New Schedule and Location for 2016

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Make them STOP RIGHT NOW

I've had some discussion recently with some buddies about the effectiveness of aikido at making a real life bad guy stop what he is doing right now.  That is, when a situation is critical and imminent and you have to force someone to cease their misdeeds immediately.  Some practitioners suggest  that in such a critical situation, the typical tools of aikido might not be sufficient, and a better way to make the attacker stop right now is by causing massive physical trauma (broken finger or arm or knee, gouged eye, broken neck, etc...).
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And this is a pretty reasonable suggestion on the surface, but how much trauma is enough?  Here are a couple of recent examples of guys that functioned just fine after massive physical trauma.  One of them survived a bear attack that laid open his scalp and broke his arm - not only survived, but was clear-headed enough to hike miles to his vehicle then drive to get medical help AND make a video!  The other one managed to survive days of pain and dehydration before amputating his own arm, climbing out of a ravine one-armed, and then hiking for miles until he got help.  Point is, massive physical trauma did not make these guys stop.



How many of y'all think you can do as good as a Grizzly bear at the massive physical trauma paradigm?
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Also, the massive trauma paradigm is not scaleable.  It's not possible, especially in the heat of the moment, to figure out how to apply just enough trauma to make the bad guy stop - so you are left with the desperate strategy of applying as much (literal) overkill as possible.  Taking the massive physical damage to the logical extreme of maximum overkill may not be legally or ethically defensible.
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Now, I've heard all the "tried by 12 or carried by 6" talk, and I've heard all the "go home to your family at the end of the night no matter what" stuff, and I don't have any particular problem with those sentiments, but what if we were able to keep all those trauma skills (jutsu) in the back of our mind as a sort of a safety net or backup plan while we develop some other equally or even more reliable way to make attackers stop right now? 
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What could that skill be that is just as reliable as destroying the attacker but is also scaleable and probably more legally and ethically defensible??



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Patrick Parker
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Real-time aikido


Here is another excellent demonstration of Koryu Dai Yon kata.  I like this one even better than the previous one that I posted.  Although that previous kata was perhaps more polished, this one feels more real to me.  The previous one had a rushed feeling, but this demonstration is more reasonably paced.
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There used to be an ideal in judo (it may still exist, though I've long had a sinking suspicion that it is not actually ideal) that for a throw to be perfect ("ippon") it has to happen fast, uke has to hit the mat hard, and tori must be in control. - Hard, Fast, and Control was the recipe for an ippon.  Now I think for a throwing-type technique to be good enough, uke must descend to the ground and tori must remain in control throughout and after.  I don't care about hard and fast because hard is arbitrary and abusive and fast is irrelevant (acceleration due to gravity is a constant 32 feet per second per second or about 22mph per second.)
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I suspect that pushing down on uke as he falls does not increase his speed much - it just increases his effective mass so it hurts more.
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When I see a demonstration of aikido or judo, and it looks super-fast, that does not make me think, "That is super-realistic."  It makes me think, "Something is wrong with that demo." Just about the only way to make an un-realistically fast technique work is to have a overly-compliant uke.
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So anyway, When you're demonstrating something in "real time" or at "real speed," that is not arbitrarily fast.  That's part of why I like this demo so much.  It is real-time.



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Patrick Parker
www.mokurendojo.com

The aikidoka and the light bulb


How many aikidoka does it take to screw in a light bulb?  A dozen - one to screw the thing up and eleven to tell him, "That's not how we do it at our dojo."
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When I was preparing for my recent gig at Windsong Dojo teaching Yon kata, I perused the videos online of various folks doing the thing and some of them I posted with commentary because I thought they illustrated a point that I might want to make when I taught the thing. I did not post the above video because, even though the aikidoka are obviously talented and precise, it just didn't look like what I was going to talk about.  I didn't think they were doing the Yon kata that I was thinking about.
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Well, after I recuperated from my epic roadtrip and whirlwind teaching gig at Windsong, I did a YouTube search for Koryu Dai Yon again, and this was the first video that popped up, so I watched it again, and WOW! It looks just like what we were working on and talking about at OKC last weekend!
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I think if you put the "We don't do it that way" part of your brain on hold and watch this thing again, you'll see a lot of similarities between what we were doing and what Fielding sensei is doing here.  In fact, I think the only major difference I see is Fielding is using a more dynamic uke, whereas we were working with more static ukes.
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I have vastly benefited from the opportunity to lead an exploration of Koryu Dai Yon at Oklahoma last weekend!  This exercise has been my least favorite, most frustrating part of aikido for the past 25 some-odd years - my worst enemy!  But this past weekend has turned it into such a fascinating exploration of kuzushi that I think I could probably spend a LOT of time playing in and around this thing profitably!
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Thanks, Nick and Windsong guys for teaching me this thing that y'all claimed I was teaching you!



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____________________
Patrick Parker
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To Eff the Ineffable


“Let's think the unthinkable, let's do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.” Douglas Adams

What is this aiki thing that we are always talking about? Ask a dozen experts and you'll get a dozen answers - all of them mostly vague and/or doubtful, but all of them will probably hint at the aiki-thing in some sense correctly.
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The actual literal word has something to do with energy or life-force, and something to so with harmony or blending. Some folks have translated in different ways similar to "harmony energy."   A lot of people's ideas of aiki seem to have something to do with a natural ease or efficiency - almost like discovering the niche that you were always meant to be in and settling in..  That all plays a role in aiki too.
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I like to think about aiki as something like, "Getting in tune with the energies flowing around you," which brings me to another of my favorite esoteric quotes...
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“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” Nikola Tesla

Harmony

Energy, Frequency, Vibration

Natural

Efficient

Ease, Settling into place


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____________________
Patrick Parker
www.mokurendojo.com