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Old 12-30-2010, 12:13 PM   #51
mickeygelum
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Re: Why do Aikidoka say Aikido does not work?

Quote:
....Experiences, needs and expectations will naturally vary based on individual's lives. The 40 year old law enforcement professional will have different scenarios and risks than the 20-something guy who frequents biker bars or the 60 year old woman who doesn't live in the worst neighborhood in town.
Absolutely true.

Quote:
The honest answer is, not very many.
Now what about everyone else? If you do not mind elaborating, your experience or reference is what? Your demography? Your Profession? Your victimization?

Your "honest answer" as it applies to you, " not very many ".
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:57 PM   #52
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Re: Why do Aikidoka say Aikido does not work?

Quote:
Michael Gelum wrote: View Post
Absolutely true.

Now what about everyone else? If you do not mind elaborating, your experience or reference is what? Your demography? Your Profession? Your victimization?

Your "honest answer" as it applies to you, " not very many ".
Mickey,

Cops, EMT's, hospital security, prison guards, etc, represent a tiny portion of our population. I know people in each of those fields. I also know people who help train a lot more of those people than I know personally. Most know enough to handle themselves in the average situation, but they depend on their position (of authority) and the tools their position affords them to best do their job. Few are hardened, capable "fighters". Fewer still train more than their job requires of them. Even with that, most are prepared, through training and through the authority of their position, to deal with 98% of the encounters they are likely to face in their jobs. These are people who find themselves in potentially dangerous situations far more than the most of us, aka, the average person, but even with that they still end up in relatively few really serious (life threatening) situations. So the "average person" who isn't going to places they shouldn't be, running their mouths when they shouldn't be or generally out looking for trouble can feel relatively secure in their daily lives without having to devote hours per week to being able to defend themselves in a really dangerous situation. Those people represent most of the aikido community and were the people Mary was asking about. So yes, it's safe to say "not very many", because it's generally true.
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:27 PM   #53
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Why do Aikidoka say Aikido does not work?

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Just how many so-called "self-defense" situations is the average not-sucky aikidoka encountering on a daily or even yearly basis?
It really doesn't matter, what matters is being able to do what's needed, when it's needed, because it's needed. Call it virtue or social responsibility.

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Old 12-30-2010, 01:49 PM   #54
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Re: Why do Aikidoka say Aikido does not work?

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
It really doesn't matter, what matters is being able to do what's needed, when it's needed, because it's needed. Call it virtue or social responsibility.
I have no problem with this, but I think it's important to understand that this is a choice -- and that choosing to develop oneself in this way means not developing oneself in other ways that might also be said to be virtuous or socially responsible. But, now that I think about it, that's probably not really relevant to what I think you and some others are getting at, which is not "train every possible minute of every day so that you can be prepared for the statistically unlikely self-defense situation", but "in the time that you spend training, make it real". Am I correct about that?
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:56 PM   #55
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Re: Why do Aikidoka say Aikido does not work?

Quote:
Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe wrote: View Post
Therefore the "aikido" you practice is not martial, but an exercise system developed from a "martial art"
Except that he's also saying the martial applicability comes about through the exercise, when done well enough. The question is, I think, again one of emphasis. What does the individual want to focus on? To best facilitate that the individual has to find a place with a similar emphasis.
If your "average" person wants to play the odds, martial efficacy could probably be pretty low on the priority list. If the person wants to address that "1%-er," it should be pretty high on the list. If it's somewhere in between it should probably be somewhere in between.
Certainly a system focusing highly on martial efficacy will provide many healthy side-effects, but it stands to reason that not everyone will want to put that kind of seriousness in their practice...and I think that should be ok. The head of the school sets the basic tone. Beyond that, I don't think it's for anyone to tell another what they should be doing as if theirs was The correct approach.
...Which always seems to creep into these discussions. The issue of delusion is of course important, but I don't think people can say much more than, "expect to be surprised," and, "go out to see the variety of ways different people prepare for it."
I guess it just seems like usually these conversations come down to two kinds of "discussion:" preeching to the choir or preeching to the pelicans. In either case, the talk isn't hugely helpful.
...er...not that that hasn't stopped me from trying...so I don't mean to imply anyone shouldn't speak their mind when they see fit, but there's mine for whatever little it's worth.
Take care,
Matt

Quote:
"in the time that you spend training, make it real".
Which is good advice, but a lot more seems to come about than simply that message. And, more to the point, learning is a process. Making the training "real" requires discovering what "real" is in the first place...or getting lucky. And, frankly, I don't get the impression most people train for "real" self defense by practicing how to do an arm bar correctly. It comes about considerably more through situational awareness, which isn't a common thing in dojos I've seen (or I missed it). You don't generally learn about the "tells" of violent people on the mat.
...as it appears to me anyway.
Looking forward to corrections and insights from all.
Again, take care.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 12-30-2010 at 02:05 PM.

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Old 12-30-2010, 04:54 PM   #56
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Re: Why do Aikidoka say Aikido does not work?

there's a quote from Terry Dobson, I don't remember exactly but something like "when the shit hits the fan you'll probably have a bag of groceries in one hand, and a baby in the other"

happy new year to all
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Old 12-30-2010, 05:37 PM   #57
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Why do Aikidoka say Aikido does not work?

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I have no problem with this, but I think it's important to understand that this is a choice -- and that choosing to develop oneself in this way means not developing oneself in other ways that might also be said to be virtuous or socially responsible.
Of course this is a choice, one of many possible ones but, if someone chooses the budo path, self (or others, or property) defense skills is one of the various things that should be obtained by following said path for self developement and society benefit.

If someone is not interested in this kind of transformative technology of the self, he/she can chose another. There are many available.

Quote:
But, now that I think about it, that's probably not really relevant to what I think you and some others are getting at, which is not "train every possible minute of every day so that you can be prepared for the statistically unlikely self-defense situation", but "in the time that you spend training, make it real". Am I correct about that?
Well, the "train every possible minute of every day so that you can be prepared for the statistically unlikely self-defense situation" is, imo, the road to paranoia; the "in the time that you spend training, make it real"... how many people really wants to gaze into the abyss? The abyss gazes also into you.

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Certainly a system focusing highly on martial efficacy will provide many healthy side-effects, but it stands to reason that not everyone will want to put that kind of seriousness in their practice...and I think that should be ok.
How so?

Last edited by Demetrio Cereijo : 12-30-2010 at 05:41 PM.

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Old 12-30-2010, 05:54 PM   #58
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Re: Why do Aikidoka say Aikido does not work?

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Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
So the "average person" who isn't going to places they shouldn't be, running their mouths when they shouldn't be or generally out looking for trouble can feel relatively secure in their daily lives without having to devote hours per week to being able to defend themselves in a really dangerous situation
.

I am an average person by your definition. I have had to defend myself a few times. Once at work I was attacked by a coworker and once in my church by a fellow parishioner.

These are hardly the places that you would expect but it made me realize that an assault can happen anywhere at anytime for any reason.

It is a mistake to feel secure that it won't happen and prudent to feel that it might happen and prepare yourself beforehand.

David
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Old 12-30-2010, 06:58 PM   #59
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Re: Why do Aikidoka say Aikido does not work?

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
How so?
I mean that I think people should be able to make their training into whatever they want without people criticizing them for it. Though I do think people should be able to criticize where they see fit too, so I don't have a tidy reply...and this must've been bothering me a bit because I just woke up from a nap where in my dream I was bawled out by some Aikidoka here I respect quite a bit, for basically being a dummy and overstepping my bounds.
I wrote a lot more than this, but felt it diverged from the topic a bit too much. I'd like to add I think it's important to consider Ledyard Sensei's remarks about hobbyists being a kind of necessary evil for dojos with respect to monitary support, etc. and quality of training, and to suggest I think the dichotomy applies on a larger scale to some degree.

Quote:
David wrote:
I am an average person by your definition.
I don't think so; not in this context. I think by the fact that you were attacked three times means you're not the average person as it relates to being attacked, but I agree with your point about average people having to deal with stuff like this; that they should consider it more than just in passing.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 12-30-2010 at 07:11 PM.

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Old 12-30-2010, 07:07 PM   #60
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Re: Why do Aikidoka say Aikido does not work?

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I mean that I think people should be able to make their training into whatever they want without people criticizing them for it. Though I do think people should be able to criticize where they see fit too, so I don't have a tidy reply...and this must've been bothering me a bit because I just woke up from a nap where in my dream I was bawled out by some Aikidoka here I respect quite a bit, for basically being a dummy and overstepping my bounds.
I wrote a lot more than this, but felt it diverged from the topic a bit too much. I'd like to add I think it's important to consider Ledyard Sensei's remarks about hobbyists being a kind of necessary evil for dojos with respect to monitary support and quality of training, and to suggest I think the dichotomy applies on a larger scale to some degree.
Dude if you start dreaming about Aikiweb, you need to log off, get a cookie and some ale.

MM
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Old 12-30-2010, 07:18 PM   #61
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Why do Aikidoka say Aikido does not work?

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Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
Dude if you start dreaming about Aikiweb, you need to log off, get a cookie and some ale.
LOL! Cookies and ale!? Ewwwwww! ...wait, that wasn't very manly...ehem...I prefer to eat bloody steaks and drink the fear-soaked tears of my enemies! Yeah!
...And to be fair I did take my nap right after posting...and I do care about how I communicate and how I contribute (where I do so). Sometimes it actually makes a difference.
...er...logging off now.
Take care.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 12-30-2010 at 07:21 PM.

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Old 12-30-2010, 07:44 PM   #62
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Re: Why do Aikidoka say Aikido does not work?

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
LOL! Cookies and ale!? Ewwwwww! ...wait, that wasn't very manly...ehem...I prefer to eat bloody steaks and drink the fear-soaked tears of my enemies! Yeah!
...And to be fair I did take my nap right after posting...and I do care about how I communicate and how I contribute (where I do so). Sometimes it actually makes a difference.
...er...logging off now.
Take care.

MM
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:00 PM   #63
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Re: Why do Aikidoka say Aikido does not work?

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
It really doesn't matter, what matters is being able to do what's needed, when it's needed, because it's needed. Call it virtue or social responsibility.
But which is more socially responsible? Being able to protect yourself and/or others should the need arise, or spending the exact same amount of time that you now spend at the dojo tutoring disadvantaged kids, or volunteering at a shelter for battered women, or building houses, or...

There are lots of ways to be socially responsible. I'm not sure I'd put studying aikido particularly high on the list.

Katherine
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Old 12-31-2010, 12:29 AM   #64
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Re: Why do Aikidoka say Aikido does not work?

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
But which is more socially responsible? Being able to protect yourself and/or others should the need arise, or spending the exact same amount of time that you now spend at the dojo tutoring disadvantaged kids, or volunteering at a shelter for battered women, or building houses, or...

There are lots of ways to be socially responsible. I'm not sure I'd put studying aikido particularly high on the list.

Katherine
You could also say, But which is more socially responsible? Working to provide for your self and family or spending the exact same amount of time that you now spend at the work tutoring disadvantaged kids, or volunteering at a shelter for battered women, or building houses, or...

Or you could say, But which is more socially responsible? Sitting at the table and eating your meals at home or spending the exact same amount of time that you now spend eating at home tutoring disadvantaged kids, or volunteering at a shelter for battered women, or building houses, or...

In order to be socially responsible, charitable, etc you have to be alive and healthy.

Practicing a martial art may be one of the fundamental things to do to be alive, safe and healthy.

David
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Old 12-31-2010, 03:10 AM   #65
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Why do Aikidoka say Aikido does not work?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
But which is more socially responsible? Being able to protect yourself and/or others should the need arise, or spending the exact same amount of time that you now spend at the dojo tutoring disadvantaged kids, or volunteering at a shelter for battered women, or building houses, or...
Don't know. How can you measure that? Of course if we are talking of LARPing in tutoring disadvantaged kids...

Quote:
There are lots of ways to be socially responsible. I'm not sure I'd put studying aikido particularly high on the list.
It's a personal choice.

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Old 12-31-2010, 08:03 AM   #66
Diana Frese
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Re: Why do Aikidoka say Aikido does not work?

Reading the forums reminds me of the days in active training when
I was struggling to keep up ..... but still coming back for more
practice, it was fascinating and you just keep learning more.

I'm sure as I begin training again with my husband for uke
(and nage) I will get a chance to check the effectiveness of
the techniques without actually throwing.

Then, transportation permitting. visit our friends at the local
dojo. First I need to get another hakama. I actually trained so
much in the old days both the ones from Japan with the indigo
dye fell apart, and they are sturdily made with the heavy fabric
that gets softer and fuller with age (if you train enough).

To me, it seems like the concepts of timing are so important.
I remember one of Kanai Sensei's assistants teaching a
Saturday class in Cambridge, Mass. who, if I remember
correctly said something like it's all in the first second or so,
if you're on the street. Then you can do whatever you want. I
think he meant the choice of running, or hitting the person.
As I said, I'm not sure of the exact words, but I'm sure I
reported the concepts he mentioned pretty accurately.

At a YMCA, sometimes people only stop by for one class on
their way to other activities. I remember teaching the irimi
entry where you flatten out, slide in and end up behind the
attacker. Then you can run.

Yes I know there is more to it, but I guess this is a start.

One more thing, I began to really appreciate katate tori during
my last year or so of active teaching and training. It teaches
a person to keep track of where the other person's hands are so
they don't end up in your eyes. I got a scratched cornea a few
years previously and that was quite a lesson to me.

I'm grateful to the forums for bringing back memories and they
have increased my determination to train again. Thank you all.
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Old 12-31-2010, 08:50 AM   #67
Diana Frese
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Re: Why do Aikidoka say Aikido does not work?

Me again, but my husband just came into our little home office and
added a few examples. He and his brother had already trained in
martial arts when I met them thirty years ago at the local Y.
Not trying to sound like a "voice of experience" but I just have
to report what he urged me to mention:

The time I noticed a group of various ages of kids, including
teenagers near some scaffolding where a building was being
repaired in NYC and I was relatively new to Aikido. My purse
flew by with my arm still attached to it (and my body). The
more they tugged the looser my arm got. Finally they gave up
and ran off, probably afraid a patrol car would come by and
notice the struggle. This proved to me how valuable all the
training in relaxed arm grab as uke is, to be able to follow
nage's lead in order to learn the techniques with a lot of turns...

Even before, when I had just begun at NYAikikai and had
three school years of judo and one term of Aikido before graduation
previously, a friend from college was interested in what
I was studying. He grabbed both wrists. He was a football
player .... American football, that is. Somehow I ended up
behind him and poked him between the shoulder blades,
nobody could have been more surprised than I, wondering
how I got there.

I don't think my Aikido ever looked that tough, but at NY
Aikikai in the sixties you had to throw and be thrown and
Yamada Sensei had that emphasis on basics and solid
technique he is famous for. My ukemi wasn't that great but
at least I was in there practicing with the rest of them....

To this day, my husband says he is amazed by the solidity if
you grab my arm it's just channeled from the center and hard
to budge it. Even at my age you never lose that if you've worked
on it as part of your daily training even years previously.

One more thing, his brother was grabbed by two people and
they went flying. From my husbands description of what his
brother told him it looked just like one of the popular techniques
from two hand grab by two people, bring them in and throw
them out.... I'm sure you all know this one.

Sorry to take up all this space at once, but I joined this thread
late and my husband took to the question immediately and
enthusiastically.
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Old 12-31-2010, 08:53 AM   #68
Anjisan
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Ai symbol Re: Why do Aikidoka say Aikido does not work?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
You could also say, But which is more socially responsible? Working to provide for your self and family or spending the exact same amount of time that you now spend at the work tutoring disadvantaged kids, or volunteering at a shelter for battered women, or building houses, or...

Or you could say, But which is more socially responsible? Sitting at the table and eating your meals at home or spending the exact same amount of time that you now spend eating at home tutoring disadvantaged kids, or volunteering at a shelter for battered women, or building houses, or...

In order to be socially responsible, charitable, etc you have to be alive and healthy.

Practicing a martial art may be one of the fundamental things to do to be alive, safe and healthy.

David
Good Point! Or as I like to say, remain upright and breathing and therefore live life! Also, perhaps one could tutor disadvantaged kids in the art of Aikido. Further, one could set up expectations with the kids that if they want to train they have to do so well academically. At the the end of the day, all concerned could be better people who make good choices to stay out of trouble in the first place and learn self-defence for the possibility that trouble finds them.
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Old 01-01-2011, 04:37 PM   #69
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Re: Why do Aikidoka say Aikido does not work?

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
"Why do you hate freedom?"

Yay for loaded questions.
Sorry, been away and haven't had to check the responses.

Why is it a loaded question?
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Old 01-01-2011, 04:44 PM   #70
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Re: Why do Aikidoka say Aikido does not work?

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Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
I believe the whole statement is "Why do you hate freedom, motherhood and apple pie?!"

But yeah, it's baiting.
Actually, I sort of avoided this thread until now because the subject seems like a giant tackle-box.
Not for nothing, but so far I have noticed only women have a problem with my question. Why is that?

Is it not a fair question to ask people who are studying an art why they say it won't work?

Personally, I don't think either of you have any idea what a loaded question or baiting is.

I am an Aikidoka who has seen Aikido (actual technique) work in a real situation (twice) and wondering why people on here who study say it doesn't.
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Old 01-01-2011, 04:47 PM   #71
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Re: Why do Aikidoka say Aikido does not work?

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
And how many aikidoka who don't "still suck" are really in any position to know if their aikido is any good for self-defense? Just how many so-called "self-defense" situations is the average not-sucky aikidoka encountering on a daily or even yearly basis?
This works both ways. You can't say it won't work either.
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Old 01-01-2011, 04:48 PM   #72
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Re: Why do Aikidoka say Aikido does not work?

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Lyle Bogin wrote: View Post
I can dig the idea that there are faster ways to get to the point where you can "defend yourself", but overall I think that aikidoka are convinced aikido isn't good for self defense because they either still suck or are afraid of failure.
I think it's because they think they have to pull off a kotegaishi or shihonage for their Aikido to work. To me, stopping the threat is Aikido.
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Old 01-01-2011, 06:12 PM   #73
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Re: Why do Aikidoka say Aikido does not work?

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Pete Lev wrote: View Post
I think it's because they think they have to pull off a kotegaishi or shihonage for their Aikido to work. To me, stopping the threat is Aikido.
Well there is some room for different opinions as to what, exactly, Aikido is. I tend to think like you here, in that, if I do better because of my Aikido training, "my Aikido" worked. But to be nit-picky, stopping a threat can be any number of things that is not Aikido: Running over someone who threatened you is stopping a threat, but it isn't necessarily Aikido, right?
Quote:
Personally, I don't think either of you have any idea what a loaded question or baiting is.
If I may (and even if I may not), I'd suggest sticking with your first tact (the question) and also not bringing up gender as if being female had anything to do with it. This topic is old and sticky and has tended to bring out the "best" in people in the past...so their comments seem to make sense to me.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 01-01-2011 at 06:14 PM.

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Old 01-01-2011, 06:17 PM   #74
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Re: Why do Aikidoka say Aikido does not work?

Quote:
Pete Lev wrote: View Post
I have read hundreds of pages of threads over the last few weeks here on Aikiweb, and have noticed many threads concerning the effectiveness Aikido ...

So please, tell me again..why do Aikidoka say Aikido does not work for self defense?
As popular as aikiweb is, the number of participants is a small minority of those practicing aikido world wide and the simple answer is that your survey is quite biased. What you are reading is a self-selective sampling. It's only natural those who have questions or concerns would be the ones that would make the effort to find and post on this forum. Those that don't or feel they are getting sufficient answers in their training probably won't be found on here posting about such topics except maybe in response. It's very common for online forums to have the same questions asked over and over in many different threads. That's why FAQs came into being on the internet in the first place.

Since such questions of effectiveness really come down to personal competence, training competence, and teacher competence rather than the art itself, and much to do with assessment of competence is subjective, this makes for never ending online discussion. When you have conflict, nothing is perfect and any human being can be cut down by another on any given day. Your training may lower the possibility but it can't make it zero, so the outcome of any given story really doesn't provide an answer either.

Also there is often a confusion about the differences between self-defense and fighting.

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Old 01-02-2011, 10:33 AM   #75
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Re: Why do Aikidoka say Aikido does not work?

Quote:
Pete Lev wrote: View Post
Is it not a fair question to ask people who are studying an art why they say it won't work?
If you were asking those who say it won't work, then yes, it would be a fair question. But you're not. You're asking the members of an aikido forum, who hold a diversity of opinions about whether aikido will "work" and what that means. Call it a quibble, but we've had an awful lot of discussions here go veering off into the weeds due to a failure to define terms.

Quote:
Pete Lev wrote: View Post
Personally, I don't think either of you have any idea what a loaded question or baiting is.
I think you're wrong, but if what you're getting at is that you didn't intend it to be a loaded question, I have no problem accepting that.

Quote:
Pete Lev wrote: View Post
I am an Aikidoka who has seen Aikido (actual technique) work in a real situation (twice) and wondering why people on here who study say it doesn't.
I think it's a legitimate question, but not when constructed as a strawman. It's fodder for a good discussion if you cite a statement in which so-and-so claims that aikido won't "work" (as defined by...?) because of thus-and-such. it's the open-ended question "Why do Aikidoka say Aikido does not work?" that I have trouble with. I think the only correct answer is, "They don't."
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