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Old 02-17-2006, 05:14 PM   #1
Roman Kremianski
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Regrading grabs in Aikido...

Hi

A while ago I showed my Father Ushiro ryokatadori Kotegashi. Afterwards he claimed that nobody would ever bother to grab you in such a way as Ushiro ryokatadori. I thought about it abit and decided to ask here: Just why exactly would grab you from behind by the shoulders or wrists? (e.g Ushiro Tekubitori).

I've seen more realistic grabs such as Kakaedori online, but for some reason my dojo doesn't practise them. (Atleast not during the duration I've spent there)

Thanks
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Old 02-17-2006, 05:41 PM   #2
Edwin Neal
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Re: Regrading grabs in Aikido...

lots of people claim that 'that kind of attack would never happen' in a 'real' situation anything could and probably will happen, but through practice the aikidoka will apply the technique to the situation not the attack... spontaneously improvising...

Edwin Neal


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Old 02-17-2006, 06:46 PM   #3
MaryKaye
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Re: Regrading grabs in Aikido...

My experience as a woman is that when a larger man is trying to intimidate or harass you, rear grabbing attacks are pretty common. The attacker may grab your shoulders to stop you leaving, or to shake you; he may grab your wrists to pull your arms behind you or to keep you from reaching for a door, telephone, weapon, etc. If his hands are big he may intend to collect both of your wrists in one hand and then get up to mischief with the other hand. It's a different dynamic than two people fighting outright.

The point in my life where I really wish I had had access to aikido involved a back shoulder grab or bear hug (I'm not positive which) to stop me from running away, followed by turning me around and grabbing from the front. I was still thinking of the person as a social peer and was not prepared to knee him in the groin, but something non-injurious but emphatic like sankyo would have improved the situation. (In retrospect, so would the knee to the groin. But it's difficult to switch tracks fast enough to realize that someone is no longer an associate but an assailant.)

All of the back grabs I've seen have been from straight behind, either static or as part of a pursuit. I'm not sure where you would ever see the version where you start in front of nage and run round him.

Mary Kaye
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Old 02-17-2006, 06:53 PM   #4
Edwin Neal
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Re: Regrading grabs in Aikido...

good points Mary, but most men refuse to admit the same kinds of things can be done to them... we don't all beat our chests and bash each other in the face... in any altercation all kinds of grabs are likely... with enough practice you don't think about the type of 'grab' you just 'move' and do it... whatever technique flows from the attack/situation...

Edwin Neal


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Old 02-17-2006, 07:50 PM   #5
xuzen
 
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Re: Regrading grabs in Aikido...

Quote:
Roman Kremianski wrote:
Hi

A while ago I showed my Father Ushiro ryokatadori Kotegashi. Afterwards he claimed that nobody would ever bother to grab you in such a way as Ushiro ryokatadori. I thought about it abit and decided to ask here: Just why exactly would grab you from behind by the shoulders or wrists? (e.g Ushiro Tekubitori).

I've seen more realistic grabs such as Kakaedori online, but for some reason my dojo doesn't practise them. (Atleast not during the duration I've spent there)

Thanks
Let's see Ushiro ryotekatatemochi....

In real life anything is possible, it is better to train for something that has some probablity, than to be completely be taken by surprise should such attack occur.

Another argument I can put forth is that training for such attack is plainly for completeness sake. And also for you to learn how to move your body from such a position.

IMO, such attack may occur when you may have more than one assailant; one grabbing you from behind, while another guy in front gets ready for a shomen tsuki (face punch).

Again, I reiterate, in real life, anything is possible, just train and be prepared.

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 02-17-2006, 08:08 PM   #6
ChrisHein
 
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Re: Regrading grabs in Aikido...

Quote:
Roman Kremianski wrote:
Hi

A while ago I showed my Father Ushiro ryokatadori Kotegashi. Afterwards he claimed that nobody would ever bother to grab you in such a way as Ushiro ryokatadori. I thought about it abit and decided to ask here: Just why exactly would grab you from behind by the shoulders or wrists? (e.g Ushiro Tekubitori).

I've seen more realistic grabs such as Kakaedori online, but for some reason my dojo doesn't practise them. (Atleast not during the duration I've spent there)

Thanks
Simple, if you are grabbing someone who has a knife in their hand. Actually any weapon in their hand, if you simply bear hug an armed guy when you are behind him (many would say this is a logical rear hold) an armed man will stab you. Aikido is a weapons system, not an unarmed one, if you look for unarmed answers you will find none.

-Chris Hein
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Old 02-17-2006, 10:00 PM   #7
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Regrading grabs in Aikido...

Many attacks from behind were to prevent drawing out a sword, or/and to choke in the same time. Attacker didnt simply grab and stand waiting gently until you will have a good mood to do a technique. Attack from behind was/is to pull you down to the ground and to hurt/kill you.
Also, these kind of attacks are very difficult to deal with. One must develop 6th sens to feel attack just before someone touch you, without looking back.
It is very important part of practice.

Nagababa

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Old 02-17-2006, 11:47 PM   #8
Michael Meister
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Re: Regrading grabs in Aikido...

Most people forget, the aim of an attack need not be to actually hurt someone. What is the easiest way to take a hostage? Grab from the back and eventually put a knife on the throat... There are probably lots of scenarios for attacks from the back, or moving into the back. Just takes a little bit fantasy.
Some people actually don't start from the front, but rather from the side, which is a more natural start for ushiro ryo kata(te) tori.
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Old 02-18-2006, 12:06 AM   #9
CNYMike
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Re: Regrading grabs in Aikido...

Quote:
Roman Kremianski wrote:
Just why exactly would grab you from behind by the shoulders or wrists? (e.g Ushiro Tekubitori).
To hold you still while someone in front of you beat the living crap out of you. A rear barehug would work well for that, too.

One way I think of it is you're not so much worried about the grab itself as what comes after that. (The kata dori-<striking> combinations are for when you're too late.) You deal with the grab to forestall whatever would follow. (Although I also think the grabs are used first to make life easier for beginners, especially given how much longhair stuff there is in Aikido or any other internal art.)

Also, someone trying to sucker punch you from behind will grab you. This happened within the last year or two during a hockey game -- one player came up behind another one, grabed his collar with one hand, and hit the guy in the head. The player who'd been hit fell forward on the ice while still moving forward and his neck was very badly damaged, enough to end his career. It could have ended his life. And yes, that rear collar grab is also in Aikido, though I blank on the name at the moment.

So tell your dad attacks from the rear are serious business. Individuals intent on doing you in may not square off in front of you, especailly if he has a buddy who can hold you from behind.


Quote:
I've seen more realistic grabs such as Kakaedori online, but for some reason my dojo doesn't practise them. (Atleast not during the duration I've spent there)

Thanks
If your dojo covers them, they might be considered advanced technique. Ushiro kubijime, where one hand grabs a wrist and the other goes for the throat, is also more "realistic," but maybe beginners don't see that just to make life easier for them. So don't worry if you haven't seen them.
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Old 02-18-2006, 02:45 AM   #10
Alec Corper
 
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Re: Regrading grabs in Aikido...

As far as I know O Sensei stressed ushiro attacks as a means of training awareness and power to move to the back of the body thereby extending martial capacity to a 360 degree circle. The technical applications are secondary. Of course waza are important but the chances of any attack or response being like a dojo scenario is miniscule. Body movement and stickiness to your partners center irregardless of their angle of approach is far more important.
However if you want to look at it a different way try this: throw jodan tsuki and have your partner sidestep, deflect and grap then continue to circle with the intent to grab your other wrist for either a takedown, or holding before using the knee to the spinal column. These are both scenarios which give some useful input.
Rear collar is eri dori and like kubijime can be considered to be "realistic", but don't get too hung up on realism in the dojo, its mostly overrated and misunderstood, better focus on seeing and "listening" to your partner.
regards, Alec

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Old 02-18-2006, 04:58 AM   #11
jss
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Re: Regrading grabs in Aikido...

As a variation to what Alec posted:

tori stands in left kamae, left hand extended at shoulder height;
uke grabs tori's left wrist with his left hand, pushes it down, moves in a 45 degree angle to tori's back and punches with his right hand to tori's face;
tori sidesteps to the right;
uke moves further behind tori;
tori pivots on left foor to the back, extending his elbow into uke's face.
After this learning experience uke will know why to go for the other wrist as well...

Not that realistic either, but it adds to the dynamics.
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Old 02-18-2006, 05:08 AM   #12
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: Regrading grabs in Aikido...

One answer I haven't seen yet, is that you train with ushiro ryoutetori for the same reason you train morotetori. Not because it's necessarily a likely situation in combat (none of the kihon waza are really intended as realistic self-defense scenarios), but because it trains in the essential principles of the art. In this case, using kokyuu-ryoku (rather than muscle strength), keeping one's power centered, understanding maai, etc. In theory, if you can properly do a technique from a static ushiro ryoutetori, you can do it from a flowing ushiro katatori, kubishime, etc.

Josh Reyer

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Old 02-18-2006, 06:42 AM   #13
Roman Kremianski
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Re: Regrading grabs in Aikido...

Quote:
IMO, such attack may occur when you may have more than one assailant; one grabbing you from behind, while another guy in front gets ready for a shomen tsuki (face punch).
Well, wouldn't it make more sense for the attacker to grab with Ushiro ryohijidori?

Anyway, I think you guys sorted the issue for me. From what I've read, nage needs to adapt to the grab. Just a shame we don't practise something like "Bearhugs" where I train, as it would be helpful in dealing with the real thing, as opposed to winging it when it actually occurs.

Thanks again
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Old 02-18-2006, 06:44 AM   #14
batemanb
 
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Re: Regrading grabs in Aikido...

The unpronouncable one is right. The first grab is to try and prevent you drawing the sword, or to stop you trying to cut with it if it's already out. Moving behind is a safe direction to go, and also an easy follow up attack.

Josh is also right, the techniques we train in Aikido are aimed at teaching principles, from a simple to understand perspective. Once you have an understanding, they can be applied to any attack.

Edwin's right too. Once you understand the principles it's all about your movement, techniques become a result of your movement rather than a result of your thought process, i.e. you don't think he's grabbed me I better do nikkyo, you just move and let whatever happen happen.

That's not to say everyone else is wrong, just picking out the bits I would have focused on.

In my class we train from the front moving behind, static from behind, and also add attacking from the side, you never know who's gonna step out of a doorway when you're walking down a street or alleyway.

rgds

Bryan

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 02-18-2006, 12:29 PM   #15
Don_Modesto
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Re: Regrading grabs in Aikido...

Quote:
Roman Kremianski wrote:
A while ago I showed my Father Ushiro ryokatadori Kotegashi. Afterwards he claimed that nobody would ever bother to grab you in such a way as Ushiro ryokatadori.
1) True, we respond as we've trained. How we may be grabbed is relevant.
2) Not all training methods have immediate utility, as Scz... explained.

One of my favorite board reposts was that we practice shooting against paper targets rather than people and expect that to suffice for a "real" situation.

Don J. Modesto
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Old 02-18-2006, 06:13 PM   #16
eyrie
 
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Re: Regrading grabs in Aikido...

Also, if they are within range to grab, they are within range to strike. Rather than focusing on the specific type of grab, focus on tai-sabaki instead.

Ignatius
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Old 02-18-2006, 08:55 PM   #17
ChrisHein
 
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Re: Regrading grabs in Aikido...

You should also be practicing your grabs when you are uke. Being uke is not just about giving your body as a training aid, you are also practicing your ability to hold someones wrist firmly, so they will not be able to move a weapon easily.

-Chris Hein
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Old 02-19-2006, 12:33 AM   #18
MaryKaye
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Re: Regrading grabs in Aikido...

We have one teacher who likes to try different throws on our beginners' classes. One night he taught ushiro kubejime sankyo to a couple of people who'd been training maybe three weeks. It made for a really interesting class, because this is an upsetting attack no matter how slowly you do it. The students got to explore the difference between a panicky reaction to the choke and a calm one. I think it brought home the "calmness is essential" message very strongly. It's normally a second-kyu technique for us, but maybe we should teach it earlier.

Mary Kaye
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Old 02-19-2006, 01:35 AM   #19
Charles Hill
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Re: Regrading grabs in Aikido...

Grabbing both hands from the rear is a kind of throw. O`Sensei does it in one of the films from AikiNews. Also, it is shown as a technique in a Daito Ryu book I have. You pull both hands to the rear, off balance the guy, bring both hands to the ground, step on them leaving your hands free to pull out a knife and cut the throat. At least that`s how it`s shown in the book!

Charles
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Old 02-19-2006, 11:55 AM   #20
senshincenter
 
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Re: Regrading grabs in Aikido...

I would never say that something does not happen for real - since the most determining trait of what is real is that REAL can consist of ANYTHING.

However, I am 100% in line with Josh here. I do not see the "attacks" of Aikido as the beginning of self-defense scenarios. I would think one is doing him/herself a great disservice by understanding their training in this way. I think it is much better to see the "attacks" of basic Kihon Waza training as energy prints -- prints that can be used to both measure and analyze force.

In my opinion, this gives one not only much more eventual chance of developing practical self-defense skills, this also gives one a deeper insight into the art. For example, using an energy print to analyze force, if you take mune-tsuki, it is very open to the criticism of "no one punches like that," but if you understand it as an energy print, you can see that it is the purist of all the possible manifestations capable of generating a thrusting force. If you see mune-tsuki as a punch, you are learning only how to deal against that punch - which is indeed not often manifested in the street and is a punch that is not showing great signs of skill regarding punching. However, if you see it as an energy print, as a thrusting force, you will see that you can learn a lot more about an even greater amount of things by practicing against something that "no one would ever do."

For me, when we train in any of the Katadori, we are looking to focus in on using an energy print to measure force. In particular, in much of Aikido Kihon Waza, it is very important for both Body Fusion and Directional Harmony to be present among the homolateral shoulder and the hip (with the elbow also often becoming a third element to this relationship). Techniques that cannot maintain these two concepts are very prone to failure. This Body Fusion and Directional Harmony, of course, has to be done with the predetermined sources of power (e.g. ground path, relaxation, using the muscles along the underside/back of the body, etc.) that Aikido holds in value. In other words, you can't "muscle" this. As one is learning how to do this, the real weak point that one can use to both measure his/her skill, and thereby to better calibrate themselves, is the shoulder. Two things tend to happen in the beginner when they are developing this skill and when the shoulder is being used as a measuring point (like in Katadori): 1) The shoulder gives away its relationship with the hip (and/or elbow) -- losing Body Fusion and Directional Harmony; and/or 2) the student attempts to wrongly muscle the shoulder into "maintaining" its relationship with the hip (and/or elbow). This is important information to obtain because you can't fix the problem if you don't know about it.

When this is done from the rear, as in Ushiro Ryokata-dori, one is still measuring for such things but now from a different angle -- which is important to do since single angles tend to produce bracing energies in the student (which one wants to avoid). If one is doing their Ushiro Waza more dynamically, one can actually measure for the correct holding and placement of the shoulder against many angles when practicing Ushiro Ryokata-dori. Additionally, Ushiro Waza, when it is looked at as an energy print, is vital in learning how to go from the inside to the outside of an attack and/or how to stay in the "sweet spot" on the inside of the attack using tenkan and tenkan-like maneuvers. This skill, in my opinion, is vital to the overall balance of one's art and even to its practical applications, and it is a skill that is far from being only applicable against "attacks" from the rear. For, while you should be learning how not to be attacked from the rear, and while you should be learning how to deal with that if you are, you are going to want to know how to move from the inside to the outside of an attack or how to stay in the "sweet spot" on the inside of an attack when it is coming at you from the front via tenkan and tenkan-like maneuvers (i.e. maneuvers that have you turning the opposite direction of the incoming energy). This skill is necessary in my opinion, and there is no better way of developing it than through Ushiro Waza training.

My advice is to tell your dad you are not learning about a single self-defense situation, that rather you are learning about the motion that underlies all self-defense situations (and a whole lot more).

dmv

David M. Valadez
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Old 02-19-2006, 03:36 PM   #21
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Re: Regrading grabs in Aikido...

I remember the first time I saw Aikido I thought it must be a scam. Some of the attacks I saw looked unrealistic and I thought "that guy attacking is just letting himself get thrown around." I still gave it a try and after training a while it began to make a little more sense to me. I liked one of the earlier post's remarks regarding spontaneous technique. We train in specific ways (sometimes in a way that is highly unlikely to happen in a self-defense situation) to develop body-feel and increase kinetic awareness. Someone tried to punch me one time and I responded with a technique I'd never practiced before. I think that's the kind of thing we're training for; not to be caught up in the specific movements themselves, but in the principles which they're designed to make us familiar with. It was from katatoriwaza that I first began to intentionally move from the hara/center, for example, and that in turn began to make other techniques a little easier for me.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 02-19-2006, 06:22 PM   #22
ChrisHein
 
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Re: Regrading grabs in Aikido...

Energy prints....
I wish you would quit making up your own little words and try to convey your points to people who don't use your own personal vocabulary. It's like I'm talking to Peter Ralston.

Aikido is much simpler then all that. Shomen and yokomen are cuts, Tsuki is a stab, Wrist grabs are wrist grabs, they are meant to hold someone's wrist. The techniques of Aikido are meant to clear your hands when someone is grabbing them, so you can go back useing your weapon (cutting and stabbing). If you want to learn effective means of unarmed self defense Aikido is not an efficient means of doing so, if you want to learn to defend yourself with weapons Aikido is a good choice. People who fight understand fighting is simple, if you want to learn to punch a guy, you practice punching guys, if you want to learn to keep someone from stabbing you you practice holding their wrist, it's not rocket science, it's fighting.

-Chris
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Old 02-19-2006, 06:57 PM   #23
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Re: Regrading grabs in Aikido...

Some explanation went with the term - it should be easy enough to understand.

I think there are a few things here...

First, there is the fact that anyone serious about practicing Aikido today - as a living art - should figure out a way of "translating" or "transferring" that art into the present - into the here and now. The concept of energy print (which is not a new one - only the vocabulary is new) is one way of doing that. Seeing Shomenuchi, Yokomenuchi, and Tsuki as merely (literally) cuts and stabs is one way of not doing that in my opinion.

Second, while it is nice every once in a while to have some guy show you how Nikyo is a counter to a weapon or an armed wrist grab, not every cue in the Aikido Kihon Waza curriculum is going to follow this line of thought - so it is clear that even back "when" (you pick the when) such cues were not so literally understood.

Third, Aikido Kihon Waza is hardly a stepping stone to learning how to fight with weapons today - perhaps you meant, "If you ever want to learn how to fight with a sword when someone grabs at your sword and/or at your hand on the sword, Aikido is a good choice." I certainly wouldn't put the general Aikido out there as allowing one to learn how to fight with firearms, knives, sticks, and/or even swords. Additionally, if Aikido is being understood to literally address such things as knife cuts with its Shomenuchi and/or Yokomenuchi, I wouldn't even say it's allowing one to learn how to defend against such weapons.

Fourth, I have the complete opposite experience with learning how not to get stabbed - such that - mine would suggest, "If you want to get stabbed, try to learn how to hold a knife-fighter's wrist like you would in Katate-dori."

Fifth, the idea that fighting is simple is a marketing gimmick in my experience. No expert in the field, not one that I can respect, has ever said anything close to that. You must be hanging out with different experts - which is very possible. Same goes with Aikido - never heard anyone worthy of listening to say, "Aikido is simple," - at least not such that they immediately veer away from things that may not make sense to them at first glance.

David M. Valadez
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Old 02-19-2006, 08:23 PM   #24
ChrisHein
 
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Re: Regrading grabs in Aikido...

David,
It is clear to me that you are more interested in intellectual masturbation then actual martial ability.

-Chris
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Old 02-19-2006, 09:04 PM   #25
Edwin Neal
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Re: Regrading grabs in Aikido...

Chris your attitude and rudeness are uncalled for and unwanted... you only show your lack of understanding...

Aikido IS an effective means of self defense, both armed and unarmed... specifically unarmed as the carrying of weapons in Japan during Osensei's lifetime was illegal... aikido IS the practice of punching and preventing being stabbed, and a whole bunch of other stuff, but you obviously have no clue... if you doubt aikido's effectiveness quit wasting your time and stop wasting mine with your rude comments and total misunderstanding of what aikido is... and don't bother replying to my post... i doubt you have anything intelligent to add to the discussion...

Edwin Neal


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