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#126693 - 08/18/03 01:47 PM Aikido: a method of not fighting?
Joe Jutsu Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/09/03
Posts: 575
I don't know where I've read it, but I believe Ueshiba sensei has been quoted as saying something to the effect of Aikido teaches us how not to fight. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that for a long time he would only accept students with dan grades in other MA's, students who presumably already knew how to fight.

I was at a friends party the other night, and hanging out with a secluded group of friends upstairs in my friend's bedroom, chatting away from the masses. Out of nowhere, this belligerent drunk comes busting in, demanding that someone tell him that the guy he was pointing to was such and such's little brother, or else he was going to beat his ass. He was pointing at a friend of mine, who is anything but a fighter and one of the nicest guys you could hope to meet. It turns out that the belligerent drunk and his goons had been causing trouble earlier downstairs, and my girlfriend confronted them about it. So he was pissed off at my friend for letting my girlfriend cut in line in front of them to go to the bathroom. Hmm... hope that made sense.

But anyway, I stood up and calmly told him that I was not going to allow him to beat up my friend. He asked me what I was going to do about it, and I repeated, I'm not going to allow you to beat up my friend. I tried to explain to him how my friend was such a nice guy and not a fighter, but his aggression had now been turned on me. I remained calm the best I could, but at that moment I sort of doubted my aikido [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/frown.gif[/IMG]. I was worried that I was going to have to plant my elbow in his jaw or something, because he was in range and I did not want to let him have the first swing because I was sure there was going to be a fight. I tried to remain calm, but I felt I lost my center. The adrenaline was more than pumping, but I was resolute and not giving in. At that moment, he backed down. I told him he should leave the party, and he and his five friends did.

I went way out of my way to avoid fighting this arse, after being called a "nigger" amongst other things. Truth be told, I was scared to death. I didn't want to fight, and was really more afraid that I would hurt him and get in trouble than I was him landing a few blows. It wouldn't be the first time that I've taken a few knocks and I know that I'd be alright.

But at the moment of conflict I doubted my aikido. Do you think aikido saved me in this situation, or did I fail it especially in looking for an opening to land a hard blow to end it quick?

Sorry for the long post I just had to get that out.

Joe

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#126694 - 08/18/03 02:52 PM Re: Aikido: a method of not fighting?
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
Originally posted by Joe Jutsu:
"I was worried that I was going to have to plant my elbow in his jaw or something, because he was in range and I did not want to let him have the first swing because I was sure there was going to be a fight."

Hi JJ

I won't comment on the philosophical question you raise but on a more practical note.
If you were sure that there was going to be a fight, letting him get to where you could plant an elbow in his jaw is letting him get too close.

You had already let him get inside your critical distance and could have been hurt. Taking no action is OK, but once you allow anyone into your critical distance and you haven't unloaded, you run the risk of your opponent striking first and you being wholly unable to defend yourself.

Bad tactic.

JohnL

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#126695 - 08/18/03 03:19 PM Re: Aikido: a method of not fighting?
Joe Jutsu Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/09/03
Posts: 575
JohnL:

Good point and thanks for the reply.

This altercation was not really an instance of letting him in too close. The room where we were in was small, and as soon as he entered in and I stood up we were at that distance, not right in each other's faces but damned near close. There was little room for me to back up, but I was not about to back up anyway seeing as I was really involved in an "alpha male show of dominance" scenario. And I guess I won. No one got hurt, but it doesn't seem like much of a victory.

Situations like this can be quite the eye opener. I think that it's interesting that I was so infuriated at the possibility of this jackass assaulting my friend, but not nearly so much when his aggression had been redirected towards myself.

This leads me to another question, do you guys think that it is easier to defend one's self or another person? One may know how to block a punch, but what if it's not directed at you??

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#126696 - 08/18/03 03:23 PM Re: Aikido: a method of not fighting?
kempo_jujitsu Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 1914
Loc: illinois, usa
you avoided the fight.....you did not fail aikido, nor did it fail you. be happy.
however...john makes a very good point, at those quarters you are both within striking range, and basically whoever gets there first has the advantage.
infact i would say you stuck to the philosophy of aikido very well......how good an idea that was is another debate all together. its all good to say that before he attacks there is no reason to defend....until he rains down on your head a few times, and from that range, by then it would undoubtedly be too late and there would be a good chance you would be injured, he may have been armed you never know, and most bedrooms are fairly small especially when filled with people, i may be mistaken but most aiki ive seen requires more room to maneuver....and your efforts to protect your friend could have been thwarted.
as for doubting your aikido, i think its somewhat natural, as martial arts are no guarantee you will be able to succesfully defend yourself, but they do improve your chances of doing so.
if you doubt your aikido, maybe you should also study something that deals more directly with close quarters combat.

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#126697 - 08/18/03 03:26 PM Re: Aikido: a method of not fighting?
kempo_jujitsu Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 1914
Loc: illinois, usa
we must have posted at about the same time lol........i think it could be much easier to defend an assault on another person, for example a punch, when its coming at you...you really cant see most of it, but if you are standing to the side, you can see the whole attacking arm and intercept it easier.

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#126698 - 08/18/03 05:53 PM Re: Aikido: a method of not fighting?
csinca Offline
former moderator

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 672
Loc: Southern California
Joe,

The ability to maintain a level head in the face of danger is a skill that we should all be striving for, regardless of our art. With the adrenaline pumping and the obvious tension of the situation, to conciously decide whether to initiate or to wait is something I commend you for.

After all, don't most styles of aikido teach something along the lines of
-remain calm
-keep one point
-maintain your center
-don't attack
etc...

I'd agree that you held true to aikido. As for the tactica question John brings up... hard to say but it sounds like you came out of it just fine!

Chris

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#126699 - 08/19/03 01:28 PM Re: Aikido: a method of not fighting?
Joe Jutsu Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/09/03
Posts: 575
Thanks for your comments guys.

My university aikido club is moving to a brand new building with its own martial arts room. We're going to have a heavy bag amongst other things. So I believe we are going to make a concious effort to raise the dynamic of the club, and we're going to start emphasizing striking. I realized in this situation how ackward it felt to maybe have to strike, seeing as I have now formal training. This borderlines the issue, should I cross train to compensate for these deficiencies that manifested themselves in this "on the street" encounter? I suppose I will see what direction our club takes off to this semester, but I'm sort of limited as to my options. Besides aikido the only other arts offered at my university are TKD, judo, wushu, and bjj. No offence, but I'm really not interested in TKD, too much point sparring for my taste. What do you guys think of wushu if I decide to spend sometime working out with another club??

Joe

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#126700 - 08/19/03 01:32 PM Re: Aikido: a method of not fighting?
Joe Jutsu Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/09/03
Posts: 575
Chris-

One more thing. Thanks for affirming that I probably kept with the philosophy of aikido. But the point "do not attack" as one of the rules for aikido I've never actually seen. In ki society, the rules for aikido with mind and body coordinated are:

1. Keep One Point
2. Relax Completely
3. Weight is Underside
4. Ki is Extending

I felt I completely lost my one point in this altercation, and was far from relaxed so I was sort of disappointed with myself. But like I said, in the end there was no fight. So I suppose I should pat myself on the back for not tossing that asshole on his.

Joe

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#126701 - 08/19/03 04:30 PM Re: Aikido: a method of not fighting?
kempo_jujitsu Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 1914
Loc: illinois, usa
sounds like your club is going to start emphasizing strikes more, mention this situation to your sensei and request that he show more striking as it works with aiki. or ask the tkd teacher if you can just "work out" with him sometime and encorporate striking into your aikido, without actually learning taekwondo.

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#126702 - 08/19/03 04:32 PM Re: Aikido: a method of not fighting?
kempo_jujitsu Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 1914
Loc: illinois, usa
also in such close qaurters judo or brazilian jujutsu would be good, then you will know how to take the person down, and what to do once you get them there. just a thought [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

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