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Old 08-05-2004, 06:04 PM   #1
akiy
 
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"The Bouncer and the Dojo" Article

Article on Elliot Freeman in the St Louis area:

http://www.riverfronttimes.com/issue...-04/news2.html

-- Jun

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Old 08-05-2004, 06:47 PM   #2
shihonage
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Re: "The Bouncer and the Dojo" Article

The article seems to be confused about whether what is being taught there is Aikido or not.
The picture shows a kotegaeshi pin.
The student of Seagal teaches what sounds like shomen uchi iriminage - to bouncers.
It says that what the Seagal student teaches "works every time" in the bouncer's real-life experience.

And yet it ends with this:

Quote:
Steven Jimerfield, a retired Alaska state trooper who as a member of the American Society for Law Enforcement Training helps disseminate information about the latest self-defense tactics, says aikido and its offshoots aren't in vogue at training facilities nationwide. "Most law-enforcement officers do not like the martial arts, but everything we teach in self-defense comes from the martial arts," Jimerfield allows. "I'm not a real proponent of aikido," he adds. "Most of what I've seen of aikido doesn't work on the street. It requires too much space and room to work, so in a crowded space it's not going to be very effective. I love aikido -- don't get me wrong, it's a great martial art -- but to be very good at it requires many, many years of training at a high skill level."
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Old 08-05-2004, 07:16 PM   #3
Jamie Stokes
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Re: "The Bouncer and the Dojo" Article

A week long course, huh.

What is that one of my instructors said about learning fast, and forgetting faster.....

Aikido as most of us practice it doe take a lot of time to learn how to do it all with out conscious thought.

Hopefully these security guys will at least pick up "get off the line of the attack". Letting some drunken lout trip over his own feet is a lot better then bouncing his head off the floor.

With luck, a few might just continue training at the dojo.

But a week long course of anything is like an licorice all sort (or your sweet of choice) Nice taste, not really filling.

Still, full marks for trying to spread Aikido.

Jamie.

Aikido: Love and compassion at one metre per second.
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Old 08-05-2004, 08:49 PM   #4
mj
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Re: "The Bouncer and the Dojo" Article

That's the worst use of the word 'demobilize' I have ever seen.

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Old 08-05-2004, 08:54 PM   #5
Noel
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Re: "The Bouncer and the Dojo" Article

What was it that I heard once about a little knowledge being the shortest distance to a wrongful death lawsuit? Or was it getting booked for aggravated assault?

A nasty accident waiting to happen, IMO.
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Old 08-05-2004, 10:13 PM   #6
Charles Hill
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Re: "The Bouncer and the Dojo" Article

I attended a weekend Aikido seminar of Elliot Freeman's and thought it was excellent. The main focus was on randori and brought each participant, including a lot of beginners, step by step to where everyone could do a limited kind of randori. (the Aikikai kind) There wasn't as much focus on techniques as on body movements in response to a frontal choke. Mr. Freeman demanded honest attacks and that, interestingly, was hard for many participants. The seminar was similar to what was described in the article. From reading the article and knowing what I know about Mr. Freeman, I don't see why his seminar wouldn't be very beneficial.

Charles Hill
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Old 08-05-2004, 10:25 PM   #7
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Re: "The Bouncer and the Dojo" Article

Sounds harmless enough. I agree that it doesn't sound like strict aikido is being used in his week long course. However, it might be a good feeder to his regular classes. At least it sounds like his background is legit and he hasn't made up his own system.

As far as aikido not working in small spaces - well, I just don't buy into it. You make those dynamic circles smaller and they are very quick and effective.

Robert Cheshire
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Old 08-06-2004, 01:56 AM   #8
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Re: "The Bouncer and the Dojo" Article

Quote:
Robert Cheshire wrote:
As far as aikido not working in small spaces - well, I just don't buy into it. You make those dynamic circles smaller and they are very quick and effective.
I agree, but it takes a lot of practice and experience to understand that.

rgds

Bryan

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 08-06-2004, 02:31 AM   #9
Jamie Stokes
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Re: "The Bouncer and the Dojo" Article

Small spaces: Small circles.
as said above, make the movements circle smaller, and you will take up less room.
Asked this once of an instructor.
Showed me a big and I Ukemi ed.
then a small Splat!

Aikido: Love and compassion at one metre per second.
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Old 08-06-2004, 08:39 AM   #10
Ron Tisdale
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Re: "The Bouncer and the Dojo" Article

Just out of curriosity, could someone highlight the portions which the article describes that are not 'strict aikido'?

I think the article lacked focus, and had a certain naivite, but other than that, it was interesting. Knowing a little of Charles' experience, I'd tend to take his recommendation pretty seriously.

Say Charles, was that course before or after the bokken incident?

Ron

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Old 08-06-2004, 03:16 PM   #11
Charles Hill
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Re: "The Bouncer and the Dojo" Article

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Say Charles, was that course before or after the bokken incident?
Yeah Ron, like I'm the only one on this planet who was young and stupid once.

Charles Hill
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Old 08-06-2004, 03:18 PM   #12
Ron Tisdale
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Re: "The Bouncer and the Dojo" Article

I can guarantee you that there are at least 3 muggers in Mt Airy who think a certified nut lives in my old appartment building...a nut with a 6 ft staff no less...


Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 08-06-2004, 06:02 PM   #13
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: "The Bouncer and the Dojo" Article

Quote:
Jamie Stokes wrote:
A week long course, huh.

What is that one of my instructors said about learning fast, and forgetting faster.....

Aikido as most of us practice it doe take a lot of time to learn how to do it all with out conscious thought.

Hopefully these security guys will at least pick up "get off the line of the attack". Letting some drunken lout trip over his own feet is a lot better then bouncing his head off the floor.

With luck, a few might just continue training at the dojo.

But a week long course of anything is like an licorice all sort (or your sweet of choice) Nice taste, not really filling.

Still, full marks for trying to spread Aikido.

Jamie.
Actually, in the Defensive Tactics arena, a week long course is quite a bit of training. The national average for in-service training in law enforcement is two eight hour sessions per year and that covers all areas, including their Tazers and OC recerts. So they get very little hands on.

In Washington State an instructors certification in Level One DT (arrrest and control tactics) takes 80 hrs. Then the officer can start teaching his comrades!

My own Defensive Tactics system which I do under "Defensive Tactics Options" is very simplified with just 7 takedowns and two or three escorts plus one entry. We only do omote, no ura, just to keep things simple. By Aikido standards it is a very simplified system but by regular DT standards it is quite complex. When I do normal blocks of training (they are apt to be 4 hr blocks, may be once a year for a department) I only do three takedowns and one escort.

The officer who says that Aikido doesn't work on the street has never experienced an Aikido based DT program like the one the article is about. Nor will he likely take the trouble to investigate one if it were available. One of the local departments near my dojo will pay for any of their officers to train with me. Not one has recently taken their department up on the opportunity.

Anyway, there are all sorts of Aikido folks all over the country trying to make a difference by adapting their knowledge for law enforcement and security personnel. The grandfather of Aikido based DT is Robert Koga Sensei in LA. He has an excellent series of videos for any Aikido teacher who wishes to adapt his dojo Aikido to the requirements of the LE community. Seattle's own Bernie Lau Sensei is another legendary practitioner who started his own Aikido based system (he called it Aikijutsu but his teacher was Yoshioka Sensei in Hawaii).

David Dye Sensei, a former Yoshinkan practitioner, now the founder of his own style will be an instructor at the Aiki Expo next year. A retired Costa Mesa police officer, he has a series of DT videos as well that are useful for Aikido teachers.

I have done some seminars for Aikido teachers on Defensive Tactics but few if any of the attendees were able to break in to the system. Generally, if you are not a cop, they don't want to know about you. One of my latest projects is to document our own DT program using PowerPoint Video manuals so that interested Aikido teachers could have access to the syetm we have worked out and then adapt it to whatever their own preferences are. We've only done the first one, eventually there will be up to six.

I haven't seen the program which is mentioned in the article but I would imagine that it is far better than anything the officers are used to. As for club security folks... any training is a radical departure. Most bouncers get zero!

I do training for a gentleman who provides trained club security personnel for the Seattle are clubs and he is a total radical in insisting that his people do training. However, he makes it a condition of employment! He schedules training sessions with me which his people attend if they want to be on the schedule. They pay for the training! So he has little or no out of pocket, can market the services of his personnel because they have received some training, and has less liability for the same reason. You'd think it would be the norm rather than a radical departure. (As an aside, training these boys is fun... an entire room full of guys who are three hundred pounds or so. Boy do they shake the place when they go down!)

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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Old 08-06-2004, 06:38 PM   #14
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Re: "The Bouncer and the Dojo" Article

While I like the idea of this type of course, and actually have been involved in training prison guards in this area, I'm not sure that one week is enough time to actually learn the techniques needed for self defense. I would be afraid that this would give the folks a false sense of security and make them dangerous to theirselves. We had a prison guard come back and thank my sensei. Said that something he learned saved his life, although he didn't know what he did. I support training bouncers, guards, police etc. so long as the art serves them.

Mike Taylor
Godan
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South Bend, Nebraska, USA
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Old 08-07-2004, 12:36 AM   #15
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Re: "The Bouncer and the Dojo" Article

Well, I think anything the bouncers can learn that will keep them safe and not seriously injury a drunk club patron is a good thing. Of course they will not be able to do the technique as well as someone who practices weekly, but, every little bit helps.

I have been asked by a few police officer friends of mine to consider teaching an aikido based course at our local academy. I haven't been able to put anything together yet, but, would love to put a program together.

Robert Cheshire
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Old 08-07-2004, 02:19 AM   #16
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Re: "The Bouncer and the Dojo" Article

One of the guys in our club, who has been with us for a few years now does some door work for a local security company for a bit of extra income. We have recently had a small influx of members from the same security company. We haven`t adapted the normal classes for them specifically, but reading this thread, it might be an idea to, at least for a short while. Not that I specifically want to enter this area of teaching, but something for me to think about with regards to perking their interest.

George, would it be possible for you to give me some more info on your simplified system offline, i.e. which takedowns and escorts you teach and why?

rgds

Bryan

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 08-07-2004, 04:58 AM   #17
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Re: "The Bouncer and the Dojo" Article

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
My own Defensive Tactics system which I do under "Defensive Tactics Options" is very simplified with just 7 takedowns and two or three escorts plus one entry. We only do omote, no ura, just to keep things simple. By Aikido standards it is a very simplified system but by regular DT standards it is quite complex. When I do normal blocks of training (they are apt to be 4 hr blocks, may be once a year for a department) I only do three takedowns and one escort.
Hi George,

I've been mining your website lately to get perspectives and info on this sort of training as more people are asking for specialised Defensive Tactics (mainly for security personnel) and structured self defence courses in my area. The approach I use is very similar to yours from what I've seen from the site. Your relational Skills Acquisition approach is very interesting.

I hope I can make it to the U.S. west coast to come train a bit some day. For my Aikido students who are into the security and prisons services I also tend to show simplified, straight to the point versions of techniques that work very well under pressure and resistance.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
The officer who says that Aikido doesn't work on the street has never experienced an Aikido based DT program like the one the article is about. Nor will he likely take the trouble to investigate one if it were available.
I've trained with that officer some time ago and unknownst to him, there are a few Aikido concepts used even in his own system (though he probably refers to it as Jujutsu). Interestingly enough, his defensive tactics system (which sadly is taught to many branches of our protective services as the "official" system) has not had a great record of maintaining the safety of perpetrators while being apprehended. I have also had a couple members of our local military (who also practice this system as their unarmed CQB and DT program) who had decided to come to our classes seeking specialised knowledge after finding some holes in their own training under this system. So I guess it all depends on where one sits.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
Anyway, there are all sorts of Aikido folks all over the country trying to make a difference by adapting their knowledge for law enforcement and security personnel. The grandfather of Aikido based DT is Robert Koga Sensei in LA. He has an excellent series of videos for any Aikido teacher who wishes to adapt his dojo Aikido to the requirements of the LE community.
Do you have links to these videos? Sounds very interesting and I see this as an area that we may be moving deeper into in the future. There are also the guys at this site - http://www.tacticalapplications.com/ - who are members of Aiki Extensions doing similar work as well.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
One of my latest projects is to document our own DT program using PowerPoint Video manuals so that interested Aikido teachers could have access to the syetm we have worked out and then adapt it to whatever their own preferences are. We've only done the first one, eventually there will be up to six.
Please do let me know if/when this becomes available.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
I do training for a gentleman who provides trained club security personnel for the Seattle are clubs and he is a total radical in insisting that his people do training.
This is good as from our experience it is those who don't have the training in "safe" or at least "legally defensible" control tactics that end up escalating things prematurely or unnecessarily, resulting in lawsuits, serious bodily injury and even death due to use of excessive force.

Just my 5 cents.

LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
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Old 08-07-2004, 09:53 AM   #18
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: "The Bouncer and the Dojo" Article

I think it all depends on the individual. A week long course for someone working in a field that already requires them to restrain, detain, or otherwise take down individuals has some sort of foundation and probably some experience in working it. One would think their attitude would be serious about what they are trying to learn and would most likely practice outside of the class as well. A week long course could definately be of benefit there.

If you have someone that doesn't have much martial arts or job related experience or maybe just isn't mature taking a week long class, they won't benefit nearly as much. With these folks you are giving them information that they could possibly hurt another or themselves for lack of knowledge or experience.

IF you are teaching a self-defense course, whether it is based in aikido, tae kwon do, karate, or whatever, it has to be simple and basic. A couple of folks hit on that earlier in this thread and that is what is most important. You have to teach techniques that would work for everyone.

I have only done a few "self-defense" seminars. I cringe when a group wants me to come in and teach a 1 hour course. This however is more the norm than not. So it is important that it is stressed to those that attend that they are getting very little in this type of scenario and that continued practice is necessary if they expect to be able to defend themselves properly.

Lyle Laizure
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Old 08-07-2004, 01:41 PM   #19
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Re: "The Bouncer and the Dojo" Article

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote:
Hi George,
Do you have links to these videos? Sounds very interesting and I see this as an area that we may be moving deeper into in the future. There are also the guys at this site - http://www.tacticalapplications.com/ - who are members of Aiki Extensions doing similar work as well.



Please do let me know if/when this becomes available.
LC
Basic Level 1 DT (Takedowns and Escorts)
My Own "DT Options" Video Manual

Robert Koga's
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David Dye's
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George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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Old 08-07-2004, 09:43 PM   #20
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Re: "The Bouncer and the Dojo" Article

Thanks for the links George.

LC

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Old 08-09-2004, 09:28 PM   #21
Adam Sorkin
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Re: "The Bouncer and the Dojo" Article

Howdy folks.

I have some personal knowledge of Eliot Freeman. He helped me to injure myself (that's about as fair as I can make it) at my first seminar when I was a white belt. I was off the mat for two months. It was a "Please can we go a little slower...I can't really do the ukemi yet...oops, there goes my shoulder" type situation. He was already 2nd or 3rd dan. I still don't know what he was trying to teach me. Perhaps he thought I was expecting to be coddled. I was just trying to get over the fear of getting hurt.

He also caused trouble for my martial arts club at Southern Illinois University. He was one of the founding members there, but through some scandal (this is hearsay) involving selling equipment -- at inflated prices -- on campus, pocketing club money, etc. we lost face with the university. I was there after this finished, so I don't know exactly what really happened. I DO know that the university was very suspicious of us, and that we had a hard time getting rec center space, etc. because of a number of incidents that bore his name.

Somehow it doesn't surprise me that he is running a hard-hitting martial arts studio (don't call it aikido) charging 500 bucks a head for a week-long course. And what is this "IT'S MARTIAL SCIENCE" crap? Sweep the bad leg, Johnny. DO YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THAT, MR. LAWRENCE?

Eliot is a very strong man, and I would not doubt his technique, but I would not choose to call him sensei. There are enough "really strong people" out there that we can all afford to be a little discerning. Then again, that was ten years ago. Maybe he has changed. I would be interested to hear from anyone who has spent time with him since then.

Shut up and practice.
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Old 08-09-2004, 09:50 PM   #22
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Re: "The Bouncer and the Dojo" Article

Quote:
Adam Sorkin wrote:
Sweep the bad leg, Johnny. DO YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THAT, MR. LAWRENCE?
You are out of the ring for illegal "Karate Kid' reference.
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Old 08-10-2004, 12:58 AM   #23
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Re: "The Bouncer and the Dojo" Article

Curiously enough I know about Eliot Freeman from his first several years in St. Louis because one of my dojo mates was from St. Louis and used to go home and practice there. I assume it's still a dojo of Steven Seagal devotees. He was in the Tenshin Aikido organization at that time. My buddy (during time sankyu to nikkyu) loved going there because the first time it was such a young dojo that Eliot would throw him in breakfalls and around all night to show his students things at full speed that their ukemi was not up to yet. It was very much a dojo where they practiced all the fun stuff. So since we were a dojo that spent a lot more time on basics, he liked the change. And would always come back with some stuff to show me. The last time he was there was when Larry Reynosa gave a weekend seminar there. Reynosa apparently spent a great deal of the weekend pointing out my dojo mate as a model of what they really needed to be working more on - basic exercises like funakogi, ikkyo undo, happo undo, etc. rather playing around with fancy techniques. It sort of changed my friend's view on what was going on there after that.

again not exactly new info,
but from what I heard the nature of the seminar and tone of the article doesn't surprise me much. doesn't sound like much has changed.

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Old 08-10-2004, 02:51 AM   #24
Jamie Stokes
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Re: "The Bouncer and the Dojo" Article

George S Ledyard has given me food for thought.
I remember attending a three day course for first aid (basic) and while I didn't remember everything, I recalled enough that I can still do some limited stuff, and not do more damage.

So a week long course, with continuous on the job practice ( as Ledyard san teaches) is of value.

Degree of value, I think can't be judged remotely.
As for inaccuracies (in the article), remember there is a reporter that wrote the article, and the editors decision is final.

[and bows... ]

Jamie

Aikido: Love and compassion at one metre per second.
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Old 08-10-2004, 04:48 AM   #25
Robert Cowham
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Re: "The Bouncer and the Dojo" Article

I know that Dave Rubens teaches Door Supervisor Courses as well as other things in London - see http://www.meido.co.uk/

He is 5th dan Yoshinkan and taught on the Tokyo Riot Police course (and gets a mention in "Angry White Pajamas"!).

Robert
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