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Old 05-08-2008, 07:26 AM   #1
Mary Eastland
 
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Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

There! I said it out loud for all to hear.

I scratch my head over all the talk about fighting and Aikido...it seems like another planet.

Have most people who train in Aikido "to not fight" gone underground...Are you still out there????
Are you afraid to write because of the trends of real fighting and active resistance.

If people want to fight ...why don't you fight?

Come out...come out wherever you are...I know that there are tons of people here who train in Aikido and are not the least bit interested in fighting.

Let's talk about how we don't find any fighting in Aikido.
Let's talk about how we meet oursleves and become the whole person we are meant to be.
Let's talk about the joy of training.
How fabulous it is to really connect with uke....how wonderful it feels to take ukemi at 50 years old...how beautiful it looks to see a 64 year old tiny woman throw a really big man even if it wouldn't work on the street.

Let's blend and communicate and enjoy the flow.

Mary
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Old 05-08-2008, 07:46 AM   #2
DonMagee
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

My problem is not that some people choose to not train for effectiveness, but that those same people are usually the most vocal about how their stuff is the best for self defense.

It's a have your cake and eat it too situation. You see something or hear something, say "Well I don't think that training method will help you defend yourself." They then say "Well that's ok, I dont train in aikido to learn how to fight, but my teacher could kill you with a wave of his hand."

It either works, or it doesn't.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 05-08-2008, 07:52 AM   #3
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Mary,
your heading and post really made me smile, what a nice topic. I think on this forum we sometimes talk too little about the wonderful moments of non-fighting, of connection, recognition and harmony on the aikido mat - and off the mat.

Aikido has been very "applicable" and relevant to me personally in some important situations where fighting would really have been the most silly thing to do. Like dealing with myself or with significant others. Aikido has really been of some very concrete help there.

And Aikido is still relevant in connecting with others in a very special way on the mat, and enjoy the flow. Unfortunately, much of that is difficult to describe without coming across as really tacky and flowery, I suppose that's a drawback of the internet.

One more senior participant in this forum once told me about kokyu ho, "Dont show me your centre, show me the universe." There is a lot about not fighting in that statement that has given me food for thought.

(I enjoy fighting btw, but nowadays I do that on the BJJ mat.)
Have a nice day
N
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:17 AM   #4
CNYMike
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
There! I said it out loud for all to hear.

I scratch my head over all the talk about fighting and Aikido...it seems like another planet.

Have most people who train in Aikido "to not fight" gone underground...Are you still out there????
Are you afraid to write because of the trends of real fighting and active resistance.

If people want to fight ...why don't you fight?

Come out...come out wherever you are...I know that there are tons of people here who train in Aikido and are not the least bit interested in fighting.

Let's talk about how we don't find any fighting in Aikido.
Let's talk about how we meet oursleves and become the whole person we are meant to be.
Let's talk about the joy of training.
How fabulous it is to really connect with uke....how wonderful it feels to take ukemi at 50 years old...how beautiful it looks to see a 64 year old tiny woman throw a really big man even if it wouldn't work on the street.

Let's blend and communicate and enjoy the flow.

Mary
Well, I think it depends on the context. Saying "Aikido is not about fighting" has one meaning when you've pinned someone from another system to the floor and they can't move. It has a completely different meaning when you'vegot a black eye and a broken nose and somene from another system is standing over you.

However, at the end of the day, the reason I do Aikido is .... I love it! As sweaty as it can be sometimes, Aikido leaves me with a good feeling inside. It's not the first art I did and not the only art I do, but it may be the one I like the most. Hey, I might be an Aikido addict.
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Old 05-08-2008, 09:24 AM   #5
Budd
 
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Well, aikido itself is rather slippery because the way it's been marketed is that it tries to be all things to all people. I think ultimately what matters is how YOU approach and practice it. If you don't care at all about fighting, then great! If you're concerned that your aikido can stand up in a sportive/fighting environment, then it's up to you to pressure test it in your practice somehow in a logical fashion (visit combat sports schools to play, work out with others that have different skillsets, train at a school that addresses it, etc.). I agree with Don in that you can't have it both ways.
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Old 05-08-2008, 10:10 AM   #6
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

I think this point is a valid one.

It's kind of the path Tai Ji has taken here in the west. It's kind of a movement practice like, Yoga in motion or something.

I do think if you want to be honest with yourself, you have to stop calling it a martial art. Because if anyone practicing is fooled into thinking it has martial applicability and you're not practicing it that way, you have done them a real disservice.

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Old 05-08-2008, 10:16 AM   #7
MM
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Dunno. I view Aikido from the founder, Morihei Ueshiba. And *his* aikido was tested by many other martial artists. *His* aikido worked against anyone willing to test themselves against him. *His* aikido held up against all kinds of active resistance. He was interested in whether or not his deshi *won* their fights, even when he yelled at them not to fight.

Got not problems with people wanting to be all "flowing" and connecting and such. Just don't call it Ueshiba's Aikido because it isn't.
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Old 05-08-2008, 10:23 AM   #8
aikishrine
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Mary you hit the nail right on the head good job!
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Old 05-08-2008, 10:46 AM   #9
rob_liberti
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

I find myself in line with Mark Murray again. What a suprise!
If what you are doing are all principles, then they must work in all situations or they aren't principles. If you train to drop your ego (even under pressue), then demonstrate how you have no ego based movement physically under pressure and how you are still okay. If not, well, then all I can say enjoy your training.

Rob
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Old 05-08-2008, 10:57 AM   #10
tuturuhan
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Miss Mary,

Any person who has reached the age of 60 has done so, being cut and scared by life.

The death of a loved one, the loss of a job, the failure to keep a promise all are battles. You cannot have a forest without the renewal of a forest fire. Nature is not simply beauty. If untrained, nature will most certainly cause death. It is the cycle of things.

You take the fall...and you create the throw, kick and punch that drop you with velocity to the "mat of reality".

You cannot deny the sword that aikido is based on. As such, It is in the transformation of the combat that we learn to appreciate the battles we have waged in life.

We all have our opinions. We all have our sides. But, IMHO, nature has no opinions and takes no sides.

Best,
Joseph T. Oliva Arriola

Joseph T. Oliva Arriola
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Old 05-08-2008, 10:59 AM   #11
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Good points.

Imho there is no disconnect between effective Aikido that works in a "fight" and Aikido that attempts to connect, harmonize, engender peace etc. In fact I'd say that one would need the first to have the second in a world of people whose characters can range from angels to demons. Imho Ueshiba M. had no illusions about his desires to promote peace in the world, just like he had no illusions that he could kill a person if required at will. According to Rob, the principles should be applicable throughout.

It's interesting that one of the most peaceful martial artists I know is also someone who has taken life in a combative context, and he teaches Aikido. To me, part of the beauty of Aikido is being able to handle a myriad of adverse situations (including physical self defence) without losing ones connectedness to all things and ultimately ones humanity. To me, it is easy to give up one for the other, but you don't have to.

Quote:
We all have our sides. But, IMHO, nature has no opinions and takes no sides.
I like that

My 2 cents.

Last edited by L. Camejo : 05-08-2008 at 11:01 AM.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 05-08-2008, 01:05 PM   #12
brian donohoe
 
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

I thought that the whole point of doing Aikido was so that you didn't have to enter into a "fight" situation and that that was where Aikido's effectiveness comes from.
I have always felt that the best way to defend yourself was not to have any enemies Aikido has helped me with that so far. So I feel that it has been completely effective because I haven't had to try to decide "did i win that fight ?"

Brian
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Old 05-08-2008, 01:08 PM   #13
dps
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post

Have most people who train in Aikido "to not fight" gone underground...Are you still out there????

Come out...come out wherever you are...I know that there are tons of people here who train in Aikido and are not the least bit interested in fighting.
Maybe they are afraid of getting beat up (just joking).

David
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Old 05-08-2008, 01:59 PM   #14
John Connolly
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

You can get all the positive benefits of Aikido from partnered dancing. Why bother with Budo?

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Old 05-08-2008, 02:00 PM   #15
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Mary,

Believe it or not, it makes me smile to see your post! Lets do celebrate those things! they are important! Philosophically the "fight" to get to the dojo, to stay injury free, and to be physically fit at 64 is as every bit important part of budo as anything else.

Trust me, I do not spend my time in aikido to learn fighting skills! what a waste of time, imo.

Rob Wrote:

Quote:
If what you are doing are all principles, then they must work in all situations or they aren't principles. If you train to drop your ego (even under pressue), then demonstrate how you have no ego based movement physically under pressure and how you are still okay. If not, well, then all I can say enjoy your training.
Principles. Yes we do study some principles of structure, alignment, posture etc. These things are important as I have found the same principles apply in BJJ, for instance, shooting my weapons, and aikido.

However, be careful to not overstate the importance or priority of the principles we learn in aikido as they result to reality. There are other principles we leave to the side. Stealth, suprise, audacity, speed, power etc.

These factors (principles) also play into the equation and i think are probably MORE important in some respects than the things we focus on in Aikido.

Anyway, good spirit! I like it!

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Old 05-08-2008, 02:18 PM   #16
Bill Danosky
 
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

I like to say that we practice the martial arts application of Aiki power when we're on the mat. If it works there, it must work everywhere.

When you're new and trying to do something like shiho nage (four direction throw), uke moves you all over. 140 lb. Shihans barely move and you go flying. And it barely feels like they touched you! I've watched this very closely trying to see what makes the difference. It isn't muscle- it's gotta be Aiki power...
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Old 05-08-2008, 02:21 PM   #17
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Dunno. I view Aikido from the founder, Morihei Ueshiba. And *his* aikido was tested by many other martial artists. *His* aikido worked against anyone willing to test themselves against him. *His* aikido held up against all kinds of active resistance. He was interested in whether or not his deshi *won* their fights, even when he yelled at them not to fight.

Got not problems with people wanting to be all "flowing" and connecting and such. Just don't call it Ueshiba's Aikido because it isn't.
Mark,
Are you suggesting that if we are not dojo storming we are not doing Ueshiba's Aikido?
Or if we are not able to resist all comers that we are not doing Ueshiba's Aikido?
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Old 05-08-2008, 02:24 PM   #18
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Quote:
John Connolly wrote: View Post
You can get all the positive benefits of Aikido from partnered dancing. Why bother with Budo?
Good question John. Why bother with budo. I'm curious to know why you bother with budo.
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Old 05-08-2008, 02:25 PM   #19
GLWeeks
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Dunno. I view Aikido from the founder, Morihei Ueshiba. And *his* aikido was tested by many other martial artists. *His* aikido worked against anyone willing to test themselves against him. *His* aikido held up against all kinds of active resistance. He was interested in whether or not his deshi *won* their fights, even when he yelled at them not to fight.

Got not problems with people wanting to be all "flowing" and connecting and such. Just don't call it Ueshiba's Aikido because it isn't.
Yeah, what he said...

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Old 05-08-2008, 02:40 PM   #20
John Connolly
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Quote:
Why bother with budo. I'm curious to know why you bother with budo.
So many levels of response for that...

1. I like the health benefits-- like partnered dancing, I suppose.

2. I like the "puzzle" of structure, waza, timing, sabaki, and power development. Some might consider that the puzzle of Aiki.

3. I like the safe(r) atmosphere in which to work through simulations of fighting (IE: randori, kata).

4. Finally, before I ever practiced martial arts/Budo, I could already hurt people in a fight, but I like the idea that constant and progressive practice makes me a stronger, better fighter-- therefore more capable of showing mercy, if appropriate.

Addendum 4.5. I like the camaraderie and cold beer after hard practice. I guess that could be like partnered dancing too...

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Old 05-08-2008, 03:06 PM   #21
MM
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
Mark,
Are you suggesting that if we are not dojo storming we are not doing Ueshiba's Aikido?
Or if we are not able to resist all comers that we are not doing Ueshiba's Aikido?
Don't be silly. If I meant that, I'd have said it.

In other words ... In one issue of Aiki News, Ueshiba is quoted as yelling at his students for doing "soft" techniques. He yells at them that it took him 20 years of doing hard techniques before he got to soft.

So, maintaining what George Ledyard states is a core of aikido is fine. But if you aren't able to martially back it up, then you aren't doing Ueshiba's aikido.

From http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=449

Quote:
aiki news wrote:
Ueshiba Sensei brought Mr. (Noriaki) Inoue with him. After they showed some techniques, Ueshiba Sensei said: "You are probably thinking that we cannot possibly do these techniques without some sort of collusion between us. Since you are all martial arts practitioners, if there is a man among you, come and test this old man." However, no one stepped forward. At 35 I was the youngest among them. I had recently arrived in Manchuria and several government officials were observing the demonstration. I thought that I should test my own ability and said, "Yes, I will try". Ueshiba Sensei replied: "You are Mr. Tenryu, aren't you? You too are probably imagining that an old man like me won't be able to throw you very well. However, budo is much more than what you think it is. He offered his left hand saying it was weaker than his right and continued: "You must be quite strong physically. I am not putting strength into my arm so you can do anything you want with it. Try!"

I thought that this old man was speaking nonsense and slapped his hand down as I grabbed it. But the moment I touched him I was startled. I felt as if I had taken hold of an iron bar. Of course, I knew very well from my experience in Sumo that it would be useless to struggle against him. I immediately knew I had been defeated. However, I couldn't just leave things like that and attempted to twist his arm up and out. He didn't move an inch. I tried again with both hands using all my might. But he used my strength against me and I fell down.
For those who say there is no resistance in aikido, it pretty well speaks for itself when Ueshiba states to his audience, "You are probably thinking that we cannot possibly do these techniques without some sort of collusion between us." Mull that over. For those that are having problems, definition of collusion: secret agreement or cooperation especially for an illegal or deceitful purpose. In other words, Ueshiba had active resistance.

Ukemi at 50, 60, 70? 99% of the ukemi Morihei Ueshiba was doing at that age was internally, not falling on the floor. He was still tossing his students around.

Not fighting? Sure. I've heard quite a few high ranking martial artists from karate to jujutsu say that. It's a very worthy goal. But Ueshiba wasn't a pacifist and he wasn't a peacenik. He didn't have to fight because he was so good, few could touch him. If you aren't working towards that goal, you aren't doing Ueshiba's aikido. It's at that pinnacle where you have the skills that you can opt to not fight. Otherwise, there is no option about fighting. Without the martial skills, you either completely avoid it at all costs or you get beaten down. You want to completely avoid it? That isn't what Ueshiba did, so you aren't doing his aikido.

Aikido can be a peaceful, loving, blending, flowing spiritual experience. But even Ueshiba showed that before you get there, there is 20 years of hard training, challengers, resistance, and fights. Unless you're on that same road, you aren't doing Ueshiba's aikido.

Doesn't mean you take on the UFC. Doesn't mean you go out and pick fights (unless you want to be like Shioda). But, you better have a good honest look at yourself and understand your abilities and whether or not they stack up to peer level martial artists. Do the research. It didn't take Ueshiba, Shioda, Tomiki, etc more than 20 years to become giants. And they also had very active, resistant type training environments. Oh, wait, maybe not. Wasn't the old Kobukan dojo called the "aiki bunny dojo"? Oh, my bad. Maybe they were just flowing around themselves in a nice dance.
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=343

Skip the UFC, skip the MMA, skip dojo storming; but take a good hard look at Ueshiba and his training. Otherwise, hey, there's always rationalizations.
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Old 05-08-2008, 03:25 PM   #22
ChrisMoses
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
And they also had very active, resistant type training environments. Oh, wait, maybe not. Wasn't the old Kobukan dojo called the "aiki bunny dojo"?
No, that's us...

/that is all... please resume your regularly scheduled bickering.

Chris Moses
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Old 05-08-2008, 03:31 PM   #23
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Don't be silly. If I meant that, I'd have said it.

In other words ... In one issue of Aiki News, Ueshiba is quoted as yelling at his students for doing "soft" techniques. He yells at them that it took him 20 years of doing hard techniques before he got to soft.

So, maintaining what George Ledyard states is a core of aikido is fine. But if you aren't able to martially back it up, then you aren't doing Ueshiba's aikido.

From http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=449

For those who say there is no resistance in aikido, it pretty well speaks for itself when Ueshiba states to his audience, "You are probably thinking that we cannot possibly do these techniques without some sort of collusion between us." Mull that over. For those that are having problems, definition of collusion: secret agreement or cooperation especially for an illegal or deceitful purpose. In other words, Ueshiba had active resistance.

Ukemi at 50, 60, 70? 99% of the ukemi Morihei Ueshiba was doing at that age was internally, not falling on the floor. He was still tossing his students around.

Not fighting? Sure. I've heard quite a few high ranking martial artists from karate to jujutsu say that. It's a very worthy goal. But Ueshiba wasn't a pacifist and he wasn't a peacenik. He didn't have to fight because he was so good, few could touch him. If you aren't working towards that goal, you aren't doing Ueshiba's aikido. It's at that pinnacle where you have the skills that you can opt to not fight. Otherwise, there is no option about fighting. Without the martial skills, you either completely avoid it at all costs or you get beaten down. You want to completely avoid it? That isn't what Ueshiba did, so you aren't doing his aikido.

Aikido can be a peaceful, loving, blending, flowing spiritual experience. But even Ueshiba showed that before you get there, there is 20 years of hard training, challengers, resistance, and fights. Unless you're on that same road, you aren't doing Ueshiba's aikido.

Doesn't mean you take on the UFC. Doesn't mean you go out and pick fights (unless you want to be like Shioda). But, you better have a good honest look at yourself and understand your abilities and whether or not they stack up to peer level martial artists. Do the research. It didn't take Ueshiba, Shioda, Tomiki, etc more than 20 years to become giants. And they also had very active, resistant type training environments. Oh, wait, maybe not. Wasn't the old Kobukan dojo called the "aiki bunny dojo"? Oh, my bad. Maybe they were just flowing around themselves in a nice dance.
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=343

Skip the UFC, skip the MMA, skip dojo storming; but take a good hard look at Ueshiba and his training. Otherwise, hey, there's always rationalizations.
Do you consider yourself to be doing Ueshiba's aikido?
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Old 05-08-2008, 04:15 PM   #24
rob_liberti
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
Do you consider yourself to be doing Ueshiba's aikido?
I know that was to Mark, but I'll field it. My answer would be:

not yet.. but soon.

I believe Mark's point would be something along the lines of if one is not even trying to be able to pressure test their spiritual growth in a physical way then the answer to your question for that person would most likely be "never"....

Rob
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Old 05-08-2008, 04:16 PM   #25
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

I am not the least bit interested in fighting. But if I should be attacked, I would be VERY interested in being able to defend myself, especially if my martial art instructors claimed they were "interested in developing strong self defense skills". Even if that is only part of the package. Truth in advertising and all. I'd expect at least something along those lines.

Best,
Ron

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