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Old 03-11-2007, 11:42 PM   #1
barry.clemons
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Confused First Response

Hello all; long time reader, very intermittent replier, first time poster.

Referencing this thread: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11991

This is something that has been on my mind since I began researching Aikido as a MA many years before actually stepping foot into a dojo. I think I posted a response somewhere along the following, but now I'm rethinking my position.

If you spend countless hours training to counter a punch with a block and kick, my assumption is that, in an unfortunate but perfect world where you have to use your skills, your reaction to a punch will be a block and a kick.

If you spend countless hours training to evade a punch with tenkan and blend with that energy and momentum to perform some variation of let's say kotegaishi, my assumption is that, in an unfortunate yet perfect world where you have to use your skills, your reaction to a punch would be tenkan followed by kotegaishi.

Questions:
1. Does Aikido provide for you a means of conflict resolution, or conflict avoidance? Or do you even think about Aikido along those terms?

2. Would it make sense that a MA whose primary response is force opposition would condition that individual, on a larger scale, to meeting OTHER types of conflicts with force opposition? To partially quote Lynn Seiser's signature, "We don't rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training". Is this true in all things? Can an aggressive, force opposing MA create a more aggressive person? Subsequently, can a (seemingly) more passive, defensive posturing MA create a more passive personality when it comes to conflict?

I am interested in your thoughts. Negative comments are most certainly welcome.
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Old 03-12-2007, 02:39 AM   #2
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
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Re: First Response

Just one point:

Having talked often with people who train at other M.A. it is very rare to find someone of advanced level who practices a force on force approach - you may always find out you are not the stronger person. Same for Block then strike - no advantage in doing this either, and you will not find a .

At high level all M.A. are soft in the sense of teaching sensitivity, movement, position and timing. The response to a punch is more likely to be Tai-Sabaki (movement) and simultaneous\preemptive strike rather then a block then strike as you mentioned.
If a block is used, it would normally be in some way that gives the blocker an advantage (using his structure for force and improving his position or perhaps the block would be more of a strike to the attacking limb) or as a last resort.

Thus, I would be very careful about any categorizing regarding the off the mat behavior of other M.A. people. The forceful approach you described is normally a part of a methodological approach “know the war before learning the peace” then the recommended approach to a conflict.

Amir
P.S.
Obviously, you can find all sorts of teachers , including some who would not be aware themselves of the more advanced options yet teach “advanced” students.
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Old 03-12-2007, 06:17 AM   #3
SeiserL
 
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Re: First Response

Greetings,

(1) Yes, IMHO Aikido does provide an effective and efficient model for conflict resolution. Enter and blending early is not avoidance.

(2) IMHO, a martial art by definition is not passive simply because it is not utilizing force.

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 03-12-2007, 10:27 AM   #4
aikidoc
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Re: First Response

Terry Dobson's book uses an aikido approach to conflict resoultion.

One of my students was with a friend of his when someone attacked them unexpectedly (girl thing). He was after the friend but hit my student in the shoulder. Even though he is a beginner, what little training he has had allowed him to reach by turning to the inside of the force. What is sad, is the friend was planning to start aikido and had visited our class the same night. The attacker broke his jaw with a sucker punch. At least my student did not get injured and had the sense to give with the energy of the attack.
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Old 03-12-2007, 10:30 AM   #5
Janet Rosen
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Re: First Response

Well, Lynn has said a big part of what I would have said :-)

In general people (and I suspect organisms in general) have a default mode they go into because, even if it is not always the most appropriate or effective or efficient response, it is the one that has become "muscle memory" and hasn't yet resulted in death or disability. This would apply to everything from your individual gait pattern to what you chose for lunch to how you react when a retail clerk seems to ignore you.

So we go into an artificial training environment and drill ourselves for some kind of muscle memory for x number of years...and yep, we are creating a "default" for ourselves. Hopefully, over time, we are learning to make immediate critical judgements/read the situation so that, for instance, irimi and tenkan are both in there....

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 03-12-2007, 10:34 AM   #6
Janet Rosen
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Re: First Response

Hmmm...and I guess I didn't directly answer the orginal question(s)! early monday reading sloppiness :-)
1. Yes. Aikido CAN be used as a model for conflict resolution. It need not go in that direction though: I self-taught myself that form of in-the-world conflict resolution by trial and error as a teenager, with no exposure to aikido until I was over 40. It made the principles of aikido much easier for me to grasp (though not learning ikkyo <insert wry grin>)
2. well like Lyn I don't characterize aikido as "passive", but yeah, my first posting addresses this question I guess...

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 03-12-2007, 01:40 PM   #7
barry.clemons
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Re: First Response

Thank you all for your responses. You've helped me see this from a different paradigm.
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