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Heroes Community > Other Side of the Monitor > Thread: Have you ever tried martial arts? Facts and myths about MAs.
Thread: Have you ever tried martial arts? Facts and myths about MAs. This thread is 35 pages long: 1 2 3 4 5 ... 10 20 ... 31 32 33 34 35 · NEXT»
Doomforge
Doomforge


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posted August 03, 2008 07:27 PM bonus applied by angelito on 02 Sep 2008.
Edited by Doomforge at 19:31, 03 Aug 2008.

Poll Question:
Have you ever tried martial arts? Facts and myths about MAs.

Martial arts is something people like to speak about - especially the internet is full of myths and stupid assumptions. Myself, I find them fascinating - especially modern ones. My favorites are boxing, BJJ and MMA (while it's not a _martial art_, but rather a system, it's highly enjoyable ).

My story? I've started as a 10 year old kid when I discovered the world of boxing - okay, pro-wrestling was first, but lets skip that part please Trained for 2 years, but my health problems forced me to quit. Took a long time to start again. 8 years later, I started BJJ. Right now, I'm pretty much disabled, with my busted elbow, with at least a year of pausing awaiting me - so I decided to create a thread about MA

I think most of people shows interest in MA as youngsters, trying to impress the ladies, thinking about self defense or simply trying to be cool. Very few people start it because they actually like it. A lot of people tries - nerds bullied in school, kids who watched "karate kid" too much, bullies trying to improve their nerd hunting skills (pretty rare, those folks think they're invincible anyway ), show offs. most of them quits after a month or two. The harsh reality of martial arts, especially full contact ones (those which include sparring - yes, you do get hit. Yes, it's not pleasant to get knocked down ) scares a lot of people, but those who can get over the bruises and muscle aches stay - most likely for the rest of their youth.

Training martial arts help to understand that a lot of urban myths that constantly circulate in our milieu are what they are called: myths. I'd like to discuss some of the most common ones. This isn't just my biased point of view. It's reality. If you meet another youngster trying to convince you any of those below are true, just laugh at his face.

Weight isn't important, it's the speed!

Double-lie. First, our human body has severe limitations. We can't push the speed of our arm or leg above certain point, which is innate anyway. But we can improve our coordination, reflexes.. and weight. Which makes a big, very big difference when skill is equal. Also, when the weight disproportion is HUGE, the bigger guy can DOMINATE without virtually any stamina, technique or anything - his sheer strength is just too much to handle!

Proof: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MtjfKlRHYE

The infamous Bob Sapp vs. k1 legend, ernesto hoost. Sapp is big, very heavy, has a pathetic technique and knows nothing about fighting, but he wins BOTH fights against a very good fighter, who is 200 pounds himself anyway, great technician and experienced. Now imagine a man ~150 pounds, even with flawless technique, against this one. Just lol. Note: Sapp lost a lot of fights, but the fact he actually WON something with such a PATHETIC skill makes it VERY obvious that muscle mass is EXTREMELY important.


My friend has a friend that owned 6 guys at once

Yeah, and I can levitate with the power of my mind.. its just as probable to happen. How could he possibly apply 6 punchers, assuming he is a striker, without being hit even once? It happens only at kung-fu movies, where the bad guys await for our bruce lee to finish them, or come one at time so our star can own them. It's NOT easy to KO a big, mobile man. See how much time it takes for boxers to knock each other if they don't apply a "lucky hit". You say random thugs don't have the endurance and skills of a boxer? Well, I'm pretty certain you don't have the strength and agility of a professional boxer either. And you can't harden your jaw.

Fiction: You hit one guy, quickly duck behind another so the others can't encircle you. You are swiftly moving between them, dodging their pathetic punches, only to strike and KO like a tiger. You are victorious, of course.
Reality: All of them attack you at the same time. Even if you manage to hit, bah, even KO one of them, they manage to grab your clothes, hindering your movement and striking. Most likely they knock you off your balance, and you get under their boots. You end in hospital.

Fighting with a crowd without weapons is FICTION.

My style, XXX, teaches ancient martial killing moves!

Lol, just lol. Killing moves do not exist - outside movies, that is. Forget it. Unless your enemy hits a curbstone with his head while collapsing after your KO. Instant kill indeed

Krav maga owns all, it's a military system, so it has to be superior!

Look, soldiers, commandos, special troops, whatever, don't need martial arts. They need rifle skills, the ability to suppress fear and such. When they can't shoot, they will stab their enemy with a knife, if desperate, or just crush his skull with the butt-end. Their martial arts knowledge is limited - they are most likely after some self defense courses, that's all. People like to think that a person who is dedicated to killing his enemy knows every possible way to do it, but it's not true. Sure, he isn't your random pushover, but most of them would lose to a martial arts adept, even if they are from special troops or something.Krav maga and other "combat" martial arts are a good addition to striking or grappling, but they won't give you much alone. And the military part is just a gimmick.

It's better to be one-style specialist than weak jack of all trades.

Nope. It works the other way round! Versatility is the best thing you can ask for. Most styles have easy disablers: Boxers are susceptible to low kicks because they don't train how to protect from them - because they don't need to, obviously. Muay thai specialist may be a great striker, but he's helpless on the ground, and it's not a difficult task for a grappler to take him down, trust me. BJJ guy fights well at the ground, but doesn't know how to defend against punches(On the ground, too!) because they rarely-to-never punch/kick and isn't used to the effect of being hit by a hard fist (something you have to get used to, unfortunately, unless you don't want to lose your interest in fighting after receieving your first hit on a sparring match or at a real-life streetfight!


Want a proof that, for example, grappling beats striking? There you go.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjXUCjLgyis

The poor karate guy is taken down extremely fast and is helpless on the ground: Look how fast he is forced to surrender (he'd get his arm broken if he didn't, obviously.). A good example of how good it is to be VERSATILE. With a bit of grappling skills, he could resist the takedown - making his punches and kicks much more efficient.

MMA guys train elements of every style for a reason. it's good to be versatile. The best way you can choose, actually.

I want to be like Bruce Lee, so i'm trying to harden my fists by <insert one of thousands of methods here>

You cannot harden your bones, you can only damage them by spilling the periosteum around the bone, which gives an effect of "harder bones", but is in fact a pathology. Fighting without pads, repeatedly striking a wall/tree/whatever will destroy your bones giving absolutely NO benefit! Its not a goddamn Van Damme movie. If you don't want to use crutches at the age of 50, don't do it. Period.

As for Bruce, he was a great technician, but he was an actor, mostly. I respect him for his devotion towards martial arts; he also inspired thousands of youths to start training instead of drinking until they drop, but don't fool yourself; he wouldn't defeat 3+ opponents. He wouldn't win a MMA cagefight. It's not possible. The weight difference, for example, making him in a very bad position. He also lacked grappling (ground fighting) skills that are the backbone of modern MMA (mixed martial arts). He would be taken down to the ground and owned by an armbar or choke. Although he was pretty much the first "exotic martial artist" who became interested in groundfighting in addition to punching.

I can learn fighting from videotapes, books, training on punching bags etc

No you can't. With nobody to correct your mistakes, you will only get bad habits - and no benefit. Absolutely none. You need to know what you are doing to get an effect from training at a punching bag.

Those shaolin monks would defeat anyone!

No, they would not. You can believe in chi or other stuff - hard truth is: our body works in a certain way and no chi will help a 130 pound weakling win against a 200+ pounds proffesional MMA fighter. If the Shaolin style was soo good, those guys would fight in UFC instead of showing cheap tricks to public. Yes, most of their stuff are simple tricks. Sorry to bust the legend, but that's how it works.

Roundhouse kicks, high kicks etc. rock!

Sure they do - when you show off. In a normal fight, they are too slow, too easy to predict and counter, and give too much opportunity for the opponent to take you down. That's why nobody uses them at MMA. In a real fight, the simpler, the better - straight punch, low kick, elbow. That's all you really need.

BJJ is gay and useless against more than one opponent

It looks kinda gay But it's not when you actually fight with a guy who tries to break your arm or choke you. And it's not useful against more than one guy indeed. Too bad nothing is. Except machine gun, maybe. Or a pepper spray, to be more realistic. And swift legs, ofc.

Hope you enjoyed my little martial arts FAQ And I hope some of you actually train and that I'm not the only one here

Responses:
Yes, and I still train
Yes, but I stopped training
Yes, a few times, but I didn't like it
No, but I want to try it in the future
No, I don't like martial arts at all
Lol, I'd rather eat my socks
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Adrius
Adrius


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posted August 03, 2008 07:35 PM
Edited by Adrius at 19:36, 03 Aug 2008.

Great thread Doomforge!! But there are Death-moves, I've seen it on tv

There's a move that a ninjutsu guy used on a discovery show, he strikes you with his fist right by the heart. There's no pressure points or anything, he just uses pure strength to strike at the right place.

He didn't want to use it on a human (figures), so they tested it on a doll. The power of the blow was estimated to be far enough to stop someone's heart. So there are death-moves after all, but then again, you could call an axe shoved into someone's head a death-move too...

Oh, and I've trained Judo for seven years, still not as badass as I expected I would be, but anyway
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Doomforge
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posted August 03, 2008 07:37 PM

Let me guess, discovery's "world of martial arts" or however it was called. That was the funniest thing I've ever seen. Thai boxers with knees stronger than a locomotive. Instakilling ninjas. Shaolin monks with legs harder than steel. Riiiiight. I've never seen more exaggeration in my life. SIRIOUSLY!

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Adrius
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posted August 03, 2008 07:39 PM
Edited by Adrius at 19:40, 03 Aug 2008.

Nah, it was something a little bit more serious than that...

For example, they found out that the "kung fu-flying-double-kick-thingy" wasn't really effective at all... An english boxer's punch had way more power in it...

In fact, kung fu was deemed to be the least effective of just about every martial art there
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Doomforge
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posted August 03, 2008 07:43 PM

I just can't call any show that shows "ninja superpowers" reliable. Lol. Ninjas were poor fighters. They were just agile assassins, nothing more. In modern times, if they existed, they would use sniper rifles. I hate the ninja myths. Seems that people who watched too much Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in their youth never grow up!

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Adrius
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posted August 03, 2008 07:47 PM

Bah... Ninjutsu isn't really a showy martial art, it's a quick and effective art, like Wing Chun. It excels at immobilizing opponents quickly.

And of course Ninjas would use sniper rifles, but the thing that people train today is far from sneaking in shadows and throwing Shuriken, Ninjutsu is much more of a "normal" martial art now.
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TheDeath
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posted August 03, 2008 07:50 PM

Doom I guess you're too skeptic.

A guy once pulled a big TRUCK with his EAR. He is in the Guiness Book of Records... fantasy as well?

you should read Jet Li's opinion and about Bruce Lee. The problem I think you're having is that most (and I repeat, MOST) of today's so-called martial artists aren't even doing it as it should, they use it like a form of stupid SPORT, which IS NOT.

I quote Jet Li:
Quote:
I can only tell you that the physical quality of the athletes has improved -- and continues to do so steadily. Why is it that new world records seem to be set every year? Because training has become more scientific. Athletes have access to better nutrition, better vitamins, better doctors, sports psychologists, etc. These factors have helped develop the potential of the human body through the medium of sport.

However, I believe that deep inside, wushu is much worse than before. I'm talking about the inside knowledge, the part of wushu that does not involve the physical body. Inner cultivation is the most important part, and it's definitely lacking nowadays.
So yeah, if you are the former "martial artist" using it as sport, it's no wonder you think all of those are "myths"

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Doomforge
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posted August 03, 2008 07:50 PM
Edited by Doomforge at 19:54, 03 Aug 2008.

Adrius: Pretty much. As much as I know about it, it's a fanciful jiu-jitsu art. Nothing magical, contrary to what urban myths say. And it has little to do with original ninjas, since they needed thousands of other things, like stealth, swordfighting, survival. Unarmed fighting was a low priority skill, in fact.

TheDeath: I know you like & believe in the "mystical side" of human life, so I won't argue. Traditional martial arts are ARTS indeed - not like boxing and wrestling. They are a great hobby and a wonderful way to improve your stamina, agility and your mistic part as well, if you're into it. But! The techniques used there are inferior to the ones used in boxing or bjj. That's why they are not included in MMA routine, obviously. I'm not bashing those arts, I think it's a very nice hobby, but they aren't exactly for defeating your opponent, you know.

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TheDeath
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posted August 03, 2008 07:54 PM

Actually kung-fu isn't even a "martial art".

Jet Li:
Quote:
Another tidbit I find interesting. Nowadays, one associates the word, "Kung-fu" with punches, kicks, martial arts champions, fighting. But the original meaning of "kung-fu" was never intended to describe martial arts in any way. Kung-fu originally referred to the time and energy spent in learning something. A successful chef expends lots of "kung-fu" to cook the tastiest dishes. A doctor undergoes considerable "kung-fu" to be able to take care of sick people. A martial artist uses lots of "kung-fu" in practicing his physical forms so he may display them to audiences one day. The term "kung-fu" was first broached to Western audiences by Bruce Lee when he stepped into the spotlight and used it to describe his martial arts. From there, a misconception arose and people began using "kung-fu" to refer to Bruce Lee, martial arts, punches, kicks, and the whole related system. So it is really a misnomer, a word whose meaning expanded to encompass other objects.


Also Bruce Lee actually DID punched 8 times in a second.

Also aikido forums are interesting if you have time to read the interviews with Steven Seagal for example. If I find it I'll post it here.

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Doomforge
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posted August 03, 2008 07:57 PM
Edited by Doomforge at 19:58, 03 Aug 2008.

There are a lot of myths about Bruce Lee. I am not going to discuss them. It's pointless. Besides, the legend of Bruce Lee should be left in peace, it's quite nice, despite the fact it's horribly exaggerated. Bruce Lee had many other qualities we should admire him for: He was determinated, receptive, innovative (He started the Jeet Kune Do training method. Don't say it's a martial art, it is NOT. Don't make that mistake.) Those are much more real and interesting than his so called inhuman doings.

And, maybe there are people who can lift a truck on their penis, who knows. But we are talking about a common man, do NOT forget it. For a common man, what I said is true.

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Adrius
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posted August 03, 2008 07:57 PM
Edited by Adrius at 20:08, 03 Aug 2008.

Death, what kind of martial art did you practice? Just interested...

Oh, and that Sapp guy was totally hilarious, reminds me of the Hulk or something
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TheDeath
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posted August 03, 2008 08:07 PM

Quote:
Death, what kind of martial art did you practice? Just interested...
Just very bit of karate. I'm not into push-ups and all that, I am more into the "inner" part as Jet Li puts it.

I just happen to have a lot of knowledge and contacts about REAL discussions with Jet Li and Steven Seagal and the like, not from movies.

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TheDeath
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posted August 03, 2008 08:13 PM

Ok here's the interview with Steven Seagal:

Quote:
Question: What is Aikido?

Sensei: Got a couple of years? Aikido in the advanced stages becomes much more complicated. It's theoretically based on harmony rather than blocking, kicking and punching. We allow the other person to attack and use his own attack against him by becoming one with his movement and utilizing anatomical weak points, joint blocks and throws, etc. In a life and death situation the harder the technique becomes. Often times, the attacker creates the life and death situation, because the harder they come the harder they fall. These techniques will work on anybody but you really have to learn them. Aikido is not a quick art to learn.

Q: Why did you study Aikido instead of karate?

Sensei:I started in karate and was in search of a teacher who could teach me the mystical aspects of the martial arts. The people I studied with in karate didn't give that to me. I found Aikido and read some of O-Sensei's speeches and saw him.

Q: What master(s) did you study under?

Sensei: I was in and out of Japan as a youth and saw Tohei Sensei when he was still with Hombu Dojo. I studied with numerous teachers who you don't know and never heard of; from Isoyama Sensei to Abe Sensei. Just a bunch of people most of who are dead.

Q: Was there ever a critical point in your training career where you made a dramatic change?

Sensei: Yes, for six years I practiced about eight hours a day, that's a lot, in Japan. I was beating my head against the wall and I was making no progress. I wanted to transcend the physical aspects of Aikido. I was trying to do some of the things 0-Sensei was doing but I was getting nowhere because I was trying,. Finally one day, I went out into Kameoka in Ayabe province and started training with some of 0-Sensei's mystical teachers and started spending more time on the mystical aspects of Aikido. I experienced tremendous and dramatic changes in my technique in the first six months.

Q: Why didn't more of 0-Sensei's students find the mystical aspects of the technique interesting or important?

Sensei: 0-Sensei had a real old dialect named Tanabe. There's this place way up in the mountains, its a country area with a dialect, that's really hard to understand. I would talk to the other guys and I'd ask them what he was saying. They would say, "ah, he's talking about God and religion and that crap, forget about that and learn how to fight." That was the attitude. Yet, when I went up and studied with some of the same priests that taught
0'Sensei, I began to understand Aikido for the first time in my life. Because Aikido is more than waza.

Q: Have any of 0-Sensei's mystical teachings been translated into English?

Sensei: 0-Sensei was a priest in a sect called Omotekyo. They have some stuff in English, but I don't think you can get it in the United States, sorry

Q: I've heard a lot about hard-line and soft-line Aikido, can you touch upon what the difference is?

Sensei: 0-Sensei always talked about Go-ju-ryu, the circle, the square and the triangle. Aikido has to have all of these lines together. The basic movements are square, very square. When you get to the intermediate level, the square is always there but you see a lot of the triangle. When you get into the advanced level you see mostly the circle. But the square is always there.

Q: Do you ever use Ki-ai in your techniques? I don't think I've ever heard it from you.

Sensei: You won't want to. Ki-ai is very effective and when you do it right you'll paralyze your opponent.

Q: Is there a correct position to start?

Sensei: When somebody comes up and they're going to do something, you stand how ever is comfortable and you do what you have to do. The idea is if I am in left hanmi and somebody comes at me, he probably won't come at me in right hanmi because his face is going to be in your fist. However, you never know, the idea in the street is to empty yourself and let it come.

Q: In terms of technique what would you say is the most important?

Sensei: I would say "irimi" is the most important.

Q: In Aikido is it just practising to fight, or life and death situations?

Sensei: The difference between a real fight and sparring on the mat is the difference between swimming in the ocean and swimming on the mat.

Q: Is a technique based upon someone fully advancing and fully committing their body weight to you?

Sensei: Yes. In basic, beginning Aikido. But in advanced Aikido it doesn't matter.

Q: Not even with a punch like a boxer would punch?

Sensei: Not at all. It doesn't matter if they stay, if they run from me, if they stand there and do jumping jacks If I think I have to terminate a situation or neutralize a situation, I'm going to go after you. That is advanced Aikido. I don't need you to move. You can punch at me, you can do whatever you want.

Q: Then Aikido can be aggressive?

Sensei: Let me tell you a secret, those who practiced with 0-Sensei, whenever they attacked him, they were afraid the'y were going to die. Ask my advanced black belts if they find it a piece of cake when they attack me. It is not a cake walk. For example, I'm in a restaurant and somebody pulls a gun and holds a bunch of people hostage. If I don't have a gun, I'm not going to wait for him to try and pistol whip me. I have to do something then, I have to know techniques where I can go to him, and that is what "irimi" is all about. Covering space from here to there as quick as I can with irimi. That is any one of a number of techniques. If you do them quick enough and your opponent doesn't move with it, they become strikes. Because they're going to hit and they're going to hit hard. if your opponent doesn't understand how to move with them, they're going to get hit in the real world.

Q: How can a disabled student get involved in the martial arts?

Sensei: It would depend on how disabled they are and which way they are disabled. If you have the use of your hands and your arms, then you can do Aikido almost the same as I can. The concept is that somebody must come to you. Once they come to you, the hand movements, the movements of the torso, and everything else are the same. In a lot of ways you can become a very good Aikidoist. I know that during the times I got hurt very badly I learned my technique properly was because I couldn't move.

Q: Can people that are 55 or 65 practice Aikido?

Sensei: I've had people in their 70's train in Japan and in their 60's and 70's train here.

Q: Could you explain zanshin and mushin?

Sensei: In the martial arts there are many concepts. I could write a book, I could spend the next several hours on these subjects. They are not something I would even attempt to talk about in 5 minutes, but I will take a second to talk about "mushin" because I mentioned it earlier. Mushin means empty heart, empty mind. Its very, very important in the martial arts. When Yagyu Tajimano Kami and different great mushin masters talk about this concept, they talk about the perfect and accurate reflection of all that is. I've taught courses on this. Its a very long story. One analogy is: the reflection of the moon on a placid Lake.When the moon breaks through the clouds, when the wind blows, the lake gets ripples in it the image of the moon gets distorted. Likening this to your mind and your heart. When you have thoughts in your mind and your heart, everything is distorted. In order to become one so that you can understand everything and sense everything the way it really is... you have to be completely-empty; completely calm. That is mushin.

Q:What is the relationship between Budo and Aikido?

Sensei: They are the same.

Q: There's some confusion because there's a wide range of attitudes towards Aikido, from a very soft martial art to a killing martial art.

Sensei: I think those are just silly aberrations. I think Bugei, if you look, Budo, if you look at the original Chinese calligraphy and you break it down, it means to stop war. Stop arms, stop war. So Budoka is a heihoka ,a warrior is really a warrior for peace, or a man of peace. You have to be powerful enough to stop war, you see what I am saying, because if you're weak you can't stop war, you get warred upon. You understand? And Budo has that yin and yang, it has that Tate to yoko no ito, izu no mitama to mizu no mitama. These are all Shinto terms. Yoko no ito means moon, feminine, water, love, the power of forgiveness, the power of love. Tate no ito means sun, we talk about masculine, we talk about fire, we talk about the power of decision. That is the time when you don't forgive, that is the power to cut. Those two elements have to live our within you in perfect harmony or you're out of balance, and that is the to murder your essence of Budo too. You have to have the ability and capability to decide to make decisions,to cut,to kill,and at the same time,you have to have the ability to love,to forgive,to be understanding.And those have to work together,but Budo is all of those things and Aikido is one of the millions of martial arts under the vast umbrella of Budo,you understand?

Q: What can we as Aikido students do to improve the political situation of Aikido?

Sensei: Unfortunately a lot of the teachers of Aikido are more concerned with who's better than who and who has more students. Am I wrong? In Aikido it doesn't matter who is better. It doesn't matter who's right and who's wrong, or who has how many students or whose dad is bigger than whose. Who cares? None of this matters, it has nothing to do with Aikido. What matters is that we all try to help each other to improve ourselves as human beings. Whatever styles come to us are welcome, nobody is better than anybody. Concentrate on the philosophical and the spiritual aspects of Aikido rather than who's affiliated with who.

Q: Sensei, I've been interested in Kotodama, could you explain it for us?

Sensei: Well, that's like trying to explain Buddhism or Christianity or any other mystical art. Kotodama would take me a couple of weeks to talk about, to where I felt comfortable. Kotodama is really the power of sound; holy sound and unholy sound. If I may use your sensei for a second, as he comes to punch me (Wada Sensei punches and Master Seagal lets go a "kiai") I do that. That is not a word, it is a sound he felt. He felt it in here (pointing to his heart) and in here (pointing to his head). Some of you felt it and some of you didn't. The power of sound can be used in a lot of different ways, but kotodama encompasses holy words and unholy words in sounds. Kotodama can be used for healing or killing, it is like any other magic, it can be used in both ways.

Q: Could you describe your focusing process on- someone when you are getting prepared for techniques? It seems like you're going through a very specific focusing process.

Sensei: It's a cycle. When I'm instructing, it's just their body position and my body position. When you really throw, you have to collect yourself and start to culminate energy. You'll set them up, grab their "ki", you grab them from way out and you bring them to you. When they come to you, you do what you want to do, it's like lightning. Onisaburo, who, as you know, was 0sensei's spiritual teacher, wrote the Kanji ku kaminari which means"Budo is lightning." The culmination of electricity and power between heaven and earth, that's really what bugei (the martial arts) is.

Q: How should the uke be setting up for this?

Sensei: The uke should not be thinking about taking anything nor thinking about doing his ukemi. He should only be thinking about attack. In the advance stages you don't even think about attack, you just attack.

Q: Could you give me your interpretation of Musubi?

Sensei: Something meets to become one, its very simple.

Q: Like the relationship between uke and nage?

Sensei: It can be, I can say Musubi in 15 million ways-it's like taking the word marriage in English. Musu means to become one to bring together.

Q: Would you elaborate on how you breath?

Sensei: I don't breathe. (Picking someone for ukemi). I'm not going to throw him, I'm not going to do any technique. He's going too attack. (He attacks). Can you see where I stopped and started breathing? You probably can't see it. I never breath during one confrontation. When I do multiple attack with 3,4, or 5 people attacking me at the same time, I'm breathing very, very slightly between each one. This is the way I do it. I'm not saying that your sensei would do it that way.

Q: Why do you do that?

Sensei: Because with me ;the epitome of my power is in a position where I am flexing and bringing everything together. Its more of an exhale: you inhale when you want to bring somebody in or grab them and once you get them you can't inhale because they can penetrate you.

Q:Sensei, I've been reading a little about the Mushin and the proper state of mind to have when fighting-not to draw back, not to draw forward, to wait to have the open mind. Are there any exercises to develop that?

Sensei: I think meditation, understanding that when you become one with all things, you develop a sphere, like a mirror, that is a perfect and accurate reflection of all that is. When somebody attacks with great evil, you reflect that and their greatness will come back at them. You are not God ,but you become one with God and you allow God to be the judge of how that technique will come back at them. In other words, if somebody attacks me out on the street, I don't think to myself, "I'm going to get this guy and I'm going to kill him." I don't think at all, I just react to his specific energy and I do what I have to do. In accordance with what I've said earlier; whether I take a life or save a life, ultimately there is no difference. I would rather save a life. But if, for example, I was standing in the middle of the street and saw the "night stalker" slit someone' s throat and then he turned to kill me;my action might be to terminate him. I would feel bad about taking human life, but I don't feel it would be my decision. It would be an act of my training. Action and reaction in terms of force and levels of negativity. Does that make sense to you? I would rather be nice as I said earlier, but if I have to not be nice, I'm very prepared to do that.

Q:So what you're saying is not a question of you being nice or not nice, but of you're reflecting what is in the mirror?

Sensei: That's exactly what I was trying to say.

Q:I'd like to know if you have a similar attitude in relation to healing, for people who need help?

Sensei: Well, it's very different ... but similar in the sense that I don't treat too many people anymore and the only people I do treat are people I feel want to be better and have a, kind of karma with life that I can appreciate. In other words if somebody comes to me who has a bad heroin habit and thinks he wants to get better but I know he's not going to, I'm not going to treat him. if somebody in this dojo came to me' today and said, "I'm having a problem with I my ovaries and if I felt this person really wanted to get better, I would treat her. Do you see what I am saving? I look at the individual and see what I can see from them and try to work with that.

Q: And your experience with 0-sensei?

Sensei: I have very little experience with 0-sensei. I was able to see him several times. I've seen him speak. I was very close to his spiritual teachers and I still am. I think I was the only white person to ever go exactly in the footsteps of 0-sensei in terms'of his mystical training. I became a priest in O'moto Kyo and went to all the aesthetic training with the priest that 0-sensei was raised with. I never really knew him. I never got to butt heads with him on the mat or was thrown around by him or anything else.

Q: I read in an article that kenjutsu is a part of your life?

Sensei: Well, to me Aikido and kenjutsu are the same thing. If you've seen my technique, I'm always cutting. Today we just did a couple of stabs at this and that, but when you watch me a lot you'll see I'm always cutting with the feet and the hand; tesabaki, ashisabaki. The hand and feet angles are all kenjutsu.

Q:It seems today that your Aikido was very pragmatic; a street oriented type rather than other Aikido styles which are not as pragmatic as your style. I was wondering if you at any point explored any others avenues of Aikido?

Sensei: The physical technique of Aikido at the level I'm teaching has nothing to do with the mystical applications in the way that you're referring to, i.e.,there is Go-ju-Ryu (hard, soft and flowing). Now 0-sensei always said, "Bugei wa Bugei desu." The martial arts are the martial arts. And, "Aiki wa odorijanai." He always said that Aikido is not dance. If you ever took 0-sensei's Aikido, or watched him, you'd be scared to attack him because he didn't play. As soft as he was, if you weren't there, you'd get hurt. Aikido is serious and it has to work. That is what the founder said and he was right.Aikido has to work. All I'm doing is teaching you how to make your Aikido work because it doesn't work for a lot of you. I try to teach you how to make it real. There is nothing unspiritual about that at all. In fact it's more spiritual. It's real, it's not an illusion, it's not a cartoon. You have to feel it to understand it. 0-sensei was a great mystic but his Aikido worked. There are lots of people who tried to get him on many different occasions, from before he started Aikido to long after. They found out it's no joke. And if you can't do that; if you can't walk out into that street and let a couple of gang bangers come at you with baseball bats, and know that you' re going to do the right thing, you don't know Aikido. It has to be real; otherwise take up aerobics or something. I go into some dojos and see somebody attacking and the guy falls and nobody touches anybody. Is there anybody in here who can throw anybody without touching them? You've got to make it work. I'm serious.

Q: Are you saving that some Aikido dojo's are too passive?

Sensei: There are dojo's that teach that way (throwing without touching); and I think that in order to teach that way you first have to learn the basics and within the basics you have to be able to make them work. Once you've learned the basics and made them work you can get into the magical stuff that takes 20-30-40-50 years to get the feel for.

Q: How would one pursue the mystical aspects of Aikido after achieving the basics?

Sensei: It would be available with me, or any other person who has that kind of mystical background. When you get close enough to your teacher, he decides if he wants to teach you.

Q: Can another religion or spirituality be just as valuable as Omoto Kyo has been to your Aikido?

Sensei: I would imagine so, it certainly could be. One thing about Omoto kyo, and even 0-sensei said, that every religion says, "We are the path, any other path is wrong and you will go to hell." There is no religion that I know that doesn't say that except Omoto-kyo. We're all going up the same mountain, there might be different paths but we're all trying to get to God. Everybody has their own way to get there.

Q: What part of Aikido came from swordsmanship?

Sensei: All parts, when I do nikyo, I cut. When I do irimi, I cut, shihonage, it's all kenjutsu.

Q: How old were you when you opened your dojo?

Sensei: About 22.

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Doomforge
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posted August 03, 2008 08:14 PM
Edited by Doomforge at 20:16, 03 Aug 2008.

Adrius: Sapp is my favorite! He was totally unique. Lacking skill, stamina, agility, but insanely pumped up by steroids, a real mascot of the MMA society! Too bad he fights no longer. Well, at least we have Hong Man Choi.

TheDeath: Don't forget that even the best trainer often exaggerates to encourage people. Would anyone train Aikido if Seagal said "Look, Aikido is fun, but it's pretty poor for self defense and any real fight" ? Lol.

And, the inner side is absolutely ok, as long as you do not try to mix it with the physical side. No magic, mysticism or meditation will win a fight. It may be a way of life, a hobby, whatever. Just don't say it works the way some youngsters HOPE it does.

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TheDeath
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posted August 03, 2008 08:22 PM
Edited by TheDeath at 20:24, 03 Aug 2008.

Quote:
Don't forget that even the best trainer often exaggerates to encourage people. Would anyone train Aikido if Seagal said "Look, Aikido is fun, but it's pretty poor for self defense and any real fight" ? Lol.
I don't know. The interview was not about "trainer" at all.

Quote:
Just don't say it works the way some youngsters HOPE it does.
Actually of COURSE it doesn't work, because they don't do it correctly. I don't do it either, I don't think even Seagal himself for example does it 100% Correctly -- there is always to learn, nowhere where you are "perfect" master.

Most youngsters ARE NOT doing it correctly at all, they get 'rushed' and distracted easily, they do NOT devote their concentration on it, etc... In short, they want a "easy and fast way" that doesn't conflict with their views. They don't have patience nor the WILL to concentrate and truly LEARN it with their hearts, not with DOUBT.

You truly have to believe in something, and do it honestly, if you want to make it correctly. If I didn't believe in my programming abilities and in my logic, I probably wouldn't get any program not even in 5 years, trust me. So this applies anywhere.

If you start with "I want to do what Seagal says, even though I am not confident it works" then you're doing it for nothing -- it won't help you at all if you start with the wrong step. Trust me, I know.


There are a lot of "myths" nowadays because most people that don't know much about martial arts actually start and want to become "famous". And people usually look at them 90% of the time instead of 'true' ones. So myths are created because they are based on the 90% "fakers".

It's like Intel releases a processor, owning like 90% of the market, and the processor having bugs and not working correctly (a bug in programming means a "fault"). Then, people will start to say that ALL PROCESSORS (even made by a different company, at THAT TIME) are bad, at least the most people who don't even know about it. There will be a few who buy the 10% of the market and will try to speak out their opinions, but who listens?

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Adrius
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posted August 03, 2008 08:22 PM
Edited by Adrius at 20:27, 03 Aug 2008.

But the inner side is a part of the physical one...!!

You can't learn a martial art in theory, by reading books etc, that's why you practice!

Now I'm going to sound like some old bearded man sitting on a mountain:

Physical training can only bring you to a certain level, to come any further, you'll have to use your brain...

Of course, my views on martial arts probably differs a lot from others, and what I deem as "progress" might be something totally else than you think
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Doomforge
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posted August 03, 2008 08:28 PM

Of course. You need determination, the sheer power of your mind to push you to your limits. But not the magic tricks, chi, concentrating all your life force in one point, kamehameha or anything similar. Those things won't fight for you. Your fists will, if your mind doesn't suddenly stop you due to fear, uncertainty and such.

All of those things are important for a fighter:
1. Reflexes
2. Mind
3. Body weight
4. Technique
5. Predisposition
6. Coordination, flexibility

All of those are a must to become a complete fighter.

What I was bashing was that people think that so called "speed" is most important, and body weight is not. Wrong. Totally wrong I'm not into martial arts' philosophy that much, so I won't argue on that matter. No matter if you think about it as a hobby, sport or a way of life. As long as it brings you joy, it's good.

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TheDeath
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posted August 03, 2008 08:31 PM

I don't know if "chi" or "ki" is a 'magic' trick (magic is quite a nasty word because people don't believe if it is present in a phrase). Of course it's hard to master, ask a master and every good one will tell you. In fact, there's nothing better for a good master than to have his students outperform him

Quote:
What I was bashing was that people think that so called "speed" is most important, and body weight is not. Wrong. Totally wrong I'm not into martial arts' philosophy that much, so I won't argue on that matter. No matter if you think about it as a hobby, sport or a way of life. As long as it brings you joy, it's good.
Speed is more important. For example, a bullet has little weight, but A loooooooot of speed, and we know pretty well it kills fat people just as effectively.

There are also certain 'paralyzation' moves (call them magic "tricks" with ki if you prefer). Not to mention in aikido you don't even have to punch a fat guy, you can use his weight against himself
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Doomforge
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posted August 03, 2008 08:35 PM
Edited by Doomforge at 20:37, 03 Aug 2008.

You are telling the urban myths I just summed up, The Death, I'm sorry. There are no paralization techniques possible to perform on a opponent that knows what he is doing. I can show you if we meet for a sparring match some day Otherwise, people would use it in MMA over and over. And Aikido would not be criticized for the lack of "battle effectiveness". You trust Seagal, an actor after all, and urban myths too much my friend.

And you can't raise your own speed much. Trust me. That's why it's not important. Good reflexes, coordination and technique give the "speedy strike" effect seen in box matches, but their hands in reality are not much faster than ours!

Do you honestly believe your Seagal would do ANYTHING about our Bob Sapp? He's not only clumsy and slow, but also doesn't give a sh*t about mystical parts or Ki. But I bet he would beat poor Seagal to a bloody pulp.

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Adrius
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posted August 03, 2008 08:38 PM
Edited by Adrius at 20:40, 03 Aug 2008.

@Death: Weight is as important as speed, a heavy bullet going as fast as a small one does much, much more damage. Actually, I would call them just about equal in "worth".
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