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Ron Tisdale
01-17-2008, 10:29 AM
In the "Do You Block?" thread in this section of the board, a discussion started about evasions, and I said I would post some clips and / or some thoughts about my experience of it. That original thread can be found here:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13778

Of course, I checked my own teacher's web site first, because I remembered some clips being out there that showed what I felt were good examples of my understanding, but those clips aren't up anymore, so on to the trusty Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6Y3WZuUtVo

In second 42 of the clip, you can see what I consider to be an Aikido evasion. More than this, I pretty much include evasion as part and parcel of almost every aikido waza that is being presented in a dynamic fashion. By this I mean the following:

Using side strike, side step in throw, number one (yokomenuchi sokomen iriminage) from aihamne

1) Uke shuffles forward and does side strike with the front hand to the side of shite's head
2) Shite blocks / pivots / strikes uke in the following manner:

a) 45 to 90 degree pivot
b) keeping the hands in their center, cuts uke's strike first out, then down to approximately hip level
c) backfist, eye smash (metsubishi?) or upper cut to uke's nose, often the pressure point just below the nose and above the upper lip.

The rest of the throw is pretty standard, so I'll stop the description here and give some thoughts.

Yoke comes from yokeru which I believe means to avoid. Not to clash, not to stop uke's movement (though there are actually times when I would stop uke's movement, one of those is also in the clip), but to avoid in some manner. The clip above clearly illustrates evasion outside of a specific waza designed to lock or throw uke, and my description above shows it's use in a waza. In dynamic situations, evasion (could be a block, could be a body movement might be both) forms one to two levels of protection...striking would be a second or third level level of protection. The more levels of protection, the better...one is ok but not optimal. Two is definitely better...three or more is sublime ;)

If I can control the attacking limb, move out of the way of the optimum power range of the strike, take uke's balance, and hit or throw them all at the same time, that is truly approaching perfection. :D When one understands evasion in this way, it becomes part and parcel of almost every dynamic (serious intent or energy coming in) attack. I would say this is always in response to strikes, often in response to grabs as well.

So I do not think of evasion as "how do I get away from this situation". Evasion could be part of that (in the clip example, Takeno Sensei could easily turn and try to outrun his attacker at that point). But evasion is just as much a part of almost every waza performed in that demo.

Just some thoughts of mine...feel free to comment or critique. I'll answer as I am able.

Best,
Ron

ChrisMoses
01-17-2008, 11:25 AM
For me it almost always comes down to this distinction:

How does one *avoid* injury from a specific attack without *avoiding* or *evading* the attacker? The establishment of center to center contact could be thought of as a precursor to anything that could be described as an aiki event. A simple block does not necessarily establish center to center contact and a complete avoidance of an attack and the attacker will guarantee that there is no center to center contact. I think this is why irimi is so central to older descriptions of aikido waza (like Budo Renshu).

Here's a nice clip of Takeda Yoshinobu Sensei. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BW3YE-oJJao) While his style looks very soft, anyone who has ever taken ukemi from him knows that this is very deceptive. Note that while this looks pretty flowing, there are very few instances where he moves away from uke, or makes any kind of a large tenkan movement. Of particular note is a standing to seated ikkyo movement that happens right around the 1 minute mark. Note how he connects into his uke as part of a forward push to a seated position. One reason he's able to achieve the results that he does is that he REALLY gets center to center connection. The kodachi exercise (and it really is an exercise, it's not swordwork per se) he does in the later part of this demo is all about developing center to center connection building (IMHO).

This is one way I distinguish aiki from a more traditional interaction, and also one way where the (overused) assertion that, "Aikido comes from the sword" is best shown. In swordwork, if you are just avoiding being hit, or just deflecting blocks, you will never take the advantage back. Even ones deflections or movements to avoid being injured *must* have aspects of an attack for them to turn the tide in your favor.

Ron Tisdale
01-17-2008, 11:30 AM
I get some exposure to Takeda Sensei's aikido through some of his students here...one of my favorite places to go and play.

Completely different from what I do, but very informative and enjoyable.

Best,
Ron (eagerly awaiting the return of Kirisawa Sensei...)

Rupert Atkinson
01-17-2008, 01:35 PM
Ron, you can't beat Yoshinkan basics. Rough-in the vid, but solid. however, Yoshinkan Enbu are all staged - pre-set forms. He seems to know what he's going to do before he even starts. I can tell. Been there, seen it, done it, tired of being conned. But it is a good place to start. Then aim for: see other link, a couple of posts down, Takeda Yoshinobu.

Ron Tisdale
01-17-2008, 01:45 PM
Yoshinkan demo's take a lot of preparation, for uke's safety. Try getting caught with those throws unawares. I definately would not view it as a con.

Believe me...80% probably wouldn't get back up again in the demo, let alone real time.

Best,
Ron (people always say that...but I don't see them hopping up to take ukemi...) :D

Chris Parkerson
01-17-2008, 02:08 PM
I see entry/evasion occuring as

outside (tankan)
inside (irimi)
under (Sutemi)

Has anyone played with going "over" that is without uprooting yourself?

ChrisMoses
01-17-2008, 02:17 PM
Has anyone played with going "over" that is without uprooting yourself?

If I understand your question then yes. I've done some 'stacking' connection/entry drills with Toby Threadgill (TSYR) and then we do some other similar kinds of entries. If you're familiar with some of the Yanagi terms from Clodig, they're really just another way to get double weighting. Hopefully that's what you were asking?

Ron Tisdale
01-17-2008, 02:30 PM
Hi Chris P., I get what you mean in the first part of your post, but not the question at the end.

From about 3rd queue on we have test waza that chain together several attacks, yokomen, shomen, tsuki, ganmen etc. The evasions could be xstep pivot xstep back, shuffle pivot, xstep pivot, xstep body change ...there are a ton of different variations, each designed to achieve a specific ma ai in a specific circumstance.

Best,
Ron

Chris Parkerson
01-17-2008, 02:56 PM
probably a poorly phrased question.

Let me think how to define it more accurately.

Kevin Leavitt
01-17-2008, 09:03 PM
Ron wrote:

In second 42 of the clip, you can see what I consider to be an Aikido evasion. More than this, I pretty much include evasion as part and parcel of almost every aikido waza that is being presented in a dynamic fashion. By this I mean the following:


As I thought, semantics from perspective. I understand what you are saying. looking at this, I don't see evasion from my perspective. I see him entering, going low, taking space from uke, and uke "fallling into the void".

I could see how one would see this as "evasion" as he appears to be "evading" the strike by "ducking". As you know, (not to insult you), there is much more than this going on.

I watched a good deal of the clip. What I saw as constant entry, kuzushi...nothing that I would classify as evasion.

that is, removing yourself from the space of the attack without taking center.

In every response that I saw, he entered first. Always entered, closed distance, took dominance, and finished.

BTW, very, very nice form and power!

creinig
01-18-2008, 04:23 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6Y3WZuUtVo

In second 42 of the clip, you can see what I consider to be an Aikido evasion. More than this, I pretty much include evasion as part and parcel of almost every aikido waza that is being presented in a dynamic fashion. By this I mean the following:

Using side strike, side step in throw, number one (yokomenuchi sokomen iriminage) from aihamne.

Are you sure you got the correct time? At second #42 I see a koyunage. A Sokumen Iriminage is e.g. at 0:16, but from katate mochi, or 2:00 from shomen tsuki.

SeiserL
01-18-2008, 05:11 AM
Absolutely, get off (evade/empty/move) the line of attack.

Ron Tisdale
01-18-2008, 07:25 AM
Hi guys,

The iriminage I described is from class wednesday night. The spot at 42 or so is simply an evasion. Oh, I would not describe that as "ducking" ;)

Kevin, this is what my teachers actually call an evasion. That's how they refer to it, so that's how I refer to it. :D Evasions should use all of the things you stated, which I think is the source of our earlier non connection on the term. Here is an example from this years waza:

6. Shomenuchi (Hitoemi Evasion, Hikiashi Kotai),
Suigetsuki Udegarami nage

Front Strike (Side Entering Evasion, Cross Step back),
Body Thrust Arm Lock Throw

Best,
Ron

Kevin Leavitt
01-18-2008, 03:50 PM
Thanks Ron. I agree for sure! especially on the "ducking" thing! :)

To me, ducking is a bad, bad, bad form of evasion, that gets you in trouble!

SteveTrinkle
01-18-2008, 09:06 PM
I get some exposure to Takeda Sensei's aikido .... (eagerly awaiting the return of Kirisawa Sensei...)

Hello Ron,

Happy New Year! I'm getting signals that Kirisawa Sensei will come this summer. I think he misses Pennsylvania!

Best,
Steve

SteveTrinkle
01-18-2008, 09:13 PM
...Takeda Yoshinobu Sensei... While his style looks very soft, anyone who has ever taken ukemi from him knows that this is very deceptive.

I agree. Taking ukemi from Takeda Sensei leaves a very strong impression on me. No escape possible.

Steve

Chris Parkerson
01-19-2008, 12:45 PM
I promised these videos in the "Do you Block" thread. I am posting them here because My irimi is evasion and my body postures do the blocking and heavy hands work.

Please take a look at me getting clocked in the jaw at You Tube.

Irimi/Evasion while getting clocked
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QdUsGvJxCU

Aiki Smothering a Boxer's Combination (1)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DD5eGWmmNcg

Aiki Smothering a Boxer's Flurry (2)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Thy_ud1H8U

Forgive me for the poor lighting. We are working out at Moe Steven's Tomiki Style Aikido Dojo; aptly called the Mojo.

For those who do not know him, Moe's father was one of the American Pioneers in the Tomiki system (along with Carl Geiss).

Moe was a wrestling coach in high school who taught all day, then went home and played Judo and Tomiki. Allot of hours on the matts and it really shows.

ChrisMoses
01-19-2008, 02:08 PM
I promised these videos in the "Do you Block" thread. I am posting them here because My irimi is evasion and my body postures do the blocking and heavy hands work.



Nice vids, you can see the Clodig/Yanagi influence in what you're presenting. Hard to think of this stuff in any other terms once you know them eh? First one is a nice example of a Yanagi turn with future base. ;)

Chris Parkerson
01-19-2008, 02:18 PM
Sword turn is definitely a staple in everything I do.

I need to walk a fine line as Renshi Clodig prefers to keep his stuff on a "face to face" venue rather than on videos.

Allot of the subtlety that makes my exspression of techniques work are done so by studying Yanagi Hara Ryu with John Clodig. His teaching radically changed 30 years of experience for me. I am his student forever.

He gave me a title last year in the system. I am a Yok Yoyo.

Honestly I wonder if that means I am a Joke or a Yo-yo. I think, in relation to his and Dan Cronnin's abilities as martial Artists, it makes me a junior assist mat sweeper.

edshockley
01-21-2008, 08:32 PM
This may well be a purely semantic distinction but both Henry Smith(6th dan) and Nizam Taleb(5th dan) use the word "blending" in the same way that "escape" is used here. I know that Ron has studied with both Sensei. Their concept is that we are always moving irimi even when we yield in order to enter in the wake of an attack. They discuss it in terms of a mental stance rather than kamae or technique. Taleb Sensei, as you know Ron, repeats the mantra, "Aikido came from the sword and the sword is an offensive weapon." I don't think this contradicts any of the previous posts but I do find that this metaphor inspires me to approach the question with a different mind.

Ron Tisdale
01-22-2008, 07:04 AM
Osu! Hi Ed! How are Smith Sensei and Taleb Sensei? I hope Taleb Sensei is fully recovered, and back to tossing people for fun!

Nice post...

Best,
Ron

philippe willaume
01-22-2008, 12:17 PM
Hello , ron

What you label “evasion”, is called voiding, counter (one time defence i.e. the offence is the defence as well so I can be a counter-strike or a void-counter) or two times defence (parry and riposte.) in fencing.
With weapons a static block is usually a Hollywood gimmick or a teaching aid. Though you can find weapons like basket hilt sword where it can have its place (cf George Silver and his true cross) but that is another story.

For me the thing that sometime in some aikido is seems that movement itself is sufficient to make a defence safe and sound. (ie that is all that is needed)

If you have look at that short clip (German long sword )
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGZTMVd8Cu8

when I take a step to get in range he counter with a stop trust. The strike (called a shielhaw for instance) is a one time counter. So the trust is of the opposition is controlled at all time and even if he remove his throat or somehow move his sword, I am in and advantageous position. I will have either taken his posture or forced him to take his point away from me, in either case he will have a timing advantage and a direct route of attack open.

And the techi at 0:30-0:31of that video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6Y3WZuUtVo) does have the exact same effect.
If uke tried to remove his head, free his arm or mount an attack from somewhere else. the sensei is in advantageous position

Now if you have a look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbKVTITux7o is basically another strike which depend exclusively on movement will lead to drastically different result according to what the opponent gives us.
(For reference this is when it should be used http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhrUZHwauzA)
Basically you need to force your opponent to give something away for movement alone to be sufficient for a “safe” defence

I know there is lots of sword reference that are a bit removed from aikido but I hope it will help to demonstrate what I am getting at
phil

George S. Ledyard
01-29-2008, 04:18 PM
So I do not think of evasion as "how do I get away from this situation". Evasion could be part of that (in the clip example, Takeno Sensei could easily turn and try to outrun his attacker at that point). But evasion is just as much a part of almost every waza performed in that demo.

Just some thoughts of mine...feel free to comment or critique. I'll answer as I am able.

Best,
Ron

Hi Ron,
When most people look at waza (like that shown on the clip you posted) they see "evasion" in the sense that the defender isn't being hit by the attacker nor is he blocking the attack (not stopping the energy of the attack). But when they go to execute that same waza they find that what they are doing doesn't have the same result as that of the 8th Dan practitioner. The reason is that they are "getting out of the way of the attack". If you look at what is really going on, the defender is executing an irimi by rotating his body in a variety of ways.

The whole mental orientation is different. In the clip, it is quite clear that the nage has his attention "inside" the attack of the uke. His body movement, while in fact slipping the strike, is really shaping the attacker's structure. In other words, we call this the "aiki of movement" in which the attacker's intention to get to your center provides the energy so that he moves himself in response to your movement, rather than you moving him. So even when it looked like the nage hadn't even touched the uke, his movement was already setting him up for the throw.

This type of technique is dependent on placing ones attention in the proper place. If ones attention is on the attack and one is trying to avoid the attack, the uke will not react the same way; in fact it is likely one will simply be hit. You can see from the clip that the nage never had the least attention on the attack but rather had his attention on the hole inside the attack.

So when you say "evade" to the average person, they will interpret that as escaping where, on the other hand, the high level practitioner is simply moving "inside" the attack. An understanding of proper pivot points etc is necessary to do this properly on the physical level but the really crucial piece is to not have the mindset of escaping from the attack in question.

That was great stuff on the clip by the way... I had a chance to chat with Robert Mustard Sensei last Fall when he was in the area to do a demo. He is really excellent. It was fun seeing him in the clip taking ukemi.

Ron Tisdale
01-30-2008, 06:17 AM
Hi ukemi is beautiful isn't it? Thanks for the comments. So often we forget the mental aspects...

I guess we forget how easily terminology like "block" or "evade" can throw people off.

Best,
Ron

George S. Ledyard
01-30-2008, 07:42 AM
I guess we forget how easily terminology like "block" or "evade" can throw people off.

Best,
Ron

Hi Ron,
I always look at terminology from the teacher's standpoint. There are all sorts of words we use whose meaning we are taught through practice. So when you say "evade", I know what you mean because you are an experienced practitioner.

But when you say "evade" to the average beginner, or perhaps even to someone with another martial arts background, that term may have a very different connotation to them.If so, it isn't helpful from an instructional standpoint. I try to find terms which either already have a connotation for the beginner close to what I am trying to get them to do or at least, which don't have a connotation which is quite different.

For example, if you've trained with Ikeda Sensei lately, you will have heard his term "pick them" often abbreviated even more to simply "pick". He uses these terms to describe his action which takes the partner up off his base. In other words he is saying "pick them up".

I don't use that same terminology when I teach. If you ask yourself what association the average person would have with the term "pick them up" it would be one of effort and muscular contraction. We all know that "picking someone up" is difficult.

So in place of that term I use the term "float them". Floating has exactly the right flavor of effortlessness, lack of tension and contraction which the correctly executed movement really has. Obviously, it's just a small thing... But I think that it is helpful when you are teaching to find words or visualizations which the student already has which can help him get the right "feel" for what is going on. Often, what they think they see is not what is really happening. Anything which can help them make better associations is useful.

DH
01-30-2008, 08:29 AM
Hi George
Has he given actual verbal training tips and steps as to what students should be doing to float someones weight-up, either in say a grappling move? And how to sustain it in a moving motion. Or is he doing it in wrist grabs? How about how to capture their body ?
Cheers
Dan

ChrisMoses
01-30-2008, 10:17 AM
Hi George
Has he given actual verbal training tips and steps as to what students should be doing to float someones weight-up, either in say a grappling move?

"Working! Not working... Working! Not working... OK you try!"

;)

That's from a few years back, apparently he's now exploring different teaching models, but that's about as much explanation as I ever heard from him.

Kevin Leavitt
01-30-2008, 10:31 AM
I am at an Army Operations Conference today in Germany, where we are developing what we call a "common operational picture" or COP.

I spent 2 hours briefing a room full of senior officers on the importance of terminology and why we must spend effort in ensuring that we all have the same understanding.

It is amazing how fast we forget, and assume everybody is on the same sheet of music!

I always liked the phrase "take care of the prisoners", what exactly does it mean? can mean two things very polar in nature!

Anyway, Terminology in the communication process is very important!

George S. Ledyard
01-30-2008, 12:25 PM
Hi George
Has he given actual verbal training tips and steps as to what students should be doing to float someones weight-up, either in say a grappling move? And how to sustain it in a moving motion. Or is he doing it in wrist grabs? How about how to capture their body ?
Cheers
Dan

Hi Dan,

Actually, I would say that he is increasingly developing a verbal method for describing what he is doing. It's quite an improvement over the "just catch it" that one got for many years. But it's still not as detailed as I would hope for. He will show something and give it his explanation but I actually see three separate elements functioning simultaneously and if you don't know that, you will still have trouble reproducing what he is doing.

Ikeda Sensei has a fairly standard repertoire for seminars. He will do this stuff mostly from grabs. He is quite good at capturing the whole body from whatever contact point he has. He doesn't address a grappling application in the usual seminar venue. I think he is still trying to get people to understand what is happening in the most basic sense. I am sure that he does a much broader and deeper presentation to his students. He has an advanced class in Boulder that is only open to a small group and that's where he works on stuff for himself. That's where I suspect he goes a bit off the grid.

When I teach, I do cover those things. My verbal / physical explanation is much more involved than his. This is probably due to the fact that I am a very verbal person to begin with and English is my first language. Anyway, I do show the principles functioning from a grappling connection, from strikes, as well as grabs. I experiment with getting the float from any possible point of contact. I even connect these principles to the sword. It's an on-going process.

I don't know who's way works better... He keeps it fairly simple and sticks with one set of attacks to show the principles functioning and I am more apt to show how the principles function via a variety of connections in the hopes that people begin to see what they all have in common. I have no real sense of which is a more effective approach in getting people to do this stuff.

I am finding training with Howard Popkin Sensei to be quite helpful in this regard. He has a very detailed system of explanation from Okamoto Sensei, who clearly is not using the "steal the technique" model of non-instruction. If I had access to Dan Angier Sensei I'd go after it but I really only get to see him every few years. But Howard is coming to my dojo twice this year and I am headed to Florida to see Okamoto Sensei and I expect my ability to both do and teach this material will be drastically enhanced by the end of this year.

Once you make the first breakthrough it comes faster but there are still many layers. The structural training aspect is also important as has been discussed. Without it you can do power neutralization of the attacker but you can't generate the kind of power in your own movement which we have been discussing on the forums here. I am pursuing some investigations in that area but haven't arrived at any consistent practice yet... still experimenting.

I'd have gotten to your one of your seminars but they've all been back east and my travel schedule is already crazy... Maybe we could get together sometime when you visit Woodinville, if you have any spare moments and the inclination.

George S. Ledyard
01-30-2008, 12:47 PM
"Working! Not working... Working! Not working... OK you try!"

;)

That's from a few years back, apparently he's now exploring different teaching models, but that's about as much explanation as I ever heard from him.

He is still using that one... it's fairly useless for anyone but the uke who can actually feel the shift when his power disappears. It's virtually invisible to those watching unless you already have the skill and can see it. I am personally not a big fan of explanations which require that you understand the answer before you can understand the explanation.

But he is changing... I think that Ushiro Kenji Sensei has had a huge influence on both Ikeda Sensei and Saotome Sensei in this regard. Both have changed their presentation drastically since Ushiro Sensei first appeared at Rocky Mountain Summer Camp.

Anyway, I still think that the Americans who have the skill uniformly explain it better. I haven't trained with Dan Hardin, but Mike Sigman, Toby Threadgill, Don Angier, Howard Popkin, etc all are superb in their ability to give clear and sequential explanation of some very complex material. I don't mind going to the top Japanese Senseis to see it and feel it but I'll take the American Senseis any day for helpful instruction. I model my own process after these fellows.

Tom H.
01-30-2008, 01:40 PM
He is still using that one... it's fairly useless for anyone but the uke who can actually feel the shift when his power disappears.Yes, it's not so useful for the audience, but this kind of feedback (in addition to being coached through steps) can terribly valuable while you learn how to differentiate the feelings of "working" and "not working" in your body.

gregg block
01-31-2008, 04:43 PM
avoiding a strike by getting offline is definately the way to go. problem is there are time when you just have no choice but to block. I love Aikido but all attacks are not commited attacks. Go fighter use feinting and misdirection. You need to be able to block and sometimes you will get hit. everything changes when you get hit. And if youve never been hit, you wont react well to it

Marc Abrams
02-04-2008, 09:12 AM
Greg:

Ushiro Sensei will be teaching a seminar at my school on 5/10 & 5/11. Working with him should certainly provide you with another perspective than the one you just wrote about.

Marc Abrams