“With a certain degree of restraint in throwing and reasonably survivable ukemi, you
CAN train all your life. You DON’T become disabled by or before the age of 30.”
Charles Warren replies to Guillaume Erard’s article “Why Budo are not supposed to work in a real fight.”
The answer to this is extremely simple. A fight is by its nature spontaneous and dynamic. Applying a form to the situation may work if you’re quick enough and strong enough, but if that’s all you have, the odds are in favor of the fighter. OODA – Observe Orient Decide Act is the Boyd cycle. If you’re deciding and acting in a structured manner either in the absence of Observing and Orienting or behind the pace of a changing situation…
When you’ve mastered forms sufficiently the odds become more even. When they are so ingrained as to flow spontaneously, well, the spontaneity advantage of the fighter is nullified. The mechanical advantages of the proven techniques give an advantage. With enough practice comes an appreciation of intent and timing. That sensitivity completely reverses the situation. Musashi said, “Stop his cut at “c…” An expression in English is to “throw a spoke in the wheel”; a bit old fashioned – imagine a wooden wagon wheel with a loose wooden spoke tossed between those which support the rim.
“…in many cases, the efficacy of the techniques has been voluntarily diminished in order to reduce the risk of physical harm during training…”
The subtlety of aikido techniques, my opinion, lies in weaknesses, both static and dynamic, of the skeleto-muscular system. We all know that the application of strength is a skill in the use of the body. A logical and natural corollary is that there are weak spots proportionate and opposite to the strong ones. A really good aikido technique* affects the opponents’ balance with a bare minimum of effort. After that, “the force is with you”, that force being gravity. As good falling arts are poorly distributed among attackers, “the force” may be more than sufficient to control the situation and/or injure the opponent. Just again imo, it seems to me that taking the extra time or effort to injure a joint or anything else is simply taking extra time or effort. Time is what we live in and critical in a fighting situation.
A side effect, unintended consequence if you will, is that with a certain degree of restraint in throwing and reasonably survivable ukemi you CAN train all your life. You DON’T become disabled by or before the age of 30.
Another unintended consequence is that you will be acting ahead of your conscious mind. How your conscious mind interprets that… Well, it gets confused. The messages it captures, retains and conveys are likely to be, shall we say, outside ordinary reality.
Now, this sort of mastery takes time, years. If you’re going to war in 30 or 60 days, you need and will be trained in simple stuff. A butt slap to the chin with a rifle, unlike in the movies, is probably lethal.