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Budoka
7th July 2000, 20:09
I've heard certain instructors refer to Aikido as an art that teaches you how to kill. I've heard others refer to it as an art of peace, whose techniques should never be used to harm another -- the operative word there is "never".

I've seen schools where they truly teach a combat form of aikido, others where they teach what can be described as a dance.

There is merit in each, but ultimately this is a martial art, and too often the "martial" is being forgotten. My question to the forum: you know what style you're training in. . . you know if your aikido is more "dojo martial art", or more "street martial art".

First, do you think that there is a real difference between the two, and if so, does this make one more legitimate than the other?

Second, is it your belief that this difference is a function of the student or the teacher? Can a student wishing to train in a combat effective form of aikido do so under the tutelage of a dojo instructor? Can someone who is not looking for combat effectiveness find what they need at a school that stresses randori and a more physical style of the art?

I'd be curious to hear the opinions of my fellow martial artists.

--

Jared Riggs

Kolschey
7th July 2000, 22:44
Ok. Interesting question, albeit one that is sure to elicit some rather strong opinions from the audience. Firstly, I would like for you to clarify what exactly you mean by combat. A Marine antiarmour specialist under fire, a Taekwondo stylist sparring in a full contact tournament, and a woman fighting off a rapist may all describe their experience as a form of combat. The circumstances, tools and techniques of each, as well as the objectives, will differ substantially. Combat is one of those marvelously ambiguous words that I have seen used in more circumstances than a Swiss Army knife. Much like a pocketknife, it is not always used well. I tend to be suspicious of anyone who claims to be teaching "combat" martial arts without a clear context as it often seems to become a sort of marketing tool. That said, I have known a number of people who work in law enforcement who have found Aikido to be a useful art. I would definitely say that they have had the benefit of good instruction that is pertinent to their needs and abilities. Indeed, one teacher from Florida whom I met several years ago was able to develop an Aikido based curriculum to help police officers with firearm retention. I would certainly say that this could be considered a "street" effective application.

DJM
7th July 2000, 23:07
Originally posted by Budoka
I've heard certain instructors refer to Aikido as an art that teaches you how to kill. I've heard others refer to it as an art of peace, whose techniques should never be used to harm another -- the operative word there is "never".
< snip >
First, do you think that there is a real difference between the two, and if so, does this make one more legitimate than the other?
Second, is it your belief that this difference is a function of the student or the teacher? Can a student wishing to train in a combat effective form of aikido do so under the tutelage of a dojo instructor? Can someone who is not looking for combat effectiveness find what they need at a school that stresses randori and a more physical style of the art?
--

Jared Riggs

Jared,
I don't necessarily see any fundamental difference between the two philosophies. It's more than acceptable, in my opinion, to learn how to kill and to choose never to use those skills - or rather choose to extend those skills to their ultimate conclusion, the skills themselves will be of use in non-lethal situations. The problem is, the way I see it, the more 'dancelike' your aikido (I dislike the terms combat(something you do when attacked, or defending someone) and dojo(everything you do on the mat)) the more likely you are to be unable to do what you need to in a combat situation - therefore you're more likely to harm the attacker (or yourself) by not being in absolute control of the encounter.
As far as learning one way or the other, I think if the Sensei is doing a good job of teaching principles it's possible to apply them however you need, but if there is no practice using them in, for example, kakarigeiko you will find it very difficult to use them in a violent encounter..

Peace,
David

dainippon99
9th July 2000, 02:00
Aikido at its roots is combat. Daito Ryu was combat oriented. Now some believe that O-Sensei took a lot of the combat orientation out of aikido. Maybe so. but i think that having combat training in our aikido is necessary because alot of us are going to need it at one point or another. Now i think its grand that some schools emphasize the whole dancelike situation but they have got to be kidding themselves by not teaching some combat applications. They might want to make it more of a self enriching experience or whatever but i dont see how combat trainin gets in the way.

Just and opinion.

Mike Collins
9th July 2000, 03:25
Unless the student is a bit dim, he/she should easily be able to see the "combat" application of mainstream Aikido technique without a teacher making a big point about showing "combat" Aikido. If a teacher is not teaching technically sound Aikido, that is a different thing from not stressing combat technique and teaching good, if soft Aikido.

Gil Gillespie
9th July 2000, 04:03
Hi Jared

Welcome to E-budo. First, I would like to know what teachers you say taught Aikido as a "killing art." No nonsense. Give us names, cities, and affiliations. I think you're blowing smoke here. If I'm wrong enlighten me. Otherwise don't cheapen this forum with that kind of anonymous bullsh*t, which we both know it is.

As far as the dancing aspect, that is also your take, not any instructor's intention. Terry Dobson wrote a book "It's a Lot Like Dancing." If you even know who he is, again, enlighten me. This is your first post on E-budo. I'm forgiving you your trespasses. In time you'll find this forum is populated by some of the most serious budoka on this planet. And most of them have only posted 5-6 times! I'm nowhere near their caliber.

Aikido can be any and all you inquired about, even in the same night on the same mat! A lot of your question boils down to the essential difference between -jutsu (the martial art, or combat technique) and -do (the martial way). This was eloquently debated BC (before this site crashed) and I hope it will be picked up again.

The difference coming down to one of INTENT. Sometimes what is the teacher's intent, sometimes what is the student's intent? O-Sensei humanized destructive techniques from his background of various (mostly Daito Ryu aikijujutsu) arts creating Aiki-DO (my emphasis). All the applications are there, every time. Do you choose to break you partner's neck, or try to execute a smooth irimi-nage that enables you both to train all night?

My sensei has emphasized forever that one must be clear on his intent, the focus of his training. Is it -jutsu or is it -do? Both are valid. Both can happen among several people the same night. Only BE CLEAR. Don't talk -do and do-jutsu,and vice versa.

Someone who trains inAikiDO for years may call upon AikiJUTSU when he needs to. How? His intent changes. I may bring you to the mat smoothly with shiho-nage for years but if that technique ever presents itself in a real life situation several inches of application destroy an opponent's arm.

Why, you may then ask, would I waste my time on a -do focus if I'm preparing myself for a -jutsu reality? Because Aikido (read DO) is my reality. I'm not training for a future combat encounter, and those that are have all my respect and admiration. That is their reality. I train in a "martial way." My training, moment by moment is my way. It is all about that moment. The only future I prepare myself for is coming to the dojo next time.

I'm not sure if this sheds any light on your thrust. Choose your path clearly and wisely. But above all BE CLEAR.

Dennis Hooker
10th July 2000, 20:22
I am not trying to be contrite or elitist in my opinion of Aikido. I am stating an opinion based on a lifetime of involvement in the martial arts. I, like so many others have gained a degree of skill in karate, judo, iaijutsu and other disciplines. I don’t teach them but I have judo and karate still taught in my dojo, and I do still conduct classes in ken. I came to Aikido because it offered me a way to avoid the violence so prevalent in my live, and society in general at the time. Many of the people I met in the 60’s and 70,s that were involved in Aikido did so because it offered a different prospective on budo. It seems that time and diffusion has muddied the waters of variation but there was a time when it was clear and clean in my mind, and that of many others. I am not trying to defend Aikido or hold it up as superior, I am saying that there was a clear and distinct difference between it and what we were studying, and some of us made a clear and conscious choice to embrace that difference. Aikido not only instilled passion in its proponents but it also bred compassion. A thing that I was not taught in any of the other forms of combative arts I ever learned. If anything compassion was killed in those other arts because it was perceived as weakness. I was not taught to hate but to be cold and calculating in the defeat and destruction of my opponent and enemy to insure my victory and the victory of the clan as it were. The Aikido that was offered not only gave us the skill to survive but to be compassionate to the other person. I did not have to be empty, and I did not have to hate, I could feel compassion and even love for the other person and still be effective and safe.

Some of you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about. You have been living in the muddy water of the Aikido delta where all the streams of aiki, budo, jutsu, koryu, do, crap come together and it’s hard to get a drink of pure clean water from any of the above streams. You young folks have a real hard choice to make, much harder than I had. You need to deal with all the flotsam and jetsam in the streams now. They are clogged with trash and choked with the weeds of commercializium and ego. If we are not very careful all the pure clean streams of budo transmission available to us will be so polluted that the only pure source will flow underground. This will not happen out of arrogance but out of a since of survival and preservation.

Dennis Hooker
http://www.shindai.com

Budoka
10th July 2000, 20:38
Hi Gil,

I didn't say Aikido is a "killing art", but an art that teaches you how to kill.

You want names, cities, affiliations? Okay, how about Saotome Sensei, as quoted in the book In Search of the Warrior Spirit, by Richard Strozzi Heckler, in a presentation before the US Army Special Forces. As I recall, he refers to them as true warriors because their lives deal with life and death. Terry Dobson, author of It's a Lot Like Dancing. . ." also said that the world of Aikido is "black and white, life and death." That he also trained with instructors who said "the purpose of aikido is to kill." The phrase "it's a lot like dancing" came from a seminar in which he said that some people focus on technique, others don't at all. Aikido is a lot like dancing. . . if you focus too much on technique, you can't enjoy the dance. If you don't focus on technique at all, you can't dance correctly (I have six hours worth of Dobson Sensei from one of his last seminars and am quite familiar with the late aikidoka).

If you're looking for specific names, I imagine it would be to either contact and challenge them; I would invite you to read through several back issues of Aikido Journal and you'll find interviews with many instructors, and a number of them tout the "combativeness" of their style of instruction. See for youself, Gil, what you refer to as "bullsh*t".

And ultimately, when I say combat, I do mean a Marine anti-armor specialist under fire, or in my case, a leg infantryman in an urban mission, or better yet, a 24 year old single mom on a subway platform coming home from working the graveyard shift; a 30 year old computer exec in a desolate parking lot carrying a briefcase filled with thousands of dollars of electronics; or any circumstance where someone's life is threatened. A nice soft shiho nage that results in a soft roll is not the answer. Planting him in the ground is -- in my humble attempt to bring a farm analogy.

Watch the recent video put out by Steven Seagal Sensei's students "The Path Beyond Thought" and you will find there a number of people who see many styles that offer little more than intricate dancing, without the effectiveness.

Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu is quite different from Aikido. I've had the opportunity to see it first hand and while there are similiarities, O' Sensei truly did change the art. The techniques are quite different, and are applied with a different purpose. I therefore must reject your contention that you're either doing one or the other. Aikido allowing you to train all night, aiki jutsu putting him in the hospital.

I see a difference in aikido taught as "martial", versus aikido taught as "art"; just cause you put the word "Way" doesn't change the fact that it is either more artsy, or more martial. In the best of all worlds you would have both, but the reality is that just isn't the case.

And so I open it up again, and ask for your experiences, observations, and points of view.

Gil Gillespie
10th July 2000, 21:33
Hi JaredandRyan ;-)

Glad to hear you're acquainted with Dobson Sensei and I apologize for the tone of my opening pargraphs. In rereading they came over much more harsh than intended. I have had the honor to be among Saotome Sensei's students all these years and must have missed it when he said he was going to teach us to kill. Everything I have ever seen and learned was just the opposite. And I have yet to encounter a sensei with that intention.

I ran on at too great a length, another weakness of mine for which I apologize to you and all readers of the thread.
Aikido's combat effectiveness is like the argument on the exhistence of ki-----it's been debated longer than I've walked the earth and the dialog itself is good. No one ever said we had to solve anything or that there is a right answer.

If I somehow came across as insensitive to military personnel or anyone in a true life and death situation, that I deeply regret. That could never be my intent. I, along with you, await further input on this thread because that what E-budo's all about.

Budoka
10th July 2000, 23:04
Gil,

As a student under Saotome, I'm sure you're familiar with the book I mentioned. That he took a different tone with a very different audience is not surprising. If he doesn't feel that way, however, I wonder about the documentation of that event. If you ask me, it was to show the members of SF that he respected what they were, as they respected what he was.

And it may very well be the case that an instructor will train different people differently. But I've never seen an instructor that teaches the touchy-feely stuff on the one hand, and the hard core, "throw-him-into-a-brick-wall" style on the other.

I had an instructor once who would preface his aikido by reminding his students "keep him in pain; you must keep him in pain." Of course he also required regular chiropractic and we walked off the mat bruised and beaten, though we all had that strange high of survival. . .

I'm not concerned about the combat effectiveness of it, as I've experienced it first hand, and maybe that's a clarification that's needed for the this thread. What my question revolves around is the combat effectiveness of being taught the "dance". Aikido as MARTIAL art is very effective, quite possibly the most effective style I've had the opportunity to train in. At the same time, I've seen Aikidoka who aren't any good at it, and yet hold third and fourth degree black belts. They're students aren't any good at applying technique, at taking ukemi, and don't know what an atemi is for.

And so I have to wonder is that really the martial art that I have come to love? Some would say yes, others no. All I'm looking is for other perspectives.

And Gil, it wasn't your insensitivity to the military that bothered me, it was your immediate dismissal of my claim that there ARE instructors who feel that aikido teaches you how to kill as "bullsh*t". And without prior knowledge of this no less. . . that did bother me. . . don't worry though, I won't be looking to throw you through any brick walls for it. . .

. . . at least not this time. :-)

--

Jared Riggs (so sue me, Ryan's the one with the account)

MarkF
11th July 2000, 09:25
It does seem that the notion of when a martial art is a martial art has moved here from the old judo threads. Pretty much was said of that as well. I must admit that the first time I saw aikido was in a dojo which offered judo and aikido. I was teaching a judo class and there were two aikdoka working out and I couldn't help but watch this "dance." It was one of the most beautiful examples of fine art I had ever seen. But before I knew it, I was also watching one of the sweetest ways of self defense I'd seen in a long time. If I hadn't a job at hand, I would have watched them for the next two hours. Whatever it was, I took something from that and then, over the years, applied what I could to my judo as well. Was it the martial way? Most definitely!

Jeff Cook
11th July 2000, 11:23
It takes a very high level of combative skill in any art, including aikido, to be able to defend yourself from a deadly attack and teach your attacker the error of his ways without damaging him.

Aikido teaches you that you can be combat effective yet at the same time have the power to make a choice concerning the health of your attacker.

It is very easy to teach folks to kill. It is quite another thing to teach them they don't have to kill.

Jeff Cook
Wabujitsu

Excalibor
11th July 2000, 13:06
Hi all,

I think that we are missing some things in here (if you'll allow me to put it this way). As I am not able of a coherent thought line, I'll drop the ideas in a more organic than organized way, my apologies for this may make it harder to understand me, but when there's no brain, there's no brain.

Aikidō, as all Budō, really is black and white, life or death. But this doesn't mean the school has techniques designed to kill the opponent. It means the school deals with situations where there are lifes at stake.

May I remind us all the story about the great Tsukahara Bokuden and his School of No-Sword, and the bully samurai who was left in a small island? We all know that story. He was confronted to a life&death situation.

Mushashi put it very clear: "Your only intention must be to cut". And he meant to cut to kill.

But one cannot help but wonder if they were only talking about killing in a blood sense or there's much more than meets the eye. After all, Ō-sensey put it clearly "This is the Aiki-Sword, to cut all evil from the world" or something like that...

In a sense, cha-no-yu (Tea Ceremony) also deals with life&death situations. Your own imperfections, prejudices, your ego showing up. You kill your ego to become a Buddha. It is said 'kill the Buddha'. That is not a hyper-nihilistic affirmation within the Buddhism framework, it has a very defined meaning 'kill the desire of becoming a Buddha, as it will keep you from reaching there'.

I do think it is the same in here. Samurai really lived in a constant state of 'you-don't-know-if-tomorrow-you'll-be-alive' in those Sengoku Jidai times. They were dealing with life&death in all manners possible, all the time.

It may be the same in nowadays violent cities. But we now have the means to chose where others but experts hadn't.

So, yes, I always practice in a life&death situation, but as uke and tori are one, no one dies, because I choose life over death, creation over annihilation. Will I ever able to choose? No, I have to keep on working on my waza to allow me to choose, to become free by having that freedom. Most people won't have it, because they have not yet learnt it.

In a sadly rather famous local case, boxing gloves and other protections are used to make 'efficient, effective combat Aikidō'. Well, I reply, if you want to try to train realism, use a shinken. Strike with bare fists. That's more realistic and it hurts more, too.

Good marketing stuff, poor human quality...

I should stop now,
laters,
d@

Dennis Hooker
11th July 2000, 15:11
Originally posted by Jeff Cook
>It takes a very high level of combative skill in any >art, including aikido, to be able to defend yourself from >a deadly attack and teach your attacker the error of his >ways without damaging him.

Hi Jeff
I think most of the Aikido folks (and perhaps martial art folks in general) place too high a value on the ability of the street tough. If you have ever been involved with these folks you would see that most are very awkward and very unskilled in their attack. Keep your cool and remember your training and most of time your gonna be OK. Your not going to face Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Joe Lewis and their kind on the street, and remember you train with people substantially more skilled than the average street tough. If you are skilled in Aikido you might well find yourself protecting the aggressor from himself with out as much difficulty as you might think. That is of course unless you just want to trash him and get out. I think most people in Aikido today have never been involved in a physical altercation outside of the early childhood experience, and I’m not advocating they do. However, because of this they build themselves scenarios of attacks that would more than likely never happen. If you can watch video footage of street attacks and gang fights (it’s available) you will see what you would likely face in your daily life should you stumble into it. I bet it would look far different than what many of you imagine. We are not going to war with Aikido, thank god. We are living our daily lives wit it.
Dennis Hooker
http://www.shindai.com


>Aikido teaches you that you can be combat effective yet at >the same time have the power to make a choice concerning >the health of your attacker.

It is very easy to teach folks to kill. It is quite another thing to teach them they don't have to kill.

Jeff Cook
Wabujitsu

Chuck Clark
11th July 2000, 15:22
This is a very interesting topic.

I was just thinking that I can't really remember ever seeing a technique which follows good principle that doesn't have "sharp edges and points" that can go all the way to the end of the lethal force scale.

You can train with many implements or techniques, but it really comes down to the real weapon is the mind/intent of the person who does those techniques. If we haven't been taught to see, understand, and decide whether we are "willing" to use the sharp edges if necessary and/or we can't see them because we're unwilling to see them, then we are missing the real aspects of budo.

I don't understand how someone can practice "The Sword That Gives Life" if you don't know how to use the "sword that takes life" and keep the sword sharp and at hand. It is then up to us to be responsible for our own intent and it's actualization.

My own intent (for those who are interested ...) is:
to "make my outsides match my insides" at all times; and
to "uplift all beings"; and
to "do as little harm as possible."


[Edited by Chuck Clark on 07-11-2000 at 12:26 PM]

Daniel Pokorny
11th July 2000, 15:42
Jared,

In reference to your scribe:

"And it may very well be the case that an instructor will train different people differently. But I've never seen an instructor that teaches the touchy-feely stuff on the one hand, and the hard core, "throw-him-into-a-brick-wall" style on the other."

I think I understand what you mean here. I've noticed that instructors vary widely in this area. I've worked with instructors that are extremely pliable with outstanding timing. This tends to make them appear to be the touchy-feely type. I've also worked with instructors that have that "must keep them in pain" type attitude as well. Love to uke for them.......... not! I consider both very valuable instruction though.

Drawing from modest experience..... I know that there is a time for both when defending oneself. In regard to teaching you how to kill though, well, almost all the techniques I've practiced in Aikido CAN be used to kill or lead to a kill if intended that way. But what sickens me is to hear people (instructors) talk so freely and openly about killing techniques when the closest they have come to death is the passing of a relative or pet.

All the talk about killing techniques gets really ridiculous in the first place. It doesn't take much techinque to hit someone in the head with a hard object and kill them. We as humans are simply not built for raging a physical war on each other. Our bodies were not meant for fighting, if they were we would all look like rinos with thick heavy armour.

Sometimes I think a lot of what we hear is in regard to killing an attack and somehow we end up translating that to mean killing the person. Two very distinctly different things.........

Regards,

Daniel C. Pokorny

Budoka
11th July 2000, 16:41
Daniel, while we may not be rhinos, we do hear about joggers who are attacked, raped, beaten, lose one third of the blood from their bodies, and yet live. We hear about people who are shot multiple times and live. Call it the dichotomy of life; Man is easy to kill, yet it is hard to kill a man.

See, I believe that human beings can take a lot. And in no way have I sought teachere who do nothing more than teach you how to kill. In fact, if the teacher never brings up killing, that's fine with me. But that doesn't preclude the fact that several techniques can kill. Shiho nage, Irimi nage, these can easily lead to an attackers death, and in fact has led to death in dojo environments where a freak breakfall has uke landing on his neck.

So it's not an obsession with killing that I'm asking about, but of the combative nature of aikido. I've read one post where a judoka talked about the dance and how it was a sweet method of self defense. I agree, only, was it the dance, or was it the "keep him in pain" stuff.

I can't be the only person who has trained in a dojo thinking this guy is going to get himself killed if he tries this for real. You know, I spent plenty of times working in clubs and bars to get to use what little I've learned in a real setting where hurting the attacker is a definite no-no; these are your customers after all. And I've seen Jeet Kune Do people, Tae Kwan Do people, and other martial arts trained individuals fight with bouncers, fight with bartenders, fight with each other for any number of stupid reasons, usually hopped up on alcohol, and possibly on some illicit drugs; these are not just sloppy drunken thugs.

Against that setting, I'm asking does the dance work? Because in the scope of random thoughts, if you think you're learning "tools to save your life" (to quote Terry Dobson), and what you're learning is how to dance rather than how to deal with committed attackers, well, I think you see my point. . .

--

Jared Riggs

Kolschey
11th July 2000, 18:11
What sometimes may happen is that people may inadvertantly copy the softer manifestations of technique that they see older instructors perform, and attempt to capture that same effortless quality without being fully aware of the underlying mechanics. Saotome sensei is deceptively soft in the appearance of his techniques, yet this is a man who also endured a good deal of the earlier training of O-sensei's dojo. Another excellent instructor is Mr. Sugawara, who spent many years training in harder styles, including Goju-ryu Karate. He has been recently researching the connection of Japanese arts to Chinese arts, and has emphasised a softer approach to Aikido. His technique is very efficient, and maintains excellent control of uke with what seems to be very little effort. In most of the martial arts that I have trained in, teachers do become far more subtle in application as they mature, but this is the product of consistent practice, including some rough play in their younger days. The "dancelike" techniques that an experienced teacher manifests can be said to be rather abstract, but good abstract art only comes from a background of serious training in technique and composition, and many, many hours of practice.

Gene McGloin
11th July 2000, 18:49
Hi Budoka,


Originally posted by Budoka
And it may very well be the case that an instructor will train different people differently. But I've never seen an instructor that teaches the touchy-feely stuff on the one hand, and the hard core, "throw-him-into-a-brick-wall" style on the other.

You've probably never heard of him, but go train with Ken Nisson sensei up in Burlington, VT. While he may not say "throw him into a brick wall", he certainly "plants" one into the ground! I believe folks out at John Smart's dojos took to calling Ken sensei "The Velvet Sledgehammer". Ken sincerely believes in the philosophy of Osensei and aikido as a means of reconciling the world and bringing about peace. However, his aikido is devastating, it looks really soft and mellow, until you take ukemi for him, that is.

My point here is that these two factors, a belief system of spiritual harmony with an outlook of love and protection for all things and seriously effective technique, are not separate, disparate concepts. Nisson sensei's waza has shown me, on too numerous occasions, that these can be inseparable, non-dualistic, if you will.


BTW, Saotome sensei has always amazed me. Everytime I've attended his camps in D.C. and elsewhere, he talks about love and harmony and does these incredibly beautiful movements. Then there are the seminars he teaches at my dojo, Bond St. Dojo, in New York City. Nothing too pretty about the waza on these occasions. Just crush the center. I recall Sensei offering to teach us his own street fighting course. $3,000. and three weeks later, nobody can mess with you.

George Ledyard
12th July 2000, 00:07
"And it may very well be the case that an instructor will train different people differently. But I've never seen an instructor that teaches the touchy-feely stuff on the one hand, and the hard core, "throw-him-into-a-brick-wall" style on the other."

Try training with Saotome Sesnei if you get a chance. I was in the DC dojo in its first years. Saotome Sensei would come in and do a week or more of classes that seemed derived almost totally from T'ai Chi. Just about the time that everybody was starting to really get really loose and relaxed you'd come into class and he'd hit you with a front snap kick when you attacked with shomen-uchi. Class would then resemble some sort of karate class. Sensei's Aikido is impossible to pin down. He can be subtle to the point that you can't even see what he is doing and and explosive to the point where you don't do anything but atemi techniques that whole class. Sensei can run the whole range of technical possibility at will, he's not stuck in one mode or the other.

TommyK
12th July 2000, 01:32
Greetings,

I have found in my study of Korean Karate and Self-Defense (which incorporates techniques from Yoshinkan and Tomiki Aikido systems) that Aiki moves can be devastating. However, I have also been a fan of the message of O'Sensei...that Aiki techniques can be a means to reconcile with the universe. It can be a 'Budo of Love'. With that out of the way, let me say that before one can use these techniques as a 'way to peace' one MUST be competent in their use as a effective form of control and if necessary devastation.

Terry Dobson Sensei, was an individual I discovered too late in my life. I have read recollections of Ellis Armdur, (please excuse the spelling, as I am doing this right at the 'box'.) of Dobson Sensei at the Bond Street Dojo, and many other accounts of him, including his owm writings.

It appears that he went trhough many stages in his evolution as a human being. He went from being a a hard core marine, bar bouncer to operator ( in the loosest sense) of a dojo to a teacher, author, and lecturer. His views did change over time. But one thing I am fairly positive on is that his quote on Aikido being a matter of 'life and death' was NOT meant in the literal sense, though it could be taken on that level, but on a higher plane.

He, I think, saw it as the salvation of HIS life. Just my perspective on that issue, as it has been raised.

I own a tape of his last seminar in California, where he talked his 'shtick' of love and peace and re-direction and the new way he had become a human being in the finest sense. But, you know what, watch him walk around the room, helping others, and he performs the technique he has just taught, in the most flawless manner, and shortest time possible in a truly effective combat vein.

He applied a wrist technique on a white belt, who never knew what hit him. This is NOT to debase Dobson Sensei and his message, but to show you that I was able to observe that the combat mastery of a simple technique, which he, in his development, moved beyond, into a new place, one of love and peace.

More point is that one MUST 'walk the talk' first, and then one can say what they want about on the philisophical level.

Just my 2 cents worth!
Regards,
TommyK

szczepan
12th July 2000, 15:48
There is also old saying “You fight in the way you train”

So even if instructor shows “sharp edges “ but students never apply it in their daily practice they’ll never be able to use it in dangerous situation.
But most important thing is, if Aikido training prepare you mentally to situation of strong stress and possible panic on the street? How to control your adrenaline shot? How to stay cool in front of real aggression?

I don’t think so.

Most of aiki folks think they will use kokyunage to protect attacker:D

Daniel Pokorny
12th July 2000, 15:53
Originally posted by Budoka
"I can't be the only person who has trained in a dojo thinking this guy is going to get himself killed if he tries this for real. You know, I spent plenty of times working in clubs and bars to get to use what little I've learned in a real setting where hurting the attacker is a definite no-no; these are your customers after all. And I've seen Jeet Kune Do people, Tae Kwan Do people, and other martial arts trained individuals fight with bouncers, fight with bartenders, fight with each other for any number of stupid reasons, usually hopped up on alcohol, and possibly on some illicit drugs; these are not just sloppy drunken thugs.

Against that setting, I'm asking does the dance work? Because in the scope of random thoughts, if you think you're learning "tools to save your life" (to quote Terry Dobson), and what you're learning is how to dance rather than how to deal with committed attackers, well, I think you see my point. . ."
-- Jared Riggs

Jared,

Indeed, I see your point. Given that, the question must now be analyzed on a more individual case by case basis. What may work for me may not work for another. A lot of factors come into play regarding the training and experience of the individual.

It seems to me buy your posts that what you are really questioning is your own ability to use your learned skills. I think a lot of us wonder this, whether we admit it or not is another issue altogether. It's an impossible question to answer in general terms though. In your given scenario, my sensei would definitely "make the dance work". As for myself, I don't know if I've attained that level of skill without resorting to methods more familiar to me..... each case would be different.

Does the dance work? - Depends on who's dancing....

Regards,

Daniel Pokorny

Daniel Pokorny
12th July 2000, 16:09
Originally posted by szczepan
There is also old saying “You fight in the way you train”

So even if instructor shows “sharp edges “ but students never apply it in their daily practice they’ll never be able to use it in dangerous situation.
But most important thing is, if Aikido training prepare you mentally to situation of strong stress and possible panic on the street? How to control your adrenaline shot? How to stay cool in front of real aggression?

I don’t think so.

Most of aiki folks think they will use kokyunage to protect attacker:D


Szczepan,

If you are not learning those things of which you write, then perhaps you should find an art more suited to your level of comprehension. Aikido training contains all the elements you refer to as not being there. Whether you see them or not is of course, another matter altogether.

Regards,

Daniel Pokorny

szczepan
12th July 2000, 21:02
Originally posted by Daniel Pokorny
Szczepan,

If you are not learning those things of which you write, then perhaps you should find an art more suited to your level of comprehension. Aikido training contains all the elements you refer to as not being there. Whether you see them or not is of course, another matter altogether.

Regards,

Daniel Pokorny [/B]

Could you name please few techniques that develop those elements in aikido training I was refer to as not being there?

regardz

Ron Tisdale
12th July 2000, 21:24
gamenski iriminage ichi, ni

If it doesn't feel realistic, have your partner do gamenski with a jo....or grab your favorite 3rd dan in shotokan who now trains aikido as your partner....either way, it should up the realism quotient.....
Ron Tisdale

Kolschey
12th July 2000, 22:39
I find that doing knife technique with one of my seniors, who has trained in Kali and Jeet Kune Do, is always an effective way of intoducing a new level of awareness to my training.

szczepan
12th July 2000, 22:56
Originally posted by Kolschey
I find that doing knife technique with one of my seniors, who has trained in Kali and Jeet Kune Do, is always an effective way of intoducing a new level of awareness to my training.

So how do you guys practice “sharp edges “ ?

regardz

DJM
13th July 2000, 01:27
I was thinking about this subject the other evening, even got so far as starting to write a response, only to have my system crash!
I've been thinking of how, why and if Aikido could need, or even desire, the ability - and fortitude of will - to be able to kill.

To quote Mr Ledyard, on the Attitude thread in the Member's Lounge:




I read a book by Funakoshi sensei about his life training in Karate. One thing I remembered more than anything else was his assertion (paraphrasing) that if it isn't important enough for one or the other of you to die for then you shouldn't be fighting. Pretty good advice.
__________________
George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA



I felt that the above quote should apply equally to Aikido, but could be turned on it's head as well. If you do end up fighting, you should be prepared for you, or your opponent, to die..
I'd like, at this point, to differentiate between a de-escalation situation - where you're essentially calming the agressor down, by words or controlled action, and can walk away if necessary - and a fight, where you have no choice but to 'stand your ground' - either because you're physically trapped, or you're defending someone else.. At this point, even as the situation develops, you need to commit to what you have to do, or forget about fighting. If you're commited to your defence, and that of others, there can be no room for error - you either succeed in your goal or fail.
I'm reminded of two things here. One is the image of Jedi (bear with me - it is relevant!) walking round with lightsabers, the ultimate 'I draw this, and one of us doesn't walk away' deterrent. The second is a saying I heard/read somewhere, not sure who the original source was. 'If you cut my skin, I cut your flesh. If you cut my flesh, I cut your bones. If you cut my bones, I kill you.'
This idea of escalation is one which, if your defence is commited, will develop naturally I feel. The harder your aggressor's attack, the more energy will be redirected against them. If you're unable to end the fight with an immobilisation, or even unconsciousness, and the person, or persons, keep attacking - probably harder and harder - the result, perhaps not inevitably - but likely - is death. Yours, or theirs...
Which comes back to strength of will (and lightsabers :D). I would suspect, if you can demonstrate this strength, this determination, it will be read by your opponent. If this gives them pause, or even ends the fight, it will be be all the more likely you'll be able to stop the fight before that very last of desired endings.
So, if the above is accurate (may not be - I'd welcome corrections, and comments ;)), I would suggest this is the best of arguments that an Aikidoka should be trained to be able to kill - that they find it easier not to, and that there's no such thing as a lightsaber...

Probably 3p worth there ;)
Peace,
David

Daniel Pokorny
13th July 2000, 12:38
Originally posted by szczepan

Could you name please few techniques that develop those elements in aikido training I was refer to as not being there?

regardz [/B]

szczepan,

Any and all techniques executed while engaged in weapons randori with senior students (and sometimes sensei), will surpass all the elements you mentioned! This is especially true when sensei joins the group of attackers! - Ouch!

Regards,

Daniel Pokorny

szczepan
13th July 2000, 13:24
Originally posted by Daniel Pokorny
szczepan,

Any and all techniques executed while engaged in weapons randori with senior students (and sometimes sensei), will surpass all the elements you mentioned! This is especially true when sensei joins the group of attackers! - Ouch!

Regards,

Daniel Pokorny [/B]

Hi Daniel ,

That's not what I mean.How you practice to be able as tori to do a technique( ex how you do iriminage on someone who don't want follow at all,but still it should be iriminage - that will happen on the street?)and are your uke agree to receive painful techniques - I suppose that special intent(warrior spirit) will produce more pain then in gently way of practice?Do you accept active resistance from uke?To what level?Do you practice with this intent all the way&every day?All the memebers of your dojo do it also?

very curious

szczepan

regardz

Kolschey
13th July 2000, 13:24
So how do you guys practice “sharp edges “ ?

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

One way in which a student may become more concious of the edges of the weapon and the technique both is by chalking the edge of the training weapon. This will provide very clear indication of any " damage " suffered, which can be a decidedly humbling experience. The fellow I work with has actually performed live blade on blade work, but he has far more experience than the majority of other students. One other way that I like to introduce an egde into my work is through my practice of sword work. The Iai-jutsu part of the curriculum helps me to be aware of the realities of handling a cutting edge effectively, and the paired kobudo forms serve to teach openings, timing, distance, and structural targets.

Daniel Pokorny
13th July 2000, 15:09
Originally posted by szczepan

Hi Daniel ,

That's not what I mean.How you practice to be able as tori to do a technique( ex how you do iriminage on someone who don't want follow at all,but still it should be iriminage - that will happen on the street?)and are your uke agree to receive painful techniques - I suppose that special intent(warrior spirit) will produce more pain then in gently way of practice?Do you accept active resistance from uke?To what level?Do you practice with this intent all the way&every day?All the memebers of your dojo do it also?

very curious

szczepan

regardz [/B]

szczepan,

I'm not sure what you're getting at. Your example tells me a lot though. You cannot DO a technique to anyone, and perhaps this lack of understanding may well be the barrier in your comprehension. The attack will dictate the technique not tori's will. I don't enter the circle of randori with any particular technique in mind, this would surely be suicide.

In regards to "receive painful techniques" and "active resistance", I don't know how you train, but personally, I don't need to have my nose broke to understand that when my training partner has an opening and puts his fist there, that indeed my nose would have been broke. Also, I don't have to put uke's head through the mat to get him/her to understand that I'm in control of the situation when technique is executed. That would be training the ego.

Intent is just that, intent. Whether we follow through or pull it just prior to follow through, it exists in all attacks dojo or street. You cannot fully simulate an attack and defence without someone suffering injury, not at my level anyway. I really care for and respect the people I train with so I try and ensure I don't cause them injury.

If you are really LOOKING for REAL attacks, then I suggest you first seek professional help and resolve whatever issues you have that is causing that desire in your life. I don't know you, perhaps you need to prove something to yourself, or you have some great fear of being attacked everyday.... who knows... whatever works for you.........

Regards,

Daniel Pokorny

Brently Keen
13th July 2000, 19:48
All this talk about combat/killing Aikido is nonsense.

Although I believe that Ueshiba felt his aikido was a martial art, and should by all means be effective for self defense, he did not create it as a combat/killing art, that was not his intent or purpose.

If you are practicing or learning how to kill, then I'd say you're either supplementing your aikido or not doing aikido at all but something else. This childish citing of instructors who are "bad asses" is nothing more than an attempt at self-validation of one's practice in the context of this thread about killing.

Furthermore, it seems to me that these instructors who are being cited as being more combative or capable of killing all are incorporating other arts into their Aikido practice in order to make it more combative, in effect they are practicing hybrid arts. If aikido was intended for killing, why is there a need or desire on the part of many senior aikido instructors (in some cases students of Ueshiba) to introduce more combative and martial elements from other arts, in order to bolster their combative effectiveness?

I think Szczepan raises some very valid questions, and I also think that Dennis said it quite well, "some of you are living in the muddy waters of the Aikido delta, full of flotsam, debris and other crap." And then there are many folks out there who are living a fantasy dream world, with no real idea whatsoever of what combat or killing entails.

Talk is cheap folks. If you really want to practice the "art of war" then you have to step outside of the subjective mindset that believes I can do this or that, simply by changing my intent to kill this guy with iriminage or shihonage or whatever, and start objectively looking instead
at what your weaknesses are. This requires a lot more humility than arrogance. You'll need to stop deluding yourselves with grand illusions of how easy it is to break someone elses arm or neck, and realize instead how easy it is to get your own arm or neck broken. You'll to forget the nonsense of "If he cuts my skin, I'll cut his flesh, etc..." and confront the reality that if he cut's your skin:

1.) he could've cut you deeper;
2.) you weren't good enoungh to prevent it;
3.) can you recover your balance from the pain and shock of being cut?
4.) you've lost the initiative, can you effectively regain it before he finishes the job? How are you going to do this while you're under duress and your opponent has the advantage?

If he cuts you at all you've already lost, you've failed to defeat your opponent the moment he decided to attack you, and you've failed to apply Ueshiba's Aikido. What if your attacker already dipped his blade in a nerve toxin?

If you would practice the art of killing you must forget all notions of hard blocks, locks, strikes, and throws, and first confront the reality of your own impending death and be cool with that. You've got to know and admit your weaknesses and your fears. You'll have to first learn how to yield to that reality with out fighting it and resisting against it. Good luck, it's not easy.

Brently Keen

Daniel Pokorny
13th July 2000, 21:00
Brently,

I will totally agree with the first sentence in your post however, I have different views regarding the last couple paragraphs. I also believe my views are mainly due to our separate, individual life experiences. You are right though, this discussion isn't worth the bits and bytes required to carry it. I will post no more on this topic.

Regards,

Daniel C. Pokorny

Budoka
14th July 2000, 03:27
Brently,

I think you missed the point, and I think this topic is moving off target.

Agreed: Ueshiba did not create his martial art as a killing art, but it definitely was a combat art, and that was his purpose. All the talk about love and harmony is fine, but he turned out Saotome, Arikawa, Saito, K.Tohei, Chiba, and the list goes on and on. These guys didn't go around learning how to knit.

And no one is citing instructors who are "bad asses". We are citing instructors who we feel either encompass, incorporate, or outright represent the martial aspects of the art. I mentioned Saotome Sensei from a book, and several of his students either responded saying it wasn't true, or responded confirming what I had read and then some. Still more students cited other instructors. It isn't a pissing contest, it's called sharing. . . how else will we know what these men are like?

You train in Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Roppokai. Surely you must see elements of this in your own art. Some instructors are more likely to train in a realistic committed more combat oriented manner than others.

You ask of the desire of senior aikido instructors, including students of Ueshiba, to introduce combative elements from other arts. I don't know any direct student of O Sensei (the ONLY Ueshiba that counts in my book) that has gone to train in, say, jujutsu after having trained in aikido under the founder and remained as aikido instructors.

Now if you're referring to US Aikikai sandan and yondan who are taking up another art; or, Ki Society yudansha who want to add more striking to their style, that's exactly my point. The art has been watered down and changed from teacher to student, generationally. O Sensei teaches Dobson, Dobson teaches Tom, Tom teaches Jeff, and the aikido that Jeff teaches Jerry is not the same aikido that O Sensei taught to Dobson, let alone Chiba, Saito, Saotome & Company.

I know instructors who have trained in Tokyo with Arikawa Sensei who are devastating in their technique. The original "keep him in pain" school. Does that mean that Arikawa Sensei teaches that way now? I don't know. Does it make what he does now more legitimate or less legitimate? It's not for me to say.

I have an idea of what combat and killing entails. I learned it first hand at a fairly young age wearing the uniform of the US Army Infantry. I think 99% of martial artists out there are dojo martial artists at best, and that's from all walks of life, all styles. But it's that 1% that I want to get to know better, to associate with, to learn from, and if I have something to offer, give back to.

That's why these forums are so useful. They offer thought to be exchanged over a period of time, so that we can think about responses to our own posts, and reflect on even those words which we have written.

You know, I almost killed someone with iriminage, and it's my worst technique, but when called upon to act in an instant, my worst technique is the one I went to; and I chose not to harm my attacker. I spent weeks replaying it in my head, should I have done this? Could I have done that? What I should have done was step to the side and go to ikkyo! But in the end, it doesn't change what happened.

It's funny looking at what you said, Brently, about the art of killing: "If you would practice the art of killing you must forget all notions of hard blocks, locks, strikes, and throws, and first confront the reality of your own impending death and be cool with that."

There are those who would say that is where true Aiki begins. . . that real aikido has no hard blocks, or locks, or strikes, or throws, and true victory is victory over oneself (masakatsu akatsu).

--
Something to reflect on,
Jared Riggs

szczepan
14th July 2000, 04:10
Originally posted by Daniel Pokorny

szczepan,

I'm not sure what you're getting at. Your example tells me a lot though. You cannot DO a technique to anyone, and perhaps this lack of understanding may well be the barrier in your comprehension. The attack will dictate the technique not tori's will. I don't enter the circle of randori with any particular technique in mind, this would surely be suicide.

In regards to "receive painful techniques" and "active resistance", I don't know how you train, but personally, I don't need to have my nose broke to understand that when my training partner has an opening and puts his fist there, that indeed my nose would have been broke. Also, I don't have to put uke's head through the mat to get him/her to understand that I'm in control of the situation when technique is executed. That would be training the ego.

Intent is just that, intent. Whether we follow through or pull it just prior to follow through, it exists in all attacks dojo or street. You cannot fully simulate an attack and defence without someone suffering injury, not at my level anyway. I really care for and respect the people I train with so I try and ensure I don't cause them injury.

If you are really LOOKING for REAL attacks, then I suggest you first seek professional help and resolve whatever issues you have that is causing that desire in your life. I don't know you, perhaps you need to prove something to yourself, or you have some great fear of being attacked everyday.... who knows... whatever works for you.........

Regards,

Daniel Pokorny
[/B]


"The attack will dictate the technique not tori's will"......hmh...WOW, didn't know you are at such high level of aikido....
Aaaaaanyway this example about iriminage was only to present and to ask how you train to be able to execute any given technique on some resisting opponent on the street.

As for the rest of your post, you guys from dancing aikido, you are all the same.When short of arguments, you suddenly suggest that I'm kind of psychopat, mentally ill or something and I need a doctor:D

I one word you are attacking me personaly instead of dissussing a topic.
That's how your teacher teachs you aikido?

Men!!!!!
Look at present topik!

Aikido as combat art.

combat art is to fight.I got it well?
You said yes aikido is combat art...So I asked questions how do you train in order to learn how to fight.

Please explain me now, why I need professional help.

*very sad*

Brently Keen
14th July 2000, 11:10
Oops I must've missed the point. At least Jared thinks I did.

Jared said:

"Agreed: Ueshiba did not create his martial art as a killing art, but it definitely was a combat art, and that was his purpose. All the talk about love and harmony is fine, but he turned out Saotome, Arikawa, Saito, K.Tohei, Chiba, and the list goes on and on. These guys didn't go around learning how to knit."

Huh? What I said was:

"Although I believe that Ueshiba felt his aikido was a martial art, and should by all means be effective for self defense, he did not create it as a combat/killing art, that was not his intent or purpose."

Combat = to fight, oppose by force. armed fighting; battle. struggle; conflict.

Morihei Ueshiba said the following about his aikido:

"I wish to build a bridge to bring different countries of the world together through the harmony and love contained in aikido."

"Aikido is the manifestation of love."

"Reform your perception of how the universe actually looks and acts; change your martial techniques into a vehicle of purity, goodness, and beauty; and master these things."

"Aikido is non resistance. As it is non-resistant, it is always victorious."

"Aikido is the way to reconcile the world and make human beings one family."

Kisshomaru Ueshiba said:

"Ultimately Master Ueshiba concluded that the true spirit of budo is not to be formed in a competetive and combative atmosphere where brute strength dominates and victory at any cost is the paramount objective."

"The essence of aikido is the unique Japanese philosophy which affirms the spiritual quest as the first principle of budo and the tradition founded by Master Ueshiba is the only true form of aikido."

Rinjiro Shirata:

"The sole purpose of the expression of the founder's budo of aiki is to achieve peace."

Mitsugi Saotome:

"The purpose of Aikido is to better people's lives, to make their spirits blossom and become strong, and by making better people to make a better world."

"O'Sensei's dream in creating Aikido, as I understand it, was a dream of creating peace in the world..."

"We are not studying to become experts in jo or hand to hand combat. We are not studying to become swordsmen. We are studying Aikido."

Morihiro Saito:

"I am committed to correctly following the founder's teachings, striving for world peace, international friendship, and the cultivation of people, and regional social development."

Koichi Tohei:

"defeating people is not the goal; rather true budo is the completion and perfection of your own self. This is what Ueshiba Sensei always said."

Terry Dobson:

"I recognized that I had seen Aikido used in action, and that the essence of it was reconciliation, as the Founder had said. I felt dumb and brutal and gross. I knew I would have to practice with an entirely different spirit. And I knew that it would be a long time before I could speak with knowledge about Aikido or the resolution of conflict."

These comments make a pretty convincing case for the combative purpose of aikido don't you think?

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

Then I said: "If you are practicing or learning how to kill, then I'd say you're either supplementing your aikido or not doing aikido at all but something else."

Jared said: "I don't know any direct student of O Sensei (the ONLY Ueshiba that counts in my book) that has gone to train in, say, jujutsu after having trained in aikido under the founder and remained as aikido instructors."

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

Saito sensei hasn't studied any other arts, but neither does he teach that aikido is for killing, or combat either. Saotome sensei includes elements of karate and iaido in his aikido practice, as does Nishio sensei. Mochizuki sensei incorporates kenjutsu, jujutsu/judo, and karate into his system of aikido. Kuroiwa includes western boxing. Sugawara sensei includes Chinese arts. Sugino sensei continued to study and teach Katori Shinto-ryu. These are only a few who happened to be students of the founder. The list of 2-3 generation shihans both in Japan and abroad is too long to list here, not to mention countless 4-5th dans who have studied/practiced other arts to supplement their aikido training.

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

"It's funny looking at what you said, Brently, about the art of killing: "If you would practice the art of killing you must forget all notions of hard blocks, locks, strikes, and throws, and first confront the reality of your own impending death and be cool with that."

I don't think it's funny at all. If you really know what combat and killing entail, and you learned it wearing a US Army uniform why do you disagree? Why do you insist that these "keep him in pain" teachers and schools are good examples of aikido definitely being a combat art? There is a huge difference between representing the martial aspects of the art and saying the purpose of the art is for combat/killing.

"There are those who would say that is where true Aiki begins. . . 'that real aikido has no hard blocks, or locks, or strikes, or throws,' and true victory is victory over oneself (masakatsu akatsu)."

I think that was MY point, why did you say you thought I missed the point?

Brently Keen





[Edited by Brently Keen on 07-14-2000 at 05:14 AM]

MarkF
14th July 2000, 11:21
I think Sczcepan's question is valid. Just how do you practice with resistance by uke? Is it understood that to be a "good uke" is relying on an attack that you have practiced for every situation? What about using blindfolded tori? Would this be closer to reality than knowing all known attacks done by a trained uke is the same as active resistance?

Brently does bring up a good point, although I think he blankets a certain population of practitioners as all being the same, but I would think randori of active resistance would be a damned good idea. At the same time, live blades or other weapons need not be "active" to show that they work. Leave that to those who have achieved all there is to learn because to do it that way, you must know.

Daniel Pokorny
14th July 2000, 12:43
Originally posted by szczepan

"The attack will dictate the technique not tori's will"......hmh...WOW, didn't know you are at such high level of aikido....
Aaaaaanyway this example about iriminage was only to present and to ask how you train to be able to execute any given technique on some resisting opponent on the street.

As for the rest of your post, you guys from dancing aikido, you are all the same.When short of arguments, you suddenly suggest that I'm kind of psychopat, mentally ill or something and I need a doctor:D

I one word you are attacking me personaly instead of dissussing a topic.
That's how your teacher teachs you aikido?

Men!!!!!
Look at present topik!

Aikido as combat art.

combat art is to fight.I got it well?
You said yes aikido is combat art...So I asked questions how do you train in order to learn how to fight.

Please explain me now, why I need professional help.

*very sad*
[/B]

First, I'd like to apologize to the forum for the following personal note. I don't have szczepan's email, so please forgive me.


szczepan,

As I posted prior to this, I'll not comment on this topic further however, I believe my sensei has invited you, on several occasions, to come down to Orlando and train with us.

You seem to be so interested in how people train, then make the trip and find out. I'm sure we can find accommodations for you. Please let me know......

Regards,

Daniel Pokorny

Budoka
14th July 2000, 16:56
Brently,

I don't think I need to have defined for me the definition of the word combat. . . you may as well start defining what the word "is" is.

As for the selected quotes, I'm familiar with some of them, not with others. Terry Dobson's came from the story on the train with the drunk; admittedly, I'd have handled it as Terry was going to, not as he would like to have later. And the fact is that when Terry was a bouncer, he was quick to tear through people (read "It's a lot like dancing" or "Aikido in America"), and that's after having experienced such an enlightening moment. I'm in no way calling the man a hypocrite. I have the highest respect for the late aikidoka. But words which talk about the noblest purposes oftentimes are met with actions that show the darker side of the man, the art, the situation.

I find your quotes, therefore, irrelevant. Koichi Tohei said "defeating people is not the goal" yet I've heard tales of when he came to America challenging instructors to fight. Tohei was one of O Sensei's big guns in Japan, also. He, along with men like Gozo Shioda used to kick the crap out of people who would challenge O Sensei in Japan.

On this very site you've seen someone claim that Saotome is willing to teach a street fighting course for a given sum.

And quoting O Sensei talk about aikido is almost laughable. I can't get over how so many people hear what they want to hear yet act blind over what they see. You know, Colt made a gun a long time ago called the Peacekeeper. It was a good gun. How do you think it kept the peace?

All the talk about peace and harmony and unification of the world is fine, but push comes to shove, Morihei Ueshiba was one of the finest martial artists in the world, and possibly the greatest of his time.

The "Hell Dojo" that he ran got that name for a reason, and it wasn't "building bridges." Aikido may be the manifestation of love, but it's done by putting someone into the ground. I listen to those who've trained in Japan and you'll hear about the extremes they've endured, the suffering they're put through, the commitment and dedication which borders on Kool-Aid drinking. . . and that's a good thing.

You see, you can change your martial techniques into a vehicle of purity, goodness, et.al., but that's just going to make you a more dangerous martial artist. . .

And with all due deference to the late Doshu, even though he changed the direction of aikido after the founder's death, he wouldn't trade victory for defeat.

Ask the late Rinjiro Shirata what the best way to achieve peace is, and losing will not be the answer. His was a powerful style of aiki, and admittedly he was the first person I ever saw perform aikido.

All these quotes are two-faced. They say one thing while not really addressing the other. I can say I'm a pacifist, because I am. I think the greatest thing one can do is live a peaceful life, I truly do. But what is a pacifist? Is it someone who chooses a peaceful path? Does that mean he must be able to also choose a violent path, lest it isn't a choice?

That's why I try not to read too much into those comments. When someone makes a comment like "aikido is meant to be bread for the world" then shows you how to perform irimi nage with that special little neck snapping angle, well, you decide. . .

I won't question your listing of instructors that trained in other arts. I wasn't aware of it before, and you've enlightened me. I did know that many have added a sword art or jodo to their array, but I wasn't aware of any that added chinese arts to their study with the founder and still claim to teach aikido. I guess this forum can be educational too, huh? :-)

I do stay away from second and third generation students because of the same reason, the art has changed so much in such a short span.

As for when I said : "It's funny looking at what you said, Brently, about the art of killing: "If you would practice the art of killing you must forget all notions of hard blocks, locks, strikes, and throws, and first confront the reality of your own impending death and be cool with that. There are those who would say that is where true Aiki begins. . . 'that real aikido has no hard blocks, or locks, or strikes, or throws,' and true victory is victory over oneself (masakatsu akatsu)."

At this point you're just seeming argumentative. . . you DON'T think it's funny at all? Do you really think I meant funny "ha, ha"?

How about curious? Intriguing? Enlightening? You see, I don't disagree with the statement. Why do you, Brently, insist that "keep him in pain" teachers don't live up to that statement? The pain isn't caused by a block, or a strike, or a lock or throw, it's caused by showing the attacker the pain caused by the realization of an attackers own psyche upon the delicate balance of the universe whose Ki is being returned to order by one as enlightened as the performer of the technique, which of course, doesn't exist, because a true technique is no technique.

(Doesn't this kind of backward speak just prove my point?)

True victory is victory over oneself. . . but, that doesn't mean I'm not going to put an attacker head first into a fire hydrant if I'm forced to.

--

Regards,

Jared Riggs

Dennis Hooker
14th July 2000, 19:08
We may have a difficult time separating our thought, morays, and believes form our action. It may be even harder to reconcile them with our actions at times. I think Aikido and M. Ueshiba Sensei were, and are, pointing out a why this may be done. If one speaks of, and seeks, peace and love, but then has to fight to gain or keep those ideals it does not mean that one has to seek war and hate or that one has to change their mind. A person does not have to be of a mind to make war and hate in order to fight as effectively as necessary to prevail. If my enemy first enters my mind by taking away my peacefulness and replacing it with anger and hate, then they are on the first step to victory. I do not see the dichotomy of “ walking softly and carrying a big stick”.

I think the talk of peace, love and harmony has more to do with how we see ourselves in the scheme of things, all things. I think it is peace, love and harmony in the bigger since, in a universal since. It’s nice if we can translate that into an individual to individual relationship by it’s not necessary in all individual relationships. Sometimes some ass has to get kicked and some names taken. Now, if it serves the principle of universal harmony then we are, I think, approaching M. Usehiba Sensei’s teaching and the function of Aikido. If my enemy’s mind was as my mind, then we would not fight. However, his mind is not mine and he uses his to attack me. My mind still has not changed to one of fighting. If that happens and he is younger, faster, stronger, better trained then I will surly lose. However, if he finds nothing to fight against how can he win. This does not mean that I will not use my Aikido to effectively trash his ass, I most certainly will if I can. If my Aikido is good he will find no hard points to attack, grab or enter. Neither in my body or my mind should he find these things, I’m not saying I’m that good because I’m not, but that is what I strive for.
Dennis Hooker
http://www.shindai.com

Budoka
14th July 2000, 19:27
Amen, Dennis. . .

--

Jared Riggs

Brently Keen
14th July 2000, 19:42
Huh?

You call yourself a pacifist but you'd just as soon throw somebody head first into a fire hydrant?

You talk about true victory being self-victory, but your actions and the actions of those you applaud are not consistent with that ethic. If you're forced to respond to an attacker in a way that violates the principles and purpose of aikido, then you've only demonstrated either a lack of self-control and a failure to apply aikido to the situation, or a conscious choice to resort to means other that aikido to resolve the conflict. If you're forced to do something against your own (pacifist) principles, then you've also failed to keep your integrity. Where is the self-victory in that?

You said that some teachers taught aikido as a killing art, and that Ueshiba created it for combat, and then you asked us for our opinions about that. I said that the whole notion was nonsense, and then I backed up what I had to say by describing first what real combat involves, and then I used the founders own words, and those of some of his senior students to describe the real purpose of aikido. They are contradictory. You cannot say that the true purpose of aikido is something completely opposite to the founder's own explicit statements of purpose, because Ueshiba created it not you.

You can say and believe whatever you want, but if it doesn't jive you're only deluding yourself. Delusion is the greatest weakness, think about it.

I've made my case, I'm going back to the koryu forum where I belong.

Sincerely,

Brently Keen

Budoka
14th July 2000, 23:23
Welcome to the dichotomy, Brently.

I believe it was an interview in Aikido Journal where the term pacifist was defined as "someone who has the ability to kill in the blink of an eye but in the last moment chooses not to."

And if that choice is available, I would take it. But if someone would harm my loved ones, and the choice is control one person while another harms my nephew, or introduce him to the fire hydrant. . . well, the decision is easy for me.

True victory is victory over self. How does that mean I'm not allowed to win in battle? There is nothing wrong with virtuous intent. . . but if the intent is cut the evil spirits out of an attackers karma, so be it.

You quoted a number of instructors, senior students of the founder, no less, and I pointed out that their words and their actions should both be looked at. . . not just their words. If an instructor says that a peaceful resolution is what we want, then also says if you're attacked by more than one attacker and are in grave life threatening danger, kill the one nearest you, how is that wrong? Peaceful resolution is what you WANT. Unfortunately, that isn't always possible. This past year here in Texas an armed anti-Christian gunman shot up a Southern Baptist church full of youth choir singers in Fort Worth. He killed himself after. Is there a single person that feels sorry for him? Or if he had the opportunity wouldn't have killed him in an instant had he had the opportunity? Dittos for those two boys at Columbine High School.

I've never said the purpose of Aikido is anything but what O Sensei said. I've quoted other instructors. You're attacking me rather than the concept, and perhaps that is because the idea makes you nervous? Perhaps the idea of the dichotomy of Aikido is troubling?

If you're case is that I'm deluded, thus I hold the greatest weakness, well, perhaps your right. I always thought pride was a greater weakness than delusion. For that matter, so is gluttony, greed, lust, sloth, well, you get the idea.

I would hope we'd have moved beyond <i>ad hominem</i> attacks. Then again, I also hope for peaceful resolution. You can't always get what you want, to quote that other great Sensei, Mick Jagger.

--

Jared Riggs

MarkF
15th July 2000, 10:47
And quoting O Sensei talk about aikido is almost laughable. I can't get over how so many people hear what they want to hear yet act blind over what they see. You know, Colt made a gun a long time ago called the Peacekeeper. It was a good gun. How do you think it kept the peace?



Not to be picky or anything, but I believe Colt made a gun called the Peacemaker?

DJM
15th July 2000, 11:19
I've been thinking about my previous edit, and about the comments made since by people far further along the Way than myself..
I'm thinking that, not unusually, I didn't make the points I was trying to very clearly (No excuse, but I had matchsticks propping my eyes open after a very energetic Aikido session!).
Something very close has been posted on the pacifism thread, so I won't expand upon that here. Except to say that I feel that Aikido IS all about choice. But it's also true that the attacker determines the technique you carry out on him/her - it may not always be possible to not kill, and that fear of this would be counter-productive.. (Am I right in thinking that Aikido is the only martial art that favours leaving an attacker with fewer injuries the more proficient the exponent?)

Peace,
David

Budoka
15th July 2000, 14:36
Mark,

By all means, I stand corrected. I have seen the error of my ways.

The Peacekeeper is the name we gave to the MX-Missile.

The Peacemaker is the famous Colt revolver.

Let all who bear witness note that I bow to the wisdom of another.

--

Jared Riggs

Arne Oster
15th July 2000, 14:48
Hi,
The three major characteristics of Hakko Ryu Jujutsu are:
1) No challenge
2) No resistance
3) No injury
The Hakko Ryu/Hakko Denshin Ryu techniques are specifically designed to enable people to defend themselves effectively based on a humanitarian philosophy.
Through the understanding of the meridian system of the body in shiatsu, a practioner can deliver varying amounts of pain to an opponent, usually without causing serious injury.

Regards
Arne Oster

Budoka
19th July 2000, 15:08
Originally posted by Arne Oster
Hi,
The three major characteristics of Hakko Ryu Jujutsu are:
1) No challenge
2) No resistance
3) No injury

Through the understanding of the meridian system of the body in shiatsu, a practioner can deliver varying amounts of pain to an opponent, usually without causing serious injury.


You know, that's nice in theory, and I'm not familiar with Hakko Ryu Jujutsu, but I've heard lots of people say things like "you can't get out of nikkyo" and a week later we're doing a kaeshi waza for nikkyo.

I once read on a review of the UFC when it first came out how no true Aikidoka would compete because real aikido is non competitive. . . and no Tai Chi person would compete because he would kill the person with his Chi power. . . and I had to laugh.

It's easy to toss out statements about what an art or style can and can't do, but when the opportunity comes to put up or shut up, most people shy away, saying something along the lines of "well, if I do Dim Mak, you'll die."

This wasn't meant to be a forum of "my art can do this better than your art", and I don't mean to pick on you, Arne, because as I've said before, I'm not familiar with the style, but I can't even say aikido is about no challenge, no resistance, no injury. Ultimately you're using it because you're being challenged, you're under risk of injury to yourself, and while we both share the concept of non resistance, we use it to put uke into the ground, the air, a roll, a breakfall, etc.

It's kind of why I made this specific to aikido. With all due respect, I didn't want to start an argument over "my Master is Master Lee and he teaches us the funky toenail technique which will disarm your attacker and put you in the hospital."

"oh yeah, well my Master is Master Chan, and he says Master Lee is a wussy."

But to be fair, let me ask you the following . . . in Hakko Ryu, do you have teachers that say you should never use it to fight? Or that it is solely for unification of spirit and soul? Or that if you injure another using a technique than you've betrayed the core of the art?

Do you see where I'm going with this? The argument came about over whether or not teachers who teach the "dance" of aikido are doing a disservice to their students if they ever need the "practical" aikido, and I'm using quotes cause aikido should be neither one nor the other but both.

Any thoughts on that one?

--
Regards,
Jared Riggs

(hey, we're about to go over one thousand views. . . cool!)

Jeff Cook
20th July 2000, 14:29
O-Sensei stated once that to resort to physical technique is to admit to your failure and to make the best of a bad (failed) situation; we have the physical technique so we can try to succeed another day.

Jeff Cook
Wabujitsu

Arne Oster
20th July 2000, 15:05
Hi,
Hakko Ryu is a humanitarian approach to self-defense, not a pacifistic one. Techniques use a minimum of strength and a maximum of control of the opponent's balance with a rather direct small circle application of joint manipulations and pressure points that can be quite painful but doesn't necessarily cause injury.
Regards
Arne Oster

Mike Collins
22nd July 2000, 02:06
I have trained with several teachers who teach Aikido as an artform for improving human beings (I presume this is what you mean in referring to "dance Aikido"). The primary emphasis is on properly moving and performing technique rather than "killing technique".

It is my belief that good Aikido is nearly impossible to do while "battling" with someone else or for that matter giving an "opponent" any particular amount of attention at all. I beleive that I can never teach myself proper technique until I put my mind on how I move, how my energy flows, how my timing and distance are doing, and pay only marginal attention to how my uke reacts.

As long as my attention is on my partner I am helping to "create" him. I constantly tell people who are trying to "throw" me that they apparently believe in me more than I do, cause they keep running into my strength, mass and bulk. When they do technique properly from a strong center, my reaction is invariably to take the ukemi that is appropriate.

To believe that resistance is "necessary" to learn technique is stupid, and shows a low level of experience and/or attainment. But if you choose to keep believing it, that is good. It only makes one more human being I'll never need fear. In a real situation: While you are resisting my kokyu nage, I can smash your face with a strong and well timed atemi, while paying attention to everything else that is going on in the room, while giving you no more attention than you deserve. That is the strength in training in my movement, rather than your reaction. I keep my center and awareness.

Sczepan,

You tickle me. I just know one day we'll meet and I'll find out you have been tweaking me and others all the time. You're too cool for school man, I love you.