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Old 05-06-2003, 07:33 AM   #1
Michael Neal
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What do you think is the most gentle martial art?

What do you think is the most gentle martial art?

Personally I would have to say something like Brazilian Jui Jitsu or Judo newaza, not Aikido.

I think that BJJ's application against an attacker on "the street" probably does less damage than most Aikido techniques.

This is not about what style is better just about what is more gentle.
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Old 05-06-2003, 08:22 AM   #2
sanosuke
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Quote:
What do you think is the most gentle martial art?
it's what Mr.Miyagi shows in "Karate Kid"
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Old 05-06-2003, 11:46 AM   #3
Kevin Wilbanks
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I agree about BJJ in theory. It's all about putting the other person in a helpless, uncomfortable position, in which causing damage is completely under the discretion of the one with the upper hand.

In Aikido, on the other hand, it seems like there is lots of room for uke to get hurt by accident, lack of knowledge about how to fall/react safely, etc... In general, in Aikido it seems more like the attacker gets out what they put in, and if they put in reckless, vicious energy, they are going to end up receiving it back some way or other.

Of course, that's all theory. In practice, the BJJ world seems largely populated by highly competitive, musclehead types who don't necessarily look like they would be looking to apply their skills kindly and gently if you pissed them off. The Aikido world seems largely populated by people more prone to merciful intentions, but poor conditioning and lack of real fighting-style training makes the chances that many of them would get the upper hand in the first place more doubtful.
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Old 05-06-2003, 11:51 AM   #4
Kevin Wilbanks
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Actually, tai chi as I've seen it practiced most places would have to be the gentlest. When attacked, the tai chi person could go into some smooth, gentle wave-like thing or attempt an uproot, whereupon they would quickly get their butt kicked, leaving the assailant completely unharmed. It doesn't get much gentler than that.
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Old 05-06-2003, 11:58 AM   #5
SmilingNage
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Pillow-do

I've heard attacking with pillows is largely ineffective. Though a good time is had by all

Dont make me, make you, grab my wrist.
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Old 05-06-2003, 12:32 PM   #6
Dave Miller
 
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Exclamation Define gentle:

If you mean gentle in the sense that uke never gets hurt, then I don't think there is any such art.

If you mean gentle in that any hurt that comes to uke is by his/her own energy being turned against them then it would be something like aikido, maybe BJJ, although what I have seen of BJJ relies a lot on the strength of tori.

DAVE

If you're working too hard, you're doing it wrong.
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Old 05-06-2003, 12:37 PM   #7
Michael Neal
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What I mean by gentle is causing the least amount of damage to the attacker while performing effective technique.
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Old 05-06-2003, 12:42 PM   #8
Michael Neal
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This does not count

http://www.ilram.com/M_taichimasters_temp.html
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Old 05-06-2003, 12:53 PM   #9
Dave Miller
 
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Quote:
Michael Neal wrote:
What I mean by gentle is causing the least amount of damage to the attacker while performing effective technique.
Again, you can "cause" lots of damage by performing kote gaeshi or even shomen ate but still be very slow, smooth and gentle.

The question becomes who really "caused" the damage? In many aikido techniques (such as kote gaeshi), uke has several opportunities to quit. The damage occurs because they persist in their attack and that's where the technique goes, not because tori desired to damage them.

The opposite of this would be striking arts where tori is actively seeking to damage uke to get them to quit. In aikido, damage is never the desired result (which is why we work so hard on ukemi) but is merely tolerated as a secondary consequence.

My $.02 worth.


DAVE

If you're working too hard, you're doing it wrong.
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Old 05-06-2003, 01:23 PM   #10
Bronson
 
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Quote:
Actually, tai chi as I've seen it practiced most places would have to be the gentlest.
Most places probably, but not from the guy I learned if from The form is choc-full-'o-nasty moves. Moves that target the eyes, temples, throat, groin, knees, armpit, perineum, floating ribs, solar plexus, diaphram....well you get the idea.

I think I'd have to agree with Kevin about BJJ having the most potential for gentleness. Of course I also do a style of aikido that can be very gentle to uke. Many of our falls simply sit uke down. Of course we can also step it up if need be but our baseline technique is pretty gentle. We're going off the theory that for most people it's easier to step-up the intensity/force than to step it down.

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 05-06-2003, 03:28 PM   #11
erikmenzel
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I have never regarded T'ai Chi Chuan as to soft or gentil. I found it to be very mean and powerfull

Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
Personal:www.kuipers-menzel.com
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Old 05-06-2003, 03:50 PM   #12
Dave Miller
 
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Quote:
Erik Jurrien Knoops (erikknoops) wrote:
I have never regarded T'ai Chi Chuan as to soft or gentil. I found it to be very mean and powerfull
I have heard the same thing. I think that most people see Tai Chi in the park and think that's all there is to it. It seems that it would be a little like seeing the Tegatana hon no Kata and thinking that's all there is to aikido.

DAVE

If you're working too hard, you're doing it wrong.
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Old 05-06-2003, 04:34 PM   #13
Kevin Wilbanks
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Quote:
Dave Miller wrote:
I have heard the same thing. I think that most people see Tai Chi in the park and think that's all there is to it. It seems that it would be a little like seeing the Tegatana hon no Kata and thinking that's all there is to aikido.
Not really. I've done some investigating into tai chi, and I think there are serious questions as to whether 99% of what's available in the U.S. has more than a superficial connection to essential elements of the original combat-ready art. Tai Chi used to be a comprehensive fighting art like any other form of Gung Fu - including striking, weapons, sparring, throwing, etc... - but that was a long, long time ago. Chinese arts do not have the same rigid honor system and trust-based, student-to-teacher lineage that Japanese arts do, and giving the real stuff to non-Chinese hardly ever happens. There may be a proud history and hints of powerful teachings still visible in the art, but if the contemporary practice consists of little more than graceful dancing, then I wouldn't expect it to prepare you for much more than graceful dancing.

I also tried out a form that purported to be more energetic and martially oriented for a couple of months, and watched someone with a decade of experience in it pretty carefully. Although what they were doing was more impressive than most of what one sees, there still wasn't anything to it other than two solo forms and a feet-planted pushing hands practice. If you think those practices are going to make you a competent street fighter then good luck to you.
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Old 05-06-2003, 05:27 PM   #14
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
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It seems to me that throwing someone who doesn't know how to fall is probably going to hurt them; though it depends. On the other hand, catching someone's energy and putting them into a control pin seems a lot less likely to hurt them. (I'm thinking like a nikkajo pin, for instance. Make it hard/impossible for them to get up, and let them calm down.)
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Old 05-06-2003, 08:08 PM   #15
Michael Neal
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Yes, I think some of the Aikido pins can be gentle when compared to striking or throwing. I guess it depends on your level of proficiency, for me doing ikkyo or nikkyo is like trying to rip the person's arm out of their socket.

As for BJJ (or in my case Judo) the groundfighting does seem alot like Aikido on the ground like someone mentioned before on these forums.

Last edited by Michael Neal : 05-06-2003 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 05-06-2003, 08:29 PM   #16
Arianah
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Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote:
Actually, tai chi as I've seen it practiced most places would have to be the gentlest.
No way! Those tai chi guys are scary bastards! I know I wouldn't want to end up in a dark alley with one of them...

http://www.arjbarker.com/arjimation/ep5.html

Sarah, giggling

Out of clutter, find simplicity.
From discord, find harmony.
In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.
-Albert Einstein
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Old 05-06-2003, 10:18 PM   #17
opherdonchin
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Kevin,

I had experience with a style of Tai Chi called Chen Pan-Ling. It's very popular in Israel, popularized by a guy named Nir Malhi who spent time with a master in Taiwan. The style combines Tai Chi with Shing Hi and Bagua and is quite martial and (from my limitied ability to judge) quite effective. They include paired practice of martial applications in every class. It's not easy to find, though.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 05-07-2003, 02:36 AM   #18
acot
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Tai Chi gentle.. HAAAAAAAA.. not when your trying to sleep and their music is blaring. Okay its a good excuse to go and join them.

ryan
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Old 05-07-2003, 02:41 AM   #19
rpnp
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Quote:
Actually, tai chi as I've seen it practiced most places would have to be the gentlest.
I have never practiced tai chi, but my sensei teaches it in his dojo. From what i have seen tai chi is very deadly and not even gentle.I don't know how any one can say its a gentle art.When i first started aikido i thought tai chi was just for health, but when i seen it in application it was scary.

I would have to agree with most of yall and say BJJ is the gentlest art i have seen. But don't underestimate a BJJ practitioner.

p.s. i would read a book called "Steal My Art: the life and times of a tai chi master" by: Stuart Alve Olson if you still think tai chi is a gentle art. Liang Tung Tsai did some amazing things!

Robert Parker

"All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts."

- James Allen
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Old 05-07-2003, 06:45 AM   #20
Michael Neal
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I am pretty sure most BJJ practitioners would be rather upset if they knew we were referring to their art as the most gentle

As for Tai CHi being deadly, I have some serious doubts about this. But then again this clip might prove that is is very deadly indeed:

Tai Chi Masters


Last edited by Michael Neal : 05-07-2003 at 06:48 AM.
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Old 05-07-2003, 07:37 AM   #21
Kevin Wilbanks
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Quote:
Robert Parker (rpnp) wrote:
I have never practiced tai chi, but my sensei teaches it in his dojo. From what i have seen tai chi is very deadly and not even gentle.I don't know how any one can say its a gentle art.When i first started aikido i thought tai chi was just for health, but when i seen it in application it was scary.
Really? How many people have you seen killed with tai chi techniques?
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Old 05-07-2003, 08:47 AM   #22
Dave Miller
 
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Quote:
Paul Sanderson-Cimino wrote:
It seems to me that throwing someone who doesn't know how to fall is probably going to hurt them
I agree completely. However, I would still call Aikido "gentle" when compared to percussive arts because the "hurt" is never the intended result but a secondary result.

I will grant you that the Aikidoka can always "ramp up" their technique in order to maximise the damage to the attacker (Segal seems to teach this in his dojo) but when done in the spirit of the founder, Aikido is very gentle and soft, with any harm to the attacker coming by their own hand.

DAVE

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Old 05-07-2003, 09:15 AM   #23
Kensai
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Every MA is powerful and soft in its own way. I dont actually believe there are soft MA out there, or hard for that matter.

Without people to actually conduct the movements of a MA it no longer excists. There are only hard and soft people.

"Minimum Effort, Maximum Effciency."
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Old 05-07-2003, 09:40 AM   #24
ian
 
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I've heard of plenty of knock-outs and delayed damage through tai-chi. I would say in its real form (i.e. not as an exercise for old people!) it is a deadly martial art. For example, one tai-chi technique is an elbow disloation, there are a few neck breaks and many of the vital points struck are deadly. The links between shaolin kung-fu and tai-chi are also quite strong.

Ian

P.S. I'd agree with Chris, though training methods of different martial arts can emphasis blending or minimisation of damage.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 05-07-2003, 12:53 PM   #25
Kevin Wilbanks
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All this talk about the deadliness of tai chi is exactly the kind of hypothesis and heresay that I was arguing against. Hypothetically, I could kill an assailant with a toothpick, if I poked in the right place... maybe I even heard a story about someone doing it somewhere once. This doesn't make weilding a toothpick a deadly martial art.

I think there are intriguing possibilities in the tai chi movement style. The relaxation could make for great speed, and the way they learn to transmit the force of the whole body through the limbs seems good. So what? Unless anyone has actually witnessed tai chi used to kill, I will continue to take talk of its deadliness as mythical nonsense.

Given the training methods, it seems pretty damned unlikely. It is well known in the world of sport and other types of physical performance that the carryover from training methods to performance are quite specific. If you want to be good at tennis, for instance, you spend a lot of time playing tennis, conditioning methods and elemental drills take a secondary and/or tertiary role. I do not think you will find one competitive tennis player anywhere in the world who spends 90% of their training time doing a 100-count slow dance that pantomimes tennis moves, the remaining 10% doing some kind of table-tennis drill in which moving the feet isn't allowed, and spends none of their time scrimaging or playing actual tennis, and has never been in a real game. Why should fighting be any different?
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