Silly Aikido Stories

From: Don Cicchetti
Subject: Ministry of Sily Demos

Hi Everybody!

The board breaking chat got me think how cool it would be to have everybody tell about the silliest MA demonstration the ever saw. This is not about criticizing any other styles or a specific individual, so lets change the names to protect the guilty ok? But I'll bet you all have seen some VERY silly demos over the years. Here's one I saw.

Couple years ago we had a guy on campus who claimed very high ranks in several arts. Any style you would mention, he would have "done that too". (no he wasn't 93 years old...) He claimed to be all-Europe champion in some style or another etc etc. I kept hearing stuff from others on campus that this guy was pretty flaky, yet others believed he was the real deal. So I was looking forward to doing live sound at an event that would include a MA demo by him and some of his students. Well they did some impressive looking judo type things and then out come the bricks, boards, lighter fluid, and bottles no less. First he would try to break two boards, bam... BAM... BAM!!! he would hit the same boards over and over, getting madder by the moment (as the crowd groans with each unbroken board), but he only broke about half of them, then grabs the mic and profusely apologizes. Next come the burning cinder blocks, bam.. bam... bam.. groan groan groan from the crowd...nothing... more apologies. But the worst, the most embarrassing thing I have ever seen in MA's was his 5 minute attempt to "chop" the top off of a bottle with a knife-hand technique. He lost all semblance of composure, working himself into a towering rage as he whacked that bottle and whacked that bottle again and again and again, while people in the crowd were actually looking away... Yikes! He finally gave up and tearfully apologized to the audience, many of whom will never ever want to study MA's at this point. As we are tearing down the sound system I noticed that his area was covered with blood spots, and the towel he had been using was much more red than white at this point... Hurt just to look at that towel...

Date: Tue, 29 Aug 1995 16:36:02 -0700
From: Jeff Frane
Subject: Re: Parlor tricks was First post in a WHILE

Ha! My favorite was a series of demos done by the Kuk Sul Won people in Berkeley. They had responsibility that year for the all-martial arts demonstration, and salted it with their masters, visiting from Korea.

Each of the masters had a sort of specialty (my favorite was the guy who worked with scarves -- could irimi behind an attacker and hog-tie him with colored scarves in about 2.9 seconds!), and the top dog had a great demo. First of all, he pulled off his shirt and ran 18 inch skewers through his arms without drawing any blood. Whew. Then he got down to it. His assistants brought out an empty six-pack and he proceeded to break each bottle on his forehead. They gathered up all the broken glass (lots!) and he laid down on it; then they put a wrestling mat on top of him and two or three of them jumped up and down on it (with him underneath). When he got up, he proudly demonstrated the lack of blood on his chest. Wow!

Needless to say, I ran right over the next morning and signed up. Now I am a Grand High Super Master myself and bite the caps off my BridgePort Ale.

Date: Wed, 30 Aug 1995 10:52:31 EDT
From: Cady Goldfield
Subject: Re: Ministry of Sily Demos

Hey! Great stories, one and all (especially Jeff Frane's Kuk Sool extravaganza -- I've seen some of that stuff!).

My personal favorite is the public demo I watched where a guy lit a lighter fluid-drenched stack of 12 1"-thick pine boards (each with a spacer between), only to have his beard catch fire, which caused him to perform a most interesting dance around the gymnasium. Fortunately, he wasn't seriously burned. Also, the crowd thought it was all part of the act! They loved it!

Another favorite is the high-ranking Korean taekwondo "master" who dumped a bag of broken glass on the floor, jumped up and down on it barefoot, then blindfolded himself and proceeded to fail at punch-breaking a stack of 6 taped-together boards held by his adoring students (all while standing on the glass). Afterward, I saw him hobble off into a back room, to emerge 30 minutes later with both feet taped up! Hope he doesn't try to take that show on the road!

Date: Wed, 30 Aug 1995 13:42:00 -0500
From: "Merz, John"
Subject: Re: The Sillies

Speaking of crazy nuts...who could ever forget the badly messed up demo done by a famous MA luminary at the Asian Festival in Boston a few years back?

Yep, this guy who is famous for his blindfolded weapons demos was going around throwing lightning fast punches at people while he was blindfolded. The goal was to stop a hair away from their faces. Unfortunately....WHAMMO...perfect KO. Ouch that had to hurt....

Date: Wed, 30 Aug 1995 14:48:09 -0400
From: Ralph Ray Craig
Subject: Ministry of Silly Demos

Last year our dojo was invited to participate in our university's Asia Night. We did about 5 minutes with one person reading a prepared text about the history and current practice of Aikido while Sensei did various impressive, painful things to three of us. (Including separating my shoulder but I digress (and whine.)) We then dragged ourselves to our seats to watch the rest of the show.

The Tae Kwon Do group came in and ran through a highly choreographed demo which included one person sitting on another's shoulders and holding a board while a third jumped up and broke the board with a kick. Many boards died that night as did cinder blocks. The highlight of the night was when two guys held aloft what appeared to be aluminum pie pans filled with glitter. A third leapt up and kicked the pans, showering the stage with glitter.

While we were collecting our mats after the show we talked a bit to the stage hands. They said "We asked them if there were any props and they said no. I call boards, cinder blocks and glitter all over the stage, props!" No amount of sweeping is going to clean that stage. It'll have to be repainted.
The stage crew were pis^H^H^H tinkled off.

Date: Wed, 30 Aug 1995 16:11:47 -0400
From: Timothy Muth
Subject: Stupid Sensei tricks continued

OK, I just couldn't pass up the wonderful examples of "martial artists" performing rather silly tricks for the public admiration.

I had a TKD sensei who delighted in breaking demos. He'd often take some blocking stance, and have us break boards over his outstretched arms, legs, whatever. At the end of one such demo, he waved to another student who was holding a homemade bo staff, and said, "Break that thing across my back."

Now the fellow with the bo, Big John, (was about 6' 5", 230lb. I had helped him make the bo, and I knew it was 1 1/2" good bamboo wrapped in about 10 layers of electrical tape. We tried to warn the TKD sensei, but he insisted, took off his top, took his stance, and waited.

Well, Big John let out a huge yell, ran up from about 15' away, and drilled the sensei across the bare back with everything he had behind that bo. Of course, as we had warned, the bo had no intention whatsoever of breaking. There was this terrible *SPLAT*, the bo wrapped at least halfway 'round the guy, then sprang back unbroken. The guy's back didn't fare nearly as well. That bo dug a furrow about an inch deep and 2' long across his back. It didn't even bleed at first, just started weaping clear fluid.

I had to give the TKD sensei credit, cause he didn't cry. I'd have cried. He just asked for his top, bowed out, and had his wife drive him to the emergency room.

A year later, this same guy caught his hair on fire trying to break roofing tiles soaked in lighter fluid.

Some guys just never learn.

Date: Thu, 31 Aug 1995 12:46:59 +0900
From: Michael Hacker
Subject: Re: Ministry of Sily Demos

I know a guy who wears hot pink GI pants, a red/white/blue stars and stripes GI top, and does a Karate kata to "Kung Fu Fighting." He's a real nice guy, and he seems pretty knowledgeable, but...

Date: Thu, 31 Aug 1995 16:27:42 +0800
From: The Aiki Wolf
Subject: Re: Stupid Sensei tricks continued

yeah....about slightly over a year ago....there was a tai-chi demonstration where this master claimed to have such powerful Ki that he could keep people away without touching them. during the demo, about half a dozen people came up to him and literally danced away the moment they came within a couple of feet from him.

oh yes...the half dozen people were all his students.

but still, the crowd went "WAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!" :)

Date: Thu, 31 Aug 1995 09:57:50 GMT
From: "J.P. DIESCH"
Subject: Re: Stupid Sensei tricks continued

Saw a fun Tae Kwon Do demo a year or so back, apart from looking (to me) to be REALLY slow, these ppl delighted in breaking boards let right and centre, the highlight of this was their instructor, who aranged 6 students in a circle around him each with a stack of 3 boards, he then completley failed to break ANY of them at all, and was (understandably) laughed off.... sadly this did make life a little tricky for the Aikido club... we were demonstrating afterwards:(


PS. We tried their left-over board halves after the demos, they all snapped easily, 'cos they had rather obviously been left in the oven overnight to dry them out....

PPS. Is it me, or is it almost entirley TKD ppl who seem to enjoy making complete pillocks of themselves for public entertainment??

Date: Thu, 31 Aug 1995 05:49:19 -0700
From: Eric Archer
Subject: Re: Stupid Sensei tricks continued

O.K., I've been trying to refrain from telling my breaking demo story, but you went ahead and twisted my arm (I guess that's what you do best)...

When I was testing for my green belt in Tang Soo Do (lo so many years ago), my instructor was going to teach myself and another green belt testee how to break bricks with a hammer fist. We had done boards many times before with several hand and foot techniques, so we were familiar with the applicable physics. The instructor was telling us that now, the difference was mental. We had to apply what we knew to going through these grey patio-type cinder blocks. I'd seen it before on tape and T.V., but never live and in person. He'd bought three (one for each of us), and set up a demo/lesson after class. A little lecture/speech about the technique and then he set up for the break.

Raising his fist above his head and checking his balance, one... two... three...! His fist came smashing down on the block supported by two wider cinder blocks. The brick disintegrated. Unfortunately, the three steel re-bars (sp?) embedded inside did not! His fist hit them with a sickening thud and continued to slide between the nearest two promptly removing a layer of skin. We wrapped up his arm and sent him on his way to the emergency room.

After he left, we dropped the other two blocks in the parking lot and found them to be exact steel-reinforced duplicates. Talking with him later (no bones were broken thankfully), he had not purchased the bricks himself, and thought that the student that did knew which ones to get. Thus, we learned our most important lesson... always get your own bricks or boards. Trust no-one!

Date: Thu, 31 Aug 1995 09:22:38 EDT
From: Cady Goldfield
Subject: Re: Ministry of Sily Demos

I once watched a tkd demo (not to bash = members
of my art, but there are some pretty dopey tkd schools out there!) where = the
men wore silky, day-glo green pants -- no tops -- and the women wore hot = pink
short-shorts and gi tops that stopped at the navel. Belts were worn slung= low
on the hips by both male and female....but the women's belts had tassels!= I
sure hope that was just their special demo costume!

Date: Thu, 31 Aug 1995 09:32:05 PDT
From: "Julian M. Frost"
Subject: Re: Stupid Sensei tricks continued

A couple of demos:

Back in England, we hosted a seminar by THE top guy in a certain Aikikai affiliated organization. He was talking about ki, and the "unliftable body". He called up a student, who just happened to be one of my students at the time. He asked my student to lift him from behind (like a bear-hug), which the student did. Then he said, "and now, I'll use my ki and make my body unliftable!". So, my student got behind him again, and... lifted him up! The very embarrassed Godan said very little! Did I mention my student was a 300lb fireman? :-)

The second demo was, yep, Tae Kwon Do. It was going really well, and being performed by one of the truly excellent dojos on campus. High flying kicks, board breaking, everything was very impressive. Then it came to one demo where a pair of nunchaku would be used to break a board. One guy held the board at one corner using his index finger and thumb. The board-breaker span around in a circle and sent the nunchaku smashing into the guy's thumb! Obviously he dropped the board! He shoock his hand wildly for a while, then, like a brave soldier, he held the board up again. To everyone's amazement, the lady doing the striking hit his thumb a second time! After the third time his thumb was hit, he just threw the board away!!


PS. I won't tell everyone about the demo I was told about when one of my instructors was attacked by his uke who was using a real tanto. I won't tell you about it because when the uke let go of the knife in mid-air, and it went spinning into his own foot, he sprayed blood all over the audience, which is kind of yucky!! :-)

Date: Thu, 31 Aug 1995 10:08:59 -0700
From: Dennis Cline
Subject: Re: CLEVER Sensei tricks...

We at the Hakko-ryu Ju-jutsu Honbu (Akron, OH), get a big kick of of these types of shenanigans and it brings to mind a hilarious demonstration of "Ki power" Kaiden Shihan LaMonica gave to students at a seminar he conducted in (I believe it was) Toronto.

After deflecting a spirited attack by a participant (who was seemingly bent on testing his skill) and slamming him to the mat with great finesse and economy of motion, Lamonica Sensei called everyone close to demonstrate how he could "project his Ki" out of the index finger of his left hand and into uke's hara causing him to yelp and flop around like a fish out of water.

What noone noticed was that his right hand had uke's right wrist locked in kanoha gaeshi, and each time he bent over to "project his Ki," he sank his body weight (200+ lbs. of it, thank you very much) into this wrist, causing excruciating (albiet non-injurious) pain.

The students, who had never seen such a convincing demonstration of "Ki projection" all stood around bug-eyed with mouths agape until Shihan Lamonica finally clued them in, resulting in uprorious laughter.

Perhaps Shihan Lamonica could make a good living as an illusionist!

Date: Thu, 31 Aug 1995 13:25:37 -0700
From: Jerome Braun
Subject: Re: Ministry of Silly Demos

Okay, I will share too. I am not sure this one fits on this thread, but it is sure worth mentioning.

An Aikido dojo decided to have a small demonstration of Aikido for friends and family --- kind of a recitation, followed by a pot-luck party. The sensei's idea was that the students should show their friends and families what it was that they were spending all of their time and money on. I was lucky enough to be there to share in their experience (through a chain of events with which I will not bore you).

Come the night of the demonstration, everyone was ready to show off the techniques they had practiced for several weeks. The sensei was dressed in formal japanese clothes and his wife was there. The audience of parents and family friends was seated and we were all ready to see Aikido! The sensei had even set up a video camera to record the recitation.

Well, it has been years since then, so I cannot remember exactly the order, so I will just hit the high points. The first group went onto the small mat area and took up positions. Each Aikidoka wore a dogi with belt (of course!) --- but they also had something extra... a glow-in-the-dark bracelet around each wrist! They announced that in order to show the grace of movement in Aikido, they were going to dim the lights and perform Aikido techniques in the dark and to music --- the glowing bracelets (I think they had them around their ankles too, now that I recall this) would swirl and bring out the beauty in movement. Sure enough, on cue the lights went out and they did their thing. It was a bit difficult to tell exactly what was going on of course; I really only remember straining to see their bodies so I could try to guess what techniques they were doing. The bracelets were often eclipsed by their bodies, which robbed some of the effect they had worked to achieve (apparently by practicing in lighted areas only).

Next was a trio, one black belt and two kyu ranks. All were carrying bokken. They performed a few kata, then moved to the finishing set. Well, I say finishing because I heard later second-hand that he had neglected to mention to uke what exactly they were going to do at this point. What he did do apparently was to perform a bokken kata he had learned from another sensei; he instructed one of the green belts to perform shomen uchi, whereupon he performed some variant of ju no kumitachi (ten kinds of sword movements). This led to some frenzied, anxious dodging by uke, who to give him full credit escaped injury. I do remember one part where nage was swinging at uke's feet, causing uke to hop repeatedly up into the air. The most exciting moment was the last cut, a large shomen uchi using full power, knee drop, kiai, and waist bend but fortunately without full extension! Uke swiftly sensed nage's ki and leapt back in time to avoid being creamed.

Then came western-style Aikido. To the jangling guitar strains of some southwestern troubador, out came striding an Aikidoka dressed in sombrero and brightly colored cape. Our hero swaggered boldly, plainly he had no fear. The plot of this little skit involved damsels and an evil Aikidoka (dressed in black hat) who was doomed to fail. Vicious attacks were launched only to be defeated by our cape-swirling protagonist; finally, a devastating pin was applied to the evil-doer! Perhaps, the good Aikidoka was escorted away arm-in-arm by two lovely female Aikidoka.

Well, one group did show a couple of women's self-defense techniques, and also some Aikido applied to kicks and repeated fast attacks. But frankly, after what had passed previously the audience was quite unimpressed with this, and after some polite applause was happy to get started on the very tasty main dishes, salads, and so forth.

I always wonder what the sensei thought about this! My guess, from the look on his face, was that the demo was not quite what he was expecting. But never mind that, for several people were heard to say "So this is what Aikido is all about?", showing that the purpose of the recitation had been served. I certainly learned something about their Aikido!

Jerry Braun

P.S. No. I am not making this up.

Date: Thu, 31 Aug 1995 16:29:22 -0400
Subject: Re: Stupid Sensei tricks continued -Reply

The story that I heard goes something like this. A long time ago there was a defensive tactics type demonstration. The attacker placed a bayonet into the back of the defender. When the defender felt the bayonet being pushed, the defender was to execute some type of defensive response and disarm the attacker. Just as the push began the defender was distracted by an audience member. Yep, you guessed it, the bayonet penetrated into the defender's back sending him off to the emergency room.

Date: Thu, 31 Aug 1995 16:09:46 -0800
From: Don Cicchetti
Subject: Ministry of Silly Demos

We all kind of assume that people who do really goofy demos are not good martial artists. While this is often true, it is not always the case.

I remember a demo by a Karatedo Sensei who has received the "Instructor of the Year" (I think that's the name of it) from Black Belt magazine. He's a great guy and a good martial artist... BUT he had a really bad day. He was doing a demo at a tournament that my Sensei was holding, and it was board breaking time. (the time when most silly things happen...) He had two boards at each of four positions equally spaced around him, each held by two black belt students all in front stance and well braced and ready to focus when he struck. He would punch two and kick the other two. Well you KNOW what happened BAM! nothing, he goes around to each board, and BAM! nothing, no break at all. The crowd was really nice about it and cheering him on to do it. He tried all kinds of punches and kicks to no avail, Finally he managed to punch through two boards and was rewarded with thunderous applause. He had the good graces to smile and bow out. Classy guy. At least it was a nice crowd, but we were really feeling sorry for him. If this can happen to a nationally know sensei, it can happen to anyone.

Maybe I should have checked the boards for re-bar!! ;-]

Date: Thu, 31 Aug 1995 21:53:32 +0000
From: Roger Plomish
Subject: Re: Stupid Sensei tricks continued

The same thing happened to a Sensei friend of mine who picked up a very famous Sensei whose stance was supposed to be immovable. Apparently there were quite a few (hundreds?) of people there, and my friend did it many times. The Sensei just got mad (I think) and walked off. Later he asked my friend if he studied Aikido, and my friend said yes and that he was a yon dan. The other Sensei then said something like, "Oh, that explains it." (Gee, I hope I've got the story right, but if memory serves, it's close enough). Maybe someone who was there can elaborate, or authenticate.

Date: Thu, 31 Aug 1995 22:07:10 +0000
From: Roger Plomish
Subject: Re: Stupid Sensei tricks continued

I don't know if this story qualifies as a "Stupid Sensei Demo Story" but it is true because it happened to me.

Several years ago (too long to remember) I did a demonstration at a university in a different city with the idea of opening a branch dojo for the organization I was with at the time (I think I was still with that organization, anywayyyy....).

After explaining to the audience about the harmony of Aikido, and how people work together to reduce injury, I called up an uke and demonstrated a throw. Turning back to the audience, the next senior then commenced to throw the students who came with us (we call this kind of practice kakari geiko--a sort of line throw wherein the top person throws everyone in order, then the next person takes over and does the same, and on and on till all people have had their turn). While I was talking to the people--without bothering to look behind to see what was happening--I noticed something strange on their faces (most of the people watching were martial artists). Well, I thought I wasn't reaching them, so I continued with the Harmony shpeel. I talked and talked about blending and so on and so forth. But still the same look. Well, I usually talk too much (witness this post) so I thought I'd better stop and cut my losses. I yelled "Yame" and then "Seiretsu". I thanked the audience for coming (still not looking behind me) and told them that we were thinking of opening a dojo in that area (we never did, I got too busy). But the audience just looked past me with blank faces. Nervous now, I bowed and then turned to face my group to bow out. Lo and behold, there was one of my students, bleeding profusely from the face, but sitting very erect and proper in seiza. I almost lost it. I then understood what was happening. I turned, bowed to the audience, then to my group and walked off. Needless to say, most people were terrified of Aikido by that time; I'm sure they thought we were nut cases--disciplined nut cases. The only comments we heard that night were things like "jeez".

We're thinking of opening a dojo in that area again. I hope no one remembers the last demo. I'd like some students.

Date: Thu, 31 Aug 1995 22:23:45 -0400
From: Richard S Bourgeois
Subject: Re: Stupid Sensei tricks continued

Some time ago I saw a video of one Aikido seminar or an other in Japan which included a group of visiting Hapkido students. I was actually rather impressed by their stuff- no flaming board breaking, no beards on fire- many of the same techniques we're used to seeing. At one point ukes were jumping over STANDING (well, partially stooped but mostly upright) partners into breakfalls.

The "highlight" (in the context of this discussion" of the Koreans' demo involved their senior student kicking a soda can off another student's head with some ssort of back spinning jumping thing. Or, at least he was supposed to hit the can. The would-be Korean William Tell instead plowed the poor guy squarely in thetemple. Uke recieved the technique just fine and fell to the mat well-stunned.

Well, the demo must go on, eh? So the Hapkido sensei picks up the fallen soda can and puts it on his own head. The kicker, visible shaken tries his move again.. however, Sensei in addition to being half a foot shorter than the previous target he was stooping forward a bit.

Grace under pressure prevailed! The student kicked the can off Sensei's head and the crowd gave polite approval. Some might say that Sensei cheated by stooping lower but, well, I think this is why some people are smart enough to be Sensei and some of us get kicked in the head.

Date: Fri, 1 Sep 1995 02:02:13 -0400
From: "Dean C. Harris"
Subject: Re: Flaming Coconuts

>third one all I had, shomenuchi, and sure enough, it >cracked -- cracked just enough to allow the edge of >my hand to squeeze in, then snapped shut like >ball-headed pit bull. I'm sure it was quite a sight, me >hopping around hollering with a damned coconut >chomped down on my hand. When I finally got the >vicious fruit off, I was left with a lovely blood blister >the whole length of my te-gatana.

HAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAA. Oh, man---I don't think I ever laughed so hard at anything I ever read on my 'puter!

I'm sure you weren't laughing, though. Ouch and a half- yet still highly amusing. To bad you have no video of this. Would be an *easy* win on America's Funniest Home Videos. There goes that $10,000. :-( You must work out your mind *and* your body-for without both each is lacking.

Date: Fri, 1 Sep 1995 14:41:38 EDT
From: Cady Goldfield
Subject: Re: Flaming Coconuts

RE: Flaming Coconuts

Okay, I'll bite.

Back when I was a callow taekwondo blue belt, many moons ago, my boss asked me to "do some of that karate stuff" as part of the evening entertainment at a meeting/retreat attended by some 60 or 70 members of our organization.

Like the naive (and overconfident) twit I was, I agreed to split a watermelon in half barehanded, using a shuto. Not just that, but my boss would lie on the floor, supporting the melon in his hands, just over his chest.

At the appointed time, I appeared before the group, resplendent in my dobok (do-gi) and, in seiza before my reclining boss, spent a moment in quiet contemplation (the crowd giggled at this...I was a bit taken aback!). Then, with a mighty kihap (kiai), I struck...

...and my hand sliced neatly -- halfway through, getting wedged mid-melon. I had discovered a terrible truth about melons: Unlike boards, they are not rigid. Melon flesh bounces back!

My boss had to pull down on the melon as I wriggled my hand out. Then, I struck again and managed to get through to the bottom, only to be confounded by the rind. My boss had to rip the melon apart to free me.

Even so, the audience was impressed, but I secretly swore I would never make such an idiotic exhibition again!

Date: Fri, 1 Sep 1995 15:05:30 -0400
From: Peter Kropf

Subject: Re: Flaming Coconuts

A number of years ago, I watched a tournament in San Diego. An older black belt from an unknown denomination set up several brick breaking demonstrations. He punched. They broke. Palm strike. They broke. Axe kick. They broke. Then he tried his head. Extreme concentration. His head strikes. They don't break. He stands up, body weaving, eyes starting to roll back in his somewhat throbing head. Then a look of major determination comes over his face and he strikes with his head again. They break. We gave him a standing ovation.

Watching this made me realize that using one's head to break bricks is not the best choice...

Date: Fri, 1 Sep 1995 13:49:33 -0700
From: Krystal Locke
Subject: Re: Ministry of Sily Demos

Worst I ever saw was a green belt with a red gi on. She looked like Christmas while she kicked my butt. I guess the fashion crime distracted me. Nope, she was just much better than any of us in that division. Well, if wearing green and red together was part of winning first, I'm glad for second. Funniest demo? Not so funny like the others, but kinda cool for us Aikidoka... At a tournament a few years ago, I was watching the evening demos in a gym. A Kung Fu San Soo school, new to the area, full of really tough looking teenaged boys, shaved heads, all that, rolled out a wrestling mat, and proceded to do 15 minutes of show. Nice stuff, no problem with it at all, some cool footsweeps, a few well controlled hip throws. Very nice, clapclapclap. Bow, roll up mat... Then, the "other" Aikido school in town came out, no mat, and started their demo with a totally rocking 5 on 1 randori, total all out sutemi, very killer. Followed with some nice bokken work, all very scary looking. It was a real display of great ukemi, on a really sucky surface. The crowd, predominantly hard stylists, was really amazed at the Aikido demo. The people around me kept saying,"I thought Aikido was a soft style.." I was really pleased, being a closet Aikidoka at the event.