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Old 07-15-2002, 01:55 PM   #1
jaxonbrown
Join Date: Oct 2001
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Prison Aikido?

Anyone see the special on The History Channel called 'Lockdown' (I think it was last Friday the 12th of July) where they showed footage from prison security cameras that covered gang fights, knife attacks, prisoners beating on each other, etc. AFAIK, this appears to be the truest depiction of how humans attack each other (very very dirty fighting no graceful shomens or yokomens here).

As a <1yr student of Aikido, I kept thinking 'what the heck would I do in that situation?'. The punches I saw were very close-in and tight and there would be no chance for ikkyo. The stabs with shanks were short, quick and repetative (kotegaish? forget it. tenkan? good luck.)

It occurred to me that real attacks would most likely take the average Aikido student by surprise cuz thugs don't 'punch down their center'. Someone plz restore my confidence that this stuff works against those sort of attacks. I'm sure it will work against a trained samurai on some wind-swept battlefield but against a punk with a nail file behind the stop-n-rob? I like Aikido a lot and plan to train for a looong time but I just need my faith shored up a bit.
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Old 07-15-2002, 02:18 PM   #2
ChristianBoddum
 
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Hi Jaxon and ev'rybody !
First,I think everybody goes through this kind of thinking,but I also think you should
avoid it since it doen't fit the kind of mindset that let's you enter the world of aiki,a head full of ifs gets you where ?
Since you have started in aikido you should
be on the best way not to end up in prison.
Were you thinking along the line of working in a prison,or do you hang around the wrong kind of people ?
Aikido is not only the fighting system but also a way of life,thinking,breathing,talking,
and therefore does affect your surroundings in
more profound ways than you might know.
Yours - Chr.B.
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Old 07-15-2002, 03:04 PM   #3
Kensai
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Remember BE DYNAMIC! Aikido plans for all.

Be Well

"Minimum Effort, Maximum Effciency."
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Old 07-15-2002, 03:04 PM   #4
Brian Vickery
Dojo: Aiki-Buken Aikido
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Re: Prison Aikido?

Quote:
jaxonbrown wrote:
As a <1yr student of Aikido, I kept thinking 'what the heck would I do in that situation?'. The punches I saw were very close-in and tight and there would be no chance for ikkyo. The stabs with shanks were short, quick and repetative (kotegaish? forget it. tenkan? good luck.)
Hello Jaxon,

Well, if what you describe above is REALLY eating at you, I can recommend the following two videos by Peyton Quinn to augment your aikido practice: (www.rmcat.com)

1) "Self Defense Against the Sucker Puncher"
2) "Defending Against the Blade"

Mr. Quinn is an aikidoka; he's also a judoka and karateka. The techniques he uses in these videos are very 'aikido-like' and are easily added to your standard repertoire of aikido techniques. He extensively covers the principles behind the techniques he shows, which to me, is more valuable than the techniques themselves!

Anyway, good luck with your training!

Last edited by Brian Vickery : 07-16-2002 at 07:09 AM.

Brian Vickery

"The highest level of technique to achieve is that of having NO technique!"
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Old 07-15-2002, 03:16 PM   #5
jaxonbrown
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Thanks all - I know this is another 'does aikido work?' thread but the question was nagging me and I thought I'd air it.
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Old 07-15-2002, 04:47 PM   #6
ChristianBoddum
 
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Hi again !
It's important to know that some people react
very fierce and violently to only a little
counterresistance,and some bad guys actually
knows fighting moves,so,don't ever initiate a
fight,and,to do "combat-aikido" is for someone
with lots !! of training ingrained in the body.
I know and have known a lot of these kind of people - the quicktempered,thankfully I'm intact and can learn and appreciate the great things that aikido can offer a life.
Be a real and loving person,that,will be your
best selfdefence in the most cases,having a good name - also on the street is a good asset.
Just a little addition on a hot night !
yours Chr.B.
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Old 07-15-2002, 06:37 PM   #7
L. Camejo
 
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Hi all,

Actually we have had a few prison oficers in our Aikido class and they have used what they learnt in aikido at least a few times on the job and it did work.

The techniques were modified slightly to fit the situation, but in most cases they didn't have to resort to pummeling the perp into the ground with their batons.

Just thought I'd add 2 cents.

Train Hard!
L.C.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
http://www.mushinkan.ca
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Old 07-16-2002, 08:05 AM   #8
mike lee
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Cool

Rule No. 1: Don't end up in prison.

Rule No. 2: There are lots of hard objects in prison, such as concrete and steel. Use those things to your advantage by making sure your opponent runs into those things -- HARD! Never try to fight a bigger, stronger, tougher, faster opponent head to head. Don't try that Seven Seagal macho shit. It won't work in a real pinch. Be evasive, act like you may or may not respond, and then when they charge or take a big swing, make sure they go down hard and in the worst way possible. Ideally they'll bust their shoulder -- THAT REALLY HURTS!

In the dojo we train to have the control to keep our partner safe; i.e., we don't run people into walls or off the mat -- at least not intentionally. The same sort of control that we learn in the dojo can be run in reverse. In other words, we lead the attacker into things that hurt, like steel bars and concrete.

We don't normally teach this kind of thinking in the dojo because we want students, especially at the early stages, to develop a proper living attitude for normal conditions in society. We don't want aikido students to become mean spirited. Nevertheless, extreme conditions often call for extreme measures.

Rule No. 3: Make as many friends as possible and stay away from the bad guys.

Last edited by mike lee : 07-16-2002 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 07-16-2002, 08:34 AM   #9
L. Camejo
 
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Quote:
mike lee wrote:
Rule No. 1: Don't end up in prison.

Rule No. 2: There are lots of hard objects in prison, such as concrete and steel. Use those things to your advantage by making sure your opponent runs into those things -- HARD! Never try to fight a bigger, stronger, tougher, faster opponent head to head. Don't try that Seven Seagal macho shit. It won't work in a real pinch. Be evasive, act like you may or may not respond, and then when they charge or take a big swing, make sure they go down hard and in the worst way possible. Ideally they'll bust their shoulder -- THAT REALLY HURTS!

In the dojo we train to have the control to keep our partner safe; i.e., we don't run people into walls or off the mat -- at least not intentionally. The same sort of control that we learn in the dojo can be run in reverse. In other words, we lead the attacker into things that hurt, like steel bars and concrete.

We don't normally teach this kind of thinking in the dojo because we want students, especially at the early stages, to develop a proper living attitude for normal conditions in society. We don't want aikido students to become mean spirited. Nevertheless, extreme conditions often call for extreme measures.

Rule No. 3: Make as many friends as possible and stay away from the bad guys.
Rule #4- Never, and I mean NEVER drop your soap.

L.C.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
http://www.mushinkan.ca
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Old 07-16-2002, 08:53 AM   #10
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
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Insightfullness, verses beginners eyes

I am glad that someone brought up this scenario. It merely opens your eyes to what you do in practice as being the opportunity to use it in other forms with other more effective deliverys that can be modified.

In a situation where there is no choice, no possibility of "running away", what do you do?

Do you use the large circles and gentle manipulations of practice, or do you reach down to the roots of Aikido's beginings and modify it to injure those trying to kill you with killing them?

Everything you learn in Aikido practice has a martial root and application.

Everything you learn in Aikido has a spiritual root and application that is not martial at all.

Opposites, but then they are not opposites.

The really cool thing about Aikido is that it is easily translated into smaller circles, opens positions for attacks such as punches or kicks, uses opponents as shields, and it should teach you that you are not perfect. There will be times when someone will stab you with a weapon, you will be punched, you might even have to seriously hurt someone to secure your own life .... but these things you will do with a sadness, with malice, and with a reticence that will scar you forever.

Take heart. Should you not see the wide variety of arts that blend so well into the basics of your Aikido training, it will eventually come to light. The big circles will be available to become smaller, the openings to strike, kick, activate joint locks will be easily found, and MOST IMPORTANT, you will attain transitional flow which will be the key to correcting slips, miscalculations, and changes as an attacker plays their ploys to distract you.

Being afraid is not a bad thing, it is the awareness of a good student. It is the humanity of a good human being. It will make you want to find answers. It will make you want to look at why Aikido works in so many applications, and why other techniques can be used with Aikido.
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Old 07-16-2002, 08:58 AM   #11
SeiserL
 
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IMHO, your thoughts are true enough. Very very few martial arts systems are designed to go up against a prison knife fight. Knife fights are more ambush and assinations with deadly intent. But then again, very few people are going to be in that situation. So, just continue to train. If you get a chance to attend some reality seminars, go. I catch a couple a year to keep the feel alive.

Until again,

Lynn

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 07-16-2002, 08:58 AM   #12
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
Location: Barnegaat, NJ
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What is the deal with the translation program, half the "without" are translated to "with".

I am getting to wonder in there is a problem?

Too many times the preview is translated slightly different from the text?
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Old 07-16-2002, 09:02 AM   #13
Bruce Baker
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Corrected text/ Sorry

I am glad that someone brought up this scenario. It merely opens your eyes to what you do in practice as being the opportunity to use it in other forms with other more effective deliverys that can be modified.

In a situation where there is no choice, no possibility of "running away", what do you do?

Do you use the large circles and gentle manipulations of practice, or do you reach down to the roots of Aikido's beginings and modify it to injure those trying to kill you without killing them?

Everything you learn in Aikido practice has a martial root and application.

Everything you learn in Aikido has a spiritual root and application that is not martial at all.

Opposites, but then they are not opposites.

The really cool thing about Aikido is that it is easily translated into smaller circles, opens positions for attacks such as punches or kicks, uses opponents as shields, and it should teach you that you are not perfect. There will be times when someone will stab you with a weapon, you will be punched, you might even have to seriously hurt someone to secure your own life .... but these things you will do with a sadness, without malice, and with a reticence that will scar you forever.

Take heart. Should you not see the wide variety of arts that blend so well into the basics of your Aikido training, it will eventually come to light. The big circles will be available to become smaller, the openings to strike, kick, activate joint locks will be easily found, and MOST IMPORTANT, you will attain transitional flow which will be the key to correcting slips, miscalculations, and changes as an attacker plays their ploys to distract you.

Being afraid is not a bad thing, it is the awareness of a good student. It is the humanity of a good human being. It will make you want to find answers. It will make you want to look at why Aikido works in so many applications, and why other techniques can be used with Aikido.
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Old 07-16-2002, 09:23 AM   #14
Ray Kissane
Dojo: Nihon Goshin Aikido
Location: Middletown NY
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Ma-ai this is the start of your best defence.

Try a drill in the dojo where you and uke are half the distance of mi-ai. Try and defend yourself. You are going to get hit alot.

What this teaches is why we train at ma-ai. In all the potental encounters the best advantage is to be at proper mi-ai. This forces the attacker to have to enter and expose their attack.

You need to pratice ways of establishing mi-ai with out being overly obvious. This has to be done in a manner that does not esclate the situation any more. Look at the ways you can step to the side or back to create distance based on the stance of the attacker. Backwards is not always the best direction, alot of times to the side of the attackers lead side is better. This cause the attacker to have to turn towards you creating more time for you to create a better distance.

With correctional officers they maintain a distance from the inmates except when they are handling them. The distance allows them to watch the inmates and to be able to react to any potentail problems. Sounds alot like why we have ma-ai.

Ray Kissane

Last edited by Ray Kissane : 07-16-2002 at 02:18 PM.

Ray Kissane
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Old 07-16-2002, 09:52 AM   #15
Harms
Dojo: Lunds aikido
Location: Lund, Sweden
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Quote:
L. Camejo wrote:
Actually we have had a few prison oficers in our Aikido class and they have used what they learnt in aikido at least a few times on the job and it did work.

The techniques were modified slightly to fit the situation, but in most cases they didn't have to resort to pummeling the perp into the ground with their batons.

Just thought I'd add 2 cents.
Could you please add a couple of more cents?
I'm a sucker for stories so I would love to hear in detail what happend and what they did
/Tobias
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Old 07-16-2002, 08:03 PM   #16
jk
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Quote:
L. Camejo wrote:
Rule #4- Never, and I mean NEVER drop your soap.

L.C.
But Larry, how else are you going to make friends in prison?

Regards,
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Old 07-17-2002, 02:56 AM   #17
sanskara
 
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Another way of looking at this issue is that even hardened street punks often don't have the skills to deal with other violent inmates, with or without a shiv handy at their disposal. And if one considers them to be the epitome of fighting skill and competency, then it's certainly worth considering how many end up dead at the hands of another just like them--one that may have met defeat by them at some time prior to an escalated, more lethal encounter.

It seems strange to me (although, not totally beyond comprehension) that many practitioners of Aikido debate the benefits and shortcomings of the art's technique in relation to the realities of a "real" fight, that they may have never, and probably will never, experience firsthand anyway.

Where I grew up, it really didn't matter what your training background was, you could either fight well or not. And even the best fighter got his clock cleaned every once in a while. But when it happened, no one sat around brooding about whether or not his method of lifting weights and hitting the bag around was the proper training methodology, or if it contributed to his inability to rise to the most recent challenge presented.

Aikido can't be all things to all people all the time. And the reality of it is, in my opinion at least, that most people I've known who could fight well before they trained in Aikido, continued to have that ability unabated afterwards; those who couldn't, didn't learn it from any martial art or singular practice like Aikido, if at all.

I wouldn't expect Aikido to teach you how to deal with a violent thug with a weapon, nor would I expect training at the Straight Blast Gym to automatically instill that skill either. It's up to the individual, and the truth is that some will never be able to experience a decisive victory over a violent attacker, training notwithstanding. They just don't have the right instincts for knowing what to do and when to do it. Truthfully, I'm not sure it's something that can really be taught, no matter what the marketing claims of an individual or organization.

So give yourself and Aikido a break. The fear that you might not be able to put Kotegaeshi on a 300 pound gang banger, while understandable, doesn't mean your training's not a worthwhile pursuit or that the art is fundamentally flawed--although, it might be, but surely not for that reason. Just my two cents.

Regards,

James Bostwick
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Old 07-17-2002, 07:16 AM   #18
Brian H
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Proper Ma'ai for prisoners is: They stay on one side of the wall, and you stay on yours.

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing
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Old 07-17-2002, 08:02 AM   #19
Nyall Frye
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Hi Jaxon,

IMHO - My advice, if you still want to be assured that Aikido 'works' in a real-life situation is to go to your sensei before or after class and attack him. I'm sure that you'll see how effective aikido works by doing this. Ok, I wouldn't recommend this but, perhaps it would be simpler to just imagine what might happen by doing this.

Aikido, unlike other martial arts (if you want to call it that) takes much time and patience to master even the basics. Unlike Karate (which I've studied) where you learn within a year various strikes and defenses to the point that you can use them effectively, Aikido is about much more than technique and so it takes a substantial amount of training to master those techniques. If a person is only interested in the technique, they could study the various other styles that contribute to Aikido. But, that is why we study Aikido and not something else. Because it gives us more than just repetition of technique when we truly embrace Aikido.

I hope that this might help.

Take care, all.

-Nyall
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Old 07-18-2002, 10:25 AM   #20
SeiserL
 
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Ma'ai: distance. "Give me 5 feet." Its what the guards ask for.

But, a good knife fighter can clear 20 feet and cut before you can clear leather and shoot.

Just train.

Until again,

Lynn

Until again,

Lynn

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 07-18-2002, 10:49 AM   #21
mike lee
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While I concede that some are natural-born fighters and others that are not, I also believe that with sufficient training, one can quite handily defeat a fighter that has natural ability. I know it's possible because I've done it.

Real fights are not like the octagon, where you have two calm, well-trained individuals fighting for a prize. There's often a high level of emotion, either above or below the surface, involved in an actual confrontation. Knowledge of this can give a calm defender an advantage.

Probably the single biggest weakness of someone with natural fighting ability is that they tend to be over-confident. They often pull out all the stops on their first onslaught. Their strength and violent nature, when attacking someone well-trained in aikido, becomes their undoing.

Last edited by mike lee : 07-18-2002 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 07-18-2002, 11:42 AM   #22
opherdonchin
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Let me preface with the caveat that I have not been in any 'real' fights.

Primarily, I want to agree with James Bostwick how said that one aspect of being a 'fighter' (as opposed to a martial artist) is that you lose some of the time and that a lot comes down to luck and natural born instincts and reaction times. I also agree with Mike Lee that training can make a real difference. I guess what I was thinking about was a quote I read once from one of the O Sensei's american students (anybody know which one?): "AiKiDo should be judged not with respect to the objective level you reach, but with respect to where you would have been if you hadn't studied AiKiDo. Without AiKiDo, my natural aggression would probably have turned me into a serial killer. So, even if I don't embody the spirit of 'loving protection for all things,' I still feel that it has saved me."

I have no doubt that I am a better fighter now than I would have been without AiKiDo. I hope to never be forced to find out how good that actually is.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 07-18-2002, 02:12 PM   #23
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Certainly, training makes a difference in martial application and overall skill level. Nevertheless, one can't rely on a martial art to give them the tools they may need to deal with a violent confrontation, that's all.

I think it's natural to ask the question, "Does my martial practice of choice teach me how to effectively deal with A, B, or C-type of assault?" But the truth is that YOU deal with A, B, or C; the martial art is irrelevant. I think we all know this; I'm not covering any new ground here.

My reason for chiming in on this thread is that I wanted to make the point that inmates with a history of using violence to successfully get what they want often don't possess the skills themselves to deal with their peers--gotta be a winner and a loser in most fights, right? So if someone who's big, strong, violent, and experienced can fail against an attacker, then why assume that mundane training in a pristine environment like the Dojo is going to somehow by-pass the physical laws of conflict, as we know them?

By the way, I say this as someone who has used both training and natural ability successfully on more than one violent occasion. I've also lost too (just like anyone who's fought more than a few times.) So I'm not cynically stating that if you face an attacker you're screwed, just that you want to pull back from the extreme of putting too many demands on your training--as if it should bail you out of any situation you might find yourself in, concurrently enrich your life to no end, and also put you on the fast track to enlightenment.

I'm not sure that invincibility, for example, is a realistic consequence of most training, regardless of the prevalence of titles like "Invincible Warrior" in the Aikido literature. And I'll by-pass any critical discussion of the Spiritual element of Aikido, that's like shooting fish in a barrel, while simultaneously opening up a can of worms that will take more time than I'd like to spend to sort through. Anyway, you get the idea: train in this, that, or whatever, just know it's no silver bullet.

Regards,
James Bostwick
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Old 07-21-2002, 05:03 AM   #24
mike lee
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right is might

I never failed in a confrontation in which I was in the right and not behaving self-rightously. Maybe the aikido gods were looking out for me or maybe I was just lucky.

Regardless, I believe that having faith in yourself, plus training hard and having faith in that training, is important and can make a difference at crunch time.

Last edited by mike lee : 07-21-2002 at 05:13 AM.
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Old 07-21-2002, 08:16 AM   #25
alex
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hi iam alex,

ive read wot people have been saying but no matter how prepeared you are,things can go wrong

Bruce lee was one of the best fighters and in his films he is amazing but iam sure even he was defeated!

aikido has helped my confidence but has left me wondering how good is it in a practical situation?
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