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Old 12-06-2007, 01:20 PM   #51
Aiki1
 
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Re: Partial sucess with Aikido on "the street"

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
I see what you're getting at, but I think you're missing my point about aiki/aikido and how it is often used as a metaphor in the outside world. In your aikido classes, are you taught to avoid an attack or an attacker entirely (as you describe in your 'street' scenario)? I doubt that you are. It's hard to do kotegaeshi from the changing rooms. People seem to miss that aikido practice is about entry and connectedness, not complete avoidance. Even the older definitions of aiki imply a coming together and joining with an attack. Why then does avoiding an encounter entirely, or choosing not to act somehow come to represent the lessons of aikido?
To me, you are describing possible techniques and usages of Aikido, not AIkido itself. Many arts have something akin to kotegaeshi - are they all Aikido then, because they execute it in a similar manner? Of course not, because to some people at least, Aikido is a philosophy, a strategy, a way of approaching things (not just a physical attack), a constellation of certain principles that can be applied to many venues - grounded in the martial practice. Entry, for instance, is only one part of the approach, and not applicable or even desirable in every situation, in a literal sense. There are other tenets that also might come into play, equally as appropriate, depending on the situation. In this context, we are now approaching Aikido....

Larry Novick
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ACE Aikido
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Old 12-06-2007, 01:55 PM   #52
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Re: Partial sucess with Aikido on "the street"

Quote:
Larry Novick wrote: View Post
To me, you are describing possible techniques and usages of Aikido, not AIkido itself.
I think it's pretty clear that's not what I'm doing here.

Quote:
Larry Novick wrote: View Post
Of course not, because to some people at least, Aikido is a philosophy, a strategy, a way of approaching things (not just a physical attack), a constellation of certain principles that can be applied to many venues - grounded in the martial practice.
OK, so tell me this. What principles do you feel Roman exemplified in his scenario and where do you find these principles rooted in the words of the founder or in the physical techniques of Aikido? How are they grounded in the martial practice of Aikido sufficiently that they would (like your example about movements like kotegaeshi being found in numerous arts) be unique enough to distinguish them as distinctly Aikido?

Chris Moses
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Old 12-06-2007, 02:01 PM   #53
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Re: Partial sucess with Aikido on "the street"

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
I think it's pretty clear that's not what I'm doing here.
In my world, you are. Or at best, you are isolating one or two aspects of Aikido and making them the "whole." There are many differences in the way different people look at Aikido.

Quote:
OK, so tell me this. What principles do you feel Roman exemplified in his scenario and where do you find these principles rooted in the words of the founder or in the physical techniques of Aikido? How are they grounded in the martial practice of Aikido sufficiently that they would (like your example about movements like kotegaeshi being found in numerous arts) be unique enough to distinguish them as distinctly Aikido?
I will think this out as soon as I finish work. It's certainly a valid question. But to begin, arts overlap in reality, so the answer might not be that it is Just Aikido, but perhaps, included in Aikido....

Larry Novick
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ACE Aikido
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Old 12-06-2007, 02:07 PM   #54
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Partial sucess with Aikido on "the street"

In many styles of aikido, it is said to be necessary to enter, even to turn...even if that entry is psychological, or just about connection.

I kind of like the idea of keeping the term "Aiki" linked to physical practice. It's kind of easy to get all woo woo without that. At the same time, I do believe in "connecting at a distance" with your opponent / partner, having experienced it many times on the mat, and at least once outside of the dojo where it seemed to provide a major benefit to me.

http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthre...lly#post201800

I don't know whether this incident is "aikido" or not...but it does seem to fit what some describe as the "strategy" of aikido, if you accept that there is strategy in aikido.

In my present thinking, I would not call what I did above Aikido...but I would say that I utilized my Aikido keiko and it's lessons to get through that experience.

Best,
Ron

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Old 12-06-2007, 02:21 PM   #55
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Re: Partial sucess with Aikido on "the street"

Quote:
Christian Moses;195203 QUOTE=Christian Moses wrote: View Post
In your aikido classes, are you taught to avoid an attack or an attacker entirely (as you describe in your 'street' scenario)?
Quote:
Christian Moses;195203 QUOTE=Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Why then does avoiding an encounter entirely, or choosing not to act somehow come to represent the lessons of aikido?
At the time of the incident I described ( 18 years ago) we were taught that at any time you can walk or run away do so. Sensei Cycyk said" "It is better to watch the 11 o'clock news then to be on the 11 o'clock news."
I understand what you are saying.
I am not saying that I was practicing Aikido during the incident. I'm saying that my Aikido practice influenced my reaction.

The connection was him staring at me while approaching me. I then moved off the line of attack into the gas station.

David

Last edited by dps : 12-06-2007 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 12-06-2007, 03:48 PM   #56
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Re: Partial sucess with Aikido on "the street"

Glad to see nothing happened to you, Roman.

If what you did was aikido or not really..... who cares?.

What you did worked, isn't it? This is the only thing that matters in the street. Funcionality and results.
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Old 12-06-2007, 06:13 PM   #57
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Re: Partial sucess with Aikido on "the street"

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Why then does avoiding an encounter entirely, or choosing not to act somehow come to represent the lessons of aikido?
This may have already been suggested, but avoiding a conflict isn't necessarily the same as being disconnected from it. My understanding of Aikido is that it essentially teaches to connect to the world around you; this includes physical as well as non-physical things. This means a person can avoid a fight through inaction and still be "aiki." Ki refers to emotional energy as well as kinetic, doesn't it?

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 12-06-2007, 07:21 PM   #58
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Re: Partial sucess with Aikido on "the street"

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
That's exactly why I didn't see anything like "aikido" or any other type of budo and I certainly wouldn't call the scenario a "partial sucess with Aikido". Roman let one guy pull his headphones right off of his head, then still didn't notice that he'd been surrounded by six other guys, one obviously close enough to restrain him by his backpack. That doesn't sound like someone doing Aikido, that sounds like a lucky victim. I don't see how this could be described as an example of how Aikido 'worked' in a real encounter.
Well yes, it's more of a "failure to follow the basic tenets of your art" kind of story.

I think that the idea that exercising some sort of common sense by not getting into it with a group of thugs who already had the drop on you is Aikido is definitely faulty; you are right, it is not an example of a partial success of Aikido.

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Old 12-06-2007, 07:53 PM   #59
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Re: Partial sucess with Aikido on "the street"

We can dress this story up or dress it down anyway we would like. The truth, according to Roman-> He was mentally and physically exhausted. He compounded that condition by focusing in on music through his headsets. The hunters saw this and honed in on their prey. He is simply lucky to be alive and in one piece. Dressing this up as "partial success of Aikido" sounds nice. I agree with George in that Roman is human and made a mistake. He survived the mistake. The importance lies in where he goes from here. I frankly am glad that Roman has the time to reflect on this encounter without any permanent injuries or scars. Too many people have not been so fortunate.

Marc Abrams
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Old 12-06-2007, 07:53 PM   #60
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Re: Partial sucess with Aikido on "the street"

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
In your aikido classes, are you taught to avoid an attack or an attacker entirely (as you describe in your 'street' scenario)? I doubt that you are. It's hard to do kotegaeshi from the changing rooms. People seem to miss that aikido practice is about entry and connectedness, not complete avoidance. Even the older definitions of aiki imply a coming together and joining with an attack. Why then does avoiding an encounter entirely, or choosing not to act somehow come to represent the lessons of aikido?
Older definitions? Aiki in Japanese means one thing: joining + energy, and is rendered in English quite well by the expression blending. Atemi is not aiki. Force upon force is the antithesis of aiki, crashing into problems rather than successfully moving around them.

Why in the world would you need to apply a kotegaeshi on someone who can not touch you?

Those of us who think we are in the dojo so that we can apply nikkyo to hoodlums in the streets are missing quite a bit.
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Old 12-06-2007, 10:16 PM   #61
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Re: Partial sucess with Aikido on "the street"

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Vincent Nikopol wrote: View Post
Older definitions? Aiki in Japanese means one thing: joining + energy, and is rendered in English quite well by the expression blending. Atemi is not aiki. .
Well unless you asked OSensei, and then he is quoted on several occasions that it is at least 90% of Aikido. By older definitions, I'm talking about how the term aiki was used in kenjutsu and other weapon based ryuha where aiki was a term that implied something a bit more specific from a strategic standpoint than "becoming one with the energy of the universe."

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Vincent Nikopol wrote: View Post
Force upon force is the antithesis of aiki, crashing into problems rather than successfully moving around them.
I never said or implied force on force.

Quote:
Vincent Nikopol wrote: View Post
Why in the world would you need to apply a kotegaeshi on someone who can not touch you?
So why have people attack you at all in an Aikido class? Why not sit around in a big circle singing songs and feeling one with the universe? That's not a rhetorical question by the way.

Quote:
Vincent Nikopol wrote: View Post
Those of us who think we are in the dojo so that we can apply nikkyo to hoodlums in the streets are missing quite a bit.
That also is not something that I said or implied. Even in my sword art, we realize that we don't go to the dojo to learn mad killin' skillz. We go there to polish ourselves and become better human beings. Rocks however are not polished in the air, they need water and other abrasive materials to bring out their luster. What happened to:

"Not a weakness anywhere-
brighten up the world
and make the Path of the Sword
manifest in the bodies and souls
of all people."

or

"Warriors!
Rally around and brandish the
Universal Sword.
Shine brightly and
reveal it to the world."

or

"The appearance of an "enemy" should be though of as an opportunity to test the sincerity of one's mental and physical training, to see if one is actually responding according to divine will. When facing the realm of life and death in the form of an enemy's sword, one must be firmly settled in mind and body, and not at all intimidated; without providing your opponent the slightest opening, control his mind in a flash and move where you will- straight, diagonally or in any other appropriate direction. Enter deeply, mentally as well as physically, transform your entire body into a true sword, and vanquish your foe." (emphasis mine, Budou, p. 30-31)

Chris Moses
TNBBC, "Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"
Budo Tanren at Seattle School of Aikido
Shinto Ryu Iai-Battojutsu
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Old 12-06-2007, 10:38 PM   #62
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Talking Re: Partial sucess with Aikido on "the street"

[quote=Christian Moses;195222]Well unless you asked OSensei, and then he is quoted on several occasions that it is at least 90% of Aikido. ."

I am not going to spend a lot of time responding to a list of baiting points here.

We are all more than familiar with the 90% comment, which was often repeated by Shioda Sensei, who actually said that atemi was '90% of a fight," not "of Aikido." Now those who need to can argue about which rendering is accurate, and dig up the original quotes, but lets not hijack this thread for that purpose, because in either case, what I said is that atemi is not Aiki, not that it is not a part of Aikido or the Aikido system. Try to follow along.

Aiki and Aikido. Which are no more the same thing than Rei and reiho. Of course some of you hardliners will want to throw in a head-butt and call that a practical application. Lighten up.
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Old 12-06-2007, 10:55 PM   #63
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Re: Partial sucess with Aikido on "the street"

Quote:
Vincent Nikopol;195223I wrote:
am not going to spend a lot of time responding to a list of baiting points here.
Since when was quoting OSensei, or at least text that is commonly attributed to OSensei a baited point? I was being completely genuine in my inquiry. Personally I no longer consider what I study to be Aikido, since I think my own explorations, interests and religious thinking has taken me too far from what OSensei had in mind. I don't think that we all have the right to call whatever we do "Aikido". But I did not come to that realization lightly, or without much thought. In other words, I don't have a horse in this race. Lighten up yourself.

Chris Moses
TNBBC, "Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"
Budo Tanren at Seattle School of Aikido
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Old 12-07-2007, 12:14 AM   #64
Roman Kremianski
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Re: Partial sucess with Aikido on "the street"

I think people need to live up to the fact that taking in translated Japanese quotes will not actually allow them to fully understand aiki or budo. As I said earlier, there's no point in arguing, as there will never be a universal meaning of budo among westerners.

Everyone should just branch off and experience their own journey...there should not be any right or wrong interpretations, and no one should be saying "No, that's now what aiki is, here is what aiki is..." If all goes well, everyone will one day end up along the same path closer to the end.
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Old 12-07-2007, 01:09 AM   #65
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Partial sucess with Aikido on "the street"

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Well unless you asked OSensei, and then he is quoted on several occasions that it is at least 90% of Aikido. By older definitions, I'm talking about how the term aiki was used in kenjutsu and other weapon based ryuha where aiki was a term that implied something a bit more specific from a strategic standpoint than "becoming one with the energy of the universe."

I never said or implied force on force.

So why have people attack you at all in an Aikido class? Why not sit around in a big circle singing songs and feeling one with the universe? That's not a rhetorical question by the way.

That also is not something that I said or implied. Even in my sword art, we realize that we don't go to the dojo to learn mad killin' skillz. We go there to polish ourselves and become better human beings. Rocks however are not polished in the air, they need water and other abrasive materials to bring out their luster. What happened to:

"Not a weakness anywhere-
brighten up the world
and make the Path of the Sword
manifest in the bodies and souls
of all people."

or

"Warriors!
Rally around and brandish the
Universal Sword.
Shine brightly and
reveal it to the world."

or

"The appearance of an "enemy" should be though of as an opportunity to test the sincerity of one's mental and physical training, to see if one is actually responding according to divine will. When facing the realm of life and death in the form of an enemy's sword, one must be firmly settled in mind and body, and not at all intimidated; without providing your opponent the slightest opening, control his mind in a flash and move where you will- straight, diagonally or in any other appropriate direction. Enter deeply, mentally as well as physically, transform your entire body into a true sword, and vanquish your foe." (emphasis mine, Budou, p. 30-31)
We have to look at the audience O-Sensei was speaking to when we look at these various quotations. The majority of the ones we have are from pieces he wrote in the 30's. He was addressing people who had some strong degree of likelihood that they would actually use their training in real combat. The Japanese were gearing up for war all through the early thirties and were actively at war in the later 30's. His focus on application as well as spirituality comes through everywhere. He was clearly teaching students whom he saw as warriors in the literal sense.

In the post-war period he was substantially older... his spiritual concerns dominate his teachings. To the extent he saw his students as warriors it was, I believe it was as "spiritual warriors" rather than as people he anticipated would be in combat.

There is a lot of argument about the effect of Japan's role in the war and subsequent defeat had on O-Sensei. Personally, based on my readings and the stories told me by Saotome Sensei, I come down on the side that maintains that O-Sensei was profoundly changed by the war. I think it started before their loss, probably as it became more and more clear that they were headed for a disastrous defeat.

Anyway, it is clear that the Aikido that he put forth after the war was almost entirely designed to be a type of trans formative spiritual practice.

I have tried as much as possible to understand the Founder and his Aikido. The reason I have tried to keep him as a model is that he carried both aspects, the martial and the spiritual, simultaneously. Most folks tend to gravitate more towards one than the other, usually based more on which aspect fits who they think they are rather than the one which will cause them to change the most.

Just look at the posts on this forum... the majority of the folks who post constantly with concerns about Aikido's effectiveness etc. usually have very little to say about the spiritual / philosophical side. The folks who are more interested in what I call the spiritual / energetic / philosophical / social aspect of the art seldom have much to say where technique is concerned. There are very few people who can hold both aspects in their Aikido at the same time. But the ones that manage to are on the path to discovering an Aikido that has the great depth the Founder always intended and I hope that there will always be people like that because otherwise Aikido will become a shell of what it could have been.

Part of what needs to happen is for people of opposite temperament to listen to and learn from each other. This Red state - Blue state attitude when applied to our art simply causes an increasing dichotomy in the thinking about Aikido that shouldn't be there at all. Relegating a whole segment of the Aikido community to a state of disregard by calling them "aiki fruities" or deciding that the folks who actually care whether technique works or not didn't really understand O-Sensei's vision... Well they are all missing the true picture. The reality is that O-Sensei was clearly an "aiki fruity" himself, but he was an "aiki fruity" that understood Budo and could physically manifest his "fruity" ideas on the mat quite effectively. If we can make our Aikido like O-Sensei's we'll have really accomplished something.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
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Old 12-07-2007, 01:55 AM   #66
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Re: Partial sucess with Aikido on "the street"

Here's where I think Chris is coming from.

I assume many have read this story by Terry Dobson? Or read a similar account in Ellis Amdur's Dueling with Osensei? In both cases, I would say the old man (in Dobson's story) and Amdur (in his story) demonstrated aikido, even though neither performed a technique, or even used the threat of a technique. The distinction I would make between those stories, and the stories of Roman and David is that in Dobson's and Amdur's stories, the "practioner" engages the threat. Not in a fight, or in physical contact, but on a human, emotional level. And through that engagement, they bring the conflict to resolution.

Had Roman turned the tables on his opponents by good-naturedly joking with them, making friends with them, and possibly even getting his headphones back, I for one would call it an exemplary example of aikido. I'm not saying he should have done that, mind you. In this case, walking away may indeed have been the best option. But knowing "when to walk away, and know when to run" is not just a trait of all martial arts traditional and modern, it's even in a Kenny Rogers song. I like to think that there's something else that needs to be there, something distinctive about aikido, particularly if we're going to use "aiki" as an adjective. Matching, blending, engaging with the physical/emotional/spiritual energy of the opponent in order to restore the harmony of the universe fits the bill for me.

Josh Reyer

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Old 12-07-2007, 02:29 AM   #67
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Re: Partial sucess with Aikido on "the street"

Quote:
Roman Kremianski wrote: View Post
The first plan had nothing to do with MMA. If I were to do something with the arm holding my backpack, it would have most likely been a variation of shihonage practiced in the dojos thousands of times, rather then a strike. A big point of my post was to show that you don't need to be an Aikidoka to do Aikido in real situations. Any MMA guy would have done the same, even if they've never heard of Aikido.
If anything an MMA dude would probably make a better assessment of the situation due to practical training as opposed to an aikidoist who has never tested his techniques. Anyway regardless of what art he was doing and decisions he made, this situation could have easily gone bad. Fortunately he was able to walk away without being hurt or hurting someone else.
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Old 12-07-2007, 08:04 AM   #68
Marc Abrams
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Re: Partial sucess with Aikido on "the street"

Darin:

Personally, I doubt that a MMA, under similar conditions described by Roman would have faired any better. This was not about what martial art a person studied, this was about situational awareness and the lack thereof. Roman had the winds on fortune blowing on his back. He made a correct decision and the thugs were not interested in causing another person bodily harm.

Marc Abrams
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Old 12-07-2007, 08:26 AM   #69
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Re: Partial sucess with Aikido on "the street"

Marc,

The reason I believe an MMA guy would possibly do better (in theory) is because they are used to fighting, used to being hit and hitting others, and used to resistant partners unlike majority of aikidoka. Therefore, it creates a different mindset and may be the reason he didn't panic. But yeah, totally agree with you on the winds of fortune thing. Doesn't matter what you know if your stabbed, shot or clubbed to death...

Darin
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Old 12-07-2007, 08:54 AM   #70
ChrisMoses
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Re: Partial sucess with Aikido on "the street"

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
Here's where I think Chris is coming from.

I assume many have read this story by Terry Dobson? Or read a similar account in Ellis Amdur's Dueling with Osensei? In both cases, I would say the old man (in Dobson's story) and Amdur (in his story) demonstrated aikido, even though neither performed a technique, or even used the threat of a technique. The distinction I would make between those stories, and the stories of Roman and David is that in Dobson's and Amdur's stories, the "practioner" engages the threat. Not in a fight, or in physical contact, but on a human, emotional level. And through that engagement, they bring the conflict to resolution.
Bingo! I was hoping someone else would draw that distinction. Thanks.

Chris Moses
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Budo Tanren at Seattle School of Aikido
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Old 12-07-2007, 09:07 AM   #71
Marc Abrams
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Re: Partial sucess with Aikido on "the street"

Darin:

I respectfully disagree with you on this one. If Roman had reacted in a fighting manner in that situation, the outcome would have been decidedly different. Just because somebody is "use to fighting" in a set arena does not always translate into being able to replicate this in real-life situations. I have seen countless examples over several decades of "good martial artists" getting their asses handed to them by street-wise fighters.

Having come from a history of "hard arts" and wrestling, I am a much better fighter now, thank to My Aikido. I can remain relaxed, not giving away information through tensions. In that relaxed state, I can receive more information in from the environment. When I do make my move, I typically do so in a manner that the attacker perceives too late. I am very comfortable in what Aikido has done to make me better at not fighting, and also to respond to aggression in a much more efficient and effective manner.

Once again, Roman's situation (IN MY MIND) had precious little to do with his martial arts training. His experience was a classic example of the need to remain alert to one's surroundings. Nothing anybody has said, has led me to another conclusion. The outcome was happen-chance and fortuitous and the same time.

Marc Abrams
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Old 12-07-2007, 09:39 AM   #72
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Partial sucess with Aikido on "the street"

Quote:
Darin Hyde wrote: View Post
If anything an MMA dude would probably make a better assessment of the situation due to practical training as opposed to an aikidoist who has never tested his techniques. Anyway regardless of what art he was doing and decisions he made, this situation could have easily gone bad. Fortunately he was able to walk away without being hurt or hurting someone else.
Oh, please... mixed martial arts is rife with testosterone driven alpha males... the idea that they would somehow be better at threat assessment and more reasoned in their response than anyone else because of the way they train is simply a joke. There was one killed this past year because he intervened when someone was boosting his car; he was shot dead.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 12-07-2007, 10:16 AM   #73
Brian Griffith
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Re: Partial sucess with Aikido on "the street"

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Oh, please... mixed martial arts is rife with testosterone driven alpha males... the idea that they would somehow be better at threat assessment and more reasoned in their response than anyone else because of the way they train is simply a joke. There was one killed this past year because he intervened when someone was boosting his car; he was shot dead.
yes...seems to me the more one "thinks" they can handle, the more trouble they may put themselves in needlessly...you are no good to anyone dead or seriously injured...Egos cannot prepare you like common sense can. IMO (i am not bashing any MMA just stating an observation, egos come from all stlyes.)
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Old 12-07-2007, 10:20 AM   #74
Keith Larman
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Re: Partial sucess with Aikido on "the street"

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Bingo! I was hoping someone else would draw that distinction. Thanks.
Well, yes, but sometimes walking away quickly is one very good means of resolution of a conflict among many. And having gone to a rather, um, less than pleasant high school I would say that trying to pull the thing Dobson saw on a train when surrounded by a group of young men out looking for trouble would be a good solid beating (or worse) waiting to happen. So would attacking. So would posturing. So would most anything *other than* walking away and letting it go.

FWIW I understood what the OP meant when he wrote it. Not terribly precise, but I got it. What if he had written "Lessons learned from Aikido" instead. And said he took the aikido approach of diffusing the situation by simply walking away. Of course that isn't exclusive to aikido, but it *is* part of the philosophical discussions that usually go on within it. Shodo-o-seisu is sometimes taking the initiative by walking away. That becomes controlling the situation. Masakatsu agatsu can be simply letting it go and realizing that a cheap set of headphones isn't worth a physical confrontation with a gang of young men no matter how your pride is hurt or offended you may be.

I don't see the big deal.

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Old 12-07-2007, 10:25 AM   #75
ChrisMoses
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Re: Partial sucess with Aikido on "the street"

George, I wanted to make it clear that I agree with much of what you wrote there. I think that all of the writings, actions and agendas of those who relate these things to us need to be taken into consideration when we try to wrap our heads around what Aikido is. I do however think that the text that I quoted is relevant and useful at helping to understand how OSensei understood the budo/warrior ideals. Even if later in life, if the goals for his art shifted to that of a spiritual warrior (something that I think is entirely possible) it would seem to me that he would apply that same determination and bravery to that end. I am reminded of a seminar a number of years ago where Motomichi Anno Sensei repeated over and over the ideal of "shinken" training and how important that kind of training was for the Aikidoka to approach the level of skill (and insight) that OSensei had achieved. He was not talking about literally training with shinken, but rather with the seriousness and intensity that using a real weapon creates, and how beneficial that kind of intensity and clarity would be to ones open hand training. I still remember how my batto training shifted when I went from using an iaito to using a shinken every class. It is just a different headspace.

Chris Moses
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