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Old 12-19-2006, 03:19 AM   #51
Alec Corper
 
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Re: Fighting

Quote:
In BJJ we have competition for much the same way. It can be healthy if approached in the right manner.
Kevin, in a certain sense I agree with you, it can keep you honest and sane, if you are deluded enough to think that you are a great fighter, or the best out there, then losing a few competitions is a good sanity check, BUT, you are a professional soldier, and I respect that, I have a few in my dojo, they tend to be far less competitive in practice, since they understand that the ultimate result of the competitive urge is mankind is often war and death. "Those who love peace prepare for war" This does not mean preparing the mind for battle but preparing the body, whilst freeing the mind to look for the best alternatives. I can't help but feel that there are too many armchair warriors out there who seem to have missed the essential point of Budo, how not to fight unless absolutely necessary, and then to win absolutely. Aikido adds the ethical imperative to win absolutely with minimum destructiveness, and thereby reduce the spiral of violence that begins in our competitive urges for territory, wealth, whatever we want that another has (including intangibles such as reputation or fame).
At a certain point, no matter how hard you train your fighting ability will diminish, so what's the point? Surely the inner dimension of Budo is what unites us, where the outer aspects may do exactly the opposite if we forget the meaning of our practice. Polishing your technique, even when your body is failing, when you cant really "win" anything anymore, that builds something invincible. That is where we can "win" without someone else having to lose.

If your temper rises withdraw your hand, if your hand rises withdraw your temper.
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Old 12-19-2006, 05:53 AM   #52
DonMagee
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Re: Fighting

Quote:
Alec Corper wrote:
At a certain point, no matter how hard you train your fighting ability will diminish, so what's the point? Surely the inner dimension of Budo is what unites us, where the outer aspects may do exactly the opposite if we forget the meaning of our practice. Polishing your technique, even when your body is failing, when you cant really "win" anything anymore, that builds something invincible. That is where we can "win" without someone else having to lose.
This is an important point, fear of obsolescence and frailty seems common with lots of people in martial arts. At some point I am sure I will no longer be able to compete, but does that mean I can no longer spar? I know 60 year old men who still spar. They still test their techniques against resisting opponents. I know 40 and 50 year old men who still compete. They have their own divisions. I refuse to worry about what will happen when I am too old to beat younger stronger opponents. Why? Because I already beat faster, younger, stronger opponents. Should a time come where I can no longer train due to age or injury, I will sit back and reflect on my life and training and try to pass on what I know to the next generation.

People talk about being able to do aikido for your entire life as if it is unique to aikido. I can not think of any martial art that can not be trained for your entire life. It's not unique. It's like when I was told aikido helps a smaller man defend against a larger man. Every single martial art claims that as well.

I still hold to my belief that aikido has just as much competition as bjj, boxing, etc. It is just placed in different area's, denied, and masked. The difference between bjj and aikido is that bjj is about becoming an effective fighter. Aikido is not. This is where the fighting comes in. To be good at fighting, you have to fight (spar) a lot.

Its really starting to get funny to me to see so many aikidoka cling to the fact that they are a martial art that really works for self defense, and then talk about how it doesn't' matter if it works because they are training for a higher purpose. They are torn between their deep down desires to be Steven Segal and being able to defeat all attackers even at age 90, and the realistic portrait of what they really are and what they are learning. Of course in many cases that would be a dance of moving meditation, with movements that resemble martial techniques. Of course there are acceptions to every generalization. But this is my overall view of the majority of aikidoka I've been exposed to online.

If your goal is indeed using aikido techniques in a fight. I would submit that you owe it to yourself to test that you are actually learning to do so. To do otherwise is to spin your wheels with blind faith.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 12-19-2006, 06:13 AM   #53
Alec Corper
 
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Re: Fighting

Been there, done that. You miss the point Don. I'm no longer interested in whether I can beat someone in a competition, some I could, ,some I couldn't. I've been in MA for 30 years, hard style and soft style. It's all the same, what are you in it for?
Furthermore it is a shame to form an opinion of "the majority of aikidoka you've been exposed to online" we don't do virtual aikido, we just flap our gums when we are in the mood. No disrespect intended, your opinions are fine, but they mean as much to me as mine do to you.

If your temper rises withdraw your hand, if your hand rises withdraw your temper.
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Old 12-19-2006, 06:56 AM   #54
Jorge Garcia
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Re: Fighting

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
Its really starting to get funny to me to see so many aikidoka cling to the fact that they are a martial art that really works for self defense, and then talk about how it doesn't' matter if it works because they are training for a higher purpose. They are torn between their deep down desires to be Steven Segal and being able to defeat all attackers even at age 90, and the realistic portrait of what they really are and what they are learning. Of course in many cases that would be a dance of moving meditation, with movements that resemble martial techniques. Of course there are acceptions to every generalization. But this is my overall view of the majority of aikidoka I've been exposed to online.
When will this ever end? I am going to take another 4 weeks off from Aikiweb. When I come back, I hope that our local Aikido police aren't still charging and arresting people for the same crime.

Jorge

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 12-19-2006, 08:56 AM   #55
DonMagee
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Re: Fighting

Quote:
Jorge Garcia wrote:
When will this ever end? I am going to take another 4 weeks off from Aikiweb. When I come back, I hope that our local Aikido police aren't still charging and arresting people for the same crime.

Jorge

I'll tell ya what, if I get some free time this weekend. I will go collect quotes that I feel support my point from various forums, and show you a collection of quotes that supports my argument. There is even one in this very thread.

Quote:
ow not to fight unless absolutely necessary, and then to win absolutely. Aikido adds the ethical imperative to win absolutely with minimum destructiveness, and thereby reduce the spiral of violence
Wining absolutely may mean wining a physical confrontation. This makes my point that people talk about being hard core and able to defeat any attacker, yet then argue they do not train for that.

I can problem find even more explicit quotes that are even more in favor of my position (this quote is obscure and could be taken a different way I'm sure).

Maybe the aikido police come after the community because the community keeps spewing the same crap. Its not a invalid argument if the argument is still true. If you brought up fighting on the ground was a bad idea, I would agree with you, rather then say "Why do all you bjj police keep picking on me!". Why? Because it's true.

A big part of my point is that life is competition. You might not like it, you might not even want to believe it. You might want to believe you are above it. But sadly, it is true. If there was not conflict in aikido (and thus competition) there wouldn't be so much politics and drama. Each org is competing to make it's own place in the world and secure it's student base. It's hypocritical to say there is no competition in aikido and to look down on competition and dismiss it. I simply see a large fear of losing. People who are afraid to set their ego aside and risk that they just might not be the invincible warrior they wish to be, and learn a thing or two about conflict and resistance.

I've spent a lot of time on aikiweb convinced there is something I am missing from my training. I've tried to seek it out with conversation about training methods and theory's. Each time however, I simply because more convinced that my viewpoint is the correct one. So many people in aikido seem to make excuses to why they can't do things, rather then explore and understand them. When pressed for reasons why they can not perform their art against someone trying to stop them, they will say things like:

"Aikido was designed to deal with ancient battlefields" - This is an attempt to show how superior it is to other martial arts, because it can deal with swords, but fists are somehow outside of this realm, so they can't deal with a sparing match.

"Aikido is designed for multiple opponents, we can not deal with a sparing match, because we do not try to win, simply to escape." - I am good enough to take on 5 guys at once and walk away undamaged, yet I can not handle a single person in a friendly sparing match.

"Techniques in aikido are too dangerous to spar. I train for self defense. I would main/kill/etc" - I have no self control or technique, thus I am forced to rely on eye pokes, fish hooks, and biting. Further more, I have no concept as to the philosophy of aikido. I believe it's all about killing people. I wish I was Segal.

"O Sensei banned competition" - I do not understand the difference between competition and sparing. Or maybe I do and I'm just afraid of not being invincible.

"Aikido is not about fighting, however, what we train will protect you on the street." - I know what I am learning will not work against someone who wants to hurt me, but I have to tell myself something because I can not accept I am training in a religion, not a martial art.

Again, these are generalizations. Not every aikidoka is like this. I know a few who cross train, are ok with sparing, and a few that would beat me down. Although I have to wonder if they could beat me down even without aikido.

I'm sorry if I'm offensive. But it is important to remember I'm not just some BJJer trolling to make myself feel better. I actually enjoy aikido. I train on saturdays, and sometimes during the week. The difference however is I actually take these techniques I drill in kata, and I try to use them on the mat against resistant attackers. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't work. But I don't think I'll become invincible, and I most defiantly do not think I have ever lost anything. Being beat in a sparing match is not losing, its learning.

I look real good in kata. I look real good in non resistant drills. But that has no bearing on if I can actually perform my art. That shows up in the sparing, and I don't look real good there.

I guess all I'm saying is far too many people talk about how aikido is not ment for fighting, then in the same breath talk about how good it is for fighting. You can't have it both ways. You are either naturally good at fighting, you spar and you become better at fighting, or you suck at fighting.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 12-19-2006, 11:25 AM   #56
happysod
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Re: Fighting

Quote:
... I would submit that you owe it to yourself to test that you are actually learning to do so.
He's right you know, just last night I beat myself up in the mirror and it was a very important discovery.

Sorry Don, couldn't resist. Totally understand your frustration with the replies you're receiving, but I also understand the reason behind the rather schizo nature of the replies - it's because the answer changes all the bloody time (notice smug ducking of question in the usual passive -aggressive manner).

If you asked me at any single point in my training what I expect out of my aikido, it would change. Initially, yes it was all about the martial and the "ooh, doesn't it hurt a lot when you do that", skipped quickly through the "aikido is a means to the next nirvana" (too much a sceptic for this one) and happily floundering in the "will I ever get this damn thing right" stage. The only common threads are fun and (wait for it), yes competition.

I agree with you, there is competition in aikido, whether external (shodo-thugs etc al) or internal (this time I'm going to get the timing right), certainly there was and still is for me.

However, not everyone follows this route and for some there is no competition as they are truely searching to work with what is there and the outcome is almost superfluous. That's the bit I'd like to get to, but already know I'll not reach it as I'm an impatient little sod and like outcomes where I can feel good about myself.

So, to go through your last missive:
resistance: agree, it's needed at some point in your training
sparring: yep, don't do enough of it as I'm a born again coward, but certainly see nothing wrong with it

Just this last bit I have a bit of bother with
Quote:
...you spar and you become better at fighting, or you suck at fighting.
I think you'll become better at fighting quicker if you spar, but I'm not of the "all kata is useless" school of thought and bad sparring can be detrimental.

Anyway, rambled enough, I'll shuffle back to my den and promise not to bother aikiweb for a while again.
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Old 12-19-2006, 11:45 AM   #57
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Fighting

Interesting points, thanks for the comments Alec.

I really think again the word competition is a manner of semantics. I would tend not to use the phrase that life is competition in the sense that Don does, because to me it means a win/lose relationship with life.

To me to would be very sad view life as a competition and end the end I lose.

Alec discusses the fact that we age and our skills diminish. I am reminded of that daily!

Don brings up the fact that in BJJ their are age groups etc...so that recognizes all that etc.

Being in the military, combat arms in general, I am constantly reminded that I am aging. 41 years old is getting up there to be able to do what a 20 year old Infantrymen can do!

I have been lucky, I am realtively healthy other than arthritis and degenerative disc disease that has yet to cause me any major problems. I do watch my peers struggle as we have to admit slowly that we can no longer do the 50 or 60 miles a week that we used to. I can no longer to all the push ups I used to due to rotator issues. I have to slow down and take it easier and train smarter than I used to.

That said, I still am able to do much of what I could 20 years ago. I am the leader of our combatives program, I have 20 year olds that can smoke me, but they still consider me a leader. Why, because I am out there everyday, using my rank, influence, and still setting the example instead of making excuses. I am there for them to train with, I help them, and guide them....I am a leader.

I tend to view life not so much as competition, but in the life is suffering model of buddhism. We can eliminate that suffering through education, knowledge and general awareness. Budo in general has helped me, and hopefully will help me age gracefully.

It is quite possible that I will not be able to do Martial Arts when I am 80 years old like I do today. Someone in a wheel chair might not be able to do martial arts exactly the way we all train in the norm. All that is irrelevant though as to me, it is all about happiness and acheiving it in some way.

I think that O'Sensei understood this. he was also fortunate enough to maintain his health enough to train up until his death.

For me, it is important to be able to understand how to fight along a broad spectrum of rules etc. That is why I study NHB, BJJ, and Aikido. I feel fortunate enough to have the time, health and physical ability to be able to do this.

However, coveting this stuff to the point that we deem it the most important thing in life is not unlike lusting after a supermodel, an expensive car, or any other possession. In the end the supermodel ages, the car rust, or we run out of the ability to support both of them...and must "let go".

I think whatever martial practice you do....we must keep this in mind. As we age, we will change and we have to evolve. Our practice certainly won't be what it is today. The important part is to enjoy the relationships, celebrate the small victories both private and public that we have, and simply enjoy the journey.

Oh well...enough rambling for the day!
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Old 12-19-2006, 05:45 PM   #58
CNYMike
Dojo: Finger Lakes Aikido
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Re: Fighting

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
In reality I find not much difference between the two styles functionally except that aikido people tend to wear their "holiness" on their shoulder sometimes, and BJJ people sometimes like to wear the fact that they are somewhat irreverent and tough on theirs.

In reality, in order for people to grow in both arts, they have to train in a cooperative spirit and strive for win/win in practice. If it were really about competition, then we would always try to win and all cost and no concern for your partners, who in true competition, must lose in order for us to win. You wouldn't have many partners or a dojo would be disfunctional.
A couple of years ago, my Kali instructor got us started on what he calls "practice sparring," the idea being to learn how to spar at a lower intensity so that you can have presence of mind when you go full out and be aware of what you're doing while you're doing it. He said he borrowed this idea from Thai Boxers, and that grapplers also roll "for position." He wanted us (he had the whole class doing it at once) star just with punches at 25% intensity, and predicted that no one would be able to put their ego and pride aside and do it without trying to win.

We started doing it, and I thought I was doing what he wanted. Then he called at me from across the room: "You're trying to win, sir!"

"I am?" I asked, surprised.

"Yes, you are."

The moral of the story is that yes, you can spar without "competing" -- trying to win at all costs -- and still get somewhere. But it is hard to learn how to do that; I thought I had it in the bag and didn't!
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Old 12-19-2006, 10:55 PM   #59
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
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Re: Fighting

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
I'll tell ya what, if I get some free time this weekend. I will go collect quotes that I feel support my point from various forums, and show you a collection of quotes that supports my argument. There is even one in this very thread.



Wining absolutely may mean wining a physical confrontation. This makes my point that people talk about being hard core and able to defeat any attacker, yet then argue they do not train for that.

I can problem find even more explicit quotes that are even more in favor of my position (this quote is obscure and could be taken a different way I'm sure).

Maybe the aikido police come after the community because the community keeps spewing the same crap. Its not a invalid argument if the argument is still true. If you brought up fighting on the ground was a bad idea, I would agree with you, rather then say "Why do all you bjj police keep picking on me!". Why? Because it's true.

A big part of my point is that life is competition. You might not like it, you might not even want to believe it. You might want to believe you are above it. But sadly, it is true. If there was not conflict in aikido (and thus competition) there wouldn't be so much politics and drama. Each org is competing to make it's own place in the world and secure it's student base. It's hypocritical to say there is no competition in aikido and to look down on competition and dismiss it. I simply see a large fear of losing. People who are afraid to set their ego aside and risk that they just might not be the invincible warrior they wish to be, and learn a thing or two about conflict and resistance.

I've spent a lot of time on aikiweb convinced there is something I am missing from my training. I've tried to seek it out with conversation about training methods and theory's. Each time however, I simply because more convinced that my viewpoint is the correct one. So many people in aikido seem to make excuses to why they can't do things, rather then explore and understand them. When pressed for reasons why they can not perform their art against someone trying to stop them, they will say things like:

"Aikido was designed to deal with ancient battlefields" - This is an attempt to show how superior it is to other martial arts, because it can deal with swords, but fists are somehow outside of this realm, so they can't deal with a sparing match.

"Aikido is designed for multiple opponents, we can not deal with a sparing match, because we do not try to win, simply to escape." - I am good enough to take on 5 guys at once and walk away undamaged, yet I can not handle a single person in a friendly sparing match.

"Techniques in aikido are too dangerous to spar. I train for self defense. I would main/kill/etc" - I have no self control or technique, thus I am forced to rely on eye pokes, fish hooks, and biting. Further more, I have no concept as to the philosophy of aikido. I believe it's all about killing people. I wish I was Segal.

"O Sensei banned competition" - I do not understand the difference between competition and sparing. Or maybe I do and I'm just afraid of not being invincible.

"Aikido is not about fighting, however, what we train will protect you on the street." - I know what I am learning will not work against someone who wants to hurt me, but I have to tell myself something because I can not accept I am training in a religion, not a martial art.

Again, these are generalizations. Not every aikidoka is like this. I know a few who cross train, are ok with sparing, and a few that would beat me down. Although I have to wonder if they could beat me down even without aikido.

I'm sorry if I'm offensive. But it is important to remember I'm not just some BJJer trolling to make myself feel better. I actually enjoy aikido. I train on saturdays, and sometimes during the week. The difference however is I actually take these techniques I drill in kata, and I try to use them on the mat against resistant attackers. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't work. But I don't think I'll become invincible, and I most defiantly do not think I have ever lost anything. Being beat in a sparing match is not losing, its learning.

I look real good in kata. I look real good in non resistant drills. But that has no bearing on if I can actually perform my art. That shows up in the sparing, and I don't look real good there.

I guess all I'm saying is far too many people talk about how aikido is not ment for fighting, then in the same breath talk about how good it is for fighting. You can't have it both ways. You are either naturally good at fighting, you spar and you become better at fighting, or you suck at fighting.
But why do you even care Don? Isn't life too short to make it your mission to straighten out the Aikido community? The BJJ group has enough problems that you could spend the rest of your life straightening them out. We appreciate your help over here but don't you think it's a waste of your time? I know your arguments haven't done anything to my position. You could be using your time so much more productively.
Jorge

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 12-20-2006, 06:34 AM   #60
SeiserL
 
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Re: Fighting

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
A couple of years ago, my Kali instructor got us started on what he calls "practice sparring," the idea being to learn how to spar at a lower intensity so that you can have presence of mind when you go full out and be aware of what you're doing while you're doing it.
Greetings from a fellow rattan-burner.

Yes, when I studied with the late Ted Lucaylucay we did the light sparring and then increased the speed/intensity with the rhythm of the drums.

I would agree/support that it is a good idea. We did some in Tenshinkai to train entering and blending, any attack and any defense (jiyu-waza) against multiple uke (randori). A great practice drill.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 12-20-2006, 08:58 AM   #61
DonMagee
Location: Indiana
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Re: Fighting

Quote:
Jorge Garcia wrote:
But why do you even care Don? Isn't life too short to make it your mission to straighten out the Aikido community? The BJJ group has enough problems that you could spend the rest of your life straightening them out. We appreciate your help over here but don't you think it's a waste of your time? I know your arguments haven't done anything to my position. You could be using your time so much more productively.
Jorge
I don't care about changing the minds of existing aikidoka. I do care about preventing people who are interested in getting into the martial arts from reading bullcrap. My goal is to not change anyone, I've said that a million times. People who want to be mystical and untouchable will find a way. I want to prevent misinformation from being spread as fact.

Plus, I'm trying to waste time at work.

I have the same arguments with bjj guys, TKD guys, etc. I do not tolerate misinformation. If a bjj guy said the guard was the best place to be on the street, I would call him an idiot.

I simply this fear of losing is unhealthy, this belief you can become untouchable is also unhealthy. Do martial arts for health, or fitness, or zen, or religion or whatever. But when people claim you can become martially effective without sparing, or try to claim sparing is competition, or try to claim competition is bad. I'm going to call them out on it.

I would hope that if I am wrong that someone will call me out on it. Not to change my mind (although it has happened!), but rather to prevent me from spreading misinformation to people looking to get into martial arts.

I do not believe my views are uneducated either. I have trained in TKD, krav maga, a quick stint of a few weeks in hopkido, aikido, judo, bjj, boxing, and even done mma sparing. I've competed in judo and bjj. With ongoing training in aikido, bjj, judo, and sometimes boxing. With a focus on MMA and bjj competition.

I like the movements of aikido, I see benefit to them. I just see the training methods as inefficient and outdated. I do not see the training methods teaching you how to apply these techniques in situation outside the compliance of the dojo.

Do I care if you suddenly all started MMA sparing tomarrow? Not really at all. What I care about is that new kid, looking to get into martial arts, finding this forum, reading he can become some kind of invincible image he has in his head, getting sucked into believing it and if really unlucky, finding out the hard way he isn't invincible. Maybe he will read what I'm saying, and it will make sense, and he will train for other reasons then being able to fight, or he will find a school with training methods that really do teach you to fight.

At the very least I want that kid to question everything, and make sure nobody is bull craping him on anything. If he questions and tests the techniques with resistance, he can avoid 90% of the bullshido out there in the world. It doesn't matter if it's ATA TKD, No touch knock out Ki masters, or too deadly to fight ninjas.

But Jorge, why do you care so much as to read my posts and attempt to reason with me?

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 12-20-2006, 09:08 AM   #62
Mark Freeman
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Re: Fighting

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
I want to prevent misinformation from being spread as fact.
On the internet? boy you've got a fair competition on your hands there Don!

regardsm

mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 12-20-2006, 09:15 AM   #63
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Fighting

Actually, I both agree and disagree with Don. I think his "mission" is a good one...but I think he also misses some points about the budo mindset. But this area can be so personal...there is no need for me to convert him or for him to convert me. Different strokes covers it for me.

I mean, come on...to some extent he is right...life is a competition. For shelter, for resources, for food. Our technology often allows us to insulate ourselves from that reality. I guess as long as we are aware of it, that's ok. And the politics in aikido are often all about competition. How many paying students can you get in the door.

But I do believe that certain aspects of aikido go beyond that. But you have to work for it...just like anything else. And just because the waza works today, in the dojo, with a compliant partner, does not mean it will work on the way home. So no, I do not believe aikido will ever (no matter how good I get) will make me invinsible to an attacker. And neither will anything else.

But on the other hand, I will always say that aikido does have self-defense applications. Your choice whether you taylor your training regimen around those applications or not.

So I guess we just keep training...each in his or her own way.

Best,
Ron

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Old 12-20-2006, 11:00 AM   #64
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Re: Fighting

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Actually, I both agree and disagree with Don. I think his "mission" is a good one...but I think he also misses some points about the budo mindset. But this area can be so personal...there is no need for me to convert him or for him to convert me. Different strokes covers it for me.

I mean, come on...to some extent he is right...life is a competition. For shelter, for resources, for food. Our technology often allows us to insulate ourselves from that reality. I guess as long as we are aware of it, that's ok. And the politics in aikido are often all about competition. How many paying students can you get in the door.

But I do believe that certain aspects of aikido go beyond that. But you have to work for it...just like anything else. And just because the waza works today, in the dojo, with a compliant partner, does not mean it will work on the way home. So no, I do not believe aikido will ever (no matter how good I get) will make me invinsible to an attacker. And neither will anything else.

But on the other hand, I will always say that aikido does have self-defense applications. Your choice whether you taylor your training regimen around those applications or not.

So I guess we just keep training...each in his or her own way.

Best,
Ron
You basically touched on all the things I'm talking about. It seems to me you have exaimined your training and understand why you do what you do.

That's really all I ask that people don't spread misinformation, and that they are realistic about what their training is giving them, and why they train.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 12-20-2006, 11:31 AM   #65
Jorge Garcia
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Talking Re: Fighting

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
But Jorge, why do you care so much as to read my posts and attempt to reason with me?
I don't care to read your posts. That's why I might respond to you from time to time. It's in the hope you might see the futility of your goal and give that up and maybe those kinds of posts will disappear. I'm hoping to help that same newbie to realize that your argument is really short sided. I don't think you'll ever accomplish anything you just said except for the wasting time at work. If you keep up at this, you'll become an expert at that!

I wish I could hope that you could be changed but I'm too smart to rationally expect that. Sounds to me like it will be quite a few years before we get a new perspective from you. Don, you're not God but that's a God size goal you have. The perceptions about martial arts that people have are astronomical in number but in this day and age of computer animation, movies, and technology, I only believe that they will get worse. People believe that some martial artists can float in the air and run on top of trees just like people a generation ago believed that baby could be raised by apes and learn to swing through trees! I have two dojos and every time someone walks through the door wanting to join, I am looking at one giant misperception. It would be absolutely futile of me to sit each one down and give them a quiz to see what they falsely believe and then try to disabuse them of their belief. I might as well go over to every kindergarten in town and start telling all the kids there is no Santa Claus.
What I do Don is try not to lie to people myself. I try to represent the art of Aikido as I understand the Founder and his son to have represented it to be. I try to study and learn so I can be honest when folks ask. My students can tell you that at the end of every class, I take two minutes to tell them what Aikido is, and what self defense is and what reality is. They will also tell you that I give them books on Japanese budo. I lead them in a book club and I do everything in my power to help them know that we aren't invincible and that there's no magic here. I pair up the women in our dojo with men and I tell the men to hold them hard so they can't move. I explain that is what it is really like when a strong man grabs you and a woman better understand that. I explain that our training is cooperative and doesn't teach fighting skills but uses martial techniques to train us to be better people through the struggle of being in the art.
None of that Don was because of your posts. That all came from me and if the tide of perception ever changes, it will be because people are looking for the truth and not because someone was trying to tell it to them. You might as well try to move the sands of the sea one at a time.
Like I said, you could be using your time much more productively. Wasted time will only be a tragedy in the end. People have to walk their own path and find their own truth in their own time and place.

Best wishes,
Jorge

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 12-20-2006, 12:32 PM   #66
DonMagee
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Re: Fighting

Quote:
Jorge Garcia wrote:
I don't care to read your posts. That's why I might respond to you from time to time. It's in the hope you might see the futility of your goal and give that up and maybe those kinds of posts will disappear. I'm hoping to help that same newbie to realize that your argument is really short sided. I don't think you'll ever accomplish anything you just said except for the wasting time at work. If you keep up at this, you'll become an expert at that!

I wish I could hope that you could be changed but I'm too smart to rationally expect that. Sounds to me like it will be quite a few years before we get a new perspective from you. Don, you're not God but that's a God size goal you have. The perceptions about martial arts that people have are astronomical in number but in this day and age of computer animation, movies, and technology, I only believe that they will get worse. People believe that some martial artists can float in the air and run on top of trees just like people a generation ago believed that baby could be raised by apes and learn to swing through trees! I have two dojos and every time someone walks through the door wanting to join, I am looking at one giant misperception. It would be absolutely futile of me to sit each one down and give them a quiz to see what they falsely believe and then try to disabuse them of their belief. I might as well go over to every kindergarten in town and start telling all the kids there is no Santa Claus.
What I do Don is try not to lie to people myself. I try to represent the art of Aikido as I understand the Founder and his son to have represented it to be. I try to study and learn so I can be honest when folks ask. My students can tell you that at the end of every class, I take two minutes to tell them what Aikido is, and what self defense is and what reality is. They will also tell you that I give them books on Japanese budo. I lead them in a book club and I do everything in my power to help them know that we aren't invincible and that there's no magic here. I pair up the women in our dojo with men and I tell the men to hold them hard so they can't move. I explain that is what it is really like when a strong man grabs you and a woman better understand that. I explain that our training is cooperative and doesn't teach fighting skills but uses martial techniques to train us to be better people through the struggle of being in the art.
None of that Don was because of your posts. That all came from me and if the tide of perception ever changes, it will be because people are looking for the truth and not because someone was trying to tell it to them. You might as well try to move the sands of the sea one at a time.
Like I said, you could be using your time much more productively. Wasted time will only be a tragedy in the end. People have to walk their own path and find their own truth in their own time and place.

Best wishes,
Jorge
So what you are saying is posting on the internet is a waste of time. Because talking about what we all agree on is a waste of time, even more so then arguing the merits of what we do not agree on. At least by talking about what we do not agree on we can better understand why we believe what we believe. Talking about what we all already agree on is just a back patting, look how awesome we are conversation. It does nothing.

I do not tell people what to believe. I tell people what I believe. I want them to test it and find out if it is true or not.

Will my opinions change? I hope so. As I test and learn I should grow and change to deal wtih this new info. But I think the core of my beliefs, will always stay the same.

My argument is simple. Test your theories, question any beliefs, understand why you believe what you do, be skeptical, and seek truth.

As for perceptions, if we never try to change them, people will always have them. I'm sick of people telling me martial arts are money scams, or hearing stories about people getting sucked into marital cults. I'm sick of youtube video's with ninja ki masters who knock out students across rooms, then get knocked out by MMA amature fighters. "I could of stopped him and saved a horrible butt kicking, but I didn't want to hurt him.".

So sure, I could go find a huge like minded forum of people and we could all have conversations like this:

(imagine a cartman voice)
Poster 1) "Isn't aliveness awesome? I can't believe how great it's made my training, and how much I've learned."
Poster 2) "yea, look at all those losers that don't train with aliveness, we are so much better you guys."
Poster 3) "I know arn't we all great? I think we are awesome!"
Poster 1) "Man, we are so cool, aliveness is the best thing ever!"

Or, we could have productive conversations that explore our ideas and allow us to understand and take a look back at our beliefs. I look back at my posts in the past on bullshido about ki and aikido, and I can't believe I said and believed the things I believed. It was blind faith. However, I am not embarrassed by them. It was part of my learning process, and part of me discovering and understanding my beliefs. Ultimately it lead to a revision of my beliefs though testing, skepticism, questioning, and logic.

Had I not had those conversations, and instead found a like minded forum where I could talk all day about how ki will make me invincible like O sensei and how I would be a great fighter by perfecting my kata. I would still be under the illusion that I was getting what I wanted out of marital arts. I would have a false understanding of what I was actually doing, and I would one day teach the same falsehoods to my students. Instead the people at bullshido made logical arguments, called me a lot of bad names, and dared me to question and test what I was being asked to accept with blind faith. I did, I found answered that caused me to completely change my viewpoint, and realize that I could get what I wanted from martial arts. But I currently was not getting what I wanted. That is not to discredit aikido. The fault was purely mine, because I took what any man with a black belt around his waist said as the truth. I now know they simply have their beliefs, and it is my job to question those beliefs to fully understand them and see if they are something that I believe to be true. Not based on my preconceived notions or images of what martial arts is or should be, but by testing their notions, asking them to explain themselves, challenging their beliefs with my own, and finally seeing if they actually hold any water.

I walk on to any mat with the expectation of learning something valuable. I post on forums with the same expectation.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 12-20-2006, 01:09 PM   #67
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
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Re: Fighting

Like I said, you have your way. It's your path and we don't have a reasonable expectation of a major new shift in your thinking. Of course, I wasn't aiming at that but rather trying to get you to rethink using this forum as a sounding board for your beliefs (which have developed to the present point). That in itself is a problem because we always think we are right and if you prove to be wrong again, then a lot of this time will have been wasted. That's because you don't know what you don't know.
Is talking on a forum like this a waste of time? I think that depends on what the purpose is and what personal rules you are following. I try not to make it a waste of time for myself by posting when I think someone can be helped. In this case, I am posting for others reading rather than for you since you are already set in your current ideas and most probably won't change by anything I say but only through your own experimentation. It takes a really wise person to recognize real truth when he or she sees it and crusaders with an agenda that is preset usually aren't in that group.
You're a good guy and seem to have good intentions so I am willing to grant that you can't cause too much harm. I am glad to see though,that some of the others are moderating their tone somewhat recently. That was unexpected and I think really good for this forum.
We'll talk again someday soon I'm sure.
Jorge

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 12-20-2006, 01:31 PM   #68
DonMagee
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Re: Fighting

I'm curious as to my intentions and agenda? What do you feel they are?

Do you not use this forum as a sounding board for you own personal beliefs? I mean, you have to give an opinion, I would think everyone does this, it's impossible to tell anyone anything without an opinion unless you are quoting undisputed facts (is there such a thing in martial arts?)

I think what you are really saying is that my opinion doesn't match the generalized ideology of aikido, therefor I should not be giving it.

I'm also curious as to what harm I could cause? I guess I could waste some bandwidth, but generally I don't butt into conversations that are not about combat effectiveness. And if your stances are truly right, I won't convince you to change or make you doubt your own training. At best I will solidify your own beliefs by examining mine.

I would state any intelligent, non-flame argument, should only help you understand your own viewpoint better.

Anyways, I'm off topic enough, so I will try to answer only things related to this post rather then my personal viewpoints on what is good for the forum and why I post. If you would like to discuss it further, I'd be happy to in another post or via email.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 12-20-2006, 02:13 PM   #69
Jorge Garcia
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Re: Fighting

Don,
Concerning what you wrote,

This is an agenda, " ...conversations that are... about combat effectiveness."

This would not be running with an agenda -" to give an opinion"

I'm also curious as to what harm I could cause? - Having the unintended effect of putting Aikido as a budo in a status of lesser importance than combat effectiveness. Placing an unnecessary value in the minds of the newbie of so called combat effectiveness (which I believe is a myth except for a warrior that has killed many people using the same methods he trained with.)

"I think what you are really saying is that my opinion doesn't match the generalized ideology of aikido, therefor I should not be giving it." - Your opinion is fine and can be given. I just don't like your opinion.

"I would state any intelligent, non-flame argument, should only help you understand your own viewpoint better". - I'm on my own path as well and think for myself.

I'm out of this one now too.

Best wishes,
Jorge

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 12-21-2006, 07:53 AM   #70
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Fighting

Don Magee wrote:

Quote:
Or, we could have productive conversations that explore our ideas and allow us to understand and take a look back at our beliefs. I look back at my posts in the past on bullshido about ki and aikido, and I can't believe I said and believed the things I believed. It was blind faith. However, I am not embarrassed by them. It was part of my learning process, and part of me discovering and understanding my beliefs. Ultimately it lead to a revision of my beliefs though testing, skepticism, questioning, and logic.
I too, have had this same experience over the years of posting here and on the original aiki listserv. Today I try and post things not so much about my opinions on how the world should work, but based on what my own experiences have been with certain things.

If I have found something to have not work for me, then I will say, "I have never been able to use nikkyo in a real fight". That is much different than saying that "AIkido does not work in a real fight, or nikkyo will not work for real".

I have also found that saying..."Gee, I was wrong" a good thing when someone points out my inconsistency or erroneous post. (Not implying that Don has said anything wrong...just relaying my experiences as he made me think about all this).

I also agree with your points concerning the Cartman dialogue above.
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Old 12-21-2006, 08:09 AM   #71
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Re: Fighting

Don wrote:

Quote:
have the same arguments with bjj guys, TKD guys, etc. I do not tolerate misinformation. If a bjj guy said the guard was the best place to be on the street, I would call him an idiot.

I simply this fear of losing is unhealthy, this belief you can become untouchable is also unhealthy. Do martial arts for health, or fitness, or zen, or religion or whatever. But when people claim you can become martially effective without sparing, or try to claim sparing is competition, or try to claim competition is bad. I'm going to call them out on it
I too agree with these comments, and would do the same, as my experiences have also proven this to be the case. I got my ass handed to me from my current training partner at which time I had 15 years of martial arts experience and he had 3 months at the Army Combatives school.

He knows no japanese words (although now he knows kesa gatame as it is his preferred position in side control!), and I had to teach him how to tie his obi.

This was two years ago...and today we are equal in skill and ability in fighting. The difference is I can talk ad nausem about KI and kokyu and blending energy, and can even do tons of kata...he can't do any of that and would look like an idiot in an aikido dojo trying to do aikido.

but he can go toe to toe with me and our students on the mat in empty hand grappling.

What is the realitive value of all this?????

Nothing as he could careless about aikido, and aikido could care less about him.

the two issues are unrelated, unless you decide to bring aikido in to the issue of his world, then it becomes an issue and he would look at you with an honest and open mind, and say "show me how this works and why?"

If you demonstrated it to his satisfaction then cool...he would learn it, if not, then he'd politely tell you "sorry I ain't buying it".

Doesn't mean aikido doesn't work, or that he has debunked anything. You simply failed to demonstrate the practical application of your scenario.

He would not beat you up, or humilate you, or call you bullshido in anyway, frankly he doesn't have time for that, he'd simply dismiss it, and start working on something else.

I like this attitude.

I have also worked with him on various aikido exercises to show him the value of doing them, we do kokyu nage, kokyu tanden ho, and a few other exercises now when training to work on the energy, breath, and connection things that are important to mastering this stuff.
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Old 12-21-2006, 02:06 PM   #72
Luc X Saroufim
 
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Re: Fighting

i'd like to make a few points, one in which involves Don's argument of competition:

i can't believe no one has supported this yet. don't you guys remember the predator-prey model?

what would happen if the wolf loved the sheep? well, first of all, the wolves would starve to death.

without the wolf, the sheep overpopulate. now there's not enough food to go around, and the sheep........also starve to death!

so if the wolf loved its enemy, it would cease to exist as a species. and then the sheep die anyway.

or, the wolf can continue to eat the sheep, the "strong" sheep survive, and both species live on.

and i don't think it's ironic at all that O' Sensei, whose goal was to spread peace all over the world, started off as a ruthless warrior. it takes evil to know and combat evil.

my second point is regarding the schizophrenic answers when questioning Aikido's effectiveness as a combat art.

how come we never get such elaborate, shade-of-grey responses when questioning other arts? does anyone ever question the effectiveness of Tai Chi, another "spiritual" martial art?

i haven't been training very long, but i am starting to notice a trend in people's answers: Aikido is not as effective in combat as most other martial arts.

i don't care, because i see Aikido as a lifetime commitment for me: i very much love it. so i figure, one day i will become profficient enough to imagine using it in certain situations, and that's good enough for me. i'm no fighter anyway. the mental and spiritual enhancement is just a plus.

but i see it as my duty to give real-world advice on what Aikido is, and what it isn't. just because I love Aikido, doesn't mean everyone will.
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Old 12-21-2006, 03:04 PM   #73
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Re: Fighting

Aikido is not the answer to everything in life. Nor is it the answer to all things considered martially effective. It is good at what it was designed to do, meet the founders goals.

What we as practictioner do is try and make it be what we want it to be, instead of the other way around.

I don't agree necessarily (or maybe I am not completely understanding) your wolf/sheep analogy.

Yes there is a balance in life that must be maintained. I understand that, but I don't think that necessarily applies to all things, especially when you consider peace and violence.

Without war there would be an imbalance as well. We would have a higher population because less people would die. Also same with looking for cures for cancer and aids etc. Why bother doing it since it serves the good to keep the population down?

It is one thing to be an animal and kill for food within the food chain and natural order of life. Another to comitt acts of violence against someone or something when you don't it becomes unecessary to do so.

I do not doubt that a big part of O'sensei's growth was due in part to the fact that he experienced violence and evil. However, I don't think it is a pre-requsite for everyone to have to experience these things to reach the same evolvement.

Buddha basically said this as well concerning the practice of buddhism. It is not important for one to be an asetic and meditate for years to acheive enlightment.

Another example is learning to kill with a weapon. I do not have to be shot or shoot someone to understand how to do this, or to know that it will kill me or the person I shoot. I can practice with it and learn to become proficient through modeling.

Martial arts I believe works the same way. We can model and practice skills that allow use to approximate the conditions, experiencing them in a safe and healthy way to better understand the dynamics of the mind, body, spirit link.

The predator/prey model is a win/win model when it is applied to natural order or selection. It is a win/lose model, I believe when applied toward human beings and human society.

It is still possible to love your enemy and kill him at the same time. It can be done in a manner that is compassionate and in which a frame of mind is in place that allows one to heal.

There are several meditations in which buddhist will kill and animal, but do so in a compassionate manner thanking him the animal for giving his life for nourishment.

The big core issue is when we kill without mindfulness, and in a manner that is detached.

I could be very wrong here, and correct me if I am......

I think a big part of the issue with aikido and that you don't see it so much in tai chi and other spiritual type MAs is that aikido directly considers the impact of reconciling conflict within you and with your relationship to the world a little more directly.

Tai Chi I think tends to be more focused on the internal aspects of you and works more from the inside out, you consider only yourself at first, then the world.

I think aikido gets confusing sometimes for people because it is so "in your face" in practice and we project that practice into a physical reality that really is not there.

Or something like that...I am not a tai chi expert or practicioner so I may be wrong.
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Old 12-22-2006, 09:14 AM   #74
Luc X Saroufim
 
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Re: Fighting

even when not talking about the waza, many martial arts and Aikido have many similarities indeed: kokyo power, projecting through the hara, loving yourself and your enemy, mimmicking nature, similarities to yoga. Aikido is not the only art that ends in "do."

still, i have never seen any art come close to getting bashed as much as Aikido does. i think it stems from the fact that it is very hard to defend yourself without using strikes, and without using muscle. it is a long term commitment indeed. i'm up for it, but the ones that aren't end up bashing the art.

on top of that, Aikido can get extremely complicated. blocking a punch is straightforward, but gliding your hand down his arm while spinning around him takes years of refinement, and it's arguably not as effective in the real world. which do you think most people prefer in a self defense situation?

back to the competition argument: in my opinion, if you're not competing against yourself and others, then do everyone a favour and leave the dojo.

i see it as my duty to make sure i can be on par with others so that i can be a good uke for them. a bad uke doesn't teach the nage anything, and the nage never improves.

i went through a two hour class with one very non-compliant uke and it's a class i don't care to remember. if it was with a knowledgeable uke, it would have probably been the best class of my life.

competition keeps us motivated and helps us improve. competition is win/win, as long as you're willing to get off your butt.
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Old 12-22-2006, 10:56 AM   #75
Jorge Garcia
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Re: Fighting

Quote:
Luc Saroufim wrote:
back to the competition argument: in my opinion, if you're not competing against yourself and others, then do everyone a favor and leave the dojo.
Gladly! O' Sensei, myself and all who believe what he taught will leave immediately. What are you going to call your new art?

Jorge

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