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Old 02-01-2006, 04:55 AM   #51
Mark Freeman
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Re: Self-defense art?

Great post Alec, thanks.

regards
Mark

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Old 02-01-2006, 05:37 AM   #52
DaveS
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Re: Self-defense art?

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
Peyton Quinn has written extensively on the problem of appying ones tecfhniques under real high stress street situations. In general, even those people who train in very practically oriented self defense styles, have trouble accessing those skills when they get the adrenaline dump associated with a real violent encounter. The physical symptoms associated with the adrenaline dump i.e. tunnel vision, loss of fine motor control, lack of depth perception etc. make executing technique of any complexity, difficult, if not impossible, for a person who isn't used to operating under that type of stress.
Out of interest, are there any Shodothugs out there who have been in a Real Life Self Defence Situation(tm) and if so, did shiai randori prepare you at all for dealing with the adrenaline dump in a calm and controlled manner?
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Old 02-01-2006, 05:42 AM   #53
Nick Simpson
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Re: Self-defense art?

I've only got one more thing to say on this subject:

There are no effective arts, only effective practitioners.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 02-01-2006, 06:18 AM   #54
Edwin Neal
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Re: Self-defense art?

good posts everyone...
for SD i don't think much has to be changed in the way aikido is taught/practiced... the repetition and relaxation, and proper form over speed or power... are indeed probably the best methods for learning to do the techniques... internalizing them then becoming "formless" and allowing waza to naturally manifest...
the particular technique that gets used does become 'secondary' or perhaps a better way of describing this would be you don't go through a mental process of reviewing the waza you know and selecting one... rather it happens as an almost 'autonomic' response which as Alec said can be trained and controlled... i often think of it like 'flinching' rather than supressing that response we make the response more appropriate ie a better habit... a 'flinch' atemi or tenkan...
many traditional martial arts don't train or assume a 'worst case scenario' rather they sometimes refuse to admit that it may come to that (denial)... for instance saying there is no ground work in aikido because we would 'never' get taken down is ridiculous... most people may not want to go to the ground, but you better be able to do something there because it may(probably will) happen... we cannot be aiki-ostriches... indeed Osensei and others in a sense 'assumed' some knowledge of ground work, and aiki principles and techniques can be applied to ground work...
i like to think of fighting spirit, more as survival spirit and not violent or aggressive spirit... this is an important source of power/motivation in a SD response... indeed if this spirit is stronger than your attacker's spirit you have a significant 'lead' on him already... most predatory criminals choose easy marks... if you would fight back strongly and they sense this they may think it's not worth it...
we must also know how to apply waza across the entire spectrum... from benign to lethal... just for control/safety/practice purposes at least... but also it may be necessary to fight to the death... hope for the best prepare for the worst... if you have no control, then you have no choice...

Edwin Neal


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Old 02-01-2006, 12:12 PM   #55
Charlie
 
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Re: Self-defense art?

Quote:
Ian Hurst wrote:
…This is the nub of the argument regarding many TMA (not just aikido) in that it is more often taught as an end unto itself rather than a specific path to self-defense. This is why many of the posters (including myself) have mentioned that if their interest was primarily self-defense, then their approach teaching aikido would change, often sacrificing some of the more esoteric moves in the process…
While I can agree with this to a certain degree, I don't feel that it is valid as a reason as to why some think that Aikido is non-functional as a means of self defense until the latter stages of one's training.

The Yoshinkan approach is that all Aikido techniques stem from 6 basic movements [the last two forms are just combinations of the first four -- so actually based on 4 basic movements]. The average student who exhibits a certain degree of commitment should have these movements down in about a month. Once these are ingrained, then the teaching of technique really begins to ‘happen' because you don't have to keep hounding them on the very basics [e.g. how to move and body posture]. YEAH RIGHT but you get my gist.

At this point [when the basics start to stick] is when a student should be able to exhibit certain aspects of their Aikido training in a self defense manner. Case in point: my previous posts #16 and #23. Notice that I am not saying that they can go out and stand toe to toe with a professional martial artists -- only that they can perform in a manner that defends their very self. I firmly stand by my comment that if your own training is not cultivating these very basic fundamentals in your ‘traditional' Aikido class then something is missing.

I am a former US Marine. My instructor is a retired Navy Chief and his instructor served in WW2. So my training has always dictated a honing of the ‘warrior spirit'. My lessons have always made a distinction as to what we practice [for the most part] in the dojo is considered to be ‘classical aikido'. In other words the techniques that you would use in a self defense scenario are different or abbreviated as Ian alludes to. HOWEVER, the basics of Aikido are what we learn in class and are the very cornerstone to what you do in self defense, not separate but part of and all inclusive.

Quote:
Ian Hurst wrote:
…Here I disagree; the points you mentioned re mental competence are valid from a "keeping yourself safe" point of view. While I agree it should be your foremost reaction to situations, but if that's what you're focusing on you don't actually need a martial art and you'd probably be much better promoting money-fu to prevent yourself ever having to be in the situation in the first place.

The practice of martial arts assumes the worst-case scenario in that the confrontation has already happened or is unavoidable. Here, the techniques you know (in the bone so to speak) are paramount as these will dictate your actions...
But isn't that what self defense is, "to keep yourself safe"? My statement was that this is the FIRST stage to learning good solid self defense. It goes hand in hand with learning technique. If a student is working on their awareness and not spending time on technique is absolutely a recipe for disaster just as if a student is working on learning their 100th technique [for self defense] and is never aware of exactly where they are or their relationship with others in their immediate surroundings is.

Self defense/Fighting always starts with this awareness and that is exactly the point that Shioda sensei was trying to make when he was commenting on the ‘boxer incident'.

In my minds eye, the person that will be more successful in a self defense scenario is the one that has the higher level of awareness AND is the least inundated with extraneous technique [but has fully ingrained some techniques]. On the flip side, the person that is most likely to suffer from the ‘adrenaline dump syndrome' is the one that has made or been taught that there is a division between what they learn in their ‘traditional' class and what is presented to them in a self defense context and will not be able to infuse the two until they reach higher training levels.

Ultimately we never know who is going to freeze up. All my training [martial and mililtary] agrees with this. All you can do is to continue to practice practice practice AND look behind you every now and then and maybe the chance that it will happen to you will be decreased.

Respectfully,

Charles

Last edited by Charlie : 02-01-2006 at 12:15 PM.

Charles Burmeister
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Old 02-01-2006, 02:03 PM   #56
senshincenter
 
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Re: Self-defense art?

Good points all around. I do not think I can even say I am on the fence here -- I am thinking I'm all over the map with this one. So as to cut down on writing time -- please let me offer the following question and answer format to demonstrate my position:

1. Is it easier (i.e. takes less effort, sacrifice, time, dedication, etc.) to learn a poke to the eye or to learn Ikkyo?

Answer: It is easier to learn a poke to the eye.

2. Is a poke to the eye Aikido?

Answer: Yes.

3. Is it harder to execute a poke to the eye or to execute Ikkyo within a real-life violent encounter?

Answer: They are equally difficult to execute and they will require the same amount of time and effort to apply in such situations in any kind of consistently successful manner.

5. Is it self-defense when you take a roll after crashing on your bike?

Answer: Yes.

6. Should instructors who are asked, "Can this art be used as self-defense?" silently understand that question to mean, "Can I learn to take a roll after I crash on my bike?"

Answer: No.

7. Is it self-defense when you use posture and awareness to deter and/or avoid attack?

Answer: Yes.

8. Should instructors who are asked, "Can this art be used as self-defense?" silently understand that question to mean, "Can I here learn to deter or avoid attacks by gaining posture and awareness?"

Answer: No

9. Should one excuse one's lack of progress and/or of depth in the art by utilizing some sort of abstract "future" to dismiss the absence of such things?

Answer: No.

10. Can one progress and/or gain depth in the art via a short interim or via the immediate future or without a great deal of dedication, commitment, sacrifice, and hard work?

Answer: No.

10. Can Aikido be used as a self-defense art?

Answer: Yes.

11. Do most aikidoka train in a way that their Aikido could be used in a self-defense situation in any kind of reliable way?

Answer: No.

12. If you defend yourself from a violent attack, does that mean your training assisted you?

Answer: Perhaps.

13. If you defend yourself from a violent attack, does that mean your art is capable of being a "self-defense" art?

Answer: Perhaps.

14. If you defend yourself from a violent attack, does that mean you were just lucky?

Answer: Perhaps.

15. If you defend yourself from a violent attack, does that mean you attacker was just inept?

Answer: Perhaps.

16. How many instructors and practitioners use single and/or relatively few real-life past experiences to determine what is a successful self-defense art?

Answer: Too many.

17. Of the many instructors and practitioners that use single and/or relatively few real-life past experiences to determine what is a successful self-defense art, how many truly factor in their luck and/or the relevant ineptness of their attacker?

Answer: Too few.

18. Is Aikido an art that aims at gaining some sort of rarefied magic?

Answer: No.

19. Is Aikido an art that operates within the natural world and thus via the natural laws of physics, biomechanics, geometry, etc.

Answer: Yes.

20. Does the naturalness of Aikido make it any more accessible to the masses than were it aimed at some sort of rarefied magic?

Answer: No.

21. If you are in a bar, and you sense some danger or some sort of risky situation, do you have to fight your way out of the bar in order to defend yourself?

Answer: No.

22. If you are a woman about to face a serial rapist or an ex-husband that has violated his restraining order, will your capacity to sense danger be enough to defend yourself?

Answer: No.

24. Are there situations when self-defense entails more than just fighting?

Answer: Yes.

25. Are there situations when self-defense entails nothing but fighting?

Answer: Yes.



my opinion, thanks,
dmv

David M. Valadez
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Old 02-01-2006, 02:51 PM   #57
Alec Corper
 
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Re: Self-defense art?

Nice succinct post, David. Short too

If your temper rises withdraw your hand, if your hand rises withdraw your temper.
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Old 02-01-2006, 09:28 PM   #58
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Self-defense art?

David V,

Great post. Nice and short too. For you at least Good to see you around.

Quote:
David Sim wrote:
Out of interest, are there any Shodothugs out there who have been in a Real Life Self Defence Situation(tm) and if so, did shiai randori prepare you at all for dealing with the adrenaline dump in a calm and controlled manner?
Yes it did. Everything kinda happened in slow motion.

This thread has my most recent and hopefully last encounter - http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...5&page=4&pp=30

Gambatte.
LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 02-01-2006, 10:04 PM   #59
Edwin Neal
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Re: Self-defense art?

the idea of the adrenal dump seems to get overplayed, while i agree it happens i don't think it necessarily hampers performance... like larry said it tends to slow things down for me... i don't really get shaky or anything until after things are already finished... i think our training helps prevent this, although i am not sure how exactly... maybe relaxation or keeping your one point has something to do with it...

Edwin Neal


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Old 02-02-2006, 12:16 AM   #60
CNYMike
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Re: Self-defense art?

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote:
.... Is aikido useful in self-defense situations?.....
The best answer to this question is here:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpo...&postcount=438

End of discussion.
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Old 02-02-2006, 12:31 AM   #61
Edwin Neal
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Re: Self-defense art?

i doubt that will be the end of the discussion Michael, but a good example, although maybe he's just a lucky guy...

Edwin Neal


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Old 02-02-2006, 12:38 AM   #62
jmcrae
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Re: Self-defense art?

Burton Richardson argues that any art that claims to teach self-defense must take into account all of the following considerations.

(1) You need to be able to defend yourself in all ranges: kickboxing, clinch-fighting, and ground-fighting (since even if you don't want to deal with an attacker in one of these ranges, you'll at least need to be able to escape from it).
(2) You need to train against resistance (on a continuum from no resistance when initially learning the technique to full resistance in all-out sparring/randori)
(3) You need to train with both empty-handed and with weaponry (both disarms and the offensive use of weapons as an equalizer).
(4) You need to know how to fight against both single and multiple opponents (and you should focus on getting away from multiple attackers rather than trying to subdue them all Kung-Fu Theatre style).
(5) You need to be able to use the environment to your advantage (including environmental weapons, techniques using your opponent's clothing, throwing someone into objects, etc.).
(6) You need to make moral development and a thoroughgoing knowledge of the law an essential part of training.

In theory, Aikido has the potential to meet all of these criteria. However, the way the art is actually practiced varies greatly from dojo to dojo. Some instructors place a great deal of emphasis upon resistance training in all ranges against realistic attacks. Others have little concern for self-defense, focusing instead upon tradition and the aesthetic value of the art. So long as Aikido is practiced according to these criteria, it can be a viable form of self-defense.

Temet nosce,
James McRae

"We cannot live better than in seeking to become better."
--Socrates

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Old 02-02-2006, 12:55 AM   #63
Edwin Neal
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Re: Self-defense art?

great post James, my thoughts exactly only much better organized and written! may i use this list for other posts and a paper i am working on??? do you have a link i could folow??? Thanks for any info, and the great post...

Edwin Neal


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Old 02-02-2006, 01:10 AM   #64
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Re: Self-defense art?

Aloha, Edwin. Please feel free to quote me or, better yet, check out Burton Richardson's detailed article...

http://jkdunlimited.com/article_info...208d0f9f091de8

He has a variety of articles on the subject of realistic self-defense training on his site (this one is taken from #3 of "The Three Guiding Principles of JKDU" found on the main page of his site, linked above). What is the thesis of your paper?

Temet nosce,
James McRae

"We cannot live better than in seeking to become better."
--Socrates

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Old 02-02-2006, 01:22 AM   #65
Edwin Neal
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Re: Self-defense art?

i haven't entirely fleshed out my thesis, but it would compare and contrast various arts and combat sports philosohy and strategy of self defense... i'm always working on papers it seems... thanks for the info...

Edwin Neal


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Old 02-02-2006, 02:41 AM   #66
doronin
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Re: Self-defense art?

Well, the definition of SD may look quite controversial sometimes. If you were to describe a "fighter" (MA, not military) - looks like it would be the same quoted list.

Aikido doesn't seem to have a purpose to prepare a fighter. It provides you with a concept, methodology, of another way of dealing with aggression; and the techniques in the general Aikido curriculum serve more as examples of this concept applied, leaving to the martial artist to figure out the rest, i.e. how to propagate the obtained knowledge into all his previous experience, including his experience in other martial arts he knows.

I mean "all his previous experience", i.e. not necessary martial arts. Someone might not to have a past MA experience at all, but to have a practical fighting experience, regardless of how was it obtained -- this would be the foundation for applying Aikido principles. But take a person without ANY past fighting experience, for him to become capable of the "features" listed below would take a while…

This also explains why some dojo put more or less emphasis on a practical SD component -- because SD, in its full extent, is not a natural part of the "core" Aikido, but rather an application of Aikido into this or that kinds of situations -- important, but separate matter. So, different people give different priority to this component of the practice.

FWIW


Quote:
James McRae wrote:
Burton Richardson argues that any art that claims to teach self-defense must take into account all of the following considerations.

(1) You need to be able to defend yourself in all ranges: kickboxing, clinch-fighting, and ground-fighting (since even if you don't want to deal with an attacker in one of these ranges, you'll at least need to be able to escape from it).
(2) You need to train against resistance (on a continuum from no resistance when initially learning the technique to full resistance in all-out sparring/randori)
(3) You need to train with both empty-handed and with weaponry (both disarms and the offensive use of weapons as an equalizer).
(4) You need to know how to fight against both single and multiple opponents (and you should focus on getting away from multiple attackers rather than trying to subdue them all Kung-Fu Theatre style).
(5) You need to be able to use the environment to your advantage (including environmental weapons, techniques using your opponent's clothing, throwing someone into objects, etc.).
(6) You need to make moral development and a thoroughgoing knowledge of the law an essential part of training.

In theory, Aikido has the potential to meet all of these criteria. However, the way the art is actually practiced varies greatly from dojo to dojo. Some instructors place a great deal of emphasis upon resistance training in all ranges against realistic attacks. Others have little concern for self-defense, focusing instead upon tradition and the aesthetic value of the art. So long as Aikido is practiced according to these criteria, it can be a viable form of self-defense.

Temet nosce,
James McRae
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Old 02-02-2006, 03:21 AM   #67
Edwin Neal
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Re: Self-defense art?

i disagree Dmitry... aikido by its very definition MUST work... it IS a martial art... however it is taught this does not change... the physical and philosophical aspects are interdependent... if you don't have one then you do not have the other... the physical techniques are fundamentally sound and effective, and are absolutely essential to attain the philosophical/spiritual goals... how long it takes to gain functional skills in just the physical aspects has been discussed here earlier, but i believe in about a year, depending on the student/sensei... re read post #27 &28...

Edwin Neal


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Old 02-02-2006, 03:58 AM   #68
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Re: Self-defense art?

Well, Edwin, perhaps I was not clear enough. Of course it works. But Aikido presumes previous martial experience, and thus doesn't bother to cover everything.
It's your problem to obtain the knowledge in ground work, etc. and then to fugure out how to apply Aikido ideas on that. Aikido dojo may, but not must provide you with that.
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Old 02-02-2006, 04:03 AM   #69
Edwin Neal
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Re: Self-defense art?

true Dmitry, but i don't think it is difficult to apply aikido principles to groundwork, or striking for that matter, in fact usually i have found they often share the same principles... my experiences with karate, judo, GJJ, and arnis have all been surprising similar to ideas i find in aikido...

Edwin Neal


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Old 02-02-2006, 09:07 AM   #70
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Re: Self-defense art?

Quote:
James McRae wrote:
Burton Richardson argues that any art that claims to teach self-defense must take into account all of the following considerations.

(1) You need to be able to defend yourself in all ranges: kickboxing, clinch-fighting, and ground-fighting (since even if you don't want to deal with an attacker in one of these ranges, you'll at least need to be able to escape from it).
(2) You need to train against resistance (on a continuum from no resistance when initially learning the technique to full resistance in all-out sparring/randori)
(3) You need to train with both empty-handed and with weaponry (both disarms and the offensive use of weapons as an equalizer).
(4) You need to know how to fight against both single and multiple opponents (and you should focus on getting away from multiple attackers rather than trying to subdue them all Kung-Fu Theatre style).
(5) You need to be able to use the environment to your advantage (including environmental weapons, techniques using your opponent's clothing, throwing someone into objects, etc.).
(6) You need to make moral development and a thoroughgoing knowledge of the law an essential part of training.
I think this list is good, only, like most of the modern "self-defense" industry, it assumes too much from technique (which happens because technique is actually marketable). In other words, arts themselves are not self-defense oriented, or rather they can only be so up to a very limited point. What is more important is that the training itself be self-defense oriented. I am referring to the manner in which the martial attributes necessary to consistently succeed within self-defense situations are cultivated within the practitioner. For example, take a reverse punch - not all reverse punches are the same at a practical level: If you train to use this strike in an environment made solely of idealized scenarios, you will not be as prepared for using this strike in a self-defense situation as someone that does spontaneous training with this strike; if you practice this strike in spontaneous environments but those environments are made up of point sparring, you will not be as prepared to use this strike in a self-defense situation as the person that seeks to practice it in full-contact sparring; if you practice the reverse punch in full-contact sparring conditions but that sparring takes on more sense of training and/or of sport, you will not be as prepared to use this strike in a self-defense situation as the person whose spontaneous full-contact environments inspire deep emotional investment through the generation of things like fear (which comes about from a real risk of physical injury - not the fear of losing a match); etc.

To this list, and understanding it more as training requirements, I would add the following:

1. One's technical architectures must seek to provide the practitioner with an overwhelming mechanical advantage while simultaneously providing the attacker with an overwhelming mechanical disadvantage. (This sounds like a lot of Aikido but in reality this disqualifies more Aikido than one might imagine at first - just look at how Irimi Nage is practiced all over the world.)

2. One's idealized training assumptions must provide the attacker with the same level of sophistication as is being provided to the defender. (Again - this sounds like a lot of Aikido but in reality this disqualifies more Aikido than one might imagine at first - just look at how shomenuchi or yokomenuchi is executed all over the world.)

3. One's training must not assume that a consistently reliable spontaneity comes from the practice of basics alone. One's overall program must include a well-thought out process that cultivates the practitioner out of the realm of habitual reaction and into the realm of positive and immediate response. (Doing randori here or there and/or doing randori where everyone charges at your like a Frankenstein with his/her ass on fire does not qualify here.)

4. One's training must work to make one physically fit - strong of body and mind - flexible/supple - quick, high pain tolerance, etc. (Again, this quite different from most Aikido dojo where folks are often skinny, stiff, and very put off by pain. Ever have that hard of a time telling the Aikido group from the Judo Players?)

5. One's training should be dominated by a feeling of constant "intensity" - where injury is not only possible but more than likely, etc. (Again - not a normal position of most Aikido dojo.)

With these things come a whole list of other things that must be present - such that these five things listed above can actually function in a proactive manner and not just demoralize the practitioner into being a submissive and/or paranoid, etc.

dmv

Last edited by senshincenter : 02-02-2006 at 09:11 AM.

David M. Valadez
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Old 02-02-2006, 09:44 AM   #71
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Self-defense art?

Good post once again David. sometimes these issues seem to have such a thin line.

Best,
Ron

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Old 02-02-2006, 10:41 AM   #72
CNYMike
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Re: Self-defense art?

Quote:
Edwin Neal wrote:
i doubt that will be the end of the discussion Michael, but a good example, although maybe he's just a lucky guy...
Well, as far as I know, every martial art in the world is backed by people who claim it worked in real life. This includes Aikido. So IMO, arguing over what will or won't work is moot. Makes for a good flamewar, but little value other than that.
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Old 02-02-2006, 11:43 AM   #73
Edwin Neal
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Re: Self-defense art?

David great post, i think i have some things in there to discuss/hash over with you... i really enjoy reading your posts... i will continue to read, and reread it for a little more to organized my thoughts, but i would like to ask you if i may use your list in the paper i am writing... your additions to the previous list address a lot more of the issues that i plan on compare/contrast in my paper... i appreciate your consideration of this... i plan to have this paper not be the typical style vs. style for SD, rather i want to explore the ideas of SD as a method of approaching training in any or more likely the more popular/well known traditional martial arts and combat sports (of course there is some overlap)... thanks again...

Edwin Neal


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Old 02-02-2006, 12:20 PM   #74
senshincenter
 
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Location: Dojo Address: 193 Turnpike Rd. Santa Barbara, CA.
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Re: Self-defense art?

Edwin,

Sure thing - not a problem at all - though you might want to clean up the spelling and grammatical errors (I was writing on my way out the door - sorry). No need to even ask - but thanks for doing so.

Talk soon then,
take care,
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 02-02-2006, 12:29 PM   #75
Edwin Neal
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Location: Henderson, North Carolina
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Re: Self-defense art?

yeah i kind of just type 'stream of consciousness' style on here, but i really envy your good style of writing... i'm sure there are only minor things... thank you for your help... do i need to give you 'credit' by footnote or anything like that, because i would be very happy to do so... your points are really spot on to what i wanted to get into... i'll let you know more when i've done a very rough draft in the next few days... thank you again...

Edwin Neal


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