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Old 05-03-2005, 01:33 PM   #51
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
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Re: Aikido challenges today

About basics for the sake of basics:

Well, it's human nature to want to feel like you achieved something. Sandan is the most physically powerful rank - and people love that. (I love that too!) The idea - I guess - is get people there, and the serious folks will continue on their own. It happens rarely. To their credit, they say things like get 1000s of people interested and the exceptional will rise to the top (and the rest will pay all of the bills) - which is fine EXCEPT that the people in the "rest" category are still getting promoted for all sorts of reasons other than the ability to perform aikido with more advanced martial ability - and that undermines the credibility of the art. I've had a couple shihan - promoted for time in and making the art popular as opposed to technical ability - fail to do nikyo and sankyo on me. That is terrible. My friends say "Rob just fall down for them, they are old they can't be expected to over power you in their 60s" or whatever. Well, bullocks! Gleason sensei and Suganuma sensei are both in their 60s and they wipe the floor with me - all the while protecting me. They just actually got so much better at aikido as they got older that their physical strength decreases and they can throw me harder regardless of the fact that I'm getting better too. How old is Ikeda sensei or Sugano sensei?, I'd say they have no problems with powerful waza either at their age. (I haven't felt Chiba sensei in a long time, so I don't know.)

Now as to who teaches basics for the sake of basics and no more - I agree that a PM is in order.

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 05-03-2005 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 05-03-2005, 02:56 PM   #52
Gareth Hinds
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Boston
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Re: Aikido challenges today

Apparently, the answer to Jorx's question is that challenges have moved to internet forums.

Seriously though, this has devolved into another iteration of the "is aikido effective" debate which has been argued here ad nauseum. Jorx's twist on the question is *why* aikido masters don't try to publicly prove its effectiveness by taking on challengers from other martial arts. Well, indeed one possible answer is "because they're afraid their aikido won't really work." I don't believe this personally, and I have to ask, how realistic is a challenge if it's not a real fight, and who wants to encourage real fights?

No, I'd say masters of many arts (not just aikido) nowadays are content to look at each other's arts, give a nod to what they do well, maybe do some cooperative training together, and leave it at that. And I think it's generally better that way. If you are constantly hung up on the question of whose art is better in a challenge fight, or a real fight (two different things, the latter encompassing an unanswerable range of circumstances),... well, I'd say that's just a hangup, and at some point you may need to let go of it.

Hi, Rob ;-)
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Old 05-03-2005, 03:54 PM   #53
Bronson
 
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Re: Aikido challenges today

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
...the odds are greater that you will be confronted by some doof off the street with little or no training, as opposed to a trained fighter with MMA experience.
I believe the odds are greater that you'll be attacked by someone you know and probably don't want to injure (badly).

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."
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Old 05-03-2005, 04:20 PM   #54
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Re: Aikido challenges today

I think Aikido is really really effective, at teaching armed combat. I think there are no challange matchs because most people don't want to fight with weapons, and because wars are fought with firearms.

-Chris Hein

Ron, I do hope we get to play someday, I think you might be more level headed then I was giveing you creadit for.
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Old 05-03-2005, 09:43 PM   #55
Bodhi
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Re: Aikido challenges today

Being an effective fighter depends upon the "individual" and how they have been training, period! Most systems do not address all the ranges effectively so there must be an adaption if you do indeed wish to become a complete martial artist!

If you were to take 2 top fighters, the one who trains realistically the most, and is the most well rounded, and conditioned, with a mindset to work through pain and explode all over you at the right moment, will more than likely come out on top. This isnt rocket science, fighters have to adapt to win, they have to crosstrain so they can be able to deal with particular situations that may be unfamilliar to them! A person can indeed become very good in 2 years BUT it depends on what and how they have been training for those 2 years!

One of my teachers trained with the great Antonio "Tatang" IIlustrisimo, a legend in the Filipino martial arts! Tatang was known for the death matches he had been involved in, he was feared throughout the Phillipines, with live blades as well as sticks. By all accounts, many well known and highly respected FMA masters all the way up into the 1990s, have said he was a real life warrior from the past! Never defeated in actual combat, even up into his later years, IIlustrisimo declined to compete at the first open Arnis tournament in the Philipines. When asked why, he said it was a joke, not real fighting, and that if anyone wanted to take his reputation then they would have to take it for real, with a sword!. Tatang said that his system was so simple that you could get good at it in a matter of weeks, good enough to deal with a skilled knife or stick fighter, much less anyone off the street!

This whole business of fighting is really simple, you strip away technique, not add more to confuse! You wont be able to recall a hundred different ways to do something when its for real, so you pick one way that has been shown to consistantly work against all types of opponents under resisting conditions! If you want to be a good fighter, everything must remain simple, straight to the point, and highly effective in all the ranges! It must work the majority of the time, not just sometimes! Good fighters have proven techniques,have consistantly worked over and over again against resisting opponents in real world conditions. They practice this way, they train what works, not what is said to work!

That 2 year BJJ man sounds like he hasnt been training as much as he thinks, especially if hes getting winded and tires easily. I know when i was in my 2nd year of BJJ, i could give anyone trouble, but then again i created openings using things from different systems. Like Aikido, most my training comes from weapon based systems in the Philipno and Indonesian arts I have supplemented with many things, Boxing, Muay Thai, BJJ, as well as Combat Rifle, Shotgun, and Pistol training, i tie them all togather with JKD Concepts. Of course i have my favorites, but what i have learned over the years is that no one system is the be all end all fighting art, there are just to many things that can happen. Weapons based systems help increase your empty hand skills to a level you just cannot get to without! Have someone take a stick or knife, and use quick slashing and thrusting movements. Have them move it as fast as they can while you try to follow the weapon itself with your eyes. Now have them do the same movements with empty hands, you will notice how easily it is to see their movements now, almost as if they are moving in slow motion. Weapons based systems if practiced using those weapons will indeed make you a better empty hand fighter!

As far as there not being a high percentage of fights going to the ground, thats just not true! I have been in to many fights and seen to many fights to say that there is not a high percentage that you may go to the ground. You can trip, you can stumble, u can be on a slippery surface and loose your footing, you can twist an ankle, or you can just be thrown. There are many ways you can end up on the ground, and if your not worried about that, then your not training as a complete martial artist with a mindset for reality!

Stop bickering and learn from ALL your brothers and sisters in the arts, without critisizing and disrespecting eachother! If someone says something contrary to our way of thinking, we should first examine that comment to see if they are right! Then we test it out and see what kind of consistent results we get over time. Most of all, we should have fun with the process!


With Respect
J
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Old 05-03-2005, 10:01 PM   #56
ChrisHein
 
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Re: Aikido challenges today

Thats two great posts Jason!

-Chris Hein
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Old 05-03-2005, 10:01 PM   #57
takusan
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Re: Aikido challenges today

At last, I'm starting to get to grips with why we have such different view points on this topic.
But first, Rob, you made the points I would have liked to have made - and you did it better, so thanks.

Time / training / ability.
I have one or two of these qualities at any one time, seldom - if every, all three at the same time.
I am a truly slow student.
Three decades now (coming up) and unlike you Rob, I'm finding it hard to remember what I was doing at the beginning of class let alone 5 -10 years ago.
But its really nice to 'find' that little bit the missing puzzle, be that I probably have discovered it many times - and forgot.

The real point is, time is not an issue.
Enjoyment is.
It still needs to be effective though, as I would truly hate to have any of you come to my dojo and challenge me.
I just hate seeing myself cry.
Besides, if I couldn't talk you out of the challenge with the appropriate levels of caffeine or alcohol, all those years WOULD have been wasted.

If I feel like I'm still achieving something when into my fourth decade, I will probably carry on training and teaching.
Thats it.
No more justification required. (for me)
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Old 05-03-2005, 10:42 PM   #58
CNYMike
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Re: Aikido challenges today

Quote:
Bronson Diffin wrote:
I believe the odds are greater that you'll be attacked by someone you know and probably don't want to injure (badly).

Bronson
Good point!
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Old 05-03-2005, 10:45 PM   #59
sunny liberti
 
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Re: Aikido challenges today

Hi Chris.
Quote:
Ron, I do hope we get to play someday, I think you might be more level headed then I was giveing you creadit for.
I'm guessing you meant "Rob", so any time would be wonderful. We do a friendship seminars in CT with other styles in November - you should come to that!

Jason,
Quote:
As far as there not being a high percentage of fights going to the ground, thats just not true!
Well that's progress from the 90% made up statistic - which we've guessed has come from a 70% statistic of LEO apprehending unarmed criminals or something. I still think that there must be literally millions of bar fights that happen in a month where nobody goes to the ground and I'm wondering what is counter balancing that to get those high statistics... To be fair, I suppose if you count prison fights and school yard scuffles you might be getting closer, but older kids who wanted to really fight in my area typically had weapons - and since I have no plans of going to jail - I'm still feeling like my chances of being taken to the ground would only approach high percentages if I happen to join a BJJ school.

Your ideas about the best way to train might be true, and they might be short sighted and limiting. I won't judge you, maybe you shouldn't judge my choices... Maybe we should schedule like 1 match every 10 years and see what works out long term...

Rob

(sorry, I posted as my wife again - I can see why Chris got confused about my name ... I can't manage to get it right!)

Sunny

A brave man dies once; cowards are always dying." --Moanahonga, Ioway
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Old 05-04-2005, 12:17 AM   #60
ChrisHein
 
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Re: Aikido challenges today

Rob, so have you worked with any Judoka? Because I'm finding it hard to believe that skilled Judoka can't throw you. Have you ever worked with a collegiate wrestler? Because I can stop a layman, or someone who thinks he's a wrestler from shooting on me. But a real competitive wrestler is no joke, I'm pretty sure you'd be taken down. Besides if you ever sleep laying down, if you spend say 1/3 of your day laying down, you might want to think about training from your back. Or if maybe you have ever sat down outside, ever been to a picnic, ever fallen over anything, been shoved hard and lost your balance? I mean there are lots of ways to be on the ground, and I'm sure lots of people who can take you there. Lot's of Brazilian Jiu jutsu guys I know, throw more like judoka, then by shooting. Infact I've never shot in a Brazilian Jiu jutsu match and I've taken many people down. I would never make the statement that I wouldn't ever go to the ground, I don't always have a choice in the matter!

I honestly believe Jason is the most realistic in his opinions of what fighting is all about.

-Chris

Yeah I did mean Rob, sorry for that.
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Old 05-04-2005, 06:53 AM   #61
Charles Hill
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Re: Aikido challenges today

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
"Get a gun"?
This thread has gone well past my post but I have to respond to this and the others that followed. Nowhere in my post did I say "get a gun" and nowhere did I imply it. The point (I`ll try again) is that "combat" is not an appropriate word in regards to Aikido and even personal self defense. Combat means a fight with the nuance of armed battle. This is occuring in Iraq and other places in the world, but nowhere where there is active Aikido practice as far as I know. Chris, please read the post more carefully.

As for the current direction of the thread, I will throw a little gas on the fire and remind all that Chiba Sensei became third dan after three years of practice and was teaching aikido to self defense forces.

Charles
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Old 05-04-2005, 06:57 AM   #62
Bodhi
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Re: Aikido challenges today

Rob, as someone who has worked law enforcement, security, and bounced in bars for many years, i can tell you that 90% stat is probly very close to being right. When i said that most the fights i had eaither seen or been in went to the ground or had a very good chance of going to the ground, i was addressing not only what i have seen street criminals do, but the average bar fight, as well what happens many times among trained martial artists Its natural to tie up, its hard not to sometimes, especially in a confined space, in a hallway, in a crowded area, sitting in your car, or between cars, or just being pushed down from behind. I mean i can name all kinds of situations i have seen it in. Do you think your always gonna have a wide open field with nothing or nobody around you, or that you may never trip/fall etc? Things happen in all kinds of areas, under all kinds of circumstances, from different types of obstacles, to different types of people and how they react. If you dont think that they do, then you just havent been in enough scraps yet, and i hope it stays that way for you.

BTW, i am not trying to single you out or pick on you in any way, so no need to say "maybe i shouldnt judge your choices" Im just typin out loud here, sharing what i know from years of real world experience. I can also assure you that the way i train as well as who i train with is in no way shortsighted or limiting, be it mental, physical, psychological, or spiritual. I make it a point to be as open, honest, and progressively realistic to what i do as well as whom i do it with, i always well.

Yea, the match every ten years would be a great idea, i know many guys that did the same thing longterm, including Guro Inosanto, some Dog Brothers, Helio Gracie, as well as the great Gene Lebell, not to mention many Philipino and Indonesian fighters that are still rollin hard in their 60s, 70s, and 80s. Anything to progress and keep it real is always welcome, especially as one ages!

J
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Old 05-04-2005, 09:00 AM   #63
Michael Neal
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Re: Aikido challenges today

Rob, I saw that you were a Sandan in Aikido so I am not sure I personally could throw you, I am only a Yonkyu in Judo, but I certainly would not be afraid to randori with you and try. I have thrown Judo nidans before, although it is not common.
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Old 05-04-2005, 09:15 AM   #64
rob_liberti
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Re: Aikido challenges today

Chris and Jason,

I think we have VERY different ideas about the reality of fighting.

1) I'm positive that people developed to some reasonable amount of skill can throw me if I attack them. I have no doubt of that what-so-ever. Personally, I don't attack people all that often, so I'm feeling pretty safe on that front. Nor have I been playing a life long game of kill the man with the ball where I'm "it" so I think that would explain my success rate over the past 25+ years with going to beaches and parks having somehow managed to avoid the wrath of all fledling and seasoned frustrated martial artists and competitive wrestlers. (Prior to that, I'm sure my brother had taken me to the ground in the park or on the beach!)

2) I'm also positive that some people who have developed much more skill can even attack me and get me to the ground. Not only have I said this before in this thread, but I went so far as to explain that I'm always happy to find someone willing to do such a thing so I can learn more. It hasn't been my experience that someone with only a couple of years of BJJ was at _this_ level of ability which seemed to have been suggested relative to my specific training choices. (I understand it wasn't directed at me personally.) Could some very talented and dedicated individual get to that level of ability in only a couple years - asked and answered, I gave that point already. Again, I had just thought we were talking about the average person or even the little better than average person when comparing the arts in terms of what they do for people. In terms of reality, if you do decide to jump out of the bushes at me while I'm in the park, you might take me down, and you might get slashed across the face with my pocket comb or find my pen lodged in your body or both. (That's pretty much reality to me.)

Further, about having a realistic opinions of what fighting is all about:

The thing about statistics is that they are only meaningful when appropriately applied to the situation. However, Jason, while I have seen and been in a number of bar fights that never went anywhere near the ground, I accept your word that you've had different experiences. I'm curious, when people went to the ground in bars in your area, did other people kick them, stomp them, or throw beer bottles at there heads. That would certainly happen in the bars I used to frequent when I was in College. At the time, I just might have been one of the people throwing a bottle at the bonehead rolling around on the floor.

Honestly, if either of you just come to visit the area right around where I work - which is not even considered the worst part of the area and try to start a fight with someone I suspect that you'll be stabbed or slashed as opposed to grappled with - sorry but that's the reality of New Haven, CT.

On a slightly more sophistocated level, as a matter of fact, there used to be a phone number written on the wall of the Milford train station with the name "Benny". If you wanted to hurt someone you called the number and told Benny who the person was, where he could find them or their car, and then decided if you wanted to pay $50 to have him break their knee cap with a small bat or $50 to have him wreck their car. If you chose the knee cap option, he had contacts in all of the local hospitals and would actually send you the X-ray upon request. While Benny might be retired, people like this still exist. If you are having trouble finding someone like this go to a pool hall, loose a lot of money and refuse to pay - then please by all means post all about your resulting _wrestling_ match with the collector(s)!
Quote:
Besides if you ever sleep laying down, if you spend say 1/3 of your day laying down
That made my wife and I laugh! Chris, my friend, you must not be a parent! Seriously Chris, I do think that aikido movements come from sword and jo. I train that way and teach that way. I don't know if that makes it a solely weapons based system - but I think you should have respect whether I agree with you or not. I respect you without knowing if you can actually perform basic aikido waza without directly pushing, pulling, or lifting. I've been in aikido a long time and have never met anyone, uchideshi or otherwise who could do that in 5 years and I just don't consider anyone lacking that degree of depth a credible source for speaking about difficiencies of aikido - but I'd have respect for them.

Jason, about "Philipino and Indonesian fighters that are still rollin" - really? I thought they were mainly stick and/or blade fighting or is "rollin" a more loose term than I realized?

I don't mean to attack your world view. I do think that wrestling is fun and interesting, and I would love to improve my skills in that area too... If I ever bump into you, please teach me whatever you are willing to share, and I'll do the same if you are interested.

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 05-04-2005 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 05-04-2005, 11:19 AM   #65
ChrisHein
 
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Re: Aikido challenges today

Well, here we go.
The reason I asked those questions is because you said, and are saying it again. That fights don't go to the ground. Fights do, they happen there all the time, you can choose to believe it or not, but people who get in fights often will tell you it's a fact.

I don't mean that practicing with a jo, or bokken makes it solely a weapons system. The Taijutsu techniques are based on having a weapon in your hand also. Start thinking about what I said. When you practice your taijutsu techniques (it's easier to see with the controls) think of how the technique would go down if you had a weapon in your hand. Why is uke grabbing your wrist? Could it be that you're suppose to have a weapon in you hand? Honestly practice this way for a few weeks, and then we'll talk about it again. I think you'll be surprised. Aikido doesn't have any real hold escapes, from bear hugs, headlocks ect (I mean realistic escapes that will possibly work on someone trying to hold you for real.) Escapes from these basic holds is necessary for an empty handed system. Why dose Aikido not have these? Because the system is designed to have a weapon in your hand, my headlock escape- I stab them, my bear hug escape- I stab them. These holds are necessary in an empty handed system, but not in a weapon system, because you just stab them if they do anything but grab your weapon hand.

Play with it for a few weeks and tell me what you think.

-Chris Hein
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Old 05-04-2005, 12:21 PM   #66
Michael Neal
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Re: Aikido challenges today

I am interested in how you would stab somone with your pen, as you said you would do, as you are all of the sudden yanked off your feet unexpectedly and then have someone on top of you pounding your face in. You are telling us that your first reaction would be to go "hmmm, I have a pen in my pocket, let me reach down there and get it out and stab this guy with it." Realistically you would be instinctively covering your face trying to stop it from being bashed in. If you were just being pinned it still would be very difficult to get in your pocket and get a pen out to stab him with.
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Old 05-04-2005, 12:27 PM   #67
Bodhi
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Re: Aikido challenges today

Your right rob, we do have VERY different ideas about whats REAL, but its all good, dont get your hakama in a bunch

I do think your missing the point about possibly ending up on the ground, i really wasnt referring to you being thrown all the time, but merely ending up there through whatever reason, and having to adapt to that enviroment.

Yea your right about people kicking, stomping, throwing chairs, beer bottles, bum rushing and whatever else at the guys who went down, thats reality! You try not to go down, but ya trip, ya stumble, ya fall, or whatever, it happens, all the time!

I think i have probly lived in a few places quite worse than the mean streets of New Haven CT, LOL,, and have eaither been friendly or not so friendly with a dozen or more guys like your Benny! I grew up in the street, i ran with gangs when i was younger, i was best friends with kids of known players in the crime world, and have seen many ugly truths growing up in that kind of enviroment! There is nothin your tellin me about the street here that i dont know many times over, i have lived it! But yea your right, when it comes to the street, most people are usin weapons, however, that doesnt mean you wont end up on the ground grappling with a blade, screwdriver, broken bottle, or firearm for that matter, wether its yours or theirs! I dont know who trained you, but if you have ever worked with any law enforcement, tactical folks, or military personnel, you would know why its important to know grappling and groundfighting with weapons! Just because you havent experienced any of this, doesnt mean it doesnt happen! This is why im never found without an EDC blade, as well as pepperspray, and some other unmentionables.

As for the FMA/Indonesian arts etc, they are stick/ blade/ projectile based in their purest form, but like i said, that base increases your empty hand skills, and if your cross training it does nothing but make you better at what your already doing! Look at Dan Inosanto, he just Got his BB in BJJ awhile back and hes like in his late 60s early 70s! His Kali/silat skills are incredible, wich has helped his empty hand game, including grappling!

As far as attacking my world view LOL dont worry bout it, like i said, its all good

In the end everyone must follow their own path, sometimes people just need to train more than they run their mouths and type on their keyboards! You can get most of your questions answered better that way, especially if your training with many different people that have a midset for reality!

Now i think im gonna go take my own advice!

Peace out...

Last edited by Bodhi : 05-04-2005 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 05-04-2005, 03:19 PM   #68
rob_liberti
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Re: Aikido challenges today

Chris:
Quote:
Chris Hein wrote:
Well, here we go.
The reason I asked those questions is because you said, and are saying it again. That fights don't go to the ground. Fights do, they happen there all the time, you can choose to believe it or not, but people who get in fights often will tell you it's a fact.
Chris, I did *not* say that fights don't go the ground. I argued the high percentage. As a matter of fact, I wrote "I accept your word that you've had different experiences" to Jason when referring to bar fights going to the ground. If I believed no fights ever made it to the ground I would have asked Jason why he lied as opposed to accepting his word. Also, a few post back I mentioned the 70% actual static from the LEO going to the ground while fighting/capturing unarmed people. I have no idea how you came away with the idea that I don't think any fights go to the ground. I didn't write that anywhere.

There is a significant difference between arguing "all, "none", "some", or "most" fights go to the ground - especially in the context of an individual's life. I am not a kid in grade school. I'm not in prison, nor am I wanted for any crime, nor to I plan on committing any crimes. I go to beaches and parks all of the time and NO ONE has even come close to wanting to tackle me or throw me to the ground in YEARS (since I was in grade school.) The closest it ever gets to a real situation for me is when I'm in the middle of bar and a fight breaks out, when some one looses it in traffic, or when I'm walking in a city and I think someone is wants to hurt and rob me. All of those things have happened to me and I didn't end up on the ground with any of those people.
Quote:
Chris Hein wrote:
I don't mean that practicing with a jo, or bokken makes it solely a weapons system. The Taijutsu techniques are based on having a weapon in your hand also. Start thinking about what I said.
Okay, but you have to promise to do the same for what I said. How different is your "The Taijutsu techniques are based on having a weapon in your hand also." from my "I do think that aikido movements come from sword and jo. I train that way and teach that way." ???
Quote:
Chris Hein wrote:
When you practice your taijutsu techniques (it's easier to see with the controls) think of how the technique would go down if you had a weapon in your hand.
Again, that's why I said "I train that way and teach that way."
Quote:
Chris Hein wrote:
Why is uke grabbing your wrist? Could it be that you're suppose to have a weapon in you hand? Honestly practice this way for a few weeks, and then we'll talk about it again.
I've been honestly practicing this way for years. But if you have different insights, I'm honestly interested.
Quote:
Chris Hein wrote:
I think you'll be surprised.
I'll take that as my failure to communicate my opinions effectively. But, how about you consider that you might just be failing to give me the benefit of the doubt based on my choice of words.
Quote:
Chris Hein wrote:
Aikido doesn't have any real hold escapes, from bear hugs, headlocks ect (I mean realistic escapes that will possibly work on someone trying to hold you for real.) Escapes from these basic holds is necessary for an empty handed system. Why dose Aikido not have these?
I agree that aikido specializes. I just don't agree that makes it bad, and that people are in constant tackle-danger at beaches and parks! How about the idea in aikido is to not let people get into those positions in the first place, and if you are worried that this is going to happen to you (which I'm not given my life circumstances) - or if you are just plain interested (as I am) then you can join a different system that specializes in that area?! I think the idea of specializing and focusing is a good thing. That's pretty much why people have majors in University. Would you say that physics is bad because there is not enough language requirements? - I mean 90% of all physics discussions use words...
Quote:
Chris Hein wrote:
Because the system is designed to have a weapon in your hand, my headlock escape- I stab them, my bear hug escape- I stab them. These holds are necessary in an empty handed system, but not in a weapon system, because you just stab them if they do anything but grab your weapon hand.
I certainly do agree with you on this to a point. That just doesn't translate to me as "solely a weapons system".

Honestly, Chris, I think aikido needs more people like you who do aikido and other arts and are willing to help bridge some gaps. I don't think that your 5 (or 7 - I'm confused about that, but regardless) years of dedicated aikido has you to wear you should be talking about what aikido techniques work period as opposed to what techniques work for you.

Michael Neal:
Hi, I don't know you yet, and I'm sorry I didn't mean to ignore you last post -- I think you posted while I was responding and didn't see yours until after I finished.

Anyway, I think I gave a fair if condition and I'll be happy to elaborate. If I'm in a park and the first instant I know you are tackling me is when it happens, I agree that I'll be tackled. If, however, I'm sitting there and I have some idea that something is not right in the direction of those bushes over there, the first thing I'll do is reach for something handy which might be my pen or comb, or hopefully the katana I was sharpening in the park!

Jason,

Some people do the very necessary but difficult job of evaluating the appropriateness of studies (and the resulting statistics). The majority of people I meet who like to use statistics to back up their points have no idea what I could possibly be talking about when I bring up the idea of "appropriateness" to the situation, causing my thinking cap to bunch up more than my hakama. (The hakama is flapping freely; thank you very much! )

Also, in no way, was I trying to imply that the mean streets of New Haven were the most dangerous! I meant that the average place only has to be that bad for people to be very unwilling to want to try to wrestle someone on the street in an altercation. My argument was about the high percentage -- which I think has to be appropriately applied to one's own life circumstances -- or in this case simply the average person's circumstances. As we both agree, I'm just one of many people pretty much only dealing with the mean streets of New Haven.

As just one example of an average person, I think back over my entire life span so far, and cannot come up with very many times that I thought "ya know, having more ground fighting would have sure helped me there." For me to suddenly think different based on questionably appropriate statistics seems a bit VERY unrealistic to me.

I totally agree with you that "You try not to go down, but ya trip, ya stumble, ya fall, or whatever, it happens, all the time!" And I think it is worth mentioning that we do practice getting up from the ground as fast as possible in aikido every class AND we (okay not everyone in aikido -- but certainly my circle) practice highly responsive, and full body resistance (level-appropriate for the cooperative model, yadda yadda yadda) and constantly restoring balance from all sorts of crazy circumstances. So I don't think we go down as easily as the untrained person who might stumble on a curb; and I don't think we take our time getting back up like the average person -- so I'd say aikido training does give us an edge with that regard. However, I do agree as I posted many times now, that I'm certain I can be brought to the ground by a highly skilled and motivated person. Back to the issue of personal safety and appropriateness of the fights going to the ground statistic, I don't think I motivate too many people skilled or otherwise to wantto throw me to the ground, so as I said to Chris I don't see it as a big survival need, as much as a healthy interest. Regardless, I also think aikido training gives us an advantage in getting at least one good shot in while a motivated person wants to throw me with their kamikaze attack. If I have to be in a fight, I really don't mind getting in the first good shot!

You know, I have actually had a chance to work out with some people who do things with "grappling and ground-fighting with weapons" and I think it is fascinating and valuable. That doesn't mean I see this as a high-percentage thing for my life - and I suspect many others (YMMV) - but I think it is wonderful that people are working this kind of stuff out and teach -- as I have said many times now in this thread.

I agree that sometimes people just need to train more than they run their mouths and type on their keyboards! I can assure you that I haven't missed one second of training time to be on the online discussion boards. Since I like to train all of the time, and I can't -- the whole time I'm not training -- it's great to think about this stuff and even better to get to discuss it with other interested parties…

Rob

p.s. if there is anyone I missed, please excuse me, I got tired!

Last edited by rob_liberti : 05-04-2005 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 05-04-2005, 04:49 PM   #69
Jeremy Young
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Re: Aikido challenges today

just a quick comment about that aikido does not have any real escapes from holds, etc. There are several (well, maybe not several but quite a few) that i have learned. oh well, just one of my random thoughts.
jeremy
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Old 05-04-2005, 06:25 PM   #70
ChrisHein
 
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Re: Aikido challenges today

I'm not saying that Aikido is bad. I've been trying to say from the begining that I think it teachs lots of things very well (this would be why I train in it, and practice it.) It just dose a poor job of teaching empty handed techniques. This all got started by me saying that Aikido was a poor empty handed system, which it is.

-Chris

ps, I had been training in Aikido for 5 years when I began training in mma, that was 2 years ago, 2+5=7 years of training in Aikido.

Last edited by ChrisHein : 05-04-2005 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 05-04-2005, 06:47 PM   #71
Michael Varin
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Re: Aikido challenges today

I know that I'm stepping on sacred territory, but what I gather from reading Morihei had a maximum of ten years training with instructors. That includes his time in the military. Also, he trained in at least six different styles.

Rob,

Where would a person be if you used aikido to end a physical conflict?! On the ground? Ironic isn't it? If it's not, please, give me a senario.

About getting the first shot in a fight. Isn't western boxing much better at teaching that?

One final question. Doesn't using a pen, or any field expedient weapon (which I'm not criticizing) back up the point that Chris was initially trying to make? Because using any weapon necessarily makes it no longer empty hand.

As an approach to all things "aiki" is it, but as a set of techniques aikido is not complete. Jason has made some most intelligent posts about learning different ranges, handling various weapons, and being wise enough to keep what works. Then keep training and have a great time.

Michael
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Old 05-04-2005, 08:16 PM   #72
rob_liberti
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Re: Aikido challenges today

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote:
I know that I'm stepping on sacred territory, but what I gather from reading Morihei had a maximum of ten years training with instructors. That includes his time in the military. Also, he trained in at least six different styles.
Hello. It seems this is your first post, and I have to say it is really good. Please post more. I don't think the territory is sacred I just want things accurate, logical and reasonable. I'm confident we'll come to a meeting of the minds on most of this stuff sooner or later. I think I tried addressing the martial genius thing already in the first part of post 39 in this thread. I can see how you might have missed it in that I accidentally posted as my wife - sorry about that! Anyway, that's my line of reasoning.

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote:
Where would a person be if you used aikido to end a physical conflict?! On the ground? Ironic isn't it? If it's not, please, give me a senario.
Great point. I will actually give you an example where it didn't go to the ground, but to be fair I like where you are going so I'll address that first. When the 2 year BJJ guy just visited me, one of the first things I did to his punch was wrap him up in that inside shihonage and bring him to the ground on his side while I stood over him choosing not to continue to break his arm. I let him struggle a while and then I let him out. As far as I'm concerned, the aikido part was how I got that technique on his punching arm. Of course it wasn't a death match, he wasn't the best 2 year BJJ-er apaprently, and he went to the ground (and that was your excellent point). But I guess I'm trying to say that I didn't personally need ground skills to handle that! Before everyone gets all nervous, I would like to have them anyway, but that was a real example in the past couple days of my life in front of a bunch of people where when it went to the ground and no extra special skills outside of what I learned in aikido class we needed.

Now for two stories of no one going to the ground at Satotome sensei's Washington D.C. dojo. First story, Saotome sensei was late for class, he was running down the road on his way to class. A street person in the way decided to take a swing at him. Saotome sensei didn't bother to break stride, he dodged under the punch, and kept running while yelling back to the guy "I'm sorry I don't have time to fight, I'm late to class". The second story was that they were making a lot of noise doing weapons work and some guy from the street who may have been a bit hung over came in and was very upset with the noise they were making and had apparently come in to put a stop to it. The story goes that Charlie Page sensei calmly walked up to him into his blind spot and put one arm around the guy's shoulders in a loving and heavy way and lightly held the guy's other hand, and while the guy was still yelling and all set to fight. Charlie Page sensei apparently just agreed with him like "yes you are right, it is noisy" as he calmly moved them into that very safe position. They proceeded to stand there together watching class talking about how it was noisy and how it would be over soon.

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote:
About getting the first shot in a fight. Isn't western boxing much better at teaching that?
I like boxing a lot. It does a great job with a lot of things. I think it works a lot better when the other guy is standing toe to toe with you trying to get enough points for the round - which I wouldn't be doing in a real fight, but yes it does a great job developing destructive skills. And as I posted earlier, destructive skills are going to take a much shorter time to to develop.

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote:
One final question. Doesn't using a pen, or any field expedient weapon (which I'm not criticizing) back up the point that Chris was initially trying to make? Because using any weapon necessarily makes it no longer empty hand.
I don't think I'm limited to only doing aikido when I'm attacked, but let's not kid ourselves - the minimum damage needed to deal with an attacker might just happen to also be the maximum damage I can do. The point is that aikido offers more choices than maximum damage every time.

But yes, great point about my reaction backing up Chris's point. It's just that unlike Chris (and Chris I don't mean to pick on you but I really disagree with you on this point) I don't feel that I represent all that there is about aikido. If we want to agree that low level aikido is most effective as a weapons based art, I'm all in. But high level aikido exists.

Now Chris, my thinking is that 5 or 7 years of lots of dedication probably still won't get you to intermediate level, unless you happen to be one of the aforementioned rare genius types, but I never got the impression that you could do your basic techiques without directly pushing, pulling, or lifting (which is just starting to approach intermediate level).

As an aside, the reason I'm harping on this is not to discredit you. I think that it is very important for dedicated people to cross-train aikido and other arts. It's just that if you don't start from the place that aikido could possibly be more effective in open-handed situations than you seem to think, I don't think you're going to continue to look to improve your depth of understanding in aikido. And that doesn't actually result in cross-training anymore.

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote:
As an approach to all things "aiki" is it, but as a set of techniques aikido is not complete. Jason has made some most intelligent posts about learning different ranges, handling various weapons, and being wise enough to keep what works. Then keep training and have a great time.

Michael
Hey well, I think Chris and Jason's posts are a valuable part of this board and I appreciate them too. My take is that low level aikido is by definition not complete, and yes it takes too long for most people to get to intermediate, and almost no one gets to mastery (even though some are getting the rank as some kind of honorary thing). There are some really good aikido people out there - and I like it everytime I find out that they started learning something else to augment their training - but I disagree with the idea that having something in aikido not work for you means you should throw it out, instead of figure it out.

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 05-04-2005 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 05-04-2005, 08:57 PM   #73
takusan
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Re: Aikido challenges today

Well done Rob,
you lay out your argument well.
Can I use some of that rationale in my class?

For me, you have summed up the knowledge v's experience debate very well.

I have had the impression that alot of the people contributing to this forum are long time aikidoka. I now start to think I have been mistaken, due simply to their ability to speak / write well.

The points made (by everyone) are great and have certainly challenged some of what I do / teach.
However, I will generally default to the person with experience every time.
Sounds like we have both had alot of 'what if' scenario's in our time, and people that have 'got it'. (please tell me you have been doing aikido for a long time)

In my time, there has been little in the way of 'new' stuff that was of any value, simply peoples genuine attempts at finding their 'way'. My instructors were older and wiser than I, and their experience was worth bottling

Chris,

You MAY be correct about aikido not being a good empty hand system. Your experience to date has allowed you to conclude this.

I MAY be wrong, as my 28 years does not allow me the luxury of assuming that time make me wise.
However, I do actually believe that aikido is a great empty hand system.

So who is correct??????

Firstly, if any of our aiki, is working, WE, would never enter a fight.
Others (outside aikido's influence) , however wont share our experiences.

If a hypothetical attacker engages in a fight, they had bloody well better be equipped to 'take me out' as I feel aikidoka, generally, are well meaning spirits that may have a dark side that they are trying to subjugate into non existence (control). Speaking personally here.

Just as one of the US President's once was quoted,

"walking softly, but carry a big stick"

I think that is what aikido can be seen as.
We don't want to fight, but when push comes to shove, they will use whatever training they have to protect themselves.

My aikido is therefore different to many that write in this forum, some - the same. This makes it difficult to find common ground.

IF you enjoy it - great
IF you find it lacking - keep practicing
IF you think you have found a better system - train in it

I have / do, all three

Its the middle one that was the most beneficial, as it gave me answers to question that I didn't realize I needed to ask.

Rob, again I like your point, that just because something doesn't work for you (now), simply train more until it does.
Brilliant.

Everyone else, - I would love to have some of your experiences, but I don't, but please allow me the privilege to discuss them in a constructive manner - without derision or vitriol - so that I may be the better person at the end of the discussion.


Dave
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Old 05-04-2005, 09:36 PM   #74
ChrisHein
 
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Re: Aikido challenges today

2 Years of MMA have have made me twice as good (probably much much more), then 5 years of Aikido training, empty handed.

When engaged in weapons conflict I had no trouble useing Aikido, in empty handed combat I never used any of the techniques (or AIki) of Aikido.

-Chris Hein
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Old 05-04-2005, 10:12 PM   #75
rob_liberti
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Re: Aikido challenges today

Chris,

Understood. It makes perfect sense _to me_ because:
1) it is much faster to learn destructive skills
2) aikido was brilliantly designed not to work well with surface level understanding
And in my opinion, not because aikido is lacking...

(Your milage may vary)

Dave,

Thanks for your kind words. I've been training for the past 14+ years with my current teacher and I've been doing about a month of 8-10 hour a day training in Japan every year for the past 10 years (but I'm no uchi deshi or anything).

Rob
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