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moon in the water Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 04-26-2010 10:46 PM
the water does not try
to reflect the moon
and the moon has no desire
to be reflected
but when the clouds clear
there is the moon in the water
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 155
Comments: 1,111
Views: 1,960,195


In General No-touch aikido: defence Entry Tools Rating: 5 Stars!
  #8 New 06-25-2010 08:59 AM
No-touch aikido: defence It was the All-Japan Aikido Demonstration on 22 May 2010. Years ago Nobuyuki Watanabe Sensei used to stand inside the entrance of the Budokan in an immaculate white suit greeting everyone with a big warm smile.

Then later on he used to do his demonstration. He did it at the same time as Masando Sasaki Sensei. As Watanabe Sensei got more and more into it and started throwing his ukes just by glaring at them Sasaki Sensei would hear the sounds of the crowd and would stop his own demonstration to watch. And applaud.

In the nineteen eighties in Japan there was a boom of interest in martial arts and especially in internal martial arts and ki. Kozo Nishino Sensei, a well-known ballet teacher and choreographer who had done aikido at the hombu dojo, became famous for his ki performances throwing numbers of his students without touching them. Also Nobuyuki Watanabe Sensei appeared on a TV program called Do-sports doing no-touch aikido. Perhaps Yoshinobu Takeda Sensei didn't start demonstrating this style of aikido until more recently.

I have never met Nishino Sensei. Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba talked about Nishino Sensei's no-touch aikido when my teacher Kinjo Asoh Sensei and I called on him once. The Doshu remembered Nishino Sensei's orthodox aikido as having been strong and powerful - he had been about fifth dan in those days. But the Doshu merely mentioned his no-touch throws as just another approach - he was not critical.

I have known Yoshinobu Takeda Sensei for many years. He had been close to my first teacher Kinjo Asoh Sensei in the past and some of his senior students - Numata, Suzuki and Seino - came to our dojo sometimes. Their aikido was very nice - powerful and smooth and relaxed. And Hideo Numata has his own dojo now. I have trained at Takeda Sensei's dojo in Kamakura as a guest and I have taken his ukemi. So I know that Takeda Sensei's aikido is real and powerful.

I know Nobuyuki Watanabe Sensei much better. I don't do aikido the way he does but I like him and respect him as a sincere and warm man. I have often been to his class at the hombu dojo. I have also been to his overseas training in München. Although I was not one of his regular students I took his ukemi sometimes in the class and even once at the all-Japan Aikido Demonstration. By the way I think that shows that Watanabe Sensei didn't worry too much about who was the uke. I can't imagine many teachers doing a public demonstration with someone who wasn't one of their regular ukes. In fact I can't imagine any.

Watanabe Sensei does two main things with the uke's ki. One is to lead it where he wants it to go. The other thing he does is disturb the ki - destroying the energy in the attack. In the middle of a committed attack if you feel an atemi - or something - coming out of nowhere it has the immediate effect of breaking down the attack. Sometimes the no-touch triggers are very subtle but the ukes are so finely tuned to the slightest movements that it is very easy to manipulate their ki.

Why would these teachers want to demonstrate this kind of aikido? That is an interesting question. Perhaps they want to show the aikido world that there is something more? That there are other ways of thinking? Or perhaps that aikido doesn't always have to be so serious! These are teachers with about fifty years of aikido training. If they want to play with ki the world of aikido should be big enough and open enough to accept them.

Once at his class on Saturday morning Masando Sasaki Sensei suddenly produced a ten thousand yen (roughly $100) note from his gi and gave it to the uke. As the uke put out his hand to take it Sasaki Sensei twisted it away in a large natural spiral movement. The uke followed trying to catch it until finally he lost his balance and took the ukemi. Hey - no-touch aikido.

Hombu Dojo photo of Watanabe Sensei viewable on http://www.flickr.com/photos/melmiel/2346242297

© niall matthews 2010
Views: 14425 | Comments: 20

RSS Feed 20 Responses to "No-touch aikido: defence"
#20 11-25-2010 07:34 AM
niall Says:
Thanks for that link, Carina. It reminded me of something I saw Kenju Shimizu Sensei of Tendoryu Aikido (he split with the Aikikai) do once. He did an explanation of aikido on TV. He was behind a screen so he couldn't see and an uke attacked him in different ways from behind the screen (of course not completing the attack because of the screen). But he made the correct defence to every attack.
#19 11-24-2010 06:26 AM
guest1234567 Says:
I know it wasn't, you wouldn't write about it, if it was, I look for information about the sakki test, maybe in Japan it is kind of secret, I know that it is not permitted for an outsider to see it. In Wikipedia it is not described, but in this page http://home.luna.nl/~risu/godan.htm
#18 11-24-2010 05:45 AM
niall Says:
Thanks Carina. What I saw wasn't fake. I haven't heard about the sakki test for ninjutsu.
#17 11-23-2010 04:17 PM
guest1234567 Says:
I read this very carefully and think the non-touch aikido was real. As you said they didn`t do it with you only with their own deshis who where so sensitive to perceive the intention of attack, just think about yourself Niall how close you were to your senseis wouldn't you perceive the intention of an attack. Or what do you think about the sakki test for the godan in ninjutsu?
#16 07-23-2010 10:33 AM
niall Says:
Thank you Buck - that's very nice of you. I'm sure people would be interested in what you have to say if you ever decide to start blogging again. All the best, Niall
#15 07-21-2010 10:31 PM
Buck Says:
Thanks Niall for the nice comments. I am not a blogger, much less a writer. My typing and computer editing skills are not up to par. I don't have the experiences and years under the belt like someone like yourself. I do enjoy your blogs, and the topics. Keep blogging.
#14 07-21-2010 09:26 PM
niall Says:
Yeah I saw that thread about jin/jing. By the way Buck I saw you had a blog yourself - hope to read some of your posts in the future.
#13 07-21-2010 02:51 PM
Buck Says:
By similarities is by form of movement by practitioner and attacker.
#12 07-21-2010 09:41 AM
Buck Says:
Niall, thanks. For me allot of what Kozo Nishino and Nobuyuki Watanabe FWIW, in terms of no touch demonstrations, what you see are many similarities with many Chinese Internal Martial Artists. There is no judgement calls here just an observation. I would have liked to meet Gozo Sensei. Like you said, it is an interesting question why No Touch Aikido is being demonstrated.
#11 07-21-2010 01:58 AM
niall Says:
Thanks for your comment Buck. I don't know of a no-touch throw in judo. I met Gozo Shioda Sensei a few times. He was a very very small man and in a social setting (a hotel) gave off a surprising and you would think quite unnecessary aggressive aura. Not the gentle guru model like O Sensei - or Mr Miyagi in Karate Kid...
#10 07-20-2010 11:17 PM
Buck Says:
No-Touch Aikido, real or staged? In Judo there is a No-Touch throw, I am told. There is validity. O'Sensei did it. Some of his students did it. The student I tend to lend toward is Gozo Shioda. I think you have to look really closely at what is happening. But to do that you have to have a good understanding of the dynamics and what it is trying to show. In my case it is a matter of showing the mastery of a principle.
#9 07-05-2010 09:36 PM
niall Says:
I think that's a fair comment, Dan. Those ukes probably do not consider that what they are doing is voluntary or cooperative.
#8 07-05-2010 09:24 PM
DH Says:
Other than controlled sacrifice throws, if you show me a martial art attacker who routinely loses his balance from an attack.....I will show you a terrible martial artist. Cooperatively throwing yourself and voluntarily matching energy for various purposes and reasons …is choreographed movement, even if the results are not known and remain fluid. What it isn't… is martial arts. Dan
#7 06-30-2010 06:11 AM
niall Says:
These are 8 dan teachers each with a 50 year career in aikido - I don't think they would have a problem with anyone saying anything.
#6 06-29-2010 07:02 AM
Budd Says:
Then nobody should have a problem saying "These guys have martial aikido and here's an example of it (then point to some other demo, etc)." and "This no-touch throw demo is not an example of martial aikido." I'm not going to assume or ascribe some "deeper meaning" or authoritative quality to the practice if - especially if they aren't going to offer any. If they are just giving a public demo and such silliness takes place . . I'm going to call it like I see it . . performance art.

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