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JW
02-24-2011, 02:14 AM
Video seems to be a good way to start discussions here on:
-what we are doing
-how we are doing it
-what we want to be doing
-what we do NOT want to be doing

So I made a video of something I've been thinking about. It is a work in progress and has a ways to go, and I have learned a lot just from watching this vid.. so although I think in some ways it is pretty weak, I think the video still has enough to discuss.

This idea is based on a few things. Primarily, this Ikeda Shihan video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaLBxrv6Wh4) resonates with something I am thinking about: kuzushi on contact. Several times (especially 0:37 and 0:40) he shows that the uke's grab actually triggers kuzushi in the uke. There is no getting off the line, no punch in the teeth, no tricky wrist locks. Just force through the body. I'm excited about this.

Some more background--the following discussion points on aikiweb are what got me thinking.
Dan said:Completely neutralizing a wrist grab requires no physical shifting of body mass at all and they do all the work.
Chris said:
Hunter,
Athletes can do everything on your list as well or better than any internal person.
(in response to: "3) Can take your balance on contact without any overt movement as they are already under your center of mass. They then manipulate you wherever they want. If it is a strike you loose your balance on contact.")
Phi said:
... you know, I just can't remember what he said that kicked off this whole post. I searched his posts but I just got a bunch of jokes. Sorry Phi!
At the time these things were said, I was thinking about Ikeda and kuzushi-on-contact.

So I thought these might be good for discussion:

1. in my video, do you think I am heading in the direction of what Ikeda does several times in that video?

2. Do you have a different take than I do, regarding getting kuzushi upon being grabbed? And is that different way more, or less like Ikeda than what I am doing?
(supply video for enhanced quality of discussion)

3. Any other thoughts on the content of my video?

My vid. (http://vimeo.com/20319252) Password is copyikeda.
Thanks!

Michael Varin
02-24-2011, 02:57 AM
Jonathan,

I really appreciate your video, and respect you for sharing it. I'm certain you will get all kinds of responses from people chiming in with their advice or critiques, while they lack the courage to post a video. It is high time that we recognize and expect video to help our analysis, and subject those who refuse to post video to the highest scrutiny.

I have attended Ikeda's seminars before and taken ukemi from him. I think Ikeda is excellent, but I don't perceive anything extraordinary from him. I have never seen him work with non-compliant uke, and I have my doubts as to whether he could accomplish what is shown in the video with uke who are behaving differently.

As for the exercise you are showing, I like it, but I view it as extremely rudimentary.

What do you feel is the benefit of the exercise you have shown in your video? Do you feel that exercise has any carryover to a full intensity attack?

What specific skills are you trying to develop? And how do you think they will enhance your aikido?

phitruong
02-24-2011, 06:38 AM
So I made a video of something I've been thinking about. It is a work in progress and has a ways to go, and I have learned a lot just from watching this vid.. so although I think in some ways it is pretty weak, I think the video still has enough to discuss.


jonathan, thanks for posting your video. couple of questions.

what was your focus, as in, where did you direct your power?
can you feel your partner's center of balance?
is your partner pushing or pull on you or just hold on tight?

JW
02-24-2011, 10:37 AM
Hi guys, thanks. Rudimentary is right, I am trying to break down and address the component pieces of what goes into things like the :37 and :39 moments in Ikeda's video.
I haven't felt Ikeda yet so Michael, your doubts are valuable to hear. Others here have also reported the opposite, ie what happens when he demonstrates his ability to turn it up a notch from what is done in his aikido seminars. So it is good to hear both stories.

My exercise is mostly what is noted in the description of the video. I want to (from the grab itself, not using additional things like moving to the side or striking, or doing slow things to the grab like turning it into a nikkyo in place) degrade uke's posture/balance from the contact given by the grab. I want to have something that can be used without a delay, so, working toward immediate effects.
I want all of my aikido techniques to work as maintenance and intensification of this initial kuzushi-- that's why this exercise is so important to me.

Notes on resistance: the "high resistance" portion is very strong. In terms of being able to affect a body that doesn't want to let you, this was GREAT practice. (This is what kihon is afaik) MY strategy is, first be able to do things when they are too strong to just let you, then learn to deal with them quickly changing up things, to maintain their advantage. Those are 2 different weapons that an attacker can use.
Notes on my strategy: I copied what I saw in the Ikeda vid. The things like "unity" and "change insides" are what I am trying to do, but what do you do with those things? Instead of just pushing or pulling uke with that methodology, here I am buckling him at the waist (through the elbow). That is what I am feeling, and trying. I think this is a point where my "ki development" is not far enough along to allow me a nice, easy control of center without this atemi-like buckling. We shall see, because I know what I want and I will keep trying.
Partner is (depending on resistance level noted) resisting all changes to position. Meaning, if he feels me move inward he will push, vice versa. Basically, he provides his own restoring force back toward good/undisturbed posture. He does this with great vigor during high resistance. What I do is never just pushing or just pulling-- both tensile and compressive forces (hopefully adaptive forces) are always being applied to him, to allow be to buckle him at the waist using his elbow.
Does that make sense?
Erick Mead- I know, it's shear. But then so is simple bending your elbow in and out using biceps and triceps, right?

jonreading
02-24-2011, 11:41 AM
Like Michael said, thank for posting your video, its brave to do such a thing.

First, understand what Ikeda sensei is doing is a very high level of refinement over basics. Don't beat yourself up too much if you cannot do what he does...
Second, Sensei often slows down or makes bigger the movements he is demonstrating so that you can actually see what he is doing. You have to understand for practice purposes we are not talking free style. I can tell you that he can deal with anyone; sometimes the movement looks fake.

Kuzushi is the physical balance breaking that accompanies ki no musubi (musubi); this is the "aiki" thing. Sensei creates a structure that undermines your balance before you touch him. By connecting to your center before contact he breaks your structure so by the time you grab him you are toast. To me, this is the "aiki" that Gleason sensei says is missing from aikido; we have no connection before we do technique.

Alot of sensei's techniques are about timing and structure. No fancy wrist twists, no flashing hand turns, no muscling, etc. What he does is about moving your center to affect your partner's center. You unify your partner's balance to your own, and then move your body while maintaing balance; your partner's balance will have to follow. This is "connecting" as I describe it. Most of the time I feel like I need to stabilize myself against sensei (i.e. my balance is very dependent upon him). This is why uke looks like a tool - our balance is undermined.

JW
02-24-2011, 12:04 PM
Hi Jon, thanks. I fully expect to not duplicate what he does right away. In fact I have been working a while on some things that should affect my performance, and I still only expect to be able to duplicate a specific component at this time.

At any rate I am trying to see if people think what I am doing is totally separate from what he does, vs being a step in the same direction.

I agree with all the words you said.. words are funny though, that's why I posted the vid. So, if I say I agree with your description of Ikeda's method, what do you think upon seeing my vid? Would you say no, I am not actually doing any subset of what he does, or would you say this is a genuine part of his kuzushi method. I am certainly trying to do "No fancy wrist twists, no flashing hand turns, no muscling, etc"

I actually think the part that you describe before contact MUST be learned by doing what I am doing in the video.. what I learn there, I should be able to start to apply before contact, as a next step.
Thanks!

jss
02-24-2011, 12:24 PM
What he does is about moving your center to affect your partner's center. You unify your partner's balance to your own, and then move your body while maintaing balance; your partner's balance will have to follow. This is "connecting" as I describe it. Most of the time I feel like I need to stabilize myself against sensei (i.e. my balance is very dependent upon him). This is why uke looks like a tool - our balance is undermined. [bold added by me; jss]
I agree that "unifying your balance to your own" is the first thing to learn. How to disrupt that balance in your favour is step two.

Then how to do step one?
Let your partner push you with little force. Relax as much as possible and let your body manage the incoming force. Your body knows how to carry your own weight. Think of the push as a certain amount of weight added in one specific place on your body. Or think of it as a backpack: you don't push back against the backpack, you basically just wear it. So when being pushed, just allow your body to figure out how to 'wear' the push. Et voilà, you're not resisting the push, you've just added the push as another input to your body's balance management mechanisms.

p.s.: As soon as I find someone willing to be in it, I'll post a video.

George S. Ledyard
02-24-2011, 12:52 PM
I am always amazed that two people looking at precisely the same thing, even feeling the same thing, can have totally opposite perceptions of what is going on.

I was at the Aiki Expo and saw Ushiro Sensei and went, "Oh my God, this guy is off the charts. I need to get more exposure to this while I can." Of course, Ikeda Sensei thought the same thing and repeatedly invited Ushiro Sensei to come and teach over here.

I had other friends, who saw what I saw... yet didn't actually see what I saw. Ask them about Ushiro and they'll say, "Yeah, I saw Ushiro.. he was good." And that's it... Nothing more.

I have trained with Ikeda Sensei for 35 years. He likes nothing better than to have someone decide not to "comply". Go ahead... make your best effort. He'll pick the biggest, strongest guy in the room, give him explicit instruction to try to stop him and he'll do exactly what he intended, no effort.

I have trained with a lot of people and continue to do so. Many of them were some of the Aikido greats, now passed. To say that what Ikeda Sensei is doing is nothing special, well, either you are training with someone truly superior that I don't know about or you haven't really played with Ikeda Sensei enough.

Of course, it all depends on what someone would call "compliant". Trying to hang in there past the point at which someone has kuzushi, attempting to reorganize to stop him, well, that's another thing. That starts to cross the line into fighting an then you get to see how the atemi waza function in the technique. But I can assure you , he can do what he is showing and it doesn't require ukes that cooperate.

JW
02-24-2011, 01:14 PM
Hi guys, Joep, you provide more examples that I agree with verbally. (When I told my partner to resist, my idea was that I could count on getting forces from him to "wear" -- only difference is that his force depends on what I do vs being a constant input)

Part of the point of this thread was that people who I agree with verbally could look at the vid and say, "you know, you say you agree with this but you are clearly not doing it, here's why. ..."

Another point of the thread was that people who might think kuzushi on contact, or early on, is a good thing, but that what I am doing (and/or what Ikeda is doing) is not the way to get it.

In this thread there are potentially examples of both types, but no one is explicitly giving the critiques of "yay" or "nay."

George S. Ledyard
02-24-2011, 02:13 PM
Hi guys, Joep, you provide more examples that I agree with verbally. (When I told my partner to resist, my idea was that I could count on getting forces from him to "wear" -- only difference is that his force depends on what I do vs being a constant input)

Part of the point of this thread was that people who I agree with verbally could look at the vid and say, "you know, you say you agree with this but you are clearly not doing it, here's why. ..."

Another point of the thread was that people who might think kuzushi on contact, or early on, is a good thing, but that what I am doing (and/or what Ikeda is doing) is not the way to get it.

In this thread there are potentially examples of both types, but no one is explicitly giving the critiques of "yay" or "nay."

Kuzushi on contact is the goal of technical development in Aikido. "Katsu hayabi" or 'Instant victory" is the Japanese phrase that describes this on a physical, technical level. In the larger picture I want to have you before you even attack. But for that to be true I need to understand how to organize m,y structure properly to give direction to the energy of the attack.

If someone attacks me, he needs to have an outflow of energy to my center which would allow him to do something to me. That could be a strike, it could be a grab. But there needs to be some sort of outflow to me. So, Aikido (and this is what internal power skills are about) is about giving direction to the energy of that connection.

This is why it's always been axiomatic that one cannot attack another without creating an "opening" or` "suki". That's why the Founder said that there was "no attack in Aikido". It doesn't mean you can't initiate to draw the attacker's energy out at the time of your choosing rather than wait for him to choose the instant.

So, for what someone like Ikeda Sensei is doing, the stronger the attack, the better. All he requires is someone connecting to his center. After that, they are attacking the floor. All he is doing is giving that connection direction... up, down, in , out, right, left, any combination of these...that's what creates waza. Inside of the waza he is actually in a state of potential and complete freedom to move. Which means that he can punch, kick, adjust, anything at all he wishes, while creating that kuzushi.

This is the art of the power of "not doing". The less he does, the better it works because he isn't creating any blockages to the flow of the energy of the connection. The flow to do that is already happening when the attacker physically reaches him. He is already moving what needs to be moved. It's like running out in the parking lot and grabbing the handle of a car driving across the lot. You will be moving instantly because you grabbed something that was moving.

Static technique is about creating these connections in ones body and understanding how they function to create different direction when contact is made. When real waza is executed, it isn't a matter of firing some sequence in your body, a, then b, then c... It's all running already. They touch you and they are moving.

Combined with an understanding of the mental / energetic principles of "irimi" one can get to the point at which you have the attacker before anything commences on the physical level. You can allow him to realize this fact and perhaps think better of his ill founded intention to attack, or you can hide the fact and let him destroy himself by attacking. But you had him all along, regardless. That's what Ikeda Sensei is demonstrating.

JW
02-24-2011, 02:35 PM
Hi Ledyard Sensei, I agree completely. My idea is that the specific things that are happening to uke in my vid (which are kind of indirect effects of what my body is doing, rather than completely planned movements) are caused by force interactions that I need to become familiar with. I use the static interaction to do that. With that familiarity and "feel" of what it is like to connect, I want to be able to do more interesting things. As you said here:

But for that to be true I need to understand how to organize m,y structure properly to give direction to the energy of the attack.
...
Static technique is about creating these connections in ones body and understanding how they function to create different direction when contact is made.

So.. considering that I feel like your post is in fact stating my own views and training strategy-- do you think my video lines up (in a beginner-level way) with my words (ie, with your words)?
Thanks!
--JW

George S. Ledyard
02-24-2011, 03:25 PM
So.. considering that I feel like your post is in fact stating my own views and training strategy-- do you think my video lines up (in a beginner-level way) with my words (ie, with your words)?
Thanks!
--JW

You are certainly on the right track...

You need to move your arms less and let your body do more. To do that you need to "go deeper" with the touch to his center. Ikeda Sensei will say "touch their spine". Actually, I like to set up cross body connections. So if he grabs with his right hand, I'll go in and connect to something on the left side of him, rather than simply just dead center.

Once you have that connection, the ideal is to experience NO CHANGE in pressure at the point of contact as you use your body to redirect the energy of that connection. If the pressure increases, in this case on his hand or arm, you are putting your attention on the point of contact and that's where your energy is going. Raso Hultgren Sensei would say that you need to put your energy "through" him rather than "at" him.

Look to maintain a perfect balance between what you are putting out to him and what you are bringing in to you. Usually, you bring his energy into your spine before you give it back to him. This would be tricky to explain rather than show, at least for me. You should feel someone do it. There's a balance of extension and draw between the fingers and the elbow along the forearm line. There's a balance between the elbow and the shoulder along the upper arm line. There's a balance of energy running up your spine and down out your tail bone. Lots of oppositional balances. More than I am currently aware of... I keep being exposed to more and more subtle lines of balance, cross body connections and tensions, etc. But you don't have to be super sophisticated to do the basic work.

Just remember, the arms do not create power. They can be used to connect with the partner's center, they help give direction to the energy of the connection, but they don't create power. At the beginning you can play with using a bit of hip movement to get horizontal movement and a bit of pelvic roll forward and back to get an up and down. Later there are ways to accomplish exectly the same thing internally and one won't see much movement outside at all. But it will work simply by letting you upper body sit on the pelvis and letting the pelvis sit on top of the hip joints and float there. Any movement back there will reflect instantly in the partner if one is already connected to that partner's center.

Basically, don't think too much about what you are doing since focusing on just yourself tends to put all your attention and energy on you and often you lose the outflow to the partner. Don't be afraid to look right at him and observe every movement he or she makes as you experiment with what you moved ion your side to produce that movement.

On the other hand, if no movement is occurring, you may be going out too much and running into their structure. In which case look at how you can correct your posture and re-balance all those forces we talked about. I hope this helps. It's easy to show in a hands on setting but not so easy to explain because s much is about "feel".

Tenyu
02-24-2011, 05:36 PM
Hi Jonathan,

Can you let us know what your training history in Aikido is?

Looking at the level you're at I don't think it's a good idea for you to practice Aikido with someone who isn't trained in Aikido. I recommend working with at least one uke who's proficient in taking ukemi if you want to begin learning how to incorporate and apply the principles of Aikido. There's a lot of chaos in your video on both sides which is very counterproductive. Once you become proficient in Aikido then you can get back to your mma friend no problem.

danj
02-24-2011, 06:16 PM
looks like a nice exploration of energitcs. You might also like to film 'the making contact' aspect i.e. start each attack before the hand to wrist contact. You can setup your structure each time afresh and ask uke to provide different energetic attacks as you work through possibilities and then watch over and over.

FWIW video self analysis is one of those rare gems that is so easy to do (yet rarely done in many MA circles) and allows looking at ones own self in the third person which can bring dramatic insights and little ah-ha moments

Lots of off the shelf video cameras now have a high speed mode (usually in black and white) for just a few seconds only sometimes, it can be very revealing

thanks for sharing - tough and courageous to put ones self out there

best,
dan

JW
02-24-2011, 07:48 PM
Ledyard sensei, thank you very much! I know a lot more in my head than in my body. Looking at the vid was already kind of embarassing because I could see stuff wrong in addition to some glimpses of right. So yes, I know (in my head), and yes, I don't know yet (in my body)! But working on it. I'm already much better based on what I learned in this vid.

Tenyu- is it Soke or Kaiso? ;] He's not my training partner, just a video partner. But, I am really surprised to see you frown on the chaos-- exploring (requires experiencing) that was the whole point, and a common aikido uke would have smothered it with collusion. I was glad to see the forces move our bodies, without us drowning that out. And, as for my history, I have done mostly Iwama-influenced aikido since about 13 years ago. But this isn't that. This is new. I started a new direction 2 years ago. Anyway I am not a good student, so my training hours in 13 years only got me to 3rd kyu. So yeah, I am only BARELY your sempai! ;p

Daniel-
You might also like to film 'the making contact' aspect i.e. start each attack before the hand to wrist contact.

Yup, exactly that is my next step. (In addition to cleaning up what I am already doing.) 100% agreed on the video usage comment, I am glad I did it. Thanks!

JO
02-24-2011, 08:25 PM
I don't know why I'm adding anything after George's post since I haven't managed much along these skills myself. Much like you, I think, I'm someone out to make his aikido more subtle and relaxed yet also powerful.

There's one exercise I've found even more interesting in my search for establishing contact with uke's center. Instead of having him resist, have him actively try to break the contact. I've had Harvey Konigsberg show me this in two ways. The first is with uke touching the wrist with an open palm and simply standing still unless you connect and move his center. The second is with a stronger attack but with uke letting go and striking if he senses an opening. It's an interesting twist, and one that makes muscling the technique useless.

itaborai83
02-24-2011, 08:46 PM
I liked Daniel James' idea to explore/film the 'the making contact' aspect. I think starting from an static grab doesn't give you much to work with. Your partner is applying force, but there's no momentum to it. IMHO you must force or trick him to start moving in order to actually unbalance him ... maybe an atemi or just the threat of it. I know that this probably negates some of your goals, but might be worth trying as a starting point.

regards,
Daniel

JW
02-24-2011, 10:29 PM
Hi Jonathan, I think those exercises are great ideas. I've done a version of the open palm one, but the other is a little tricky sounding. Meaning, the people I know would not want to grab in the first place, so if I say "grab, but let go to strike any time," then they will not really grab, they'll just fake it and strike. Is that what you mean? In other words I have to fully connect even through this "token grab?" I like the idea but I think I have to work on static grabs more first.
Of course this converges on the idea of what happens before contact having value in my initial kuzushi.

But ultimately, I do want to make it so they can't let go. How to do this is more obvious within a more compressive connection based interaction: even if they let go, I am pressing in, so the connection stays (to a large degree). Just like the open-palm exercise. But realizing that this could happen in reverse, within an interaction that more favors the tensile connection has been big in my mind recently. (As they try to let go, force would continue to be exerted on their fingers against my wrist for example)

And all that is in addition to the 2 classic aikido ideas about why uke can't or shouldn't let go: 1. He will be falling if he does, or 2. He will be struck or pushed by the point of contact if he does.

I am trying to keep the 2 types of connection fused into a single percept from my point of view, so that the "inescapable connection" would operate seamlessly in either tensile or compressive directions. After all, I am trying to maintain both of these connections at all times.

Daniel I.: I can see what you mean. I want to work with intertia later (which is how I think of "using someones momentum"). But for me, that will be an adjunct skill. (That is a big part of what "ki no nagare training" means to me, and kihon comes first.) And if I didn't think I was getting any results from what I showed, I would be frustrated.

But I think it is working. In fact this whole training direction came to me when I realized that even in a light grab, with very little intent, and no motion, there are 2 tools that uke can't easily stop me from using: his own body's involuntary and dependable conduction of compressive force along his skeleton, and tensile force along his soft tissues.

Tenyu
02-24-2011, 10:31 PM
He's not my training partner, just a video partner. But, I am really surprised to see you frown on the chaos-- exploring (requires experiencing) that was the whole point, and a common aikido uke would have smothered it with collusion. I was glad to see the forces move our bodies, without us drowning that out. And, as for my history, I have done mostly Iwama-influenced aikido since about 13 years ago. But this isn't that. This is new. I started a new direction 2 years ago. Anyway I am not a good student, so my training hours in 13 years only got me to 3rd kyu. So yeah, I am only BARELY your sempai! ;p



Jonathan,

Ikeda's doing Aikido in that demonstration and it's totally collusive as any good Aikido practice should be. If uke doesn't collude in giving nage the initial error of an attack within nage's abilities to receive it then neither person can practice Aikido. It's the basic foundation of practice and there's nothing wrong with that as long as no one has delusions about the premise. Since your video uke is untrained his center is disconnected from his own arm, what one of my teachers used to call the ‘dead squirrel' syndrome. All of uke needs to be alive, give very clear power applications, and move integrally to his center in order for nage to achieve any of the easy looking techniques Ikeda does.

Obviously nage needs to move integrally as well. Your arm and hand not being grabbed is another dead squirrel, it's important to use your whole body in every technique. In some of the more dynamic kokyunages you can see O Sensei throw both of his arms up when only one was facing uke. I'm not suggesting you do that, but it exaggerates my point that the whole body must be involved at all times, in fact Internal's preformal structures demands it. Another thing I noticed is that your posture was compromised many times. I don't recommend putting yourself in any positions however transient where you could be pushed over from any direction. To maximize my receptive alignment I rarely tilt my vertical axis in practice. I recommend keeping your head vertical as much as possible. The word resistance is used indiscriminately to mean opposite things here all the time. Uke applies power("resistance") to nage and it's nage's job to receive and throw completely without resistance in respect to nage's 90 degree phase lead over uke. Being aware of the rhythm is important too. A straight forward irimi carries a quick [And One] count where the reception and the throw happen in the same cycle, whereas the extended version usually has a [One, Long And(where uke is running back up and around nage) Two count].

Chaos is antithetical to any type of Aikido. Everything is predetermined, with less room for error in freestyle or real life situations outside the dojo.

bob_stra
02-25-2011, 01:58 AM
Here's a video of Sam Chin doing some kuzushi on contact stuff that may be relevant. Note: I have no affiliation to ILC (though I have taken a class or two to satisfy curiosity) so am not sure of the context of this clip

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0Q6s-1Pi-E

I also quite like this clip as a explanation of how forces can interact

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLB9TxuQ4kk

Although they're not ideal, I believe these two clips could be used to frame Phi's 'four legged animal' thread? Phi?

Flintstone
02-25-2011, 05:05 AM
I have trained with a lot of people and continue to do so. Many of them were some of the Aikido greats, now passed. To say that what Ikeda Sensei is doing is nothing special, well, either you are training with someone truly superior that I don't know about or you haven't really played with Ikeda Sensei enough.
Not that this means that there is no one truly superior, right?

JO
02-25-2011, 06:25 AM
But ultimately, I do want to make it so they can't let go. How to do this is more obvious within a more compressive connection based interaction: even if they let go, I am pressing in, so the connection stays (to a large degree). Just like the open-palm exercise. But realizing that this could happen in reverse, within an interaction that more favors the tensile connection has been big in my mind recently. (As they try to let go, force would continue to be exerted on their fingers against my wrist for example)

And all that is in addition to the 2 classic aikido ideas about why uke can't or shouldn't let go: 1. He will be falling if he does, or 2. He will be struck or pushed by the point of contact if he does.

I am trying to keep the 2 types of connection fused into a single percept from my point of view, so that the "inescapable connection" would operate seamlessly in either tensile or compressive directions. After all, I am trying to maintain both of these connections at all times.
.

The very few times I have felt that I was fully controlled as uke, neither of the "classic" ideas really applied. I wasn't falling, nor was I in immediate threat of being struck. It was more like the feeling of my center being led around by my arm directly with my brain seemingly having little say in the matter.

chillzATL
02-25-2011, 09:18 AM
Jonathan,

IMO you need to focus on a few things:

1. relax. While you keep your hand/forearm relaxed, most everything is upper body muscle. This is not easy. The muscles WANT to kick in for you. It takes lots of slow, relaxed low pressure conditioning of the joints so that they can handle the pressures being applied to them without big muscles kicking in to help.

2. work on developing a relaxed, connected body. Right now I see you using lots of muscle and leverage to connect your body so that you can connect to uke. Watch Ikeda, he doesn't do it that way. His body is connected in a different way.

I would recommend you attend a seminar with one of the people who often post about them in the non-aikido forum. They can get you on the right path to getting a better understanding of some of the things Ikeda talks about and does and give you exercises to get you started on the items I mentioned above. You could also ask around in the non-aikido forum for people in your area who have met with these people previously and want to get together to work on these things. There are quite a few groups like this around.

phitruong
02-25-2011, 09:48 AM
Although they're not ideal, I believe these two clips could be used to frame Phi's 'four legged animal' thread? Phi?

bob, stop bother me with these stuffs unless you have my basic requirements: food, drink and loose women. the first two are mandatory; the last, optional. :)

Marc Abrams
02-25-2011, 09:55 AM
bob, stop bother me with these stuffs unless you have my basic requirements: food, drink and loose women. the first two are mandatory; the last, optional. :)

Phil:

I thought the last two were mandatory? ;)

Marc Abrams

bob_stra
02-25-2011, 10:24 AM
bob, stop bother me with these stuffs unless you have my basic requirements: food, drink and loose women. the first two are mandatory; the last, optional. :)

Bender:

Oh, no room for Bender, huh? Fine! I'll go build my own lunar lander! With blackjack! And hookers! In fact, forget the lunar lander and the blackjack!

Sorry to interrupt. Carry on. :D

JW
02-25-2011, 10:56 AM
Hi Jason-
..., most everything is upper body muscle. ...
2. work on developing a relaxed, connected body. Right now I see you using lots of muscle

Although you are preaching to the choir about there being a different way, I was hoping my level of development would be self-evident in the video. Maybe it is and that is what you are correctly telling me, or maybe you are not seeing what I am. Hard to say about that. Although I certainly can know how far I have come in the last 2 years, I don't know how far I have to go, and it sounds like you believe I have a ways to go.
BTW, what I was working on just before I made this video was connection in the compressive and tensile directions. No leverage. I could move the uke to and fro easily. But it wasn't kuzushi. I studied that Ikeda clip, and saw him do this buckling action-- that came straight from there. I think that is the aspect you are talking about as "leverage." It is a trick I saw him employ that I was not doing, so I copied that and made the vid.
It is an interesting comment to hear that being one of the main parts called NOT Ikeda-like. It could be because I am doing it wrong. Thanks!

Bob-
You watch too much TV. Keep it up!

JW
02-25-2011, 11:02 AM
Hi Tenyu-
I've never heard anyone who claims to do an "internal art" say that collusion and a certain type of postural habit is REQUIRED for aikido (or Ikeda's aikido) to operate. It seems to be an even stronger statement than Michael Varin saying that the collusion was making it a bit easier for Ikeda. At any rate, Ledyard Sensei's more substantial experience with Ikeda Sensei seems to speak to a reduced dependence on collusion, not augmented, relative to what one might expect from looking.
Anyway, you called my partner non-collusive, in that he wasn't standing right, connecting his arm to center right, etc:
Since your video uke is untrained his center is disconnected from his own arm... All of uke needs to be alive, give very clear power applications, and move integrally to his center in order for nage to achieve any of the easy looking techniques Ikeda does.
So, why was it so easy for me to take his balance, even in the high resistance portion of the video? If I am not depending on certain kinds of attacks, yet I am successfully doing 1/100th of what Ikeda is doing.. then I remain unconvinced about the "value" of collusion in acheiving kuzushi on contact.

The idea of someone being immune to Ikeda's technique because he has certain martial stylistic traits sounds wrong to me. Like defeating a no-touch throw by alternately lifting your big toes.

Re:timing
Although I agree with you about proper timing in terms of carrying out an interaction properly, I am in this video only establishing that interaction, not cultivating it into throws beyond that initial, establishing moment of aiki.

Re:chaos
It took me a moment, but I think I see where you're going with that last line. I don't think aikido avoids chaos, I think in aikido we ride the chaos. I'm supposing this is in fact part of the let-go-and-let-the-kami's-will-direct-things Way. (I think that's a direct O-sensei quote, I just can't remember which English translation that was..) The process that brings an attacker down in aiki a chaotic process of collapse. Nage supplies the constraints and chaos determines the exact outcome within nage's constraints. Thus for O-sensei there were no techniques, things just happened, and thus he "received" techniques from the kamisama (from the chaos). Those became our techniques, because in O-sensei's opinion, our repeating of those movements was an honor to the kami who created those techniques spontaneously, through his body and mind. Thus doing techniques was a form of worship, more than a practice to teach you to become able to force those techniques to happen whenever you wanted, as predeterminations of outcome in martial encounters. That's my current thinking anyway, could be BS.
At some point if I say god is chaos and you say everything is predetermined by gods... well things get so far out there that disagreement could dissolve.

JW
02-25-2011, 11:23 AM
Hi Bob, I forgot to reply to the clips you posted. Those both address non-buckling kuzushi. I have played with that a little and it is interesting. (By non-buckling kuzushi I mean the uke is no longer stable where he is currently standing, but he is not twisted into a pretzel of chaos.) That kind of work is also a study in entry or irimi I think, which is necessary (more important than buckling) but not immediately fruitful for me!

I know that has to become useful, so it is worth working on. But here's my problem from the few weeks before I did this buckling video. If a smart uke is not stable in a certain spot, he can just move his feet (step, shuffle, etc) and get a lot of stability back. So I end up chasing him around. I want to bring down to the ground or throw--both involve more of a collapse than a tipping-action.. hence my obsession with buckling. Plus, the buckling actually makes it difficult for him to move, because his feet are squashed down to the ground. So he feels unstable where he is standing, but it is not trivial to move to a new spot and renew the attack. Any thoughts?

phitruong
02-25-2011, 11:47 AM
jonathan, after long and deep contemplation, actually, only a few seconds between the time i poured the coffee into my cream and sugar. i'll toss a few things out for laugh.

1. it looked as though your power was trap between uke's wrist and elbow. it needs to reach through uke. when Ikeda sensei doing the stuffs, uke felt as though he reached inside uke, grabbed the spine, and move it around. the outward appearances of the techniques are the results, not the cause. thus, the meaning of internal.

2. view your arms and uke's arm as one arm, your arm. the connection is your elbow and uke's shoulder is your hand. so try this, reach out with your hand and grab uke's shoulder, then try to move him around with your body, i.e. lock your arm in place.

years ago i went to a seminar taught by Hooker sensei. he discussed the different between learning and training. i'll paraphrase. learning is when two person helping each other to accomplish a task to gain maximum knowledge. training is taking off the gloves and test what you have learned; there will bruises and blood letting.

so the question i would ask you is, are you learning or are you training? they have two different mental attitudes. what Ikeda sensei shown was learning mode.

systema learning methodology that you might want to consider. at the beginning stage, you use the least amount of force and doing everything at snail pace. this is to NOT imprint tension in your body. so repeat after me, "tension is the mind killer. i must not tense. i will let it pass through me." :) after a time, then increase the power and/or speed, very slowly. also, your uke should provide the power, either push or pull. just stand there and grab provide no power for you to manipulate; thus, you have to supply your own power into the equation. thus, you were doing things to uke.

so the power equation should be

uke's power + your power = 100%

that means if uke's provide 70% of power, then you provide 30%. "four ounces pushes a thousand pounds", right?

now, back to my requirements discussion with Marc. the last two is ura whereas the first two, omote. :D

JW
02-25-2011, 12:00 PM
Hi Phi, I agree with what you are saying about connection going deeper. That's irimi, right? What I am working on here is a little tool for good results that does not depend on complete irimi. Maybe that's not aikido. But I felt that Ikeda was using this trick, see :16, :19 and :40 in the Ikeda vid. I consider this trick to be a type of atemi.
It could be that I am right that Ikeda is using this 'atemi' in his vid, but always in combination with good, complete irimi. Thus you see him doing something different than me, while I see him doing what I am doing PLUS a lot more.

Also, training vs learning-- of course this is learning too. But it is "testing" which is a part of learning. If you are satisfied with the types of tests you do in learning, then that means you think the learning is working, so you can go on to what you called "training." Not there yet (I didn't tell my friend to punch me in the face if he could).

phitruong
02-25-2011, 12:28 PM
Hi Phi, I agree with what you are saying about connection going deeper. That's irimi, right? What I am working on here is a little tool for good results that does not depend on complete irimi. Maybe that's not aikido. But I felt that Ikeda was using this trick, see :16, :19 and :40 in the Ikeda vid. I consider this trick to be a type of atemi.
It could be that I am right that Ikeda is using this 'atemi' in his vid, but always in combination with good, complete irimi. Thus you see him doing something different than me, while I see him doing what I am doing PLUS a lot more.


i have not been your uke so i can't honestly say what you are doing is what he does. i have been Ikeda sensei's uke quite a few times. actually, i was his chauffeur for a few seminars (he almost disowned me, because i mentioned i used instant coffee instead of the good stuffs :) ) everything he does is irimi. he's irimi while turning. he's irimi while moving backward. he's irimi while drinking his coffee! he's irimi while selling bujin stuffs, even with all my resistance, i ended up walking away with arm-loaded stuffs and bank account much lighter (now i understand his phrase "make uke light") :D

chillzATL
02-25-2011, 12:32 PM
Hi Jason-

Although you are preaching to the choir about there being a different way, I was hoping my level of development would be self-evident in the video. Maybe it is and that is what you are correctly telling me, or maybe you are not seeing what I am. Hard to say about that. Although I certainly can know how far I have come in the last 2 years, I don't know how far I have to go, and it sounds like you believe I have a ways to go.
BTW, what I was working on just before I made this video was connection in the compressive and tensile directions. No leverage. I could move the uke to and fro easily. But it wasn't kuzushi. I studied that Ikeda clip, and saw him do this buckling action-- that came straight from there. I think that is the aspect you are talking about as "leverage." It is a trick I saw him employ that I was not doing, so I copied that and made the vid.
It is an interesting comment to hear that being one of the main parts called NOT Ikeda-like. It could be because I am doing it wrong. Thanks!!

Don't take what I said as an insult, I think that what you're doing and your interest level is great. You asked for opinions and gave one that I thought would help. You're in good shape, I can see your biceps and shoulders pop up through your shirt when they kick in. Your ideas about connecting to uke are good, but you're doing it through a more muscularly supported connection (in yourself) than you want to have. You're connecting to uke and pushing him away with muscle/leverage rather than letting him connect to the ground through you and then moving him away from you with your whole body. Someone with softer skills could neutralize what you're doing and connect back to your center through the tension those muscles create in you.

That's why I recommend meeting with someone who has experience in that and can show you things you can do to condition your body so that those muscles don't need to kick in unless you want them to do so. Do not feel bad, you are not the first aikido person who thinks they're relaxed and aren't. I think it's safe to say that every aikido person who starts working on these things thinks that and quickly learns that we weren't anywhere near as relaxed as we thought we were.

JW
02-25-2011, 12:48 PM
Do not feel bad, you are not the first aikido person who thinks they're relaxed and aren't. I think it's safe to say that every aikido person who starts working on these things thinks that and quickly learns that we weren't anywhere near as relaxed as we thought we were.
I totally agree with that, it's just that what you are describing sounds like a process I already have been going through (changing from muscle to transmission and manipulation of extrinsic forces like grf and weight). MAN I was stiff 2 years ago! (have been all my life)

But yeah I saw the same thing you did about the biceps firing. I'll keep watching that video but I still have not convinced myself that the power I am primarily using comes from those muscles. (They may be firing here and there, yet still be inconsequential to my main forces and movement-- there is a lot of noise in my motor system, I need to do more misogi ;])

Do you have a video showing your relaxed body causing fast or instant kuzushi?

chillzATL
02-25-2011, 01:33 PM
I totally agree with that, it's just that what you are describing sounds like a process I already have been going through (changing from muscle to transmission and manipulation of extrinsic forces like grf and weight). MAN I was stiff 2 years ago! (have been all my life)

But yeah I saw the same thing you did about the biceps firing. I'll keep watching that video but I still have not convinced myself that the power I am primarily using comes from those muscles. (They may be firing here and there, yet still be inconsequential to my main forces and movement-- there is a lot of noise in my motor system, I need to do more misogi ;])

so you're seeing the same thing i'm seeing. If Ikeda were to do those things in a tshirt, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't see any of that. The same goes for the other skilled guys I mentioned. The thing is, you don't fix that by continuing to do them with muscle, thinking that it's going to get softer. It doesn't work that way, IMO. There are joint connections that have to be strengthened to be able to hold you together against forces so that those muscles don't kick in. The only way those things get conditioned is by NOT using the muscles. You start soft with very little force, just short of that point where the muscles kick in. It's pretty boring at first, I will not lie, but it really doesn't take a lot of time to get to a point that your body can start supporting you this way from standard directions and then you can start working these things in more active ways that aren't directionally specific. You really should find some people in your area to work with, there are quite a few in Ca these days.

I can probably get something for you early next week. It may not be instant though, I have to look for it , but i'm still a noob so that's ok. It's the connection that I have to find , depending on how hard the person wants to grab, but once I have it, the kuzushi part is fairly easy and doesn't require outward movement from me. Keep in mind that i'm talking about light force here. If someone were to grab me and push through me hard, I'd still have tons of muscles kick in and it would all go to crap. That just shows that being able to do a neat trick isn't the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It's more like the most basic of things. Thinking about these things, figuring them out for yourself helps, but putting in the work is the only thing that gets results.

JW
02-25-2011, 02:05 PM
That just shows that being able to do a neat trick isn't the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Agreed, certainly. I am showing a neat trick (or trying to) that is along the way towards much greater things. My "trick" seems to work with high loads from uke (shown in the resistance sections). But beyond showing that here, I don't try to work with large loads to learn.

Regarding the muscle usage: I agree about working from weak to strong. And I agree that I have extraneous muscle usage in the video, and we can both see that. What I am thinking though is that I also have 'something else,' which I have dutifully worked on in a relaxed way, without partners. That something else is what I hoped might be evident in the video. I think the something else is not correlated with those muscle firings-- in other words different things are mixed in together, crap + good things. The presence of the crap doesn't necessarily negate the presence of good things that happen at different times and different places from the crap.. but I could be wrong.

ChrisHein
02-25-2011, 03:46 PM
Jonathan,
Thanks for the video! If more people had the courage to put up some video we'd get farther!!

From what I understand of the IP community, you can't see IP on video, so I don't know how anyone can criticize what you are doing, for all they know your IP could be on blast, how could they see it...

Funny to me how every time seeing something comes up, and I or someone else asks "show me", the answer is well IHTBF (it has to be felt). Yet when someone posts something of their own free will, all the critics show up to say how they can tell you're not doing it right...

As far as Ikeda, and instant kazushi goes, we know for a fact the he can do it quite well with uke. He does it great! I'm impressed. However we don't know anything about his ability to do it with a stranger who intends him harm, or at least embarrassment. When we go into an Aikido dojo, we plan to play by the rules, that's just what we do, and that's the way it's suppose to be. Outside of this, we are all just speculators, even those of us who know the practice well.

As for your video, do you do this stuff like Ikeda, no way. But he's been doing it for a LONG time, so you're probably on the right track, if that's what you're interested in, keep doing it, and you'll probably look just like him in 20-30 years. If your interested in martial use of this skill, you need to start practicing with your partner in a sparring session. Your fundamentals are there, so why not start sparring? If you're not interested in this, I think you're on the right path.

Again thanks for the video, and your eagerness to discuss what you put up. I think you did a find job.

Alfonso
02-25-2011, 04:00 PM
hi Chris, I disagree, there are videos that show neijin, or internal strength, or internal power, or kokyu rokyu . You just dont see it, and think its either fake, or the same. It does not feel the same. Period. However hokey it looks.

And Jonathan, you are not showing it clearly on the video, because arms moving in isolation is a huge tell tale.

jss
02-25-2011, 04:32 PM
I can probably get something for you early next week. It may not be instant though, I have to look for it , but i'm still a noob so that's ok. It's the connection that I have to find , depending on how hard the person wants to grab, but once I have it, the kuzushi part is fairly easy and doesn't require outward movement from me.
Then you're probably going to beat me to it. I had the intention to post basically the same thing. :D

In this thread there are potentially examples of both types, but no one is explicitly giving the critiques of "yay" or "nay."
Well, I'd say "nay", but it feels cheap to say that without explaining why, which won't work without a video, for which I don't have a partner, so...

Here's what I think one should be able to do if you want to replicate what Ikeda is doing: have someone push on your chest and without overt movement unbalance the person pushing you. One of the major telltales is that the pusher feels no difference in pressure or force at the point of contact. The reason for this is that you're not pushing at the point of contact, you're pushing at the pusher's center. Hence the need for connecting with it. ;)

JW
02-25-2011, 04:53 PM
Hi Chris, I can see what you mean about the video critiques. I think they are being a bit more rational than the way you painted it though. I think these 2 things should be visible in any video:
1. Things that are wrong for sure.
2. Things that could be right.
So you can see, it is not definitive, except in the negative direction! I honestly think this is what is happening with video critiques. So I don't think people are being quite as unfair as you say, but yeah, it is not possible for things to be clear-cut.

This party I am completely unsure of:
you need to start practicing with your partner in a sparring session. Your fundamentals are there,

That's what I am worried about: I may in fact be several years from the fundamentals being there! I will not really spar until the fundamentals are there. Anyway I will keep working, and the more success I have the more I will be encouraged to spar. I have sparse success, so I don't want to spar yet. My reasoning: I am not trying to develop "whatever works in sparring practice." I am trying to develop "one particular method, which would work in sparring practice once developed." So you can see that sparring to early would take me down the former road, whereas waiting till a certain threshold of skill level (and body development level) would take me down the latter.

Alfonso:
I see what you mean. Funny thing, when I work by myself, the arms NEVER move on their own. But here I put an uke on the end of my arm, and he started dragging my arm around! I don't resist. Maybe I am just not ready or not good at partner practice. It is one possibility. I'll look at the video again, though if you have any specific times I should look at, that could help. Or show me with your own video, even better.
I agree I should not be having arm motion in general. Even if the uke is generating the motive force, that should be handled by me, thus he doesn't get to move my arm around freely.

BWells
02-25-2011, 06:26 PM
Jonathan, George Ledyard Sensei has some very good videos that start to give you good guidance on this. My favorite is his 2006 Seminar on "Entries". Since I bought that DVD i have been to several Ikeda Sensei seminars and my understanding of what he is doing really grew, I highly recommend this video or any of the others George has put out. An no, I am not being paid for this:D

Thanks
Bruce

Tenyu
02-25-2011, 06:30 PM
Hi Tenyu-
I've never heard anyone who claims to do an "internal art" say that collusion and a certain type of postural habit is REQUIRED for aikido (or Ikeda's aikido) to operate. It seems to be an even stronger statement than Michael Varin saying that the collusion was making it a bit easier for Ikeda. At any rate, Ledyard Sensei's more substantial experience with Ikeda Sensei seems to speak to a reduced dependence on collusion, not augmented, relative to what one might expect from looking.
Anyway, you called my partner non-collusive, in that he wasn't standing right, connecting his arm to center right, etc:


Jonathan,

Ikeda gave a seminar at Northcoast Aikido once. At one point he formed a line and threw everyone using this instant ‘kuzushi katatedori'. Everyone walked up, grabbed his wrist and dropped to the ground like they're supposed to. When it was my turn I decided I wouldn't throw myself like everyone else, but not be stubborn about it to see what Ikeda would do. As I went in slowly to grab his wrist he understood my degree of collusion/non-collusion and had no choice but to abandon the technique. About six inches before I had his wrist he slapped my hand, and while I immediately pondered the awkwardness of the technique I admit I was slightly off-balance staring at our hands in disbelief. Right then he went in and pulled me down with my wrist, on a purely technical level I could have easily recovered and successfully resisted the throw but that would have been dishonest. My intent was thrown off-balance, that's all that mattered. Even if he didn't physically throw me down after, I would have bowed to him and walked off.


So, why was it so easy for me to take his balance, even in the high resistance portion of the video? If I am not depending on certain kinds of attacks, yet I am successfully doing 1/100th of what Ikeda is doing.. then I remain unconvinced about the "value" of collusion in acheiving kuzushi on contact.


Look at Ikeda, he never loses his balance. There is nothing to be gained from throwing someone else off-balance if you yourself go off-balance in the process. I'm going to be blunt here because I don't think you realize just how off-balance you are in that video. You could have easily been knocked over countless times from many directions. An unstable subjective ground is a grave fundamental flaw that affects one both physically and psychologically. No one with at least three months of Aikido training should be losing their balance like that especially in a simple katatedori technique. The staff would literally throw you on the ground if you attempted a multi-level resonator with such shaky ground. Once you fix your ground then you won't have to compensate for improper grounding anymore. Nage-centric grounding must occur first in order to become nage, anything different including uke-centric grounding by default makes one an uke.

itaborai83
02-25-2011, 06:50 PM
I actually have a really stupid question. Why do you want to be able to do this? You said you'd spar once you get the fundamentals right, but even O Sensei went from strong to soft. He polished what he knew and made it "softer", but he had an extensive budo background to start with. I don't think we should go balls out at each other during every class, but as Aikidokas we owe it to ourselves getting smacked in the face from time to time as a reality check.

I'm completely ignorant about all this IP stuff, but, to an outsider like me, it may sometimes seem that corners are being cut. I'm sure that there's something to it and I'll be delighted to read (and hopefully watch) some of your findings, but seeing what Ikeda does, I can't help but feel that this is something that is way beyond my understanding and experience.

Having said all this, I still would like to congratulate you for posting the video and starting this discussion.

regards,
Daniel

ChrisHein
02-25-2011, 07:37 PM
I have sparse success, so I don't want to spar yet. My reasoning: I am not trying to develop "whatever works in sparring practice." I am trying to develop "one particular method, which would work in sparring practice once developed."

I think I get what you're saying, however I would add one bit of advice.

The practice (sparing, or whatever the practice you're working on) will tell you what works and doesn't. It could very well be that you're idea of what "should" happen is flawed. If you work on the theory for many years, and then find, once you start the practice (sparring or what have you) that your theory was wrong, it's all down the tubes.

However, if you allow the practice to inform you as you work your theory this is much less likely to happen.

Anyways, have fun, thanks for the honesty.

Tenyu
02-25-2011, 10:04 PM
Jonathan,
Thanks for the video! If more people had the courage to put up some video we'd get farther!!

From what I understand of the IP community, you can't see IP on video, so I don't know how anyone can criticize what you are doing, for all they know your IP could be on blast, how could they see it...

Funny to me how every time seeing something comes up, and I or someone else asks "show me", the answer is well IHTBF (it has to be felt). Yet when someone posts something of their own free will, all the critics show up to say how they can tell you're not doing it right...

As far as Ikeda, and instant kazushi goes, we know for a fact the he can do it quite well with uke. He does it great! I'm impressed. However we don't know anything about his ability to do it with a stranger who intends him harm, or at least embarrassment. When we go into an Aikido dojo, we plan to play by the rules, that's just what we do, and that's the way it's suppose to be. Outside of this, we are all just speculators, even those of us who know the practice well.

As for your video, do you do this stuff like Ikeda, no way. But he's been doing it for a LONG time, so you're probably on the right track, if that's what you're interested in, keep doing it, and you'll probably look just like him in 20-30 years. If your interested in martial use of this skill, you need to start practicing with your partner in a sparring session. Your fundamentals are there, so why not start sparring? If you're not interested in this, I think you're on the right path.

Again thanks for the video, and your eagerness to discuss what you put up. I think you did a find job.

Hi Chris,

I can see both IP, IP/Aikido, and the quality thereof in video. I don't believe the IHTBF line is true at all. Ikeda said during the seminar what he was doing was easy, and I agree with him. It doesn't take much training to do well what he's demonstrating with trained cooperative ukes. Unlike your uncertainty, I can also see Ikeda's Aikido is excellent and there's no question in my mind of his martial efficacy outside of an Aikido environment. At another seminar I went to several years ago Saotome showed a version of this kazushi which shared the implicit lines of a super condensed tai-no-henko. I picked it up immediately, and I had less than eight months of Aikido training at the time. If people put the effort in demystifying Aikido then this idea that it takes 30 years to learn the basics will disappear as it should. O Sensei said he was just beginning to explore Aikido and people thought he was being modest!

Sparring, fighting, and resistance does not exist in Aikido!

-Tenyu

ChrisHein
02-25-2011, 11:00 PM
Sparring, fighting, and resistance does not exist in Aikido!

-Tenyu

Speak for yourself.

Richard Stevens
02-26-2011, 12:42 AM
Am I wrong in thinking it is probably more productive to focus on perfecting the basics of the art before trying to break down advanced concepts demonstrated by a Shihan who has been training longer than many of us have been alive? :rolleyes: Maybe I'm just being negative.

grondahl
02-26-2011, 04:26 AM
What do you consider being the basics? The outer form of waza?

Kudos to Jonathan for the video and being able to start some fruitful discussion on the board.

Am I wrong in thinking it is probably more productive to focus on perfecting the basics of the art before trying to break down advanced concepts demonstrated by a Shihan who has been training longer than many of us have been alive? :rolleyes: Maybe I'm just being negative.

JO
02-26-2011, 08:35 AM
What do you consider being the basics? The outer form of waza?

Kudos to Jonathan for the video and being able to start some fruitful discussion on the board.

On the one hand I think the outer form is important. But not just the 1, 2, 3 of the waza. I think an early emphasis on solid, stable posture, and maintaining that stability through the waza is very important.

Has it occurred to anyone else out there that the two most common techniques in all aikido dojos I've seen, especially in basics classes, are tai no henko (often to start) and kokyu-ho (often to end). It seems to me the stuff Jonathan is working on are particularly relevant to these two fundamental basic aikido exercises.

JW
02-26-2011, 03:07 PM
Thanks all for the input, this is great. Some replies here for Tenyu, Daniel, Bruce, and Chris. (and the "basics" discussion from Peter, Richard, and Jonathan)

Tenyu- Thanks, I will work on my balance. This was the first time I tried this, and in reviewing the vid I think I see what you mean. I appreciate the Ikeda story too, please tell me about when that was (like a couple years ago vs a long time ago). It may suprise you to learn that I have no trouble with multi-level resonators. ;] then again maybe we are talking about different things!

Why do you want to be able to do this? You said you'd spar once you get the fundamentals right, but even O Sensei went from strong to soft.
First of all I should say that by doing this kind of training, I believe you can learn to start to take balance before contact (as others have talked about here). So I don't think you need an explanation of why that is valuable. But if I (and you) cannot at this time do that, what can we do? Someone grabs your wrist-- be it in a dojo, self-defense situation, or just you and your friend playing around with a camera. He has the advantage and some dominance. How long until you take his balance? Is it several seconds away? (a lot can happen in seconds) How much do you need to take his balance-- how much time, how much additional points of contact, how much moving off the line, how much punching in the mouth to distract him (he may be faster at punching than you!) do you need? My point in this exercise was to reduce what I need to get kuzushi-- reduce time, reduce everything so that I can see exactly what I can acheive just from the grab. I think it's pretty important. I will think at all times that uke is stronger and faster than me. If I overcome him it must never be because he pretended to be weak or slow. It must be because I am following the Way, wherein the weak are not overcome by the strong.
Also-- what you said about O-sensei and strong to soft. I didn't used to know anything about Daito-ryu. But now I know a tiny bit. I think he went from soft to softer. I think he was strong in his 40s and 50s, but not from being muscularly stiff. Different type of "strength." I really think I am not cutting any corners or skipping to the end. Look at my partner in the vid, he is wishing he wasn't grabbing my wrist! So there is a kind of strength (some here have said I am being too muscley)

Bruce- thanks for the tip, I am choosing which one to start with now. Aiki and Connection vs vol3 (power of the mind) vs the one you mentioned which is vo2 I believe.

Chris-- you ideas on putting theory into practice are right on, I think. I don't disagree with that idea, I am just working within my developmental stage. I think of it like this. If I am building a weapon, I test the component pieces for good functionality.. first, good metal for the blade, then make the blade, test it, then sharpen it, test the edge, plus don't forget about the handle, all these tests while the components are being formed, during construction, before there is even something there to wield. What you see here is testing a piece-- the high resistance condition was one of the tests. If I was failing tests like this, I would worry that I am falling into the sad state you described about untested theory. Getting there, I think.

I think based on my results in this thread, my next "piece" to test will not be pre-contact stuff. It will be trying to get complete entry (forget about uke's elbow, go all the way to his perception of balanced posture) and being able to put motion into his body, while keeping the 2 connections I mentioned balanced at the point of contact.. again, in a way that is immune to resistance. Center-to-center work. Combining that with what I've shown here will be great. Practicing that will be a good way to move into the realm of pre-contact work.

Am I wrong in thinking it is probably more productive to focus on perfecting the basics of the art before trying to break down advanced concepts demonstrated by a Shihan who has been training longer than many of us have been alive? :rolleyes: Maybe I'm just being negative.

I agree with your sentiment, but like the other replies, I strongly believe what I am working on is the basics! Jonathan O pointed out tai-no-henko. I recognized that of course, when I was looking at the Ikeda video and seeing where the initial balance breaks seem to be at. I kept seeing a tainohenko-like shape. At any rate, I am quite sure that a version of what I showed (but with focus on complete entry/center-to-center connection rather than the elbow as I was doing, silly me) is what we are supposed to do in tainohenko. So every time I did tainohenko before, and my parter just went with it.. what good was that? I didn't compel him to move, that was collusion.

Thanks, all!

JW
02-26-2011, 04:49 PM
Sometimes the harshest critic is yourself. I've come to understand something about "what to do." This is distinct from "what should be happening" which I think is the focus of much of the comments here.

I think I have found and developed the right tools, but the application in the vid doesn't depend on me using them quite right all the time. (I can use them poorly here but still get kuzushi in this setup). So it is a big-picture type of error rather than a detail. I think there are good details in the video.

But this is how epiphanies happen. The tools I have started to develop were not easy to make, and I can still use them from here on. I am confident that in the next few weeks I am going to get a LOT better because of my new focus on what I should be doing with my body. I think it is time to go back to a dojo!

ps, thanks everyone who mentioned the point of contact and what should be felt there from uke's perspective. Great stuff.