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daniel loughlin
08-18-2006, 11:21 AM
has anyone got any advice on black belt gradings especially for the 4 man attack at the end ie conserving energy and keeping going??

CitoMaramba
08-18-2006, 12:33 PM
Keep a cool head.
Remember to breathe.
Maintain good posture.
Don't retreat.
above all...
RELAAAAAX :)
Ganbatte kudasai!

Mark Uttech
08-18-2006, 02:14 PM
Don't inhale and exhale through your mouth; you will lose all your energy. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth, concentrate on breathing out, the inhalation will come by itself. Above all, don't hold your breath, you will lose it.

daniel loughlin
08-19-2006, 02:31 AM
i must say V good advice on the breathing
i noticed this much more during my last grading and helped maintain my energy levels
i am ususally quite good at very deep breathing however the added presure of having people watch me makes me very nervous and can sometimes stop me relaxing and tips for staying relax and coping with the nerves. haha and i et exam results on thursday so good time to practise :) (running from parents haha)

wayneth
08-19-2006, 10:00 AM
Why don't you practice multiple attacks at a varied pace, this probably giving yourself time to examine at what point you are going wrong at e.g. such a wide posture, using muscular strength etc. Possibly if u already find doing multiple attacks hard and struggle at it, it might be a sign that you are not physically or mentally ready to take a Shodan exam. I'm saying here, maybe you are to young to take the test.
Please don't take this the wrong way, but am only going on my own knowledge, since I am 17 and my knowledge is that a Yudansha grade also reflects the maturity of the applicant.
Sorry for any ill-feeling or whatever else, this is mealy my own thoughts and feelings.
Wayne

Robert Rumpf
08-19-2006, 10:02 AM
has anyone got any advice on black belt gradings especially for the 4 man attack at the end ie conserving energy and keeping going??

My advice is not to get caught up in technique, and especially not to get caught up in using muscle or trying to make things happen - you use lots of energy with both approaches.

When in doubt, move your legs, and focus less on the arms.

Rob

daniel loughlin
08-19-2006, 10:34 AM
haha use my legs (i think i'l just run away then :p )

i agree about that though when i get very tyered towards the end i tend to become more rooted as a pose to using lots of movement.

i can fully understand your view wayneth,however i do not believe that my sensei would put me in for the grading especially not one so important as shodan unless he was certain im ready

and as far as maturity is concerned i believe that this issue varies from one person to the next.but maybe i am biased about the subject of age because i began early so its not something ive really ever thought about :cool:

David Racho
08-21-2006, 09:16 AM
If your sensei put you up for Shodan, then in all likelyhood you are ready. Don't think about it.

ivobear
08-21-2006, 09:40 AM
has anyone got any advice on black belt gradings especially for the 4 man attack at the end ie conserving energy and keeping going??
The tree main secret of all martial art ...
a) keiko
b) keiko
c) ... keiko
nothing prpare well then training ... ;)

Eric Webber
08-21-2006, 10:00 AM
irimi

Robert Rumpf
08-21-2006, 02:07 PM
haha use my legs (i think i'l just run away then :p )

That's pretty much what I did/do...

I ran away in the forward direction, at the same speed that they were moving, turning as needed to stay within the confines of the mat.

Rob

Brion Toss
08-24-2006, 12:12 PM
Ledyard Sensei has done some amazing work on analyzing and codifying randori strategy and tactics. You can get a DVD from him on it. Strongly recommended. Other than that, the above advice on breathing, practice, irimi, etc. is spot on. I will only add that the reason a test is hard is that it puts you in a place that your hindbrain sees as Really Mattering, as in life or death. So I find it helpful to acknowledge its concerns; oddly enough, it seems most assured if I proceed with the expectation that I am about to die. To the extent you get past caring about that, there's nothing in your way.

ChrisMoses
08-24-2006, 01:25 PM
This is going to sound overly simplistic, but the best thing you can do to prepare for a dan exam is to get your cardio and leg strength up. You know the techniques well enough or you wouldn't be asked to test. Your cardio condition will let you down long before your waza necessarily would. You should know roughly how long dan exams at your school take, be able to jog or ride a bike at a brisk pace for longer. Do basic squats holding weights, or if you have access to a gym, start (if you don't already) doing squats on a machine. Training for an hour of class is no where near as physically demanding as a full length test should be.

Don_Modesto
08-24-2006, 03:29 PM
Ledyard Sensei has done some amazing work on analyzing and codifying randori strategy and tactics. You can get a DVD from him on it. Strongly recommended.Anything by Ledyard is going to be good. I would doubly recommend one of his RANDORI seminars. Without peer. You will FEEL yourself improve. Never had an experience that satisfying in aikido seminars.

This is going to sound overly simplistic, but the best thing you can do to prepare for a dan exam is to get your cardio and leg strength up....Good advice, too.

justin
08-29-2006, 03:10 PM
I recall a story of my instructor telling us about his shodan grading he trained like a complete nutter physically wise that is, but wasn’t prepared enough in the mind and suffered for it, even now after 30+ years of training he can whiz though waza without braking a sweat where as us junior students can just about find the breath and energy to bow at the end.

Jill N
08-30-2006, 02:37 PM
Breathe, you choose who is coming in next, by inviting him in and entering (if you know what I mean) smile and enjoy all the energy being focussed on you! Don't get stuck on doing technique- deal with the guy at hand and choose the next one while you throw the present one. Never Retreat! Never give up, keep moving and turning.


or...............


Run away! ;^)

e ya later
Jill.

Erick Mead
08-30-2006, 06:38 PM
has anyone got any advice on black belt gradings especially for the 4 man attack at the end ie conserving energy and keeping going?? Breathe in with every attack, breathe out with every technique. In this way, you gain kokyu with every expense of kokyu your partner makes.

You must match your rhythm of breath to the attacks and movements; in this way you gain ki musubi. If you choose your next victim in time with your own pace of incoming breath, you draw him into your kokyu power before his own is fully formed.

ChrisMoses
08-31-2006, 08:45 AM
Breathe in with every attack, breathe out with every technique. In this way, you gain kokyu with every expense of kokyu your partner makes.

You must match your rhythm of breath to the attacks and movements; in this way you gain ki musubi. If you choose your next victim in time with your own pace of incoming breath, you draw him into your kokyu power before his own is fully formed.

Certainly breathing is important, but in a full tilt randori with 4 quick uke, trying to get a breath between each throw will lead to hyperventilation, there just isn't time. This would be a nice walking pace exercise however.

Erick Mead
08-31-2006, 10:15 AM
Certainly breathing is important, but in a full tilt randori with 4 quick uke, trying to get a breath between each throw will lead to hyperventilation, there just isn't time. This would be a nice walking pace exercise however. Not necessarily. It's like singing -- you measure the depth of breath (in or out) by the pace and place of the beat -- short-shallow -- long-deep. Upbeat or downbeat . That way you shouldn't hyperventilate. It is not like deep mediative breathing.

The rhythm of breathing should match the beat of the attack-- but musically, not 1-2, 1-2 ( attack - throw, attack- throw). That will wear you out really fast. Too frequent breathing (uke-throw-uke throw) WILL hyperventilate you, and it is a dead kind of rhythm -- it has no life to it.

For better example, 1 - 2,3,4 ; 1 - 2,3,4 (strike - tech-ah-niqe; strike - tech-ah-nique) with the blend and inhale on the strike and then the easy decelerating exhale on the three downbeats. Works just as well for 6/6, 3/3 and cut time as well.

Once you are comfortable with breathing rhythm --then you have to deal with phrasing. That is (in 4/4 time) -- a set of two measures can be sung as one phrase of eight beats or two phrases of four beats (leave aside syncopation, although it has its place). You can deal with uke(s) similarly.

If you see a long passage ahead to sing (or, two uke ahead in line) a deeper intake breath and then continuous arc of song over two measures (uke) as one phase is necessary.

Why move twice, hurriedly to dispose of two attackers instead of moving once more leisurely and taking both together?. If you are moving to place them in a line to structure your phrasing, you are doing two things at once,

1) treating them together as one attack (see the Doka) and one phrase of breath -- instead of several, thus improving your kokyu power (breath cycle, oxygen demand -- whatever you prefer) relative to theirs, and

2) By changing your phrasing, you are beginning to sing ad libitum (free of the beat) and thus able to change the beat structure within the scope of the measures in your phrase (some syncopation is an example), and without disrupting the overall rhythm of uke's attack (which would destroy musubi).

True randori -- the rhythm will change throughout the performance just like in real music, but practicing to find the beat and to alter it yourself by manipulating the breath phrasing - that is great training.

I find that singing (and swimming) -- because of the rigor of training in breath required -- have a great deal to teach about kokyu, personally.

ChrisMoses
08-31-2006, 11:15 AM
You do realize that your second post is much different than:
Breathe in with every attack, breathe out with every technique.

I'd also argue that aiki timing hapens almost exclusively on the 'and' or as syncopation. Being able to move in 5/4 time when your attacker thinks you're in 4/4 is a valuable skill. Depending how you train and who you're training with you need to breathe with different outward clues. In cooperative training, or if you're setting up timing, it can be very useful to breathe in obvious starts and stops. That can also be used to your disadvantage however by someone who knows how to read breathing, so appearing not to breathe can also be to ones advantage.

Erick Mead
08-31-2006, 01:25 PM
You do realize that your second post is much different than: Breathe in with every attack, breathe out with every technique. Not at all.
I, as nage, get to play in defining the scope of both the attacker and the attack.
Even through surrounded by a great number of enemy
View them as one person
And so fight on! And the converse:
Even when a single enemy has called you out
Be on your best guard
An entire host of the foe
Is on your left, right, in front and behind.Granted, I struggle mightily myself jsut to take them two at time, even so, but it works. His principle is utterly sound, and on the "Budo" video (check Youtube) from the Thirties, shows him doing this very thing with about twenty guys attacking with practice bayonets.

Uke initiates an attack, or an intent to attack, but does not get to define the attack in isolation from nage.
To see the true things
Harmonize the voice with shouts
"Yah"
Never be drawn into the rhythm of the enemy.
An attack, like a breaking wave, is defined how nage chooses to once he enters the attack; nage blends and makes it his own by accepting it. Thus, nage sets the maai - the measure, if you will..
Causing the perverted enemy to attack
I must then stand behind his form
And so cut the enemy down. It is unlikely, however, that a shodan test randori will get more complicated than "breathe in with one attack, breathe out with one technique." That was the point of the question as I understood it.

It is a good foundation to work from.

]I'd also argue that aiki timing hapens almost exclusively on the 'and' or as syncopation. Being able to move in 5/4 time when your attacker thinks you're in 4/4 is a valuable skill. Depending how you train and who you're training with you need to breathe with different outward clues. In cooperative training, or if you're setting up timing, it can be very useful to breathe in obvious starts and stops. That can also be used to your disadvantage however by someone who knows how to read breathing, so appearing not to breathe can also be to ones advantage. There is a long thread debating the value of "timing" per se as it applies to aiki. I have my views and things I have been exploring discussed there, and Ledyard Sensiei's responses and observations on realted poitns were very much applicable and practical in how to avoid the suki (vulnerability) of timing, good or bad.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10794

Rhythm is not the same as timing. As example, waves have rhythm, but the timing (and direction) of the break of any given wave -- breaks the timing symmetry of that rhythm, without any conscious intervention. The breack is entirely contingent on things unrelated to the rhythm of the wave itself. That is why timing is dangerous as an approach to technique, -- the wave chooses when to break (or not) and obeys no rhythm or timing in doing so. Chaos in action. Musubi directs itself to the break-- not the timing or rhythm of the swell.

ChrisMoses
08-31-2006, 01:37 PM
Have you done full speed randori? It just doesn't generally work like that. There's theory, and then there's practice. There's also a big difference between the circle demonstration and an ongoing randori. It's possible to dictate some of the timing, but never all of it, not to the extent that I think you're recommending.

Erick Mead
08-31-2006, 01:57 PM
Have you done full speed randori? It just doesn't generally work like that. There's theory, and then there's practice. There's also a big difference between the circle demonstration and an ongoing randori. It's possible to dictate some of the timing, but never all of it, not to the extent that I think you're recommending. Yes. And NO it doen't "work" like anything, as it is not, and cannot successfully be mechanical. I try never to dictate timing, but then -- neither does uke (plural or singular) get to do so if I am achieving musubi.

It's jazz, man. :cool: What I am talking about in the more lengthy post above is training to get there. The first comment was directed at the test, (I gather on a fairly short time horizon), Generally the worst thing I have seen people do to themselves in randori is to MATCH breath with the attacker -- inhale for inhale, exhale for exhale. Then it becomes kokyu contest, an escalating breathing race and not aiki at all. That is a sure-fire loser after five or six go-rounds -- at any speed.

ChrisMoses
08-31-2006, 02:19 PM
You can't play jazz without doing your scales. Shodan (in my mind) is a chance to show how well you know your scales. I haven't seen many people get to this point of their shodan exams and even still be able to control their breath let alone use it to any kind of tactical advantage. They're just not there. The strategies and specifics that George Ledyard presents in his ukemi workshops (and I presume video) are easily approachable by nearly any level of aikidoka and offer a great way to build a framework of understanding that waza can be laid across. But I'm not a metaphor learner either (though I can teach that way). I much prefer concrete (blood, tissue and physics) explanations.

Erick Mead
08-31-2006, 03:34 PM
You can't play jazz without doing your scales. Oh, so true.
Shodan (in my mind) is a chance to show how well you know your scales. I haven't seen many people get to this point of their shodan exams and even still be able to control their breath let alone use it to any kind of tactical advantage. They're just not there. The strategies and specifics that George Ledyard presents in his ukemi workshops (and I presume video) are easily approachable by nearly any level of aikidoka and offer a great way to build a framework of understanding that waza can be laid across. Ledyard Sensei has invaluable points about positioning dynamics. They are very much in line with O-Sensei's statements cited above. His teaching shows very concrete ways to set your own kokyu in a focused irimi rhythm -- while basically gathering their uncoordinated kokyu into one self-conflicting, chaotic mass.
Musubi is what makes that actually happen.

For the the dog to press the sheep into a stumbling mass, requires a predatory rhythm. He never said that, exactly, but it is a theme woven throughout his randori DVD, especially in watching the demonstration scenarios.

As a vividly staged example of this applciaiton of kokyu, go watch the"The Silence of the Lambs" where Hannibal Lechter is talking pleasantly and placidly to Clarisse about the unmentionable entree "some fava beans and a nice chianti." His sudden, deep and fluttering intake of breath almost sucked the souls out of every person in that theater. It is precisely what I am talking about.

The failures of some of the students efforts on the randiori DVD were very helpful. Kudos to them for being willing to bravely risk failure in front of everybody! One can learn so much more by the comparison than by the "perfect" examples alone.

But I'm not a metaphor learner either (though I can teach that way). I much prefer concrete (blood, tissue and physics) explanations. You really should read the referenced discussion then. Ledyard Sensei and I sort of swap rhetorical styles, as between you and me here. I address some technical physics issues my research has revealed on biomechanical points: scientific studies on neurological EEG wave states, subsensory kinesthetic feedback systems, and the operation of stochastic resonance in the neuromuscular sensory system.

The problem is that too much (in terms of biophysics) appears to be going on in attaining musubi that we are not and may never be entirely conscious of in any concrete way, in much the same way as our own balance system (writ large). We may be able to measure its effects and adapt training on that basis in ways that are effective to its development. But we may be unable (short of EEG and EMG studies) to articulate, ultmately, in any generally meaningful way the subsensory processes that lead to musubi.

It may be even more profound than that, but that is philosophical speculation and of little use in practical training for randori. We know, intimately, when we feel it having happened, although we cannot not easily point to anything a student might observe as it happens to say, "There. See. It is there."

That leaves little but metaphor in trying to put our hands on it, then...

Kokyu tanden ho seems more and more to me to be the key to the training for this aspect of all tai jutsu. But, this sensibility has particular emphasis on randori, because of the linking of kokyu, center and need for effortless movement, and because of the criticality of conserving breath and kokyu if one is to survive any randori of moderately extended length.

My thoughts are outgrowths of my own training in this area. I am exploring these areas to see what is best to focus on in training for musubi, as early as possible for students, to avoid the situation that you describe and that I, frankly, have also experienced, all the while knowing that it ought not be AS hard as it was at the time I was doing it. That spurred me on to ask why, and to explore reasons and solutions.

So summing myself up, again, I recommend for nagewaza randori, in general:

Breathe in the attack; Breathe out the technique.

ChrisMoses
08-31-2006, 04:10 PM
It's clear to me that we're not really talking about the same thing. At a very deep level, we're not really doing the same thing. That's fine with me. Hopefully the initial poster finds something that speaks to him and his style in this thread.

Erick Mead
08-31-2006, 09:57 PM
It's clear to me that we're not really talking about the same thing. At a very deep level, we're not really doing the same thing. That's fine with me. Hopefully the initial poster finds something that speaks to him and his style in this thread.
I cannot glean from you have written what, in any extensive sense, you are doing, much less the depth of any difference. Granted, I may be exceedingly dim-witted and inobservant. But apart from greater emphasis on calisthenics, increased strength and endurance and recommending syncopated timing (sensen no sen?) your approach is not clear to me. While as improvements to overall fitness, they are certainly worthwhile, but they are not, in my view, aspects of improving the use of aiki in randori. I would take issue with each of those on that ground, and the issue of sente O-Sensei has said does not apply in aikido.

Given my apparent inability in this regard, I will have to accept your closet judgment that our approaches are so different as to be unworthy of further comment. If they are that different, however, it is a lost opportunity to explore that conflict, and that I do regret.

ChrisMoses
09-01-2006, 08:51 AM
I cannot glean from you have written what, in any extensive sense, you are doing, much less the depth of any difference. Granted, I may be exceedingly dim-witted and inobservant.

Erick, I'm composing a PM for you. It was not my intention to insult you or imply you are dim witted in any way. I simply felt that to continue this line of conversation would stray too far from the topic, and begin to focus on paradigms and principles that I find in my own training, many that very well may not apply to aikido in general.

Nick Simpson
09-01-2006, 09:17 AM
When you taking your shodan Daniel? Im taking mine next month!

Try and vary your techniques, an Irimitsuki is a good one for surprising uke and for moving forward, the leg sweep kokyunage also works well I find (if uke is experienced eough to escape it). Also think aboutgetting behind an uke (with say, Iriminage) and using him as a human shield against the other ukes. Ditto with throwing ukes into the direction of other attacking uke. You arent just there to get rid of them, your there to get rid of uke and confound the others.

Good Luck!

Erick Mead
09-01-2006, 09:58 AM
Erick, I'm composing a PM for you. It was not my intention to insult you or imply you are dim witted in any way. I simply felt that to continue this line of conversation would stray too far from the topic, and begin to focus on paradigms and principles that I find in my own training, many that very well may not apply to aikido in 've general. No offense taken. I simply have a predisposition for tangential exploration, because that's where new openings are usually found.

Mark Freeman
09-02-2006, 08:18 AM
I simply have a predisposition for tangential exploration

along with an impressive vocabulary :D ;)

daniel loughlin
09-02-2006, 02:20 PM
wow this thread is hotting up and i must say that last post is without doubt my favourite haha way to lighten the mood mark :D

im taking my shodan on the 23rd of september :hypno: 3 weeks today hmm that crept up argghh haha

i asked the same question to another studant at my club who is shodan and he nicely managed to tell me how he broke his nose doing the 4 man attack which made me feel better :eek: not haha

bash1227
09-02-2006, 04:41 PM
This Worked For Me And Many Other Students Start One Man Randori 10 Attacks Ad 1 Uke 10 More Attacks Then Ad A Third And 10 More Attack And Then
A Fourth Do This A Lot Every Day For Hours If You Can. Also Remember Don't Stare At Uke Who You Already Have In A Pin Throw Or In Control Keep Moving In Small Circular Motions And Keep Your Stands Low So That Your Ko-chi Is Lower Then Uke For Faster Throws And Stay Relax Before Starting Try To Meditate And Imagine Your Techniques In Your Mind Try To Feel Ky Flow In Your Hands And Don't Worry About Falling Its Not Important What Is Important Is Learning And That Takes Time

Nick Simpson
09-05-2006, 08:57 AM
Good luck Daniel, mines on the 14th of october. Let us know how you do!

daniel loughlin
09-08-2006, 11:49 AM
oo close to my birthday :O i wish you the best of luck too ino i will need it :drool:

ill reply on this thread or maybe just message you when ive done it
noo 2 weeks haha

wayneth
09-08-2006, 11:54 AM
Good luck daniel
Wayne

daniel loughlin
09-24-2006, 10:43 AM
just to let you know i passed :D yey very very happy
was serious hard work though and the course at 9:30-12:30 the next day was also very difficult,never been so tired in my life. but yey done now i can start to really train :D

now ive just got to get a hakama from somewhere :confused: lol should be fun

justin
09-24-2006, 11:54 AM
well done, so any horror stories or did it go pritty much as you wished

ChrisMoses
09-24-2006, 12:54 PM
just to let you know i passed :D yey very very happy
was serious hard work though and the course at 9:30-12:30 the next day was also very difficult,never been so tired in my life. but yey done now i can start to really train :D

now ive just got to get a hakama from somewhere :confused: lol should be fun

Gongrats! Personally I find the "Aikikai" brand tetron hakama sold by Tozando (and others) are the best. They're comfortable to wear, easy to care for and last a very long time. The flexible rubber koshita is brilliant too, modern but with a traditional aesthetic. Enjoy the next few months, there's something very special about the time just *after* getting shodan.

CitoMaramba
09-25-2006, 01:03 AM
Omedeto gozaimasu! Congratulations!

daniel loughlin
10-02-2006, 01:25 PM
horror stories??
yeah i fell on my 1st throw in the 4 man attack but rolled out of it,i accidently elbowed someone in the face lol but got kicked it the head (karma<<) which nearly knocked me out which made things more difficult lol
but apart from that went well
got my hakama today but its badly creased so i think ill get my teacher to fold it for me tommorow then iron it at home

Ed Stansfield
10-02-2006, 02:05 PM
yeah i fell on my 1st throw in the 4 man attack but rolled out of it
This doesn't really tell the full story...

Danny did lose his balance on the first throw, but only because he was the only person to open this bit of the grading by launching a frenzied assault on the nearest attacker, i.e. me. :eek:

Does anyone in this thread want to own up for that particular pearl of wisdom? :D
i accidently elbowed someone in the face lol
Yes, and then there was the spectacular 6th sense moment when you flung your arm backwards over your head, just as I was going for an ushiro attack... [thud!] :uch:
but got kicked in the head (karma<<) which nearly knocked me out which made things more difficult lol
Yes, well, lets not dwell on that eh?

It was a good grading. Congratulations once again. :)

Best,

Ed

Nick Simpson
10-04-2006, 09:34 AM
Well done Daniel! Sounds like you did great!

Also:

Danny did lose his balance on the first throw, but only because he was the only person to open this bit of the grading by launching a frenzied assault on the nearest attacker, i.e. me.

Im so proud of you ;)

daniel loughlin
10-04-2006, 01:36 PM
haha :D yeah sorry about that 1 ed it was an accident but i still wana watch the vid coz i recon it was u who kiked me :D haha nah im not dwelling on that
yeah it wasnt full frezied attack i was too scared for that after seein both john and sarah step up
i was expecting sensi and O sensei to step up to join in ha arh haha and nick your only proud because i caused pain to ed :D (everyone was haha) i was told that you and john were goin for me because you to used to be the youngest? is that true?? the youngest thing not you trying to hurt me of course i know you would never do that :p ha