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Alberto_Italiano
04-29-2010, 06:50 PM
From the dojo.

Shihonage on yokomen.
Let's forget for a minute that each yokomen I carried, relatively slow (1 second - that's positively slow), I hit (= regularly managed to _place_ my hand on his neck or jaw, not an actual blow!!) the black belt.

It happened to me about what George S. Ledyard mentioned happened once to him (another thread): I have been lectured about my lack of spirituality.

In fact I paused and it came to my mind, as I scrambled to make a shionage with the pirouette and without managing to do it properly, the following sentence, which I made the "mistake" to voice: «Well, it's not only I can't make it, it's also a technique where in a real fight you risk of getting truly bad blows on your face, if for some reason it fails»

My partner immediately started lecturing me - we don't fight in Aikido.
I know, I mean, if I were to apply a shionage like this in a real fight, I would have a major problem.
What?! You don't come here to learn how to fight!
Uh? I didn't say I want to fight - i said that, thinking of a real application, I'd risk of being blasted in this way. What's wrong with this observation?
This is a spiritual art! You have a very bad mindset, which is not the right one at all! You are thinking of violence!

The guy starts watching me as if I were a true criminal, who meant to go out of the dojo punching guys.
I said: let's be clear about it, if I would have liked to beat people, I would have not looked for aikido in the first place. But this is a martial art, right?

The answer: no! It's a way to armonize yourself to feel good with yourself, not to fight.

So, you mean this is like classic ballet? A work out that has not to be thought of as something that eventually may confront actual self defence needs?

You have a very bad mind, you're not right for this place! We armonize ourselves here, we don't plan to fight.

I am not «planning» to fight - again! I want to do aikido with a fighting paradigm in perspective, even if i would never use it.

The guy stares at me with a look of utter contempt.
I stare back - if this has to be only a regular work out, you'd better tell me before I paid 3 months. If it's so, you train for that, and I shall sit and watch this menuet.
& seiza.
He made wonderful shionages, "attacked" by a 52 kilos (114 pounds, google tells me) female white belt.

To be sure, I never had one single criminal record in my life. Not even one. I swear on my dead mother. Not even a minor thing not mentioned in the records - Read my lips: nothing.

The mere fact of mentioning aikido as something ultimately meant to fight is enough to make some look at you like an outcast.

This is what I am facing - as if aikido in itself wouldn't be already SO difficult.

Why this beautiful martial art forfeited its martial side to become only figurative art for some?

A few are good at that. A few. How did they manage? it's a mystery.

I foresee a bad future LOL.

Russ Q
04-29-2010, 07:16 PM
Your a bad, bad man Alberto....for thinking martial thoughts! :-)

Seriously though, your question should have been handled much, much better by your sempai/senior. Sounds like he's a little insecure....many folks have said very eloquent things about the paradox of aikido's philosophy and it's martial element.....search out George Ledyard's essays on this site. I think he can verbalize what you are thinking about the art....

Good luck,

Russ

Mark Gleadhill
04-29-2010, 07:50 PM
Why not just train Shodokan? or is that a silly answer.. I get the feeling we Shodokan'ers are frowned upon slightly.

Alberto_Italiano
04-29-2010, 08:18 PM
what is shodokan? If that's aikido is fine to me. I'd just like an aikido where the martial side is not seen as "scandalous". But I don't want to punch people if shodokan is karate or similar. I like something where you don't hit, and yet martial in approach.

Not sure we have it here, but of course i could check.

Alberto_Italiano
04-29-2010, 08:24 PM
See what I mean:

in the dojo: do ikkyo.
It doesn't succeed, the guy's arm is very rigid. He stays there.
game over, restart (plus: frustration).

With a friend of mine, out of the dojo: do ikkyo.
It doesn't succeed, his arm is rigid. I keep my hands on his arm, he immediately tries a natural reaction, he lifts his arm. I soon follow him going in shihonage, it nearly succeeds but he is still "rebeling" and tries to face me, i follow him again with a mild tenkan and there we go, ikkyo! pam!

Beautiful!

There's gonna be a "fight" lol

Mark Gleadhill
04-29-2010, 08:55 PM
Shodokan or Tomiki style is a different style of Aikido. It has competitions aswell as kata. I'm just learning it myself atm (4th Kyu) Check some stuff on here or on Wikipedia.

Your example is like the randori training in Shodokan. Can't land this technique, try another. You don't stop until told to by a judge. (obviously in training your not full resistance all the time, but there is resistance training, and you train how to counteract that resistance)

I love it. It's great fun.

Alberto_Italiano
04-29-2010, 09:15 PM
Tomiki Aikido or Shodokan Aikido. I didn't know of this. You got it, Mark, judging from what I just read online.

However, we haven't this where I live.

From what I read, all Aikido ought to be Shodokan Aikido then.

Of course, I fully appreciate that in training you won't oppose full resistance.
But this shodokan sounds the type of aikido I need. When a technique fails, my opponent may move in 2 or 3 further ways at least, I should know how to follow those movements with further techniques, and then apply with gradually increasing resistance - techniques ought to be learnt as bundles in my perception.

It's absurd that we can have guys who after 2 weeks cannot land one ikkyo or shihonage on the dojo, and YET after the same 2 weeks can land both out of the dojo. Nonsense.

ps tomorrow I see my friend. We both have the tendency, when an arm is swung, to dodge by lowering. Ok, we're going to try sankyo on that, at first slowly, then in "action". How shall we know if our sankyos work? The hard way lol. And no, our hands are not to be torn apart: if you need the struggle to learn, does not mean you're an irresponsible criminal!

Andrew Macdonald
04-29-2010, 11:12 PM
"this is spiritual art"

this attitude really kinda gets my back up, for a few reasons

at it's core Aikdo is a martial art iif you don;t accept that and train with some intensity then you will never get to the real spiritual aspect of Aikido or any martial arts

this attitude effectively de-claws aikido and turns it into a dance form

spirituality takes a long time to realize and really isn't something that can be taught, only after years of hard training can some people start to open up to it, taking about spirituality and insisting on training in a spiritual way (again there is a whole load of issues there) is like trying to act like you are at the top of the mountain without doing the climbing

Gorgeous George
04-29-2010, 11:51 PM
The answer: no! It's a way to armonize yourself to feel good with yourself, not to fight.

[...]

You have a very bad mind, you're not right for this place! We armonize ourselves here, we don't plan to fight.

.

If there's very little/no energy in the attack, what is there to harmonise with? Surely the stronger the force you are able to harmonise with, the better your aikido is, and the better you'll feel? Perhaps ask him that...

I absolutely second what Andrew Macdonald said: i started getting a lot lot more out of aikido when i started putting more effort into it; all the greats went through periods of very intense training - even Koichi Tohei.

Alberto_Italiano
04-30-2010, 01:49 AM
"this is spiritual art"

this attitude really kinda gets my back up, for a few reasons

at it's core Aikdo is a martial art iif you don;t accept that and train with some intensity then you will never get to the real spiritual aspect of Aikido or any martial arts

this attitude effectively de-claws aikido and turns it into a dance form

spirituality takes a long time to realize and really isn't something that can be taught, only after years of hard training can some people start to open up to it, taking about spirituality and insisting on training in a spiritual way (again there is a whole load of issues there) is like trying to act like you are at the top of the mountain without doing the climbing

Very wise observation.

One would need to train with intensity and go on failing, and moving like a zombie or a robot on the Dojo, hoping one day the veil on his/her eyes lifts, and you realize you can master and switch the techniques while you're inside the tempest. _Then_ you can see the spirit.

And yet one doesn't seek the intensity for the intensity's sake - one looks for it in order to crack the bark we have around and attain a level of awareness within that tempest that is a reward suitable to be lent, once attained, to any other field in life.

Only the sensei and 2 black belts have no problems with me as Uke. All the others can't do one single technique right on me - I don't actively resist in the least! i simply avoid accommodating (ie, I don't actively follow, and I don't fall if you don't actually ground me) the technique: it is truly puzzling seeing all that many black belts that, as soon as they have no more a Uke that falls on purpose, seem no better than any Kyu. Amazing.
There is clearly something broken in the way they trained. And what is broken is: lack of martiality, contempt for the struggle.
Incredible.

ps i start thinking that the lack of competitions may have harmed aikido.

Alberto_Italiano
04-30-2010, 02:19 AM
I love aikido.
I want to learn it. But I want the real thing.
I'll do whatever I can to dodge the incredible limitations these Dojos have.

From now on any time they fail I will suggest to them not to start over, but to try something else (something else that is Aikido - a black belt that i told so because he kept failing, circled me with his arms, wrangled to lift me, and threw me on the mat lol).
It'll take time.
I would like them not to stop when they fail, but to feel how I move and apply another technique - hopefully they will reciprocate eventually, and then I may truly learn.

niall
04-30-2010, 02:42 AM
"this is spiritual art"

this attitude really kinda gets my back up, for a few reasons

There is clearly something broken in the way they trained. And what is broken is: lack of martiality, contempt for the struggle.
Incredible.

ps i start thinking that the lack of competitions may have harmed aikido.

Just a moment guys. You might not want to train in a spiritual way. That's cool. But if some people do that should be cool too without you needing to be judgmental. If aikido means anything it should mean having an open heart or at least an open mind. Just stay away from those dojos and teachers that don't suit you.

From O Sensei on almost every teacher of aikido and every ryuha/style of aikido has deliberately not included competition. Tomiki Sensei had a background in judo so he believed that competition was important for growth. But for most of us the hardest, strictest and severest opponent is ourselves.

Michael Varin
04-30-2010, 03:23 AM
See what I mean:

in the dojo: do ikkyo.
It doesn't succeed, the guy's arm is very rigid. He stays there.
game over, restart (plus: frustration).

With a friend of mine, out of the dojo: do ikkyo.
It doesn't succeed, his arm is rigid. I keep my hands on his arm, he immediately tries a natural reaction, he lifts his arm. I soon follow him going in shihonage, it nearly succeeds but he is still "rebeling" and tries to face me, i follow him again with a mild tenkan and there we go, ikkyo! pam!

Beautiful!

I see what you mean, Alberto.

If you don't mind me asking, how long have you been training?

It seems like you have an intuitive feel for what you should be doing. You are the type of guy that I think gets driven away from aikido because of the training methods, and yet are critical to the development of the art.

If you love aikido, trust me, you can find the ways to train it properly.

You won't have to give up the historical tradition, the spirituality, or the martial effectiveness of the art.

Check out my friend's website and his YouTube videos. They may give you some ideas of where to start.

http://www.aikidostudent.com/

http://www.youtube.com/user/ChuShinTani

Alberto_Italiano
04-30-2010, 03:49 AM
I see what you mean, Alberto.

If you don't mind me asking, how long have you been training?

It seems like you have an intuitive feel for what you should be doing. You are the type of guy that I think gets driven away from aikido because of the training methods, and yet are critical to the development of the art.

If you love aikido, trust me, you can find the ways to train it properly.


Hi Michael. I am a 6th Kyu. I have a consistent boxing background (not as a pro, although I fougth 36 matches as -Italian term- dilettanti, that is non pro) though it is by now lost in a past that goes two decades ago.

Some wonder why somebody who did competitions in boxing ought to look for aikido now - my answer is that they are the extremes, the opposite edges, and in this fact they share something in common.
Fighting without hitting seems immensely fascinating to me. Mastering a "battlefield" knowing you won't hit, seems to me quintessential.

However, with that experience in my past, my idea of being attacked is pretty much different from that of an aikidoka of an average Dojo.
To me most dojos seem unrealistic, not only in the way ukes behave (the fact so many black belts completely fail at nearly all techniques when an uke isn't complacent, to my eyes proves there is something broken in that training methodology) but also in the way techniques are taught.

On our Dojos we seem to think of a technique (say Ikkyo) like something that is granted, like a gift that an uke offers to you. If you fail, game over and restart. But to me a techinique is something that ought to be conquered. One has to fight his/her way to the technique. One has to struggle for it. To be sure, no chauvinism intended, I am saying this only since I am a man and it may seem a funny way of putting it: one has to court and conquest his technique out of his opponent like you would with a woman you care for.

I know in aikido we don't struggle - that we must _follow_ the movement of our adversary and we must never oppose them - and this is in fact what fascinates me. But if I can never experience my opponent as a living entity, how can I follow him?
It just makes no sense telling a 6th kyu that he must "feel" the movements of the adversary, if the adversary is never experienced (given training routines) within a struggle where there is something moving that can be felt.

I am going to stay with Aikido, if the Dojos allow me.
I will find a way. It's only sad that Dojos, meant to favour martial access, in the case of aikido, a "gentle" martial art, have put around it defenses against martiality that not even boxing (which is truly tough) ever put.

ps I bookmarked aikidostudent

Dazzler
04-30-2010, 04:32 AM
Only the sensei and 2 black belts have no problems with me as Uke. .

Your cup is full.

Ketsan
04-30-2010, 06:17 AM
Why not just train Shodokan? or is that a silly answer.. I get the feeling we Shodokan'ers are frowned upon slightly.

:disgust: :D

Kevin Leavitt
04-30-2010, 07:32 AM
How about this paradigm:

Aikido is about something that is real and physical. Two people meet, they engage, something happens between the two of them, and then they separate.

In the end, there could be a couple of possible outcomes:

win/win
win/lose
lose/lose
lose/win

That is it. No emotion, philosophy, religion, morality...or anything else tied to the situation at this point.

So, you go, you practice with whatever mind YOU have, and the other person, whatever mind HE/SHE has.

You can only control your thoughts and actions...not theirs at this point.

Sure, your actions and intentions may influence theirs, but in the end, you can only be responsible for yours.

AIkido, IMO, does not require each individual to have the exact same set of conditions to have it work or not work...nor should it be, IMO, tied to a set philosophical structure...it is what it is.

We get too attached to meaning of things, not only in aikido, but also in daily life.

Heck driving in DC traffic this morning, I caught myself getting too attached to the space that I think is mine in front of me and someone else thinks is theirs!

In the end, it doesn't matter, what matters is how I choose to control my own actions, thoughts, and emotions.

Ikkyo is ikyyo...it is physical and there can be many outcomes...it is what it is....and not what someone else thinks it should be.

Ron Tisdale
04-30-2010, 07:41 AM
Alberto, I have thought a bit on how to respond to your post...I'm not sure whether it will help or not.

1) I personally would not think of taking strikes (atemi) out of aikido

2) I personally think an unusual type of body conditioning and movement is what the waza in aikido should be based around (I dont have much of that after years of training)

3) Do some research and training in serveral teachers/dojo in your area. You may find one seems to fit closer to your goals than others.

4) If there are members in your club that are able to make the waza work without brutilizing you, speak with them about this subject. They can most likely best answer you in the context of where you currently train.

I hope you find a way to continue training without dealing with the "resistence" you are currently facing. But in one sense...that "resistence" **is** the training...right? ;)

Best,
Ron (frankly, I would ignore people who cast aspertions on you based on their own incompetence, but hey, that's just me. As long as you keep an open mind without letting your brains fall out :D.)

lbb
04-30-2010, 08:10 AM
I love aikido.
I want to learn it. But I want the real thing.

No, you want what you want. Whether that is the "real thing" is another matter. You may choose to join the loud, raucous and (in my opinion) utterly pointless debates about what the 'real thing" is. You may stubbornly cling to the idea that you know what the "real thing" is and that everyone else is wrong...again, IMO, kind of pointless. You may shrug and say, "I don't know (or care) if it's the 'real thing' or not, but I know what I want," and that's fine too -- but as a beginner, holding this attitude is trying to pour tea into a full cup. In any case, if you're quite sure that you know what you want, then go find it. It may not be in your current dojo, it may not be in aikido at all. That's fine. Walk away. Just remember that just because you've decided you want a hammer, that doesn't make a saw a useless tool.

chillzATL
04-30-2010, 08:28 AM
This place is like freakin bizzaro world all of a sudden. Everyone is rushing to tell this guy to "keep searching" so that he can find a dojo that's going to let someone who can't do the techniques safely and effectively against soft, squishy, uke, go full out with lots of resistance and aliveness™!

I'm a long time proponent of hard, resistive and realistic training, but for a guy at his experience level? c'mon. The dojo he's at may never be able to give him the level of training he's ultimately looking for, but I don't think it's wrong at all to say that he's not ready for that yet anyway. Again, that's how people get hurt.

L. Camejo
04-30-2010, 08:36 AM
Personally, I think that Alberto represents the typical student who approaches Aikido after having already developed a solid foundation in another fighting style that does not use collusion as a training method.

I don't think it's a matter of him having a full cup per se, it is a matter of being realistic in ones expectations of the outcome of a particular practice method. He is looking for a training paradigm that teaches the core principles of Aikido while preserving the direct functionality of the techniques, tactics and strategies being taught.

There is nothing wrong with this unless there is a disconnect between the core principles and the direct functionality (i.e. application) of what he is being taught. I love it when boxers and strikers enter my dojo because often they can be counted on to not give away their centre and also strike on target. This challenges me to function at a certain level. It means that I must bring my understanding of Aikido principles to apply to these conditions of training which are not based on a collusive agreement.

Alberto needs to find a dojo that suits his needs or at a minimum a group from his dojo with common goals who are willing to train together to meet those needs.

I've had students who left our Shodokan dojo to move to other countries and have just stopped training because there was no Shodokan around and no other style gave them what they got from our training. More reason for us to expand our scope of influence I guess. :D

Just some thoughts.

LC

Ron Tisdale
04-30-2010, 09:13 AM
I'm with you Larry. These students present a unique challenge. How to safely accomplish what they request, stepping up our own levels, while not watering down theirs.

Best,
Ron (empty your cup platitudes sound great...and sometimes are spot on...but I'm not yet convinced of that in this case)

Dazzler
04-30-2010, 09:28 AM
Personally, I think that Alberto represents the typical student who approaches Aikido after having already developed a solid foundation in another fighting style that does not use collusion as a training method.

I don't think it's a matter of him having a full cup per se, it is a matter of being realistic in ones expectations of the outcome of a particular practice method. He is looking for a training paradigm that teaches the core principles of Aikido while preserving the direct functionality of the techniques, tactics and strategies being taught.

Aren't we all looking for core principles of aikido? :)

Assuming that we all try to to teach Aikido to the best of our abilities...generous I know but thats just me....what I object to is the failure to give sufficient credit to the training method deployed ...whatever the style ...in such a short period of time.

This is despite the fact that the OP does acknowledge that there are skilled people in the dojo which begs the question 'how did they become skilled' -?

I agree that this is a fairly typical stance for someone with prior knowledge / experience to take on first viewing Aikido ...but even a small effort of reading the posts on this forum should make it clear that there is a wide spectrum of approaches to the art.

I also have boxers, bodybuilders and suchlike in the dojo, guys that can fight very nicely, yet even the most knuckleheaded can see that Aikido offers something in addition to the skills / ability that they already have and as such train quite contentedly alongside others who need to train long and hard for the day when they defeat a wet paper bag.

Everyone brings something to the party, and just a little patience may be needed before the candles are blown out and the gifts reveal themselves.

Regards

D

Dazzler
04-30-2010, 09:37 AM
...(empty your cup platitudes sound great...and sometimes are spot on...but I'm not yet convinced of that in this case)

welll..you could be right of course. Here its all down to how one reads the posts.

Time will tell

S Ellis
04-30-2010, 09:48 AM
Very wise observation.

One would need to train with intensity and go on failing, and moving like a zombie or a robot on the Dojo, hoping one day the veil on his/her eyes lifts, and you realize you can master and switch the techniques while you're inside the tempest. _Then_ you can see the spirit.

And yet one doesn't seek the intensity for the intensity's sake - one looks for it in order to crack the bark we have around and attain a level of awareness within that tempest that is a reward suitable to be lent, once attained, to any other field in life.

Only the sensei and 2 black belts have no problems with me as Uke. All the others can't do one single technique right on me - I don't actively resist in the least! i simply avoid accommodating (ie, I don't actively follow, and I don't fall if you don't actually ground me) the technique: it is truly puzzling seeing all that many black belts that, as soon as they have no more a Uke that falls on purpose, seem no better than any Kyu. Amazing.
There is clearly something broken in the way they trained. And what is broken is: lack of martiality, contempt for the struggle.
Incredible.

ps i start thinking that the lack of competitions may have harmed aikido.

Alberto, have you considered the possibility that many of your senpai may just be releasing as a means of preserving you and your ability to train rather than outright thrashing a newer student? When I first started, not all that long ago, I also was amazed that many experienced people had a hard time with me. I am a big guy and I was able to be strong enough and centered enough that I could throw a wrench into many people's techniques. I was fortunate that the elders in my dojo didn't just begin thrashing me. But instead they gave me time to learn the kata. Not a cursory, "Oh you have done this technique twice now. You must understand everything about it." But instead they gave me time to develop, watched my tests, and began gradually stepping up their game depending on where my game was at the time. After, I had worked and learned a little they would speed up, maybe even add atemi if I did stop them from executing the technique. I can assure you of this, many of your partners are not "grounding" you do to lack of ability on their part. They are not grounding you because they are learning aikido, and simply forcing you to the ground through raw power is not the name of the game. If you think that aikido is about submission, then I suggest you look closer. It may be an art that is about manipulating people into the position that is advantageous for you, but at it's very core aikido is too subtle to be an art that is solely about having the raw power to drag your opponent into a position.

I think about the beginning of my training frequently. I count myself blessed to have so many patient and understanding people that didn't just beat the dog tar out of me for being an upstart. Sure, I could have dished it back with non-aikido physicality (I used to wrestle and play American style football and love "contact"), but that has little to do with learning aikido. I am not suggesting that aikido isn't physical, but I am suggesting that most people are aspiring to have fluidity to their technique and a softness, as well as raw power, that every Shihan that we marvel at has. I understand what you are saying when you talk about martial integrity, but for many people it is spiritual art, and I don't see the point in begrudging them that. There are many people that even if they have the ability that do not want to grind you into the mat. They want you to train and get better. For most people this is a lifetime endeavor. There will be plenty of time to speed up, but I don't think many responsible aikidoka are going to go all out with a person who is new to the art. You might become the greatest practitioner of the art ever to tie a hakama, but right now you are a 6th kyu. Take your time an enjoy the ride. It will get faster and bumpier as it goes along.

lbb
04-30-2010, 09:52 AM
Ron (empty your cup platitudes sound great...and sometimes are spot on...but I'm not yet convinced of that in this case)

If you're calling them "platitudes", then you are convinced. You just passed judgment on them and decided that they're meaningless and worthless.

When a beginner is advised to empty his or her cup, that isn't the same as saying that what they know is wrong or worthless. All it is, is saying that you need to set that body of knowledge aside for a time, and not try to see this new thing through those old filters. I can't see any reasonable objection to that. Of course a new style isn't going to make sense at first -- especially not if you're using your old set of rules as a basis of what makes sense. And, in fact, it's always possible that your new style is a load of crap, and it never will make any sense. But you'll never know if you can't suspend disbelief, so to speak...set aside what you "know" so that you can learn.

You know that old saying, "It ain't what you don't know that's the problem...it's what you know that just ain't so"? It's good advice. What a swimming-pool lifeguard "knows" about water dangers is just not so when you take him out of the pool and put him on whitewater...and if he clings to what he "knows", he'll be more in danger than someone who goes into that situation knowing that they don't know.

SeiserL
04-30-2010, 10:01 AM
Many train with only self-development intent.
Some train with only martial intent.
Few train with both.

L. Camejo
04-30-2010, 10:02 AM
Aren't we all looking for core principles of aikido? :)Not in my experience.. no, sorry. :) Some are looking for a group of like-minded individuals to engage in a pseudo-religious attempt at moving meditation that has nothing to do with Aikido or its principles, but that's just my knuckleheaded take on it. :) To me there is no understanding of the principles if one does not include the application of the principles, physical or otherwise. You don't learn the lessons of climbing the mountain by taking a helicopter to the top imho. :)

... even the most knuckleheaded can see that Aikido offers something in addition to the skills / ability that they already have True. But that is not the case in this thread - the OP went to the Aikido dojo to find something that he did not already have. The thing is that the dojo is not giving that to him based on this thread.

and as such train quite contentedly alongside others who need to train long and hard for the day when they defeat a wet paper bag.Again, that is not the case in this thread. The Aiki-spritualist in the OPs dojo is the one who could not train alongside the OP who only wanted an understanding of the martial context (if any) of his training.

Everyone brings something to the party, and just a little patience may be needed before the candles are blown out and the gifts reveal themselves.And sometimes you have to realize that what people have brought to this party will result in you paying 3 months in advance to be treated like an outcast because "This is a spiritual art! You have a very bad mindset, which is not the right one at all! You are thinking of violence!" :)

I think it is great that some people find spiritual enlightenment in their training. But if this is not what the student wants or is not enough for the student then it is the student's option to look elsewhere if they feel so inclined.

Best
LC

L. Camejo
04-30-2010, 10:03 AM
Many train with only self-development intent.
Some train with only martial intent.
Few train with both.This is a very poignant and beautiful statement.

Thank you Sensei.

LC

chillzATL
04-30-2010, 10:03 AM
Personally, I think that Alberto represents the typical student who approaches Aikido after having already developed a solid foundation in another fighting style that does not use collusion as a training method.

I don't think it's a matter of him having a full cup per se, it is a matter of being realistic in ones expectations of the outcome of a particular practice method. He is looking for a training paradigm that teaches the core principles of Aikido while preserving the direct functionality of the techniques, tactics and strategies being taught.

There is nothing wrong with this unless there is a disconnect between the core principles and the direct functionality (i.e. application) of what he is being taught. I love it when boxers and strikers enter my dojo because often they can be counted on to not give away their centre and also strike on target. This challenges me to function at a certain level. It means that I must bring my understanding of Aikido principles to apply to these conditions of training which are not based on a collusive agreement.

Alberto needs to find a dojo that suits his needs or at a minimum a group from his dojo with common goals who are willing to train together to meet those needs.

I've had students who left our Shodokan dojo to move to other countries and have just stopped training because there was no Shodokan around and no other style gave them what they got from our training. More reason for us to expand our scope of influence I guess. :D

Just some thoughts.

LC

Larry,

I think you're only addressing the Alberto as uke perspective. I honestly don't disagree with you or him from this perspective.

What you aren't addressing is Alberto as nage. Alberto as nage seems to disagree with the learning methodology for everything he's shown. He doesn't see any benefit in slowing things down and having someone collude with him so that he can learn proper, safe and effective technique. I don't see how anyone, regardless of style, can agree with this or suggest that if he "keep searching" he's going to find what he's looking for.

Gorgeous George
04-30-2010, 10:17 AM
Many train with only self-development intent.
Some train with only martial intent.
Few train with both.

I like this.
I used to fall into the first category, then i realised it was predicated on the second, so now i think i fall into the third.

Perhaps Alberto doesn't know how to take ukemi at high speed, so if nage matched his speed and applied the technique, he might get hurt?

RED
04-30-2010, 11:02 AM
From the dojo.

In fact I paused and it came to my mind, as I scrambled to make a shionage with the pirouette and without managing to do it properly, the following sentence, which I made the "mistake" to voice: «Well, it's not only I can't make it, it's also a technique where in a real fight you risk of getting truly bad blows on your face, if for some reason it fails»

.

How are you doing shihonage? There is no reason that from yokomenuchi you should be in distance of a strike. If you are, you are doing it incorrectly. :D

How long have you been doing Aikido?
I wouldn't say you have a bad mind, but I would say you are eager. It is NOT wrong to think martially, it is wrong however to disrespect those who are taking time to teach you.
Instructor's devote their time and much of their life to teaching what they know. If you are not interested in what they know, then stop wasting your money. Constantly questioning teacher is the same as saying "you don't know what you are doing, even though I'm paying you money to teach me, I already know it all" Beware of that trap, you don't want to fall into disillusions that you already know what you are doing. Some questioning is healthy, but there is a line where it can be disrespectful.

Don't get me wrong, I believe you should train with the hope of martial effectiveness. But, you should not assume that you know what martial effectiveness is. You have instructor's I'm sure they are good teachers, and you should listen to them, and not argue with them. If they think you are worrying about fighting too much, take a step back, maybe you are worried too much about fighting, and too little about training!

I believe in martial effectiveness, but I'm not going to obsess every training day about a fight that might never happen. I'm going to instead focus on training, because it is a martial art, emphasis on the word "art".

But if you are truly in conflict with this school, then find a new one. There are lots of great schools out there. And I disagree with what was said to you...Aikido is a martial art.

David Yap
04-30-2010, 09:37 PM
Many train with only self-development intent.
Some train with only martial intent.
Few train with both.

True, sensei. Either a thinker or a fighter but few can call themselves martial artists.

Regards

David Y

Rob Watson
04-30-2010, 10:25 PM
Have you tried the dojo search function here? Look for the ones closest to you then start at the highest ranked instructor and work your way down the list.

If you don't find what you are looking for in the first 5 dojo then maybe aikido is not what you think it is.

Kevin Leavitt
04-30-2010, 10:36 PM
I always train with Martial Effectiveness for the situation and context we are training in. How do you train any other way, or why would you? I don't see how you train without it personally.

Granted some may have more experience than others, thus those without much experience or skill may have a very "low" effectiveness, but none the less, it is as effective as they know how to be at that point in there training.

Furthermore, any instructor or experienced sempai worth his weight should be able to adequately demonstrate principle and also show various applications, tactics, etc and be able to show the spectrum of things and the consequences of action/no action.

From my experiences if his instructors are not adequately addressing what are actually very fair questions, then they either can't cause they don't have the teaching skill or experiences to do so, or they simply don't care too as they are too, too busy doing whatever it is that they do and feeling great about it!

Phil Ingram
04-30-2010, 10:46 PM
From the dojo.
The answer: no! It's a way to armonize yourself to feel good with yourself, not to fight.

.

What Utter rubbish
we have a saying in my dojo take the mind then the blance this gives the attacker somthing to think about while you do your technique.

All Aikido techinques work but most people do not take the mind what i mean by taking the mind is a strike and yes there are strikes in aikido

It like i have said in my other post
you have some people who follow the aiki way and others who go the Martial way you have to blend both for Aikido to be affective

If i was you mate i would find a diffrent dojo :)
good luck to you

Alberto_Italiano
05-01-2010, 03:53 AM
Too many things in this thread :-)
I must choose one - though firstly I wish to thank you all for your insights and ideas - though a few may think (or seem inclined to think) that my points may be utterly contemptible, I find all the perspectives brought in here quite interesting instead. So I am really grateful to you all; I know you're not writing to me or for me, but for everybody and because you have a real passion for Aikido; however, I still feel I should say thank you for your contributions.

So, I shall focus on the idea that some in the dojo may be intentionally slowing down their techniques in order not to harm me (I am surprised that a guy with a boxing background can be considered so fragile - however let it be LOL).

Unfortunately, that's not the case. I wish it were. In fact if that would have been my illation, then maybe it would be worthless. But what to think when several times you hear black belts mumbling audibly "I am unable to do the technique on him" ? That's a corroboration (unsought for) that excludes they were intentionally downgrading their techniques in order to accommodate such a fragile beginner who could be maimed by their startling abilities.

So, you are probably left with two hypothesis only that seem thinkable:
1) That I am such a smart, terrific, glorious, amazing, powerful, uncontrollable, stunning, superb uke that most seniors can't make the techniques on me. Now, I can definitely rule out this option: firstly because I'd have serious problems considering myself such a skilled attacker, secondly because I intentionally slow down considerably myself: I am aware they must do a technique and it's not my goal to make it impossible for them: I oppose no active resistance (ie, for instance I never present a rigid arm), I simply move naturally without hanging there as a punching bag - and if you don't ground me I don't fall with complacency - this not for a matter of pride (I have been grounded several times when boxing and to me this possibility is simply natural) but because I think I would be injecting dangerous illusions in my partner if I would fall on purpose, making him/her think his/her technique is effective and could work facing a real threat.
2) That the training paradigm prevailing in most ki-dojos is unfit to make most seniors able for any combat even remotely close to a "real" situation (I agree with Mary Malmros that "real" is open to interpretation; so let's imagine for a moment that I say "water" and that by it we all mean the transparent substance that comes out from faucets and that we drink).

I am opting for this latter hypothesis, and I am simply terrified at the idea I may spend years on a dojo only to be left with this: a belt that has so high chances of being ineffectual in real combat (I feel that training in any martial art without that paradigm in mind is like studying medicine for 6 years without thinking it should prove effective on a real patient, even if you don't plan to practice as a doctor).

I don't know what should be considered responsible for this state of the art.
To be sure, I am not writing here in order to voice a problem of mine, but also because I hope this can be of any use in order to widen the training methods of dojos - because a mostly martially focused dojo can still include a mostly spiritually oriented pupil (one can forfeit martiality at any time, and be still compatible), yet a mostly spiritually oriented dojo can no longer include a mostly martially oriented pupil (one can't be given the martiality that the training methods have ejected nearly by statute, and this makes such a mindset immediately incompatible).

It is my hypothesis that the prevailing training methods must have something to do with this state of things in many dojos - however, this is something that can be appreciated only if there is agreement about the degree of effectiveness of ki-aikido in real situations; if we assume that this effectiveness is certainly there, then our training methods are perfect and I am only an annoying troublemaker who dares being unrespectful because he voices perplexities. If instead we doubt it is there, or we feel that in many cases it's not there, then we need to decide how we could improve our training methods.

To my eyes it is crystal clear that if every time we propose 4 or 5 techniques, and every time different ones (not infrequently with the openly stated intention that "otherwise it's boring"), and that are to recur once again only after months, we may be entertaining our pupils but it should be apparent (actually, quite patent) that the chances of making our pupils apprehend sloppy implementations are enormously increased.
It is my contention that we could take actions, now, to make these chances decrease immediately.

Dazzler
05-01-2010, 04:14 AM
True. But that is not the case in this thread - the OP went to the Aikido dojo to find something that he did not already have. The thing is that the dojo is not giving that to him based on this thread.


...or the dojo is trying to give him something, but Alberto doesn't recognise it because the development methodology is different to that which he is accustomed.

Here we simply have one initial viewpoint to consider. without seeing the training for ourselves not one single poster can do anymore than offer an opinion based upon our personal experience.

Alberto can then read through and make decisions which MAY be helped by what is posted.

Caveat emptor .

Alberto - as a very much generalised view I see Ki Aikido as something starting with ki and becoming more martial over time (for some). A long road.

I see more traditional Aikido as starting from a more practical viewpoint and over time moving towards ki (for some).

Another long road.

Of course this is a huge generalisation with the intention of helping rather than rigidly classifying. Just a very loose model but maybe it helps.

Perhaps a more traditional style may be more you 'cup of tea'?

(but tip a bit out first :) ).

Regards

D

Alberto_Italiano
05-01-2010, 04:31 AM
Alberto - as a very much generalised view I see Ki Aikido as something starting with ki and becoming more martial over time (for some). A long road.

(...snip...)

Another long road.



Agreed.
One must not think that, since I am questioning training methods, I am not aware it's a long road.

I don't remember correctly the quote, but once Ezra Pound wrote (more or less) "the thought of what America could be if the classics were read more often takes the sleep away from me".

The thought of how easily a more martial attitude could be instantly accommodated by simple adjustments in ki-aikido prevailing training methods, and of how much this would benefit all (the spiritual and the martial both) keeps me wondering.

ps i managed to find the exact Ezra Pound quote:
http://www.pandalous.com/reader#p=--if_the_classics_had_a--
http://www.fullposter.com/snippets.php?snippet=215#autoindex25

Andrew Macdonald
05-01-2010, 05:19 AM
The 2 sides os Aikido the martial and the spiritual must both be observed i guess, I read my original post and i came off with sounding like i didn't agree with spirituality at all. however i spend porition of each day in mediatation and have experience in taiji and qi gong.

I think the problem comes when people try to touch the spirtual sides of things without ever pushing their boundaries , in every case growth and development involves stress and discomfort in some way, if you choose your vechilcle of spiritual development to be aikido then you have to also accept the training methods and the stress that it offers

continually doing soft gentle strikes and never pushing yourself physically mentally or spiritually is like trying to become an Olympic gymnast by only practicing forward rolls

Mark Peckett
05-01-2010, 06:19 AM
I used to practise with a guy who had a habit of deliberately stopping techniques. In aikido, anyone can do this: if the technique is kotegaeshi, tightening the relevant muscles and leaning away from the direction of the technique, adjusting the position of the foot. Of course, this aligned him perfectly for shiho-nage. What this meant was that I didn't get to practise kotegaeshi with him ... unless we were practising shiho-nage, in wihch case he would align his body, feet and muscles to prevent the technique happening, thereby creating the perfect conditions for kotegaeshi

This is one of the problems with aikido - as uke knows what technique is coming he can stop it, and then claim aikido doesn't work or isn't realistic. Uke has to give his body - this doesn't mean to fall on the floor when nage merely looks at him, but he has to provide a postive attack which will enable the technique to be practised.

At higher grades, when both participants are familiar with a range of techniques, it is then possible to practise henka waza without nage injuring uke. If a beginner uke presented a stiffened arm during practice of ikkyo and a more experienced nage slipped into irimi nage, for example, there is a danger that the beginner could get dumped on the floor on the back of his head, experience a sub-dural haematoma and die. I understand this is one of the most common causes of death within the aikido fraternity and is more commonly associated with beginners. We none of us would want this to happen.

Of course we want to try and create realism in the dojo, but bearing in mind that aikido techniques are developed from potentially fatal battlefield techniques, we don't want that much realism!

Alberto_Italiano
05-01-2010, 06:32 AM
This is one of the problems with aikido - as uke knows what technique is coming he can stop it, and then claim aikido doesn't work or isn't realistic. Uke has to give his body - this doesn't mean to fall on the floor when nage merely looks at him, but he has to provide a postive attack which will enable the technique to be practised.

At higher grades, when both participants are familiar with a range of techniques, it is then possible to practise henka waza without nage injuring uke. If a beginner uke presented a stiffened arm during practice of ikkyo and a more experienced nage slipped into irimi nage, for example, there is a danger that the beginner could get dumped on the floor on the back of his head, experience a sub-dural haematoma and die. I understand this is one of the most common causes of death within the aikido fraternity and is more commonly associated with beginners. We none of us would want this to happen.

Of course we want to try and create realism in the dojo, but bearing in mind that aikido techniques are developed from potentially fatal battlefield techniques, we don't want that much realism!

Exactly. This is why we need a more dynamic training where uke can be experienced like a living entity and not like a puppet who is there to perform a preordained gesture.

I can land not one single ikkyo or shihonage in the dojo. I can land both ikkyos and shihonage when I train out of the dojo with a friend of mine. This precisely because he keeps moving as I fail one technique, and I keep my hands on him as I fail instead than giving up, so that i can follow his movements and accord/craft a possible further technique on his movements.

In ki dojos once a technique has failed, we have to restart. This brings to an endless string of failed techniques, until uke decides to accommodate you and decides to let you do your technique without any obstacle in the way.
Once, supposed to do shihonage, I faced shokomen with an ikkyo (unsuccessful); I was immediately stopped because "we're not doing ikkyo". I feel a better answer would have been: "his arm is opposing to your ikkyo, he is pushing upward - don't stop, but do shiohnage now!"

This type of realism has nothing to do with dying.
If we forfeit realism lest we die, because the only way to represent realism is that of the final insult, we'll never have any realism whatsoever.

C. David Henderson
05-01-2010, 08:30 AM
I think you misread what Mark was saying.

James Davis
05-01-2010, 08:55 AM
Paired kata seemed strange to me when I was hung up on the ideas of "winning" and "losing".

One of my sempai was kind enough to throw me a whuppin' and explain to me that blocking his technique only slowed down our training, and that I wouldn't be winning a prize for doing so.

Aikido class is practice. Aikido techniques can be pretty complicated stuff, especially to someone just starting out, and to not allow techniques to happen seriously hampers training. In my opinion, it's best to ask sensei for a few minutes of training with resistance if I'm "feelin' froggy", or to just save it for randori.

Every so often, I have new students that get hung up on the idea that they're experiencing successes when they stop others from completing their techniques. Occasionally, I'll call a senior student to the front and ask them to attack and resist when I respond. When this (VERY eager :D ) student resists the initial technique, I follow him and go to whatever technique seems prudent at the time. When he resists the second one, I continue blending with what he gives me until my students have seen an exchange that lasts maybe 10 seconds, ending with my student being thrown or tapping out.

I tell my class that there are two lessons that they can take away from this:

1: When something doesn't work in life, there is usually another option. It might not always be evident, but when it seems that you've failed or someone else is making things difficult for you, there's usually some other course of action that you can take instead of quitting.

2: Of all the techniques you just saw, there's one that you didn't get to see. You didn't get to see that first technique that I wanted to teach you. While what you just saw might have been a little entertaining, you didn't get to learn much. If he hadn't resisted, you'd probably be seeing a tenth repitition of that first technique and you'd be starting to get an idea on how it's done. My job is to teach you aikido, and I can't do that without repitition of the techniques so you have a chance to learn them. I'll tell you when we can play, but for now we need to study. We have to co-operate, or we're not going to get a lot done. :)

OwlMatt
05-01-2010, 09:15 AM
I'm very much a novice in the world of aikido and the martial arts in general, but it seems to me that the spiritual benefits unique to the martial arts come from their "martialness". We learn to face our own fears, our own pain, and our own insecurities. We learn the value of peace by learning the consequences of violence. To think that we can get these spiritual benefits by learning aikido as meditative dance with no thought to martial application would be very naive on our part, I think.

No sensei at my dojo would scold a student for wanting to learn a technique in a realistic way, and any student who had problems with realism in practice would get a stern talking-to.

Mark Peckett
05-01-2010, 10:17 AM
I continue to struggle with ikkyo after nearly thirty years of practice. I am grateful to all the aikidoka of all grades who practise with me as it gives me an opportunity to analyse my technique, work at it and make it better.

Kevin Leavitt
05-01-2010, 02:54 PM
Alberto wrote:

I am opting for this latter hypothesis, and I am simply terrified at the idea I may spend years on a dojo only to be left with this: a belt that has so high chances of being ineffectual in real combat (I feel that training in any martial art without that paradigm in mind is like studying medicine for 6 years without thinking it should prove effective on a real patient, even if you don't plan to practice as a doctor).


Even Doctors have a basis in fundamentals of biology, chemistry and anatomy before they ever perform surgery.

The act of surgery itself is actually pretty simple to do if you know all the steps and focused on them. You could teach someone how to do brain surgery over and over again in a short amount of time actually

Combatives works the same way. I can teach someone very quickly to be effective, however, if they want to understand the nature and breadth of martial arts it requires much more.

I think aikido and the study of martial physiology and kinesiology to be in much the same line.

RED
05-01-2010, 02:58 PM
Alberto wrote:

Even Doctors have a basis in fundamentals of biology, chemistry and anatomy before they ever perform surgery.

The act of surgery itself is actually pretty simple to do if you know all the steps and focused on them. You could teach someone how to do brain surgery over and over again in a short amount of time actually

Combatives works the same way. I can teach someone very quickly to be effective, however, if they want to understand the nature and breadth of martial arts it requires much more.

I think aikido and the study of martial physiology and kinesiology to be in much the same line.

I think you statement really is the difference between taking a martial art, and practicing a martial art.

Alberto_Italiano
05-01-2010, 02:58 PM
I follow him and go to whatever technique seems prudent at the time. When he resists the second one, I continue blending with what he gives me until my students have seen an exchange that lasts maybe 10 seconds, ending with my student being thrown or tapping out.

This is _precisely_ what would work for me. Doesn't matter it is frenzied. I need the _continuous_ action. No "stop and go". Continue blending, with uke that reacts naturally, and keeps moving (pushing, pulling, whatever) and doesn't accommodate me for the technique.

More than 10 seconds: the boundary, ideally, is standstill.
If I come to a standstill (ie: duh, what can i do now with an arm in this position?), that's when I would stop indeed and ask: what now, Sensei?

Over time, speed can be increased, and vigour on uke's part added.
The _simulation_ of a "real" confrontation, continuous and blending, if 'd grab a guy's arm.

Most ki-dojos doesn't seem to have any option for this learning style. One should have to ask, and then you're liable to be seen like some unorthodox freak of nature who can't learn with the time-honoured way of: "here it is this still demi-flaccid arm come grab it in the proper manner come do the technique if it fails I will pretend I fell or we just start over".

RED
05-01-2010, 03:06 PM
One of the best experiences I can recall with a teaching style is Shibata Sensei. He has people attack him, and he just throws them any which way he feels is needed. Then he claps and tells you to train. Not much instruction other than you watching the way he moves. It is a really old way of teaching. You don''t ever stop to ask him questions about anything he did, or how he did it, and he gives no other instruction other than allowing you to watch his Aikido for a few minutes. Technically I can learn a lot like that.
But you got to watch out for him. He walks through the class and sort of throws people at random. It is very off putting to just get up and turn around, and there's Shibata! Throwing you... lol

Alberto_Italiano
05-01-2010, 03:21 PM
Given your experience, do you think it would be a good idea to ask my dojo if I could practice mostly like that (my previous post in this thread)?

Continuous blending. Till I manage to place the (or at least a) technique. Or would I sound like a dangerous conceited incomprehensible troublesome pupil?
Given your experience.

James Davis
05-01-2010, 03:26 PM
This is _precisely_ what would work for me. Doesn't matter it is frenzied. I need the _continuous_ action. No "stop and go". Continue blending, with uke that reacts naturally, and keeps moving (pushing, pulling, whatever) and doesn't accommodate me for the technique.



Awesome! You're going to love randori at my dojo! Unfortunately, there are seventeen other people that I have to train, and they need to be reached in entirely different ways. These are people that might say...

"This is precisely what would work for me. I need to go slow. Sometimes, I miss the footwork and I need to pick the technique apart a little. I need an uke that will accomodate me, one that will be patient and allow me to repeat the movements until I get it right."

;)

Hang in there, Alberto. It's not always about what we get out of it. We're there for other people too. If we're working with a 65 year old man that's never trained in anything before, or a 12 year old girl that's one third my size, the way of training that you perceive to be "effective" will be of no help to them whatsoever!

When I asked my sensei how fast I should attack him, he asked how far I wanted to be thrown. When my sensei thought that I was up to the task of taking ukemi without injury AND being gentle with whoever attacked me while I was nage, that's when the real crazy fun began. :D

Kevin Leavitt
05-01-2010, 03:33 PM
I think you statement really is the difference between taking a martial art, and practicing a martial art.

Sure, I agree. I think alot of people regardless of what they think they are doing, (practicing or taking), really don't rationally understand what it is that they are doing or are there to do. I wasn't for many years. My thoughts were very much in line with Alberto's.

What Aikido means to me today and what it meant 10 years ago are two different things.

The role aikido plays for me today, while linked to combat effectiveness etc, is a much deeper and broader one, hard to explain, but do it for reasons that are much different than when I started.

The guys in the internal threads cover alot of the material and reasons why so no need to re-hash it here.

Alberto_Italiano
05-01-2010, 03:34 PM
Awesome! You're going to love randori at my dojo! Unfortunately, there are seventeen other people that I have to train, and they need to be reached in entirely different ways. These are people that might say...

"This is precisely what would work for me. I need to go slow. Sometimes, I miss the footwork and I need to pick the technique apart a little. I need an uke that will accomodate me, one that will be patient and allow me to repeat the movements until I get it right."

;)

Hang in there, Alberto. It's not always about what we get out of it. We're there for other people too. If we're working with a 65 year old man that's never trained in anything before, or a 12 year old girl that's one third my size, the way of training that you perceive to be "effective" will be of no help to them whatsoever!

When I asked my sensei how fast I should attack him, he asked how far I wanted to be thrown. When my sensei thought that I was up to the task of taking ukemi without injury AND being gentle with whoever attacked me while I was nage, that's when the real crazy fun began. :D

Precisely. This is why I felt as flawed the current training methods.In fact, what prevents there from being 2 different groups of pupils working on the same technique? One group that makes the stop and go way, another one that uses the blending technique.

Why a martial art that made of flexibility its tenet, is so rigid in its capabilities to adjust? Most Ki-Dojos seem to have no way of including any degree of flexibility.

The same argument that goes : I can't accommodate you because if I do I can't accommodate the other 12 pupils, may well go the other way round. Most pupils do as they are told: if the continuous blending method would have been adopted since inception, now it would be normal (and in my humble and worthless opinion we'd even have more better aikidokas) and we would answer pupils who need start and go sorry we can't accommodate this quaint request, because the others are used to the traditional one :-)

Alberto_Italiano
05-01-2010, 03:59 PM
well. Why I keep asking these silly questions.
I know the answer.

thank you to you all.

Ron Tisdale
05-01-2010, 06:32 PM
If you're calling them "platitudes", then you are convinced. You just passed judgment on them and decided that they're meaningless and worthless.

Uh, no, I haven't decided any such thing, and I specifically stated that I'm not convinced...therefore no judgement has been passed. I simply remain unconvinced that this particular person will find "emptying his cup" to be a long term solution to the issues he voiced.

Just because something is a cliche does not mean it is useless.

I like the rest of your post...I just still remain unconvinced of it's application in this case.

Best,
Ron

When a beginner is advised to empty his or her cup, that isn't the same as saying that what they know is wrong or worthless. All it is, is saying that you need to set that body of knowledge aside for a time, and not try to see this new thing through those old filters. I can't see any reasonable objection to that. Of course a new style isn't going to make sense at first -- especially not if you're using your old set of rules as a basis of what makes sense. And, in fact, it's always possible that your new style is a load of crap, and it never will make any sense. But you'll never know if you can't suspend disbelief, so to speak...set aside what you "know" so that you can learn.

You know that old saying, "It ain't what you don't know that's the problem...it's what you know that just ain't so"? It's good advice. What a swimming-pool lifeguard "knows" about water dangers is just not so when you take him out of the pool and put him on whitewater...and if he clings to what he "knows", he'll be more in danger than someone who goes into that situation knowing that they don't know.

RED
05-01-2010, 09:56 PM
Given your experience, do you think it would be a good idea to ask my dojo if I could practice mostly like that (my previous post in this thread)?

Continuous blending. Till I manage to place the (or at least a) technique. Or would I sound like a dangerous conceited incomprehensible troublesome pupil?
Given your experience.

I think instructors might like things the way they do it. I mean my sensei typically is open to suggestions. But that might not be your instructor's style. And you might be stepping on toes. Feel it out.

RED
05-01-2010, 10:00 PM
Sure, I agree. I think alot of people regardless of what they think they are doing, (practicing or taking), really don't rationally understand what it is that they are doing or are there to do. I wasn't for many years. My thoughts were very much in line with Alberto's.

What Aikido means to me today and what it meant 10 years ago are two different things.

The role aikido plays for me today, while linked to combat effectiveness etc, is a much deeper and broader one, hard to explain, but do it for reasons that are much different than when I started.

The guys in the internal threads cover alot of the material and reasons why so no need to re-hash it here.

I personally don't rationalize much. I just like doing Aikido, I don't think my reasons for doing Aikido have yet to expand past the fact I love doing and learning Aikido. What it means to me might change some day too. But technically I've yet to know where I stand other than just loving training and refining. Though my concept of refining tends to lean towards effectiveness and efficiency. :confused:

niall
05-01-2010, 11:04 PM
Mary's right Ron - if you call a comment a platitude you are already passing a negative judgment. - she just called you on it. If that's not what you meant cool but that's what you wrote.

Alberto it's good to have a questioning open mind but like a couple of other people said it's a little early for you to know what is best for yourself. Why don't you talk to your teacher about your concerns and how he or she sees your training develop in the future?

Then if the answer isn't convincing you can change teachers, change dojos or change martial arts.

Kevin Leavitt
05-02-2010, 06:39 AM
I personally don't rationalize much. I just like doing Aikido, I don't think my reasons for doing Aikido have yet to expand past the fact I love doing and learning Aikido. What it means to me might change some day too. But technically I've yet to know where I stand other than just loving training and refining. Though my concept of refining tends to lean towards effectiveness and efficiency. :confused:

Sounds good, I think this is great! I came to the practice as I stated with expectations and of course, I was confused as all get out trying to figure out and interpret everything that we did as having some very upfront and direct purpose combatively, when in fact, alot of what we do is simply designed to condition us to move maybe differently than we have in the past.

Of course, YMMV with teachers and students both...alot of what I experienced was just a waste of precious training time, but heck nothing is perfect and in the beginning there is just too much wrong with you personally for a sensei/sempai or other students to be more prescriptive in doing what you really need.

Also, I think we are a little presumptuous about how much time someone is gonna personally invest in us when we are new. Think about all the folks we see come and go over the years and most of them won't do the simple stuff you ask them to do anyway!

Anyway, I think having the open mind like your have and just enjoiying being in the moment is great!

Kevin Leavitt
05-02-2010, 06:59 AM
Maggie, if you can define efficiency and effective in terms that we can all quantify and agree on then you have achieved the holy grail on AIkiweb if you ask me. Been trying to get someone to answer that one for years on here!

chillzATL
05-02-2010, 08:44 AM
Given your experience, do you think it would be a good idea to ask my dojo if I could practice mostly like that (my previous post in this thread)?

Continuous blending. Till I manage to place the (or at least a) technique. Or would I sound like a dangerous conceited incomprehensible troublesome pupil?
Given your experience.

Blending? That's what you're calling it? You're applying a nice common aikido term to what, in your case, is actually just struggling along till you manage to snap a poorly executed technique on someone because you lack the ability to slow down your practice so that you can learn how to do things properly before taking it further. What's incomprehensible to me is how you can't seem to comprehend this...

dps
05-02-2010, 08:53 AM
See what I mean:

in the dojo: do ikkyo.
It doesn't succeed, the guy's arm is very rigid. He stays there.
game over, restart (plus: frustration).

With a friend of mine, out of the dojo: do ikkyo.
It doesn't succeed, his arm is rigid. I keep my hands on his arm, he immediately tries a natural reaction, he lifts his arm. I soon follow him going in shihonage, it nearly succeeds but he is still "rebeling" and tries to face me, i follow him again with a mild tenkan and there we go, ikkyo! pam!

Beautiful!

There's gonna be a "fight" lol

It sounds like you are learning from your Aikido practice.
I would not expect what you can or can't do in the dojo to be exactly what happens outside the dojo, completely different situations.
People with Aikido training will give you unnatural reactions to your techniques.
I would say keep practicing both inside and outside the dojo.

David

RED
05-02-2010, 05:54 PM
Maggie, if you can define efficiency and effective in terms that we can all quantify and agree on then you have achieved the holy grail on AIkiweb if you ask me. Been trying to get someone to answer that one for years on here!

Me personally, efficiency means the least amount of movement and energy for anyone movement.. I am lazy and like pound cake you see. :cool:

Effective: it works :D ... I've yet to expand this idea personally.

RED
05-02-2010, 06:03 PM
Also, I think we are a little presumptuous about how much time someone is gonna personally invest in us when we are new. Think about all the folks we see come and go over the years and most of them won't do the simple stuff you ask them to do anyway!

!

I agree. Me personally about a year ago when a new person came into the dojo I'd get really excited to help them roll, and figure out footwork, and techniques when I worked with them. I'd take time in between or after class to work on stuff. But when they'd leave the school after like 2 weeks of training, I'd honestly feel a little hurt. lol So now honestly I wait. If a month later I see them still coming then I get excited and go out of my way to help them. Frankly I want to train and learn too. Maybe I want to get help with my technique and ukemi in between class or after class. So if I give that time helping some one that will lose interest in a week, it feels like wasted time.:(

Zach Trent
05-04-2010, 11:23 PM
Wow- Just spent the last 1/2 hour reading this thread.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts. Thanks Alberto for sharing your problem and being so interested in people's replies, some of which are fairly critical. I loved Davis Senseis response about resisting techniques...I'll be thinking about that a lot!

My response if fairly critical too...

Though I sympathize with what I understand are your two main concerns: 1. Some black belts have said that their training isn't working on you and 2. You do not want to "start and stop" in your training. You would rather keep moving, keep adapting, and trying all the techniques in your tool bag.

Hell man, I want to do that too! Rather than spending an hour doing techniques that confuse me and frustrate me, I would rather do the 2 or three that I love doing, and do them from movement rather than static.

Thing is, I'm only a 5th kyu. I don't get to decide how I train. :) My teacher decides that. I think when I have more experience under my belt I will have earned the right to practice how I want before and after class, but not during.

I think you raise some cool questions though ;)

lbb
05-05-2010, 08:33 AM
Hell man, I want to do that too! Rather than spending an hour doing techniques that confuse me and frustrate me, I would rather do the 2 or three that I love doing, and do them from movement rather than static.

Thing is, I'm only a 5th kyu. I don't get to decide how I train. :) My teacher decides that. I think when I have more experience under my belt I will have earned the right to practice how I want before and after class, but not during.

There is also a great deal to be said -- in everything, not just aikido -- for working the most on what you love the least. That doesn't mean that you should pursue things you hate just because you hate them. What it means is that your own aversion often provides a clue that this is something you should delve into a little more deeply. We get frustrated by things that we're not very good at, and we get confused by things that we don't understand, and developing proficiency at a martial art means developing proficiency at many things, not all of which are easy and fun to do. Thus, the "yuck" feeling can be a signal that this is something you really need to buckle down on. Of course, you can't tell this to someone who has already made up his/her mind that the thing in question is worthless. You need to have had the "I hate this, it's dumb" reaction, get yourself past it, and prove to yourself that it's worth working through this reaction, before training this way can become a habit. It's a really good habit, though, I think.

CurtisK
05-05-2010, 11:28 PM
I see this at work, every day life and in the martial arts. New people always know better. They aren't suggesting they know what's best for you or anyone else, but they sure as heck know what's best for them better than you do. I call it the teen-age stage, which doesnt imply teenager, just that the person thinks they know enough so no longer need other to tell them how and they are often in a hurry to do things better-faster-stronger.

For me, I end up learning more if I empty my cup and take as much as I can from what is being taught in the moment. Sure I may get more out of it if everyone was there for me, but they're not. After a while of being patient and trying to understand what is being taught, if I find I'm not getting value for my time, I will spend my time on something else.

Rob Watson
05-05-2010, 11:44 PM
Given your experience, do you think it would be a good idea to ask my dojo if I could practice mostly like that (my previous post in this thread)?

Continuous blending. Till I manage to place the (or at least a) technique. Or would I sound like a dangerous conceited incomprehensible troublesome pupil?
Given your experience.

Flowing (kinonagare) is easy and static is hard (in more ways than one can imagine). Static builds a foundation that permits continued and continuous growth and development - flowing as a foundation does not. That is the Iwama way and I'm finally coming around to find it works pretty good for me as well.

Mark Peckett
05-06-2010, 06:10 AM
I was watching a Morihiro Saito Shihan video the other day on which he said ki-no-nagare techniques should only be practisedby sandan and above. Everyone else should work on getting the basics right.

lbb
05-06-2010, 08:33 AM
I was watching a Morihiro Saito Shihan video the other day on which he said ki-no-nagare techniques should only be practisedby sandan and above. Everyone else should work on getting the basics right.

Sounds a bit like what my sensei says: "You can always speed up a good thing" -- emphasis on the word "good".