Sunday, January 31, 2016

Muhammad Ali's MMA Fight

Did Ali legitimate MMA back in the 1970's?
"Dunne done with, Ali spent last night getting himself and us psyched up for his next superdooper smackeroo – in a few days he ups his marquee from here to Tokyo where he takes on the gigantic Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki. Inoki will be able to run the full range of all-in wrestling moves and use ploys including karate chops, at which he is, according to Ali at his wide-eyed best, 'the most fearsome man in who-le, wi-de, wo-rld.' Anything goes apparently."
It's a fascinating story, a fight that nearly killed him from the injuries.

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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sorry My Dojo is So Small

Another good thing about aikido is there is a dojo everywhere.  Last month I was in a remote town in New Mexico on business, and lo and behold, there was an aikido dojo.  Judging from the students, the instructor was quite good.  The practice was excellent, and at the end the instructor apologized for his dojo being so small.  Are you kidding?  The fact this fellow hosts a club, teaches a dozen or so students, in the middle of no where, means I get to practice while on the road.  No need to apologize!  Thank you!

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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Celebrating New Years With a Bar Fight

The likelihood of ever having to deal with a trained fighter is near nil, unless you are the aggressor, so I love to watch a bar fight, which is the kind of encounter which is more likely.  This is in England...

Happy New Year!
Now there are three players in this scene.  The one in the blue shirt, throwing the punch on the left, we'll call Uke.  The one on the right, the target of the punch, we'll call Nage.  The one in the middle, attempting to extricate himself, we'll call...  2015.

If 2015 was not in the picture, this would be a classic case of Nage to just close the distance, Uke is off balance winding up for a haymaker punch.  When the distance was closed, if Uke is still standing, just a series of kendo half-steps driving Uke backwards until his balance is off and then disengage.  The mates would arrest Uke  (and I mean in the sense of "cool his jets.")  But that is the least likely, and I am assuming no 2015, the positions would be more ideal.

Nage is already blocking, which is a mistake. Indeed his weight is more back and on one leg.  It's likely that punch sailed through, caught Nage in the face at say 80% power (given Nage's blocking left arm), and sent him staggering back, at which time the assorted mates would have arrested Uke.  Nage gets bloodied and bruised.

With 2015 in the way, there was no chance of tenkan or irimi against Uke.

Unlikely, but a good move given Nage's position and since 2015 was still around, would be for Nage to shift his right leg and arm, sweep up 2015's momentum, and spin him into Uke, in a tenkan-like move.  At once Nage would be creating distance as he improved his position, getting some good out of 2015, and give the mates a chance to arrest Uke.

Alternatively: Uke is mad, and while we don't have a video we can assume that since Nage assumed a defensive mode*, no threat to Uke, Uke readjusted given the wan arm defense. In the time 2015 slipped away, Uke would bring up his left leg parallel to the right and deliver a solid haymaker with right hand and leg working together.

A. Nage at that point might slide in and offer a kokyunage, when Uke is at about 20% power.  Uke would fairly gently fall back.

B. Nage might leave his face-target exposed (aikido style) long enough to shift his legs, bring up is right hand under Uke's elbow, and as Nage's left hand and foot slid back in time with the punch, Nage's left hand clamps on the wrist, the right on the elbow, and then Kendo-style, executes a sword cut down and to Nage's left and side.  Ouch!

At this point Nage could let go and let the mates intervene, or pin Uke.  I like pinning miscreants because you will not do any damage (aikido pins anyway) and you can't get such real life pin opportunities on the mats.  People get ticked off on the mats if you deliver actual pain compliance pins. They assume given the pain, there must be damage, so there is little actual pain compliance practice on the mats.

And as an aside, to do actual damage is to unleash a biological defense in Uke, in which dopamine (C8H11NO2) and its friends courses into the blood stream and turns Uke into superman.  It is not pain triggered, but damage triggered.  To break joints and smash noses is to strengthen your opponent, not degrade his fighting capability.  You have a better chance of letting pain compliance suffice if you do not break anything on Uke.  He'll experience amazing pain, But not get the dopamine rush, since there is no damage.

*An irony of Aikido as as purely defensive art, it has no defensive positions.  As ju-dan Tohei Sensei used to say "positive non-fighting".  Reading a book and ready for an attack are exactly the same.

Happy 2016!

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