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xuzen
01-08-2008, 12:59 AM
Goju-ryu karatedo clip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXY4FgKlLok&eurl=http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=64567)

Look at 1' 38" to 1' 58" of the clip. Look at how the karate sensei blocks the punches.

Do you block like this in your aikido practice?

I have seen my aikido teacher blocks as such. I have seen even Kancho Shioda blocks like this against tanto yokomen-uchi attacks in his videos.

Do you think it is good to develop this skill in your aikido practice. If not, why not?

Thanks for your opinion.

Boon.

happysod
01-08-2008, 04:39 AM
Not on a first date... We had a very large ex-goju guy in the dojo for about a year, fun to practice with and hard to hurt who did use the same blocks. Effective, but never too sure whether to incorporate them or not.

Yes, a decent block is better than the more standard "block with body/face" that seems to creep in because people think their body movement is sufficient and neglect basic defense. However, blocks have a tendency to make things quite static and remove any of the flow to ride on - unless they're done as well as that instructor managed which was more of a deflect than what I'd normally see as a block.

So, possibly just a terminology thing, but I prefer deflect, blend or lead to block - but anything that protects my exquisitely chisled features is not to be sneezed at.

SeiserL
01-08-2008, 06:38 AM
No, or at least I try not to.
IMHO in Aikido it is better to "blend" with rather than "block" against.

Marc Abrams
01-08-2008, 08:14 AM
Ushiro Sensei teaches an Okinawan style of bujutsu. Sanchin kata is one of the five katas taught. His "blocks" are more akin to the perfect blending that we try and achieve in Aikido. I frankly find his "zero power" execution far more devastating that what I observed on the that video clip. His teaching have certainly propelled my Aikido and budo to better levels.

Marc Abrams

Jonathan
01-08-2008, 08:57 AM
I practice both soft deflections and more direct, penetrating blocks. Each of them have their uses. I only do the more direct "attacking the attack" type blocking with a few students who don't mind the pain involved in being blocked this way. Generally, I teach my students to deflect rather than completely halt a strike.

John Matsushima
01-08-2008, 09:36 AM
I think that the type of block done against yokomen uchi is done with different timing than the one in the video. When I do that block, I enter to catch the uke early and unbalance him. In the video, it appeared to me that the technique was dead as soon as the strike hit the block.
I have also done other blocks that move uke, making a space for me to enter. Blocks can also be done after a strike has been avoided to prevent uke from recoiling or moving in a certain direction.
Blocks in Aikido are to me, not purely defensive, but are done dynamically with correct timing to affect the position, balance, and flow of energy of the attacker. Depending on how one wants to execute a technique, I find that these blocks may or may not be necessary; as I mentioned before, they are not done for defensive purposes. If one has good tai sabaki then the attack can be avoided without any contact at all.

Rupert Atkinson
01-08-2008, 12:02 PM
The block is a good block, but does not look aiki to me. I can do the same with almost zero effort. Unimpressed.

aikidoc
01-08-2008, 12:09 PM
To block means to stop to me. No aiki.

Ron Tisdale
01-08-2008, 01:55 PM
Boon and I come from the yoshinkan tradition, where the word used is yoke, as in ayate yoke (cross hand block), and yoke comes from yokeru, to avoid.

So no, I would not interpret what I've been taught about blocking to mean stopping, and yes, I would consider what I've been taught to be VERY aiki.

Best,
Ron

gregg block
01-08-2008, 04:58 PM
Goju-ryu karatedo clip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXY4FgKlLok&eurl=http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=64567)

Look at 1' 38" to 1' 58" of the clip. Look at how the karate sensei blocks the punches.

Do you block like this in your aikido practice?

I have seen my aikido teacher blocks as such. I have seen even Kancho Shioda blocks like this against tanto yokomen-uchi attacks in his videos.

Do you think it is good to develop this skill in your aikido practice. If not, why not?

Thanks for your opinion.

Boon.

It's better than the alternative of getting hit. But IMHO bone on bone blocking should be a last resort. Better to parry, beter still to move off line (AKA get out of the way)

ChS_23
01-08-2008, 06:28 PM
blade against blade
bone against bone
both is crap.

It's only right if you like bruises...

Kevin Leavitt
01-08-2008, 08:54 PM
No. I think it teaches wrong proprioception. I trained like this for years and I am still working hard to overcome those bad reflexes.

On a different note, I see alot of things that they are doing well, but also alot that I used to do that I don't agree with anymore.

xuzen
01-08-2008, 10:45 PM
Yes, a decent block is better than the more standard "block with body/face" that seems to creep in because people think their body movement is sufficient and neglect basic defense. However, blocks have a tendency to make things quite static and remove any of the flow to ride on - unless they're done as well as that instructor managed which was more of a deflect than what I'd normally see as a block.

Blending may look nice and aiki' esque.... but sometimes, a block is more simple and direct and less energy spend vis-a-vis blending/tenkan. If you notice carefully, the Karate-do sensei did not just block as in dead-block, he actually parry/deflect.

The block is a good block, but does not look aiki to me. I can do the same with almost zero effort. Unimpressed.
Can you please elaborate on the zero-effort comment? Thanks.

Boon and I come from the yoshinkan tradition, where the word used is yoke, as in ayate yoke (cross hand block), and yoke comes from yokeru, to avoid.

So no, I would not interpret what I've been taught about blocking to mean stopping, and yes, I would consider what I've been taught to be VERY aiki.
Ron, when I saw that block, and seen my aikido teacher did it... I thought it was because my aikido teacher was an ex-shotokan man. But I also recall, Kancho Shioda did the same thing against uke, that is where it pick my curiosity. Come-on, any other major aikido school does that? Shodokan? Aikikai? Yoseikan?

It's only right if you like bruises...
You know, bruises in my aikido school is seen with a sense of pride. We love to compare and show off whose yonkajo bruise is bigger after class.

On a different note, I see alot of things that they are doing well, but also alot that I used to do that I don't agree with anymore.

snicker, chuckle.... more mature and wiser? <Run and Hides under the sofa>

Boon

Rupert Atkinson
01-09-2008, 12:29 AM
Blending may look nice and aiki' esque.... but sometimes, a block is more simple and direct and less energy spend vis-a-vis blending/tenkan. If you notice carefully, the Karate-do sensei did not just block as in dead-block, he actually parry/deflect.

Yes, he did. But still ...

Can you please elaborate on the zero-effort comment? Thanks.

In person, I could teach it to you in 30 secs. It is impossible to explain ...
But let's try: Basically, your arm is totally relaxed - but almost in position - and when the strike approaches you energise your arm by extending it slightly and hit the strike. It should look like a block, but it is infact a hit. If you do it direct, then it is a hit/block - and takes no efort at all. The harder he hits you the more it hurts him - as long as your timing is perfect. If you do it within circular Aikido movement then, it is still a kind of hit (but less of a block because you moved). This is not what they do in Karate.

Oh, and this hit/block is forward - like in Aikido, not sideways - like in Karate.

Amir Krause
01-09-2008, 05:55 AM
I prefer not to block, assuming the term "block" is defined as absorbing the power of a strike by me arms, without movement. Blocking is the last resort, in the sense it is an inferior response, but, in some cases, blocking saves one from absorbing with face\head body ...

I do not know the Sensei in the video, but in his blocks, I seemed to feel something more then a mere block. Note the loss of balance on the part of the person being blocked, and the "minor" rotating and deflection being done with the block.
In a sense, this opens the topic of the difference between "blocks", " deflections" and "attacking the attack early on", each has a role.

I must admit I did not get the same feeling from the punches at the end. but watching without sound, I was not sure at all about that section and its connotation

Amir.

charyuop
01-09-2008, 05:56 AM
Everytime I block Sensei I ended up on my knees because he does a counter technique to me. He repeats to me that a block gives him something to work on and that is wrong. He showed me a couple of weeks ago that if I want to block I need to concentrate on Uke center so that the block turns into an actual attack towards Uke.

aikispike
01-09-2008, 10:35 AM
Oh, and this hit/block is forward - like in Aikido, not sideways - like in Karate.

The block that Rubert described is similar (I think) to what I do and what we did in the senshusei course. It took a lot of time and many bruises to be able to do it so that it doesn't hurt me any more. (I would be impressed if Rupert can really teach someone to do it in 30 seconds.)

The block is complete "aiki" because you are taking uke's balance and redirecting his striking power to the outside. I do it forward and to the side or just to the side - it doesn't matter much.

From what I can tell the instructor in the video is doing the same movement - he is moving into the strike, turning his wrist/forearm out at the point of the strike, and taking ukes power.

Spike

Rupert Atkinson
01-09-2008, 11:44 AM
I'm not kidding - 30 secs is possible for most people as it is totally natural. All they have to do is see/feel it.

Timothy WK
01-09-2008, 12:38 PM
[A]ny other major aikido school does that?

Daito-Ryu does similar things, along with a few other "block-like" maneuvers.

[T]his hit/block is forward - like in Aikido, not sideways - like in Karate.

Huh? When I studied Shotokan, I was always taught the "better" way to block was to direct the block forward. Actually, the more "advanced" way to block was to block/parry with the setup move, and then use the "block-proper" as a strike.

eyrie
01-09-2008, 04:52 PM
I didn't think there was such a thing as "blocking" in karate. What is commonly referred to as a "block" in karate is usually referred to (in Japanese) as "uke" - i.e. to receive. ;)

asiawide
01-09-2008, 06:39 PM
The karate teacher doesn't just block. If you see the clip carefully, you can see that the teacher is rotating his forearm and hit the attacker's forearm slightly at the impact timing. It's not only parrying but also blocking. Then the attacker feel very acute pain. The more powerful attack, the more pain.

Maybe 30secs. is too short... but 1min is enough to catch this idea once you see it. 30 secs. is just for 'Catching' the idea. Of course, you have to spend some time to apply it in real situation. The karate teacher is applying the idea in karate block. In aikido, this kind of technique can be applied to irimi and even in tenkan. But, I bet many teachers will never like it. :)

ps. I learned it from Rupert many years ago(1999 or 2000??). he he.

Joe Bowen
01-10-2008, 02:10 AM
I have trained with Rupert in the past and distinctly remember the class where he taught us the particular block/parry/extension whatever. I don't know if it was thirty seconds, as I don't generally run my stop watch during classes, but it did not take long to pick up what he was showing us.

I trained with Rupert over the past 10 or so years while we were both living in Korea, and if we were not separated no by more than 2/3rds of the world, I'd still be training with him when I could. He is an outstanding teacher and one of the major influences on my aikido. So if you happen to live in New Zealand, take the time to seek him out....

Regards,
Joe

Will Prusner
01-10-2008, 11:38 AM
if we were not separated no by more than 2/3rds of the world, I'd still be training with him when I could.
Regards,
Joe

Remember: 2/3rds of the world away is only 1/3rd of the world away if you go in the other direction!:) :D

Joe Bowen
01-11-2008, 01:16 AM
:D I was wondering if anyone was going to catch that one...You're very clever....;)

Tom Fish
01-11-2008, 02:27 PM
Remember: 2/3rds of the world away is only 1/3rd of the world away if you go in the other direction!:) :D

Best laugh of the day. Thanks

Chris Parkerson
01-11-2008, 06:53 PM
Just my opinion.

I block if I need to. But when I block, I want the uke to pay a price. I want to control his/her balance and stability as my arm makes contact with uke's. I try to make this block soft and leading (some call it feathering) so that the opponent's base is reduced.

Chris Parkerson
01-11-2008, 07:10 PM
Last month a co-worker invited me to a wonderful boxing club in Oakland, CA. He was a former pro boxer. I used a style of aiki blocking that caused him to fall upon contact. He attacked me with a hook, an upper cut and a right cross. He kept giggling because he was unaware of how I was making him fall.

senshincenter
01-12-2008, 09:43 PM
No, or at least I try not to.
IMHO in Aikido it is better to "blend" with rather than "block" against.

I'm with Lynn here - it's not very Aiki (which is not the same thing as "not working"). Sure, you block if you have to, just like you use the heck out of your biceps if you have to, but that doesn't mean you aren't sacrificing something to do that. For me, the reason I try not to block is because it requires a kind of stability that is prone to not moving and that is also prone to being unable to draw your weapons (should you have some to draw). Both of these things are often life-saving things, especially with multiple attackers and/or when your attacker has a weapon - you know, when the crap is really hitting the fan, and you just might have to use the heck out of your biceps. ;)

xuzen
01-13-2008, 12:42 AM
I'm with Lynn here - it's not very Aiki (which is not the same thing as "not working"). Sure, you block if you have to, just like you use the heck out of your biceps if you have to, but that doesn't mean you aren't sacrificing something to do that. For me, the reason I try not to block is because it requires a kind of stability that is prone to not moving and that is also prone to being unable to draw your weapons (should you have some to draw). Both of these things are often life-saving things, especially with multiple attackers and/or when your attacker has a weapon - you know, when the crap is really hitting the fan, and you just might have to use the heck out of your biceps. ;)

Nicely put DavidV. I agree. I think to proper block or punch you need to have good grounding and rooting which may sacrifice dynamism/movement .

My thinking is that block, parry, blending are tools in your MA kit. When a situation demands it, then use it. Otherwise, let it remain in by your toolkit until a situation demands it.

Boon.

Chris Parkerson
01-13-2008, 04:49 AM
There are many strategies in Aiki. All are appropriate under the right circumstances.

I am not sure how to post a video clip on this site.

I made this video with a buddy over the weekend. It is at U-tube under the title:

Aiki Heavy Hands (by wuweimonks).

<object width="425" height="350"> <param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/KsYgtrcu1E4"> </param> <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/KsYgtrcu1E4" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="350"> </embed> </object>

Chris Parkerson

Kevin Leavitt
01-13-2008, 07:02 AM
Chris, don't post the text from the embedded block. Just cut and paste the URL. Here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/v/KsYgtrcu1E4

Kevin Leavitt
01-13-2008, 07:18 AM
interesting video here http://youtube.com/watch?v=7gWYrX0apNY

What I like it this video is that the guy doing the striking, uses his striking and core to overwhelm his two attackers, closing the distance, and off balancing them. Surprise, audacity, and overwhelming force of mass, moving forward. He does not over commit, he does not give them back center. He did not commit to one attack. He could have finished them offf with more, like kicks and such if he had wanted to.

Good choice of tactics overall I think. If this was staged, it was pretty darn good choreography!

My questions for discussion:

Where is the grounding, rooting, and all that stuff we learn in aikido come into play? What is the realitive value of it?

I am not saying it is not in there necessarily, theoretically it must be there in order to transmit movement forward. (last I checked we cannot float through the air like crouching tiger, hidden dragon.

How much of what we do in the dojo environment trains us for these types of conditions in which there is overwhelming force, mass, and concentration of power? how much of what we do considers the principle of surprise and audacity? The "bad guys" did not appear to be expecting that!

How much kamae and foreshadowing of things to come were there? How does lack of this information effect the situation?

All that said, are we really concerned with all this in aikido, or is there a different reason for studying it?

Chris Parkerson
01-13-2008, 09:11 AM
Where is the grounding, rooting, and all that stuff we learn in aikido come into play? What is the realitive value of it?

I am not saying it is not in there necessarily, theoretically it must be there in order to transmit movement forward. (last I checked we cannot float through the air like crouching tiger, hidden dragon.

Grounding and rooting is totally necessary if you want to rip the center out of an opponent's body with a block or a strike. In the beginning, we learn to root in static stances. Over time, rooting occurs with weight shift in movement with a quick settling (even on one foot if necessary) at point of contact.

It also helps to study where the opponent's center of gravity is while he/she is moving. When it is near the edge of his/her base, there is little conflict (as the Chinese say, "con-tension".

Weight shift must be studied so that you are not uprooting yourself when stepping. The Chinese proverb says, "Fighting a man is like taking a walk". Study both how weight shift works in your own walking as well as how is works against your opponent when he/she is walking.

Finally (for now), most curricula in Aiki dojos force the study of technique through three joints (wrist, elbow and shoulder). This makes for the natural use of a bigger circle. Take away the wrist and the elbow and the circle can naturally get smaller.

Chris Parkerson

Chris Parkerson
01-13-2008, 10:29 AM
I added a couple of video clips to Utube this morning. The first is a variation on Sumi Otoshi (Tomiki Aikido), It shows how the basic principles of a large circle technique that is normally applied to the wrist, can be applied to the shoulder is a smaller circle.

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

The second video is of Gedan ate. Here I hope to show two things. (1) Another application of blocking. feathering or leading an opponent's weight shift until you have good Kuzushi (in this case it is over his toes) with the spine locked up in a big circle.

(2) That a block is a strike is a push. The only differences are in intent and velocity/impact. Thus the Kosho Monks had an aiki style that focussed on Kenpo punches much like the one I am demonstrating in this video. The punches were used to drop an opponent without hurting them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IPYQrVeDWY

Chris Parkerson

senshincenter
01-13-2008, 08:18 PM
I'm going to connect Chris's and kevin's last posts - if you all don't mind...

I like the direction that Chris demonstrated in his video. Additionally, I agree with his points on grounding. Still, I'm not sure Kevin's point is being addressed yet.

For example, in the video (Chris'), while one is looking to tactically engage a boxing-style punch with various kokyu-nage (etc.), the applied technique is not necessarily being applied against a boxing strategy. The technique is still being employed against an Aikido strategy. That is to say, while the video demonstrates many fine points relative to Aikido, entering in, and to the inside, of a boxer that has just thrown a hook (or an uppercut, etc.) is really going to expose you to the flurry of strikes and angles that make up a boxing combination.

Kokyo nage is probably something one may want to try from the inner-inside when you are facing a single committed strike, but it is probably not something high on the scale of tactical advantages when you are facing a boxing combination. I think that is what Kevin is trying to draw out of the video he posted - i.e. what in Aikido has one capable of dealing with such a strategy. At least, for me, this is how I understood him when he wrote: "He does not over commit, he does not give them back center. He did not commit to one attack. He could have finished them offf with more, like kicks and such if he had wanted to" - since it is quite common in Aikido to only deal with single overly committed strikes where uke has given away his center for notions of increasing damage/penetration, etc.

If we connect this to the thread topic, and what all has already been said against blocking - where grounding (etc.) is relative - I would say that we are again looking at a question that springs no so much from Aikido as it does from the way Aikido is generally taught today. In particular, I would say that the Aikido tactic best utilized against such combinations and/or a strategy is movement (assuming everything else is present concerning a centered heart/mind). This is not to say that grounding is still not relative, as grounding is imperative in quick, decisive, and purposeful movement, but the kind of movement necessary for dealing with such an onslaught as seen in Kevin's posted video is going to be different enough that a person that can ground and move in Ikkyo will not inevitably be able to deal with the flurry that's-a-coming.

I don't think this contradicts anything Chris has said, but i did think it was necessary to say something about what exactly is the "hard" part in what is seen in Chris' posted video: It's the rush, speed, and multiple angles (each one working to zero in on target); it's the accuracy, the overwhelming number of attacks, the relentless pace; it's the vulnerability of the head as a target and it's significance to generating a counter, a defense, and/or an offense. Etc. For me, it makes sense that Bruce Lee greatly admired the boxer's hands, and why the boxer's hands are so spreading from art to art - especially those that are working in the more live training environments.

For what it's worth, I think I posted an article here that is sort of on this topic - I think. It should be under the Grindstone articles if it is here - it has videos too.

d

senshincenter
01-13-2008, 08:30 PM
The sweet science:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iDlzL7zrNU

If Kevin's was staged (e.g. What was that camera doing up there?), this one probably wasn't. :-)

Kevin Leavitt
01-13-2008, 08:47 PM
David,

Yes, you covered it quite well as usual!

his is not to say that grounding is still not relative, as grounding is imperative in quick, decisive, and purposeful movement, but the kind of movement necessary for dealing with such an onslaught as seen in Kevin's posted video is going to be different enough that a person that can ground and move in Ikkyo will not inevitably be able to deal with the flurry that's-a-coming.

DonMagee
01-14-2008, 06:02 AM
I found the blocking I learned in boxing and muay thai (the few lessons I've had) to be far superior to the blocking I learned in TKD and the complex blocking I was shown in krav maga (although the basic krav blocking was just like the boxing and MT blocking).

Simple covering, combined with constant head movement, and constant circular footwork. This helps create angles that are difficult to attack and allow you to pull your attacker off balance so you can finish the fight.

I prefer these kind of blocks because they keep your hands close to the body and head to protect you (I'm not perfect and if I get tricked into doing a TKD block when there is no strike, then I'm going to have a huge hole to hit though.) I had years of TKD training as received a black belt, but was unable to make those blocks work. I was able to employ boxing/MT style blocking the first night I was taught it during a sparing session.

On the flip side of that, I have a friend who is a high ranking Uechi-Ryu (spelling?) black belt. He can kick my butt very fast using all those blocks I never could quite use. Plus his boxing/MT style blocks are way better then mine (I dread kicking him, just because he can check the kicks harder then I can kick him..)

I think a mixed approach should be taught, start with the simplest (good covering), move to the next easiest to learn (parrys, proper footwork, body and head movement), and finally, move to the blocks that require lots of arm movement and the aiki get out on the end of the fist and throw stuff. I'd keep these for last because, when they fail, they fail much more spectacularly then covering.

Chris Parkerson
01-14-2008, 07:41 AM
David,

I can appreciate what you are saying. One problem, however, is how can someone demonstrate a single principle in a video. You are right that I am using large cirlce, single attacks. But to use a flury and try to demonstrate a principle like heavy hands, would blur the point.

That said, I love to fight bpoxers. I love to fight with double sticks even more. Sticks move faster than hands and improve your empty hand skills.

Boxing methods (whether it be western, Chinese, or MMA) can appear quite daunting until you consider chaos theory in general. Grappling matches in wrestling, Judo and Jujitsu have the same effect on the novice grappler.

How do you make sense of chaos? You find one thing that does make sense and work with it until you find the next thing that makes sense. Do not worry if you get hit while doing so.

All punches require some form of grounding, i.e., the boxer must plant one foot and push with his femur/quads in order to extend his punch. Now he is vulnerable to counterattack.

The question is whether you can make sense of chaos at speed when a flurry of technique is coming your way. There are six primary principles I have adopted to begin this task. I hold these six
to be quite useful.

If my principles sound like they are simple, I can only say, "empty your cup". The difference between external and internal art is subtle.

1. Stance
Never stand with a 50/50 weighting. Tai Chi people call this double weighting and believe it to be the kiss of death. Think of it this way. If you are double weighted, you have to shift to one foot before you can move. Why not begin with most of the weight on one foot to begin with. You will become faster. I also propose that you will dwell less on your conscious mind, which when processing data amidst chaos, is much too slow. Processing and reacting from hara comes naturally from being single weighted.

2. Weight shift
Most folks uproot (raise their center slightly) when moving. Thus they have to fall uncontrollably back to earth (even if the fall is Ĺ inch). They are not in control of their weight shift. High level Tai Chi, Aiki, Pakua, Hsing-I folks (actually most all great martial artists) down root in movement. This provides the controlled momentum you need in performing a heavy hands block, punch or throw. You simply cannot use heavy hands without down rooting. But with down rooting, you can have devastating punches when standing on one foot.

3. Evasion
The Filipinos have sophisticated methods of employing evasion. It works off a simple geometry that is most often absent in Okinawan, Japanese and early western pugilism. Indeed, it was the Filipino boxers that changed western boxing from the linear (Sullivan) method to one that contained angling and zoning. It is like the difference between fencing and swashbuckling.
I used to tell my kids class, ďMiss by an inch, miss b y a mileĒ. I taught them evasion in the following manner.
I taught my kidís class like this: How do you win a fight?
Do not get hit! How do you not get hit? Donít be there. How do you not be there? Keep posture and use your both feet to move. Please do not confuse this with traditional methods of evasion. I have uploaded onto U-Tube two clips

(1) The geometry of Evasion
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVqy7Ak11jM

(2) Geometry of Evasion applied to Movement. By wuweimonks.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilYXLxOZtRI

This geometry requires timing that you can only get by using the above principles of stance and weight shift.
Learn how to evade @ 1" distance first with a padded stick with slow deliberate single strikes until you are single weighting and not uprooting when moving.. Progress to a hard stick. Sticks move faster than hands. Progress to a dull shiny sword. Flash can hypnotize you; steal your attention from your task. Progress to a sharp sword. Finally progress to a riding crop. Sound may be the only thing you can judge distance by on a wet dark night. Crops move too fast to see.

Double sticks are great. That is total chaos. But the principles apply nonetheless. There is so much chaos, that the conscious mind gives up and the hara takes over.

Check out my student responding to single stick attacks at speed. at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0wjWE74c38 Posture

4. The Last to Move is the First to Arrive
Notice how my student trusts his evasion skills. Now he can learn to wait for my mistakes (loss of attention, a flinch when he strikes my arm, or over commitment because I cannot hit him). He uses Pilipino angling and zoning skills that took him 3 weeks to master.

5. Take the stem.

Nowhere in Aiki does it say we must fight a boxer by grabbing his torso. Like the Filipinos, we should focus on any appendage that comes within our range. Sleeve grabbing is great. Attaching to the bicep/humorous bone is fantastic. This is how the Pakua boxers entered (crashed the line) of their opponents. Yes, they used their own form of Kuzushi through their blocks.

6. Use angles of cancellation
This is an old Kenpo term. You either step into a area that cancels the counterattack, or you use your hands (grab, parry, push, feather) to place just enough weight that kuzushi occurs. Now the fight is yours unless you make a mistake.
So what does this diatribe have to do on a devoted to blocking? Everything. These are a few of the underlying principles that make heavy hands blocking effective in a fight.

senshincenter
01-14-2008, 08:12 PM
I can appreciate what you are saying. One problem, however, is how can someone demonstrate a single principle in a video. You are right that I am using large cirlce, single attacks. But to use a flury and try to demonstrate a principle like heavy hands, would blur the point.

I would agree. I did not mean to suggest that your video and the lesson therein is supposed to be the end-all word on every aspect of martial arts training, etc. I understand that you were simplifying things to make some very important points very clear. When I was trying to relate you post to the post made by Kevin, I was sort of posing the question of, "Why not show heavy hands from the outside or against a different tactic from a different strategy?" For, to do otherwise, at least in my mind, raises the kinds of questions that Kevin's posted video raises.

Thanks for the reply.

Kevin Leavitt
01-14-2008, 09:10 PM
I have no issue with what you are saying in theory. Fighting to me is much simplier. Close the distance, achieve dominance, and finish the fight.

if you have time to block, you have time to strike. If you are off balance and the opponent has dominance (center), then you are losing the fight and you are probably blocking. If that is the case, then you must get your center back somehow and take his again (achieve dominance).

If you are evading, you are not winning the fight, you are either exiting the fight to run, or you are trying to get back your center to begin to affect your opponent center.

Once you take center, balance, (achieve dominance) you NEVER give it back, you continue on to finish the fight in some way. that might be to kill, render unconscious, or somehow convince your opponent that to continue on would not be in his best interest.

I agree with the double weighting concept. If you are double weighted you are niether committed or uncommitted, you are simply standing there!

We can talk angles, details of weight shift, position of a block all day long...however when it comes done to a real fight...not much of that really matters realitively speaking..

the winner of the fight is:

1. the guy who closes the distance, achieves dominance, and has the necessary tools/skills to finish.

2. OR, the guy whose buddy shows up first with a weapon that trumps your skills.

In my experiences....many traditional martial artist fail in real fights because they discuss in theory fighting, blocking etc. However, they discount or fail to consider the importance of concepts such as suprise, audacity, chaos, overwhelming momentum, failure of the opponent to be concerned with the punch or knife they threw/stabbed.

Many have not mastered or properly conditioned startle/flinch reflexes, or practiced moving forward into a fight once they have been struck hard, stabbed, or pepper sprayed.

That was the main point of showing the video I used. The guy who won the fight probably was a skilled martial artist of some sort, a boxer or what not. Clearly he understood the importance of moving forward into the fight, using mass and overwhelming force to achieve dominance.

Did he employ the princples of grounding? macroscopically yes. How about avoiding double weighting? Yes. Evasion? Well, that was for the losers!

Did it require years of internal martial arts practice for him to employ those theories? probably not. I am betting that guy never stepped foot in a IMA dojo! He understood some very simple concepts of winning a fight. Close distance, achieve dominance, and finish the fight.

To me it is sort of like gravity. It has been around for ever. Before Issac Newton people were still affected by it, today we have scientist that can tell us alot about it, and it is helpful when we do things like send sattelites into orbit, but in daily life, a bushmen in the jungle that has never studied physics can still stand up and walk!

that was my point, what is the relative value of spending time doing all this stuff? I personally don't think it helps out a whole bunch when it comes to fighting!

Chris Parkerson
01-15-2008, 06:47 AM
the winner of the fight is:

1. the guy who closes the distance, achieves dominance, and has the necessary tools/skills to finish.

2. OR, the guy whose buddy shows up first with a weapon that trumps your skills.

In the 1980's I wrote an article stating five things it took to win a fight.
1. Get rid of the butterflies
2. Danger? Go forward.
3. Trust your punch
4. Give more than you take.
5. Do not back off.
I was a Tiger back then.

I worked what Hal Luebbert called Speed Strength. That is: If I only have five units of strength and you have 10. It does not really matter, as long as I can bring more units of strength into the first seconds of the fight than you can. Hal wrote a book on how to use Nautilus machines to achieve this goal based on Judo movements. It was called the Thunder Ridge Study. Probably now it is out of print.

The military as well as most coaches are faced with a team of average folks and one or two talented players. They cannot train technique to everyone and hope to build a superior team. Thus they often train folks to increase speed, strength and endurance. This is definitely a winning formula. In fact, speed, strength and endurance can trump technique due to its overwhelming force.

These days, as most of us who have aged past 40, I have lost much of my speed, strength and endurance. The oonly thing I have now is the subtleties of developing better techniques and strategies.
I now study the ways of the Dragon rather than the tiger. I want to get better until the day I lie down and die.

Once you take center, balance, (achieve dominance) you NEVER give it back, you continue on to finish the fight in some way. that might be to kill, render unconscious, or somehow convince your opponent that to continue on would not be in his best interest.

I agree with you here as well as long as we do not fight force with force. If we agree on single weighting, then we are like a ball. You cannot uproot a ball. It rolls with every punch except one that is dead center. Then it goes airborne and lands on one point.

Sutemi waza (sacrifice throwing) is one way a biped can do this. There are also methods of slipping a punch. If time permits, this weekend I will perform a "worst case scenario" whereby my attacker will clock me in the jaw and i will use small circle evasion to throw him. I will put it on video and upload it on U-tube. The evasion video, like the heavy hands video was done with large (largo mano) angles so that the principle can be understood. But entering, like you say, is the best way to overwhelm an attacker.
At best, largo mano can only break a hand or arm. If you are lucky, you can use dynamic sphere throwing with tenkan and complete a throw. But then you have to enter to finish the deed.

Ron Tisdale
01-15-2008, 07:46 AM
If you are evading, you are not winning the fight, you are either exiting the fight to run, or you are trying to get back your center to begin to affect your opponent center.

I disagree strongly with this statement...this is not what I was taught about evasions in aikido. Different mindsets I guess.

Best,
Ron

Chris Parkerson
01-15-2008, 11:36 AM
Ron,

These days I am less Greek in Philosophy and way more Asian I do not think in terms of either this is right and that is wrong as much as I think in terms of both-and. I suggest that his "truth" simply comes from different expediencies than yours.

The military's main goal, (barring these new policing directives) is to close with and destroy. A commander is willing to take up to 30% losses (correct me if I am wrong on the percentage) to achieve a tactical objective.

In civilian life, we have a mandate to obey the law or suffer punsihment. There is both a moral and legal requirement to find the first means of effective escape from instances that are leading toward mutual combat.

I like the use of evasion and "sounding off" ("Get back, I do not want to fight you") because I am using Aiki to control the environment as a civilian. Witnesses do not see me close with a enemy. They see me avoiding the attack. What they do not necessarily witness is that I have gaged the attackers range, I have created angles of cancellation, I have become ready for the next assault.

I can document with physics and geometry as well as with my written training curriculum how I have not attacked the opponent in a court of law. I can document how I scanned 360 degrees regularly, looking for a another aggressor that might be blocking my avenue of escape or setting up to sucker punch me.

And at no time, unless I simply lose control of the environment, will I punish someone wihtout mercy. And I will eventually find an avenue of escape... whether by walking away or running.

If someone is hurt, I will evaluate my safety and decide whether or not to render first aid or a rescussitation technique.

As Rudyard Kipling said in the poem "If" winning and losing are imposters. It is sophmoric crap. Better to have survival as a goal. Survive the encounter as well as the courts.
I think that is decent aiki strategy for the real world of the civilian.

Ron Tisdale
01-15-2008, 12:47 PM
I suggest that his "truth" simply comes from different expediencies than yours.

Uh, I think that's what I said... :D

B,
R

Chris Parkerson
01-15-2008, 02:18 PM
One thing Kevin seems to be critical of (reading between the lines) is something i do not care for as well. That is the idea that two guys are going to stand idle in the "medio" medium range and slug it out with punches, blocks and paries.

I simply do not care to train all the Danny Inosanto variations on traps and take-aways. It is much better to use "Tai jitsu" Big body movement at the moment of first contact in the medio range to attach to the opponent's center of gravity, make him unstable and drop weight through that instability. This is the true checkmate where trading blows is just taking a knight or a rook while giving up the same.

One man's center blows the other man's center away. Now the challenge is to determine how an old guy with little explosive strength and a bad back can accomplish this feat at speed without relying solely on the little strength he has. Enter the study of Aiki.

Rupert Atkinson
01-15-2008, 02:47 PM
Ron,
In civilian life, we have a mandate to obey the law or suffer punsihment...
I can document with physics and geometry as well as with my written training curriculum how I have not attacked the opponent in a court of law...


But just writing it here ... may be used as evidence against you :straightf

Chris Parkerson
01-15-2008, 03:01 PM
A few years ago I was hired by Frontshight (a large shooting school in Pahrump, Nevada) to develop a defensive tactics program that was taught as "Family Safe Forever".

I worked full time on it for 6 months using their civilian firearms self defense protocols that were approved by their lawyers. we included their existing nomenclature, posture and stances as well as their reactive strategies against assault. The even had lectures on moral and ethical decisions on when and when not to defend yourself.

It was a wonderful experience and one that is well documented. I adopted the lesson that I learned from the assignment and applied it to my own dojo curriculum.

There is not secret to self defense strategy. There is no expectation that you should remain vulnerable or without a plan. The plan must be defensible. It must be reactive. Then you must train it. You should only adopt techniques that support the plan.

Chris Parkerson
01-16-2008, 07:38 AM
There is not secret to self defense strategy. There is no expectation that you should remain vulnerable or without a plan. The plan must be defensible. It must be reactive. Then you must train it. You should only adopt techniques that support the plan.

I need to correct my late night typing.

The plan must be defensible in a court of law.
It must be "reasonable" to a jury of your peers.
It does not have to be reactive. Proactive planning that is developed to minimize the problem is always better.

Kevin Leavitt
01-16-2008, 05:43 PM
Ron wrote:

I disagree strongly with this statement...this is not what I was taught about evasions in aikido. Different mindsets I guess

I agree, different mind state...maybe.

Semantics, more than likely.

I think of evasion, in the context used here strictly in the terms of "coming out on top" of "fight".

I use "fight" in terms of preventing further physical violence in that particular moment.

In this context, I can't think of any reasons why I'd want to restore balance, or give space for my opponent to operate.

Evasion in my mind, gives space back to the opponent. This might be a good option at certain phases of situations, however, I don't think so once we are engaged in the "fight".

We may give space up front to de-escalate. This might equate to allowing them access to an exit or maybe running as fast as you can. If you are in a situation say like a police officer detaining someone that is non-compliant (fight), then you have to close on them, and take control, evasion...not good...means you are losing that what you must win. In this situation win/lose is not necessarily a bad proposition. Police are not concerned with the long term goal of creating win/win.

On that subject, I think that when we look at aikido we are really concerned with a philosophical goal of creating win/win. I think it is hard to evolve in aikido (or in terms of humanity) if you are approaching the art with a win/lose mentality.

Thus I completely agree with your assessment of evasion when you look at the big picture.

However, when we consider the limited aspect of the "fight". Pondering or entertaining trying to create a win/wn in a situation where your opponent is trying to create a lose/win might get you seriously hurt or injured.

This harks alot to Musashi philosophy/doctrine I think. That is to enter the fight without regard for the outcome (or something like that)

Which is why I consider evasion in this perspective to not be a good thing! Although Musashi certainly discusses it from a strategic point, that is, you evade when your position to win in unattenable, to return to the day when you can fight. Or was it Sun Tzu???

(oops, broke my New Years resolution to not quote Musashi or Sun Tzu this year! Oh well!)

Chris Parkerson
01-16-2008, 06:27 PM
I think evasion and closing centers can happen at the same time.
Most aikido throwing techniques can be performedon at least 270 degrees of throwing points.

Evasion can be done at 1/4" from the ukes center as well as largo Mano.

The study of pivot points is a wonderful exploration. Especially the ones used up close. Yet it is still evasion.

Ron Tisdale
01-17-2008, 07:40 AM
I agree with Chris. Evasion as I have taught it works at the begining, middle and end of the waza. I'll see if I can find some examples.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
01-17-2008, 10:31 AM
In an effort not to clutter up this thread with a side discussion, I have create a new thread call Evasions in Aikido here:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=197453#post197453

Where I discuss some of my perspectives on what I feel that constitutes.

Best,
Ron

JamesDavid
01-22-2008, 06:38 PM
My feelings about the blocking technique is that it has different objective to what I have been taught. Namely he is waiting for the strike and taking the strike at a point where the attacker has fully developed the power of the strike. This allows him to keep the same distance from the attacker. Perfect if you want to go on sparing. I am sure his technique is effective, however I consider a block to be dynamic at the point of contact. Not just presenting a rigid arm.

The posture of his arm does present the bone, but it is also quite close to him. As anyone who has done any serious weight training will know, to get the maximum range of motion and strength out of the triceps you need to twist you palm away from you as you extend. This is what I do when I block (as taught in Yoshinkan). At the point of contact my arm isnít still but it is cutting into the attack. In reality if an attacker came onto me quickly I think my block would look almost identical as the one shown in the clip, the difference being that I would still be extending my arm at the time of contact. In an ideal situation, I would see the attack coming and to move forward to cut into the strike before it developed power. Obviously the blocking arm will be stronger in the line of the attack if it is more extend. Naturally this would achieve my objectives off changing the distance to the attacker and getting off line. Itís how I have been taught to deal with that kind of attack. But then again I have never had to spar a karataka.

George S. Ledyard
01-29-2008, 09:07 AM
Goju-ryu karatedo clip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXY4FgKlLok&eurl=http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=64567)

Look at 1' 38" to 1' 58" of the clip. Look at how the karate sensei blocks the punches.

Do you block like this in your aikido practice?

I have seen my aikido teacher blocks as such. I have seen even Kancho Shioda blocks like this against tanto yokomen-uchi attacks in his videos.

Do you think it is good to develop this skill in your aikido practice. If not, why not?

Thanks for your opinion.

Boon.

The way I was taught, blocking represents a failure to "join" properly. It happens when you have been attacked when mentally "open".

Every technique has to involve an instant when you "accept" the attack. It is impossible to do a technique with "aiki" without this. Blocking is, according to my definition, a rejection of the attack. It involves a "stoppage" of the incoming energy. It may be necessary if one is surprised by an attack but the goal is to not block but rather to join. That doesn't mean that we don't movement which one might mistakenly take for a block. The difference is that our movement would entail effecting the entire body of the attacker, not just his arm or leg. Most people would call these movements deflections.

The goal of Aikido is "katsu hayabi" or instant victory. There is a spiritual meaning to this term but in terms of technique it means that the instant you touch, you have the attacker's center. Blocking is a movement that stops particular movement in a larger flow of attack. A deflection on the other hand not only protects you from the incoming blow but positions the attacker in such a way that any further blows are more difficult or impossible. A deflection catches the whole body not just the attacking limb.

Generally, one should try to avoid blocking and strive for movement which always effects the fundamental alignment of the attacker. That's what makes it "aiki" rather than what I learned in my Shotokan classes which involved a lot of power blocking to disable the attacking limb but not much center to center connection.

If you look at what Ushiro Sensei is doing with the movements that appear to be "blocking movements". He is really using the energy of the physical movement to move the mind of the attacker. They call this concept "zero power" in that there is no physical power focused at the point of physical contact. So, to an outsider it would appear to be a block but in reality it didn't "block" anything. Body movement made him safe, the "blocking movement" was a way of connecting rather than stopping the attack. This is "aiki". This is what we are striving for, I think.

Ron Tisdale
01-29-2008, 09:37 AM
Hi George, did you by any chance take a look at my side post?

Best,
Ron

George S. Ledyard
01-29-2008, 04:23 PM
Hi George, did you by any chance take a look at my side post?

Best,
Ron

Hi Ron,
I replied to it on the other thread. Thanks for the renewed direction in the discussion.
- George

Chris Parkerson
01-29-2008, 05:57 PM
The goal of Aikido is "katsu hayabi" or instant victory. ....the instant you touch, you have the attacker's center. Blocking is a movement that stops particular movement in a larger flow of attack. .....

Generally, one should try to avoid blocking and strive for movement which always effects the fundamental alignment of the attacker. That's what makes it "aiki" ......

If you look at what Ushiro Sensei is doing with the movements that appear to be "blocking movements". He is really using the energy of the physical movement to move the mind of the attacker. They call this concept "zero power" in that there is no physical power focused at the point of physical contact. So, to an outsider it would appear to be a block but in reality it didn't "block" anything. Body movement made him safe, the "blocking movement" was a way of connecting rather than stopping the attack. This is "aiki". This is what we are striving for, I think.

There are a variety of Asian Boxing systems (pugilism) as well as a variety of levels within the systems. Some systems like Hung Gar or Shotokan begin and remain quite hard and thus their blocks are like you say; i.e. they stop or even break a limb without reference to controlling the opponent's center.

In the softer systems it is often said, "the hard becomes soft and the soft becomes substantial". Thus in Hsing-I, Pa Kua, Tai Chi and even in the upper levels of Shaolin, blocks do the same as the connection you talk about in Aikido with "zero power". Thus, it is said, "the Tai Chi master can move a mountain with 4 ounces of strength".

Even in high-level pugilism of Kosho-Ryu Kenpo, if uke touches tori or if tori touches uke, uke pays a price; uke loses control of his/her center. Thus we have the idea of sticky hands. Sticky hands only works because you are softly locking up joints with compression, extension, or torque while you allow gravity and friction to "drop weight" upon uke's center through the connection.