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Old 10-29-2015, 11:31 AM   #76
jonreading
 
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Re: Ushiro

Conan, what is best in life?

I started training aikido because I was promised pillaging and plundering. Joking aside, I think we are playfully wrestling with the [polite] observation that we can't properly attack. We can excuse that incompetency all we want without changing that fact. It's not "dojo attacks" that are the problem - it's our inability to do them correctly.

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Old 10-29-2015, 11:51 AM   #77
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Re: Ushiro

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Aikido has no attacking syllabus. We do not work to develop skills in mugging, murdering, dueling to the death with, restraining or incapacitating people.
Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
See what I said up above about not respecting attackers? This is an example of exactly what I mean. Everyone who can attack competently is a mugger or murderer? Really?
You stumped me on which logical fallacies you've committed here. I listed five examples of reasons why one might wish to train how to attack someone effectively, which was clearly not implied to be an exhaustive list, and you pick two and infer that I meant only those two. Well, strawman, at least.

Cherry-picking? No True Scotsman?

Quote:
It is true that aikido does not have a formal attacking syllabus. At best, test requirements will call for "ukemi appropriate for these techniques." But how is nage supposed to get better if uke is a clueless bozo?

Katherine
I'd like to hear your opinion on that.

I don't know if we can ever solve this problem in Aikido, at least not the modern mainstream stuff we do in ASU. You just have to leave it up to people to find their own ways to increase their control over the intensity of their ukemi.

It's been solved two ways in other traditions, as I see it:

A) by sticking to formal kata where the attack and technique is exactly prescribed as you do in Daito ryu and koryu jujutsu systems.

A couple of ryuha, like Tenshin Shinyo ryu for example, actually have sets of mugging kata, where nage just grabs uke and does nasty stuff to him. Some lines of Araki ryu have straight-up murder kata. But in general, the attack is strictly prescribed, such that you can do it poorly or incorrectly and still wind up with something that would work on the street, but is incorrect for the kata.

Difficulty level: attacks involving imaginary trays of sake and/or tea; feeling of guilt when you sneakily try to practice kata on the left side.

B) By instituting rules-bound playtime.

Difficulty level: your first eye gouge is a real bitch.

Sometime back in May-June there was a facebook thread - I can't remember if you (Katherine) were on it, but I think it was something George posted. And Kevin Leavitt was talking about how what he and his folks with the US Army had found out was that your best bet for developing your trainees' fighting skills is somewhere in between my A) and B). Basically, that at the end of the day you need people to figure out for themselves how to fight effectively. So strict kata like in koryu don't get you there because the opportunities for exploration and synthesis don't happen until way down the line. Conversely, if you throw people into a ring and make them fight it out, their incentive is going to be to win the bout, and they will focus on specific techniques that do that for them, as opposed to developing the general skills they need to be an effective fighter in a real situation.

In the middle you have what seem more like drills, a couple steps more complicated than push-hands type stuff, where both partners have a set of things they can do, and a goal, and its designed to work in a continual loop where they can each go back and forth. I think I've seen Systema training do this kind of thing. One that was described to me was where two partners basically try to out-hug the other....I'm trying to get my arms wrapped around yours, you are trying to get yours wrapped around mine. Unless one of us has a serious physical or skill advantage we can go back and forth forever.

I have tried to think up ways to train this way but I haven't really come up with anything that I think is actually going to improve anybody's Aikido. The problem you run into is, how many traditional Aikido techniques are you willing to throw away? Because a lot of them are out the window if you want to do a back-and-forth practice like this...because the traditional techniques of Aikido come from a syllabus of kata.

To backtrack a bunch....if your goal is to improve Aikidokas' skill in throwing the traditional attacks that set up the traditional techniques, you need to basically spend more of your Aikido time practicing something that isn't Aikido. That's the essential problem with a "defensive martial art" that is derived from the "holy s**t I've just been pulled off my horse and lost my weapon and I am on my feet but this guy is coming at me with a sword" sections of old sogo bujutsu.

Last edited by Cliff Judge : 10-29-2015 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 10-29-2015, 12:01 PM   #78
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Re: Ushiro

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Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
This is a whole new can of worms and for sure I don't want to get into a "Well in my style" argument but ...

across styles training uke means not just ability to take falls but also to provide a good attack. Granted that attack does not have murder or mayhem directly in mind but there is no reason that we can't play with the scenario. Further, and just to mess with things a little bit, we do have a formal attacking syllabus just that in many cases it is too stylized to satisfy those who need to explore the mayhem.

I will say that the most effective street attacks that I can think of (my fevered brain) are if not impossible to train for damm difficult.
Peter, what amount of time do you guys spend training how to attack with the knife? And what all do you do? Really curious about that.

Last edited by Cliff Judge : 10-29-2015 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 10-29-2015, 12:03 PM   #79
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Re: Ushiro

Speaking of straw men...

I'm not trying to turn aikidoka into MMA champions. I just think we ought to know how to strike and grab in ways that aren't embarrassingly awful. How does that require throwing out large chunks of aikido?

(Or rather, how do you even *define* aikido if competent strikes and grabs aren't part of it already?)

Katherine
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Old 10-29-2015, 12:36 PM   #80
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Re: Ushiro

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Peter, what amount of time do you guys spend training how to attack with the knife? And what all do you do? Really curious about that.
Pretty hard to describe and give an actual percentage but generally.

If you consider the tanto side of randori - half of all randori training which varies from dojo to dojo and the age and interest of the students. However, although the speed and accuracy you develop could have application, I would not consider these knife attacks in the truest sense. It certainly is not about learning to fight with knives.

However, in the Shodokan system, between Shodan and Nidan the only new techniques are tanto dori and for these there is as much emphasis on learning proper attacks as the defence. There is quite a degree of variation in the type of stabbing including hiding the knife and the type of strikes that have been used in assassinations (famous picture of a Japanese minister being done by a right wing student).

In my mind if I was so inclined an attack would involve a crowd and really only one of those strikes. You would not see it coming, hopefully not who did you, and as I mentioned (in my fevered mind) impossible to train against.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 10-29-2015, 01:01 PM   #81
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Re: Ushiro

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Speaking of straw men...

I'm not trying to turn aikidoka into MMA champions. I just think we ought to know how to strike and grab in ways that aren't embarrassingly awful. How does that require throwing out large chunks of aikido?

(Or rather, how do you even *define* aikido if competent strikes and grabs aren't part of it already?)

Katherine
Touche.

Well first of all you need to clearly state the problem. "I will dedicate myself to making my strikes and grabs not embarrasingly awful!" is not by itself a concrete goal. So what is the point of the grabs and strikes? I think that's the meat of the issue. The surface-level answer is that you are trying to facilitate nage's technique by providing the "right" energy and form, at an intensity level that is appropriate to yourself and nage.

But this is actually what seems to get us in trouble, because at the end of the day that's nothing like a real attack, and since half of your time on the mat is being uke, it calls into question the value of all of this training time spent on learning how to deliver an attack that is designed to help the target throw you.

In koryu, the attacks always have a precise form and generally have some story; in a sport fighting art there is always a purpose and it is imminently testable. But in Aikido...what are we trying to do to when we grab someone's wrist or try to chop their heads with our hands? Why the heck are we trying to go head-on with someone and try to get both of their hands behind them?

That's what I was getting at with murder/mugging/incapacitation up there - since the real story is that we are attacking to take a fall, that is always going to come out, unless we are *training to attack for some actual purpose.* Such as mugging someone, or taking them down in a hurry like the guy in the video a page back.

I.e. if we don't train to attack for an actual purpose, then when we train our traditional techniques, we are training them to defend against someone who is not attacking us for an actual purpose.

But having said that I don't like it one bit.
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Old 10-29-2015, 04:52 PM   #82
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Re: Ushiro

See, where I have the problem is with your equivalence between "facilitate nage's technique" and "an attack designed to help the target throw you."

I would say that the goal is to facilitate nage's *learning.* That would include learning how to respond to attacks that are *not* designed to facilitate a throw. Or, more broadly, learning how to respond to progressively more effective attacks.

This becomes very difficult to talk about without actual in-person demonstrations. But as an example, let's look at the basic wrist grab leading to tenkan: katate tori tenkan ho, in our terminology. One of the most basic exercises in aikido, taught to beginners from the first day they step on the mat.

So why is uke grabbing in the first place? Does he just want to hold nage's hand? Or does he want to restrain her so that he can execute a takedown or a punch with the other hand? And if that goal is still within reach after the turn, can we say that the tenkan has failed?

Again, this is one of the most basic exercises in aikido. Anyone who walks into any dojo in the world is likely to see it. A few days ago, I had a ten year-old kid ask me "but who attacks like that?" It seems to me that if we're going to even pretend to be studying a martial art, we need to have a decent answer. Uke's attack has to have a reason behind it, and nage's response has to prevent uke from achieving that goal.

Katherine
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Old 10-29-2015, 06:28 PM   #83
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Ushiro

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
. A few days ago, I had a ten year-old kid ask me "but who attacks like that?" It seems to me that if we're going to even pretend to be studying a martial art, we need to have a decent answer.
Nex time try this answer: MMA fighters when facing kiai masters.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEDaCIDvj6I (around 2:49)

Another angle:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncfSWTPE0E4 (around 1:57)
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Old 10-29-2015, 07:25 PM   #84
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Re: Ushiro

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Nex time try this answer: MMA fighters when facing kiai masters.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEDaCIDvj6I (around 2:49)

Another angle:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncfSWTPE0E4 (around 1:57)
You can imagine his embarrassment.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 10-30-2015, 01:23 AM   #85
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Re: Ushiro

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
since the real story is that we are attacking to take a fall, that is always going to come out, unless we are *training to attack for some actual purpose.* Such as mugging someone, or taking them down in a hurry like the guy in the video a page back.
Well the attacks should have a purpose. And they don't need to be elaborate mugging kata to have some initial, immediately observable goal-- like successfully reaching the defender's jaw with a punch, successfully getting a choke, or successfully taking his balance, or even a simple throw. Then we can have the attacker succeed sometimes, and both partners would know the defender failed. We can get better with normal training even in the absence of competition, and without us all spending lots of time becoming specialists in the ins and outs of muggings, assassinations, etc.

"Uke always loses" is such a bad training method in my opinion.

This change alone could do wonders for aikido I think. I know lots of people try to train this way a bit... but imagine if something like (for example) 60% failure rate for nage was considered normal and desireable.

Advanced students just slow down etc to allow beginners to get down to 60% failure, and then turn it up with more advanced partners.
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Old 10-30-2015, 02:36 AM   #86
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Re: Ushiro

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Nex time try this answer: MMA fighters when facing kiai masters.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEDaCIDvj6I (around 2:49)

Another angle:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncfSWTPE0E4 (around 1:57)
Seriously? You honestly think this guy is legit?
Check Master Sam F.S. Chin, I Liq Chuan.

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
This is a whole new can of worms and for sure I don't want to get into a "Well in my style" argument but ...

across styles training uke means not just ability to take falls but also to provide a good attack. Granted that attack does not have murder or mayhem directly in mind but there is no reason that we can't play with the scenario. Further, and just to mess with things a little bit, we do have a formal attacking syllabus just that in many cases it is too stylized to satisfy those who need to explore the mayhem.

I will say that the most effective street attacks that I can think of (my fevered brain) are if not impossible to train for damm difficult.
This is exactly why we have stylized attacks to control the risk and still be able to practise 'something'. Considering the responses here, not everyone is on the same page and thinks/assumes these stylized attacks represent real life attacks. Degradation of Aikido...so sad.

Last edited by Tim Ruijs : 10-30-2015 at 02:42 AM.

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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Old 10-30-2015, 02:41 AM   #87
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Re: Ushiro

double post...

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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Old 10-30-2015, 06:18 AM   #88
rugwithlegs
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Re: Ushiro

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Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
Well the attacks should have a purpose. And they don't need to be elaborate mugging kata to have some initial, immediately observable goal-- like successfully reaching the defender's jaw with a punch, successfully getting a choke, or successfully taking his balance, or even a simple throw. Then we can have the attacker succeed sometimes, and both partners would know the defender failed. We can get better with normal training even in the absence of competition, and without us all spending lots of time becoming specialists in the ins and outs of muggings, assassinations, etc.

"Uke always loses" is such a bad training method in my opinion.

This change alone could do wonders for aikido I think. I know lots of people try to train this way a bit... but imagine if something like (for example) 60% failure rate for nage was considered normal and desireable.

Advanced students just slow down etc to allow beginners to get down to 60% failure, and then turn it up with more advanced partners.
It is an interesting idea. I went to a jodo class a few weeks ago to study the jo, the first thing they did was tell me I needed to know more about the sword to be a good and useful training partner for a jo student. They taught me sword, and they were right about the gaps in my knowledge - I've never done Iaido or played with a live blade, I've only used bokken in my training.

Is there a combat system that clearly uses and trains our empty hand attacks?
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Old 10-30-2015, 06:47 AM   #89
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Ushiro

Quote:
Tim Ruijs wrote: View Post
Seriously? You honestly think this guy is legit?
Well, I'd say the guy is more a Karate guy than a MMA guy, but he looks legit enough.

Quote:
Check Master Sam F.S. Chin, I Liq Chuan
I think Sam Chin could have easily kicked the rear end of the Kiai master too. But hey, this is not about what Sam Chin can do to deluded Kiai masters but what Aikido people can or can't do.
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Old 10-30-2015, 06:56 AM   #90
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Re: Ushiro

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Well, I'd say the guy is more a Karate guy than a MMA guy, but he looks legit enough.

I think Sam Chin could have easily kicked the rear end of the Kiai master too. But hey, this is not about what Sam Chin can do to deluded Kiai masters but what Aikido people can or can't do.
I meant the 'lost' Kiai master...What is he thinking? He probably has very complacent students and starts to believe he can actually keep people at distance doing 'his stuff'. You do not take these guys serious, now do you?
In actuality, there are Aikido teachers (high ranked) out there that do, teach and sell the same s**t.

Present day Aikido gets watered down rapidly. Eye on the ball and try to get what O Sensei did.
Talking about form is interesting, but limited. There is more depth to Aikido than its outer form.

To find that requires hard work, sincere attacks and proper technique.

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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Old 10-30-2015, 07:10 AM   #91
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Re: Ushiro

Quote:
Tim Ruijs wrote: View Post
I meant the 'lost' Kiai master...What is he thinking? He probably has very complacent students and starts to believe he can actually keep people at distance doing 'his stuff'. You do not take these guys serious, now do you?
There's very few people in this business I take seriously.

Quote:
Talking about form is interesting, but limited. There is more depth to Aikido than its outer form.

To find that requires hard work, sincere attacks and proper technique.
No doubt about it.

The problem is "hard work", "sincere attacks" and "proper technique" mean different things to different people.
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Old 10-30-2015, 07:24 AM   #92
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Re: Ushiro

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Conan, what is best in life?.
Everybody knows it is hot water, good dentishtry and shoft lavatory paper
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Old 10-30-2015, 07:26 AM   #93
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Re: Ushiro

For me, ability and purpose are not equal. That I can throw a baseball is not the same as saying I am a pitcher. In the conversation of escalating attacks and "street" fighting, I hold a similar opinion. If I cannot effectively control you with a dojo attack, then what would switching to a "street" tactic accomplish? Presumably, "street" defense tactics are designed to be easier to implement and present a greater risk to the target (so as be be a greater deterrent to fighting). That I can gouge out your eye is no indication of my martial skill, only an indication of an attack I [believe] I can implement with greater success. If I choose to move away from an attack that I am not competent to perform, I would ask, Why? There are real scenarios where survival is the purpose and I need to use what works. That is not dojo training.

I boil down my responsibility as uke to be the exact same as nage. I have a responsibility to make a movement that, if unchecked, succeeds in controlling my partner. When I am nage, I have a responsibility to move, successfully, in such a way as to control my partner. For me, "appropriate ukemi" is a reflection of creating the proper relationship that if nage does want she is supposed to, it will be reflected in my body. This distillation gives me clarity that has no influence about hurting someone or protecting myself or stigmatizing my interaction. It also illustrates how silly we sound when we say bad things about fighting... within a fighting community.

To call out Cliff a little:
Quote:
mugging, murdering, dueling to the death with, restraining or incapacitating people
While not an extensive list, I don't think anyone would contend that this list is not negatively biased. I have a lot of friends who fight and I cannot think of a single one who fights for any of these reasons, with the possible exception of "restraining". Think about how a BJJ player or a judo player, or a wrestler, or a boxer or law enforcement or military personnel would read this statement... But I also think this is the majority perspective of attacking in aikido - Attack=bad, nage=good. We give ourselves permission to be bad attackers because attackers are bad. It's the distasteful side of training that we take like bad medicine because we have to, not because we want to

To thread a needle in conversation, I think my ability to attack is framed within the purpose of education. I think aikido is far too permissive to allow nage to "do whatever" under the guise of "flowing" technique. Kata is there to give us a problem to solve until we get it right. Some time back I was working out with a partner at a seminar. Having difficulty with a katate dori technique, he attempted to kick my inside thigh to illustrate that I needed to be less "rooted" and give him some advantage to moving my body. To this, I asked, "oh, we can kick now?" Kata gives us parity and expectation and I am a strong proponent of advocating that what I get to do, my partner gets to do. I think introducing another type of attack usually only distracts us from the real problem, that I cannot correctly attack...

Last edited by jonreading : 10-30-2015 at 07:34 AM.

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Old 10-30-2015, 07:30 AM   #94
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Re: Ushiro

For what it is worth: glad to see we are on the same page :-)

Walking the Path is not easy. You should have some idea of what you are looking for, but alas for most beginners that take on Aikido that is already lost. And for more advanced/experienced too.

In Europe Nobuyoshi Tamura always said: "one millimeter to either side and you are not doing Aikido anymore". ...most advanced uchideshis of O Sensei said similar things: "the only one doing Aikido was Ueshiba, we do not know what we did, but it was not Aikido".

So when these guys had a hard time 'getting it', why so much debat on form like in this thread Ushiro?

Everyone tries to come up with valid points, some actually are, but most are simply not.

Someone said: oh that sounds quite complex...yes it actually is!
Why do people think Aikido (at higher level) is any different from sport (at higher level) or any other art?
Take drawing, photography, cycling, running, whatever. Not everyone will be on the same level. But strangely enough in Aikido, everyone thinks they are....

For me, I am searching, have been for more than 25 years and probably will be for a bit longer.
Polish, refine...

Quote:
I think aikido is far too permissive to allow nage to "do whatever" under the guise of "flowing" technique.
EXACTLY! Aikido gets watered down right here!

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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Old 10-30-2015, 09:57 AM   #95
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Re: Ushiro

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
See, where I have the problem is with your equivalence between "facilitate nage's technique" and "an attack designed to help the target throw you."

I would say that the goal is to facilitate nage's *learning.* That would include learning how to respond to attacks that are *not* designed to facilitate a throw. Or, more broadly, learning how to respond to progressively more effective attacks.

This becomes very difficult to talk about without actual in-person demonstrations. But as an example, let's look at the basic wrist grab leading to tenkan: katate tori tenkan ho, in our terminology. One of the most basic exercises in aikido, taught to beginners from the first day they step on the mat.

So why is uke grabbing in the first place? Does he just want to hold nage's hand? Or does he want to restrain her so that he can execute a takedown or a punch with the other hand? And if that goal is still within reach after the turn, can we say that the tenkan has failed?

Again, this is one of the most basic exercises in aikido. Anyone who walks into any dojo in the world is likely to see it. A few days ago, I had a ten year-old kid ask me "but who attacks like that?" It seems to me that if we're going to even pretend to be studying a martial art, we need to have a decent answer. Uke's attack has to have a reason behind it, and nage's response has to prevent uke from achieving that goal.

Katherine
So what's the success criteria for facilitating nage's learns? We're not talking about giving beginners broken faces, or doing our 100% best to shut down their technique here, we're talking about a carefully measured, progressive increase in intensity of attack and resistance to force nage to improve. At the end of the day, we're calling our ukemi a success if we are thrown "properly." Also, at the end of the day, these are never "real" attacks.

The basic Aikido syllabus seems to assume that attacks are unprovoked and made with the intent to kill or incapacitate. That's why it looks sad when you see an Aikido guy try to receive a minimal-commitment jab from a boxer with a kotegaeshi, or get flustered when a Judo guy just walks up and takes grips, or a BJJ guy grabs your sleeve, lays down, and spreads his legs....
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Old 10-30-2015, 10:08 AM   #96
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Re: Ushiro

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
While not an extensive list, I don't think anyone would contend that this list is not negatively biased. I have a lot of friends who fight and I cannot think of a single one who fights for any of these reasons, with the possible exception of "restraining". Think about how a BJJ player or a judo player, or a wrestler, or a boxer or law enforcement or military personnel would read this statement... But I also think this is the majority perspective of attacking in aikido - Attack=bad, nage=good. We give ourselves permission to be bad attackers because attackers are bad. It's the distasteful side of training that we take like bad medicine because we have to, not because we want to
General reply here - I think training for attacks coming with the intent to kill, by people who want to do you serious and lasting harm, is the greater "respect for the attacker" than to assume you are in a ring playing a fighting game. That's what my Aikido teacher constantly and consistently has said is the most important thing.
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Old 10-30-2015, 10:52 AM   #97
Demetrio Cereijo
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Re: Ushiro

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
General reply here - I think training for attacks coming with the intent to kill, by people who want to do you serious and lasting harm, is the greater "respect for the attacker"
As long as the attacker has the required skill to do what he intends.
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Old 10-30-2015, 12:31 PM   #98
kewms
Join Date: Aug 2002
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Re: Ushiro

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
General reply here - I think training for attacks coming with the intent to kill, by people who want to do you serious and lasting harm, is the greater "respect for the attacker" than to assume you are in a ring playing a fighting game. That's what my Aikido teacher constantly and consistently has said is the most important thing.
That's what your teacher says, but you've spent half the thread trying to justify ushiro attacks where the attacker runs around behind nage? Okay...

Katherine
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Old 10-30-2015, 01:12 PM   #99
jurasketu
Dojo: Roswell Budokan
Location: Roswell GA
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Re: Ushiro

It is kind of amusing when you realize that we don't seem to know/agree on what a dynamic ushiro attack actually is supposed to represent.

Static ushiro attacks (wrists, elbows, bear hug, shoulders, choke) are perfectly reasonable - someone restrains you so someone else can clobber you.

Could a ushiro result from the attacker making a frontal attack and then when meeting resistance decide move to around behind nage? It is hard to argue that being BEHIND someone is bad for the attacker. Just like a lot of Aikido attacks, sometimes we get too stylized and so a real attack intention becomes a silly looking running attack.

Just a thought...

All paths lead to death. I strongly recommend taking one of the scenic routes.
AWA - Nidan - Started Aikido training in 2008
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Old 10-30-2015, 02:14 PM   #100
Cliff Judge
Location: Kawasaki, Kanagawa
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Japan
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Re: Ushiro

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
That's what your teacher says, but you've spent half the thread trying to justify ushiro attacks where the attacker runs around behind nage? Okay...

Katherine
Own it, or drop it.
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