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#125646 - 04/10/03 03:36 PM Bladed weapons
Cato Offline
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Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 1636
Aikido is much vaunted for its techniques for dealing with bladed weapons. However, many people think there are no effective defences against such weapons, so is aikido kidding people and giving them a false sense of security?

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#125647 - 04/12/03 04:54 AM Re: Bladed weapons
raccoon Offline
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Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 848
Loc: Victoria BC Canada
Being the lowly 5th kyu that I am, I have to say I hold no confidence in my ability to disarm using aikido techniques.

I am guessing you don't read in the self defense/ general discussion board anymore, so you missed my post on my recent failure to answer a MA equipment store keeper's test to my defense against edged weapons ... and also the posts about "Edged Weapon Tactics and Counter Tactics" written by Darren.

I am sure O'Sensei will be fine when he is confronted with edged weapons. But how many of us can walk out in one piece, if modern aikido is the only training we have?

I think I have to agree with Darren, modern aikido as an edged weapon defense program is designed to get you killed. But then you are the copper, I am sure you know better than us civvies.

This brings me back to my other post - is our aikido curriculum adequte? Surely practicing the disarm techniques is important, but is it enough to just train your student in those movement? Are aikido instructors not responsible to bring facts/ statistics (ie lies ...) about edged weapons encounters to student's awareness? In the old days, samurai learns a lot more than just how to use a sword. They train to be aware, they study about social structure and when they are at risk, and what are their potential threats etc. Can we be in budo when we only pick up the techniques? Are the techniques alone enough to help us survive/ win real violence encounters? My answer is a grim no. But then you've probably figured out I am an aikido renegade, haven't you?

-raccoon



[This message has been edited by raccoon (edited 04-12-2003).]

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#125648 - 04/13/03 05:09 PM Re: Bladed weapons
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
I'll answer mainly because you have only 1 reply. The answer is yes, they are fooling themselves. We train in several different styles of knife fighting, any of which would give an Aikidoka fits. The problem is they don't know how to REALLY use the knife or how people really hold the knife. If someone doesn't know what hes doing and holds it sabre style with a simple thrust it may work. we always make 2 cuts, if we thrust we then slice. So if you get stabbed, you get stabbed and cut, a 2-way cut, harder to stop the bleeding that way. An Aiki person stops the thrust we come back with the slice, and they usually always get nailed You come up against some one who holds the knife ice pick, or hides the knife behind the forearm, and cut in "s" like cuts its almost impossible to stop, you have to practice someone attacking that way. Aiki doesn't and would be very subject to getting hurt. I just gave a seminar on how not to do things against a knife, the most prominent were 'X blocks" and tenkan like movements.The more room you give a seasoned knive fighter, and time you give him, the more trouble you are in. The Indonesian Knife techniques are so fast, and so troublesome, I think most techniques would fail, but Aiki techniques most certainly would because they don't account for secondary cuts or counter cuts. We train more on counter cutting than any other part of our knive training. we have just about addressed cuts to any manipulation that would try and take the knife away. So yes, Aikido believes its knive defense is good, but if you study knifework an aikidoka is easy prey.

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#125649 - 04/13/03 09:54 PM Re: Bladed weapons
raccoon Offline
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Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 848
Loc: Victoria BC Canada
[QUOTE]Originally posted by senseilou:
The problem is they don't know how to REALLY use the knife or how people really hold the knife. If someone doesn't know what hes doing and holds it sabre style with a simple thrust it may work.[/QUOTE]

hmmm... I am afraid I will have to disagree. I agree aikido might not be the best edged weapon defense program; but I disagree on the reasons why it isn't effective.
We are talking about self defense here; vast majority of edged weapons attacker will conceal their weapon until they decide to use it; which means you most likely won't see it coming. If he pulls it out mid way through the fight, chances are, you won't even notice you've been cut. I don't think the knowledge of the grip is going to help you very much at all.

Where I train aikido, we learn to disarm tanto held in numerous grips. But to be honest, I don't think it matters. The biggest problem I have with aikido type EWD is that:
1) they don't inform you the stat of modern edged weapons attacks. They don't inform you what to expect. It's rediculous to think you are proficient at EWD when you train by having 2 people standing in hanmi, and the nage knows the uke has a knife. AND the uke waits until the nage is ready before he strikes.
2) they don't tell you to EXPECT yourself to get cut. Because in most cases you will. Winning/ defending against edged weapon isn't about coming out without cuts; winning means coming out alive.
3) they don't take into account how slippery it gets when there is blood. Blood has the viscousity of baby oil, which is a lot more slippery than sweat. If you think controlling the wrist/forearm is difficult when your uke is sweaty, try it when it's covered with baby oil.
6) they don't take into account the knife hand can move faster than your eye can follow, especially when you are under stress/ adrenaline dump. Trying to catch the wrist/ forearm when someone is trying to kill you, is ludicrous. You simply don't have the same level of motor control when under stress.
7) again, they don't tell you most edged weapon attack comes out of the blue - attacker will conceal it until last moment, you don't have the luxury to spot it, see how it is held and then calculate which technique is best to use.
8) based on 1 - 7, technique that says "control the wrist/hand" isn't going to work. Unfortunatelly, most aikido EWD techniques focuses on controlling elbow down. I can only imagine the surprise and despair if the aikidoka is really counting on his wrist locks...

That said, I don't know how many aikidoka are that naive. Most people I train with are aware their skills aren't good enough to save their behind; we are lucky (?) enough to have 2 ex-Hell angels in our dojo, so they are quite relentless at "hinting" the reality, too.

Sorry for another long post.

-raccoon

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#125650 - 04/14/03 12:59 AM Re: Bladed weapons
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
Sorry Cody,
I have to disagree again. If you study knife work, you will understand that the grip of how one holds the knife will dictate how he can use the knife. It is somewhat like studying body movement. You observe your attackers body posture, certain ways he will stand will dictate how he can move. If someone was backweighted in a certain stance, then you view another attacker in a 50-50 stance they will not be able to move in the same way. Certain cuts can't be made depending on how they grip the knife. Its hard to hide a knife in sabre grip. So you can see more of what is about to happen. If you can't see the knife, this is even more important that you know how one can use this. Knowing this and watching his body posture, you may be able to get lucky and avoid the first cut.
I know how you feel about your art, but you must ralize that in order to defend against a knife you need to know how to use it. Aikido in the dojo pretend to know about knife waza.They don't know or what can be done with a knife. Look at kicking. Aikidoka- don't kick so they don't know how to kick. Their kick defenses are horrible. Low kick an Aikidoka and see what happens, he will most likely try to catch it and his head is wide open. I once had a Nidan tell me I couldn't kick him, or kick and hit him. I was a lowly brown belt with some Kempo and Goju training. He decide to show everyone after class how Karate didn't work. He told me to go for it, I kicked low off my front leg and jabbed him with my front hand. They both connected. He told me this:
1. can't kick off the front leg, no body does
2. you can't punch off the front hand-no body does
3. Jabs don't count, only boxers do them
4. No body would kick then punch
5. you can't punch if I have your leg.
you can see his knowledge of Karate is limited as is his knowledge of what can be done. Same is true for knife techniques. Its a must to understand HOW one fights with a knife and you start with Grip.

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#125651 - 04/14/03 01:41 PM Re: Bladed weapons
Cato Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 1636
What is effective for defenses against bladed weapons then? Surely the problems/limitations described here are universal. A skilled knife fighter is likely to cut anyone, regardless of style and it is difficult to defend against a knife if you don't know it's there until it cuts you.

Budo

PS have we overlooked ma ai and zanshin?

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#125652 - 04/14/03 04:56 PM Re: Bladed weapons
raccoon Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 848
Loc: Victoria BC Canada
Sensei Lou,

I am sorry, too; being the stubborn beginner from hell, I have to disagree once again. No disrespect though, honest [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/frown.gif[/IMG]

I’ve studied a little bit of knife works when I was studying ninjutsu. (=_=;;…okay, can you stop laffing now?) I guess it’s not the best example, because they do specialize in being stealthy and sneaky. But you will be surprised how easy it is to hide a sabre grip… or to look like you are throwing an innocent punch/jab when you are in fact thrusting a sharp object.

If you are under survival stress reaction (SSR-“a state where a ‘perceived’ high threat stimulus automatically engages the sympathetic nervous system.” ), you might not even realize you have been cut; many edged weapons attack survivors describe it as “I thought I was being punched really hard. I didn’t realize I was stabbed until I saw the blood dripping down the knife…”

You have some good points about observing body postures to anticipate how is he going to cut when you can’t see the knife – but that basically bring us back to the assumption that you already know he has a knife. Unfortunately, vast majority of people confronting edged weapons don’t have that advantage. They think they are in a boxing match until they have been stabbed.

About aikidoka with knifes… I have no doubt most of them are quite pathetically ignorant about how knifes are used. But I don’t necessarily agree you need to be good at knife work to defend against a knife.

I think the kicking analogy might have been a little unfair. Average aikidoka are ill prepared to deal with kicks, not because they don’t know how to throw kicks, but because nobody ever teach them how to defend themselves against kicks. To say aikidoka are inadequate in dealing with kickers because they don’t know how to kick, is to challenge the principle of aikido – are you saying you cannot be effective at defending yourself if you are not good at assault? If so, then you are basically challenging the whole premise of aikido, because there is no assaulting technique in the curriculum.

Right, back to edged weapons defense. I restate my argument: aikidoka are ill prepared to deal with edged weapons assaults, not because they don’t know how to assault with a knife, but because techniques employed fail to take into account the “less than ideal” conditions during a street knife encounter. If you go back to my previous post, I think it is reasonable to conclude controlling the wrist isn’t the best EWD stretagy.

Cato> Okay, I really don’t know how to do this. I don’t like talking down to people senior to me, and I am not allowed to tell you I am only an ignorant so and so, utilizing my right of free speech. Honestly, being a civvy, I feel ridiculous to tell a cop “this is what you do when you encounter aggressions on the street…”

All that aside … right, zanshin and maai. I think those are excellent points, which goes back to my question to all traditional budo system in modern world – are we ignoring zanshin and other aspects of being a warrior, aspects aside from the pure fighting skills.

Zanshin is important. Listen to Velcro, or that clicp of the button that might indicate taking an edged weapon out of its carrier. Other gestures, such as hand hiding behind his back, up and down motion, especially around waist, should sent you alarms. Even without theses signals, I think it’s wise to make the assumption that whenever you are in a street fight, there is a possibility that you are dealing with concealed weapons, and so you should stay alert.

Maai is also extremely important. Knife is effective only at a certain range (unless it’s a throwing knife…) If you stay within that range you are at a huge disadvantage. Especially if you are a copper and you have a gun… Let me quote Darren, a local street cop with 16 years of street experience and specialize in police defense tactic:

[QUOTE]
Within its range, a Knife:

* Never runs out of ammunition
* Never jams
* Never misfires
* Rarely misses target
* Cuts bone, tendon, muscles, arteries, veins with one thrust
* Can bring about sudden shock, pain, and extended wound channels
* It has better stopping capabilities
* Is psychological defeating
* Has superior concealment capabilities
* It occupies a permanent wound channel until extracted, at which time, if the blade is withdrawn from a lung, consciousness is rapidly lost
[/QUOTE]

And while I am at it, let me cite his other studies on SSR (survival stress reaction)

[QUOTE]
Siddle’s definition of SSR as it relates to combat is: “a state where a ‘perceived’ high threat stimulus automatically engages the sympathetic nervous system.” The sympathetic nervous system is an autonomic response process which, when activated, one has little control of.” Why is SSR so important when it comes to combat/self protection? Because when activated, SSR has both a psychological and physiological effect to the body which could affect one’s perception of threat in a negative way. So what are some of these effects according to Siddle’s research?

a) Increased Heart Rate:

· We know that SSR is directly related to an increased heart rate
· At 115 beats per minute (bpm) most people will lose fine complex motor skills such as finger dexterity, eye/hand co-ordination, multi-tasking becomes difficult
· At 145 bpm, most people will lose complex motor skills (3 or more motor skills designed to work in unison)

b) Effects To Visual System:

· The visual system is the primary sensory organ of the body for those of us that can see, due to the fact that the visual system sends information to the brain that is needed during combat/self-protection
· At approximately 175 bpm, a person will experience an eye/lid lift, pupils will dilate and flatten. As this reaction takes place, a person will experience visual narrowing (commonly known as tunnel vision). This is why it is very common for a person to back up from a threat in order to get more information through this tunnel. I t is also at this point in time, that a person becomes “binocular” rather than “monocular.” This is why in Close Quarter Battle (CQB) shooting, I teach two eye “binocular” shooting rather than one eye aimed shooting.
· At 175 bpm, visual tracking becomes difficult. This is very important when it comes to multiple threats. During multiples, the brain will want the visual system to stay with what it sees to be the primary threat. Once this threat has been neutralized, the brain and visual system will then find its next threat. This is commonly known as the “light house” effect. Studies have found that a person in SSR will experience on average about a 70% decrease in their visual field. This is one reason why in combat, we need to teach students to constantly be scanning their environment, looking for the second and third opponent.
· At 175 bpm, it also becomes difficult to focus on close object. One of the first things to go under SSR is depth perception. A fighter WILL become far sighted rather than near sighted. This is why it is very common for people experiencing SSR to say that the threat was either closer or father away from where they actually were. Studies in SSR have shown that binocular fighting/shooting will improve one’s depth perception by 20-30%

c) Effects To The Auditory System:

· At approx 145 bpm, that part of the brain that hears, shuts down during SSR. This is one reason why it is not uncommon for fighters to say, “I didn’t hear that,” “ I heard voices but I couldn’t understand what they were saying,” or “I heard bits and pieces,” and “ I didn’t hear a gun shot.”

d) Effects To The Brain:

· At approx. 175 bpm, it is not uncommon for a person to have difficulty remembering what took place or what they did during a confrontation
· This recall problem is known as “Critical Stress Amnesia.” After a critical incident, it is not uncommon for a person to only recall approx 30% of what happened in the first 24 hours; 50% in 48 hors; and 75-95 % in 72-100 hours.
· At 185-220 bpm, most people will go into a state of “hypervigilance,” also commonly known as the “deer in the headlights” or “brain fart mode.” It is not uncommon for a person to continue doing things that are not effective (known as a feedback loop) or to show irrational behavior such as leaving cover. This is also the state in which people find themselves in when they describe that they can not move, yell, or scream. Once a person is caught in a state of hypervigilance, it is a downward spiral that is very tough to get out of. Once caught in a state of hypervigilance information on the threat is reduced to the brain, which leads to increased reaction time. This increased reaction time then leads to a heightened state of stress that further exacerbates hypervigilance.

e) Effects To Motor Skill performance

· At approximately 115 bpm, fine/complex motor skills become less available/effective (pulling a trigger, handling a knife), but gross motor skills turn on and become optimized

So why is this information so important? Because Siddle’s research has found the higher the heart rate, the more SSR will affect one’s perception of threat. It is this “perception” of threat that dictates one’s response options.
[/QUOTE]

I think any school claiming to train you to deal with edged weapons and potentially life threatening situation has the responsibility of giving you these data. To not do is is negligent, which again goes back to my concern about budo in modern world (I know, I am trolling)…

If you want to read the summarized article by Darren on edged weapons defense, please check out this thread (http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/Forum8/HTML/000119.html).

I also posted another article on “the way of the street, street fight 101” at the same forum under this thread (http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/Forum8/HTML/000120.html)

Sorry if I didn’t spoke in the most respectful manner. It’s exam time and SSR is getting at me…

Yours in aiki
-raccoon

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#125653 - 04/15/03 12:04 AM Re: Bladed weapons
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
Jesus H. Christ, can you possiblly write any more........I can't deal with this. I haven't read this much since War and Peace. For a beginner you sure have alot to say, or ask, or comment.. My Dad use to say I had "verbal diarrhea", I think you got written diarrhea......Anyway, I will only address the kick issue with Aikido. You want to disagree fine, its ok, but I think you need to open up and think this out for a minute. When you practice kick defense in the Aikido dojo are the kicks very good? Now honestly tell me that the kicks in your Aiki dojo are on the same level as your Karate dojo. You know they are not. So when you defend against a person who doesn't know how to kick to begin with, how can you practice effectively. Everyone in my Aiki dojo thought they knew how to kick, none however could kick high enough(maybe because of the hakama)to work on the kicks. All kicks were front snap kicks. My son and I were the only ones who could kick(because of our Kempo background)above the waist. They always used us as uke, 10 Black Belts in class but the little blue belts were the uke. Problem was when we kicked they couldn't deal with them because they never practices against someone who could truly kick.We were told to kick slow so the technique could be done. Many times we would do a kick and hold it in position for them to do technique. Kind of ridiculous isn't it. I whole heartedly believe the more you know about something the easier it is to defend against something. Do a crescent kick to an Aikido person and if he sees the initial kick movement and goes to tenkan, an outside crescent will hit him. He needs to know how kicks work to defend against them. Same for strike, ever seen Aiki people handle hooks, jabs crosses or uppercuts, very rarely and you know why, because they don't practice them and when or if they do them, its not done correctly. In Aikido how many different punches do you deal with? How many do you use in Karate? If by the nature of Aiki that they won't learn to kick or use other attacks, they will never be able to recreate the real attack only pretend.

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#125654 - 04/15/03 12:46 AM Re: Bladed weapons
raccoon Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 848
Loc: Victoria BC Canada
Sense Lou,

I am sure we can agree to disagree =)

BTW, about verbal / keyboard diarrhea...

I was taught, "those who know, do not speak. Those who speak, do not know" I sure hope when I am no longer a beginner, I won't talk as much [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG]

-raccoon

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#125655 - 04/15/03 04:42 PM Re: Bladed weapons
Cato Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 1636
Kicking in combat? Not to be recommended if you ask me. I've seen countless fights and I've yet to see an effective kick above the waist in any of them. The problem is that unless your kick finishes the encounter there and then (and let's face it, most of them wouldn't) you are extremely vulnerable to a counter.

The only way I've seen to deal with a good kicker is to avoid their kicks. You can't effectively block a strong kick, legs are so much more powerfull than arms. I think aikido is one of the best arts for learning how to avoid an attack, and so by default it also teaches how to deal with a kick.

I don't subscribe to the idea that you need to be good at something to be effective in defending it as well. Aikido teaches us to aviod attacks rather than try to defend every one. Can aikidoka defend against kicks? Of course they can, just like raccoon said, by avoiding them.

Now raccoon. I agree with almost everything your friend says, but I fail to see how that helps to defend against knife attacks. Perhaps I missed something?

Budo

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