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Chicko Xerri
11-22-2010, 04:35 AM
Posture needs improvement.
Why is it that today there are so many pics and video showing high level Aikidoka, Japanese and Westerners with obvious poor posture during the execution of even the most basic of techniques. Understanding of Timing and Distance has obviously been poorly stressed. Where are the teachers,(Shihan) supposedly overseeing and keeping the Foundations of O'sensei in tact. I feel that today some are riding high on the efforts of those true Great Aikido masters of the past.
If I have noticed this obvious trend, others must be seeing the same. Poor posture leads to exaggerations, leading to impurities in the Mind and Body. These impurities are not consistent with Aiki and will effect poor outcomes in the future.

oisin bourke
11-22-2010, 05:57 AM
I can think of three reasons:

Sedentary lifestyles: All day stuck in front of the computer. in the car etc.

The rise in obesity.

Cultural factors. I believe many people, especially in western countries, (unless they have regular access to a high level teacher) aren't even aware of what "good posture is. I certainly wasn't when I started out.

Tim Ruijs
11-23-2010, 02:04 AM
Many do not look beyond the techniques, but get stuck there and sometimes find use in exaggeration to 'progress'. That proper ma-ai, fluent motion and posture are then lost is often disregarded. Or worse, not understood at all.

Working with arms improves many aspects of the Aikidoka amongst which is posture. But I know a fair amount of dojos that never work with arms (tanto excepted)....

The biggest problem is often they simply do not know any better. Their teacher probably does not know any better either (else he'd better make an effort to improve his students, right?).

So how to break this vicious circle....

guest1234567
11-23-2010, 02:13 AM
I only can tell you how we are training, our teacher does almost every day exercises to make our posture stronger, sometimes self defence techniques, ground techniques from jiujitsu, very much legs training doing that uke must move his legs more than usually. All this exercises are complements to normal aikido techniques, and they work, The generall posture of people in our dojo is much stronger comparing it in last seminar for example with people from other dojos. So maybe teachers must not only teach aikido techniques but do some complementary exercises.

miser
11-23-2010, 10:22 AM
I remember in the beginning my sensei always mentioned it if he saw me ending on poor posture, now it's something I check myself for automatically. Once you know what good posture is, it's up to you to consistently check for it. As you improve you might not have to so much, but it's always there.

As for shihans, I've not trained with any that I noticed had poor posture.

kewms
11-23-2010, 10:53 AM
If uke is really attacking, posture defects will reveal themselves pretty quickly.

Katherine

sakumeikan
11-23-2010, 11:09 AM
Poor posture seems to be on the rise.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Posture needs improvement.
Why is it that today there are so many pics and video showing high level Aikidoka, Japanese and Westerners with obvious poor posture during the execution of even the most basic of techniques. Understanding of Timing and Distance has obviously been poorly stressed. Where are the teachers,(Shihan) supposedly overseeing and keeping the Foundations of O'sensei in tact. I feel that today some are riding high on the efforts of those true Great Aikido masters of the past.
If I have noticed this obvious trend, others must be seeing the same. Poor posture leads to exaggerations, leading to impurities in the Mind and Body. These impurities are not consistent with Aiki and will effect poor outcomes in the future.

Hello Chicko,
Would you care to name someone/some teachers [not a beginner ] who
you classify as having poor posture?Most high level? [please define high level] guys I know are ok in most of the elements you mention ie
Posture, Timing , Distancing etc.
Cheers, Joe..

Chicko Xerri
11-23-2010, 06:19 PM
Hello Chicko,
Would you care to name someone/some teachers [not a beginner ] who
you classify as having poor posture?Most high level? [please define high level] guys I know are ok in most of the elements you mention ie
Posture, Timing , Distancing etc.
Cheers, Joe..

Joe I dont want to be rude or impolite or cruel by giving names. But I am noticing High Level even 7 and 8th dan Shihan, Japanese and Western. Name is not necessary, their Image is obvious. People must View and decide for themselves. I am only making an observation that others should be aware of. Kind Regards.

Janet Rosen
11-23-2010, 06:46 PM
Joe I dont want to be rude or impolite or cruel by giving names. But I am noticing High Level even 7 and 8th dan Shihan, Japanese and Western. Name is not necessary, their Image is obvious. People must View and decide for themselves. I am only making an observation that others should be aware of. Kind Regards.

OK, so you've put it out here for the purposes of discussion.... but if you are just wanting to toss out a complaint without having a discussion about the specifics, or some constructive thoughts about how to correct this, why bother to bring it up? I'm genuinely puzzled about your intent.

Chicko Xerri
11-23-2010, 06:59 PM
OK, so you've put it out here for the purposes of discussion.... but if you are just wanting to toss out a complaint without having a discussion about the specifics, or some constructive thoughts about how to correct this, why bother to bring it up? I'm genuinely puzzled about your intent.

If I dont report what I see then others may not become aware. Discussion often distorts the intention of others. We need only observe to to determine how to change ourselves. I have no right to dictate to anyone.
I only need to feel the intent of others with a gentle mind and aim for a possitive outcome.
Best Regards intended.

mathewjgano
11-23-2010, 07:19 PM
We need only observe to to determine how to change ourselves.
Hi Chicko,
I think there's more to it than this or it wouldn't be an issue.
I can understand not wanting to use names. Perhaps we should discuss what constitues good posture as well as, perhaps, what you're specifically noticing.
I know I personally have some bad postural habits from driving and sitting at a computer so much. It's always interesting to me how much better I feel when I focus on better posture (which to me means extending up through the crown and down through the perinium, with knees slightly bent during standing). What do you tend to focus on to achieve good posture?

dps
11-23-2010, 07:35 PM
Bad posture equals bad balance equals bad movement equals bad Aikido.

Example of good posture.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPhG6XA2fL8

dps

kewms
11-23-2010, 08:37 PM
If I dont report what I see then others may not become aware. Discussion often distorts the intention of others.

Poor posture is pretty obvious to anyone who cares to look closely. It's even more obvious if uke attacks with intent. If a senior instructor's students are not encouraged to attack with intent, then that instructor has more problems than just his posture, and should probably be avoided.

Katherine

Mark Peckett
11-24-2010, 04:41 AM
One of my t'ai chi teachers said to regard your legs and pelvis as a table, and your upper body as a vase filled with water; in most cases, it is important not to spill the water!

sakumeikan
11-24-2010, 06:48 PM
Poor posture is pretty obvious to anyone who cares to look closely. It's even more obvious if uke attacks with intent. If a senior instructor's students are not encouraged to attack with intent, then that instructor has more problems than just his posture, and should probably be avoided.

Katherine

Poor posture may well be easy to spot in lower ranks but Chicko is claiming to observe poor p[osture within the Shihan level .While I havent met all of the 7th Dan Shihan over a 40 year plus of Aikido training with Aikikai Shihan[I wont bore you with names suffice to say these were/are reputable teachers] I must say I saw no evidence which supports Chickos assertion that bad posture is prevalent amongst 7th dan Shihan.
Maybe there is an odd old timer,who may not be as willow like as in his youth but even these guys are good for their age.
A few million ukemis does have tendency to make you shuffle after being hammered over a period of time.Not counting the normal wear and tear of everyday life.
Maybe in my youth I leapt around like Errol Flynn,with wonderful posture[I wish] now I
move more like a zombie.[Just joking!!]
Joe.

guest1234567
11-25-2010, 02:04 AM
The two 7th Dan Shihan I know and went to their seminars, have a very strong posture. I didn't observe any Shihan with a poor posture, Anyway you cannot believe anybody has a poor posture only from viewing a video, you can say it if you trained with that shihan and verify it by yourself.

Dazzler
11-25-2010, 05:39 AM
, Anyway you cannot believe anybody has a poor posture only from viewing a video,.

I disagree here Carina. I trust my own eyes.

SeiserL
11-25-2010, 06:15 AM
While I cannot prove/disprove a personal observation and generalization, I would certainly agree that posture/structure/alignment is important and something we all need to be mindful of.

Tim Ruijs
11-25-2010, 06:25 AM
We need only observe to to determine how to change ourselves.
Very true indeed. But it demands the observer to be true to himself and obviously make the observation in the first place ;)

guest1234567
11-25-2010, 06:31 AM
I disagree here Carina. I trust my own eyes.

do you have an example?

sakumeikan
11-25-2010, 06:53 AM
While I cannot prove/disprove a personal observation and generalization, I would certainly agree that posture/structure/alignment is important and something we all need to be mindful of.

Mr Seiser,
Very well said. A posture which stable, well balanced is extremely important.While you must maintain fluidity of movement, a sense of being rooted like tree is very important.Rather than use upper body strength throw/pin Uke [a common fault ] Tori ideally should generate power by using the lower hip region and keeping the feet firmly planted on the mat especially the rear leg.A bit like the type of application of power if you ever have to push a car with a flat battery in a bump start.
Cheers, Joe.

Dazzler
11-25-2010, 06:58 AM
do you have an example? This morning when I looked out of the window it seemed to be frosty. When I went outside it was cold and there was as I suspected ice on my car....
so I was right to trust my eyes.

sakumeikan
11-25-2010, 09:17 AM
This morning when I looked out of the window it seemed to be frosty. When I went outside it was cold and there was as I suspected ice on my car....
so I was right to trust my eyes.
Hi Dazzler,
I bet you flummoxed the guy who asked for an example of your awareness /observational skills by sending him this reply.Your answer is short /accurate and to the point.No metaphysical crap involved.What a shame.Funny my observations today match yours[ maybe there is some psychic connection /telepathic communication taking place?Or is it simply the fact that there is 4 inches of snow in each of our neighbourhoods
Cheers, Joe.

Dazzler
11-25-2010, 09:38 AM
Hi Dazzler,
I bet you flummoxed the guy who asked for an example of your awareness /observational skills by sending him this reply.Your answer is short /accurate and to the point.No metaphysical crap involved.What a shame.Funny my observations today match yours[ maybe there is some psychic connection /telepathic communication taking place?Or is it simply the fact that there is 4 inches of snow in each of our neighbourhoods
Cheers, Joe.

Hi Joe

Was just trying to be humorous really..I think most people that have been around a little while can see poor posture even more so in a video than in a photograph.

This chap for instance has seriously compromised his Shisei....

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/Reviews/hunchback_of_notre_dame.htm

D

Michael Hackett
11-25-2010, 09:43 AM
But he did move from the hara to perform his daily tasks.......

Dazzler
11-25-2010, 09:45 AM
But he did move from the hara to perform his daily tasks.......
:D

guest1234567
11-25-2010, 12:50 PM
This morning when I looked out of the window it seemed to be frosty. When I went outside it was cold and there was as I suspected ice on my car....
so I was right to trust my eyes.
We are talking about a video you viewed of a shihan in a poor posture;)

sakumeikan
11-25-2010, 06:14 PM
Hi Joe

Was just trying to be humorous really..I think most people that have been around a little while can see poor posture even more so in a video than in a photograph.

This chap for instance has seriously compromised his Shisei....

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/Reviews/hunchback_of_notre_dame.htm

D

I have met a few bell ringers in my day but Quasimodo [Charles Laughton ]takes the biscuit.Having said that I have a hunch old Quassy could roll pretty well.Maybe Quassy could send himself to sleep rocking back and forth?Great movie , tremendous performance by Mr Laughton. Cheers, Joe.
Ps Should the Hollywood moguls fancy a remake of the movie I am available [ anything for crust of bread].

Eric Joyce
11-25-2010, 07:56 PM
Posture needs improvement.
Why is it that today there are so many pics and video showing high level Aikidoka, Japanese and Westerners with obvious poor posture during the execution of even the most basic of techniques. Understanding of Timing and Distance has obviously been poorly stressed. Where are the teachers,(Shihan) supposedly overseeing and keeping the Foundations of O'sensei in tact. I feel that today some are riding high on the efforts of those true Great Aikido masters of the past.
If I have noticed this obvious trend, others must be seeing the same. Poor posture leads to exaggerations, leading to impurities in the Mind and Body. These impurities are not consistent with Aiki and will effect poor outcomes in the future.

I can't speak for other Aikido organizations, but as a former Yoshinkan Aikido practioner, I never saw that problem in the Yoshinkan ranks. It was ingrained in us from the beginning. If your technique sucked, it usually could be traced back to bad posture while executing the basic technique.

Carsten Möllering
11-26-2010, 02:03 AM
I'm quite not sure what this thread is about?
No examples, no explanations about what does that mean: "poor posture"? No discussion about what "good posture" should be?
What or whom are we talking about?

Just hanmi is explained and taught in different ways by different teachers: Feet wide apart, feet near together. Stand deep, don't stand so deep. Different positions and angles of the feet ... How and where should your arms be? ... Hands open or relaxed?
What ist that: "Poor posture"?

Sometimes on the internet I found commentaries of videos showing Endo sensei.
"No ma ai" one said. "Lots of suki" i read. And - I remember, but don't find it now - "poor posture".

Maybe the poster meant "pure"?

guest1234567
11-26-2010, 02:06 AM
Maybe the poster meant "pure"?

Right

Dazzler
11-26-2010, 03:27 AM
We are talking about a video you viewed of a shihan in a poor posture;)

Really ? Could you show me where I said such a thing?

guest1234567
11-26-2010, 03:57 AM
I disagree here Carina. I trust my own eyes.

I asked for an example and the thread is about poor postures of shihans. Pls answer

Dazzler
11-26-2010, 04:18 AM
I asked for an example and the thread is about poor postures of shihans. Pls answer

errrr ...my reply was specifically to your statement that you cannot detect poor posture from a video. If you take the trouble to revisit you will see this is quite clear.

If you want evidence of poor posture of Shihans please ask the OP.

guest1234567
11-26-2010, 04:40 AM
The two 7th Dan Shihan I know and went to their seminars, have a very strong posture. I didn't observe any Shihan with a poor posture, Anyway you cannot believe anybody has a poor posture only from viewing a video, you can say it if you trained with that shihan and verify it by yourself.
That is what I posted and you said
[QUOTE=Daren Sims wrote:
I disagree here Carina. I trust my own eyes..[/QUOTE]
Maybe it was a mistake. I repeat you cannot tell any Shihan has a poor posture only viewing a video.
And I think it is very poor people talking about shihans poor postures in general

Dazzler
11-26-2010, 04:57 AM
That is what I posted and you said

Maybe it was a mistake. I repeat you cannot tell any Shihan has a poor posture only viewing a video.
And I think it is very poor people talking about shihans poor postures in general

you seem to have omitted the fact that I specifically cut and pasted this bit

, Anyway you cannot believe anybody has a poor posture only from viewing a video,.

It is quite relevant to my post.

So to clarify ...

I disagree with this statement that poor posture cannot be detected in viewing a video...however I can see that this may be true for you.

I am making no claims about witnessing poor posture from Shihans, at no stage have I...

You do seem to have misunderstood...which is fine, it happens, lets move on and those that wish to dig deeper into poorly postured Shihans can continue.

If you need to discuss further whether poor posture can be detected in video or not maybe a new thread could be started.

David Orange
11-26-2010, 09:44 AM
Why is it that today there are so many pics and video showing high level Aikidoka, Japanese and Westerners with obvious poor posture during the execution of even the most basic of techniques. Understanding of Timing and Distance has obviously been poorly stressed. Where are the teachers,(Shihan) supposedly overseeing and keeping the Foundations of O'sensei in tact.

Chicko,

Interesting that you should bring this up. It's something I was struck by recently in watching some videos on YouTube. The instructor is apparently at least 5th dan, an American, with a lot of students and he shows himself doing various techniques. But I was amazed to see that he has really bad posture.

He does the thing where he throws uke and uke gets up and instantly reattacks, gets thrown, gets back up and reattacks and gets thrown, over and over.

But in each case, from the very beginning and through every technique, the guy is bent forward at the waist--as if anticipating the attack and trying to be "in", already, before he starts moving. This was a bad habit that I always pointed out to students in Japan. One fellow had that very bad habit of leaning forward while waiting for the attack. You could make him fall over with a good feint, though he was pretty good with most of the techniques, otherwise. And that satisfied him enough that he never worried about this fundamental flaw in all his techniques.

I watched a number of YouTube clips from the American teacher mentioned above and just couldn't believe it. The teacher does have a pretty broad technical repertoire, but with his posture so strange, he has to use a lot of physical power to effect his techniques. I'm sure he'd say he's not using strength, but he has to be using a lot of strength just to keep from falling over. If he weren't obviously a very strong guy, he couldn't do the techniques at all in that fashion.

I thought about posting a comment on an aikiweb thread or sending the guy a PM, but I just sensed that he would not take it well. So I decided to chime in here.

The fact is, if you're not standing stock-still and absolutely upright when the attack comes, you're telegraphing your intent and seriously limiting your options for movement, making yourself vulnerable to a feint: you're so committed to moving in a certain way that if uke doesn't follow through with the attack, you can't help continuing with your own move, and then he can clock you.

I appreciate your bringing this up. It's one of the most important considerations in aikido.

Best to you.

David

David Orange
11-26-2010, 09:51 AM
Maybe there is an odd old timer,who may not be as willow like as in his youth but even these guys are good for their age.

One of the best I ever knew was in his eighties last time I saw him, a tiny guy, who stood straight as a post and was still faster than anyone else I knew. He had eyes like a hawk and could scare you by looking at you, though he was a really funny guy most of the time. And he participated in randori and took ukemi for sutemi waza time after time without ever seeming to tire in the least.

Standing up straight (in the natural way--not forced) removes a lot of load. If you're doing a lot of hard work, but you're also having to compensate for a bent posture, you won't last nearly as long as doing the same work with erect posture. It takes the load off.

Best wishes.

David

David Orange
11-26-2010, 09:53 AM
We need only observe to to determine how to change ourselves.
Very true indeed. But it demands the observer to be true to himself and obviously make the observation in the first place ;)

Excellent point. This is where Feldenkrais training is exceptionally valuable.

Best wishes.

David

David Orange
11-26-2010, 09:58 AM
I'm quite not sure what this thread is about?
No examples, no explanations about what does that mean: "poor posture"? No discussion about what "good posture" should be?
What or whom are we talking about?

Look at the Chinese 6 Harmonies: prime is "shoulders harmonize with hips."

If your shoulders are not directly over your hips, you have to use extra muscle somewhere to counteract the gravitational pull that wants to bring you down. Head and shoulders in front of the hip, head and shoulders behind the hips, or to either side, is the number one manifestation of "poor posture".

Best to you.

David

David Orange
11-26-2010, 10:01 AM
That is what I posted and you said

Maybe it was a mistake. I repeat you cannot tell any Shihan has a poor posture only viewing a video.
And I think it is very poor people talking about shihans poor postures in general

I can't think of any "shihan"--especially Japanese--who shows poor posture, but if someone has poor posture, it is abundantly clear in any video of their technique, as I mentioned in my first post above.

Best to you.

David

sakumeikan
11-26-2010, 10:03 AM
Chicko,

Interesting that you should bring this up. It's something I was struck by recently in watching some videos on YouTube. The instructor is apparently at least 5th dan, an American, with a lot of students and he shows himself doing various techniques. But I was amazed to see that he has really bad posture.

He does the thing where he throws uke and uke gets up and instantly reattacks, gets thrown, gets back up and reattacks and gets thrown, over and over.

But in each case, from the very beginning and through every technique, the guy is bent forward at the waist--as if anticipating the attack and trying to be "in", already, before he starts moving. This was a bad habit that I always pointed out to students in Japan. One fellow had that very bad habit of leaning forward while waiting for the attack. You could make him fall over with a good feint, though he was pretty good with most of the techniques, otherwise. And that satisfied him enough that he never worried about this fundamental flaw in all his techniques.

I watched a number of YouTube clips from the American teacher mentioned above and just couldn't believe it. The teacher does have a pretty broad technical repertoire, but with his posture so strange, he has to use a lot of physical power to effect his techniques. I'm sure he'd say he's not using strength, but he has to be using a lot of strength just to keep from falling over. If he weren't obviously a very strong guy, he couldn't do the techniques at all in that fashion.

I thought about posting a comment on an aikiweb thread or sending the guy a PM, but I just sensed that he would not take it well. So I decided to chime in here.

The fact is, if you're not standing stock-still and absolutely upright when the attack comes, you're telegraphing your intent and seriously limiting your options for movement, making yourself vulnerable to a feint: you're so committed to moving in a certain way that if uke doesn't follow through with the attack, you can't help continuing with your own move, and then he can clock you.

I appreciate your bringing this up. It's one of the most important considerations in aikido.

Best to you.

DavidHi David
Why would anyone want to stand stock still and wait for some attack?This is stupid.By standing stock still the opponent has the possible upper hand.Ideally one should use the sen sen no sen timing , rather than the go no sen timing.Surely a pre emptive strike or course of action which neutralises the attack[whether by irimi or tenkan] is a better choice than waiting for uke to hit you.?Of course we can also use sen no sen timing [when both parties move at the the moment.This is also better than Go No sen timing.I see nothing wrong in overwhelming /stifling the potential attack from Uke.This I think is what this Sensei is doing .Since you do not say who the Sensei is [P.M.me with You tube details]. I cannot state my views of what you see.
My view if aikido is that you must always be be willing to move forward when required .Even if you step back or tenkan you must do this in a positive manner.Retreat is not defeat.
Cheers, Joe.

sakumeikan
11-26-2010, 10:17 AM
One of the best I ever knew was in his eighties last time I saw him, a tiny guy, who stood straight as a post and was still faster than anyone else I knew. He had eyes like a hawk and could scare you by looking at you, though he was a really funny guy most of the time. And he participated in randori and took ukemi for sutemi waza time after time without ever seeming to tire in the least.

Standing up straight (in the natural way--not forced) removes a lot of load. If you're doing a lot of hard work, but you're also having to compensate for a bent posture, you won't last nearly as long as doing the same work with erect posture. It takes the load off.

Best wishes.

David

Hi david,

Some examples of mature Shihan who have /had excellent posture most of whom I have trained with in no particular order:
Nidai Doshu/ Senseis Chiba ,Tamura/Tada /Akira Tohei/Yamaguchi/ Sugano/Yamada/ Sekiya/Saito/Gloria Nomura.Just a few names , everyone of them have /had excellent posture.All of them at least 70 years of age .Some of them of course sad to say no longer with us.
Cheers,Joe.

Dazzler
11-26-2010, 10:17 AM
Look at the Chinese 6 Harmonies: prime is "shoulders harmonize with hips."

If your shoulders are not directly over your hips, you have to use extra muscle somewhere to counteract the gravitational pull that wants to bring you down. Head and shoulders in front of the hip, head and shoulders behind the hips, or to either side, is the number one manifestation of "poor posture".

Best to you.

David

Not personally familiar with Chinese harmonies (apart from the kitchen staff singing as they prepare my late night food in the local 'Rising Sun' takeaway) but this all seems to fit the sort of thing I see as good posture.

Aligment of the spine, head, musculature and legs down to the ground to create a single co-ordinated unit for delivery or absorption of force.

I'm sure there are others that can put it much more eloquently than myself. ...If there aren't then that will be a notable first !

As a fairly up to date source of reference for this I personally found 'Centre - the power of Aikido' (Mark Reeder) quite useful and refreshingly devoid of overly obscure oriental mysticism.

Think he even posts here occasionally.

Regards

D

David Orange
11-26-2010, 10:25 AM
Hi David
Why would anyone want to stand stock still and wait for some attack?This is stupid.

You stand stock still and perfectly upright to give the uke an unmistakable and perfect target to which he can fully commit with pure confidence and power.

Also, when you're not moving, yourself, you can better observe how the attacker is moving.

Once he crosses ma-ai, however, you move instantly and in whichever direction is most suitable to destroy the attack.

The advantage of beginning from upright stillness is that you move without leaning. You can move either forward, backward, to the side or any angle--which you cannot do if you're already leaning (or moving) in one direction.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-U_z-ujlhA

By standing stock still the opponent has the possible upper hand.

Yes. You want him to feel without doubt that he has the powerful upper hand. And when he attacks, you need move only a little to destroy his balance.

Remember when Tadashi Abe met Minoru Mochizuki:

"...he asked me whether or not aikido was really useful for fighting. When I replied that aikido was very useful not only for fights but also in times of war, he said my answer didn't convince him. So I suggested that he attack me and stood there telling him to come anyway he wanted. He asked me to adopt a ready stance. I told him:

"Don't say unnecessary things. There is no way for someone to defeat his enemy if he tells him what to do. Attack me as you like!"

Abe still mumbled: "Sensei, can I really strike you? Strange… You have openings everywhere…" Then he took a stance and suddenly came straight in. I dodged the blow and kicked him with my leg. He groaned and fell. I applied a resuscitation technique and massaged him."

So, sure, give the opponent the upper hand and offer to light his cigar for him, as well. He will see that you are full of openings and it will encourage him, but it will also seem uncomfortably strange to him, affecting him subconsciously to your advantage.

Ideally one should use the sen sen no sen timing , rather than the go no sen timing.

Standing stock still and upright is the essence of sen sen no sen.

Surely a pre emptive strike or course of action which neutralises the attack[whether by irimi or tenkan] is a better choice than waiting for uke to hit you.?

I hope by now you see that I don't mean "waiting for uke to hit you," but when you look at the clip with Kondo and Takeda Tokimune, you can see that upright stilllness does not preclude preemptive strikes. Trying to go to uke to deliver such a strike makes you the uke.

Of course we can also use sen no sen timing [when both parties move at the the moment.This is also better than Go No sen timing.I see nothing wrong in overwhelming /stifling the potential attack from Uke.This I think is what this Sensei is doing .

It's clear that the sensei in question also believes that, but his demos look nothing like Takeda's or Kondo's.

My view if aikido is that you must always be be willing to move forward when required .Even if you step back or tenkan you must do this in a positive manner.Retreat is not defeat.

But you only have the option to move in any direction if you have not already committed to moving in one direction. You can only move in all directions from stillness. Otherwise, you have to stop, change direction, and start moving again.

Best to you.

David

David Orange
11-26-2010, 10:39 AM
Some examples of mature Shihan who have /had excellent posture most of whom I have trained with in no particular order:
Nidai Doshu/ Senseis Chiba ,Tamura/Tada /Akira Tohei/Yamaguchi/ Sugano/Yamada/ Sekiya/Saito/Gloria Nomura.Just a few names , everyone of them have /had excellent posture.All of them at least 70 years of age .Some of them of course sad to say no longer with us.

I did have the pleasure of training once with Sugano Sensei, but most of my experience was with Minoru Mochizuki and the Shihans (and students) at his yoseikan hombu. All those Shihans had excellent posture and movement.

Of course, once the action (randori) starts, it's hard to spot motionlessness, but all those guys ruled through a mixture of upright stillness and precise, sudden action.

And though it's not always obvious here, judo master Kyuzo Mifune (my teacher's teacher) has both perfect uprightness and stillness in the midst of fluent and decisive action. And that is what allowed him to be "effortless":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ye5DC7sVTw&feature=related

Of course, this is judo, with rules, etc., but the same principles apply to sword and to aikido, as Mochizuki Sensei demonstrated for Tadashi Abe.

Best to you.

David

David Orange
11-26-2010, 10:47 AM
Aligment of the spine, head, musculature and legs down to the ground to create a single co-ordinated unit for delivery or absorption of force.

I'm sure there are others that can put it much more eloquently than myself. ...If there aren't then that will be a notable first !

Maybe not the first, but I'd say absolutely correct.

Anyway, I think one of the best ways to develop this is Minoru Akuzawa's Aunkai training. It develops hyper-sensitivity to uprightness, from a deep squat to full standing. Excellent material there and excellent instruction.

Best to you.

David

sakumeikan
11-26-2010, 11:09 AM
I did have the pleasure of training once with Sugano Sensei, but most of my experience was with Minoru Mochizuki and the Shihans (and students) at his yoseikan hombu. All those Shihans had excellent posture and movement.

Of course, once the action (randori) starts, it's hard to spot motionlessness, but all those guys ruled through a mixture of upright stillness and precise, sudden action.

And though it's not always obvious here, judo master Kyuzo Mifune (my teacher's teacher) has both perfect uprightness and stillness in the midst of fluent and decisive action. And that is what allowed him to be "effortless":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ye5DC7sVTw&feature=related

Of course, this is judo, with rules, etc., but the same principles apply to sword and to aikido, as Mochizuki Sensei demonstrated for Tadashi Abe.

Best to you.

David
Dear David,
Thanks for your comments.Initially my thoughts were that you were suggesting that as Tori you should stand in front of uke like a rabbit caught in the glare of headlights.My thoughts are that you have to be aware and take whatever steps neutralise the attack of the uke.This might me stepping in or turning.Its a matter of timing , reading the situations etc.
As an ex judoka having trained with Anton Geesink, Kenshiro Abbe, George Kerr/Saburo Matsushita and many others I
can appreciate fluent , decisive action, but in Shiai the postures of some judoka [not these men listed] at times can be poor[ Modern Judo has lots of jigotai , stiff arms and negative play.In the early 60s Russian judoka were usually crouched over [possibly influenced by Sambo training].
I am a great admirer of Mifune Sensei.I also think highly of Kenshiro Abbe .In fact Abbe Sensei was the first person I saw in Aikido.See Henry Ellis Website.
Certainly in Kendo [which I dabbled in ] requires a fairly upright stance.Batto Ho again requires relaxed shoulders, good posture.
Cheers, Joe

David Orange
11-26-2010, 11:51 AM
Initially my thoughts were that you were suggesting that as Tori you should stand in front of uke like a rabbit caught in the glare of headlights.

That's what you want the attacker to think. Yet, when he sees your calm, empty face, he will have subconscious doubts that will weaken his ability to attack.

My thoughts are that you have to be aware and take whatever steps neutralise the attack of the uke.This might me stepping in or turning.Its a matter of timing , reading the situations etc.

Exactly. And I think you have to be centered and still within, upright and steady, to be able to act freely.

As an ex judoka having trained with Anton Geesink, Kenshiro Abbe, George Kerr/Saburo Matsushita and many others I can appreciate fluent , decisive action, but in Shiai the postures of some judoka [not these men listed] at times can be poor[ Modern Judo has lots of jigotai , stiff arms and negative play.In the early 60s Russian judoka were usually crouched over [possibly influenced by Sambo training].

Mochizuki Sensei had plenty of criticism of modern judo and he felt that the introduction of weight classes and entry to the Olympics pretty well destroyed the meaning of the art. So we have to look way back to Mifune to see the kind of judo Mochizuki Sensei promoted. Of course, Kenshiro Abbe was a judo man, as well, wasn't he? I'm sure he was exemplary of that same spirit and technique.

I am a great admirer of Mifune Sensei.I also think highly of Kenshiro Abbe .In fact Abbe Sensei was the first person I saw in Aikido.See Henry Ellis Website.

Great beginning. I think we now see eye-to-eye.

Best to you.

David

sakumeikan
11-27-2010, 03:22 AM
That's what you want the attacker to think. Yet, when he sees your calm, empty face, he will have subconscious doubts that will weaken his ability to attack.

Exactly. And I think you have to be centered and still within, upright and steady, to be able to act freely.

Mochizuki Sensei had plenty of criticism of modern judo and he felt that the introduction of weight classes and entry to the Olympics pretty well destroyed the meaning of the art. So we have to look way back to Mifune to see the kind of judo Mochizuki Sensei promoted. Of course, Kenshiro Abbe was a judo man, as well, wasn't he? I'm sure he was exemplary of that same spirit and technique.

Great beginning. I think we now see eye-to-eye.

Best to you.

David

Dear David,
I consider Kenshiro Abbe 8th Dan , Founder of Kyu Shin Do possibly one if not the greatest Budo master ever.He was not a big man but his aikido/judo skills were /are legendary.Sad to say he is only remenbered here in the U,K by people such as Henry Ellis/Derek Eastman , Bob Thomas, and some old time Judo/Aikidoka.I once participated in an event with Abbe Sensei where Abbe Sensei took on a long line of Dan grades in Judo , some tough guys, and bounced all with a variety of waza within minutes and without breaking sweat.

sakumeikan
11-27-2010, 03:23 AM
That's what you want the attacker to think. Yet, when he sees your calm, empty face, he will have subconscious doubts that will weaken his ability to attack.

Exactly. And I think you have to be centered and still within, upright and steady, to be able to act freely.

Mochizuki Sensei had plenty of criticism of modern judo and he felt that the introduction of weight classes and entry to the Olympics pretty well destroyed the meaning of the art. So we have to look way back to Mifune to see the kind of judo Mochizuki Sensei promoted. Of course, Kenshiro Abbe was a judo man, as well, wasn't he? I'm sure he was exemplary of that same spirit and technique.

Great beginning. I think we now see eye-to-eye.

Best to you.

David

Dear David,
I consider Kenshiro Abbe 8th Dan , Founder of Kyu Shin Do possibly one if not the greatest Budo master ever.He was not a big man but his aikido/judo skills were /are legendary.Sad to say he is only remenbered here in the U,K by people such as Henry Ellis/Derek Eastman , Bob Thomas, and some old time Judo/Aikidoka.I once participated in an event with Abbe Sensei where Abbe Sensei took on a long line of Dan grades in Judo , some tough guys, and bounced all with a variety of waza within minutes and without breaking sweat.

ruthmc
11-27-2010, 04:37 AM
Hi Joe & David,

Interesting discussion about how tori should appear prior to uke's attack :)

In my experience, I find that if tori does not leave an opening, then uke has no reason to attack. He attacks because he is told to do so by Sensei, and so his attack tends to lack focus, direction and intent (and therefore power).

Having a strong defensive posture which allows no openings is appropriate for boxing or wrestling, but I'm not so sure this applies to Aikido. Even in Judo one must feint an opening to allow the opponent to commit his energy to you, and allow you to throw him..

Perhaps this is the true reason why people complain about uke not attacking them 'properly'?

I find the worst offences tend to occur during weapons partner practise - uke is told to attack tori a certain way, while tori has the attacking area covered by his bokken or jo. Why should uke attack?

I learned from Haydn Foster Sensei (another of Abbe Sensei's first students) to 'invite' uke to attack by leaving an opening, so I agree with David that standing in a normal, upright and non-threatening posture with the chest open is the best way to achieve this. Being relaxed also allows one to respond with far greater speed :)

Apologies if this has drifted off the original subject a bit!

Ruth

sakumeikan
11-27-2010, 06:02 AM
Hi Joe & David,

Interesting discussion about how tori should appear prior to uke's attack :)

In my experience, I find that if tori does not leave an opening, then uke has no reason to attack. He attacks because he is told to do so by Sensei, and so his attack tends to lack focus, direction and intent (and therefore power).

Having a strong defensive posture which allows no openings is appropriate for boxing or wrestling, but I'm not so sure this applies to Aikido. Even in Judo one must feint an opening to allow the opponent to commit his energy to you, and allow you to throw him..

Perhaps this is the true reason why people complain about uke not attacking them 'properly'?

I find the worst offences tend to occur during weapons partner practise - uke is told to attack tori a certain way, while tori has the attacking area covered by his bokken or jo. Why should uke attack?

I learned from Haydn Foster Sensei (another of Abbe Sensei's first students) to 'invite' uke to attack by leaving an opening, so I agree with David that standing in a normal, upright and non-threatening posture with the chest open is the best way to achieve this. Being relaxed also allows one to respond with far greater speed :)

Apologies if this has drifted off the original subject a bit!

Ruth
Dear Ruth,
Thanks for your input.Mr Foster is a good friend of mine.
We both go back a long way.
To follow up from your points no would be attacker launch an attack against anyone who shows no openings[mental /physical ].Any tori who understands the way to lead a persons mind/body will momentarily leave an opening then by doing so uke will attack.Having 'lured' the attacker into a position which tori has already ascertained before the attack was launched, it becomes easy for tori to take action against the uke.This is Ki Musubi at work.True masters of this aspect of Aikido , utilising the concept of Path Of an Echo already 'know ' what uke is planning to do .
This training of Ki Musubi /Path of an Echo is very subtle and in my view pretty difficult to acquire , even after years of training.
If you study or investigate articles related to late Sekiya Sensei [Chiba Sensei 's father in law] you get an insight into the concept .
Posture in itself is not the full answer .Ones mental attitude has to come into the equation.In fact the mental aspect may well be more important than how well you stand.
Winning without fighting or without direct conflict with the opponent is without doubt the best method to resolve physical or any other conflict.
As far as Judo is concerned this idea of deliberately leaving an opening is normal.A bit like Chess with muscles.
Best Wishes, Joe.

kewms
11-27-2010, 11:42 AM
Poor posture may well be easy to spot in lower ranks but Chicko is claiming to observe poor p[osture within the Shihan level .While I havent met all of the 7th Dan Shihan over a 40 year plus of Aikido training with Aikikai Shihan[I wont bore you with names suffice to say these were/are reputable teachers] I must say I saw no evidence which supports Chickos assertion that bad posture is prevalent amongst 7th dan Shihan.


Oh, I agree. My point was that posture is so fundamental that even a shihan is unlikely to be able to get away with postural defects, provided his ukes are reasonably skilled and attacking sincerely.

Katherine

kewms
11-27-2010, 11:51 AM
The fact is, if you're not standing stock-still and absolutely upright when the attack comes, you're telegraphing your intent and seriously limiting your options for movement, making yourself vulnerable to a feint: you're so committed to moving in a certain way that if uke doesn't follow through with the attack, you can't help continuing with your own move, and then he can clock you.


Seriously? Have you ever watched boxers? MMA guys? They bounce all over the place.

In my own training, standing still when the attack comes is beginner level. At more advanced levels, the idea is to move after the attacker is committed, but before he actually reaches you with all his power. Certainly moving too soon is bad, but so is moving too late.

Katherine

Tony Wagstaffe
11-27-2010, 01:39 PM
Nothing a few months of intense isometrics won't sort out!!!!:D ;) :rolleyes:

David Orange
11-27-2010, 02:22 PM
Dear David,
I consider Kenshiro Abbe 8th Dan , Founder of Kyu Shin Do possibly one if not the greatest Budo master ever.He was not a big man but his aikido/judo skills were /are legendary.Sad to say he is only remenbered here in the U,K by people such as Henry Ellis/Derek Eastman , Bob Thomas, and some old time Judo/Aikidoka.I once participated in an event with Abbe Sensei where Abbe Sensei took on a long line of Dan grades in Judo , some tough guys, and bounced all with a variety of waza within minutes and without breaking sweat.

All those little Japanese guys who came to the West and stayed a long time, taking on all comers were phenomenal. Thanks to the fellows you mention above, such names as Kenshiro Abbe have gained broad fame. It's a great legacy you gentlemen hold.

Best wishes.

David

David Orange
11-27-2010, 02:31 PM
Having a strong defensive posture which allows no openings is appropriate for boxing or wrestling, but I'm not so sure this applies to Aikido.

Any stance we take sends a message to the attacker and can be interpreted by witnesses as your threatening the other guy, forcing him to attack. But if you stand completely open, showing no threat, no defense and complete openness, any witness would have to say that you were "just standing there" when the other guy attacked.

Also, "taking a stance" is part of the transaction of escalating opposition into conflict. He postures at you, he expects you to posture back at him, which is what you do if you take any kind of stance. Also, it gives him a clue as to what you will do.

Standing upright without moving shows the opponent many openings, but gives no clue. He postures at you, but when you don't posture back at him, it's like he's dropped a rock into a well and heard no splash at the bottom. This affects his mental state at least subconsciously, which is probably more desirable than his consciously noticing that he heard no bottom.

I find the worst offences tend to occur during weapons partner practise - uke is told to attack tori a certain way, while tori has the attacking area covered by his bokken or jo. Why should uke attack?

Exactly.

I learned from Haydn Foster Sensei (another of Abbe Sensei's first students) to 'invite' uke to attack by leaving an opening, so I agree with David that standing in a normal, upright and non-threatening posture with the chest open is the best way to achieve this. Being relaxed also allows one to respond with far greater speed :)


Great points.

Thanks.

David

David Orange
11-27-2010, 02:41 PM
Seriously? Have you ever watched boxers? MMA guys? They bounce all over the place.

Yeah. Those are not aikido. They are not designed to complement the Japanese sword.

In my own training, standing still when the attack comes is beginner level. At more advanced levels, the idea is to move after the attacker is committed, but before he actually reaches you with all his power. Certainly moving too soon is bad, but so is moving too late.

Yeah. See Joe Curran's post #48.

If you can't first master standing and giving no clue of your intentions, you can't effectively lead the attacker's movement with your own movement and you can't properly intercept/neutralize his movement.

In the roots of yoseikan teaching in the US, we had the concept that the attacker first locks his mind onto the target, then his ki follows the mind. Then his body attacks the target. We learned to move in the instant between his "locking on" with his ki but before following with his body. Our movement blended with his movement and turned his body sharply, effectively separating his body from his ki, and giving his mind a completely new perspective to figure out before he can re-coordinate his ki with his new physical position, though we would throw him before that could happen. But you first had to give him a perfect target so that he could commit fully and attack with confidence. He can't do that if you're bouncing around.

Think of it this way: if you stand completely still, the attacker must attack you exactly there and nowhere else. But when he attacks, you are somewhere else.

Best wishes.

David

Anthony Loeppert
11-27-2010, 06:11 PM
Think of it this way: if you stand completely still, the attacker must attack you exactly there and nowhere else. But when he attacks, you are somewhere else.


Neat way of articulating your point of view. Sold! ...Until someone does a better job (imo, obviously) on any opposing perspective. :D

kewms
11-27-2010, 07:26 PM
In the roots of yoseikan teaching in the US, we had the concept that the attacker first locks his mind onto the target, then his ki follows the mind. Then his body attacks the target. We learned to move in the instant between his "locking on" with his ki but before following with his body. Our movement blended with his movement and turned his body sharply, effectively separating his body from his ki, and giving his mind a completely new perspective to figure out before he can re-coordinate his ki with his new physical position, though we would throw him before that could happen. But you first had to give him a perfect target so that he could commit fully and attack with confidence. He can't do that if you're bouncing around.

Think of it this way: if you stand completely still, the attacker must attack you exactly there and nowhere else. But when he attacks, you are somewhere else.

Ok, sure. Different phrasing, but the same thing we do. Never mind. :D

Katherine

Janet Rosen
11-27-2010, 07:29 PM
I think a lot of this is situational and depends on what is being taught in a given class and why.
We teach newbies to offer the opening appropriate for the called upon attack, for instance one shoulder slightly ahead in hamni for uke to grab in katatori, and if they are new to martial arts investigate the relative distances and merits/problems with going same side grab vs cross hand grab, for the front shoulder vs for the rear shoulder. Later on it may be ok to stand in a more neutral posture, making uke decide which side looks more open - though my strong preference as nage is to take the initiative by offering the target.
But we never teach them to root in place and wait for the grab to reach them; we teach them to keep soft eyes, awareness of ma'ai, and (hopefully) move as soon as they see uke's center move.

mickeygelum
11-27-2010, 07:44 PM
I think a lot of this is situational and depends on what is being taught in a given class and why

Wrong. What you are attempting to describe is rote memorization of technique.

Anyone ever hear of " Mushin, Mugamae" ?

I did not think so, or some you would not just now be realizing this?

Janet Rosen
11-27-2010, 09:02 PM
Wrong. What you are attempting to describe is rote memorization of technique.

How do you teach your beginners if not by some form of rote memorization of the idealized form of both nagewaza and ukewaza?

Mark Mueller
11-27-2010, 09:14 PM
Poor "insert your word here" seems to be on the rise.

IS, Movement, Attitude, Atemi....always something to work on...just don't go off on the latest fuss and opinion.

sakumeikan
11-28-2010, 03:35 AM
Wrong. What you are attempting to describe is rote memorization of technique.

Anyone ever hear of " Mushin, Mugamae" ?

I did not think so, or some you would not just now be realizing this?
Dear Michael

You flatter yourself to think that you are unique in being familiar with both these terms.If anyone wishes to check out the meaning of Mushin you will see that it is a Zen based concept relating to a state of no mind.However to acquire this state one has to do thousands of repetitive movements [in the discipline ] in order to have the ability to be totally free in action without conscious thought.
I hardly think a beginner would acquire this state of mind
in a short period of time.As far as mugamai is concerned the concept of leading or inviting an opponent to attack is also in my mind not something a beginner would grasp straight away.
I hope I have no drifted of course in respect of my comments.
Best regards, Joe.

mickeygelum
11-28-2010, 06:58 AM
Hey Joe,

The original post was...

Posture needs improvement.
Why is it that today there are so many pics and video showing high level Aikidoka, Japanese and Westerners with obvious poor posture during the execution of even the most basic of techniques. Understanding of Timing and Distance has obviously been poorly stressed.

I was never addressing beginners, so I guess you have drifted from the original thread.

"Mushin, Mugamae", thank you for restating the obvious.

Train well,

Mickey

Flintstone
11-28-2010, 10:26 AM
We are taught mushin and mugamae no kamae since day one. I'm sure it also applies to David will Mickey.

mickeygelum
11-28-2010, 10:56 AM
We are taught mushin and mugamae no kamae since day one. I'm sure it also applies to David will Mickey.


Absolutely true, Alejandro.... Professor Tomiki's base concept for his Shodokan, "Mushin, Mugamae" , literally " No Mind, No Posture" is translatable " No Emotion, No Stance"

You flatter yourself to think that you are unique in being familiar with both these terms

No Joe, not really, but then you are Aikikai, so I understand your amazement..

Train well,

Mickey

mathewjgano
11-28-2010, 12:11 PM
Absolutely true, Alejandro.... Professor Tomiki's base concept for his Shodokan, "Mushin, Mugamae" , literally " No Mind, No Posture" is translatable " No Emotion, No Stance"

No Joe, not really, but then you are Aikikai, so I understand your amazement..

Train well,

Mickey

Clearly I'm missing something to this exchange...
Not the first or last time though. I thought Alejandro was telling you those concepts are present in other practices...to which you replied "[absolutely, it's in Tomiki]"? And then suggested to Joe he's ignorant of them simply because he's Aikikai? Tongue in cheek?

mickeygelum
11-28-2010, 12:55 PM
Matt,

If you re-read the post, I was agreeing with Alejandro, in that his statement is that we ALL are taught that from day one.

Observe, Joes' statement ;

I hardly think a beginner would acquire this state of mind
in a short period of time.As far as mugamai is concerned the concept of leading or inviting an opponent to attack is also in my mind not something a beginner would grasp straight away.


...one would infer that his flavor fails to address this standard initially. Why would one not seed that concept, instead of having to remodel it later.

Also, a direct yeild, taisabaki and kuzushi, which are not present in many illustrations offered within this site.

And...if I thought someone was ignorant, I would tell them directly.

Mickey

mathewjgano
11-28-2010, 01:19 PM
Mickey,
Thanks for filling in the pieces I missed!
Take care,
Matt

sakumeikan
11-28-2010, 05:22 PM
Matt,

If you re-read the post, I was agreeing with Alejandro, in that his statement is that we ALL are taught that from day one.

Observe, Joes' statement ;

...one would infer that his flavor fails to address this standard initially. Why would one not seed that concept, instead of having to remodel it later.

Also, a direct yeild, taisabaki and kuzushi, which are not present in many illustrations offered within this site.

And...if I thought someone was ignorant, I would tell them directly.

Mickey

Dear Mickey,
Mickey, I am not exactly sure what you mean by the phrase 'his flavor'. If you are stating /implying that Aikikai training does not include any of these concepts mentioned in your reply , I can assure you that this is not the case.
What i am saying is quite simply is that concepts like Mushin /Mugamai are not something one acquires quickly In the case of beginners I think it is sufficient at the outset to keep things simple not bog anybody down by Zen oriented concepts.
As far as being forthright and telling someone he is ignorant
directly, thats fine.Remember the phrase Ignorance is Bliss.May I also state that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing,
Take Care, Joe.
By the way my favorite flavour[ U.K. spelling ] is vanilla [in ice cream ].Are you a strawberry /mint chocolate yourself??

mickeygelum
11-28-2010, 05:32 PM
Caramel or Butterscotch....:)

sakumeikan
11-29-2010, 01:11 AM
Caramel or Butterscotch....:)

Hi Mickey,
Good to know we can have a laugh on the Forum.
All the best , Joe.