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Old 10-18-2007, 10:31 PM   #1
G DiPierro
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Re: Organizations- How important are they to you?

Quote:
John Riggs wrote: View Post
Do you really believe an organization is going to take the opinion of someone of little training background over their experience? That's akin to bottom up management. You would have to make the assumption that the person is actually offering something of value when in reality it may only be their opinion. Perhaps if you can reverse and pin the shihan you may be on to something.
The point I have been trying to make is that martial arts should not be about simply believing one person's subjective opinion over another. It should be about testing and debating (physically and otherwise) ideas to determine as objectively as possible what makes sense according to the principles of martial arts in general and aikido specifically. This is what many other martial arts do, and what all professions and academic institutions do as well. In fact, it is their founding principle.

The only reason someone like me with a decade or so of experience can reasonably challenge people with three or four times that experience is they have not been testing their ideas and I have. They simply have accepted what they were told and spent their 20 years trying to figure out how to get the ikkyo they learned to work while I spent 2 or 3 years discovering that ikkyo will never really work if you do it that way and how to do it another way so that it will work.

Since you brought it up, if any shihan is willing to give me a fair shot at trying to reverse his technique I'd be happy to try it. I haven't found any takers on that yet, though. Usually as soon as I give those guys a little bit of resistance (yet nothing even close to trying to reverse them) they get visibly upset and then make sure to avoid touching hands with me again. So I'm not the one avoiding the challenge here. (Actually now that I think about it, I did once reverse the technique of a certain well-known shihan back when he used to let me try to resist him. Out of courtesy, I did not actually throw him but released him at the point where I had gotten behind him in position for something like an RNC. However, we both knew what happened, as I suspect did the handful of witnesses. After what happened last time I named names, I won't say who he was.)

Quote:
Yes, egos abound in large organizations-some are worse than others. That's why I like a smaller organization.

Not all shihans are rigid as you suggest. I know of some who after 40 or 50 years still profess to being students and trying to figure out what O'Sensei was doing.
You might not know this but a while back I traveled quite a bit out of my way to train with your teacher. He seemed like one of the most genuinely humble 8-dans I have met, and since his organization in the US is still very small you probably won't have a lot of the problems of the bigger established orgs. Guys like him are the exception, particularly in the US where the major organizations are dominated by some very large egos (so large that many of them cannot stand to be in the same room with one another!). When you talk about the aikikai, particularly in the US, I think those guys are more representative of the majority than your teacher. However, even many of the better teachers I have met in the aikikai (including yours) are still far too averse to testing their techniques against resistance for my taste. To some extent I can pass this off as them being old Japanese men set in their ways, but it still makes it hard for me to accept what they do at face value when I know that if they were willing to fail a bit more often they wouldn't need to rely on compliant ukemi so much.

Last edited by G DiPierro : 10-18-2007 at 10:45 PM.
 
Old 10-19-2007, 06:28 AM   #2
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Re: Organizations- How important are they to you?

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Interesting. My sensei gets upset if you don't try to attack or hold him strongly although he will often back off if he feels he will hurt someone by executing. I'm curious if you took ukemi and tried to stop him. Now I'd really be interested in seeing if you could reverse him-even get a technique to work on him. Or stop him if he really wanted to do the technique with full force. Especially, if you were the same age. I'm sure he's not as strong as he once was. I have video of him in his 50s and would not want to be on the receiving end.

I was not aware you trained with him. Houston?
Yes, a couple years ago. I touched hands with him many times. I don't want to say anything bad about him because he was such a nice guy, but yes I gave him some resistance and he had enough trouble with for me know that he's not used to getting that kind of thing very much. I felt like I could have put him on the ground without too much difficulty if I tried but what would that prove: that a young, 6ft+ gaijin can beat up a little old 70 year-old Japanese guy? If you don't want to believe that because you didn't see me do it, that's fine, but for me the cost of embarrassing the guy in front of his students would have too high for me to worry about proving anything to anyone else.

I thought he was very polite and generous to me within the context of his knowledge and abilities and that's about as much as you can ask for from a teacher. And his technique is certainly not bad. I like his general style and I thought he could do some interesting stuff as long as I decided not to really attack him but to just "take ukemi". In fact if I wavered even for a moment on my commitment to really attacking he moved in and quite quickly took my balance, which is a nice skill that even some other shihan might not have, but for me the gold standard is someone I can give my best attack and still not be successful. I've met a couple of people who I think are or might be in that category, and even though I don't consider your teacher to be one of them I liked him a lot personally and thought his aikido was fine, so he's still in the group of people with whom I would train again if I had the chance.

For Carl Thompson and Peter Goldsbury, I want you to know that I really do appreciate your interest but I won't be able to get back to you right away. Believe it or not, I'm actually on my way to an aikido seminar this weekend (gasp!) and I need to get going. Yes, it does still happen once or twice a year. If I can't find time to get to your messages earlier I will be sure to respond early next week. Thanks again.
 
Old 10-19-2007, 07:37 AM   #3
aikidoc
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Re: Organizations- How important are they to you?

Giancarlo, your comments are interesting. What would be interesting to me would be to see you take on some of these shihan in a full out combat situation with no rules and not in a teaching situation. Of course, the legal implications would be of concern so waivers for injury would have to be signed and all that. In other words, oh let's say Chiba sensei versus you with no rules and you can attack as hard as you want. You have to be willing to accept the consequences and you can't just opt out if things start going wrong for you. In other words you go until someone can't get up. That would be the true test of your grandiose claims-no rules, just kick ass combat. Unfortunately, no one is likely to take you up on it in this litigious society. Oh and by the way, you must be willing to take atemi.

I think one thing you forget is a shihan will not spend time getting into a testing them situation on the mat. To do so changes from a teaching situation to a combat situation. It would not be good for anyone involved to change the rules of a seminar into an altercation. That's dojo busting behavior. The rules change and someone is going to get hurt which would not look good in a seminar. My sensei scolds us if we don't try to attack as strongly as we can. Keep in mind also they are demonstrating at less than full speed and in a controlled manner to show the movement patterns. A combat situation has not imposed restrictions. We asked one of my sensei's ukes from Japan why he would sometimes take pre-emptive falls-his comment was that sensei was dangerous and to do otherwise would put him at risk of injury since he knew what was coming.

Last edited by aikidoc : 10-19-2007 at 07:45 AM.
 
Old 10-19-2007, 08:18 AM   #4
Basia Halliop
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Re: Organizations- How important are they to you?

Quote:
You have to be willing to accept the consequences and you can't just opt out if things start going wrong for you. In other words you go until someone can't get up. That would be the true test of your grandiose claims-no rules, just kick ass combat. Unfortunately, no one is likely to take you up on it in this litigious society. Oh and by the way, you must be willing to take atemi.
Actually, this is an interesting point because it actually seems kind of close to the criticism Giancarlo's making (if I'm understanding him right -- I may be drifting a bit from what he's saying) about the 'grandiose claims' of high ranking aikido people (or the claims of lower ranking people in their name).
 
Old 10-19-2007, 08:45 AM   #5
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Re: Organizations- How important are they to you?

I also don't know why things have to get elevated to a "death match" situation in order to test things out. Now, I do understand how one presents oneself has something to do with it and being able to beat someone doesn't mean they don't have anything to teach you, but even just honestly testing individual principles a la push hands in Chinese arts - not necessarily fighting, but working on making use of the supposed principles of the art against non-compliance.

On the other hand, if Mr. DiPierro's looking to just mix it up, I do know there's folks that do aikido and either cross-train or don't mind indulging in some of their own MMA-style sparring, so again it doesn't have to be a death match, but if you're at a seminar situation, see if there's some other aiki-bruisers that don't mind indulging you. On the other other hand, don't bring that crap into a setting where it's inappropriate with people that may not have any interest in it.

In other words, the application of a little common sense and courtesy can go a long way.

Last edited by Budd : 10-19-2007 at 08:47 AM. Reason: yeti
 
Old 10-19-2007, 09:01 AM   #6
aikidoc
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Re: Organizations- How important are they to you?

The point I'm making is his claims are in a context of teaching principles and concepts. If one wants to truly test whether a technique works or not, then there cannot be rules since the desire is to make it realistic. I don't see a lot of shihans making grandiose claims although there are egos abounding on all sides of the fence. However, a teaching environment is a whole lot different than a no-holds barred environment. While teaching, you are breaking things down slowly and showing steps and principles while dealing with an attack that is somewhat choreographed. This is part of the skill building and training process. However, when someone starts making claims that they can stop and reverse master instructors then the rules must change-no rules, anything is fair including atemi (which O'Sensei used extensively). As an example, my sensei will show my openings but putting his fist where an atemi would land during my attack. In a real situation that atemi would land full force. So if I chose to attack him no holds barred then I must be willing to take whatever he dishes out.
 
Old 10-19-2007, 10:14 AM   #7
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Organizations- How important are they to you?

I've got to go with Budd on this one. I personally do a lot of training outside of my primary teacher's organization, and I can honestly say that if I made all my appearences in strange dojo into a death match or even a pissing contest I would no longer be welcome in all the different places I go...from other well known organizations like the USAF, the Birinkai, the ASU, the AKI and several independant dojo.

In general, I go to do a few things:

1) learn as much as I can in a seminar setting from the teachers and other students in a different approach to aikido and MA.

2) try to understand what parts of my own training mesh with that different approach and what parts don't.

3) make new friends, new relationships, feel different people both as uke and nage/shite.

4) see if I can 'hang'.

That last one has nothing to do with dominating other people. It has to do with recieving and giving in equal measure...not proving 'my' way or my organization's way is better.

If I do decide to test something out, I understand the reasonable consequences of it, I'm not a jerk about it, and frankly, have almost never been treated in a jerky fashion. And I still come away with a fairly good idea of where I stand relative to INDIVIDUALS, which is the only thing with real meaning.

Best,
Ron (and somehow I never have to OUT anyone on the net...go figure. At least not in the last few years...It took some growing up, but turned out to be easy after that)

PS If I was going to get into a pissing contest or a death match, I should find the highest ranked, youngest, strongest guy in the room and have a real go at it. Not the 70 something instructor at the shomen.

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 10-19-2007 at 10:16 AM.

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Old 10-19-2007, 11:02 AM   #8
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Re: Organizations- How important are they to you?

Well put, Ron. I think anyone that visits other dojo would do well to review your steps. I know we always look forward to Ron stopping by and wish he'd come play more often.
 
Old 10-19-2007, 12:32 PM   #9
aikidoc
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Re: Organizations- How important are they to you?

Quote:
Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
Yes, a couple years ago. I touched hands with him many times. I don't want to say anything bad about him because he was such a nice guy, but yes I gave him some resistance and he had enough trouble with for me know that he's not used to getting that kind of thing very much. I felt like I could have put him on the ground without too much difficulty if I tried . And his technique is certainly not bad. I like his general style and I thought he could do some interesting stuff as long as I decided not to really attack him but to just "take ukemi". In fact if I wavered even for a moment on my commitment to really attacking he moved in and quite quickly took my balance, which is a nice skill that even some other shihan might not have, but for me the gold standard is someone I can give my best attack and still not be successful. I've met a couple of people who I think are or might be in that category, and even though I don't consider your teacher to be one of them I liked him a lot personally and thought his aikido was fine, so he's still in the group of people with whom I would train again if I had the chance.
Wow! I'm impressed. One of the last people that tried to stop him was a former student. At the hombu dojo he was famous for trying to stop other shihan while they were teaching. He tried that with my sensei and he was knocked out. When he came to he became a student and studied with him for 12 years in Japan. I seriously doubt you could put him on the ground if you tried in a real situation but go ahead and live that fantasy. I'm sure you'll never have the opportunity to prove it. He was also known at the hombu as the sensei to deal with dojo busters-effectively. Enjoy your delusion.
 
Old 10-19-2007, 04:13 PM   #10
Christopher Gee
 
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

'PS If I was going to get into a pissing contest or a death match, I should find the highest ranked, youngest, strongest guy in the room and have a real go at it. Not the 70 something instructor at the shomen.'

Yoroshiku onegaishimasu....

Exactly. You are at a seminar and invited onto the mat by the person taking the session, more than anything its rude. Pressure testing a shihan has no real value... I agree with the above quote..... get a room, maybe some mats, one of his/her young talented deshi and see what happens.... (professionally of course).

Heiho wa heiho nari - Otake Risuke
 
Old 10-19-2007, 09:43 PM   #11
G DiPierro
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Re: Organizations- How important are they to you?

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I seriously doubt you could put him on the ground if you tried in a real situation but go ahead and live that fantasy. I'm sure you'll never have the opportunity to prove it. He was also known at the hombu as the sensei to deal with dojo busters-effectively. Enjoy your delusion.
Right back at you. If you think that nobody is able to stop your teacher then you are living in a dream world. Everyone has weaknesses and can be stopped -- well, at least everyone that doesn't create an artificial environment where they always must be allowed to win, as most aikido teachers do.

Anyway, feel free to beleive whatever you want. Doesn't affect me one way or the other. Unlike you, I have no need to convince you to change what you think about your teacher. I touched hands with him and reached my own opinion of him. You did the same thing. Nothing I say on the internet is going to change your opinion just as nothing you say is going to change mine. I felt him first hand. He had a lot of difficulty moving me in kokyudosa, and I wasn't resisting that hard. Maybe you and I are just at very different levels in our own development, and that is why have had different experiences with the same person.

I could say more about this thread but I don't have a lot of time so let me just say that I agree with what Budd Yuhasz said. A good teacher in any style can make it obvious that he has the goods without having to take it to the level of an all-out fight to the death. At least, that's been my experience with teachers I have trained with in other arts that have non fixed-role resistance training. For me, a teacher who cannot demonstrate this is not someone I would have much interest in training with.
 
Old 10-19-2007, 10:00 PM   #12
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

Quote:
I don't want to say anything bad about him because he was such a nice guy, but yes I gave him some resistance and he had enough trouble with for me know that he's not used to getting that kind of thing very much. I felt like I could have put him on the ground without too much difficulty if I tried but what would that prove: that a young, 6ft+ gaijin can beat up a little old 70 year-old Japanese guy?
Yet you start a thread about it... this is so sad.

Not a Shihan myself, but like Ron I've trained across Aikido organizations more often than I can remember and I've even taught a few seminars among people who really know how to throw down if they want to (non-Aikido folks). I can hardly remember an experience where etiquette was not observed on both sides and training kept cordial. My only bad experience was with one teacher who said that Aikido was not a "martial" art and then proceeded with some passive aggressive BS. Even then, reigi was maintained.

I think it's ridiculous to resist someone in the midst of a teaching environment and think to oneself "oh I blocked the great Shihan's waza, I am so powerful... my kungfu is so strong". Get over yourself already - you switch the rules in the midst of practicing in a cooperative environment, become competitive while the other person is in a teaching mindset, and then brag about how you were better than the other person? Had you let the Shihan know you were changing the rules and then been successful in doing what you said, then maybe one could see some value to the thread.

To be honest this is something I would not broadcast on an Internet forum using my real name, it shows gross misunderstanding of Aikido, its etiquette and basic common sense from a martial art perspective. It's like waiting for an old Marine in a dark corner, ambushing him before he knows he's in a fight and then go off bragging to your pals that "I have such great uber waza I beat a Marine in hand to hand combat."

Are you serious?

If you want to test your waza fine, but a true test involves the other person knowing that there is a test. In this case both will give their best effort towards learning something new through the testing, other than that it's simply a cheap ambush.

Last edited by L. Camejo : 10-19-2007 at 10:06 PM.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 10-19-2007, 10:34 PM   #13
David Orange
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

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Larry Camejo wrote: View Post
Yet you start a thread about it... this is so sad.

To be honest this is something I would not broadcast on an Internet forum using my real name, it shows gross misunderstanding of Aikido, its etiquette and basic common sense from a martial art perspective. It's like waiting for an old Marine in a dark corner, ambushing him before he knows he's in a fight and then go off bragging to your pals that "I have such great uber waza I beat a Marine in hand to hand combat."
I note that Giancarlo lists his experience in yoseikan aikijujutsu, putting him in the lineage of Minoru Mochizuki, one of the toughest and most generally feared aikido men ever to wear the black belt. It was my great honor to live as uchi deshi in Mochizuki Sensei's home about fifteen years ago and this thread made me recall some moments with that great teacher.

Sensei was in his early eighties when I lived at the yoseikan and while he was still very active, he had accumulated some health problems and would sometimes have nosebleeds due to blood pressure problems. One day, he was discussing the global automobile market and the complaints of American car-makers. He thought they were out of line.

He told me, "If I said I was the greatest aikido man in the world and someone came here and saw me like I am now..." he mimed being dizzy and unsteady on his feet, "they would laugh at me."

In fact, someone young and strong might have been able to jump on him and beat him up in his early eighties (though they might well have gotten a painful surprise). I was shocked to see pictures of Sensei shortly before his death at about age 96. He was hardly recognizable as the man I had known.

Yet even then, he knew more about aiki than most of us will ever glimpse.

It's a sad fact that no one lives forever and no one keeps his full strength and vigor as he grows old. Anyone in his seventies who still trains often is to be admired, respected and listened to. If he weren't pretty fantastic, he wouldn't still be able to get on the mat.

We should always be mindful that, if God grants us health and a long life, we, too, will someday be old. And maybe then, we will get back something we gave some old man when we were young.

So I'd rather take from the old what they want to give me while I'm young....

Best to you.

David

Last edited by David Orange : 10-19-2007 at 10:37 PM.

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Old 10-19-2007, 11:40 PM   #14
G DiPierro
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote: View Post
Yet you start a thread about it... this is so sad.
Actually, I didn't. This thread was created by Aikiweb administrator Jun Akiyama by taking my replies to John Riggs from another thread and putting them here. Frankly this thread is just getting ridiculous now with people starting to imagine how they think things happened and then going into long diatribes about how what they have dreamed up in their head is so wrong, so I'd just prefer to see the thread closed at this point if that's where this is going to go. What happened on the mat happened on the mat, and anybody who wasn't part of that has no business commenting on it. Unless you were there and saw it for yourself you don't know what happened so there is nothing useful for anyone else to say about it. The only reason I brought it up was because the previous discussion came around to my experiences with John Riggs' teacher within the context of the problems I see in the aikikai. I've given my opinion of him and explained how I came to hold that opinion. As I said in my last post, anyone else who has met him has surely formed their own opinion of him and it makes no sense to try to have a debate on the internet about which person's opinion is the "correct" one. It's a purely subjective matter so there is no right or wrong, just each person's interpretation of their own individual experiences based their outlook and understanding of things.

And for the record, I have never studied yoseikan anything nor ever claimed to have done so.

Last edited by G DiPierro : 10-19-2007 at 11:44 PM.
 
Old 10-19-2007, 11:55 PM   #15
akiy
 
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote: View Post
Yet you start a thread about it... this is so sad.
To clarify, I was the one responsible for moving the initial posts in this thread (#1-10) from the Organizations- How important are they to you? thread as I deemed them off-topic from its original topic enough to merit its own thread.

Back to the discussion at hand.

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Old 10-20-2007, 01:56 AM   #16
Walter Martindale
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

Was at a seminar with Y. K. and A. T. shihans. (about 1996). T. was teaching, and while we were practicing, T. sensei interrupted a pair of guys, one of whom was a rather tight kung-fu fellow from our dojo, and when the hurt bit of the technique went on, the guy tried to punch T. sensei to get him to stop. T.-sensei watched as his fist went towards his face, chuckled, stepped aside, and threw our friend relatively firmly but safely to the floor...

On another occasion, different seminar, K.sensei interrupted my practice to show my partner how to do the tsuki-kotegaeshi, so I tried to shove my fist through his spine - I've been thrown faster and harder, but very rarely - I couldn't have resisted if I'd tried.

When a shihan is demonstrating, I try to learn - at least that's my experience with the Aikikai shihan to whom I've been exposed...

I'd be careful about picking on shihan - they have nothing to gain by wrecking uke, and you have nothing to gain by showing that you're tough. Another wee story - in a previous life, while training for judo at Kodokan, there was an ancient 9 or so dan who would hobble over to the gaijin and do some pretty hopeless techniques on us, produce a huge kiai, and we'd take a big loud ukemi.

There was at one time another gaijin who decided he'd not do this any more, and threw the old man. This was done in front of the entire Kodokan training centre, which was heavily populated with tough, young, university judo competitors. Apparently the gaijin was barely able to crawl off the mat after most of the (really pissed off) sandans and yondans beat the bejeepers out of the guy, and he never returned - I don't know if that's urban myth. I considered, at one instance, going for an osoto-gari on the fellow, but stopped, and he looked at me, said something that I didn't understand but the word abunai (dangerous) was in there, and I took a few more ukemi and he left me alone.

I rather suspect that if you do seriously think that you can take on a shihan and make him look foolish, you'd better be pretty tough and extremely good, because you'll have a lot of his students asking you to practice, and going very hard.

W
 
Old 10-20-2007, 03:01 AM   #17
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

Deja vu

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11374

The reason I don't visit so much these days. Good to see that not a lot's changed

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
 
Old 10-20-2007, 09:39 AM   #18
aikidoc
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

Ah! I thought this was familiar territory. I remember that thread. Same tune, different station.

GP: From my perspective, all I see are claims that are only verifiable by you. If you want to be taken seriously, then you need to be willing to back the claims up in a real situation. Life has no rules as quoted in the article on atemi. Real situations have no rules. If you impose rules, then you are being disingenuous. Your claims have no meaning unless they are verifiable by others. This does not have to be a fight to the death but it has to be realistic and verifiable by others. "You had to be me or be there" does not cut it unless others observed it. Sort of like UFOs. This is especially true when previously you've stated 10 years of training going aganst shihans who have trained longer than you have been alive. I'm sure you could claim to stop O'Sensei as well-meaningless. When you are called on behavior at other seminars (see other threads) you claim cooperative ukemi which is a cop out. If you were truly capable of doing what you state then you'd be teaching the seminars. An issue which was addressed in the other thread-rank and training verification, i.e., who issued your black belt and when. I don't think that was ever addressed-I know rank doesn't matter, yada, yada.

Perhaps you have stumbled on something but your method of claiming such does not make people take you seriously. This is kind of a "put up or shut up" situation. And making the claim "I know what I can do does not cut it." That legend is only in your mind. Others will only believe you when you can prove what you say. "Coulda, shoulda, woulda" does not prove anything. You also cannot impose conditions on the situation. You've tried to prove your point in artificial situations such as a teaching seminar-still not verifiable other than saying I could have thrown or stopped your sensei at any time-which is purely hypothetical. Some shihans will recognize how ridiculous your behavior is in a seminar and will simply not want to deal with you or hurt you so they will simply back off. I doubt very much that would happen if the attack were for real. Unless you can close off all of your openings such reckless behavior will get you a result you might not want to experience. Part of good ukemi is to receive the technique and be able to recognize where my weak points were and to minimize them. Trying to stop the attack only exposes me to danger.

I don't know who you are training with this weekend but I'm sure more claims are to come since that seems to be your pattern. However, at some point you need to back up what you are saying. Unfortunately, most shihans will not take you seriously enough or be willing to risk you getting hurt if they go all out (especially since you whine about lower ranked students hurting you during seminar practice-I have verified that by the way-one of my students told me you were complaining that his ikkyo technique was hurting your neck and he was only a lowly shodan; another shodan at the seminar you referenced also noted that you kept complaining he was trying to hurt you and you were not going to let that happen which is interesting since he's a very controlled and cautious individual and another lowly shodan). I know, I know. Our training has not evolved to your level-especially since you can stop or throw my shihan at any time. Geez.

"The point I have been trying to make is that martial arts should not be about simply believing one person's subjective opinion over another. It should be about testing and debating (physically and otherwise) ideas to determine as objectively as possible what makes sense according to the principles of martial arts in general and aikido specifically. This is what many other martial arts do, and what all professions and academic institutions do as well. In fact, it is their founding principle." This believing part applies to you as well. You also assume that these shihan do not test their technique. I know my sensei tested his against other arts-not just other aikidoka.

Last edited by aikidoc : 10-20-2007 at 09:46 AM.
 
Old 10-20-2007, 10:35 AM   #19
ChrisHein
 
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

Wow,
I can't believe so many people have these strange fantasies about "shihan". Why do you think a 70 year old shihan would be competitive in a fight? Do you think 70 year old boxing coaches could beat up their current fighters? Yet the fighters still listen to the coaches. Do you think Mike Tyson ever thought "man Cus D'Amato (his trainer) could really beat me up"?

It's silly to think in those terms. Sure a 70 year old bad ass might be able to take a normal untrained guy, but a health strong guy with several years experience in the same system, likely no.

Fighting is fighting teaching is teaching, being good at one doesn't necessarily make you good at another. There is a big difference between someone who has knows the strategy of war, and a battle hardened veteran.

You should be able to look at their better students and decide however. Take a few 25-40 year old healthy guys that have been training with them for several years. You can probably get a pretty honest assessment of how good what they teach is to how well they do under pressure.

As an aside, I do believe Mr. DiPirro, is on the right track. Without a means of testing what you do, there is little hope that what you do will be effective. I have come up with all kinds of cute martial tricks intellectually, but when I tried them against resistance (in our randori) they didn't pan out. However I have yet to find an Aikido technique that didn't work in randori, I think I've done about all of them against resistance now, and they all work pretty much as I was taught them.

 
Old 10-20-2007, 11:58 AM   #20
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

Chris your point is well taken and probably why the claims are somewhat ridiculous anyway. . Assuming of course that the challenging person has the abilities and skills to make the challenge. However, not all 70 year olds are out of shape. I've seen one where a student attempted to hit him with a boken full force and he was simple gone. Knowing how to move and redirect energy will give them a fighting chance in my opinion.
 
Old 10-20-2007, 12:17 PM   #21
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

Confucius say before you mess with an old man you should know what kind of a young man he was.

I thought after reading this thread that this might be interesting to all. This is from: http://www.karlgeis.com/origin.htm

We began to develop a system of testing each technique in the Tomiki system for the purpose of determining the validity of each technique in a near realistic combat situation. My justification for this type of testing of each kata technique came from my Judo kata, Sensei Mr. Sumiuki Kotani, who, along with Mr. Tomiki Shihan, were two of four aikidoka to make the rank of Menkyo under Uyeshiba Shihan. Mr. Kotani told me that all of the Judo kata were designed from realistic attack situations, and that one could become a very effective judoka by practicing kata that were developed from near realistic combat situations.

Our test mainly consisted of having uke attack in a realistic fashion, and once tori has begun to take the technique, uke would have the option of trying to prevent the technique from working. Uke was permitted to use the prior knowledge that he had about the technique in question, to try and develop various methods of blocking the technique and was only held responsible for making an honestly committed initial attack. We quickly discovered that Mr Tomiki had been right (off-balance is the key). From that point on we began to concentrate our focus on breaking uke's balance before attempting to execute our technique. We began to move very quickly through all of the kata, modifying each technique until it became a really believable, testable, and usable idea. Further, as a precept of our system, we allow any sincere person in our system to question any technique and ask that a reasonable and realistic test be made to prove that it is indeed reasonably fail-safe and really useful against a strong, athletic opponent.

Often someone will say what if I try this, and we try it. Sometimes we got surprised and had to enter into further modification of the idea until it worked. No idea was held sacred, no belt rank was too high to be questioned if the question was legitimate. These questioning and testing precepts are a part of our system and no teacher would attempt to dodge around questions by great and prolific oratory rather than real pragmatic physical testing and truth seeking. Our simple rule, "if it can't be tested forget it", is strictly followed today in all of our seminars. The kata techniques, therefore, were required to be realistic and useful to all ages and sizes of persons against a realistic attacker.

In the beginning we thought that the techniques would become short and quick when exposed to our methodology. Surprisingly however, the technique took longer in time to execute. It quickly became clear that having the knowledge and ability to use off-balance and movement became more important than the use of speed and\or power. It became very clear that even a small, older person, fully utilizing the ideas of off-balance and proper movement, could really be effective against anybody.

We found that the automatic reflex part of the movement needed most was the movement centered around the initial attack. We found that, if during the initial attack the balance could be disturbed even the slightest bit by a properly developed automatic reflex, the opponent became a sitting duck with loads of time left available for the application of the technique in question. These discoveries and others convinced us that we were on the right track in our use of kata. We further felt that a randori system, very near to the system used in Judo, was needed to bring our system to fruition.

All of us, having been trained in the Tomiki system, were familiar with the tanto randori system and its evolution. We were all troubled with the many self-defense questions that tanto randori and tanto shiai brought to mind. First, shomen-ate to the face was not allowed. This technique was considered by Mr. Tomiki to be so important to Aikido that he once told me he believed that in real combat Aikido wrist and joint techniques were only viable if they were preceded by shomen-ate.

I cannot argue with the decision to eliminate shomen-ate from tanto shiai. It was a necessary safety measure that had to be taken, if tanto shiai was to remain an Aikido alternative. It is also true, however, that with the institution of this one rule, eliminating shomen-ate from tanto randori, that without question the most powerful and effective, simple, instinctive, and automatic single response to a totally surprise attack was eliminated from the Tomiki Aikido automatic response repertoire. We found the inability of the man bearing the tanto to use shomen-ate against his opponent further reinforced his inability to develop this technique as an automatic instinctive intuitive action to any real life threatening surprise attack.

We got around this dilemma by agreeing to use shomen-ate primarily as a separation technique when doing randori. We use shomen-ate as a throwing technique only after our opponent has walked into our palm. To our surprise shomen-ate became stronger, rather than weaker, because by using shomen-ate primarily as a separation technique rather than a blow in randori we began to develop very quick hands-to-the-face when we lost control of our position or of the opponent's hands.

We further found that the more slowly we worked the quicker we became automatic in our response and the quicker our reflexes became. This type of free randori, with both players doing Aikido, has developed from its initial stages in the late 60's and early 70`s during Mr. Riki Kogure's six year teaching period in my dojo to what it is today. We now have a large number of people who are very skilled in hand randori. We use our method of randori as an adjunct to our kata training program.
 
Old 10-20-2007, 12:24 PM   #22
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

Combat is combat. Respect is respect. A young son could take his old Father if he wanted to. But love and respect keeps this from ever happening. Shouldn't a person who has spent a good portion of there lives helping others gain enlightenment in AIkido be treated like a father. If one searches for peace he will find it. The opposite is equally true. Search long enough and one will eventually find the beating they are looking for.
 
Old 10-20-2007, 02:17 PM   #23
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

While I can see the criticisms of the 'details' and 'method' here (rude and not really useful to suddenly change the rules in a teaching environment, age does have an effect, etc), I can sort of see some real points as well... basically it seems like it would kind of make sense if some highish ranking (even if it's the students rather than the top teachers or whatever) people would have exactly those sorts of matches suggested (organized, with known rules, whatever) from time to time. It seems like it would just be so much clearer and less subjective to judge ability and skill that way.
 
Old 10-20-2007, 03:10 PM   #24
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

Quote:
John Riggs wrote: View Post
Ah! I thought this was familiar territory. I remember that thread. Same tune, different station.
Well I think it's a nice counter-melody to the constant tune of "my shihan is so strong that nobody can ever stop him" that you hear from so many people here. Of course, they have never seen anyone stop their shihan because their shihan does not allow it. He carefully cultivates and selects ukes who perform nice falls for him and make him look good. There's nothing wrong with cooperative training but when people ascribe some great martial prowess to their teachers because their perspective has been limited to this very artificial environment then I think it's worth injecting a dose of reality to the discussions.

Quote:
GP: From my perspective, all I see are claims that are only verifiable by you. If you want to be taken seriously, then you need to be willing to back the claims up in a real situation. Life has no rules as quoted in the article on atemi. Real situations have no rules. If you impose rules, then you are being disingenuous.
Then why train martial arts at all? Any time you are training you are imposing rules. Anything else is a real fight. If you need to see someone in a no-rules situation to know if they are any good then how do you know you shihan is any good? Have you ever seen him in such situation? Most people don't have any problem making assessments of people based on situations less than a real fight. For me a teacher that I would want to train with regularly needs to be able to demonstrate a convincing level of skill in something less than a real fight (ie a cooperative or semi-cooperative environment), and since I've met people who could do this easily it's obviously not something that is impossible to do.

Quote:
Perhaps you have stumbled on something but your method of claiming such does not make people take you seriously. This is kind of a "put up or shut up" situation. And making the claim "I know what I can do does not cut it." That legend is only in your mind. Others will only believe you when you can prove what you say. "Coulda, shoulda, woulda" does not prove anything. You also cannot impose conditions on the situation.

You've tried to prove your point in artificial situations such as a teaching seminar-still not verifiable other than saying I could have thrown or stopped your sensei at any time-which is purely hypothetical.
Ahh, interesting. So I cannot impose any conditions yet I am supposed to accept the alleged skill of these shihan in a very limited set of conditions that they impose in their classes and which are much more restricted than what I impose in my own classes. Seems like a double-standard to me.

Quote:
I don't know who you are training with this weekend but I'm sure more claims are to come since that seems to be your pattern. However, at some point you need to back up what you are saying.
To me the pattern is something that exists in aikido, specifically with the big-name aikido teachers in the major organizations. I don't see the same kinds of problems elsewhere.

Quote:
I have verified that by the way-one of my students told me you were complaining that his ikkyo technique was hurting your neck and he was only a lowly shodan; another shodan at the seminar you referenced also noted that you kept complaining he was trying to hurt you and you were not going to let that happen which is interesting since he's a very controlled and cautious individual and another lowly shodan).
This is getting ridiculous and I am losing interest in this discussion but since you want to press the issue I try to be a cooperative uke and let people do the technique but I'm not going to allow people to abuse that and me with sloppy, tight, overly muscled technique, as many (most?) people in aikido have, especially at the shodan level. So I can either shut them down or reverse them, which usually results in them them getting upset and often trying to turn the interaction into a fight or contest, or I can tell them what they are doing wrong and give them the opportunity to fix it. Yet no matter which choice I make apparently it will upset someone or other.
 
Old 10-21-2007, 12:31 AM   #25
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

Quote:
Gregg Block wrote: View Post
Combat is combat. Respect is respect. A young son could take his old Father if he wanted to. But love and respect keeps this from ever happening. Shouldn't a person who has spent a good portion of there lives helping others gain enlightenment in AIkido be treated like a father. If one searches for peace he will find it. The opposite is equally true. Search long enough and one will eventually find the beating they are looking for.
Word...Chuck Norris told me something similar to this a very long time ago...No matter how badass you think you are... Someone out there has your number...and if thats the kind of man you want to be when you grow up son...Don't worry... That dude will find you.

William Hazen
 

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