Aiki and the streets?

Eric Daniel

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Hey aiki guys, I have not been in aiki for long and I have a question that I think I may have an answer to but would like other opinions.

Is aiki street effective? In class your partner does not resist the technique but what if you try the technique on someone who resists the technique? I think that if a guy resist your technique you should hit him, Hitting sounds more like something for the streets, I don't think if you just do a soft aiki technique on the street that it will be effective.

Another question, how do you know what is effective on the street and what is not? A long time ago in japan the samurai's would try a technique on the battlefield and if it was not effective than they would not do that techniqe again in battle or practice.

What is the difference in effective techniques than and now? does any one really know? I am not sure but if you have any information that will be helpful please let me know it.

Later, Eric
 
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CrankyDragon

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Very good questions, which can lead to very long answers. Ill try to answer a short one for ya.

When your uke offers resistance, the whole dynamic of the technique changes. The principle of Aikido is to use the opponent's energy... Thus to be effective you cannot stumble or you will miss your mark. If you watch some Steven Segal videos (see our school site for some), you will observe he is lighting fast. The longer you practice, the faster and more accurate you become, and thus the greater potential you have of being effective with it in real life situations.

Sometimes in our NGA classes, we "kick it up a notch" as Jeff would say, and it becomes a little bit more combative. The idea is though, you have a tool box, and each technique is a tool... Suitable for different jobs. Some more than others, and some can be adapted to a situation. You dont want to drive a nail with a crecent wrench, but in an emergency you may use it to do so, though its not as effective. This all means, you do what you know to do, by feflex, if that fails move quicly to something that will suffice for the given situation you find yourself in.

Again, the longer you train, the more tools you have to work with, the faster you get, the more accurate you become, etc.. etc.. Im only a white belt still, I can can see a big improvment over when I first started. And to see our Sensei work, I know if he were attacked on the street, someone's going to the hospital ER for sure, and I dont think its gonna be my Sensei! This is the level of profeciency I strive for. Not to be perfect in class, but to be proficient with the techniques to make them effective in the real world. However, the principle of Nihon Goshin Aikido, is just that. Practical self defense, not just to be "pretty", but to be a WORKING tool box!

BTW, if you visit our site, please feel free to sign the Guestbook (You will find the link in the menu box! Thanx!)

HTH,
Andrew
 

arnisador

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It varies a bit with the style of Aikido, but yes, it can be effective...but it takes longer to develop it as an effective option than it does to develop self-defense skill in, say, Karate.
 
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CrankyDragon

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arnisador said:
It varies a bit with the style of Aikido, but yes, it can be effective...but it takes longer to develop it as an effective option than it does to develop self-defense skill in, say, Karate.
I 100% agree... To acheive a level to be able to defend yourself in Aikido does take a lot longer than most MAs. One reason its called "The patient man's Martial Art". You cant be in a rush or hurry!!

Andrew
 

Korppi76

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As said earlier, when uke resist then change direction.
And many older Japanese Senseis like to hit atemis and that makes uke move like they like it.
And about those effective techniques now and then, I am not sure but I think that earlier (Before aikido was formalised, not sure about right word) techniques were more "brutal". Nowadays that injury causing part is still there but is it not emphasied. Example in Ikkyo uke shouldnt be attacking shape after cut.
 

JAMJTX

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Aikido can be very street effective.
One of the "deceptions" is the lack of resistance in class. What you need to keep in mind is that, in class, if uke resists then you will never learn to apply teh technique properly. As you increase your skill, uke can "cooperate" less in the application of the technique.

The same kinds of comments about ineffciveness can be said about anymartial art. People say Aikido does not work because no one is going to stand there and let you put a wrist lock on them. Well, the same thing can be said about karate, because no one is going to stand there and let you kick them. Boxing also will not work because no one is going to stand there and let you punch them in the face.

In all martial arts you are learning theory. It is then up to you to develop the skills to apply the theory. Aikido requires more skill because it requires less power.

As for hitting, Gozo Shioda said that fighting is 70% striking. Aikido does uses striking (atemi) just that strikes are not used for the same purposes as arts like karate. They are used to stun and distract and off balance the attacker.

As far as an attacker "resisting" a technique, of course that is possible. But the theory behind Aikido of "if attacker pulls, you push / if attacker pushes you pull" requires a quick change of technique to go with his flow. So, for example, you are going for irimi nage but run into resistance - instead of fighting to get the irimi nage, use the "resisting force" to maybe move into kaiten nage as opposed to being so fixated on the irimi and ending up grappling in a strenght vs strengh situation.

Jim Mc Coy
 

JAMJTX

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"What is the difference in effective techniques than and now?"

There is no difference. The human body works the same way now as it did then, so technqiues also work the same.

The emptyhanded battlefield arts were designed with two things in mind. The Aikijujutsu was designed to use the attackers force against him. The Jujutsu/grappling arts were designed to exploit weaknesses in the armour - this meant mostly attacking joints. The armour had to be hinged here in order to allow movements, this left the joingts exposed, thus armlocks, etc could be employed. I have to believe that a technique designed to disarm and maim a highly trained, armour clad warrior on a battlefield would be even more effective against a street punk not wearing armour.

Jim Mc Coy
 
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CrankyDragon

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Jamjtx,
Thanx much for your post, you were right on target with everything you said, you even presented things in a light that I didnt see before.

Andrew
 
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Eric Daniel

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wow, very interesting answers. I am glad to see all the responses. Aiki takes a long time to get techniques fast and effective? Here is another question guys, What if you add other martial art training you have had (say karate) to your aiki technique on the street will it make the technique more effective?
 

arnisador

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It would certainly give you more options. Cross-training is often more effective after you get one art down fairly well, though, unless the two arts are very different. So, I have mixed feelings on this! In the long run, yes, but in the short run...maybe. Rather than Karate, if you're just starting at Aikido, I'd add something more flexible, like Jeet Kune Do, that won't impose such specific types of movement on you.

Search on crosstraining/cross-training for lots of discussion of this point.
 
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CrankyDragon

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Eric Daniel said:
What if you add other martial art training you have had (say karate) to your aiki technique on the street will it make the technique more effective?
Ive dont Karate, and theres no reason why, in a real world situation, you cant throw a punch or kick in somewhere during the technique. Im also "studying" Jui-Jitsu at home, some very interesting moves there!!
 

JAMJTX

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Combining Aikido with other arts can be effective. But it can also make a mess.

Trying to learn other arts simultaneous with Aikido, although possible, has proven to make both Aikido and the other art more difficult to most people.

If you want to see successful examples look at arts like Kuniba Ryu Goshindo (Yoshinkan Aikido, Shito Ryu Karate, Judo) Yoseikan Budo (Aikido, Judo and other arts).

I have trained in 3 styles of Aikido - Aikikai, Kokikai and Yoshinkan. My experience is that the Yoshinkan bkends better with the other arts of Karate and Judo. If someone were to ask about combinations, I would reccomend Yoshinkan Aikido with either Shito Ryu or Goju Ryu Karate.
 

theletch1

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In response to the original theme of the thread I have to ask exactly what do you mean by "effective" in the street? If it's put the guy out to the point that he can't get back up off the ground then, yeah, but not 'til after years of training. If it's simply getting away from an attacker, leaving him standing there grasping thin air while after you've blended around his attack and (wisely) run away then, yeah, aikido is effective on the street fairly quickly. Defending yourself simply means not getting killed or seriously injured. What you do your attacker in the mean time is simply co-incedental to the fact.

As for mixing styles...it's no secret that I have a kenpo background. As a white belt in aikido the kenpo was almost a handicap. Instead of blending and redirecting I had a tendency to hard block and counter-strike. Instead of thinking about which joints will bend which way I constanly thought about where the nerve bundles were to strike. Once I managed to get a couple of years experience under by obi in the aikido dojo I began to be able to allow a little of the kenpo to sneak back into what I do with my aikido technique. A good strong grip from an attacker almost makes it mandatory that I know how and where to strike when I use the atemi to break his ki, allowing for my aiki technique to work. I've heard it said that aikido is not a good first art as it is often times simply an understood idea that the practitioner already understands the dynamics of a punch or kick. While I understand why atemi is not stressed in the dojo I often find myself frustrated by the lack of understanding that many people have of the basics of attacking. Blend styles if you want. If WILL help you in one way or another. As to doing two styles at once though, well, there is as much risk of confusing yourself on the principles as there is possible benefit. My advice (humbly given) is become adept at one style before going after another.

"You can't ride two horses at the same time."
 

Korppi76

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I train mostly aikido but other martial arts I train more unfrequently gives always new viewpoints to my aikido training.
My old teacher always said that when person gets 1st Dan then he should try some other martial art to get some new perspective to aikido.
 

arnisador

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Korppi76 said:
My old teacher always said that when person gets 1st Dan then he should try some other martial art to get some new perspective to aikido.
This seems like good advice for any system!
 

DavidCC

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The most itimidating Aikido instructor I ever met is also an instructor in Kyusho Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu jitsu.
 

mantis

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Eric Daniel said:
wow, very interesting answers. I am glad to see all the responses. Aiki takes a long time to get techniques fast and effective? Here is another question guys, What if you add other martial art training you have had (say karate) to your aiki technique on the street will it make the technique more effective?
i think this balances the hard and the soft for them..
but then there is no reason for aikido not to be effective. they do not confront energy, rather then redirect it which is a smarter approach than karate itself.
 

Yari

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Eric Daniel said:
Is aiki street effective?
Yes

In class your partner does not resist the technique but what if you try the technique on someone who resists the technique? I think that if a guy resist your technique you should hit him, Hitting sounds more like something for the streets, I don't think if you just do a soft aiki technique on the street that it will be effective.
Don't agree on that. Atemi (which is nearly the same as hitting) is a natural part of aiki(do). But to put it a bit theoretical, if the attack doesn't have momentum, you dont have a problem. If you have momentum (the attacker moves in some way), then you have a force to use in aiki(do). No problem. But on the street you dont have clean techniques, and to use Aiki(do) at this level you need a bit more pratice than just 2 weeks of pratice (by that I mean at least 3 years of pratice.

Another question, how do you know what is effective on the street and what is not?
To be honest, you dont and never will. It's a chance you've got to take. You can minimize things by trying things out in near realistic situations, but your never going to be sure. The reason why is that you never know whats going (or when) somethings is going to happen on the street.
A long time ago in japan the samurai's would try a technique on the battlefield and if it was not effective ......
....they probably would be dead.


What is the difference in effective techniques than and now? does any one really know? I am not sure but if you have any information that will be helpful please let me know it.



Not sure what your looking for, but sounds like you mean that the old japanese samurai had the best techniques. And that your indoubt that todays modern techniques reflect that.

To be honest, I don't know. The techniques that have be handed done for centuries, have good quality. but as the the saying goes, there is only dead heroes (by this I mean that alot of stuff that had worked probably is lost and goen, but they made all the "stories", and that what you see left is not nesacerly the best).

But you don't have to look at the past to find something that wokrs on the street. But you have to have a critical mind, and an open attitude. And you should know yourself, to see what would fit youself.

/yari
 

amir

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Eric Daniel said:
Hey aiki guys, I have not been in aiki for long and I have a question that I think I may have an answer to but would like other opinions.
Eric Daniel said:


Is aiki street effective? In class your partner does not resist the technique but what if you try the technique on someone who resists the technique? I think that if a guy resist your technique you should hit him, Hitting sounds more like something for the streets, I don't think if you just do a soft aiki technique on the street that it will be effective.



Another question, how do you know what is effective on the street and what is not? A long time ago in japan the samurai's would try a technique on the battlefield and if it was not effective than they would not do that techniqe again in battle or practice.



What is the difference in effective techniques than and now? does any one really know? I am not sure but if you have any information that will be helpful please let me know it.



Later, Eric




First off, lets separate the terms "Aiki" and "Aikido", "Aiki" is a concept, found to be very useful in Koryu -Jujutsu arts long before the inception of "Aikido".



I assume your actual question is with the art, not the concept. To this I would answer it depends: on the teacher and on the person. Some teachers teach Aikido in a path that is difficult for S.D. applicability, others are very S.D. oriented. The same could be said for the student mentality and skills. Those elements are often more important then anything else.





You asked about resistance, the answer for this is quite simple, most teachers don't teach with resistance because it is more dangerous and nearly impossible to teach.

A good Aikido technique should be soft and harmonious. It does not mean the technique is weak, but that the performer (Tori) will flow with the attack on him, blend with it and find Kuzushi (taking out of balance) with minimal force, only then will the technique be applied. You could imagine it as a snare leading to a trap, the trap must close swiftly and at precisely the right moment, keeping Uke (the attacker) unaware of it until then.

When done this way, Uke has hardly any time to resist and his joints are in jeopardy before he realizes. If Uke does resist, he has to use substantial power and movement, this will open him to a different technique instead of the first. Hence, Tori is flowing with Uke, and practically using his power against him.

When this is done correctly, striking should only be used as part of a technique, part of achieving Kuzushi or part of the set up.

Unfortunately, the above description is impossible to be taught for Kata practice. Each Uke will respond differently to a technique, since he will grasp it at a different moment in time. Any pre-knowledge of the technique by Uke, will change his reaction. Further, if Uke resists with force and speed, the technical response to him should be as fast and decisive, hence the risk of injury.



Due to the above reasons, most Aikido teachers do not often teach against resistance. And even those that do, restrict it to the advanced classes. Instead, the principles of the correct response are being taught in a slow structured manner. Various teachers build their way in different manners, this is one of the greatest difference between styles, much more then the techniques.



Amir



P.S.

The above description is an example of "Aiki", and exists in many other M.A.
 

arnisador

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"No surprise. Until Aikido sheds its street-brawling, thuggish image, it'll never be mainstream."
-Don Gwinn

Well, I thought it was funny.
 

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