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Old 12-06-2000, 03:38 AM   #1
ian
 
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The practicality of Aikido keeps being brought into question in these pages, so I wondered to myself - what is it that makes people think it doesn't work? I've had to use it many times and been satisfied with the result both in terms of its effectiveness and with its ability to limit injury to yourself and your aggressors.

What I want to know is, based on actual encounters, what has happened to people that makes them think it is not practical, or has anyone had a failure of their Aikido?

[The only problem I had once was, although I had succesfully applied nikkyo and irimi-nage during a multiple attack I was pushed through a (open) door by a 3rd person; no injuries were sustained by anyone]

Ian
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Old 12-06-2000, 05:15 AM   #2
jvdz
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Different teachers emphazizing different things.

Jan van der Zee
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Old 12-06-2000, 08:46 AM   #3
Chuck Clark
 
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Human fear/insecurity.

Don't worry...nothin's gonna be alright!


Chuck Clark
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Old 12-07-2000, 08:17 AM   #4
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Unhappy

Quote:
ian wrote:
What I want to know is, based on actual encounters, what has happened to people that makes them think it is not practical, or has anyone had a failure of their Aikido?
Ian [/b]
Well Ian. The first time I ever applied a techniq was actually a friendly one (wich would make it work less well one would think) agaings one of those people who wants to test you because you train in a martial art. The guy wouldn't stop naging about me showing a technique to him so he took it in his own hands, litteraly. He grabbed my wrist( would you beleve it) and laughing asked me what I supposed to do agains something like that! I couldn't beleve it, but of some reason proceeded with a schoolbook Kaitennage... and it worked completely the way it should. He even took a step back with his foot( as we do as uke) and I could just continue with a pin ( we were in a room, so throwing was out of the question [in this case!!]). I was really taken on my bed on that one, I mean in a complex technique like kaiten nage one would beleve that the attacker in RL wouldn't do what uke does in the dojo.
My point is, and the sad fact is, that many people have a hard time to beleve in some of the techniques in a RL situation, because they have simply never been there, and if they have, they didn't use the techniques.

May thoughts on that one. Hope it gave some answers and not questions.

Jakob B

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Old 12-07-2000, 10:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
ian wrote:
What I want to know is, based on actual encounters, what has happened to people that makes them think it is not practical, or has anyone had a failure of their Aikido?
You are assuming actual encounters. The recent posts appear to have been started by individuals who are either inexperienced, or engaged in a "my MA can beat your MA...Oh yeah?" argument with some local rummy whose mastery of aikido may (or may not) have included its proper pronunciation.

Was it Jun who quoted Ikeda Sensei?: "Its not that aikido doesn't work, YOUR aikido doesn't work". Think about this. If we as a group of aikido students were in doubt of aikido's efficacy, why would we spend so much time and effort doing it? IMO, the quote from Ikeda is a clear, concise and final answer to all those impatient, non-practitioners who enter the website, beat their chests and proclaim the martial superiority of their style/view. Let'em whine and rant. I've got some training to get back to....

Rob

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Old 12-07-2000, 12:28 PM   #6
giriasis
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I think others have already pointed it out. People who say the aikido is ineffective are those who have little or no experience in aikido training.

They may have gone to a dojo and observed a class and mistook the grace for ineffectiveness. These are people who watch movies and think martial arts should be done with lots of punching, kicking and lots of noise.

They miss the subtleties from mere viewing. They mistake the gentleness of aikido for ineffectiveness. And they don't understand ukemi and think we are just throwing ourselves and just making it easier to perform the techniques.

Anne Marie Giri
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Old 12-07-2000, 02:53 PM   #7
tarik
 
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Quote:
ian wrote:
What I want to know is, based on actual encounters, what has happened to people that makes them think it is not practical, or has anyone had a failure of their Aikido?
Of course, insecurity and ego drive this all, but...

For people who train (in Aikido) -
They try to work with a beginner or are demonstrating something for a friend and find that they can't make the technique work because "uke" isn't cooperating. Hence Aikido "doesn't work". They then have seem to follow several directions:

- quit and find something more effective
- try to learn how to make it more effective (train more, find other teachers, or whatever)
- give up and just focus on the "spiritual" benefits they enjoy


For people who don't train (in Aikido) -
Besides being informed by the latter who quit before figuring it out (or got beat up while trying to find out), Aikido in general has the uniquely emphasized (not unique, just the emphasis is unique) of peaceful conclusion to conflict and take that to mean that Aikidoka don't learn to attack. Indeed, we've all seen schools and individuals where Aikido is done more as a dance than a martial art. Then they extrapolate.

All in my opinion and naturally probably leaving lots out.

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 12-08-2000, 07:01 AM   #8
ian
 
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I think you've got some good points Tarik. Something I'm starting to realise is that there is necesaarily some cooperation from uke, as after the first throw (when you're training) they know you're going to do the same again - and therefore block it if they want to.

However most people that attack you for real don't know what you're going to do (thus the ability to work on your opponents reactions to an atemi), and you have the option of doing any technique (or indeed anything, including strikes), so they can't really block it - cos you then do a different technique.

It is very unfortunate that, to train in a formal way we have to go through repeated techniques of one type, whereas ideally we want to be changing our technique every time to respond to that particular uke and that attack. How do we simulate this? Possibly a lot of it is attitude? Possibly just later on we have to develop the fluidity.

Don't ask me I'm still wrestling with this one.

Ian
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Old 12-08-2000, 08:22 AM   #9
akiy
 
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Quote:
ian wrote:
It is very unfortunate that, to train in a formal way we have to go through repeated techniques of one type, whereas ideally we want to be changing our technique every time to respond to that particular uke and that attack. How do we simulate this? Possibly a lot of it is attitude? Possibly just later on we have to develop the fluidity.
One thing that my teacher advocates for yudansha at our dojo is for them to do the same technique four different ways each time it's their turn to take the role of nage. Rather than just sticking to a single manner of doing a certain technique, he allows them to do subtle variations should they wish.

Also, I've never seen him comment if a "different" technique comes out of a certain attack. He even commented during his last seminar that it's preferable for a "different" technique to happen rather than freezing or giving up...

-- Jun

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Old 12-08-2000, 11:09 AM   #10
tarik
 
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Quote:
ian wrote:
Something I'm starting to realise is that there is necesaarily some cooperation from uke, as after the first throw (when you're training) they know you're going to do the same again - and therefore block it if they want to.
Also necessarily because it's the only way to learn the form. Once you've learned the form you can study a more free form approach to practice that allows counters and resistence so that you can learn how and why the technique can work.

I think what happens sometimes is that this is unspoken and people forget to take on this practice as they progress to the point where they're discovering that the "techniques" don't work. A more advanced practice certainly.

Quote:
It is very unfortunate that, to train in a formal way we have to go through repeated techniques of one type, whereas ideally we want to be changing our technique every time to respond to that particular uke and that attack.
You just described the difference between learning form (basics) and learning principles. We need to move onto the more advanced practice of adjusting to the attack and letting any technique happen as we become more advanced.

This happens in most dojo I've visited and may also occasionally be the source of the common complaint I've heard (and voiced) that people aren't doing their techniques the way the teacher demonstrated.

There's a time and place for each kind of training.

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

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Old 12-08-2000, 01:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
ian wrote:
It is very unfortunate that, to train in a formal way we have to go through repeated techniques of one type, whereas ideally we want to be changing our technique every time to respond to that particular uke and that attack. How do we simulate this? Possibly a lot of it is attitude? Possibly just later on we have to develop the fluidity.
I spend some of my evenings in the other extreme. Virtually every night we do free form practice. Check that, virtually every minute of every night is free form practice. I think we do the flow/feeling/listening/blending thing fairly well.

But we have other issues. For instance, I was working with a 3rd kyu recently who moved her body to blend with my grab and did so exceptionally well. The problem was, she didn't know what to do after she moved. I think many of the world's 3rd kyu's would have known in the context of that event but that most of them wouldn't have been where she was.

You gain in one, you lose in the other. Something about balance.

PS: I don't think you just gain flow through years of work in form (I think it can be a base in the right environment). You've got to practice flow but the paradox is that you can't do flow. Otherwise, it becomes version 16, 3, 97 and 214 masquerading as flow which is more commonly what I feel, and do, for that matter.
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Old 12-10-2000, 04:58 AM   #12
ian
 
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I remember when I was a scout, playing british bulldogs (don't know if you yanks heard of it). Basically it was a game where you ran across the hall and people in the middle had to either lift you off the ground or get you down and pin your shoulders down (no rules except no striking).

Anyway, I hadn't done any aikido, but this big scout ran towards me with his head down to push me over; I moved out of the way and pushed his neck down (like the start of an irimi nage) and he went flying.

Didn't know that about 5 years later I'd start aikido and find it difficult to do the exact same thing!

I think randori every night is perfect - in fact I might try that one in my class. It developed awareness, body movement, timing and miai - the basics of aikido which are often forgotten when you spend the time just learning new techniques.

Ian
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Old 12-10-2000, 05:01 AM   #13
ian
 
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P.S. I think the beauty of randori is that you often don't need to do big techniques if the timing is right. (just moving out of the way was something I once did with a drunk person on the dance floor in a night club - it was very funny 'cos he was falling all over the place.) - he eventually gave up and picked on someone else!
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Old 12-12-2000, 08:15 AM   #14
jvdz
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Perhaps, what makes people think aikido doesn't work is because of the many teachers who don't really "understand" aikido.

The following statement is by Shioda Gozo sensei in an article by S. Pranin.

"Today's aikido is so dimensionless. It's hollow, empty on the inside. People try to reach the highest levels without even paying their dues. That's why it seems so much like a dance these days. You have to master the very basics solidly, with your body, and then proceed to develop to the higher levels.... Now we see nothing but copying or imitation without any grasp of the real thing...."



[Edited by jvdz on December 12, 2000 at 08:19am]

Jan van der Zee
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Old 12-12-2000, 08:18 AM   #15
Aikilove
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Thumbs down

Quote:
ian wrote:P.S. I think the beauty of randori is that you often don't need to do big techniques if the timing is right. (just moving out of the way was something I once did with a drunk person on the dance floor in a night club - it was very funny 'cos he was falling all over the place.) - he eventually gave up and picked on someone else!
Like to have seen that one Ian. That is in my mind the ultimate application of in real life. Jolly good!

Jakob B

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