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Old 07-16-2009, 02:37 PM   #51
Michael Varin
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Re: Aikido in the UFC

Halleluiah!

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote:
To me what I think is interesting about a lot of Japanese arts is the inherent assumption that each person is otherwise likely armed.
Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
As stated above, I would say weapons. I can't see me wanting to clinch when my opponent has a knife, sword, jo, etc. Further more, if I had a weapon, let's say a sword) and someone was grabbing my wrist to prevent me from using it, I would want to engage in trapping style movements to free myself, off-balance my attacker and then slice him into bits. I wouldn't want to abandon my sword and try to clinch unless I had no option.
Quote:
Joep Schuurkes quoting Ellis Amdur wrote:
the techniques were/are the best one could ever come up with regarding empty-hand vs. weapon. Nothing absurd about them. It's just that anyone of experience (those who made the kata) were not sanguine about their survival chances against an expert with a blade - but one still did what one could. They would still be applicable today in similar situations.
Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
The majority of joint locks in bjj are bad for MMA because they either are attempted from a inferior position (the guard) or give up a superior position (armbar from the mount). . . . Using bjj to get the mount and putting your fists though the guys head is the most effective use of bjj I can think of for MMA.
Quote:
Keith Larman wrote:
That stuff works great up until you realize the guy you're grappling with isn't going to tap out but is instead shoving a sharpened object between your ribs. You may be able to take a few light punches there, but how tough are your major arteries?
I think the above comments, taken as a whole, are worth meditating on.

Things are starting to get interesting. . .

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 07-16-2009, 02:41 PM   #52
Michael Varin
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Re: Aikido in the UFC

Ron,

I have a full understanding of everything I do.

Awareness is part of my aiki training.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 07-16-2009, 02:46 PM   #53
RED
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Re: Aikido in the UFC

My Sempai once said something very crucial I thought in regards to defending against an expert with a weapon: "You're gonna die, so you might as well learn how to die correctly."
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Old 07-16-2009, 04:45 PM   #54
Keith Larman
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Re: Aikido in the UFC

Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
My Sempai once said something very crucial I thought in regards to defending against an expert with a weapon: "You're gonna die, so you might as well learn how to die correctly."
Yeah, I've always loved this graphic...


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Old 07-16-2009, 06:00 PM   #55
Michael Hackett
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Re: Aikido in the UFC

I got to see something terrific last summer. Roger de Santos was visiting my son from Brazil and the two of them put on a mini-BJJ seminar for our Aikido folks on a Saturday. We all had a great time experimenting with some basic takedowns and techniques and the four hours flew by. After the formal class, Roger and our Dojo Cho began to roll for a few minutes. Roger is about 5-6 and 140 while Sensei is 6-2 and 190. They just played for about an hour, each reaching a position of dominance or securing a submission and then giving it up. There was no ego in evidence and the two men just kept going and feeling for openings and weaknesses. Although we were holding a big dojo BBQ at that point, we all sat around the mat and enjoyed watching two highly skilled individuals experiment with the other's art and finding common principles. While there were big differences in the two arts, Roger said later that he thought BJJ was "horizontal Aikido". Could either man have won a contest? Sure, at various times Aikido ruled and at others BJJ was superior, but that shifted back and forth many times. How would they fare in UFC 101? I doubt very well, but both are great practitioners in their respective arts and not too shabby in the other.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 07-16-2009, 06:15 PM   #56
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Re: Aikido in the UFC

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Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Yeah, I've always loved this graphic...

LOL AWESOME!!
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Old 07-16-2009, 09:04 PM   #57
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Re: Aikido in the UFC

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
Halleluiah!

I think the above comments, taken as a whole, are worth meditating on.

Things are starting to get interesting. . .
Hey Michael,

I agree with their points 100% too. I think though that we need to be careful to not dismiss the lessons learned from clinch based training, MMA, and BJJ...they have their place.

I was just reading a Master's thesis today on Martial Modalities in the Military, the author had a bias as a Korean Martial Artist and was very critical of grappling based arts, even dismissed Aikido as it was not applicable cause it was a "self defense" system!

Anyway, I have heard the weapons argument so many times used as an excuse to dismiss training methods such as BJJ. Heck I did the same thing for many years!

It has it's place and we should not ignore it based on assumptions of weapons.

However, I do agree that weapons change our strategy tremendously.

I do, however, think you need to understand the clinch in a weapons fight as you will go there and need to understand how to protect yourself at this range when weapons are there.

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Old 07-16-2009, 09:28 PM   #58
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Re: Aikido in the UFC

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Hey Michael,

I agree with their points 100% too. I think though that we need to be careful to not dismiss the lessons learned from clinch based training, MMA, and BJJ...they have their place.
Yeah, and their place is raw personal protection or brutal sport. Where's the SPIRIT? That is all that matters.

Drew
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Old 07-16-2009, 09:33 PM   #59
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Re: Aikido in the UFC

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Anyway, I have heard the weapons argument so many times used as an excuse to dismiss training methods such as BJJ. Heck I did the same thing for many years!
The weapons argument isn't intended to dismiss anything at all. It is about context of each art and the assumptions made. In my story the issue wasn't that BJJ was a bad thing -- not at all. That young man was younger than all of us, stronger, and could probably outlast us all in a ring. The issue was instead one of hubris -- that what he was able to do quite well in the ring would be equally applicable and equally appropriate in other contexts. And that's simply not the case.

Of course many people in every art out there likely make the same mistake about their own art. We all tend to place ours at the top of the pile otherwise it wouldn't be the art we'd be studying, neh? But that again is my point -- each person has their own reasons, preferences, and needs that are met by the arts they study. And each art brings its own context, history, and assumptions along with it.

I am perfectly comfortable with saying Aikido wouldn't fare all that well in a UFC bout. Or at least not any sort of Aikido I'm familiar with. Some of the lessons learned in Aikido might be directly applicable and one could probably find ways of employing those things in direct application (Dan Harden often posts about this sort of thing). I have no doubt that could be the case. But again that's really not the issue. The issue is one of trying to compare things that just don't compare. Apples and chipmunks.

One should no more dismiss BJJ than dismiss Judo than dismiss Krav Maga than dismiss karate than dismiss even tae bo (Yay! Billy Blanks!). Heck, if your goal is kick-butt fitness and chiseled abs then tae bo is the way to go! If your goal is a gendai Japanese art based on jujutsu with a rather comprehensive if somewhat incomprehensible at times philosophy, Aikido is the way to go. If you want to study a good ground game that has been well demonstrated and proven within the context of the ring, BJJ is a place to start. And on and on...

But I'm rambling... Time for a martini...

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Old 07-16-2009, 10:31 PM   #60
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Re: Aikido in the UFC

Thanks Keith. I didn't mean to infer that anyone here felt that way. I just run into this all the time as a reason to discount or dismiss other training methods.

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Old 07-16-2009, 11:09 PM   #61
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Re: Aikido in the UFC

I don't think anyone is dismissing BJJ. I think Michael was simply trying to explain that MMA is far from the be all end all paradigm.

Arm controlling skills (like those learned in BJJ submissions) are essential to weapon control situations.

Like wise, "high percentage" MMA techniques, like double leg takedowns, ground and pound, head control techniques, and boxing covers become low percentage and dangerous in some paradigms.

The right tool for the right job. The real problem here is that most people don't realize there are many martial paradigms.

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Old 07-17-2009, 08:16 AM   #62
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Re: Aikido in the UFC

Agreed Chris. I like the way you guys train actually from your videos. I think it is essential to keep thinking about things constantly.

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Old 07-17-2009, 09:40 AM   #63
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Aikido in the UFC

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
Ron,

I have a full understanding of everything I do.

Awareness is part of my aiki training.
Oh? Then I really have to wonder why you made that statement to Don, someone who has always questioned the methodolgy behind most Aikido training, and who trains regularly in Judo and BJJ.

I remember hearing a story about an aikido instructor in the neighborhood. He was at a dinner at someone's house, and talking about being constantly aware of his balance and surroundings while leaning back in his chair.

He fell over.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 07-17-2009, 03:08 PM   #64
Michael Varin
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Re: Aikido in the UFC

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Then I really have to wonder why you made that statement to Don
Gee, Ron.

Sorry you're having a difficult time following the thread. Maybe you should go back and re-read it.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 07-17-2009, 05:23 PM   #65
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Re: Aikido in the UFC

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
I remember hearing a story about an aikido instructor in the neighborhood. He was at a dinner at someone's house, and talking about being constantly aware of his balance and surroundings while leaning back in his chair.

He fell over.
That sounds like me!
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Old 07-17-2009, 05:43 PM   #66
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Re: Aikido in the UFC

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Drew Gardner wrote: View Post
Yeah, and their place is raw personal protection or brutal sport. Where's the SPIRIT? That is all that matters.

Drew
What do you mean by Spirit? It can mean alot of things.

When we talk about "Martial Spirit", I think it means things like Indomitable Spirit. Being strong, robust, unable to give up, to be conquered. It would include courage, doing what is right..and all that good stuff.

Martial practices, physical methodologies for learning, pedagogy....I don't believe have "spirit" people do.

Even in an aikido dojo we can have two people practicing side by side and one of them have "good" martial spirit...the other could be a child molester.

If the practice, methodology, or pedagogy contained spirit or any other such concept of the human pysche...then the practice itself would expose them just from practicing it.

However, it does not. It is possible to me immoral, amoral or whatever...and still be a high ranking Aikidoka with very good aikido physically...and be a complete louse!

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Old 07-17-2009, 06:50 PM   #67
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Re: Aikido in the UFC

Good points, Kevin. Aikido per se does not create in all its practicioners people full of love and empathy with generous spirits. However, it is an activity which fosters such spirits and strengthens them in those who have them to begin with. I believe it was the second Doshu who wrote in his book, "The Spirit of Aikido," "[Those only interested in Aikido for superficial reasons will usually not last three months.]" I do think that many "superficials" stay in longer than that. Aikido is not a secret society, but people who thrive on conquering others through conflict, wanting to engage in an activity, will probably end up reaping more enjoyment from another MA or a sport. Sports are huge in today's world, and I know you know this. I'm not preaching to you. I believe it was the summer after 11th grade that I was playing basketball in a students/alumni league at my high school. I made six three-pointers in a row from the same spot on the wing. After a few they'd start covering me on the outside, and I'd shoot with them in my face. After the game an alumnus on the other team came up to me and said, "You were shootin' the lights out!" Ego-boost. Another game, I made the winning shot. This kid runs up to me after the buzzer and says enthusiastically, "Nice shot!" I said, "Thanks, buddy" and gave him five. Then, there have been hundreds of games with little or no personal glory. The point is, I have enjoyed thrills, even watching Michael Jordan dunk against the Heat as a middle schooler thrilled me. Sports and sporting MAs often crank up the sympathetic nervous system to afterburner. Fostering personal peace seems boring to many people, if even possible at all. Even though Aikido is probably not the best activity for them, I've trained with kyu-rank-mongers and other such glory hounds. I am not always immune to these feelings myself. However, many Aikidoka including myself chose to practice this particular MA, sincerely agreeing with most or all of its philosophy, often remembering to pay gratitude toward countless people whom with their free-willed pro-social spirits began this, and keep it alive.

Drew
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Old 07-17-2009, 08:10 PM   #68
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Re: Aikido in the UFC

It has been in my experience the guys I've trained with in bjj have had less ego, been better mannered, more polite, more reasonable and open to suggestions, and just all around nice people.

The aikido people I have met have been that way as well. I have also met complete tools of human beings in martial arts. I've met people who told me they were humble. I mean come on! Humble people don't tell you they are humble. I've met "pacifists" who were really just passive aggressive. AKA "We train to inspire peace, but I'm telling you right now, you put me up against a MMA fighter and I'll gouge that mother F***ers eyes out!".

Personally, I didn't have any changes in my lifestyle and personality until I got a good ass kicking on a regular basis. It's humbling to train in martial arts for years and get destroyed by a kid who trained in a "sport" for 6 months. The amount of inner reflection and growth that went on after that was off the charts. Did I waste my time? Do I suck? Am I defenseless? Is it too late? Was I lied to? Is it me or the art? Could I have won if I did x? Why do I care that I lost? What did I learn? How can I improve myself and grow as a fighter? Screw that, how can I grow as a person?

Eventually you stop trying to win and you start trying to improve yourself. Kano saw this in judo and I think it's there in any personal sport.

In contrast, I learned a lot of things in martial arts that I feel were counter productive to feeling at peace and learning about myself. False chains of command, being subversive, abuse of power, Desire for power, pretense of authority when you have none, a belief of entitlement where there is none (I'm the black belt here, do what I say or else!)

I'm not saying I didn't learn anything about myself from martial arts prior to judo and bjj. I did learn a lot then. I just feel I have grown more after I left then when I was there. And I've been in bjj long enough to watch spastic meat heads turn into graceful, helpful students of art.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 07-17-2009, 08:28 PM   #69
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Re: Aikido in the UFC

Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post
It has been in my experience the guys I've trained with in bjj have had less ego, been better mannered, more polite, more reasonable and open to suggestions, and just all around nice people.

The aikido people I have met have been that way as well. I have also met complete tools of human beings in martial arts. I've met people who told me they were humble. I mean come on! Humble people don't tell you they are humble. I've met "pacifists" who were really just passive aggressive. AKA "We train to inspire peace, but I'm telling you right now, you put me up against a MMA fighter and I'll gouge that mother F***ers eyes out!".

Personally, I didn't have any changes in my lifestyle and personality until I got a good ass kicking on a regular basis. It's humbling to train in martial arts for years and get destroyed by a kid who trained in a "sport" for 6 months. The amount of inner reflection and growth that went on after that was off the charts. Did I waste my time? Do I suck? Am I defenseless? Is it too late? Was I lied to? Is it me or the art? Could I have won if I did x? Why do I care that I lost? What did I learn? How can I improve myself and grow as a fighter? Screw that, how can I grow as a person?

Eventually you stop trying to win and you start trying to improve yourself. Kano saw this in judo and I think it's there in any personal sport.

In contrast, I learned a lot of things in martial arts that I feel were counter productive to feeling at peace and learning about myself. False chains of command, being subversive, abuse of power, Desire for power, pretense of authority when you have none, a belief of entitlement where there is none (I'm the black belt here, do what I say or else!)

I'm not saying I didn't learn anything about myself from martial arts prior to judo and bjj. I did learn a lot then. I just feel I have grown more after I left then when I was there. And I've been in bjj long enough to watch spastic meat heads turn into graceful, helpful students of art.
Yeah in my experience too. The bjj guys were always cool.... granted there was always the random bjj guy that was a meat head UFC wanna be that hurt themselves or others. But over all serious bjj guys didn't seem to look kindly on them.

I've had my share of experiences with meat heads. They always say the same thing: "Well, I could just punch you in the throat if you did that!!" or other such statements to a similar affect.
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Old 07-17-2009, 09:42 PM   #70
Michael Varin
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Re: Aikido in the UFC

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
I've met people who told me they were humble. I mean come on! Humble people don't tell you they are humble. I've met "pacifists" who were really just passive aggressive. AKA "We train to inspire peace, but I'm telling you right now, you put me up against a MMA fighter and I'll gouge that mother F***ers eyes out!".
Sounds like you've run into some of the same types in aikido that I have.

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
I learned a lot of things in martial arts that I feel were counter productive to feeling at peace and learning about myself. False chains of command, being subversive, abuse of power, Desire for power, pretense of authority when you have none, a belief of entitlement where there is none (I'm the black belt here, do what I say or else!)
Not much I can add to this.

This is starting to cut to the core of what I think has gone "wrong" with aikido.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 07-20-2009, 05:45 AM   #71
rob_liberti
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Re: Aikido in the UFC

Let me first say that at a certain level, I am all for pressure-tested aikido - and I mean very high pressure. For that kind of training, I think aiki powered MMA moving as if you are holding a knife is the way to go.

I actually am VERY interested in eventually trying every drill that Chris Hein has come up with for his unique study.

For that kind of thing to be what I consider my kind of aikido training in a pressure-tested situation - it has to be movement without struggle. To me, the idea of 2 people *struggling* over a knife and that getting resolved by an externally powered shihonage technique offends my idea of what aikido ever was or can be.

In my view, pressure-tested aikido should be like I am holding a knife, and no matter what you try to do to me you feel stabbed and slashed - but now you cannot get away and you are wishing you were somewhere else from the moment of engagement - regardless of how confident you started. And at higher levels (relative to the attacker), it is still that way but somehow the attacker gets thrown or pinned and it didn't turn out nearly as badly for them as they thought when they hit their "oh sh*t! I'm in trouble!" revelation, so they they wind up a bit more grateful than you would typically expect.

Triaining that way against someone else who also has aiki in their body as well as position dominance takes training where I would prefer to continue my research. My feeling is that this is the best way to explore the universal physical principles so I can better relate them to my attempts to understand universal spiritual principles (which to me is more why it is aikido).

Rob
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Old 07-20-2009, 06:05 AM   #72
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Re: Aikido in the UFC

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Let me first say that at a certain level, I am all for pressure-tested aikido - and I mean very high pressure. For that kind of training, I think aiki powered MMA moving as if you are holding a knife is the way to go.

I actually am VERY interested in eventually trying every drill that Chris Hein has come up with for his unique study.

For that kind of thing to be what I consider my kind of aikido training in a pressure-tested situation - it has to be movement without struggle. To me, the idea of 2 people *struggling* over a knife and that getting resolved by an externally powered shihonage technique offends my idea of what aikido ever was or can be.

In my view, pressure-tested aikido should be like I am holding a knife, and no matter what you try to do to me you feel stabbed and slashed - but now you cannot get away and you are wishing you were somewhere else from the moment of engagement - regardless of how confident you started. And at higher levels (relative to the attacker), it is still that way but somehow the attacker gets thrown or pinned and it didn't turn out nearly as badly for them as they thought when they hit their "oh sh*t! I'm in trouble!" revelation, so they they wind up a bit more grateful than you would typically expect.

Triaining that way against someone else who also has aiki in their body as well as position dominance takes training where I would prefer to continue my research. My feeling is that this is the best way to explore the universal physical principles so I can better relate them to my attempts to understand universal spiritual principles (which to me is more why it is aikido).

Rob
The most important part of pressure testing is this: If it's going exactly how you thought or wanted it to go then you are not being pressured hard enough.

In a perfect world everything I want to do works and it's as if I am an invincible wall of win. I'm still looking for that perfect world. Pressure testing is about learning to cope with adversity, to be creative and adjust to your environment. If you start off with a game plan, and thinking you know how the next few minutes will go, but end up being forced into a situation you never wanted to be in and using your intelligence, skill, and character to get out of it, then you know you are training properly.

My sparing matches always have the same plan. Clinch, judo throw, maintain side control, choke. Anyone want to take a guess on how often that happens against anyone near my skill level?

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 07-20-2009, 06:47 AM   #73
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Aikido in the UFC

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Michael Varin wrote: View Post
Gee, Ron.

Sorry you're having a difficult time following the thread. Maybe you should go back and re-read it.
No problems following the thread here. Have fun...

Best,
Ron

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Old 07-20-2009, 06:50 AM   #74
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Re: Aikido in the UFC

For whatever it is worth, Don has made some excellent posts here IMO.
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Old 07-20-2009, 09:53 AM   #75
rob_liberti
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Re: Aikido in the UFC

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Don Magee wrote: View Post
The most important part of pressure testing is this: If it's going exactly how you thought or wanted it to go then you are not being pressured hard enough.

In a perfect world everything I want to do works and it's as if I am an invincible wall of win. I'm still looking for that perfect world. Pressure testing is about learning to cope with adversity, to be creative and adjust to your environment. If you start off with a game plan, and thinking you know how the next few minutes will go, but end up being forced into a situation you never wanted to be in and using your intelligence, skill, and character to get out of it, then you know you are training properly.

My sparing matches always have the same plan. Clinch, judo throw, maintain side control, choke. Anyone want to take a guess on how often that happens against anyone near my skill level?
Sure Don, but you know, when you pressure test, you expect to be able to hold up to a certain degree of pressure, and then past that you have to do your "growth". I attempted to describe that aspect when I wrote: "Training that way against someone else who also has aiki in their body as well as position dominance takes training where I would prefer to continue my research." So think we are on the same page.

Rob
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