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Old 04-08-2002, 08:20 AM   #1
Bruce Baker
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Should we teach pressure points in Aikido?

Should we teach pressure points in Aikido before Ryukyu Kyusho Karate has children knocking out shihans? ( A bit extreme, I guess, but not far fetched with what I have seen progress in the last three years?)

There are too many impossible things happening in my lifetime.

Jetplanes will never take off vertically?
Computers will never be the size of a magazine?
You can't look into peoples bodys with sound and magnetic resonance?
You can't knock people out with touch?

We have many advance people who have been taught technique, and seen proven results from years of practice, but they don't see that Aikido uses proven principles of meridians (a concept of medicine relating to the human bodys organs/ functional systems) and having the capabitity to use angle and direction to activate these meridians through nerve endings/pressure points. I have seen more than a couple of ten, eleven, twelve year olds who are getting the hang of knockouts?

Maybe because Americans want to share what they learn these secrets have become more readily available to study and learn in the last ten years? Dim Mak and pressure points is not a magic but a science to be taught, learned, and respected much like the proven sciences of our age?

So if you Pooh-poohed looking into pressure points like the old saying, " If god wanted man to fly he would have wings!" well ... some teachers are giving people wings, and we had better get few for Aikido.

Or would you rather go back to horses and oil lamps ....
FYI: Aikido is still well respected by even these knockout artists, because in its true form it doesn't allow for openings ... but even that, I fear, is just a matter of time.
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Old 04-08-2002, 09:58 AM   #2
Chuck.Gordon
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Freaky! Re: Should we teach pressure points in Aikido?

Quote:
Originally posted by Bruce Baker
Should we teach pressure points in Aikido

Too late. It is already done.

before Ryukyu Kyusho Karate has children knocking out shihans? ( A bit extreme,

And quite fantastic.

You can't knock people out with touch?

Generally speaking, no. With a well-placed, solid thump? Yes. With hypnosis (self-inflicted or otherwise)? Yes. With a fair understanding of the power of suggestion and a willing subject? Yes.

they don't see that Aikido uses proven principles of meridians (a concept of

This sort of thing is taugth in almost all budo at some level and in some form. It's not new, it's not secret, it's not unique.

I have seen more than a couple of ten, eleven, twelve year olds who are getting the hang of knockouts?

As I said, that's pretty fantastic.

Maybe because Americans want to share what they learn these secrets have become more

Or maybe because certain individual want to make money off the relative gullibility of the public at large?

So if you Pooh-poohed looking into pressure points like the old saying, " If god wanted man to fly he would have wings!" well ... some teachers are giving people wings, and we had better get few for Aikido.

Don't need 'em. Aikido has perfectly good wings of its own, as long as you know how to find 'em and use 'em.

Chuck

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Old 04-08-2002, 10:54 AM   #3
erikmenzel
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Re: Should we teach pressure points in Aikido?

Quote:
Should we teach pressure points in Aikido
At our place we train traditional "aikikai" Aikido, enough pressure points in our training.
It just is not the main focus of our training, which does not mean that pressure point use is ommited either!!

Besides there is a big risk that shifting focus (maybe with every little hype that comes along) will lead you astray.

Quote:
There are too many impossible things happening in my lifetime.
Such as an abundant use of questionmarks ??

Quote:
well ... some teachers are giving people wings, and we had better get few for Aikido.
But aikido has good wings.
If you cant fly, it may be wiser to learn how to use the wings you already have instead of buying new ones!

Quote:
Aikido in its true form doesn't allow for openings ... but even that, I fear, is just a matter of time.
No, this is just a symptom of what is commonly refered to as a what if mentality.

Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
Personal:www.kuipers-menzel.com
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Old 04-08-2002, 11:56 AM   #4
guest1234
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Should we teach pressure points in Aikido? We already do.

Should we teach that 12 year olds can easily knock out anyone with them? Most (not all) who practice Aikido are too smart to fall for that kind of hype.
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Old 04-08-2002, 02:09 PM   #5
Erik
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I was listening recently to a cancer researcher. He was talking about how there are 350 people at his location just working on cancer. Just on cancer and just where he worked. Imagine how many thousands of people are working on this worldwide? Imagine the computing power and other resources which have been thrown at cancer over the last 20 years (since it's become a major research issue in the US).

During the interview he gave a number of responses like:

It seems there may be a causal relation...
I don't work on that aspect so I'm not really sure...
There are many different types of cancer and they are not all the same...

This is a PHD who has dedicated his life to researching cancer giving these answers. They probably have a ton of research and a ton of computing power to work with.

Now, we could go to a ki (insert alternative of choice here) guy and we'd hear, "Meridian B-20 (if there's such a thing) is out of whack and you need to strengthen your spleen." Duh!

So, when scientists can't give quick and easy answers with massive amounts of research how come ki people can? Hell, Dillman supposedly (if I remember the story correctly) found some notes on pressure points and away he went. Notes in a dresser drawer containing stuff that would win some researcher a nobel prize in medicine if they could be proven to work based on the reasons he gives.

It doesn't mean that there may not be validity there in some way, it's just that it probably isn't exactly what we think or say it is. For instance, I find the classic explanation of shooting ki (or the firehose) out of the arm very useful for explaining and teaching the unbendable arm (which I find very useful for rolling). The difference between what I do and what some other's do is that I make sure people understand that it's really a function of how the body works on a mechanical level.

Have you ever seen a hypnotist work a room? He'll knock people out too. It's quite remarkable and it's not terribly disimilar from what Dillman is doing. Is there a tool in there if Dillman is doing the same thing? There probably is, but I think that's about as far as we could take it without a lot of research.

Last edited by Erik : 04-08-2002 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 04-08-2002, 04:29 PM   #6
Jorx
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Quote:
Should we teach pressure points in Aikido before Ryukyu Kyusho Karate has children knocking out shihans?
I just can't help asking WHY?
And WHEN?

Isn't Aikido already an enough complex system? Maybe yeah when you're already sandan and above... maybe then it's wise to -especially- do some pressure point studies but before that - why?

Don't we already get to know our bodies via moving? (in regular Aikido practice)

Isn't a street warrior today (especially in winter) more armor-clad than one in the samurai ages? You can't knock someone out with a pressure point when he is wearing fullscale winter clothing.

Healing subject? Sure it's useful but maybe that should be individual interest not in the regular Aikido curriculum.

Sure there is different use for knowledge about pressure points. As there is about how to handle a chainsaw

But why when and how this knowledge should be implemented in the regular Aikido curriculum... I can see no reason

Convince me otherwise

Regards...
Jorgen
Estonian Aikikai
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Old 04-08-2002, 05:13 PM   #7
Bruce Baker
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Should we teach Pressure points:RE

Pressure points are many times pointed to but incorrectly used in many Aikido classes, that is one concern I have for Aikido. We don't specify angle/direction, and whether they are rub, push, or strike points. Just do it this way, why?

We continue to use sounds, physical manipulations, and do some meditation for warmup and bowing out, but as we search for meaning in the lessons we have learned, do we see deeper meaning beyond what our Japanese friends have learned? (Question marks are for questions that explore more possibilities that the statement incurs.)

I think if we have text, manuals, and study groups who are non profit, we would advance the Aikido of O'Sensei's dreams without the malicious state of mind he feared from old style knowledge of secret killing techniques which are not secret at all but out in the open without knowledge to understand them?

Knowing how to prevent someone from activating these silly things is just as important as knowing how to asctivate them? You can find six nerve endings in your forearm and wrist just by poking around with your finger. If you numb one, don't forget to slap it and rub a circle, unless you understand meridian flow ... which is another thing we sometimes do wrong in rubbing our arms and legs in warmup.

For you tough guys, pulling my hair, nor pinching my skin, nor any half hearted technique works on me either, but wouldn't it be great to know where to hit, rub, or push to cause a knockout with three or more attackers? Might actually come in handy? (Hohan Soken Willed his notes to Master George Dillman, they were not in some drawer. Nice try, spin doctors.)

I am not the one making money off of anything? If you measure the amount of Money that we spend for our Martial arts training over a life time, a couple of hundred dollars of books and videos is pretty cheap for someone's williness to help us understand the secrets in MA? If I could, I would put a chart on line, but you would still need a teacher to continue a safe practice/ learning.

Enough of the spitting contest.

Read the books, do the research ... there ain't no Senate sub-committee on this one folks. Once you get comfortable with many of the Aikido pillars, ask what is next ... then maybe you will search futher. It will make your plain old Aikido practice even more enjoyable ... believe it.

It's a good thing I didn't get into Tai Chi's hidden meanings, we wouldn't need all those quiet retired folks beating us up either?
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Old 04-08-2002, 05:35 PM   #8
Andy
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In a nutshell:

"Blah blah blah blah pressure points blah blah blah Master George Dillman blah blah blah blah children blah blah Japanese friends blah blah blah secret killing techniques blah blah go do the research blah blah blah meridians blah blah blah blah?"

Blah.
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Old 04-08-2002, 05:37 PM   #9
guest1234
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My current dojo charges dues only to pay rent, electricity, etc., none of the teachers are salaried. My last one was the same, and since there was an associated college class, the teachers were paid by the university to teach it. They donated that salary to the club. No one is making money on this website. There are plenty of Aikido venues that are non profit. The fact that they do not promote this person who charged you a few hundred dollars for his books and tapes does not mean they are malicious. It means they don't believe.

You do. We get that. I am happy you have something that interests you. You are also enrolled somewhere in an Aikido dojo. Why not take up this line of questioning/seeking with your sensei? You can continue to announce that those who don't agree with you are ignorant, but that is not winning any friends here. Me, I'm a beginner who probably is ignorant about MA (about anatomy and physiology I think I have nothing to fear from you). But a lot of people you've been talking to have a LOT of MA experience, and others who read this know that. So when you call them ignorant, you lose credibility with more than just that one person.
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Old 04-09-2002, 12:44 AM   #10
Bronson
 
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My sensei is a California board certified acupuncturist (one of the hardest acu. boards to pass in the country), and a doctor of oriental medicine. He has showed us some pretty amazing stuff with pressure points. He has also said they are way too unpredictable to rely on. Do the technique correctly and you won't need 'em. When I've asked him about Dillman he says "He seems to have a good reputation", then he drops it which tells me to drop it.


Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 04-09-2002, 06:58 AM   #11
erikmenzel
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So here is the truth about pressure points,
secret techniques and all the other hypes etc:


Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
Personal:www.kuipers-menzel.com
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Old 04-09-2002, 07:43 AM   #12
Bruce Baker
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RE...vilolence

Thank you all so much for telling me a steel boat can't float and your theorizing from you practical experience .... Blah, blah, blah, too...

For those of you in the east Near NY-NJ, your actual opportunity to go and disprove what you preach by either visiting Mark Kline at State of the Arts in Piscataway outside New Brunswick NJ or Go to Kyusho forum on line. I am tired of being mugged, verbally ...

If you can read emotions into words, then you are better than I, they are just words formed to become meaning to me.

(I try to write what I am thinking while remembering,".. we dislike the things we dislike most in ourselves when we meet others." Reread your comments and see if they are valid with this thought, then consider being more tolerant ... grown up.)

As for Pressure points working or not working, I wouldn't mix prescription medicines either, That knowledge is beyond me... although I still take aspirin and all forms of natural herbal treatments I do understand? It is amazing what a little knowledge will do to make something more understandable.

As for the cute picture, that had to do with a hermit who wants to be alone< "... get out here kid, the world is flat ... here's a coupon for free breakfast at the casino ... HIT THE ROAD!"

Of course, as we all get along in experience, we will either stagnate, or continue to learn, prove, disprove, and finally share or not share what we have learned ... I believe I have laid upon the table a choice for all to enlighten your knowledge and Aikido practice, as it has mine.

Whether you pursue this, clinically, scientifically, or thump your chest like a bible thumper at the "Scopes Monkey Trial" Swearing Darwin's theory of Evolution is blasphemy to the Bible ... that is your own journey? Although, I would hope that the representation of those writing in threads is a bit more open minded.

Consider ... nearly every teacher of Aikido tries or does another MA, why go some where else if everything is in one Art? (It isn't.)

You will never truly appreciate the safe aspect of practicing Aikido until you learn what is out there that can hurt you ... your mommy/daddy, or you sensei ain't always gonna be there to help you. You might actually have to learn on your own. Thanks All, for your input.
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Old 04-09-2002, 09:27 AM   #13
Andy
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Re: RE...vilolence

Quote:
Originally posted by Bruce Baker
Thank you all so much for telling me a steel boat can't float
Steel boats float. Your steel boat doesn't float.

(It's full of holes, if you know what I mean.)
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Old 04-09-2002, 09:56 AM   #14
jimbaker
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You can spend years learning, through painstaking trial and error, all the possible pressure points on the human body and how to effectively attack them.

Or you can buy a hammer. Then every place you touch is a pressure point. A hammer doesn't require a list of spots to hit, isn't dependent on the time of day, and its use tends to be instinctive with most primates. We can have interesting discussions about our style's preferences for ball peen vs. claw or about who has the biggest sledge.

There are an almost infinate variety of ways to hurt people . I say "almost" because most of them have already been used by somebody, somewhere. I don't study Aikido to add to that pile of pain, but to learn how to rise out of it.

Budo isn't about finding the best way to hurt people; thermonuclear war has pretty much covered that. It's about finding ways of living with people.

Jim Baker
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Old 04-09-2002, 09:58 AM   #15
lt-rentaroo
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Hello,

I'm of the scientific mindset. In order for me to fully understand and believe it, it must be demonstrated/proven to me beyond all doubt. I've read and heard stories of pressure point techniques and how devastating they can be. However, I've not seen any solid proof, if you will, that these techniques actually work on everyone, every time.

Aikido's basic foundation lies in body movement and redirection of attack, these principles work on everyone, every time, regardless of physical makeup. I like to stick with what I know works, for me.

Now, for everyone else. Mr. Baker has tried to "educate" us on the idea of pressure point training in Aikido. Many of us are the non-believing kind (like me), but we should try to be more accepting. Some folks (and this is not a sly towards you, Mr. Baker) tend to become fascinated with the "touch of death" techniques they read about and hear stories about. I say let them believe what they want.

LOUIS A. SHARPE, JR.
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Old 04-09-2002, 11:44 AM   #16
Greg Jennings
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Re: Re: RE...vilolence

Quote:
Originally posted by Andy


Steel boats float (snip)
Actually, if you want to be technical about it, it's air that floats (in water). In the normal case, the hull serves to contain the air.

Fill a perfectly airtight hull with a substance greater than or equal to the density of water and see what happens.

A trivial example is to consider what would happen if you filled the hull with lead.

What does that have to do with the current thread? Weeeeelllll, maybe there's a metaphor in there somewhere.

Best,

Greg Jennings
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Old 04-09-2002, 11:52 AM   #17
Jorx
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Tongue

Somehow I'm getting the feel that this is going rather Bruce vs. restoftheguys AND what's the funniest seems that it's Bruce's

"Guys! Do what You want!"

vs. the others'

"No! We want to do what we want!"


So it's starting to become pretty POINTless not as was the original Bruce's meaning about adding more POINTS to the whole thing.

Anyone has the freedom to study quite whatever he or she wants. Very . Right? End of discussion...?

There are as many Aikido styles as there are Aikido practioners... if someone wants to implement presssure points more densely into their Aikido and it fits well (it does I think) under the Aikido principles and ideas then fine...

I anyhow and this is only MY personal opinion not any big statement want to get the basics of what my sensei teaches me (pressure points not included specifically) and then one day when I'm definitely over shodan (if that day shall ever come ) I will maybe add pressure point studies (and many other things as well).

Regards
Jorgen
Estonian Aikikai
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Old 04-09-2002, 12:03 PM   #18
Chuck.Gordon
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Exclamation Pressure points etc

Quote:
Originally posted by Bruce Baker
I am tired of being mugged, verbally ...

Then quit flogging that dead horse. You keep raising points for which you can provide no real verification or backing. You continue to deride folks for not choosing to opt intto your point of view. You maintain an unfaltering stance of belief in things that are largely matters of faith at best and utter charlatanry at worst.

... are valid with this thought, then consider being more tolerant ... grown up.)

Bruce, folks have been more than tolerant, and apparently you are simply taking advantage of that.

As for Pressure points working or not

Pressure points work. No argument. Pressure points don't work like you want them to.

There is no Dim Mak. Valid, real-world research has shown that pressure points don't affect the human body the way certain groups would have us believe they do.

That dog, as my grandpa used to say, just don't hunt.

I have laid upon the table a choice for all to enlighten your knowledge and Aikido practice, as it has mine.

So, in that vein, tell us how you've applied this once-secret knowledge in your aikido.

And tell us what your teacher thinks of a relative beginner adding things to an art he has barely experienced yet ...

Consider ... nearly every teacher of Aikido tries or does another MA, why go some where else if everything is in one Art? (It isn't.)

Some to enhance what they see as shortcomings, to explore the overlaps, to experience the similarities and the differences, some because they like the variety.

Chuck

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Old 04-09-2002, 02:02 PM   #19
Erik
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Bruce, you were right about the notes. I stand corrected but really, does it matter?

Time for a story. It's an old story and it's been told many times in many different forms.

The story begins in one of two ways with our hero:

1. Discovering the ancient art of Vesuvian Dove Tickling while visiting a Peruvian monestary.

2. Doing cutting-edge scientific research into <insert disease or technology of choice> where he discovers a new method of treating said disease.

Our hero realizes that this knowledge must be taken public and for the good of the world he does so. For only $14.95 ($34.95 in Mr. Dillman's case) at Borders, $99.00 for a Dove Tickling seminar (if it's a product then it's 49.95 in 3 easy payments) you too can share in the goodness.

Naturally, our hero's books and seminars are filled with anecdotal tales and maybe even some studies. Words like controls or double blind are not found anywhere in the research. The scientific community scoffs at the research and the concept but that's because the research is either too cutting edge or it's a conspiracy of your choice. Naturally, no one, other than the scientists, considers just what qualifies as good research.

Our hero continues along earning a relative pittance compared to what he would be earning had he actually been able to cure cancer, the common cold or help your car get an additional 10 mpg. Eventually, our hero fades away, but don't fear, for he'll soon return with a new body, a new voice and a slightly different song.

For what it's worth, I took the above story, more or less, from a very well-known diet author but I could have taken it from a thousand other sources. If I seem skeptical, perhaps this would explain why.

Last edited by Erik : 04-09-2002 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 04-09-2002, 04:34 PM   #20
Bruce Baker
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Chuck Gordon ...

Chuck Gordon, and Chuck Clark also.


Email me your address, and from my own pocket I will send you a tape, and a book no charge.

My treat.

BrucBaker@aol.com

If that doesn't pique your interest, too bad.. I tried.

1.)By the way, pressure points don't make black and blue marks like a hammer. Hammer guy goes to jail, pressure point guy fills out a report.

2.)It you knew how to activate the third pressure point for Aikido Techniques with multiple attackers coming at you, wouldn't you like the one in your hands to be out?

3.)If I am not mistaken, we are humanely immobilizing people with non life threatening means, and that is within the tenents of Aikido?

Besides, I haven't seen any lessons on this thread that weren't beyond your normal Aikido training.
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Old 04-09-2002, 04:41 PM   #21
Bruce Baker
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Kyusho ...

Sorry, I meant to say everything I have suggested should be within your normal Aikido training.

I just finished watching Dillman's 'Humane Pressure Points' and caught at least three types of movements we consider to be Aikido, but Master Dillman was adding pressure point nudges to encourage mountains to be handcuffed by policemen. Funny how the arts cross over, more and more?
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Old 04-09-2002, 11:07 PM   #22
George S. Ledyard
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by ca
My current dojo charges dues only to pay rent, electricity, etc., none of the teachers are salaried. My last one was the same, and since there was an associated college class, the teachers were paid by the university to teach it. They donated that salary to the club. No one is making money on this website. There are plenty of Aikido venues that are non profit. The fact that they do not promote this person who charged you a few hundred dollars for his books and tapes does not mean they are malicious. It means they don't believe.

You do. We get that. I am happy you have something that interests you. You are also enrolled somewhere in an Aikido dojo. Why not take up this line of questioning/seeking with your sensei? You can continue to announce that those who don't agree with you are ignorant, but that is not winning any friends here. Me, I'm a beginner who probably is ignorant about MA (about anatomy and physiology I think I have nothing to fear from you). But a lot of people you've been talking to have a LOT of MA experience, and others who read this know that. So when you call them ignorant, you lose credibility with more than just that one person.
Just an aside. I get a bit defensive when folks start talking as if by showing how they don't make any money, that they in fact are giving their money away they are somehow more credible. I say this because I am a professional instructor. I work my buns off trying to be the best instructor I can be but I definitely need to survive. Even with the money I make through teaching at my own dojo and the small number of seminars I get invited to do I still need to work at several other part time occupations (mostly doing police DT training and even working part time as a private investigator) just to get by.

My hats off to those folks who have figured out how to make a real living doing something they love like this. People whine about Billy Blanks but I think it's just sour grapes. He was the first guy to realize that there were thousands of people out there who would like to do the martial arts without the martial. Wonderful! George Dillman found a handle that appealed to many martial artists. He put it into package form and sold it. Now he's doing fine! Does that inherently detract from the value of what he has done. No. His stuff is fine. I have been meaning to work on the pressure point stuff myself for some time. I have several of his books but haven't had time to work through them in detail.

At some point I intend to put some of the stuff I have been teaching into video form. I will do this for two reasons. First, I want there to be some record out there in Aikido land of the things we have worked out in our dojo that I think would be of use to Aikido folks in the world at large. I won't be around forever and it would be nice if folks could take up where I have left off rather than having to reinvent the wheel next time around. (Guess I am getting self conscious about turning fifty) Second, I need to find a way to get my website to be a profit cenetr so that I am under less financial pressure. Are these incompatible? I don't think so. If my stuff is good people will buy my videos. I support myself and they benefit from the teaching. Everybody is happy. Dillman is the same. His stuff is fine, very useful to know, very valuable for any Aikidoka who wants to take the time to master the principles. He has done tons of work perfecting his "package" and he deserves to benefit from that. I don't think that detracts from the value it has for us as Aikido students. On the other hand most of us know better than to be the "True Believers" that our original poster seems to be. You almost always get burned in the end.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 04-09-2002, 11:31 PM   #23
guest1234
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 915
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Hi Ledyard Sensei,

I appologise if it seemed like I was saying those who don't teach for a salary were better than those that do, because that certainly was not my intent . I was replying to Bruce's statement that Aikido instructors were just in it for the money and that was why they didn't want to believe as he did.

Obviously (since you know my instructors past and present) it is easier to not take a salary from teaching when there are enough teachers around to share the teaching so each can retain a 'day job'. I have never had a sensei who didn't work at something else besides, and am impressed with those who can make a living by teaching alone. That certainly says a lot for their Aikido. Similarly, the fact that a sensei has a day job doesn't mean he isn't as good as the one who exclusively teaches for a living. To me they are both ways of someone sharing their Aikido with me, and I win either way.

Again, sir, my appologies.
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Old 04-10-2002, 12:21 AM   #24
Erik
Location: Bay Area
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,200
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Quote:
Originally posted by George S. Ledyard
Snipped stuff on making money.
From my own perspective, I'm fine with instructors making money. I wish more could do this stuff full-time and all the more power to Billy Blanks. I hope my posts did not contradict that point of view.

The reason I added money into the equation with Mr. Dillman is that someone who can genuinely do what he claims to be doing, and more importantly for the reasons being claimed here, ought to be making a hell of a lot more money than he is. He needs a better marketing plan.

You don't run around doing seminars, you run around collecting Nobel prizes when you can do this kind of thing. Actually using Chi, as it's taught and explained is REVOLUTIONARY and that word needs to be several sizes larger to drive home how REVOLUTIONARY it is. You provide documented proof of repeatable pressure point KO's due to pressure point interaction, and no other means, on the scale he does, and you will have scientist's beating your door down. We won't need Bruce to extoll the virtues of it, it will be front page news.
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Old 04-10-2002, 12:45 AM   #25
Largo
Dojo: Aikikai Dobunkan/ Icho Ryu Aikijujutsu
Location: Indiana
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 247
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eh? they give nobel prizes for this?

Quote:
you run around collecting Nobel prizes when you can do this kind of thing.
They have nobel prizes for this? Really? I'm guessing it isn't the peace prize .
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