View Full Version : Back to basics?
04-16-2011, 12:32 AM
I strongly believe that the foundation or "secrets" of Aikido lie in the very basics. When I first started Aikido I used to bypass these with speed in my rush and haste to get to the complicated and more senior techniques I so desired. No more. I find my Aikido improves the more I practice and study the basics. I spend most of my time nowadays practicing just that. I find that my Aikido improves every time I do. Basics and proper breathing with meditation do it for me. Why not perfect the basics and see where it takes you? it is a life journey after all, so why the rush? What do you think?
04-16-2011, 02:00 PM
I agree 100% with you. I was talking to one of the guys that trains under me last night after class about Daito-ryu. Before class ended I was doing some throws and such he hadn't seen before. I told him I only understood how to do them after working harder on ippondori (the first kata in mainline Daito-ryu). He was amazed that what I was doing came out of my study of the first kata in the ryu, and one he has learned. When I explained what I was doing and how it was from ippondori he shocked and a little baffled. :eek: :confused:
I have also been studying the hojo-no-kata of Jikishinkage-ryu much more. After learning the ura of the kata, the habiki-no-kata I have really started to see how awesome hojo is! If I could get away with it I would just study Ippondori and Hojo all class long. Sadly I don't think anyone would train with me anymore though. :(
Dave de Vos
04-16-2011, 03:30 PM
I looked up a video of ippondori.
When I was watching http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWWrCzu-AjA in the beginning it looked like it would be ikkyo, but the finish is different. Still, to me it seems ippondori and ikkyo are related.
I remember reading that O'Sensei considered ikkyo essential for aikido. Just about every lesson we train ikkyo in some form. Another thing we train just about every lesson is tenkan undo.
(This may all be obvious for others, but I am new)
04-16-2011, 04:47 PM
In my experience, it is a "going back to" basics that is an important stage, not necessarily building a "foundation". I am sure that most of us start practicing and it is all new and exciting and then it becomes a bit boring, so we look for more advanced stuff. Then there is a point where we realize we don't find what we are looking for in the advanced stuff, so many quit. Those who get really good, though, find a new quality in the old, the basics.
We then regret all the time "wasted" going after the advanced stuff and try to warn newer people, "Don't worry about advanced techniques, the key is the basics." I don't know about you guys, but I never really listened when being being told this.
I have read that the great Jazz pianist, Bill Evans, used to sit at the piano for an hour, just playing one note, over and over. However, that was after a lifetime of Jazz and he was a genius.
I can't remember where I read this, but someone once used the analogy of a spiral staircase to describe the experience of martial arts training -- the idea being that (if you're doing it right) you keep circling back to the same point on the circle, but at a higher level. I like that image.
04-17-2011, 05:18 AM
"Fear not the person who knows a million technique, rather the one whom practiced his one technique a million times"
Techniques are an element in which your level of practice matters most. Advancements should imply to the quality of each technique you do, and not necessarily for their number.
You should learn multiple techniques, in order to not to be the person with an hammer seeing the world as a nail. But only few of these could be in your higher level of performance. Additionally, as you progress you should put much more into timing and distance, and reach the point in which you negate the ability to resist you by better movement making it harder to identify your technique before the lock is fully on.
04-17-2011, 05:42 AM
Watch the best athletes in just about any sport - they do the basics better than the rest. In some cases they do the basics so well that they can play around and make it look fancy, but it's their execution of the basics that got them there. One judo sensei said "I take my worst technique and practice until it is no longer my worst technique. Then I take my worst technique and practice until IT is no longer my worst technique..."
04-18-2011, 02:24 AM
someone once used the analogy of a spiral staircase to describe the experience of martial arts training -- the idea being that (if you're doing it right) you keep circling back to the same point on the circle, but at a higher level. I like that image.
I like that, too, and have found much truth in that statement.
I strongly believe that the foundation or "secrets" of Aikido lie in the very basics. When I first started Aikido I used to bypass these with speed in my rush and haste to get to the complicated and more senior techniques I so desired. No more. I find my Aikido improves the more I practice and study the basics.
I'd like to know, what do you consider the "very basics" and what do you consider "complicated and more senior techniques"?
04-18-2011, 12:07 PM
We have kihon waza in Shinto Ryu that I never seem to get competent at. I think that is the point..
04-19-2011, 08:40 AM
You never have to go back to basics if you never leave them
IMHO, we never get enough of the basics.
04-19-2011, 01:11 PM
There in lies the secret........;)
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