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Old 03-07-2003, 12:02 PM   #1
Judd
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
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Real Tests

I've read a lot on this forum and others about the "real world" stories of aikido helping people resolve fights, verbal arguments, etc, and it's great reading material. But I must confess, sometimes I daydream about using techniques on attackers, bullies from high-school, etc. I know it sounds cheesy, but sometimes I wish I could have the chance to see for myself if I could use aikido to end a conflict. I know, I know, I should't WANT conflict to find me, in fact, I constantly hear Yoda saying, "Adventure, excitement, a Jedi craves not such things". I guess it could be compared to a green soldier on the front sort of feeling. Anyway, is this a normal feeling of any young practitioner? Does it just melt away with dedicated practice?
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Old 03-07-2003, 12:15 PM   #2
shihonage
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Quote:
I constantly hear Yoda saying, "Adventure, excitement, a Jedi craves not such things"
Ladies and gentlemen, I hereby introduce Yoda - the role model and the source of wisdom for the new American youth.

Last edited by shihonage : 03-07-2003 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 03-07-2003, 12:19 PM   #3
Judd
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That WAS a joke, by the way.
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Old 03-07-2003, 12:28 PM   #4
DaveO
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Generally; any desire to try using a martial art in a fight situation disappears the moment a fight occurs - any false confidence is wiped out fairly quickly.

Youth and excitement can breed the desire to 'try Aikido out' in a fight; I would say the feeling goes away as time and maturity within the art establish themselves.

Answers are only easy when they're incomplete.
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Old 03-07-2003, 12:49 PM   #5
akiy
 
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I've heard stories that many of the founder's uchideshi went out to "test their mettle." Shioda sensei relates at least one such incident in his book, "Aikido Shugyo."

-- Jun

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Old 03-07-2003, 02:54 PM   #6
John Boswell
 
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The more I train, the more I feel I have nothing to prove to anyone but myself and my instructor.

Would it be nice to finish a fight that someone else started? Sure. Neat to show off all you've learned and win the admiration of the crowd? Yup. But...

The one fight I finished that was the most SERIOUS fight of all... was a fight I was never a party to.

Years ago, I was at a friends apartment, just relaxing and having a beer. My buddy Joe, ex-navy SEAL, comes over and tells us his troubles and we pop a beer for him and try to get his mind off his troubles. NEXT... along come two co-workers who are out on the town and looking for something to do! Anything would do for these guys... women or fighting, they really didn't care. SO... we're all sitting around talking and Joe said a joke about one of the other guys' girlfriends. (she really was stupid, but he didn't mean to rub it in... but did) Anyways... these two guys are now wanting a piece of Joe, who is standing so cool... so calm... so freaking ready for whatever.

*BLING* Light goes on in my head... two drunk guys VS. Navy SEAL = two dead drunk guys at the bottom of the stairs. I had to do some FAST talking to calm the situation down and get them to leave. Right or Wrong did NOT matter... we had to have a ZERO fight or someone was going to end up dead. And no, I am not exaggerating.

Five minutes later, two pissed off drunk guys are leaving, I've got the adrineiline rush from hell, Joe is laughing and all is right with the world for the moment.

That Joe COULD take on multiple attackers and win the fight was never an issue. That he WOULD win was the issue.

Winning isn't everything. Neither is proving what you can do. Let it be enough to know that you are capable and save a life instead.

2 cents...

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Old 03-08-2003, 06:22 AM   #7
Jim ashby
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There is a very good book (and a tv programme) in the UK called "Animal day. Pressure testing the martial arts" by Geoff Thompson. In the real situation Sensei Thompson put various martial artists under pressure of NHB (REALLY no rules) fighting where they coud get harmed. The book made really good reading and the animal days on the mat were a real eye opener.

Have fun.

Vir Obesus Stola Saeptus
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Old 03-08-2003, 08:52 PM   #8
Kevin Leavitt
 
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I think the longer you study, and the older you become you feel the need to prove yourself less. I have found that to be the case.

I think as you truly internalize your art, we have less to prove.

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Old 03-09-2003, 11:18 PM   #9
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
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This actually happens here at Carleton college...in a way. Not fights, per se. But there's a bit of buzz around about aikido, and when someone asks, it is /enormously/ tempting to say "Here, punch me" and then do something horrible to their wrist.

This is a very bad thing to do. (I hear a thousand 'duhs', but it took me a minute. ^_-)

I'm reminded by the story in the Spiritual section of aikiweb about the TKD instructor confrontationally approaching the aikido sensei, who then simply taught him some aikido.

Aikido makes you stronger in a way. We like that: it makes us feel capable and such. But I think there's danger (I've fallen for it a few times) of turning the confidence boost that I imagine many martial arts provide into a surge of arrogance.

I think I'm starting to understand why I've heard a few sensei (O-Sensei included!) turn down the opportunity to discuss aikido in casual conversation.
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Old 03-10-2003, 09:21 AM   #10
Conrad
Dojo: Ronin Bushido/ Lexington, KY
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Hey Judd don't worry about it too much, that feeling will go away, as you said, with time and practice. However, I'm sure that more than a few of us (in the beginning) has had the fantasy of being at a mall or a market place, and seeing some thug grabbing an old ladies purse. As the guy makes his get away (path which just so happens to be right toward you)…as he approaches, running top speed, you step in with a "big ol' irimi and lay the guy out. Then you grab the guy and put him in an ikiyo pin until the authorities arrive.

As you practice and become more confident in your abilities, the need to prove yourself will (hopefully) be fulfilled by your training partners. Just train hard, and be sure to learn what's being taut.

Have fun!

Jason
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Old 03-10-2003, 09:31 AM   #11
Kensai
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Judd, I also know the feeling that you have. I am pretty young (20)and constantly think about appiliation's in real life. I just think it is human nature and as you get better and better fighting becomes less important.

"Minimum Effort, Maximum Effciency."
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Old 03-10-2003, 09:41 AM   #12
Larry Feldman
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Joe Hyamms has an interesting chapter on this in his book Zen in the Martial Arts. The chapter is called Winning by Losing, it sounds a lot like John's experince.
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Old 03-10-2003, 09:47 AM   #13
Larry Feldman
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Joe Hyamms has an interesting chapter on this in his book Zen in the Martial Arts. The chapter is called Winning by Losing, it sounds a lot like John's experince.
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Old 03-10-2003, 09:50 AM   #14
stoker
Dojo: Dallas Judo & Jiu Jitsu
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A few years ago I had a really short male (about 5'2") roar up to me and loudly proclaim he was going to kick my arse. I'm 6'5" and was 300 lbs at the time. Now I've got two small kids with me and a wife with me in a shopping mall. Lots of people looking at me. So I calmly tell him that he would need a ladder to reach my but. Guy looks at me with a very confused look on his face and then wandered off. I would have hated to go to court saying I was defending my family and myself when this tiny man assaulted me.

dave stokes
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Old 03-10-2003, 10:11 AM   #15
Lyle Bogin
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I understand where you are coming from. I still get the occasional pang of "what if.." from time to time, but it continues to subside as I get older for three reasons.

One is accumulation of injury and the subsequent lesson about the fragile nature of the body. If you chose to take challenge fights, you will get hurt. The second is responsibilty...it is hard to attend classes and work with a sprained wrist or a bruised jaw or rib. The third is love for myself and my life. I want to be able to practice and enjoy life...and this seems more important than proving myself in a fight.

However, I understand what you mean. Fighting is like a right of passage for many martial artists. However, street violence is a bit extreme...you can find other more controlled ways of settling your curiosity. I suggest trying lessons at other schools, and sparring with your potential classmates at the end of class. Many schools, especially sport combat schools, kickboxing school, and definately kung fu schools, will be filled with young men in your situation, looking to prove to themselves that they are tough enough.

So, go fight if you must, but be careful, know when to quit, and remember the golden rule.
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Old 03-10-2003, 11:57 AM   #16
Judd
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
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Thanks to everyone for the great replies!

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Old 03-10-2003, 12:37 PM   #17
Bronson
 
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It's natural to feel like this. I still get it occasionally but admittedly less frequently than I used to.

A couple of weeks ago I was leaving the dojo rather late at night (as usual). After locking the door I turned around and saw, out of the corner of my eye, two people walking my direction across the parking lot. There really isn't anything else around us and I was surprised to see them there. I reacted immediately and instinctively. I took the large car key I had in my hand and jabbed it into the car door lock, got inside, locked the door and drove away

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 03-10-2003, 01:34 PM   #18
shihonage
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Quote:
Paul Sanderson-Cimino wrote:
This actually happens here at Carleton college...in a way. Not fights, per se. But there's a bit of buzz around about aikido, and when someone asks, it is /enormously/ tempting to say "Here, punch me" and then do something horrible to their wrist.
There are ways to demonstrate without "doing something horrible to wrist".

Just make sure your level is sufficient to deal with unpredictable uke.
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Old 03-10-2003, 02:48 PM   #19
shihonage
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Case in point:

(this is in DiVX format)

http://playerhata.com/Videos/brian_fighting.avi
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Old 03-10-2003, 02:50 PM   #20
siwilson
Dojo: Kenshinkai Yoshinkan Aikido
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Quote:
Jun Akiyama (akiy) wrote:
I've heard stories that many of the founder's uchideshi went out to "test their mettle." Shioda sensei relates at least one such incident in his book, "Aikido Shugyo."
You can buy "Aikido Shugyo" at...

http://www.shindokanbooks.com/shugyo.shtml

A bit of blaitant advertising but I've spoken to Chris and he is pretty cool and the book is awesome.

Osu!
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Old 03-11-2003, 02:32 AM   #21
mike lee
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play it safe

It's been my experience that when men reach the 1st-kyu level, they're tempted to go out and see if it "really works." There's many stories about aikido brown belts getting involved in altercations and then denying that they actually wanted to get involved in such a situation. Often, it was their subconscious mind that led the situation to arise in the first place.

A great lesson can be learned here. If one's subconscious mind can be used to lead one into a conflict, it can also be used to lead one away from a fight.

It's not really healthy to go out looking for trouble in modern American society for a number of reasons. One is that you could end up getting arrested and sued. Another is that the guy could have a number of friends with baseball bats, knives and guns, it may be the last brawl you ever encounter.

I think that if a young man really wants to fight they should join the Marines! Other options would be to take up a second martial art that has one-one-one competitions. It may not be an actuall fight, but it can give one a lot of "legal" experience as to what works and what doesn't.

Another option would be to go to San Diago, find out where the Navy SEALS like to hang out and drink, and insult one of them.
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