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Old 07-16-2014, 10:03 AM   #26
Adam Huss
 
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Re: A question of style

Look how much fun we're all having!

Ichi Go, Ichi Ei!
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Old 07-16-2014, 01:10 PM   #27
sakumeikan
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Re: A question of style

Quote:
Anthony McCarra wrote: View Post
Jeez, you people do have a firm grasp of the obvious. After all, who would have thought that natural ability, toughness, determination, etc. would be important attributes for a fighter?
The problem is no one was speaking of becoming a professional fighter or even vying for the title of Bad Bully on the Block. It was simply a question of the efficacy of Aikido as a means of self-defense, which doesn't seem to much to ask from an activity that calls itself a "martial" art. Then again, maybe you pay your monthly dues and attend classes to work on your clever quips.
Hi Anthony,
I do not need to pay monthly subs to polish up my quips witty or otherwise.since I do not pay any dues monthly or weekly.All I have to do is read articles on this forum .i guess you missed the point I was hoping to make, namely its the person not the art which determines whether or not you win the day or not.Cheers, Joe
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Old 07-16-2014, 01:55 PM   #28
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Re: A question of style

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Really.
O sensei changed basic mechanics of daito ryu techniques by creating multiple openings to allow developing his spiritual concepts. That's one reason.

Another one, self defense/combat implies real skills in street fighting. No aikido style teach fighting any nature, not even sparring (which should be first step to get real skills in fighting against countering opponent, second would be go to the street and get real fight to test your skills…)
Hi Szczepan

I can you give some examples of those openings you mentioned?

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Old 07-16-2014, 02:48 PM   #29
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Re: A question of style

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Hi Szczepan

I can you give some examples of those openings you mentioned?
As O sensei was able to read intent of attacker, he still allowed attacker to fully deploy physically his attack to display his deep compassion to the attacker. Instead he could simply end interaction immediately, before materialization of the attack. We inherited it as a form (with some noble exceptions in Iwama), where nage somehow is waiting for the attack like a sheep to a wolf attack…

On more mundane level, ikkyo pin was changed in the way there is no more hyperextension of the elbow that leads to breaking it, no more kick into the ribs and no more cutting neck from above, no more legs are used to control structure of attacker…………attackers body, while lying on the floor is aligned differently(his structure is not locked anymore)….all these opening allows attacker(with no martial skills!!!) very easily rolling out of the pin in any moment of control process….because in reality there is no control based on the physical body locking…

All techniques which have throws, where attacker can safely roll out or do high flying break falls…this is a clear opening, again to express compassion and love…shihonage, where instead of breaking attacker elbow on your shoulder, you continue to turn, to fold his arm the way he can safely receive a throw…

These are only very few examples…

Nagababa

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Old 07-16-2014, 03:33 PM   #30
Cliff Judge
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Re: A question of style

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
As O sensei was able to read intent of attacker, he still allowed attacker to fully deploy physically his attack to display his deep compassion to the attacker. Instead he could simply end interaction immediately, before materialization of the attack. We inherited it as a form (with some noble exceptions in Iwama), where nage somehow is waiting for the attack like a sheep to a wolf attack…

On more mundane level, ikkyo pin was changed in the way there is no more hyperextension of the elbow that leads to breaking it, no more kick into the ribs and no more cutting neck from above, no more legs are used to control structure of attacker…………attackers body, while lying on the floor is aligned differently(his structure is not locked anymore)….all these opening allows attacker(with no martial skills!!!) very easily rolling out of the pin in any moment of control process….because in reality there is no control based on the physical body locking…

All techniques which have throws, where attacker can safely roll out or do high flying break falls…this is a clear opening, again to express compassion and love…shihonage, where instead of breaking attacker elbow on your shoulder, you continue to turn, to fold his arm the way he can safely receive a throw…

These are only very few examples…
Some groups study how to connect with uke before contact and take his balance before or at contact, but I agree with your general description of the change in the nature of techniques.

I am not sure if it is a side effect, but opening the techniques up as you describe allows for more dynamic execution and allows for safely training without adherence to formal kata - i.e. you can suddenly change techniques and not worry about suddenly killing your training partner.

This more free-form practice that encourages changing technique to changing circumstances is, I think, generally better for self-defense applications. You don't really need to lock someone's body unless you are trying to restrain them, whereas the ability to feel openings and adapt smootly should aid you if you are trying to escape an encounter quickly.

But I don't think Osensei really meant for Aikido to be a "martial art" of the same type as Daito ryu. I think by the time of the Asahi film he already envisioned a modern budo that was more about giving people a way to cultivate a particular type of virtue.
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Old 07-16-2014, 04:40 PM   #31
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Re: A question of style

Hey Joe,
I'd like to extend my apologies to you as well. Me and my big mouth.
Anthony
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Old 07-16-2014, 06:11 PM   #32
Ellis Amdur
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Re: A question of style

The same old discussion gets lost in the same old weeds, and that's unfortunate.... because so often the OP is almost belittled for asking a question that is quite reasonable. For example, if I were to decide to study karate, I'd really want to know if, for example, Shotokan's deep stances would enhance or impair my ability to slip a punch, or if Wado-ryu's jujutsu was actually an effective assemblage of techniques. I've cited the story before, but I remember when a sincere guy asked Nidai Doshu when his father became a pacifist, and Doshu cracked up and said, "My father was never a pacifist," and of all things told a story of himself being beaten up by a much bigger foreign kid from one of the local embassy's and his father coming running out to defend him and slipping in the mud in a fine kimono and hakama . . .
1. First of all, I do not agree with the premise that O-sensei crafted aikido away from self-defense - or that it's so regarded. Doshu, in his historical books, proudly recounts such stalwarts as Shirata taking on all comers. It's well known that Saito-sensei fought a lot as a young man... the list could go on - a number of the 60's 70's generation of Aikikai shihan come to mind. Even in modern times - people came to the Aikikai Honbu with challenges to fight - and they were NOT sent away with a demurral - rather, they were invited up to the fourth floor dojo and they got what they requested. A fight. Which, as far as all the stories I know, the visitors lost. I dunno how things are now, thought.
2. Joe, with respect, I think there is more to this question than the fight is in the man, not the technique. The stories of superior armaments, superior tactics, as well as superior technique permeate the history of war (ask the Romans about the Parthian shot). If one trains incessantly on a methodology with holes in it, all the spirit in the world will not avail against someone with equal spirit. Is it merely the guy with less heart that loses in the boxing ring or MMA . . .or a street fight?
3. There's no doubt that aikido has lots of (self-imposed) limitations, both technical as Szczepan mentions, and methodological (training methods). Still, if one chooses to study a martial art - aikido - and is concerned about it's value for self-defense, isn't it a legitimate question to ask what fighting skills a particular methodology enhances and what fighting skills it may impede? I don't know enough about what Endo sensei is doing nor any of his students these days to offer an opinion. But lets take Iwama aikido, just to show how an evaluation might be made. (without the obvious, like there is no ground technique like BJJ or leg kicks like muay thai).
Positive traits: Power oriented - Iwama practitioners get physically strong and tough. Toughness building - the training methodology, gripping hard, accepting sometimes really painful techniques, withstanding techniques unless the throw or lock is effective make a tough individual, who knows s/he can take some punishment. Wide technical repertoire - a lot of different techniques can make someone well-rounded and adaptable. Negative traits - No really effective freestyle component (randori is often of the tumbling uke variety). Static training - Too many people, including teachers, imitate Saito sensei's teaching style where he broke things down into components, rather than his technical expression where he really did have flow and power in one.
I could continue with this, but I think one can see my point. Yes, we have the meta-questions: psychological disturbance, weapons, cultural traits, etc., which can blur or confuse the original question beyond recovery--but there is still the possibility of a consideration of the basic methodology and how it can enhance the following traits (not inclusive, but off the top of my head): intent, toughness, adaptability, training in combative spacing, hand-eye coordination training, endurance, effective techniques themselves, survival on one's feet and the ground, footwork on rough ground (sure-ashi may not be the best training for "the street"). etc. And as for me as a teacher, such questions should be welcome. Considering the art portion of this martial art, it's like going up to a musician at a club and asking, "Do you know the song "Mack the Knife?" And the answer should be, "I'm not sure, but hum a few bars and we'll see." If nothing else, one will find out the limitations of one's knowledge (or ala Joe, one's spirit).

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Old 07-16-2014, 06:40 PM   #33
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Re: A question of style

too late to edit - "suri-ashi," not sure-ashi in my last post.

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Old 07-16-2014, 06:51 PM   #34
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Re: A question of style

Whichever style the person sticks with the longest, trains the longest with the bestest, and thinkingest the mostest aboutest.

You get out what you put in.

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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Old 07-17-2014, 12:27 AM   #35
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Re: A question of style

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Anthony McCarra wrote: View Post
Hey Joe,
I'd like to extend my apologies to you as well. Me and my big mouth.
Anthony
Dear Anthony,
Since I was not offended by your comments no need to apologise.For my part I sometimes get a bit fed up when people keep asking whether aikido is martial /effective etc.Some aikidoka are capable of inflicting serious pain if the situation warrants it.Most aikidoka imo are generally people who try to act in a peaceful, friendly manner .Hope you are well, Cheers, Joe
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Old 07-17-2014, 05:51 AM   #36
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Re: A question of style

As usual Ellis puts my point across more eloquently -the arts limitations are through its practitioners and teachers not the art itself.
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:39 AM   #37
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Re: A question of style

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Anthony McCarra wrote: View Post
Okay, I get it.
Hard is soft as soft is hard as neither is either as I am he as you are he as you are me as we are all together....
Now that we've gotten the metaphysics out the way, I would appreciate a straightforward answer to a straightforward question.
Which of these two styles is better for strictly self-defense pruposes?
1. Iwama Ryu
2. A style (not sure of the name) heavily influenced by the Vanadis Dojo of Stockholm Sweden under Jan Nevelius.

Thanks,
Ramon
It ist said that one should not sacrifice an action for a style.

So why discuss styles? Styles are mostly confused with teaching methodology.
As I understand, in Iwama-ryu the main emphasis is on the technical basics, whereas Endo sensei has the focal point on contact and kuzushi.
To get the whole, there are other important things to learn. Neither by training in traditional Iwama-style nor by following Endo sensei's method you will achieve real fighting skills in the foreseeable future.
But under specific conditions (that means if you have a teacher who understands this things and can explain them to you) you can develop the bodily condition and the technical basics, which are the requirements. This depends on the teacher, not on the "style".
To learn how to fight is another story.

Last edited by MRoh : 07-17-2014 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:41 PM   #38
Ellis Amdur
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Re: A question of style

Philip - I may have been eloquent, but perhaps not clear. Of course, there are problems with the practitioner and with the teacher--but there are problems with the "art" as well. BJJ, which was, for a brief time, almighty in the ring environment, is now "not enough," because strikers and wrestlers have found holes in the art. Given that there is, without a doubt, an "Iwama style," or a "Yamaguchi-style" - or a Yoshinkan, it is legit to look at what they teach and what they don't. And in addition to all the other reasons to do aikido, it's fair to ask if a martial art has martial virtue--and that goes for specific styles. I can think of a number of styles where they teach "atemi," that are not "hitting body" - the body is not integrated to hit, and they do not even line up with the proper angle (and if you do things more correctly from a perspective of good atemi, you are "corrected").

Ellis Amdur

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Old 07-17-2014, 02:25 PM   #39
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Re: A question of style

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Anthony McCarra wrote: View Post
...Then again, maybe you pay your monthly dues and attend classes to work on your clever quips.
Did someone steal your magic pants?
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Old 07-17-2014, 03:53 PM   #40
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Re: A question of style

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
1. First of all, I do not agree with the premise that O-sensei crafted aikido away from self-defense - or that it's so regarded. Doshu, in his historical books, proudly recounts such stalwarts as Shirata taking on all comers. It's well known that Saito-sensei fought a lot as a young man... the list could go on - a number of the 60's 70's generation of Aikikai shihan come to mind. Even in modern times - people came to the Aikikai Honbu with challenges to fight - and they were NOT sent away with a demurral - rather, they were invited up to the fourth floor dojo and they got what they requested. A fight. Which, as far as all the stories I know, the visitors lost. I dunno how things are now, thought..
I don’t want to redirect this discussion to purely theoretical level, but what exactly is your definition of ‘self-defense’? From example you provided, looks like you talk here about competitive fight, where two opponents meet at given time and place, then probably with some witnesses proceed to fight, again very probably with some ‘rules’ (i.e. no hidden weapons).

Common sense is telling me that self-defense is processed on the street ( or other not secure environment, certainly not in the dojo) where surprise (time and place) plays major role, as well as lack of any limits regarding i.e. weapons or lethal force…If this is a true, your examples are invalid.

If somebody claims to teach self-defense I’d expect that his methodology is adapted to the reality of not safe environment, where merciless brutality and violence drive motivation for attacks and the techniques are adequately responding to such degree of danger (I mean more dangerous attack is met with higher destructive response). Of course, it must be framed in routine, repetitive practice, such a free sparring, with light or in the night, in different environment (with obstacles around or without, without much space to move etc..) I’ve never heard of any aikido dojo that is able to provide even small fraction of this requirement.

If your examples are true (we don’t really have any credible evidence except of your words) it rather means that aikido training can develop an efficient fighter and not self defense skills.. In this case it is rather unexpected that MMA athletes are looking for skills in BBJ, MT, boxing, wrestling or other competitive sports but never in aikido….

IMO it is not a simple ‘self-imposed limitations; - it is a complete lack of training methodology that leads to develop an efficient fighter And it was not done incidentally, O sensei new exactly what he was doing.

Last edited by NagaBaba : 07-17-2014 at 03:56 PM.

Nagababa

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Old 07-17-2014, 04:10 PM   #41
Ellis Amdur
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Re: A question of style

Szczpan - Of course you are right in that no aikido school is a "street fight perparation school." Neither is MMA. (There's a viral video of a well-known BJJ guy who gropes a girl in a convenience store and several of her friends intervene, one of whom decks him with a base-ball bat).

But the MMA examples I used were simply about how one can critique any fighting art form or style based on the information it provides to handle "x." And how does it respond when offered "y"

Nonetheless, one can still ask the question, "What skills within the aikido style one is using prepare one for aspects of self-defense?" In essence, your last paragraph is such a critique.

Yet, I know a group of correctional officers in a maximum security prison who have an aikido club, and they have recounted to me numerous examples where they have used aikido to defend themselves and control the attacks of inmates.

The problem will be if it is posited as an "all-or-nothing." - Aikido is good for self-defense or it is not. Rather, how useful is the training methodology and range of techniques offer in a dojo to that end?
Best
Ellis Amdur

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Old 07-17-2014, 04:17 PM   #42
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Re: A question of style

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
I don't want to redirect this discussion to purely theoretical level, but what exactly is your definition of ‘self-defense'? From example you provided, looks like you talk here about competitive fight, where two opponents meet at given time and place, then probably with some witnesses proceed to fight, again very probably with some ‘rules' (i.e. no hidden weapons).

Common sense is telling me that self-defense is processed on the street ( or other not secure environment, certainly not in the dojo) where surprise (time and place) plays major role, as well as lack of any limits regarding i.e. weapons or lethal force…If this is a true, your examples are invalid.

If somebody claims to teach self-defense I'd expect that his methodology is adapted to the reality of not safe environment, where merciless brutality and violence drive motivation for attacks and the techniques are adequately responding to such degree of danger (I mean more dangerous attack is met with higher destructive response). Of course, it must be framed in routine, repetitive practice, such a free sparring, with light or in the night, in different environment (with obstacles around or without, without much space to move etc..) I've never heard of any aikido dojo that is able to provide even small fraction of this requirement.

If your examples are true (we don't really have any credible evidence except of your words) it rather means that aikido training can develop an efficient fighter and not self defense skills.. In this case it is rather unexpected that MMA athletes are looking for skills in BBJ, MT, boxing, wrestling or other competitive sports but never in aikido….

IMO it is not a simple ‘self-imposed limitations; - it is a complete lack of training methodology that leads to develop an efficient fighter And it was not done incidentally, O sensei new exactly what he was doing.
Dear Szczepan,
I cannot comment on how many mma guys consider learning aikido skills.Mr Henry Ellis has a son Rik who is mma fighter[see youtube ] who has trained in aikido and credits his success in mma in part to his knowledge of aikido.Cheers, Joe.
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:58 PM   #43
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Re: A question of style

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Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
In this case it is rather unexpected that MMA athletes are looking for skills in BBJ, MT, boxing, wrestling or other competitive sports but never in aikido….
But MMA athletes don't train for true self defense situations either. Nor do any other combat sports. Only one attacker. No weapons. Rules limit both attacks and defenses. No element of surprise. Competition takes place in a clearly defined, obstacle free area, with a referee and often with time limits. And so on.

Certainly there are plenty of examples of non-aikido martial artists being rudely educated about the limitations of their art out in the real world, too.

Which is why I keep asking people what sort of situation they have in mind. Real self defense situations don't look much like aikido kata, but they don't look like MMA fights, either.

Katherine
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:33 PM   #44
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Re: A question of style

Another important difference that no one seems to consider is that "winning" in combat sports is defined as either forcing the other person out of the fight (knockout or submission) or convincing a panel of judges that you scored more points according to some arbitrary standard.

"Winning" in a self-defense situation is defined as getting to go home, instead of to the hospital or jail. Running away is a completely legitimate self-defense strategy. So is anything that slows the attacker down long enough to allow you to run away. Generally, going toe-to-toe with an attacker is *not* a great strategy: he might have a weapon, or friends, or both, and if he didn't think he was bigger and meaner than you, he wouldn't have attacked in the first place.

There's one story of an aikidoka who found himself in the middle of a bar fight. He used the first guy who came near him as a human shield until he could make his way to the door and escape. Maybe not as good a story as the karateka who fought off three attackers before the fourth dragged him down, but who had the better outcome at the end of the day?

Katherine
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Old 07-18-2014, 01:32 AM   #45
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Re: A question of style

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
The problem will be if it is posited as an "all-or-nothing." - Aikido is good for self-defense or it is not. Rather, how useful is the training methodology and range of techniques offer in a dojo to that end?
Very little and in some aspects even counterproductive.

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Old 07-18-2014, 01:47 PM   #46
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Re: A question of style

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Szczpan - Of course you are right in that no aikido school is a "street fight perparation school." Neither is MMA. (There's a viral video of a well-known BJJ guy who gropes a girl in a convenience store and several of her friends intervene, one of whom decks him with a base-ball bat).

But the MMA examples I used were simply about how one can critique any fighting art form or style based on the information it provides to handle "x." And how does it respond when offered "y"

Nonetheless, one can still ask the question, "What skills within the aikido style one is using prepare one for aspects of self-defense?" In essence, your last paragraph is such a critique.

Yet, I know a group of correctional officers in a maximum security prison who have an aikido club, and they have recounted to me numerous examples where they have used aikido to defend themselves and control the attacks of inmates.

The problem will be if it is posited as an "all-or-nothing." - Aikido is good for self-defense or it is not. Rather, how useful is the training methodology and range of techniques offer in a dojo to that end?
Best
Ellis Amdur
Hi Ellis,
What kind of methodology you are talking about? Every shihan developed his own, and all of them are very different from O sensei teaching way.

Further, none of shihans I know or saw in my life, is using approach based on modern science, similar to judo or boxing. I wonder if you agree that science made some good progress last 100 years and martial sports that using it are able to train athletes at very high level, both physical and mental. Traditional teaching, as used in aikido, could never even dream to push students so far….
If you try to compare early judo competitors that never hear about power training with the methodology that is used now at Olympic level, the gap is so important that it simply impossible to do it.

A good example can be one, the most important aspect: full power application of the technique. This is required in both, sport competition and self-defense situation. The reason is simple, one face there serious full power attacks, resistance and counters. Theoretically, serious full power attacks, resistance and counters can exist in aikido; yet, nobody is working on full power application of the techniques.

The same situation is when you take in consideration every other martial aspect like openings, working with combat distance, surprise, chained attacks, be able to routinely execute technique under extreme psychical stress etc…

So my answer is no, you can't have useful methodology or range of techniques, because there is not really correct modern methodology, and even correct technique without above mentioned aspects will not work in real environment.

Nagababa

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Old 07-18-2014, 01:56 PM   #47
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Re: A question of style

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Very little and in some aspects even counterproductive.
Yes I agree.

Nagababa

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Old 07-18-2014, 02:02 PM   #48
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Re: A question of style

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
But MMA athletes don't train for true self defense situations either. Nor do any other combat sports. Only one attacker. No weapons. Rules limit both attacks and defenses. No element of surprise. Competition takes place in a clearly defined, obstacle free area, with a referee and often with time limits. And so on.

Certainly there are plenty of examples of non-aikido martial artists being rudely educated about the limitations of their art out in the real world, too.

Which is why I keep asking people what sort of situation they have in mind. Real self defense situations don't look much like aikido kata, but they don't look like MMA fights, either.

Katherine
Ellis provided sport competition cases as examples of self-defense capacity of aikido practice. That's why in my response I exposed my arguments that aikido training was not developed by O sensei for sport competition, neither for self-defense.

Nagababa

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Old 07-18-2014, 02:05 PM   #49
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Re: A question of style

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Dear Szczepan,
I cannot comment on how many mma guys consider learning aikido skills.Mr Henry Ellis has a son Rik who is mma fighter[see youtube ] who has trained in aikido and credits his success in mma in part to his knowledge of aikido.Cheers, Joe.
Hi Joe,
I saw a video, and I believe that mentioned credit is a simple expression of politeness among martial artists and should not be taken literally.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 07-18-2014, 02:15 PM   #50
kewms
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 998
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Re: A question of style

Olympic-level athletes in any sport train 6 hours a day, 6 days a week. That might be comparable to what O Sensei's uchi deshi did, but very very few modern aikidoka are training like that. It's really not reasonable to compare an Olympic-class judoka to a 3-hour/week recreational aikidoka.

Moreover, the teaching syllabus has to change if you are only seeing your students for 3 hours a week. There just isn't time for the very extensive conditioning that is part of an Olympic athlete's regime, not if you want to spend any time at all actually teaching, you know, aikido. (Or karate, or judo... recreational karateka don't train like Olympic athletes either.)

On the other hand, I really question the claim that you have to train like an Olympic athlete for your art to be useful in self-defense situations. After all, most real world attackers have little or no formal martial training and are looking for a "soft" target posing little risk to themselves. They aren't going to stick around for more than a minute or two unless things are clearly going their way, which means the defender doesn't need the kind of stamina that combat sports require. On the other hand, they often have weapons, which radically limits the defender's options.

Again. Self-defense is self-defense. Combat sports are combat sports. They are not the same, and training as if they were carries assumptions that can be just as dangerous as the worst excesses of "dance floor" aikido.

Katherine
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