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Mato-san
05-16-2006, 08:09 AM
I do not want to create "catagories" between big and small, but would like opinions on the subject.
IMHO big is a step up from small and is a huge asset to the small aikido that you, we, us, have or are learning. It incorporates timing, distance and fluent beauty. Opinions please. Pros and Cons, do not rip into my opinion.

Robert Jackson
05-16-2006, 08:29 AM
I've had instructors discuss the differnce between big circle and small circles I'll assume this is what you're talking about.

They are both equally important. Whether you go into big circles or small circles depends on the energy you are recieving. If the uke gives alot of energy you need to use bigger circles in order to blend with it smoothly. Smaller circles are there for good when recieving less energy.

batemanb
05-16-2006, 08:36 AM
My sensei in Tokyo always said to me "Bigger, make it bigger" - "it's easier to make big smaller, not so easy to make small bigger".

rgds

Bryan

Mato-san
05-16-2006, 08:45 AM
Well said Bryan, Rob also well said.
My Sensei also says "MAKE IT BIGGER"

Nick Pagnucco
05-16-2006, 08:49 AM
My instructor uses huge circles, and they work very, very well for him. Unfortunately, I've never really had the chance to study aikido based on smaller movements, outside of seeing people like Harvey Konigsberg shihan, or Clyde Takeguchi Shihan, at a seminar or two.

When I see video clips of someone like Ikeda Sensei, or read comments about movement approaching stillness, I become worried that my aikido is based on large sweeping movements and that I've missed the more subtle elements of connection & kokyu.

Mato-san
05-16-2006, 08:51 AM
I guess another aspect is the amount of space you have to move. So big and small are equally important.

asiawide
05-16-2006, 08:56 AM
You can make it bigger and bigger so that no one can resist. At the same time, you can make it smaller and smaller so that no one can resist since nobody can see it. :)

Jaemin

Mato-san
05-16-2006, 08:57 AM
We practice small then progress to big, this is where I get my opinion. We do not proceed to the next technique until we can do small and then big. Basically it is all good, big small as long as it is effective my opinion. I have heard some people dislike the contrast.

Nick P.
05-16-2006, 09:36 AM
Are we talking about the circle at the wrist of kote-gaeshi, or the circle of my tenkan, or the circle of a kokyu-nage?

Fred Little
05-16-2006, 09:58 AM
When I see video clips of someone like Ikeda Sensei, or read comments about movement approaching stillness, I become worried that my aikido is based on large sweeping movements and that I've missed the more subtle elements of connection & kokyu.

Hi Nicholas,

Having been fortunate enough to train at seminars several times a year with Ikeda Sensei for a couple of decades, it's clear to me that his movement has become very compressed over that period.

I would suggest that there's a huge difference between "small" and "compressed." The benefit of "large" movements is that it is much easier to see any places where you cut corners. If the "line" of the large sweeping movements isn't clean, then the same holes in technique that result in large movement will be there in small movement. As other posters have reported their teachers remarking, it's much easier to make (clean) large movement small than the other way around.

Hope this helps,

FL

Jimmy L
05-16-2006, 10:06 AM
IMHO big is a step up from small and is a huge asset to the small aikido that you, we, us, have or are learning.

What does IMHO mean?
:confused:

nodmines
05-16-2006, 10:40 AM
What does IMHO mean?
:confused:
It's a chatroom speak for " In My Humble Opinion". :)

Chuck Clark
05-16-2006, 10:58 AM
When you can really DO aikido, small and large, slow and fast are the same... it's a question of appropriate fitting the bodies/intent with what needs to happen to fulfil the riai of the situation. Compression, connection, kokyu ryoku, etc. are all aspects that are necessary in the event.

Josh Reyer
05-16-2006, 11:09 AM
All I know is that I absolutely cannot please my sensei with my initial entering step for shomenuchi ikkyo omote. I feel like I'm jumping halfway across the room and he still yells at me: "Motto ookiku!" "Still bigger!"

Chuck Clark
05-16-2006, 01:19 PM
Josh, Please excuse my presumption, but you might consider the possiblility that he doesn't mean "more distance", etc. .... or it could be a timing issue as well. Obviously we can't see through another's eyes but there are lots of different ways to understand "bigger". He also could be just trying to "frustrate" you to get you to just "let go and do it" from your gut... lots of possibilities.

Chris Li
05-16-2006, 02:04 PM
My sensei in Tokyo always said to me "Bigger, make it bigger" - "it's easier to make big smaller, not so easy to make small bigger".

rgds

Bryan

My guess would be that this is the result of influence from Kisshomaru Doshu. One of the major modifications that he made to Aikido, IMO, was to make many of the circles larger and more open. It's hard to say why, since he's not around any more, but my guess would be that it was done in order to make the techniques clearer and more accessible to the masses when he promoted the spread of Aikido to the public after the war. This is one of the things cited by Daito-ryu folks when criticizing technical execution in Aikido.

In my experience, the older shihan at hombu (Arikawa, Yamaguchi etc.) would teach larger movements to beginners, while teaching smaller and smaller movements to advanced students - of course, the movements in their personal execution of technique was usually quite small, small enough that it was hard to tell what they were doing on any significant level unless you were actually holding on.

For myself, I would say that you'd want to shrink things in size and close the circles down as you go along.

Best,

Chris

dps
05-16-2006, 03:56 PM
What does IMHO mean?
:confused:

IMHO= Is my hair okay.

odudog
05-16-2006, 07:39 PM
My Sensei always tells us that as time goes by, you want to making smaller circles. We start with a lot of distance and big attacks so that nage can see what is going on. But later everything becomes smaller. The attack distance is shorter, the yokomenuchi is not as wide, etc... It is hard to see what the really good Senseis are doing for they do everything so tight, that is when they are truely applying the art and not teaching/demonstrating. Takeguchi Sensei is on the grading panel when I take my tests so this might help explain my way of thinking on this matter.

Russell Pearse
05-16-2006, 09:53 PM
Hi:

We also start with big movements for beginners and gradually compress the movements at more advanced stages. Big exagerrated movements are easier to teach and it is easier to feel the openings and weak points.

When our sensei moves it is sometimes very difficult to see exactly what is happening as the movements are so small. So he slows down and expands the movements so that everyone can see. But he also emphasises that correct technique is small and fast.

Shannon Frye
05-16-2006, 10:49 PM
I've noticed that, with some techniques, the more flexible the uke is, the bigger the circles need to be. When an uke is stiff, smaller circles seem to sufice.

xuzen
05-16-2006, 11:57 PM
Big aikido = for training and teaching purpose.

Small aikido = jiyu waza / practical application of things learned in normal kata practice.

David Yap
05-17-2006, 12:36 AM
In my experience, the older shihan at hombu (Arikawa, Yamaguchi etc.) would teach larger movements to beginners, while teaching smaller and smaller movements to advanced students - of course, the movements in their personal execution of technique was usually quite small, small enough that it was hard to tell what they were doing on any significant level unless you were actually holding on.

For myself, I would say that you'd want to shrink things in size and close the circles down as you go along.

Shigenobu Okumura 9th dan shihan did state something along this lines in his lectures about training begins with big circles and works toward small circles. He also said that this is the nature of the Japanese people with the limited natural resources they have. They learn not be wasteful, hence the objectives are efficiency and quality.

This is consistent with the MA training maxim, "Minimum effort, maximum effect".

Best training

David Y

batemanb
05-17-2006, 01:15 AM
My guess would be that this is the result of influence from Kisshomaru Doshu. One of the major modifications that he made to Aikido, IMO, was to make many of the circles larger and more open. It's hard to say why, since he's not around any more, but my guess would be that it was done in order to make the techniques clearer and more accessible to the masses when he promoted the spread of Aikido to the public after the war. This is one of the things cited by Daito-ryu folks when criticizing technical execution in Aikido.

In my experience, the older shihan at hombu (Arikawa, Yamaguchi etc.) would teach larger movements to beginners, while teaching smaller and smaller movements to advanced students - of course, the movements in their personal execution of technique was usually quite small, small enough that it was hard to tell what they were doing on any significant level unless you were actually holding on.

For myself, I would say that you'd want to shrink things in size and close the circles down as you go along.

Best,

Chris

I know where you're coming from Chris but he is ex Yoshinkan, and a student of Tanaka Shigeo sensei, he only switched to the Aikikai a few years back.


I would suggest that there's a huge difference between "small" and "compressed." The benefit of "large" movements is that it is much easier to see any places where you cut corners. If the "line" of the large sweeping movements isn't clean, then the same holes in technique that result in large movement will be there in small movement. As other posters have reported their teachers remarking, it's much easier to make (clean) large movement small than the other way around.

When you do Aikido technique, it should always be an interaction with uke's movement. I think "compressed" is a good word. We should be practicing to move with uke, over exaggerating our movements, which helps to create simple but powerful techniques (and as Fred said, highlight where things are not so good). As time goes by, we are able to compress that power into smaller movements when required. If you only make small movements from the start, in my experience it is a lot harder to expand that movement into something bigger if required.

Compressing big into small is a lot more powerful than stretching small into big. At least that's the way I look at it.

regards

Bryan

crbateman
05-17-2006, 03:21 AM
Compressing big into small is a lot more powerful than stretching small into big. At least that's the way I look at it.
I think you're spot on here, Bryan. My impression has always been that larger circles are for learning the movements and force vectors in the techniques, and growing smaller compresses the technique into its purest and most efficient form. Smaller reduces the margins for error once the proper technique is learned, but provides the quickest and shortest response, once one has become accustomed to the timing and the blend. I think instructors emphasize larger because it is the best way to see and to learn the technique, but not the best way to execute it once it is learned. The "walk before you can run" principle...

Mark Freeman
05-17-2006, 08:03 AM
When you can really DO aikido, small and large, slow and fast are the same... it's a question of appropriate fitting the bodies/intent with what needs to happen to fulfil the riai of the situation. Compression, connection, kokyu ryoku, etc. are all aspects that are necessary in the event.

Spot on Chuck!

My teacher encourages large movement, particularly when your body is young and able, this encourages the mind to think in terms of 'big' exercise. Then as our bodies get older they and they can only create physically smaller movement but with a correspondingly 'big' mental element.

Perhaps this is all designed so us older folk don't have to move around so much :D

regards,
Mark

dps
05-17-2006, 11:02 AM
Large movements are easier to learn and can be effective, if you have the room to use them. Small movements are easier to learn if you learn the large movements first. Small movements are easier to use no matter how much room you have to use them.

Jorge Garcia
05-17-2006, 11:48 AM
The advanced levels of Daito ryu are mostly small circles. With big circles, you tend to use your center along with your whole body. With small circles, you still use your center but without the large body movement.
Also, I remember Hiroshi Ikeda Sensei saying at the first Aiki Expo that in the beginning, the movements are large but as you advance, they should get smaller and smaller until they almost disappear.
Best,

Mato-san
05-18-2006, 04:08 AM
Josh and Chuck, sorry I mean to say everything bigger , all circles, run into the waza or grab. Make every aspect bigger.
Took the words out of my mouth Josh with the comment on jumping half way across the dojo. Also put words in my mouth with the "motto ookiku".

Mato-san
05-18-2006, 05:10 AM
I can see that bigger is better for learning and finding holes or flaws in the waza (good points) ,small is good for the true aiki aspect. Another thing that comes to mind is the realistic portion of the kata, every attacker in the street will not always just walk up and grab your wrist or lapel, sometimes they will be advancing at you at speed and I believe, IMHO (is my hair ok) that big is better here, small is the other side of the coin. I definately have taken something away from this thread thank you all.

dps
05-18-2006, 06:26 AM
From what I can see of it, hair looks fine.

Amir Krause
05-18-2006, 07:26 AM
In Korindo Aikido, we aspire to make the circles as small as possible. This has a practical aspect, one may not expect to consistently take two steps as Tori while Uke has only stepped once. The movement should come from the center and use the whole body yet remain small.


Given the progress of learning, beginners are allowed to make larger movements and even encouraged to act so, if it would make them use their body better. AS a student advances, he will reduce the number of steps he need in a technique, and learn to utilize his body better. This is enhanced by Korindo Aikido circular Tai-Sabaki that had been developed especially for this purpose - learning to harmonize movement and applying base don the waist and from the center. Already at mid levels, many techniques require only a single step - towards Uke, and the rest is done while Tori remains in place, and Uke finds himself circling around him (the higher the level of both, the shorter the movement).

Amir

ikkitosennomusha
05-18-2006, 06:13 PM
Fumio Toyoda-shihan believed in big aikido. This means his movements were big and round. He was very fluid and powerful!

Mato-san
05-23-2006, 07:19 AM
That explains alot Brad as the very Aikido I practice has its roots from Tochigi. But can see both sides of the coin. If you have not already seen this check it out Brad.
http://www.aaa-aikido.com/teachers/toyoda.html

Mato-san
07-18-2006, 10:24 AM
(first of all Jun if you hear me pls help me change my name from mato-san to mat because I am a discrace the ppl with a username like that from what I have been told) Now lets bring some substance into this thread.

The defence to the attack may be big or small, we have a shomenuchi ikkyo irimi fluid progress to tenkan(can be done big or small) and obvious small is the objective here provided it is done well, but a big waza like munetsuki kotegaeshi,personally I am not looking for small here until we reach the kotegaeshi then rather twist it out in a breakfall big aiki type waza bring that wrist well into your centre for small and effective kotegaeshi (that is the best small) but again just lil me stating my opinion!