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Old 09-24-2004, 02:15 AM   #26
happysod
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Re: Aikido no good for self defense??

Aleksey, behave, every true aikidoka can calm entire raging mobs with but a smile and a merry quip as anyone who reads the internet knows...
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Old 09-24-2004, 02:31 AM   #27
xuzen
 
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Re: Aikido no good for self defense??

Bryan,

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful article. Especially the part on the bokken strike.

Once upon a time, I went to a posh chinese restaurant in some uptown area. At the entrance was two very plain looking vase. It was if i recall purple in colour. There was no marking, and no additional drawing or art of any sort whatsoever on it. Despite its simplicity, the restauraneur decided to display these two vases at the entrance. Through further scrutiny, I discovered that the vase has perfect symmetry and are of very fine handywork. Its surface is flawlessly smooth without any dent or crevices.

I admired the two vase for a rather long period of time. I thought, vase is a practical thing, it is used to hold flower. However the owner decided to display it as it is. It was to him good enough as a piece of art.

I too admire aikido in the same anology. It's functional form is solely for combat. However, after much scrutiny and admiration (long time practitioner), I, similarly like the restaurant owner, see aikido as it is, a practical thing that is just as good as an art.

Sorry folks, this post is slightly out of topic, it was in reference to Bryan's article, and not so much on the effectiveness of aikido.

Boon.

p/s To shihonage, who knows, maybe smiling and showing aiki attitude may deter some stoned 16 y/o junkies from being an aggressor? But then I am only speculating...

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 09-24-2004, 02:31 AM   #28
PeterR
 
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Re: Aikido no good for self defense??

Quote:
Ian Hurst wrote:
Aleksey, behave, every true aikidoka can calm entire raging mobs with but a smile and a merry quip as anyone who reads the internet knows...
I'm depressed - try as I might I just can't mange a merry quip.

I found the article full of pretentious assumptions but of course I would.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 09-24-2004, 02:59 AM   #29
batemanb
 
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Smile Re: Aikido no good for self defense??

Quote:
Aleksey Sundeyev wrote:
I'm sure, when a 16 year old stoned prick with an attitude takes a swing at Mr. Moberg outside of a downtown McDonalds, he is going to stop him with his disarming smile and then put him to sleep by reading him an abstract 2 hour lecture largely consisting of words like "contemplate" and "hitherto".
You didn't like the article huh .Personally, I think he has some valid points.

I know when I apply a technique during practice, I can inflict pain, but I choose not to if I can. Just because I choose not to doesn't mean I can't, won't or don't if the situation requires it.

Fortunately I've never been involved in a fight outside of the dojo (at least not since high school, which was long before I started practicing), so I can't answer whether my technique will work in that situation or not, and to be honest, I have no need nor desire to find out. In the event that a situation does happen, I'll do the best I can to resolve it amicably first.


Regards

Bryan

Last edited by batemanb : 09-24-2004 at 03:13 AM.

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 09-24-2004, 03:20 AM   #30
Tamarack
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Re: Aikido self defense

Well, my first line of self-defence would be to choose not to train with Aleksey!

Aikido definately deals with conflict! A little "verbal aikido" has saved me hours of potential argument.
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Old 09-24-2004, 04:10 AM   #31
shihonage
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Re: Aikido self defense

Quote:
Tamarack Hockin wrote:
Well, my first line of self-defence would be to choose not to train with Aleksey!
May I ask why ?
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Old 09-24-2004, 04:55 AM   #32
thomas_dixon
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Re: Aikido no good for self defense??

I'm sure people who've never even studied Aikido can attest to it's effectiveness in battle.
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Old 09-24-2004, 05:49 AM   #33
Dyusan
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Re: Aikido no good for self defense??

Sensei always said, "Don't be there."

Gary Chase
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Old 09-24-2004, 05:50 AM   #34
Matt Molloy
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Re: Aikido no good for self defense??

Quote:
Steven Kane wrote:
Basically, they imply that Aikido is impractical for self defense.
AAARRRRGGHHH!!!!

Yes of course it's impractical for self defense. The fact that we may be able to pick people up and slam them into the ground far harder than they could ever be punched means that we just do a rather nice form of new age dancing. Of course it's better to take a punch on the arm than get the hell out of the way like we do. Go and practice punching and kicking and forget about all those locks and holds, it's better to go to court and defend smashing a face in than to merely have locked someone up and walked them away to calm down. Rant....Rave....Rant.....

Sorry, need more coffee.

Whilst I appreciate that everyone has doubts occasionally I just can't abide these threads.

Quote:
Steven Kane wrote:
Even the co-founder of bullshido.com said that Aikido is ****.
Everybody's got one. Hmmm. What could it be?

Quote:
Steven Kane wrote:
The people on the bullshido forums seem to be into Muay Thai and BJJ.
From sincere practitioners of Muay Thai (which I've practiced) and BJJ (which I haven't) I have heard nothing but respect for Aikido. My suspicion is that many people on the boards don't actually practice but act as cheerleaders for whatever the flavour of the month in NHB et al is at the moment.

Belated welcome to Aikiweb. Hope you like Aikido. I know that there must be some reason why I keep dragging myself off to the dojo and coming back exhausted, wringing wet with a big smile on my face and I hope you find the same.

Cheers,

Matt.
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Old 09-24-2004, 08:02 AM   #35
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Aikido no good for self defense??

No, Aikido is quite useless as "Self defense"... in fact one could say that the Founder specifically designed Aikido to be the opposite of "Self" defense.

Aikido is a form of misogi. The more it is sincerely practiced the more tenuous your hold on your old "Self" becomes. I would say that Aikido is intended to be "not defending the Self". Practice should lead to the destruction of the "Self" in the sense of our old notions of what that is. As a form of Budo it should be about losing the desire to defend the "Self".

So let's stop worrying about this silly issue of whether Aikido can be used for fighting... it certainly can be but so what? The world has a lot of fighting styles. It didn't need another one. The perception that we need to "defend the Self" so to speak is one of the causes of great heartache for human kind. Let's use our Aikido training to get beyond this limited way of thinking. Let's ask ourselves what insecurity or fear produces this obsession with self defense in the first place.

George S. Ledyard
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Aikido Eastside
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Old 09-24-2004, 08:05 AM   #36
Greg Jennings
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Re: Aikido no good for self defense??

Quote:
Gary Chase wrote:
Sensei always said, "Don't be there."
That's nice. It's something that works most of the time. But sometimes trouble comes to you.

The only physical altercation I've had in my adult life was when I was fueling up my truck in a good part of town. Things went from situation normal to violence in the blink of an eye.

Best regards,

Greg Jennings
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Old 09-24-2004, 08:40 AM   #37
Matt Molloy
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Re: Aikido no good for self defense??

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
No, Aikido is quite useless as "Self defense"... in fact one could say that the Founder specifically designed Aikido to be the opposite of "Self" defense.

Aikido is a form of misogi. The more it is sincerely practiced the more tenuous your hold on your old "Self" becomes. I would say that Aikido is intended to be "not defending the Self". Practice should lead to the destruction of the "Self" in the sense of our old notions of what that is. As a form of Budo it should be about losing the desire to defend the "Self".

So let's stop worrying about this silly issue of whether Aikido can be used for fighting... it certainly can be but so what? The world has a lot of fighting styles. It didn't need another one. The perception that we need to "defend the Self" so to speak is one of the causes of great heartache for human kind. Let's use our Aikido training to get beyond this limited way of thinking. Let's ask ourselves what insecurity or fear produces this obsession with self defense in the first place.
Alright, so you just had to be the voice of philosophical reason.

Seriously, thanks for the superb post. I would only add that all styles, Karate, Shaolin Kung Fu, Muay Thai, even boxing have elements of musogi in them but they don't seem to generate half the doubts in the effectiveness of their techniques that seem to plague the boards of Aikido websites.

Perhaps it is because this aspect is so emphasised in Aikido that people start to have the doubts and so miss out on the musogi because of these and don't work quite so hard because they are missing out on the musogi and so the techniques don't work because they aren't working so hard and so have doubts because their techniques don't work............

I don't know but it seems that a lot of people leap towards the "do" these days and neglect the "jutsu" which, whilst laudable, seems to wind up in the spiral described above whereas if they just practiced the "jutsu" assiduously they would find the "do" waiting within.

Hope the above makes sense and thanks again for a thought provoking post.

*goes and gets cup of tea.*

Cheers,

Matt.
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Old 09-24-2004, 08:46 AM   #38
Beau
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Re: Aikido no good for self defense??

Hello all,
It seems as if there have been alot of posts lately about the effectiveness of Aikido as a method of self defense. What suprises me is how most of the responses make it seem silly for a beginner to ask this question. Aikido is advertised and defined as a martial art. No one has a problem with someone going to a car dealership and asking about the quality of their cars, why should it be any different when someone asks about the martial effectiveness of Aikido?
Any book that someone picks up at the bookstore will without a doubt have stories about the extreme martial prowess of Aikido's masters. Its unfair and confusing to beginners to dance around the subject of purpose of Aikido Training. (Note the difference between Aikido's purpose, and the purpose of training) O'Sensei was no doubt sending a message of peace and love, but his fame and following came directly from his physical abilities.

Again just my 1/50th of a dollar =0),
Beau
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Old 09-24-2004, 01:07 PM   #39
shihonage
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Re: Aikido no good for self defense??

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
So let's stop worrying about this silly issue of whether Aikido can be used for fighting... it certainly can be but so what? The world has a lot of fighting styles. It didn't need another one. The perception that we need to "defend the Self" so to speak is one of the causes of great heartache for human kind. Let's use our Aikido training to get beyond this limited way of thinking. Let's ask ourselves what insecurity or fear produces this obsession with self defense in the first place.
That is all good and well, but we live in a world where violence is becoming more and more commonplace.
Given how we spend a large chunk of our lives studying one martial art (or at least one_main_ martial art), and if it happens to be Aikido, it should also work in those very real situations.

I agree that a fight can be "transcended" and "avoided" and all that stuff. I myself have been able to do the infamous "smiling adaptable yet immoveable Aikidoka" thing to deter three guys from fighting with me.
Thats because I was able to "expand" and be empathic and calm without yielding - at those times.

But it does not work in ALL circumstances, and we are flawed human beings who are not always capable of feeling 'big enough" to encompass the attacker.
And the attacker... is not always capable of feeling _anything_.
When a person is on PCP or the like, good luck with avoidance.

Sometimes shit hits the fan - and Aikido must work.

Maybe this larger conception of "self" that Aikido teaches us came from the world where we "came from", but in this world, Aikido, while certainly keeping some heads in the sky, should keep its feet firmly on the ground.
I believe that with Aikido it's possible to have the cake and eat it too.

Quote:
Its unfair and confusing to beginners to dance around the subject of purpose of Aikido Training. (Note the difference between Aikido's purpose, and the purpose of training) O'Sensei was no doubt sending a message of peace and love, but his fame and following came directly from his physical abilities.
Check out the English-translated version of "Aikido Shugyo" book by Gozo Shioda.
It has several fight stories, along with being in general very down to Earth and addressing most of the questions that arise about Aikido in these forums.

Last edited by shihonage : 09-24-2004 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 09-24-2004, 02:43 PM   #40
W^2
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Re: Aikido no good for self defense??

Hello All,

Generally speaking, you will receive from any Endeavour whatever you applied to it - your worldviews, preconceptions, attitudes, etc. Necessarily, this will vary from person to person, and hopefully we grow and change in the process.

A lot of the discussions revolving around the 'real effectiveness' of this technique or that martial art are put forth by individuals who are at the physical level of study or understanding -- in this case it would be in Aikido. I think what Sensei Ledyard implied was that the real effectiveness of Aikido - and many other things - cannot be quantitatively understood in only physical terms. You might as well study a paradox because you're trying to understand in one dimension (or linear terms), what can only be experienced in many dimensions (non-linear terms).

I also study Muay Thai; in fact I recently attended the Pacific Northwest Muay Thai Camp in Oregon. I constantly apply the same principles I learned in Aikido while practicing and teaching Muay Thai. The obvious outward differences between the two are the physical techniques and in this regard - possessing the ability to do a great deal of physical harm to someone - the physical techniques of Muay Thai have a shorter learning curve for most. Those at a physical level of awareness may equate this to 'martial effectiveness'.

The question really is: what is effective self-defense to you?

My definition of effective self-defense is to never have to physically defend myself at all and in this regard Aikido has been quite effective in my life.

Regards,

Ward

Last edited by W^2 : 09-24-2004 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 09-24-2004, 02:55 PM   #41
Infamousapa
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Re: Aikido no good for self defense??

Since we are still on the subject,I wanted to add one more quote form Bruce Lee's TAO OF JEET KUNE DO that i am pretty certain is aimed towards Aikido and it practitioners..
"WHEN,IN A SPLIT SECOND,YOUR LIFE IS THREATENED,DO YOU SAY,(LET ME MAKE SURE MY HAND IS ON MY HIP,AND MY STYLE IS THE STYLE)?..WHEN YOUR LIFE IS IN DANGER,DO YOU ARGUE ABOUT THE METHOD YOU WILL ADHERE TO WHILE SAVING YOURSELF?WHY THE DUALITY?
this part really seems to point towards Aikido "A SO CALLED MARTIAL ARTIST IS THE RESULT OF THREE THOUSAND YEARS OF PROPAGANDA AND CONDITIONING.!!!!!!!!!!!!WHY DO INDIVIDUALS DEPEND ON THOUSANDS OF YEARS OF PROPAGANDA?THEY MAY PREACH "SOFTNESS"AS THE IDEAL TO "FIRMNESS" BUT WHEN WHAT IS HITS,WHAT HAPPENS?IDEALS,PRINCIPLES,THE WHAT SHOULD BE...LEADS TO HYPOCRISY.

This clearly looks like it is aimed towards Aikido...Enough said...
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Old 09-24-2004, 03:03 PM   #42
shihonage
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Re: Aikido no good for self defense??

Quote:
Tony Sapa wrote:
Since we are still on the subject,I wanted to add one more quote form Bruce Lee's TAO OF JEET KUNE DO that i am pretty certain is aimed towards Aikido and it practitioners..
"WHEN,IN A SPLIT SECOND,YOUR LIFE IS THREATENED,DO YOU SAY,(LET ME MAKE SURE MY HAND IS ON MY HIP,AND MY STYLE IS THE STYLE)?..WHEN YOUR LIFE IS IN DANGER,DO YOU ARGUE ABOUT THE METHOD YOU WILL ADHERE TO WHILE SAVING YOURSELF?WHY THE DUALITY?
this part really seems to point towards Aikido "A SO CALLED MARTIAL ARTIST IS THE RESULT OF THREE THOUSAND YEARS OF PROPAGANDA AND CONDITIONING.!!!!!!!!!!!!WHY DO INDIVIDUALS DEPEND ON THOUSANDS OF YEARS OF PROPAGANDA?THEY MAY PREACH "SOFTNESS"AS THE IDEAL TO "FIRMNESS" BUT WHEN WHAT IS HITS,WHAT HAPPENS?IDEALS,PRINCIPLES,THE WHAT SHOULD BE...LEADS TO HYPOCRISY.

This clearly looks like it is aimed towards Aikido...Enough said...
Someone up Tony's dosage... he seems to be having seizures again.

Last edited by shihonage : 09-24-2004 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 09-24-2004, 03:12 PM   #43
W^2
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Re: Aikido no good for self defense??

Hello Tony,

Guru Dan Inosanto, who I spoke with at the Camp, would beg to differ with your interpretation -- Si Gung Lee was referring to forms in general. To quote Guro Inosanto:

"People are still trying to define Jeet Kune Do in terms of distinct style, i.e. Bruce Lee's Gung-Fu, Bruce Lee's Karate, Bruce Lee's Kick-Boxing or Bruce Lee's Street Fighting. To label Jeet Kune Do as Bruce Lee's martial art is to miss completely its meaning; its concepts simply cannot be confined within a system. To understand this, a martial artist must transcend the duality of the "for" and "against" and reach one unity that is without distinction. The understanding of Jeet Kune Do is a direct intuition of this unity. Truth cannot be perceived until we have come to full understanding of our potential and ourselves. According to Lee, knowledge in the martial arts ultimately means self-knowledge."-- Guro Dan Inosanto

Regards,

Ward
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Old 09-25-2004, 03:08 AM   #44
Matt Molloy
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Re: Aikido no good for self defense??

Quote:
Aleksey Sundeyev wrote:
I believe that with Aikido it's possible to have the cake and eat it too.
Thanks Aleksey for managing to put the point far more succinctly than I could.

Cheers,

Matt.
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Old 09-25-2004, 06:43 PM   #45
Jeanne Shepard
 
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Re: Aikido no good for self defense??

"Lifes hard, but life's harder when you're dumb."


Awareness is always good.

Jeanne
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Old 09-25-2004, 07:24 PM   #46
JasonFDeLucia
 
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Re: Aikido no good for self defense??

Quote:
Greg Jennings wrote:
If you mean initiating techniques, that would not be true of all aikido. Some schools of aikido practice all three classes of initiative (go no sen, sen no sen and sen sen no sen).

FWIW,
''when pulled ,enter, when pushed ,turn ,when dealing with agression in it's most brutal form act first.there is no question in killing ,and the best defense is offense .that doesn't mean that you should go around being offensive ,but gentle as lambs if you know attack is immanent you go first .this is a truely spiritual act .we don't ever want this time to come so we pray for peace,but be prepared.aikido has a most leathal combination of strike to throw to pin most of which will not be effective unless you act first .
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Old 09-25-2004, 11:00 PM   #47
Infamousapa
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Re: Aikido no good for self defense??

Quote:
Jason DeLucia wrote:
''when pulled ,enter, when pushed ,turn ,when dealing with agression in it's most brutal form act first.there is no question in killing ,and the best defense is offense .that doesn't mean that you should go around being offensive ,but gentle as lambs if you know attack is immanent you go first .this is a truely spiritual act .we don't ever want this time to come so we pray for peace,but be prepared.aikido has a most leathal combination of strike to throw to pin most of which will not be effective unless you act first .
I would say the best offense is defense..
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Old 09-26-2004, 01:18 AM   #48
deepsoup
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Re: Aikido no good for self defense??

Quote:
Jeanne Shepard wrote:
"Lifes hard, but life's harder when you're dumb."
Or:
"If you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough."
Sean
x
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Old 09-26-2004, 06:00 PM   #49
JasonFDeLucia
 
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Re: Aikido no good for self defense??

Quote:
Tony Sapa wrote:
I would say the best offense is defense..
where attack is imminent this attitude will hurt you ,though when there is a chance to soothe aggression with gentleness it should be seized.
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Old 09-26-2004, 09:00 PM   #50
vanstretch
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Re: Aikido no good for self defense??

Sensei Ledyard on the "Self" post makes a great point. I interpret that to mean that to focus in the breath(in the moment),there is no "you". There is the technique occurring with out the ego of a "you" involved. And this may also clarify what Lee wrote about in the JKD text also. The dullard who merely follows without testing nor questioning limits is doomed to be one of many sheep. You can see them daily on your drive to work. Thats my take, see ya in the jungle!
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