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Old 07-01-2014, 02:51 PM   #101
jonreading
 
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Oh, I see, so your comment was simply a non sequitur and has nothing to do with my comment. Got it. Carry on!

By the way, whose "general logic" IS that? The "general logic" of the mouse in your pocket? Because I sure didn't say it.

Honestly, I really don't see where anyone is doing any leaping but you. But, if I follow where I think you're trying to go, then we might agree...and we might not. It depends on what you mean by "demonstrating aiki". Demonstrating to whom? To a n00b who just walked through the door? That n00b is the blind man touching the elephant, only if he's coming from another style, he may unfortunately be burdened with style-specific blinders. You can "demonstrate" all you want, but it's like the philosophical question about the tree falling in the forest: if style-specific blinders prevent this n00b from seeing your demonstration, how is that effective?
Look, twice now you've taken a swipe at demeaning my comments. Neither my sleeping habits nor the possessions of my pockets are affecting what I say. Except maybe my Wockett.

You made a implicit comment that excuses you inability to do aikido because of something your partner did. You have now created a illustration that implies a new student cannot possibly understand the wonders of aiki. If I am a newbie, and I am doing things wrong and I cannot possibly understand the wonders of aiki, why would I possibly train aikido? Hopefully, I don't have all that baggage from another art because that'll really screw me up...

I don't care if the sun in our eyes, a dog that ate our homework or we're touching an elephant's... or any of a number of excuses for why we cannot show somebody what it is that we do. The unspoken statement here that I am trying not to verbalize is that we are covering for our own inadequacies when we make excuses for why our stuff doesn't work. After all, aren't our waza supposed to be demonstrations of aiki? Aren't these the techniques that we line up when we want to show someone what is aikido?

I am saddened that someone could not show aiki to a new student. I am saddened that we sit around and "hrumf" about all the different reasons that a new student was screwing things up. I am saddened by the excuses and the next times and the whatifs that all will be our next show of aikido...
I see lots of fingers pointed in other directions about why we cannot do aikido. And we wonder why someone from outside is skeptical about if our stuff works.

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Old 07-01-2014, 04:44 PM   #102
kewms
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

I think it is safe to say that there is a fair amount of disagreement among experienced aikidoka about what "demonstrating aiki" even means. And there are plenty of recognized "demonstrations of aiki" that don't have clear applications in practical self defense. At the other extreme, there are also plenty of recognized "demonstrations of aiki" that are extremely damaging to the recipient of the demonstration.

So I'm not sure that arguing about "ability to demonstrate aiki" (or not) is actually all that responsive to the OP's original questions.

Could I personally "show aiki" (as I understand it) to a new student? Sure.

Could I apply exactly the technique specified by my instructor regardless of how that new student chooses to attack? Probably not.

If not, how should the student interpret my failure? Aikido is useless? I'm incompetent? Those seem to be the OP's responses to the situation he encountered. Or was he presenting an attack that fell outside of the paradigm being examined in that particular exercise? I think this question has a variety of answers, and it's impossible to say which applies without more information than has been offered in this thread.

Katherine
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Old 07-02-2014, 08:33 AM   #103
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

I think there is considerable disagreement about what is a demonstration of aiki. And I have been using that term somewhat nebulously myself to simply represent when we show someone "what it is that we do". I think that runs us into trouble when we mistake was it is that we do, for what we think we can do, with what we pretend we do.

I think you have laid out to some degree what all of us are face, the reality that we are not perfect. I think the frustration from the OP was not that he expects us to be perfect, but that he held his yudansha to an expectation that was not consistent with their ability. Maybe his expectation was unreal, maybe the yudansha's ability was sub-average. I would like to think prospective students are setting a high bar for us, but this issue seems to be a regular occurrence with new students.

When we meet these gaps of expectation, I think part of what we say needs to be considerate of the unspoken questions it will raise. I think there is nothing wrong with challenging unreal expectations, but I think it is also important to control how we let somehow interpret a "failure." It happens. A series of failures? Well, that is a little different.

For me, aiki happens before and during (and after) technique. It is a foreign concept to me that I cannot practice aiki with anyone; I believe I can practice aiki with everyone. Even if there is a risk of injury I only need to stop prior to the technique - I would have still needed to express aiki as part of my training. It has happened that someone can give me energy that I cannot overcome, but that works to my advantage because that means she knows what I am doing. Only on the rarest occasion will you get someone who is a phenomenon who is unaware of what they are doing as to not appreciate what you are doing.

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Old 07-02-2014, 09:05 AM   #104
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I think there is considerable disagreement about what is a demonstration of aiki.
And being a coward at heart I wouldn't even try to argue or demonstrate what I think it is. Just isn't worth the hassle. I figure that if we practice together without one trying to impose their view on the other there will be a convergence. Or a separation of the ways.

I do believe however that aiki can be demonstrated with no risk of injury.

Last edited by PeterR : 07-02-2014 at 09:15 AM.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-02-2014, 10:30 AM   #105
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

I don't know that we need to get into a contentious discussion of aiki to address the basic question here. Take it out of aikido for a moment: if we all were boxers, and some noob showed up all arrogant and convinced our stuff didn't work, how would we show them it does? We'd thow them punches until they admitted they couldn't block or avoid them. And they'd get whacked (not full strength maybe, but still) in the process.

Trouble is, we don't do that in most aikido dojos. If we actually get through and hit the other guy we break off and apologize. That closes off one major route to showing that our stuff does (or doesn't) work--we're not supposed to whack the guy with our awesome atemi or dump them on their ass in a throw they don't have the skills yet to handle. I'm reminded of a story told about one teacher I know... he was working with another senior person and told them they were open. They said no. He demonstrated they were by punching them. He got a reputation for being a little brutal. I don't think the other person's reputation took a hit. In what other "martial" art would such a story play out that way?

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 07-02-2014, 10:36 AM   #106
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
You made a implicit comment that excuses you inability to do aikido because of something your partner did.
No, I didn't.

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
You have now created a illustration that implies a new student cannot possibly understand the wonders of aiki.
No, I didn't.

Jon, why are you so bent on misconstruing what I said? You aren't the one who gets to say what I mean. You aren't a mindreader. If you have questions about what I mean, ASK. Don't tell.

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I am saddened that someone could not show aiki to a new student. I am saddened that we sit around and "hrumf" about all the different reasons that a new student was screwing things up. I am saddened by the excuses and the next times and the whatifs that all will be our next show of aikido...
And I am saddened by the poor state of discourse that leads to you talking about things that "we" do instead of addressing what individuals actually say. "We", collectively, do nothing, say nothing, believe nothing. You are pummeling a strawman.
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:11 AM   #107
kewms
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
I don't know that we need to get into a contentious discussion of aiki to address the basic question here. Take it out of aikido for a moment: if we all were boxers, and some noob showed up all arrogant and convinced our stuff didn't work, how would we show them it does? We'd thow them punches until they admitted they couldn't block or avoid them. And they'd get whacked (not full strength maybe, but still) in the process.
In some ways, the complexity of aikido works against us. In boxing, success is very clear: either you got hit, or you didn't.

In aikido, well... Maybe I caused you to take the same fall that the teacher's demonstration uke did. But maybe you disengaged and moved away instead. Or maybe you fell down, but in a less graceful way. Or maybe your joints are more flexible and so the lock being demonstrated didn't work as demonstrated. Or maybe your joints are less flexible and so you yelped in pain when I tried.

Did my aikido work?

From the point of view of a self-defense situation, yes. I successfully neutralized the threat that you posed. Neither of us got hurt.

But all of the possible scenarios except the first one are unconvincing in one way or another. Especially to a new student who probably has unrealistic ideas about "real" martial arts anyway.

Katherine
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Old 07-02-2014, 01:03 PM   #108
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
I don't know that we need to get into a contentious discussion of aiki to address the basic question here. Take it out of aikido for a moment: if we all were boxers, and some noob showed up all arrogant and convinced our stuff didn't work, how would we show them it does? We'd thow them punches until they admitted they couldn't block or avoid them. And they'd get whacked (not full strength maybe, but still) in the process.

Trouble is, we don't do that in most aikido dojos. If we actually get through and hit the other guy we break off and apologize. That closes off one major route to showing that our stuff does (or doesn't) work--we're not supposed to whack the guy with our awesome atemi or dump them on their ass in a throw they don't have the skills yet to handle. I'm reminded of a story told about one teacher I know... he was working with another senior person and told them they were open. They said no. He demonstrated they were by punching them. He got a reputation for being a little brutal. I don't think the other person's reputation took a hit. In what other "martial" art would such a story play out that way?
Very few. Usually, experience indicates an advantage in these types of encounters. I do not think you are moving beyond common sense to hold such an expectation. To Katherine's point, there are aspects of aikido that run against this commonly-held notion and that works to our disadvantage. Referring again to the big tent, aikido is not consolidated around a metric of success. The combination of both contradicting "common sense" and managing expectations of an unclear metric of success is challenging with a willing prospect, let alone a skeptical one.

But, there is a price to pay. One thing I think Aikido has difficulty with is this "everyone's valid" perspective orientation. In boxing, there is a price for education - you are punched. Alot. If you really think you have a good defense, there is a little skin in the game to prove it. Aikido tolerates a level of scrutiny and abuse that does not exists in many of our sister arts because there is no price to pay for taking a poor position. When our participants take up these abusive positions, we should say, "Hey man, play the game. Show some respect to me for helping show you what we do. I am laying out what needs to happen to show you aikido. Either play by the rules or stop wasting my time."

Previously, I made a comment about my perspective when someone decides to abuse what we are doing - put them on their bottom. Obviously, we are not really talking about injuring someone. What I mean is that sometimes the price of education should be a value. The people we care about (serious martial artists that would contribute to our practice) all play their games by rules; why do we give them a pass when they violate our rules? A judo player walks up and grabs you by the collar. Whoa, time out - stop cross-training your judo into my aikido. Meekly grab my hand and wait for me to do something - this is aikido training. I am kidding, but my point is that it is fair to challenge people to play by our rules.

This goes especially true for practitioners from another art. You have a prospective student that is committed to training and has a working knowledge of something. You think telling sport champ karate player to ease up on the blinding strikes is going offend her while you're practicing aikido? It shouldn't - and later (when you're both better at aikido) what kind of an awesome training partner is that person gonna make?

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Old 07-02-2014, 02:03 PM   #109
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

What a chaos!

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post

1. There exists in greater number occasions when yudansha do not know what they are doing and their direction is in-congruent to the instruction.
2. There exists in greater number occasions when mudansha have a technical knowledge that exceeds the yudansha with whom they are training.
I think this is a very accurate description of the whole problem and it definitely understands the essence of this post. l would only add : 3. When "yudansha do not know what they are doing", it very often implies that they cannot work with aiki in general or at least in the specific technique.

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Yeah. Given a choice between personally looking bad and injuring my partner, I'm willing to look bad every single time.

Katherine
I agree with Jon. It is not an either/or situation. They way you put it sound like for it (aiki) to work it must generate injury.

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I deal with a range of visitors so I will go with poorly attacking as legitimately poor body management choices, not stylistic differences. For the record, I still include myself as making the occasional poor body management decision.
I consciously do not make poor body management choices. I expect from a yudansha to be able to demonstrate the technique (at least) decently.

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
The whole thread started with the experiences of a person who was unimpressed with aikido because the person he was working with failed to handle his attack successfully.
That is incorrect.

a) I never said or implied that I am unimpressed with Aikido.
b) There are many factors why I believe that Aikido education has many problems. A view that is shared by many people - even very advanced ones. (Since there is a tendency to demean my arguments just because of my rank, without knowing anything else about me..).

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
So yes, that particular individual did "look bad," the OP did NOT understand this as part of the learning process, and the effect was that aikido as a whole was viewed negatively.
There is no need to speak on my behalf regarding what I do or do not understand. My low rank in Aikido does not automatically mean that I hold a low rank in intelligence..
The learning process is that the yudansha should be able to demonstrate things for mudansha. The other away around could happen (why the hell shouldn't we be open to learn anything from anyone) but this is not a requirement from mudansha (to teach yudansha).

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
...You have now created a illustration that implies a new student cannot possibly understand the wonders of aiki. If I am a newbie, and I am doing things wrong and I cannot possibly understand the wonders of aiki, why would I possibly train aikido? Hopefully, I don't have all that baggage from another art because that'll really screw me up...

I don't care if the sun in our eyes, a dog that ate our homework or we're touching an elephant's... or any of a number of excuses for why we cannot show somebody what it is that we do. The unspoken statement here that I am trying not to verbalize is that we are covering for our own inadequacies when we make excuses for why our stuff doesn't work. After all, aren't our waza supposed to be demonstrations of aiki? Aren't these the techniques that we line up when we want to show someone what is aikido?

I am saddened that someone could not show aiki to a new student. I am saddened that we sit around and "hrumf" about all the different reasons that a new student was screwing things up. I am saddened by the excuses and the next times and the whatifs that all will be our next show of aikido...
I see lots of fingers pointed in other directions about why we cannot do aikido. And we wonder why someone from outside is skeptical about if our stuff works.
This is exactly my viewpoint.

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
...
If not, how should the student interpret my failure? Aikido is useless? I'm incompetent? Those seem to be the OP's responses to the situation he encountered. Or was he presenting an attack that fell outside of the paradigm being examined in that particular exercise? I think this question has a variety of answers, and it's impossible to say which applies without more information than has been offered in this thread.

Katherine
Not true. I know exactly why the specific technique mentioned did not work for the yudansha. It has nothing to do with Aikido in general and it has nothing to do with me.

It IS true thought that I have the opinion that different educational tools would most probably eliminate the above mentioned problems that have to do with non-existent aiki, techniques not working and yudansha being in lower level that mudansha.

I don't want to change Aikido (or ever considered that silly idea) but I do have the ability to access its educational workflow and also to be very aware that its teaching is very far from its original source (o sensei's aikido). There are open minded individuals - who are also open minded in their everyday life (i.e. evolving, DO, the way - you know...) who can bring back to life, or at least point out very clearly the core elements of this work, but in my understanding these are few. And I am not talking about techniques, I am talking about the essence.

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I think there is considerable disagreement about what is a demonstration of aiki. And I have been using that term somewhat nebulously myself to simply represent when we show someone "what it is that we do". I think that runs us into trouble when we mistake was it is that we do, for what we think we can do, with what we pretend we do.

I think you have laid out to some degree what all of us are face, the reality that we are not perfect. I think the frustration from the OP was not that he expects us to be perfect, but that he held his yudansha to an expectation that was not consistent with their ability. Maybe his expectation was unreal, maybe the yudansha's ability was sub-average. I would like to think prospective students are setting a high bar for us, but this issue seems to be a regular occurrence with new students.

When we meet these gaps of expectation, I think part of what we say needs to be considerate of the unspoken questions it will raise. I think there is nothing wrong with challenging unreal expectations, but I think it is also important to control how we let somehow interpret a "failure." It happens. A series of failures? Well, that is a little different.

For me, aiki happens before and during (and after) technique. It is a foreign concept to me that I cannot practice aiki with anyone; I believe I can practice aiki with everyone. Even if there is a risk of injury I only need to stop prior to the technique - I would have still needed to express aiki as part of my training. It has happened that someone can give me energy that I cannot overcome, but that works to my advantage because that means she knows what I am doing. Only on the rarest occasion will you get someone who is a phenomenon who is unaware of what they are doing as to not appreciate what you are doing.
Exactly.

I know my post has raised many questions, not so easily answered, but I am surprised how quickly people are getting defensive and ready to put some issues "under the carpet", avoiding them like they do not exist. Did you ever believe that you found the perfect martial art in aikido? Am I, and people like me, ruining an illusion for you? I want to believe that is not the case.

First things first:

1. I claimed that for self defence issues, Aikido is problematic. Obviously this is an over generalisation BUT if you consider that the average (muay thai, kung fu, krav maga, boxing, kick boxing, etc) person, can learn in 6 months to a year EFFECTIVE self defence, then you can see what my point is.
Again, let's not speak about the "masters" etc. It is a common knowledge that Aikido is one of the most difficult martial arts to learn properly - that is effectively.
Do I like it - yes. Do I believe it can help me defend myself after 1 year of training?
Yes - if we are talking about a totally drunk person coming at me,
Possibly - if the attacker is inexperienced and not bigger than me,
No - if the guy is bigger than me,
No - if the guy is experienced in other martial arts, especially the "hard" ones.

So there goes that.

2. Regarding the educational tools, well I am not going to go much into that, but I think there are more effective ways to apply and test what has been transmitted. I have experience from other systems and it works (the educational method). I know that there are differences between dojos, but the general practice is more or less the same. I do not like that. I think it is extremely slow, I think it does not make for a good reality check, I think it creates problems in understanding even the most basic - and core - elements of aikido, like the aiki (what is it, when is it, who has it, who doesn't, etc). And I am not talking about a conceptual understanding. I am talking about knowledge. A thorough understanding of these concepts experientially. And yes, I would like to see that available to people from day 1.

3. Regarding the atemi. This is probably where I didn't express myself very well, although some understood very well the essence of what I wanted to say. Which brings us back to point number 1.
Yes if I am 3,4,5 dan and above I guess the atemi takes a different meaning than when I am trying to defend myself at 4th kuy level. And yes, with the same amount of practice and dedication in another hard system, I would be much more effective. Do I want to kick bags and partners all day? No. Do I believe in the "DO" of Aikido? Well, conceptually/ philosophically -yes, but you can see so much pretentiousness in some dojos that makes you wonder who is exactly seriously thinking of it and applying it in their everyday life. But that is for another thread...

It is much better to keep an open mind and see the negatives as such and deal with them, everyone in their own way. Denying them does not help neither ourselves nor aikido in general.

Peace
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Old 07-02-2014, 02:29 PM   #110
kewms
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Arno Hist wrote: View Post
Not true. I know exactly why the specific technique mentioned did not work for the yudansha. It has nothing to do with Aikido in general and it has nothing to do with me.
We weren't there. We don't have video. There is no objective record. We know what you perceived, but not what the yudansha or an uninvolved observer would say.

Katherine
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Old 07-02-2014, 02:37 PM   #111
kewms
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Arno Hist wrote: View Post
1. I claimed that for self defence issues, Aikido is problematic. Obviously this is an over generalisation BUT if you consider that the average (muay thai, kung fu, krav maga, boxing, kick boxing, etc) person, can learn in 6 months to a year EFFECTIVE self defence, then you can see what my point is.
I'm not sure this claim is as obviously true as you seem to think.

The only specific situation you've described in this thread involved five attackers. I don't think *any* empty hand art will allow you to fend off five attackers after six months of training. I am highly skeptical of the notion that *any* empty hand art will protect you against a single armed attacker after six months of training. So maybe you should explain what you have in mind when you're talking about "effective self defense."

Katherine
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Old 07-02-2014, 02:38 PM   #112
Phil Van Treese
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

I don't know where a 4th kyu can examine aikido and make so many assessments about what's weak, what's strong etc. For all the "weaknesses" in aikido, it definitely served me well in Viet Nam and that's part of the reason I am still here, it served me well in Tampa at a few ATMs, it has helped me stay in reasonably good shape etc, etc. If you don't like, or respect, aikido you can always play video games and get real good.
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Old 07-02-2014, 02:44 PM   #113
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
I'm not sure this claim is as obviously true as you seem to think.

The only specific situation you've described in this thread involved five attackers. I don't think *any* empty hand art will allow you to fend off five attackers after six months of training. I am highly skeptical of the notion that *any* empty hand art will protect you against a single armed attacker after six months of training. So maybe you should explain what you have in mind when you're talking about "effective self defense."

Katherine
I must say that his statement had me questioning ALL his martial arts experience. Certainly in all the examples he listed ... well perhaps it is easier to believe that you are effective (which may be half the battle).

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-02-2014, 02:45 PM   #114
Blue Buddha
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
We weren't there. We don't have video. There is no objective record. We know what you perceived, but not what the yudansha or an uninvolved observer would say.

Katherine
Since this is no court...I expect that you can trust me when I say that I know. If you have followed carefully the thread you'll see I have no problem accepting it when I do not know or when unsure. So trust or not. Your choice.

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
I'm not sure this claim is as obviously true as you seem to think.

The only specific situation you've described in this thread involved five attackers. I don't think *any* empty hand art will allow you to fend off five attackers after six months of training. I am highly skeptical of the notion that *any* empty hand art will protect you against a single armed attacker after six months of training. So maybe you should explain what you have in mind when you're talking about "effective self defense."

Katherine
My wrong. This was indeed quite exceptional... Regarding this, I don't understand what PeterR suggests, but I guess if he has any questions it is not very difficult to address them to me...

Regarding my point on the list, I mean a one to one situation.

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Phil Van Treese wrote: View Post
I don't know where a 4th kyu can examine aikido and make so many assessments about what's weak, what's strong etc. For all the "weaknesses" in aikido, it definitely served me well in Viet Nam and that's part of the reason I am still here, it served me well in Tampa at a few ATMs, it has helped me stay in reasonably good shape etc, etc. If you don't like, or respect, aikido you can always play video games and get real good.
... no comment..

Last edited by Blue Buddha : 07-02-2014 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 07-02-2014, 02:59 PM   #115
kewms
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Arno Hist wrote: View Post
My wrong. This was indeed quite exceptional... Regarding my point, I mean a one to one situation.
One on one, against a larger attacker with experience in another martial art? After six months?

Sorry, not happening. Too ridiculous a claim to even be worth arguing. I hope you are never unfortunate enough to have to test this in practice.

Think about it. After studying krav maga for six months, would you expect to be able to handle someone with two years experience? If so, then what was he wasting his time on for the last year and a half?

Katherine

Last edited by kewms : 07-02-2014 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 07-02-2014, 03:19 PM   #116
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

A person can be very good at defending themselves without any martial arts training. Are you talking about fighting or self defense here?

The conversation would be less confusing with that clarification.

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Old 07-02-2014, 03:26 PM   #117
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Arno Hist wrote: View Post
I know my post has raised many questions, not so easily answered, but I am surprised how quickly people are getting defensive and ready to put some issues "under the carpet", avoiding them like they do not exist.
Well, you should not be surprised. Aikido is a japanese martial art.

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Old 07-02-2014, 03:34 PM   #118
Blue Buddha
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
One on one, against a larger attacker with experience in another martial art? After six months?

Sorry, not happening. Too ridiculous a claim to even be worth arguing. I hope you are never unfortunate enough to have to test this in practice.

Think about it. After studying krav maga for six months, would you expect to be able to handle someone with two years experience? If so, then what was he wasting his time on for the last year and a half?

Katherine
I think you are trying to split hairs here by being too scrupulous. If it is not 6 months, it is a year -a year and half. It is a general claim - not mine - that aikido is an art that takes much much longer to master than any other.

And yes, I believe that someone trained in muay thai, etc for a year can be more effective in self defence compared to an aikidoka who trained for the same period.

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
A person can be very good at defending themselves without any martial arts training. Are you talking about fighting or self defense here?

The conversation would be less confusing with that clarification.
I am talking about fighting for self defense.

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Well, you should not be surprised. Aikido is a japanese martial art.
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Old 07-02-2014, 06:59 PM   #119
JP3
 
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

OK. For me, I can say that reading the above (yes, all 5 pages of it), and putting a bit of redneck in it, I have absolutely no doubt at all, simply basing it on the level of the cerebration involved (like that word, eh? Cerebration, that's right y'all, a couple of advanced degrees over here and stuff), that I have no doubt that, John, Katherine and Mary can put a serious... the technical term is "Whomp" on someone, should they have a "need" to do so.

But, let's define "need," to define that. Or not, as I'm certain everyone knows the difference between want and need.

That being said, it takes a very, very skilled uke to not taken any remedial action in preparation for a technique they know is coming, e.g. the regular class situation. We've got a saying, "Anyone can defeat a technique they know is coming."

So, we also have another saying, "Nothing ever works. You just keep going until both of you are surprised."

So, on John's quote, which I absolutely loved, "Sometimes, the proper response is to drop your partner on her butt, then explain that while her obstinate attitude is not a problem in application, it is making the current exercise more difficult."

See, John's really nice, and he's all cerebral and stuff. I'm more down home, and would say, "You can do that again if you want, but you aren't learning what you're supposed to be learning while you're down there. If you want, after class, I'll show you how you ended up down there."

I've posted before about the best athelete in my school, a tang soo do black belt, I think she's a 2nd degree in TSD, she was in it 12 years of steady training, so that'd be about right I think, or maybe a bit behind. Anyway, she's the one who "challenges" the "what" we are doing on an almost dily basis, wanting to know "if it works" etc. So, I just shrug and show her. She predictably attempts to block or defeat the technique "on the board" right then, which she does, and because she really doesn't know how what she's done ruined her posture, or gave up her balance, or put her in a vulnerable position, or sometimes all of the above, it devolves to me to show her or point it out to her, usually involving a grunt on her part as she's compressed into the mat, or stretched out in a lock, dumped on her butt, or whatever. It's just the nature of the thing. Beginner's question. They don't understand , and that's OK. Remember, "Question Everything." It's not a bad place to learn from and it's not to be feared.

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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Old 07-02-2014, 10:05 PM   #120
kewms
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Quote:
Arno Hist wrote: View Post
I think you are trying to split hairs here by being too scrupulous. If it is not 6 months, it is a year -a year and half. It is a general claim - not mine - that aikido is an art that takes much much longer to master than any other.

And yes, I believe that someone trained in muay thai, etc for a year can be more effective in self defence compared to an aikidoka who trained for the same period.
"Mastery" is not the same thing as "effective for self defense."

You made the specific claim that other arts are effective for self defense in six months to a year. But I just don't see any art meeting your proposed criteria in that time. So I'm trying to understand what sort of situation you are visualizing.

Katherine
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Old 07-03-2014, 01:30 AM   #121
kewms
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

I think this goes back to my observation up-thread, that the range of situations that can be included in "practical self defense" is enormous. It is extremely difficult to make meaningful generalizations.

Moreover, the kinds of situations that people tend to imagine don't necessarily have much resemblance to the kinds of situations that actually occur in practice.

A short list of confounding factors might include:

* Single or multiple attackers? Or a general melee, like a movie-style bar fight?

* Known to the victim or not?

* Armed or not? (And with what weapons?)

* Experienced fighter(s) (with or without formal training) or not?

* Attacker(s) sober, intoxicated, or under influence of other drugs? What about the victim?

* Motivated by money? Personal animus? Potential rapist? Desire to beat people up?

* Public place with witnesses and help nearby, or not?

Aikido handles some of these factors very well, some not so well. The same is true of other arts.

Further complicating matters, many people are not aware of the legal differences between "fighting" and "self defense." If you think you are "defending yourself" but the law thinks you are "fighting," your chances of ending up in jail are quite high. This matters because many tactics that are completely normal in combat sports are likely to fall outside the legal boundaries of self defense.

Katherine

Last edited by kewms : 07-03-2014 at 01:42 AM.
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Old 07-03-2014, 06:33 AM   #122
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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John Powell wrote: View Post
So, on John's quote, which I absolutely loved, "Sometimes, the proper response is to drop your partner on her butt, then explain that while her obstinate attitude is not a problem in application, it is making the current exercise more difficult."
I actually don't exactly agree with the above, as it implies that the uke is on purpose trying to make it difficult for the nage to execute the technique. To me, it is important that the nage (if in position to do so) or sensei show at some point to uke that there is always an appropriate response to any attack (quantitative & qualitative) but it is equally (if not more) important to understand and question why the uke performs this way. The easy way is to say (or write on a thread) that he is a jerk and stop thinking about it. But there might be some more noble reasons why uke behaves like that.

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
"Mastery" is not the same thing as "effective for self defense."

You made the specific claim that other arts are effective for self defense in six months to a year. But I just don't see any art meeting your proposed criteria in that time. So I'm trying to understand what sort of situation you are visualizing.

Katherine
I am not trying to convince, just to put forward some thoughts from my experience and from others. The factors are so many, that we could be adding ad infinitum different factors to create a realistic scenario.

But the truth is that aikidokas for a very long time train static techniques, which as we discussed earlier are not techniques after all. Their main reason being there is for developing the sensitivity, understanding , etc. Besides not being flowing, they are even non-realistic attacks (Ok, in the long term this educational method is fruitful, but in the *long* term).

So, for the purposes of our conversation, in the above mentioned way, both uke and nage train unrealistically, as opposed to a realistic attack, which hard arts like boxing, muay thai, tkd, etc teach)

Now, to me, besides having heard about this complaint from many people, this is common sense:

You have two students that train for a year. The first one, during this time spars a lot (besides learning new applicable techniques- that are not just sensitivity exercises to be refined later), gets real attacks with real intention, and knows that if he can't realistically avoid the attacks will get hit. In short, this person uses applicable self defecse techniques to real attacks. In fact, for one year he fights. Not to mention that he trains physically and develops muscle.

The second student, trains some artificial techniques (as it was mentioned earlier in this thread, these are just a base for understanding concepts, developing sensitivity, etc, so they need to be refined later with flowing/ dynamic techniques), artificial attacks (no-one ever will attack like that. We all agree on that. I know it is for training but nevertheless, that is the input/experience the body receives), in an artificial way (non fighting, static, no immediate feedback, if he doesn't like the attack he demands ala Jim Carrey to have it made different). Not to mention that he is mostly a non- muscle, non- large, non aggressive person.

Now, if I could choose one of the two to protect me, the choice would be obvious. Don't you think?
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Old 07-03-2014, 09:00 AM   #123
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Arno, it seems to me you are interested in aikido practitioners being effective in violent environments. I think that's wrong for that would increase the number of people who could kick your butt in case of need.

I, however, think that the lesser the number of people able to kick my butt the safer I am. Consider it.

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Old 07-03-2014, 10:00 AM   #124
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Arno, it seems to me you are interested in aikido practitioners being effective in violent environments. I think that's wrong for that would increase the number of people who could kick your butt in case of need.

I, however, think that the lesser the number of people able to kick my butt the safer I am. Consider it.
I am not sure I understand what you are trying to say.

If you think I am looking for trouble, then no, this is not the case. I am trying to avoid trouble.

Last edited by Blue Buddha : 07-03-2014 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:35 AM   #125
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Avoiding trouble is very sensible but, if trouble arises, it is better for you that your opponent(s) are weak and poorly trained.

Let aikido people follow flawed training methods. They are happy training that way and you will be safer if an akidoka tries to attack you.

There are enough dangerous people around, no need to add more.

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