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tim evans
10-13-2009, 08:22 AM
Any thoughts on practicing this important part of aikido.:D

jss
10-13-2009, 08:55 AM
Any thoughts on practicing this important part of aikido.:D
Assuming you're interested in the non-IT (Internal Training) answer: focus less on performing a specific technique and more on managing the contact with uke. Trying hard to make a technique work will result in muscling through, clashing and conflict. Rather think sensitivity, angles and timing. Think softness and relaxation. You've got to lead uke in the situation you want him to be in, not force him/her.

MM
10-13-2009, 09:02 AM
Any thoughts on practicing this important part of aikido.:D

Keep contradictory forces going inside your body. Keep "you" (the entirety of your body) as a centrally held equilibrium. Then, when force exerts itself on your body, "you" automatically redirect forces within "you" and your mind doesn't have to decide how to blend. "You" are still a centrally held body, even with outside forces trying to influence you. Weight distribution is still centrally held, which means you don't have to shift and load one leg to move your body somewhere. This happens whether static or dynamic. At some point, the exerting force does not "feel" as if it is there and "you" just move as if free.

tim evans
10-13-2009, 09:15 AM
The reason I posted this thread was here lately my ukes have been breaking away from the technique mid way thru so I end up muscling the ending witch isn,t good.:)

MM
10-13-2009, 09:23 AM
The reason I posted this thread was here lately my ukes have been breaking away from the technique mid way thru so I end up muscling the ending witch isn,t good.:)

Something that I'm working on is to keep all the internal connections going, keep my body centrally held, and then focus on the spine for movements. That tends (when I do things right) to create a "stickiness" such that uke can't let go. It certainly isn't easy. :)

Larry Cuvin
10-13-2009, 09:43 AM
Hi Tim,
Lead them to the direction they want to go at their pace then perform with confidence and try not to tense up.

lbb
10-13-2009, 11:32 AM
The reason I posted this thread was here lately my ukes have been breaking away from the technique mid way thru so I end up muscling the ending witch isn,t good.:)

I don't think that's got anything to do with blending, or failure to blend. As described, that's just a case of uke bailing.

Linda Eskin
10-13-2009, 11:46 AM
Hey Tim - Thanks for asking about this! I'm benefitting from the answers as well. :)

tim evans
10-13-2009, 12:02 PM
I don't think that's got anything to do with blending, or failure to blend. As described, that's just a case of uke bailing.But if I enter and blend and I keep uke close or off balance isn,t it one in the same?

John Matsushima
10-13-2009, 01:13 PM
If uke is breaking away then one of several things may be happening. You may be using too much power, which allows uke to feel what you are doing and avoid or counter it. His balance may not have been broken. This usually happens to beginners who are still trying to work through the technique and learn the where and how of the physical forms, and so are not able yet to apply the dynamics. If this is you, then just ask the uke to lighten up a bit.
Uke may also not be really attacking, and just sitting back waiting to bail on your technique.

On blending. Timing and power is most important when it comes to this, and the Ki no Musubi bokken kata is excellent practice for this. However, I think that when it comes to blending, blending with the uke is much more important than the attack. If you get the chance to practice with different uke's, then you will learn how differently people move, act, and react. If a person's body or stature is like a rock, a tree, or a bamboo, then his attack will be as such, and you must act appropriately. Leading and connection are important, but there are different methods of each, and they are different from blending.

tim evans
10-13-2009, 01:43 PM
If uke is breaking away then one of several things may be happening. You may be using too much power, which allows uke to feel what you are doing and avoid or counter it. His balance may not have been broken. This usually happens to beginners who are still trying to work through the technique and learn the where and how of the physical forms, and so are not able yet to apply the dynamics. If this is you, then just ask the uke to lighten up a bit.
Uke may also not be really attacking, and just sitting back waiting to bail on your technique.

On blending. Timing and power is most important when it comes to this, and the Ki no Musubi bokken kata is excellent practice for this. However, I think that when it comes to blending, blending with the uke is much more important than the attack. If you get the chance to practice with different uke's, then you will learn how differently people move, act, and react. If a person's body or stature is like a rock, a tree, or a bamboo, then his attack will be as such, and you must act appropriately. Leading and connection are important, but there are different methods of each, and they are different from blending.

How do I keep uke from sensing what I,m doing? I have been having this happen on ukes who have trained in differrent martial arts styles and are conditioned to react a certain way. I guess I still am feeling "choppy" on my movements.:confused:

Kevin Leavitt
10-13-2009, 01:49 PM
Understand what you are saying...and all the "internal" discussion aside....

I think the word blending is a poor descriptive word. It assumes that you are matching or that their is parity in the situation.

You want to minimize or reduce proprioception...that is, uke does not feel the need to separate...even more he feels that worse will happen if he does...so he holds on.

To me this has less to do with blending, and more to do with making sure that you are in the right place at the right time, with the right posture and pressure..and that uke does not have this.

Again, might be semantics, but blending, to me, suggest that we are trying to match or time what uke does...a losing proposition as uke will always call the shots with this mindset...we just may not be aware that is what is going on in the relationship.

Skillfulness I believe comes when we are calling the shots as nage, and uke "believes" that he is still calling some of them, or that he is not calling them, but what is happening to him can't be resolved and he is playing catch up.

The "ethics" come into play, once we have skill enough to make choices on how to proceed with the relationship.

I think a much different perspective than blending, matching, or giving uke choice.

It might seem like semantics, but to me, I found it key to my further understanding of what is really going on and it improved/improves my ability to deal with uke's that refuse to "listen"....damn ukes!

Aikibu
10-13-2009, 02:02 PM
Blending is really very simple to describe...Your energy and movement "connects" and matches your opponents...

That can only be done if you enter successfully...

In practice for you to have any idea if your blending with the attack successfully Uke must attack with sincerity Not just with intensity/aliveness mind you... but with the attitude of looking for openings in Nage's technique to exploit...IMO part of good Ukemi is to help instill this kind of mindfulness in Nage.

William Hazen

MM
10-13-2009, 02:07 PM
Understand what you are saying...and all the "internal" discussion aside....

I think the word blending is a poor descriptive word. It assumes that you are matching or that their is parity in the situation.

You want to minimize or reduce proprioception...that is, uke does not feel the need to separate...even more he feels that worse will happen if he does...so he holds on.

To me this has less to do with blending, and more to do with making sure that you are in the right place at the right time, with the right posture and pressure..and that uke does not have this.

Again, might be semantics, but blending, to me, suggest that we are trying to match or time what uke does...a losing proposition as uke will always call the shots with this mindset...we just may not be aware that is what is going on in the relationship.

Skillfulness I believe comes when we are calling the shots as nage, and uke "believes" that he is still calling some of them, or that he is not calling them, but what is happening to him can't be resolved and he is playing catch up.

The "ethics" come into play, once we have skill enough to make choices on how to proceed with the relationship.

I think a much different perspective than blending, matching, or giving uke choice.

It might seem like semantics, but to me, I found it key to my further understanding of what is really going on and it improved/improves my ability to deal with uke's that refuse to "listen"....damn ukes!

Hi Kevin,

I look at it two ways: 1. Jujutsu and 2. aiki.

1. If I had to do this with jujutsu, I'd go the route of kuzushi, tsukuri, and kake in a purely physical sense. In other words, I'd try to get kuzushi on contact.

One of the ways to get kuzushi is to do one or multiples of the following:
1. head out of alignment from shoulders.
2. shoulders out of alignment from hips.
3. hips out of alignment from feet.
4. feet out of alignment from upper body.

When getting a body part out of alignment, you can do that vertically, horizontally, in the Z axis, or a measure of all three. All three at once is better. Doing that to multiples of the above is best. This causes uke to radically re-align and while uke does that, it gives tori time to keep doing the same thing while setting up for the fit.

So, purely jujutsu and physical level, I'd suggest trying the above. To add better effect to that, try to be relaxed. Once you tighten up some localized muscle groups, uke feels that and reacts very differently. You've given uke a position in space to focus on.

Once you've got that, add in timing. Be just ahead of uke such that there is always a slight "anchor" for uke to be a part of. That anchor can, and does, move.

Of course, there are varying skill levels in the above, but it's all jujutsu based actions. No aiki in it at all.

2. With aiki, you can remove quite a bit of the above. As Ueshiba said, there is no timing in aiki. Uke feels a sort of "stickiness" feeling, so the physical levels of X,Y, and Z axis are all done internally. And with proper Internal Training, the relaxedness is already there as a byproduct.

With 1. jujutsu, you can spend many, many years perfecting it. And don't get me wrong, it's a wonderful skill to have. I've been on the receiving end of it and it can leave you breathless.

But, 2. aiki, is the Holy Grail. It's a step beyond. Worth every drop of sweat in solo and paired exercises. I would distance myself from any person who stood in the way of being able to get training in aiki. Thankfully, I haven't had to do that, but I understand that some out there might be in that situation.

Mark

Carrie Campbell
10-13-2009, 02:35 PM
Hi, Tim! I am just beginning to learn to move and blend, so look forward to posts here. Fortunately, I don’t have much muscle to begin with so the muscular path isn’t a valid option for me. When I think of blending with an attack in aikido, I think especially of jyuwaza or freestyle. Last year, I enlisted the help of a senior student and my instructors for practice as I was still getting stuck and matching forces with my partners (again, not a valid option) rather than just blending, moving out of the way. To improve, I would meet with my classmate outside of class, and my instructors would include randori and typical jyuwaza techniques as part of regular practice.

The most helpful blending practice was a particular set of (I believe) kokyunage variants from ryokatatori, where an uke would continue to press or extend ki on both front shoulders until I woke up and pivoted off-line to let them pass. During class, we learned variations on this that included stepping back offline and then pivoting if uke’s advancing strong or stepping forward offline to meet uke before pivoting. One aspect that is nice about this technique is that no arms are involved. Body movement (especially hips) is the key. Yet it is very natural initially to try to withstand uke’s energy or stop him in his path first. We began static and moved to more flowing technique with one partner and then maybe five toward the end of practice in randori.

My recommendation: find another classmate that will practice with you before or after class or outside of class sometime. Pick an “attack” such as shomenuchi or katatori, and practice say 3-4 techniques from this attack. You can take turns suggesting and showing a technique that’s then repeated by your partner. (You might start to skip this step if you just got done with class.) After reminding yourselves of a few of these techniques, then you can start with the same attack and mix up the techniques. Then, pick a different attack and work through a few various techniques and freestyle. A next step might be varying the attacks a little during freestyle (maybe ask uke to mix shomenuchi and yokomenuchi). I think it helps a lot to limit the type of attack though to start with and then add more as you progress and get more comfortable. [With snow/ice/mud soon coming, you may want to take this inside. You don’t have to complete the technique to blend; this can be more of an exercise.]

I also like the advice from William Hazen about connection and Mark Murray regarding posture. :)

Erick Mead
10-13-2009, 04:17 PM
You want to minimize or reduce proprioception...that is, uke does not feel the need to separate...even more he feels that worse will happen if he does...so he holds on.

To me this has less to do with blending, and more to do with making sure that you are in the right place at the right time, with the right posture and pressure..and that uke does not have this.I liken it to surfing -- a very narrow window of entry, but once entered into the critical regime of the face of the wave, and once possessed of the unique means of dynamic stability that little moving universe requires, then you have complete freedom to act as you feel -- within its boundaries.

Entry conditions are highly defined with tight constraints, whilst operative conditions while highly dynamic are relatively stable and free within those moving boundaries. Operative boundaries are very easy to depart and almost impossible to climb back up. Endstate is undefined, and highly contingent.

In this sense, then, as the surfer dominates the wave by cooperating with its nature, so is the attacker dominated. With this difference -- sometimes you are the surfer dominating and sometimes you are the wave (cooperating in domination) and the trick is ultimately to get the other guy caught inside the break -- under a collapsing wall of water ...
:cool: :eek:

RonRagusa
10-13-2009, 04:59 PM
Any thoughts on practicing this important part of aikido.:D

Blending in Aikido - The continuous simultaneous application of leading and following uke. Become the attack and let uke become the throw. Connect with uke physically, mentally and spiritually. Occupy the dynamic center about which you both move. Be there and gone before uke arrives.

And it all happens without thinking about it.

Ron

lbb
10-13-2009, 05:55 PM
But if I enter and blend and I keep uke close or off balance isn,t it one in the same?

No.

Aikibu
10-13-2009, 07:19 PM
I liken it to surfing -- a very narrow window of entry, but once entered into the critical regime of the face of the wave, and once possessed of the unique means of dynamic stability that little moving universe requires, then you have complete freedom to act as you feel -- within its boundaries.

Entry conditions are highly defined with tight constraints, whilst operative conditions while highly dynamic are relatively stable and free within those moving boundaries. Operative boundaries are very easy to depart and almost impossible to climb back up. Endstate is undefined, and highly contingent.

In this sense, then, as the surfer dominates the wave by cooperating with its nature, so is the attacker dominated. With this difference -- sometimes you are the surfer dominating and sometimes you are the wave (cooperating in domination) and the trick is ultimately to get the other guy caught inside the break -- under a collapsing wall of water ...
:cool: :eek:

Yup Surfing and Aikido go together. :)

William Hazen

eyrie
10-13-2009, 07:20 PM
I think the word blending is a poor descriptive word. "Blending" is something I do with my Magic Bullet (http://www.buythebullet.com/howitworks.php)... :)

Kevin Leavitt
10-13-2009, 08:52 PM
Erick, yea surfing is a good analogy I think. In surfing you develop momentum and get slightly ahead of the wave and ride it's power...you don't blend with it or attempt to neutralize that power, but to stay ahead of it.

Again...I understand there is alot of semantics and folks may say...well yeah...that IS blending....and I would agree.

I just simply don't like the word as a descriptive term as I think there is a meaning of blending in the english language that has one connotation and when we use it in aikido or budo, that meaning does not work well I think.

Mark Murray describes it pretty well I think...which is why I caveated..."internal skills aside".

And yeah...the Magic Bullet is a good one too!

Erick Mead
10-13-2009, 09:34 PM
Erick, yea surfing is a good analogy I think. In surfing you develop momentum and get slightly ahead of the wave and ride it's power...you don't blend with it or attempt to neutralize that power, but to stay ahead of it.

Again...I understand there is alot of semantics and folks may say...well yeah...that IS blending....and I would agree. "Blending" is something done to fruit for a daquiri. "Blending" is also what happens when that wall of water falls on my poor bastard self if caught inside. Funny thing, they both kinda look about the same -- frothy and swirly and all -- and after several of them -- they both feel about the same, too -- wobbly, gasping for air and darn near unconscious ...:D

Mary Eastland
10-14-2009, 06:34 AM
But if I enter and blend and I keep uke close or off balance isn,t it one in the same?

Blending is not something that happens in your mind. If you are finding uke problematic...slow down. Relax more and be really soft.
Handle your uke like you would a newborn baby.
Mary

dps
10-14-2009, 08:26 AM
wobbly, gasping for air and darn near unconscious ...:D

That is what you want your attacker to feel like after you use Aikido to defend yourself, blended not shaken or stirred. :)

David

ChrisMoses
10-14-2009, 12:42 PM
Kevin has made some great posts in this thread. I'll only add a little:

Surfing is a great analogy, BUT, I think most people are all wrong about who is the wave and who is the surfer. Nage is the freaking wave, uke is the surfer. Nage moves such that uke cannot help but go where they are directed.

"Blending" I hate the term blending, I prefer to use, "matching", "meeting" or "connecting" to describe what nage is doing. If as nage, I try to "blend" with uke, I've already given up authority in the encounter.

"Leading" I don't 'lead' anyone. There are some very limited instances where I may attempt to 'redirect' someone on an extremely short time frame but I can't honestly lead anyone all over the mat they way you see in some schools. It doesn't work on me, why would I expect it to work for me? Leading is saying, "Please follow me, OK?" That's fine in a very cooperative environment, but that's not budo. I much prefer the concept of "directing". I "direct" uke's movements through my own movements by doing my best to control the encounter.

I realize most folks read this kind of thing and think I'm advocating a sort of domineering brute force version of Aikido. Without meeting me or someone doing something similar in person it's hard for me to point out the distinction, I'll just say that it's entirely possible (critical if you're going to call it aiki) for the kind of interaction I'm talking about to be extremely subtle.

DH
10-14-2009, 01:48 PM
Actually everything Chris wrote is contained in what Mark Murray wrote-not Kevin's. In fact the only way to actively and actually do what Chris is describing is in Mark's description. Kevin's talking point of "Internals aside" is to try and eliminate a possible contention, but it makes no sense in the discussion. It's just another attempt to re-direct the discussion of aikido to externally driven jujutsu, simply because its the popular way of doing it. You might as well say. "Let's talk about aikido without doing aikido."
How does saying "all internal aside compare with Ikeda's "No kokyu-no aikido?" Ikeda is basically saying no IP/aiki...no aikido.

I mean what's the point of having a discussion at all. Let' all go lift and do cardio and train MMA and be done with it.

IMO the only way aikido can be done is to do it the way Mark and Chris are describing-and Kevin actually agrees with; Aiki in yo ho; trained and contained within you means that when their energy meets your energy (their ki meets your ki), your's is the superior one, and your movement controls theirs ai-ki). Done any other way - you are just doing jujutsu, which is what the vast majority of aikido people are doing.

I understand that is a strong point of contention within the art, however, recent forays of senior teachers from the art of aikido in going out and feeling those with real aiki have remained consistent in their views- that aiki is not in fact being successfully taught or displayed in the art. Fortunately, they are doing something about that and leading the way. Comically, or should we say sadly, some are doing it in secret; some from their senior Japanese shihan and others from their own students!.

Everyone can participate and contribute on forums, that's to be expected, and all opinions may appear equal, but it only appears that way. Aiki is very non-partisan and flat. I have had many invites to "share" what I do by aikido teachers, who offered to then "share" what they do with me. I always ask to go first. It saves a lot of time and embarrassment, as so far; no one wanted to "share" what they were doing after I showed them what they "could" be doing. Aiki is a funny thing. You can talk about it and debate it all day long, if you meet someone who has aiki, it speaks for itself. In person-no ones "opinion" is required, it ids what it is.

I think what inhibits growth is people holding on to what has become comfortable to them. There is a lot of investiture in martial arts, that people struggle to let go of, there are few exceptions. Personally, I was among the most hard headed and foolish of us. It was very difficult for me to let go and simply stop doing everything that made me "feel" comfortable, and be willing to start over and re-invest. Of course landing on my ass, over and over and over was a good way to finally make me listen to what was being said to me:o . Aiki is peculiar that way, again, it is very flat, and non-diplomatic. It doesn't offer everyone an equal voice as it is "in your face" honest. It was that way in Takeda and Ueshiba's day; when they were doing and working their aiki in their MMA practice, and it still is today.
Despite the fact that generations have messed it up- nothing has changed; IP/ aiki is core of the art, and it is the best thing out there.
Cheers
Dan

Erick Mead
10-14-2009, 03:51 PM
Actually everything Chris wrote is contained in what Mark Murray wrote-not Kevin's. In fact the only way to actively and actually do what Chris is describing is in Mark's description. Kevin's talking point of "Internals aside" is to try and eliminate a possible contention, but it makes no sense in the discussion. It's just another attempt to re-direct the discussion of aikido to externally driven jujutsu, simply because its the popular way of doing it. You might as well say. "Let's talk about aikido without doing aikido."

Ah. Ya know, it ain't so all-fired turrible ta think just a bit critically about ways of describing the doing -- between the odd bouts of doing it ... I don't actually disagree with a thing Mark said..

But how many ways are there to describe the lift on a wing? Or must one first fly [insert badass aircraft of choice here] to understand what one is manipulating to get off the ground in some "lesser" aircraft? Or else must one learn piloting only from Chuck Yeager to understand hanggliders? I assure you lift works on the same principles regardless. Actually, the jet-jock supersonic aerodynamics are simpler than the actions of their "lesser" subsonic and transonic brethren. And all of those are simpler than their rotary-wing cousins -- and we just sit there hovering in one damn place ... :D

There is no hierarchy of energetic action implied from degrees of understanding the principles, only different regimes in applying them.

Or do Ring Lardner's Young Immigrunts walk abroad once more?

686

How does saying "all internal aside compare with Ikeda's "No kokyu-no aikido?" Ikeda is basically saying no IP/aiki...no aikido.
...
I understand that is a strong point of contention within the art, ... Not among those who pay attention to Ikeda ... apparently. :)

Kevin Leavitt
10-14-2009, 08:06 PM
Dan Wrote:
IMO the only way aikido can be done is to do it the way Mark and Chris are describing-and Kevin actually agrees with; Aiki in yo ho; trained and contained within you means that when their energy meets your energy (their ki meets your ki), your's is the superior one, and your movement controls theirs ai-ki). Done any other way - you are just doing jujutsu, which is what the vast majority of aikido people are doing.

Essentially I agree with what Mark and Chris wrote...no issues really.

Want to clarify my position a little on this.

I said, "Internals Aside" as you state because I did not want to get into the issue at all.

Yes, I am addressing simply the Jiujitsu of it.

Yes, I agree actually Dan, that it is not Aiki that I am discussing, but simply the mechanics of what I consider to be good jiu jitsu.

On the subject..."Just doing Jiu Jitsu, which is what alot of the vast majority of AIkido people are doing". ...

Maybe, maybe not. I see alot of stuff out there that runs the middle road....that is, poor aiki and poor jiujitsu too.

A little kokyu that is bastardized with with some pseduo allegoric, philosophical mechanic of a technique that resembles jiu-jitsu. This gets translated into "harmony" or "blending".

I think good jiu jitsu is a combination of alot of things, kuzushi as Mark states, being very important along with body postion, alignment, and posture, breathing, etc.

I leave the "internal discussion" out of it, as I think there is alot of fundamentals that we can discuss without even bringing that subject up.

I do agree however, that what I am talking about has little or nothing to do with Aiki in this context.

John Matsushima
10-14-2009, 09:55 PM
How do I keep uke from sensing what I,m doing? I have been having this happen on ukes who have trained in differrent martial arts styles and are conditioned to react a certain way. I guess I still am feeling "choppy" on my movements.:confused:

There are many things you might be doing that alerts someone to what you are doing, its hard to tell without seeing your technique. Using too much strength, moving too fast, winding up before you move, moving your feet before your hands, are all bad habits. I have also had experience with people from different backgrounds reacting differently. Recently we had some wrestlers in our dojo. I remember they liked to attempt roll out of everything midway. This was when I was doing it slow without really taking their balance. So, I sharpened my technique, made it tighter and smaller and moved at a more normal speed, and then everything worked out fine. Then they asked me to slow down again and make it bigger so that they could see what i was doing. ha!

I believe that internal strength is one important piece of the puzzle that makes up Aikido, but it is only one piece. Technique, timing, distance, connection, BLENDING, irimi, absorption, tenkan, among many others, are all also very important. The problem I see with many schools is that they take one piece of the puzzle and mistake it for everything, preaching to everyone else that THIS IS IT, THIS is the true Aikido!

So here we are now talking about one piece of the puzzle, blending. I agree that many may look at this with different definitions. I too, once didn't like this term, because as others mentioned, it seemed to imply that my actions were dictated by the uke's. So, therefore if uke is fast, I had to be equally as fast, if his attacks were strong I had to be equally as strong. I may not be able to be as strong or as fast, and then an attacker might use this as a strategy to change up his technique to confuse and defeat me. However, there is one thing that doesn't change, doesn't move, and that's the person. Some may call this "connecting with the other's center". But the difference between connecting and blending, I think is a recognition and appreciation (not gratitude) of who is standing in front of me. This is where there may be a degree of adaptation, or matching, where two separate entities become one. What I'm talking about in very plain terms is that for example, if working with someone who is very flexible, you have to make your technique sharper, if working with someone who is very stiff, then don't try so hard to bend their arm so much when doing ikkyo. In public speaking, one must consider the audience. In windsurfing, I consider the weather of the day, not each individual breeze to decide what size board and sail to use. I can choose what I want to do, but when it comes to how I do it, I must consider the uke. That, I think is blending.

philippe willaume
10-15-2009, 07:59 AM
Hello
I see blending as countering you partner opponent attack without giving him a reason to change what he is doing.
So if some one tries to grab you by the shoulder.
Regardless if you irimi to the side as you hit him with your te-katana or your fist or you tenchin back and grab his wrist with the other hand, it is all blending.
And in lots of way palming a jab off and responding with a across or a thai kick in the floating ribs is blending just the same.
Or fencing wise it a one time void counter or a counter in opposition.

Really we can apply all that to the phase of movement as you get into effective range, where you are blending with movement/intention/guard whatever you want to call it.
So it does not matter if is attack or defence, I would say blending is integrating what you do to what he does or what you make him do.

Phil

MM
10-15-2009, 09:24 AM
Dan Wrote:

Essentially I agree with what Mark and Chris wrote...no issues really.

Want to clarify my position a little on this.

I said, "Internals Aside" as you state because I did not want to get into the issue at all.

Yes, I am addressing simply the Jiujitsu of it.

Yes, I agree actually Dan, that it is not Aiki that I am discussing, but simply the mechanics of what I consider to be good jiu jitsu.

On the subject..."Just doing Jiu Jitsu, which is what alot of the vast majority of AIkido people are doing". ...

Maybe, maybe not. I see alot of stuff out there that runs the middle road....that is, poor aiki and poor jiujitsu too.

A little kokyu that is bastardized with with some pseduo allegoric, philosophical mechanic of a technique that resembles jiu-jitsu. This gets translated into "harmony" or "blending".

I think good jiu jitsu is a combination of alot of things, kuzushi as Mark states, being very important along with body postion, alignment, and posture, breathing, etc.

I leave the "internal discussion" out of it, as I think there is alot of fundamentals that we can discuss without even bringing that subject up.

I do agree however, that what I am talking about has little or nothing to do with Aiki in this context.

Hi Kevin,
I think we're in the initial stage of the next round of "contention".

We had the rounds of "aiki" until people started getting hands on experience. Now, that's pretty much history as quite a lot of people understand the truth of the matter. The ripple effect will certainly reach many more.

And as that happens, people will start to realize that what most have called "aikido", really has been "jujutsu". But for now, IMO, it's just an initial stage of conversation and we've touched on it here in this thread.

Look at this

So if some one tries to grab you by the shoulder.
Regardless if you irimi to the side as you hit him with your te-katana or your fist or you tenchin back and grab his wrist with the other hand, it is all blending.

Really we can apply all that to the phase of movement as you get into effective range, where you are blending with movement/intention/guard whatever you want to call it.
Phil

I would imagine that most people view that as aikido. Some would take out the atemi portion and say it's aikido. But throughout the post, there was an underlying truth of physical movement to gain the "blending". Blend with physical movement = jujutsu. No aiki, no aikido. No kokyu, no aikido.

or this post

I believe that internal strength is one important piece of the puzzle that makes up Aikido, but it is only one piece. Technique, timing, distance, connection, BLENDING, irimi, absorption, tenkan, among many others, are all also very important. The problem I see with many schools is that they take one piece of the puzzle and mistake it for everything, preaching to everyone else that THIS IS IT, THIS is the true Aikido!

So here we are now talking about one piece of the puzzle, blending.


IMO, aiki makes up 50% of aikido. The other half is Ueshiba's spiritual outlook/vision/whatever you want to call it. That's aikido.

IMO, when most people start looking at "timing, distance, connection, BLENDING, irimi, absorption, tenkan", then they're looking at jujutsu. Except most people call that aikido.

And so, I think a second round of contention is going to be started. After the "aiki" hands-on experiences pretty much shut all of us up, so, too, I think the "jujutsu" aspect will happen in 3-5 years. Once enough of the people training aiki get out and about, then many more people will start feeling exactly what that is.

Until then, well, we'll have our posts and threads about it. It certainly isn't something easy to read, digest, and then criticize one's own 10, 20 or more years of training just from the Internet. Hence, the contention. But, hands-on experience, as many of us know first hand, well, it ends all debate. There was no aiki, just jujutsu.

thisisnotreal
10-15-2009, 09:54 AM
...
And so, I think a second round of contention is going to be started. After the "aiki" hands-on experiences pretty much shut all of us up, so, too, I think the "jujutsu" aspect will happen in 3-5 years. ...

Hi Mark,
That is a very interesting post.
Can you please explain more about the above quoted portion? I do not think I catch your meaning..
Josh

Adman
10-15-2009, 10:28 AM
Hi Mark,
That is a very interesting post.
Can you please explain more about the above quoted portion? I do not think I catch your meaning..
Josh
I can't speak for Mark, but it appears he left it pretty open-ended. So, pick your poison. With aiki, do you then move on to practice aiki-do, Ueshiba's Aikido™, Some Shihan's Aikido, generic aikido, etc? How does the technique change/evolve in each, with IS? Is "jujutsu" a requirement?

The question for me, just leaves a lot to ponder, looking ahead. And should spark it's own interesting thread.

Best,
Adam

Kevin Leavitt
10-15-2009, 10:59 AM
As a "Jiu Jitsu Player" and Combatives Instructor I tend to agree with Mark. I train in BJJ and Judo pretty much full time these days and I actively compete...so I get all the JJ without having to set foot in an aikido dojo. I train with some pretty decent JJ guys both from a "reality based scenario" and from a "sport perspective".

So, when I go to my Aikido dojo, I am not so concerned with JJ...I want to concentrate on Aiki training methods..which while definitely a big part of JJ...when you look at it from a pedagogy point of view...you a choosing a concentrated focus on a definitive area of your practice.

It is not saying that Aiki is not in JJ...ultimately to have "good JJ" it has to be.

But purely from a learning stand point...I think it becomes a focused practice on a particular set of skills that strips away all the elements of training that do not help improve those skills.

Hence removing the timing, speed, tactical positioning, ma ai....all that stuff.

That is why the distinction is made...not that there is any real distinction in application or reality...but that it helps to distingush and define so you can manage your training and feedback processes.

I think though, as Mark has discovered as well...that once this starts making sense to you and the training methods become clearer...you end up segregating your practice in this way.

My Aiki dojo time I'd rather spend time training and learning aiki....and in my JJ dojo time I'd rather spend time learning JJ skills.

Integrating them together...well I try everyday during newaza or randori training...but I just ain't that good so I try, but go back to the drawing board.

What I do experience alot in Aikido is that when we try and combine both skill sets....well you end up with a half ass attempt of befuddlement that is neither good aiki training or good jiu jitsu training and you end up with a mediocre practice of "feeling good" and going home with no real gains.

Hey we have the same issue in my BJJ school...some guys, usually the white and new blue belts simply want to roll/randori all the time. Yea it is fun, but no progression takes place cause all you do is do the things you are comfortable with and gravitate to your current experience base.

Good, sound, training methodology/pedagogy is formed around isolation models for a reason.

I believe in the end, this is all that is really being said.

I don't believe that Mark really is ultimately saying this as a "judgement" of aiki/non-aiki abilitties, but more as a categorization of training methodolgy.

MM
10-15-2009, 10:59 AM
I can't speak for Mark, but it appears he left it pretty open-ended. So, pick your poison. With aiki, do you then move on to practice aiki-do, Ueshiba's Aikido™, Some Shihan's Aikido, generic aikido, etc? How does the technique change/evolve in each, with IS? Is "jujutsu" a requirement?

The question for me, just leaves a lot to ponder, looking ahead. And should spark it's own interesting thread.

Best,
Adam

Nicely written and better than I could have done. Thank you.

DH
10-15-2009, 12:42 PM
I can't speak for Mark, but it appears he left it pretty open-ended. So, pick your poison. With aiki, do you then move on to practice aiki-do, Ueshiba's Aikido™, Some Shihan's Aikido, generic aikido, etc? How does the technique change/evolve in each, with IS? Is "jujutsu" a requirement?

The question for me, just leaves a lot to ponder, looking ahead. And should spark it's own interesting thread.

Best,
Adam
Since I coined Aikido™ as opposed to aiki...do, allow me to clarify.
Ueshiba's aikido was aiki...do (the way of aiki)
Everyone else is doing versions of ,Aikido.™ If there is aiki that to any serious degree, I have yet to feel it, or see it on film, from anyone in the art. IMO, it's all jujutsu. The closest I have seen anyone come to using aiki is Ikeda and Gleason.

What Mark referred to as the shut up factor is the ever widening testimony that no teacher in the art has been able to use their understanding of aiki from Aikido™ in any successful fashion against those doing real aiki. So the smart people are starting to consider the fact that the art...missed it. They didn't get aiki -in- Aikido™ so they are pursuing it IP/Aiki, elsewhere to once again make.Aikido™ -. aiki...do

Oddly, the most senior people to embrace this are from the ASU; Ikeda. Gleason, and Ledyard. Others are also training from a wide variety of branches.
So, in some respects it is "problem solved." The reason I say that is the teachers who are training this way are already noting the change in their Aikido™. Many are reporting they are having a hard time doing
Aikido™. the same way they have for decades. Aiki is changing the way they move and the way uke's respond. I have been privy to conversations with their own students who say" X teacher now blows right through me, or gathers and me and tosses me and I don't know what happened. I am finding it difficult to take his ukemi anymore. The change in him was both dramatic, and fast."
Also worthy of note is the teachers who are training this have teachers who are taking note of the rapid improvement. The best quote I heard was of a certain teacher who's shihan above them noted "Oh my, you're finally getting this!" And the guy thought to himself "Ya, no thanks to you! I finally found someone who can teach!!"

So, if Mark is correct this sort of thing is going to continue. All of these teachers have peers and seniors who are going to feel them and by comparison are not going to be able to do a thing -too them. They will by default become the best in the art, because they will be the ones doing aiki...do.
Aiki is not very diplomatic. You can't hide it, and once someone touches you its all over, for the simple reason that.because of it, both you and those of lesser skills are instantly exposed for their worth.

Jujutsu
jujutsu, is too complex a topic. It goes from crude levering and footwork, to high level positioning, entering and set-ups that almost just...happen. One of my favorite sayings is "Jujutsu...happens."
Because of the high level nature of good jujutsu people confuse it with aiki.

Quotes are always interesting.
Sagawa said "Without aiki- there is no jujutsu.";)
How's that for a different view!
Cheers
Dan

Erick Mead
10-15-2009, 01:15 PM
The closest I have seen anyone come to using aiki is Ikeda and Gleason.Well, good to know poor old Ikeda barely makes the cut ...

... the ever widening testimony that no teacher in the art has been able to use their understanding of aiki from Aikido™ in any successful fashion against those doing real aiki. So the smart people are starting to consider the fact that the art...missed it. [emphasis added] -- Yes, nobody wants to be counted apart from the "smart people" do they?

If you have evidence, actual "smart people" actually ask for that evidence to be actually produced.

The word for unattributed statements of unidentified people as proof of unidentified person's purported poor qualities is not "testimony" -- it is, at best, "innuendo" -- and more correctly, "specious rumor." and at worst "group libel," perhaps. Names, dates sources and quotes -- then maybe we have some merely "naked hearsay." Still more reliable than what we have here... regardless how talented one is personally reputed to be.

thisisnotreal
10-15-2009, 02:17 PM
i don't know. this is btdt afaik.

Ikeda Shihan is importing another to help elucidate and teach right?
It is also equally well known now that Gleason Shihan has been with and training with DH. That man is very well known and has written books on Aikido and deigns to train with DH.

What is the problem?
I don't see how it's 'hearsay' at this point.

You could ask Rob Liberti, as he and Gleason train with DH, but I think he's sick of us assholes by now.


“Professing to be wise, they became fools”.
Let that not be written about us Erick!

DH
10-15-2009, 02:18 PM
Well, good to know poor old Ikeda barely makes the cut ...
[emphasis added] -- Yes, nobody wants to be counted apart from the "smart people" do they?
If you have evidence, actual "smart people" actually ask for that evidence to be actually produced.
The word for unattributed statements of unidentified people as proof of unidentified person's purported poor qualities is not "testimony" -- it is, at best, "innuendo" -- and more correctly, "specious rumor." and at worst "group libel," perhaps. Names, dates sources and quotes -- then maybe we have some merely "naked hearsay." Still more reliable than what we have here... regardless how talented one is personally reputed to be.
Eric
Ikeda freely experiments and has adopted training to improve his aikido. So does Gleason.
If you are defending aikido that’s fine and I would agree with you. The teachers I have met are very good at aikido.
I am talking about aiki. A different topic; which according to your writing and from hands on evidence you know nothing about. But that's okay too. No harm no foul. It just means you can't really grasp the topic that Ikeda and Gleason already have grasped and are training in.

Are you stating that you consider -all-senior teachers in aikido to be the epitome of aiki? Is that what you are implying? Am I to assume you mean this to include- at least incrementally- other teachers as well? I have been told just the opposite by many aikido teachers, who openly discuss the difference between aiki within aikido and aikido proper.
I have my own hands on experiences, and evidence from watching film- aiki is easily seen in motion. Aikido movement is easy to dissect, so is aiki-provided you have aiki to begin with. I haven't seen it in any serious depth in aikido. If you have; tell me where, and tell me how? But please understand I am not taking about good aikido teachers. I am talking about aiki.
For me- you are free to ask any of the students or teachers from various aiki arts who train here-including Gleason. Please ask them if they could do anything to me...anything at all. Then please ask them, comparatively how well they think other aikido teachers- including the highest ranked people they know and have EVER laid hands on would do? And then report back here.
I would love to read it.

Aiki is a VERY defining and narrow topic that not just anyone in aikido knows and can do. Again, I am not talking about aikido
More importantly, one, by one, the seniors who have finally felt aiki, are training in it. Some without their shihans knowing, others don't care, and some with out their students knowing. But talented men will find a way to grow no matter who they are. And that's a good thing.

Cheers
Dan

Erick Mead
10-15-2009, 04:05 PM
Dear Josh and Dan:

I did not ask for arguments.

I simply asked for actual evidence.

Ikeda has "freely experimented" since I first heard of him -- following Saotome's example, FWIW. Those in that lineage don't shy from pursuing their own views (some similar, some divergent, look at Ikeda (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lF3H8Zp3dQ&feature=related), Hooker (http://www.aikidofaq.com/essays/mosaic.html) and Sparkman (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuLOo1VyiJg) for starters, not to mention, Gleason (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uq2ElREzT0Q&NR=1)). So the imputation of "self-doubt" that many assume in that regard (and Josh seems to suggest), has zero weight to me for that reason. Curiosity is no more an indictment than a carefully drawn statement.

All of them explore -- curiosity and welcoming fellowship with other approaches is hardly a mark of inadequacy or self-doubt -- might be irrelevant -- but hardly damning. What seems right and is working they follow where it leads, as Saotome encourages everyone, but -- with due respect for both teachers and tradition. Those latter points are not debatable (AFAIAC) but matters of honor.

Hence, while performance criticism may be warranted in a given instance -- and should be accepted if given in substance, from anyone, on any point of evident error -- citing specific facts and sources are the chief measure of good faith and charity in that criticism -- in my opinion. And I would like to believe in good faith when criticism is lodged.

But since Gleason and Ikeda were taken off the table -- I guess they don't count -- one way or the other. :)

OTOH -- I would find it, let us say, ... interesting ... if Dan would claim any portion of what Gleason is doing here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOs_Gnigupo), or here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NMqvFeiwzY&feature=related), given that, as I reckon it, these represent some time after he and Gleason have made their respective acquaintance. :)

thisisnotreal
10-15-2009, 04:39 PM
Hi Erick,
I apologize for interjecting into your conversation. I was not trying to argue. I thought I was helping to address your questions directly.

Honestly, I think it was a lapse of judgment on my side as your last post makes clear to me that I don't know what you are talking about, with certainty, nor what exactly it is you are asking for proof of. At the time I thought I did. I shouldn't have spoken out when I didn't know what was actually being said.
Again; I'm sorry about that.
With respect,
Josh

HL1978
10-15-2009, 04:49 PM
Erick in video 1, the first half of the video it seems that he is trying to get under uke after first giving some sort of explanation of a groundpath by stating that it is naturally felt in ones furthest away foot. He then proceeds to utilize a simple drop of his center of gravity in order to get under uke, as he claims to get ahold of his center.

You actually don't need to bend your legs to get under someone to manipulate their center, but it is the easiest way to do so if you don't know how to get "under" your partner.

He then shows a similar way for a pull, but again, dropping your weight is the easiest way to manipulate the pull and effect your partner. There are other ways of doing so that don't require bending your legs in such an obvious movement.

Of course if you can do this on contact without a visible drop of the legs, its someting all together different.

Erick Mead
10-15-2009, 04:59 PM
Hi Erick,
I apologize for interjecting into your conversation. I was not trying to argue. I thought I was helping to address your questions directly.

JoshIt wasn't a reproach, just a request. Your argument was fine. I don't agree with it, because it needs more support, but that's OK -- and that's why I asked.

:)

DH
10-16-2009, 12:28 PM
Dear Josh and Dan:
I did not ask for arguments. I simply asked for actual evidence.
You want to get real, Eric? Okay. I'll be frank,
I think your interest in real evidence of such a profoundly different way to approach aikido than modern adepts are using to gain aiki- that you have no clue about-ended long ago when you chose to never actually go feel and test people who can actually do it, or acknowledge the hundreds of posts of your seniors who have done so.
Your challenges for evidence are disengenuous.
Your interest in involving yourself everytime the topic arrises, and your obvious disinterest in exposing yourself to hands on evidence says everything you need to say. It makes it's own statement.
Again you have been tested and it is (as all of us suspected all along) now known you don't have a clue what we are talking about. And all of your models and quasi- scientific reasoning are as meaningless as they are long. Why do I say that a) They do not apply to what I, we, are doing and b) they have not helped you to do anything that anyone we know of recognizes as unsusual skill.
Again Eric, I am discussing aiki- not aikido. From what I am told you are an okay aikido person, but that's it. You have no high level aiki skills nor any understanding at all in how to produce it.

As for the other teachers you commented on.
Kevin is a friend of mine, Kevin has watched me toss around some of Ledyard and Chiba, and Beirries men with impunity. "His" comments were that the current state of aikido is appalling and that aikido buy and large; has missed it, doesn't have aiki, and I quote. "they wouldn't know aiki if it jumped up and bit em in the ass." He is rather direct that way. Not without merit is noting that Kevin was pursuing Aiki from a friend in Daito ryu.
We had a long dinner after this with several aikido 5th and 6th dans and Koryu menkyo; all sitting at the same table. The conversation did not go too well for aikido that day, and Kevin was quite vocal. Using Kevin was a smart choice, thank you, Eric. Maybe also not without merit is that three of the examples you chose to cite have pursued aiki outside of aikido. Good on yer Eric.
Thanks for proving my point.

As for Bill, I have tossed Bill around with impunity. Unlike you he not only did not mind he wanted to test me to the max with everything he had. I don't think you deserve to carry his shoes.
As is with every other experience-I have no doubt whatsoever that Ikeda would be powerless to do anything to me at all, nor Saotome.
I can go on to include many more "highly ranked"(which should by now prove how meaningless rank is) teachers from Aikido and Daito ryu as well as students of those arts, as well as the more modern combative arts like Judo, karate, and MMA that I have trained /sparred and or fought, but what's the point? That they are being completely handled with aiki is meaningless and alien to you. The depth and meaning of my public statements going "unchallenged" goes right over your head as well.
Aiki is non political and deadly honest. You either know it or you don't.

That you are facing a method that everyone I have ever met - in any art ...wants, is meaningless to you as well. Again your "sincere" search for evidence seems to not include everyone who has gone out to actually test things with Mike, Ark, Ushiro and me.
That is all that need be said about you.

Commenting on Gleasons video
I will comment on Bill's movement when the community feels equally comfortable and receptive with me commenting on Ikeda, Saotome, Chiba, Abe and Ueshiba's great grandson.
For the present sincere searchers; I continue put myself out there, unafraid and totally transparent; to demonstrate IP/ aiki (not waza) to those from the aiki arts to modern combatives.
You?
Well, I think we all get it.
Cheers
Dan

DH
10-16-2009, 01:23 PM
I just cut short some congratulatory comments as well as some cautions for sounding so egotistical. Neither is my intent.
Look, at what point can we just judge events as they are unfolding. Unabashedly and open.
Here's the truth of it:

"The aiki arts are not doing so well when the teachers in it are meeting those with real aiki."

Everyone is so concerned with politics and hiding their true opinions that it is ridiculously hard to talk plainly! I truly cannot believe some of the stories I am being told lately about MA politics. And MOST of those all revolve around sensei and student "egos" and a sense of ownership, and defense over what they do. Sheesh!

What is so bruising about losing or winning? They are both the same; learning experiences. Haven't you guys ever really fought? There's no ego to it. It's a game of physical chess. Win or lose you come back tomorrow and try again; win or lose.
What I continue to discuss is flat, open, and as honest as the sun shining on a smudge. The sun shines equally. There is no win, no loss and all is revealed. That some senior teachers cannot stand in the face of it while others seem to welcome it should be openly revealed. I imagine those who welcome the challenge and seek growth are just those who's interests lie "outside" the political realm and are the future of the arts.
I've never been able to understand fear of testing, and of research and growth. The challenge...IS the fun.
Cheers
Dan

Kevin Leavitt
10-16-2009, 01:28 PM
Dan, I am always up for the challenge of testing!

DH
10-16-2009, 01:47 PM
I know Kevin
Make no mistake, as is so evident by the hundreds going out to check out Mike, Ark, Me and others there are plenty of die hard researchers going for excellence and not rank. I am counting on it to produce the grass roots change that will throw off the shackles; the Japanese training method, that have failed so many of us and allow us to stand on our own.

At what point do we stop looking for the Japanese face to validate a concept that a) is more widely taught outside of Japan then in; while b) many make a living on teaching westerners and living here, while not even apologizing for not understanding "how" to teach westerners.
I would love nothing better than to tell them "No thank you. Stay home, we've got it covered."
When the sun shines equally on their teaching "skills" they really don't do all that well. There are any number of venues that prove that to be true from Judo to Koryu to MMA, many times we can do better.

We should just turn inward and research and teach ourselves. Then welcome them back in ten years and make them prove their worth as teachers in aiki; through comparative demonstrations and skills and then see who is good, great and just how many Japanese "Shihan" wouldn't even get a second look. I can think of any number of them I would walk up to and say "Johnny you need to go home! More practice for you."

Cheers
Dan

Kevin Leavitt
10-16-2009, 02:08 PM
Sounds good to me Dan. I crossed this bridge back in 2004 actually and have been doing the "MMA" thing ever since. MMA as defined in the budo sense, not the limited focused "sport" sense.

To be honest so far, I have not felt like I wasted my time much in meeting anyone.

Gonna see Toby Threadgill here in about 3 hours, so looking forward to working with him some over the next day and a half!

Wonder what he'd think if I asked him to not touch me until we had a long discussion about the scientific proof of what he is doing.

Ron Tisdale
10-16-2009, 03:53 PM
Ha! I won't even try to imagine what he'd say...much less do...he's known to travel with sharp pointy objects. :D
B,
R (if you tell him I said that I'll ask for scientific proof) :eek:

Erick Mead
10-16-2009, 05:05 PM
You want to get real, Eric? Okay. I'll be frank, ... Kevin is a friend of mine, Kevin has watched me toss around some of Ledyard and Chiba, and Beirries men with impunity. "His" comments were that the current state of aikido is appalling and that aikido buy and large; has missed it, doesn't have aiki, and I quote. "they wouldn't know aiki if it jumped up and bit em in the ass." ...As for Bill, I have tossed Bill around with impunity. Unlike you he not only did not mind he wanted to test me to the max with everything he had. I don't think you deserve to carry his shoes. ... Using Kevin was a smart choice, thank you, Eric. Maybe also not without merit is that three of the examples you chose to cite have pursued aiki outside of aikido. Good on yer Eric.
Thanks for proving my point. To sum Dan's argument up: "I can beat up X; therefore Y must be a nancy-boy." and "I can beat up Y's boy X; therefore Y is a nancy-boy." ;) Actually, X might be a poor student, or Y may be a poor teacher. But it says nothing about the objective ability of Y.

Sometimes, I swear the whole thing seems as pointless and counterproductive as Rinzai v. Soto (Rinzai proclaimed winning the refereed decision -- which Soto proclaimed was fundamentally meaningless, and anyway, they had more venues :D ).

You are by all accounts immensely talented and well-reputed. You still don't get it -- and you are not that dumb. One, the point of my exercise is not a demand of scientific proof; and two, you, in riposte, simply do not understand the concept of "proof." Proof is objective evidence from which a reasonable conclusion may directly be drawn, not suppositions from asserted implications of statements no one has made or will vouch for. "Inference" is the word for the latter, and you have layered several of those on top of one another as "proof" of nothing other than your opinion drawn from those inferences YOU have made. No one else can objectively evaluate YOUR inferences -- they need the evidence you drew your inferences from.

As it happens I have, rather pointedly, not "used Kevin" nor did he "use" me, nor do you have the slightest clue what the heck was going on when he came down our way. I did not raise the issue, but -- having met him, I have a decent opinion of his character.

@ Kevin -- I accept the accounts of Dan's ability -- that is not and has never been the issue -- you clearly set out the range of the levels of effort among others. What I am tired of is the substitution (by many persons) of steaming piles of ad hominem innuendo in place of constructive and evidence-based arguments that might illustrate specific points of contention and difference of approach in a written forum intended to "disseminate aikido information" -- you know -- in the header of this webpage. The latter approach has the possibility of useful discussion HERE -- not in whatever mixmaster demonstration of my presumed sorely lacking physical qualities Dan might show. If you come again we'll make time to address some of those things and compare notes -- which I believe and hope we are in agreement we did not and could not reasonably do in any concerted way under the circumstances of your short-fused visit. I appreciate your affirmative contact and pointed willingness NOT to be used in such a way.

@ Dan -- There are many martial powers -- and physical power is not even close to the most important one. Patience, close observation, critical judgment, loyalty, honor, selflessness, and willingness to engage are among them. Ask Kevin. Objectively speaking, if, between the three of us, we went to war, I'd bet on Kevin. :D

I want to see that arguments made (and you are making several) are properly supported. For this reason, I keep asking for that kind of evidence and argument, and will keep asking every time the subject comes up. It is the purpose of these pages, after all, not to end arguments but to develop the information from which those arguments flow -- and hopefully -- the arguments might further develop.

You criticize me for being unwilling to engage. You really don't know me -- and it is a fundamental error of martial ability to willfully attack or provoke someone you do not know based on suppositions. Even so, and fair enough, any failure to engage is not lack of will. I cannot help the immense frustration I evidently provoke at being unavailable for your "testing." I feel no personal need to indulge it, but even so. Howard pulled out of a proposed seminar here I had tried to work out last year, apparently on his shihan's general directive to cease such outside seminars. Politics? I have no idea, nor is it any of my business why his shihan runs his shop as he does. Howard's a mensch for being respectful of such concerns in my book. If you think there are "politics" involved in the aikido in the piney-woods of the Gulf Coast -- it is a coast on some other planet.

What those of us in the boondocks with many more important obligations choose to do with the time we are not training on the schedule we already have, I make no apologies for. I don't have to justify it. I just choose to develop careful ideas derived from my training and observation. They require no travel to work out and to actively practice. So sue me.

But don't please don't use me as an excuse to avoid the request that such a factual discussion of direct evidence of critical ability take place here, when the abilities of others are addressed critically.

If you are right ( and I accept there is legitimate improvement in some quadrants to be had) -- then please speak your piece. Don't assume from stacked inferences, which prove nothing other than what you infer. Give examples. With names. Preferably, with video.

:)

Aikibu
10-16-2009, 06:21 PM
Well Dan I really do hope I get to feel your Aiki or someone like you...Right now that seems to be an East Coast thang...:)

William Hazen

My Mom's Funeral is tomorrow so hopefully when I get back on my feet I can get baaack there. :)

stan baker
10-16-2009, 08:16 PM
Hi Erick,
be a man and go check it out for your self

stan

Upyu
10-16-2009, 09:18 PM
As it happens I have, rather pointedly, not "used Kevin" nor did he "use" me, nor do you have the slightest clue what the heck was going on when he came down our way. I did not raise the issue, but -- having met him, I have a decent opinion of his character.


Not that this is my beef...but I think Dan was referring to the video you posted of Kevin Sparkman ;)

Erick Mead
10-16-2009, 11:00 PM
Not that this is my beef...but I think Dan was referring to the video you posted of Kevin Sparkman ;) Maybe -- but not from the context of his overall comment. But, case in point -- specifics, eh? Removes all kinds of misunderstandings. :) I have more cause however, than Dan realizes; Kevin Sparkman and I are connected in our aikido, very different paths, but immediately and fundamentally connected.

DH
10-17-2009, 07:36 AM
Well Dan I really do hope I get to feel your Aiki or someone like you...Right now that seems to be an East Coast thang...:)

William Hazen

My Mom's Funeral is tomorrow so hopefully when I get back on my feet I can get baaack there. :)
Hello William
My condolences. I remember sharing some stories of us both taking care of our elderly family members. It would be nice to connect some time wouldn't it. It brings a fullness to this oft times one-dimensional forum chatter. All my best to you.
Remember Mike is in Colo, (wasn't he just in Cal.?) and Ark and Rob go to Washington State, you don't have to drag your butt to MA. I wouldn't come to Massachusetts for anything. I hate this place.
Cheers
Dan

Mary Eastland
10-17-2009, 07:51 AM
Turning every discussion into self promotion is not blending.
Mary

DH
10-17-2009, 07:58 AM
Eric
Your reply is all over the map. And this beating people up stuff is not an issue. I am not talking about "beating aikidoka up." but I don't expect you to understand a power and skill that is beyond aikido waza. It's the goal of your art- to defeat people with aiki. The difference is ...I can actually do it, Eric and you can't,
Missing the message and mixing things up to muddy the waters is the same tactic you use with your non-sense mechanical models and overly complex diatribes that help no one; it's a ploy to disguise that fact that this is a topic you have no place in, yet desperately want to be included in. But that's okay.

Your comment about me not knowing what you and Kevin covered is nonsense. If you had taken the time to read all of the written testimony here you would have understood one thing loud and clear; this stuff is made known at a touch. It is all over in minutes. and no "thing" no "Waza covered" is necessary in the discussion.

Interest in being included in the discussion - no interest in participation
I do not accept your "boondock and lack of available time". comment. In fact I think it is a dodge. You include yourself in discussions you have no knowledge of and continue to infer you can explain what is going on. You take the time and calculatedly join in every time, even when you are told you're not explaining anything that is being discussed.
a. I challenged that position.
b. I offered to come to you, no reply
c. I offered to test you and your teacher, then show you, and take you to dinner- no response.
d. I think you are being less than honest about your motivations and intent. I think you are scared to death to have one of us have our hands on you, because your ability will be judged by our credibility and all will be made clear.

I will be in Atlanta in Jan. And I can find my way down to meet you if you would enjoy that, or you can come and join us for free. I'll even buy you dinner.

Cheers
Dan

MM
10-17-2009, 08:01 AM
Turning every discussion into self promotion is not blending.
Mary

Standing outside the situation, acting disinterested,and pointing out "non-blending" is also not blending.

DH
10-17-2009, 08:06 AM
Turning every discussion into self promotion is not blending.
Mary
The topic is very flat and matter of fact, Mary. It is not promoting a single person over another, but rather the fundamental skill on which the entire art is based, Aiki. It is what it is. It matters not to me -who- is demonstrating that trut, as long as it is being demonstrated. Eric pursued a frank discussion. So I replied.
"So far Aikido is not doing well when faced with real aiki "
This is the truth. It is undeniable.
Do you deny this?
Do you challenge the written statements from the many teachers who have witnessed it?
Do you question their abilities? Their ability to judge and assess?
These are very simple, neutral and direct questions.
Again, Eric wished the dialogue to be frank and to discuss evidence. There are thousands to words from many people here giving personal testimony-yet he refuses to engage those who offered it to him.
It is not a question of promoting one, but of the reality of a skill.

Truth is decisive and dividing, as well as inspiring and correcting.
As for Blending? I and others are blending in the finest fashion. We are improving the quality of the sauce by adding better ingredients. So far the chefs who have left the kitchen to taste, all agree.
And four out of five doctors even recommend it!;)
Cheers
Dan

Mary Eastland
10-17-2009, 08:49 AM
Maybe, Dan, and it is different from what I am looking for. Do you have any thoughts about handling your uke like a new born baby?

Mary

DH
10-17-2009, 09:06 AM
Maybe, Dan, and it is different from what I am looking for. Do you have any thoughts about handling your uke like a new born baby?

Mary
Being different than what you are looking for-in aikido? Can you define that. Aiki is aikido. There is no other.

As for newborn babies? Lots of love, laughter and singing.
Wait, I do that already.
Are you saying what I think you are saying? Are congrats in order?
Cheers
Dan

Erick Mead
10-17-2009, 09:51 AM
The topic is very flat... You can say that again...

You assume too much and explain too little -- and I'll be the first to say I have precisely the reverse faults...

:)

Trying to unpack your assumptions and lay out your explanations will go farther. Insofar as you have tried to do that (and in fairness from time to time you have, in your own idiosyncratic terms), nothing persuades those who want objective information that what you are doing is anything but relative degree of accomplishment. As promotion strategy alone you have to know that testimonials are the weakest form of advertising -- nothing but compounded hearsay -- as are blanket criticisms of competitors, all soft and smothery but not cutting very deep without sharp specifics.

And I accept the degree of talent that direct witnesses of you give. But that does not mean much in qualitative terms -- since they seem to be clueless how to analyze what you show them. Qualitatively that makes them poor witnesses. If you want to persuade of qualitative distinction, instead of quantitative superiority of degree, you need to persuade more specifically so people can judge for themselves -- rather than accept others' judgments of you. This is a forum for such persuasion.

As for my distance from your engagements -- it is just that -- distance -- however you assume my meaning of the word. There's only one man ever converted me to anything -- writing was a key element of that ...but you're not Him.

:)

Mary Eastland
10-17-2009, 11:38 AM
Being different than what you are looking for-in aikido? Can you define that. Aiki is aikido. There is no other.

As for newborn babies? Lots of love, laughter and singing.
Wait, I do that already.
Are you saying what I think you are saying? Are congrats in order?
Cheers
Dan
Just because you don't understand something doesn't mean you have to make fun of it.
Mary

Upyu
10-17-2009, 12:35 PM
Maybe, Dan, and it is different from what I am looking for. Do you have any thoughts about handling your uke like a new born baby?
Mary

Taking a wild stab in the dark...that hopefully doesn't hit the baby...

but I'd guess that it's yet another vague admonishment not to use the "normal" strength.

Aikibu
10-17-2009, 12:47 PM
Just because you don't understand something doesn't mean you have to make fun of it.
Mary

Pot Calling Kettle Black? Remember Before Dan is anything else He's just another Irishman from MAAAAASS and he used to rub me the wrong way with his "tone" but than again why wouldn't he... I am just another Irishman from MAAAAAASSSS too and we're a feisty bunch.... and.... According to Xavier Hollander the best lover's!!!. :D

Babies we Irish Boys LOVE BABIES!!! I hope to have a few of my own someday... If I can ever find someone who can put up with me (Being Irish and all :) )

Easy does it everyone. :) Today I get to sing "Danny Boy" for my Ma...Life is just too short.

William Hazen

Aikibu
10-17-2009, 12:51 PM
Hi Erick,
be a man and go check it out for your self

stan

With all due respect Stan.... Why don't you try to be constructive in your posts from now on instead of just "Dog Piling" on all the time...Just a suggestion mind you.:)

William Hazen

phitruong
10-17-2009, 02:38 PM
I will be in Atlanta in Jan. And I can find my way down to meet you if you would enjoy that, or you can come and join us for free. I'll even buy you dinner.

Dan

i can't even get folks to buy me drinks much less dinner. life is full with unfairness.

personally, i think you gents should get together, drop your pants and compare foot notes. i'll bet i'd beat all of you because we asians are known for our diminutive nature. ;)

Michael Douglas
10-17-2009, 03:13 PM
Just because you don't understand something doesn't mean you have to make fun of it.
Mary
...I think he might have thought your 'baby' enquiry kinda implied you were maybe expecting ...
:confused:

lbb
10-17-2009, 06:12 PM
Hi Erick,
be a man and go check it out for your self

stan

Wow, could you be just a bit more sexist? You crowd are so tone-deaf it's not funny.

DH
10-17-2009, 08:12 PM
...I think he might have thought your 'baby' enquiry kinda implied you were maybe expecting ...
:confused:
Yes. That is what I thought, hence my comment and my well wishes.
My mistake.
Dan

stan baker
10-17-2009, 08:20 PM
I thought this is a martial art forum, my mistake

stan

thisisnotreal
10-18-2009, 12:13 AM
i, for one, enjoy your accupressure technique.

thisisnotreal
10-18-2009, 12:51 AM
Erick, May I ask, "What is it exactly you want to know Proof of?" I am still left wondering. Truth be told, I only think a matter of friendship is at stake here.

Ms. Eastland,
About your question, I was thinking: What if, via aiki, you could do the softest Aikido you could imagine? So safe that you could do that demo as if you were actually holding a baby as tori... or alternately treating uke as if he, himself, was the baby. What, mayhaps, would it mean?

I don't know but I bet that if aiki just.... ...saps-your-strength and you can find yourself on the ground without knowing what happened... then it is probably safe to apply to a baby. What do you think? I don't know.

Best to you both,
Josh

Mary Eastland
10-18-2009, 07:21 AM
When I talk about handling uke as a newborn I mean so soft and gentle they hardly know they are being led. Or thrown. Your timing and blending is right on...uke doesn't feel manhandled or forced. The throw happens and uke is on the floor thinking how did I get here.
Yes, Stan.... this is a martial art forum...and an Aikido forum.
I train for what I am looking for....I don't make fun of what you are doing or minimize it or make it ridiculous. Maybe as you keep training you will understand what I am talking about..
Mary

stan baker
10-18-2009, 07:55 AM
Hi Mary,
I have practiced Aikido for over 30 years and enjoy that type of training sometimes, but it is not that realistic.

stan

George S. Ledyard
10-18-2009, 09:25 AM
Being different than what you are looking for-in aikido? Can you define that. Aiki is aikido. There is no other.


Dan,
This is one of the things that makes these discussions difficult for people. As someone who has trained with a number of people who are really off the charts in their skills, it seems to me that there are different ways in which people manifest these skills.

While I haven't yet had a chance to train with you, I have trained just a tiny bit with Ark and Mike S. Enough to feel what they do. By all description it sounds to me as if you have also developed that same sort of structure and with it the kind of power that seems out of proportion to the effort put in. Ushiro Kenji Sensei would be in this group as well.

However, I have also trained with Kuroda Tetsugen, Toby Threadgill, Don Angier, Howard Popkin and some others who I would say are certainly using "aiki" yet ones experience of it is different. With these guys one seldom feels much of anything. Don Angier and Kuroda Tetsugen being foremost in the category of "I have no idea why I just fell down". You can grab these guys and you don't feel a thing, you simply start moving.

I would put my teachers, Saotome Sensei and Ikeda Sensei somewhere in the middle on this. Not quite as soft as Kuroda and Angier and not quite as overtly possessed of explosive power as the Ark, Ushiro, Sigman, and I assume yourself, group (although certainly with enough to get the job done).

Then there are the Systema folks who are certainly using "aiki" but manifest those skills in a way that is different than any of the folks mentioned.

Anyway, so much of these discussions seems to revolve around the "power" issue that I think it misleads people a bit. The experience of training with many of these aforementioned people is not primarily one of how "powerful" they are. More, it's one of how powerful you are not. You never feel man handled by any of these teachers. In fact, they'd prefer that you not feel anything until you find yourself headed to the floor. My experience of locking techniques done by these people is that you don't even experience their power at the point of the lock, you simply find your center under control.

So unlike many folk's experience with certain top Aikido teachers, which is one of constant pain and often injury, receiving a technique like nikkyo from one of them doesn't even seem to hurt the wrist but rather goes straight to your center,

Anyway, there seems to be a difference in the way that internal skills are manifested in different styles. So I suspect that people seeking out training that will result in these skills will also manifest them differently in their Aikido depending on with whom they have been training.

When there seems to be resistance to some of what you guys are saying here, I think it results from a misunderstanding of what you are talking about and a lack of experience feeling the range in how these skills are manifest. A presentation of "aiki" as a sort of unitary skill set without which Aikido really can't be Aikido is a bit misleading for many folks. I understand what you are saying. At the heart of these skills there are certain things in common, especially the conditioning exercises (however done). But ones experience of these skills in different styles can be widely divergent. I think that many folks, myself included, are looking for an Aikido which is on the soft side, in which the "power" is implicit, rather than explicit most of the time. With an "stopping power" held in a state of potential, but available when needed.

I am not saying that you guys can't do this. I am saying that the way in which these discussions usually proceed and the manner in which you express yourselves doesn't make this clear to folks who do not have a very broad experience of the principle of "aiki" in action.

Anjisan
10-18-2009, 09:27 AM
Blending is not something that happens in your mind. If you are finding uke problematic...slow down. Relax more and be really soft.
Handle your uke like you would a newborn baby.
Mary

Mary,

I have read the quote of O'sensei saying this and my sensei has stated it as well. I feel that it certainly is an "ideal" to strive for. Why would one not want to be as smooth, soft--in terms of touch not necessarily result, fluid and dynamic as possible. I am making an assumption that one desires their Aikido to be practically applicable. I realize that there are those who could care less and just love the exercise, social time, and potlucks.

I thinks that it is safe to assume that O'sensei was--not that he wasn't already incredible--very advanced when he said this. You know the urban myth of pinning 10 men with a finger sort of thing. One may have to consult a John Stevens book to be sure.

My point is that so often Aikidoka quote O'sensei when he had the ability and life experience to see life a certain way. Like I said an ideal to aspire to-I am going to go out on a limb here--most of us are not that good (at least yet). So while aspiring to be soft and not needlessly injure an attacker are certainly noble, perhaps one should give greater weight to just making sure "their aikido" works and set oneself up to just survive and walk away from a physical encounter.

The risk of not doing so is that something very bad could happen and one may not live or be able at least to continue training long enough to get to the place O'sensei was. So often, people want to take the short-cut to quote the lofty ideals of O'sensei-especially in his more reflective later years, not keeping in mind all the ability that existed naturally already allowing him to transcend to a more philosophical view of Aikido.

Erick Mead
10-18-2009, 09:59 AM
Erick, May I ask, "What is it exactly you want to know Proof of?" I am still left wondering. Truth be told, I only think a matter of friendship is at stake here.It isn't that I want or lack proof. I am satisfied of abilities of people those with direct knowledge talk about, be it Dan, Ark, Mike or what have you. If there is a criticism to be laid on another person, unnamed, or a group of people, unnamed, in comparison to them -- then it is only fair to make the criticism and comparison objective, specific and illustrate it with examples and descriptions, so that those considering the criticism fairly are in position to judge for themselves.

The phenomenon of aiki, as I have come to understand it, actively uses one's own and directly manipulates another person's reflexive-kinesthetic system (the mechanism is known-- if poorly explored outside of our practical use). That leaves one interpreting a physical action that the mind is reporting secondhand and after the fact -- with no contemporaneous notes. Mentally, it seems a "black box" process, because the action is not voluntarily mediated -- though it can be trained, and voluntarily prompted-- there is no doubt. But the prompt and the result have no simple linear connection - which is the perception of "divine action" or takemusu.

As regards the topic of "blending" its main value, in my eyes is in trying to get the predictive, scheming mind out of the interaction, and learn to let the process function in closer awareness instead of planned if-action; then-reaction =result. I actually see the issue of training the generalized label of "intent" as similar, trying to drive the conscious mind in closer alignment to the unmediated process as the driver without falling into simplistic linear Tab A --Slot B voluntary action.

Those aspects only reinforce the need to speak to objective categories -- because most of those who have learned it necessarily interpret and describe it subjectively in widely differing ways. The conscious mind latches onto the closest element of perception in either the input or result or both -- trying to describe the process it cannot actually perceive. Neither approximation is objectively correct, although both are present and perceptible -- and the non-linearity of the process means that slight difference in the prompt leads to disproportionately altered result - so efforts at repeat performance do not illustrate the linear connection -- because there isn't one. There is a connection but it is not linear, and therefore not trivially predictable.

In short, chains of "Yah, sure, uh-huh" witnesses agreeing with broadside criticism in generalities is -- well, not very persuasive, of who actually exhibits what aspects of what we are speaking about, now is it? And they do differ in perception as I have said and in application, in part because of these inherent differences in perception. I have a brief for accurate description and discussion, and no brief against anything or anyone -- but if one will accept the levels of broadly vague criticism offered as persuasive of anything, then I have some very fine bottom land on the Escambia river mouth I'd like to interest you in ... ;)

thisisnotreal
10-18-2009, 11:34 AM
Erick - With all due respect; It seems to me you are changing your story. Your writing doesn't seem sincere to me. I just don't understand all this. Obviously it is fine if you just want to talk and think out-loud on-line but I suggest that you should drop the recurring put-on of a dispassionate scientific plea. It doesn't seem real anymore. Even in court and in science you have to actually show up for the evidence/experiment.
Erick - this is now the 2nd and last time I will apologize to you in this or any thread. I am sorry for interrupting your business. I tried to help but I see it will not work. I liked some of your thoughts but I don't know whats going on any more.
I am beginning to think you will not let this end well.
Josh

Erick Mead
10-18-2009, 12:11 PM
a. I challenged that position.
b. I offered to come to you, no reply
c. I offered to test you and your teacher, then show you, and take you to dinner- no response.Dan -- if you really want to know why there was no response, ask -- and I'll tell you.

Aikibu
10-18-2009, 12:35 PM
Dan,
I am not saying that you guys can't do this. I am saying that the way in which these discussions usually proceed and the manner in which you express yourselves doesn't make this clear to folks who do not have a very broad experience of the principle of "aiki" in action.

Thanks for clearing up my confusion Sensei Ledyard and it seems I too have felt at times what you're describing through some of the same people...

Aiki is not all about "power" Aiki is about "love" and as strange as this sounds I think this was O'Sensei wish for what he thought Aiki through Aikido should become...
Otherwise if I was given the Power of Aiki It might go to my head and thus become a huge obstacle in the path of my spiritual journey.

RE I didn't come to Aikido to learn how to destroy people with my "power" but to save myself from such thoughts and actions...

I am done with "just fighting" :)

William Hazen

Erick Mead
10-18-2009, 12:39 PM
Erick - With all due respect; It seems to me you are changing your story. I believe my point has been fairly consistent. http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=242907&postcount=37

Why is it "bad form" to ask for unattributed "testimonies" that

... no teacher in the art has been able to use their understanding of aiki from Aikido™ in any successful fashion be attributed and described? Asking that such testimonies be given attribution -- and criticisms in such broad generalities be made specific with examples? It doesn't take a law degree to see the point in that. You had given no offense to me so I don't see why you felt you were apologizing to begin with. :)

For some reason I cannot fathom my observations seem disproportionately provocative to some people -- but objectively speaking -- there is nothing provocative in them - nor any intended.

thisisnotreal
10-18-2009, 12:54 PM
it's not bad form to ask. at all.
you asked; i submit the answer (which you don't seem to like) is that the well-known name-brand people who came, saw, showed up and witnessed first-hand do, in fact, continue 'to offer testimony' in the form of 'voting with their feet' in that they continue to train in the new way.
clear?

George S. Ledyard
10-18-2009, 01:18 PM
Thanks for clearing up my confusion Sensei Ledyard and it seems I too have felt at times what you're describing through some of the same people...

Aiki is not all about "power" Aiki is about "love" and as strange as this sounds I think this was O'Sensei wish for what he thought Aiki through Aikido should become...

Please William, don't open that can of worms... As far as I am concerned, discussions of this sort need to be kept within the family so to speak. I pretty much look to teachers who can help me develop my skills for the technical know how. But you can't throw out stuff like this and expect to have any sort of productive discussion... folks just go into their feeding frenzy. Even O-Sensei's own students had a hard time staying with him on this one so I can't see how any of us will fare better. I have my own thoughts about this stuff and largely keep them to myself except in the most general sorts of terms.

DH
10-18-2009, 01:43 PM
Hello George
What I am discussing that is "power"...is softness. In-yo-ho. They are held in balance. In short they exist together. Manifesting either one is a choice and they can many times be displayed both at the same time.
I don't concern myself with those who train for power-its just not my interest. It's a faster way to train, and it works, but in the end, I think it's too limiting; it will not produce aiki under any definition I care to use, so it's just not how I chose to train.
You are correct that people in aikido don't understand how and where power and aiki merge as one.
We also agree that-of course- each player can emphasize certain aspects over others. For example; I occasionally choose to play aikido with ukes, play judo, play push hands, but I'd rather play MMA. For me the same internal training permeates all. And to be frank I just listed them in the order of their ease in execution.
Using aiki in MMA is not something most men are capable of. Training the mind/ body connection and training for what you need to sustain it and use it under that level of stress is rare.

Blending
Oddly enough I choose to blend with the attack of an MMA fighter the same way I choose to blend with an Aikidoka. Entering their space is not just positional work. That's the easy stuff. taking control of their intent and response and reaction and controlling what they consider to be "their fight" is where the real fun is. People might not understand it when they see me moving, and that's alright by me. I have my own versions of your "I don't know how I fell down" testimony but it is usually under more intense conditions than wrist grabs, single throw attacks and ukemi- it often involves a free range of freestyle attacks on me and them being thrown, kicked, or knocked for a loop, and seeing the fighter stand there and be absolutely confused at how all of this is happening to him. It's just an opinion, but after that everything else is just kind of a cake walk.
Again you are correct that it's a choice, but in my experience playing with aikido teachers or going to MMA gyms are all the same to me. Blending can be ura/ irimi, or a knee to the kidney and several punches to the face and body, or maybe a throw. It's all done in the same space and time, with the same methods of control; just that the former is easier than the later.
Cheers
Dan

George S. Ledyard
10-18-2009, 01:59 PM
Hello George
What I am discussing that is "power"...is softness. In-yo-ho. They are held in balance. In short they exist together. Manifesting either one is a choice and they can many times be displayed both at the same time.
I don't concern myself with those who train for power-its just not my interest. It's a faster way to train, and it works, but in the end, I think it's too limiting; it will not produce aiki under any definition I care to use, so it's just not how I chose to train.
You are correct that people in aikido don't understand how and where power and aiki merge as one.
We also agree that-of course- each player can emphasize certain aspects over others. For example; I occasionally choose to play aikido with ukes, play judo, play push hands, but I'd rather play MMA. For me the same internal training permeates all. And to be frank I just listed them in the order of their ease in execution.
Using aiki in MMA is not something most men are capable of. Training the mind/ body connection and training for what you need to sustain it and use it under that level of stress is rare.

Blending
Oddly enough I choose to blend with the attack of an MMA fighter the same way I choose to blend with an Aikidoka. Entering their space is not just positional work. That's the easy stuff. taking control of their intent and response and reaction and controlling what they consider to be "their fight" is where the real fun is. People might not understand it when they see me moving, and that's alright by me. I have my own versions of your "I don't know how I fell down" testimony but it is usually under more intense conditions than wrist grabs, single throw attacks and ukemi- it often involves a free range of freestyle attacks on me and them being thrown, kicked, or knocked for a loop, and seeing the fighter stand there and be absolutely confused at how all of this is happening to him. It's just an opinion, but after that everything else is just kind of a cake walk.
Again you are correct that it's a choice, but in my experience playing with aikido teachers or going to MMA gyms are all the same to me. Blending can be ura/ irimi, or a knee to the kidney and several punches to the face and body, or maybe a throw. It's all done in the same space and time, with the same methods of control; just that the former is easier than the later.
Cheers
Dan

No argument at all. I' m way to old and beat up to want to go to some MA gym and play with all those young beach press boys. I only occasionally get one coming in to my place. I find I have stuff that they find interesting and useful but I can't really roll with them in any kind of freestyle manner. If I can get my knee rehabbed, which seems to be actually happening, I might be able to play a bit more but until then I need the controlled structure of the more predictable Aikido to practice. Even the slower practice the Systema folks generally do has made me gunshy because it is so formless that I find it difficult to protect my knee. The brace didn't really help. But I can understand the desire to work on that level, especially with folks who have no pre-programming about what to expect from you.

Erick Mead
10-18-2009, 02:16 PM
i submit the answer (which you don't seem to like) is that the well-known name-brand people who came, saw, showed up and witnessed first-hand do, in fact, continue 'to offer testimony' in the form of 'voting with their feet' in that they continue to train in the new way.
clear?No, it is not an answer. My point was not directed at those you offer in supposing their "voting with feet." I disagree with that characterization, but that's something else. My point is that criticizing people without naming them or making the criticism specifically illustrated is pointless and says nothing useful. Among other things it is unfair to make such sweeping innuendo, so as to presume "everyone" to be caught in the net. For another thing, the net's holes are too large to catch anything.

DH
10-18-2009, 02:26 PM
Hi George
I understand
None of that was my real point. My point was the the same aiki, the same softness exists throughout...unchanged.
It is worth mentioning again, that in/ yo ho exists in functional duality. Not mumbo jumbo, not static, or stagnant practice, but at any level, up to and including full speed exchanges with the entire body. It is the support contained in the duality that both controls their efforts and creates openings without their knowledge. So "power" in this case is contained within the adept; out is held in check by in. You cannot have one without the other and being doing aiki. That same aiki, will "roll" with anyone. It is formless.
It's not a "theory" for me. As you now know from talking with certain people.

Speaking past you for a moment
I interject in discussions of what constitues power in-use as perfectly in keeping with softness (in /yo) and that semi-cooperative and full-on play can be the same-is to keep it before those struggling with it in the art. That the form has changed from the combatives of Ueshiba's day; jujutsu, judo, kenjutsu, to now, is no excuse, and no hall pass to accept less.
It is wroth noting that Ueshiba himself was unafraid of those challenges, and the methods he employed to attain it remain so misunderstood by the vast majority. The beginning stage is to learn in yo ho and the true meaning of blending with an attack, which is vastly different than just learning where to step and when.

Cheers
Dan

thisisnotreal
10-18-2009, 02:33 PM
<groan>
I think on the one hand you have a point; and on the other you are playing word games. In my obviously relatively worthless opinion i perceive that DH has thrown down a gauntlet, as a challenge, and as a call to *your* best. Here, it is the 'royal you'..but in specific it seems also to include you, Erick. For some reason he is seemingly challenging the Aikido world at large, making himself a servant and offering aiki in yo ho to the world. Not for profit. that's what i see.
I also see that the nameless and faceless people whom were ostensibly offended, according to you, and whom you purport to defend...actually took on names and faces when they went and did the deed and visited and witnessed aiki in yo ho. And I don't think in the final analysis anyone was offended. I don't hear much other squawking or complaining.
What then?

Erick Mead
10-18-2009, 02:53 PM
<groan> I think on the one hand you have a point; and on the other you are playing word games. In my obviously relatively worthless opinion i perceive that DH has thrown down a gauntlet, as a challenge, and as a call to *your* best. --What then?Not word games -- I just think there are those who I might find points to criticize, and those I would not, but as you see, I try not to make criticisms personal, but factual. But making those distinctions is plainly incumbent on those raising personal criticisms as though pretending not to speak of specifics makes it less confrontational.

As to your latter point -- I do see it quite the same way -- and I join in your <groan>. But there are things you could not know, that I would not volunteer, and that Dan has not asked me about, yet.

Tim Fong
10-18-2009, 02:56 PM
Hi George
I understand
None of that was my real point. My point was the the same aiki, the same softness exists throughout...unchanged.
It is worth mentioning again, that in/ yo ho exists in functional duality. Not mumbo jumbo, not static, or stagnant practice, but at any level, up to and including full speed exchanges with the entire body.

Hi Dan,

When you are using aiki, are you essentially keeping your backside stretched? I'm defining the backside as starting at the backs of the hands, running up the arms, down the back and to the heels. Then, whether you are striking or grabbing, you are taking your opponent's balance the moment you contact them?

Very curious about that.

Thanks,
Tim

thisisnotreal
10-18-2009, 03:15 PM
Erick, on behalf of everyone here; can you please say what & why?
If not; Could you please take this offline on PMs? Despite your best efforts; I am sure you have not yet been successful at killing off every last vestige of the good will that is apparent.:)

DH
10-18-2009, 03:29 PM
Hi Dan,

When you are using aiki, are you essentially keeping your backside stretched? I'm defining the backside as starting at the backs of the hands, running up the arms, down the back and to the heels. Then, whether you are striking or grabbing, you are taking your opponent's balance the moment you contact them?

Very curious about that.

Thanks,
Tim
Tim
That's "half" of a first step kind of thing, an identifier, but using that back line without support from the front, is not a good idea, and using both (in balance) without other more complex ways to support the body through the hara will land you on your ass when you meet someone with soft power-or even with just well developed wrestling skills. The body was meant to be used in opposing spirals.
Again you can train paths and do exercises and end up with power; real and whole. And that will make a lot of people happy.
There's just more to it than that, but everyone has to start somewhere. It's another reason that I say that not all methods are the same, and I am willing to bet they are not all leading to the same place either. :cool:
I gave advice both on line and in private discussions and made suggestions only to see it get claimed and "owned" by people never heard of, taught, or ever talked about training that way-till later. Due to the nature of my work, I am a stickler for intellectual property. it doesn't matter if the knowledge is everywhere. If you got it from someone else-you remain true about that source. I have information I have gotten from several sources in different places, I always state (at least for me) where and how that information got...to me.
I think the dialogue about sharing here was B.S. It was never an honest effort, but rather a fishing expedition to boost certain agenda's. It is why- for the most part- I opted out.
But hey, as is often stated here "Its all out there in all the Asian arts right? And everyone already knows what ever you are going to say. It's in all the arts, so no one can introduce anything that isn't already known and has been practiced for years by someone else already.
I'd suggest folks continue to keep training and meeting real experts and learning wherever you can, just make sure you credit where you got your information.
I have nothing to add about how to's.
Cheers
Dan

lbb
10-18-2009, 03:33 PM
There is no "royal you".

DH
10-18-2009, 04:02 PM
After misunderstanding your last post to me, I am hesitant to say anything at all. Can you explain what you meant?
Dan

DH
10-18-2009, 04:20 PM
I received a few more P.M.'s from folks who had similar experiences as mine with this supposed "open exchange" of IT ideas, revealing nothing more than personal agendas as groups were being established!! Oy!
I'm not happy to say I saw it, pegged it, and warned about it while it was starting. It's good news and frankly very encouraging to continue to meet and talk with some very level headed pros who have had to wind their way through this type of behavior before. I confess to a lack of skill or interest in such falderal, I have better things to do.
I will adhere to the non professional teacher, or professional seminar giver, no rank, no organization, don't call me sensei model, and just share with people so they can learn and share.
Its clean.
Dan

thisisnotreal
10-18-2009, 05:00 PM
Hi Mary - .... yeah. I think you're right. I was hoping that nobody would say anything. It sounded better than 'youse guys' in my mind. Have a good night.
; )

Josh

p.s. Why is there only a 'royal us' not a royal you? i guess it's the queen talking right?

Aikibu
10-18-2009, 05:13 PM
Please William, don't open that can of worms... As far as I am concerned, discussions of this sort need to be kept within the family so to speak. I pretty much look to teachers who can help me develop my skills for the technical know how. But you can't throw out stuff like this and expect to have any sort of productive discussion... folks just go into their feeding frenzy. Even O-Sensei's own students had a hard time staying with him on this one so I can't see how any of us will fare better. I have my own thoughts about this stuff and largely keep them to myself except in the most general sorts of terms.

I understand George....I stand by my "experiance" of Aikido... I have been very comfortable with it for many many years thanks to Shoji Nishio's expression of what he thought Aikido should be... to whit "Sincere Heart through Austere Practice."

If folks should go into a "feeding frenzy" over my expression of Aikido It would not bother me one bit...I meant it to be personal... not provocative.

To each his own. All you did was remind me of what I consider "the obvious" and I thank you.:)

Back to the thread.

William Hazen

Thomas Campbell
10-18-2009, 05:39 PM
Maybe, Dan, and it is different from what I am looking for. Do you have any thoughts about handling your uke like a new born baby?

Mary

Mary, while I am not exactly new born, Dan's hands-on work is not all blood-and-guts dominance. He can be very soft and subtle, "ghost-like" to use an imprecise adjective, neutralizing pushes, holds, and attempted leveraging for throws. And then he can erupt substantial power with no wind-up, just a little sense of compression and release. It's the practical range that aiki skill gives that is so impressive.

Regardless of online impressions, in person these folks are good people. Dan pointed out some specific postural corrections that have helped strengthen the musculature and heal connective tissue around where I'd crushed four thoracic vertebrae. Aspects of a couple of Akuzawa's exercises have been adapted by a Ph.D. physical therapist after I showed them to her, in connection with strengthening and rehabilitation of people with injured backs. Mike Sigman emphasizes the soft and subtle nature of becoming aware of the internal fascial/connective-tissue links, and tying it in with the breath--he took the time out from a group get-together to work one-on-one with a woman recuperating from a badly-injured hip and lower back, to suggest specific things she could do with the work he was showing that would be helpful to her particular case.

Sure, these on-line discussions can turn into screeching matches between highly-competitive, testosterone-addled alpha males. But the pearls of body/mind training insight that occasionally fall out of the clouds of flying feathers (forgive the mixed metaphors) have been tremendously useful, sometimes even inspirational, to me and some others who are honest about our own lack of these skills--to the point where we've quietly sought out training experience with these gentlemen and taken what we've been shown home to cogitate and practice. Ultimately we're all personally responsible to put in the practice, invest in loss, go "a-ha!" and repeat the cycle endlessly. That's what it takes. Few may ultimately get "it," but no one would get it if these folks weren't putting their hard-won insights out there to share with others genuinely interested in learning and cultivating internal skills.

There is always some friction in the best of blending. I'd encourage people not to lose sight of the considerable substance being offered, though it may be obscured by on-line style.

Thomas Campbell
10-18-2009, 05:46 PM
The body was meant to be used in opposing spirals.


Thanks for that.

Erick Mead
10-18-2009, 07:21 PM
The body was meant to be used in opposing spirals. Thanks for that.
Hmmm. Opposing spirals (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=509&d=1215185239). Really? Who'd a thunk it?

thisisnotreal
10-18-2009, 08:16 PM
well played Erick.

DH
10-18-2009, 08:16 PM
Well played?
Hmmm........

a. It doesn't work like that
b. you never once mentioned it till AFTER I brought up the idea of opposing spirals
c. you don't know what you are talking about
d. it doesn't help one soul get any better in anything related to aikido
You yourself provided evidence of what all that knowledge does for you...It made you an average aikidoka like millions of others.

I now how to dramtically improve that.
And math and physics will not help.
Cheers
Dan

tim evans
10-18-2009, 09:28 PM
Well played?
Hmmm........

a. It doesn't work like that
b. you never once mentioned it till AFTER I brought up the idea of opposing spirals
c. you don't know what you are talking about
d. it doesn't help one soul get any better in anything related to aikido
You yourself provided evidence of what all that knowledge does for you...It made you an average aikidoka like millions of others.

I now how to dramtically improve that.
And math and physics will not help.
Cheers
Dan
Then is there any way you can tell me how my average aikido azz can inprove this afterall you and eric have argued this out for three pages lets end it already.JEEZ

Buck
10-18-2009, 09:30 PM
Any thoughts on practicing this important part of aikido.:D

It is a vital part of Aikido. You don't want to be part of two or more colliding forces. You want to get out of the way, and position yourself to the advantage/dominate position in relation to the opponent who is at a disadvantage/subordinate position in relation to you. The result is controlling your opponent with your movement.

Now, there are videos of O'Sensei doings demos where he stands in one place as his student charges him, and he lifts his arm up and the student lands on his back. We all know these videos. Yet in his younger day videos his moves around allot. He uses his actively blending using his whole body.

If you intently collide with your opponent, force impacting force the the greater force and stuff wins out. I don't know of any martial art other then maybe Sumo that focuses directly on colliding. When a weapon is involved colliding isn't a good idea.

It is a universal principle to get out of the way. It is an important Aikido principle on how that is done, and the purpose of it. Blending of course isn't just getting out of the way involves other things like irimi, and tenkan, so it is not just merely getting out of the way. That is what I think in O'Sensei's later films show. That there are skill levels of blending. That blending is a very important skill in Aikido that doesn't be just getting out of the way. Blending -I feel- identifies Aikido as Aikido from say jujitsu. Blending is very important to the art of Aikido. And it takes practice.

Those are my thoughts. :)

George S. Ledyard
10-18-2009, 09:38 PM
I understand George....I stand by my "experiance" of Aikido... I have been very comfortable with it for many many years thanks to Shoji Nishio's expression of what he thought Aikido should be... to whit "Sincere Heart through Austere Practice."

If folks should go into a "feeding frenzy" over my expression of Aikido It would not bother me one bit...I meant it to be personal... not provocative.

To each his own. All you did was remind me of what I consider "the obvious" and I thank you.:)

Back to the thread.

William Hazen

Hi William,
I do not think that the Aikido you and I received from our teachers was far off. When I first started seeing videos of other teachers than my own, it was Nishio Sensei who most seemed to view Aikido as Saotome Sensei did. Not exactly the outer form but more the essence. That was born out later when I had the chance to read his book in English. There wasn't anything in there I hadn't heard from my teacher.
- George

DH
10-18-2009, 09:50 PM
Then is there any way you can tell me how my average aikido azz can inprove this afterall you and eric have argued this out for three pages lets end it already.JEEZ
Tim
To be clear
There is no argument, nor any discussion going on about this stuff with Eric.
1. I am talking about this stuff.
2. Eric is not now, nor has he ever talked about this stuff.
And that's about it.

I would be happy to show you, Tim and Eric as well. Telling you is meaningless though.
I think I did show some things once in your neck of the woods, maybe even in your dojo albiet at a koryu event.
Cheers
Dan

ChrisMoses
10-18-2009, 09:58 PM
You don't want to be part of two or more colliding forces. You want to get out of the way, and position yourself to the advantage/dominate position in relation to the opponent who is at a disadvantage/subordinate position in relation to you. The result is controlling your opponent with your movement.

Now, there are videos of O'Sensei doings demos where he stands in one place as his student charges him, and he lifts his arm up and the student lands on his back.

It took me a very long time to get over the idea that I could either, "get out of the way" or "collide". What OSensei (or Shioda) was demonstrating was that it is entirely possible to stay on line, maintain ones integrity and NOT collide.

DH
10-18-2009, 10:12 PM
It took me a very long time to get over the idea that I could either, "get out of the way" or "collide". What OSensei (or Shioda) was demonstrating was that it is entirely possible to stay on line, maintain ones integrity and NOT collide.
:cool:
Fundemental defining principle of non resistence that looks just like collision to the average bear when it is nothng of the sort. And we can explore tankan / while entering / while not moving off-line at all / while taking their space and controling their reactions. And it can be done in different ways but all based on a fundemental basic understanding of what aiki really means in practice.

Cheers
Dan

Buck
10-18-2009, 10:55 PM
Oh, I forgot to add that blending, referring to O'Sensei's design, is a set of actions and principles put together in way that says Aikido.

Blending in part, put you in a position advantageous to you to control the opponent and he is to be at a disadvantage where he can't control or attack you successfully. Like all things it takes practice and trial and error. It as been my experience each opponent having taller or shorter legs meaning a different stepping distance, a different gait, rhythm, and speed when they come at you. No everyone comes at you the same. Especially if they read you. They my hesitate, stop, stutter step or quick step, move off their line, take bigger or smaller steps- change their gate. All of which to throw you off. You have to adjust to them instantly. If not your hosed.

There is allot to blending that can't be taught, just like allot of other things, you got to practice to get it, and practice to get good at it. Practice makes perfect.

And I forgot change in energy of the on coming attack isn't allways the same, it isn't a constant. Maybe that is the issue with those struggling with blending. Is their practice attacks are a constant. A constant attack is fatal because it has no variables to expand upon, to discover other opportunities and stuff.

Sometimes it's the little things we don't notice or take for granted that make a world of difference. :)

Erick Mead
10-19-2009, 12:43 AM
a. It doesn't work like that
b. you never once mentioned it till AFTER I brought up the idea of opposing spiralsSaotome has been talking and illustrating interacting spirals as the shape of aikido since I started this art -- almost twenty-five years ago. Saotome could be seen sitting in the corner at a seminar dinner just watching his own arm twisting out and back again. I don't claim this line of thought -- no one can. No one owns it.

I just worked on pointing to correct mechanical models -- to give correct mechanical images on which to better found physical intuitions -- not to drag a Cray with an FEM module onto the mat. The fact that these models all relate according to juuji and other key concepts of O Sensei's descriptions is simply confirmation. The models were always there, they just had not been seen to apply in this setting, and thus were overlooked.

DH
10-19-2009, 12:47 PM
Saotome has been talking and illustrating interacting spirals as the shape of aikido since I started this art -- almost twenty-five years ago. Saotome could be seen sitting in the corner at a seminar dinner just watching his own arm twisting out and back again. I don't claim this line of thought -- no one can. No one owns it.

Believe it or not- I am not against *you* I hope you can see that, I'm just against this dumb idea of modeling things you cannot do yourself and expecting results other than what you have gotten for yourself...average skills.

Moving onward
Why are you bringing up personal witness as testiment, when you summarily reject it every other time we use it as counters to your positions?
You do like to make up the rules of the argument as you go along don't you, Eric?
Well since you are now back to personal testiment as evidence;
You state he uses the spirals from your model and you understand it?
1. Yet no one from anywhere holds your skills in any high esteem.
2. Your seniors freely discuss the fact that Saotome says he has trouble teaching the inner things he is doing to them.
3. Are you saying you have gotten something that they don't?

If so, apparently your own model on spiral energy hasn't helped you out at all. Why, refer back to the fact that no one holds your skills in high esteem. So what makes you think anoyne should listen to anything you have to say or consider your models at all? It's illogocal. You have set yourself up as your best advertisement to ignore your methods and understanding.

I won't discuss what other teachers from the ASU have said about the way I express spiral energy. You just might want to consider that maybe I am doing something different after all, and you still don't understand it. You might want to hold back on your modeling theories till you get more information. Which brings me right back to where we started. You don't understand what we are talking about- even a little bit- and everything that you do know has produced what...average skills for Eric Mead. No harm no foul there. But as you can see and read from other ASU teachers-we are not talking about average skills, Eric. This is something better.
But good luck with the modeling ideas for a teaching tool.

Write back when you have an example of someone with unsusual skills who uses them as a source, Otherwise I think wer'e done.

I just worked on pointing to correct mechanical models
Unfortunately you still haven't produced even a single one-correctly.

I wonder if it wouldn't be smarter to go and find out what real people with unusual skills are actually doing before you talk about it. You have some good examples to follow in what is now *many* ASU teachers who just go and test and find out!! How easy is that?

If you ever do decide to train just let me know. Come to Atlanta and I will dote on you, get you to laugh, give you individual attention and help you to actually get a peak into what I am doing. At least then if you want to try to model it (I still think its waste of time for a learning tool though) you will have more accurate information to go all *mad professor* with.

Cheers
Dan

thisisnotreal
10-19-2009, 12:51 PM
It took me a very long time to get over the idea that I could either, "get out of the way" or "collide". What OSensei (or Shioda) was demonstrating was that it is entirely possible to stay on line, maintain ones integrity and NOT collide.

Christian, How on earth can you do that?!

George S. Ledyard
10-19-2009, 12:55 PM
Christian, How on earth can you do that?!

By "joining"

Ron Tisdale
10-19-2009, 01:48 PM
I suggest the video clip below, and similar ones of Ueshiba (both post war and pre war) directly contradict what you have said here. I'll also suggest that you experience first hand what is being spoken of and demonstrated here as soon as possible. The longer you delay, the more "oops factor" once you do experience it. And the more posts archived that display the "oops factor".

http://www.56.com/u97/v_NDE1Njk3OTA.html

Best,
Ron

It is a vital part of Aikido. You don't want to be part of two or more colliding forces. You want to get out of the way, and position yourself to the advantage/dominate position in relation to the opponent who is at a disadvantage/subordinate position in relation to you. The result is controlling your opponent with your movement.

Now, there are videos of O'Sensei doings demos where he stands in one place as his student charges him, and he lifts his arm up and the student lands on his back. We all know these videos. Yet in his younger day videos his moves around allot. He uses his actively blending using his whole body.

If you intently collide with your opponent, force impacting force the the greater force and stuff wins out. I don't know of any martial art other then maybe Sumo that focuses directly on colliding. When a weapon is involved colliding isn't a good idea.

It is a universal principle to get out of the way. It is an important Aikido principle on how that is done, and the purpose of it. Blending of course isn't just getting out of the way involves other things like irimi, and tenkan, so it is not just merely getting out of the way. That is what I think in O'Sensei's later films show. That there are skill levels of blending. That blending is a very important skill in Aikido that doesn't be just getting out of the way. Blending -I feel- identifies Aikido as Aikido from say jujitsu. Blending is very important to the art of Aikido. And it takes practice.

Those are my thoughts. :)

phitruong
10-19-2009, 01:54 PM
Christian, How on earth can you do that?!

this is the aiki part which the IT/IS folks talk about. took a few smack-downs for me to understand that. once you realize that you don't have to get out of the way, things start to get interesting. i can't help you with the aiki part, but i can help you with the smack-down part. :)

ChrisMoses
10-19-2009, 02:54 PM
Christian, How on earth can you do that?!

Well, that's the real question now isn't it? :)

Unfortunately, I'm only beginning to feel I can do this regularly. I don't think there's any way to explain it online, one reason I just haven't been posting much lately. The real reason I can't explain "how" is because it's (to my limited understanding) a very complex combination of internal structure/skill and external strategy/technique. I remember Ark telling me when I first met him that he doesn't focus on techniques with his students for a long time because before they have developed "martial bodies" there's no point. When I started with Neil, he would tell me what I needed to be doing, I understood what I needed to do, but I could not make my body do those things. It was not capable of the kind of movements/internal supports that were necessary to accomplish the overt waza. Before I ever met Ark, Neil had realized this was holding us all back and started using some of the training methods that he had used to build a martial body. Then when I met Ark it pushed us all to another level (both in terms of the intensity/specificity of training and the level of development we were now aiming for in our training goal). So if someone hasn't been actively building a martial body, I can't get them there. They are still a frog in a shallow well.

In the video I posted last year (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0xD1WJRavA) you can see a bit of what I'm talking about. Ignore the first demonstration for now because it's too easy to think that's about going around the attack (it's not, the tenkan movement only happens after kuzushi has been established and should be looked at as tsukuri). Around the 1:30 mark I demonstrate a cam entry and talk about what it is and isn't (sound familiar?). The first one is OK and you should be able to see me control Jeremy without getting out of the way or a 'collision'. The second one wasn't very good and I call myself on it the video. The reason it didn't work, was that I DID get off the line very slightly and that failed to control the encounter. I was able to get it back, but only because we were going SLOWLY in order to feel where things worked and where they fell apart.

There are also some excellent clues in the Transparent Power (Sagawa) translation that recently came out. I'm still working through a lot of hints that came from that text.

Thomas Campbell
10-19-2009, 03:17 PM
There are also some excellent clues in the Transparent Power (Sagawa) translation that recently came out. I'm still working through a lot of hints that came from that text.

I can see it's time to drop by for tea again. :)

ChrisMoses
10-19-2009, 03:36 PM
I can see it's time to drop by for tea again. :)

Delicious hoppy malty tea... :D

thisisnotreal
10-19-2009, 03:56 PM
Thank you. Nice post. I like tea too.

thisisnotreal
10-19-2009, 03:59 PM
By "joining"

Hello Mr. Ledyard.
Hmm. I think there is probably a lot hidden in what you wrote. May I ask you about how you think about joining?

thisisnotreal
10-19-2009, 04:01 PM
i can't help you with the aiki part, but i can help you with the smack-down part. :)
Phi, that sounds like fun. I've been thinking i need a good smack-down lately.

Kevin Leavitt
10-19-2009, 04:08 PM
All I can say is once you start dealing with force or someone really bent on hurting you there is no getting out of the way. You either take his center or he takes yours.

If you take his, you don't need to get out of the way he will do all the blending that you need in order to save his ass. how much you return to him is pretty much dependent on your skill to control or your intention to harm or what not.

If he takes yours, well again, no collision, you are trying to save your ass...so you had better learn how to regain your center, advantage or whatever you want to call it. Any "collision" that takes place results in you getting hurt or killed.

This whole collision thing occurs when you have two folks in a dojo that are not really bent on hurting each other and don't really understand the whole reality of the situaiton and usually results in a laugh or an "excuse me".

The funny thing really is even "thugs" with no skill inherently understand the prinicple of taking center or siezing the iniativie and overwhelming you with mass, firepower, or what not.

No collision involved at all in reality.

So if we approach it with that mentality, then "collisions" are the engagements that we want to work through and learn how to deal with.

This whole blending idea only happens when folks are trying to be polite to each other in the dojo and we start practicing a theorectical allegory that only occurs in fairy tales.

...and they lived happily ever after.

not saying that this is not we cannot produce this happy ending with what we are doing in aikido. I believe we can, however, we must make sure the steps we are going through are dealing with violence and what actually really happens so we are working on solutions and problems that occur in reality and not in what we would like them to be like.

Buck
10-19-2009, 07:42 PM
I suggest the video clip below, and similar ones of Ueshiba (both post war and pre war) directly contradict what you have said here. I'll also suggest that you experience first hand what is being spoken of and demonstrated here as soon as possible. The longer you delay, the more "oops factor" once you do experience it. And the more posts archived that display the "oops factor".

http://www.56.com/u97/v_NDE1Njk3OTA.html

Best,
Ron

Sorry Ron,

umm...I don't think Shioda sensei and O'Sensei are the same person, that isn't what I am saying. :) I would hope that it is automatically understood that we are talking about O'Sensei when I said Aikido, as he is the founder of it.

It is worth looking at, O'Sensei's blending technique changed as he got older; my point. Let's look at the 1935 vid. when he is doing Handachi, you clearly see blending. Then like I said, as he got older his blending was less noticeable in his tachiwaza and handachi as compared to 1935. The point is the blend is really noticeable when he was younger and less noticeable when he was older. But, never the less, he was still applying blending. All of which showing he felt blending was important; blending is important to Aikido.

I am sure you are familiar with these vid but look at them in the following order to see how he has changed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98yRuBkUBGQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4_RUrFsBG8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoDK3XuvZWw&feature=related

Erick Mead
10-20-2009, 08:37 AM
Christian, How on earth can you do that?! OK, how 'bout some tabletop aiki. Take a chopstick. Sit down at the dinner table. Put one end of the chopstick on the table and hold the other end with your fingertip with the hand and arm reaching straight out. Let the weight of your arm press down slightly while reaching out holding the chopstick vertical. Now, keeping that contact pressure, allow your arm to simply fall naturally to the table top without changing anything. You might think that the chopstick will simply topple toward you -- but no, it flies AWAY from you as its contact is sheared way from the surface and the applied moment rotates and translates it when released.

You never collided with the chopstick, but you never lost your connection to it, either. You joined with it -- actually helping to keeping it upright initially, and then, well -- you remained joined in not keeping it upright...

Now imagine a chopstick with several flexible taped joints trying stand vertically under its own weight. The weakest of those joints becomes the tabletop. Done dynamically, and well-oriented that applied joint failure in shear will remove the base weight holding friction for lateral support, like lifting the other end of a long rope off the ground by applying a wave to the rope.

That's what Shioda is doing.

MM
10-20-2009, 09:07 AM
OK, how 'bout some tabletop aiki. Take a chopstick. Sit down at the dinner table. Put one end of the chopstick on the table and hold the other end with your fingertip with the hand and arm reaching straight out. Let the weight of your arm press down slightly while reaching out holding the chopstick vertical. Now, keeping that contact pressure, allow your arm to simply fall naturally to the table top without changing anything. You might think that the chopstick will simply topple toward you -- but no, it flies AWAY from you as its contact is sheared way from the surface and the applied moment rotates and translates it when released.

You never collided with the chopstick, but you never lost your connection to it, either. You joined with it -- actually helping to keeping it upright initially, and then, well -- you remained joined in not keeping it upright...

Now imagine a chopstick with several flexible taped joints trying stand vertically under its own weight. The weakest of those joints becomes the tabletop. Done dynamically, and well-oriented that applied joint failure in shear will remove the base weight holding friction for lateral support, like lifting the other end of a long rope off the ground by applying a wave to the rope.

That's what Shioda is doing.

I disagree. Your explanation doesn't touch upon aiki at all. Jujutsu, maybe. But no aiki. at all. anywhere in your description. Your whole example is not supported by any facts of aiki. At best, you're delving into jujutsu theory. All well and good on that level, perhaps, but not aiki.

It then follows that if Shioda had aiki, your supposition that you know what Shioda is doing is wrong.

But hey, if you really want to keep telling people that you know what you're doing, I'll start sending them down your way. We can add you, Erick Mead, to the list of people who know IT and aiki. And since you had to have learned it somewhere, we can add your teachers to that list, too. Just name those people who have trained you in IT and aiki. I'd love to add you and your teachers to the list, so people can stop by and start learning. Or have you learned IT and aiki all on your own and your teachers haven't contributed to your skills? There's a lot of people out there really hyped by IT and aiki. I'm sure there's quite a few in the Florida area that would love to train with you to get the goods.

But, hey, there's also this to consider ... Bill Gleason, your senior in the ASU, who has, what, over 30-40 years of training is now training with Dan Harden to learn aiki. Rob Liberti, who has many years of training, is learning aiki from Dan. I'd bet that other people that are your seniors are training to learn aiki, but you *know* what Shioda is doing and can explain it easily.

On any other forum you'd have been labeled and banned. Especially on this outbreak:

That's -- oh -- about five times now -- so let's just get this over wiht once and for all, shall we, -- because there really is no other way to do it.

You ... lie. Lying. Liar. Falsehood. Untruth. Mendacity. Get a thesaurus, look it up. A big fat whopper. Link a post where I said that -- rather than your twisting of attempts to get you to ever lay out specific mechanics of your "push tests." (Mark Murray did more on that score in one video than you have in numerous posts). I've challenged you three times to prove your falsehood on that one now with no response. And if not -- Please, as a favor, keep your words in your own mouth.

thisisnotreal
10-20-2009, 09:14 AM
Hi Erick. I think I understand what you write. But I think you glossed over the hard part… the making of contact and the ‘joining’ part itself. In your example it was taken as a given. “Drop your weight on it”. The sliding-down-a-potential that you describe is pretty clear I think. But what does it have to do with the changed body and how you manage energy internally? It doesn’t fit. Your example (which is true and works) is truly passive. I do not expect the ‘blending’ due to ‘aiki’ is passive at all. Sagawa makes it clear it is a technique. Does doing aiki on an inanimate object have any meaning? If it is only what you write; I say we have all figured that out already and can summarize it like this: Follow the slip path. Maintain your structure.

You describe the ‘joining’ part by allowing your weight to go thru the chopstick. Let’s call that making/sharing a closed groundpath circuit through the chopstick. I can kind of see how this may result in a sticky feeling if I was the chopstick..you know; by virtue of the fact that there is a now a resistance to having this ‘circuit’ opened. That sticky feeling is relevant to the aiki technique; but I think other bigger parts are missing. Your way was passive; it was relaxing the arms weight. At this point; I think and expect the magic of aiki technique is more about how you actually train and mediate your own body; and how this enables a new dynamic of making this joining. Not a passive ‘weight drop’ like you say. But, frankly, I am out of my depth here and feel I should really keep quiet.

DH
10-20-2009, 09:44 AM
Deleted ....
Have fune stumbling around in the dark. Erick
Cheers
Dan

Stormcrow34
10-20-2009, 09:48 AM
There's a lot of people out there really hyped by IT and aiki. I'm sure there's quite a few in the Florida area that would love to train with you to get the goods.


I can agree 100% with that statement. :D

dps
10-20-2009, 01:06 PM
Aikido is about circles, spheres and spirals. Getting off line doesn't necessarily mean moving side to side. There is also up and down and any direction along a circle, sphere or spiral.

A student starts out with big external circles, spheres and spirals to understand the effects the movements have on uke. Then he/she progresses to ever smaller and smaller circles, spheres and spirals until the circles, spheres and spirals are internal to himself/herself.

You use the circles, spheres and spirals, whether their large external to your body or small internal to your body, to avoid the attack, get off the line of attack or blend with the attack, however you name it.

If someone is throwing a punch to your face and his reach is longer than yours, you don't stand there and receive the punch in the face, you move to avoid the fist hitting your face, you get off the line of the fist hitting your face, you blend with the oncoming fist.

On any video watch the directions that uke moves. That will tell you the direction of the circle, sphere or spiral of nage's movement.

David

dps
10-20-2009, 01:36 PM
Aikido is about circles, spheres and spirals. Getting off line doesn't necessarily mean moving side to side. There is also up and down and any direction along a circle, sphere or spiral.

A student starts out with big external circles, spheres and spirals to understand the effects the movements have on uke. Then he/she progresses to ever smaller and smaller circles, spheres and spirals until the circles, spheres and spirals are internal to himself/herself.

You use the circles, spheres and spirals, whether their large external to your body or small internal to your body, to avoid the attack, get off the line of attack or blend with the attack, however you name it.

If someone is throwing a punch to your face and his reach is longer than yours, you don't stand there and receive the punch in the face, you move to avoid the fist hitting your face, you get off the line of the fist hitting your face, you blend with the oncoming fist.

On any video watch the directions that uke moves. That will tell you the direction of the circle, sphere or spiral of nage's movement.

David

Also considering Ellis's book " Hidden in Plain Sight", big external circles, spheres and spirals is easier for uke to start to condition his/hers body for ukemi.

David

Erick Mead
10-20-2009, 01:39 PM
I disagree. Your explanation doesn't touch upon aiki at all. Jujutsu, maybe. But no aiki. at all. anywhere in your description. Your whole example is not supported by any facts of aiki. By all means, state the facts of aiki showing that I am wrong and that this example is not an illustration in simplified mechanical terms of aiki. As you know there is a biological component, but the biological component is acting upon and according to the mechanism I illustrate. Since I specifically fit that to the issues of "joining" and "blending" previously made a part of the discussion, my post was plainly topical. If wrong, then show us a similar counterexample of your facts ...

I have only ever asked for facts and definitions to clarify discussion, nothing more.

I look forward to your response. :)

Erick Mead
10-20-2009, 03:17 PM
Hi Erick. I think I understand what you write. But I think you glossed over the hard part… the making of contact and the ‘joining' part itself. If you would wrestle a bit with the way shear is created or occurs it would seem quite simple. Perpendicular opposite stress. Shear. To start with -- let shear occur passively -- like scissors meet and slide tangentially in opposition, taking up all the tensile or compressive slack in doing so. Sword work (kiri-otoshi, suriage, and surotioshi, for starters) is irreplaceable in providing this "feel" of what you are looking for. Then, more directly, you can be initiating the shear by an oscillation (or wave, essentially) into the connection as it occurs. Then you can reduce that to the essential shear stresses of the action, without all the overt motion. All the aiki-taiso are designed with that basic thought in mind -- to build the sense of how moving shear or shear stress in the body actuates it -- yours as well as his.

In your example it was taken as a given. "Drop your weight on it". The sliding-down-a-potential that you describe is pretty clear I think. "Slide" implies a passiveness that is not present. If it doesn't fly out like a watermelon seed between wet fingers, you didn't do it right -- and will not see the relationship to what Shioda is doing.... It is much more energetic and catastrophically sudden. A leveraged attempt at some thing similar, would be to spring it back against the table, between thumb and forefinger, and then lift slightly to release the sprung column. In the levered example, it rotates from the top where you are levering it, and slips at the base, and in the sheared example it rotates from the shear point at the base as it slips. In leverage, the perceived point of action is located at the perceived point of contact. In shear, as you can see in this very simple comparison, the perceived point of action is remote from the perceived point of contact. "I am already behind him," I believe O Sensei said.

But what does it have to do with the changed body and how you manage energy internally? It doesn't fit. It has to do with substituting the action of shear for the action of joint leverage -- throughout the the body. Octopus do it all the time, you can too. You just have learned to fall back on the bony structures as levers and fulcrums, instead of the body/limbs as continuous structure operating in progressive shears which can actuate both compressive and tensile stress simultaneously.

Your example (which is true and works) is truly passive. No it isn't -- you dropped your arm. Not passive at all. Most simplified examples are more static than not, it is unavoidable. But Shioda's action is as plain an illustration of the more energetic dynamics of the same exact mechanism as one could hope to show on video.

I do not expect the ‘blending' due to ‘aiki' is passive at all. Sagawa makes it clear it is a technique. Does doing aiki on an inanimate object have any meaning? Yes -- if the same mechanism provokes certain reflexive reactions in a living human body amplifying the effects outside the parameters of voluntary action. Done one way it is aiki-age (extensor reflex -- sankyo, for a vanilla example), done another way it is aikisage -- (flexor reflex -- nikkyo, for another example). But those are training modes, and if you grab my wrist with a will -- I can pop uke up or drop uke down by the same mechanism that those use. The chopstick is compressive shear buckling but tensile shear buckling works as well... like a wave in a rope.

If it is only what you write; I say we have all figured that out already and can summarize it like this: Follow the slip path. Maintain your structure. No more like "connect in or generate a shear, buckling structure and then do whatever you darn well like because there is no more structure standing in your way..."

You describe the ‘joining' part by allowing your weight to go thru the chopstick. Let's call that making/sharing a closed groundpath circuit through the chopstick. I don't disagree with that. I can kind of see how this may result in a sticky feeling if I was the chopstick..you know; by virtue of the fact that there is a now a resistance to having this ‘circuit' opened. That sticky feeling is relevant to the aiki technique; but I think other bigger parts are missing. Your way was passive; it was relaxing the arms weight. I could just as easily have told you "let it go" left. right or back toward you -- but those are more difficult to see how to accomplish, because they have to be slightly "accented" (dare I say, with some "intent" -- whereas my example allows the body's own structure and gravity show you the way. With a live partner you also could pop him up, as much as drop him down and out , and it is the same mechanism -- but while the "passive" rope-lifting wave model holds for aiki-age - the sensitivity of the kinesthetic structural system in triggering extensor reflexes comes into play. That is part of what I read from what little Sagawa will say of his "technique" Asagao is at the heart of that -- which he DOES mention explicitly -- but also furitama.

At this point; I think and expect the magic of aiki technique is more about how you actually train and mediate your own body; and how this enables a new dynamic of making this joining. I don't disagree, and the actuation of your body in this way must be exactly the same as the actuation of the opponent's body, such that moving him is not essentially different from moving yourself . But -- without a simple (and mechanically correct) image for your structural intuition to operate on, you have no objective guide -- and are hostage to the vague vocabulary and personal assurances (however,well-intentioned or true) rather than honing and trusting your own perceptions -- for what they objectively are -- rather than what you or anyone else have subjectively assumed they were. "Seat of the pants" flying kills people. Objective reference is the only sure measure. Senses don't lie -- but they are easily misinterpreted in shifting frames of reference. And as I showed you above, when we change from leverage to shear as our operating mode -- we changed the frame of reference -- right along with the center of rotations.

philippe willaume
10-21-2009, 03:49 AM
Hello
I really think you are discussing about two different things using the same example.

Of course blending happens in lots of martial arts. It fact this is pretty much the essence of every one time counter.
I includes leaving the attack of you opponent largely undisturbed, absorbing his energy.
Of course you can join physically or mentally but the predicate for one time counter is more a mental blending rather than a physical.

This is not especially at aiki trade mark.

You all know the ken awase, which are blending practice.

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

Look at the first ken awase and look at that
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txt_tRdoo3Y

Surely it is very obvious that it produces the same result using the same method.
On the same token, it is true that the last vid focuses on the making it happen and the aiki-ken is much more about the fashion in which you do it/get there. So you can say that there is a world of difference
You can look at it either way and none of them is more right that the other or antinomic.

When you have blade contact the same does apply. The blending aspect is the same
You can see as a technique oriented exercise or focus on the aspect of strength with no strength/fencing with the strength of your body/proper body-mechanic and leverage because when fencing any application of active antagonistic force can be turned against you much more easily than with open hand.
In http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hrc4EcfyQCw there is no need fro strength

Upyu
10-21-2009, 05:03 AM
<snip>

Phillippe, the kind of blending being talked about by D. Orange, Mike S., and Dan Harden etc has nothing to do with the vids you showed.
The blending happens "in your body," and has little to do with timing etc.

philippe willaume
10-21-2009, 09:36 AM
Phillippe, the kind of blending being talked about by D. Orange, Mike S., and Dan Harden etc has nothing to do with the vids you showed.
The blending happens "in your body," and has little to do with timing etc.

Hello
:confused: :confused: in the body ?????:confused: :confused:
so if i get you right kemosubi no tachi and the awase is not blending
then.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgUFd6Go62s&feature=related

what do you mean then ?

The physical expresion of blending is always going to be taking some sort of mesure and distance. the end result of that blending is not really relevant to the blending in itself.
you can't blend on you own, you alway blend with something.
and it is as much mental as it physical.

philippe

Upyu
10-21-2009, 09:49 AM
The physical expresion of blending is always going to be taking some sort of measure and distance. the end result of that blending is not really relevant to the blending in itself.
you can't blend on you own, you alway blend with something.
and it is as much mental as it physical.


True,
all of those do factor in to a degree... and no one is arguing that blending is anything but a physical and mental process... just that it's not the obvious movement being shown in the clips you posted.

The blending you're talking about? Once you have I.S(killz & strength). it happens at the point of contact. Timing augments it sure, but you can do it without timing as well ;)

MM
10-21-2009, 10:03 AM
Hello
:confused: :confused: in the body ?????:confused: :confused:
so if i get you right kemosubi no tachi and the awase is not blending
then.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgUFd6Go62s&feature=related

what do you mean then ?

The physical expresion of blending is always going to be taking some sort of mesure and distance. the end result of that blending is not really relevant to the blending in itself.
you can't blend on you own, you alway blend with something.
and it is as much mental as it physical.

philippe

I look at it like there are two types of "blending": jujutsu and aiki. What you posted, to me, is the jujutsu type of blending. It *requires* physical body movement where timing, where and how one steps, body placement, etc is involved. It can be a very soft, subtle approach to techniques. A very good skill to have and develop. But it isn't aiki.

Aiki happens, as Rob John stated, at the moment of contact. The blend happens there, and not with a physical step or a timed movement. Ueshiba notes in one of his interviews, there is no timing in aiki. As Peter Goldsbury pointed out in one of his TIE columns, working on Ushiro techniques was hazardous to uke and not necessarily because of Ueshiba's physical movement. Aiki. The pinnacle of "blending".