22 Replies to “Testing Your Ideas Against Reality • Ft. Peter Boghossian • Martial Arts Journey”

  1. I think the interesting thing about gaining skills outside of martial arts in the scientific method, aka how to do research and statistics, is somethings similar to what I'm hearing here just stated differently. But blanket statements like X never works, or X always works, is too general to be true 100% of the time. Our statements need to be more specific, and only in this specific statements can we get closer to reality. X works in this situation, but X does not work in this situation. X has benefits Y, but does not have benefits Z. And we need data to back it up.

    I think this is the only gap in martial arts, too many blanket statements, not enough proper validation, and not enough specificity. I'm only half way, but hopefully he talks about having a method of study/testing that can be replicated. One of your BJJ instructors said it in another video too, he was onto something, what can I replicate under the same circumstances. What's harder to replicate, and do I need it or move it down the line in my structured training.

  2. Been saying all of this for over 10 years. It still blows my mind that in 2018 there are massive amounts of ppl who still believe in fantasy martial arts. They are even worse than the flat earth crowd.

  3. I do have respect for you, so I hope you will consider this point of view. You have gone around the world, you are chasing demons you believe are outside yourself, and are looking for savior superheroes to validate what you suspect to be true. But, as always in life, the demons are really inside. The same credulity which lead you to give over your critical thinking skills to someone else not questioning everything along the way, is now leading you to find new father figures who will rubber stamp your rejection of Aikido. That same credulity keeps you from breaking through the veil of bullshit and seeing the real truth: Aikido as it has been practiced has true weaknesses and true strengths when it comes to combat. Knowing them clearly for what they are will give you the power to benefit from your 14 years investment, build on it, and not blame others.

  4. With any skill, most people, will need to spend time and effort to establish proficiency and that is the truth. So the belief can’t not be established upon if the skill set is working or not at a particular moment but whether it has the potential to work or not as the practitioner becomes more proficient.

    I agree that believes need to be established through experience.

    Aikido at its core has the potential to be an effective combat art and I urge all aikido practitioners to improve their training process by putting themselves through an expanded set of potential attacks so the true potential of the art can be revealed through the individual expressions of the practitioners.

  5. I found a nice BJJ/MMA gym in Stuttgart where I can go over and roll with the guys on Saturdays, which is much fun for me as an Aikidoka. The few times I've been there I have noticed a few holes in my execution of Aikido when put under pressure. If they agree, I might do a video on the subject.

    The biggest difference I found is between fights where attack just comes and there's no time to think and actual matches, even if the match is just a friendly roll around. Using Aikido in those matches is Much harder, but it does give you time to understand where your mistakes are and how to correct them 🙂

  6. I really love your work Rokas, you are a true martial artist. If you keep improving your martial arts knowledge and stay on your journey for more years, i am sure you will be named one of the greatest martial artists in Europe.
    Your work for Aikido is exceptional and truely great

  7. I'm most certainly an INTJ on the MBTI personality index. As such, my opinions are based on fact and not emotion, and I don't feel I am heavily swayed by others opinion – in fact I would say I am never swayed by another's opinion of anything unless I have fact to back it up, otherwise I take it with a pinch of salt until I can see or find facts.

    I enjoyed this video, though I still have something in my mind which I suppose is not 100% settled. For you, it seems that your current goal is to educate the world on how BJJ/MMA is the best. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'm not. Peter talks about testing – in that case, it made me wonder – if the BJJ you are training now is the best, are your instructors out there in MMA winning all the competitions? How are they testing the self defence benefits they seem to be saying they have over (from all accounts) every single other martial art in the world?

    I have one belief in that there is still a difference between training for competition and training for reality. I do not doubt that your BJJ style is going to be effective for self defence – but what I am curious on is how you test it for a different type of competition – one without actual rules.

    A previous JuJutsu style I trained in had scenario-based tests (which are still competitive as each side has an objective). They were as simple as giving each side of the test a goal e.g.:

    Attacker – stop this person escaping the room/area
    Defender – escape the room without serious injury being inflicted upon you

    Attacker – use punches, kicks and grabs to beat this person up
    Defender – take the attacker down and get to a position where they are not able to beat you up

    Attackers (2) – stop this person escaping the room
    Defender – escape the room without serious injury being inflicted upon you

    Attacker – stab the person (moving from single stab vectors at low rank to random stab vectors for higher grades, always stab, pull back, keep stabbing)
    Defender – take the attacker down and get to a position where they are not able to keep attacking

    There were way more scenarios than that, random attacks, multiple attackers, weapons hidden or otherwise, we even went as far as blindfolds for testing body and clothing grabs (clearly no strike attacks for obvious reasons hopefully) to work on touch and feel. We wore gloves, helmets and often mouth guards, it was full contact and you would and did get hit etc. as people were really going for it with attacks and defences.

    Anything went, though you can't actually do bites, take people eyes out, break bones or really 're-stomp the groin', break necks etc. – those are the things that I honestly can't see how you can train in full, and unless I'm mistaken, are not part of allowed MMA or BJJ competition rules.

    There's also a thoughtpath I have that relates to resistance – if you know what someone is going to do, resisting is easy. A lot of the 'does this work when someone resists' testing is done in this manner. If someone does not know what you are doing, then they will resist differently, on a different timescale and movement. It's very hard to resist in an unexpected way, and often the easy way to see how people truly resist is when you have newcomers to your club, or those who don't know the technique you try to go for. They can't resist through knowledge of what you are doing and often react much different to someone who does know what you are trying to do to them.

    I also get torn about the concept of whether a martial art needs to be effective in the ring to be classed as effective for self defence or not. To me, self defence is about walking down the street one night and some drunk decides he doesn't like you, or perhaps someone threatens you with a knife and asks for your wallet. Self defence is, and please correct me if I am wrong, is highly unlikely to involve defending against another trained martial artist. The more likely attacker is someone who's expertise is in street fighting – it is in attacking someone after a few drinks or it is about them fighting 'for real' more than you as the 'defender'.

    I would strongly sugest that most martial art practitioners, whether traditional or otherwise, are not the type to go out and get drunk, then start fights. Hopefully some of their training is beyond the physical practice, and includes concepts of situational awareness, avoidance, and also legalities of violence and self defence.

    What I look for in a martial art is not about 'would this work in the ring', it's about their core principles – do they have true understanding of body mechanics, kuzushi, timing (and breaking timing), entry, the actual aim of any scenario, how to move and keep your own body structure in a strong position…if the principles I now know of and practice exist, and the style does not have limiting factors about what techniques can and can't be used, then as you say here in the video, ways can be found to test the teaching, to test the techniques. But what that is not going to be for me, is 'can we go into an MMA ring and win' – not the same goal in my thought process.

    If we can train our base of techniques and principles, and then apply those in scenarios that reflect reality, then this is my test passed. If we can, more often than not, get any of our students and have them told to 'beat me up' and have the defender 'not beaten up', there's the testing, there's the results.

    What I would like to see from yourselves is how you do your own testing – rather than keep reviewing other martial arts, show us your tests, show us some scenario based examples of how your BJJ is applied to things beyond an actuall BJJ competition. I want to see this critical thinking within what you do, not where it is missing elsewhere. Maybe then, those who don't have the right testing of their style can see how they can start to test things.

  8. If your evaluating Aikido based on the effectiveness of the techniques you are playing the wrong game. The techniques are tools to train the student to create peace from chaos. By approaching the art with short minded goals of putting an opponent on the ground you may temporarily stop the conflict but at the expense of breeding greater conflict in the future. No technique in any martial arts discipline can stand against a conflict that gets perpetually gets stronger after each encounter. At it’s core Aikido seeks to address the endless cycle of conflict by not focusing on small scale of competition but going bigger to address malice itself. The goal must be instead not to defeat conflict but to integrate. The spirit of the attack must be meet in equal measures by the spirit of the receiver to create a new harmonious pattern that maintains it’s energy without the malice. That may look like a physical exchange or an exchange of words or merely exerting a presence in a situation. It’s a competitive stage that does not recognize winning or losing, only harmony.

  9. Rokas, don’t you see that you are the one with false believes? Take me for example. I studies Aikido very briefly, as well as sambo and other arts when I was way younger. I did use Aikido techniques on the street against untrained half-drunk punks, and they did work. And that’s all I needed. Do I think I can defeat any, ANY trained fighter? No, absolutely not. But do I think my skills can increase my chances of resisting an attacker on the street? Yes. Will I win? I don’t know, but sure I can at least try to stand up for myself. Do I lie to myself? I don’t think so. Do I think learning Aikido was a waste? No. Do I think you lie to yourself. YES! So please, please take that man’s advice and start thinking critically, be honest with yourself, and ask yourself “how could YOUR believes be wrong?”. I think I gave you a very good, very real, very personal example of how you could be wrong. Hope you can open your mind and admit it.

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