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dps
08-13-2006, 02:41 PM
In researching past posts I came across this on competition by Chuck Clark six years ago. Any new comments on this?



07-04-2000, 12:43 PM #1
Chuck Clark

'Hi everyone,

I was just reading some of the posts here on AikiWeb Forum and I see lots of folks using the words "competition or competitive" and I would like to kinda pick this word apart a bit because I think our society's usage is skewed. I would appreciate your thoughts after reading the following essay.

Competition
This article originally appeared in the Jiyushinkai Budo News and
then was reprinted in Furyu, The Budo Journal

I am a competitor. I grew up competing for grades in school and victories on the athletic field. Now I compete in the business world. At times it seems my whole life is a competition. So, what drew me to aikido? This is a noncompetitive martial art with no tournaments, trophies, or the other traditional trappings of competition. Am I trying to escape from competition?

My involvement in aikido has forced me to question my understanding of competition. I've always thought of competition as winning or losing. Where did I get this idea? As a kid I was told that it doesn't matter if I win or lose, but it's how I played the game that counts. As an adult, I was told that winning is everything, and the only thing worse than losing was failing to compete. This approach to competition seemed to produce a state of warfare in my life. Every situation became a confrontation resulting in either a win or a loss, and losing was unacceptable. Is competition reflected in this zero-sum view of life?

The word compete comes from the Latin competere, which is a compound verb formed from com that means 'together', and petere that means 'to seek'. Therefore, compete originally meant 'to seek together'. Webster's defines compete as 'to come together or to strive consciously or unconsciously for an objective'. These definitions appear more closely related to aikido than my zero-sum view of life as 'winning is everything'.

So, maybe aikido is competitive. It is a journey we take together, seeking an objective, and hopefully as we travel our journey moves from the unconscious to the conscious.

I believe that competition has become confused with combat, which is a zero-sum path. Combat comes from the Latin combattere, which means 'to fight together'. Webster's defines combat as 'fighting with and striving to reduce or eliminate'. These definitions appear to be more consistent with our society's understanding of competition. We like to view our activities in terms of warfare. Why else do we find Sun Tzu's The Art of War in the business section of our bookstore, or hear athletes talking about 'taking no prisoners'? Are these competitors or combatants?

Traveling along the road of competition is healthy, and it is only when we detour into the darkness of combat that we lose our way. Confusing the two roads has deprived many people of the chance to experience the lessons of competition. Some have become engrossed with the idea that winning is everything, and they only see life as a series of battles in a war. The only purpose to their life is winning, but they never question what they have won. Others are scared of losing, so they refuse to play the game. They become spectators, failing to participate in life, and losing by default. Neither of these groups understands that competition is part of our journey through life, not the final destination.

Life requires participation (getting your hands dirty; putting our hand in your partner's face; taking a fall), and participation involves the risk of failure. In The Art of Peace, O-Sensei says, "Failure is the key to success, each mistake teaches us something." How can we find failure or success if we confuse competition with combat?

Success and failure are 'mile markers' along the road during competition. We use them to gauge our progress. We should learn from both our successes and our failures, because neither are permanent nor final stops along the road. However, in combat, success is just a reprieve until the road ends in failure. Which road do you wish to travel?


© Copyright by Roger Alexander 1996 All Rights Reserved

(Roger was a professional baseball pitcher and is now a teacher and coach as well as a sandan in aikido.)

Thanks,"


__________________
Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org]

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=90&highlight=aikido+competition
Thanks,
David

Roman Kremianski
08-13-2006, 11:08 PM
Wise words.

Brad Pruitt
08-14-2006, 12:27 AM
I believe you must know failure to succeed or how else would you know where it is you've gotten from where you've been.My success comes through my failures but is ultimately inside of me.

ian
08-14-2006, 07:01 AM
Yep - I think the practise of aikido requires constant competion with your self (always wanting to improve), as opposed to a passive prancing around through techniques thinking if I practise for 50 years I'll be an expert or thinking that you're great if you beat your school mate. I think you have to gouge out the eyes of self-delusion, bite off the ears of self-congratulation and wrench out the liver from sensei adoration - just focusing on one thing; improvement in the martial arts.

Mark Uttech
08-14-2006, 08:23 AM
That Aikido is "Michi" or a way, implies a type of internal competition, no different than the act of brushing one's teeth every morning. You don't brush your teeth to 'improve' them, but you still have to get yourself to do it.

deepsoup
08-14-2006, 04:33 PM
Any new comments on this?
Yes. Chuck Clark really is a bit of a star, isn't he? :)

Mark Uttech
08-14-2006, 04:38 PM
no he is not. and he would be the first to say so.

Charles Hill
08-14-2006, 09:09 PM
Hi Mark,

How does michi/way imply internal competition?

btw, the post seems to indicate Roger Alexander as the author, not Mr. Clark.
another btw, Mr. Clark's Jiyushinkan website is full of really nice, thought provoking articles, check it out!

Charles

deepsoup
08-15-2006, 03:50 AM
btw, the post seems to indicate Roger Alexander as the author
Yes it does, but nevertheless it was a fine contribution to the thread. My comment was more general really.
Thanks for the tip, I checked that site out some time ago, but don't remember much about it, time for another look..

Mark Uttech
08-15-2006, 09:34 AM
Hi Charles, Michi implies internal competition for the very simple reason that it hard to do anything without some sort of internal dialogue (hence, the competition), should I get up? should I stay in bed? That type of thing. Should I go to class? Internal competition is a very natural pastime. On the other hand, external competition works with some need or desire to "prove oneself" to others, or, I should say, to prove oneself to oneself and others; but that type of victory passes so swiftly as to be "no victory."

happysod
08-15-2006, 10:02 AM
On the other hand, external competition works with some need or desire to "prove oneself" to others, or, I should say, to prove oneself to oneself and others; but that type of victory passes so swiftly as to be "no victory." Can't get behind this one Mark, I've known several people whose victory in a competitive venue have lasted them most their lives by being not only a cherished memory but also as part of how they have defined themselves. Also, how far do you take this dismissal of others for taking stock of your own achievements? A simple aikido kyu grading would qualify under this definition as the person grading has to prove themselves to others, anyone doing a demonstration is also depend ant on the viewpoint of others not their own for how it is received.

For me competition and winning aren't dirty words unless they're coupled with the need to denigrate or humiliate your opponent. People are by and large social animals, so I don't think you can fully separate "internal" and "external" competition. If you do, often this leads to strange theories tested only within your own mind which would never survive the light of anothers criticism.

Mark Uttech
08-15-2006, 10:27 AM
ha ha it certainly didn't survive the light of yours! In gassho,
Mark

Charles Hill
08-15-2006, 11:44 PM
Thanks for the reply Mark. What do you think about the idea in the original post that the original/real meaning of "compete" is "to seek together"? Surely we can all agree that "compete" means or at least has come to mean "struggle for victory." And that victory means "gaining mastery over opponents or gaining the highest score. This, I think, is the common usage. I, for one, find the seek together definition more useful.

Charles

Mark Uttech
08-16-2006, 06:04 AM
Since the original meaning of the word is not the standard reality, maybe we had better use a different word. I use the word 'awase' in my classes, as one translation of 'awase' is 'together'.
The use of the word 'musubi' also works, as it is about connection. In gassho

Mark

dps
08-17-2006, 06:59 AM
In ' The Spirit of Aikido' by Kisshomaru Ueshiba, is ' Reminders in Aikido Practice'. These are guidelines that OSensei gave to his students in response for dojo regulations. Number one says," Aikido decides life and death in a single strike, so students must carefully follow the instructor's teaching and not compete to see who is the strongest." These were written around 1935.
The part that says," ...not compete to see who is the strongest.", seems to be a qualification on the idea of competition in agreement with the definition of Roger Alexander's.
Do you think that OSensei changed this meaning later?

Also isn't ," Aikido decides life and death in a single strike.", an interesting remark about the lethality of Aikido?

Mark Uttech
08-17-2006, 09:06 AM
"Aikido decides life and death in a single strike" could simply mean that if you don't get off the line of the attack, well....

George S. Ledyard
08-17-2006, 10:35 AM
Also isn't ," Aikido decides life and death in a single strike.", an interesting remark about the lethality of Aikido?

For most of us doing Aikido, this is nothing more than a theoretical capability. Very few folks who started in post war Aikido have studied atemi waza to the extent that they could finish a confrontation with one blow, or even many blows. It's simply not been the focus of what has been passed down to the majority of folks who are training. I suspect the senior Yoshinkan practitioners have some capability in this regard as do the Yoseikan folks but not the majority of folks.

So while we can talk about how Aikido "could be" lethal, in reality it needs to be qualified that only "some people's" Aikido is potentially lethal.

Mike Sigman
08-17-2006, 10:44 AM
So while we can talk about how Aikido "could be" lethal, in reality it needs to be qualified that only "some people's" Aikido is potentially lethal. I think that's an apt statement. Still, it should be emphasized that "universal harmony" implies a balance of all ideas... so some degree of competition, while not the focus, is part of the true ideal balance in the idea of true "harmony".

FWIW

Mike

dps
08-17-2006, 11:05 AM
Thank you George.

I was thinking along that thought since that was written in 1935. I would appreciate your opinion about the competition part.

In Kisshomaru's book he says that O'Sensei, "concluded that the true spirit of budo is not to be found in a competitive and combative atmosphere where brute strength dominates and victory at any cost is the paramount objective." Doesn't this define O'Sensei's meaning of competition as 'winning or losing' and not 'seeking together'?

Thank You
David

George S. Ledyard
08-17-2006, 11:30 AM
Thank you George.

I was thinking along that thought since that was written in 1935. I would appreciate your opinion about the competition part.

In Kisshomaru's book he says that O'Sensei, "concluded that the true spirit of budo is not to be found in a competitive and combative atmosphere where brute strength dominates and victory at any cost is the paramount objective." Doesn't this define O'Sensei's meaning of competition as 'winning or losing' and not 'seeking together'?

Thank You
David
In O-Sensei's original context, it was pre-war (or at least before our entry into the war that had been going on in Asia for years). I don't think his thinking about the competitive mind had changed yet to his post-war viewpoint. I belive that he meant this in the way that it would have been meant in any of the combat oriented jiu jutsu arts. If you train with someone in the combat arts with a competitive mind set you will be injured, perhaps severly. This is why training was done in Kata and there would be little or no competition.

I believe that O-sensei was as effected by the devastation of WWII as most Japanese were, perhaps even more so because of his spiritual beliefs about the uniqueness of the Japanese spirit and the Way of the Kami. I think that he saw that Japan had been led astray by its notions of conquest and that this oppositional thinking had produced its own destruction. At that point, I think his notion of not competing started to have more of the sense of not having the competing mind because it didn't fit with the spiritual lesson he felt the art should be imparting.

Howver, I do not think that he felt that shiai, competition in the sense of competing to perfect oneself was wrong, It was just that to do so would require rules and regulations that would change the martial nature of the art and he wasn't willing to do that. If one looks at the whole issue from his point of view, he saw an essential connection existing between all things that made it fundamentally inappropriate to talk about winning and losing. If the two opponents are really one, how can one win over the other? This is where he gets to the idea that the real conflict with is with oneself and he talks about masakatsu agatsu, tuer victory is victory over oneself.

dps
08-17-2006, 11:43 AM
Thank You,
David

Mike Sigman
08-17-2006, 11:44 AM
In really traditional Taiji, a person is not allowed to start the 2-hand engagement called "push hands" for a number of years. The idea is that until you have trained your body to have the qi and jin skills, competition will only serve to keep you in the normal-muscle mode. If you look at most western "push hands", it's easy to see that it's mostly disguised wrestling and a little judo at best. Few westerners ever develop qi and jin skills, just like few westerners in Aikido, karate, etc., ever developed ki and kokyu skills. Competition is a no-no for that reason. I wonder if that might not also have been part of Ueshiba's reasoning?

FWIW

Mike Sigman

George S. Ledyard
08-17-2006, 12:17 PM
In really traditional Taiji, a person is not allowed to start the 2-hand engagement called "push hands" for a number of years. The idea is that until you have trained your body to have the qi and jin skills, competition will only serve to keep you in the normal-muscle mode. If you look at most western "push hands", it's easy to see that it's mostly disguised wrestling and a little judo at best. Few westerners ever develop qi and jin skills, just like few westerners in Aikido, karate, etc., ever developed ki and kokyu skills. Competition is a no-no for that reason. I wonder if that might not also have been part of Ueshiba's reasoning?

FWIW

Mike Sigman
That's another excellent take on this as well. Competition too soon just creates tension which is the enemy of aiki.

dps
08-17-2006, 12:30 PM
Is competition in Tai Chi of the 'win or lose' or 'seeking together'.
What was the purpose of the origin of Tai Chi? My limited understanding of Tai Chi was that it was a style of Chinese Martial Arts that was adapted for the purpose of creating a form (kata) for health and spiritual development.

Mike Sigman
08-17-2006, 12:42 PM
Is competition in Tai Chi of the 'win or lose' or 'seeking together'.
What was the purpose of the origin of Tai Chi? My limited understanding of Tai Chi was that it was a style of Chinese Martial Arts that was adapted for the purpose of creating a form (kata) for health and spiritual development.Well, it's best to think of the preliminary learning of a Taiji form as "learning to move in a different way that involves using jin/kokyu and ki/qi." That's why a form is so slow... it's supposed to be an intensive re-learning of how to move (although most westerners think it's something similar to a moving magical incantation that looks cool). ;)

Once you have learned to develop some of your own jin/kokyu/ki power, you can progress onward to doing restricted pattern motions with a partner where each of you is trying to move/respond using only the lightest qi/jin/kokyu, whatever, using only one arm. Once you can do that, you progress to a pattern using 2 arms and a series of movements (stylized attacks and responses). As your personal acquisition of the jin/kokyu skills increases, you can add moving-step push-hands and more freestyle push-hands. Here in the West, most people have not even the foggiest idea of what jin is, few can do even an elementary pattern and they prefer to do "freestyle", which is just wrestling/scrabbling in a fairly safe environment. Naturally, all this wrestling is usually accompanied by conversation about the "Tao", "harmony", etc. ;)

So the answer to your question is basically that most of the stuff you're bound to encounter being done by westerners is going to be a bit of a parody of the traditional study of Taiji... so keep an open mind.

Regards,

Mike

Ron Tisdale
08-17-2006, 12:46 PM
I'll let someone more versed in the details give a complete answer, but no, I don't believe that was the impetus for the creation of taiji / tai chi.

Best,
Ron

Mike Sigman
08-17-2006, 01:01 PM
Taiji was "created" or evolved as a martial art. There are some reasonable indications that it evolved from a precursor style in Shanxi Province which was transplanted to Henan Province by the Chen Family, who developed the art to the current Chen style (the other styles all derive from the Chen style, to one degree or another).

Fighting was very important in the early days; it was a necessary skill. The idea that the movements, tactics, etc., conformed with the universal cosmology is an idea that is common in Asian martial arts. "Moving 'naturally'", "not resisting", etc., etc., are common ideas that come from this cosmology and those explanations are pretty common. "In accordance with the Tao" is another way of saying sort of the same thing. In other words, people seem to take philosophical and behavioral implications from what were essentially more physical and cosmological tenets. I.e, some of the understandings of Taiji and other arts that are out there are stem from wrongly approriated comments about the cosmology.

There are adjunct concepts of Wu de, "martial virtue", that are somewhat in line with some of the Taoist stuff, but that shouldn't be confused as being the innate philosophy of the martial art. Chen's taiji has the idea that a truly skilled expert can respond to an attack with a massive strike (the "hard" response) or can simply choose to handle the opponent with a throw or a lock (the "soft" response). Because of the "balanced yin and yang" tenet, Taiji is supposed to be able to do either the hard or the soft.

Back to work. ;)

Mike

Mike Sigman
08-17-2006, 10:03 PM
Here's a demonstration of some push hands by Tung Fu Ling and one of his students, a long time ago on Hawaii:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGfE6C18ePw&mode=related&search=

Dennis Hooker
08-18-2006, 08:21 AM
Mike we have this wonderful old Chinese gentleman here in Orlando that teaches in a Park in early morning on Sunday. He is a retired physical education teacher from China and his son has a very nice restraint here in Orlando. He is quite old and shakes badly with Parkinsonís I believe. If you lay a hand on him thinking you are going to calm or stop his shaking you soon find your whole body shaking instead. He is very quite and very humble and a delight to be around and one of the most powerful people I have ever felt. .

Mike Sigman
08-18-2006, 09:51 AM
He is quite old and shakes badly with Parkinson's I believe. If you lay a hand on him thinking you are going to calm or stop his shaking you soon find your whole body shaking instead. He is very quite and very humble and a delight to be around and one of the most powerful people I have ever felt. .Hi Dennis:

Well, Parkinson's is a sad disease, but it sounds like he's done what he can to ameliorate the effects with good care of his body. Good for him.

Regards,

Mike

Ron Tisdale
08-18-2006, 10:44 AM
Hi Mike,

Did Tung Fu Ling study Bagua as well?

Thanks,
Ron

Mike Sigman
08-18-2006, 10:58 AM
Did Tung Fu Ling study Bagua as well?Hmmmmm.... I can't remember, Ron. It's been too long since I talked about the Tung family. You saw the typical "irimi nage" type move, didn't you? Unfortunately, that basic tactic is not only in Aikido and Bagua, but in many other CMA's as well, so it's hard to relate his turning moves to anything in particular.

If you notice, Tung blends rapidly and well with the movements of his opponent/student (actually, if you have any experience, you can pick up where the student actually thwarts Tung on a fair number of moves, so while this isn't real fighting, it's not fully cooperative, either). Essentially, I don't see anything that Tung isn't doing that would stun me to see Shioda or others use in Aikido. There's plenty of "aiki" to go around.

The thing that used to interest me in that old tape was that it gave me an opportunity to judge Tung's internal strength (this is a complicated topic, so I'm only going to be superficial). Tung is pretty powerful in his body conditioning. Many techniques are made or broken by the power of the person applying them and Tung is certainly powerful. Yet his power is nothing different from what I personally think a good Aikidoist should have.

So take a generic "Aikido", widen out the potential responses to include more impulse/instinctive manipulations of Uke (like Shioda did; like Tung does), and add power like Tung and some of the other Aikidoists have (but don't display, just as O-Sensei didn't)... and I think you have a pretty damned powerful art that doesn't need to go to karate, Taiji, Systema, etc., for "what's missing". ;)

My opinion, FWIW.

Mike

Ron Tisdale
08-18-2006, 11:01 AM
Thanks for the info! It is a very interesting clip.

Best,
Ron

Nick Pagnucco
08-18-2006, 11:18 AM
widen out the potential responses to include more impulse/instinctive manipulations of Uke (like Shioda did; like Tung does)

Could you elaborate on this a bit? Is this about movement & 'techniques trees' (if X then Y, if A then B, etc), or something else?

EDIT: re-worded for (attempted) clarity

Mike Sigman
08-18-2006, 11:29 AM
Could you elaborate on this a bit? Is this about movement & 'techniques trees' (if X then Y, if A then B, etc), or something else?

EDIT: re-worded for (attempted) clarityTrying to keep it as succinct as I can, I think what I'm trying to say is that too many Aikido people are under the impression that "aiki" has a lot to do with arm/hand/wrist techniques at a certain "ma ai" (a word which reinforces the idea of always having a "distance" even though after you get started, "ma ai" disappears).... I'm saying that "aiki" can be done even with the bodies touching, at elbow distance, with your back or shoulder (as Shioda, Ueshiba, and others have done), etc. In other words, if you watch a generic Aikido demonstration, the techniques are restricted, ultimately restricting how Aikidoists engage in any real conflict. IMO. Needs to be opened up.

Go back and look at how Tung used his body touching the opponent to send the opponent away with kokyu power. That's what kokyu looks like; it can be done with any part of the body.

FWIW

Mike

Nick Pagnucco
08-18-2006, 11:49 AM
In other words, if you watch a generic Aikido demonstration, the techniques are restricted, ultimately restricting how Aikidoists engage in any real conflict. IMO. Needs to be opened up.

ok, thanks for the clarification.

Ron Tisdale
08-18-2006, 11:52 AM
In other words, if you watch a generic Aikido demonstration, the techniques are restricted, ultimately restricting how Aikidoists engage in any real conflict. IMO. Needs to be opened up.

Actually, this is one of the great martial failings in *my* aikido, anyway. I find that having engrained a certain pattern of technique and form during training, when I step out of that format, I am not as comfortable as I'd like to be. Even when sucsessful at applying other paradigms, I tend to leave one paradigm for another. Blending them all together is still a challenge. Some progress has been made in this area, but not enough.

Oh well, something else to work on...

Best,
Ron

Dennis Hooker
08-18-2006, 11:58 AM
Trying to keep it as succinct as I can, I think what I'm trying to say is that too many Aikido people are under the impression that "aiki" has a lot to do with arm/hand/wrist techniques at a certain "ma ai" (a word which reinforces the idea of always having a "distance" even though after you get started, "ma ai" disappears).... FWIW

Mike


I always understood ma ai in Aikido to mean "appropriate" distance. It could be vary close, even touching. I am glade you qualified the aiki statement to say "too many Aikido People" because it certainly is not all Aikido people and in fact I think too many Aikido people think arm/hand/wrist techniques are Aikido.

Ron Tisdale
08-18-2006, 12:05 PM
I was watching that clip again, and I think I see a *lot* of honesty in that relationship. I like how the teacher not only checks his student's balance and form, but also makes sure stupid openings aren't alllowed to creep in, like when he makes the student aware that his head is wide open to attack, or when the student starts to turn his back. He maintains a pretty high level of martial integrity, even though they are obviously working on some pretty specific body skills. The little foot sweep was nice, too... ;)

That guy must be a really good person to study under.

Best,
Ron

Mike Sigman
08-18-2006, 12:09 PM
I always understood ma ai in Aikido to mean "appropriate" distance. It could be vary close, even touching. I am glade you qualified the aiki statement to say "too many Aikido People" because it certainly is not all Aikido people and in fact I think too many Aikido people think arm/hand/wrist techniques are Aikido.Hi Dennis:

Yes, I was careful to qualify it for that very reason. However, "ma ai" is more of an initiating concept that derives from sword usage and the proper distance to begin an engagement. What I was saying was that this idea of "proper distance" and focus on arm-relationships causes a mental fixation about distance and arms in most Aikido practitioners.

If you go back and look at Ueshiba's demonstrations, yes, most of his stuff is arm-related, etc., but he does occasionally show that it doesn't matter and he, like Shioda, can be seen on film doing shoulder and back hits as part of his Aikido. Technically, knowing how to absorb and send back an opponent, even with your back, is a legitimate "blending with the opponent's force" (just resisting it wouldn't be, of course).

If you look at the core of the interractions in the Tung video clip, there was plenty of "aiki", it's just that it wasn't followed up with standard Aikido techniques.... but the "aiki" was there, even in very close engagements. My opinion is that more focus on exactly what "aiki" is, even in very close situations, would be helpful to many people in Aikido... more so than the pretty fixed repertoire that we so often see nowadays.

My 2 cents.

Mike

Mike Sigman
08-18-2006, 12:11 PM
I was watching that clip again, and I think I see a *lot* of honesty in that relationship. I like how the teacher not only checks his student's balance and form, but also makes sure stupid openings aren't alllowed to creep in, like when he makes the student aware that his head is wide open to attack, or when the student starts to turn his back. He maintains a pretty high level of martial integrity, even though they are obviously working on some pretty specific body skills. The little foot sweep was nice, too... ;)

That guy must be a really good person to study under.Tung Fu Ling (Tung Hu Ling . I think they now spell it "Dong") died a few years ago. Diabetes. He has sons that teach in Hawaii and in L.A., but exactly how open they are is a matter often discussed (isn't it always, though?).

Regards,

Mike

Erick Mead
08-18-2006, 12:12 PM
Trying to keep it as succinct as I can, I think what I'm trying to say is that too many Aikido people are under the impression that "aiki" has a lot to do with arm/hand/wrist techniques at a certain "ma ai" (a word which reinforces the idea of always having a "distance" even though after you get started, "ma ai" disappears).... I'm saying that "aiki" can be done even with the bodies touching, at elbow distance, with your back or shoulder (as Shioda, Ueshiba, and others have done), etc. One of the most idiosyncratic, but oddly enticing, examples given to me to try of what you are describing was the suggestion that the next time you go inot a men's restroom witht he typical swing in door, rather

Mike Sigman
08-18-2006, 12:16 PM
One of the most idiosyncratic, but oddly enticing, examples given to me to try of what you are describing was the suggestion that the next time you go inot a men's restroom witht he typical swing in door, rather Hmmmm.... I'm not sure where you're going with this men's room example, Erick, but don't leave us hanging (no pun intended!). ;)

Incidentally, I will almost always attempt to shut or even open a door subtly (or if no one's around, with more "release") using my body. Like a kid with a skateboard, I'm always practicing, trying things. ;)

FWIW

Mike

Erick Mead
08-18-2006, 12:26 PM
Trying to keep it as succinct as I can, I think what I'm trying to say is that too many Aikido people are under the impression that "aiki" has a lot to do with arm/hand/wrist techniques at a certain "ma ai" (a word which reinforces the idea of always having a "distance" even though after you get started, "ma ai" disappears).... I'm saying that "aiki" can be done even with the bodies touching, at elbow distance, with your back or shoulder (as Shioda, Ueshiba, and others have done), etc. [Slippery little "submit" key -- ain't it.]

One of the most idiosyncratic training examples ever given to me of effective tai sabaki at arbitrary distances as you are describing was this suggestion:

Try this the next time you go into a men's restroom (or ladies' for those so inclined) with the typical swing in, self-closing door. Usually, one pushes it open with the arm, or straightarm it with your weight behind the arm.

Try just walking into it completely upright, arms at your sides and pirouette in a tight tenkan-tenkai 360 degrees as you make contact -- 1) Notice how the door moves,and 2) Notice how little impact or disturbance you receive in doing so.

Now try on your favorite uke.

Ron Tisdale
08-18-2006, 12:32 PM
Kirisawa Sensei often teaches a waza like that. Ushiro ryote dori tenkan or something like that for the name...non stance hand comes up like drinking a beer, tenkan without a pivot (body change) and cut down with the raised hand. When done well, I've seen uke either hammered into the floor or flung off across the room. Amazing amount of power...

Best,
Ron

Mike Sigman
08-18-2006, 02:05 PM
One of the most idiosyncratic training examples ever given to me of effective tai sabaki at arbitrary distances as you are describing was this suggestion:

Try this the next time you go into a men's restroom (or ladies' for those so inclined) with the typical swing in, self-closing door. Usually, one pushes it open with the arm, or straightarm it with your weight behind the arm.

Try just walking into it completely upright, arms at your sides and pirouette in a tight tenkan-tenkai 360 degrees as you make contact -- 1) Notice how the door moves,and 2) Notice how little impact or disturbance you receive in doing so.

Now try on your favorite uke. I'm just hoping that "your favorite uke" isn't standing at one of the urinals. ;)

Ron Tisdale
08-18-2006, 02:18 PM
[off topic] There is a really big guy on the site I work at, about 350 pounds at least. One of the other guys on the site is at the urinal, and all the other ones are full, and this big guy comes in and he already has it in his hand 'cause he HAS to go, and Bob (the little guy) sees the big one coming with it out already, and starts yelling and waving his hands "full house, full house, abort, abort!" [/off topic]

Sorry, I just couldn't help it, urinal stories always remind me of that...

Best,
Ron (there's got to be a way to tie that into aikido, but I'm laughing too hard...)

Erick Mead
08-18-2006, 03:30 PM
I'm just hoping that "your favorite uke" isn't standing at one of the urinals. ;) NOT the image of freely flowing ki that we're REALLY looking for, Mike ... :yuck:

phil farmer
08-26-2006, 09:23 PM
Hi all,

I guess since I practice and teach Yoseikan, I can offer a comment or two about competition. George was right early on in the thread when he mentioned atemi and Yoseikan, we have long added atemi in what we do, this was Minoru Mochizuki's thinking and experience. He came back from Europe in the very early 50's and explained to O Sensei that pure aiki did not work in every experience he had with other styles and he often resorted to his judo, karate, or jiujitsu knowledge and skills to supplement.

Now a quick fast forward to today. Yoseikan Budo does competition on a regular basis. Hiroo Mochizuki Shihan's reasoning is that it is the closest we can come to actual combat and stil not injure one another. His believe is in the definition of "learning together" as the meaning of competition. We do have specific rules and wear full headgear with face mask, gloves, foot and shin guards and chest protectors with throat guards. We do free sparring types of competition with kicks, punches, throws and pins and use padded weapons as well. The goal, education, mutual learning in a safe environment.

Education and developing a "fighting spirit" is the goal. Safety is the second goal. Shihan feels that we live in a world where we all compete every day, tempering the spirit properly teaches us that it is truly not about who wins but what we learn during the process.

The information above is taken from an article written a few years ago by Hiroo Mochizuki. I hope this gives some new information about competition, at least where Yoseikan's view of it is concerned.

I also agree that the old view of one throw or one atemi can kill was reflective of a certain time and a certain mindset. The world changes quickly.

Phil Farmer

DonMagee
08-27-2006, 10:54 AM
Hi all,

I guess since I practice and teach Yoseikan, I can offer a comment or two about competition. George was right early on in the thread when he mentioned atemi and Yoseikan, we have long added atemi in what we do, this was Minoru Mochizuki's thinking and experience. He came back from Europe in the very early 50's and explained to O Sensei that pure aiki did not work in every experience he had with other styles and he often resorted to his judo, karate, or jiujitsu knowledge and skills to supplement.

Now a quick fast forward to today. Yoseikan Budo does competition on a regular basis. Hiroo Mochizuki Shihan's reasoning is that it is the closest we can come to actual combat and stil not injure one another. His believe is in the definition of "learning together" as the meaning of competition. We do have specific rules and wear full headgear with face mask, gloves, foot and shin guards and chest protectors with throat guards. We do free sparring types of competition with kicks, punches, throws and pins and use padded weapons as well. The goal, education, mutual learning in a safe environment.

Education and developing a "fighting spirit" is the goal. Safety is the second goal. Shihan feels that we live in a world where we all compete every day, tempering the spirit properly teaches us that it is truly not about who wins but what we learn during the process.
Phil Farmer

That sounds like a lot of fun. I"m not a big fan of wearing that much saftey gear though (I find it leads to me using the gear to my advantage such as not defending my head from blows while I work an attack. But I wish I could find a place like that near my to try out.

darin
08-28-2006, 10:10 AM
The YWF is a pretty large organization and probably for legal purposes its also important that its members have the appropriate safety equipment in training. Also I think they are on the right path by removing dangerous techniques for sparring. What is really amazing about Yoseikan Budo is that everything flows seamlessly so you can safely change from karate to judo to aikido. And in regards to body gear... well we all have to go to work the next day.