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Old 04-29-2004, 02:55 AM   #1
drDalek
 
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"Cheating" to survive a real fight

O-Sensei said that 70% of a fight is atemi, the rest is instantaneous throws and apparently joint locks and pins are relegated to the realm of dealing with roudy family and drunks.

I have this on some authority because I read it in Aikido Shugyo by Gozo Shioda. A lot of people have said that atemi as an Aikido strategy is inherintly un-Aikido-like. So does this invalidate what the founder said? How widely do you define Atemi anyway? Do kicks count as atemi even though most dojos rarely practice throwing sharp, quick kicks and the kicks we do defend against are laughably untrained, slow and off-balance - completely unlike anyone with some experience in a percussive martial art. How about headbutts? How about a knee to the groin?

The big question though is would the Aikido you use to survive a real fight look anything at all like the idealised Aikido that we practice? If not can you even still call it Aikido?

I would like to site the example of the UFC guys, many of whom claim to have X number of years experience in martial art Y and hold rank Z. Clearly some of this is just to psych-out an opponent but surely some of them are telling the truth and yet any technique just falls apart when the bell rings for the start of a round. They all resort to the standard kick-punch-punch-tackle strategy. Rarely do you ever see the kind of expert take-downs that judoka are capable of in heated competitions.

Another issue, we practice evasion of attacks with tai-sabaki. Are Aikidoka in general too "scared" to get hit? Getting punched or kicked in a real fight is inevitable, its easy in a classroom situation to just stop right there and try again from the beginning but shouldnt we also be able to apply technique even when a hit has been landed?

Surely you can say that in a real fight, a life or death struggle, you must do everything you can to survive but does that include discarding the moral principles of Aikido when it suits us?
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Old 04-29-2004, 03:36 AM   #2
Mark Balogh
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Re: "Cheating" to survive a real fight

We had a similar discussion down the pub after a seminar (some present were Yondan) and we basically agreed that being able to handle yourself had nothing to do with Aikido. It's about your background, where your from, if you got out on the town a lot, basically how many scraps you'd had and you'd seen!!! I reckon if you want to use aikido on the street I think you have to be 150% committed to using only Aikido and be very good at it. Half/Half (some aiki, some scrapping) will get you killed IMO. 150% scrapping could save you as well. Serious (well trained) Atemi is another option.
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Old 04-29-2004, 08:18 AM   #3
SeiserL
 
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Re: "Cheating" to survive a real fight

IMHO, there is no "cheating" in a "real fight" because there are no real rules. If you "survived" then you did it right.

IMHO, attitude and intention means more in a "real fight" than in training.

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 04-29-2004, 08:51 AM   #4
deepsoup
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Re: "Cheating" to survive a real fight

Lynn beat me to it, you can't cheat in a real fight.
To paraphrase Sun Tzu, a fair fight is the result of poor planning.
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Old 04-29-2004, 09:02 AM   #5
Randal Gore
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Re: "Cheating" to survive a real fight

There is an excellent book titled "Bushido: The Soul of Japan" by Inazo Nitobe, 1st published in 1905. In it is described some of the desirable attributes that a samurai sought after. One of those qualities was a calmness and presence of mind so clear during battle that a samurai could compose and recite poetry This apparently also gave the samurai the increased ability to defeat his opponent as his opponent realized what sort of person he was up against.

Anyway, my expierence has been that there seems to be just a few individuals in a real fight (bar, street or otherwise) that actually know what they are doing, the rest just seem to be flinging their arms and fists looking for a lucky hit. Those folks that successfully survive their fights are the ones who were able to control themselves and land well placed punches.

I've asked myself this question: as an aikidoka is it cheating to use whatever means necessary to protect myself and an adversary to prevent serious harm? Chances are the person I'm up against I've never met so why should I try to destroy him? If I can distract him long enough by whatever means necessary so that I can run like hell, that's what I'd probably do.

As far as kicks go... I still like Bruce Lee's statement. To paraphrase: "Kicking someone in a fight is like trying to pucnh someones foot."

"You knew the job was dangerous when you took it."-Super Chicken
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Old 04-29-2004, 09:50 AM   #6
aikidoc
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Re: "Cheating" to survive a real fight

I believe somewhere in Shugyu it also states that to not use atemi is unrealistic but I may be wrong.

Saito asserted the lack of training in atemi strikes to vital points is a widespread modern training deficiency and may cause technique to become incomprehensible and meaningless. He considered it an essential element of basic and advanced technique. Shioda pointed out atemi was essential in actual combat in order to manifest power explosively to decide the fight's outcome. In my opinion, "To fail to use the tools available in a combat situation to ensure a favorable and safe outcome is irresponsible and shows ignorance of the possible implications of violence." (from my upcoming Black Belt magazine article on the topic).

The literature places O'Sensei's emphasis on atemi anywhere from 70 to 99%, depending on the author as John Stevens points out. Is this cheating or does it violate the principles of aikido? I don't think so. Apparently, O'Sensei did not either since he developed the art.
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Old 04-29-2004, 09:55 AM   #7
aikidoc
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Re: "Cheating" to survive a real fight

Additonal thoughts. Wynand asked how widely is atemi defined. Best aikido or Best aikido the master's course defines atemi as strikes to vital points. I feel this is good definition but limits the application of other possibilities: manipulation of vital, nerve or acupuncture points via pressing, squeezing, brushing, etc., to effect a change in the attacker's body or the energy dynamics during an attack. While strikes are used more often other pressure points can be squeezed or pressed during an encouter to also have an effect on the set up or execution of a technique within the flow of the technique.
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Old 04-29-2004, 10:04 AM   #8
Mark Balogh
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Re: "Cheating" to survive a real fight

You are talking about Kyusho John? A previous Sensei of mine was extremely knowledgable on this. He had studied with the jujitsu/karate community whilst teaching/training aikido and intergrated what he learn't. He was and still is studying hard to understand where it all fits in. He is from a tournament fighting background so his system is very martial. Trouble is, concentrating on such a difficult/vast subject means a lot of time, and you need all you can get to progress in aikido itself!!!

Last edited by Mark Balogh : 04-29-2004 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 04-29-2004, 10:13 AM   #9
aikidoc
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Re: "Cheating" to survive a real fight

Yes, I am talking about kyusho. Anything can detract from one's training. However, if you look at the techniques closely as you practice you will see the suki and the opportunity to apply atemi/kyusho is generally evident in the movement patterns. For example, in katate tori ikkyo there is two-three atemi opportunies and at least one kyusho (pressure point press) possible. This can happen and a part of the movement without changing anything. I don't recommend studying these points when you are trying to learn the basics although I show my studentst he suki and possible strikes/nerve points of each technique. Later, as one becomes more adept they can start to recognize the pressure point opportunities. Just MHO.
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Old 04-29-2004, 10:16 AM   #10
Mark Balogh
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Re: "Cheating" to survive a real fight

I agree, my previous sensei will do the same and show all strikes and WHERE to hold for all the techniques. It does become second nature after a while. It's not something I have the time to study properly though, it's his hard work and I've just been taught it.
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Old 04-29-2004, 10:49 AM   #11
Chris Birke
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Re: "Cheating" to survive a real fight

Randal, you are missquoting Lee. The true quote is: "Kicking someone in the head is like punching someone in the foot." Bruce was a big proponent of low kicks in actual fights, either to setup a straight blast, check someone's distance, or actually blow out their thigh. Good low kicks are a valuable and proven tool in a fight.

Re: UFC
"They all resort to the standard kick-punch-punch-tackle strategy. Rarely do you ever see the kind of expert take-downs that judoka are capable of in heated competitions."

This is rather ignorant. Although some people in ufc are simply their for their freak value, most of them are very well trained. Especially today. A top fighter like Couture, Sherk, or Vitor likely trains more than any of us ever will in our entire life. Every day, many hours a day, cardio, striking, submissions, takedowns, meditation, etc, etc. Their entire life is training; it is their only job. Pride FC has an even higher level of competition. If you think there is no technique, it is because you are blind to it.

Cage fighting is an offense to people with naieve ideals about fighting. Although it is not street fighting, it reveals many things.

One reality is, ground and pound is an excellent strategy. It's very logical. Why stand and trade where there is a chance of getting knocked out? Isn't it much more effective to sit on your opponent, and punch them while they can't hit back?

Another reality is that it is easier to negate some technique than it is to initiate it. Arm bars, chokes, key locks, leg locks - they are all usually unsuccessful. However, by repeatedly attempting them, one eventually gets in, and it only takes one.

Takedowns are an exception - although its easy to make a takedown look ugly, a well timed and executed one is very difficult to avoid. They are rather like hand grenades, in that close is usually good enough to work. I could go on, but... the thread.

Aikido is about whether you hate your opponent and want to kill them, or love and want to preserve them. There are no techniques which are more moral than others. It is the intent behind your execution is what defines that. I think these "no compeitition" and "no striking" rules are mutated versions of the origional intent.

Unarmed hand to hand wise:

Best of all, simply dissuade them from fighting. If they still choose to fight, and then change their mind shortly afterwards, let them go.

I think knocking an attacker unconscious is fine. He might have a headache when he comes to, some bruises, but his life will still be long. I think that is an aiki resolution.

I would only seek to break limbs out of fear. It is a more permanant consequence, still it is not debilitating.

Killing would only the result of gross negligence on my part, or fear.

Seeking to kill, or entering into this with disregard to an attacker, these things are what defines "not aiki" to me.
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Old 04-29-2004, 11:37 AM   #12
Ron Tisdale
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Re: "Cheating" to survive a real fight

On Nitobe:

http://ejmas.com/tin/tinart_buchner2_0200.htm

and from one of numerous posts on e-budo:
Quote:
An interesting article about bushido, Nitobe and the Hagakure is "Death, honor, and loyalty: the bushido ideal" by G. Cameron Hurst III in the journal "Philosophy East & West, vol 40, no 4(Oct 1990) pp-511-527.

Apparently Nitobe knew more about western history and values than he did Japanese and was" the least qualified Japanese of his age to have been informing anyone of Japan's history and culture."
Nitobe's bushido, as Joseph Svinth has pointed out, was largely based on western religious values, not on any universal samurai "code".
The term "bushido" itself is rarely used in historical texts, the Hagakure and the Budo shoshinshu are a part of the handful that do.

This is not to deny that there were no samurai ideals or codes of behaviour, but that they were not at all uniform and universal in the way idealised by Nitobe and by many today. The Hagakure is an example of an extreme ideal not approved of in its time by mainstream samurai.
link to the entire thread:http://www.e-budo.com/vbulletin/show...Nitobe+bushido

Just for a little perspective...

RT

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Old 04-29-2004, 01:45 PM   #13
Bronson
 
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Re: "Cheating" to survive a real fight

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
On Nitobe:...
...Just for a little perspective...
Next you'll be telling everyone it's ok to wash their obi...sheesh, where will this heresy end

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 04-29-2004, 02:01 PM   #14
Ron Tisdale
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Re: "Cheating" to survive a real fight



I was just going to reply with a smile, but I got an error message saying my message was too short.

Juuuuuuuunnnnnnnn?!?!?!?!?!?

RT

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Old 04-29-2004, 02:53 PM   #15
mantis
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Re: "Cheating" to survive a real fight

Quote:
drDalek wrote:
O-Sensei said that 70% of a fight is atemi
I hear this a lot.

Does that mean 35% from you and 35% from your opponent?
70% from your opponent and none from you?
70% from you and none from your opponent?
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Old 04-29-2004, 03:10 PM   #16
Ron Tisdale
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Re: "Cheating" to survive a real fight

Well,

70% from your opponant and none from you is gonna be a problem...

I think it means what *you* will actually use in a fight.

RT

Ron Tisdale
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Old 04-29-2004, 03:24 PM   #17
mantis
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Re: "Cheating" to survive a real fight

The last fight I got in, I evaded a punch and did an upper cut to the head, kicked to the groin, pushed the person into the bushes and used an elbow lock to control them after they tried to get me in a headlock once they got up.

This taught me a lot about my reactions in the heat of being attacked. It's like nothing I've done formally in the dojo, but bits and pieces show up here and there.
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Old 04-29-2004, 05:59 PM   #18
GaiaM
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Re: "Cheating" to survive a real fight

This thread makes me think about the meaning of Aikido, The Art of Peace. I don't think too much about how I would use aikido TECHNIQUE in a fighting situation. However, I think A LOT about how my training could keep me OUT of such a situation in the first place, perhaps even down to being able to move out of the way of an attack long enough to get away.
I am certainly no expert on atemi, but, at least in my training, I see it mostly as a distraction and a way to control the person's energy rather than a fighting technique.
Just some thoughts from the peacenik...
Gaia

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Old 04-29-2004, 06:54 PM   #19
Ian Williams
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Re: "Cheating" to survive a real fight

The UFC cage fighting example is a good one. In the very earliest days of UFC, you had people fighting specifically with their arts - ie a Muay Thai person against a JuJitsu person etc.

Over time, the differences between professional UFC fighters has diminished so that most of them now fight with very similar styles. They all incorporate good boxing techniques, take downs, grappling, ground'n'pound etc, because that is what works - especially against other highly trained martial artists.

IMO if you put even a high ranked Aiki or Jujitsudoka in a cage fight with these people, and the "traditionalists" stuck to their style, they would be slaughtered. This is not to say that a well trained and experienced Aiki or JJ fighter would not be effective against an average joe, or even an above average joe from the street.
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Old 04-29-2004, 06:58 PM   #20
Ian Williams
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Re: "Cheating" to survive a real fight

Quote:
Another issue, we practice evasion of attacks with tai-sabaki. Are Aikidoka in general too "scared" to get hit? Getting punched or kicked in a real fight is inevitable, its easy in a classroom situation to just stop right there and try again from the beginning but shouldnt we also be able to apply technique even when a hit has been landed?
what a peculiar thing to say... We practice Tai-Sabaki to get ourselves off of the line of attack so we don't get hit. Why is this strange? If someone is stabbing me with a knife, my PRIMARY response should be to irimi or nagashi off the line of attack - and then I can worry about disarming or deflecting or what ever technique I want to use.

I don't win any bravery awards by taking a few blows/stabs to show how strong I am.
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Old 04-29-2004, 07:23 PM   #21
Brad Darr
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Re: "Cheating" to survive a real fight

I just wanted to throw out that the idea of ground and pound is a good strategy if there is only one attacker. However what happens when there are three guys? Are you going to take any one of them to the ground and then let the other two get you? Not that the BJJ or UFC fighters are not excellent martials artists but when faced with multiple attackers going to the ground does not seem like the best option.

So this is why I think that atemi is a good answer. Take out the first two guys with a strike and them deal with the third or simply avoid them like in a randori situation and escape. I agree with the person that said atemi is all about intention. You can definately do an atemi without actually striking someone, for example sometimes mere body language or the look you have in your eyes can act as an atemi simply because the intention given is one that surprises or changes the attackers motives. Or more classically a well timed kiai can achieve the same goal of offsetting an opponent long enough for something else to happen.

the edges of the sword are life and death
no one knows which is which
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Old 04-29-2004, 08:23 PM   #22
Randal Gore
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Re: "Cheating" to survive a real fight

Quote:
Chris Birke wrote:
Randal, you are missquoting Lee. The true quote is: "Kicking someone in the head is like punching someone in the foot." Bruce was a big proponent of low kicks in actual fights, either to setup a straight blast, check someone's distance, or actually blow out their thigh. Good low kicks are a valuable and proven tool in a fight.
So close yet so far away Thanks for the correction

"You knew the job was dangerous when you took it."-Super Chicken
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Old 04-29-2004, 08:23 PM   #23
Ian Williams
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Re: "Cheating" to survive a real fight

If you are fighting multiple attackers, and they do manage to get you on the ground, having a good understanding of the guard, particularly BJJ can be life saving.
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Old 04-29-2004, 11:15 PM   #24
Brad Darr
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Re: "Cheating" to survive a real fight

Yes but what I meant was that when facing multiple attacks why purposely go to the ground. Yes if they get you to the ground you may be better off knowing some BJJ but overall if more than one opponent gets you to the ground not much is going to help. Nothing against BJJ or any grappling art but I have never seen ground defense against multiple attacks. This may be simply my ignorance and if someone has an example of ground work against multiple attckers, I would love to see it. I have a great respect for grappling and think that it is an essential part to self defense but not the only part.

the edges of the sword are life and death
no one knows which is which
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Old 04-30-2004, 12:46 AM   #25
Chris Birke
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Re: "Cheating" to survive a real fight

"Yes but what I meant was that when facing multiple attacks why purposely go to the ground."

No one advocates this.

Why do you think people advocate this? Please find me an example of it.

This is a tired argument, because it has been resolved time and time again. The bjj, wrestling, grappling etc, counter to multiple attackers is not to get knocked down, and if you do get knocked down, stand back up. No art teaches you better how not to get knocked down, and if so, how to get back up, than arts that focus on grappling and takedowns.

When I say, ground and pound is an effective tactic, I did not say that it was the best tactic in all situations, or that it is the only tactic. Simply that it is effective, efficient, and common. Because of this, being familiar with it is very valuable.

Stop attacking a straw man.
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