Misinterpretation?

Yeti

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I have a general question for any and all Aikido practitioners.

As I understand the philosophy of the art, it is to control an opponent without causing injury and/or permanent damage. But, from what I've seen of Aikido in the form of demonstrations, video clips, etc., I see a contradiction between action and words.

For example, I've seen many demonstrations where the person who is attacked very effortlessly blends with the attack, and throws the attacker. This suggests to me that the person who was attacked applied a joint lock of some type to his attacker, and that the attacker then, realizing his predicament, executed a roll/breakfall to avoid having his wrist dislocated and all his ligaments torn. This also suggests that if the attacker does NOT realize the predicament that he is in, he WILL have his wrist dislocated and all his ligaments torn. ...Isn't that injury and permanent damage?

I freely admit my knowledge of Aikido and it's inherent philosophy is limited, but that's why I'm asking the question. Have I misinterpreted the core philosphy of Aikido? Is it more fair to say that the GOAL is to avoid injuring an opponent, but that may not always be an obtainalbe goal, and that if you then must injure someone to protect yourself, then the extent to which you injure should be minimized?

I'd appreciate some direction and clarificaiton.

Yours in the arts,
 

Aikikitty

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Yes, I've thought it ironic to how Aikido is called "The art of Peace" while many of the techniques we learn in class can truly be devastating--depending on how it's done and especially if the attacker doesn't know how to fall or isn't prepared.

Aikido is still a martial art. I heard stories that the main students who trained with O Sensei used to leave the dojo bleeding all the time, and O Sensei changed in his later days with the philosophy or figured out which techniques could be done certain ways or something like that. Not sure if that's at all true or what. Anyway, the philosophy isn't kick, punch, hurt them so bad they can't get up again (although the joint locks and throws could apply to the latter). I believe (and my senseis take this view) that causing pain or injury to an attacker is optional. In other arts, when the main defense against the attack is to clash in a punch or kick, where the attacker will mostly likely be hurt, in Aikido, you are supposed to be able to control the other person's balance and either be able to get out of the way, or control them in a way that won't cause them pain (most likely) unless they continue to attack (or struggle).

So yes, I'd say from what I've seen and been taught about it, that the goal is to control the opponent without injuring them as much as possible.

Example, my older brother has down syndrome and we believe to have developed a mental illness over the years. Now he's on medication to keep him mellow and happy, but before that, he'd unpredictably go into great rages and start destroying the house and attack my mom and I (such a rage that he wouldn't know us and seriously tried to hurt us). More than once, my mom and I have succeeded in using Aikido to safely get him on the ground and keep him there until he calmed down enough for us to let him go. Before he was calm, when he'd struggle, I'd put just enough more pressure on him so he'd know that the more he'd struggle, it would get uncomfortable, and I'd let up a little as soon as he stopped. After it was all over, he was fine and wasn't hurt or even bruised at all. Sure, it was an option to use the devastating techniques and really hurt him, but we didn't need to do that--or want to since he's family and wasn't himself.

This is my take on it.

Robyn :asian:
 
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Yeti

Yeti

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Hi Robyn,

Thanks for your reply.
That makes sense and is in line with what my interpretation was.
:asian:
 

Yari

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Well. the art of peace is still in place. My definition is that I don't use more forace than nesesarry.

The techniques you've seen I think I can see. You've never push a technique through unless it was relevant.

Another part of it is what your seeing is ONE technique. If if were a real life situation, you would change your technique many times, depending on how uke is moving and the situation changes.

/yari
 
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CrankyDragon

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Also, different techniques can be more devistating than others. Also, there are variations of each technique. Also, there are levels of pressure or torque applied to each technique.

Hence, you can safely restrain a 12 year old child without injury, or generate a fair degree of damage to a street thugh. Its in the technique and form you use, and you use what is needed depending on the situation.

If someone was trying to kill you or cause you great harm, your primary objective is to not allow it. Let them use there energy to harm themselves. We execute in a non-emotional way, thus we dont do our moves out of anger, but out of logic, "I must not allow them to harm me". When someone comes onto you with great force and energy that translates into great potential (Sp?) energy that can be redirected and used against the attacker.

There are a few video clips on our school's website, feel free to view them, and please sign the guestbook.

I hope that helps some. Im still new to this art and am learning more every day. This is more of a way of life than a sport, as is most Do arts.

Thanks,
Andrew
 

Jenna

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When I read this the one thing that came to mind and that I sort of miss lately is practising with beginners or less advanced students because a beginner will give a much more HONEST response to any technique not knowing which way they are SUPPOSED to fall or go down.

I think this is why beginners are such an ASSET to any Aikido class because through their lacking experience, everyone learns. They are learning how to work a technique and more advanced students learn how to control their technique. And I think this is the key to what is being asked here and to paraphrase what Yari has said, appropriateness is of the utmost importance in maintaining the integrity of the harmony oneness or accord that is the "Ai" in Aikido.

Wrongly directed ki will EASILY result in injury no question right from the beginning. Some say the Aikido techniques are highly complex but I might disagree with that an d say the techniques are actually not so very big or clever themselves but the clever bit is in applying them appropriately quickly correctly and safely and nobody gets hurt. Or so the theory goes..... the postoperative scar on my shoulder here suggests different, LOL :)

Yr most obdt hmble srvt,
Jenna
 

Monadnock

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I don't think that by "Art of Peace" Aikido is meant to be an art where no-one gets hurt. Why did Osensei practice with bokken if not to practice cutting down another person. Without knowing proper ukemi, many techniques will surely maim someone. Even with ukemi, many techniques are "unescapeable" without injury.

Sometimes you have to take one life to save many.
 

MartialIntent

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Monadnock said:
I don't think that by "Art of Peace" Aikido is meant to be an art where no-one gets hurt. Why did Osensei practice with bokken if not to practice cutting down another person. Without knowing proper ukemi, many techniques will surely maim someone. Even with ukemi, many techniques are "unescapeable" without injury.

Sometimes you have to take one life to save many.
I would respectfully disagree with these points. The art of peace is exactly that. It doesn't always happen that way of course. But with the intent of peace and harmony was nonetheless how it was designed.

I understand completely what you are saying about ukemi but we can't expect folk in the street, who happen to want our wallet as much as we do, to know ukemi. So in order to apply the AI in these situations we don't have to complete techniques. We do what we do in our training with new folk. We take the technique to a certain point, the point at which they have no option but to move. Unlike many arts, we do not apply pain - the opponent applies it themselves by resisting. If you are aikidoka yourself you will know that it is possible once the technique is on, to hold an opponent with nothing more than the open palm of your hand and your countering bodily movement. We never grip strongly or apply great pressure and so any pain the opponent feels is generated by their own resistance. I'm sure you know what I mean - the opponent can quite happily lie stretching their ligaments in kote gaeshi and not feel any pain until they try to move or get up, right?

I mean, we don't have to flip them regardless just because it's for real because yes, the potential for injury is great from muscle tears to dislocations to the worst of all, the head injury. Let me know if that's not clear because if I'm not practising the art of peace then I have been wasting my time all these years.

Respects!
 

jujutsu_indonesia

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The Opal Dragon said:
Anyway, the philosophy isn't kick, punch, hurt them so bad they can't get up again (although the joint locks and throws could apply to the latter). I believe (and my senseis take this view) that causing pain or injury to an attacker is optional. In other arts, when the main defense against the attack is to clash in a punch or kick, where the attacker will mostly likely be hurt, in Aikido, you are supposed to be able to control the other person's balance and either be able to get out of the way, or control them in a way that won't cause them pain (most likely) unless they continue to attack (or struggle).

very true. not only aikido but the original aiki jujutsu daito-ryu is also like that. and it goes for almost all aiki jujutsu derived from daito-ryu including ours.

www.geocities.com/talenta_psi_ui/advanced_aikijujutsu_2.zip


here is a clip of daito-ryu. you can see that tori also control uke's safety, even the atemi are simulated (symbolic).
 

Monadnock

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MartialIntent said:
I would respectfully disagree with these points. The art of peace is exactly that. It doesn't always happen that way of course. But with the intent of peace and harmony was nonetheless how it was designed.

I understand completely what you are saying about ukemi but we can't expect folk in the street, who happen to want our wallet as much as we do, to know ukemi. So in order to apply the AI in these situations we don't have to complete techniques. We do what we do in our training with new folk. We take the technique to a certain point, the point at which they have no option but to move. Unlike many arts, we do not apply pain - the opponent applies it themselves by resisting. If you are aikidoka yourself you will know that it is possible once the technique is on, to hold an opponent with nothing more than the open palm of your hand and your countering bodily movement. We never grip strongly or apply great pressure and so any pain the opponent feels is generated by their own resistance. I'm sure you know what I mean - the opponent can quite happily lie stretching their ligaments in kote gaeshi and not feel any pain until they try to move or get up, right?

I mean, we don't have to flip them regardless just because it's for real because yes, the potential for injury is great from muscle tears to dislocations to the worst of all, the head injury. Let me know if that's not clear because if I'm not practising the art of peace then I have been wasting my time all these years.

Respects!

I see your point(s) so I'll add another. Maybe the art of peace was to help you find "Inner Peace."

If we all had that, maybe there would then be world-wide peace.

Defeating someone with just Tai-Sabaki vs. dislocating several joints can all lead to the same result. Why then do you think we practice both?

Respectfully,
 

MartialIntent

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Monadnock said:
I see your point(s) so I'll add another. Maybe the art of peace was to help you find "Inner Peace."

If we all had that, maybe there would then be world-wide peace.
Exactly! I only wish it was something that we all strived for. Unfortunately it isn't and is usually a long way down practitioners' lists of priorities.

Monadnock said:
Defeating someone with just Tai-Sabaki vs. dislocating several joints can all lead to the same result. Why then do you think we practice both?

Respectfully,
Taisabaki fine but personally I don't - nor have I ever in my studies been taught - to dislocate joints. I have seen it happen of course but as a result of carelessness or simple accident during randori. Where I can help it, I have never had the intent of damage. I am not naive either and do realize the necessity of these things but that doesn't take away from the physical and philosophical design of Aikido as the Way of Harmony.

Again, I appreciate this may not ring true with you if your style is different because as we all know, there are myriad flavors of aiki practise, all I can do is give you anecdote from my own experience and research and hope it is worth something.

Respects!
 
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