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Old 08-11-2002, 04:43 AM   #1
arvin m.
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Sparring with muay thai chaps

Was just horsing around with a friend who did muay thai 2 yrs back and found the following problems:

1. Despite maintaining my stance, my friend could close in and throw a jab which could hit my face. Similarly, he could kick me out from where he stood. My instructor at the dojo told me that for aikido to be effective in this situation, i would have to close in the distance i.e. enter directly or enter slightly displaced to the side.

2. I find it difficult to anticipate when the punch is coming. My legs seem to tense up in anticipation waiting for the strike, and when it comes i cant react fast enough, and worse, i jerk my head and body back...very unhealthy.

Any suggestions as to what exercises i can do to improve my speed? i noe it takes alot of practice, but specific examples would help guys. Thank u!

Oh btw i have some videos of muay thai fighters whippin the living daylights out of karateka and taekwondo exponents. If anyone's interested mebbe i can mail these vids to u. I think studying other martial arts can improve our responses to such attacks, and incorporate some of their techniques in atemi-waza.
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Old 08-11-2002, 05:18 AM   #2
shihonage
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Re: Sparring with muay thai chaps

Quote:
arv manoosegaran (arvin m.) wrote:
Muai Thai
Someone very wise once said

"Don't box a boxer, and don't grapple a grappler".
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Old 08-11-2002, 05:40 AM   #3
mike lee
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Cool take the initiative

I always prefer having an unfair advantage. If I had to deal with a boxer I would bring a bokan.

Oops! Now my secret's out.
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Old 08-11-2002, 05:44 AM   #4
guest1234
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I know little about Muay Thai, and really don't want to know any more, but common sense would say: start with ma ai that puts you either outside his kick range, or right next to him (too close to kick). In the first case, as soon as he starts to move close the distance quickly so you are next to him, in the second don't let him move away in the first place. The ability to move as your partner does can be practiced in Aikido without someone kicking you, which should make that timing practice easier until you are proficient. Of course, if you let him choose the distance you two will start sparing in the first place, you will definately be at a disadvantage...but then one of you will be almost by definition, as he will want to start in his best kicking range, and you will not. Still, I think most bar fights and muggings probably start in close. The bottom line, comparing different martial arts is like comparing cats and elephants. I think this is better exploited by all the "other MA friend"s so many Aikidoists seem to have: every post like this starts out essentially saying: "I have a friend in this other MA, and after I let him choose the ROE I found Aikido couldn't compete." They will start a leg's distance apart with kick boxers, in a clinch on the ground with BJJ and Judo, standing still for karate...whatever it takes. An amazingly cooperative bunch, these Aikidoists. Never once has it started: "I had my other MA friend grab my wrist/arm/shoulder..."
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Old 08-11-2002, 06:32 AM   #5
paw
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Quote:
I know little about Muay Thai, and really don't want to know any more, but common sense would say: start with ma ai that puts you either outside his kick range, or right next to him (too close to kick). In the first case, as soon as he starts to move close the distance quickly so you are next to him, in the second don't let him move away in the first place.
Good in theory, but pretty dangerous. Thai boxers are murderous in the clinch (the too close to kick range): expect elbows, throws, the occassional uppercut or hook, and the classic thai knee.

If morotegari is an acceptable technique for you, use it. Properly set up, it's extremely effective. Also the low line and lower body clinch eliminate many of the thai boxer's weapons.

Ultimately, I'd keep sparring with your friend and slow things down to 1/2 speed.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 08-11-2002, 07:02 AM   #6
Brian
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Ai symbol General Advice

Ma ai, ma ai, ma ai.

If you are at a distance where you cannot anticipate his strikes, then you are too close. Back up. Getting within striking distance and then trading blows is what he has trained to do, and something you are completely unfamiliar with. Staying in that range will get you destroyed.

Paul also had it right - if he gets you in the clinch, you are also in heap big trouble.

The way I see it, you have two options.

1. As stated above, ma ai, ma ai, ma ai. Stay away. Just as you practice in class, be at the distance that requires him to actually commit his entire body, to literally throw his mass at you, in order to strike. This is probably what you do all the time in class, and here is where you will feel comfortable. He will probably try to close the distance with a few small steps. Don't let him get back into his comfort zone. When he moves, you will also move and maintain the distance. It will seem as if he's chasing you around, but just keep leading him on. He may eventually get frustrated and lunge - exactly what you want. Apply whatever technique fits his attack.

2. Learn some muay thai. Have him teach you a bit. Practice the way he practices. Hopefully you will become just as comfortable exchanging blows as he is. Then, rather than using his commitment to attain off-balance, just hit him. Based on how his body deals with the strike, you may be in a position to apply a technique. For example, say you whap him in the face with a jab, and his head snaps back - shomenate. Just follow your strike, step into him and throw.

I would also like to note that, having never actually sparred against a muay thai guy, I have absolutely no idea how practical my advice is. Use it at your own risk.
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Old 08-11-2002, 07:47 AM   #7
Edward
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You are trying to use aikido in a way it was never intended to be in the first place. There is no sparring in aikido. It is meant for a life and death situation when someone is trying to hurt you very bad. Normally it doesn't work in controlled sparring environment. If you really want to see if it works in sparring, you should be willing to take a few punches and kicks, go inside the opponent, and try an atemi to the groin or throat, followed by breaking his neck.

In order for aikido to work, there should be a real intention to hurt from the attacker.

Moreover, you did not mention the level of your experience, but if you have anything less than 5 years of at least 5 days a week training, there is no point in trying to sparr with anyone. My advice is concentrate on your aikido practice ....

Last edited by Edward : 08-11-2002 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 08-11-2002, 08:09 AM   #8
DaveO
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LOL - Colleen hit the nail right on the head, I'm a-thinkin'. I have no clue what muay thai is like, but the first rule of strategy is always to make your opponent play by your rules, not his. In a defensive-based conflict scenario, that means to draw your opponent out of his 'comfort zone' while maintaining your own. In Aikido vs. Karate, for instance, one could work to stay outside your opponent's striking range, forcing him to commit to a lunge, thus opening himself to your defense. (Or whatever - there're a billion options and variables.) The idea is to force your opponent to do something he doesn't want or is not ready to do; or to force him to do something you want him to do. Aikido works great, for instance, when your opponent grabs your wrist, so use your wrist as bait, and goad him in. If you can get him to commit to an overhand strike, you can come in with shihonage. If you can anticipate a straight punch, you have several options.
The idea of being wholly defensive does not necessarily mean being wholly passive; you CAN make an attacker do what you want him to.

Sorry, hope I'm not being too confusing here, but what I'm trying to say is winning - or losing - a bout between dissimilar martial arts is not necessarily an example of an martial art's superiority or inferiority, (or an artists) but may be a victory of strategy.

Thanx!

Last edited by DaveO : 08-11-2002 at 08:11 AM.

Answers are only easy when they're incomplete.
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Old 08-11-2002, 08:23 AM   #9
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Muay Tai, like many other fighting arts teach the people how to "mix it up" a little bit better than Aikido.

Where we may occassionally practice randori, they do it everytime they practice.

The benefit of what they do is to learn how to control a fight better at full combat speed.

What I feel the downside to training this way is that it will enhance/engrain bad habits and mask true ultimate mastery.

There emphasis is on speed, agility, strength. Aikido's emphasis is on timing, agility, balance.

Unless you have studied at "full combat speed" you probably will be very frustrated when "comparing" martial arts with others.

The purpose of Aikido, as a few others have already mentioned, is not to learn how to fight proficiently, but to learn how to be a better person.

If you really want to learn how to beat a Muay Tai guy....study Muay Tai and Aikido.

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Old 08-11-2002, 10:42 AM   #10
paw
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strategy and ma ai

I should have mentioned this earlier, sorry. In any case, you may want to visit this link: Muay thai v O Sensei

Regards,

Paul
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Old 08-11-2002, 11:04 AM   #11
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Sparring with muay thai chaps

Quote:
arv manoosegaran (arvin m.) wrote:
1. Despite maintaining my stance, my friend could close in and throw a jab which could hit my face. Similarly, he could kick me out from where he stood. My instructor at the dojo told me that for aikido to be effective in this situation, i would have to close in the distance i.e. enter directly or enter slightly displaced to the side.

2. I find it difficult to anticipate when the punch is coming. My legs seem to tense up in anticipation waiting for the strike, and when it comes i cant react fast enough, and worse, i jerk my head and body back...very unhealthy.

Any suggestions as to what exercises i can do to improve my speed? i noe it takes alot of practice, but specific examples would help guys. Thank u!
Answers:

1) - Can't respond to a jab? Find a Shodokan dojo and do lots of extreme tanto randori. After a while the ability to react quickly and relaxed enough comes Either that or you get stabbed silly.

2) - See answer for 1 above.

Being a bit cheeky today

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 08-11-2002, 11:38 AM   #12
aikido_fudoshin
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I also believe proper distancing is important, but the key to dealing with these types of fighting styles is "bridging the gap" so an Aikido technique can be applied. One thing you dont want to happen is letting your opponent strike and thus forcing you to block. Bridging the gap involves moving in at the same time your opponent begins to stike. If you have ever practiced irimi in your Aikido class then you know that you "never wait for the attack to come". When this is done, the attack can be quickly neutralized before it becomes dangerous and thus puts us in a very easy position to apply an Aikido technique. Its really the same concept as blocking yokomen-uchi. Control the strike before it becomes powerful. If your opponent throws a punch move in at the same time, knock it away, stun them by stepping on their foot or atemi to the face, and apply your technique. This may sound like alot, but it can be done at a blink of an eye or almost the same time and is extremely effective.

Awareness is another important aspect when dealing with this type of situation and goes hand and hand with what I said before. Noticing your opponents intentions, rhythm, and what part of their body they intend to strike you with are all important aspects of self defence and obviously take much practice to perfect. Im by no means an expert on this but this is what I've been taught and found it to be quite effective in self defense.
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Old 08-11-2002, 01:19 PM   #13
jimvance
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Confused Take out your salt cellar...

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Muay Tai, like many other fighting arts teach the people how to "mix it up" a little bit better than Aikido.
I agree. Don't forget Taebo mixes it up good too.
Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Where we may occassionally practice randori, they do it everytime they practice.
Aikidoists practice "randori", which normally means chase the chicken, and Muay Thai fighters (no, not the inspiration for George Lucas) spar. Big difference. If you call randori "sparring", you will get into trouble, and if you call sparring "chase the chicken", you'll get beat up.
Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
The benefit of what they do is to learn how to control a fight better at full combat speed.
Is that like ludicrous speed?
Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
What I feel the downside to training this way is that it will enhance/engrain bad habits and mask true ultimate mastery.
But it does create true ultimate BAD-A$$ <expletive involving matriarchs>, replete with baggy pants and muscle shirts exposing ripped abs and large pectoral muscles.
Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Unless you have studied at "full combat speed" you probably will be very frustrated when "comparing" martial arts with others.
I am still looking for that speedometer....
Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
The purpose of Aikido, as a few others have already mentioned, is not to learn how to fight proficiently, but to learn how to be a better person.
This became official company policy after the end of WWII.
Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
If you really want to learn how to beat a Muay Tai guy....study Muay Tai and Aikido.
I would say use more dangerous tools, like poin-tad sticks.

Caveat: While Muay Thai can perhaps whip the snot out of most gringos, I think it qualifies more as a sport than budo. There are no easy answers to who can beat who, or what can defeat what. Don't forget that Musashi was supposed to lose to Sasaki Kojiro. Old age and treachery always overcomes youth and skill.

Jim Vance
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Old 08-11-2002, 02:16 PM   #14
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Why stop with pointed sticks? Guns are even better?

I Don't think Muay Thai guys can "whip the snot" out of most gringos. That may be your preception. Given the situation in which we are using their rules of Muay Thai, yes they will beat anyone else.

Yes, they can look intimidating, and yes most are far better conditioned the the average Aikidoka. So on the intimidation scale they are way up there.

You can pick a million "what if" senarios. Some they would win and some they would lose. Kinda pointless to debate this.

Sometimes youth and skill will win, but understand your point just the same!

Would agree with you that Muay Thai leans more toward sport side, after all it is a sport!

BTW, I have sparred full contact with Muay Thai guys, (not Muay Thai rules though.) Some I have won, some I have lost. Here's a good tip I learned from them....Stay out of the way of there legs and arms win sparring.

Have a nice day!

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Old 08-11-2002, 03:20 PM   #15
Erik
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Re: Take out your salt cellar...

Quote:
Jim Vance (jimvance) wrote:
Old age and treachery always overcomes youth and skill.
The motto of my first teacher.
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Old 08-11-2002, 03:52 PM   #16
SeiserL
 
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First off, I would love to ee the videos you offered. I have quite a collection and am always looking for more.

To fight Muay Tai, know Muay Thai. Take some classes. Great boxing hands with strong kicks, knees, and elbows.

Miai, distance and enter/blend become crucial. Stay just out of range, then bridge the distance.

Have fun.

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 08-11-2002, 07:56 PM   #17
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Yup Lynn...that is the strategy I use with them. Stay out of range, then close fast, usually on their backs.

Same with TKD guys. As a grappler type fighter though I like to get close in on them and literally grab hold of their obi. Stereotypically, TKD guys want to push away and get kick range on you, they usually off balance themselves, or start to try and fight your kinda of fight which is probably the worse thing they could do with little grappling experience.

Most are also perplexed when I actually let them kick or punch me, then close the distance. Of course I choose where they hit me and it is not in the face or other vital areas. Alot of these guys are used to "point sparring" where light taps and light contact count. It really takes a well placed, well centered, and requires your opponent to be off balance to land a good punch or kick. Most people I have encountered do not have the proper training to hit or kick properly. Therefore, it is easy to absorb the blow, role with it and get to their backside.

Caveat: I am talking "friendly" sparring, not "real life" there is a huge difference. On the other hand, I am not talking "point sparring". Sticks, knifes, and bottles change all this dramatically. you don't go around "absorbing blows" with weapons or multiple opponents.

Not to sound too much like a BJJer, but I find "pinning your opponent, or using submissions, or vital areas to be much, much more effective than the clash, clash of punches and kicks. These days, I simply use kicks and punches more for openning up and shaping the situation. I also hardly ever kick above the waist, or do spinning kicks anymore. Aikido showed me the error in doing those type of "committed" attacks!

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Old 08-11-2002, 08:12 PM   #18
aries admin
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To Arvin

Hi Arvin:

Been doing some experiment with Aikido too. Got some time practicing with other guys who knows Tae Kwon Do, Boxing and Muay Thai.To start with I have enough tournament experience in Tae Kwon Do to know about kicks and punches. During my experiment the attacks launched against me are NOT the same with the attacks during our Randori in Aikido. Not COMMITTED. As you have stated JABS and speedy kicks.

I have noticed that if I try to catch the jabbing arm either I got hit,or the other arm comes for a straight punch. This was with a boxer. (I have learned NOT to catch a JAB before with my boxer father and brother). Instead as others had clearly pointed out I went out of his range with a quick turn or side step. The guy I am sparring with got frustated after several tries, in trying to hit me he step forward and shot a right cross. This is what I was waiting. A full committed attack. He ended up in the mat shihonage style.

As for kickings, it would be wise to learn first how to kick. That way you would know the weaknesses and strengths of being a kicker. My experience in Tae Kwon Do help me a lot in dealing with kicks. In Muay Thai the kicks are normally low unlike in TKD. This is very hard to catch.I have seen one of our YUDANSHA sparring with a Muay Thai. No matter what the MT does he ends up in the mat, this time KOKYUNAGE style. The Yudansha sticks to him with his arms protecting both head and body. Once inside he just literally threw the guy to the mat. As for me my TKD background come out naturally when dealing with MT. Just could not resist to kick back.

Some habits are hard to let go.

Anyway please do e-mail me the video you got. Would love to see the fights and learn a lesson or two.
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Old 08-11-2002, 08:23 PM   #19
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Aries:

Had to laugh at your post. I too had the same experience. After studying Aikido for a shortwhile, I sparred a good boxing type and tried to catch a punch....had visions of catching it and going into kotegaeshi! Got hit more than once trying to catch punches and kicks several times in the face.! Didn't take me too long to figure out your never going to catch a punch especially from a well centered boxer type!

Now a days I try and "slip them" and get on the backside of the person....or try to stay just out of range and frustrate them into a off balanced or committed attack. (ain't going to do that with a good boxer though!)

Another little trick that seems to work for some reason I have yet to figure out is to act like I am trying to grab their hand. I stay right out of range and then leave it out there for them to grab, looking like I made a mistake. If they lack the experience in grappling, this gives me the physical contact I need to connect with them and then we start dancing! Don't ask me why, but it has worked more than once.

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Old 08-11-2002, 10:20 PM   #20
aries admin
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Kevin

Good to know you had the same experience as I did. Good thing I have my brother and to some extent my father to give me pointers in fighting. In the family whose boxing is the martial art de facto learning other arts would invite challenges. Its not an easy task to accept the challenges. I have a brother who can really give a good sparring and lessons both for TKD and Aikido. So when its time to experiment outside I have less mistakes.
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Old 08-11-2002, 10:26 PM   #21
guest1234
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Quote:
Dave Organ (DaveO) wrote:
LOL - Colleen hit the nail right on the head, I'm a-thinkin'. I have no clue what muay thai is like, but the first rule of strategy is always to make your opponent play by your rules, not his. In a defensive-based conflict scenario, that means to draw your opponent out of his 'comfort zone' while maintaining your own. In Aikido vs. Karate, for instance, one could work to stay outside your opponent's striking range, forcing him to commit to a lunge, thus opening himself to your defense. (Or whatever - there're a billion options and variables.) The idea is to force your opponent to do something he doesn't want or is not ready to do; or to force him to do something you want him to do. Aikido works great, for instance, when your opponent grabs your wrist, so use your wrist as bait, and goad him in. If you can get him to commit to an overhand strike, you can come in with shihonage. If you can anticipate a straight punch, you have several options.

The idea of being wholly defensive does not necessarily mean being wholly passive; you CAN make an attacker do what you want him to.

Sorry, hope I'm not being too confusing here, but what I'm trying to say is winning - or losing - a bout between dissimilar martial arts is not necessarily an example of an martial art's superiority or inferiority, (or an artists) but may be a victory of strategy.

Thanx!
An interesting variation on Clausewitz's teaching on the non-polarity of attack and defense: that it may be in Country A's best interest to attack Country B in 4 weeks, but in B's best interest to be attacked now rather than 4 weeks from now...but that is not the same as B attacking A now. Classic war strategy from 1832, easily applicable to say a desert war in chem gear in the winter vs summer, or your next randori practice. I agree, strategy is what decides the winner.
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Old 08-11-2002, 11:08 PM   #22
Chocolateuke
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Exclamation Hey all

Hey all I've been gone working and stuff, just came back to check out what I have been missing. anywayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

we have a thread like this ever 4 weeks it seems ! ( we could have a section Aikido vs other MA.) While I think its great that you test yourself to see what you know, many people seem to miss the point of training esp when they go for sparring.

as stated before Aikido isn't made for sparing is a self defense, also the street is different than sparring to! Also, stated before is that ( in other post) that Aikido is a way to be aware.

The more I train in Aikido the more I thank O-Sensei for imparting his wisdom to the world and the same goes for my sensei and all the senseis before! Aikido isn't throwing or beating your uke, nor is it a dance. Aikido is moving your mind body and spirit in a focused way so that you are aware and can handle any situation wisely. Sure, we have ikkajo, sankajo, shionage to defend ourselves, but, these throws are tools to learn how to move our body, to: stay focused, and balanced. Sure a you could try a classic kote-gashi on a mauy Thai. practice but you'll most likely get beaten to a plump. Why? cause your thinking about technique, your thinking, "If he does this I'll do this" you cant plan a fight, nor can you plan randori if you think "I'll do this throw then this one then this one...." you'll be unfocused, off balanced, and overall impaired to handle randori/sparring at the moment. But, of you have a correct poster and correct mind set and your open, your aikido comes without thought and it leads to the ukes fall. Fighting another MA is the same, If you have a correct being ( as I'll say for now) you can find openings and improvises not necessarily throw ( you can punch to you know!) and take his balance or whatever, but only if you are in your correct poster, and use the tools sensei teaches you ( maai, irimi, that stuff, timing.) then you can win. Maybe not with a shionage but with aikido principles. I have sparred before ( before Aikido) and it is different than randori but it is also different than a real fight its not so open having a set or rules.

Btw don't get obsessed that it didn't work the first time try again and learn! train train train!

Dallas Adolphsen
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Old 08-12-2002, 04:10 AM   #23
Jason Tonks
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I think Edward has got it right on the button. The trouble is that you are just as you put it "horsing around". In a real situation you must be of the spirit to go in without any hesistation. Training with the correct spirit at all times and being prepared to get hit is essential. It is your strength of spirit ultimately that must defeat an opponent, not any specific technique.
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Old 08-12-2002, 06:25 AM   #24
paw
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Colleen,
Quote:
An interesting variation on Clausewitz's teaching on the non-polarity of attack and defense: that it may be in Country A's best interest to attack Country B in 4 weeks, but in B's best interest to be attacked now rather than 4 weeks from now...but that is not the same as B attacking A now. Classic war strategy from 1832, easily applicable to say a desert war in chem gear in the winter vs summer, or your next randori practice. I agree, strategy is what decides the winner.
I though Clausewitz believed the side with the strongest will to win would be victorious? Please correct me, though.



Random Thoughts,

Here's my concern with the "sparring is not a streetfight" reasoning.

First off, I agree. Sparring is not a streetfight. Scanning the thread, I don't think anyone is suggesting it is (please correct me if I'm wrong).

I would submit, that the tactics and techniques of sparring and streetfight are going to be the same, however. By this I mean that in a sparring situation, a thai boxer may kick. In a streetfight, if a thai boxer kicks, it will be the same technique. The setting may have changed. There may be more at stake in the outcome. But fundamentally, it's the same kick.

If I cannot deal with a thai boxer's kick in training, how can I expect to deal with it when the thai boxer gets a chance to attack without warning at a time and place of their choosing (ie an assault)?

Dismissing a sport-trained fighter too lightly is a big mistake, IMO. Someone who has been highly conditioned and randori's on a regular basis is going to be much better equiped to deal with "the fog of war" (to return to Clausewitz) than an akidoka who has spent the vast majority of their time with a cooperative partner.

If strategy is what will carry the day, then like many others on this thread, I'd encourage an exchange of ideas when training with thai boxers. Learn their tools and tactics so that you can then take them out of their game.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 08-12-2002, 06:26 AM   #25
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Agree with everything, everyone is saying!

But unfortunately, even though O'Sensei gave us an art that will spare us the years of agony of finding the true path, many of us have to find out for ourselves the hard way!

Sparring with other styles, if done controlled and correctly can be a great teacher. It also breaks up the monotomy of training and can be fun.

I sometimes miss the hard shugyo style workouts and find that as enlightening as anything in Aikido

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