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Old 04-06-2008, 10:44 PM   #51
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: The Topic I never Wanted To Post

Quote:
Dan Austin wrote: View Post
You're joking, right? That's Luis Gutierrez of So-Flo Jiu-Jitsu, an SBGi coach.
No, I'm not joking and of course I know who Luis Gutierrez is.

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Old 04-07-2008, 03:10 PM   #52
Dan Austin
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Re: The Topic I never Wanted To Post

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Ryan Sanford wrote: View Post
I dunno about you, but all I saw was someone doing irimi-nage.
Well I suppose if your Aiki-blinders are opaque enough, you can watch Capoeira and call it Aikido too. The basis of what he's showing is the underhook from Greco wrestling. Please show some evidence that deliberately securing an underhook like this could possibly be considered standard fare in Aikido, preferably something before the modern MMA era.
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Old 04-07-2008, 03:14 PM   #53
Dan Austin
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Re: The Topic I never Wanted To Post

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
No, I'm not joking and of course I know who Luis Gutierrez is.
So what is the point of calling this Aikido? It's not Aikido, it's MMA.
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Old 04-08-2008, 01:23 AM   #54
Michael Varin
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Re: The Topic I never Wanted To Post

Quote:
Dan Austin wrote:
What the OP has discovered is that standard Aikido techniques are low-percentage. Perhaps if Ueshiba were alive today he would modify the syllabus, but it is very outdated. If the OP's goal is to teach self-defense, he owes it to future students to learn high-percentage modern techniques.
The aikido syllabus is not outdated. It's misapplied. You have to shift your paradigm to understand the relevance of aikido's techniques.

The "modern" paradigm is 1-on-1 empty-handed fighting. The techniques found in aikido don't make much sense in this paradigm, and there are certainly "higher percentage" techniques that can be used, which is now recognizable as mma.

But serious fighting has never occurred on those terms. In serious fighting, people use weapons, numbers, and the element of surprise. In this environment, most of the techniques of mma are suicide.

Are you going to throw a jab at an opponent armed with a machete? How ‘bout a double-leg?

The presence of a weapon changes things.

I firmly believe that the primary reason we don't see bjj techniques commonly used in mma anymore is because they are not necessary when the opponent is unarmed. Ground and pound is much "higher" percentage in that situation.

None of this factors in training methods, which in aikido are typically insufficient to allow the average student to use it at "the speed of life" (thanks David V., I kinda stole that phrase from you).

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:59 AM   #55
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: The Topic I never Wanted To Post

Quote:
Dan Austin wrote: View Post
Well I suppose if your Aiki-blinders are opaque enough, you can watch Capoeira and call it Aikido too. The basis of what he's showing is the underhook from Greco wrestling. Please show some evidence that deliberately securing an underhook like this could possibly be considered standard fare in Aikido, preferably something before the modern MMA era.
I think I know you from another place.

Anyway, you can find greco underhook, for instance, in Yoseikan Aikido under the name of Kata Ha Otoshi (is Hyori no kata old enough for you?) and in some mainline Aikido as Kaiten Osae/Kata Ha Gatame).

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Old 04-08-2008, 10:16 AM   #56
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Re: The Topic I never Wanted To Post

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
I think I know you from another place.

Anyway, you can find greco underhook, for instance, in Yoseikan Aikido under the name of Kata Ha Otoshi (is Hyori no kata old enough for you?) and in some mainline Aikido as Kaiten Osae/Kata Ha Gatame).
The only mention of these I could find on a short search is this http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/aikido...hiwaza-mae.htm which states that Kaiten Osae is rarely considered a standard technique. I can't find pictures or a description, so I can't verify this. Anyway the SBGi use of the underhook has very specific goals and methods, and is an important part of the whole clinch game. I don't find it credible to claim that this situation is analogous to an obscure technique out of hundreds that may be seen once in a blue moon in particular Aikido schools.
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:52 AM   #57
Ron Tisdale
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Re: The Topic I never Wanted To Post

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I don't find it credible to claim that this situation is analogous to an obscure technique out of hundreds that may be seen once in a blue moon in particular Aikido schools.
I'm not taking a position one way or the other but...

If that obscure waza is used in the same way, no matter how infrequently...how can it not be credible? I can state that I have seen it taught in a basic class in an IYAF school.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 04-08-2008, 11:48 AM   #58
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Re: The Topic I never Wanted To Post

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Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
I'm not taking a position one way or the other but...

If that obscure waza is used in the same way, no matter how infrequently...how can it not be credible? I can state that I have seen it taught in a basic class in an IYAF school.

Best,
Ron
Hi Ron,

It's not a credible comparison because in the SBGi curriculum and in MMA securing that specific dominant tie-up position is a big part of the whole clinch game. It's like saying that because you sometimes throw an atemi with the right hand, Aikido uses a right cross like a boxer does. Perhaps another analogy is that idea that something like a position in BJJ is not just a technique, there is a whole strategy and array of counters and recounters pertinant to that position, trained live, to use an overused but good SBGi term. A big part of Randy Couture's game that he brought to the SBGi is based around that underhook tie-up. It's also a much higher percentage thing than getting your ikkynos, nikkyos, and xxkyos, and doesn't belong in the same category for that reason alone. The ratio of underhook usage to standing jointlock attempt in SBGi is probably 10,000 to 1, whereas in Aikido it's probably the reverse. Rough numbers, but in that aspect as well it's in no way comparable.
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Old 04-08-2008, 12:37 PM   #59
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: The Topic I never Wanted To Post

Quote:
Dan Austin wrote: View Post
The only mention of these I could find on a short search is this http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/aikido...hiwaza-mae.htm which states that Kaiten Osae is rarely considered a standard technique. I can't find pictures or a description, so I can't verify this.
From Stenudd site. You could have used Google for your search



He uses to post here, may be he can explain you how it is done.

Quote:
Anyway the SBGi use of the underhook has very specific goals and methods, and is an important part of the whole clinch game. I don't find it credible to claim that this situation is analogous to an obscure technique out of hundreds that may be seen once in a blue moon in particular Aikido schools.
MMA and Aikido work under different tactical assumptions and with different training methods. However, some techniques are found in both as they are in many other arts.

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Old 04-08-2008, 12:45 PM   #60
Ron Tisdale
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Re: The Topic I never Wanted To Post

Ah, I see...

On the one hand you want to invalidate it because of it's nature as a technique...and if that technique is then found, you want to invalidate it because of training method. Just currious...what is the next hoop to jump through? If say, I can show you where the training method also meets your requirements?

Best,
Ron (though I do agree on the training method differences...)

Quote:
Dan Austin wrote: View Post
Hi Ron,

It's not a credible comparison because in the SBGi curriculum and in MMA securing that specific dominant tie-up position is a big part of the whole clinch game. It's like saying that because you sometimes throw an atemi with the right hand, Aikido uses a right cross like a boxer does. Perhaps another analogy is that idea that something like a position in BJJ is not just a technique, there is a whole strategy and array of counters and recounters pertinant to that position, trained live, to use an overused but good SBGi term. A big part of Randy Couture's game that he brought to the SBGi is based around that underhook tie-up. It's also a much higher percentage thing than getting your ikkynos, nikkyos, and xxkyos, and doesn't belong in the same category for that reason alone. The ratio of underhook usage to standing jointlock attempt in SBGi is probably 10,000 to 1, whereas in Aikido it's probably the reverse. Rough numbers, but in that aspect as well it's in no way comparable.

Ron Tisdale
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Old 04-08-2008, 05:32 PM   #61
Keith Larman
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Re: The Topic I never Wanted To Post

We have similar "underhooks" in Seidokan. Naming is often fraught with dangers as most groups use different terminologies -- we tend to use the term "hiji gatame" unless I'm misunderstanding the conversation. They're not obscure or uncommon at all. Some of them are even on the "required arts" list for our yudansha and have been for decades...

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Old 04-08-2008, 07:30 PM   #62
Dan Austin
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Re: The Topic I never Wanted To Post

Hi Michael,

OK, let's dissect these claims. I'm not going to belabor these things because the Aikido faithful are immune to them for the most part, but the OP deserves a fair response.

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
The aikido syllabus is not outdated. It's misapplied. You have to shift your paradigm to understand the relevance of aikido's techniques.

The "modern" paradigm is 1-on-1 empty-handed fighting. The techniques found in aikido don't make much sense in this paradigm, and there are certainly "higher percentage" techniques that can be used, which is now recognizable as mma.

But serious fighting has never occurred on those terms. In serious fighting, people use weapons, numbers, and the element of surprise. In this environment, most of the techniques of mma are suicide.
That's quite a few direct and implied claims in a short space. My first comment would be that it flies in the face of common sense to imply that an art can have trouble with one opponent relative to MMA, but somehow be superior when there are multiple opponents. So the Aikidoka can't defend himself against the MMA guy, but he can defend against three MMA guys? Hmm. You see the flaw in that logic, I hope.

Then there is the implicit claim that people who train in MMA are somehow too stupid to realize the difference between street fighting and the ring. Apparently only Aikidoka are wise enough to ponder this issue. Just look at the Bas Rutten street defense clips available on YouTube and you'll see that this is not the case. There is no modern paradigm that says street defence is 1-on-1 empty-handed. Any sensible martial artist can understand the difference between sport and street. The SBGi group, since they've been brought up, is a JKD group. They compete in MMA, and also teach for self-defence. They're not stupid, they're very well aware of the differences in the two environments. It's not exactly rocket science, and their "alive" training is going to have far better carryover.

As for multiple opponents, the goal there is the same for any art: get away, or at the least stay on your feet and keep moving. MMA trains staying on the feet against someone skilled and determined to take you down as a matter of course. Yet somehow the Aikidoka is going to be able to stay on his feet, and someone with actual wrestling training isn't? That's ridiculous. You're essentially saying that working on high-percentage counters to common boxing and wrestling attacks is inferior to training low-percentage counters to prearranged attacks that will likely never happen. That makes no sense. At no point is an intelligent modern hybrid approach less prepared than Aikido regardless of the scenario. Take for example this clip that has been posted here many times:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iDlzL7zrNU

This is a boxer doing what Aikidoka dream of, but invariably don't train as effectively for. He didn't seem to have much trouble transitioning from gym training to street use. I know plenty of boxers and MMA guys, and far from getting confused they're rather tough in street confrontations. The idea that an Aikidoka is going to handle street situations better is fall-down funny. In this video clip had one of his opponents tried to grapple him effectively, MMA training would also come to the rescue far better than Aikido in stuffing those attempts. And think about it, if you can hit this well under pressure, what is the use of following it with some throw or lock attempt? At what point do you need to go from atemi to the rest of Aikido? If your atemi is good, the answer is practically never. And here's something important to think about, why even risk tying yourself up with someone if you don't need to, especially in a multiple opponent scenario? Attempting any irimi/tenkan with lock/throw technique X brings you in closer contact and increases the chances of getting tied up in standing grappling. The Aikido approach is much riskier than just being a good puncher and keeping everything near the kill zone of your punching range.

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Michael Varin wrote: View Post
Are you going to throw a jab at an opponent armed with a machete? How ‘bout a double-leg?
That's an interesting choice of examples considering that Aikido has a hard time with jabs and double-legs - AND machetes. At least MMA can handle the first two reliably.

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
The presence of a weapon changes things.
Yes it does, and the reality is that no art is going to make empty hand vs a machete even. Aikido people are frequently under the delusion that handling someone with a sword or machete would be doable for them because they train against mock sword attacks from a bygone era. Maybe it would come in handy if you're attacked by a drunken time-travelling pirate. This is an area where Aikido's cooperative training is particularly dangerous. It's about as self-defeating as the idea that one should reduce one's own chances one iota by being concerned about harming an attacker. Even Filipino masters wouldn't be so delusional as to feel confident empty-handed against a blade. If you feel the slightest confidence that you can handle that barehanded, your training is having dangerous effects on your mind. Even so, Aikido doesn't train against this nearly as well as Filipino and Indonesian arts, which you will also find trained at a JKD/cross-training gym like an SBGi affiliate. If fighting effectiveness is a goal, the fact is that spending more than 0.2% of your training time on standing joint locks is a waste of time. That works out to about 1-2 minutes a month, which is about right, and only then for fun. Even if done in a more realistic manner than you see in Aikido dojos it's still a horridly inefficient use of limited training time.

The lesson of MMA is that any one art is insufficient to the task of addressing all things with maximum effectiveness, hence the "mixed" in the title. Boxing, wrestling, Muay Thai, BJJ, and Filipino/Indonesian systems excel in particular areas, and their combination is far more potent than any single one. Aikido doesn't excel at ANY of the areas covered by these arts. It has a hard time dealing with boxing, wrestling, Muay Thai and BJJ, and doesn't address weapons as realistically as Filipino and Indonesian systems. Yet it's not difficult to find schools nowadays that teach all these things under the same roof.

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
I firmly believe that the primary reason we don't see bjj techniques commonly used in mma anymore is because they are not necessary when the opponent is unarmed. Ground and pound is much "higher" percentage in that situation.
This is somewhat off the main point, but not quite accurate. I think I know what you're trying to say, but everything you see on the ground in MMA is BJJ technique. You may be projecting the idea that voluntarily pulling guard in MMA is not good, but any sensible practitioner knows this already. It's a no-brainer that being on the bottom in the guard is not an equal position. Ground and pound is simply a strategy of trying to capitalize on that fact rather than trying for an even better position. However the fact is that if the fight does go to the ground in the ring or street, getting guard is better than being under side control or mount. Also for street use many more techniques are available because there will be more clothing on than in the ring. That makes it easier to protect yourself, reverse to top position, or disable. Again using SBGi as an example, they actually train this, using a T-shirt for a rat choke or what have you. No matter how you slice it, MMA technique is going to be more effective than Aikido because the whole point is to find the most reliable techniques and training methods. The sport aspect gives lots of feedback on what's realistic when faced with an opponent tougher than a drunken relative at Thanksgiving. If you go train at an MMA gym, you're not suddenly going to lose your mind and forget what you should and shouldn't do on the street, you'll just have much more reliable tools at your disposal. If training concurrently in Aikido keeps you better in the overall mindset and perspective that you prefer, or you just like it for other reasons, I have no argument with that at all. That's a personal choice, but the more time you spend on mostly useless things like standing joint locks the slower your progress. Every minute you waste doing another round of some multi-syllable sanyko variation is a minute you could have trained something with a much bigger bang for the buck. If you're concerned about weapons there are plenty of schools that cover that better. In terms of really increasing your fighting odds I don't see any advantage to doing Aikido even a little bit, you're simply incurring the opportunity cost of missing out on more efficient training.

The OP's situation is sadly not unusual. He just discovered that he has wasted YEARS of his life and learned nothing that will help him in a fight. In fact he might be a worse fighter for all his training, because instead of acting naturally he's conditioned to fish for low-percentage things. Fortunately for him he found that out in a safe way instead of a real confrontation that could have seen him in hospital, yet people are still advising him to plug away at his training. If his goal is to learn self-defence well enough to be a teacher some day, he would be doing his future students a real disservice to perpetuate the same sort of dysfunction by continuing to train as he has and hoping it will just work better some day. It's also sad to see him blame his ADD. Mr. Anonymous, the fault is not with you, the fault is with what you trained and how. So don't feel bad about yourself at all, you were sold a bill of goods, though it was most likely not deliberate. In fact if your goal is to be a teacher some day, it's important to understand that not all people are equally talented or coordinated. If you believe you're less gifted than others in your school (and most people must be in that boat, statistically) then finding out what works for the non-blessed would be a very good thing indeed for your future students. Then you can be an example that they can follow. I'll cut to the chase and give you the answer in case it isn't obvious by now, no matter what your talent you'll be the best you can be by training the most reliable high-percentage techniques and methods. Only the super gifted can afford to dabble in nonsense.

People can train what they like for personal reasons, but people who want to teach self-defence are a public menace if they willfully or ignorantly present the usual Aikido fare as suitable to that goal. It's also misleading in general to present Aikido as a self-defence art without a major caveat, because it's simply not equal to more modern evidence-based approaches. If you tell noobs off the street that they will learn to defend themselves, they have a reasonable expectation that this will be the case and that it's comparable to other training options available to them. They don't know any better, but you as their prospective teacher do. The argument as to whether you can get there in 20 years with the help of a lot of cross training is debatable, but it's still unfair to omit that and pretend to the lay public that Aikido is anything but a very slow road to self-defence ability at best. The OP should go train in MMA for six months and then beat the crap out of his Aikido teacher for wasting years of his life while taking his money. I would put a smiley after that, but I'm only half joking. He trusted his teacher with his life in a sense, and that's a damn shame. He was clearly looking for self-defence ability. I deplore the fact that anyone can hang out a shingle and be a martial arts teacher. Without an honest up-front presentation of what's being taught it's not much safer for the public than allowing anyone to say he's a dentist. I won't needle anyone for liking Aikido, but as a public service that point deserves to be hammered home instead of sugar-coated or swept under the rug. If you want to learn to defend yourself, there are much more efficient martial arts programs available. To the OP, if you've gotten nothing after many years in Aikido, the smart money says you won't get much more by spending another big chunk of your life doing it. Many people are understandably vested emotionally in Aikido here, and will give other opinions that they are perfectly entitled to, but the truth is that comparing something like SBGi and Aikido is like comparing a high-end sportscar to a hybrid. The hybrid is peaceful, happy and eco-friendly, but if performance is your goal it's not exactly a tough choice.
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Old 04-08-2008, 07:35 PM   #63
Dan Austin
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Re: The Topic I never Wanted To Post

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
From Stenudd site. You could have used Google for your search


I did, but didn't feel it worth a lot of effort because quite frankly it's a silly proposition. This picture doesn't tell me how he got into it, but from uke's right hand position it looks like it was done off of a shoulder grab. Nage's position is also different in several ways which you can compare to the video posted if you are interested. If Aikidoka want to believe that Aikido includes Greco/MMA wrestling in any meaningful way, they are welcome to do so.
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Old 04-08-2008, 07:50 PM   #64
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Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Ah, I see...

On the one hand you want to invalidate it because of it's nature as a technique...and if that technique is then found, you want to invalidate it because of training method. Just currious...what is the next hoop to jump through? If say, I can show you where the training method also meets your requirements?

Best,
Ron (though I do agree on the training method differences...)
Hi Ron,

No, converting the faithful is not within my powers or interest. You are free to believe there is no meaningful difference, although you say you agree on the training method difference. Isn't that already enough? A poor training method can neuter even the best technique, and as I tried to explain a technique does not exist on its own as a very meaningful thing. It fits into a strategic and technical framework. A letter is a letter, but meaning is in words and sentences. Equating Aikido and MMA based on this position is tantamount to equating words based on the letters they contain. Next someone is going to tell me there's an Aikido lineage that pummels for this position.

Enough said, the OP can come to his own conclusions. But, like when purchasing something on Amazon, it often pays to carefully consider the negative reviews and not just the positive raves. Caveat emptor.

Last edited by Dan Austin : 04-08-2008 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:52 PM   #65
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: The Topic I never Wanted To Post

It's all the same to me, but the degree of aliveness affects much about how you will approach and respond to things. It is a small thing, but it is also everything.

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Old 04-09-2008, 07:59 AM   #66
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: The Topic I never Wanted To Post

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Dan Austin wrote: View Post
... but the truth is that comparing something like SBGi and Aikido is like comparing a high-end sportscar to a hybrid. The hybrid is peaceful, happy and eco-friendly, but if performance is your goal it's not exactly a tough choice.
Taxi drivers here are switching to hybrid..., and these are guys very focused in performance. They don't drive a lot of hours daily for fun, they drive in "t3h street" for putting food on the table.


Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
It's all the same to me, but the degree of aliveness affects much about how you will approach and respond to things. It is a small thing, but it is also everything.
Exactly.

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Old 04-09-2008, 09:20 AM   #67
Ron Tisdale
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Re: The Topic I never Wanted To Post

Quote:
A poor training method can neuter even the best technique, and as I tried to explain a technique does not exist on its own as a very meaningful thing. It fits into a strategic and technical framework.
I was mostly just ribbing ya... BUT I will say that I disagree that aikido has a POOR training method. Good aikido has a DIFFERENT training method, based on different goals.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 04-09-2008, 10:49 AM   #68
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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
It's all the same to me, but the degree of aliveness affects much about how you will approach and respond to things. It is a small thing, but it is also everything.
So says a purple belt in BJJ, case closed.
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Old 04-09-2008, 06:52 PM   #69
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Re: The Topic I never Wanted To Post

Dan,

I get the impression that you you feel the OP wanted to learn self-defense and got sold a bill of goods. I re-read that original post and that is just not the case. I seemed to me that this person loved aikido, wanted to be an aikido teacher some day, and wanted to be more martially effective in his aikido against MMA. That describes me too. I don't think I wasted a moment. Thank you very much. I just kept finding other people to help me with my goals. I think that person should do the same.

This high percentage argument is never quite balanced with the high percentage of that sort of training actually being useful.

First, let me say I strongly encouraged an aikido student/friend to GJJ because he spent most of his work life in prison cages evaluating bad guys alone. Seemed like the best fit for him. I don't see myself in that situation too often. I might be in a bar when a fight breaks out. I'll want to use my ability to get out of there fast and be home watching TV about the idiots who stayed and fought getting carted off to jail on the latenight news. But to each his own.

Frankly I'm a bit tired of MMA folks talking down to me like high percentage is a new concept. I'm not all that bad at math myself. Maybe I just see a different - dare I say - bigger picture about the hig percentages.

Regardless, I do want the ability to fight MMA folks, have the ability to destroy them, and then not hurt them. So I study that with a MMA teacher who understands a lot of aikido and what looks a lot like DR. I don't think aikido practice has hurt me in my goals at all. I never would have been able to just start from zero and go deal with my current MMA training. That just wouldn't have worked for me.

If the OP wants to be more effective there are better teachers and training methodologies. There are also better ways of being a student. I encourage everyone to find these things themselves.

Rob
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Old 04-09-2008, 10:53 PM   #70
Dan Austin
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Re: The Topic I never Wanted To Post

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Dan,

I get the impression that you you feel the OP wanted to learn self-defense and got sold a bill of goods. I re-read that original post and that is just not the case. I seemed to me that this person loved aikido, wanted to be an aikido teacher some day, and wanted to be more martially effective in his aikido against MMA.
Hi Rob,

People can obviously read things very differently, but he stated pretty clearly that he trained for 8 years, but not only couldn't get it to work against an MMA guy, a result he probably expected, but against anyone else either - a result he probably didn't expect, which led to much agonizing and then starting this thread.

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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post

That describes me too. I don't think I wasted a moment. Thank you very much. I just kept finding other people to help me with my goals. I think that person should do the same.
He is entitled to hear all opinions, but his goal seems a little different than yours.

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
This high percentage argument is never quite balanced with the high percentage of that sort of training actually being useful.
Based on what evidence...? I think I would just be repeating my earlier lengthy post, my answer here is already contained there. It sounds like you are projecting what "those evil MMA guys" are capable of. Despite the fact that you may see a lot of tattoed shaven-headed guys in MMA, there is no shortage of doctors and other white collar folks you would likely find more respectable, along with serious intellectuals who study these arts. Hell, my doctor has a purple belt in BJJ. There are plenty of schools who take the MMA syllabus and training and train it for street use. Aikidoka do not have a lock on thinking about what to do in real confrontations outside of sport rules! In actual fact by training against unrealistic attacks most of the time, it's probably too much theorizing and not enough doing.

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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Regardless, I do want the ability to fight MMA folks, have the ability to destroy them, and then not hurt them.
OK you just got done describing a bar scenario where the MMA knuckleheads were stupidly duking it out while you cleverly went home, then you say you feel like you're always being talked down to by MMA guys, and here you say you want the ability to destroy those evil arrogant bastards - and then not hurt them. Man, you've got some issues. Seriously. This is supposed to the art of peace and love, not the art of low self-esteem fantasies. You sound like a guy who got sand kicked in his face and is exorcising childhood demons by envisioning thrashing shaven-headed tattoed MMA losers like Steven Seagal going through Jamaicans. No offence but there is some really emotionally immature psychology at work here. We're talking about upping the odds of protecting yourself and your loved ones, not walking around with comic book powers that we magnanimously keep from using on jerkoffs. You and the guy who posted about machetes are really making me wonder about the psychology that may pervade the Aiki-sphere. MMA is not the enemy. Repeat that many times.

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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
So I study that with a MMA teacher who understands a lot of aikido and what looks a lot like DR. I don't think aikido practice has hurt me in my goals at all. I never would have been able to just start from zero and go deal with my current MMA training. That just wouldn't have worked for me.
Fair enough. But you also cross train, which is realistically the only way to gain the skill that Aikido depends on. This is a major point I am making to the OP as well.

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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
If the OP wants to be more effective there are better teachers and training methodologies. There are also better ways of being a student. I encourage everyone to find these things themselves.
No argument there.
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Old 04-11-2008, 10:59 PM   #71
Roy Dean
 
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Re: The Topic I never Wanted To Post

Post #62 should get some kind of recognition (i.e. post of the year, or even post of the decade!).

I agree with everything Dan Austin wrote, and thank him for taking the time to do so.

I had my own disillusionment with the effectiveness of Aikido many years ago, after sparring with a BJJ blue belt (who was really just an old high school wrestler with a rear naked choke). It helped me recognize Aikido for what it is, rather than what I had wanted it to be. I wrote extensively about that process of realization here, for those interested.

Ultimately, words will not give you the truth, only direct experience will. I remember a discussion on this very board about how kaiten nage was a perfectly viable option against a double leg, rather than a simple sprawl. The Aikido option is always preferred, regardless of how improbable it may be to execute. It's almost like a religious belief, and many of us left that church years ago for the atheistic approach of repeatable, scientifically verified martial effectiveness (and with it, repeatable, scientifically verifiable losses against more skilled opponents).

To the original poster: It seems that people are trying to fill in the chasms on the road to effectiveness through structural realignment, internal exercises, etc. I'm not sure what to think about this, but I'm trying to keep an open mind. What would really help is the slightest amount of visual proof for the claims offered. So I would not venture down that path as a vehicle of saving your Aikido. Here is my alternative:

Video tape a match with your MMA friend and let us see how it unfolds (a good college wrestler will also do if an MMA fighter is unavailable). Do it. Test it. Film, examine, and analyze. This is the path of true progress.

Then let us then look at it objectively and offer advice. If you're serious about opening a school, you need the confidence that only comes through direct experience, with full resistance. That way, you won't be intimidated when the 320 pound powerlifter wants to test you out. You're aware, but not intimidated. You've got it mapped out. You know what techniques will work on this guy because you'd wrestled a thousand bodies at full resistance, and know that big guys are almost helpless once you take their back. You also know they have tight shoulders and are suckers for bent armlocks. You know that if necessary, you will expend up to 50% of your energy to not be sidemounted by the behemoth, and avoid that position at all costs. These are the lessons experience gives you. And these lessons are often taught by losing.

I will say that BJJ has increased my Aikido effectiveness a thousand fold. Against a resisting opponent, I now realize how fleeting those pockets of aiki actually are. BJJ taught me a process of eliminating space with my opponent that is undeniably effective. It taught me how to push, how to pull, and how to set up your opponent to push and pull as you'd like. It taught me how to flow with resistance, and keep calm during duress, even as you're being smashed.

Above all, I realized that softness is an illusion. Soft is not soft, soft is just hard enough.

In my opinion, the only way to save Aikido as a martially viable art form is to not do Aikido. I do not limit Aikido to the severely pared down syllabus derived from Daito Ryu Aiki Jujutsu. I feel that the BJJ I practice and teach is also Aikido. Minoru Mochizuki did not limit his expression of Aikido to Morihei Ueshiba's tai jutsu techniques, so why should you?

Every generation must rediscover effectiveness for themselves. Your recent experience is a huge step for your own development. Don't stop now. Continue on the path and discover your own truth. It will be infinitely more meaningful than the truth that had been handed to you previously.

Best,

Roy Dean

Last edited by Roy Dean : 04-11-2008 at 11:01 PM.

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Old 04-12-2008, 10:28 AM   #72
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Re: The Topic I never Wanted To Post

good post Roy. My feelings as well, and experiences.

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Old 04-12-2008, 08:03 PM   #73
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Re: The Topic I never Wanted To Post

Quote:
Roy Dean wrote: View Post
Post #62 should get some kind of recognition (i.e. post of the year, or even post of the decade!).

I agree with everything Dan Austin wrote, and thank him for taking the time to do so.

I had my own disillusionment with the effectiveness of Aikido many years ago, after sparring with a BJJ blue belt (who was really just an old high school wrestler with a rear naked choke). It helped me recognize Aikido for what it is, rather than what I had wanted it to be. I wrote extensively about that process of realization here, for those interested.
Hi Roy,

Thank you very much for the compliment, it's sincerely appreciated. I read the article you linked, and I've been chuckling all day about the "Kimo would be the new O'Sensei" line. I suspect that one's going to stay with me. You had a wise teacher, and I enjoy your writings and agree wholeheartedly.

I'm not ashamed to admit that "Above the Law" got me into Aikido as well. Seagal did put on a good show, didn't he? A friend of mine got me to see the movie, and thence to a local Aikido school. I had also been to the library and looked at various Aikido books, and was impressed by the photos showing people being tossed about. The amazing thing to me is that I had already done karate and kickboxing for many years, yet because I knew nothing of grappling I still bought it. I did enjoy the classes, and since I wasn't a beginner martial artist I found the techniques to be very easy. As you mentioned, that didn't gain me anything in terms of how quickly I could advance in rank, but for the most part I had emptied my cup and assumed that I needed to walk before I could run, and the realism would pick up with time. Questioning wasn't encouraged, it was a pretty formal environment, and it's a lesson that even someone with a more combative background can drink the KoolAid for a while until his head clears. The higher ranking folks I saw at seminars didn't impress me that they could really pull these things off against a tough fighter, but they did look good. I'm not certain how long I would have stuck with it, but as it happens life periodically insists on moving you to another stage whether you were looking for it or not. I had a sparring match with a good Thai boxer one day, and immediately realized that there was not the slightest hope in Hades of ever getting him with any Aikido technique. It was also glaringly obvious that my timing, perception speed and reaction speed was in the toilet compared to where it was when I used to spar on a regular basis. In real terms, I was worse than before I took Aikido! That deterioration in competitive skills really shouldn't come as a surprise, it's just another affirmation of the specificity principle, but that encounter knocked the KoolAid effect out of my system for good.

There are still things that I appreciate about Aikido (residual KoolAid?) but if you are interested in what works, then you have to apply the scientific method and keep the BS detector on high. This is what Bruce Lee recommended decades ago, and what made UFC president Dana White refer to him as the father of MMA. I still don't see a practical alternative to that inescapable logic. Proven fighters like Mario Sperry have the same mindset. When he's asked what his advice for young fighters is, Sperry says to be humble, always be open to learning new things from anyone, and always assume that your opponent is just as skilled, tough, and determined to win as you are. That last bit of advice torpedoes unrealistic attacks, cooperative training, and low percentage technique in one soundbite. Figuring out how to beat that really tough opponent is what will keep you thinking, searching and improving, and the more you improve, the tougher he gets. In terms of gaining real ability, anything else is like playing chess against people who just learned how the little horsie moves - sure you'll look good, but good players will wipe you off the board, and at some level you'll know that. How fun is that really? Ultimately, real reward is proportional to real challenge.
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Old 04-12-2008, 08:35 PM   #74
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Re: The Topic I never Wanted To Post

If I missed the OP point, I humbly appologize.

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Hi Rob,Based on what evidence...?
I have to say I wasn't prepared for that. I tried that writing style of making the point, providing an example, and then wrapping up. It appears you responded to my post without reading all of it it first and then going back. I was making a simple real world example of what I might use martial arts for in real life. I don't get attacked in cages and no one has tried ground and pound on me in stop and shop or the bank. Kevin at least trains people whose job it is to be fighting people who I suppose may happen to run out of ammo at the same time the enemy does - but aren't we getting to LOW percentages here in terms of when this is really going to happen? I think it makes a lot more sense for women in high school and colleges to learn ground fighting because I can see a lot more situations where some bad guy might try to lay on top of them in a fight. I can even see it as valuable for school yard scuffles. Anyway. I certainly agree that training high percentage moves is a great idea. My idea is to give me the highest percentage chance of surviving and keeping someone from suing me and taking my house. I honeslty have not seen too many real life situations where someone was sprawling to defend the double leg take down. I think it is a great move. When does it happen? Seems like only if I show up to someone's MMA dojo.

Quote:
Dan Austin wrote: View Post
It sounds like you are projecting what "those evil MMA guys" are capable of. Despite the fact that you may see a lot of tattoed shaven-headed guys in MMA, there is no shortage of doctors and other white collar folks you would likely find more respectable, along with serious intellectuals who study these arts. Hell, my doctor has a purple belt in BJJ. There are plenty of schools who take the MMA syllabus and training and train it for street use. Aikidoka do not have a lock on thinking about what to do in real confrontations outside of sport rules! In actual fact by training against unrealistic attacks most of the time, it's probably too much theorizing and not enough doing.
I am not really sure where you got this impression. I train in MMA myself and I'm a white collar person with an unshaven head and I think tatooes look great on other people but on me - not so much. No one is saying that aikido have a lock on thinking. But we do have SOME people in aikido who are capable of thinking and we for some reason still train aikido. Yes, we are all mostly insane. We spend years practice the same thing over and over and expect different results - which I believe is a tell tale sign of insanity. But in my personal insanity, I happen to have a fairly reasonable and logical - and apparently - different opinion of what high percentage criteria to value. It doesn't mean I hate the evil MMA folks or that aikido people are smarter. It just means that aikido people are not necessarily dumber.

Maybe we just value different things. The MMA I'm training these days depends on a lot less doing and a lot more being super relaxed and almost non-doing so physical listening is possible. It's terriblly mentally exhausting getting rid of tension under increasing pressure. I think aikido training CAN BE fantastic help in this if you have some different basics than are generally taught in aikido class, but like Roy Dean basically says, we'll just have to see about how the internal training power bridges the gaps.

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Dan Austin wrote: View Post
OK you just got done describing a bar scenario where the MMA knuckleheads were stupidly duking it out while you cleverly went home, then you say you feel like you're always being talked down to by MMA guys, and here you say you want the ability to destroy those evil arrogant bastards - and then not hurt them. Man, you've got some issues. Seriously. This is supposed to the art of peace and love, not the art of low self-esteem fantasies. You sound like a guy who got sand kicked in his face and is exorcising childhood demons by envisioning thrashing shaven-headed tattoed MMA losers like Steven Seagal going through Jamaicans. No offence but there is some really emotionally immature psychology at work here. We're talking about upping the odds of protecting yourself and your loved ones, not walking around with comic book powers that we magnanimously keep from using on jerkoffs. You and the guy who posted about machetes are really making me wonder about the psychology that may pervade the Aiki-sphere. MMA is not the enemy. Repeat that many times.
1) I got done describing the only scenario I can realistically imagine I'll be in a real confrontation in my daily life.

2) I'll want what I want. I'm suprised anyone who is doing martial arts wouldn't want what I described, but it takes all kinds. So you don't want such abilities? I'm not saying I'll achieve them. But heck I think I described Dan Harden fairly well. I want to have his ability. Heck I want to surpass his ability. I work towards that by working out wih him whenever I can - like just today. As far as having comic book level abilities, I wouldn't mind having them either! If I could turn invisible and or fly that would be awesome. If you have no fantasy life as an adult that most likely speaks to issues as well. I could be wrong, but I wouldn't want to be like that myself. I see a lot of martial artists trying so hard to keep it "real". Good luck with that.

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 04-12-2008 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 04-12-2008, 09:44 PM   #75
Dan Austin
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Re: The Topic I never Wanted To Post

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
If I missed the OP point, I humbly appologize.

I have to say I wasn't prepared for that. I tried that writing style of making the point, providing an example, and then wrapping up. It appears you responded to my post without reading all of it it first and then going back.
Hi Rob,

I read it top to bottom, and that was the impression I got; I won't claim it was correct since I'm not a mind-reader. I also won't go into quote-indentation hell by responding point by point.

I actually would have made the same comment about other definitions of high percentage, but my post was already long enough. It's a fair statement to say that if your goal is self-defence, going from say, purple belt to black belt in BJJ probably brings diminishing returns compared to shoring up some other weaker area of your knowledge. Time in any art can become a matter of learning the detailed nuances of that art, but as I said there are other reasons people value certain training. A black belt in BJJ is an accomplishment to be proud of, even if it's overkill for what you're likely to need. That said, there is still high-percentage training vs low-percentage (competitive vs cooperative), and within those there is still high-percentage and low-percentage in terms of responses to the given scenario. A full-grown man is probably never going to be subject to a double wrist grab, but there are still reasonable counters and silly counters even though it doesn't really matter much.

I don't know much about what Dan Harden does, though I've heard good things. I've also followed Mike's and Rob's posts with interest. I would also agree that it remains to be seen what these things can add to the modern repertoire, but I would be very pleased to see a good result. Why would anyone be against impressive martial skills? I believe in keeping an open mind, just not so open that your brains fall out. So I can't go quite as far as wishing for comic book powers, but since I'm not so difficult to please it's really not an issue. Good-for-a-normal-human is good enough for me. Besides, people just aren't meant to have such powers. I remember an old Steve Martin comedy special where he gave a realistic example of what having invisibility powers would do. He was ignored by some attractive women, and so assumed he must be invisible. He excitedly painted a picture of being the world's greatest spy, and the wonderful things he could do for America. In the next scene, he was being led out of the women's restroom by the police, still claiming to be invisible.

The important thing to note here is that you also cross-train, which seems par for the course for the respondents here. That should say what it needs to say to the original poster.

Last edited by Dan Austin : 04-12-2008 at 09:51 PM.
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