PDA

View Full Version : The speed of a technique


Please visit our sponsor:
 

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


seank
03-10-2009, 09:40 PM
Hi Everyone,
After a good sessions training and gradings on the weekend at our head dojo, we returned to our home dojo at the start of this week and continued with our usual training.

We were running through some kihon in suwari waza, and my uke had been instructed by sensei to resist the technique more and not just flow with me.

We ran through the shomen uchi nikkyo a few times at what I would suggest was a relaxed pace, during which time my uke (being about 15cm taller and prob. 20-odd kgs in weight on me) was able to effectively resist.

During one iteration my uke turned quickly and attacked at a much faster pace, which didn't really phase me, but suddenly I found that there was no chance for resistance.

I can reliably duplicate the technique whether fast or slow, so I was left wondering if it was something to do with the speed/flow of the technique, or whether I really should be able to do the technique at any speed? In a sense it felt very much that attacking slower and responding in kind probably left more of an opening to resist.

It was good to feel the connection at speed, the moving of my centre and my uke's, and of course it was satisfying to do the technique in a smooth flowing manner. I just feel that the speed issue left me a little wonting at the slower end of the scale.

Thoughts appreciated.

wideawakedreamer
03-10-2009, 11:08 PM
I dunno... maybe he had more time to resist when you were both moving slowly?

Lyle Laizure
03-10-2009, 11:34 PM
I am assuming when your uke attacked quicker and suddenly you didn't think about what had to be done you simply did it thus giving your defense the edge you needed. You didn't hesitate.

Abasan
03-10-2009, 11:36 PM
My thoughts are that its always harder to do it from Static>low speed>high speed.

But mastery of aikido requires you to train this way Static>low speed>high speed> low speed>static>before intent.

Since you're doing well in high speed, I suppose you're to progress on low speed next.

Pauliina Lievonen
03-11-2009, 04:01 AM
It's very hard to resist "honestly" when you go slow. I say "honestly" because your uke can have the best of intentions and still cheat if they don't quite realize this. When you go slow uke can resist by moving in ways that aren't actually in the direction of their attack, or they can slightly speed up ahead you for example. When you do the technique faster there's less of this kind of thing happening. But also at a faster speed uke might lose some of the focus of their attack which in turn might also make the technique easier. I think if both tori and uke really know what their doing, speed shouldn't make a huge difference.

kvaak
Pauliina

SeiserL
03-11-2009, 05:51 AM
IMHO, its not usually about speed. Its about doing the technique correctly.

Remember: slow and smooth, smooth and fast. Okay, just slow and smooth.

George S. Ledyard
03-11-2009, 09:38 AM
When you start off, speed is an important aspect of what you are trying to develop. Most Aikido folks are very slow, especially on their attacks (even more so in their weapons work). This is due incorrect posture and too much tension.

As people begin to take care of those issues, everything gets faster. Then you start to hit the limits imposed by physics. I am 330 pounds. I can't move as fast as someone who is 150 pounds. So there is no way I can be "fast" enough if that is how I am dealing with my technique.

Once you've maximized the speed at which you are capable of moving, the real training begins. It is far more important to move at the correct time than to be merely fast. Also, most people introduce tension in to their movement by trying to "out speed" their partner. Understanding how to perceive another's attempts at speed as slow (we call this time shifting) is the mark of more advanced skill.

Changing how one projects ones attention and finding out how that can completely change ones sense of time to the point at which "reaction time" more less ceases to exist is one of the goals of advanced training.

If you want to really see someone who understands "speed". Look at Kuroda Sensei's clips on You Tube. Of course video simply doesn't due justice because it make Sverdlovsk look slower. But Kuroda is by far the fastest swordsman I have ever seen; if you blink you've missed the move. He talks about movement always being at "one speed". He is always completely relaxed... when it is time to move he simply moves, in an instant. Watching him one can learn a lot about what we are shooting for.

Young-In Park
03-11-2009, 02:31 PM
http://www.dojoofthefourwinds.com/sparring.html

Dan Rubin
03-11-2009, 07:48 PM
A few years ago I watched a student practice suwariwaza shomenichi ikkyo with Saotome Sensei. Each time, the student began moving before Saotome did and the student moved faster than Saotome did, yet Saotome Sensei's hand arrived at the perfect meeting point before the student's hand arrived there.

It was fascinating to watch.

akiy
03-11-2009, 10:54 PM
A few years ago I watched a student practice suwariwaza shomenichi ikkyo with Saotome Sensei. Each time, the student began moving before Saotome did and the student moved faster than Saotome did, yet Saotome Sensei's hand arrived at the perfect meeting point before the student's hand arrived there.
Reminds me of a passage from Karl Friday's Legacies of the Sword:
[w]hat matters most is not which opponent is faster or more powerful, but which is faster or more powerful at the critical moment in which a blow is delivered. This passage along with more thoughts on the topic (including a nice little figure/graph) is luckily included in Google Books here: http://books.google.com/books?id=JXfVINMfbx8C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0#PPA71,M1 (http://books.google.com/books?id=JXfVINMfbx8C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0#PPA71,M1) . The rest of the book is worth reading as well, of course.

-- Jun

George S. Ledyard
03-12-2009, 11:07 AM
A few years ago I watched a student practice suwariwaza shomenichi ikkyo with Saotome Sensei. Each time, the student began moving before Saotome did and the student moved faster than Saotome did, yet Saotome Sensei's hand arrived at the perfect meeting point before the student's hand arrived there.

It was fascinating to watch.

This actually ties in with the whole Aikido is not about fighting issue... Saotome Sensei doesn't "fight" with you. He does not "contend", he does not "defend".

He accepts an attack. He joins with it. This takes place before the attacker even starts moving. On a psychic level, Sensei is ALREADY in before the physical attack commences. This is precisely what Ushiro Sensei talked about at length.

The whole concept of "fighting" is essentially dualistic. In fighting I need to "beat you". If I am completely connected in my mind, there is no need to be faster, that is dualistic. Your attack literally creates my technique. It is not contentious, it is automatic. This all takes place on the psychic level before physical action commences. That's why Sensei never looks like he is hurrying. He was ALREADY where he needed to be in his mind, he just hadn't actualized it yet with his movement. When you start being able to do this in your parctice, it completely shifts your sense of time.

Mark Freeman
03-12-2009, 11:34 AM
This actually ties in with the whole Aikido is not about fighting issue... Saotome Sensei doesn't "fight" with you. He does not "contend", he does not "defend".

He accepts an attack. He joins with it. This takes place before the attacker even starts moving. On a psychic level, Sensei is ALREADY in before the physical attack commences. This is precisely what Ushiro Sensei talked about at length.

The whole concept of "fighting" is essentially dualistic. In fighting I need to "beat you". If I am completely connected in my mind, there is no need to be faster, that is dualistic. Your attack literally creates my technique. It is not contentious, it is automatic. This all takes place on the psychic level before physical action commences. That's why Sensei never looks like he is hurrying. He was ALREADY where he needed to be in his mind, he just hadn't actualized it yet with his movement. When you start being able to do this in your parctice, it completely shifts your sense of time.

I have discovered this to be true in my own practice after seeing (and feeling ) it with my own teacher for a number of years.

You have a gift for explaining these concepts in text George, I strive to convey these ideas to my own students where at least I have the added extra media of the kinesthetic experience.:)

regards,

Mark

George S. Ledyard
03-12-2009, 11:58 AM
I have discovered this to be true in my own practice after seeing (and feeling ) it with my own teacher for a number of years.

You have a gift for explaining these concepts in text George, I strive to convey these ideas to my own students where at least I have the added extra media of the kinesthetic experience.:)

regards,

Mark

Hi Mark,
Ushiro Kenji's new book Karate and Ki might be of interest. This is the level on which he functions and he has a lot to say about it. Quite a bit of the book was very difficult, a reflection that I am not quite "there" yet. But there's an awful lot that made sense to me and I think would be of assistance in developing a vocabulary to describe this stuff.

My good friends Josh Drachman and Marc Abrams are Aikido folks who also train with Ushiro Sensei and the did the translation into English along with one of Ushiro Sensei's Japanese students. It was very difficult as we in America do not have a good set of terminology for talking about the "energetics" of this stuff. (The Russians are much better as they have been much more open to this kind of thing and do energy work in their martial arts and healing, etc.)

SeiserL
03-12-2009, 12:25 PM
The whole concept of "fighting" is essentially dualistic.
Don't create what you don't want.
How you conceptualize the problem is how you conceptualize the solution.
Where the head goes the body follows.
Ki follows intent.

Mark Freeman
03-12-2009, 07:34 PM
Hi Mark,
Ushiro Kenji's new book Karate and Ki might be of interest. This is the level on which he functions and he has a lot to say about it. Quite a bit of the book was very difficult, a reflection that I am not quite "there" yet. But there's an awful lot that made sense to me and I think would be of assistance in developing a vocabulary to describe this stuff.

My good friends Josh Drachman and Marc Abrams are Aikido folks who also train with Ushiro Sensei and the did the translation into English along with one of Ushiro Sensei's Japanese students. It was very difficult as we in America do not have a good set of terminology for talking about the "energetics" of this stuff. (The Russians are much better as they have been much more open to this kind of thing and do energy work in their martial arts and healing, etc.)

Thanks for the book recommendation George, I will certainly search it out. I am also interested to search out more about the Russian/systema approach, as from what I have seen via video, they seem to be closer to the aikido I am involved with than some of the aikido I have seen (again mostly via video). I hope one day to get some hands on to know how true this is.

My own practice at the moment is centred right at the heart of some of the concepts that you are conveying on the forums here at the moment. Particularly regarding the connection that is made and maintained before an attack is initiated. This is above and beyond simple mechanics (although they have to be all in place and correct of course) and belong in the realm of mind/spirit/ki.

I feel that I am just starting to really 'get' what I have been patiently taught for so long:) I feel very fortunate to have such a good teacher (Sensei Williams) - 54 years in aikido and still going strong. His own instruction came from the likes of Sensei's Kenshiro Abbe (who introduced aikido to the UK in the mid 1950's), Tohei, Nakazono and Noro, so I feel I am in 'good hands'

I love this journey, not an easy one, but one that keeps me constantly amazed at how 'deep' it goes. Some of the treasures held within the art, can't even be imagined when you begin.

Thanks for your continuing, thought provoking posts.

regards,

Mark

philippe willaume
03-15-2009, 06:12 AM
Hi Mark,
Ushiro Kenji's new book Karate and Ki might be of interest. This is the level on which he functions and he has a lot to say about it. Quite a bit of the book was very difficult, a reflection that I am not quite "there" yet. But there's an awful lot that made sense to me and I think would be of assistance in developing a vocabulary to describe this stuff.

My good friends Josh Drachman and Marc Abrams are Aikido folks who also train with Ushiro Sensei and the did the translation into English along with one of Ushiro Sensei's Japanese students. It was very difficult as we in America do not have a good set of terminology for talking about the "energetics" of this stuff. (The Russians are much better as they have been much more open to this kind of thing and do energy work in their martial arts and healing, etc.)

Hello
Well we could argue that it is described in old European fencing/wrestling manuals. In occident we tend to present thing with either how we mentally feel or describing the net result. That is usually described with timing and distance and “fuellen” (feeling).

For example when you deflect a strike with your own sword all you need to do is really get you sword there by cutting downward (ie just throwing the poing not a typicical tashi chop-slice) and then you will have all the time in the world to move. You have cut all his direct line of attack. He will have to move his body if he wants to hit you and you have at least one direct line of attack. That line of attack will depend of the pressure he gives us.

You do not fight, you do not defend, and you just put your sword there almost cutting an empty space. because you are there already, You can move forward or back.
If you move back he will have to follow you because you can still extend or change through.
If you go forward he will have to defend or get hit

If we translate that to open hand, it is the use ki-no-nogare you are leading him, if you move back. And it you go forward it is the use of atemi.

Because for training purposed we are too far to fight against an organised opponent we have that notion of people over committing, or trying to grab our wrist for no real reason. But it is really the same as if we were fighting with sword, just from a distance that is not really “realistic” but convenient pedagogically.

Now call it vor, narch fullen, true time, true place, extending your ki or your intent
I really believe that it is two ways to describe the same thing, just from a different angle.

Phil

George S. Ledyard
03-15-2009, 10:45 AM
Hello
Well we could argue that it is described in old European fencing/wrestling manuals. In occident we tend to present thing with either how we mentally feel or describing the net result. That is usually described with timing and distance and “fuellen” (feeling).

For example when you deflect a strike with your own sword all you need to do is really get you sword there by cutting downward (ie just throwing the poing not a typicical tashi chop-slice) and then you will have all the time in the world to move. You have cut all his direct line of attack. He will have to move his body if he wants to hit you and you have at least one direct line of attack. That line of attack will depend of the pressure he gives us.

You do not fight, you do not defend, and you just put your sword there almost cutting an empty space. because you are there already, You can move forward or back.
If you move back he will have to follow you because you can still extend or change through.
If you go forward he will have to defend or get hit

If we translate that to open hand, it is the use ki-no-nogare you are leading him, if you move back. And it you go forward it is the use of atemi.

Because for training purposed we are too far to fight against an organised opponent we have that notion of people over committing, or trying to grab our wrist for no real reason. But it is really the same as if we were fighting with sword, just from a distance that is not really “realistic” but convenient pedagogically.

Now call it vor, narch fullen, true time, true place, extending your ki or your intent
I really believe that it is two ways to describe the same thing, just from a different angle.

Phil

Hi Phil,
Western fencing, in its past, had a lot of theory; massive volumes were written by European fencing masters. I am not sure what happened but at some point most of that disappeared from modern fencing which is quite non-cerebral these days.

My wife and I met on-line and our initial e-mail exchanges were about the relationship between the two opponents in the martial interaction. She is a former national champion fencer. She started Aikido with Kimberly Richardson Sensei specifically to try to develop a vocabulary to describe what she did in her fencing. Western fencing has terminology to describe basic things like timing. They have terminology that equates to sen no sen, go no sen, sen sen no sen, etc. But they have little or no descriptive terminology for the "intuitive" or psychic aspect of the art, which means it can't be taught. Genie is convinced that the great fencers all do some version of what she does but they just don't talk about it at all. Her ex, who was her coach, told her that "It works for you, but it won't work for anyone else." I think she feels somewhat vindicated by her exposure to Aikido and Systema in which this stuff is an integral part of the practice.
- George

Allen Beebe
03-15-2009, 05:28 PM
. . .they have little or no descriptive terminology for the "intuitive" or psychic aspect of the art, which means it can't be taught.

Sad news for Zen lineages! I suppose it could be argued that "it" CAN'T be "taught" only recognized. But then again, some how it is supposedly passed along . . .

I think she feels somewhat vindicated by her exposure to Aikido and Systema in which this stuff is an integral part of the practice.

What if it isn't so much the descriptive terminology that most readily leads one to this stuff, but the instructive circumstances created, and informative experiences shared, by talented and willing teachers that "can do" and "can teach" that are then coupled with (perhaps even previously known) descriptive vocabulary that best engenders understanding, learning, and the transference of knowledge and ability of this sort.

If this were the case, one might write pages and pages of both poetry and/or prose without fear of the "un-initiated" walking away with the "crown jewels," and, after all, those already "in the know" . . already know.

Allen

George S. Ledyard
03-15-2009, 10:38 PM
Sad news for Zen lineages! I suppose it could be argued that "it" CAN'T be "taught" only recognized. But then again, some how it is supposedly passed along . . .

What if it isn't so much the descriptive terminology that most readily leads one to this stuff, but the instructive circumstances created, and informative experiences shared, by talented and willing teachers that "can do" and "can teach" that are then coupled with (perhaps even previously known) descriptive vocabulary that best engenders understanding, learning, and the transference of knowledge and ability of this sort.

If this were the case, one might write pages and pages of both poetry and/or prose without fear of the "un-initiated" walking away with the "crown jewels," and, after all, those already "in the know" . . already know.

Allen

Hi Allen,
The only reason I feel descriptive terminology is important is that the brain tends to ignore information it can't categorize...

For example, I was working with a student at a seminar I taught. I was doing a slow Ikkyo and wanted him to feel the difference between when I had my attention "on the inside" and when it was "on the outside". As I held his arm I made the shift inside and then asked him if he'd felt it? He said, no he was sorry but he didn't. The funny thing was, his whole body moved slightly when I shifted. His body felt it but he didn't know what to call it so he didn't register consciously what I had done.

I did it again and told him to simply feel if anything felt different when I shifted, it didn't have to feel like anything he understood or could describe. At that point when I shifted he said yes, he could feel it that time. But I had to verbally prep him so that he could put his attention on it and register what was happening.

So much of what we do is mental yet my teacher never talked about it at all. He did things and I could feel he was doing something but I had no idea how to process what I felt. It's difficult to direct ones training towards acquiring certain specific skills if you don't know what they are.

No question, words alone are useless. That's why I don't worry when people tell me I should make the students figure it out on their own, that I am making it too easy on them. It doesn't matter how much explanation they get from me, if they don't train, they won't get it. They have to feel it from me and our other teachers frequently until it starts to become their own default setting. So there are no shortcuts. On the other hand I see no reason to let them get lost and wander in the wilderness either.

Peter Goldsbury
03-16-2009, 12:14 AM
Hi Allen,
The only reason I feel descriptive terminology is important is that the brain tends to ignore information it can't categorize...

For example, I was working with a student at a seminar I taught. I was doing a slow Ikkyo and wanted him to feel the difference between when I had my attention "on the inside" and when it was "on the outside". As I held his arm I made the shift inside and then asked him if he'd felt it? He said, no he was sorry but he didn't. The funny thing was, his whole body moved slightly when I shifted. His body felt it but he didn't know what to call it so he didn't register consciously what I had done.

Hello George,

Did he understand your question? Was the description enough to show him what to look for? I notice that you have put "on the inside" and "on the outside" in double quotes. There is obviously a reason for this, but if you have to do this here, in this forum, how did you signal the unusual nature of the phrase when you were teaching him?

Years ago, Fred Newcomb, a senior yudansha of the New England Aikikai, used precisely the same phrases to make his point, when describing something else. He then added, "It is all the same anyway," and no one had a clue what he meant, least of all the white-belted students he was teaching.

Best,

PAG

Allen Beebe
03-16-2009, 09:31 AM
I did it again and told him to simply feel if anything felt different when I shifted, it didn't have to feel like anything he understood or could describe. At that point when I shifted he said yes, he could feel it that time. But I had to verbally prep him so that he could put his attention on it and register what was happening.


Hi George,

That is a good example of how un-referenced vocabulary meant nothing to the "un-initiated" but when you and your vocabulary met him "where he was at" and directed him to simply pay attention any change he felt, at that point he reportedly felt something new and you more than likely then associated his experience with the vocabulary you wanted to associate with that experience.

Matters would have been greatly complicated if he had taken your original instruction and either used previously associated experience to create a referent or instantaneously created a new referent based on *past* experience thereby insulating himself from the experience you were trying to relate. He probably would have given you the same reaction but would have been much less able to be re-directed to experience the new sensations and therefore make a new association. Hence, "There are none so blind as those that *will* not see."

I too don't wish to let folks bumble around in the dark, especially myself. As you pointed out though, words alone, when it is assumed that one can derive shared experience from them, often only help promote bumbling.

Allen

George S. Ledyard
03-16-2009, 09:33 AM
Hello George,

Did he understand your question? Was the description enough to show him what to look for? I notice that you have put "on the inside" and "on the outside" in double quotes. There is obviously a reason for this, but if you have to do this here, in this forum, how did you signal the unusual nature of the phrase when you were teaching him?

Years ago, Fred Newcomb, a senior yudansha of the New England Aikikai, used precisely the same phrases to make his point, when describing something else. He then added, "It is all the same anyway," and no one had a clue what he meant, least of all the white-belted students he was teaching.

Best,

PAG

Hi Peter,
In the instance I referred to, the student didn't know what I was asking initially. What I was attempting to do was get him to recognize a feeling or sensation and connect it with the concept of "inside" and "outside". Once I accomplished that he then knew, at least on some level, what I was referring to when I did it. The trick was then to design a training exercise which would allow him to do it himself.

I am a big exponent of "body centered" terminology. If one can develop a set of terms that students understand by "feeling" what they mean, then they can be useful. You need to use the terms consistently as well, so that over time the students develop an increasingly precise understanding of what was meant.

This is one of the reasons that, when one finds a teacher whom one wishes to learn from, one needs to get as much exposure to them as possible yo their instruction. My students have internalized my descriptive terminology to the point at which I use it merely to remind them (the seniors anyway) of what they already know they should be doing.

But when I teach outside at other dojos, I need to spend time simply teaching these principles and that can include working with people to get them to recognize that certain things are going on of which they might have previously been unaware. If I get regular exposure to the students, over time I see them start to redirect their practice and make a jump. If I don't see them more than once every few years, this really doesn't happen because, terminology has to be included alongside the hands-on so that they can "feel' what I am doing.

But it's still important I think to have the terminology... it points the attention towards what you are teaching. The whole train and you will get it idea is bogus, I think. If that were true, there would be a lot more excellent people out there. Some folks do learn that way but most, in my experience do not. So the development of descriptive terminology is important.

I got the "inside" and "outside" terminology from Ushiro Sensei at the first Expo. Once I had worked out what he meant, it changed my Aikido entirely.

Dan Rubin
03-16-2009, 10:59 AM
I recall a bokken class at my dojo, taught by Tres Hofmeister. He tried to tell me that my posture was poor, but I wasn't getting it. Finally, recalling that I had studied for several years at the Ki Society, he said, "Dan, weight underside." Immediately my shoulders dropped, my hips came forward and I stood up straight. "That's it," he said.

(Of course, my posture still stinks, but Tres was able to correct it for a moment, at least.)

George S. Ledyard
03-16-2009, 04:27 PM
Matters would have been greatly complicated if he had taken your original instruction and either used previously associated experience to create a referent or instantaneously created a new referent based on *past* experience thereby insulating himself from the experience you were trying to relate. He probably would have given you the same reaction but would have been much less able to be re-directed to experience the new sensations and therefore make a new association. Hence, "There are none so blind as those that *will* not see."

Hi Allen,
Yes, for sure about the "past experience" filtering ones ability to perceive. I think that this is why one must really strive to direct ones training. Train only with teachers that seem to be operating at the same level and seem to share a common principle base.

Traditionally, this was always the reason teachers gave for not wanting you to train with other teachers... you would get "confused". While legitimate in some circumstances, I think that this restriction was misused by mediocrities to keep theit students from seeing better teachers.

I am a big believer in training with multiple teachers. I have a certain idea about the kind of Aikido I want to do and a good idea of what things should look like when I see it in others. So I have no problem moving from Saotome Sensei and Ikeda Sensei to Howard Popkin and Ushiro Senseis, and even Vladimir Vasiliev. The more I train with them, the more I realize that the underlying principles they are using are the same.

Having trained with a wide variety of teachers who share a common principle foundation yet have widely differing training methodology and descriptive terminology, I find that when I train with someone totally new, I have the ability to pick up new information quickly. I do not think that this would have been true had I simply trained with Saotome Sensei for the last thirty years. In fact, I understand him far better because I trained with all these others.

On the other hand, I do not think that all teachers within Aikido operate on a common principle base. There is plenty of Aikido that is pretty much devoid of "aiki". At best some is just a decent jiu jutsu and at worst it is a lot of torquing and muscling of the partner. Where one falls into these categories seems to have little or no relation to rank or experience level.

So, if you try to train across the Aikido spectrum, I think that your body and mind will get confused. There is enough of range of sophistication that I personally wouldn't consider what some teachers are doing to be even the same art as what I am doing. So I think it is best to stick with teachers that seem to be on the same page so to speak. Then the experience with one seems to compliment rather than interfere with your experience of another. That's my take and I'm sticking to it...
Hope all is well,
George

Allen Beebe
03-16-2009, 04:36 PM
I got the "inside" and "outside" terminology from Ushiro Sensei at the first Expo. Once I had worked out what he meant, it changed my Aikido entirely.

If repeated experience facilitated (with the goal of teaching) by a teacher that "can do" and "will do,"* coupled with some form of standardized terminology and verification of the experience seems to be a formula that works. (Perhaps this is the only formula that works well for the more nebulous areas of instruction.)

And if, conversely, random experience leaves progress to chance. Terminology without relevant experience produces pedantry not performance. And, assuming one truly ascertains either of these without being able to reproduce their implied outcome is delusion.

What are the implications for the Transmission and/or Inheritance of Aikido?

*Perhaps there is some wiggle room here for the coach that "can't do" but can teach others "to do." (And then there's me that can't teach "doo doo!"

Allen Beebe
03-16-2009, 05:08 PM
So I think it is best to stick with teachers that seem to be on the same page so to speak. Then the experience with one seems to compliment rather than interfere with your experience of another.

Hi George,

Stick away! Makes sense to me, especially keeping in mind your years* of experience. I'm not sure I would recommend eclecticism to someone that doesn't have a rack upon which to hang a variety of hats yet though.

I kind of think of input from others like a Venn Diagram. In this case, to be useful, there should be lots of overlap between the different circles. Nevertheless, one should expect, and I think not neglect, the areas that lay outside commonality. It is the uncommon that defines greatness after all!** :hypno:

Trying to bring this back on thread . . . I'll try to relate a quote from a Federal Marksmanship trainer: "Slow is Fast, Fast is Smooth, Smooth is Accurate . . . or Quick. I can't remember, but you get the idea.

Have fun this weekend!

All the best,
Allen

*and years, and years, and years :p I think you'll always have at around 5 years on me age wise at least! ;)

**and being "uncommon" is about as close to greatness as some of us may ever get. :uch:

Allen Beebe
03-16-2009, 05:23 PM
BTW, Hunter Lonsberry just Posted this in the Non-Aikido Thread:

"I like the logical steps Mike used to build upon each preceding exercise. He gave plenty of hands on time with everyone for just about every exercise so each participant could understand what they were supposed to be experiencing along with providing feedback as to whether or not they were getting it."

I bet Mike appended his hands-on with Terminology as well. Sounds like a formula that works . . . maybe it will catch on!

For those cynics out there lurking. I haven't met Mike yet . . . but if he wanted to pay me lots of money for the free plug I'd gladly accept! :D

Just thought it related to the drift.

Cheers,
Allen

Allen Beebe
03-16-2009, 07:29 PM
This from Tom Wharton:

1. *Perhaps there is some wiggle room here for the coach that "can't do" but can teach others "to do." (And then there's me that can't teach "doo doo!" – Hey, I want my money back!

2. It’s: “Fast is slow, slow is smooth, smooth is quick”

Response from Allen:

1. Money? When did you ever give me money?

2. Thanks! (Sounds like my proctologist!)

Allen

Dan Rubin
03-18-2009, 10:07 PM
I got the "inside" and "outside" terminology from Ushiro Sensei at the first Expo. Once I had worked out what he meant, it changed my Aikido entirely.

George,

Can you talk about this some more?

As my previous post illustrated (I hope), Koichi Tohei Sensei contributed much to aikido training by organizing his instruction around various lists and explanations that form a "language" of Ki-Aikido. But apparently you are talking about a level of vocabulary that is much deeper and more sophisticated.

Dan

philippe willaume
03-19-2009, 07:41 AM
Hi Phil,
Western fencing, in its past, had a lot of theory; massive volumes were written by European fencing masters. I am not sure what happened but at some point most of that disappeared from modern fencing which is quite non-cerebral these days.

My wife and I met on-line and our initial e-mail exchanges were about the relationship between the two opponents in the martial interaction. She is a former national champion fencer. She started Aikido with Kimberly Richardson Sensei specifically to try to develop a vocabulary to describe what she did in her fencing. Western fencing has terminology to describe basic things like timing. They have terminology that equates to sen no sen, go no sen, sen sen no sen, etc. But they have little or no descriptive terminology for the "intuitive" or psychic aspect of the art, which means it can't be taught. Genie is convinced that the great fencers all do some version of what she does but they just don't talk about it at all. Her ex, who was her coach, told her that "It works for you, but it won't work for anyone else." I think she feels somewhat vindicated by her exposure to Aikido and Systema in which this stuff is an integral part of the practice.
- George
Hello
Not that I am that experienced in both aikido and Ringeck fighting method but I definitely agree with you.
For example if you want to strike according to ringecks manual putting the tactical advices, the mistakes the baddy is doing. You end up striking as you are with the aki-ken….
It is as if you sort of need one to understand the other, if you see what I mean

phil

PS as far as I can tell modern foil is coming from small 19th century French small sword, modern sabre from Italian 19th duelling sabre (or possibly polish sabre), Epee being a mix of the two.
The rules and scoring without electric scoring emphasised some aspect of “military fencing and makes some other redundant. Even though the “fleche” remains true to historical fencing “times” ie hand then body then foot or feet.

George S. Ledyard
03-19-2009, 12:16 PM
Hello
Not that I am that experienced in both aikido and Ringeck fighting method but I definitely agree with you.
For example if you want to strike according to ringecks manual putting the tactical advices, the mistakes the baddy is doing. You end up striking as you are with the aki-ken….
It is as if you sort of need one to understand the other, if you see what I mean

phil

PS as far as I can tell modern foil is coming from small 19th century French small sword, modern sabre from Italian 19th duelling sabre (or possibly polish sabre), Epee being a mix of the two.
The rules and scoring without electric scoring emphasised some aspect of "military fencing and makes some other redundant. Even though the "fleche" remains true to historical fencing "times" ie hand then body then foot or feet.

Genie, my wife, was a champion epee competitor. She told me that with the advent of the electric switch on the tip of the foil and epee the Russians completely redid the art, much to the consternation of the classical fencers like her French Master. Since the object was to depress the switch at the tip in order to score, whole movements were developed that would have had nothing to do with the use of the epee as a weapon. For example, you could put such a wave into the sword that the blade would flex so greatly that the tip would actually hit your head from behind you and the tip would depress and score. Totally removed from martial application as a technique...

ChrisMoses
03-19-2009, 03:41 PM
What's interesting about the changes that happened with electric scoring methods in fencing (to me at least) is that while it is true that they moved the sport further from its combative past, one could make the argument that it was still in keeping with the spirit of the sport. It's my understanding that for a rather long time while dueling was still a relatively common way to "settle it" there were laws in place that said that you could still be held accountable for the death of your opponent should you kill them in a duel. Now, if they just happened to die of an infection from the giant puncture wound you put in their arm, well that's no one's fault but God's. As a result, the *art* of dueling changed with the rule change to "first blood" contests. Dueling swords became long and square to punch a big hole in someone, but not be enough to kill them outright. Fencing the *sport* really traces its ancestry to this kind of dueling rather than battlefield combatives. Putting the pressure sensor on the end certainly encouraged the dreaded 'whip' point (and as someone who fenced for a time in HS, the only thing worse than having someone tap you from behind with one of these was to get hit by a bad attempt, ouch...), but one could argue that this may have even counted in a first blood duel.

It at least seems a more logical continuation of an idea than the slapping point scoring *strikes* that one sees in kendo relative to the slicing cuts that one finds in the older arts that it claims as its cultural heritage.

Apologies for the continued thread-drift. :D

George S. Ledyard
03-19-2009, 04:49 PM
What's interesting about the changes that happened with electric scoring methods in fencing (to me at least) is that while it is true that they moved the sport further from its combative past, one could make the argument that it was still in keeping with the spirit of the sport. It's my understanding that for a rather long time while dueling was still a relatively common way to "settle it" there were laws in place that said that you could still be held accountable for the death of your opponent should you kill them in a duel. Now, if they just happened to die of an infection from the giant puncture wound you put in their arm, well that's no one's fault but God's. As a result, the *art* of dueling changed with the rule change to "first blood" contests. Dueling swords became long and square to punch a big hole in someone, but not be enough to kill them outright. Fencing the *sport* really traces its ancestry to this kind of dueling rather than battlefield combatives. Putting the pressure sensor on the end certainly encouraged the dreaded 'whip' point (and as someone who fenced for a time in HS, the only thing worse than having someone tap you from behind with one of these was to get hit by a bad attempt, ouch...), but one could argue that this may have even counted in a first blood duel.

It at least seems a more logical continuation of an idea than the slapping point scoring *strikes* that one sees in kendo relative to the slicing cuts that one finds in the older arts that it claims as its cultural heritage.

Apologies for the continued thread-drift. :D

Hi Chris,
Genie would certainly agree with you. Her feeling is along the lines that sure, the physical techniques have changed, but internal essentials of guts, bravery, conditioning, sensitivity, etc are still there so it's still a martial art even though the deadly consequences have been removed, it's still combat and the competitors certainly treat it that way.

Ushiro Sensei, and others, would disagree with this. He goes on at length in his book about the difference between Sport and Budo. O-Sensei would have been in total agreement with his point of view I am sure, which is why most styles of Aikido do not have comperition.

Yanagi Ryu, as an example, is old school as well. They don't use iaito in their training despite the obvious safety advantage because it changes the level of mental tension which should accompany being a fraction of an inch from injury or death.

Anyway, this debate has been going on for a long time and won't be resolevd at any point that I can anticipate...

Robert Cowham
04-06-2009, 06:09 PM
As my previous post illustrated (I hope), Koichi Tohei Sensei contributed much to aikido training by organizing his instruction around various lists and explanations that form a "language" of Ki-Aikido.
My introduction to aikido was driven by reading "Ki in Daily Life" by Tohei Sensei. As it happened I was in Italy, and in the back was a list of local dojos - so I had 6 months with a local dojo, before leaving Italy.

Inspite of having very seldom done "ki-aikido" over the last 20 or so years, I am really coming back to Tohei sensei's basic points (can't remember the order):

- relax
- keep one point
- keep weight underside
- extend ki

However, my understanding of the above is "just a little" different to what it was when I started. In addition, I would add a principle (learned from Suganuma sensei):

- maintain connection (musubi) - to partner('s centre) and (from Mike Sigman et al), to ground

When I am able to keep an open mind, teaching a class often gives me new ways to explain the feelings that I am aiming for. As George says, I can at least get them feeling the difference between examples (good and bad) - even if their ability to reproduce the "right" example is perhaps somewhat random to start with.

Robert