Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > General

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-23-2005, 09:00 PM   #1
Yokaze
 
Yokaze's Avatar
Dojo: Five Dragons
Location: Sonoma State University
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 93
United_States
Offline
Ai symbol Aikido vs. live attacks

Greetings to all!

After a long break from the Aiki forums, it is nice to be back.

My question is a rather complex philosophical one. I am very close to attaining my shodan in Aikido, and I am fortunate enough to have a very good instructor.

I know that Aikido has no structured competitions. However, would such a "match" go against the principles of Aikido if the goal is self-improvement, rather than victory?

If I set up a match between myself and my partner, where he tried to touch me on the head or chest and I attempted to counter with a technique, would that be competition within the spirit of budo? We have been attacking with more and more strength and speed in an attempt to improve our timing against live attacks. Sometimes we attempt to execute the attack without being caught in the throw.

I'm wondering if this kind of psuedo-competition that we have set up goes against the noncompetitive aspect of Aikido. After all, the goal of these exercises is not to harm the opponent or emerge victorious, but to improve our technique so we can emerge victorious against one who would do real harm.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

"The only true victory is victory over oneself."

Rob Cunningham
3rd Kyu

Icon courtesy of Norbert Knoll http://www.aikido-verein-hannover.de
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2005, 10:10 PM   #2
Bronson
 
Bronson's Avatar
Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,677
Offline
Re: Aikido vs. live attacks

Many many thoughts on Aikido and competition here.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2005, 10:21 PM   #3
Don_Modesto
Dojo: Messores Sensei (Largo, Fl.)
Location: Florida
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,267
Offline
Re: Aikido vs. live attacks

Quote:
Rob Cunningham wrote:
....would [] a "match" go against the principles of Aikido if the goal is self-improvement, rather than victory?
Frankly, who cares?

(You know--you just KNOW!--that you're going to get opinions all over the spectrum with this question, right?)

It's training. Train.

The rankest miasma of pretension, gimcrack, and hooey issue from holier-than-thou passive aggressives one-upping you on aikido and competition.

Osensei trained to hurt people. He got lovey-dovey late in life.

Train for effect.

Enjoy.

GANBATTE!

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
------------------------
http://www.theaikidodojo.com/
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2005, 10:34 PM   #4
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido vs. live attacks

Okay, you sparked my interest. Who did Osensei actually hurt? What were the circumstances?
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2005, 10:41 PM   #5
Bronson
 
Bronson's Avatar
Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,677
Offline
Re: Aikido vs. live attacks

Oops I meant THIS THREAD...sorry.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2005, 10:51 PM   #6
Don_Modesto
Dojo: Messores Sensei (Largo, Fl.)
Location: Florida
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,267
Offline
Re: Aikido vs. live attacks

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
Okay, you sparked my interest. Who did Osensei actually hurt? What were the circumstances?
I said trained to hurt, not actually hurt, although he's said to have crippled a judo challenger with an ATEMI to the hip, IIRC. I think this is from Aikido Masters by Pranin.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
------------------------
http://www.theaikidodojo.com/
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2005, 10:53 PM   #7
thomas_dixon
Location: Florida, USA
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 185
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido vs. live attacks

Quote:
Rob Cunningham wrote:
Greetings to all!

After a long break from the Aiki forums, it is nice to be back.

My question is a rather complex philosophical one. I am very close to attaining my shodan in Aikido, and I am fortunate enough to have a very good instructor.

I know that Aikido has no structured competitions. However, would such a "match" go against the principles of Aikido if the goal is self-improvement, rather than victory?

If I set up a match between myself and my partner, where he tried to touch me on the head or chest and I attempted to counter with a technique, would that be competition within the spirit of budo? We have been attacking with more and more strength and speed in an attempt to improve our timing against live attacks. Sometimes we attempt to execute the attack without being caught in the throw.

I'm wondering if this kind of psuedo-competition that we have set up goes against the noncompetitive aspect of Aikido. After all, the goal of these exercises is not to harm the opponent or emerge victorious, but to improve our technique so we can emerge victorious against one who would do real harm.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
If Aikido is partially about self defense, and you're training to defend yourself, then I'd say no. But I don't take Aikido so...
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2005, 07:10 AM   #8
creinig
Dojo: Yoshinkan Würzburg
Location: Würzburg (de)
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 68
United Nations
Offline
Re: Aikido vs. live attacks

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
Okay, you sparked my interest. Who did Osensei actually hurt? What were the circumstances?
All quotes from "Aikido Shugyo" by Gozo Shioda (English translation by Jacques Payet & Christopher Johnston):

P. 27f: "[... A rival of Masahiko Kimura (All Japan Judo champion) challenging O Sensei after a demonstration ...] As it happens, Sensei had delivered a light blow with his fist to Mr. N's hip just as he stepped into Sensei's chest. The timing was absolutely perfect. From a conversation I overheard later I learned that Mr. N's hip bone was broken so severely that he would never fully recover."

P. 80f: "In 1924, Ueshiba Sensei went over to Mongolia with Onisaburo Deguchi of the Omoto religion. To make a long story short, Onisaburo was trying to make inroads into Mongolia and Sensei accompanied him as his bodyguard. During their travels they fought a number of times with local bands of mounted bandits who attacked them. Sensei apparently brandished his sword vigorously but was only able to cut down the first two or three bandits with any ease. [...]"

P. 110: "[...] It was prior to World War II and we had just been told that a member of the Imperial Family wished to see Aikido. However, what Sensei said was, "It would be unthinkable to show a lie to His Imperial Highness." He felt that if you truly performed a technique once, the opponent wouldn't get up and come at you a second time. So a demonstration in which the opponent gets up and attacks again would be a lie. Nevertheless, because the Imperial Household Agency said that this would be all right, in the end the demonstration went ahead. [...] Mr. Yukawa, who was the first to act as Sensei's uke, probably held himself back and made allowances for Sensei's condition as he went in at him. However, Sensei sent him flying with a snap. Sensei put everything he had into the blow and it turned out that Mr. Yukawa's arm was broken."

There's some more in the book, including injuries caused by Shioda and other students of O Sensei.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2005, 07:52 AM   #9
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido vs. live attacks

Very interesting stuff. Thanks.

Did anyone actually got hurt by Osensei while they were training in normal class?

I guess I assumed that Osensei was initially training _to be able to_ hurt people becuase that was the best way to defend himself given his skill level at the time; and when his skill level increased to the point he did not need to rely on that strategy he found a more lovey-dovey way (which happened to coincide nicely with his age and number of years of dedicated training getting to the point that any new challenger would be very junior to him in age, training, and therefore ability and also there was also the factor of him getting old enough to have that Japanese grandpa status).

The strange thing was that I think he told people not to go through his process, but to just start where he left off. I don't see a lot of aikido that is both very effective and all lovey-dovey, so I suppose many of us still have a long road ahead of us.

Rob
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2005, 08:07 AM   #10
Robert Townson
 
Robert Townson's Avatar
Location: Manchester
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 29
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Aikido vs. live attacks

Hi Rob,

I'm not sure that i actually see what your do as a competition, if you don't score points and no-one wins isn't that just training

I does sound like a really good why to train for different and unexpected attacks. I say if it helps, do it. If it doesn't, stop and try something else.

Thanks,
Rob

"You are not truly dead until you are totally forgotten."

"Courage is the mastery of fear, not the absence of fear."
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2005, 08:13 AM   #11
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido vs. live attacks

Good point. Touching someone on the head is not a very commited attack. What do you do to this attack anyway? I'd probably drive my shoulder under their extended arm.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2005, 09:26 AM   #12
vanstretch
Dojo: Kyushinkan
Location: Roswell,GA
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 123
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido vs. live attacks

Hi, there is a very good scene in the movie Napoleon Dynamite, where Napoleon and his older brother Kip are sparring in the living room. It may be of interest %-)
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2005, 01:21 PM   #13
csinca
 
csinca's Avatar
Dojo: Various
Location: Southern California
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 66
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido vs. live attacks

Rob C., you've got to decide this for yourself. I train aikido as a martial art and I want what I practice to be effective against someone that is likely bigger than me and trying to hurt me. If I'm attacked "for real" "in the street" I'm concerned about my safety and well being first, not the attackers. I've gone a step further than what you propose and I've gone to dojos of other arts and worked with them to see how good my aikido is. (for those that care, I was disappointed in my performance and I have a new mindset when I'm on the aikido mat)

There are others here that train solely for "personal development" and care not a lick about whether their aikido would help them in an actual attack.

And then there are most of the rest of the aikidoka that are somewhere in between.

If you are really concerned that this is going to be "competition" and violate what you are training for, then you have your own answer.

Whatever you do, be honest with yourself and have fun - you can't go too far wrong from there

Chris
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2005, 02:44 PM   #14
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido vs. live attacks

Quote:
The strange thing was that I think he told people not to go through his process, but to just start where he left off. I don't see a lot of aikido that is both very effective and all lovey-dovey, so I suppose many of us still have a long road ahead of us.
Source? Not saying he didn't say this...just don't remember reading it myself anywhere...

Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2005, 02:55 PM   #15
Don_Modesto
Dojo: Messores Sensei (Largo, Fl.)
Location: Florida
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,267
Offline
Re: Aikido vs. live attacks

Quote:
Christian Reiniger wrote:
All quotes from "Aikido Shugyo" by Gozo Shioda (English translation by Jacques Payet & Christopher Johnston)
Much obliged.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
------------------------
http://www.theaikidodojo.com/
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2005, 03:02 PM   #16
Don_Modesto
Dojo: Messores Sensei (Largo, Fl.)
Location: Florida
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,267
Offline
Re: Aikido vs. live attacks

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
I guess I assumed that Osensei was initially training _to be able to_ hurt people becuase that was the best way to defend himself given his skill level at the time; and when his skill level increased to the point he did not need to rely on that strategy he found a more lovey-dovey way....The strange thing was that I think he told people not to go through his process, but to just start where he left off. I don't see a lot of aikido that is both very effective and all lovey-dovey, so I suppose many of us still have a long road ahead of us.
A Gold Star to the man who authored those paragraphs!

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Source? Not saying he didn't say this...just don't remember reading it myself anywhere...
"Source?"

Ah, a man after my own heart.

Hey, Ron!

I can't offer a citation, but I do recall an interview (aikidojournal or aikidoonline, maybe) where an UCHIDESHI related that Osensei used to chide them for doing push ups or other such exercizes. Osensei himself used to hoist big rocks and bang his head against trees (for strength and a good head-butt in Sumo matches--Stevens, maybe, or Aikido Masters?)

Some might point to Aikiai aikido itself as a testament to Osensei's intentions (vis a vis the older AJJ, but that's a political hotbed I no longer frequent...)

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
------------------------
http://www.theaikidodojo.com/
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2005, 03:37 PM   #17
kaishaku
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 74
Offline
Re: Aikido vs. live attacks

Quote:
Daniel Vanhee wrote:
Hi, there is a very good scene in the movie Napoleon Dynamite, where Napoleon and his older brother Kip are sparring in the living room. It may be of interest %-)
You're just jealous that i've been talking to hot babes online all day.

I'm training to be a cage fighter.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2005, 03:53 PM   #18
malsmith
Dojo: Masters of Aikido in Fogelsville
Location: Bethlehem
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 84
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido vs. live attacks

REX KWON DO!!!

Last edited by malsmith : 02-24-2005 at 03:57 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2005, 08:17 PM   #19
ryujin
 
ryujin's Avatar
Dojo: Renshinkan
Location: Tempe, AZ
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 55
United_States
Offline
Circle Re: Aikido vs. live attacks

Add randori to your practice.

Carl Bilodeau
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō
Renshinkan

"Yield to temptation — it may not pass your way again." - Robert Heinlein
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2005, 09:29 PM   #20
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,114
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido vs. live attacks

I think it's all in how you approach it. Being 100% competitive is dangerous because by definition you're doing everything you can to win. Also, competing with "winning" in mind is ego-building which easily gets out of control. I see this very often in sports when people cheat or throw fits because something doesn't go their way. But not everyone in sports does this because everyone approaches things a bit differently. Compete with victory as being something more than pertaining to yourself and I don't think you're competing as much as creating a challenge to be learned from. When I "lose" I win because I learn from it as humbly as I know how. This is what OSensei meant I think.
Take care,
Matthew
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2005, 01:08 PM   #21
Yokaze
 
Yokaze's Avatar
Dojo: Five Dragons
Location: Sonoma State University
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 93
United_States
Offline
Re: Aikido vs. live attacks

Wow... I never expected so many great replies!! Here goes... my attempt to reply to ALL of your replies!

Wow... it seems (through my own research as well) that O'Sensei was absolutely brutal when it came to training. Since he was a man in complete control of his abilities, I can only assume that most of the inflicted injuries were intentional, though several are said to have been caused by the uke's lack of control. I also found that O'Sensei gave his students during Randori instructions to attempt to truly hurt him.

As to how this "competition" is structured... when I say "touch" I mean "touch hard." The difference between what we do and a punch is the lack of a balled fist. We rarely keep score, so I guess you're right about it not really counting as competition. It has led to some painful slips, though. ^_^

I have added Randori to my practice as often as I can, but it is difficult to find people who are willing to really commit to an attack. If I slip and fail to catch their center, they rarely even lay a hand on me, because the intent was never really behind the attack in the first place. It is a difficulty that I'm not sure how to overcome.

Matthew's comment reminds me of my Chess experience. Wins are great, but losses are what teach you. This bears more thought.

Finally, I was told by a training partner that his sensei once told him this bit of wisdom: When you have nobody to train with, go sit in on a karate or tae kwan do class. When the class is over, challenge the instructor to touch you. That will teach you timing, all right. XD

"The only true victory is victory over oneself."

Rob Cunningham
3rd Kyu

Icon courtesy of Norbert Knoll http://www.aikido-verein-hannover.de
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Long Island Asian Studies Center - Classes: Aiki Budo/Chi Gong/Tai Chi, Author of: Searching For O'Sensei



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Why do some people hate Aikido? Guilty Spark General 609 12-29-2010 05:29 AM
Aikido in Amsterdam, Terry Lax style... tiyler_durden General 11 11-03-2008 09:31 AM
Aikido: Its Spirit and Technique TAnderson General 0 02-27-2007 08:50 AM
Will Aikido really work? chrisward Techniques 141 02-07-2006 04:45 PM
Omoto-kyo Theology senshincenter Spiritual 77 12-04-2005 10:50 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:14 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate