PDA

View Full Version : Koryu no kata info


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


L. Camejo
11-22-2001, 09:00 AM
Hi all,

This one is for the Shodokan guys out there and anyone else who may be in the know.

Does anyone know where I can get detailed internet links, videos or even personal information regarding the particular techniques, attacks and the order of techniques for any of the Koryu no Katas?

I already have an idea of the Koryu Dai San, from my experience with the Koryu Go shin no Kata, but I was curious about the others.

I've never seen these katas demonstrated and was wondering what they entailed, since some of the techniques in the katas are not what I usually use in daily Shodokan practice.

Anyone with info? This is really important for me to understand and practice the entire spectrum of our style of Aikido, at least until I can make a trip to Britain or Japan and see for myself:)

Hope someone can help.

Domo Arigato Gozaimashita
L.C.:ai::ki:

deepsoup
11-22-2001, 05:52 PM
Originally posted by L. Camejo
Does anyone know where I can get detailed internet links, videos or even personal information regarding the particular techniques, attacks and the order of techniques for any of the Koryu no Katas?

I already have an idea of the Koryu Dai San, from my experience with the Koryu Go shin no Kata, but I was curious about the others.

I've never seen these katas demonstrated and was wondering what they entailed, since some of the techniques in the katas are not what I usually use in daily Shodokan practice.

L.C.:ai::ki:

Hi Larry,

As you know the Koryu Dai San is actually the same kata as the Goshin no Kata, did you also know that the Koryu Dai Yon is another name for the Nage no Kata?

I'm told that the 'other' Koryu katas (1,2,5 and 6) are very rarely, if ever, taught at honbu dojo these days, but that all of the principles in these katas are covered elsewhere in the Shodokan syllabus.
(Hopefully Peter will be along soon to post a better informed reply than mine. :))

The techniques of all the Koryu katas are listed in order on the JAA-USA website (http://www.tomiki.org/katamain.html) but without already being familiar with the katas I dont think thats really any help.

Probably the foremost authority on the Koryu's in the UK is Dr Ah Loi Lee, who has a couple of books and a couple of video's published covering the subject. I cant comment on them, though, I'm afraid, never having read/watched them.

As far as I know, the Koryu katas are also practiced in the USA by the Fugakukai and the Jiyushinkai, so maybe there is a book or a video available from those guys.

Best of luck.
Sean
x

PeterR
11-22-2001, 06:47 PM
Well actually Sean - it was as good a reply as any.

A couple of additional points along with one correction.

Nage no Kata are only the first 14 of the Koryu Dai Yon - there are another 11 after those which are not considered part of the Dai Yon.

I have heard through a convoluted path (ie. don't take as gospel) that the Dai-Ichi and Dai-Ni were first attempts and the Dai-San the culmination. Dai-go and Dai-rokku were designed for those that don't (can not practice randori). Dai-yon teaches fluidity of movement. I never really asked Nariyama or any of the old guys whether this is true of not. On occaision each of these kata sets are taught at Honbu but generally as Sean points out the material is covered elsewhere.

Remember each of the kihon randori no kata has a series of variations based on altered attacks, there are also a number of techniques taught as part of the kyu grade syllabus, oya (advanced/application) no kata, and a whole slew of individual techniques.

The whole range of kata series are there for those who want to learn them - you can always find someone to help you with them.

Originally posted by deepsoup


Hi Larry,

As you know the Koryu Dai San is actually the same kata as the Goshin no Kata, did you also know that the Koryu Dai Yon is another name for the Nage no Kata?

I'm told that the 'other' Koryu katas (1,2,5 and 6) are very rarely, if ever, taught at honbu dojo these days, but that all of the principles in these katas are covered elsewhere in the Shodokan syllabus.
(Hopefully Peter will be along soon to post a better informed reply than mine. :))

The techniques of all the Koryu katas are listed in order on the JAA-USA website (http://www.tomiki.org/katamain.html) but without already being familiar with the katas I dont think thats really any help.

Probably the foremost authority on the Koryu's in the UK is Dr Ah Loi Lee, who has a couple of books and a couple of video's published covering the subject. I cant comment on them, though, I'm afraid, never having read/watched them.

As far as I know, the Koryu katas are also practiced in the USA by the Fugakukai and the Jiyushinkai, so maybe there is a book or a video available from those guys.

Best of luck.
Sean
x

Dennis Good
11-23-2001, 10:47 AM
Hi all.
The best source I've found for the Koryu no Kata outside of my instructor is a book called "Tomiki Aikido" by Lee Ah Loi. Its a small blue book and can be found on Amazon.com. It contains Nage No Kata as well as all six Koryu no Katas. It is a good book if you already have an understanding of the techniques, however trying to learn the techniques directly from the book can be problematic without someone to explain the fine points. Be forewarned, it does have some errors in it such as saying nage to step with the left foot, but the photo showing nage stepping with the right etc. But the order is correct and it has all the techniques.

Good Luck

Abasan
11-23-2001, 02:55 PM
Lee Ah Loi Sensei (7th dan) also has video tapes. Her second tape would show 6 katas I think. In UK its distributed by Beckmann home video - meadow court, west st, ramsey, isle of man, british isles. Tel 0624 816585 and fax 0624 816589.

Personally I didn't think much of her 1st video but the second one is much more interesting. But you probably would have to know the individual moves first as they don't really teach you the fine points (and besides, aikido is learned on the mat not via books and videos). The video would help in showing you the sequence though.

deepsoup
11-23-2001, 05:35 PM
Originally posted by PeterR
Nage no Kata are only the first 14 of the Koryu Dai Yon - there are another 11 after those which are not considered part of the Dai Yon.

I'm a little confused. :rolleyes:
Do you mean that the last 11 are not considered part of Nage no Kata.
(ie: Nage no Kata + Ouyowaza = Koryu Dai Yon) ?

The whole range of kata series are there for those who want to learn them - you can always find someone to help you with them.


Very true, but for some of us that help is on our doorstep, while for others its an ocean away. Its much easier for me to find help with learning a technique than it would be if I were, for example, the most experienced aikidoka currently residing on a small(ish) Caribbean island! :)

Sean
x

PeterR
11-23-2001, 05:40 PM
Originally posted by deepsoup

I'm a little confused. :rolleyes:
Do you mean that the last 11 are not considered part of Nage no Kata.
(ie: Nage no Kata + Ouyowaza = Koryu Dai Yon) ?


I mean that Nage no Kata are the first 14 techniques of Koryu Dai Yon. Koryu-Dai-Yon contain the 14 techniques of the Nage no Kata plus 11 more. Those 11 are not the Oya no kata.

I know. I was just pointing out that they kata series are not lost but the Shodokan syllabus skirts around them. The themes are covered in other ways.

deepsoup
11-23-2001, 06:37 PM
Originally posted by PeterR
I mean that Nage no Kata are the first 14 techniques of Koryu Dai Yon. Koryu-Dai-Yon contain the 14 techniques of the Nage no Kata plus 11 more. Those 11 are not the Oya no kata.

I know. I was just pointing out that they kata series are not lost but the Shodokan syllabus skirts around them. The themes are covered in other ways.

Ok, I'm with you now.
(And point taken.)
Thanks

Sean
x

L. Camejo
11-25-2001, 07:04 AM
Thanks a lot for the help guys,

Peter: Informative and wise as usual :).

Sean: I see that you understand my position. Being the instructor at the only (I think) Shodokan Aikido Dojo in the Caribbean is not easy, you feel as if the Aikido world is passing you by sometimes :). I am in a constant search for Shodokan information wherever I can find it. This website is actually my only source of Aikido information from actual Aikidoka, other than my Sensei who lives in London now. I hope to visit the UK next year to do some training. You never know, I may be in your area.

Abasan, Dgood: Thanks a lot for the info. I'll check out the books and tapes by Dr. Loi. I just bought Total Aikido by Shioda on Amazon, just started to read it.

As far as learning from books and videos I agree with you totally. However, I think as long as one is infused with a sound grounding in the basic principles of the art, one will be able to identify mistakes and distill what they have read and seen through the insight of what they have been taught by an official instructor. This has been my particular way of evolving my Aikido practice, given my geographical situation. Over the past 7 years I've become pretty good at extracting sense from nonsense, especially regarding Aikido. Thanks very much for your help with the books and videos.

To all: Domo Arigato Gozaimashita

If anyone else has more info please keep it coming.

L.C.:ai::ki:

deepsoup
11-25-2001, 12:07 PM
Originally posted by L. Camejo
This website is actually my only source of Aikido information from actual Aikidoka, other than my Sensei who lives in London now. I hope to visit the UK next year to do some training. You never know, I may be in your area.

Hi Larry,

Have you heard of the Tomiki-L mailing list? There is a fair bit there that may interest you. I just recently discovered that all the posts are archived at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tomiki-l/

If you're going to be in the UK, I'll make sure I get to train with you. :) London isn't far for me to travel once in a while, or if you're thinking of heading a little further north, you'll be very welcome in Sheffield.

The annual Shodokan course in Skenfrith (just over the border between England and Wales, at the home dojo of Bob Forrest-Webb) might be a good time for you to be here. Its held over a long weekend towards the end of May, there's excellent instruction and its always lots of fun.

Regards
Sean

L. Camejo
11-26-2001, 04:50 PM
Originally posted by deepsoup


Hi Larry,

Have you heard of the Tomiki-L mailing list? There is a fair bit there that may interest you. I just recently discovered that all the posts are archived at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tomiki-l/

If you're going to be in the UK, I'll make sure I get to train with you. :) London isn't far for me to travel once in a while, or if you're thinking of heading a little further north, you'll be very welcome in Sheffield.

The annual Shodokan course in Skenfrith (just over the border between England and Wales, at the home dojo of Bob Forrest-Webb) might be a good time for you to be here. Its held over a long weekend towards the end of May, there's excellent instruction and its always lots of fun.

Regards
Sean

Thanks for the info Sean,

I've signed up for the Tomiki-l list andI'm going through the archives and stuff.

I'll be checking out my options for training in the UK soon, my sensei and I may make a trip up from London to Sheffield. I'll keep you posted on developments.

At present I'm also thinking of organizing an International Shodokan Aikido seminar in my country of Trinidad. I plan to invite Shodokan Aikidoka worldwide to come to Trinidad for a few days to showcase what Aikido and Shodokan in particular is all about.

This, of course is only in the planning stages, I need to make a few more contacts (including finding out if my Sensei can get Nariyama to come). So if you or anyone else who sees this may be interested, please let me know. There are many people in the Caribbean interested in Aikido, but the main style offered is Aikikai. It would be nice to give them another option.

Thank for all the replies guys. If I have any probs with the koryu no kata I'll be back.

Arigato Gozaimashita
L.C.:ai::ki:

L. Camejo
11-26-2001, 04:54 PM
Originally posted by PeterR
[BRemember each of the kihon randori no kata has a series of variations based on altered attacks, there are also a number of techniques taught as part of the kyu grade syllabus, oya (advanced/application) no kata, and a whole slew of individual techniques.

The whole range of kata series are there for those who want to learn them - you can always find someone to help you with them.

[/B]

Hi Peter,

What are the oya no kata you mentioned above, if you don't mind my asking?

L.C.:ai::ki:

PeterR
11-26-2001, 06:45 PM
Originally posted by L. Camejo


Hi Peter,

What are the oya no kata you mentioned above, if you don't mind my asking?

L.C.:ai::ki:

Oya means advanced or application kata. They consist of 8 waza that are pretty fast and brutal. More I can't tell you just that they include ushiro-ate variations, kotegeishi variations, and oshitaoshi variations. They are more akin to what you would see in the Koryu Goshin no Kata but different from.

C. de Boisblanc
11-26-2001, 11:33 PM
Hi Larry:

Karl Geis Sensei has instruction tapes which you can purchase on his web site on. They show excellent off balance and technique.

Koryu dai san, yon, go and roku

www.karlgeis.com

Regards,

C.de Boisblanc
Aikibudokan Dojo
Houston, TX

deepsoup
11-28-2001, 04:52 PM
Originally posted by L. Camejo

I'll be checking out my options for training in the UK soon, my sensei and I may make a trip up from London to Sheffield. I'll keep you posted on developments.

Please do, I'll look forward to seeing you.
(Whichever dojo we happen to be in. :))

At present I'm also thinking of organizing an International Shodokan Aikido seminar in my country of Trinidad. I plan to invite Shodokan Aikidoka worldwide to come to Trinidad for a few days to showcase what Aikido and Shodokan in particular is all about.
That sounds wonderful.
If I can get there, I would love to attend such an event. My heart has already signed up, but my wallet may have a problem with the air fare, if you see what I mean. :)

Sean
x

Karl Kuhn
11-29-2001, 02:06 AM
Trinadad, huh? Keep us posted. Sounds like a good excuse to get to a part of the world that is not usually on my radar. Sounds like fun.

Peter (hey buddy) is spot on, per usual, as regards the Dai-Ichi and the Dai-Ni. After some investigation (pretty limited) it really seems as though they are bits being developed and culminate in the Dai-San, newly sainted as the Goshin-no-kata.

I've uked for the Dai-go, but I can't seem to recall the particulars. I will do some digging to see where I would put it.

The Dai-Roku, however, may have been designed for none-randori players but contains some fascinating weapons info. Worked it in a couple day seminar and it was a headfull. Something I look forward to revisting (it's on the docks for my clubs dan rank r&d winter project). As was noted, Loi's book and videos are the documents to get your hands on. They are of their time, but an a rich resource.

The Dai-Yon is (Nage-no-kata included) is my favorite kata right now. I highly reccomend that everyone take some time and sink their proverbial teeth in it. There lay great rewards. Really, I can't get enough of it. As an intersting aside, I thought the emphasis placed on the Nage-no-kata @ Shodokan to be very important and enlightening. That kata does not get the matt time it should in most US dojos. My guess is that this will soon change.

Cheers,
Karl

Abasan
11-30-2001, 02:34 PM
Hmm... my curiosity knows no bounds.

Coming from an Aikikai background, I find it fascinating that you are all discussing intently on the subject of katas. Does kata make up a significant part of yoshinkan/shodokan/similar style of aikido's curiculum?

Our method for learning the techniques basically has the sensei demonstrating what he wants us to practice. These techniques are done with omote and ura variations. Sometimes, additional variations are emphasised, such as a different tenkan, uchi, soto approach, atemis, reversals and such. With the limitless adaptions this type of training has, it becomes I suppose daunting for the average beginner. Personally I had problems with the omote and ura variations when I first joined. :rolleyes:

Although the katas that you've mentioned seem to me a bit limiting on Aikido's open ended techniques. I find it a as a very smart system to introduce beginners to the art. as well as keeping the seniors from not practising their not so favourite moves, which you will find most would do when left to their own devices (I hate hammi handachi for instance :p ).

What are your thoughts on this? Also, what kind of turnover do you have with beginners? For us, quite a number of beginners disappear after several mind boggling lessons. Or possibly from aching bodies as a result of learning ukemi's the natural way. :eek:

deepsoup
11-30-2001, 05:04 PM
Originally posted by Abasan
Hmm... my curiosity knows no bounds.

Coming from an Aikikai background, I find it fascinating that you are all discussing intently on the subject of katas. Does kata make up a significant part of yoshinkan/shodokan/similar style of aikido's curiculum?

Our method for learning the techniques basically has the sensei demonstrating what he wants us to practice. These techniques are done with omote and ura variations. Sometimes, additional variations are emphasised, such as a different tenkan, uchi, soto approach, atemis, reversals and such. With the limitless adaptions this type of training has, it becomes I suppose daunting for the average beginner. Personally I had problems with the omote and ura variations when I first joined. :rolleyes:

Although the katas that you've mentioned seem to me a bit limiting on Aikido's open ended techniques. I find it a as a very smart system to introduce beginners to the art. as well as keeping the seniors from not practising their not so favourite moves, which you will find most would do when left to their own devices (I hate hammi handachi for instance :p ).

What are your thoughts on this? Also, what kind of turnover do you have with beginners? For us, quite a number of beginners disappear after several mind boggling lessons. Or possibly from aching bodies as a result of learning ukemi's the natural way. :eek:

Hi Abasan,

Excellent questions. :)

You may find a few answers in an article called Kata Training and Aikido (http://www.aikidojournal.com/articles/ajArticles/DS_098.asp) by Diane Skoss, over on aikidojournal.com (It was originally published in Aiki News about 1994).
In the Shodokan dojo where I train, we spend a fair bit of our training working on kata, but a lot of our training also has our teacher demonstrating the techniques he wants us to practice, usually in any one session there will be some 'theme' linking those techniques. The techniques are based on the kata, but not limited to it, so as you progress things do tend to get a bit more 'open ended'.

I hope I'm not treading on anyones copyright by quoting a couple of lines.. As Diane Skoss says in that essay:

" The whole point of kata, or form, is to be able to ultimately transcend it--shu, ha, ri (keep the form, break the form, and leave the form). Vigorous training within the form is but the first step. When we practice kata in any martial art or way we are partaking of a legacy left us by our masters--the clues that point the way to breaking free of the form are embedded in the forms themselves."

As far as I know the beginner turnover is pretty much the same between Shodokan and Aikikai dojos though. (Maybe it is the ukemi: after a few years of aikido training, it never ceases to amaze me how terrified the average person is of falling over! ;))

Sean
x

C. de Boisblanc
11-30-2001, 05:23 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Abasan
[B]Hmm... my curiosity knows no bounds.


Hi Abasan. I hope this is helpful.

General Background of the Koryu No Kata

While the following is directed more at Tomiki Ryuha aikidoka, we hope that everyone will find this basic explanation of the advanced kata system informative in understanding the structure and formative concepts behind Tomiki Ryuha Aikido.

Fundamentally, the concept of koryu has several translations or possible meanings. Within the martial arts it has been translated as stream or flow. This more specifically means that a system is layered or that over time successive kata or drills are added by the originator and their senior teachers that do not redefine or change the system's concepts or fundamental principles, but rather serve as enhancements that assist in overall understanding.

The core or basic curriculum of any martial art is regarded as teaching the fundamental principles and primary techniques, sometimes referred to as omote or front teachings. The advanced kata system can be said to teach the major variations of these concepts thus leading to a more advanced understanding.

This teaching concept utilized in the the Tomiki Ryuha system of Aikido instruction can be said to be fairly unique within the Aikido universe and is based in part upon the codification system originally proposed and utilized by Kano in his development Kodokan Judo.

Some styles of Aikido tend to make use of an instructional base centered around a certain idea or technique for example showing literally dozens of variations of one specific technique. Tomiki Sensei, realizing the difficulty of learning such a vast volume of techniques and more importantly, being able to use them on an intuitive level when under stress (as in a real life & death situation) concentrated instead on the fundamental principles of exactly how and why any specific technique
works. This included the ideas of non opposition of force and blending with the movement of the attacker as combined with kuzushi, tsukuri and kake (off balancing the opponent, positioning properly for a technique and then ending with a clean execution of the technique).

In the Tomiki Ryuha system, the core or base curriculum is centered around a demonstration of these principles and ideas that are the underpinnings of a major or primary technique. A basic version of that specific technique that is considered the most illustrative of all the Aikido principles as implicit within that specific technique is then taught within the core curriculum.

By this method of a focused study of the basic ideas which is then followed by studying a limited number of the major variations of that technique (within the Koryu-No-Kata), a more comprehensive understanding may be gained at a much earlier point in the student's study.

This method of study (exploring the core or base system first and the major variants later) enables the Tomiki Ryuha student eventually to be able to spontaneously grasp the hundreds of variations as they may occur in randori (free style) without having previously spent years studying the incredibly vast multiplicity of variants. Some, if not most of these variants will very likely never occur nor be seen either in randori (free style) or self-defense situations.

Attention can thus be appropriately focused and time spent most productively in a beneficial study of the techniques and situations that are judged from experience and study as being most likely to occur. If something out of the ordinary should happen to present itself, then the differences to what has been practiced are likely to be so slight that an in-progress adjustment may be made by the subconscious without time delay. This is possible because the underlying principles are understood and integrated by the subconscious.

This integration of the principles is critical. Simple memorization of techniques creates problems for the subconscious in formulating an appropriate response if the Aikido player is laboring under the stress of self-defense. In other words, which of the potentially hundreds of techniques or variations are to be used when under a surprise attack?

If the subconscious relies on an intuitive use of basic principles, then it will pick the principle of off balance and movement most appropriate and will respond accordingly. If the subconscious relies instead on a review of a vast library of techniques some of which have only very minor differentiation from others, the mind may actually go into vapor lock or have a delayed response. These are always bad ideas when defending yourself.

As Tomiki Sensei was building the kata system he was continually modifying it. The early versions were incomplete or not fully illustrative of the full scope of the art. As time went by and the system flourished and grew, he understood in greater depth and detail the real principles of Aikido. This can be seen in the Koryu No Kata system. As you move from Koryu Dai Ichi to Koryu Dai Roku, the techniques become more elegant in their execution and more expressive of principle and
fundamental concepts. A true evolutionary process that today gives us classical Aikido within a coherent teaching system.

Additionally, many Aikido teachers today are of the opinion that Tomiki Sensei, when designing the Koryu No Kata, deliberately used a thematic process. That is, he grouped together techniques and then built the kata around the ideas represented by that grouping. As an example, Koryu Dai Yon Kata within the first 14 movements is clearly illustrative of fundamentals of releases and counters to those releases.

As a side note, many years ago this writer was studying advanced kata under Takeshi Inoue Sensei during his tours of the United States. After noticing that whole sections of attacks and techniques are repeated verbatim within some kata (such as Ni, Go and Yon) the writer asked Mr. Inoue why that was, the question essentially being concerned with the purpose of the redundancy. Inoue Sensei' immediate and unhesitating response was, "Because they are important to understand Aikido".


Why a Codified Method of Studying Aikido Through an Advanced
Kata System?

As a thought for consideration when studying the Koryu No Kata; some traditional Aikido stylists would hold that all this (the base principles and movements and the major variations) is contained within their larger system. Yes, it most certainly is.

Tomiki stylists however, prefer to not have to sift it out on their own by looking at a vast number of techniques and then having to define what the commonality or underlying idea might be. This is the beauty of the codification of the kata system as originally conceived by Kano and later implemented in Aikido by Tomiki Sensei. The groupings are already done thus allowing an immediate detailed and in-depth study.

On the other hand, some Tomiki stylists state that only a study of the basics of randori along with some select portions of the Koryu No Kata system is required for mastery of Aikido and, that shiai (competition) enhances this study.

The philosophy that a previously inexperienced player can look at a severely truncated version of Tomiki Sensei' larger system and somehow intuitively extrapolate all the major and minor variations, putting together the same Aikido universe that Tomiki Sensei did over a lifetime of study and apprenticeship under O'Sensei is short-sighted and fails to acknowledge the complexity of Aikido.

As a theoretical rule Aikido principles should be considered universal to all situations and immediately applicable without the necessity of an extensive and in-depth study. However, in reality and in practice it is necessary to explore the context and differing scenarios in order to make them reflexive as a response out of the subconscious. The idea that you can study one very generic idea no matter how fundamental a principle (as reflected within a technique or drill) and then immediately extrapolate it to fit all future and therefore unknown circumstances
again fails to acknowledge the complexity of the subject material.

For example, the concept of ma-ai (combative distance) seems simplistic in developing the ability to instantaneously evaluate and adjust to changing maai situations intuitively. Study has shown however that in order to utilize the concept intuitively at high speed, you have to actually practice various ma-ai and look at the included timing differences as taken within the context of sen (initiative). Without the actual practice, the mind will not recognize and adjust to those differences as rapidly as it should. This doesn't mean that it eventually can't figure it out. However, it could be compared to a dull knife that still cuts, just not as easily as might a sharpened one.

"Stropping the razor" through constant and repetitive practice of different timings, distances, attacks and movement is the only way to explore and internalize all possibilities and hone the reflexes to a lightning fast and razor sharp keenness. This is best done by repetitive kata practice in which a scenario can be replicated and repetitively practiced as understanding is developed.

Regards,
C. de Boisblanc
Aikibudokan Dojo
Houston, TX

deepsoup
11-30-2001, 05:38 PM
Originally posted by Karl Kuhn
The Dai-Yon is (Nage-no-kata included) is my favorite kata right now. I highly reccomend that everyone take some time and sink their proverbial teeth in it. There lay great rewards. Really, I can't get enough of it. As an intersting aside, I thought the emphasis placed on the Nage-no-kata @ Shodokan to be very important and enlightening. That kata does not get the matt time it should in most US dojos. My guess is that this will soon change.

Cheers,
Karl

Hi Karl,

Nice to 'meet' you, I've read quite a few of your posts here and there while I've been either lurking or trawling through archives.

I've been practicing the Dai Yon (although my instructor uses the name 'Nage-no-Kata' to mean all 25 techniques, rather than just the first 14) a fair bit recently, and I've been really enjoying it too.

It strikes me that the Dai Yon embodies a lot of the principles that traditional aikido emphasises. Someone from an Aikikai background walking into the Shodokan dojo where I train would probably see us as a relatively 'hard', linear kind of style. But then along comes the Nage-no-kata, and there are all those big, flowing, circular techniques (especially in the Ura section) we dont practice quite so often.

Of all katas though, I think this is a '25-year' kata, the way that people talk about ikkyo being a '25-year' technique. Man is it difficult to do well. I'm pretty new to the Ouyou part, and thats really boggling my brain at the moment!

When you're whipping through it, especially as Uke, I find it to be quite an aerobic workout too. (But then my ukemi could probably be rather more efficient, ah well, practice, practice, practice.. )

Sean
x

akiy
11-30-2001, 08:01 PM
Originally posted by deepsoup

You may find a few answers in an article called Kata Training and Aikido (http://www.aikidojournal.com/articles/ajArticles/DS_098.asp) by Diane Skoss, over on aikidojournal.com (It was originally published in Aiki News about 1994).
Heh. I actually have that article on this site, too:

http://www.aikiweb.com/training/skoss2.html

-- Jun

Abasan
11-30-2001, 09:37 PM
Thanks Christopher, Sean and Jun for the insight. I find that it makes sense that the kata's purpose is to train the aikidoka on principles using the primary form as a baseline and ultimately learn to transcend it.

I suppose even though we don't learn any katas in Aikikai, I could still apply that principle when practicing each technique. To correct my form, master the function and ulitimately understand the principle behind it. Since it is agreed that Aikido principles are universal and applies to each of its techniques, it stands to reason that each technique no matter what the variation would show within it the principles that are to be learned.

Thanks again!

PeterR
12-01-2001, 09:26 AM
Originally posted by Abasan
I suppose even though we don't learn any katas in Aikikai, I could still apply that principle when practicing each technique.
Well actually in a way you do. Most Aikikai dojos have particualar techniques that they teach again and again as part of their curriculum. All the kata are in the Shodokan context are a standard collection of waza. The idea at its most basic is that by taking these techniques to a higher level through constant practice - all your Aikido improves.

We by the way introduce free form very early through the method of full resistance randori. A well trained Shodokan person is very adaptable.

Abasan
12-03-2001, 09:42 PM
We by the way introduce free form very early through the method of full resistance randori. A well trained Shodokan person is very adaptable.

I know we are deviating from the post with this question I'm about to ask, but I can't help it. Its now become a shodokan inspired post!:p

About the randori, in Aikikai, or at least where I'm training, we don't do it very often. Actually its meant for black belts and above. In my previous dojo, 3rd kyu and above are already participating in controlled randoris.

With my significant lack of practice in randori, I totally suck at it. This is despite my extensive practice on the individual wazas.:(

So, do you get better at randori, because you practice randori. Or is it because you've got all the techniques down to pat and it comes naturally when you practice randori. And the bonus question, does good randori make your techniques more effective in individual waza training as well as in self defence situations.

Again apoligies for ursurping this post!

Edward
12-04-2001, 01:57 AM
At our dojo, we rarely practice Randori, except for one Sensei who includes Randori in every regular class. Too bad he only teaches one day a week. Usually it is done with 4 Ukes attacking one Nage any way they want, but with commitment. They can individually choose to resist or to follow Nage. however, since it is a committed attack, they rarely have the choice, when Nage has some experience, that is. They just fly around the dojo :-) Randori is great and feels so authentic and so real. You get a rush of adrenaline, you feel really attacked and you do not spare your Ukes so much. It is the ultimate test apart from real fight when you know if your technique is efficiently correct or not. I just wish that we could do it more often.

L. Camejo
12-04-2001, 06:46 AM
Originally posted by Abasan


I know we are deviating from the post with this question I'm about to ask, but I can't help it. Its now become a shodokan inspired post!

About the randori, in Aikikai, or at least where I'm training, we don't do it very often. Actually its meant for black belts and above. In my previous dojo, 3rd kyu and above are already participating in controlled randoris.

With my significant lack of practice in randori, I totally suck at it. This is despite my extensive practice on the individual wazas.

So, do you get better at randori, because you practice randori. Or is it because you've got all the techniques down to pat and it comes naturally when you practice randori. And the bonus question, does good randori make your techniques more effective in individual waza training as well as in self defence situations.

Again apoligies for ursurping this post!

I have no prob with deviation. In fact, practising in randori is what made me understand how to deal with "deviant" :) tanto wielding ukes and learn how to effectively apply my techniques to a non-cooperative situation.

Randori becomes even more challenging when you realise that the person with the tanto probably knows every technique that you know, which brings the question of effectiveness to a matter of either sheer luck :), better technical coordination or even (dare I say it???) brute force. But un-aiki as some of these may seem, these three elements are all possibilities existent in many self defence situations, not to mention the inner elements (centredness, extension etc. etc. etc.)

In my humble view, randori really forges the instinctive element of one's Aikido and I think it should be utilised wherever possible to bridge the gap between cooperative kata practice and practically effective dynamic Aikido. IMHO techniques learnt in kata are tested in randori, randori makes the application of kata techniques more practical.

Oh and by the way, this is a Shodokan inspired thread :p. So ask away.

Gambatte
L.C.:ai::ki:

L. Camejo
12-04-2001, 06:55 AM
:) Just to make myself clearer, having referred to luck and brute force above. These have been experiences in my "okayish and still improving" level of randori, and may not be commonplace at all dojos.

Nervertheless, in randori we should strive to obtain a level where we can apply the techniques with a similar level of effortlessness and coordination that is one of the hallmarks of Aikido.

In other words we should aim to get so d*** good through hard and thoughtful training that it wouldn't matter whether it was kata or randori, our effectiveness and coordination would be the same :).

Of course, this may be easier said than done.

L.C.:ai::ki:

deepsoup
12-05-2001, 06:33 PM
Originally posted by Abasan

About the randori, in Aikikai, or at least where I'm training, we don't do it very often. Actually its meant for black belts and above. In my previous dojo, 3rd kyu and above are already participating in controlled randoris.

With my significant lack of practice in randori, I totally suck at it. This is despite my extensive practice on the individual wazas.:(

So, do you get better at randori, because you practice randori. Or is it because you've got all the techniques down to pat and it comes naturally when you practice randori. And the bonus question, does good randori make your techniques more effective in individual waza training as well as in self defence situations.


Hi Abasan,

I think you get better at randori mainly by practicing randori. There seem to be different schools of thought between different styles and dojos about when to introduce randori, I guess some prefer you build up a comprehensive vocabulary of individual waza first, and others prefer to expose you to randori much earlier on the learning curve.

In the Shodokan dojo where I train, randori is introduced very early on, before students really have much of a vocabulary of individual techniques at all. In those early stages the emphasis is really much more on avoidance, tai-sabaki and maai than on applying techniques.

I guess you know that Shodokan and Aikikai people generally mean something slightly different by the word 'randori' by the way. (If not, there is a description of tanto-randori, the most common form in the Shodokan system, on the Shodokan Honbu website (http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/index_e.html) somewhere.)

As to your bonus question, personally, I believe randori is less about your individual techniques than your ability to apply them to an unpredictable environment. (And your ability to perform aikido techniques under pressure, too.) As such, I'm sure randori does have a role to play in enhancing your abilities in a self-defence context.

If you're interested in practicing more randori than you do, would it be possible for you to do a little before or after the class, or might your sensei disapprove?

Sean
x

Abasan
12-05-2001, 10:55 PM
Thanks for bearing with me ya all.

Actually Deepsoup, I think my sensei wouldn't approve of it too much for randori to be practiced. I guess its because he probably thinks we are not ready for it yet. Its just my impatience at sinking my teeth into it you know.

Even so, free practice is allright after class, and I've been doing that more often lately. Instead of multiple attackers, we just have one partner and they attack as they please. Sad to say... I'm pathetic at this also! :rolleyes:

So that just goes to show, I think too much of my techniques and need to go with the flow more often.

Creature_of_the_id
12-06-2001, 02:42 AM
Hi Abasan,

about your randori,
we tend to do quite a bit of randori in our assosiation (well, depending on the instructor of course). I have found that randori against one attacker is very much a different Ball game compared to randori against multiple attackers. During one attacker randori you get a bit more time between throws.
Alot of people tend to use this time to back off from the opponent which means that they will end up on top of you because when you start backing off you continue to back off.
I found that after a throw if you move your body behind your uke, into a blind spot then he has to look for you.
in this way you can also limit his options for attack, for instance if you are just outside his range of attack and he is turning to see you chances are he will strike with yokomen uchi rather than a straight strike.
So you can take control from the very beggining with position.

but saying this, I myself find 2 ukes easier to deal with. as you dont have to think about your moveemnt as you dont have time. It is easier to let yourself not think and just trust your aikido, the positioning becomes natural.
I do find that in randori it is not technique that lets people down, but lack of proper distance.
when doing normal practice we always tend to train with the correct mai as we know the attack that is comming. but tell someone that the attack will be random and they like to back off so they can see what is comming and plan a reaction.

my advice for randori is step in and act

but I am babbling as I have far too much spare time :P lol

I do have a question for the shodokan aikidoka out there though...

in our assosiation we have one unarmed kata, we do it on our first dan grading and it is very precise.. as you would expect from kata.

it is all 5 of the basic pins from shomen uchi (apart from gokyo which is from yokomen). is this anything like any kata that you do? or is this a kata that is only really done by us in the D.A.N?

oh.. and if anyone knows of any shodokan aikido schools in the north east of england I would be very happy to hear about them, as I would love to go along and watch some time.. just to get some idea of how you guys train and what your kata looks like

Kev

deepsoup
12-06-2001, 06:33 AM
Originally posted by Creature_of_the_id

I do have a question for the shodokan aikidoka out there though...

in our assosiation we have one unarmed kata, we do it on our first dan grading and it is very precise.. as you would expect from kata.

it is all 5 of the basic pins from shomen uchi (apart from gokyo which is from yokomen). is this anything like any kata that you do? or is this a kata that is only really done by us in the D.A.N?

oh.. and if anyone knows of any shodokan aikido schools in the north east of england I would be very happy to hear about them, as I would love to go along and watch some time.. just to get some idea of how you guys train and what your kata looks like

Kev

Hi Kev,
(Or should I call you 'creature' :))

The kata you mention doesn't sound like any of the specific katas in the Shodokan system that I know of, but it does seem to me that its practiced in the same spirit that we do it.

There's a bit of a gap between Shodokan dojos in the North East, I'm afraid. The nearest ones to you are miles away, Edinburgh (Herriott-Watt University) in one direction, and York (Barbican Centre) in the other. :rolleyes:

If ever you find yourself way down in Sheffield, needless to say you'd be very welcome to come and train with us at the Kyogikan. :)

Sean
x

Creature_of_the_id
12-06-2001, 08:55 AM
:) thanks for the invite Sean...

I was wrong actually when I said we only have one unarmed kata (silly me). The other one that I know of is on the second dan grading. It is just like the first one but instead it is all done in suwari waza.

I do enjoy the principles of kata and what you are able to achieve mentally through the experience of it.... I think te quote you posted earlier summed it up nicely so I will post it again:

" The whole point of kata, or form, is to be able to ultimately transcend it--shu, ha, ri (keep the form, break the form, and leave the form). Vigorous training within the form is but the first step. When we practice kata in any martial art or way we are partaking of a legacy left us by our masters--the clues that point the way to breaking free of the form are embedded in the forms themselves."

---

I must say I am tempted to pop over to York to watch some shodokan at some point. Other styles of aikido intrest me very much.. not so much that I want to practice them rather than my own style.. but just from the point of view that different people have interpreted aikido in different ways and made it their own, but it is all still aikido :)
I think it is one of the few martial arts that can become 'yours' in which everyones technique differs to different degrees depending on who they are and how they think

but i will stop typing now lol...

Kev

davem
12-06-2001, 09:31 AM
Just wanted to add to the bit about randori. I have not yet actually recieved a kyu ranking being so new in my aikido dojo... however tuesday I participated in my first randori against two attackers. In a nutshell, it is fun... but on a more technical level... it was so useful in my training... helped me learn some basic concepts in a 'in your face' react or fail fashion.... (failure is only measured by letting my attacker succeed with an attack... no grading to randoris..) I was having a problem with watching my feet, and maintaining a solid stance. In my randori after the first attack my head came up to watch my other attacker as opposed to my feet, now my head stays up. I'm also keeping my center of balance better when I'm moving.
Add to that reinforcement on being relaxed, and during my randori I learned how to execute a shihonage style throw, which is not something I have learned, only watched.

In all I think it is a valuable tool once someone is confident with their own ability to move. Really helps in solidifying these seemingly odd techniques and concepts.

Dave

Abasan
12-06-2001, 08:30 PM
Kev ... hmmm Creature of ID just makes me imagine of Doom somehow...

Anyway, your idea of randori is quite interesting. I think you hit the nail there for me. Because during one man free practice I do tend to wait for my uke to get up and because I wait for him to attack, I give myself too much space for him to come at me. Trouble is he doesn't immediately come with an attack, he usually closes the distance first and then attack. By then, it'll be too close/fast for me to counter effective. you know what I mean? Now, I make a conscious effort to continue 'hounding' my uke. Heh heh. :D And what you say about limiting the uke's attacks by your positioning, I think I heard about senior shihans who do just that. Their maai, position and probably, stance would be just so.. that you can only come with a single type of feasible attack at any one time. Which would probably make it a lot easier to counter.

But interestingly enough, this doesn't happen in multiple attacker randori. I just get my distance in and around them nicely. The only trouble I have then would be choice of techniques. If I do anything more elaborate then iriminage, kotegaishi or kokyunage, it'll take too long and i get hit. The trouble with kokyunage is such that mine's not very effective. But I guess, its practice practice and practice time!:p

Creature_of_the_id
12-07-2001, 04:36 AM
hehehe alot of people comment on my 'creature of the id' nickname. I cant believe there are so many people out there that have not seen forbidden planet lol

hounding your uke is fun isnt it? it took me a long time to learn to stop backing off and instead now i think enter enter enter. if you enter you can provoke the attack in the way that you want.. so the difference between who is attacking who actually becomes unclear ;)
you take control even before the physical assault by uke.

but I am still not at that level myself...

as for multiple opponents... I also find that placement and distance become automatic.
but you can give yourself more time by using one uke as an obstacle for the other.
once you have control of one uke then you know where he is the outcome is going to be that he ends up on the floor.
so you can pretty much forget about him and become aware of where the other attackers are, meaning that you can throw one into the other as he or she approaches giving you more time.
I find that uchi movements can be very useful in putting the uke you have control of between you and the next attacker.
also something that I am learning is dont let them come to you, you have to have confidence and go to them. you choose who is going to 'attack' you and how they are going to do it via movement. if they all get to you at once because you are standing still then you have had it.
hound your multiple ukes.. and doing kokyo nage over and over again isnt really a bad thing as long as it is effective.
I often get stuck in a mode where I can only react and doone technique... I get laughed at, but as long as it is effective then I am not bothered.

thanks for the dialog (sorry guys for going off topic)

Kev
aka doom bringing creature of the id lol :P