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Old 06-10-2005, 08:28 AM   #26
Yann Golanski
 
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Re: Frustrated by unconvincing aikido

Quote:
Ian Dodkins wrote:
I think it is a very dire problem in aikido that the only (ethical) way to test it is by being attacked for real (since, mostly, we acknowledge competitions as being unrealistic). Maybe that is why, as serious aikidoka, we should welcome real attacks, as an opportunity to test the validity of our assumptions!
I somewhat disagree here. *shocker*

Yes, competition is not combat (or should not be combat) but it is not as unrealistic as just kata work. In a sense, I view competition as a safe model for a fight. The Resistance element adds a level of realism that cannot be there in kata work. The will of uke is to make sure tori does not get away with anything short of a good technique. Even the army and marines in the US use games and competition to train for combat.

I remember one of my classes at Uni. It was thermodynamics. We were calculating the time it would take for a chicken to cook in an oven. We assume a perfectly spherical and homogeneous chicken... and got pretty close to the answer provided by hundreds of years of practice by house-wives, chefs and other cooks. *grin*

Sometimes a model is the best thing you can do...

BTW: getting into a fight to test your Aikido is dump. A knife wound
can kill you, paralyse you or do a whole array of things you __really__ do not want done to your body. I'm not even going to go to potential trauma for loved ones, friends and family...

/in haste...

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
yann@york-aikido.org York Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-10-2005, 12:34 PM   #27
"jon"
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Re: Frustrated by unconvincing aikido- OT

Welcoming real attacks...hmmm...I think you would have bodies plied up outside the dojo. You would also need to have a dream team of lawyers.

What martial art trains using real attacks...really?

The pendulum swings both ways. Aikido is criticized for being full of estrogen filled Easter Bunnies who freak because they get scratched by a finger nail. This is done by those extremists who have no realistic perception of life, who are clearly not living in reality. But rather living on a testerone driven key board high and have watched too many episodes of Samurai Jack which they fancy themselves as.

That is to say you have to look at the source that proclaim realistic attacks. Are the extremist who call for realism that of those I mentioned, who simply are attacking those Aikidoka they deem as aiki bunnies, or fruity. Because they feel superiority over others?

Rational thinking tells us we should pass on this idea of realistic attacks. Also, does everyone know what entails a realistic attack. 2. Is everyone capable of making realistic attacks with equal intent lover and over again in a training session? 3. Who is willing to allow themselves to make realistic attacks and accept the realistic consequences resulting from a realistically employed technique? We are wired to protect ourselves from injury. 4) if I am going to commit a real attack am not going to role play. Or make a non-verbal contract of what type of attack I will commit as an Ukei. Assuming we are in the dojo, and not in the street where I can drive down the Tori.

When we bring the term realistic attack in to the light of reason we see that it isn't all that possible. That what is over-hype termed of a realistic attack is really in truth no more then a more committed attack.

Any attack in the dojo is artificial whether you give it your all or not. Because you are there in the dojo to train, and not kill each.
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Old 06-10-2005, 01:03 PM   #28
"jon"
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Dead Re: Frustrated by unconvincing aikido-OT part 2

So then the dilemma is if the dojo can't provide a realistic environment then of course the street should be the place to get a realistic attack, and what no better place then prison. If you want constance reallistic attacks. We all know practice makes perfect. In prison you can get that all the time. You would be extending your practice times.

Most of us practice 2-5 times a week at several hours per session. Most realistic fights last between seconds and a few minutes on the street. And of course there is always the risk of injury every time you fight. That would mean you would have to be picking a hell of a lot of fights 2-5 times a week. If you have been on the street you know that it takes a lot of effort to keep this up over a period of years if your body can handle the plethora of injury sustained- at the early part of the learning curve. We are not even talking law suits, arrests, medical bills, facing guns, and cars. So prison is logically the best place to get realistic attacks. There is a medical clinic on site. Constant fighting abundant where you can count on the attacks to always be real. No effort in looking for a fight constantly- you know picking a fight you know you're going to win. No guns, just shanks, and plenty of big ugly guys to always fight to benchmark your skill. No law suits in prison, no arrests because your already in prison. No worries if the other guy has a gun, and you can always practice your randori realistically with a whole bunch of guys who really want to kill you or hurt you, or...well you know ...umm..role play.... It is the ideal place, prison is.

Prison then, is ideal for getting a realistic attack. Everything else is for wussies and estrogen filled aiki-bunnies who don't get real attacks in their dojos...right?

Can you feel the sarcasm?

There is always two exterems, and most of us are some where in between. When it comes to realistic attacks you really have to be off-center to want that. What most people really need to make Aikido work for them is a ukei/training partner who is honest committed to training. Not a so called realistic attack.
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Old 06-10-2005, 02:47 PM   #29
Ketsan
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Re: Frustrated by unconvincing aikido

I'm 3rd kyu, my Aikido couldn't move someone my weight, although in the dojo I can throw really big people.
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Old 06-10-2005, 02:51 PM   #30
James Young
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Re: Frustrated by unconvincing aikido

It seems to me when people say they want to practice with realistic attacks, they don't necessarily mean real attacks. As others mentioned the latter doesn't necessarily accommodate for safety of the practicioners, but you can have attacks with the realistic speed and intent (i.e. not going to stop short of the target, etc.) of real attacks and still practice with an accpetable degree of safety.
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Old 06-10-2005, 04:15 PM   #31
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Frustrated by unconvincing aikido

what is the fascination about training with "realistic" attacks? What is a "realistic attack".

I train soldiers in the Army Combatives program, if anyone has a need to train with realistic attacks it would be my guys!

While we probably train a little harder, and more physical than some out there...and we don't have to worry too much about being sued or liability issues...you'd be suprised about how easy we train 90% of the time.

Why? It is pretty easy to hit someone, and hits and strikes don't tend to be overly effective means of immobilizing someone. It is a skill that most people already know how to do. They ability to control someone and then be able to strike or hit them once they are controlled.

Therefore, we tend to practice what you would call BJJ 90% of the time.

Also, you have to remember, most of us are never alone. The guy that wins the fight is the guy whose buddy shows up next, preferably with a weapon.

I think a realistic attack does not have to mean sparring like a boxer etc. In reality you get ambushed, subdued, then damaged by strikes, kicks or weapons. To train this way is simply impossible to learn anything of value.

You have to learn principles of retaiining or regaining your center, balance, and dominance of the situation above anything else. Arts like aikido and BJJ do a good job of doing this.

Going fast and out of control does not create the environment that is conducive for learning this. therefore, dojos create control measures and rules which allow for the principles to be taught.

Realistic fight training would be 1. learn to recognize the risk factors and avoidance of situations 2. always have friends, law enforcement, or other such people around. 3. Be able to walk away or cross the street to create the space necessary for egress. 4. if you can't avoid such risky situations, carry weapons that give you an advantage. 5. If you don't have a weapon, find one.

I don't believe realistic fighting has much to do with empty ahnd martial arts to be quite honest. Sure it can give you skills, but there are much better uses of your time and efforts if you are truly in it for self defense and realistic fighting...but then again, that might depend on your definition of realistic fighitng...mine is that someone wants to seriously harm me or kill me. I don't rely to my years of empty hand training to protect me in that respect.
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Old 06-11-2005, 04:50 PM   #32
Lorien Lowe
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Re: Frustrated by unconvincing aikido

Just because someone wasn't touched in the demo dosen't mean they're never touched - I've taken enough stinging whaps (in a loving, teacherly fashion, of course) in the face that I eventually learned to get the h&!! outof the way when I see a sensei setting up for an atemi - with the consequence that the atemi isn't completely thrown. Maybe it looks fake to someone who dosen't know what's going on.

To the original poster, I would say don't judge anyone's aikido until *you* have taken ukemi for them.

To Jon - I don't think this is a troll's thread (it was explicitely described as a *rant* to begin with), and I didn't pick up overt sexism. Describing the teacher as female came across to me as just a description of the teacher, not as 'female and therefore not to be taken seriously'.
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Old 06-11-2005, 05:37 PM   #33
"jon"
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Re: Frustrated by unconvincing aikido

Lorien Lowe,

Point acknowledged on the troll. I can see a core of concern that has me on the edge of if the person is a troll or not. You might be right. That is why I wasn't too quick to pick apart the post.

Here is where the cinch strap is pulled too tight, and sent me bucking if anyone is interested FWIW.


The post is vague. But not too vague. I can guess what style and what female and what place the poster is talking about. And I do have reservations and prejudices of my own concerning the event and some people attending, I felt the post was going about it the wrong way; starting a fire.

If a person has a criticism of an event or person or place, name it, them, and the place. Discuss it in a respectable manner. We have enough of that in other forums to entertain us, where bashing vs. discussion takes place. There is just not enough posts that aren't so emotionally loaded, where you can't professionally discuss it.

That is my burr under my blanket as well, whether the poster was accurate or not, the real discussion gets swept aside as the emotional tone signals it's time to bash because the author is pissed off. Discussing the concern professionally provides an education, clam heads, and credible results either way. It just irritates me when a post ( which happens so many times is aimed just at bashing someone or something regardless if the concerns are valid or not, for the soul purpose to blow off steam. It plagues the net.

What I suggest to the post is if the situation is valid to calm down first, think things out and think things through, and then post in a polite, reasonable and professional manner the concerns. But, as it currently sounds the poster sounds as if he can't take instruction from a woman ( with attitude or not ), and his style is better then theirs. Hence, is the poster's purpose for posting to get sympathy from the board. If that is the case, I have the world's smallest violin play a song just for him. I hope that isn't the case.
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Old 06-11-2005, 11:06 PM   #34
stuartjvnorton
 
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Re: Frustrated by unconvincing aikido

Quote:
He could have flashed, and he just didn't tell us. The story is very one sided and opinionated. My vote is we are feeding a troll.
I meant the 6th dan was flashing the badge, not the original poster.
If he was being an ass, then said 6th dan should have put him down with a good old-fashioned big hit (lovingly administered, naturally). She doesn't have to blitz him, give him just enough to show she could give him more if she felt like it.

Gives the poster (who seems to think that being associated with aiki-fruities makes him less of a death-commando: whatever) something to think about and that's that.

Instead, she hid behind the rank. Shouldn't have been necessary.
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Old 06-13-2005, 02:13 AM   #35
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Re: Frustrated by unconvincing aikido

Ok, so you´re at a seminar and you don´t get / enjoy what the instructor is teaching. Maybe it all just seems totally silly to you. You have several options:

1. Stay off the tatami during that session.
2. Stay on and try to practise sincerely .
3. Stay on and mess about, having a laugh.

However, you do not have the option of getting frustrated and blaming that instructor for your lack of understanding - that is your problem.

Train or don´t train.

Whining is pointless.

Q
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Old 06-13-2005, 01:07 PM   #36
Adam Alexander
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Re: Frustrated by unconvincing aikido

Just my two cents (from a Shioda Sensei lineage):

1)You never really understand a technique until you practice it...a lot!!

I wouldn't hate on the fruities--even if they're weird, Aikikai people I've known think we're weird for making so much noise when we roll. I think they're weird because they don't make noise when they roll

2) Other arts think we're weird for using cooperative ukes.

Aren't you experiencing the same thing?--hating because their ukes are too pliable?

Again, there's reason for their way as much as there's a reason for our Shumatsu-dosa.

3)Sure, she was rude to you.

I used to work with a guy who did that...and he was a total aiki-hack. He couldn't understand a technique if you put the principles and applications on a chalk-board. Amazing, he'd talk smack about Aikido--how techniques wouldn't work...and then spend half of the hour nit-picking my technique (you know, twenty corrections per technique).

I don't blame you for having a problem with her. However, I offer this...If everyone called you fruity, wouldn't you be defensive?

We see this with Aikidoka all the time. Everyone's concerned with the "effectiveness" of Aikido techniques.

She's just extreme.

Hope your next seminar gives you as much experience as that one did.
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Old 06-14-2005, 07:55 AM   #37
"WantToSpeakOut"
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Re: Frustrated by unconvincing aikido

First time I've looked back at this thread as I thought it wouldn't generate much response, but as it has I thought I'd better reply to some of what has been said.

To Mark - good job O'Sensei did question effectiveness of technique

To Ian - thanks for that. I realise that my own aikido is really what I should be concentrating on, and in fact apart from writing the initial post that is what I have done and intend to do.

To Dan - good points that I agree with. Some exercises are not designed as actual combat moves designed to teach a specific point. we do that all the time in class.

To Greg - aye I'm with you there

To John - thanks for that. I agree that you can take someone's balance without touching them, in fact I've even done it to someone who attacked off balance and I stepped out of the way and they fell over - nice. The no-touch throw we were shown was in no way like this in that you had to throw yourself on the ground at the correct time. Nage could have done the move without uke's involvement.

To Jo - It was the "shihan's" attitude which made me even more dismissive of the style. I genuinely asked for some more explanation when she approached as I knew myself I didn't have a clue what I was supposed to be learning but the attitude was one of "I'm a higher grade, you do it like this" and I *still* didn't know what I was supposed to be doing.

To David - thank you for that. I shall try to continue to train and question

To Szczepan - thanks for the support

to "jon" - hmm seemed to have touched a nerve there. I have to say that I'm not involved in any other forums - only lurk here. Not wanting to start anything - no hidden agendas - just wanted to say what I felt after attending a seminar. The only place I've ever seen the term fruity applied to aikido is on this forum. I wanted to try and use a term which was less disrespectful than some I've heard of. at the end of the day I found the aikido shown unconvincing and the shihan arrogant. The fact that she was a she is neither here nor there.

to Larry - I agree that it's in the technique and not the rank.

To Mary - I think I tried to say originally that I realise that it's just a rant of mine and that it won't change anything. It's a free world and people can do what they want I just thought I could get off my chest what I felt - which I did nicely, and I will take your advice and not get too caught up in what other people consider aikido - good advice, thank you

to "jon" - oh dear.

to Charles - thanks for the support

to "jon" - more oh dear

to Xu - nope afraid it's not si wilson here - although as I'm posting anonymously you'll never know :-)

to Darren - yeah I was just letting off some steam. I'd never witnessed anything like this so I guess the next time it won't be as much of an eye opener. Brilliant seminar though (well I've only been to two so who am I to say)

to John - that sounds like the shihan I met!

to Brandon - from what I've read about various martial arts there seems to be two ways of approaching the ability to fight well - from an internal self development path such as tai-chi to an external self develop patch such as karate. Both paths ultimately leading to the same end point. However I reckon alot of tai-chi practitioners are never going to reach a good level of fighting abiilty because a) they don't want to, and b) it's hard to find a tai-chi teacher who teaches it like that. Whereas the karate person has more chance of reaching the fighting ability. I guess I think that the style of aikido I saw demonstrated was like more tai-chi. Howver not many tai-chi students would argue that what they were learning was not improving their fighting ability whereas students of this type of aikido *would* argue with that. Overall though I will jsut get on and train hard myself

to Ian - I have to agree that the testing of effectiveness as the only way of testing effectiveness - if you catch my drift

to Yann - I don't think I ever want to be in a real fight as I'm to old and have avoided them for too long to start now. Seems that O'Sensei's direct students thought it was a good idea though. I'm not suggesting anyone should go out and do that but I do think that if that's the way someone wants to test that what they've learned works then that is the only way to do it. At least have some boundaries and do it in the dojo - say single attacker no weapons - off the top of my head.

to "jon" - I have to disagree with you about realistic attacks. O'Sensei gained knowledge through real fights are you saying he would have done just as well only training in a dojo?

to James - yes I agree

to Kevin - agreed that training purely realistically it's going to take a lot of time and luck to get good, hence alll the other training besides "realistic" attacks. But at the end of the day isn't that what you're training for.

to Lorien - thanks for noticing that I tried to be as least offensive as I could but still express what I felt. Her being female was not the issue at all. I would have loved to take ukemi with her but she seemed only prepared to work with willing partners. Agreed about getting out of the way though!

to "jon" - my initial post *was* my attempt to politely express what I felt. I didn't name names or places as that is specifically not allowed on this forum - I've seen Jun asking people not to do this a few times. Not really sure what I expected or why I wrote it apart from "here's what another aikidoka thinks". I wasn't impressed by either the arts shown or the students and I was annoyed that I just couldn't come out and say what I thought in an open forum. Bit like not being able to say that a flim I have seen is crap for reasons a, b , c. I can't seem to do that to aikido without seeming like a woman hating troll!

to "questioner" - yes I know ... should have just kept my mouth shut and got on with it - don't worry will do in the future.

to jean - the more I do aikido the more I feel like I know nothing about it! I don't hate "fruities" at all - just don't think what they're doing is particularly martial. But that's too general as I've only seen one group who I would apply that term to maybe I should qualify the statement and say that I've only seen one group who I thought were not martial and that was at that seminar. And yes I'm afraid she was rude. In my opinion it was because her tecnique was not able to do the talking for her but that's only my opinion. But like you say it was a learning experience and I have to thank her for that.


Well thank you all for posting - I really wasn't expecting so much as I clearly stated that it was a rant - apologies to anyone who got upset it was not my intention to do that.

Lesson learned - train harder

cheers
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Old 06-14-2005, 08:26 AM   #38
ian
 
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Re: Frustrated by unconvincing aikido

Quote:
Yann Golanski wrote:
The Resistance element adds a level of realism that cannot be there in kata work ...Even the army and marines in the US use games and competition to train for combat...BTW: getting into a fight to test your Aikido is dump. A knife wound can kill you, paralyse you or do a whole array of things you __really__ do not want done to your body....
I see your point and agree to some extent. Although I think different training methods are always good to try out, IMO training 'against resistance' excessively is generally poor training because you are training to force a technique through whereas really you should have a larger focus (if you focus on e.g. the wrist, it is easy to get battered by the opponents other limbs) and also you are training yourself to fight the resistance rather than use it. Generally in our club we train to change technique if sufficient resistance is applied, not to try and force a technique on in which they know what you are trying to do (which I don't actually believe is really possible with someone stronger than you). This is not to say the attacks shouldn't be very forceful.

The military (and the police) do train against resistance to some extent, but they also do suprising little unarmed self-defence (at least in the UK - & I don't know about special forces). They are really just learning techniques. I do see aikido as a step beyond that. We learn techniques, but we are training to be fluid and responsive and to be able to change and adapt whenever resistance is encountered.

Agree with your point about getting into fights, but I just think the psychology of real combat and of competition are just very different.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 06-14-2005, 03:35 PM   #39
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Frustrated by unconvincing aikido

Quote:
Ian Dodkins wrote:
We learn techniques, but we are training to be fluid and responsive and to be able to change and adapt whenever resistance is encountered.
Afaik this is exactly what "resistance training" in Aikido is supposed to do. If one is fighting the resistance then they are doing something else or extremely poor Aikido.

Also there are a few psychological and physiological (at least internally) commonalities between competition and combat. Much has to do with how the human self operates when under severe pressure of intense, unexpected resistance and or a threat of endangerment situation.

LC

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Old 06-14-2005, 07:37 PM   #40
aikigirl10
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Re: Frustrated by unconvincing aikido

maybe the sensei you visited was only doing the technique in this manner, in order for the students to get the form down. And then later you could apply force to the technique , in order to make it effective.

Just a thought -Paige
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Old 06-14-2005, 08:10 PM   #41
senshincenter
 
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Re: Frustrated by unconvincing aikido

Look, differences exist in the art. I do not think anyone would disagree with that. However, accepting the position that there are differences implies that we should not look to ignore them. If we note difference but seeing nothing worthy of contrast and/or of comparison, then it might as well be as if we were to say we are all doing the same thing - though we know we are not.

Someone sees someone soft and someone else sees someone hard, it is not in anyone's interest to say that such things do not exist and/or to say that there are no differences worthy of mention and/or to say that they all lead to the same place. In the same way, it seems out of place to me to say that a person from one variation of the art "has to" or "should" look to see something that is common between the soft version he/she is looking at and the hard version he/she is practicing. Sure, expect such a practitioner to be polite -- to not be insulting or rude within the given environment -- but do not seek to kill the difference that is very real and that is a very huge part of understanding the variation of the art he/she is opting to train in.

This, I feel, is especially true for a person of two years training. Training is about the long haul -- as you all know. If at two years worth of training a person gains more insight into his/her own "hard" version of Aikido by contrasting it against something he/she saw in a "soft" version of Aikido - and if that contrast sparks emotions that lead to and generate motivation, commitment, and investment - I say "Good!" That is what is supposed to happen. Contrast is one very important way of gaining insight into one's own art or one's on slant on one's own art. If, and I use that word cautiously here, one is setting out to find the great "oneness" of every art and/or of at least every slant of this art of ours, that is something for the practitioner that has learned his/her own particular slant fully or at least fully enough to actually begin to see it in other places. It is not a thing for a beginner.

For me, what is a significant issue here, and what seems to be skirted by those that have posted to suggest that the original poster was somehow mistaken in what he saw, is the flashing of rank. The only kind of person that I know that attempts to explain things from the fallacy of authority is the kind of person who is not capable of explaining things themselves. The two go hand in hand. If you know what you are doing -- you do it. If you know what you are talking about -- you talk about it. If you do not know what you are doing and/or if you do not know what you are talking about, and if you want to maintain yourself as an authority, you have to find your "authority" outside of yourself -- in this case, on one's waist. To ask that such a person should be given the benefit of the doubt is to ask a lot -- especially of a new person in the art. New Aikido students should learn that one's authority comes only from within. Anything that compromises that life lesson should be contrasted as something "wrong" or "less." If it is not, such a beginner will only turn out to be another person that wears his/her Aikido -- not a person that has understood the depth of his/her art nor the depth of his/her being.

My opinion,
dmv

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 06-15-2005, 02:45 AM   #42
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Re: Frustrated by unconvincing aikido

I have been following this thread with some interest and have decided to add my observations.

Its interesting that the original poster has come in for a lot of criticism. In my experience even people who do not practice Aikido can make a judgement about the effectiveness and qualityof what they are seeing. The comparison would be if we see a world class football (soccer to our American friends) player perform we can make a judgement although we may not be players ourselves.

Secondly I find the instructors reaction telling. Again experience tells me that most instructors would have asked the student to take ukeme, made an effective technique and then explained why they weren't doing it that way. Usually if they don't do that it's because they can't.

When I am taking seminars, particularly for a different association I choose the biggest, strongest uke I can find for the first technique. This usually gets the class "on my side" and they tend to be more receptive to me when I use a more gentle approach later on.

As a finishing aside, I was practising on a friends class some years ago. She was teaching a bunch of beginners ai-hamni Nikkyo and one of the guys (about 19 very macho) decided that it was totally ineffective. She asked me to take ukeme for schomen-uchi while explaining that this what the present technique progressed to; and used him as uke to very slowly apply the basic technique (explaining all of the time that resistance only leads to pain) and his expression as the technique immobilised him and hurt was a joy to behold.

There was no damage no "posturing" and no lecturing but that guy became her biggest advocate thereafter.

Just one soultion and opinion.
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Old 06-15-2005, 10:19 AM   #43
""jon""
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Re: Frustrated by unconvincing aikido

Quote:
WantToSpeakOut wrote:
to "jon" - I have to disagree with you about realistic attacks. Osensei gained knowledge through real fights are you saying he would have done just as well only training in a dojo?.
It wasn't a nerve you hit. After re-reading your first post, and then your second post there are lots of flags that go off in my head. I now tend to think the experienced you described was very one side as you presented it. I sense a bit of trollish posting when I compare your posts. It seems your first post indicates a male phrasing and tone, the second post switches to lean toward a female tone and phrasing. The latter tone tends to give more credibility.

I think the whole purpose of your posts is to promote "my Aikido is better then yours." Those who don't compete are arrogant wimps and those who train "realistically," "like me" are the real deal.

Over the years there has been several movements in Aikido that have divided people, and to change how Aikido is looked at. The first was the idea that Daito ryu was the soul contributer and influence of Aikido. The second and the most recent movement driven by some who practice other arts besides Aikido, say Aikidokas don't train realistically, they don't compete, and they "cooperate" thus these Aiki fruits or other such nice names are deficient. Because, they don't view such things as if it where the invention of fire, like those who don't train exclusively in Aikido. I think you are from the latter camp. Which explains your anonymity.

See, for the most part most of the members here don't feel either movements are so important. They don't support such movements as another board and those members do. This my explain why you posted on here and not in the general forum.

Per your quote, I am no expert on the life of Osensei. I wasn't fortunate to meet him or speak to him when he was alive about his life and Aikido. Therefore, what I know of his life I don't recall any of his "real" fights. I know he was a WWII POW captured in China. I will suspect he was engaged in combat, and will presume that it was a fire fight, and not hand to hand combat. Please tell me the events you are referring which Osensei engaged in fights that gained him the knowledge you speak of. I would love to hear those factual events where Osensei was in a fight(s), especially after him his enlightening experience after him coming home from the war that lay the keystone of Aikido as a non-violent art. We know the stories of Takeda. Is that who your are confusing Osensei with?

Takeda thought of himself as a Samurai, which I see no reason why he wouldn't be considered such. The time of his birth was a time of the Samurai, he was raised to be a Samurai by Samurai in a noted Samurai family. Takeda unfortunately was caught between time. He did kill men by the sword, and kill and injure with his martial arts skills including what he taught Osensei. Takeda did have "realistic" fighting experience, but it was different then the experience of Osensei in WWII. Takeda lived a violent life, and paid for it in his health and physically, his mental state; always on the defensive, concerned when and by whom would he be attacked by, mostly those seeking revenge. He suffered socially in the way people looked at him and treated him, and how he treated other people. Takeda wasn't a fighter, he was a man that used his martial skills in life and death situations. Takeda was instructed initially on how to use a sword, and other weapons, and empty hand techniques way before he used them to save his life or rid criminals from a community.
I think you are confusing the two, Osensei and Takeda, as well as what it means to be realistic.


BTW, where and how do you think Osensei learned his skills from Takeda ( or anyone else) while Osensei and his sensei's where in a bar fights? I don't think Osensei learned on the run, getting beat up until he learned something. I don't think it was a trial by fire learning experience. He obviously learned conventionally either in a dojo and or seminars, probably much like what most Aikidoka of today; a waza is demonstrated and then practiced by cooperating training partners. Not by thugs who are uncooperative and their "realistic" goal is to put you into the hospital every time they see you. You need to be taught what to do before you do it. And having someone constantly pummel you in the name of "realistic" training doesn't get you anywhere and hurts you. You have to be trained, in a pro-learning cooperative environment lending itself to succeed developing skills, that are called on when if faced with a situation that calls on your skills. Pseudo life and death mentality, aka competition, is an optional and unrealistic bench mark, a disposable questionable litmus test, not the whole enchilada. Shsssh. this is what you should be frustrating you is that you got suckered into that "what we do is realistic" myth. What should be unconvincing is not Aikido but buying into your posts. My opinion.
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Old 06-15-2005, 11:30 AM   #44
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Frustrated by unconvincing aikido

Quote:
The first was the idea that Daito ryu was the soul contributer and influence of Aikido.
I haven't heard that. What I have heard is that the empty hand techniques of Aikido can be traced exactly back to .... Guess what? Daito ryu. So far, no evidence to the contrary has been posted. Stan Pranin has done a great deal of research in this area...the time for debate is basically over. There are many many different influences on the weapons work, some from Ueshiba's time, some since then. But the empty hand techniques; ikkajo, nikkajo, sankajo, yonkajo, shihonage...these are clearly from the Daito ryu syllibus...there is no factual way to deny it.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 06-15-2005, 12:24 PM   #45
"jon"
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Re: Frustrated by unconvincing aikido

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
haven't heard that. What I have heard is that the empty hand techniques of Aikido can be traced exactly back to ....Daito ryu

Your Off Topic....

BTW, that is want I was getting at concerning empty hand techniques. The readership is well versed in Aikido they don't need to be spoon feed, nor do we have to dicker over semantics. It is always interesting then things people [i]heard[/] vs. what is fact. Please lets stay on topic. Your issues are for another thread.
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Old 06-15-2005, 12:28 PM   #46
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Frustrated by unconvincing aikido

My issues are for any thread I please. You don't own the forum, nor do you control my response. I'll state the facts as I see them, when and where I please.

I especially do not take direction from anonymous entities on an internet forum.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 06-15-2005, 04:34 PM   #47
senshincenter
 
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Re: Frustrated by unconvincing aikido

Good posts Ron. Well said.

"Jon," while it may not be too relative to the thread, you might also want to check out AikidoJournal.com to get a more accurate understanding of Osensei's history. Your take on things could be called very romantic. Moreover, it is undoubtedly underlying your interpretation of the first post -- so maybe it is relative, though it should not be.

Here is a story I feel IS relative to the "rank" flashing element of this thread…

When I was living in Japan a friend of mine from the States took advantage of the opportunity of having a place to stay and a guide to show him around, etc., and so he came to visit me. Late in his visit, after joining me in my weekly training circuit of attending four to five dojo -- which is what one has to do in order to train daily on a regular basis -- I took him with me to a new dojo. Another friend I met recently trained there and he suggested that we should come to train and to join him and other members for a beer and some food afterwards. As it turned out, this dojo was ran by one of the senior students of the Shihan that ran our (my main) dojo -- so it was a very familiar style.

By this time, I had already pretty much gotten used to that strange irony that marks all of Japanese Aikido (for me). I am referring to the end-result that comes from the strange proximity that exists between how much significance is given to rank and how much "leeway" is taken with the notion that "shodan" can literally be understood as "beginner level." In other words, you got many folks with high rank, but with no skill, who make a big deal out of high rank. (Note: I am speaking generally here, and I am basing this on my experience. And though my experience and my interpretation of that experience has been in agreement with everyone else I know that has trained in Japan [both Japanese and foreign alike], if you got a different interpretation based upon a different experience -- more power to you. I would actually be quite happy to hear that there is some place somewhere in Japan where these elements are not all related in the way that I have described them here.)

So we go to this new friend's dojo. We start to train -- we were doing Sumi-otoshi from Tachi-waza Katate-dori. Very basic. My friend from the States and I are in hakama. He is a Nidan under Chiba Sensei. I am an Ikkyu under my Shihan in Kyoto. I am wearing a hakama because I was afforded the privilege due to the fact that I traveled with our other Shihan (our dojo had two) to be his Uke for seminars, demonstrations, etc. What I did not notice at first was that this dojo not only lined up according to rank at the beginning of class but they also trained according to rank -- such that the highest rank was always training closest to the Shomen and lower ranks, in sequential order, trained further from the Shomen.

As it turned out, I was training with the second highest rank in the dojo, and my friend was training with the highest ranked person from that dojo. So we are doing Sumi-otoshi and my friend's Uke just starts resisting his technique. The guy was obviously tired and probably was not too used to getting tired out by any "kohai." So he starts blocking my friend's technique in the most obvious and grievous of ways. However, my friend is over six feet tall and this guy is just your average middle-aged Japanese salary man. His resistance was really no resistance at all. My friend gave him the courtesy of allowing him to set up better for the breakfall, (not a thing commonly done in Chiba's culture among yudansha) assuming that that was his reason for resisting the technique. With the added opening my friend provided him with for the purposes of getting back in the technique, the guy only took a more solid base from which to offer more resistance. After that, my friend just proceeded to throw him anyways -- it was not a big deal for him. The guy goes flying through the air against his will and against his every hope. Bam!

He does not land so smoothly -- as one would imagine for anyone that is too attached to the ground in his or her mind when being required to take a breakfall. He gets up all pissed-off and starts yelling at my friend in Japanese. Only my friend does not speak Japanese. He starts looking at me to translate. I tell me friend, "He wants to know your rank" -- leaving out all the other insults and objections. My friend looks at him and says, "Ni-dan." Then the guys starts speaking in broken English, "Me, san-dan. You, ni-dan. You don't throw me like that -- very rude!" Then he says basically the same thing in Japanese for me to translate to my friend. I did.

My friend did not say anything back to him. Though we sure talked about it a lot on the train ride back home. We thought he was lame; that he is missing the big picture; that that kind of stuff should not be recognized or supported directly or indirectly by any Aikido institution; etc. However, there my friend simply silently bowed and went on to find another partner after allowing this "san-dan" to play his games for the rest of the pairing. As it turns out, the guy bows to me to partner with him next. We are still working on the same technique. Sure enough -- he does the same thing. However, before he could get whatever it was he was trying to get from such action, I simply took his energy into a Kokyu-nage in the other direction and sent him flying through the air. Bam! He gets up all sore -- rubbing his hip and he asks in Japanese, "What is your rank?" I tell him, "Ikkyu." He say, "No, you are not Ikkyu, you are Yon-dan."

This is how I see this whole thing: The guy was lame when he used his rank to feel superior to another, and the guy remained lame when he opted to use his rank to humble himself before another. For me, it is like this: If you understand the Way, rank is meaningless. If rank carries meaning for you, the kind that you can actually encase your own identity within and/or by which you can come to relate to others through, then you cannot possibly understand the Way. To be sure, it is always wise to not veer too far away from the insights that come to us from understanding all points of view as relative. However, if in doing so we violate some basic universal principles, we will not be doing anyone any good -- least of all ourselves.

Before one starts suggesting that there was something at the seminar worthy of learning but that was being missed because someone was too blinded by their own point of view, let us acknowledge that in all probability there was probably not anything worthy of learning being presented there. Or, if we really want to stick to the position that there is always something to learn, no matter where we are or who we are dealing with, then let us say that at best one was looking at a negative lesson -- a way how not to be. To be direct: When one offers their rank as an explanation for anything, what one should most of all seek to understand in such action is not something that may be hidden from view because of one's own subjectivity. Rather, one should seek to learn what is staring at you right in the face, waiting for you right there on the surface. One should seek to learn how not to become such a person. This is the important lesson that one, by all means, should not miss.

dmv

Last edited by senshincenter : 06-15-2005 at 04:38 PM.

David M. Valadez
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Old 06-15-2005, 09:33 PM   #48
"jon"
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Re: Frustrated by unconvincing aikido

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
Good posts Ron. Well said.

"Jon," while it may not be too relative to the thread, you might also want to check out AikidoJournal.com to get a more accurate understanding of Osensei's history. Your take on things could be called very romantic. Moreover, it is undoubtedly underlying your interpretation of the first post -- so maybe it is relative, though it should not be.
You must have misread my post or inadvertently read into it. I thought I clearly stated, I wasn't sure of Osensei's history. Followed by my request for any factual events that support the idea that "Osensei gained knowledge through real fights."

In other words, details of the combative encounters with empty hand techniques which Osensei was involved in, dates, places, people. Not like that he dodge bullets. More like what we know of Takeda and the life and death conflicts he was in. For instance, the time he was almost killed by a group of construction workers. A very well known and proved event.

Osensei must have known 100s of techniques, did he use each and every technique countless times in countless fights to gain the knowledge that WantToSpeakOut (WTSO) suggested? I am assuming that "knowledge" is the result of effectiveness and mechanics of technique. WTSO isn't all that clear.

Would it be possible for a Osensei to do such things as that of Takeda? Well, when compared to Takeda, a man, who probably [i]did[/did] gain much of his "knowledge" as are result of his tumultuous life-style and experiences in life and death bouts through out most of his adult life, would make sense. Yet, Takeda also incipiently learned his skills in a dojo or instruction in a cooperative environment, before he used them to save his life or end others. No one put a sword in Takeda's hand first then send him into to battle without formal instruction. No one handed him a sword when he was not trained in it to go down and challenge the best swordsman you can find, and then cut him down in the street, without formal instruction. Takeda was first instructed formally techniques with someone who cooperated.

Osensei on the other hand, also wasn't told to go out and fight for your life without martial training. That would have been inept and inaccurate to think that way. Takeda taught him then he worked with cooperative students of different builds and stature also there to learn what Takeda offered. Takeda didn't have Osensei on his first, second, third, hundredth day experience of go out get in a street brawl with local thugs and brigands. At a lesser degree, try and break Osensei's training partners into little pieces either. WTSO, said isn't all that accurate or feasible. Talk about trolling...I mean...romanticizing, WTSO is a good example.

If WTSO had said it was Takeda who gained knowledge through real fights, the argument would have been stronger. But not completely true. I am not criticizing either man, I am pointing out the life of a person who just doesn't pay lip service or markets what it means to be in realistic situations. Each man took different paths, Osensei's is markedly different then the unrestrained fighting life of Takeda. Both men refined their skill teaching others in a dojo, demonstrating or teaching at seminars. Both men worked with cooperative people when first learning their art. That is a part of the learning process, as seen in centuries of martial ways and martial arts instruction. It's called practice.

This is the point I was getting at and mentioning how unreasonable WTSO statement was. I you can see, I think you misread me or something. I am not romanticizing by any ways or means at all. I just want WTSO to back up with supportive details the ambiguous statement he made. Call it protocol. It is all just another indicator that leans me toward the idea that WTSO took a possible actual experience and used it to get an emotional response and push an agenda, consciously or not.

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Old 06-16-2005, 02:29 AM   #49
senshincenter
 
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Re: Frustrated by unconvincing aikido

The issues I feel are easily noted as inaccurate and that I feel are also supporting your interpretation of the first post - seeing it as "trolling," etc. - pertain to Osensei's involvement in WWII and also the supposed effect and/or centrality of his "enlightenment" experience as something relative to the "non-violent" nature of the art. You commented upon these things regardless of you stating you are no expert regarding Osensei's history. To explain further, what I call "romantic" is the position (one held by many folks) that once there was this violent art, and then Osensei had his enlightenment experience, and then he saw the error of violence, and thus went on to create a non-violent art. It's the whole "genius cult" thing or the whole notion that history is loaded with eruptions of uniqueness that come to mark "beginnings," etc. It not seeing the fiction for what it is - a fabrication put to political use. All "beginnings" are fictions - they are a blinding of the totality of related facts so that things come to appear in one way and not in another.

For me, that party line came from somewhere else - even if it can trace itself back to something Osensei may have said. A big piece of supporting evidence is this for me. In the radio interview Osensei gave late in his life, he was giving his usual spiel from "Takemusu Aiki," and at some point well into the monologue Osensei was delivering, at a point that the radio announcer was seriously (and obviously) lost, he, the announcer, reads an obviously prepared question: "So, isn't it true that there are no attacks in Aikido?" What does Osensei do? Does he say "Yes, that is true." Nope - he says, after laughing at the ridiculousness of the question, (paraphrasing) "Aikido is the harmony of all things. To say that Aikido can be only this or cannot be that - to say it can be only one side of a given dualism - is to deny its harmonious nature - of course there are attacks in Aikido."

Where did the announcer get that prepared question? Obviously he obtained the information via some means, but equally obviously it did not come for Osensei. My guess, some folks, folks in position enough to inform the announcer either professionally and/or incidentally, were touting such a perspective (i.e. there are no attacks in Aikido/Aikido is a non-violent art). For many folks, that perspective has gone on to become gospel. However, was it the position of Osensei or was it the position of folks in power that just used the cultural capital of Osensei "as Founder" to gain the power to determine the party line? I believe it was the latter, but regardless of one's take, one shouldn't act like this history has been decided upon once and for all. It has not - it is still very much up in the air.

My suggestion is caution, and to return to the threads topic.

David M. Valadez
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Old 06-16-2005, 07:40 AM   #50
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Frustrated by unconvincing aikido

Hi David. Another great post. And I think you put the question of 'attacks in aikido' in the best perspective I have ever read.

Thanks,
Ron

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