PDA

View Full Version : Do We Need To Invent A New Training? Yes/No/Maybe/How?


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


Alberto_Italiano
05-17-2011, 06:30 AM
I cannot commend enough the remarkable efforts these guys do in order to produce something close to realistic when facing punches:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsWgY7PHbbc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7LYoQjn91o

Excellent.
However, uke is doing 4 things that normally do not happen:
1] you know which hand is coming
2] he clearly follows with his whole body the directions tori imparts him, rather than resisting or moving away (doesn't even attempt)
3] he leans forward after he has thrown the punch, and whenever tori wants him to stay in that leaned posture, he never regains the standing position.
4] he still seems to have one offending arm only.

Let's try to imagine that aikido situation, but with uke moving in this other manner:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLicPgA_CLw
That's not a champion, and the video lasts 3 minutes so one has to view it in order to extract from it the interesting parts - full body mobility (trunk full mobility, foot full mobility) matched with full speed of execution.

You cannot grab those tsuki - once their trajectory forward is over, they don't hesistate in place one instant, but are instantly drawn back (and with physical strength - you won't withhold effectively such a thing, even inthe unlikely case you manage to grab a tsuki as it flies).

When these latter characteristics are at their best, they may look as follows:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51090bGcoR8

What type of training could you think of, in order to get gradually prepared for a scenario with a highly skilled puncher?
I think we need to think of a new type of training, facing a sparring punching partner with high mobility.

We need to go lateral. But this is a type of opponent that will make it extremely difficult for us to do so.

Tiresome, demotivating. Difficult. I know. But the problem is real.
Training tips?

Carsten Möllering
05-17-2011, 07:07 AM
What type of training could you think of, in order to get gradually prepared for a scenario with a highly skilled puncher?


Technically spoken:
Don't try to grab a punch. (I'm a little bit astonished: There is no grabbing of punches in the aikido I was taught.)
Don't try to "wait and react" but learn to act forward yourself.
Develop the skills to "go through" an attack. (Very very diffult to learn.)

About the training-methods:
Try to train with karateka. I think you will find karateka who also practice aikido. And they are able to offer you a lot of things which you are looking for but can adjust gradually to aikido practice.
Try to crosstrain with martial arts or sports - like boxing.
Maybe learn boxing, kickoboxing or karate yourself. Being able to produce a good combination as a boxer will also help to devellop a good answer as aikidoka.

Practice kata / kihon waza / basics intense as possible.

And at last - or as first step?
Find a teacher who offers you, what you need. You will get very frustrated if you train "against" what is taught in your dojo. Or with a teacher who you do not "believe".

My 2c.

Demetrio Cereijo
05-17-2011, 09:28 AM
What type of training could you think of, in order to get gradually prepared for a scenario with a highly skilled puncher?
I think we need to think of a new type of training, facing a sparring punching partner with high mobility.
Alberto,

Does the "only leverges and projections, and no force allowed except that which could move say 15 kilos" limitations still apply?

Keith Larman
05-17-2011, 10:24 AM
Well, last Friday night a few of us were training with fast, repeated punching. I ended up having to sit out as I managed to deflect a second punch up into my face, splitting my face open. So yes, some of us train with an eye towards this stuff. It isn't easy, it is more intense and it is more dangerous. And it often ain't as pretty when it "works" too. Usually the upshot of training like this is that you are reminded as to why "irimi" is such a central part of Aikido. You will not do well to constantly try to step out of the way of a skilled puncher. The first may miss but the second or third won't. And a skilled puncher ain't leaving the hand out for you to grab either. So usually you have to invade the space, taking kuzushi somehow, and finish there. Working in tight or getting way the heck far away. The point here is that you can't be "reactive" to their attacks; you will lose because you are playing on their field rather than your own.

ChrisHein
05-17-2011, 11:05 AM
Does Aikido need some other ways of training, than those normally used, in order to be a more effective means of teaching practical martial ability? Yes.

Are these ways of training new? No.

Do they involve punching? No.

There is a system that exclusively teaches punching techniques/defense; boxing. Why not study this system if you're interested in learning to defend against a punch?

Aikido techniques specialize in another area all together. You're never going to get good answers for, "dealing with a punch" from the Aikido syllabus.

Cliff Judge
05-17-2011, 11:37 AM
Aikido techniques specialize in another area all together. You're never going to get good answers for, "dealing with a punch" from the Aikido syllabus.

Aikido does not have techniques for dealing with attacks.

Aikido has principles for dealing with attackers. The type of attack shouldn't matter.

mathewjgano
05-17-2011, 12:58 PM
However, uke is doing 4 things that normally do not happen:
1] you know which hand is coming
2] he clearly follows with his whole body the directions tori imparts him, rather than resisting or moving away (doesn't even attempt)
3] he leans forward after he has thrown the punch, and whenever tori wants him to stay in that leaned posture, he never regains the standing position.
4] he still seems to have one offending arm only.

I think these are valid points, but my understanding is that there are certain conditions at play here, the main one being that this is a demonstration of ideals like kuzushi, etc. Presumably, at the moment of contact the attacker is drawn off-balance in some way, which should (I think) account for 2, 3, and 4. Also, he does make the point in the first video of cutting the elbow and not the shoulder, during which uke demonstrates a regaining of posture and the beginning of kaeshi.

Let's try to imagine that aikido situation, but with uke moving in this other manner:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLicPgA_CLw

You cannot grab those tsuki - once their trajectory forward is over, they don't hesistate in place one instant, but are instantly drawn back (and with physical strength - you won't withhold effectively such a thing, even inthe unlikely case you manage to grab a tsuki as it flies).

My understanding is that, even if you could match/catch the strike, you're probably not going to be trying to keep it from being re-chambered simply because if the guy is stronger than you it won't work. Aikido method is based on the premise that the other guy has stronger muscles than you. The ideal is to slip the bulk of the strike's force, neutralize it enough to allow you affect the limb (and body through that limb), or to enter through another point (some form of "ate" (http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFNxBj-A_cU&feature=related) comes quickly to mind). So, in short, whatever their trajectory is, we probably want to add to it rather than work against it.

When these latter characteristics are at their best, they may look as follows:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51090bGcoR8

What type of training could you think of, in order to get gradually prepared for a scenario with a highly skilled puncher?
I think we need to think of a new type of training, facing a sparring punching partner with high mobility.

We need to go lateral. But this is a type of opponent that will make it extremely difficult for us to do so.

Tiresome, demotivating. Difficult. I know. But the problem is real.
Training tips?

In some cases simply going lateral will simply help the next strike move that much faster, which is why the supposedly ever-present irimi is so important. Getting off the line of attack is a good way to avoid getting struck, but irimi is how you suppress uke's efforts.
I think the best tip for handling good strikers is simply to practice with good strikers, along with learning how to strike well. Some aikidojo have boxing connections, for example. Cross-training is cross-referencing the material, and in my opinion is the best way to be able to claim objective understanding. It's not a sure bet, just as a single aikidojo might have a very robust and well-rounded package, but to my mind it's the easiest way newer folks like me can comfortably develop any certainty for what we're doing. And for the record I've never formally studied boxing, and I admit my strikes aren't generally very good. I'm comfortable with that, but recognize going against a good striker, I'd probably be with some key disadvantages. However, at my dojo I have been hit a few times because I didn't move quick enough. It's a far cry from what would have happened in "real life" by a good striker, but it at the very least points toward certain realities.

I would argue Aikido has techniques for dealing with attacks, but emphasis dictates the quality with which those methods will generally be implemented.

Shany
05-17-2011, 02:00 PM
The only training you need is going out to bars and pick up fights, 5 days a week. That's the only way to know if YOUR Aikido works.

mathewjgano
05-17-2011, 02:10 PM
The only training you need is going out to bars and pick up fights, 5 days a week. That's the only way to know if YOUR Aikido works.

And then make sure they're tough bars. Not all bars are equal in effectiveness.:D

SeiserL
05-17-2011, 04:18 PM
If you want to fight, fight.
If you want to box, box.
If you want to study Aikido, study Aikido.

Nothing new.

Aikibu
05-17-2011, 05:06 PM
Does Aikido need some other ways of training, than those normally used, in order to be a more effective means of teaching practical martial ability? Yes.

Are these ways of training new? No.

Do they involve punching? No.

There is a system that exclusively teaches punching techniques/defense; boxing. Why not study this system if you're interested in learning to defend against a punch?

Aikido techniques specialize in another area all together. You're never going to get good answers for, "dealing with a punch" from the Aikido syllabus.

What??? This requires a detailed explanation...You know Aikido has been around a long time and Most of of the different styles have a system for dealing with a punch as do Judo Ju-Jitsu and other forms that are at the root of Aikido. I respectfully and completely disagree In fact our teacher says Aikido is 90% Atemi/Punching and Aikido is done to the rhythm and flow of Atemi/Punching.

The issue may be with the way some teach Aikido not that Aikido does not know how to deal with punches or a boxer.

With all due respect...The idea that O'Sensei was too stupid or ignorant to account for the way 95% of all physical conflicts start ( with a series of punches) in his syllabus requires a detailed explanation Chris.

William Hazen

Demetrio Cereijo
05-17-2011, 06:33 PM
With all due respect...The idea that O'Sensei was too stupid or ignorant to account for the way 95% of all physical conflicts start ( with a series of punches) in his syllabus requires a detailed explanation Chris.

William Hazen

And with all due respect, your "95% of all physical conflicts start (with a series of punches) in his syllabus" requires a detailed explanation, also.

Janet Rosen
05-17-2011, 07:09 PM
Um may I call a semantic time out? Maybe I'm out of line....but I think what William H means, to parse it out, is that 95% of physical conflicts start with a punch, therefore of course punching is addressed in his syllabus. Demetrio, are you reading it as 95% of his syllabus addresses it?

Demetrio Cereijo
05-17-2011, 07:27 PM
Um may I call a semantic time out? Maybe I'm out of line....but I think what William H means, to parse it out, is that 95% of physical conflicts start with a punch, therefore of course punching is addressed in his syllabus. Demetrio, are you reading it as 95% of his syllabus addresses it?

I'm reading 95% of physical conflicts start with a series of punches and Ueshiba syllabus adresses this circumstance.

So I wonder:

(a) where is founder's syllabus? As far as I know he didn't developed one. The most similar thing to a syllabus/curriculum is in Budo Renshuu and in Budo; both pre WW2 and where few techniques deal with punches.

(b) where is the data/statistics regarding this 95% of physical conflicts start with a series of punches statement? Looks as fishy as the debunked "90% of fights go to the ground (http://ejmas.com/jnc/2007jnc/jncart_Leblanc_0701.html)" Gracie family mantra.

I hope William can clarify.

graham christian
05-17-2011, 07:43 PM
Do we need to invent a new training?

That sounds like a student who's failing at a subject and blames the teacher or the book or even the noise.

Why don't you ask Do I need to get better at Aikido?

Sincerely.G.

Janet Rosen
05-17-2011, 07:50 PM
Ah got it - thank you for clarifying. Good questions.
I'm reading 95% of physical conflicts start with a series of punches and Ueshiba syllabus adresses this circumstance.

So I wonder:

(a) where is founder's syllabus? As far as I know he didn't developed one. The most similar thing to a syllabus/curriculum is in Budo Renshuu and in Budo; both pre WW2 and where few techniques deal with punches.

(b) where is the data/statistics regarding this 95% of physical conflicts start with a series of punches statement? Looks as fishy as the debunked "90% of fights go to the ground (http://ejmas.com/jnc/2007jnc/jncart_Leblanc_0701.html)" Gracie family mantra.

I hope William can clarify.

Aikibu
05-17-2011, 08:08 PM
No problem DJ

"Five scenario patterns accounted for 95% of the altercations"

"Subject attempts to punch or kick the officer."

http://ejmas.com/jnc/2007jnc/jncart_Leblanc_0701.html

This study was for altercations involving uniformed armed officers of the law. Only 16% in the breakdown involved just punching.

When the altercation involved just civilians The ratio of punches increased significantly. Sorry for my poor semantics DJ. In my personal experience 80% of the confrontations I've been in started with a push or punch.

Continue to nitpick at your leisure and yes Budo and Budorenshuu can be considered part of the Aikido "syllabus" in my view. Where do you think Aikido got them from? Scores of books have been published on the Aikido "syllabus". Pick One.

All of our techniques Start with Atemi... All of them...

So let me ask you.... By questioning me are you defending Chris's view?

Please explain if you like. :)

William Hazen

Aikibu
05-17-2011, 08:11 PM
I'm reading 95% of physical conflicts start with a series of punches and Ueshiba syllabus adresses this circumstance.

Please try to look at what I "wrote" not what you're "reading". :)

Again the key word here is Start. :) I will try to explain things better in the future. :)

William Hazen

Aikibu
05-17-2011, 08:22 PM
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=tsuki+aikido&suggested_categories=17&page=1

With just a casual search I found 7 pages of Tsuki Techniques alone....

William Hazen

Demetrio Cereijo
05-17-2011, 08:48 PM
Who is DJ?

You can not equate physical conflict in general with suspects resisting arrest.

When the altercation involved just civilians The ratio of punches increased significantly
Because you say so.

Sorry for my poor semantics DJ. In my personal experience 80% of the confrontations I've been in started with a push or punch.
Your personal experience is nothing more than anecdotal evidence. Doesn't prove your 95% of physical conflicts start with a series of punches statement. And in your case, you've just said the 80% of physical conflicts you've been involved started with a punch (not with a series of punches) or a push. Would you like to do the maths for your 80% again? Who is DJ, btw?

Continue to nitpick at your leisure and yes Budo and Budorenshuu can be considered part of the Aikido "syllabus" in my view.
And in mine, and there are not much dealing with punches in them.

Scores of books have been published on the Aikido "syllabus". Pick One.
I'm only interested in the ones wrote by the Founder, so I can check the accuracy of your "The idea that O'Sensei was too stupid or ignorant to account for the way 95% of all physical conflicts start ( with a series of punches) in his syllabus" thing.

All of our techniques Start with Atemi... All of them...
Mine have atemi at the start, in the middle and, in many cases, at the end. So what.

So let me ask you.... By questioning me are you defending Chris's view?
I'm starting to consider defending Chris view, for the fun of doing it.

Please try to look at what I "wrote" not what you're "reading"
This is what you wrote:

With all due respect...The idea that O'Sensei was too stupid or ignorant to account for the way 95% of all physical conflicts start ( with a series of punches) in his syllabus requires a detailed explanation Chris.

This requires not only explanation but proof.

I will try to explain things better in the future
The sooner the better :)

With just a casual search I found 7 pages of Tsuki Techniques alone....
You must be joking.

OTOH, who is DJ?

lbb
05-17-2011, 09:18 PM
Well, since the two of you are determined to fight, I guess we'll find out if it begins with a flurry of punches or something altogether different.

hughrbeyer
05-17-2011, 10:23 PM
Looks like it's already started with a series of punches.

And we're seeing the wisdom behind AIkido's expectation that there may always be more than one attacker.

:)

Aikibu
05-17-2011, 11:58 PM
No need to fight... he wins!!! :D

I am so very wrong and he is so very right. So now that is settled perhaps the victor "DC" can address Chris's post.

Or since his Aikido also contains Atemi Perhaps he would like to share How His Syllabus deals with folks who like to throw from the shoulder, and thus improved upon the founder's apparent said lack of expertise on the subject. :)

So now that I am back on topic I would like to echo what someone else wrote. Yes if you feel there is a lack of technical acumen when it comes to dealing with Tsuki by all means you should seek "New Training".

William Hazen

Aikibu
05-18-2011, 12:03 AM
Well, since the two of you are determined to fight, I guess we'll find out if it begins with a flurry of punches or something altogether different.

Sorry Mary I beg to differ...I am really not interested in turning this thread into a cat fight. I have nothing personal against anyone here. :)

William Hazen

ChrisHein
05-18-2011, 01:26 AM
What??? This requires a detailed explanation...You know Aikido has been around a long time and Most of of the different styles have a system for dealing with a punch as do Judo Ju-Jitsu and other forms that are at the root of Aikido. I respectfully and completely disagree In fact our teacher says Aikido is 90% Atemi/Punching and Aikido is done to the rhythm and flow of Atemi/Punching.

The issue may be with the way some teach Aikido not that Aikido does not know how to deal with punches or a boxer.

With all due respect...The idea that O'Sensei was too stupid or ignorant to account for the way 95% of all physical conflicts start ( with a series of punches) in his syllabus requires a detailed explanation Chris.

William Hazen

Alright, a bit reactionary William, but I'll bite.

Having a technique or two that can loosely deal with a "punch" does not a punching system make. If you want to compare Judo punch defense to western boxing... You see where I'm going.

Atemi doesn't mean "punch". Atemi means strike. Baseball bats strike things, arrows strike things, hands strike things, many things strike. A punch is an atemi, but atemi is most often not "punching". Aikido is 90% atemi, this discussion has been had many times, but we can cut to the quick here and see, quite decidedly that Aikido isn't 90% punching.

95% of all physical conflict starts with a punch. I couldn't think of a more misleading statement. When wars take place, do we punch at each other? Do you think the Samurai were running around punching people? Do modern "men of action" (LEO, Military) deal with punching a lot? Your 95% of physical conflict represents a very small portion of what physical conflict is. If you envision drunks fighting in the streets, or thugs fighting with police officers who have taken them into custody, perhaps you are correct. However this represents a VERY small portion of "all physical conflicts".

If you would have gone to the James Williams seminar this weekend you could have heard him talking about coming out of the ego macho world where we believe unarmed fighting is somehow "important".

Punching is a pretty good chunk of unarmed conflict. Unarmed conflict is a tiny piece of the whole of physical conflict. In the grand scheme punching isn't really very important.

Dave de Vos
05-18-2011, 01:31 AM
the way 95% of all physical conflicts start ( with a series of punches).

I think that statistic is bound to time and place. Street fighting in the US in modern times may involve a lot of punching, but what about other times and places? I think a tendency to punch is influenced heavily by Hollywood fighting scenes. It might have been very different in Japan in 1930.

I have very little experience in street fighting, but from what I have seen, it starts quite often with intimidating like shouting, feinting and pushing. Like pushing away or a sumo push where you grab someones'body trying push him over. When adrenaline really starts flowing, strikes and kicks could come into play. But most people are not very experienced with these, so strikes may be haymakers instead of punches (perhaps instinctively avoiding hurting ones wrist or bare fist when punching a head) and they might even fall over when a strike or kick misses (especially when alcohol plays a part).

Aikibu
05-18-2011, 02:12 AM
Alright, a bit reactionary William, but I'll bite.

Having a technique or two that can loosely deal with a "punch" does not a punching system make. If you want to compare Judo punch defense to western boxing... You see where I'm going.

Atemi doesn't mean "punch". Atemi means strike. Baseball bats strike things, arrows strike things, hands strike things, many things strike. A punch is an atemi, but atemi is most often not "punching". Aikido is 90% atemi, this discussion has been had many times, but we can cut to the quick here and see, quite decidedly that Aikido isn't 90% punching.

95% of all physical conflict starts with a punch. I couldn't think of a more misleading statement. When wars take place, do we punch at each other? Do you think the Samurai were running around punching people? Do modern "men of action" (LEO, Military) deal with punching a lot? Your 95% of physical conflict represents a very small portion of what physical conflict is. If you envision drunks fighting in the streets, or thugs fighting with police officers who have taken them into custody, perhaps you are correct. However this represents a VERY small portion of "all physical conflicts".

If you would have gone to the James Williams seminar this weekend you could have heard him talking about coming out of the ego macho world where we believe unarmed fighting is somehow "important".

Punching is a pretty good chunk of unarmed conflict. Unarmed conflict is a tiny piece of the whole of physical conflict. In the grand scheme punching isn't really very important.

Seen in your context I would absolutely agree. I am glad you made it to James Williams Seminar. I would be interested in your impression of his practice and meanwhile I'll work on my semantics. Atemi/Strikes/Punches are all the same in my view. The Impact "weapon" is usually some portion of the hand (or elbow in our case) That may also be a question of semantics but make no mistake I am hitting someone when I use Atemi. So I will like you think about your last statement a bit. I agree it's a small portion of the big picture and perhaps unimportant. My purpose for practice is not to learn how to fight but to develop the Martial Spirit of Budo.

My View is there are many methods available to develop Budo and I feel Aikido is technically on par with most of them. That is my view and the reason I asked you for yours. Self Defense occurs on many levels and the Martial Arts for me are a physical expression of my spiritual journey. In our Aikido (and in many others) There is no "Budo" with out "Martial" if you get my drift. And to be considered Martial then an Art must be technically proficient as one. If ones practice includes an effort to make their Art more Martial then I am all for it. :)

William Hazen

Demetrio Cereijo
05-18-2011, 03:33 AM
No need to fight... he wins!!! :D
Everybody wins.

I am so very wrong and he is so very right. So now that is settled perhaps the victor "DC" can address Chris's post
Chris can explain his opinions himself and, as you can see, he can put some reasoning behind them.

Or since his Aikido also contains Atemi Perhaps he would like to share How His Syllabus deals with folks who like to throw from the shoulder, and thus improved upon the founder's apparent said lack of expertise on the subject. :)
With double leg takedowns and kouchi makikomi, which in "my syllabus" are physical manifestations of the principles of irimi and atemi (with a planet), followed by pinning and telling the opponent to chill out because violence is not the solution.

I don't know if that can be considered an improvement or not, but for unarmed individual encounters is effective and compassionate enough, especially if compared with punching/elbowing faces, bending joints and throwing in ways few untrained people can land safely.

If we are talking of armed or multiple opponents with very serious intent... I could produce some "metal poisoning" tools if needed.

I am really not interested in turning this thread into a cat fight. I have nothing personal against anyone here.
Same here. Now, can we go back on topic?

BTW. Who is DJ?
:D

Best regards.

graham christian
05-18-2011, 08:43 AM
Demetrio.
Don't you know who DJ is? You'll find him on the Aikido and Music thread.......

Just imagine that, a DJ AND Music or maybe a live band too.

Regards.G.

graham christian
05-18-2011, 09:01 AM
Alberto.
Seriously, if you want some tips then first you would have to practice not fighting.

Get rid of the competition frame of mind when confronted by your boxer friends. This takes practice, practice, practice.

Thus you would have to practice movement and timing and ma-ai, every time you get it wrong then you get hit.

It's going where your 'mind' believes you can't go, this is the discipline of learning good taisabaki, tenkan, entering correctly. For instance when you understand what off center line means then you realize it's a safe path to follow rather than a dangerous one. When you realize where taisabake should take you then you understand what being behind the attacker means. Much to practice my friend.

No invention needed. You could say in keeping with what others are saying here on percentages that 90% of Aikido is understanding Aikido and 10% is invention and experimentation.

Resgards.G.

ChrisHein
05-18-2011, 10:58 AM
Seen in your context I would absolutely agree. I am glad you made it to James Williams Seminar. I would be interested in your impression of his practice and meanwhile I'll work on my semantics. Atemi/Strikes/Punches are all the same in my view. The Impact "weapon" is usually some portion of the hand (or elbow in our case) That may also be a question of semantics but make no mistake I am hitting someone when I use Atemi. So I will like you think about your last statement a bit. I agree it's a small portion of the big picture and perhaps unimportant. My purpose for practice is not to learn how to fight but to develop the Martial Spirit of Budo.

My View is there are many methods available to develop Budo and I feel Aikido is technically on par with most of them. That is my view and the reason I asked you for yours. Self Defense occurs on many levels and the Martial Arts for me are a physical expression of my spiritual journey. In our Aikido (and in many others) There is no "Budo" with out "Martial" if you get my drift. And to be considered Martial then an Art must be technically proficient as one. If ones practice includes an effort to make their Art more Martial then I am all for it. :)

William Hazen

Hey William,

From what I read here, we are kindred spirits, you and I. I also practice martial arts for spiritual development. I choose martial arts as my spiritual practice because I get the side benefit of learning to physically protect myself and those around me. So, just like you, my martial arts need to be, "martial".

It's just that I don't believe unarmed fighting is all that martial. Unarmed fighting has taught me a lot about myself. Unarmed fighting has been a wonderful spiritual practice for me (making me face my fears on many occasions). Unarmed fighitng is an interesting pass time. But as far as being martially effective goes, unarmed fighting is very limited.

Modern American culture tricked me with, movies, video games, and fantasies. For a very long time I believed that unarmed fighting was fighting. This myopic view made me chase my tail for years. Made me think that Aikido didn't offer much as a martial art. It made me waste a lot of my time.

When I gained a larger understanding of physical conflict, I realized how important the lessons of Aikido are, martially. Important things in physical conflict are: surprise, weapons, numbers, and environment. Aikido addresses these important factors constantly, western boxing doesn't work on any of them. Wester boxing is the best way to learn about punching (in my opinion) Aikido is about worthless. But how martial is punching, really?

Basia Halliop
05-18-2011, 12:13 PM
95% of all physical conflict starts with a punch. I couldn't think of a more misleading statement. When wars take place, do we punch at each other? Do you think the Samurai were running around punching people? Do modern "men of action" (LEO, Military) deal with punching a lot? Your 95% of physical conflict represents a very small portion of what physical conflict is. If you envision drunks fighting in the streets, or thugs fighting with police officers who have taken them into custody, perhaps you are correct. However this represents a VERY small portion of "all physical conflicts".

Also if you consider muggings and sexual assaults, I don't get the impression most of them start with punches, at least not if I go by a quick skim of the police reports from my city.

Aikibu
05-18-2011, 12:25 PM
Hey William,

From what I read here, we are kindred spirits, you and I. I also practice martial arts for spiritual development. I choose martial arts as my spiritual practice because I get the side benefit of learning to physically protect myself and those around me. So, just like you, my martial arts need to be, "martial".

It's just that I don't believe unarmed fighting is all that martial. Unarmed fighting has taught me a lot about myself. Unarmed fighting has been a wonderful spiritual practice for me (making me face my fears on many occasions). Unarmed fighitng is an interesting pass time. But as far as being martially effective goes, unarmed fighting is very limited.

Modern American culture tricked me with, movies, video games, and fantasies. For a very long time I believed that unarmed fighting was fighting. This myopic view made me chase my tail for years. Made me think that Aikido didn't offer much as a martial art. It made me waste a lot of my time.

When I gained a larger understanding of physical conflict, I realized how important the lessons of Aikido are, martially. Important things in physical conflict are: surprise, weapons, numbers, and environment. Aikido addresses these important factors constantly, western boxing doesn't work on any of them. Wester boxing is the best way to learn about punching (in my opinion) Aikido is about worthless. But how martial is punching, really?

I totally agree. Good Post. :) See you on the mat one of these days. Hopefully you'll consider doing a write up of Sensei Williams Seminar. To me he exhibits a pure expression of Budo.

William Hazen

Marc Abrams
05-18-2011, 01:20 PM
But how martial is punching, really?

Chris:

Ushiro Sensei will be at George Ledyard's Dojo for the last weekend in October. If you are as open-minded as you say that you are, stop by and see if punching can be martial. Maybe it is not the act that defines something as martial, but the spirit of the person behind the action that defines some act as martial.

Marc Abrams

Aikibu
05-18-2011, 03:30 PM
Chris:

Ushiro Sensei will be at George Ledyard's Dojo for the last weekend in October. If you are as open-minded as you say that you are, stop by and see if punching can be martial. Maybe it is not the act that defines something as martial, but the spirit of the person behind the action that defines some act as martial.

Marc Abrams

Exactly...Thanks Marc. :)

William Hazen

ChrisHein
05-18-2011, 07:18 PM
Chris:

Ushiro Sensei will be at George Ledyard's Dojo for the last weekend in October. If you are as open-minded as you say that you are, stop by and see if punching can be martial. Maybe it is not the act that defines something as martial, but the spirit of the person behind the action that defines some act as martial.

Marc Abrams

Hey Marc,
Washington is a bit far (it's only a thousand miles or so:D ). I'm not saying that punches are "un-martial", I'm just saying, in the grand scheme, we don't need to reorganize Aikido so that we can deal with them.

There are lots of valid areas of martial study to pursue, unarmed martial arts is one of them. However I believe as martial artists it's important that we realize it's only a very small field.

If I asked an F/A-22 Raptor (fighter jet) pilot about fighting, he would talk about angles of attack. If I asked what his punch defenses are, he'd roll his eyes at me. It's all a matter of perspective and context. A man with a 28" razor doesn't need to worry too much about punching.

Marc Abrams
05-18-2011, 08:30 PM
Hey Marc,
Washington is a bit far (it's only a thousand miles or so:D ). I'm not saying that punches are "un-martial", I'm just saying, in the grand scheme, we don't need to reorganize Aikido so that we can deal with them.

There are lots of valid areas of martial study to pursue, unarmed martial arts is one of them. However I believe as martial artists it's important that we realize it's only a very small field.

If I asked an F/A-22 Raptor (fighter jet) pilot about fighting, he would talk about angles of attack. If I asked what his punch defenses are, he'd roll his eyes at me. It's all a matter of perspective and context. A man with a 28" razor doesn't need to worry too much about punching.

Chris:

I fully agree with you that we do not need to re-organize Aikido to deal with a good puncher/boxer. There are enough Aikidoka out there that seem to be doing fine with those types of attacks that should result in people assuming responsibility for what they do (rather than blame it on an art).

Martial studies revolve around martial principles that can then be used in a variety of martial applications. If that raptor pilot ejects, I hope that he can deal with angle of attacks in a more up-close and personal setting.....

Regards,

Marc Abrams

ps- what is 1,000 miles amongst friends. Heck, I am off to Japan for a LONG weekend in several weeks (yes, you heard me correctly, only a weekend of training).

lbb
05-18-2011, 09:12 PM
One other thing about punching -- one thing I used to hear a lot in my striking-style days was, "Don't ever, EVER punch someone in the head with your bare hand." It's what they show in the movies, but in real life? Talk about a way to get hurt! Elbow strike, maybe, palm strike, maybe...plain ol' punch to the head, no.

(But amateurs who "know" about "fighting" from the movies will try it. They also try to kick, which is pure comedy gold)

jonreading
05-19-2011, 12:48 PM
First, I think that in general, the founder wished aikido to be an incomplete "fighting" curriculum. Long story short, I believe he did this (amongst other reasons not applicable here) to: 1. allow students to focus on "aiki" without pre-requsite combat training. 2. to protect the art from fraud and separate those who are "doing" aikido and those who study aikido in a larger sense; I believe the missing curriculum is available for those who wish to find it.

Second, I think the educational delivery method is under scrutiny. Dr. Goldsbury has several pieces on transmitting aikido, these are good pieces. I think there is a fair argument that the Eastern traditional method of shu ha rei progressive instruction is under scrutiny here in the West. I think the West is already influencing a new delivery system that is easier for Westerners to consume and targeted towards a greater delivery of information within a shorter time-frame of training. I think part of this delivery method allows (even encourages) for cross-training and specialization.

Those two things said... yes, aikido could benefit from a little cross-training. Knowing how to throw a punch would be the first step for many aikido people... :( However, I believe that aikido allows for the specialization of combat if you want to incorporate it into your training. I think we need to be careful to cross-train and not bastardize aikido, but many good aikido people I know train/trained in one or more sister arts.

Somewhere along the lines, we went from "aikido does not focus on combat" to "aikido is not combat effective." I think the founder intended to draw attention away from a focus on fighting and instead we have gradually migrated to dismiss the need for martial competency. If you need to brush up on striking and its related blocks and techniques, do it.

SeiserL
05-19-2011, 05:12 PM
Ushiro Sensei will be at George Ledyard's Dojo for the last weekend in October. If you are as open-minded as you say that you are, stop by and see if punching can be martial. Maybe it is not the act that defines something as martial, but the spirit of the person behind the action that defines some act as martial.
Second the recommendation.

Perhaps we do not need a new training method but to find the right people to train under and with.

I have not compliments.

ChrisHein
05-20-2011, 10:02 AM
Second the recommendation.

Perhaps we do not need a new training method but to find the right people to train under and with.

I have not compliments.

Or perhaps the right context for the system.

Demetrio Cereijo
05-20-2011, 11:02 AM
In any case, like the tea master Sen Rikyû said (or so it seems):

Observe the standards and rules of form to the limit, and though you may break them or depart from them, never forget the principles.

graham christian
05-20-2011, 02:42 PM
I'm feeling a bit mischievous. Throughout many threads here I have seen blame ascribed to organizations, methods of training, teachers not being able to teach properly. Mmmmm.

It's time to invent!!! Mmmmmm.

Now from a purely zen/mischievous point of view you understand may I say it's time to invent a new STUDENT.

Now wouldn't THAT be a thing?........Mmmmm.

Regards.G.

lbb
05-20-2011, 04:02 PM
Now from a purely zen/mischievous point of view you understand may I say it's time to invent a new STUDENT.

Now wouldn't THAT be a thing?........Mmmmm.

Maybe the only thing worth doing. As Pema Chodron says, you don't get lasting happiness by moving around the external circumstances. Or, to put it another way, I control myself...I don't control my training partner, my teacher, the USAF, the weather, etc.

Alberto_Italiano
05-22-2011, 01:13 PM
I didn't think this thread could develop in such interesting a manner. I thank you all for your contributions, and I am eager to read more as further thoughts hopefully arrive.

It does not seem to me there is somebody wrong and someone else right. All instances make a rational point, a perspective on the problem. A few are more encompassing, others less (but in this latter case maybe it's just my understanding that fails).
I thank you all, and I am sincere when I say that I found all of your insights in this issue useful and enlightening.

I would like to add that I do have a boxing background. In fact some have argued that I was wondering about this problem because I had none - I have been in boxing competitions, fighting an overall of 36 official matches (not as a pro, however). But that was long ago, over 20 years ago.
I am an ex-ex-ex boxeur who got fascinated by aikido.

Now, those who have stated that most attacks in street/bar fights start exactly with sequences of punching strikes, have understood my question in its essence for at least 50% of it.
In this setting, I am imagining not a casual or improvised striker, but a SKILLED and competent one.

It is precisely because those attacks are the most common ones, that I find rather serious a shortcoming of the standard aikido training method that it is never geared towards dealing with those type of attacks and rather devotes a lot of time imagining attackers who grab your wrists (a very unlikely, and "lady-like" type of attack...) and (as if that alone wouldn't be unrealistic enough already) wait there.

Uh, at Ueshiba's times, in their taverns, guys did not punch each other, but grabbed each other's wrists and waited in that positions staring intently into each other's eyes?
I don't believe this.

So, the other 50% of my question derives from the fact that theorical approaches dealing with tsuki like http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=tsuki+aikido&suggested_categories=17&page=1 will NOT work in a real situation against a skilled striker who is DECENTLY FAST.
They are good on camera, but in a real fight they won't be that easy in the least. I know it's hard to accept, but it's true: they would fail in most cases.

Get a striker who is competent, mobile on his feet, who can follow you and keep facing you squarely (attackers can both RESIST VIGOROUSLY AND VEHEMENTLY any arm grab, and they have this incredible ability, unknown to many ukes, to rotate in order to face you AGAIN AND INSTANTLY whenever you attempt to go lateral with an irimi - this NATURAL "predisposition" of any competent striker is what our standard Ukes make us forgetful about), all the while delivering combination of fast punches without pauses.

Your atemi will do nothing on them - those are attackers used to get combinations of punches on their faces and yet they keep their focus - i think we all have seen, at least on tv, a few boxing matches: you won't "atemi" those guys, after you have seen them getting hooks in their faces and yet stay still and fully capable of immediate retaliation.

The fact is, the rare times I can find an opponent who resists with all his vigour and attacks me with realism, I fail and YET the more I fail, the more I feel I am getting BETTER.

There is NOTHING SO INVIGORATING like ending 45 minutes of aikido with a dedicated partner where you have experienced the full range of difficulties that physical clashing, robust resistance, flying hands, full determination to oppose you, clever attempts to bring you down, counter-techniques, punches , pose to somebody attempting to insert aikido in that type of violent (though controlled: punches are all thrown with OPEN hands) setting.

However, this is so rare a possibility, and the dojos that will allow you to experience this type of physical clash are so few all over the world, that thence came my question: how can I surrogate fire? What training may make us get closer to that type of confrontation and realism, provided most dojos won't allow us to go even remotely close to that?

Unfortunately i can't go to fight in bars as someone has suggested - I'm no criminal, simply :D
I'm just interested in controlling violence with a refined response, and aikido to me seems such a response. But gosh if it's difficult against a realistic attacker! damn if it is D I F F I C U L T !

So I am here listening to you all, and hoping over time we'll have more ideas about how we can develop a training geared towards realism - for our default aikido training isn't (it's not a critic, simply a fact. Really, NO critic or polemic whatsoever!).

Three days ago I trained with my buddy and it was rather brutal a training - I can't tell you how difficult it was, and yet how still today I feel incredibly more confident simply because I am getting acquainted once again with the dynamics of a real physical clash.

Those who advise against it, perhaps have never experienced how enriching an experience it can be for a martial artist (I am none, but you are!) coming back from an aikido training session led with full intensity of violent contrast (safety measures can easily be included - for instance we keep hands rigorously open and no clenched punches, and we throw at the chest)

I refuse to believe that in order to be realistic, one has to forfeit Aikido and go to die in bars.
Thence my hope someone has ideas about new training options. We won't always have the right partner for realism.

Alberto_Italiano
05-22-2011, 01:21 PM
Alberto,

Does the "only leverges and projections, and no force allowed except that which could move say 15 kilos" limitations still apply?

Of course.
The point is all there. The challenge is all there.

Alberto_Italiano
05-22-2011, 01:45 PM
My understanding is that, even if you could match/catch the strike, you're probably not going to be trying to keep it from being re-chambered simply because if the guy is stronger than you it won't work. Aikido method is based on the premise that the other guy has stronger muscles than you. The ideal is to slip the bulk of the strike's force, neutralize it enough to allow you affect the limb (and body through that limb), or to enter through another point (some form of "ate" (http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFNxBj-A_cU&feature=related) comes quickly to mind). So, in short, whatever their trajectory is, we probably want to add to it rather than work against it.(...) I'm comfortable with that, but recognize going against a good striker, I'd probably be with some key disadvantages. However, at my dojo I have been hit a few times because I didn't move quick enough. It's a far cry from what would have happened in "real life" by a good striker, but it at the very least points toward certain realities..

Exactly Matthew: they re-chamber. And not only they re-chamber, but they do that with force and high, high speed.

You won't get any easy hold of those arms, and you won't irimi a fast paced attacker wyho steps back instantly or faces you squarely again.
Attaining that goal (going lateral, and conquering an effective arm grab) will require a lot of work and attempts, and in the while, in a real fight, one has to keep in mind you might have endured unbearable damage while you were after your trial and errors pursuit - damages possibly incompatible with pursuing your goal any further.

To make his force work against himself. Yes. That's the goal. My goal too.
And that is precisely what a skilled puncher makes you realize how difficult it is. Very far from our idealized videos for demonstration purposes.

So, if it is dfficult to apply those principles in a real situation where a skilled puncher is intent on delivering HELL on you, I was precisely wondering how we may ever become able to do that indeed, to apply his force against himself, if our training nearly never makes us face the real (and often overwhelming) difficulties that our goal would meet when pursued against the real force of "the real thing".

it's a question, my question - not in the least a derogatory statement. I love Aikido! But in those realistic setting, I realize that the standard aikido training is not preparing us for that. We risk of being incredibly good "a la charte": "in the menu".

Carsten Möllering
05-24-2011, 07:34 AM
Not a new Training method. Just a little bit "released" kata. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVqE9DKCcrk)
True: No boxing here. Also no kicks.

(But it's Italian ;) )

jester
05-24-2011, 08:57 AM
I love Aikido! But in those realistic setting, I realize that the standard Aikido training is not preparing us for that.

I say it a thousand time that it's the person not the art!! Out of any class there may be only a handful of students that can make the jump from what they learn in class and apply it in the streets.

I took Aikido to learn to fight better. Not to be at peace with the world etc etc. I grew up being picked on and was constantly in fights. I learned what worked for me and what didn't. I took Karate as a kid thinking it would help but it was a waste of my time. It didn't fit my body or mind. I always liked Judo and Jujitsu from what I read in books but never was able to take classes as a kid.

Boxing skills were essential for me but they have their limitations. What Aikido, Jujitsu and Judo taught were very in tune with my body and motions. I thought constantly about the techniques I learned and how to apply them. I had a couple like minded training partners that I could experiment on and figured out what worked and what didn't work for me. All the arts have overlapping principals so maybe you won't get it all in just Aikido.

I took Miyama Ryu Jujitsu and learned a lot of similar techniques to Aikido but with a more violent twist. Knowing these extra locks, pins and situations just added to my foundation I had in Aikido.

In the end I know for a fact that Aikido works for me. My training is my own creation because I internalized what would work for me.

So in the end, I think it's up to the individual to make his own training. There is NO secret to self defense or fighting other than you fight like you train so. If all you want to do is be at peace and Aikido helps you do that then that is your training method. If you want to defend yourself in a violent attack then that's another method.

-

Nicholas Eschenbruch
05-24-2011, 09:54 AM
Not a new Training method. Just a little bit "released" kata. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVqE9DKCcrk)
True: No boxing here. Also no kicks.

(But it's Italian ;) )

Very nice and inspiring clip, I like the creativity, that made me smile. Thanks for posting!

graham christian
05-24-2011, 11:41 AM
Not a new Training method. Just a little bit "released" kata. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVqE9DKCcrk)
True: No boxing here. Also no kicks.

(But it's Italian ;) )

Loved the video. Now that's being creative yet in such a way it improves your Aikido. Excellent.

I do two ways of training which improve different aspects of Aikido. One is using two paper fans, one in each hand whilst being attacked. That for me prevents the temptation to grab and thus the only thing that works is good movement etc. Good for kokyu.

Another one I do is from holding a saucer or bowl and following the rule that you musn't tilt it whilst doing Aikido. In other words you must imagine it is full of water and you mustn't spill the water.

Regards.G.

abraxis
05-24-2011, 11:45 AM
The only training you need is going out to bars and pick up fights, 5 days a week. That's the only way to know if YOUR Aikido works.

Reminds me of a story I was told about my first sensei, Mitsunari Kanai, when he was uchi deshi for OSensei.

Story has it Kanai went out one night for the sole purpose of seeing if his techniques were effective in a real fight. Picking a bar which was primarily frequented by American G.I.'s and which had a reputation as being a very tough place where Japanese were not welcome seemed to be just the place he was looking for.
Once inside, Kanai stood having a drink by himself and was soon approached by a G.I. twice his size who told him to get the hell out and told him he wasn't welcome there. Kanai chose to ignore this which resulted in the demand being shouted in his face again and louder, and then came a shove from the guy (not a punch, but a shove). Kanai just took another sip and ignored the fellow. This, if the story is correct, was followed again by another verbal demand to leave and another shove--both of which also were ignored by Kanai. At this point the G.I. was livid and charged Kanai to shove him even more forcefully which Kanai responded to and effectively put the G.I. down on the floor in such a way that the incident was ended. Thus completing the test he had hoped to perform.

The next day someone told OSensei about what had happened at the bar so he called Kanai over for a talk. The story has it that OSensei spoke to Kanai quietly and without any anger saying only, "Even after all your training you still don't know how to get out of the way".

End of story

abraxis
05-24-2011, 09:56 PM
....About the training-methods:
Try to train with karateka. I think you will find karateka who also practice aikido. And they are able to offer you a lot of things which you are looking for but can adjust gradually to aikido practice.
Try to crosstrain with martial arts or sports - like boxing.
Maybe learn boxing, kickoboxing or karate yourself. Being able to produce a good combination as a boxer will also help to devellop a good answer as aikidoka. Practice kata / kihon waza / basics intense as possible.
And at last - or as first step?
Find a teacher who offers you, what you need. You will get very frustrated if you train "against" what is taught in your dojo. Or with a teacher who you do not "believe".My 2c.

Hello Carsten,

You brought back a lot of fond memories with your post so I thank you for putting in your 2c.

To me, it always seemed my first teacher, Kanai Shihan, was totally dedicated to teaching aikido as a highly effective martial art.

I understand that starting when he first moved to the United States he was interested in doing exhibitions involving himself and karateka and this proved helpful in promoting the art of aikido in the United States. Also, he was known to enjoy putting on breakfall demonstrations on concrete as a way of demonstrating the effectiveness of that aspect of his practice. This suggests, in addition to your recommendations above, those interested might consider training on concrete against judo players to test and develop the effectiveness of this aspect of their aikido.:D

As you say, learning a bit about other martial arts is also a way to improve your aikido. Kanai was 4th Dan in Karate, Judo and Iaido too I believe before being accepted for aikido training. These are not new inventions just traditional ways of cross training to become more effective overall. This type of preparation is often found today in the training backgrounds of the most accomplished teachers in aikido.

Finally, what you say about finding the right teacher is essential to every aikidoka's training. My training with Kanai was extremely brief but has always been of great importance and value to me and I hope every aikidoka can find a teacher who they can believe in and who is as effective and as inspirational as Mitsunaria Kanai.

Regards,

R.Ternbach

Alec Corper
05-25-2011, 10:33 AM
In the traditional CMA external training almost always preceded internal, the hard before the soft, resistance before yielding. In this way several things were accomplished, the body was conditioned to receive and deliver force, the emotions were conditioned to deal with the reality of violence and the perceptual aspect of the mind was trained to see the early signs of intent. After more than 30 years in martial arts and 19 in aikido I believe that something else is needed than the same repetition of mechanical waza that most of us grew up with. However I am not wise enough to know what that is, althoough I continue trying, mixing cross training with some internal practises, visiting and working with teachers of different arts. I respect Alberto's desire to handle a full on attack using only aikido but I think our definitions of exactly what aikido is are probably different. I believe that the training of hard and soft, absorbing and repelling, all aspects of full and empty eventually have to come together in the kind of 6 directional force that Akuzawa refers to and also the Roppokai. Techniques cease to be important, merely slipping away from force and causing implosion where needed. The moral and ethical aspects of aikido are so freely interpreted as to be meaningless to all, and meaningful to each individual. I hope you come up with some answers, I would be interested to see and feel what you are doing.
with respect, Alec Corper

abraxis
05-25-2011, 11:14 AM
Alberto, Alec and Carsten,

Any chance you can all meet on the mat at a seminar convenient to the three of you? I'd like to be there to watch if you do.

Enjoy your practice,

Rudy

Alec Corper
05-25-2011, 11:21 AM
But Rudy wouldn't you like to join in if we promise to play nice ;-)
Seriously though don't you sometimes wish that you knew then what you know now.

abraxis
05-25-2011, 11:32 AM
But Rudy wouldn't you like to join in if we promise to play nice ;-)
Seriously though don't you sometimes wish that you knew then what you know now.

Yes, and indeed Yes! But If I join in you could all be convicted of elder abuse--I'll be 66 in July.

Alec Corper
05-25-2011, 11:55 AM
Congrats! I'll be 59 this year and bits are starting to fall off. My students regularly abuse me When I give them the chance.) How do you train now? I find it often difficult to be an easy uke, pain and cunning have shaped my responses. Sorry for thread drift all.

abraxis
05-25-2011, 12:14 PM
Congrats! I'll be 59 this year and bits are starting to fall off. My students regularly abuse me When I give them the chance.) How do you train now? I find it often difficult to be an easy uke, pain and cunning have shaped my responses. Sorry for thread drift all.

I just started training again this month. I joined a dojo for classes (just once/wk to start) where my Sensei is a young woman your age (Rokyu Dan). Also, I do 1:1 sessions 1x/wk with a 20-something Shodan. Everyone takes it easy on me even when my pain and cunning get to be annoying. If parts don't break, or as they get replaced, I hope to increase my sessions on the mat....And thread drift shouldn't be a concern -- if they want, people can always click on the "Ignore the Old Geezers" button.

abraxis
05-25-2011, 02:08 PM
... How do you train now? ....
Alec,
I should have given this a bit more of an answer so I'll add that I do a little rowing on a machine and a little biking on a stationary bike. I'd like to add some yoga for core strength and flexibility as these need a lot of attention and have direct benefit in practice on the mat as you know. Being the right weight is more important than ever it seems so I'm paying a lot more attention to that as well. Overall, I think this sums it up except for the one other thing I train in which I learned years ago in central Africa from a two-hundred year old shaman. See -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tW6pVFOpE6Q
Rudy

jester
05-25-2011, 02:23 PM
the one other thing I train in which I learned years ago in central Africa from a two-hundred year old shaman. See -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tW6pVFOpE6Q
Rudy

Ha! :blush: That was funny!!

abraxis
05-26-2011, 08:20 AM
Alberto,
I'm not writing this to provoke you into action but perhaps you might think about joining a boxing gym with the understanding that they will start you sparring at a slow pace, you using only aikido and your partner using only boxing, and gradually go from there until you can go full speed with the idea in mind that you are preparing for a partner in the ring who will see you not as an aikido artist with a zen orientation but as someone threatening their life, their family, their reputation and their livelihood. For which see...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N44vdCqI7LI&feature=related

...To make his force work against himself. Yes. That's the goal. My goal too.And that is precisely what a skilled puncher makes you realize how difficult it is. Very far from our idealized videos for demonstration purposes.....I realize that the standard aikido training is not preparing us for that. We risk of being incredibly good "a la charte": "in the menu".

I

lbb
05-26-2011, 08:36 AM
...with the idea in mind that you are preparing for a partner in the ring who will see you not as an aikido artist with a zen orientation but as someone threatening their life, their family, their reputation and their livelihood.

Good god. What kind of "rings" are you talking about where people's lives and families are threatened? Let's not get overly dramatic, here...

thisisnotreal
05-26-2011, 09:21 AM
maybe it would be pretty good if we really understood the old training (?)

What are the gokui, and how are they hidden?
Why can't we see them right away?

thisisnotreal
05-26-2011, 10:40 AM
another thought (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=182850&postcount=1309)

abraxis
05-26-2011, 10:44 AM
Good god. What kind of "rings" are you talking about where people's lives and families are threatened? Let's not get overly dramatic, here...

Hello Mary,

These kinds of rings in which "overly dramatic" thinking is to be found.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwTE0mVGCMI&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQEL5sd2aOo

For further evidence in this regard you might try searching "death in the boxing ring" on youtube.

Please watch only if you have a high tolerance for the "overly dramatic".

jonreading
05-26-2011, 02:21 PM
A few posts back Graham asked a loaded question about changing students that train aikido. I think he was referring to criticism directed towards organizations and instructors disseminating aikido. I am not sure if he was serious but I would absolutely argue that the student in today's aikido is not the same as previous generations. That is certainly one of the challenges instructors and organizations face - how to offer an curriculum attractive to students while preserving the integrity of the art.
There is no doubt that aikido has changed its curriculum to offer a mainstream product that is more palatable to prospective students. Over the past many years the curriculum has been degraded extensively and in some cases should no longer be called aikido. Heck, even on Aikiweb there are people who put in writing that they don't care whether aikido works as a martial art. I think in many cases even the method of training (let alone content) from 30 years ago would be unacceptable to many current students.
I think the aikido student of today is very different than the older students were. From my perspective, I hold the organizations and instructors more responsible for allowing the curriculum to degrade by catering to build a student base rather than teach stewardship of the art. For what its worth, I believe many people know see that folly and are moving to correct it.

Aikibu
05-26-2011, 02:59 PM
A few posts back Graham asked a loaded question about changing students that train aikido. I think he was referring to criticism directed towards organizations and instructors disseminating aikido. I am not sure if he was serious but I would absolutely argue that the student in today's aikido is not the same as previous generations. That is certainly one of the challenges instructors and organizations face - how to offer an curriculum attractive to students while preserving the integrity of the art.
There is no doubt that aikido has changed its curriculum to offer a mainstream product that is more palatable to prospective students. Over the past many years the curriculum has been degraded extensively and in some cases should no longer be called aikido. Heck, even on Aikiweb there are people who put in writing that they don't care whether aikido works as a martial art. I think in many cases even the method of training (let alone content) from 30 years ago would be unacceptable to many current students.
I think the aikido student of today is very different than the older students were. From my perspective, I hold the organizations and instructors more responsible for allowing the curriculum to degrade by catering to build a student base rather than teach stewardship of the art. For what its worth, I believe many people know see that folly and are moving to correct it.

Amen Jon. Well said. :)

William Hazen

Erick Mead
05-26-2011, 03:41 PM
First, I think that in general, the founder wished aikido to be an incomplete "fighting" curriculum. Long story short, I believe he did this (amongst other reasons not applicable here) to: 1. allow students to focus on "aiki" without pre-requsite combat training. 2. to protect the art from fraud and separate those who are "doing" aikido and those who study aikido in a larger sense; I believe the missing curriculum is available for those who wish to find it. Alleluia. Amen.

... a new delivery system that is easier for Westerners to consume and targeted towards a greater delivery of information within a shorter time-frame of training. I think part of this delivery method allows (even encourages) for cross-training and specialization.
Western learning requires two things 1) a theory or principle generalized from empirical observation in specific contexts 2) empirical confirmation of the principle or theory in operation in novel contexts. In short, whereas Japanese rote methods were mostly given to us, they are short in the two areas noted. Saotome and his approach to aikido "principles" is a correct Western mode or approach though he has left it to us to better articulate and apply them them for ourselves in many respects -- that is just as it should be.

A teacher striving for a more Western mode should be able to start with, say a basic body movement and elaborate a series of lessons on that movement from that point, without more, and explain long the way the principle operating in the body movement and how that principle is changed in appearance in various circumstances. Or, say, start with a canonical technique and then progressively modify it in circumstance or attack that relates it to the same operative principle in another canonical "technique"
Or, any of a thousand other ways to slice the salami.

One principle - many applications. Demonstrate, describe, apply, modify, rinse, repeat. I concern myself with more definitional mechanical concerns in discussion, but on the mat, I choose mechanical descriptions or metaphorical descriptions as they suit the occasion and the student.

Those two things said... yes, aikido could benefit from a little cross-training. Knowing how to throw a punch would be the first step for many aikido people... :( ...If you need to brush up on striking and its related blocks and techniques, do it.I make a point that if a new person is not striking well, that they punch me in the chest and correct them until I am uncomfortable. Two things achieved: 1) they can strike properly, and 2) they understand that martial art is "getting hit on the head lessons" for everyone -- from instructor on down.

jester
05-26-2011, 04:18 PM
I think the West is already influencing a new delivery system that is easier for Westerners to consume and targeted towards a greater delivery of information within a shorter time-frame of training.

In my opinion that is exactly what Tomiki Aikido's basic 17 does. Teach the basics and teach them in a short period of time. The additional Koryu Kata's add to the basics and round out the system.

-

graham christian
05-27-2011, 05:38 AM
AIKIDO IS AN INCOMPLETE THING, LEFT SO ON PURPOSE. I couldn't disagree more.

In fact I would say it's quite the opposite. It's a way discovered and presented by it's founder that leads from 'a' to 'b'.

In my opinion it is not the 'way' that is at fault and 'imperfect' but more it is a compleat way presented to incomplete people, humanity.

THE NEED FOR BETTER METHODS FOR THE WESTERN MIND.
Once again I couldn't disagree more. This implies the western mind or brain is somehow different to the eastern one.

It's nothing to do with different people it's merely to do with ways of teaching.

Traditionally in the old martial arts world the method was basically apprenticeship. Simple. Dress it up in whatever clothes you wish but basically that was the system.

BAD STUDENTS COMPLAIN ABOUT THE SUBJECT BEING INCOMPLETE, WRONG, LACKING.

How many times have you seen a student of any subject getting stuck and blaming the book or the cat or the noise or the teacher........

Yes you can use different methods of teaching but you must be aware of the phenomenon of the bad student and thus also the bad teacher.

Here's the reality:

1. There have been many excellent teachers of Aikido commonly referred to on this forum as Giants or Masters of the art. Therefore they gained a great understanding through what is there.

2. Moving to form their own version, be it Iwama, Yoshinkan, Tomiki, Shin-Shin toitsu or whatever doesn't equal something is missing.

3. Those who can understand and demonstrate easily can move to invent new ways of giving the same thing. The others are just noise.

My view.

Regards.G.

Basia Halliop
05-27-2011, 07:54 AM
A teacher striving for a more Western mode should be able to start with, say a basic body movement and elaborate a series of lessons on that movement from that point, without more, and explain long the way the principle operating in the body movement and how that principle is changed in appearance in various circumstances. Or, say, start with a canonical technique and then progressively modify it in circumstance or attack that relates it to the same operative principle in another canonical "technique"
Or, any of a thousand other ways to slice the salami.

Isn't this just class planning? Your post sounds as if most teachers simply teach a series of random techniques in any given class. This is not my experience. Maybe I've just been lucky.

The majority of classes I attend, whether taught by 'westerners' or Japanese, whether at seminars or (especially) at home, there is some class planning, and a clear connection between different things taught in that class. There's a certain body movement or principle as a 'theme', or variations on a certain attack or on a certain technique, or some other pattern or principle that's being shown.

Mary Eastland
05-27-2011, 08:08 AM
Random thoughts.

Do we need to invent a new training? I think not.

I enjoyed Carsten's video.

If a person in interested in MMA or fighting it can be done in another venue. Being all things to all people is not possible.
Mary

DH
05-27-2011, 09:45 AM
Random thoughts.
Do we need to invent a new training? I think not.
I enjoyed Carsten's video.
If a person in interested in MMA or fighting it can be done in another venue. Being all things to all people is not possible.
Mary
This is incorrect for several reasons.
First off, too many in the aiki arts keep trying to reinvent its history. The aiki arts were MMA in their day, both founders; Takeda and Ueshiba, were deeply immersed in research in all fighting methods...

Second, the way of Aiki can indeed include a method of movement that is consistent from ground to kneeling, to traditional weapons to modern weapons, from traditional jujutsu to modern MMA, all while incorporating very recognizable aiki and aiki body methods. I demonstrate this in workshops all the time. Fighting (more akin to sparring actually),in the then current modes of MMA, and taking on challenges, and controling a fight were all over the founders history, while he was actively teaching. Were he alive today , he would have been stress testing in modern arts

It is my opinion that most people in the aiki arts; (aikido and Daito ryu) do not have aiki, and do not know how to develop it. Their main focus is on external jujutsu movement, either evasive or invasive, they do not train in stress testing, both with and without weapons and as a result they have missed the mark. Thus their very real heritage of aiki, which is immensely capable, has been lost to them. This of course explains their own self doubt and realizations of the limits within their current training models.

As I stated above, Aikido and Daito ryu were once incredibly powerful arts, both based on MMA. It is our heritage. We can bring them back. Thankfully there are those that are bringing the power,- once lost- back to the art.

I look forward to the next decade and a new aikido and Daito ryu emerging, that is based on ther old founding methods, that will indeed be more capable of delivering on its promise. For the most part, I think it will be done without the Japanese at the helm. Many people will always (understandably so) want an Asian face and cultural influence on Eastern arts, which is fine. But, it is increasingly clear that the real teaching and research is being done by Westerners in the arts.
Cheers
Dan

SeiserL
05-27-2011, 10:07 AM
For what its worth, I believe many people know see that folly and are moving to correct it.

Agreed.

SeiserL
05-27-2011, 10:09 AM
AIKIDO IS AN INCOMPLETE THING, LEFT SO ON PURPOSE.
In FMA we often say the system is complete but not done yet.

abraxis
05-27-2011, 10:41 AM
...it is increasingly clear that the real teaching and research is being done by Westerners in the arts.
Cheers
Dan

Hi Dan,

OSensei did a great deal to ensure this would be the case by sending his best and brightest to teach Westerners to master what he had to offer.

I believe he could see quite clearly that by acting in this way he was guaranteeing Aikido would not merely survive but would live and flourish around the globe. If he wanted it to remain a static art like Noh theater he wouldn't have cultivated it's growth around the world. I think of OSensei as a scholar and an agriculturist studying and teaching martial arts in a farming environment. He knew quite well how living things can be cultivated to grow and ultimately evolve by changing the soil in which they are planted. So I don't think the question is "Do we need to invent a New Training?" Because that's like asking "Do we need to survive?", or "Should we halt our own growth and evolution?". Instead, I believe we should accept the reality that new training methods such as yours are being invented all the time and are the direct result of OSensei's plan for Aikido.

Best regards,

R.Ternbach

DH
05-27-2011, 11:16 AM
Hi Dan,

OSensei did a great deal to ensure this would be the case by sending his best and brightest to teach Westerners to master what he had to offer.

I believe he could see quite clearly that by acting in this way he was guaranteeing Aikido would not merely survive but would live and flourish around the globe. If he wanted it to remain a static art like Noh theater he wouldn't have cultivated it's growth around the world. I think of OSensei as a scholar and an agriculturist studying and teaching martial arts in a farming environment. He knew quite well how living things can be cultivated to grow and ultimately evolve by changing the soil in which they are planted. So I don't think the question is "Do we need to invent a New Training?" Because that's like asking "Do we need to survive?", or "Should we halt our own growth and evolution?". Instead, I believe we should accept the reality that new training methods such as yours are being invented all the time and are the direct result of OSensei's plan for Aikido.
Best regards,
R.Ternbach
Sending out the best?
When did that happen?
Most of the current big dogs were as far from the best as you could get. Most of those we are supposed to be following had 6-10 yrs or so training and that mostly at hombu with Kisshomaru, ,who did what he could to rewrite the history of the art. Their "time-in" with Ueshiba has been greatly exagerated and for the most part is equal to us following a shodan by todays standards. Hence the very real need for a better training model.

These guys needed "a better model" when they started out, namely getting back to the old man's methods in the first place. We all know the old man would show up and boom...."This is not my aikido!!"
Then proceed to talk about heaven/ earth/man and ki and kotodama.
As chiba said, 'We couldn't wait for the old man to shut up so we could train." Read that as going right back to the wrist twsities and catching air they were doing when he walked in. Yah...good luck with that..

Apparently, by reports, the good stuff was mostly done away from Kisshomaru's eyes.
Yamaguchi, Shirata are examples of training in a manner completly different in private than what they were arguably allowed to do at hombu.
Case in point; Shirata's work;was all but banned by Kisshomaru.. Here we have yet another giant of the early days. One of the few who has earned the respect of Koryu teachers and aikido and Daito ryu teachers alike.. Is it a surprise to find he had an extensive catalogue of solo power building exercises that few have ever seen?.Or that Kisshomaru banned those as well?.What a surprise....not!.
I see an incredible disparity between the likes of Shirata, and Saotome compared to the movements of teachers like Yamada, Chiba, or Kannai. It's like they came from altogether different dojo.

Farming
Actually after studying film and pictures I think his farming references were as misunderstood as all the rest. It is clear that the work involved in farming was a means for more training-and he said as much; particularly things with poles and carrying the center out from the body. I see the whole "embrace the growth cycle of the earth" as just more granola crunching revisionism that continues to ensure a sure fire miss of the real deal.

Cheers
Dan.

abraxis
05-27-2011, 11:43 AM
Dan,

To save time I will accept what you say as the factual and unbiased statements of a reliable reporter.

Still, those facts are open to interpretation and in my view OSensei's actions clearly were intended to guarantee the future growth and development of Aikido--even in directions that he could not exactly foresee.

A child may deny or be unaware of their parentage, but DNA and mRNA testing can be used to objectively show a direct line of genetic inheritance. The fact that we are having this discussion more than 40 years after "the old man" passed away is evidence for our shared indebtedness to the traditions and training methods cultivated by OSensei.

Best,

Rudy

graham christian
05-27-2011, 01:56 PM
This is incorrect for several reasons.
First off, too many in the aiki arts keep trying to reinvent its history. The aiki arts were MMA in their day, both founders; Takeda and Ueshiba, were deeply immersed in research in all fighting methods...

Second, the way of Aiki can indeed include a method of movement that is consistent from ground to kneeling, to traditional weapons to modern weapons, from traditional jujutsu to modern MMA, all while incorporating very recognizable aiki and aiki body methods. I demonstrate this in workshops all the time. Fighting (more akin to sparring actually),in the then current modes of MMA, and taking on challenges, and controling a fight were all over the founders history, while he was actively teaching. Were he alive today , he would have been stress testing in modern arts

It is my opinion that most people in the aiki arts; (aikido and Daito ryu) do not have aiki, and do not know how to develop it. Their main focus is on external jujutsu movement, either evasive or invasive, they do not train in stress testing, both with and without weapons and as a result they have missed the mark. Thus their very real heritage of aiki, which is immensely capable, has been lost to them. This of course explains their own self doubt and realizations of the limits within their current training models.

As I stated above, Aikido and Daito ryu were once incredibly powerful arts, both based on MMA. It is our heritage. We can bring them back. Thankfully there are those that are bringing the power,- once lost- back to the art.

I look forward to the next decade and a new aikido and Daito ryu emerging, that is based on ther old founding methods, that will indeed be more capable of delivering on its promise. For the most part, I think it will be done without the Japanese at the helm. Many people will always (understandably so) want an Asian face and cultural influence on Eastern arts, which is fine. But, it is increasingly clear that the real teaching and research is being done by Westerners in the arts.
Cheers
Dan

The Aiki arts were MMA in their day? Sorry but that makes no sense to me.

That O'Sensei, Takeda Sensei et al studied in depth is unquestionable as does anyone into their do or jutsu.

MMA is the name given to a new 'martial art' promoted on t.v. isn't it? Or am I wrong there?

As I see it O'Sensei may have been open to 'challenges' or 'sparring' but these occasions were him showing or demonstrating his principles, thus the efficacy of his style or art. Nothing new there as probably all teachers of all arts are often asked to do so by members of other arts.

No doubt you have understood some aspects of Aiki and a delivery system that works. Good, in fact very good. It means no more to me or no less.

I could say it is of my opinion that most people in judo or ju arts don't have ju. Or that most people in the taichi world don't have chi. In fact I can say in my opinion that most people in the Aiki world don't have reality on Ki.

But it's a matter of what is meant by such statements.

My point is it was the same back then. The best were the ones who understood the principles of their art in theory and application. The rest were these 'most people'

Nothing new there though. Nothing amazing when put in perspective.

Now Dan, don't get me wrong here. Anyone who can spot an outness and a way of teaching those who are not only lacking it but overtly looking for it is indeed doing a good thing. That also would have happened in the past and will once again in the future. It's normal.

So if a person is already well taught and happy in their training then those people would not need to visit mma or anything else really except in the name of research if there's something they are drawn to. So from this perspective what you say can be 'right' but so can what Mary says.

In fact I guarantee some in Aikido see an outness you are not aware of that is also grounded in history and could be presented as the missing ingredient or taught in a new way more compatible for those searching for it. Some are probably already doing it.

It's all good. It's all normal or usual. It's not us and them or amazing or the manna from heaven. It's part of a whole scene and you are doing your part, well done as is Mary doing hers and others doing theirs. Hopefully we all learn from each other.

As you would say: Just sayin.

Regards.G.

graham christian
05-27-2011, 02:01 PM
In FMA we often say the system is complete but not done yet.

Hi Lynne.
I quoted that as someone elses statement. It's certainly not mine.

Your saying however I quite like.

Regards.G.

sakumeikan
05-27-2011, 06:25 PM
Sending out the best?
When did that happen?
Most of the current big dogs were as far from the best as you could get. Most of those we are supposed to be following had 6-10 yrs or so training and that mostly at hombu with Kisshomaru, ,who did what he could to rewrite the history of the art. Their "time-in" with Ueshiba has been greatly exagerated and for the most part is equal to us following a shodan by todays standards. Hence the very real need for a better training model.

These guys needed "a better model" when they started out, namely getting back to the old man's methods in the first place. We all know the old man would show up and boom...."This is not my aikido!!"
Then proceed to talk about heaven/ earth/man and ki and kotodama.
As chiba said, 'We couldn't wait for the old man to shut up so we could train." Read that as going right back to the wrist twsities and catching air they were doing when he walked in. Yah...good luck with that..

Apparently, by reports, the good stuff was mostly done away from Kisshomaru's eyes.
Yamaguchi, Shirata are examples of training in a manner completly different in private than what they were arguably allowed to do at hombu.
Case in point; Shirata's work;was all but banned by Kisshomaru.. Here we have yet another giant of the early days. One of the few who has earned the respect of Koryu teachers and aikido and Daito ryu teachers alike.. Is it a surprise to find he had an extensive catalogue of solo power building exercises that few have ever seen?.Or that Kisshomaru banned those as well?.What a surprise....not!.
I see an incredible disparity between the likes of Shirata, and Saotome compared to the movements of teachers like Yamada, Chiba, or Kannai. It's like they came from altogether different dojo.

Farming
Actually after studying film and pictures I think his farming references were as misunderstood as all the rest. It is clear that the work involved in farming was a means for more training-and he said as much; particularly things with poles and carrying the center out from the body. I see the whole "embrace the growth cycle of the earth" as just more granola crunching revisionism that continues to ensure a sure fire miss of the real deal.

Cheers
Dan.
Dear Dan ,
Having trained and met most of the Shihan [with the exception of Saotome Sensei ]I must say that each of these men are /were
unique in their own way.Although they trained with O Sensei it does not imo mean that they are clones of O Sensei. May I also say that whereas their Aikido is available via the internet, dvds of seminars etc.[even Osensei is on dvd] I have yet to see any of your waza or training methods on dvd?.Perhaps I have missed these and I would be grateful if you would be so kind to let me know where I can view this material ?I trust you are well?,
Best Regrds, Joe.

stan baker
05-27-2011, 11:15 PM
Hi Joe
I think your missing the point,I have seen and practiced with most of the shihans in aikido.You should experience first hand what Dan is talking about.

stan

Basia Halliop
05-28-2011, 12:29 AM
Farming
Actually after studying film and pictures I think his farming references were as misunderstood as all the rest. It is clear that the work involved in farming was a means for more training-and he said as much; particularly things with poles and carrying the center out from the body. I see the whole "embrace the growth cycle of the earth" as just more granola crunching revisionism that continues to ensure a sure fire miss of the real deal.

That's what I assumed the first time I heard someone talk about farming with respect to Aikido.

If you have any experience or knowledge of a pre-mechanized farm, that interpretation really kind of jumps out and is hard to avoid. My dad grew up on such a farm and there are so many comments he's made to me since I was a child, in different contexts, about things he learned growing up about how to use the body effectively... e.g. how to swing a scythe efficiently with proper posture and use of gravity and momentum to do much of the work, so that you can keep it up all day, how to thresh grains, how to repeatedly toss something heavy, how a very experienced relatively old person can compensate for their reduced strength with the efficient movement gained from years of experience, how to pace yourself when doing a long day of physical labour, and so on.

Not to say there may not also be other more spiritual things to learn from farming, but 'old-fashioned' physical farming certainly involves all kinds of interesting body mechanics.

sakumeikan
05-28-2011, 01:21 AM
Hi Joe
I think your missing the point,I have seen and practiced with most of the shihans in aikido.You should experience first hand what Dan is talking about.

stan

Dear Stan,
Not all of us have the opportunity to see at first hand everybody inAikido .For example I would like to see Tada Sensei .The point I am making is this you can watch material on the web from almost all the top aikidoka.While I accept its not quite the same as hands on its better than nothing.Mr Harden unless I am mistaken does not put his material on the Web.I would have thought that if his stuff is good surely it would be an advantage if at least 5 mins of his methods were made available?Maybe it would make more people want to taste what he is promoting?As it stands right now could this strategy be a marketing ploy ie keep it secret and exclusive and more people will buy the product?You seem to know what Dan does so how about sharing the knowledge with us?If Mr Harden
cannot show his stuff via dvd , why dont you share your skills with us? Post a short vid and we can all ascertain the effectiveness of
the work[even if its only second hand].Incidentally please dont think this is a challenge or anything stupid like that , just a healthy bout of curiosity on my part.If we are , as Mr Harden seems to think all training minus aiki, I welcome anyone who feels like they have the remedy for this situation.I do not see how you think I am missing the point.Rather than make such a statement lets debate the subject openly/via P.M for the benefit of future Aikidoka.Just in case you think I am averse to talking to the monkey rather than the organ grinder[as the saying goes ] I have previously had chit chat with Mr Harden concerning his views.I must say I did not totally accept his analysis of the current status of Aikido.
Hope you are well, cheers , Joe.

abraxis
05-28-2011, 06:56 AM
....If you have any experience or knowledge of a pre-mechanized farm, that interpretation really kind of jumps out and is hard to avoid. My dad grew up on such a farm and there are so many comments he's made to me since I was a child, in different contexts, about things he learned growing up about how to use the body effectively... e.g. how to swing a scythe efficiently with proper posture and use of gravity and momentum to do much of the work, so that you can keep it up all day, how to thresh grains, how to repeatedly toss something heavy, how a very experienced relatively old person can compensate for their reduced strength with the efficient movement gained from years of experience, how to pace yourself when doing a long day of physical labour, and so on.
Not to say there may not also be other more spiritual things to learn from farming, but 'old-fashioned' physical farming certainly involves all kinds of interesting body mechanics.

As someone who lives in an area blessed by the most fertile alluvial soil in the eastern United States I frequently have contact with farmers and farming activities and engage in a little bit of traditional farming myself.

What you say is correct. And without getting into any of the spiritual elements which may derive from this kind of daily physical activity it is important to know what the end purposes of all this activity were for a farmer and agriculturist working in the pre-mechanized age, or a farmer working today on a small farm using their grandparents' methods. To earn a livelihood, to support a family, to hold onto the farm itself by cultivating the soil and growing crops are what these body movements are intended to accomplish for the farmer. Spiritual granola and unseen aiki training methods aside, the value of these movements for the farmer is found not just in physical conditioning. The value of the movements and the farming practice is in the immediate and future crops which result including rice, asparagus, pumpkins, and martial artists such as Dan and the rest of us.

stan baker
05-28-2011, 08:10 AM
Hi Joe
I had the same conversation with aikido folks over ten years ago after I felt Wang Hai Jun. In one ear and out the other your basic unconsciousness.Forget about the debate and go see for yourself it is that important.

stan

Basia Halliop
05-28-2011, 09:17 AM
Spiritual granola and unseen aiki training methods aside, the value of these movements for the farmer is found not just in physical conditioning. The value of the movements and the farming practice is in the immediate and future crops which result including rice, asparagus, pumpkins, and martial artists such as Dan and the rest of us.

Yes.

sakumeikan
05-28-2011, 09:45 AM
Hi Joe
I had the same conversation with aikido folks over ten years ago after I felt Wang Hai Jun. In one ear and out the other your basic unconsciousness.Forget about the debate and go see for yourself it is that important.

stan

Dear Stan,
In one ear out the other?Dont think so.I gave you an opportunity to show we the non aiki akidoka a chance to share your knowledge with us.Instead you churn out the same mantra -Go and see for yourself-feel the power.Then you bring in as if to validate your position the name of some Chinese chap to back up your statements [a decade ago]In the same way you then suggest I have a closed mind-gee, if I had a closed mind I would not have written to you for straight answers /suggestions to my enquiry. In view of what you are saying I think a dialogue with you would be less than helpful.
Cheers, Joe.

Marc Abrams
05-28-2011, 09:54 AM
Joe:

Dan, for reasons that are his own, chooses not to put video out in the public domain. Knowing Dan and have the pleasure of learning from him, I can say that a video would give you next to nothing useful. Putting hands-on (heck, he'll even let you put his hands near his crotch :eek: ) so that you can feel things that are happening that would not really be visible to most people, is what would be most informative.

Dan was in England this month and I am sure that you could reach out to some of them for first-hand accounts. You would genuinely enjoy meeting him when he returns to England and it would be well worth your time.

The issues regarding the "status of things" are not as important as whether or not a person has something of genuine value to offer to our training. My own personal opinion (opinions are of course like rear ends and everybody has one....) is that not only does he have a lot to offer, but his teaching methodology is exceptional.

Cordially,

marc abrams

stan baker
05-28-2011, 10:40 AM
Hi Joe
I guess we could discuss why Takeda told Ueshiba not to teach the foundational aiki training.

stan

graham christian
05-28-2011, 11:21 AM
Hi Joe
I guess we could discuss why Takeda told Ueshiba not to teach the foundational aiki training.

stan

Mmmm. So now Ueshibas Aikido is based on not teaching the foundational aiki training?

Ooohhh, conspiracy, conspiracy.

I think Joe represents a view that some are unwilling to understand.

What Dan does and his ability and capability is not really questioned as those who have experienced his way of teaching it say it's very good.

What is questioned is the resultant attitude by some who then seem to go into a superior frame of mind. A delusion as far as I can tell by the statements made.

If you just stuck to the points of what's good about it and kept away from the conspiratorial aspects and bringing O'Senseis name into the equation and indeed the Japanese or Hombu Dojo or anything else for that matter then you would be doing what you do or Dan teaches a favour.

All you do is give the impression of some kind of secretive Koryu style training which everyone must join or lose out.

I'll qualify this by saying I'm sure there must be some who just say how they found it and their opinion about it, a bit like Marc did for example.

Regards.G.

stan baker
05-28-2011, 12:11 PM
Hi Graham
Not some but most like yourself are unwilling to understand,and for good reason.Where do you think Dan got his information,we need to stop being lazy and look deeper.

stan

Marc Abrams
05-28-2011, 12:22 PM
Mmmm. So now Ueshibas Aikido is based on not teaching the foundational aiki training?

Ooohhh, conspiracy, conspiracy.

I think Joe represents a view that some are unwilling to understand.

What Dan does and his ability and capability is not really questioned as those who have experienced his way of teaching it say it's very good.

What is questioned is the resultant attitude by some who then seem to go into a superior frame of mind. A delusion as far as I can tell by the statements made.

If you just stuck to the points of what's good about it and kept away from the conspiratorial aspects and bringing O'Senseis name into the equation and indeed the Japanese or Hombu Dojo or anything else for that matter then you would be doing what you do or Dan teaches a favour.

All you do is give the impression of some kind of secretive Koryu style training which everyone must join or lose out.

I'll qualify this by saying I'm sure there must be some who just say how they found it and their opinion about it, a bit like Marc did for example.

Regards.G.

Delusional thinking is the result of excess focus placed upon a small shred of information so that it skews the entire presentation of the entire "bandwidth" of information taken in.

You have NO knowledge as to the statement regarding Takeda Sensei telling O'Sensei not to teach Aiki. If you wish to ignore the documented instance of Takeda Sensei directly telling a senior student to not teach Aiki (seems to be more than one instance) then you can easily misinterpret and talk about conspiracy....

You have no knowledge of what Dan can do or not do. He was in you neighborhood and you did not feel the need to assess reality. You then talk about "resultant attitude." That is also done without any real data, just assumptions based upon what you have selectively read and interpreted from.

"Inner secrets" in martial arts are alive and well in Japan and China (just two examples). There were many valid reasons to do so at a time when they were societies at war inside their borders. That tradition carries on today, in some instances, with good historical context and reasons and other instances without good historical context and reasons.

Marc Abrams

graham christian
05-28-2011, 01:01 PM
Delusional thinking is the result of excess focus placed upon a small shred of information so that it skews the entire presentation of the entire "bandwidth" of information taken in.

You have NO knowledge as to the statement regarding Takeda Sensei telling O'Sensei not to teach Aiki. If you wish to ignore the documented instance of Takeda Sensei directly telling a senior student to not teach Aiki (seems to be more than one instance) then you can easily misinterpret and talk about conspiracy....

You have no knowledge of what Dan can do or not do. He was in you neighborhood and you did not feel the need to assess reality. You then talk about "resultant attitude." That is also done without any real data, just assumptions based upon what you have selectively read and interpreted from.

"Inner secrets" in martial arts are alive and well in Japan and China (just two examples). There were many valid reasons to do so at a time when they were societies at war inside their borders. That tradition carries on today, in some instances, with good historical context and reasons and other instances without good historical context and reasons.

Marc Abrams

Takeda said blah. So what. I am sure O'Sensei, when teaching Aikido taught as he pleased. When he was 'under' Takeda then he would do as said but that has nothing to do with His Aikido.

If you believe that O'Sensei operated from that view in his OWN AIKIDO then I disagree.

That could be interpreted as one of the reasons he had to start his own way. Think about it.

Tohei did the same as did Tomiki. Each found the only way to teach in the way they wanted to without the constraints given by the organization or 'boss' was to make their own style.

I do have knowledge of what Dan does thank you very much. I commend him as such.

Your final point? Of course different places and people have 'secrets' for various reasons. Why the significance on China and Japan?

My view is different to yours my friend. I see no reason to demonize others ways just to justify what I do.

Regards.G.

graham christian
05-28-2011, 01:15 PM
Hi Graham
Not some but most like yourself are unwilling to understand,and for good reason.Where do you think Dan got his information,we need to stop being lazy and look deeper.

stan

Hi Stan.
I don't need to dig deeper. It's the same old story. One side accusing the other of withholding the goods except for the few who join the club or pay whilst they do exactly the same. It's a silly game.

It is that part and that part only which I see as not necessary.

You feel different? Fine.

As I said. If what Dan does helps improve the understanding of Aikido and leads to better ability great. If it leads to more divide and rule, more conflict, not great.

Thus comes the responsibility to merely say how it helps and leave the rest alone.

Regards.G.

ChrisHein
05-28-2011, 01:37 PM
The elite-secret-special club stuff is REALLY silly. It's one of the main reasons I personally don't take the IP, IS, IT crowd very seriously.

Quit using words like "vetted", quit holding "no pictures, no video, send request in advance" seminars, post a couple of videos and quit talking about how the Japanese are out to get you.

Get over it.

abraxis
05-28-2011, 01:40 PM
Joe:
Dan, for reasons that are his own, chooses not to put video out in the public domain. Knowing Dan and have the pleasure of learning from him, I can say that a video would give you next to nothing useful. Putting hands-on (heck, he'll even let you put his hands near his crotch :eek: ) so that you can feel things that are happening that would not really be visible to most people, is what would be most informative.
Dan was in England this month and I am sure that you could reach out to some of them for first-hand accounts. You would genuinely enjoy meeting him when he returns to England and it would be well worth your time.
The issues regarding the "status of things" are not as important as whether or not a person has something of genuine value to offer to our training. My own personal opinion (opinions are of course like rear ends and everybody has one....) is that not only does he have a lot to offer, but his teaching methodology is exceptional.
Cordially,
marc abrams

Abrams Sensei,
I have no reason to doubt you but I am curious so I'll ask you: Is Dan Harden the only person teaching Dan Harden's way? Has Dan Harden designated a sensei or dojocho who is able to train people as he does? Just wondering.:straightf
Sincerely,
R.Ternbach

abraxis
05-28-2011, 02:32 PM
Hi Graham
Not some but most like yourself are unwilling to understand,and for good reason.Where do you think Dan got his information,we need to stop being lazy and look deeper.stan

Stan,
I am curious and would definitely like to look deeper so I'll ask you: Do you know if Dan Harden is the only person teaching Dan Harden's way? Has Dan designated a sensei or dojocho who is able to train people as he does?
Sincerely,
R.Ternbach

Marc Abrams
05-28-2011, 04:36 PM
Graham:

You just speak of what you think about what O'Sensei might have thought, done, etc.... There are people out there who did train directly with him. Heck, some us even train with them. Heck, we even know directly from them as to what was said, done, etc... Just a little bit different than your conjectures.

Chris:

Nothing secret about that stuff. You simply have not made an effort to experience any of it. No one really cares whether you take it seriously or not. You simply won't know what you don't know until you make the effort on your end to find out.

Rudy:

One of the interesting things is that Dan trains his students to be good teachers. His methodical teaching is replicable, which is very helpful. Many of his students are accomplished martial artists in areas that they train & teach. Sounds like you are in Dan's neck of the woods. Simply e-mail him so that you can experience it for yourself. He will be at my dojo next weekend. If you are interested in attending, send him an e-mail.

Marc Abrams

hughrbeyer
05-28-2011, 05:15 PM
You know, guys, in the end you have to take control of your own training. What are your weaknesses? What does your aikido need to be stronger? What should you be working on? Figure out what that is, and go get it.

If you think you need to work on connection, letting go of muscle strength, and martial effectiveness, then yeah, Dan's your go-to guy. But you're not going to learn anything from a video--get on the mat with him, or one of the other guys who are doing similar work. Or look at other avenues to the same goal--Taiji, Bagua, Feldenkrais, Systema. Me, I'm a slut--I'll go with anybody who I think has something useful to offer. Why wouldn't you? Aikido's not a religion.

But the IP stuff isn't what you need, then just chill. Who cares anyway? I read the recent posts on knife defense with interest, but that's not what I'm working on right now. I don't care if my aikido doesn't work against a skilled knife attack, today. I've got other fish to fry first. So I'm not out hunting a Silat teacher.

If you're just curious, and want to see what this stuff looks like without any intention to commit, I offer you all kinds of sympathy but you know what? That's your problem, not anybody else's.

sakumeikan
05-28-2011, 05:20 PM
Hi Joe
I guess we could discuss why Takeda told Ueshiba not to teach the foundational aiki training.

stan
Dear Stan,
Ok, tell me why you think Takeda said this. Why would any student of O Sensei stay with him for years if it was rubbish Osensei was teaching?This would be an insult to the intelligence of most .Admittedly there are a few guys out there who could do with a brain transplant [present company excepted]but seriously can you state that Shirata , Tomiki , Kenshiro Abbe [one of the greatest Budo men, Tamura and others would have wasted years of their lives ?I think not, Cheers, Joe.

mathewjgano
05-28-2011, 05:21 PM
The elite-secret-special club stuff is REALLY silly. It's one of the main reasons I personally don't take the IP, IS, IT crowd very seriously.

Quit using words like "vetted", quit holding "no pictures, no video, send request in advance" seminars, post a couple of videos and quit talking about how the Japanese are out to get you.

Get over it.
I don't get the sense Dan and the other folks who feel similarly to him are starting any elite-secret-special clubs; quite the contrary, in fact. My experience is that these folks are anxious to get the word out; to show the authenticity a certain kind of understanding (whatever it may be) can have. I still think the key problem to these discussions has to do with styles of communication.
The essential issues of "internal training" has to do with exposure and efforts at developing. I've heard Dan say maybe a quarter of the people who are exposed to it will have the dedication (or what have you) needed to really get it. To me this points to an important clue about what he and others mean when they talk about people "not having it."
With regard to the Japanese being "out to get you," I think that's mischaracterizing the issue. I think it's human nature to generally keep for ourselves the greatest things we can find. Include cultural affectations which serve to reinforce such thinking, and I think it's just another of many reasons why IS/whatever isn't as understood as it probably could be.

sakumeikan
05-28-2011, 05:30 PM
You know, guys, in the end you have to take control of your own training. What are your weaknesses? What does your aikido need to be stronger? What should you be working on? Figure out what that is, and go get it.

If you think you need to work on connection, letting go of muscle strength, and martial effectiveness, then yeah, Dan's your go-to guy. But you're not going to learn anything from a video--get on the mat with him, or one of the other guys who are doing similar work. Or look at other avenues to the same goal--Taiji, Bagua, Feldenkrais, Systema. Me, I'm a slut--I'll go with anybody who I think has something useful to offer. Why wouldn't you? Aikido's not a religion.

But the IP stuff isn't what you need, then just chill. Who cares anyway? I read the recent posts on knife defense with interest, but that's not what I'm working on right now. I don't care if my aikido doesn't work against a skilled knife attack, today. I've got other fish to fry first. So I'm not out hunting a Silat teacher.

If you're just curious, and want to see what this stuff looks like without any intention to commit, I offer you all kinds of sympathy but you know what? That's your problem, not anybody else's.
Dear Hugh,
If you wish to purchase a new car or tv or whatever do you look around and see what the makers have for sale?Do you read some reviews of the item you are considering buying?Most people would not buy a car without a test drive.Whats the difference between getting info on a new model auto and trying to seek info on an aspect of Aikido ?If you were visiting a new dojo/Sensei would you try and get some prior info on the dojo/sensei or would you just show up at the door?By the way I dont have a problem so no sympathy required from your goodself. Thanks for the generous offer of course.
Cheers, Joe.

sakumeikan
05-28-2011, 05:32 PM
Dear Hugh,
If you wish to purchase a new car or tv or whatever do you look around and see what the makers have for sale?Do you read some reviews of the item you are considering buying?Most people would not buy a car without a test drive.Whats the difference between getting info on a new model auto and trying to seek info on an aspect of Aikido ?If you were visiting a new dojo/Sensei would you try and get some prior info on the dojo/sensei or would you just show up at the door?By the way I dont have a problem so no sympathy required from your goodself. Thanks for the generous offer of course.
Cheers, Joe.
Dear Hugh,
Where did I say anything about Aikido being a religion?Joe.

abraxis
05-28-2011, 05:50 PM
....I still think the key problem to these discussions has to do with styles of communication....

Quite True.

....With regard to the Japanese being "out to get you," I think that's mischaracterizing the issue. I think it's human nature to generally keep for ourselves the greatest things we can find. Include cultural affectations which serve to reinforce such thinking, and I think it's just another of many reasons why IS/whatever isn't as understood as it probably could be.

Probably true as well but I'm not sure it's Japanese Aikidoka here on AikiWeb who are raising concerns about Dan's communication styles or his methods of training.

hughrbeyer
05-28-2011, 05:57 PM
Dear Hugh,
Where did I say anything about Aikido being a religion?Joe.

You didn't, of course. But your posts make it sound as though showing up at a seminar is some big deal, and as though training outside your regular school or style is a big deal. Since you don't want my sympathy I won't offer you advice either, :D but if I were to offer advice, it would be to quit thinking and just go. A seminar's a lot cheaper than a car.

graham christian
05-28-2011, 06:57 PM
Graham:

You just speak of what you think about what O'Sensei might have thought, done, etc.... There are people out there who did train directly with him. Heck, some us even train with them. Heck, we even know directly from them as to what was said, done, etc... Just a little bit different than your conjectures.

Chris:

Nothing secret about that stuff. You simply have not made an effort to experience any of it. No one really cares whether you take it seriously or not. You simply won't know what you don't know until you make the effort on your end to find out.

Rudy:

One of the interesting things is that Dan trains his students to be good teachers. His methodical teaching is replicable, which is very helpful. Many of his students are accomplished martial artists in areas that they train & teach. Sounds like you are in Dan's neck of the woods. Simply e-mail him so that you can experience it for yourself. He will be at my dojo next weekend. If you are interested in attending, send him an e-mail.

Marc Abrams

Marc. So I have conjecture and you have something superior. Don't think so.

I've met many, seen many, read many. You know what? I found those who understood only had good things to say whilst those who didn't complained they were told this and that. Mmmm.

Nice try though, especially saying I speak of when it is you speaking of and me questioning your reasoning.

It's a new way of training. That's all.

Regards.G.

graham christian
05-28-2011, 07:16 PM
I don't get the sense Dan and the other folks who feel similarly to him are starting any elite-secret-special clubs; quite the contrary, in fact. My experience is that these folks are anxious to get the word out; to show the authenticity a certain kind of understanding (whatever it may be) can have. I still think the key problem to these discussions has to do with styles of communication.
The essential issues of "internal training" has to do with exposure and efforts at developing. I've heard Dan say maybe a quarter of the people who are exposed to it will have the dedication (or what have you) needed to really get it. To me this points to an important clue about what he and others mean when they talk about people "not having it."
With regard to the Japanese being "out to get you," I think that's mischaracterizing the issue. I think it's human nature to generally keep for ourselves the greatest things we can find. Include cultural affectations which serve to reinforce such thinking, and I think it's just another of many reasons why IS/whatever isn't as understood as it probably could be.

Matthew.
You have been to one of Dans events and I have read your thoughts. That's all that's needed really.

In my opinion there is no reason for anyone to insult, put down, denegrate or otherwise anything to do with O'Sensei or any other Aikido Shihan be it Tomiki, Tohei, Noro, Saotome, whoever. It's quite simply a matter of honour and is only done by those with hidden agendas no matter how good they are at what they do.

Regards.G.

DH
05-28-2011, 07:33 PM
Maybe it would make more people want to taste what he is promoting?As it stands right now could this strategy be a marketing ploy ie keep it secret and exclusive and more people will buy the product?
Mr Curran
I certainly know how to market. and were I interested in marketing or selling a product, secrecy would not not be one of my strategies. Since I openly teach and rarely refuse to let people come to a seminar, this idea you have fails on it merits.
I actually do NOT want a lot of people to "taste what I am promoting..." Learning this is difficult, decidedly not sexy or snazzy, and I can only manage to teach just so many folks. I am hoping that I can establish a relationship with those who will follow through.That's who I am looking for and hoping to teach. Now, last I checked I was only one guy doing this part time, and I wasn't getting rich doing so, and I have no plans to grow and organization of any kind.

Now, see how mundane and normal that explanation is?
I am neither the second coming or the devil incarnate. I'm just a fella trying to help, and hoping it all works out.


1. .....If we are, as Mr Harden seems to think, all training minus aiki,
2. I welcome anyone who feels like they have the remedy for this situation.
1. I've actually never stated this, nor do I think it is true, of you knew me you would know that doesn't being to cover my view. I do think the majority in the aiki arts have missed the mark, but no one gets it? Really?
And
2.You certainly have NOT welcomed me..and sir...according to hundreds of your arts teachers, I CAN and HAVE remedied the situation for many.

History and context
Look, this type of training is the best thing you can ever do for yourself in the martial arts. It is the essence, the magic, that made the arts what they once were. There is nothing else better....period. Curiously or humorously, the history of the arts shows they trained it and had solo training exercises to develop it. If you got it, you would be agreeing with me.
It doesn't matter to me that you don't get it and that you don't know it. Anyone who claims to know it, and doesn't think it is the most important thing in the arts, is only kidding themselves that they have it in the first place.
Cheers
Dan

mathewjgano
05-28-2011, 07:40 PM
Probably true as well but I'm not sure it's Japanese Aikidoka here on AikiWeb who are raising concerns about Dan's communication styles or his methods of training.

I guess I don't see the distinction you're making here...would you mind explaining your meaning for me?
I'm just saying I think it's a valid point to suggest there are cultural (and even biological) reasons things aren't/weren't always taught as openly as we'd like. I also think the amount of training/dedication required accounts for a considerable portion of any supposed lack of presence.
Chris was saying he couldn't take a group of people very seriously, but then gave something of a hyperbole for why...in my opinion, at least. I was just trying to address the perceived hyperbole. To be clear, I think there are valid criticisms to be made for most of us in how we communicate here, so I certainly don't mean to dismiss the whole of his message.

DH
05-28-2011, 07:52 PM
In my opinion there is no reason for anyone to insult, put down, denegrate or otherwise anything to do with O'Sensei or any other Aikido Shihan be it Tomiki, Tohei, Noro, Saotome, whoever. It's quite simply a matter of honour and is only done by those with hidden agendas no matter how good they are at what they do.

Regards.G.
Dishonorable? No...it isn't.
It most certainly is not dishonorable to question teaching models and to recite things like....
"Don't teach white people..."
"Only teach one or two of your closest students..."
and then discuss the fact that it is increasingly obvious that few ever really got what the greats had. I think it is a requirement. It is also very clear that the Japanese do not have a very good teaching model for this, even when they WANT to teach it openly. I find it quite surprising, even startling to hear westerners think that they do

As for put downs, depends on what you call a put down. Of course the fella who doesn't having anything special (and how many do you think secretly already know it) is going to feel put down, it simply cannot be avoided...but it can be fixed.;)

As for the list of people you mentioned; have you noted I spoke well of Saotome and added Shirata to that list. Have you considered that Ikeda has himself gone outside of the art to get it from someone else beside Saotome, and so isn't Gleason and Ledyard?
Do you know it is perfectly fine with Saotome?
Apparently he understands the wisdom in it, something that many are as yet still not seeing. ;)
Now add various shihan and many dozens of teachers from other styles to that list and your argument sort of looks empty. Frankly I see it as much ado about nothing. People are training in something they like.
Cheers
Dan

abraxis
05-28-2011, 08:34 PM
I guess I don't see the distinction you're making here...would you mind explaining your meaning for me?.

What I meant to say was: it seems to me it is not Japanese Aikidoka here on AikiWeb who are raising concerns about Dan's communication style or his methods of training. Sorry if I didn't state this clearly the first time.

Thanks in advance for returning the courtesy by explaining what you meant by the statement "...there are cultural (and even biological) reasons things aren't/weren't always taught as openly as we'd like...."

graham christian
05-28-2011, 08:42 PM
Dishonorable? No...it isn't.
It most certainly is not dishonorable to question teaching models and to recite things like....
"Don't teach white people..."
"Only teach one or two of your closest students..."
and then discuss the fact that it is increasingly obvious that few ever really got what the greats had. I think it is a requirement. It is also very clear that the Japanese do not have a very good teaching model for this, even when they WANT to teach it openly. I find it quite surprising, even startling to hear westerners think that they do

As for put downs, depends on what you call a put down. Of course the fella who doesn't having anything special (and how many do you think secretly already know it) is going to feel put down, it simply cannot be avoided...but it can be fixed.;)

As for the list of people you mentioned; have you noted I spoke well of Saotome and added Shirata to that list. Have you considered that Ikeda has himself gone outside of the art to get it from someone else beside Saotome, and so isn't Gleason and Ledyard?
Do you know it is perfectly fine with Saotome?
Apparently he understands the wisdom in it, something that many are as yet still not seeing. ;)
Now add various shihan and many dozens of teachers from other styles to that list and your argument sort of looks empty. Frankly I see it as much ado about nothing. People are training in something they like.
Cheers
Dan

Dan.
I agree it is not dishonourable to question such dishonourable statements. The person who said such a thing was being ignorant not the receiver. It is wise to question but unwise to believe just because some say. IF found to be a rule in operation then it would be wise to leave if you can't change it. This would still be no reason to put down or denegrate. As I said it's a matter of honour.

Japanese not having a model for teaching this I find just as startling a belief to hold. For all those greats who did learn namely from O'Sensei or any other 'Japanese'. Obviously they followed a model and it worked for them. It was an 'apprenticeship' type model.

Now if you are to say that in this day and age a new model is needed because the modern STUDENT can't follow that old tried and tested model the that's fine and reasonable. But implying great teachers can't teach is silly.

OF course I know it's fine with Saotome and Ledyard Sensei. Why wouldn't it be? You my friend seem to be so busy defending it along with others that do it that you class me as someone against it. So if my 'argument' that you seem to be doing something that others like and are benefiting from is hollow then you are the fool my friend.

Regards.G.

jester
05-28-2011, 09:09 PM
Most of the current big dogs were as far from the best as you could get. Most of those we are supposed to be following had 6-10 yrs or so training and that mostly at hombu with Kisshomaru, ,who did what he could to rewrite the history of the art.

Isn't hearsay great! Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see! :freaky:

-

DH
05-28-2011, 09:48 PM
Isn't hearsay great! Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see! :freaky:

-
Hmmm.....Probably the most researchered...view or opinion. I particularly found it interesting that he had to note that the early uchideshi's version of events "Hey I spent all my time training with Osensei..." is not supported by the facts,
Aikido Journal Fall/Winter 1996
I believe there is a very different explanation for this considerable divergency of styles. I think it is due primarily to the fact that very few of O-Sensei’s students trained under him for any protracted length of time. With the exception of Yoichiro (Hoken) Inoue, a nephew of Ueshiba, Gozo Shioda, the founder of Yoshinkan Aikido, and Tsutomu Yukawa, O-Sensei’s prewar uchideshi studied a maximum of perhaps five to six years. Certainly this was enough time to become proficient in the art, but not enough to master the vast technical repertoire of aiki budo with its many subtleties. Most of these vigorous young men who enrolled as uchideshi were forced to prematurely end their martial arts training to enter military service. Furthermore, only a handful of these early deshi resumed their practice after the war.
The same can be said of the postwar period. The initiates of that period include such well-known figures as Sadateru Arikawa, Hiroshi Tada, Seigo Yamaguchi, Shoji Nishio, Nobuyoshi Tamura, Yasuo Kobayashi, and later Yoshimitsu Yamada, Mitsunari Kanai, Kazuo Chiba, Seiichi Sugano, Mitsugi Saotome and various others. Shigenobu Okumura, Koichi Tohei, and Kisaburo Osawa form a somewhat unique group in that they practiced only briefly before the war, but achieved master status after World War II. None of these teachers spent any lengthy period studying directly under O- Sensei. This may seem like a shocking statement, but let’s look at the historical facts.Before the war, Morihei Ueshiba used the Kobukan Dojo in Tokyo as his base, but was widely active in the Kansai area as well. In fact, he even had a house at one time in Osaka. Over the years it has become clear to me from listening to the testimonies of the oldtimers that the founder moved around a great deal and would spend perhaps one to two weeks a month away from the Kobukan Dojo. Also, keep in mind that the early uchideshi ended up being coopted as instructors due to the burgeoning popularity of the art and the wide-ranging activities of the Omoto-sponsored Budo Senyokai (Society for the Promotion of Martial Arts) headed by Ueshiba. These pioneers studied for relatively short periods, had only limited exposure to the founder because of his frequent absences from the dojo, and were themselves often away from the headquarters dojo functioning in a teaching capacity.In the years during and shortly after the war, O-Sensei was ensconced in Iwama. Finally from the mid-1950s he began to resume his travels with occasional visits to Tokyo and the Kansai region. By the late 1950s his trips increased in frequency and it seemed no one ever knew where he would be at a given point in time. He divided his time between Iwama, Tokyo, and his favorite spots in Kansai which included Osaka, Kameoka, Ayabe, his native Tanabe, and Shingu. He even visited Kanshu Sunadomari in far away Kyushu. I remember hearing Michio Hikitsuchi Sensei state that O-Sensei visited Shingu more than sixty times after the war. Considering that this refers to a period of about twelve to fifteen years, we see that the founder was off in Kansai on the average of four to six times per year.
The astute reader will see no doubt see what I am leading up to. O-Sensei did not teach in Tokyo on a regular basis after the war. Even when he appeared on the mat, often he would spend most of the hour lecturing on esoteric subjects completely beyond the comprehension of the students present. The main teachers at the Hombu in the postwar years were Koichi Tohei Sensei and the present Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba. They were assisted by Okumura, Osawa, Arikawa, Tada, Tamura and the subsequent generation of uchideshi mentioned above.
I want to make my point perfectly clear. What I mean to say is that Morihei Ueshiba was NOT the main figure at the Hombu Dojo who taught on a day-to-day basis. O-Sensei was there at unpredictible intervals and often his instruction centered on philosophical subjects. Tohei and Kisshomaru Ueshiba are the persons most responsible for the technical content and development of aikido within the Aikikai Hombu system. As before the war, the uchideshi of later years would teach outside the Hombu Dojo in clubs and universities after only a relatively short period of apprenticeship. Also, this period was characterized by “dan inflation,” many of these young teachers being promoted at the rate of one dan per year. In a number of cases, they also “skipped” ranks. But that is the subject of another article!
What does all of this mean? It means that the common view of the spread of aikido following the war taking place under the direct tutelage of the founder is fundamentally in error. Tohei and the present Doshu deserve the lion’s share of the credit, not the founder. It means further that O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba was not seriously involved in the instruction or administration of aikido in the postwar years. He was already long retired and very focused on his personal training, spiritual development, travel and social activities. Also, it should be noted that, despite his stereotyped image as a gentle, kind old man, O-Sensei was also the possessor of piercing eyes and a heroic temper. His presence was not always sought at the Hombu Dojo due to his critical comments and frequent outbursts.
This is the truth of the matter as attested to by numerous first-hand witnesses. In the past I have hinted at some of these things, but have only recently felt confident enough to speak out because of the weighty evidence gathered from numerous sources close to the founder. I can’t say necessarily that these comments will help practitioners in their training or bring them closer to their goals, but I do sincerely hope that by shining the light of truth on an important subject, those committed to aikido will have a deeper understanding on which to base their judgments.
As far as the outburst go...the agreed upon content was him booming that they....were not practicing his aikido.
Then
He would lecture them on the very stuff that ...well.... the IP/aiki crowd are talking about today and teachers are now going back and pursuing!!
It certainly explains the incredible difference between certain old timers versus the newer generation of deshi, all of whom would be shodan by todays standards when they started teaching. I don't really care either way, but it is what it is and explains quite a bit of the wierd differences we see..
Dan

DH
05-28-2011, 10:13 PM
Chiba said..."We couldn't wait till he would shut up and we could go back to training...."

The newer Model we need...is and always was.... Ueshiba's, and there are those going back to it.
Dan

mathewjgano
05-28-2011, 10:14 PM
What I meant to say was: it seems to me it is not Japanese Aikidoka here on AikiWeb who are raising concerns about Dan's communication style or his methods of training. Sorry if I didn't state this clearly the first time.
Hi Rudy,
Sorry, what you said was clear...I'm not sure how that follows from my idea that there might be authentic cultural factors relating to why instruction wasn't always as freely given as we'd like...which was all I was trying to address. You seemed to be saying, "yes, there might be cultural aspects that prevented information from being given very freely, but the people criticising Dan's communication and methods aren't Japanese." As usual I'm probably missing some piece of context. I tend to misunderstand what people are saying a lot because of it...I tend to be a little myopic in my reading.

Thanks in advance for returning the courtesy by explaining what you meant by the statement "...there are cultural (and even biological) reasons things aren't/weren't always taught as openly as we'd like...."
I may be mistaken, but my understanding is that there is a big difference between being an "inside" student and other kinds of students. My understanding of Japanese culture (limited though I know it is) is that there are always some progression of boundaries to be dealt with before one gains access to the inner-most teachings. I'm sure this varies, but it seems relevant to what Chris was joking about when he described the Japanese being "out to get you."
I also was trying to take this idea a bit further by suggesting this happens in all cultures (i.e. is an effect of biology/psychology, not just culture). I meant for this to reinforce the idea that it's reasonable to suggest teachings haven't always been as up front as we might like. I'm not addressing any person or group within Aikido as I have very limited exposure, but it does seem like a reasonable thing to suggest.
What do you think?
Take care,
Matt

sakumeikan
05-29-2011, 01:23 AM
You didn't, of course. But your posts make it sound as though showing up at a seminar is some big deal, and as though training outside your regular school or style is a big deal. Since you don't want my sympathy I won't offer you advice either, :D but if I were to offer advice, it would be to quit thinking and just go. A seminar's a lot cheaper than a car.
Dear Hugh,
As far as me doing seminars is concerned in 4o years of aikido I have 'turned up?'at these more times than I have had hot dinners.So your assertion that I think going to a seminar is something special is incorrect.As far a training outside my school I will train with any group .I have also trained in other disciplines so I dont have closed mind.I also welcome constructive advice.All I was asking was what exactly are the training methods of Mr Harden.I have yet to read anybody give me an actual run down on what he actually focuses on.I am not , repeat not ,against anybody with a new slant on things.So if you care to enlighten me hear, fire away.Cheers, Joe

sakumeikan
05-29-2011, 01:50 AM
Mr Curran
I certainly know how to market. and were I interested in marketing or selling a product, secrecy would not not be one of my strategies. Since I openly teach and rarely refuse to let people come to a seminar, this idea you have fails on it merits.
I actually do NOT want a lot of people to "taste what I am promoting..." Learning this is difficult, decidedly not sexy or snazzy, and I can only manage to teach just so many folks. I am hoping that I can establish a relationship with those who will follow through.That's who I am looking for and hoping to teach. Now, last I checked I was only one guy doing this part time, and I wasn't getting rich doing so, and I have no plans to grow and organization of any kind.

Now, see how mundane and normal that explanation is?
I am neither the second coming or the devil incarnate. I'm just a fella trying to help, and hoping it all works out.

1. I've actually never stated this, nor do I think it is true, of you knew me you would know that doesn't being to cover my view. I do think the majority in the aiki arts have missed the mark, but no one gets it? Really?
And
2.You certainly have NOT welcomed me..and sir...according to hundreds of your arts teachers, I CAN and HAVE remedied the situation for many.

History and context
Look, this type of training is the best thing you can ever do for yourself in the martial arts. It is the essence, the magic, that made the arts what they once were. There is nothing else better....period. Curiously or humorously, the history of the arts shows they trained it and had solo training exercises to develop it. If you got it, you would be agreeing with me.
It doesn't matter to me that you don't get it and that you don't know it. Anyone who claims to know it, and doesn't think it is the most important thing in the arts, is only kidding themselves that they have it in the first place.
Cheers
Dan
Dear Mr Harden,
I think you are being a little bit sensitive to my comments.As you probably are aware there is sad to say people out in the Martial Arts community who I would say are the equivalent of snake oil salesmen.These guys paint a picture of Aikido which promotes such stuff as 'Instant self defence, confidence, success etc.They use a number of marketing strategies[join up and get a gi free].
The marketing industry [commercial ] caters to the notion of exclusiveness.So not publicising or showing your wares via dvd might [note my words well] have been a marketing strategy.I did not say this was your methods!!
Another point, why would anyone running a seminar refuse to take potential applicants?Unless there were restrictions eg size of mat, maybe a special course for certain grade levels, most people i know are always if anything short on applicants.
As far as you being the devil incarnate, I think not,Not when I am around[Joke]I am sure your a nice man.I am glad that some people get something from your training,thats good.If you have reason to believe that modern aikidoka have somehow 'lost 'certain skils and you can address these shortcomings well and good.
So Dan, dont think I am somehow trying to make you feel unwelcome or whatever I am just a guy seeking info. no more no less. All the best , Joe.

sakumeikan
05-29-2011, 02:05 AM
Hi Rudy,
Sorry, what you said was clear...I'm not sure how that follows from my idea that there might be authentic cultural factors relating to why instruction wasn't always as freely given as we'd like...which was all I was trying to address. You seemed to be saying, "yes, there might be cultural aspects that prevented information from being given very freely, but the people criticising Dan's communication and methods aren't Japanese." As usual I'm probably missing some piece of context. I tend to misunderstand what people are saying a lot because of it...I tend to be a little myopic in my reading.

I may be mistaken, but my understanding is that there is a big difference between being an "inside" student and other kinds of students. My understanding of Japanese culture (limited though I know it is) is that there are always some progression of boundaries to be dealt with before one gains access to the inner-most teachings. I'm sure this varies, but it seems relevant to what Chris was joking about when he described the Japanese being "out to get you."
I also was trying to take this idea a bit further by suggesting this happens in all cultures (i.e. is an effect of biology/psychology, not just culture). I meant for this to reinforce the idea that it's reasonable to suggest teachings haven't always been as up front as we might like. I'm not addressing any person or group within Aikido as I have very limited exposure, but it does seem like a reasonable thing to suggest.
What do you think?
Take care,
Matt
Dear Matt,
I think to a certain extent you are correct in your assumption that there is an inner /outer group in aikido .The very word UCHi Deshi implies an INNER group.This is nothing new or exclusive to aikido.You see this inner/outer scenario everywhere.Politics,show business, at school [the bright students get catered for , ] the Armed forces[does the Presidents/Prime Minister family join the Army and fight the Taliban?]and at your work/play.A sensei will always cater for the minority rather than the majority.You need the majority usually to pay the bills, but generally speaking there are rarely dojos where everyone is on a level playing field.As somebody said[George Orwell??] All the animals are equal , but some are more equal than others.
Put it down to human nature.Cheers, Joe.

Michael Varin
05-29-2011, 05:08 AM
As far as the outburst go...the agreed upon content was him booming that they....were not practicing his aikido.
Then
He would lecture them on the very stuff that ...well.... the IP/aiki crowd are talking about today and teachers are now going back and pursuing!!
So, where does Morihiro Saito fit into this picture? It seems that he would be a very inconvenient figure for those taking the current "IP/IT/IS" stance.

Michael Varin
05-29-2011, 05:15 AM
Here's the problem with Dan Harden on AikiWeb in a nutshell.

Both of the following statements were made within this thread.

Frankly I see it as much ado about nothing. People are training in something they like.
Cheers
Dan

Look, this type of training is the best thing you can ever do for yourself in the martial arts. It is the essence, the magic, that made the arts what they once were. There is nothing else better....period. Curiously or humorously, the history of the arts shows they trained it and had solo training exercises to develop it. If you got it, you would be agreeing with me.
It doesn't matter to me that you don't get it and that you don't know it. Anyone who claims to know it, and doesn't think it is the most important thing in the arts, is only kidding themselves that they have it in the first place.
Cheers
Dan

By the way, Dan, as to the second statement, can you give a concise explanation of why this is so, and detail specifically where you learned these methods and how, if so, you further developed them?

stan baker
05-29-2011, 05:38 AM
Hi Joe
I think what you are saying about the original group is true, even though Takeda told Ueshiba not to teach aiki.They were receiving and
practicing how to develope internal power and aiki that was separate from just doing waza. This is what is missing in modern day Aikido.
Dan Harden is teaching this in amazing detail.There is a concept in Buddhism, outer, inner, secret, and most secret, one can probably apply the same idea when dealing with aiki and internal power development.
So what you are asking is totally reasonable, what is this stuff that he is teaching. I will be happy to explain my limited understanding.

stan

graham christian
05-29-2011, 06:20 AM
Chiba said..."We couldn't wait till he would shut up and we could go back to training...."

The newer Model we need...is and always was.... Ueshiba's, and there are those going back to it.
Dan

Dan.
So you have a new model and now you say it's Ueshiba's old model? Strange.
O'Sensei by all accounts did get frustrated at times with students not doing his Aikido. All of a sudden you are saying you're representing what he used to say???

So you teach the spiritual principles do you?

You teach how budo is love?

You teach he who attacks has already lost?

You teach the spirit of universal love? Etc.

You teach there is no competition?

Is this what you mean?

Regards.G.

Marc Abrams
05-29-2011, 09:12 AM
Marc. So I have conjecture and you have something superior. Don't think so.

I've met many, seen many, read many. You know what? I found those who understood only had good things to say whilst those who didn't complained they were told this and that. Mmmm.

Nice try though, especially saying I speak of when it is you speaking of and me questioning your reasoning.

It's a new way of training. That's all.

Regards.G.

Graham:

My teacher, Shizuo Imaizumi Sensei was a direct student of O'Sensei. One of his favorite tasks was assisting O'Sensei in his personal training every morning. YES, I do have something SUPERIOR to your conjecture. Then again, other people who also have long-term, direct relationships with other direct students of O'Sensei have also told you that your ideas, conjectures, beliefs, etc. are not correct. So you just keep on believing that what you have derived over the years, equals or surpasses people who had direct relationships with O'Sensei. People were discussing the concept of "delusional" right? :rolleyes:

Marc Abrams

abraxis
05-29-2011, 09:32 AM
Dear Matt,
I think to a certain extent you are correct in your assumption that there is an inner /outer group in aikido .The very word UCHi Deshi implies an INNER group.This is nothing new or exclusive to aikido.You see this inner/outer scenario everywhere.Politics,show business, at school [the bright students get catered for , ] the Armed forces[does the Presidents/Prime Minister family join the Army and fight the Taliban?]and at your work/play.A sensei will always cater for the minority rather than the majority.You need the majority usually to pay the bills, but generally speaking there are rarely dojos where everyone is on a level playing field.As somebody said[George Orwell??] All the animals are equal , but some are more equal than others.
Put it down to human nature.Cheers, Joe.

Matt,

We may be approaching the practical limit of what can be expected from internet discussion forums such as this so thanks for taking time to explain what I had overlooked in reading this increasingly complex thread.

I agree with Joe's take, and yours as well, on the issue of an inner/outer group of students. And I would add extra emphasis to what Joe says about needing to pay the bills by saying never underestimate the business motives involved i.e. "follow the money" if you are seeking to understand what's going on with an organization or movement and why. This is something I believe to be true even where artistic dedication, spiritual monasticism and aiki training are concerned. I am that cynical and I make no apologies for it.

My knowledge of Asian culture in general, and Japanese culture in particular, is extremely limited but fwiw my experience with the methods I have seen as a beginner learning Aikido and Okinawan Karate, and as a casual player learning Go ("weiqi" in Chinese, "baduk" in Korean) is, and this is a broad generalization I know, Americans very much want to learn the easy way and are not the most serious students where these disciplines are concerned. When this general attitude comes up against a fairly robust pecuniary motive then traditional teaching methods are likely to be modified and new methods will be developed.

From what I know of the traditional, uncorrupted if you will, methods of teaching and practicing Aikido, Iaido, Karate and Go is that students are expected to work hard and work on their own to acquire the skills involved and to ultimately gain entry into a privileged inner circle. A common teaching technique I have been exposed to in each of these is a visible demonstration of a principle unaccompanied by a lot of verbal explanations. Or, the verbal description is in the form of a brief proverb which is intended to be a learning aid but which is not self-explanatory and itself requires thought and study. Sometimes its a koan, sometimes its a simple phrase and often its is just a single word. E.g. In Aikido you may be thrown a few times by the instructor, or you watch someone else being thrown, and then you are told to practice what you felt, or saw, or thought you saw or felt. In Go you are given a term as a sort of mnemonic and shown sequences taken from teaching games which you are expected to practice so that you will understand and master the principle and be able to use it fluently as a tactic or strategy in your playing. Goju-ryu involves a great deal of individual kata practice and you can expect to receive blows from your Sensei's jo when you are practicing in class. My personal observation based on limited experience is most Americans will choose much gentler teaching methods even when that means accepting much lower standards of accomplishment.


http://senseis.xmp.net/?GoTerms
http://www.tradgames.org.uk/games/Wei-Chi.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_(game)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Master_of_Go
http://www.gokgs.com/
http://www.usgo.org/problems/index.html
http://www.usgo.org/ratings/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_strategy_and_tactics
http://senseis.xmp.net/?BasicStrategiesList
http://internetgoschool.com/
http://gobase.org/games/jp/honinbo/65/?sgfmode=details
http://tigersmouth.org/forum/index.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_opening_theory
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gōjū-ryū
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shotokan

graham christian
05-29-2011, 09:34 AM
Graham:

My teacher, Shizuo Imaizumi Sensei was a direct student of O'Sensei. One of his favorite tasks was assisting O'Sensei in his personal training every morning. YES, I do have something SUPERIOR to your conjecture. Then again, other people who also have long-term, direct relationships with other direct students of O'Sensei have also told you that your ideas, conjectures, beliefs, etc. are not correct. So you just keep on believing that what you have derived over the years, equals or surpasses people who had direct relationships with O'Sensei. People were discussing the concept of "delusional" right? :rolleyes:

Marc Abrams

Marc.
'My teacher was' equals you have superior understanding? I suggest you rethink that logic.

Regards.G.

Mary Eastland
05-29-2011, 09:35 AM
Graham:

My teacher, Shizuo Imaizumi Sensei was a direct student of O'Sensei. One of his favorite tasks was assisting O'Sensei in his personal training every morning. YES, I do have something SUPERIOR to your conjecture. Then again, other people who also have long-term, direct relationships with other direct students of O'Sensei have also told you that your ideas, conjectures, beliefs, etc. are not correct. So you just keep on believing that what you have derived over the years, equals or surpasses people who had direct relationships with O'Sensei. People were discussing the concept of "delusional" right? :rolleyes:

Marc Abrams
Hi marc:

That is a bit harsh. Does Shizuo Imauzumi train with Dan, too?
Best,
Mary

abraxis
05-29-2011, 10:11 AM
I don't know if this is too far OT but it may prove thought provoking in the light of the OP's question.

http://www.usgo.org/teach/quotes.html

I especially like this quote which is relevant to Aikido, our discussion here and Go:

"You're striving for harmony, and if you try to take too much, you'll come to grief."
-- Michael Redmond, the only Western go player to reach 9-dan, the highest level of professional play

ChrisHein
05-29-2011, 11:16 AM
Give someone enough rope...

abraxis
05-29-2011, 11:26 AM
Give someone enough rope...

Yep.

And...

"Just one game," they said, and started to play -- that was yesterday.
-- Chinese proverb

mathewjgano
05-29-2011, 12:04 PM
Hi Rudy,
I think you're right about Americans and learning. I was just listening to an NPR show which spoke partly on the abuse of ADD/ADHD medicines by college students. Need to stay awake or focus? Take a pill instead of developing your own ability to do so. We are, perhaps more than most cultures today, very convenience oriented.
As usual I find myself caught between two different ideas and trying to weigh them both. I'm a big fan of the Constructivist model of teaching/learning wherein the teacher provides a series of clues and tasks for the student to set about their own learning. The teacher gradually guides the student toward any desired specifics, but apart from that, it's left more or less to the student to find their own lessons, and to a degree, their own pace.
On the other hand I'm also a fan of the Core Curriculum concept which seeks to standardize a very linear progression of very explicit lessons. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, and I think both are examples of the two basic kinds of learning: innovation and mimicry.
I want to keep writing about this because it's a topic I really like, but I'm losing focus and I have to feed my wee lad.
Thank you for the great reply! It was some good food for thought!
Take care,
Matt
P.S. Joe, also thanks to you for your reply! I'll try to offer something worthwhile when I get back on the PC. Cheers!

Dave de Vos
05-29-2011, 12:34 PM
I don't know if this is too far OT but it may prove thought provoking in the light of the OP's question.

http://www.usgo.org/teach/quotes.html

I especially like this quote which is relevant to Aikido, our discussion here and Go:

"You're striving for harmony, and if you try to take too much, you'll come to grief."
-- Michael Redmond, the only Western go player to reach 9-dan, the highest level of professional play

(Off-topic) That's a nice set of quotes about go. I was surprised to read that Bill Gates is a go player too.

abraxis
05-29-2011, 12:41 PM
Hi Rudy,
I think you're right about Americans and learning. I was just listening to an NPR show which spoke partly on the abuse of ADD/ADHD medicines by college students. Need to stay awake or focus? Take a pill instead of developing your own ability to do so. We are, perhaps more than most cultures today, very convenience oriented.
As usual I find myself caught between two different ideas and trying to weigh them both. I'm a big fan of the Constructivist model of teaching/learning wherein the teacher provides a series of clues and tasks for the student to set about their own learning. The teacher gradually guides the student toward any desired specifics, but apart from that, it's left more or less to the student to find their own lessons, and to a degree, their own pace.
On the other hand I'm also a fan of the Core Curriculum concept which seeks to standardize a very linear progression of very explicit lessons. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, and I think both are examples of the two basic kinds of learning: innovation and mimicry.
I want to keep writing about this because it's a topic I really like, but I'm losing focus and I have to feed my wee lad.
Thank you for the great reply! It was some good food for thought!
Take care,
Matt
P.S. Joe, also thanks to you for your reply! I'll try to offer something worthwhile when I get back on the PC. Cheers!

Matthew,

I'm assuming that if you're reading this your wee lad is content. And true what you say about our pill oriented society. I'll add the need for tests and test performance to what you've just written. Which tests, how often to test, how to go about this and what to test for are always debatable but in Go, whatever the curriculum has been, whatever your personal training methods and experience as a player, you will be given problems to solve which will test what you have learned, the teachers you have studied with (played against), and the ways you have been taught. The problems, at least up to the intermediate dan levels, have clear and efficient solutions. Beyond that kind of testing you play your own master, and you have competitive tournaments within your association and others--nowadays there are lots of opportunities for on-line tournament play as well. Beyond that you play against the best master who will play you. In this way the student makes progress, the art evolves, and each generation of players evolves to be a bit stronger than the previous one.
Best regards,
Rudy

abraxis
05-29-2011, 12:47 PM
(Off-topic) That's a nice set of quotes about go. I was surprised to read that Bill Gates is a go player too.

Yeah, me too. I wonder what he knows about Aikido.

Dave de Vos
05-29-2011, 01:38 PM
Yeah, me too. I wonder what he knows about Aikido.

Ah, but here is says he isn't very good at go: http://www.britgo.org/general/celeb/

Speaking of it, I think I'm going to play a game now :)

abraxis
05-29-2011, 02:02 PM
Ah, but here is says he isn't very good at go: http://www.britgo.org/general/celeb/

Speaking of it, I think I'm going to play a game now :)

Thanks for the link. I should be playing Go too but instead I'm watching Danika Patrick lead the Indy 500 by 1.7s with 17 laps to go but she may run out of gas pretty soon--like I did in Aikido yesterday because of my poor heat tolerance.

abraxis
05-29-2011, 02:23 PM
Rookie leader at Indy hits the wall at 200 mph or so on the last lap :eek: but finishes second with three wheels remaining on car (happens to over-exhuberant youngsters in Aikido too). Danika Patrick finishes in 10th or so by slowing down to save on gas towards end of race (something I should do when practicing Aikido in the heat). Dario Franchiti who won last year at Indy and led today for a good part of the race gets 12th place but receives consolation prize--:D

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://img2.timeinc.net/instyle/images/2007/parties/070207_judd_400X400.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.instyle.com/instyle/parties/party/0,,20044354_20064970,00.html&h=400&w=400&sz=42&tbnid=KE0HrLD5Uq3MtM:&tbnh=124&tbnw=124&prev=/search%3Fq%3Ddario%2Bfranchitti%26tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3Du&zoom=1&q=dario+franchitti&usg=__YYzGhn6VrYWh5PO3DTjmBwfPzWM=&sa=X&ei=BpziTc_JDMXe0QHd2-yOBw&ved=0CFwQ9QEwCA

Erick Mead
05-29-2011, 05:54 PM
(Off-topic) That's a nice set of quotes about go. I was surprised to read that Bill Gates is a go player too. ummm.. considering he converted consistently inferior starting product positions into repeatedly market-rearranging category dominance -- I would be surprised if he was not.

Someone might observe a related point about some efforts in the topic at hand ...

I also like the maxim from Mr. Redmond. very applicable -- like this one:

Quos ferit, feriat silentio, in silentio et diligentia salus tamen.

sakumeikan
05-29-2011, 06:05 PM
Hi Joe
I think what you are saying about the original group is true, even though Takeda told Ueshiba not to teach aiki.They were receiving and
practicing how to develope internal power and aiki that was separate from just doing waza. This is what is missing in modern day Aikido.
Dan Harden is teaching this in amazing detail.There is a concept in Buddhism, outer, inner, secret, and most secret, one can probably apply the same idea when dealing with aiki and internal power development.
So what you are asking is totally reasonable, what is this stuff that he is teaching. I will be happy to explain my limited understanding.

stan
Dear Stan.
Whether your understanding is limited or not either way I for one will appreciate any info you care to give will be most welcome.
In fact this is all I was asking for in the first place. Of course there are methods of training which are beneficial [various types of breathing techniques, kotodama , sutras/mantras , misogi , za zen].These can be used to complement waza,depending on what floats your boat.Personally I like breathing techniques-at aged 72-to keep breathing sure is important .All else is secondary!!
I look forward to further communication from you,
As ever, all the best, Joe
Ps I do not feel that Aiki [as a concept].is limited purely to the Japanese heritage.There are concepts of acquiring mind /body control in Judaic, Indian, Native American, Chinese [to name but a few] cultures.Could Aikido be a hybrid art?Certainly the principles of In /Yo ie Yin /Yang [Fire /water] is vey Chinese.

DH
05-29-2011, 07:24 PM
ummm.. considering he converted consistently inferior starting product positions into repeatedly market-rearranging category dominance -- I would be surprised if he was not.

Someone might observe a related point about some efforts in the topic at hand ...

Considering we deliver a consistently superior starting product which produces it's own market share through superior technology....no comparison would do. Gates could have learned something from those who both can do and then actually teach IP/aiki; delivery of a product that works, to a noncaptive audience-with options.

There is nothing quite like looking someone in the eyes and saying "Do your best, then its my turn." It tends to wake up the internet jockies with theories and opinions and those who are convinced of their " equal understanding" from a distance....up close and personal.
It also helps when we put our hands on the experts and start to sort through theory and applied skill..

Having to "Walk your talk"... in strange rooms, can be risky and rather ballsy. It is not a keyboard friendly activity, and to do so while making friends and building a shared consensus where there was none before... harder still..
Dan

jester
05-29-2011, 07:45 PM
Considering we deliver a consistently superior starting product which produces it's own market share through superior technology....no comparison would do.

So what do you actually do? What is your background? Do you train in Aikido?

-

DH
05-29-2011, 08:03 PM
So what do you actually do? What is your background? Do you train in Aikido?
-
1. Teach aspects of Internal power and aiki that are critical to the practice of the arts, and I continue to train aspects of IP/aiki everyday.
2. Background in several arts and research into the above proved the inefficiency of the methods I saw being used to teach these things. This caused me to leave and come up with my own methods. These methods have proven to be of use by those who embrace them.
3. Yes and no..I left many years ago, but I am now surrounded by teachers in the art.
Dan

Aikibu
05-29-2011, 08:10 PM
And so turns the wheel...:rolleyes:

We've had this discussion way too many times on here. I got caught up in them myself back in the day.

In my case If Shoji Nishio thought O'Sensei's and Saito's Sensei's Aikido was perfect then I am sure I would be practicing Real Aikido Today LOL Even though O'Sensei encouraged Shoji Nishio Shihan to go "discover something new and make Aikido better." How many of you have Aikido Shihan that have been awarded The Budo Kyoryusho for the propagation and "DEVELOPMENT" of Aikido? What did Hombu reward him with...Nothing...just discouraging his Aikido Iaido Practice from being taught after he died and lifelong exile from Hombu Dojo.

Mr. Harden has finally gotten to the point he's willing to share his journey of Aiki with folks like me and others here.... all some want to do is chide him for it?

If Dan can make everyone's practice better than I am all for him getting a few awards too. Just give the rest of it a break please until you see and experience him for yourselves.

I hope those few don't screw it up for the rest of us in the meantime.

William Hazen

Alberto_Italiano
05-30-2011, 08:10 AM
At times it seems to me Aikido is perceived by some as sort of a religion.
Ueshiba is no longer seen as a human being, liable to errors and shortcomings and self-delusions like any other human being, but being the founder of Aikido he is seen as sort of a superhuman, whose unquestionable superpowers are considered an undisputed and undisputable given, and whose tenets (many times speculated about) are deemed slightly less than the holy Gospel.

Whereas I wholeheartedly agree that the founder of a discipline needs respect, I find that between respect and idolatry there is a considerable gap that cannot be bridged without a leap of blind faith.
But what has faith to do with Aikido? There is a difference between a Sensei and a Saint, though both start with an s.

In this regard, it is perfectly possible to imagine Ueshiba as, also, a man of a different time who, probably and without this being ascribed to him like grave a fault but as an human all too human side, happened to live in a transitional epoch (he found himself flung over world wars... he witnessed his whole world crumble) and who happened to find himself also in the uncomfortable position of being not only in between two different times, but also two entirely different cultures: Eastern and Western?

What I mean is that when we see all our dojos still performing attacks with shokomenuchis, we are unwittingly betraying our underlying assumption that Ueshiba was a saint, a Seer; and that Aikido is a faith that is expected to replicate dutifully the legacy of almost a liturgy, and that whatever Ueshiba bequeathed needs to be observed saecula saeculorum, unquestioned and worshipped.

But what is that shokomenuchi we replicate as diligent lemurs in all our dojos, if not the most quintessentially crystal-clear emblem of the fact we were dealing with a man (Ueshiba) who once was a samurai and who found himself with his sword taken away from him - shokomenuchi: how to pretend I still am entitled to a sword; more than a valid training tenet we would be supposed to withhold, that shokomenuchi speaks of a man who utterly failed to come to terms with a vanishing world, and who kept envisioning training techniques that are not revealing a sound technical approach but, rather, his moving and desperate and nostalgic attempt to testify against the inexorable wreck of his times the values of his bygone world.

We have no need to follow him there simply because he was the founder - in our western worlds swords are not even simulated. We need to reshape all our training procedures and discipline, in order to meet the extremely violent and brutal settings that a WESTERN "bar fight" against competent attackers involves.
And those are mostly punches - not one, but repeated punches, rechambered fast, that keep pursuing you, with ukes highly mobile on feet and intent on going on hitting using both arms as they jump forward, backward and spin.

Shokomenuchi is wonderfully nostalgic, but it also absolutely RIDICULOUS in our modern times - who would ever attack you like that? If you have a sword, that would make SENSE, of course. But once you have no longer a sword, if you train me to develop my techniques against Shokomenuchis, you're training me to fight against ghosts.

Shokomenuchi so clearly reveals we are working with (by now) totally broken training paradigms (thence those Aikido vs tsuki videos that seem so perfect and yet so darn difficult when attempted against a real attacker TOTALLY disinclined to accommodate us).

We need to implement a modern training that recovers the full Martiality of Aikido in order to meet the violent requirements of a world that is no longer that of Ueshiba, and that ceased being such not now but as he was still alive - Ueshiba, simply, could not see it. An old man, nearly a genius, irremediably lost in a different age where attacks were made of wrist grabs and incoming swords that were not even any longer there. We are fighting against disarmed samurais. Makes sense?

If we cannot re tailor our training paradigms so to meet the CURRENTLY typical violent settings of a western fight, we train for nothing. And if we feel that we must go on teaching our pupils that the best way to learn an effective Aikido is that of going on for more decades facing empty handed Shokomenuchi, well, at that point we should also train them how to defend themselves against cowboys who, no longer entitled to carry their Colts in a holster dangling by their sides, pretend to extract it and start triggering their index fingers on non exsistant triggers.

We don't fight disarmed cowboys shooting at us with invisible guns, we would deem it ridiculous and rightly so.
Yet, we also refuse to train reproducing our most typical western violent settings.
Yet, eventually, we find it perfectly logical to fight disarmed samurais attacking us with invisible swords.

Nonsense!

Alberto_Italiano
05-30-2011, 08:34 AM
ps - please note that arguing that a shokomenuchi would be, after all, a valid simulation of a jab or right direct punch, would be like predicating that the countertechniques you may apply to an uppercut, are the same that would apply for a hook.

Besides, there is also a substantial difference in consequences between an isolated shokomenuchi and a set of jab/right/jab/right: the former, without a sword, do plain nothing. The latter, instead, cause significant damage and present a clear danger.

More: even our yokomenuchi are totally different from competent hooks. The difference being that yokomenuchi are telegraphed strikes that may retain their offending payload only if the incoming hand is also holding a sword that may cut you by merely grazing you and whose reach makes your arm span well beyond its normal reach.

It may afford being telegraphed, because its offending range and capabilities are immensely superior to a hook: a sword my cut off half of your face (with LETHAL consequences) even if it only touches you as you step away because you have clearly foreseen it - even more, since there is a sword there, it may be immaterial if you step back of half a meter - the sword will still get at you, with devastating consequences all the same.

But without a sword, we are training using a false and totally flawed attacking paradigm.

Normal hooks don't look like yokomenuchi in the least. They start from chambered arms and are delivered ultrafast with a trajectory that at times is only vaguely circular (hitting your nose with a jab or rather going for your chin tip requires only a slightly slanted trajectory and not a dramatic visual approach like a yokomenuchi). Good hooks are never telegraphed, whereas all yokomenuchis are invariably telegraphed. A failed hook that grazes you, won't kill you at all.

We are following the training paradigms of a samurai who cries for his gone sword.

Marc Abrams
05-30-2011, 08:46 AM
Mary:

1) Harsh- Yes. Well deserved however.
2) No. I would be lying if I did not say that after a weekend with Dan, I did not have a better understanding of what Imaizumi Sensei is doing with some things. Imaizumi Sensei ALWAYS encourages me to go out and work with the best people I can do better myself. Dan is in that small list of people. Have you trained with him? If not, why not?

Alberto:

I you can consider waza as simply kata AND you have a teacher that understands and can teach the depth of kata, then shomenuchi has value. So does proper Rei for that matter. The same problem you speak about exists in karate as well. To evaluate a school I watch kata and then kumite. It is a rare teacher and school where you can clearly see the connection. That is why I also study with Kenji Ushiro Sensei. Sometimes, you can add new waters to the baby's bathtub. Throwing the baby out with the bath water is overkill to me.

Marc Abrams

Erick Mead
05-30-2011, 09:05 AM
Considering we deliver a consistently superior starting product which produces it's own market share through superior technology....no comparison would do. ... There is nothing quite like looking someone in the eyes and saying "Do your best, then its my turn." ... It also helps when we put our hands on the experts and start to sort through theory and applied skill.. Well, this is progress, is it ... shaming inferiors? As opposed to making them better, and to want to be better.
I've heard Dan say maybe a quarter of the people who are exposed to it will have the dedication (or what have you) needed to really get it. To me this points to an important clue about what he and others mean when they talk about people "not having it." This fairly screams selection bias in action. I have never done gymnastics -- but if I get to pick the students, I could be the greatest gymnastics coach who ever lived -- if you measure by my students. Of course there are always the great unwashed wannabes who simply don't get my unique gymnastics training methods or are unwilling to put in the massive dedication required to take benefit from them.

Less sarcastically, the 25% of people with natural faculties and the dedication to pursue almost any training, will almost certainly excel, no matter what. Saying that only a quarter get it, is saying that the method is a 75% failure in training. IOW, nothing really to crow about, since the selection bias is simply taking credit for a large component of natural variation, whatever its marginal merit beyond that, and it may well have some. More perversely, though, most people who have selection bias (e.g. -- "brilliant" stock pickers at the bottom of the market) have trouble even seeing it in the face of their manifest "success." it is two-way -- and those who benefit, may credit something that is simply an adjunct to their own dedicated observation and effort that has brought the improvement. "Stone Soup" is a large parable.

This, BTW, is why Saotome's and Ikeda's lack of concern and even advocacy of wider exposure of their students among varying forms of training is indicative of a deeper trust in the essential principles they have inculcated in their students, such that they need not concern themselves with exclusive credit for their student's accomplishments -- they brought them to understand what was already there, and with confidence to pursue it further.

The measure of training is taking people who are untrained, dead stop, or even badly trained and do something useful, explainable, and repeatable with them from there, that allows them to improve on themselves since that is what is ultimately required. Paragons under one's direction do not prove anything but the ability to pick good horses. Picking good horses does not demonstrate that one is a good trainer, even if one is. Taking the knackerman's nag and making a fair runner, now that's a real trainer.

Back to maxims, preserved wisdom is usually sounder, anyway:

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

Aikido is distinguished as a martial community, IOW -- an army:.

An army marches only as fast as its slowest soldier.

Whatever training does not improve the slackest fatboy does not make the army run faster. SEAL's are better not because they are faster, stronger, and better trained, though they are fast, and strong and well-trained -- but because they are welded units, in which every member identifies almost completely with the other members.

The genius of Aikido takes that principle of totalizing identification and seeks to weld the defender and attacker into an indissoluble unit. It makes use of a physical principle called aiki, to do that, but like all physical principles, aiki can be used to other ends, as well.

The mountaineer's prowess is not in summitting first, but in summitting and returning with the whole expedition in tow. "Acceptable losses" is a would-be general's admission that he does not identify with the men he means to command, even at loss ratios well below 75% acceptable failures. That the consequences of the case in training are less severe does not change the nature of the martial problem in question.

Doctrines that tend to prompt divisions are antithetical to that singular genius of Aikido, regardless of their isolated technical merit. That there is very likely a good deal of technical merit to be had does not diminish the problem with the manner of its presentation and questionable assumptions of its approach as applied.

graham christian
05-30-2011, 09:24 AM
Well, this is progress, is it ... shaming inferiors? As opposed to making them better, and to want to be better.
This fairly screams selection bias in action. I have never done gymnastics -- but if I get to pick the students, I could be the greatest gymnastics coach who ever lived -- if you measure by my students. Of course there are always the great unwashed wannabes who simply don't get my unique gymnastics training methods or are unwilling to put in the massive dedication required to take benefit from them.

Less sarcastically, the 25% of people with natural faculties and the dedication to pursue almost any training, will almost certainly excel, no matter what. Saying that only a quarter get it, is saying that the method is a 75% failure in training. IOW, nothing really to crow about, since the selection bias is simply taking credit for a large component of natural variation, whatever its marginal merit beyond that, and it may well have some. More perversely, though, most people who have selection bias (e.g. -- "brilliant" stock pickers at the bottom of the market) have trouble even seeing it in the face of their manifest "success." it is two-way -- and those who benefit, may credit something that is simply an adjunct to their own dedicated observation and effort that has brought the improvement. "Stone Soup" is a large parable.

This, BTW, is why Saotome's and Ikeda's lack of concern and even advocacy of wider exposure of their students among varying forms of training is indicative of a deeper trust in the essential principles they have inculcated in their students, such that they need not concern themselves with exclusive credit for their student's accomplishments -- they brought them to understand what was already there, and with confidence to pursue it further.

The measure of training is taking people who are untrained, dead stop, or even badly trained and do something useful, explainable, and repeatable with them from there, that allows them to improve on themselves since that is what is ultimately required. Paragons under one's direction do not prove anything but the ability to pick good horses. Picking good horses does not demonstrate that one is a good trainer, even if one is. Taking the knackerman's nag and making a fair runner, now that's a real trainer.

Back to maxims, preserved wisdom is usually sounder, anyway:

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

Aikido is distinguished as a martial community, IOW -- an army:.

An army marches only as fast as its slowest soldier.

Whatever training does not improve the slackest fatboy does not make the army run faster. SEAL's are better not because they are faster, stronger, and better trained, though they are fast, and strong and well-trained -- but because they are welded units, in which every member identifies almost completely with the other members.

The genius of Aikido takes that principle of totalizing identification and seeks to weld the defender and attacker into an indissoluble unit. It makes use of a physical principle called aiki, to do that, but like all physical principles, aiki can be used to other ends, as well.

The mountaineer's prowess is not in summitting first, but in summitting and returning with the whole expedition in tow. "Acceptable losses" is a would-be general's admission that he does not identify with the men he means to command, even at loss ratios well below 75% acceptable failures. That the consequences of the case in training are less severe does not change the nature of the martial problem in question.

Doctrines that tend to prompt divisions are antithetical to that singular genius of Aikido, regardless of their isolated technical merit. That there is very likely a good deal of technical merit to be had does not diminish the problem with the manner of its presentation and questionable assumptions of its approach as applied.

Agreed. Too much polytrix.

Regards.G.

abraxis
05-30-2011, 09:28 AM
Well, this is progress, is it ... shaming inferiors? As opposed to making them better, and to want to be better.
This fairly screams selection bias in action. I have never done gymnastics -- but if I get to pick the students, I could be the greatest gymnastics coach who ever lived -- if you measure by my students. Of course there are always the great unwashed wannabes who simply don't get my unique gymnastics training methods or are unwilling to put in the massive dedication required to take benefit from them.

Less sarcastically, the 25% of people with natural faculties and the dedication to pursue almost any training, will almost certainly excel, no matter what. Saying that only a quarter get it, is saying that the method is a 75% failure in training. IOW, nothing really to crow about, since the selection bias is simply taking credit for a large component of natural variation, whatever its marginal merit beyond that, and it may well have some. More perversely, though, most people who have selection bias (e.g. -- "brilliant" stock pickers at the bottom of the market) have trouble even seeing it in the face of their manifest "success." it is two-way -- and those who benefit, may credit something that is simply an adjunct to their own dedicated observation and effort that has brought the improvement. "Stone Soup" is a large parable.

This, BTW, is why Saotome's and Ikeda's lack of concern and even advocacy of wider exposure of their students among varying forms of training is indicative of a deeper trust in the essential principles they have inculcated in their students, such that they need not concern themselves with exclusive credit for their student's accomplishments -- they brought them to understand what was already there, and with confidence to pursue it further.

The measure of training is taking people who are untrained, dead stop, or even badly trained and do something useful, explainable, and repeatable with them from there, that allows them to improve on themselves since that is what is ultimately required. Paragons under one's direction do not prove anything but the ability to pick good horses. Picking good horses does not demonstrate that one is a good trainer, even if one is. Taking the knackerman's nag and making a fair runner, now that's a real trainer.

Back to maxims, preserved wisdom is usually sounder, anyway:

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

Aikido is distinguished as a martial community, IOW -- an army:.

An army marches only as fast as its slowest soldier.

Whatever training does not improve the slackest fatboy does not make the army run faster. SEAL's are better not because they are faster, stronger, and better trained, though they are fast, and strong and well-trained -- but because they are welded units, in which every member identifies almost completely with the other members.

The genius of Aikido takes that principle of totalizing identification and seeks to weld the defender and attacker into an indissoluble unit. It makes use of a physical principle called aiki, to do that, but like all physical principles, aiki can be used to other ends, as well.

The mountaineer's prowess is not in summitting first, but in summitting and returning with the whole expedition in tow. "Acceptable losses" is a would-be general's admission that he does not identify with the men he means to command, even at loss ratios well below 75% acceptable failures. That the consequences of the case in training are less severe does not change the nature of the martial problem in question.

Doctrines that tend to prompt divisions are antithetical to that singular genius of Aikido, regardless of their isolated technical merit. That there is very likely a good deal of technical merit to be had does not diminish the problem with the manner of its presentation and questionable assumptions of its approach as applied.

It appears that Dan has not learned there's more to being a leader and a teacher than possessing knowledge others are seeking. Erick has provided Dan with a great service in his analysis and feedback quoted above; Dan would do well to read and listen carefully to what is being offered in good faith.

Alberto_Italiano
05-30-2011, 09:53 AM
Mary:

I you can consider waza as simply kata AND you have a teacher that understands and can teach the depth of kata, then shomenuchi has value.


well, yes of course anything can have a value. I agree. Of course, one paradigm can be more effective than another, too.

What I cannot understand, and what keeps puzzling me is why, among the many paradigms that may have a teaching value for attaining the depths of a kata, we have decided to found our default training using the ideograms of a samurai who could not come to terms with the fact he was no longer entitled to wield a sword, while we refuse of taking into consideration making our main and major training based on punches and strikes instead, as they occur in our modern western fights.

Our fights are no longer mostly sword fights, but mostly fist fights.

I have nothing against demonstrating a kata on a shokomenuchi also, as an occasional variation.
My contention is that our default teaching programs should be based on punching attacks because that's what we could be called to act upon in the vast majority of "street" cases.

Letting shokomenuchis and telegraphed yokomenuchsi being our default paradigm rather than determined fast and fastly rechambered punching, seems to me like having turned priorities, with the unavoidable consequence that many pupils may found themselves instantly at odds when attenpting aikido against a modern western attack. Most of them seem utterly unaware of the difficulties that implies, and our videos of "tsuki vs aikido" completely conceal to their eyes and training experience how incredibly challenging it may be getting an hold of an arm against a frantic attacker who rechambers instantly and then rechambers and strikes over and over again, within half a second's timespan, all the while stepping back and forward spinning on himself to be sure he keeps facing us.

This seems something many aikidokas are completely unaware of.

The reason I insist so much is that after 36 official boxing matches, I know as a fact what a challenge a competent boxer can be if your goal is to seize one of his arms. It's not going to be easy game!!!

DH
05-30-2011, 10:23 AM
It appears that Dan has not learned there's more to being a leader and a teacher than possessing knowledge others are seeking. Erick has provided Dan with a great service in his analysis and feedback quoted above; Dan would do well to read and listen carefully to what is being offered in good faith.
Eric made an argument for an army. It is flawed logic and frankly amateurish. I have trained and trained with specialists from various branches who's goals are in fact to function outside normal parameters. They are the motivated elite. Eric made a case for the lowest common denominator reducing the whole.
Its the chief reason I do not want to lead the student body....ever. I would rather get to play with people who are already self selected and motivated. For the most part (recently I have made exceptions) the people I am teaching are mostly leaders in one form or another in your art already. As one shihan said..." this is like graduate school for teachers." I have my hands full already. They can take care of Eric's slacker soldiers bringing up the rear...it takes more time and there are too many things to fix that require quite a bit of one on one time...not my job.
I am helping from the top and middle ...down by focusing my efforts where they will do the most good..your teachers and some sefl selected motivated students.

The various comments here from students about money and marketing and leaders and lowest common denominators and such shows the mindset of the people posting. I am interested in the other people in the arts who have a different mindset and personal drives that I can recognize and can relate to.
Making yourself a leader by gaining abilities that others need is the first step in becoming a good one.
The other is by hanging around and fitting in an getting promoted (military as well)...I avoid them like the plague.
Dan

stan baker
05-30-2011, 10:32 AM
Hi Joe
It is not a matter of enhancing waza, by meditaton,breathing etc.
of course these things could help. There are solo excercies simliar to the chinese internal martial arts that build the ability to do applied aiki and aikido.Many hours and years of standing excercies with correct intent,creating multidimentional forces within oneself.This is just the beginning.My taiji teacher Wang Hai Jun did similar solo trainning for over ten years before working on application.I think you would have to write a book to explain this stuff in detail.

take care

stan

abraxis
05-30-2011, 10:50 AM
Eric made an argument for an army. It is flawed logic and frankly amateurish. I have trained and trained with specialists from various branches who's goals are in fact to function outside normal parameters. They are the motivated elite. Eric made a case for the lowest common denominator reducing the whole.
Its the chief reason I do not want to lead the student body....ever. I would rather get to play with people who are already self selected and motivated. For the most part (recently I have made exceptions) the people I am teaching are mostly leaders in one form or another in your art already. As one shihan said..." this is like graduate school for teachers." I have my hands full already. They can take care of Eric's slacker soldiers bringing up the rear...it takes more time and there are too many things to fix that require quite a bit of one on one time...not my job.
I am helping from the top and middle ...down by focusing my efforts where they will do the most good..your teachers and some sefl selected motivated students.

The various comments here from students about money and marketing and leaders and lowest common denominators and such shows the mindset of the people posting. I am interested in the other people in the arts who have a different mindset and personal drives that I can recognize and can relate to.
Making yourself a leader by gaining abilities that others need is the first step in becoming a good one.
The other is by hanging around and fitting in an getting promoted (military as well)...I avoid them like the plague.
Dan

Sounds reflexively dismissive and overly defensive. It's not all about content--process is also highly important at whichever level you want to lead at.

DH
05-30-2011, 10:58 AM
Sounds reflexively dismissive and overly defensive. It's not all about content--process is also highly important at whichever level you want to lead at.
Of course it would sound dismissive to you Rudy.
Defensive? What am I defending? I am explaining a model to you that quite frankly you are not displaying an interest (or an ability) to adequately grasp in order to debate it well.
That's okay
Dan

Erick Mead
05-30-2011, 11:16 AM
Eric made an argument for an army. It is flawed logic and frankly amateurish. I have trained and trained with specialists from various branches who's goals are in fact to function outside normal parameters. They are the motivated elite. Eric made a case for the lowest common denominator reducing the whole. Does the Special Forces motto matter at all? "De Oppresso Liber" -- "To free the oppressed." Aikido is, and by explicit direction, meant to be a martial community that embraces an even wider martial AND non-martial community -- and in terms that speak to the highest aspirations of both East and West. Aikido is the application of aiki to make practical and martial use of turning the other cheek ... And aikido is meant to function in normal as well as abnormal parameters and to normalize certain responses to aggression, neither stopping the aggression nor yet running from it. It is something else.

They can take care of Eric's slacker soldiers bringing up the rear...it takes more time and there are too many things to fix that require quite a bit of one on one time...not my job.... I am interested in the other people in the arts who have a different mindset and personal drives that I can recognize and can relate to.
Making yourself a leader by gaining abilities that others need is the first step in becoming a good one.
Dan Well, now we know. The choice is to become one, or, to try to be the one to become.

In any battle, individual or collective, forces or personal abilities are mustered in three levels, strongest, middling and weakest. You win battles not by beating strength with strength, because pure luck can dictate that outcome, and is a sure sign of poor strategy. You win by marshalling weakness and degrading strength.

You set your strongest on the middle, your weakest on his strong, and the middle on the weakest, and when you have done, his strength is degraded by your weakest, your middle and strong have beaten his weak and middle, and he is outnumbered better than two to one in conclusion. King Pyrrhus said, "Another such victory against the Romans will be the end of us." The measure of the battle is made by the willful limit of endurance of your weakest capability to his best strength, whose merely tactical victory was always assured.

"He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

abraxis
05-30-2011, 11:17 AM
Of course it would sound dismissive to you Rudy.
Defensive? What am I defending? I am explaining a model to you that quite frankly you are not displaying an interest (or an ability) to adequately grasp in order to debate it well.
That's okay
Dan

"You don't lead by hitting people over the head - that's assault, not leadership."
Dwight D. Eisenhower

DH
05-30-2011, 11:26 AM
"You don't lead by hitting people over the head - that's assault, not leadership."
Dwight D. Eisenhower
It might help you if you stop setting an expectation on me ...to lead, or assuming I am trying to. I don't want it and I never asked for it.
Your art has quite a few leaders already, good and bad. If you knew me...and I assure you that you don't, you would have heard me respectfully tell teachers over and over..."That's your job, not mine."
All that said, I think any dismissiveness diplayed was your own. And that, of a model you simply do not understand
Dan

DH
05-30-2011, 11:40 AM
Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
Eric made an argument for an army. It is flawed logic and frankly amateurish. I have trained and trained with specialists from various branches who's goals are in fact to function outside normal parameters. They are the motivated elite. Eric made a case for the lowest common denominator reducing the whole.
Does the Special Forces motto matter at all? "De Oppresso Liber" -- "To free the oppressed." Aikido is, and by explicit direction, meant to be a martial community that embraces an even wider martial AND non-martial community -- and in terms that speak to the highest aspirations of both East and West. Aikido is the application of aiki to make practical and martial use of turning the other cheek ... And aikido is meant to function in normal as well as abnormal parameters and to normalize certain responses to aggression, neither stopping the aggression nor yet running from it. It is something else.

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
They can take care of Eric's slacker soldiers bringing up the rear...it takes more time and there are too many things to fix that require quite a bit of one on one time...not my job.... I am interested in the other people in the arts who have a different mindset and personal drives that I can recognize and can relate to.
Making yourself a leader by gaining abilities that others need is the first step in becoming a good one.
Dan
Well, now we know. The choice is to become one, or, to try to be the one to become.

In any battle, individual or collective, forces or personal abilities are mustered in three levels, strongest, middling and weakest. You win battles not by beating strength with strength, because pure luck can dictate that outcome, and is a sure sign of poor strategy. You win by marshalling weakness and degrading strength.

You set your strongest on the middle, your weakest on his strong, and the middle on the weakest, and when you have done, his strength is degraded by your weakest, your middle and strong have beaten his weak and middle, and he is outnumbered better than two to one in conclusion. King Pyrrhus said, "Another such victory against the Romans will be the end of us." The measure of the battle is made by the willful limit of endurance of your weakest capability to his best strength, whose merely tactical victory was always assured.

Quote:
"He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
I'll make you a deal Eric, when you can teach me to walk on water and feed the masses, I will consider mutliplying myself to help every single person in aikido like you suggest.... :rolleyes:
Sounds pretty ridiculous to me so far and... is above my paygrade.
At least I have a real plan that is working!

Quite frankly you are not being responsive in any meaningful way to my replies. Your comments show no focus or resolve and are all over the map...war...seriously...war? You are being contrary for the sake of being contrary. I think you are once again, chiming in to try and take a piece out of me over one thing or another it realy doesn't matter what, It's just a flavor of the day.

My model is a well thought out model. It is working for hundreds of teachers and students alike who continue to report good things and come back repeatedly. In your hands you will turn every good motivation and honest effort and the very real consistently positive reports into swill....simply because you just cannot stand it.
Good bye
Dan

mathewjgano
05-30-2011, 12:21 PM
This fairly screams selection bias in action...Saying that only a quarter get it, is saying that the method is a 75% failure in training. IOW, nothing really to crow about,

Well, firstly, this was saying that about a quarter would get it in a way that Dan considers good. I believe his bar is set pretty high compared to the standards of most. 75% of people won't get A's in many many college classes (particularly the ones with the higher standards). This doesn't mean they failed 75% of the time, does it? The "crowing" isn't over numbers. It's over quality. I believe Duke university's medical program boasts a 100% divorce rate for its medical students because of the demands placed on them to do "well." Depending on one's metric, this could be viewed as a failure or a success.
I think the most telling thing here can be found in the people who have a lot of experience already who find Dan's teaching radically helpfull. Do we all need to follow that path? Of course not. Where, for whatever reason, anyone finds it incongruent with their own training or views, they probably shouldn't do it. Dan's entitled to his opinions and, again, considering some of the folks who seem to agree with him, I think this lends considerable weight to what he says.
For those who don't like the delivery, there's still the ignore function.
Take care,
Matt

Erick Mead
05-30-2011, 02:11 PM
Your comments show no focus or resolve and are all over the map...war...seriously...war? Yeah. Seriously. I did mine. You?

I take martial issues seriously -- and they extend far beyond, and far short of, hand-to-hand methods -- because human violence is a continuum, and the lessons at one scale apply on one way or another to all the others. And if you imagine otherwise, you are not serious. Aikido is meant to deal with them differently, not less effectively.

The premise of Aikido training focuses on that DIFFERENCE, since more effect can always be trivially leveraged by changing scale of the violence. Hand-knife-gun-bomb is the common and easily understood progression, which the principles of Aikido circumvent by use of aiki at scales before and after actual violence -- rather than escalate by use of aiki. That is the difference. Seeking to magnify the effect BEFORE magnifying the difference leads in the wrong direction.

stan baker
05-30-2011, 02:28 PM
Hi Erick
I think if you loosen up and let go some of your complicated mumbo jumbo you will see things more clearly.

stan

RonRagusa
05-30-2011, 03:03 PM
Aikido is the application of aiki to make practical and martial use of turning the other cheek ... And aikido is meant to function in normal as well as abnormal parameters and to normalize certain responses to aggression, neither stopping the aggression nor yet running from it. It is something else.

and

...human violence is a continuum, and the lessons at one scale apply on one way or another to all the others... Aikido is meant to deal with them differently, not less effectively...

The premise of Aikido training focuses on that DIFFERENCE, since more effect can always be trivially leveraged by changing scale of the violence. Hand-knife-gun-bomb is the common and easily understood progression, which the principles of Aikido circumvent by use of aiki at scales before and after actual violence -- rather than escalate by use of aiki. That is the difference. Seeking to magnify the effect BEFORE magnifying the difference leads in the wrong direction.

Hi Erick -

While I can't claim to understand a lot of your technical postings as well as I would like,the two quotes above as go to the heart of Aikido training and are perfectly clear and understandable. I think the ideas expressed above are perfectly in tune with O Sensei's wish for Aikido.

Best,

Ron

mathewjgano
05-30-2011, 03:24 PM
What I cannot understand, and what keeps puzzling me is why, among the many paradigms that may have a teaching value for attaining the depths of a kata, we have decided to found our default training using the ideograms of a samurai who could not come to terms with the fact he was no longer entitled to wield a sword, while we refuse of taking into consideration making our main and major training based on punches and strikes instead, as they occur in our modern western fights.

Our fights are no longer mostly sword fights, but mostly fist fights.
My guess is that this has to do with the emphasis on certain principles of movement more than scenario preparation. After hearing a lot of talk against the "zombie stiff-arm attack" I was surprised to see Tomiki Sensei practicing with the exact same thing. Of course his was more "alive," I presume, than many or most who look similarly today. I believe these and other "unrealistic" methods are ways of teaching how to avoid things like using arm-strength to affect displacement.

My contention is that our default teaching programs should be based on punching attacks because that's what we could be called to act upon in the vast majority of "street" cases. Letting shokomenuchis and telegraphed yokomenuchsi being our default paradigm rather than determined fast and fastly rechambered punching, seems to me like having turned priorities, with the unavoidable consequence that many pupils may found themselves instantly at odds when attenpting aikido against a modern western attack.
Aikido is a big group. I think for many schools the default training is to seek "martial" applicability first and foremost. For others it's to work on a more general sense of personal discipline. You can get a bit of both at either kind of place, but the emphases of the teacher and senior students will lend themselves to whatever particulars they happen to work on the most. I don't think simply changing to a more punch-oriented kata will improve physical effectiveness across the board.
Training is a juggling act: it's up to us to find our individual weaknesses and shift the balance between what things we're focusing on, moving from one area to the next, to the next, etc., coming back to those areas we already touched on and repeating. Over time we might be able to juggle more and more things, better and better, but to what degree and in what direction is somewhat for the individual to decide, I believe.


The reason I insist so much is that after 36 official boxing matches, I know as a fact what a challenge a competent boxer can be if your goal is to seize one of his arms. It's not going to be easy game!!!
My understanding is that it's never the goal to seize an arm; it's always to seize the center. Sometimes you can do this through the arm, sometimes not.
How's your grappling game? Boxing isn't always the best training either, particularly with the rise of BJJ popularity. It depends on the goals of the individual along with the previous range of experience that individual has. To my mind, the art is a suggestion for patterns of training, the application rests almost entirely with the individual.

I think if you loosen up and let go some of your complicated mumbo jumbo you will see things more clearly.
"Complicated" is a relative quality. You might say he needs a simple approach, he might say you need a more nuanced approach. At some point people need to either try to meet in the middle (I'm sure there would be argument over where exactly that is too) or stop interacting...unless of course they happen to like the banter, in which case they should enjoy themselves, hopefully being mindful of the others around them who might prefer something else from time to time. Most people don't seem to want to change how they communicate though. C'est la vie, non?

mathewjgano
05-30-2011, 03:38 PM
Erick, what do you think about my reply regarding the "1/4" issue?

mathewjgano
05-30-2011, 03:56 PM
Matthew,

I'm assuming that if you're reading this your wee lad is content. And true what you say about our pill oriented society. I'll add the need for tests and test performance to what you've just written. Which tests, how often to test, how to go about this and what to test for are always debatable but in Go, whatever the curriculum has been, whatever your personal training methods and experience as a player, you will be given problems to solve which will test what you have learned, the teachers you have studied with (played against), and the ways you have been taught. The problems, at least up to the intermediate dan levels, have clear and efficient solutions. Beyond that kind of testing you play your own master, and you have competitive tournaments within your association and others--nowadays there are lots of opportunities for on-line tournament play as well. Beyond that you play against the best master who will play you. In this way the student makes progress, the art evolves, and each generation of players evolves to be a bit stronger than the previous one.
Best regards,
Rudy

Hi Rudy,
The lad is content...as much as can be said of a 2-year old, at any rate. I agree that testing is a crucial componant to any system of teaching. It's somewhat at the heart of the learning process. I don't play Go, but I do play chess so there are similarities between the two. Chess is usually broken into 3 portions: opening, middle game, and end game. The first and last portions are the most well-defined because the circumstances are the simplest. They're usually the first things a coach will cover, along with the most common axioms (e.g. knight on the rim, chances are dim). My chess coach in high school would test us by having us prove our understanding of end game mechanics: force mate using king and rook; advance pawn to queen along various columns (some are forceable draws, some aren't); etc. With the exception of end-game mechanics, the other two portions of play are more open to interpretation. Some people have a knack for turning a bad opening into something good because most people only study the "good" openings. Every now and then old lines will get revived because someone discovered something new...and you never know how it will work, until you test it on some level. I played the 3rd ranked player in the state (scholastic level of play) and should have won because I knew a rare counter to his favorite defense. I got over-excited and nervous and missed a rook early in the game. Another aspect of play I clearly needed to test.
I think a difficult aspect of testing has to do with the fact that we all have to start somewhere. Standardized testing falls short on this account because it neglects non-standard things. So testing should be a never-ending process of application under a variety of circumstances, ideally.
Anyhow, I'm probably rambling and using a lot to say very little...I enjoy talking about chess a little too much sometimes.:)
Take care,
Matt

Erick Mead
05-30-2011, 05:04 PM
Erick, what do you think about my reply regarding the "1/4" issue?Your point is well-taken, but Dan is clear in taking the "best and brightest" approach, and without concern for bringing the hinder part along, and so if it has benefit for the latter, we will not easily know it one way or the other. My premise is that the best mostly take care of themselves, regardless, and relative effectiveness of methods is best shown on the lower end. YMMV.

However, it also does not address anything regarding selection bias. If the quality of students resulting is the proposed measure (and this has been his clearly asserted measure for years), but the premise is to take the best 25% that one finds, the problem of the selection bias remains. It may be that the method in question is superior, but you cannot prove it by relative student performance where selection bias is plainly operating.

Erick Mead
05-30-2011, 05:12 PM
... a lot of talk against the "zombie stiff-arm attack"... I believe these and other "unrealistic" methods are ways of teaching how to avoid things like using arm-strength to affect displacement. ding-ding-ding-ding-ding.

I don't think simply changing to a more punch-oriented kata will improve physical effectiveness across the board. And yet I wholeheartedly agree with Ushiro Sensei that unless Aikido is done with the same mechanics and intent as strikes -- it will not find its proper effectiveness.

My understanding is that it's never the goal to seize an arm; it's always to seize the center. Sometimes you can do this through the arm, sometimes not. ...To my mind, the art is a suggestion for patterns of training, the application rests almost entirely with the individual. Well said.

Alberto_Italiano
05-30-2011, 05:16 PM
Thank you Matthew, I read with great interest your answer. I am not sure what "to seize the center" means in practical terms, but that is entirely may fault due to my despicable lack of experience and understanding - something for which passion doesn't make up, unfortunately.

However rather than starting a new post, this one seems to me the best fitting post to ask a related question, already incorporated in the original one actually.

Choose whatever you deem should be the three or four most important aspects you should develop or work on, in order to improve combativeness in aikido - let's keep them physical. I know aikido doesn't "fight" or combat in the least - yet, let's try to be practical here: we need to educate a body.
We need to educate it to develop responses to strong physical contrast (say a very aggressive uke).

Now, imagine these qualities, in their "combative" version (let's imagine for a monent such a thing exsists or that such an expression may have some meaning after all), cannot be developed in a dojo. Let's say we are dealing with a poor guy in whose small town there aren't many options - 2 or 3 dojos and all very ki-aikido oriented or mostly stylish, say.

What training routine should he perform in solitude, what katas?
Or should he hang himself? :D

I assume that katas, this bedrock of many martial arts, correspond exactly to training in solitude exigencies, thus I argue that by wondering about katas, I am asking something that is not entirely baseless but that can find its allocation within some martial legacy.

Also, are there frugal training equipments that may be useful (dunno - ropes, weights, bags, bands)?

I was thinking, for instance, that a bag stuffed with weights (I was thinking of phonebooks) and a long strap by which it can be held to make it spin could perhaps have some training value - dunno how yet of course, but after all we have here a lively thread about new (or not so new) training ideas.

sakumeikan
05-30-2011, 05:37 PM
Hi Joe
It is not a matter of enhancing waza, by meditaton,breathing etc.
of course these things could help. There are solo excercies simliar to the chinese internal martial arts that build the ability to do applied aiki and aikido.Many hours and years of standing excercies with correct intent,creating multidimentional forces within oneself.This is just the beginning.My taiji teacher Wang Hai Jun did similar solo trainning for over ten years before working on application.I think you would have to write a book to explain this stuff in detail.

take care

stan
Dear Stan,
I am suggesting that the various methods I mentioned earlier can complement/supplement aikido.May I also add Makko Ho exercises to the list?The Indian practices of Yoga also have much to offer anyone doing any type of M/A. Cheers, Joe.

Alberto_Italiano
05-30-2011, 05:48 PM
==========
I'm lateral on uke's right side.
His right arm is somewhat outstreched before me.

1) my left hand slips under his right hand, rotating uke's palm upward --> shiho nage
2) my right hand slips under his right hand, rotating uke's palm upward --> kotegaeshi

==========
I am facing uke.
His right arm is somewhat outstreched before me.

1) my right hand slips under his right hand, rotating uke's hand inwardly --> sankyo
2) my left hand slips under his right hand, rotating uke's hand inwardly --> nikkio

Thomas Campbell
05-30-2011, 05:55 PM
(Off-topic) That's a nice set of quotes about go. I was surprised to read that Bill Gates is a go player too.

(Off-off-topic):

Microsoft and Aikikai

Aug 12 2010

Eric Draken

They have one major thing in common!

As a Computer Science major we had to study the history of computers and software from all the way back when they used water machines to tell time. In that class we studied a young Bill Gates. He wrote MS-BASIC, a programming language/interpreter, which was written on punch tape and demonstrated at a Home Brew Club meeting in the late 70's. He was not the only one making BASIC interpreters at that time. Why was he so successful then?

His copy got stolen, copied many, many times, and as a result became the de facto standard version of BASIC. He tried hard to fight this piracy. However, as a result of the widespread copying, unexpectedly everyone wanted to be Bill Gates BASIC compatible. Now his is a household name.

When Aikido videos get into the wild and go viral on YouTube, it helps to spread the art and the unique style of that shihan. Doshu, Tissier, Endo and Saito are my favorite examples. Maybe they try hard to prevent piracy, maybe they feel C'est la vie. Either way, I know more about Tissier and Doshu than I know about any other shihan. I can safely say that Aikikai is the de facto standard of Aikido because of its widespread publications and the sheer number of practitioners who follow it and love it.

As a result, I want my Aikido to be Aikikai-compatible because then I belong to a brotherhood of like-minded people who all believe in more or less the same philosophy. Not only that, because I also want to know of a particular style (財団法人合気会のは), I can feel more connected to O-Sensei, Japan, and my Aikido heroes.

This is only possible because we live in the best era with free, universal access to a wealth of Aikido knowledge which brings together a global Aikido community. Isn't that wonderful?

It is a shame that some brilliant shihans don't want to be recorded, or only want to keep their videos private. They don't realize that they are dooming themselves to obscurity and their unique style and insights to oblivion… just like those other guys who wrote their versions of BASIC.

Update: 2010.08.11 -- This post is about the whole idea of shihans being recorded at their dojos, at embukai, at seminars, at expos, and for commercial DVDs. I firmly believe that those who do not share their Aikido in this digital world may have their unique style lost in time.

http://wazajournal.com/thoughts/bill-gates-and-aikikai.html

Dave de Vos
05-30-2011, 06:00 PM
Thank you Matthew, I read with great interest your answer. I am not sure what "to seize the center" means in practical terms, but that is entirely may fault due to my despicable lack of experience and understanding - something for which passion doesn't make up, unfortunately.

However rather than starting a new post, this one seems to me the best fitting post to ask a related question, already incorporated in the original one actually.

Choose whatever you deem should be the three or four most important aspects you should develop or work on, in order to improve combativeness in aikido - let's keep them physical. I know aikido doesn't "fight" or combat in the least - yet, let's try to be practical here: we need to educate a body.
We need to educate it to develop responses to strong physical contrast (say a very aggressive uke).

Now, imagine these qualities, in their "combative" version (let's imagine for a monent such a thing exsists or that such an expression may have some meaning after all), cannot be developed in a dojo. Let's say we are dealing with a poor guy in whose small town there aren't many options - 2 or 3 dojos and all very ki-aikido oriented or mostly stylish, say.

What training routine should he perform in solitude, what katas?
Or should he hang himself? :D

I assume that katas, this bedrock of many martial arts, correspond exactly to training in solitude exigencies, thus I argue that by wondering about katas, I am asking something that is not entirely baseless but that can find its allocation within some martial legacy.

Also, are there frugal training equipments that may be useful (dunno - ropes, weights, bags, bands)?

I was thinking, for instance, that a bag stuffed with weights (I was thinking of phonebooks) and a long strap by which it can be held to make it spin could perhaps have some training value - dunno how yet of course, but after all we have here a lively thread about new (or not so new) training ideas.

I think it depends on what you are looking for.

I started training in kyokushin recently. I like aikido much more, but it is interesting to me to cross train a little. I think kyokushin is quite combative. Response time is very short, but responses are simpler too. And you get used to getting hit, so it builds up mental resilience against this. I don't think I could learn this type of combativeness with solo training at all.

What I can do with solo training is conditioning my body to improve coordination, stability, resilience, speed and power.

But you need partner training to learn how to use your body in a combative way, be it karate, boxing or aikido. Partner training narrows down which combative ways you learn to apply to an opponent/partner. That is the art you study.

mathewjgano
05-30-2011, 06:03 PM
Your point is well-taken, but Dan is clear in taking the "best and brightest" approach, and without concern for bringing the hinder part along, and so if it has benefit for the latter, we will not easily know it one way or the other. My premise is that the best mostly take care of themselves, regardless, and relative effectiveness of methods is best shown on the lower end. YMMV.
This is an issue in the education field relating to Advanced Placement classes. Many people feel that by taking the kids who, for whatever reason, already do better and giving them a discrete location, you punish those who don't do as well (for a variety of reasons). I think this argument plays out more readily in a public education setting where we are supposed to leave "no child" behind...the counter-argument often being, however, that by leaving a highly developed student in a lower-developed setting, you're still holding them back. This is more of a private education issue though, one where people are beholding to no one but those they choose.
I don't get the sense there is an easy answer to account for both issues (focusing on a few to make them real good, or many to make them somewhat good); we're clearly going to have to make concessions somewhere.
That said, I think Dan's view that he's more of a teacher of teachers does a pretty good job of accounting for the disparity. I get the sense he's describing what he perceives to be a systemic problem and his part of remedying that involves teaching those who are in charge of their respective segments of the system...and largely because (I'm guessing somewhat) certain people have asked him to. Otherwise, I presume he'd just be another person training in his own little corner of the world and we would have even less exposure to his take on things.
However, it also does not address anything regarding selection bias. If the quality of students resulting is the proposed measure (and this has been his clearly asserted measure for years), but the premise is to take the best 25% that one finds, the problem of the selection bias remains. It may be that the method in question is superior, but you cannot prove it by relative student performance where selection bias is plainly operating.

Proof may simply not be available in any hard way...And as it relates to conversation over the internet, I don't think this will change interactions much.
Speaking as one of the bottom rung of ability, though, I would say I think his teaching method is very good. It's a little more to the point than some of the teaching I've observed (hardly a good sampling, to be fair). It resonated very well with my previous teaching, both of which also seemed more to the point (with respect to physical potency, by the way).
I can only describe a very superficial level of observation, so I try to drop the necessity for concrete answers. I don't know what's "better" and I'm not very interested in proving it. I tend to drop the issue by taking the view that what's better for one isn't better for another and we don't know which will be for which until a little after the fact. Learning is a somewhat sloppy process by its very nature.
You've been given a lot of flack for your use of mechanical models. I like them because they give me interesting/useful ideas to reference. Dan has been given a lot of flack for his opinions on the general state of Aikido. I like them because they give me interesting/useful ideas to reference.
That all said, I do wish I saw more conversation in which "we" seemed to try to understand the validity to what the other was saying more than to make the other understand us. I know I'm guilty of it as much as anyone, and perhaps I'm just projecting, but it seems these conversations tend to go in that direction.
Anyhoo...
Take care,sir! And thank you for the thoughtful reply!
Matt

abraxis
05-30-2011, 06:14 PM
Hi Rudy,
The lad is content...as much as can be said of a 2-year old, at any rate. I agree that testing is a crucial componant to any system of teaching. It's somewhat at the heart of the learning process. I don't play Go, but I do play chess so there are similarities between the two. Chess is usually broken into 3 portions: opening, middle game, and end game. The first and last portions are the most well-defined because the circumstances are the simplest. They're usually the first things a coach will cover, along with the most common axioms (e.g. knight on the rim, chances are dim). My chess coach in high school would test us by having us prove our understanding of end game mechanics: force mate using king and rook; advance pawn to queen along various columns (some are forceable draws, some aren't); etc. With the exception of end-game mechanics, the other two portions of play are more open to interpretation. Some people have a knack for turning a bad opening into something good because most people only study the "good" openings. Every now and then old lines will get revived because someone discovered something new...and you never know how it will work, until you test it on some level. I played the 3rd ranked player in the state (scholastic level of play) and should have won because I knew a rare counter to his favorite defense. I got over-excited and nervous and missed a rook early in the game. Another aspect of play I clearly needed to test.
I think a difficult aspect of testing has to do with the fact that we all have to start somewhere. Standardized testing falls short on this account because it neglects non-standard things. So testing should be a never-ending process of application under a variety of circumstances, ideally.
Anyhow, I'm probably rambling and using a lot to say very little...I enjoy talking about chess a little too much sometimes.:)
Take care,
Matt

Hi Matt,
Another one of the problems with standardized testing is that it promotes a minimum level of mastery for a generic student. I've always felt a tutorial teaching model which allows curriculum and testing to be individualized produces the most efficient learning. Not always available due to limited resources and the costs involved however.

I know a little bit, a very little bit, about chess and a major difference between it and go is that in chess two sides start with all their resources on the board and attack and destroy each others resources until there is a draw or a checkmate. In go two players start with an empty board and stake out respective claims to territory until there is no space remaining to be claimed. Very often the best games involve a number of changes in the lead with attacks and counter-attacks going on simultaneously in several parts of the board at once and the final result is a difference of only a couple of points between two closely matched players making more than 100 moves each in the course of the game. Often the difference is due to one player sacrificing too much to make territorial gains as pieces captured are subtracted from territory gained. Handicaps can be figured very accurately so that a higher ranking player can play with interest against a weaker player. Both games involve a lot of the same skills and abilities but go is, at least to me, much more like aikido than chess is. With your background in chess you could progress from 30-kyu to 10-kyu in no time at all. See http://www.kyu2dan.com/index.php for more info and enjoy.
Best regards,
Rudy

Dave de Vos
05-30-2011, 06:19 PM
I get the feeling 3 or 4 conversations are going on in parallel here. Even though they are all interesting, it becomes hard to follow each conversation. :confused:

Marc Abrams
05-30-2011, 06:24 PM
well, yes of course anything can have a value. I agree. Of course, one paradigm can be more effective than another, too.

What I cannot understand, and what keeps puzzling me is why, among the many paradigms that may have a teaching value for attaining the depths of a kata, we have decided to found our default training using the ideograms of a samurai who could not come to terms with the fact he was no longer entitled to wield a sword, while we refuse of taking into consideration making our main and major training based on punches and strikes instead, as they occur in our modern western fights.

Our fights are no longer mostly sword fights, but mostly fist fights.

I have nothing against demonstrating a kata on a shokomenuchi also, as an occasional variation.
My contention is that our default teaching programs should be based on punching attacks because that's what we could be called to act upon in the vast majority of "street" cases.

Letting shokomenuchis and telegraphed yokomenuchsi being our default paradigm rather than determined fast and fastly rechambered punching, seems to me like having turned priorities, with the unavoidable consequence that many pupils may found themselves instantly at odds when attenpting aikido against a modern western attack. Most of them seem utterly unaware of the difficulties that implies, and our videos of "tsuki vs aikido" completely conceal to their eyes and training experience how incredibly challenging it may be getting an hold of an arm against a frantic attacker who rechambers instantly and then rechambers and strikes over and over again, within half a second's timespan, all the while stepping back and forward spinning on himself to be sure he keeps facing us.

This seems something many aikidokas are completely unaware of.

The reason I insist so much is that after 36 official boxing matches, I know as a fact what a challenge a competent boxer can be if your goal is to seize one of his arms. It's not going to be easy game!!!

Alberto:

I think that you raise an interesting point in the distinction between a fighting style and a fighting art. They are not the same thing and are frequently confused and mixed up with one another. In many respects, a fighting style is mostly concerned with the external aspects of surviving a fight. A fighting art is more of an self-exploratory process that centers around the self amidst a conflict. I have pursued both paths in my life and for over the last twenty years, sought the path of the art form. Both are valid and respectable pursuits. I personally prefer the art at this point in my life. I frankly think that it has enabled me to have a higher success rate in surviving a conflict.

The issue regarding trying to grasp/control the arm with a good punch or jab is ridiculous. That said, the techniques can still emerge by virtue of the dynamics of movement and connection, rather than feeble attempts to control. Aikido in it's essence, is not about control over, but connection with another person. The techniques should reflect that ideal.

Regards,

Marc Abrams

mathewjgano
05-30-2011, 06:38 PM
I was thinking, for instance, that a bag stuffed with weights (I was thinking of phonebooks) and a long strap by which it can be held to make it spin could perhaps have some training value - dunno how yet of course, but after all we have here a lively thread about new (or not so new) training ideas.

I think Dave put it well. I depends on what you want to work on. I think those are some good ideas. I used to take my heavy bag and spin it as fast as I could so I could see what it felt like to interact with a spinning target. I'd hit it or "jam" it in a kind of two-handed shomenuchi, playing around with the spin and against the spin.
I would also play with rope or power cords to try and move the whole cord using wave/spiral motions, trying to use my center and to have a sense of connecting through the whole length. Coincidentally i tried this the other day and was dissapointed at how badly I was at controlling the cord. I used to be able to make the wave travel the whole length, but not any more.

abraxis
05-30-2011, 06:44 PM
I get the feeling 3 or 4 conversations are going on in parallel here. Even though they are all interesting, it becomes hard to follow each conversation. :confused:

Quite a challenge if your looking to integrate all of them into a useful new synthesis.:)

graham christian
05-30-2011, 08:33 PM
(Off-off-topic):

Microsoft and Aikikai

Aug 12 2010

Eric Draken

They have one major thing in common!

As a Computer Science major we had to study the history of computers and software from all the way back when they used water machines to tell time. In that class we studied a young Bill Gates. He wrote MS-BASIC, a programming language/interpreter, which was written on punch tape and demonstrated at a Home Brew Club meeting in the late 70's. He was not the only one making BASIC interpreters at that time. Why was he so successful then?

His copy got stolen, copied many, many times, and as a result became the de facto standard version of BASIC. He tried hard to fight this piracy. However, as a result of the widespread copying, unexpectedly everyone wanted to be Bill Gates BASIC compatible. Now his is a household name.

When Aikido videos get into the wild and go viral on YouTube, it helps to spread the art and the unique style of that shihan. Doshu, Tissier, Endo and Saito are my favorite examples. Maybe they try hard to prevent piracy, maybe they feel C'est la vie. Either way, I know more about Tissier and Doshu than I know about any other shihan. I can safely say that Aikikai is the de facto standard of Aikido because of its widespread publications and the sheer number of practitioners who follow it and love it.

As a result, I want my Aikido to be Aikikai-compatible because then I belong to a brotherhood of like-minded people who all believe in more or less the same philosophy. Not only that, because I also want to know of a particular style (財団法人合気会のは), I can feel more connected to O-Sensei, Japan, and my Aikido heroes.

This is only possible because we live in the best era with free, universal access to a wealth of Aikido knowledge which brings together a global Aikido community. Isn't that wonderful?

It is a shame that some brilliant shihans don't want to be recorded, or only want to keep their videos private. They don't realize that they are dooming themselves to obscurity and their unique style and insights to oblivion… just like those other guys who wrote their versions of BASIC.

Update: 2010.08.11 -- This post is about the whole idea of shihans being recorded at their dojos, at embukai, at seminars, at expos, and for commercial DVDs. I firmly believe that those who do not share their Aikido in this digital world may have their unique style lost in time.

http://wazajournal.com/thoughts/bill-gates-and-aikikai.html

Interesting piece Thomas. Interesting point too.

Regards.G.

abraxis
05-30-2011, 08:34 PM
Partial cloud of fractured fragments with videos for this thread so far…

Do We Need To Invent A New Training? Yes/No/Maybe/How?a new type of training, facing a sparring punching partner with high mobility Find a teacher who offers you, what you need
And a skilled puncher ain't leaving the hand out for you to grab either The type of attack shouldn't matter. Cross-training is cross-referencing the material
The only training you need is going out to bars and pick up fights Not all bars are equal in effectiveness. If you want to fight, fight. If you want to box, box. If you want to study Aikido, study Aikido What??? The idea that O'Sensei was too stupid or ignorant to account for the way 95% of all physical conflicts start ( with a series of punches) in his syllabus requires a detailed explanation Um may I call a semantic time out? So I wonder: (a) where is founder's syllabus?
Why don't you ask Do I need to get better at Aikido? When the altercation involved just civilians The ratio of punches increased significantly. Please try to look at what I "wrote" not what you're "reading". Who is DJ? Well, since the two of you are determined to fight, I guess we'll find out if it begins with a flurry of punches or something altogether different. there may always be more than one attacker seek "New Training" I beg to differ...
they might even fall over when a strike or kick misses (especially when alcohol plays a part)
I would be interested in your impression of his practice and meanwhile I'll work on my semantics Now, can we go back on topic? every time you get it wrong then you get hit
From what I read here, we are kindred spirits not if I go by a quick skim of the police reports from my city I totally agree. Good Post A man with a 28" razor doesn't need to worry too much
If that raptor pilot ejects, I hope that he can deal with angle of attacks in a more up-close and personal setting..... "Don't ever, EVER punch someone in the head with your bare hand."
we went from "aikido does not focus on combat" to "aikido is not combat effective.
like the tea master Sen Rikyû said it's time to invent a new STUDENT
Pema Chodron says, you don't get lasting happiness by moving around the external circumstances. refuse to believe that in order to be realistic, one has to forfeit Aikido and go to die in bars. I took Aikido to learn to fight better. Not to be at peace with the world
a very tough place where Japanese were not welcome seemed to be just the place he was looking for I hope you come up with some answers Sorry for thread drift all
Let's not get overly dramatic, here...I make a point that if a new person is not striking well, that they punch me in the chest Maybe I've just been lucky This is incorrect for several reasons.
What a surprise....not! To save time I will accept what you say
'old-fashioned' physical farming certainly involves all kinds of interesting body mechanics.
I must say I did not totally accept his analysis of the current status of Aikido.
I frequently have contact with farmers and farming (opinions are of course like rear ends
That is also done without any real data, the Japanese are out to get you.
That's your problem, not anybody else's. I'm just a fella trying to help, and hoping it all works out.
Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see! I tend to be a little myopic in my reading. I also welcome constructive advice So, where does Morihiro Saito fit into this picture?
So you teach the spiritual principles do you? People were discussing the concept of "delusional" right? That is a bit harsh.
As usual I find myself caught between two different ideas and trying to weigh them both.
was surprised to read that Bill Gates is a go player too. I think I'm going to play a game now
Danika Patrick finishes in 10th or so Quos ferit, feriat silentio, in silentio et diligentia salus tamen.
Having to "Walk your talk"... in strange rooms, can be risky Do you train in Aikido?
hope those few don't screw it up for the rest of us in the meantime.
We don't fight disarmed cowboys shooting at us with invisible guns SEAL's are better not because they are faster, stronger, and better trained, though they are fast, and strong and well-trained
What I cannot understand, and what keeps puzzling me is why shows the mindset of the people posting I think you would have to write a book to explain this stuff in detail.
It's not all about content pure luck can dictate that outcome
Sounds pretty ridiculous to me so far this fairly screams selection bias in action.
Most people don't seem to want to change how they communicate though
Every now and then old lines will get revived because someone discovered something new
ding-ding-ding-ding-ding. we had to study the history of computers and software from all the way back when they used water machines to tell time Proof may simply not be available in any hard way...And as it relates to conversation over the internet I know a little bit, a very little bit
Even though they are all interesting, it becomes hard to follow Aikido in it's essence, is not about control over, but connection with another person. The techniques should reflect that ideal.
tried this the other day and was disappointed…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51090bGcoR8
http://ejmas.com/jnc/2007jnc/jncart_Leblanc_0701.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVqE9DKCcrk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tW6pVFOpE6Q
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwTE0mVGCMI&feature=related
http://www.usgo.org/teach/quotes.html

Erick Mead
05-30-2011, 08:46 PM
This is an issue in the education field relating to Advanced Placement classes. Many people feel that by taking the kids who, for whatever reason, already do better and giving them a discrete location, you punish those who don't do as well (for a variety of reasons)....the counter-argument often being, however, that by leaving a highly developed student in a lower-developed setting, you're still holding them back....
I don't get the sense there is an easy answer to account for both issues (focusing on a few to make them real good, or many to make them somewhat good); we're clearly going to have to make concessions somewhere. Sure there is, abandon the factory model of uniform input/output production line and go back to the older ideal of group learning -- which is as true in the one room schoolhouse (where my great-grandfather had to read and write Greek and Latin to graduate high school) as in the kohai-sempai form. The better students learn more by having to also help teach what they have learned to the newer or less apt pupils. They learn to understand by having to explain. But that requires us (Westerners) to give them independently demonstrable concepts ( even at low levels of utility) and objectively descriptive language to use in doing that -- and which we have until now thoroughly lacked.
Many were left unknowing and those that began to notice waited to be todl what was wrong or how to fix it. Noone of that was their fault they simply lacked any normal tools for independent descriptive critique and to recognize and development the elements of the training that remedy the problem.
I get the sense he's describing what he perceives to be a systemic problem and his part of remedying that involves teaching those who are in charge of their respective segments of the system...and largely because (I'm guessing somewhat) certain people have asked him to.
...
You've been given a lot of flack for your use of mechanical models. I like them because they give me interesting/useful ideas to reference. Dan has been given a lot of flack for his opinions on the general state of Aikido. I like them because they give me interesting/useful ideas to reference. I share Dan's critical view of the state of aikido, in general, but not his view of the lack of resources to address it within the art -- for the reasons stated. The aiki-taiso are the main overlooked and ill-attended aspect of those resources, but with weapons and due attention to what the formalized paired kata in waza actually represent, they form a tripod of training. Constant alternation between them allows the revelations of each to reinforce the others.

I have attended to trying to explain objectively why they matter, and how they relate in ways that are freed from either idiosyncratic expression, (e.g. - Dan, among others,however effective in their own right) and ill-understood foreign terminology that are used for place holders with extremely poor descriptive boundaries in our categories and only loosely or metaphorically translated, if ever. That can be fixed. I see one way of fixing it. There are others.
But they must be fixed in terms that provide the tools for independent comprehension and development in order to avoid the same degradation from the same causes we have seen to this point.

That all said, I do wish I saw more conversation in which "we" seemed to try to understand the validity to what the other was saying more than to make the other understand us. I am always open to conversation.

jonreading
05-30-2011, 09:00 PM
I think a couple of interesting points have developed that I would like to address.

First, I believe O'Sensei absolutely wanted to wanted aikido to attract a larger demographic. He said as much in numerous interviews and altered his curriculum to allow for better consumption by the lesser trained non-martial community. O'Sensei's aikido was derived from his exposure to multiple martial arts, from which he mixed the overlapping principles and developed an art. O'Sensei realized (and rightfully so) the methods and training avenue he took to arrive at his aikido was not a path that could be consumed by many, particularly by non-martial and incompetent martial artists. One can argue the extend to which aikido has been altered from the aikido O'Sensei expressed, but what we do today is not what O'Sensei did. Give credit to the fact that the aikido O'Sensei began disseminating post-war and Doshu continued was consumable en mass and today we have a large training population because of that curriculum.

Second, I believe this large training population has created a technical issue that is damaging the dissemination of proper aikido. Simply put, more poor aikido people are disseminating the art than good aikido people. Again, you can argue the number but we are in the process of rebuilding a competent teaching population.

From my perspective today's training population includes a number of incompetent individuals, many whom are quite satisfied in their incompetence. I do not believe O'Sensei expanded the world of aikido to people so so they could not "get it." How many people do you know train aikido? How many of those people can do aikido? Not armchair quarterbacks; I mean understand, apply, and execute aikido principle on and off the mat, no excuses, no whotifs. 1 in 4? 1 in 10? 1 in 20? Now how many of those competent people are good? That's a small number...

In ASU, I have noticed a trend in some of the good people I choose to follow. They stopped teaching technique. You go to see Saotome Sensei or Ikeda Sensei and your weekend is spent working on aiki exercises. I believe ASU is working to try to re-invigorate its aikido with aiki. It is stupid to even say it. We don't know what we are doing or why we are doing it and I am thankful of leadership that is working to correct those issues.

Outside of the parameters of conduct we can't even replicate aikido. We have changed aikido's philosophies to match our skill set, we have not changed our skill set to match O'Sensei's philosophy. Sometimes we can't even keep ourselves in line with our BS and we contradict ourselves. Call it conjecture, call it hearsay, call it a lie. Ikeda Sensei is often quoted for saying aikido works, your aikido does not. I believe this is his way of reminding us that what we think is aikido sometimes is not what aikido is.

We can go right on pretending that our aikido is great. We can use pejorative language and dismiss those who remind us we are not wearing clothes. The elitist intellectual inside us wants to rationalize our aikido as competent. I couldn't throw my uke because he had bad energy... or she was not being sensitive... or he was resisting... How about because I didn't correctly apply the technique?

We are trying to present a education to a greater number of individuals than who are competent to consume it. Sugar coat it however you will, but not every human being was meant to train aikido. Not every human being who trains aikido will be competent. Not every human being who is competent will be good. That's OK. The origin of martial arts was to educate a fighting body to a level of competency greater than the average person. Understand that goal and praise those who provide additional outlet for those who excel.

Erick Mead
05-30-2011, 09:32 PM
I would also play with rope or power cords to try and move the whole cord using wave/spiral motions, trying to use my center and to have a sense of connecting through the whole length. Coincidentally i tried this the other day and was dissapointed at how badly I was at controlling the cord. I used to be able to make the wave travel the whole length, but not any more.Try a length of moderate weight chain slightly longer than you can reach over your head. Lay it out on the floor and grab one end -- then get the opposite end off the floor in a repeatable and controllable way -- until you do -- watch your head !

There are other good exercises with it but that is a good one to work on. "Linear" striking with the loose end of the chain is another one -- like a whip but not like a whip -- and double watch your head until you figure that one out.

The length is such that if you do it properly you know you can manipulate the remotest part of your partner's whole structure directly. Kokyu tanden ho is the same essential "shape" and dynamic as the striking or lifting chain but slower -- a landslide versus the crashing wave. Funetori, tekubi furi, udefuri all train aspects of this.

DH
05-31-2011, 08:22 AM
I met this guy on the internet a few years ago. He had all sorts of crazy ideas about internal power and aiki and training for it. He truly believed he had something. When I finally met him, he had nothing, absolutely nothing by way of either. One of the saddest things was touching hands with him and the look in his eyes when he realized he had wasted so many hours trying to work out something that was essentially worthless in the first place and not worth one single hour of his time.
Thankfully, he is now doing the smart thing. He's going out to meet a few of the guys who actually do have something and have a history of successfully teaching.
Unfortunately, he is not a teacher, but I made him promise that everywhere he goes, and with his mates, he would help others avoid the trap of bad advice.

Its funny how exposure and education can change your view. I can't imagine anyone looking at the aiki arts and NOT thinking they need an overhaul, but I understand how many cannot see that. Two years ago a Japanese Shihan (a friend of Doshu) told his students he was quitting teaching aikido because he discovered aiki. He invited them to quit if they didn't like it. Several did. The others...well...they are learning aiki. It will be interesting when those different student groups meet a few years from now. When they feel it, most stop in their tracks and switch over, but some people...well...there is just no helping some people.
Doshu said to him "Thats amazing, but I can't do that. They would kill me if I did that. I have to do what my father did."
As Peter Goldsbury pointed out, there is a status quo in aikido. a rather bland standard. It is very real and while some see through the smoke, others think it is the gold standard. Oh well.
The new leaders, the best of the best, will no longer be from Japan. They blew it and many know it. Their response will be to circle the wagons (like you see sometimes here), a desperate last gasp that in the end will prove to be futile. We do need a new training model and it is already all around you.
Cheers
Dan

DH
05-31-2011, 08:31 AM
Alberto
There is a seamless way to go from ground to kneeling to weapons to MMA with a single body method to produce aiki. It is actually within the art but I have yet to see anyone capable of it in aikido or Daito ryu. It can be demonstrated in slow motion seemlessly from classical models to boxing, then at speed. It is truly beautiful, a prize worth the work, the one truth of aiki. Don't give up hope on the art, change your training. There are already shihan in the art doing just that. Whether people like it or not, the ASU may be leading the way with its openess and innovative mindset.

Cheers
Dan

DH
05-31-2011, 08:53 AM
One small edit
Another group pursuing this are Shirata's guys in Oregon and the Netherlands. As I stated here, Shirata was one of the greats under Ueshiba, and lo and behold, he had solo exercises that actually had value and work.....and Kisshomaru....banned them.

I can't wait for some of the books that are going to be written in a few years about the early days of modern aikido. So many interesting stories that gibe seamlessly with what I have previously been told..
New model? The art would have been in a lot better shape with the old one being allowed to actually be taught.

ASU, some of Imaizuma's people, Shirata's people, Birankai teachers, Shihan in the USAF, Ki society, Daito ryu people, four different Koryu and ICMA, joining with MMA people...and all chasing one thing. Interesting indeed. Were not inventing a new training, we are in hot pursuit of an old one that actually worked.
Dan

sakumeikan
05-31-2011, 09:46 AM
One small edit
Another group pursuing this are Shirata's guys in Oregon and the Netherlands. As I stated here, Shirata was one of the greats under Ueshiba, and lo and behold, he had solo exercises that actually had value and work.....and Kisshomaru....banned them.

I can't wait for some of the books that are going to be written in a few years about the early days of modern aikido. So many interesting stories that gibe seamlessly with what I have previously been told..
New model? The art would have been in a lot better shape with the old one being allowed to actually be taught.

ASU, some of Imaizuma's people, Shirata's people, Birankai teachers, Shihan in the USAF, Ki society, Daito ryu people, four different Koryu and ICMA, joining with MMA people...and all chasing one thing. Interesting indeed. Were not inventing a new training, we are in hot pursuit of an old one that actually worked.
Dan
Dear Mr Harden,
Good article , your last sentence gives me hope for the future.
Cheers, Joe.

abraxis
05-31-2011, 09:58 AM
...ASU, some of Imaizuma's people, Shirata's people, Birankai teachers, Shihan in the USAF, Ki society, Daito ryu people, four different Koryu and ICMA, joining with MMA people...and all chasing one thing. Interesting indeed. Were not inventing a new training, we are in hot pursuit of an old one that actually worked.
Dan

Positive...Futuristic... Outstanding!

graham christian
05-31-2011, 11:28 AM
Let me see now. It appears to me there is a new game at hand. THE SOLUTION.

1. You get a new way of training and delivery that fills a hole left by the current modus operandi.

2. You demonstrate it to people of high standing and those aware enough to see it's beneficial application.

3. You promote, promote, promote.

4. In such promotion you gather all data and names of people who agree.

5. You denegrate and ridicule the governing body in their ways.

Numbers 1 to 4 is fine. Number 5 is despicable. Such is my view.

This may be standard business practice, it may be considered normal, it may be human nature. I may be wrong in my thinking.

However, let's remove the smoke and mirrors shall we.

Number 5 only has one outcome. A split. Talk about going back to the old ways. Unless of course that's what some want.

Regards.G.

Eric Joyce
05-31-2011, 11:49 AM
Let me see now. It appears to me there is a new game at hand. THE SOLUTION.

1. You get a new way of training and delivery that fills a hole left by the current modus operandi.

2. You demonstrate it to people of high standing and those aware enough to see it's beneficial application.

3. You promote, promote, promote.

4. In such promotion you gather all data and names of people who agree.

5. You denegrate and ridicule the governing body in their ways.

Numbers 1 to 4 is fine. Number 5 is despicable. Such is my view.

This may be standard business practice, it may be considered normal, it may be human nature. I may be wrong in my thinking.

However, let's remove the smoke and mirrors shall we.

Number 5 only has one outcome. A split. Talk about going back to the old ways. Unless of course that's what some want.

Regards.G.

Hi Graham,

I think what Dan is doing (you may or may not agree with his style of delivery) is to bring awareness about this particular skill set and to challenge other aikidoka's ways of thinking and training. I don't believe Dan was denigrating or ridiculing, but rather making an observation that he feels passionate about.

DH
05-31-2011, 11:54 AM
Well let's see:
The promotion part of it involves so many people either teaching or training it that it defies any self serving goals like money or fame. It's more about the work...not the person.

The split means what? Most people trainng this way. Opperate just fine within their art. Just who is splitting from whom?
Internal power and aiki are defining, you either got it- to one degree or another-or you don’t. The trouble with more and more people getting it is that it makes the japanese shihans and the decades long training requirement...obsolete. Even worse, we are combatively more effective to boot.
You say it is causing a division, I have your arts teachers telling me it is bringing people together in ways they have never seen before.
Dan

graham christian
05-31-2011, 12:34 PM
Well let's see:
The promotion part of it involves so many people either teaching or training it that it defies any self serving goals like money or fame.

The split means what? Most people trainng this way. Opperate just fine within their art. Just who is splitting from whom?
Internal power and aiki are defining, you either got it- to one degree or another-or you don't. The trouble with more and more people getting it is that it makes the japanese shihans and the decades long training requirement...obsolete. Even worse, we are combatively more effective to boot.
You say it is causing a division, I have your arts teachers telling me it is bringing people together in ways they have never seen before.
Dan

Dan.
Thanks for the reply. I agree that if it is filling a hole and bringing more and more people from different part of the arts together then that is good and commendable.

I am only saying that there is still a lesson to be learned. If you say negative things about another group then it invites negative attacks. Negative attacking brings negative attacking leads to the same old wars and blames and us and them and who is best etc.

Thus division, created division.

My views are from my understanding of Aikido be they right or wrong and thus lead me to see there are differences between wars and splits or division compared to peaceful transition.

In peaceful transition no one gets hurt. By letting those who you consider 'wrong' be, by non resisting and moving on then that is also progress without the negativity.

There is an old maxim, divide and rule, which uses such negativity. An old game. Yet those who do it are unwittingly following or being encouraged by a few with such aims. Either way it's all unnecessary from my view.

Actually, I am neutral to this whole scene and watch with interest.

I have seen the same thing happen before, be it with Tohei situation or the splits in England or any other scene in life. It gets quite boring.

It only takes one discipline to adhere to in my opinion for better progress and less politics. The discipline of not doing number 5.

That's all.

Enjoy your venture and may you have great success.

Regards.G.

jonreading
05-31-2011, 03:42 PM
In peaceful transition no one gets hurt. By letting those who you consider 'wrong' be, by non resisting and moving on then that is also progress without the negativity.

I believe that we are trying to arrest a transition that is ongoing. In Graham's example, the people who "have it" are the "wrong" minority, I believe a small minority. And the majority is not leaving them alone. Not withstanding Mr. Hardin's communication style, I can probably drum up many personal and negative attacks on the likes of Dan and the Internal guys on this website alone.

I think we need to also come to understand that having our feelings hurt does not equate to negativity. In a previous post I stated that I believe some aikido people are not competent in aikido. That does not mean they are bad people, or that I would not be friends with them or even that they should quit training. It simply means that they do not possess and express the necessary skills to apply principles of aikido.

The problem is when the have nots begin drowning out the haves. This creates a diminishing equation that eventually damages the art beyond repair. As stewards of the art, I believe we all have a responsibility to protect the integrity of aikido.

The equation of harmony will always require a balanced outcome; here is no such thing as a "peaceful transition" or a "free lunch". The cost for many of us in this case is realizing and admitting we don't have it and finding a training method that will allow us to get it. But ego is not a problem in aikido, right? :)

Aikibu
05-31-2011, 06:05 PM
I believe that we are trying to arrest a transition that is ongoing. In Graham's example, the people who "have it" are the "wrong" minority, I believe a small minority. And the majority is not leaving them alone. Not withstanding Mr. Hardin's communication style, I can probably drum up many personal and negative attacks on the likes of Dan and the Internal guys on this website alone.

I think we need to also come to understand that having our feelings hurt does not equate to negativity. In a previous post I stated that I believe some aikido people are not competent in aikido. That does not mean they are bad people, or that I would not be friends with them or even that they should quit training. It simply means that they do not possess and express the necessary skills to apply principles of aikido.

The problem is when the have nots begin drowning out the haves. This creates a diminishing equation that eventually damages the art beyond repair. As stewards of the art, I believe we all have a responsibility to protect the integrity of aikido.

The equation of harmony will always require a balanced outcome; here is no such thing as a "peaceful transition" or a "free lunch". The cost for many of us in this case is realizing and admitting we don't have it and finding a training method that will allow us to get it. But ego is not a problem in aikido, right? :)

Great Post. :)

William Hazen

sakumeikan
05-31-2011, 06:27 PM
I believe that we are trying to arrest a transition that is ongoing. In Graham's example, the people who "have it" are the "wrong" minority, I believe a small minority. And the majority is not leaving them alone. Not withstanding Mr. Hardin's communication style, I can probably drum up many personal and negative attacks on the likes of Dan and the Internal guys on this website alone.

I think we need to also come to understand that having our feelings hurt does not equate to negativity. In a previous post I stated that I believe some aikido people are not competent in aikido. That does not mean they are bad people, or that I would not be friends with them or even that they should quit training. It simply means that they do not possess and express the necessary skills to apply principles of aikido.

The problem is when the have nots begin drowning out the haves. This creates a diminishing equation that eventually damages the art beyond repair. As stewards of the art, I believe we all have a responsibility to protect the integrity of aikido.

The equation of harmony will always require a balanced outcome; here is no such thing as a "peaceful transition" or a "free lunch". The cost for many of us in this case is realizing and admitting we don't have it and finding a training method that will allow us to get it. But ego is not a problem in aikido, right? :)
Dear Jon,
Ego is not a problem in Aikido?I trust this is said with tongue in cheek. Cheers, Joe.

thisisnotreal
05-31-2011, 07:13 PM
Great Post. :)

William Hazen

Yeah Jon. Quite a few good posts up there.:)

abraxis
05-31-2011, 07:52 PM
I believe that we are trying to arrest a transition that is ongoing. ...The equation of harmony will always require a balanced outcome; here is no such thing as a "peaceful transition"...

Are we witnessing something here which is more than a transition within an organization of loosely affiliated dojos? Are we witnessing the equivalent of a religious reformation or a political revolution? I know this sounds dramatic and Aikido is not a religion or a country but it does seem that certain long held core beliefs are being questioned and in some people's eyes this may appear to be heresy while at the same time there are reformers who say they are trying to return to the true beliefs and practices of earlier days.

If this is not a "peaceful transition" and it comes to a war of styles, philosophies and methods of teaching I'm sure it will be a non-violent one and harmony will eventually prevail. And it will, without a doubt, be televised.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfJd0Q8HjPw&feature=related

DH
05-31-2011, 11:27 PM
Mr. Ternbach
I get hesitant in over-reaching and using strong analogy to describe the current movement.
Why can't it be simple?
What is preventing us from having fun exploring the roots of the art and leaving it at that?
These days I feel more like a kid playing with friends than someone with an agenda. Let's leave that to the pin heads who want to ...be somebody, while we actually....do...some great shit all around them!!
Why not look to the future as a playground (lots of work for sure, but fun anyway) where people of like minds will meet and interact.
That fulfills Ueshiba's goals, and our goals as well. When you think of it, he was really having fun wasn't he. Did you catch the gleam in his eye? To hell with these people all caught up in the system.
How great is it to be rocking the house and them not being able to do a damn thing to you while they rank each other and hold meetings...and we are free and laughing at the same time and shooting past their best efforts!!
I think Ueshiba would be cracking up!
Cheers
Dan

abraxis
06-01-2011, 06:55 AM
Mr. Ternbach
I get hesitant in over-reaching and using strong analogy to describe the current movement.
Why can't it be simple?
What is preventing us from having fun exploring the roots of the art and leaving it at that?....

Mr. Harden,
I see no reason why it shouldn't be simple and fun and I think your approach which seems to emphasize training the senior aikido trainers first is a good one.

....To hell with these people all caught up in the system....

That's likely to be more problematic unless you have the support of a number of shihans who can deal with the system while you focus on what you are about; but you seem to be on your way to achieving that already.

...How great is it to be rocking the house and them not being able to do a damn thing to you while they rank each other and hold meetings...and we are free and laughing at the same time and shooting past their best efforts!!....

Sounds like your already doing exactly that so in a way you seem to be livin' the dream you you dreamed--that's enviable.

I think Ueshiba would be cracking up!...

That's a mystery to me but I do like the idea that O Sensei is looking down on us and is enjoying what he sees.

Cheers!

R.Ternbach

Alberto_Italiano
06-01-2011, 07:16 AM
I think Dave put it well. I depends on what you want to work on. I think those are some good ideas. I used to take my heavy bag and spin it as fast as I could so I could see what it felt like to interact with a spinning target. I'd hit it or "jam" it in a kind of two-handed shomenuchi, playing around with the spin and against the spin.
I would also play with rope or power cords to try and move the whole cord using wave/spiral motions, trying to use my center and to have a sense of connecting through the whole length. Coincidentally i tried this the other day and was dissapointed at how badly I was at controlling the cord. I used to be able to make the wave travel the whole length, but not any more.

wow Matthew. I thought I was speaking nonsense.
Actually the idea is of using this heavied bag with its strap and attempt, as i make it spin, to perform tenkans - at some given times the strap will end on my shoulder.

I don't mean in the least one may learn aikido by arraying, eventually, a whole set of these training ideas, however they may be less immaterial or useless they seem. I was expecting folks saying to me I was uttering complete nonsense :)

At any rate, if you can tenkan with a heavy spinning bag obstructing you, probably this may be benefical in improving at least your tenkan while enduring some dynamic resistance.
Maybe.

Alberto_Italiano
06-01-2011, 07:25 AM
I think a couple of interesting points have developed that I would like to address.

First, I believe O'Sensei absolutely wanted to wanted aikido to attract a larger demographic. He said as much in numerous interviews and altered his curriculum to allow for better consumption by the lesser trained non-martial community. O'Sensei's aikido was derived from his exposure to multiple martial arts, from which he mixed the overlapping principles and developed an art. O'Sensei realized (and rightfully so) the methods and training avenue he took to arrive at his aikido was not a path that could be consumed by many, particularly by non-martial and incompetent martial artists. One can argue the extend to which aikido has been altered from the aikido O'Sensei expressed, but what we do today is not what O'Sensei did. Give credit to the fact that the aikido O'Sensei began disseminating post-war and Doshu continued was consumable en mass and today we have a large training population because of that curriculum.

Second, I believe this large training population has created a technical issue that is damaging the dissemination of proper aikido. Simply put, more poor aikido people are disseminating the art than good aikido people. Again, you can argue the number but we are in the process of rebuilding a competent teaching population.

From my perspective today's training population includes a number of incompetent individuals, many whom are quite satisfied in their incompetence. I do not believe O'Sensei expanded the world of aikido to people so so they could not "get it." How many people do you know train aikido? How many of those people can do aikido? Not armchair quarterbacks; I mean understand, apply, and execute aikido principle on and off the mat, no excuses, no whotifs. 1 in 4? 1 in 10? 1 in 20? Now how many of those competent people are good? That's a small number...(...)

Jon, you are writing in a more competent manner what I sensed and was trying to convey in a less competent one.
Ueshiba is responsible for the type of Aikido we have because, exactly, he seems to have accepted a non combative manner of training, in order to attract the wider audience.

Whereas this is benefical in a stage where you have to make a new Martial Art popular and widely known, it becomes more than an hindrance for martiality over time.
I think this is what happened, why much of the aikido we see is too fictional, so that most of pupils grow utterly unware that the technniques they are learning in that manner, would fail against a determined attacker.

I fully understand we have an economical issue here - if we start training in a more "realistic" way, we may lose paying pupils who are in just for some convenient and consolatory self-complacent delusion that they would know how to survive a fight.
yet, we might gain more who are martial oritented, perhaps.

Nobody knows what the net outcome could be, eventually: more pupils, or less?
Certianly, we'd have a more effective aikido when facing real and violent situations.

But we are caught exactly in this economical grip - it's stifling aikido, probably. And I have no solution, because I agree money matters.
Perhaps, two levels of aikido? Tahi-Chi-Aikido (would be legitimate a pursuit), and Real Aikido classes for those who want the full martiality, both in the same dojos at different class hours?

Alberto_Italiano
06-01-2011, 07:52 AM
We can go right on pretending that our aikido is great. We can use pejorative language and dismiss those who remind us we are not wearing clothes. The elitist intellectual inside us wants to rationalize our aikido as competent. I couldn't throw my uke because he had bad energy... or she was not being sensitive... or he was resisting... How about because I didn't correctly apply the technique?


I agree - I cannot find anymore who in this thread quoted Ueshiba remarking that aikido works, and that it's only my aikido that doesn't.

Although I personally consider Ueshiba responsible for the flawed (to my eyes) way of training that too many dojos have, if I would think that aikido could not work, I would quit instantly with my endless efforts to find a way out of the quandary I found myself trapped in once I decided to learn aikido and I found all dojos where their training seemed to yield as its only outcome an unusable aikido in a real situation - at least unusuable to a guy like me who long ago was used to get punches on his face by attackers that at times could be truly furious: they were in to incapacitate deliberately, at least temporarily, my brain functionality...

You won't shiho nage easily those!

But I do feel that aikido may work.
What doesn't work, is the way we train. In too many dojos we seem to train in a manner that is bound to produce a nearly complete lack of effectiveness under real fire.

It's not aikido that doesn't work. It's our way to face it what doesn't.

phitruong
06-01-2011, 09:54 AM
Ueshiba is responsible for the type of Aikido we have because, exactly, he seems to have accepted a non combative manner of training, in order to attract the wider audience.


my personal opinion is that after the war, his view of fighting changed, especially when witness the aftermath of the two nuclear bombs. as i grew up in a rather vicious war, i can assure you that when you were on the receiving end of a B-52 bombing run, you would desperately want peace. maybe he saw that aikido could be a vehicle for fighting, not against others, but against oneself and to transform oneself to be a better human being. that's my opinion which might be completely off the track.

as for training, we can use the 80/20 rules. we won't be able to satisfy the 20 percent of the outer fringes where folks either wanted extreme realism to their training (which they can find it in other venues) or the taichee health conscious. so if we can define the curriculum that hold the 80 percent folks who are not at either extreme ends. one of the key for good training is to expose folks to other practices, be it other aikido dojos or other arts. you might lose folks, but if you are confident enough with your aikido, then your folks would recognize it and learn better. in my organization, ASU, we are encourage to try other stuffs as the leaders in the organization demonstrated by example.

RonRagusa
06-01-2011, 10:43 AM
my personal opinion is that after the war, his view of fighting changed, especially when witness the aftermath of the two nuclear bombs. as i grew up in a rather vicious war, i can assure you that when you were on the receiving end of a B-52 bombing run, you would desperately want peace. maybe he saw that aikido could be a vehicle for fighting, not against others, but against oneself and to transform oneself to be a better human being. that's my opinion which might be completely off the track.

I think you have hit the nail squarely upon the head with this observation Phi.

Best,

Ron

abraxis
06-01-2011, 10:53 AM
my personal opinion is that after the war, his view of fighting changed, especially when witness the aftermath of the two nuclear bombs. as i grew up in a rather vicious war, i can assure you that when you were on the receiving end of a B-52 bombing run, you would desperately want peace. maybe he saw that aikido could be a vehicle for fighting, not against others, but against oneself and to transform oneself to be a better human being...

ditto

I think you have hit the nail squarely upon the head with this observation Phi....

ditto

Alberto_Italiano
06-01-2011, 11:57 AM
I think you have hit the nail squarely upon the head with this observation Phi.

Best,

Ron

I think so too.
That was the "flaw" with Ueshiba - that's why aikido ended up forfeiting martiality in so many cases - Ueshiba, unwillingly, disseminated this "virus". You don't lose WW2 and stay the same ever again.
First he lost his samurai world and his sword - then he lost WW2. He is a man who has seen his whole world vanish - twice.

RonRagusa
06-01-2011, 12:24 PM
I think so too.
That was the "flaw" with Ueshiba - that's why aikido ended up forfeiting martiality in so many cases - Ueshiba, unwillingly, disseminated this "virus". You don't lose WW2 and stay the same ever again.
First he lost his samurai world and his sword - then he lost WW2. He is a man who has seen his whole world vanish - twice.

Hi Alberto -

Interesting observation. What I find difficult to understand is why you and others are looking to shoehorn Aikido into a form that it clearly wasn't designed to fit. If fighting proficiency is your primary objective there are better arts and training systems available for achieving that goal.

Personally, I consider Ueshiba's "virus" to be more a "gift" to a world that is awash in violence and ways to inflict violence. One man started with a vision of using his art to make the world a more peaceful place to live. Today that vision endures and continues to slowly spread via the transmission of his art from generation to generation.

Best,

Ron

graham christian
06-01-2011, 12:32 PM
my personal opinion is that after the war, his view of fighting changed, especially when witness the aftermath of the two nuclear bombs. as i grew up in a rather vicious war, i can assure you that when you were on the receiving end of a B-52 bombing run, you would desperately want peace. maybe he saw that aikido could be a vehicle for fighting, not against others, but against oneself and to transform oneself to be a better human being. that's my opinion which might be completely off the track.

as for training, we can use the 80/20 rules. we won't be able to satisfy the 20 percent of the outer fringes where folks either wanted extreme realism to their training (which they can find it in other venues) or the taichee health conscious. so if we can define the curriculum that hold the 80 percent folks who are not at either extreme ends. one of the key for good training is to expose folks to other practices, be it other aikido dojos or other arts. you might lose folks, but if you are confident enough with your aikido, then your folks would recognize it and learn better. in my organization, ASU, we are encourage to try other stuffs as the leaders in the organization demonstrated by example.

Phi.
I agree with the first paragraph.

On the second I would say 80% want want health and wellness and peace, both inner and outer. Far from extreme I would think.

Regards.G.

abraxis
06-01-2011, 12:37 PM
I think so too.
That was the "flaw" with Ueshiba - that's why aikido ended up forfeiting martiality in so many cases - Ueshiba, unwillingly, disseminated this "virus". You don't lose WW2 and stay the same ever again.
First he lost his samurai world and his sword - then he lost WW2. He is a man who has seen his whole world vanish - twice.

Ciao Alberto,

FWIW, I have to respectfully disagree with the you on a number of grounds because it's my strongly held belief you don't forfeit martiality you wake up from the nightmare of it.

Peace,

R.Ternbach

Alberto_Italiano
06-01-2011, 12:45 PM
Hi Alberto -

Interesting observation. What I find difficult to understand is why you and others are looking to shoehorn Aikido into a form that it clearly wasn't designed to fit. If fighting proficiency is your primary objective there are better arts and training systems available for achieving that goal.

Personally, I consider Ueshiba's "virus" to be more a "gift" to a world that is awash in violence and ways to inflict violence. One man started with a vision of using his art to make the world a more peaceful place to live. Today that vision endures and continues to slowly spread via the transmission of his art from generation to generation.


I can speak only for myself, of course.
Ueshiba's problem, needs not to be our problem. We are already grateful to him for his gift - which should not prevent us from considering also the human side of Ueshiba - with compassion, not with polemic intentions, yet also with the intention not to succumb to it only because his all too human problems and fears go in bundle with his gifts.
We can keep the gifts, and honour him for those, and correct the problem.

Nothing prevents anyone from pursuing an extremely peaceful aikido - But I deny that wanting to experience an aikido usable within extremely aggressive or violent settings would mean to be untrue to aikido or to be aggressive or violent.

The Gospels said (matthew 11:12) "and the violent bear it away (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Violent_Bear_It_Away)" - by wanting an aikido that can deal with violence, we want a world where the violent doesn't take it away.
Rubricating those who want an aikido able to deal with extreme violence as violent themselves, means to have confused the attacker with the defender.

For, if one would have ever wanted to use violence, one would never go for aikido in the first place: because aikido has no attacking techniques.

So, if you want aikido, you want defense.
And if you want an aikido usable against extremely violent ukes, you want an aikido that can defend you under any type of fire - and not obnly against mild one.

I don't want my umbrella to protect me only against dew - i want it to be usable also under the thunderstorms.

I hope this makes sense :)

Dave de Vos
06-01-2011, 12:52 PM
Phi.
I agree with the first paragraph.

On the second I would say 80% want want health and wellness and peace, both inner and outer. Far from extreme I would think.

Regards.G.

True, most people prefer to live in health and wellness and peace. (I dare to say 99% even)

But I wouldn't say that 80% of aikidoka are only looking for that in aikido (at least not where I train). It is a part, sure, but they are also training to improve their chances in a dangerous situation.

graham christian
06-01-2011, 12:53 PM
I can speak only for myself, of course.
Ueshiba's problem, needs not to be our problem. We are already grateful to him for his gift - which should not prevent us from considering also the human side of Ueshiba - with compassion, not with polemic intentions, yet also with the intention not to succumb to it only because his all too human problems and fears go in bundle with his gifts.
We can keep the gifts, and honour him for those, and correct the problem.

Nothing prevents anyone from pursuing an extremely peaceful aikido - But I deny that wanting to experience an aikido usable within extremely aggressive or violent settings would mean to be untrue to aikido or to be aggressive or violent.

The Gospels said (matthew 11:12) "and the violent bear it away (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Violent_Bear_It_Away)" - by wanting an aikido that can deal with violence, we want a world where the violent doesn't take it away.
Rubricating those who want an aikido able to deal with extreme violence as violent themselves, means to have confused the attacker with the defender.

For, if one would have ever wanted to use violence, one would never go for aikido in the first place: because aikido has no attacking techniques.

So, if you want aikido, you want defense.
And if you want an aikido usable against extremely violent ukes, you want an aikido that can defend you under any type of fire - and not obnly against mild one.

I don't want my umbrella to protect me only against dew - i want it to be usable also under the thunderstorms.

I hope this makes sense :)

Ha ha. Alberto. You remind me of Musashi in your attitude.

A good read if you have the time.

Regards.G.

Alberto_Italiano
06-01-2011, 01:01 PM
Ha ha. Alberto. You remind me of Musashi in your attitude.

A good read if you have the time.

Regards.G.

Musashi? is he the guy who wrote the book of the 5 rings?
if so, his is one of my favourite sentences: "nothing is more obvious in a man than what he tries to conceal".

Not only it's so true, but I think that any martial background (in my case boxing, if duh we want to consider that martial, though not very artistic - although some named it "the noble art") reveals immediately to you whence that observation comes from - if you can get acquainted with fire, as long as you are, you can foresee things to come. Your opponent becomes an open book - all his intentions that he tries to conceal, are immediately apparent to you.

The reason it happens, is that you read your foe by reading yourself first - you read yourself in him, in his position.

I think it was still in that book that I found the expression "i find it very stupid to die with a weapon till sheathed by your side". Well, yes: I don't want to die under a violent attack, with a kotegaeshi still stored into my quiver! :D

Dave de Vos
06-01-2011, 01:08 PM
So, if you want aikido, you want defense.
And if you want an aikido usable against extremely violent ukes, you want an aikido that can defend you under any type of fire - and not obnly against mild one.

I don't want my umbrella to protect me only against dew - i want it to be usable also under the thunderstorms.

I hope this makes sense :)

If you want to learn that, you have to train like that. I think there is no ther way.

Perhaps yoseikan? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ws6l7YKTw5I&feature=related

Alberto_Italiano
06-01-2011, 01:13 PM
If you want to learn that, you have to train like that. I think there is no ther way.

Perhaps yoseikan? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ws6l7YKTw5I&feature=related

They hit each other.
I don't want to hit anyone - not even with an atemi.

Pure aikido techniques against opponents allowed to do whatever they want.
At any rate, here we have only ki-dojos.

I have to hope the Gods of the Vedas will one day supply me with an aikidoka who thinks similarly, who lives here, and who wants to train with me. Chances? zero.

Morale: I will never learn the aikido I dream of, and I will never get a belt, for I refuse of buying one evileyes :p

Alberto_Italiano
06-01-2011, 01:36 PM
To explain it better: remove hitting from tori's part in this case:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fN7yn0XOSMQ

Add an uke who behaves as aggressively as tori.

Whereas I fully understand it is needed to apprehend the techniques in a more relaxed setting too - yet, experiencing daily this more aggressive setting regardless of your experience, ought to be a daily and unavoidable part of the training.

Because training in order to conquer fighting awareness inside violent situations, is as much important as refining a technique and consequently in no case can be dismissed or reserved for later stages: it is the foremost thing you need, even more than technical perfection.

In this regard, it's not important how refined your techiniques are - it only matters that every time, after you have worked to refine them too, you are faced with a situation where you are required to attempt what you can within a controlled and yet "extreme" & violent attack.

Technical perfection and awareness of the firestorm ought to go as parallel exigencies, whose training moments are both included in each training session.

Gerardo Torres
06-01-2011, 01:37 PM
Morale: I will never learn the aikido I dream of, and I will never get a belt, for I refuse of buying one evileyes :p
Start your own dojo? You seem to have a very clear idea of what aikido should and should not be, so why not do your own thing? Find a few friends and go nuts in a garage or something.

Alberto_Italiano
06-01-2011, 02:36 PM
Start your own dojo? You seem to have a very clear idea of what aikido should and should not be, so why not do your own thing? Find a few friends and go nuts in a garage or something.

Thus far this thread has been an interesting one - and certainly not exclusively for my merit (if any) although also for the fact it offers an ex-boxeur insight into how his background fits and fits not with the current majority of dojos (whose lack of martiality is not something I am alone to have mentioned here).

I don't think that the folks who have been so kind to reply here, have done that out of a lack of interest - because for a lack of interest there is always the wonderful opportunity of ignoring a thread.

Everybody hops in providing an insight - and actually many different intellectual branches have stemmed out of this thread's occasion; I find it a positive fact.

As for threads, you know: it's not even a matter of agreeing or disagreeing. It's a matter of using the thoughts of a thread in order to develop one's own. You speak of a rose, I speak of gardening. I don't say I don't like your roses.
Of course, nobody can always agree about everything - but between disagreement and vulgarity there is usually a limit that no one here has trespassed thus far.

It's so truly refreshing seeing that we can also prove we can fix this shortcoming of ours, and provide a decent thread with the adequate amount of vulgarity it was lacking and badly missing.
I only regret that, in order to arrive at this point, we needed your contribution, Gerardo: for none of us here has been able, before, to attain that level.

So I really thank you for your profound perspective about these issues, and I also think I have found the right dojo for me: evidently, yours.

Well done, Gerardo. Thank you for your insightful understanding of this matter. We have now solved it.

ps tell me the truth - judging from the quotation you selected above, it seems it was the "buying a belt" thing that truly stinged you, wasn't it? :D
If so, don't worry: I hadn't you in mind - nor anyone else on this thread for that matter.

abraxis
06-01-2011, 02:59 PM
...In this regard, it's not important how refined your techiniques are - it only matters that every time, after you have worked to refine them too, you are faced with a situation where you are required to attempt what you can within a controlled and yet "extreme" & violent attack.
Technical perfection and awareness of the firestorm ought to go as parallel exigencies, whose training moments are both included in each training session.

A-

Have you considered Krav Maga?

-R

Alberto_Italiano
06-01-2011, 03:04 PM
A-

Have you considered Krav Maga?

-R

To my understanding that's disarm techniques. Actually, incorporated into aikido already: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZNrq20g4Qg

abraxis
06-01-2011, 03:13 PM
To my understanding that's disarm techniques. Actually, incorporated into aikido already...]

As I understand it, KM takes a lot from aikido and other martial arts as well and tests its effectiveness against each, hence MMA.

e.g.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNkU9zyHuWw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxJDejeXJeI&NR=1

Demetrio Cereijo
06-01-2011, 03:14 PM
Morale: I will never learn the aikido I dream of
You have to build it yourself, as one with the limitations you have imposed has not been developed yet.

Eric Joyce
06-01-2011, 03:28 PM
As I understand it, KM takes a lot from aikido and other martial arts as well and tests its effectiveness against each, hence MMA.

e.g.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8a3h1y9l7g&feature=fvst

As a KM practitioner, they don't use a lot from aikido. There are very few...if any...wrist locks in the basic civilian program. The military/law enforcement program will have more of those things due to the nature of the profession i.e Police Officer. It's pretty much basic combatives that are present in many martial arts and/or MMA. The weapons techniques, specifically the gun disarms, are far different than anything that I have been expose to while I was in aikido. Just a FYI.

abraxis
06-01-2011, 03:34 PM
As a KM practitioner, they don't use a lot from aikido. There are very few...if any...wrist locks in the basic civilian program. The military/law enforcement program will have more of those things due to the nature of the profession i.e Police Officer. It's pretty much basic combatives that are present in many martial arts and/or MMA. The weapons techniques, specifically the gun disarms, are far different than anything that I have been expose to while I was in aikido. Just a FYI.

Thanks for that info, Eric. Some of the disarms resemble aikido movements but you know more about it than I do. I was throwing it out as a possible consideration. Maybe some of its elements would be useful to Alberto if he goes on to create his own style.

Alberto_Italiano
06-01-2011, 03:52 PM
You have to build it yourself, as one with the limitations you have imposed has not been developed yet.

Yeah, I already guessed it. This is why in a couple of occasions I also wondered about katas - new training ideas.

However I am enjoying this thread, in all its ramifications.

I don't want anyone to feel impelled, if I make a statement (wrong or right), to solve the riddle for myself, or to feel supposed to really address my questions.

Whenever somebody, prompted by thoughts, replies with his/her own thoughts, that's already an immense enrichment for me - and for anyone else reading I hope - and this regardless of the fact their thoughts address directly my personal concerns or not.

Actually, my own reflections are not meant to solicit an answer or a solution, but are much more intended to solicit whatever kind of consideration - from technical to spiritual to the biographical ones you may fancy, once prompted by whatever ideas expressed here.

I have no particular difficulty to attach no particular relevance to my own ideas or to acknowledge they badly smack of a lack of aiki experience.
I am aware of this.

Most of the things that have given food for thought to me, are things that weren't even addressing my questions directly - go figure.

I am here with the intention of contributing - and whatever comes out of my contribution is welcome also if it goes towards an altogether different direction.
Ignore me when you think I make no sense for your standard.
Do your aikido. I learn by that.

So, I haven't particular problems if my questions go unanswered, for actually they are not even meant as questions - at most, I only hope that, since they come out from a background that was also a martial background, they may at times make sense too (the lack of martiality is a common and self-evident problem in ki-dojos, that needs no demonstration).

Don't focus on me - I'm of no special importance; provide your ideas and experience with training (though of course when you address me, I am grateful).

Thank you to you all, sincerely.

Gerardo Torres
06-01-2011, 04:17 PM
Thus far this thread has been an interesting one - and certainly not exclusively for my merit (if any) although also for the fact it offers an ex-boxeur insight into how his background fits and fits not with the current majority of dojos (whose lack of martiality is not something I am alone to have mentioned here).

I don't think that the folks who have been so kind to reply here, have done that out of a lack of interest - because for a lack of interest there is always the wonderful opportunity of ignoring a thread.

Everybody hops in providing an insight - and actually many different intellectual branches have stemmed out of this thread's occasion; I find it a positive fact.

As for threads, you know: it's not even a matter of agreeing or disagreeing. It's a matter of using the thoughts of a thread in order to develop one's own. You speak of a rose, I speak of gardening. I don't say I don't like your roses.
Of course, nobody can always agree about everything - but between disagreement and vulgarity there is usually a limit that no one here has trespassed thus far.

It's so truly refreshing seeing that we can also prove we can fix this shortcoming of ours, and provide a decent thread with the adequate amount of vulgarity it was lacking and badly missing.
I only regret that, in order to arrive at this point, we needed your contribution, Gerardo: for none of us here has been able, before, to attain that level.

So I really thank you for your profound perspective about these issues, and I also think I have found the right dojo for me: evidently, yours.

Well done, Gerardo. Thank you for your insightful understanding of this matter. We have now solved it.

ps tell me the truth - judging from the quotation you selected above, it seems it was the "buying a belt" thing that truly stinged you, wasn't it? :D
If so, don't worry: I hadn't you in mind - nor anyone else on this thread for that matter.
Uh, what was all that about, Alberto!?

My comment was made with practicality in mind (I'm a simple guy): if you cannot find what you like, do your own thing. No offense intended, just a suggestion to "move along".

My dojo? I don't have my own dojo because in my opinion I don't know (yet…) anything worth people's time. Hopefully that will change over time. I do train at somebody's dojo, and if I find something lacking there, I go train somewhere else. I am free to do what I like and have fun and grow. If my growth eventually clashes against the "establishment", well, so be it, but I don't agonize over it. Change is not going to happen arm-chairing topics to death but by going out and trying things and changing ourselves.

If I were to suggest a new training model it wouldn't be new at all (or one custom-made for me), but an old one as Dan suggested -- what Ueshiba was doing with aiki (and weapons and such). I am not going to go into a crusade to suggest modifying the curriculum to fit some personal or regional set of "modern" issues.

I'll give you an example: boxing and fist-fighting are great deals to you and you remind us at every opportunity that they should be addressed in aikido. That's your prerogative. See, I grew up in a country with a homicide rate of 60 per 100 thousand population. That's 10 times the US rate and 4 times the violent deaths per capita in Iraq. There is 1 illegal gun for every 2 citizens. Add the legal ones and you have lots of people packing. 90% of violent crimes go unsolved, so there goes restraint. Bottom line: your boxing, your Muay Thai, your BJJ, whatever, are next to worthless there. Nobody wants to fist-fight you or roll on the ground with you -- those are the least of your problems there. Don't get me wrong, I love all these arts, but they cannot help you much in this region's type of conflict. The best thing you can hope for in this region in terms of defense is some combatives training, gun training, weapons-based arts, or something that teaches you about awareness, strategy, and survival (like the "kiai" attitude in koryu).

Now, should I crusade to turn Ueshiba's art into some sort of combatives training (or boxing/empty-hand combat/whatever) to address some personal or home country's regional issues? That'd be too presumptuous and short-sighted of me imo, and frankly I think it's a waste of time. Aikido cannot be everything or for everybody. I personally want to do Ueshiba's aikido as it was, not anybody else's interpretation of aikido, so I listen to those who can guide me to that (old) model. Any technical "add-ons" to address "modern" needs would have to be on top of the base skills that Ueshiba possessed and that made his art work in the first place. Honestly I'm currently too busy learning the base skills to even worry about that. Hence my low post count: I let the "haves" do the writing, I mostly read. I've exceeded my word count... ;)

Regards,
-Gerardo

Alberto_Italiano
06-01-2011, 04:25 PM
Bottom line: your boxing, your Muay Thai, your BJJ, whatever, are next to worthless there. Nobody wants to fist-fight you or roll on the ground with you -- those are the least of your problems there.

Very true. I live in Italy and I can assure you we have our fair deal of criminality here too, and none of them will face you either with boxing or with shiho nages.

I remember when in Texas a couple of years ago, there was this guy hosting me in his bar and wondering wether they had fights in it, he said nobody would fight in a texan bar for if they do, there is immediately someone who produces a handgun.

Under the fire range of a rifle, there is no martial art that applies. However, we are still more likely to face jabs and fastly rechambered hooks in a modern violent situation rather than shokomenuchis or telegraphed yokomenuchis.

Both things are true.
We're both telling a true story. That's why we can't have an easy way out.

Eric Joyce
06-01-2011, 05:18 PM
Thanks for that info, Eric. Some of the disarms resemble aikido movements but you know more about it than I do. I was throwing it out as a possible consideration. Maybe some of its elements would be useful to Alberto if he goes on to create his own style.

No problem Rudy. One thing that I have been able to take away from Krav Maga is the training methodology. The training methodology is very heavy on stress and scenario training and learning to defend oneself from a state of disadvantage. Over time, you get better on how to handle stressful situations. It has helped me out a lot. I think Alberto, if he chooses, would like it a lot.

abraxis
06-01-2011, 05:32 PM
No problem Rudy. One thing that I have been able to take away from Krav Maga is the training methodology. The training methodology is very heavy on stress and scenario training and learning to defend oneself from a state of disadvantage. Over time, you get better on how to handle stressful situations. It has helped me out a lot. I think Alberto, if he chooses, would like it a lot.

Eric,
Yes, practicing under stress is not emphasized as much as it probably should be in aikido and this may be something Alberto is looking for,
Best,
Rudy

Gerardo Torres
06-01-2011, 05:56 PM
Gee Alberto now you got me going. I know I'm going to regret this. :D

However, we are still more likely to face jabs and fastly rechambered hooks in a modern violent situation rather than shokomenuchis or telegraphed yokomenuchis.
True, but I think shomen and yokomen are mostly tools for learning, not so much "empty-handed attacks" like jabs or hooks. Despite this, shomen/yokomen should not be telegraphed at all. Perhaps some weapons training can help. You can track the target and range the shomen/yokomen accordingly and provide your partner with enough challenge for him/her to train martially. Shomen/yokomen and most aikido grabs are attacks that come from sword culture and which call for sword-based footwork/handwork and sword-based techniques. So context is everything…

That said, as I suggested before I believe any technical add-ons to "modernize" aikido should be on top of some well-trained fundamental body skills. The base skills are rare in today's aikido, so I don't understand all the hoopla and anxiety to train more "realistically". "Sparring" from day one is not going to give you those fundamental aiki skills. If you don't have aiki in the first place you're not going to get them by going at each other or fighting or "doing techniques' from the beginning… I think . First train the base skills, then do techniques and spar; go back train some more base skills, then pressure test some more, etc. In my limited experience (I'm level 0), base skills need to be trained slowly and in isolation before any actual aiki-do technique can take place.

How are you jabbing and hooking, with internal power? Are you moving in a unified-body and connected manner? Does your body manifest aiki? Personally I would not accept it any other way if I claimed to be doing aikido, and I intend to try it! This is the problem I see with so many who purport to have the solution to "fix" aikido by training more "realistically". They precede to pressure-test whatever waza they have and I don't think they don't have any aiki/IP in the first place (from my level 0 perspective). So what exactly are they pressure-testing, gross motor skills and "normal" movement? Might as well do a proper combat sport and stop trying to re-invent the wheel (aikido) without the proper knowledge or materials (aiki/IP).

Regards,
-Gerardo

hughrbeyer
06-01-2011, 09:41 PM
Some things in this thread I'm just not buying.

No, O-Sensei was not some broken-down old samurai mourning the loss of his sword.

No, he didn't design aikido the way he did because he didn't know about fist fights.

Face it: O-Sensei included in his aikido techniques he thought were valuable. He left out stuff that he thought wasn't valuable.

I've heard someone asked him once why there are no grappling techniques in aikido and he answered, "Too ugly."

If you want to learn to defend yourself in a bar fight, aikido by itself is simply not much help. It certainly has a much longer learning curve than many of the alternatives.

I think that's not what O-Sensei was going for. The aikido he created, at its best, teaches a way of moving, a martial awareness, a way of handling incoming force not by escalating it but by neutralizing it.

If he made a mistake, I think it's that he built his system assuming he was teaching skilled martial artists who knew what real conflict was like--so he assumed he didn't have to incorporate that kind of training into his art. Now that people are beginning with aikido and learning only aikido, they no longer have this experience of conflict to build on. As a result much of the training has become unrealistic, and some of the foundation--like the aiki principles--have been lost.

That needs to be corrected, but not, IMHO, by making aikido something that it isn't.

graham christian
06-01-2011, 10:31 PM
Some things in this thread I'm just not buying.

No, O-Sensei was not some broken-down old samurai mourning the loss of his sword.

No, he didn't design aikido the way he did because he didn't know about fist fights.

Face it: O-Sensei included in his aikido techniques he thought were valuable. He left out stuff that he thought wasn't valuable.

I've heard someone asked him once why there are no grappling techniques in aikido and he answered, "Too ugly."

If you want to learn to defend yourself in a bar fight, aikido by itself is simply not much help. It certainly has a much longer learning curve than many of the alternatives.

I think that's not what O-Sensei was going for. The aikido he created, at its best, teaches a way of moving, a martial awareness, a way of handling incoming force not by escalating it but by neutralizing it.

If he made a mistake, I think it's that he built his system assuming he was teaching skilled martial artists who knew what real conflict was like--so he assumed he didn't have to incorporate that kind of training into his art. Now that people are beginning with aikido and learning only aikido, they no longer have this experience of conflict to build on. As a result much of the training has become unrealistic, and some of the foundation--like the aiki principles--have been lost.

That needs to be corrected, but not, IMHO, by making aikido something that it isn't.

Hugh.Nice post.

I also can't believe some think O'Sensei changed things because of some negative condition, losses or indeed to suit the masses. When I hear these things it can only make me smile at ignorance.

Far from someone wherever having experienced the horrors of war leading them to yearn for peace. Sounds logical but to my mind is complete rubbish.

For those who experience the horrors of war it serves as a reminder of their true nature, their true self as to how mad that all is. All based on such 'martial' thinking. (martial meaning to do with war)

Hence O'Sensei pointed out what true budo was. He even tried to get people to realize that disciplined adherence to those spiritual principles defeats those warlike states of mind.

Alas, humans seem to be so stupid that it takes real horror and danger to remind them just how ignorant they really are. Might is right and such nonsense. It's ok if you want to stay with such notions and believe getting better skilled at it somehow sets you free from it.

Those who cannot see the harmonious power of softness, ki, true spirit, calmness, stillness, kokyu, hara, the spirit of loving protection etc. have yet to even recognise Aikido.

Such is my humble view.

Regards.G.

Alberto_Italiano
06-02-2011, 02:54 AM
If he made a mistake, I think it's that he built his system assuming he was teaching skilled martial artists who knew what real conflict was like--so he assumed he didn't have to incorporate that kind of training into his art. Now that people are beginning with aikido and learning only aikido, they no longer have this experience of conflict to build on. As a result much of the training has become unrealistic

You may be quite right.
Same conclusion, different path.

jonreading
06-02-2011, 08:19 AM
I think it is important that we differentiate between hearsay, interpretation, and fact. I also think that as we get into contested interpretation we should support our statements with fact. Certainly we should do so before we begin calling people ignorant; ignorant they may be, but to fact or a perspective which they do not share? I posted already on this thread the use of dismissive attacks and their role in occluding issues at discussion.

During the war, O'Sensei moved from Tokyu to Iwama. In Saotome's Sensei's book (Harmony of Nature), he speculates that O'Sensei had become disenchanted with the [Japanese] government's role in the war and moved to avoid pressure from the government. In Doshu's book (Budo), he speaks about the use of the Tokyo dojo in aiding the war victims. While you may argue that O'Sensei personally was not bombed, the war affected his teachings. After the war O'Sensei began teaching again, but more publicly. The dojo accepted more students, many without the credentials previously desired by O'Sensei; heck Doshu practically was running things by then anyway. After the war also is when O'Sensei visited the US in his "Silver Bridge" tour. Again, you can argue the what, but pre-war and post-war O'Sensei are very different people, very different aikido, and very different teaching. Phi made a good point and one that I also happen to have derived from my studies. You may not agree with Phi's interpretation, but ignorant? I think you are not correctly using the term.

Again, just using the two prefaces in the books from above it is possible to interpret also that O'Sensei's teaching paradigm changed almost entirely from a curriculum founded in Daito Ryu Aikijujitsu to a philosophy of action that transcended technique. O'Sensei's teaching transformed from a pre-requisite martial education to one that did not require prior martial arts education. Again, you may not agree with the interpretation, but ignorant?

It's not difficult to grab an aikido book with a historical preface. I happened to grab two that are next to the computer and found exactly the facts that I used to derive my interpretations and conclusions. I think it only fair that if you are going to [passively] chide someone as ignorant, you show them the error of their ways with factual support. A few posts back I recall another post warning of the use of conjecture in counter-arguing a point. I echo that post.

DH
06-02-2011, 08:44 AM
To also aid in fact versus fiction; this idea of budo as loving protection is just fantasy.
If people want to practice a thing as blending and harmonious movement together that helps them with issues or brings people together thats fine, go for it and have fun. To say it transcends budo is a very dicey statement.
Transcend budo how?
In what way?

If the argument is that it walks away from budo then fine. But then why turn around and call it budo? Why dress up in an outfit and rank each other and do budo things if you walked away from budo?

If you think it is transcendent as a form ...OF... budo that is superior to more combative forms, then you open yourself up to some serious critique from experienced budo people
I think you need to pick one or the other, anything in between is unresolved and will see you undone by capable people.
Just say'n
Dan

mrlizard123
06-02-2011, 08:49 AM
They hit each other.
I don't want to hit anyone - not even with an atemi.

Pure aikido techniques against opponents allowed to do whatever they want...

I don't have much to add as most of the ideas have been debated more than enough but I see this as a possible problem; Aikido is not a list of techniques, techniques are merely tools.

A foolish but illustrative analogy would be to explain that my inability to box was due not having perfected my skipping, or perhaps that my skipping rope was too flimsy.

Or maybe would be better to say that despite being really good with a speed bag I'm still a poor fighter. Does this mean that the speed bag has no merit? Boxing itself doesn't work? My use of the tool is poor/incorrect/insufficient? Or is it merely a piece of a larger picture that has it's own limited value within the scope of the whole. (note: I am not a boxer, this is just to try and keep it relevant as an analogy)

I am not claiming to have the answers but I'm working to try and improve myself all the time. If I decided that within the framework of Aikido I would not be able to progress in the direction that I wish to I would consider a change of art/system.

graham christian
06-02-2011, 11:54 AM
To also aid in fact versus fiction; this idea of budo as loving protection is just fantasy.
If people want to practice a thing as blending and harmonious movement together that helps them with issues or brings people together thats fine, go for it and have fun. To say it transcends budo is a very dicey statement.
Transcend budo how?
In what way?

If the argument is that it walks away from budo then fine. But then why turn around and call it budo? Why dress up in an outfit and rank each other and do budo things if you walked away from budo?

If you think it is transcendent as a form ...OF... budo that is superior to more combative forms, then you open yourself up to some serious critique from experienced budo people
I think you need to pick one or the other, anything in between is unresolved and will see you undone by capable people.
Just say'n
Dan

Hi Dan.
I say budo is love. There are and have been many high ranking, experienced, effective shihans who say so too as well as O'Sensei himself.(Hikitsuchi for starters)

There are only two views. Those that say it is and those that say it isn't. Those that say it isn't can then say what it is to them.

It's not a matter of right and wrong or which is superior actually. It's solely a matter of stating what you believe and do.

I would think that is quite an easy thing to do no?

Regards.G.

stan baker
06-02-2011, 10:35 PM
When you say budo is love,what do you mean

stan

Erick Mead
06-02-2011, 10:50 PM
When you say budo is love,what do you mean Graham can say for himself, but I would say that budo is love, in the sense that a tiger loves her cub, and faces down a trampling elephant in must; the mother deer that faces down the tiger for her fawn -- any Medal of Honor citation you care to pick .

It ain't puppy dogs and poofy hearts...

Moreover, the difference is not merely philosophical or spiritual but powerfully and profoundly physical and biochemical in its significance. Fear, desire, 'will to win' etc. have got nothing on it

Erick Mead
06-02-2011, 11:45 PM
I think it is important that we differentiate between hearsay, interpretation, and fact. I also think that as we get into contested interpretation we should support our statements with fact. ...

During the war, O'Sensei moved from Tokyu to Iwama. In Saotome's Sensei's book (Harmony of Nature), he speculates that O'Sensei had become disenchanted with the [Japanese] government's role in the war and moved to avoid pressure from the government. ... Again, just using the two prefaces in the books from above it is possible to interpret also that O'Sensei's teaching paradigm changed almost entirely from a curriculum founded in Daito Ryu Aikijujitsu to a philosophy of action that transcended technique. O'Sensei's teaching transformed from a pre-requisite martial education to one that did not require prior martial arts education. Again, you may not agree with the interpretation, but ignorant? The record is not explicit on this, it is true, but several coincident facts are too suggestive and reinforcing of each other not to mention. The first "vision" of aikido came in 1925 after O Sensei's first visit to Manchuria. The second vision came after his visit to Manchuria again in 1940. O Sensei was VERY well-connected in the military establishment including several generals and admiral Takeshita, as well as "off the book" nationlist-types and could have easily had access to more than ordinary knowledge of the atrocities (possibly even the horrific Unit 731) that Japan was engaged upon in Manchuria, especially after the 1939,military disaster at Nomohan made its situation more desperate.
I believe he discovered that war as it had evolved and the ideals of budo were becoming widely diverged.
This has been discussed here (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=216220&postcount=43).

graham christian
06-03-2011, 09:29 PM
When you say budo is love,what do you mean

stan

Hi Stan.
Sorry but I only just saw this post addressed to me.

A short answer would be as in the interview of O'Sensei and his son quoted in Aikijournal, the first couple of paragraphs if I remember.

There's not a word in it I disagree with. Thus my view coincides with his or at worst that translation.

To add on anything would then be my view as a result of that basic premise.(of which I have many)

Regards.G.

valjean
06-07-2011, 01:24 PM
History and context
Look, this type of training is the best thing you can ever do for yourself in the martial arts. It is the essence, the magic, that made the arts what they once were. There is nothing else better....period. Curiously or humorously, the history of the arts shows they trained it and had solo training exercises to develop it. If you got it, you would be agreeing with me.
It doesn't matter to me that you don't get it and that you don't know it. Anyone who claims to know it, and doesn't think it is the most important thing in the arts, is only kidding themselves that they have it in the first place.
Cheers
Dan[/QUOTE]

Help -- I'd like to do some of those solo exercises. Right now I'm limited to tai sabaki, tenkans, and bokken and staff work in front of a mirror. I'm perfectly happy with my training in dojo, but is there a specific canonical reference we should grab for relevant aiki solo training?