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Old 01-25-2006, 08:51 AM   #1
DaveO
Dojo: Great Wave Aikido
Location: Alberta, Canada
Join Date: Jun 2002
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Brutality

Hello all.

I was engaged in a discussion on another forum when it kind of struck me: one of the words people often use to describe one sort of martial art or another is its 'brutality'.

The sad thing is that they almost universally consider brutality a positive trait.

For instance; a quote from that discussion: "A lot of cops take Jiu-jitsu because its a lot more brutal than aikido and you can learn a lot more from it".

Don't correct that statement - I've already done so; ( ) but you can see the point. Another aspect: "American kenpo is a brutally effective and deadly art".

Alright - the cheap action flick's over; let's talk about real life for a minute.
Why in all the bloody blue blazes would anyone sane want to learn to be 'brutal'? Brutality is a very bad thing - it means needless, gratuitous violence. Every time I hear something is 'brutally effective' I want to shake my head - don't people listen to what they're saying?

Take aikido - it is one of those arts frequently referred to as 'brutally effective'. Well...it is. If the aikidoist approaches it with brutality in mind.

Grrr... the problem is that people are using the term 'brutal' as a selling point; indicating how much damage an art can do to the human body. Let's be clear - aikido (for example) is capable of delivering tremendous damage to the human body - but that is not the same thing as brutality. There may come a time when an aikidoist will be forced to shatter elbows or skulls; dislocate shoulders, smash knees etc. In other words; he may be required to do terrible damage to an attacker - but only if such action is the minimum required force to end a hostile conflict. In a situation like that that's violent - not brutal. If on the other hand the aikidoist did so for personal gratification - for victory over the opponent or a desire to inflict injury - then it becomes a brutal act - because the aikidoist is brutal.

Flat out - if somebody's art is brutal; then that person is doing the art wrong; and for the wrong reasons. Effective yes - forceful, yes. Even deadly; if required. Not brutal - never.

Ninjitsu is not a brutal art - nor are any of the 'MMA' arts. Brutality is not the result of the art, it's the result of the practicioner. Ideally - and this is not an impossible ideal - an art should be able to teach the entire range of the Use of Force Continuum from maximum to minimum while specifically training against the possibility of brutality.

Sorry - rant mode off; the argument just got me steamed a bit.

Answers are only easy when they're incomplete.
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Old 01-25-2006, 10:52 AM   #2
Mato-san
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Re: Brutality

Brutal, Ok I will go there.
To me nothing is brutal. Brutal is an ugly word. But hey its an ugly world.
What is brutal? I don`t mean dictionary.
Before I found aikido brutal was like "thug" or whatever, now brutal is nothingness.
I have been in all situations. We Don`t need to name them.
It is all about timing, awareness, relaxation and reading situations.
IMO
Brutal? Now I can not understand brutal,?
If you got the upper hand on me and drugged me ,beat me with a stick, threw me from a moving car and burned me with cigars, stabbed me with broken glass. I would not consider it brutal. I would consider it an invitation to make harmony. And by no means do I say I will take that punishment. But as an example. It is an invite.

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Old 01-25-2006, 06:43 PM   #3
Mark Freeman
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Re: Brutality

[quote=Mathew McDowell]If you got the upper hand on me and drugged me ,beat me with a stick, threw me from a moving car and burned me with cigars, stabbed me with broken glass. I would not consider it brutal. I would consider it an invitation to make harmony. /QUOTE]

Wow Mathew, you are on a higher plane than me. I would have to describe that as pretty brutal. It may be an invitation to make harmony, but it's still brutal as I understand it.

I realise I may not be fully understanding your point, but I think I am with Dave on this one.

regards,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 01-25-2006, 10:02 PM   #4
Mato-san
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Re: Brutality

Yeah sorry, I guess I got carried away, and hep that is pretty brutal in the true sense of the dictionary definition. I am with daveO also but understanding brutal is difficult for me, heavy handed effective now thats a thing to think about. Bjj is effective but I wouldn`t label it brutal as most do. Its all art. Like these guys at chute box train to be heavy handed effective, they have a dummy on the mat which has a target on the head and they practice stomping it. (Is that brutal?)....It is pretty full on, but brutal? Sorry about the rant, DaveO I do agree with you .

Before you drive or steer your vehicle, you must first start the engine, release the brake and find gear!
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Old 01-25-2006, 10:21 PM   #5
giriasis
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
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Re: Brutality

I agree that people are not thinking what the word "brutal" means, but I think people use it in this context more as hard and tough.

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 01-26-2006, 06:40 AM   #6
Nick Simpson
Dojo: White Rose Aikido - Durham University
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Re: Brutality

'If you got the upper hand on me and drugged me ,beat me with a stick, threw me from a moving car and burned me with cigars, stabbed me with broken glass. I would not consider it brutal. I would consider it an invitation to make harmony.'

I'd take that as an invitation to introduce a baseball bat to their knees while they were asleep. But thats just me. I know what your saying Dave, I have a friend who trains in a couple of arts and revels in how 'brutal' they are.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 01-26-2006, 07:17 AM   #7
Ascendedskater25
Dojo: Minds Eye Dojo
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Re: Brutality

We recently had a privet Tournament among us just to test our selves against each other, but I lost in the very last match between me and this guy named Ty. the rules were basic for point fighting without the points. I don't know but, he was really "brutal" in the last match, I think all martial arts could end up being "brutal" its just a matter of adrenaline.
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Old 01-26-2006, 07:38 AM   #8
Nick Simpson
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Re: Brutality

'I think all people could end up being "brutal" its just a matter of adrenaline.'

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 01-26-2006, 07:42 AM   #9
Ascendedskater25
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Re: Brutality

Yeah I agree.
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Old 01-26-2006, 07:48 AM   #10
justinmaceachern
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Re: Brutality

Just a quick point about the aikido beeing brutal. Who ever says that realy has missed the point f aikido. It is not brutaly afective but just afective.aything you do is brutaly afective. if you are a boxer and you smoke some one in the jaw causing it to separate is that not brutal. aikido is all about harmony not brutality. the only way an art is brutal is if the person doing it wants it to be brutal. I was a bouncer and i used martail arts in a no brutal way. It is all about how you precieve it to be.
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Old 01-26-2006, 07:50 AM   #11
Ascendedskater25
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Re: Brutality

Quote:
Justin MacEachern wrote:
It is all about how you precieve it to be.
Yet again Agreed.
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Old 01-26-2006, 09:17 AM   #12
SeiserL
 
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Re: Brutality

IMHO, sometimes in a brutal world, brutality is the only language that is accepted and understood. Therefore, to be in harmony with that world and to be effective in protecting others who choose a less brutal approach, brutality may in fact be the only way to peace.

Excuse me, just take this from an old grunt who has stood his time on watch.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 01-26-2006, 09:40 AM   #13
justinmaceachern
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Re: Brutality

you know your right lynn
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Old 01-26-2006, 10:24 AM   #14
Taliesin
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Re: Brutality

For myself I tend to draw a distinction between 'violent' and 'brutal'

'violent' I would define as "an emotionally driven and undisciplined application of force"

'brutal' I as "deliberate and controlled application of force".

From that perspective since martial arts are about a controlled application of force it is fair to describe them as brutal. Even if the definition is expanded to include the phrase "with intention to harm". There is no reason to dispute that Martial Arts can, and indeed, should br brutal or indeed brutally effective. This does not mean that is all they are about and definetly shouldn't be about.
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Old 01-26-2006, 12:00 PM   #15
Ketsan
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Re: Brutality

Aikido is as harmonious and peaceful as taking a random person off the street, twisting their arm until it hurts and bouncing their head off some tarmac.

Last edited by Ketsan : 01-26-2006 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 01-26-2006, 12:25 PM   #16
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
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Re: Brutality

This thread hardly has any merit; so then I am a fool for adding on to it.
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Old 01-26-2006, 01:34 PM   #17
justinmaceachern
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Re: Brutality

good point alex, but if you randomly take someone off the street and" twis their arm around and bang there heads ff the ground"
then you been taught aikido by the wrong people. there is no aggresivness in aikido. you dont oppose someone you defend your self. a true master in aikido would never walk up to someone randomly and atack them.
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Old 01-26-2006, 01:40 PM   #18
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: Brutality

Quote:
priv·et ( P ) Pronunciation Key (prvt)
n.
Any of several shrubs of the genus Ligustrum, especially L. vulgare or L. ovalifolium, having opposite leaves and clusters of white flowers and widely used for hedges.
Any of several similar or related plants.
You had a tournament in a bush!?!? Now *that's* brutal!

Best,
Ron (my own spelling stinks, I'm just joshing you...)

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 01-26-2006, 02:29 PM   #19
Zach Sarver
Dojo: Aikido of Annapolis
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Re: Brutality

Quote:
Why in all the bloody blue blazes would anyone sane want to learn to be 'brutal'? Brutality is a very bad thing - it means needless, gratuitous violence.
I think it's because the ones that say that have never really seen true brutality or have never had to be brutal. I think they see the "brutality" in movie and say "Hey, thats cool.", but have never seen a real life example of it.
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Old 01-26-2006, 04:30 PM   #20
Adam Alexander
Dojo: none currently
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Re: Brutality

Quote:
Dave Organ wrote:
Hello all.

I was engaged in a discussion on another forum when it kind of struck me: one of the words people often use to describe one sort of martial art or another is its 'brutality'.

The sad thing is that they almost universally consider brutality a positive trait.

For instance; a quote from that discussion: "A lot of cops take Jiu-jitsu because its a lot more brutal than aikido and you can learn a lot more from it".

Don't correct that statement - I've already done so; ( ) but you can see the point. Another aspect: "American kenpo is a brutally effective and deadly art".

Alright - the cheap action flick's over; let's talk about real life for a minute.
Why in all the bloody blue blazes would anyone sane want to learn to be 'brutal'? Brutality is a very bad thing - it means needless, gratuitous violence. Every time I hear something is 'brutally effective' I want to shake my head - don't people listen to what they're saying?

Take aikido - it is one of those arts frequently referred to as 'brutally effective'. Well...it is. If the aikidoist approaches it with brutality in mind.

Grrr... the problem is that people are using the term 'brutal' as a selling point; indicating how much damage an art can do to the human body. Let's be clear - aikido (for example) is capable of delivering tremendous damage to the human body - but that is not the same thing as brutality. There may come a time when an aikidoist will be forced to shatter elbows or skulls; dislocate shoulders, smash knees etc. In other words; he may be required to do terrible damage to an attacker - but only if such action is the minimum required force to end a hostile conflict. In a situation like that that's violent - not brutal. If on the other hand the aikidoist did so for personal gratification - for victory over the opponent or a desire to inflict injury - then it becomes a brutal act - because the aikidoist is brutal.

Flat out - if somebody's art is brutal; then that person is doing the art wrong; and for the wrong reasons. Effective yes - forceful, yes. Even deadly; if required. Not brutal - never.

Ninjitsu is not a brutal art - nor are any of the 'MMA' arts. Brutality is not the result of the art, it's the result of the practicioner. Ideally - and this is not an impossible ideal - an art should be able to teach the entire range of the Use of Force Continuum from maximum to minimum while specifically training against the possibility of brutality.

Sorry - rant mode off; the argument just got me steamed a bit.
Two things.

One: http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=brutal

I think you're misusing the term. IF that's the case, you misunderstood what everyone else was saying.

Two: I think you should qualify your opinion with "I believe" or something to that effect, rather than stating your personal opinions as universal truths.

In my life, brutal has it's place. Perhaps your life is different-- Nothing wrong with that. However, you probably shouldn't speak universally when you don't know the whole universe.
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Old 01-26-2006, 05:15 PM   #21
Nick Simpson
Dojo: White Rose Aikido - Durham University
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Re: Brutality

'Aikido is as harmonious and peaceful as taking a random person off the street, twisting their arm until it hurts and bouncing their head off some tarmac.'

You edited your post and you left THAT? Seriously, think a little before you post random b*ll*cks...

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 01-26-2006, 05:49 PM   #22
Kevin Temple
Dojo: Jinbukan
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Re: Brutality

I think brutality has its place. In certain situations you might have to step up the violence a couple of notched and for some brutality is just a buzzword that means you can quickly and easily put someone in a world of hurt. For some people, that is what they are looking for in a martial art. Not everyone is looking for harmony, some people are looking for protection and confidence through sheer stopping power.
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Old 01-26-2006, 09:18 PM   #23
Ketsan
Dojo: Zanshin Kai
Location: Birmingham
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Re: Brutality

I'm not suggesting that anyone grab a person off the street and do that. I'm just pointing out that the likely end result of you defending yourself with Aikido will be bouncing someone with no knowlege of ukemi off an unmatted surface, or you ending up with someones arm twisted in such a way as to cause a substantial ammount of pain, potentially even to the point where something gets broken or dislocated. In fact breaking or dislocating the arm might actually be the desirable course of action in certain situations, say multiple armed attackers.

That sounds pretty brutal to me. I mean if beating someone with a baseball bat is brutal then so is hitting someone off the floor with equal force. To me it's just an excuse to say that because you harmonised with them and used their energy that in some way that is less violent or brutal. Kinda like the samurai back in the day saying "I didn't kill him, my evil sword did". "His arm might just have been dislocated by shi-ho nage, which done by a Ju-jitsuka would be brutal, however since I used the way of harmony it is in no way brutal, it's his fault for resisting the technique and not knowing the ukemi".

If you do a proper technique (which requires harmonisation) and uke does not harmonise with you the end product is not nice, especially on a hard surface. There's a reason for the phrase "Ukemi is self preservation".
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Old 01-27-2006, 05:45 AM   #24
Mark Freeman
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Re: Brutality

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote:
If you do a proper technique (which requires harmonisation) and uke does not harmonise with you the end product is not nice, especially on a hard surface. There's a reason for the phrase "Ukemi is self preservation".
While I agree that ukemi is self preservation, it is not uke's 'job' to harmonise with you, rather your job to harmonise with them. If uke does nor harmonise with you the end result is not nice, only if you make it so. The same goes for 'real life' attackers, I'm sure we'll all agree, are unlikely to act like the ukes we practice with. Our task is to harmonise with their attack and lead it to conclusion, preferably without causing damage. Thereby following the aikido philosophy of loving protection of all things. Now I realise that that may not always be possible, but it should be the aim of any encounter, no matter how violent the start of the altercation is. Probably takes many many years of training, but hey, we've got the rest of our lives to practice.
IMHO Aikido is not brutal, it can be 'brutally effective' which is not the same.

Cheers,

Mark

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Old 01-27-2006, 07:38 AM   #25
Mato-san
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Re: Brutality

Re: Brutality

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

'I think all people could end up being "brutal" its just a matter of adrenaline.'

I think you hit the nail right on the head for me there Nick , in definition of brutal aside from dictionary terms. Thanx! But another question arises from the statement, in the situation would the relaxed individual capitalise?

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