Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Training log - engaging is stupid

Aikido with PatrickM., Kel, and Erin - ROM, ukemi, tegatana, hanasu, shomenate, tanto-using section of Rokukata as a preview to the ABG at the end of October.  I really think the only reason that section is in that kata is to make it perfectly clear that engaging in a fight - trying to control another person - is stupid.


  1. We pretty much regard it as axiomatic that our goal is to escape or to put a stop to a conflict quickly and to leave the area, not to hang around and fight. Of course, there are going to be times when that isn't the case, say, if you're in law enforcement, or if you have to intervene in a conflict. But most of the time, seems to me, there's no point in trying to do anything but get my tuckus out of the area as rapidly as possible.

  2. I think you are right (I like your new screen name, BTW) and I think that a lot of different martial artists realize it. But the way a lot of the martial arts are set up and practiced, you get more toe-to-toe time than evading and running time.

    Modern karate for instance, if your intent is to hit the bad guy so hard he stops being bad, then you necessarily must stand within reach of him. As another example, Japanese jujitsu or a lot of aikido - if your goal is to grab and twist the bad guy out of shape then you necessarily must stand within touching distance.

    The point i was making, and I have come to value this more and more, was that if you go into a fight with the intent to stand within touching distance so you can do something to the bad guy then you are facilitating the fight. Bad guy doesn't have to work at all to get you because he had you at the word, 'hajime.'


  3. ...And you are absolutely right that there are roles and situations where you are forced to engage. Police, military, defending someone else, etc...

    ...And you are exactly right that for most people most of the time getting your tuckus out of there is the best option. So, why don't we (most martial artists) train that option/idea a little more and train the toe-to-toe skills a little less.

  4. I would suggest that an overlooked factor in this is simply mat space. If you don't want to engage, and the bad guy does, you need acreage, not square footage.

  5. Well, sorta, Pat K.

    you do have to have room to disengage, stay disengaged, and run to safety. But you don't have to have much room to make 2-3 attempts at disengaging.

    My point in these posts is that even if you get stuck, requiring you to do some of the cool aiki magic, it doesn't work very well unless your intent was to disengage. Aiki is non-aiki when you go into it with the intent to engage and do something to them.


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