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Old 03-09-2001, 09:28 AM   #1
Nathan Richmond
Dojo: Flint Dojo
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Talking

Aren't these premises probably correct?

1. Probably 90% of the American population isn't a highly ranked MA.

2. Probably 85% of the American population isn't a highly ranked MA or a person who would know what to do in a self-defense situation or fight?

3. The Average "Joe" would probably be whooped by a high ranked Aikidoist. Correct?

From what I have seen on this board a lot of people question Aikido's effectiveness. Maybe that has some validity if this was the UFC or whatever. But come on. Most Americans probably can't fight or have no formal training. So my premise is that if you knew Aikido well, you would be better off than 90% of the people out there.

-nate
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Old 03-09-2001, 10:01 AM   #2
BC
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Ai symbol

I would propose that the percentages are even higher. I would also opine that a high percentage of people in the population have rarely encountered violent situations and rarely will. it kind of puts into perspective one of the main purposes for training in the martial arts, doesn't it?

Robert Cronin
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Old 03-09-2001, 10:20 AM   #3
Erik
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Quote:
BC wrote:I would propose that the percentages are even higher. I would also opine that a high percentage of people in the population have rarely encountered violent situations and rarely will. it kind of puts into perspective one of the main purposes for training in the martial arts, doesn't it?
I would agree. The average person doesn't even have an idea of what a martial art is. I would be shocked if 10% of the population has even stepped into a dojo of any martial art much less studied it. Then factor in how few people stay around until they even get a black belt. I bet the number is well below 1% of the population. Maybe if you factored in wrestling and boxing it would go up a bit but probably not much.
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Old 03-09-2001, 10:51 AM   #4
DiNalt
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All of this doesn't matter.

A lot of guys learn how to punch hard in school, a lot of people take [kick]boxing, and that's a-plenty...

A lot of people play hockey and football which also gives them before-mentioned experience of handling physical collisions with people.

Some people simply fought their way through school, or because they live in "bad" neighborhoods.

Etc...

You never know who's standing in front of you or what they're capable of.
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Old 03-09-2001, 11:35 AM   #5
tedehara
 
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The Average Joe

Quote:
Nathan Richmond wrote:
Aren't these premises probably correct?

1. Probably 90% of the American population isn't a highly ranked MA.
At least 90% - probably more.

Quote:
Nathan Richmond wrote:

2. Probably 85% of the American population isn't a highly ranked MA or a person who would know what to do in a self-defense situation or fight?
That's right! That's why handguns are so popular!

Quote:
Nathan Richmond wrote:

3. The Average "Joe" would probably be whooped by a high ranked Aikidoist. Correct?
I doubt it. In a real confrontational situation, a high-ranked Aikidoist would probably become friends with the Average "Joe".

Quote:
Nathan Richmond wrote:

From what I have seen on this board a lot of people question Aikido's effectiveness. Maybe that has some validity if this was the UFC or whatever. But come on. Most Americans probably can't fight or have no formal training. So my premise is that if you knew Aikido well, you would be better off than 90% of the people out there.

-nate
There are many things Aikido teaches which apply to many real situations. Remaining calm, judging distance, being aware of your surroundings - it seems many people have forgotten about these things.

Just because punching and kicking seems "effective", doesn't mean they will actually work in a street enviornment.

If you know what the phrase "Pop My Glock" means, then you'll probably realize violent situations might best be handled in a non-violent manner.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 03-09-2001, 11:50 AM   #6
Nathan Richmond
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My Purpose of saying this.

My purpose of saying this wasn't to say that you can't end some confrontations by not fighting. Rather, I was saying that by knowing Aikido, especially if you're highly ranked, you have a definate advantage over most of the population in a hand-to-hand fight. I would make that assumption. Also factor in if you are in good physical shape, and are a focused individual, I think you would have an advantage.

I also assert that the debate over the effectiveness of Aikido as far as street effective is irrelavent, because of this reason. Because most "joe shmoes" can't or don't know the first thing about fighting.

-nate
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Old 03-09-2001, 12:44 PM   #7
Erik
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Quote:
DiNalt wrote:
All of this doesn't matter.

A lot of guys learn how to punch hard in school, a lot of people take [kick]boxing, and that's a-plenty...

A lot of people play hockey and football which also gives them before-mentioned experience of handling physical collisions with people.

Some people simply fought their way through school, or because they live in "bad" neighborhoods.

Etc...

You never know who's standing in front of you or what they're capable of.
I'd agree with this and was tempted to mention it but resisted. It misses a better point. That point being that while we all sit around here debating Aikido's merits and combat effectiveness the likelihood of getting into a fight, for most of us, is almost nil. Are we really spending 6+ hours/wk (some of us a lot more) for something that will probably never happen? It's a part, but it's not the big part, of why I do this stuff. Plus, at 6' and 200 fairly solid pounds, I don't need a MA to hurt most people.

Quote:
Ted Ehara wrote:
There are many things Aikido teaches which apply to many real situations. Remaining calm, judging distance, being aware of your surroundings - it seems many people have forgotten about these things.
Thank you! Way more important in a self defense context than any kote gaeshi you will ever do.
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Old 03-09-2001, 12:50 PM   #8
Magma
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wrong question

I think we're asking the wrong question if we think about the martial training of the other person, because I think that it really comes down to the ability to act in a volatile situation. This was hinted at by the post regarding hockey/football.

It is our physiology that we shut down when we get into fight or flight mode. People lose the ability to move, let alone defend themselves, to perform activities requiring fine motor control... we even lose the ability to call for help in some situations. Call it fear, call it lack of training, call it whatever, but this is the way it works.

Therefore, when a confrontation escalates to a physical level where one participant is a serious aikidoist, we may assume two things:
1) The aikido person is not the one doing the escalating, so...
2) The physical manifestation of the conflict comes from another party involved.

My point is that I think that we ask the wrong question if we think of only the martial training of the person with whom we may get into a physical situation. It's the wrong question because even someone of high rank can freeze in that moment, while a person of virtually no martial training may overcome that fear. We train daily to overcome our own fear in that situation so that we may continue to function and act. That's not the point. The point is that the person who is escalating a situation into the physical realm has already overcome his/her own fear and is taking action against us. Regardless of training, a person who is able to do that is dangerous.

Tim
It's a sad irony: In U's satori, he forgot every technique he ever knew; since then, generations of doka have spent their whole careers trying to remember.
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Old 03-09-2001, 02:14 PM   #9
BC
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Re: wrong question

Magma:
I agree with your conclusion, but I disagree with the logic you use to get there. First, not all people shut down physiologically when in fight or flight mode. Yes, some people do freeze up, but some people can become frighteningly dangerous to both themselves and other people. Hence the adrenaline rush. I've seen it.

Second, I believe that in many situations, the person who is escalating the situation to violence is actually acting out of fear or insecurity. I certainly wouldn't call someone who is getting violent in control of their emotions like anger or fear.

Robert Cronin
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Old 03-09-2001, 02:17 PM   #10
dekodo
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The percentages may very well work out just as you have stated, however, that is inclusive of the entire population. Hopefully we can make the assumption, being Aikidoka, that if a violent confrontation did present itself, we were not the instigator. This means that someone, with the intention to do so, started the conflict. It may be true that 90% of the American population has never seen the inside of a dojo, however, I would argue that 80% of those people will never instigate a violent interaction. My grandmother is one of the 90% who haven't studied a MA, but I don't think she is likely to attack anyone either. To be realistic, you need to look at the percentage of the population capable of attacking, fighting, mugging, harassing, etc., another human being. Chances are, if one of us were to get in a real fight, it may very well be the first and only times in our lives. However, the party initiating the confrontation has most likely been in this situation before. That gives a HUGE advantage to the attacker regardless of whether they are Martial Artists or not. If you are attacked, chances are you are facing an experienced attacker (not necessarily a fighter, but an attacker). My MA training may very well be able to give me more tools to work with, but you can't use the "90% of people don't know what the hell their doing" rule. If you are confronted by someone in a dark alley or parking lot . . . they are NOT an "Average Joe".
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Old 03-09-2001, 05:48 PM   #11
Jim23
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Quote:
dekodo wrote:
The percentages may very well work out just as you have stated, however, that is inclusive of the entire population. Hopefully we can make the assumption, being Aikidoka, that if a violent confrontation did present itself, we were not the instigator. This means that someone, with the intention to do so, started the conflict. It may be true that 90% of the American population has never seen the inside of a dojo, however, I would argue that 80% of those people will never instigate a violent interaction. My grandmother is one of the 90% who haven't studied a MA, but I don't think she is likely to attack anyone either. To be realistic, you need to look at the percentage of the population capable of attacking, fighting, mugging, harassing, etc., another human being. Chances are, if one of us were to get in a real fight, it may very well be the first and only times in our lives. However, the party initiating the confrontation has most likely been in this situation before. That gives a HUGE advantage to the attacker regardless of whether they are Martial Artists or not. If you are attacked, chances are you are facing an experienced attacker (not necessarily a fighter, but an attacker). My MA training may very well be able to give me more tools to work with, but you can't use the "90% of people don't know what the hell their doing" rule. If you are confronted by someone in a dark alley or parking lot . . . they are NOT an "Average Joe".
Now this person is a realist.

If we are ever attacked, the person doing so would most likely not be a nice person.

I don't get these kinds of questions. They're like pablum: "most people are basically non-violent and ineffective, therefore we don't have to be very good ourselves". Give me a break. Most people study martial arts to learn how to better defend themselves AND to be better people overall. Sure, we don't all train to be as effective as O'Sensi, but get real and be realistic.

Jim23

Remember, all generalizations are false
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Old 03-09-2001, 06:39 PM   #12
George S. Ledyard
 
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Demographics

Quote:
Erik wrote:
Quote:
BC wrote:I would propose that the percentages are even higher. I would also opine that a high percentage of people in the population have rarely encountered violent situations and rarely will. it kind of puts into perspective one of the main purposes for training in the martial arts, doesn't it?
I would agree. The average person doesn't even have an idea of what a martial art is. I would be shocked if 10% of the population has even stepped into a dojo of any martial art much less studied it. Then factor in how few people stay around until they even get a black belt. I bet the number is well below 1% of the population. Maybe if you factored in wrestling and boxing it would go up a bit but probably not much.
According to the Trade Journals I get because I run a dojo, the number of people who are even interested in doing martial arts in the general population is 1%. Then as we all know of the people who start training, the vast majority do not continue for any length of time. So the number of people who attain any level of skill in martial arts is probably one tenth of one percent. The number who ever get to instructor level is a small number of those.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
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Aikido Eastside
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Old 03-09-2001, 11:40 PM   #13
Erik
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Quote:
dekodo wrote:
My MA training may very well be able to give me more tools to work with, but you can't use the "90% of people don't know what the hell their doing" rule.
Yes, you can use it and here's how.

These numbers mean that the vast, vast, vast majority of the world is NOT OUT TO GET YOU!!!!!

By the way, I know this isn't what you meant and I agreed with what you were saying. I just felt the need to point this out.
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Old 03-10-2001, 05:19 AM   #14
crystalwizard
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Re: wrong question

Quote:
Magma wrote:

It is our physiology that we shut down when we get into fight or flight mode. People lose the ability to move, let alone defend themselves, to perform activities requiring fine motor control... we even lose the ability to call for help in some situations. Call it fear, call it lack of training, call it whatever, but this is the way it works
It certainaly isn't mine and this is why I started studying Aikido. My reflexes (and before you start arguing I had taken no training, or studied how to fight or anything else before I started aikido in order to GET said reflexes...it's just how i've always been) is to react violently and without thought when suprised/attacked. Case in point, I was deeply engrossed in entering numbers into a computer database when the network manager where I used to work thought he'd be cute and drop a phone wire around my neck. One hand was on the wire around my neck and the other a 1/4 inch from his nose before I even realized anything had happened. I just barely managed to pull the punch and not splatter him. And I happen to hate, when in thinking mode, the idea of violence.

____________
Kelly Christiansen

A loving person lives in a loving world. A hostile person lives in a hostile world. Everyone you meet is your mirror
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Old 03-10-2001, 08:47 AM   #15
paul spawforth
Dojo: wakefield tomiki aikido club
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Ki Symbol

I think any martial artist of high calibre has an advantage over someone who has never studied any martial arts, i feel the important factor is how you intend to use your art, aikidoka are taught to quell an attack and apply a lock or submission if necessary, but to never cause injury or pain just for the sake of it, to respect you opponent if you will. whereas a kickboxer would probably proceed to smash his opponents face in with a devastating array of punches and kicks, possibly leaving them seriously injured. (it has happened!) I reckon aikido operates on the very highest ethical level of self-defence, it is probably the only art where both attacker and defender can walk away from the confrontation with no injury at all, but as i said at the beginning... it all depends on your intent!!!


Regards

Paul.
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Old 03-10-2001, 09:08 AM   #16
Jim23
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Quote:
paul spawforth wrote:
i feel the important factor is how you intend to use your art, aikidoka are taught to quell an attack and apply a lock or submission if necessary, but to never cause injury or pain just for the sake of it, to respect you opponent if you will.
Paul,

It's 10pm and as you are approaching your car, you're suddenly confronted by two rough-looking men who demand your money, watch, house keys, etc.

But that's not enough, they want to have some fun with you and one of them pulls out a knife. You look around to see if there is a way out, but find that you are trapped and have to either defend yourself or possibly be killed (thank heavens your wife and baby aren't with you).

I'd do "whatever it took" to stay alive. And if my wife were with me, I'd do "WHATEVER it took". No respect for my "sparring partners" in that kind of situation.

Jim23


Remember, all generalizations are false
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Old 03-10-2001, 10:23 AM   #17
paul spawforth
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Smile

Jim

I never said what my intent was!!!!

Paul.
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Old 03-10-2001, 10:28 AM   #18
Magma
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First of all, to BC and Kelly:
Yes, I agree that not everyone freezes in desperate situations. That's wasn't my point. Perhaps I should be clearer. It's the people who don't lock up, through training or through demeanor/reflexes, who are dangerous to you in those situations. And they are dangerous regardless of the amount of training they have had.

Now, Jim, you propose this situation:
Quote:
Jim23 wrote:
Quote:
paul spawforth wrote:
i feel the important factor is how you intend to use your art, aikidoka are taught to quell an attack and apply a lock or submission if necessary, but to never cause injury or pain just for the sake of it, to respect you opponent if you will.
Paul,

It's 10pm and as you are approaching your car, you're suddenly confronted by two rough-looking men who demand your money, watch, house keys, etc.

But that's not enough, they want to have some fun with you and one of them pulls out a knife. You look around to see if there is a way out, but find that you are trapped and have to either defend yourself or possibly be killed (thank heavens your wife and baby aren't with you).

I'd do "whatever it took" to stay alive. And if my wife were with me, I'd do "WHATEVER it took". No respect for my "sparring partners" in that kind of situation.

Jim23

The problem is, Jim, that I don't think Paul's original statement disagrees with what you're saying here (except for the lack of respect crack...) Forgive me for speaking for Paul, but I agree with his statement and so will defend it will my own feelings and beliefs. Causing injury to an attacker in a situation where you do not have the escape or the skills to make an escape otherwise is FAR different from being in control of a situation and then choosing to inflict injury anyway. Just to be clear, you were describing the former of those situations while Paul was describing the latter (I think).

And regardless of our beliefs on injuring an opponent when there seems no other way (some people will say that that isn't aikido, etc.), I believe that we still need to respect our enemy. To do otherwise leads to causing injury when we don't need to, and to an overconfidence that can leave us open to attack/injury.

Basically, Jim, I don't think you are describing a situation that contradicts with Paul's statement.

Tim
It's a sad irony: In U's satori, he forgot every technique he ever knew; since then, generations of doka have spent their whole careers trying to remember.
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Old 03-10-2001, 10:46 AM   #19
Jim23
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We're all agreeing here, just making different points.

It's just the nature of fourms, we focus in on a part of a post, then reply.

Jim23

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Old 03-11-2001, 12:48 PM   #20
Kolschey
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This may have been mentioned by others, but it bears repeating- The quickest way to "equalize" a fight between a practitioner of martial arts and an "average joe" is for Joe to employ weapons or friends. This is something that one should always be aware of as a potential hazard. For every weapon, friend, or armed friend, subtract the advantage of five to ten years training. Never underestimate the potential of the "untrained" to do serious harm. Look at any of the hot spots of conflict where the UN is trying to clean up various bloodbaths. How many people who find themselves in these civil wars are "trained"? Chopping firewood is all the trainig you need to maim or kill with a hatchet or machete. Stickball is all the practice you need to throw stones or bottles. It doesn't take a black belt to knock someone down and sit on them while bludgeoning them with a piece of firewood. Martial artists have no monopoly on violence.

Krzysztof M. Mathews
" For I am the Cat who walks by himself, and all places are alike to me" -Rudyard Kipling
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Old 03-23-2001, 06:10 AM   #21
Dajo251
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I have a theory that in a lot of confrontational situation "the average joe" could be a lot more dangerous than a martial artist. "The average joe" would most likly not be able to stay as calm in a fight as most martial artists and that makes him dangerous not because he knows what to do but because he doesent know what to do and just becomes frantic with no set plan. This is the same principle applied to never backing an animal into a corner because a panicked animal can hurt you a lot but a panicked human can do the same. Also I would venture to guess that a non martial artis would not know the limits of what he can do to some one before serious injury or killing him.

Dan Hulley
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Old 03-23-2001, 03:41 PM   #22
Chris P.
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Quote:
Dajo251 wrote:
I have a theory that in a lot of confrontational situation "the average joe" could be a lot more dangerous than a martial artist. "The average joe" would most likly not be able to stay as calm in a fight as most martial artists and that makes him dangerous not because he knows what to do but because he doesent know what to do and just becomes frantic with no set plan. This is the same principle applied to never backing an animal into a corner because a panicked animal can hurt you a lot but a panicked human can do the same. Also I would venture to guess that a non martial artis would not know the limits of what he can do to some one before serious injury or killing him.
I agree. Most untrained people have the ability to launch many poor attacks simultaneously, whereas most martial artists can only launch 1 or 2 poor attacks at a time.
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Old 03-23-2001, 09:48 PM   #23
aikijames
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Circle

it doesn't take any type of training to be able to defend your self or harm another person. being able to keep a clear state of mind during battle is all you need, and that can be trained through real life physical confrontation. So I bet drug dealing joe down the street has possibly been through more serious physical confritations than me, and might have a more proper state of mind in battle.
because if you think of what you need to do in a fight it is to late and you would have probably already lost.
I was reading a book on zen which said if you care not of life or death you are able to handle those situations better. the martial arts work on forms, and techniques with repition the more you work on the forms and the better you get with them the easier it is to preform them with out thinking. but you would still need a proper state of mind. a thoughtless state.

I have heard a discussion from allen watts (a zen guy) which said along time ago In Japan when a sensi had a new student he would make him clean the dojo. while he cleaned the dojo the sensi would surprise him by attacking him with a shinai eventually when the student stopped caring about the painful attack,
and started defending himself in a suitable manner, Then the sensi would start teaching him kendo.(i just heard this so i don't know its authenticity)
but i have read a ton of stories of Japanese bushi being defeated by commen men cause of the state of mind they'er in.

As martial artist i think the thoughtless start should be studied more. the mind makes the warrior.

anyway these are just a few things i figuered i would throw up into this disscusion.

James

sorry about the misspellings
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Old 03-24-2001, 01:13 AM   #24
DiNalt
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There's NO "average Joe" !
Get over it !

Sheesh...
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Old 03-24-2001, 11:30 AM   #25
Nick
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DiNalt-

Yes, there are. I'm one.

Nick

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