“In my martial arts training, every sensei I’ve ever had has spoken first about two things: AVOIDANCE – as in getting out of dodge the moment it seems like a situation could go south – and AWARENESS – as in knowing what is going on around you. Perhaps Chelsea and Amber might have been even more aware than they were had they not have been accosted doing something they did on a regular (and obviously felt safe doing). Maybe prevention has as much to do with how our children – particularly our girls – are socialized than anything else.”
“Without formal training, the larger and stronger naturally defeat the smaller and weaker. Therefore, a basic premise of training to fight as an “art” must be that the methods employed should make it possible for the smaller and weaker to defeat (or at least successfully defend against) the larger and stronger. As we have observed, it is not necessary to create techniques for the stronger to defeat the weaker, as this occurs without formal training. So it is logical that the basic premise of creating fighting techniques which qualify, as “art” must, at least theoretically, be designed so that a smaller and weaker combatant can apply them successfully against a larger and stronger opponent. Now that we have a definition of martial art, the next logical question to ask is what type of techniques will allow the weaker fighter to defend him or herself against the stronger.”
Brian Kagen is an avid web researcher with a particular interest in martial arts. His training background includes both judo and aikido. He has contributed hundreds of article links over the years for AJ readers.
Whenever I go back to Japan these days, it is really with more of a sense of mission, reevaluating my relationship with Japan and my identity, which being Nikkei is significant.
Even after having lived in British Columbia for three years, one in South Slocan where I lived for a short time in Lemon Creek visiting New Denver (both former internment camp sites) several times, and having lived in Japan for nine years, my understanding of who and what I am is slowly becoming a little less hazy.
The late great Hank Nakamura, a Canadian Nisei who was exiled to Japan after WW2 and worked with the U.S. Navy in Sasebo, told me a long time ago now that I needed to immerse myself in all aspects of Japan in order to better understand it.
Here at Aikido Journal we are always working to make readers of the site aware of the efforts and achievements of those figures who have played key roles in the spread of aikido as a worldwide phenomenon. One of the most famous of these individuals is Koichi Tohei Sensei, who figures prominently in our new Aikido Pioneers title.
Due to his departure from the Aikikai organization in 1974, the memory of Tohei Sensei’s many contributions to the early spread of aikido has faded among contemporary aikidoka. He has been replaced by later figures who followed in his footsteps, many of them former students of Tohei Sensei. Since Tohei Sensei left the headquarters organization under less than happy circumstances, neither he nor the Aikikai wish to revisit his part in the heyday of early aikido. The reluctance of both sides to speak of past events is certainly understandable from the psychological and emotional standpoints, yet it serves history poorly, resulting in a nearly universal misconception of aikido’s genesis.
Having been a participant in the tumultuous times before and after Tohei Sensei’s separation from the Aikikai, I understand the sensivities that still linger after this defining event that took place 36 years ago. However, personal feelings aside, I feel the self-appointed role of Aikido Journal as a repository of information concerning the art dictates that we preserve and disseminate, in as objective as possible a manner, the record of the achievements of this giant figure of the art’s early era.
Harmony is not harmless to those who choose to run counter to it. They take their chances and learn the hard way. Same as do base jumpers or connoisseurs of any high risk activity. Attacking others is a high risk endeavour; deserves no special dispensation, and you’ll note that you can not take out an insurance policy based on the fact you intend to commit crime hurting others.
Whether atemi-waza, kansetsu-waza, tachi-waza, even flowing kokyunage, good and real aiki will recoil the intensity of the attack back to the attacker. The outcome will depend on the attack and the force of intention behind it. Nothing else. Certainly not the subtle hubris of a fake ideal people talk a lot about, but fail to put into practice even in little daily matters.
After the disconnection or if an attacker fights, a properly conducted kansetsu, you have no (or very limited) control of outcomes, because the laws of the universe are outside of your jurisdiction and control. Live with it. No-one can predict the outcome.