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Old 10-19-2002, 10:53 AM   #1
Hagen Seibert
Dojo: Kamai
Location: Freiburg
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incompetence for attack?

Iīd like to raise a question, which is likely to stir controversial discussion, and itīs maybe a queer idea, but nevertheless:

Observing attacks in our Aikido training, one may notice that our usual attacks are of a cooperative nature. I.e. they are designed to let the partner train a certain technique. Yokomen-Uchi is a strike which can be spotted hours before it would actually hit the target, and can be smoothly taken into a technique. Itīs designed for good training. And this applies to all other attack forms, gyaku-hanmi-katate-tori, ryote-tori, mune-tori.......

Now, in reality, no attacker will ever use any of these forms to attack. Instead, they will use a straight punch or leg kicks, which are virtually unknown to aikido people. (In most styles, I know there are styles which adopt a few techniques on those attack forms. Punching and kicking for itself is n e v e r trained in any style.) Of course it is much more difficult to deal with those kind of attacks in an aikido way, which makes it perhaps awkward for normal training.

So here comes my question: As O-Sensei wanted to create a martial art of harmony and kindness, did he also had in mind to leave his students incompetent of performing realistic attacks by themselves ? Maybe because he thought they would not need it, maybe because he thought that if they donīt know they wonīt misuse ....

Let me know your thoughts.
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Old 10-19-2002, 12:20 PM   #2
TomanGaidin
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I'm new to Aikido (exceedingly so), so if I say something wrong (I'm bound to), feel free to correct me.

With some of the few techniques I've practiced so far, I've noticed they can be adapted easily enough to punches - shomen uchi can be changed to a straight punch, then leading to a blend and hold, ikkyo, say, in much the same fashion, even if the attacker's arm is a bit lower ;p. The technique then theoretically can continue. At least, it seems this way. Feel free to jump on me and correct . Any corrections would be appreciated .

As for deliberately not teaching 'proper' attacks so as for the ideal of peacefulness and non-aggression to be maintained... that's a good question. Giving them the art of defending themselves, of teaching them a 'peaceful' martial art, taking away the ability to attack (properly, anyway ;p) would only seem fitting in promoting a more peaceful environment. I've seen a few posts around that noted in original aikido atemi were more in focus than in most styles taught now, but I have no idea myself.
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Old 10-19-2002, 12:46 PM   #3
Hagen Seibert
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Hi Christian,

to deal with a straight punch just like shomen uchi, thatīs what I used to believe myself time ago, until I tried it out....

A punch is so fast, you can hardly step off the line. You have to move the whole body, the attacker only the fist...guess whoīs quicker. Ikkyo ura does no way work against a straight punch.

Ikkyo omote, well, trying to deflect a straight punch upwards like for shomen uchi Iīd call at least risky...(youīve opened your guard in case it was a feint)

Please also keep in mind that a proper straight punch is drawn back immediatly, he wonīt wait for you to grab the wrist.

At least thatīs my experience.

(Although this is not the point I wanted to discuss..)
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Old 10-19-2002, 01:15 PM   #4
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
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So, two separate questions rolled into one:

1) Is our training ineffective against real attacks?

This has been discussed at great length in a number of threads. The only thing I will repeat here is that I personally believe that it's the responsiblity of each student to find opportunities to challenge themselves at the level of training they feel is appropriate. I don't know how it is in your dojo, but my dojo has people who can hit well enough to make me 'believe.'

2) Does our training inculcate habits that are innapropriate if we actually want to hit someone.

I think the answer to this is simply 'no.' A lot of how you feel about this will connect to how you feel about AiKiDo in general, though. I have come to honestly believe that AiKiDo is not done with the arms (although, of course, I still try to do it that way) but with the hips and with the mind. Similarly, what you learn when performing your attacks in AiKiDo is that it is not the speed or the force of the arm muscles that makes an attack succesful.

A succesful attack disrupts nage's center and their focus. If you train for this, rather than training to 'hit hard' or 'hit fast,' you will be able to succesfully initiate attacks without depending on being so much stronger or faster than the other person. It also gives you the flexibility to appropriately calibrate the energy in the attack to the person you have chosen to hit. It's not always true that you want to hit everyone as hard as you can.

I'll say again, as I've said on other threads, that I have (thankfully) no experience with fighting. My insights come from reflection, from my experiences with different people who have come into the dojo with different kinds of training, and from the occasional pleasure of wrestling with a friend.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 10-19-2002, 01:17 PM   #5
Chuck.Gordon
Location: Frederick, MD
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Re: incompetence for attack?

Quote:
Hagen Seibert wrote:
Observing attacks in our Aikido training, one may notice that our usual attacks are of a cooperative nature.
Depends on what dojo, what style of aikido, who's teaching and what the poitn of the particular training exercise is. I know some aikido folks who will very cleanly clock you if you don't react properly. Know some who couldn't atemi a wet paper sack, too.
Quote:
Hagen Seibert wrote:
I.e. they are designed to let the partner train a certain technique.
Quite often, yes. Nothing wrong with that. Sometimes folks need to train simple stuff, later, they can get rough and tumble.

In my system (not aikido, by the way, not at all), we start simple and slow, then progress as folks mature and develop finesse and control. Same in many of the koryu.
Quote:
Hagen Seibert wrote:
Yokomen-Uchi is a strike which can be spotted hours before it would actually hit the target
Again, it depends. How is the strike done? Is it done with intent? Is it done as if cutting??? Who's striking? Why? Too many variables to make a blanket statement.

I won't strike a beginner the same way I'll go after someone who's trained with my for 10 years ...
Quote:
Hagen Seibert wrote:
... gyaku-hanmi-katate-tori, ryote-tori, mune-tori.......
Most grabbing atacks are relics of elder days. Most folks don't really even realize what they're doing or teaching. Katate dori, kosa dori, kata dori, morote dori, et alia, are supposed to be uke trying to take nage/tori/shite's weaposn or stop that individual from drawing a weapon. All are valid and effetive within the context of the budo from whence aikido sprang.
Quote:
Hagen Seibert wrote:
Now, in reality, no attacker will ever use any of these forms to attack.
Not necessarily. Scenario: A polic officer is dealing with a suspect. Said suspect decides to grab police officer's handgun.

Scenario II: I'm in the street and a fellow lurches into my path. I raise a hand to steady him and he suddenly ceases lurching and grabs at me ...

Most people only realize what they're doing thru the filter of what they're taught. If the teacher fails to recognie the antecedents of what he or she is trying to convey (or if they decide they know better than the teacher), the meaning and truth of it can be, um, displaced.
Quote:
Hagen Seibert wrote:
Instead, they will use a straight punch or leg kicks, which are virtually unknown to aikido people. (In most styles, I know there are styles which adopt a few techniques on those attack forms.
Sigh. AGAIN: It depends. There are many aikido variants out there. Not all discount kicks or jabs/uppercuts/etc ...
Quote:
Hagen Seibert wrote:
Punching and kicking for itself is n e v e r trained in any style.)
Once MORE. Wrong. It depends. I know of a few aikido dojo who preface their taijutsu training with atemi practice. I know aikido yudansha who hold dan grade in karate or other striking arts.

Sweeping generalizations are usually wrong.
Quote:
Hagen Seibert wrote:
Of course it is much more difficult to deal with those kind of attacks in an aikido way,
No, it's not.
Quote:
Hagen Seibert wrote:
So here comes my question: As O-Sensei wanted to create a martial art of harmony and kindness,
Who says? He also said "First, smash uke's face." and "Move like lightning, strike like thunder." And he routinely punched his uke silly.

Chikako Bryner is known to say: "First, learn to kick butt, then everything peace and harmony ..."

Just because YOUR limited experience with aikido is, um, lacking, don't imagine that ALL aikido is similar. Let me introduce you to some folks I know!
Quote:
Hagen Seibert wrote:
Let me know your thoughts.
You got it!

Chuck

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Old 10-19-2002, 01:24 PM   #6
Chuck.Gordon
Location: Frederick, MD
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Atemi

Quote:
Hagen Seibert wrote:
to deal with a straight punch just like shomen uchi, thatīs what I used to believe myself time ago, until I tried it out....
Nope. You deal with choku tsuki like a choku tsuki. You deal with shomen uchi like shomen uchi. If you're taught properly, train well and pay attention, you know the difference and respond accordingly.
Quote:
Hagen Seibert wrote:
A punch is so fast, you can hardly step off the line.
Then don't step off line. A Seidokan Aikido teacher I know in Texas quote an old joke:

Admiral in battleship says, "I'm an admiral in a battleship! Move out of the way!"

Seaman in the lighthouse reponds, "I'm a seaman in a lighthouse, YOU move."

Brendan calls this lighthouse aikido ...

You don't always have to get offline. And punches aren't as fast as most folks think they are. Or want you to think they are.

And ... you can always punch back! Great fun.
Quote:
Hagen Seibert wrote:
You have to move the whole body, the attacker only the fist...guess whoīs quicker.
The person who's quicker, more alert, better prepared?
Quote:
Hagen Seibert wrote:
Ikkyo ura does no way work against a straight punch.
YOU need to get to a better aikido dojo.

Favorite aikido quote: "Aikido works. YOUR aikido doesn't" (Ikeda Sensei, I think ...)
Quote:
Hagen Seibert wrote:
Please also keep in mind that a proper straight punch is drawn back immediatly, he wonīt wait for you to grab the wrist.
Define proper. Said re-chambering can also provide a great opening to change the attempted ikkyo to a kote gaeshi ...
Quote:
Hagen Seibert wrote:
At least thatīs my experience.
Exactly.

Chuck

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Old 10-19-2002, 01:26 PM   #7
Bud
Dojo: Aikido Philippines
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Quote:
Hagen Seibert wrote:
Hi Christian,

to deal with a straight punch just like shomen uchi, thatīs what I used to believe myself time ago, until I tried it out....

A punch is so fast, you can hardly step off the line. You have to move the whole body, the attacker only the fist...guess whoīs quicker. Ikkyo ura does no way work against a straight punch.

Ikkyo omote, well, trying to deflect a straight punch upwards like for shomen uchi Iīd call at least risky...(youīve opened your guard in case it was a feint)

Please also keep in mind that a proper straight punch is drawn back immediatly, he wonīt wait for you to grab the wrist.

At least thatīs my experience.

(Although this is not the point I wanted to discuss..)
Ok, I'm going to presume that this is concering an actual attack on the street..

IMHO, dealing with a punch like shomen uchi will only work if you are able to train for very fast tai sabaki to get off the line of attack. I'm not that fast so I'd deal with it by first moving as fast and as far offline as I can manage given the circumstances and apply atemi or two as I move. even if you move a little out of the path of the punch, at least it doesn't land with 100% of its power. just be ready for the opening your need for your second response.

But the crucial element is the atemi. I suggest training with a heavy bag to get the feel of landing blows to the body. Learn to land a solid punch or two of your own is important.

Only when I've evaded, applied atemi and see that I'm in a good position to apply something will I then proceed to using a technique. I would caution against focusing on catching the punch and applying a technique to it. better to try to get into a position that opens up the attacker to a wider range of responses from me.
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Old 10-19-2002, 01:51 PM   #8
Edward
Location: Bangkok
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Re: incompetence for attack?

Quote:
Hagen Seibert wrote:
So here comes my question: As O-Sensei wanted to create a martial art of harmony and kindness, did he also had in mind to leave his students incompetent of performing realistic attacks by themselves ? Maybe because he thought they would not need it, maybe because he thought that if they donīt know they wonīt misuse ....

Let me know your thoughts.
Well, actually punching and kicking do not need special classes to be learned. I know guys who never set foot in a dojo who can punch and kick the s**t out of most. As for aikido, we spend half of the time being uke, attacking and being thrown. What better training do you need for attacking? Do you think Munetsuki or Mentsuki are not effective attacking tools? Did you ever try a Shomen or Yokomenuchi with a beer bottle in hand? (I have never attacked anyone before, and if I ever decide to do it, it won't be with a punch but rather with a choke or a throw)
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Old 10-19-2002, 03:15 PM   #9
G DiPierro
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Re: incompetence for attack?

Quote:
Hagen Seibert wrote:
Yokomen-Uchi is a strike which can be spotted hours before it would actually hit the target, and can be smoothly taken into a technique.
Not if you do it correctly. I was actually able to connect on a yokomenuchi whilst attacking a very senior American Aikido teacher in front of an entire seminar class. I won't say who it was. It is, however, true that many people in modern Aikido don't know how to attack correctly.
Quote:
Now, in reality, no attacker will ever use any of these forms to attack.
If you truly study the attacks used in Aikido, you will see that every unarmed attack, except for kicks, is contained within them. The question of kicks is an issue in itself, but once I learned a few techniques for these attacks, I realized that they are fairly straightforward and uninteresting compared to the attacks we normally use. If you are interested in real attacks then you will need to figure out for yourself to how adapt the everyday, low-energy training-level attacks to their more realistic, high-energy counterparts.
Quote:
So here comes my question: As O-Sensei wanted to create a martial art of harmony and kindness, did he also had in mind to leave his students incompetent of performing realistic attacks by themselves ?
I think that in those days the practice was more martial and people just knew how to attack hard. Maybe it was assumed that they had learned this in other arts. The reality today is that not everyone can handle hard attacks. If people always came in hard without properly understanding their own abilities and those their partners, a lot of people would be getting hurt.
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Old 10-19-2002, 03:45 PM   #10
ChristianBoddum
 
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Regarding yokomen-uchi.

Hi there !

I would just like to add one thing regarding yokomen-uchi,in our dojo we have been corrected to make yokomen-uchi (when done with tegatana)almost straight and not in a big swing as you sometimes see,it makes a big difference and less visible.

Also I been corrected when done with ken,

when done with ken your aim is not to strike/cut the side of the head but actually to cut from the top of the head in a slight angle - makes a lot of sense and much more powerful.

A good night to y'all - Chr.B.
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Old 10-19-2002, 04:14 PM   #11
JPT
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One of my instructors was once attacked in the street by a guy swinging a baseball bat, he said it was very similiar to yokomen uchi.

Personally I would recommend some sparing sessions using some 16oz boxing gloves, basically because the entry into any technique in much harder when somebody is continually attacking (& hitting) with speed.

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Old 10-19-2002, 04:29 PM   #12
JPT
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One of my instructors was once attacked in the street by a guy swinging a baseball bat, he said it was very similiar to yokomen uchi.

Personally I would recommend some sparing sessions using some 16oz boxing gloves, basically because the entry into any technique in much harder when somebody is continually attacking (& hitting) with speed.

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Old 10-19-2002, 06:59 PM   #13
aubrey bannah
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I work as a security guard, I would have to say most attacks are sneak attacks, so in the first instance there is a need to protect yourself & then counter attack ie first movment is into a safe zone. Then the choice is yours either to continue or run away. Everybody has one or two good punches in them (fueled by all the emotions held in by them)but it's the last one standing that gets to go home.

It is a MA of harmony and compassion, your training regulary builds on all the best emotions within yourself every day. What hope has some fool on the street's that pick's fight's against a honest and sencere person who trains purposefully.

Cheers Aubrey

Such powers I poccess for working in the political field have been derived from the spiritual field. Mahatma Gandhi.
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Old 10-20-2002, 12:30 AM   #14
Frp
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I've trained with 'real' attacks all the time. I throw full speed punches at everyone but very fresh newbies, and so does everyone else. We practice kicks and 'sucker' attacks, too.

I've realised that one of the things I've learned from my training is to throw a punch that will leave a mark.

I observed a diffrent style from my own last night, aikikai, and an advanced class too. The throws were amazing and you'd better know how to fall or your arm will get broken. But their attacks did seem rather slow. And some of the students didn't seem to extend to well to make the throws work, not that they wont break your arm, but they wont break your arm and drill you into the ground. I will not be throwing any punches at even the slowest of them anytime soon. Fast twitch would likely kick in and I'd be going to the hospital.

With us (kokikai), from the other side of aikido, the attack is the fast part and the throw is slow, if it needs to be, so you can feel out how it works, extend, one point all that stuff. More ki less aiki. So, I suppose, in ki styles you learn the ki part first and learn to break arms later, and aiki styles you break arms first and extend later, and, therefore learn to attack fast and fall fast only once you know you can get though the fall intact.
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Old 10-20-2002, 10:07 AM   #15
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
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open attacks

Well, that is a broad subject that covers more than one martial style, and encompasses many variations in training to make the mind aware so that you react automatically, instead of thinking about what you will do.

Some of your speed is from repetition, physical training, but on the whole, if you can't find the holes in defense, or create openings for whatever you are doing offensively or defensively in a practice or fight situation, then the assertion of having a fighting art that does not work is reasserted, once again.

Within the terms of awakening the sleeping giant, I sometimes need a reason to awaken. A punch, a kick, maybe?

Considering practice, attacks are usually the awakening call, with punches or kicks being the the payment for my own ignorance or slovenlyness during practice. Although, these days, simple touches of the foot, hand, elbow, or other strikes are enough to enlighten our practice, the fact that we appreciate the openings or closure of openings does keep practice lively.

As far as the theory of Breakage verses Ki study ... that is so much rubbish.

The experience of the student, the training by the teacher,and the students ability to piece together the puzzle of martial arts is not a standard of practice.

Most interpretations of students is to actively work on their weak points, and the teachers part in training is the understanding of what becomes important in connecting or interconnecting techniques into a flawless flow of continuity is the personal goal of each student, teacher, and shihan too.

I have yet to see where practice ever ends, where learning stops, or where even the most experienced practitioner does not seek to add to their education of Aikido by studying other martial arts.

Sorry, Mr. David Wade, but the concept of fast or slow is merely the perception of the observor.

The goal of becoming proficient, controled will lead to the attack seeming slower ... even if it is faster than safety allows.

This state of mind, the centeredness of body, mind, self ... this is the key to overcoming the spirit of others and making you their equal. (Practice doesn't hurt either.)

The very commitment to throw a punch that leaves a mark is the prime opportunity to apply aikido. Question is .... does fear slow your body, grip your soul, or can you accept death, injury, whatever may come as a natural part of your actions, your decisions to act?

Maybe it is the care in which the locks are applied to prove their worth in defensive posture that is unapproachable, and the throws are performed to the level of the uke that seem to be different, but the perception of what is most important is the students own lessons in their ability to understand.

There are very few people who can react with quickness to a fast attack, but then how fast is safe, and how fast is not?

Depends on your partner, doesn't it?

Sorry to diverge, but state of mind, being able to react within a timeframe of opportunity, and having the skills to defend yourself are all part of defense beyond static starts.

Maybe there should be some more face to face drills where we slap aside punches and defend from kicks, some of the Chinese temple boxer's drills, but that is up to the individual teachers and shihans as we aikido continues to progress.
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Old 10-20-2002, 04:33 PM   #16
Hagen Seibert
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Hi folks,

I appreciate your replies. Though this thread is somehow drifting off ...

Chuck, if your Aikido is more to self-defence than what I observe around me, than better for you.

Iīm talking about the styles I have seen which are the most popular in this region, and I can imagine there are styles or teachers out there which are differnt. I have not met them so far. I shall come back to your offer.

I have read other threads where effectiveness of Aikido has been discussed. Folks have differnt opinions depending where they train. So we will not find an answer to that and I did not want to discuss this matter in this thread !!!!

There are styles which do not put primary emphasis on effectiveness (actually most of them), and itīs all right if they decide to do so. Which is the `real` Aikido? The strongest, most effective? Or the one practised by the majority ? I donīt know. I donīt need to know, because I believe that something like the `real` Aikido is a very subjective point of view. I just wonder: If we decide to emphasize realistic combat in Aikido, do we put something in it ? Or is it merely the intention of Aikido to create an atmospere of cooperation and sympathy ? Is it the intention to avoid the ability of attacking or beating up other people even through not teaching the most effective attack techniques ?
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Old 10-20-2002, 04:45 PM   #17
Hagen Seibert
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Quote:
Hagen Seibert wrote:
Hi folks,

Is it the intention to avoid the ability of attacking or beating up other people even through not teaching the most effective attack techniques ?
Of course I mean the styles which do not empasize effectiveness, which I suppose are most near to the original as they are the mainstream.

Not to teach the most effective attacks means that obviosly the self-defence-value will reduce in consequence.

So if your style belongs to the other branch then you will find this an obsolete question...
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Old 10-20-2002, 05:38 PM   #18
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
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So, I also feel that another 'Is AiKiDo effective' thread is probably unnecessary. On the other hand, I think the question of 'How well does AiKiDo teach us to attack' is a new and interesting question and I'd love to hear more views about it.

I put my views early on in post #4.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 10-20-2002, 10:03 PM   #19
Frp
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I don't think any one style of Aikido is better than another. If anyone thought that was what I was saying I am sorry. As I've been told by many high ranked people, once your a black belt its all the same. Some of us take diffrent routes than others, and it is quite possable some things are stressed more in one style than another. We all end up looking at the same moon once we've reached the summit.

I wanted to highlight something I'd observed. The black belts there were plenty fast, by the way. And we are not not speaking of quantum theory, speed in Aikido is observable by an outsider.



And, on another subject, I can strike people far better than I could before I started training. Its far easer to see openings you have and the time you have to take advantage of them once you've done this stuff for awhile. I think (and happly don't know) that an Aikidoist could thrash an untrained person using using just the knowledge of striking picked up being a good uke.

Back to lurking.
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Old 10-20-2002, 10:43 PM   #20
G DiPierro
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Quote:
David Wade (Frp) wrote:
Back to lurking.
David, if you were concerned about Bruce's reply to your post, please don't let him intimidate you. He is very vocal about his opinions but this does not mean that he speaks for everyone. I, for one, enjoyed your first post and I agree that in the USAF we tend to "break arms first and extend later, and, therefore learn to attack fast and fall fast only once you know you can get though the fall intact." In fact, that's the perspective I was coming from in my initial post. I'm glad you offered a different one.

Incidentally, the preference for big, complex, spectacular-looking throws is not nearly as strong in the ASU. They seem to focus more on relaxation and sensitivity and less on explicit form than the Federation does, though I don't know that this means they attack hard from the get-go. I'll try to find out next time I practice with them. As far as the Kokikai goes, we recently had a yudansha from that organization in our dojo, though I believe he stopped coming because our style, which is much, much softer than mainstream USAF, was still too strange for him. If I see him again, I will test your theory and be sure to attack him hard.

Last edited by G DiPierro : 10-20-2002 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 10-21-2002, 03:49 AM   #21
aubrey bannah
Dojo: Yoshinkan Brisbane
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Opherdonchin, I found that after a few yrs taking throws I began to see the openings of the other person.(This general awareness is there even just walking down the street. It's just a small exercise to continue to do in every day life.)

If it's a trained proficent person it just become's a matter waiting ie strategy.

Such powers I poccess for working in the political field have been derived from the spiritual field. Mahatma Gandhi.
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Old 10-21-2002, 06:19 AM   #22
Bruce Baker
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Mr. Giancarlo DiPierro is quite correct in my vocal emphasis, but I figure that with crossing over middle age it gives me some leeway in trying to be honest about what I think.

Like most posts, I accept that with the percentage of people posting the broad spectrum of opinions pretty much balance out by the end of most discussions.

I guess the journey of experience is an interesting forcast as to the bumps ahead in the road of life, as well as what to expect.

Just as you may get advice for a trip, there is no experience for experience. You can think, study, listen, talk, but when it comes to physically doing what you want to do, using aikido against other styles of aikido, you will either adapt and change to meet the situation, or you will not.

So, don't take Bruce so seriously that it is the word of god, or your teacher talking ... it is only my own experience, and a few things I have on my mind as we pass the time of day with a few stories.

On the other hand, if you do find my advice helpful, and proved by your own experience, then it was prophetic, but then that is for you to prove or disprove with your own experience.

Got it?

I hope so.

Now ... you get the same advice I give to children when they go out ...

"...When they let you out of jail, I will be there to pick you up ... so stay out of trouble when you are out with your friends."

Any more questions about breaking bones before or after?
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Old 10-21-2002, 08:56 AM   #23
MattRice
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
Location: Maryland
Join Date: Oct 2002
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Quote:
Opher Donchin (opherdonchin) wrote:
So, I also feel that another 'Is AiKiDo effective' thread is probably unnecessary. On the other hand, I think the question of 'How well does AiKiDo teach us to attack' is a new and interesting question and I'd love to hear more views about it.

I put my views early on in post #4.
If I pay attention it teaches pretty well, I think. It teaches me where not to be when I'm striking. It teaches me how (physically) to get where I need to be to strike. In other words, I think I see more openings because I've moved to the correct position to access them.

With a good nage, the attack has to be on target and with some energy for aikido to happen, this develops good habits for uke's striking.

stuff like that...
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Old 10-21-2002, 09:21 AM   #24
paw
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 768
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This will probably be too long, and a bit of a divergence. Well, here goes:

There seem to be some topics that come up in aikido that rarely come up in other martial arts, or are understood differently in other martial arts. Attacking seems one of them. If I were to ask "what is an effective attack?" The answer would be one that works. In boxing that would mean my punch landed. In muay thai, that would mean my punch, kick, elbow or knee landed. In judo it would mean I threw my partner/opponent onto their back with a good amount of force. In bjj it would mean that I was successful in choking or joint locking my partner/opponent.

Yet, for aikido, the question of "effectiveness" is often asked in the context (or explained in the context) of "would someone do that outside of the dojo?". Which appears to me what the original question was when Hagen started this thread, and what some people mentioned in their reply. I'm not sure why there's a unique twist on attacks for aikido, but I honestly believe it's there. (Perhaps another issue?)

If an effective attack is one that works, then my answer to Opher's question:
Quote:
'How well does AiKiDo teach us to attack' is a new and interesting question and I'd love to hear more views about it.
I guess I would answer poorly....The grabs, strikes, chokes, etc... begun by uke nearly always end with uke being thrown or pinned, which isn't successful (the grabs do not control nage, the punches no not land, etc...) Sure, there are exceptions, we've all gotten stuck by a grab, or hit by a punch, but the majority of the time, we stumble our way through the technique and uke is thrown, pinned or both. (Maybe that's the point?)

*dons flame retardant suit*

Regards,

Paul
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Old 10-21-2002, 11:03 AM   #25
G DiPierro
Location: Ohio
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 365
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Quote:
paul watt (paw) wrote:
I guess I would answer poorly....The grabs, strikes, chokes, etc... begun by uke nearly always end with uke being thrown or pinned, which isn't successful (the grabs do not control nage, the punches no not land, etc...) Sure, there are exceptions, we've all gotten stuck by a grab, or hit by a punch, but the majority of the time, we stumble our way through the technique and uke is thrown, pinned or both.
That's an interesting point. The problem with your comparision between Aikido and other martial arts is that the practice of Aikido consists completely of defensive techniques. In any art, an attack that "works," as you define it, neccesarily means that a corresponding defense did not work. In other arts, attacking and defending are both considered parts of the art, but in Aikido this is not the case. That is to say, the practice of Aikido explicitly focuses only on successfully defending and not on successfully attacking.

What this often comes down to is that a successful attack can pose problems in Aikido practice. Some people will consider it to be uncooperative or otherwise get upset. Personally, I think that there is balance that needs to be struck between challenging the nage enough to overcome previous limitations and not attacking so well as to prevent the nage from successfully executing a defensive technique. This is one of the reasons why I indicated that a correct understanding of both partners' limitations is important when attacking hard. For the most part, this kind of practice relationship is something that is built over time, as each partner learns how to sense the other's boundries and gently push beyond them. Sometimes, to outsiders, this kind of practice may look hard or rough, but the reality is that it actually requires a great deal of softness and sensitivity.

To respond to your original point, I think that effective attacks can be developed through this kind of practice, even though in partner practice the uke chooses to attack at a level that is just marginally below that of what you would define as "successful." In fact, I feel that this kind of practice actually requires developing the ability to attack in a manner that is much harder and more effective than the ones that are actually used in practice. If one doesn't have such a margin of comfort, the practice cannot intensify but must remain at the level defined by the uke's current level of attack. So in my opinion, learning to attack in a truly effective manner is very important in attaining a high level of Aikido practice.
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