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carlo pagal
12-25-2008, 05:06 PM
what do you think is the difference in mat practice during the 60's compared to now? which do you prefer and why?

DevinHammer
12-26-2008, 12:41 AM
Everyone was 40 years younger!
:p

Mato-san
12-26-2008, 03:52 AM
In the 60's Aikido was a root...now we have branches and leaves

Tony Wagstaffe
12-26-2008, 06:05 AM
what do you think is the difference in mat practice during the 60's compared to now? which do you prefer and why?

Didn't start till 1974...... and we went at it like bulls in a china shop!!

No political correctness then and no litigation either ........ just got on with it!! We were quite proud of the bruises and the like...... just accepted it as being part & parcel of what we did...... a martial art!!

How things change....... and not for the better as far as I am concerned.......

But that's how it is ......

Mato-san
12-26-2008, 06:21 AM
Aikibudo- Aikijuijutsu- Aikido- please enlighten me what exactly is the beginning?
My co-Aikidoka have memories of knocking on a door in the 60's
is that Aikijuijitsu day?

/

mikeg
12-26-2008, 03:58 PM
Aikibudo- Aikijuijutsu- Aikido- please enlighten me what exactly is the beginning?
My co-Aikidoka have memories of knocking on a door in the 60's is that Aikijuijitsu day?

According to the Aikido Journal (http://http://www.aikidojournal.com/encyclopedia?entryID=18) Web site:

The art evolved gradually during the late 1920s and 30s under various names. Its modern name was officially adopted in 1942 as a result of the reorganization of Japanese martial arts by the DAI NIHON BUTOKUKAI. Its emergence as a major martial art and its spread outside of Japan took place after World War II.

See also "From aiki-jūjutsu to aikido" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morihei_Ueshiba#From_aiki-j.C5.ABjutsu_to_aikido)

Nafis Zahir
12-26-2008, 11:22 PM
Didn't start till 1974...... and we went at it like bulls in a china shop!!

No political correctness then and no litigation either ........ just got on with it!! We were quite proud of the bruises and the like...... just accepted it as being part & parcel of what we did...... a martial art!!

How things change....... and not for the better as far as I am concerned.......

But that's how it is ......

I am with you on this one. I think things were better back then. More serious training and not all of this watered down stuff that you see nowadays. If you train like they did back then, people complain that you are being too rough. As you said, this is a Martial Art!

Enrique Antonio Reyes
12-27-2008, 03:09 AM
Didn't start till 1974...... and we went at it like bulls in a china shop!!

No political correctness then and no litigation either ........ just got on with it!! We were quite proud of the bruises and the like...... just accepted it as being part & parcel of what we did...... a martial art!!

How things change....... and not for the better as far as I am concerned.......

But that's how it is ......

Haven't been around that long but I'm guessing this is exactly it " )

jennifer paige smith
12-28-2008, 10:40 AM
Didn't start till 1974...... and we went at it like bulls in a china shop!!

No political correctness then and no litigation either ........ just got on with it!! We were quite proud of the bruises and the like...... just accepted it as being part & parcel of what we did...... a martial art!!

How things change....... and not for the better as far as I am concerned.......

But that's how it is ......

And that IS love.

Since it was Ellis who started this thread it seems appropriate to mention Terry Dobson Sensei, who had a very strong personal impact on my training.
Terry said he started Aikido to save his own life. Aikido was a strong enough art to do that then. Is it still?
Can someone still walk in the dojo and be transfixed by the power that is present? I hope so.

jennifer paige smith
12-28-2008, 10:57 AM
I realize now it is a different thread that Ellis started...but ya know, they all seem to tie in. So there ya go.

Teena Inayan
12-29-2008, 02:34 AM
Didn't start till 1974...... and we went at it like bulls in a china shop!!

No political correctness then and no litigation either ........ just got on with it!! We were quite proud of the bruises and the like...... just accepted it as being part & parcel of what we did...... a martial art!!

How things change....... and not for the better as far as I am concerned.......

But that's how it is ......

I practiced aikido for 3 years now and am a newbie to this forum...i don't know what and where to start my questions....Would you say that aikido today is not the kind of aikido, O'sensie taught his disciples? forgive my candidness....

in reflection

Tony Wagstaffe
12-29-2008, 05:10 AM
I practiced aikido for 3 years now and am a newbie to this forum...i don't know what and where to start my questions....Would you say that aikido today is not the kind of aikido, O'sensie taught his disciples? forgive my candidness....

in reflection

Teena,
I'm just going by my own experience...... There are still good dojo's around but ya have to use your gut instinct to find out which.....
What I am saying is we used to practice with intent (My students still do, Well they did when we had a dojo.....).
We had the bruises and sprains to prove it.....Of course we took care not to damage too severely as this meant you couldn't practice, but we were quite rough..... (Or those who liked to practice this way).
Black belt was something you got (as I thought then) after a long time practising but with ability, which also meant something...... Other than something to hold your dogi together......
Nowadays they are just handed out as some sort of prize if you just attend and achieve so many hours??.....

Maybe I am just a dinosaur I don't know..... What I do know is that is has stood me in good stead over the years and has worked as a self defence method, but that's all down to the way one practises....
If you want aikido as a health system then that's ok so long as you don't expect it to work for "self defence".

I say train hard while you are young and reap the benefits later on.... and when you get to the stage where training hard is not an option anymore because of age .......then "soft" is ok....

Tony

philipsmith
12-29-2008, 05:16 AM
Some predictable responses about Aikido being better or more martial!!

Since I began some 40 years ago I've seen Aikido change and evolve. I believe it to be more sophisticated than it was, apparently simpler and "gentler" but actually as if not more effective. Perhaps it's beginning to approach what it often called (with a sneer by some) the thinking mans' (and womens') martial art.

Unfortunately there are a lot of Aikido "dinosaurs" around who seem to think Aikido stopped in the mid-60's.

Tony Wagstaffe
12-29-2008, 10:03 AM
Some predictable responses about Aikido being better or more martial!!

Since I began some 40 years ago I've seen Aikido change and evolve. I believe it to be more sophisticated than it was, apparently simpler and "gentler" but actually as if not more effective. Perhaps it's beginning to approach what it often called (with a sneer by some) the thinking mans' (and womens') martial art.

Unfortunately there are a lot of Aikido "dinosaurs" around who seem to think Aikido stopped in the mid-60's.

I didn't start Tomiki/Shodokan Aikido till 1974,,,,,,And I prefer the dragon to have "eyes and teeth" ........ doesn't mean I don't "think"....... Just the difference between "thinking" you know and knowing........

Kevin Leavitt
12-29-2008, 10:38 AM
I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that 40 years ago, all you guys were younger, aikido was new in the west, and the shihan that came out of japan were young, energetic, vibrant, and had to prove themselves.

Fast forward to 40 years....

We have established hierachry. "Been there done that, wisdom, old bones, etc.

New students come into an organization that was once set up on discovery learning and innovation, to find an established institution that primarily is...well...40 years old.

Maybe it is time for a new generation to break free and innovate again? To re-discover?

I think in many respects that will require the status quo to "let go" and take on a roll of "wisdom" and "guidance", and less of an authoritarian, "do what I say" and "have faith/practice what I tell you" role.

You see this currently within the MMA and BJJ world today. Lots of young folks coming into a practice, they essentially are defining things in many respect for themselves, self discovery...all that.

You know, there are no rules stopping anyone from practicing aikido how they want to....just simply start doing it. Albeit, it can be hard to do this in a existing institution that by nature of the word "institution" may not want to change how they do things!

I think it is probably less about what people today want, and more about how those that have been doing it for 40 years have changed over the years. You guys for the most part control the organizations and institutions, if you don't like it...lets change it!

To be honest, I get tired of hearing "old timers" complain about how "young people" today aren't willing to work as hard, yet they are typically the ones that are in a position to do something about it, yet, they are the ones that are comfortable at the top and really have no great incentive to do something about it!

Not saying anyone hear is that way...but I think it is something worth thinking about!

jennifer paige smith
12-29-2008, 11:13 AM
I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that 40 years ago, all you guys were younger, aikido was new in the west, and the shihan that came out of japan were young, energetic, vibrant, and had to prove themselves.

Fast forward to 40 years....

We have established hierachry. "Been there done that, wisdom, old bones, etc.

New students come into an organization that was once set up on discovery learning and innovation, to find an established institution that primarily is...well...40 years old.

Maybe it is time for a new generation to break free and innovate again? To re-discover?

I think in many respects that will require the status quo to "let go" and take on a roll of "wisdom" and "guidance", and less of an authoritarian, "do what I say" and "have faith/practice what I tell you" role.

You see this currently within the MMA and BJJ world today. Lots of young folks coming into a practice, they essentially are defining things in many respect for themselves, self discovery...all that.

You know, there are no rules stopping anyone from practicing aikido how they want to....just simply start doing it. Albeit, it can be hard to do this in a existing institution that by nature of the word "institution" may not want to change how they do things!

I think it is probably less about what people today want, and more about how those that have been doing it for 40 years have changed over the years. You guys for the most part control the organizations and institutions, if you don't like it...lets change it!

To be honest, I get tired of hearing "old timers" complain about how "young people" today aren't willing to work as hard, yet they are typically the ones that are in a position to do something about it, yet, they are the ones that are comfortable at the top and really have no great incentive to do something about it!

Not saying anyone hear is that way...but I think it is something worth thinking about!

That is exactly why I began my own dojo at the age of 35 after training for about 15 years . I am deeply grateful for the foundations and opportunities I received from my training. They have provided me with a good basis to move in many different directions. Some of the difference is less 'care-taking' present on the mat and more personal responsibility being emphasized; through the art itself. I believe offering an alternative encourages discernment and inspiration to those who are approaching the art. We all grow from these changes. We all eat humble pie most days, too. It's good for the soul.
I look at some of my students who have been with me for 5-8 years and I know that their generation is different than mine, yet I know the voice of aikido can reach them in their 'language', just as it did to me, if I present the art and stay on task.

Bueno

Nicholas Eschenbruch
12-29-2008, 12:30 PM
On a slightly different note: it has always really intrigued me that I have met a number of teachers, in aikido and other disciplines, who will keep mentioning how hard it was in their days (60s, 70s), how they trained seven days a week and got their wrists broken by their teachers if they did not jump, how they had a tough judo foundation and so on. But then they tell you to take it slow, not overtrain, be soft on your body etc. I have never quite been able to decide whether (a) some may have become unaware of what got them to where the are now, namely the hard training, or (b) whether they have really found a better route to the top for their own students.

Or (c) it depends on the individual cases... :rolleyes:

Tony Wagstaffe
12-29-2008, 12:54 PM
I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that 40 years ago, all you guys were younger, aikido was new in the west, and the shihan that came out of japan were young, energetic, vibrant, and had to prove themselves.

Fast forward to 40 years....

We have established hierachry. "Been there done that, wisdom, old bones, etc.

New students come into an organization that was once set up on discovery learning and innovation, to find an established institution that primarily is...well...40 years old.

Maybe it is time for a new generation to break free and innovate again? To re-discover?

I think in many respects that will require the status quo to "let go" and take on a roll of "wisdom" and "guidance", and less of an authoritarian, "do what I say" and "have faith/practice what I tell you" role.

You see this currently within the MMA and BJJ world today. Lots of young folks coming into a practice, they essentially are defining things in many respect for themselves, self discovery...all that.

You know, there are no rules stopping anyone from practicing aikido how they want to....just simply start doing it. Albeit, it can be hard to do this in a existing institution that by nature of the word "institution" may not want to change how they do things!

I think it is probably less about what people today want, and more about how those that have been doing it for 40 years have changed over the years. You guys for the most part control the organizations and institutions, if you don't like it...lets change it!

To be honest, I get tired of hearing "old timers" complain about how "young people" today aren't willing to work as hard, yet they are typically the ones that are in a position to do something about it, yet, they are the ones that are comfortable at the top and really have no great incentive to do something about it!

Not saying anyone hear is that way...but I think it is something
worth thinking about!

Kevin,
There are a lot of good kids out there I just wish I could find them!! and that they would come and fill my "was" dojo.....
The "authorities" and "media" complain and comment about kids getting "fat" and not willing to want to learn a sport or hobby...... What I have found is there is little aid as to whether "local authority" will help somebody who has often given their time for nothing and offered to give it for nothing and are more concerned about "political correctness" and what organization are you from? Oh! you just want to teach aikido for free? .... well there isn't much demand for that as we have to think about what people really want...??
"No I can't afford to set it up myself"..... reply ...."Oh well that's what you will need to do I'm afraid, most of the initiatives we grant only go towards majority "sports" I'm afraid its a very minority thing akido is it called? (pronounced badly) isn't it?..... is that the one with the sticks!?....... or do you mean Taekwondo? isn't that punching and kicking? No I don't think so.......

I throw up my hands in despair!!

Tony

jennifer paige smith
12-29-2008, 10:18 PM
I throw up my hands in despair!!

Tony

Throw up a set of hands? Now THAT is old school.:D

(Sorry, couldn't help meself.)

Nafis Zahir
12-30-2008, 01:34 AM
Teena,
I'm just going by my own experience...... There are still good dojo's around but ya have to use your gut instinct to find out which.....
What I am saying is we used to practice with intent (My students still do, Well they did when we had a dojo.....).
We had the bruises and sprains to prove it.....Of course we took care not to damage too severely as this meant you couldn't practice, but we were quite rough..... (Or those who liked to practice this way).
Black belt was something you got (as I thought then) after a long time practising but with ability, which also meant something...... Other than something to hold your dogi together......
Nowadays they are just handed out as some sort of prize if you just attend and achieve so many hours??.....

Maybe I am just a dinosaur I don't know..... What I do know is that is has stood me in good stead over the years and has worked as a self defence method, but that's all down to the way one practises....
If you want aikido as a health system then that's ok so long as you don't expect it to work for "self defence".

I say train hard while you are young and reap the benefits later on.... and when you get to the stage where training hard is not an option anymore because of age .......then "soft" is ok....

Tony

Here again, I agree with you. Many people will think that the old school way of thinking is wrong, but look where it has led Aikido. Nowadays, I see people have really bad test and still pass either because they have the hours or they may be someone's favorite student or uchi deschi. I once knew an Instructor who gotten spoken to about the poor performance of his students test. But that was after they had been passed! I have been to so many seminars where there are yudansha who have weak attacks, don't throw atemi and never take the balance. Then they think that I am resisting because they can't do the technique. I believe that in the old days, the training was more serious and Aikido was being taught and learned as a serious Martial Art.

Tony Wagstaffe
12-30-2008, 12:36 PM
Throw up a set of hands? Now THAT is old school.:D

(Sorry, couldn't help meself.)

Hello Jennifer....... ha ha!!
Naaaah its just the "Italian" in me!!..........:cool: :grr: evileyes :crazy: :rolleyes: :D ;)

Tony

Teena Inayan
12-31-2008, 05:56 AM
Teena,
I'm just going by my own experience...... There are still good dojo's around but ya have to use your gut instinct to find out which.....
What I am saying is we used to practice with intent (My students still do, Well they did when we had a dojo.....).
We had the bruises and sprains to prove it.....Of course we took care not to damage too severely as this meant you couldn't practice, but we were quite rough..... (Or those who liked to practice this way).
Black belt was something you got (as I thought then) after a long time practising but with ability, which also meant something...... Other than something to hold your dogi together......
Nowadays they are just handed out as some sort of prize if you just attend and achieve so many hours??.....

Maybe I am just a dinosaur I don't know..... What I do know is that is has stood me in good stead over the years and has worked as a self defence method, but that's all down to the way one practises....
If you want aikido as a health system then that's ok so long as you don't expect it to work for "self defence".

I say train hard while you are young and reap the benefits later on.... and when you get to the stage where training hard is not an option anymore because of age .......then "soft" is ok....

Tony

Thanks for the advice here, it clarified some questions i had. Still it would be best to study the 'root' form of Aikido of the 60s and preserved it in a way...but that's me... thanks again and hapi new year to all

Teena

AsimHanif
12-31-2008, 09:58 AM
Thank you Kevin. I totally agree.
I have also noticed how many of the people who I constantly hear talking about the ‘old, rough, days’, don’t seem to be in very good physical shape today; which seems to indicate that harder doesn’t necessarily mean smarter.
Athletes today are by and large bigger, stronger, and faster. Training methods have greatly improved. Access to information is more widely available. All good stuff.
But I happen to believe there’s a lot of ‘questionable stuff’ being taught- a lot of it by high level people- people who began training in the 60’s/early 70’s. Style is replacing substance. If you’ve ever been in a real fight or competitive situation, you’ll know this ‘stuff’ will not work…period. And the real old timers…those who’ve been training 50 years or so, seem to be disappointed by this as well.
If people want to practice aikido as merely a movement art or a sociological experiment…I think that’s fine. To each his/her own. But there are dojo seriously training and striving to maintain aikido as a progressive MARTIAL art. Those dojo may be off the radar though. But like Kevin said, its up to this generation to define the nature of practice for themselves in order for aikido to move forward.

Nafis Zahir
12-31-2008, 11:22 PM
Thank you Kevin. I totally agree.
I have also noticed how many of the people who I constantly hear talking about the ‘old, rough, days', don't seem to be in very good physical shape today; which seems to indicate that harder doesn't necessarily mean smarter.
Athletes today are by and large bigger, stronger, and faster. Training methods have greatly improved. Access to information is more widely available. All good stuff.
But I happen to believe there's a lot of ‘questionable stuff' being taught- a lot of it by high level people- people who began training in the 60's/early 70's. Style is replacing substance. If you've ever been in a real fight or competitive situation, you'll know this ‘stuff' will not work…period. And the real old timers…those who've been training 50 years or so, seem to be disappointed by this as well.
If people want to practice aikido as merely a movement art or a sociological experiment…I think that's fine. To each his/her own. But there are dojo seriously training and striving to maintain aikido as a progressive MARTIAL art. Those dojo may be off the radar though. But like Kevin said, its up to this generation to define the nature of practice for themselves in order for aikido to move forward.

That's the problem. This generation is moving Aikido forward and as such, AIkido is losing many of its key parts. We see little, if any atemi, attacks are weak, and small things like using the hips is starting to become a thing of the past. When I train with most people and I throw an atemi, I usually get no response. It's getting hard to see such widespread 'softness' being passed off as Aikido. Like you said, most people would not be able to handle a real fighting situation. So certain aspects of the old training need to be put back in the daily training of most dojos.Plus, all the politics need to be done away with, but that's another thread.

Shany
01-01-2009, 02:33 AM
40 years ago people wanted to train to be like Ueshiba
Nowdays they want to be like Steven Seagal

:cool:

Nafis Zahir
01-01-2009, 05:37 AM
40 years ago people wanted to train to be like Ueshiba
Nowdays they want to be like Steven Seagal

:cool:

Seagal's Aikido (when he was really still doing Aikido) was very serious and you could tell he was doing a martial art. I saw a video of him doing tonto-tori with a live blade! Smooth, yet extremely powerful.

lifeafter2am
01-01-2009, 10:04 AM
40 years ago people wanted to train to be like Ueshiba
Nowdays they want to be like Steven Seagal

:cool:

Nice, very nice. :D

Tony Wagstaffe
01-01-2009, 01:44 PM
40 years ago people wanted to train to be like Ueshiba
Nowdays they want to be like Steven Seagal

:cool:

Oh no please!!! That means that I would have to get a hair transplant!!!....... and a rubber band....:crazy: :hypno: :freaky: ;)

And as far as Ueshiba was concerned I never heard of him till about 1 1/2 years after I started..... the first time I had heard of him was at the first B.A.A. summer school that I attended..... and the people there kept talking about some bloke called Wusheba? ...... As far as I was aware we were doing Tomiki Style...... Personally I didn't care and just got into a lot of hard wrist twisting and shomenate's and gedans with the sweat just dripping of you and soaking wet dogi's after a mornings randori geiko.....
Followed by kata in the afternoon...... Intensive but good...

James Wyatt
01-01-2009, 03:19 PM
Have only been studying since the mid '90s but my teacher has been studying judo since the early 50s and went to study judo and aikido in Japan in '58 for a 6.5 years (returning to London and the Budokwai in '64). From what he says judo training was very different, back then as they used to practice resuscitation practice once a week by strangling each other out:blush: ! No health and safety officers loitering. He also states aikido practice is 50% as uke and the attack must be done properly and the reaction to the atemi must be real. Several of the other students have been practising under him for well over 30 years and they say nothing has changed (no reports of any injuries in the entire time apart from when Chiba Sensei decided to use one as uke).

Good teaching and good aikido does not change with time.:)

Nafis Zahir
01-01-2009, 10:43 PM
He also states aikido practice is 50% as uke and the attack must be done properly and the reaction to the atemi must be real.



That's what I'm talking about! This is something that you rarely see in Aikido nowadays.

raul rodrigo
01-01-2009, 10:46 PM
Nafis, if I'm not mistaken, you belong to the Chiba/Birankai lineage. Wouldn't you say that the Chiba folk are doing their best to keep their aikido real? Alive attacks, realistic ukemi and so on?

Nafis Zahir
01-02-2009, 03:35 AM
Nafis, if I'm not mistaken, you belong to the Chiba/Birankai lineage. Wouldn't you say that the Chiba folk are doing their best to keep their aikido real? Alive attacks, realistic ukemi and so on?


Yes, I believe that they are. That is the reason why I joined the Birankai. I saw Chiba Sensei and realized that if I wanted my Aikido to be effective and serious, I needed to learn his style of Aikido. That's not to say that there is something wrong with all of the other styles, but the training and what is emphasized is what caught my attention.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-02-2009, 05:32 AM
Thank you Kevin. I totally agree.
I have also noticed how many of the people who I constantly hear talking about the ‘old, rough, days', don't seem to be in very good physical shape today; which seems to indicate that harder doesn't necessarily mean smarter.
Athletes today are by and large bigger, stronger, and faster. Training methods have greatly improved. Access to information is more widely available. All good stuff.
But I happen to believe there's a lot of ‘questionable stuff' being taught- a lot of it by high level people- people who began training in the 60's/early 70's. Style is replacing substance. If you've ever been in a real fight or competitive situation, you'll know this ‘stuff' will not work…period. And the real old timers…those who've been training 50 years or so, seem to be disappointed by this as well.
If people want to practice aikido as merely a movement art or a sociological experiment…I think that's fine. To each his/her own. But there are dojo seriously training and striving to maintain aikido as a progressive MARTIAL art. Those dojo may be off the radar though. But like Kevin said, its up to this generation to define the nature of practice for themselves in order for aikido to move forward.

I think the difference is in the "intent" that people practice today..... Posture (kamae), use of hips and as people are saying, weak attacks...... attacking shomen uchi, yokomen uchi without a bokuto is ridiculous...... grabbing a wrist and then waiting for the waza........In all my experience of real attacks I have never experienced this kind of telegraphed attack which seems to me is where the fundamental problems are!!
I would like to think that aikido can move with the times and adapt to modern methods of attack..... ie practice from grab and punch, learn to grapple from attacks you are more likely to encounter in today's society...... It's pretty obvious that nobody would ever attack with a sword action these days ..... what I call the chopping hand syndrome (which is ridiculous) ok it can be practised this way for posterity and its original use, but for crise sakes get with it and adapt aikido to modern ways ...... absolutely agree on that point.....

Tony

AsimHanif
01-02-2009, 11:07 AM
Agreed Tony. That's why I continue to box and grapple. The training is more dynamic. I did an exercise a few weeks ago- ‘what happens after the pin?' It was quite interesting.
But I don't think this is a 60's vs 2009 issue. There were clearly people not using timing, distance, posture, proper body mechanics then as well as now. There's just MORE of it. So I think we have to seek out what we feel is beneficial to our own personal development and not fall into the ‘style' trap…another way to do ikyo, another way to do nikyo, another way to do tenchi nage, etc.

If you attack in my dojo with yourself exposed, chances are you'll get hit. Not hurt, but hit…made aware. At the same time it's expected that you truly attack appropriately for what's being taught.
On the other hand I have no respect or patience for those who abuse authority. Too many times I've seen highly regarded instructors crank on a pin much more than needed, often times hurting uke. What's more amazing to me are those who come back for more abuse…like it's a privilege to be hurt by such and such instructor.

Tony, with regards to ‘intent'. Someone stated to me just the other night that they don't intend to really hit nage when training. They didn't feel ‘right' trying to hurt someone. They thought aikido was about ‘love and harmony'. Again…to each his own but…I think that is really a telling statement and illustrates your point well.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-02-2009, 01:23 PM
Agreed Tony. That's why I continue to box and grapple. The training is more dynamic. I did an exercise a few weeks ago- ‘what happens after the pin?' It was quite interesting.
But I don't think this is a 60's vs 2009 issue. There were clearly people not using timing, distance, posture, proper body mechanics then as well as now. There's just MORE of it. So I think we have to seek out what we feel is beneficial to our own personal development and not fall into the ‘style' trap…another way to do ikyo, another way to do nikyo, another way to do tenchi nage, etc.

If you attack in my dojo with yourself exposed, chances are you'll get hit. Not hurt, but hit…made aware. At the same time it's expected that you truly attack appropriately for what's being taught.
On the other hand I have no respect or patience for those who abuse authority. Too many times I've seen highly regarded instructors crank on a pin much more than needed, often times hurting uke. What's more amazing to me are those who come back for more abuse…like it's a privilege to be hurt by such and such instructor.

Tony, with regards to ‘intent'. Someone stated to me just the other night that they don't intend to really hit nage when training. They didn't feel ‘right' trying to hurt someone. They thought aikido was about ‘love and harmony'. Again…to each his own but…I think that is really a telling statement and illustrates your point well.

Asim, I think this is the fundamental problem in most training today....... Many times in the past I have had to admonish my students/ukes when they didn't hit/grab/grapple with intent and purposely did not avoid to make sure they did hit me.... if they did, I say good (and block it at the last possible moment!!)..... my more advance students did hit me!! ..... if they got lucky!! But I didn't complain as this is a reminder that I needed to improve as did they...... so sometimes we got the odd bruise but we just smiled and got on with it...... Its probably why when we did have visitors from other clubs come to train, they did not come back for more?..... I know that when my students have gone to practice at other dojo (which I encouraged) they mostly came back saying that they were disappointed in what they found.... this is not arrogance on their part as I always told them to respect what others/they did at other dojo...... in other words keep "thy trap shut" and see what others had to offer.....
So its no wonder things are as they are now.....
I know that my students will try and do their best to sometime find a place for us to reopen...... but that's all in the lap of the "gods" so to speak.
If they don't at least I know that they know I gave them my best and hope that they will carry on that experience as a positive one....:)

Tony

Nafis Zahir
01-03-2009, 12:19 AM
Asim, I think this is the fundamental problem in most training today....... Many times in the past I have had to admonish my students/ukes when they didn't hit/grab/grapple with intent and purposely did not avoid to make sure they did hit me.... if they did, I say good (and block it at the last possible moment!!)..... my more advance students did hit me!! ..... if they got lucky!! But I didn't complain as this is a reminder that I needed to improve as did they...... so sometimes we got the odd bruise but we just smiled and got on with it...... Its probably why when we did have visitors from other clubs come to train, they did not come back for more?..... I know that when my students have gone to practice at other dojo (which I encouraged) they mostly came back saying that they were disappointed in what they found.... this is not arrogance on their part as I always told them to respect what others/they did at other dojo...... in other words keep "thy trap shut" and see what others had to offer.....
So its no wonder things are as they are now.....
I know that my students will try and do their best to sometime find a place for us to reopen...... but that's all in the lap of the "gods" so to speak.
If they don't at least I know that they know I gave them my best and hope that they will carry on that experience as a positive one....:)

Tony

We don't do the same style, but it sounds like I would have a great time working out with you and your students. After all, Aikido is a BUDO! Better to get hit or a little hurt in the dojo than to really suffer on the street from a real attack. I go to many seminars and it is really sad to see so many Yudansha who can't properly perform techniques. I'm not talking about looking awesome, but I'm talking about how they don't use their hips, don't get off the line or control the center line, don't throw or react to atemi, and almost never take my balance. That's just the short list. Whenever I do find someone who can really train properly, I always wish that we could work out for the whole seminar. But as you know, there is a disadvantage to working out with just one person. All of my research on Aikido and how to train in it as a bido points back to the old days. Not to say that Aikido should not evolve, but it shouldn't evolve at the cost of losing its basic origins. No matter how it changes to fit todays attacks, it should always remain true to form.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-03-2009, 04:54 AM
Asim, it has nothing to do with "style"..... Its all to do with the way one practices..... People talk about soft and hard..... quite honestly getting a balance of the two is important as both are essential in the "effective" practice of aikido...... I think the use of "kuzushi" has been lost in most aikido...... This was paramount in the Tomiki aikido I practised in and one of the things that I look for when I look at people training....... when you can get your uke to "float" you essentially have their balance....
People also talk about "having it" ...... anyone can get it if you know how! When you see how Shioda and Tomiki in their prime execute their waza you can see the unbalancing, but then again they were with Ueshiba pre war when "Aikido" was still aiki jujutsu?
Tomiki was awarded aiki jujutsu scrolls as far as I am aware and then awarded 8th Dan by Ueshiba much later on and the 1st to receive it if my history is correct.....

I think its not so much whether something has been lost but whether its still applied....

Tony

AsimHanif
01-03-2009, 08:08 AM
Asim, it has nothing to do with "style"..... Its all to do with the way one practices.....

I believe when style takes priority over substance....it usually does effect the way one practices.

Have a great New Year.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-03-2009, 09:32 AM
Asim, it has nothing to do with "style"..... Its all to do with the way one practices.....

I believe when style takes priority over substance....it usually does effect the way one practices.

Have a great New Year.

And you to...... ;) :)

Tony

Robert Cowham
01-05-2009, 05:25 PM
No political correctness then and no litigation either ........ just got on with it!! We were quite proud of the bruises and the like...... just accepted it as being part & parcel of what we did...... a martial art!!
Eh bah gum, Tony lad, you were lucky - when I were a lad we had to beg to be allowed to have bruises... Four Yorkshiremen... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe1a1wHxTyo)

Robert Cowham
01-05-2009, 05:26 PM
I go to many seminars and it is really sad to see so many Yudansha who can't properly perform techniques. I'm not talking about looking awesome, but I'm talking about how they don't use their hips, don't get off the line or control the center line, don't throw or react to atemi, and almost never take my balance. <snip> All of my research on Aikido and how to train in it as a bido points back to the old days.

There're ways and means of practising softly but still sharply and with intent. I am researching more and more into a relaxed style these days and how to use my body more efficiently. That doesn't mean I don't value martial effectiveness, but it does mean it is not the major focus of my taijutsu practice (at least for now). However, I also study kenjutsu which is a huge help to "building tanden", understanding pressure, use of kiai etc.

I agree with Diane Skoss: Why women should wield weapons (http://www.koryu.com/library/dskoss4.html)
For a number of reasons, unarmed training hasn't been nearly as useful as weapons training in teaching me the skills I'd need to actually defend myself. Today, I am utterly confident that if I were attacked I could and would act, with a reasonable measure of success, to defend myself.

Different strokes for different folks. I think the key is to make sure you know why you are studying, which will dictate what style to study, or with which teacher.

Personally I think there are more options around now than in the 60's, and am very happy with the choices :)

Tony Wagstaffe
01-05-2009, 06:13 PM
Eh bah gum, Tony lad, you were lucky - when I were a lad we had to beg to be allowed to have bruises... Four Yorkshiremen... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe1a1wHxTyo)

Yeh love it!! I do remember watching this when M.P. was all the rage..... still bloody hilarious..... :D :) ;) :rolleyes:

Showing me age now......

Tony

Eva Antonia
01-06-2009, 03:26 AM
Hello and happy New Year to all,

I'm training only for 2,5 years and am far away from performing well whatever techniques and principles of aikido, but I think I have learnt to observe what teachers and advanced students do, especially as I get around a lot and have trained in different dojos. So just my observations:

My initial teacher, who retired this month from aikido due to old age started training in the 60s and is one of the co-founders of the francophone aikido association in Belgium. He had a sort of minimalist style, never moving one millimeter too much and never accelerating any movement, and he had a way to apply some techniques (for example, irimi nag or tenshi nage) with only a slight touch, but such a precision that you were on the floor before understanding what happened. Still, although his aikido was very smooth and "soft", you always felt that there would be some serious damage done if you resisted too much (I tried that for yonkyo and gokyo...and he made it hurt terribly just using some minimal touch with the fingertips). He ALWAYS tried to make us understand these principles of moving out of uke's line, unbalancing, moving the hips and using atemi, and before having read this thread, I'd have thought these are the basics, and everyone tries to inculcate them to all pupils from the very beginning.

In another dojo, I trained with a guy more then fifty years his junior, in consequence very much "new school", and there the style was much more dynamic, aggressive and "hard", just with everyone accepting that some bruises, sores or sprained bones were normal collateral damages. In that dojo, falls are always high, hard, and make a lot of noise (very much fun), if tori is able to throw you well, obviously. I wouldn't say it was less efficient than the old master's one, but neither more efficient, just very, very different. My son also perceived this, and, being a child, brought it to the point: "If the two of them would fight, which of them would win?" (philosophy of "aikido is without competition" doesn't work for kids).
No need to mention that in that dojo, the same prinicples of unbalancing, atemi, moving the hips etc. were applied. And I'd like to add that we have a shihan here in Belgium, who also started in the 60s, and who has the same dynamic style - no matter of age apparently.

Now we have a new teacher here in Belgium, who is in the middle of these two, and the style is again completely different. Another opportunity to learn new things. Now we learn another type of ukemi (the soft ones that were so much discussed in another thread...I still doubt if they really work in a rapid technique, but we have a shodan who performs them on virtually everything), try to perform techniques without the least hint of hurt (completely new approach for udekime nage...don't break uke's elbow anymore :rolleyes: ) - but the principles for unbalancing and moving are still the same. I'd even say they are even more at the core of everything because all tricks like acceleration, twisting until it hurts or whatever you do when a technique doesn't work as you want are not well seen in this style. So it is very soft but again also very efficient.

So, for an aikidoka of the third generation after Ueshiba, it is certainly not possible to compare the old times with the new ones, as we newbies just weren't there, but if comparing only the old and new teachers, I'd say there are so many individual styles that you couldn't just classify them in "old" and "new".

Best regards to all of you,

Eva

Tony Wagstaffe
01-06-2009, 09:02 AM
There're ways and means of practising softly but still sharply and with intent. I am researching more and more into a relaxed style these days and how to use my body more efficiently. That doesn't mean I don't value martial effectiveness, but it does mean it is not the major focus of my taijutsu practice (at least for now). However, I also study kenjutsu which is a huge help to "building tanden", understanding pressure, use of kiai etc.

Very valid statements here as softness with sharpness and intent is what you will eventually arrive at.......

My own opinion/experience is one can only arrive at this point with experience in how to operate against resistance...... its a matter of knowing when to be "soft" and when to be "hard" or vice versa......
that can only be "felt":straightf :)

Robert Cowham
01-06-2009, 05:23 PM
See also Aikido Journal Blog - http://www.aikidojournal.com/blog/2009/01/05/keeping-it-with-you-the-hardest-part-of-training-by-gary-ohama/

The training is no longer anywhere near as physical as in our younger days. Yet we are more effective, not less. We have proved for ourselves the adage of internal benefits: we are now faster, more balanced, and more powerful than before.

Lyle Bogin
01-06-2009, 05:44 PM
It was easier to get away with less experience back then. Now you need 40 years of aikido to raise anyone's eyebrows.

I think the biggest difference is the loss of Tohei Sensei as a pillar of instructional method.

Robert Cowham
01-07-2009, 04:08 AM
Now you need 40 years of aikido to raise anyone's eyebrows.
I don't think it's a question of length of service as much as evidence of progress :) There are people who can raise eyebrows through what they can do - doesn't need 40 years to achieve that!

I think the biggest difference is the loss of Tohei Sensei as a pillar of instructional method.
Good point - I am more interested in his stuff now through researching internal methods.

As I get older I realise that I don't have so much time left - therefore I get more selective about what I look for in teachers.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-07-2009, 10:43 AM
.

I think the biggest difference is the loss of Tohei Sensei as a pillar of instructional method.[/QUOTE]

As a matter of interest what is the situation as far as Tohei is concerened?...... I know that sadly he is wheelchair bound and now very elderly.......

Tony

Andrew S
01-07-2009, 02:53 PM
Ask someone who was there!

At a recent seminar with Asai Sensei, he talked about the injuries that occured back in his earlier days and how we could not train that way today.

George S. Ledyard
01-07-2009, 03:58 PM
.

I think the biggest difference is the loss of Tohei Sensei as a pillar of instructional method.

As a matter of interest what is the situation as far as Tohei is concerened?...... I know that sadly he is wheelchair bound and now very elderly.......

Tony[/QUOTE]

In my opinion, due to the exposure various folks had via the Aiki Expos and other connections that have been made, the instructional method now is far more sophisticated than what was offered then. Tohei's principle based instruction was ahead of its time but there is more out there today for those who seek it.I think that eventually we will recognize that Stan Pranin changed American Aikido on a fundamental level by holding those Expos and allowing teachers like myself to connect with some very high level teachers of aiki who not only could do it but could explain it and teach it.

Teena Inayan
01-14-2009, 06:36 AM
...regarding instructional method...was there a (only one major example if any) deliberate change of standard curriculum or a policy change or a paradigm shift/a change of perspective(written down) on how to teach aikido especially to non Japanese or outside Japan after O'sensie died? Or anybody can teach as long as he recognized the Hombu and all these are spontaneous evolution?

thanks