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AikiWeb System
06-25-2006, 01:30 AM
AikiWeb Poll for the week of June 25, 2006:

Does aikido contain any physical principles not present in any other budo?

I don't do aikido
Yes
No


Here are the current results (http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=330).

Don_Modesto
06-25-2006, 01:44 PM
Jun, aren't you the one who asked, "How long is a string?"

akiy
06-25-2006, 01:55 PM
Jun, aren't you the one who asked, "How long is a string?"
I plead the fifth (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=80155&postcount=3).

-- Jun

Kent Enfield
06-25-2006, 02:00 PM
I'm curious what principle the people who voted "Yes" find is not in other budo.

Mark Uttech
06-25-2006, 02:23 PM
Aikido teaches turning, and turning, and turning. This turning becomes a return. Where does this turning take place? In you. You must stop fighting and learn to turn the fight into something else.. You cannot exhaust aikido.You cannot run out of it. Cover your openings and learn to face your death. I do not think the other arts teach this principle.

Don_Modesto
06-25-2006, 02:36 PM
Aikido teaches turning, and turning, and turning. This turning becomes a return. Where does this turning take place? In you. You must stop fighting and learn to turn the fight into something else.. You cannot exhaust aikido.You cannot run out of it. Cover your openings and learn to face your death. I do not think the other arts teach this principle.

Which have you studied?

Charles Cunningham
06-25-2006, 09:29 PM
I don't understand how anyone could be in a position to authoritatively answer "yes" to this question, since an affirmative answer presupposes a thorough understanding the principles behind each and every budo.

Charles

Jonathan Han
06-25-2006, 09:47 PM
Aikido teaches turning, and turning, and turning. This turning becomes a return. Where does this turning take place? In you. You must stop fighting and learn to turn the fight into something else.. You cannot exhaust aikido.You cannot run out of it. Cover your openings and learn to face your death. I do not think the other arts teach this principle.

I respectfully disagree. I've been studying bagua (a Chinese internal martial art). It is all about turning and circles, both external and internal. I think Aikido could incorporate a few turning tricks that works better and saves our knees from potential damage. I don't think Aikido contains physical principles not present in other martial arts. Nor does it lack anything present in other martial arts (at least the arts I've been exposed to). But since the question said "budo" are we limiting the comparison to just a few Japanese styles?

Don_Modesto
06-25-2006, 10:54 PM
I don't understand how anyone could be in a position to authoritatively answer "yes" to this question, since an affirmative answer presupposes a thorough understanding the principles behind each and every budo.

Charles

My thoughts, too.

mathewjgano
06-25-2006, 11:12 PM
But since the question said "budo" are we limiting the comparison to just a few Japanese styles?
I don't think so...just as I think a topic about "neko" could include anything cat-like.

mathewjgano
06-25-2006, 11:29 PM
I put "no" because while I do think Aikido is unique when taken on the whole, I don't think the specifics are entirely unique, particularly the physical aspects.
Off the top of my head: connecting, rotating, entering, blending, balance/unbalancing, whole-body integration, leading, timing, efficiency...all of these things (and I'm sure any I may not have considered) are found elsewhere to some degree or another.

Mark Uttech
06-26-2006, 11:50 AM
another puzzling poll... I answered 'yes' because the majority of the popular martial arts put you in a cage, and I didn't want to go in there.

Neil Mick
06-26-2006, 12:58 PM
another puzzling poll... I answered 'yes' because the majority of the popular martial arts put you in a cage, and I didn't want to go in there.

Yep...totally in agreement with you, on this one.

billybob
06-26-2006, 01:52 PM
I answered 'No'.

All martial arts are based on the human body. There are no secret techniques, no hidden principles, no magic - just ourselves and the world around us to discover. Aikido is not 'special' in and of itself,
only in that it points us to the sublime truth - which is life.

david

dps
06-26-2006, 02:04 PM
only in that it points us to the sublime truth - which is life.

Yes, life can be very sublimy. :p

Kevin Leavitt
06-26-2006, 02:07 PM
No.

Jonathon Han: You studying bua gua with Bob Galeone by chance?

Back years ago he worked on foot work and weight shifting a great deal with us when he ran the dojo.

Dirk Hanss
06-26-2006, 05:43 PM
I just visited a siminar last weekend.
We did not perform a lot of techniques but were told (again) about aikdo principles
Some like "stay protected", "move calmly", "do not try to survive, but just do the best you can, as you know, you must die", "keep your body straight ", "keep your mind in the hara", and a lot more.

At the end sensei said: "I did not give them numbers, because in fact they are all the same and one principle 'kokyu'."

Now if kokyu is the only principle of aikido, it is the principle of most budo segments. If kokyu is not the principle of a martial art, it is not budo.

In short words: my answer is no.

I usually don't like joining the majority, but if they are right, I have no choice ;)

Dirk

Mark Freeman
06-27-2006, 06:22 AM
I have to go along with Mark and Neil on this one. Although the question asks specifically about 'physical' principles, not psychological or philosophical. Surely the the aim of protecting your assailant from harm puts aikido at odds with the majority of martial arts out there?

regards,

Mark

billybob
06-27-2006, 11:02 AM
Mark Freeman said Surely the the aim of protecting your assailant from harm puts aikido at odds with the majority of martial arts out there?


Maybe it is out of self interest. Even the thug who likes watching fallen enemies bleed out knows that he will go to jail if caught.

Someone I know once said of a poor person who walked by "Wouldn't waste a bullet on him."

We don't hang out too much anymore.

dave

Dirk Hanss
06-27-2006, 11:45 AM
Just a reminder:
The question was "not present in any other budo". It is not ask about the majority. So if you think, you can find ONE budo discipline, teaching the same principle - maybe in a different way, the answer should be "NO".

And cage fight is NOT budo. There is no DO and 'though they are fighting seriously, it is more for entertainment, than 'martial' or 'protective', however you interprete BU.

Dirk

dps
06-27-2006, 01:05 PM
Surely the the aim of protecting your assailant from harm puts aikido at odds with the majority of martial arts out there?Mark

On the other hand the primary aim of Aikido is to protect yourself against your assailant which is the goal of all martial arts.

Mark Uttech
06-27-2006, 01:34 PM
I disagree again. The primary aim is not protecting yourself. Defending yourself by instinct is a primary natural indulgence. Chimpanzees do it. Other animals do it. Other martial artists do it.
But an aikidoka is a missionary. Everything becomes part of the practice. Takemusu Aiki, and so forth and so on. Aikido continually returns to the question: "Now what?"

billybob
06-27-2006, 02:32 PM
Mark Uttech said I disagree again. The primary aim is not protecting yourself. Defending yourself by instinct is a primary natural indulgence. Chimpanzees do it. Other animals do it. Other martial artists do it.
But an aikidoka is a missionary. Everything becomes part of the practice. Takemusu Aiki, and so forth and so on. Aikido continually returns to the question: "Now what?"

Mark, please define 'self'.

david

dps
06-27-2006, 05:33 PM
The primary aim is not protecting yourself.
Would you let your assailant beat you in order to protect him?

Mark Freeman
06-27-2006, 06:36 PM
On the other hand the primary aim of Aikido is to protect yourself against your assailant which is the goal of all martial arts.

I believe the 'primary' aim of aikido is not self protection, but a practice to achieve harmony with ki/lifeforce/universal energy, inherent in the name ai-ki-do Self protection is a by-product of the practice.

regards,

Mark

dps
06-27-2006, 08:08 PM
The question of the poll is about physical principles not the psychological or spiritual principals of Aikido. The primary physical principle is self protection over your assailants.

mathewjgano
06-27-2006, 09:00 PM
I disagree again. The primary aim is not protecting yourself. Defending yourself by instinct is a primary natural indulgence. Chimpanzees do it. Other animals do it. Other martial artists do it.
But an aikidoka is a missionary. Everything becomes part of the practice. Takemusu Aiki, and so forth and so on. Aikido continually returns to the question: "Now what?"
I don't see the two paragraphs as representing mutually exclusive concepts. Protecting the self, for example, is what allows a mother to raise her offspring and for other protectors of life to continue protecting life. It's from this that I think self-preservation has become such a deeply engrained instinct. The basis of every group (whether it be species, phylum, culture, nuclear family, or whatever) is the individual. This doesn't mean the individual always takes precedence over the group, but I do think it means we can't imply self-preservation is inferior or otherwise less evolved.
You seem to be saying there is a significant distinction between protectig the self and protecting the other. I don't see a distinction between protecting the self and protecting others, when the goal is simply protecting. Using your "now what" example: after I sacrifice myself for the sake of some stranger, for example, and who may be a good or bad person (for lack of better words) who will continue to do good or bad things, the proverbial "now what" question would seem to get the response, "now you cannot protect anyone else, including those you 'know' are going to do good."
I'm not saying one ought never sacrifice, but I don't see it as the better situation to sacrifice the self for the sake of just anyone. If I say protecting the other (any other) is the primary goal (in a context which implies protecting the self is always secondary), it could be that I am in fact harming the greater good which I seek to serve.

dps
06-27-2006, 09:14 PM
Protecting yourself is instinctual and training in Aikido (or any martial art eastern or western) trains you how to react instinctively to protect yourself.

Mark Uttech
06-27-2006, 10:27 PM
Re: Poll: Does aikido contain any physical principles not present in any other budo?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mark Uttech wrote:
The primary aim is not protecting yourself.

Would you let your assailant beat you in order to protect him?
You don't protect the attacker by letting him/her beat the daylights out of you. That is but another extreme. I think in any situation, your training comes to the fore. So, how you train is how you will be. It is an ongoing koan, something we think that we have to solve. And yes, we should strive to solve it if we want our training, our practice to mean anything. An aikido dojo is not a gym.

L. Camejo
06-27-2006, 10:38 PM
I don't see the two paragraphs as representing mutually exclusive concepts. Protecting the self, for example, is what allows a mother to raise her offspring and for other protectors of life to continue protecting life. It's from this that I think self-preservation has become such a deeply engrained instinct. The basis of every group (whether it be species, phylum, culture, nuclear family, or whatever) is the individual. This doesn't mean the individual always takes precedence over the group, but I do think it means we can't imply self-preservation is inferior or otherwise less evolved.
You seem to be saying there is a significant distinction between protectig the self and protecting the other. I don't see a distinction between protecting the self and protecting others, when the goal is simply protecting. Using your "now what" example: after I sacrifice myself for the sake of some stranger, for example, and who may be a good or bad person (for lack of better words) who will continue to do good or bad things, the proverbial "now what" question would seem to get the response, "now you cannot protect anyone else, including those you 'know' are going to do good."
I'm not saying one ought never sacrifice, but I don't see it as the better situation to sacrifice the self for the sake of just anyone. If I say protecting the other (any other) is the primary goal (in a context which implies protecting the self is always secondary), it could be that I am in fact harming the greater good which I seek to serve.

Good post Matthew.

LC:ai::ki:

dps
06-27-2006, 10:46 PM
You don't protect the attacker by letting him/her beat the daylights out of you. That is but another extreme.

I believe that you can protect your attacker by stopping him/her from beating the daylights or killing you. Your initial response to the attack is to protect yourself then protect your attacker.
There is a hierarchy of responses you can have that starts at the top with awareness to prevent being in situations where you can be attacked, to a situation where you have to eliminate the attacker to protect yourself. There are different degrees of responses in between those two.

mathewjgano
06-27-2006, 10:52 PM
Good post Matthew.

LC:ai::ki:
Thank you! As the saying goes: the sun shines on a dog's [back] every now and then. ;)
Take care,
Matt

Michael Young
06-28-2006, 01:51 AM
My current thought process:

I don't think there are any "physical principles" unique only to Aikido, but the manner in which the principles are combined with the physical movements is unique. For example, music consists of different tones (notes) and rythmic patterns, and the way in which the notes and rythym are combined creates something distinctive. A style, if you will... i.e. "classical", "jazz", "country", "rock and roll", etc. Each of those styles of music, while still containing notes, rythmic patterns, particular scales and so on, contain combinations of each of those elements that are unique unto themselves, creating a sound that can (usually) be readily identified as belonging to the particular genre.

Indulging myself here, the metaphor could be extended further: certain genres of music are more encompasing and complex than others. For example, classical music is generally considered more complex than say, blues or country; requiring a more in-depth understanding of music theory and practice (I realize this is a generalization)...just as some martial arts generally require a greater understanding of body mechanics, control of space and timing, and a larger syllabus of techniques (jiujitsu for example) while others are seemingly less complex (like many striking arts). I usually compare Aikido to Jazz. To play Jazz music well requires a very thorough grounding in basic music theory and a complete understanding of rythm, chords, scales (classical music theory and practice) before those things can be combined uniquely and played with real proficiency. To truly practice Aikido requires a very comprehensive understanding of physical principles of movement, timing, spacing, and body mechanics, etc before the ability to understand and apply the actual "aiki" are available to a practioner.

So, it begs the question: What makes Aikido, Aikido? There must be something physically distinctive about Aikido that differentiates it from other arts....isn't there? Maybe others can put what that is in better terms than I, so in the meantime here is what I say:
"I can't tell you what it is, but I know it when I see it" : :freaky:

billybob
06-28-2006, 08:59 AM
Excellent discussion, and I hear the kami telling me that we are treading ALL OVER Jun's next poll!!!

In the ASU handbook M. Saotome Sensei states that the kihon of aikido must be preserved or aikido will devolve into something else. Let me quote the gentleman since his words weigh more:

Aikido has a basic structure, kihon waza, which allows you to study the fundamental principles of the art. The structure of this training process is the same as a scientific formula. As a formula is an exacting international language that allows scientists to communicate and explore the depths of scientific principle, kihon waza is an international language allowing Aikidoka from all over the world to communicate and explore the basic truths of Aikido. If this basic structure is lost, Aikido is lost.

My last class in Psychology was the Psychology of Language - the Prof said there are several defining world views - rational linear, organic, synthetic, and one I forget. If I adopt the organic view I can speak very plainly about the interconnectedness of all things. In this way I am not referencing the 'mystical' when I suggest that to protect one's opponent is to protect oneself, especially if you are a martial artist and you have to explain to the police why there is a person lying in the ground in front of you. (At my wife's school BOTH parties are punished when there is a fight; this is also true where I work - immediate dismissal)

david

JMCavazos
06-28-2006, 12:21 PM
I think that the physical principals are present in other martial arts. In most MA, they don't get into those principals until later on in their training - almost like "hidden teachings". We get them right off the bat!

Now as far as the spiritual application of the art - this what funadamentally makes aikido different from aikijujitsu. Aikido is basically O'Sensei taking a brutal martial art and applying his spiritual beliefs to the art - making it so vastly different from aikijujitsu that is merited a new system.

Physical fundamentals - NO. Spiritual fundamentals - YES.

billybob
06-28-2006, 12:30 PM
I'm tickin everybody off today man!

Joe Cavazos said Physical fundamentals - NO. Spiritual fundamentals - YES.

Not so, Sir. Judo teaches much the same, if less purely spiritual and more spiritual/civic minded.

david

dps
06-28-2006, 12:43 PM
[QUOTE=
I am not referencing the 'mystical' when I suggest that to protect one's opponent is to protect oneself, especially if you are a martial artist and you have to explain to the police why there is a person lying in the ground in front of you.[/QUOTE]

So the police won't believe "God told me to" or " the devil made me do it" as the reason. :)

Ron Tisdale
06-28-2006, 12:49 PM
They may believe it, but they will still lock you up...
;)
B,
R

JMCavazos
06-28-2006, 12:49 PM
Hi David,

I hope you are having a good day. I don't believe you have "ticked off" anybody!

Anyway, my take on the question of physical principals was my "real" reply to the postings. Yes, Jigoro Kano espoused some of the aikido spiritual philosophy, as well as most other martial arts. But I still stand by my quote that aikido is what it is due to O'Sensei's spiritual revelations that he had. (The Golden Light, etc....)

This is my thoughts on it: I may be totally wrong. I may be somewhat wrong. I may not be wrong.

So what? It shouldn't bother anybody!

In aiki,

billybob
06-28-2006, 01:15 PM
Speaking from experience Ron?

hhah

I should know that aikidoka aren't afraid of a little atemi!

When I was younger I didn't bruise so damn easily. ha!

dave

Ron Tisdale
06-28-2006, 02:23 PM
:) No, not in this case....thankfully! But I have seen it happen to others.

I still don't bruise easily (too dark skinned for that) but it hurts a whole lot more than it used to! ;)

Best,
Ron

Mark Uttech
06-28-2006, 05:08 PM
I just re-checked the poll results and 36% have gone with "Yes", thus narrowing the gap. Aikido would not be aikido if it was like the other arts. But it is entirely possible that fewer people in aikido than in other arts feel the need to cross train.

billybob
06-28-2006, 05:26 PM
Mark,

Show your cards Sir. Name or describe any physical principle not present in other budo please.

davd

mriehle
06-28-2006, 07:28 PM
you have to explain to the police why there is a person lying in the ground in front of you. (At my wife's school BOTH parties are punished when there is a fight; this is also true where I work - immediate dismissal)


I tend to agree that the differences in Aikido and other arts have more to do with spiritual principles or - at least - attitude than any physical ideas.

Your comment above put me in mind of a situation that happened with one of my students that illustrates a very important point of Aikido to me - the ability to deal with a fight without fighting. More often than not, IME, Aikido works best when the Aikidoka doesn't fight back.

My student - probably about six at the time - came to class one night with a story to tell me. I think his mother was more excited than he was. Some kids attacked him on the playground, he just turned and bowed and they all fell down. They got in trouble, he didn't. Why not? Because he was never fighting and it was obvious to the teachers that this was so.

That "shrugging the attack off" kind of thing is an important idea in Aikido, IMO, and one of the hardest things to master. But there isn't anything special about the physical principles involved.

mathewjgano
06-28-2006, 08:08 PM
My current thought process:
For example, music consists of different tones (notes) and rythmic patterns, and the way in which the notes and rythym are combined creates something distinctive. A style, if you will...
I thought this was a GREAT analogy! Conceptually it really clicked with me.
Doumo arigato gozaimasu,
Matt

statisticool
06-28-2006, 09:34 PM
Does aikido contain any physical principles not present in any other budo?


Maybe the emphasis on self defense from a half standing half ground position, with emphasis on not getting tangled up with the opponent but being able to be mobile and not be seen as the aggressor?

ksy
06-29-2006, 01:09 AM
I respectfully disagree. I've been studying bagua (a Chinese internal martial art). It is all about turning and circles, both external and internal. I think Aikido could incorporate a few turning tricks that works better and saves our knees from potential damage. I don't think Aikido contains physical principles not present in other martial arts. Nor does it lack anything present in other martial arts (at least the arts I've been exposed to). But since the question said "budo" are we limiting the comparison to just a few Japanese styles?

bro jonathan,

i'm chinese but have never studied bagua. Wonder if you could explain or describe the turning techniques that you have mentioned. Im a newbie and was wondering if "old" aikido practitioners end up with "wobbly" knees or something like that bcos i keep reading about damage to knees. thanks in advance.

Mark Uttech
06-29-2006, 05:47 AM
Mark,

Show your cards Sir. Name or describe any physical principle not present in other budo please.

davd


A good player does not show his cards. He plays them. In gassho

Ron Tisdale
06-29-2006, 08:35 AM
Maybe the emphasis on self defense from a half standing half ground position, with emphasis on not getting tangled up with the opponent but being able to be mobile and not be seen as the aggressor?

If you mean hanmi handachi/hanza handachi, Daito ryu has that. If you mean suwari waza, several other jujutsu arts have something similar (in Daito ryu, it's called idori). Being mobile is not a new principle...maybe not being seen as the agressor would be, but I don't see that as a physical principle.

Best,
Ron

Janet Rosen
06-29-2006, 10:53 AM
the question was physical principals. there are just so many ways a body moves through space and interacts with another body; AFAIK none are unique to aikido and most are shared w/ other "internal" arts.

billybob
06-29-2006, 01:23 PM
M. Riehle Some kids attacked him on the playground, he just turned and bowed and they all fell down.

I want to be like Sensei Riehle's student!

---------------------------

Mark, I'm training. I'll try again. You said, sir
Aikido would not be aikido if it was like the other arts. But it is entirely possible that fewer people in aikido than in other arts feel the need to cross train.

How would cross training help me understand your point?

david

Don_Modesto
06-29-2006, 08:55 PM
A good player does not show his cards. He plays them. In gassho

Major cop out.

Michael Young
06-30-2006, 01:00 AM
Major cop out.

I gotta agree, this is a discussion forum where ideas and opinions can be exchanged for everyone's growth and benefit (and sometimes entertainment). As much as I enjoy a night of cards...we ain't playing Texas Hold'em.
Name or at least describe what specific physical principle is unique to ony Aikido, then we can discuss whether we think it is valid or not.

Mark Uttech
06-30-2006, 03:19 PM
Is taking ukemi a cop out?

billybob
06-30-2006, 03:21 PM
Only if you're being attacked brother!

If you don't know, or if you can't answer it's ok. I knew I was posing a tough question, and I know you won't cut me slack on next week's poll discussion.

Good training anyway.

david

statisticool
07-04-2006, 10:00 PM
And also more stress on defense from a seated position is something aikido is unique at?

mriehle
07-05-2006, 03:15 PM
M. Riehle

I want to be like Sensei Riehle's student!



Right. Well. If you're going to sing my praises - or even my student's - like that, I have to point out that this boy had three other teachers as well as me. He happened to be my student at the time. My predecessor had him longer than I did. My two successors had him even longer, including Tadhg Bird, who you'll see piping up around here on occasion.

I'd love to say it was my instruction that made all the difference. It might even be true. But I ain't saying it is, 'cause I just don't know.

In any case, here's the e-mail his mother sent to the school about the incident: Gregorio's Story (http://www.newschoolaikido.com/stories/gregoriostory.pdf)