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Old 06-07-2006, 09:45 AM   #976
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

All good points George! Thank you for chiming in!

Justin, George has probably as much knowledge on aikido and experience in the art as anyone you will find that will post on aikiweb.
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Old 06-07-2006, 09:53 AM   #977
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Yea, I was going to go there in a while too Paige, (the Art of Peace that is!). One of the things I like in that little book is a quote that illudes to the best defense is a good offense. Said much different in that book, but it simply means that we need to be so lethal, so strong, and present such a presence...that the enemy would be foolish to attack. So, that too hints at the violence that is inherent in the art.

So, we could argue about the semantics of what violence is and when it begins. That would be the only argument I could see! Someone might say it is not violent, because it is not put into action. My point is that the mere absence of violence in action does not equate to "non-violence". We still must recognize the violence that is inherent, or a better word, the potential lethality. I think what makes it distinct deals with the word "willingness". That makes the difference.

Of course now we head down the road of pacifism and what that means!

One thing that does disturb me about the whole "best defense is a good offense" is that we really haven't resolved the whole issue of conflict. Just because the person does not attack, does not mean that conflict is not still present....it hasn't manifested itself!

So, we must go beyone this simple quote and that is where compassion comes into play. The ability to keep your enemy at distance with strength and strategy..then have the skills to accept him, understand him, and resolve conflict.

So, If you are reading this Justin, I hope this demonstrates how complex the issues we are grappling with in the philosophy of aikido! It is much more complex that simply "I read that O'Sensei said aikido is about non-violence so it must be true".
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Old 06-07-2006, 11:36 AM   #978
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Yea, I was going to go there in a while too Paige, (the Art of Peace that is!). One of the things I like in that little book is a quote that illudes to the best defense is a good offense. Said much different in that book, but it simply means that we need to be so lethal, so strong, and present such a presence...that the enemy would be foolish to attack. So, that too hints at the violence that is inherent in the art.

So, we could argue about the semantics of what violence is and when it begins. That would be the only argument I could see! Someone might say it is not violent, because it is not put into action. My point is that the mere absence of violence in action does not equate to "non-violence". We still must recognize the violence that is inherent, or a better word, the potential lethality. I think what makes it distinct deals with the word "willingness". That makes the difference.

Of course now we head down the road of pacifism and what that means!

One thing that does disturb me about the whole "best defense is a good offense" is that we really haven't resolved the whole issue of conflict. Just because the person does not attack, does not mean that conflict is not still present....it hasn't manifested itself!

So, we must go beyone this simple quote and that is where compassion comes into play. The ability to keep your enemy at distance with strength and strategy..then have the skills to accept him, understand him, and resolve conflict.

So, If you are reading this Justin, I hope this demonstrates how complex the issues we are grappling with in the philosophy of aikido!
Excellent post!

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
It is much more complex that simply "I read that O'Sensei said aikido is about non-violence so it must be true".
I very much agree with this part of the post.

As a matter of fact Aikido is about non-violence. Aikido or translated as the Art of Peace, is a means of stopping violence, using violence. This is how i see it.

So as an end result, there is no violence. However violence is still used. I can definitely see how things could get confusing lol.

Last edited by aikigirl10 : 06-07-2006 at 11:39 AM. Reason: add
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Old 06-07-2006, 11:56 AM   #979
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
.. , you will see that several times Ueshiba mentions how aikido can be used to take on multiple opponents as well as the effectiveness of aikido. This would definitely hint that aikido involves violence.
It is difficult to take O-Sensei's words litteraly. For instance, I have a different approach to randori. There are two different applications of randori.

First there is a situation often called "Steven Seagal's Students" randori where multiple people initiate the attack all at once. While observing that type of an attack in a dojo, I ask myself a question:
"What is going on?" Imagine what would happen if some of them finally became skillful. We might as well send them all to train to play Football or Rugby and many US teams would pay hefty salaries to have them on board. Have you ever heard of anyone who has gotten such an offer?

The second type of randori that involves taking opponents one by one also doesn't make any sense in real life situations. Facing many attackers at once is unrealistic. The attackers will kick you, punch you if you are already defeated, but if you throw the first punch, others will never risk having a similar experience. By saying, that aikido is an art of killing people with a single blow, I did not mean to compare it to violence in a common sense of the word.

In Aikido there is no middle ground, you either take a life or spare a life. Killing is always the last resort. If you throw someone in blink of an eye while securing their fall, I believe that it can be terrifying enough to the person falling and quite "scary movie" like for the spectators to cease further attacks. Sometimes you may need to repeat the throw, however usually a single throw is threatening enough to resolve the situation.
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Old 06-07-2006, 12:35 PM   #980
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Maciej,

The comments about Steven Seagal's students: Good point, I have made this same argument a number of times concerning many internal martial arts and practicality. I too believe if there were people in reality that could do this, then we would see bleed over into other areas of sports etc.

On making the first strike: Now you get into the whole "pre-emptive strike" issue. An interesting topic one we could tie to current politics for the U.S. Anyway..... You could argue that intent and threat of force was the "first strike" therefore, I think it is possible in a given situation to throw the first physical punch or make the first physical move and still be within the ethical boundaries of aikido.

On the "no middle ground thing" I have to respectfully disagree with you on this one. Although, I am betting that we are talking semantics here. In my view, there is a spectrum or continum of violence or force. on one end there is no action, on the other their is action. You could also label it no action and lethality.

I think this is an over simplistic view of things. It assumes we only basically have two choices "spare a life" or "take a life". When we spare a life we don't really accomplish peace or harmony necessarily.

Assume we negate someone with power and basically say "I could kill you, but I showed you mercy and I spared your life". Certainly a humane choice if you have the ability to control that situation. However, it does not necessarily fix the situation.

Look at current events for examples. The U.S has the ability to dominate most countries, and we can ever so graciously say "We show you mercy and we will spare you small powerless country". It does not resolve conflict as there is no healing process involved.

I am probably not explaining this very well!

Anyway, in theory, aikido offers us the ability to recieve negative energy, and take that energy and go further than sparing the life, but returning that energy and empowering that person to standback up on his feet.

So, to me, there is much more at stake that simply choosing to use lethal force or not using it. That is what I did in karate! In aikido I think there is a "middle ground" a "return of energy" or a "healing process" that happens after the initial assault that allows us to understand or reconcile or rebalance...depending on how you look at it!

It is what distingushes aikido as a philosophy and a martial art. It is not because it is the ultimate in self defense or practical fighting skills!
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Old 06-07-2006, 07:45 PM   #981
JohnSweval
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Joe,
When I was in my teens, I studied Judo for some years. I thought that this would not be of any use in a "real" fight. In Judo, since it is a sport, you use all your energy to complete a throw or grapple, but like-wise so is your opponent. So, maybe, if you are lucky, you get a decent throw 1 in 20 times - remember they know the counters.
So, I got attacked, and instinctively, I drove into the throw - well, the attacker bounced off a wall about 5' away. Never occured to me, they did not know what was coming nor how to defend.

So in a fight, you might not just "step up" and use Aikido, but there is a very high probability that at some point you are going to find yourself in a configuration where you "know just what to do" and it will come naturally to you - but not them. I would never walk around and feel that I am protected by my "Aikido sphere".

Plus, you have learned how to fall safely, probable one of the greatest skills anyone can learn. This skill alone has amazing power.

Also, there is the physical condition component that you need to consider. Remember, you are training on a regular basis, so your muscles and reflexes are being challenged on a regular basis.

Finally, studying Aikido should help lead you to a path where you can avoid the need for physical conflict, but if there is no avoiding it, conflict is not completely alien to you and you have a "tool set" at your disposal - which gives you an edge.

John

Last edited by JohnSweval : 06-07-2006 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 06-07-2006, 08:04 PM   #982
aikigirl10
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Maciej Jesmanowicz wrote:
By saying, that aikido is an art of killing people with a single blow, I did not mean to compare it to violence in a common sense of the word.
Did i compare it to violence in a common sense of the word?
I dont think i did. I didn't even say or imply that you did.

I was agreeing with you.

And i completely understand that you can't take Ueshiba's words literally. Violence today is much different than it was in the early 20th century. But, it's pretty hard to say that there is absolutely no violence in aikido, unless you just don't know anything about aikido. Throwing someone is a violent act, even if it is done with good reason, it is still a violent act. The same applys for pinning someone, or hitting someone with a jo.

I don't see how anyone can possibly say that there is no violence in aikido.

violence

n 1: an act of aggression (as one against a person who resists);

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=violence

Acts of agresson against a person who resists are commonly seen in aikido, not one person here can deny that.

Last edited by aikigirl10 : 06-07-2006 at 08:05 PM. Reason: add
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Old 06-07-2006, 08:55 PM   #983
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
Acts of agresson against a person who resists are commonly seen in aikido, not one person here can deny that.
Only because I like playing with words: but are we really acting agressively when someone resists our movement? If we perform the mechanics properly, Aikido waza take very little effort, even against great resistance. In my mind, it takes no real agressive action on my part to negate the resistance of an attacker (assuming I do the technique properly).
Other than that, the first 6 or so definitions given on that web page describe an intent to damage, for the most part, with i think one exception being the description of turbulent activity, of which we could argue a throw might be I suppose, but it still leaves room for debate as to what constitutes sufficient turbulence to be considered a "violent" flow.
Ok, I'm done wasting everyone's time now
Take care,
Matt
ps-run-on sentences are a specialty of mine, only matched by my pour abilitie too spehl <----for comic effect, I swear!

Last edited by mathewjgano : 06-07-2006 at 08:57 PM.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 06-07-2006, 09:13 PM   #984
aikigirl10
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote:
Only because I like playing with words: but are we really acting agressively when someone resists our movement? If we perform the mechanics properly, Aikido waza take very little effort, even against great resistance. In my mind, it takes no real agressive action on my part to negate the resistance of an attacker (assuming I do the technique properly).
Other than that, the first 6 or so definitions given on that web page describe an intent to damage, for the most part, with i think one exception being the description of turbulent activity, of which we could argue a throw might be I suppose, but it still leaves room for debate as to what constitutes sufficient turbulence to be considered a "violent" flow.
Ok, I'm done wasting everyone's time now
Take care,
Matt
ps-run-on sentences are a specialty of mine, only matched by my pour abilitie too spehl <----for comic effect, I swear!
Now you're just nit-picking.

I don't know about everyone else here, but I would definitely want my aikido to be aggressive. If someone comes into attack me, i want to be right in their face with a technique, before they even have time to think. Does this mean it has to be done with a lot of force , no not necessarily. Does this mean it has to be brutal, no of course not.

And the reason I didn't pick one of the first 5 or so definitions is because Maciej stated that he wasn't using violence in a "common sense of the word". Therefore, i showed him and anyone else who was interested how the word ''violence" could be applicable to aikido.

I hope this clears things up.
*Paige*
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Old 06-08-2006, 01:08 AM   #985
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
Now you're just nit-picking.
Yeah I know I was just feeling a bit impish. Osumimasen desu.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 06-08-2006, 02:42 AM   #986
Richard Langridge
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Ok, ok, but is it violent to throw someone who comes in with a lot of energy, and hence gets thrown hard?
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Old 06-08-2006, 04:10 AM   #987
Mark Freeman
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Richard Langridge wrote:
Ok, ok, but is it violent to throw someone who comes in with a lot of energy, and hence gets thrown hard?
No, it's good fun, the faster you come in, the faster you leave

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 06-08-2006, 11:57 AM   #988
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
And the reason I didn't pick one of the first 5 or so definitions is because Maciej stated that he wasn't using violence in a "common sense of the word". Therefore, i showed him and anyone else who was interested how the word ''violence" could be applicable to aikido.
I am sorry Paige. It was not my intention to argue. Your post just inspired me and let to express my thoughts. Please notice - by saying: ".. common sense .." I excluded killing from violence to explain my point of view.
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Old 06-08-2006, 03:38 PM   #989
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Thank you Kevin. You made your point. In a global perspective I agree. The first strike doesn't resolve a situation. However, there is a big difference between defending yourself on a street and fighting a war since in a war we really don't know if the parties are interested in putting an end to it. I just pointed out how a common threat on a street can be resolved with the use of aikido. In most situations on the streets you are not facing skillful fighters at all. Certainly, there are no guarantees, that once you scare a guy, he will not turn around and use a firearm against you. However having such a skill helps, and what is also important, it gives you confidence to stop someone else's street fight, something that you can already give credit to Aikido - a Peaceful Martial Art.

You are right, sometimes a single phrase cannot explain the issue. Certainly, I did not mean the "throw the first punch" as an attack, but as a response to the first attack. Also, by saying that "in aikido there is no middle ground", I just distinguished it from other martial arts. All aikido techniques (!!), selected by O-Sensei, can be, and, in my opinion, must be performed in a way to spare uke's life. Each fall can be fatal so when uke falls to the ground he needs to be thrown with control to protect him from breaking his neck (just like in judo).

Please understand. I do not intend to tell you what aikido is about. This is my own understanding of Morihei Ueshiba's development. Sometimes I see people who try to attribute too much to aikido. For me, aikido is simply a skill. In a threatening situation by showing aikido skills instead of threatening with words, it is possible to resolve a situation. Seeing that more and more people use it may be a good sign for the future.
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Old 06-08-2006, 05:08 PM   #990
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
And i completely understand that you can't take Ueshiba's words literally. Violence today is much different than it was in the early 20th century. But, it's pretty hard to say that there is absolutely no violence in aikido, unless you just don't know anything about aikido. Throwing someone is a violent act, even if it is done with good reason, it is still a violent act. The same applys for pinning someone, or hitting someone with a jo.

I don't see how anyone can possibly say that there is no violence in aikido.
It wasn't and isn't just Ueshiba who says that aikido is non-violent, but many other aikidoka, therefore the early 20th century comment is irrelevant IMO.

Compare the resolution strategies in aikido to some of those taught by Rutten in a street fighting video of his, for example, where he shows how to shatter someone's knee when they merely talk about your spouse, and how to strike them a half dozen times when they merely tell you you are sitting in their seat, and it is pretty obvious to see what is violent and what isn't.


Justin

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Old 06-08-2006, 06:50 PM   #991
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

I suspect you're confusing Bas's well known humour with reality. Aikido does of course have violent aspects. To say different betrays either a lack of knowledge of aikido or quite a different definition of violence to what the rest of us are using.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 06-08-2006, 10:00 PM   #992
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Maciej Jesmanowicz wrote:
I am sorry Paige. It was not my intention to argue. Your post just inspired me and let to express my thoughts. Please notice - by saying: ".. common sense .." I excluded killing from violence to explain my point of view.
No offense was taken Maciej.

I actually didn't see it as arguing, i just really wanted to state a point lol. Sorry if i came off that way.

*Paige*
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Old 06-09-2006, 05:16 AM   #993
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

I'm pretty sure O'sensei said about ikkyo "First smash the eyes". Sorry I don't know exactly where I heard that quote, but I think it's one that's often used.
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Old 06-09-2006, 05:17 AM   #994
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Oh ok it's on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aikido
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Old 06-09-2006, 08:04 AM   #995
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Maciej,

I agree wtih your comments....like I think I said, it is probably all semantics. Words can mean alot! I do think that it is not so much the techniques that were chosen by O'sensei, but the intent, and method in which he employed them that best communicates his message. That is what makes the art unique.
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Old 06-09-2006, 08:10 AM   #996
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Justin wrote:

Quote:
Compare the resolution strategies in aikido to some of those taught by Rutten in a street fighting video of his, for example, where he shows how to shatter someone's knee when they merely talk about your spouse, and how to strike them a half dozen times when they merely tell you you are sitting in their seat, and it is pretty obvious to see what is violent and what isn't.
Having seen a few of Bas' videos I have to agree with the humor opinion on this. I just wrote about this in my reply to Maciej. It is not so much about the techniques as it is about the intent and attitude behind them. The techniques in aikido are not particularly special, it is the methodology that conveys the message and illustrates to us in a physical manner the options we have available to make choices when we develop skill.

If you study aikido long enough you will typically learn not to confuse reality with the DO. Meaning that what you practice in the dojo is an ideal along a philosophical path. How you actually implement it physically may be totally different. Again, it is not about what you do, but how you do it.

It is conceivable to fire a gun and kill someone and still be within the confines of aikido. We were just discussing this on another thread which escapes me right at this moment.
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Old 06-09-2006, 08:12 AM   #997
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Richard wrote:

Quote:
I'm pretty sure O'sensei said about ikkyo "First smash the eyes". Sorry I don't know exactly where I heard that quote, but I think it's one that's often used.
I am sure he did. He seemed to really understand the paradox that is present between the evils of violence and war and peace. A fine line. I think aikido does a pretty good job of walking the chasm on this line.
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Old 06-09-2006, 08:13 AM   #998
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

is everyone having a nice day?
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Old 06-09-2006, 08:14 AM   #999
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

oh look...we are at 1000! couldn't resist! timing and Ma'ai are everything.
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Old 06-09-2006, 08:59 AM   #1000
Jorge Garcia
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Re: Aikido does not work at all in a fight.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
timing and Ma'ai are everything.
"Timing and Maai"? I thought it was making 5 posts that did it.
I admit though that I got a good laugh when I saw what you had done. It reminded me of the Seinfeld episode when George Costanza was at the birthday party when he thought there was a fire. Thanks, you made my day!

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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