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graham christian
01-08-2011, 05:27 PM
Hi everybody. Thought I'd post a short video of some exercises done to promote some of the basics of Aikido.

You may already do these and if not then I hope you will find them interesting and maybe give you ideas for your own Aikido.

We practice them to help promote Ki flow, Ki extension, center, koshi, weight underside and a calm mind.

These are just a few and they also lead to better technique and motion.

Enjoy.G.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9j0kMMztOgo

Tony Wagstaffe
01-09-2011, 06:11 AM
Be nice to see some randori Graham.....:)

Hellis
01-09-2011, 07:17 AM
Be nice to see some randori Graham.....:)

Second that.....that reminds me, time for tea.

Henry Ellis
Aikido in MMA
http://rik-ellis.blogspot.com/

graham christian
01-09-2011, 07:54 AM
Be nice to see some randori Graham.....:)

Maybe I will, you've got me thinking now. Although randori are open to great criticisms like yeah but they didn't attack properly or yeah but what if they had weapons etc. etc. Mmmm.

graham christian
01-09-2011, 07:57 AM
Second that.....that reminds me, time for tea.

Henry Ellis
Aikido in MMA
http://rik-ellis.blogspot.com/

Now that's more like it. I like something a bit different that shows my view of Aikido. Yeah, I think I'll do one and I'll call it randori whilst drinking a cup of tea.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-09-2011, 08:17 AM
Now that's more like it. I like something a bit different that shows my view of Aikido. Yeah, I think I'll do one and I'll call it randori whilst drinking a cup of tea.
:confused:

Tony Wagstaffe
01-09-2011, 08:18 AM
Nice tea cosy Henry......;)

Marc Abrams
01-09-2011, 09:24 AM
Hi everybody. Thought I'd post a short video of some exercises done to promote some of the basics of Aikido.

You may already do these and if not then I hope you will find them interesting and maybe give you ideas for your own Aikido.

We practice them to help promote Ki flow, Ki extension, center, koshi, weight underside and a calm mind.

These are just a few and they also lead to better technique and motion.

Enjoy.G.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9j0kMMztOgo

Graham:

Happy New Years!

1) Ikkyo Undo movements by the students are sorely lacking in some fundamentals. The first couple of seconds, you do one and your rear leg seems to be bent at the knee. If that is so, I do not believe that this is a good idea.
2) That turning motion that you were demonstrating and teaching has some problems as well.
a) The person grabbing is grabbing without any intent or extension of intent/ki into the person.
b) The person being grabbed is not extending Ki into the attacker and there is no observable connection between the two people. That observation is confirmed by what happens when that person turns.
c) The turns appear to be not be centripetal turns from the spine.
d) The arm is left behind, creating a dangerous situation.

Finally, a calm mind is easy absent of a genuine attack. This type of training needs a critical bridge in order for there to be any carryover to maintaining a calm mind during a real attack.

Dan Harden and Mike Sigman will be in Europe some time this year. I strongly suggest that you attend of their seminars.

Regards,

Marc Abrams

Mary Eastland
01-09-2011, 09:58 AM
Hi Graham:
Thank you for posting your videos. Whatever you are doing seems to be working as you seem to take no offence at what other people have to say about your videos.
My ideas about Ki development include being able to "let others be" and focus on my own training. Ki development in Aikido includes being responsible for my own reaction; to not try to control others and to relax some more when I find a reason to be upset.

Your movements in all your videos seem to be super relaxed. Is that your focus?
Can you talk a little about what you are demonstrating in your videos?
Thanks,
Mary

graham christian
01-09-2011, 10:37 AM
Graham:

Happy New Years!

1) Ikkyo Undo movements by the students are sorely lacking in some fundamentals. The first couple of seconds, you do one and your rear leg seems to be bent at the knee. If that is so, I do not believe that this is a good idea.
2) That turning motion that you were demonstrating and teaching has some problems as well.
a) The person grabbing is grabbing without any intent or extension of intent/ki into the person.
b) The person being grabbed is not extending Ki into the attacker and there is no observable connection between the two people. That observation is confirmed by what happens when that person turns.
c) The turns appear to be not be centripetal turns from the spine.
d) The arm is left behind, creating a dangerous situation.

Finally, a calm mind is easy absent of a genuine attack. This type of training needs a critical bridge in order for there to be any carryover to maintaining a calm mind during a real attack.

Dan Harden and Mike Sigman will be in Europe some time this year. I strongly suggest that you attend of their seminars.

Regards,

Marc Abrams

Hi Marc. Happy new year to you too. Your comments are welcome.

Your observation of my rear leg appearing to be bent at the knee is indeed the case. It should be.

The person grabbing is extending ki into me and what happens to him when I turn is purely down to me harmonizing with it.

My first small turn is a small taisabaki and shows him you can accept the others ki or force or energy and just taisabake on your own and you will be free.

The second turn I do is showing him that if you taisabake into the other persons place (where he is standing) then he will fly off thus demonstrating one of Toheis' principles of taking your partners' place.

The third taisabake I do is showing him that if I taisabake and take his place and keep connection then he ends up going around me like a planet in orbit.

These are all done from center or one point if you prefer and taisabake done from center is all about centrifugal force.

However, combined with Koshi (the base of the spine) you can generate centripetal force or energy in which case it would be an exercise of taisabake where the person holding goes around yet remains close to you.

Finally, remember this is a drill, a drill on taisabake the motion of itself not a technique.

Thanks for your response. G.

graham christian
01-09-2011, 11:32 AM
Hi Graham:
Thank you for posting your videos. Whatever you are doing seems to be working as you seem to take no offence at what other people have to say about your videos.
My ideas about Ki development include being able to "let others be" and focus on my own training. Ki development in Aikido includes being responsible for my own reaction; to not try to control others and to relax some more when I find a reason to be upset.

Your movements in all your videos seem to be super relaxed. Is that your focus?
Can you talk a little about what you are demonstrating in your videos?
Thanks,
Mary

Hi Mary. Thanks for the comments. In my reply to Marc I give a bit of more detailed explanation on this video.

On the Ikkyo one I am getting the student to continue doing Ikkyo no matter that his arm is being held. Thus it is to teach focus, not being distracted, accepting the counter intention or force letting it be and carrying on.

I teach Ikkyo as extending ki from center whilst relaxing from koshi and keeping a stable mind at the same time. Therefore if I was to face the person doing the Ikkyo and push against their hands as they extend outwards and this pushes them over or pushes them backwards then they were not using Koshi. Then there is another test from the front where I suddenly push foreward with my hands towards theirs as they are doing the ikkyo so that they think they are being pushed but my hands open and don't connect with theirs. Now if they step foreward it shows I have led their mind and thus they weren't keeping a calm or 'immovable' mind.

The immovable mind test, the picking a person up test I have heard so much nonsense about by people who can't do it that I choose to say nothing. I would guess you could probably do it but if you want me to explain how I do it let me know.

I have said on the spiritual forum how I use the principles of acceptance and being with and noted that you mentioned there welcoming which is another principle I use as well. So it's interesting to me the comment you made earlier about letting be for that is yet another we practice.

As far as relaxing goes it all started when I used to train according to the five principles of shin shin toitsu of which one was relax completely. This used to get to me as I would question not only how I could relax when facing a bokken for example but also the idea of what it meant. As I got more competent of course I became more relaxed and able yet still that rule or principle bugged me for it had this word 'completely' attached to it.

My favorite training partner was also my oldest friend and on top of that brother in law. He was a boxer, a body builder and we both started Aikido together and even now he teaches as well. Anyway we would put this principle to the test from bearhugs to right hooks and uppercuts, from randori to sitting seiza until we got our breakthrough. Once we learned what it meant we found we were very relaxed yet invigorated with ki or energy. Whilst others were struggling doing 50 backward ukemis followed by foreward ones and taisabakis etc we were doing them not only with ease and comfort but without getting tired out and thus noticed how a lot of the problem with what the others were doing was the fact that they were fighting themselves, even in the warm up.

So Mary I found the principle which led to this experience was related to weight underside, to Koshi and to immovable mind and that is the principle of LETTING GO. In fact when a person is tense they are holding on to something, to relax they had better let it go.

Anyway, hope you are well and you have a good new year. G.

P.S. I agree I could have more explanations with my videos even though they are not what you would call demonstration videos. In fact the best demonstration teaching videos I have seen are by a woman on your side of the pond called Ginny Breeland.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-09-2011, 01:04 PM
yeeeesh.....:o :( :freaky: :crazy: :yuck: :hypno: :rolleyes:

Hellis
01-09-2011, 01:24 PM
yeeeesh.....:o :( :freaky: :crazy: :yuck: :hypno: :rolleyes:

LOL :D :D :D

petebreeland
01-14-2011, 01:45 AM
Thanks Graham,

I've been able to train with Ginny a little over 32 years now and it's always been a treat. She brings a lot to the party.

GB-UK
04-05-2011, 05:11 PM
That video was a joke wasn't it?

Hellis
04-05-2011, 05:20 PM
That video was a joke wasn't it?

Gornall

Whilst the video is a joke to you, it is very serious to Graham and the people on planet ` Humblegee `..

Henry Ellis
Aikido in MMA
http://rik-ellis.blogspot.com/

RonRagusa
04-05-2011, 09:04 PM
That video was a joke wasn't it?

Hi Gornall -

Assuming for the moment that the video wasn't a joke, what did you find objectionable in it from an Aikido perspective? Are you aware of what Graham was trying to accomplish in the lesson?

Best,

Ron

GB-UK
04-06-2011, 04:25 AM
Hi Gornall -

Assuming for the moment that the video wasn't a joke, what did you find objectionable in it from an Aikido perspective? Are you aware of what Graham was trying to accomplish in the lesson?

Best,

Ron

I'm relatively new to aikido but have studied other martial arts for getting on 31 years and from my point of view I failed to see any martial application in the exercises being done in that video. Maybe I'm looking at it wrong but in the classes I've taken in aikido in the past and again over the last few weeks I've never seen said exercises done in any classes I've attended either.
Mind I didn't watch the whole video as from what I did see I didn't see the point.

john.burn
04-06-2011, 05:26 AM
I'm relatively new to aikido but have studied other martial arts for getting on 31 years and from my point of view I failed to see any martial application in the exercises being done in that video. Maybe I'm looking at it wrong but in the classes I've taken in aikido in the past and again over the last few weeks I've never seen said exercises done in any classes I've attended either.
Mind I didn't watch the whole video as from what I did see I didn't see the point.

Gornall, aside from the fact that in some people's eyes Graham may or may not being some of the exercises well - they are just that, exercises. Why do basic exercises in your opinion need to be martially effective in anyway? Aren't they there to teach principles and correct body movement?

One of my students once asked me during a warm up why I make people rotate their knees and move up and down etc... He couldn't see a reason for it so we spent the rest of the lesson on Koshinage and I think he put two and two together in the end ;) Is there any martial application in someone attacking me and me holding both my knees and rotating them? Nope... but if it allows me to build some sort of muscle memory and get my koshinage better then is it not an effective exercise?

I guess my point is, that you're from a traditional aikido background (as am I) and Graham is from a Ki based background but his lineage's teacher was at one stage one of the main Aikikai senior teachers before his name got erased so most of the 'traditional' Japanese teachers around today would certainly have had a lot to do with the guy and his principles before 'the' incident. People then had to pick sides and it all went downhill from there with many people dropping what Tohei was teaching. I'm not interested in the why's and wherefores but Tohei used to happily take on challengers from all walks so he had something going for him.

Demetrio Cereijo
04-06-2011, 05:41 AM
We practice them to help promote Ki flow, Ki extension, center, koshi, weight underside and a calm mind.

Well, these exercises have an intended purpose.

These are just a few and they also lead to better technique and motion.

So we need some clips of Graham students performing waza and compare if they have better technique and motion than people who do not this exercises.

GB-UK
04-06-2011, 07:38 AM
Gornall, aside from the fact that in some people's eyes Graham may or may not being some of the exercises well - they are just that, exercises. Why do basic exercises in your opinion need to be martially effective in anyway? Aren't they there to teach principles and correct body movement?

One of my students once asked me during a warm up why I make people rotate their knees and move up and down etc... He couldn't see a reason for it so we spent the rest of the lesson on Koshinage and I think he put two and two together in the end ;) Is there any martial application in someone attacking me and me holding both my knees and rotating them? Nope... but if it allows me to build some sort of muscle memory and get my koshinage better then is it not an effective exercise?

I guess my point is, that you're from a traditional aikido background (as am I) and Graham is from a Ki based background but his lineage's teacher was at one stage one of the main Aikikai senior teachers before his name got erased so most of the 'traditional' Japanese teachers around today would certainly have had a lot to do with the guy and his principles before 'the' incident. People then had to pick sides and it all went downhill from there with many people dropping what Tohei was teaching. I'm not interested in the why's and wherefores but Tohei used to happily take on challengers from all walks so he had something going for him.

Like I said I am pretty new to aikido. Your exercise was part of the class warm up? I wouldn't expect to find martial applications in warm up exercises and if these were such then I stand corrected. If they're not then in 99% of the classes I've taken a specific movement has always had a martial application, either by itself or as part of a group of other movements/techniques. I assumed that this would also be the case in aikido (which it has been in the classes I've attended) but evidently it is not so.
Aikido has so many different viewpoints and ways of expression I think I was a bit fast to pass judgment. But I want to train in a martial art and if I had wandered into a class and saw what was in the video without any proir knowledge about aikido then my responce would be is aikido a martial art at all?

Hellis
04-06-2011, 08:03 AM
Like I said I am pretty new to aikido. Your exercise was part of the class warm up? I wouldn't expect to find martial applications in warm up exercises and if these were such then I stand corrected. If they're not then in 99% of the classes I've taken a specific movement has always had a martial application, either by itself or as part of a group of other movements/techniques. I assumed that this would also be the case in aikido (which it has been in the classes I've attended) but evidently it is not so.
Aikido has so many different viewpoints and ways of expression I think I was a bit fast to pass judgment. But I want to train in a martial art and if I had wandered into a class and saw what was in the video without any proir knowledge about aikido then my responce would be is aikido a martial art at all?

Gornal

I don't think that you were too quick to pass judgment at all, your judgment was no different to mine. You seem to like to question things rather than just take them at face value, I like that.

Henry Ellis
Aikido Books
http://aikido-book.blogspot.com/

john.burn
04-06-2011, 08:14 AM
Like I said I am pretty new to aikido. Your exercise was part of the class warm up? I wouldn't expect to find martial applications in warm up exercises and if these were such then I stand corrected. If they're not then in 99% of the classes I've taken a specific movement has always had a martial application, either by itself or as part of a group of other movements/techniques. I assumed that this would also be the case in aikido (which it has been in the classes I've attended) but evidently it is not so.
Aikido has so many different viewpoints and ways of expression I think I was a bit fast to pass judgment. But I want to train in a martial art and if I had wandered into a class and saw what was in the video without any proir knowledge about aikido then my responce would be is aikido a martial art at all?

Hi Gornall,

Yep, my example was slightly different as it was just as warm up movement but I think it still applies all the same - those particular warm up exercises are used in some koshinage. If you read what Graham said about what those exercises are meant to achieve then I'd look at it in terms of walking in on the wrong end of a conversation, all of a sudden without the original context it makes no sense.

If I walked into a dojo and they were practicing what's in the video I'd ask questions, if the teacher explained the what, the why and more importantly, the how, then it would go someway to me realising what they're doing and the reason behind it. I'm not saying that I agree or disagree with what was in the video.

I had a few boxers stop by one night who were convinced that what we were doing was all fake and a lot like dancing... One of them said he did jujutsu but couldn't tell me what type of jujutsu he did, just that it was jujutsu. Well, to cut a long story short I invited them onto the mat to test my dancing skills out (in a friendly tone) and just advised them that I hoped they knew how to fall well (it was a beginners class). They all declined and couldn't get out of the door fast enough. Shame really, it could have been fun ;) .

john.burn
04-06-2011, 09:16 AM
You seem to like to question things rather than just take them at face value, I like that.

Henry Ellis
Aikido Books
http://aikido-book.blogspot.com/

Got to agree, questioning is good, get into the habit and ask as many as you can.

graham christian
04-06-2011, 11:44 AM
Hi Gornall.
Surprised to see this back on the menu so to speak but I understand your questioning it and as I posted it I am responsible to for answering.

Firstly, I am not of the big organisations of Aikido ie: Aikikai, Tomiki, etc.

My way of teaching is no doubt very different to what many are used to and this alone can lead to questions.

As I have pointed out to enquirers before I approach Aikido from more of a Zen perspective and so funnily enough it appears to most that I teach it backwards. By this I mean I teach or emphasize the disciplined practice of certain principles over and above any use of technique.

This no doubt makes me a minority and not an Authority. I am an Autority only in my way of Aikido.

To understand where I am coming from read the zen koan entitled 'The taste of banzos sword'.

So your view on not seeing pertinent technique with martial application in that video is indeed correct. In fact I do not promote Aikido as that and call it a path of self developement where self defence is a consequence of it.

Therefore I see Aikido as a perfect vehicle for spiritual developement.

In the video you will see me holding the wrist of a student and he has to try to do Taisabaki, a turn. He has to do it in such a way that it moves me from my stable position, no technique, no use of the other hand, no tricks, just Taisabaki. Therefore it is more of a drill.

It is based on a principle given by Tohei Sensei, the principle of 'take your partner's place'. In this particular drill I explain that a full taisabake leads to this whereas a partial one is more for avoidance or realignment of ma-ai. However, I also explain it is a way of entering in the form of a curve with a specific purpose. As with all martial arts the ability to do a particular seemingly simple thing takes as long as it takes to become an obvious part of you.

Your responses to others shows me you have an open mind and therefore I am confident you will find, if you havn't already, the one that suits you and also understand the ones that suit others.

Regards.G.

GB-UK
04-06-2011, 11:54 AM
Hi Gornall,

Yep, my example was slightly different as it was just as warm up movement but I think it still applies all the same - those particular warm up exercises are used in some koshinage. If you read what Graham said about what those exercises are meant to achieve then I'd look at it in terms of walking in on the wrong end of a conversation, all of a sudden without the original context it makes no sense.

If I walked into a dojo and they were practicing what's in the video I'd ask questions, if the teacher explained the what, the why and more importantly, the how, then it would go someway to me realising what they're doing and the reason behind it. I'm not saying that I agree or disagree with what was in the video.

I had a few boxers stop by one night who were convinced that what we were doing was all fake and a lot like dancing... One of them said he did jujutsu but couldn't tell me what type of jujutsu he did, just that it was jujutsu. Well, to cut a long story short I invited them onto the mat to test my dancing skills out (in a friendly tone) and just advised them that I hoped they knew how to fall well (it was a beginners class). They all declined and couldn't get out of the door fast enough. Shame really, it could have been fun ;) .

I would also ask questions but if the class was like the video I would most likely not return and look else where.

Demetrio Cereijo
04-06-2011, 12:30 PM
To understand where I am coming from read the zen koan entitled 'The taste of banzos sword'.

http://howdoarmbar.blogspot.com/2011/04/old-school.html

graham christian
04-06-2011, 12:40 PM
http://howdoarmbar.blogspot.com/2011/04/old-school.html

Excellent. My kind of humour.

Demetrio Cereijo
04-06-2011, 12:48 PM
Excellent. My kind of humour.

I'm glad you enjoyed second season of "The Taste of Banzo's Sword".

jonreading
04-06-2011, 02:00 PM
I'll bite...

I think these types of videos cause trouble. As best, the exercises are valid but with no explanation to accompany them. At worst, the exercises are bogus and published for all to see.

I am a firm advocate to solidly explain what is going on in a video. It's just too easy to mistake something and aikido already has some pretty unexplainable stuff going on...we don't need to muddy the waters. I appreciate sharing the video but we need to be careful we are sharing stuff that helps, not hurts... Yes, that means multiple takes, scripted practice, and attention to detail - not to mention editing and voice-overs. I understand this video is more raw than a finished product, but if we are sharing important information I would like it to be.

I think Graham's post touched upon some good points of training that we should include in our aikido. I am not sure if the exercises I saw represent the principles as well as they should. However, we are all human and we sometimes don't look as good as we think we do. I think if Graham is claiming these are exercises build good principle we need to disclose just how correctly they are being performed. I think I read some other posts that pointed out some issues in technique, I would second those remarks.

As for the exercises, I see similarities to some more popular exercises used for the same purposes. I appreciate Graham sharing his exercises.

graham christian
04-06-2011, 07:48 PM
Jon.
You know what? I thoroughly agree with most of what you said.

My original intention when I first made them, a totally new experience for me, was so that the students could see how they looked and learn from the outside so to speak.

I told them I would put them on youtube so that they all had access to them.

When I put some on here is when I found out I had some big assumptions. I thought everyone would know what I was doing as if they all had the same view as me. In retrospect quite dumb.

I was actually quite confused and yet amused by some of the vitriole if that's not too strong a word. I think it was the too and fro with George Ledyard and his reasoning he was giving to others that led me to realise my mistake and thus responsibility when posting a video.

In fact at times it felt no different to the dojo when handling multiple attacks and yet keeping center and moving into each one with a technique. Hence the fun for me yet off the mat so to speak wondering what I had done or not done to cause those attacks. All good training.

When I said I find the videos done by Ginny Breeland as the best type I now meant as a clear explanitory video. I find they are simple, principles are explained and the how those principles are used in action, in technique are there. Pretty much as you say a good video should be when presented to others for such purpose.

It's all good.

Regards.G.

GB-UK
04-07-2011, 05:38 AM
Hi Gornall.
Surprised to see this back on the menu so to speak but I understand your questioning it and as I posted it I am responsible to for answering.

Firstly, I am not of the big organisations of Aikido ie: Aikikai, Tomiki, etc.

My way of teaching is no doubt very different to what many are used to and this alone can lead to questions.

As I have pointed out to enquirers before I approach Aikido from more of a Zen perspective and so funnily enough it appears to most that I teach it backwards. By this I mean I teach or emphasize the disciplined practice of certain principles over and above any use of technique.

This no doubt makes me a minority and not an Authority. I am an Autority only in my way of Aikido.

To understand where I am coming from read the zen koan entitled 'The taste of banzos sword'.

So your view on not seeing pertinent technique with martial application in that video is indeed correct. In fact I do not promote Aikido as that and call it a path of self developement where self defence is a consequence of it.

Therefore I see Aikido as a perfect vehicle for spiritual developement.

In the video you will see me holding the wrist of a student and he has to try to do Taisabaki, a turn. He has to do it in such a way that it moves me from my stable position, no technique, no use of the other hand, no tricks, just Taisabaki. Therefore it is more of a drill.

It is based on a principle given by Tohei Sensei, the principle of 'take your partner's place'. In this particular drill I explain that a full taisabake leads to this whereas a partial one is more for avoidance or realignment of ma-ai. However, I also explain it is a way of entering in the form of a curve with a specific purpose. As with all martial arts the ability to do a particular seemingly simple thing takes as long as it takes to become an obvious part of you.

Your responses to others shows me you have an open mind and therefore I am confident you will find, if you havn't already, the one that suits you and also understand the ones that suit others.

Regards.G.

Hi Graham, I think I understand where your coming from a little bit better know. I actually made a post on my blog the other night about the differences in the way people can practice aikido which can be at completely different ends of the spectrum but still be aikido. I guess we all have to find our own aikido, and try to do that to the best of our abilities.

ronin67
08-30-2011, 10:46 PM
A very interesting video. As soon as I started watching it, I recognized it as Ki Aikido (Tohei Sensei's Ki development exercises). These exercises are done during every training session right before the waza portion of the practice. Which one are you? Hats are allowed to be worn? Very interesting. Where did you learn these Ki extension exercises from (What sensei showed you these Ki development exercises)? Have a great day sir and may God bless!

Ed