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Old 12-06-2004, 08:41 AM   #1
ravered
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"Real world Situations"

I noticed that lots of people question aikido when having to do with "real world situations". Well i was just thinking that people say aikido isn't worth anything when it comes to protecting yourself. I think it has to do with mostly neutralizing your opponent without hurting them. In a "Real World Situation" if there is someone trying to fight you or hurt you, you aren't gonna just rely on aikido to protect yourself. you're gonna put everything in you're arsenal to protect yourself. It's there if as a guideline sort of way to try to help you. If someones gonna try to hurt you and are you are going to defend yourself by kicking and punching no matter what and whatever you have learned in aikido.
I know that aikido doens't teach punching, but anyone can punch and kick and grab randomly. But, to take someone down peacefully in a controlled manner is pure skill and technique. That is what i think aikido is for. and also i don't feel that it is wrong that you integrate what ever you can when in a "Real World Situation"

Just seeing what other peoples thoughts are on the "Real World Situations." I think aikido can be used exclusivly if you have a real good knowledge of it. But, at the lower levels when faced with these situations rely on what you have to protect yourself. (Improvise for the skill that you haven't yet acquired).

Well thanks for listening to my ramblings.
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Old 12-06-2004, 08:45 AM   #2
rachel
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Re: "Real world Situations"

Umm... Yeah...
Everyone responds to things differently...
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Old 12-06-2004, 10:17 AM   #3
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Re: "Real world Situations"

What if protecting yourself is less important to you than protecting the other person? What if you were willing to sacrifice yourself to prevent harm to the person who is trying to kill you? What if there were hundreds of people in the world who, when harmed, give back only kindness?
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Old 12-06-2004, 11:26 AM   #4
Aristeia
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Re: "Real world Situations"

Quote:
Benjamin Edelen wrote:
What if protecting yourself is less important to you than protecting the other person? What if you were willing to sacrifice yourself to prevent harm to the person who is trying to kill you? What if there were hundreds of people in the world who, when harmed, give back only kindness?
Then pretty soon there would be tens of people like that, then a couple of people like that, then no people like that...

You don't need years studying a martial art to become a victim, you can do that with no training.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 12-06-2004, 12:11 PM   #5
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Re: "Real world Situations"

Do not confuse kindness with weakness. Victims are laypeople, pacifists are warriors. Even the very wise cannot see all ends...
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Old 12-06-2004, 01:03 PM   #6
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Re: "Real world Situations"

Nothing wrong with being a pacifist, I'm one myself. But that doesn't mean if somebody tries to kill me I think pacifism is best served by my death rather than the death or maiming of my attacker. It's not a question of weakness so much as foolishness IMO. And I'm sure Tolkein would say the same.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 12-06-2004, 01:12 PM   #7
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Re: "Real world Situations"

A; There's no pacifist like a soldier. If you've never looked at the beast, you CANNOT abhor it ... because you have no idea what the beast IS.

B: My grandpa used to tell me "Never back a pacifist into a corner, they bite" ... I've found his wisdom to be true.

C: Aikido, like ANY budo, has nothing to do with the 'real' world' ... It has to do with studying a fairly narrow slice of Japanese martial endeavor that had proved useful in personal discovery, self-development and, well, generally, fun.

If you want to learn real-world effective fighting, there are faster, more efficient ways.

No, really.

If you enjoy your aikido/budo training, why worry about ephemera?

Chuck

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Old 12-06-2004, 01:55 PM   #8
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Re: "Real world Situations"

Undoubtedly, sacrifice is an element of Universal Love, but I would also think that there is a very subtle significance to the relationship we must have between "care of self" and "care of others." Sometimes that relationship is so subtle it often appears as a paradox. It is a paradox I personally do not feel is so easily solved by simply putting others first all of the time, or even (perhaps especially) universally in the face of human violence. As was said, it is difficult to see all ends, and thus it is very likely then that such an act of sacrifice can go in either of the implied ways presented in this thread thus far.

Merton says, "To love another is to will what is really good for him. Such love must be based on truth. A love that sees no distinction between good and evil, but loves blindly merely for the sake of loving, is hatred rather than love. To love blindly is to love selfishly, because the goal of such love is not the real advantage of the beloved but only the exercise of love in our own souls. Such love cannot seem to be love unless it pretends to seek the good of the one loved. But since it actually cares nothing for the truth, and never considers that it may go astray, it proves itself to be selfish."

We can ask then before we offer such sacrifices: "What advantage does injuring me bring to my attacker?" "What truth does my attacker come to warm him/herself under via my injury and/or even my death?" "What good does my attacker receive by committing an act of violence upon my body, my mind, and my soul?" "In such an act, am I truly serving my attacker, or am I loving blindly and selfishly by merely attempting to exercise the love in my own soul and pretending to do good?" "By such an act, am I hating more than I am loving my fellow man?"

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
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Old 12-06-2004, 03:13 PM   #9
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Re: "Real world Situations"

Excellent comments. This is a great thought experiment. I am proposing that no-one may have ever tried truly putting their enemy before themselves, and I am wondering if something unexpected might happen. That being said, sacrificing yourself may be a senseless as sacrificing another. This has to do with many things including how much you value life. It is often said that to survive one must enter under the blade. Perhaps sacrificing yourself is the very nature of invincibility. Then again, perhaps not sacrificing anyone is...
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Old 12-06-2004, 04:08 PM   #10
Aristeia
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Re: "Real world Situations"

Quote:
Benjamin Edelen wrote:
I am proposing that no-one may have ever tried truly putting their enemy before themselves, and I am wondering if something unexpected might happen.
Well someone may have tried it, but chances are they're dead and forgotten.

Quote:
That being said, sacrificing yourself may be a senseless as sacrificing another.
you think?
Quote:
Perhaps sacrificing yourself is the very nature of invincibility.
You misspelt vincibility

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 12-06-2004, 04:26 PM   #11
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Re: "Real world Situations"

Since there is no way to defend your body from damage, talking about self defense gets old very quickly. There will always be people who can smoke you, no questions asked. As I have said before, each of us is only alive because someone else is permitting it. Since the fate of our bodies is predetermined, perhaps we should start looking into ways to influence the fate of our spirits. Bodies can be controlled or destroyed, but Aikido may be a way to strengthen our spirits so that we do not have to submit to corporeal influence. You may not be able to live as long as you want to, or meet all of the earthly goals you set, but you might as well be geniunely happy while you are here.
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Old 12-06-2004, 04:35 PM   #12
Aristeia
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Re: "Real world Situations"

You seem to be making some huge leaps of logic here. Because some people can "smoke" me there is no benefit to training to protect yourself from others? Because there's some things that can do me damage there is no way to protect my body from damage? That's like saying because there are some accidents where wearing a seat belt won't save you you're wasting your time wearing seat belts. It just doesn't follow. How is the fate of our bodies predetermined? By whom? I mean yes we're all going to die eventually but there's alot of ifs and buts along the way.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 12-06-2004, 05:12 PM   #13
John Ashton
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Re: "Real world Situations"

Quote:
Benjamin Edelen wrote:
What if protecting yourself is less important to you than protecting the other person? What if you were willing to sacrifice yourself to prevent harm to the person who is trying to kill you? What if there were hundreds of people in the world who, when harmed, give back only kindness?
Well said,
ja
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Old 12-06-2004, 06:16 PM   #14
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Re: "Real world Situations"

The two points seem to be valid - perhaps then there is a bit of talking around each other. Is there not a third option where these things can meet? Or maybe it is a completely different option, because it is off the spectrum of training either martially or training spiritually. What about the third option where the two are reconciled via each other and not supposedly through the loss of one or the other?

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
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Old 12-06-2004, 06:56 PM   #15
bkedelen
 
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Re: "Real world Situations"

Michael, I am not saying that we should not train hard. Many men and women died so that the techniques could be hand crafted into what they are today. The bearers of these burdens discovered that there was more to learn from the techniques than simply murder. It would be a tragedy to let lessons purchased with blood disappear forever, simply because their origins are distasteful. My natural reaction is to do exactly what you are talking about, being ready to defend myself, but in a reasonable and moral way. I am simply musing about what it would be like if I could give up my attachment to survival. This does not involve cowardice. You are not a victim because you are still making a choice, simply choosing yourself rather than the other. If you were helpless, there would be no choice for you to make. Perhaps no human could ever make this choice. It certainly is contrary to our nature. Looking deeper into these things could not hurt, however.
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Old 12-06-2004, 07:31 PM   #16
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Re: "Real world Situations"

You're talking in extremes and that's the problem. It's not a choice between murder or relinquishing your attachment to survival. The great thing about Aikido is it's scaleable. I fail to grasp what it is that can possibly be gained by allowing your own death over harming your would be murderer. Better for the murderer sure. Better for you? No. Better for society? no. Better for the gene pool? probably not. It sounds to me like aiming for self sacrifice for the sake of saying look how unattached to ego I am, and consequently a little self indulgent.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 12-06-2004, 08:11 PM   #17
maikerus
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Re: "Real world Situations"

I hope I never have to find out, but I think if I get backed into a corner by someone threatening me or my family then I'm going to turn into one of those biting pacifists that Chuck mentions. Hopefully my Aikido training will help me push through the fear of the threat and focus on doing something about it. Whether it be with Aikido or a with a truck.

--Michael

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 12-06-2004, 08:26 PM   #18
Aristeia
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Re: "Real world Situations"

True Dat :-)

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 12-06-2004, 09:48 PM   #19
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Re: "Real world Situations"

Perhaps you are not able to understand where I am coming from. You think I am being extreme because you perhaps do not understand the changes that a little technology brings to combat. When an altercation occurs using modern armaments, the result is almost certainly death for one of the involved parties. The guys who came up with the stuff the people on this board study used to chop each other to pieces without a second thought. They did not draw their swords, smack them together until someone gave up, then go home. When by virtue of your training and the weapons you bear you are constantly responsible for the lives of everyone around you, you cannot get into a "little" fight. The choices left to the armed gentleman are escape, death, or murder. This is precisely why I have lost my taste for self defense.
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Old 12-06-2004, 11:01 PM   #20
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Re: "Real world Situations"

Well, I was in Colorado back in 2002 when a couple of guys were trying to get a MMA event going, a total of 26 guys mostly from Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Boxing and surprise to me Aikido and Hapkido, were in the roster along with one Judo guy, two Greco Roman wrestlers and two Brazilian Jujitsu guys, the last four matches were Judo vs B Jujitsu, Wrestler vs wrestler, B jujitsu vs Boxer and Tai boxer vs Karate, the winner of the event... Judo why? the guy was 31, wile most other guys were 23 to 26= more exp: second: he had participated in international competition in center and south America = used to spectators and having the crowd against him, but most important aspect his father was a professional boxer, so he was the only grappler who knew how to throw a decent jab cross hook comb, then grab and go down, so if we take this as an example, we can see that as long as we complement our art with others, we not only improve our chances against true attacks, but also against attacks delivered by trained individuals, we have to stop thinking that we are the only ones who have step inside a training hall, and that our way is the only enlightened one, if we are studying and teaching any MARTIAL art lest start by defining MARTIAL = Military way of doing something that requires more discipline, physical courage, commitment, self reliance, selfless service and common sense that any common or day by day activity engage by the civilian sector. This include to proficiently train, not only for self indulgence in the manner of bragging about how much one knows, but to give that young student the tools necessary to survive a real encounter, Aikido is morally and technically harmonious and it can develop and improve grace of movement along with continuity of motion, but is effectiveness against raw concentrated power like, against a 24 year old shoot fighter or a well trained boxer or wrestler? It has a good advantage against people who don't have any formal training but even if one of these untrained individuals is physically gifted IE strong, fast, very aggressive type, then Aikido may end up short of many peoples expectations. Test your skills in deferent environments under deferent stress levels against trained attackers that don't just throw themselves with every punch, and you'll see your Aikido working much better, but if every time someones sensibilities are hurt because you are not defending yourself as a shinto priest or a zen guru you are gonna go soft, my friend you will never be able to take it to the next level and that level is called MARTIAL: combat efficient art, if cross training is necessary to do this then ask your self this: Is tradition more important than giving my students what they need to survive in this world? Now think about This World, now put your self or maybe your child in this picture, can you, could he or she survive, hopefully a couple of eyes have been open but in my home land they have a saying THERE IS NO BLIND MAN WORSE ...THAT ... THE ONE THAT DON'T WANNA SEE This have been the Evil Ways of Dave Tha Snake

Last edited by Adramalek : 12-06-2004 at 11:09 PM.

Evil Ways Of Dave (Tha Snake)
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Old 12-07-2004, 02:39 AM   #21
Aristeia
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Re: "Real world Situations"

Quote:
Benjamin Edelen wrote:
Perhaps you are not able to understand where I am coming from. You think I am being extreme because you perhaps do not understand the changes that a little technology brings to combat. When an altercation occurs using modern armaments, the result is almost certainly death for one of the involved parties. The guys who came up with the stuff the people on this board study used to chop each other to pieces without a second thought. They did not draw their swords, smack them together until someone gave up, then go home. When by virtue of your training and the weapons you bear you are constantly responsible for the lives of everyone around you, you cannot get into a "little" fight. The choices left to the armed gentleman are escape, death, or murder. This is precisely why I have lost my taste for self defense.
Maybe I have a different view because I live in a society were it is very rare for anyone to go armed. But regardless I've read plenty of accounts of unarmed attacks and successful defences in the US to make me think you're painting with too broad a brush. Maybe you have a specific job or are in a specific environment where everyone is bristling with weapons, but even then, I can't see how raising your sword and allowing yourself to be cut down a la Obi Wan Kenobi can help anything

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 12-07-2004, 03:29 AM   #22
ian
 
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Re: "Real world Situations"

Usually your instincts take over - training affects what these instincts will be, but you can react quite differently in different situations and there is no sure way of telling what you will do. Visualise proper attacks whilst training and you will have more success in bringing this training into your subconcious responses.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 12-07-2004, 03:32 AM   #23
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Re: "Real world Situations"

Quote:
Benjamin Edelen wrote:
What if protecting yourself is less important to you than protecting the other person? What if you were willing to sacrifice yourself to prevent harm to the person who is trying to kill you? What if there were hundreds of people in the world who, when harmed, give back only kindness?
PS I liked this sentiment! And as far as the balance between yourself and others goes, I think ideally we should be impartial. (i.e. its not about sacrifice of you or them, it's knowing that it doesn't matter which)

Last edited by ian : 12-07-2004 at 03:35 AM.

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Old 12-07-2004, 08:19 AM   #24
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Re: "Real world Situations"

Quote:
Benjamin Edelen wrote:
What if protecting yourself is less important to you than protecting the other person? What if you were willing to sacrifice yourself to prevent harm to the person who is trying to kill you? What if there were hundreds of people in the world who, when harmed, give back only kindness?
I think you are talking about being a Martyr. If there is a cause that you feel strongly about, then what you say might be appropriate. Gandhi comes to mind, but if your talking about being mugged or robbed, or someone in your family is being assaulted, then your actions are just plain foolish.

To me, your comment is totally ridiculous. Maybe in 5,000 years humanity might have that kind of attitude and everyone will love each other and the butterflies will sing songs of joy, but people of our time aren't that forgiving.

You would be dying a stupid pitiful death, and that would do no one any good.
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Old 12-07-2004, 08:40 AM   #25
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Re: "Real world Situations"

Quote:
Shawn Mooney wrote:
I noticed that lots of people question aikido when having to do with "real world situations". Well i was just thinking that people say aikido isn't worth anything when it comes to protecting yourself. I think it has to do with mostly neutralizing your opponent without hurting them. In a "Real World Situation" if there is someone trying to fight you or hurt you, you aren't gonna just rely on aikido to protect yourself. you're gonna put everything in you're arsenal to protect yourself. It's there if as a guideline sort of way to try to help you. If someones gonna try to hurt you and are you are going to defend yourself by kicking and punching no matter what and whatever you have learned in aikido.
Self defence is just that - defence of the self. I don't think it is written anywhere that one must adhere to the strict form of a particular martial art or code of ethics etc. if one needs to protect oneself from danger. It is utilitarian in its requirement - effective self defence means surviving violence (or any other attack) aimed at the self. As said by someone more educated that I - Self defence is part of safety education. Same way one learns to swim if they live near a large body of water. However, to defend the self when escape is not an immediate option and engagement is inevitable, it is dire to obtain actual superiority before one chooses leniency.

To paraphrase Lynn's signature: We don't rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to our level of training. Aikido training if done properly should affect some instinctive responses so it will effect how one reacts to being attacked if one has trained in a way or for a time that allows these particlar instincts to be fostered. However, the general movements required for effective Aikido technique tends to be more involved than throwing a simple punch or a kick in an untrained manner. As such, if one's Aikido is not developed to a point where it forms the core of basic instinctive responses to attack, one falls to what is simplest for them, which is often punching, kicking and wrestling on the ground. It's a law of evolution I think - under extreme pressure the simplest option is the one that survives. If Aikido is trained so that it becomes the simplest option for you then this is what will survive.


Quote:
Shawn Mooney wrote:
I know that aikido doens't teach punching, but anyone can punch and kick and grab randomly. But, to take someone down peacefully in a controlled manner is pure skill and technique. That is what i think aikido is for. and also i don't feel that it is wrong that you integrate what ever you can when in a "Real World Situation"
Actually I think this is incorrect - Aikido is supposed to teach one to atack properly in all the forms used in that dojo, since for honest practice to take place one must deal with an honest attack (as against an attack that makes life easy for you). What is an honest attack? One that will injure you in some manner (to varying degrees) if you do not react to it in an effective manner. Though it has infiltrated much of Aikido practice today, lacklustre attacks are not supposed to be part of Aikido training if one is training Aikido as a Budo.

I think the reason for all the doubt for real world applications by some people has to do with comparisons to dedicated self defence courses that do things like situational training, medium to full force continuous attacks and training with resistance. Often when people don't see these things they may think that a particular method has no viability in the real world. Of course, the reality of this depends on the individual who is training and his/her particular goals.

Just some thoughts.
LC

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