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Enrique Antonio Reyes
11-04-2008, 11:09 AM
Hi. Anyone here feels that some of the techniques he or she learned is just plain useless? (it doesn't really have to be an Aikido technique)

Marie Noelle Fequiere
11-04-2008, 02:21 PM
Define useless.

A few months ago, we found out that the father of a new student practices archery (he's Canadian). We begged him to teach us, and he obliged. It's modern archery, not traditional japanese Kyudo, but still, it demands the same concentration, the same quiet of mind. Sensei does not make it mandatory, but most of us are eager to learn. One day a new student asked me: "What is the use of learning archery?" and I stared at him open mouthed. For me training concentration, meditation and control of both body and mind are priceless. Maybe because I'm old (almost 47). The guy is much younger, and I suppose that his priority in learning the martial arts is self defense. He just hasn't found out yet that a peaceful mind is priceless for self defense.
To answer your question, as for me, no, I haven't yet learned, either in Karate or Aikido, something that was not useful at improving something either in my body or in my mind.
Arigato.

Ketsan
11-04-2008, 04:08 PM
Hi. Anyone here feels that some of the techniques he or she learned is just plain useless? (it doesn't really have to be an Aikido technique)

There are no techniques, only lessons.

Kevin Leavitt
11-04-2008, 04:17 PM
I do have trouble moving in some ways in aikido because I feel it is not necessarily how I would move tactically in real life. Most of these involve moving away from uke in an attempt to blend with an attack.

That said, not a big deal, usually there is a lesson there that is worth looking at and considering. Just uncomfortable to not be in your comfort zone while you are doing it.

Janet Rosen
11-04-2008, 05:26 PM
I do have trouble moving in some ways in aikido because I feel it is not necessarily how I would move tactically in real life. Most of these involve moving away from uke in an attempt to blend with an attack.

heheheh. As an old, slow budobabe, I find this invaluable when an attack comes in really fast and powerfully. Having said that, learning to move that way to receive the attack while maintaining a "forward" energy and extension was a very difficult practice and still takes a lot of concentration!

Sometimes over the yrs I've disagreed with a person's explanation of why something is done, especially if there is an insistance its the "one and only way," but I can't thing of a named technique that I haven't been able to learn something from.

raul rodrigo
11-04-2008, 09:55 PM
Useless in a street fight? Maybe a few variations of various waza i've learned over the years aren't useful/relevant/practical. But i've found even some of the least martial things we do have their uses. Tissier in his class at the 2004 IAF congress showed a one handed version of ikkyo that we would never do in real life. But it does have its uses.

Which leads me to ask another question: when you ask if a waza is not useful, i wonder, "useful" for what?

best

R

Shane Marcum
11-05-2008, 01:34 AM
Pretty much anything from suwari waza. It just isn't practical in the U.S. The organizations that advocate suwari waza should consider removing those requirments.

Amir Krause
11-05-2008, 01:54 AM
Pretty much anything from suwari waza. It just isn't practical in the U.S. The organizations that advocate suwari waza should consider removing those requirments.

This is an example of "useful for what?"

Suwari Waza practice is extremly useful, from a methodical point of view. Training this way should help you improve your stability while doing a technique, and it teachs you to move from your waist.

So, these techniques are useful, even if they are not the way one would utilize something in S.D. In fact, as I progress, I come to understand most of the techniques we learn start at an Omote version, which may seem effective, but is very problematic for practical implementation, and as one progresses, he comes to learn multiple Ura variations on the same theme, often charectarized by : much smaller circle, hardly any preperation, and higher chances of causing injury.
This is true for most techniques, and situaitons. We start practicing from hand grabs, thus learning the right Mae to start moving, feeling Kuzushi; continue to long strikes, learning to find the center of the attack circle and harmonize and to move out of line while not being too intimidated, then continue to long fists and then shorter fists and strikes and kicks and combinations. Each step helps us learn a little more in av ery gradual manner. Skipping over steps can be done, but might not give the same quality.

Amir

Enrique Antonio Reyes
11-05-2008, 06:29 AM
Useless in a street fight? Maybe a few variations of various waza i've learned over the years aren't useful/relevant/practical. But i've found even some of the least martial things we do have their uses. Tissier in his class at the 2004 IAF congress showed a one handed version of ikkyo that we would never do in real life. But it does have its uses.

Which leads me to ask another question: when you ask if a waza is not useful, i wonder, "useful" for what?

best

R

Hi R, nice to hear from you. I guess my question is a tad confusing. Well probably, "useless" in a self-defense situation...say on a single unarmed attacker.

One-Aiki,

Iking

Voitokas
11-05-2008, 11:20 AM
I think the question is confusing because it sort of assumes that the techniques that we practise are all-of-a-piece. Our techniques seem more like kata to me, not a routine that we expect to use but a pattern of principles that will inform our movement when the scenario is unscripted. I guess that's in line with what everyone above was saying; that there's something useful in every technique...

C. David Henderson
11-06-2008, 10:10 AM
The question to me has the form of a set-up question, though I don't know that it was intended to be at all.

That is, I say "X" is a "useless" technique, it's likely because I don't understand it's use, which may or may not have anything to do with how I should behave martially in a real attack/encounter.

Regards,

DH

Mannix Moya
11-06-2008, 08:16 PM
imho. there are no useless techniques. but the practicality of each technique can vary, i.e. some are more practical than others.

SeiserL
11-07-2008, 08:21 AM
I often think of Aikido waza in 2 groups: the first is practical and the second is principle. Both are useful.

IMHO, there are no useless techniques. There are just people who cannot apply them in a useful way.

Keith Larman
11-07-2008, 09:03 AM
I've seen things done that I am skeptical of "in the real world". But it rarely has anything to do with any particular technique, just the execution of it usually. Usually things center around problems like "why would any attacker grab like that and hold on so long?"

When I played tennis I enjoyed hitting a ball against a wall. Great for reflexes. I would also stretch and exercise to improve my ability to play. I had a couch who'd have me doing sprints across the court, rapidly changing directions, and a variety of other things. One coach I had in the late 70's was seriously into Galway's "inner game" stuff (hmmm, there's a joke here somewhere with the internal crowd here, but I think I'll just walk away from that one...) who was constantly having me "visualize" my movements. We never question the wisdom of all those things we do to prepare and improve our tennis game. I think similarly of my aikido -- there's always something to learn in every technique.

Whether I'd pull it out of the toolbox in a "real" conflict is another issue entirely... But I think people tend to forget that in a conflict you have a huge "contraction" of real options at hand. Think of all those effective techniques that don't apply in any conflict. Was practicing ushidori waza useless just because the one fight you get into had a guy trying to punch you in the face from the front? Even "effective" techniques from ushirodori are useless there...

The lessons in aikido (for me at least) aren't the waza themselves so usefulness becomes somewhat irrelevant. Waza are like the choreography in dancing. The aikido is "way" you do it. So aikido is found in the dancing itself. Application comes when you can harmoniously improvise those lessons learned to fit the situation you find yourself in.

Hopefully I'm making sense. I'm currently fighting off some back spasms and the medication is making me a bit loopy...

Kevin Leavitt
11-07-2008, 08:40 PM
Good points Keith.

A tennis racket while useful at playing tennis, may not be so useful in a small life raft in the middle of the pacific ocean.

As you state, it is all relative to the situation in which you are in.

Harm-ony
11-08-2008, 01:18 PM
IMHO at the end, 'there is no technique in Aikido....'
Every technique in dojo-training is just a tool in learning Aikido, as an approach....
The key is really in 'us'... not others....
everything is about 'us'.....
so, train well with all the techniques, blending, etc. which taught in the dojo that we have to 'become us'.....
Safety First, and be a survivor... :)

Peace and Love,

seank
11-09-2008, 07:39 PM
I agree with Alex and Harmony... there aren't really techniques at the end of the day.

The more I practice the better appreciation I have for three simple steps:

Learn a technique
Make the technique work
Forget the technique


(I'll caveat that by saying you don't forget the reasons for the technique)

I am very mindful that much of the structure of Kihon is simply to imbibe a fundamental idea or concept. Techniques are shapes, patterns or directions - the end result is not a specific technique, but a gestalt of all techniques.

I have in the past been critical of techniques as being unrealistic or useless, but I would hope people develop and understanding that techniques are not a means to an end, but that they are the foundations of your Aikido.

justin
11-15-2008, 06:30 AM
Pretty much anything from suwari waza. It just isn't practical in the U.S. The organizations that advocate suwari waza should consider removing those requirments.

thats a bit of a sweeping statement, just because you dont agree with it doesnt mean everyone else should abandon it.

Ketsan
11-15-2008, 10:16 AM
Pretty much anything from suwari waza. It just isn't practical in the U.S. The organizations that advocate suwari waza should consider removing those requirments.

Most of Aikido isn't practical, it's training so that you can do something practical. Imagine banning circuit training because it doesn't stop punches.

dps
11-15-2008, 12:28 PM
If you think a technique is useless, then you have not practiced it enough.

David

Nathan Wallace
11-23-2008, 04:54 PM
I've never learned a useless technique but I've seen a lot of useless ways to do them. lol

Enrique Antonio Reyes
11-24-2008, 02:48 AM
I've never learned a useless technique but I've seen a lot of useless ways to do them. lol

That's definitely one way to put it:D

Nathan Wallace
11-24-2008, 07:49 AM
Also I remember reading(I can't remember where i read this so if it was some third rate sensei or i made it up in my head call me on it. constructive criticizm) that if you can do a technique in suwari waza you can do it good standing, if you can do it good in suwari waza you can do it great standing. I think i got that from kisshomaru doshu's book but I'm not sure. At the very least suwari waza is an exercize to be sure; give me a guy who can do aikido all day and see if he can do suwari waza all day.

Andrew S
11-24-2008, 01:42 PM
There are no useless techniques, just useless people :D

Mark Stokmans
11-26-2008, 05:40 AM
Techniques have two sides: form and application. Form is always usefull because it enables application. Some applications are less effective than others: that depends on the circumstances.

To me no technique is useless. Somehow somewhere they will serve a purpose. There is so much going on in Aikido (physically, mentally, tactically strategically etcetera). that you can learn from just about everything. Even stuff outside of Aikido can be useful. Whatever helps is useful.

I once had a student who had trouble making a good Yokomenuchi and Shomenuchi strikes. I asked him to go home and hunt some flies with a flight swatter. His strikes improved.

Mark