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Old 05-10-2008, 08:03 PM   #51
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
... Women have no butting egos. ...
Ummm...are you really sure about that?

kvaak
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Old 05-10-2008, 08:20 PM   #52
RonRagusa
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Ron, the last few lines of your doctrine seem to be at odds with the premise of the thread.
Hi Rob -

Not really. In addition to her Aikido training, Mary developed and taught a practical self defense course for 15 years. Her self defense ideas grew out of her Aikido training; the techniques she taught did not. They were practical no nonsense techniques that could be employed when other methods failed.

We understand that we have a responsibility to protect ourselves and our loved ones from harm and to that end our training in Aikido provides us with the ability to apply the physical skills of self defense with much more power and focus than would otherwise be possible.

That said, out Aikido training does not involve fighting. The structure of our practice is pretty much as was taught by Maruyama sensei. For us the main value of Aikido training has been and continues to be the transformation of our lives.

Best,

Ron
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Old 05-10-2008, 11:49 PM   #53
AsimHanif
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Most people today train in things like executive boxing, tae bo, cardio boxing, etc. There are many benefits they gain from that type of training like fitness, stress relief, socialization, etc Maybe even some level of skill. However I do not consider that to be actual boxing or kickboxing because they are not put in situations that test themselves martially, which requires a different type of resolve and commitment.
A lot of aikido training today is much the same.
We all train for different reasons. In my opinion, that's what is great about aikido.
But personally I do often consider if we can call it ‘aikido' if we do not practice it as a martial art, first and foremost. Some teachers have moved away from the more martial aspects of aikido, and that it fine. Maybe O'Sensei did not emphasize the martial aspects as much later in his life. But O'Sensei did have a great appreciation of life and of the human connection (I believe) because he was a martial artist in the truest sense for most of his early life.
Yamada Sensei has said its ‘time to put the harm back in harmony' (I love that line)
And Takeguchi Sensei always asks ‘does it make sense martially'…
I don't consider either one of them violent men by any stretch yet I consider their training to be martial. I also can't recall them spending a great deal of time discussing philosophy or spirituality in any overt form on the mat.
In the end everyone must find their own path.

Asim
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Old 05-11-2008, 12:51 AM   #54
Walter Martindale
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Wow.. Mary, you started a doozie of a thread. Lots of deep thought about fighting, or not, and the role in Aikido.

I've heard in a discussion of guns - You don't need to carry a gun, until you suddenly find that you need a gun. And then, you need a gun very urgently.

I have similar feelings about Aikido or other martial arts - Generally, since we're all civilized people, we don't run around picking fights willy-nilly. Generally...

Sometimes, however, and unpredictably, a fight might pick us. Someone needs money for his or her next hit of crack or crystal meth, or someone else is just a real messed up person and is unfortunately taking out his/her frustrations on others, when life has handed him/her a lemon, and a moldy one, at that.

When that fight picks us, I believe that we need to have a well-trained and effective way to protect ourselves. So, I think that the Aikido we practice should (must?) be practiced in such a way that it CAN, if necessary, be effective. We need to be able to blend and take balance. We need to be able to disarm. Better yet, we need to be able to recognise the impending problem and then either avoid or defuse the situation.

However - if (when?) the excrement hits the propeller - our Aikido training has been directed towards movement principles, taking balance, moving efficiently, and we've internalised the movement principles, then our joy of movement in the dojo can be an effective budo. The Shihan from my Canadian background tells of relatively senior Aikido instructors getting mugged by a couple of armed people, or killed, at least in part because they hadn't trained effectively; uke always went where sensei wanted, whether they had to or not.

To clarify - I hope - I practice Aikido (I won't call 3 hours a week "training") in a small dojo, and I try to make movements so that uke has no choice but to "go", and so that I'm not using a lot of effort/force to move uke. Often I fail miserably at this, but I hope that I learn from it so that I can avoid being in his/her strike zone when I'm moving, and so that with the least application of force, uke can visit the floor. Sometimes, because of previous judo training (I will call what I did there, "training"), some residual strength and fitness left over from rowing and a few years working in a fitness centre, I have trouble telling if I'm using a lot of force or if it's the movement that's "doing it". Some of the thoughts in my tiny little mind are - move off line, move to a safe place, move with uke and drop uke into the hole made by my vacating that space (not always). Some of the thoughts area also - nope, that left an opening; nope, gave back the balance there, gotta keep moving - or similar. All directed at "effectiveness", so that (as the military guys say) in a "situation" you default to your training. If your training has been effective Aikido, then you default to effective Aikido. If your training has been dancing around and not really making uke's balance go away, then you may end up in trouble, because when you default to ineffective movements that have been trained, that's what comes out. Partly, there's the difference between awareness and analysis (in the moment and post-hoc, respectively) - The analysis is how can I make that better (after the fact), and the awareness is that occasional "yahoo!!!" that you get when "it" works, or at the very least I become aware of what change has been or must be made...

So - yes - Aikido for me is partly the joy of being able to exercise in a semi-cooperative way, and to learn some skills that may eventually save my life (or at least save me from a beating). I don't go to Aikido to "learn to fight"

All that said, you don't need a "budo" until you NEED a "budo", and then you need a "budo" really badly...
Oh dear, that was more than $0.2... Must be $0.10 - the smallest coin in NZ...

Cheers,
Walter
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Old 05-11-2008, 09:24 AM   #55
JohnSS
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Since when is Aikido about fighting anyway?

The way I understand it, Aikido is about getting yourself out of a fight, not into one. This is correct?
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Old 05-11-2008, 10:36 AM   #56
Mike Sigman
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Quote:
John Sipski wrote: View Post
The way I understand it, Aikido is about getting yourself out of a fight, not into one. This is correct?
That's Track, not Aikido.
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Old 05-11-2008, 10:43 AM   #57
DonMagee
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
A surgical knife makes a poor machete.

What does it matter if Aikido never took the Gracie challenge. Aikido is the big question mark isn't it? That unknown eats at the MMA rollers.

Aikido is about not being on the UFC Ultimate Fighter. Aikido's principles work against all the MMA principles for an universal example.

Aikido is for self-defense if required, but it's not a requirement. Aikido is the art of peace, not war.

MMA rollers who see Aikido as an opponent don't know enough about Aikido to understand that Aikido isn't about what they are about. It is easy to put something down when there isn't much known about it. Even easier when it is unable to be understand.

I can learn properly MMA moves to fight in a fight in 6 mos. It would take years just to learn an Aikido waza properly, say Katate Mochi Shiho Nage on the street. I think that is the reason why MMA rollers and fighter doesn't consider Aikido as a part of MMA.

If the MMA world wants me to say uncle I will say it, UNCLE! You guys win. Your the baddest, the pimpist, the wickedest, around better then Aikido. But, I am not swtiching to MMA. Just like I am not switching to Ninjitsu, Hapkido, Kungfu, etc. I picked Aikido, am sticking with it. I am happy and your happy. We both get what we want. But, I get the peace, and better health; no haunting injuries, and something I can do well into old age that will keep me healthly.
I just ran a quick Q&A with MMA fighters (lucky my gym has a few)

Their responses were mostly "What is aikido? and "Well if it worked in the ring, we would already be doing it, so who cares."

The MMA world as a whole does not give a crap about any "traditional" martial arts. 90% of them think it's all karate anyways. I know some guys who get offended with being called martial artists ("I don't do that gay crap, I'm a fighter")

What you see on the internet is the 1% of people who want to show others what they feel is valuable. I'm not threatened by aikido in the least. Instead I want to show people (not just aikidoka) new ways they can use to help improve their training. And I want to take away new ways I can help improve mine. Of course there are also sites out there that just want to focus on what really works, and what is a waste of time, and others that just want to point out idiocy in the martial arts.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 05-12-2008, 03:04 PM   #58
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

you can read some books & figure out this type of conflict resolution a lot & easier & faster than training in Aikido

anyway, pretending to throw someone is not a martial art

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
She owns a resturant and deals with real conflict every day, the kind of real conflict that most people actually face in their daily lives. Her dedicated practice of Aikido has taught her strategies for dealing with in your face angry customers, wait staff and kitchen staff, that would never have occured to her prior to her training. Tohei says that Aikido has to be put into practice in our daily lives and the woman Mary wrote about is a perfect example of Aikido used in daily life, day in and day out.

Ron
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Old 05-12-2008, 11:05 PM   #59
Aikibu
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Wow... Some good stuff in this thread amongest the usual mental masturbation...

Thanks to everyone for thier insights.

William Hazen
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Old 05-13-2008, 07:23 AM   #60
Tharis
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

It really depends on which definition of "fighting" you use.
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Old 05-13-2008, 07:31 AM   #61
DonMagee
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Quote:
Thomas Harris wrote: View Post
It really depends on which definition of "fighting" you use.
Mine involves jello.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 05-13-2008, 08:26 AM   #62
Stefan Stenudd
 
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The fight of no fight

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Have most people who train in Aikido "to not fight" gone underground...Are you still out there????
I know I don't train aikido to fight, but I don't know if I do it to not fight.

Absolutely, the attitude of a fighter is not the correct one for an aikidoka. We should try to go beyond it, or transform it into soemthing else - and that cannot be done if we ourselves remain in a fighter mentality.

Should also uke be without fighter mentality? That's a more complicated question.
For some kinds of training, uke needs to behave like a fighter, attacking with intensity and a determined mind. Of course, it should still be done with proper concern for safety.
In other kinds of training, uke should leave even the pretended aggression behind, in order for both to discover other patterns and other meaning to the aikido training.
I think that both kinds are needed.

But the essence of aikido is not about fighting. It may be about non-fighting, but if so - not only that. There must be meaning to aikido even in a world without fighting. Maybe we should work toward such an aikido?

Stefan Stenudd
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Old 05-13-2008, 09:37 AM   #63
Aikibu
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Re: The fight of no fight

Quote:
Stefan Stenudd wrote: View Post
I know I don't train aikido to fight, but I don't know if I do it to not fight.

Absolutely, the attitude of a fighter is not the correct one for an aikidoka. We should try to go beyond it, or transform it into soemthing else - and that cannot be done if we ourselves remain in a fighter mentality.

Should also uke be without fighter mentality? That's a more complicated question.
For some kinds of training, uke needs to behave like a fighter, attacking with intensity and a determined mind. Of course, it should still be done with proper concern for safety.
In other kinds of training, uke should leave even the pretended aggression behind, in order for both to discover other patterns and other meaning to the aikido training.
I think that both kinds are needed.

But the essence of aikido is not about fighting. It may be about non-fighting, but if so - not only that. There must be meaning to aikido even in a world without fighting. Maybe we should work toward such an aikido?
I just bascially said this same thing in the other "fighting" thread. Thank you Stefan. I hope to meet you on the path some day.

William Hazen
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Old 05-13-2008, 09:53 AM   #64
Stefan Stenudd
 
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Re: The fight of no fight

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
I just bascially said this same thing in the other "fighting" thread. Thank you Stefan. I hope to meet you on the path some day.
Ditto

Stefan Stenudd
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Old 05-13-2008, 05:09 PM   #65
seank
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

We had a very highly regarded Aikidoka take a class last year that said that we train in Aikido to fight... it took everyone aback as this particular person is well known for avoiding being hit in virtually every style of fighting he has trained with (he has done a very large amount of training with other styles - traditional martial arts, boxing, bjj, etc). His style is interesting to watch in that he effectively seems to avoid direct conflict, but his technique is extremely efficient. He is a bit of an anomaly to train with - but I found I took so much from the class that six months on I'm only now realising some of what was said.

He then went on to explain that fighting is not one on one; he referred to that as brawling. His interpretation of fighting was moving effectively against multiple attackers.

I've trained in a variety of martial arts over the last twenty one years, and I still vividly recall the first time I encountered this person in one of Sugano Shihan's walk around the mat and attack someone classes. He came up behind me a put me in a headlock, and for the first time in any confrontation I thought to myself "I'm not going to get away".

The different view on fighting was an interesting take, and obviously something he has found over his forty plus years of Aikido. Was his Aikido effective in a fight - without doubt. Would it be effective in a no-holds-barred biting, scratching, gouging, tearing fight I'm not sure. But I reckon that not many people would take on this person for the soft power he exudes.

I'd like to think that is why I practice Aikido and it is an ideal to aspire to... to not fight unless you have to fight, but to be effective if it happens. Its widened my interpretation of fighting and often gives me a different perspective in my training.

I don't begrudge others for training in a style they want to follow, but I know that sometimes my Aikido works, sometimes it doesn't... but when can you ever say a fight is a sure thing?
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Old 05-13-2008, 10:04 PM   #66
Niadh
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Wow, I just got around to reading this thread. (i was over on handgun forums lol)
I find it interesting that when reading the tag line, my first thought was, "hey thats right. everytime i fight myself and provide uke with resistance, i can't do aikido. Everytime i tense up and react with fear/anger/muscle i can't do aikido. so when i fight i can't do aikido."
sort of an internalized version.
I guess not quite what Mary meant, but just goes to show that i practice my aikido. I would love to practice Ueshiba's Aikido, but well..... i am not Ueshiba. My aikido comes from me, with a great dalloping helping of all those i have practiced with, taught, and learned from. From the Sensei I started with 22 years ago (now deceased), to the 10 year old at class the last 2 weeks who is just starting to learn.

I guess that whole fighting thing can mean a lot of different things, eh? I do know i have more tools in my toolbag now than 22 years ago. Guess the only way to find out what they are is to fight? Or I could keep learning and go from there?

Last edited by Niadh : 05-13-2008 at 10:07 PM.

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Old 05-13-2008, 10:34 PM   #67
rob_liberti
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

But what does Mary mean exactly in light of Ron's recent explanations?

doctrine of least possible harm:
Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote:
Walk away when that is an option,
Converse when walking is no longer an option,
Avoid when conversing is no longer an option,
Immobilize when avoidance is no longer an option,
Incapacitate when immobilization is no longer an option,
Kill when incapacitation is no longer an option.
Then I said
Quote:
the last few lines of your doctrine seem to be at odds with the premise of the thread.
And the reply was basically:

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote:
Not really. In addition to her Aikido training, Mary developed and taught a practical self defense course for 15 years. Her self defense ideas grew out of her Aikido training; the techniques she taught did not. They were practical no nonsense techniques that could be employed when other methods failed.

...our Aikido training does not involve fighting.
I can certainly buy that some highly skilled aikidoka with deep internal skills and tremendous experience can do all of the levels you listed in your doctrine of least possible harm without "fighting" except the last one.

I see an obvious contradiction in terms of killing an attacker without "fighting". Giving you the benefit of the doubt, I have been looking at this from every angle I could for a while now trying to employ lateral thinking to reconcile this contradiction with some deeper truth(s).

If I understand your answer, Mary would kill the person she could not incapacitate - if she were using "aikido" techniques - by instead using her "other" practical no nonsense techniques that could be employed when other methods failed.

Are you saying that in that case she would be fighting, but she would not be using her "aikido" techniques at that point? So basically when it gets to "fighting" she is no longer doing "aikido". That still seems incongruous with what seems to be her stated and implied principles. For example:

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Fight does not work at all in Aikido.
fighting and Aikido...it seems like another planet.
train in Aikido "to not fight"
Let's talk about how we don't find any fighting in Aikido.
Or another possibility:
Are you saying that since her ideas for self defense grew out of her aikido training, that she would employ her "other" practical no nonsense techniques in such a way that she would kill the person without fighting?

If so; HOW? The only answers I can come up with are dishonest and/or unrealistic. For example:

a) playing with semantics - like, well I would kill this person who was skillfully trying to kill me, but I'd do it without "the mind of fighting". To me that amounts to hand waving and I would consider it a dishonest answer until someone is willing and able to convince me otherwise.

b) you manage to accidentally kill the person - like in a pink panther movie. But then how are you training to accidentally do that - and teaching your students to accidentally kill skillful attackers. I think it is funny, but unrealistic.

I actually don't mean to back you into a corner here. I just cannot follow what this thread is truly about.

Rob
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Old 05-14-2008, 05:35 AM   #68
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Hi Rob -

You're confusing fighting with self defense. When I speak of fighting I'm implying fighting in the sense that there are certain rules that are agreed upon and followed by the participants ( I believe this is what Mary had in mind also I'm sure she'll correct me if I'm amiss ).

When I speak of self defense all bets are off; any and all actions are ultimately justifiable. That said, the doctrine of least possible harm allows me to structure an appropriate response in a self defense situation. I formulated the doctrine as a result of my Aikido training.

To repeat, our Aikido training does not involve fighting. If you'd like to see what I mean you're welcome to join us for a class next time you're out our way.

Best,

Ron

Last edited by RonRagusa : 05-14-2008 at 05:40 AM.
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Old 05-14-2008, 05:59 AM   #69
Buck
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

I am sorry I didn't check back in on this earlier. I guess I don't know women very well do I...opps! What we wish for is different then what it is. I like to live a fantasy.
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Old 05-14-2008, 06:33 AM   #70
RonRagusa
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Hi Rob -

One other thing... the doctrine of least possible harm isn't like a flight of steps designed to be scaled one at a time in sequence. Think of it more like Bohr's quantum atom where electrons can move from one energy state to another without having to 'pass thru' the intervening energy states to get there.

Best,

Ron
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Old 05-14-2008, 03:42 PM   #71
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Ron,

I assume you are talking about "sport" fighting when you say "rules are agreed upon"?

There are always rules in all fights, some are understood, others are not. You might have your own rules, and your opponent has his, but you guys might not agree to what those rules are and may be playing two entirely different set of rules! (Not sport fighting, but other than sport).

Doctrine of "least harm" should always apply to a certain degree. Even in the military we follow that concept through Geneva Convention. You are only allowed to use firepower and force appropriate for the military objective. You are never supposed to use force simply for the sake of using it, use it indiscriminately, or use force that might be deemed excessive for the objective.

Obviously there is a wider range of force used in some situations rather than others. Philosophically though, you should always apply the doctrine of least harm.

In a civilian situation you will get yourself into a bind by not following this in most cases if you use force that can be proven to be excessive.

An example would be a man that you beat unconscious and then went back and picked up a tire iron and bludgeoned him. That would probably get you in trouble or at least require you to get a good attorney to have you plead emotional trauma, insanity or what not.

double tapping is not allowed by most civil societies!

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Old 05-15-2008, 10:03 AM   #72
Ketsan
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Hi Rob -

You're confusing fighting with self defense. When I speak of fighting I'm implying fighting in the sense that there are certain rules that are agreed upon and followed by the participants ( I believe this is what Mary had in mind also I'm sure she'll correct me if I'm amiss ).

When I speak of self defense all bets are off; any and all actions are ultimately justifiable. That said, the doctrine of least possible harm allows me to structure an appropriate response in a self defense situation. I formulated the doctrine as a result of my Aikido training.

To repeat, our Aikido training does not involve fighting. If you'd like to see what I mean you're welcome to join us for a class next time you're out our way.

Best,

Ron
A situation with no rules is a fight, a situation with rules is sparring, no matter how hard you hit the other person.
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Old 05-15-2008, 10:56 AM   #73
philippe willaume
 
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Hello
Is there really that much a dichotomy between fighting and aikido or between fighting with rule and fighting with no rules?

We could say that some set of rules makes it easier to go full blast because you control severely the risk of serious injury and that is a fair comment. But really in competition people try their hardest within what they can get away with, which pretty much what you do in fighting/self defence.

If you believe that you practice aikido as martial arts then I would say that it can not exist with the fight element in it.
Personally I think that fighting element should be present even if you are practicing aikido for more philosophical or recreation purpose, that being said I can understand and accept if that aspect is not there.

The great thing about aikido is that you deliver a technique as if you wanted to end the fight there and still have granularity if the damaging effect of your technique. From not at all to as much as you possibly can)

Of course you do not need to be Bjorn the berserker all the time. There is value to train in a much less martial way as well, and like sex it is better done between consenting adult anyway.

Phil
Ps (Berserker chiefs seems to generally come with the name Bjorn in sagas)

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Old 05-15-2008, 11:08 AM   #74
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
A situation with no rules is a fight, a situation with rules is sparring, no matter how hard you hit the other person.
Fights have rules, self defense has rules, war has rules.... Break the rules and you'll be punished.

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Old 05-15-2008, 01:21 PM   #75
Mary Eastland
 
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Dojo: Berkshire Hills Aikido
Join Date: Aug 2002
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Re: Fight does not work at all in Aikido.

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Fights have rules, self defense has rules, war has rules.... Break the rules and you'll be punished.
I would rather be judged by a jury of my peers than an ex-husband or partner who was trying to own me.
Mary
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