My theory about the practicality of Aikido

Xue Sheng

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It reminds me of Tai Chi. If you don't come in with an understanding of combat application, you may never get it without the right instructor.


Dave Hopper


And sometimes if you come to taijiquan with a prior martial art and your understanding of combat is from that prior martial arts point of view, even with the right instructor you will never get it.

BUt I do agree you need the right instructor in either case and as far as taijiquan is concered that is a lot harder to find than it sounds
 

K-man

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And sometimes if you come to taijiquan with a prior martial art and your understanding of combat is from that prior martial arts point of view, even with the right instructor you will never get it.
/QUOTE]
And, how much of that is about going to a new style with an empty cup? :asian:
 
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M

Mr. President

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​That is not what Punisher said. He said, "you will read the attack before it occurs to nullify it." That is not the same as .. "So you're saying the best Aikidokas are not the ones that react quickly, but the ones that know a specific attack is coming before the attacker thinks of launching it."

Close enough.

If you trained Okinawan Karate you would understand what I wrote about close range and reflex response.

I don't know what you're talking about. I was simply saying that he and I said the same thing, just phrasing it differently.

Your OP stated "Aikido is strictly defensive and an Aikido move cannot be initiated unless there's an incoming threat." That is not correct and I gave you one example of an attacking move that I might use in either Karate or Aikido.

All of that doesn't explain why you asked "why should I attack first?", when I never suggested you should.

My preferred option in both styles is to respond to a committed attack, not attack first
.

Mine too. That's why I asked about responding quickly to an incoming attack. I never suggested an attack should be initiated.

I'm trying to understand the purpose of this thread, and it escapes me.

Then go back to the OP. I just asked a simple question.

but I have a theory too.... that this thread is not so much about fact finding as it is style bashing

You should really come up with a new theory.
 

Drasken

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I believe it is also how you train, just like with any martial art. We would train with traditional methods and strikes in my dojo, but at the end of class we would spar against regular street techniques such as boxing punches, running tackles and other things one would possibly encounter in a real world situation. My Sensei was a Marine and he believed that a traditional foundation was important, but practicing with techniques to make sure you understand them and their applications to many different attacks was important as well.

Aikido is very useful, but this argument is like saying a weapon is not useful in real world scenarios. I would say that some martial arts are straightforward like a gun or knife. You can always get better, but proficiency takes a relatively short amount of time. Aikido is like a whip. It is amazing if you stick with it, but it takes time. And if you don't know what you're doing you could end up hurting yourself as well as your opponent, or just not be effective at all.

Also, O-Sensei did practice other harder styles before developing Aikido. Practicing other styles can help, but can also impede your learning of Aikido. We had a student come in from a Wrestling background. He just couldn't get the concept of not using power and strength to overcome an opponent. His technique was amazing, but he couldn't get the concept of blending with the attack. This resulted in injuries to training partners and himself, as eventually after arguing with him for weeks about it, we just started turning his strength fueled projections back onto him.

Training is key. How you train and also the knowledge of your Instructor and quality of that instruction.

Though I wonder how useful this post will be, I'm starting to wonder if this is all just style bashing or if the OP actually wants info to learn more of this style.
 

Xue Sheng

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You should really come up with a new theory.

OK, I have a new theory about the brontosaurus...Well, this theory, that I have, that is to say, which is mine,... is mine. This theory, which belongs to me, is as follows... This is how it goes... The next thing that I am about to type is my theory. Ready?

All brontosauruses are thin at one end; much, much thicker in the middle and then thin again at the far end. That is the theory that I have and which is mine and what it is, too.
 

Dirty Dog

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Given that your profile lists Aikido as your primary art (but does not indicate a ranking), it seems to me that you really ought to be addressing this question FIRST to your instructor. Have you done so, and if so, what was the reply?
 

K-man

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As far as I know, it is the most defense oriented martial art out there. It doesn't have any kicks, punches, knees, elbows, headbutts or any other offensive weapon. But if there's something I'm missing, fill me in.
Aikido is your listed primary art and you say this?

Mr. President said:
I used to train in Okinawan Karate and Israeli Krav Maga, but unforeseen life circumstances made me put it aside, at least for now.

You say you trained Okinawan Karate and you don't understand close quarter fighting.

I said, "If you trained Okinawan Karate you would understand what I wrote about close range and reflex response."


You said, "I don't know what you're talking about."

I said .... ​That is not what Punisher said. He said, "you will read the attack before it occurs to nullify it." That is not the same as .. "So you're saying the best Aikidokas are not the ones that react quickly, but the ones that know a specific attack is coming before the attacker thinks of launching it."


To which you responded ... "Close enough." Those concepts are poles apart.
I too have a theory.


I doubt you have trained any aikido and you have no concept of Okinawan Karate.

Am I wrong?

:asian:
 

K-man

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As far as I know, it is the most defense oriented martial art out there. It doesn't have any kicks, punches, knees, elbows, headbutts or any other offensive weapon. But if there's something I'm missing, fill me in.

Try this for no strikes aikido. This clip is Gozo Shioda, one of Ueshiba's top students.


LOL
 
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Aiki Lee

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Interesting. So you're saying the best Aikidokas are not the ones that react quickly, but the ones that know a specific attack is coming before the attacker thinks of launching it.

That's great in theory, and I'd imagine that if you're at that level, you'd be unbeatable. How can you theoretically beat someone who already knows how you're going to come at him?

Japanese martial arts have concepts called deai (initial meeting) and sen no sen (before the before), they are timing concepts but are not really about speed of movement but rather how soon you can percieve something. Deai (as taught in my school) focuses on reducing the time between thought and action and looking to reduce hesitation until movement appears to be reflexive (althought it's really not, a choice is still made). Sen no sen (or sen, sen no sen as it is sometimes called), is about getting a read on your opponents intentions. When you train seriously you should be able to feel the pressure from your opponent as if he was actively trying to hurt you. This pressure reaches a peak as someone decides to attack and as you feel that you can move during the space inbetween your oppenet's decision to attack and his actual movement of attack. By using these timing principles and with a developed sense of maai, and recognizing the posture of the opponent and what movement is natural from that posture, one should be able to accurately determine what attack is coming, when it is coming, and from what general direction.

But this doesn't make you unbeatable, it requires a fair deal of control on your part and the moment you lose connection with your opponent or no longer have control of the space then you will not be able to do this.

But realistically, what percentage of Aikidokas reach that kind of level? I would think it would take at least 15-20 years of non-stop training. Most people who take up martial arts because of necessity, prefer a somewhat less extended learning curve.

I have no idea what % of aikidoka reach this. I've just been awarded blue belt and I can do it. Of course I'm a 4th dan in aiki ninjutsu which is where I was taught how to develope this. K-Man was right in that it takes about 10 years. Anyone who seriously persues martial arts should be able to do this if they have a quality teacher.

Which also begs the question - If you're taking up martial arts because of necessity rather than a general desire to learn, should Aikido be the method you take up?

I don't think anyone takes martial arts by necessity. If your threatened daily, buy a gun. If you are looking for quick SD skills, aikido is not for you. Aikido is meant for those who are disciplined enough to devote a good chunk of their life to training (if you want to excel at it).



Does it? Just because someone raises his arm near his face doesn't mean you get grab it. It takes less than a second.

Proper feinting to set up what K-man suggests requires you get mental and physical balance of your opponent. If you hit him (or fient) at the right time, and the correct target then he will be concerned with protecting his face and not whether or not you will grab his arm. This is realitively simple.


I was just asking what kind of training in Aikido is there to focus on reducing response time to an incoming attack or successive attacks.

That depends entirely on how the instructor runs randori I think.
 

Cyriacus

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I too have a theory.


I doubt you have trained any aikido and you have no concept of Okinawan Karate.

Am I wrong?

:asian:

I also have a theory - He went to places labelled for each and got god knows what :)
 
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M

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Deai (as taught in my school) focuses on reducing the time between thought and action and looking to reduce hesitation until movement appears to be reflexive (althought it's really not, a choice is still made).

There you go. That's what I meant. I asked about that from the beginning and people like k-man went ape **** on me. All they had to do is tell me about deai.

The reason I ask about it in regards to Aikido is because it's an overwhelmingly defensive art. It's probably the least aggressive method in the world, so that leaves relying quite heavily on response, and more specifically, reducing the time period between the moment an attack is launched and the moment you react. I would imagine that if the response time is lacking, the Aikidoka could get demolished by an aggressive and quick fighter from more offensive minded methods, like Krav Maga, Muay Thai, Taekwondo and MMA, to name a few.

Not that an Aikidoka would have a reason to fight them in the first place. I'm just speaking theoretically.
 

K-man

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There you go. That's what I meant. I asked about that from the beginning and people like k-man went ape **** on me. All they had to do is tell me about deai.

If I had heard of 'deai' I would have been the first to let you know. ;) Certainly in our Aikido we have nothing along those lines. However, in karate we have 'sensen no sen' which means to attack when your opponent's intent to attack is first perceived, pre-empting your opponent's attack. Himura Kenshin's description of deai seems pretty much the same. But we don't train it as such. It develops with your overall development as a martial artist.


(And, for what it is worth, this is ape ***t :tantrum: and this is respect :asian: )

The reason I ask about it in regards to Aikido is because it's an overwhelmingly defensive art. It's probably the least aggressive method in the world, so that leaves relying quite heavily on response, and more specifically, reducing the time period between the moment an attack is launched and the moment you react. I would imagine that if the response time is lacking, the Aikidoka could get demolished by an aggressive and quick fighter from more offensive minded methods, like Krav Maga, Muay Thai, Taekwondo and MMA, to name a few.

Not that an Aikidoka would have a reason to fight them in the first place. I'm just speaking theoretically.
You say that Aikido is probably the least aggressive method in the world. On what experience do you base that? My experience is just the opposite. Where I train the Aikido is potentially totally destructive, if you wanted to go down that track. I have posted a couple of links on striking but you seem to have ignored them.

It is interesting to note that O-Sensei, the founder of Aikido has often been quoted to say,


“My technique is 70 percent atemi (striking) and 30 percent nage (throwing).”

http://seishinkanaikido.com/?p=301
The fact that some instructors do not teach the atemi is not the fault of Aikido, it is the instruction. But even having said that, I think it may have been Gozo Shioda I read about in an article where he stated that striking was taught at 5th Dan level in the earlier times. :asian:
 

blindsage

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I think there are methods in Aikido that you don't understand until you experience them first hand. I think that is where you're misunderstanding Mr. President. You're preconceptions are interfering with you comprehending the answers being provided. Go find a good Aikido instructor with an empty cup and learn.
 

Aiki Lee

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The reason I ask about it in regards to Aikido is because it's an overwhelmingly defensive art. It's probably the least aggressive method in the world, so that leaves relying quite heavily on response, and more specifically, reducing the time period between the moment an attack is launched and the moment you react. I would imagine that if the response time is lacking, the Aikidoka could get demolished by an aggressive and quick fighter from more offensive minded methods, like Krav Maga, Muay Thai, Taekwondo and MMA, to name a few.

Not that an Aikidoka would have a reason to fight them in the first place. I'm just speaking theoretically.

Least aggressive? Maybe, but aikido is often erroneously seen as reacting to an attackers physical movement. This is only at the basic level though as you improve and experience sen sen no sen consistently you learn that aikido in actual confrontations require you to take the initiative. Proper use of distance and timing and positioning allow one to bait certain attacks from someone who has committed to harming you but has not made any action yet.
For example, if I were having a heated argument with someone and I recognized he was about to attack me I can raise my hands into what appears to be a defensive " I don't want to fight" posture. What I'm actually doing is giving him a target to attack. If set up properly he will likely try to grab my hands to prevent me from blocking his punch to my head. Knowing what kind of attack (a wide swing or a linear attack) is most probable, you can set up a technique like a wrist lock.

if the attack is something completely unexpected then that's where randori training comes in. But the important part here is knowing when the attack is coming.
 

Chris Li

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Try this for no strikes aikido. This clip is Gozo Shioda, one of Ueshiba's top students.


LOL

Actually, that's Yasuo Kobayashi, not Gozo Shioda. Here are some clips of Shioda:

[video=youtube_share;XxPlQGxvoy0]http://youtu.be/XxPlQGxvoy0[/video]

Best,

Chris
 
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K-man

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Actually, that's Yasuo Kobayashi, not Gozo Shioda. Here are some clips of Shioda:

[video=youtube_share;XxPlQGxvoy0]http://youtu.be/XxPlQGxvoy0[/video]

Best,

Chris
Thank you for the correction. I don't know how that mistake came about. I had just quoted Shioda on another thread. :asian:
 

oftheherd1

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I'm gonna throw a theory out there and you tell me if it makes sense:

Because Aikido is strictly defensive and an Aikido move cannot be initiated unless there's an incoming threat, it seems that the only way Aikido can work is if the Aikidoka works extensively on cutting response time from the moment that a jab (for example) is launched until the moment you respond by moving out of the way. I was wondering if Aikidokas train just specifically on that, just on moving out of the way from very quick attacks, regardless of joint locks and throws.

Because if you response time isn't short enough, a skilled Muay Thai fighter, for instance, will demolish you with knees and jabs before you get a single joint lock on him.

Am I wrong?

I do not, nor have I ever studied Aikido. The only art I am belted in is Hapkido. In Hapkido, speed and accuracy are indeed important. I am sure they are in Aikido as well. Oh, btw, in all martial arts I have seen, speed and accuracy seem important.

In Hapkido, we are defensive as well. Just from what I have seen, more devastating from the git-go. However, in the Hapkido I was taught, just before 1st and 2nd dan black belt testing, the last gup concerns offense. Many defensive techniques can be adapted to offense very easily. I would presume at some point Aikido practitioners are taught that.
 

punisher73

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Interesting. So you're saying the best Aikidokas are not the ones that react quickly, but the ones that know a specific attack is coming before the attacker thinks of launching it.

That's great in theory, and I'd imagine that if you're at that level, you'd be unbeatable. How can you theoretically beat someone who already knows how you're going to come at him?

But realistically, what percentage of Aikidokas reach that kind of level? I would think it would take at least 15-20 years of non-stop training. Most people who take up martial arts because of necessity, prefer a somewhat less extended learning curve.

Which also begs the question - If you're taking up martial arts because of necessity rather than a general desire to learn, should Aikido be the method you take up?



That's a nice story, but I'd imagine you could replace the line "until he showed up at the Aikido dojo" with any method you want and get the "wow" effect. I'm not saying you're lying, but I am saying that anyone can make up that story. How can I possibly know whether or not it's true?



Yeah. That's basically what I said before, when I wrote "Only by getting out of the way of lightning quick and successive offensive attempts against you, can you recognize the perfect opportunity to blend with the attacker's motion in order to execute an Aikido technique to take him down."



Does it? Just because someone raises his arm near his face doesn't mean you get grab it. It takes less than a second.



Who says you should? I was just asking what kind of training in Aikido is there to focus on reducing response time to an incoming attack or successive attacks.

Yep, you probably could replace my story about Aikido with any other martial art. The point of the story was that people can apply and use it as a means to self-defense.

Look at ANY successful martial artist (even in the combat sports realm) and you will see that they read body language. It doesn't mean that you can read EVERY attack, but there are ALOT of physical and verbal "tells" in a self-defense situation. Three things that Aikido really works on: 1) Understanding yourself and finding your emotional center so you can de-escalate the situation if possible. 2) Ma-Ai or combat distance, you stay well out of his "sphere" so that if he wants to attack he has to move to get to you which gives you reaction time and a clue before he gets to your sphere. 3) Understanding body cues so that you aren't reading the SPECIFIC attack, but are reading the energy that is coming to you. Have your partner practice going to grab your lapel or push you, it is the same initial motion. Other martial arts do this as well, but we are talking about Aikido.

As to the conversation about getting the opponent to react and then applying your technique. True story from my personal experience (take it or leave it). The style I study has a move that is the same as Aikido's Ikkyu technique. While working in the jail we were getting to ready to do a cell extraction on an uncooperative inmate. I went through the door first and as I was closing in, the inmate raised his hands up in a boxer's guard. I off angled to his left side and grabbed onto his left arm and did ikkyu and took him straight down. No fuss, no injuries. So, YES you do have that chance when you recognize the positions and capitalize on it. What if he would moved it or done something else? I don't know, I would have responded accordingly.

I only studied Aikido for a short time, but found lots of value in it (just wasn't my primary art and schedule didn't allow the time to do both). But, as my primary instructor always says. If you don't have faith in what you do, then it will never work for you. That applies to whatever you do in life or the martial arts.
 

K-man

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.In Hapkido, we are defensive as well. Just from what I have seen, more devastating from the git-go. However, in the Hapkido I was taught, just before 1st and 2nd dan black belt testing, the last gup concerns offense. Many defensive techniques can be adapted to offense very easily. I would presume at some point Aikido practitioners are taught that.
We train 'irimi' or entering from an early stage. Although most training comes from a wrist grab, the wrist grab is not what non-practitioners think. (If I was to be shouted a drink every time someone said the wrist grab in aikido is BS I would never be sober! :) ) The wrist grab represents an impediment to entering. If you think about the wrist grab you will be obstructed. When you learn to ignore the wrist grab, you can enter. The gripping is a training tool where we learn to move around another person's strength. In reality the grip isn't there and you just move in. It doesn't matter if there has been a 'first move' by your opponent. :asian:
 

K-man

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I just found this in today's email from Stanley Pranin's Aikido Journal.

Atemi

The Founder can be seen applying atemi or preemptive strikes right up until the end of his life. But today, atemi have fallen into disuse in aikido. I believe this is due to a misunderstanding of its purpose. Atemi is an action used to preempt ukes aggressive intent through a distractionary manouever in the form of a strike. The use of atemi is not for the purpose of hitting or softening up uke prior to performing a technique. Its role is similar to that of the kiai in that it disrupts ukes concentration.


Beyond Sensen no Sen

A traditional explanation of strategies in a Japanese martial arts context often involves a discussion of three levels of combat initiative: go no sen, sen no sen, and sensen no sen. These strategies are defined as follows: Go no sen, meaning late attack involves a defensive or counter movement in response to an attack; sen no sen, a defensive initiative launched simultaneously with the attack of the opponent; and sensen no sen, an initiative launched in anticipation of an attack where the opponent is fully committed to his attack and thus psychologically beyond the point of no return. The latter strategy is generally considered to be the highest level in the classical martial arts scenario.
http://store.aikidojournal.com/the-...-art-hidden-in-plain-sight-by-stanley-pranin/

:asian:
 
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