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Old 11-30-2010, 01:38 PM   #151
Alberto_Italiano
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Re: Are We that Good?

I love this forum.

Another cent by me about being "good".
Administration of disorder: this is what a fight is about.

The guy attacks with a hook (in my humble world, that's still called hook and not yokomenuchi lol). Panic ensues (not confidence!), my arms raise to block it as if it were karate. I fail and the hook _hits_ my face. I instintively lower to dodge a second hook (that did not come) and that's not aikido but boxing, yet as I am raising back I step sideway in a confused memory that in aikido you need to stay tangent... I find uke's arm in front of me and I grab it awkwardly. Disorder.

I grab it and manage to place it under my left arm and right arm to block it - something for which, in most dojos, they would immediately oust you from the dojo for that's potentially an arm breaking technique. Yet I know it, and I move backward very _carefully_ holding this arm.

Uke struggles frantic to set his arm free and _succeeds_ to slip it out of my grip. I know I'm in for another confrontation and jumping sideway I push his arm against him and I grab it again. Disorder.

I try to walk toward uke as I push his arm against him but damn, he has a good footing for some reason! He pushes his arm against me to set it free and face me again. I lower his arm, pulling and getting nearly on my knees, we are both almost on the floor, he manages to raise back, I try shiho nage - direct, without pivoting and turning on myself (most dojos would complain shiho nage is not done like that...). Uke is on the ground on his back. I rotate his wrist and simulate placing my knee on his elbow. Endgame.

Very disordered. Yet, somewhat realistic. No real struggle resembles ideograms. We cannot be "that good", for at times in a real world to be good it needs to be "that ugly" (and with a reddened cheekbone.
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Old 12-01-2010, 01:14 AM   #152
Nicholas Eschenbruch
Dojo: TV Denzlingen
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Re: Are We that Good?

Hi Jon,

I guess I agree with your points and really sympathise with your position, but yet, I am not so sure who you are pressing the case with after 150 posts?

There are those of us who dont have a lot of experience; they won't be able to judge anyway.
There are those of us who know what they do and are happy with what they do; they don't mind who they can defeat or not in mostly theoretical confrontations, much like a painter does not mind that photography produces clearer pictures. I actually see a potential for some wisdom there.
There are those who arguably don't know what they do and are happy with that as well. Unlike others, I feel no real need to reform them, though their statements do bug me at times.
There are those of us who have made up their minds that they want to train in a different way; they have made connections, got information, formed networks and started to work. Some have gone quite silent on the forums and my guess is you won't hear much from them for the next five to ten years or so.
There are those of us who claim they (well mostly: their teachers ) have always been able do what others cannot, who claim to always have been at aikido's full potential; they will think or say your training is deficient because of the questions you ask, and remain in their black box. We will never know how good they are, though we may make informed guesses -- or even be in for some surprises.

In a way, I think that battle has been fought over the last couple of years. Once the noise has subsided, there is quite a clear picture of some salient strengths and weaknesses on all sides, at least in my confused mind... And now we will have to wait.

Personally, I am getting more interested in questions like how aikido is going to be run politically in a few years, or how on earth one would have to go about strengthening the spiritual aspect of our practice. Meanwhile, some inverse breathing wont harm .... ☺
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:31 AM   #153
jonreading
 
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Re: Are We that Good?

Nicholas-

Mostly I press the matter to encourage posters to make reasonable and valid posts worthy of defense and discussion. This thread is part aikido, part discourse etiquette. Sometimes I think we get carried away and say whatever we want and sometimes whatever we want to say is baseless...however interesting it may be...

If I were to make a claim, "The sky is not blue," one would expect that I provide some reason to substantiate my claim. If I could not present a compelling reason, my claim would be dismissed.

And to be clear, I am not looking to judge the responses in this thread, only to ask posters to publish the reasoning behind the claims. I think we could all benefit from responses with sound reasoning behind them... of which we have several great posts.
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:10 PM   #154
KaliGman
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Re: Are We that Good?

Shortest answer: No.

Slightly longer answer: No, most Aikidoka posting on forums (and martial artists in general) have never experienced even "realistic sparring," much less a committed street attack. Many a delusion would be shattered if a few sparring partners just launched hard, fast, right hands at a few mouths, without even considering what a decent high school wrestler could do to some egos.

Longest answer I am going to post: Aikido has many good points and has something to offer, in regard to combat methodologies, to anyone who studies under a good instructor. However, not all martial systems are equal and Aikido is one of the less effective systems. I do not mean that some form of Aikido cannot work in real life in real combat, if conducted at a high level by a skilled person. I simply mean that AIkido has many holes within it's methodologies compared to some other systems. It is particularly bad against a skilled knife artist or against a skilled, fast striker who throws blows in combination attacks (multiple hits per second rather than the single, direct, and usually slow attacks practiced in most Aikido dojos), or one who utilizes vertical level changes. Almost all AIkido lacks sparring at speed against a resisting opponent, which is one of the primary methods of gaining skill and confidence and innoculating oneself against real world violence. Training is not the same as being attacked or fighting for your life. I have been attacked and have fought people who were trying to kill me. I have subdued and arrested many people who had killed multiple human beings and a few who made their livings by killing. Hard training is not the same as the real deal, but it is the next best thing we can do to prepare. There is a reason that "train hard, fight easy" is a mantra in military and police circles. There is also a reason that many of the "legendary" Aikido "fighters," and all of the Aikidoka whom I have personally met who could actually fight at a decent level,have cross trained in other martial arts.

The majority of people who feel that they can subdue an attacker without injury have never even been punched in the face, much less had someone try to kill them. I have studied multiple arts taught by many skilled instructors. My friend and teacher Apohan Tuhan Hasting Albo probably said it best, though, when he said "In order to show compassion you have to be able to kill." What he meant was, in order to safely control an attacker and negate his ability to attack without hurting him, you have to be so much more skilled than the attacker that you could literally kill him at any point during the attack, if you so chose. If you do not outclass your opponent by this kind of margin, then attempting to control the opponent without injuring the opponent is opening yourself to danger, injury, and, depending on the situation, possibly death.

I have, by no means, crossed hands with all of the members of this board, though I have done so with a few. I mean no disrespect to anyone's training. If you are training for spiritual development, then more power to you and continue on your journey. Do not confuse such training with realistic self-defense methodologies, however. Learn this from me, a middle aged guy with various scars, injuries, broken bones, and interesting stories to tell: check the ego at the door, do not mistake collusive "dojo" randori as realistic training, and if confronted on the street, trust your running shoes rover your irimi.
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:35 AM   #155
kewms
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Re: Are We that Good?

Quote:
Jon Holloway wrote: View Post
It is particularly bad against a skilled knife artist or against a skilled, fast striker who throws blows in combination attacks (multiple hits per second rather than the single, direct, and usually slow attacks practiced in most Aikido dojos), or one who utilizes vertical level changes.
How effective is *any* unarmed style against a skilled knife artist?

Katherine
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:44 AM   #156
phitruong
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Re: Are We that Good?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
How effective is *any* unarmed style against a skilled knife artist?

Katherine
very effective....in bleeding

of course it depends on the knife, big knife, small knife, meat cleaver, ... personally, i prefer axe. there is something very elemental about an axe that reaches inside your soul and tells you "oh dear god! it's time i run home and do the dishes!"
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:26 AM   #157
Anjisan
Dojo: Aikido of Madison
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Ai symbol Re: Are We that Good?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
How effective is *any* unarmed style against a skilled knife artist?

Katherine
First, I guess that it would depend on the skill level of the artist-are we talking about a 29 year Escrima guy or something else?

Second, I have always thought that the typical knife defences taught in Aikido are lacking in terms of dealing with anyone besides the punk outside the liquor store who just wants your wallet--certainly not a predator. As such, I personally have begun to incorporate Krav Maga into my Aikido to attempt to address the deficit.
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:07 AM   #158
phitruong
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Re: Are We that Good?

Quote:
Jason Rudolph wrote: View Post
First, I guess that it would depend on the skill level of the artist-are we talking about a 29 year Escrima guy or something else?

Second, I have always thought that the typical knife defences taught in Aikido are lacking in terms of dealing with anyone besides the punk outside the liquor store who just wants your wallet-.
if i find a 29 year escrima guy who asked me for my wallet outside the liquor store, i would gladly give him all my money, buy him the drink and ask him to teach me.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:00 AM   #159
Anjisan
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Do symbol Re: Are We that Good?

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
if i find a 29 year escrima guy who asked me for my wallet outside the liquor store, i would gladly give him all my money, buy him the drink and ask him to teach me.
I completely agree! However, I guess the issues becomes if one is attacked by someone with skill and INTENT on causing you harm, having the appropriate skills to respond. I certainly agree to give the thug one's wallet-it is just that there have been occasions that I know of where just because you give him/them your wallet does not save you from a pistol whipping or beating. The previous typical response of highjacked passengers comes to mind where if one just does what the terrorists want they will eventually let you go when the plan all along was to blow up the plane-sheep to slaughter so to speak.
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Old 12-09-2010, 01:48 PM   #160
KaliGman
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Re: Are We that Good?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
How effective is *any* unarmed style against a skilled knife artist?

Katherine
Glad I was able to see this during a late "lunch" (spent mostly doing paperwork) and respond. To clarify, for this forum audience, I meant relatively skilled with a knife in a street crime environment. To be quite frank, very few in Aikido understand the angles of attack, the transitions from one cut to another, etc. of the short blade. The knife does not move like a sword, it is much faster and more lively, and contemporary knife methodologies are not addressed at all well by traditional Aikido techniques/skill sets. There are literally hundreds of different kali and silat systems. The best silat and kali systems address empty hand against the knife very well indeed. Stick trains kinfe, which trains empty hand. The thing to remember is that "effective" against a committed knife attach can be defined as surviving the first pass or two of the blade which will occur during a surprise assault, and being able to retreat and/or access your own defensive tools. It can also be defined as stopping the knife attack and controlling the attacker, which is much more difficult. Against a very well trained kali or silat fighter armed with a knife, no one who is going to be very happy fighting unarmed, though a person with much, much more skill than the attacker may be able to prevail. However, humans are weapon and tool users for a reason--they give us advantages not possessed by merely utilizling our "natural" weapons.
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Old 12-09-2010, 01:53 PM   #161
KaliGman
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Re: Are We that Good?

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
very effective....in bleeding

of course it depends on the knife, big knife, small knife, meat cleaver, ... personally, i prefer axe. there is something very elemental about an axe that reaches inside your soul and tells you "oh dear god! it's time i run home and do the dishes!"
Axes designed for felling small trees, camp chores, and splitting wood are very badlly balanced for fighting, and recovering from a normal cutting stroke with such a device requires what would be seen in a blade confrontation as an eternity. Now "fighting axes" and tomahawks are a different animal entirely... .

Last edited by KaliGman : 12-09-2010 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:05 PM   #162
KaliGman
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Re: Are We that Good?

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
if i find a 29 year escrima guy who asked me for my wallet outside the liquor store, i would gladly give him all my money, buy him the drink and ask him to teach me.
I don't ask for money outside liquor stores, and I don't drink. However, I am head of a Filipino martial system (Albo Kali Silat), and you are welcome to come train. Perhaps you could attend a seminar (I believe the next one is Columbus, Ohio, sometime after the New Year). I don't do that many seminars, actually. My law enforcement job keeps me pretty busy. Here is some background information, if you are interested (though it is a bit out of date and magazines always compress contributor biographies a bit): http://www.blackbeltmag.com/jon_holloway/archives/746

Last edited by KaliGman : 12-09-2010 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 12-09-2010, 08:12 PM   #163
kewms
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Re: Are We that Good?

Quote:
Jon Holloway wrote: View Post
Against a very well trained kali or silat fighter armed with a knife, no one who is going to be very happy fighting unarmed, though a person with much, much more skill than the attacker may be able to prevail. However, humans are weapon and tool users for a reason--they give us advantages not possessed by merely utilizling our "natural" weapons.
That was my point. Unarmed vs. an edged weapon is a very very severe disadvantage, no matter what kind of training you have. Aikido deserves criticism (IMO) not so much because it does poorly against knife attacks, but because so many practitioners have unrealistic expectations of their ability to deal with knives.

Katherine
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:05 AM   #164
KaliGman
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Re: Are We that Good?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
That was my point. Unarmed vs. an edged weapon is a very very severe disadvantage, no matter what kind of training you have. Aikido deserves criticism (IMO) not so much because it does poorly against knife attacks, but because so many practitioners have unrealistic expectations of their ability to deal with knives.

Katherine
Katherine,

I think you misunderstood what I have said in this thread, which is probably my fault for not stating things more clearly and unequivocally. Please indulge me and let me try to clarify what I was trying to say earlier in this thread.

There are systems, to include some kali and silat systems, that contain training in methodologies which can give a person a decent chance to survive an edged weapon attack while unarmed. Training in typical Aikido methodologies will not provide the student with a decent chance (or really much chance at all) in surviving an edged n atweapotack. To be perfectly frank, I have never seen anyone who is what I consider "good" going against a knife while empty handed in full-contact sparring or in real attacks who had not spent a significant amount of time training and sparring knife against knife and empty hand against knife. Training with a knife and sparring knife against knife teaches the possible mechanisms and angles of knife attacks and develops speed and the ability to check attacks. Without these skills and abilities, surviving an edged weapon attack becomes more a matter of pure luck, the decision of an attacker to cease his or her attack for some reason (rather than anything you have done to stop them from being able to attack), or having a completely inept attacker. To be brutally honest, the majority of the persons who I have seen practicing Aikido in the last 30 or so years have about as much chance of surviving an edged weapon encounter on the street as I do of winning the Powerball Lottery while being struck by lightning and being simultaneously bitten by a shark.

Please note that, in my earlier posts, I was not merely stating that Aikido is not very good against the knife, but was attempting to point out some empty hand versus empty hand problems that the system has as well. To clarify, Aikido methodologies are not very good at stopping a competent fighter who is proficient in a striking art which emphasizes footwork and attacking in combinations rather than a single attack. Some other arts offer superior methodologies for dealing with such individuals. Also note that I had stated that Aikido has problems with those who change levels when fighting. What I mean by that is someone who will go from standing erect to attacking a lower level target, such as the knee or leg. This could be anything from a collegiate wrestler going for a quick single leg to a Harimau Silat fighter dropping to a seated position while kicking and trapping an opponent's leg and destroying his knee joint.

Of course, there are problems and holes in any art, and value in it as well. I find Aikido methodologies to have a lot of value in my work when I need to control or arrest a passively resisting subject (not fighting, but not cooperating in the arrest either), when dealing with less dangerous situations and opponents and putting them in a position where they can be safely arrested, and the like. Many others find value in Aikido for exercise, spiritual development, fellowship, and other reasons. For me, the focus on my training is combat and survival, as the nature of what I do for a living means that I will routinely deal with some very violent people who would have no remorse whatsoever if they stomped me into jelly. I am absolutely not qualified to voice an opinion on Aikido and spiritual development, etc., and I will not do so. Also, please note that all this is only my opinion. Of course, my opinion is based on training and experience in multiple fighting arts, dealing with real attacks from those armed with knives, clubs, and guns, dealing with real attacks from multiple attackers, and continuously sparring and seeking out those with other methodologies. All this has allowed me to try to find where the holes in my personal defense system are before these problem areas result in holes in my actual person. To be honest, sometimes I had to learn the hard way and I did get cut or have a broken bone or two. I seek to continuously evaluate what I do from a realistic self-defense perspective and, if what I do does not work, then I find something that does.

I expect that your reasons for training are, happily, much different from mine and that you probably will not have to deal with some of the situations that I train for and experience in real life. I also expect that you are making good progress in the direction your training is taking you. Happy training to you and, in case I don't get back to this thread (or board) in time to say it, Merry Christmas.

Last edited by KaliGman : 12-10-2010 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:43 AM   #165
Anjisan
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Ki Symbol Re: Are We that Good?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
That was my point. Unarmed vs. an edged weapon is a very very severe disadvantage, no matter what kind of training you have. Aikido deserves criticism (IMO) not so much because it does poorly against knife attacks, but because so many practitioners have unrealistic expectations of their ability to deal with knives.

Katherine
I agree that is a concern, but not something that cannot be dealt with. Each dojo has to decide for itself if beyond the "traditional" attacks and responses if modifications will be made. I am certainly not asserting that Aikidoka are going to start to be as competent at knife defence as a Kali practitioner, but there is certainly room for improvement in the curriculum so that an Aikidoka can deal with the majority of likely knife attacks much more competently. In essence, a dose or two of reality based training injected into a traditional martial art such as Aikido. Personally, I have gone outside Aikido to incorporate more knife/gun defences into "my Aikido" but if it can be done dojo wide it would make it so much easier.
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