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Old 12-08-2006, 02:18 PM   #26
billybob
 
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Re: What is aikido good for?

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

"David Knowlton wrote:
????????????????

That comment was not intended to be the slightest bit mysterious.

Michael"

--------------------------------
Michael, I was not being snotty, I really don't understand what you meant. I asked that you name a technique as a reference point for discussion. You've been well answered by some posters above - aikido is not jujitsu because...........................well, that's a tough one, but people have spoken to it.

Interstingly I'm getting the feeling reading around the various threads that my aikido training is like a university lecture: I need to listen to the phd, then do most of my 'real training' outside of class.

Many instructors encourage homework. I still miss judo randori. If you don't know - you agree not to kill each other, take a grip on each other's jackets, and do your best to keep your balance and take the other fellow's.

Aikido is tough because you are supposed to know how to do deal with a strong partner in a relaxed way - then Somehow make that same strong/soft connection in mid air with a fast flying atemi from uke - while getting behind them and pushing - no pulling allowed.

See Michael, I'm frequently confused.

Sorry this got so long

dave

Last edited by billybob : 12-08-2006 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 12-08-2006, 03:06 PM   #27
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Quote:
Kurt Speerbrecher wrote:

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.
It is interesting to see this laid out numerically. I agree that many arts seem not to have much between zero and nuclear. I found it especially worrisome during a Krav Maga craze not long ago. I saw all kinds of shows and ads demonstrating students practicing head punches hard enough to break someone's neck, gun takeaways and the like. Why should a civilian be trained like a spy/commando-killer?

This would actually be my answer to the original question: the best practical situation(s) for Aikido techniques are ones where you are responsible for security and/or law enforcement. One big difference between being in law enforcement or security and being Joe Citizen is that Joe is a lot less likely to need levels 1 through 4 on your list. You have a duty to go towards dangerous situations and control them, whereas legally, Joe's duty is more often along the lines of getting away from that situation and making a phone call to summon you to the scene. If it is a situation where Joe is legally justified in going toward the danger and trying to take control, I think 5 and 6 would more likely be appropriate... er, except in Florida, I guess.
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Old 12-08-2006, 03:40 PM   #28
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote:
..... if someone grabs your wrist and you begin to manipulate it, what is their motivation to continue the wrist grab? .....
That is certainly possible, but it seems to me somethin to address after you learn how the techniques should go. If you train on the assumption that your opponent will get away from your first technique, you won't know what to do if he doesn't. Although I can't remember anything we did way back when at that women's self defense seminar where anything like that happened.

Also, in addition to the reasons gven, a wrist grab is pretty simple and straightforward. I believe that is why Aikido looks at that first, as opposed to kata dori shomeuchi. While the latter may be more "realisitc," the entry is more confusing. I have seen this. Yet it used "atoms" introduced with kata dori.

As I see it, systematised martial arts (including Aikido) have to answer the following three questions:

1. Can you teach your techniques to somone with absolutely no ability or talent? The answer is yes, and you do this by making things relatively simple for beginners. In Aikido's case, this is why you start with wrist grabs.

2. Can you teach that person to teach someone else without any help from you? Again, "yes," which is why it is systematised.

And now for the killer:

3. Can you do 1 and 2 at the same time without your student knowing what's going on? That's the kicker. But it can be done. When you learn techniques, you're also learning the system and how to teach it to someone else.

Every martial art in the world has to address these questions. How they answer, in accordance with their founders' priorities, is why they are the way they are. And it goes without saying that is also true for Aikido.
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Old 12-08-2006, 03:55 PM   #29
Michael Varin
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Daren,

I did ask for opinions and I appreciate them all. There isn't a specific answer that I want to hear. I just thought people were approaching this discussion from totally different angles than I was, but maybe I missed your point. Communication, especially online, is imperfect.

I believe that it is possible to practice aiki with any set of techniques. Despite this there are movements that are recognized as the technical syllabus of aikido. I also believe that necessity is the mother of invention, so techniques are developed to achieve a specific goal in a specific situation (of course you need a calm and fluid mind to make this work in a spontaneous environment, but that has never been up for discussion). Naturally, there are other situations where the technique would work, but is less appropriate, and still others where it would be so difficult to achieve that another technique should be used.

Example: A classic double leg takedown from wrestling is a superb way to bring someone to the ground. Even when strikes are allowed, you can feign a blow to the face then double leg. But if your opponent was armed with a sword, surprise would be your only chance of success with a double leg. If you attempt it straight on you will be butchered. It is not appropriate for the situation. Your technique/strategy must be totally different.
Quote:
Michael Varin wrote:
I'd like to point out that a bottle and a needle are weapons
Quote:
Daren Sims wrote:
uh huh....err.... thanks - I'm sure we are all better equipped with that gem under our belts.
Quoting people out of context is a nasty little habit.

Kurt had mentioned aikido's usefulness in general H2H, which I took to mean one-on-one empty-hand. I was pointing out that: 1) he's a police officer who is always armed, so it's never empty-hand, and 2) in both examples the aggressor used a weapon.
Quote:
Michael Varin wrote:
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.
I believe that these types of situations are very close to those that gave birth to the techniques used in aikido.

Michael
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Old 12-08-2006, 04:02 PM   #30
Michael Varin
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Re: What is aikido good for?

David,

I'm sorry. Now I'm confused. What sort of an example were you asking me for?

By the way, I have also studied judo.

Michael
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Old 12-08-2006, 10:00 PM   #31
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Re: What is aikido good for?

First, let me say sorry. I did not mean to say that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is less sophisticated. I stand corrected. I have all the respect in the would for the art and think it is a powerhouse. I love cross training in it (any jujutsu, Hapkido or judo). The same goes for all arts.

I have trained in Southern Style Kung fu, Kickboxing and am belted in Hapkido (I believe a sister art to Aikido). I think the more tools you have the better you are in a real would situation. You will fall back on your training.

I know that this type of discussion on aikido in inevitable. We just need to remember that Aikido is different for everyone. I love how aikido makes me feel and think and it helps me socialize outside of my comfort zone. It can be hard to have friends outside of police work. When I am at the dojo, I am just an other student and I am comfortable. Great for of exercise to.

On the other side of the coin, aikido can be destructive. A fine art for self-defense. Some Aikido schools have even incorporated regular cross training in BJJ. I am not talking "combat Aikido" hard-core quaci-aikido/jujustu guys. I mean mainstream highly respected Sensei. Off the top of my head, Bookman Sensei in Seattle has cross-trained and many of his students do as well. I feel that this is great.

If Aikido is more of meditation in motion or a way for you to just better your self, this is great to. I like it for both.

Sorry if I got off track of the threadů.

Stay safe
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Old 12-09-2006, 03:11 PM   #32
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Michael,

I think your discussion is going along nicely. I think my confusion stems from 'level of inquiry' problem. I was stargazing, and I think you were at conventional level. I tease Erick Mead for looking at each atom! (to finish my silly analogy).

I don't think the syllabus of aikido is worth much by itself. Would you choose ikyo, nikyo, sankyo to teach a beginner's course on jujitsu? I wouldn't.

dave
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Old 12-11-2006, 05:42 AM   #33
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote:
I believe that it is possible to practice aiki with any set of techniques. Despite this there are movements that are recognized as the technical syllabus of aikido. I also believe that necessity is the mother of invention, so techniques are developed to achieve a specific goal in a specific situation (of course you need a calm and fluid mind to make this work in a spontaneous environment, but that has never been up for discussion). Naturally, there are other situations where the technique would work, but is less appropriate, and still others where it would be so difficult to achieve that another technique should be used.
Well thats a whole can of worms perhaps? syllabus for instance and measurement. This varies hugely from group to group - all i can comment on are those that I have experience of.

To this end the techniques that are practices within my own organisation which are passed on from Tamura Sensei are those that are best for developing skills of Aikido.

as you say yourself - there are other situations where a technique would be less appropriate. Our view is that focussing on a technique specifically for dealing with for example a downward blow from a right handed man weighing 250 pounds and wearing trainers is a. extreme (so forgive my humour) but more importantly of limited value. Our angle has been much more focussed on what can be learned from techniques rather than what the original design of technique was for.

Incidentally...when I did my jujitsu gradings we were never asked for specific techniques, we were given attacks and had to produce defences that were appropriate to ourselves in terms of physiques speed temperment etc. (obviously we had previously practiced a wide range to allow us to develop ideas) At the time I found this odd as it didn't match what I'd been doing in Aikido but now I see that if one has trained the martial essentials then the individual will deploy them instinctively as they feel fit rather than in a predefined match to a prescribed attack.

My feeling is the way to the spontaneous Aikido you mention. Others may not agree of course.

Perhaps really the title of the thread is misleading since it is not so much Aikido itself that you are interested in but more the history and deployment of its selected techniques?


Quote:
Michael Varin wrote:

Quoting people out of context is a nasty little habit.

Kurt had mentioned aikido's usefulness in general H2H, which I took to mean one-on-one empty-hand. I was pointing out that: 1) he's a police officer who is always armed, so it's never empty-hand, and 2) in both examples the aggressor used a weapon.

I believe that these types of situations are very close to those that gave birth to the techniques used in aikido.

Michael
Fair enough, If I have breached nettiquette I shall try a bit harder (to disguise it....), no - to restrain myself from such cheekyness, as you say, Communication on-line is not perfect and now you have isolated your reply to Kurt it is far clearer and does not appear as inane as previously.

Respectfully

D
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Old 02-26-2007, 08:36 PM   #34
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Re: What is aikido good for?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_QQ96maQzk
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Old 02-26-2007, 10:22 PM   #35
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Remember class:

Aiki(DO) without the niceties is just JUJUTSU.

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 02-26-2007, 11:18 PM   #36
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Re: What is aikido good for?

As far as what Aikido is good for, the simple answer is "lots of things".

It is highly effective self defense, for one on one or against multiple attackers.

As for the attacks not being realistic I don't buy that argument. I think they are. In general, we practice technqiues from wrist, clothing/lapel grabs and strikes (tsuki, shomenuchi, yokomenuchi).

You can probably say that the shomenuchi and yokomenuchi are not common street attacks. But we are not training to respond to specific attacks with specific defenses. 1) We are learning to deal with generalized attacks coming from a specific direction. If you can deal with one, you can deal with them all. 2) At it's root, Aikido is an empty hand vs weapons art (the open hand generally represents a blade). Technqiues that work against a weapon will work against an empty handed attack. As where techqniues designed with an empty hand in mind may not necessarily work against a weapon.

I have always viewed Aikido primarily as a Police Martial Art. I started "aikido" by training in Kuniba Ryu Goshin Budo which incorporates some teachings of Gozo Shioda and Junsa Goshin Budo (essentially Yoshinkan and Judo) before training in Yoshinkan. I always trained with Police Officers and several Training Officers who swear by Aikido for controlling and handcuffing.

I am now working with Prison Guards teaching them Yoshinkan. They love it and can't get enough of it. They have all had some martial arts training of some sort and the consensus is that this is the ultimate martial art for them, and they tussle with some pretty rough guys.

Jim Mc Coy
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Old 02-26-2007, 11:31 PM   #37
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Re: What is aikido good for?

What a horrible video. Is there anything they WON'T put on youtube? I asked myself that question. I did a search for 'guy taking a crap' and got 2 pages of hits. I better quit while I'm ahead.

If you're hungry, keep moving.
If you're tired, keep moving.
If you value you're life, keep moving.

You don't own what you can't defend
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Old 02-27-2007, 12:40 AM   #38
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Video is okay for what it is, frankly I find it entertaining and creative with the whole old timey look to it. Different.

The problem is not the attacks or response....it is back to the whole aliveness issue of it all.

It is not realistic in the dynamic of the attacks and does not replicate the speed, strength, stealth, and force that is used in attacks.

As far as the statement it is good self defense against multiple opponents...sure, there are some very good things we learn in principle that can be applied to Multiple opponents.

That is a long jump however, I think, it most cases to the statement it is good self defense in a multiple opponent situation.

Just as the video, while entertaining, and does an excellent job of showing technique....which might serve to lure in the ignorant masses. It does not approximate reality and we should be careful in creating the illusion in people that they are truely empowered with something they are not with dojo methodology as demonstrated in that video.

Is it good for the things you mentioned? Yes, it is very applicable...but I would be careful with the paradigm that says it translates directly to the street.

Most of us simply do not practice with enough aliveness and non-compliance in our daily aikido training to translate this as such.

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Old 02-28-2007, 01:30 AM   #39
CNYMike
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Cute video; wonder when it was made? I'm thinking 1950s.

As an asaide, the first "trick" she used, which pops up in Aikido under kokyu nage, is, IIRC, is known in Chin Na as "Twins Bow to Buddha." When something pops up in more than one culture, it's worth noticing.
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Old 02-28-2007, 09:07 AM   #40
Guilty Spark
 
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Hey Kevin,

I wasn't commentingon the technical part of the vid. I don't know nearly enough to even begin critiquing techniques. I just found the video very sketchy.

I think what I dislike most about the video and techniques is that the doesn't finish the job. She throws a guy and walks away.

I think in Aikido new guys develop this idea that if a bully or badguys attack them and they use aikido to defend themselves then said bad guy will stop and say hey I just cant get through this fellows defenses! I should find another victim.

I think thats one of the most dangerous ideas that aikido seems to impart on many people. If you DO gain the upper hand (and control) in a fight then you keep control and make sure the person can't have a go at you again.

If you're hungry, keep moving.
If you're tired, keep moving.
If you value you're life, keep moving.

You don't own what you can't defend
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Old 02-28-2007, 11:53 AM   #41
CNYMike
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote: View Post
....I think what I dislike most about the video and techniques is that the doesn't finish the job. She throws a guy and walks away.....If you DO gain the upper hand (and control) in a fight then you keep control and make sure the person can't have a go at you again.
However, on more than one occassion when I was in his Kali class, Guro Kevin Seaman said your goal in a self defense situation was "survival and escape." Staying in it long enough to "keep control and make sure the person can't have a go at you" kind of runs counter to that. But bouncing the guy's head off the black top and then running for it might. There are also the legal ramifications; evne if you start defending yourself, if you go to far, you become the agressor and you could pay, not the other guy. Just food for thought.
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Old 02-28-2007, 12:35 PM   #42
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote: View Post
However, on more than one occassion when I was in his Kali class, Guro Kevin Seaman said your goal in a self defense situation was "survival and escape." Staying in it long enough to "keep control and make sure the person can't have a go at you" kind of runs counter to that. But bouncing the guy's head off the black top and then running for it might. There are also the legal ramifications; evne if you start defending yourself, if you go to far, you become the agressor and you could pay, not the other guy. Just food for thought.
In a best case situation, I'd perfer to make sure the guy was unable to persue before I attempt escape. Chokes are wonderful for this, as are joint locks. I'd have to agree that you should defend, control, then escape.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 02-28-2007, 01:17 PM   #43
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Lots of things really...... Happy journey
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Old 02-28-2007, 01:21 PM   #44
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
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?
every time i start answering questions like these, all seems well, and when i start elaborating it turns to complete garbage. Aikido is still very confusing to me. the only thing i can claim to know about Aikido is what time my classes are.

my only advice is that whatever level you are at, the only thing that matters is showing up for those classes.
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Old 02-28-2007, 03:48 PM   #45
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Grant, Don and all...

I think what we are getting at centers around intent and situation.

I certainly teach and do things much differently training for the technics of grappling than I do for reality.

For example in a real fight I might clinch, drop my strong side back with my gun and knife, cross face with my opposite hand and reach for my knife stab, release, then draw my gun and shoot.

In grappling or BJJ, I would clinch, pummel, off balance, go for the takedown....or I might jump guard to take advantage of the points.

The thing is this:

In order to do the frame, stab, shoot properly and confidently, I need to be a good grappler.

If all I ever practiced was the fram, stab, shoot...then that is all I'd ever be good at!

In training for reality, we isolate things and train things differently. Hence, there is nothing necessarily wrong with the video, in fact the technique in and of itself is pretty darn good I think.

However, what it illudes to in practice...is completely wrong. That is..that it approximates what might happen to a female walking down the street holding her purse and how she would react.

As long as we keep the practice and methods within the framework of theory and principle we are okay and practice is sound and good.

It is when we start believing what we practice everyday in the dojo equates to reality...it becomes dangerous. (Dissonance).

What SHOULD happen in a self defense situation is this. Guy runs up snatches purse fast, and runs away and she is left standing there as he runs.

OR

He runs up, over powers her with size strength, she goes down to the ground, and then fights to regain control of the fight and dominance.

I'd be impressed if this happened, then she got the niikkyo vice having him "place" his extended arm out there for her, giving her time and balance to do the technique. It just doesn't happen like this most of the time.

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Old 03-01-2007, 01:26 AM   #46
CNYMike
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
.... As long as we keep the practice and methods within the framework of theory and principle we are okay and practice is sound and good.

It is when we start believing what we practice everyday in the dojo equates to reality...it becomes dangerous. (Dissonance).
Except that the theories and princples should be the drivers behind techniques that can be used in reality. That is my understanding of learning principles: When you understand the principles, you can come up with your own techniques as needed.

Quote:

What SHOULD happen in a self defense situation is this. Guy runs up snatches purse fast, and runs away and she is left standing there as he runs.

OR

He runs up, over powers her with size strength, she goes down to the ground, and then fights to regain control of the fight and dominance.

I'd be impressed if this happened, then she got the niikkyo vice having him "place" his extended arm out there for her, giving her time and balance to do the technique. It just doesn't happen like this most of the time.
If a BJJ school today did a demo video, I'm sure that's whatit would look like. This is Japanese jujitsu done atleast fifty years ago. If anything, it reminds me of the section at the back of Gozo Shioda's Dynamic Aikido giving some practical applications. And remember, that is Yoshinkan which the Japanese police use(d).
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Old 03-01-2007, 02:48 PM   #47
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Michael,

Yes true, you do need to understand the principles of the underlying technique.

I am reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance right now. This is a big part of the underlying theme in this book I believe.

We do need to understand the principles carburation, air/fuel mixture, and combustion in order to ride a motorcycle across the country (at least in those years!). However, there is a ART to it as well that only experience through trial and error and making mistakes can produce.

Understanding principles CAN allow you to come up with techniques. I think I got pretty good at coming up with them in my Aikido dojo after several years of practice. However, when I left the dojo for a new paradigm of working with guys that did not understand aikido or care about my practice or hurting me, then I could not come up with the same techniques.

No matter how much I understood the principles, I lacked the experience in those situations to apply those principles. I had to gain those experiences through many, many hard hours of trial and error.

Yes, police can and do use technique. My post does not invalidate aikido as NOT being realistic or valid in ALL situations.

It all has to do with the point of control and at what point and parameters are present in the situation.

There is a big difference between being a lady in a dress being ambushed by an assailant (heck make it a guy, it doesn't matter), and a police officer arresting someone.

Again it is point of control.

My only point was that there are many, many variables and things that you encounter in a violent encounter.

Videos such as this can be misinterpreted as empowering someone to actually be able to do this things, when in fact they represent an ideal that is being performed in a very controlled, and constrained way to demonstrate principle.

That is all that I am saying. As Leaders and Instructors, Sempai...we have an obligation to properly manage the expectations and training of those that we are training and NOT delude them into a false sense of security.

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Old 03-01-2007, 02:56 PM   #48
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: What is aikido good for?

Oh yea..comment on the BJJ.

It is not that BJJ as commonly taught is superior by any means in teaching principles to aikido that are commonly taught, infact I think in many ways it is NOT.

However, I think the edge commonly taught BJJ has over commonly taught aikido is that it deals with point of control...that is point of failure in a more realistic way and better approximates how to manage this.

This is NOT a lick on aikido at all, only a different approach/methodology.

If you actually get involved in BJJ, it all starts making much more sense...and least this is what I have experienced.

A Weakness of BJJ as it is commonly taught is that they don't train for separation of the fight and the injection of weapons too often.

Combining the two methodolgies creates a very wonderful control of the spectrum of conflict...at least that is my experiences.

Anyway, my intent is not to turn this into another BJJ/Aikido thread. So I will stop here.

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Old 03-01-2007, 11:25 PM   #49
CNYMike
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Re: What is aikido good for?

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
.... Videos such as this can be misinterpreted as empowering someone to actually be able to do this things, when in fact they represent an ideal that is being performed in a very controlled, and constrained way to demonstrate principle.

That is all that I am saying. As Leaders and Instructors, Sempai...we have an obligation to properly manage the expectations and training of those that we are training and NOT delude them into a false sense of security.
I don't think the film was meant to "delude" anybody. I see it as a demo meant to promote a given jujitsu system which, I guess, was taught in the UK back in the '50s and generate interest. But I don't see any malicious intent there, ie they were saying, "Let's mislead those poor slobs who don't know any better." More like, "Let's get the word out and see if anyone shows up at our door." MA schools today do the same things.

I see whayt you're saying; I just don't think that accurately represents the thinking of the instructors who did the demo. And echoing what you said in another thread, it's not unlikely that people who studied in their dojo swore by it based on real world experiences. The more things change, and so on and so forth.
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Old 03-01-2007, 11:32 PM   #50
CNYMike
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Re: What is aikido good for?

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
..... my intent is not to turn this into another BJJ/Aikido thread .....
Yeah, those do get old after about five seconds, so no argument there.

Parenthetically, the one reference to that that's stuck in my mind is the poster a couple of years ago who said he loved Aikido so much that he was going to keep doing it while he continued to training in the other art he loved, BJJ.

Now that's the kind of resolution I want to see!
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