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Old 05-09-2007, 10:32 PM   #1
maxwelljones
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Finish him! ... !?

So I had to kick myself to the dojo today, but as usual, I'm glad I showed up. We continued up with our tsuki practice, started with some ikkyo. Then came my first lesson in tantodori ikkyo.

One of the things I was taught during the demonstration was to, if necessary, CUT the pinned uke down the right side of the spine. This came as a complete shock to me, this being aikido.

How many of us are taught to use the weapons we take away?
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Old 05-09-2007, 10:39 PM   #2
MikeLogan
 
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Re: Finish him! ... !?

Actually, my first teacher taught us to just sign our initials.

'Give them something to remember you by.'

mike.

If way to the better there be, it exacts a full look at the worst.

- Thomas Hardy
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Old 05-09-2007, 10:59 PM   #3
Gernot Hassenpflug
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Re: Finish him! ... !?

Considering the wealth and variety of things taught in martial arts, it is unsurprising that most people are exposed to only one or a very few training methodologies, if one can even call them that. As soon as a person has been exposed to a few more than the average aikidoka, then what they do will inevitably surprise many folks. That's OK, since most of us are struggling to understand what the essence of aikido is, let alone its forms! Enjoy the surprises.
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Old 05-09-2007, 11:02 PM   #4
crbateman
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Re: Finish him! ... !?

Tantodori drills are not really street self-defence training. However, if they were, training in a more reasonable response would make more sense. Killing someone who has attacked you is a last resort. A more measured response would be to use the tanto to hamstring him and make your exit. Nobody chases you, nobody dies.
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Old 05-10-2007, 12:39 AM   #5
raul rodrigo
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Re: Finish him! ... !?

I remember a nidan exam in 2005 where Sugawara shihan of Hombu dojo was presiding. The nidan candidates were doing exactly this, cutting uke after taking the knife away. Sugawara said clearly that we shouldnt do that.
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Old 05-10-2007, 01:54 AM   #6
Amir Krause
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Re: Finish him! ... !?

Quote:
Maxwell Jones wrote: View Post
So I had to kick myself to the dojo today, but as usual, I'm glad I showed up. We continued up with our tsuki practice, started with some ikkyo. Then came my first lesson in tantodori ikkyo.

One of the things I was taught during the demonstration was to, if necessary, CUT the pinned Uke down the right side of the spine. This came as a complete shock to me, this being aikido.

How many of us are taught to use the weapons we take away?
Why do you take control of the weapon, and do not just throw it away. The weapon is in your position for you to use.

How to use it, is a matter of your discretion based on the situation at hand: Are there additional threats? Is your attacker a risk (In some cases he might still fight you while on the ground and even win over)? etc.

A good teacher, who thinks of self defense, will break any assumptions you may have about the situation, and force you to face your inhibitions now, in the Dojo, and not in a real situation (if you ever get into one, god forbid).

After everyone is cutting the downed opponent, and becomes comfortable with it. Such a teacher might ask them what are they doing, and do they realize the law is likely to consider such acts as aggravated assault which can not be considered part of the self-defense argument (In Israel a person was sent to many year in jail after killing an assailant in similar circumstances),

Amir
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Old 05-10-2007, 04:24 AM   #7
philippe willaume
 
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Re: Finish him! ... !?

Hello
That is a bit of a paradoxal question, I believe that there is a martial side to aikido and I think that it is good to be exposed to it on a regular basis even if you do not do aikido for the martial side.

All the technique in aikido can be applied so that something very nasty happens to our opponent. And that is what martial arts are for: To do arm to an opponent whilst none occurs to us, and that in reproducible manner.

Historically speaking in European medieval wrestling, the preferred method is to pin your opponent so that you can to according to your will with the other hand. That includes stabbing (in such occurrence as ikkio immobilisation they advocated stabbing at the base of the neck or in the armpit) or just pinning them (ransoming people worth it was the idea in war). So I suspect something similar is at the origin of that technique in Japan.

Aikido gives you even a bigger range of choice, and on a same token it is not because your car can do 150 mph that you drive at that speed all the time.

I see this type of application a little bit like a condom; it is better to have one and not need it than not have any and be in the need for one.

phil

One Ringeck to bring them all and in darkness bind them,
In the Land of Windsor where phlip phlop live.
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Old 05-10-2007, 04:33 AM   #8
Mark Uttech
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Re: Finish him! ... !?

Cutting an uke after taking the tanto away polishes the murderous intent inherent in us all. I have heard it said that this 'murderous intent' we have is why birds don't come near when we go for a walk in the woods.

In gassho,

Mark
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Old 05-10-2007, 05:18 AM   #9
John Matsushima
 
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Re: Finish him! ... !?

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote: View Post
Cutting an uke after taking the tanto away polishes the murderous intent inherent in us all. I have heard it said that this 'murderous intent' we have is why birds don't come near when we go for a walk in the woods.

In gassho,

Mark
Really? I thought it was because I forgot to wear deodorant that the birds didn't come near along with any other living creatures, (especially women).

But seriously, I agree that an Aikidoka should be free from "murderous intent". It is the murderous intent of the uke, which leads to his near demise, anyway. To injure someone when we have the power not to is....evil.

I thought this point is interesting, because I have seen it in many dojos, not only in weapons practice but also in taijutsu practice. People teaching things like "if we were on the street, here is where you would break his arm/neck, etc.". I have never agreed with it.

On the other hand, someone brought up the point of slicing someone in a situation against multiple attackers. I'm not sure what to think about this. I can see how it might be necessary to break one guy's arm when you've got 5 more coming at you. But then this leads to another question of what is violence? Is it ok to do a little slicing and dicing and break a couple of bones as long as we don't kill anyone? I don't know.

I have read where Saotome sensei said that if we don't know how to kill, then we can't know how to save. So perhaps the part of using the tanto to carve our initials into our attacker is meant to show what we are not supposed to do.

I wonder why we have weapons training at all in Aikido (with the exception of tachi waza) Many of the kumitachi end with killing the uke with our katana, or with a whack to the back of uke's head with a jo. This doesn't seem to jive with Aikido philosophy.

Very interesting questions.

-John Matsushima

My blog on Japanese culture
http://onecorneroftheplanetinjapan.blogspot.jp/
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Old 05-10-2007, 06:16 AM   #10
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Re: Finish him! ... !?

If we don't cut uke, are we an "aiki-fruit?"
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Old 05-10-2007, 06:22 AM   #11
Beard of Chuck Norris
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Re: Finish him! ... !?

When our teacher showed us tantodori ikkyo from the pin came the dis-arm; he was now kneeling there pinning the attacker with one hand with the knife in the other.
He took the knife and motioned it across the attackers neck, just to show us "you have the knife now, do as you will" kind of idea. The only thing is that absolutely everyone after the pin and dis-arm followed the exact same motion with the knife; blindly following what was shown.

Whilst amusing (as we are all guilty at some stage copying teachers) it is also a bit scary to think "What if they (we) actually did that!?!?"

Peace and love

Jo
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Old 05-10-2007, 06:53 AM   #12
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Finish him! ... !?

Quote:
John Matsushima wrote: View Post
I wonder why we have weapons training at all in Aikido (with the exception of tachi waza) Many of the kumitachi end with killing the uke with our katana, or with a whack to the back of uke's head with a jo. This doesn't seem to jive with Aikido philosophy.
Maybe aikido philosophy is not what you think it is.
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Old 05-10-2007, 07:19 AM   #13
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Finish him! ... !?

If you look at the various pins ones sees in Aikido, many are not what you would call "submission" holds. In other words, they are not pins in which the attacker must tap out in order to avoid injury. In fact, a good grappler would probably be able to escape if given some time to do so.

These pins or "immobilizations" were originally designed simply to place a person at disadvantage only long enough for you to access your backup weapon and finish him. We do not normally train that way because it imprints a mindset that is not in accordance with the overall values the art is trying to promote. However, there is a difference between "finishing him off" and making the knife part of the control. We always use the knife to complete the control, and don't really consider control to be complete until that happens. Then it is the choice of the attacker whether he gets cut or not.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 05-10-2007, 07:43 AM   #14
SeiserL
 
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Re: Finish him! ... !?

I came to Aikido from an FMA background, so of course I slice and dice on my exit. However, real compassion comes from when you can, they know you can, and you don't.

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 05-10-2007, 08:07 AM   #15
Roman Kremianski
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Re: Finish him! ... !?

Quote:
In fact, a good grappler would probably be able to escape if given some time to do so.
Good grappler? Try average Aikidoka in the same average weight class as nage. I was taught that that pins were simply assisted stretches, and that it's not surprise you can get out of them if you tried.
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Old 05-10-2007, 08:29 AM   #16
charyuop
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Re: Finish him! ... !?

I would see it more this way...how can you spare your opponent's life if you don't learn first how to kill him?

I agree with Roman. In a real scenario you will never find an opponent that will say "oh ok you pinned me so I will stay here good waiting for the cops". I have learnt that doing techniques and pins on a very new Aikidoka is harder than on a trained one coz they don't have the mind set on what it is gonna happen. It can be surprising seeing them rolling out of a pin or simply getting out of a non perfectly done Shihonage.

So I think it is good teaching you how to react in the worst case scenario before teaching the aiki spirit and simply control the opponent. Doo or Jutsu it is still a Martial Art and the goal is saving your life first.
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Old 05-10-2007, 09:42 AM   #17
tarik
 
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Re: Finish him! ... !?

Quote:
John Matsushima wrote: View Post
But seriously, I agree that an Aikidoka should be free from "murderous intent". It is the murderous intent of the uke, which leads to his near demise, anyway.
Or demise. Being free of murderous intent does not mean that I won't kill.

Quote:
To injure someone when we have the power not to is....evil.
I disagree. To injure someone when we have the power not to and it's not appropriate to injure (or kill) them is... evil. There are times when injury or death are appropriate consequences that UKE chooses.

My training is (in part) about removing any murderous intent from myself so that I can truly recognize those moments with clarity and without being colored by the desire to hurt or injure another.

Our training might hopefully assist us in minimizing such situations, particularly by assisting us to remove the murderous intent from our own actions, but to sincerely believe that such situations will never occur in today's world is living in a fantasy.

I sincerely don't believe that is what Aikido was ever meant to teach; I believe that was grafted on by 'pacifists' (sic) who saw something appealing in Aikido because it talks about being at peace. Admirable goals, but not, I believe, what the Founder ever intended or meant even in his obscure teachings.

Quote:
I have never agreed with it.
You don't have to.. but forgive me if I do.

Quote:
On the other hand, someone brought up the point of slicing someone in a situation against multiple attackers. I'm not sure what to think about this. I can see how it might be necessary to break one guy's arm when you've got 5 more coming at you. But then this leads to another question of what is violence? Is it ok to do a little slicing and dicing and break a couple of bones as long as we don't kill anyone? I don't know.
Our first priority is our survival and the survival of those we love and those innocents around us. If killing or even injury is not allowed because it doesn't match your philosophy; you will be the victim.

That is your choice. It is not mine.

However, if I ever have to kill someone, it will hopefully be with compassion, without murderous intent, and without guilt. It will always be their choice, made by their actions, not mine.

Quote:
I have read where Saotome sensei said that if we don't know how to kill, then we can't know how to save.
All too many situations are escalated to this level without need.

Learning and knowing how to deal with the most distasteful, worst case scenario with deliberate intent and awareness is the only possible way to have an understanding and ability to recognize if such a decision is truly a necessary decision; and therefore confers the ability to make such a decision without guilt and second guessing and hesitation.

Truly, the life giving sword is about recognizing the greater good and acting without fear of the consequences because one already understands them and can instantly choose the option that leads to the greatest good.

But only if you've trained away those internal demons and that murderous intent and can participate with a clear mind and heart. Only then can you see the options and have no doubts.

Quote:
This doesn't seem to jive with Aikido philosophy.
I'd suggest that it does.

Quote:
Very interesting questions.
Indeed they are.

Regards,

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 05-10-2007, 09:50 AM   #18
tarik
 
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Re: Finish him! ... !?

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
I came to Aikido from an FMA background, so of course I slice and dice on my exit. However, real compassion comes from when you can, they know you can, and you don't.
I disagree. Real compassion comes from doing whatever is necessary without hate or guilt. Hate the act, not the perpetrator; show the consequences and deliver appropriately.

The ability to choose means really that you can only offer the choice to uke. If you train to clearly understand the options, you have the power to show them to uke, but only uke has the power to choose the option that leads to life.

Maybe as we grow in skill and understanding we can learn better ways to educate uke so that they can also see the choice and choose appropriately, but ultimately the final choice is in their hands.

Raising a child is no different; it's just a matter of degree.

Tarik Ghbeish
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MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 05-10-2007, 10:12 AM   #19
Gernot Hassenpflug
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Re: Finish him! ... !?

Not having "murderous intent" means you'll be up for manslaughter rather than murder if your lawyer team isn't good enough to prove that aikido is for "defence". How comforting :-) Anyone I have ever met who has ever been in a violent confrontation (and I don't mean a fist-fight and the odd kick in the head) wishes they'd been able to avoid it somehow, not that they'd either been able to hurt their attackers more or less. It sucks bigtime no matter what cards you're dealt at the end of the day.
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Old 05-10-2007, 10:15 AM   #20
Aikibu
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Re: Finish him! ... !?

Quote:
Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
I disagree. Real compassion comes from doing whatever is necessary without hate or guilt. Hate the act, not the perpetrator; show the consequences and deliver appropriately.

The ability to choose means really that you can only offer the choice to uke. If you train to clearly understand the options, you have the power to show them to uke, but only uke has the power to choose the option that leads to life.

Maybe as we grow in skill and understanding we can learn better ways to educate uke so that they can also see the choice and choose appropriately, but ultimately the final choice is in their hands.

Raising a child is no different; it's just a matter of degree.
Excellent Post and I completely agree. The death or injury of uke is always an option in Budo/Aikido. Hopefully my practice is good enough to allow Uke to choose life, and to make sure that path is open to him/her in my technique/spirit.

William Hazen
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Old 05-10-2007, 10:19 AM   #21
Aikibu
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Re: Finish him! ... !?

Quote:
Gernot Hassenpflug wrote: View Post
Anyone I have ever met who has ever been in a violent confrontation (and I don't mean a fist-fight and the odd kick in the head) wishes they'd been able to avoid it somehow, not that they'd either been able to hurt their attackers more or less. It sucks bigtime no matter what cards you're dealt at the end of the day.
I knew that feeling well at one time in my life, and it's the reason I have devoted myself to Aikido practice.

William Hazen
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Old 05-10-2007, 10:22 AM   #22
tarik
 
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Re: Finish him! ... !?

Quote:
Gernot Hassenpflug wrote: View Post
Not having "murderous intent" means you'll be up for manslaughter rather than murder if your lawyer team isn't good enough to prove that aikido is for "defence". How comforting :-)
If you're worried about the consequences; you're not fully present in the situation and might miss the opportunity that will allow you to avoid it.

Not having murderous intent means that you will not be making decisions out of fear, anger, or hate; but out of understanding the real choices that are before you. It also means that you've already dealt with and understand the consequences and don't fear them. They are what they are.

Quote:
Gernot Hassenpflug wrote: View Post
Anyone I have ever met who has ever been in a violent confrontation (and I don't mean a fist-fight and the odd kick in the head) wishes they'd been able to avoid it somehow, not that they'd either been able to hurt their attackers more or less. It sucks bigtime no matter what cards you're dealt at the end of the day.
I know of people who have been in similar situations who don't waste too much of their time wishing such things. Not everything is avoidable. They also didn't face manslaughter charges.

Regards,

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 05-10-2007, 10:26 AM   #23
Aikibu
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Re: Finish him! ... !?

Quote:
Roman Kremianski wrote: View Post
Good grappler? Try average Aikidoka in the same average weight class as nage. I was taught that that pins were simply assisted stretches, and that it's not surprise you can get out of them if you tried.
??? "Pins" or "Finishes" when applied properly are very hard to get out of. Of course on the Mat while training with Uke you might not want to go beyond "assisted stretching" but you should at least experiance that a proper pin/finish is very difficult for Uke to break out of. Otherwise why include them at all???

William Hazen
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Old 05-10-2007, 10:35 AM   #24
Roman Kremianski
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Re: Finish him! ... !?

Sorry to seem like the anal unaiki-like guy here, but get me a 150lb guy pinning a struggling 150lb guy. I can almost guarantee you a grappling situation will arise.

And bear in mind that by pin, I meant standard Aikido pin (ikkyo/nikyo etc), not some knee-on-head or full armbar type pin that already places uke in an obvious disadvantage because he cooperated up to that point. If you can get uke there though, great.

Just falling back on what I was taught. Get uke to the ground > Pin > Stretch > Get up and repeat technique. Not an MMA submission.

Last edited by Roman Kremianski : 05-10-2007 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 05-10-2007, 10:38 AM   #25
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
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Re: Finish him! ... !?

It does kind of bug me to see people casually pantomime slitting uke's throat or something. If they think that's part of the kata, they should do it with approriate seriousness and focus. Half-heartedly gesturing it is wrong from any angle.

As Gozo Shioda said in "Total Aikido" regarding the blow at the end of shihonage-osae (a downward tegatana strike to the face), "One should have the same spirit as a samurai on the battlefield finishing off an enemy." (Not as though a whack in the face is likely to kill anyone. Actually, it's usually used either for the sake of having some closing move in the kata, if no pin is to be used, or alternately to set up the pin by causing uke to block and offer an arm.)
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