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Old 12-07-2006, 03:29 AM   #1
Michael Varin
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What is aikido good for?

First, let me clarify the title. I'm referring to the techniques of aikido. What situations are they useful in? Where are they the most appropriate choice?

I became more exploratory and inquisitive about four years ago. The last two years, especially, have altered my view of aikido's techniques. I think they are considerably more relevant when one or both partners are armed, particularly with edged weapons. They essentially support the carry and use of a sword and knife. My personal experiences are definitely pointing me in this direction, and historically it makes sense. Look at the culture and the time when these movements were developed.

Despite this, almost everyone that I see discussing the usefulness of aikido techniques seems to be trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. All they see is one-on-one empty-hand combat, an arena where many more sensible and no less efficient techniques already have been proven.

What do you think? If the techniques of aikido are highly appropriate for empty-hand combat, why don't we see them used more often? Why do the attacks used in aikido not reflect the most likely ways that unarmed fighting occurs?

Again, I am not saying that it is impossible to use aikido techniques in one-on-one empty-hand situations. What I am saying is that situation is not their home, and when you find their home it opens up entirely new possibilities for your training.

Michael
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Old 12-07-2006, 05:25 AM   #2
SeiserL
 
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Re: What is aikido good for?

IMHO, the difference between other styles and Aikido is the idea of trying not to do harm to the other person. Since that is usually not the priority in a self-defense situation (or society for that matter), you don't see a lot of people with the proper level of efficiency and effectiveness. So the intent is different.

I also think that since O'Sensei appeared to be against sport competition, you don't see much from those who accept the art. I know Tomiki style has some competition, and from my little experience with them, they seem pretty good to show Aikido's efficiency and effectiveness in that arena.

Other arts are much easier and faster to learn, so they will always be chosen first.

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 12-07-2006, 05:41 AM   #3
stelios
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Just a personal point from own experience.
I was attacked from behind by a guy twice my size in bear-hug fashion attack (ushiro tori) with no weapon used. I sent him flying 10 feet in front of me.
Aikido (techical-spiritual) works. Always.
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Old 12-07-2006, 06:00 AM   #4
Gernot Hassenpflug
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote:
First, let me clarify the title. I'm referring to the techniques of aikido. What situations are they useful in? Where are they the most appropriate choice?

I became more exploratory and inquisitive about four years ago. The last two years, especially, have altered my view of aikido's techniques. I think they are considerably more relevant when one or both partners are armed, particularly with edged weapons. They essentially support the carry and use of a sword and knife. My personal experiences are definitely pointing me in this direction, and historically it makes sense. Look at the culture and the time when these movements were developed.

Despite this, almost everyone that I see discussing the usefulness of aikido techniques seems to be trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. All they see is one-on-one empty-hand combat, an arena where many more sensible and no less efficient techniques already have been proven.

What do you think? If the techniques of aikido are highly appropriate for empty-hand combat, why don't we see them used more often? Why do the attacks used in aikido not reflect the most likely ways that unarmed fighting occurs?
I think you make some very good points and are going to be a great help to the aikido community in the future. Let me state again as I did in a different thread what Kuroda Tetsuzan says about Jujutsu. "Jujutsu opens one's eyes to ken and iai, and ken and iai are the reason jujutsu techniques are as they are. The ju is the essence of use of the sword, and the opponent is always a sword in jujutsu. There is nothing wrong per se with imagining a flesh and blood opponent and using techniques suitable for such, but then what is used is no longer jujutsu."

In my comprehension, what he refers to here is the bodywork that jujutsu teachers (that which is invisible). As Robert John has pointed out a couple of times, the essential point is to move inside, first, before any external movement is made. To give a simple (!) example which I've only got to grips with so to speak in the last two or three days (thanks to Akuzawa Minoru's exercises), in aikido, from a wrist hold which represents a fairly distant ma-ai, the partner's intention is first drawn to one's center, and then the center leads the intention to one side to make space on the other side for irimi/tenkan, or in order to return the center to its original position (except that it slides over or under or to the side of the led intention of the partner). Making the center smaller and smaller allows this leading and side-slip to become ever smaller until one really only has the vanishing thinness of s swordblade in comparison: how little can you lead and still slide past the led intention, without the partner becoming aware of this?
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Old 12-07-2006, 08:00 AM   #5
Amir Krause
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote:
First, let me clarify the title. I'm referring to the techniques of aikido. What situations are they useful in? Where are they the most appropriate choice?

I became more exploratory and inquisitive about four years ago. The last two years, especially, have altered my view of aikido's techniques. I think they are considerably more relevant when one or both partners are armed, particularly with edged weapons. They essentially support the carry and use of a sword and knife. My personal experiences are definitely pointing me in this direction, and historically it makes sense. Look at the culture and the time when these movements were developed.

Despite this, almost everyone that I see discussing the usefulness of aikido techniques seems to be trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. All they see is one-on-one empty-hand combat, an arena where many more sensible and no less efficient techniques already have been proven.

What do you think? If the techniques of aikido are highly appropriate for empty-hand combat, why don't we see them used more often? Why do the attacks used in aikido not reflect the most likely ways that unarmed fighting occurs?

Again, I am not saying that it is impossible to use aikido techniques in one-on-one empty-hand situations. What I am saying is that situation is not their home, and when you find their home it opens up entirely new possibilities for your training.

Michael

At least Korindo Aikido techniques are suitable to S.D. most situations. At least as well as most other M.A. And since the technical differences are often minor, I would say Ueshiba Aikido is just as good.
I was in a BJJ Self-Defense lesson, the techniques the teacher chose to teach were almost exactly the same. If you look deeper into Judo, you will find most (if not all) of the techniques they practice have a more effective (yet dangerous to Uke) variation. Further, when I practiced TKD for a short while, the instructor had one lesson a week with a focus on S.D. in this lesson he often taught releases from grabs and many other techniques that were very similar to the Aikido techniques. I had a short Krav-Maga lesson, they taught some very gross basic locks, just like we have in Aikido, yet much less exact and thus less efficient.
If you look at it technically, the Aikido curriculum (at least in Korindo Aikido as I learn it, but I believe in all Aikido styles) is normally more efficient and much more refined.




But, one should not stay only with techniques in the curriculum. One should also look at the situations often taught and examine the reference scenarios those are taken from. In our dojo we practice punches often and kicks much less (did it last lesson and my legs still hurt from softening the fall in slow speed). But the most common situations show us scenarios that agree with your description above:
  • Releases from grab are much more important if you have an edged weapon you would like to draw and the grab delays you.
  • The Shomen Uchi attack is a basic classical attack for a sword.

The situations one practices for are important.

Amir
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Old 12-07-2006, 09:12 AM   #6
Dazzler
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote:
First, let me clarify the title. I'm referring to the techniques of aikido. What situations are they useful in? Where are they the most appropriate choice?
The situation they are most useful in is the study of Aikido.

If your personal study of Aikido is to find the techniques most appropriate to fight with then there are much better martial arts.

Aikido 'techniques' are tools to learn the bases of Aikido - distance, relationship, posture, breathing, timing, blending et al.

In the fullness of time perhaps the study of aikido techniques will allow one to find the way to blend yin and yang to achieve a form embued with ki (I'm not holding my breath for that to happen (joke intended) )

These bases are what you need. You can't just pull a technique out in the same way you select a golf club (pass me the 5 ikkyo please caddy ), with Aikido you are working towards applying a form that is appropriate to whatever attack you receive, and its intensity. Within it these bases will be applied in an appropriate mix, perhaps like the ingredients of a good cake.

Get the mix wrong and you've nothing to put icing on.

Get it right and voila...you've blended with the attack and nullified it.

Depending on skill level and desire you can produce something that includes irimi and atemi to deal with an attack.

Or theoretically perhaps the aim of Aikido is to maintain the balance or harmony - if there is an attack then blend with it until order is restored.

Counter yin with yang if you like.

Probably never happen, maybe we'll never reach that level but if through practice we learn to respect others and have a bit of healthy fun too then maybe its not a major problem.

For those that debate existance and usefulness of ki - well put it to one side a second and think - An attack comes in? what am I going to do? The worlds best ikkyo / nikkyo /sankyo or any other technique or am I going to get offline and counter it.

Tai sabaki, kamae, Irimi, atemi. a handful of bases for starters that can be pretty much applied in some form to any attack.

So these are what we really study when we practice ikkyo nikkyo etc.

Well some of us do anyway.

All this ki talk sounds kind of fluffy I know - but I know what I mean and you did ask!!

Regards

D
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Old 12-07-2006, 09:27 AM   #7
Mark Freeman
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Quote:
Daren Sims wrote:
The situation they are most useful in is the study of Aikido.
I think Daren has hit the nail on the head there IMHO O'Sensei did not formulate aikido as a 'better means of self defence', but a continuous practice to polish ones own spirit. For me the word 'study' is what makes the above sentence ring so true. Study for it's own sake, looking deeper and deeper for the essence or truth in the movement. This for me is what aikido is good for.

As others have said, there are quicker more effective ways to gain a reasonable level of self defence. However, there is much more to self defence than physical techniques.

regards,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 12-07-2006, 10:13 AM   #8
billybob
 
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Mark's comment could well end the thread being on point insightful and intelligent.....can't let that stand in the way!

I've discussed clashing with Sensei at my first aikido class. Besides that, I thought I was witnessing sheer madness! The multiple opponent training, with no apparent technique and running around seemed stupid!

Sensei entered an arm strike (raise your arm and hit me over the head......why?) with ikyo. The first time I felt him enter - against the grain - but with gentleness. I said "you're doing it the hard way". I was able to do that kind of thing, but it was a lot tougher than sidestepping and doing a trip style throw.

I liked the kokyu doza, and wondered why we didn't do it from standing position (just like judo??).

Having rambled, I'll add that IMHO there is no technique in aikido. Only ideas. The Judo Kodokan codified 40 throws, now it's 61, I think. It's just a syllabus - the number of possible throws is infinite.

From a practical standpoint - twice I tenkanned out of the way of punches and people hit the wall behind me ---- oops - I wasn't doing aikido - I didn't affect their centers. Can I ever win? no. just train.

david
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Old 12-07-2006, 11:22 AM   #9
Aristeia
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote:
. I know Tomiki style has some competition, and from my little experience with them, they seem pretty good to show Aikido's efficiency and effectiveness in that arena.
yeah, I hear Aikido practitioners win almost 100% of those matches, obviously very effective....


"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 12-07-2006, 01:38 PM   #10
Michael Varin
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Gernot,

Thanks for the kind words. I found the Kuroda Tetsuzan quote very interesting, by the way.
Quote:
Daren Sims wrote:
The situation they are most useful in is the study of Aikido.
If your personal study of Aikido is to find the techniques most appropriate to fight with then there are much better martial arts.
Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote:
IMHO O'Sensei did not formulate aikido as a 'better means of self defence', but a continuous practice to polish ones own spirit. For me the word 'study' is what makes the above sentence ring so true. Study for it's own sake, looking deeper and deeper for the essence or truth in the movement. This for me is what aikido is good for.
I agree with both of these statements, but the discussion doesn't end here. Because they both miss the point that I am getting at. I am not talking about the art of aikido, only its techniques. I am also not talking about practical self-defense.

To properly explore the essence or truth of movement, to go deeper you must know where those movements come from.
Quote:
Daren Sims wrote:
Aikido 'techniques' are tools to learn the bases of Aikido - distance, relationship, posture, breathing, timing, blending et al.
What sets those distances? Relationship? Timing? Why would you blend that way?
Quote:
Daren Sims wrote:
These bases are what you need. You can't just pull a technique out in the same way you select a golf club (pass me the 5 ikkyo please caddy ), with Aikido you are working towards applying a form that is appropriate to whatever attack you receive, and its intensity. Within it these bases will be applied in an appropriate mix, perhaps like the ingredients of a good cake.
Again, no argument. You can't look at it like, "if he does that I'm going to do this." In that sense you must move beyond technique, spontaneity, takemusi aiki, whatever you want to call it. But I think it is foolish to assume that these movements don't have a place where they are truly useful, more so than other things. After all, why else would they exist? For instance, boxers learn their timing, distance, and spontaneity all with the techniques that they intend to use in the ring.

If you discover the place where the techniques of aikido truly fit, it can only deepen your training regardless of your aim.

Michael
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Old 12-07-2006, 01:52 PM   #11
billybob
 
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Quote:
If you discover the place where the techniques of aikido truly fit, it can only deepen your training regardless of your aim.
????????????????

name one?


dave
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Old 12-07-2006, 02:02 PM   #12
Erick Mead
 
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote:
As others have said, there are quicker more effective ways to gain a reasonable level of self defence.
Grenades. Really, you should swear by grenades.

Good aiki, too.

Everything ends up blended.

Shotgun, maybe, when feeling a wee bit more discriminating ...

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 12-07-2006, 02:35 PM   #13
mrfeldmeyer
 
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote:
I became more exploratory and inquisitive about four years ago. The last two years, especially, have altered my view of aikido's techniques. I think they are considerably more relevant when one or both partners are armed, particularly with edged weapons. They essentially support the carry and use of a sword and knife. My personal experiences are definitely pointing me in this direction, and historically it makes sense. Look at the culture and the time when these movements were developed.
Michael
I think your statement is a bit unfounded. I'm curious exactly what happened in the last two years to make you feel that Aikido techniques are more relevant when both partners are armed. I'm also curious what your Aikido background is, to have these ideas.

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote:
Despite this, almost everyone that I see discussing the usefulness of aikido techniques seems to be trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. All they see is one-on-one empty-hand combat, an arena where many more sensible and no less efficient techniques already have been proven.
Michael
Aikido as an art is practiced one-on-one empty handed most regularly, so you would think there is some merit to that.
In doing the techniques I (as well as many people I have practiced with and talked to) can feel a great deal of usefulness in them for one-on-one empty hand self defense. Which techniques do you feel are more sensible and have already been proven (how do you prove one technique more sensible than another?) in this arena?

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote:
What do you think? If the techniques of aikido are highly appropriate for empty-hand combat, why don't we see them used more often? Why do the attacks used in aikido not reflect the most likely ways that unarmed fighting occurs?
Michael
Where would you expect to see the techniques used? I see them used several times a week in an Aikido dojo. Where do you see the "more sensible" moves outside of a dojo other than hollywood or UFC/K1? Most aikidoka don't seem to be into showing off in public what they can do, so you don't see a lot of it in hollywood or UFC/K1.

I practice in the Jiyushinkai system of Aikido and our attack is not the typical overhead handblade. We attack with a straight forward open hand application (similar to a palm heel strike in TKD, but not as forward thrusting), this attack feels slightly more realistic to me. However, the same techniques work for many types of attacks. We mix up the attacks in randori, anywhere from boxing punches to a variety of kicks. Utilizing what we have learned from waza we can easily create good self defense off of these attacks. Sorry to rant or seem negative, just felt like this statement is somewhat false. Many self defense techniques are out there and completely usable, but how is Aikido any more "square peg in a round hole" than any other art?
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Old 12-07-2006, 02:49 PM   #14
graham
 
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote:
...they both miss the point that I am getting at. I am not talking about the art of aikido, only its techniques. I am also not talking about practical self-defense.
That for me is one of the most unique things about Aikido. I'm just not sure that it's possible to speak solely about the techniques.

Does it not, at that point, stop being Aikido?

Just a newbie thinking aloud...
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Old 12-07-2006, 06:47 PM   #15
Mark Freeman
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
Grenades. Really, you should swear by grenades.

Good aiki, too.

Everything ends up blended.

Shotgun, maybe, when feeling a wee bit more discriminating ...
lol.
Grenades = explosive irimi, everything definitely ends up blended

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 12-07-2006, 07:50 PM   #16
Michael Varin
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Matthew,

First off, there is no need to apologize for your ranting or negativity. I'm not offended by things people say online.
Quote:
Matthew Feldmeyer wrote:
I think your statement is a bit unfounded. I'm curious exactly what happened in the last two years to make you feel that Aikido techniques are more relevant when both partners are armed. I'm also curious what your Aikido background is, to have these ideas.
My statement is not unfounded at all. The techniques that formed the body of aikido had been used in other arts at times when carrying a katana and tanto or katana and wakizashi was the norm, for the warrior class at least.

My aikido background alone is not where these ideas come from. Believe it or not, they come from good old trial and error. I also feel no need to defend my ideas by telling you who my teacher is. They are mine, not his.
Quote:
Matthew Feldmeyer wrote:
Which techniques do you feel are more sensible and have already been proven (how do you prove one technique more sensible than another?) in this arena?
Any that bypass the arms and go straight for the body.

I am not telling anyone how they should train. If you think my ideas are kooky and want to dismiss them that's up to you. I'm just offering them up for discussion, and thought others may find them of interest.
Quote:
David Knowlton wrote:
????????????????
That comment was not intended to be the slightest bit mysterious.

Michael
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Old 12-07-2006, 08:59 PM   #17
hapkidoike
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Aikido.
Huh!
Good God yall!
What is is good for?
Abolutely Nothin!
Say it agian!

Oh wait, that was war.
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Old 12-07-2006, 11:20 PM   #18
five04zog
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Aikido is a fine art for weapons defense and general H2H as it relates to self-defense on the street. As a law enforcement officer I have used it more then I can remember. I recall a common drunk trying to hit me in the head with a beer bottle. Shihonage was my response (bounced him off the ground). I also recall a druggie trying to stab me with his needle. I bounced him with Iriminage.

The most impressive Aikido tale of street defense I know about came from a fellow cop I met at a seminar. He used his Aikido to keep 3 attackers (like randori) off him for about 2-3 minutes. Long enough for backup to arrive. He said Aikido saved his life that night. I think Aikido is the best art against multi-attackers.

I still study/cross-train in other arts. I've studied Hapkido, ground fighting, and Kickboxing. A hard kick to a subject's common peroneal nerve or shin bone is the best atemi I know and a small officer can do it (countless other nerves work great too). The only problem with Aikido is how advanced/sophisticated it is. It's quicker to learn kickboxing or BBJ. Many Police Academies are switching to this. The Army uses BBJ and kickboxing because its quick to teach/learn and it works.

I still feel a true Aikido "master" can defend against most anything. Although it takes years and years to get to that level (meaning to defend all types of attacks) and most people are looking for instant gratification. I choose Aikido to defend against life's many attacks. This goes way beyond street defense and defensive tactics.

I agree with some of the earlier posts that say it helps to have had training in other arts before coming to Aikido. I can see it on the mat. If you have had training in other arts your real world atemi will be better.

Many Aikido schools have lost this type of training or train little in it. A boxer can hit and has been hit and will not panic when his/her jaw gets dislocated or nose gets broken in a fight. Other arts have fallen into this training rut to, not just Aikido. Kata and kicking/pouching air will not teach you how to fight.

I guess what I'm saying is you MUST have the mindset of I WILL SURVIVE no matter what! If you get shot or stabbed or your nose is bit off. This is what we try to teach new officers when they come to the "job". YOU WILL GO HOME AT THE END OF YOUR TOUR OF DUTY! Nothing else matters. Some officers/people see their own blood and just shut down. You can't let this happen.

The button line is Aikido can work as well as any other art. Most of use choose aikido for more then just fighting. If all you need is self-defense you can get that from BBJ/MMA or a Glock and a can of pepper-spray. I think of Aikido as a way of life.
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Old 12-07-2006, 11:58 PM   #19
CNYMike
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote:
First, let me clarify the title. I'm referring to the techniques of aikido. What situations are they useful in? Where are they the most appropriate choice? ..... What do you think? If the techniques of aikido are highly appropriate for empty-hand combat, why don't we see them used more often? Why do the attacks used in aikido not reflect the most likely ways that unarmed fighting occurs?
I once saw a TV report about a brawl between hockey players; my mind fixed on the image of two guys grabbing each other's shirts with one hand and hitting each other with the other hands. Thsi grab-and-hit pops up under kata dori-<strike> combinations, although kata dori is also meant to forestall that -- you deal with the attempt to grab you can nullify the stike.

Same with wrist grabs; according to my Kali instructor, ever self defense system in the world works off wrist grabs. The same is true today; if you attend or help with a women's self defense seminar, some of the scenarios start with wrist grabs. So it does seem to play off the reference points self defense systems play off of.
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Old 12-08-2006, 12:17 AM   #20
Michael Varin
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Kurt,

Nice post. LE perspective is always interesting, because what you guys do can't really be called self-defense. You have to engage and then apprehend. It's your job.
Quote:
Kurt Speerbrecher wrote:
As a law enforcement officer I have used it more then I can remember. I recall a common drunk trying to hit me in the head with a beer bottle. Shihonage was my response (bounced him off the ground). I also recall a druggie trying to stab me with his needle. I bounced him with Iriminage.
I'd like to point out that a bottle and a needle are weapons, and you as an officer are carrying at least a handgun, and probably pepper spray, an ASP(or other baton), a knife, and maybe a Taser.

This is much more like the context that I am saying these techniques are born from than one-on-one empty-hand situations are.

A question. How important is weapons retention to a person who carries weapons everyday?
Quote:
Kurt Speerbrecher wrote:
I think Aikido is the best art against multi-attackers.
I agree.

Michael
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Old 12-08-2006, 12:52 AM   #21
five04zog
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Join Date: Dec 2006
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Good question…
Most cops use a level 2 or 3 retention holster now. This helps a little. Most weapon retention DT moves are watered down Aikido. You need to always be thinking of your weapon. Just going to the bathroom in a public stall is a no-no (at least with me) when openly armed as a Police Officer. You always need to be thinking of your weapon in public.

I recall my first FTO asking me," what is the percentage of incidents you will respond to as cops were a gun is involved? The answer is 100%. You the officer are always armed with a gun, Baton, OC and sometimes Taser. Too many cops are killed with their own weapon. Not many cops train as much as they need to in DT's and weapons retention.

The continuums of force scale for most of today's Leo's:

1. Officer presence
2. verbal commands
3. hands-on control
4. pain compliance (joint locks, OC, Taser ) Maybe Taser depending on Dept. regs
5. Kicks, elbows, palm strikes, other strikes, Baton, etc.
6. Deadly force (at this point it is no longer DT's its self-defense of your life or others)

Aikido has kept me at 1, 2 & 3 most of the time. It teaches you how to project yourself and enter the situation without all your testosterone blazing. Aikido is the best "COURT PROOF" art you can train in.

This is a new issue in today's world. Some arts are great self-defense arts at levels 5 & 6 but this can get you sued in civil court or behind bars for excessive force. Joe citizen can get arrested for assault (battery in some states) for defending themselves using too much force. A lot of "experts" In self-defense seem to forget this. The only people that seem to have a practical grasp of the law are cops, criminals (and attorneys, same difference…  just kidding). I guess I'm pro Aikido. Can you tell?
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Old 12-08-2006, 02:14 AM   #22
Michael Varin
Dojo: Aikido of Fresno
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 567
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Quote:
Mike Gallagher wrote:
I once saw a TV report about a brawl between hockey players; my mind fixed on the image of two guys grabbing each other's shirts with one hand and hitting each other with the other hands. Thsi grab-and-hit pops up under kata dori-<strike> combinations, although kata dori is also meant to forestall that -- you deal with the attempt to grab you can nullify the stike.

Same with wrist grabs; according to my Kali instructor, ever self defense system in the world works off wrist grabs. The same is true today; if you attend or help with a women's self defense seminar, some of the scenarios start with wrist grabs. So it does seem to play off the reference points self defense systems play off of.
There is obviously some truth to the hold and hit fighting strategy, and women (and small people in general) are more likely to receive grabbing attacks from larger attackers.

Consider this, if someone grabs your wrist and you begin to manipulate it, what is their motivation to continue the wrist grab? Why not disengage and jerk their hand away, then launch a new attack? If letting go means that you will be able to draw a weapon that will put severe punishment on your opponent, or you're already holding that weapon, they will have to hold on. To maintain their grip they'll have to make adjustments, and if you move into proper positions all the techniques of aikido will begin to flow naturally, and so will the counters.

Michael
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Old 12-08-2006, 03:25 AM   #23
Dazzler
Dojo: Bristol North Aikido Dojo
Location: Bristol
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 659
England
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote:
I agree with both of these statements, but the discussion doesn't end here. Because they both miss the point that I am getting at. I am not talking about the art of aikido, only its techniques. I am also not talking about practical self-defense.
Quote:
Michael Varin wrote:
almost everyone that I see discussing the usefulness of aikido techniques seems to be trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. All they see is one-on-one empty-hand combat, an arena where many more sensible and no less efficient techniques already have been proven.

What do you think?
Michael - You think youre point is missed? your choice if you believe that but I assure you its not so.

You comment that people seem to be trying to apply Aikido techniques where they don't apply.

You've been given an opinion - you did ask what we think- If you don't accept it fine but don't assume that because you don't like the answer your point has been missed.


Quote:
Michael Varin wrote:
I think it is foolish to assume that these movements don't have a place where they are truly useful, more so than other things. After all, why else would they exist?
First I'm missing the point, now I'm foolish...I am having a bad day.

Who's assuming they dont have a place? where has that been said? You've been given some opinions on their context from an Aikido perspective, and explanations why those square pegs need a bit of shaving to match round holes outside of aikido. In fact you've agreed with a lot of what others have said so why the accusations of foolish assumptions?

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote:
What sets those distances? Relationship? Timing? Why would you blend that way?
Study, practice, many ukes. Every situation is different - the more we train the more we learn.

Nothing is set. Thats the whole point of Aikido - to maintain harmony you redress the balance so what works against a. needs adjusting to work against b. Only thing set are the principles.

We train the way we do to learn Aikido. If this engenders a set of moves that can be deployed in a martial context then thats great too.

But only experience will give one the ability to cover all situations. And there is always more to learn.

Its just too simplistic to say heres a defence against a punch to the face and expect that to be set in stone.


Quote:
Michael Varin wrote:
I'd like to point out that a bottle and a needle are weapons
uh huh....err.... thanks - I'm sure we are all better equipped with that gem under our belts.

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote:
First off, there is no need to apologize for your ranting or negativity. I'm not offended by things people say online.
Me neither.


Regards

D
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Old 12-08-2006, 06:10 AM   #24
Peter Seth
Dojo: Zanshin. Sunderland University
Location: Sunderland
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 124
England
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Hi all.
What is an 'aikido' technique - it appears to me that ai - harmony. Ki - energy. do - way. means to harmonise with another energy, to blend, extend and dissipate. Move in the correct time, rhythm direction with a complementary energy. Techniques have been described as being the full stop/period, at the end of a movement - basically the finalisation of tai sabaki. Its the first part which is aikido, the 'technique' can be any appropriate finishing movement. Which effectively means any technique from any art could be appropriate. It is the sen no sen, the avoidance of conflict, the blending, extension and appropriate control which defines physical aikido, not any specific 'technique'. I once had a chen style kung fu master comment that my kung fu was too big - he seemed pleased with it but decided if I made the movements smaller they would work better - I was doing an Aikido demo at the time - I took it as a complement and it made me consider my aikido in a different light. It turned out nearly all his movements/'techniques' and principles were near enough the same as what I was using in my aikido.
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Old 12-08-2006, 06:23 AM   #25
DonMagee
Location: Indiana
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,311
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Quote:
Kurt Speerbrecher wrote:

I still study/cross-train in other arts. I've studied Hapkido, ground fighting, and Kickboxing. A hard kick to a subject's common peroneal nerve or shin bone is the best atemi I know and a small officer can do it (countless other nerves work great too). The only problem with Aikido is how advanced/sophisticated it is. It's quicker to learn kickboxing or BBJ. Many Police Academies are switching to this. The Army uses BBJ and kickboxing because its quick to teach/learn and it works.

I still feel a true Aikido "master" can defend against most anything. Although it takes years and years to get to that level (meaning to defend all types of attacks) and most people are looking for instant gratification. I choose Aikido to defend against life's many attacks. This goes way beyond street defense and defensive tactics.
I would not call bjj/boxing/kickboxing any less advanced then aikido in terms of techniques just because the basics are easy to learn. I recently was at a seminar of a high ranking Carlson Gracie black belt, he moved in ways I could only dream of being able to. I think BJJ/Judo/etc are just as complicated and advanced as aikido. The difference is the training methods applied to learning them. You build fundamentals quickly though sport training. This is why I advocate sparing as soon as possible. It helps reinforce basics and weed out poor technique. In fact I have gotten better at aikido though judo and bjj practice. I was able to develop body movements and flesh out techniques that just felt unnatural when I was only doing kata.

So I would say that sport arts are easier to learn good fundamentals because of their training methods. But they are at least as advanced and complicated as aikido in the technique realm. Watching a black belt judo guy work, or a purple+ bjj guy, or a boxer slip punches is a thing of beauty, and not something you can develop in a few months. A solid base, an idea of positioning, and a few strong attacks however can be built in a 3 months in sport arts.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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