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Old 04-20-2003, 02:59 AM   #26
shadow
Dojo: Aiki Kun Ren (Iwama style)
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Quote:
Jesse Lee wrote:
A better example than all the preceding: consider the wrestler, intent on kicking your ass, who shoots for your legs. You do *not* want that homey to suck you up in a single-leg or double-leg takedown, b/c then for all your training, you are flat on your back underneath an angry wrestler. What is aikido's answer? Well, who knows, nobody trains for shoots in the "mainstream."
at my dojo we have trained against shooting before. its a matter of if the attacker wants to go towards the ground to get you, you help him into the ground with your hand pushing him further down on his head....

anyways the point is, basic attacks are trained so we can practice basic techniques the way morehei ueshiba taught. after a firm grasp of the basics (which really just teach your body how to move) you should be able to deal with a wide variety of attacks.

also branching out is usually encouraged by any kind of reasonable teacher, if you want to learn how to deal with shootfighting, go learn it and so on.

a third thing is we seem to forget that the large majority of people sincerely trained in martial arts are not the kind of people you will meet in the street unless you provoke the incident, or unless you are interested in competition. and if you did meet them you had certainly better be confident with your aikido because i think for the majority of us we will get a big shock in trying to dispatch someone sincerely trained in kung fu or any other art. whereas for the common thug it would be quite adequate, and the common thug aint gonna shoot for your legs, he is gonna try and punch your face.

there is so much more to aikido than simple self defense and it would serve your life better to practice those than worrying about who you can beat up.

happiness. harmony. compassion.
--damien--
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Old 04-20-2003, 05:47 AM   #27
shihonage
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This thread could benefit from less of "If you want your art to be martial, then don't study Aikido" people.
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Old 04-20-2003, 09:34 AM   #28
opherdonchin
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Attacks must be standardized to allow people to learn (and to depart from the standards too). If Phill's statement was directed to those who have gone above the beginning levels (maybe about Sandan and above), then I wholeheartedly agree
Sandan, huh. Pretty strict. Teachers have told me that each time you are attacked is different. The newest beginners deal with variations and varieties. In most dojos we train with students at all levels so we really see a lot of variants. That's not bad. That's part of the training.

I think that the average 4th kyu has the Aikido maturity to consider all sorts of variations on the standard attacks. Of course, I speak from traditions that teach the discovery and development of each individual's Aikido, and not from traditions focusing on perfect emulation of the sensei's movements.

I'm not saying that a 4th kyu needs to explore outside the standard attacks. I'm just saying there's nothing wrong with it.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 04-20-2003, 09:19 PM   #29
jimvance
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Quote:
Opher wrote:
Teachers have told me that each time you are attacked is different.
I won't argue with you on that point; everything is different. As a matter of fact, nothing is ever the same. Change is the only constant and even that is open to debate. But I was speaking more "within the functional system" level, not the "binding principles of being" level.
Quote:
Opher wrote:
The newest beginners deal with variations and varieties. In most dojos we train with students at all levels so we really see a lot of variants. That's not bad. That's part of the training.
Variants or deviants? At what point are they developing a "baseline" ability? If it happens at 4th kyu, then you are either training in a system that is light years ahead of mine or your standards are too low. Most 4th kyu at my dojo are happy if they can remember the order of the kata, or the gross mechanics of the movements involved. They are still acquiring basic knowledge of posture, timing, distance, and how to hit the target with effect. To change things at that level (or the levels up to about Sandan---yeah, I know I am stubborn!) just messes with the baseline ability and they don't learn to balance effectiveness and form. I would say that intensity of training should increase before major changes are made in the approach (go faster and stronger, or slower with more intent as examples).

I understand that my approach is not the mainstream, but perhaps this explains a little bit of my reasoning behind my choice of Sandan as cutoff for variations allowed in the attacking patterns (kata).

Jim Vance
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Old 04-21-2003, 12:12 PM   #30
opherdonchin
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I don't really disagree with you, Jim. It's more that I think its only one of many options to approach training. There are schools and even whole styles where the goal is first to achieve some approximation of what Aikido 'should' be and only later (much later, as you say) to begin to explore how that relates to the individual.

I was brought up in a tradition that emphasizes the opposite ideal. That is, while I agree that at 4th kyu people are acquiring basic knowledge of posture, timing, distance and so on (just like I feel I'm still doing at shodan), in my schools we would emphasize that it is THEIR posture, THEIR timing, and THEIR distance that they need to learn. Their's and not the sensei's. We were encouraged, as early as possible, to own our own Aikido and to think about and learn to recognize our own individual style rather than to focus on emulating exactly what the sensei had done.

It's an interesting balance, I think. Most interesting, to me, is the way that schools and styles are so often extreme in their emphasis on this issue.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 04-21-2003, 12:45 PM   #31
Jesse Lee
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Quote:
This thread could benefit from less of "If you want your art to be martial, then don't study Aikido" people.
So could the rest of Aikido IMHO
Quote:
there is so much more to aikido than simple self defense and it would serve your life better to practice those than worrying about who you can beat up.
Great advice, thanks! But obviously the post was re. aikido's training effectiveness against realistic street attacks, not about
Quote:
who (I) can beat up.
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Old 04-21-2003, 12:52 PM   #32
Jesse Lee
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Sorry Hagen, LOL, looks like your thread got hijacked again and turned into
Quote:
Aikido-is-or-is-not-effective
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Old 04-21-2003, 10:11 PM   #33
jxa127
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Quote:
Jesse Lee wrote:
If it is as Phill Green says, "I am always amused when I see a fight ... it is just the old grab the shirt and punch the other guy in the head," then we should train often for someone grabbing our gi and punching us in the head.
Well, in the AAA, techniques from that attack are a 2nd kyu test requirement. Techniques from a front kick are a 1st kyu text requirement.

I think part of the problem with this kind of topic is that while we can all talk about things at a very general level, the discussion tends to break down when we get specific.

Regards,

-Drew

----
-Drew Ames
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Old 04-22-2003, 05:53 AM   #34
Hagen Seibert
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Quote:
Jesse Lee wrote:
Sorry Hagen, LOL, looks like your thread got hijacked again and turned into

Ha-ha, never mind, I was expecting something like that.

Seems my question is at the second step, which we cannot discuss if we did not agree about the first step (the Aikido-is-or-is-not-effective-matter).

Now to get full into that:

Yes, Aikido can be effective as the principles work for all attacks.

No, most (mainstream) Aikido is not effective as 98% of training is on non-realistic attack forms. Of course we do need these forms to get to learning principles like breakin balance, center, etc. But having learnt the principles does not mean to be able to instantly apply them on every attack form. Many people think this way, though its delusion. You need to train for THAT, too.

Now some peolpe on this thread gave the advice to do that training privately, after official lessons. Of course Ive been going that way already, also looking into other arts, JuJitsu was very valuable on that. BUT, that means finally changing Aikido, and does not resolve concerns about Aikido in general.

Aikido is the thing the founder had developed, and I think there is no doubt about the set of attack forms were his choice. He should have had his reasons for developing it into the present form of Aikido we observe. Why did he choose and favour those non-realistic forms?
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Old 04-22-2003, 09:26 AM   #35
opherdonchin
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Quote:
Hagen wrote:
Now some peolpe on this thread gave the advice to do that training privately, after official lessons. Of course Ive been going that way already, also looking into other arts, JuJitsu was very valuable on that. BUT, that means finally changing Aikido, and does not resolve concerns about Aikido in general.
My advice was slightly more specific: IF you aren't getting that curing class AND it is something you feel you need THEN you can consider seeking it outside of class.

The problem with this discussion is not that it was way-laid by discussions about effectiveness. The problem is that there is no 'Aikido in general.' Each style is different, each dojo is different, each teacher in each dojo is different. Some students in some dojos have this issue with their own training, and supporting them and helping them find what they need is useful. Trying to resolve 'concerns about Aikido in general' seems irrelevant here.

As to why O'Sensei focused on these attacks: I think the reasons for this are clear and have been spelled out in a number of posts. That doesn't mean that you have to agree with the choice or limit yourself in the same way. There is a lot of value, I think, in trying to understand O'Sensei's choice more deeply, but that doesn't seem to be your question.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 04-27-2003, 05:39 AM   #36
mike lee
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everybody's kung-fu fighting

Top martial artists are always using "aiki." Just take a look at Jet Li and what do you see?
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Old 04-27-2003, 05:49 AM   #37
Kelly Allen
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Re: everybody's kung-fu fighting

Quote:
Mike Lee (mike lee) wrote:
Top martial artists are always using "aiki." Just take a look at Jet Li and what do you see?
Can't see any thing he moves way too fast!
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Old 04-28-2003, 06:57 PM   #38
Jeff R.
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Defensive and Offensive Aikido (Aikido vs. Boxing)

I've read a lot of posts where there seems to be much concern about the efficacy of Aikido against boxing or street fighting. I have noticed much concern, as well, about the attacks used in Aikido training. But there may be another way to think about things, not so much as to whether "this" or "that" will work, but instead about the way the situation is approached.

In Aikido training, the attacks are based upon traditional training. This is necessary for anyone, of any rank, to gain a grasp upon the dynamics of the techniques, the nuances that will someday bring out the "magic" of what we are doing. However, it is unlikely that we will see shomenuchi or yokomen with such grave committment from an attacker on the street, just as it is unlikely that an attacker will throw a punch out and hold it there while a Kung-Fu practitioner throws sixty-three strikes at the assailant--I speak from experience. A fighter on the street, especially a boxer, or a good martial artist strikes with a relative center. In the dojo, we give up our centers for the attack, giving Nage something to work with. A good puncher keeps his body moving as a unit and extends punches without committing his center, but still using its power.

Over the past twenty years, I have tried to integrate street attacks--american fighting--into Aikido training. Aikido is a martial art, and its purpose is to resolve conflict. I see nothing wrong with keeping it practical by evolving with the culture to which it will be applied. Besides, the principle of Aikido is a state of mind; giving the attacker an option, not taking control by being stronger. If we can't apply this concept to "American" style attacks, what's the point in learning Aikido as a martial art? How can we possibly apply Ainuke? If one wants to experience harmony, but not necessarily to be able to resolve an attack from a trained fighter, then one might as well study ballroom dancing. (And I did at one time.)

Anyway, there are several options when facing a boxer. One is to run. Considering Marubashi, this is not such a good idea, especially for your spirit. Unless you're facing a life threatening situation which you have no chance to control, then running is suicide.

Attacking the boxer head-on with boxing is, again, suicide, unless you are a bigger, stronger, or quicker fighter.

Trying to apply Aikido to a boxer's attack is not a good idea, either. When a strike is thrown without the full commitment of the center, and if you can grab hold of it at all, latching on to it for an attempt at Kotegaeshi is not an intelligent application. You will most likely end up yanked off your feet, or bapped in the nose.

But this is defensive Aikido, the kind we train for in the dojo when an attack is committed. Against a boxer, I have used offensive Aikido with success. It is still Aikido, still Ainuke, still non-violent, but it moves differently. It is moving with the strike, not quite evading, but fading--musubi--and then entering with the boxer's retraction, and then executing a full-body control, control of the fighter's center with his help, but not trying to take it from him when he's not giving it.

The techniques work well, adaptations of the originals for American fighting. Aikido should be practical for any culture.

But the blending is essential. Punching and kicking is a very base ability. Blending with someone's spirit and controlling the situation non-violently is something much more difficult to obtain, but well worth the training and time. We tend to desire instant gratification and quick answers. Aikido works very well against a boxer, but only if you can blend with his intent, not with his strike. Intent can be a blink, a change in breathing, something subtle--a tell--that says it's going to happen, the strike is coming, the trigger is going to be pulled, and the essence of Aikido is being sensitive to that intent--in fact, to redirect the intent without the need for physical interference. Don't grab the attacker's strikes, don't use muscle, blend and take in his center, the intent is the spiritual signal to move.

If you are worried about wether or not Aikido will work against a fighter, then your questioning may elicit enough fear to make you leave Aikido for something more tangible, with more directly visible results. But have faith in yourself, your spirit, all those who have trusted Aikido for decades, and it will not let you down. It will take time. Ask fellow students to practice with "American" strikes, and work on blending, forget the punches, blend with the motion of the quick jab, become fluid, and then you will be like a glob of honey on the bear's paw when he snatches it from the bee-hive.

Aikido works. Do us all a favor--make it work! I want to learn what you figure out.
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Old 04-28-2003, 08:34 PM   #39
Thor's Hammer
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In my humple opinion, it's a lot easier to dodge and blend with the hook coming from way out of left field that most people throw, as opposed to the straight on punches we learn in the dojo.
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Old 04-29-2003, 03:55 AM   #40
mike lee
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know the game

Boxer, iriminage, game over.
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Old 04-29-2003, 04:24 AM   #41
happysod
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why do these threads always remind me of Monty Python's "while attacked with a piece of fruit"...

I actually agree with most of the posters, even the ones arguing against each other - not just because I'm slightly unhinged, but because for specific situations, different responses can be equally applicable. Rather than focus on attack x = defense y (with a side order of blending) I prefer to focus on me and my health. Once you start putting boxes around how you're going to defend against a certain style of attack, you lose one of the most important parts of combat, flexibility. Trust your own responses and instincts, make sure that (in as loving and pleasant a way as possible of course ) you remove the threat and accept you're going to get hurt.

Train against as many different types of attacks as possible, this does help, but the main thing is to maintain your focus and intent in your training.
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Old 04-29-2003, 05:00 AM   #42
ian
 
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Yeh - I'd agree with the above post completely. People imagine a faceless attacker doing set moves. Damien was talking about kung-fu. One thing that I've noticed is the similarity of aikido with many kung-fu techniques. Although we focus less on internal energy and strength development, and more on foot movement, chin na (grappling) techniques are very similar. Comparing fighting techniques to me seems stupid. Aikido addresses most grappling techniques from Japanese, Korean and Chinese derived martial arts. Effectiveness, in my mind, comes from a certain level of physical and psychological ability and intense training whilst still being adaptable.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 04-29-2003, 07:34 AM   #43
Jeff R.
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Wow. I have to apologize for stepping in. This issue has obviously already been thoroughly settled. I would just really like to hear about some actual practical experiences where someone has used Aikido for boxing/street-fighting techniques. There's no alterior motive here, no comparisons--only seeking to learn from those of you with experience.

Exercise and extend your Ki with conviction; feel its awesome power--just smile.
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Old 04-29-2003, 09:05 AM   #44
mike lee
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iriminage

Quote:
This issue has obviously already been thoroughly settled.
What was the issue? What was the settlement?
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Old 04-29-2003, 09:15 AM   #45
Jeff R.
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Re: iriminage

Quote:
Mike Lee (mike lee) wrote:
What was the issue? What was the settlement?
Aikido versus boxing/street fighting?

It seems pretty cut and dry--"Boxer, iriminage, game over."

But I'm not looking to debate philosophy, theory, and morality. Those issues are pretty consistent for me no matter what the form of Aikido is. I have put in a lot of time applying the "reverse" principles of Aikido techniques to boxing/street fighting attacks, and I had noticed that several people (perhaps on a different thread--I don't know, I'm new and I get lost) had been concerned with Aikido's applicability to those attacks. All I'm saying is that it definitely works well, and from experience, one needs to move quite differently from what is traditionally practiced for the attacks in the dojo. Therefore, if anyone has any insight or information based upon real experience, I'd really like to hear about it. I have no desire to debate in a forum, only to learn from what must be a wealth of resources.
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Old 04-29-2003, 10:34 AM   #46
Jeff R.
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With all due respect, regardless of whether you prefer haymakers over jabs, health and well being, flexibility, and accepting you're going to get hurt, doesn't change the fact that the street fighter who maintains a relative center doesn't care, and when you try and slap sankyo on his jab, he's going to bap you severely. Who's putting boxes around inflexibility? We all train with Iriminage off of Shomenuchi, now train with Iriminage off of a retracted jab. Stay flexible and realistic, train for what we're going to encounter as well as training in the traditional way. There should always be options. If you think you can throw a wrist lock on a boxer, or even effectively tenkan around a boxer's attack, (and when I say boxer, I mean any good fighter with a relative, non-committal center) then try it and let me know how it works for you, because unless you can blend with his attack and retraction, I can almost guarantee it's going to turn into a grappling match where the quicker and stronger is the victor. Then we're no longer doing Aikido.

Exercise and extend your Ki with conviction; feel its awesome power--just smile.
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Old 04-29-2003, 11:09 AM   #47
happysod
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"with all due respect" normally means "may all your extremities fall off painfully" doesn't it? Thanks Jeff

I don't think we're actually in any disagreement over how differing movements are needed for differing attacks and training for them is a good idea. In fact I agree with nearly everything that you say except (there had to be a but) for your reference to grappling not being aikido - why not?

I view aikido more as a concept in how to deal with combat rather than being rooted in any particular technique. Considering the multitude of differing styles out there, I'd be hard pushed to say what was and wasn't aikido from the point of view of technique(look at all the atemi threads). That's why my emphasis for dealing with any attack would be the same no matter what the attack (or style of attack) is - intent and focus, oh yes, and plain not giving up. I'd much prefer someone to do anything than go blank because they've forgotten the appropriate "aikdo technique".

Anyway you blackguard - that doth be my rebuttul so have at thee?
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Old 04-29-2003, 11:36 AM   #48
Jeff R.
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I should have used that [blackguard] for a username!

I'm sorry; I should have been clearer. It's not necessarily that grappling in and of itself is not Aikido, but that the principle of Aikido is to utilize Uke's attack and bring it to resolution through his own volition and your guidance. All too often have I seen--and experienced--grappling that turns into a strength contest. In that case there is only escalation and reciprocation rather than resolution. One of the most beautiful things to attain in this art is that fact that relative strength is not a factor in making the techniques work. If it were, then we'd all be in trouble at eighty-five years old! So, when the grappling turns into a struggle, especially in close quarters, then we can lose the essence of Aikido, regardless of our intentions, as the physical property turns into a wrestling match.

The cool thing about that, however, is that Chin Na can complement Aikido in a very non-violent way in those close-quarter circumstances. The circles are smaller, but the outcome can be the same as in Aikido--non-violent control, still leaving the attacker an option. This is provided that the initial Aikido technique, whether offensive or defensive, didn't come to fruition. I do, by the way, hate the term "offensive" for the method I've been describing, but it makes dynamic sense for anyone who hasn't tried it and needs a frame of reference for understanding the concept. It's more a matter of returning to Uke rather than leading him to you if he's not willing to make the commitment.

Last edited by Jeff R. : 04-29-2003 at 11:38 AM.

Exercise and extend your Ki with conviction; feel its awesome power--just smile.
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Old 05-13-2003, 12:25 AM   #49
Grappler
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When I see an aikidoka surviving in a ring with a decent kickboxer, I'll believe in it. I am not saying winning, just survive for 5 minutes without getting knocked out. If I see him in a ring with a decent wrestler, I would be equally impressed. So far I havent seen anything in Aikido that would help you against a very basic boxing jab, a basic kickboxing kneekick or a basic wrestling double-leg takedown...
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Old 05-13-2003, 01:43 AM   #50
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Quote:
Andrew Jones (Grappler) wrote:
So far I havent seen anything in Aikido that would help you against a very basic boxing jab, a basic kickboxing kneekick or a basic wrestling double-leg takedown...
Look harder

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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