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Old 01-20-2002, 01:21 PM   #26
shihonage
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Quote:
Originally posted by Edward

I think the main value of Aikido resides in other aspects than in its martial efficiency.

I think in theory aikidoka don't fight.
Edward + Yoga = Perfect Match !
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Old 01-20-2002, 05:43 PM   #27
JMCavazos
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After the last Lennox Lewis fight with (I forget his name) I was really interested in what the other guy said. (Remember that this other guy knocked out Lennox Lewis in their first bout) The other guy said that he could never get off a knock out blow because Lennox kept out of knockout range (or something to that effect).

Anyway, I think that ma-ai is just that, keeping out of the other person's "Knockout" range - it doesn't mean that you will never get hit. Then wait for the opportunity to apply an Aikido principle and a technique will come out of it.

This is pretty interesting. Oh, I watched the Steven Seagal barroom fight scene last night! Pretty neat, but the punch that the old man boxer threw is pretty much the same kind of punch we practice with regularly - not really a punch a real boxer might throw.
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Old 01-21-2002, 01:11 AM   #28
gilgul1
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Boxing

Hello everybody.
I have gotten many different viewpoints on this subject. One person sees Aikido training as self-defense training; he wants to be able to hold his own in a brawl.
Myself, I would run away before risking injury to myself or another. I would give away my money and my car before trying to kotegaish some hijacker. My Sensei says that Aikido is slower than many other styles, and that the main thing that will serve one in such a situation is a "sense". This "sense", he explained, is knowing when an attack will come; I interpret it as several internal mechanisms that we train: ma'ai was mentioned in the thread, upright posture, that "weighted" feeling you have when you've executed a technique correctly, and that "moment of Aiki" before the technique begins when the attack begins and first contact is made. These and other internal trainings are the sine qua non of Aikido. Many of the techniques would be alkward and downright ineffective without these disciplines, they wouln't even work on the mat! Sensei also demonstrates sometimes what would happen in a committed attack--he steps off the line and strikes once, and it's over. He's not one to mince works or actions.

Good thread!
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Old 01-21-2002, 01:41 AM   #29
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Interestingly, I have read that aikido is first and foremost a philosophy of harmony. The martial applications flow from this ideal and not the other way around. Other arts most certainly are more effective combatively. Aikido though, I think, is something special. It creates peace, awareness, calmness in the individual and situations. Many other arts do not focus on these attributes nearly as much. It reminds me of the story of the 3 samurai asked to walk into a room to talk to their lord. He had placed a piece of wood above the door ready to fall as a test to see which was the most skilled. The first samurai walked into the room and as the wood fell he jumped aside and drew his sword. The second samurai walked into the room and was skilled enough to draw his sword and split the wood as it fell. The third samurai however sensing no danger, simply opened the door and allowed the wood to fall harmlessly to the ground. The lord gave him the greatest praise. Anyways, I think aikido has more answers to preventing violence than just defeating it.

Good post. Most of these 'what if's' suck.

Quote:
Originally posted by Edward
I think one must be reasonable in one's expectations. Before I took up Aikido, I knew that it is a "soft" MA, which purpose is to subdue an unsuspecting attacker without hurting him. Nothing in Aikido training suggests that we would be able to "compete" against other MA, neither in terms of violence of the techniques, nor in terms of the physical training which is by far inferior to the standard training of let's say an amateur boxer.

I think the main value of Aikido resides in other aspects than in its martial efficiency.

I think in theory aikidoka don't fight. In case one is put in a situation where fighting is anavoidable, probably the most important factors in determining the winner are physical strength and ruthlessness. Apart from that, we have seen in competitions that even with a clear winner and looser, if you repeat the match under exactly the same conditions, the outcome is not necessarily similar.

Just a few thoughts.

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 01-21-2002, 07:16 AM   #30
Bernie V
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Ai symbol

I agree with alot of the posts that Aikido is a way to avoid conflicts and to resolve situations peacefully with minimal force. I
took aikido for this reason and I feel that I would seek the the peaceful ,nonconfrontational route if possible. But I am a realist and If I have to fight I want to be the one standing. I have always been interested in the martial arts and I have dabbled in it over the years but several situations recently involving my family have propelled me to get serious about it. It's a violent world out there and I don't see it getting any better. I would gladly give my life to protect my wife and kids that is why I want to train as if I am going up against Mike Tyson and Bruce Lee at the same time. Outlandish? Yes, but that is the way I approach it mentally.

" a time to tear and a time to mend
a time to be silent and a time to speak
a time to love and a time to hate
a time for War and a time for peace"
Ecc. 3:7,8

" seek peace at all costs but prepare for War"

BernieV
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Old 01-21-2002, 08:00 AM   #31
Edward
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bernie V
I would gladly give my life to protect my wife and kids that is why I want to train as if I am going up against Mike Tyson and Bruce Lee at the same time.
My advice for you and I'm very serious. If this is your purpose, MA won't help much. Buy a gun and learn how to use it. This is the best way of delf-defence.

Practice Aikido because you like it, not to defend yourself as it will take you at least 30 years to be able to do it efficiently.

Cheers,
Edward

Last edited by Edward : 01-21-2002 at 08:04 AM.
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Old 01-21-2002, 08:44 AM   #32
Brian H
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Quote:
Originally posted by Edward


My advice for you and I'm very serious. If this is your purpose, MA won't help much. Buy a gun and learn how to use it. This is the best way of delf-defence.

Practice Aikido because you like it, not to defend yourself as it will take you at least 30 years to be able to do it efficiently.

Cheers,
Edward
Edward, I agree that weapons are a better option than unarmed combat where a life is in the balance (and as I type this I have a pistol on my hip). However, you just can't shoot unarmed people for assaulting you. (That is not to say that unarmed people can't kill you or be repelled using "deadly" force, its just a rather fine line) --- Besides Bernie hails from the People Republic of New Jersey where they frown on that sort of thing.

A trained boxer uses jabs to distract and unbalance his opponent. The jab can hurt, but generally will not seriously injure the opponent by itself (that comes when the boxer follows up with a committed punch that delivers a telling blow.

I'm not a boxer, or even a fan, but as someone who has a martial interest in fighting I have watched afew matches. Most boxers seem avoid getting hit by moving as opposed to blocking. Anytime I saw a boxer put up his hands to block his head it was because he was getting the snot beat out of him and had stopped moving.

Controlling Ma-ai is the key, if you "move like a butterfly" to the rear or the side then the boxer can not jab you, but must extend into a punch (with a greater opening and loss of center), then you can "sting like a bee."

Also boxing DOES NOT WORK at very close range. Two drunken college buddies were horsing around in the dorm one time. One was a golden gloves boxer and the other was a wrestler. The boxer was dancing around the wrestler and slap boxing him in the face while teasing him. After about twenty slaps the wrester stepped in grabbed the boxer around the body, flipped him and pinned him. The boxer was not pleased.
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Old 01-21-2002, 09:06 AM   #33
Bernie V
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Brian

I agree with you totally. a gun is not an option because the state and my wife ( who I fear more than most men) would not allow it.
your take on the boxing aspect is correct. I have sparred a couple of times now and I can see that ma-ai is the key. the next couple of times I am going to try more of my aikido expertize because my boxing instructor is also a martial artist who will let my try it.
I also have some ideas if I am up close
to him and momentariilly in contact with his body. some type of irimi move maybe. but I'll try them first before I discuss them. also, you are right, most likely an assailant will do other things than just box, but as my instructor tells us knowing a little bit about every art (boxing,judo, etc) can only help

BernieV
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Old 01-21-2002, 09:22 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bernie V
I have sparred a couple of times now and I can see that ma-ai is the key. the next couple of times I am going to try more of my aikido expertize because my boxing instructor is also a martial artist who will let my try it.
I also have some ideas if I am up close
to him and momentariilly in contact with his body. some type of irimi move maybe. but I'll try them first before I discuss them. also, you are right, most likely an assailant will do other things than just box, but as my instructor tells us knowing a little bit about every art (boxing,judo, etc) can only help
Personally I would be very interested in hearing the results of your experimenting. Keep us informed.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 01-21-2002, 12:44 PM   #35
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I notice that frequently when these types of questions come up, the answer, "ma-ai" is presented as the key to prevailing in the situation for the Aikidoist. I sometimes wonder if Aikidoists put too much hope in this concept. This may just be a reflection of my limited knowledge on the topic

If you can't punch them, and you can't kick them, and you can't close to grapple with them, then maai is your only hope.

I want to train as if I am going up against Mike Tyson and Bruce Lee at the same time. Outlandish? Yes, but that is the way I approach it mentally.

That is the best way to learn the real meaning of harmony.

Also boxing DOES NOT WORK at very close range...after about twenty slaps the wrester stepped in grabbed the boxer around the body, flipped him and pinned him.

Twenty uncontested hits, and you say it didn't work? Do you suppose he got his Golden Gloves title by lightly slapping his opponents?
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Old 01-21-2002, 01:54 PM   #36
Brian H
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Elbow

I don't box. I am going to get close enough to knock his block off with an elbow strike or back off to the point I can safely deploy a weapon (Pepper, baton, gun etc.).

I'm not saying twenty real hits would have been pleasant, more that when your uke is in contact range, then boxing has limited value. When a boxer gets tired of getting smacked around he closes to kissing range to get his bearings and slow the other guy down. Then the ref pushes them apart and they get back to beating the snot out of each other. Now given that a boxer knows this they will back off to control Ma-ai and keep pummelling you.
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Old 01-21-2002, 02:09 PM   #37
Carl Simard
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What about psychology ?

Well, it certainly depends on the "why" of the fighting, but what about the psychological side of fighting ?

What I means is that, for what I know, aikidoka usually don't look at all like born killers or rough guy looking for trouble... If someone (a boxer or anyone else) choose you as an opponent, it may well be because you don't look too dangerous and seems an easy fight. Simply standing there without looking afraid may simply make your opponnent unsure of end of the fight gladly forget about it if the opportunity present, you simply have to let the door opens for a "peaceful" ending...

Another thing is that aikido is not the most known martial art, which may be somewhat of an advantage. In this case, if you're facing a boxer, you know what he will try to do to you and can act accordingly. The reverse will not be true most of the time: the boxer will not have the faintest idea of what you will trying to do. He simply see that you seems to exactly know what you are doing and don't know what to do against that and sense that he may be up for a surprise if he do the wrong thing... That simple thing may make someone lose his confidence and wanting to get out of a fight he's not sure to win...
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Old 01-21-2002, 03:38 PM   #38
Brian Crowley
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There are a few authors that I think are relevant to this thread. I apologize for repeating myself from other posts. However, I can't resist because these authors are worth repeating:

First, in Ellis Amdur's book (see his website for details) is an excellent essay that is titled (I think),"So how tough do you want to be when you grow-up ?" My copy is on loan to someone, but as I recall the article humorously discusses reasons for MA training. I think any martial artist will find a few useful insights in this book.

Second, John Perkins has an excellent book on self-defense ("Attack Proof"). After reading the book you realize that if you are being seriously attacked it is unlikely to be in any conventional MA attack. He has excellent advice on what it takes to survive and the drills in the book are second to none.

Last, but certainly not least, Sanford Strong has an excellent book called "Strong on Defense". His main theme, which is well supported by his examples, is that mental preparation is the critical factor that allows someone to survive a violent encounter. The book is truly an eye-opener.

I can almost guarantee that after you read any of these (especially the last), you will realize that whether an Aikidoka can be beat a boxer will probably never have any practical significance for you unless you decide to join some kind of "fight club". I still enjoy the debates, but these books provide much needed perspective.

Brian
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Old 01-21-2002, 07:47 PM   #39
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Re: What about psychology ?

Quote:
Originally posted by Carl Simard


What I means is that, for what I know, aikidoka usually don't look at all like born killers or rough guy looking for trouble... If someone (a boxer or anyone else) choose you as an opponent, it may well be because you don't look too dangerous and seems an easy fight. Simply standing there without looking afraid may simply make your opponnent unsure of end of the fight gladly forget about it if the opportunity present, you simply have to let the door opens for a "peaceful" ending...

Very interesting point, that I happen to have discussed recently with my Shihan. He's of the opinion that in 99% of cases, the agressor choses a victim who's smaller, weaker, less impressive than he is. Only a fool, no matter how strong, would attack a bigger stronger man, this is the rule of nature.

Now if you happen to be in an unfriendly environment, like a bar for example, if you act as a harmless person, then it's like inviting trouble. If you have a gun or any weapon, make sure every body sees you do, if you have big forearms (from bokken practice ), show them. Always keep a bottle of beer handy. This way, you can prevent a potential fight before it happens.

But I think if you do the above too obviously, or not naturally enough, you'll be inviting more trouble

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 01-22-2002, 07:55 AM   #40
Carl Simard
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small story

It was simply remembering me a short story that happened to me, well before I was doing aikido, that shows what I mean by the "psychological side".

I was something like 12 and was coming back home. I simply cut to a small trail in a small wood to save time. In the trail, 4 local bums stop me and ask me to give them my bicycle. Since I'm more a "low medium" size guy, I probably look like an easy one. However, I simply stand there and tell:"Since you're four and I'm alone, you can certainly take my bike if you want. However, be prepared to get some black eyes and broken teeth before getting it.", and simply stand there and wait, trying not to look afraid (which I was!). I was telling the truth: I was knowing that, at four against me, I simply have no chance and that they will rapidly overhelm me. At that time, I was doing judo and was also knowing however that the first one or two coming near me can get a run for their money... After maybe one minute of staying there silently and seeing that I would not give them the bike easily, the leader of the bums simply said: "Ok, we let you pass.". It was the only time I get problem with them. They never tried me again. At some point, it was a fight, but not a physical one. And winning the psychological part can be all you need... The leader was knowing that he can get the bike. However, he was also knowing that, as the leader, he would have to be first, showing the way. If he get a broken teeth, he would look like a foul in face of his mates, even if he's able to pin me afterward. My bike was simply doesn't worth the risk...

Even if someone know that they can win against you, they will not necesseraly want to risk to be hurt. Simply make them believe that you can be a tough nut to crack can be enough to make them look elsewhere.
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Old 01-22-2002, 08:04 AM   #41
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Who do you train with Carl? I notice we are both in Quebec City.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 01-22-2002, 08:34 AM   #42
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Hey Bernie!

Here's a couple of thoughts; I know that this post has rambled on and on about "combative reality" and "correct ma ai", which is all well and good. But I think you wanted something simpler, no? We always look at things from an inner to outer perspective, subjectively; in other words we look to our own weaknesses and compare them to strengths. The case in point here about "Aikido vs. Boxing".
Here are some thoughts (which I don't take credit for):
1. In a bout against a puncher, you will get punched. (With a knife, you'll get cut; with a wrestler, wrestled; etc.) The effect of that punch does not have to be exactly what the pugilist wanted it to be though. In other words, while still getting hit, what happens, because of correct posture, movement, etc., only 25 percent of the force exerted reaches its target? In Aikido, we don't think we should get hit at all.
2. There are illegal things in boxing, like "covering" (and ear-biting). What happens when you close distance on a boxer so much that they can't get the right distance to throw a punch? It doesn't feel comfortable, and you will get hit, but refer to point number one.
3. When a boxer throws a punch, they stop their feet and use their upper body predominantly (good boxers like Ali could "float" a little). Pay attention to these moments and move into an "uncomfortable" distance. It think that this is good boxing, or good fencing, or good judo, or good aikido. Most of us get strength by stopping our feet and exerting force against the earth. What would happen to most boxers if they were wearing rollerskates?
I hope these points/questions give you some more perspective, and help you in your experimentation. We do a lot of this in my dojo, and I find it really fascinating (despite the occasional "memory knot").

Jim Vance
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Old 01-22-2002, 09:50 AM   #43
Edward
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Quote:
Originally posted by BRIAN H


Edward, I agree that weapons are a better option than unarmed combat where a life is in the balance (and as I type this I have a pistol on my hip). However, you just can't shoot unarmed people for assaulting you. (That is not to say that unarmed people can't kill you or be repelled using "deadly" force, its just a rather fine line) --- Besides Bernie hails from the People Republic of New Jersey where they frown on that sort of thing.

Hi!

Eventhough I do not carry a gun myself probably because I do not need to since I live in one of the safest cities in the world, however I do not have any taboo for guns and would carry one if I had any need for it.

It's true that by law you cannot shoot someone who attacks you unarmed, but I don't know many people who would attack someone knowing he's armed. Guns can be the best deterrants to violence (if used strictly for this purpose) and definitely a better option than Aikido

Moreover, I believe that a Japanese sword or a knife can be more dangerous for the untrained user than a firearm.

But this is unrelated to the thread subject so please forgive me.

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 01-22-2002, 09:53 AM   #44
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Great points, Jim. I agree that closing is probably the best strategy against a boxer. The only problem is that if you don't train to fight in close, you are both in an uncomfortable environment. It sounds like your dojo does some of this training, but most of the Aikdo dojos I have been in do not.

All the "dirty tricks" that we have mentioned using in close are available to the boxer too - ie. elbows, biting, head-butts, etc. In fact, sometimes those tricks pop out during actual boxing matches - as evidenced by the famous ear biting incident. Therefore in a hypothetical example, the boxer and Aikidoka are now standing nearly toe to toe. Now neither is really doing the art he is comfortable with. There are now many other factors that will probably decide the winner.
Who is bigger ? Who is more ruthless ? Who is more comfortable fighting in this range for whatever reason ? Do either of you have a knife ?

So yes, taking the fight in close nuetralizes a lot of the boxer's strengths. If you are the one to close you probably also have the element of surprise on your side & maybe even some control over the situation. However, for what happens next, I think that you are no longer looking at the example of boxer vs. Aikidoist, but rather who is the better street fighter or grappler.

Brian
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Old 01-22-2002, 09:58 AM   #45
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Re: small story

Quote:
Originally posted by Carl Simard


"Since you're four and I'm alone, you can certainly take my bike if you want. However, be prepared to get some black eyes and broken teeth before getting it."

Hi!

It's amazing how wording can have a dramatical influence on the outcome.

By admitting that they can take the bike, you preserved your adversaries' "face", but showed determination not to give up easily. However, had you said: " Over my dead body" or " Come and try to get it" I'm sure you would have left them no choice but to attack you since you challenged their ability of taking the bike.

I think there is a lesson to be learned here.

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 01-22-2002, 10:14 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally posted by PeterR
Who do you train with Carl? I notice we are both in Quebec City.
I train with David Mooney and Serge Marquis, at both dojos (CEGEP Sainte-Foy and CJVC).
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Old 01-22-2002, 10:31 AM   #47
Bernie V
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Smile

Very good points Jim and Brian. After seeing too many Steven Segal movies we tend to think we won't get hit at all. But my
sparring sessions so far have shown me your going to get hit until you have reached a high technical level in Aikido. I appreciate
the posts urging to try to avoid fighting
and that is the first option, but there will be a time when fighting is the only way and that is what I want to explore now.

BernieV
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Old 01-22-2002, 10:54 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally posted by Carl Simard
I train with David Mooney and Serge Marquis, at both dojos (CEGEP Sainte-Foy and CJVC).
Do I know you.

I used to train with David Mooney until I opened my own group whose days clashed with the CJVC classes. I find Serge to be one of the best Aikikai teachers I have run into. Very very good attitude. David is good to train with also.

My dojo is shut down now in preparation for my move back to Japan so I do have time to pay a visit. Maybe tonight - yeah I think I'll do that. 7:30 right?

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 01-22-2002, 11:03 AM   #49
Carl Simard
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bernie V
Very good points Jim and Brian. After seeing too many Steven Segal movies we tend to think we won't get hit at all. But my
sparring sessions so far have shown me your going to get hit until you have reached a high technical level in Aikido.
You're absolutly right. If you're taking a fight, wanted or not, against an opponnent, boxer or anything, you must be conscient that you may get hurt even if you end up winning the fight. Against a boxer, it may means that you may end up with a black eye or a broken nose, even if you throw him to the ground and control him with a lock at the end... Any fight has a big part of risk. If you're not willing to assume that risk, avoid the fight... There's no magic there and it's true no matter the MA or fighting style you do. There's simply no single art that is 100% effective all the time. What MA can do is simply to put the balance a bit more on your side... It's not like the movies where the hero simply crushed his opponents without a bruise... In the end, it will probably the one that is the more skilled in his art that gets the best chance to win. No matter if it is aikido against a boxer. Bad aikidoka against a good boxer means that the boxer probably wins, and the reverse is also true...
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Old 01-22-2002, 11:10 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bernie V
But my sparring sessions so far have shown me your going to get hit until you have reached a high technical level in Aikido.
I think you are going to get hit even then if your opponent also has a high level of ability. Where you get hit less is when there is a large gap in technical ability. Aikido, even at high levels, doesn't make one immune to getting hit.

However, another myth is one-punch, one-kill, or however that one goes. The head is a pretty hard object. If you are moving and keep your hands up it won't be nearly so easy for a boxer to take you out in a squared up fight. You might even want them to hit you in some places. There's a reason clean knock out blows make the highlight films.

It isn't Seagal movies that make Aikidoists think they are invincible. It's the training methodology. Ever see a student take down a sensei or point out a sensei's openings? Sometimes, but it's pretty rare isn't it?

Same thing in class. Strike, fall, strike, fall, strike, fall, switch, repeat...... Do that a few thousand times and pretty soon you start thinking you are pretty good. Get a little rank added to it and you start getting really good.

Last edited by Erik : 01-22-2002 at 11:12 AM.
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Poll: How important a goal do you feel is the "aikido" notion of defending yourself while minimizing or negating damage done to your attacker? AikiWeb System AikiWeb System 22 10-12-2005 05:11 PM
Defending against Aikido actoman Training 184 05-28-2005 01:40 PM
Poll: How realistic a goal do you feel is the "aikido" notion of defending yourself while minimizing or negating damage done to your attacker? AikiWeb System AikiWeb System 26 05-16-2005 05:12 AM
aikido aggainst a boxer solidsteven General 47 11-26-2003 11:05 PM


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