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Old 12-09-2002, 12:32 AM   #1
thomasgroendal
 
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Survey of Drunk Brother-in-law Safe Techniques

My personal interpretation of take musu aiki is Harmony Born of Conflict. This along with the peerless victory concept of Masakatsu Agatsu, forms the basis for the oft cited high and lofty goals of the Aikidoka.

To protect oneself and the attacker.
Not all aikidoka share this high goal. Many aspire to it, but put conditions before it, or leave it as a "when you can."

Nonetheless, I feel that Aikido is not living up to its word in many instances. I started a thread on this in the General section of the aikido journal web site, under Practical Definition of Non-Violence.

I would like to keep that discussion alive, and get some more viewpoints by posting it here.

I would like to make it more specific by restating the question.


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Thomas Groendal:
Saill, Now we're talking! This is the kind of perspective I am hungry for...
I agree very much about what you said about it being easier to throw someone untrained while maintaining more contact... I often do a sankyo that goes straight down and to the side. Still a verbal ending to a conflict is okay isn't it? Much like an arresting officer.

While flipping someone from sankyo, or throwing them into a forward roll requires two centered and confident people, there still seem to me to be some options. I think Sankyo ura, when done smoothly can be a wonderful option. I use it more often than any omote stuff right now...

Nonetheless, I too have greatly varied results. Shihonage is an example of a technique that is fairly easy for me to end without terrifying anybody. So is ikkyo, or nikkyo. Anything with a forward roll at the end is not so simple...

Can a forward fall be safe for our "random attackers?"

How about people taking a stab at an angry untrained brother-in-law proof version of

ikkyo
nikkyo
sankyo
yonkyo
kotegaeshi
irimi and kokyu nage
sumi otoshi

or for a challenge
linear projection kokyu nages
kaiten nage
koshi nage
juji nage!



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So, any takers? Qualifications for the above throws that would make them benevolent enough to use on your drunk brother in law, without starting a family feud...

--------------------

Any one who does not have something for which to die for, is not really fit to live. A loose paraphrase of MLK

Life is choice.
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Old 12-09-2002, 03:35 AM   #2
ian
 
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I think many of the techniques which you consider safe (ikkyo, nikkyo etc i.e. pins) are effective from more static situations whilst the large throws tend to require more momentum (e.g. irimi-nage, kokyu-nage). In my mind the techniques which are often more dangerous are actually techniques where the uke falls due to overt aggression, whereas the other ones are from less aggresive actions (e.g. nikkyo from a static grab is easy). This there does seem to be an intrinsic way of uke hurting themselves through the level of their aggression (and I'm not talking about clotheslining people, but about leading them into a falling situation). In that way aikido seems to be very good at giving an adequate response to an aggresive act, because someone in a blind-rage tends to have less control of their own body. Of course we should still try to throw them in a way that would not kill or permanently injure them.

As I've mentioned before - its good to be aware of the way you can kill people, especially since people may try this on you - however it is important to train in a method which will defend yourself quickly and safely (for both parties) so when a situation arises, it will be this reaction which occurs. (in fact I'm sure one of my students has taken up aikido because he leanrt how to kill people in his previous martial art and, following a 'ituation' decided it was better to learn self defence without a deadly response).

Ian

(P.S. I have taken a knife off a drunk friend during a party who was not overtly aggrssive, but there was a fear of a drunken accident - a simple, slow and painless kote-gaeshi application was harmless to the extent that they hardly realised I was even removing the knife and fun continued to be had by all).

Last edited by ian : 12-09-2002 at 03:39 AM.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 12-09-2002, 03:44 AM   #3
ian
 
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P.S. I think the problem with the use of deadly force is that often in aikido people feel they have to 'do soemthing' to their attacker. This is not always the case - avoiding being injured yourself is far more important than 'doing a technique' or causing pain. The timing and judgement required to move off centre line requires constant training, but is extremely simple and gives plenty of chances for escape. Often we do randori with no techniques, just to show how easy it is to avoid attack, and to prevent people getting caught in a wrestle.

Also, this tends to be the difference between self-defence and competition. The aim of self defence is to get away safely and with your confidence intact, the aim of competition is to 'get one over' on (i.e. win against) the opponent.

Ian

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 12-09-2002, 06:04 AM   #4
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You only need three things to make them safer. Self-control, Compassion & lots of Practise.

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Old 12-09-2002, 01:51 PM   #5
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Of the techniques you list, the only one I'm not sure I could safely apply to a drunken friend or relative is juji nage. Although you could certainly use it more as a "come along" than a throw. Alot of techniques have distinct points where you have taken uke's balance completely and then start to effect the throw. All you need do is stop at that unbalance point and gently take them to the ground.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 12-09-2002, 04:56 PM   #6
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"All you need is practice" is a beautiful thought, but I don't believe that to be true.

Why, for instance to higher levels of Aikido include techiques that an absolute beginner could never fall from safely, even though the "masters" of "benevolence in conflict" could do humbler throws.

For instance,

A kotegaeshi, taken sideways with powerful momentum: Don't fall and you get a broken wrist. Do fall, and you're flying way farther than say I would ever throw my mom or dad if they doped up on hospital drugs and possibly going to hurt themselves...

I do kotegaeshi with two versions. One, to teach the brake fall, another safety technique, includes me realigning myself inside their motion, and turning the wrist sideways. Makes for an easy fall, but my newbies could never do it.

The other is to keep distancing myself and take kotegaeshi along the path of the tendons, straight back up the arm. The body curves naturally, as they chase me, and they roll onto the ground without knowing what happened. I can do this at full speed with a guy that is testing me and has only been doing aikido for two hours. I would have to be a VERY good aikidoka to do the other way, and "lay someone down gently."

Please do not over estimate how easy it is to survive any violent conflict, even when you are being "disbalanced" by a wonderful aikidoka. Otherwise, there would never be a falling injury in this art...

Life is choice.
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Old 12-09-2002, 09:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
...even though the "masters" of "benevolence in conflict" could do humbler throws.
I've wondered about this myself. I've read things here and other places where someone will say something to the effect of "My sensei is amazing! He can throw me so hard and so far that I hurt for days!"

I tend to feel the opposite. I think the people who are amazing are the ones that can put you down gently any time they want no matter how hard you attack. Of course they can usually do the hard stuff too if they so choose

But that's just me.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 12-10-2002, 06:29 AM   #8
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In my aikido training over the years I am continually amazed at how a very minor change in nages execution of a technique can make a big difference to the effectiveness of a technique. Aikido is a very subtle art which requires a lot of skill. Part of this is learning how to apply the techniques to throw hard or soft depending on the circumstances. Aikido can't be learnted over night. Practise is essential, not the going through the motions type of practise, rather a deep intelligence thoughtful practise.
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Old 12-10-2002, 08:11 AM   #9
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bouncing the door I dont really want people to fall over. I want to move them out of the building. AFAIK the yonkyo is the best one for that.

I have noticed that untrained people fall very awkwardly, somtimes the wrong way even, so that the arm will break or at least suffer heavy damage unless you release the hold. If they do fall the right way, they are more preoccupied with catching the fall with their free hand and nothing else.

So when I feel they are falling I often support them back on their feet and re-apply the yonkyo.

I dont think I would even try to apply a throw on a customer.
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Old 12-10-2002, 08:57 AM   #10
Bruce Baker
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drunken B in law ...

Well, practice is one thing, but normal everyday situations do tend to require the modifications of using techniques that are usually taught for either Chin'na, or jujitsu.

Not that using movements of the throws and manipulations of Aikido are not simular, but restraint of arms or legs through entering and moving into some kind of choke or restraint that creates enough pain or physical restraint is your goal ... not to throw them across the room. Of course, some people deserve to get the John Wayne Cowboy stunt throw across the room, but please ... BEHAVE!

In my experience, most drunks or even non drunks who have an attitude can quickly be subdued with a little pain, some physical technique, and a very stern/serious voice of no nonsense that reaches to the core of their inner fears. Most of this I knew before I ever heard of Aikido, so in my lessons I have learned to be much more gentle than I used to be.

It is not so much the drunken brother in law syndrome, but the ability to have the skills to physically interact, the skills to speak and bring about resolution, and the ability to control your own emotions is dealing with the situation.

So ... in most cases, you will learn the subdue techniques of jujitsu or chin'na that are brought over to Aikido in some techniques to resolve the drunken brother in law.

Which is why I tell you all, to look at what you are practiceing in aikido, and see the variations that can be brought about either in aikido or within the study or other arts.

Oh, well.

Aikido is just a part of what you need to know, but it does complete a part of the martial arts puzzle.

Use it well, learn from your lessons that there is much more than meets the eye.
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Old 12-10-2002, 04:58 PM   #11
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What we are discussing here is theory. I am challenging anyone that is willing or interested, even if you don't agree with the overall concept, to help me see variations of each of the above reactions to an attack that can clearly occur without any collusion, and result in the attacker or the attackee being injured. Hence the drunk brother in law. Lets kick it up a notch.

Your mild mannered 12 year old son drank too much funny tasting koolaide at his 14 year old friends birthday party. You don't know what in the hell was in that koolaide, but he is raving and breaking things in the house. You're spouse is about to call the police, because they are worried for his safety. You don't want this to happen so you take one step closer and say Johnny! Over here Johnny! Let's relax...and Johnny tries to hit you over the head with a ball pean hammer. Didn't see that coming. You have a couch behind you with half a broken lamp on it, a table to your left and he is coming right handed shomen uchi. The rest of the space is carpet. Using one of the techniques above how do you,

A. not get your head split open by this kid who thinks he is Jesus and you are satan's bugga wugga monster.

B. get this situation under control so a proffessional can take care of Johnny, and the people that fed him the koolaide can get theirs...

Life is choice.
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Old 12-10-2002, 06:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Thomas Groendal (thomasgroendal) wrote:
Let's relax...and Johnny tries to hit you over the head with a ball pean hammer. Didn't see that coming. You have a couch behind you with half a broken lamp on it, a table to your left and he is coming right handed shomen uchi. The rest of the space is carpet. Using one of the techniques above how do you,

A. not get your head split open by this kid who thinks he is Jesus and you are satan's bugga wugga monster.

B. get this situation under control so a proffessional can take care of Johnny, and the people that fed him the koolaide can get theirs...
The chair I will be holding will have a hammer embedded in it, as well as Johnny's front teeth.
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Old 12-10-2002, 07:17 PM   #13
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Is that Ikkyo?, maybe nikkyo?

Do you have kids?

Why study aikido, if the chair is the best answer? I recommend baseball, or Pro wrestling. They are probably BETTER at it...

Maybe you are putting yourself first. Fine, great, Now lets pretend that we have an 80% chance of martial superiority on the waify and incoherent Johnny.

I am not asking this question to be a jerk or prick someone's ego. I am asking this question, because I would like my Aikido to live up to what I expect of it. Martial Integrity, and Qualified as in Testable Benevolence.

Let's say My beloved Johnny on dope is so far out of it, that I know I can take him. Now he becomes a test of how benevolent my Aikido is. Do I do a giant projection kokyunage onto the broken lamp? He is not exactly a cowboy with a black hat!!!

If you are up to the challenge of hypothesizing an aikido technique to the above situation, I would like to use you to enrich my aikido. Please Help Me.

Life is choice.
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Old 12-10-2002, 10:44 PM   #14
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Thomas, when something like this happens, a person acts on instinct.

There's no time to go into lengthy, logical decisions.

Anything that we may type in response to these kind of "theoretical scenario" posts is hypocritical, because every situation differs.

Sure, you describe "Johnny", but what about you ? Are you sober at the moment ? Does your back hurt ? Are you carrying groceries ? Is your wife nearby ? Is there a fireplace ?

Are you taken by surprise ?

Are you tired ? Are you wearing a winter coat which is restricting your movement ?

Does "Johnny" let go of the hammer, sending it FLYING at your head ?

I wrote the reply about the chair, first of all, because I thought it was an amusing picture.

Second of all, because that actually COULD be my reaction !

O Sensei was inventing techniques as he went along ! So I would call this a chair-o-nage !
Quote:
Thomas Groendal (thomasgroendal) wrote:
Is that Ikkyo?, maybe nikkyo?

Do you have kids?

Why study aikido, if the chair is the best answer? I recommend baseball, or Pro wrestling. They are probably BETTER at it...

Maybe you are putting yourself first. Fine, great, Now lets pretend that we have an 80% chance of martial superiority on the waify and incoherent Johnny.

I am not asking this question to be a jerk or prick someone's ego. I am asking this question, because I would like my Aikido to live up to what I expect of it. Martial Integrity, and Qualified as in Testable Benevolence.
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Old 12-11-2002, 04:44 AM   #15
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Thomas,
Quote:
You're spouse is about to call the police, because they are worried for his safety. You don't want this to happen so ...
Why don't I want my spouse to call the police, or an ambulance? I honestly stopped reading your scenario when I reached that point.

1. Johnny's behavior is grossly out of character

2. My spouse is worried (something rare) and wants to call the police (she has great instincts about such things)

3. Even if Johnny stops smashing things right now, something is very wrong and he probably needs medical assistance (there was something in that koolaid!) So someone (either my spouse or I) will be calling the police or an ambulance.

If I have to physically engage Johnny, my first thought is grab something I can use as a shield to stop the hammer. My next thought is a good old bear hug.

I would be afraid to restrain him for very long or in a way that puts pressure on his chest/back for fear of positional asphyxiation.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 12-11-2002, 06:38 AM   #16
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It sounds to me that you are after specific safer examples of the techniques. This is not something that could be easierly described in writting & it probably best to talk to your chief Sensei, fellow dan grades or senior students.

However here are a couple of pointers for you though.

Instead of applying the technique 100% (so that it is a full force) try doing it so that it is just enough. Practise this by doing the techniques slowly, so that you can learn to guage the right amount of control, when the technque becomes effective. It sounds simple but remember people are different, the have different size bodies, different pain thresh holds, different mentalities, what works for one may not work for another. Practise with as may people as possible & overtime you'll start getting level of force just right for each individual. As you get better and better at it the speed of the technique will come.

Vary the speed of execution of the technique, Fast start, fast middle, slow end. Slowing down the end to make it safer.

Support Uke on the way down, making that contact with the mat/floor just that little bit softer.

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Old 12-11-2002, 10:24 AM   #17
ian
 
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Quote:
Thomas Groendal (thomasgroendal) wrote:
...and Johnny tries to hit you over the head with a ball pean hammer...Using one of the techniques above how do you
A good reason why aikido is non-competitive; it is not about techniques! To pacify someone you don't have to do a technique on them.

The key to this situation is;

i. identify what the root of the problem is

ii. protect yourself and others

Don't confuse this with trying to use aikido to gain power over someone.

Obviously they are all situation dependent, but in many cases just moving off centre line can give you time to pacify the person with talking or at least to get them to recognise their own behaviour.

Ian
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Old 12-11-2002, 10:26 AM   #18
ian
 
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P.S. as I've mentioned above pins (which are often easier from static) ofetn allow more control than throws. So usually a pin is the choice - but even if you have to do one - it needn't be fast or aggressive or even fully completed!

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 12-11-2002, 11:04 AM   #19
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Quote:
It sounds to me that you are after specific safer examples of the techniques. This is not something that could be easierly described in writting & it probably best to talk to your chief Sensei, fellow dan grades or senior students.
I would agree to this completely. Having safer alternatives is a good thing You know, the proper tool for the job and all that. I would also agree that it's going to be near impossible to describe some alternatives here on the web. Check with your sempai/sensei. If for whatever reason they can't help you out you could try contacting Chris Koprowski at Seidokan of Tokyo.

One of the things that seidokan is pretty good at is making the techniques safer for uke. Our shihonage sits the person straight down on there butt, and you can cradle their head on the way down if they start to fall backward. Our normal kotegeashi is the variation were you return the fingers back to the forearm, dropping the elbow below the hand, which again puts uke on there butt instead of taking a breakfall to the side.



Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 12-11-2002, 05:03 PM   #20
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Quote:
Our normal kotegeashi is the variation were you return the fingers back to the forearm, dropping the elbow below the hand, which again puts uke on there butt instead of taking a breakfall to the side.

Bronson
Thank you!

This is the kind of information and perspective I am looking for!

Just to make myself clear, there are three purposes in making this thread.

One, in aikido, particularily at lower levels there tends to be a kind of schizophrenia. One moment we are blabbing at full speed about being one with the universe, and righteously changing the essences of our partners. And at the next moment we are talking about how Osensei could cream a BJJ guy. If you want to talk about that, cheers, have good time, but if because people talk about peace so much, you begin to believe that you could throw someone in kaitennage, and they would just, "roll out of it," then you have become a dangerous person.

Second, many sensei, including more the higher you go up, regularily practice techniques that no one who isn't an aikidoka, etc. could fall safely from. How is it that attacking certain masters of this art of peace would end you up with more injury than attacking a beginner in the art of peace Think of the difference between them and the people that throw more gently as they get better. Big difference in attitude. I have been punished in several dojos. Didn't teach me squat.

I have seen real lethality, and their are more efficient ways to "teach", punish, and mete righteous justice than a flowy kokyu nage.

If Aikido techniques have become harder to fall from than when Osensei did them WHY??

Have we become less benevolent?

I want to know just what LOVE Osensei was talking about when he changed his meaning for the Ai in aiki. I am not just talking philosophy here, he made a tangible set of changes to very specifically dangerous techniques, and I want to know what his criteria were. The differences between ippondori from DR and Ikkyo are plethora, they work on fundamentally different principles. What where the physical principles he used to make those changes. Much was intuition I am sure, but even though I speak ki, center, love the world with the rest of them, I couldn't just intuit ikkajo into Aikido.

Thirdly, I am alone at the moment. I am isolated from senseis etc. The sensei's in my area certainly couldn't answer this question, and are not my sensei. The value of the internet is that I can not only connect with the people that have been kind enough to give this thread the time of day, but also with Teachers on a very high level. Even if I were with my amazing teacher David Rodriguez, who currently is on a different continent, in a different state than where we met, he would be hanging on the edge of his seat to hear your perspective, and we would be flying all over the dojo, (or sitting on our butts) figuring it out. I miss him sorely!

I am sorry for a very wordy reply, and perhaps a bit too much passion for a weekday m(_ _)m

Life is choice.
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Old 12-11-2002, 05:45 PM   #21
Bruce Baker
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Brother in law or Hammer?

What is the big deal here?

It makes not one bit of difference if someone attacks you with a hammer, with a chainsaw, or with a wooden stick like we use in practice ... either you get hurt or you do not.

From what I read, there is a fear factor of having someone attack you in a moment of relaxation, a moment of weakness?

Tough!

If they hurt you because of inaction, you will be somewhere between hurt and dead.

If you learn to use movement, timing, deflection, use of either manipulations with hands or feet, you have a pretty good chance of avoiding injury to yourself or your attacker no matter what weapon they have ... if they are within arms length that is.

If not ... well then ... I guess someone is gonna get get hurt. Get over it. Life is too short to worry about the inevitable, and some of this question borders on paranoia ... I would know, it is part of what I have had to deal with in Meniere's disease and its episodes.

The fact that any type of attack is immiment is based upon your own awarenes, what you hear, what you sense, what you see. Don't spend your whole life worrying about someone breaking into your house and stabbing you to death or killing your family. Take the proper precautions, accept the liabilaty, and live with it.

As far as any secret training method, or secret trick ... train to speed up your reflexes, you timing response, and learn as many options as possible so you don't have to think when it is time to react.

I don't know why we even get into this type of question, except that some dojo's do not actually advance their training in the variety of other movements beyond our basic aikido that easily disarm, or take the legs out of an attacker with very little effort.

If you want to go that way, there are hundreds of self defense books out there to show you the mulitude of variations, but your reflexes are best served with training with other people. Learning to intercept motion when it is committed, not too early and not too late.

Gee ... Aikido practice does that, doesn't it?

Sorry to be so testy. But when the final answer to "will I get hurt or will I hurt someone else" comes, the only real answer is a shrug of the shoulders and "Oh, well...."
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