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Ellis Amdur
12-15-2006, 05:48 PM
Terry Dobson told me that Ueshiba Morihei used to approach him sometimes and throw him in miraculous ways, and then say, "Now your turn." And he would carefully, ever so carefully, gesture in the correct technique and Osensei would creakily ease himself down to the mat, saying that he had to keep doing ukemi - it kept him young.
This came to mind reading some of the other threads which suggest that, with proper training, one is virtually "unthrowable," and therefore, learning to take ukemi can devolve into a dead-end tributary rather than a mainstream to both martial effectiveness and higher learning of ki/kokyu skills.
I agree with that - yet - noting that in traditional martial arts, the instructor or senior ALWAYS took uke's role, I ask if there is a contradiction between these two positions. I think not. If you have the ability to stop/counter/control any technique, you also have the ability to offer just enough opening so that the student will execute the technique properly at the peak of their ability. In other words, beyond the ability to stop a technique is, as a teacher, guiding a technique. Templating it, in other words. And as they get better, you give them a little more. And, particularly with weapons, this hones your own skills even further. I can create more dangerous situations for myself so my peak skills increase in a way that merely stopping or crushing my student would not. (I'm talking principal here - not directing this at any of the individuals who have posted about absorbing or stopping technique because I very likely have not seen the way they teach or the context - I'm talking about my own).
I think of watching judo teachers - adults - teaching small children. They "throw" themselves into the technique in such perfect form that the child's body conforms to the throw that they, only in theory, are accomplishing. Bit by bit, the student's body finds that line on it's own because they are used to it as the right line.
Which leads to yet another dilemma in aikido. It is fair to say that many students are taught ukemi to conform to the TEACHER'S ideal when the latter throws. Taking ukemi for many shihan at honbu entailed, on my part, divining what they wanted - not only in the attack, but in conforming to what they wanted to show/do.
It is easy to be trained into believing one is still moving with integrity when one is not. One can be forceful, strong, graceful and delusional all at the same time. In other words, one of the pitfalls of the revolution in martial arts that was Daito-ryu and it's off-shoot aikido, was the reversal of nage-and-uke roles. Which can often result in the dojo becoming a petri dish for the teacher's gradiosity.
Interesting that Ueshiba made the attempt to keep some perspective.
Finally, as I've suggested elsewhere, I believe that ukemi within the aikido context originally, or at least, potentially, had two elements which may have been lost to many.
1. That taking ukemi WAS a ki/kokyu training in building up the attachment points of the muscles and tendons - AND - in absorbing power and running it through the body. (One cannot counter a GOOD technique merely by going soft and blending - one needs to redirect and/or absorb
2. Training in instant responsiveness - Kuroda Tetsuzan uses ukemi (which he calls ukimi - floating body) to teach how to react without any "interferance" of any body part when a weapon approaches. I think it is possible that this element is inherent in aikido - although, unless one is consciously training to develop sensitivity to this end, one is just a rag doll.

Best

Ecosamurai
12-16-2006, 07:42 AM
Dear Ellis,

I've read your posts here and elsewhere on aikido ukemi and the reversal of roles of teacher and student. I'm curious as to one thing however.

I know that when I demonstrate a technique in front of the class I take the role of nage. I also know that if I am practicing with an individual student and trying to get them to learn a specific technique, I prefer the role of uke where I will, exactly as you describe the judo teachers in your above post, throw myself in such a way as the student learns the correct throw etc..

So here's my question. Given that Takeda Sokaku travelled around and taught large numbers of people in seminar type situations, could your hypothesised teacher-student role reversal with regards to ukemi be nothing more than expediency in teaching a technique or techniques to a large number of people at one time? In other words, rather than uke for 10 relative beginners in a one-to-one way simply demonstrate the technique as nage and have them practice what they just saw?

Could it simply be down to class size and nothing more than that. No grand theoretical reason for reversing the roles, just a practical solution to a teaching situation. I don't doubt that both Takeda and Ueshiba took the role of uke when teaching on a one-to-one basis, similar to your description of him taking ukemi from Terry Dobson.

Cheers

Mike

Ellis Amdur
12-16-2006, 11:00 AM
Mike - It may well be as simple as that in part. The seminar format does not lend itself, as you say, to taking ukemi for the students. Add to that all the descriptions of Takeda being at a level of true paranoia in regards to being vulnerable to anyone. (For example, berating his son for walking in front of a personal friend who was a sword expert, because the guy could suddenly take it in his head to strangle Tokimune, or when he went to visit Ueshiba, pulling the table next to the wall, and sitting so no one could get behind him, etc.). Whatever the merits of all of this, it's hard to imagine Takeda deliberately creating an opening.
I think that, as a corallary, as he taught this way, his students did too. Let's imagine his method was showing the technique and giving instruction not only on the technique, but also on whatever exercises were necessary to develop the ki/kokyu. Some people - like Ueshiba - get really strong. But the potential pitfall would be a) grandiosity b) that the students are taught to tank, under the illusion that falling that way "has to happen."

Mike Sigman
12-16-2006, 12:15 PM
Good points, Ellis. Not comparing myself to Takeda or Ueshiba, but frankly I cannot teach ki/kokyu things without feeling what the person is doing, so I have to be on the receiving end. If it was just tecnique and not the inner workings of the skills, I could simply watch.

In terms of being "unthrowable", that's a situational thing. Granted, here in the West where these skills are virtually unknown and "magical" appearing, it's a good trick to show-off; the same skill is not so unknown in Asia at all. I'm completely and calmly sure beyond any doubt that Ueshiba, Tohei, and many, many others could stop a throw with their jin if they wanted to.... BUT they were smart enough to know that such skills only work against amateurs and therefore learning Ukemi is more important than not.

When I was at Shaner Sensei's workshop last weekend, he used a general description that I enjoyed (I'm interested in a lot of the different descriptions of the basic principles because each one helps in developing a fuller appreciation of the concept). He said that when he was in contact with an opponent (Uke), he envisioned that he was the controlling part of a 4-legged animal. That's a good description, although like most of the descriptions, it's not complete in itself. If you are in contact with an opponent, connect up mentally so that you are the one controlling the whole animal and respond to the whole animal's attempt to move.... you'll find that you can't be thrown very easily, with a little bit of practice. It's one approach and I think it's a good one.

Regards,

Mike

Ecosamurai
12-16-2006, 12:33 PM
I think that, as a corallary, as he taught this way, his students did too. Let's imagine his method was showing the technique and giving instruction not only on the technique, but also on whatever exercises were necessary to develop the ki/kokyu. Some people - like Ueshiba - get really strong. But the potential pitfall would be a) grandiosity b) that the students are taught to tank, under the illusion that falling that way "has to happen."

Forgive my Englishness but what exactly does the Americanism 'to tank' mean? I think I know but just wanted to clarify.

Cheers

Mike

ChrisMoses
12-16-2006, 12:53 PM
Forgive my Englishness but what exactly does the Americanism 'to tank' mean? I think I know but just wanted to clarify.

Cheers

Mike

It's when you take a nice pretty fall for a crap throw so that it looks good. ;)

Ellis Amdur
12-16-2006, 12:54 PM
To "tank" is to take ukemi "as if" you are thrown. You throw yourself. Sometimes the teacher is aware of it and expects it because s/he sees himself as so potent and deadly that the student must move that way to survive. Other times, they are using the student as a "tool," to illustrate a principal. Still others actually believe they have the magic power, and that, with a wave of their hand, people simply fall.

best

DH
12-16-2006, 10:20 PM
Whatever the merits of all of this, it's hard to imagine Takeda deliberately creating an opening.

Without taking away from several good points-I'm never one to throw out good teaching or skills due to a man's possible personality deficiencies-particularly from hearsey.
He did claim a positive style of movement and later-just as Ueshiba did- change to a more self defense model-as stated by him personally in his published interview. To not leave openings is hardly anything new in Budo. In the end, he did create some fairly amazing and unusually skilled men.
There is a training method behind the "leave no opening" that is not theory and clearly expressed a way to train, move and respond. It is cogent and has depth and by all accounts his own skills and Sagawa's demonstrated exactly that.


I think that, as a corollary, as he taught this way, his students did too. Let's imagine his method was showing the technique and giving instruction not only on the technique, but also on whatever exercises were necessary to develop the ki/kokyu. Some people - like Ueshiba -- did get really strong. But the potential pitfall would be a) grandiosity b) that the students are taught to tank, under the illusion that falling that way "has to happen."

Hmmm…are we talking aiki arts only? ;)
With those two the potential for "grandiosity" is explicable in their preeminent skills. Whether or not it is valid is another discussion. I think its a bit shortsighted to discuss their lives and not account and pay heed to the many -real world- exhibitions of considerable skills that had nothing to do with their later students and evolving arts.
From many sources and different arts. There abilities were transparent and undeniable. They (qualifier…they…) didn't need to have guys tank. Takeda more than Ueshiba took on strangers other than his own Uke's routinely and by every account was ridiculously powerful. Odd that that phrase kept coming up.

I never judge them by the standards of their later day students Hell Ueshiba was pissed when he used to come back to the oldhombo. Telling everyone that they were not doing "his" Aikido.
Then, as now, they dismissed……..even him.
Again what were/are the colors of the truth behind that as well? Who knows.

As an aside you told a story of Ueshiba in Kanos dojo. With some guy saying "See that old man? Go try to throw him."
Which leaves me to assume he was saying no one could throw Ueshiba. I couple that, with the Fighting Spirit of Japan quotes I posted a couple of years ago, regarding the 6th dan who they said "could not be thrown". The Aikijujutsu master who could not be thrown
I end with Takeda's many exhibitions where he demonstrated that very thing on all comers.
And in the new age Sagawa who was recorded as extremely potent and unthrowable. And possibly the best in the modern era.

The "power" they exhibited- which lent credibility to the earlier accounts was morphed by Ueshiba's students themselves. Possibly due to their knowing...there were no openings and they started to do that wierd stuff you see in the later videos of him.
But again the earlier accounts were valid.....that they were unthrowable.
Who has their eyes on that goal? Who has a training method to get there that is demonstrable and teachable outside of technique? And can do it without ten years of flopping around taking Ukemi and "catching air." It doesn't take any serious length of time just to learn Ukemi. the rest should be training a bujutsu body. Not rolling around every week
As a model I guess one has to decide which one to choose.
Being a part of the learning to fall for a significant portion of your training career back and forth. Or being --apart- from that. And spending a significant portion of your training learning the ways to build connections in your body to…not be thrown in the first place.
and that has nothing to do with Ukemi-other then largely-not completely reducing the need for it.

Cheers
And happy holidays
Dan

Ellis Amdur
12-16-2006, 10:38 PM
Dan - a couple of misreads of my writing. 1) I was not criticizing Takeda in the "no opening" comment. That would be boring and silly. I'm simply noting that his described character is one that would, for example, not allow him to teach in the manner that my koryu teachers taught me. Further, I'm not saying anything about superiority or inferiority here - it's phenomenology. Takenouchi-ryu and Araki-ryu are taught one way - and produce a different type of fighter than Daito-ryu. However, I've seen other brilliant teachers whose revolutionary method of teaching - somewhat off the beaten path - leads to a regress of students' skills over the generations. (My 1st xingyi teacher is a perfect example).2) I was not talking about either Takeda or Ueshiba in my reference to grandiosity, even though the latter, in particular, could have that adjective applied to him. I was referring to the products of their teaching - many of their students, who become "frogs in a well" - looking at the disc of blue at the mouth of the well and believing they can see the entire universe. 3) I was not judging or criticizing Takeda or Ueshiba by their students - I was looking at their teaching methods and noting if that method could lend itself to the development of the type of successors it seems to. 4) I SUPPORT the idea of "unthrowable" - read the 2nd paragraph again. "Unthrowable" - "uncuttable" - "unbludgeonable" leads to the ability to truly provide ukemi as a teaching device. I could not take the ukemi I do with weapons at the intensity we practice if my students could cut me (often :uch: - I'm not God and they're catching up anyway). And yet, the kata require that I put myself at total 100% vulnerability, at various points - otherwise they won't learn.
Given that I not only agreed with most of your generally voiced thesis, but provided a link with extant koryu training where most don't see it - ----- happy holidays to you too.
Ellis

DH
12-16-2006, 11:02 PM
Gees..
Who gets to be the arbitor of whether you were being too obscure. Or I was being obtuse. :D
In that event teachers take Ukemi in Daito ryu. Just depends where you are and who you know.
And in MMA its part and parcel of the whole game. Just doesn't look anything like Ukemi. You're too busy fighting back. Leather does wonders.
Of course there is a point with playing the uke roll and training resistence and what it does for them. But the end goals should be ever increasing to an eventual stalemate. An ever increasing equality. An end game if you will. Not the continual energy-exchange work you often see in Aikido. Thats a self-fulfilling middle game. With no true higher level except for the same middle game now... played with increased (some would say artificial or unusable) sensitivity to the same exchange.
Cheers
Dan

Ellis Amdur
12-16-2006, 11:19 PM
I utterly, unequivocably, and absolutely agree with your last post, Dan. And interestingly, within true kata, even with the designation of uke and tori, that dynamic tension you describe, can be achieved. (and freestyle contributes to that end).
All bases covered.

Ellis

Ecosamurai
12-17-2006, 10:26 AM
To "tank" is to take ukemi "as if" you are thrown. You throw yourself. Sometimes the teacher is aware of it and expects it because s/he sees himself as so potent and deadly that the student must move that way to survive. Other times, they are using the student as a "tool," to illustrate a principal. Still others actually believe they have the magic power, and that, with a wave of their hand, people simply fall.

best

Thought so :) I also find it interesting that I did this to an extent when I was a kyu grade, not because my teach requested or required it, but because (in-line with what has been said elsewhere) I simply knew no better, I responded in a very sensitive way to slight movements on his part, I can recall at one time him extending his arm for an atemi to my lower abdomen, at no point was he ever going to strike me but I knew that had he chosen to he could have and so I found myself jumping into a rather projected forward roll. I find that now, being much better at aikido and much better at 'ki' (well Tohei style Ki training) I wouldn't move like that, he'd probably actually have to hit me to make me move like that. The better I get at aikido the better I become as an uke. I'm also less likely to freely give my centre away while being an uke. Nage has to earn it now, I don't hand it to them (unless I'm being the previously mentioned uke-teacher and showing a student a technique). This of course isn't much of a problem when I uke for my teacher, he may be 64 but he's still physically in incredibly good shape (irrespective of his technical ability). When he visited us in Aberdeen last weekend I was his uke for ten exhausting minutes at the end of a lesson he taught. I only caught glimpses of stunned grins on the faces of my students whilst flying through the air, I suppose to them it must've been fun watching Mike Sensei getting thrown around like a rag doll :)

One very interesting thing he said to me about that afterwards was (paraphrasing): "To them you're the guy who stands at the front of the class and dishes out this sort of stuff, it's important for them to see that you can take what you dish out, more so even. An aikido sensei should always be able to take at least as much as, if not more, than he can dish out"

A few days later Ellis started this thread :)

Think I might have to get me a copy of that Ukemi from the ground up DVD and see how it compares to 'what sensei says' :)

Thanks Ellis

Mike

Rupert Atkinson
12-17-2006, 09:41 PM
I don't count the time I spent doing Judo as a kid as martial art experience. When I started I believed the smallest-can-win blurb and continued on for some time. Being the smallest, of course, I never won, nor did I learn. Almost from the beginning, I realised that only the big and strong learn. Basically, you can only begin to learn in Judo once you begin to be able to throw. You have to stick around long enough so that you gather a little skill and become able to throw the beginners. Once you are able to throw a few people, you slowly begin to make sense of the movement. If you are always thrown, you just can't even begin to learn Judo. A sudden growth spurt saw me change from being the small kid to being the tall lanky kid - neither are good for Judo. On leaving skool I discovered Aikido and instantly liked it because I could throw people, but only because they allowed me to. But still, I learned plenty - indeed, in Judo I had learned barely anything at all - the teaching was generally hopeless at the best of times. Rather, they showed you something, you tried it a couple of times, then it was back to full-on randori. Despite having a rough deal with Judo, I have always remained suspicious of Aikido's methods - even though now it is my main art. For a start, I don't recall learning ukemi in Judo apart from rolling about as a kid but could always take being thrown hard; throw people hard in Aikido and some accuse you of being nasty, of having some kind of complex. Anyway, in order to learn good technique, ukemi is not the be-all-and-end-all. No one boasts about being good at ukemi in Judo. In the Judo sense you need to find people you can beat and train on them. Then you need to find people you can almost beat and train on them until you can. Those who you can't beat are simply busy doing the reverse to you. That was my conclusion, made when I was still a teenager.

As there is no 'beating' in Aikido, how is it possible to truly learn? Through ukemi? I think not. Being good at ukemi does have lots of self-defence advantages and does offer insight into technical detail, but it does not easily progress to learning to stand your ground and throw people about, especially if those people are of a more violent temper.

[I should add that in Japan, small people can win as the teaching is better - just my experience]

eyrie
12-17-2006, 10:11 PM
Now here's a gem... Ueshiba taking ukemi.... literally! :D
http://youtube.com/watch?v=7nwNgKs-DnY

DH
12-17-2006, 11:25 PM
As there is no 'beating' in Aikido, how is it possible to truly learn? Through ukemi? I think not. Being good at ukemi does have lots of self-defence advantages and does offer insight into technical detail, but it does not easily progress to learning to stand your ground and throw people about, especially if those people are of a more violent temper.

[I should add that in Japan, small people can win as the teaching is better - just my experience]

Hi Rupert
Nothing to add except to say I have taught several "small guys." who have done very well in different venues. I'd add to that many others in other arts from many different countries who do quite well.
All taught outside Japan.
I'm not one for Cultural snobbery. There are just as many half-assed, lame, self deluded and disorganized teachers -as well as excellent ones- in Japan as anywhere else. And the many venues that demonstrate freestlye fighting (including judo and jujutsu technique as a staple) are proving just how poor the Japanese have become at their own game in international competitons where no one really cares what somones rank or style is.

Taking Ukemi as a way to think
A response to take a throw is a choice. Mike wrote in this thread about his Aikido where he responded to a teachers atemi to his stomach by throwing himself. The only differentiation being in his earlier days he threw himself and now in his more experienced years the teacher would have to actually hit him.

Its just a view, but moving your whole body to a throw in response to a punch is possibly one of the stupidess things I have ever heard and is all over the place in AIkido videos. It is also one of the reasons so many scoff. There are far better ways to respond to strikes, throws and enters-and they all involve remaing standing.
By the teacher taking Ukemi they can better lead people into postional superiority and build their ability to read openings and win. Once trained a person would return to Aikido and just "see" no need to fall as a response in the vast majority of situations offered
Breakfalls and rolls only remain as staples in Aikido in order for folks to play aikido. Outside of the "Aiki"arts martial art shtick...once you get into more heavy handed dynamic body work the need for breakfalls and rolls is greatly reduced.

Another example away from response to atemi- is joint locks. Aikido folks have a hard time wrapping their way around ukemi with joint locks. Falling down and throwing yourself as a defense to a joint lock is not a way to go. There are ways to fight, where the chance of ever getting caught in a lock are slim and none and the responses to it being placed and needing to be undone involve body training in resistance and counters while remaining on your feet.

Again, you can train to carry your body in a dynamic exchange that changes the way your bodies respond... automatically. And it makes that type of response (taking air) inane and all but useless. And this is best taught by the teacher being the Uke.

Anyway all this calls to mind an interview with an Aikido shihan in Aikido journal in the 80's. The shihan was dismayed at the state of Aikido. He said something on the order of "Its easy to see the way Aikido is practiced today that the only peaceful resolution these people are going to bring to a conflict- will be when they are lying unconscious at the feet of their opponent."

Cheers
Dan

DH
12-17-2006, 11:54 PM
Now here's a gem... Ueshiba taking ukemi.... literally! :D
http://youtube.com/watch?v=7nwNgKs-DnY

Wait now...
He absorbed it in his body, sort of laid down and could have easily brought him into a guard. And!! he left his legs viable. He didn't slap out and stayed connected to the kid... :D

Oh..Ok....ok... doesn't count... its a kid.
But I wonder what he would have looked like ;)

Dan

eyrie
12-18-2006, 12:13 AM
And he was a very old man too... ;) but I get your point and generally agree with what you've been saying all along.... insofar as not taking ukemi, being unthrowable, unlockable, responding differently from being hit, yada, yada, yada... i.e. it was tongue-in-cheek ;)

DH
12-18-2006, 12:26 AM
Well me too.

I just couldn't resist. :D

Dan

Rupert Atkinson
12-18-2006, 02:21 AM
If that kid's still doing Aikido he'll have a lot to BOAST about - I threw Ueshiba! Well, almost; well, not quite; well, actually, not at all. He just sat down before the kid did anything.

Ecosamurai
12-18-2006, 03:13 AM
Another example away from response to atemi- is joint locks. Aikido folks have a hard time wrapping their way around ukemi with joint locks. Falling down and throwing yourself as a defense to a joint lock is not a way to go. There are ways to fight, where the chance of ever getting caught in a lock are slim and none and the responses to it being placed and needing to be undone involve body training in resistance and counters while remaining on your feet.

Actually I disagree with you here, while also agreeing strangely. I know from teaching beginners joint locks that they are unable to absorb the power, and as such their best way of relieving the pain and pressure is a fall or something similar. As they improve they can absorb more power and have no need to fall. So I can in turn then apply a stronger nikyo/sankyo etc.. a cycle of positive feedback and we all get better.

I think you should be careful about where you wave that tar and brush Dan :)

Mike

DH
12-18-2006, 07:39 AM
Hi Mike
I'm only using as broad a brush as applies. The practice doesn't apply to those who don't do it. To those that do- I offered another way to think of the interplay.

Mike writes
I know from teaching beginners joint locks that they are unable to absorb the power, and as such their best way of relieving the pain and pressure is a fall or something similar.

No...it is not. It's your way, not the best way.
It isn't the best way for new students to relieve the pain and pressure." I train people to defeat me, not surrender to me....from day one.
I have a vested interest in them undoing what folks try to do to them.
The reason I mentioned locks is that from what I have experienced and watched on video for years there is a tendency toward pacivity and sacrifice of postion to the point of throwing yourself as an answer to something that is easily trained to be a low-level threat in the first place. And much more easily and tactfully dealt with in the second. Which is why I said Ukemi from locks is really just a way for Aikidoka to play in what they think is a flow and tyo have fun catching air. Playing like that is fun. "Thinking" like that in a real confrontation is weak.
Another way to go in training is to learn to lock and train to blow it up. Both parties learn. And the true value of that type of training gives a stable platform to continue to subdue, strike down, or control.
Anyway, as I stated there are ways to train men in recieving their technque and ever increasing resistense to build their skills to the point that they look at me or at others seniors and they watch how we recieve and don't sacrifice position as they apply things and they have a different model formed in their minds-eye... than giving up. On an external, technical, level it is inherently logical and flows. The body training makes it even more substantial.
To say it another way the first step toward failure is gving up.
Having intent in all you do- leads to many opportunities previously unseen.
I think the old Budo guys knew and know this still.

Cheers
Dan

Ecosamurai
12-18-2006, 07:53 AM
No...it is not. It's your way, not the best way.
It isn't the best way for new students to relieve the pain and pressure." I train people to defeat me, not surrender to me....from day one.

In that case i humbly suggest you've not felt a proper nikyo, I'm sure you will disagree. I hope you'll take me at my word however when I say I don't teach people to surrender to me, ever.

Mike

MM
12-18-2006, 07:58 AM
In that case i humbly suggest you've not felt a proper nikyo, I'm sure you will disagree. I hope you'll take me at my word however when I say I don't teach people to surrender to me, ever.

Mike

Hi Mike,
I'm going to chime in here. While I'm not a highly skilled aikidoka, I have met Dan. And I'd bet that he could let me get into whatever nikkyo hold I wanted and it still wouldn't matter. :)

The part I'm confused on is whether he would be using great ukemi skills or great internal skills, or do they blend into one at that point?

Mark

DH
12-18-2006, 08:14 AM
Assumptions are quirky things, Mike. And great fun.

You don't teach people to surrender?

But you already said you threw yourself away from a punch as a begginer. And then again when more advanced.
Then offered here that your new students opt for ukemi from a lock.
That pretty much sums it up for me.
I was only suggesting there is a better way to train the body-and the response.
But lets save this for somewhere else. It doesn't belong in this thread.
It is the idea of ukemi and who takes it that is at hand.

Cheers
Dan

DH
12-18-2006, 08:22 AM
Hi Mark

They are one, always one. But there are external ways to train overlapping internal while both build in a person.
Well, I did ask Rob to put one on me. And even asked him to set it in more, till I was in pain and he had my Aikido center. Then i took it away and blew it up instantly. I'd be willing to guess he'll tell you he hasn't had anyone just sort of look at him and take the power away. But yes that's internal and its a pretty low level skill. Alot of guys could mamange that. More importantly, there are other ways to handle things like lock attempts as well.

But its not about me. If we in a teaching or senior role take Ukemi it allows a student to learn much faster just how to apply things, how to sustain them, and just what to do in many responses they see us doing as Uke. And if we have a healthy ego and a desire to better folks in our care we put them on a trac to defeat our skills.

With things like locks, pretty much they learn to lock and learn to undo them. Thus they learn a positive response to an attack not a passive one.

Cheers
Dan

MM
12-18-2006, 08:44 AM
Hi Mark

Well I asked Rob to put one on me. And even asked him to set it in more, till I was in pain. Then I blew it up instantly. I'd be willing to guess he'll tell you he hasn't had anyone just sort of look at him and take the power away. But yes that's internal and its a pretty low level skill. There are other ways to handle things like lock attempts. Students see us do them when we take ukemi, then they learn to do them as well. Pretty much they learn to lock and learn to undo them. Thus they learn a positive response to an attack not a passive one.

Cheers
Dan

Morning Dan,

Thanks for the explanation. If it wasn't ukemi, but internal ... hmmm ... so if Ueshiba was using internal skills in that way, then why did he not do ukemi?

As Ellis states, traditionally, the teacher is in the uke role. But, also, as Ellis states, if taking joint locks was learning ki/kokyu skills, then where did ukemi fit in?

Erg, I'm not getting my main point across. Hate the Internet/rather talk. Even though taking ukemi is for developing ki/kokyu skills, why did Ueshiba change the teaching methodology such that he was tori more than uke? Wouldn't feeling how Ueshiba negated a joint lock provide more instructional value than him doing the technique on someone else? Or could he train people better by guiding them, through him being tori?

Beard of Chuck Norris
12-18-2006, 08:52 AM
This of course isn't much of a problem when I uke for my teacher, he may be 64 but he's still physically in incredibly good shape (irrespective of his technical ability). When he visited us in Aberdeen last weekend I was his uke for ten exhausting minutes at the end of a lesson he taught. I only caught glimpses of stunned grins on the faces of my students whilst flying through the air, I suppose to them it must've been fun watching Mike Sensei getting thrown around like a rag doll :)


I have to admit that I did chuckle several times; partly due to the technique but mostly to do with your facial expression :D :confused: :uch: :hypno: !
.....Especially when he popped you in the ribs! Or should I say, when your ribs popped him in the fist! ;)

DH
12-18-2006, 09:05 AM
Hi Mark
All we really have is speculation.
Did he really end up making another him?
Not really
But Takeda made Him, made Sagawa, Made Kodo, made Hisa.
So we can all ask "Whats up wth that?"

As for Ukemi and Ueshiba?To think of your question in another way.
(I hate saying this and I held it back for years)
All Ueshiba did -was- take Ukemi.

It was hidden in plain site. and just like someone in this thread suggested-it never involved falling down. ;)

Mark,Ueshiba was taking Ukemi in just about all his videos....all the time....wasn't he? Don't get it yet?
I -was- taking Ukemi for your efforts the night we met...was I not?
Remember what I said and then showed about full speed in the wrong direction?
This type of thinking is a different way to look at it.
What did it accomplish with you? You felt things you thought were not possible, you "saw" a different way and a different approach. A smart fella would say. "Do I keep flopping around and doing the mid-level game on the slow elevator? Or do I take the stairs?"
Tohei left, Kissomaru, so did Shioda.

Cheers
Dan

MM
12-18-2006, 09:20 AM
Hi Mark
All we really have is speculation.
Did he really end up making another him?
Not really
But Takeda made Him, made Sagawa, Made Kodo, made Hisa.
So we can all ask "Whats up wth that?"

As for Ukemi and Ueshiba?To think of your question in another way.
(I hate saying this and I held it back for years)
All Ueshiba did -was- take Ukemi.

It was hidden in plain site.

Ueshiba was taking Ukemi in just about all his videos....all the time....wasn't he? Don't get it yet? I -was- taking Ukemi for your efforts the night we met...was I not?
Remember what I said and then showed about full speed in the wrong direction?
This type of thinking is a different way to look at it.
What did it accomplish with you? You felt things you thought were not possible, you "saw" a different way and a different approach. A smart fella would say. "Do I keep flopping around and doing the mid-level game on the slow elevator? Or do I take the stairs?"
Tohei left, Kissomaru, so did Shioda.

Cheers
Dan

Dan,
Yeah, agree that a lot is speculation. But, another question, which I don't know the answer to, is did Sagawa, Kodo, Hisa create someone like them? Another version of that level? If not, then have we lost something that Takeda had and taught to a few?

Hmmm ... guess it's time to review the videos again. And order more. :)

And yes, it's definitely a different way of looking at it. It's why I posted on the other thread about "catching air". Can't argue with you on that. That's why I'm going up the stairs.

Mark

Mike Sigman
12-18-2006, 09:26 AM
But Takeda made Him, made Sagawa, Made Kodo, made Hisa.
So we can all ask "Whats up wth that?"
No offense, Dan, but I've asked this before. WHAT is with this constant year-in, year-out reminder that Ueshiba got some of what he learned from Takeda??? It's pretty much an accepted deal by everyone I know that yes, DR played a big part in Ueshiba's background. You've just about flayed a dead-horse into the next universe, IMO.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Ecosamurai
12-18-2006, 09:29 AM
Assumptions are quirky things, Mike. And great fun.

You don't teach people to surrender?

No, I most certainly don't.

But you already said you threw yourself away from a punch as a begginer. And then again when more advanced.
And what makes you assume I encourage my students to do the same thing?

Then offered here that your new students opt for ukemi from a lock.

New students yes. Not once they get much higher than that. Not everyone can pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Not everyone is physically strong enough to resist such a technique and learn from it like that. The purpose of doing things that way is to build students up rather than teach them that all aikido is is a way for the teacher to tear them down with pain. I leave that to the thugs you find elsewhere. Then when people discover they have collected too many injuries over the years as a result of training in a brutal fashion they come to us and find that they were rather stupid for doing it that way. Smashing your knuckles against a brick wall until they bleed is something only an idiot does. Picking up joint injuries from training at full resistance from the start is another thing only a fool would do. I'm not trying to break people, not tryng to teach them to surrender, my goal is to get them to my level of ability so that I have more people to practise with and learn from. That's all.

That pretty much sums it up for me.
I was only suggesting there is a better way to train the body-and the response.
But lets save this for somewhere else. It doesn't belong in this thread.
It is the idea of ukemi and who takes it that is at hand.

Cheers
Dan

I think you need to clarify what you mean by 'surrender', but as you say its for another thread perhaps. I'll only add here that I dod NOT say that I threw myself again while more advanced. I said he would probably have to hit me now to make it have an effect, I never said that effect was that I threw myself. Although I didn't say it wasn't to be fair.

Getting back to the who takes ukemi idea. Are you sure you're just not confusing sutemi with ukemi? How would you define the difference and when would you advocate one over the other? Especially as you used the word surrender.

Mike

DH
12-18-2006, 09:32 AM
Dan,
Yeah, agree that a lot is speculation. But, another question, which I don't know the answer to, is did Sagawa, Kodo, Hisa create someone like them? Another version of that level? If not, then have we lost something that Takeda had and taught to a few?Mark

No comment.........



Hmmm ... guess it's time to review the videos again. And order more. :)

And yes, it's definitely a different way of looking at it. It's why I posted on the other thread about "catching air". Can't argue with you on that. That's why I'm going up the stairs.

Mark

If you look close you will see him do things I think you will now recognize and have a better, basic understanding of. "Hidden in plain site" takes on a whole new meaning, demystifies the approach and then makes it at least available to you to train.

Ukemi as-a-teacher.... as a means to power.
Ueshiba to Tenryu..."push me, push me up that hill."
Ueshiba to Shioda push me.....

Hmmm.......Tenryu graduates in three months. Ueshiba tells him "Go...now no one will be abke to throw you or touch you.
Shioda (also trained in DR) leaves and becomes..well...shioda.

How are we..Ellis, Mike, Rob and me saying anything new.....at all?
Cheers
Dan

Ecosamurai
12-18-2006, 09:34 AM
I have to admit that I did chuckle several times; partly due to the technique but mostly to do with your facial expression :D :confused: :uch: :hypno: !
.....Especially when he popped you in the ribs! Or should I say, when your ribs popped him in the fist! ;)

Yeah, that one still hurts a little, I suspect that the kirikaeshi doh at kendo didn't help. Was fine until the new girl missed the bogu. OUCH! :dead:

Mike

DH
12-18-2006, 09:37 AM
No offense, Dan, but I've asked this before. WHAT is with this constant year-in, year-out reminder that Ueshiba got some of what he learned from Takeda??? It's pretty much an accepted deal by everyone I know that yes, DR played a big part in Ueshiba's background. You've just about flayed a dead-horse into the next universe, IMO.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

You missed the point Mike. Mark was speculating why others don't get what the few have. I don't have a provable answer, do you?
Mostly its just more questions and speculations. I do always try to expand it beyond Ueshiba to others in the Aiki arts who were just as good, -though Ueshiba's own students considered Takeda better. Many considered Sagawa amazing. Takeda taught thousands but so few got it.
It does nothing to take away from Ueshiba. Its more of a broader quesion of ..in that whole "Aiki" milue.....which Ellis researching....Why wasn't it openly taught or was it?
It leaves many to ask "What the heck?"
I will openly speculate that were we to follow folks around at home.....they aren't doing the work.

Cheers
Dan

Cady Goldfield
12-18-2006, 10:15 AM
If that kid's still doing Aikido he'll have a lot to BOAST about - I threw Ueshiba! Well, almost; well, not quite; well, actually, not at all. He just sat down before the kid did anything.


Killjoy. :D

It was entertaining to see how Ueshiba was putting the kid's arms and hands in position and basically guiding him through the technique and gently sitting down to indicate that the technique was "completed." And the look on that kid's face is priceless... kind of "Wow, cool! I laid the Old Man down!" combined with a sheepishness that betrays even a young boy's knowledge that the "Old Man" had done the whole thing for him. ;)

Once, a professional (and outstanding) photographer I was working with wanted me to take a picture of him sitting next to the message wall outside Graceland. He stood in my place, set the shutter speed and aperture, positioned me in the exact spot, put the (very expensive, professional, German made) camera in my hands and showed me where the button was, then went to take his pose and told me when to push the button. The photo came out fantastic. Wow. I must be a great photographer. :D

Basia Halliop
12-18-2006, 10:54 AM
Wait now...
He absorbed it in his body, sort of laid down and could have easily brought him into a guard. And!! he left his legs viable. He didn't slap out and stayed connected to the kid... :D

Oh..Ok....ok... doesn't count... its a kid.
But I wonder what he would have looked like ;)

Dan


I wish we could have known what he said to the kid. Was he showing the kid he'd done it more or less the right idea and encouraging him, or was he showing the kid he'd left himself (the child) open to being pulled down the way he (the child) was doing it (with just his hand rather than his whole body)? Especially since it was a kid I can imagine so many explanations, or even that he was being a bit playful :).

Cady Goldfield
12-18-2006, 11:26 AM
The kid looks pretty much like a beginner just starting to learn the moves. From the smile on Ueshiba's face, he does seem to be just having some fun. Hey, he knew he was on-camera! Great photo op. :) But he did put the kid's arms in position and walked him through the technique, like someone's grandpa might put his young grandkid on his lap and "walk" him through the motions of using a screwdriver or hammer, holding the child's hand with the tool in it and making the movements. Doesn't look like there's anything "deeper" than that going on.

Nice old film clip showing a different side to the "Old Man." :)

DH
12-18-2006, 04:41 PM
New students yes. Not once they get much higher than that. Not everyone can pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Not everyone is physically strong enough to resist such a technique and learn from it like that. The purpose of doing things that way is to build students up rather than teach them that all aikido is is a way for the teacher to tear them down with pain. I leave that to the thugs you find elsewhere. Then when people discover they have collected too many injuries over the years as a result of training in a brutal fashion they come to us and find that they were rather stupid for doing it that way. Smashing your knuckles against a brick wall until they bleed is something only an idiot does. Picking up joint injuries from training at full resistance from the start is another thing only a fool would do. I'm not trying to break people, not tryng to teach them to surrender, my goal is to get them to my level of ability so that I have more people to practise with and learn from. That's all.

I think you need to clarify what you mean by 'surrender', but as you say its for another thread perhaps. I'll only add here that I dod NOT say that I threw myself again while more advanced. I said he would probably have to hit me now to make it have an effect, I never said that effect was that I threw myself. Although I didn't say it wasn't to be fair.

Getting back to the who takes ukemi idea. Are you sure you're just not confusing sutemi with ukemi? How would you define the difference and when would you advocate one over the other? Especially as you used the word surrender.

Mike

Hi Mike
I'm earnestly trying to get an idea across and not to argue with you ...fair enough? I was just going by what you wrote. Which as a model, seemed like a typical description of aikido waza and ukemi. Taking rolls and falls as an option to a lock or strike. No harm no foul.
I just cannot image falling down as a response to someone trying to lock me in anything or to being hit. I mean in the clearest sense with the way we train if you hit... we will respond... yes. But it is a positive one that is invasive and controlling either in intent or motion. They are different

I thought I did a fairly good job of explaining myself, Mike. I agree with you about body damage and wrecked joints and hands. I've been doing this along time. I'm fit as a fiddle. I run lift and train every day. EVERY day. I have no injuries or debiliting joints from the way I train.
We train smart, eat smart and we live smart. I have men who have trained with me for years. Yes we have occasional injuries like everyone else but no more no less. Please don't misread my lengthy replies as muscle bound body wreckers. Where did that come from? We are in agreement about not doing -or having to do-things that wreck your body.
Sutemi and Ukemi
I think I just might be one of the last people you would ever know who would confuse sutemi with ukemi. I adore sutemi waza. It's great as an active ukemi but its not the same thing.
I think its you who are having trouble with understanding my points. mostly due to your training goals.
Ukemi as a different model
Mat Hughes and B.J. penn were both taking Ukemi
So were Lidell and Coutoure
So was Hagler and Sugar Ray
Ueshiba every day on the mat

To assume you need to move like an aikidoka to take or receive technique is a huge error.
I think if you review again the answers I have given you already. I spoke of beinging folks along before you did. Taking ukemi for them so I can lead them to where I want them to go. Including getting poked yanked and thrown so they learn better.....faster.
That IS caring Mike. Wouldn't you agree? It sounds like you agree with that but we are talking past eache other a bit.
Please remember there are thousands of guys training in MMA ever week...no one is geeting rushed to the hospital all over the place.
Then again if tyou go back a few years Aikido Journal published a damning report on the injuries in AIkido Dojo at university in Japan.
Was Aikido more violent or martial?
Hardly, it was through cooperation and passive agressive treatment of students.
There are ways to train agressively...and safe. Taking Ukemi for your students is a great start.
Cheers
Dan

Ecosamurai
12-18-2006, 05:16 PM
Think we're probably talking at cross purposes here. Sent you a PM.

Cheers

Mike

eyrie
12-18-2006, 06:23 PM
I don't think Dan is being cryptic or obtuse...

Learning ukemi, what Dan refers to as the "active" sort - actually, it would be more appropriate to call it "passive" ;), where one learns to take a fall from a throw is fun and a good endurance/conditioning workout. BUT at some point, one must move beyond to the next level, where the student needs to learn to discern and exploit the windows of opportunity for kaeshi and henka.

I think this is what Dan is saying?

If you care about your students, you'd take ukemi for them and help them learn faster by foiling their technique, reversing it on them, allowing them to lock you and attempt to throw - then reversing it, and by being immovable and unlockable - to get them to YOUR level where they can start to defeat your technique in precisely the same way.... so that YOU can learn too. Selfish ulterior motive? Perhaps....

Because, there is no difference between ukemi of the outward variety (falling over) and the internal ukemi one is doing as nage. They are 2 sides of the same coin. ONE and the SAME thing.

The problem is, most people see that as being a "jerk", not knowing nor understanding that it provides them with a GOLDEN opportunity to study WHY their technique didn't work and HOW to fix it. And often they will resort to muscular force in an attempt to make it work, which then presents you with the opportunity to test how unlockable or immovable you can make yourself.... amongst other things.... ;)

Rupert Atkinson
12-18-2006, 07:26 PM
I think the basic point Dan is making is that Aikidoka allow themselves to be thrown too much - not too easily (different problem), but too much. Dan wants to refine that 'being thrown' skill and use it to thwart the attack, to escape it, or to reverse it.
Aikidoka call the same practise kaeshi-waza, label it advanced, and so rarely practise it. It only remains advanced because it is labeled as advanced. The problem with kaeshi-waza, though, is that it too demands that tori become uke and receive full ukemi and be thrown! Mad, huh?

eyrie
12-18-2006, 08:13 PM
I think there is a reason for it... ukemi (getting thrown) can be a tool for developing connection and structure, whilst at the same time it can be a form of body conditioning. It depends on the purpose and goals to which one is training for.

Personally I enjoy the physical workout from doing lots of "getting thrown". But these days, it is more of a choice of whether I take the fall or not. If my student hasn't got my balance and even if they do, I have a multitude of choices available to me, including reversing it, stopping it, remaining immovable, hitting them, or simply falling over. It all depends on what my goal happens to be at the time - and what I want to work on OR what I want the student to work on. And even if I do take the fall, my legs are still viable and there is always an opportunity for taking it to the ground, even as I am falling... ;)

The problem with kaeshi-waza, though, is that it too demands that tori become uke and receive full ukemi and be thrown!

I don't think it's necessary to be thrown... ukemi means to "receive" with the body. Receiving what? That IS the point. Not to receive a throw.... but to the point where if you do get thrown it's only because you didn't feel it coming, until the last moment when you find yourself being "pulled up"... right before you hit the mat. ;)

As for kaeshi-waza being more "advanced"... that's also dependent on who's teaching and what they are teaching. My guys get to do this as soon as they know how to take a decent breakfall. ;)

Ever notice at seminars that the "higher" ranking folks don't ever let you put a technique on them? Notice how they "tank" before you get to put the tech on? Hmmmm..... I wonder why that is... ;) The worst part is that people learn by EXAMPLE.

Rupert Atkinson
12-18-2006, 08:22 PM
I think there is a reason for it... ukemi (getting thrown) can be a tool for developing connection and structure.

I agree, and I must confess to liking it. But, you can have too much of a good thing, can you not? And too much of x = not enough time for y, whatever y may be :)

eyrie
12-18-2006, 08:26 PM
Precisely... harder to learn anything "substantial" in the way of actual "technique" when half the time all you do is fall down... and get up... :D

crbateman
12-18-2006, 09:16 PM
Precisely... harder to learn anything "substantial" in the way of actual "technique" when half the time all you do is fall down... and get up... :DI've got the "falling down" thing whupped... Kind of happens by itself (gravity, you know). The "getting up" thing, now that's a different story. For me, it's like tossing a dead cow up on the roof... a hundred times in an hour... http://www.clicksmilies.com/s0105/lachen/laughing-smiley-004.gif

DH
12-18-2006, 09:49 PM
I've got the "falling down" thing whupped... Kind of happens by itself (gravity, you know). The "getting up" thing, now that's a different story. For me, it's like tossing a dead cow up on the roof... a hundred times in an hour... http://www.clicksmilies.com/s0105/lachen/laughing-smiley-004.gif

Then master... standing.... up.
It's worked wonders for me. :D

Another case for my argument that we are doing it all wrong?
We should be getting more powerful in later years. Particularly 50-60's
Cheers
Dan

eyrie
12-18-2006, 10:16 PM
Are we? I dunno... going back to Ellis' initial post, that "ukemi kept him young"...and ... "he would proceed to ease himself creakily onto the mat".... maybe we need both "types" of ukemi?

I know if I've been sitting at the computer too long, a few good throws would give me a nice "massage" and loosen things up again... in a way that standing does... only different.

DH
12-18-2006, 10:58 PM
Are we? I dunno... going back to Ellis' initial post, that "ukemi kept him young"...and ... "he would proceed to ease himself creakily onto the mat".... maybe we need both "types" of ukemi?

I know if I've been sitting at the computer too long, a few good throws would give me a nice "massage" and loosen things up again... in a way that standing does... only different.
Well to each their own....all due respect I don't buy that as a method for me to build me. That' just blood flow and movement.
I do other things. I've been sitting here drafting for 14 hours interupted by rounds of solo work. Great message and the mental work (why doesn't anyone ever talk about the mental rush in all this?) is extremely stimulating.
Anyway, standing.... up.... can involve very low squatting postures and lengthy low slung strides. Dunno about anyone else but my body training translates real swell into
a. Becoming extremely difficult to throw.
b. Becoming taught and flexible at the same time
c. Having the body to take a throw without needing to train to fall down in the first place.
d. Then there's standing... standing.

All-in-one.
One-in-all
I mean since we are talking about ukemi. ;)
And I guess I could point out the CMA old guys who in their later years.were not rolling around on the ground.Yet they are flexible and powerful.
cheers
Dan

Gernot Hassenpflug
12-19-2006, 01:16 AM
Kuroda Tetsuzan writes about how he experienced for the first time being thrown, as in, bodily thrown, during normal kata practice where one of his deshi finally got right some of the "hidden motion" that allows the kata to work so effectively. He was surprised and frightened by that feeling, and when he asked his deshi about it they responded that they felt that way too when thrown by Kuroda. So, he recounts, he realized that the techniques when done right really were dangerous and certainly not the sort of thing to pull on beginners! I suppose that kind of ukemi is the one most common in judo/bjj, where you continue to fight after having been thrown despite your efforts not to be.

Chuck Clark
12-19-2006, 09:24 AM
We should be getting more powerful in later years. Particularly 50-60's
Cheers
Dan

Hi Dan,

The problem is that most of us in our 50-60's are still trying to be "powerful" in the same ways we did it in their younger years. Can't happen for very long. It's just semantics, I suppose, but I (at 60) get feedback that I feel very "forceful" now instead of powerful. Good thing, to me, is that when others experience forceful effects, I don't feel much physically in the way of feedback. I'm looking forward to another twenty years of polishing and looking for more efficient and forceful training.

Safe, Peaceful, and Joyful Holiday Season to All,

Chuck Clark

Nick Pagnucco
12-19-2006, 11:08 AM
Ellis,
(... or Dan... or Mike... or just about anyone else more in the know than me :hypno: )

I am unsure if the argument is (a) that you can learn aiki/ki/kokyu from learning 'good' ukemi, or (b) after you start learning those things from other training, one ought to apply it to one's ukemi as much as their technique, but ukemi is not in and of itself something that can 'train up' those esoteric body skills?

Mike Sigman
12-19-2006, 01:26 PM
I am unsure if the argument is (a) that you can learn aiki/ki/kokyu from learning 'good' ukemi, or (b) after you start learning those things from other training, one ought to apply it to one's ukemi as much as their technique, but ukemi is not in and of itself something that can 'train up' those esoteric body skills? The answer is "b". How many guys who can do "good ukemi" have I felt with good ki/kokyu skills? You see the point.

It's kind of like the people who swear by Tai Chi as a great aid to balance for the elderly. Not really. Not as good as balance-specific exercises, as should have been obvious some time ago.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061211124033.htm

Same with Aikido, if you understand and are working on your ki/kokyu skills, complementary usage of those skills in your ukemi is a plus... but it's not a primary trainer of those skills.

My 2 cents.

Mike

DH
12-19-2006, 02:36 PM
Yeah. Ok I can agree with that.
But Ukemi, which is, in its purest sense -receiving someones technique- is and can be a complex subject all by it self. Sometimes to help them, and bring them along. Some times to help you...while helping them. And sometimes to fully engage and do everything you can bring to bear. Which...oops helps you again while helping them....
In many respects Takeda, Sagawa, Ueshiba were doing their thing.....by taking Ukemi.
Folks just didn't see they were following the classic model all along.
There they were, standing. And you were doing things to them and they were responding by receiving your technique.
In the fullness of time, everyone morphed it back at them as if they were uke in attacking and "thought" of it backward. That they were receiving technique... instead of the reality that they were receiving their teachers Ukemi in response to the students attack.
I think it is the chief reason the core of the art got missed. The roles got reversed withut many even knowing or seeing why, how or where.
It was never so much about "doing" something to the others guy. At the root it was you working on you. And changing you and receiving. not trying to always "Do" something to someone.
Its all ......Ukemi.
Which is Why Takeda said it was a defensive art to begin with.

And perhaps the main reason Ueshiba bellowed "This is not my AIkido" when he went back to the Dojo of Kissomaru.

Cheers and Happy holidays to all
Dan

MM
12-19-2006, 02:44 PM
Reading AikiWeb lately just makes my head hurt. :)

Cady Goldfield
12-19-2006, 03:06 PM
I'm starting to think of ukemi as "re-gifting." :)

Ellis Amdur
12-19-2006, 03:56 PM
I'm going to make reference to myself here - but for those interested, read Part III of "Aikido is Three Peaches" on the Aikido Journal website (http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=846) which amplifies a lot of the points in this thread, including Dan's thesis that "nage is uke."
One paragraph of particular relevance follows: "There is a lovely paradox here. NAGE IS "UKE." Aikidoka of the highest skill are those created by the most skillful teachers who mindfully place the student in situations where they must learn freedom through responsiveness, kaeshiwaza and atemi implicit (and sometimes explicit) in their every move. If the student and even more so, the teacher, is not aware that this is the purpose of aikido practice, the opportunity for uke to learn how to do real aikido is lost."

DH
12-19-2006, 04:04 PM
And why did we not talk about this??
You continue to surprise me.....check your P.M.


Dan

Ellis Amdur
12-19-2006, 04:22 PM
Why did we not talk about this? After the third mojito, I cannot recall what we spoke about.
Ellis

Mike Sigman
12-19-2006, 04:25 PM
Why did we not talk about this? After the third mojito, I cannot recall what we spoke about.
EllisI suppose "Mojito" is the diminutive for "Mojo".... as in "you had a little Mojo working", eh? ;)

Mike

DH
12-19-2006, 04:30 PM
I suppose "Mojito" is the diminutive for "Mojo".... as in "you had a little Mojo working", eh? ;)

Mike

No. its the feakin Rum concoction that he's now gotten me addicted to....and they can't make to save their lives out East.
Ellis.... and his wiley ways.:D

Dan

crbateman
12-19-2006, 05:13 PM
BEWARE the Mojito... It comes in the night, and steals your legs! http://www.websmileys.com/sm/crazy/114.gif

Chuck Clark
12-19-2006, 06:28 PM
It was often the voice of the muse that Ernest Hemingway listend to while writing. In fact, I seem to remember that he was one of a few inhabitants of the "best" Havana night spots that brought the Mojito concoction back to the US. Often while imbibing the legendary Mojito your brain thinks you can walk... but your legs won't listen (even in the afternoon...).

A Safe, Peaceful, and Joyful Holiday Season to All,

Chuck Clark

Toby Threadgill
12-19-2006, 06:46 PM
Hiya Chuck,

You're brain still works after imbibing Mojitos's? Dang...I just kinda lay still, admiring the ceiling.

A Happy and safe holiday season to all of you guys.....from an aiki web lurker...

eyrie
12-19-2006, 06:59 PM
I suppose "Mojito" is the diminutive for "Mojo".... as in "you had a little Mojo working", eh? ;)

Mike

More like VOODOO... :D

I'm surprised they can't make a decent concoction out East, Dan.... considering that Mass. was famous for its rum distilleries in the 1750s... :D

It's the 160 proof stuff that'll kill you... well quite a few brain cells at least....

But we are seriously getting off topic...

DH
12-20-2006, 01:20 AM
Well Its 2:00 am here.
Just got in from 7 hours straight training Whiile you lazy arses were gabbin..
I'm having?
A vodka gimlet.
Cheers' to all.

Tobs!!! Holy crap!! Good to hear from you.

Time to go nighty nights for me.
Dan

Nick Pagnucco
12-20-2006, 01:01 PM
It's the 160 proof stuff that'll kill you... well quite a few brain cells at least....

But we are seriously getting off topic...

There's a joke to be made about the spirit of aikido, but I'll just walk away from that one ;)

Mark Freeman
12-21-2006, 05:12 AM
I'm having?
A vodka gimlet.
Cheers' to all.



Another one Dan? ;) be careful those, Russians are sneaky, they'll be under your bed before you know it :D

Cheers (hic!)

Mark

Ellis Amdur
12-22-2006, 11:36 AM
Apropos the posts before the mojitos, note the following interview with Inoue Kyoichi of the Yoshinkan. http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=313. In particular:
1. Shioda riding on the train with Ueshiba holding the latters iron fan, asked to hit him when he fell asleep
2. A comparison of Yukawa (amazingly strong ex-judoka prewar deshi unable to execute a technique on a visiting judoka that Akazawa (much less strong, aikido only deshi) was then able to execute
3. Tenryu practicing with Shioda
4. Shioda helping out Kushida when teaching the riot police.

All relevant to the question of who is "taking" ukemi, nage or uke - - - or both.

Best

DH
12-22-2006, 12:03 PM
Well, we both know we agree
You already know my views about "Folks going full speed in the wrong direction."
What is pertinent and food for thought for others is- who was doing what, and why? What can be accomplished? This idea, and the subject of the thread, is most certainly not....a surface discussion. It has depth and purpose and is the first step to serious progress.

Happy holidays
Dan

Erik Calderon
01-17-2007, 09:40 AM
It seems to me, and in my personal experience, the "secrets" of aikido lie in the ukemi.

I've also noticed that when I go around taking ukemi for everyone, I tend to feel much better later and the next day. Could be the exercise I get from it. Being Nage, you don't get much of a cardio workout, but being thrown around everywhere and having to get up and attack again and again.....

Not to mention, the fun part is being thrown, or having to take ukemi.

DH
01-17-2007, 12:25 PM
Eric

Not to put to fine a point on it...but taking falls has nothing at all to do with the central point here. It is learning to "stand" against all odds that is the "ukemi" Ueshiba was doing and that Ellis and I are talking about. Not learning to fall down better.
I would suggest reviewing this and the other similar threads about ukemi. Read the replies. There is profound lack of understanding of this central point. Further the "true believers" are so stuck, so mired, that all they can do is talk about how the teeny-tiny, and narrow, act or skill of better landing. Then how it helped them fall of a bicycle and land safely and relegate "ukemi" to that. For this reason they will never find Ueshiba's skills they are looking for.

As an aside I can say I saw the skills and body method I have been discussing being shown to a koryu teacher who had trained with Ueshiba. When the skills were being demonstrated and even being taught to the koryu adept. The Kory teacher stopped and said "Yes! This is Ueshiba's Aikido. They don't teach that anymore you know. Its not in modern aikido."
The thing is-the person demonstrating? Wasn't from Aikido.
There is an understanding of these things and a way to learn them, it goes beyond learning to fall down better. Modern AIkido is what it is. It is a seperate entity with a rationale all it own. Again I'd suggest to each person- are you doing what the old man was doing?
Are you even on the right track?
Continuing to think these skills are propietary to Aikido is a mistake. They are in many arts and can be used in Aikido, Daito ryu, Xing-I, Taiji and bagua. They are fundemental truths of the human body in balance and interplay.
Cheers
Dan

Jim Sorrentino
01-17-2007, 01:45 PM
Hello Dan,As an aside I can say I saw the skills and body method I have been discussing being shown to a koryu teacher who had trained with Ueshiba. When the skills were being demonstrated and even being taught to the koryu adept. The Kory teacher stopped and said "Yes! This is Ueshiba's Aikido. They don't teach that anymore you know. Its not in modern aikido."
The thing is-the person demonstrating? Wasn't from Aikido.
That's a substantial "aside". As usual, I don't have answers, only questions:

1) When did you see this, and where?
2) Who was demonstrating the "skills and body method"?
3) What occurred in the demonstration?
3) Who was the "koryu teacher who had trained with Ueshiba"?
4) What was that teacher's art?
5) When did the koryu teacher train with Ueshiba, and for how long?
6) What else, if anything, did the koryu teacher say about the demonstration?
7) Would that koryu teacher be willing to participate directly in this and similar discussions?

Or is this just another case of:

1) Dan knows something special that we don't know.
2) Other people have said that what Dan has is special, but Dan can't reveal his sources because it's confidential.
3) We can't learn this except from Dan or someone like him.
4) We won't learn it in our own dojo.
5) Dan might show it to us, but only if we come to see him, and it will take a long time (if ever) for us to get it.

Sincerely,

Jim

DH
01-17-2007, 02:21 PM
That example was offered to make a point. And though that happened in a room with witnesses-the players are private. Make of it what you will. I really don't care about your opinion, Jim.
As for being "special?" Well, I have said over and over and over- there are many who "know this stuff" in various ways. This defies me being anything "special" at all. A point you continually miss. And as for taking along time to "get it." This all started with me stating you can learn substantial skills in a few years. Missed that too eh? Unfortunately, the majority still don't know these things.
You have stated openly you only want to learn from Aikido and it antecendents. I think thats a good plan for you. Good luck with that.
Dan

Jim Sorrentino
01-17-2007, 02:49 PM
Hello Dan,That example was offered to make a point. And though that happened in a room with witnesses-the players are private. Make of it what you will. I really don't care about your opinion, Jim.What was the point? And how "private" is it if you bring it into a discussion on the web? And where did I offer an opinion?As for being "special?" Well, I have said over and over and over- there are many who "know this stuff" in various ways. This defies me being anything "special" at all. A point you continually miss.I don't miss it at all --- that's why I said "Dan or someone like him." You have stated openly you only [emphasis added] want to learn from Aikido and it antecendents.Would you please point out where I said that? Thanks.

By the way, how about answering the question you posed a while back:Last, why did I change my mind about helping [aikido and its practitioners]? Now that IS an interesting questionJim

ian
01-18-2007, 09:55 AM
I hate to join this rapidly growing thread but...

IMO, the whole uke/nage thing in aikido is just another training method which is different to other martial arts. All martial arts have flaws in their training method. Judo took out dangerous techniques to allow more spontaneous response, karate had kata (which resulted in many techniques being completely lost or misunderstood!).

Aikido did something in the middle i.e. uke could attack at full force and nage could throw them. However, it's still a bl**dy simulation! If you think otherwise, how do you get around the paradox of aikido being 'a gentle art in which you don't have to harm the attacker' yet, 'we can't have proper competitions because it's too dangerous'.

Aikido was an improvement on traditional methods of training (which was almost like a fixed, paired kata), allowing more spontaneity. However modern methods (modern Judo, and esp. BJJ) have gone even further in that direction.

Taking ukemi can maybe toughen up your body, but as (Dan?) said balance is the most important thing. Indeed the last time I got in an altercation, I didn't actually throw the person at all; I just moved and maintained good balance and they went flying. I find it quite amusing and ironic now, that probably the most important practical skill in aikido is to be able to stand upright!

DH
01-21-2007, 01:38 PM
1. Aikido did something in the middle i.e. uke could attack at full force and nage could throw them. However, it's still a bl**dy simulation! If you think otherwise, how do you get around the paradox of aikido being 'a gentle art in which you don't have to harm the attacker' yet, 'we can't have proper competitions because it's too dangerous'.

2. Aikido was an improvement on traditional methods of training (which was almost like a fixed, paired kata), allowing more spontaneity.

3. Taking ukemi can maybe toughen up your body, but as (Dan?) said balance is the most important thing. Indeed the last time I got in an altercation, I didn't actually throw the person at all; I just moved and maintained good balance and they went flying.

4. I find it quite amusing and ironic now, that probably the most important practical skill in aikido is to be able to stand upright!

Hi Ian.
I pulled out a few points and numbered them for clarity.

1. Attacking full force means just what? Most jujutsuka would attack you "full force" and not lose their balance if you moved "out of the way." They would follow you and conitnue to play and press you. until you took their balance. Which oft times is very difficult to do. A boxer would track you and nail the nage in the head.
So, where is there any benefit to this style of training where attacking full force mean falling down when the nage moves out of the way? What does it say about Aikido ukemi training that folks are so easily undone in that manner? That stepping out of the way results in fall? I'd say the attacker is an idiot who doesn't have a clue how to fight anyone, anywhere. What is it really saying to have stylized big flowing attacking movements just to preserve a "model" of Aikido? How is it superior or better than, if we had attackers who continually attacked with thier bodies in balance.
What would change? I say if Aikidoka trained in the internal skills that was the foundation of their art they could manage much more severe attackes in a far more rational manner. And their method and power of attacks would increas dramatically as well.

2. This is an "improvement" over paired Kata just how? It seems it is rather obvious to many senior teachers in the art itself who continually point out the that the opposite is in fact true. It is ruining the arts reputation as a martial endevour. Paired Kata has a peculiar knack to preseve rational movement. Many folk in Koryu who do pared kata also freestyle it on their own. Without "falling down" when the guy moves out of the way.

3. Taking Ukemi -I take it you mean falling down-is a minor sub skill easily taught and has nothing at all to do with toughening the body. There are far better ways to do that. Ukemi has a higher goal.

4. Learning to remain standing is best. We agree. But it is best learned as Uke being nage, fighting every attempt to have someone try to hit, kick, and throw you. And that skill? Is best learned alone in a room before you start fighting with it.
To be exact-my best idea of "getting out of the way" is to have a man stand there when an attacker connects with him and they feel instant ground. Sort of like ringing as bell- its without thought. But its involves the attacker rebounding off. That's a substantial baseline skill. When combined with fighting knowledge-it actually can get you closer to the goal of being able to resist without causing harm.
Again it was this, this use of internal skills. That Ueshiba was reffering to when he said "Takeda opened my eyes to true Budo." It gave him a way to both drive and actuallize his personal vision of peace. In-yo ho.
Learned through solo training and Uke as Nage.
Not falling down.

Cheers
Dan

Ellis Amdur
01-21-2007, 06:07 PM
In particular, notice the beautiful ukemi he takes on kotegaeshi at the end. ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wexTjQ54KM

Ecosamurai
01-22-2007, 09:14 AM
In particular, notice the beautiful ukemi he takes on kotegaeshi at the end. ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wexTjQ54KM

With regards to the ukemi from kotegaeshi at the end its nothing I haven't seen my aikido sensei do many times, I'll even go so far as to say that he does it better than that IMO. I can also do the 'trick' at the end and I'm only a nidan of 10 years experience, so please believe me when I say IMHO its no great feat.

It is very nice to see that clip as it sheds light on the context of what you've been saying and confirms my belief that the way we train is what you've been talking about all along. Please note at this point I'm still not convinced that what Dan Harden argues is the same thing as what you seem to be saying regarding uke and nage roles and ukemi.

I notice that this page: http://www.meido.demon.co.uk/upcomingevents.htm
Lists you as visiting the UK in May, there's a chance I'll be in London on that weekend if so I'll probably make an effort to attend :)

Regards

Mike Haft

Ellis Amdur
01-22-2007, 09:47 AM
Mike - either that's Meido's old website or they had better update! That workshop happened in 2002.. It'd be nice to have those years back though. :)
As far as I know, Dan and I are talking about the same thing re ukemi. I didn't intend to say, one way or the other, that Chen is the best at anything (I'm not qualified to evaluate such things) - although the way he can release power is really quite amazing to me - that also being part of ukemi in the way I/we are talking about. Just that what he does - including the wrist stuff at the end - is a visual representation. AND - I still think it is what Ueshiba was really getting at. Though why he didn't just come out and say it and order people to do things a certain way is a whole other discussion.

Best

Ecosamurai
01-22-2007, 10:09 AM
Mike - either that's Meido's old website or they had better update! That workshop happened in 2002.. It'd be nice to have those years back though. :)

LOL, didn't notice the year, assumptions can be tricky things..

As far as I know, Dan and I are talking about the same thing re ukemi. I didn't intend to say, one way or the other, that Chen is the best at anything (I'm not qualified to evaluate such things) - although the way he can release power is really quite amazing to me - that also being part of ukemi in the way I/we are talking about. Just that what he does - including the wrist stuff at the end - is a visual representation. AND - I still think it is what Ueshiba was really getting at. Though why he didn't just come out and say it and order people to do things a certain way is a whole other discussion.

Best

Well FWIW I didn't see anything in that clip that was too much beyond my own level of skill and I'm really not that good. I think that the alleged missing internal skills of aikido are still present in many cases, at least in the ki-soc derived styles (which I'm most familiar with), probably others too.

I also think that many of the things you described as ukemi, particularly with reference to the kotegaeshi at the end of the clip would probably be seen by many aikidoka as 'resistance', and thus viewed as something to be shunned seeing as Ueshiba Sensei specifically emphasized that aikido is all about not resisting uke.
My personal view is that that was not the sort of resistance he had in mind, although I have no evidence to back that up so its just my wistful interpretation.

Perhaps Dan can clear up if he meant the same thing as you in light of the clip you posted (picture paints a thousand words and all that.)

Cheers

Mike

Ellis Amdur
01-22-2007, 11:03 AM
Mike - no worries - one thing I will not do is get in an internet discussion about how good someone is- based on video evidence. If you ever have a chance to feel Chen Xiao Wang, do so. He is affable, kind and ferociously skilled and strong, by all accounts of people I respect. A friend of mine in Greece who sparred with him said that he felt like a "flexible tire" - as hard as vulcanized rubber at all points, but totally flexible.
As for the issue of resistence, since kaeshiwaza is the "advanced" form of aikido, I do not see how any aikido practitioner would not see the absorbtion and return of force INTO a kaeshiwaza as the essence of good aikido. The nage becomes uke in every kaeshiwaza, the attack being the applied waza - kotegaeshi, for example. This was what I taught in the 2002 seminar, anyway.
Best

Ecosamurai
01-22-2007, 11:45 AM
Mike - no worries - one thing I will not do is get in an internet discussion about how good someone is- based on video evidence.

Yeah, I agree, wasn't actually my intention to do that, oops. Not enough coffee for my poor brain to function at optimum performance levels it seems..

If you ever have a chance to feel Chen Xiao Wang, do so. He is affable, kind and ferociously skilled and strong, by all accounts of people I respect. A friend of mine in Greece who sparred with him said that he felt like a "flexible tire" - as hard as vulcanized rubber at all points, but totally flexible.

Sounds familiar ;)


As for the issue of resistence, since kaeshiwaza is the "advanced" form of aikido, I do not see how any aikido practitioner would not see the absorbtion and return of force INTO a kaeshiwaza as the essence of good aikido. The nage becomes uke in every kaeshiwaza, the attack being the applied waza - kotegaeshi, for example. This was what I taught in the 2002 seminar, anyway.
Best

Yeah baffles me at times but there you go. It shouldn't really be that surprising really though, I've heard of (and visited one or two) places where certain standard aikido techniques are not practiced because they are 'too dangerous', I'm not talking about minor variations of something either I'm talking about things like shihonage, a pretty fundamental technique! I can only imagine what must be happening with more difficult and advanced stuff.

Regards

Mike

Ecosamurai
01-22-2007, 05:07 PM
Well FWIW I didn't see anything in that clip that was too much beyond my own level of skill and I'm really not that good.

I should just add here for the sake of clarity that I was referring to the kotegaeshi ukemi at the end not the rest of the clip. English seems to be failing me today.

Mike

Mike Sigman
01-22-2007, 05:16 PM
Well, I have to admit that I was looking up Chen Xiao Wang's itinerary for this year in the UK. I was thinking perhaps I'd like to see you and your instructor at or near the workshop to compare notes. I've never in my life seen anyone, even professional martial artists, with the kind of power CXW can deliver. If your or your instructor is at that level, I'd be willing to buy the beer. ;)

Regards,

Mike

statisticool
01-22-2007, 08:45 PM
I've never in my life seen anyone, even professional martial artists, with the kind of power CXW can deliver.


Walter, how are you measuring this power?

Needless to say, everything on the video presented was just a static application with agreed upon rules to be nice. Anyone, really, can do anything given these parameters.

Mike Sigman
01-22-2007, 09:24 PM
Walter, how are you measuring this power?

Needless to say, everything on the video presented was just a static application with agreed upon rules to be nice. Anyone, really, can do anything given these parameters. Heh. :D This is actually getting pretty funny, having some Cheng Man Ching cult psycho stalk me on the web.

Here's Justin's own Cheng Man Ching worship page:

http://www.zhengmanqing.com/main.htm

I notice you took all the "look at me" things about your GPA, pictures, etc., off your homepage, Justin. Why? Slowly outgrowing your self-absorption? Hey, hang in there, buddy. You're getting to be the mascot of AikiWeb, even though you don't have a thing to do with Aikido.

Mike

Freerefill
01-22-2007, 10:07 PM
Walter, how are you measuring this power?

midichlorians :D

Ecosamurai
01-23-2007, 04:04 AM
Well, I have to admit that I was looking up Chen Xiao Wang's itinerary for this year in the UK. I was thinking perhaps I'd like to see you and your instructor at or near the workshop to compare notes. I've never in my life seen anyone, even professional martial artists, with the kind of power CXW can deliver. If your or your instructor is at that level, I'd be willing to buy the beer. ;)

Regards,

Mike

Please bear in mind I was referring to the kotegaeshi at the end (which was why I chose to clarify that as my earlier post seemed confusing). I'm not commenting on anything prior to that. But I can certainly do the kotegaeshi ukemi mentioned, probably not with quite so much flair but I'm willing to say I can, in as humble a fashion as possible.
Actually the four people is a bit of misdirection, the guys holding his arms don't really do anything except make it look more impressive. I remember doing exactly the same thing to my teacher at a demonstration we attended. My friend Phil and I tried to put kotegaeshi on him similar to the manner shown in the video and we couldn't move him at all :)

Let me know where the workshop is and I'll let you know if I can get there :) I'm in north east Scotland.

Ecosamurai
02-16-2007, 09:46 AM
Mike - It may well be as simple as that in part. The seminar format does not lend itself, as you say, to taking ukemi for the students.

Further to this discussion, I happened to be reading this:
http://www.kendo-world.com/articles/magazine/Synopsis_of_kendo/index.php

In the section under Kendo in Education, it mentions that the Japanese Ministry of Education evaluated the idea of making Kendo a part of the national Physical Education curriculum about 100 years ago. They concluded it was not practical for a number of reasons and that it should be offered to boys aged 16 and above as an extra curricular activity. One of the reasons given for it not being practical was the method of teaching that would be necessary, namely one instructor for a large number of students where previously instruction in kenjitsu had been one-to-one. As a result, kendo began to be taught using bujutsu taiso (bujutsu calisthenics). These sorts of ideas were not unique to the teaching of Kendo under the new education system in Japan.

It is of note that these things were happening just as Takeda Sokaku began teaching Daito Ryu, it seems sensible to me to suggest that he would have been aware of such innovations (for good or bad they are still innovative) in the teaching of Budo. Specifically from the point of view of a single teacher in front of a large audience. My suspicion is that most of the teaching that Takeda did was to large groups, and would have been conducted in this fashion. Only more devoted students such as Ueshiba would've had one-to-one training with him on a (semi)regular basis.

It also follows that the pre-war deshi of Ueshiba would have had more one-to-one time with their teacher, simply because there were less of them.

I suspect that this more than anything explains some of the things that Ellis has noted about the role of uke and nage in aikido and the differences between earlier and later generations of Ueshiba's students.

Any thoughts?

Mike

DH
02-16-2007, 10:05 AM
Well I'd add that this was my observation-from way back. But Ellis can take the credit ;)

First I wouldn't assume Takeda was teaching, or even tryng to teach those large seminar attendees much. He was making money. A quick read of both the training, and the result should speak for itself (read my last post in base line skills) There was certainly some "learnin" going on, I would just put my thinking cap on as for who... was learning what?
Secondly, of the thousands who he taught- who ended up with what?
He went on record stating things like; this one he taught Aiki (internal skills) because "he" was small, that one he taught jujutsu because "he" was large. OK how or where did that magically translate to "whole groups" looking so different? It's something to think about as well. And who learned what, where? And more importantly when?
What remains though is this; Only Takeda, Sagawa, Kodo, and Ueshiba wound up with any serious acclaim. Why?
And they? Were not concentrating on the principle and techniques of the old pretzel logic were they?. Everyone else who did-became the lesser lights.
Those few knew where the real power was at and pursued it.
Dan

Ecosamurai
02-16-2007, 10:52 AM
Well I'd add that this was my observation-from way back. But Ellis can take the credit ;)

LOL - Well I suppose that's because I happened to be watching 'Ukemi from the Ground Up' yesterday.

First I wouldn't assume Takeda was teaching, or even tryng to teach those large seminar attendees much. He was making money. A quick read of both the training, and the result should speak for itself (read my last post in base line skills) There was certainly some "learnin" going on, I would just put my thinking cap on as for who... was learning what?

I don't disagree :) My reason for posting above was that I happened to be reading the Kendo article and noted that there was a trend in the teaching of budo for developing methods suitable for teaching in large classes. Something which had been previously been definitely not the norm, preferring the more one-to-one relationship between student and teacher.

My thinking is that there was, from this time (and still is perhaps), an idea that there are the regular students and then there are the uchi-deshi, in other words, the guys who I 'teach' to pay my bills, and the guys who I teach as my personal charges. Which to my mind could seem to indicate that only someone who has been a uchi-deshi (and sometimes not even then) is going to be able to learn effectively from their teacher. If that is the case, then it is worth asking how valid the 'traditional' (for this I mean common really) method of teachin aikido is.

Does it simply mean that only someone with the type of close relationship of an uchi-deshi can become a master of aikido as Ueshiba was? Or does it mean that anyone can become a master but if you aren't in an uchi-deshi situation it only takes longer?

I know that some of the most illuminating learning moments I've had have been spending a weekend at my sensei's house when I came to visit him from London, and more now when he comes to visit me up here in Aberdeen (how many people can say they've had a 7th Dan aikidoka sleep on their sofa ona regualr basis?). That sort of relationship often seems to me more important than being able to attend the lessons my teacher gives regularly down south. I can clearly remember once watching him becoming increasingly annoyed that his boiler didn't work. Muttering away to himself whilst making tea and toast and the crockery was having a tendancy to rattle and vibrate more than was strictly necessary for tea making purposes :uch: I think that I learned a lot just watching that, perhaps more than I could have learned in hours in the dojo. But I would never have seen him becoming angry in the dojo, because he just doesn't do it.

Regards

Mike

Ellis Amdur
02-17-2007, 12:51 PM
I have been watching Aikido techniques at the Nihon Budokan (large sports arena in Tokyo) but I found that those demonstrating did soft techniques. They won't work in a real fighting situation. Their partners are only taking falls for them. It is as if they are practicing taking falls. Even if you throw your opponent you can't practice properly unless he takes a fall for you. On the other hand, if your partner takes a beautiful fall, it makes your techniques look good. In our practice we don't have our partners take falls. We practice throwing. There is no need for them to take falls.
Takeda Tokimune

Edward
02-17-2007, 03:39 PM
I would be very interested to learn from participants to this thread who claim that aikido techniques as currently taught are not effective in a real fight situation if their opinion is based on actual experience where they have been attacked and tried to defend themselves using aikido techniques and failed, and were consequently beaten or stabbed to death, or if the above are just assumptions not based on real fight situations. Please don't get me wrong, I personally do not think aikido techniques are effective either but I couldn't care less. Just curious to know the answer to my question.

Ellis Amdur
02-17-2007, 04:46 PM
Edward - Since I posted the quote, let me make a suggestion. Questions on the effectiveness of aikido techniques are really the subject of another thread - notwithstanding what Takeda Tokimune seems to be saying. You see, I don't think he's saying, "An irimi-nage never works in a fight," or, "Only an idiot would enter the octogon and try to use nikkyo." I think he was saying that the way he observed techniques executed in the demo he saw were flawed, from his lights - and that it was most clearly revealed in the way the the uke were ABLE to take ukemi. Kuroiwa Yoshio, with his typical provocative humor, told me that after aikido demos, he'd wait until teacher and student were together, and compliment the student/uke for the wonderful demonstration.

Edward
02-17-2007, 10:19 PM
Ellis,

My post just happened to be after yours, but is not a direct response to it. The thread is about Ukemi, and some of the posts are directed towards how fake is Traditional Aikido's Ukemi versus what others have been teaching. The truth is that Aikido Ukemi has always looked fake. All accounts that I have read so far by Shioda, Tohei and others emphasize this point that they did believe Ukemi was fake, that students were taking falls for Osensei and wanted to challenge him in some way, put their finger on the wound like St. Thomas so to speak, until they realized by themselves it was for real. Also if you look at the footage that I found on Utube showing Osensei demonstration in 1935, Ukemi still looks fake in my opinion. Therefore I am tempted to believe that Osensei's technique already since the very beginning was either fake or looked like fake but was effective. The war and religious experiences had very little to do with it in my humble opinion.

Michael Douglas
02-18-2007, 05:09 AM
...Aikido did something in the middle i.e. uke could attack at full force and nage could throw them. However, it's still a bl**dy simulation! ...
... I find it quite amusing and ironic now, that probably the most important practical skill in aikido is to be able to stand upright!

Great post Ian!
Standing up when someone is trying to throw you around is such a great skill, many things can come from that ...

DH
02-18-2007, 09:41 AM
Ellis,
.......The truth is that Aikido Ukemi has always looked fake.
.......All accounts that I have read so far by Shioda, Tohei and others emphasize this point that they did believe Ukemi was fake, that students were taking falls for Osensei and wanted to challenge him in some way,
....... Also if you look at the footage that I found on Utube showing Osensei demonstration in 1935, Ukemi still looks fake in my opinion. Therefore I am tempted to believe that Osensei's technique already since the very beginning was either fake or looked like fake but was effective.
This was my response two years ago to the "Hidden in plain site thread" -where theories were being explored that Ueshiba had to go outside and train in Chinese arts, and or esoteric Shinto practices, and or a multiplicity of unrelated arts to "get his stuff." When the truth is he got his stuff from Takeda's Daito ryu. Along with Sagawa, Kodo, Hisa, and Shioda.
What -was- hidden was the truth behind Takeda's power. The answers once again lend credibilty to Occam's razor. That being-the simplest answer was correct. In this case-that he had trained for twenty years in this one art and that he had contemporaries who were arguably better than him. The fact that several of his own students thought so, is evidence to that fact.
It was interesting to see those articles on Aikido Journal where the thoughts were expanded, questions asked, and answers pursued and proved/disproved to see where they led. I and many others are convinced of where the questions lead, and where the answers are. I had posited a series of questions in two posts that were not even considered then, so I pulled them amidst the bickring. It is rather interesting to see them being considered now and even pursued. Seeing these things oultined for a wider audience would be beneficial. Perhaps in a book?

My thoughts here were never that Ueshiba's technique was fake. That isn't part of the discussion. But rather that the ukemi is fake. Why do I still say that?
If you played with fellows with good skills you know what it feels like to be rebounded off, to have your muscles taken and sometimes be locked up with your own efforts, or to give force and find yourself sucked into a hole-then wham! Daito ryu specializes in those things.
Ueshiba wanted to get to a point where his skills caused less harm yet he remained untouched. Takeda's internal skills gave Ueshiba the very tools to accomplish and realize his vision.

So in a rather understandable interplay- Ueshiba and his own men both began that dance so often seen in dojo's. That dance being the gradual morphing of applied waza where the students start to respond with increasingly sensitivity and familiarality to the input of the teacher, and teacher does less and less to achieve the same feedback. Good teachers like DR's Okomoto would openly chastise men for "overreacting" to Aiki.
I believe Ueshiba's men overreacted continually. It doenslt mean Uehsiba was fake.
In trying to avoid his power, created these ever larger, open looking reactions.They knew their efforts would lead to not. So instead of bouncing off or stumbling around or rebounding-they did the classic thing and took a fall for their team.

All Ueshiba was doing was the classic Koryu model of teacher being Uke. Continuing to refine his skills, build his body, and build a reputation. While in the end, perhaps finally remaining true to at least part of his promise to Takeda. He never really did teach the true art to many after all. He kept it to himself. And everyone else doesn't know the art at all. They're doing something else.
Dan

Ellis Amdur
02-18-2007, 10:24 AM
Dan - We are in agreement regarding teacher as uke, and students being "over sensitive" - (it's even worse in some sects of Chinese martial arts). I think you nail it, actually.
I do think that the "source" of Ueshiba's power is somewhat more nuanced than you do - in the same way that Sagawa reportedly made his aiki something different from what he learned. Call it 90% DR - 10% from somewhere else - from his own genius??? From other studies????
For example, I've got some body skills which I use in Araki-ryu which come from elsewhere, (and I'm in the process of acquiring more). At what point am I no longer doing Araki-ryu when I'm doing Araki-ryu? I do know that if Araki-ryu did not have within it a "failsafe" expectation that one will innovate, were it like an art like TSKSR, my own teacher would have had to have given it a new name, and I would have had to rename it all over again from him - even though both he and I are, in essence, still doing AR. (Interestingly, my teacher explicitly told me, on our last day, that - "when I see you next time, if you are only doing Araki-ryu and not Amdur-ryu, teaching you will have been a complete waste of time." In terms of my own ongoing studies, it's possible that, at some point, were I to really learn the "new" stuff to a degree that I could LEGITIMATELY teach it/defined by skill, not lineage - then maybe I'd require it of my students.
Further questions arise when one asks what part of a practice touches the essence of the tradition. In other words, since Ueshiba's spiritual leanings permeated what he did - does this make his art something different from DR? For example, if Otake Risuke announced that he wanted to eliminate Shingon practice from TSKSR, that he found that Taoism better expressed the essence of things, would this not radically change things even though one swung the sword much the same way. Then, of course, the next question - is such a change tangibly for better or for worse. Returning to aikido, it goes both ways: Deblooded is a bad thing, less pretzel logic (thank you for that!) is good.

"Hidden in Plain Sight" is far different now than when I wrote it the first time - as you hint, it will be bound between covers once I finish peer review of the chapters.

Best

Brion Toss
02-18-2007, 12:08 PM
In my vocation (rigging) I frequently come up against traditional practices that appear to make no sense from an engineering perspective. It is tempting, in these circumstances, to assume ignorance on the part of my forebears, and to "improve" things with something from my own smug position here in the technical vastness of the future. But most often, doing so will reveal the reason for that traditional practice; most often some antique rigger has already made a mistake, and corrected it, and the correction survives as tradition.
A friend of mine put it more succinctly: "Tradition is so you don't have to make 200 years of mistakes."
To which the obvious counter is: "Innovation is so you don't have to live with 200 years of mistakes."
The tough, tough, question is, how do we know when innovation is called for?
Given that rigging failures are at least as likely to injure or kill as any martial art, and given a lineage of rigging practicioners about as long as martial arts practitioners, I tend to assume that traditional approaches are not to be messed with lightly. Deep study, not just of the surface techniques, but of the underlying principles, is just as important in rigging as it is in martial arts, especially if one is talking about changing things.
In the context of Aikido ukemi, justifying a new approach because people fall down for each other is like arguing for an unstayed rig because some stayed rig is badly tuned. The argument does not address fundamentals, only examples that may or may not be representative.
When I started Aikido, uke gave me the technique, overbalanced and compliant as hell. Not remotely martially realistic, but it was in a context in which I was coached to observe how unbalanced uke was, how balanced I could be, and how to keep uke unbalanced through the takedown. Now if my teachers had kept me at that level, we might have ended up as one of those dojos where they essentially practice interpretive dance, but without the martial practicalities of interpretive dance. But instead, my teachers saw to it that uke became progressively less overbalanced, less compliant, and begin adding things like feints and counters. Simultaneously they sought to impart kokyu skills, so I could take balance even when it was not freely offered. And so forth. The point is that Aikido ukemi can be a path to a fantasy of competence, or to actual competence, depending on the practitioners.

Ellis Amdur
02-18-2007, 12:24 PM
Great post, Brion. One question arises - if the conventional method of taking ukemi in aikido is just the sort of "innovation" that you caution against. It's not that old, and could be considered something quite alien, not only to DR ukemi, but to most jujutsu as well (excepting the circus-like performances,and "trained" responses Dan mentions, which were probably rife in earlier days as well).

Best

DH
02-18-2007, 12:36 PM
I do think that the "source" of Ueshiba's power is somewhat more nuanced than you do - in the same way that Sagawa reportedly made his aiki something different from what he learned. Call it 90% DR - 10% from somewhere else - from his own genius??? From other studies????
Yeah I know. We're doomed to go round and round on it. Mojito's are on me :D
So....If there are enitities to be added unnecessarily...When? Where? How? With what? The assertion is that it wasn't all there in the teachings in the first place. That the teaching was incomplete. I guess we can say the same for Xing -I and Tai chi as well. If you study those-you have to go elsewhere to improve them.
So lets go with that then. Let me ask more questions
Since Takeda, Sagawa, Kodo, Ueshiba were all amazing- where did each go to find this other "stuff" to surpass the stuff they learned?
1. Was it the same place?
2. Same Man?
3. Did the same missing parts and pieces get fixed the same way? 4. What? ;)
Nuance can also be so small as to be negligable and worth discounting. It remains they were all unusually skilled and powerful in the same way. Sagawa, Kodo, and Ueshiba each said they surpassed Takeda's teachings. They were smart. They were innovators. But, without Takeda's teachings? They were nothing.
It stands to reason that many guys felt that in their later years they had areas of enlightenment in this or that. In the area or internal skills your understanding builds over time. The gradual realizations of what your teachers has instilled in them all along and their own discoveries. But they were all taught the excellent and teachable internal skills of Daito ryu.

90%10%
Don't get me wrong I don't care if it is, or isn't 100%. Folks see me argue and assume I have a vested interest. Nope. It's just is all I see him doing and we know where he got it.. It begs the question if the guy trained in it for twenty years and taught it, and handed our scrolls in it, and does it on video-
What's the "need" for it to be anything else? Of course there is a natural evolution in those who train these skills. Over years you just keep getting better. Your natural abilities and personal "bents" will certainly color what you do.
But to adequately judge these things-if it is even possible- we need more information. Since Takeda "made" Sagawa, Kodo, and Ueshiba, It makes it easy -at least for me-to say that regardless of their "unknown," "unproved," "theorized," and guessed at added skills- I see Daito ryu men.

For example, I've got some body skills which I use in Araki-ryu which come from elsewhere, (and I'm in the process of acquiring more). At what point am I no longer doing Araki-ryu when I'm doing Araki-ryu?
Well, men's proclivities run the gamut of possible interests. Your teacher discharged you to change the art. So its your call to invigorate, refine, roughen, or even modify into an unrecognizable entity. It would be ashamed if that were the case, but that's your call. One could do other things and then do that art. Thus preserving it to some extent. But since you brought it up. Wouldn't it be still Araki ryu were it infussed with your understanding of the Asian methods of internal power? I mean since Araki ryu is allowed to be changed then in every aspect the change is still the art eh?

Further questions arise when one asks what part of a practice touches the essence of the tradition. In other words, since Ueshiba's spiritual leanings permeated what he did - does this make his art something different from DR? Then, of course, the next question - is such a change tangibly for better or for worse. Returning to aikido, it goes both ways: Deblooded is a bad thing, less pretzel logic (thank you for that!) is good.
Well the essence of most of these arts --were- these body skills anyway. That's the real essence. Definable waza and movements that establish and X ryu for a Y ryu are just ways of expressing these skills in terms of strategy really. Whether you are using great power to cut through-or great balance and skills to move around can and should be a result of good body training none-the-less. What you make of it is expression.

"Hidden in Plain Sight" is far different now than when I wrote it the first time - as you hint, it will be bound between covers once I finish peer review of the chapters.
Best

Well, as a fan, I thought it was just a good suggestion really.
I didn't expect an answer. ;)

Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
02-18-2007, 12:46 PM
This was my response two years ago to the "Hidden in plain site thread" -where theories were being explored that Ueshiba had to go outside and train in Chinese arts, and or esoteric Shinto practices, and or a multiplicity of unrelated arts to "get his stuff." When the truth is he got his stuff from Takeda's Daito ryu. Along with Sagawa, Kodo, Hisa, and Shioda.
What -was- hidden was the truth behind Takeda's power. The answers once again lend credibilty to Occam's razor. That being-the simplest answer was correct.Unless someone trained with both Ueshiba and Takeda "back in the day", there's just no way of knowing. Imagine a bunch of dilettante Aikido practitioners 50 years from now and one of them insisting that Tohei "got his goods" from Ueshiba, no doubt about it. Tohei studied with Ueshiba and was Ueshiba's highest ranked guy, so that would end the discussion.... UNLESS you happen to know that Ueshiba didn't teach the ki/kokyu skills and that Tohei had to go outside to Tempu Nakamura to get his real info on the kokyu/jin skills.

Same thing with the imperative "Ueshiba had to get the kokyu/jin skills from Takeda". The real killer to this theory is that there are apparently *many* sources of these ki/kokyu skills in Japan. Ueshiba may well have been just like Tohei and had to go outside (like from Omoto practitioners) in order to get his info.

I think that rather than insist that Ueshiba got his ki/kokyu skills from Takeda, we're safer just saying that Aikido derives from DR and that's about all we provably know, despite Occam's razor.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

DH
02-18-2007, 01:21 PM
Unless someone trained with both Ueshiba and Takeda "back in the day", there's just no way of knowing.
Hi Mike
We do know there were many who felt both. Even those who did not like Takeda openly discussed his superior abiltities over Ueshiba and wrote of them. Others- including some newer guys you will never know because they refused to discuss it openly- also formed opinions.You would have to go back years and read all the materials. I have all of the Aikido journals from day 1 issue one. Then there is other evidence that Stan knows about but it is held in the schools and no one outside will ever see it Still others felt Kodo and Ueshiba, Sagawa and Ueshiba. There is a reason both are held in high regard.
But mores the point and as you asked
"In the day" -Ueshiba already had the stuff while under Takeda. And that was written about also. Just that Takeda was better.
So the argument is moot.
And they "all" got better as they aged and trained. Not just Ueshiba.

Same thing with the imperative "Ueshiba had to get the kokyu/jin skills from Takeda". The real killer to this theory is that there are apparently *many* sources of these ki/kokyu skills in Japan. Ueshiba may well have been just like Tohei and had to go outside (like from Omoto practitioners) in order to get his info.

Except that this logic does not address Sagawa, Kodo, and Ueshiba together. And adding entities "had to go outside" is an opperative phrase here.
1.Takeda taught Sagawa (and that was enough)
2.Takeda taught Kodo (and that was enough)
3. Takeda taught Ueshiba (he was stupid and incomplete and had to go outside)
4. Sagawa made Kimura (how")
5. Kodo made several men with real skills inclusing Shioda and Okomotto (how?)
So are we to assume that Ueshiba was dumb and didnlt get it and had to go elsewhere?
Or are we asserting he was better than his contemporaries becase he went outside?


I think that rather than insist that Ueshiba got his ki/kokyu skills from Takeda, we're safer just saying that Aikido derives from DR and that's about all we provably know, despite Occam's razor.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
Hmm....Isn't it odd that only these two schools were the premier internal shools in Japan over all others. Bits and pieces here and there..then these giants. I wonder why?
Actually there is no evidence to contradict that Takeda was the sole source of Ueshiba's skills. Ueshiba's training in other things was neglible. As well there is solid interviews and first hand information of their skills and what they could do with them again "in the day." And again adding Sagawa and Kodo into the mix as his contemporaries begs the question of where they got their substantial skills if Ueshiba alone had to go outside. All this theory and speculation trying to contradict some rather sound logic and obvious connections has never offered up anything of the same substance and detail. I think its pushing a point past all reasonable bounds and trying to put a square peg in a round whole to make some point.

I always wonderd why no one else "claimed" to have taught Ueshiba-this famous guy-these amazing "added skills" after Takeda. And Yagyu Soke even denied the scrolls authenticity regardig Ueshiba.
It truly is "adding entities uneccesarily"
The Aikikai had tried in vain to do much the same thing for years...
Nothing new here.
Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
02-18-2007, 01:34 PM
Actually there is no evidence to contradict that Takeda was the sole source of Ueshiba's skills. And there is no evidence to contradict the assertion that humans were genetically tailored from apes by Aliens. It's hard to prove a negative, but that doesn't mean the statement is true, just because "no one can disprove it". Ueshiabs training in other things was neglible. Pooh... we could say the same thing about your training and you're still picking up information on ki/kokyu skills right now from outside sources, right? My point is still... "We don't know for sure enough to make definitive statements".I think its pushing a point past all reasonable bounds and trying to put a square peg in a round whole to make some point.Unfortunately, I'm not trying to make a point... I'm simply rebutting yours, since you give a chance to re-examine the same point about once every month or so. ;)

If I had to place a bet, I'd place one that Ueshiba learned a decent proportion of his jin/kokyu stuff from Takeda.... but I would not go further than that because it's so danged murky and I don't like to make definitive pronouncements that may come back to haunt me (among sane people, of course, not the whacko's like you-know-who). :cool:

Best.

Mike

Ellis Amdur
02-18-2007, 01:41 PM
Soon we will be splitting split ends, not hairs. My own interests, as some of you know, are not to enhance my aikido (a truly side-interest in my own training) - it is to enhance my "me." But "Hidden in Plain Sight" was/is written not only or even primarily as an essay on how important internal skils are. That would be a very short essay. "Internal skills are really really important. I've seen it, I've felt it, and I can't do it. I want to do it. I'm practicing." :)
The essay was a challenge to aikidoka that WITHIN Ueshiba's teaching is all that one needs - IF one trains in what he did. And if, for whatever reason, he channeled his training thru the Misogi rather than thru what he learned from Takeda, then I suggest it behooves the aikidoka to learn it. If they want to learn DR, then they should jump the fence - caveat emptor being a caution, however, because I've seen as much to criticize on that side of the pasture as within the aikido world.
It may be that thru this training:
1. Ueshiba actually embraced a method of cultivation inferior to what he had, and he was unable to permutate it into something others could use.
2. He did that alchemy, and created the equivalent of a second set of formula that created the same alchemical change.
3. He continued to improve using his own personal methods, and got better and better - (maybe better or worse than he would have had he merely stayed with Takeda).
And for me, other ramifications including the political and psychological meaning of the change are also very intriguing.
Hence "Hidden . . ." rewritten. And after it's written, my own personal training will continue, as if I hadn't written it at all, except the writing of it has enabled me to engage in dialogue and meet people who know things that I want to know.
Best

Mike Sigman
02-18-2007, 01:53 PM
The essay was a challenge to aikidoka that WITHIN Ueshiba's teaching is all that one needs - IF one trains in what he did. I agree with that. There are a number of different approaches to these skills, best typified by the "External Schools" (like Shaolin) and "Internal Schools" (like Baguazhang, Xingyichuan, Taijichuan, Wujichuan, Li He Ba Fa, etc., etc. .... they were *not* all "Taoist" schools that were "internal", BTW; that's a myth).

Of all the approaches that at least starts in the right direction for the Aikido that Ueshiba did, so far I like the general approach of Tohei's Ki-Society. If someone has an approach that is radically different from Tohei's approach, they need to ask themselves why they're so different. There is an important aspect of so-called "internal" training that I think a lot of people are going to miss is they go on some of the harder routes. Then again, half a loaf is better than no bread at all. ;)

Best.


Mike

DH
02-18-2007, 01:56 PM
I don't mind a healthy debate.
I disagree with you but don't feel strongly enough to lose sleep over it either.
Again two posts one from each. Neither adressing the questions I asked, and Ellis outlining the mostly lousy DR he has seen.
So,
Explain Takeda?
1. Explain Sagawa please_____________
2. Explain Kodo please_______________
3. Explain Shioda please______________
4. Explain Okomotto please____________

Each exhibiting internal skills from Daito ryu. But Ueshiba had to go into shinto practices?

I keep waiting for anything by way of fact, interviews, etc.to contradict the questions I placed in the above posts about other men with internal skills within the art that Ueshiba studied for twenty years. Are we now openly asserting that Ueshiba was better? Is that it?
Now, remember I still don't discount that 10% I just suggested following it up and looking at it. So I asked more questions.
Since Daito ryu isn't good enough or up to someones par to account for Ueshiba's skills. What about these guys?
1. Takeda was amazing where'd he get his added 10%
2. Sagawa was amazing where'd he get his added 10%
3. Kodo?
4. Shioda? Left Ueshiba to go learn his 10%.......where?
Daito ryu (Kodokai)
4. Or are we asserting Ueshiba was so much better that there just HAD to be something else?

Again I've asked in a very even,and logical fashion to look at the sum of all four men who were all amazing?
How did they get there? Why? With what skills?
Then add Kodos students who are amazing
and it all points to Daito ryu
I really don't care if its X or Y ryu. I could care less. But the connection speaks for itself.

Cheers
Dan

DH
02-18-2007, 02:30 PM
Tohei?? Hmmm...
1. Since Ueshiba was poweful "in the day" where did that come from? Tohei? Or Takeda?
2. Since "in the day" he was known for his feats of strength-How'd that happen?
3. Since Takeda was known for publicly displaying the same feats of strength that Ueshiba did and did them before him. Where did it come from?
4. Since Sagawa was openly demonstrating DR's Aiki (which is far more in depth than basic kokyu skills) How is it that Tohie's seemingly lesser skills are a superior model?
5. I'd at least consider whether there still exists in some schools of DR ...Superior methods.
6. Ueshiba's students stated Takeda was superior. We should study Tohies methods why?
7. Mike why Tohei and exlude Shioda's methods?

Since these skills can be used for many things, and the basics are rather easy to grasp- how significant was Ueshiba's misogi in altering anything much he had already learned from Takeda? Whom he said Taught me the truth of Budo."
And as compared to exactly what practices...in which school of Daito ryu?
Exactly -what- was improved, or missing alltogether?
I'd certainly accept an "I don't know"
It's better than the alternative ;)

Facinating stuff, doesn't really matter any more but facinating and fun nonetheless
Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
02-18-2007, 02:51 PM
Good questions, Dan.... but they're questions and not the definitive answers. There are questions that can imply a number of things, but the point I made was that no one knows for sure. The real problem to your thesis is that your thesis assumes Takeda was the only recorded person that Ueshiba was around from whom Ueshiba could have gotten those skills. What I'm pointing out is that those same kokyu/jin skills were and are in a number of Japanese arts (not to mention Chinese arts, from which a lot of these skills derived). Ueshiba, like a lot of people who learn some of these skills, didn't give complete credit to anyone, so we just don't know for sure. That's all I'm saying. Everyone likes to act like they know everything and like they've known it for a long time. :)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

DH
02-18-2007, 03:16 PM
Good questions, Dan.... but they're questions and not the definitive answers. There are questions that can imply a number of things, but the point I made was that no one knows for sure. The real problem to your thesis is that your thesis assumes Takeda was the only recorded person that Ueshiba was around from whom Ueshiba could have gotten those skills. What I'm pointing out is that those same kokyu/jin skills were and are in a number of Japanese arts (not to mention Chinese arts, from which a lot of these skills derived). Ueshiba, like a lot of people who learn some of these skills, didn't give complete credit to anyone, so we just don't know for sure. That's all I'm saying.
Regards,
Mike Sigman

Well of course I can agree with that to point. I'm not at all convinced of the answers either. I lean one way for several reasons. It remains interesting that he was nothing, then Takeda came, then he was skilled and powerful.
And that is about the sum of it.
Two things of note.
1. His training was very well documented. and the power was exhibited under Takeda? Which says what?
2. Takeda, Sagawa and Kodo all had it as well. The common link is there, its seems silly to stretch it. There are men alive today in DR who have it as well. The method is there and is reproducible.


Cheers
Dan

Brion Toss
02-18-2007, 03:17 PM
Great post, Brion. One question arises - if the conventional method of taking ukemi in aikido is just the sort of "innovation" that you caution against. It's not that old, and could be considered something quite alien, not only to DR ukemi, but to most jujutsu as well (excepting the circus-like performances,and "trained" responses Dan mentions, which were probably rife in earlier days as well).

Best

Thank you for the kind words. I am sorry if I seemed to caution against innovation; what I was talking about was avoiding mistakes masquerading as innovation. As I asked in my previous post, "...how do we know when innovation is called for?"
Aikido's ukemi is innovative in the long context of martial arts practice. But it has been around long enough, I believe, to qualify as traditional (that is, multi-generational, and of coherent structure, among other things).
Aikido itself is an innovation, so I am hardly standing on an ancient platform here. It is also radical (and check that etymology), but its practices by now have sufficient weight and momentum, and have been worked at by enough talented people that I was only suggesting that any tinkering, let alone significant departures, need to be considered carefully.
With any luck, Aikido in a few centuries will be largely unrecognizable to the likes of me. This will happen if people, working with what they were given from Ueshiba's time, can build on the art, making true innovations.

Ellis Amdur
02-18-2007, 04:41 PM
O.K. Dan - I'll answer all your questions.
1. "Explain Takeda?" - See my next essay on AJ for the best answer I can come up with.
2.. "Explain Sagawa please" - learned from Takeda, also did Kogen Itto-ryu and Araki-ryu, reportedly found the latter useless - and reportedly made a new form of aiki training
3. "Explain Kodo please" - loyal student of Takeda only.
3. "Explain Shioda please" - 95% Ueshiba + the statement by Tomoo Yawata and others' of my acquaintance that he got the "trigger" from Kodo
4. "Explain Okamoto please" - Kodokai.
NOW - since I've never asserted that Ueshiba is better, why do you bring that up again? This is/was about aikido - Ueshiba. Your next set of questions are also confusing as they don't address anything I've been saying. But to answer them anyway - let's say of all your luminaries, Ueshiba was the WORST. Okamoto, on a bad day could pretzel him into ribbons. Shioda, his own student, could grind him to dust. Among the superstars, his light is dimmest of all - a mere red dwarf.
BUT - for aikidoka, they receive a transmission from him thru their teacher, etc. They WANT to do aikido. So, I've been curious how Ueshiba did his own training. If I want to retrace his steps, that's the way to go. If they say - well, is there a better way, is there a shorter way - maybe so. And you, among others, have provided the signposts. There are even some Kodokai guys in Japan who seem to be teaching without demanding a pledge of a first born. There may be some Yoshinkan guys who actually learned what Shioda taught.
SIGH - you, my friend, consistently read what I write too fast - which is a terrible insult because every phrase should be savored like a fine cognac beside a warm fire. I have NEVER - ONCE - suggested that Ueshiba found a better way to train that made him better than any of the other stars. I have only suggested that he found some other training methods that interested him - and given that Sagawa stated that breath training wasn't productive, and Ueshiba found it very important, they went on two divergent paths. For 99.999999999999% of all aikidoka alive, Sagawa's methods will probably be beyond reach or accessibility. My written project over the past few years has to say - it's within aikido! How terrible that the teacher taught and somehow it was missed. But this requires me to ask, what did he teach? So I do.

Best

Chris Li
02-18-2007, 04:45 PM
Well of course I can agree with that to point. I'm not at all convinced of the answers either. I lean one way for several reasons. It remains interesting that he was nothing, then Takeda came, then he was skilled and powerful.
And that is about the sum of it.


Interestingly, in "Ki no Kakuritsu" Koichi Tohei makes the opposite argument (based upon conversations with Ueshiba's Judo instructor) - Ueshiba was no more powerful than before after studying with Takeda, but became suddenly more powerful after his association with Deguchi began. I don't completely buy his reasoning, but that was one of the reasons that Tohei went in the direction that he did.

Best,

Chris

DH
02-18-2007, 08:33 PM
Ellis
Other than quoting you about not looking in some areas of DR that are lousy- the rest of the posts were to Mike. That's why it was such a disconnect to what we've been discussing for a while now :D The questions really cannot be answered. But they raise points worth discussing.

I know where you stand on all this. Mike keeps more or less marginalizing the influence of DR. You know better.
Sorry for the confusion. But I must confess the cognac of your ire and confusion was aromatic still, and I, unlike Clinton, inhaled deeply.....before I swallowed.
It would have been more fun face to face you wouldn't have been so polite.
Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
02-18-2007, 08:41 PM
Mike keeps more or less marginalizing the influence of DR. No, Dan, I'm marginalizing your unsupported assertions by saying we don't know for sure.... a point which you have already conceded, so how can I be "marginalizing"? I admit probability is on the side of your position (not your point-blank assertions, though), but not definitively. I just think it helps an argument/debate to be as honest as possible in evaluation.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

DH
02-18-2007, 08:44 PM
Interestingly, in "Ki no Kakuritsu" Koichi Tohei makes the opposite argument (based upon conversations with Ueshiba's Judo instructor) - Ueshiba was no more powerful than before after studying with Takeda, but became suddenly more powerful after his association with Deguchi began. I don't completely buy his reasoning, but that was one of the reasons that Tohei went in the direction that he did.

Best,

Chris
That would be interestig to hear or track down. Was it the 17 year old shoden who taught Ueshiba in Tanabe-all growed up who commented later in life?
The deguchi thing is tenuous also. Was the Judoka in Ayabe before, during, and after Takeda's 9 month stay to confirmand compare things?
Its always tough to hear things third party removed but its sometimes all we have.
Dan

DH
02-18-2007, 09:06 PM
No, Dan, I'm marginalizing your unsupported assertions by saying we don't know for sure.... a point which you have already conceded, so how can I be "marginalizing"? I admit probability is on the side of your position (not your point-blank assertions, though), but not definitively. I just think it helps an argument/debate to be as honest as possible in evaluation.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
Just to be clear though I really don't care if it came from his imagination, the CMA which is where all these skills probably originated from anyway or from his 20yr. tenure in DR. I just hate to see more "spin" added to the Aikikai Ueshiba mythmakers. While I agree with the honest debate. I just wish it had originated as one.

I'll go back and look But I commented about your marginalizing in that in so many of your continued references to the skills you've not often reffered to DR's prominance or discussed the several men in it who were his contemporaries and who by many acounts were considered better, and or equal-actually most said better. And we all seem to now agree Ueshiba spent 20 years training in it and exhibited power during that tenure.
Of the thousands of posts across many boards I see CMA, and Misogi influence with nary a word for his most profound influence.
Thats the only point I was making about marginaliziing. No big deal or argument. It was just an impression thats all.

Some assertions about his possible influences are sketchy, though still sound.
The ones I try to stick with have at least the provinance of circumstantial evidence through many interviews and his contemporaries.
While neither case is admittedly provable. the later is the more compelling.
But the influence of the percentages 90/10 80/20 what have you- I never discounted. Just wondering why we don't follow the logic?

Where Takeda and Sagawa went to get there extra perecentage?. And why Shioda's extra came from going back to Kodo.

To be sure it isn't going to effect my training in the least. I'm open to all sources and am pursuing several.
Intriguing as the history is- I'm sure I'll get a good nights sleep.
Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
02-18-2007, 09:22 PM
Just to be clear though I really don't care if it came from his imagination, the CMA which is where all these skills probably originated from anyway or from his 20yr. tenure in DR. I just hate to see more "spin" added to the Aikikai Ueshiba mythmakers. While I agree with the honest debate. I just wish it had originated as one.

I'll go back and look But I commented about your marginalizing in that in so many of your continued references to the skills you've not often reffered to DR's prominance or discussed the several men in it who were his contemporaries and who by many acounts were considered better, and or equal-actually most said better. And we all seem to now agree Ueshiba spent 20 years training in it and exhibited power during that tenure.
Of the thousands of posts across many boards I see CMA, and Misogi influence with nary a word for his most profound influence.
Thats the only point I was making about marginaliziing. No big deal or argument. It was just an impression thats all. Well, wait a minute... you're mixing two different topics, Dan. I've noted before that most people recognize that DR played a prominant role in the development of Aikido. That's mentioned in many books, AJ has a whole sectional forum devoted to DR, many interviews from DR are posted and so forth. It's a given, Dan.

The only discussion I ever remember responding to was your assertions that Ueshiba got all his ki stuff from Takeda. It's not fully known.... and that has been my continued comment. The ones I try to stick with have at least the provinance of circumstantial evidence through many interviews and his contemporaries.
While neither case is admittedly provable. the later is the more compelling.
But the influence of the percentages 90/10 80/20 what have you- I never discounted. Just wondering why we don't follow the logic? I'll follow the logic all day long, but the anecdotes are sketchy and, as you'll note, you continue to concede that nothing is definitively proved. So we agree on that point. Where Takeda and Sagawa went to get there extra perecentage?. And why Shioda's extra came from going back to Kodo. I honestly think all the theories need to go back to the drawing board and be looked at from the perspective that the ki/kokyu skills were not just known by one or two people in Japan. With the multiple sources it's difficult to say exactly who learned what from whom, how much was cobbled together, etc., etc.

FWIW

Mike

Mike Sigman
02-18-2007, 09:47 PM
BTW, Dan, I'm more of a mind to suggest that Ueshiba got some of his stuff from Takeda, but got the hints on the softer direction from somewhere else. I.e., the Takeda source is there, but Ueshiba's filmed actions suggest to me that he was doing a different approach than Sagawa, etc. It's the old "Shaolin" versus "Taoist" argument. The tension approach, even though it also has six-directions, etc., is more of a Buddhist approach. The very soft approach is quite different. Think of it as the difference between what you practice and the general approach of the Ki-Society. The Ki-Society approach almost undoubtedly reflects the approach Ueshiba used, while your general approach is the other side of the same animal.

Using that perspective, you'll remember that I said something in prior months about Ushiro and others using approaches that, while containing basic ki/kokyu skills, are probably not the same methods that Ueshiba use.

Hence, my lack of enthusiasm about the "Ueshiba got everything he knew from Takeda" theory. ;)


My opinion, FWIW.

Mike

Chris Li
02-18-2007, 10:10 PM
That would be interestig to hear or track down. Was it the 17 year old shoden who taught Ueshiba in Tanabe-all growed up who commented later in life?
The deguchi thing is tenuous also. Was the Judoka in Ayabe before, during, and after Takeda's 9 month stay to confirmand compare things?
Its always tough to hear things third party removed but its sometimes all we have.
Dan

Yes, that's the guy. He knew (and taught) Ueshiba before he ever met Takeda (before 1910), and was acquainted with him at least through 1940, when he suggested to Tohei that he seek Ueshiba ought since he (Tohei) had become dissatisfied with Judo.

I'm not entirely satisfied with Tohei's conclusion here, since it is based entirely upon the timeline during which Ueshiba meet Takeda and Deguchi, and ignores the fact that Ueshiba was constantly researching what he'd learned from Takeda through that period, but that was his opinion. It's possible, I suppose, that Deguchi (or someone else) provided the clues that Ueshiba needed to figure out what Takeda had been doing, especially since Takeda wasn't one to give detailed explanations.

Best,

Chris

DH
02-19-2007, 08:19 AM
Yes, that's the guy. He knew (and taught) Ueshiba before he ever met Takeda (before 1910), and was acquainted with him at least through 1940, when he suggested to Tohei that he seek Ueshiba ought since he (Tohei) had become dissatisfied with Judo.

I'm not entirely satisfied with Tohei's conclusion here, since it is based entirely upon the timeline during which Ueshiba meet Takeda and Deguchi, and ignores the fact that Ueshiba was constantly researching what he'd learned from Takeda through that period, but that was his opinion. It's possible, I suppose, that Deguchi (or someone else) provided the clues that Ueshiba needed to figure out what Takeda had been doing, especially since Takeda wasn't one to give detailed explanations.

Best,

Chris
Well, that once again brings in the issues of
1. Were Takeda's teachings not good enough technically?
Or were they so ill-defined that Ueshiba had to go elsewhere? How'd Sagawa, and Kodo, and Yoshida manage?
Where'd they go?
Did -they- have to?
Did anyone really have to?
Was it simply a matter of time and training- each to his own- and the whole idea of ever "having" to go elsewhere was simply hogwash?

2. Maybe what differentiated all of them- including Takeda himself as well as Sagawa, Kodo Yoshida and Ueshiba- from everyone else is that each was intelligent, curious and self-absorbed enough to work though. Same as with CMA stylists. Thousands of whom never got it either. But then you had the self absorbed workers and experimenters who worked through.

3. Then again It makes me wonder about the next generation of men under Kodo, and under Sagawa. There are some men with serious skills. Just how'd they manage?

You are right in that Takeda supposedly did not give detailed explanations. The method certainly appeared on the surface to be as if he had great internal skills and was sort of making it up on the spot, as a result of the way the guys moved or he was in fact just showing things once and telling folks to "figure it out for themselves." The former certainly gives thought to why there was such disparate teaching in so many circles as the years went on.
Anyway, it leaves one to ask if there was in fact any truth to this notion of Ueshiba discovering other methods,-which remains posiible I guess.
But that leaves me to ask "Other methods from what "known methods" of Takeda's?" Known by whom?
And even assuming its true "How "much" was it an improvement over what he already was taught?"
Or was it in fact just a reiteration of what he had already been taught and was still working on?
Or was it just a slight rather insignificant additive?
And further, since most folks are ignorant of the methods in the various schools of Daito Ryu-even folks in the different schools are. Then it seems rather tenouos to claim an understanding of the differences between Takeda, Sagawa, Kodo. and Yoshida skills and those of Ueshiba's theoretical changes.
In the absence of a large body of evidence- I opt to follow the evidence we do have- to is most logical conclusion.
These men all exhibited the same core skills and demonstrated the same types of unsual power.
Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
02-19-2007, 08:28 AM
So it leaves one to ask if there was in fact any truth to this notion of Ueshiba discovering other methods,-which remains posiible I guess-But that leaves me to ask "Other methods from what known methods of Takeda's?" Well, that's a good question, Dan. You have been ascribing Ueshiba's expertise to DR.... do you know enough about the real training methods in DR to actually take that position? Or are you just doing a "my style" type of discussion when you bring it up about Takeda being Ueshiba's teaching? Answer that part and I'll tell you the logic of the rest. ;)

Regards,

Mike

DH
02-19-2007, 08:42 AM
I'm not into "styles" Mike. Nor do I have any vested interest. If it was all from this, or partially from that I'd be up for that as well. I dont care if its ryu specific- or just good solo work. I'm open for any version of answers to these questions. I Just don't think there is a man alive who can answer them. Comparitive analysis requires something to compare. Particularly between the experts of that time.
Now, there are men in DR who can do many of the things you see Ueshiba doing and others that are superior to anything I have seen Ueshiba do. But the teaching methods in DR are all over the place-like in many arts. With a few extremely different approaches. So no one can say it is this or that. It is more appropriate to point at the real experts -just like you do with the CMA. You don't define the Taiji by the masses. You define it by the experts.
For that reason I stick with Takeda, Sagawa, Yoshida, Kodo, who were Ueshiba's contemporaries and who each were known for their power. The question remains how and what they were taught. And why there were so very few and why they -apparently at least- did not need to go outside. They found what they needed within, in more ways than one. ;)
Cheers
Dan

Dennis Hooker
02-19-2007, 10:00 AM
. They found what they needed within, in more ways than one. ;)
Cheers
Dan


I think that is the thrust of the question isn't it? It is obvious Ueshiba did not find what he needed so he sought answers to his questions elsewhere. It is the elsewhere and the whom involved in the elsewhere that people like Stan are trying to find the best answers to. Stan has conducted much research and continues to conduct research into this question. When we offer speculation and unsupported opinion we just muddy the waters further. Of course sites like this would probably fade away without so many people offering both. myself included.

Mike Sigman
02-19-2007, 10:26 AM
I Just don't think there is a man alive who can answer them. Comparitive analysis requires something to compare. Particularly between the experts of that time. Voila'! You just said what I have been saying, lo these many messages, Dan. ;)
Now, there are men in DR who can do many of the things you see Ueshiba doing and others that are superior to anything I have seen Ueshiba do. But you haven't seen Ueshiba do anything, Dan. You're making your statement based on a few filmclips, filmclips in which you can be sure that he's not going to show all that he really can do, right? For that reason I stick with Takeda, Sagawa, Yoshida, Kodo, who were Ueshiba's contemporaries and who each were known for their power. The question remains how and what they were taught. And why there were so very few and why they -apparently at least- did not need to go outside. They found what they needed within, in more ways than one. ;) I agree with that, more or less, Dan, although again all you're going by is anecdotes, books, and maybe a few filmclips, since you weren't there. And again, these guys didn't publicize or show the public their actual capabilities. Their students, like Ueshiba's, tended to glorify things that happened, so it's all too murky to tell.

So when you say "Other methods from what known methods of Takeda's?", my question of "what do you *know* of Takeda's actual methods" is very valid. If you don't really know yourself what and how Takeda trained, how can you question what Ueshiba actually knew and where he got it?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Ecosamurai
02-19-2007, 10:59 AM
Seems to me like there is a Rashomon type thing going on here. Mike looking at it from an internal skills viewpoint, Dan from a DR viewpoint and Ellis from a... well an Amdur viewpoint.... I think that perhaps a clearer and more thought out definition of what 'it' (in reference to such statrements as Ueshiba had 'it', Takeda had 'it' etc) is would help. I know everyone agrees that they are some sort of internal skill ki/kokyu etc.. but I look at the lists of people thrown around and see very different manifestations of 'it'. For example I was rather bemused to see Dan including Shioda in the list, a man so stiff I am often amazed he didn't break his own bones while executing techniques (though that probably says more about me than him). I also note that a man (Tohei Sensei) who focused his aikido on internal skills is left off of the list often.

My own personal opinion is that there is much of aikido today that is bad and plenty that is good, I don't see the dire prognosis offered by regular contributors to this thread (if they haven't done it in this thread I've read it elsewhere on the internet). It occurs to me though that the two most influential aikidoka at the beginning of aikido here in the UK were Abbe Kenshiro Sensei (primarily a judoka and a highly skilled one at that) and Chiba Sensei, I suspect that the flavour of many of the oldest and most respected aikido taught here in the uk is far less 'fluffy' for want of a better word than I've seen elsewhere. Perhaps this colours my judgement on the subject of what aikido may or may not be 'missing'.

Regards

Mike

DH
02-19-2007, 06:27 PM
Mike
Essentiallly Elllis and I agree. We're only talkng some very small points. Mike never agrees me on anything but I think even he and I agree on the major points on this one.Again just talking and questioning some small points. And none of us has an iron in the fire so the outcome is fair game.

If we were talking -only-internal skills then Tohei should be included. However we were talking origination of Ueshiba's internal skills (which are all DR) VS his possible refinement. For that reason we were restricting comparisons to known DR men of the time. I brought in Shioda since he left Ueshiba to go to Kodo to learn things. So it was a DR related thread of internal skills.
THe comedy is it was a lot of words over some very small points we all sort of agree on anyway, with questions that really cannot be full addressed.
Make more sense?
Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
02-19-2007, 06:33 PM
Mike never agrees me on anything Look back 2 messages. :eek: However we were talking origination of Ueshiba's internal skills (which are all DR) .....we all sort of agree on anyway, with questions that really cannot be full addressed.
Make more sense? Actually... none of that made sense to me, Dan, but I don't want to disagree, so I agree heartily, I think. ;)

Mike

Mike Sigman
02-19-2007, 06:38 PM
Mike looking at it from an internal skills viewpoint, Actually, while the common denominator in Asian martial arts.... pretty much all of them... is "internal skills", my actual perspective has more to do with the fact that, very surprisingly, these internal skills are in all Asian arts and that Aikido is not some stand-alone unique art. It is, in fact, quite easy to view Aikido as just another permutation of martial arts techniques and strategies that are built around the ancient Asian Yin-Yang cosmology. That's more my perspective. The question about whether Aikido actually has these skills, as some Aikidoists are wont to ask, is a non-starter. ;)

Mike

Edward
02-19-2007, 10:49 PM
I brought in Shioda since he left Ueshiba to go to Kodo to learn things.
Dan

This has been mentioned several times in this thread. I would appreciate any links to articles that deal with this story. I tried to do a search and found nothing.

Thanks,
Edward

Ecosamurai
02-20-2007, 11:26 AM
Make more sense?
Cheers
Dan

Yup makes more sense. BUT I wouldn't say that Tohei went outside to get his internal skills is a completely accurate statement. For example he mentions the Tempukai students as actively tensing their lower abdomen which he found ineffective, presumably after observing Ueshiba amongst other things. My suspicion would be that the teaching methodology of shin shin toitsu do is what he got from outside but a lot of his ability probably came from watching his (aikido) teacher too.

Like I said muddy waters. Anyone who knows more care to comment on the orgin of the 'ki-tests' and mind and body coordination exercises. A number of them (funakogi undo springs to mind) seem to be as likely sourced from Ueshiba as elsewhere just with a teaching methodology heavily influenced by the Tempukai.

It would be an interesting idea would it not to track down Tempukai students who were contemporary to Tohei and compare the things they do with the things Tohei teaches and getting a picture of how much of a mix shin shin toitsu and aikido ended up in the Ki Society.

Likewise for Shioda and his time with Kodo.

Regards

Mike

Ecosamurai
02-21-2007, 10:35 AM
As a small addition to my last post think I should add that I don't think that ki-skills = aiki-skills. Based upon the Tohei style of ki development anyway.

Mike

Chris Li
02-21-2007, 11:30 AM
This has been mentioned several times in this thread. I would appreciate any links to articles that deal with this story. I tried to do a search and found nothing.

Thanks,
Edward

Try http://www.aikidojournal.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=4458

Best,

Chris

Edward
02-21-2007, 11:50 AM
Thanks Chris, but the link doesn't seem to work. It's giving an error message at the specified website.

Try http://www.aikidojournal.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=4458

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
02-21-2007, 12:41 PM
Thanks Chris, but the link doesn't seem to work. It's giving an error message at the specified website.

Worked a little while ago - looks to be an error at Aikido News (rather than the link itself). Anyway, Shioda definitely spent some time with Kodo Horikawa, but exactly what occurred is not 100% clear. Stan Pranin doesn't seem to think that Shioda really spent much time (if any) as a student of Kodo Horikawa. I certainly wouldn't go so far as to say that Shioda "left Ueshiba for Kodo", but that's just me.

Best,

Chris

Ron Tisdale
02-21-2007, 12:45 PM
The link works for me (first page anyway), maybe you need an id on aikido journal website...

Best,
Ron

Chris Li
02-21-2007, 01:09 PM
The link works for me (first page anyway), maybe you need an id on aikido journal website...

Best,
Ron

Ah! Works after I logged back in...

Thanks,

Chris

Edward
02-21-2007, 01:13 PM
I have a copy of Aikido Shugyo by Shioda, and the entire book either revolves about the author's own experiences or those of Osensei, whom he very evidently mentions with utmost respect and awe, and one gets the impression from this reading that Shioda really considers Osensei as "his teacher". I'm not sure if Kodo is mentioned somewhere in the book though.

Ron Tisdale
02-21-2007, 02:09 PM
My impression of all of that aspect is that the Daito ryu connection (as far as Kodo) was something kind of informal. For all I know, Stan is absolutely correct in his assessment...perhaps Shioda Sensei got what he got completely from Ueshiba, and he needed really nothing much else. I have heard Innoue Sensei mention that Shioda kept changing the whole time he knew him...and at a certain age...bam. Everything kind of changed....

This is just the best I can remember from a translated conversation...

Best,
Ron

Ecosamurai
02-22-2007, 04:58 AM
With regards to the roles of uke and nage. Any chance you could answer a question for me Ellis (or anyone else, but it was prompted by Ellis' original post)?

Last night at Kendo an interesting thing occurred to me. In Kendo kata the roles of uchidachi (teacher/attacker) and shidachi (student/winner) are the same as commonly found in koryu. The teacher atacks first and loses. Ellis postulates that these roles are reversed in aikido with the teacher as nage (i.e. shidachi) who always wins.

So here's my question. Are there any situations in koryu where the roles of uke and nage or uchidachi and shidachi are reversed also?

I ask because last night at kendo one of the newer guys was wearing the club bogu, and apart from trying to hammer me into the floor with his shinai, durign jigeiko (sparring in case anyone is unfamiliar with the term) he was constantly holding back from attacking me. I offered him an opening for my wrist several times which he never took, once even going so far as to intentionally hit my shinai when my wrist was open to attack. At this point one of my sempai came over and told him (paraphrasing): "He's your sempai. You should attack him as much as you can without holding back". The unsaid idea being that he has to attack any offerings such as men or kote that I give so I can help him to improve his technique.

Now I'm a mudan in kendo and will be grading for ikkyu in a few weeks so I'm not particularly good and you should take what I say about kendo with a pinch of salt perhaps. But I'm mindful that the shinai and bogu were invented long before modern kendo was. So I suspect that certain aspects of modern kendo jigeiko are probably older too.

What really messed my head up was this. In kendo kata if I had had the same partner I would presumably as his sempai have taken the role of uchidachi and I would have lost (in the kata scenario). In jigeiko he was expected to attack me more and again I was losing because he was striking things I offered him, in much the same way as described elsewhere (uchidachi places himself in more dangerous situations to help shidachi learn). BUT was I or was I not the one who was taking ukemi at kendo last night, surely I was 'receiving the technique'? Surely I was being attacked and yet I was receiving the technique?

I think perhaps that the role of uke and nage depends on what 'the technique' is. In the case of kendo attacking was the technique. In aikido it would be defending. I'm not so sure that the uchidachi/teacher role is always so clear cut, surely sometimes being the 'winner'/nage is a teacher role too. Does this simply depend on the type of practice? Perhaps freestyle/randori/jigeiko vs kata? Is it a product of the more recent method of teaching budo with a single teacher in front of a large class? Does any of this make sense or do I need to have more coffee this morning before I can think straight?

Any thoughts?

Mike

DH
02-22-2007, 06:58 AM
I think you need to separate and define the arts and goals and what became of the Teacher as Uke in these Japanese Aiki arts.

In some weapons based Koryu there are clearly defined Kata that are single to marginally multiple-step attack and defense. As such their roles are easily defined. The idea is that senior man is in the receiving role to better challenge the veracity of the students understanding.

There was a break from this in the modern era. A break that is not spoken of enough in my opinion. That is Kano's judo.
Kano understood clearly the need for Kata with its teacher student model and the need for a testing ground in "real" fully resistant movement. His ideas were a defined break from the old model of Kata only. His was to first learn through rote repetition, then to "really understand" through testing in equal footing freestyle..This equality and full resistance was a means to test relaxation under duress, as well as smooth execution of connection and awareness. Even if you take other ancient arts like grappling- the roles were equal. It was always true that due to shear skill the more senior man was self-evident. But there, attacks and defense were an are a continual interplay with feints, and traps and continual fluid interplay even much discusion of mass and relaxed moviement. It is also a far more difficult venue to play in against experienced men. Your "art" means little to nothing Your "understanding" will quickly speak for itself.;)

So we had a long history of the Japanese model of Kata training. And their "freestlye" was war. Where the lessons were far more harsh and severe. Then a newer model (based on an ancient premise) to allow a safer means to test kata. It was the gradual morphing or the interplay of Uke/Nage in randori and the lessoning of weapon awareness/knowledge that allowed for a somewhat unique and weird art form:

The Aiki arts
The idea that these arts can pull off their moves and weak pins against fully resistant foes has been morphed by the reversal of Uke/ Nage. The Uke as the attacker has allowed for an ever increasing weakening of these so called attacks with nary a thought to feints, counters, and resistance of actual applied technique. The perception of these "aiki" arts as being silly by most rough and tumble men is well known. The reason why they are seen as silly is not so clear-nor in my opinion are they entirely justified. The failure was not in Takeda, nor Ueshiba's abilities. The failure was the loss of a good transmission model in these arts. This has led to misunderstanding of technique. Much of what these silly "aiki" arts were meant to convey is missing. The reason they look and are so inane to even a half decent high school wrestler is the simple fact that the men in them fail to convey to their followers that these arts simply don't work well without weapons. They were not meant to. And no I don't mean the dumb idea of “Aikido comes from the sword” crap. I mean that there is clear disconnect to the students of why the art "looks" like it does.

The theory of these arts comes from an idea to remain on your feet and not to grapple on the ground in the first place, and to engage a weapon to kill your opponent. Functionally Daito ryu and Aikido were meant to be kogusoku arts. The pins can't hold anyone because they were not designed to. They were designed to be transient, till a blade was drawn. They are not true submissions and never were. The fact that they are demonstrated in such a cooperative manner left the newer untrained students to look in awe at locked up people and think that was the end of the show. The truth is you cannot hold anyone there for long and you were meant to finish it with other means.
Aiki people are stuck in the middle of applying koryu type armed finishes without the juice. In further perpetrating this ignorance-the aiki arts removed the weapons idea AND never introduced real resistance freestyle. It was a double blow to it own martial credibility. Aikido’s faux-fighting randori never truly made a serous attempt to match the grandeur (and due to thereality- less pretty) of the tried and true methods of real grappling. Many theories; external/ internal, aiki/ Kiai, nuance of overly detailed and highly improbable jujutsu, stupidtsu, moves are blown up by sustained aggression. It is yet another reason good relaxed grapplers laugh in the face of these professional martial art teacher ner do wells.

It is my opinion that these arts are indeed capable of once again producing decent fighters by the switching to the model of teaching Aiki and anti-aiki. Basing everything off of good internal skills, then transitioning to ever increasing proactive resistance. Then teaching serious strikes and kicks, knees and elbows, and all of that...to stay on your feet. Then incorporate ground grappling with the idea of real submissions.
There is only one reason that good internal arts Japanese or Chinese fail to deliver in a martial context-and that is poor transmission. Whether by choice or by ignorance the students loose.
In either case "the fix" begins by the teacher being the Uke.
Cheers
Dan

Ecosamurai
02-22-2007, 07:51 AM
It is my opinion that these arts are indeed capable of once again producing decent fighters by the switching to the model of teaching Aiki and anti-aiki. Basing everything off of good internal skills, then transitioning to ever increasing proactive resistance. Then teaching serious strikes and kicks, knees and elbows, and all of that...to stay on your feet. Then incorporate ground grappling with the idea of real submissions.

Not sure I agree with everything that you said but it was interesting nonetheless. I'll send you a PM, but if you can then I'd recommend looking up my teacher if you're ver in the UK.

Mike

DH
02-22-2007, 08:03 AM
HI Mike
If he is doing these things, good on him and you. There is no end of talented guys trying to make their Aikido more capable.

There is a dichotomy of trying to make it more martially viable and more internal. You may succesfully pull off one without having the other. Its great to have both the martial veracity, while maintaining Ueshiba's model.
Dan

Ecosamurai
02-22-2007, 08:52 AM
HI Mike
If he is doing these things, good on him and you. There is no end of talented guys trying to make their Aikido more capable.

There is a dichotomy of trying to make it more martially viable and more internal. You may succesfully pull off one without having the other. Its great to have both the martial veracity, while maintaining Ueshiba's model.
Dan

Let's just say we're in semi-agreement with regards to some of your previous posts :) That said I still don't believe aikido generally is doing quite so badly as a number of people like to say it is.

Regards

Mike

Budd
02-22-2007, 12:55 PM
For example I was rather bemused to see Dan including Shioda in the list, a man so stiff I am often amazed he didn't break his own bones while executing techniques (though that probably says more about me than him).

Perhaps.

I'm not a Yoshinkan man and don't have a dog in it either way, but I'm curious about where you are getting your assessment of Shioda's "stiff"ness . . . and what you are comparing it to?

My own personal opinion is that there is much of aikido today that is bad and plenty that is good, I don't see the dire prognosis offered by regular contributors to this thread (if they haven't done it in this thread I've read it elsewhere on the internet).

So, are you saying it's case by case . . .? What, specifically, is the "dire prognosis" you're referring to that you disagree with?

It occurs to me though that the two most influential aikidoka at the beginning of aikido here in the UK were Abbe Kenshiro Sensei (primarily a judoka and a highly skilled one at that) and Chiba Sensei, I suspect that the flavour of many of the oldest and most respected aikido taught here in the uk is far less 'fluffy' for want of a better word than I've seen elsewhere. Perhaps this colours my judgement on the subject of what aikido may or may not be 'missing'.


So, you think aikido may be more 'fluffy' and 'missing' something in Japan, the USA (or elsewhere, based on your stated opinion that "much of aikido today. . . is bad"), or you just think that the aikido in the UK is that good?

I'm not really agreeing or disagreeing at this point. I'm just curious at what you're trying to say or imply? You seem to sort of be making some assertions, but without saying anything concrete or taking a stand.

I'm very interested in the takes of the folks that are trying to define and promote the "baseline skillset" (plug for another thread) and how it applies to aikido (or, as already has been said, how it applies to ANY martial art) and will be the first to admit that I'm approaching it from the perspective of open eyes/ears-trying-to-learn/soak up as much as I can (a quick thanks to all that have contributed thus far!)

You seem to be implying that you're already doing this in practice and can exhibit these skills, can you share some of what you're doing with us and how you're seeing it manifest in your practice (particularly in solo conditioning and how the skills manifest in waza and randori/free-sparring)?

Ron Tisdale
02-22-2007, 12:59 PM
And perhaps what you find lacking in other places...I am assuming of course that you have FELT the aikido in other places (Japan, US, etc.) and are not simply speaking of video waza.

Best,
Ron

Ecosamurai
02-22-2007, 02:42 PM
Perhaps.

I'm not a Yoshinkan man and don't have a dog in it either way, but I'm curious about where you are getting your assessment of Shioda's "stiff"ness . . . and what you are comparing it to?

Tohei

So, are you saying it's case by case . . .? What, specifically, is the "dire prognosis" you're referring to that you disagree with?

Discussed ad nauseam in a variety of internet forums

So, you think aikido may be more 'fluffy' and 'missing' something in Japan, the USA (or elsewhere, based on your stated opinion that "much of aikido today. . . is bad"), or you just think that the aikido in the UK is that good?

No Aikido in the UK is pretty much the same as elsewhere but the lineage tends to colour impressions of the longest serving practitioners I've either seen or had the good fortune to practice with

I'm not really agreeing or disagreeing at this point. I'm just curious at what you're trying to say or imply? You seem to sort of be making some assertions, but without saying anything concrete or taking a stand.

Not interested in taking a stand, adopting stances invites aggression :) Be it in the dojo, in real life or (and perhaps most especially) in internet discussion forums where people tend to be far more aggressive in their arguments than they do face to face :)

You seem to be implying that you're already doing this in practice and can exhibit these skills, can you share some of what you're doing with us and how you're seeing it manifest in your practice (particularly in solo conditioning and how the skills manifest in waza and randori/free-sparring)?

Solo conditioning? Go to the gym IMHO. I'm mostly referring to using Tohei style ki development and seeing how it fares against a fully resisting uke. Usually it does quite well but I'm certainly no expert, simply trying to fathom the depths of this issue without advocating any one approach to aikido. IMO they are all valid and worthwhile, I think that there is only really one aikido, it's just the way we try to achieve that that I'm trying to learn more about.

Sincerely

Mike

Ecosamurai
02-22-2007, 02:47 PM
And perhaps what you find lacking in other places...I am assuming of course that you have FELT the aikido in other places (Japan, US, etc.) and are not simply speaking of video waza.

Best,
Ron

I'm talking mostly about film footage yes, which is a valid point of view considering that observation is a large part of the learning process. It is of course nothing like experiencing a technique first hand. But I've been lucky enough to have practiced with some people who have trained in those places, FWIW.

It is also worth mentioning at this point that I was not trying to make it sound as though I am doing something better than others, if it has come across like that then I do apologise. I'm not really trying to do anything except explore some thoughts with people who seem to have a clear point of view on the subject.

Regards

Mike

Ecosamurai
02-22-2007, 02:55 PM
By the way I've never said that I felt there was something lacking in aikido, if you re-read things perhaps you'll see I've been saying the opposite all this time.

Mike

Budd
02-22-2007, 03:28 PM
I'm curious about where you are getting your assessment of Shioda's "stiff"ness . . . and what you are comparing it to?
Tohei

Excellent, you've felt him and Shioda then?

Discussed ad nauseam in a variety of internet forums
Actually, I asked you, specifically, for the 'dire prognosis'. If it's discussed ad nausem, what do you think this prognosis is (I'm not asking if you agree with it, just what's your interpretation of what others are saying)?


No Aikido in the UK is pretty much the same as elsewhere but the lineage tends to colour impressions of the longest serving practitioners I've either seen or had the good fortune to practice with

So their lineage and experience are better than what you've seen or felt in the US, Japan, etc.? Still not sure what exactly you're saying here. If it's just that you really like the people you train with, cool, so do I.


Not interested in taking a stand, adopting stances invites aggression :) Be it in the dojo, in real life or (and perhaps most especially) in internet discussion forums where people tend to be far more aggressive in their arguments than they do face to face :)

What I'm trying to figure out is whether you are trying to contribute your own experiences or passing along what you've been told? It may be that adopting aggressive stances may invite aggression . . . but making comments generally will invite attention . . . on internet discussion forums and face to face. Are you trying to imply that I wouldn't say or ask the same thing in person? Just asking, because again, it isn't clear.

Solo conditioning? Go to the gym IMHO. I'm mostly referring to using Tohei style ki development and seeing how it fares against a fully resisting uke. Usually it does quite well but I'm certainly no expert, simply trying to fathom the depths of this issue without advocating any one approach to aikido. IMO they are all valid and worthwhile, I think that there is only really one aikido, it's just the way we try to achieve that that I'm trying to learn more about.


Interesting, so Tohei style ki development is differrent from solo conditioning or the best solo conditioning is to go to the gym (and do what exactly)? What types of fully resisting uke do you work out with (e.g. your students, folks from other schools/sports, etc)? Again, I'm asking because I like to know what people are doing to get at this stuff and you've indicated that what you're doing is in line with what others have been advocating.

Ecosamurai
02-22-2007, 03:40 PM
Excellent, you've felt him and Shioda then?

Don't be a fool of course I've felt neither. This is an internet discussion forum, it's basically all armchair budo, all I'm interested in is talking about some things to do with the role of uke/nage and how it relates to 'internal' skills, i.e. the subject matter of this thread. I'm making no grand or sweeping statements, I have not sought to suggest that others are inferior to me and yet you seem to be attacking me for not answering your rather pointed questions, all indicating that I have done something offensive in your eyes.
Such sniping comments do not make me feel inclined to continue along this line of discussion.

Mike

Budd
02-22-2007, 04:33 PM
Don't be a fool of course I've felt neither. This is an internet discussion forum, it's basically all armchair budo, all I'm interested in is talking about some things to do with the role of uke/nage and how it relates to 'internal' skills, i.e. the subject matter of this thread.

I'm making no grand or sweeping statements


For example I was rather bemused to see Dan including Shioda in the list, a man so stiff I am often amazed he didn't break his own bones while executing techniques (though that probably says more about me than him).

This is your quote, correct? I asked for clarification on what you meant and how you made this assertion and got "Tohei" as my response. I've since asked for additional clarification and since both Tohei and Shioda are listed by others as having gotten somewhere with internal skills, I'm genuinely curious as to your basis for comparison. It looks like in another response you did clarify that you're basing this off of a video . . .

I have not sought to suggest that others are inferior to me and yet you seem to be attacking me for not answering your rather pointed questions, all indicating that I have done something offensive in your eyes.
Such sniping comments do not make me feel inclined to continue along this line of discussion.


If I were attacking you, I'd be making a grand or sweeping statement regarding you or your abilities.

If you can't or won't answer questions regarding what you've written, that's fine, but please do not consider that an attack. I am genuinely interested in how, in as much detail as you are willing to share, you feel you are applying 'ki-development' and other 'internal skills' against 'resistance' within your training paradigm.

DH
02-22-2007, 05:34 PM
Guys
All due respect could you consider taking this to an active debate already underway that is relavent "Baseline skills."
Mike
I read the P.M. Why not talk about the training to create pathways and how it may relate to nage being uke?
Thanks
Dan

Aikibu
02-22-2007, 06:52 PM
Interesting thread....Some folks are on the right track here...Personally with proper "Ukemi" and person has just as good a chance to prevail in an ecounter In our Aikido one's technique and spirit can only really progress with proper Ukemi. it is one side of the same coin.

Met many a Koryu master in my day too... In fact this weekend I am attending a seminar of one of the finest Ninjitsu Sensei's in Europe who came to L.A. to teach our sister Ninjitsu class. When I glance over at him and his excellent technique I see only a slight differance and that lies mostly in the fact they wear black gi and tabi.

I would tell you who he is but only if you have the proper cool guy security clearance (or if I remember his name first LOL Getting Old!)

Thank you folks for the lively discussion.

William Hazen

Budd
02-22-2007, 09:55 PM
Apologies. I'm interested in the notions that Shioda and Tohei trained their skills under the uke/nage model (and perhaps elsewhere) and how some are differentiating between them. I'm also interested in those that are training this paradigm today and finding that it leads to the "Baseline Skills" discussed in that other thread . . . which is where this discussion seems to be heading.

Ecosamurai
02-23-2007, 02:45 AM
Guys
All due respect could you consider taking this to an active debate already underway that is relavent "Baseline skills."
Mike
I read the P.M. Why not talk about the training to create pathways and how it may relate to nage being uke?
Thanks
Dan

Hi Dan,

I was trying to get it to stop hehe. Actually was thinking about describing something fun that we do from time to time round here. It's an interesting exercise, I'll probably try it out on Sunday with the biggest guy who trains with us and take notes on how best to describe it, perhaps it'll be interesting. You listening to this Jo?? Hope you fancy lots of nikyo on Sunday evileyes

Mike

Budd
02-23-2007, 07:10 AM
Actually was thinking about describing something fun that we do from time to time round here. It's an interesting exercise, I'll probably try it out on Sunday with the biggest guy who trains with us and take notes on how best to describe it, perhaps it'll be interesting.
Mike

I must say in all sincerity that I look forward to hearing about this one.

Ecosamurai
02-26-2007, 09:04 AM
Nikyo arm wrestling.

Well, tried it out and took some notes so here it is. The issue being discussed in this thread is the role of uke and nage, how it seems to have been reveresed in aikido from its koryu roots and that this reversal has alledgedly been detrimental to aikido's effectiveness.

So, further to what I was thinking before. Try this as an exercise. With you right hand hold your partners right wrist and they do likewise, the idea of this game is that you are both trying to apply nikyo to each other. It isn't about strength it's about technique, BUT, though it isn't about strength if your partner resists you then things become difficult. Seeing as the aim of the game is to nikyo the other guy and not get nikyo'd yourself they are of course going to resist you. Here's where the interesting part happens. If they use strength to resist and you have better mind and body coordination then you will be able to overcome them (I tried this last night on the biggest guy who trains with us and it seemed to work, be cautious though because if you resist your partner there eventually comes a moment where your resistance can simply crumble to nothing and if they are not careful the nikyo will be applied to your wrist really fast and hard, so be aware of that). A few tips to get the most out of this exercise (assuming you're still holding your partners right wrist), beginers attempt to apply nikyo by pushing straight down, this does not work on most people who offer even minor resistance. Next thing they do is try to extend their right hand towards their partner, this often causes their arm to straighten at the elbow and proves ineffective. Try instead to extend with both left and right hands and remember that nikyo is a circle. Crucially to do this you need to be centered and well grounded (as is described elsewhere, usually by Mike Sigman).

In this exercise there is no clear uke/nage role played. Nobody in particualr is receiving the technique, however many of the stories you read about O Sensei (i.e. asking Shioda to attack him on the train) involve this sort of thing (think Tenryu pushing on Ueshiba's head).

I'm of the opinion that excercises kinda like what I described above were probably more common pre-war. Later the role taken by O Sensei when teaching was one of demonstration, demonstraing the correct execution of a technique in front of a class of people, therefore he is the nage not the uke. Seems to make sense to me, I think that it was often this way even since Takeda and that you only got a feel of these things if you were closely associated with your teacher in such a way as the pre-war deshi were, note not the post-war deshi so much - in an interview with Chiba Sensei on aikidojournal he describes the content of lessons as an uchi-deshi as being the same to what was taught to the regular students onl you were expected to be more intense about it. Whereas there's the story of the pre-war deshi Hikitsuchi Sensei breaking the tip off of his bokken while practicing with Ueshiba and them both searching for it for a long time (it was in the folds of their clothing IRRC), sounds like there was a lot of coordinated resistance going on there.

I also think that much of what I described above with regards to the nkiyo thing was to do with ki but not aiki perhaps, in the sense that it was using Tohei style ki development to execute an effective technique. I think that when you watch videos of the founder and of Tohei and also listen to accounts of those who were uke for them they describe the difference between them very often as being that you really felt you had been thrown by Tohei but that when you attacked the founder it was often difficult to figure out what he had done. I tend to think of that difference as being the difference between ki (Tohei) and aiki(the founder). I suspect that this is what the founder was trying to teach for most of the last years of his life but that it is avery subtle skill and people mostly just didn't notice what it was he was doing. Kinda hard to fathom what's happening if you are the uke but have no idea how you ended up on the floor with this smiling old man looking down at you :) Couple that with his obscure use of shinto language and I think you might be seeing what I mean.

Would be nice to hear from people who have more experience of practicing with people around in 1960's early 1970's. At the very least you could tell me if I'm talking rubbish or not ;) I'd kinda like to know if I am or not....

Regards

Mike

Budd
02-26-2007, 10:25 AM
Thanks for posting the above.

Since you were talking about resistance while receiving, could you perhaps speak in some more detail about the kind of "resistance" you were playing with (e.g. jamming the technique, receiving it with the body and grounding it out, changing the line, etc.)?

I'm also curious as to how you're practicing, in this exercise, who initiates the grab, or if you start from a mutual grab, who initiates the nikkyo (senior/junior, both at same time, etc.)?

Ecosamurai
02-26-2007, 10:38 AM
Thanks for posting the above.

Since you were talking about resistance while receiving, could you perhaps speak in some more detail about the kind of "resistance" you were playing with (e.g. jamming the technique, receiving it with the body and grounding it out, changing the line, etc.)?

I'm also curious as to how you're practicing, in this exercise, who initiates the grab, or if you start from a mutual grab, who initiates the nikkyo (senior/junior, both at same time, etc.)?

There is no initiating the grab, it's not an attack/defense situation, both just hold and say ready steady go.

Play with as many different kinds of resistance as you can and see which works best and against which type of attempt your partner is making while applying nikyo. It's an exploration of the nikyo technique against resistance (meaning however you want to try to resist). Can be fun, just be aware that resistance has a tendency to vanish quickly once you're taken past your limit and then your partner needs the control to avoid slamming a really hard nikyo on you.

Personally I've found that keeping your hands low down close to your centre is the best way to resist your partner as it requires the least physical effort on your part. Though it also involves having a coordinated mind and body, and extending from your centre with both hands in this fashion tends to ground you whilst applying the technique (you often see similar things done in CMA demonstrations, I'm sure Mike Sigman will have a video link of something like it for us if we ask nicely...)

Like I said I'm mostly curious about the variability of the uke/nage role rather than the game itself, and what the odds of this sort of thing happening in regular training at certain times in the historical development of aikido. The nikyo game is just one example I thought of off the top of my head that migth illustrate it easily. Hikitsuchi Sensei's broken bokken mught be a better historical version of a similar training experience (only far far more impressive I might add...)

Regards

Mike

MM
02-26-2007, 10:47 AM
Mike,

I'd have to mimic, Dan, here. Can you open a new thread for this topic?

Ecosamurai
02-26-2007, 10:51 AM
Mike,

I'd have to mimic, Dan, here. Can you open a new thread for this topic?

Could do but I'm less interested in the actual exercise than I am in the uke/nage role so, while thread drift is a problem I still think it's part of the original discussion. Namely Ueshiba taking ukemi and the role of uke/nage in aikido. Not sure if it really should be in a thread of it's own... yet.

Mike

Budd
02-26-2007, 11:43 AM
I think something that may be closer to this thread's topic is rather than choosing a technique and talking about variations on a game of "tag", speak specifically to the internal uke/nage dynamic within the parameters of a technique.

In other words, if I'm understanding the topic of this thread correctly and if you have to pick a technique, what are the internal things going on in order to correctly apply (nage) and receive (uke) a given technique within the aikido paradigm of uke/nage.

How are you using the uke/nage model to template, within yourself, the structural integrity to deal with the engergy you're given? By falling down? By absorbing it and sending it back? By letting it pass through you? Is a fall inevitable or is it a choice (or even an acknowledgement)?

DH
03-01-2007, 10:17 PM
I think something that may be closer to this thread's topic is rather than choosing a technique and talking about variations on a game of "tag", speak specifically to the internal uke/nage dynamic within the parameters of a technique.

In other words, if I'm understanding the topic of this thread correctly and if you have to pick a technique, what are the internal things going on in order to correctly apply (nage) and receive (uke) a given technique within the aikido paradigm of uke/nage.

How are you using the uke/nage model to template, within yourself, the structural integrity to deal with the engergy you're given? By falling down? By absorbing it and sending it back? By letting it pass through you? Is a fall inevitable or is it a choice (or even an acknowledgement)?

Well all interesting questions. I'd ask some of my own by way of answering.
1. Can I come to an Aikido dojo and just be me?
2. My Idea of doing my Aikido is to be me and not do anything. So Can I get in my best white keikogi and show up and receive technique?
3. What happens if no one can do anything to me and I stand there?
4. Am I doing Aikido?
5. Am I taking Ukemi if in receiving Nage's technique nage is powerless to do anything to me because I absorb it and he is left with nothing?
6. Am I being Uke if I make a strike and nage is crushed by it?
7. What if he isn't crushed- but he can't do aynthihg to me and I am once again just standing there?
Am I still doing AIkido?
8. If it stops the attack of everyone in the room and I do it without harming anyone and do it with less visible effort than anyone there- what rank does that emulate? What is rank really worth then?
9. Ueshiba said "Everyone should do their own aikido." correct?
10. Define AIkido then?

Cheers
Dan

Aikibu
03-01-2007, 11:02 PM
Well all interesting questions. I'd ask some of my own by way of answering.
1. Can I come to an Aikido dojo and just be me?
2. My Idea of doing my Aikido is to be me and not do anything. So Can I get in my best white keikogi and show up and receive technique?
3. What happens if no one can do anything to me and I stand there?
4. Am I doing Aikido?
5. Am I taking Ukemi if in receiving Nage's technique nage is powerless to do anything to me because I absorb it and he is left with nothing?
6. Am I being Uke if I make a strike and nage is crushed by it?
7. What if he isn't crushed- but he can't do aynthihg to me and I am once again just standing there?
Am I still doing AIkido?
8. If it stops the attack of everyone in the room and I do it without harming anyone and do it with less visible effort than anyone there- what rank does that emulate? What is rank really worth then?
9. Ueshiba said "Everyone should do their own aikido." correct?
10. Define AIkido then?

Cheers
Dan

"All a black belt means is that you have the potential to be a good student"

Shoji Nishio Shihan

The answers to the rest of your questions are obvious... despite thier rhetorical provocation. :)

William Hazen

clwk
03-02-2007, 12:46 AM
Dan,

Well all interesting questions. I'd ask some of my own by way of answering.
1. Can I come to an Aikido dojo and just be me?
2. My Idea of doing my Aikido is to be me and not do anything. So Can I get in my best white keikogi and show up and receive technique?
3. What happens if no one can do anything to me and I stand there?
4. Am I doing Aikido?
5. Am I taking Ukemi if in receiving Nage's technique nage is powerless to do anything to me because I absorb it and he is left with nothing?
6. Am I being Uke if I make a strike and nage is crushed by it?
7. What if he isn't crushed- but he can't do aynthihg to me and I am once again just standing there?
Am I still doing AIkido?
8. If it stops the attack of everyone in the room and I do it without harming anyone and do it with less visible effort than anyone there- what rank does that emulate? What is rank really worth then?
9. Ueshiba said "Everyone should do their own aikido." correct?
10. Define AIkido then?

Cheers
Dan

It's not my style to say such a thing, but . . . every fifteen years or so I break form. This was a refreshingly well-formulated series of rhetorical questions. Thanks.

-ck

MM
03-02-2007, 07:15 AM
Well all interesting questions. I'd ask some of my own by way of answering.
1. Can I come to an Aikido dojo and just be me?
2. My Idea of doing my Aikido is to be me and not do anything. So Can I get in my best white keikogi and show up and receive technique?
3. What happens if no one can do anything to me and I stand there?
4. Am I doing Aikido?
5. Am I taking Ukemi if in receiving Nage's technique nage is powerless to do anything to me because I absorb it and he is left with nothing?
6. Am I being Uke if I make a strike and nage is crushed by it?
7. What if he isn't crushed- but he can't do aynthihg to me and I am once again just standing there?
Am I still doing AIkido?
8. If it stops the attack of everyone in the room and I do it without harming anyone and do it with less visible effort than anyone there- what rank does that emulate? What is rank really worth then?
9. Ueshiba said "Everyone should do their own aikido." correct?
10. Define AIkido then?

Cheers
Dan

Love the questions. :)

But, we already have sort of a precedent for some of them. At the Friendship seminar, Ikeda sensei was there and I grabbed him. He didn't move but I was ineffective. And he was just being Ikeda sensei. Plus, I don't think anyone would question that Ikeda sensei is doing Aikido. So, yeah, I think your questions are valid and would be supported in a lot of venues in the Aikido world. Although, there would be political ramifications. ;)

Where I think they might deviate is in a training situation. And that would be a whole different set of rules and procedures. Hmmm ... come to think of it, what if the waza is merely the physical way of showing how to use the internal stuff to affect uke's center? In other words, the physical techniques of Aikido show in a physical manner how to turn/rotate/roll/etc uke's center, but in reality, what should be happening is that tori's internal skills should be the vehicle that actually does turn/rotate/roll/etc uke's center?

Mark

Gernot Hassenpflug
03-02-2007, 07:30 AM
Nice questions Dan! I concur with Mark Murray. The external movement should be a training tool, so if tori turns while grabbed, as an example, he could be grounding uke's force (at a minimum), and pushing off from the ground to execute turn. Totally unrelated, and a step up harder to do than any either in isolation.

Budd
03-02-2007, 08:00 AM
Well all interesting questions. I'd ask some of my own by way of answering.
1. Can I come to an Aikido dojo and just be me?
2. My Idea of doing my Aikido is to be me and not do anything. So Can I get in my best white keikogi and show up and receive technique?
3. What happens if no one can do anything to me and I stand there?
4. Am I doing Aikido?
5. Am I taking Ukemi if in receiving Nage's technique nage is powerless to do anything to me because I absorb it and he is left with nothing?
6. Am I being Uke if I make a strike and nage is crushed by it?
7. What if he isn't crushed- but he can't do aynthihg to me and I am once again just standing there?
Am I still doing AIkido?
8. If it stops the attack of everyone in the room and I do it without harming anyone and do it with less visible effort than anyone there- what rank does that emulate? What is rank really worth then?
9. Ueshiba said "Everyone should do their own aikido." correct?
10. Define AIkido then?

Cheers
Dan

Very thought-provoking questions! I really liked your other post on aiki/weapons/sparring/etc. Maybe some others for consideration:

1) Are you coming to the aikido dojo to teach or to learn (or maybe both)?

2) Do you have pre-established criteria for what is "useful" to learn that maybe you should share with the dojocho?

3) If no one can do anything to you and you stand there, are you training "with" them, or showing them what you've got?

4) What critieria are you using to define your practice of 'aikido' (ie. your understanding of what Ueshiba said or meant, the conventions at the particular dojo, some combination, etc.)?

5) Who can validly tell YOU that you aren't doing aikido?

6) What else is rank meant to define other than your relationship with your instructor/dojo?

7) In a given dojo, whose definition of aikido "matters"?

8) Under what circumstances are uke and nage meant to be static roles?

DH
03-02-2007, 08:07 AM
I think your confusing static testing of structure with moving with structure. moving with structure is without form. The form is created by the connection and will. It's why Ueshiba didn't look like taiji-he looked like the Japanese bujutsu he came from, and taiji folks express their structure their way. But its all structure.

Here's a thought that is congruent with Ellis and my ideas of what Ueshiba was doing- that morphed his DR into looking like Aikido.

If one is "moving" with structure and just being themselves-Aiki happens. Uke's doing the jumping falling. The connection is creating/morphing the waza. There is no "need" to stand still, there is no "need" to move either. Everything just happens.Ukes who have felt the pain and or the immovability of men with structure start to "respond" and act differently. Or I might argue- they act accordingly. In Ueshibas case they atarted to avoid him/it alltogether. In so doing-they-created the large, open, avoidence-circles we now call ukemi. But there are a plethera of responses to the same structure in men that look different. Takeda Ukes locked up and were drawn-in to his feet, not cast off. In todays venue you see Taiji guys bounced-out. Others examples I have seen may be when Judo guys try to throw me they act like Judo guys who cannot get Kuzushi they start to lock up or bounce off so they dump-out and change. A relaxed MMA guys "changes" and hits or knees to create a better opening. Aikido folks have a dilema in that they have zero input. No feedback and no energy to play with.
Incrementally increase the connections and results may change. Playing and low level attacks make the result look one way, more intense attacks and feints and rolling and banging looks different than that.
So the connected body creates no need to do anything because the attacks on it ,are at varying degrees, useless. So aiki-do becomes what?
1. Having structure and connecting while moving is Aikido
2. Or doing Aikido "waza" which isn't aikido and never was.
So just -who- is really doing Aikido in the first place?
And who can really be the judge?

And I say Ueshiba both knew and meant exactly what I am postulating. And said so. And it was-this-that was truly the defining difference between him and Takeda and what brought his "vision to fruition." What allowed him to control and cast off without harm VS capturing AIki that was more painful and damaging. But both-are aiki.
So to answer your question about playing Aiki-do in a dojo and training "with" people.
Isn't that what Ueshiba was doing?
When does my "playing" aiki-do require my falling down instead of you?
Only in trying to "do" waza.
Which isn't aiki-do in the first place.
So when is the man with better structure the real senior in the room after all.
What is Aikido
What is Aiki-do
And who is doing which in the first place?
Cheers
Dan

DH
03-02-2007, 08:37 AM
Very thought-provoking questions! I really liked your other post on aiki/weapons/sparring/etc. Maybe some others for consideration:

1) Are you coming to the aikido dojo to teach or to learn (or maybe both)?

2) Do you have pre-established criteria for what is "useful" to learn that maybe you should share with the dojocho?

3) If no one can do anything to you and you stand there, are you training "with" them, or showing them what you've got?

4) What critieria are you using to define your practice of 'aikido' (ie. your understanding of what Ueshiba said or meant, the conventions at the particular dojo, some combination, etc.)?

5) Who can validly tell YOU that you aren't doing aikido?

6) What else is rank meant to define other than your relationship with your instructor/dojo?

7) In a given dojo, whose definition of aikido "matters"?

8) Under what circumstances are uke and nage meant to be static roles?

What vaule is rank other than your relationship to your teacher? Interesting! And it ties in with #5 and #7.
Who can define in any given Dojo whose definition of Aiki matters?

Well, Who is the real authority? The man with twenty years of sweat in training? Or the man who can be unmoved by the former's every attempt and yet move -him- around at will with Aiki? Expertise due to relaitionship? or skill?
"I don't look to authority for truth. I look to truth for authority."

Again who is really doing Aikido?
The masters of Aiki? Or the masters of early students response-driven ukemi-play that has, over time, solidified a method or corpus of training that was never the intent in the first place?
I hear the echo of a booming voice entering the Hombu shouting "This is not my Aikido!" And these days many times being written off as just the rantings of a cantakerous old man. When he in fact might have meant every, single, word.

So, is it in structure and the resultant aiki
Or the waza that is just a manifistation of the results.
I think its clear that the larger body of practitioners are just going through the motions and performing the later.

Cheers
Dan

Ecosamurai
03-02-2007, 08:45 AM
A relaxed MMA guys "changes" and hits or knees to create a better opening. Aikido folks have a dilema in that they have zero input. No feedback and no energy to play with.

Sorry to just pick one part of an interesting post, but I think this statement you made contradicts itself and is basically wrong. MMA hits or knees to create a better opening is no different than Ueshiba saying "Aikido is 90% atemi" or whatever the exact quote was.

Aikido folks have zero input I also think is not true (I assume the input you were referring to was something alomng the lines of your aforementioned MMA knees etc). For some historical aspect to these things check out Pranin's article here:

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=476&highlight=shomenuchi

Might be an interesting read. Not sure if you need to be a subscriber to read it or not.

Mike

Mike Sigman
03-02-2007, 08:49 AM
Well, Who is the real authority? The man with twenty years of sweat in training? Or the man who can be unmoved by the former's every attempt and yet move -him- around at will with Aiki? Expertise due to relaitionship? or skill?
"I don't look to authority for truth. I look to truth for authority."I've got good kokyu and ki skills and I can control most people at whim. I don't resist anyone and I can release a lot of power. I have techniques that conform at both low and high levels with the core idea of "aiki" (which is NOT unique to Aikido, BTW). Am I going to go into a dojo and manipulate some sensei who doesn't have my ki and kokyu skills and then claim any authority in Aikido? No.

Having these skills does not make someone expert in Aikido. Personally I think (and this is what Tohei said, too) that you have to have these skills in order to really do Aikido. Having some of these skills (there is a wide spectrum of these skills) may give someone license to talk about the skills but it doesn't necessarily make them an authority in Aikido. I think we need to be clear about that.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

DH
03-02-2007, 08:54 AM
Sorry to just pick one part of an interesting post, but I think this statement you made contradicts itself and is basically wrong. MMA hits or knees to create a better opening is no different than Ueshiba saying "Aikido is 90% atemi" or whatever the exact quote was.

Aikido folks have zero input I also think is not true (I assume the input you were referring to was something alomng the lines of your aforementioned MMA knees etc). For some historical aspect to these things check out Pranin's article here:

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=476&highlight=shomenuchi

Might be an interesting read. Not sure if you need to be a subscriber to read it or not.

Mike

Naw you missed it entirely, MIke. I'm a terrible writer.
I was only discussing the different ways some guys in different arts respond to structure. ONLY as an example was I offering a comparison between styles. Judo, MMA Aikido etc. Such as an MMA'er Standing outside the range and striking or kicking or moving in and kneeing you as a response to a diffictkly structure.
And I was stating the men with structure "offer" zero input to the aikidoka to then play with not aikido folks "having" zero input..

Dan

DH
03-02-2007, 08:58 AM
I've got good kokyu and ki skills and I can control most people at whim. I don't resist anyone and I can release a lot of power. I have techniques that conform at both low and high levels with the core idea of "aiki" (which is NOT unique to Aikido, BTW). Am I going to go into a dojo and manipulate some sensei who doesn't have my ki and kokyu skills and then claim any authority in Aikido? No.

Having these skills does not make someone expert in Aikido. Personally I think (and this is what Tohei said, too) that you have to have these skills in order to really do Aikido. Having some of these skills (there is a wide spectrum of these skills) may give someone license to talk about the skills but it doesn't necessarily make them an authority in Aikido. I think we need to be clear about that.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Yeah but I am not stating that it is either and don't think that way. I'll leave out what I was leading to for now as I was hoping those IN Aikido would be offering their own answers.

Dan

Budd
03-02-2007, 09:02 AM
What vaule is rank other than your relationship to your teacher? Interesting! And it ties in with #5 and #7.
Who can define in any given Dojo whose definition of Aiki matters?

Well, Who is the real authority? The man with twenty years of sweat in training? Or the man who can be unmoved by the former's every attempt and yet move -him- around at will with Aiki? Expertise due to relaitionship? or skill?
"I don't look to authority for truth. I look to truth for authority."

Again who is really doing Aikido?
The masters of Aiki? Or the masters of early students response-driven ukemi play that has, over time, solidified a method or corpus of training that was never the intent in the first place?
I hear the echo of a booming voice entering the Hombu shouting "This is not my Aikido!"
And being written off as just a cantakerous old man. When he in fact might have meant every, single, word.

So, is it in structure and the resultant aiki
Or the waza that is just a manifistation of the results.
I think its clear that the larger body of practitioners are just going through the motions and performing the later.

Cheers
Dan

Without arguing for or against any of the above, where does the uke/nage paradigm properly fit into practice?

Is it a transition point in time to describe who is doing what?

Is each person always uke AND nage at any given time?

Is it the middleground between solo work and randori to "drill" waza that may "happen" as a result of structure and aiki?

Does it 'depend'?

Should it be thrown out altogether?

To include Ecosamurai's point, does all of this hinge on an assumption of how one's practice includes atemi?

I have my own thoughts, but I'm a pretty small fry in this happy meal, so I'm more interested in others' discussions.

Ecosamurai
03-02-2007, 09:20 AM
Naw you missed it entirely, MIke. I'm a terrible writer.
I was only discussing the different ways some guys in different arts respond to structure. ONLY as an example was I offering a comparison between styles. Judo, MMA Aikido etc. Such as an MMA'er Standing outside the range and striking or kicking or moving in and kneeing you as a response to a diffictkly structure.
And I was stating the men with structure "offer" zero input to the aikidoka to then play with not aikido folks "having" zero input..

Dan

Cool, clears things up. Basically you're talking about what most people in aikido would call 'openings'. Right? I have the feeling that what you're saying about not offering input to an aikidoka amounts to what is commonly referred to as not offering a committed attack. A quick example would be continuously jabbing at an aikidoka thus making it difficult for them to execute kotegaeshi on the hand you're jabbing with. Sound about right?

Mike

Ecosamurai
03-02-2007, 09:21 AM
To include Ecosamurai's point

LOL, wish I could go back in time and change my bloody username, seemed like a good idea at the time hehe....

Mike

Budd
03-02-2007, 10:17 AM
LOL, wish I could go back in time and change my bloody username, seemed like a good idea at the time hehe....

Well, at least you didn't name yourself 'aikibirdy', 'aikiwolfie' or 'aikipoopie' -- no offense to any aikido canines, avians or other endangered fecies that may live or post on this planet . . . ;)

MM
03-07-2007, 10:06 AM
I am thinking and rethinking some of my notions about Ueshiba, aikido, uke/nage and ukemi.

One thing I am noting now, is that while looking at some of the videos on YouTube, Ueshiba doesn't move very much. Once he has touched his attacker, there isn't a whole lot of external movement on his part. The ukemi that he is taking has to be internal.

However, once he has done that, then the attacker, who is now taking ukemi, is making big external movements. Hmmm ...

Mark

DH
03-12-2007, 09:28 PM
I am thinking and rethinking some of my notions about Ueshiba, aikido, uke/nage and ukemi.

One thing I am noting now, is that while looking at some of the videos on YouTube, Ueshiba doesn't move very much. Once he has touched his attacker, there isn't a whole lot of external movement on his part. The ukemi that he is taking has to be internal.

However, once he has done that, then the attacker, who is now taking ukemi, is making big external movements. Hmmm ...

Mark

Ueshiba was doing Aiki-do
Most everyone else is going Full speed......in the wrong direction. all while openly wondering why they can't find the magic, why they just, can't, make it happen. They know somethings wrong, somethings missing.
But still they artificially lift Ueshiba up, telling themselves he's out of reach- they settle for less. When the answer is there for them....every one.
Most will spend the rest of their lives staring at waza- looking at their hands, knowing there's something there... but something's missing.
And waiting for it to "happen" through waza....

Dan

DH
03-27-2007, 12:03 AM
Sagawa Yukioshi on bodywork and Ukemi

Solo training
Training must be done EVERYDAY for the rest of your life. That is the meaning of “Shugyo.” No matter how much muscle you think you aren’t using (you’re only misleading yourself.) The true execution of Aiki requires an enormous amount of solo training to condition the body (Tanren). It is not easy to attain.
You won’t be able to manifest Aiki unless you continue tanren of the body everyday for decades. You must train the body, ponder and have the techniques “seep out” from the body itself. Even if you train everyday all the while changing yourself, it will take at least 20 years. Ten years or so isn’t nearly enough time.
Your body has to truly be ready; otherwise no matter what you do you won’t be able to do “Aiki.”

Ukemi
"The reason practitioners from some styles are weak and no good is because they do not train (Tanren) their bodies. Only amateurs think that techniques are enough and that training the body is unnecessary. They understand nothing.
In reality unless you train the body you will not be able to do technique. If Uke simply throws himself into the air, neither side will understand anything. ...... Frankly, the thought of “If you take Ukemi a lot you will begin to understand.” is ridiculous.
The job of Ukemi is completely different from Tori. If you want to become good at Tori you must practice in that direction. No matter how good you become at taking falls, it won’t make your skills at taking someone down become better."


I am enjoying reading a book hitherto unknown to me. It is facinating to "hear" so much across almost a hundred years of training history -addressing many of the issues that some folks here think are "new" and "strange" concepts being talked about from the very foundation of their own art.
The job of Tori is true Ukemi... to remain standing.
Cheers
Dan

George S. Ledyard
03-27-2007, 12:45 AM
I am enjoying reading a book hitherto unknown to me. It is facinating to "hear" so much across almost a hundred years of training history -addressing many of the issues that some folks here think are "new" and "strange" concepts being talked about from the very foundation of their own art.

Cheers
Dan
Hi Dan,
What's the book? I scanned the posts to see if you had mentioned it and I had missed it but i didn't see it.
- George

Thomas Campbell
03-27-2007, 12:54 AM
Probably "Tomei na Chikara - Fuseishutsu no Bujutsu-ka, Sagawa Yukiyoshi" (Transparent Power - The Extraordinary Martial Artist, Sagawa Yukiyoshi). I think Rob John was working on a translation of it.

DH
03-27-2007, 12:56 AM
Yup! Tom Nailed it.
"Clear Power" by Sagawa Yukioshi.
Sagawa was a student of Takeda- probably the greatest Aiki man of the last century after Takeda. It's reported that he paid Ueshiba a visit when Ueshiba was 68 and supposedly enlightened and was most certainly powerful. Sagawa stopped him dead in his tracks. That doesn't mean Ueshiba didn't have substantial skills. Sagawa was simply better at them.
When Sagawa was in his seventies he threw Olympic gold medal Judoka's around.And in his eighties go dan AIkidoka.
Not bad for an old gent.

Chris Li
03-27-2007, 01:09 AM
Yup! Tom Nailed it.
"Clear Power" by Sagawa Yukioshi.
Sagawa was a student of Takeda- probably the greatest Aiki man of the last century after Takeda. It's reported that he paid Ueshiba a visit when Ueshiba was 68 and supposedly enlightened and was most certainly powerful. Sagawa stopped him dead in his tracks. That doesn't mean Ueshiba didn't have substantial skills. Sagawa was simply better at them.

Of course, that's the story according to Sagawa. I'm not saying that it wasn't true, but that kind of anecdotal brag story is very common in Japan - Yukawa used to tell the same kind of story about how he grabbed Sokaku Takeda and stopped him dead. I tend to take most of those stories with a grain of salt.

Best,

Chris

DH
03-27-2007, 01:38 AM
Hi CHris
True enough. But actually most of serious guys in Budo I've met aren't full of it. Many of the most talented were/are all a bit of a character and mildly wierd in a good way. But lying really wasn't a common theme. I've seen more than a few well known and very high ranked guys stopped in their tracks. But they were stopped using these skills.

For me, the point is not so much "who" wins. The point is that the skills are the winner. The fact that Sagawa had the stuff to stop Takeda also supports the fact that he got the stuff -from- Takeda and worked it. Just as Ueshiba and Kodo had. So again I look at all of it as the method or skills are the winner. There are a few stories floating about here and there about men who felt various combinations of the big four; Takeda, Sagawa, Kodo, Ueshiba, and favoured Sagawa as superior over the other students. Is it any wonder if Sagawa new it already and agreed?
Mores the point is that it means if they had it and it was taught then there is hope for every man to try to get them for themselves. It wasn't some single, crazy, genius afterall.

Chris Li
03-27-2007, 02:02 AM
For me, the point is not so much "who" wins. The point is that the skills are the winner. The fact that Sagawa had the stuff to stop Takeda also supports the fact that he got the stuff -from- Takeda and worked it.

Yukawa (Tsutomu), not Sagawa, was the one who told the story about stopping Takeda dead.

In any case, I'll agree that Sagawa seems to have had some hot stuff, and he certainly had some interesting training methods.

Best,

Chris

G DiPierro
03-27-2007, 06:08 AM
Stopping someone is not that big of a deal, and it does not prove that you are better than the other person. Much harder and more noteworthy is to throw someone who is trying to stop you. If you can do this right from first touch it's very convincing proof of superior skill. The more time you need to set it up, the less convincing a demonstration it becomes.

-G DiPierro

DH
03-27-2007, 07:06 AM
Stopping someone is not that big of a deal, and it does not prove that you are better than the other person. Much harder and more noteworthy is to throw someone who is trying to stop you. If you can do this right from first touch it's very convincing proof of superior skill. The more time you need to set it up, the less convincing a demonstration it becomes.

-G DiPierro
Well I don't know if I agree or disagree. It's really about definitions and levels. On one level yes. The one with superior structure can throw and greatly disrupt at a touch. Taking center on contact with any part of the body whether you touch the head or knee or chest.

However, the greater the skill, the harder it is to throw someone with skill. There are limits to everything, So on a certain level I can see two masters of aiki not being able to throw each other. But the superior one perhaps being able to stop the others attempts to move or apply skills.
Mike tells a story of two taiji masters meeting for a bout. With everyone watching they touched hands to grapple and no one moved. Everyone applauded the tie. The lessor men privately went to the other and ackowledged he won, and admitted he knew the other guy had him but was being polite. Why? He had the ability to stop him dead.

On another level being able to stop someone who is trying everything they have at their disposal to throw -you-and stopping them dead is a skill the results in them being "owned." The throw is secondary. Which is more along the path of what Ueshiba saw, and had in mind about his Budo.

Most people haven't met someone with substantial structure and skill and probably don't really know what it means to try and throw someone who has it. Most folks operate on a technical level. Trying to gain some some understanding thru waza. Thats worse than taking the slow boat to China. At least with the boat you know you'll get there sooner or later. There's no guarranty with waza.

G DiPierro
03-27-2007, 09:50 AM
On another level being able to stop someone who is trying everything they have at their disposal to throw -you-and stopping them dead is a skill the results in them being "owned." The throw is secondary. Which is more along the path of what Ueshiba saw, and had in mind about his Budo.

My point was simply that it's easier to stop someone from throwing you than it is to throw the same person. Surely you wouldn't disagree with that. Controlling someone such that you could throw them but without actually throwing them is another matter entirely, and it's too easy for something like that to become a matter of one's imagination being greater than his ability. This affliction is so common in martial arts like aikido that do not do realistic resistance training that I myself prefer to see proof.

Ellis Amdur
03-27-2007, 10:22 AM
Me, I can't imagine who stopped whom. :) I can equally believe that Sagawa did what Dan says he said he did, or Ueshiba simply thought that Sagawa was still the irritating guy that he was as a teenager, when he, Ueshiba, started training. "Hey Mori, hey Mori - c'mon, try your stuff on me, you aint got it, old man, c'mon."
One of my biggest regrets is as follows: a rather prominent guy in "progressive martial arts studies" in Japan (No, I won't say who), as a young man, used to train aikido, before going off and reserrecting some koryu, Chinese martial arts, internal Japanese secrets, etc, and writing books and being prominent. One day, me and my first wife were visiting a school friend of hers and he said that he had joined the dojo of a master, who taught at the Budokan, and given "your husband" does martial arts, wouldn't we like to see him. We heard wonderous stories how be beat a prominent sumo wrestler, and was a sword master, etc. So OK, we went. I was really kind of excited to meet a real master.
Well, we didn't go INTO the Budokan - we went behind it, in the grove of trees, and there was a small group of young Japanese - new-age kids - and up comes Mr. X, with whom I'd used to practice in Aikido, which disappointed me in the "master" sense, 'cause unless he'd done a major upgrade in three years, I didn't think master and X in the same thought. He was dressed in formal kimono and haori with high geta like a samurai, with a sword - outside! In Japan! - that was wrapped in about four layers of suede leather (I guess it was so wrapped up that it was street - legal, but he actually had it in his sash!!!!!!). Anyway, he recognized me and in a very patronizing way, began to tell me how he'd discovered the secrets of martial arts and how he'd gone to Iwama and stopped Saito Morihiro cold in his tracks. Eventually, he grabbed my hand and he put an "aikido" nikkyo on it, and then he said, "feel this. THIS is the difference." He changed the angle slightly -- - - - - - but nothing really happened. I would like to note that he had his back to the Budokan moat, with his calves touching a one-foot high cable. My wrists used to be kinda like cable, too, in those days, and I was just standing there - irritated - "taking ukemi" (Hi Dan) - and my body was going, 'shove him over the cable!' My mind's eye could see him tumbing down-down-down the slope into the scummy moat, his kimono and hakama up around his ears. But my mind was also saying, "S ---- (my then wife) is going to be really pissed off. Really. This is her h.s. friend's teacher and she's called you a beast already over some other escapades." So I simply stood there and said, "Wow, I can really feel the difference! I can hardly move." With a smug little nod, he let go. Still, to this day, I so regret not indulging in that little shove - - - - - down he goes again in my minds eye, down, down, down, splash.
Maybe Sagawa stopped Ueshiba or maybe Ueshiba's wife was watching. ;)
I agree with Dan in this sense - people who've been to WAR tend, often, to be reticent about talking about what they did, what they saw, etc., and few, that I've met, do much bragging. But martial artists? :p Particularly "internal" martial artists? ;) At one point, I was traveling in Taiwan, considering moving there and possibly shifting my field of study from Japanese to Chinese martial arts. Each teacher I met told me how superior their skills were and to prove it, by and large, they all told me that they defeated, dumped, tripped, knocked over, Wang Shu Chin, or that his technique was crude and he was too fat. I ended up figuring that the guy that everybody wanted me to know that they could beat was probably the real tough guy. :rolleyes:

raul rodrigo
03-27-2007, 10:35 AM
At one point, I was traveling in Taiwan, considering moving there and possibly shifting my field of study from Japanese to Chinese martial arts. Each teacher I met told me how superior their skills were and to prove it, by and large, they all told me that they defeated, dumped, tripped, knocked over, Wang Shu Chin, or that his technique was crude and he was too fat. I ended up figuring that the guy that everybody wanted me to know that they could beat was probably the real tough guy. :rolleyes:

Didn't Kazuo Chiba also claim to have broken Wang Shu Jin's wrist?

R

Ellis Amdur
03-27-2007, 10:57 AM
There were five witnesses. I've spoken to three of them. He didn't.
Best

Chuck Clark
03-27-2007, 10:59 AM
Ellis, another gem of a post! Thanks so much. I look forward to this sort of stuff on budo discussion sites. It's worth wading through lots of other posts to find these gems. Nothing beats original authority.

mjhacker
03-27-2007, 11:31 AM
敵は本能寺にあり!

The enemy awaits at Honnōji!

The perceived target is not always the actual target. In "stopping" someone from doing a particular technique, one may actually have just walked into a planned ambush. In general, I find stopping someone's technique to be neither an accurate measure of skill nor terribly intelligent from a strategic point of view. Changing it, on the other hand...

As an aside, I've yet to meet someone who can "stop" a technique from happening while they're still trying to stand up after meeting Mr. Kuzushi.

Erik Johnstone
03-27-2007, 11:51 AM
Probably "Tomei na Chikara - Fuseishutsu no Bujutsu-ka, Sagawa Yukiyoshi" (Transparent Power - The Extraordinary Martial Artist, Sagawa Yukiyoshi). I think Rob John was working on a translation of it.

Sorry for the thread drift..

Dan, is the copy you are reading the one currently available in Japanese, or has an English translation come out?

Thanks!

Chris Li
03-27-2007, 01:14 PM
Me, I can't imagine who stopped whom. :) I can equally believe that Sagawa did what Dan says he said he did, or Ueshiba simply thought that Sagawa was still the irritating guy that he was as a teenager, when he, Ueshiba, started training. "Hey Mori, hey Mori - c'mon, try your stuff on me, you aint got it, old man, c'mon."

According to "Tomei na Chikara", Sagawa had to pester Ueshiba quite a bit and ended up just grabbing his wrists. Anyway, Ueshiba laughed and invited him to Aikikai hombu to teach. Sagawa agreed initially, but changed his mind later on.

Best,

Chris

Thomas Campbell
03-27-2007, 03:18 PM
[snip]
Mike tells a story of two taiji masters meeting for a bout. With everyone watching they touched hands to grapple and no one moved. Everyone applauded the tie. The lessor men privately went to the other and ackowledged he won, and admitted he knew the other guy had him but was being polite. Why? He had the ability to stop him dead.

[snip]

Chen Fake was the pre-eminent Chen style taijiquan master of the twentieth century, and certainly among the top taijiquan practitioners of all styles. Hong Junsheng, a long-time disciple of Chen, related the following story:

"Mr. Shen San was the number one wrestler in China. One day Master Chen met him at a martial arts competition. Upon meeting, the two aged martial artists exchanged greetings of mutual respect while shaking hands. Shen then said, "I have heard that Taijiquan is famous for being soft. In the ring, competition is conducted through drawing lots. What will a Taijiquan practitioner do if he is to face a wrestler?" Master Chen answered, "I think there should be a way for a Taijiquan practitioner to compete against a wrestler. I am not experienced in this, but I know that when two parties fight, it is not customary to first ask in what style the other party is proficient." The respectable Shen then proposed that to answer the question he and Master Chen compare fighting techniques. Master Chen said, "I don't know how to wrestle but I enjoy watching wrestling as an art form. I know that wrestlers always grab the opponent's sleeve before applying any techniques." As he was saying this, he extended both forearms, which Master Shen then grabbed. At the time some students and I were watching them and were quite excited at the prospect of having the rare chance to witness two great masters compete. But, unfortunately, someone came to deliver a message to the two masters regarding a business meeting. They left right away, hand in hand, laughing. Two days later, Shen came with a gift when we were practicing in Master Chen's house. I invited him in. The respectable Shen said to Master Chen, "Thank you for not humiliating me that day." My master answered, "Not at all! Vice versa." When I heard their conversation, I thought that they had engaged in another match and felt unfortunate for losing the chance to see them compete after all. Seeing me absorbed in thoughts, the respectable Shen asked, "Didn't Master Chen tell you what happened the other day?" I replied that he had not. The respectable Shen was apparently moved. "Your master is the best. Especially his morals. You must learn from him! Experts can tell the level of kungfu by one single touch. When I grabbed your master's hands, I knew that his skill was far superior to mine because I couldn't apply any strength to him." After respectable Shen spoke with my master for a while and left, a student said to my master, "Since that's the case, why didn't you throw him out [toss him to the ground during the public encounter two days earlier]?" "Throw him out? Why throw him out?" The student didn't dare to answer because he saw the master was so upset. "Now you tell me, do you want to be thrown around in front of so many people?" The student answered "Of course not." "Oh, you don't like it either? How can you apply something to others if you don't want it applied to yourself? You shouldn't even have thought of such a silly idea!" Then he turned to everyone who was present and said, "It is very difficult for a person to become famous like Master Shen. So we should bear other people's reputation in mind at all times when we do something." In hindsight, I thought that it was extremely noble of Master Shen, the number one national wrestler, to admit in front of so many young people that he met a formidable opponent. It is little wonder that since then the two of them have been close friends. They were, in all respects, equally great masters. At the time, Master Chen also told us that through that one touch he had sensed that Master Shen was extremely fast and, if they were to fight, it would have been difficult to predict the result. It is obvious that they two respected one another. They are both our models to learn from and to keep in memory."

https://www.epsb.net/~jchen/chen_fake.htm

DH
03-27-2007, 05:22 PM
Personally, I truly don't care who beat whom. I'd be just as content were it the other way round. Who beat who was really not even close to the point. I mentioned it for a reason beyond all that.

As for the worth of stopping technique? I think we'd first have to agree what it really means and who uses what terminology for what. It's easy to dissipate meaning based on a common point of refference. It's self reinforcing and the way its always been.
No matter.

mjhacker
03-27-2007, 05:40 PM
As for the worth of stopping technique? I think we'd first have to agree what it really means and who uses what terminology for what.
Amen.