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guest1234
08-15-2001, 02:53 PM
As long as we are so desperate for topics, maybe this one will get a few responses: what do you find particularly challenging in Aikido right now, and besides the obvious (practice practice practice...) what are you doing for that challenge?

Carlos
08-15-2001, 03:10 PM
Collen,

Since I saw Tamura sensei seminary, I tried my best to control the uke center.

Better center control is to me, now, the most difficult aspect of Aikido.

The second is to keep myself relaxing all the time during the technique.

regard's


Carlos

http://aikido.paginainicial.com.br

mj
08-15-2001, 06:22 PM
Well, I suppose the hardest thing for me is getting out of the frame of mind 'Beat My Attacker!'.
And on the rare occassions I do get out of that state of mind, I get told off for being to casual :(

As to your second question (pushy:D)
I try to be nicer.

guest1234
08-15-2001, 07:23 PM
I think mine is the opposite: my ukes don't seem to believe my atemi will connect with their body/face, and I end up hitting a fair number of them, which really makes me feel bad:( Since I'm not all that big, hitting an attacker (I feel instinctively) is probably not my best option anyway. Which is probably why I can repeatedly hit my uke and not get a movement out of the way by the fourth turn---don't think it hurts them that much. :rolleyes: What I'd like is to have them sense that it is in their best interest to MOVE, something that I sense quite easily when the roles are reversed. So I'm trying to figure out how to project that 'watch out' feeling vs. 'the world is my friend'. Maybe you could suggest a way to be a mouse that roars?

guest1234
08-15-2001, 07:34 PM
PS I've already asked the ukes that I can why they let me hit them, and they just laughed and said they don't know... :confused:

ilgulamc
08-15-2001, 08:25 PM
well ca, your problem is that when you do atemi you don't extend your ki. That is why your ukes are not afraid by your atemi and don't move. Atemi practice in my opinion is both mental and fisical. When you apply atemi 'think' about hitting the the spot for real and the uke is going to move. Or you can as well hit sensitive spots, like the nose, the eye, or the throat and the uke is going to move automaticly as a reflex.

Ari
08-15-2001, 10:41 PM
Originally posted by ca
I think mine is the opposite: my ukes don't seem to believe my atemi will connect with their body/face, and I end up hitting a fair number of them
I have a similar problem, except that I nearly always miss ;) I can't even pretend to want to hit my practice partner. They're always telling me to seriously try and connect. I think it might be an aversion that's stuck from sparring in TKD, where people actually *were* trying to hurt you.

The most challenging thing for me by far is actually the teaching method - Sensei will demonstrate a technique a couple of times (fast then slow/both sides) then we'll pair off to do it, and I'm not a visual learner at all. Someone telling me to "step back with your right foot" is much easier for me to get than actually watching someone step back with their right foot and trying to copy. If that makes any sense. We're not supposed to talk much, which makes it harder. I've improved a little by starting to focus on just one aspect of the technique each time it's demonstrated, like what nage does with their right hand, and look for a different thing each time. Still a darn slow learner though.

guest1234
08-15-2001, 11:36 PM
Thanks, Stilanzo, I will try the Ki thing (I'm already hitting soft parts :( )...and Ari, in return I'll offer a suggestion that might work for you (not sure, as I tend to learn best by feeling): one sensei I had told beginners to concentrate on four basic foot movements (shuffle, where you move forward a step keeping the same foot foward, like ice skating; cross-step, a 'normal' step where the back foot comes forward to become the front foot; tenkan; and shift, turning 180 degrees on the balls of your feet). He told us to look first at his feet as he did a technique and talk to ourselves saying the steps. We always started in left hamni, but that's something you could also note and say to yourself. Many a night I'd get up thinking to myself: shuffle-tenkan-shift (katate dori shihonage ura)or cross step-tenkan-cross step (irimi nage)... :D
with a preset shorthand for the steps, you can note them faster than trying to spell out steps forward with right foot, turns to left bringing left foot back....

Mona
08-16-2001, 04:19 PM
Originally posted by ca
what do you find particularly challenging in Aikido right now, and besides the obvious (practice practice practice...)

:( uh..well..
*ahem*
Ever since this guy threw me so hard (when nobody was expecting it!) on the tatami, and i hurt my neck and had a back and a neck ache for days, i've had this phobia of falling down. So i guess my biggest challenge now, as stupid as it may seem, is performing a proper ukemi again. I say again because, before that "tragic accident" ;) , my ukemi were almost perfect.

~ Mona
Though there are many paths at the foot of the mountain, all those who reach the top see the same moon. _ Morihei Ueshiba

shadow
08-16-2001, 08:21 PM
ive only been doing it a year or so.....im a very tall fellow, im learning new things all the time, generating power, extension, etc, but something i have trouble with is when raising my feeling....i always lift my weight from my centre, causing me to be top heavy, and in extreme cases, lose my balance. So basically at the moment i am working on finding my centre and keeping my feeling lowered into my abdomen. Harder than I thought, considering of course i tower over most of the other people.

guest1234
08-16-2001, 08:51 PM
Hi Mona,
Yeah, it's hard getting back into it after a hard fall I think :( ...not sure which is harder, trusting nage again or trusting your own ukemi ability...I guess a good trustworthy nage goes a long way to recovery...good luck!

Damien, I have the exact same problem! except I'm short :confused: somehow I still end up with my center somewhere over my head...but on those times we can actually keep it lower, isn't it amazing?

Ari
08-17-2001, 09:22 PM
Originally posted by ca
Ari, in return I'll offer a suggestion that might work for you (not sure, as I tend to learn best by feeling): one sensei I had told beginners to concentrate on four basic foot movements
...
with a preset shorthand for the steps, you can note them faster than trying to spell out steps forward with right foot, turns to left bringing left foot back....
Thanks Colleen, will definately try that. I was working on my atemi last night and actually did hit someone who wasn't moving quite fast enough *sigh* you can't win either way ;)

mariko nakamura
08-18-2001, 11:37 AM
The challenges I'm having now are kind of hard to describe. My sensei calls it itsugu and itsuganai. First of all, istugu is desirable. Itsuganai I suppose could be like a kata or taisabaki(footwork). Very mechanical, not much feeling. Like when you give the hardest, fastest atemi and your leading foot hits the floor very hard and stops your momentium(did I spell that right??). Istugu is the feeling of always moving forward no matter what your doing, ie. stepping sideways, spinning, standing in musubi kamai.
Another challenge is following freely. We do this exercise where you close your eyes and touch the back of your partners hand while they move all over and you have to keep total contact always concentrating on the basics; keeping your center, move from the knees, no big wide sweeping steps etc.. Sensei calls this ukemi. He says that anybody can do the tobi ukemi or gymnastic ukemi but virtually no one can perfect this ukemi.
Anyways...pretty hard stuff for me right now.
Another couple of months and its old hat(haha).

Steve Speicher
08-18-2001, 01:25 PM
Mick,

The exercises you mentioned sound very interesting (itsuganai and ukemi), would you be able to post any more information, or are you aware of a spot on the web that might have more information on these exercises?

Thanks,

Richard Harnack
08-18-2001, 03:58 PM
After 25 years the challenges are:
Ukemi, Ikkyo, Nikkyo, Sankyo, Yonkyo, Gokkyo, Kotegaeshi, Kokyunage, Zenponage, Kaitennage, Irimi-Nage, etc. Every day I find something new about something "old".

I suppose the major challenge from my end of the temporal spectrum (I am now officially in my 55th year) is to stay fresh in my training and not rely upon what went before.

mariko nakamura
08-20-2001, 07:44 AM
Hey Richard I really like your answer. I haven't been doing it for that long yet but I think I can relate. I just came home from the dojo tonight and all I did for 2 hours is shomen ikkyo sawari waza. Sensei said it was all wrong and I couldn't even make a 5 kyu fall down. Yesterday was futai, I wonder what tommorow will be.
I'm sorry Steve but I don't think you will find anything on the net. I just checked and I couldn't find anything. I really wish sensei would check this site out. His english is good enough I think. Itsugu is really hard to explain. Just whenever youre training, Always concentrate on feeling grounded(extend your ki into the ground), but not to the point when your legs become heavy. Try moving from your knees instead of your feet. This is what sawari waza is really intended for, to teach your body how to move from the knees.
When you step, especially atemi, always feel that you can still move forward but dont. Try not to plant your foot.
A good ukemi exercise is to take a belt and have your partner move with it(all over the place, up down circles) keep the tension on the belt at all times. When your partner stops moving there should still be tension.
I hope you can understand this, Im sorry Im not very word smart. We really need somebody to invent the cyber dojo, I think it could be a lot more fun.
later on!
Mick

L. Camejo
08-20-2001, 10:15 AM
Originally posted by ca
As long as we are so desperate for topics, maybe this one will get a few responses: what do you find particularly challenging in Aikido right now, and besides the obvious (practice practice practice...) what are you doing for that challenge?

Hi all.

I think Aikido always presents challenges to us, even in things we think we already know, there are always new ways and higher levels.

My main challenge recently has been in coordinating mind and body to the point where I can react to any attack at any speed, from any direction and still keep control of my centre and plunge uke into a vaccum and take control.

Sort of practicing "mushin" (no mind) I guess.

I've realised that it becomes really valuable when dealing with Martial Artists who are very advanced in other styles of MA, especially striking ones. At that level, by the time you see the person move it's already too late, so I'm working on a degree of Ki and thought sensitivity as well I guess.

Am I making sense here? :confused:

Well anyway, that's my challenge and my contribution.

Masakatsu Agatsu
L.C.:ai::ki:

Richard Harnack
08-20-2001, 12:37 PM
Originally posted by mariko nakamura
Hey Richard I really like your answer. I haven't been doing it for that long yet but I think I can relate. I just came home from the dojo tonight and all I did for 2 hours is shomen ikkyo sawari waza. Sensei said it was all wrong and I couldn't even make a 5 kyu fall down. Yesterday was futai, I wonder what tommorow will be.
later on!
Mick
Mariko -
Do I ever understand the frustration! Sometimes I think my students fall down just to "humor the old man", at which point I tell them not to do that as I need to practice also.

Allowing Uke to throw themself to the ground is very difficult, especially when Uke knows what you are going to do and "pulls" the attack at the very last moment, then you find yourself stuck. I suppose you may have been doing everyone's "favorite" reach for Uke's arm to catch it as it descends. Timing, timing, timing.

However, a piece of "wisdom" from my "hippie" youth, "Out of frustration comes understanding". I usually add the codicil "we just do not know when".

Itsugu - think of it being as if boulders or oak trees or mountains could walk.

MikeE
08-20-2001, 06:40 PM
Wow. Richard, that was deep. ;)

Richard Harnack
08-20-2001, 08:46 PM
Originally posted by MikeE
Wow. Richard, that was deep. ;)

Mike -
I am glad to see you were able to "fathom" the thought. :)

BrokenKnees
08-30-2001, 09:51 AM
Hi everyone,
I've just started Aikido and this is my first post here. Well anyway, I've just made 6th kyu and the greatest challenge I face at every single Aikido class is this concept of "softness". :confused:

I come from a background of "hard" style MAs. I have black belts in both karate as well as Tang Soo Do, both of which prepared me for attack (or defence) with a general dose of stiffness and a generous kiai. The end result is like I'm going to "explode" into action.

Now this Aikido thing is so totally cool ... and confusing.

Almost everytime I uke or even nage, I'm told by conscientious seniors that I gotta loosen up. "You're too hard" is a constant refrain.

I guess I just got a whole lot more to learn ;)
Cheers,

guest1234
08-30-2001, 03:45 PM
Hi Mark,

Congratulations on your test! I think it is really amazing to feel the power and control in a soft touch, especially when it is coming from a giant nage...

BrokenKnees
08-30-2001, 07:16 PM
Thanks Colleen :p the test was quite an eye-opener, and for this unfit 37-year-old, quite a lung-bruning experience too :)

I may not be a "giant" nage by caucasian standards, but by my dojo's asian standards, my 1.72m - 80kg frame seems to draw a lot of attention from well-meaning seniors :rolleyes: If I happen to be nage, I always seem to be using too much force. If I happen to be uke, they love showing the nage "how to handle a big guy".

Frankly they're right though. A few days ago, I had a 6th kyu try to cause me pain with a sankyo. He actually looked genuinely surprised that it wasn't causing me pain. That is, until a brown belt showed him the way to cause a "big guy" pain :)

Of course, it ended up being my fault, cos, well, I was just "too hard". Does anyone here have any suggestions on how to "soften up"?

JJF
08-31-2001, 02:41 AM
Originally posted by BrokenKnees Does anyone here have any suggestions on how to "soften up"? You probably heard it before: Practice practice practice. I've been at it for a couple of years now, and it's slowly beginning to help.

ian
08-31-2001, 05:43 AM
Broken Knees, (P.S. this is all my own opinion, though it is based on a fair bit of experience).

Practise is definately beneficial, but it has to be the right kind of practise. This isn't just dependent on what you perceive to be happening when you watch your sensei, it is what you are thinking out whilst you do the technique. It is probably difficult to appreciate at the moment, but it may help if you keep the following in mind:

- we learn techniques in the dojo in a standardised form. But once you know the techniques we are not trying to 'force' a particular technique on the uke. It is uke who 'decides' the technique. i.e. it is ukes force which we are exploiting - they go down, take them down, they go up, take them up.

- get a feel of what uke is actually doing. If you provide force in the technique remember that this allows uke to direct YOU in the direction you are forcing things and thus enables a counter technique.

- blend with uke i.e. use the same timing as uke, and don't pull or push, use the force they are applying.

However, using the appropriate technique can only come when you got a thorough grip of the techniques, so the best thing is to try not to force uke - but this requires certain motion by uke to do a particular technique i.e. if they do resist an ikkyo and try to stand up, let them stand up and put on sankyo or katagatame.

I could explain more but this is getting a bit long-winded!

Ian

guest1234
08-31-2001, 06:19 AM
Let's see, I usually only use kg for kid's meds, but I guess I'd be around 45 kg, so I can't speak from your experience, Mark, but as a somewhat smaller Aikidoka...

I think it must be difficult for larger stronger folks to learn to relax, as charging full strength against strength usually works for them...until they find someone stronger/bigger, or in the case of your gleeful seniors, someone who knows how to use that force. They like you as a uke because you are no doubt giving a great deal of energy into your attack. What may be causing you the pain at the end of it is---general Aikido rule #1---never attack faster or stronger than you can fall or move. Big newer attackers sometimes are not yet attuned to being sensitive to what nage is doing with their attack energy, so their ukemi lags and pain enters the picture suddenly and with great force. I'd suggest attack as you have been, but from the moment you contact nage (and this, in my opinion, occurs before you touch eachother) also be aware of what he is doing to your body. Not only do you pick up the technique better faster, but you are on the same sheet of music so the lock or throw is not a total surprise.

as nage, like others have said better before me, it is not you 'doing' something to uke, but as you contact them feel the force and direction of the attack and use that, not your probably much greater personal strength. I think the challenge in that for bigger nages is first feeling the energy from uke, as it will not be probably as much as you could throw, and if they are small enough you can ignore it completely and just muscle them where you want. I have a lot of sympathy for those who are big and strong in this art, as it is harder to unlearn using personal force, and more difficult to tell when you are if most ukes are significantly smaller. But when you big guys manage it, wow, is it ever impressive...besides, I'm jealous of the big nages when it comes to atemi (that most ukes will naturally respect from you...)

j0nharris
08-31-2001, 11:01 AM
For a few months after breaking a little toe on the mat, I had the hardest time doing breakfalls to that side, with the partner I had been working with at the time.... Not that it was in any way his fault.

My biggest challenge now, though, is not tripping over my new hakama when I stand up after a fall. :D

-jon

BrokenKnees
08-31-2001, 12:16 PM
But when you big guys manage it, wow, is it ever impressive...besides, I'm jealous of the big nages when it comes to atemi (that most ukes will naturally respect from you...)


Hahaha! Sometimes, I wonder what will happen if I give a full-power atemi! But really in practice, I daren't do it! I've seen what a full-blooded mae geri can do to someone who was expecting it, much less someone who's not! Thanks for the insight Colleen :)

I could explain more but this is getting a bit long-winded!


Ian, thanks for the tips. If I understand it right, it all boils down to me being able to "feel" my uke better. You are completely on the mark when you mention that I can probably only achieve it with a thorough grip of the techniques. Maybe I'm simply being too adventurous. I got a long wy to go :)
Thanks everyone!

Chocolateuke
08-31-2001, 01:12 PM
im back! i just got back from a 8 day 60 plus mile connoe trip! it was fun and aikido deffinatly helped me keep going. the problem for me is balence but i am stedly improving! as for collen maybe you need to hit your ukes harder then they will block. but that seems out of your sweet nature! well it is great to be home!

BC
08-31-2001, 01:36 PM
Lately I've been trying to work on getting the breakfall on shihonage down. For some reason, it is difficult for me to get right.