Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > General

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-03-2009, 06:04 AM   #51
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Germany
Offline
Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Clarence Couch wrote: View Post
An argument is when two folks try to impose their opinion on each other. I don't believe that's happening here. So exactly how effective is Aikido in combat? Anybody here use Aikido in combat with enough regularity to make a definitive conclusion?
Gene,

What is your point or agenda here? Is it to learn aikido, expand your knowledge? Or is it to confirm what you believe you already know or suspect about aikido?

You will definitely find the answer you are looking for, everyone always does.

As Aiki "DO" is the "WAY" of Ai Ki. it really makes it a philosophical methodology.

A Methodology. I think that is worth repeating.

Ellis eloguently already addressed this in another thread that I am pretty sure you already read as you were participating in it.

You don't fight or typically apply a martial methodology directly....you use your "SELF", as a DO the lessons become ingrained into you and hopefully they provide you some sort of framework or structure which helps you in some way.

Use aikido in combat? Well I think that would depend on your definition on what the spectrum of combat includes, anything from a non-violent de-escalation, situational awareness, to full on violent attack.

We have plently of Police Officers on this board, I have a number in my Dojo as well as military, and FBI agents that have been in "situations" and still study aikido and will tell you that the training is good for what the training is designed to do.

I can tell you I have used many of the "awareness" lessons obtained through the study of budo to avoid a few very dangerous situations. Mainly through the keen understanding of Ma ai, and learning to read body language.

It must not be so common, as I have spent countless hours with other soldiers showing them why they need to change their position realitive to how they are standing when interviewing or talking to suspects. How to de-escalate situations, and how to shutdown risk.

Use it actual combat? Well if you are talking "Physical" skills, well no I have not actually been in a real "combat" encounter. There are plently of folks that have been there.

They will tell you they kicked, punched, grappled, and struggled in the fight and prevailed.

Did they use "aikido" well I think that is a matter of personal perspective and what they consider to be the boundaries of their training. Most warriors don't really try and confine themselves or define themselves to one particular label or methodology. That is dangerous and will get you killed.

Only folks with a limited understanding of what Martial Methodologies are about and no real fighting experience at all are concerned with such labels, parameters, and definittions in my experiences.

 
Old 01-03-2009, 09:05 AM   #52
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,805
United_States
Offline
Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
Please Mary for my part it was nothing but a friendly ribbing that has been going on between the Services since the Services were founded nothing more...
Understood; it seemed to be heating up for others. I suppose the thread was already sufficiently derailed that it was a waste of time making the effort, though.
 
Old 01-03-2009, 11:24 AM   #53
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,639
Offline
Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

This is one of those discussions that seems never to get resolved. So I will make my once a year contribution to it.

Aikido, as an art created by Morihei Ueshiba, has nothing to do with combat. It is not about self defense in a conventional sense although some level of defensive capability should be a by-product of good training.

Aikido is an art that was created as a "michi" or "path" which focuses primarily on the study of "connection" and "integration". It is designed to gradually remove the sense of separateness from each other and our environment we all have. It does so by striving for technique using "aiki" rather than mere physical force.

The requirement of relaxation, both mental and physical, needed to execute technique on this level is, for many people, quite transformative. Aiki requires a willingness to "connect". Most Aikido is done by people who do not really wish to connect.

The "fighters" wish to win, to defeat, to maintain their separateness by overcoming the "enemy", whoever that is. Generally, these folks have technique characterized by a lot of strength and tension.

The "spiritual" folks go to the other extreme and, despite their assertion that Aikido is about "conflict resolution", simply remove all conflict from the practice. Their practice is generally characterized by non-existent attacks, lots of graceful movement with little content, and, surprisingly, no real connection at all, just avoidance.

In my opinion, both of these archetypal groups are fundamentally motivated by fear at the heart of things. Aikido practice is fundamentally about transforming our fearful natures into something else. It is about attaining an internal balance, both mental and physical which allows one to let the world in rather than hold it away. The more one relaxes, the more one can develop that internal balance, the more the stresses of the world simply pass through one without taking hold, without causing damage, and without creating that need to push back which causes so much pain and destruction in our world.

Too many people try to reshape our art in their own image. They try to make Aikido into something that supports their own predisposition rather than requiring that they themselves change.

The fact that Aikido, as art of personal transformation, has a martial paradigm as its methodology does not mean that it was intended to be about fighting at all. It is no more about fighting or combat than kenjutsu. No one does kenjutsu thinking he is preparing for combat with swords in any practical sense. No one sits around and discusses whether mixed martial arts are superior to kenjutsu or whether kenjutsu works in the "real world" as opposed to some ill defined "unreal world". It is true that, for anyone involved in combat as a professional, the study of the principles of kenjutsu can be applied but it requires some translation into modern combat reality (like guns).

Aikido is the same. The fact that Aikido contains techniques that it shares in common with arts concerned with developing combat capability allows some to mistake the purpose of the art. I taught for many years a system of police defensive tactics to law enforcement and security personnel based on Aikido principles and techniques. It was not Aikido, it was Aikido based.

On the other hand, taking the "martial" out of the art results in an art which is really just a dance. Now dance is great. But dance is essentially a cooperative enterprise. It does require connection but it does not require an understanding of the energetics of connection which are crucial to the martial application of technique. I do not believe that dance is a form of practice that is primarily focused on transforming the individual's fearful nature and I do believe that about Aikido.

Aikido is like a big Koan. It requires the ability to hold opposites at the same time and bring them together. Most people simply try to pursue one side of the other, never trying to bring the opposites into balance. Yet, balance is what the whole practice is about.

Aikido is a form of Budo. If the Budo is left out of Aikido it is nothing but a form of interesting aerobic movement done by like minded individuals in a social club called a dojo.

But focus on combat, constant tailoring of the practice to attain some level of practical fighting skill in preparation for some future confrontation with an as yet not encountered enemy simply misses the whole point of Aikido. Aikido is about not having an enemy. It is about reaching an understanding that there is no enemy apart from oneself. O-Sensei repeatedly stated that there is simply no separation between us and it is a misunderstanding of that fact that causes violence. He also stated that if one is in the state of ignorance, one is defeated before he even attacks. The practice is about understanding that there "is no spoon" so to speak.

I see very little discussion that indicates that many folks are pursuing a practice of the art which would eventually result in an understanding of that kind of connection. If folks are so worried about combat, find an art which is designed for combat. Don't try to devolve an art which is so much more than than into something far more limited.

Ok, that should hold me for 2009 on the subject. It's not that I suspect that this topic will go away but it would be nice to see it go to a back page once in a while. It doesn't bode well for the art that these discussions seem to get, by far, the most attention and participation.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
 
Old 01-03-2009, 12:02 PM   #54
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,113
United_States
Offline
Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Ok, that should hold me for 2009 on the subject. It's not that I suspect that this topic will go away but it would be nice to see it go to a back page once in a while. It doesn't bode well for the art that these discussions seem to get, by far, the most attention and participation.
Thank you George. You make some great points! I always feel like I take a lot away from your posts, and as usual, this is no exception.
Happy New Year,
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
 
Old 01-03-2009, 12:26 PM   #55
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Germany
Offline
Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Thanks for your comments and wisdom George.

 
Old 01-03-2009, 02:21 PM   #56
jennifer paige smith
 
jennifer paige smith's Avatar
Dojo: Confluence Aiki-Dojo / Santa Cruz Sword Club
Location: Santa Cruz
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,049
United_States
Offline
Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Thanks for the link. It looks very interesting and very well done. Looks like it might actually be a good piece about the issue vice a polictical agenda.

Thanks again!
You're very welcome. I did very much appreciate it's lack of political agenda as I think everyone loses when topics become obscured by such. That is, the important aspect, human wellness, can become lost.

I think our collective budo traditions are exemplary in providing a balance between sustainability and intervention. I believe if people were introduced to aikido as a method of strategy/ethic their combat fatigue would be lessened. In that sense I feel it is effective in combat, because it allows for a person's life to continue in health should it survive a combat environment. I believe soldiers hearts, which tend to be uncommonly big ( ), would benefit from the ethics of aiki-budo engagement.

These are my heart felt beliefs.

Perhaps aikido would be a good art to subscribe to during occupational withdraw(i.e. when we're leaving a war zone as it is being stabilized) or for soldiers who are staying on to assist in re-establishing communities post combat.( Again, I apologize if my language is cumbersome.)

I also believe that these thoughts are in line with George's post above, which I whole heartedly concur with. Thanks George!

What do you think?

Last edited by jennifer paige smith : 01-03-2009 at 02:26 PM.

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
 
Old 01-03-2009, 03:28 PM   #57
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Germany
Offline
Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

I share your hypothesis Jennifer.

Have you by chance read "In Search of the Warrior Spirit"?

Dr Strozzi-Heckler covers alot of this in that book.

This links to Amazon Book: http://cli.gs/6q30SS

The good news is that the Army has instituted the Modern Army Combatives Program, which is a form of budo. Although I am not sure how many people identify with it for the reasons you state, but it is a step in the direction.

The army also has started a whole program on "Battlemind" as well.

https://www.battlemind.army.mil/

While we might not recognize it in the form we see in the dojo, there are things that are being done these days.

I agree though that for many, budo and particularly Aikido, for the reasons Dr Strozzi-Heckler outlines in his book would be a good thing too!

 
Old 01-03-2009, 04:43 PM   #58
mickeygelum
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
mickeygelum's Avatar
Dojo: Warren Budokan, Ohio USA
Location: Youngstown, Ohio
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 502
United_States
Offline
Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Did they use "aikido" well I think that is a matter of personal perspective and what they consider to be the boundaries of their training. Most warriors don't really try and confine themselves or define themselves to one particular label or methodology. That is dangerous and will get you killed.

Only folks with a limited understanding of what Martial Methodologies are about and no real fighting experience at all are concerned with such labels, parameters, and definittions in my experiences.
Very well stated, Sir.

Mickey
 
Old 01-03-2009, 06:15 PM   #59
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,805
United_States
Offline
Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
This is one of those discussions that seems never to get resolved. So I will make my once a year contribution to it.
And the best I can come up with is circus ponies. That was brilliant, thank you.
 
Old 01-03-2009, 06:57 PM   #60
Erick Mead
 
Erick Mead's Avatar
Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,499
United_States
Offline
Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
The requirement of relaxation, both mental and physical, needed to execute technique on this level is, for many people, quite transformative. Aiki requires a willingness to "connect". Most Aikido is done by people who do not really wish to connect.

The "fighters" wish to win, to defeat, to maintain their separateness by overcoming the "enemy", whoever that is. Generally, these folks have technique characterized by a lot of strength and tension.

The "spiritual" folks go to the other extreme and, despite their assertion that Aikido is about "conflict resolution", simply remove all conflict from the practice. Their practice is generally characterized by non-existent attacks, lots of graceful movement with little content, and, surprisingly, no real connection at all, just avoidance. In my opinion, both of these archetypal groups are fundamentally motivated by fear at the heart of things. Aikido practice is fundamentally about transforming our fearful natures into something else.
Flip sides of the same coin. On the one hand "fighters" attempt to eliminate, and "spiritual" types attempt to avoid, the sources by which they both fear their freedom will be diminished. Aiki, seen as a cyclic process allows one to act fully when the opponent cannot resist, and allows the opponent to act fully when one does not resist at all. Perfect freedom for both. No fear necessary.

In juuji, there is absolutely no resistance, it creates resonance feedback and a creative, chaotic development gives rise to sequences of interaction that neither could have predicted (takemusu aiki) -- which is not possible if either one avoids joining in the conflict that drives it, and impossible if one is competing to win or defeat the opponent in that conflict.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
 
Old 01-03-2009, 07:30 PM   #61
L. Camejo
 
L. Camejo's Avatar
Dojo: Ontario Martial Arts
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,423
Canada
Offline
Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Aikido practice is fundamentally about transforming our fearful natures into something else. It is about attaining an internal balance, both mental and physical which allows one to let the world in rather than hold it away. The more one relaxes, the more one can develop that internal balance, the more the stresses of the world simply pass through one without taking hold, without causing damage, and without creating that need to push back which causes so much pain and destruction in our world.
I think this section of George's post is well worth repeating. It is quite important to the topic I think and is worth taking the time to really understand what is being said.

Having said that - How does one transform a fearful nature into something else through Aikido practice exactly? Fear is often only removed through deep understanding of what is feared and why it is feared which in a very real way gives one a degree of POWER over that fear. Fears are also often products of environment and circumstance, developed well over time. For example, if one has consistently lived in an environment where the threat of death or injury by an armed assault is very high, then that fear will be very deep seated and require a very high degree of understanding (iow POWER) to be overcome. The only other option is to become fully unattached to whatever may be lost by the threat that is feared, but attaining skill in non-attachment may be better found in a school of Zen or similar, not a martial art.

As per George's statement, fear creates tension and becomes a block to attaining true balance, so it can be said that as long as fear is a factor in what drives us it will be very difficult to relax and "let the world in." We can only honestly let the world in if we feel secure enough to do so, or if we are totally unattached to any negative effects of "letting the world in."

Part of the reason that the "effectiveness" question comes up regularly is because of fear and attachment. Many simply don't believe that their training methodology (and this includes any training method, not only Aikido) empowers them enough to remove their basic fears towards conflict and confrontation. If this basic fear cannot be removed then the hope of transforming the fearful self into something else is quite slim via that methodology.

So what George is saying is very important to many who train Aikido in its original intent as Budo. If ones practice does not assist one in removing fears through empowerment or unattachment, then what is one really learning to achieve?

Just some thoughts on the subject. I always smile at the effectiveness questions by newbies to the forum because it reminds me of the human-ness of those out there who practice in many different countries, who live in many different realities that may not be appreciated by many. Even Ueshiba M. started his training because of fear. Fortunately he was able to remove enough fear that he started getting to the "good stuff." But I wonder if he did not find empowerment or unattachment if he would have ever achieved what he did to create Aikido after all of it.

Best.
LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
http://www.mushinkan.ca
 
Old 01-03-2009, 08:14 PM   #62
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,639
Offline
Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote: View Post
I think this section of George's post is well worth repeating. It is quite important to the topic I think and is worth taking the time to really understand what is being said.

Having said that - How does one transform a fearful nature into something else through Aikido practice exactly? Fear is often only removed through deep understanding of what is feared and why it is feared which in a very real way gives one a degree of POWER over that fear. Fears are also often products of environment and circumstance, developed well over time. For example, if one has consistently lived in an environment where the threat of death or injury by an armed assault is very high, then that fear will be very deep seated and require a very high degree of understanding (iow POWER) to be overcome. The only other option is to become fully unattached to whatever may be lost by the threat that is feared, but attaining skill in non-attachment may be better found in a school of Zen or similar, not a martial art.

As per George's statement, fear creates tension and becomes a block to attaining true balance, so it can be said that as long as fear is a factor in what drives us it will be very difficult to relax and "let the world in." We can only honestly let the world in if we feel secure enough to do so, or if we are totally unattached to any negative effects of "letting the world in."

Part of the reason that the "effectiveness" question comes up regularly is because of fear and attachment. Many simply don't believe that their training methodology (and this includes any training method, not only Aikido) empowers them enough to remove their basic fears towards conflict and confrontation. If this basic fear cannot be removed then the hope of transforming the fearful self into something else is quite slim via that methodology.

So what George is saying is very important to many who train Aikido in its original intent as Budo. If ones practice does not assist one in removing fears through empowerment or unattachment, then what is one really learning to achieve?

Just some thoughts on the subject. I always smile at the effectiveness questions by newbies to the forum because it reminds me of the human-ness of those out there who practice in many different countries, who live in many different realities that may not be appreciated by many. Even Ueshiba M. started his training because of fear. Fortunately he was able to remove enough fear that he started getting to the "good stuff." But I wonder if he did not find empowerment or unattachment if he would have ever achieved what he did to create Aikido after all of it.

Best.
LC
Hi Larry,
Fear is a very complex issue for a practitioner. Often it has nothing to do with fear of the physical pain or injury possible in training. You can have a guy who wouldn't bat an eye about getting on the mat with four people with sticks all trying to hit him but he wouldn't go to counseling to save his relationship.

We had one of our randori intensives and a couple of my friends who are 5th Dans attended. Initially they each had a tremendous difficulty in accessing their skills under pressure. Neither of these fellows is scared of being hit or making contact but the tension they carried was tangible even to an observer. So where did all that come from? Fear of failure, fear of not measuring up in the eyes of your peers, juniors, teacher, or even your own eyes?

I have another friend who is a wonderful Aikidoka. She is absolutely fearless on the mat in terms of ukemi and has no back off about anything you throw at her. Yet she is terrified of hitting someone else. Her back off about putting out a strong Yang energy creates a balance problem in her practice. Where does fear like that come from in one who is actually quite courageous in facing danger when it is herself at risk?

We all carry all sorts of tension. Some is tension from past hurts and trauma that we have contracted around and now carry in our bodies. Some is tension that is created by not really being present but rather anticipate suffering that MIGHT be coming.

People whose habit is to be barricaded often find that connecting, really connecting with another human being is fraught with perceived danger. In Aikido, as in relationships, you can't succeed unless you place yourself in a place of vulnerability.

Can you do technique with aiki without dealing with your fears? Absolutely. The Founder was very careful in the early days not to show his technique to people he did not know directly. He was worried that someone of low character would steal the technique.

As Aikido began to assume its modern post-war form after the war, this became less of a concern as technique shifted away from combat technique designed to cause harm towards technique which allowed full commitment of spirit and energy in relative safety.

Of course there were always those who misused the practice to dominate, even injure their partners. But you could really see an art develop which could be done by gentlemen (and the female equivalent) like the Nidai Doshu.

I have learned a lot by watching how the Systema folks practice. In my opinion the purpose of Systema training is the same as it is for Aikido. But I think that in many ways they do a better job of it. Right from day one there is an emphasis on developing an awareness of the tension we carry in our minds and bodies and they work constantly to learn to move that energy and release it. Having watched several people completely transform as individuals after only four or five years of Systema. I have to say that they do a better job of personal transformation than we do. Much of their methodology is transferable however.

Aikido will not become what the Founder wished it to be, fulfill its mission so to speak, as long as people get stuck on issues of whether the art is effective in combat, can be used against mixed martial artists and blah, blah, blah. These concerns are completely irrelevant to the point of the practice. We need to look at how Aikido practice serves to transform our fearful natures into something grander, braver, more balanced. Part of that is facing our fears through hard training. That is part of Budo. But it is also about letting go of the need to win all the time and taking our ukemi. We need to learn how to stop turning everything we do into conflict in order to survive as a species. I see no other reason to do the art if it isn't about that.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
 
Old 01-03-2009, 08:34 PM   #63
lifeafter2am
Dojo: Shindai Aikikai
Location: Orlando
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 153
United_States
Offline
Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

George,

Well said, well said. I like this post 100000x more than the first one, and I liked the first one!

:-)

"The mind is everything. What you think you become." - Siddhattha Gotama Buddha
 
Old 01-03-2009, 08:58 PM   #64
Erick Mead
 
Erick Mead's Avatar
Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,499
United_States
Offline
Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Fear is a very complex issue for a practitioner. Often it has nothing to do with fear of the physical pain or injury possible in training. ...
I have another friend who is a wonderful Aikidoka. She is absolutely fearless on the mat in terms of ukemi and has no back off about anything you throw at her. Yet she is terrified of hitting someone else. Her back off about putting out a strong Yang energy creates a balance problem in her practice. Where does fear like that come from in one who is actually quite courageous in facing danger when it is herself at risk?
Larry's point about the only other option with fear being non-attachment is true. But aikido is emphatically not about non-attachment. When the Founder said "true budo is love" -- that is the answer -- complete connection -- the opposite of detachment.

For your friend, love does not mean not wanting to hit people. Anyone who does think that has never had kids. Loving instruction -- it is only loving instruction -- Please tell her that.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
 
Old 01-03-2009, 09:36 PM   #65
C. David Henderson
Location: Santa Fe New Mexico
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 606
United_States
Offline
Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

To me, non-attachment doesn't mean I don't care; it means I don't dwell on stuff. A hot fire leaves only ashes.
 
Old 01-03-2009, 09:57 PM   #66
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,805
United_States
Offline
Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

I think it's a bit of a fallacy to believe that fear can always be "dealt with", in the sense that most people understand the term. Understanding may bring peace if a fear is imaginary or overstated, but it may not if the fear is grounded in reality. Likewise, although many recite platitudes about needing to "face your fears head-on" or "get back on the horse that threw you", sometimes the reality is that when the horse threw you, you were getting off lucky -- get back on and you not only get thrown again, you get trampled as well. And sometimes, to a sufficiently traumatized person, even if a fear of future threats is not grounded in reality, no amount of "understanding" or "facing it" is going to make it go away. Psychic injury is like physical injury: quite frequently, it doesn't heal up good as new. You do what you can to minimize the damage, but sometimes dealing with fear, like dealing with any damage, consists simply of accepting that the damage exists, accepting that it may always be with you to some degree, and doing what you can to let yourself heal as much as you can over time.

(FWIW, and I may regret saying this, but I speak as someone who's gone through PTSD)

Last edited by lbb : 01-03-2009 at 09:59 PM.
 
Old 01-03-2009, 11:30 PM   #67
Aikibu
Dojo: West Wind Dojo Santa Monica California
Location: Malibu, California
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,295
United_States
Offline
Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
We need to learn how to stop turning everything we do into conflict in order to survive as a species. I see no other reason to do the art if it isn't about that.
Thanks Sensei...

This comes very close to being Aikido's "mission statement."

There are many ways to resolve and live with fear and I have many different practices and experiances with it. From Counseling, Surfing 20 foot waves, Jumping out of planes, Zazen and on and on

My Aikido practice is one of these but the essence of practice is not to deal with fear so much as to learn how to resolve conflict. Practice is about what you do AFTER your fears manifest into a conflict.

The practice of Aikido gives me a way to resolve it. The Aikidoka learns how not to act on his/hers fears in way that causes undue harm to themselves or others by accepting and blending with "The Conflict." That is what Shoji Nishio called Yurusu Budo "The Budo of Acceptance."

Which brings me back to my original post on the "Effectivness of Aikido in a combat situation." All the Budo platitudes aside it has no real place in modern combat "situation" There is no Aikido "Practice" with automatic weapons, morter fire, air strikes, nuclear weapons, suicide bombers, on one end of the scale or alcoholism, severe child abuse,gang rape,drive by shootings, or genocide on the other.

As a philosphy and a way of living it has promise... The same as any religious or spiritual practice. That promise falls upon the shoulders of the person who subscribes to the "way" and like any other human endeavor it's up to the person to live it.

I used to see that poster of the hands grasping wrists with the Quote "A way to change the world" in some Aikido Dojos and think to myself "How fracking arrogent is that!"

To expect Aikido to be the end all be all and to change the world is folly...What we really need to do is use it to change ourselves.

William Hazen
 
Old 01-04-2009, 06:27 AM   #68
Tony Wagstaffe
Location: Winchester
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,211
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Oh btw, Tony, SAS is pretty good too! Seriously, they have pretty much taught the rest of us how to do business.[/quote]

Thank you Kevin,
They certainly do don't they.....

Having met and trained with a couple (aikido) I have found them to be very tough mentally but also have that humanity about them..... to them its a job that has to be done..... I remember after one training session many years ago where one of the fellers I was having a quiet beer with said to me..... we bruise, cut, bleed, die just like everyone else..... the trick is to train so we bloody don't!!.......

Gives you food for thought doesn't it .........
 
Old 01-04-2009, 07:19 AM   #69
Joe McParland
 
Joe McParland's Avatar
Dojo: Sword Mountain Aikido & Zen
Location: Baltimore, MD
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 309
United_States
Offline
Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
To expect Aikido to be the end all be all and to change the world is folly...What we really need to do is use it to change ourselves.
Maybe before aikido (or surfing, or jumping out of planes, or zazen, or ...), changing the world and changing yourself are different...

 
Old 01-04-2009, 08:21 AM   #70
Erick Mead
 
Erick Mead's Avatar
Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,499
United_States
Offline
Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
David Henderson wrote: View Post
To me, non-attachment doesn't mean I don't care; it means I don't dwell on stuff. A hot fire leaves only ashes.
Ashes. Bleak. Aikido does not seem so bleak to me. Hm. After ashes, rain; after rain, a green shoot. So, not just ashes, after all.

Love of light propels life from darkness. The truth is all things are made new again, you just have to remain connected long enough for it to arrive. Connection requires love. Love conquers fear, it tames the beast, not diminishing or destroying it. And pulling up the shoot does not make it grow faster, or cover the ash with grass any sooner.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
 
Old 01-04-2009, 08:39 AM   #71
jennifer paige smith
 
jennifer paige smith's Avatar
Dojo: Confluence Aiki-Dojo / Santa Cruz Sword Club
Location: Santa Cruz
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,049
United_States
Offline
Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I share your hypothesis Jennifer.

Have you by chance read "In Search of the Warrior Spirit"?

Dr Strozzi-Heckler covers alot of this in that book.
Yes, fortunately I have. It indeed came to find again in the context of this conversation.

This links to Amazon Book: http://cli.gs/6q30SS

Quote:
The good news is that the Army has instituted the Modern Army Combatives Program, which is a form of budo. Although I am not sure how many people identify with it for the reasons you state, but it is a step in the direction.
That's interesting. I'll look into it. I think it can be a great advantage when people don't know the benefits of what they are doing to begin with. It doesn't give their 'defensive mind' (or ego defenses) a chance to get in the way.

Quote:
}The army also has started a whole program on "Battlemind" as well.

[url
wrote:
https://www.battlemind.army.mil/[/url]

While we might not recognize it in the form we see in the dojo, there are things that are being done these days.
If they are based on Budo principles and codes I might recognize them.

Quote:
I agree though that for many, budo and particularly Aikido, for the reasons Dr Strozzi-Heckler outlines in his book would be a good thing too!
I am so glad to hear that from you. I believe there will be an even greater need in the future and it would be great to have experienced people in a position to share their skills and collected wisdom.

Thanks for your thoughtful response!

jen

Last edited by jennifer paige smith : 01-04-2009 at 08:42 AM.

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
 
Old 01-04-2009, 08:45 AM   #72
jennifer paige smith
 
jennifer paige smith's Avatar
Dojo: Confluence Aiki-Dojo / Santa Cruz Sword Club
Location: Santa Cruz
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,049
United_States
Offline
Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
or cover the ash with grass any sooner.
I find my self covering my ash before it turns to grass on aikiweb all the time . Maybe I should do it sooner.LOL,

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
 
Old 01-04-2009, 09:01 AM   #73
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Germany
Offline
Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post
Yes, fortunately I have. It indeed came to find again in the context of this conversation.

This links to Amazon Book: http://cli.gs/6q30SS

That's interesting. I'll look into it. I think it can be a great advantage when people don't know the benefits of what they are doing to begin with. It doesn't give their 'defensive mind' (or ego defenses) a chance to get in the way.

If they are based on Budo principles and codes I might recognize them.

I am so glad to hear that from you. I believe there will be an even greater need in the future and it would be great to have experienced people in a position to share their skills and collected wisdom.

Thanks for your thoughtful response!

jen
I think a big part of the issue is that soldiers and people in general as George mentions above have fears.

Moving left or right of their current "center" or what is familiar to most people is can be a very scary thing. We don't have much security, but what we do have, we want to hold onto.

People create all sorts of coping mechanisms to deal with things. Programs like battlemind try to work as close to that "center" as possible to allow people to open up and trust.

Trust is the big issue.

So, you take a "eastern" practice like aikido, were we use a different language, we kneel, bow, oh yea...we wear pajamas and many of us wear "dresses" and you are far, far to the left in what most ordinary people are comfortable with.

I found it better to embrace and exploit the "center" line and to look at what I could personally do within programs or areas that soldiers are already familiar with.

Really when you get down to it, the Army Combatives Program allows us to reach down and accomplish many of the things that Aikido is designed to do. Maybe not as literal or directly, but at the base...it is a practice of budo for those that decide to participate on an ongoing basis.

Sure, you get a bunch of young studs out there that are quick, agile, and strong and they certainly figure out how to use those skills successfully to beat their opponent. However, many of them find out that they are not so successful with those same skillsets against a 44 year old, liberal vegetarian! AND they decide to explore the practice a little deeper to get better.

That is when we start looking hard at posture, relaxation, breath, timing etc.

It is not for everyone, but for the ones that take to it, I think it is a good thing as you guys already know!

 
Old 01-04-2009, 09:04 AM   #74
jennifer paige smith
 
jennifer paige smith's Avatar
Dojo: Confluence Aiki-Dojo / Santa Cruz Sword Club
Location: Santa Cruz
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,049
United_States
Offline
Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
Thanks Sensei...

This comes very close to being Aikido's "mission statement."
Exactly

.

Quote:
That is what Shoji Nishio called Yurusu Budo "The Budo of Acceptance."
I call it a method of Radical Acceptance, but only radical if you're hung up in worldly ways of thinking, like I can be. It is pretty natural when you're tuned in to a Do or Tao like approach. But then it's the Art of Approach, which I also think of it as.

Quote:
Which brings me back to my original post on the "Effectivness of Aikido in a combat situation." All the Budo platitudes aside it has no real place in modern combat "situation" There is no Aikido "Practice" with automatic weapons, morter fire, air strikes, nuclear weapons, suicide bombers, on one end of the scale or alcoholism, severe child abuse,gang rape,drive by shootings, or genocide on the other.
Which is where I think the radical acceptance part comes in, because sometimes you just have to let ugliness dissolve on it's own accord without feeding it too much energy; kinda like a bad dream or an imaginary friend when you're a child.(Not to avoid it, but to engage that which rests behind it. So ,please, nobody go thinking I'm saying something I ain't ) At some point something more substantive and alive takes it's place. To my mind that relates to a latter part of your post.

Quote:
I used to see that poster of the hands grasping wrists with the Quote "A way to change the world" in some Aikido Dojos and think to myself "How fracking arrogent is that!"
Very frackin' arrogant if you think trying to change the world around you is going to do anything except manipulate it to your projected sense of 'right and wrong'.; which is likely fragemented and off the mark. Training Budo is certainly a way of getting to know the mechanics of your nature and that leads to an inner freedom which incidentally leads to accepting that their is sh*t in this world and knowing when or when not to act. Simply focusing on it and it calling it bad names doesn't bring out our goodness truth, or beauty.

Quote:
As a philosphy and a way of living it has promise... The same as any religious or spiritual practice. That promise falls upon the shoulders of the person who subscribes to the "way" and like any other human endeavor it's up to the person to live it.
Like a marriage to my mind. Aikido is an Art of Engagement which encompasses life, death, generation, decay, radical acceptance, approach, sustainability, maximum benevolence, self-sacrifice (sutemi), neutrality, & organic activity.

And so to my mind it redefines what combat may need to become; an act of inclusion rather than dominance. Which then ties it in to evolution (not to bring up that sore subject again), for me.

Quote:
To expect Aikido to be the end all be all and to change the world is folly...What we really need to do is use it to change ourselves.
Yes, expectations can sink even the best of relationships. And, I think changing ourselves comes from engaging in an ever increasing level of honesty that can lead to remembering who we all are, God's precious children.

Quote:
William Hazen
Thanks William. You Rock!

Last edited by jennifer paige smith : 01-04-2009 at 09:13 AM.

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
 
Old 01-04-2009, 09:17 AM   #75
jennifer paige smith
 
jennifer paige smith's Avatar
Dojo: Confluence Aiki-Dojo / Santa Cruz Sword Club
Location: Santa Cruz
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,049
United_States
Offline
Re: Effectiveness of Aikido in a combat situation

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I think a big part of the issue is that soldiers and people in general as George mentions above have fears.

Moving left or right of their current "center" or what is familiar to most people is can be a very scary thing. We don't have much security, but what we do have, we want to hold onto.

People create all sorts of coping mechanisms to deal with things. Programs like battlemind try to work as close to that "center" as possible to allow people to open up and trust.

Trust is the big issue.

So, you take a "eastern" practice like aikido, were we use a different language, we kneel, bow, oh yea...we wear pajamas and many of us wear "dresses" and you are far, far to the left in what most ordinary people are comfortable with.

I found it better to embrace and exploit the "center" line and to look at what I could personally do within programs or areas that soldiers are already familiar with.

Really when you get down to it, the Army Combatives Program allows us to reach down and accomplish many of the things that Aikido is designed to do. Maybe not as literal or directly, but at the base...it is a practice of budo for those that decide to participate on an ongoing basis.

Sure, you get a bunch of young studs out there that are quick, agile, and strong and they certainly figure out how to use those skills successfully to beat their opponent. However, many of them find out that they are not so successful with those same skillsets against a 44 year old, liberal vegetarian! AND they decide to explore the practice a little deeper to get better.

That is when we start looking hard at posture, relaxation, breath, timing etc.

It is not for everyone, but for the ones that take to it, I think it is a good thing as you guys already know!
I've seen the same thing in regard to fear,trust, and security. I suppose that has partially instigated my observation that if you don't tell people "this is going to change you like........(fill in blank)", it doesn't get their ego hackles up. On the other hand ( good thing we do aikido the same on both sides) going for the center is the direct line to engagement. You can accomplish this physically, as you have outlined.

The military is lucky to have you. Even if you are a veggie eating, Jammie wearing, Kami worshipping, hand waving, neo-hippie.LOL.

Last edited by jennifer paige smith : 01-04-2009 at 09:24 AM.

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
 

Please visit our sponsor:

Handmade Aikido Gifts - Handmade functional ceramic art with aikido themes



Closed Thread


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
If you could buy just ONE book about Aikido techniques, what would it be? Karol Kowalczyk Techniques 45 01-31-2014 11:35 PM
What exactly is an independent dojo? David Yap General 64 11-14-2011 02:05 PM
Aikido in Amsterdam, Terry Lax style... tiyler_durden General 11 11-03-2008 08:31 AM
Soft Power, A Magnetic Approach to Practice AikiWeb System Columns 13 04-30-2008 09:11 PM
MMA as catalyst for change in Aikido? Dewey General 150 04-20-2007 10:12 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:18 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate