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#125675 - 04/11/03 12:57 AM trainings on the mats - is it adequate?
raccoon Offline
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Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 848
Loc: Victoria BC Canada
Not wanting to hijack Cato’s “morality” thread, allow me to post something a little different (but perhaps redundant).

What good is martial training if we are being taught 50 ways to lock a wrist, but not one minute of our training is spend on the art of negotiation, or verbal redirection, or situational awareness, or threat recognitions etc?

Are we at risk of putting too much emphasis on technical advancement and losing sight to non-physical/ technical aspects of harmonizing? Is the current budo community as a whole, placing too much emphasis on pure fighting ability, and not enough emphasis on different “facets” of violence? How many of us are taught awareness in everyday life, such as the risk of hands in pocket on the street; or both legs in pants when “emptying bowel”? How many of us learn to recognize signs of potential violence out break? The most potentially violence place/ situation in current society? How many of us think of budo as a noble thing and could not possibly imagine someone striking you when you have your guards down?

I know I am guilty of most of the above. I also know I’ve only been to one dojo so far that even scratches the surface of all these.

So I guess my question really is, is our training method/ curriculum well developed to create “harmonizers”?

Yours in aiki
-raccoon


[This message has been edited by raccoon (edited 04-11-2003).]

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#125676 - 04/11/03 01:33 AM Re: trainings on the mats - is it adequate?
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
I hate this, trying to put something in words that needs a sit down. However, harmonizing, how is hitting someone in the face harmonizing? So its just not Aiki locks that need to address harmonizing. But let me ask, isn't that smack to the chops necessary sometime? Isn't that lock or break necessary at times. Gun in my face you will lose your wrist or fingers. It is necessary at times. I think that one reason a 'value system' is not stressed is everyone has their own. Some may listen to their Sensei, but those who train to learn to fight, are not going to abide by the defense only deal. Also you have people taken the arts into the sports arena and they are looking for titles and ranking and such. No teaching a value system will work.I have seen people who are die hard Sensei's pets, and listen to him as if he were a Guru, but remember, its his value system too. i know of a sensei who use to carry salt in his pockets, he would start a fight, throw salt in the opponets eyes, then beat the hell out of the guy. He never lost a fight, I wonder why. His students were basically the same way until one student realized he was fighting Sensei's fight for him, and it was wrong. Ooops different value system. Sensei being from Old Okinawa saw nothing wrong with what he was doing, his students did. Now he is a sweet old guy who tells his students not to fight at all costs. Oooops different value system again. So if you interested in complete training, develope your own value system, decide what is fighting for and what isn't, take your training off the mat and apply it to everyday life. Everyone needs a code, a "Do" a way that you will address your art and how you will use it. I call it your niche, maybe you heard that before?

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#125677 - 04/11/03 01:55 AM Re: trainings on the mats - is it adequate?
raccoon Offline
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Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 848
Loc: Victoria BC Canada
[QUOTE]I call it your niche, maybe you heard that before? [/QUOTE]

Perhaps I've heard that one before, geez does it ring a bell... [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG]

But... are you saying there is no principle in the art we train in? Surely people come in to look for sport, or self defense course, or socialization. But if that's their main focus, perhaps they are in the wrong place?

Sure, when the event gets violent, you need to address that. If it takes a punch to the face to put the situation under control, I have no qualms about that. But hey, haven't you ever asked yourself, "Why didn't I see it coming all along? All the signs are flashing in my face!"? Have you not been in situations where it only takes a smart mouth, or backing down, or some empathy, to redirect a potentially violent outbreak? Why do our training put so much focus on the actual fight, and so little on everything else around the fight. In a street situation, how many seconds does a fight usually take? How many minutes, scratch that, I mean hours, days, were things set up and eventually escalated into a violence outbreak?

Or are we arguing that budo is purely about fighing, and not about controlling/preventing/stopping violence?

yours argumentativelly (*guilty look)
-raccoon

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#125678 - 04/11/03 04:21 AM Re: trainings on the mats - is it adequate?
JKogas Offline
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Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
I might also ask, what good is it if the training is not realistic? I don't train with you, so I cannot say whether or not your "randori" is of a street reality. Do your partners help you train by throwing "real" shots to your head while you try and hit your wrist locks?

That's something that must be in place in my opinion. Correct me if I'm wrong.

-John

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#125679 - 04/11/03 04:59 AM Re: trainings on the mats - is it adequate?
raccoon Offline
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Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 848
Loc: Victoria BC Canada
Mr. Kogas>

I am sorry I didn't made myself clearer. I agree training is no good if it isn't as realistic as possible. And I will tell you my personal stance: I simply don't view those who spend all their sparring/randori time playing tag games/ dance as martial artists. If they enjoy making their sports/ dance hold resemblance to some traditional budo form, I hold nothing against them. Personally I think golf is pretty lame, but if you like to call that a "sport"? Who am I to stop you?

BUT, the point of this thread is: is there more to handling / preventing violence than just the physical fighting techniques? From reading your posts in other forum, I see that you consider yourself a fighter, and not a "martial artist". I have nothing against that, I personally train with a few kick boxers/ shoot fighters who fight professionally for money, and they are damn good fighters. But this thread IS about traditional budo, which (imho) encompasses more than just pure fighting.

BTW, in case you are still thinking us traditionalists are defenseless wusses who play only tag games and compliance dance sequences - let me throw in my own defense. In fact I think this point has been repeated to you a few times: budo ARE practiced with contact and at different ranges for hundreds of years; realistic fighting training is very traditional. It's the new age american day-care business that try to make a safe sport for children to play, and sell their day-care package as safe and fun activities that come with a mysterious reputation of forging virtuous values.

Sorry if I over reacted. I just think your point of "aliveness/ reality training" has been repeated enough of times. It's a valid point ane well intended, but... may I have your permission to discuss something else?

Thanx for allowing this thread to stay on topic.

yours sincerely,
-raccoon

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#125680 - 04/11/03 04:42 PM Re: trainings on the mats - is it adequate?
Cato Offline
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Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 1636
Oh, that's right...just hijack my "morality" thread why don't you. It's not as if I have many threads going as it is. [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG] [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG] [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG]

Shouldn't martial arts be solely about fighting? Anything else might well be considered subordinate to the main purpose.

We do learn other things like zanshin that may help to recognise the onset of a fight, but by and large martial arts are by definition the arts of fighting, not the arts of NOT fighting. That would be called running away, which most martial artists would not approve of.

Budo (with tongue placed lightly in cheek)

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#125681 - 04/11/03 06:08 PM Re: trainings on the mats - is it adequate?
raccoon Offline
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Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 848
Loc: Victoria BC Canada
Yea buddy, give me a break! I found a chance to start a thread with my own name, am I going to let it slip??

Mr. V and his fellowship of Brits are already taking over the whole General Discussion AND self defense board. Am I going to hand this board over to you? Dude! Think twice [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG] [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG] [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG]

I am prepared for war, do your worst!

-raccoon (with high spirit and tongue in cheek)

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#125682 - 04/14/03 01:49 PM Re: trainings on the mats - is it adequate?
Cato Offline
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Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 1636
I conceed defeat...this tiome. Only because you asked a very good question though!

I think it is vitally important to aurment fighting skills with de-escalation tactics. But I'm not sure that it is the place of martial arts to teach them. Most martial artists don't have the experience or knowledge to teach how to handle violent encounters. I know I don't have any fail safe ways og avoiding a fight and I've spent my life trying to do just that.

As ever John gets on his "train realistic" bandwagon, but I think he misses the point. It is simply not possible to train realistically. You can train against a resisting training partner but that is nothing like fighting a determined aggressor.

Budo

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#125683 - 04/14/03 07:45 PM Re: trainings on the mats - is it adequate?
joesixpack Offline
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Registered: 02/04/02
Posts: 2282
Loc: Australia
I don't think it matters, if you posess with competence, a will to "lay them down" in order for self preservation.

Hurt the bastards.

You must train to hurt the other person if you are uke, coming in with an attack.

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#125684 - 04/14/03 08:21 PM Re: trainings on the mats - is it adequate?
raccoon Offline
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Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 848
Loc: Victoria BC Canada
Joe6p,

Aaah, I have to disagree again.

I don't know what it means to "posess with competence", but if it's just strength/ fighting skill that you are referring to...

when you are engaging with someone, you can either be stronger or weaker...

In a street confrontation, many factors can decide whether it escalates into fights, if it does, whether anyone get hurts, how badly hurts, and at the end of the day... who comes out alive.

And as far as I understand, fighting ability is only a small factor that affects those outcomes.

On the street, fighting ability doesn't play nearly as big a role as it does on the ring. Which is the main point of this thread.

Now... I agree in training, senarios/ paired work should be made as realistic as possible. However, I disagree with the "hurt the bastard". For me, winning in a street confrontation means coming out in one piece. The best way to achieve it is to de-escalate so that I don't have to fight to start with. If it breaks into a fight, sure, self persevation is an important goal. And if it takes some offensiveness for you to get out, I am not going to be criticizing. But to hold "hurting the bast**d" as a goal of the conflict... it simply doesn't sit well with the aikido mentality (protect all being, including the aggressor). In fact, if you ask me, it disagrees with all budo principles.

Just some thoughts as an aikidoka.

-raccoon

[This message has been edited by raccoon (edited 04-14-2003).]

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#125685 - 04/15/03 01:09 AM Re: trainings on the mats - is it adequate?
joesixpack Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/04/02
Posts: 2282
Loc: Australia
More than ability/competence, although that's what I primarily mean. If you can properly put in rapid fire combos and execute throws, restraints and finishing blows, you are better off than someone who can't.

if you can punch faster and hit weak points (or use one finger strikes to the throat and knees to the gorin,) and methodically engage each target after one is put down, so to speak, this is hardly going to be the method an agressor uses, i.e, once engaged, threats are taken out quickly as possible

if an aikido ka can efficiently and effectively throw (harshly) and break joints (extensions of locks) and use force to redirect into atemi into vital points, my money is on them.

awareness

use of surroundings as weapons

the will to hurt to deter harm, maim to deter maiming, and kill to deter being killed

experience

confidence

technical superiority

"jissen" experience i.e, can deal with pain, being hit, whereas unlikely agressor, still dangerous, conditions for blows

trained for "mutal combat" (fighting, ring combat) and "self defense", (moves used to maim or incapacitate, out of kata or taught in sequence)

other than that, the trained fighter has a big upper hand, besides a group exceeding three or more, knives and firearms.

train to hurt, maim and even kill. The thought of putting my fingers through someone's eyes or my foot through their knee used to make me cringe, but training to not care when appropriate stops you and others from being harmed from agression

doesn't some aikido train in jo and other cudgel type weapons that may be improvised in a confrontation? Surely, that is an advantage?

Yeah, deescalate or if possible, ignore or avoid them, but if pushed ot cornered, you need to open a can of whupass to preserve yourself, and teach them a "lesson in harmony".

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#125686 - 04/15/03 02:02 AM Re: trainings on the mats - is it adequate?
raccoon Offline
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Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 848
Loc: Victoria BC Canada
Thanx for the explanation joe, that's great. It 's scary to realize the only thing I have in this list is jissen experience. Now I have to look for more stuff to augment my training x__x

Another question for you, how does an aikidoka throw "harshly"? Doesn't the intensity of the throw depend on how commited the attacker is? Or are you suggesting you can add more to it by, say, using muscle, or more rotation?

Aaiiee, train to maim. Somehow that doesn't sound very aiki to me [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG]

-raccoon

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#125687 - 04/15/03 01:46 PM Re: trainings on the mats - is it adequate?
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
Real quick here. it is fine to believe that you can use 100% of your attackers energy to throw him, but many times he doesn't give you a full fledged attack. No matter what you say about Aiki principles, when you throw someone you have to add you own
force/momentum/energy/ to the throw. Look how many times in the dojo you go to throw someone only to find you didn't get their balance immmediately, you have to add your own whatever to complete the throw. No one is going to throw himself and most of the time a person will attempt to regain his lost balance. A principle of nature is we always seek natural centers. when you lose your balance whats the first thing you do, try to regain it. Its a law of nature, we always try to keep physically balanced(should mentally too).
Throwing harshly, is nothing more than the amount of your energy/momentum/force even ki that you add to the technique. Also, alot of the leverage you create can dictate the harshness of the throw. We use the chin for Iriminage, with a heel palm, we generate more whatever you want to call it, we call it force, because the lever is the chin, and you get more torgue to the throw. You can also add hip rotation to throws which will create more power as well. Aiki principle is great, but when you go to use it must be amended, just like Bunkai in kata. Done in kata one way, applied in another. Aiki is the kata in the dojo, the application is what makes it work for real.Form vs. funtion. The function of the throw should be to put your attacker where you want him and that he can't continue to fight. If one does a kokyu nage, and the person rolls out or doesn't roll, you still have a fight on your hands. People need to remember that Aiki can be made to be self-defense techniques, and with all the philosophy and everthing it still needs to work

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#125688 - 04/15/03 03:38 PM Re: trainings on the mats - is it adequate?
UKfightfreak Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 2599
Loc: San Francisco
Well I have nearly been started on many times (wonder why?), always manage to talk my way out of the situation (once surrounded by 6 blokes!).

Secret is - make sure there are no losers, your opponent doesn't want to lose face and you do not want to be seen as weak.

There are self protection (not self defence) systems which teach this out there but most Martial Arts have evolved from the battle field so this need for verbal skills has never developed.

Shame really...

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#125689 - 04/15/03 05:11 PM Re: trainings on the mats - is it adequate?
raccoon Offline
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Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 848
Loc: Victoria BC Canada
In response to the defeated Cato...

[QUOTE] I'm not sure that it is the place of martial arts to teach them. Most martial artists don't have the experience or knowledge to teach how to handle violent encounters. I know I don't have any fail safe ways og avoiding a fight and I've spent my life trying to do just that.[/QUOTE]

why isn't martial arts the place to teach that?
Because the instructors don't qualify?
Then shouldn't we seek qualified persons in the art to teach the arts?
There are many on this forum who question those who never had to fight on the street to preach self defense. How about those who have never been to war and never had to kill teaching martial arts? Are we saying we should ignore some important aspect of martial training because most people in the arts don't already have the training/ qualification to teach it? But how will people in the art ever have the qualification to teach it if we don't start training them?
In another thread, you questioned the practice of old weapons. You criticized it as turning martial arts into some kind of historical preservation society, when they should be self preservation. I take it that you think traditional budo should keep evolving to suit present time. Then perhaps we should consider things other than wrist locks that would suit peacemaking/ self preservation in modern society?
I am not only talking about verbal de-escalation. I am talking about many other aspects that traditional budo practioners seem to fail to address. Things such as recognising potential threats; things such as awareness. I remember watching a Hong Kong movie when I was a kid. A very memorable scene was a professional assasinator going to sleep, she had to balance a empty water bottle upside down in front of her bedroom door. She then places a coin on top... and she slept, and her sleep was light. And when the lightest vibration tilted the bottle and the coin falls, she bonces out of bed with pistol in hand. Now, I know that's movie... but I think that's a good illustration of zanshin in modern world. If things that no longer hold importance in modern world should be thrown away, shouldn't we introduce things into our art that pertains to the aiki principle - to be expertly efficient at self persevation and violence/ conflict handling that the practioner no longer needs to be aggressive, angry, and in fear, because the potential aggressors is no longer a threat?
Surely in feudal Japan, students in budo studies more than just sword fighting techniques. Like Sensei Lou indicated, many of them studied war strategy. They study habits of their foes and they study their enviromnemts. I never really buy into those tea ceremony and calligraphy things, but I am sure there reasons are why samurai were educated those. Now, if we throw those traditions away because they are no longer relevant to modern society... shouldn't we introduce similar activities that would keep our arts wholesome?

Just some thougts.

-raccoon

[This message has been edited by raccoon (edited 04-15-2003).]

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#125690 - 04/15/03 07:54 PM Re: trainings on the mats - is it adequate?
Cato Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 1636
Okay, let's step into the real world for a moment. Martial arts will not make anybody a lethal killing machine. Sure, the techniques are based upon those used in actual combat, and have been devised by people who actually had to rely upon them, but most if not all modern practitioners do not train in the same way as samurai did. Thankfully.

Our martial arts are idealisations. They may help you to defend yourself sgainst a clumsy mugger, but they are not about killing anyone. You are learning a way in which you could theoretically kill someone, but it is my bet that to actually do so is beyond most martial artists because they don't train to do so. There is a whole lot more to killing someone than knowing a technique or two that might help you do so.

Now, what you propose is that martial arts instructors start teaching stuff they have no knowledge of, or even anything upon which to base their teachings. What do you suggest they do? They should perhaps just guess? Maybe make it up as they go along? While we're at it why not get them to teach first aid, that's fairly relevant to combat too.

Of course we could seek out people who are qualified to teach these things, but who exactly qualifies?

Alternatively, there are a number of "new" systems that do address these concerns. Exactly where they get information from is somewhat vague, but what the hell. They're probably right.

Martial arts should evolve to some extent and change with the times, but we also need to accept that there are limitations on what a style of fighting can teach us.

Martial arts instructors are people who have a little knowledge of a system of fighting techniques, no more and no less. For the most part they aren't even professionals and they "work" in an unregulated field. We already have more bogus, half trained, ill informed half wits teaching martial arts, do you really want them to start teaching psychology and physiology as well? There is a saying that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. In this context I think it is.

Just some thoughts of my own. [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

Budo

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#125691 - 04/15/03 09:20 PM Re: trainings on the mats - is it adequate?
joesixpack Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/04/02
Posts: 2282
Loc: Australia
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Cato:
Okay, let's step into the real world for a moment. Martial arts will not make anybody a lethal killing machine. Sure, the techniques are based upon those used in actual combat, and have been devised by people who actually had to rely upon them, but most if not all modern practitioners do not train in the same way as samurai did. Thankfully. [/QUOTE]

Whoa whoa whoa! That just means that most people do not train diligently enough.

There is no need for new systems unless the old ones deteroriate and decay - lie many have. But human nature has not changed for 65 000 000 years.

Yeah, but you SHOULD be taught physiology and psychology - even if your lazy, half witted instructor tells you to go the library and read Jung and Gray's anatomy. Leanring how to descalate situations and how the human body works is invaluable.

The International Ryukyu Karate Research Society's one year university course teaches many things, including these.
http://www.society.webcentral.com.au/instructors.htm

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#125692 - 04/16/03 05:23 AM Re: trainings on the mats - is it adequate?
Cato Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 1636
Sorry Joe, I'm off on my high horse once again [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG]

I personally don't know of anyone who practice in the same way as samurai used to. I do know a lot of people who I consider train dilligently. In order to prepare for the taking of life samurai started training very young, by cutting up cadavres. They also lived in a society which placed no value on the life of a peasant. Killing one did not bring all the attendant emotions associated with killing today. They became de-sensitized to killing.

Most people these days would have trouble killing a cat that had been run over and was in pain. It really isn't that easy. I think human nature has changed considerably in the last 1000 years, never mind 65 000 000 years!!

It takes a certain mindset to cope with something as traumatic as killing another person. Martial arts training doesn't even begin to address that. Soldiers are taught from day one to kill, yet when it comes to hey lads hey, many of them can't do it one on one.

My contention about psychology is really very simple. You can't be taught anything by someone who isn't qualified to teach it. You can sit around and talk about it, you can share opinion on it, but you can not be taught a single thing. Mis information is far worse than no information at all.

Suppose my sensei tells me that the danger signs at the beginning of a conflict are A,B and C. What qualifies him to teach that? My sensei knows infinitely more about MA's than I do, but I will have had far more violent encounters than he has. Just because he knows MA's it doesn't follow that he also knows the psychology and physiology of a fight.

Budo

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#125693 - 04/16/03 06:11 AM Re: trainings on the mats - is it adequate?
raccoon Offline
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Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 848
Loc: Victoria BC Canada
sorry for double posting

[This message has been edited by raccoon (edited 04-16-2003).]

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#125694 - 04/16/03 07:07 AM Re: trainings on the mats - is it adequate?
raccoon Offline
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Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 848
Loc: Victoria BC Canada
perhaps your sensei can get you to teach that class?

How about a show and tell once a month, having student teaching their expertise?

It's done in a ninjitsu school I visited. It's also done in many ninjitsu school worldwide. I know how you feel about the art - but lets not bash it because you havent trained in it and don't know very much about it. But rather, consider maybe there is something we can learn from how they teach?

I agree no one but the expert should teach the subject. A man cannot possibly be a master in all trades. I don't ask the same sensei who teaches you koshinage and corrects your ukemi to teach the verbal de-escalation class. I am suggesting verbal de-escalation be part of aikido training.

Getting students with street experience AND good understandings in aikido principles to teach, may be a good place to start. In fact, I think I am talking to one.

-raccoon

P.S.> Perhaps we are losing our art because majority of us no longer train in ways that has any resemblance to samurai? I have been really thinking hard lately, we like to criticize other school as "rainbow warrior dojo", "McDojo", "Bad Budo" so much. But perhaps we all practice bad budo, because we make excuses and allow ourselves to not apply our art in every aspect in life.



[This message has been edited by raccoon (edited 04-16-2003).]

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#125695 - 04/16/03 02:23 PM Re: trainings on the mats - is it adequate?
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
and the circle continues............Its 2003, not 1603. Cato is right, we don't train like Samurai. Racoon, Ninjitsu does not train like Ninjas use to. Its not the same generation.Ninjitsu, preserves a historical culture, but you can't train in steath tody, they way they did. Nor can we ride on hoseback with 3 different swords today.
If you ask a person from every generation from 1600 to 2000 to make a doll, the base would be the same, a doll, but each genration of doll would look different. To magnify this, ask someone from the 50's to a doll and someone now, and see the difference. Look at Barbie and how she evolved.
As Cato said, Society has evolved, and arts must evolve with it. Its great to learn physchology, and philosophy but what if you are learning this from a Sensei who lived in Japan, Okinawa or China, there philosophy will be different, than one who lived here there entire life. Are they a product of the 50's-60's or 70's, that will dictate their philosophy also. A Sensei once told me it wasn't his job to enlighten me, or teach me his set of values. He was a biker and saw things much different than his Sensei, so he felt it wrong to influence my way of thinking.
Cato talked about danger signs, do you really think what your Sensei views as danger you will also.
we have to have our own philosophy, and if you don't have one-get one-develope one, at least it will be yours and not one told to you. In another thread we talked about prejudices, everyone has them, so we need to do what is best for us now, not what happened in 1600, or pretending to be something we are not. we are not Samurai, we can not practice like them, no one is paid to be a Samurai today, or a Ninja either. If you want to pretend to be one, thats fine but its not the real thing. We have stealth planes that drop bombs from 5 miles up, and special forces with high technology, Samurai and Ninja days are gone. There codes are fine, but their practice is outdated.

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#125696 - 04/16/03 03:27 PM Re: trainings on the mats - is it adequate?
raccoon Offline
Enthusiast

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

Once again, I think you've misinterprete what I said.

All I am saying is, in old days, warrior study a wholesome art. Today, we don't.

If, aikido's purpose is to preserve peace and self, and if some of the original work is no longer relevant to current society, I am arguing that maybe we should adapt the art so that it still pertain to peacekeeping, but perhaps not through traditional means, such as handling katana.

If ninjitsu is about always being prepared to persevere through any situation and never be surprised; and if scaling wall and riding horses doesn't suit modern day anymore, I am arguing we should learn survival in modern world, on top of fighting skills. To me, learning to use GPS properly is very ninja.

All I am trying to say is that we no longer approach our art in a well rounded manner. It has became a hobby, not a way of life. In the past, you are a ninja, you conceal your identity while going about your daily life. You might be a farmer or kabuki or cook or whatever, you are always careful to conceal your identity and you are always observing and aware. The same goes for peasants who trained karate; they are aware when they aren't training. When samurai aren't fighting, they are still aware. They don't sit cross legged, they learn to sit in ways so that their leg doesn't get in the way of drawing; they keep a shorter sword at the out house, they never bathe without a knife near by... those are practiced because that's part of being warriors.

Of course, I am not saying we are to replicate the practice, I am saying we should make an effort to keep our art well rounded and address aspects other than wrist locks that pertains to harmoniously dissolving aggressions. (in terms of aikido). Ever heard of the saying, "Don’t seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old, seek what they sought."?

And FYI, I don't think I am a ninja just because I have some training. I don't think I am a samurai just because I train iaido. I understand and agree the days for carrying katana and riding horses are gone. I do not live in a fantasy world, I understand
the political climate that spawned the Ninja as a class of people no longer exists any where in the world today. I simply argue that the ideas, spirit, and traditions can be continued and made useful by those in modern day society. I believe the spirit of the ninja/ samurai/ warrior is alive and well. I think that every armed forces in modern times have borrowed techniques from the pioneer commandos of ancient Japan. And if you look at it in that context, perhaps the real ninja are in special forces or special operations groups these days.

To summarize, I think there has always been more to budo/bujitsu than pure fighting skill. To practice only fighting skill and ignore other aspect, is to mutilate the integrety of the art.

yours respectfully but argumentativelly,
-cody

(Please don't get mad sensei Lou, I just really believe in the things that I am saying and I really believe there are flaws in how we practice these days. I hope you know I respect you a whole lot. I am sorry for being argumentative. Please forgive!)

[This message has been edited by raccoon (edited 04-16-2003).]

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#125697 - 04/17/03 01:43 AM Re: trainings on the mats - is it adequate?
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
No need for the aplogy, you are perfectly correct in your feelings, and are to be admired for your view. I do believe however that your outlook will change as you mature(shuhari process) in your training. Nothing is as it seems, and I think you will come to see this.
If you truly want to be well rounded, both on the mat and off the mat training, that is great. I tell my students to learn the art of :
telling someone to go to hell, and they leave right away, hopefully without any provocation.
However, well rounded needs to start somewhere, and as a beginner you need to get basics down, a foundation for your house. You can not expect a beginner to understand certain things until he devlopes. Thats why you see people moving on after Black Belt, the world you see is a bit different. If you look at it its like grade school (basics)then high school(here you tell the teacher what they want to hear, you don't think, you study and remember)then College. Here is where you develope your thesis, and use the knowledge you have recieved in your early years. I think to be well rounded it has to start on the mat, do your time, and train, then analyze where your at(critically analyze) In Chuck Norris's book Zen in Everyday Life, he talks of keeping the wheel round. Each spoke of the wheel represents an aspect of your life or training. Spokes in training could be viewed as :
are my strikes as good as my locks
are my blocks as good as my kicks
and so on and so on. If you heed this, you will always be working something. I took 10 years out of my Jujutsu training to work on my striking so my striking would be equal to that of my locking, then you add grappling, and everything need to be equal.
Off the mat,
am I as good a husband as Sensei
am I as good a friend as I am a husband
am I as good a father as a husband.
Once again you are always seeking to improve some area. I try to be a good Sensei, the best I can, without sacraficing my family or friends. To me, being well rounded, centered, is very important. So you have nothing to worry about, and if I were upset, that would be my problem not yours. I would have to question what kind of Sensei I would be if I get upset at someone voicing their opinion. Also how else will you see things if I get mad and not say anything. don't worry about me, keep you eyes and your mind open, and be like a sponge and just absorb knowledge, thats what its all about, not some old, as you and Cato say, un-photogenic Sensei

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#125698 - 04/17/03 01:51 AM Re: trainings on the mats - is it adequate?
raccoon Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 848
Loc: Victoria BC Canada
Thank you Sensei Lou!!! I was so worried I keep checking back every 5 minutes to get ready to apologize ;__; Silly me!

Thanx again, here is a cyber hug from me - [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG]-

-Cody

[This message has been edited by raccoon (edited 04-17-2003).]

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#125699 - 04/17/03 02:19 PM Re: trainings on the mats - is it adequate?
Cato Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 1636
Aaw, It's all turned out nice again. I hate it when that happens [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG]

I think you are quite right raccoon, it is all about how we practice. I practice MA's because I enjoy it. It is, if you like, my hobby. It is not my life. I don't live to train, and I don't apply MA's to everything I do. I don't think many of us would qualify as martail artists in the traditional sense, because how many of actually train because we need to in order to survive? Times change, whether that is a good thing or bad thing is a matter of opinion.

And, just to finish with a flourish, here is a cyber poke in the eye for you all from me. [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/mad.gif[/IMG]

Budo

[This message has been edited by Cato (edited 04-17-2003).]

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#125700 - 04/17/03 05:37 PM Re: trainings on the mats - is it adequate?
raccoon Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 848
Loc: Victoria BC Canada
Cato. do me a favor and get your four legged, hairy friend to give you a hearty bite! (And you know which friend I am talking about!! [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/wink.gif[/IMG])

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