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SamuraiJim
03-02-2007, 06:19 PM
Hi All

I'm training in a style called Aikido Yuishinkai and was watching a training DVD purchased through my club. In a number of techniques it appeared to me that there was not actual contact between nage and uke.

It appeared to me that uke would rush in to attack and then simply take a fall in the direction motioned by nage. I can appreciate that an aggressor would be relucant to run into a block or strike but it seemed to my untrained eye that even if they did there would be little negative effect.

I'm very new to Aikido and understand that I have a great deal to learn. But I was wondering what makes these techniques effective and if they would really work in a real life situation when forced to defend yourself.

Your insight is greatly appreciated.

Cheers
SamuraiJim

gdandscompserv
03-02-2007, 07:15 PM
Not to familiar with the style but this video:
http://www.aikidoyuishinkai.com/SeminarSample.wmv
and this one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LbFfzRFw1I
looks like pretty normal "touch" aikido to me.

SeiserL
03-02-2007, 08:33 PM
IMHO, most throws without physical contact are (1) total fakes due to an overly compliant uke, or (2) well timed movement by tori/nage that make uke lose balance.

SamuraiJim
03-04-2007, 12:25 AM
Thanks Ricky and Thanks Lynn. I value your input.

I've not heard of "touch" Aikido before - I'm guessing it's a technique that only requires the most minimal of contact to unbalance your opponent.

The techniques I'm trying to describe aren't really throws there more like movements which cause the aggressor to move defensively into a position which is off balance and hence causes them to fall.

I really wish I could show you what I mean. Wouldn't it be consider ill-mannered to ask my Sensei about the process and principles behind these moves?

Cheers
SamuraiJim

SeiserL
03-04-2007, 08:52 AM
Wouldn't it be consider ill-mannered to ask my Sensei about the process and principles behind these moves?
IMHO, it is never ill-mannered to ask sincere questions, in a respectful way, at an appropirate time.

Lyle Bogin
03-04-2007, 10:57 AM
When I am thinking a lot about aikido I look for examples in my daily adventures, and I think I've seen some no touch throws.

Usually they occur when people get freaked out and freeze up suddenly, or when they are suddenly shocked by something loud or large or fast. Next thing you know they trip or just go splat.

Once I was walking along 42nd street at 8th avenue in manhattan and I saw a guy, maybe in his late 50s, get startled by a bus honking and start to go down right in front of a construction site (the bus never touched him, it just yelled and suddenly appeared). To my amazement he did a smooth shoulder roll out of it, diving over a small pile of 2X4s.

Anyway, if you can create a large enough presence, or if you can vanish, I think you can toss somebody without getting physical.

CitoMaramba
03-04-2007, 11:18 AM
IMHO, most throws without physical contact are (1) total fakes due to an overly compliant uke, or (2) well timed movement by tori/nage that make uke lose balance.

I once was on the receiving end of (2). Sensei had me rush at him and grab the lapels of his keiko-gi as hard as I could. Twice, I did this to him. On the third try, suddenly he wasn't there... I was completely off balance, so to avoid planting myself face first on the mat I used my momentum to go into a jumping forward roll that carried me to the far corner of the mat. My dojo-mates said it was the farthest I had ever been "thrown".

mriehle
03-05-2007, 05:12 PM
IMHO, most throws without physical contact are (1) total fakes due to an overly compliant uke, or (2) well timed movement by tori/nage that make uke lose balance.

I would further add that it isn't always easy to tell the difference and if you can do (2) with some people you shouldn't assume you can do it with others.

The key here is the "well-timed" bit. Thing is, I can time perfectly my movements with certain people that I know well. People I don't know so well, sometimes yes, sometimes no. This isn't a case of the people I know being compliant either. It works best, in fact, when they try to screw me up (which I am above enjoing, of course. :D ).

Mostly, though, (2) happens by accident, IME.

SamuraiJim
03-05-2007, 08:51 PM
Thanks Lynn, Lyle, Cito and Michael

I'm starting to think it must be a well timed counter from nage which forces uke into a position which is unbalanced. It just looks really odd to see an attack neutralized without contact.

I hope to ask my Sensei about it at this evenings training. I'll keep you posted on what I learn.

Thanks again everyone.

Cheers
SamuraiJim

Cady Goldfield
03-06-2007, 02:58 PM
In one of the many archival films of M. Ueshiba that are posted on YouTube, part of the footage shows him walking toward a student (seated on the dojo sidelines during a demo), who just falls over backwards, his hand raised over his head as though to ward off an impending blow. Ueshiba kind of shrugs, grins and walks away.

:D

Tharis
03-06-2007, 09:23 PM
In my experience, it's like a lead. As you attack, at some point you commit to a particular point on nage's person, often his wrist. Nage, realizing you've zeroed in on this point, moves the target ever so subtly in such a fashion as to lead you off balance. By the time you reach him, you're already halfway into a roll and you follow through because stopping would be harder and would put you in a very vulnerable position vis a vis nage.

At least, such has been my experience.

Does that help?

Thomas Campbell
03-07-2007, 06:12 PM
Ueshiba had nothing on Benny Hinn.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ok4Hv0LQiIA

darin
03-07-2007, 08:58 PM
Benny Hill?

batemanb
03-08-2007, 05:56 AM
I would further add that it isn't always easy to tell the difference and if you can do (2) with some people you shouldn't assume you can do it with others.

Good point

The key here is the "well-timed" bit. Thing is, I can time perfectly my movements with certain people that I know well. People I don't know so well, sometimes yes, sometimes no. This isn't a case of the people I know being compliant either. It works best, in fact, when they try to screw me up (which I am above enjoing, of course. :D ).

I'm with you here too :).

Mostly, though, (2) happens by accident, IME.

Depends on whether I was training for it and trying to do it, or trying to do something else ;)

mriehle
03-08-2007, 01:26 PM
Depends on whether I was training for it and trying to do it, or trying to do something else ;)

Well, I did say "mostly". It is kind of amazing how much more often such "accidents" happen when we practice this stuff.

The comments here about leading are apropos as well. People who I've successfully done this to describe the feeling as having their conscious mind shut down and their hands just follow me wherever I lead. One person told me they had just gone blank and then were picking themselves up off the mat.

This, actually, is one of the reasons why I'm skeptical of some of the no-touch throw videos I see. If that description is accurate, it means things are happening on a subconscious level. That's not going to keep happening for an indefinite period of time, sooner or later the conscious mind will assert itself. Too many of the videos seem to either have no apparent leading in them (and, yes, sometimes it is difficult to tell unless you are the one experiencing the throw, still....) or the "pin" goes on long after any sane person's conscious mind would have reasserted itself.

I've heard the assertion that deja vu is caused by neurons firing out of sync and causing your consciousness to fall behind your perceptions. I suspect that real no-touch throws work on a similar principle. If this is true, then you should be able to train yourself to counter them in the same manner that you train yourself to counter any other throw.

Tom Fish
03-08-2007, 04:42 PM
I think there is a legitimate use of falling, when avoiding atemi to the face for instance, or a sudden drop from nage where uke must fall to avoid tripping etc. I don't think of these instances in the same "no touch" category as people falling all over the mat from a wave of the hand. I have had instances where the only place I could move was occupied by nage and falling was the only place to go. I have been so unbalanced by nage that it took so little effort to throw me that it looked like I threw my self. This seems to be what you are talking about and you should definitely ask your instructor about it. Good luck with your training.
Tom

Mike Galante
03-09-2007, 12:27 PM
What are you guys talking about? Why is "touch" Aikido different from no touch Aikido? When you are grabbed, punched, are you not leading his KI/Mind?
How much harder is it to do a technique from static than from a dynamic attack? Right?
So the dynamic attack is responded to by not allowing Uke to grab completely. So he is trying to grab completely, as his mind told his arm and hand to do. Only you are leading the "donkey" with the carrot. Just outside his power. If the donkey can follow a no touch stimulus, then how much better can a human being.

All you need to have is Uke's commitment in attack.

Boxers, and other athletes, and MAists, use fakes all the time, consider the jab in boxing. Does his opponents head not snap back in anticipation? Atemi, with commitment, is similar. That is no touch, is it not?

So it is a matter of leading ukes mind. Don't break the connection, the energy, the flow. Koku Breathe Uke in breathe uke out.

Simple. Right? Yeah right.

We keep on training, we keep on training ...... Perfection?
Completion? Attainment? All are obstacles.

Never stop training.

All the Best

Kevin Leavitt
03-09-2007, 12:50 PM
Tom,

I NEVER Fall, NEVER. I simply choose a different place and position to occupy in which to align myself with Uke for my next action.

I am also never LOST, i am only temporarily, geographically challenged.

:)

It is all in how you view it that makes all the difference!

Tom Fish
03-09-2007, 01:47 PM
Hi Kevin,
I have been lucky enough to have the choice removed. The fall was all that was given. That being said, I practice falling for Judo and Aikido even though some people disagree with this practice. It does help with conditioning, warm up, and stretching out. I even enjoy it. I do work on my other skills as well. As far as being lost, I'm continuously lost and I hope to always keep searching. Keep on posting man, perhaps I'll find my way.
Best Regards
Tom

SamuraiJim
03-10-2007, 06:01 PM
Wow! Thanks everyone for your input. It's great to see the diverse opinions people have. I guess this is why there are so many different styles of Aikido.

I put this question to two of the senior students at our dojo (our regular Sensei was away). Both were very adamant that the cause of uke's fall/tumble/throw was due to Ki extension from nage.

From what I've learned so far about "Yuishinkai" Aikido is that the idea of Ki and Ki extension are central in all it's techniques and principles. This is something I'm still unsure of - I guess in part because I'm still only a novice and it tends to be human nature to doubt what can't be rationally explained or backed up by hard scienctific fact. I'm determined to keep an open mind about this and be open to the teachings and experiences associated with learn this form of Aikido.

It looks like there isn't any clear answer here and it's up to the individual to form their own view.

Once again - a big thanks to everyone offering their insight, please keep your comments coming.

Cheers
SamuraiJim

Kevin Leavitt
03-11-2007, 05:04 AM
Tom, I was just making light of it, as you know.

No problem practicing falling, of taking ukemi, rolling etc. It is important to know how to do these things correctly.

These days, I don't like to do it as much anymore cause it hurts like hell and takes me days to recover.

Kevin Leavitt
03-11-2007, 05:09 AM
James wrote:

I put this question to two of the senior students at our dojo (our regular Sensei was away). Both were very adamant that the cause of uke's fall/tumble/throw was due to Ki extension from nage.


Yes many ways to look at and interpret.

Sometimes uke can fall through no action of nage at all. Uke can over commit his balance, center (Ki if you want to use this term), and fall with no assistance what-so-ever.

However, in the vision of what your sensei is looking at things...

Yes, I could see how philosophically that nage/uke would be in relation to their KI and that uke's response would be predicated by nage's actions (KI) and react in a way to recover balance/center/posture...that is fall.

I don't think this is the only reason we fall though. Some uke's really need no help at all!

xuzen
03-11-2007, 09:39 AM
...<snip>...It appeared to me that uke would rush in to attack and then simply take a fall in the direction motioned by nage. I can appreciate that an aggressor would be relucant to run into a block or strike but it seemed to my untrained eye that even if they did there would be little negative effect.

I'm very new to Aikido and understand that I have a great deal to learn. But I was wondering what makes these techniques effective and if they would really work in a real life situation when forced to defend yourself.

Your insight is greatly appreciated.

Cheers
SamuraiJim

Granted, such training is representative of a scenarion where the aggressor is so piss of with you; that he is so enraged and he wants to take your head off. It is such scenarios that aikido works best. In situation where such outcome is not possible, you can either WALK-AWAY (TM) or make him/her come charging at you by employing some psychological tricks.

Boon,

gregstec
03-11-2007, 12:44 PM
From what I've learned so far about "Yuishinkai" Aikido is that the idea of Ki and Ki extension are central in all it's techniques and principles. This is something I'm still unsure of - I guess in part because I'm still only a novice and it tends to be human nature to doubt what can't be rationally explained or backed up by hard scienctific fact. I'm determined to keep an open mind about this and be open to the teachings and experiences associated with learn this form of Aikido.
Cheers
SamuraiJim

Hi Jim,

As you may be aware, the founder of your style of Aikido is Koretoshi Maruyama. Back in the early days of the Ki Society, he was an 8th Dan under Tohei and was Ki Society's chief instructor. In the eighties he left the Ki Society to spend about ten years studying in Temple, and when he came out, he started up Yuishinkai.

As a student of Tohei, a focus on Ki is very prevalent in his teaching. He also believes the mind moves the body and has heavy emphases on positive Mind. For more insight into his teaching, try to find a copy of his book called Aikido with Ki; or any of Tohei's books as well. I have had the opportunity to train with him on many occasions back in the seventies when he would travel to teach at the many Ki Society dojos in the Pacific (I was in Guam at the time) Anyway, he really can perform the no touch throw as explained by Lynn's no. 2 example.

Regards
Greg

mriehle
03-12-2007, 10:22 AM
Why is "touch" Aikido different from no touch Aikido?

This is a good point. It speaks, ironically, to why it's useful to practice "no-touch" throws.

Realistically, you're not likely to use no-touch throws against a real, committed attack. But you are likely to need to lead the attacker and be sensitive to his energy, his ki, really. One value of practicing no-touch throws is that they really don't work without that sensitivity and an honest uke will make the failure obvious to you in a dramatic way.

A "nice" uke will simply stop moving if you do it wrong. A less polite uke will likely knock you down. Either way you get it that the lead was wrong and you can't cheat when you can't just drag 'em along with superior strength.

There's no muscling through the throw in such a case.

Beard of Chuck Norris
03-12-2007, 12:20 PM
I'm a yuishinkai student.
never had the chance to train with Maruyama Sensei but i know some who have and he is very very good.

I have experienced "no-touch" throws also. Whilst this terminology is correct in the physical sense there tends to be an extreme rush of self preservation when i see fists coming to my face when i am in an off balanced position and so i think tis better to breakfall than to get one in the kisser. did they lead my mind? probably, it's not that hard to lead me astray.

BTW Maruyama sensei is 9th dan as is the Australian head of Yuishinkai, you should look him up; Mike Williams Sensei.

peace and love

jo

SamuraiJim
03-12-2007, 05:04 PM
Thanks Jo

It's great to hear from another Yuishinkai student. Maruyama Sensei is scheduled to conduct a training retreat here in Brisbane in October. I'm hoping to attend because I believe it's a incredible experience and an opportunity to good to miss.

It's funny that you should mention Sensei Williams because he's Nage in the DVD I've been watching and also because he has only recently visited our dojo. I was able to attend two of his classes and they were fantastic. He's a great instructor - very approachable, very centred, very fluid. I can see why he's 9th Dan.

Cheers
SamuraiJim

SamuraiJim
03-12-2007, 05:13 PM
Once again "thank you" for all off your input. It's very encouraging to read all the comments posted here. I'm certainly glad I asked the question.

Greg - thanks for bringing "Aikido with Ki" to my attention. I'm going to have a hunt around and see if I can't locate a copy. Any insight into the development and use of Ki will no doubt be invaluable.

Cheers All

SamuraiJim

Mike Galante
03-12-2007, 11:06 PM
This is a good point. It speaks, ironically, to why it's useful to practice "no-touch" throws.

Realistically, you're not likely to use no-touch throws against a real, committed attack. But you are likely to need to lead the attacker and be sensitive to his energy, his ki, really. One value of practicing no-touch throws is that they really don't work without that sensitivity.

I appreciate your post, but I must respectfully disagree with your opinion of realistic attacks. It seems to me, that a real attack comes quickly and, I dare say, with much more commitment than in practice. In this case, realistically, you need less physical effort, more Ki awareness, and the non contact throws in question will undoubtedly be more effective, if performed correctly, as you pointed out.
Also your point of "no touch throws really don't work without that sensitivity", I would add:

NO Aikido works without that sensitivity, whether touching or not.

One might say you can muscle through it, but, to me that is not Aikido as you probably agree.

Breathe Uke in Breathe Uke out.

Thanks for your comments.

mriehle
03-13-2007, 01:21 PM
I appreciate your post, but I must respectfully disagree with your opinion of realistic attacks. It seems to me, that a real attack comes quickly and, I dare say, with much more commitment than in practice.

Well, actually, it may be more a case of my being unclear than any actual disagreement.

It's true that if you get the timing exactly right a "real world" attack is more likely to be vulnerable to the energy in a no-touch throw. It's also true, however, that you're less likely to get the timing exactly right. So, although the energy will be the same, it won't be a no-touch throw. Although, it must be said, this is no more an absolute than saying that it will be. It might be, but don't count on it.

The point I was making is that training this way teaches you to rely on the energy rather than the muscle. You can muscle it through in practice with some of your practice partners, but don't count on that working with the gorilla in the bar who thinks you were hitting on his girlfriend (but, of course, you weren't, were you? ;) ).

And, yep, without the right energy, it isn't Aikido, it's just really bad jujitsu.

Mike Galante
03-22-2007, 04:49 PM
I agree, Michael, I probably should have said, no touch, and almost no touch throws. Which bridges the gap, and then starts to make more sense. Well then a little more touch, etc, and you can see the point.
Regarding your comment of having the timing just right, don't you think the timing has to be just right in all Aikido movements ?

I've got to share this story with you:

When I was in 3rd grade catholic school, a kind of clumsy boy was angry at me and ran at me from across the playground. I knew he was going to try to really hurt me. At that point, I had a little time to think. I knew his superior size was a problem, and he was coming at me almost full speed. So, being the clever kid I was, I stood my ground, and at the last second, I raised my right hand, quietly, and stiffened my outstretched fist and arm which he promptly ran into with his nose.
That was my first almost no touch throw!
Needless to say he ran away with a bloody nose screaming that I had hit him. This made me instanly insulted, because it was not me who attacked him! I confidently told the truth in saying that I did not hit him at all, that he had run into my fist!

mriehle
03-23-2007, 11:16 AM
Regarding your comment of having the timing just right, don't you think the timing has to be just right in all Aikido movements ?

Well, in the strictest sense, yes. But I keep firmly in mind that no technique goes as planned. Timing might go wonky and when someone is attacking you is not the time to stop and say, "Wait! My timing was a little off. Can we do that again?". Better be able to go someplace else Right Now.

But, in practice we should always be trying to work on perfect timing. That, IMO, is another value of practicing no-touch throws. Since they are all about timing, well, they develop timing necessarily. If you have honest ukes, the timing mistakes are instantly apparent.

Actually, I've found that the timing mistakes are often apparent even with less honest ukes even when they fall down if you're honest with yourself.

I've got to share this story with you:

Good story.

Mike Galante
03-23-2007, 11:26 AM
The point I was making is that training this way teaches you to rely on the energy rather than the muscle. You can muscle it through in practice with some of your practice partners, but don't count on that working with the gorilla in the bar who thinks you were hitting on his girlfriend (but, of course, you weren't, were you? ;) ).
And, yep, without the right energy, it isn't Aikido, it's just really bad jujitsu.

Nicely put, Michael, so with the same ki, energy, feeling, that is the bottom line, touch or no touch, it's all the same.

Mark Uttech
03-31-2007, 10:04 AM
A 'no-touch' throw is something to experience, whether as nage or uke. In my own experience, it is a 'fluke'; but it happens.

In gassho,

Mark

mjhacker
03-31-2007, 12:03 PM
A "nice" uke will simply stop moving if you do it wrong. A less polite uke will likely knock you down.
I guess "polite" is in the eye of the beholder.

mriehle
04-01-2007, 10:48 PM
I guess "polite" is in the eye of the beholder.

It may not have been obvious that there was some irony on the word "polite". But it's also context dependent. I often use the word "polite" in training to mean not challenging someone beyond what will help them to learn.

I can see, however, how not challenging someone could be seen as impolite as well.

When I'm doing these exercises and get them wrong I appreciate people attempting the reversal if its available. But I'd be annoyed if they did that with someone who was just beginning to try them. Like anything else, you need to start with "going through the motions" and adding additional challenges as you gain skill.

Beard of Chuck Norris
04-12-2007, 09:24 AM
Thanks Jo

It's great to hear from another Yuishinkai student. Maruyama Sensei is scheduled to conduct a training retreat here in Brisbane in October. I'm hoping to attend because I believe it's a incredible experience and an opportunity to good to miss.

It's funny that you should mention Sensei Williams because he's Nage in the DVD I've been watching and also because he has only recently visited our dojo. I was able to attend two of his classes and they were fantastic. He's a great instructor - very approachable, very centred, very fluid. I can see why he's 9th Dan.

Cheers
SamuraiJim

You are very welcome!
..and very lucky to have access to such high quality instruction!

sorry for the delay in my response, i get lost in these forums so easily!

peace and love

jo