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Old 03-24-2004, 07:33 AM   #1
drDalek
 
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Notes on the "street effectivity" issue

Right off the bat I have to say I am a total complete Noob at Aikido, sure I have been doing it for almost 2 years but in the grand scheme of things, I am inexperienced.

This is a collection of notes I have made to myself since starting Aikido, every time I had some "revelation" I would write it down, at first most of my notes dealt with technique and doing technique correctly but these are some of my notes on the "street effectivity" issue, rewritten to be more coherent and readable. (The You I'm talking to is realy me, I'm wierd like that)

Aikido is not realy about learning fancy techniques, the fanciest "real" technique that you can use in the street is the footwork, and not necessarily for running away. What I'm saying is that the throws and locks and pins are all nice to practice but their real purpose is to teach you principles of motion, principles of bio-mechanics and "fighting" strategy.

This is also why its silly to utterly resist and constantly fight your partner when practicing these principles. Make it your mindset that these techniques are "just for practice" and try and find openings to exploit instead of pushing against your partner and generally being stiff and hard to work with.

In striking arts, the guy with the hardest punch and toughest block might have some advantage against a complete beginner but if this guy does not know fighting strategy and wastes punches on parts of your body which dont do much bio-mechanical damage, he is going to suffer at the hands of his weaker, slower, yet more experienced instructor.

Telling someone that if someone attempts to punch you on the nose you should do X or Y, is all academic. You can never assure anyone of the effectivity of their art by throwing around these scenarios and playing them out in your mind. I know, I struggled with this issue since about the first day I started doing Aikido back in 2002. Truthfully, and this actually has some depth to me these days, its not just a canned easy explanation, the only way to answer your questions is with constant diligent practice.

I dont know what I would do when I get assaulted in the street, I have never realy been in that situation. I do know what I am capable of handling though and its a lot more than what I was capable of handling before I started doing Aikido.
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Old 03-24-2004, 08:10 AM   #2
SeiserL
 
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IMHO and experience, the "street effectivity" of any style has more to do with the psychology of the individual rather than the style.

In the hands of a street fighter, any style works. In the hands of a coward, no style works.

In our train, we need to look deeper.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 03-24-2004, 09:08 AM   #3
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In the time I've been doing aikido, I have continued to wonder (wander?) on and off about the 'effectiveness issue' despite the fact the reason I started was nothing to do with self-defence. However, because aikido is a budo, the questions keep cropping up:

How would I react if attacked? Would any of these techniques hold up? How would a real attacker act differently to an uke? (attacking someone without bowing first is in my opinion just plain rude) How fast could I run away? etc. etc.

Rather than try to answer that lot, I just focus on other aspects of training, and get on with it.

The only comparison I have of any value isn't with other people or even other arts; it's how I would have been had I never started aikido in the first place - and like Wynand, I think this version of myself is preferable if push comes to shove, ahem - I mean tenkan.
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Old 03-24-2004, 02:04 PM   #4
shihonage
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Jason Delucia's "Combat Aikido" 5-DVD set is a great tool which will make you see Aikido in a new way.

This guy actually shows how classical Aikido techniques are MEANT to be used vs. unwilling, non-dedicated opponents.

When O Sensei competed, I have no doubt that he used Aikido in a way that is very similar to what is shown here.

One of the chapters on the first disc is called "First Control (Ikkyo) Boxing", and I've used this simple strategy on an aggressive homeless man long before seeing this DVD.

After seeing it, I was able to apply it to my sister who decided to punch me "for real", and then to my unsuspecting friend when he assumed a boxing stance.

Aikido is about riding resistance, and that resistance can be found and created anywhere, real attackers included.
Aikido is not a passive art, either.

We are given individual parts, but guys like Mr. Jason Delucia show us how to put these parts together into a functional vehicle.

Last edited by shihonage : 03-24-2004 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 03-24-2004, 04:14 PM   #5
senshincenter
 
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Dear Mr. Van Dyk,

For what it's worth, I think you are hitting some pretty good nails right on the head. Keep it up. :-)

yours,

dmv

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
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Old 03-24-2004, 09:21 PM   #6
Bushi
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...And here is what I have engraved in my head...

Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness,

ext..
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Old 03-24-2004, 11:26 PM   #7
shihonage
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Quote:
Mallory Baker (Bushi) wrote:
...And here is what I have engraved in my head...

Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness, Tenkan, smoothness,

ext..
As long as it's not engraved on your head ...
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Old 03-25-2004, 12:33 AM   #8
drDalek
 
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Quote:
Aleksey Sundeyev (shihonage) wrote:
Jason Delucia's "Combat Aikido" 5-DVD set is a great tool which will make you see Aikido in a new way.

<cool stuff>

We are given individual parts, but guys like Mr. Jason Delucia show us how to put these parts together into a functional vehicle.
$99 is a huge investment for us down here in South Africa, how about giving me a description of what this ikkyo strategy is?
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Old 03-25-2004, 01:06 AM   #9
shihonage
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Quote:
Wynand van Dyk (drDalek) wrote:
$99 is a huge investment for us down here in South Africa, how about giving me a description of what this ikkyo strategy is?
I did, here.

Of course thats just my description on my level.
It's pretty common sense, but it's good to see someone demonstrate how to do it properly outside of dojo cirriculum.

Those discs can be bought separately for a price which is quite reasonable compared to AikidoJournal's (and other publications like Aiki.com) price for 1 DVD of a similar length.

The "First Control Boxing" is on the first disc, as well as other things such as a randori session.

Last edited by shihonage : 03-25-2004 at 01:13 AM.
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Old 03-25-2004, 07:06 AM   #10
John Matsushima
 
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AIKIDO contains martial techniques from other arts such as DAITO-RYU Jujitsu, which from my understanding Mr. Sokaku Takeda had tested in combat. Not to mention, the techniques derived from the Samurai which were used to kill. And through my personal experience in the dojo, I have seen, or been shown many instances where there was the opportunity to seriously injure or kill the uke. I agree with Ms. Seiser that ""the "street effectivity" of any style has more to do with the psychology of the individual rather than the style.""

I believe that in AIKIDO, to be "street effective" takes on a whole new meaning, one which was defined when O Sensei re-defined his martial arts as "The Art of Peace".

So, in that manner, in order to be street-effective in the art of Aikido, one must realize that the goal, or purpose of Aikido is to create harmony, first within yourself to eliminate all thoughts of aggressiveness or a need for violence in any situation. Then, to create harmony with your uke so that you may execute these techniques in such a way that no one is harmed, not you, or your attacker. Finally, to create harmony with everyone around you, to reach out into the world and use your techniques to make it a place where violence and hate doesn't exist. This is TAKEMUSU AIKI.

So, to answer your question simply, yes, the techniques of AIKIDO can hurt, main, or kill someone in a fight on the street, but to DO AIKIDO means to perform these techniques with love and compassion, to take hate out of our hearts so that there is no fight.

sincerely,

John Matsushima
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Old 03-25-2004, 07:45 AM   #11
David Edwards
 
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I happen to live in the middle of a rough estate, and I've had numerous ppl pick fights with me, and almost all of these have been resolved with no damage to anyone. I'd say that Aikido even at my level can be very effective, but then I've done other martial arts too and blend them in to what I'm doing. Mostly for me these days it's a case of harmonizing with the attack, and just gently showing them that they're not going to get anywhere. They tend to back off. Admittedly, they back off while mouthing off at me, but that's ok. They need to look after their egos.

I once crunched someone's elbow, and that was because he kept on coming at me, but come to think of it, that wasn't an Aikido technique I did, it was from Jujitsu... though you might look at it as a sort of head-on shihonage. It was before I did Aikido.

Also... Last year, I had the misfortune to have some ppl try to mug me in London. I was tired and slightly groggy, and some bones got broken (theirs, not mine). My main concern was avoiding getting cut and / or hit. I mainly used Aikido, with a couple of kicks / atemi mixed in. As it is, I didn't suffer so much as a broken fingernail. Without Aikido, I'm sure I would at least have got my hands cut while trying to disarm the two with knives, because I wouldn't have had the same understanding of harmonizing with an attack.

Last edited by David Edwards : 03-25-2004 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 03-25-2004, 08:45 AM   #12
Chad Sloman
 
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I totally have to agree with John M. (of course)....

but I think there is sometimes misunderstanding when it comes to applicability. When some people think of "street effectiveness", they often think of duking it out with somebody in a bar-room argument or something, in other words mutual confrontation. I don't believe aikido is meant for this. If somebody is trying to pick a fight with me and I put my hands up and say: "let's go", I've already lost. Aikido is not meant for this. People like Jason Delucia who are very highly skilled are able to pull it off in these mutual combatant situations, but people unskilled like me cannot. It is often a criticism of aikido that we train with over-commiting ukes who go too deep, but it is my belief that that's the person who is going to attack me. I don't have the will to fight anybody; if somebody wants to physically engage me, they will have to corner me/chase me down/etc. In aikido we train against the "death blow", in that our attackers mind is focused on truly killing or really hurting us. In this regard, I believe aikido helps a great deal. But I don't like people starting aikido thinking that they will learn an art that will train them to rule the UFC or be able to go out and "kick anybody's ass". That is not what we train for. Sometimes I do like to spar and fight, but that's why I also take karate.

A real man does not think of victory or defeat. He plunges recklessly towards an irrational death. By doing this, you will awaken from your dreams.
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Old 03-25-2004, 01:07 PM   #13
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Chad, you're just a mountain of "beliefs" and "assumptions", aren't you.

Mr. Delucia puts the "martial" back into "martial art". He can harmonize "nicely" and he can harmonize "ugly" when "nicely" doesn't work.

It's good to have a choice, don't you think ?

He shows how to expand our knowledge into more possibilities so we don't just stand there when something happens that we didn't practice in the dojo, and he very respectfully derives his scheme from the way O Sensei created the Aikido techniques (ikkyo first, then nikkyo, sankyo, shihonage, kotegaeshi, iriminage etc).

In my view, all he does is confirm the idea that Aikido is never limiting, but it is all-encompassing.


Last edited by shihonage : 03-25-2004 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 03-25-2004, 02:20 PM   #14
Chad Sloman
 
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Quote:
Aleksey Sundeyev (shihonage) wrote:
Chad, you're just a mountain of "beliefs" and "assumptions", aren't you.

Mr. Delucia puts the "martial" back into "martial art". He can harmonize "nicely" and he can harmonize "ugly" when "nicely" doesn't work.

It's good to have a choice, don't you think ?

He shows how to expand our knowledge into more possibilities so we don't just stand there when something happens that we didn't practice in the dojo, and he very respectfully derives his scheme from the way O Sensei created the Aikido techniques (ikkyo first, then nikkyo, sankyo, shihonage, kotegaeshi, iriminage etc).

In my view, all he does is confirm the idea that Aikido is never limiting, but it is all-encompassing.
Easy Killer ......I am full of assumptions and beliefs, I don't profess to know anything. And I wasn't putting down Mr. Delucia, in fact I was stating at how skilled he was. What I do know is that in "my" practice we don't train like he does. Can you tell me which part of my post inflamed you? Or which part you disagree with?

A real man does not think of victory or defeat. He plunges recklessly towards an irrational death. By doing this, you will awaken from your dreams.
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Old 03-25-2004, 02:27 PM   #15
Chad Sloman
 
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Aleksey, maybe this is what got you riled up
Quote:
Chad Sloman wrote:
But I don't like people starting aikido thinking that they will learn an art that will train them to rule the UFC or be able to go out and "kick anybody's ass". That is not what we train for. Sometimes I do like to spar and fight, but that's why I also take karate.
What I meant was new people who've never taken aikido (in the general sense, not Mr. Delucia's dojo) might be going down the wrong track to MMA stardom by soley practicing aikido (in the general sense, not Mr. Delucia's dojo). In that perhaps there are other MAs that are better suited for this. Of course I can only speak from my own humble, limited experience.

A real man does not think of victory or defeat. He plunges recklessly towards an irrational death. By doing this, you will awaken from your dreams.
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Old 03-25-2004, 03:17 PM   #16
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Aleksey, would you mind to name your cheap source for these Delucia-DVDs ?

Thanks
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Old 03-25-2004, 03:25 PM   #17
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Chad, I'm not going to address your 2 follow-up posts here, because you are backpedaling and I don't wish to play that game of words.

As for your initial post, I was not as much riled up as mildly annoyed, as I usually get when I see yet another Aikido idealist spout out the same things over and over.

In THEORY, I agree with everything that you say in your original post.

In theory.

You know, only profoundly shocking experiences can change something in a person.

There are people with whom one just finds himself talking on a different language with. Sure, it's the same language but it's not.

I say one thing, you say another, we hear each other, and yet not unlike the left and right rails on a railroad, we never meet.

When we speak, we reference vocabularies of personal experiences and opinions.

When the other person does not have similar experiences in their vocabulary, they fail to understand what is REALLY behind the words.

For example, a man who loses a son can "understand" another man who lost a son. Other people cannot REALLY understand them and what goes on between them.

A certain behavioral change happens. Their priorities change, and people around them fail to understand them, yet they understand each other.

Americans before 9-11 would have a lot of trouble understanding Americans post 9-11.

They would laugh and point fingers and say that they're overly paranoid and that this sort of "awareness" is absolutely unnecessary because a terrorist will never be allowed to fly a plane into one of the largest country buildings.

I am trying to put something into words here, and I'm not sure that I'm getting my point across.

I don't mean to be rude, but I can't come up with a more subtle way to put it - I think that we will continue to talk in different languages until you get a black eye or two from some violent schmuck, which will bring your perceptions of self-defense dramatically closer to reality.

Believe me I do not wish this upon you, or anyone. But, in my not very humble opinion, it is an experience which is required to have a "vocabulary" which will make you appreciate what people like Jason Delucia and Richard Dimitri (of www.senshido.com) teach.

Last edited by shihonage : 03-25-2004 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 03-25-2004, 03:29 PM   #18
shihonage
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Quote:
Hagen Seibert wrote:
Aleksey, would you mind to name your cheap source for these Delucia-DVDs ?

Thanks
I believe the price is generally the same everywhere, which is around $20 per disc.

Each disc is 40 minutes long.

The semi-recently released "Aikido in 3 Easy Lessons" DVD was $20 as well.

AikidoJournal/Aiki.com typically sell discs which are around 50 minutes long and they cost twice as much.

Last edited by shihonage : 03-25-2004 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 03-26-2004, 08:40 AM   #19
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Might add more fuel to the fire, but what the hell:

Interview with T. K. Chiba

I may not need to take on challengers in the way Koichi Tohei or T. K. Chiba have done, but it raises personal questions about my aikido training.

BTW, in somewhat the same vein as Jason Delucia's DVDs, does anybody have an opinion on Fumio Sakurai's tapes (and book)? "Aikido SA" and "Shoot Aikido" are the relevant titles that I'm aware of.
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Old 03-27-2004, 06:15 AM   #20
Chad Sloman
 
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Excellent article, John, I've never read that before, thanks for posting it. Reading things like this make me want to train harder too.

A real man does not think of victory or defeat. He plunges recklessly towards an irrational death. By doing this, you will awaken from your dreams.
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