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  1. Fitz is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/13/2007 3:51pm


     Style: Judo, Tomiki Aikido, ??

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Aikido: A Weapons Retention Art?

    In a seperate thread Christopher Hein wrote:

    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherHein
    The techniques that comprise Aikido's technical syllabus don't focus on unarmed fighting, but it was sold to the American invaders that way, and also to all the nature, peace loving, hippies. Aikido is a weapon retention system, specializing in dealing with multiple attackers. What it is currently packaged as and what it really works as are two different things.
    This is an interesting, plausible assertion.

    What I would be really interested in knowing however is what the basis of this assertion is. What documentation exists to justify it? What specific examples from Aikido's technical syllabus deal with issues of weapons retension and weapons retension in situations of multiple attackers? Also spceifically how and by whom was Aikido changed to conceal this issue?
  2. ChristopherHein is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/13/2007 7:15pm


     Style: Aikido

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    As far as I know I am the only person currently pushing this idea. I came to it through honest training and logical deduction. The evidence (to me) seems over overwhelming, and like a jigsaw puzzle everything seems to fit together just right.

    I started training in Aikido because it seemed like it should be a very effective system. I had gotten in to plenty of fights as a kid, but I wanted to learn some “magic asian fighting system”. Some of the training seemed silly to me, but I stuck it out, having faith that in the end it would give me some real ability.

    Eventually after much hard training I tested for and earned my black belt. I thought about the practicality of Aikido all the time. However every time I got in a scuffle, I would end up wrestling and boxing, but not really using Aikido. I reasoned that this was because I was used to fighting that way (basic boxing and wrestling) since I was a kid, so it was more natural to me then Aikido. Since we never fought in Aikido class, it should just be a matter of training it against resistance, to get it to work.

    I couldn’t really do that at the school I was at, so I went to other martial art schools to train my Aikido against resistance. Eventually I ended up in Garden Grove training with Tim Cartmell.

    The thing I found was, not only were my boxing and wrestling skills more natural for me, the were more natural for everyone. I eventually gave up on Aikido. The techniques were never right for the situations I encountered in MMA style fighting. Wrist locks were clearly inferior in those situations, and throws emphasizing the core of the body, from a clinch position (wrestling, and Judo type throws) were far superior to throws using the appendages, and from non classic clinches (Aikido style throws).

    So I just figured Aikido wasn't any good for fighting. No biggie, I was now training in mixed martial arts, which clearly were great for fighting, so now I’ll just get good at this. I ended up getting talked into a fight with the dog brothers. It was the July 2003 meeting of the pack. A friend of mine (and fellow Aikido enthusiast) got me to go, and fight. I used a rattan stick the same size as a jo (Aikido short staff). To my surprise much of the Aikido training worked.

    This made me start to reevaluate Aikido. Everyone at Tim’s school was as surprised as I was, and it seemed like Aikido might actually be good for something. However the fact that it worked with a weapon made me really start to think about the dynamics of the system. It made wrist grabbing seem a lot less silly. If someone had something in their hand (like a weapon) it’s a good idea to control the hand. In an unarmed system it’s enough simply to keep the hand out of reach of your vital spots, or so it can’t generate power due to limited movement. However if the hand had a knife, something like a side headlock isn’t enough to keep you from receiving serious injury's. Wrist grabbing made since.

    The more I learned about Ueshiba (Aikido’s founder) the more I realized his interest in weapons. I also learned of Takeda's (Ueshibas teacher) interest in sword culture, and his obsession with weaponry. These are not guys who thought of fights as being something two guys did unarmed. They though fights were something done with weapons. A bad bind to be in with a weapon is when someone is controlling your weapon hand so you can’t use your tools. Systems to clear your hand were necessary. At the time Takeda was teaching martial arts, the sword was out of vogue. People wanted to learn unarmed fighting, however he was interested in weapons fighting so what did he teach them.

    O-sensei saw how useless the weapons of the samurai were first hand. He saw a bomb that was way more powerful then a million samurai with a million katana. He saw big powerful invaders come to his country. Any sane man wouldn't be teaching a weapon, or weapon retention, system at this time. So he started talking about peace and magical kami. Then after the solders came the hippies, who were all to happy to sit and listen to this “trippy” old sage. they wanted to learn about peaceful martial arts, and have mind altering experiences. So when they came back that's the stuff they talked about.

    -Christopher Hein
    www.centralvalleyaikido.com
    Last edited by ChristopherHein; 9/13/2007 7:24pm at .
  3. nzeman is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/13/2007 7:26pm

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     Style: WMA, Suio Ryu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I think you have a good theory. If I were you I would take a look at many Western weapons based systems and see how the Aikido actions compare, from my studies in Fiore there seem to be many similarities. Wrist locks, arm locks, trapping and binding are all a lot more common in weapons based arts than things like sacrifice throws, BJJ takedown, etc...


    Fiore has a whole section on grappling that uses the principle that you stay upright while your opponent goes to the ground. Our current perspective is that this is based on his system being predicated on armed combat, in which you really don't want to groundfight or go to the ground with your opponent. In this regard it seems to be similar to other fighting arts derived from a time where weapons and armor were prevalent. Another interesting element to Fiore's art is that there are few strikes an kicks, just pure grappling. Once again, in armed combat with armor a punch to the face is not really going to do much good. There are several Fiore researchers that are Aikido practitioners and seem to feel the same way.
  4. ChristopherHein is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/13/2007 7:50pm


     Style: Aikido

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by nzeman
    Another interesting element to Fiore's art is that there are few strikes an kicks, just pure grappling. Once again, in armed combat with armor a punch to the face is not really going to do much good.
    And weapons out range punches, and if you punch at someone with a knife, your likely to have your arm cut.
  5. Rock Ape is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/13/2007 8:08pm

    staff
     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherHein
    As far as I know I am the only person currently pushing this idea.
    Indeed, contrary to every Japanese teacher I've known or studied under over the last 20 years, which includes the current Doshu and several of his Shihan.

    In the last year I've moved from aikikai aikido to Iwama, my teacher is one removed from Saito Sensei (Snr) with some 36 years of continuous training - He doesn't consider Aikido as a weapons retention system either.

    Chiba Kazuo Sensei was the very first Japanese teacher I studied under whilst technical director for a UK based aikido organisation - He doesn't consider aikido to be a weapons retention system, and I've never heard it described as such.

    What Mr. Hein is suggesting is that aikido, the discipline officially recognised as a martial system in the 1940's isn't the aikido which the founder created, how could it be if it is what Mr. Hein suggests ?

    The primary influence of aikido is Dai-to ryu coupled with influences from other arts however, Stanley Pranin arguably one of the most knowledgeable historians of aikido suggests with some authority, that Ueshiba Morihei studied so little koryu for it to have a major influence over the eventual creation of what was then accepted as Aikido. That and the fact that aikido is a gendai budo created long after the meiji restoration and the abolition of the samurai class structure, and of course the legal right to bear swords in public suggests that Ueshiba would have absolutely no reason to create another "New" and entirely unproven form of combative method for weapons retention, the whole idea of that is somewhat ridiculous given that post WWII had such a profound effect upon Ueshiba Morihei's belief system which, even *IF* aikido was at that point in his life, what Mr. Hein suggests, the effects of the occupation and denationalisation of Japan following Nagasaki and Hiroshima, together with the well documented history of aikido's proliferation since the second world war would have left many, many more people studying aikido today with the same concepts of what Mr. Hein is suggesting. That isn't the case and, unfortunately, as he is aware, Mr. Hein is in a majority of 1 - figuratively speaking.

    Aikido is an empty handed gendai budo which utilises bokuto and jo as a means of teaching the principles of the overall discipline. The origins of those weapons influences are by and large debated by far more knowledgeable than I however; as I'm sure Mr. Hein is aware, Saito Morihiro was the person responsible for codifying what is generally accepted as the definitive "aiki weapons" curriculum, formalising the saburi, kumi and awase aspects of the bukiwaza within aikido today - It is interesting that within those elements, weapons retention application is only a small part of an overall curriculum and, if looking at a much wider picture for a moment, the vast majority of aikido (let's ignore the BS) is studied empty handed and only those studying Iwama aikido or under a teacher with strong weapon's methodology, will you see aikidoka understanding the gensoku buki and applying that to their taiso.

    Finally, I don't doubt for a moment that what we see in aikido could very easily be effective in terms of retaining a weapon, indeed as someone who has studied a koryu sword art for over a decade, I am well aware of the clear and often significant portions of aikido taisabaki which can be used as part of sword use, both prior too, during and after the sword has been drawn however; as sad as this may be, travel to the aikikai today and you'll rarely see the doshu teaching aikido with a bokuto or jo. Only year before last during a seminar with one of his senior shihan, (of which I was present) refused to illustrate a techniques weapon's origins within taiso whilst the seminar was being filmed. When questioned later about this, he was unhappy in case his teacher (the Doshu) might have seen the use of bokuto during keiko !

    I have no issues with Mr. Hein suggesting that HIS aikido or the aikido studied within his dojo is orientated around what he suggests however, the "AIKIDO" at large is not a weapons retention system.
    Last edited by Rock Ape; 9/13/2007 8:20pm at .
    "To sin by silence when one should protest makes cowards out of men".

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  6. Rock Ape is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/13/2007 8:35pm

    staff
     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherHein
    O-sensei saw how useless the weapons of the samurai were first hand. He saw a bomb that was way more powerful then a million samurai with a million katana. He saw big powerful invaders come to his country. Any sane man wouldn't be teaching a weapon, or weapon retention, system at this time. So he started talking about peace and magical kami. Then after the solders came the hippies, who were all to happy to sit and listen to this “trippy” old sage. they wanted to learn about peaceful martial arts, and have mind altering experiences. So when they came back that's the stuff they talked about.
    I'm sorry but I really have to take issue with this sort of rubbish.

    Mr. Hein, are you expressing an opinion here based purely on your own supposition of what you think the founder of aikido thought at that time or, can you please provide me with citations for the above.

    Sure, its a documented fact that the closure of the second world war had a profound effect upon the founder but to suggest (in bold) what you've have is laughable. Do you REALLY believe what you've written ?

    Ueshiba Morihei was born five years AFTER the samurai class structure was abolished during the meiji restoration, let me say this one more time - It was decreed illegal to carry, indeed practice with a sword in public, so why for the love of god man, would Ueshiba create a new and entirely unproven system designed to retain a weapon ? Weapons which no one ever carried during Ueshiba's entire life time because they were just as illegal to carry then as they are to this very day.

    Please provide me with a single shred of tangible evidence which suggests or supports your opinions.
    "To sin by silence when one should protest makes cowards out of men".

    ~Ella Wheeler
  7. Fitz is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/13/2007 11:04pm


     Style: Judo, Tomiki Aikido, ??

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherHein
    As far as I know I am the only person currently pushing this idea. I came to it through honest training and logical deduction. The evidence (to me) seems over overwhelming, and like a jigsaw puzzle everything seems to fit together just right.
    Okay, so this theory is based off of personal intuition rather then any tracable line of argument form Aikido's founder or the original generation of its practitioners.

    I don't have any problem with the idea that "Aikido can be used for weapons retention" but I think taking your plausible assumption and then using simply your own experience as the proof for a rather major claim about the origin and intent of an art. In fact it seems that you admit that the evidence is against your historic claim.

    This doesn't invalidate that your experience with Aikido has given you insight into weapons retention issues or that you are capable of applying these insights in practice against resistance. I'm simply hoping that you'll rethink your attempt to project your insight upon Aikido's founder without any suitable evidence to back it up.
  8. nzeman is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/13/2007 11:09pm

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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Didn't he take a great deal of material from a weapons-based koryu? I know little of Aikido, but I was under the impression that the founder was a student of some koryu. Maybe I was mistaken.
  9. ChristopherHein is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/14/2007 12:37am


     Style: Aikido

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Beautiful posts,
    Really well put together, and nicely said. I wish I had the eloquence.

    Here is where I’m going. I really have no idea what O-sensei was thinking. Every thing I say is simply supposition. No one really knows what he was up to, but we can look at the generalities of the system he left for us and see.

    My conjecture aside, we have:

    1. Techniques and attacks focused on the wrists and hands.

    2. Throws that are consistently done from nonstandard clinch positions.

    3. Aikido does not have a strong traditional syllabus of kicking or punching techniques.

    Just looking at these three for a moment.

    If Aikido was meant to be an unarmed grappling system, why all the emphasis on small joint manipulation. In effective modern martial arts we have, few if any of this. Modern western wrestling has none of this. Sumo has none, Brazilian jiu jitsu has little, Judo does few, so why would Aikido make it the main focus? Wrists are hard to twist and slippery. They are far from the core of the body and make a poor choice for controlling an opponent.

    If Aikido was meant to be used as an unarmed grappling system, why do we not see escapes from common unarmed holds? No headlocks, no bear hugs, no waist locks and no chokes..Wait we do have one common choke in “ushiro kubishimi”, but that also involves a wrist hold, why put a wrist hold in there when it is better to use both hand for the choke?

    If Aikido was meant to be an unarmed throwing system, why do we see essentially no throws from common unarmed clinch types? Nothing from double under hooks, nothing from leg tackles, nothing from a high tie up, and not even any thing like you see in Judo jacket wrestling. The one exception to this is ryokata dori (two shoulder grab) and that is one amid 14 other attacks. The throws are all trained from seemingly strange positions for unarmed fighting.

    If Aikido was meant to be an unarmed boxing system, why a lack of unarmed strikes and defenses? Big blends like seen in kote gaishi do not work when someone is jabbing at you, and they don’t work for hooks or uppercuts either. Aikido doesn't teach covering, covering in some form can be seen in all unarmed boxing systems. Why would we not see it in Aikido? No kicks, that's it, just like they don’t exist. Now this is also true of western boxing, but they do have a full syllabus of hand strikes, Aikido doesn't.

    There are roughly only three types of fighting done unarmed, Boxing, Grappling, Throwing. Seems to me Aikido is seriously lacking in all three of these arias, wouldn’t that make it kind of a poor unarmed system?


    Look I’m no historian. Maybe Aikido was Ueshibas big joke, maybe he didn’t know better, maybe he figured it’d be easier to sell if he told people it was an unarmed system, maybe maybe maybe.

    What I know is the system he left behind. I also know what a fight is, I know it unarmed and armed, and what Aikido is, is a weapon retention system. That’s what it is good for and works as.

    We test it every day and it works great as a weapon retention system automatically and naturally. I spent a long time with some great people trying to get it to work as an unarmed system (as have many others) and got nothing but poor results. When a fist or stick comes flying at you, gendai and the miji restoration don’t mean a lot to you, but how your body reacts from the training you have done does.

    I apologize if my wild conjecture offended some of the Japanese historians out there. I openly admit that all of my theories come strictly from personal experience.

    -Christopher Hein
    www.centralvalleyaikido.com
  10. Hedgehogey is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/14/2007 2:57am

    supporting member
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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Why don't we leave out the speculation as to why Aikido is useless until after you've caved and joined a BJJ school?


    "The only important elements in any society
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    because they alone, by questioning the society's values,
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    RENDERING GELATINOUS WINDMILL OF DICKS

    THIS IS GOING TO BE THE BEST NON-EUCLIDIAN SPLATTERJOUST EVER

    It seems that the only people who support anarchy are faggots, who want their pathetic immoral lifestyle accepted by the mainstream society. It wont be so they try to create their own.-Oldman34, friend to all children
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