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Old 06-27-2004, 11:48 AM   #1
Chad Sloman
 
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Question Do we protect true attackers?

This is something I've been thinking about for a little while. In most discussions regarding aikido on the street, I've often heard that most of the time you will only use the first third of any given technique, and that people will not take breakfalls and will be hurt etc... I've heard some opinions that say if somebody attacks me and gets thrown then it's not my fault if they get hurt if they don't know how to fall down. Or it's not my fault that somebody's wrist gets broken if they don't know to not resist a joint lock. And so on and so on. Is this the intention of our art. I know that in the dojo we take care to not hurt uke, and uke takes care to protect him/herself. Is it the same on the street? Do we have to take extra care of our attackers to not let them be hurt because they don't know how to take a technique? Do we just protect ourselves and let their karma take care of them? Do I go ahead and break a wrist, knowing that a broken wrist is better than a broken neck? If I take extra care of the stranger that is attacking me, does that or will that make my aikido less effective?

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 06-27-2004, 02:48 PM   #2
tedehara
 
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Re: Do we protect true attackers?

Although much has been written about using aikido in the street, the fact is no one can predict the future - especially when it concerns a hypothetical attack. Usually a real attack happens quickly and the victim doesn't even know what went down until it's too late.

Hopefully none of us will have to face such a situation. If you are in such a situation, you can only do what you can at that time. Do what you can to survive then try not to get hurt.

It is the seriousness of using a martial art in a life or death situation that motivates practice. While you can spend you time thinking about what you would do in such a situation, it is still speculation.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 06-27-2004, 06:37 PM   #3
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Do we protect true attackers?

Generally, I agree with Ted.

To answer the simple question: "Do we protect true attackers?".

My simple answer would be - Only if we are confident enough in our skills that we will be safe in the process.

Imho one can only choose or afford to be lenient when one is sure that leniency will not result in his/her own destruction. Ueshiba M. preached peace and harmony to one's attackers in life knowing that he was a lion among sheep in many cases. This is a great philosophy, but it requires immense real world technical skill to realistically achieve it.

The words "true attackers" to me, infer a sense of a "real and imminent threat" to life and limb imo. In these cases the philosophy takes a back seat to the reality of basic survival or life and death imo. I personally agree with protecting the aggressor when I can, but that can depend on a whole lot of unknown and uncontrollable factors.

These however are just my personal thoughts having been in these situations more than once. It may mean absolutely nothing to someone else.

On the reverse side though, do we protect the attacker even at the expense of our own life and limb to keep in line with the peace and harmony philosophy of Ueshiba M.?

Just a few rambling thoughts.

Gambatte
LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 06-27-2004, 09:49 PM   #4
Chris Li
 
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Re: Do we protect true attackers?

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote:
Generally, I agree with Ted.

To answer the simple question: "Do we protect true attackers?".

My simple answer would be - Only if we are confident enough in our skills that we will be safe in the process.

Imho one can only choose or afford to be lenient when one is sure that leniency will not result in his/her own destruction. Ueshiba M. preached peace and harmony to one's attackers in life knowing that he was a lion among sheep in many cases. This is a great philosophy, but it requires immense real world technical skill to realistically achieve it.
If you ask me, the fallacy here is to believe that you can ever be sure about such a thing. You make your decision and take your chances, that's about as good as it gets. Aikido or not, very few people fight with no limits on their brutality, even in life or death situations.

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote:
On the reverse side though, do we protect the attacker even at the expense of our own life and limb to keep in line with the peace and harmony philosophy of Ueshiba M.?
I don't recall ever hearing of an instance in which he advocated such a line of action. In fact, quite the opposite.

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-27-2004, 10:34 PM   #5
SeiserL
 
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Re: Do we protect true attackers?

IMHO, there is only one way to find out.

People think they know what they will do in a crisi situations. Most people don't really know until they are in them.

Train as best you can within the adrenaline pump, rush, and dump to be as ready as possible. If you find yourself in that situation, get out of the way and then let us know the results.

In my dumber youth I didn't care what damage I did. I wasn't trying to protect them, just myself and others. My honest hunch is I would do the same again.

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 06-27-2004, 11:51 PM   #6
xuzen
 
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Re: Do we protect true attackers?

In street aikido or in any street fighting, the goal is not to win, but more importantly, fight not to lose. The priority is not to get yourself hurt in the process. But if you have to hurt the other person so that you will be hurt less, then go ahead.

Boon.
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Old 06-28-2004, 01:06 AM   #7
Jordan Steele
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Re: Do we protect true attackers?

There is no such thing as "street aikido" and 99% of the time you will not sucessfully perform a "technique." If you're fighting on the street and are thinking of preserving your attacker, you've already lost. On the street, either you win or lose and winning is definitely the better option. By the way, winning mean you will have punch, kick, break, throw, choke, injure etc. Ikkyo ura will not effectively work on a determined attacker unless you bust his ribs or kidney first. Just my two cents.
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Old 06-28-2004, 03:15 AM   #8
philipsmith
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Re: Do we protect true attackers?

If you fight in the street you fight to win (I speak from experience). You have to remember that your attacker is trying to damage you; it is not your fault if they end up getting hurt.
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Old 06-28-2004, 03:54 AM   #9
Charles Hill
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Re: Do we protect true attackers?

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
I don't recall ever hearing of an instance in which he advocated such a line of action. In fact, quite the opposite.
Hi Chris,

Can you give the details of the instance you`re talking about?

Thanks,
Charles Hill
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Old 06-28-2004, 08:25 AM   #10
Chad Sloman
 
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Re: Do we protect true attackers?

I think I generally agree with most of you that if I'm attacked I'm going to fight back with all the tools I have. I also think that the "compassion" comes in when I have the upper hand in the fight. If I do not have the upper hand in the fight then I will employ any means necessary to get there. But really, I have no way of knowing until it happens and perhaps I shouldn't even waste my time thinking about these things. I was just wondering if my "attitude" was in line with aikido philosophy when it comes to this situation. The chances of me engaging in violent conflict with somebody is highly unlikely, but I do think that I would still have the view of "conflict resolution" rather than beating my opponent senseless just because that's my natural personality. I'm just not a mean person.

Quote:
Jordan Steele wrote:
There is no such thing as "street aikido" and 99% of the time you will not sucessfully perform a "technique." If you're fighting on the street and are thinking of preserving your attacker, you've already lost. On the street, either you win or lose and winning is definitely the better option. By the way, winning mean you will have punch, kick, break, throw, choke, injure etc. Ikkyo ura will not effectively work on a determined attacker unless you bust his ribs or kidney first. Just my two cents.
Jordan, I have to disagree with you. If I get into a fight outside the dojo then I will be performing aikido. I might not perform a clean technique but I will definitely be using the principles. I can't even fight Japanese Knockdown sparring without using aikido principles because it's been engrained into my personal fighting style. I will be slipping strikes and stepping off the line because it is second nature, and I see that as aikido. At any rate, I try not to think of anything when I'm fighting, not of winning, not of losing, just the fight at hand. I find this works the best. Also as far as ikkyo, I haven't taken the atemi out of my aikido. I don't think aikido techniques can be forced, just used when the opportunity presents itself.

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 06-28-2004, 10:55 AM   #11
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Do we protect true attackers?

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
If you ask me, the fallacy here is to believe that you can ever be sure about such a thing.
This is true, which is why we have constant and hopefully conscientious training. As Lynn said - there is only one way to find out.

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
You make your decision and take your chances, that's about as good as it gets. Aikido or not, very few people fight with no limits on their brutality, even in life or death situations.
Agreed. But I guess so far I've been lucky to be one of those "few people" who had the option to limit the level of brutality, sometimes one does not. Like Chad said -
Quote:
the "compassion" comes in when I have the upper hand in the fight. If I do not have the upper hand in the fight then I will employ any means necessary to get there.
Safety of self first, then safety of other in my opinion.

Quote:
I don't recall ever hearing of an instance in which he advocated such a line of action.
I never said he did advocate such. It was merely a counter question to the original question. Ueshiba M. did have a philosophy of peace and harmony to one's aggressor, my premise for the question was that in this case it could be easy for one to endanger himself if hung up on the philosophy whilst engaging a mortal threat.

Just my 2 cents.
LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 06-28-2004, 12:00 PM   #12
Chris Li
 
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Re: Do we protect true attackers?

Quote:
Charles Hill wrote:
Hi Chris,

Can you give the details of the instance you`re talking about?

Thanks,
Charles Hill
Well, Morihei Ueshiba had his realization about "the great spirit of mutual loving protection" (note the "spirit") in 1925, and yet he turned down an invitation to demonstrate to the imperial family in 1941 (16 years later) because the "real" techniques would end with the opponent dead (the demonstration ended up with Ueshiba breaking Yukawa's arm by mistake).

There are other instances after the war as well, from conversations with post-war students. Western thinking tends to be fairly black and white, Japanese thinking tends to be better at reconciling ideal visions with pragmatic action.

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-28-2004, 12:39 PM   #13
Jordan Steele
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Re: Do we protect true attackers?

Chad, I am in complete agreement with your post except for the part about using Aikido (principles) on the street. I just think that if you end up in a physical fight with somebody that Aikido is no longer Aikido. By the way, I am not a mean person nor do I fight often, but it has happened, and I put my survival instinct before relying on my Aikido skills although they can be helpful during the course of an altercation.
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Old 07-07-2004, 10:41 AM   #14
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: Do we protect true attackers?

I believe that O'Sensei said that Aikido is a martial art. So I don't understand why, if attacked on the street and you defend yourself that Aikido becomes something else. Taking for granted that an aikidoka would not jump into a fight without first trying to resolve it by other means.

Lyle Laizure
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Old 07-08-2004, 09:31 PM   #15
John Matsushima
 
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Re: Do we protect true attackers?

The way of Aikido is nonviolence. It is said over and over again by not only O Sensei, but also by his uchideshi. He describes Aikido many times as being "love". Isn't this why it is called "The Art of Peace", "The Way of Harmony", etc.? Everything about it stems from this basic principle; this is the first teaching. If a person does a technique with any impure intention or thought (such as hurting someone), the technique will fail. Any person who thinks that Aikido is a way to protect ourselves by injuring our attacker is not practicing Aikido and is selfishly wasting their time by learning techniques which will fail to their aim.
Mr. Ueshiba never said that Aikido is a martial art. He said that it is a budo. Budo is a way, one similar to kyudo, shodo, kado, or sado bound together by deep cultural ties in the Japanese spirit.
For those of you whom are baffled and astonished by my comments, I challenge you not to take my word for it, but to do the research yourselves. Look deep into japanese culture, and look at this wonderful art, not from a western point of view, but from a japanese one. You may not agree that it is right, but if you want to truly know this japanese art, you must know the japanese mind.
And for those of you you who refuse and insist on calling it a deadly form of self-defense, then just be honest about it and call it that by whatever name, but don't blasphemize it by calling it Aikido.

Sincerely,

John Matsushima

Last edited by John Matsushima : 07-08-2004 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 07-08-2004, 11:04 PM   #16
Ian Williams
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Re: Do we protect true attackers?

When I'm practicing with my senseis, I'm a lot LESS likely to get hurt/thrown hard/locked up until it hurts badly etc than when practicing with people of my skill level or just after. It's simple - they have more control and they execute the techniques better.

I have no doubt if my senseis WANTED to hurt me, they could, but they're good enough not to hurt me when they don't want to.

If they are confident that they can disarm a street confrontation without the neccessity of putting someone in hospital, then I have no doubt they have the ability to perform a "end of fight" technique that doesn't kill/maim/break something ... What more "protecting" a true attacker is there?
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Old 07-09-2004, 12:47 AM   #17
Chris Li
 
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Re: Do we protect true attackers?

Quote:
John Matsushima wrote:
The way of Aikido is nonviolence. It is said over and over again by not only O Sensei, but also by his uchideshi. He describes Aikido many times as being "love". Isn't this why it is called "The Art of Peace", "The Way of Harmony", etc.? Everything about it stems from this basic principle; this is the first teaching. If a person does a technique with any impure intention or thought (such as hurting someone), the technique will fail. Any person who thinks that Aikido is a way to protect ourselves by injuring our attacker is not practicing Aikido and is selfishly wasting their time by learning techniques which will fail to their aim.
The person who was his uchideshi for the longest time was known to get in quite a few fights. So were many of the other uchideshi. I see from your profile that you are (or were) an ASU guy - ask Saotome about his famous 3 man randori demonstration - but then maybe he trashed those guys without impure intentions or thought .

Morihei Ueshiba talked about a lot of things, few of them concrete, but I don't remember any time in which he advocated sacrificing oneself to avoid injury to an attacker. Certainly, it ought to be one's intention and goal to do so - but realistically speaking this isn't always possible.


Quote:
John Matsushima wrote:
Mr. Ueshiba never said that Aikido is a martial art. He said that it is a budo. Budo is a way, one similar to kyudo, shodo, kado, or sado bound together by deep cultural ties in the Japanese spirit.
For those of you whom are baffled and astonished by my comments, I challenge you not to take my word for it, but to do the research yourselves. Look deep into japanese culture, and look at this wonderful art, not from a western point of view, but from a japanese one. You may not agree that it is right, but if you want to truly know this japanese art, you must know the japanese mind.
And for those of you you who refuse and insist on calling it a deadly form of self-defense, then just be honest about it and call it that by whatever name, but don't blasphemize it by calling it Aikido.
Well, if you know the Japanese mind then you know how good the Japanese are at reconciling seemingly incompatible statements and actions.

Best,

Chris

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Old 07-09-2004, 07:27 AM   #18
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Do we protect true attackers?

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
Morihei Ueshiba talked about a lot of things, few of them concrete, but I don't remember any time in which he advocated sacrificing oneself to avoid injury to an attacker. Certainly, it ought to be one's intention and goal to do so - but realistically speaking this isn't always possible.
Well said Chris. This is the essence of the point I was trying to make above.

The Ideal is to protect one's attacker, which I think many Aikidoka actually strive for, but the Reality of being seriously attacked, based on many events that we can't control, may dictate otherwise.

To be lenient one must first have leverage.

LC

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