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Old 10-18-2005, 12:24 PM   #1
seph
Location: London
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Applying techniques in random situations

I was just wondering, has anyone ever had to use aikido in a random encounter? i mean, ive learnt a few moves in my class and ive seen the much more experienced guys performing them on each other. but in a real fight, how would u remember what move to do in the space of a split second? another thing, when we are training we dont use full force but the uki still follows the move and will fall, when i do it and see it done, it looks like it can easily be resisted. eg. Ushiro-ate. so any feed back would be greatly appreciated
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Old 10-18-2005, 12:41 PM   #2
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Applying techniques in random situations

I'd recommend querying a bunch of old post here on aikiweb if you are really looking for answers. the words "real fight" should give you more than you could imagine.

Opinions will vary greatly! I think most would agree though that you don't have time to think. It is the habits you develop through hard and consistent training that allow you to respond appropriately without conscious thought.

Good luck and good training.
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Old 10-18-2005, 12:43 PM   #3
bogglefreak20
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Re: Applying techniques in random situations

I haven't used Aikido in any real-life situation until now, and hope I never will.

But since you mention deciding in split second I read many times in various articles that the point in training Aikido (and I suppose any other martial art) is training until you get it in your system, in your blood, in your subconscius. Aikido then becomes your second nature (or first nature, even better) and your body reacts without you having to figure out the technique and "perform" it.

And, of course, you're right about dojo environment being under a general consensus of what is acceptable and what isn't. Though some here might have different experience.

Beatus Qui Venit In Nomine Domini!
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Old 10-18-2005, 01:31 PM   #4
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Applying techniques in random situations

It may be a matter of semantics, but I tend to believe, or view aikido simply as a methodology for learning martial skills.

The things/skills you learn that become second nature or just that, skills...not "aikido". aikido is simply the way of study in which we learn these things. So from my perspective, aikido cannot become second nature and you can never "perform it" or do it.

It may be somewhat philosophical, but once things become second nature or become apart of you, they are simply that....YOU.

To me while it may seem like splitting hairs, i believe it is very important to really understand this if you ever hope to acheive synthesis or mastery.

Also, now as I think about it, I am not really comfortable with the words "aikido technique" and "random situation", as I believe that there (as I already stated), that there are no aikido techniques, and also no situations are truely random in nature (or suprising).

I think part of refining the art is that as you grow you can more readibly identify conflict or the potential for conflict and therefore, it really does become a more subtle art that requires small movements, subtle kamaes, gestures, or actions, not kotegaeshi's are Ki ai.

I think though, that Matt's question was much more simplistic in nature about "technique and situation". I fear that I have hi-jacked his thread and turned it into a "internal" type answer. (sorry for that )
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Old 10-18-2005, 03:53 PM   #5
aikiSteve
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Re: Applying techniques in random situations

I had the opportunity to put my Aikido to the test this weekend in Chicago. It worked beautifully!! Here's what happened....

My wife and I were riding around town, around 10pm, trying to find a movie theatre. We got off the train at the "chicago" stop. It turns out there are 3... yes 3 different chicago stops. *Sigh*. We walked about a block before we realize we got off at the wrong place. We turned around and walked back to the train stop.

Right at the top of the stairway was this sketchy guy just standing there. We walked down into the tube and sure enough about a minute later the sketchy dude follows us. He comes down the stairs, doesn't say anything, but it's just my wife, myself and this creepy guy that was clearly targeting us. He didn't do anything immediately but i could sense my wife getting nervous, so i was running through techniques in my head. Trying to figure out what i should do.

The one thing that kept ringing in my head was Sensei Baker saying "Change the rules!". Every time we'd get stuck in class he'd shout from the other end of the dojo: "make yourself shorter or taller or move forward or backward" etc. I started trying to figure what are the rules of getting mugged?

So then it hit me... I figured out the perfect Aikido technique for this situation! I turned to the guy who was clearly trying to get himself fired up to start a fight and take my wallet. I was eating a Mr. Goodbar at the time, i broke off a piece of the chocolate bar reached my hand out to him and said:

"Want some chocolate?"

The expression on his face was priceless. He said "sure".

I'm sitting on my wallet right now.

Steve

Last edited by aikiSteve : 10-18-2005 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 10-18-2005, 05:03 PM   #6
Yossi
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Re: Applying techniques in random situations

Quote:
Steve Nelson wrote:
I had the opportunity to put my Aikido to the test this weekend in Chicago. It worked beautifully!! Here's what happened....

My wife and I were riding around town, around 10pm, trying to find a movie theatre. We got off the train at the "chicago" stop. It turns out there are 3... yes 3 different chicago stops. *Sigh*. We walked about a block before we realize we got off at the wrong place. We turned around and walked back to the train stop.

Right at the top of the stairway was this sketchy guy just standing there. We walked down into the tube and sure enough about a minute later the sketchy dude follows us. He comes down the stairs, doesn't say anything, but it's just my wife, myself and this creepy guy that was clearly targeting us. He didn't do anything immediately but i could sense my wife getting nervous, so i was running through techniques in my head. Trying to figure out what i should do.

The one thing that kept ringing in my head was Sensei Baker saying "Change the rules!". Every time we'd get stuck in class he'd shout from the other end of the dojo: "make yourself shorter or taller or move forward or backward" etc. I started trying to figure what are the rules of getting mugged?

So then it hit me... I figured out the perfect Aikido technique for this situation! I turned to the guy who was clearly trying to get himself fired up to start a fight and take my wallet. I was eating a Mr. Goodbar at the time, i broke off a piece of the chocolate bar reached my hand out to him and said:

"Want some chocolate?"

The expression on his face was priceless. He said "sure".

I'm sitting on my wallet right now.

Steve

only in Aikido you see these things..... great story.
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Old 10-18-2005, 09:22 PM   #7
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Applying techniques in random situations

Quote:
Matthew Zelic wrote:
I was just wondering, has anyone ever had to use aikido in a random encounter? i mean, ive learnt a few moves in my class and ive seen the much more experienced guys performing them on each other. but in a real fight, how would u remember what move to do in the space of a split second? another thing, when we are training we dont use full force but the uki still follows the move and will fall, when i do it and see it done, it looks like it can easily be resisted. eg. Ushiro-ate. so any feed back would be greatly appreciated
My Aikido experience has never been in a "real fight." But I have had spontaneous moments where Aikido was used. In one case a young kid, upon request, very slowly walked right up to me wearing this huge grin as I was sitting in seiza. I thought he was going to just as slowly send his punch to me, but he threw his fist at my face from maybe 12 inches away as fast as his young muscles could send it. Without thinking, my arms swept across and flipped him end over end. I used as little muscle as it takes to do this practicing against an imaginary partner so I know I was doing something right. It scared me because I didn't know if I hurt him, but his giggling soon let me know. He asked me to do it again, but I told him I didn't think I could. If I had thought about it, it wouldn't have worked, which is why I often tell people that if I'm attacked suddenly, I'll probably fair a lot better than if I have time to think about it. My timing was very good at that instant, and at that time I was training every day...now however I don't think I'd do so well.
Another time my buddy came back from the Marines and he tried knocking me over in a river while i was standing on a rock that was no bigger than my two feet...a little smaller actually. He almost did a nose-dive but I didn't make him fall like I could have. There was no thought involved in this moment either. Just the abstract awareness of an "attack" and the possible danger of his face hitting a rock protruding out of the water. Had it been a more serious matter i doubt I'd have stopped him from falling.
Small examples and nothing to really write home about, but spontaneous none the less.
Take care,
Matt

Last edited by mathewjgano : 10-18-2005 at 09:25 PM.

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Old 10-18-2005, 10:30 PM   #8
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Applying techniques in random situations

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
It may be a matter of semantics, but I tend to believe, or view aikido simply as a methodology for learning martial skills.
The things/skills you learn that become second nature or just that, skills...not "aikido". aikido is simply the way of study in which we learn these things. So from my perspective, aikido cannot become second nature and you can never "perform it" or do it.
It may be somewhat philosophical, but once things become second nature or become apart of you, they are simply that....YOU.
To me while it may seem like splitting hairs, i believe it is very important to really understand this if you ever hope to acheive synthesis or mastery.
Also, now as I think about it, I am not really comfortable with the words "aikido technique" and "random situation", as I believe that there (as I already stated), that there are no aikido techniques, and also no situations are truely random in nature (or suprising).
I think part of refining the art is that as you grow you can more readibly identify conflict or the potential for conflict and therefore, it really does become a more subtle art that requires small movements, subtle kamaes, gestures, or actions, not kotegaeshi's are Ki ai.
I think though, that Matt's question was much more simplistic in nature about "technique and situation". I fear that I have hi-jacked his thread and turned it into a "internal" type answer. (sorry for that )
I think some of this is a matter of semantics. I would say people can "do Aikido" but that techniques aren't a thing you can think about to do Aikido. In fact I'd say, physically, Aikido is more a feeling than any set of techniques...and that the techniques are really just a means of exploring that feeling. Techniques don't make Aikido work. Aikido makes its techniques work. It's a principle-based system, and as such, one "technique" can have several different (if not infinitely so, considering 1/2 to the nth degree...sorry for the math ) apearances. Consider ikkyo from jodan, chudan, and geidan. In a very real sense, per my limited understanding, all Aikido waza are the same exact thing, but set against different, circumstantial, postural, "what ifs".
Take care,
Matt

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Old 10-18-2005, 11:02 PM   #9
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Applying techniques in random situations

I just had a thought about making Aikido second nature/spontaneous. I have a sense of always filling in the holes such that the moment something used to touch me, I was feeling for an opening, whether it was through their contracting palm, as in a grab, or slipping a strike and entering in through their "equal and opposite action." At times it was dangerour to my friends because they would jokingly do something like grab me or try to scare me by opening the door as I approached it and my first reaction was to knock them over or palm them in the face, if not outright strike them. I would gradually refine these impulses into ones which felt more safe, such as the palm to the face instead of a fist, but I always took their space as instantly as I was able. It just became an automatic reaction. Like I said, now I feel very rusty (I AM very rusty) and wouldn't be so effective, but it was this quality which i had which allowed me to behave at least somewhat spontaneously, even if it may turn out to be, as Kevin says, truly impossible.
Take care,
Matt

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Old 10-19-2005, 03:13 AM   #10
bogglefreak20
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Re: Applying techniques in random situations

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
It may be a matter of semantics, but I tend to believe, or view aikido simply as a methodology for learning martial skills.

The things/skills you learn that become second nature or just that, skills...not "aikido". aikido is simply the way of study in which we learn these things. So from my perspective, aikido cannot become second nature and you can never "perform it" or do it.

It may be somewhat philosophical, but once things become second nature or become apart of you, they are simply that....YOU.

To me while it may seem like splitting hairs, i believe it is very important to really understand this if you ever hope to acheive synthesis or mastery.

Also, now as I think about it, I am not really comfortable with the words "aikido technique" and "random situation", as I believe that there (as I already stated), that there are no aikido techniques, and also no situations are truely random in nature (or suprising).

I think part of refining the art is that as you grow you can more readibly identify conflict or the potential for conflict and therefore, it really does become a more subtle art that requires small movements, subtle kamaes, gestures, or actions, not kotegaeshi's are Ki ai.

I think though, that Matt's question was much more simplistic in nature about "technique and situation". I fear that I have hi-jacked his thread and turned it into a "internal" type answer. (sorry for that )

I deeply appreciate your point. When I think of it this way, it seems our opinions are not far apart at all. Aikido can be seen as a methodology of learning skills - that's why I propose Aikido becoming not just your second nature, but your first (meaning that it becomes your primary, most natural modus vivendi/operandi). Or to say it differently, we've all learned to walk, move, gesticulate etc. at some point in our lives. With Aikido we can do it all over again, however, on a different platform, consciously, with an ideal before our eyes. Using Aikido we can supplement or even override our previous knowledge and define ourselves anew.

I should say I see Aikido as far more than a set of techniques or even a methodology for learning techniques. Defining ourselves anew through or with use of Aikido, to me, means not just moving differently, learning techniques, but also turning inwards, inspecting and correcting my mental perspective, the way I act towards my surroundings. And insofar Aikido has proven as a most valuable vehicle towards that goals.

So, yes, it's probably just semantics.

Beatus Qui Venit In Nomine Domini!
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Old 10-20-2005, 04:12 AM   #11
stelios
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Re: Applying techniques in random situations

My wife and myself were walking back home from a cafeteria at the harbour area of our town, me walking one or two steps ahead of her as the pavement was really narrow and two people could not walk together side by side. A friend of us approached us from behind slowly as he had seen us walking from a distance. My wife noticed him but he signed to her with his finger of not to speak as he wanted to surprise me from behind. I was paying some attention to the shop windows as I was walking so I never heard or saw him approaching. Suddenly I felt two strong arms grasping me from behind and tightly hugging me at chest level.
Without even hesitating a second I took a long step forward,lowered and twisted my torso to the left, right hand extended forward and left hand backwards. As this happened very fast, my poor friend went flying in front of me and crashed with his hands and knees.
He was not pleased.
It was then that, if I ever had any querries concerning whether Aikido works, they dissapered in a flash! I even told my Sensei of the incident and he calmly replied "Of course it works, what made you think otherwise?"
But, If I was to be confronted by someone at the face, I would rather first run away, then grab a brick or something heavy and last use my Aikido. As we say in Greece "The mother of the guy that run away never had to cry for him".
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Old 10-20-2005, 10:30 AM   #12
James Davis
 
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Re: Applying techniques in random situations

Quote:
Steve Nelson wrote:
I had the opportunity to put my Aikido to the test this weekend in Chicago. It worked beautifully!! Here's what happened....

My wife and I were riding around town, around 10pm, trying to find a movie theatre. We got off the train at the "chicago" stop. It turns out there are 3... yes 3 different chicago stops. *Sigh*. We walked about a block before we realize we got off at the wrong place. We turned around and walked back to the train stop.

Right at the top of the stairway was this sketchy guy just standing there. We walked down into the tube and sure enough about a minute later the sketchy dude follows us. He comes down the stairs, doesn't say anything, but it's just my wife, myself and this creepy guy that was clearly targeting us. He didn't do anything immediately but i could sense my wife getting nervous, so i was running through techniques in my head. Trying to figure out what i should do.

The one thing that kept ringing in my head was Sensei Baker saying "Change the rules!". Every time we'd get stuck in class he'd shout from the other end of the dojo: "make yourself shorter or taller or move forward or backward" etc. I started trying to figure what are the rules of getting mugged?

So then it hit me... I figured out the perfect Aikido technique for this situation! I turned to the guy who was clearly trying to get himself fired up to start a fight and take my wallet. I was eating a Mr. Goodbar at the time, i broke off a piece of the chocolate bar reached my hand out to him and said:

"Want some chocolate?"

The expression on his face was priceless. He said "sure".

I'm sitting on my wallet right now.

Steve
The moral of the story:

Keep a candy bar with you at all times.

Nice job, steve.

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 10-20-2005, 11:00 AM   #13
tgibbs@bu.edu
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Re: Applying techniques in random situations

Here's a very random situation. Some years ago, there was a an Irish guy at work, quite a bit bigger than me. Nice guy, no animosity between us at all. He knew that I did martial arts, and I had the impression that he was skeptical. So one day, I'm about to walk through a door, and he's standing there in my way, and instead of moving aside, he just stands there looking at me. Now this is not any kind of confrontation, really, but he has put me in a position where I have to ask his permission to go through a door.

So I just put my fingertips lightly on his chest, and applied the tiniest bit of pressure at right angles to his feet, just enough so that he had to take a step back to maintain his balance. I said "Excuse me," and walked by. Nothing more was said, we remained on good terms, and he never did anything like that again.
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Old 10-20-2005, 11:15 AM   #14
flashdragoon
 
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Re: Applying techniques in random situations

ive discovered taht there are situations in everyday life that use Aikido teqniques, if I am nervous about a test in class for exmple I use the breathing teqniques I learned in my short time in classes, if I find myself getting angry about something again the breathing, and finding my center (or trying to) which usually leads me back to a calm and focused state as for the martial side of it, if one focus on the main principles of aikido you probably will never need to use the martial teqniques we learn. but I am an aiki newbie so *shrugs*
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Old 10-20-2005, 03:40 PM   #15
James Davis
 
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Re: Applying techniques in random situations

I fell out of the back of a pick-up truck and used ushiro ukemi. Does that count?

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 10-21-2005, 04:06 AM   #16
stelios
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Re: Applying techniques in random situations

Definatelly counts, James, as I used forward ukemi when a car went out of its way and crashed on my bike coming from the opposite direction. Immediatelly after the crash I find myself in the air and the only thing that came to mind is "Ukemi". I rolled for ages after hiting the tarmac but not even a scratch. The SOB driver did not stop and left the accident scene speeding.
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Old 10-21-2005, 10:26 AM   #17
James Davis
 
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Re: Applying techniques in random situations

Quote:
Stelios Papados wrote:
Definatelly counts, James, as I used forward ukemi when a car went out of its way and crashed on my bike coming from the opposite direction. Immediatelly after the crash I find myself in the air and the only thing that came to mind is "Ukemi". I rolled for ages after hiting the tarmac but not even a scratch. The SOB driver did not stop and left the accident scene speeding.
Wow! Congratulations on your still being alive! Use this experience to make yourself a better driver.

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 10-21-2005, 01:49 PM   #18
seph
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Re: Applying techniques in random situations

haha great storys everyone
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Old 10-30-2005, 06:13 PM   #19
alcantur
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Re: Applying techniques in random situations

Since I started practicing Aikido, I've been forced twice to use Aikido techniques against unprovoqued attacks, and once to avoid being assaulted and robbed by an unarmed man, and they worked quite fine.
I was lucky enough to confront unarmed people, and to notice in advance that the persons involved in those incidents were trying to attack me, and that gave me an opportunity to react in a propper way.
I haven't been involved in any other fight in real life since then, so I don't know how I would react in the case of a surprise attack or an attack by armed people., and neither know if my aikido would help me in that circumstance, but i hope it will.

cheers

Rodrigo Rosa
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Old 10-31-2005, 08:32 AM   #20
Amir Krause
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Re: Applying techniques in random situations

Quote:
Matthew Zelic wrote:
I was just wondering, has anyone ever had to use aikido in a random encounter? i mean, ive learnt a few moves in my class and ive seen the much more experienced guys performing them on each other. but in a real fight, how would u remember what move to do in the space of a split second? another thing, when we are training we dont use full force but the uki still follows the move and will fall, when i do it and see it done, it looks like it can easily be resisted. eg. Ushiro-ate. so any feed back would be greatly appreciated
While I have not participated in a "real encounter" so far, did find the option of not fighting in all the situations I have encountered in the last few years and do hope to continue this habit. I would like to give a different perspective to the your question. analysis wise, I find your question contains three different issues:
1) A random encounter in the technical sense, Uke actions are not pre-agreed upon and Tori has to adjust.
2) A real encounter in the psychological / physiological sense, reacting faced with danger.
3) Facing resistance from uke.

Uke resisting a technique:
For Uke to be able to resist your technique, means either you have not done the technique properly or the technique selection is flawed and it does not match the opportunity you have. Both situation occur, and the latter is even more common.
Some pointers on the less obvious things that are worthy of notice:
  • A flawed technique does not only mean a technique that is not executed properly, it often means the technique started without proper Kuzushi. Proper Kuzushi (based on either Tai-Sabaki, Atemi or other manipulation) should position Uke in a place rendering the technique easier for application.
  • Often when practicing Kata (pre-arranged technique practice), Uke behavior changes after he starts to anticipate the next move. The awareness of the chosen technique allows Uke to resist in practice in a way that actually is not realistic. Uke might also make slight changes to his stance and movement that would invalidate the technique and require some variation.
Aside from these topics, one should always remember the technique should enhance Tori power, hence he should not use full force in practice to prevent damage, but that is not true in S.D. this would make resistance much less effective. And one could also use the resistance as a precursor to flow to another technique (which connects to the next issue).

Uke random encounter in the technical sense:
This can be easily practiced. One of the stages of this practice in the style I practice and in some other styles, I know part of the practice procedure is Randori or "free play" where both players may initiate which ever attack they wish.
It is also possible to build other more limited practice procedures (select one attack of two etc.)
Once one is accustomed to practicing this way, technique selection in a "split second" become much easier, and one learns to adjust his response to the situation. As mentioned before, this can also be utilized as a better response to resistance.
A real encounter in the psychological / physiological sense:
Fear and adrenal dump change ones responses significantly. This can also be practiced, but most TMA way of dealing with this issue is slower and less obvious: getting used to adrenal dumps and frightening situations in a very gradual manner.

Amir
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Old 11-02-2005, 06:49 AM   #21
Michael Neal
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Re: Applying techniques in random situations

practice randori frequently
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Old 11-02-2005, 07:20 AM   #22
ian
 
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Re: Applying techniques in random situations

Refer to previous posts. Important thing is that aikido is not teaching you a set of 'techniques' per se. It is teaching you to move and respond well in an encounter. That is why an emphasis on learning lots of techniques is usually a waste of time. It is also why you'll hear advanced instructors saying 'at 1st I thought there were many techniques, and now I realise there is only one'.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 11-02-2005, 08:20 AM   #23
Saji Jamakin
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Question Re: Applying techniques in random situations

Quote:
Matthew Zelic wrote:
I was just wondering, has anyone ever had to use aikido in a random encounter? i mean, ive learnt a few moves in my class and ive seen the much more experienced guys performing them on each other. but in a real fight, how would u remember what move to do in the space of a split second? another thing, when we are training we dont use full force but the uki still follows the move and will fall, when i do it and see it done, it looks like it can easily be resisted. eg. Ushiro-ate. so any feed back would be greatly appreciated

Huh
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Old 11-02-2005, 01:16 PM   #24
Saji Jamakin
Dojo: Tomiki / YMCA
Location: Milwaukee
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 20
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Re: Applying techniques in random situations

Dito on what Amir said.
You should be extending your techniques to various grabs, strikes and holds.
Also, remember Aikido has different levels of response. You don't always need to throw the attacker of lock him up. You could simply move, step back, or it an attack actually happens do half of a technique and then push the attacker off.etc.
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