Aikido and Law Enforcement

Steve

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Speaking as an outsider, I suspect that it's a bit of each.

1) Some Aikido practitioners train as a spiritual path and/or a cultural art. For those people the length of time necessary to become reliably combatively proficient is beside the point.

2) Aikido's strengths as a martial art are (IMO) focused on certain niche areas of application. If you are trying to force it outside of those areas it is not going to be so reliable.

3) I really do suspect there is something to the idea of Aikido as a graduate level art for people who already have solid combative skills. As I mentioned earlier, I can look at high-level Aikido practitioners and see useful stuff I might be able to learn from them - but I have 34 years of a fairly well rounded martial arts career under my belt.

Another thought related to #3. Ueshiba spent a lot of years as a rough-and-tumble martial artist who fought challenge matches and worked as a mercenary before he moved into his "peace and harmony with the universe" phase. Many Aikido practitioners may be trying to practice what he taught in those later years - but I suspect it may not work so well (combatively) for those who don't have the prior combative background that Ueshiba had.

That's speculation from an outsider, though. I'd be curious what Spinedoc thinks of my theorizing.
I suspect you're right and I'm glad you said it.
 
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Spinedoc

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Speaking as an outsider, I suspect that it's a bit of each.

1) Some Aikido practitioners train as a spiritual path and/or a cultural art. For those people the length of time necessary to become reliably combatively proficient is beside the point.

2) Aikido's strengths as a martial art are (IMO) focused on certain niche areas of application. If you are trying to force it outside of those areas it is not going to be so reliable.

3) I really do suspect there is something to the idea of Aikido as a graduate level art for people who already have solid combative skills. As I mentioned earlier, I can look at high-level Aikido practitioners and see useful stuff I might be able to learn from them - but I have 34 years of a fairly well rounded martial arts career under my belt.

Another thought related to #3. Ueshiba spent a lot of years as a rough-and-tumble martial artist who fought challenge matches and worked as a mercenary before he moved into his "peace and harmony with the universe" phase. Many Aikido practitioners may be trying to practice what he taught in those later years - but I suspect it may not work so well (combatively) for those who don't have the prior combative background that Ueshiba had.

That's speculation from an outsider, though. I'd be curious what Spinedoc thinks of my theorizing.

VERY interesting Tony. I think there is merit to what you say. I'm going to post something in the Aikido forum as pertains to this very topic that was just written by the eminent Stanley Pranin.
 

Hanzou

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lol. Yeah. I understand where you're headed, and I fully acknowledge the idea of lifelong learning. But even a 1st year resident can Perform a successful surgery after 4 years of training and a little ojt. You took great pains to describe the difficulty of successfully applying aikido for all but the most skilled.

Once again, I'm not reacting to the length of time. I'm reacting to your own description of the unlikeliness of success for all but the most experienced.

If it's taking an incredibly long Time for students to achieve even fundamental success, it's one of three things. either the training is inherently flawed, the trainees are in over their heads or you're learning something other than what you think you're learning.

Just to piggy back on this; Wouldn't most students be instructor level after ten years of practice? Isn't there a significant problem if an art is producing a crop of instructors who are only just becoming competent in their art?
 

Tgace

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Just to piggy back on this; Wouldn't most students be instructor level after ten years of practice? Isn't there a significant problem if an art is producing a crop of instructors who are only just becoming competent in their art?
Interesting point.

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Steve

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Just to piggy back on this; Wouldn't most students be instructor level after ten years of practice? Isn't there a significant problem if an art is producing a crop of instructors who are only just becoming competent in their art?
Good point. I've talked about this in detail in threads on the subject of expertise. In a nutshell, how can someone who has never had to use skills in context be an expert on those skills? I think I used the analogy of a pilot instructor who has never flown a real plane, and only has hours logged on a simulator? Can this guy fly a plane? Maybe. But is he competent to teach other people how to fly a plane?
 

drop bear

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Another thought related to #3. Ueshiba spent a lot of years as a rough-and-tumble martial artist who fought challenge matches and worked as a mercenary before he moved into his "peace and harmony with the universe" phase. Many Aikido practitioners may be trying to practice what he taught in those later years - but I suspect it may not work so well (combatively) for those who don't have the prior combative background that Ueshiba had

Sacrificed effectivness because the ideal is more important? Which is not necessarily a bad thing
 

Gerry Seymour

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I don
You change the methodology so that you are no longer only receiveing energy. But instead also controlling position.

Controlling position is more of wrestling, bjj,mma concept and is sometimes referred to the will game. Where the strongest will wins the scramble.

So they go full noise on you. You respond by going full noise on them.
I don't know that controlling position is "more of" a concept for any of those arts. I think it depends how the Aikido is trained. Controlling position is certainly within the province of the principles of Aikido - I've always seen it as one of the principles that would be more emphasized in self-defense training and less so when a class is studying what I refer to as "pure" Aikido - focusing only on the principle of aiki to the detriment of any other, so as to develop the ability to find the most "aiki" movement in any given situation.

I expect controlling position is more emphasized in competition training, since the opponent is similarly trained, so controlling position becomes a bigger issue.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Sacrificed effectivness because the ideal is more important? Which is not necessarily a bad thing
Not bad, so long as the students are aware of it. Most of us know we aren't learning the very most devastating things we could, because we don't want to kill everyone who attacks us - we learn some of those devastating responses, as well as a range of other responses.

I do wonder if someone who has mastery in Yoshinkan (the hardest style of Ueshiba's art I know of) might be the best to master the combat use of the softer styles - following more of Ueshiba's path.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Speaking as an outsider, I suspect that it's a bit of each.

1) Some Aikido practitioners train as a spiritual path and/or a cultural art. For those people the length of time necessary to become reliably combatively proficient is beside the point.

2) Aikido's strengths as a martial art are (IMO) focused on certain niche areas of application. If you are trying to force it outside of those areas it is not going to be so reliable.

3) I really do suspect there is something to the idea of Aikido as a graduate level art for people who already have solid combative skills. As I mentioned earlier, I can look at high-level Aikido practitioners and see useful stuff I might be able to learn from them - but I have 34 years of a fairly well rounded martial arts career under my belt.

Another thought related to #3. Ueshiba spent a lot of years as a rough-and-tumble martial artist who fought challenge matches and worked as a mercenary before he moved into his "peace and harmony with the universe" phase. Many Aikido practitioners may be trying to practice what he taught in those later years - but I suspect it may not work so well (combatively) for those who don't have the prior combative background that Ueshiba had.

That's speculation from an outsider, though. I'd be curious what Spinedoc thinks of my theorizing.

I'm perhaps marginally less of an outsider on this, Tony, so I'll chime in, too. I think you have made some good points. #1 leads us to styles like Shin Shin Toitsu, which is essentially an internal Aikido, and I suspect many of the practitioners are there for the harmony, not the martiality.

#2 is true of many arts, and those that try to cover all ground (like my own) will obviously not be as effective in a niche as a specialized art - for instance, our ground work will never equal what you see in BJJ, nor our strikes equal what you see in Shotokan Karate.

#3 goes back to some comments I've made, and my own feeling on the matter. I think the interpretation of "aiki" I see in most of the mainline Aikido I've seen is only effective once you master it - and we all know how long mastery can take. If the Aikido is trained with a fairly pure focus on that use of aiki, I would expect students to struggle with self-defense until they can find aiki effortless. If the art is trained so that aiki is the higher level of the art (leaving the original jujitsu techincal bits available) then Ueshiba's art can be effective fairly early in someone's training. I expect this latter is part of what differentiates Shioda's version.
 

drop bear

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I don

I don't know that controlling position is "more of" a concept for any of those arts. I think it depends how the Aikido is trained. Controlling position is certainly within the province of the principles of Aikido - I've always seen it as one of the principles that would be more emphasized in self-defense training and less so when a class is studying what I refer to as "pure" Aikido - focusing only on the principle of aiki to the detriment of any other, so as to develop the ability to find the most "aiki" movement in any given situation.

I expect controlling position is more emphasized in competition training, since the opponent is similarly trained, so controlling position becomes a bigger issue.

See for me way back at the start of this thread. I mentioned that controlling the position is important to rack on restraint and control as well.

In competition it is about being first. So that optimally you are attacking and they are defending. Like tennis when you get them running from one side of the net to the other.

But because you are equally trained your attackis matched by their defence and it is less of a game of technique but who is going to give up first.

here the attack/defend concept.
 
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Gerry Seymour

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I get the point you're trying to make, but there's a problem with your comparison. A surgeon is studying full time (with tons of overtime) to become qualified. You won't find many aikidoka who train 70 hours per week for 9 years straight. If you did find someone like that, I wouldn't mess with him.
I'd like to take this a bit further, too. I think it depends also upon the student. I was reasonably competent in NGA (my primary art) within 3-5 years, and then took another 8-10 years to really come to understand it. I can't blame that on the art, because I know others who reached that level earlier. I had wandered down a path of misunderstanding the art for a while, getting frustrated because I wasn't making progress (rather, was making it VERY slowly). When I realized I'd been looking at it wrong, I made a lot of progress in a single year.

I can't say whether this comes into play in the timing originally mentioned by the OP, but if we evaluated areas of my competence at about 6 years, you might have wondered about the art. But if you compared me to folks who'd been training the same amount of time, you might have understood the issue wasn't the art - it was me.
 

drop bear

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Not bad, so long as the students are aware of it. Most of us know we aren't learning the very most devastating things we could, because we don't want to kill everyone who attacks us - we learn some of those devastating responses, as well as a range of other responses.

I do wonder if someone who has mastery in Yoshinkan (the hardest style of Ueshiba's art I know of) might be the best to master the combat use of the softer styles - following more of Ueshiba's path.

Don't know it is a tricky dynamic.
 

Brian R. VanCise

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Personally, I have a dozen or so friends that practice either aikido or Budo Taijutsu that work in law enforcement. All have been happy with their chosen system as an adjunct to their defensive tactics training. They have all used it! Myself, I have used wrist locks a few times in handcuffing people. Tgace gives a very good description in his earlier post in this thread on his opinion of people that certain skill sets work on. Someone who is soft or a maybe is easy to work with and utilize come a longs and wrist locks. Someone who is a no person and very combative would be a significantly harder challenge.

If you are an Aikido practitioner who works hard at your craft I have total confidence that if you utilize it in the manner it was designed for that you will be successful. Not one bit of doubt here!
 
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