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Old 06-15-2003, 12:01 AM   #1
AikiWeb System
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AikiWeb Poll for the week of June 15, 2003:

Do you believe that Morihei Ueshiba actually dodged bullets?
  • I don't do aikido
  • Yes
  • No
Here are the current results.
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Old 06-15-2003, 07:13 AM   #2
DaveO
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Dodge bullets, no; that's flat-out impossible.

Avoid the shooters' fire by moving before the rifles were fired; certainly.

The story supports my belief on this: Shortly after O'Sensei performed his "Bullet dodging" feat; he was challenged by a master Japanese shooter; whose name I cannot remember. As the story goes; when the man readied and raised his weapon; Ueshiba raised his hand; said "Stop!" and conceded; saying essentially, "I cannot beat a man who aims before he raises his weapon."

At least; the story goes something like that; it's been a while since I've read it.

Answers are only easy when they're incomplete.
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Old 06-15-2003, 11:58 AM   #3
ikkainogakusei
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Quote:
AikiWeb System wrote:
AikiWeb Poll for the week of June 15, 2003:

Do you believe that Morihei Ueshiba actually dodged bullets?
  • I don't do aikido
  • Yes
  • No
How about "I don't know.", "I don't feel a need to know" or "A yes or no decision is not important to me."

Whether or not O'Sensei dodged bullets would not change my respect for his dedication to aikido. Bullet dodging would not change how fun I find practicing aikido.


"To educate a man in mind, and not in morals, is to educate a menace to society." ~Theodore Roosevelt
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Old 06-15-2003, 01:07 PM   #4
Hanna B
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So far, one third of the people voting say yes! Amazing.
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Old 06-15-2003, 02:31 PM   #5
Ta Kung
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I don't belive that O'sensei could dodge bullets (especially not in the way the stories want us to belive). Also, I don't believe in the Toothfairy.

/Patrik
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Old 06-15-2003, 03:27 PM   #6
jaxonbrown
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I believe that the rifles used back then weren't the same as rifles today. Has anyone found an accurate description of the make and model of those specific rifles? I know there are rifles which you pull the trigger and maybe half a second later the powder ignites and pushes the pill out the pipe. Flintlocks? Wheellocks? Muskets?

That would be more beliveable and would match up with what OSensei said about "seeing a yellow light" before the bullet came out of the gun which is obviously the powder igniting before the pressure spit out the bullet.

As for the second bullet-dodging with the expert marksman, I believe MU wasn't stupid and conceded, realizing that A. he wasnt a god or B. The expert marksman had a more modern rifle than the earlier firing squad members.

It would have been a terrible loss if OSensei let his ego get the better of him and tried to dodge a bullet and got shot.

So what if he did or didn't? Aikido is his legacy not dodging bullets. I don't see why people still argue about these trifles.
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Old 06-15-2003, 04:50 PM   #7
Veers
 
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Well, you can't argue with personal experience. If you do, you're calling him a liar. I don't think he dodged bullets in the Matrix way, but maybe the Equlibrium way.

Like Dave said.

The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
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Old 06-15-2003, 10:05 PM   #8
Michael Owen
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What's Patrick's beef with the Toothfairy?

Michael Owen


"All I'm sayin' man is that you've got to respect the chickens." -B. Hopkins
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Old 06-16-2003, 02:25 AM   #9
Ta Kung
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Michael, It's just that that damn toothfairy owes me a dollar and she never pays up! I did put a tooth in a cup when I was little, only i hid it so no-one would take it from me. The damn fairy didn't give me my cash, man! She didn't even take the tooth, and I KNOW the toothfairy could find it if she wanted to.

/Patrik
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Old 06-16-2003, 03:37 AM   #10
sanosuke
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If he was really dodging the bullet, Neo in the Matrix will be baldy and have long beard.
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Old 06-16-2003, 05:43 AM   #11
deepsoup
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Quote:
Reza Kauzar (sanosuke) wrote:
If he was really dodging the bullet, Neo in the Matrix will be baldy and have long beard.
Or he could have been a pocket-sized muscleman with a 'tache!
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Old 06-16-2003, 06:58 AM   #12
ross_l
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Didn't Ueshiba-sensei once say himself that it was impossible to dodge bullets? I wish I could remember the source but I recall him saying that when questioned about it.
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Old 06-16-2003, 12:20 PM   #13
Lyle Bogin
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If you see someone about to shoot you and reflexivly duck or run to save your life, does that count as dodging bullets? Or you you have to wait to see the flashing lights of you enemy's intention?
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Old 06-16-2003, 01:34 PM   #14
Yo-Jimbo
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Exclamation relativism in question

This question is a bit vague to vote on, but concider the following: I assert that any able bodied person can dodge bullets when it is physically possible and can't when it is physically impossible. What do I mean by that?

WWII rifles had a muzzle velocity around 2800fps.

In my experience, rifles (Korean War Era) can hit a man sized target (notice I said target that is man sized) at not much more that about 600ft. I'm sure that some would like to distract from this by saying that there are better shots than me out there, but I'm good with open sights and I'm a physicist trying to make a ball-park calculation here.

Let's say for the sake of this calculation that a reasonable pattern for hits are the size of a "pot-pie" pan at 300ft, an apple pie (what is more American than apple pie) pan at 600ft and a pizza pie pan at 900ft. If you are a better shot than this, I'm not that impressed, if you are much better than this, I don't think that your handler will like you bragging about it on this forum.

Anyway, at 600ft, one has a little over two tenths of a second to see the flash and move from behind the pie plate. Now a knee-jerk reaction takes about 0.05s, and I challange anyone to even start and stop a stopwatch in under 0.06s. I found a poll that showed that 40% of those who tried to catch a ruler could do so in less than 0.2s on average. Now all of these are small movements, but so it is letting a sword pass unhindered.

My conclusion, it is on the edge of what is humanly possible with several provisons:

a) with about 0.1s to get out of the way per 100yd or ~100m shot from, anyone can doge a bullet at about 500m, but they would be stupid to try. Practice of this is hard on the body when failing and at that range the bullet would most likely miss anyway and how can one call that "dodging".

b) it is best to start dodging before someone shoots at shorter range, and only very high speed photography and high statistics could eliminate that, which leads back to a). If one is allowed to start moving before the shot, than anyone who avoids areas where people shoot dodges bullets everyday by never being downrange (keep practicing this by my advice).

c) I have an idea for testing this without anyone getting hurt (no guns involved), until then, if the bullet is on its way, hope the paramedics will be soon on their way also.

Someone brought up what I feel is a better philosophical debate and that is whether or not O-sensei really believed that he could dodge bullets or whether people have just misinterpreted what he said and meant. I'm quite sure O-sensei didn't break the laws of physics (you tell'em Scottie), but was it important to his prcatice of Aikido that he thought he could or knew he could not?

"One does not find wisdom in another's words." -James D. Chye
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Old 06-16-2003, 02:14 PM   #15
akiy
 
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Re: relativism in question

Quote:
James Chye (Yo-Jimbo) wrote:
a) with about 0.1s to get out of the way per 100yd or ~100m shot from, anyone can doge a bullet at about 500m, but they would be stupid to try.
According to Shioda sensei's account of the (in)famous incident of the founder dodging the bullets from six "Olympic caliber" shooters, the founder was 25 meters away from all six shooters.

My rough translation of what Shioda sensei wrote can be found here.

There is also accounts of the founder having "dodged bullets" while in China, but I don't have the original reference...

-- Jun

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Old 06-16-2003, 06:09 PM   #16
Chuck Clark
 
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I "dodged bullets" in Viet Nam and a couple of other spots. We called it "duck and cover" or at times, you just attack with no thought of survival and some how you come out alive.

Seriously, there is something to developing an ability to recognize danger before it happens. There's a bit in Seven Samurai where the honcho is testing people to see if he wants them watching his back, etc.

It's a common thing for people to tell stories, embellish the truth, see their gurus, mentors, teachers, heroes and heroines, and loved ones, etc. through rose colored glasses at times. As the stories are retold and then told again most of us catch a bigger fish each time or in some way connect ourself with the hero in order to gain some juice. It's human nature.

As one of my teachers said, "Cultivate Great Faith Tempered With Great Doubt."

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 06-16-2003, 06:51 PM   #17
Phillip Armel
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I believe he did. Humans possess almost infinite potential. He was one of the greatest martial artists ever, so him developing that level of abiliy isn't out of the question in my opinion
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Old 06-16-2003, 06:52 PM   #18
Michael Owen
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"Let's say for the sake of this calculation that a reasonable pattern for hits are the size of a "pot-pie" pan at 300ft, an apple pie (what is more American than apple pie) pan at 600ft and a pizza pie pan at 900ft."\

Is it an African or European pot pie ?

Michael Owen


"All I'm sayin' man is that you've got to respect the chickens." -B. Hopkins
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Old 06-17-2003, 05:57 AM   #19
Frp
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One thing that is consistent in all the stories of O-Sensei dodging bullets were that the people shooting had little intrest in hitting him.

A) In Mongolia the bandits, or whatever, knew that dead hostages pay no ransom.

B) The police shooting team didn't want to shoot a guy just to test thier ability. Ask yourselves if you could do that.

The story of the Zen monk type hunter that O-Sensei would not test proves the point to me that O-Sensei may not have been able to dodge bullets, but he could do something that's as close as you can get in this life and that's read the intent of his attacker.

That rates a 'Yes' vote in my book.
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Old 06-17-2003, 08:52 AM   #20
Eric Joyce
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I have to agree with Mr. Clark on this one. Well said.

Eric Joyce
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Old 06-17-2003, 11:51 AM   #21
Peter Klein
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lol dodging bullets. the people who pressed yes need some help
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Old 06-17-2003, 12:07 PM   #22
ted murphy
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For what it is worth, I believe both the story about him dodging the bullets fired by those students and him backing down from having the rifleman shoot at him.

I suspect his victory had more to do with his ability to read and size people up than his abilities, though they certainly helped.

Having worked in law enforcement firearms training, we have seen quite a few instances of shooters unable to point a gun at a human being. For some, it is the deep ingrained safety training that gets in the way, for others, well we don't know why they do it. In a recent simunitions (kind of like paintball but in real guns) exercise I myself was shot at from a distance of less than 4 feet and the fella missed- and I was standing still! He then froze after the first shot, and never shot again. The bullet did not come even close, it impacted about 3 feet from my head to my right.. When interviewed, he had no answer why he 1) didn't hit me and 2) froze. And the shooter was someone with over 100 hours of extensive firearms and training.

thus, those students on the firing line very likely had some difficulties actually drawing a bead on a human being, particularly one doing them no harm at the other time. The version I had heard was they were academy students, who probably won't real good at 25m anyway. I would think the law of averages would have been against OSensei though.

Look at the rifleman he backed away from. That man was a pro- and someone who seriously wanted to shoot O Sensei. I think O Sensei realized he was against someone who was up to the task of killing him and backed down. Quite wise.

Ted
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Old 06-17-2003, 05:07 PM   #23
erikmenzel
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I am one of the people that according to Peter need some help. I used simple logic. Only one of two things can be true in my opinion.

1) The stories are completely made up and nobody took a shot at o sensei.

2) Somebody took a shot at o sensei.

In both cases o sensei survived. That sounds like dodging bullits to me. I dont need any mystical or superhuman ability attributed to o sensei in this. Maybe I dont know or understand what happend, but then again, I have that same feeling in many other things. Still it doesnt hinder me in daily life or in my aikido training so far.

Erik Jurrien Menzel
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Old 06-17-2003, 07:00 PM   #24
Charles Hill
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There seems to be a kind of confusion here. There is nothing about O'Sensei "dodging" bullets. Gozo Shioda made it very clear that something very strange went on. The whole thing was reportedly done twice, and both times Shioda Sensei tried to keep his eyes on his teacher. Both times he somehow disappeared. My feeling is that to vote "yes" on this poll is to believe that somehow Morihei Ueshiba was capable of doing things that can't be explained using what is commonly thought to be known about reality.

Charles
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Old 06-18-2003, 07:13 AM   #25
Ghost Fox
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Freaky!

Quote:
Ted Murphy (ted murphy) wrote:
For what it is worth, I believe both the story about him dodging the bullets fired by those students and him backing down from having the rifleman shoot at him.

I suspect his victory had more to do with his ability to read and size people up than his abilities, though they certainly helped.

Having worked in law enforcement firearms training, we have seen quite a few instances of shooters unable to point a gun at a human being. For some, it is the deep ingrained safety training that gets in the way, for others, well we don't know why they do it. In a recent simunitions (kind of like paintball but in real guns) exercise I myself was shot at from a distance of less than 4 feet and the fella missed- and I was standing still! He then froze after the first shot, and never shot again. The bullet did not come even close, it impacted about 3 feet from my head to my right.. When interviewed, he had no answer why he 1) didn't hit me and 2) froze. And the shooter was someone with over 100 hours of extensive firearms and training.

thus, those students on the firing line very likely had some difficulties actually drawing a bead on a human being, particularly one doing them no harm at the other time. The version I had heard was they were academy students, who probably won't real good at 25m anyway. I would think the law of averages would have been against OSensei though.

Look at the rifleman he backed away from. That man was a pro- and someone who seriously wanted to shoot O Sensei. I think O Sensei realized he was against someone who was up to the task of killing him and backed down. Quite wise.

Ted
Quote:
Charles Hill wrote:
There seems to be a kind of confusion here. There is nothing about O'Sensei "dodging" bullets. Gozo Shioda made it very clear that something very strange went on. The whole thing was reportedly done twice, and both times Shioda Sensei tried to keep his eyes on his teacher. Both times he somehow disappeared. My feeling is that to vote "yes" on this poll is to believe that somehow Morihei Ueshiba was capable of doing things that can't be explained using what is commonly thought to be known about reality.

Charles
Ted, I agree with you 100%, if you read On Killing by Dave Grossman he has some interesting statistics about peoples ability to kill during combat situation.

It's amazing how well Ueshiba was able to read people, and this no doubt translated into his Aikido ability.

I think most of us agree that Aikido requires a proper understanding on kinesthetic, Newtonian mechanics and the general combat principles, but I also think a large part of Aikido requires an understanding of the force of presence, and hypnotic induction. I think that is what Charles is describing. There are certain people who are able to light up a room when they enter (Just look at a good thespian on stage), isn't it reasonable that some people can obscure their presence (aura) to the point when it becomes difficult to focus on them. Just my inane ramblings, make of it what you will.

Peace and Blessings.

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