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Old 12-12-2000, 03:24 PM   #76
crystalwizard
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I invite you Joey, in case you missed it, to go read, carefuly, the forum thread titled arrogance. (this is assuming you dont assume the title means something it doesn't and refuse to read it based on that).

[Edited by crystalwizard on December 12, 2000 at 03:34pm]

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Old 12-12-2000, 03:33 PM   #77
crystalwizard
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And I just realized:

Quote:
joeysola wrote:
I just wanted to shake things up a bit
You actualy stated your only reason for ever posting here. I vote we all do something else and totaly ignore him now.

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Old 12-12-2000, 04:15 PM   #78
torokun
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Ai symbol Re: Re: What Aikido Lacks...

Magma: First I'd like to say -- great post. I appreciate being able to talk about these things reasonably... Thanks for your opinions. I'd like to ask you about some of the things you suggest...

Quote:
Magma wrote:
...let's say... ...have I done aikido? Sure, you can't nicely categorize it in terms of attack and responding technique ("leading cross-punch kokyunage"), but the aiki principles were there, and I WAS still doing aikido.
Yes. That's right, but basically in my post, I was referring to "aikido" as a martial system that in general teaches certain techniques and uses certain methods of training. I do agree that you can handle far more various situations than those that you specifically practice during an aikido class, but why not teach these in class too? Of course, they're not the fundamentals, which i agree must be mastered first, but later, why should teachers not incorporate more various attacks into class instruction?

To answer your questions about where I've trained, I've trained in D.C. a lot with Saotome Sensei and those that teach for him, as well as in Boulder with Ikeda Sensei, and in Baltimore with Chuck Weber Sensei (5 dan), and others. I've been to seminars by these teachers, and sometimes they branch out from these fundamentals into boxing punches, or something like that, but it's not a part of everyday practice. That's all I'm saying.

Quote:

The bottom line on this one is if you don't see enough realism or variation in your attacks, make up your mind that you will train on these things, or ask about these things.
I think that this is a great suggestion, and I don't think that I'm really hung up on technique per se. This would be my answer to anyone who were to ask me the same question... But when they ask "why don't we do this in class?" I don't have an answer. I've tried to work with people and practice these things during class, but even yudansha don't like it because they think we should practice what the teacher is teaching -- a respectable attitude, but again, I must now go outside of class to practice these things...


Quote:

The bottom line on this one is that I would suspect that you haven't been in aikido long enough to grasp the scope or genius of its footwork "system" as you call it. Regardless of your time spent training, I would recommend Ikeda Sensei's tape on Iriminage, as it breaks down footwork into manageable tools that can be put together in more complex arrangements later.
OK, I may have over-emphasized this point. I have been taught specific footwork for a number of techniques, including a direct iriminage, some kokyunage, tenchinage, etc. But there are some areas that I've asked about and never gotten a clear answer on, such as the footwork while executing a spinning iriminage, or a spinning kotegaeshi... Maybe it's just that the teachers I mention above never explicitly talked about these things. But why not? You mention Ikeda Sensei's video -- I haven't seen the iriminage one yet, but I would be surprised if it is as you say, since I've never heard of Ikeda Sensei teaching this in class. Why not?

Quote:

May I submit that the reason that you haven't found the instruction on breathing that you seek is specifically because you are looking in books? The learning is in the doing, not in the reading-about-someone-else-doing.
On this point, I've looked in books and elsewhere, because the teachers I've mentioned don't teach specific methods to develop this in class (or in the seminars and camps I've been to)...

Quote:
At my dojo and others that I have visited, there is a strong emphasis put on breathing and the development thereof. From drills of sounding out abdomen-focusing syllables ("yee" and "toh"), to breath control drills much like Zen meditation with wood blocks...
This is great, but since I don't know where you train, and I've never seen a dojo practice these things regularly, I'm still convinced that this is not very common in aikido...

I also agree that breathing is very important to aikido, which is why I'm disappointed that Saotome and Ikeda (and their senior teachers) do not teach more about this during class...

Quote:
I guess what really gets me is that you say that "aikido doesn't teach this or that." Aikido doesn't teach; people do.
Point taken. But what I mean to convey here is my opinion that most aikido dojos do not cover this material in class...

Man, this is a lot to cover... whew...

Quote:

A teacher that doesn't understand centeredness or connection with uke isn't a person you should be learning from...
True... Although the teachers I've trained with are well respected and prominent in the community...

I wasn't talking about connection with uke here, but rather the internal connection of one person's body by itself... the connection of the hand to the foot, through the whole of the body... and like I said, I think the high level aikidoka do have this to varying degrees, but it's not taught clearly -- Don't you agree that usually teachers say "Extend ki", or "Keep connected here", where they could say "Look, when you twist your arm like this, you feel the connection with your shoulder... This is what we mean by 'connected'...". Maybe your teachers go over these points, but the teachers I've trained with are very ambiguous about it...

Quote:

And as for strikes being practiced separately... they are. I've been in classes of suburi where that is all we do with maybe one technique the whole night.
You mean open hand strikes? Wow. I've never been in a class like that. Never. Now, I think that's great. But I still don't think that this is common in the art.

Let me know what you think...




--torokun
(Trevor)
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Old 12-12-2000, 06:04 PM   #79
crystalwizard
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Re: What Aikido Lacks...

Quote:
torokun wrote:

but even yudansha don't like it because they think we should practice what the teacher is teaching -- a respectable attitude, but again, I must now go outside of class to practice these things...
You should be practicing what the teacher has shown or it becomes far too confusing for those practicing with you. Sorta like if you were in band and the instrutor told the band to play jingle bells but you decided to play rock around the clock because you didn't ever seem to get to play it in band.

Why dont you try talking to your instructor before or after class and asking to specificaly work on one of those techinques that dont seem to be taught during class?

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Old 12-12-2000, 11:00 PM   #80
Erik
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Quote:
I must now go outside of class to practice these things...
One size usually doesn't fit all. I've yet to meet an instructor that was good at all things exactly when I wanted them to be good at it (or even just good at all things). Very frustrating at times because they should know what I want and they should be teaching it--dammit!

Ultimately, the project is mine, so if there is a sub-set of something I'm interested in, and can't cajole out of my home dojo, I visit a place that focuses more on what I'm looking for. I have my home dojo, 2 good backups and a number of others that I occasionally visit. I guess I'm lucky to be where I am in that regard.
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Old 12-13-2000, 07:47 AM   #81
Magma
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Re: Re: Re: What Aikido Lacks...

Quote:
torokun wrote:
Magma: First I'd like to say -- great post. I appreciate being able to talk about these things reasonably...

I agree. I enjoy educated discussion much more than the "show-the-hair-on-your-chest my-aikido-is-better-than-yours" sort of debates that have ranged so freely here recently.

Quote:
torokun wrote:
Quote:
Magma wrote:
...let's say... but the aiki principles were there, and I WAS still doing aikido.


Yes. That's right
Wow. Wish I could just stop right there!

Quote:
but basically in my post, I was referring to "aikido" as a martial system that in general teaches certain techniques and uses certain methods of training.


Yes, this is true. I guess, as you pointed out, the focus is on the fundamentals. That maybe if some level of mastery is gained over the principles involved, those principles can be applied to any situation. Though I am in a fortunate (unfortunate?) situation where one night a week of my aikido training is set aside by my sensei as instruction on more "applied" technique than basic technique. While this does bridge over into arts outside of aikido, I still see the principles at work that we work on the rest of the week.

Quote:
Maybe it's just that the teachers I mention above never explicitly talked about these things. But why not? You mention Ikeda Sensei's video -- I haven't seen the iriminage one yet, but I would be surprised if it is as you say, since I've never heard of Ikeda Sensei teaching this in class. Why not?


That surprises me. I have not had the fortune or chance to train with Ikeda Sensei, so I cannot speak to this. Perhaps someone else who has could volunteer information on how much emphasis Ikeda Sensei (or other prominent Shihan) place on basics? But then, I think that I have hit on something: I'd more fully expect a Shihan's junior instructors to focus on the basics more than the Shihan him/herself. I'd expect the shihan to help me explore the boundaries of what I know of aikido. Still I'm interested in what people have to say about the various Shihans they have seen.

Quote:
This is great, but since I don't know where you train, and I've never seen a dojo practice these things regularly, I'm still convinced that this is not very common in aikido...

I train in West Michigan, and get to seminars often in Chicago. In fact there are seminars completely devoted to this sort of training. If you are seriously interested, I suggest you check it out.

Quote:
Quote:

And as for strikes being practiced separately... they are. I've been in classes of suburi where that is all we do with maybe one technique the whole night.


You mean open hand strikes? Wow. I've never been in a class like that. Never. Now, I think that's great. But I still don't think that this is common in the art.


No, it is not common. And yes, those were open hand strikes... and kicks. I do TKD as well, and even I would get tired of a class of JUST hand strikes.

I think we are talking the same language, Torokun. If you are ever in the area, look my dojo up and come train. We'll have fun.

Tim
It's a sad irony: In U's satori, he forgot every technique he ever knew; since then, generations of doka have spent their whole careers trying to remember.
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Old 12-13-2000, 08:32 AM   #82
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Smile

Hi Joey,
I have been following this thread with interest. I like when boats get rocked.

My small point is, you keep refering to aikido within the context of fighting. Aikido doesnt teach us how to fight, so you are right it is not effective in a fight. But it is very effective in not fighting.
Fighting is all about perspective, two forces pushing against each other...
If one of the forces refuses to push back or push in the same direction then their is no fight. One side could have the perseption of a fight while the other the perseption of harmony. no anger no strength required. just movement. So yes, if aikido is attempted to be used to fight then it defeats the whole point of aikido and destroys its effectiveness.
Aikido is not about a series of techniques designed to hurt or damage or whatever, it is about a principle of none resistance. Which is the reason it is often refered to as the art of peace.

as for the person sitting in the aikido punching him in the face... well... emmm... if the principles are being applied then it would NEVER get to that point. but if it did then I guess one of the main points in throwing in aikido is to get my centre below that of the attacker... you cant get much lower than under his butt....


Kev
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Old 12-13-2000, 10:12 AM   #83
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Cool

I've been reading this thread, and finally decided to throw my two (uneducated) cents into that hat.

As far as MA's go, the representation of the art is only as good as the presenter. How effective it is, or isn't, also depends on the "fighters." I'm a lowly 7th Kyu, and to some of you, I will sound rather green, and I will admit that I don't know a lot compared to others on this, but some things I have been taught and learned so far, I think are missing from this post.

#1 How effective do you want to be?
In Aikido, as I'm sure with most (if not all) other arts you can always end your altercation with one strike, or hold. So which one is best? Well, do you want to permanently injure someone? Do you want to kill them? Do you just want them in submission? The answer to each of these questions probably could represent a different art for which one is "the best."

#2 I've heard people say, Aikido not effective for this situation, or that situation. I personally look at Aikido as being effective for more situations than a lot of other arts. There are thousands of moves in Aikido, and I have to make a reference to Isaac Newton with the following, "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." With the many techniques available, I would venture to say there is an appropriate and effective move or defense for nearly any non-projectile attack. Whether they work or not takes me right back to Newton. Even with all the possibilities, every Aikido move can be countered.

#3 It's all attitude. Why does Aikido not fare so well in "competition" situations? Because it goes against the very nature of why it was founded. I am fairly confident that you would never find a very high ranking Dan in the Ultimate Fighting Championships, or similar competition. The men, who enter and win these tournaments, train to do that. Aikidoka do not.

#4 Most importantly - speed.
In these tournaments it's all about speed. Whoever has the fastest reactions and reflexes wins. That's all there is to it. If you can land a punch, or strike or other technique on me, before I am able to react, it's game over. I don't care what art you practice, if someone is faster than you and has knowledge of the weaknesses of the human body, be ready to get hurt - or worse.

Before anyone else continues on with what's the best, or most effective MA, I'd like to see the "best" vs. the "best." But that's something we'll never see

Well, that's my 2 cents, or dollars considering the length.

Ed Frederick
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Old 12-14-2000, 01:09 AM   #84
crystalwizard
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I might also suggest that

you go read the thread concerning Aikido's use in combat situations since there are now several military people and police officers that have posted how EFFECTIVE it is IN REAL LIFE situations...
and also read the posts concerning the individuals behind the UFC and why the UFC is not a representation of REAL LIFE situations.

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Old 12-14-2000, 01:25 AM   #85
crystalwizard
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I might also suggest that

you go read the thread concerning Aikido's use in combat situations since there are now several military people and police officers that have posted how EFFECTIVE it is IN REAL LIFE situations...
and also read the posts concerning the individuals behind the UFC and why the UFC is not a representation of REAL LIFE situations.

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Old 12-14-2000, 04:33 AM   #86
andrew
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Re: Re: Re: What Aikido Lacks...

Quote:
torokun wrote:
are some areas that I've asked about and never gotten a clear answer on, such as the footwork while executing a spinning iriminage, or a spinning kotegaeshi... Maybe it's just that the teachers I mention above never explicitly talked about these things. But why not?

clearly -- Don't you agree that usually teachers say "Extend ki", or "Keep connected here", where they could say "Look, when you twist your arm like this, you feel the connection with your shoulder... This is what we mean by 'connected'...". Maybe your teachers go over these points, but the teachers I've trained with are very ambiguous about it...

OK, two things at once...
http://gargas.biomedicale.univ-paris.../sncemeng.html
this is a link to a very helpful article by Tiki Shewan, 6th dan. Since nobody will bother reading it because he's in France and we're all so parochial (so am I, I just happen to have a French sensei..) I'll put a relevant point here that he makes near the beginning of the article. I recommend reafing the whole thing... (It's on the subject of teaching movement.)
andrew.

"During the time that it has been my privilege to be working and teaching Aikido and laido, I have been continually inundated with requests to "explain in words" what I was seeking to teach. Two facts became immediately apparent to me :
1) that most people always want explanations for what they do;
2) that these people are under the impression that they will learn more satisfactorily if they have these "explanations".
After some time, I came to the conclusion, while providing "explanations" requested of me, that very few trainees, did, in fact, learn better what they were being taught,when they were given explanations....."
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Old 12-14-2000, 04:44 AM   #87
ian
 
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Although this thread is starting to change its subject somewhat, I would agree with Andrew.

Sometimes explanations seem a bit wooley because they are harder to explain in words than actually doing or showing. There is an intimate relationship between uke and nage in any technique, requiring a nage response from everything uke does. Therefore it is only when you start aikido when you are told 'step here', 'step there'. Once you realise that you have to step in the optimal position (which depends on uke), you can then make your technique far more flexible (if you look at pictures of Ueshiba, he has a very varied approach to stepping in).

I found an excellent book called:

T'ai Chi Chuan, the Internal Tradition
(Ron Sieh)

Which is very good at explaining aspects of weight distribution, unbalancing, attitude and sensetivity to uke, and the way technique should be 'open and responsive' and not formal. It doesn't talk about techniques, and is probably better if you've done a few years of aikido (I bought it years ago, but am only realising now how true it is).

Ian
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Old 12-14-2000, 05:30 AM   #88
Caio
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Ki Symbol effectiveness

Hi,

My opinion concerning if Aikido is combat effective or not is that prior to all of this, back in Japan not so long ago, every technique was used to save lifes, or you think that when people challenged O Sensei they would throw sand in his eyes and push him or they would try to kill him? He developed Aikido facing life or death situations and we would't be here discussing this if it wasn't effective. Don't you think?
Also, for the ones that think that Aikido must be practiced with a martial spirit all the times, I do agree with you and I always try to do that, but I also see people practicing Aikido to develop a better relationship with people at work, home, etc. To get in shape, to improve their balance, attitude, to relax, and a lot of other things that Aikido can do for you.
So, when one say that it is not effective, depends on what you want from it.
Who are we to say that one should practice this or that way? Aikido is an art and as in every art each artist develops its own way to perform it.

That is the way I see it,
I hope it helps a little.

Domo Arigato!


Caio
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Old 12-14-2000, 05:55 AM   #89
Aikilove
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Re: I might also suggest that

Quote:
crystalwizard wrote:
you go read the thread concerning Aikido's use in combat situations since there are now several military people and police officers that have posted how EFFECTIVE it is IN REAL LIFE situations...
and also read the posts concerning the individuals behind the UFC and why the UFC is not a representation of REAL LIFE situations.
Hi crystalwizard! Which thread is that? I would like to read them.
Thank you.

Jakob B

Jakob Blomquist
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Old 12-14-2000, 08:42 AM   #90
crystalwizard
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err The thread which contains posts from the military people I was primarily refering to is titled 'US army combatives and aikido' but you just replied to that thread Aikilove.



[Edited by crystalwizard on December 14, 2000 at 08:59am]

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Old 12-14-2000, 09:56 AM   #91
Aikilove
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Red face

Oops! I'm sorry! I just found out after I asked you the Q. Well what about the UFC-thread you refered to?

Now I'm of to train 13 Kata and mune dori I believe. How did I ever lived before, without training!

Jakob B

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Old 12-15-2000, 02:03 AM   #92
Gerardo A Torres
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Hello everybody.

I consider Aikido to be very effective in a fight. Take for example multiple attack situations. Most (if not all) real-life encounters include more than one opponent, and Aikido is always practiced with this possibility in mind. For instance, this is one reason why we practice two versions of the same technique (irimi and ura). We also carry in mind the possibility of facing armed attackers, coming from all directions.

On the subject of Aikido's lack of ground fighting, in the case where an Aikidoka is taken to the ground, some knowledge of grappling is handy. But grappling alone makes the aikidoka "loose the big picture" like one forum member said. Grappling rules out multiple attackers (forgive my ignorance, but I haven't yet seen somebody grappling/wrestling against two people, especially in one of those "real" UFC fights). It is better for aikidoka (as naive and idealistic as it may sound) to use their Aikido skills and simply not let themselves be taken to the ground.

Which brings us to the confidence problem in Aikido…

Boxers trust their punching, grapplers trust their ground training, TKD people trust their kicking. But so many Aikido practitioners (I notice as I read through the forums) are not confident about their training that it saddens me. Imagine somebody who trains in Aikido for many years, learning how to break people's balance at the touch (kuzushi), deliver grounded strategic strikes (atemi), develop a strong center (hara), move the body with ease (tai-sabaki), the dynamics of hand movement (te-sabaki), sense and connect with energy flow (ki musubi), use breath power (kokyu), use timing and space (ma-ai), and develop acute awareness (zanshin). If you supposedly developed these skills, then what is one to be insecure about when faced with the possibility of combat? Exactly how is it that these abilities are not combat-effective?

These skills I mentioned above are the basics of Aikido, not ikkyo, nikkyo, sankkyo, etc. These are the skills of the aikidoka, not the ability to catch a fast punch and twist the wrist, definitely not an encyclopedia of empty waza. Of course, if you didn't concentrate on developing any of that and just went through the mechanics of technique year after year, then it is your training approach that is wrong, not the art itself. I practiced with the wrong attitude for many years, but instead of blaming the art or my teacher, I tracked the problem to my own mindset and changed my training approach. Even the Aikido of master teachers evolves constantly.

I also want to say that a man like O'Sensei could not have founded a deficient Budo system. He and his uchideshi went through great pains and efforts to establish Aikido as a martial art, but somehow some people still feel skeptic about Aikido's martial art nature and some others think we need to provide proof of its combat effectiveness. There is no need to prove anything, at least in the terms that many other disciplines are put to the test. We have no need for tournaments, cross-martial arts matches, or participate in any of those UFC (in which case, any self-respecting aikidoka would not take part of such entertainment--oriented event). We should train with higher purposes in mind, and in doing so we will grow confident enough to eliminate the anxiety that confuses our minds.
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Old 12-15-2000, 03:58 AM   #93
crystalwizard
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Quote:
Aikilove wrote:
Oops! I'm sorry! I just found out after I asked you the Q. Well what about the UFC-thread you refered to?
There's a thread titled arrogance that has quite a few postings concerning the UFC

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Old 12-15-2000, 01:53 PM   #94
Nick
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Gerardo:

The main reason Aikidoka don't admit their prowess is:

1. Words are worthless.
2. If we should say such a thing, than we may start to believe it.
3. Anyone who says such a thing is usually pretty clueless about budo.

I'm a lot better than I was a year ago, a month ago, even perhaps an hour ago, but to say I was the best budoka around would only make my training slack and make the challenges come rolling in the door, which is (IMO), the main thing to avoid in Aikido...

Nick

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Old 12-15-2000, 02:15 PM   #95
Mike Collins
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Talking

Okay, that's it.

I am the toughest man alive. I can kill with only a glance. Whoever challenges me is in for it. My Aikido is the best in the universe.

Or, perhaps not.
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Old 12-15-2000, 02:16 PM   #96
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I'm sorry. My damned evil twin Ikey got to my computer again. The restraints go back on after lunch.
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Old 12-15-2000, 03:53 PM   #97
BC
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Quote:
Mikey wrote:
Okay, that's it.

I am the toughest man alive. I can kill with only a glance. Whoever challenges me is in for it. My Aikido is the best in the universe.

Or, perhaps not.
Oh YEAH!!! (much chest puffing and saber rattling!) You want a piece of dis? Huh? Huh?...said as I turn and reach into a bag, pulling out a big ole can with a label on it that says...yep, you guessed it: "Whoopass!"

Robert Cronin
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Old 12-15-2000, 04:00 PM   #98
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oh, it's onn now!!!

Come get some cupcake!!!
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Old 12-15-2000, 04:01 PM   #99
Mike Collins
Location: San Jose
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 189
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Sorry, that should read:

"Come get some, cupcake"

I didn't mean to let you think I actually had some cupcakes here.

Sorry for the confusion
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Old 12-15-2000, 04:05 PM   #100
Erik
Location: Bay Area
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,200
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Quote:
Mikey wrote:
Okay, that's it.

I am the toughest man alive. I can kill with only a glance. Whoever challenges me is in for it. My Aikido is the best in the universe.

Or, perhaps not.
Hah! My daddy could kick your daddy's butt with his big toe tied behind his back. No, wait, my mommy could kick your daddy's butt with her big toe tied behind her back.

Don't messy with the little piggie.
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