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Old 01-04-2007, 01:26 PM   #26
Mike Galante
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Re: So What Is a Fight Anyway?

Check out the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2TJoq0lPHM with Koichi Tohei vs a 190 lb wrestler.
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Old 01-04-2007, 01:36 PM   #27
Mike Galante
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Tongue Re: So What Is a Fight Anyway?

Check out the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2TJoq0lPHM with Koichi Tohei vs a 190 lb wrestler.
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Old 01-04-2007, 01:42 PM   #28
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Re: So What Is a Fight Anyway?

Nice Video Mike!

Not sure what your intent was on the post. I'd love it if you'd share your comments and impressions.

Anyway here are my thoughts:

I love it for one. Why, because I think it demonstrates a number of things.

1. Close distance, Clinch, take down, submit
2. A decent example of how a senior teacher in aikido can adequately handle an seemingly unskilled, non-compliant opponent. He does so with good, effiicient posture and technique.

Here are some other things:

1. What other arts did Tohei sensei study?

Also, there was much that was assumed away in this "fight" as there was no punches or kicks. So, as in all video cases, we can arm chair quarterback this into "what if land"....

Actually I think that poor fellow would have had an even rougher time with atemi than he had!

I think though that the dynamic would have been much more atune to aikido with the threat of atemi.

Also, I think that things would be much different if Tohei were facing a much more skilled opponent....but who is to say! And what would the point of this be anyway?
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Old 01-04-2007, 01:51 PM   #29
Ron Tisdale
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Re: So What Is a Fight Anyway?

Well, from what I understand, Tohei was under strict instructions from Ueshiba Sensei not to hurt the fellow. I should be so lucky to do so well under the same circumstances...

Best,
Ron

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Old 01-04-2007, 02:17 PM   #30
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Re: So What Is a Fight Anyway?

It was very obvious I think that he was toying with this guy! Ron, do you know what else Tohei studied?
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Old 01-04-2007, 02:18 PM   #31
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Re: So What Is a Fight Anyway?

My understanding of this incident was that the wrestler was far from unskilled. It looks to me like he uses much the same wrestling attacks I was taught in high school (I didn't think much of them then and this video does nothing to change my mind).

This style of wrestling is mostly about imposing your weight on the other guy as I recall (though, in all fairness, my wrestling coach was not, um, world class). Tailor made for someone like Tohei to use against you.

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Old 01-04-2007, 02:31 PM   #32
Cady Goldfield
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Re: So What Is a Fight Anyway?

Oh sure, beat up on the old guy... Yeah, that would make Tohei look real good.
I hope no one here thinks that was anything anywhere near approaching a "fight."
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Old 01-04-2007, 02:34 PM   #33
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Re: So What Is a Fight Anyway?

I regularly have collegiate and high school wrestlers show up and want to learn jiujitsu from time to time. Most of them seem to really come unglued when they realize that it is a totally different game.

Greco-Roman, well that is a different story all together!

I tell the wrestlers to not get discouraged that they only need to unlearn a few things and learn a few other things and the base that they developed is good!

If this guy was a decent wrestler, it wasn't noticable to me as he never onced seem to go low, and always seemed to try and dominate with his Ki way up high which is somewhat contrary to my experience with wrestlers. Again, though, it is a video, I wasn't there, and what do I really know about the situation from a less then 2 minute clip!
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Old 01-04-2007, 02:37 PM   #34
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Re: So What Is a Fight Anyway?

Nah it wasn't a fight. It actually reminded me of the Gracie's in action videos where the Gracies beat up on poor guys the suckered into their den and then proceed to propagandize how wonderful they are and how GJJ is unbeatable.
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Old 01-04-2007, 02:41 PM   #35
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Re: So What Is a Fight Anyway?

If you read Spanish, it looks like the first YouTube comment under the video expresses disappointment at the "bad aikido without in atemi," and that it looked like Tohei was having problems controlling/dominating the wrestler.

It's pretty obvious that this was just playing. Note the cutaways to the same headshot of Tohei smiling...

Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 01-04-2007 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 01-04-2007, 05:48 PM   #36
Michael Hackett
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Re: So What Is a Fight Anyway?

I've seen this film clip before. As I recall, it came from a 1952 television series dealing with adventures all over the world. This particular program was a visit to O Sensei to look at Aikido. I'm not sure Herman was a wrestler or just a big, rough and tumble guy. Watching the entire program, it was apparent that Tohei Sensei was doing his best not to hurt him. Both Herman and the host seemed to be pretty impressed with what they saw and experienced at the dojo.

Michael
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Old 01-05-2007, 05:59 AM   #37
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Re: So What Is a Fight Anyway?

Little do we know what mischief our own musings will bringI was having a bad day when I started this thread but actually think it's given birth to some really nice posts. I believe we are mostly in agreement that a "real" fight is extremely difficult to define or pigeonhole. I believe we are all mostly in agreement that there is not one set formula for "fighting" which is all-encompassing in dealing with the broad range of potentialities which may arise in a "real" fight. I agree that most people who practice any martial art tend to fixate and transform their own idea of a "real" fight to conform to the techniques of their martial art.

I disagree with broad stereotypical statements utilizing the vernacular of any given martial art. Again to use Kevin's example of the idea that the clinch, takedown and submit is ".pretty much the universal fight plan. All fights pretty much follow this pattern for the most part." Please don't get the idea that this is an attack on Kevin as I agree with most of his posts in general, especially, that "the issue is we all end up with a fixation of what this means to us and our imaginations". I just don't think that in this particular case the latter idea has truly been applied to the former statement.

My disagreement here is largely semantically and vernacularly based. "Clinch, Takedown and Submission", for the most part are MMA jargon. If I was a pugilist, and I was currently winning my fight, one of the last things I would want to do would be to clinch. If I had a stick or baseball bat, and was fighting someone else a clinch would negate my advantage. On the other hand, I would readily embrace my opponents attempt to clinch with me if I had a knife, as the "dog brothers" aptly demonstrate the advantage a knife welder holds when someone tries to clinch with them in their videos. But, on the other hand, should I look to clinch if I hold the knife? Probably not. If I'm faced with more than one opponent, do I want to clinch, and tie up both of my hands on one person? Maybe, I could use the clinch to use that person's body as a shield, but it's a risky endeavor.
And do we call it a "takedown" when my aluminum baseball bat makes contact with the side of my opponents head and knocks him out? Or do we call it a "Knockout" or "homerun"? If I kill my opponent, does that mean he's submitted?

I agree that in a one-on-one situation without any weapons in which I'm not trying to kill my opponent, I might actually follow that plan, but that is a very specific limitation on the situation, and I also agree that my technique would most probably not look as pretty as it does in class.

My point being that broad brush statements using the vernacular of a particular marital art about "real" fights just don't work, so we should refrain from making them, because when we make them we pigeonhole ourselves.
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Old 01-05-2007, 06:46 AM   #38
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Re: So What Is a Fight Anyway?

Its not a plan Kevin is talking about. It is a natural course of events. Sure you are a great striker, you do not want to clinch. But I go into survival mode while taking hits from you so I start to fail rush in and clinch. You struggle to break the clinch, but you are not experienced there, because you are a striker and we fall down. Its a natural course that a fight takes when one person loses his head.

See the thing 99.99999% of martial artists don't realize is that a fight is not planned. Even in the ring you don't have control over anything. Sure you can try to keep the fight standing, or try to clinch, or try for that takedown. But the world is not going to work the way you want it to all the time. If you are not used to the adrenaline dump, your motor skills are going to suffer. You are not going to think as clear as you do in practice. You are breathing faster. You are tired. And the whole time this other guy is trying to hurt you.

The first time I did stand up sparing I had a great guard. Until I started taking shots. My hands started to move away from my body as swat at the blows. I knew this was wrong, but I didn't realize it because I was in survival mode. It took lots of having people try to punch me in the face to learn to keep my hands in the right place under stress.

People do dumb stuff in sparing all the time, In a real fight they are going to do even dumber stuff. Guys turn their heads away from blows, turn their backs to flee, stand up by leaning over on their hands and knees, they swat at blows, grab for wrists, etc.

The question is not about where you want to fight, that is obvious (or it should be). You want to fight in the best range of fighting for your training. The question is, can you keep the fight there. I have found most people have a hard time keeping a fight in the range they want. There are a few reasons.

1) They stress or gas out and let the opponent take them into their game.
2) Their opponent stresses or gases out and changes the range (fight or flight syndrome)
3) They have never trained in other ranges of fighting and are not competent enough to deal with these changes in ranges.
4) They are not used to being hit, and buckle.

Situations dictate tactics, so maybe you do want the clinch and takedown, maybe you want to throw chairs and run like a girl (my multiple attacker defense). However when people crack, when people fight in survival mode, they will do things against better judgment and advice. I've seen great strikers get nervous and clinch and get taken down. I've seen great grapplers get stressed and start thinking they are boxers. One common theme though is that in survival mode most people try to clinch (by grabbing at strikes to protect themselves), once a clinch happens a takedown almost always happens. Even boxers clinch, if it wasn't for the ref, one person would be falling down.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 01-05-2007, 07:10 AM   #39
Ben Joiner
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Re: So What Is a Fight Anyway?

I can't resist. I know it's a cliched question, but what happens when you go to ground and your opponent has a buddy, for example in a mugging type scenario? Answer it doesn't go well for you. At least with aikido your instincts will be screaming at you to stay on your feet! not take him to the ground and submit... to a beating. But hey it's just another scenario and you can't train for them all unless you have no day job, significant other, family, Friends etc... I enjoy the time I can manage to spend training aikido, that's why I do it.

Interesting thread, I have the same questions too, I keep having to put them to one side as I find that all they really do is get in the way of training, for now anyway.

Respectfully

Ben
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Old 01-05-2007, 08:15 AM   #40
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Re: So What Is a Fight Anyway?

I hate the idiocy of these arguments. You learn to fight on the ground so that you can get up when you want to and not when your opponent wants to. Learning how to remain standing should be part of every martial arts training...just check the liddel v ortiz fight. Liddel obviously trained how NOT to be taken down. He may know how to fight there, but he trains hard not to have to.

In the video the 'wrestler' seems to keep mindlessly attacking. I could probably defeat him with my low level knowledge of aikido. I have submitted black belt judo guys with my limited bjj skills. It is not that I am tough, i just had different skills in my repertoire.

Real fights do end up grappling if they go beyond some punches. If you ever tried boxing, especially with gloives on, you realize how tired your arms get and how quickly this begins to happen. People get tired and then turn to baser instincts like grabbing and pulling. Being a good fighter means that you control the fight. This is especially true in areas such as distancing. Don is right....it would be nice to think that you chould just throw everyone who comes at you. But not everyone runs full speed telegraphing an overhead knife hand....it just doesn't happen in the same frequency in which most dojos practice.

Last edited by Cyrijl : 01-05-2007 at 08:18 AM.

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Old 01-05-2007, 08:21 AM   #41
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Re: So What Is a Fight Anyway?

Quote:
Ben Joiner wrote:
I can't resist. I know it's a cliched question, but what happens when you go to ground and your opponent has a buddy, for example in a mugging type scenario? Answer it doesn't go well for you. At least with aikido your instincts will be screaming at you to stay on your feet! not take him to the ground and submit... to a beating. But hey it's just another scenario and you can't train for them all unless you have no day job, significant other, family, Friends etc... I enjoy the time I can manage to spend training aikido, that's why I do it.

Interesting thread, I have the same questions too, I keep having to put them to one side as I find that all they really do is get in the way of training, for now anyway.

Respectfully

Ben
The answer is it depends. I can mount and ground and pound someone and escape just as quickly as I can if I was standing. If I get taken down against my will however, I stand a much better chance of escaping and standing back up then a non grappler. I also stand a good chance of using the guy on top as a human shield to save me from his friends.

In a multiple attacker situation though things have already gone horribly wrong for you. You either failed to leave a situation where you were outnumbered or you were picked as a target. In the first situation, it would be like picking a fight with a group of jocks in a bar. These situations are avoidable. I do not need to train for them. If I am picked for a mob linching, such as a mugging. They already have the upper hand for many reasons.

1) I have no idea I am about to get attacked because there is no posturing.
2) They are probably also armed.

I submit that in that situation you will fair no better with bjj then with aikido, kungfu, or cardio kickboxing.

Multiple attackers is my opinion is really only a concern for police and people in similar high risk jobs. For other people this risk can be mitigated to almost nil. If it was me and I was in one of these professions, I would aim to control and keep safe distance with a drawn weapon rather then engage while I wait for backup to secure my prisoners.

Of course this has lead me to realize the whole idea of training for self defense is silly in itself. There are three types of fights, one's you see coming and can avoid (and it is really obvious.), One's you start (again obvious), and ones you don't see coming. In the first two situations it's your own fault and if you get multiple attackers, well you should of brought your own friends. In the last, by the time you know you are attacked, you are already in trouble. Very few people take a stabbing, sucker punch, gun shot etc and fair well. If there are multiples in this situation, I high doubt any hand to hand training is going to save your life. In fact, I bet you are going to revert to survival instincts and flail.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 01-05-2007, 10:35 AM   #42
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Re: So What Is a Fight Anyway?

Hi guys My 0.2 cents on how I look at this situation of fighting outside:
In today's world its hard to predict what is going to happen or how the fight will turn out or what style is better. Many factors depend on the opponents, environment and you or me for that matter.
Putting the gun aside for a moment: a whole lot depends on how you keep your cool during an escalation and how you control your thoughts. If you know aikido, keep yourself in control and have imagination of when to throw in a punch or a kick or a nice liver shot in addition to a throw or an arm twist then your odds of winning are just as good as the guy who practices muay thai or bjj or kung-foo and have a good imagination. Just because you mainly practice one art doesnt mean that you cant practice knee kicks or elbow kicks or takedowns and locks in your spare time. I know that becomes MMA in a steet fight because now you are mixing stuff up. But lets face the reality, you will not see a street fight limited to few fellows doing katas on each other. That would be funny to watch. The point that I am trying to make though is that one's ability to handle a fight is only limited by ones ability to handle fear, adrenaline rush, clear mind and imagination and knowledge of body mechanics.
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Old 01-05-2007, 11:01 AM   #43
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Re: So What Is a Fight Anyway?

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
Of course this has lead me to realize the whole idea of training for self defense is silly in itself. There are three types of fights, one's you see coming and can avoid (and it is really obvious.), One's you start (again obvious), and ones you don't see coming. In the first two situations it's your own fault and if you get multiple attackers, well you should of brought your own friends. In the last, by the time you know you are attacked, you are already in trouble. Very few people take a stabbing, sucker punch, gun shot etc and fair well. If there are multiples in this situation, I high doubt any hand to hand training is going to save your life. In fact, I bet you are going to revert to survival instincts and flail.
Thanks, Don.

I'm 42. The last "fight" I was in was with a neighbor kid when I was about 11 (and it wasn't much to speak of). I have been in more "self-defense" (survival) situations, though. Probably more than I realize.

thanks,
Adam
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Old 01-05-2007, 11:04 AM   #44
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Re: So What Is a Fight Anyway?

Quote:
Joseph Bowen wrote:
If I was a pugilist, and I was currently winning my fight, one of the last things I would want to do would be to clinch. If I had a stick or baseball bat, and was fighting someone else a clinch would negate my advantage. On the other hand, I would readily embrace my opponents attempt to clinch with me if I had a knife, as the "dog brothers" aptly demonstrate the advantage a knife welder holds when someone tries to clinch with them in their videos. But, on the other hand, should I look to clinch if I hold the knife? Probably not. If I'm faced with more than one opponent, do I want to clinch, and tie up both of my hands on one person? Maybe, I could use the clinch to use that person's body as a shield, but it's a risky endeavor.
notice how this whole section is talking about what *you* want to do? Well if everything went the way you wanted, it wouldn't really be a fight now would it (to get back to the original question)

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 01-05-2007, 11:07 AM   #45
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Re: So What Is a Fight Anyway?

Quote:
Joseph Connolly wrote:
I hate the idiocy of these arguments. You learn to fight on the ground so that you can get up when you want to and not when your opponent wants to. Learning how to remain standing should be part of every martial arts training...just check the liddel v ortiz fight. Liddel obviously trained how NOT to be taken down. He may know how to fight there, but he trains hard not to have to.
the point being it's not Chuck's striking that keeps him on his feet, it's his grappling.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 01-05-2007, 11:41 AM   #46
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Re: So What Is a Fight Anyway?

Micheal...yes that was my point. Sorry if it was not clear. The overall point is to train to be in control of situations in which you do not have the upper hand. In a pre-fight interview, Liddel said he had been training alot of grappling...but almost all of it was just trying to get free and to his feet

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Old 01-05-2007, 12:40 PM   #47
Mike Galante
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Re: So What Is a Fight Anyway?

Quote:
Not sure what your intent was on the post. I'd love it if you'd share your comments and impressions.
Hi Kevin,
Just wanted to bring this "fight" to the discussion. If there are any other similar videos out there I would love to see them. My feeling is after watching it again, is that, you see the calmness, balance, centering of Tohei. He really is beautiful. It also demonstrates the great power of softness, becoming one with. He thinks, but from a deeper place, he absorbs and blends with the totality of the situation.
He was 120 something pounds there, a 70 lb disadvantage, but you can't see it at all. He starts out cautious, but learns his opponents weakness, very quickly, then performs much more efficiently as the tape rolls. This is a testament to his superior state of being. He is also very smart.

To me a potential fight is that the other guy wants something from you, energy, love. So, you breathe in his attack, anger/hate, whatever, and breathe out love and compassion, while subduing him, you give him what he wants, some energy, some love, without pride, anger or any ego whatsoever.
He will feel foolish for having done so.
He then feels no need to attack you again, because he is now so happy that even though he was trying to hurt you, you have not hurt him. You show no pride in doing do. You have taught him. He senses the superiority of your position without resentment or envy. He would not have attacked if he had peace in his heart. He wants you to be his teacher. He feels grateful and takes you to lunch.

Ideally you sense the disharmony and avoid it altogether.

You know there was this other guy about 2000 years ago who taught to love thine enemy, hmmmm?

It's all God and like Ueshiba we should pray.

God Bless you and all in the new year.
.

Last edited by Mike Galante : 01-05-2007 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 01-05-2007, 12:53 PM   #48
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Re: So What Is a Fight Anyway?

I kinda got lost in all those answers. By what I understood from the question is if Aikido in a real fight will still look like Aikido or if it becomes more a MMA look.
What does Aikido look like?
If you mean Aikido as that nice soft dancing Art, then no it will not look like Aikido.
If you mean Aikido as that blanding Art that uses the opponent's energy against the opponent him/herself then yes it can.
A little example which can go to the extreem.

You in a fight and the opponent gets you down on your back, straddle your abdomen and throw a nice streight punch to your nose face. You can just cover your face, try to grab him and throw him over...or other things. But for istance you could (remember it is an example, kinda hard to do in real fight) blend with your arms to the punch and leading it to the side trying an ikkyo. It would surely look awful, but still would be Aikido.

Thus, the fact is putting in practice the principle of the Art, not having it look as pretty as it is on the mat against a uke.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 01-05-2007, 01:50 PM   #49
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Re: So What Is a Fight Anyway?

I will try and respond briefly here and address several things that came up in today's post.

Don: Thanks for the comments, you hit the nail right on the head as far as where I was coming from.

Ben: the buddy thing. Here is the answer: In our Combatives training in the first five minutes of the course, and I have a huge banner on the wall that says this too. "The winner of a hand to hand fight is the guy whose buddy shows up first with a gun."" I think this puts it in perspective. You are not going to win them all. Your also making an assumption that other arts (BJJ) would want to go to the ground. the don't...they simple know how to fight on the ground better than most. They also, at least we practice dominating the fight from the standing position as well.

Joseph: I believe we are really talking semantics indeed. If you would go back and look at my definition at the clinch. Don't try to get caught up in what it is from an aikido or bjj perspective. Don covered it really well. Clinch is simple a term to describe a serious of events that occur in fights...it is universal. We tend to associate this, as you state with MMA, but it is simply a term to describe a situation that occurs and not anyone technique. By all means, you can use, and should use what you learn in aikido....if you can. Tohei is clinching in the video, or at least controllng the clinch. It is semantics only.

Michael Fooks: As always spot on. Yes, I think this is the most, most important thing. We always talk about what we would do in a fight, not what is being done to us and keeping us from doing what we want to do.

I think one of the negative affects from our training in aikido can be that we train in the cooperative spirit. We must be very careful to not assume that mindset when we are talking about a serious violent encounter where someone wants to cause us harm. They may not cooperate or play fair. Okay...yea I know....we all know that right, I''ll stop preaching!
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Old 01-05-2007, 01:55 PM   #50
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Re: So What Is a Fight Anyway?

Michele:

I think we will end up discussing this in another thread for sure! I completely understand...i think...what you are saying. From a philosophical point that is.

What is difficult for me and I think anyone in a violent encounter with someone trying to incapacitate or kill you is to concern yourself with the motivation behind what they want from you.

I would hope that I would be good enough in a situation to totally dominate and control the situation and handle it as compassionately as possible. I always believe in the use of minimal force.

I will have to dust off some of my Mushashi books and discuss this a little I think.

In many attacks, I think we don't concern ourselves much with the motivation or the reason for the attack. Giving the situation it may require that we use deadly force, or extreme violence rapidily in a point of mushin and NOT regard our opponent in that moment.

I think this is very, very Key to why we study aikido and budo in general. This is why I am a HUGE proponent of studying this with soldiers. It develops you somewhat mentally and helps you integrate mind, body, and spirit so that we can take such actions with as little mental thought as possible, we do it with limited stimulus, and really do it based on instinct or our second mind.

My guys train our soldiers on this in shoot don't shoot exercises in CQB training. We must develop this skills in order to make 2nd mind decisions.

Sometimes compassion happens after the fact. There are always at least two injured parties, the one that was killed and the one that did the killing.

All I can say is Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

I will also have to dust off some of my Dali Lama books.

Even he admits that there are situations and people that cannot be reached with compassion that want to do us great harm. We can show them all the love and peace we want to, and they will still want to harm us.

That said, it is still important to always do "right action" and be as compassionate as possible. Not necessarily for your assailants healing and peace....but for your own. Again, PSTD.

I'd love to hear some comments from Lynn Seiser as he is always so wise in this area!
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