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Old 09-29-2004, 03:48 AM   #1
Aikidoiain
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Question To "The Masters"

I've replied to many posts regarding "real life attacks", but I'm wondering if any of the Masters on this site have been in similar situations and how they've coped?

As I've stated, my Tomiki Aikido skills alone weren't enough to deal with perhaps 6 to 8 attackers - many armed, so I had to resort to my other MA skills simply to save my life. Is this wrong? In my experience of being attacked, the person really wishes to hurt or even kill you, so I feel fully justified in using any means at my disposal to save my life. Of course, ideally, I'd like to use "nice" Aikido, but let's be realistic, would an Aikido Master truly abide by the basic principles of the Art if in such life-threatening a situation?

Presently, I am beginning training in a different style of Aikido as a complete beginner. My present goal is no longer for Self-Defense, but simply to help me relax, find some inner peace and get me fit. I do love Aikido as an Art though - but ultimately, how practical is it "in real life attacks"?

I'd be very interested to hear of any real life stories from Masters - as would many others, I'm sure.

Many thanks,
Iain.

Last edited by Aikidoiain : 09-29-2004 at 03:51 AM.
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Old 09-29-2004, 05:42 AM   #2
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Re: To "The Masters"

I can't believe there aren't any Masters on this site. Perhaps they're reluctant to divulge such information?

Okay, what if I direct the question to those on or above 6th Dan?

I'm not prying - just curious.

Thanks,
Iain.
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Old 09-29-2004, 06:32 AM   #3
Chuck.Gordon
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Re: To "The Masters"

We got Masters here??? Huh. Who'd have thought it.

No masters, only some folks who've been around a little longer.

Lemme see, you posted you question only about 2 hours before you responded to it yourself. Give it some time, Not everyone hangs out on the site all day.

As for the self defense thing, quite frankly, to ME, it'spretty meaningless. I don't train for 'street effectiveness'. If I did, I wouldn't be doing trad. budo. I've been a soldier and a cop, been a brawler and a competitor. When I was younger.

Did some stupid things. Learned a lot, the hard way. Don't need to chase that rabbit any more.

Your question, to me, speaks of a somewhat limited understanding of what budo is, Iain.

Martially effective and street effective are not the same things. Don't confuse them.

If you're interested in budo, then study budo. If you're interested in street fighting, you might want to look elsewhere.

Just my tuppence worth.

Chuck

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Old 09-29-2004, 06:55 AM   #4
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: To "The Masters"

Hello Iain,

This is a discussion forum and as such everybody is to a large extent equal. So no one is going to come straight out and answer your question as "A Master".

I am a 6th dan, but have not used my skills outside the dojo for many years. When I last used them I was a shodan and encountered a couple of your fellow countrymen in London at an England vs. Scotland game (it was rugby or soccer\I cannot remember which). I was returning home from aikido practice and encountered the two guys near Trafalgar Square.

Everything happened so quickly that I do not remember the precise details, but I remember putting down my bag containing keikogi etc and taking a kamae stance. What happened next was a direct irimi-nage, with an atemi to one guy's jaw. He landed on the pavement and did not get up. I then turned to face the second guy, but he assured me he had no problem with me and I continued on my way home.

This incident convinced me of the value of atemi\and also the potential dangers, for the first guy did not get up. He received what I think the Shodokan people call shomen-ate and clearly was not expecting it. I think he was slightly concussed.

What conclusions can I draw from this episode? I do not really know, except ro reinforce the belief I have that the training you have done\or not done\will probably determine how effective you will be in a 'real' situation, when the adrenalin flows and you have to react immediately.

Edited post. I want to second Mr Clark's point that I had not been practising aikido in order to practise on the street. Later in my aikido career, when I trained in the US, I met some members of the dojo who systematically tried out their aikido skills outside the dojo. I was on a student visa, so did not have that luxury, even if I had wanted it.

Best regards,

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 09-29-2004 at 07:01 AM.

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Old 09-29-2004, 09:19 AM   #5
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Re: To "The Masters"

Thanks for the replies.

Chuck I have no interest in streetfighting (never had!). It's just that in the past I have been attacked in the street and was wondering what a true Aikido Master would've done - that's all.

I've already mentioned in other posts, that I got into MA at 16 (I'm now a "naive" 41) simply for self-defense. I then moved onto other Arts. The reasons I train in Aikido now are far removed from the ones I had at 16. The first time I tried Aikido, I loved it, and now that I don't work anymore I hope to spend my remaining time studying it. And yes, I'm stuck indoors all day - thus my reply to the post.

Peter thank you for replying. I've never thought iriminage would be effective like that, but I guess when you reach your rank, everything is! I'm just beginning Aikikai Aikido, and finding it pretty tough going. I'm terribly out of shape. But I'll stick with it. Being Agoraphobic, the dojo and the shop across the street are the only two places I can go these days.

As for your encounter with soccer hooligans - that's a big problem here in Scotland. But I guess I'll be safe indoors!

Thank you both for the replies. I hope others will come forward with their stories, or "pearls of wisdom".


Iain.
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Old 09-29-2004, 12:21 PM   #6
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Re: To "The Masters"

yes, i think a real master wouldnt consider themself a master,and therefore would not answer your call.

beginners mind.

just as aikido can be applied to any circumstance other than life protection, the concepts can be and are applied to other martial arts.effectively.
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Old 09-29-2004, 12:31 PM   #7
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: To "The Masters"

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote:
I want to second Mr Clark's point that I had not been practising aikido in order to practise on the street.
Peter,

While Chuck Gordon and I share certain viewpoints from time to time, I don't want to "steal his thunder" in this thread. I might add that you're not the first person that's done this. By the way, I also agree with the points in both your and Chuck's posts.

Best Regards,

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 09-29-2004, 01:00 PM   #8
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Talking Re: To "The Masters"

Quote:
Chuck Clark wrote:
While Chuck Gordon and I share certain viewpoints from time to time, I don't want to "steal his thunder" in this thread. I might add that you're not the first person that's done this. By the way, I also agree with the points in both your and Chuck's posts.
Yah, Cousin, Chuck, but how many people have actuually SEEN US IN THE SAME ROOM???

Maybe we're really the same person!



They don't KNOW, do they???

How's you? We'll be in the US in May/June, maybe. Spend a few days in Norfolk, then Austin, then some downtime in Colorado. Any chance of you or yours coming to say howdy?

(the other) Chuck
Who's seing, working with (and for) and talking to lots of folks these days who deal with real life combat and wishes they didn't have to

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Old 09-29-2004, 01:34 PM   #9
Aikidoiain
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Re: To "The Masters"

To Jason,

How do you know what a "true Master" would think - unless you are one!?

Beginners' mind....uh? So even after 25 years of MA, I'm still just stuck in the "beginners' mind? I may know more than you think, or presume I may know.

"Those who preach, would do better to seek knowledge", I say to you.


Thanks and goodbye.
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Old 09-29-2004, 01:51 PM   #10
Greg Jennings
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Re: To "The Masters"

Quote:
Iain Smith wrote:
Beginners' mind....uh? So even after 25 years of MA, I'm still just stuck in the "beginners' mind? I may know more than you think, or presume I may know.
Iain,
"Shoshin" or "Beginner's Mind/Spirit" is something that the Founder told his students to develop.

I.e., Jason wasn't slamming you by calling you a beginner but saying that long-time practitioners, who had "shoshin", would probably not response to a question directed to "Masters".

Regards,

Greg Jennings
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Old 09-29-2004, 02:08 PM   #11
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Re: To "The Masters"

yes i was referring to "Shoshin" thanks greg.

im sorry i should have explained more.
sometimes i assume that everyone has studied the founder.

i myself strive to maintain a beginners mind (its a good thing)

i was by no means calling you a beginner .

i have no jugement on your intellect lain.
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Old 09-29-2004, 02:10 PM   #12
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Re: To "The Masters"

Thanks Greg,

I always thought it was an insult. How little I know.

Maybe I should therefore redirect my question "To the Voices of Experience"?

Iain.
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Old 09-29-2004, 02:12 PM   #13
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Re: To "The Masters"

.....and sorry Jason.

Iain.
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Old 09-29-2004, 03:59 PM   #14
Janet Rosen
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Re: To "The Masters"

Quote:
Chuck Gordon wrote:
Yah, Cousin, Chuck, but how many people have actuually SEEN US IN THE SAME ROOM???
me :-)

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 09-29-2004, 04:06 PM   #15
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Re: To "The Masters"

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote:
me :-)
me too!

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Old 09-29-2004, 04:06 PM   #16
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Re: To "The Masters"

Certainly not a master, and hoping never to conceive of myself as one, may I say...

I think there are some distinctions made in your perceptions of what Aikido is and is not that are not held by everyone that practices the art. Since many of your questions arise from these distinctions, not everyone holds your questions as meaningful (i.e. semiotically speaking). Aikido is many things to many people, if you will allow me to state the obvious. Moreover, almost anyone can find any rationale for what they are practicing by looking to the Founder's life. This self-legitimating practice increases even more when we are allowed to look to the shihan that are teachers nowadays.

For me, I do consider myself a practitioner of Aikido. Yet, I do not draw a line, or hint at a line, between martial effectiveness and spiritual cultivation -- let alone a line between martial effectiveness and street effectiveness. I do not feel I have left the "boundaries" of Aikido because I have used kicks, strikes, chokes, ground fighting, or even weapons in my training and/or in any tactical environment of one kind or another. Nor do I feel that self-defense situations that are forced upon me, for one reason or another (assuming that no reason points to my fault morally speaking), place my practicing of Aikido in a precarious position -- one whereby it may risk its own identity. I also do not hold that Aikido kihon waza curriculum encapsulates the art as a whole, let alone defines it. Some buy what I just said. Some do not. Some buy parts of it.

Allowing for variations in understandings and applications of Aikido, noting the huge differences one can justify by looking to the life of the Founder, and recognizing that viewpoints on what the art is and/or is not are as varied as the number of shihan teaching (of course it is more), perhaps your question can be asked a bit differently. Assuming I understand your question, perhaps you are asking, "Is there a way that one can face multiple attackers and apply tactical architectures that nullify an opponent's will and/or capacity to attack but not injure them in the least (or only in a minor way)?

Answering that question, I suppose we can say yes, but only theoretically. It would seem the human factor, which addresses skills acquired, and not merely ideal architectures, would make such a feat highly unlikely. For example, imagine yourself being attacked by six to eight children -- say ages two to five. While you may come out unscathed, and your intention may be to simply deflect and avoid, that many bodies heading in a single direction with a single intention will sooner or later run into some sort of opposing mass (e.g. each other, the ground, a wall, your own body, etc.). When this happens, the physics present are more primed for human injury than they are for human safety. Such things have to be exponentially increased when we are dealing with adult attackers -- undoubtedly.

This would lead one to hold that another solution is in order, should one take seriously the premise of non-violence and/or of working toward the continuous welfare of our fellow Man. In other words, the best way of not injuring six to eight attackers is not to be in a place where they are attacking you. This of course can be thought of as involving the "retreat" or the "runaway," but more than that, I think it has to include living the right kind of life; practicing right speech, right though, and right action. It would involve living life in such a way that the likelihood of facing such an encounter becomes as rare as the chance of injuring a fellow Man within such an encounter is likely. Under that kind of understanding, which I consider a very profound, wise, and deep understanding, we would have to say that many people (aikidoka and non-practitioner alike) are able to practice these relative Budo tenets quite expertly.

dmv
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Old 09-29-2004, 05:13 PM   #17
Aikidoiain
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Re: To "The Masters"

Hi David,

That was most enlightening. I do relate very well to your last couple of points regarding lifestyle. It is true that while working as a drummer in the music industry, violence was never far away - mostly fueled by alcohol and drugs. It is during my time in this environment that the attacks I've mentioned occurred. Either in the venue we were playing or outside. I was also socializing with, shall we say, rather volatile people, which didn't help. I have never provoked any attack, but have helped friends who were being set upon.

During this period in my life, I was also out late quite often at band rehearsals or visiting friends. It was often while walking home or waiting for a taxi or bus that the other attacks would happen. These, I would class as "muggings". I would often be alone in a part of the city I didn't know well or it had a bad reputation. It was in this environment that I began to encounter knife attacks for the first time. It was through actual experience, that I learned how to disable such attackers - rather than in a dojo.

So you are correct when you say lifestyle. Now, of course, I've left the music business due to all the stress, and have become housebound (reasons I've already mentioned elsewhere). Now that my life has changed so dramatically I am trying to cope with Mental Health problems as well as finding a "reason for living". Music wasn't just a job, it was my passion. I began playing drums aged 10, so it became second nature as I grew up. Now it's gone, I'm looking to Aikido for a purpose for living at all! Hopefully, I'll find some solace in Aikido, and be able to become as passionate about it as I was about drumming.

They say, "life begins at 40" - I hope so.

Thank you for your inspiring reply. I am most grateful.

Iain.
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Old 09-29-2004, 05:28 PM   #18
Janet Rosen
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Re: To "The Masters"

Quote:
Iain Smith wrote:
Now it's gone, I'm looking to Aikido for a purpose for living at all!
That's a lot of responsibility to put on any one activity/aspect of one's life, Iain. Especially since, for you in your current situation, "aikido" = one place, one teacher, one group of students.
I suspect many of us find that aikido fills some of our life needs/passions but that a balanced life comes from understanding that no one person, place or thing can meet all our needs.
Purpose for living, seems to me, is internally driven based on one's beliefs and expectations. Relying on an activity, like relying on another person, to give one a reason to live, is fraught w/ danger to one's autonomy and mental health.

Janet Rosen
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Old 09-29-2004, 05:45 PM   #19
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Re: To "The Masters"

Hi Janet,

Well it's a step forward at least. By going to the dojo I am challenging my Social Phobias and of course. Agoraphobia. Right now, I have restricted access to "life" because of these debilitating conditions. So, I must overcome, or at least come to terms with them before I can ever hope to find fulfillment in life. My Doctor's prognosis is "extremely poor", as I am Chronically ill.

I'm living life on a tightrope - trying not to fall off. Recently I took another Depression relapse which has made my plight even more desperate. I just try to live a day at a time. I feel I don't have the luxury of planning for the future.

Sorry, I've totally taken this thread off the subject again. Perhaps this is an indication in itself how difficult life is.

Anyway, thanks Janet. You've always given good advice and food for thought.

Let's try and get this thread back on track!

Iain.
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Old 09-29-2004, 06:06 PM   #20
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Re: To "The Masters"

To all,

I've started a journal to try and keep my MH problems off the forum.



Iain.
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Old 09-30-2004, 04:26 AM   #21
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Re: To "The Masters"

Hi Iain once again,

I think this is a wrong place to seek a master, you will probably find them in some deep jungle or caves in some mountain doing zen meditation whilst detached from all modernity, that includes internet connection. In the mean time, you will have to put up with us, the non-masters with half baked ideas only.

Cheers, take it easy man.
Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 09-30-2004, 06:54 AM   #22
Aikidoluvr
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Re: To "The Masters"

I don`t think lain was trying to insult anyone or mean harm by saying "masters". He just used his wordings in a wrong way. He`s just looking for someone with experience in the matter he was talking about. Lain in my opinion aikido can be used in a fight but it will be a modified version. You`re not going to go out there and use exactly what is practiced in the dojo. I myself had to use aikido recently and it`s all in the individual not the art. If you have experience in a few street fights you can incorparate pretty much any style into your fight. It`s just modified. BUT if you never had street fights and only trained in the dojo and then a fight happens with you and someone who has some street fighting skill you`d be disappointed. So basically it depends on the person. Reaction is key. You can`t hesitate. And good look luck with your illnesses.

Mark
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Old 10-01-2004, 06:48 AM   #23
Peter Seth
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Re: To "The Masters"

Master - No such animal exists! if anyone thinks they are they should start again at the beginning.
Ive been in 'the arts' for over 40 years and the more I learn the less I know.
As for being attacked, if you study Budo you should have developed a 'feel' for situations. If conflict is unavoidable then treat the situation as if your life is at risk and use every means at your disposal to legitimately defend yourself. Remember 'spirit and intent' are a vital ingredient.
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Old 10-01-2004, 08:55 AM   #24
happysod
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Re: To "The Masters"

Peter, you're gonna hate me for this, but I can't stop myself...

Quote:
Ive been in 'the arts' for over 40 years and the more I learn the less I know
I understand why you're saying this, but I've always hated this type of phrase. Could I suggest "the more I learn the more I find there is to learn" or something similar. The reason I'm being picky as the first is a bit too negative and/or smugly arrogant (no, I'm NOT saying you are) whereas the second just implies finding a bigger sea to swim in...
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Old 10-01-2004, 09:18 AM   #25
Aikidoiain
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Re: To "The Masters"

To Ian,

That's like the signature I use. Check it out.


Iain.
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