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Old 05-28-2006, 12:49 AM   #901
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Patrick wrote:

Quote:
Since you're talking about how aikido applies in the real world and real situations, like an ambush or whatever, one of my biggest problems trying to practice aikido movements (tenkan/tentai) on real-world surfaces and wearing real-world footwear is that it absolutely KILLS my knees.
You know, I am currently teaching a class of Nat Guard soldiers for the next week that have not ever done combatives training, several of them were complaining about knees hurting from going up and down and rotating on the mat.

Not sure if it is related to what you are talking about...maybe you are talking about the torsional movement/pressure while standing in footwear??

I don't seem to have this issue at all....I will have to watch what they are doing.

I know in my dojo back in the states my former instructor spent a great deal of time teaching us to move and transfer weight correctly. Same on the Mat....my knees don't really "rub" or rotate on the mat.

Again, I may not understand it correctly what you are saying, but slow down things and look carefully at what you are doing. If you are used to "gliding" your barefeet across tatami...you may need to re-evaluate and adjust what you are doing.

same with ground fighting...knees and elbows are not transfer or weight distribution points for me a whole lot. I had to learn and develop strength and coordination to avoid this. Play with it and see!
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Old 05-28-2006, 01:16 AM   #902
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Brian wrote:

Quote:
Not hung up on it at all, just wondering what kind of Aikido you have seen or practiced when those such as yourself have this confidence that an Aikido is 'mostly' helpless against a shoot.
Your aikido may be helpless against a shoot...mine is not!

Seriously though, be careful when generalizing and summing up what has been said here. Most of what has been said is that most people in aikido don't practice much against shoots. In principle, done correctly with alignment, timing, and technique...aikido is and can be successful. IF, you practice it, and IF you develop those particular skill sets.

What you have to be careful of is taking a principle driven methodology and applying it LITERALLY, to a fighting situation. In one example you seem to talk about "going to your knees" as if in swariwaza. Our point is that there are alot of things that go into a shoot, from closing the distance, to counters along the way. Someone that practices this stuff as their main thing has developed a "tool box" of things that work and appropriate responses.

Most aikidoka don't spend time doing these things, and practice very isolated techniques to develop a deep understanding of correct posture, movement, alignment, and principle. Just be careful when trying to transfer that knowledge to a real situtation! That is all that is really being said.

It is not that it doesn't "work". Just maybe not like it is done in the dojo.

I agree about your assessment concerning "street fights". Again, those are not the ones that worry me...it is the ones you don't see coming until it is too late!

One thing I will tell you about self defense and aikido is that "the best laid plans go out the window once contact starts!". We all have a vision in our head of what a fight is and will be. In reality depending on the circumstances, it may or may not go our way.

If you are really concerned about self defense, then you need to do "other things" other than aikido and empty hand.

Something most of us don't spend time on in our so-called "self defense" training is dealing with the overwhelming assault of emotion, adrenaline, shock, and oxygen debt. Randori can approximate some of this...but I think aikido in general is not geared toward training this process.

One reason is that training like this alot can develop bad habits. It should not be the focus of your training.

Another reason is liability. It is difficult to approximate a real life situatoin safely and control it so no-one really gets hurt.

Another resaon is experience of qualified instructors. To keep things safe, you have to have people that are trained properly to control the environment.

Also qualified students. to keep it safe...students need to be trained in some basics to keep themselves from getting hurt. BJJ offers a good base model for developing these close in skills. (BJJ ain't all about ground fighting BTW). Most aikidoka do not have a proper base to begin training this way. There are somethings missing that need to be trained up first prior to going there. Not hard to do...takes about 40 hours of training to develop. AIkidoka generally have a good base to work with though!

Expense. In order to keep it safe, you need to have some pretty sophisticated gear like Blauer suits. Redman is okay...but they are too restrictive I have been told to allow freedom of the wearer to respond in a appropriate way. (you must feel some pain in order to respond correctly).


The Dog Brothers do a decent job in a low tech way...but man, those guys are crazy! It takes a special individual willing to train that way!

Brian, again, it is not that in principle that aikido cannot defend against a shoot...it is just that once you go down that road into "reality", "self defense" etc...you open up into a huge field of "what ifs" and "70%" solutions...and it is a challenge to cross over from a principle/theory driven system into one based on "reality".

"Lessons Learned" from those that have a background in aikido and have tried or are in the processing of assimilating our backgrounds is what we are talking about here. It is not about bashing aikido or saying that it does not work.

Good discussion!
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Old 05-28-2006, 01:26 AM   #903
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

I just remembered something about aikido in a real life situation that I did that I kinda didn't even think about.....

I was in Maputo Mozambique a few months ago. Great place, but still a little rough around the edges. The intel from the State Dept told us to never go out after dark, and avoid certain places, and always travel in pairs.

Anyway, after several days of being coop'd up in my hotel, I really wanted to get out and see a few things. So my boss and I went out on the town for a walk. It is hard to blend in there if you are a middle age white guy So, we were prime targets for a mugging.

Not being from that culture, it is hard to read why people are watching you. It may be simple curiosity or it may be they are sizing you up. Anyway....several times we were walking side by side and I'd come up on a "danger zone". I'd tell my boss to walk ahead with confidence I'd drop back to where if we were "cornered" it would be hard for them to control both of us. I'd cross the street and walk on the opposite of the road from my boss...and things like that.

My boss thought I was a little crazy at first, but several times I saw guys approaching us, then back off as if to say.."nah, it is not worth it!".

Couple of other buddies went out and were "softly rolled" for a few amercian bucks! They wrote it off as the price of doing business....My boss and I never had to pay out on dime for our walk!

So, ma'ai, timing, distancing...all that good stuff works! and never did have to deal with the "shoot" couldn't resist that one!
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Old 05-28-2006, 02:30 PM   #904
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Your aikido may be helpless against a shoot...mine is not!
I was watching UFC 60 last night and saw something very interesting in one of the fights. No spoilers here, I'm being careful; don't give anything away in your reply.

One guy went in for a shoot on more than one occassion but the other guy did a great job of keeping his balance and moving out of the way even when it meant getting his foot out of the shooter's grasp. It was a clear demonstration of shoot defense that could be used just fine in Aikido. It was purely defensive and what it meant was that he was disengaging completely, not committing to an attack -- so using that technique alone might not be the best way to go if you want to show aggression and win in competition.

However, defending against a shoot, staying upright, disengaging, regaining proper mai ai and maybe even running away might be considered perfectly aiki. I'll certainly be studying, trying to copy his movements to learn to do the same.
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Old 05-28-2006, 02:38 PM   #905
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

good points Wendy.

The shoot is usually a part of a series of attacks or an "attack chain", not done in isolation. Some times you can get away as you say...other times you can't! That is why it is good to have a decent sprawl and recover strategy!

I think in real life, i'd do as you say though!
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Old 05-28-2006, 09:45 PM   #906
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

I think shooting is quite difficult if the shooter is facing an aikidoka armed with a jo...

94 more post to go to hit the 1,000 mark.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 05-28-2006, 11:57 PM   #907
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

What if the shooter shoots with a gun?
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Old 05-29-2006, 04:30 AM   #908
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

My tai chi teacher is teaching T. T. Liang's Cane Form, and it's pretty interestingly aiki jo-like. I can imagine some of the moves working pretty well against an attacker, particularly one trying to shoot in.

I'm sitting the cane form out and just watching, because at the moment I feel like if I have to memorize one more form my head will explode. That's another reason I love Aikido: everything's short mix-and-match units, unlike my 150 move tai chi and my karate and the karate I have to learn to teach the kids because they've got some forms that are different than the adults. Kata are great, but if I really want to be able to apply something I'd much rather know it in many small pieces that I've recombined in many different ways as well as practicing them in short rock-paper-scissor style combinations.
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Old 05-29-2006, 04:34 AM   #909
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

That is what I like about aikido is that the method in which we train also us to be somewhat spontaneous with an appropriate response. Now add fully resistive training to the mix and you have something!
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Old 05-29-2006, 10:58 AM   #910
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
That is what I like about aikido is that the method in which we train also us to be somewhat spontaneous with an appropriate response. Now add fully resistive training to the mix and you have something!
Kevin,
As a test once in a while, I think the fully resistive training is a fine idea. I actually get my dosage of reality tests in the non-Aikido classes I do. My college Defensive Tactics Class had a mixed martial arts instructor in there this quarter. It was fun to see how my stuff worked against him. However, he was more interested in what he could show me he knew than in what I had to show him so he didn't take advantage of what I had to offer him.

Anyway, the problem with having your ukes resisting all the time in conventional Aikido training is that since 50% of your time is spent as the Uke, then half of the time you are training you are giving your body precisely the wrong instruction from what you need to be doing when you are Nage.

There is a very good reason that we train the way we do in Aikido. It's the same in Systema. I read someone complaining about over reactive partners in their art as well. But these are systems which are trying to teach the body to react to stress and conflict in a way that is opposite to what it naturally tends to do.

This is heard enough when training is done conventionally. It becomes even harder when half of the time one is doing the opposite. There are so few people who get to the level of someone like Saotome Sensei or Ikeda Sensei. The subtleties involved are easy to "drown out" if one does too much resistance type training too early. Any tension at all and you simply don't have it. So both Systema and Aikido are similar in their training methodology in that they focus on re-educating the body first and foremost. So, both roles in the training interaction focus on non-resistance.

Once one is grounded in the principles and has an understanding in ones body of what is what, then sure, try it out with some folks who don't operate on the same paradigm. I did a seminar in Colorado with Vladimir in the Systema in which he did a class on dealing with a fully resistant partner. It was great to see that ones stuff would work but in other ways it wasn't as interesting because ultimately the non-resistant partner is the more dangerous. Anyway, I do think it is an issue in our training that those of us who were taught to train in Aikido as a martial art were allowed to train with too much tension for far too long. It retards the process of figuring out what is really going on.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 05-29-2006, 11:45 AM   #911
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Aikido doesn't work in a fight; it is so efficient, it gets the job done without having to put in work.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 05-29-2006, 12:16 PM   #912
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

and Justin...you are speaking from experience I assume?
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Old 05-29-2006, 12:23 PM   #913
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Oh I agree George. I did not mean to apply that you need to add this training to aikido. Frankly I think it does not belong!

I was merely implying it more on a personal level. Sorry for that!

I made a conscious decision to defer my own growth in aikido for the time being to practice a more resistive practice through MMA and BJJ right now. It was something I needed to do for work reasons and for personal reasons!

However after watching the video of my last fight in a competition, I am going back and slowing things way down in my submission fighting training and incorporating my aikido methods as I my posture is terrible! It literaly got me beat!

It's a tough call when talking about being grounded in principles! I am not sure what is a good balance! I can see the guys I am training not understand the principles in BJJ that the upper guys are trying to convey. Frankly looking at a BJJ dojo They seem to take a few years longer to understand the subtleness of movement than aikido guys do....but aikido guys don't assimilate the practical side of things until later.

Sort of approaching the same equation from opposite ends maybe??
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Old 05-29-2006, 12:35 PM   #914
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
and Justin...you are speaking from experience I assume?
If I make that claim, you'll be the very first person I notify.

Aikido books, experiences of others, whether past masters, friends who have studied aikido, or news articles of successful uses of aikido and talking about its efficiency, exist.

Last edited by statisticool : 05-29-2006 at 12:38 PM.

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Old 05-29-2006, 01:47 PM   #915
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

I can offer you first hand knowledge and my own experiences after studying for 10 years that it is not as you say in post #912.

You shouldn't trivialize fighting, conflict, and violence. It is serious, dangerous, and something to not be taken lightly or flippantly.
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Old 05-29-2006, 02:08 PM   #916
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Sort of approaching the same equation from opposite ends maybe??
Certainly. It is my belief that the Founder structured things the way he did because applied fighting technique was simply not what he was worried about nor did he feel the need to create Aikido in order to have an undefeatable martial art.

Aikido is structured the way it is beacuse he was far more worried about communicating a set of spiritual principles. The practice is designed to be a sort of laboratory where an individual can work out the physical and psychic principles in a controlled environment. Much of this stuff is such low intensity in its subtlety that too much physicality at the beginning drowns everything else out.

I am not saying that your approach isn't excellent. If you look at how O-sensei did things it was very much the same. He simply didn't teach beginners. He took folks who were already at a very experinced level in one or mnore arts and then taught them Aikido. So actually, the majority of the Aikido greats trained the same way you are, focusing on developing the strength of intention required to be in a martial interaction, imprinting solid body mechanics etc.

Frankly, if I won the lottery today and simply didn't have to worry about the number of students I had at all, I would probably do the same thing... You want to train? Go get a black belt in judo or BJJ, go take boxing for a while, do jeet kun do or pencak silat,,, something else. Then we would talk about Aikido. If we did that there would be no endless thread about whether Aikido worked or not.

But Aikido has spread far beyond that and many people wish to do Aikido who probably wouldn't have done any other martial training if they hadn't been able to do Aikido. I train them because a) they support the dojo for the more serious folks and b) they do derive an amazing amount of personal benefit from practice even if they never take it to a very high level.

But if you are actually looking to go the distance and take your Aikido out to the limit (whatver that might be for you), the path you are on is the one most likely to get you there. Mastery of the solid foundational skills is really a requirement to get to the more energetic aspects of the art. I'm not saying that one can't do that just within Aikido training itself, but it's harder to do so. The folks I know who have donme it trained like maniacs, very intensely for years with a top teacher, mostly in Japan.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 05-29-2006, 02:33 PM   #917
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
You shouldn't trivialize fighting, conflict, and violence. It is serious, dangerous, and something to not be taken lightly or flippantly.
I agree, one shouldn't. Glad no one did here.
(btw, saying something is "efficient" is not in insult)

You've had your experiences, but so have Ueshiba and other effective martial artists, many which had/have military backgrounds, and were non-violent and non-aggressive and still effective.

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Old 05-29-2006, 03:24 PM   #918
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Thanks for the advice and inspiration George! Maybe one day!
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Old 05-29-2006, 08:50 PM   #919
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote:
You've had your experiences, but so have Ueshiba and other effective martial artists, many which had/have military backgrounds, and were non-violent and non-aggressive and still effective.
I can't put my finger on them right now, but I think I've read bios of O'Sensei that talk about his taking on all challengers. What's your definition of "non-violent" if it allows for participation in dojo challenge fights? I always thought a non-violent person would have to refuse to take part in a fight.
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Old 05-30-2006, 12:26 PM   #920
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

I don't know enough about O'sensei really to comment on his actions concerning violence. I believe he probably experienced it enough early in his life and had many years to reflect on it and came to a certain understanding of violence. I think he understood the dynamics and etiology of violence and offered aikido as a tool to help others understand it.

Was he non-violent? I suppose that depends on your definition of what encompasses non-violence.

I don't know too many people that I am around that actively seek violence out, but those same people have the courage and some skills to face violence and confront it. I don't think it is so much about avoidance, but "right action" and "right mind".

choosing to avoid violence does not necessarily resolve it. What we really should accomplish is seeking to improve our ability to deal with it skillfully.

I don't think it is so much about non-violence or non-agressvieness....but appropriateness.
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Old 05-30-2006, 01:09 PM   #921
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Friends, what about changing the title of this thread: Martial Arts versus Real Life Violence?
Aikido is so useless against a shoot Karate, Ninjitsu, or any other martial art. And in fact, Martial Arts are more useful Today for Self Improvement than for facing real life violence. The best way to handle physically a fight on the street is using advantage: he comes with a bottle and I pick up an iron pipe. He comes with a knife and I get a gun. He comes with a gun and I throw him a hand grenade... Like that.
Of course, after that you go to jail for a loooooong time! So, if Aikido teaches you NOT to fight, then it is more useful than if it teaches how to fight. NOBODY wins on a real fight.
Listen this story:
I know some guy who has been practicing for MANY years MANY martial arts and he is a LOT skilled!
He is Black Belt in several arts (Aikido included), he is instructor of LEO and a leader inside of Ninjitsu. Well he was going home and a thug threw a stone at his eye. From afar. End of the matter.
And if someone study HOW CRIMINALS really ATTACK he will notice that they donīt like to fight. Mostly fights are against assholes and big mouths, not against serial criminals or real terrorists or professional killers. They wonīt lose their time fighting! They will shoot you from far away or in other case they will try to cheat you, betray you, get you by surprise, and with advantage. If someone shoots a gunshot in your head from behind, rest well in Heaven. No martial art will save you on the street.
So for me, Martial Arts are not the medicine of street violence (though they have many virtues for every1 who practice them). Only awareness can save you and a lot of good criminal psychology. If things go physical, I would rely on weapons more than on H2H techniques.
This is street reality.
Aikido will have the same effectiveness than any other martial art FOR things that Martial Arts can handle on the street (a frontal fight). And usually the kind of persons who show off on the street are not well trained (I said usually, not always). What makes criminals so dangerous is the surprise, the selection of the scenario, the use of advantage, in a word: the tactics, more than a training in fighting. So Aikido will technically work WHEN it can work, I mean in a frontal fight.
But this is not the professional criminalīs modus operandi, so you better be aware, because this is the best way to avoid violence, preconflict stage.
By the way, with Ki Awase you can develop a good sixth sense, isnīt it? Aikido is good for awareness.
Ergo, good for the street.
Respectfully I salute you all and I apologize if I have offended someone
DudSan
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Old 05-30-2006, 05:38 PM   #922
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

O-Sensei devoted the last part of his life to creating what he called 'Warriors for Peace'.

He lost many of his pre-WWII students to violent deaths in that conflict. I think he came to the conclusion that having a martial art that just trains somebody to fight and best someone else as physical combat was pointless.

Wouldn't it be better to develop martial arts into something that would defend and protect life instead of harming life and taking it?

During the War he moved to Iwama and I think he was already thinking along these lines.

He could envision a martial art where through skilled training a person could face a violent event and resolve it peacefully without any harm coming to himself or the other person/s.

Having watched his country start a war to 'prove' it's great destiny and then suffer horribly from consequences, I think O-Sensei knew well how precious life is because he saw alot of it destroyed for pointless reasons.

George is absolutely correct that someone who looks at Aikido soley as a 'fighting style' and gauges it's effectiveness in a street hand to hand combat situation is only seeing the tip of an iceberg. There is so much more to Aikido than 'can I win a fight with it?'.

Study Aikido diligently for many years, and the question becomes: "How would I ever get into a fight in the first place?"

Ever notice how some people just seem to always be drawn into conflicts with others, whether verbal or physical? Every time you turn around they've got a new feud going with somebody.

Ever notice how some people never seem to get into any sort of conflict at all, no matter how long you've known them, even though they've often been in the same type of situations as the first person described above?

Some people are always 'out of harmony' with others, while some people, no matter who they are with or what is going on, seem to be 'on the same wavelength' with everyone no matter how different they are.

Beyond the physical throwing and locking, Aikido does have something to teach people in this regard; I know because I've experienced it. It is far more than just a 'fighting system'. It's an art that can teach you to seek harmony with even the most unharmonious of people.
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Old 05-30-2006, 07:45 PM   #923
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

My biggest disappointment with (almost) all martial arts schools and instructors I've spoke with is that almost immediately upon speaking with them they not only point our how their martial art is good but how other martial arts suck. While attending a kung fu class with a friend who dragged me there the school owner launched into a tirade about taekwondo and how horrible it is when he found out I was a green belt.

People involved in martial arts today seem stuck on how other martial arts stacks against their own and not simply how fun interesting or effective their own martial arts is.

I find 'what would work in real life' arguments a little misleading. In "real life" a BIG part of th equation is going to depend on the person. There are black belts out there who will lock up or panic in a real situation the same way there are white belts or people with no formal training who might clean house with someone of any martial art.
Aikido works for some people in real life situations, others it doesn't.
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Old 05-30-2006, 08:22 PM   #924
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote:
My biggest disappointment with (almost) all martial arts schools and instructors I've spoke with is that almost immediately upon speaking with them they not only point our how their martial art is good but how other martial arts suck.
...There are black belts out there who will lock up or panic in a real situation the same way there are white belts or people with no formal training who might clean house with someone of any martial art.
Aikido works for some people in real life situations, others it doesn't.
I've always thought (and so it MUST be true, I know ) the greatest weapon a person, let alone a martial artist, can have is the mind. The ability to calmly focus in a chaotic situation is THE most important ability one can learn and you can learn that on your own, with diligence. Other than that it seems to me different arts are just different approaches to the same thing: mastery of the human form. It seems that at their highest levels, every art tends to look very similar. What I take from that is that the real question isn't a matter of style, but of dedication and focus, both of one's teacher(s), and of oneself.
Trash-talking is usually ego-filled tripe.
...but I digress

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 05-30-2006, 11:48 PM   #925
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Brian, Matt, Grant, and Douglas,

All very good post! I could not agree with you guys more!

Conflict and martial arts are very complicated, multi-faceted, and not a "black or white" issue.

Reducing it to "techniques" or "effectiveness" is hard to do. Sure there are ways to exploit developing skills in one area or another for a particular focus such as police work, sport, or self defense...it is necessary sometimes to do this to grow, learn, or leverage an advantage.

However, in the big picture, we must understand the things you guys are talking about if we ever hope to evolve and grow as individuals and as a society!
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