PDA

View Full Version : aikido waza that best train aiki...do


Please visit our sponsor:
 

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


rob_liberti
08-31-2008, 07:34 PM
I really like ushiro tekubitori kokyu nage where you step (I step twice), pivot, and step backwards (I step twice backwards too) making the big windmill motion. That works the standing structure and the upper cross (eventhough it is tilted a bit).

I can wrap my arms forward and work ikkyo. Or cycle my hands up my centerplane to work ikkyo more freely. I think kokyu ho works of course.

But I'm looking for more inspiration in what other techniques lend themselves well to beginner level aiki...do in really obvious ways. Any ideas welcome.

Rob

eyrie
08-31-2008, 08:57 PM
Far be it from me, a nobody, to tell an aikido yondan which aikido techniques are "best" for training aiki... :p

I would assume ALL and ANY technique would do, as long as the central elements of what makes it "aiki" are being trained???

The problem, as I see it, is that aikido waza are part jujitsu technique/part "aiki exercise". It wouldn't be a problem if it were simply treated as exercise, and not some bastardized jujitsu waza. So, perhaps the focus should be less on what "technique", and more on what is being exercised (or meant to be exercised!) in aikido waza.

Or looking at it another way... if one moved according to the principles of what makes it "aiki", then any technique becomes aikido waza, would it not?

To throw another spanner into the works... what is uke doing as part of the "aiki" interaction? Is uke simply a throwing dummy? Or is uke actively working those same principles - standing structure, upper and lower crosses, central pivot/equilibrium, all the while providing nage with an input force, with the view to taking advantage of a breach of those same principles in nage?

rob_liberti
09-01-2008, 06:28 AM
Yeah, funny thing, there wasn't much windings, central pivot, upper cross, etc. going on during my yondan test. I probably had slightly better central equilibrium -which was not much to speak of- than the attackers in general (because they were attacking in that aikido way). I'm confident that by godan that will all change. :)

Of course I will see the relationship to what I am focusing my personal practice on to what I am teaching even if it is hidden a bit. I am just looking for inspiration on really obvious ones for teaching purposes. I want to try to make the aiki to waza relationship so obvious to my students that I don't have to explain much verbally.

So in the example I provided, if I start the class off working the a solo exercise with the upper cross highlighted in it, and then do that kokyu nage with your arms sticking out to the sides, you'd have to be pretty thick to not get the connection. I can't think of too many other techniques/waza where I hold my arms out to the sides most of the time, for instance.

Tenchi nage can demonstrate central pivot very well. I think I need to just teach kokyunages for a while and look for the connection in reverse, and then hightlight them in the subsequent classes.

As far as live vrs dummy - this may not be too popular, but I don't think it matters too much in general for this point. I'm thinking that typical aikido waza works as an expression of aiki if uke attacks with external power and the nage role is really someone with internal power receiving (being uke himself). My opinion - dummy attacker or alive - the power differential should be sufficient for that to not matter too much. (If someone wants to debate this, can we do it in a different thread? I'm sick to death of aliveness debates.)
When uke has aiki too, the whole ball game changes and I don't think anyone really knows what aikido will look like at that point. (But it will be fun to find out.)

Thanks,
Rob

Mary Eastland
09-01-2008, 07:35 AM
Far be it from me, a nobody, to tell an aikido yondan which aikido techniques are "best" for training aiki... :p

I would assume ALL and ANY technique would do, as long as the central elements of what makes it "aiki" are being trained???

The problem, as I see it, is that aikido waza are part jujitsu technique/part "aiki exercise". It wouldn't be a problem if it were simply treated as exercise, and not some bastardized jujitsu waza. So, perhaps the focus should be less on what "technique", and more on what is being exercised (or meant to be exercised!) in aikido waza.

Or looking at it another way... if one moved according to the principles of what makes it "aiki", then any technique becomes aikido waza, would it not?

To throw another spanner into the works... what is uke doing as part of the "aiki" interaction? Is uke simply a throwing dummy? Or is uke actively working those same principles - standing structure, upper and lower crosses, central pivot/equilibrium, all the while providing nage with an input force, with the view to taking advantage of a breach of those same principles in nage?

That would depend on how experienced your nage is.....after nage has an understanding of correct feeling uke can resist appropriately so the emphais is on developing a strong relaxed feeling instead of muscling uke.

What we call katate tori irimi nage (looks like sayu undo) is a very good technique to start with...start by teaching the principle of unbendable arm, then practice the technique with no resistance. Next demonstrate the technique with uke resisting logically so if nage loses correct feeling their outer stucture fails. As nage learns to depend on a low centered feeling instead of her arms....ki is developed.
Mary

Demetrio Cereijo
09-01-2008, 07:44 AM
When uke has aiki too, the whole ball game changes and I don't think anyone really knows what aikido will look like at that point. (But it will be fun to find out.)

I think it will looks like this kata (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onQKHi5If8E), but with "matter meets antimatter" results, you know: the ultimate ai uchi.
:)

SeiserL
09-01-2008, 08:12 AM
IMHO, all techniques lend themselves to training aiki if you focus on the subtleties of connecting, blending, and taking balance. All waza can become kokyu-nage (breath/timing).

MM
09-01-2008, 08:46 AM
I think it will looks like this kata (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onQKHi5If8E), but with "matter meets antimatter" results, you know: the ultimate ai uchi.
:)

I disagree. I don't think it'd look anything like that. The people in that vid are giving up a portion of their structure to make the kata flow from one technique to another. It's a demo and I can understand why they'd do that. But, if uke and nage actually have aiki going, then it'll be pretty much a stalemate. No one will go anywhere and when they do, it'll be checked by the other person. It'd probably be fairly boring until one of them loses structure in some manner and the other is able to take advantage of it.

MM
09-01-2008, 09:00 AM
IMHO, all techniques lend themselves to training aiki if you focus on the subtleties of connecting, blending, and taking balance. All waza can become kokyu-nage (breath/timing).

I disagree, Lynn. If all techniques trained aiki, then there wouldn't be such a commentary going on by all of us who have gone to meet Dan, Mike, Rob, or Ark. You can't get aiki by focusing on the subtleties of connecting, blending, or taking balance. You can't get aiki by training techniques. Being soft and being relaxed isn't going to get you aiki.

rob_liberti
09-01-2008, 09:09 AM
Hey - hold on a sec. I don't want to discuss who has it and who doesn't and why. No need to escalate into another death match challenge in a Thunderdome. (While I find that halarious, we can make a new thread to discuss that.)

Sorry folks, I wasn't clear enough.

I am looking for typical aikido waza that best demonstrates/excercies the following: windings, central pivot, upper cross, central equilibrium, the big energy "C" - basically all of the things I am working on in my "aiki...do" persuit.

I agree that is should be in all kokyu nages (and that all techniques should be kokyu nages). There are many many kokyu nages. Which ones clearly demonostrate any of the things I'm developing in aiki...do (windings, central pivot, upper cross, central equilibrium, the big energy "C",etc.)

Thanks,
Rob

Demetrio Cereijo
09-01-2008, 10:14 AM
I disagree.

Mark, I was joking.

(note to self: more smilies next time).

Flintstone
09-01-2008, 10:47 AM
I disagree. I don't think it'd look anything like that. The people in that vid are giving up a portion of their structure to make the kata flow from one technique to another. It's a demo and I can understand why they'd do that. But, if uke and nage actually have aiki going, then it'll be pretty much a stalemate. No one will go anywhere and when they do, it'll be checked by the other person. It'd probably be fairly boring until one of them loses structure in some manner and the other is able to take advantage of it.
This is clearly a jujutsu kata. Nothing bad in it. At all.

Allen Beebe
09-01-2008, 10:52 AM
Hi Rob,

You started using the term:

"the big energy "C""

I haven't seen that one before and may, or may not, be familiar with it accept I don't know what the term "the big energy "C" indicates.

It would be hard to answer your question for every aspect if I'm (we are) not familiar with all of your referents.

When you mention "windings," I am assuming you are referring to the windings that coil around the legs and arms? (Not to mention the windings around the thorax, back to front, front to back, through the hip structure, etc. . . at least I think of that as part of windings as well.)

One other complicating factor is when you describe, for example, your ushiro Kokyu nage I'm not definitely sure what you are talking about. Even some what "universal" techniques can be done quite differently school to school, individual to individual. So the technique could be described, the attribute applied, and communication assumed, and misconception ensues.

Not that I think what you are doing here is wrong. I think it is great actually!

One last complicating factor, as Dan, Mark and I were discussing on another thread. A technique could be done with Aiki with completely different results (out vs in Aiki [not just a description of uke]) depending upon the choice of Nage if they are equipped to make that choice.

To start with, as I was taught, suwari waza shomen uchi (nage initiating) ikkyo has windings, central pivot, upper cross, central equilibrium,etc. (I couldn't speak to "big energy "C"" for the reasons mentioned already.) Uke can be neutralized, exploded, or imploded.

Do you think of the body as opening and closing as well? Along the juji cross (the cross of Aiki)? Techniques can be explored that way as well.

How about comparing the "narrative" of waza in terms of breath (kokyu), and intent, and ki? Or kiai (harmonization of kokyu, intent, and ki). Or kime? (Kind of like a seismograph.)

On the other hand, how do these things figure in *before* and/or after physical contact?

Sorry for spewing my brain started to dump.

Please keep up the nice posts Rob,

Allen
(Please note I never claimed to have any level of mastery over either the conception or mastery of any of the stuff I talked about. Each practice serves to highlight how much I DON'T know and CAN'T do! :sorry: )

SeiserL
09-01-2008, 10:52 AM
I disagree, Lynn.
Disagreement is always expected and always good for discussion.

Upyu
09-01-2008, 10:56 AM
IMHO, all techniques lend themselves to training aiki if you focus on the subtleties of connecting, blending, and taking balance. All waza can become kokyu-nage (breath/timing).

Well, I think if someone is smart, they might be able to make inroads to other modes of movement using only waza...

theoretically...

over a loooooong period of time.

But why the hell would you do that if there's a direct way to train it, and the whole point of training the waza is to get the skill in the first place? :D

Allen Beebe
09-01-2008, 10:58 AM
Disagreement is always expected and always good for discussion.

Nope, you're wrong!

Just trying to help facilitate discussion!

(Sorry Lynn, I couldn't help myself. Character weakness! ;) :D )

Allen

Erick Mead
09-01-2008, 10:59 AM
I disagree, Lynn. If all techniques trained aiki, then there wouldn't be such a commentary going on by all of us who have gone to meet Dan, Mike, Rob, or Ark. You can't get aiki by focusing on the subtleties of connecting, blending, or taking balance. You can't get aiki by training techniques. Being soft and being relaxed isn't going to get you aiki.This perspective is such a fishbowl. I do not demean what the gentlemen mentioned do ( whatever other differences I may have) -- but it is not necessary to discuss the distinctions to have to"one-up" or demean very traditional aikido training. Aikido has a far wider and deeper range than you, or they give it credit for having. Relying on those with a vested interest in promoting other training, while not necessarily making their points irrelevant, seriously taints the weight of their perspectives -- on aikido -- which none of them have trained widely in.

I am not at all surprised that some very able people in the surface aspects of aikido, found training in aikido to lack depth FOR THEM. Not all methods and perspectives, even to similar goals, are fitting to all persons. But that is no more damning a comment than it would be to note some people are colorblind or lack perfect pitch. The differences that they see - and they can see differences -- are not the same as differences that other people see. It is pointless to argue that the green is not green or red or an off shade of umber. But their frustration would not be shared by those for whom the green and red are quite plain. To take their perspective on traditional forms of aikido training as being unhelpful is simply a self-selected and biased sample. One should take such evidence with the chunk of salt it deserves -- whatever the value of the training paradigm that may lead them to.

Allen Beebe
09-01-2008, 11:16 AM
Well, I think if someone is smart, they might be able to make inroads to other modes of movement using only waza...

theoretically...

over a loooooong period of time.

But why the hell would you do that if there's a direct way to train it, and the whole point of training the waza is to get the skill in the first place? :D

Rob,

Maybe that is why Aikido originally contained Kokyu Dosa both solo and partner practice to be trained (Dosa) *outside* of waza. Of course both of these may no longer be existent in peoples practice and/or they me no longer be substantive/productive for developing Kokyu Ryoku, etc. (One needs to understand the exercise properly in order to profit from it properly. This, I think, is manifested via a process of conception, practice and correction/enhancement by a teacher that already can manifest (therefore has walked the path) Kokyu Ryoku.)

It makes sense to me that if one doesn't have all of the above, if they want it, they should go out and find it. If they do have it they should be able to demonstrate it to some degree. Still, that doesn't mean there isn't more to learn. Don't most Aikidoshi train under guest sensei because they find it additive to their practice? By the same logic, why wouldn't/couldn't they do the same with Kokyu/Ki stuff?

Either way there is no breaking of precedent as far as I can see. No big deal.

But me thinks I detect the deadly thread drift tide arising!!

Rob,

How/when did Ark have you transition from development to application?

(And when will you be back in Seattle?)

Allen

Allen Beebe
09-01-2008, 11:20 AM
Rob,

(Of course you are still developing too.) ["The changes you are experiencing in your body are completely natural and nothing to worry about . . . ~ 5th grade teacher ]

Just to be clear.

Allen

DH
09-01-2008, 11:38 AM
Well, I think if someone is smart, they might be able to make inroads to other modes of movement using only waza...theoretically...

over a loooooong period of time.

But why the hell would you do that if there's a direct way to train it, and the whole point of training the waza is to get the skill in the first place? :D

I think that is the single most compelling question out there. Rarely have I seen so much said in so few words.
Hands clapping

Erick Mead
09-01-2008, 12:06 PM
Well, I think if someone is smart, they might be able to make inroads to other modes of movement using only waza...

theoretically...

over a loooooong period of time.

But why the hell would you do that if there's a direct way to train it, and the whole point of training the waza is to get the skill in the first place? :DGood example? Morihei Ueshiba was born in 1883 and spent most of his adult life in various forms of budo, beginning as a teenager at this father's behest. He claimed revelation -- sudden recognition after long effort at the age of 42. Then at critical points where he was faced with deep disappointment over the failures of "power" his realization progressively flowered from that that root experience at the ages of 57 and 59.

Aikido is primarily about growth and sudden discovery of something that comes forth on its own -- not skill by the production of conscious effort. Natural skill comes with mindful growth -- but not necessarily the other way around. No one teaches the tree to stand against the wind -- the wind taught it that.

I have just built an addition on my house originally built in 1911. I can cut through the new, replanted lumber like butter with a sawz-all, while I have regularly burnt up blades in the old-growth heart timber. Natural skill through growth brings things that are hard to define in purely structural "strength" terms -- old and new timber are "equal" in nominal strength, but the 1911 timber toenailed together makes better more durable connections and has withstood a half dozen major hurricanes, whereas the new growth (even sheathed in plywood) requires all sort of framing strap and steel reinforcement to give the engineers a conscious comfort in its performance Growth brings toughness, chiefly, a real and unmistakeable thing.

MM
09-01-2008, 12:26 PM
This perspective is such a fishbowl.


If you'd like, Erick, please open another thread elsewhere to discuss such things as you'd like. I didn't offer more in my post because it starts into thread drift. You're more than welcome to open a thread elsewhere.

MM
09-01-2008, 12:28 PM
Good example? Morihei Ueshiba was born in 1883 and spent most of his adult life in various forms of budo, beginning as a teenager at this father's behest. He claimed revelation -- sudden recognition after long effort at the age of 42. Then at critical points where he was faced with deep disappointment over the failures of "power" his realization progressively flowered from that that root experience at the ages of 57 and 59.

Aikido is primarily about growth and sudden discovery of something that comes forth on its own -- not skill by the production of conscious effort. Natural skill comes with mindful growth -- but not necessarily the other way around. No one teaches the tree to stand against the wind -- the wind taught it that.



Please provide detailed historical basis for your post. And please, put them in another thread of your own. This thread isn't about what you're posting. Personally, I don't think you have a clue, but if you'd care to provide detailed analysis in another thread, that's your choice.

Upyu
09-01-2008, 01:03 PM
Rob,

Maybe that is why Aikido originally contained Kokyu Dosa both solo and partner practice to be trained (Dosa) *outside* of waza. Of course both of these may no longer be existent in peoples practice and/or they me no longer be substantive/productive for developing Kokyu Ryoku, etc. (One needs to understand the exercise properly in order to profit from it properly. This, I think, is manifested via a process of conception, practice and correction/enhancement by a teacher that already can manifest (therefore has walked the path) Kokyu Ryoku.)
<snip>
How/when did Ark have you transition from development to application?



No argument from me there.
Kokyu dosa is "agete", or whatever DRAJJ called it, and was a fundamental tool for developing this skill. The fact that it's practiced now in a lot of Aikido schools with a million one variations, speaks to the fact that most people missed the intent of that basic exercise, or that Ueshiba purposely covered it up.
That's just me musing though, and by the by, when I say "a lot of xxx" that's not saying "everyone." (lest I shoot myself in the foot)

Anyways, Ark had us move to "application"...huh
I dunno when he did.
Basically he just keeps tossing us on our ass, and occasionally shows techniques. Generally if you keep up the conditioning you figure out how he did the movement he did. So it's almost like a constant reverse engineer process.
It's slower, but honestly, I find I can use most of the movement I pick up with him because by the time I figure it out, it feels natural...or rather the movement happens naturally.
The way the body is conditioned...there's only so many ways you can move.
Everything else is just henka.
And henka is easy.

Seattle....
good question, I'll keep everyone posted as soon as Ark makes up his mind as to what he wants to do for the rest of this year, much lest next year :D

Mary Eastland
09-01-2008, 03:02 PM
I disagree, Lynn. If all techniques trained aiki, then there wouldn't be such a commentary going on by all of us who have gone to meet Dan, Mike, Rob, or Ark. You can't get aiki by focusing on the subtleties of connecting, blending, or taking balance. You can't get aiki by training techniques. Being soft and being relaxed isn't going to get you aiki.
In your opinion.... Mark.
My opinion would be "of course you can."
I explained how to begin...with a very simple excercise.
Most people understand unbendable arm...though it is often overlooked for more complicated ways of doing the same thing.
Mary

DH
09-01-2008, 03:26 PM
Hi Mary
Opinion is how many, if not most, of the people in budo found their teacher or art. Opinion is how Ueshiba's fame spread so quickly. What does it say that aikidoka from an incredibly diverse background, both geographically and in pedagogy go out to research a method and come back home with a 100% consistent view?
Since it's become evident that those opinions are consistent, that being, that in their "opinion" it is not only superior to anything they have felt in aikido, the training method to attain it is as well, that they might be on to something. It bears looking at the pedagogy, since it includes so many different styles of aikido, active today, and stuents and teachers up to forty years in the art-which cumulatively is incorporating the equivalent of up to possibly a thousand years worth of diverse training experiences, that it suggests they are discussing some things, which are beyond your experience-and not theirs.

I hope we can get together sometime to compare notes, laugh, and have some good food.

Mary Eastland
09-01-2008, 05:38 PM
Yes to all that, Dan.....and Rob asked for an example of how to teach correct feeling in an Aikido class and I gave him one.
One of our students has a wonderful restaurant in Lenox....whenever you are ready.
Mary

rob_liberti
09-01-2008, 06:12 PM
Mary,

I appreciate your contribution. I don't think we see eye to eye on many aiki related things but the fact remains, that you answered on point - and you (and Ignatious) inspired me to re-think my approach (which was really what I was looking for) so thank you. If you get together with Dan can I come along? No is of course okay, but I love that "Bizen" restaurant out that way and I've been known to buy dinner for the table on many occasions.

Allen,

I have to think a lot more about how to respond to your thoughtful post. Thanks for writing in this thread. I'm not sure I am qualified to discuss the big energy C - but IIRC there was a bit of a discussion on in on emptyflower.

Rest -

I'll create a different thread for you to all discuss the _other_ same old stuff.

Rob

Erick Mead
09-01-2008, 06:24 PM
Please provide detailed historical basis for your post. And please, put them in another thread of your own. This thread isn't about what you're posting. Personally, I don't think you have a clue, but if you'd care to provide detailed analysis in another thread, that's your choice. My post was responding to Rob. If he posts off topic, please let me know, and I won't respond to that post. Fortunately it's not about me. As to your request -- here:
http://aikidoonline.com/Archives/2000/oct/feat_1000_OS.html

For what it's worth I agree with Rob that Kokyu dosa / koyu tanden ho / agete is very valuable in this development. Chiba was very intensive in that regard and in my experience in Hawaii, California, and Florida this has CONSISTENTLY been a strong emphasis. But you may consider that this is not actually"waza" and therefore Rob was off topic, and so I won't respond fruther so as not to give undue offense.:)

rob_liberti
09-01-2008, 06:35 PM
Hey guys ---

http://aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15051

I did all the work for you. Fight there! I'll even fight with you THERE - but I was hoping to discuss waza and aiki HERE.

Rob

Allen Beebe
09-01-2008, 07:35 PM
Allen,

I have to think a lot more about how to respond to your thoughtful post. Thanks for writing in this thread. I'm not sure I am qualified to discuss the big energy C - but IIRC there was a bit of a discussion on in on emptyflower.



Rob,

Thanks. I'll see if I can find it.

Best,
Allen

eyrie
09-01-2008, 08:38 PM
Rob,

I'm glad you realized that I was joshing about the yondan thing... :D

Seriously, I applaud you for your dogged persistence in staying within the framework of aikido, and aikido waza in particular. After all, if it worked for Ueshiba, and that was what he "taught" then surely there must be something in it... right?

I am just looking for inspiration on really obvious ones for teaching purposes. I want to try to make the aiki to waza relationship so obvious to my students that I don't have to explain much verbally. If it helps... the approach I'm taking is the link from "warm up" exercises to singular aspects within a "technique". So, I would take an exercise like funekogi undo and use that particular aspect in, say katate tori kokyu nage tenkan/ura. So, for all intents and purposes, "technique" is not something you do to uke, and is more akin to an exercise... which is in itself simply an extension of another exercise.

I can't think of too many other techniques/waza where I hold my arms out to the sides most of the time, for instance. Neither can I. There probably aren't that many techniques (formal or otherwise) that do. But, by the same token, what's to say that the "feeling" of maintaining the upper cross isn't in others, if not all "techniques" - even if your arms are not always out to the side?

As far as live vrs dummy - this may not be too popular, but I don't think it matters too much in general for this point. I'm thinking that typical aikido waza works as an expression of aiki if uke attacks with external power and the nage role is really someone with internal power receiving (being uke himself). My opinion - dummy attacker or alive - the power differential should be sufficient for that to not matter too much.... FWIW, I wasn't really referring to aliveness in that modality. Force, is still force, whether that is sourced "externally" or "internally". Obviously, the amount of input power/force from uke should be commensurate with nage's ability to deal with it, whilst still in keeping the general principles of "aiki". Although I would tend to agree, the more uke has the ability to maintain central equilibrium, the harder it is for them to give it up, and harder for a less-skilled nage to take advantage of. But like any healthy relationship, there has to be some give and take in order for both parties to flourish... wouldn't you agree?

Going back to what Rob John said...

Well, I think if someone is smart, they might be able to make inroads to other modes of movement using only waza...theoretically... over a loooooong period of time.

But why the hell would you do that if there's a direct way to train it, and the whole point of training the waza is to get the skill in the first place? On one hand I would agree. Waza is simply a vehicle, as a mode of transformation, rather than transportation... if that makes sense? The focus on waza as "doing something to someone" is as far away from catching the feeling of aiki as you can get. Ultimately, it's not the waza. OTOH, I also think Ueshiba created a way to directly access and exercise it... oddly enough... thru the framework of waza. Maybe because that's the only way he knew how at the time? Or, then again, maybe he wasn't... maybe he was just dumping people on their asses, like Ark is doing to Rob, and hoping they work it out? :)

rob_liberti
09-01-2008, 09:05 PM
Ahh, another good point. Videos of old-age O sensei basically suck because he was beyond form at that point. I am inspired to re-watch the video(s) of younger O sensei demonstrating.

Rob

eyrie
09-01-2008, 11:13 PM
While you're pondering that... ;)
Well the nature of aiki is that it is formless in execution. Some guys just get their minds "stuck" on what is shown them and become trapped by outer form.
I find it facinating that Takeda, then Sagawa, Kodo, Ueshiba all said you can make up waza. They continually pointed the way, but I think some students literally have to be slapped out of the stupor to "hear" what is being said right in front of them.
X-posted from http://www.internal-aiki.com/comments.php?DiscussionID=49&page=1#Comment_433

Erick Mead
09-01-2008, 11:47 PM
... I was hoping to discuss waza and aiki HERE.Tenchinage. Most people jump into to doing it in the extension mode of asagao (or tegatana) -- which is what they see at the finish when it breaks into the throw. Both the opening asagao in the entry and the closing asagao in the finish are properly aiki. But closing without the opening creates push on push and resistance -- which is not aiki. But the emphasizing the intial entry over the throws proper helps to develop aiki FROM uke's input.

Uke's hands grip the wrists, the force of the push (compression) becomes tension between nage's hands. Nage's hands should feel tension between them -- like taffy taut between the fingertips. As nage begins to enter - he expands this tension as the push is received -- letting one or the other hand rise up and the other sink down to stretch the "taffy" between the fingers vertically, pulling the fingers from the wrist until it suddenly "snaps." This is the sudden loss of uke's effective resistance to the entry. When the push evaporates, then the arms are freed to extend fully in tegatana. You don;t do it -- it happens because it has nowhere else to go, and arms buckle into the form. That release reverberates into the body drawing the center fully into the irimi, and the throw occurs as the center coming into load is projected out through the arms and hands. Teaching points at the happening of the throw
emphasizes the relationship to aspects of funetori.

This large developed movement can then be reduced as a very small opening asagao, and buckling into the closing asagao or tegatana almost at contact.

As teaching points about the development of the tension, uke can attempt to resolve the situation by isolating one connection over the other, (low for example -- trying to release the high connection, or vice versa). Depending on how and which he goes with (or against), the situation may develop any number of ways, resolving the structural stress straightforwardly with a free rotation into the developed moment, or less obviously with a buckling into the shear.

Teaching waza I never describe it this way, although I understand it this way. I do use asagao because it is is an image that is clear and is structurally accurate. When doing happo undo, I emphasize asagao opening on the withdraw/turn and closing on the extension. On funetori I emphasize the aspects of opening on extension and closing on withdrawal.

Upyu
09-02-2008, 02:15 AM
Ahh, another good point. Videos of old-age O sensei basically suck because he was beyond form at that point. I am inspired to re-watch the video(s) of younger O sensei demonstrating.

Rob

I'd disagree.
I'd say that some of the old-age Ueshiba (OAU from now on), are pretty enlightening. He does a couple of power releases where it's easy to see the mechanics of what's going on.

In particular was the hokey one labeled on Youtube as "Ueshiba: The archmage?" :)
There's a good it in there where he bounces someone pretty nicely.

eyrie
09-02-2008, 04:43 AM
I agree. And in line with my quoting Dan above... the point in Ueshiba's career when he started to change, right up until the end is probably the most interesting - for that very reason.

However, Rob L's question was about using waza to train aiki.... and since the nature of aiki is formless in execution, how then does one use waza - which is essentially a static snapshot - to train towards formlessness?

That is the crux of the question... how does one "capture the essence of aiki" thru static waza? If you can do static (or even dynamic) exercises that directly train "aiki"... what's the difference between that and waza? ;)

Mary Eastland
09-02-2008, 06:43 AM
One must learn their ABCs before they can write a novel.
Mary

rob_liberti
09-02-2008, 09:08 AM
As far as ABCs, I agree with the idea. I'm looking for the best way to learn the ABCs.

Maybe my question is how can I best integrate aikido waza with the internal skills I practice (maybe not necessarily aiki yet) to most effectively help my aikido students - for instance keeping things in a format that makes the most sense to them seems like it would help.

Rob

MM
09-02-2008, 09:28 AM
As far as ABCs, I agree with the idea. I'm looking for the best way to learn the ABCs.

Maybe my question is how can I best integrate aikido waza with the internal skills I practice (maybe not necessarily aiki yet) to most effectively help my aikido students - for instance keeping things in a format that makes the most sense to them seems like it would help.

Rob

Rob,
It's a question that I keep going over myself. I think you have to break it down into two categories: students already training and brand new students.

1. Students already there have a history of training in a certain way.

2. The brand new students get to start at ground zero and thus, you can shape their training from new.

I think that #2 is going to be a lot easier to handle, especially if you start them doing the internal structure exercises from day one.

#1 is where you're probably looking for suggestions. :) I guess you'd have to list some of your syllabus. Every school works on things differently. For instance, not every school practices sokumen irimi nage. And even if you did, practicing that technique with aiki can be done a myriad of ways. I think that's why all the greats that had aiki said that there is no form. You have inward, outward, left, right, up, and down. Do you want to practice where you crush uke downwards as you do the technique, or perhaps spin uke left, bring them in, keep them going outwards, etc? Not to mention variations like down and left or up and right or inwards and down, etc.

How do you practice techniques from a reverse engineering applicational usage? In increments, I think. While the students are working on internal structure, let them use bits and pieces of that structure in their techniques. Don't change the technique to fit aiki. Let aiki guide the technique.

It's been my experience that the upper cross (fingertip to fingertip) contradictory force was easier to start and get going than the spine one. And the legs were last. So, why not let students who have the contradictory force going in their arms use that to help them with their technique? As they progress, the spine gets added and the legs, too. It's like the checklist. We'll have to do 1-20 to get started. So, when 1-5 become easier, then that portion will drive a technique to make it better. Course, 6-20 will naturally fail, but as the solo/paired work on internal structure progresses, so will the techniques. Hopefully, anyway. :)

Mark

Erick Mead
09-02-2008, 09:28 AM
One must learn their ABCs before they can write a novel.
MaryYou have a larger point there. I think that analogy is well-taken. (There is an NLP thread elsewhere on the forum -- not a fan, but there are some points to ponder.) The sound of language is the root -- but written forms durably transmit and record it. It just struck me from your comment that the "internal" v. waza debate is very reminiscent of the "whole language" v. phonics debate in reading skills -- and with similar levels of emotional and intellectual commitment to either side. (That's all I'll say on that before Rob polices me out of the thread. ;) )

But let's take that and put waza in its place -- it is analytic -- like phonics, working from a root source in the basic sounds (kokyu undo/kokyu tanden ho movement) toward organizing them into a coherent reproducible form and moving them toward a free expression -- but built on a structured coding of the essential meaning.

Timothy WK
09-02-2008, 10:05 AM
Something else is to train as uke, rather than nage, but in a limited fashion. Basically, go through the standard wrist stretches as a paired exercise, rather than solo. This can help with general connection and grounding.

At first. just have nage put a simple lock on uke with just enough pressure so that uke feels it. How far does down the arm/ body/ etc does uke feel the "stretch"? What can uke do to extend that "stretch" even farther?

As the student's connection strengthens, nage can increase the pressure. they can try running through the entire technique, uke can try reversing, yadda yadda.

rob_liberti
09-02-2008, 11:51 AM
Hey Erick,

I certainly believe that conversations organically evolve. (I was just trying to keep this conversation from devolving to the same old debate.) Your analogies and insights are very welcome. Your idea about whole language vs phonics is very appropriate.

My mom taught 3rd grade for a long while during all of that. She yes-ed them all to death and wrote up all of her lesson plans as if she only taught "whole language " and guess what - she taught the kids phonics because the kids needed the tools to be able to read all of those wonderful stories. Some of those kids grew up to be doctors and lawyers and engineers. So it worked out well enough.

I am facing a similar problem (and so is Mark). I want to give people things to practice on their own (or in a group circle) and then familiar waza in which to practice those things with partners. (It is for them as well as for myself.) I taught footwork that way for years. It shouldn't be too different. It's just I'm looking for the clearest presentation now.

I really appreciate all of the feedback. I have a strong desire to "give back", and do it in the best way I can.

Rob

ChrisMoses
09-02-2008, 02:08 PM
Not sure how much time I'll have here, I have to go pick up my daughter in about 10 minutes...

Good topic though and close to my heart. The last couple months I've been teaching one night a week at a local Aikido dojo (due to the private nature of Icho/TNBBC there's not really a teaching opportunity there, just training and feedback with the group) so I've been working out how I want to transmit the little I know after about a three year hiatus from a regular teaching gig. My hands are still tied a bit in that I'm not the Big Dog at this dojo (there isn't one) so I can't just dump the whole curriculum on it's head and start over. I also need to make sure that what I do is applicable to people who are studying Aikido™. So this is a topic I'm really working on.

I can't say I have the best solution, classes have been too small with pretty irregular attendance and we haven't been going very long now.

Here's what I am doing however:

Instead of the usual stretching, pivoting, tenkan warm-ups that most dojo do, I jump straight into what I consider to be the most basic Aunkai drills. We do a mix of shiko, ten-chi-jin, mabu, stillness, spearing, ashi age, shin tai juku etc... for about 30 minutes. It's no where near enough time, but I've at least been up front with folks about that. They know that if they want to get any benefit, they can't just do them in class. I'm just trying to show them the basics of what they should/could be doing on their own time.

After that, I spend the majority of class working on building block movements that build up to a fairly recognizable technique. The second 1/2 of class is geared more towards a study of the principles of the interaction rather than how to directly apply the bodyskills of the first 1/2 of class. Frankly, until folks do a lot more of the skill building, they *can't* apply them into their waza. If they try, they just wind up reverting and reinforcing bad habits. So while I'll often point out how I'm applying (attempting to apply?) the bodyskill stuff from the Aunkai, I don't expect folks to be doing that themselves. I'm more concerned that they develop a real understanding of shikaku, kuzushi, tsukuri and linear movements on the part of nage. It's my hope that at some point those two worlds will come together, but that's going to be on a case by case basis.

I have found that kaitennage is a decent technique (the way I do it) for incorporating a lot of the moving cross stuff from shin tai juku and then the power delivery developed in the push out. If I find some time, I might make a short (probably private) video of that if anyone is interested.

Gotta run, the bus she be commin'...:cool:

DH
09-02-2008, 02:30 PM
For the life of me I cannot imagine fitting in to an Aikido™ class and doing the waza again the way it is. From what I keep seeing I would have to hold back, foreshorten extensions in any waza and pretty much mess myself up and get all disconnected to "do it." Otherwise I'd be throwing people through walls.

Is it a coincidence that Mike, Ark, and I left the arts altogether to focus on training our bodies.
I've not met them. I just wonder. Is it a coincidence that the stories we hear of men of power trained solo a lot.
is it a coincidence that they made up waza? And what did that mean? Or was it that the waza made itself happen- on contact?;)

I don't know what I'd do if I had to do aiki without using aiki but I was in a place where I wasn't allowed to practice aiki, while I was training aiki, with people who thought they knew aiki...all along.
It's hard to know something is advanced and beyond them and having to first stop and explain the whole approach they are taking is the antithesis of what aiki is in the first place. Its not how to win friends and influence people thats for sure.

Robs query is interesting, in that -HE- can approach it as the big dog in the dojo(s) Maybe its worth examining for the next step. To re-integrate aiki into aikido.

Erick Mead
09-02-2008, 03:34 PM
... Its not how to win friends and influence people thats for sure. You can say that again.

Mary Eastland
09-02-2008, 05:17 PM
For the life of me I cannot imagine fitting in to an Aikido™ class and doing the waza again the way it is. From what I keep seeing I would have to hold back, foreshorten extensions in any waza and pretty much mess myself up and get all disconnected to "do it." Otherwise I'd be throwing people through walls.

Is it a coincidence that Mike, Ark, and I left the arts altogether to focus on training our bodies.
I've not met them. I just wonder. Is it a coincidence that the stories we hear of men of power trained solo a lot.
is it a coincidence that they made up waza? And what did that mean? Or was it that the waza made itself happen- on contact?;)

I don't know what I'd do if I had to do aiki without using aiki but I was in a place where I wasn't allowed to practice aiki, while I was training aiki, with people who thought they knew aiki...all along.
It's hard to know something is advanced and beyond them and having to first stop and explain the whole approach they are taking is the antithesis of what aiki is in the first place. Its not how to win friends and influence people thats for sure.

Robs query is interesting, in that -HE- can approach it as the big dog in the dojo(s) Maybe its worth examining for the next step. To re-integrate aiki into aikido.

lol This one cracked me up..... Dan....you sound like one of the characters on "heros". :D

That is the whole point of Aikido...not to hurt anyone and to control your power......... of course you could.....unless maybe you don't want to???:cool: :D
Mary

eyrie
09-02-2008, 05:50 PM
For the life of me I cannot imagine fitting in to an Aikido™ class and doing the waza again the way it is. From what I keep seeing I would have to hold back, foreshorten extensions in any waza and pretty much mess myself up and get all disconnected to "do it." Otherwise I'd be throwing people through walls. Aw heck Dan... you telling me you can't perform a lie? :p Or... Ueshiba performing a lie in front of the Emperor's representative was not :cool: then...?? :D

Robs query is interesting, in that -HE- can approach it as the big dog in the dojo(s) Maybe its worth examining for the next step. To re-integrate aiki into aikido. I believe that's the whole point of this thread. IYO, what would be a workable approach to do so? For newbies? For not-so newbies that might as well be newbies since they will have to rework and re-train how to move again?

DH
09-02-2008, 06:01 PM
Aw heck Dan... you telling me you can't perform a lie? :p Or... Ueshiba performing a lie in front of the Emperor's representative was not :cool: then...?? :D
You mean the one where he gave a guy a concussion? That one?

I believe that's the whole point of this thread. IYO, what would be a workable approach to do so? For newbies? For not-so newbies that might as well be newbies since they will have to rework and re-train how to move again?
Kirk witth the Kobyashi Maru

Change the waza
There is no waza;)

MM
09-02-2008, 06:18 PM
You mean the one where he gave a guy a concussion? That one?

Kirk witth the Kobyashi Maru

Change the waza
There is no waza;)

ROTFL!!!

eyrie
09-02-2008, 06:27 PM
LOL! Never figured you for a Trekkie Dan... :D

I don't believe in no-win scenarios... ;)

BTW, I believe it's the one where he broke the first guy's arm and then Shioda had to take ukemi for 45mins.

Howard Popkin
09-02-2008, 06:29 PM
Kirk to Spock - "Its been two hours, you ready ? "

"Right on schedule Captain :)"

Howard

Kevin Leavitt
09-02-2008, 07:36 PM
There are some good examples of aiki in this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyhhFzE5O5U

mathewjgano
09-02-2008, 08:08 PM
There are some good examples of aiki in this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyhhFzE5O5U

Actually, chances are pretty good that throw at the end was choreographed from Aikido. I believe Shatner had direct exposure to Aikido.

Aikibu
09-02-2008, 09:01 PM
Something else is to train as uke, rather than nage, but in a limited fashion. Basically, go through the standard wrist stretches as a paired exercise, rather than solo. This can help with general connection and grounding.

At first. just have nage put a simple lock on uke with just enough pressure so that uke feels it. How far does down the arm/ body/ etc does uke feel the "stretch"? What can uke do to extend that "stretch" even farther?

As the student's connection strengthens, nage can increase the pressure. they can try running through the entire technique, uke can try reversing, yadda yadda.

"Paired Kokyu Wrist Stretching" is a regular part of our practice. In my experience it really helps students learn how to center, breath, and "feel" for openings with resistance. We want them to think about breathing body alignment and resistance from the very beginning. Aikido push hands??? LOL :)

I never thought about it until now in terms of Waza to build internal conditioning.

Time to go to class and think about some of these things. :)

William Hazen

Kevin Leavitt
09-02-2008, 10:25 PM
We actually have a sacrifice throw in Army Combatives that we call "the Captain Kirk".

Seen at the beginning of this clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSHCNTELFI8

DH
09-02-2008, 10:48 PM
Hey Kev
Actually a better version is a koryu version. You affect a little lift in whatever manner is possible through the connection at hand. Then when you land, it is a straight vertical drop into the place right at his feet. the pull is not with the arms as they can expand or stretch-out and leave slack. The "pull" is instead from the spine as the arms remain nuetral and connected to you and the rapid drop makes the throw over. It is so frekin fast I have seen it make guys heads snap back and eave them open for a nekc break on the way over. I have seen 150 lb guys decimate a 267 lb judoka repeatedly with this throw AFTER he told them he was going to use it.
If you know -anything- about judo, telling someone what throw you are going to use and them not being able to stop you, over, and over and over really ticks people off. On the other hand I have seen it knock people out on 2" of foam.

The kirk one offers a roll out safety particulalry with the leg lift aiding it. Not my choice at all. It's a safer, sport throw with a lot of slack in it.
Other sacrifice throws are seen in some of Mifunes stuff but it still is done safer than the cutting method.
Hey, while were at it Takenouchi ryu has some great rotational neck breaks for helmut grabs or single wing chokes with a horizontal sutemi around the body. Really sweet and unexpected stuff.

Think of it like a Khan sacrifice fight ender throw..."From hell's heart I strike at thee......:eek:

DH
09-02-2008, 10:58 PM
Well back to the thread-you miscreants
Rob showed up for training tonight and after everyone left we worked on some waza from big extentions (gag) on down to smaller versions, on to DR versions with verticle drops. Then we went on to small ikkyos with body rotations making uke jump instead of Shite moving all over the freakin place. We did a few of those, then on to some seated back grab throws and launches..
We'll work on some things that will add some real..er...fun into the mix, by way of aiki waza that is small. Gees,,I'm doing Aiki waza again somebody shoot me.:yuck:
Howard help...come rescue me!!!

eyrie
09-02-2008, 11:45 PM
I doubt that many would have got that... ;)

Nonetheless, it would be interesting to hear Rob's take on it, and whether he still thinks it is at all possible to pursue this far-fetched notion of teaching and training aiki thru waza. :hypno:

DH
09-02-2008, 11:52 PM
Hi Chris
That's not what I got out of him.
He has guy's working on solo body training and paired training pretty steadily.
He wants to figure out a best "next step" in doing waza that won't violate that training, but instead USE it.
My personal take is that most Aikido waza is a disaster for using aiki. So we are working on some modified waza toward DR that he can work in.
To be clear-the structure is being trained every class for an hour or so, then he wants to introduce some use of it.
There is an interesting backdrop, to all of this and he is sincere.

phitruong
09-03-2008, 08:11 AM
We actually have a sacrifice throw in Army Combatives that we call "the Captain Kirk".

Seen at the beginning of this clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSHCNTELFI8

OK I don't get the whole sacrifice by jumping into the wall thing or was it to make sure the other actor/stunt double won't get hurt with that move? personally, if I am doing sacrifice stuffs, I'd make sure my sacrifice paid off, like this folks, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OV7iBWBlW6g (watch the last throw from the lady :) )

as far as aiki and waza go, isn't the Chen taichichuan folks got their aiki equivalent through their forms, i.e. waza like silk reeling? then go about and apply it through push-hand? without some kind of one person waza for solo practice, to build the internal aiki so to speak; how does one work on the two person waza next? or does one just move his/her body like some kind of epileptic seizure? sorry, just thinking out loud. :)

MM
09-03-2008, 08:23 AM
I doubt that many would have got that... ;)

Nonetheless, it would be interesting to hear Rob's take on it, and whether he still thinks it is at all possible to pursue this far-fetched notion of teaching and training aiki thru waza. :hypno:

Huh, yeah. Me, too. Rob?

Timothy WK
09-03-2008, 08:43 AM
as far as aiki and waza go, isn't the Chen taichichuan folks got their aiki equivalent through their forms, i.e. waza like silk reeling?

Silk-reeling is not "waza" in the same sense as ikkyo or ippon-dori. The silk-reeling exercise is just a conditioning routine, like shiko or tenchijin or whatever. Ikkyo and ippon-dori are supposed to be practical application methods (more or less).

As far as the Chen forms go, I believe there is some debate as to whether or not they are intended to represent practical application, like Aikido waza is supposed to. Certainly a lot of people argue that, but I have also heard the argument that they are mostly just extended silk-reeling/conditioning routines.

Demetrio Cereijo
09-03-2008, 11:29 AM
Ikkyo and ippon-dori are supposed to be practical application methods (more or less).

Maybe we're wrong supposing this and aikido waza is, using Aunkai stages of learning as example, "contact training 1" (http://www.aunkai.net/eng/bujyutu/sessyoku1.html) but having left aside the first stage of learning ("creating foundation" (http://www.aunkai.net/eng/bujyutu/kiban.html)) and the third one ("contact training 2" (http://www.aunkai.net/eng/bujyutu/sessyoku2.html)), the "bujutsu" (http://www.aunkai.net/eng/bujyutu/bujyutu.html) is almost unnatainable. .

ChrisMoses
09-03-2008, 11:59 AM
Maybe we're wrong supposing this and aikido waza is, using Aunkai stages of learning as example, "contact training 1"

This is something I really like about the Aunkai stuff, even more than say tai chi forms, that they very effectively remove the martial role playing portion of training. It is very easy for folks to get trapped in some supposed scenario when training in kata or even cooperative forms. You just don't have that when you're walking around the dojo doing your best impression of a fat Rockette...

It's funny how small the shift is to accomplish this. If you have someone stand in horse stance and do fast punching drills, most likely they get lost in the (supposed) martial quality of the drill and that's it. If you have someone do something like the Aunkai spearing exercise followed by the fast arm swinging drill (we call this one milking the kung-fu cow, I realize it's a striking drill, but I hesitate to even bring that aspect forward with folks), it's much easier for people to focus on what they are doing in their bodies and less about what they are trying to do to their imaginary opponent. At least that's been my experience.

Part of me wonders if this is one of the reasons that we see seated iai. If you look at many of the criticisms that iai has faced you see comments like, "No one ever sat down with a katana,", "The movements are not effective and are done too slowly", and "All samurai would have worn a shoto, so the movements one is learing in iai wouldn't translate if you were dressed correctly." Perhaps instead of being problems with iai training, these were intentionally done to remove that same role-playing aspect of training and create an environment where fundamental movements could be conditioned in a decidedly non-applied environment? I'm not saying this is what I really think happened, but I do think it's an interesting possibility. And yes Dan, Iai is but isn't koryu. ;) Unless you're doing SR, and then it's just plain old gendai and I don't have to worry about it. :p

Timothy WK
09-03-2008, 12:04 PM
Maybe we're wrong supposing this and aikido waza is, using Aunkai stages of learning as example, "contact training 1" (http://www.aunkai.net/eng/bujyutu/sessyoku1.html) but having left aside the first stage of learning ("creating foundation" (http://www.aunkai.net/eng/bujyutu/kiban.html)) and the third one ("contact training 2" (http://www.aunkai.net/eng/bujyutu/sessyoku2.html)), the "bujutsu" (http://www.aunkai.net/eng/bujyutu/bujyutu.html) is almost unnatainable. .
I would shy away from that idea, but concede the issue isn't so straight forward.

In Daito-ryu, the jujutsu kata---such as seen in the Hiden Mokuroku---has the appearance and general character of more typical jujutsu kata. I believe those kata are intended to represent practical application as much as any other jujutsu ryu's kata (with the caveat that all Japanese kata are idealized and abstracted to one degree or another).

But the type of waza seen in the Aiki-no-jutsu, along with certain "basic" waza like aiki-age/kokyo-ho, are different, IMO. I could see the argument that those types of waza are more geared towards developing and testing aiki, rather than practical application.

IMO, Aikido waza fits kinda in the middle. Aikido waza is more abstracted than Daito-ryu jujutsu waza, but it's not as far "out there" as the Aiki-no-jutsu waza.

DH
09-03-2008, 12:21 PM
But the type of waza seen in the Aiki-no-jutsu, along with certain "basic" waza like aiki-age/kokyo-ho, are different, IMO. I could see the argument that those types of waza are more geared towards developing and testing aiki, rather than practical application.

IMO, Aikido waza fits kinda in the middle. Aikido waza is more abstracted than Daito-ryu jujutsu waza, but it's not as far "out there" as the Aiki-no-jutsu waza.
Aiki-age isn't a waza and the understanding of it is fully expressed in Aiki-no jutsu. Aiki-no jutsu is entirely practical and the training is designed to train your body for practical free flowing use of aiki- not for learning more rote waza whether its "out there" or not.
I would never discuss Aiki-age as "a waza." Aiki-age is a body skill that makes waza meaningless as it is just another manifistation of aiki on contact in your body.

Looking at any aiki art as a collection of it's waza is to define it as aiki-less in the first place.You will see Howard Popkin messing with grapplers, Systema people, aikido people without concern for executing a specific Roppokai waza unless it 'happens" Howard is expressing- "aiki" however it occurs, to include power strikes with a closed fist.
Likewise I am singularly unconcerned with waza when I am moving. Case in point: I was playing with a fellow trying to triangle me. To this day he doesn't know that Fure aiki, and aiki age were the reason he ended up upside down being lazily bounced on his head. Had I added strikes in to the mix it would have been over very fast.
Aiki...is formless. Considering it as any one thing in waza is a huge mistake. There are different manifistations of it in contact-but they are no different than the manifistations you make in solo training.
The difference is just ...contact.

mjchip
09-03-2008, 01:28 PM
Case in point: I was playing with a fellow trying to triangle me. To this day he doesn't know that Fure aiki, and aiki age were the reason he ended up upside down being lazily bounced on his head. Had I added strikes in to the mix it would have been over very fast.

Hey, was that me?

Mark

Timothy WK
09-03-2008, 01:34 PM
Aiki-age isn't a waza and the understanding of it is fully expressed in Aiki-no jutsu. Aiki-no jutsu is entirely practical and the training is designed to train your body for practical free flowing use of aiki- not for learning more rote waza whether its "out there" or not.
I would never discuss Aiki-age as "a waza." Aiki-age is a body skill that makes waza meaningless as it is just another manifistation of aiki on contact in your body.
We're in agreement Dan, I think we're just arguing over words. The idea that the Aiki-no-jutsu "is designed to train your body for practical free flowing use of aiki- not for learning more rote waza" is the point I was making. I called aiki-age & kokyo-ho a "waza" because that's how they are often referred to, both in Aikido and (some) Daito-ryu schools.

Maybe it was a poor choice of words to call DR jujutsu techniques "practical application" and Aiki-no-jutsu "out there", but I was trying to draw a distinction. Japanese kata are usually---for right or wrong---viewed as (relatively) "literal", "stimulated" tactical situations. The DR "jujutsu" kata I've been exposed to generally display a more "literal" character.

On the other side of the spectrum, you have exercises that exemplify certain body skills, but aren't obvious examples of "literal" tactical training. Aiki-age & kokyo-ho fit this description. (I would include silk-reeling as well, if we're going to include Chinese stuff.)

I would call the Aiki-no-jutsu stuff I've been exposed to closer to the latter. You obvious don't think the Aiki-no-jutsu is the former ("literal" rote waza), but is it the latter? Or somewhere in-between?

DH
09-03-2008, 01:42 PM
Hey, was that me?

Mark
Nope one of my guys-he was a little bigger than you..
But hey...I did do a similar thing to you- didn't I?

Look at it this way- I didn't fight back though. I even let my structure go a little cuz you wanted to play;)

DH
09-03-2008, 01:47 PM
Hi Tim
Now I see what you meant.
And the last question? Yes, I do see aiki-no-jutsu as a training tool for the body method and application.

mjchip
09-03-2008, 03:13 PM
Nope one of my guys-he was a little bigger than you..
But hey...I did do a similar thing to you- didn't I?

Look at it this way- I didn't fight back though. I even let my structure go a little cuz you wanted to play;)

I may be small but I'm studious. LOL

You did do a similar thing to me and you were kind enough to NOT hit me. Thanks!

Mark

Erick Mead
09-03-2008, 04:53 PM
Silk-reeling is not "waza" in the same sense as ikkyo or ippon-dori. The silk-reeling exercise is just a conditioning routine, like shiko or tenchijin or whatever. Ikkyo and ippon-dori are supposed to be practical application methods (more or less). I'd go with "less." Come now. Do you really think that waza with a fully cooperative partner are intended to be "practical application" instead of a "conditioning routine?" Practicing waza as "practical application" is missing the point.

They are not intended to be practical, but rather ARE part of a "conditioning routine." O Sensei even said as much. When asked to perform for the Imperial family, he did not wish to do for them what he trained because, as he said, the training is "fake" or words ot that effect, and he did not wish to do the "practical application" because the real stuff will seriously injure or kill somebody. It was never a brag intended to avoid displays of power; it is that the training is just that -- training -- not application.

Training is prolonging or extending spirals in throws or pins to allow his structure to feel follow and keep up with the shape and energy applied to it. Practical applications are all the whole-body atemi that I restrain myself from delivering in the course of proper movement -- letting go and hammering him or tightening and face planting him or popping a joint out of line. :yuck: :crazy: --

Those are highly practical -- but also not very nice -- and generally not repeatable for routine practice -- as if one would want to. Even MMA or other sport is training however violent. Sport is training we accept as "Fun" however bloody or physically risky it may be in practice or competition whether individual, in paired contest or in teams -- be it boxing, rugby or water polo. Any team ball game is simply training for small unit warfare.

Going in with acceptance (not intent) of killing or being killed -- THAT's practical budo -- and there is ONE and only ONE legitimate reason to do either of those. Everything else is conditioning and training.

I see Rob's Whizzo thread-split knife hovering -- so I'll stop now. :)

eyrie
09-03-2008, 07:06 PM
There seems to be some semantical confusion as to what aikido waza is or is not. While it is largely a parody of ritualized combat - strictly for learning purposes (the real question is "learning what"?), I think it would be mortally foolish to presume that it is a set tactical response to a specified attack. And I'm pretty sure no one here believes this to be the case.

Chris raised a very pertinent point, which I think is the crux of the problem. That is, removing the martial role-playing element, to shift the training focus from one of a perceived application/scenario-based responses to a conditioning purpose.

The challenge with any martial art is that you need both conditioning (including bodily mechanics) and technique. While most arts separate the two aspects for learning and development purposes, I believe Aikido is unique in that it is both conditioning and technique (both in a broader sense) at the same time. And in that respect, I would agree with Chris and Rob J, that it is easy to fall into the trap of focusing on technical or martial application, to the exclusion of the conditioning aspects.

But I'm not certain that I know the answer to that question, or if a solution is even warranted. But it would be interesting to hear people's opinion, including Rob L's.

Rennis Buchner
09-03-2008, 08:00 PM
Part of me wonders if this is one of the reasons that we see seated iai. ....... Perhaps instead of being problems with iai training, these were intentionally done to remove that same role-playing aspect of training and create an environment where fundamental movements could be conditioned in a decidedly non-applied environment? I'm not saying this is what I really think happened, but I do think it's an interesting possibility.

I've been thinking that, at least in some ryu, "directly combatively useful" was never a factor in the use of seated techniques from the beginning and that the whole thing makes a lot more sense when viewed as more of a solo tanren in disguise type of exercise. Far too much going to discuss simply here, but you end up sort of isolating various parts of the body and working on them to some form of "correctness", not to mention building some lower body strength in the process before actually standing and moving around, adding all the problems that adds to the mix of how you use your body.

I think Dan's whole "aiki...do" bit is applicable far and beyond the "aiki" arts everyone thinks of today and probably also applies (or maybe "applied") to at least some of the arts that are today known as primarily "iai" arts. Of course things vary from ryu to ryu so I doubt this holds true universally (especially as time passes and a lot of the details and reasons why things are done get lost), but at least in my ryu, the original progression of training, oral teachings, writings, etc all lead me to think that there "was" a lot more going on than just the technical window dressing everyone does now. Unfortunately this is now lost or not actively practiced in most groups out there and just about everyone seems to be missing what now seem, at least to me, to be fairly obvious clues. Take for example this fairly famous teaching in our ryu (apologies for the rough literal translation)

“When the tide rises,
the waves naturally crash upon the shore.
And when the tide recedes,
the waves recede as well,
vanishing without a trace”.

Almost everyone today sees this simply as a metaphor regarding the use violence, and that is indeed an obvious surface layer of meaning, but it is clear to me now (and probably anyone else who has begun this realm of training) that there is a whole more going on in this teaching and, surprise surprise, just about every other major surviving teaching in the ryu. That the aikido of today "overlooked" this stuff isn't surprising as just about everyone else has as well. To get vaguely back on topic, how to reintegrate this stuff back into the art is indeed the problem, in both aiki and sword arts. I've barely got my toe in the door in this area though so I've nothing really to add there at the moment. Anyways, I'll shut up now before the thread drift goes completely out of control.

Rennis "sword guy wasting space on an aiki forum" Buchner

Erick Mead
09-03-2008, 09:05 PM
There seems to be some semantical confusion as to what aikido waza is or is not. While it is largely a parody of ritualized combat - strictly for learning purposes (the real question is "learning what"?), I think it would be mortally foolish to presume that it is a set tactical response to a specified attack. And I'm pretty sure no one here believes this to be the case. I think you are probably right. I think of waza as schematic. A sketch or a section or a slice out of a continuum. They are illustrative of certain classes of interactions, understanding that all the classes of interaction bleed into one another at the edges.

Chris raised a very pertinent point, which I think is the crux of the problem. That is, removing the martial role-playing element, to shift the training focus from one of a perceived application/scenario-based responses to a conditioning purpose. ... I believe Aikido is unique in that it is both conditioning and technique (both in a broader sense) at the same time. And in that respect, I would agree with Chris and Rob J, that it is easy to fall into the trap of focusing on technical or martial application, to the exclusion of the conditioning aspects.I find the connection between them is maintained if you point out and look for in your own practice the repeated variations of the kokyu undo in the waza, and the same motions and intent in taijutsu as in weapons work (also schematized, you may note, taking a vast koryu of many different types of weapons and reducing them to two).

The role-playing has a purpose and a very effective point, though, that takes practice beyond the dojo. It makes it possible to do solo work shadowboxing with waza in the manner of kokyu undo -- it engages the imaginative mind to put the body in the condition it would be if the opponent were actually there and loading the body in connection. It gives a concrete focus to what might otherwise seem, to some, far too abstract and introspective to be effective for them. I spent two deployments with this as the ONLY aikido I could practice, along with various weapons forms. It stood me in good stead. This aspect is essentially what I see modeled in the various internal exercises, simulating efficiently loaded structural movement, which I doubt is even a controversial observation to make.

eyrie
09-03-2008, 10:11 PM
It makes it possible to do solo work shadowboxing with waza in the manner of kokyu undo -- it engages the imaginative mind to put the body in the condition it would be if the opponent were actually there and loading the body in connection. As far as agreeing that waza is some sort of interactive learning framework, but that's where it ends, because I don't agree with this statement. Certainly, the role-playing has a purpose, but I don't think we're on the same page in that regard. Since there is no opponent in "aiki", there can be no loading (simulated or otherwise) one's "body in connection". Uke and nage are essentially one unit - a 4-legged animal, not 2 separate animals each with 2 legs, that are somehow (tenuously) "connected" via "load". Certainly, there is no simulated loading even in solo-work.

So, I think it bears saying that not everyone does waza the same way, in the same manner, or even in the same spirit. You're perfunctorily equating aikido waza performed in a solo manner to karate kata, which is clearly not the same thing. One is part application of a conditioned body (arguably predominantly nage's role), and part body conditioning (predominantly uke's role), the other is solely body conditioning. To perform aikido waza in the manner of solely body conditioning is, I think, missing the point.

Erick Mead
09-03-2008, 11:23 PM
As far as agreeing that waza is some sort of interactive learning framework, but that's where it ends, because I don't agree with this statement. Certainly, the role-playing has a purpose, but I don't think we're on the same page in that regard. Since there is no opponent in "aiki", there can be no loading (simulated or otherwise) one's "body in connection". Uke and nage are essentially one unit - a 4-legged animal, not 2 separate animals each with 2 legs, that are somehow (tenuously) "connected" via "load".Does the fact that most of the load of your individual body is being borne on one leg vice equally weighted change the fact that both are dealing with the load? The situation is no differnt with another set of appendages. I agree with the "four legged" argument, aiki works when my movement is of a larger "me," not a separate "him."

Certainly, there is no simulated loading even in solo-work. Akuzawa's exercises as related by Rob J.explicitly describe them as simulating load, and those that are not explicit are plainly implied if you look at them :: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=214086&postcount=33

Your earlier point on this elsewhere is worth adressing, and which I missed in responding to someone else:
Ark will demonstrate shiko with a person on his back (0:34 - 0:44), so he obviously can handle the load. But why doesn't he normally practice that way (with 175-200lbs on his back, I mean), if it's better/faster as you suggest? And how is it that he's acquired the skill to handle such a load---with such ease, no less---without regularly lifting that much weight?Because the point is not the weight or the strength but of the near irrelevance of muscular strength to handling or delivering load.

So, I think it bears saying that not everyone does waza the same way, in the same manner, or even in the same spirit. Since that goes without saying -- why are you saying it ? :)
You're perfunctorily equating aikido waza performed in a solo manner to karate kata, which is clearly not the same thing. One is part application of a conditioned body (arguably predominantly nage's role), and part body conditioning (predominantly uke's role), the other is solely body conditioning. To perform aikido waza in the manner of solely body conditioning is, I think, missing the point.I don't think am too out of bounds to say that I write little that is perfunctory -- I am usually accused of the opposite sin. I would say closer to the case of Taijichuan as opposed to karate kata. Karate kata lack the concreteness of visualization of a body beyond mine -- the fourlegged beast" that is presnet BECAUSE of the paired waza practice. The concrete visualization is the element that the role-playing aspect provides.

To perform aikido waza in the manner of solely body conditioning is, I think, missing the point.Since I do not propose that as sole focus that is of no concern. "Application" is no more divorced from waza, even thought they are quite distinct, any more than an artillery shot is divorced from careful study of the ballistics that put it on target. I think we would not disagree that aiki -- however we respectively undertand it, is just as critical in its nature. Adjustments are always driven by circumstance but the principles will get you close enough for creative adjustment.

I would be the first to say that solo work is not adequately emphasized -- I fell into it by circumstance and frustration. I differ in not divorcing that from the received practice. I also do not think that the conditioning or application roles are predominant in either role of paired waza. Good, proper attacks are critical to the training and proper protective reaction drawing on the same principles as the conditioning that flows in "applying" nage-waza in practice. It is a study for both perspectives, and if it is not done as a critical study from both sides, each of them misses something. This was Kenji Ushiro's main constructive criticism from an Okinawan karate perspective -- working on applying the same principles to good hard attacks would make the nage-waza functin properly. Closing asagao is necessary to making many strikes, and without it half of kokyu-ryoku is missing.

eyrie
09-04-2008, 04:51 AM
Akuzawa's exercises as related by Rob J.explicitly describe them as simulating load, and those that are not explicit are plainly implied if you look at them They are described in the AJ article as axis movement methods in which weight is transferred, to transmit mass without commiting mass. No where do I see them being described as simulated load bearing or even weight bearing exercises. To my mind, they're not the same thing either. I think Tim Fong also addressed this argument in that same thread. Since I cannot speak for Rob J or Aunkai methods, I will refrain from making comment on their specific exercises. However, based on my understanding of "generic" exercises of a similar nature, they are neither expressly nor implied as "load bearing" - simulated or otherwise. In any case, I was referring to aikido solo exercises, such as the Aiki-Taiso, and chinkon exercises - which, to my knowledge, aren't "load-bearing" either.

Because the point is not the weight or the strength but of the near irrelevance of muscular strength to handling or delivering load. If neither weight nor strength nor muscular strength are relevant, why bring it up? How is this pertinent to training aiki thru waza? Perhaps you could expound further what IS relevant, if weight or strength is not involved?

I would say closer to the case of Taijichuan as opposed to karate kata. Karate kata lack the concreteness of visualization of a body beyond mine -- the fourlegged beast" that is presnet BECAUSE of the paired waza practice. The concrete visualization is the element that the role-playing aspect provides. I'm not sure I agree with either assessment. Certainly, one could perform solo aikido waza as some sort of conditioning routine... but what exactly would that "condition"?

MM
09-04-2008, 08:04 AM
Rob,
Bear with me until I get past #4 and then I'll get to the point.

1. Takeda taught without a syllabus.


Takeda Sensei's teaching method was always practical. He never taught us kata (forms).

2. Ueshiba taught without a syllabus.


He told us, "Aikido originally didn't have any form. The movements of the body in response to one's state of mind became the techniques."


and


Since Aikido is formless, we move according to how we feel.

Note: I've posted in another thread that I think the translational use of the word "feel" is not the best. Intent or intentions works better, I think.

and


Ueshiba Sensei didn't have techniques. He said: "There are no techniques. What you express each time is a technique."


and


Sensei understood the word "takemusu" as the revelation of one of the kami. "Takemusu" is the basis for the creation of all things. Aikido represents the form which creates all things through the body. O-Sensei said, "Aiki is to teach the basis for the creation of budo in which techniques are born as one moves." So you have to understand the basis for the creation of techniques. The basis is kokyu power. There is nothing else. When you develop kokyu power, countless techniques emerge. You can't create techniques only by doing the forms of the past.

3. Hisa taught without a syllabus. (Don't have the AikiNews issue for this. It's there, though.)

4. Kodo and Sagawa? Syllabus or not? I doubt they had one.

So, maybe we're going at this the wrong way. Maybe instead of looking at the current aikidoTM syllabus and trying to infuse aiki back into it ... maybe we should be looking at aiki and how it can drive movement into a technique.

I look at uke as a body with a sphere inside it. The sphere is uke's center. The goal is to roll that sphere in various ways to gain control. The attachment to that sphere is the physical body. When uke attacks and a physical connection is made, kuzushi on contact should happen. Uke's center should be controlled and moving in some direction. As uke's center contorts, so does his/her body.

And we practice using our intent which has an affect upon uke. Depending on the intent, uke moves certain ways. Well, those intents are causing uke's center to contort or move, which causes uke's body to try to adjust. Since everyone moves a bit differently and everyone moves differently each time (with same technique), there will be quite a bit of variation in trying to do a technique. However, there seem to be generalities in movements and controls (As Dan pointed out with sankyo one time).

Okay, to make a long story short -- instead of taking a syllabus that we know was derived by students trying to imitate the teacher, a syllabus that contains mostly just the omote version of aikidoTM, a syllabus that is comprised of making things work without aiki, why aren't we deriving a system of movements (driven by aiki) that link to techniques or controls?

Granted, patching/fixing/adding aiki to the current syllabus is the *easiest* thing to do. But, is it the *right* thing to do?

Mark

DH
09-04-2008, 08:14 AM
I agree with Ignatius's assessments.

The movement that Eric describes is the movement I spend years "fixing" in people.
His load ideas are great for me-right off their feet in a heart beat.. It is thee reason we see "push when pulled /pull when pushed" axioms -you can substitute the aikido turn when pushed/enter when pulled to your hearts content, it all the same thing. Erick's ideas of movement, fully expressed, leave you open to be manipulated just like everyone else who never trained budo a day in their lives.

The sad thing is it was not that way many years ago. Men entered Budo to learn how NOT to move this way. hence all the testimonies of wanting to join budo to "become strong." Strong meant different, not muscle man strong, strong in a different way. The example or model (push when puled) was meant to demonstrate to the educated budo men how to manipulate and play with the straights, the outsiders, the unknowing, the rubes, others. What it was not was not how to train to think of load and act like everyone else.
It's terrible to enter budo, and get your education in further developing a body like the average joe on the street, that is so easily manipulated. Hence ukemi and the dance; the perfect way to keep training your body to be a victim.

If your goal is to be a master of Budo. Then in a matter of a few years, ukemi-particularly against something like aikido waza- is no longer needed, as Aikido waza will no longer work on you.
Aiki, were it practiced in pairs by people with budo bodies would look more like taiji then modern Aikido.
At the very least, budo people for the most part would remain on their feet and could not be thrown while they were practicing anything related to "aiki" in technique.

As a side note I have had Daito ryu and aikido people train with me who for a time all still "take" ukemi in these pre-conditioned movements that are as predictable as the sun coming up. After a year or two their bodies don't respond to input anymore like the "straights." Push when pulled and potential load becomes almost comical to them. they are no longer "normal" people" Further "anti-aiki" becomes natural in the way they carry their bodies. Being manipulated by aiki becomes an insult
Why? They became budo men.

This other stuff is what they walked away from.

Correctly taught Budo men, would blow up and ruin all the models we currently see practiced in dojo throughout the world. Their movement and understanding would be defining the moment they stepped on the floor.
It's another reason you saw budo men like Wang Chu shin walk onto the stage in Japan and start talking heads. He knew the days of real understanding were on the wain in Japan. And he was right.

MM
09-04-2008, 08:18 AM
The sad thing is it was not that way many years ago. Men entered Budo to learn how NOT to move this way. hence all the testimonies of wanting to join budo to "become strong." Strong meant different, not muscle man strong, strong in a different way.


Huh. :)

From Aiki News Issue 75

Morihei who was practicing alone (2) with Sokaku Takeda for one month was concerned with the matter of physical strength and technique. He realized that there was something in Sokaku that he could not handle with physical strength alone. At that time he was in peak condition and had absolute confidence in his physical stamina and ki power which he had developed through his experience on the battlefield in his army days. His confidence had become even more unshakable since his coming to Hokkaido.
Although Morihei was five feet one inch tall he had tested his strength against huge men weighing as much as 250 pounds more than once. Morihei, thus a man of marvelous strength, had never been beaten. However, he was never able to surpass Sokaku, a man of the same height, in technique.

DH
09-04-2008, 08:24 AM
Rob,
Bear with me until I get past #4 and then I'll get to the point.

1. Takeda taught without a syllabus.

2. Ueshiba taught without a syllabus.

and

Note: I've posted in another thread that I think the translational use of the word "feel" is not the best. Intent or intentions works better, I think.

and

and

3. Hisa taught without a syllabus. (Don't have the AikiNews issue for this. It's there, though.)

4. Kodo and Sagawa? Syllabus or not? I doubt they had one.

So, maybe we're going at this the wrong way. Maybe instead of looking at the current aikidoTM syllabus and trying to infuse aiki back into it ... maybe we should be looking at aiki and how it can drive movement into a technique.

I look at uke as a body with a sphere inside it. The sphere is uke's center. The goal is to roll that sphere in various ways to gain control. The attachment to that sphere is the physical body. When uke attacks and a physical connection is made, kuzushi on contact should happen. Uke's center should be controlled and moving in some direction. As uke's center contorts, so does his/her body.

And we practice using our intent which has an affect upon uke. Depending on the intent, uke moves certain ways. Well, those intents are causing uke's center to contort or move, which causes uke's body to try to adjust. Since everyone moves a bit differently and everyone moves differently each time (with same technique), there will be quite a bit of variation in trying to do a technique. However, there seem to be generalities in movements and controls (As Dan pointed out with sankyo one time).

Okay, to make a long story short -- instead of taking a syllabus that we know was derived by students trying to imitate the teacher, a syllabus that contains mostly just the omote version of aikidoTM, a syllabus that is comprised of making things work without aiki, why aren't we deriving a system of movements (driven by aiki) that link to techniques or controls?

Granted, patching/fixing/adding aiki to the current syllabus is the *easiest* thing to do. But, is it the *right* thing to do?

Mark

Mark
While I agree with everyhing you said. The approach you are advocating is master level, not student level. There are paths to development of a budo man
1. training a martial body only without waza
2. training a martial body with waza
3. training waza -to develop- a martial body
4. training waza only to take heads.

Its no small wonder that 99% of all martial artists do the worst- paths #3 and #4.
Only 1% even has a clue about #1 or #2.

So that opens up a whole other discussion. Why are most people training to be students-instead of training to be masters.

DH
09-04-2008, 08:29 AM
Sunadomari wrote:
Morihei who was practicing alone (2) with Sokaku Takeda for one month was concerned with the matter of physical strength and technique. He realized that there was something in Sokaku that he could not handle with physical strength alone. At that time he was in peak condition and had absolute confidence in his physical stamina and ki power which he had developed through his experience on the battlefield in his army days. His confidence had become even more unshakable since his coming to Hokkaido.
Although Morihei was five feet one inch tall he had tested his strength against huge men weighing as much as 250 pounds more than once. Morihei, thus a man of marvelous strength, had never been beaten. However, he was never able to surpass Sokaku, a man of the same height, in technique.

hmm...how does that tie-in with this:

Aiki requires an enormous amount of solo training. Only amateurs think that techniques are enough. They understand nothing. Sagawa Yukiyoshi

The sad part is that the surface waza, "the tricks" cpature everyones eyes and attention, even good body work. I have yelled at people to stop trying to "move like" this or that guy, stop trying to do waza. Train your body till everyone wants to move like you, and feel like you..

If one were to choose to pursue aiki-most are traveling full speed....in the wrong direction.

MM
09-04-2008, 08:38 AM
Mark
While I agree with everyhing you said. The approach you are advocating is master level, not student level.


Huh. That'll teach me about keeping my eyes on the horizon. :D

phitruong
09-04-2008, 09:24 AM
1. training a martial body only without waza
2. training a martial body with waza
3. training waza -to develop- a martial body
4. training waza only to take heads.



Question: what are the characteristics of a martial body? trying to figure out the different between martial body and conditioned athlete body.

Thanks

HL1978
09-04-2008, 10:07 AM
I don't think am too out of bounds to say that I write little that is perfunctory -- I am usually accused of the opposite sin. I would say closer to the case of Taijichuan as opposed to karate kata. Karate kata lack the concreteness of visualization of a body beyond mine -- the fourlegged beast" that is presnet BECAUSE of the paired waza practice. The concrete visualization is the element that the role-playing aspect provides.


Thats what sanchin, when preformed properly with a partner is for.

ChrisMoses
09-04-2008, 10:23 AM
There's an interesting bit in the beginning of Hsing Yi Chuan: Theory and Applications (http://www.amazon.com/Hsing-Yi-Chuan-Applications-Internal/dp/0940871084/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1220540353&sr=8-4) in which the author(s) address some of what we're talking about now. I don't have it in front of me now, but to paraphrase:

The core martial quality of a martial artist can be broken down into three factors:
1) speed
2) power
3) technique

Of those three, speed is the most important (if you can move faster than the other guy, you are more likely to avoid what they are doing and at least get an attempt to do what you're trying to do). Then comes power. Even if you don't have much technique to call on, if you can do a few things very powerfully (however that power is derived- li, qi or jin) then what you do will have great effect. The *least* important is technique. If you have absolutely amazing technique but are slow and weak it will do you no good whatsoever.

Now *if* you accept that paradigm and you look at how Aikido is generally studied (in the West) you see an almost fanatical obsession on technique and often almost a rejection of speed and power. Not terribly surprising then that many of us sense that there's "something wrong." It's not like this is some paradigm shifting concept, this is pretty basic, I admit. It's where he goes next that I think is actually quite interesting.

The best training system would be one that was able to develop speed and power by *studying technique*. In that way, you would be addressing all three factors simultaneously. Granted this is in a Hsing Yi book and if you look at how they train, you see that this is basically what they're doing: relatively simple techniques that develop speed and power. The only other system that I'm familiar with that might do this better than Hsing Yi would be Judo (classical, not necessarily Olympic judo :yuck: ). Oh gosh, what was it that almost to a man OSensei's early students brought with them to their first encounter with him? A strong judo background.

I'd also like to comment quickly on Mark's comments about a lack of syllabus. I think too many people who aren't aware enough about the "shu ha ri" training paradigm find themselves in the "ri" phase and then suddenly reject the steps that got them there. I can think of a lot of people who rejected "forms" and "waza" who got to that place of understanding by doing LOTS of forms and waza. Even in a paradigm like the Aunkai, at first you're doing lots of rote mimicry that needs good correction. Yes the end goal is being formless, but to develop the tools to BE formless, you have to do a lot of formal/specific exercises. Reject forms too early on your own peril. ;)

Finally, to Rennis:

That's a really interesting quote! In my ryuha the third kata you learn is Iwao Nami ("rocks and waves" basically). It's a walking kata in which one is supposed to first embody the sensation of increasing pressure that naturally occurs when one walks up a beach and then the explosive quality of a sub-surface wave that crashes straight up a rock face. Sound familiar? :)

EDIT: I wanted to point out specifically that when I said, "I think too many people who aren't aware enough about the "shu ha ri" training paradigm ..." I wasn't referring to you Mark, but to those teachers (Bruce Lee comes to mind here) who made statements like you were quoting.

Jim Sorrentino
09-04-2008, 10:24 AM
Hi Hunter,Thats what sanchin, when preformed properly with a partner is for.The sanchin I know from Uechi-ryu karatedo is a solo kata. One may practice certain conditioning exercises in sanchin stance with a partner, and one may also have one's sanchin stance and overall form tested by a teacher or knowledgeable partner. Which "sanchin" do you mean? Thanks!

Jim

HL1978
09-04-2008, 10:50 AM
Hi Hunter,The sanchin I know from Uechi-ryu karatedo is a solo kata. One may practice certain conditioning exercises in sanchin stance with a partner, and one may also have one's sanchin stance and overall form tested by a teacher or knowledgeable partner. Which "sanchin" do you mean? Thanks!

Jim

Hi Jim,

I am somewhat familiar with the uechi-ryu verson of sanchin, but the isshinryu version that I learned is pretty much done as you described. I just did it "wrong" for many years since no one really told me exactly what I was supposed to be training (until I asked Advincula Sensei why he moved differently).

I am referring to the later in terms of a paired exercise, not in practicing waza/bunkai, but learning how to take those incoming forces from your partner, and not lurching forwards when your partner stops putting pressure onto the person doing sanchin. In the isshinryu verson, it can be done solo, but most of the time you have someone else who knows the kata or an instructor striking/pushing you.

After training with the Aunkai, I no longer preform sanchin with tensed muscles as a "breathing exercise" (though the breathing aspect is important, but not in the way I was originally taught). Rather I focus on maintaining structure while in motion, and grounding incoming forces etc. Thats basically how I do any kata wether solo or with a partner, studying utilizing these body skills rather than waza.

gdandscompserv
09-04-2008, 11:03 AM
Dan,
Do you believe taichi has the best methods for training a 'budo' body?
Ricky

MM
09-04-2008, 11:29 AM
EDIT: I wanted to point out specifically that when I said, "I think too many people who aren't aware enough about the "shu ha ri" training paradigm ..." I wasn't referring to you Mark, but to those teachers (Bruce Lee comes to mind here) who made statements like you were quoting.

No worries, I didn't take it that way. :) There's actually a good quote by Kodo via Okamoto about what you posted. Let me see if I can dig it up.

From Aiki News Issue 84. Okamoto is talking about practice methods.


Well, I don't know. I think you become able to do what I am doing naturally. Kodo Horikawa Sensei used to say: "Once you reach a level such as yours, you become able to execute your own techniques based on what I have taught you. I didn't learn all the techniques I do now from Sokaku Takeda Sensei." Once you master a certain level and grasp the key points, you become able to execute techniques of your own. Then these techniques of yours gradually sprout branches.


Like you mentioned, the key point is "Once you reach a level ..."

But, it's still tough to substantiate a syllabus when Takeda, Ueshiba, Kodo, Hisa, etc never used one. Yes, they taught some sort of form/technique, but it wasn't driven by a set syllabus. Which is why we have this thread. :)

Timothy WK
09-04-2008, 11:54 AM
There's an interesting bit in the beginning of Hsing Yi Chuan: Theory and Applications (http://www.amazon.com/Hsing-Yi-Chuan-Applications-Internal/dp/0940871084/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1220540353&sr=8-4)...

The core martial quality of a martial artist can be broken down into three factors:
1) speed
2) power
3) technique

The best training system would be one that was able to develop speed and power by *studying technique*. In that way, you would be addressing all three factors simultaneously.

Hmm, I think I remember reading that bit in Borders awhile ago...

Anyway, I think the idea that it's "best" to combine all three areas of training hasn't necessarily been proven by history, but rather, the opposite may true. All sorts of disciplines---from sports to music, etc---have included separate training exercises that isolate very specific skills. Not that we can't improve on the past, but things develop the way they do for a reason.

Furthermore, in athletics newer "periodization" training models have shown, in fact, that isolating certain types of training at different times results in greater gains than doing the same thing all the time. (Periodization is certainly better for raw physical conditioning, though it's still debatable whether it also works for mental/tactical skills.)

phitruong
09-04-2008, 12:05 PM
Dan,
Do you believe taichi has the best methods for training a 'budo' body?
Ricky

still trying to figure out what is budo/martial body. is it like a decathlon athlete body? what?

ChrisMoses
09-04-2008, 12:12 PM
Anyway, I think the idea that it's "best" to combine all three areas of training hasn't necessarily been proven by history, but rather, the opposite may true.

To be perfectly clear, I agree completely. It's been my experience that this doesn't actually work very well. Since the author is talking up the virtues of Hsing Yi training, I can see how this would be the author's conclusion however.

Like you, I'm much more in favor of breaking things out into their components in order to be sure that each part gets the attention it deserved. I spent most of my "Aikido" career developing technique first, speed second and often being told to avoid power. I've spent the last six years trying to balance that back out. :)

ChrisMoses
09-04-2008, 12:15 PM
still trying to figure out what is budo/martial body. is it like a decathlon athlete body? what?

Touch Ark and you will know... ;)

I recall Don Angier commenting at the first Aiki Expo in Vegas that he wished he could send prospective students to a multi-year dance or yoga intensive so that they could be ready to actually study Yanagi Ryu. I think he was getting at the same thing.

You might also do a search for Rob John's "Making fun of TMAs" piece.

rob_liberti
09-04-2008, 12:51 PM
Training with Dan on Tuesday was awesome and terrible at the same time.

I felt how to more actively use some of the body skills I've been developing. I think this kind of experience is crucial.

Also, I got to actually feel how to do what I call "Dan's super punch" (which is not very much like any other punch except that the person you hit gets impacted with force).

I have an idea of where I need to go in terms of coming up with waza (aikido and maybe DR) to help facilitate the learning process of internal skills and aiki. I have so much to consider with respect to that, that I haven't been too interested in writing about it until I can try a few more things out over some time.

I can almost see how my aikido class needs to _initially_ change. I'm trying to get a longer term vision so I have something to steer towards. The problem is, once the uke's can attack with internal skills and aiki, I'm wondering what training will be best for the class.

Rob

Erick Mead
09-04-2008, 02:22 PM
They [Ark's exercises] are described in the AJ article as axis movement methods in which weight is transferred, to transmit mass without committing mass. ...
No where do I see them being described as simulated load bearing or even weight bearing exercises.... If neither weight nor strength nor muscular strength are relevant, why bring it up? How is this pertinent to training aiki thru waza? Perhaps you could expound further what IS relevant, if weight or strength is not involved?
Pleased to to do it, if you will bear with me. Unfortunately, DH misread or mistated what I said on this point, so let me be clear that I am NOT going to deal with an arm push with push-pull mechanics nor some version of a barbell biceps curl. That is as contrary to my understanding as it is to Ark's or Rob's or Harden's.

Rob J.'s article on "Training ... for martial movement" http://unleashingfong.com/martialmovement/index.php?title=Training_The_Body_For_Martial_Movement_Beginning_Exercises describes tenchijin as "holding up the sky." Ark in the AJ interview specifically describes tenchijin as "The hands split to the side, as if holding an extremely large heavy round object, still pressing upwards as the body sinks to middle low position."

Rob J. also describes the correct sensation of anterior (frontwise) spinal shear in the lower back for most efficient horizontal load bearing/projection. ("It should feel like someone's pulling you forward, but at the same time you're pulling yourself back.") For an analysis of the importance of this see here: http://www.spinalfitness.com/Manual%202/MANUAL-2PART2.pdf You can read through the very interesting specific anatomy and summing the mechanics though every level of the spine or you can skip to the summery of the effects on mechanical advantage of proper shear and posture at pp. 140-142 (printed text, pp. 24-26 of the pdf pagination) (showing the mechanical relationship of forward shear in the lower spine to the effort necessary to bear a lateral loading of 100 pounds). Shear is created by one thing -- unresolved moment.

Ark also says, in the interview. http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=701 "Bujutsu is different, it relies on torquing force that isn't plyometric at all. Even as you get older, it doesn't get worse. For example, Sagawa Yukiyoshi, a shihan of Daito Ryu was at his peak in his 70s."

I agree, that "plyometric" approach is inferior to what HE describes. Plyometrics is "conditioning" in the more ordinary sense making muscles stronger and more capable of greater under greater continuous or peak loads through repetitive exercsie. That is not what I am talking about.

I am not talking about "weight lifting" he-man Charles Atlas physique -- i.e. - plyometrics, I am talking about weight-bearing or weight holding and movement of the whole body in that condition. I am talking about weight bearing when the pull-push opposed muscles no longer function after peak exhaustion. Not "train to muscle failure" but learning to do loaded work after conventional muscular failure.

I have illustrated in my linked discussion the way in which the other postures of Ark's exercises specifically and directly relate to actual real work and loading conditions that I have experienced, including shiko (tossing ground-laid load sideways), mabu (projecting load downward as in digging post holes or tamping earth, shintaijuku (lifting and shifting loads overhead from one side to the other as with plywood or kegs of malty consumables), agete (lifting and holding a bucket or tool overhead), and ashi age (extending upper load projection with a lower prop extension (propping (not pushing) with a leg off a ladder to reach that extra little bit further with the upper body).

Weight bearing or holding naturally "connects" everything and that's how Ark ACTUALLY describes it. The term "arch" as he uses it is not mere metaphor -- it is an actual load path following his "piano wire tension." The term "axis" as he uses it is not mere metaphor it's called a thrust line desrcibing the placement of that load path in relation to the ground reaction -- setting up a positive, neutral or negative moment between the placement of the thrust line, the ground reaction and the center of mass.

And what do we call the principle of physics that describes "mass transfer" employing "torquing force"? I'm not inventing anything -- it's what he said and it is what he actually describes.

I'm not sure I agree with either assessment. Certainly, one could perform solo aikido waza as some sort of conditioning routine... but what exactly would that "condition"? Primarily -- posture and linking with an imaginative loading -- just like Ark's excercises. The advantage being that when done paired both persons have a knowledge of what they are doing and where the dynamic goes, but both can can feel and thus reproduce ACTUAL loading to work on proper posture and refine it if they choose to do the solo work. Once correct mechanics in good postures is learned then adapting mechanics to less advantageous or interrupted postures (henka) becomes possible.

Erick Mead
09-04-2008, 02:36 PM
Thats what sanchin, when preformed properly with a partner is for.Yes -- and it is very effective. Sanchin is asagao, so it directly relates to the kokyu undo that are expressed in the various aikido waza. But the sanchin I have been exposed to was (as Jim said) exclusively solo work. It lacked two things -- a consistent concrete visualization of the relationship required in joining the attack into the movement as one system, and variety in the ways in which those movements may ultimately be expressed.

MM
09-04-2008, 03:29 PM
Pleased to to do it, if you will bear with me. Unfortunately, DH misread or mistated what I said on this point, so let me be clear that I am NOT going to deal with an arm push with push-pull mechanics nor some version of a barbell biceps curl. That is as contrary to my understanding as it is to Ark's or Rob's or Harden's.


Since you have such a great grasp of things, I'm sure you won't mind if people in your area come visit you to learn all this stuff, right? So, for everyone in the southern part of the U.S., they can come to you to learn, right? You'll help them with training aiki...do, right?

MM
09-04-2008, 03:32 PM
Yes -- and it is very effective. Sanchin is asagao, so it directly relates to the kokyu undo that are expressed in the various aikido waza. But the sanchin I have been exposed to was (as Jim said) exclusively solo work. It lacked two things -- a consistent concrete visualization of the relationship required in joining the attack into the movement as one system, and variety in the ways in which those movements may ultimately be expressed.

Huh, well, do you mind if I point Ushiro sensei in your direction since you have such a firm grasp on sanchin? I'm sure he'll be delighted to know his sanchin might be lacking or that he doesn't have it down just right. Let me know if it works out differently for you than the last person who said something like that to him. :)

Erick Mead
09-04-2008, 04:18 PM
Huh, well, do you mind if I point Ushiro sensei in your direction since you have such a firm grasp on sanchin? I'm sure he'll be delighted to know his sanchin might be lacking or that he doesn't have it down just right. Let me know if it works out differently for you than the last person who said something like that to him. :)Ye gods and little ducks. I didn't talk about Ushiro's sanchin, but the sanchin I was exposed to, which may lack things his very well may have, and is one of the reasons I look for these things elsewhere. There is nothing in the world that does not lack something. sheesh. :freaky:

Yes -- and it is very effective. Sanchin is asagao, so it directly relates to the kokyu undo that are expressed in the various aikido waza That is hardly critical of sanchin as a general statement -- but a simultaneous acknowledgement of its fundamaental VALUE and some limitaitons of some forms of it. I do not pretend that aikido waza do not have their own limitations -- I just decline to sign on to overbroad assumptions about what those limitations are, or how they should be remedied.

Erick Mead
09-04-2008, 04:31 PM
Since you have such a great grasp of things, I'm sure you won't mind if people in your area come visit you to learn all this stuff, right? So, for everyone in the southern part of the U.S., they can come to you to learn, right? You'll help them with training aiki...do, right? I do not feel the need to save aikido from itself. I am fairly sure it will totter on. I have no intention of changing any traditional understanding -- I just want to ground that understanding in a different medium. Full disclosure: my main source for the traditional understanding, consistent with what I have been taught -- but with an empiricial bent -- is Miura Baien.
When I ask a person why a stone falls to the ground when it is released from my hand, he says "because it is heavy, everyone knows this". But he does not understand this thing he says he knows. He does not realise that he is speaking from habit, and to all intents he may as well be speaking in a drunken stupor.
If you will note I did not and do not criticize what Ark's exercises are claimed to accomplish -- I just described what they are doing mechanically from what they themselves have described doing physically. It is not a challenge but a broadening of understanding. It is a denial that there is only one (or a few ways) to accomplish those things. It is a claim that different ways to accomplish the same thing are far more mechanically alike than they are superficially different. It just broadens understanding of what they are doing, the same as it broadens my understanding of what aikido waza and kokyu undo are accomplishing.

Cady Goldfield
09-04-2008, 04:46 PM
But, why wouldn't you want to know what Ueshiba actually knew and did in HIS aikido. Isn't it odd for subsequent generations of aikidoka to continue to scratch their heads in puzzlement over the things Ueshiba did -- and called Aikido -- which they cannot emulate?

It's an odd thing that there are so many people still so completely satisfied to believe that Ueshiba's talent was so far above and beyond theirs, that they can only be in awe of him and never be like him. Or, heaven forfend, actually surpass him in skill.

MM
09-04-2008, 05:38 PM
I do not feel the need to save aikido from itself. I am fairly sure it will totter on. I have no intention of changing any traditional understanding -- I just want to ground that understanding in a different medium.


In the same breath, you state you have no intention of changing aikido understanding but that you want to use a different medium to ... well, change aikido understanding.


If you will note I did not and do not criticize what Ark's exercises are claimed to accomplish -- I just described what they are doing mechanically from what they themselves have described doing physically.


So, you state here in words that you understand Ark's exercises so that you know what his happening mechanically. Again, I say, hey, everyone, Erick knows this stuff, right? Surely people can come to you and have you *show* them what Ark's exercises are for, right? Or are you just intellectually mast...er... intellectualizing these discussions when you can't really *do*?


It is not a challenge but a broadening of understanding. It is a denial that there is only one (or a few ways) to accomplish those things. It is a claim that different ways to accomplish the same thing are far more mechanically alike than they are superficially different. It just broadens understanding of what they are doing, the same as it broadens my understanding of what aikido waza and kokyu undo are accomplishing.

So you *know* such that you can broaden everyone's understanding? Hey, so, people can come to you to get understanding of what's going on, right? They can show up at your dojo and you'll get them started on the way, right? Or is this yet another intellectual exercise in futility?

rob_liberti
09-04-2008, 05:55 PM
aikido waza that best train aiki...do

eyrie
09-04-2008, 06:44 PM
Since everyone moves a bit differently and everyone moves differently each time (with same technique), there will be quite a bit of variation in trying to do a technique. However, there seem to be generalities in movements and controls (As Dan pointed out with sankyo one time). Precisely... waza is simply a snapshot of one particular application instance, which occurred at that precise moment of interaction between uke and nage, in which all the dynamic variables of interactive moment coincide to create it.

Because of the variable nature of dynamic movement, the importance of uke's role is underscored; uke needs to re-create the "ideal" set of conditions for nage, each and every time - a tall order for the beginning student, in a format that has the roles reversed.

Practically, I feel that approaching it in terms of generalities of movement and control (powered by "aiki") is the way forward. Every "technique" has an entry, the technique proper, and an exit. What I would consider actual "technique" is not the entire sequence from start to finish (what is generally referred to as "waza"), but what happens in the middle. How aiki is applied from start to finish is what makes the waza - not the other way round.

eyrie
09-04-2008, 07:19 PM
Hi Hunter,The sanchin I know from Uechi-ryu karatedo is a solo kata. One may practice certain conditioning exercises in sanchin stance with a partner, and one may also have one's sanchin stance and overall form tested by a teacher or knowledgeable partner. Which "sanchin" do you mean? Thanks!
Jim,

Not Hunter, never done sanchin. :) But I can say that there are several versions or variations of sanchin from White Crane to Uechi-ryu to Goju-ryu to Isshin-ryu etc. They may all look different to some degree (e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzOMYrtNWRI), but they're all (supposed to be) conditioning the same thing. It can be done as a solo practice, or (usually) with a partner doing shime "testing". So I would almost guarantee Hunter is referring to the one exercise.

Now... to bring this back on topic... the (open) question is... if solo kata is a form of body conditioning, is it plausible to perform an aikido waza in the same way, or would it just be akin to an empty (as in devoid of...) taiji form? OR... is how you move an expression in itself, and it just happens to look like a "form"?

eyrie
09-04-2008, 10:27 PM
... in which all the dynamic variables of interactive moment coincide to create it. Should read:
in which all the dynamic variables of interactive movement coincide to create it.

Erick Mead
09-04-2008, 11:01 PM
Precisely... waza is simply a snapshot of one particular application instance, which occurred at that precise moment of interaction between uke and nage, in which all the dynamic variables of interactive moment coincide to create it.

Because of the variable nature of dynamic movement, the importance of uke's role is underscored; uke needs to re-create the "ideal" set of conditions for nage, each and every time - a tall order for the beginning student, in a format that has the roles reversed. Precisely. You always learn more from failure; success can be just dumb luck -- but failure always teaches. Waza training is set up to fail -- to fail to ever reproduce the technique precisely every time. Despite the importance of uke trying to reproduce the prescribed attack -- it is never exactly "right" We speak of the principle that "Uke is never wrong," and so it is Nage's job to adapt to uke's "error." Similarly, I was taught the risk of atemi (hand, elbow, shoulder, knee or shin) in aikido as the "errors" that inevtiably occur and are to be narrowly avoided. If one is slightly less careful -- they are not avoided. In aikido the errors are more dangerous than the "techniques." The pedagogy follows the first rule of warfare -- "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy."

Practically, I feel that approaching it in terms of generalities of movement and control (powered by "aiki") is the way forward. Every "technique" has an entry, the technique proper, and an exit. What I would consider actual "technique" is not the entire sequence from start to finish (what is generally referred to as "waza"), but what happens in the middle. How aiki is applied from start to finish is what makes the waza - not the other way round.I agree. What the waza provide is a set of working templates from which to take an example and generalize a principle or principles that it contains with specific sets of variations in the form, varied in the timing, the distance, orientation etc. that show the interplay.

eyrie
09-05-2008, 04:41 AM
OK.. so which waza best trains aiki then?

MM
09-05-2008, 07:32 AM
Precisely. You always learn more from failure; success can be just dumb luck -- but failure always teaches.


Huh, really? So, all this time that I've been training to succeed is wrong? I should be just failing so that I can really learn? How about training up to the point of failure? Where's that fit in?


Waza training is set up to fail -- to fail to ever reproduce the technique precisely every time. Despite the importance of uke trying to reproduce the prescribed attack -- it is never exactly "right" We speak of the principle that "Uke is never wrong," and so it is Nage's job to adapt to uke's "error."


You know, you should put out some vids and go on the seminar circuit with your expertise. And let everyone come to you so that you can teach them how to *fail* at aiki...do yet learn something all the time -- using your own words, that is.


I agree. What the waza provide is a set of working templates from which to take an example and generalize a principle or principles that it contains with specific sets of variations in the form, varied in the timing, the distance, orientation etc. that show the interplay.

Time to show people Erick. Let them all come to you and you can show them. Or put up video of you doing all this. Let people see how you *fail* but learn through it all. I think that would be most helpful to people.

phitruong
09-05-2008, 07:45 AM
OK.. so which waza best trains aiki then?

shomen uchi ikkyo and iriminage where nage feet do not move. of course I could say just about any aikido waza. see if you can do it in natural stand, feet parallel shoulder width, and don't move an inch. then graduate to do it on one leg. on my best day I could hardly do any of that. I have seen other folks that could do it. I was also on the receiving end of folks that could do it.

eyrie
09-05-2008, 08:25 AM
It's a trick question Phi... ;)

If aiki is formless, and waza is static, how can you train aiki in waza? I don't think you can... the best you can do is attempt to apply aiki in that particular instance - which may or may not end up being the waza you intended.

DH
09-05-2008, 08:54 AM
OK.. so which waza best trains aiki then?

None.
It was never there to begin with, it's not there now. It's an empty promise, as more and more are finding out.
And the more you search for it there, the worse off you will be.

Worse still are all these crazy ideas of externally moving your body and turning and blending as... aiki.
It has nothing at all to do with it, and is the worst thing you can do if you are in pursuit of it.
You can do that for thirty years and you still won't find it.

Erick Mead
09-05-2008, 09:11 AM
Huh, really? So, all this time that I've been training to succeed is wrong? I should be just failing so that I can really learn? How about training up to the point of failure? Where's that fit in?
You know, you should put out some vids and go on the seminar circuit with your expertise. And let everyone come to you so that you can teach them how to *fail* at aiki...do yet learn something all the time -- using your own words, that is.
Time to show people Erick. Let them all come to you and you can show them. Or put up video of you doing all this. Let people see how you *fail* but learn through it all. I think that would be most helpful to people.Why? If you plainly have not understood what I am relating from the stuff you HAVE seen in other videos then it is doubtful you would grasp the point merely seeing me -- all YOU would see are waza and kokyu undo rather than what lies within them - and in what Ark describes as I have also related. I don't have to diminish his work, or anyone else's to uphold the work I have been given -- or to make observations about how they may indeed relate. A failure to bend the knee of subservience to another person's vision of things is not a countering claim of dominance --- but of independence. Only those who demand dominance would take it amiss. I appreciate your contribution to the discussion, however, in light of the teaching role of failure. Some misunderstandings are mere accident -- some the result of unhappy coincidence -- and some are the product of a serious and studied effort. I commend the depth of your study. :)

mjchip
09-05-2008, 09:18 AM
One nagging question I've always had throughout my aikido training is: "What can you do if you don't have the space to make tai sabaki?" The standard advice about making your movements smaller were understood from an external point of view. However, the recent body training that I've undertaken has provided immense insight to me wrt this question. Likewise it has helped to provide other insights to things like "Stillness in motion, motion in stillness".

For me the start of this training was like finding a secret decoder ring..... :)

The question which started this thread are which waza used to best train aiki. IMO, training waza has real value just not in training the body to do aiki. However, can I practice aiki (test my abilities) while doing waza? Yes, I'm already doing it a little (I believe).

Mark

MM
09-05-2008, 09:37 AM
Why? If you plainly have not understood what I am relating from the stuff you HAVE seen in other videos then it is doubtful you would grasp the point merely seeing me -- all YOU would see are waza and kokyu undo rather than what lies within them - and in what Ark describes as I have also related. I don't have to diminish his work, or anyone else's to uphold the work I have been given -- or to make observations about how they may indeed relate. A failure to bend the knee of subservience to another person's vision of things is not a countering claim of dominance --- but of independence. Only those who demand dominance would take it amiss. I appreciate your contribution to the discussion, however, in light of the teaching role of failure. Some misunderstandings are mere accident -- some the result of unhappy coincidence -- and some are the product of a serious and studied effort. I commend the depth of your study. :)

It isn't about me at all, Erick. It was all about you as your posts show. You are the one detailing expertise in these subjects. You are the one giving analysis of these things. You are the one putting yourself out there with post after post of details and physics and rotational theories and etc. You are the one subjecting everyone to your expertise. I merely am calling you on it so that you can help everyone else out there who is having trouble, since I would obviously miss all the things that lie within (internal stuff) that you're doing. Hey, no big deal to me. I'll miss it. But you could be helping other people out there in your area. How about they stop by and you can teach them?

So, why aren't you offering or inviting people to your dojo so that you can teach them through your understanding of all that's going on? Why aren't you out there showing people what you can do through your understanding? I am simply asking you to *show* and *do* what you so easily post. Can you *show* or *do* these things in aiki...do with the work you have been given?

It isn't about silly things like dominance or subservience. It's about someone else out there who understands these things, can show them, and can do them, and can teach them. I just want people to get started on learning the internal stuff. Since you're in the south, your dojo would be a great place for people to go to get trained. Ark visits every so often on East and West coast. Dan's in New England. Mike is in Colorado. You're in Florida. Don't you want to help people with your understanding of internal stuff to allow them to be *independent*? Isn't that what you're professing here? To be independent and not subservient to another's vision? Why aren't you inviting people to come to you so that you can show and do and teach aiki?

DH
09-05-2008, 09:38 AM
Why? If you plainly have not understood what I am relating from the stuff you HAVE seen in other videos then it is doubtful you would grasp the point merely seeing me -- all YOU would see are waza and kokyu undo rather than what lies within them - and in what Ark describes as I have also related. I don't have to diminish his work, or anyone else's to uphold the work I have been given -- or to make observations about how they may indeed relate. A failure to bend the knee of subservience to another person's vision of things is not a countering claim of dominance --- but of independence. Only those who demand dominance would take it amiss. I appreciate your contribution to the discussion, however, in light of the teaching role of failure. Some misunderstandings are mere accident -- some the result of unhappy coincidence -- and some are the product of a serious and studied effort. I commend the depth of your study. :)

This is too assume all works are of equall merit. We all get a passing grade regardless of output. It's utter nonsense that continues to fail, one, after the other, after the other, when folks meet people with true aiki, and true understanding. Further that we would fail to "see" such obviously external understandings you continue to discuss is ridiculous. That system and understanding was never equal, and is clearly lacking the depth most thought it held.
For me the failures I see occur on two levels, Aiki-power, and then martially. Two very different topics.
There are those undone by the former(most actually), but who can more than adequately answer the later (good grapplers). I haven't met anyone who as yet impressed with me with an understading of both...yet.
I know they are out there though.

Erick Mead
09-05-2008, 09:42 AM
OK.. so which waza best trains aiki then?All of them together; none of them in isolation. :) That's like asking which line in the grain of the bokken is the "Real" wood. Real wood is both analytically patterned, an unbroken whole, inherently both branched into divisions and seamlessly joined. So is everything. Everything partakes of jōri (条理). If I were to rank them however, I would say that iriminage and sumi-otoshi contain the clearest representation of differing elements of critical importance. But ikkyo has aspects of both of those elements and so ikkyo really still is the most basic and worthwhile of any one of them.

Erick Mead
09-05-2008, 10:16 AM
You are the one subjecting everyone to your expertise. I merely am calling you on it so that you can help everyone else out there who is having trouble, since I would obviously miss all the things that lie within (internal stuff) that you're doing. [snip flame bait] The application of what I have seen to principles that are themselves beyond dispute is not the role of an expert. Anybody can do likewise and if I am wrong in that application -- anybody willing to do the work could show it to be incorrect if it were so. The differences of method between what is raised in this topic of training versus waza and kokyu undo as traditionally received and properly understood are not as stark nor as substantive as is claimed. Understanding may well be lacking in many places , but lack of understanding will screw up any method. Understanding can be had by many means and in many different terms. I rely on principle, my experience and my own thought in this way -- not some claim of applying indisputable authority. If you disagree -- dispute it substantively. Don't just issue dares and ridicule. It is demeaning -- but not to me.

I read what Sagawa has said (one of the things this recurrent discussion has led me to discover) and I take the man seriously. Since you will not listen to me -- and are not required to -- perhaps you will listen to him, simply because someone else claims to:

By Thinking <for yourself> You Will Continue to Innovate

Up until now, no one was able to send people flying by merely a touch. Indeed, most important is that you keep on thinking. If you don't you cease to have any <good> thoughts. If you continue to think, then a new thought will pop into your head! And then you must write this thought down immediately so that you may try it out, otherwise you will forget it later. Writing this down is key.
You (the Author) are always thinking about math, so you should be able to do even better work <as you go one>. The secret is in always thinking about it. The reason no one progresses or gets any better, stronger is because no one thinks. They forget about what they do in between practices. It has to become a part of your life.
(Author "Even Gauss, and other Mathematicians said the same thing.")
See! This is why you are no good. You don't do something simply because so and so said so. If you simply go through life by simply thinking you can copy people you'll never get anywhere. The only person that can do this is you. You must create your own understanding for yourself.
Take Aiki for example. There is no way to really teach this. Even if I could point at something that is Aiki I can't put it into words. You simply think you can learn everything from me, so you don't develop the habit to think for yourself. That is what divides people that are smart from whose who are not. Even with mathematics, its not as if you suddenly wake up one day able to do these things, am I right? This is the same with Bujutsu. It is about long periods of work, innovation, that you slowly over time become able to do these things. It is not something you can do because you receive a scroll, or secret teachings. Maybe the lot of you grew up watching movies and reading comics and so came to believe that it was this way but all I have to say is that people like that are simply stupid. You can not progress without hard work and effort. And if your effort is simply equal that to others then you'll always be scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Accumulating Thoughts

If you think that humans are gifted and capable of miraculous feats, and to unlock them all you have to do is scrape away the excess, then you'll never get anywhere.
In the end its about accumulating your thoughts and having them act as the foundation for other thoughts. This applies to everything, even math and other areas of study, don't you think?

Deciding for Yourself

<If you decide because> others tell you so, or influence you, then it's no good. You must hold your own counsel. Decide for yourself what is right and what is wrong.
No matter how accomplished a person is, he is never perfect. Never hold what he says to be gospel. If you do, then it will obstruct your own determination to innovate and find things out for yourself. You must take what you learn, and then innovate it based on your own ideas.


or closer to home:

'Nothing is known perfectly which has not been masticated by the teeth of disputation'"

ChrisMoses
09-05-2008, 10:33 AM
My bud "Big" Tony Alvarez gave me one of his Senpokan t-shirts a while back. It has the Japanese equivalent of "More mat, less chat" written across the front.

I'm certainly not opposed to forums, but I'm really sick of the constant bickering.

I'm still teaching Thursday nights at Seattle School of Aikido (http://www.seattleschoolofaikido.org/home.aspx). If you're in the area and feel like stopping by, please do so. I'm not Mike, Dan, Ark or Rob but I can show you what I'm working on in more concrete terms in 30 minutes on the mat than in six months of posts.

/now back to your regularly scheduled poo slinging. :crazy:

MM
09-05-2008, 11:29 AM
I'm still teaching Thursday nights at Seattle School of Aikido (http://www.seattleschoolofaikido.org/home.aspx). If you're in the area and feel like stopping by, please do so. I'm not Mike, Dan, Ark or Rob but I can show you what I'm working on in more concrete terms in 30 minutes on the mat than in six months of posts.


Hi Chris,

I'm near Clarksburg, WV. So if anyone is in the area or would like to visit, I'm always up for meeting people. Like you, I'm not Mike, Dan, Ark or Rob, but I'll also show what I'm working on, have fun, catch dinner (hey, I'm in WV, we take that term literally sometimes :) ).

Mark

gdandscompserv
09-05-2008, 11:43 AM
I'm certainly not opposed to forums, but I'm really sick of the constant bickering.
My aiki sucks...but my scroll-wheel-ryu is very good!:D

gdandscompserv
09-05-2008, 11:47 AM
I'm near Clarksburg, WV.
Ah. Clarksburg. Nice town when I was wondering around there back in the early eighties. How bout them 'Eers?:D

MM
09-05-2008, 11:53 AM
Ah. Clarksburg. Nice town when I was wondering around there back in the early eighties. How bout them 'Eers?:D

This state loves the Mountaineers. The whole season's home games have been sold out since way before the season started. :)

MM
09-05-2008, 12:19 PM
All of them together; none of them in isolation. :) That's like asking which line in the grain of the bokken is the "Real" wood. Real wood is both analytically patterned, an unbroken whole, inherently both branched into divisions and seamlessly joined. So is everything. Everything partakes of jōri (条理). If I were to rank them however, I would say that iriminage and sumi-otoshi contain the clearest representation of differing elements of critical importance. But ikkyo has aspects of both of those elements and so ikkyo really still is the most basic and worthwhile of any one of them.

So, Erick, why not give us the details on what the elements of aiki...do are in iriminage and sumi-otoshi? What aiki elements are the clearest representation in them? How do you accomplish them? And can you define the elements of ikkyo with regards to aiki and aiki...do? So far, it seems like all of your answers to my posts have been a song and a dance, at least IMO. YMMV, I guess. Still, I haven't really seen a clear representation of your abilities coming through your posts yet. I'm sure they are there somewhere, right?

Maybe it's me, but for those other people out there, can you give us something so that we'll further understand these elements? Hey, maybe even provide a video of your abilities to show these elements of aiki or structure in aiki...do that you understand so well? I mean if ikkyo really is the most basic and worthwhile of them, then you should be able to give us more detailed understanding of it, right?

Jim Sorrentino
09-05-2008, 12:23 PM
Hello Cady,But, why wouldn't you want to know what Ueshiba actually knew and did in HIS aikido. Isn't it odd for subsequent generations of aikidoka to continue to scratch their heads in puzzlement over the things Ueshiba did -- and called Aikido -- which they cannot emulate?So can you do the jo trick yet --- or otherwise emulate Ueshiba M.? :) And how long have you been training with Dan? :D

Jim

MM
09-05-2008, 12:27 PM
The application of what I have seen to principles that are themselves beyond dispute is not the role of an expert. Anybody can do likewise and if I am wrong in that application -- anybody willing to do the work could show it to be incorrect if it were so. The differences of method between what is raised in this topic of training versus waza and kokyu undo as traditionally received and properly understood are not as stark nor as substantive as is claimed.


Erick, Erick, Erick. There was your great opportunity to expand on everyone's proper understanding. But you didn't take it. You merely tried to wax eloquent upon the word "understanding" and then tried to tie all that into something with authority and ridicule. I've been asking and asking in each post for you to explain and give us understanding that you so richly post about. It is not much to ask, is it? Are you not here to help people get better in their understanding of aiki and aiki...do? And if you can't get your understanding across on the Internet, why don't you let people come visit you so that you may show them your true understanding of aiki and aiki...do?


I read what Sagawa has said (one of the things this recurrent discussion has led me to discover) and I take the man seriously. Since you will not listen to me -- and are not required to -- perhaps you will listen to him, simply because someone else claims to:


You know, quoting Sagawa is nice and all. He was one of the greats. Someone whom we can all aspire to be ... better than. But, still, you gave us nothing substantive from your true understanding and I'm sure there are a lot of us out there just waiting for that to come through. Please, continue your posts, but perhaps, in future ones, you can really delve deep into all your work so that you can show us your proper understanding of aiki and aiki...do?

MM
09-05-2008, 12:41 PM
Hello Cady,So can you do the jo trick yet --- or otherwise emulate Ueshiba M.? :) And how long have you been training with Dan? :D

Jim

I'm not Cady. But, I've been getting better and better at withstanding pushes. Still working on the push to the chest from a natural stance, but I've got my eyes on the goal. Maybe another six months ... I hope. And I've been training a year and a half the end of this month.

I had a large prison guard come in and try to do joint locks and fail completely. The widening of his eyes was precious. :) Had another big guy try to bowl his way through my outstretched arm and he couldn't. (Was in natural posture with arms out to side.) At all.

I've gotten to test things with a peer level aikidoka and he couldn't get a joint lock.

I had a huge guy purposefully get me into ikkyo where I'm bent over at 90 degrees with my arm stretched way out and have him try to take me down to the floor. I actually had him popping up on his toes. That was probably 9 months or more ago.

Messed around a judo person (not yet yudansha, mind you) and his attempts at throwing me were thwarted. Can't wait to try a yudansha judo person. :) That should be fun.

Haven't met a BJJ or grappling person yet. Except Budd. And well, he's Budd. :) Like a mountain moving sometimes. Still, should be fun.

As my vids show, I'm having fun with getting out of proper alignment and having someone try a joint lock. Or push on my head. Or etc.

And none of this was possible before starting training in internal structure. So at a year and a half, I'm doing fairly well. Still a huge, huge way to go. So much that my head spins sometimes. At times, this stuff is really fun. :)

How about you, Jim? Have you been keeping up with the exercises?

rob_liberti
09-05-2008, 01:48 PM
I did my impression of the jo trick - not holding a jo! Stan Baker pushed on my arm and I held up to way more push-force-attempt than I ever did before.

People keeps saying that aiki is formless, but you can certainly set up situations where you can practice aiki.

I think I was initially looking for waza that helps train internal strength by highlighting certain aspects of the solo exercises in the waza.

Anyway, there is a guy in Dan's class that just might be able to emulate Ushieba M fairly well if he were so inclined. Certainly from the take on all challengers perspective as well as many of the ki tricks to whatever degree he would decide to practice for them. I doubt he is fluent in that old grandpa Japanese, and I doubt he studied the Kotodama. So I suppose it is all relative.

Rob

Erick Mead
09-05-2008, 04:02 PM
I had a large prison guard come in and try to do joint locks and fail completely. The widening of his eyes was precious. :) Had another big guy try to bowl his way through my outstretched arm and he couldn't. (Was in natural posture with arms out to side.) At all.... I've gotten to test things with a peer level aikidoka and he couldn't get a joint lock....
I had a huge guy purposefully get me into ikkyo where I'm bent over at 90 degrees with my arm stretched way out and have him try to take me down to the floor. I actually had him popping up on his toes. That was probably 9 months or more ago. ... Messed around a judo person (not yet yudansha, mind you) and his attempts at throwing me were thwarted. Well bully for you.

As my vids show, I'm having fun with getting out of proper alignment and having someone try a joint lock. Or push on my head. Or etc.
Vids? Are these yours? Defeating nikkyo, kotegaeshi and a sideways push to the head?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXp_sl2VXTk&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVCZf53XIE0&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sht2NLy7jvA&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSKMkqJvWmY&feature=related

mathewjgano
09-05-2008, 05:57 PM
I really like ushiro tekubitori kokyu nage where you step (I step twice), pivot, and step backwards (I step twice backwards too) making the big windmill motion. That works the standing structure and the upper cross (eventhough it is tilted a bit).

I can wrap my arms forward and work ikkyo. Or cycle my hands up my centerplane to work ikkyo more freely. I think kokyu ho works of course.

But I'm looking for more inspiration in what other techniques lend themselves well to beginner level aiki...do in really obvious ways. Any ideas welcome.

Rob

One of my favorite things is simply to practice shomen uchi with uke performing the morote dori suppression (basically nage tries to raise the sword/tegatana and uke tries to prevent it). If uke can really keep a strong connection such that if nage lets up, uke begins to gain ground, then you can really have a lot of fun lifting uke onto your center/spine and practice moving in a variety of ways from there, cutting and raising at diffferent times. Uke gets a massive work out trying to stay connected and always trying to fill in through the connection if nage should let up.

MM
09-05-2008, 07:00 PM
Well bully for you.

Vids? Are these yours? Defeating nikkyo, kotegaeshi and a sideways push to the head?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXp_sl2VXTk&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVCZf53XIE0&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sht2NLy7jvA&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSKMkqJvWmY&feature=related

You must have missed my other post where I linked two of them. But, yes, those are my vids. We had fun. I really don't mind putting them out there. Even in 5 years, I can look back and say, wow, I really was just beginning. :)

I like the end of the first clip. You can see at 0:18, my arm is out sideways and being pushed down and out. Then I just uncoil in a relaxed fashion and voila, uke rolls. Pretty cool for a beginner.

DH
09-05-2008, 07:16 PM
Guys, can you talk about your training and just leave me out of it. Share your opinions and view if you must, but I am increasingly uncomfortable with seeing references to me in so many threads. I tell you in private to go test everywhere-you're not conveying that all too well here.
How about talking about "the idea." The idea that there is a training method for internal power-aiki- that is put forth by Ark, Mike, Ushiro, and is in ICMA, Daito ryu etc?
That's the real point isn't it? To see it beyond a singular person. I keep saying it over and over. Go out and test, train, study, train some more. Don't EVER buy into just one guy.

eyrie
09-05-2008, 07:52 PM
People keeps saying that aiki is formless, but you can certainly set up situations where you can practice aiki.

I think I was initially looking for waza that helps train internal strength by highlighting certain aspects of the solo exercises in the waza. I'd agree that you can set up situations where you can practice applying aiki - let's just not call it waza. You will also need a fairly responsive uke, at least initially, who can help you find "it". Certainly, there are generalities of control where, if applied with aiki, is radically different to straight jujitsu in both feeling and intent.

As for your last sentence, I think you're looking at the wrong end of the stick... it's not in the waza... My feeling is that the role confusion adds to the confusion. Who is uke? What is uke?

rob_liberti
09-06-2008, 08:16 PM
I'd agree that you can set up situations where you can practice applying aiki - let's just not call it waza. You will also need a fairly responsive uke, at least initially, who can help you find "it". Certainly, there are generalities of control where, if applied with aiki, is radically different to straight jujitsu in both feeling and intent.

I think I can practice at least some basic aspects of aiki with someone who knows very little and is not very responsive at all, but we can agree to disagree.

As for your last sentence, I think you're looking at the wrong end of the stick... it's not in the waza... My feeling is that the role confusion adds to the confusion. Who is uke? What is uke?

Well, I think you are looking at the situation where everyone has a fairy well trained body for internal skills. (I tried to say that I wasn't talking about that situation in post #3). I'm looking for the situation where the teacher does and the students do not yet. How can I give them solo exercises and then some waza (that they already know the basic framework for) that highlights some of the important aspects of the solo exercises. Which ties into the reply I owe Allen:

When you mention "windings," I am assuming you are referring to the windings that coil around the legs and arms? (Not to mention the windings around the thorax, back to front, front to back, through the hip structure, etc. . . at least I think of that as part of windings as well.)

Well yes the windings that ends up creating complimentary antagonistic fascia structure in arms, legs, and trunk.

To start with, as I was taught, suwari waza shomen uchi (nage initiating) ikkyo has windings, central pivot, upper cross, central equilibrium,etc.

Okay this is kind of where I am going mentally. While central equilibrium should be in everything, what wazas - lets assume kokyunages - best helps nage feel the various aspects of central equilibrium?

There is an ushiro kokyunage where your body goes down - but you leave your arms at the same vertical height for a moment, then your arms start going down to catch up to your body. That seems to be a good one up and down aspects. (You just have to hold your body differently than what is normally shown in aikido.)

There is also mune tori ikkyo that lets you practice taking a push to your chest while you can work on keeping your spine in the middle of your balance as well as practicing central pivot around your spine.

Do you think of the body as opening and closing as well? Along the juji cross (the cross of Aiki)? Techniques can be explored that way as well.

How about comparing the "narrative" of waza in terms of breath (kokyu), and intent, and ki? Or kiai (harmonization of kokyu, intent, and ki). Or kime? (Kind of like a seismograph.)

On the other hand, how do these things figure in *before* and/or after physical contact?

I don't understand what is meant by opening and closing of the body. What parts of the body are opening and closing?

I think you have to start with intent, and then strengthen that with kokyu. I used to bring my breath to various parts of my body (which was a way of working with intent) but now I don't do it that way. Now I bring in breath to my center just to help me relax my muscles. I have different images for intent. And I think physical breath can strengthen the whole thing but I'm not quite ready to do that yet.

My opinion is that all of this stuff figures in regardless of physical contact.

Rob

eyrie
09-06-2008, 10:36 PM
I think I can practice at least some basic aspects of aiki with someone who knows very little and is not very responsive at all, but we can agree to disagree. I meant you meaning "beginners generally"... but if YOU can... go for it. :) I see no reason why not...

How can I give them solo exercises and then some waza (that they already know the basic framework for) that highlights some of the important aspects of the solo exercises. Since I don't know what solo exercises you do or mean (care to elaborate?), I can only assume that whatever principle the solo exercise is meant to develop, could be adapted to a technique, or rather... a small part of the technique. Or at least, the framework of the exercise could be adapted into something that looks like a technique. Practically, I don't see why not... but then, from my perspective, aikido "waza" is just "exercise" anyway... I had to go study jujitsu to really understand "technique". ;)

rob_liberti
09-07-2008, 06:43 AM
Well, I tried to elaborate with my response to Allen Beebe.

The main thing I have to watch out for when I train regular old aikido these days is that I have some "hips habits" that I have to remain very conscious about. So when I do warm up exercises like unde furi (the arms out like a helicopter while spinning 180 degrees one) I get to practice upper cross and posture. Now I have started working on maintaining my windings such that I move the trunk of my body before my hips while staying very grounded. I'm really still working on walking while holding myself together properly these days. Eventually I'll have to re work how I pick up my feet and place them down in that exercise.

But I used to use that silly exercise to get people started with all sorts of basic waza. So I'm thinking that I can re-work that exercise and see how things go from there. Like normally, I would teach that, and then teach something like yokomenuchi shihonage. Now, I wonder what things will feel like for the nage when they make contact. I wonder how things will change when the uke starts using that movement to make the yokomenuchi and finds they can deliver force without weight. What will happen? I don't know yet. I may just have to make a rule that uke doesn't do that initially! Who knows. Fun times trying to figure it out.

Rob

DH
09-07-2008, 08:19 AM
Hi Rob
Take a look at this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNhOyS9yduo&feature=related
I got it from the Aikido Journal website front page.

I'm no fan of what I see, but it gives you some idea of another teacher who -in the face of feeling real internal power (from taichi) and then facing a dilemma of introducing real aiki into Aikido™
I'm not saying this guy has anything or not-I don't like his movements- or is even worth studying with (I really didn't watch the video too closely yet, it just reminded me of this discussion) , or whether his students have anything at all either. What he is trying is at least an energy exchange that is more flowing with no one having to voluntarily fall down.

After you left yesterday a Taiji guy wanted to do push hands to feel this in something he could relate to. So I stopped to have everyone watch. I'm no fan of push hands per se, but what it offers visually is a chance to see energy exchange, without the Japanese model of someone always ending up being a crash test dummy. In push hands both people get to display power and sensitivity and one has to actually "get" the other person who is vying to "get" them abck in order to do anything meaningful.

So just like in the judo displays I let him try to enter but I do outer work, mid range work and inner work while handling him and tossing him, and then I did the totally owned at contact stuff. This spurred some futher discussion among certain participants about what the heck that would do to aikido. One teacher commented-I think accurately and perceptively-that this would reek havoc in any venue where aikido waza wanted to be practiced, for the simple reason that aiki would prevent waza, and a trained boy would stop aiki, and apply aiki, back and forth, back and forth. That guy asked some great questions.
I asked..."What if it were Aiki that you wanted to practice in the first place?"
My first knee jerk follow up was going to be "...and eliminate passive agressive tendencies, and stop abuse." But I thought better of it.

So again, we had some physical exchanges that interrupted the workshop, but I thought the divergence -and physical discussion- warranted due to the nature of those present. The physical discussions are interesting for those learning these skills as it is a chance for folks to ask questions about intergrading into their martial art; the taiji guys want to feel me do push hands, grapplers want to roll, judo guys want to try and throw me, aikido people want to do aikido etc.

How you are going to introduce aiki into Aikido™ remains a puzzle. Its easy if you have a big ego and want to count heads. Anyone really skilled will walk into a dojo and own everyone including the teacher, but that really isn't what you are after. You want to give it to your students while finding a way to preserve Aikido™, and my hats off to you for the effort.
One suggestion was to teach mudansha waza and once they approached BB level start to teach aiki. That way you keep it from the ones who aren't serious and may leave. Also you tell them up front so there is no more lying, it is made known once you reach a certain level you start to get taught more powerful skills. Then you can structure it so yudansha's skills get tested on a whole different level. as they go up.
That's a model that may work to do a couple of things.
1. you can keep your waza (though in my opinion you can have your waza :D ) by teaching it to 1-5 year level people. This also means the yudansha have to know it and practice it and allow it.
2. your yudansha become powerful people, and as they becomes seniors -over time training in internals-become the best aikido people in the world.
3. The oft repeated refrain of not being able to handle more potent aggression goes out the window
4. You are sa long way into starting to both practice like, and be like, Ueshiba's aiki...do

So instead of focusing on what we have let aikido degenerate into, I think I'd suggest re-thinking what aiki...do should have been in the first place and what your vision of aikido now is. Be a maverick and tell the status quo to go screw themselves. If you spend a few more years doing aiki, then no one in Aikido™ will be able to handle or deal with your aiki...do, and they will be left with the quality of their understanding, revealed-for all to see- as they stand there totally owned by someone actually doing aiki...do.
Well thats already happening isn't it? Ikeda, Ledyard and others have bucked the system and are out there training to get theirs Maybe the seniors are already gearing up to take it back and own it.

rob_liberti
09-07-2008, 09:50 AM
Okay well what is the value of waza?

What was it like before people practiced waza? Wasn't there a lot more dojo storming type stuff going on? The waza approach makes it so that young and old, strong and weak can all practice together. I practiced in Japan with an older guy who was the vice president of Kawasaki (or one of several - I have no idea). The point is that I would never get to meet someone like that outside of aikido. Aikido (and therefore its waza) is established - there is a base of people who are interested in working together.

Throwing waza away entirely seems like a poor choice.

I agree that with the advent of waza there is plenty of passive aggressive - and let's face it active aggressive - behavior in aikido. It seems to almost engender tedium and pretentiousness as a rule! Yeah I said it. IF you are offended, look in the mirror first before replying.

The grappling crowd certainly do a better job with training confidence to the point that IF and when they can get past their bravado, they have a good chance of applying that towards a spiritual path of getting to the core of who they really are and dealing with their deep rooted insecurities. But, I don't see a whole lot grapplers doing that, and I don't see a lot of old grapplers who don't have wrecked bodies.

The question to ponder for me is what system of study delivers the values best with the fewest problems (or problems that are not as big)?

I don't have all of the answers, but I'm starting to narrow down the problem statement.

Rob

Allen Beebe
09-07-2008, 11:22 AM
Hi Rob,

Thanks for the reply. I feel a little awkward posting after Dan put up such a lengthy, sincere and substantive post, (We've never met, but as far as I can tell Dan isn't a liar and it would certainly appear that he is stronger at "Aiki" stuff than I am and can and does teach it well. Listen to him.) but I wanted to at least give you the courtesy of a response.

First off, I noticed when I mentioned suwari waza shomen uchi ikkyo omote I quoted your list of internal stuff (to indicate it pretty much has them all which is why I think it is considered primary) and neglected to add "lower cross," which to my mind is a glaring omission.

Ron wrote: "Okay this is kind of where I am going mentally. While central equilibrium should be in everything, what wazas - lets assume kokyunages - best helps nage feel the various aspects of central equilibrium?

There is an ushiro kokyunage where your body goes down - but you leave your arms at the same vertical height for a moment, then your arms start going down to catch up to your body. That seems to be a good one up and down aspects. (You just have to hold your body differently than what is normally shown in aikido.)

There is also mune tori ikkyo that lets you practice taking a push to your chest while you can work on keeping your spine in the middle of your balance as well as practicing central pivot around your spine."

Well, I'm afraid that once again, I'm uncertain about the waza that you are describing. However, I can see that the movements you indicated could emphasize central equilibrium.

As you indicated here: "I'm really still working on walking while holding myself together properly these days. Eventually I'll have to re work how I pick up my feet and place them down in that exercise. "

I think that maintaining central equilibrium is fundamental to just about everything and is particularly highlighted when one begins to walk, pivot, etc. One should have it "all together" at all times and in all places and directions. Most folks can't do this in a 'static' position (we are never truly static) much less in 'movement.' Consequently, this is an issue in any waza where one is either static or in movement. (i.e. in all waza)

As described above, most folks (me included) can't do this, which is why it simplifies an already complicated matter, to isolate the learning and development of central equilibrium in a dedicated exercise specifically for this purpose before attempting to maintain it in a more complicated venue such as in a kata, waza practice, and/or free application . . . but I suspect you already know, and agree with this.

Rob wrote: "I don't understand what is meant by opening and closing of the body. What parts of the body are opening and closing?"

The "complimentary antagonistic fascia structure in arms, legs, and trunk" are "opened and closed" in a ratio relationship with each other. Some open and close on a vertical axis, others on a horizontal. Of course there can be combinations and where the cross is anchored can, and must, shift.

Rob wrote: "Now I have started working on maintaining my windings such that I move the trunk of my body before my hips while staying very grounded. I'm really still working on walking while holding myself together properly these days. Eventually I'll have to re work how I pick up my feet and place them down in that exercise."

This is also a description of openings and closings and choosing anchor points.

Rob wrote: "I think you have to start with intent,"

Makes sense to me. Even if one is just learning jujutsu!

Rob wrote: ". . . and then strengthen that with kokyu.

Makes sense to me as well. Although, in the end, I believe that intent and anything are not separate. We artificially separate them in a mental construct for the sake of initial expediency.

Rob wrote: "I used to bring my breath to various parts of my body (which was a way of working with intent) but now I don't do it that way. Now I bring in breath to my center just to help me relax my muscles."

I think I understand. It is easier to develop intent by 'sending it somewhere' which is why I suggested suwari waza shomen uchi ikkyo to begin with where nage initiates the movement. We liken this to the "triangle." Eventually, one finds this intent can be globally applied "bring in breath to my center" such that the point of the triangle is present 360 degrees in all directions = a circle.

Rob wrote: "I have different images for intent."

Yep. (Especially to begin with I think. See above. I was taught that eventually one just "is" = square)

Rob wrote: "And I think physical breath can strengthen the whole thing but I'm not quite ready to do that yet."

This is my experience as well AND curiously enough in breath equally to out breath. So there is no need, or excuse, for weakness or gap.

Rob wrote: My opinion is that all of this stuff figures in regardless of physical contact.

Mine too. After all. None of what we just discussed has anything exclusively to do with a reaction or response to an outside force.

Masakatsu Agatsu Katsu Hayabi

BTW, the pedagogy that I was taught with follows the jujutsu, aikijujutsu, aiki no jutsu paradigm. But the structure is a bit tricky. We are taught a bunch of solo body movement exercises and even undergo "tests" and given mental imagery and instructed on what to do with breath. However, this is virtually NEVER understood for what it is, so it becomes a good basis for what one learns first . . . jujutsu. So the next years are spent learning jujutsu, kenjutsu, and jo jutsu (although our jo is some weird hybrid thingy) with some covert instruction on "Aiki" thrown in. Years down the line, explicit instruction in Aiki given and one realizes just how badly they suck, how little they know, and delve into the depths of despair. :disgust:

At a certain point one can begin to practice Aiki no Jutsu which, I like to describe as those techniques which seem to violate all of those hard won jujutsu principles, looks completely and embarrassingly fake, and "could never work" without the complicity of uke . . . until you are on the receiving end.

Aiki jujutsu is what Dan does when he is forced by circumstance and goodwill to perform Aikido waza. :p

My two bits perspective as far a partner practice is concerned is: Nage/Shite & Uke exist within Kata. Kata is a pre-determined form in which each person is assigned a pre described (limiting) roll to play. As each individual progresses one has license to do whatever it takes to achieve their given goal within the constraints of the pre-described roll. (Both individuals, especially the more accomplished partner, must keep in mind that the goal is growth and learning.)

Waza is a "technique" so the only major constraint is that one is bound to that "technique."

Jiyu Geiko is ony bound by the limitations agreed upon by both partners. (Usually with concern being given to safety and profitability of practice.)

As far as the *application* (You notice I didn't say development.) of Aiki in these scenarios, it seems to me that it follows the same logical constraints as any other power differential.

As far as development goes, I think that is a hard call. At the beginning stages at least, it seems to me, that one is so innately quick to "run home to mama" and use normal habituated force and/or technique that there is a huge risk of "dirtying up" ones development and thereby limiting ones progress.

This sort of training, like a big lie mixed with a few small truths, can be the most deceptive and hurtful of all in the long run.

But now that I think about it, all training is a big lie mixed with small truths . . . oh well.

Anyway, my teacher explicitly said that he was no expert . . . so what does that make me? I'd take what I say with a grain of salt. I do! ;)

Sure hope we all can hook up some day. Until then, please keep up the thoughtful and open posts Rob!

All the best,
Allen

Allen Beebe
09-07-2008, 11:29 AM
Here is another take:

There are no kata in Aikido. Aiki doesn't have a pre-arranged form although Aiki can, and does, manifest as a form, hence the confusion.

There can be waza in Aikido. If the strength differential is great enough, I can perform any waza of my choosing.

There can not be waza in Aikido. If the strength differential is great enough, I can do pretty much . . . whatever . . . including "taking care of my attacker."

DH
09-07-2008, 12:20 PM
I've always thought many people were overly preoccupied with learning kata or tricks. They collect them like little gems to place in a box. As if they can pull them out and use them as defined things. Thus missing the real heart of the martial arts.

The real power is formless, Aikido, Daito ryu, jujutsu, judo, taiji, bagua, etc. you should be able to respond freely.

Waza becomes secondary. It's substantive, but of secondary importance.

Erick Mead
09-07-2008, 02:40 PM
Okay well what is the value of waza? ... The waza approach makes it so that young and old, strong and weak can all practice together. ... Aikido (and therefore its waza) is established - there is a base of people who are interested in working together. Historically, that probably relates to Takeda. People that criticize Kisshomaru Ueshiba's decision to to systematize a curriculum tend to forget that Takeda reputedly charged per technique for teaching -- and Kisshomaru Ueshiba had that as a template when he tried to organize it all. I agree with the remainder.
I agree that with the advent of waza there is plenty of passive aggressive - and let's face it active aggressive - behavior in aikido. It seems to almost engender tedium and pretentiousness as a rule! Yeah I said it. IF you are offended, look in the mirror first before replying. I am always a little amused when anyone seems surprised that people involved in martial arts have <<gasp>> some aggression, overt, sublimated or otherwise . The issue is never the aggression but its goal and its manner of use. People who criticize "passive aggression" generally are easily baited into the more overt kind (hence their distaste flows from a personal vulnerability). Martially speaking -- both forms are valid means in appropriate circumstances. Martially speaking "pretentious" courtesies are the product of a violent culture -- witness Japan -- and the courtesies of European cultures have declined in parallel with the reduction in personal violence. It does not make them less effective, however, offensively, or defensively, and attention to formal niceties is never wasted.

rob_liberti
09-07-2008, 03:01 PM
I am always a little amused when anyone seems surprised that people involved in martial arts have <<gasp>> some aggression, overt, sublimated or otherwise . The issue is never the aggression but its goal and its manner of use. People who criticize "passive aggression" generally are easily baited into the more overt kind (hence their distaste flows from a personal vulnerability). Martially speaking -- both forms are valid means in appropriate circumstances. Martially speaking "pretentious" courtesies are the product of a violent culture -- witness Japan -- and the courtesies of European cultures have declined in parallel with the reduction in personal violence. It does not make them less effective, however, offensively, or defensively, and attention to formal niceties is never wasted.

I didn't mean to imply I was surprised - just to state that I was/am frequently annoyed.

There is a difference between displaying courtesy and having respect, between apologizing and being sorry, and between saying thank you and being grateful. Do arts are supposed to be intimate.

Many are fooled by the outer form devoid of actual substance. My goal in this thread is how to map some of the outer form to a bit of actual substance. So it all ties together.

Rob

Erick Mead
09-07-2008, 03:01 PM
I'll let the pictures do the talking The main thing I have to watch out for when I train regular old aikido these days is that I have some "hips habits" that I have to remain very conscious about. So when I do warm up exercises like unde furi (the arms out like a helicopter while spinning 180 degrees one) I get to practice upper cross and posture. Now I have started working on maintaining my windings such that I move the trunk of my body before my hips while staying very grounded. ... the windings that ends up creating complimentary antagonistic fascia structure in arms, legs, and trunk. Windings... Like this: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=509&d=1215185239
Thing is -- the same patterns are in play for the loose (moving) as for the tight. http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/but-why-7854/aiki-physical-model-structure-dynamic-3259/

I don't understand what is meant by opening and closing of the body. What parts of the body are opening and closing? Asagao. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3827391703800514753&ei=ejHESPW0KYSkrQLWpPm3BQ&vt=lf&hl=en
Sanchin stance is closed asagao in the lower body, opening to move and then closing again. Sanchin has opening and closing in all its movements -- as do all the waza and kokyu undo -- done properly. Tenchi nage typically begins opening and ends closing.

rob_liberti
09-07-2008, 03:18 PM
I can in fact see your torsion tube concept in 1 particular part of my body when I'm doing windings - but I would say it hardly describes what is going on kin general all that well - or further that the description would help anyone with how to produce what I am doing. It is a point of intellectual curiosity but by no means actually all that useful from my point of view.

I think I understand what Allen meant by opening and closing by his post. And to relate it, at the point where the windings are complimentary (in that it provides power and stability) antagonistic (where they are pulling away from each other) you can think of the torsion tube actually turning one of the directions over the other could be an opening on the losing side, and a closing on the winning side. But again, I cannot see how that helps people new to this understand better. The point of this thread was for me to use waza - TO help people new to this understand better so I don't personally want to keep trying to discuss it in this thread.

Rob

rob_liberti
09-07-2008, 06:47 PM
I've always thought many people were overly preoccupied with learning kata or tricks. They collect them like little gems to place in a box. As if they can pull them out and use them as defined things. Thus missing the real heart of the martial arts.

The real power is formless, Aikido, Daito ryu, jujutsu, judo, taiji, bagua, etc. you should be able to respond freely.

Waza becomes secondary. It's substantive, but of secondary importance.

The thing is that those tricks work pretty well against people who attack such that weight comes with their force. It's just people who don't do that - that is making everyone reconsider.

Also, instead of endlessly coming up with ways of avoiding and/or shutting down people who are trying to close the distance, the ability to stop take downs without so much dependency on tricks - and therefore luck - is very appealing.

Lastly, once people get a taste of that and realize that all of the tricks they have been learning and hoping to somehow burn in to their body as meta-reflexes can be replaced with something much more dependable, powerful, and fun to work with - the case becomes a no brainer.

But until someone really experiences force without committed weight - it's a hard sell compared to so much investment in the "normal"/previous way of looking at things.

Rob

Erick Mead
09-07-2008, 10:47 PM
I can in fact see your torsion tube concept in 1 particular part of my body when I'm doing windings - but I would say it hardly describes what is going on kin general all that well - or further that the description would help anyone with how to produce what I am doing. It is a point of intellectual curiosity but by no means actually all that useful from my point of view.... And to relate it, at the point where the windings are complimentary (in that it provides power and stability) antagonistic (where they are pulling away from each other) you can think of the torsion tube actually turning one of the directions over the other could be an opening on the losing side, and a closing on the winning side. But again, I cannot see how that helps people new to this understand better. Let me try to relate it so that how it appears and functions, and thus shows up in waza, may be clearer -- along with some waza that more plainly illustrate these aspects.

What you seem to mean by "complementary" and "antagonistic" seem to track the tension in one shear stress spiral with compression in its complementary spiral. If you mean otherwise, please say.

That is one complement pair out of a total of four. There are three other complementarities. They may help you to see some of the practicalities of it.

Second -- you must grasp that the movement of a double (or multiple) jointed pendulum (ude furi, for example) and the potential motion of the "sprung" torsion tube are, in fact the same. It is a mathematical fact. The motion is what results when the torsion is released and the structure moves to relieve stress until the torsion is gathered up again when the structure reaches its stress-free torsional limit. Loosey-goosey mobility and righty-tighty stability are not different -- they are reversible complements.

Third -- is to see that in opening and closing asagao (as I mean it -- and perhaps Allen means it differently in which case he may clarify) -- closing expands structure in one direction while contracting in the other, and vice versa. Human beings, not being puffer fish, efficiently expand or retract structure only in complementary ways.

Fourth -- If torsion sets up shear stress -- setting up shear stress creates torsion. Opening and closing asagao are complementary routes of creating spiral shear stress or torsion in different axes.

The point of this thread was for me to use waza - TO help people new to this understand better so I don't personally want to keep trying to discuss it in this thread.On these points particularly kaitennage is another good "big" example. Sankyo ura waza is a very good example especially the take-down --as are various. Iriminage is an excellent one -- especially versions where one finishes dropping him while the near side turns away from him (the far side turning toward, of course). Frank Doran has a gift for that one. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLCkIORRd8o&feature=related He does it in this example in very loose flowing ura waza -- but the same finish works equally well to a punch in a highly direct tight entry.

These are not "tricks". They are physical guides to what one is or should be feeling in any good engagement --and thus what one can do with it -- with or without a waza you can put a name to. .

Allen Beebe
09-08-2008, 12:26 AM
opening and closing asagao (as I mean it -- and perhaps Allen means it differently in which case he may clarify) -- closing expands structure in one direction while contracting in the other, and vice versa. Human beings, not being puffer fish, efficiently expand or retract structure only in complementary ways.

Well it kind of freaked me out to see your video because the opening and closing of a flower is both how I envision and describe that. But then again, as stated earlier, I may not know what I'm talking about!

However, quite frankly Erick, I can't speak to much else that you present because I have a hard time following you. I'd like to, whether or not the math you are spewing has anything to do with IMA, because I think I'd be a lot smarter if I could follow the math. Still, right or wrong, not being able to do the stuff weakens the presentation (not that might makes right) of the argument considerably. (That is a self directed statement BTW.) That, along with an innate selfishness, makes me want to DO more than it makes me want to SAY. Of course if saying helps me to do, I'm all over that . . . and I do say, to the degree that I think it may help.

Ah, too much wine! But the my Alfredo sauce wasn't bad tonight!! :o

Best,
Allen
p.s. Please stop weirding me out Erick! :freaky:

DH
09-08-2008, 01:08 AM
On these points particularly kaitennage is another good "big" example. Sankyo ura waza is a very good example especially the take-down --as are various. Iriminage is an excellent one -- especially versions where one finishes dropping him while the near side turns away from him (the far side turning toward, of course). Frank Doran has a gift for that one. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLCkIORRd8o&feature=related He does it in this example in very loose flowing ura waza -- but the same finish works equally well to a punch in a highly direct tight entry.
These are not "tricks". They are physical guides to what one is or should be feeling in any good engagement --and thus what one can do with it -- with or without a waza you can put a name to. .

Well, I think this example is worthless to the discussion. Did you think you were actively engaged in a discussion of what Rob is modeling? This is external movement and has not one thing to do with what Rob is looking for or talking about. And it certainly has nothing to do with what I am doing with Rob. Not a single thing.

Once again, this is an entirely wrong direction. I'd only point out that the explanation is not worth the effort, as the example you are attempting to model has nothing at all to do with the discussion in the first place. All due respect it addresses a discussion you are having with yourself. Knock yourself out.
Oh well.

Erick Mead
09-08-2008, 01:12 AM
Well it kind of freaked me out to see your video because the opening and closing of a flower is both how I envision and describe that. ...

However, quite frankly Erick, I can't speak to much else that you present because I have a hard time following you. I'd like to, whether or not the math you are spewing has anything to do with IMA, because I think I'd be a lot smarter if I could follow the math.

p.s. Please stop weirding me out Erick! :freaky:
It's not me and its not math. It is just the mechanical model for the same thing as the traditional stuff. Asagao (morning glory) is a traditional image for this -- "windings" as Rob has termed it -- torsional moment and shear as I do. For instance, the cross-linkage that is discussed is the opposite ends of one of the two shear stress spirals present in torsion -- one in tension, one in compression. If you are prestressed in this way and relax -- the body (or any portion in this condition) torques, even though the muscles have relaxed.

Back to waza.

phitruong
09-08-2008, 09:33 AM
It's a trick question Phi... ;)

If aiki is formless, and waza is static, how can you train aiki in waza? I don't think you can... the best you can do is attempt to apply aiki in that particular instance - which may or may not end up being the waza you intended.

I can't believed I have been tricked. :eek: mind you that it doesn't take much imagination to do it to moi.

reverse question, since aiki is formless and human body has a form (some has better form than other), so human training aiki, wouldn't that a contradictory?

Gernot Hassenpflug
09-08-2008, 09:42 AM
I can't believed I have been tricked. :eek: mind you that it doesn't take much imagination to do it to moi.

reverse question, since aiki is formless and human body has a form (some has better form than other), so human training aiki, wouldn't that a contradictory?

Don't worry, get used to that feeling and relish it when it happens again---it means you've gotten one more level up over where you were before :-)

I'd hazard to state that aikido waza can be described as "demos", no more and no less, of the use of a bujutsu body. Not much different from the various "ki tests" in the sense that there is a purpose to the test, and the tester is not meaning to overpower the testee, but to ascertain that a particular body mechanics is being utilized. Once that (mechanics) has been ascertained, the tester can apply more pressure during the tests to work on the testee's conditioning. Given the fixed nature of any demo, there are always ways to get around the intended test and make the testee fail---once the testee has a bujutsu body the tester's attempts to make him fail the test will simply result in an appropriate body response and the shape of the demo will change.

Regards, Gernot

gdandscompserv
09-08-2008, 09:58 AM
My question is; If these skills are found in the Chinese internal martial arts, why don't we learn them from the masters in those arts? Why are we trying to learn these things through aikido at all?

MM
09-08-2008, 10:22 AM
I asked..."What if it were Aiki that you wanted to practice in the first place?"


You suck. :confused: :)


How you are going to introduce aiki into Aikido™ remains a puzzle. Its easy if you have a big ego and want to count heads. Anyone really skilled will walk into a dojo and own everyone including the teacher, but that really isn't what you are after. You want to give it to your students while finding a way to preserve Aikido™, and my hats off to you for the effort.

One suggestion was to teach mudansha waza and once they approached BB level start to teach aiki. That way you keep it from the ones who aren't serious and may leave. Also you tell them up front so there is no more lying, it is made known once you reach a certain level you start to get taught more powerful skills. Then you can structure it so yudansha's skills get tested on a whole different level. as they go up.
That's a model that may work to do a couple of things.
1. you can keep your waza (though in my opinion you can have your waza :D ) by teaching it to 1-5 year level people. This also means the yudansha have to know it and practice it and allow it.
2. your yudansha become powerful people, and as they becomes seniors -over time training in internals-become the best aikido people in the world.
3. The oft repeated refrain of not being able to handle more potent aggression goes out the window
4. You are sa long way into starting to both practice like, and be like, Ueshiba's aiki...do


Personally, I don't like the holding back to BB idea, even letting people know. I've been at this stuff for almost a year and a half and I'm just now starting to be able to keep things going while I'm under a load and/or moving. I imagine it'll be another year before I'm comfortable with keeping structure while in a dynamic environment.

So, waiting 3-5 years before starting this is too long, IMO. It'll take most people 3-5 years (most people won't train at home) to get to a starting level with structure anyway. If you start them right away, by shodan, they may actually be strong. If you wait to start at shodan, it'll be sandan-yondan before they get strong. Aikido has a bad enough rep. I'd rather see the shodan hold his/her own.

Besides, those that drop out will usually do two things: won't put the effort into the exercises so they won't get very far in structure/aiki and they'll drop out before shodan so they won't have all that much experience in aiki...do. And those that drop out from shodan to sandan ... hey, that's great. Because anywhere they go and train, they'll make people notice them. When asked why they're so "strong", they'll point to aiki...do, er, hopefully aikidoTM by then.

DH
09-08-2008, 10:35 AM
My question is; If these skills are found in the Chinese internal martial arts, why don't we learn them from the masters in those arts? Why are we trying to learn these things through aikido at all?

From what I have seen-the students of those arts-percentagewise are as screwed as we are. In some ways they are worse off. The knowledge and verbiage is known and they "talk about it" so well as if they actually know it and got it. I was led down that path by the writing of some guys, who upon meeting and feeling them -were useless, both in fighting skill and in internal skills. So there is no sure bet there-at all.
At least in the ICMA you have internal power in the masters. In Daito ryu you have internal power in- some- masters.
I haven't seen it in aikido ...yet.

IMO the dilemma for all of us is this- from the top down
Teachers
1. teachers who dont have it-but mask it with waza-cannot teach it
2. teachers who have it but really are stymied on how to teach it-so they point to kata and form
3. teachers who have it-but refuse to teach it
4. teachers who have it and spend time working on a persons body to understand it and actually correcting and teaching.
The first two are nice enough and cannot help us accept for us to stumble through their twenty process and hope for the best that we get something.
The third, and I have met them are a-holes who should be ashamed but really aren't. There is a tacit arrogance to holding things close to the vest in the guise of "only teaching serious students," that I think is a lie. If you feel that way-say it up front. Tell people you can study with me for twenty years but I'm only going to teach one or two, and I'm gonna openly lie to the rest of you.

That sounds ridiculous huh? That it will chase students away right? Daito ryu has been openly stating it for decades and the students just keep on lining up hoping their the one.
I'm sick of it, I'm sick of the Asian thing, I'm sick of watching poor bastards spend twenty years trusting, sweating, hoping, forming relationships and not learning. If someone sucks tell them so. If someone is so putzy that you don't want to spend the time-say so. If someone is better than the others tell all of them to watch him or her and point out that he or she is passing everyone by, but f you are going to share, then do it openly and see where people end up.
The last are the best and all too rare

From the bottom up I see this
Students
1. students who are all talk-but don't put in the work
2. students who are sincerely...awful and are never going to really get it, they take up time and space. Many traditional arts promote them because of attendance
3. Students who show up, shut up and work, but for some reason things never really gel
4. Students who show up, shut up and work...and get it.

The first two are the most common, the last not so much.

Now add to the mix the teacher in #4 getting together with the student in #4. Now you have the potential to really see something amazing.

DH
09-08-2008, 10:57 AM
Hi Mark
I was really addressing Rob's points and the interaction with the west coast guys- in light of the very accurate and point blank comments of a 6th dan. Its the second time I personally heard it from a 6th dan, the third if I include another I heard of second hand.
That was...
"This would reek havoc on aikido training as it is now known."

It is more insidious then any calls for live training, any comments about weapons work, any critique about cooperative play etc..throw all of that out the window. Why is it so blatant and unsettling? Because as he so correctly observed-
"This...is...aiki!! We missed it!"

Okay, that said, what do you do with 60 years of waza mostly demonstrating athleticism and uneccasary movement? Throw it away?
And what do you do if everyone has power?
Do you really think the teachers you know and have felt are going to be able to "do" aikido on me anytime soon? Ain't gonna happen. If two guys with power meet, it becomes a game on an entirely different level and would never....ever... look like aikido. The issuing, absorbing, cancellation, changing (if we agreed not to fight) would be fast and would never result in those big movements leading to those stunning losses of center. Rob has seen it and is trying to fashion a method in response. He is already looking to the days past his training with me, and has a clear eye on the future.
So...he was pondering how does anyone do both? What are some ideas?
In light of that-I suggested maybe if you keep the waza for the newbies, it will a) teach them the waza, b)the senior will have to help preserve it and learn hoe to teach it.
Personally I think the seniors would get enthralled with training aiki power and not even want to do that waza anymore. They'd practically have to shut-off in order to do it in the first place. It would be a walk through.

As you know it's not what I do, I teach it- day one. But I don't have an art to preserve now do I? I think the conversations are moving forward. Forwarded by teachers -in Aikido™ who now get it-at least intellectually, and are taking the steps needed to force a change into the way of aiki- aiki...do.
Robs queries are to create a new foundation as he sees it, and keep things moving forward as he moves forward.
Hey...a teacher who cares...and is thinking about learning and sharing openly!!
I can't let that go unnoticed.

gdandscompserv
09-08-2008, 11:05 AM
But I don't have an art to preserve now do I?
Yes you do. It is called budo.:D

MM
09-09-2008, 09:55 AM
Robs queries are to create a new foundation as he sees it, and keep things moving forward as he moves forward.
Hey...a teacher who cares...and is thinking about learning and sharing openly!!
I can't let that go unnoticed.

Yeah. Good stuff. :)

I think if Rob is looking for ideas, then here's one that is based upon what other students in "aikido" have done.

They've changed or created exercises to help teach. Tohei did it, Shioda did it, Tomiki did it. Quite a bit of the exercises, or rather, warm-ups as they are called now, were created by the students. I think if Rob introduces new "warm-ups", that it would fit right in with existing "aikido" history. Plus, by doing that, he would start training his students in getting a core structural body. Course, I bet he's already done that. :)

rob_liberti
09-09-2008, 10:25 AM
That is true.

There is also the fun factor to consider. Taking big ukemi is really fun. I'm still having fun - but putting in the work and keeping things fun is a new challenge. I suppose I can try to tell jokes while everyone strains to keep holding their lines of intent in the solo exercises.

Rob

gdandscompserv
09-09-2008, 10:31 AM
I suppose I can try to tell jokes while everyone strains to keep holding their lines of intent in the solo exercises.

Rob
Lines of intent. While walking after dinner and sinking my 'ki' I was also thinking about sending intent out through my extremities. I find this a bit difficult to do without 'tensing' muscles to enable me to 'feel' that intent. How do I know when my intent has reached my extremities? What is the feeling?

MM
09-09-2008, 10:48 AM
That is true.

There is also the fun factor to consider. Taking big ukemi is really fun. I'm still having fun - but putting in the work and keeping things fun is a new challenge. I suppose I can try to tell jokes while everyone strains to keep holding their lines of intent in the solo exercises.

Rob

Rob,
I can't argue that taking big ukemi is fun. I did it for awhile. :) It's certainly got an addictive feeling to it. But (there's always a butt, er but that messes things up, isn't there?), just as I noted that "normal" aikido training was sometimes 180 degrees opposite structure training, so are big falls.

All those sayings come back to haunt me. What you train is what you do, doing 1000 repetitions burns in movement, etc. And they're true. Doing those "big falls" burns movement and reactions into my body that are diametrically opposed to building a structured body. I quit doing them. They are, IMO, hindering my efforts to get my body structured in the right way.

It's one thing to work on structure exercises while static or just moving a little. There isn't much involved that requires "ukemi" (I use the "normal" aikido definition, in other words, rolling and falling). But, once that phase is done and I can move dynamically, then keeping a structured body and actively using aiki requires, needs, must have, a very different criteria that does not include "big falls".

As Dan noted several times, this will wreak havok in the Aikido waza. This more so than doing aikidoTM waza with aiki has the potential to utterly change the way aikidoTM is done. THE only reason Ueshiba's ukes were taking such big falls is because the power differential was huge. Train all the class to have structure and aiki and suddenly, there is no power differential and the shape/look/feel of aikido changes. Take away a dojo where there is but one Ueshiba and 20 students and build a dojo where there are 20 Shiodas or Tomikis and you have a very, very different dynamic at play.

The question becomes, not how do I pick aikido waza that best train aiki...do. Aiki is powered in anything. No, the question becomes *how much* do I change the structure of my teaching to create/teach/build people that have structure and aiki. Especially for those teachers, like you, that have fiscal and business responsibilities. If I can help, I will, because you have a much harder road than I do.

Mark

thisisnotreal
09-09-2008, 11:24 AM
Maybe
Aikido waza that trains aiki-
...is ukemi, as done now. but with a focus on the body done differently.

keep the ki extension and the structure; and then when the nage's movement attempts to pierce/take to the center/structure; they proceed with ukemi, all the while keeping extension and structure (i.e. unbendable arm, back, hips) during the roll. it would only be an exercise emphasizing keeping structure while moving dynamically. This idea would work best in kokyu-nage type movements. For locking techniques the obvious analog would be 'pressurizing the suit' to take larger and larger torques distributed along uke's body.
just a practice idea. but now that i typed this out...this is all obvious, right?

p.s. i know none of the real budo guys would like this; but it could be a pedagogical tool to fit aiki..do into aikido. keep playing the game, as it were.

pps. i didn't say it was a *good* idea...just that it was an idea.
josh

DH
09-09-2008, 12:58 PM
I know none of the real budo guys would like this; but it could be a pedagogical tool to fit aiki..do into aikido. keep playing the game, as it were.

pps. i didn't say it was a *good* idea...just that it was an idea.
josh
Actually for training in either venue; receiving, emminating or in change of force-
that argument is nonsense.

An easier understanding of how things got so incredibly screwed up can be shown in a simple aiki exercise in Daito ryu.
#1. You stand facing forward, someone stands on your elft facing you at a 90 degree angle and they grab your left wrist with their right hand. In a simple basic (there is more deth to it later) you have to wind in on the left and wind out on the right- without changing the grip or allowing your hand to separate from his (his grip doesn't open). You thus pop him off his feet and bring him across your body with barely doing a thing.

When aikidoka didn't have the body skill training to produce aiki and control the uke to move all over-that exercise turned into Shite moving all over...
#2Tenkan
The shite instead of drawing the uke across himself, did all the moving! Turning into uke and blending with him.
The purpose in training was simple and later became deeper, in that it taught the body to open and close and later to connect the breath to the extremities. You can search all the day long-your entire life, and you would never learn it in that tenkan movement. Its not their to find. As a training model, that tenkan is full speed in the wrong direction.
There are many examples of aikido movement principles that really need to be seen from the perspective of where Ueshiba learned them. He didn't invent them folks.
A Daito ryu persons understanding really helps to define and understand what was lost when the arts power was given up and catered to using muscle and big body movement instead of aiki.
The differences in the arts have little to nothing to do with what people focus on ...the waza, but rather the reason behind them in the first place.
It has to do with aiki-power.

DH
09-09-2008, 01:31 PM
As Dan noted several times, this will wreak havok in the Aikido waza. This more so than doing aikidoTM waza with aiki has the potential to utterly change the way aikidoTM is done. THE only reason Ueshiba's ukes were taking such big falls is because the power differential was huge. Train all the class to have structure and aiki and suddenly, there is no power differential and the shape/look/feel of aikido changes. Take away a dojo where there is but one Ueshiba and 20 students and build a dojo where there are 20 Shiodas or Tomikis and you have a very, very different dynamic at play.
First up, I didn't say that. An aikido 6th dan said it after feeling, and then doing juuuust a small bit of this.
I know its true. I just didn't say it. The only thing I have related close to that sentiment -was to state that I do not believe I could do ever Aikido™ again. Many have written and asked me about that. With the exception of Howard and Ellis, to a man they misunderstood my statement. I did not mean "I hate aikido and can't stomach it. I meant to state that I do not believe anyone left in the system could effectively deal with what I can bring to the table-were they to just use aikido and we did aikido together. I'd more or less not do much of anything and keep cancelling the waza out with aiki.

Hows that? Come again?
Aikido™ facing aiki, will cease to look or function like Aikido™. Further, were one to learn aiki his Aikido™ will no longer look or function the same as before.
So, to answer your excellent observation- were you to give aiki power to all your students you can kiss the practice of Aikido™ -as you know it - good bye. It will cease to function. The interplay will either look more like active taiji. At the least it would be more powerfulyet softer than anything they previously did or knew, now with smaller movements and fast reversals as the power is contunually changed.
Still, with no discussion of waza.

The chances of being able to get in on each other with equal power and get him to fall down, or loose his structure will be slim. And this of course leaves out Ueshiba's admonition to hit people to create openings. There will be no ukemi of the order now seen either. Most, I believe, will not want *to play* the role of structureless crash test dummy, but will rather attack / receive/ absorb and change, more like a powerful martial artist.

It's only a matter of time
Rob's dilema and choices on how to teach are only voluntary -now. It is only a matter of time, before aikido teachers are increasingly facing men with aiki power. The dynamic -at first- may be incorrectly labeled as *resisting* by the ignorant. The reason being most aikido I have seen or felt, and most aikido as testified to by a myriad of people here-has either little or no aiki in it to be found. With the teachers so ignorant of what aiki is, they will be expecting the student to need or have to move to handle all the teach can bring. I do believe though that once they see the stUdent is incredibly soft and the teacher simply has no ability to move them and are themselves getting handled-that the real ignorance of aiki will be self-evident.

Instrument of change
For this reason I think the aiki skills, currently being trained -in and inculcated in aikidoka who are pursuing it will be instrument of change. Not the waza, not even the agreement of seniors. Nothing more will be neccesary then the skills themselves.
Why do I say that? Well, incrementally-according to ability in aiki, everyone from aikido who feels it does a couple to things
a) They agree that it is not seen in as significant a measure as we are discplaying it-in anyone in aikido.
b) Others that have never felt it...at all.

I attribute this to their exposure to teachers
c) They want it. As one teacher was heard to say to one of his students at a seminar "We have to get this stuff!"

So, when these men gain skills and continue to show up and people touch them, it is going to get very dicey for their teachers. Rob has eperienced this with his own teacher- who kept asking what the hell was going on in Rob's body. This after only 6 months of training. Add a few years to that and it is readily apparent what the reuslts are going tol be.
So, with exisitng students it wil be interesting , with outside seminar attendies who train this way? It's going to get strange. Whether this brings about a temporary closing of doors and the elimination or creation of "private" seminars remains to be seen.

The question becomes, not how do I pick aikido waza that best train aiki...do. Aiki is powered in anything. No, the question becomes *how much* do I change the structure of my teaching to create/teach/build people that have structure and aiki.
Mark
I'd make a much bolder statement than that based on what I have seen and what some people I know can deliver.

The question is- who in Aikido becomes bold enough to realize that they have within the horizon of their new understanding...the knowledge of how to change aikido forever.
Be bold.

MM
09-09-2008, 01:58 PM
First up, I didn't say that. An aikido 6th dan said it after feeling, and then doing juuuust a small bit of this.
I know its true. I just didn't say it.


Yeah, I knew that. It's why I said "noted" rather than "said" or "posted" I didn't think that someone would take it as you saying it, but I guess it's better to make sure that people understand than leaving it to misunderstanding. :)

thisisnotreal
09-09-2008, 02:02 PM
Hello.
Thanks for the reply.

Some stuff I was wondering about:

I guess what I struggle with is: "Why did Ueshiba create what he did, if it wasn't to actually share 'the jewel of aiki'?". Stated another way: "What the heck was the point of creating Aikido if not to train and teach aiki. AiKi-Do...the way of Aiki?". It must be (?).
Does this mean that the method failed?

I think Aikido is what someone else said: a showcase (read: moving meditation) for someone with aiki. Once initiated; it (read: practicing waza) is a method of cultivation (ki, aiki, ...). Through the process of cultivation, it is a 'way' (the 'do') of enlightenment, in an Eastern sense of definition. In this sense; then all the waza were to best train aiki.

What did Ueshiba's high level practice with his advanced students look like? Was it more like you say (redirection,...like Push-Hands ..)?

What does high level Daito Ryu practice look like?
Do they still practice waza? Does Daito Ryu suffer from the same 'dissolution of essence' problem that Aikido(TM) arguably suffers from? Are there any answers there, that can be 'borrowed'.

just some thoughts.

josh

DH
09-09-2008, 02:34 PM
Hello.
I guess what I struggle with is: "Why did Ueshiba create what he did, if it wasn't to actually share 'the jewel of aiki'?".
No one really knows. Incompetance as a teacher maybe? Lots of stellar artists really can't teach. We can't fault him for that. It is important to recognize that for the initial phases of his career he taught Daito ryu. Daito ryu doesn't teach casually. We also know Takeda was tellng his guys NOT to teach, but to only one or two people.
Yeah all those students huh. They still say it all the time. Steal the knowledge.

Ueshiba was a Daito ryu man through and through.

Later as he changed and got into his spiritual stuff, everyone...everyone... said they didn't have a freaking clue what he was talking about. Chiba said he couldn't wait till he shut up so they could train.

Stated another way: "What the heck was the point of creating Aikido if not to train and teach aiki. AiKi-Do...the way of Aiki?". It must be (?).
Does this mean that the method failed?

I and many others think so.
In fact more and more every year seem to agree.
The trouble is many who think its spiritual- have no real power, those with power are not as concerned wth the spiritual.
There are some (right now) who are very interested in the spiritual..very interested.... who are learning aiki power.
Should be an interesting ten years.
Do I think Aikido generally has aiki?
No. Not really

I think Aikido is what someone else said: a showcase (read: moving meditation) for someone with aiki. Once initiated; it (read: practicing waza) is a method of cultivation (ki, aiki, ...). Through the process of cultivation, it is a 'way' (the 'do') of enlightenment, in an Eastern sense of definition. In this sense; then all the waza were to best train aiki.
I have read stuff like this for years, and met proponents of it who either had nothing at all, or so little it defied any notion of enlightment

What did Ueshiba's high level practice with his advanced students look like? Was it more like you say (redirection,...like Push-Hands ..)?
The power differential was too high. So no one could really rock and roll with him by cancelling is power out. I consider it an act of ego that he did not teach. That's just my opinion as I find teaching the basics of this to be rather easy. Even boring at times. And what about, Ark? Mike? Ushiro? and many others who teach it?
IMO it was a choice.
As I said above-others think maybe he just couldn't teach. Hey, some still think he taught men to be his equals!

What does high level Daito Ryu practice look like?
Much different. Not Kondo's stuff more on the order of Sagawa, Roppokai, Kodokai's stuff.

Do they still practice waza? Does Daito Ryu suffer from the same 'dissolution of essence' problem that Aikido(TM) arguably suffers from? Are there any answers there, that can be 'borrowed'.
Don't go betting the farm on any larger percentage of DR people getting it than anyone else.
What some people who got it in DR -do have.....is aiki power. Such that I have yet to see anywhere in Aikido.
The softness of really good DR men is more in line with taiji than with aikido. Aikido people feel stiff as boards to me, then again so do the jujutsu based DR styles. One DR person I know described a whole group of another certain DR jujutsu orientated schools students "like training with frankenstien" meaning stiff and overly extended to produce kuzushi.

Budo, makes no promises. The percentages or chances of "getting it" are stacked against you.
It was never about the arts...EVER.
It's about the man
It's why good teachers are considered priceless and held in such high esteem by men with half a brain. They are very difficult to find or replace.

Erick Mead
09-09-2008, 05:11 PM
And here I thought the thread was to discuss waza for developing Aiki -- and not why shutting them down makes for good "aiki" and why <<New! Improved!>> "aiki" makes the old rattletrap SOOO embarassing to be seen in.

Two things I know tolerably well -- how things move and bear loads, and how people are openly manipulated.

It's not that it is so odd that so many buy the sales pitch -- that's why sales pitches are always so effective -- even for very well-informed people. Sowing doubt about your current (house, car, education, job, toothpaste or laundry detergent, you-name-it) and then be ready with the (newest, fastest, cleanest, male-enhancing) dowhatchy. ("Quantities limited. Don't miss out! Don't be the last in your block to get yours!") Nor is it surprising to see why people still admire good showmen -- Most people would rather cut off an arm than think for themselves and take the trouble to look at what they actually see, rather than simply believing someone who tells them what they are seeing. Oh. And be VEERY offended if you happen to point that out.

Then, when they really think they need to start looking closely and thinking for themselves, after all, -- then they start saying "Ya know, mebbe I should follow THAT guy -- he REALLY seems to think for himself, and he is REALLY concerned to tell me what I would be seeing if I was ..."

It is as funny as it is very, very sad.

OT, however -- Waza are easy to shut down -- they are NOT REAL --- but that means nothing in terms of aiki or in terms of the arc and purpose of training, any more than an engineering problem on a test paper represents ACTUAL engineering. But you better get the point of that particular lesson right or the actual engineering will fail.

DH
09-09-2008, 05:43 PM
Uhm....most are talking about NOT doing waza.
And advising against it.
I think you're in the wrong thread again.

MM
09-09-2008, 07:58 PM
Two things I know tolerably well -- how things move and bear loads, and how people are openly manipulated.


Uh, well, if you do, then, personally, I haven't ever seen it come through in all your posts to date. Maybe I just missed it, huh?

Course, I've read some very interesting research by physics people on why they're having trouble coming up with detailing the human walk cycle, and the point where a human switches from walking to running, and etc. -- and really, nothing you've ever posted has come even the teensiest bit close to that. So, if you know how things move and bear loads tolerably well, um, well, there is certainly a demand for it in the physics world because some of the brightest minds are having trouble with it. Perhaps you could help them?

rob_liberti
09-09-2008, 08:11 PM
I suppose I was looking for a transition from aikido waza to internal power/skills training.

No need to tell me to be bold... I have constant delusions of grandeur!

Erick, all I can say is that directly training aiki is working better for me. If you are not interested, that's fine. If you become interested, that's fine too...

Rob

Erick Mead
09-09-2008, 10:07 PM
Erick, all I can say is that directly training aiki is working better for me. If you are not interested, that's fine. If you become interested, that's fine too...Kudos. I may be verbose but I am not grandiose -- and I am serious. Many of those in this discussion I give credit for also being serious -- I just often cannot tell if they are serious for their own magnification of power or for other reasons. Your view is your view and from what you have given me PM -- I do not question your exploration, or frankly that of anyone; but your purpose is different than someone merely looking for the bright-shiny . I just can't stand letting the pitch roll out without calling the spade what it is.

Windings, then. If "windings" are not torque related, as Ark suggests and I detail in comparison with wave action, ki, fajin and chan si jin, with all the elements of moment/angular momentum that I have related at some length, then how would you describe them ? Well or poorly described, I am interested in your impression as a sensible person whose observations are of value, and their categorization can be made or clarified later.

In the context of this thread (and whether you acknowledge the characterization of them I suggest or not) how would you relate them to examples and various elements shown in particular waza ?

Gernot Hassenpflug
09-10-2008, 08:56 AM
It's why good teachers are considered priceless and held in such high esteem by men with half a brain. They are very difficult to find or replace.

Classic quote!

Yup, no amount of money cannot buy such a teacher if you don't have access to one already. Or produce one for that matter...

rob_liberti
09-10-2008, 11:30 AM
I think windings are torque related, I just don't think that is all there is to it, and I don't see the value in the relationship that is relatively clear to me.

I certainly recognize the torsion tube model in each of my leg attachment(s) to my truck given that I am practicing complimentary antagonistic mental intentions for "windings" that seem to move and stabilize my fascia. I just do not recognize how that is at all helpful. To me is it is just some ancillary point that has no value in helping me perform better as a student or a teacher. But, to each his own.

Honestly, I would continue to describe them in the less scientific way that has been proven to be the most effective way of learning and teaching to every single person involved with this stuff.

Rob

DH
09-10-2008, 12:36 PM
Well I would see it from my feet to my hand-through my body. And the antagonsitic effect both by and on living tissue is another whole study. The bodies living tissue acting as a spring does not relate to a model of a simple-alloy spring steel under load while fixed. It is much more complex.
Again, though, look if we have no one, not one, none...willing to state person a. or b. can do what we do or are after. Then I for one could care less about their opinions and views. I might as well ask the TKD guy at the mall what he thinks, or two of my PHD engineers who have known me for years and are at a loss to explain it. And even if they could? I still wouldn't care all that much. Their understanding, in the end, would have gained them and me........zero.

I'm all about actuall skills, real and whole. And those able to teach them. Not people who can't do anything, wanting to "talk shop" as if they can.

Allen Beebe
09-10-2008, 02:28 PM
hmmm . . . this got me to thinking . . .

If one could come up with accurate models (keeping in mind that an explanation (model) is not the thing itself) of all of the precise functions that comprise all of "this" wouldn't these models potentially be useful in extrapolating other potential uses, applications, enhancements and teaching of "this?"

For example most folks can run, some can run better than others, even the best runners can be made to run even better by folks that have figured out how to best to facilitate that via the scientific study of the subject (physical and mental) and the knowledge base continues to grow.

So I'm suggesting that one ought not throw the baby out with the bath water. Still, a runner is ultimately measured by their running and a coach is measured by the positive change that they bring to their subjects. I'm just saying that it makes sense to me that both parties can potentially profit from a greater understanding and more accurate modeling of what they are trying to achieve.

I think it is pretty clear that the Chinese tried to come up with models to describe this phenomena and it seems clear that that knowledge base was built upon from generation to generation. Why should we be any different?

BTW I don't dispute that it doesn't take an electrical engineer to teach someone to flick a light switch. But it does take an electrical engineer (or someone incredibly persistent, structured and intelligent i.e. Thomas Edison) to use electricity in increasingly complex, diverse and refined ways.

Just thinkin . . .

gdandscompserv
09-10-2008, 03:01 PM
I think it is pretty clear that the Chinese tried to come up with models to describe this phenomena and it seems clear that that knowledge base was built upon from generation to generation. Why should we be any different?
I'm with you on this Allen. I'm currently studying Cheng Tzu's Thirteen Treatises on T'ai Chi Ch'uan and learning alot from it. Not to say that I can do any of it but I think I know more about it now than I did before I began studying the words. Why not try to codify this 'stuff?'

Erick Mead
09-10-2008, 03:17 PM
hmmm . . . this got me to thinking . . .
If one could come up with accurate models (keeping in mind that an explanation (model) is not the thing itself) of all of the precise functions that comprise all of "this" wouldn't these models potentially be useful in extrapolating other potential uses, applications, enhancements and teaching of "this?"

For example most folks can run, some can run better than others, even the best runners can be made to run even better by folks that have figured out how to best to facilitate that via the scientific study of the subject (physical and mental) and the knowledge base continues to grow.

So I'm suggesting that one ought not throw the baby out with the bath water. Still, a runner is ultimately measured by their running and a coach is measured by the positive change that they bring to their subjects. I'm just saying that it makes sense to me that both parties can potentially profit from a greater understanding and more accurate modeling of what they are trying to achieve. I wonder if anyone will start taking a stab at that. http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/but-why-7854/

I think it is pretty clear that the Chinese tried to come up with models to describe this phenomena and it seems clear that that knowledge base was built upon from generation to generation. Why should we be any different? Because we don't have to start over -- we can crib from their notes. Their system is very good, but very different from ours -- While it is empirical it is not quantitative, but it can be mapped onto our understandings of energy and mechanics with only slightly variant choices of conventions used in our system. Try reading Miura Baien.

rob_liberti
09-10-2008, 03:23 PM
Until I see that kind of effort produce 1 thing I can't get better and faster by my current method, I'm not going to put much time into it other than to be polite and inclusive.

Allen Beebe
09-10-2008, 05:15 PM
Until I see that kind of effort produce 1 thing I can't get better and faster by my current method, I'm not going to put much time into it other than to be polite and inclusive.

Rob,

I think I can understand your sentiment and possibly your reasoning as well. I'm not going to put much time into advancing rocket science until I learn the rudimentary skills required to produce a rocket (and many other things.) And if the method I'm using to produce those rudimentary skills is working for me, I'm unlikely to "change horses in the middle of a stream." I will, on the other hand, avail myself of whatever means seem to produce the best results for learning those skills and will work to not prejudice myself against their being a different and possibly better way. Your personal story seems to indicate that you, in the end, follow a similar approach.

I think it is important to keep in mind that when you say "my current method" you are probably referring to a set of experiences and conceptions which you "have" but were probably shared with you by somebody(s) via, verbal, and physical models, some of which were possibly codified into "forms" (i.e. shikko is a "form" the Aiki isn't) to expedite the transmission of that knowledge (experience and conceptions.)

So it seems to me, in a very pertinent way, when you ask "What Aikido waza best trains aiki . . . do," you you are asking others to proffer a waza that can "produce 1 thing you can't get better and faster by your current method" while also stating, "I'm not going to put much time into it other than to be polite and inclusive."

It also seems to me that in order to satisfy your request, one needs to understand what makes your "current method" tick if they are going to be able to transfer that knowledge in another form or perhaps enhance it.

It's a tall order likely only capable of being answered by a few individuals with the necessary experience and knowledge of the subject matter, the ability to conceptualize and communicate that experience and knowledge, the ability to manipulate and/or reframe that conceptualization and communication, and the willingness to do so . . . publicly.

still, just thinkin!

rob_liberti
09-10-2008, 05:33 PM
My current method consists of 3 or 4 aspects:

1) learning aiki directly at Dan's barn as well as
2) practicing internal power solo exercises at home as well as
3) practicing internal power solo exercises before the aikido classes I am teaching as well as
4) applying the body positions I am practicing in the solo exercises for training internal power as well as the paired exercises for training internal skill and aiki to some of the waza I teach in my aikido class.

This thread was looking for some help in #4 because I think a transition from what we used to do to what I mainly do now is important for my students as well as myself.

I'm not going to believe that someone else can get where I am (and where I am going) by means of studying applied physics (or really any other method) until they - using their method - produce themselves and students with good strong aiki for anyone to go check out.

That's all I meant...

Rob

Erick Mead
09-10-2008, 05:38 PM
Until I see that kind of effort produce 1 thing I can't get better and faster by my current method, I'm not going to put much time into it other than to be polite and inclusive.
I can't -- and won't -- judge, but when you feel up to it show the difference between what you formerly believed lacking and what you presently believe you are achieving. That aspect has not really been attempted by anyone, to my knowledge on this topic, and it need not be a bash and brag effort to be good and useful. Mark Murray has done his own in a different way, and not b & b either, but not comparative. His efforts are instructive as to where he is and what he is doing from that perspective. But he is definitively partisan (not a fault, just an observation) whereas you are enthusiastic but still at arms length. I would be curious to see what you would show the difference to be -- in the form of waza, since we are on the topic -- between your former understanding or action and what you see yourself coming to now.

Allen Beebe
09-10-2008, 06:08 PM
I'm not going to believe that someone else can get where I am (and where I am going) by means of studying applied physics (or really any other method) until they - using their method - produce themselves and students with good strong aiki for anyone to go check out.

That's all I meant...

Allen wrote: "Still, a runner is ultimately measured by their running and a coach is measured by the positive change that they bring to their subjects.

I think we are on the same page and opinion Rob.

4) applying the body positions I am practicing in the solo exercises for training internal power as well as the paired exercises for training internal skill and aiki to some of the waza I teach in my aikido class.

This thread was looking for some help in #4 because I think a transition from what we used to do to what I mainly do now is important for my students as well as myself.

Yes. Don't you think that your inquiry assumes knowledge of "applying the body positions I am practicing in the solo exercises for training internal power as well as the paired exercises for training internal skill and aiki"? As well as "the waza I teach in my aikido class." And calls for the a level of understanding and mastery of both that can produce the *verifiable* result that you request?

I can't imagine someone NOT knowing what you are talking about being capable of delivering the relevant, demonstrable, reproducible results that you desire.

My only point, if I had a point . . . really I was just brain storming, was that if one can DO or can get others to DO, the better they are at conceptualizing and modeling what it is that they DO or teach others to DO the better they will be a both teaching *that* and possibly improving *that.*

For clarity's sake, I'm not disputing or discouraging you Rob. I just think that what you are asking is a tall order probably only to be filled by a few folks. I also hope that those with *it* continue to understand *it* and try to improve ways to use *it* and how to teach *it.*

It popped into my mind just now, isn't this something that Sagawa used to say? That we must always be thinking about *it* and we must never be satisfied with your present level and understanding?

Makes sense to me if one wants to continue to improve and grow.

Of course I'm preaching to the choir. I don't hear about any body with *it* diminishing in ability . . .

. . . so I'll just go back to thinkin!

:)

rob_liberti
09-10-2008, 06:52 PM
I'm not sure how I could display the difference on a video per se.

I can do a basic waza the normal way (you know my mad basic waza skillz!), and then do the same waza using internal skills and stop in the middle of the waza for someone to come up and push on my chest at each step.

Other than that, it would be difficult to "show" without someone there to feel it.

jzimba
09-11-2008, 03:32 PM
Hi Rob,

I'm no rocket scientist or anything, but here's an idea. Perhaps you should take an aikido-like subset of a jujutsu system which is known to be complementary with aiki... I dunno, maybe something ummmmm daito-ryu? Itcan be jujutsu, it can be peppered with aiki and drastically different as folks get diferent skills. At least there's something to hang your hat on in the beginning besides silly clothes and role-playing.

If you view the different dR schools as being on a pure jujutsu to pure aiki continuom, perhaps a corriculum would become apparent if you place yourself on that scale and then work your teaching around it.

I ca see always drilling the basic internal body skills followed by teaching something from each side of the scale.

I am relatively sure there are things which are arguably aikido-looking without falling prey to the typical aikido failings which ould get in the way of learning aiki...

Joel

MM
09-11-2008, 03:57 PM
Rob's right. Look at this vid:

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

So, really, what can you tell from the vid?

Okay, maybe a couple of things. I suck at this stuff but I make up for it by being dashingly handsome. :D

Seriously, it looks like the uke just threw himself down.

ChrisMoses
09-12-2008, 09:24 AM
Seriously, it looks like the uke just threw himself down.

That's a pretty decent vid Mark, but I wouldn't describe what's happening there like that, personally I find that description a real mental stumbling block for Aikido folks to get at real aiki. Dood did not throw himself, he was definitely manipulated and thrown.

DH
09-12-2008, 10:17 AM
hmmm
Showing it done slowly is usually even more telling. I did something like it the other night showing the degrading of skill from a DR waza to the eventual big body turn tenkan from a wrist grab. In slow motion movement the uke's postural collapse makes the connection and your structure more obvious. Particularly when you barel move and their body starts to collapse
While I am no fan of that type of stuff-it helps you feel the effect of your intent on your own body and then theirs- in motion