'm a fraud 30 year old 10th dan soke, a professional fighter, a 80 year old man who knocks people out with my screams, a guy who can do back flips to "who let the dogs out", or a scholar studying the ways of ancient sword.

It is important to study why you train what you train, and to make sure you are getting what you want out of your training. That was the main point I was getting at by challenging the word martial. Question your motives from time to time and examine what it means to you. In the end it is probably not important what you call a martial art as much as is its why you call it a martial art.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 11-28-2006, 09:50 AM   #31
paw
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Re: Get Real/ On the street

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
BJJ and judo are not warlike skills. .... (bjj in the army?)
To the best of my understanding, BJJ is the official unarmed combative system of the US Army. You may view FM 21-150 (FM 3-25.150) for the details.


Regards,

Paul
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Old 11-28-2006, 10:17 AM   #32
DonMagee
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Re: Get Real/ On the street

I couldn't remember if they officially trained bjj or not. I would assume though that it is more for improving the soldiers comradery and confidence then it is for practical battlefield use. I'm not saying that you wouldn't find it useful for restraining a suspect. But I would say there is a difference between police actions the military finds itself in, and a battle.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 11-28-2006, 10:18 AM   #33
Bronson
 
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Re: Get Real/ On the street

Quote:
Basia Halliop wrote:
But if everything is martial, then are yoga and rowing martial arts?
Yes, and I've got PROOF (for the yoga at least)

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 11-28-2006, 10:22 AM   #34
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Re: Get Real/ On the street

Quote:
Bronson Diffin wrote:
Yes, and I've got PROOF (for the yoga at least)

Bronson
I will change my ways asap. This is the new BJJ.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 11-28-2006, 11:32 AM   #35
paw
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Re: Get Real/ On the street

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
I couldn't remember if they officially trained bjj or not. I would assume though that it is more for improving the soldiers comradery and confidence then it is for practical battlefield use. I'm not saying that you wouldn't find it useful for restraining a suspect. But I would say there is a difference between police actions the military finds itself in, and a battle.
Don,

To the best of my understanding, it is the basis for unarmed combatives in the US Army. I'm sure a number of things were taken into account for it's selection and inclusion, and I would not be surprised if comradery and confidence were considered in the selection.

In any case, I would encourage you to read the field manual. IIRC, the manual is quite clear that in an unarmed fight on a modern battlefield, the soldier who lives is the soldier whose friends arrive on the scene first.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 11-30-2006, 09:37 PM   #36
Chiburi
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Re: Get Real/ On the street

What is "Martial"?
Well...business is war, and war is art, and all of it's relative.
Aikido, for me is a rhythm of my life. It's how I live. If I were to stop training today, I would die...or at least fall into severe depression and kill myself. I'm going a little extreme, because I am incapable of quitting. Even if I left my dojo, I wouldn't be able to help myself from practicing on my own.
Aikido has, quite literally, kept me sane through some low points in my life.
When I was little, one of the things I remember Kangas Sensei saying was that your dojo should be the calm lake, the peaceful center of a teeming and noisy forest.
My dojo is my sanctuary. Whenever I walk through the door and bow in, I forget everything about the outside world, and it's just the me and my mat.
How does Aikido work for me? It's how I live.

Shinma Hukumetsu
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Old 12-16-2006, 06:47 PM   #37
michael_rath
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Exclamation Re: Get Real/ On the street

Every one has a great outlook on what aikido has done for them in the personal lives as well as their confidence in the street.
Aikido is a rough translation of "Way of Harmony". The founder of aikido took it down that path to be a little more spiritual. It doesn't make it less "martial" just because he wanted to use it for harmonizing his mind, body, and spirit. The applications of the art is what makes it a "martial art". Yes, the XMA is more about great showmanship rather then defending oneself against an attacker. I think that could be said for many of the TKD and Karate dojos and dojangs. They are more competitive. However, XMA is based on several martial arts that have been used effectively in the past to defend the person using it.
The techniques to defend yourself are in the XMA format, it's just a manner of how you train and what you train for. The Army is being taught the practical applications of martial arts (which is the real manner of a martial art to use for war) but they use it to fight the enemy in very hostile type environments. What do I care what their being taught in the hand-to-hand arena any how. They will not use it as much as their assault rifle. I just pray our military is training them in that manner a little more.

I've trained in aikido since I was 4 years old and I use it a large base of many of the practical techniques I use. I also cross train in other martial arts, such as nin-po, Krav Maga, JFJKD, Muay Thai, Kali, Silat, and many other arts that have practical uses. These arts were all designed for battle (some would even argue that Yoga was a great foundation to the Shoalin Kung-Fu which arguably spread out to make the rest of the martial arts) so does yoga have "martial" applications? Obviously somebody thought so. . Rowing, I've martial arts that are based on using an ore. So, many things can be used with "martial" intentions. Dancing, can some one say Caporeira? Or even Arnis? People would even say that some things done in wu shu are dance like. Does that make it less then an martial art? No, the intention of the use is what makes things an art of war. A solider and a trained martial artist (or just a very violent person) can make an ash tray a weapon of war (or battle).

I can use aikido on the street more effectively then TKD. That is my personal use though. I trained longer and harder on aikido and the "real" uses of the style then I did with TKD. Yet a solid side kick has saved my neck before. It wasn't just the side kick it was the feint kick that made the kick possible.

People think just because schools use forms that they are not effective on the street. Not true. If you use the forms for what the originators used the for (fitness, flow, and flexibility) then practice the actual practical applications of what you've learned you should be able to use it effectively. People just want a quick fix now a days and don't want to spend the time it took them in training to reach their goals. That's society for you. There are type of fighting or "martial arts" out there that will give people what they need. Such as krav maga, haganna, and other "reality" systems. These are effective, but there is nothing your going to find that isn't actual styles.

Your mind and the way you think is what makes things just practical means or martial means. Some study anatomy to learn how to heal ie; doctors, nurses, etc. Others use the same study to find the weakness in the human body so they learn how to hit the body just right to rupture the spleen. That sounds like a martial way of looking at things. If you go by the actual definition any way.

Michael
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Old 12-18-2006, 10:24 PM   #38
Mike Galante
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Re: Get Real/ On the street

Mars rules Aires and co rules Scorpio.
Male aries will kill you, chop off your head.
Female Scorpio will sting you and poison you, the higher aspect of Scorpio is the transformation of the lower snake/scorpion into the mythical phoenix bird of spiritual transcendence. It overcomes it lower nature and rises to the heavens. Scorpio, when positive can be a great healer. they can take disease and bring it to health. Just like usheba, he takes hatred and turns it into love.
Mars is exhalted in Capricorn where its passion and impetuosity are tamed and cooled and directed and organized. Mars is happy in fire, water and earth, it is not happy in the intellectual air.
Martians are not intellectuals, they get too bored too fast. They like action.
They take the ideas from the intellectuals and act upon them.
Mars will listen to no one but the King. They are not about the sacrifice their lives for a lesser rank.
All the BEst,
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Old 12-19-2006, 04:51 AM   #39
Mark Freeman
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Re: Get Real/ On the street

Quote:
Michele Galante wrote:
Martians are not intellectuals, they get too bored too fast. They like action.
Out of the unusual post above I had to clip this section as standing out

Have I slipped onto another forum, am I alone in thinking that either the author is having a laugh or they actually believe that this statement is somehow grounded in reality?

Michele, please put me right

regards

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 12-19-2006, 07:20 AM   #40
SeiserL
 
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Re: Get Real/ On the street

Quote:
Michele Galante wrote:
Mars is happy in fire, water and earth, it is not happy in the intellectual air. Martians are not intellectuals, they get too bored too fast. They like action.
They take the ideas from the intellectuals and act upon them.
Mars will listen to no one but the King. They are not about the sacrifice their lives for a lesser rank.
Some people are fighters. Others are lovers. Some of us are both.

As a Scorpio, I am both an intellectual and very action oriented.

Very few things in life are mutual exclusive either/or.

Don't make assumptions about real people on the real streets. You will be surprised.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 12-19-2006, 07:24 AM   #41
Mark Freeman
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Re: Get Real/ On the street

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote:
As a Scorpio, I am both an intellectual and very action oriented.
Lynn, I hope this doesn't mean you are a Martian!

regards,

Mark,
Born 25th October so I am a scorpio with sceptical rising

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 12-19-2006, 09:48 AM   #42
mriehle
 
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Wink Re: Get Real/ On the street

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote:
Lynn, I hope this doesn't mean you are a Martian!
I declare myself proudly Martian. And Venusian. And a child of Mercury and Saturn.

<breaking into song>
I am a child, of the universe...
</breaking into song>

Born October 26 in the Year of the Rat.
I'm told I'm both a classic scorpio and a classic rat.

I hope people mean that in a Good Way.

(The best I can tell this mean I'm supposed to have the sex drive of a satyr and make money as easily as breathing. Supposed to.)

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Old 12-19-2006, 11:31 AM   #43
SeiserL
 
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Re: Get Real/ On the street

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote:
Lynn, I hope this doesn't mean you are a Martian!
Year of the tiger.
Month of the scorpion.
Day of the warlock.

Of course I am a martian.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 12-19-2006, 12:25 PM   #44
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Get Real/ On the street

Michael Reis wrote:

Quote:
The Army is being taught the practical applications of martial arts (which is the real manner of a martial art to use for war) but they use it to fight the enemy in very hostile type environments. What do I care what their being taught in the hand-to-hand arena any how. They will not use it as much as their assault rifle. I just pray our military is training them in that manner a little more
The U.S. Army today is transforming significantly and rapidly the way it trains soldiers for combat. In the cold war we concentrated on the large battle...tanks and armor with overwhelming firepower and manuever from a distance.

Today, we are finding that we depend on the individual more and more. It is interesting to see the evolution of technology back to the basic warrior. The individual soldier on the battlefield.

Today you would find soldiers training more in Modern Army Combatives, (BJJ for the most part), lots of stick time with his rifle in various shooting positions and also training in escalation of force. We are becoming more like the Marines in the sense that "every soldier is a infantrymen first".

We are finding that it is important to be strong and tough and to appear unstoppable, but also be able to show kindness, compassion and geniune concern.

Are we there yet? No, but we are evolving back to the roots of Budo, IMO.

You are correct that what we tend to practice in martial applications is traditionally applied in a narrow bandwidth to train for max effectiveness, but we are finding out also that we must train for a more complete spectrum at the same time.

It all boils down to time and priorities.

For civilians there isn't really a need to be concerned about all the stuff, especially when the best martial application might be avoidance or risk reduction.

What is most important for civilians is learning, much as we are finding is valuable in the military, to be good people and citizens, to watch our health, to learn to be team players and cooperate...to develop character, competence, compassion, and courage.

These are the best reasons IMO to study martial arts!
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Old 12-20-2006, 04:54 PM   #45
michael_rath
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Ki Symbol Re: Get Real/ On the street

I agree with the turning of the tide of our military evolution. But I don't expect (nor do I want) to see our soldiers running in with a bow and arrows or a sword to take care of business. I'm not complaining about the military at all either. I respect them for everything they give us.

The point I was trying to make (obviously badly) was that teaching civilians practical self-defense is necessary for their personal growth and courage (or confidence in themselves). We are threatened here on our own soil by the criminal threat. We can't ask the soldiers or police to be every where at once and I may need to defend myself and my family against some scum bag who decided to think he was going to take an old past time of ancient rulers to take whatever they want. So I'll have to take up the old past time of the servants and fight back against my threat to let them know if you come here you will lose.

Avoidance is keen (and best for any situation) but that and only reducing the risk at times is just not enough. Thank you for the response and I respect what you shared.

Michael
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Old 12-21-2006, 08:32 AM   #46
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Get Real/ On the street

All this is philosophically speaking.....but....

IMO, soldiers don't give you anything, that view of things says that military is separate and distinct from everything else. We all participate in acts of war as a world. If it is through our loved ones in the military, the ones that go and never return. The tax dollars that we pay, the officials that we elect, the oil and gas that we use mindlessly...the things we buy in the stores....the every day choices that we make.

Do not want to get political, but I think we need to consider sometimes the whole perspective on things. There is much more at stake and many, many third order effects in what we do, think, say.

Anyway, I think that the real enemy is not the guy that might mug us on the streets, or the bar fight we might get into, but Fear that is the real enemy.

Courage and bravery are interesting subjects.

If we live our lives in fear of what may happen and gear all our actions around mitigating that risk. Say like some of those wacky survivalist (on the extreme end of things), have we really won? Or did we become so consumed with "not losing" that we did not realize our potential happiness?

Cowards build walls, fences, and arsenals to keep from losing. Heroes go out and embrace the enemy and show him another option. Heroes also inspire people to action in a positive manner.

It is good to have the tools and skills to protect ourselves from things, but how do we use those tools for the better of ourselves and our enemy?

We may pop him in the face today, kill him, but he will be back tomorrow or prey on someone weaker, or someone else will replace him. How does violence ever solve the real problem?

I don't think it does.

A while back we had a pretty good discussion on a thread about the issue of avoidance.

This is a tricky subject....

If you confront violence with violence it doesn't necessarily fix the problem. If you avoid the problem it doesn't necessarily fix the problem either.

There is a delimea!

How do you deal with a school yard bully? If you beat him up and humiliate him, does it solve the problem? If you avoid him does it solve the problem?

Again, I know this is all philosophical, but I would like to think that aikido is a model designed to provide us with a much deeper skill set than overwhelming skill and firepower to subdue our enemy physically.
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Old 12-28-2006, 08:46 PM   #47
Avery Jenkins
 
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Re: Get Real/ On the street

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:

How do you deal with a school yard bully? If you beat him up and humiliate him, does it solve the problem? If you avoid him does it solve the problem?
Kevin, love your posts. Always thought provoking, and you come from a background that Makes It Real.

I remember dealing with bullies in my youth. Twice. Both times I called them out. Both times, I pretty much got the snot kicked out of me. Subsequently, I was left alone, I think from the primitive return on investment calculation performed by most bullies, that is, I was just too much trouble to pick on.

That said, I love it that aikido offers a third option between submission and NHB. Wish I'd known it when I was 13.

Avery
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Old 12-28-2006, 09:58 PM   #48
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Re: Get Real/ On the street

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Cowards build walls, fences, and arsenals to keep from losing.
So the people in UFC-ish events are all cowards, because they fight within a built wall, as well as fight so there is always a winner?

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 12-29-2006, 12:31 AM   #49
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Re: Get Real/ On the street

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
All this is philosophically speaking.....but....

-x-cut-x-

Again, I know this is all philosophical, but I would like to think that aikido is a model designed to provide us with a much deeper skill set than overwhelming skill and firepower to subdue our enemy physically.
I think I'm on the same wavelength with you on this one.

If we are talking about safety and security, it's not going out there and be a hero or going out there to be the winner of some sort of competition whether it is in real or imagined

When I have to die by the sword, I will do so with honor.
--------
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Old 12-29-2006, 01:20 AM   #50
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
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Re: Get Real/ On the street

Justin Wrote:

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Cowards build walls, fences, and arsenals to keep from losing.

So the people in UFC-ish events are all cowards, because they fight within a built wall, as well as fight so there is always a winner?
What is your point? I am not tracking on this. To me it appears that you have once again taken something I have said out of context and tried to turn it into something else? Please explain what you mean, as I don't see the correalation you are drawing between UFC and a philosophical post I made above.

As far as i am concerned people in the UFC are highly skilled althletes and martial artist who do something that they are passionate about. What does this have to do fear and cowardess?
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