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G DiPierro
10-18-2007, 10:31 PM
Do you really believe an organization is going to take the opinion of someone of little training background over their experience? That's akin to bottom up management. You would have to make the assumption that the person is actually offering something of value when in reality it may only be their opinion. Perhaps if you can reverse and pin the shihan you may be on to something.The point I have been trying to make is that martial arts should not be about simply believing one person's subjective opinion over another. It should be about testing and debating (physically and otherwise) ideas to determine as objectively as possible what makes sense according to the principles of martial arts in general and aikido specifically. This is what many other martial arts do, and what all professions and academic institutions do as well. In fact, it is their founding principle.

The only reason someone like me with a decade or so of experience can reasonably challenge people with three or four times that experience is they have not been testing their ideas and I have. They simply have accepted what they were told and spent their 20 years trying to figure out how to get the ikkyo they learned to work while I spent 2 or 3 years discovering that ikkyo will never really work if you do it that way and how to do it another way so that it will work.

Since you brought it up, if any shihan is willing to give me a fair shot at trying to reverse his technique I'd be happy to try it. I haven't found any takers on that yet, though. Usually as soon as I give those guys a little bit of resistance (yet nothing even close to trying to reverse them) they get visibly upset and then make sure to avoid touching hands with me again. So I'm not the one avoiding the challenge here. (Actually now that I think about it, I did once reverse the technique of a certain well-known shihan back when he used to let me try to resist him. Out of courtesy, I did not actually throw him but released him at the point where I had gotten behind him in position for something like an RNC. However, we both knew what happened, as I suspect did the handful of witnesses. After what happened last time I named names, I won't say who he was.)

Yes, egos abound in large organizations-some are worse than others. That's why I like a smaller organization.

Not all shihans are rigid as you suggest. I know of some who after 40 or 50 years still profess to being students and trying to figure out what O'Sensei was doing.You might not know this but a while back I traveled quite a bit out of my way to train with your teacher. He seemed like one of the most genuinely humble 8-dans I have met, and since his organization in the US is still very small you probably won't have a lot of the problems of the bigger established orgs. Guys like him are the exception, particularly in the US where the major organizations are dominated by some very large egos (so large that many of them cannot stand to be in the same room with one another!). When you talk about the aikikai, particularly in the US, I think those guys are more representative of the majority than your teacher. However, even many of the better teachers I have met in the aikikai (including yours) are still far too averse to testing their techniques against resistance for my taste. To some extent I can pass this off as them being old Japanese men set in their ways, but it still makes it hard for me to accept what they do at face value when I know that if they were willing to fail a bit more often they wouldn't need to rely on compliant ukemi so much.

G DiPierro
10-19-2007, 06:28 AM
Interesting. My sensei gets upset if you don't try to attack or hold him strongly although he will often back off if he feels he will hurt someone by executing. I'm curious if you took ukemi and tried to stop him. Now I'd really be interested in seeing if you could reverse him-even get a technique to work on him. Or stop him if he really wanted to do the technique with full force. Especially, if you were the same age. I'm sure he's not as strong as he once was. I have video of him in his 50s and would not want to be on the receiving end.

I was not aware you trained with him. Houston?Yes, a couple years ago. I touched hands with him many times. I don't want to say anything bad about him because he was such a nice guy, but yes I gave him some resistance and he had enough trouble with for me know that he's not used to getting that kind of thing very much. I felt like I could have put him on the ground without too much difficulty if I tried but what would that prove: that a young, 6ft+ gaijin can beat up a little old 70 year-old Japanese guy? If you don't want to believe that because you didn't see me do it, that's fine, but for me the cost of embarrassing the guy in front of his students would have too high for me to worry about proving anything to anyone else.

I thought he was very polite and generous to me within the context of his knowledge and abilities and that's about as much as you can ask for from a teacher. And his technique is certainly not bad. I like his general style and I thought he could do some interesting stuff as long as I decided not to really attack him but to just "take ukemi". In fact if I wavered even for a moment on my commitment to really attacking he moved in and quite quickly took my balance, which is a nice skill that even some other shihan might not have, but for me the gold standard is someone I can give my best attack and still not be successful. I've met a couple of people who I think are or might be in that category, and even though I don't consider your teacher to be one of them I liked him a lot personally and thought his aikido was fine, so he's still in the group of people with whom I would train again if I had the chance.

For Carl Thompson and Peter Goldsbury, I want you to know that I really do appreciate your interest but I won't be able to get back to you right away. Believe it or not, I'm actually on my way to an aikido seminar this weekend (gasp!) and I need to get going. Yes, it does still happen once or twice a year. If I can't find time to get to your messages earlier I will be sure to respond early next week. Thanks again.

aikidoc
10-19-2007, 07:37 AM
Giancarlo, your comments are interesting. What would be interesting to me would be to see you take on some of these shihan in a full out combat situation with no rules and not in a teaching situation. Of course, the legal implications would be of concern so waivers for injury would have to be signed and all that. In other words, oh let's say Chiba sensei versus you with no rules and you can attack as hard as you want. You have to be willing to accept the consequences and you can't just opt out if things start going wrong for you. In other words you go until someone can't get up. That would be the true test of your grandiose claims-no rules, just kick ass combat. Unfortunately, no one is likely to take you up on it in this litigious society. Oh and by the way, you must be willing to take atemi.

I think one thing you forget is a shihan will not spend time getting into a testing them situation on the mat. To do so changes from a teaching situation to a combat situation. It would not be good for anyone involved to change the rules of a seminar into an altercation. That's dojo busting behavior. The rules change and someone is going to get hurt which would not look good in a seminar. My sensei scolds us if we don't try to attack as strongly as we can. Keep in mind also they are demonstrating at less than full speed and in a controlled manner to show the movement patterns. A combat situation has not imposed restrictions. We asked one of my sensei's ukes from Japan why he would sometimes take pre-emptive falls-his comment was that sensei was dangerous and to do otherwise would put him at risk of injury since he knew what was coming.

Basia Halliop
10-19-2007, 08:18 AM
You have to be willing to accept the consequences and you can't just opt out if things start going wrong for you. In other words you go until someone can't get up. That would be the true test of your grandiose claims-no rules, just kick ass combat. Unfortunately, no one is likely to take you up on it in this litigious society. Oh and by the way, you must be willing to take atemi.

Actually, this is an interesting point because it actually seems kind of close to the criticism Giancarlo's making (if I'm understanding him right -- I may be drifting a bit from what he's saying) about the 'grandiose claims' of high ranking aikido people (or the claims of lower ranking people in their name).

Budd
10-19-2007, 08:45 AM
I also don't know why things have to get elevated to a "death match" situation in order to test things out. Now, I do understand how one presents oneself has something to do with it and being able to beat someone doesn't mean they don't have anything to teach you, but even just honestly testing individual principles a la push hands in Chinese arts - not necessarily fighting, but working on making use of the supposed principles of the art against non-compliance.

On the other hand, if Mr. DiPierro's looking to just mix it up, I do know there's folks that do aikido and either cross-train or don't mind indulging in some of their own MMA-style sparring, so again it doesn't have to be a death match, but if you're at a seminar situation, see if there's some other aiki-bruisers that don't mind indulging you. On the other other hand, don't bring that crap into a setting where it's inappropriate with people that may not have any interest in it.

In other words, the application of a little common sense and courtesy can go a long way.

aikidoc
10-19-2007, 09:01 AM
The point I'm making is his claims are in a context of teaching principles and concepts. If one wants to truly test whether a technique works or not, then there cannot be rules since the desire is to make it realistic. I don't see a lot of shihans making grandiose claims although there are egos abounding on all sides of the fence. However, a teaching environment is a whole lot different than a no-holds barred environment. While teaching, you are breaking things down slowly and showing steps and principles while dealing with an attack that is somewhat choreographed. This is part of the skill building and training process. However, when someone starts making claims that they can stop and reverse master instructors then the rules must change-no rules, anything is fair including atemi (which O'Sensei used extensively). As an example, my sensei will show my openings but putting his fist where an atemi would land during my attack. In a real situation that atemi would land full force. So if I chose to attack him no holds barred then I must be willing to take whatever he dishes out.

Ron Tisdale
10-19-2007, 10:14 AM
I've got to go with Budd on this one. I personally do a lot of training outside of my primary teacher's organization, and I can honestly say that if I made all my appearences in strange dojo into a death match or even a pissing contest I would no longer be welcome in all the different places I go...from other well known organizations like the USAF, the Birinkai, the ASU, the AKI and several independant dojo.

In general, I go to do a few things:

1) learn as much as I can in a seminar setting from the teachers and other students in a different approach to aikido and MA.

2) try to understand what parts of my own training mesh with that different approach and what parts don't.

3) make new friends, new relationships, feel different people both as uke and nage/shite.

4) see if I can 'hang'.

That last one has nothing to do with dominating other people. It has to do with recieving and giving in equal measure...not proving 'my' way or my organization's way is better.

If I do decide to test something out, I understand the reasonable consequences of it, I'm not a jerk about it, and frankly, have almost never been treated in a jerky fashion. And I still come away with a fairly good idea of where I stand relative to INDIVIDUALS, which is the only thing with real meaning.

Best,
Ron (and somehow I never have to OUT anyone on the net...go figure. At least not in the last few years...It took some growing up, but turned out to be easy after that)

PS If I was going to get into a pissing contest or a death match, I should find the highest ranked, youngest, strongest guy in the room and have a real go at it. Not the 70 something instructor at the shomen.

Budd
10-19-2007, 11:02 AM
Well put, Ron. I think anyone that visits other dojo would do well to review your steps. I know we always look forward to Ron stopping by and wish he'd come play more often.

aikidoc
10-19-2007, 12:32 PM
Yes, a couple years ago. I touched hands with him many times. I don't want to say anything bad about him because he was such a nice guy, but yes I gave him some resistance and he had enough trouble with for me know that he's not used to getting that kind of thing very much. I felt like I could have put him on the ground without too much difficulty if I tried . And his technique is certainly not bad. I like his general style and I thought he could do some interesting stuff as long as I decided not to really attack him but to just "take ukemi". In fact if I wavered even for a moment on my commitment to really attacking he moved in and quite quickly took my balance, which is a nice skill that even some other shihan might not have, but for me the gold standard is someone I can give my best attack and still not be successful. I've met a couple of people who I think are or might be in that category, and even though I don't consider your teacher to be one of them I liked him a lot personally and thought his aikido was fine, so he's still in the group of people with whom I would train again if I had the chance.

Wow! I'm impressed. One of the last people that tried to stop him was a former student. At the hombu dojo he was famous for trying to stop other shihan while they were teaching. He tried that with my sensei and he was knocked out. When he came to he became a student and studied with him for 12 years in Japan. I seriously doubt you could put him on the ground if you tried in a real situation but go ahead and live that fantasy. I'm sure you'll never have the opportunity to prove it. He was also known at the hombu as the sensei to deal with dojo busters-effectively. Enjoy your delusion.

Christopher Gee
10-19-2007, 04:13 PM
'PS If I was going to get into a pissing contest or a death match, I should find the highest ranked, youngest, strongest guy in the room and have a real go at it. Not the 70 something instructor at the shomen.'

Yoroshiku onegaishimasu....

Exactly. You are at a seminar and invited onto the mat by the person taking the session, more than anything its rude. Pressure testing a shihan has no real value... I agree with the above quote..... get a room, maybe some mats, one of his/her young talented deshi and see what happens.... (professionally of course).

G DiPierro
10-19-2007, 09:43 PM
I seriously doubt you could put him on the ground if you tried in a real situation but go ahead and live that fantasy. I'm sure you'll never have the opportunity to prove it. He was also known at the hombu as the sensei to deal with dojo busters-effectively. Enjoy your delusion.Right back at you. If you think that nobody is able to stop your teacher then you are living in a dream world. Everyone has weaknesses and can be stopped -- well, at least everyone that doesn't create an artificial environment where they always must be allowed to win, as most aikido teachers do.

Anyway, feel free to beleive whatever you want. Doesn't affect me one way or the other. Unlike you, I have no need to convince you to change what you think about your teacher. I touched hands with him and reached my own opinion of him. You did the same thing. Nothing I say on the internet is going to change your opinion just as nothing you say is going to change mine. I felt him first hand. He had a lot of difficulty moving me in kokyudosa, and I wasn't resisting that hard. Maybe you and I are just at very different levels in our own development, and that is why have had different experiences with the same person.

I could say more about this thread but I don't have a lot of time so let me just say that I agree with what Budd Yuhasz said. A good teacher in any style can make it obvious that he has the goods without having to take it to the level of an all-out fight to the death. At least, that's been my experience with teachers I have trained with in other arts that have non fixed-role resistance training. For me, a teacher who cannot demonstrate this is not someone I would have much interest in training with.

L. Camejo
10-19-2007, 10:00 PM
I don't want to say anything bad about him because he was such a nice guy, but yes I gave him some resistance and he had enough trouble with for me know that he's not used to getting that kind of thing very much. I felt like I could have put him on the ground without too much difficulty if I tried but what would that prove: that a young, 6ft+ gaijin can beat up a little old 70 year-old Japanese guy?Yet you start a thread about it... this is so sad.

Not a Shihan myself, but like Ron I've trained across Aikido organizations more often than I can remember and I've even taught a few seminars among people who really know how to throw down if they want to (non-Aikido folks). I can hardly remember an experience where etiquette was not observed on both sides and training kept cordial. My only bad experience was with one teacher who said that Aikido was not a "martial" art and then proceeded with some passive aggressive BS. Even then, reigi was maintained.

I think it's ridiculous to resist someone in the midst of a teaching environment and think to oneself "oh I blocked the great Shihan's waza, I am so powerful... my kungfu is so strong".:rolleyes: Get over yourself already - you switch the rules in the midst of practicing in a cooperative environment, become competitive while the other person is in a teaching mindset, and then brag about how you were better than the other person? Had you let the Shihan know you were changing the rules and then been successful in doing what you said, then maybe one could see some value to the thread.

To be honest this is something I would not broadcast on an Internet forum using my real name, it shows gross misunderstanding of Aikido, its etiquette and basic common sense from a martial art perspective. It's like waiting for an old Marine in a dark corner, ambushing him before he knows he's in a fight and then go off bragging to your pals that "I have such great uber waza I beat a Marine in hand to hand combat."

Are you serious?

If you want to test your waza fine, but a true test involves the other person knowing that there is a test. In this case both will give their best effort towards learning something new through the testing, other than that it's simply a cheap ambush.

David Orange
10-19-2007, 10:34 PM
Yet you start a thread about it... this is so sad.

To be honest this is something I would not broadcast on an Internet forum using my real name, it shows gross misunderstanding of Aikido, its etiquette and basic common sense from a martial art perspective. It's like waiting for an old Marine in a dark corner, ambushing him before he knows he's in a fight and then go off bragging to your pals that "I have such great uber waza I beat a Marine in hand to hand combat."

I note that Giancarlo lists his experience in yoseikan aikijujutsu, putting him in the lineage of Minoru Mochizuki, one of the toughest and most generally feared aikido men ever to wear the black belt. It was my great honor to live as uchi deshi in Mochizuki Sensei's home about fifteen years ago and this thread made me recall some moments with that great teacher.

Sensei was in his early eighties when I lived at the yoseikan and while he was still very active, he had accumulated some health problems and would sometimes have nosebleeds due to blood pressure problems. One day, he was discussing the global automobile market and the complaints of American car-makers. He thought they were out of line.

He told me, "If I said I was the greatest aikido man in the world and someone came here and saw me like I am now..." he mimed being dizzy and unsteady on his feet, "they would laugh at me."

In fact, someone young and strong might have been able to jump on him and beat him up in his early eighties (though they might well have gotten a painful surprise). I was shocked to see pictures of Sensei shortly before his death at about age 96. He was hardly recognizable as the man I had known.

Yet even then, he knew more about aiki than most of us will ever glimpse.

It's a sad fact that no one lives forever and no one keeps his full strength and vigor as he grows old. Anyone in his seventies who still trains often is to be admired, respected and listened to. If he weren't pretty fantastic, he wouldn't still be able to get on the mat.

We should always be mindful that, if God grants us health and a long life, we, too, will someday be old. And maybe then, we will get back something we gave some old man when we were young.

So I'd rather take from the old what they want to give me while I'm young....

Best to you.

David

G DiPierro
10-19-2007, 11:40 PM
Yet you start a thread about it... this is so sad.Actually, I didn't. This thread was created by Aikiweb administrator Jun Akiyama by taking my replies to John Riggs from another thread (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13388&page=2) and putting them here. Frankly this thread is just getting ridiculous now with people starting to imagine how they think things happened and then going into long diatribes about how what they have dreamed up in their head is so wrong, so I'd just prefer to see the thread closed at this point if that's where this is going to go. What happened on the mat happened on the mat, and anybody who wasn't part of that has no business commenting on it. Unless you were there and saw it for yourself you don't know what happened so there is nothing useful for anyone else to say about it. The only reason I brought it up was because the previous discussion came around to my experiences with John Riggs' teacher within the context of the problems I see in the aikikai. I've given my opinion of him and explained how I came to hold that opinion. As I said in my last post, anyone else who has met him has surely formed their own opinion of him and it makes no sense to try to have a debate on the internet about which person's opinion is the "correct" one. It's a purely subjective matter so there is no right or wrong, just each person's interpretation of their own individual experiences based their outlook and understanding of things.

And for the record, I have never studied yoseikan anything nor ever claimed to have done so.

akiy
10-19-2007, 11:55 PM
Yet you start a thread about it... this is so sad.
To clarify, I was the one responsible for moving the initial posts in this thread (#1-10) from the Organizations- How important are they to you? (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13388) thread as I deemed them off-topic from its original topic enough to merit its own thread.

Back to the discussion at hand.

-- Jun

Walter Martindale
10-20-2007, 01:56 AM
Was at a seminar with Y. K. and A. T. shihans. (about 1996). T. was teaching, and while we were practicing, T. sensei interrupted a pair of guys, one of whom was a rather tight kung-fu fellow from our dojo, and when the hurt bit of the technique went on, the guy tried to punch T. sensei to get him to stop. T.-sensei watched as his fist went towards his face, chuckled, stepped aside, and threw our friend relatively firmly but safely to the floor...

On another occasion, different seminar, K.sensei interrupted my practice to show my partner how to do the tsuki-kotegaeshi, so I tried to shove my fist through his spine - I've been thrown faster and harder, but very rarely - I couldn't have resisted if I'd tried.

When a shihan is demonstrating, I try to learn - at least that's my experience with the Aikikai shihan to whom I've been exposed...

I'd be careful about picking on shihan - they have nothing to gain by wrecking uke, and you have nothing to gain by showing that you're tough. Another wee story - in a previous life, while training for judo at Kodokan, there was an ancient 9 or so dan who would hobble over to the gaijin and do some pretty hopeless techniques on us, produce a huge kiai, and we'd take a big loud ukemi.

There was at one time another gaijin who decided he'd not do this any more, and threw the old man. This was done in front of the entire Kodokan training centre, which was heavily populated with tough, young, university judo competitors. Apparently the gaijin was barely able to crawl off the mat after most of the (really pissed off) sandans and yondans beat the bejeepers out of the guy, and he never returned - I don't know if that's urban myth. I considered, at one instance, going for an osoto-gari on the fellow, but stopped, and he looked at me, said something that I didn't understand but the word abunai (dangerous) was in there, and I took a few more ukemi and he left me alone.

I rather suspect that if you do seriously think that you can take on a shihan and make him look foolish, you'd better be pretty tough and extremely good, because you'll have a lot of his students asking you to practice, and going very hard.

W

batemanb
10-20-2007, 03:01 AM
Deja vu

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11374

The reason I don't visit so much these days. Good to see that not a lot's changed :(

aikidoc
10-20-2007, 09:39 AM
Ah! I thought this was familiar territory. I remember that thread. Same tune, different station.

GP: From my perspective, all I see are claims that are only verifiable by you. If you want to be taken seriously, then you need to be willing to back the claims up in a real situation. Life has no rules as quoted in the article on atemi. Real situations have no rules. If you impose rules, then you are being disingenuous. Your claims have no meaning unless they are verifiable by others. This does not have to be a fight to the death but it has to be realistic and verifiable by others. "You had to be me or be there" does not cut it unless others observed it. Sort of like UFOs. This is especially true when previously you've stated 10 years of training going aganst shihans who have trained longer than you have been alive. I'm sure you could claim to stop O'Sensei as well-meaningless. When you are called on behavior at other seminars (see other threads) you claim cooperative ukemi which is a cop out. If you were truly capable of doing what you state then you'd be teaching the seminars. An issue which was addressed in the other thread-rank and training verification, i.e., who issued your black belt and when. I don't think that was ever addressed-I know rank doesn't matter, yada, yada.

Perhaps you have stumbled on something but your method of claiming such does not make people take you seriously. This is kind of a "put up or shut up" situation. And making the claim "I know what I can do does not cut it." That legend is only in your mind. Others will only believe you when you can prove what you say. "Coulda, shoulda, woulda" does not prove anything. You also cannot impose conditions on the situation. You've tried to prove your point in artificial situations such as a teaching seminar-still not verifiable other than saying I could have thrown or stopped your sensei at any time-which is purely hypothetical. Some shihans will recognize how ridiculous your behavior is in a seminar and will simply not want to deal with you or hurt you so they will simply back off. I doubt very much that would happen if the attack were for real. Unless you can close off all of your openings such reckless behavior will get you a result you might not want to experience. Part of good ukemi is to receive the technique and be able to recognize where my weak points were and to minimize them. Trying to stop the attack only exposes me to danger.

I don't know who you are training with this weekend but I'm sure more claims are to come since that seems to be your pattern. However, at some point you need to back up what you are saying. Unfortunately, most shihans will not take you seriously enough or be willing to risk you getting hurt if they go all out (especially since you whine about lower ranked students hurting you during seminar practice-I have verified that by the way-one of my students told me you were complaining that his ikkyo technique was hurting your neck and he was only a lowly shodan; another shodan at the seminar you referenced also noted that you kept complaining he was trying to hurt you and you were not going to let that happen which is interesting since he's a very controlled and cautious individual and another lowly shodan). I know, I know. Our training has not evolved to your level-especially since you can stop or throw my shihan at any time. Geez.

"The point I have been trying to make is that martial arts should not be about simply believing one person's subjective opinion over another. It should be about testing and debating (physically and otherwise) ideas to determine as objectively as possible what makes sense according to the principles of martial arts in general and aikido specifically. This is what many other martial arts do, and what all professions and academic institutions do as well. In fact, it is their founding principle." This believing part applies to you as well. You also assume that these shihan do not test their technique. I know my sensei tested his against other arts-not just other aikidoka.

ChrisHein
10-20-2007, 10:35 AM
Wow,
I can't believe so many people have these strange fantasies about "shihan". Why do you think a 70 year old shihan would be competitive in a fight? Do you think 70 year old boxing coaches could beat up their current fighters? Yet the fighters still listen to the coaches. Do you think Mike Tyson ever thought "man Cus D'Amato (his trainer) could really beat me up"?

It's silly to think in those terms. Sure a 70 year old bad ass might be able to take a normal untrained guy, but a health strong guy with several years experience in the same system, likely no.

Fighting is fighting teaching is teaching, being good at one doesn't necessarily make you good at another. There is a big difference between someone who has knows the strategy of war, and a battle hardened veteran.

You should be able to look at their better students and decide however. Take a few 25-40 year old healthy guys that have been training with them for several years. You can probably get a pretty honest assessment of how good what they teach is to how well they do under pressure.

As an aside, I do believe Mr. DiPirro, is on the right track. Without a means of testing what you do, there is little hope that what you do will be effective. I have come up with all kinds of cute martial tricks intellectually, but when I tried them against resistance (in our randori) they didn't pan out. However I have yet to find an Aikido technique that didn't work in randori, I think I've done about all of them against resistance now, and they all work pretty much as I was taught them.

aikidoc
10-20-2007, 11:58 AM
Chris your point is well taken and probably why the claims are somewhat ridiculous anyway. . Assuming of course that the challenging person has the abilities and skills to make the challenge. However, not all 70 year olds are out of shape. I've seen one where a student attempted to hit him with a boken full force and he was simple gone. Knowing how to move and redirect energy will give them a fighting chance in my opinion.

HATOMOTO
10-20-2007, 12:17 PM
Confucius say before you mess with an old man you should know what kind of a young man he was.

I thought after reading this thread that this might be interesting to all. This is from: http://www.karlgeis.com/origin.htm

We began to develop a system of testing each technique in the Tomiki system for the purpose of determining the validity of each technique in a near realistic combat situation. My justification for this type of testing of each kata technique came from my Judo kata, Sensei Mr. Sumiuki Kotani, who, along with Mr. Tomiki Shihan, were two of four aikidoka to make the rank of Menkyo under Uyeshiba Shihan. Mr. Kotani told me that all of the Judo kata were designed from realistic attack situations, and that one could become a very effective judoka by practicing kata that were developed from near realistic combat situations.

Our test mainly consisted of having uke attack in a realistic fashion, and once tori has begun to take the technique, uke would have the option of trying to prevent the technique from working. Uke was permitted to use the prior knowledge that he had about the technique in question, to try and develop various methods of blocking the technique and was only held responsible for making an honestly committed initial attack. We quickly discovered that Mr Tomiki had been right (off-balance is the key). From that point on we began to concentrate our focus on breaking uke's balance before attempting to execute our technique. We began to move very quickly through all of the kata, modifying each technique until it became a really believable, testable, and usable idea. Further, as a precept of our system, we allow any sincere person in our system to question any technique and ask that a reasonable and realistic test be made to prove that it is indeed reasonably fail-safe and really useful against a strong, athletic opponent.

Often someone will say what if I try this, and we try it. Sometimes we got surprised and had to enter into further modification of the idea until it worked. No idea was held sacred, no belt rank was too high to be questioned if the question was legitimate. These questioning and testing precepts are a part of our system and no teacher would attempt to dodge around questions by great and prolific oratory rather than real pragmatic physical testing and truth seeking. Our simple rule, "if it can't be tested forget it", is strictly followed today in all of our seminars. The kata techniques, therefore, were required to be realistic and useful to all ages and sizes of persons against a realistic attacker.

In the beginning we thought that the techniques would become short and quick when exposed to our methodology. Surprisingly however, the technique took longer in time to execute. It quickly became clear that having the knowledge and ability to use off-balance and movement became more important than the use of speed and\or power. It became very clear that even a small, older person, fully utilizing the ideas of off-balance and proper movement, could really be effective against anybody.

We found that the automatic reflex part of the movement needed most was the movement centered around the initial attack. We found that, if during the initial attack the balance could be disturbed even the slightest bit by a properly developed automatic reflex, the opponent became a sitting duck with loads of time left available for the application of the technique in question. These discoveries and others convinced us that we were on the right track in our use of kata. We further felt that a randori system, very near to the system used in Judo, was needed to bring our system to fruition.

All of us, having been trained in the Tomiki system, were familiar with the tanto randori system and its evolution. We were all troubled with the many self-defense questions that tanto randori and tanto shiai brought to mind. First, shomen-ate to the face was not allowed. This technique was considered by Mr. Tomiki to be so important to Aikido that he once told me he believed that in real combat Aikido wrist and joint techniques were only viable if they were preceded by shomen-ate.

I cannot argue with the decision to eliminate shomen-ate from tanto shiai. It was a necessary safety measure that had to be taken, if tanto shiai was to remain an Aikido alternative. It is also true, however, that with the institution of this one rule, eliminating shomen-ate from tanto randori, that without question the most powerful and effective, simple, instinctive, and automatic single response to a totally surprise attack was eliminated from the Tomiki Aikido automatic response repertoire. We found the inability of the man bearing the tanto to use shomen-ate against his opponent further reinforced his inability to develop this technique as an automatic instinctive intuitive action to any real life threatening surprise attack.

We got around this dilemma by agreeing to use shomen-ate primarily as a separation technique when doing randori. We use shomen-ate as a throwing technique only after our opponent has walked into our palm. To our surprise shomen-ate became stronger, rather than weaker, because by using shomen-ate primarily as a separation technique rather than a blow in randori we began to develop very quick hands-to-the-face when we lost control of our position or of the opponent's hands.

We further found that the more slowly we worked the quicker we became automatic in our response and the quicker our reflexes became. This type of free randori, with both players doing Aikido, has developed from its initial stages in the late 60's and early 70`s during Mr. Riki Kogure's six year teaching period in my dojo to what it is today. We now have a large number of people who are very skilled in hand randori. We use our method of randori as an adjunct to our kata training program.

gregg block
10-20-2007, 12:24 PM
Combat is combat. Respect is respect. A young son could take his old Father if he wanted to. But love and respect keeps this from ever happening. Shouldn't a person who has spent a good portion of there lives helping others gain enlightenment in AIkido be treated like a father. If one searches for peace he will find it. The opposite is equally true. Search long enough and one will eventually find the beating they are looking for.

Basia Halliop
10-20-2007, 02:17 PM
While I can see the criticisms of the 'details' and 'method' here (rude and not really useful to suddenly change the rules in a teaching environment, age does have an effect, etc), I can sort of see some real points as well... basically it seems like it would kind of make sense if some highish ranking (even if it's the students rather than the top teachers or whatever) people would have exactly those sorts of matches suggested (organized, with known rules, whatever) from time to time. It seems like it would just be so much clearer and less subjective to judge ability and skill that way.

G DiPierro
10-20-2007, 03:10 PM
Ah! I thought this was familiar territory. I remember that thread. Same tune, different station.Well I think it's a nice counter-melody to the constant tune of "my shihan is so strong that nobody can ever stop him" that you hear from so many people here. Of course, they have never seen anyone stop their shihan because their shihan does not allow it. He carefully cultivates and selects ukes who perform nice falls for him and make him look good. There's nothing wrong with cooperative training but when people ascribe some great martial prowess to their teachers because their perspective has been limited to this very artificial environment then I think it's worth injecting a dose of reality to the discussions.

GP: From my perspective, all I see are claims that are only verifiable by you. If you want to be taken seriously, then you need to be willing to back the claims up in a real situation. Life has no rules as quoted in the article on atemi. Real situations have no rules. If you impose rules, then you are being disingenuous.Then why train martial arts at all? Any time you are training you are imposing rules. Anything else is a real fight. If you need to see someone in a no-rules situation to know if they are any good then how do you know you shihan is any good? Have you ever seen him in such situation? Most people don't have any problem making assessments of people based on situations less than a real fight. For me a teacher that I would want to train with regularly needs to be able to demonstrate a convincing level of skill in something less than a real fight (ie a cooperative or semi-cooperative environment), and since I've met people who could do this easily it's obviously not something that is impossible to do.

Perhaps you have stumbled on something but your method of claiming such does not make people take you seriously. This is kind of a "put up or shut up" situation. And making the claim "I know what I can do does not cut it." That legend is only in your mind. Others will only believe you when you can prove what you say. "Coulda, shoulda, woulda" does not prove anything. You also cannot impose conditions on the situation.

You've tried to prove your point in artificial situations such as a teaching seminar-still not verifiable other than saying I could have thrown or stopped your sensei at any time-which is purely hypothetical.Ahh, interesting. So I cannot impose any conditions yet I am supposed to accept the alleged skill of these shihan in a very limited set of conditions that they impose in their classes and which are much more restricted than what I impose in my own classes. Seems like a double-standard to me.

I don't know who you are training with this weekend but I'm sure more claims are to come since that seems to be your pattern. However, at some point you need to back up what you are saying.To me the pattern is something that exists in aikido, specifically with the big-name aikido teachers in the major organizations. I don't see the same kinds of problems elsewhere.

I have verified that by the way-one of my students told me you were complaining that his ikkyo technique was hurting your neck and he was only a lowly shodan; another shodan at the seminar you referenced also noted that you kept complaining he was trying to hurt you and you were not going to let that happen which is interesting since he's a very controlled and cautious individual and another lowly shodan).This is getting ridiculous and I am losing interest in this discussion but since you want to press the issue I try to be a cooperative uke and let people do the technique but I'm not going to allow people to abuse that and me with sloppy, tight, overly muscled technique, as many (most?) people in aikido have, especially at the shodan level. So I can either shut them down or reverse them, which usually results in them them getting upset and often trying to turn the interaction into a fight or contest, or I can tell them what they are doing wrong and give them the opportunity to fix it. Yet no matter which choice I make apparently it will upset someone or other.

Aikibu
10-21-2007, 12:31 AM
Combat is combat. Respect is respect. A young son could take his old Father if he wanted to. But love and respect keeps this from ever happening. Shouldn't a person who has spent a good portion of there lives helping others gain enlightenment in AIkido be treated like a father. If one searches for peace he will find it. The opposite is equally true. Search long enough and one will eventually find the beating they are looking for.

Word...Chuck Norris told me something similar to this a very long time ago...No matter how badass you think you are... Someone out there has your number...and if thats the kind of man you want to be when you grow up son...Don't worry... That dude will find you.

William Hazen

Amir Krause
10-21-2007, 06:08 AM
I think the basic assumptions you make are wrong, or at least, do not encompass the Shihans I have met from my system:

-> On the first visit of a Shihan to our dojo, he taught a variation of Kote-Gaishi which seemed dubious to all the advanced students. Guess what happened?
- We asked him to re-demonstrate, this time with a young and swift Shodan. And found out we were correct, that variation was very problematic for an old sick person against a much younger and swifter one.
Do you think it removed an ounce of the honor we felt towards the Shihan? Obviously not. Particularly not for those of us who knew he was so sick he could hardly walk 100 meters without a rest stop.
Seeing him demonstrate was both inspiring (mind over matter) and most instructive.

-|> While I visited Japan, my brother and I (both Nidans at the time) were taught together in a private lesson by a 6th dan (for free). I will never forget his expressions of joy whenever one of us "tricked" him into a surprise technique or countered him during Randori.

Despite all the above, I do not get the point of countering a teacher while he is demonstrating a technique for the class. After all, you know the technique he demonstrates, he will do it in slow speed so all can see, he will often alter the technique angles to help the class see, he may also alter the technique to stress several deductive points, and his mind will be on teaching and not on you. Given all the above - being unable to reverse the technique is more of a wonder.
My teacher is several grades above me, and yet in the last year or so, I feel I could sometimes counter techniques while he teaches the class. I have no doubt this does not equate to being able to counter when he really practices (not to speak of fighting).

Amir

aikidoc
10-21-2007, 09:07 AM
He carefully cultivates and selects ukes who perform nice falls for him and make him look good. There's nothing wrong with cooperative training but when people ascribe some great martial prowess to their teachers because their perspective has been limited to this very artificial environment then I think it's worth injecting a dose of reality to the discussions..
My sensei goes around to everyone that time permits and lets them feel the technique. Only recently has he brought and uke with him since most of us cannot take ukemi when he opens up-we are too stiff I guess.

[QUOTE]Then why train martial arts at all? Any time you are training you are imposing rules. Anything else is a real fight. If you need to see someone in a no-rules situation to know if they are any good then how do you know you shihan is any good? Have you ever seen him in such situation? Most people don't have any problem making assessments of people based on situations less than a real fight. For me a teacher that I would want to train with regularly needs to be able to demonstrate a convincing level of skill in something less than a real fight (ie a cooperative or semi-cooperative environment), and since I've met people who could do this easily it's obviously not something that is impossible to do.[QUOTE]
You are very confusing. You complain about cooperative or semi-cooperative being the only way the shihan can make it work but yet you want a teacher that can demonstrate a convincing level of skill under those conditions. By the way, I'm not the one with a problem with rules. I understand the need for them in a training situation so people don't get injured.

[QUOTE]Ahh, interesting. So I cannot impose any conditions yet I am supposed to accept the alleged skill of these shihan in a very limited set of conditions that they impose in their classes and which are much more restricted than what I impose in my own classes. Seems like a double-standard to me..[QUOTE]

Your the one claiming they cannot move you or you can stop them. My contention is make it real then.

[QUOTE]This is getting ridiculous and I am losing interest in this discussion but since you want to press the issue I try to be a cooperative uke and let people do the technique but I'm not going to allow people to abuse that and me with sloppy, tight, overly muscled technique, as many (most?) people in aikido have, especially at the shodan level. So I can either shut them down or reverse them, which usually results in them them getting upset and often trying to turn the interaction into a fight or contest, or I can tell them what they are doing wrong and give them the opportunity to fix it. Yet no matter which choice I make apparently it will upset someone or other.[QUOTE]

See Rachel Massey's comments in other thread on muscling.

aikidoc
10-21-2007, 09:36 AM
I think the basic assumptions you make are wrong, or at least, do not encompass the Shihans I have met from my system:

Despite all the above, I do not get the point of countering a teacher while he is demonstrating a technique for the class. After all, you know the technique he demonstrates, he will do it in slow speed so all can see, he will often alter the technique angles to help the class see, he may also alter the technique to stress several deductive points, and his mind will be on teaching and not on you. Given all the above - being unable to reverse the technique is more of a wonder.
My teacher is several grades above me, and yet in the last year or so, I feel I could sometimes counter techniques while he teaches the class. I have no doubt this does not equate to being able to counter when he really practices (not to speak of fighting).

Amir

Good comments.

Budd
10-21-2007, 10:35 AM
MMA is a new term for something a lot of folks have been doing for a while. It does provide a great training methodology to relatively safely test out some things, but it isn't the end-all be-all. My opinion generally is that anyone that thinks so hasn't been around the block all that much.

The notion that you know what someone's capable of really bringing by practicing compliant drills, or even "resisting" their attempts at compliant drills - is flat out ludicrous. MMA sparring is a nice place to try things out and see how things work under pressure testing, but even MMA professionals don't only train by sparring full contact. I'm reminded of a certain guy that made a bunch of claims about aikido and MMA and then showed up at an Aiki Expo - it didn't go too well.

On the other hand, pointing out some possibly legitimate criticisms of aikido, its organizations and possibly mainstream training methodologies - shouldn't necessarily be discouraged. It just helps if it's balanced with sound logic and credible research. I don't have a dog in this one either way, though . . . so I'm bowing out.

G DiPierro
10-21-2007, 11:51 AM
You are very confusing. You complain about cooperative or semi-cooperative being the only way the shihan can make it work but yet you want a teacher that can demonstrate a convincing level of skill under those conditions.Training is training, but that does not mean that all training is the same.
See Rachel Massey's comments in other thread on muscling.I dont think you have enough understanding to see the obvious differences between what she is describing and the other situation you brought up. Either that or you are choosing to ignore them. I also think you are just grasping at straws here and dont care to have a substantive discussion anyway. Sadly this is a common pattern on the internet when people can't come up with any more arguments to support their position yet still don't want to let go of it. So keep holding on to what you think you know. If you stay with the aikikai, you might do very well since there are a lot of other people just like you there.

Don
10-21-2007, 03:13 PM
I saw this thread and was dismayed at Mr. DiPerrio's comments. I haven't seen him at any USAF seminars for a few years now, but contrary to his assertions of such prowess as to shut down high ranking yudansha and even shihan, when I encountered him he was asked to leave several seminars that I attended for mistreating students of lower rank than he and was himself shutdown when he would try to modify technique during training. Whether or not a 25 year-old can "take" a 60 year-old shihan might be debatable. Try it with someone like Donovan Waite and you are liable to have your head handed to you. And why would you want to anyway? If you always want to be on the outside looking in, then go around not making friends. Even if you are philosophically correct in everything you think or think you discover about aikido, and life, if you can't spread it and help anyone else, of what good are your insights? Knowledge not applied or spread is impotent. Or to put it more bluntly, "you will be a legend in your own mind"

Rupert Atkinson
10-21-2007, 03:22 PM
This thread is daft. I train for self defence. I am not training to fight some muscle-bound MMA prizefighting hulk. And guess what, most people that train, MMA included, are not the stupid type that are going to mug you. They are just like us.

If a teacher demos a tech then learn it. If you don't like it then go and do MMA. I have had many doubts about the various arts I have trained, which is why I have tried so many - the reality is that they all have something to offer. But I still come back to Aikido - it has more 'for me' than most other arts.

G DiPierro
10-21-2007, 04:11 PM
I saw this thread and was dismayed at Mr. DiPerrio's comments. I haven't seen him at any USAF seminars for a few years now, but contrary to his assertions of such prowess as to shut down high ranking yudansha and even shihan, when I encountered him he was asked to leave several seminars that I attended for mistreating students of lower rank than he and was himself shutdown when he would try to modify technique during training.This is not correct. I was asked to leave one seminar, but it was not for the reason you gave. I don't recall whether you were there or not but if so I doubt that the people who made that decision would have discussed it with you. And of course you do not know anything of my side of the story. Maybe you heard some rumors from some people about what happened but I would be careful about posting that kind of thing on a publicly archived forum like this, especially when you don't have first-hand knowledge of what transpired. Even if you did I think it would be best not to discuss it publicly. Airing out your own organization's dirty laundry on the internet is not something I would recommend doing.

If you always want to be on the outside looking in, then go around not making friends. Even if you are philosophically correct in everything you think or think you discover about aikido, and life, if you can't spread it and help anyone else, of what good are your insights? Knowledge not applied or spread is impotent.There are other ways to spread knowledge than being part of a specific organization. To me the most important goals are to try to understand martial arts as best as I can and spread that knowledge to whomever wants to have it. I'm not necessarily opposed to any particular organization, and I have not had the same kind of problems that I've had in aikido with the organizations that I have encountered in other disciples, but I'm not willing to comprise those principles just to be part of an organization. If an organization cannot support me in those goals then what good is it? Having friends is nice but if those so-called friends don't accept you for who you are but will only like you if you do every thing the way they want you to then they aren't very good friends after all, they are just using you. I gave the USAF what I think was a more than fair chance and they chose not to support me. That was their choice, so I don't see how you can blame me for not helping that organization or sharing my knowledge with them.

Roman Kremianski
10-21-2007, 07:13 PM
That's all good, but not quite the same as seeing it yourself.

DonMagee
10-21-2007, 08:00 PM
I probably can take my judo sensei in a fight. He's about 70 years old, shakes when he walks, has had both knees replaced, multiple surgery all over his body, and is the result of an long successful judo career. He is one of the most respected sensei in my area. I would not want him to grab a hold of me though. I've been thrown by him and he has perfect technique, even at his age. But I know with my youth, I could easily run circles around him and leg kick him to death.

This does not invalidate anything he teaches. His teaching is the most valuable teaching I get, it comes from life experience in thousands of judo matches. I trust him because he walked the path before I did, and his advice is the advice of experience.

My bjj instructor is a young black belt, in his 30's. He destroys me on the mat. I am no match for him, MMA, bjj, judo rules, etc. His advice is no better then my judo instructors advice. But I trust his judgment on the ground over my judo instructors. Why? Because that is 99% of what he does, he is more experienced there then anyone else I have access to. What would it matter if he took my judo instructor in a fight? It would not prove a single thing.

Now, I say this to point out a stark contrast between those people, and my aikido instructor. He is a great friend of mine, and good mentor in the ideas of budo. A very experienced aikidoka and a very large man. But, he has told me he has never had a sparing match. And rather points to his instructor for verification of the concepts and ideas he teaches. And while I'm 100% sure he would fight me if I challenged him, it would be to either of our benefit and I am no where near the size and strength of him. To lose would only show that am not skillful enough to defeat a larger, stronger, opponent.

Although I respect him, and train under him, I can not put the same stock in his advice that I would in my other teachers. His is the voice of theory, not the voice of experience. This does not invalidate his training, but it does not validate it either. It becomes a matter of faith. NO different then religion.

What takes this matter of faith and validates or invalidates it is what you do with your training. I choose to try to apply what he teaches to my other arts. I have found that while most of what he teaches does indeed work in ideal situations, if I was to use that as my sole focus of hand to hand combat, I would not be prepared after more then 4 years to handle any better then I was before I started. Honestly (and I feel it is important to be honest with yourself) I do not feel that even if I dropped all my other training, dedicated the 6 days a week I train only to him, would I even have the skills after 5 more years to defend myself against a single unarmed attacker any better then I did before I started.

This is not a bash on this teacher, or the effectiveness of the techniques. I really think the problem is two fold. First, the lack of resistant sparing gives me no idea how any of this works, how to adapt or modify the techniques with the ever changing pace of a fight. And this leads to the second problem. Until I walked out onto that mat and had a sparing match, I had no idea what a 'fight' was like. I was 100% unprepared for any of it. And that was not even a real fight. My ideas of what a fight was were shattered, I was defeated, and left scared, shaking, and defeated. And that was only grappling. I kid with less then 3 months training and half my size left me crumpled and helpless. All those TKD katas, all that aikido kata, all that theory, all those books I read, all those visualizations I had, all those videos I watched, made not 1 shred of difference.

That was the day I realized I was unable to learn how to do anything without doing it. I can't learn to swim on the beach, I can't learn to play guitar or dance on my playstation, and I can't learn to fight without fighting.

And even that has levels. I quickly learned that the sparing was not all there was to gaining skill. At first I thought that was all anyone ever needed. I was obsessed with it, I yawned though the drills, and positional resistance sparing, and conditioning. And I did get a lot better a lot faster. I was a better fighter in 3-4 months of bjj then I had been in my entire life. But then I hit a brick wall. I started realizing in stages that there was more to learning to fight then just going "ok, thats a technique, now lets spar and test it!". First, I was a lazy, out of shape, computer nerd. Lesson one to self defense, stop being out of shape and overweight. I learned I needed cardio, because without it, I was only good for a few seconds. Then I realized I needed to learn how to breath, or I was only good for a minute even with great cardio. And who was trying to teach me how to breath? My old aikido instructor! Then I realized I needed to practice perfecting my techniques. At first I tried just resistance drills, no help, then I tried just non-resistance drills, no help, but then I shut up and did what my bjj coach was trying to tell us, I did all 3 types of drills: non resistance, leveled resistance, full resistance. So my aikido instructor was right, you needed that non resistance crap to develop skill. Then, I realized there was much much more to sparing then winning. That trying to win actually hurt my training as I was not fixing the weak spots in my game, but exploiting the strong spots in my game. And this change lead me to the biggest realization of all (and my last realization I've had that was this major to my training).

Sparing is not a fight. Even MMA sparing is not a fight. Training bjj all the time did not prepare me for using it in MMA, training MMA does not prepare me to fight on the street. And while I realized this, the thought came into my mind. I can't think of any training method that does prepare you for the street.

And this is the point of this huge post. To explain this simple realization. MMA can help you with a few things, learning to be driven though pain, learning how to adapt your techniques to different situations, learning how to be aggressive in the face of equally skilled adversity. These are not unique to MMA, but they seem to be unique to combat sports such as judo, bjj, full contact karate, boxing, etc. These skills alone are enough to overcome most people without technique. But technique alone without these skills is functionally worthless. They can't be explained, or drilled, or given to you though a belt. They have to be built from the ground up, by pushing yourself though situations where you have to develop these skills to succeed.

So my point is, no matter how great of technique you or your teachers have, if you and they have not felt what it means to have someone try to hurt you. Learned how to push though the fear, pain, aggression and adrenaline. You are ill prepared for conflict.

And if you think about it, this is what the military is trying to build that desire, good technique is a hopefully side effect. But if that guy can push though and take the initiative, he has a better chance of living. And those of us who are not practice to develop these skills are very much lacking. So for now, these combat sports are the best thing I've got for learning how to fight. Until someone comes up with a way to actually street fight safely.

Nikopol
10-21-2007, 08:12 PM
This is getting ridiculous and I am losing interest in this discussion .

No malice intended, but..

ABOUT TIME! :p

If you ask me this whole thread is one stinking mess, and it does not seem that it indicates any interest in developing your Aikido whatsoever.

If you think there are poor shihan out there, become a great shihan.
Or do we intend to talk the entire aikido community into submission?

DonMagee
10-21-2007, 08:16 PM
No malice intended, but..

ABOUT TIME! :p

If you ask me this whole thread is one stinking mess, and it does not seem that it indicates any interest in developing your Aikido whatsoever.

If you think there are poor shihan out there, become a great shihan.
Or do we intend to talk the entire aikido community into submission?

I've had this thrown at me by judo instructors who disagree with me on the rules of competitions or how they train ground fighting. This poses a question. How can you get rank in an organization when you clearly do not agree with them. If I don't tow the party line, I'm not going to have much luck above 3rd degree where it's more about being part of the team, then it is about skill.

Nikopol
10-21-2007, 08:27 PM
How can you get rank in an organization when you clearly do not agree with them.

Train, and then test.

Or if one just can't get along, give up.

What I object to is this breathless baiting of the other Aikidoka on this forum about shite. (that last word in the English sense, not the Japanese.)

:rolleyes:

Ecosamurai
10-22-2007, 06:15 AM
Since you brought it up, if any shihan is willing to give me a fair shot at trying to reverse his technique I'd be happy to try it. I haven't found any takers on that yet, though.

Not looking to get into this discussion really, just going to say that my teacher does this all the time quite happily. He's ranked 7th Dan in aikido. If you ever get the chance to train with him you can ask him to give you a shot at reversing his technique. I've been trying to find ways around him for years and have only ever drawn blanks. It's not like he's not invincible though, so maybe you'd do better :)

Mike

Ecosamurai
10-22-2007, 06:27 AM
Deja vu

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11374

The reason I don't visit so much these days. Good to see that not a lot's changed :(

Yeah, that's why I don't bother to read much around here any more, plus aikiweb always seems to bring out the worst in me too :( call it webrage I suppose....

Anyway, before I add him to my ignore list, just wanted to let Giancarlo know that there are plenty of people quite happy to do exactly what he suggests as far as 'testing' them goes.

Bye Giancarlo :rolleyes:

Mike

Dewey
10-22-2007, 08:47 AM
Thanks, Don...that was an excellent post. The bright spot in this thread.

As to the rest of this thread...

http://www.geocities.com/bp_dewey/frustration.jpg

G DiPierro
10-22-2007, 10:09 PM
I can relate to how someone who does not even understand how to approach resistance training might find the statement that many or even most aikido shihan rely too much on cooperative training to be a form of bragging. I can also see how such a person might find the claim, offered in response to a direct challenge from some other person who believes that nobody could possibly resist his shihan because said shihan supposedly allows people to try to attack him for real and stop him and that person has never seen anyone do so successfully, that it is actually not that difficult to resist this and other shihan to also be a form of bragging, especially if this person considers such things be nearly impossible.

However, it just might be the case that this is not really bragging at all, but just the recounting of something that, although perhaps beyond the ability level of many people in aikido, is actually not that impressive relative to what it is possible to do. It might be the case that those who feel the need to insult and attack someone who makes such statements are doing so because they are actually insecure about their own skill level and afraid to consider that something that they have committed a great deal of their life to might not be quite what they thought it was. Perhaps they don't want to let go of that aspect of their self-identity and risk losing all of the ego-reinforcement that it has provided for them. All of that is understandable.

However, if such a person really was a sincere martial artist, as he claims to be, I think he would realize that bragging about how he is so much better and more sincere than anyone who would make these kinds of statement only makes himself look foolish. I think he would pause to consider that it might be wiser to investigate for himself whether there is something to these statements that seem to be outside his realm of understanding before summarily dismissing them on a public, archived forum. And I think he would be much more careful about the choice of words he used if he did choose to participate in a public discussion about these statements.

Marc Abrams
10-23-2007, 07:17 AM
Giancarlo:

Unlike you, you do not hear me making claims one way or another. Unlike you, you do not hear other people question not only the validity of your claims, but of your abilities themselves. The best that you can appear to do is to question the competency of those to seek to hold you to task about the words that you write.

When teachers demonstrate techniques, particularly done from static attacks, the techniques are typically "expanded in their time frame." In other words, what would typically take a split second, can be drawn out to say ten seconds. This is done to clearly demonstrate what is occurring during the execution of techniques. "Useless resistance" has been talked about quite frequently. Knowing what technique is happening, knowing that the time frame is drawn out, makes it easier to resist the execution of the technique. The only thing that the uke has accomplished is to demonstrate their insecure ego. At full speed, the attacker would never be able to change direction of force in the manner that a person is able to when the technique and attack are practiced at slower speeds.

I have never met you, but I extend an open invitation to you to visit my hombu dojo in NYC. Imaizumi Sensei teaches every weekday night. Heck, I will even pay for your mat fee. He is 70 years old. Be my guest and do what you do with him when you ask him to demonstrate a technique on you. It would be my pleasure to see someone of your skill level do what you do. I am open to learning from everybody, including you.

Instead of trying to rebut everybody who attempts to hold you to your claims, maybe you should try and step back and ask yourself why you elicit the kind of responses that you do. It may come as a complete surprise to you, but many people in the Aikido world have spend most of their lives training in other martial arts and fighting sports before training in Aikido. Many people in the Aikido world are aware of what their personal shortcomings are in their training and execution of what they do. Few I see, engage in idol worship with their teachers.

In summary, it seems to be you who raise questions that reflect back for others to question your ego integrity and even your martial arts abilities. From an Aikido perspective, it appears as if your ego is getting in the way of your ability to work from a place of "mu-shin" which should be a critical starting point for the execution of effective Aikido techniques. For me, reality is the ultimate trump card. Maybe it is me who is so insecure and unaware of the shortcomings in myself and my teacher. That is why I am so open to invite you to our school. I welcome an opportunity for a sincere training opportunity with anybody who is equally as sincere.

Marc Abrams

G DiPierro
10-23-2007, 10:11 AM
Giancarlo - I think what folks are saying is that they don't see where you get the authority to make judgement calls about laying hands on anybody. Some folks get away with it because a number of people have met them behind the scenes (even if they don't talk about it) and can verify their chops. The problem is the kind of claims you're making 1) aren't verifiable 2) don't really give weight to your arguments 3) also don't really cast you in a favorable light . . . so maybe people are puzzled why you're making them?Fair point. I guess I don't really see the claims I have made thus far as all that exceptional. I myself don't think I am claiming any great level of skill here. There are a lot of things I cannot do yet that I want to do and I think are possible to do, and I know there are people out there who are much better than me at doing these things. I've only been doing aikido just over ten years and only focusing on the stuff I'm doing now for four or five, so I'm just getting started.

But even now I can see that what most people (not everyone, though) are doing in aikido just doesn't work. It lacks some very basic elements and covers for what is missing with a reliance on compliant ukemi, usually without anyone realizing that this is what is happening. I know a lot of people who do aikido and read this forum don't like to hear this, but to me it is so obvious that I don't see how someone can miss it or sit here and keep arguing with me that I'm wrong about this unless they themselves are missing some very basic yet important piece of knowledge. To me it's just such a clear starting point for the fact that the training method in aikido needs some serious changes.

That's what I am most interested in right now: not claiming how good my skills are relative to anyone else, but pointing out how the current training method that people in aikido use is not going to get very many people to the level of being able to realize the true potential of aikido. I'd say that the people who are getting hung up on what I know or don't know are missing the point and also sidetracking the more important discussion, but since they keep attacking me and challenging me personally I feel I need to respond.

I have never met you, but I extend an open invitation to you to visit my hombu dojo in NYC. Imaizumi Sensei teaches every weekday night. Heck, I will even pay for your mat fee. He is 70 years old. Be my guest and do what you do with him when you ask him to demonstrate a technique on you. It would be my pleasure to see someone of your skill level do what you do. I am open to learning from everybody, including you.Thanks for the invitation. I haven't been in NYC in several years but if I am will be happy to drop by. I don't know your teacher but if I did touch hands with him I probably wouldn't do that much. Usually the only thing I will do with someone is find out where his resistance threshold is and then move back down into a comfortable working range that gives him a challenge but is not impossible. That's what I consider intelligent training with resistance. Most aikido teachers I have met seem to think that they are much stronger than they are, I suspect because they have bought their own press with regards to their students always taking nice falls for them, so I usually take it to the point of actually stopping them from moving me first before dialing it back down, but if a teacher is realisitic about his abilities that step is not actually necessary.

Instead of trying to rebut everybody who attempts to hold you to your claims, maybe you should try and step back and ask yourself why you elicit the kind of responses that you do.I suspect it is because I am challenging the status quo and many of the commonly held myths in aikido.

In summary, it seems to be you who raise questions that reflect back for others to question your ego integrity and even your martial arts abilities. From an Aikido perspective, it appears as if your ego is getting in the way of your ability to work from a place of "mu-shin" which should be a critical starting point for the execution of effective Aikido techniques.Well I'm not claiming any kind of enlightenment here. Do I have shortcomings? Absolutely. I see them every time I train, either in my own dojo or elsewhere. But that doesn't change the fact that progress in understanding comes from taking an idea that you think works and testing it out to see if you are right. This is what I have been doing and will continue to do. If someone can show me that their way is better than mine or even just can offer me something I don't have but want to have, as a number of teachers have done over the years, then I will try to learn what he is doing. But if not, I'm not going to "empty my cup" just so someone else can fill it up with a bunch of crap that I already know doesn't work.

This is and has always been a standard practice in martial arts instruction, and I would put the same responsibility right back on the teacher: just because you are standing at the front of the room doesn't mean that what you are doing is right, so why is it so hard for them to empty their cup and see when what they are doing is not working? Of course I have my own answers to this and that's what I've been talking about a lot here.

When someone comes into my dojo and what I am teaching doesn't work on them (it has happened a few times with people with certain kinds of previous experience), I take the opportunity to learn from that and work to change what I am doing. When I give most aikido teachers this same opportunity they usually not only don't want it but get upset that I'm not just taking nice pretty falls for them (there's been a few exceptions to this here and there, though). That's why I'm so critical of aikido and so many of its big-name shihan.

G DiPierro
10-23-2007, 11:01 AM
Giancarlo - I think what folks are saying is that they don't see where you get the authority to make judgement calls about laying hands on anybody. Some folks get away with it because a number of people have met them behind the scenes (even if they don't talk about it) and can verify their chops. The problem is the kind of claims you're making 1) aren't verifiable 2) don't really give weight to your arguments 3) also don't really cast you in a favorable light . . . so maybe people are puzzled why you're making them?One other thing I should point out just because you brought it up: the claim I made about my encounter with Saotome was verified on this very forum by a member of his own organization who was obviously not sympathetic to me. Check the last post in the other thread. The claim I made about my encounter with Kato I believe could be verified by reference to the video tapes of the event. I thought there were multiple cameras in action, and the person who challenged that claim should have access to those tapes.

For the record, the part we would need to see is from when he first came up and sat down to do kokyu-dosa with me, since that is the only time I recall where I gave him sufficient resistance to stop him. After that I reverted to mostly compliant ukemi. However, I doubt we will ever see this clip since I think it would prove that I did what I said I did, as the account posted by the person in the other thread did. Whether or not those claims advance my arguments or how well they do is a separate matter, but they can be and have been verified.

DonMagee
10-23-2007, 11:07 AM
I just thought of something important.

Defeatism

If you think you will never be able to stop someone, you never will. I must believe I can stop them in order to stop them. If you think it is hopeless, you have already failed. This is why I always believe I can defeat my instructor ever time I spar with him. Sure he puts a hurting on me, and I never 'win', but next time, I'm gonna beat that guy.

Ron Tisdale
10-23-2007, 11:41 AM
To me it's just such a clear starting point for the fact that the training method in aikido needs some serious changes.

I'll buy that...and so would a lot of people who are trying to figure out how aikido keiko seems to have moved away from the internal skill development. This topic has had quite a bit of interest here.

That's what I am most interested in right now: not claiming how good my skills are relative to anyone else, but pointing out how the current training method that people in aikido use is not going to get very many people to the level of being able to realize the true potential of aikido.

The problem is that you DO make such statements...if you'd stay away from that, I think you'd be fine. Oh sure, there'd be the normal bickering and who do you think you are stuff that always happens on the internet...but I think the serious folks would give you much less flak.

I'd say that the people who are getting hung up on what I know or don't know are missing the point and also sidetracking the more important discussion, but since they keep attacking me and challenging me personally I feel I need to respond.

Uh, don't bring it up, and they won't see the opening... ;)

Best,
Ron

G DiPierro
10-23-2007, 02:03 PM
I just thought of something important.

Defeatism

If you think you will never be able to stop someone, you never will. I must believe I can stop them in order to stop them. If you think it is hopeless, you have already failed. This is why I always believe I can defeat my instructor ever time I spar with him. Sure he puts a hurting on me, and I never 'win', but next time, I'm gonna beat that guy.That's a very good point. One of the things I've noticed especially about aikido shihan is that they are very good at encouraging people to take nice falls for them. Sometimes I even think that much of moving up through the higher ranks in aikido comes down learning how to entice people to do this through non-technical means. Since it's usually considered an "honor" or privilege to take ukemi for such teachers, students will compete to try to be the best at making the teacher look good with their ukemi. In essence, they are trying to see who can be the biggest (or best) loser.

On the other hand, these people will often resist quite a bit when practicing with partners in class. For example, I was training at a seminar a while back with a guy who I think was pretty high up in his organization, maybe 5-dan or so. I guess he thought I was giving him too much resistance (even though it wasn't that much), and so when it was his turn to uke he just locked up and didn't move. I tried to go around it for a while but he was experienced enough to stop that, especially since his resistance was totally unrealistic for the technique in question, which was ikkyo. I then tried to explain to him that although I was not going to hit him, his locking up left him very open to being struck with my free hand. Finally, the shihan called him up and threw him around a bit, then he came back and took nice cooperative ukemi for me. Why? Because there was no way he would have ever taken the kind of ukemi he had been using with me for his shihan, and going from one to the other made seems to have made that quite clear to him (and I'm sure the shihan had precisely this outcome in mind).

I would never give a practice partner at a seminar a level of resistance that is higher than I what would be willing to give the teacher, but I think most people in aikido would do exactly this. They go up and give the teacher almost no resistance in the hopes that he will call them up again and then have no problem locking up in totally unrealistic ways for their practice partners, trying to prove how tough and martial they can be without realizing that they are way off the mark. Of course if you do this and then write about it on the internet nobody will get upset, because nobody cares if you make the teacher look good and then go and resist some other student in class. However, when I do the opposite, giving the shihan more resistance than I give his students, on the assumption that he should be better able to handle it, those same students get upset and claim that there is no way I could be able to resist their teacher since I couldn't even resist them, clearly missing the possibility that I might not have been even trying to resist them that much, if even at all.

If I catch flak from those people for posting about my experiences with their teachers then so be it, but I'm not going to censor myself just because I'm worried about someone getting upset about what I say. I generally assume that I'm going to catch some kind of flak anyway because I know I'm going against the status quo in aikido, and by now I've accepted the fact that it comes with the territory I have staked out. There's a number of people who have been trying for several years to silence my voice within the aikido community, both in dojos and online, and I haven't let them stop me yet. Why should I do it now?

Aikibu
10-23-2007, 02:42 PM
If I catch flak from those people for posting about my experiences with their teachers then so be it, but I'm not going to censor myself just because I'm worried about someone getting upset about what I say. I generally assume that I'm going to catch some kind of flak anyway because I know I'm going against the status quo in aikido, and by now I've accepted the fact that it comes with the territory I have staked out. There's a number of people who have been trying for several years to silence my voice within the aikido community, both in dojos and online, and I haven't let them stop me yet. Why should I do it now?

Your Welcome to come to our next seminar and show us how to do it....Of course resistance to us means attacking with Punches, Kicks, Throws and Take Downs...I highly suggest not to just interpret resistance to mean grabbing someones wrist strongly or wrestling them through a technique during the demonstration in front of the class... Only beginners and intermediate students grab...The last time someone showed up at a seminar to demonstrate that type of resistance They got a black eye and partially separated shoulder for thier trouble, and Sensei was trying his very best not to hurt them...We consider it poor form to suprise someone by trying to out muscle them and not allow them to understand what they are being taught.

Of course you'll have to demonstrate your technique on the Senior Students first. And as long as you practice it in the spirit of love and harmony I am sure we'll enjoy having you and hearing what you have to say. :)

William Hazen

Will Prusner
10-23-2007, 02:44 PM
There's a number of people who have been trying for several years to silence my voice within the aikido community, both in dojos and online, and I haven't let them stop me yet.

Maybe, it would be easier on both parties if they quit trying to stop you, and tried blending with you instead, eh? :ai:

gdandscompserv
10-23-2007, 03:17 PM
And as long as you practice it in the spirit of love and harmony

The last time someone showed up at a seminar to demonstrate that type of resistance They got a black eye and partially separated shoulder for thier trouble,
;)

G DiPierro
10-23-2007, 04:38 PM
Your Welcome to come to our next seminar and show us how to do it....Of course resistance to us means attacking with Punches, Kicks, Throws and Take Downs...I highly suggest not to just interpret resistance to mean grabbing someones wrist strongly or wrestling them through a technique during the demonstration in front of the class... Only beginners and intermediate students grab...The last time someone showed up at a seminar to demonstrate that type of resistance They got a black eye and partially separated shoulder for thier trouble, and Sensei was trying his very best not to hurt them...We consider it poor form to suprise someone by trying to out muscle them and not allow them to understand what they are being taught.Nothing wrong with that kind of practice as long as both people are operating under the same rules, but it's not really what I'm into. If I were, I would spend a lot time more training in striking arts or MMA, but my goal in martial arts is not to learn how to hurt people. Generally the type of resistance training I like to do is where both parties agree not to strike or attempt to injure the other. Nage does not use hard atemi and neither does uke. Sure, you can do it the other way but then it's more dangerous, and it's not necessarily any better, just different.

Ideally, and ultimately, I'd like to be able to defend myself against someone who is trying to strike me or otherwise injure me without having to respond in kind. Of course, that is much harder than what you are talking about because I would be restricting myself to a much more limited and difficult to execute set of options than the other party. Until I get to that point, I think the type of training I've been doing is getting me closer to where I want to be, much more so than most of what I've seen in aikido.

Quite often, even at the shihan level, I see people in aikido not even operating under the assumption that nage must at least follow the same rules as uke. If you allow nage to use atemi while uke just has to stand there and passively grab, as I've seen many shihan and other teachers demonstrate, then your practice has very little martial value. Of course it's much easier to win when you allow yourself a wider range of options while restricting what the other person can do, but true skill in aikido, in my opinion, is when you can still prevail despite restricting your range of options to those that will not cause pain or injury while allowing the other person to even try to employ such measures.

aikidoc
10-23-2007, 05:43 PM
Kokyu dosa is an exercise not a technique. I'll look for the DVD-this I have to see.

HATOMOTO
10-24-2007, 01:22 AM
Without getting to involved in this whole discussion and because I am tired from working 16 hours a day, new business, 7 months old.
blah blah...

When you are training / practicng a specific technique as uke, you are attempting to simulate an impossiblity - that is to the best of your ability recreate a real life attack. There has to be intent and commitment. This is extremely difficult to do. So resisting someones kake in my opinion should only be done if: 1) you do not know what technique will be practiced, 2) only if communicated with your partner & 3) be honest with yourself that your attack has intent and commitment.

My 2 cents.

Mary Eastland
10-24-2007, 05:24 AM
Here's and idea. :)

Have a really strong uke grab ryo kata tori and hold with elbows bent. Uke can move nage back and forth but not pull up or down. Uke holds really strong and hard ...as hard as they can.

Nage extends ki at uke....smile and say "how are ya doing....are ya having a good day? See what happens.

It is a great exercise.... try it....:)
Mary

David Yap
10-24-2007, 08:31 AM
Kokyu dosa is an exercise not a technique. I'll look for the DVD-this I have to see.

Absolutely. An exercise to discover the technique(s) of breaking resistance or finding the path of least resistance. :D

Regards

David

pezalinski
10-24-2007, 08:57 AM
Shodan = Beginner, so cut us some slack, dude. While I admire your desire not to be abused, in turn, you must try not to abuse others... and in a training scenario, throwing an unexpected reversal on a technique when someone else is teaching the class is potentially abusing to your partner. Correcting someone is one thing, but teaching by example is a more effective means than countering someone all of the time. If you want to train with a good martial spirit, that is one thing, but to violate someone simply because their techniques are poorly formed is rude to say the least... That's why we call it 'practice.'

In your own classes, you set the expectations, and that is a perfectly valid to counter poor techniques if that is your teaching method - and it is a standard in my dojo among the Dan Ranked - but at a seminar led by a shihan, his or her rules are the standard. So mellow out and enjoy the aikido; Shodan techniques are always going to be sloppy, tight, and or over muscled -- if they weren't, they'd be Godans, not Shodans ;)

In response to: "This is getting ridiculous and I am losing interest in this discussion but since you want to press the issue I try to be a cooperative uke and let people do the technique but I'm not going to allow people to abuse that and me with sloppy, tight, overly muscled technique, as many (most?) people in aikido have, especially at the shodan level. So I can either shut them down or reverse them, which usually results in them them getting upset and often trying to turn the interaction into a fight or contest, or I can tell them what they are doing wrong and give them the opportunity to fix it. Yet no matter which choice I make apparently it will upset someone or other.
Report Post Reply With Quote"

G DiPierro
10-24-2007, 10:25 AM
Shodan = Beginner, so cut us some slack, dude. While I admire your desire not to be abused, in turn, you must try not to abuse others... and in a training scenario, throwing an unexpected reversal on a technique when someone else is teaching the class is potentially abusing to your partner. Correcting someone is one thing, but teaching by example is a more effective means than countering someone all of the time. If you want to train with a good martial spirit, that is one thing, but to violate someone simply because their techniques are poorly formed is rude to say the least... That's why we call it 'practice.'

In your own classes, you set the expectations, and that is a perfectly valid to counter poor techniques if that is your teaching method - and it is a standard in my dojo among the Dan Ranked - but at a seminar led by a shihan, his or her rules are the standard. So mellow out and enjoy the aikido; Shodan techniques are always going to be sloppy, tight, and or over muscled -- if they weren't, they'd be Godans, not Shodans ;)Yes, this is why I don't like countering people at seminars and I rarely do it unless someone is really trying to force something on me. I have no problem taking cooperative ukemi but things would almost always go a lot smoother if people were more willing to take a minor correction here and there so that they can do the technique better and in a way that actually moves me in the right direction. Sometimes I don't even like working with lower-level yudansha at seminars because they can be the least likely to accept any input (either verbal or non-verbal) about what they are doing wrong. They don't want to change but think they already know everything they need to know.

On the other hand, I often prefer working with mudansha because they usually don't have such big egos and are a lot more willing to accept the idea that what they are doing isn't working and make some minor change that makes practice nicer for both of us. Higher-level people (4-dan and up) can also be nice to work with since they have a better idea of what they are doing and also often can sense when what they are doing isn't working just by feel and change it, although this is certainly not universal. Some of them too have similar problems as the lower level yudansha, although their technique is typically somewhat better.

aikidoc
10-24-2007, 10:52 AM
Here's where I have a major point of disagreement. It is inappropriate for anyone other than perhaps the shihan's senior instructors to be correcting anyone on the mat other than leading them with ukemi. If you want to teach someone on another instructors mat you should have their permission or set up your own seminars. It is disrespectful and makes the big assumption you know what the instructor wants. In my experience, when I see others do that they are usually correcting them not the way it was shown-so error begets error. It is also dangerous to reverse someone on the mat. They are studying a specific technique as demonstrated and even if not properly executed it should not be reversed-I have seen torn shoulders from that type of behavior. It is not the role of the participants to correct others or assume they have the right to do so or reverse them unless practicing kaeshi-waza specifically. With proper ukemi you can lead some in the right direction.

Aikibu
10-24-2007, 10:56 AM
Yes, this is why I don't like countering people at seminars and I rarely do it unless someone is really trying to force something on me. I have no problem taking cooperative ukemi but things would almost always go a lot smoother if people were more willing to take a minor correction here and there so that they can do the technique better and in a way that actually moves me in the right direction. Sometimes I don't even like working with lower-level yudansha at seminars because they can be the least likely to accept any input (either verbal or non-verbal) about what they are doing wrong. They don't want to change but think they already know everything they need to know.

On the other hand, I often prefer working with mudansha because they usually don't have such big egos and are a lot more willing to accept the idea that what they are doing isn't working and make some minor change that makes practice nicer for both of us. Higher-level people (4-dan and up) can also be nice to work with since they have a better idea of what they are doing and also often can sense when what they are doing isn't working just by feel and change it, although this is certainly not universal. Some of them too have similar problems as the lower level yudansha, although their technique is typically somewhat better.

I would suggest perhaps letting the Shihan do the correcting. When I encounter an ego like this I just simplly call the Shihan over "ask a question" and let him watch the Yudansha's technique. A good way to blend with someones ego is not to engage it with your own. Every Uke has something to teach me... Especially the ones who think they are better than thier technique. LOL

William Hazen

Ecosamurai
10-24-2007, 10:58 AM
and in a training scenario, throwing an unexpected reversal on a technique when someone else is teaching the class is potentially abusing to your partner.

Lol

My first ever lesson as an instructor in charge of my own club. I had no other aikido people present, just little old me, so no one in the class knew how to react to anything I did. I was demonstrating ikkyo on a guy and paused to explain a point, I was standing he was bent forward with his arm horizontally out in front of me. He interrupted what I was saying to the rest of the class and said something, I didn't quite catch what he was saying but it turned out that he had said: "I can sweep your legs". I said "Sorry, what was that?", he didn't answer, just swept my legs out from under me and we both ended up flat on our backs, I had to actively take care not to elbow him in the head/chest as we hit the ground as I recall.

Of course next it was my turn to show that he couldn't do that to me if I was doing the ikkyo full on, it had just been because I stopped to speak to the class.... I slammed his face right into the mat, it was a miracle he wasn't seriously injured when I think about it now. Not one of my finer moments.

He never did come back to training.

Mike

DonMagee
10-24-2007, 12:28 PM
Although that is a also a fallacy in training. He was wrong by using your pause to explain as an opening, but you were wrong by showing he couldn't do that again.

The you can't do that again argument is flawed. Once you know what he is going to try to do, you better damn well be able to stop him, especially because it is a counter from a control position.

I try to explain this to a lot of non-sparing people I know and they never get it. I'll show a single or double leg and they will say "You can't do that to me." Now, if they know exactly what I'm going to do, they should be able to stop it (providing they have any martial skill), espeically in a kata form situation. My response to arguments like this is that situations dictate tactics. I am not going to shoot a single leg on a person who knows it's coming, I'm going to take his balance first, probably use some other techniques he is open to like a good kick to the leg or punch to the face.

I've even had to explain this to some people who do spar. I know a judoka who looked at my tai otoshi and said I would never be able to throw him with it. Of course I can't if he knows that is what I'm going to do, I have to set it up first. So I asked him if I could try and tossed him with Osoto Gari. He said "that's not tai otosih!". I responded with "I know, but you were defending tai otoshi.".

Anyways I just don't like people pulling the "You can't do that again" card. Even if it is correct that you can't do X technique while Y technique is being done, it is still lame.

BC
10-24-2007, 01:04 PM
Please don't feed the trolls... :crazy:

G DiPierro
10-24-2007, 01:16 PM
Here's where I have a major point of disagreement. It is inappropriate for anyone other than perhaps the shihan's senior instructors to be correcting anyone on the mat other than leading them with ukemi. If you want to teach someone on another instructors mat you should have their permission or set up your own seminars. It is disrespectful and makes the big assumption you know what the instructor wants.That depends a lot on the instructor. I know some shihan don't like any talking on the mat, but when I trained with Kanai-sensei, my understanding was that he wanted his students to interact on the mat and teach each other. I think part of it was that he knew he was training teachers, and he wanted us to learn how to teach and learn from each other under his supervision. Part of it was also probably that he did not give much verbal instruction himself and so relied on his senior (and even more junior) students to interpret what he was doing for other students. Even if a teacher did give a lot of verbal correction himself, there is no way that one teacher in a class of 100 or even 50 people can give everyone the amount of personal attention they need.

While I can't say for sure that this was his official policy, I would often talk quite a lot on the mat, perhaps more than some people would have liked, and nothing was ever said, whereas I was told on other occasions quite clearly not to do certain other things, like resisting, which was not well-tolerated there. There were also times when I trained with very senior students who did quite a bit of talking and correcting, and I got a lot out of those sessions, certainly far more than if they had said nothing. Of course, there were times too when we just practiced and nothing was said, and those were valuable too. To me, both had and have their place, and avoiding either one for any reason is missing something important. My opinion is that teachers that do not like or allow talking on the mat are short-changing their students and preventing them from developing important skills, both in learning how to interact with each and in improving their techniques through learning from each other.

In my experience, when I see others do that they are usually correcting them not the way it was shown-so error begets error.This assumes that the way it was shown was correct and that the way the student is doing it is incorrect. This might not necessarily be the case.

It is also dangerous to reverse someone on the mat. They are studying a specific technique as demonstrated and even if not properly executed it should not be reversed-I have seen torn shoulders from that type of behavior.If your technique is dangerous, then it is dangerous. In my own dojo I reverse people all of the time and nobody has ever gotten hurt from it. This is because I know how to do techniques spontaneously without hurting people.

It is not the role of the participants to correct others or assume they have the right to do so or reverse them unless practicing kaeshi-waza specifically. With proper ukemi you can lead some in the right direction.That is your opinion. I have found that many people, particularly at the lower dan levels as I explained in my last post, cannot feel even strong feedback via ukemi that their movement is wrong. In those situations, the only options are to stop them and verbally explain what they are doing wrong or lead them via ukemi by turning the ukemi into a counter. You seem to think neither option is appropriate, so I'm not sure what you would do in a situation where someone was ignoring your non-verbal feedback and just trying to yank you around with sloppy technique. I'm guessing you might retaliate as nage, which is what many people in aikido do, but since I'm not training to learn how to hurt people, this is not an option that I want to use.

Tom Fish
10-24-2007, 01:38 PM
Although that is a also a fallacy in training. He was wrong by using your pause to explain as an opening, but you were wrong by showing he couldn't do that again.

The you can't do that again argument is flawed. Once you know what he is going to try to do, you better damn well be able to stop him, especially because it is a counter from a control position.

I try to explain this to a lot of non-sparing people I know and they never get it. I'll show a single or double leg and they will say "You can't do that to me." Now, if they know exactly what I'm going to do, they should be able to stop it (providing they have any martial skill), espeically in a kata form situation. My response to arguments like this is that situations dictate tactics. I am not going to shoot a single leg on a person who knows it's coming, I'm going to take his balance first, probably use some other techniques he is open to like a good kick to the leg or punch to the face.

I've even had to explain this to some people who do spar. I know a judoka who looked at my tai otoshi and said I would never be able to throw him with it. Of course I can't if he knows that is what I'm going to do, I have to set it up first. So I asked him if I could try and tossed him with Osoto Gari. He said "that's not tai otosih!". I responded with "I know, but you were defending tai otoshi.".

Anyways I just don't like people pulling the "You can't do that again" card. Even if it is correct that you can't do X technique while Y technique is being done, it is still lame.

This post really catches the whole discussion and presents the solution as well. When I'm practicing a new technique, it just slows things down to have an Uke who won't give you the opportunity to look at the thing. When someone who is trying to learn is paired up with someone who is trying to be an obstacle, at the least it's a waste of time. At the worst, it wastes your seminar time and money, where you hope to gather as much information as possible.

Don's got the right solution to this problem. If someone feels the need to try to defeat everything they know is coming, use something to counter it. Make it obvious that you want to train with the class, but it is your class time that is being wasted. Then find someone who wants to study and refuse to work with a jerk. Eventually, either the jerk wises up or stands by himself, in the way, on the mat.

On another note, trying to fight with someone who is putting on a seminar is quite rude and inexcusable. Regardless of your skill level, other people are there to learn. Why waste their time? If you are at a skill level that prevents you from learning, stop going to seminars so that at least the people who go there can enjoy them and get their moneys worth.

G DiPierro
10-24-2007, 02:17 PM
On another note, trying to fight with someone who is putting on a seminar is quite rude and inexcusable. Regardless of your skill level, other people are there to learn. Why waste their time? If you are at a skill level that prevents you from learning, stop going to seminars so that at least the people who go there can enjoy them and get their moneys worth.I wouldn't consider giving teachers some resistance to see what they can do to be fighting with them. Far from it. I'm just gauging their skill level so that I can know how hard I can go at them so that they will be challenged but not so much that they can't do anything.

And I actually don't go to seminars much anymore. The two incidents discussed here were at seminars where it was either my first time training with a teacher or my first time touching hands with him, and I've not trained again with either teacher. It's not that I wouldn't give either one of them another chance under the right circumstances, but just that I wouldn't go well out of my way to do it, as I had to in those cases.

In the past few years, there's really only one aikido teacher that I have trained with again after having touched hands with him for the first time, and as I far as knew he not only didn't mind how I did things but often even encouraged it. I'm not sure that's still the case, so I'm undecided about training with him again, but I wouldn't rule it out unless I knew for sure that he didn't want to have me.

If it was possible to get hands-on time with shihan-level instructors outside of their seminars, then this wouldn't be an issue. I would gladly pay $100 (or whatever the seminar fee is) for an hour of private freestyle training with one these guys in lieu of eight hours of seminar training, but as far as I know they don't offer that option, so the only way for me to find out what they have is to sign up for their open seminars like everyone else and make sure they notice me enough to come over and work with me hands-on. That's why I do things the way I do them.

When they start allowing people to touch hands with them in some other format, then you can argue that I have no business corrupting their seminars with what I'm doing. Until then, this is the only way.

aikidoc
10-24-2007, 02:27 PM
That depends a lot on the instructor. I know some shihan don't like any talking on the mat, but when I trained with Kanai-sensei, my understanding was that he wanted his students to interact on the mat and teach each other. I think part of it was that he knew he was training teachers, and he wanted us to learn how to teach and learn from each other under his supervision. Part of it was also probably that he did not give much verbal instruction himself and so relied on his senior (and even more junior) students to interpret what he was doing for other students. Even if a teacher did give a lot of verbal correction himself, there is no way that one teacher in a class of 100 or even 50 people can give everyone the amount of personal attention they need. Was this in a seminar situation or in an actual class? Whatever the situation, unless you are a direct student of the instructor, I don't think it is appropriate to correct others. He/she is in charge of the mat and safety on it and therefore gets to decide who instructs.

My opinion is that teachers that do not like or allow talking on the mat are short-changing their students and preventing them from developing important skills, both in learning how to interact with each and in improving their techniques through learning from each other. With constraints, I don't disagree. However, in a large seminar if everyone is talking the volume gets very high and on top of that too much talking is not training.

This assumes that the way it was shown was correct and that the way the student is doing it is incorrect. This might not necessarily be the case. When it is not your mat or seminar you don't get to decide if the technique is correct-there are many ways to do a technique. If you don't like the way it is being done, then leave the seminar. You've at that time already decided they cannot teach you anything.

If your technique is dangerous, then it is dangerous. In my own dojo I reverse people all of the time and nobody has ever gotten hurt from it. This is because I know how to do techniques spontaneously without hurting people. In your own dojo you can do what you want. But reversing technique of someone trying to learn a technique unless practicing kaeshi-waza is potentially dangerous since they are expecting to practice one thing and another occurs abruptly. I have see people getting hurt when someone does this. Others might disagree with your last statement based on their posts.

That is your opinion. I have found that many people, particularly at the lower dan levels as I explained in my last post, cannot feel even strong feedback via ukemi that their movement is wrong. In those situations, the only options are to stop them and verbally explain what they are doing wrong or lead them via ukemi by turning the ukemi into a counter. You seem to think neither option is appropriate, so I'm not sure what you would do in a situation where someone was ignoring your non-verbal feedback and just trying to yank you around with sloppy technique. I'm guessing you might retaliate as nage, which is what many people in aikido do, but since I'm not training to learn how to hurt people, this is not an option that I want to use. What I do in such a situation is not allow them to injure me-but not by hurting them. I also try to do the technique slowly for them to hopefully help them see what should be done-assuming I'm in a seminar with my
sensei where I know what he wants. I have been teaching longer than you have been practicing and have never injured a student in class or in a seminar. If I feel they are out of control or outside their comfort zone, I simply let off the technique. I do not tolerate injuries on my mat-period. If you deliberately injure someone by doing something not shown or reversing them you are off the mat until they recover and return to training. If they don't recover or return, then the party injuring the student needs to find a new home. Most injuries are due to egos and the inability to feel the response of the uke and forcing the technique when it is obvious the uke is in danger i.e., thinking about yourself more than protecting your training partner. I don't tolerate it period. We all have jobs, etc. and cannot afford to be off work recovering from an injury. It is simply not necessary to train effectively. That is not to say techniques are not painful or uncomfortable. However, I expect students to be able to feel the flexibility and capability of their ukes and to back off when someone taps. Accidental injuries do occasional occur when someone tries to take ukemi they are not comfortable with-all have been minor tweaks. Students deliberately trying to stop a technique while I'm demonstrating will usually find it unconfortable-pressure points are quite effective in that regard, as are atemi, reversals, etc. Again, with control.

Will Prusner
10-24-2007, 02:27 PM
I would often talk quite a lot on the mat, perhaps more than some people would have liked, and nothing was ever said, whereas I was told on other occasions quite clearly not to do certain other things, like resisting, which was not well-tolerated there.

Sounds like a really fun class. :rolleyes:

Joe Jutsu
10-24-2007, 03:21 PM
If resisting a shihan is your thing, seek out David Shaner sensei, Ki Society 7th dan. Last year when I saw him, what he refers to as "kaisho" training was on the bill, where he consistently used bigger uke's, none of whom were from Ki Society, to resist his technique with everything they had, techniques that they knew were coming in a teaching scenario at that. Very inspiring!

Amir Krause
10-24-2007, 03:31 PM
I wouldn't consider giving teachers some resistance to see what they can do to be fighting with them. Far from it. I'm just gauging their skill level so that I can know how hard I can go at them so that they will be challenged but not so much that they can't do anything.

And I actually don't go to seminars much anymore. The two incidents discussed here were at seminars where it was either my first time training with a teacher or my first time touching hands with him, and I've not trained again with either teacher. It's not that I wouldn't give either one of them another chance under the right circumstances, but just that I wouldn't go well out of my way to do it, as I had to in those cases.

In the past few years, there's really only one aikido teacher that I have trained with again after having touched hands with him for the first time, and as I far as knew he not only didn't mind how I did things but often even encouraged it. I'm not sure that's still the case, so I'm undecided about training with him again, but I wouldn't rule it out unless I knew for sure that he didn't want to have me.

If it was possible to get hands-on time with shihan-level instructors outside of their seminars, then this wouldn't be an issue. I would gladly pay $100 (or whatever the seminar fee is) for an hour of private freestyle training with one these guys in lieu of eight hours of seminar training, but as far as I know they don't offer that option, so the only way for me to find out what they have is to sign up for their open seminars like everyone else and make sure they notice me enough to come over and work with me hands-on. That's why I do things the way I do them.

When they start allowing people to touch hands with them in some other format, then you can argue that I have no business corrupting their seminars with what I'm doing. Until then, this is the only way.

I could have agreed with you on the fact that Shihans can be countered, and since I come from a different system I might even agree about quastionable specific technics I have seen some visiting (here) Shihans (when I took the time and money to try and learn, lately I had other things to do).

Unlike you, I would be carefull of concluding such techniques are indicative of an overall technical level, I diffrentiate between the didactive tools a teacher feels would be most helpful at some stage, and the teacher own technical understanding. I am also aware of the limitations a visiting Shihan has, he does not know the students nor their ability to take Ukemi, thus he is often bound to choose less dangerous technical variations, even though he knows better.

I think your above post indicates my main problem with your message - you take the situation out of context. The visiting Shihan came to a seminar, not to cross hands with you, and you insist on abusing the learning opportunity he gives. The excuse of not having an opportunity does not stand, since most Shihans do have direct students who can easily practice with them. Your not being one of those students is at least partially a matter of your chioces. so don't blaim them.

Amir

G DiPierro
10-24-2007, 03:48 PM
Was this in a seminar situation or in an actual class? Whatever the situation, unless you are a direct student of the instructor, I don't think it is appropriate to correct others. He/she is in charge of the mat and safety on it and therefore gets to decide who instructs.Both. Sometimes I even felt like he wanted me to take a more active role when I deliberately didn't say anything to someone I was working with.

I would say that unless I am in a situation where it is clear that there is no talking going on anywhere on the mat, I'm going to assume that talking is fine. What I don't buy is the concept that there should be no talking or students helping each other when that's obviously what people are doing. In that case, it's not my responsibility anymore, it's the teacher's, and good luck trying to enforce that in a seminar situation where people come from different environments with different expectations. Even in regular dojo training, there's been times when I've been asked not to talk to anyone during training, which I dutifully did for a few weeks until people started getting upset and wondering why I wasn't helping them anymore. It became painfully obvious that the policy wasn't working and just didn't make sense in that dojo.

When it is not your mat or seminar you don't get to decide if the technique is correct-there are many ways to do a technique. If you don't like the way it is being done, then leave the seminar. You've at that time already decided they cannot teach you anything.Just because I think one thing a teacher does isn't correct doesn't mean that I cannot learn anything from that teacher. It's not an all or nothing proposition. To me, such thinking is a major part of the problem in aikido because it encourages people to not think for themselves. Instead it tells people to unquestioningly accept everything that their teacher says while unquestioningly rejecting anything that does not come from that teacher. I evaluate everything on its own merit and often agree with some of what a teacher says or does while disagreeing with other things.

In your own dojo you can do what you want. But reversing technique of someone trying to learn a technique unless practicing kaeshi-waza is potentially dangerous since they are expecting to practice one thing and another occurs abruptly. I have see people getting hurt when someone does this. Others might disagree with your last statement based on their posts.You are still talking about the incident from over four years ago, huh? At that point I wouldn't say that I knew how to perform techniques (kaeshi-waza or otherwise) spontaneously without hurting people, but I've done a lot of freestyle training since then. Since most people don't train the way I have been (I didn't either very much prior to opening my own dojo), I wouldn't expect them to know how to reverse a technique without hurting someone. In any case, as I said, I usually don't like to reverse people at seminars anyway because they tend to get upset and turn the interaction into a fight or contest. I prefer to try to get them to change what they are doing without having to take it to the level of physically reversing them. If I can do this non-verbally, that's fine, but if not I have no problem discussing the issue with them to try to make the practice experience better for both parties.

What I do in such a situation is not allow them to injure me-but not by hurting them. ... That is not to say techniques are not painful or uncomfortable.When I say that I don't train to learn to hurt people, I'm not just talking about injuries. I'd say that if you are causing pain then you are hurting people, and also not doing the technique correctly to boot. So that means that those options you (and many other people in aikido) like to use to ensure compliance are still things I would avoid.

I think it's far a more productive use of my time and the other person's time to just to tell them what they are doing wrong and help them fix it. I did this a lot this past weekend and most of the people I did it with had no problem with it. They made good progress in the time we spent together and seemed glad to have had the opportunity to improve their technique. I even had a guy come up to me in the dining hall at camp several years and thank me for a giving him a 15-minute private lesson at the back of the mat (he was exaggerating a little bit).

I'm supposed to take that experience away from them because you think it's more "appropriate" or respectful to stand there and practice wordlessly? Keep in mind the fact that these people might not even get to experience any direct interaction with the instructor they paid to see at all, and even if so it's likely to be on the order of a few seconds or, if someone is really lucky, a few minutes. Sorry, but that just doesn't fly with me. People go well out of their way to come to these seminars and not just for the experience of taking the instructors class but also to practice with each other. If someone doesn't want my input and can do the technique effectively without it, that's one thing, but if both people consent to work together then I don't see how anyone (and especially not the person who is actually teaching the class) can say that this is wrong.

G DiPierro
10-24-2007, 03:58 PM
I think your above post indicates my main problem with your message - you take the situation out of context. The visiting Shihan came to a seminar, not to cross hands with you, and you insist on abusing the learning opportunity he gives. The excuse of not having an opportunity does not stand, since most Shihans do have direct students who can easily practice with them. Your not being one of those students is at least partially a matter of your chioces. so don't blaim them.So you are saying that if I go take a regular class in the shihan's dojo then it's OK to give them some resistance, but it's not at a seminar? I doubt that even those people who disagree with me would agree with that. The whole purpose of seminars to give people access to instructors that they otherwise cannot work with. Why shouldn't that access include some demonstration of what the instructor can do? I traveled all the way there and paid my fee and I want to see how good this guy that the aikikai (or whatever organization) is touting as one of its best is against someone other than his trained dog-and-pony-show ukes. I don't see why that's unreasonable. Again, if it's such a problem to do this in class (and I don't think it is), then why not make some kind of arrangements to do it outside of class time? It really doesn't take that long.

aikidoc
10-24-2007, 04:01 PM
When I say that I don't train to learn to hurt people, I'm not just talking about injuries. I'd say that if you are causing pain then you are hurting people, and also not doing the technique correctly to boot. So that means that those options you (and many other people in aikido) like to use to ensure compliance are still things I would avoid. .

What are you studying? Dance. Martial arts involve pain. What in the world purpose would a nikyo serve if there was no pain. It would be real easy to revers the technique or do something else if there is no lock out-i.e., pain. The technique is useless as is sankyo and yonkyo without pain compliance. I've trained in with many styles and at over 40 seminars and have yet to have a wrist lock technique put on me that I did not feel. Apparently, you think O'Sensei was doing it wrong as well because I doubt any of his uchi deshi or soto deshi would contend his technique was pain free.

Since you have such a special way of training that has according to you evolved your aikido above what shihans can handle, why don't you conduct seminars or do DVDs to enlighten those of us who have not got it with the benefit of your instruction? If you have truly found something special, then as a teacher it will cement your legacy to pass it on.

Pauliina Lievonen
10-24-2007, 04:50 PM
What in the world purpose would a nikyo serve if there was no pain. It would be real easy to revers the technique or do something else if there is no lock out-i.e., pain. The technique is useless as is sankyo and yonkyo without pain compliance. I don't want to get involved in the rest of the discussion but the above caught my eye... nikkyo sankyo yonkyo don't have to hurt to be effective. I'm not unusually strong or anything, but my wrists don't happen to be very sensitive - nikkyo still works on me if it's applied correctly, even though it doesn't always hurt. If the lock is done correctly it'll effect my center and I won't be able to stand even though I'm not in pain. And reversely sometimes it really hurts but the pain only serves to piss me off.

kvaak
Pauliina

G DiPierro
10-24-2007, 05:52 PM
If resisting a shihan is your thing, seek out David Shaner sensei, Ki Society 7th dan. Last year when I saw him, what he refers to as "kaisho" training was on the bill, where he consistently used bigger uke's, none of whom were from Ki Society, to resist his technique with everything they had, techniques that they knew were coming in a teaching scenario at that. Very inspiring!Almost missed your post. I'll put him on my list of people to seek out. One thing that should also be mentioned is that both of the statements I have publicly made about stopping shihan were in direct response to challenges from students of those shihan who claimed that their teachers allowed people to attack them as hard as they could and try to stop them and that they have never seen anyone succeed at doing so. So all of this stuff about seminars not being the right place for such things apparantly doesn't apply to these two teachers, at least not according to their own senior students.

If I train with someone who makes it clear that he doesn't want people to try to resist him, as Endo did this past weekend, then I have no problem taking compliant ukemi for that teacher. But if you put the claim out there that your teacher lets people try to stop him at seminars if they want to and nobody ever can, then you can't backtrack after the fact and say that seminars are not the right place for testing teachers and trying to stop them. Although the people who made those claims about their teachers are not the ones now making this argument, apparantly those who are have not bothered to notice the circumstances under which my statements about these teachers were made.

aikidoc
10-24-2007, 08:34 PM
I don't want to get involved in the rest of the discussion but the above caught my eye... nikkyo sankyo yonkyo don't have to hurt to be effective. I'm not unusually strong or anything, but my wrists don't happen to be very sensitive - nikkyo still works on me if it's applied correctly, even though it doesn't always hurt. If the lock is done correctly it'll effect my center and I won't be able to stand even though I'm not in pain. And reversely sometimes it really hurts but the pain only serves to piss me off.

kvaak
Pauliina

True, there are some who have gumby joints and locks simply don't work on them but their center can be controlled. Its the same as there are some with deep pressure points which don't work. My comment was in general-wrist locks are very uncomfortable with the average person. I had the ligaments in my wrist torn out on a sankyo-it has never been the same and that was about 13 years ago.

Ecosamurai
10-25-2007, 03:30 AM
Although that is a also a fallacy in training. He was wrong by using your pause to explain as an opening, but you were wrong by showing he couldn't do that again.

Which was why I said:

Not one of my finer moments.

:D Was one of my first few lessons as an instructor though so I'd hope to be forgiven :)

Mike

David Yap
10-25-2007, 04:30 AM
I don't want to get involved in the rest of the discussion but the above caught my eye... nikkyo sankyo yonkyo don't have to hurt to be effective. I'm not unusually strong or anything, but my wrists don't happen to be very sensitive - nikkyo still works on me if it's applied correctly, even though it doesn't always hurt. If the lock is done correctly it'll effect my center and I won't be able to stand even though I'm not in pain. And reversely sometimes it really hurts but the pain only serves to piss me off.

kvaak
Pauliina

Good point. I think there was a discussion before on this forum. I have trained with a few instructors with 20+ years training who have not gone beyond a level where they have realized that pain is not the sole factor or setup for a prefect technique. The infliction of pain can be addictive mostly for the person dispensing (20+ years is proof enough) and deem abusive for the receiver in the absence of care and control.

The trainings we receive are designed to neutralize the aggressive action of the aggressor rather than the aggressor himself. Most time, an uke would counter technique when he/she felt strong resistance from an aggressive nage (especially from one who lacks control and care); hence, the roles of the uke and nage reversed - the nage became the aggressor and uke the defender.

I find that the poser's claim of resisting a shihan's technique unusual and obscure as I have yet to feel any aggressiveness from any shihan despite my honest and committed attacks .

The 2008 IAF seminars at Tanabe, Japan next year will be a good experience for the poser to try his antics. He will have a choice of hombu and international shihan on the mats such as Tada and Tamura in their 80s or thereabout. Then, there is also the "notorious" Miyamoto shihan. For poser, please go and report your experience with us.

David Y

Amir Krause
10-25-2007, 05:41 AM
So you are saying that if I go take a regular class in the shihan's dojo then it's OK to give them some resistance, but it's not at a seminar?

I am saying that a there is (or can be) a right time for every type of practice. A seminar is for the Shihan to teach, not to prove himself. This is at least one reason you see so many people objecting to your ideas. I tried to explain the logic behind this norm in an earlier message.

The whole purpose of seminars to give people access to instructors that they otherwise cannot work with. Why shouldn't that access include some demonstration of what the instructor can do? I traveled all the way there and paid my fee and I want to see how good this guy that the aikikai (or whatever organization) is touting as one of its best is against someone other than his trained dog-and-pony-show ukes. I don't see why that's unreasonable

When would be the appropriate time for a teacher to prove himself and to whom?
That depends on the teacher and his students. Some teachers might be open for anyone, others would limit the access to their students \ advance students. Some Shihans might feel they are no longer intersted in proving anything to anyone. Further, Each person might be willing for a different manner of testing, some may let you try and resisit a known technique, others may choose a pre-known situation, and still others may prefer some "free play" type of action.

For some reason, I do not think anyone has the right to coerce any teacher to prove himself. To me, this sounds somewhere between uncivilised and an assualt, in the criminal sense. A teacher holding a seminar is not entering the ring!

The way you present this compares the Shihans with top level boxers or wrestlers. But this is wrong, a Shihan is a high level teaching post, not a fighting post. One may evn teach you to do things he can not.

I try to think of ways to breach the conceptual gap, but doubt I can.

Amir

nagoyajoe
10-25-2007, 06:15 AM
Remember, resistance is supposed to help nage develop their balance, technique and their mind-body connection; it is absolutely not about building ukes ego. Valuable, resistance should come at a point when it is appropriate to resist, not before. Shihan (as political as term as there possibly can be) should never walk away from resistance; instead they should welcome resistance WHEN APPROPRIATE. Remember, aikido is about bringing the (positive) mind and body together to perform technique and function in society. This is what we all must learn. Demonstrations are one thing, that is aikido in theory; practice is a completely different thing altogether.

DonMagee
10-25-2007, 06:40 AM
I am saying that a there is (or can be) a right time for every type of practice. A seminar is for the Shihan to teach, not to prove himself. This is at least one reason you see so many people objecting to your ideas. I tried to explain the logic behind this norm in an earlier message.

When would be the appropriate time for a teacher to prove himself and to whom?
That depends on the teacher and his students. Some teachers might be open for anyone, others would limit the access to their students \ advance students. Some Shihans might feel they are no longer intersted in proving anything to anyone. Further, Each person might be willing for a different manner of testing, some may let you try and resisit a known technique, others may choose a pre-known situation, and still others may prefer some "free play" type of action.

For some reason, I do not think anyone has the right to coerce any teacher to prove himself. To me, this sounds somewhere between uncivilised and an assualt, in the criminal sense. A teacher holding a seminar is not entering the ring!

The way you present this compares the Shihans with top level boxers or wrestlers. But this is wrong, a Shihan is a high level teaching post, not a fighting post. One may evn teach you to do things he can not.

I try to think of ways to breach the conceptual gap, but doubt I can.

Amir

Yet so many people on this forum will have no problem defending their position by telling you to go to a seminar or class of X shihan and 'try that on them'

But if you do, then you get this side of the argument.

Ron Tisdale
10-25-2007, 07:42 AM
Hi Don, but Amir has never made that statement (at least that I've read). He can hardly be held to account for something someone else from an entirely different organization (let alone art) has said.

What in the world purpose would a nikyo serve if there was no pain.

To control and compress the person's body. I had a good time at a semiar with one of the senior students at my dojo...every time I train with him he's progressed farther and farther. In Yoshinkan, one form of shihonage involves what can be a pretty severe lock on the wrist, elbow and shoulder. I resisted as much as I could to prevent the lock (not punching and kicking, just adapting my body and limbs), felt no pain, and he still got the lock.

I'm definately not saying that everyone in aikido should never produce pain with a lock...but at the higher levels at least, that is what I've come to look for...the ability to lock without pain or other signals that give me something to fight against.

By the way, this student encouraged my resistance, we've known each other a *long* time, tested together, etc. He gave me resistance too, allowing me to try to approach the same quality in the waza.

Best,
Ron

G DiPierro
10-25-2007, 07:44 AM
Yet so many people on this forum will have no problem defending their position by telling you to go to a seminar or class of X shihan and 'try that on them'

But if you do, then you get this side of the argument.

That's the point I was trying to make in my last post. Let's recap the exchanges that led to me being challenged on the first claim:

Ukemi as I've seen it from 8th dans is for Martial arts dupes.
Maybe you need to see (and feel) a few more eighth dan. Or if you can deign to lower yourself :), a seventh dan like Ikeda-sensei, or a couple of sixth dan in my neck of the woods. By the way, it's comments like that one that make you so lovable. ;)

Jim, I've taken ukemi for nearly a half-dozen Aikikai 8-dans and I generally agree with his statement. My opinion is that all but one of these teachers expect and require their ukes to "give" them the technique. In other words, if I were to realisitically attack them rather than just letting them take control of my center, they could not throw me. I don't know Dan, but based on his posts, I'd guess that if they can't throw me, they probably can't throw him either.

The response to that was not that these teachers need me to give them compliant ukemi in a seminar setting because they are not there to prove themselves. That would have led to an entirely different discussion, similar to what had already taken place in the thread from which that discussion originated before it was moved.

The actual response I received was (and this is just the more polite part):

No, the real issue is that, based on your short study of aikido, as well as my interactions with you on the mat at DC, I don't believe that you could stop Saotome-sensei's technique. For that matter, I don't believe you could stop my technique, either.

The second claim came out of this exchange:

You might not know this but a while back I traveled quite a bit out of my way to train with your teacher. He seemed like one of the most genuinely humble 8-dans I have met, and since his organization in the US is still very small you probably won't have a lot of the problems of the bigger established orgs. ... However, even many of the better teachers I have met in the aikikai (including yours) are still far too averse to testing their techniques against resistance for my taste. To some extent I can pass this off as them being old Japanese men set in their ways, but it still makes it hard for me to accept what they do at face value when I know that if they were willing to fail a bit more often they wouldn't need to rely on compliant ukemi so much.
Interesting. My sensei gets upset if you don't try to attack or hold him strongly although he will often back off if he feels he will hurt someone by executing. I'm curious if you took ukemi and tried to stop him. Now I'd really be interested in seeing if you could reverse him-even get a technique to work on him. Or stop him if he really wanted to do the technique with full force.
Yes, a couple years ago. I touched hands with him many times. I don't want to say anything bad about him because he was such a nice guy, but yes I gave him some resistance and he had enough trouble with for me know that he's not used to getting that kind of thing very much.

Again, the response was not that they must rely on compliant ukemi because it is a seminar situation and they are not there to prove themselves. It was (again, only the polite part here):

Wow! I'm impressed. One of the last people that tried to stop him was a former student. At the hombu dojo he was famous for trying to stop other shihan while they were teaching. He tried that with my sensei and he was knocked out. When he came to he became a student and studied with him for 12 years in Japan.

The response was that he knocked out the last guy who tried to stop him on the mat. Sounds like he has no problem proving himself.

Point is that you can't argue that nobody can stop these guys and that the ukemi for them is real while simultaneously arguing that a seminar is not the right place to test them and they need fake ukemi because it's a teaching situation. It's one or the other. The people who questioned my claims that I find these shihan to rely too much on cooperative training for my taste, backed up by having tried to stop them myself and been successful, took the first option and challenged me to provide evidence that I did actually stop these teachers, which I did. If you want to take the second option that's an entirely different debate and one which has been done before (see the first thread I linked to above).

Lan Powers
10-25-2007, 08:31 AM
[QUOTE=.

By the way, this student encouraged my resistance, we've known each other a *long* time, tested together, etc. He gave me resistance too, allowing me to try to approach the same quality in the waza.

Best,
Ron[/QUOTE]

The optimal time for resistance training is from a position of deep trust. Both agreeing on the parameters of what you are exploring, both learning, and no ego involved......sounds like a great time.
(very revealing too, I would wager)
Lan

Ron Tisdale
10-25-2007, 08:49 AM
I would never give him that much resistance without that trust...he's fourth dan, larger and stronger to boot. :D Not to mention an ex golden gloves level boxer... :( I lose on all accounts!

Best,
Ron (my loss is actually my gain...If I can take his balance and throw him without ticking him off, I'm improving!)

G DiPierro
10-25-2007, 09:01 AM
The optimal time for resistance training is from a position of deep trust. Both agreeing on the parameters of what you are exploring, both learning, and no ego involved......sounds like a great time.
(very revealing too, I would wager)
LanThis is good advice if you are just starting out with resistance training and want to play around with your friends. That's actually how I started myself four or five years ago, just playing around after class with people I trusted. It was still quite scary at first going from so many years of compliant training, which teaches you the techniques but does not properly prepare you to apply them spontaneously (in fact I think it often teaches the wrong habits for spontaneous training). Once (or if) you start doing it regularly with different partners, you will start to understand the dialog patterns and will then be able to do it with anybody. If you look at people in arts like BJJ or even Shodokan aikido, they have no problems doing resistance training in a fully competitive situation with someone they have never even met in a tournament because they both have trained enough to know what to expect.

If you take two aikido people who have never done resistance training and let them go it, they will tend to revert to what they know, which can be dangerous in resistance training against someone who is unprepared for it (which would be both of them). If one has experience with such training, he can guide the other just as an experienced BJJer could guide a beginner without hurting him and without getting hurt either. That's probably the optimal way to learn, but most people don't have that option available.

NagaBaba
10-25-2007, 01:57 PM
If one has experience with such training, he can guide the other just as an experienced BJJer could guide a beginner without hurting him and without getting hurt either. That's probably the optimal way to learn, but most people don't have that option available.
It can be true, however neither Daito ryu, neither early aikido as developed by O sensei wasnt designed to resisting training. In Daito ryu training it is formally forbidden to resist. In the other hand O sensei didnt developed aikido as strictly combat techniques, rather as misogi training.
So one may see all this attempt (resisting training) as false and completely useless.

Pauliina Lievonen
10-25-2007, 02:23 PM
My comment was in general-wrist locks are very uncomfortable with the average person. I had the ligaments in my wrist torn out on a sankyo-it has never been the same and that was about 13 years ago.John, in the the post I replied to you said : "What are you studying? Dance. Martial arts involve pain. What in the world purpose would a nikyo serve if there was no pain."

My own experience is that nikkyo doesn't have to be painful in order to work. It can serve the purpose of controlling my center even without pain. It's not a case of my center somehow being controlled in a different way and the hands just happen to be in a nikkyo position - it's a case of the nikkyo lock being done in such a way that it doesn't hurt, but there's a connection all the way to my center, which is used to control my center.

Hope that made sense...

kvaak
Pauliina

G DiPierro
10-25-2007, 02:35 PM
So one may see all this attempt (resisting training) as false and completely useless.Funny, that's pretty much what I think of most of the compliant training I see in aikido, although I wouldn't call it "completely useless", since people do seem to get something out of it. Anyway, I'm not interested in debating what you or anyone else thinks some dead guy might have intended. To me, that and so many of the other debates on here are like arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. I don't care about speculation, I just want to see what you can do and what it's good for. For me right now, compliant training is good for very little whereas resistance training is getting me closer to where I want to be. But that's just my decision based on my current needs and where I'm trying to go in my aikido. If you want to do compliant training go ahead, I don't have any problem with it. Just don't call it resistance training when it's not.

Will Prusner
10-25-2007, 02:46 PM
As far as my understanding goes (which is very limited), pain has a very specific place and purpose in Aikido. It is not a tool to make the person comply, and should never be the intended final outcome of a technique. It is a tool to get the ki flowing, or the body or limb turning the direction you want it to go. To get that effect, you shouldn't have to cause any real pain, just the notion of pain, enough to incite movement in the correct direction. That's why the pins in Aikido are not pain compliance techniques, and are, as far as i'm concerned, quite comfortable (unless I resist) in comparison to some other variations I have had the opportunity to experience.

Jeffrey Brown
10-25-2007, 02:58 PM
I have to say that I am glad that I have never trained with you at a seminar. I personally find it very frustrating when being taught something and having a resistant uke. One of my sensei commonly says "when you are uke you are uke and when you are nage you are nage". By attempting to exploit a weakness or to challenge a technique that you are expecting to happen you are actually detracting from the learning experience for your training partner. Resistance training is all good and well however significant resistance when using a pre-determined pattern of attack and response is somewhat unrealistic and leads people to falsely believe they can shut down this or block that. Most good aikido folks I have trained with would eventually use the opportunity to benefit from your resistance and plant you with your own force. I wonder would you find it appropriate to attack a shihan with an attack that is not being used in that teaching moment. Such as the attack is supposed to be shomen uchi, would you find it appropriate to walk up and feint a shomen uchi and quickly hook to the face? In essence this is what you are doing. Changing the expectations of the uke and nage role without giving fair warning to your training partner. It appears to me you are failing to train half for yourself and half for your partner. All people have weaknesses, all techinques have openings.....that is just the way it is. Accept it, move on and enjoy training.

aikidoc
10-25-2007, 07:18 PM
Ok. So I overspoke. Wrist locking techniques should lock the individual out. On some people all you get is a lock no pain. On others -most of us. THere is also pain involved. I for one lock up immediately with pain-stiff joints-so I'm easy. However if you don't get a lock and by that I mean a control of the person's center or body then the technique can be stopped or reversed.

The conversations are beginning to be like a dog catching a tail. It keeps changing to suit the situation. Either it can be done or it can't be done under any situation. If it is only in the artificial situation of slow motion teaching during which it is fairly easy to anticipate and try to counter then to me that shows nothing about the ability to stop the technique. If someone is a gumby and their joints disengage the technique that is unrealistic in the sense that in a real situation the nage would simply realize the person does not know how to protect themselves and either do something else or back off the technique. As to stopping Saotome, I'll have to look at the thread and see what the other person said. My students stop me all the time if I talk too much or am not focusing enough while demonstrating a technique in slo-mo, however, that generally makes them very vulnerable to a counter-what Saotome calls oyo-henka. If you stopped him as you say, I'm surprised he did not do oyo-henka on you (see his DVD).

aikidoc
10-25-2007, 07:21 PM
I will search for the DVD on you stopping Kato sensei. We will have to assume there was a camera on the situation. If so then we will know. If there was not a camera on it then nothing is proven. If anyone has the DVD of Saotome being stopped e-mail me I'd like to see that situation as well. Perhaps I'll learn something.

Joe Jutsu
10-25-2007, 08:45 PM
Almost missed your post. I'll put him on my list of people to seek out. One thing that should also be mentioned is that both of the statements I have publicly made about stopping shihan were in direct response to challenges from students of those shihan who claimed that their teachers allowed people to attack them as hard as they could and try to stop them and that they have never seen anyone succeed at doing so. So all of this stuff about seminars not being the right place for such things apparantly doesn't apply to these two teachers, at least not according to their own senior students.

If I train with someone who makes it clear that he doesn't want people to try to resist him, as Endo did this past weekend, then I have no problem taking compliant ukemi for that teacher. But if you put the claim out there that your teacher lets people try to stop him at seminars if they want to and nobody ever can, then you can't backtrack after the fact and say that seminars are not the right place for testing teachers and trying to stop them. Although the people who made those claims about their teachers are not the ones now making this argument, apparantly those who are have not bothered to notice the circumstances under which my statements about these teachers were made.

I've never seen him accept a challenge, but working at full resistance and learning how to relax and move through the "bumps" is one theme I've seen him address many times. So it was fun to see him work with uke's outside of Ki Society last year in CO. If that's the sort of thing your looking for, I believe he's holding a seminar in Denver sometime in December. I'm going to do my best to be there.

Take care,

Joe

Nikopol
10-25-2007, 09:34 PM
Mike,

"I can sweep your legs" has to be the most memorable phrase I have heard after, "Here, grab my wrist".

Classic!

Giancarlo,

:D Smiles to you because any other response is unimaginable, seeing how much you find to say about any little idea another human being might offer. Please someone do a word count!

Being Italian American like yourself, I truly sympathize with your diarreah of the mouth. In Japan they call this 'herikutsu', and man does it piss folks off. But that is culture.

That aside, you really should find a good teacher and become an uchideshi. I think you probably have a lot of wasted talent.
I know that in spite of being talkative to the extreme you are a very lovable person.

This thought popped into my head.
"Nothing can be said until all is known".

It would be sad for us all if all we knew is what we were in the habit of saying.

gdandscompserv
10-25-2007, 09:47 PM
Giancarlo,

:D Smiles to you because any other response is unimaginable, seeing how much you find to say about any little idea another human being might offer.
I gotta agree. Giancario sure can keep a discussion lively. Keep on truckin' G.
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b379/deserthippie/keepteleworking.jpg

xuzen
10-25-2007, 10:38 PM
John, in the the post I replied to you said : "What are you studying? Dance. Martial arts involve pain. What in the world purpose would a nikyo serve if there was no pain."

My own experience is that nikkyo doesn't have to be painful in order to work. It can serve the purpose of controlling my center even without pain. It's not a case of my center somehow being controlled in a different way and the hands just happen to be in a nikkyo position - it's a case of the nikkyo lock being done in such a way that it doesn't hurt, but there's a connection all the way to my center, which is used to control my center.

Hope that made sense...

kvaak
Pauliina

I too wish that nikajo does not need pain to work... but I usually see grimace on my uke's face. Therefore I know pain is there. Not sure whether they go down because of pain or because of me taking away their balance... but I would prefer that they went down because I took their balance away rather than the pain.

But then I do regularly jo/bokken suburi, so maybe my wrist are more conditioned than the average JOE.

Boon.

G DiPierro
10-26-2007, 01:20 AM
I have to say that I am glad that I have never trained with you at a seminar. I personally find it very frustrating when being taught something and having a resistant uke. One of my sensei commonly says "when you are uke you are uke and when you are nage you are nage". By attempting to exploit a weakness or to challenge a technique that you are expecting to happen you are actually detracting from the learning experience for your training partner. Resistance training is all good and well however significant resistance when using a pre-determined pattern of attack and response is somewhat unrealistic and leads people to falsely believe they can shut down this or block that.I think this guy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRfzoAUGRpY) would disagree with you, but then again what does he know? I'm sure you and your sensei have a much better understanding of aikido than he does.

Christopher Gee
10-26-2007, 04:29 AM
I dont wish to paraphrase, or come in towards the end of a finished race. However, DiPierro has made some great points in this forum. My main and unwavering agreement, will be the culture of teachers taking only their inner most students as ukes and those techniques working oh so divinely on those close students. Then those very same students seem to be agasp when those very same techniques do not produce the some lighting gymnasics from other ukes. Then the accusations of resistance come into play. My thoughts (IMHO) are that life, contains resisitance, conflict and violence, which are, just as natural as the circular movements of the universe. To drag up another tired metaphor about the lack of resistance in the world, I think reduces the importance that Aikido can have.

Admittedly challenging a shihan in front of a whole class is a no no.

Regards,

Don
10-26-2007, 09:07 AM
Actually, watching Tamura is very interesting. At the USAF summer camp a few years ago when he came, I started trying to watch him up close when he would come around and do the same sort of thing with Yudansha. I watched him do this as much as I could and what I saw was really interesting.

He would ask, for instance a big young yudansha to grab him and he would effortlessly do the technique. He made as sure as possible that it was a strong attack and not just a perfunctory grab.
Then he would grab the yudansha and the yudansha could not move Tamura. At first it seemed hard to believe. But the more I watched, and I think it was what Tamura wanted us to figure out (you know Japanese teaching method....don't tell you...you steal it) was that at the moment the yudansha would START to grab Tamura, he would subtly shift his hand/arm/body position that would disadvantage uke and give tamura, even at 80 a strong body structure. He was VERY subtly leading his uke. With his years of practice it was so subtle it took me all week just to begin to figure it out. He would do the same thing when the roles were reversed so that his structure could resist uke's efforts who did not lead tamura.

So that kind of resisting is instructive. However, the technique wasn't changed and tamura didn't really lock down; and in fact the idea of locking down is not really productive resistance in that it freezes both uke and nage. Furthermore, most any 80 year-old is not going to have the muscularity to lock down. Yet here was proof that proper leading and body structure can provide strength. Further it was Tamura, the instructor, who encouraged resistance and not the other way around where the uke who the instructor choses decicdes on their own to experiment in front of the seminar.

David Yap
10-26-2007, 09:34 AM
I too wish that nikajo does not need pain to work... but I usually see grimace on my uke's face. Therefore I know pain is there. Not sure whether they go down because of pain or because of me taking away their balance... but I would prefer that they went down because I took their balance away rather than the pain.

But then I do regularly jo/bokken suburi, so maybe my wrist are more conditioned than the average JOE.

Boon.

Hi Boon,

At first, I was puzzled by your post. Then I realized that you are from "the other Yoshi camp". My dojo has the good fortune to invite Joe Thambu sensei for a private seminar. Thambu sensei explained and demonstrated to us that locks are not confined to just twisting and inflicting pain to the joints. Most can practise that by squeezing oranges and lemons. Locks are just locks on the joints of the arm to connect back to the uke's center. His maai and timing was very precise that upon a slight resistant he would attack on the centerline extending/directing the lock all the way from any point of the arm (depending on the ??kajo) through our centers down to our knees - that was what I felt as an uke. He demonstrated the various locks on us, individually sending us down on mats and none of us felt the slightest pain and left us puzzled as to how we got there, locked and not able to get up. Without letting too much of his teachings out, I let you know that he used a bokken and jo to demonstrate the underlying principles. Hints: Do you twist (as in bend) a bokken? No. What do you do with a bokken? You cut or you thrust. One more point, how you hold a bokken also makes a difference.

Most important, is the set up. No set up - no execution. Poor set up, poor execution. You must get the "holding of the bokken in your hands" feel first before you execute the technique.

He sort of hinted that all these stuff are shown in Gozo Shioda's books.

Bro, wish I have started in Yoshinkan years ago. Wish I have met Thambo sensei then too ;)

Regards

David Y

PS. Still enjoying judo?

G DiPierro
10-26-2007, 10:27 AM
Further it was Tamura, the instructor, who encouraged resistance and not the other way around where the uke who the instructor choses decicdes on their own to experiment in front of the seminar.Well in the case of Saotome, from the other thread, I initially grabbed him ryotetori with my standard semi-compliant grab. I wasn't going to just give away everything like most people do, but I wasn't going to try to totally shut him down either. If he moved reasonably well, I would have went. Although many people in aikido, particularly below the higher-level yudansha (and even some of them) have a lot of trouble with this level of resistance, I don't think that he would have. It's also something I can teach students to overcome fairly quickly (given a fixed attack repeated several times, not spontaneously against a new attack each time -- that would be a major accomplishment to teach in one class).

Instead of just throwing me, though, he looked down at my hands and then told me to "grab strong." In my book, if you are going to ask for a stronger grab before you even know what I'm already giving you, then you are asking me to try to lock you down, especially if you are this shihan who is touted as unstoppable. Sure I'm younger and stronger than him but he also has some 40 years of practice on me and I'm not the one whose students are claiming that nobody can resist him, so I don't think it's an entirely unfair situation. I also gradually let off on the level of resistance so that he could eventually throw me and save face in front of those who were watching.

In the case of Kato, it was kokyu-dosa, which is often a technique done against some resistance, and I really wasn't giving that much, nowhere near as much as I gave Saotome. If the clip comes out you will see. And neither of them were in front of the entire seminar but just the few people who had chosen to stop their own practice to watch what happening. I don't think I was unfair with either of them, and when Kato had trouble I lowered my level of resistance so that he could throw me, which he did several times after that.

I think a lot of people who don't train with resistance are making a lot of assumptions about what I did based on their own (in)experience, and then drawing conclusions from that, and I suspect this will continue to happen. Perhaps it is unavoidable when you talk about something that the majority of people in aikido do not understand but think they do. There's a lot that I could say about this subject that could help people understand it better, but if you look at my posts where I have made an effort to do that, those posts don't ever seem to get any responses. Instead, when I tell someone who thinks his teachers trains with resistance that I don't agree with that (and then when challenged that they don't think I could stop him, provide evidence that I already have), I get tons of replies from people who don't understand what I'm doing telling me that I'm wrong and that I don't know what I'm talking about. I guess that's just a fact of life on the Internet, though.

Avery Jenkins
10-26-2007, 10:38 AM
Giancarlo, you have absolutely so much to learn, I wouldn't even know where to begin with you!

Will Prusner
10-26-2007, 11:38 AM
Hey O-Giancarlo,

I think I figured it out! You must not be doing Ai-Ki-Do! See, Aikido involves blending (it's even part of it's name), not resisting. So what you are doing is a brand new style you invented. Congratulations! And sense it is so effective at neutralizing Aikido technique, you might even consider naming it something cool, like, may I suggest "Anti-Ki-Do". It will prove to be incredibly valuable as a tool to protect oneself from the unprovoked attacks of all those hot-headed Aikido Shihan! I for one acknowledge and thank you for your contribution to the human race!:D

Pierre Kewcharoen
10-26-2007, 11:39 AM
Or he could be in Bizarro-world

akiy
10-26-2007, 11:50 AM
Hi folks,

Let's all please stay away from personal attacks and stay with discussing the issues. Thank you.

-- Jun

Amir Krause
10-26-2007, 11:56 AM
Yet so many people on this forum will have no problem defending their position by telling you to go to a seminar or class of X shihan and 'try that on them'

But if you do, then you get this side of the argument.

Was it the Shihan who invited others to test him? Sorry, but may your students invite others to fight you without your permission?

Amd most important. would the fight start without you being told? While you thought you are teaching?

As for my point of origin:

My Sensei has had to face this type of behavior. He used to tell us that in his youth, he was stupid and fealt he has to win, which has almost injured one testing student, and on another situation, made the teacher overstretc while winning over a much larger and stronger student, who suddenly made it a test and did not know how to safely take the fal of the most suited technique, forcing my teacher to find a less suitable solution and ache for days later.
He told us this was stupid of him, and he should have simply told that student they are now doing something else.

As I wrote in an earlier message, I have seen a Shihan asked about the effectivness of a technique, and he consented to demonstrate how to reslove that issue. So I am not against the idea of putting a Shihan to the test. Though the examiner should consider age, health and strength when looking at the results.

I am skeptic and critical by nature, and ask 20 question and more about the techniques once I grasp the basics. But I believe in honoring the teacher I chose to learn from. If you can not respect him, do not come to his seminar \ class

Amir

Amir Krause
10-26-2007, 12:02 PM
The optimal time for resistance training is from a position of deep trust. Both agreeing on the parameters of what you are exploring, both learning, and no ego involved......sounds like a great time.
(very revealing too, I would wager)
Lan

I fully agree, and this is the reason those Shihans would most likely give in to any ressitence.

Amir

Amir Krause
10-26-2007, 12:10 PM
Point is that you can't argue that nobody can stop these guys and that the ukemi for them is real while simultaneously arguing that a seminar is not the right place to test them and they need fake ukemi because it's a teaching situation. It's one or the other. The people who questioned my claims that I find these shihan to rely too much on cooperative training for my taste, backed up by having tried to stop them myself and been successful, took the first option and challenged me to provide evidence that I did actually stop these teachers, which I did. If you want to take the second option that's an entirely different debate and one which has been done before (see the first thread I linked to above).

You have one problem here, I am not those other you are quating. further, I disagree with them on some points. I know nobody is perfect, not even a Shihan, they are people too, have bad days, health problems, old age etc. So they too do not perform all techniques at the same level.
Anyone who thinks otherwise, is simply delusional.

However, I also make a significant distinction betwee countering a technique when the Shihan knows this is your intention and resisting it when the Shihan is not aware of your intentions.
As I tried to explain, the latter does not count. Specificly not when the Shihan is teaching in a seminar.

Amir

aikidoc
10-26-2007, 01:10 PM
I think a lot of people who don't train with resistance are making a lot of assumptions about what I did based on their own (in)experience, and then drawing conclusions from that, and I suspect this will continue to happen. Perhaps it is unavoidable when you talk about something that the majority of people in aikido do not understand but think they do. There's a lot that I could say about this subject that could help people understand it better, but if you look at my posts where I have made an effort to do that, those posts don't ever seem to get any responses.

The internet is a convenient tool for all kinds of claims. So, if you really are on to something that no one else has apparently figured out, how about setting up a thread and putting forth your theories. You say you have a lot to say about the topic so lets see where the topic goes. No claims, no personal attacks, no BS. Just teach or explain to us what you are doing so we can test it out as well. I don't think that is an unreasonable request.

odudog
10-26-2007, 01:23 PM
".....he looked down at my hands and then told me to "grab strong." In my book, if you are going to ask for a stronger grab before you even know what I'm already giving you, then you are asking me to try to lock you down, especially if you are this shihan who is touted as unstoppable...."

This is the wrong assumption. Grabbing stronger means to give a firm grip with your hands. It says nothing about making the rest of your arms and body stiff. You can feel the connection much better with a really firm grab and uke moves the way the technique intented him/her to move. I ask people to grab me hard all the time so that I can feel the connection better, but I am very light and weak and am not going to move anybody that truely locks down on me. If I grab you, you will feel a very good grip but you will notice that you can still move my entire arm around with ease. My job is to make sure that I don't lose connection during the technique, not to stop you from doing the technique.

DonMagee
10-26-2007, 01:35 PM
".....he looked down at my hands and then told me to "grab strong." In my book, if you are going to ask for a stronger grab before you even know what I'm already giving you, then you are asking me to try to lock you down, especially if you are this shihan who is touted as unstoppable...."

This is the wrong assumption. Grabbing stronger means to give a firm grip with your hands. It says nothing about making the rest of your arms and body stiff. You can feel the connection much better with a really firm grab and uke moves the way the technique intented him/her to move. I ask people to grab me hard all the time so that I can feel the connection better, but I am very light and weak and am not going to move anybody that truely locks down on me. If I grab you, you will feel a very good grip but you will notice that you can still move my entire arm around with ease. My job is to make sure that I don't lose connection during the technique, not to stop you from doing the technique.

Wouldn't it better then to say "please hold me tight" ?

I mean, a grab is much more then just wrapping fingers around a wrist.

G DiPierro
10-26-2007, 01:35 PM
The internet is a convenient tool for all kinds of claims. So, if you really are on to something that no one else has apparently figured out, how about setting up a thread and putting forth your theories. You say you have a lot to say about the topic so lets see where the topic goes. No claims, no personal attacks, no BS. Just teach or explain to us what you are doing so we can test it out as well. I don't think that is an unreasonable request.I never claimed that nobody else has figured this, just that most people in aikido haven't figured it out. I also don't have much interest in trying to teach via the internet. It's a good medium for a lot of things but not for that. I will be happy to discuss the issue if people can do so reasonably (which is questionable, given this and other threads) but if someone wants me to show them how to do something that will have to be done in person.

Just look at the post below yours and you will understand what I mean. I'm not going to try to explain to someone like that what's wrong with his assumptions about what I am doing relative to what he is doing over the internet. The only way to do it would be for him to grab me and then me to grab him. In 30 seconds it would be very clear. I could spend three or fours hours trying to explain it in words and he probably still wouldn't understand. That's just the way it is.

Rupert Atkinson
10-26-2007, 09:14 PM
I have trained with instructors with 20+ years training who have not gone beyond a level where they have realized that pain is not the sole factor or setup for a prefect technique.
David Y

Just quoting the above as it is an important point that most seem to have missed.

wxyzabc
10-27-2007, 07:48 AM
GDipierro

From what you have written about your approach to aikido and your interactions with various shihans it would appear you have little understanding of aiki....

This is far more important than being able to lock someone who is practising a "technique". That is an easy thing for anyone with any control of centre to do...it is certainly no claim to greatness or a reflection of the Shihans true ability in "aikido"

Perhaps you need to rethink....:sorry:

G DiPierro
10-27-2007, 09:01 AM
From what you have written about your approach to aikido and your interactions with various shihans it would appear you have little understanding of aiki....

This is far more important than being able to lock someone who is practising a "technique". That is an easy thing for anyone with any control of centre to do...it is certainly no claim to greatness or a reflection of the Shihans true ability in "aikido"

Well since you are so much more knowledgeable than me about aiki, then why don't you explain to us all what it is? Wouldn't that be better than just sniping about how little other people know without posting anything substantive of your own? After all, just about any anonymous person can go around saying "from your posts it appears you know nothing...", etc without demonstrating that they themselves actually have any knowledge upon which to make such a judgment. That's very easy to do.

Since you think you are so much more knowledgeable than me, prove it. Show us what you know.

Avery Jenkins
10-27-2007, 09:16 AM
Well since you are so much more knowledgeable than me about aiki, then why don't you explain to us all what it is? Wouldn't that be better than just sniping about how little other people know without posting anything substantive of your own? After all, just about any anonymous person can go around saying "from your posts it appears you know nothing...", etc without demonstrating that they themselves actually have any knowledge upon which to make such a judgment. That's very easy to do.

Since you think you are so much more knowledgeable than me, prove it. Show us what you know.

Might wanna go easy there, Giancarlo. Calling out people that you haven't seen can go badly. Heck, calling out people that you have seen can go badly.

G DiPierro
10-27-2007, 09:25 AM
Might wanna go easy there, Giancarlo. Calling out people that you haven't seen can go badly. Heck, calling out people that you have seen can go badly.

I'm not the one who is joining a thread with a lot of information without having posting anything myself and then telling one of the main posters that he has very little understanding of what he is discussing. If you want to behave like that, then the burden of proof is on you to prove that you actually know what you are talking about. Until then, you are just an anonymous troll sniping at the heels of someone who has actually made an effort to post something substantial.

By the way, I don't believe that you have demonstrated that you know anything about this subject either. Why don't you also share some of your surely wide-ranging knowledge with us? If you know as much as you seem to think you do then why not enlighten us? Or are you too one of those people who just likes to snipe about how little other people know without adding anything of substance yourself?

Avery Jenkins
10-27-2007, 09:35 AM
I'm not the one who is joining a thread with a lot of information without having posting anything myself and then telling one of the main posters that he has very little understanding of what he is discussing. If you want to behave like that, then the burden of proof is on you to prove that you actually know what you are talking about. Until then, you are just an anonymous troll sniping at the heels of someone who has actually made an effort to post something substantial.

By the way, I don't believe that you have demonstrated that you know anything about this subject either. Why don't you also share some of your surely wide-ranging knowledge with us? If you know as much as you seem to think you do then why not enlighten us? Or are you too one of those people who just likes to snipe about how little other people know without adding anything of substance yourself?

Oh, Giancarlo, I'm not some big-name sensei with lots of knowledge to impart or anything like that, I mostly read this forum to get information, rather than impart it. I've just seen invitations like yours go very wrong. Just consider it a friendly hand on the shoulder, that's all.

Aikibu
10-27-2007, 11:30 AM
I'm not the one who is joining a thread with a lot of information without having posting anything myself and then telling one of the main posters that he has very little understanding of what he is discussing. If you want to behave like that, then the burden of proof is on you to prove that you actually know what you are talking about. Until then, you are just an anonymous troll sniping at the heels of someone who has actually made an effort to post something substantial.

By the way, I don't believe that you have demonstrated that you know anything about this subject either. Why don't you also share some of your surely wide-ranging knowledge with us? If you know as much as you seem to think you do then why not enlighten us? Or are you too one of those people who just likes to snipe about how little other people know without adding anything of substance yourself?

Dude...You really need to check yourself....I don't see anything that you've posted as being substancial either... Just endless justification for your poor behaviour at a seminar...

Substance is in the eye of the reader and I for one am still waiting to be impressed....LOL

I will tell you one thing however... Anyone walks into our Dojo with your attitude and lack of respect is more than likely going to be ignored and then asked to leave...

You seriously need to rethink your "revolutionary" approach to resistance training in Aikido.

Having Shodan disease is a natural progression in Aikido or any other Martial Art The challange is to get past it and return to beginners mind...

Whne Nishio Shihan gave me my Shodan back in 98 He smiled at me and said "All having a black belt means is that you're a good student. It is up to you to live up to that responsibility."

The Dojo Bully in me vanished at that exact moment.

Bowing down to you Giancarlo,

William Hazen

G DiPierro
10-27-2007, 11:31 AM
Oh, Giancarlo, I'm not some big-name sensei with lots of knowledge to impart or anything like that, I mostly read this forum to get information, rather than impart it. I've just seen invitations like yours go very wrong. Just consider it a friendly hand on the shoulder, that's all.That's not the impression I got from one of your other posts in this thread (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=192515). And I'm not the one joining a thread that someone has spent a lot of time contributing to just to nonchalantly state that this person doesn't have any understanding of what he is talking about. Even if I felt that way (which I often do on this forum), if someone has put that much time into posting, I'll usually just let the thread stand on its own. Other readers can decide for themselves whether they think that person knows anything or not.

If I do want to challenge someone who has made an effort to contribute something, then I focus on the specific part that I do not agree with and provide the reasoning behind why I disagree with that. Then it is possible to have a productive discussion. But just telling someone that you have read their posts and come to the conclusion that you don't think they know what they are talking about is useless. It serves no purpose other than to try to make yourself feel better by putting someone else down.

If you really know what you are talking about, then why not explain why you are right and I am wrong? If you are not able to do that then I suggest it would be better to keep your negative comments to yourself.

Avery Jenkins
10-27-2007, 11:56 AM
That's not the impression I got from one of your other posts in this thread (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=192515). And I'm not the one joining a thread that someone has spent a lot of time contributing to just to nonchalantly state that this person doesn't have any understanding of what he is talking about. Even if I felt that way (which I often do on this forum), if someone has put that much time into posting, I'll usually just let the thread stand on its own. Other readers can decide for themselves whether they think that person knows anything or not.

If I do want to challenge someone who has made an effort to contribute something, then I focus on the specific part that I do not agree with and provide the reasoning behind why I disagree with that. Then it is possible to have a productive discussion. But just telling someone that you have read their posts and come to the conclusion that you don't think they know what they are talking about is useless. It serves no purpose other than to try to make yourself feel better by putting someone else down.

If you really know what you are talking about, then why not explain why you are right and I am wrong? If you are not able to do that then I suggest it would be better to keep your negative comments to yourself.

Easy there, G-man! You're dissin' a fellow Ohioan, born and raised in Dayton. But you are right to the extent that I don't really have a dog in this fight, and perhaps this is a bit of a thread hijack, but when people start winging out the "Come on over here and prove it" rhetoric, my ears start to perk up.

I remember pulling that stunt on a bouncer at a bar in Virginia who was making insulting comments about, of all things, Ohio. So I went into "yeah, prove it" mode. Next thing you know, I was bouncing down a flight of steps head first. The really smart thing I did was to run back up the stairs so he could do it again.

'Course, this was long before I had any training in Aikido.

Marc Abrams
10-27-2007, 01:37 PM
People:

Step back and look at the dynamics taking place. Some one is baiting the hook and yanking on the line when he gets a response. I think that the easiest/aiki way of addressing this dynamic is to simply ignore the hook. When people stop biting on his bait, he will eventually stop fishing.

No sense of Aiki from the fisherman is more than an understatement.

Marc Abrams

Walter Martindale
10-27-2007, 03:27 PM
Hmm.
Lots of testosterone...
Step back, breathe, smile, move on. Cross the street to avoid the person who looks like trouble...
W

wxyzabc
10-27-2007, 04:33 PM
Hya Gianni

I think that you have some good points...but perhaps you are really only questioning the integrity of how people are practising aikido at a basic level when everything is static and you are given the opportunity to actually "lay hands" on Tori?. I could be wrong but what little information you have provided seems that you are talking mainly about static starts..

Blocking here is ok but where is the energy? if there is no energy there is no aikido. All you are left with is an empty framework of techniques made more difficult to execute. Even so I would assume that if you block in a certain manner that prevents the use of one technique, most advanced practioners could...if they cared too... easily switch techniques or move your centre enough to make a throw possible even from static....even if you yourself are giving no ki.

In seminars etc most shihan are usually only demonstrating techniques at the level of most of the attendees..this is my point...not demonstrating true aikido where waza is instantaneously selected to match the current energies.

In your personal dojo/training your approach has real value...helping you progress from shodan level aikido..but in someones seminar perhaps it doesnt. When you travel to see a shihan it should be with the intention to share and learn from them...not with the intention to prove your latest theory or feed your ego.

Your posts have often left me with the feeling..perhaps unintentionally, that on some level you believe are superior to these shihan, and that they need to select compliant ukes to make their akido work. However from my experience shihan generally select the most suitable person to demonstrate the technique in question (or prevent injury when teaching basic techniques)...often not the underlying principles.

Generally though.while an interesting thread you are providing no real insights into how we might improve our training. Perhaps you should post us some video clips where we can see what you are doing.. and therefore provide the means to have a constructive discussion.

I sincerely hope you do not take my most post in the wrong light....it is just another point of view..merely questioning what you yourself are questioning.

Kindest regards

Lee

DonMagee
10-27-2007, 08:18 PM
Was it the Shihan who invited others to test him? Sorry, but may your students invite others to fight you without your permission?

I feel it is in bad form, but it is a standard here on aikiweb. I could probably find hundreds of posts inviting people to go fight people they may have only met or heard of.


Amd most important. would the fight start without you being told? While you thought you are teaching?


Well, another fond point made by many people responding to these challenges is "There are no rules like in the ring.". Falls into that category. I'm not the kind of person to do this, but the culture of aikido does indeed seem to breed this attitude.


As for my point of origin:

My Sensei has had to face this type of behavior. He used to tell us that in his youth, he was stupid and fealt he has to win, which has almost injured one testing student, and on another situation, made the teacher overstretc while winning over a much larger and stronger student, who suddenly made it a test and did not know how to safely take the fal of the most suited technique, forcing my teacher to find a less suitable solution and ache for days later.
He told us this was stupid of him, and he should have simply told that student they are now doing something else.

As I wrote in an earlier message, I have seen a Shihan asked about the effectivness of a technique, and he consented to demonstrate how to reslove that issue. So I am not against the idea of putting a Shihan to the test. Though the examiner should consider age, health and strength when looking at the results.

I am skeptic and critical by nature, and ask 20 question and more about the techniques once I grasp the basics. But I believe in honoring the teacher I chose to learn from. If you can not respect him, do not come to his seminar \ class

Amir

I have no problem with that. I'm not even suggesting anyone go test the shihans. I would rather suggest they go test what they are taught.

stan baker
10-28-2007, 06:22 AM
If you can block shihans that is their problem, it shows that their level of aiki needs to improve.

stan

,

David Yap
10-28-2007, 06:37 AM
Just quoting the above as it is an important point that most seem to have missed.

Hi Rupert.

A separate thread titled "Goal-less instructors" perhaps. :D

Regards

David Y

G DiPierro
10-28-2007, 10:19 AM
I think that you have some good points...but perhaps you are really only questioning the integrity of how people are practising aikido at a basic level when everything is static and you are given the opportunity to actually "lay hands" on Tori?. I could be wrong but what little information you have provided seems that you are talking mainly about static starts.Tough to respond to this as I think we are on very different wavelengths. But you made an effort to be specific so I will too. Normally I don't like detailed point-by-point responses but I'll make an exception here. Static starts? No. Sometimes, but rarely. Most of the training I do uke is coming at nage, often much more realistically than the way most people in aikido train. Of course, I tone that down a lot when I go to seminars.

Blocking here is ok but where is the energy? if there is no energy there is no aikido. All you are left with is an empty framework of techniques made more difficult to execute.
Simply put, there is always energy. It might not be what you want, but if the person is alive there is always some kind of energy.

Even so I would assume that if you block in a certain manner that prevents the use of one technique, most advanced practioners could...if they cared too... easily switch techniques or move your centre enough to make a throw possible even from static....even if you yourself are giving no ki. Yes, of course the techniques are made more difficult to execute. That is the whole point! Progressively increasingly the level of resistance until you able to throw someone who is trying to do the same to you. Anyone can do pretty, choreographed techniques with a compliant partner. When you can do them on a trained person trying to put you on the ground then will you have something that I would be interested in.

In seminars etc most shihan are usually only demonstrating techniques at the level of most of the attendees..this is my point...not demonstrating true aikido where waza is instantaneously selected to match the current energies.So at an aikido seminar I cannot expect a shihan to be doing aikido? Sad. I wonder where I can find it then if not from the leading representatives of the art called aikido.

In your personal dojo/training your approach has real value...helping you progress from shodan level aikido..but in someones seminar perhaps it doesnt. When you travel to see a shihan it should be with the intention to share and learn from them...not with the intention to prove your latest theory or feed your ego.If these guys are the best that an organization has to offer, and if the only way to put my hands on them is in this format, then I'm going to use that opportunity to find out what they can do. It's not to prove anything to anyone but to see what, if anything, they have beyond what their senior students on the mat have.

Your posts have often left me with the feeling..perhaps unintentionally, that on some level you believe are superior to these shihan, and that they need to select compliant ukes to make their akido work. However from my experience shihan generally select the most suitable person to demonstrate the technique in question (or prevent injury when teaching basic techniques)...often not the underlying principles.My experience is that most shihan (not all) select uke that make them look good. Usually this leaves me with the feeling that they either don't understand certain principles or don't wish to teach them, because the way these favored ukes attack is almost universally overly artficial and could easily be corrected by their long-time teacher if he wanted to do so. However, I don't see this happening. What I actually see is the opposite where the shihan encourages these fake attacks by selecting those students who give them to him.

Generally though.while an interesting thread you are providing no real insights into how we might improve our training. Perhaps you should post us some video clips where we can see what you are doing.. and therefore provide the means to have a constructive discussion.I don't have any recent video to post and even if I did I would be wary about posting it because it would not just be of me, and while I am prepared to expose myself to certain level of scrutiny I'm not sure I would want to do this to someone else. I had a bad experience doing that once and would not want to repeat it. If you want to see video of something similar in principle, I've posted a lot of links in my posts so that might be a good place to start.

nemier
10-28-2007, 01:21 PM
please post a link of something similar in principle.

wxyzabc
10-28-2007, 02:58 PM
Hya GDipierro

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Personally I feel the biggest issue here is that perhaps you are coming to conclusions about certain shihan based on very small interactions. Really how long are you spending with these people do be able to intimate that someone who has dedicated their lives to the art are actually to a degree self deluded in their true abilities? and to name them on a public site?.

I think you need to be careful here...I once did what you did after going to a seminar and taking ukemi for an aged shihan. First encounter seemed very unconnected, almost stiff and unfeeling...so I "tested" him at a later encounter...result was Ive never hit the mat so hard and it was pure kokyu which he didnt appear to use at all the first time. Of course based on the first encounter I could have made all kind of assumptions too.

You really need to spend some serious time with a teacher to know their true capabilities...especially people who have trained as long and at times as intensively as they have. A seminar is definitely not the place to do this...a mere snapshot in time..

Enjoy your training...

Lee

Aiki1
10-28-2007, 08:56 PM
So at an aikido seminar I cannot expect a shihan to be doing aikido? Sad. I wonder where I can find it then if not from the leading representatives of the art called aikido.



Chiming in here. While I agree in principle that there are some things going on that I see as less than desirable in terms of how Aikido is taught and practiced, I can't help but instinctively feel from your posts that, while perceptive at times, you seem to be coming from such a presumptuous (and disputive) place that your conclusions seem to be based on the fallacy that you have enough information (and experience, frankly) to -really- judge all this. I have been teaching Aikido for 25 years, and one thing that I know is that there are different levels of "Aikido performance" :

Learning
Practicing
Performing/Demonstrating
Teaching
Doing

These overlap but are all different, and before anyone can judge a teacher's true skills, one had better find out what they are doing in these terms, rather than assume and then make judgement calls accordingly. When teaching at a seminar, unless you know the mind of the instructor in depth, you can't know where they are coming from. To add, at a seminar, it depends - an instructor may not have the luxury to really be doing Aikido, because of their responsibility to teach it and demonstrate it.

Now, if you had said that your "beef" was that so and so instructor was not Doing Aikido with you but expecting a certain kind of practice, and that was disappointing because you wanted to feel their skill in a different way or at a different level, to me that would be very different. But unless you actually know what they -were- doing, you have no idea what you experienced. You seem to presume that you got the best they had to offer. I would say - not likely. Maybe in some cases, but to me, you couldn't know that from what you describe at least.

Also, I can tell you from experience that there are times that someone will do something as the attacker with me that instead of "proving myself" etc., I will just walk away. There are basically two possible reasons why - one, because they are negative people and don't deserve my time, or - two, my real response could get them really hurt - not because of my intention but because of theirs. I know this from direct past experience. It has never had anything to do with whether or not I could "throw them." This is not a cop out, saying something like - well, I Could have done this or that etc...." - Because my style is extremely soft, I've been "tested" many times - and I've had enough experiences in Aikido and BJJ, in dojo, at seminars, and in the street, where my Aikido skills were "shown to be adequate." As have at least some of the Shihan you mention, I imagine.

This may or may not have had anything to do with what you experienced, but from reading your tone and what others have said who have encountered you, it might. To end, you might have something to offer at some level, but have you ever considered that much of how a message is received is how it's delivered? A lot like Aikido, in a sense.

G DiPierro
10-29-2007, 01:23 AM
It seems to me that there are two distinct possibilities in this thread. The first is that I don't know what I'm talking about, as so many people have been suggesting, first quite rudely and now a bit more politely, and that the reason I am not seeing the same wonderful skill level in these men that all of these other people see is that I am simply missing it, either because they are hiding it from me or I just don't understand aikido well enough to see it. The second is that I actually do know what I'm talking about and the reason all of these other people don't see that is because they have not had sufficient exposure to such training to be able to understand what I am doing themselves.

At this point I feel that I have posted enough on that question and I don't care to argue the point anymore. If I actually do know what I'm talking about, there is no way that the people who think that I'm wrong will change their minds until they have had enough exposure to this kind of practice to understand what they missed that led them to reach the wrong conclusion. I don't know whether it is possible to give them that kind of exposure solely via the internet, but even if it were, I doubt that I would care to. I think I've put more than enough time and energy into this effort already and for the most part I have gotten back attacks and insults on my character and my level of understanding and ability as martial artist.

As far as I'm concerned, anyone who doesn't think that I know what I'm talking about at this point should not investigate me or my claims any further. Please do not think about what I have said or make any effort to understand it. In fact, I would suggest that you stop reading my posts, and perhaps this whole thread, entirely. I think it would make you happier and I'm certain that it would make me happier. If that leaves anyone else left, then I'm still willing to continue the discussion, but at this point I'm done trying to convince anybody of anything. Either you believe me or you don't. I don't care which.

Aiki1
10-29-2007, 01:46 AM
It seems to me that there are two distinct possibilities in this thread. The first is that I don't know what I'm talking about, as so many people have been suggesting, first quite rudely and now a bit more politely, and that the reason I am not seeing the same wonderful skill level in these men that all of these other people see is that I am simply missing it, either because they are hiding it from me or I just don't understand aikido well enough to see it. The second is that I actually do know what I'm talking about and the reason all of these other people don't see that is because they have not had sufficient exposure to such training to be able to understand what I am doing themselves.

Actually, I have had 25 years of exposure to the kind of training you are talking about. To be frank, that's what gives me a sense of perspective, and from my vantage point, I feel that I can see many holes in your thinking, or at least how you have expressed your ideas on both "testing" people's skills and resistance training, as well as how you have gone about doing it, again, at least in so far as you have described it here. That's not to say that you have no idea what you are talking about, but again, cetainly the Way you talk about it for me leaves so much unaccounted for and unaddressed that the only conclusion that I can draw is that you only see a very small aspect of both "issues." And since I have seen important points brought up again and again that consistantly go unanswered by you that it supports my conclusions.

By the way, I personally at least didn't state my opinion of any shihan, only that I didn't think you had enough information, as you described things, to be able to make a full evaluation.

At this point I feel that I have posted enough on that question and I don't care to argue the point anymore. If I actually do know what I'm talking about, there is no way that the people who think that I'm wrong will change their minds until they have enough exposure to this kind of practice to understand what they missed that led them to reach the wrong conclusion.

Since I feel that I have had extensive exposure, I think I'm addressing something else going on, at two different levels, which I described in my last post.

As far as I'm concerned, anyone who doesn't think that I know what I'm talking about at this point should not investigate me or my claims any further. Please do not think about what I have said or make any effort to understand it. In fact, I would suggest that you stop reading my posts, and perhaps this whole thread, entirely. I think it would make you happier and I'm certain that it would make me happier. If that leaves anyone else left, then I'm still willing to continue the discussion, but at this point I'm done trying to convince anybody of anything. Either you believe me or you don't. I don't care which.

Well therein lies some of the "issue" - the either you believe me or you don't thing.... given the unsubstantiated way you have presented things, the way some people have experienced you in person, and the way you have come across about the whole subject, how can you honestly expect any other reaction?

Avery Jenkins
10-29-2007, 06:01 AM
As far as I'm concerned, anyone who doesn't think that I know what I'm talking about at this point should not investigate me or my claims any further.

OK by me. From what I have been able to find, your claims can't bear scrutiny anyway.

Please do not think about what I have said or make any effort to understand it. In fact, I would suggest that you stop reading my posts, and perhaps this whole thread, entirely. I think it would make you happier and I'm certain that it would make me happier. If that leaves anyone else left, then I'm still willing to continue the discussion, but at this point I'm done trying to convince anybody of anything. Either you believe me or you don't. I don't care which.

I'm not sure that making you happy is at the top of my Things To Do list, but I'm quite sure that I would never take what you say on face value. So, put me in the Nonbeliever category.

Thanks for posting, G-man. It's been an interesting discussion.

G DiPierro
10-29-2007, 12:27 PM
And since I have seen important points brought up again and again that consistantly go unanswered by you that it supports my conclusions.And what are these points, exactly?

By the way, I personally at least didn't state my opinion of any shihan, only that I didn't think you had enough information, as you described things, to be able to make a full evaluation.I don't know what you mean by a "full evaluation." What I said, in various guises, was that these shihan train with far too little resistance for my taste. I never said that I wouldn't train with any of them again, as I am usually willing to give people another chance, but at this point what I've seen is not enough for me to go out of my way to train with them, particularly in the seminar environment, which I do not particularly enjoy training in the way most people teach. How much more information does one need to reach such a judgment beyond attending one of their seminars and making sure to touch hands with them at least once (preferably more than once, but in the case of Saotome it was his choice to avoid me after that)?

Well therein lies some of the "issue" - the either you believe me or you don't thing.... given the unsubstantiated way you have presented things, the way some people have experienced you in person, and the way you have come across about the whole subject, how can you honestly expect any other reaction?I think I've made plenty of effort to substantiate my claims. One of them was even verified by an eyewitness member of that teacher's own organization who was not at all sympathetic to me. On the other hand, you are taking at face value the far less substantiated claims of people who have spent maybe a few minutes with me here and there at seminars where I always have to compromise the way I would like to practice to fit those circumstances. You seem to think they are in a position to have an informed opinion of me but I'm not in a position to have an informed opinion of someone with whom I have spent several hours training with in their own class, where they can do whatever they want, and who I've similarly touched hands with on their own terms where they can set the rules of the engagement. Don't you see any flaws in that logic?

Anyway, let me be clear if I was not in my last post. I don't care at this point whether anyone believes me. I think I've made my case many times already and if you don't see the value in that then that's fine by me. Even in this post I'm just repeating things that I have said before and pointing out things that should be relatively obvious. And since you asked, yes I suppose I should have expected this reaction. It seems to be the typical behavior of aikido people to attack and insult anyone who questions the status quo or challenges the myths they hold about their teacher's skill levels.

Will Prusner
10-29-2007, 12:45 PM
It seems to be the typical behavior of aikido people to attack and insult anyone who questions the status quo or challenges the myths they hold about their teacher's skill levels.

All generalizations are wrong, including this one.

...and that one.

odudog
10-29-2007, 12:55 PM
Giancarlo, what the person means by you not having a full evaluation is that what you expierenced at that point in time at the seminar might not be all there is to that Shihan. It is totally possible that the Shihan taught in that manner at the seminar for there may have been people at the seminar that don't practice with the resistance that you prefer. It doesn't mean that the Shihan does not practice in that manner at his own dojo. So you might not have met the true robust Shihan, but instead, the Shihan light. If you were to practice with the Shihan on a steady basis at his dojo then you might practice with the resistance. I have two instructors at my dojo that stated that most of the people in the dojo couldn't handle the way/style they learned the art for it is much too hard. So they don't teach it the way they learned it, therefore, instructors light. I on the other hand am able to handle some of their full versions, or at least I don't complain about it, so I have been on the business end of some of their techniques and know what they are truely capable of.

mathewjgano
10-29-2007, 04:18 PM
I think the problem with conversations like these is they are hearsay. Regardless of the truth of things, a claim is made; skeptics reply with either counterclaims or "what if" statements and at the end of the day we're still left without anything other than food for thought.
I don't doubt that in at least some cases rank is more a measure of time spent than technical ability. These things happen in groups as big as Aikido. Over-specialization; ego; etc. all combine to create a minefield of preconceived notions; none of which can be substantiated over the internet. Testimonials can be given, but that's it (ie-more hearsay). Ignorance is part and parcel to the human condition and we're all subject to the same fallibilities; mix that with remote vantage points and it's no wonder we see so much second-guessing of each other.
As for replying to any given claim, we can what-if all we want and still never resolve its validity, no matter how unlikely it may seem when compared with our own perspective. The written word is a highly imperfect form of communication; particularly when we bring abstract or discrete concepts into play...and I think Aikido is subtle enough that it's a difficult thing to talk about for very long.
I've found myself writing replies to many a post only to delete them in frustration because I wasn't sure if I was really helping the conversation...particularly since my perspective is so far removed from mainstream Aikido, but if I were to add my two bit (I were:D ) I would say that it's simply impossible to verify Giancarlo's claim. All we can do is speak as if it were true and move on from there in a hypothetical form of debate, or speak as if it were untrue and move on from there in a similar fasion (or a bit of both of course). It seems to me that what's happening most often is folks debating various phrases and then expecting them to form some resolution about the truth of the basic claim and I repeat, that's impossible.
Now, I realize I'm not often a great communicator; and part of the reason is frankly i often miss what other folks are implying, so I appologize if I'm falling victim to that again here, but this is my take on these conversations. I see a lot of claims about Aikido, both good and bad, and I'm a little surprised to see how infrequently people offer caveats like "from what i can tell..." I imagine if more of those were employed there would be a less contentious conversation going on.

mathewjgano
10-29-2007, 04:25 PM
...and that one.

Only because I'm in an impish moodevileyes will I say that I think I said it better than good ol' Sam Clemens when I said "people who make [generalizations] are never right, always."
ps-I love Mark twain...so rarely has there been a fellow I could agree with more about human nature...that I am aware of.

wxyzabc
10-29-2007, 04:59 PM
Yes...there are always 3 sides to every story...one persons side...the other persons side...and then theres the truth...

Lee

Nikopol
10-30-2007, 09:06 PM
It seems to me that there are two distinct possibilities in this thread. The first is that I don't know what I'm talking about, as so many people have been suggesting, first quite rudely and now a bit more politely, and that the reason I am not seeing the same wonderful skill level in these men that all of these other people see is that I am simply missing it, either because they are hiding it from me or I just don't understand aikido well enough to see it. The second is that I actually do know what I'm talking about and the reason all of these other people don't see that is because they have not had sufficient exposure to such training to be able to understand what I am doing themselves.


Yes, when you finish talking to yourself, you may wake up and see another possibility, which is what everyone is wasting their breath trying to tell you: That whether right or wrong, you lack the proper attitude and etiquette to co-operate in a dojo.
:ai: :ki:

xuzen
10-30-2007, 09:42 PM
Why make such big fuss about resisting shihan? If that is your beef, go and play with Judo people... they get to resist their shihan/soke/sensei/coach etc regularly in Randori/Shiai.

It is like going to a McDonald's and complaining to the management that they do not serve l'apperitif and champagne.

Boon.

G DiPierro
10-30-2007, 11:30 PM
Yes, when you finish talking to yourself, you may wake up and see another possibility, which is what everyone is wasting their breath trying to tell you: That whether right or wrong, you lack the proper attitude and etiquette to co-operate in a dojo.
:ai: :ki:

Since the "proper attitude and etiquette" to cooperate in a dojo apparantly includes pretending that the teacher is some unstoppable force of martial perfection, I suppose you are right.

xuzen
10-31-2007, 01:55 AM
Since the "proper attitude and etiquette" to cooperate in a dojo apparantly includes pretending that the teacher is some unstoppable force of martial perfection, I suppose you are right.

NO PRETEND!

Teacher say cooperate with me; I want to teach the proper execution for new student... you cooperate for benefit of new students.

Teacher say, resist me; I want to do some randori/jiyu waza coz I need some exercise... you resist and try to throw teacher.

There are proper time for proper things, mixing them up is bad ettiqutte.

Boon.

Peter Ralls
10-31-2007, 04:54 AM
This thread is hilarious. A brief recap. Person of hazy and controversial background in aikido training goes to seminars and then later claims he stopped high ranking shihan from throwing him. Amazingly, no one else at these seminars seems to witness their teacher getting schooled by this prodigy.

Further, when the prodigy trains with muscular shodans at these same seminars, using, I assume, his self realized "resistive aikido", when they throw him, he has to tell them to stop, saying "Ow, ow, you're hurting me!" Of course, he could resist them, just like he does the shihan, but that would cause an akward situation he prefers to avoid. Somehow, he doesn't see any dichotomy between his professed ability to stop shihan, and his inability to keep from getting hurt by lowly shodans. He does have a sore neck, after all.

He then writes voluminous tracts explaining how he has realized that everyone else in the aikido world just falls down for their partners, but he, having studied "resistive training" has surpassed persons training four times longer than he. And last of all, some people actually seem to take this guy seriously.

I don't know whether to I should laugh or cry. But I've been laughing.

Ron Tisdale
10-31-2007, 07:28 AM
Not to defend GD, but how about we separate some of the "attitude" stuff from the ideas he's putting forth. There is another thread where that is happening naturally. I realize that he brought some of this stuff on himself, but hey, we all get that. Moving on now would be nice, as I think he has some good points.

Not that he needs me to defend him...or that I would be capable any way.

Best,
Ron

David Orange
10-31-2007, 08:24 AM
If you can block shihans that is their problem, it shows that their level of aiki needs to improve.

Or it could just show that they don't want to kick a guy in the kin tama while he has all his strength and attention in his hands.....because it's not a fight...it's a class.....

David

Ecosamurai
10-31-2007, 08:25 AM
Not to defend GD, but how about we separate some of the "attitude" stuff from the ideas he's putting forth. There is another thread where that is happening naturally. I realize that he brought some of this stuff on himself, but hey, we all get that. Moving on now would be nice, as I think he has some good points.

Not that he needs me to defend him...or that I would be capable any way.

Best,
Ron

I didn't especially wish to get back to this thread, but....

FWIW, where we train it's like this (roughly):

6th Kyu to 3rd Kyu is more or less static training, uke applies extra force (extends ki) a lot and falls down easily in a very cooperative way. If there is a secondary attack such as katate tori followed by shomenuchi there is a count of 3 before the secondary comes in. All such training is emphasized as being about not resisting. The only exception to this are the rather simple self defence exercises we teach, but they are designed to be learnt and mastered quickly and so at their very first grading students are attacked in a (fairly) realistic way. At least as realistic as any self defence class i've ever seen or heard of (such as a womens self defence class or a hospital workers self defence class etc).

2nd Kyu to 1st Kyu is about flow and rhythm, prior to this uke would have began the attack by holding a wrist for example. Now, ma ai is increased and all attacks are 'on the move' (you kinda have to see it for a better explanation sorry).

1st Dan Not quite full out resistance but certainly a lot of active resistance to techniques nage tries to apply, if uke sees any openings they are allowed to hit nage (except for the head).

2nd Dan and above Full out active resistance, any openings uke sees they may take advantage of, occasional open handed strikes to the head may be seen but usually only when the senior sensei are being uke.

This goes for all general practice not just testing scenarios, though a grading tends to be more intense. It is not unusual for a dan grade candidate to have a 7th Dan uke for a large portion of their grading. Until not so long ago the aforementioned 7th Dan was the uke for all yudansha gradings, he lets some of the rest of us help out now though :) The general view is that shodan is an entrance exam, nidan is the hard one because that's when you get tested not for a black belt, but as a black belt.
Ki tests are required for all yudansha grades, the first two levels of ki test are required for 4th Kyu and 2nd Kyu. Yudansha candidates may be allowed to pass shodan perhaps without use of much ki/mind and body coordination/internal skill (depending on circumstance), but will be generally failed for doing so at nidan, all techniques must be applied to an actively resisting uke with coordinated mind and body, use of physical strength to do this tends to result in the candidate finishing their grading being exhausted and also failing.

Thought people might be interested in that, anyway, right back to the grind, numbers to go through, grrrrr.

Mike

Budd
10-31-2007, 08:38 AM
Ecosamurai - so based on the criteria you listed, you're able to apply aikido with jin/kokyu skills in a free-sparring environment against other skilled folks? Does the active resistance evolve into clinch/ground situations, with strikes, or do you keep at arms-length ma-ai?

Ecosamurai
10-31-2007, 08:52 AM
Ecosamurai - so based on the criteria you listed, you're able to apply aikido with jin/kokyu skills in a free-sparring environment against other skilled folks? Does the active resistance evolve into clinch/ground situations, with strikes, or do you keep at arms-length ma-ai?

No most of it isn't freesparring, but that is a part of a grading (i.e. randori). Mostly its a case of there is a list of attacks and a list of defences, all done from a close ma ai the examiner calls for a defence (say ikkyo), they then call out at random an attack from the list and expect to see the defence they asked for. You don;t get much time to think about what's coming :eek:

It doesn't evolve into groundfighting unless something goes wrong for nage :) at which point things are usually stopped because the idea that the fight goes to the ground is usually considered a mistake on nages part. Some groundwork exercises are included in the syllabus however.

Incidentally, I completely forgot to add the whole point of my previous post, which was to say that training like this is done between two partners, it is wholly inappropriate to do things like this when you are ukeing for a teacher who is trying to demonstrate a technique in front of a class. Hence the 'resisting aikido shihan' part. It does sometimes happen that I've been asked to but usually the class is for yudansha only. If I tried that in a regular class or seminar I'd be met with a bemused look from my teacher, if I tried it twice I expect I'd be met with a bemused hand resulting in a bemused bruise...

Am I able to do the things you asked? Well, I'm ranked nidan according to the criteria you saw me post, it took me 4 years and 4 attempts to get from shodan to nidan. Make of that what you will. I've never claimed to be a great master of this before and I'm certainly not trying to imply that I am now.

Mike

Budd
10-31-2007, 08:57 AM
Am I able to do the things you asked? Well, I'm ranked nidan according to the criteria you saw me post, it took me 4 years and 4 attempts to get from shodan to nidan. Make of that what you will. I've never claimed to be a great master of this before and I'm certainly not trying to imply that I am now.


Cool. Do you train this way with folks from other arts, mostly with your students, with seniors, etc. -- or some combination?

Ecosamurai
10-31-2007, 09:07 AM
Cool. Do you train this way with folks from other arts, mostly with your students, with seniors, etc. -- or some combination?

I see what you're getting at, the answer is both yes and no. When I visit other arts at other dojo I am polite and train as they train or however they ask me to. I have students who have backgrounds in other arts and I sometimes ask them to do something different if we're in a certain situation. I have on occasion been asked to do some aikido with some BJJ/MMA guys, I found that if they got me to the ground I got my backside handed to me 8 times out of 10. Often though their takedowns involved them getting thumped in the ribs or elsewhere and that was when I was trying to be nice and not injure them.

If you follow your usually pattern Budd, I expect your next post will be along the lines of "my golly well then you must be amazing" heavily coated with half-veiled sarcasm. So again I'll state that I claim no great level of mastery, there are plenty of folks around (including many I know and have trained with) who are more than capable of knocking me into next week.

EDIT, this is getting dragged off topic. I just wanted to add that the reason for posting the previous stuff was to show that resistance in training is a tool we use quite a lot, I know we aren't the only ones, plenty of folks do according to their own training methods. That said however, resisting like that against someone trying to teach a lesson is RUDE, and pointless, all it does is show that you are a fool and have no desire to learn.

Mike

Budd
10-31-2007, 09:11 AM
Actually, not interested in banter or rocking your little boat, just curious and asking questions, since you seem to be volunteering info.

Ecosamurai
10-31-2007, 09:23 AM
Actually, not interested in banter or rocking your little boat, just curious and asking questions, since you seem to be volunteering info.

Cool, in that case I apologise for being presumptuous. Sorry about that. Anyway, gotta get back to work now so no more aikiweb for a while.... catch you later.

Mike

Budd
10-31-2007, 12:15 PM
Cool, in that case I apologise for being presumptuous. Sorry about that. Anyway, gotta get back to work now so no more aikiweb for a while.... catch you later.


Something I'd recommend when you play with the BJJ/MMA guys from time to time, go ahead and allow full contact strikes, which you may already be doing this - but mixing it up with strikes like that helps put in perspective which ones are showstoppers versus which ones may be worth taking/slipping to get good position. Other times, just rolling for position using bodywork, leverage and good mechanics can tell its own tale.

Budd
10-31-2007, 12:16 PM
Though it's not about "Resisting Aikido Shihan" per se, I think the above couple exchanges do touch on the larger point of appropriate/intelligent resistance . . . which, generally speaking, can sometimes be futile . . . or in other words . . . few people have any real credibility until you see them in person . . . and I include myself in this category.

clwk
10-31-2007, 12:24 PM
I don't have time or inclination to get deeply involved in this discussion, but I do want to throw out one experience/observation/thought which may or may not matter.

It seems that many have made the argument, paraphrased, that 'It is not terribly difficult to block anyone's technique, however good they are, if you know it is coming.' The corollary to that is, 'However, this proves nothing because there are other options available when a technique is blocked in this way.'

These are important and valid points as far as they go. But sometimes this logic does not hold. For example, within the structure of that logic I feel comfortable 'blocking' techniques in a way which, even if martially invalid, has a certain effectiveness to it. However, when I followed up on a suggestion which I have seen made in this forum to seek out and feel Chen Xiao Wang, I found that this axiom proved inapplicable.

CXW happily let me settle in and do whatever I could to stop him from applying joint locks to me. This did not help in the slightest. He accomplished this without resorting to any kind of distraction, unbalancing, striking, martial engagement, adjustment or anything else. He gave me clear and explicit explanation of how I *should* try to stop the techniques and demonstrated his own ability to do so. However, his power and precision were such that I could not at all prevent him from performing the techniques.

Now, some may argue that this simply means that I am not good enough to stop CXW cold. I would agree. However, I would also suggest that what it would take to do that is *far* beyond the level of conditioning, skill, and resistance described when people say that you can 'stop anyone if you know what is coming'. Those who hold that view have probably never tried to stop someone for whom it is so self-evidently untrue.

Listening in on the conversation, it *sounds* as though Giancarlo is suggesting that he has trained with individuals who both can and cannot be stopped with a given level of resistance and is therefore qualified to subjectively distinguish between them in a relatively objective manner.

I don't know Giancarlo, and I won't vouch for his social etiquette. However, having experienced someone who *cannot be blocked* and does not need either to resort to methods outside the strict technical application or to inflict damage to demonstrate it, I would say people need to know that level is possible. It is probably worth seeking someone out just to establish this knowledge, but if it is *not worth it*, then that judgment sets a limit on how strong one's opinions on the topic should be. At least it seems that Giancarlo is actively engaged in researching what is possible, and by approaching master-level teachers in this way he not only puts himself on the line but also tacitly accords a level of respect to those he approaches. Chen Xiao Wang was not even slightly offended when I asked him for a demonstration, and he was eager to assure me he understood my interest.

In any event, relying on the argument that what Giancarlo posits as desirable is actually impossible puts an upper bound on what the arguer has probably experienced. Depending on how closely the arguer is presumed (or claims) to have experienced the range of what the subject (i.e. the one being resisted) can do, then this argument could almost become testimony in favor of Giancarlo's point. But I realize it's an emotional topic, and I really just wanted to add some information based on a personal experience which many readers may not have had (i.e., meeting CXW and receiving a demonstration of qinna).

-ck

Budd
10-31-2007, 12:54 PM
I don't have time or inclination to get deeply involved in this discussion, but I do want to throw out one experience/observation/thought which may or may not matter.


Heya, CK. Please don't get mad, but I'm kinda scared of what your idea is to get deeply involved ;)

I like the testimonial and am jealous that you were able to get hands on CXW. Problem is, there are folks saying the same things about the aikido shihan that Giancarlo claims to have been able to stop or reverse (of course I'd love to be a fly on the wall if Giancarlo tried that with CXW ;) ). But it ultimately illustrates the value, or lack of - at times, of the testimonial.

However, here's an important difference, as well. I don't know that anyone's going to call on you to verify readily that CXW was able to toss you around (based on what people may know about you, him, etc.). If someone claims to be able to stop or reverse some big aikido names, then it's understandable that there will be folks then clamoring for more verification beyond "It happened because I said so".

In other words, when you're claiming feats you can DO, then people want you to show them. When you claim feats were done to YOU, then people may want to see them, but depending on their belief system, they might also, wrongly at times, assume it was a deficiency of yours that caused such things to happen and that they will somehow be a different story ;).

Which is just one reason I like to avoid the whole feats discussion and just go see what people are doing -- then steal whatever I can :).

Best,

clwk
10-31-2007, 01:35 PM
Heya, CK. Please don't get mad, but I'm kinda scared of what your idea is to get deeply involved ;)
Careful what you wish for. Seriously, just because I type fast doesn't mean I'm not about to go on vacation.

I like the testimonial and am jealous that you were able to get hands on CXW. Problem is, there are folks saying the same things about the aikido shihan that Giancarlo claims to have been able to stop or reverse (of course I'd love to be a fly on the wall if Giancarlo tried that with CXW ;) ). But it ultimately illustrates the value, or lack of - at times, of the testimonial.
Well, some people seem to be saying that the idea of testing -- polite or otherwise -- is based on a flawed premise. My point is not about the outcome of any given episode. It's only that testing is not necessarily a flawed dialectical method -- even if there are circumstantial and social considerations which complicate it. The point of my anecdote is to show that one *can* test without that being a problem -- and that the barriers to doing so are social/cultural and not necessarily technical.

I'm not even saying that Giancarlo might not be so much better than me that he can stop CXW where I was powerless to do so. What I'm saying is that I wouldn't then tell him that could not have happened, or that there must have been a misunderstanding. I would be impressed and want to understand the details of what happened, and I might even want to meet up with him to engage in a similarly symmetrical test -- out of a genuine spirit of curiosity, research, etc. In fact, I *would* like to meet up with Giancarlo at some point to get a clear sense of his ideas of resistance levels, etc. But when I say that, I really *don't* have a hidden intimidation agenda -- which is how some of the thing people have said sound. I just find the whole area interesting.


Which is just one reason I like to avoid the whole feats discussion and just go see what people are doing -- then steal whatever I can.
Agreed, and that is what both Giancarlo and I have attested to doing with different results. It's true that the discussion of it may be far less useful than the thing itself, but it *is* a discussion forum -- so it's pretty much all that is left. The take-home point should be that there is value in asking the question. It's not really about what any given poster here can do or claim, because who cares? Those who discount first-hand reports on the basis that the data reported cannot and should not be collected trivialize the importance of being able to ask questions. That's different from having a real conversation about the validity of the data. The reality is that if you got CXW, some set of unnamed Shihan, Giancarlo, and I all together in a room to politely and respectfully feel this area out, it might actually turn out to be the case that there was a variable spectrum of ability -- and that some of the participants were able to fully resist others without resorting to dirty tactics, and that others were able to easily overcome all attempts to do likewise. Who stacks up where doesn't really matter. Once you acknowledge that there is a real effect, then it's a fair area to look at. I am only arguing against the idea that no real information would be gleaned from performing such a test. I am neither volunteering for nor seriously suggesting such a test be performed, by the way.

-ck

gdandscompserv
10-31-2007, 01:39 PM
Something I'd recommend when you play with the BJJ/MMA guys from time to time, go ahead and allow full contact strikes, which you may already be doing this - but mixing it up with strikes like that helps put in perspective which ones are showstoppers versus which ones may be worth taking/slipping to get good position. Other times, just rolling for position using bodywork, leverage and good mechanics can tell its own tale.
And while you're at it, throw in some knife and firearms training. Some excellent info found here. (http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthread.php?t=38089)

G DiPierro
10-31-2007, 01:52 PM
I think CK has raised a fair question: what other experiences am I comparing these guys to? I have not met CXW yet, but I did spend some time with one of his top students recently, although I did not try to do what CK did to CXW or what I did to Saotome with him as I did not see any need to. When I pushed hands with him, it was clear to me that he was faster and more relaxed than I was, and that he could have pushed me easily, even though he did not try to do so at any point (nor did I try to push him). When I worked with him in cooperative technique training (qinna, similar techniques to aikido), he was very good, in a similar category as the best aikido people I have worked with.

On one occasion, I did give him a little resistance in a commonly practiced aikido technique just to see what would happen. Although I still took the ukemi in a cooperative way and moved as if he was doing the technique to me, I did not let him control my center. We were training on concrete and therefore not doing the full throws, but when he got to the end of the movement he looked at me, smiled and feigned an elbow strike to the face, letting me know that he realized what I was doing and illustrating one possible response. Quite frankly, I think most aikido people, even at the shihan level, would not notice or care that they had not actually moved the uke's center themselves as long as it looked like they did.

Simply put, I had enough information from our exchanges to know that I did not need to challenge him (at least not at that point) because I believe that he would have had no problem handling it. More importantly, though, I got things that I could work on in my own practice from having trained with him. When I take a class with most aikido people and they expect me to just go up and take compliant ukemi for them, I don't learn anything. I've done that enough that there is nothing left in that practice that is useful to me. I need to feel what someone can do against more resistance, and that is why I this is what I give to these shihan. I don't give it to their students because frankly there are none that can handle it. Even when I give them semi-compliant attacks, which should be a trivial level of resistance for an experienced person, they get upset and want to fight with me.

In terms of the two people I have mentioned stopping on this forum, I gave Saotome significantly more resistance than I gave Kato. As I recall, what I gave Kato was not too far beyond my normal training level, but I really tried to stop Saotome, mainly because he asked me to. In my opinion, Saotome was one of the strongest people I have felt, and once he got used to the idea that I was not just going to fall for him, and once I eased off the resistance a bit, he got off a nice throw. But as I said, he apparantly didn't enjoy the experience and he avoided putting his hands on me for the rest of the seminar (though he did give me verbal instruction on a few occasions). So the message I got was that he does not allow any resistance, which for me makes it not worthwhile to train with him. I have very little interest in taking compliant ukemi for anyone at this point, and if that's what he wants then I consider it a waste of my time.

I've said many times that I would be interested in working with him (and a few other people) on a private, freestyle basis, and that I would even pay him for his time and travel to his location to do this. That's the type of practice that would be worthwhile to me, especially if he were able to demonstrate that he is much better than me in such a format. If he could do that, I would surely learn something that I can use in my own practice. But I just don't feel that I'm getting much out of the type of almost exclusively compliant training options that he and most other aikido shihan are currently providing.

There are a few exceptions in aikido who do allow realistic resistance, and Tamura is obviously one of those, which you can tell by watching the videos of him. Since he takes the uke role with students and demonstrates (typically active) resistive ukemi, he is making it clear that students are free to try this with him. However, Tamura is not frequently in the US, and when it is it is usually quite far away from me and could only be for a couple of classes, in which there is no guarantee that I would actually work with him hands-on. I was also impressed with what I saw recently from Nariyama of the Shodokan, but despite coming all the way to the US from Japan, the only people he touched hands with in the class I took were his own students that he brought with him, so this too was not particularly useful from the perspective of furthering my own training.

When I can train hands-on in a resistance training situation (like push-hands) with someone like the Chen TJQ teacher I mentioned earlier, and I can easily do so in a small group or even private lessons at a reasonable rate, there's just not much interest for me in going to an aikido seminar where I will be expected to just take complaint ukemi for both the teacher and students there, pretending that they are throwing me when they are not. I'll do it occasionally just to see for myself someone who is touted to be very good or capable of handling resistance, but that's mainly for informational purposes and to find out whether that person has anything interesting to me. Further, I can't really take seriously the type of techniques that people who expect only compliant ukemi teach. Compared to what I have felt from people who train with resistance, including Tamura, it just all seems to fake to me.

As I said, anybody who thinks I don't know what I'm talking about should feel free to disregard everything I have said here. Just keep telling yourself that I don't know anything or that I don't have enough information to have an informed opinion about this subject. Put me on your ignore list and do not continue to read this thread. I keep asking people to do this yet they still keep posting in this thread trying to explain to me how I don't know what I'm talking about. And then they say that I'm the one who doesn't understand etiquette. At least when someone tells me they don't want to hear from me anymore I will respect that request.

Ron Tisdale
10-31-2007, 02:17 PM
Chen Xiao Wang was not even slightly offended when I asked him for a demonstration, and he was eager to assure me he understood my interest

I think it should be mentioned that this is not at all what was described in the other encounters...if it had been, there would be no room for equivication or complaint.

Best,
Ron (liked the rest of your post though...)

Ron Tisdale
10-31-2007, 02:24 PM
When I can train hands-on in a resistance training situation (like push-hands) with someone like the Chen TJQ teacher I mentioned earlier, and I can easily do so in a small group or even private lessons at a reasonable rate, there's just not much interest for me in going to an aikido seminar where I will be expected to just take complaint ukemi for both the teacher and students there, pretending that they are throwing me when they are not. I'll do it occasionally just to see for myself someone who is touted to be very good or capable of handling resistance, but that's mainly for informational purposes and to find out whether that person has anything interesting to me. Further, I can't really take seriously the type of techniques that people who expect only compliant ukemi teach. Compared to what I have felt from people who train with resistance, including Tamura, it just all seems to fake to me.

I actually consider this a very reasonable statement...I know others who reached 3rd dan level in aikido and made a similar decision. They simply prefer more resistive training, and that is what they pursue. They make no value judgement on what I do...they just go on and do something different.

My best friend made this decision himself. I still miss training with him in aikido...

Best,
Ron

clwk
10-31-2007, 02:35 PM
I think it should be mentioned that this is not at all what was described in the other encounters...if it had been, there would be no room for equivication or complaint.
Acknowledged, and I cannot address the question of whether or not such an option was available. Even though my experience was not designed as a scientific response to Giancarlo's reported behavior, I still thought there was enough parallel to warrant mention as a point of information.

-ck

stan baker
10-31-2007, 06:34 PM
Or it could just show that they don't want to kick a guy in the kin tama while he has all his strength and attention in his hands.....because it's not a fight...it's a class.....

David
If they have aiki skill there is no need to kick, that means they fight without fighting but this is high level aiki which is rare.

stan

G DiPierro
10-31-2007, 07:31 PM
I think it should be mentioned that this is not at all what was described in the other encounters...if it had been, there would be no room for equivication or complaint.

I'm not claiming to have bested anyone is a prearranged test. Despite the idle boasts and challenges of their students, none of these guys would allow the type of thing. Through the use of compliant ukemi, they have already created an image of themselves as unstoppable and got their students to buy in to that myth. They have nothing to gain from success and a lot to lose from failure, so I don't see it happening.

What I am claiming is that I suggested to these shihan, through physical means, that the way they were training was not sufficiently resistive for my tastes, and the response I got was that they did not want to operate at the level of resistance that I would have liked. In Saotome's case, he just avoided touching hands with me after finding out what my version of a "strong grab" was. I give Kato credit for at least continuing to work with me, although it was clear to me that he did not want me to try to resist him again.

The reason this particular thread was started was that one of his students suggested that Kato actually encourages people to try to resist him at his seminars, and I responded by saying that this was not consistent with my experience at all. I've said many times that if people want to do compliant training that is what they should do. Personally I do not enjoy it anymore and so it's not something I seek out. But when I hear about some teacher that supposedly can handle any type of resistance that someone wants to offer, and then I go find out for myself that this is far from the truth, I will question the validity of that claim.

If these shihan want to do compliant training only that's fine by me, but if so I think that their students shouldn't be out on the internet saying that their teacher can easily handle all comers with whatever kind of resistance they want to offer. That's really all this entire discussion has ever been about.

Aiki Teacher
10-31-2007, 08:38 PM
I'm not claiming to have bested anyone is a prearranged test. Despite the idle boasts and challenges of their students, none of these guys would allow the type of thing. Through the use of compliant ukemi, they have already created an image of themselves as unstoppable and got their students to buy in to that myth. They have nothing to gain from success and a lot to lose from failure, so I don't see it happening.

What I am claiming is that I suggested to these shihan, through physical means, that the way they were training was not sufficiently resistive for my tastes, and the response I got was that they did not want to operate at the level of resistance that I would have liked. In Saotome's case, he just avoided touching hands with me after finding out what my version of a "strong grab" was. I give Kato credit for at least continuing to work with me, although it was clear to me that he did not want me to try to resist him again.

The reason this particular thread was started was that one of his students suggested that Kato actually encourages people to try to resist him at his seminars, and I responded by saying that this was not consistent with my experience at all. I've said many times that if people want to do compliant training that is what they should do. Personally I do not enjoy it anymore and so it's not something I seek out. But when I hear about some teacher that supposedly can handle any type of resistance that someone wants to offer, and then I go find out for myself that this is far from the truth, I will question the validity of that claim.

If these shihan want to do compliant training only that's fine by me, but if so I think that their students shouldn't be out on the internet saying that their teacher can easily handle all comers with whatever kind of resistance they want to offer. That's really all this entire discussion has ever been about.

I was at the Kato seminar you mention! I didn't know you spoke Japanese. It is funny how it was clear to you that he did not want to work with you any longer, but to others who where at the seminar, they did not see the things you are seeing. It is also funny how you claim that it is ok to resist a technique, but if someone is able to perform the technique on you when you resist then they are "muscling" the technique. I worked out with you on Irimi nage. Your what a little over 6 ft. I am only 157lbs 5'6'' with separated shoulders so muscling is out of the question. When you locked down on me, I just used my centre, some pressure points on the neck and all I heard from you was your hurting my neck. But then I am sure you will have some bloviated response for this.

I have read a little over 250 post by you in the last few days. They are always controversial, and you are always the expert enlightening everyone else. Even to the point that if any one disagrees with you, you claim that they are a troll because they have not " contributed" as much as you have. Yet you still have not, cannot or, not able to substantiate your claims, ability or rank in Aikido. You claim to have "studied" with Kanai, yet Uchideshi don't remember you getting rank with him. Just because you go to seminars with shihans doesn't mean you have studied with them, nor deserve the rank you cannot substantiate.

Other people outside of aikido have commented about you on their forums
http://www.budoseek.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=6258
Yet what happened to the videos you had on your site after their comments were made? Show us what you have if you are as good as you say!

Stop hiding behind circular reasoning and good debate skills and prove your ability, through videos, or demonstrations at a seminar where "You can be tested"!

Did you ever think that these shihan held back on you because they were protecting you from yourself? Of course not, of which I am sure you will have some great response as to why this is not the true case!

Again as has been called for on this forum, PROOF, VALIDITY, RANK and ABILITY outside of your own perspective.

Oh! I realize you have said before that rank doesn't matter, if you cannot prove your rank I guess it doesn't. Validity!!

I would not go to a Doctor who cannot prove he is a real doctor. In the medical field he is called a quack.

In martial arts we call them Sokes.

Prove you are what you say you are!

Oh! By the way I will save you some time typing and posting long quotes since you don't enjoy such things. I have not posted as much as you, so in your humble opinion I have to be a troll, even though I have been a member of aiki web longer than you.

Read the quotes below. I feel they fit!

"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."
Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.
Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)"

G DiPierro
11-01-2007, 04:11 AM
It is also funny how you claim that it is ok to resist a technique, but if someone is able to perform the technique on you when you resist then they are "muscling" the technique. I worked out with you on Irimi nage. Your what a little over 6 ft. I am only 157lbs 5'6'' with separated shoulders so muscling is out of the question. When you locked down on me, I just used my centre, some pressure points on the neck and all I heard from you was your hurting my neck.Ahh, now I remember. You couldn't do the technique so you decided to try jamming your fingers into my neck. Is that what passes for aikido in Midland? You are lucky that I was a nice guy and just asked you to stop. Pull that crap on the wrong guy and you are liable to get a fist in your face or an elbow in your ribcage instead.

Ecosamurai
11-01-2007, 05:32 AM
But then I am sure you will have some bloviated response for this.

Ouch! Careful, I got a thread closed down for saying stuff like this about Giancarlo. Just use the ignore function, its easier I've found :)

Mike

Avery Jenkins
11-01-2007, 06:40 AM
Ouch! Careful, I got a thread closed down for saying stuff like this about Giancarlo. Just use the ignore function, its easier I've found :)

Mike

Closing this thread would be an act of mercy.

aikidoc
11-01-2007, 07:49 AM
Ahh, now I remember. You couldn't do the technique so you decided to try jamming your fingers into my neck. Is that what passes for aikido in Midland? You are lucky that I was a nice guy and just asked you to stop. Pull that crap on the wrong guy and you are liable to get a fist in your face or an elbow in your ribcage instead.

Absolutely, we practice and train in a cooperative fashion when the situation dictates-i.e., when learning or training in something at a seminar. We also practice resistance in the dojo as well and treat aikido as a martial art. When someone arbitrarily changes the scenario from cooperative practice to resistive practice we use the available aikido / martial arts options to do the technique. That includes atemi (as you pointed out in discussion on the Tai Chi master) and the use of pressure points to exploit openings or weaknesses in the resistance. You might question whether these are part of aikido but the pictures of O'Sensei and discussions with his shihan all point to the fact that he did in fact use atemi and pressure points. That area of discussion will always be controversial in aikido. However, I extensively researched it for my Black Belt Magazine article entitled Aikido: Striking and Pressure Points. It has always been an integral part in the jiu jutsu arts, and the aiki arts including aikido and chin na. The brachial plexus pressure point is a very effective tool for assisting a technique when the situation is changed mid stream from the cooperative practice called for at the seminar to one where someone arbitrarily chooses to pursue his own agenda of resistive training without informing the other person. When we do this in the dojo and at seminars it is with the understanding of both parties that the rules no longer include cooperative training. Things then tend to go from slow and medium speed to full out training. That can be dangerous but when both parties understand that is what is taking place they can take steps to protect themselves. When you change the rules of practice without notice mid stream you get what you get and have no one to complain to but yourself. If someone can still drop you when you resist, then that shows an element of exposure or opening in your resistance training which needs to be pursued.

As usual, the situation with you GP is one that you always come out as the master and no one else knows what they are talking about or were just not there. Your other post gives one the impression that you have thought the resistive training element out quite a bit and you probably have some good ideas worth pursuing. Many of us already practice with extensive resistance. We, for example, do ninin and sanin gake with the ukes trying to make a wish with your arms as hard as they can. Again, this is in a controlled scenario. If you focused on the issue of resistive training and the implications for improving aikido training rather than self-aggrandizing and unverifiable claims, people might take your ideas more seriously. Unfortunately, the good points of your ideas get lost in the flak you get from making inappropriate and unverifiable claims while not coming clean with your background, rank, training, etc. Credentials are important when someone is dissing others. Discussions remind me of the Bert Reynolds and Dolly Parton movie the "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" where the politician does the avoiding the issues dance. I know it's all about being there and perceptions.

Practicing resistive training in the context of a seminar or with the other person not suspecting what you are doing is inappropriate. If students are not doing the technique correctly it is not your place in the seminar to correct them-unless you are running the seminar. If you provided unexpected resistance while a shihan is demonstrating something in slow motion they are not likely to pursue working with you since you do not understand training levels and contexts and are only interested in proving "mine is bigger than yours".

This whole thread has become ridiculous and the point has been lost in the piles of trash talking. If you want people to take you seriously focus on the training and not the self-aggrandizing and dissing of instructors or shihans. Many in aikido are pursuing such training seriously. I believe Ikeda sensei is one since I have seen him do this with MMA/Judo guys at seminars when I trained in California. Mike and Dan are also encouraging something similar as well. The potential is out there if for exploration if you put it in the right context of exploration and not attacks on the integrity of the art or the instructors. That and letting people know you are interested in applying more resistance at a seminar-that way no one gets hurt on either side. If no one can teach you anything in aikido, then perhaps they might work on humility. Since you believe they can't teach you anything you might find an art more to your liking where you'll get all the resistance you want-MMA comes to mind.

I hope this thread dies an appropriate death or fades into the ether world. It's long over due.

Will Prusner
11-01-2007, 09:12 AM
Here's what I've learned from this thread:

1. Active resistance when experimented with by experienced aikidoka in a setting of mutual understanding and agreement is very interesting and potentially a tool for improving the participants, techniques, awareness and skill.

2. Personalities clash. It is sometimes far easier to blend with another person's body than with their personality.

3. Emotional attachment to the outcome often interferes with rational discussion.

4. Bragging and making wild claims (except by The Old Man) is more befitting of "professional" wrestlers than aikidoka.

I think that's about it. To me these are very valuable things to be aware of and I thank everyone who has contributed to this aspect of my education so far.

One thing. And maybe I'm making myself sound like a total noob (which I am) here, but, isn't "leading" used to get things (i.e. people) moving in such a way that, if it works properly, there isn't really a stable enough base for them to apply any serious resistance in the first? I'd be grateful if anyone could verify or correct that question/statement.

Budd
11-01-2007, 09:47 AM
One thing. And maybe I'm making myself sound like a total noob (which I am) here, but, isn't "leading" used to get things (i.e. people) moving in such a way that, if it works properly, there isn't really a stable enough base for them to apply any serious resistance in the first? I'd be grateful if anyone could verify or correct that question/statement.

Sure, so how are you practicing that when someone is resisting you? Or, perhaps better asked, how do you lead when they don't want to follow? Is there room to blend (inside and out) with them in that situation? How does resisting Shihan and talking about it show that you can do any of this?

(Yeah, Stan Baker, we know - true aiki power :D)

David Orange
11-01-2007, 09:50 AM
If they have aiki skill there is no need to kick, that means they fight without fighting but this is high level aiki which is rare.

The particular guy I'm thinking of is the only person I ever met who could throw me using only my own grip on his wrist and I was unable to feel it or release my grip before he had me flying. He was the best I ever met at aiki-nage by a factor of 1000. I simply never met anyone who was able to do what he could and he was under 100 pounds. He was able to throw me by my own grip on his gi.

But I have a little video clip of him demonstrating with a much larger guy who does a two-on-two grab from the front. The little guy finds the bigger guy a little too easy to move and he tells the guy to tighten up, bear down on him, etc.. The big guy puts more strength into the technique and the little guy snap kicks to the kintama--just enough that you hear the big guy go "OOOF!" and flinch back, not enough to hurt him, but more than enough to leave him wide open for anything the little guy wanted to do.

So if you want to get sneaky and make a teacher look bad in front of his class, just always remember--the teacher can get sneaky too.

Best to all.

David

Will Prusner
11-01-2007, 10:52 AM
Sure, so how are you practicing that when someone is resisting you? Or, perhaps better asked, how do you lead when they don't want to follow?

I am presupposing that the leading occurs before there would be an opportunity for resistance. I thought that "leading" implied that uke was already performing a committed attack and that the "leading" was leading beyond the point of no return that would allow him to re-establish a stable base from which to resist. The question of not wanting to follow, I don't fully grok. If the attack is truly committed, then the uke has little choice, nobody in their right mind would intentionally follow anything that would lead to their demise, and yet people will move from their known stable position in order to attempt to strike or immobilize a target. If it isn't committed, then what is he committing to? Depending on the answer to that question, a solution could be to lead uke off his stable base in whatever direction he wants to go. And if he's committing to nothing, then we are just a couple guys standing around.

To me this is similar to:


Never interrupt your opponent while he is making a mistake.

Maybe in your experience this is incorrect?

Can anyone clarify this?

Aiki1
11-01-2007, 11:18 AM
I am presupposing that the leading occurs before there would be an opportunity for resistance. I thought that "leading" implied that uke was already performing a committed attack and that the "leading" was leading beyond the point of no return that would allow him to re-establish a stable base from which to resist. The question of not wanting to follow, I don't fully grok. If the attack is truly committed, then the uke has little choice, nobody in their right mind would intentionally follow anything that would lead to their demise, and yet people will move from their known stable position in order to attempt to strike or immobilize a target. If it isn't committed, then what is he committing to? Depending on the answer to that question, a solution could be to lead uke off his stable base in whatever direction he wants to go. And if he's committing to nothing, then we are just a couple guys standing around.

Before leading can be engaged, we add the notion of "Tracking" first, so you are in harmony with what is already unfolding, from a safe place. As one follows the movement/intention/energy, where to "lead it" becomes apparent for Kuzushi and Waza to occur, it's what we would call "Avenues of Release."

Will Prusner
11-01-2007, 11:46 AM
Before leading can be engaged, we add the notion of "Tracking" first, so you are in harmony with what is already unfolding, from a safe place. As one follows the movement/intention/energy, where to "lead it" becomes apparent for Kuzushi and Waza to occur, it's what we would call "Avenues of Release."

Thanks Dr. Novick. That makes alot of sense. I realize now, that I was thinking about it from a standpoint of "applying" a technique, rather than harmonizing and allowing the appropriate technique to become apparent. All too often I find myself slipping back to the mindset of "doing something to someone". The concepts of "tracking" and the "Avenues of Release" principle are interesting to me. I'm going to attempt some research to further my understanding of these.

Aiki1
11-01-2007, 11:56 AM
Thanks Dr. Novick. That makes alot of sense. I realize now, that I was thinking about it from a standpoint of "applying" a technique, rather than harmonizing and allowing the appropriate technique to become apparent. All too often I find myself slipping back to the mindset of "doing something to someone". The concepts of "tracking" and the "Avenues of Release" principle are interesting to me. I'm going to attempt some research to further my understanding of these.

Hey! I didn't realize - do you train with Darren Koski?? My old student??

David Yap
11-01-2007, 12:24 PM
Hi,

So many questions???

The key question is:

HOW DID YOU GET RESISTED IN THE FIRST PLACE?

Quite a few are irresistable while most of us aren't. That's why we are still training and continuing to receive instructions. The passionate practitioners will be determined to isolate the errors to seek prefection of self and techniqes. Some will just move up the ranks with the attitude that they have more than one techniques in the bag (and they will continue to grow the inventory of techniques and students). Some attend seminars to learn while some attend seminars to be seen. Some just enjoy sitting at the center spot at the shomen to be seen by everyone.

There is a fool born every minute on this earth. So be it. If there are no blind men, then there will be no one-eyed kings. What I enjoy the most from aikido is the long hours of aiki forums over beers after the trainings. We have various people from various dojo background training together and I have yet to practise the prefect aiki in these forums.

What am I rumbling on this thread? Good teachers are hard to come by, let alone great teachers. There is a budo saying (Chinese or Japanese) - If you can' find a good teacher, it is better not to train. Some are mostly self-trained but do they have what is needed to teach others either on the mats or in a forum.

Cheers and let's get back onto the mats.

David Y

Will Prusner
11-01-2007, 12:25 PM
Hey! I didn't realize - do you train with Darren Koski?? My old student??

Yes, I do. I'm temporarily off the mat while I recover from knee surgery, but I still go to the majority of classes and interrogate him after class about the techniques presented. I hear really great things about your method and philosophy. I enjoyed the videos on your site of Darren with long hair :D. Hope to be back on the mat soon, I'm hooked! In the meantime, I'm trying to storehouse as much philosophic, theoretical and intellectual knowledge as possible for experimentation and application when I'm able.

Budd
11-01-2007, 01:08 PM
A couple things I run through my mind periodically:

1) Is there an assumption that a committed attack must unbalance the attacker?

2) Is it ever a good idea when encountering resistance to be thinking about a technique?

Have fun . . . ;)

Will Prusner
11-01-2007, 01:23 PM
A couple things I run through my mind periodically:

1) Is there an assumption that a committed attack must unbalance the attacker?

2) Is it ever a good idea when encountering resistance to be thinking about a technique?

Have fun . . . ;)

Hey, very useful food for thought! Thanks!

1. I definitely am making the assumption that a committed attack that misses would unbalance the attacker. Kinda like Charlie Brown when the football gets pulled away. I still think in most cases it would, but you bring up a very real point that there is just as much possibility that it wouldn't.

2. I hope that one is rhetorical. Point taken.

Thanks, you have fun too!:cool:

Aiki1
11-01-2007, 01:32 PM
1. I definitely am making the assumption that a committed attack that misses would unbalance the attacker. Kinda like Charlie Brown when the football gets pulled away. I still think in most cases it would, but you bring up a very real point that there is just as much possibility that it wouldn't.

I posted the following in another thread, but I thought I'd repeat it here - for me, someone trained to attack won't simply lose their center if they miss. That's why knowing how to allow the attack to unbalance them (kuzushi) is so important. But it's complicated, because sometimes that can't happen, and then there is more to the process:

For me, if one is responding to Uke with "Aiki", the following principles are present and the above, i.e., resistance, is less likely, or in a theoretical sense, impossible, to occur or to get anywhere:

Musubi
Tsukuri
Kuzushi
Release

When this particular process is more difficult to enact, as the skill of the attacker increases, we move more into a process of:

Connect
Blend
Track
Lead/Redirect
Resolve

In my style this is generally all in the service of Kinesthetic Invisibility (a term coined by my late instructor Don O'Bell), or giving no physical reference through connection, flow, moving from center rather than hands, and Ki rather than muscle. Done correctly, there is nothing to resist. If we meet resistance, chances are we just need to clue into one of these elements that we are probably neglecting, and pick up the process again from there and follow it through to its natural conclusion.

Aiki1
11-01-2007, 01:33 PM
Yes, I do. I'm temporarily off the mat while I recover from knee surgery, but I still go to the majority of classes and interrogate him after class about the techniques presented. I hear really great things about your method and philosophy. I enjoyed the videos on your site of Darren with long hair :D. Hope to be back on the mat soon, I'm hooked! In the meantime, I'm trying to storehouse as much philosophic, theoretical and intellectual knowledge as possible for experimentation and application when I'm able.

OT - Great, please send him my regards.

aikidoc
11-01-2007, 01:36 PM
Grok! RAH fan.

Will Prusner
11-01-2007, 02:26 PM
OT - Great, please send him my regards.

Will do. And thanks again for your insight.

G DiPierro
11-01-2007, 02:55 PM
When someone arbitrarily changes the scenario from cooperative practice to resistive practice we use the available aikido / martial arts options to do the technique. That includes atemi (as you pointed out in discussion on the Tai Chi master) and the use of pressure points to exploit openings or weaknesses in the resistance.The problem with most people who want to use things like atemi and pressure in aikido is that they think it should go one way: nage doing it to uke. If I am your uke and you want to use these things on me, you should be prepared for me to use them on you as well. If you can't do the technique well enough to take my balance when I am training at semi-compliant level, then your atemi is going to be worthless. I can hit you back as hard or harder than you hit me, or perhaps even counter your technique and put you on the floor that way.

The reason the the TJQ teacher was able to use atemi effectively in the situation I described is that he had a superior relative position as a result of the movements up to that point. I could not strike him with nearly as much power as he could strike me from that position. If you don't have superior position, or worse, you have inferior position, and you attempt to hit or poke your fingers into the other guy, you should be prepared for the same thing coming back at you worse. This is a very basic concept that any competent martial artist, and certainly any teacher of martial arts, should understand. However, most people in aikido, including your student, who want to use that kind of stuff have no awareness of what is necessary to do so effectively. If they did, they wouldn't have any trouble doing the technique in the first place, especially when I am working at a semi-compliant level of ukemi and and giving them direct access to my center from the start.

Practicing resistive training in the context of a seminar or with the other person not suspecting what you are doing is inappropriate. If students are not doing the technique correctly it is not your place in the seminar to correct them-unless you are running the seminar. If you provided unexpected resistance while a shihan is demonstrating something in slow motion they are not likely to pursue working with you since you do not understand training levels and contexts and are only interested in proving "mine is bigger than yours".You make a lot of incorrect assumptions here and state opinions as fact. We could debate whether the appropriate baseline level of resistance at a seminar is compliant or semi-compliant. Personally, I do not like training at a fully compliant level, and since many people in aikido not only like to train primarily at this level and are often unequipped to handle even the most obvious and easy to overcome level resistance (which is to say just not following them around like a monkey on a string), I don't go to aikido seminars much anymore. My opinion is that if you if cannot easily handle such basic non-compliant ukemi after training for more than a few years than your training is likely flawed. If you cannot handle it after a few decades then it certainly is.

Stephen Kotev
11-01-2007, 04:32 PM
Gentlemen and Ladies,

As I read this it sounds all too familiar. I share with you a quote from 2005:

23 Feb 2005
<snip>" Also, Don, I'm not far from Fort Lauderdale and I'll be happy to drop by and give you a personal demonstration of my skills. I'm quite sure that I can prove to you that I'm solidly skilled in every one of the arts which I have made comments upon. Perhaps that would clear up any doubts? Furthermore, I can back up my comments with techniques and situations that will prove to you exactly why I've criticized Aikido and BJJ. I can show you tons of practical situations where we train Aikido, and it is supposed to work, yet it fails. I can show exactly why and where Aikido fails and how to fix it. I can do the same with quite a few techniques in BJJ too. I'm willing to prove that my comments are not just talk. How does that sound? I'm not talking having a challenge match with you or anyone else. I'm talking about testing out and proving the ideas we've been discussing. If you have other students that are interested in these questions please bring them so they can see the results.
Here's a small set of things we can test out. All of them will be tested against weak, moderate and then strong resistance.
Does aikido work against strikes?
Do Aikido armbars like Ikkyo and Kote Gaeshi work against resistance?
Does the BJJ guard and armlocks work against strikes on the ground without a gi?
Does AIkido work against shoves and grabs?
Does BJJ work well against a person with a little skill at avoiding armlocks and chokes?" </snip>

I pulled this from a discussion on Aikido Journal found here:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=71759&sid=4a9c60e522e09859e2ee7fa363f9a475

This discussion was brought about by this initial posting:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=487

The posters thoughts continue here:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=631

Starting to look familiar?

Giancarlo,
I know you. I have personally trained with you in Columbus, Ohio in the late 90's. You were eventually asked to leave that dojo. Starting to become more familiar?

You attended the Seishiro Endo Sensei Seminar in Washington, D.C. last month. I was hoping that things would have changed since I met you last. The consistent experience of those that trained with you was in alignment with your comments; you resisted Seniors and instructed Juniors. Those that practiced with you verified my personal experience; you did not understand what was being taught and sought to practice otherwise.'

I ask you why did you not reply to Peter Goldsbury's offer to reverse a Shihan' here

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=191905&highlight=goldsbury#post191905 - its post #32

The reason I mentioned Mr. Tennenhouse in my initial post is he too espoused some of the same critiques that you do of Aikido. He was politely listened to and given credence by those that had never met him. Eventually, after much debate he was given the opportunity to present and test his much lauded ideas at an Aiki-Expo. Many of those here know of the end result. His skills were made known and he ceased to be given the same credence he had been given in the past.

Here is my challenge to you. Find me those that would endorse your skill and have them post it publicly. Many posters of Aikiweb have met after claims of skill were made that they felt dubious. After meeting they returned to this forum to verify the skill they experienced. Why is no one doing this for you?

When people practice with you personally, they realize that you are a better writer than a martial artist. I really don't know what you are trying to accomplish. You no longer study at a Aikido Dojo. You have started your own school interested in resistance. When people seek to verify your Aikido credentials they find out that you don't seem to stay in one place for very long and no one will vouch for your behavior as their student.

I am asking you in the nicest way possible.

Please Stop.

Regards,
Stephen Kotev

aikidoc
11-01-2007, 04:39 PM
The problem with most people who want to use things like atemi and pressure in aikido is that they think it should go one way: nage doing it to uke. If I am your uke and you want to use these things on me, you should be prepared for me to use them on you as well. If you can't do the technique well enough to take my balance when I am training at semi-compliant level, then your atemi is going to be worthless. I can hit you back as hard or harder than you hit me, or perhaps even counter your technique and put you on the floor that way.

The reason the the TJQ teacher was able to use atemi effectively in the situation I described is that he had a superior relative position as a result of the movements up to that point.

Absolutely, if I leave an opening you should have the right to attempt to atemi me/hit pressure points or whatever assuming you are in position to do so. Apparently, you must have given Mr. Couch an opening when you locked down on him since he was able to find the pressure point. When we train with atemi and pressure points it is usually due to an opening created by the technique or the ukemi. In fact, if the uke is totally disconnected from their center then atemi may be the only option since such disconnection usually creates an opening or multiple openings while the uke attempts to evade center connection or prevent being thrown or taken down in a katame waza technique.

Since you are always right and we are all wrong or incompetent, I will assume you will be able to do whatever you want-except maybe answer questions posed on your background. However, you will also have to assume the other person is not in position to deal with your attempts to deliver an atemi or counter, which may be an error in judgement. Some of us actually do practice such things even though our aikido is inferior. In my dojo, us rough necks practice delivering atemi or use pressure points pretty much every day, or at least letting the uke or nage know of their openings with a friendly tap or poke in the ribs. It's actually quite fun since the nage has to really focus on not creating openings or the uke will reverse them or show them their atemi openings.

G DiPierro
11-01-2007, 04:46 PM
Absolutely, if I leave an opening you should have the right to attempt to atemi me/hit pressure points or whatever assuming you are in position to do so. Apparently, you must have given Mr. Couch an opening when you locked down on him since he was able to find the pressure point. When we train with atemi and pressure points it is usually due to an opening created by the technique or the ukemi.Yes, of course I gave him an opening: I was trying to let him do the technique. Trust me, if I had actually "locked down" on him or did not want to give him an opening he would have never gotten his hands on my neck in the first place.

G DiPierro
11-01-2007, 04:54 PM
What is it you want to me to stop, Steve? Posting on aikiweb? Do my posts disturb you that much? I have already said several times (this is probably the fourth or fifth time now) that if you don't want to read my posts then put me on your ignore list and don't come back and visit this thread. I won't mind, really. If you don't like what I have to say then don't read it. But I don't think you or anyone else (except Jun Akiyama, of course) is in a position to tell me not to post here, even if you were to ask nicely (which I don't think you actually did, BTW).

As far as meeting up with people I have no problem doing that. As you point out, I was in DC recently at the same seminar you were at. Nobody there asked me to demonstrate or prove what I can do. If you really wanted answers to the questions you raise why didn't you ask me to do this then? We could have even gotten it on videotape if you wanted.

Finally, Peter's Goldsbury offer was not to try to resist a shihan, but to offer advice on how the aikikai could improve their standards and practices. You might want to reread that post you linked to a bit more carefully. As far as trying to resist a shihan, as I said before I would be very interested in accepting that challenge. I think the problem that you will have is finding a shihan who is willing to do it.

Aikibu
11-01-2007, 07:24 PM
What is it you want to me to stop, Steve? Posting on aikiweb? Do my posts disturb you that much? I have already said several times (this is probably the fourth or fifth time now) that if you don't want to read my posts then put me on your ignore list and don't come back and visit this thread. I won't mind, really. If you don't like what I have to say then don't read it. But I don't think you or anyone else (except Jun Akiyama, of course) is in a position to tell me not to post here, even if you were to ask nicely (which I don't think you actually did, BTW).

As far as meeting up with people I have no problem doing that. As you point out, I was in DC recently at the same seminar you were at. Nobody there asked me to demonstrate or prove what I can do. If you really wanted answers to the questions you raise why didn't you ask me to do this then? We could have even gotten it on videotape if you wanted.

Finally, Peter's Goldsbury offer was not to try to resist a shihan, but to offer advice on how the aikikai could improve their standards and practices. You might want to reread that post you linked to a bit more carefully. As far as trying to resist a shihan, as I said before I would be very interested in accepting that challenge. I think the problem that you will have is finding a shihan who is willing to do it.

With all due respect Giancarlo...It's not a question of liking what you have to say. It's a question of your Martial integrity and the fact that serious questions about your motives refuse to go away.

Most Shihan will not engage with you it's true until you have proven yourself with thier senior students. So my suggestion would be for you to man up... Go to all the Aikido Dojos in your area.... and ask the instructor for permission to challange the Sempai's to a demonstration of your "resistance training."

At Nishio Shihan's Seminiars we had this Japanese Actor Guy who was a sweet man but refused to practice what Sensei was teaching. He would wander around the edge of the mat and grab an unsuspecting Uke to share his version of Aikido with...It became quite an amusement to us for many years. Nishio Shihan did not seem to bothered by it as this guy loved and supported him... So we saw Nishio Shihan's example, and eventually everyone at a seminar would take a turn with him. No harm No foul. Actor Aikidoka did not make a big deal about his version of Aikido (Ki Society based I believe) and Nishio Shihan was all about love and harmony.

Attitude and Respect....Get It???

You are quite zealous about your version of training ( And a good case could be made for my zealotry as well LOL However when I am "in Rome" I act "Roman" and try not to impose my practice on someone unless I am asked to share it.) How do you expect to be taken seriously at seminars if you "force" people to eat salt instead of sugar?

Bowing down to you Giancarlo. :)

William Hazen

xuzen
11-01-2007, 09:17 PM
To Giancarlo,

LOL @ your weak neck. To strengthen neck, do more body curls or ushiro ukemi or neck weight lifts.

Boon.

aikidoc
11-01-2007, 09:48 PM
Trust me.

Ah, the gist of this whole thread while singing the Richard Durning "Sidestep song". I bow to you because you are definitely a master at it.

Aiki Teacher
11-01-2007, 09:52 PM
To Giancarlo,

LOL @ your weak neck. To strengthen neck, do more body curls or ushiro ukemi or neck weight lifts.

Boon.

Xu,
I am up late, but I am glad I waited to read your post. Really funny man!::p

I am glad I read before I went to bed!

Maybe, he just shouldn't be so compliant to lowly shodans who he has to "give the technique to."

Or leave openings!

Aiki Teacher
11-01-2007, 10:01 PM
Verification G-man! Proof! Proof! Proof! Not just opinions of your self or abilities.

By the way! I would not necessarily Interpret Peter Goldsbury's invitation as you did! It may not have been ment the way you wish it to be.

I thought you had quit going to seminars? At least that is what you said!

Peter Goldsbury
11-01-2007, 10:25 PM
Hello,

Since my name has been mentioned in this thread, I think I need to come in here.

This thread was originally about aikido organizations. I took up Giancarlo's offer just before the thread was split. In fact, after the split, my request and Giancarlo's response are now in different threads.

Giancarlo has responded to my request in great detail. My discussion with him will not be posted here, since it is quite irrelevant to the topic of this thread.

Best wishes to all.

EDIT. I took up Giancarlo on his own offer to give advice on improving aikido organizations to those who requested this. I myself did not make any offer to Mr DiPierro.

xuzen
11-01-2007, 11:59 PM
Wrt strong neck, I think it is very important to us since we are doing throwing art. The force that our neck has to withstand when being slammed onto the mat regularly can be quite substantial. (e.g., from shiho-nage or irimi-nage)

My judo teacher said to me, "You know, the back break falls I asked you to do so much prior during warm-up, it is not just for practicing break fall per-se. You are also making you neck stronger, since when you fall down, your neck is lifted to prevent concussion. That repeated action actually strengthen your neck muscle.

My adjutant aikido teacher, who use to do Kick Box art prior to coming to aikido said he used to bite on a piece of cloth tied to bricks. Then he would lift his head up and down to strengthen his neck. He said, punches to the face even with gloves can really jar his neck.

These acts are actually the conditioning you go through to prepare your body to absorb the punishment sustained during training. Lack of such conditioning will result in said students being whiny about pain and injuries.

Boon.

DonMagee
11-02-2007, 06:19 AM
Wrt strong neck, I think it is very important to us since we are doing throwing art. The force that our neck has to withstand when being slammed onto the mat regularly can be quite substantial. (e.g., from shiho-nage or irimi-nage)

My judo teacher said to me, "You know, the back break falls I asked you to do so much prior during warm-up, it is not just for practicing break fall per-se. You are also making you neck stronger, since when you fall down, your neck is lifted to prevent concussion. That repeated action actually strengthen your neck muscle.

My adjutant aikido teacher, who use to do Kick Box art prior to coming to aikido said he used to bite on a piece of cloth tied to bricks. Then he would lift his head up and down to strengthen his neck. He said, punches to the face even with gloves can really jar his neck.

These acts are actually the conditioning you go through to prepare your body to absorb the punishment sustained during training. Lack of such conditioning will result in said students being whiny about pain and injuries.

Boon.

I use a headband I bought from ringside.com with a weight from my bench to build up my neck. A strong neck is important just for good posture alone in bjj. Posturing out of a submission like a triangle requires a strong neck so you can look upwards.

Ecosamurai
11-02-2007, 07:02 AM
Verification G-man! Proof! Proof! Proof! Not just opinions of your self or abilities.

I'm amused by this, because Giancarlo said that exact same thing to me in another thread, and when I suggested that he was full of faecal matter the thread got closed down.

WRT the issue of proof of ones claims. I've said before (most recently to Giancarlo actually) and would just like to say again that I usually prefer to take someone at their word. That doesn't satisfy everyone though, and unfortunately for Giancarlo, people have offered testimony here, and always against him.

I think (IMO) its time to close this thread down really. I can't see it going anywhere except down the toilet.

Mike

Don
11-02-2007, 07:17 AM
Seems to me there are really two questions running around in this thread. One is whether it is useful to train with varying types of resistances by uke. This is a good question and there have been insightful comments on this thread and also over on at least two other related threads but the one that comes to mind right now is the VOE: Active Resistance thread. The other question/issue seems to be when is the appropriate time for such training, and why aikido shihan and organizations might not accept such training from Mr. Diperio or any other outsider. This has nothing to do with the first question. Any aikido organization or any organization for that matter fosters its own procedures, customs, and expertise.

An outsider to the organization will have a hard it not impossible time making an idea known or in challenging the organization. The organization and top students have little if anything to gain AS AN ORGANIZATION by dealing with someone who comes in and tries to challenge what they are doing. Notice I said AS AN ORGANIZATION. Someone may have perfectly valid and good ideas, but to try and assume the position of knowing something more than the top students and shihan of an organization and then trying to challenge them as an outsider seems to me to be like Don Quixote tilting at windmills....unless you like the feeling of banging your head against a wall. Either you work within and as part of an organization for change, accepting the pitfalls as well as advantages of that approach, or you go and start your own school/organization and politely leave the folks in those other organizations alone.

Budd
11-02-2007, 07:32 AM
You know, in terms of taking folks at their word, these days I'm of two minds. I like in general to give people the benefit of the doubt - usually don't see a reason not to 1) Because I don't usually care that much what someone else says - hence the essentially agreeable smiling and nodding. 2) Because usually there's no way to tell either way based on a discussion in a forum whether someone can do what they say they can.

The thing is, on the other hand, any time claims get made or any kind of skill/ability/authority is claimed (whether it's directly or indirectly by one's experience, rank, teacher, organization, style, etc.) it also shows up on the radar of "That's nice, but . . ." for a number of folks, I suspect. There's other indicators that can flag as well, but I think a lot of what's seen here is just an ongoing surface level dialogue between some people, factions, etc.

The truth is that behind the scenes, there's lots of folks in various organizations running around meeting up with other folks to level set, see what people are doing (versus what they say they're doing) and so forth. A lot of times, it doesn't get talked about here (other times, it does, with varying results ;) ). I think one of the differences is that some folks post here to participate (cool!) while others use this as an opportunity to network, get ideas on what people are exploring and see who they want to get hands on in person (and stealing everything they possibly can along the way).

(For the record, Ecosamurai, before you jump to any conclusions, I'm not implying you are in either group, or that you are good or sucky, or that you're saying you are good or sucky, just speaking from my own experiences here ;) )

But what does boil down to a basic truth, I think, is that people here tend to get more credibility, whether it's stated or implicit, when 1) What they write is read as reasonable AND/OR 2) Enough people have felt what they're doing to vouch (either here or with other folks behind the scenes - it may never be talked about publicly) that they can do what they say they can.

And from my perspective, I see this happening domestically (from my poin of view in the USA) and internationally. Which is probably my favorite thing about this forum - it's done a lot for me to help make the big budo world that much smaller in terms of getting out to meet/see people ;) And for that alone, I'm indebted to Jun for providing this forum that facilitates these opportunities.

Ecosamurai
11-02-2007, 07:51 AM
(For the record, Ecosamurai, before you jump to any conclusions, I'm not implying you are in either group, or that you are good or sucky, or that you're saying you are good or sucky, just speaking from my own experiences here ;) )

:) I try not to jump to any conclusions, I think I have in the past simply misinterpreted your writing style, just FYI. :rolleyes:

Mike

Budd
11-02-2007, 07:53 AM
:) I try not to jump to any conclusions, I think I have in the past simply misinterpreted your writing style, just FYI. :rolleyes:

Mike

No worries, mate. Blarney do blarney be ;)

nagoyajoe
11-02-2007, 08:01 AM
just come to Nagoya...with your gi!

aikidoc
11-02-2007, 08:29 AM
Don's points are well taken. Any attempt to effect change from the outside will be met with resistance. Change is challenging even from within and organization. To be an effective change agent, one must put the time and training into the organization and rise within the organizational hierarchy with leadership skills and credibility. Getting people from the outside to take you seriously, especially when you have not punched the tickets will generally not be well received unless you are retained as a management consultant with the appropriate credentials. The issue of credentials has been brought up numerous times to no avail.

Even when one within the organization sees the need for change, it can still be difficult. Change is generally not successful unless their is ownership and commitment by the majority of the stakeholders.

MM
11-02-2007, 08:40 AM
The truth is that behind the scenes, there's lots of folks in various organizations running around meeting up with other folks to level set, see what people are doing (versus what they say they're doing) and so forth. A lot of times, it doesn't get talked about here (other times, it does, with varying results ;) ). I think one of the differences is that some folks post here to participate (cool!) while others use this as an opportunity to network, get ideas on what people are exploring and see who they want to get hands on in person (and stealing everything they possibly can along the way).


There do seem to be quite a few people running around meeting other people. And that's a good thing, IMO. And it's something that I think gives the Aikido world some hope. From the Expos by Stan to the AikiWeb seminars by Jun, people are getting exposed to aikido outside their own sphere of influence. And then you have people in organizations that work together when they can, like Ikeda working with Ushiro and Utada. And then you have outside people doing seminars for Aikido, like Amdur and Akuzawa.

These cross connections are what I think will provide the biggest breakthroughs and the catalyst for future growth in aikido. As George Ledyard has posted, he saw a lot of good stuff from Vlad and Sigman. Stuff that will help his progression in Aikido. And it's these kinds of leaps and bounds that will push the Aikido world forward. And it's only a matter of time before we get another level of person like Tohei. And by level, I don't just mean ability in aiki, but I also mean charismatic and teaching. (Or, for a different, but easier example, think Seagal and how his movies changed the aikido world.)


And from my perspective, I see this happening domestically (from my poin of view in the USA) and internationally. Which is probably my favorite thing about this forum - it's done a lot for me to help make the big budo world that much smaller in terms of getting out to meet/see people ;) And for that alone, I'm indebted to Jun for providing this forum that facilitates these opportunities.

Yeah, it's amazing how small the budo world ends up being. :)

I'll echo that last part, too. Thanks Jun!

Mark

Ecosamurai
11-02-2007, 08:58 AM
And it's only a matter of time before we get another level of person like Tohei. And by level, I don't just mean ability in aiki, but I also mean charismatic and teaching.

I'd venture the opinion that there are quite a few people with Tohei Sensei's level of skill (I know Mike Sigman disagrees with me but we'll ignore that for one moment). I'd also suggest that the latter point is in part due to the politics of the split with the aikikai. It has been my experience that those within the aikikai view those outside of it as 'other', I think that perhaps you mean that until someone mainstream (i.e. aikikai) can do the things Tohei Sensei does, and is primarily known for this and the ability to teach it....

Mike

Budd
11-02-2007, 09:06 AM
I think that perhaps you mean that until someone mainstream (i.e. aikikai) can do the things Tohei Sensei does, and is primarily known for this and the ability to teach it....


I think you're on to something, but I don't know that necessarily it's just from aikikai or some larger org, but I think it will possibly perhaps be someone that has the goods, is recognized as having "the goods" between folks in organizations (or even in outside arts, etc.) and is making an effort, regardless of affiliations/organizations to get this stuff spread as widely as possible . . . and testable/verifiable by objective measures . . .anyhow, just musing . . .

MM
11-02-2007, 11:00 AM
I think that perhaps you mean that until someone mainstream (i.e. aikikai) can do the things Tohei Sensei does, and is primarily known for this and the ability to teach it....
Mike

Actually, no. Mainstream is fine, but not necessarily needed. Certainly, at one point, the Aikikai held a lot of power. That isn't the case now, considering the world wide spread of aikido. I meant someone of Tohei's abilities in regards to ability, charm/charisma, and teaching. Doesn't necessarily have to be Aikikai founded. One thing I think will be needed though is, as Budd mentioned, recognition from larger organizations.

The one thing that Americans have done is to bring together various organizations. We can see that in the Expos, AikiWeb seminars, Aikido-L, etc, etc. We are generations removed from the source of Aikido and this generation coming into power will prove pivotal. Not just for a leading example, but to bridge some gaps in training and across organizations.

I'm not saying that the current generation of Japanese that is in control/power is bad. What I am saying is that Americans are a melting pot of people. We know how to bridge gaps and create communities out of various cultures and backgrounds. I think that will play an important part in the future of aikido.

Mark

G DiPierro
11-02-2007, 11:13 AM
Trust me.Ah, the gist of this whole thread while singing the Richard Durning "Sidestep song". I bow to you because you are definitely a master at it.A master at what? It seems to me that you are the one asking me to trust you about your claims regarding your teacher. You claim that he can handle resistance but that he is unable to demonstrate this ability to me on the mat because it would be "too dangerous." That's akin to me claiming that I can kill you with one touch of my finger but that I cannot prove it because it would be too deadly. Nobody would believe that, yet you and many other people in aikido believe similar myths about your own teachers. You extrapolate from their success in throwing people who are taking compliant ukemi in the dojo and assume that your teacher could effect a similar result in a real situation or against a realistically resisting opponent.

I'm not interested in what you think your teacher could do in a "real fight," I'm interested in what he can prove that he can do on the mat. If he can't prove to me on the mat that he can handle resistance, then as far as I'm concerned he can't. I don't care if you accept that or not. You are welcome to believe that your teacher can leap over tall buildings in a single bound if you want. I will still think it's not true unless I've seen it myself and I might even say so here if you were to claim he could in a post on this forum.

Unlike the claims you have made about your teacher that can never be verified, I've made no claims that I am not willing and able to back up on the mat. In fact, I haven't really made that many claims at all if you look, and certainly none of them are as ambitious as the ones you have made. So I think the burden of proof is on you and the others who claim that your teachers are unstoppable, and 200 posts later I don't see anything that leads to me believe that you or anyone else has any ability or willingness to back up those claims.

aikidoc
11-02-2007, 01:02 PM
GP: I have taken your advice.

Aiki Teacher
11-02-2007, 01:38 PM
A master at what? It seems to me that you are the one asking me to trust you about your claims regarding your teacher. You claim that he can handle resistance but that he is unable to demonstrate this ability to me on the mat because it would be "too dangerous." That's akin to me claiming that I can kill you with one touch of my finger but that I cannot prove it because it would be too deadly. Nobody would believe that, yet you and many other people in aikido believe similar myths about your own teachers. You extrapolate from their success in throwing people who are taking compliant ukemi in the dojo and assume that your teacher could effect a similar result in a real situation or against a realistically resisting opponent.

I'm not interested in what you think your teacher could do in a "real fight," I'm interested in what he can prove that he can do on the mat. If he can't prove to me on the mat that he can handle resistance, then as far as I'm concerned he can't. I don't care if you accept that or not. You are welcome to believe that your teacher can leap over tall buildings in a single bound if you want. I will still think it's not true unless I've seen it myself and I might even say so here if you were to claim he could in a post on this forum.

Unlike the claims you have made about your teacher that can never be verified, I've made no claims that I am not willing and able to back up on the mat. In fact, I haven't really made that many claims at all if you look, and certainly none of them are as ambitious as the ones you have made. So I think the burden of proof is on you and the others who claim that your teachers are unstoppable, and 200 posts later I don't see anything that leads to me believe that you or anyone else has any ability or willingness to back up those claims.

This is really fun, but a waste of my time and "pearls " to just be casting about.

Again I reinterate Verification G-man! Proof! Proof! Proof! Not just opinions of yourself or your abilities, or your rank.

Will Prusner
11-02-2007, 02:08 PM
Giancarlo,

I know most, if not all of the techniques used in Aikido are based on movements of the Japanese sword. Have you developed any methods for training with the type of resistance you speak of with bokuto? I would be interested in hearing about the application of resistance in ken or jo exercises, namely how and where the resistance would be directed. :)

G DiPierro
11-02-2007, 03:36 PM
I know most, if not all of the techniques used in Aikido are based on movements of the Japanese sword. Have you developed any methods for training with the type of resistance you speak of with bokuto? I would be interested in hearing about the application of resistance in ken or jo exercises, namely how and where the resistance would be directed. :)There are basically three ways you can train with a sword. The first is solo forms usually done with an iaito or shinken. The second is paired kata usually done with a bokken. The third is freestyle training usually done with a shinai while wearing bogu. In the solo forms you can work on the same body skills that are useful in paired practice, but obviously without the ability to feel what another person is doing. In kata training you can work on feeling how to respond in certain ways to a partner who is providing a set attack. In freestyle training you can work on how to apply what you have learned in the first two exercises against an opponent working under the same rules you are.

For me, sword work is an auxiliary practice. I've developed some of my own basic paired kata work and I also practice and teach a traditional style of iaido. For freestyle training a kendo dojo is a good place to start, although if I were to start seriously teaching all three forms together I probably would not focus on the IKF's method of freestyle training. Still, their organization is an excellent reference point for freestyle sword work because, unlike in aikido, the high-level people have succeeded under a rigorous and competitive freestyle training and testing regimen.

If you cross swords (or shinai, at least) with a kendo 8-dan he should have no problem at all striking you at will while preventing you from striking him. And if you do get off a clean hit on him while preventing him from hitting you, there will be no excuses made after the fact that he couldn't do the "real" kendo on you because he didn't want to hurt you or you weren't worthy or some other BS. Like teachers in many other arts, but apparently not aikido, kendo players can and do back up their claims of superior skill in a freestyle resistance training setting where both people are playing by the same rules.

Don
11-02-2007, 08:13 PM
Oh.....let's take the age thing out of the equation....Go to a Donovan Waite seminar and resist him. I know you are a fairly young guy....so is Donovan....he's also a shihan in USAF. Go ahead...and please let me know when you are going.....I really would like to see the outcome.....my guess is you will find yourself picking your teeth out of your hakama....but that's just my opinion. Heck...maybe you will best him....my money is on Donovan though....Like everyone is saying....man up...put up...or shut up...

G DiPierro
11-02-2007, 08:47 PM
Oh.....let's take the age thing out of the equation....Go to a Donovan Waite seminar and resist him. I know you are a fairly young guy....so is Donovan....he's also a shihan in USAF. Go ahead...and please let me know when you are going.....I really would like to see the outcome.....my guess is you will find yourself picking your teeth out of your hakama....but that's just my opinion. Heck...maybe you will best him....my money is on Donovan though....Like everyone is saying....man up...put up...or shut up...I know Donovan and I've practiced with him before. I've touched hands with him himself and I think I have a pretty good idea what he is about and I what I would need to be prepared for if I wanted to try to resist him of my own accord. I don't think he or any of his students have ever claimed that nobody can resist him, so for me there is no reason to put any effort into seeking him out for this purpose. I'm certainly not going to do so just because some guy named Don McConnell said that I should on the internet. If I were you I would stick to make making challenges on behalf of yourself instead of going around extending public invitations on behalf of your organization's shihan without their knowledge or permission. If you want me to try to resist you then come talk to me.

Don
11-02-2007, 09:04 PM
Not sure I know where Lancaster is in Ohio, but I'm sure you know where Charlotte North Carolina is. Come train. I'm no shihan but it will be fun. Don't expect I'll see you anytime soon....suprise me though.

Don
11-02-2007, 09:09 PM
I teach on Wednesdays when I am not on a business trip and sometimes Saturdays.

aikidoc
11-02-2007, 11:29 PM
Anyone have connections with Seagal? I'd pay to see that one. He's younger (my age) than 72 and a shihan.

Aikibu
11-03-2007, 09:36 AM
What do we call this... The All World Aikido Resistance Extravaganza!!

Come on folks...

William Hazen

darin
11-03-2007, 12:22 PM
Reminds me what happened when my teacher met Kisshomaru Ueshiba at a demo. Ueshiba who was seated on the mats asked people to try and push him over so my teacher went up there and did kubiotoshi (neck twist) on him and took his balance. Consequently he got an earful from Mochizuki Kancho for embarrassing the founder's son. My teacher never bragged about this but just said that maybe Ueshiba was having a bad day or something.

Marc Abrams
11-03-2007, 07:40 PM
Folks:

We all know that there are plenty of legitimate people in and out of the Aikido community who are helping us to bring OUR Aikido up to levels where we are confident of our ability to execute properly when necessary.

SOME OF THE THINGS YOU DO NOT HEAR FROM THOSE PEOPLE:

1) How they can stop a Shihan
2) How they were not really giving it their all when people who have trained with them have directly challenged what they talk about what they alleged that they can do.
3) How they will welcome you to try them (even though you might actually have!) at some point in the future.
4) How humble they are and know enough about a person to know how to do what the alleged that they can do if they really wanted to.
5) Ad Nauseum .........

CAN WE ALL STOP FEEDING THE FISHERMAN WHO IS TROLLING FOR SOMEBODY TO BITE HIS BAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If we stop biting the bait, maybe the fisherman will return to the dock and talk about the world record fish that he let go...... :rolleyes:

Marc Abrams

Avery Jenkins
11-04-2007, 02:40 AM
Oh, crap. I guess it's up to me to force Jun's hand on this thread, so here goes:

YOUR OPINION: G-MAN VS. GODZILLA. WHO WINS?

I say G-man, 'cuz he's done resistance training.

Will Prusner
11-04-2007, 10:58 AM
There are basically three ways you can train with a sword. The first is solo forms usually done with an iaito or shinken. The second is paired kata usually done with a bokken. The third is freestyle training usually done with a shinai while wearing bogu. In the solo forms you can work on the same body skills that are useful in paired practice, but obviously without the ability to feel what another person is doing. In kata training you can work on feeling how to respond in certain ways to a partner who is providing a set attack. In freestyle training you can work on how to apply what you have learned in the first two exercises against an opponent working under the same rules you are.

For me, sword work is an auxiliary practice. I've developed some of my own basic paired kata work and I also practice and teach a traditional style of iaido. For freestyle training a kendo dojo is a good place to start, although if I were to start seriously teaching all three forms together I probably would not focus on the IKF's method of freestyle training. Still, their organization is an excellent reference point for freestyle sword work because, unlike in aikido, the high-level people have succeeded under a rigorous and competitive freestyle training and testing regimen.

If you cross swords (or shinai, at least) with a kendo 8-dan he should have no problem at all striking you at will while preventing you from striking him. And if you do get off a clean hit on him while preventing him from hitting you, there will be no excuses made after the fact that he couldn't do the "real" kendo on you because he didn't want to hurt you or you weren't worthy or some other BS. Like teachers in many other arts, but apparently not aikido, kendo players can and do back up their claims of superior skill in a freestyle resistance training setting where both people are playing by the same rules.

OK, although I still don't think the generalizations apply to all teachers of any particular art.. But what I was more interested in was how and where the resistance would be applied in, particularly, a scenario like a paired partner kata with bokken. I'm just having a really hard time wrapping my mind around how that resistance could be manifested in such an exercise. Which part of the resistor's sword would be applying resistance to which part of the resistee's sword? This interests me because I see in alot of techniques that the empty handed techniques (and the principles behind them) are verified and validated when the same movements are performed with sword in hand, where they supposedly evolved from.

Rupert Atkinson
11-04-2007, 01:21 PM
Which part of the resistor's sword would be applying resistance to which part of the resistee's sword? This interests me because I see in alot of techniques that the empty handed techniques (and the principles behind them) are verified and validated when the same movements are performed with sword in hand, where they supposedly evolved from.

Excellent point. Resistance is in the mind (not the body) as determination; you are fighting to resist the tyranny you see !

G DiPierro
11-04-2007, 03:04 PM
But what I was more interested in was how and where the resistance would be applied in, particularly, a scenario like a paired partner kata with bokken. I'm just having a really hard time wrapping my mind around how that resistance could be manifested in such an exercise. Which part of the resistor's sword would be applying resistance to which part of the resistee's sword?It depends on the movement, and the resistance is not necessarily sword-on-sword. It could be (and often is) sword-on-body. For example, in the basic movements I do in paired bokken training (technically they are not kata but dosa, although they are practiced the same way) the attacker repeats the same attack on both sides, advancing a step each time. The defender remains stationary until forced to move by the attack, at which point he steps back and receives the attack with his sword. If the attacker does not perform the attack correctly enough to force the defender to move, the defender will "resist" by holding his ground and turning his sword into the attacker to cut him as he advances. Whether the defender "resists" in this way depends on how the attacker's movement feels and whether it is being done properly enough that the defender feels like he is in imminent danger of being cut and must move to avoid that. I think it is something that I would have to show you in person for you to understand the subtleties of when to move versus not move in this kind of practice.

Aikibu
11-04-2007, 06:26 PM
It depends on the movement, and the resistance is not necessarily sword-on-sword. It could be (and often is) sword-on-body. For example, in the basic movements I do in paired bokken training (technically they are not kata but dosa, although they are practiced the same way) the attacker repeats the same attack on both sides, advancing a step each time. The defender remains stationary until forced to move by the attack, at which point he steps back and receives the attack with his sword. If the attacker does not perform the attack correctly enough to force the defender to move, the defender will "resist" by holding his ground and turning his sword into the attacker to cut him as he advances. Whether the defender "resists" in this way depends on how the attacker's movement feels and whether it is being done properly enough that the defender feels like he is in imminent danger of being cut and must move to avoid that. I think it is something that I would have to show you in person for you to understand the subtleties of when to move versus not move in this kind of practice.

And the Aiki in this exercise is where???

WIlliam Hazen

dps
11-04-2007, 08:20 PM
Not sure I know where Lancaster is in Ohio, but I'm sure you know where Charlotte North Carolina is. Come train. I'm no shihan but it will be fun. Don't expect I'll see you anytime soon....suprise me though.

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&client=firefox-a&ie=UTF-8&dq=lancaster+aikido+loc:+Lancaster,+OH&daddr=117+S+Columbus+St,+Lancaster,+OH+43130&geocode=15090994270987312535,39.713592,-82.604618&ll=39.713592,-82.604618&iwstate1=dir:to&iwloc=A&f=d
http://www.lancasteraikido.com/
http://www.budoseek.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=6258
Post #10
"Giancarlo DiPierro first learned aikido as a college student on the East Coast in 1996. He later studied at the New England Aikikai, the dojo of the late shihan Mitsunari Kanai, a former uchi-deshi, or apprentice student, of the founder of aikido and one of the early pioneers of American aikido. He has also practiced with many other senior instructors at dozens of seminars and through regular classes at several dojos."

Interesting threads,
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=160072#post160072
\
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11374

Don
11-04-2007, 09:33 PM
OOOOOO.....its just up the road from Circleville! My company has a plant in Circleville. I may be going there soon on a bus. trip....Maybe I'll get to go there.

nagoyajoe
11-04-2007, 11:06 PM
I just checked the http://www.lancasteraikido.com/ site. Actually, the katakana for Lancaster is incorrect. It should read: ランカスター. No videos or pics though.

G DiPierro
11-04-2007, 11:33 PM
I just checked the http://www.lancasteraikido.com/ site. Actually, the katakana for Lancaster is incorrect. It should read: 󥫥. No videos or pics though.I suppose that is the more common rendering in katakana, although it's not really close to the way the word is pronounced here. There is a clear ur sound at the end rather than an aa. They also don't usually pronounce the second 'a' (it sounds a bit like LANK-ster), so I even thought about using rather than , but I figured that would be going too far.

OOOOOO.....its just up the road from Circleville! My company has a plant in Circleville. I may be going there soon on a bus. trip....Maybe I'll get to go there.If you are in Circleville you should definitely stop by. It's only about a half an hour drive. Despite what the website says (I need to update it), I'm not doing a regular aikido class right now, but you would be welcome to come down and train privately for an hour or two. The only thing I would ask up front is that you keep an open mind. I suspect I do a lot of things differently than you do, and since you have been doing aikido for a while you probably assume that many of the things you do are right because that is how you learned them or that is how some high-ranking teacher does them.

As far as I'm concerned, nothing I do is absolutely right, it is just the best that I know at the moment. Anything and everything is open to be thrown completely out the window whenever new evidence comes along that there is something that is better or that makes more sense. Essentially, I take a scientific approach, since this is exactly how scientists regard their own theories and understanding (at least in principle; in practice people often bet their career on an idea and then have a hard time letting go when it is proven wrong).

Josh Reyer
11-05-2007, 01:59 AM
I suppose that is the more common rendering in katakana, although it's not really close to the way the word is pronounced here. There is a clear ur sound at the end rather than an aa. They also don't usually pronounce the second 'a' (it sounds a bit like LANK-ster), so I even thought about using rather than , but I figured that would be going too far.


Be that as it may, ル is used to transliterate final "l", never final "r". Examples:
ball/bowl - ボール
mail - メール
cancel - キャンセル

Whether the "r" is strongly rhotic or not (the final "r" in my name is quite rhotic), it's either ア (like door - ドア, computer - コンピュータ) or a lengthed "a" (Reyer - ライヤー, typewriter - タイプライター, helicopter - ヘリコプター). A Native speaker of Japanese will see ランカステル and assume it's "L/Rancastel".

And actually, using "ku" instead of "ka" would be perfectly acceptable, if that's how it's pronounced. "Gloucester" is "グロスター" and "Worcester, MA" is "ウースター", after all.

G DiPierro
11-05-2007, 03:03 AM
Whether the "r" is strongly rhotic or not (the final "r" in my name is quite rhotic), it's either (like door - ɥ, computer - ԥ塼) or a lengthed "a" (Reyer - 饤䡼, typewriter - ץ饤, helicopter - إꥳץ). A Native speaker of Japanese will see 󥫥ƥ and assume it's "L/Rancastel".

And actually, using "ku" instead of "ka" would be perfectly acceptable, if that's how it's pronounced. "Gloucester" is "" and "Worcester, MA" is "", after all.Thanks. In that case, I guess I should be using 󥫥 instead, since the pronunciation of the final 'r' is closest to the way it is in computer. Fairfield County is right on the northern border of Appalachia, and so you start to get a drawl here that you don't hear in Columbus. If you pronounce it lan-CAS-ter (or worse, LAHN-cah-sta, as in the UK), people will know that you aren't from around here, and this is the type of place where being from around here means a lot. Some people probably do say LANK-ster but I think that you would be more likely to hear that in the rural areas outside of town. Within the city of Lancaster I would say that something closer to LANK-ə-ster is typical.

Will Prusner
11-05-2007, 09:56 AM
I'm not trying to discredit anybody's convictions regarding this matter, however, I found these passages in "The Art of Peace"; following each other actually. I think they shed some light both on the topic and dynamic of this thread.

"The Art of Peace is the principle of nonresistance. Because it is nonresistant, it is victorious from the beginning. Those with evil intentions or contentious thoughts are instantly vanquished. The Art of Peace is invincible because it contends with nothing."

and...

"There are no contests in the Art of Peace. A true warrior is invincible because he or she contests with nothing. Defeat means to defeat the mind of contention that we harbor within."

Really makes me question both physical and intellectual interaction. I wish I could say that this is how I always conduct myself in daily life (and internet forums, haha).

G DiPierro
11-05-2007, 12:07 PM
"The Art of Peace is the principle of nonresistance. Because it is nonresistant, it is victorious from the beginning. Those with evil intentions or contentious thoughts are instantly vanquished. The Art of Peace is invincible because it contends with nothing."

and...

"There are no contests in the Art of Peace. A true warrior is invincible because he or she contests with nothing. Defeat means to defeat the mind of contention that we harbor within."I'd say this means that the person doing aikido should not resist anything, not the person attacking. But feel free to interpret it however you want.

Will Prusner
11-05-2007, 12:25 PM
I'd say this means that the person doing aikido should not resist anything, not the person attacking. But feel free to interpret it however you want.

To me, it seems that it would require two opposing forces for resistance to be able to exist in the first place. Just as it would require two people to be practicing aikido. If I am but alone, then with whom would I harmonize? So, in the dojo, both people ought to be practicing aikido or it might not be able to be called aikido. Just as in out on the street, for it to be aikido which is being performed, then all individuals must be involved (unknowingly or even unwillingly) in that hamonization.

G DiPierro
11-05-2007, 12:43 PM
To me, it seems that it would require two opposing forces for resistance to be able to exist in the first place. Just as it would require two people to be practicing aikido. If I am but alone, then with whom would I harmonize? So, in the dojo, both people ought to be practicing aikido or it might not be able to be called aikido. Just as in out on the street, for it to be aikido which is being performed, then all individuals must be involved (unknowingly or even unwillingly) in that hamonization.That's an interesting theory. Can you explain how someone attacking you in "the street", which is to say for real, is somehow more involved with "harmonizing" or "practicing aikido" with the person he is attacking than a practice partner who is simulating a realistic attack, including resistance against being thrown, etc., for training purposes within the dojo?

Will Prusner
11-05-2007, 12:49 PM
That's an interesting theory. Can you explain how someone attacking you in "the street", which is to say for real, is somehow more involved with "harmonizing" or "practicing aikido" with the person he is attacking than a practice partner who is simulating a realistic attack, including resistance against being thrown, etc., for training purposes within the dojo?

Because the guy in the street is performing the role of the perfect Uke. He is giving an honest, committed attack. He's not trying to resist, he's trying to punch a face. What more could you ask from him as far as giving you something to harmonize with?

G DiPierro
11-05-2007, 01:24 PM
Because the guy in the street is performing the role of the perfect Uke. He is giving an honest, committed attack. He's not trying to resist, he's trying to punch a face. What more could you ask from him as far as giving you something to harmonize with?How many times have you been in a real fight? What you are describing is how most people in aikido imagine a real attack to be like since it, not coincidentally, precisely matches the fake attacks they teach people to do in the dojo because that is what they need to make their techniques work.

It's very common for people to assume that harmony in aikido means that people should or will harmonize with them and meet their expectations; then when that doesn't happen they get upset and start reverting to the same childish behavior you see on the playground from ten year-olds (see another current thread for examples of this). I believe that it means that the person doing aikido should adapt to and harmonize with whatever the other person does, including resisting your attempts to throw him, which is what any sensible person would and should do.

Marc Abrams
11-05-2007, 01:58 PM
Giancarlo:

SO, how many times have you been in a real fight? Your response to Will shows me that you have no real understanding about Aikido and about being in a real fight.

So Giancarlo, what are your qualifications to teach Aikido and Iado. What is your history with real fights? Still waiting for a response.

Marc Abrams

Will Prusner
11-05-2007, 02:02 PM
How many times have you been in a real fight? What you are describing is how most people in aikido imagine a real attack to be like since it, not coincidentally, precisely matches the fake attacks they teach people to do in the dojo because that is what they need to make their techniques work.

It's very common for people to assume that harmony in aikido means that people should or will harmonize with them and meet their expectations; then when that doesn't happen they get upset and start reverting to the same childish behavior you see on the playground from ten year-olds (see another current thread for examples of this). I believe that it means that the person doing aikido should adapt to and harmonize with whatever the other person does, including resisting your attempts to throw him, which is what any sensible person would and should do.

Unfortunately, alot. But none since I started Aikido (February of this year). I think it works!!!

By the way, thanks, but I'm done with this topic. Happy trails, pard'ner!

Don
11-05-2007, 02:49 PM
The only thing I would ask up front is that you keep an open mind. I suspect I do a lot of things differently than you do, and since you have been doing aikido for a while you probably assume that many of the things you do are right because that is how you learned them or that is how some high-ranking teacher does them.

As far as I'm concerned, nothing I do is absolutely right, it is just the best that I know at the moment. Anything and everything is open to be thrown completely out the window whenever new evidence comes along that there is something that is better or that makes more sense. Essentially, I take a scientific approach, since this is exactly how scientists regard their own theories and understanding (at least in principle; in practice people often bet their career on an idea and then have a hard time letting go when it is proven wrong).

Giancarlo: First thank you for the invitation. Second (and I really am saying this in the most sincere way I know how to) what you have said here implies to me that you do see things in the fundamental training that you have questions about, sometime perhaps valid questions pretaining to resistance. It's okay to want to strip away what may be teaching artifacts and get to the root of a technique or to understand how to deal with aggressive resistance. If you search the threads, I posted not too long ago a thread where I was asking for advice because I felt I was at a plateau and was not resolving some of those types of issues for myself. And people offered some good suggestions, which I appreciated. But you don't manage to get constructive help by coming on a forum like this and saying how you resisted this Shihan and that Shihan, challenging people and then not giving your training history! In the end, how well you do your aikido on the mat is what matters and not your lineage, but it does establish how the community here will react. Its the only thing they have to go on! You really really do raise some valid points as evidenced by the other threads on resistive training. But those questions have been overshadowed by your attitude! Now you've got people pissed off enough to go searching out your training history to verify or expose you! Do you really WANT that type of publicity?!!! I'm really not trying to rag on you but I would respectfully suggest you think about this and IF you are not intentionally just trying to stir up the water, tone it down, and see if maybe some other folks have constructive suggestions and so that they might actually listen to you. It's up to you, but that would seem to be a good way to get this thing back on an even keel....just my take on this whole thread.....

Stephen Kotev
11-05-2007, 03:13 PM
What is it you want to me to stop, Steve? Posting on aikiweb? Do my posts disturb you that much? I have already said several times (this is probably the fourth or fifth time now) that if you don't want to read my posts then put me on your ignore list and don't come back and visit this thread. I won't mind, really. If you don't like what I have to say then don't read it. But I don't think you or anyone else (except Jun Akiyama, of course) is in a position to tell me not to post here, even if you were to ask nicely (which I don't think you actually did, BTW).

As far as meeting up with people I have no problem doing that. As you point out, I was in DC recently at the same seminar you were at. Nobody there asked me to demonstrate or prove what I can do. If you really wanted answers to the questions you raise why didn't you ask me to do this then? We could have even gotten it on videotape if you wanted.

Finally, Peter's Goldsbury offer was not to try to resist a shihan, but to offer advice on how the aikikai could improve their standards and practices. You might want to reread that post you linked to a bit more carefully. As far as trying to resist a shihan, as I said before I would be very interested in accepting that challenge. I think the problem that you will have is finding a shihan who is willing to do it.

Giancarlo,

Why should we take you seriously?

If your statements were made in-person we could test them immediately. Unfortunately, this is not possible. I don't think it is childish to verify credentials. Many are willing to accept "rank is over rated" accompanied with outside corroboration.

Take for example the internal' martial arts conversation on this bulletin board. There were many critical claims about Aikidoka's knowledge of ki. Many disagreed and others visited the claimant/s. They returned and verified or illuminated the original statements.

Attention has now turned to you. You are making several claims that people want to verify.

Two simple responses will change everything:

A.) Public statements of support from individuals other than yourself that verify your skill and ability

B.) Public statement from a former teacher vouching for you as their student. A statement of rank would be even more convincing.

The people who met you at the Endo Seminar did not have positive things to say about their experiences training with you. Why have not others who have personally met you replied in your defense?

Regards,
Stephen

G DiPierro
11-05-2007, 03:25 PM
SO, how many times have you been in a real fight?Several times, many of them on the mat during aikido classes. I know it's hard to believe that someone as bland and uncontroversial as myself could get into a fight with people as mature and respectful as those who practice aikido (and post on aikido forums), but there you have it. In all of these cases, the way I was attacked was very different in intent, energy, and intensity from the way people attack in standard compliant training. The idea that the compliant attacks seen in most aikido training are in any way honest or sincere is a complete joke.

Instead of attacking with the intention of failing, as most people normally do in aikido, they attacked with intention of succeeding. And these were people who do not train in an art where there is any emphasis on learning how to mount a successful attack against someone trying to prevent it. I think that a person trained in such an art, like boxing, wrestling, or MMA, or even someone who has been in a lot of street fights, would present a much more challenging attack. So I choose to spend my training time working towards handling the most challenging attacks I can while still allowing me to be successful often enough to learn something, rather than training against the least challenging attacks that could theoretically be imagined just so that I can experience successfully performing some fancy techniques over and over again.

So Giancarlo, what are your qualifications to teach Aikido and Iado. What is your history with real fights? Still waiting for a response.My qualification to teach is my skill level. I have students who are yudansha and instructors in other forms of Japanese budo. They have been to Japan and/or trained directly with Japanese master-level instructors. They have other teachers who teach and train JSA. They choose to study Iaido with me because they like it and feel that they are learning something worthwhile. Among serious martial artists, this is really the only qualification that counts. Ranks and belts and what-not are just marketing tools to draw in the masses and keep people in line.

G DiPierro
11-05-2007, 03:40 PM
Attention has now turned to you. You are making several claims that people want to verify.Could you please enumerate exactly those claims that you wish me to verify? I have asked this several times and not received a response. Just constant reference to these mysterious "claims" along with the idea that if I had rank from a major group that would somehow constitute verification of these "claims." Tell me what claims I have made specifically that you would like to see verified.

Two simple responses will change everything:

A.) Public statements of support from individuals other than yourself that verify your skill and ability

B.) Public statement from a former teacher vouching for you as their student. A statement of rank would be even more convincing.

The people who met you at the Endo Seminar did not have positive things to say about their experiences training with you. Why have not others who have personally met you replied in your defense?I guess you only talked to the ones who had bad experiences then. This was certainly not everybody. Frankly, I would not ask anyone who knows me or trains with me in person to post here in my defense. They had nothing to do with creating this thread and I don't see any reason to drag them into this mess. I chose to expose myself to this by posting here, knowing as I did what kind of people read and post on this forum and the kind of responses I have gotten in the past and would be likely to get in the future. Dealing with them is entirely my responsibility. If that's not enough for you, so be it. As I said, while I was in DC you would have been welcome to ask to me to demonstrate or verify anything you want, and you still are if you are willing to make the trip to meet me. That's all I'm going to offer.

Aikibu
11-05-2007, 04:25 PM
Instead of attacking with the intention of failing, as most people normally do in aikido


This puzzles me.... Anyone who teaches Ukemi with the intention of failing is not teaching Aikido...A poor assumption on your part.

William Hazen

nagoyajoe
11-05-2007, 04:58 PM
Be that as it may, ル is used to transliterate final "l", never final "r". Examples:
ball/bowl - ボール
mail - メール
cancel - キャンセル

Whether the "r" is strongly rhotic or not (the final "r" in my name is quite rhotic), it's either ア (like door - ドア, computer - コンピュータ) or a lengthed "a" (Reyer - ライヤー, typewriter - タイプライター, helicopter - ヘリコプター). A Native speaker of Japanese will see ランカステル and assume it's "L/Rancastel".

And actually, using "ku" instead of "ka" would be perfectly acceptable, if that's how it's pronounced. "Gloucester" is "グロスター" and "Worcester, MA" is "ウースター", after all.

Very nicely done, Josh! Excellent explanation. Bravo. :D

stan baker
11-05-2007, 05:08 PM
what is the big deal he blocked satome sensei

stan