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Marc Abrams
08-16-2011, 02:07 PM
Anybody heard of, or know of this teacher. Video clip certainly raises more questions that it answers.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a3Icah0xAc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuv3ra1Lwz0&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fom9345uo3Y&feature=related

Looks like a shared delusional space to me, but I do keep an open mind. Would love to hear from someone who actually felt this stuff and was not a student of his.

Skeptically,

Marc Abrams

chillzATL
08-16-2011, 02:27 PM
the only question it raises is why...

Your initial assumption is undoubtedly the correct one. At one point in the first link one of his uke stumbles, not because his balance was broken, but because he didn't step into the proper position to be "frozen" and has to right himself... SILLY.

Hellis
08-16-2011, 03:23 PM
Oh dear - I only watched the first video as at my time of life I have little time to waste...

Henry Ellis
British Aikido
http://britishaikido.blogspot.com/

Janet Rosen
08-16-2011, 04:57 PM
{giggling madly} I can't get past the first one either, Henry...but maybe it was milk, cookies and naptime at the aikido daycare center?

Keith Larman
08-16-2011, 05:05 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHUSnDLNmSs&feature=related

Chris Li
08-16-2011, 05:11 PM
FWIW:

http://www.aikido-meikakukai.com/index.html

Best,

Chris

Hellis
08-16-2011, 05:11 PM
{giggling madly} I can't get past the first one either, Henry...but maybe it was milk, cookies and naptime at the aikido daycare center?

Janet

I thought the Aiki Ribbon dance video was the daftest thing I had ever seen in Aikido until I saw this video....Oh dear.
The one thing that I fail to understand is where do they find sttudents to take part in this stuff ??????

Henry Ellis
British Aikido
http://britishaikido.blogspot.com/

Howard Popkin
08-16-2011, 06:06 PM
FWIW,

Maekawa was a student of Okamoto until 98 or so.

As of that time, he didn't posses the ability to freeze me in any posture what so ever.

Maybe he has trained with yoda since then.

:D

Michael Hackett
08-16-2011, 06:29 PM
I was very impressed with these demonstrations! How the uke could hold their uncomfortable positions for so long without moving was testimony to their discipline in spite of having full bladders from drinking the Kool Aid. Fabulous.

crbateman
08-16-2011, 11:48 PM
I'm just embarrassed for them. :o

grondahl
08-17-2011, 12:30 AM
Maybe the Aikikai should require some sort of contract with people before giving them say godan or highter.

Something in the line of: "I solemnly swear that I shall never be caught on video doing silly no-touch demonstrations"

Mark Freeman
08-17-2011, 01:38 AM
Maybe he has trained with yoda since then.

:D

Joke you, maybe has he :D

Marc Abrams
08-17-2011, 07:40 AM
Maybe the Aikikai should require some sort of contract with people before giving them say godan or highter.

Something in the line of: "I solemnly swear that I shall never be caught on video doing silly no-touch demonstrations"

Peter:

What if we think marketing......

We get a group together who do these remarkable things and form an Aiki Superheros pack design to bring peace to our evil world. We can develop a comic strip, movies, dolls,...... Move Over Steven ate-too-much Seagal, here comes the next wave of new students drawn to Aikido by our favorite super heros!!!!

Marc Abrams

Budd
08-17-2011, 08:20 AM
Peter:

What if we think marketing......

We get a group together who do these remarkable things and form an Aiki Superheros pack design to bring peace to our evil world. We can develop a comic strip, movies, dolls,...... Move Over Steven ate-too-much Seagal, here comes the next wave of new students drawn to Aikido by our favorite super heros!!!!

Marc Abrams

The sad thing is that would probably raise interest in dojos everywhere as a result *facepalm*

Marc Abrams
08-17-2011, 08:55 AM
The sad thing is that would probably raise interest in dojos everywhere as a result *facepalm*

Budd:

I would take the chance of raising the interest so that people can have a realistic experience of what Aikido can be so that they can make decisions for themselves. I get tired of hearing prospective students ask if I do what Steven Seagal does. I always tell them that I never received my credit card with a blade built in so I have to do something different..... Imagine someone coming in and asking you if you are like their favorite superhero.....

Regards,

Marc Abrams

chillzATL
08-17-2011, 09:07 AM
Budd:

I would take the chance of raising the interest so that people can have a realistic experience of what Aikido can be so that they can make decisions for themselves. I get tired of hearing prospective students ask if I do what Steven Seagal does. I always tell them that I never received my credit card with a blade built in so I have to do something different..... Imagine someone coming in and asking you if you are like their favorite superhero.....

Regards,

Marc Abrams

So you're saying you can't break the wrist of an angry rasta coming at you with a cleaver?

DH
08-17-2011, 09:08 AM
Isn't it interesting how you -only- see this in arts that start with cooperation. Then the gradual grooming process begins, leading students into a belief and eventual "sensitivity" to what they are feeling that always.......always...leads to overreacting. Then they groom you to respond to visual cues. The process becomes self sustaining as the student swears that what he is feeling is really an energy and it's palpable. The process can be heady and feels good to be a part of, which draws them in deeper.
It's B.S. in that it will not work on the uninitiated, its real in that it has such a profound effect on those who got sucked into this behavior. The key is in watching the person who is attacking as the dynamics of his body changes. Remove the teachers from the video and watch the student and you see them go from attacking to receiving mode even before the attack (if there is even a legitimate one offered) is complete and doing these things to themselves. Normal people do not move and react this way. Trained fighters (budo people) will NEVER react this way.

What is rarely discussed is how that level of cooperation grooms the teacher as well.
More interesting is watching what happens to these teachers. Typically there is a sort of awe and no questions set up in the relationship. Then you see a veneration and deep respect "That only sensei can do it." last and most interesting is when these teachers are stopped or challenged. More often then not, you see them change into hard technique.
Why is that?
On cue, they go into hard, physical waza as if this some how validates this other crap they do. If this no contact stuff were real, why, under pressure do they regress to contact? You see this like clockwork. Like the sun coming up in the morning.
All this does for me is to not only invalidate what they are doing, but also their systems and them as teachers as well.
There is a video that appeared and then got removed; of a famous soft art guy who got into fight. It looked like two untrained high school kids brawling.

Is it fair to be just talking about this guy when we know so many others doing the same thing and worse? Should we name names of some very famous people and systems who do just that in order to level the field and be intellectually honest in our evaluations?

I think to truly stand in honest evaluation of others and our own place among them is a hard road. All is lost when we depend on the actions or reactions of the uke for anything. At that point we stop a deeper process. I bite my tongue continually with some things I see and hear. I could name about ten famous teachers who do similar things. I am hoping that choosing to remain silent on some issues is the right choice.
Dan

chillzATL
08-17-2011, 09:23 AM
Isn't it interesting how you -only- see this in arts that start with cooperation. Then the gradual grooming process begins, leading students into a belief and eventual "sensitivity" to what they are feeling that always.......always...leads to overreacting. Then they groom you to respond to visual cues. The process becomes self sustaining as the student swears that what he is feeling is really an energy and it's palpable. The process can be heady and feels good to be a part of, which draws them in deeper.
It's B.S. in that it will not work on the uninitiated, its real in that it has such a profound effect on those who got sucked into this behavior. The key is in watching the person who is attacking as the dynamics of his body changes. Remove the teachers from the video and watch the student and you see them go from attacking to receiving mode even before the attack (if there is even a legitimate one offered) is complete and doing these things to themselves. Normal people do not move and react this way. Trained fighters (budo people) will NEVER react this way.

almost sounds like a religion.... just saying...



Is it fair to be just talking about this guy when we know so many others doing the same thing and worse? Should we name names of some very famous people and systems who do just that in order to level the field and be intellectually honest in our evaluations?

I think to truly stand in honest evaluation of others and our own place among them is a hard road. All is lost when we depend on the actions or reactions of the uke for anything. At that point we stop a deeper process. I bite my tongue continually with some things I see and hear. I could name about ten famous teachers who do similar things. I am hoping that choosing to remain silent on some issues is the right choice.
Dan

Is seeing the wrong and saying or doing nothing really that different than actually doing the wrong? There's a lot of debate on this sort of thing these days.

DH
08-17-2011, 09:49 AM
almost sounds like a religion.... just saying...
Is seeing the wrong and saying or doing nothing really that different than actually doing the wrong? There's a lot of debate on this sort of thing these days.
Well, I am a great fan of "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
But this is not nearly as serious is it?
People have fun and like to do things that we don't all approve of. What's wrong with that?
The only time I offer an opinion is when they cross the line and think its real and will work on others. I will be the first to step up. I've done this too many times to recount.(and many others are capable of doing it too). I once watched some people teaching knife and I just couldn't stand it any more, so I took the replica knife and cut them to shreds in seconds. They had either never faced a real attack with one, or it was so long ago they had forgotten and allowed themselves to be conditioned by their pre-conditioned students. A false feedback loop thats self sustaining.
You see this with ex military guys all the time. They "use" their (very real) service to convince civilians of an expertise in hand to hand combat that is many times way over played to non existent. You can find cops who have a better idea of real one one encounters.
Anyway, with budo people who actually want to dress up in foreign clothes and preserve some tradition, whats wrong with that? Not a thing. Some are more cooperative than others, and everyone is having a good time. Sometimes it's as odd as imagining seeing a bunch of Japanese people dressing up in civil war era attire, playing a yankee solider and trying to learn the tactics and details of war of that era. Who cares right? We're all a bit silly in some ways.

However, in Budo it's sad to see real subjects like ki and aiki and internals being expressed in the hands of people who would hurt themselves fighting their way out of a house of pillows, much less picking up a weapon, but that's just the way it is and worse destroying the very real potentials by demonstrating their BS skills. All you can do is do what you do and show real skills and hope it helps.
Dan

Marc Abrams
08-17-2011, 09:49 AM
Jason:

"Angry Rasta?" I always thought that they were happily floating on the clouds..... I just use my great internal energy and extinguish the blunt, thereby causing the rasta to fall down= no touch throw!!!1

Dan:

The issue of cooperative training exists to one degree or another in all martial arts. I think that the more cooperative the practice becomes, the greater degree of integrity must be shown on the part of the participants in order to truly develop good, useful skills.

My biggest concern has to do with the misunderstanding and misuse of the sensitivity training that in involved with this type of training. It is highly desirable to develop increased sensitivity to yourself and your external environment. It becomes counter-productive and down-right stupid to use sensitivity in a manner that causes people to respond in a manner that has absolutely no martial use. Even worse, people learn to respond in a manner that helps to promote them being truly hurt in physical fights. If we are studying a martial art, implicit in this study should be some increased capacities to come out ahead in a fight. The people in those videos just seem to be imprinting "victim" all over themselves. I think that Systema does a very good job in helping to increase sensitivity in pursuit of greater martial arts abilities (as opposed to what these people are doing).

Regards,

Marc Abrams

Budd
08-17-2011, 09:57 AM
Budd:

I would take the chance of raising the interest so that people can have a realistic experience of what Aikido can be so that they can make decisions for themselves. I get tired of hearing prospective students ask if I do what Steven Seagal does. I always tell them that I never received my credit card with a blade built in so I have to do something different..... Imagine someone coming in and asking you if you are like their favorite superhero.....

Regards,

Marc Abrams

Meh, there's plenty of folks that continue on in their fantasy worlds even after joining a dojo - regardless of what they're shown. I guess what it comes down to ultimately is whether they're willing to get out of their heads and engage with the people and material in front of them, take ownership for their progress, etc.

Everyone has to start somewhere, though, the question is with experience do you develop a filter, understanding where your practice is in the "budo/martial art" food chain, keep testing against external criteria? For some, they just want a community to join and a practice that holds their interest. Which is fine, so long as there's an honest outlook about it.

phitruong
08-17-2011, 09:58 AM
As of that time, he didn't posses the ability to freeze me in any posture what so ever.

:D

that's because you didn't learn the secrets of freezing posture. didn't you skip out of those classes and went drinking and carousing? that's why you never going to be a grandmaster that has purple running light, halo, acolytes, and a nice white fluffy robe. :D

chillzATL
08-17-2011, 10:03 AM
Jason:

"Angry Rasta?" I always thought that they were happily floating on the clouds..... I just use my great internal energy and extinguish the blunt, thereby causing the rasta to fall down= no touch throw!!!1



I don't know man, one thing I've learned is to never come between a rasta and his spliff... EVER. :)

chillzATL
08-17-2011, 10:10 AM
Well, I am a great fan of "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
But this is not nearly as serious is it?
People have fun and like to do things that we don't all approve of. What's wrong with that?
The only time I offer an opinion is when they cross the line and think its real and will work on others. I will be the first to step up. I've done this too many times to recount.(and many others are capable of doing it too). I once watched some people teaching knife and I just couldn't stand it any more, so I took the replica knife and cut them to shreds in seconds. They had either never faced a real attack with one, or it was so long ago they had forgotten and allowed themselves to be conditioned by their pre-conditioned students. A false feedback loop thats self sustaining.
You see this with ex military guys all the time. They "use" their (very real) service to convince civilians of an expertise in hand to hand combat that is many times way over played to non existent. You can find cops who have a better idea of real one one encounters.
Anyway, with budo people who actually want to dress up in foreign clothes and preserve some tradition, whats wrong with that? Not a thing. Some are more cooperative than others, and everyone is having a good time. Sometimes it's as odd as imagining seeing a bunch of Japanese people dressing up in civil war era attire, playing a yankee solider and trying to learn the tactics and details of war of that era. Who cares right? We're all a bit silly in some ways.

However, in Budo it's sad to see real subjects like ki and aiki and internals being expressed in the hands of people who would hurt themselves fighting their way out of a house of pillows, much less picking up a weapon, but that's just the way it is and worse destroying the very real potentials by demonstrating their BS skills. All you can do is do what you do and show real skills and hope it helps.
Dan

Oh I don't disagree. I readily accept that there are plenty of people doing aikido very differently than what I learned and do. As long as they know why they're training and are comfortable with it, more power to them.

With that said, I don't think there should be any hesitation in calling things as they are, regardless of the teacher. While some of said teachers students might get upset or offended, they are likely the ones that don't really know why they're training in the first place. I'd say it's better that they find reality via the forgiving world of the internet than the sometimes harsh reality of Real Life ®.

Chris Covington
08-17-2011, 11:47 AM
FWIW:

http://www.aikido-meikakukai.com/index.html

Best,

Chris

It looks like he has a few cute girls in his dojo. Why are there always cute girls in dojos like this or ninja dojos and the only people that want to train with me are cops, military and security? I must be doing something wrong! :confused:

Chris Li
08-17-2011, 11:54 AM
It looks like he has a few cute girls in his dojo. Why are there always cute girls in dojos like this or ninja dojos and the only people that want to train with me are cops, military and security? I must be doing something wrong! :confused:

You see, he does have the secret! Who knows, it might be worth it... :)

Best,

Chris

George S. Ledyard
08-18-2011, 03:59 AM
Isn't it interesting how you -only- see this in arts that start with cooperation. Then the gradual grooming process begins, leading students into a belief and eventual "sensitivity" to what they are feeling that always.......always...leads to overreacting.

Dan,
Over all, I am in agreement. But I do not think that sensitivity and reactivity necessarily go together. If training is done properly, it should develop extreme sensitivity with no reactivity.

Most of the styles of martial arts in which sensitivity plays little or no part are sports. Physical conditioning and ability to handle punishment are often crucial components. But in combat, especially when we are talking about weapons, one small mistake is the end. It isn't about how much punishment one can take or how tough you are. You take a blade in the eye or the heart and the fight is over. You get a major artery cut, your opponent simply steps back and watches you die.

Arts in which one strike or one cut can easily be the end of the fight tend to have a lot of emphasis on sensitivity. The ability to read what the opponent's movement will be before he does it is something every style tries to develop.

I would agree that in Aikido in particular, folks have not done a good job with this. Many if not most Aikido folks associate sensitivity and reactivity. They have been taught, as you say, to be reactive. But I do not think that is desirable or necessary. I think the Systema folks are a great example of training that develops a very high degree of sensitivity but takes the element of reactivity close to zero. I think that's what we should be shooting for in our Aikido training.

Lyle Laizure
08-18-2011, 07:30 AM
I am always skeptical. If it is "true" then do it to me, then I am a believer.

DH
08-19-2011, 10:03 AM
Dan,
Over all, I am in agreement. But I do not think that sensitivity and reactivity necessarily go together. If training is done properly, it should develop extreme sensitivity with no reactivity.

Most of the styles of martial arts in which sensitivity plays little or no part are sports. Physical conditioning and ability to handle punishment are often crucial components. But in combat, especially when we are talking about weapons, one small mistake is the end. It isn't about how much punishment one can take or how tough you are. You take a blade in the eye or the heart and the fight is over. You get a major artery cut, your opponent simply steps back and watches you die.

Arts in which one strike or one cut can easily be the end of the fight tend to have a lot of emphasis on sensitivity. The ability to read what the opponent's movement will be before he does it is something every style tries to develop.

I would agree that in Aikido in particular, folks have not done a good job with this. Many if not most Aikido folks associate sensitivity and reactivity. They have been taught, as you say, to be reactive. But I do not think that is desirable or necessary. I think the Systema folks are a great example of training that develops a very high degree of sensitivity but takes the element of reactivity close to zero. I think that's what we should be shooting for in our Aikido training.

I would agree with all of the above except for the notion that the two (sport, taking punishment, and reading movement with weapons or without) are mutually exclusive.
You can be sensitive and get played, by your reactions to movement as simple as a feint as complex as a set up
You can be sensitive with no real real power delivery
You can train sensitivity and power and connection and take people who train sensitivity for an eye opening ride.

I think that overall we agree, I just don't think the ways to train power and ghosty soft sensitivity at the same time are all the equal in producing their stated goals. In fact, I think there are short comings in a lot methods that make certain claims they cannot deliver on. Example: some military methods are great for the military, but are really not very good for one-on-one with a good fighter. and vice versa. Interestingly enough the good methods seem to leave adepts with very healthy bodies and outlooks on life.
Cheers
Dan

DH
08-19-2011, 11:40 AM
Had to rush out and finish later from a different location.

In regards to different methods and sensitivity:
As previously stated you have different methods that do not all lead to the same types of sensitivity or even the same levels within similar types. Situational awareness and sensitivity and/ or tactile awareness, sensitivity, or body skills that produce a sensitivity in movement are not the same nor should they be.
A very good situational awareness or sensitivity can yield many different response levels to the same stimulus. One does not equal the other. That's where goals are outlined and paradigms established. There needs to be a calculated, educated and informed evaluation between different modalities to both appreciate and assess value and worth, in any crossover from one to the other. I do not believe that I have seen a successful "one training fits all" model yet. Certainly not in Systema (which has many positive training methods) nor in any police or MMA fight setting or in traditional arts (internal or otherwise).either. Cooperation is key to initiating almost any training. Even with fighting you have to drill responses to make them automatic. What is telling for me in any endeavor is how they participants end up moving. When you see the attacks getting narrowed to the point that any given systems attackers start to look like the systems method of attacking... it's all down hill from there. in examples like the OP, seeing an attacker's body dynamic shift from attacking to instantly receiving and being receptive gains nothing. I'ts like standing there and receiving a punch versus moving and having an attacking mind/ body dynamic. The body quality is dramatically different even in an untrained person. It is even more profound in a trained body.

Murphy's law prevails, and what ever we think we know, it must be tested in strange venues where the opponent has a vest interest in seing our efforts undone, and the skills and fortitude to follow through. Anyway, Cops, Military, fighters and TMA; while they mare share common modalities, do not have the same goals for awareness and sensitivity, nor methods to achieve them.

All the best
Dan

ryback
08-19-2011, 12:49 PM
Well, i think that the videos speak for themselves.Obviously a community of dellusional followers, trying to make their... "messiah" look good and magical on camera.Nothing to do with any martial art in my opinion, let alone with aiki!

Allen Beebe
08-19-2011, 01:16 PM
Hi Dan,

I'm guessing George will be a little late in response since today, Saturday and Sunday he is hosting three guest teachers for a seminar at his place so he'll be busy.

Cheers!,
Allen

DH
08-22-2011, 08:03 AM
Some thoughts from a recent discussion. I have avoided some VERY popular aikido teachers who, if you removed them from the video, you would see the uke flopping all over from throwing himself. While those are obvious, these are more interesting in that they express an educated and mutual response.

More of the same ideas I have been discussing in arts outside of Japan;
Conditioned response from real skill to imagined skill (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvxEkGZKZ28&feature=related)
A good example of taking the ridiculous to the sublime in conditioned response. How to convince the attacker to move his own body.
1. Their mind and body learn to map a response from taking ukemi to real force.
2. Learn how it feels to bounce away.
3. Then they expect to bounce away
4. Then they create the conditions... to... bounce away on their own from mere expectation or suggestion of force.
And saddest of all
5.They will swear to God that all of this BS is real. Famous words from so many of these groups.
"X sensei is amazing you can feel his presense in the room."
No Johnny, he has trained you to feel his presense in the room.
Note that nowhere is the guy actually trying to change or neutralize the force.

"Add a knife and everyone imagines more stress....."
People who know how to use a knife do not move anything like these "attackers" with a knife in their hand. It is interesting to note here thhat the attacker...moves...like a systema person with a knife, not like a trained knife fighter. It is much the same in Aikido. When Aikido move with a knife, they move like aikido people with a knife in their hand. In both cases it is clear that their bodies shut off after the first move. There is no body dynamic and stability or counter to be seen.
Conditioned knife movement (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpzDGV8KfD8) and Low percentage and probability (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqPVjIrAKqc&feature=related)
Nonexistent percentage (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-P96fHkXGE&feature=related)

This distinctly modern idea of sensitivity training is not beneficial in the long run. The older Asian model called for the interaction and cancellation of energy (force) in an educated exchange. Both parties were being trained and versed in how to be solid and substantial in themselves and then how to resolve the meeting of force on force through an internal-to-external process of change. Someone taking ukemi was not part of the process. Predictably other than teaching people to continually receive, there is little to no mention of the changes that take place in the body when it is proactive in the exchange and then how to control that.

If we search the available video and seminars, we find that "sensitivity training" to cancel the teachers efforts and to control them or to routinely go outside and test with experienced and capable people is not commonly in the modern narrative, if it exists at all.
Instead, we see the result of this type of cooperative training to actually reduce the skill level of the attacks offered, with the ever worsening attack threat level only serving to lessen the skill of the defender, which then supports more lack luster attacks. One might say that once one allows themselves to remain immersed in this mutually supporting practice, that the training conditions both parties to a presumed response.
Dan

Lorel Latorilla
08-22-2011, 12:33 PM
Some thoughts from a recent discussion. I have avoided some VERY popular aikido teachers who, if you removed them from the video, you would see the uke flopping all over from throwing himself. While those are obvious, these are more interesting in that they express an educated and mutual response.

More of the same ideas I have been discussing in arts outside of Japan;
Conditioned response from real skill to imagined skill (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvxEkGZKZ28&feature=related)
A good example of taking the ridiculous to the sublime in conditioned response. How to convince the attacker to move his own body.
1. Their mind and body learn to map a response from taking ukemi to real force.
2. Learn how it feels to bounce away.
3. Then they expect to bounce away
4. Then they create the conditions... to... bounce away on their own from mere expectation or suggestion of force.
And saddest of all
5.They will swear to God that all of this BS is real. Famous words from so many of these groups.
"X sensei is amazing you can feel his presense in the room."
No Johnny, he has trained you to feel his presense in the room.
Note that nowhere is the guy actually trying to change or neutralize the force.

"Add a knife and everyone imagines more stress....."
People who know how to use a knife do not move anything like these "attackers" with a knife in their hand. It is interesting to note here thhat the attacker...moves...like a systema person with a knife, not like a trained knife fighter. It is much the same in Aikido. When Aikido move with a knife, they move like aikido people with a knife in their hand. In both cases it is clear that their bodies shut off after the first move. There is no body dynamic and stability or counter to be seen.
Conditioned knife movement (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpzDGV8KfD8) and Low percentage and probability (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqPVjIrAKqc&feature=related)
Nonexistent percentage (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-P96fHkXGE&feature=related)

This distinctly modern idea of sensitivity training is not beneficial in the long run. The older Asian model called for the interaction and cancellation of energy (force) in an educated exchange. Both parties were being trained and versed in how to be solid and substantial in themselves and then how to resolve the meeting of force on force through an internal-to-external process of change. Someone taking ukemi was not part of the process. Predictably other than teaching people to continually receive, there is little to no mention of the changes that take place in the body when it is proactive in the exchange and then how to control that.

If we search the available video and seminars, we find that "sensitivity training" to cancel the teachers efforts and to control them or to routinely go outside and test with experienced and capable people is not commonly in the modern narrative, if it exists at all.
Instead, we see the result of this type of cooperative training to actually reduce the skill level of the attacks offered, with the ever worsening attack threat level only serving to lessen the skill of the defender, which then supports more lack luster attacks. One might say that once one allows themselves to remain immersed in this mutually supporting practice, that the training conditions both parties to a presumed response.
Dan

Dan, this a great post. The implications of what you wrote here basically turns the modern ukemi model found in aikido on its head. I think the reason why this occurs is that the aikido dojo is a place whose purpose is to facilitate propery technique, which usually means the correct "form" of the technique. So people are attacking with "empty" arms, attacking in an unbalanced way, purposely giving bleeding away power so that the person can "feel" what it is like to deliver a good technique. The only problem with that is that an attacker may not give away his power, and will not purposely unbalance himself to attack--this sets up the Aikido student for a lot of trouble in a real confrontation. Generations before us, people have engaged in this kind of practise, to the detriment of the art. Most aikido teachers are simply not ready for a dynamic interplay of energies. I remember Rob telling me that he went to a Tomiki dojo, the guys weren't able to move him and they complained that he wasn't a good "uke" (to which he thought, "I was being a good uke! They just weren't good nages"--or someting to that effect)

And this brings up an interesting question about the core of what aikido is. If an aikido dojo is merely a technique factory, then the the use of the ukemi model as we know it is understandable, but appallingly insufficient for real life encounters. However, if the practise of aikido is something deeper, something that has to do with dynamic interplay of energies, then the ukemi model in aikido must be completely refurbished. In that sense, perhaps as well the "I do this, and you do this to me" model of application must be changed as well. Things will start to look very different if people are trained to take in force (not muscular), apply force, and neutralize those forces. Co-operative training is useful, insofar as the teacher himself knows about bodyskill/aiki training and the sensations that go along with such training, and has a clear pedagogical method that allows him to articulate those sensations in, say, taking, applying, and neutralizing forces in a paired exercise. You then gradually make it less co-operative--I'd say, non-cooperative, bodyskill-focussed aikido would look like judo on the surface.

You can write a book about this! A book outlining the failure of the modern ukemi model, the concentration on aiki training in aikido and how this has to change aikido practise as we know it, and perhaps something pedagogical paradigm charting out the different phases in bodyskill/aiki training which includes co-operative training. What do you think, Dan? :cool:

chillzATL
08-22-2011, 01:08 PM
Dan, this a great post. The implications of what you wrote here basically turns the modern ukemi model found in aikido on its head. I think the reason why this occurs is that the aikido dojo is a place whose purpose is to facilitate propery technique, which usually means the correct "form" of the technique. So people are attacking with "empty" arms, attacking in an unbalanced way, purposely giving bleeding away power so that the person can "feel" what it is like to deliver a good technique. The only problem with that is that an attacker may not give away his power, and will not purposely unbalance himself to attack--this sets up the Aikido student for a lot of trouble in a real confrontation. Generations before us, people have engaged in this kind of practise, to the detriment of the art. Most aikido teachers are simply not ready for a dynamic interplay of energies. I remember Rob telling me that he went to a Tomiki dojo, the guys weren't able to move him and they complained that he wasn't a good "uke" (to which he thought, "I was being a good uke! They just weren't good nages"--or someting to that effect)

And this brings up an interesting question about the core of what aikido is. If an aikido dojo is merely a technique factory, then the the use of the ukemi model as we know it is understandable, but appallingly insufficient for real life encounters. However, if the practise of aikido is something deeper, something that has to do with dynamic interplay of energies, then the ukemi model in aikido must be completely refurbished. In that sense, perhaps as well the "I do this, and you do this to me" model of application must be changed as well. Things will start to look very different if people are trained to take in force (not muscular), apply force, and neutralize those forces. Co-operative training is useful, insofar as the teacher himself knows about bodyskill/aiki training and the sensations that go along with such training, and has a clear pedagogical method that allows him to articulate those sensations in, say, taking, applying, and neutralizing forces in a paired exercise. You then gradually make it less co-operative--I'd say, non-cooperative, bodyskill-focussed aikido would look like judo on the surface.

You can write a book about this! A book outlining the failure of the modern ukemi model, the concentration on aiki training in aikido and how this has to change aikido practise as we know it, and perhaps something pedagogical paradigm charting out the different phases in bodyskill/aiki training which includes co-operative training. What do you think, Dan? :cool:

It's still the same model used by Takeda to teach Ueshiba, Sagawa and a host of others who supposedly had "it". There's no evidence to support that in the course of practice that they would fight tooth and nail to avoid being thrown or go to great lengths to recover once their balance had been broken. It was still a cooperative practice to a large degree.

people always crack wise about the "not being a good uke" thing, but it's perfectly valid. Rather than saying "you're not being a good uke" I could just as easily say "you're being a shitty teacher" and it would fit just as well. Having a higher skill level than someone and using that skill level to shut them down doesn't mean much.

Basically what I"m getting at is that the "ukemi model" isn't the problem. The things that you and Dan talk about that are the problem aren't the model itself, but how people choose to operate within that model. Those things can be fixed rather easily and don't require "turning it on its head". In some places those things aren't a problem in the first place, but when you go further than that and start pushing it to be some sort of competition, then it's probably not even aikido anymore. Certainly not Ueshiba's aikido, with our without the body skills, and isn't that the holy grail we're all supposed to be after?

Lorel Latorilla
08-22-2011, 01:48 PM
It's still the same model used by Takeda to teach Ueshiba, Sagawa and a host of others who supposedly had "it". There's no evidence to support that in the course of practice that they would fight tooth and nail to avoid being thrown or go to great lengths to recover once their balance had been broken. It was still a cooperative practice to a large degree.

people always crack wise about the "not being a good uke" thing, but it's perfectly valid. Rather than saying "you're not being a good uke" I could just as easily say "you're being a shitty teacher" and it would fit just as well. Having a higher skill level than someone and using that skill level to shut them down doesn't mean much.

Basically what I"m getting at is that the "ukemi model" isn't the problem. The things that you and Dan talk about that are the problem aren't the model itself, but how people choose to operate within that model. Those things can be fixed rather easily and don't require "turning it on its head". In some places those things aren't a problem in the first place, but when you go further than that and start pushing it to be some sort of competition, then it's probably not even aikido anymore. Certainly not Ueshiba's aikido, with our without the body skills, and isn't that the holy grail we're all supposed to be after?

Is there evidence for the opposite (that there was no co-operative practise), Jason? How do you know Takeda, Sagawa, or Ueshiba never engaged in non-co-operative freestyle wrestling in their own dojos (we all know they did that outside of their dojos)?

"Having a higher skill level than someone and using that skill level to shut them down doesn't mean much. "

First of all, take into context what I wrote. Rob basically went into the Tomiki dojo, and played with some of the senior students. Rob NEVER did Tomiki style, but was able to shut them down. And this was 4-5 years ago. I'd say that means a lot. It means somebody was less-educated about certain training methods and was deluded enough by the dojo ethos that he would say Rob was being a bad uke because he wouldn't purposely fall. I think it is pretty ridiculous for him to say that. But you say, it is understandable, how so?

First of all, what is the model you are talking about? I am talking about the model in Aikido where you do this, and I do that,and when you do this, I fall like this because this means I am a good uke. Is this the model that you are talking about? If so, how do you operate within that model and how do you fix it easily? What is the wrong way that people can operate themselves in this model, and how do you fix this? And who says it is about competition? This is about a rigorous study of applying, taking in, and neutralizing forces and efficient movement (if you are fighting at least). The deeper it gets, the more intricate it becomes, almost becoming an unseen chess game (I am not, however, at this level of play yet), but it is hardly an egotistic competitive thing. I doubt the lack of "competition"--I think this is a pretty loaded term, and Ueshiba used this term in the context of budo, the foundations of which are connected with militarism and ultranationalistic politics, but I won't get into that--necessitates the "good uke" training model whereby uke delivers weak attacks, and the nage applies techniques, to which the uke "gives" into and falls.

I think co-operative training is good, but good insofar as it is part of a set of phases.

graham christian
08-22-2011, 02:01 PM
It's still the same model used by Takeda to teach Ueshiba, Sagawa and a host of others who supposedly had "it". There's no evidence to support that in the course of practice that they would fight tooth and nail to avoid being thrown or go to great lengths to recover once their balance had been broken. It was still a cooperative practice to a large degree.

people always crack wise about the "not being a good uke" thing, but it's perfectly valid. Rather than saying "you're not being a good uke" I could just as easily say "you're being a shitty teacher" and it would fit just as well. Having a higher skill level than someone and using that skill level to shut them down doesn't mean much.

Basically what I"m getting at is that the "ukemi model" isn't the problem. The things that you and Dan talk about that are the problem aren't the model itself, but how people choose to operate within that model. Those things can be fixed rather easily and don't require "turning it on its head". In some places those things aren't a problem in the first place, but when you go further than that and start pushing it to be some sort of competition, then it's probably not even aikido anymore. Certainly not Ueshiba's aikido, with our without the body skills, and isn't that the holy grail we're all supposed to be after?

I agree.
The fact that people use the word 'model' shows me they are already off in another direction. There is no model to show. There is a purpose of ukemi, there is a reason why it is prevelent in Aikido, there is a reason when it is necessary in Aikido, there are more than one type of ukemi to serve different purposes, and may I also add there is being an uke as a totally different subject.

regards.G.

Lorel Latorilla
08-22-2011, 02:02 PM
Wow, ignore.

chillzATL
08-22-2011, 02:52 PM
Is there evidence for the opposite (that there was no co-operative practise), Jason? How do you know Takeda, Sagawa, or Ueshiba never engaged in non-co-operative freestyle wrestling in their own dojos (we all know they did that outside of their dojos)?

There's just nothing to support that it was even a regular thing that was considered part of their art. If it happened with any sort of regularity it would have made the travels with some of the students. We do have vids of Ueshiba in his DR days (Asahi video) and what's on display looks no different than what you'd see in most Aikido dojo's today. While the students may not have been simply going through the motions, the ukemi models seems in full effect there.

First of all, take into context what I wrote. Rob basically went into the Tomiki dojo, and played with some of the senior students. Rob NEVER did Tomiki style, but was able to shut them down. And this was 4-5 years ago. I'd say that means a lot. It means somebody was less-educated about certain training methods and was deluded enough by the dojo ethos that he would say Rob was being a bad uke because he wouldn't purposely fall. I think it is pretty ridiculous for him to say that. But you say, it is understandable, how so?

First, I wasn't saying anything bad about Rob specifically, I understand his point. You didn't say that it was because he wasn't taking a dive for htem. You said that "they couldn't move him". There's a huge difference there. I've only been at this a short time, but I find it rather easy to shut someone down if I choose too. It's just not all that surprising to me and hearing someone say "you're not being a good uke" because you're using something that you know, which they don't know, to keep them from moving you, just doesn't set off any alarms for me.

First of all, what is the model you are talking about? I am talking about the model in Aikido where you do this, and I do that,and when you do this, I fall like this because this means I am a good uke. Is this the model that you are talking about? If so, how do you operate within that model and how do you fix it easily? What is the wrong way that people can operate themselves in this model, and how do you fix this?

Basically yes. I just don't see that behavior as being "the model". Hell, to be honest, that type of going through the motions is what I was brought up calling bad aikido. You fix it by conditioning people to give good, honest attacks. To feel for when their balance is being taken and when it's being given back. Feel for when there is a conneciton and when there is none. If your skill level is higher than theirs, you give them just enough so that they can push themselves just a little, but succeed and continue to improve. If they've done all of those things through the course of the kata/technique, you should fall as a result. There is none of this falling just to fall nonsense. IS or not, that alone makes aikido better, something that can be used. When you add in the IS training skills and imiproved focus and understanding, then I believe it can be a perfectly fine "way" for training those skills. Which is what I think Ueshiba wanted. What he did not want was all the going through the motions.

And who says it is about competition? This is about a rigorous study of applying, taking in, and neutralizing forces and efficient movement (if you are fighting at least). The deeper it gets, the more intricate it becomes, almost becoming an unseen chess game (I am not, however, at this level of play yet), but it is hardly an egotistic competitive thing. I doubt the lack of "competition"--I think this is a pretty loaded term, and Ueshiba used this term in the context of budo, the foundations of which are connected with militarism and ultranationalistic politics, but I won't get into that--necessitates the "good uke" training model whereby uke delivers weak attacks, and the nage applies techniques, to which the uke "gives" into and falls.

Because when you put two people in front of each other and say "You, try your hardest to throw him" and "you, try your hardest to keep from being thrown", then it is going to become a competition. I see no problem with that on its own, but in the context of aikido as we know it, I'm not so sure. IMO Ueshiba condemned competition for safety reasons. You put people of varying skill levels together, some with real skills, some with a hint of them and some with none at all and tell them to work on these techniques, some of which can very easily cause injury, you're setting the stage for problems when you also tell them to resist at all costs. The first time a semi-noob goes to shihonage a full-noob and full-noob just doesn't know enough to know that he's in no position to keep resisisting, POP, shoulder/elbow = gone.

Sure you can separate classes by experience or something, but it just becomes a stream of workarounds to get around the fact that this wasn't meant to be a fighting system. A martial system, martial skills, budo, sure, but fighting? Nah, I don't buy it. IMO I think Ueshiba wanted a system to develop the body skills in a safe and fun way. Once you had them, if you wanted to go test yourself, go for it, but that's not what his art was about so I see no need to go full bore into changing the art into something it was never intended to be. Fixing it to make it what it was supposed to be though, I'm all for that.

MM
08-22-2011, 03:37 PM
A book outlining the failure of the modern ukemi model, the concentration on aiki training in aikido and how this has to change aikido practise as we know it, and perhaps something pedagogical paradigm charting out the different phases in bodyskill/aiki training which includes co-operative training.

I've been playing around with a book touching on some of that. It's in the hands of a few people, who are, hopefully, ripping it to shreds so that I can make it better. :D

Mark

Jon Haas
08-22-2011, 03:51 PM
Awesome, Mark! :)

I've been playing around with a book touching on some of that. It's in the hands of a few people, who are, hopefully, ripping it to shreds so that I can make it better. :D

Mark

MM
08-22-2011, 04:02 PM
It's still the same model used by Takeda to teach Ueshiba, Sagawa and a host of others who supposedly had "it". There's no evidence to support that in the course of practice that they would fight tooth and nail to avoid being thrown or go to great lengths to recover once their balance had been broken. It was still a cooperative practice to a large degree.


and

There's just nothing to support that it was even a regular thing that was considered part of their art. If it happened with any sort of regularity it would have made the travels with some of the students. We do have vids of Ueshiba in his DR days (Asahi video) and what's on display looks no different than what you'd see in most Aikido dojo's today. While the students may not have been simply going through the motions, the ukemi models seems in full effect there.


How much research have you done? Have you read all the issues of Aiki News/Aikido Journal? Have you read most of the back issues of Black Belt magazine (they're on google)? How about Aikido Today magazine? How about Amdur's latest book? All the aikido books in English that are in print? How about all of Peter Goldsbury's articles? E-Budo threads? Aikiweb threads? Aikido Journal threads?

You're answering as if you've done a lot of the above. So, I'm curious as to why you failed to mention the Mochizuki article where he states that they used to seriously train sumo with Ueshiba and no one could beat Ueshiba at it.

Or how about Sagawa's mention of aiki age and how they used to hold each other down and cause nage to fail until nage did it *right* so that uke couldn't stop nage.

Or ... I get complaints because I post too many references, so I'll leave it up to other people to find them. Or go look at my previous posts for them.


Because when you put two people in front of each other and say "You, try your hardest to throw him" and "you, try your hardest to keep from being thrown", then it is going to become a competition. I see no problem with that on its own, but in the context of aikido as we know it, I'm not so sure. IMO Ueshiba condemned competition for safety reasons.


Someone, I think it was Peter Goldsbury, but it could have been Josh Reyer or both or someone else because I forget whom, but someone translated what Ueshiba really meant by competition. I would suggest you do the research and find it so that you can begin to understand what Ueshiba meant when he "condemned competition" and then look up when Ueshiba said not to do things for "safety reasons". The two are not necessarily tied together, nor are they defined as commonly believed.


You put people of varying skill levels together, some with real skills, some with a hint of them and some with none at all and tell them to work on these techniques, some of which can very easily cause injury, you're setting the stage for problems when you also tell them to resist at all costs. The first time a semi-noob goes to shihonage a full-noob and full-noob just doesn't know enough to know that he's in no position to keep resisisting, POP, shoulder/elbow = gone.


You mean like when a Japanese shihan would actually hurt a junior when Ueshiba was in the room and Ueshiba wouldn't say a word? Hmmm .... That would never happen, right? Or Ueshiba would never injure a judoka's hip in practice, right?

The Modern Aikido world has had blinders on for far too long in regards to Morihei Ueshiba. Modern Aikido became Modern Aikido by using those blinders. Time for Modern Aikido to stand on its own (which it can do very well. It doesn't need to blind people about the truth of Morihei Ueshiba) and let the world see Morihei Ueshiba as he was.

Mark

mathewjgano
08-22-2011, 04:19 PM
Co-operative training is useful, insofar as the teacher himself knows about bodyskill/aiki training and the sensations that go along with such training, and has a clear pedagogical method that allows him to articulate those sensations in, say, taking, applying, and neutralizing forces in a paired exercise. You then gradually make it less co-operative--I'd say, non-cooperative, bodyskill-focussed aikido would look like judo on the surface.


I agree with the first part, but might it not look a little like Shirata, Shioda, Tohei, etc.; the folks largely described as having some of these skills? Hell, might it not look like O Sensei's movements a bit more than judo? ...Though I suppose that depends on the judo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMw_Jtn3Avc) we'd be comparing it to (particularly note to about a minute in).
My understanding is that "cooperative training" in Aikido includes a bit of play on the parts of nage and uke. It's not just going through the movements. Apart from that it seems like it's a matter of the degree of clarity with which the teacher can point out faults to the movement (i.e. structure in motion) and then the degree with which the student can then feel around in his or her body to replicate the effects felt of the teacher's movements.

chillzATL
08-22-2011, 04:35 PM
How much research have you done? Have you read all the issues of Aiki News/Aikido Journal? Have you read most of the back issues of Black Belt magazine (they're on google)? How about Aikido Today magazine? How about Amdur's latest book? All the aikido books in English that are in print? How about all of Peter Goldsbury's articles? E-Budo threads? Aikiweb threads? Aikido Journal threads?

You're answering as if you've done a lot of the above. So, I'm curious as to why you failed to mention the Mochizuki article where he states that they used to seriously train sumo with Ueshiba and no one could beat Ueshiba at it.

Or how about Sagawa's mention of aiki age and how they used to hold each other down and cause nage to fail until nage did it *right* so that uke couldn't stop nage.

Well I wouldn't call it research Mark, I'm not writing a book here, but I've read pretty much everything you listed there with the exception of the BB articles, numerous times in some cases. What are you curious about? Why I didn't remember one random article out of hundreds, by one guy, out of scores, who trained with him in that era? What? Was it a part of their regular training or was it "fun time with sensei". If it was a regular part of their training, why didn't he or any other others from his era bring it forward into their teaching and practice?

I assume at one time you actually worked on this stuff... Was it like Sagawa said or was it...more cooperative?

Someone, I think it was Peter Goldsbury, but it could have been Josh Reyer or both or someone else because I forget whom, but someone translated what Ueshiba really meant by competition. I would suggest you do the research and find it so that you can begin to understand what Ueshiba meant when he "condemned competition" and then look up when Ueshiba said not to do things for "safety reasons". The two are not necessarily tied together, nor are they defined as commonly believed.

I think that was the rules of the dojo thread that was posted just recently I believe. ok?

You mean like when a Japanese shihan would actually hurt a junior when Ueshiba was in the room and Ueshiba wouldn't say a word? Hmmm .... That would never happen, right? Or Ueshiba would never injure a judoka's hip in practice, right?

who said the guy was a saint? That's not even the point of the discussion. The judoka incident wasn't just "practice", which I'm sure you know, so I don't get the point.

graham christian
08-22-2011, 04:41 PM
What is uncooperative training? I've never heard of it or seen it. Why? Because there's no such thing.

Maybe you all need a new word.

To understand Aikido you need to know the purpose is to harmonize.

An uke is one who attacks and then harmonizes with the counter.

A nage is one who harmonizes with the attack and becomes one with.

Thus uke and nage better learn to harmonize with motion. That's Aikido. Ukemi is merely the harmonizing with the motion of projection and secondly with the ground.

Any bullet head attacking harmony merely damages themself and yet to the unwise they see the opposite.

Regards.G.

Andrew Prochnow
08-22-2011, 08:52 PM
What is uncooperative training? I've never heard of it or seen it. Why? Because there's no such thing.

Maybe you all need a new word.

To understand Aikido you need to know the purpose is to harmonize.

An uke is one who attacks and then harmonizes with the counter.

A nage is one who harmonizes with the attack and becomes one with.

Thus uke and nage better learn to harmonize with motion. That's Aikido. Ukemi is merely the harmonizing with the motion of projection and secondly with the ground.

Any bullet head attacking harmony merely damages themself and yet to the unwise they see the opposite.

Regards.G.

Graham, your description above about the relationship between Uke and Nage represents what I think the Modern Aikidos training failure has become. Uke shouldnt have to harmonize with Nage. Nages blending of Aiki should automatically harmonize Ukes attack. If Uke automatically harmonizes himself to Nages response what is seen is artaficial and not Aiki.

Andrew Prochnow

asiawide
08-22-2011, 10:10 PM
Graham, your description above about the relationship between Uke and Nage represents what I think the Modern Aikidos training failure has become. Uke shouldnt have to harmonize with Nage. Nages blending of Aiki should automatically harmonize Ukes attack. If Uke automatically harmonizes himself to Nages response what is seen is artaficial and not Aiki.

Andrew Prochnow

If one can't hit the opponent during boxing sparring, he'll say 'how poor I am!' But this is very usual in aikido, 'Hey. Why are you avoiding my punch? This is sparring. You should get hit too!' Breaking ego is much harder than achiving aiki. :)

graham christian
08-23-2011, 08:34 AM
Graham, your description above about the relationship between Uke and Nage represents what I think the Modern Aikidos training failure has become. Uke shouldnt have to harmonize with Nage. Nages blending of Aiki should automatically harmonize Ukes attack. If Uke automatically harmonizes himself to Nages response what is seen is artaficial and not Aiki.

Andrew Prochnow

If uke harmonizes with nage then he will be doing good Aikido. Thus comes about the ukemi from projections. Not modern Aikido but true Aikido.

He who resists nage gets hurt and blames nage unless he is responsible and then sees it was his own departure that got him hurt.

Modern Aikido? What a stupid term. It implies the past is always better.

Such terminology merely serves to undermine.

Regards.G.

graham christian
08-23-2011, 08:54 AM
If one can't hit the opponent during boxing sparring, he'll say 'how poor I am!' But this is very usual in aikido, 'Hey. Why are you avoiding my punch? This is sparring. You should get hit too!' Breaking ego is much harder than achiving aiki. :)

Is that so? What a crazy thing to say. If the boxer can't hit the opponent then the opponent is very good at that aspect of boxing. It shows only that he is probably a better boxer. No disgrace to the other guy, just shows he needs to improve, probably in all aspects.

Getting hit is usually the result of bad Aikido from a nage perspective especially. If you don't understand this the you don't understand Aikido.

Now when it comes to being hit, to being held, to being grappled, to being thrown, it's the same principle- how to harmonize with. How do YOU harmonize with being hit? As you seem to like boxing then I'll point out to you that the great boxers learned how to do this. The less good obviously keep getting knocked out. Marvellous Marvin Hagler was a master of this aspect of boxing.

Sparring and comparing that to Aikido then you would see the less able doing what you would consider sparring, going at it, hits and misses, bumps and bruises. But can you see, can you visualize true Aikido sparring which would only really happen at a high level? For that is sparring in the art of harmony. By what you say I doubt you can.

Regards.G.

lbb
08-23-2011, 09:02 AM
Graham, have you ever heard the saying, "The winner of a knife fight goes to the hospital"?

Richard Stevens
08-23-2011, 09:05 AM
I was very impressed with these demonstrations! How the uke could hold their uncomfortable positions for so long without moving was testimony to their discipline in spite of having full bladders from drinking the Kool Aid. Fabulous.

That made me literally laugh out loud... :D

chillzATL
08-23-2011, 09:07 AM
If uke harmonizes with nage then he will be doing good Aikido. Thus comes about the ukemi from projections. Not modern Aikido but true Aikido.

He who resists nage gets hurt and blames nage unless he is responsible and then sees it was his own departure that got him hurt.

Modern Aikido? What a stupid term. It implies the past is always better.

Such terminology merely serves to undermine.

Regards.G.

meh...

graham christian
08-23-2011, 09:21 AM
Graham, have you ever heard the saying, "The winner of a knife fight goes to the hospital"?

No Mary. Never heard that one. Care to explain?

lbb
08-23-2011, 09:46 AM
No Mary. Never heard that one. Care to explain?

The full saying is, "In a knife fight, the winner goes to the hospital -- the loser goes to the morgue." You seem unshakeable in your belief that it's possible to get into a real fight and never get hit, not sustain any damage. I can only hope that you never have occasion to be proven wrong.

Nicholas Eschenbruch
08-23-2011, 10:01 AM
The full saying is, "In a knife fight, the winner goes to the hospital -- the loser goes to the morgue." You seem unshakeable in your belief that it's possible to get into a real fight and never get hit, not sustain any damage. I can only hope that you never have occasion to be proven wrong.

Ah, yes, I remember being cured from all the knife fighting fantasies I may have held as a kyu grade by W., the forensic pathologist on Aikido-L in the late nineties (Hi there!). One description of the state of a victim who went ot the morgue, posted by her, was sufficient... but I guess I am going OT.

Cady Goldfield
08-23-2011, 10:43 AM
Ah, yes, I remember being cured from all the knife fighting fantasies I may have held as a kyu grade by W., the forensic pathologist on Aikido-L in the late nineties (Hi there!). One description of the state of a victim who went ot the morgue, posted by her, was sufficient... but I guess I am going OT.

I remember that knife-victim description by (if memory serves me) Wendy Baker, forensic pathologist. It must have made an impact for us to remember it for well over a decade.

Gerardo Torres
08-23-2011, 12:04 PM
He who resists nage gets hurt
Yes, Uke usually gets hurt when Nage has poor or non-existent aiki skills and can only deliver stylized force-on-force when under pressure. A Nage with actual aiki skills can deal with a lot more pressure and still be able to neutralize or lead a resisting Uke without hurting him or her.
Modern Aikido? What a stupid term.
Stupidity implies a lack of understanding or reason. I believe those calling it "Modern Aikido" do so based on historical research as well as experience with different training methods.

It implies the past is always better.
Not always, but sometimes it is. Non-stop rhetoric won't help you get closer to any truth in Budo, btw.

Janet Rosen
08-23-2011, 12:33 PM
I remember that knife-victim description by (if memory serves me) Wendy Baker, forensic pathologist. It must have made an impact for us to remember it for well over a decade.

Dr. Wendy Gunther, partner of Jim Baker. She who literally brought half a brain to the first aikido-l seminar (encased in lucite) prompting me to carry it to somebody saying "I've half a mind to attack you..."

Belt_Up
08-23-2011, 12:37 PM
Because when you put two people in front of each other and say "You, try your hardest to throw him" and "you, try your hardest to keep from being thrown", then it is going to become a competition. I see no problem with that on its own, but in the context of aikido as we know it, I'm not so sure. IMO Ueshiba condemned competition for safety reasons.

Peter Goldsbury covered this in one of his posts somewhere on aikiweb.

There are two Japanese words for competiiton (can't remember them either, sorry)., one means organised competition like sports, the other means personal competition between individuals. Ueshiba spoke out against the former, not the latter.

graham christian
08-23-2011, 12:40 PM
The full saying is, "In a knife fight, the winner goes to the hospital -- the loser goes to the morgue." You seem unshakeable in your belief that it's possible to get into a real fight and never get hit, not sustain any damage. I can only hope that you never have occasion to be proven wrong.

Glad you explained as I was thinking the winner goes to jail. Where you get the idea of this unshakable belief of mine I don't know. It's certainly not from me so I can only suggest it's a miasunderstanding of yours.

Been in plenty of real situations, that's why I know the truth of the principles in action. Therefore I fail to see your point.

Those sayings are not usually true actually. The loser may end up in the morgue but usually hospital and the winner prison. Therefore they only serve fear and thus lead to wrong decisions and the person who acted in such a manner saying 'Yes your honour but I thought......'

Regards.G.

graham christian
08-23-2011, 12:55 PM
Yes, Uke usually gets hurt when Nage has poor or non-existent aiki skills and can only deliver stylized force-on-force when under pressure. A Nage with actual aiki skills can deal with a lot more pressure and still be able to neutralize or lead a resisting Uke without hurting him or her.

Stupidity implies a lack of understanding or reason. I believe those calling it "Modern Aikido" do so based on historical research as well as experience with different training methods.

Not always, but sometimes it is. Non-stop rhetoric won't help you get closer to any truth in Budo, btw.

Ah so you agree with me that the responsibility of nage is to protect the uke. Well done.

Modern Aikido is a stupid term because anything in the whole world happening or being done now is modern. Talking on the internet for example. For all those who use the term in a derogatory way I suggest they go back and learn in the old way. But no, the same people talk of the past yet invent new ways. Trying to have it both ways?

Yes they have experience of different training methods, so what? The question is were they a good student of such?

The amount of times I've heard people say they've done that and done that and yet on closer inspection I find they dipped their toes in the water didn't like it and left with the cheek to say they've done that. As I say......bad students.

Regards.G.

Gerardo Torres
08-23-2011, 02:26 PM
Ah so you agree with me that the responsibility of nage is to protect the uke.
The moral inclination "to protect the Uke" was not under discussion, but the physical ability to do so. You responded to a comment on resisting (non-harmonizing) Uke with:


He who resists nage gets hurt
To which I replied stating that the above is mostly caused by a lack of ability (of Nage). In my view, wishing not to harm a resisting Uke but being unable to do so in practice does not fulfill the promise of Ueshiba's aikido.

But no, the same people talk of the past yet invent new ways. Trying to have it both ways?
I believe those who "talk of the past" are saying that the methods they favor are in fact old, not new.

Yes they have experience of different training methods, so what? The question is were they a good student of such?
Well, I'm aware of some of them who researched, trained, tested, compared, got out and met different people, demonstrated what they know and talk about… Good students (of Budo)? I'd say yes.

The amount of times I've heard people say they've done that and done that and yet on closer inspection I find they dipped their toes in the water didn't like it and left with the cheek to say they've done that. As I say......bad students.
This assumes you have the knowledge and experience to measure that they just "dipped their toes in the water". Have you met them or even engaged them in an objective (non-rhetorical) discussion to conclude that they are just "bad students" who didn't get it? Then there's the possibility that "that" which they claim to have tried and left might be lacking or be a tergiversation of an original idea. A "good student" would be inclined to look for the best training that can help realize the original promise of their art (e.g. Ueshiba's aikido), imo.

Lorel Latorilla
08-23-2011, 02:46 PM
The moral inclination "to protect the Uke" was not under discussion, but the physical ability to do so. You responded to a comment on resisting (non-harmonizing) Uke with:

To which I replied stating that the above is mostly caused by a lack of ability (of Nage). In my view, wishing not to harm a resisting Uke but being unable to do so in practice does not fulfill the promise of Ueshiba's aikido.

I believe those who "talk of the past" are saying that the methods they favor are in fact old, not new.

Well, I'm aware of some of them who researched, trained, tested, compared, got out and met different people, demonstrated what they know and talk about… Good students (of Budo)? I'd say yes.

This assumes you have the knowledge and experience to measure that they just "dipped their toes in the water". Have you met them or even engaged them in an objective (non-rhetorical) discussion to conclude that they are just "bad students" who didn't get it? Then there's the possibility that "that" which they claim to have tried and left might be lacking or be a tergiversation of an original idea. A "good student" would be inclined to look for the best training that can help realize the original promise of their art (e.g. Ueshiba's aikido), imo.

No point arguing dude. Just ignore. Jason, I'll be back with a response soon.

Gary David
08-23-2011, 02:50 PM
Just to add a possibility here...during a long conversation with a good friend of mine yesterday with me lamenting what I see as the sad state of discussion between folks here on what is and what isn't Aiki or Aikido he passed along the following.........paraphrasing....

'If the a complete understanding of any of these Japanese Aiki arts could be passed along in a set of 10 pictures all anyone ever got were 7 of these pictures. 3 out of these were withheld. Of the remaining 7 some of there may have had the order changed. What was received was something less than the whole. The 7 were presented in such a way that they appear to be complete, may be enough from most, but are not the whole. Folks have to dig around, research, test, try, work at it and figure out what is missing. Each person doing may well find the three missing pictures and when looking at them find that each found 3 differing from each of the other found 3 in some ways'

To me the 7 picture set is modern Aikido. Anything else folks discover about the missing pictures just adds to their art.

Gary

chillzATL
08-23-2011, 02:58 PM
No point arguing dude. Just ignore. Jason, I'll be back with a response soon.

Thank you sir, I thought I had lost you!

hughrbeyer
08-23-2011, 03:29 PM
Then there's the possibility that "that" which they claim to have tried and left might be lacking or be a tergiversation of an original idea.

...and with one word you redeem the entire thread. Never encountered that one before.

Andrew Prochnow
08-23-2011, 05:34 PM
If uke harmonizes with nage then he will be doing good Aikido. Thus comes about the ukemi from projections. Not modern Aikido but true Aikido.

He who resists nage gets hurt and blames nage unless he is responsible and then sees it was his own departure that got him hurt.

Modern Aikido? What a stupid term. It implies the past is always better.

Such terminology merely serves to undermine.

Regards.G.

Uke harmonizing with Nage is "NOT" good Aikido.
When Nage establishes an Aiki relationship to Uke Ukemi is then taken to protect yourself from becoming hurt. If Nage cant generate an Aiki relationship to harmonize with Uke what do you have? I would say bad Aikido. Their is no Aiki relationship.

If Uke automatically harmonizes his attack to whatever Nage offers, I also think that is bad Aikido. Reason being that its baised on a false relationship. If you dont know how to generate Aiki because someone always falsly took Ukeme what happens when you come up against someone who is willing to resist you? You learn the truth about who you are and what it is you have been doing. Why do you think so many have been looking outside the art for Aiki? They learned the truth about
"Modern Aikido". Look at the video posted earlier. All of the relationships between Uke and Nage look to be baised on a false relationship where Uke automatically harmonizes himself to Nage. Is this what you want your Aikido to look like?

For what its worth
-Andrew Prochnow

graham christian
08-23-2011, 06:25 PM
The moral inclination "to protect the Uke" was not under discussion, but the physical ability to do so. You responded to a comment on resisting (non-harmonizing) Uke with:

To which I replied stating that the above is mostly caused by a lack of ability (of Nage). In my view, wishing not to harm a resisting Uke but being unable to do so in practice does not fulfill the promise of Ueshiba's aikido.

I believe those who "talk of the past" are saying that the methods they favor are in fact old, not new.

Well, I'm aware of some of them who researched, trained, tested, compared, got out and met different people, demonstrated what they know and talk about… Good students (of Budo)? I'd say yes.

This assumes you have the knowledge and experience to measure that they just "dipped their toes in the water". Have you met them or even engaged them in an objective (non-rhetorical) discussion to conclude that they are just "bad students" who didn't get it? Then there's the possibility that "that" which they claim to have tried and left might be lacking or be a tergiversation of an original idea. A "good student" would be inclined to look for the best training that can help realize the original promise of their art (e.g. Ueshiba's aikido), imo.

It is very simple really. Show me a student who blames his teacher or whatever and I'll show you a bad student.

Yes I have the knowledge and experience to measure.

You are missing the point. Firstly, if the teacher could do what they were after then all that they want is there if they are a good student. If it wasn't there in the first place then they were stupid staying there looking for it. Once again a bad student. It's not the teachers fault.

Do you have an Aikido teacher? If so you are learning his Aikido. Very simple.

If you want to learn O'Senseis Aikido then you would have to understand what he said and how to apply that. It's a journey not a five minute exercise where if you don't get it you blame.

That's the first truth you would have to accept. Then you would see that if you don't want to do it as a lifelong exercise then it is not O'Senseis Aikido you are after but don't worry because there is plenty of Aikido that will suit your needs. (when I say you it's general)

He who does this doesn't blame he learns and if necessary moves on. I'm afraid it is that simple.

This is how I see it, if you see it differently then that's fine by me.

Oh one last thing. Modern versus old. What old method of teaching? Does that mean some methods are outdated? As far as I know the 'old' in fact 'standard' way of teaching in the martial arts for the serious student was the uchideshi method. Is that what the people you refer to do?

Regards.G.

graham christian
08-23-2011, 06:53 PM
Uke harmonizing with Nage is "NOT" good Aikido.
When Nage establishes an Aiki relationship to Uke Ukemi is then taken to protect yourself from becoming hurt. If Nage cant generate an Aiki relationship to harmonize with Uke what do you have? I would say bad Aikido. Their is no Aiki relationship.

If Uke automatically harmonizes his attack to whatever Nage offers, I also think that is bad Aikido. Reason being that its baised on a false relationship. If you dont know how to generate Aiki because someone always falsly took Ukeme what happens when you come up against someone who is willing to resist you? You learn the truth about who you are and what it is you have been doing. Why do you think so many have been looking outside the art for Aiki? They learned the truth about
"Modern Aikido". Look at the video posted earlier. All of the relationships between Uke and Nage look to be baised on a false relationship where Uke automatically harmonizes himself to Nage. Is this what you want your Aikido to look like?

For what its worth
-Andrew Prochnow

Hi Andrew. Opinions always welcome. However I think you misunderstand harmony, as do many others.

Those uke in the video are not harmonizing, that is their problem.

Regards.G.

Lorel Latorilla
08-23-2011, 07:00 PM
There's just nothing to support that it was even a regular thing that was considered part of their art. If it happened with any sort of regularity it would have made the travels with some of the students. We do have vids of Ueshiba in his DR days (Asahi video) and what's on display looks no different than what you'd see in most Aikido dojo's today. While the students may not have been simply going through the motions, the ukemi models seems in full effect there.

First, I wasn't saying anything bad about Rob specifically, I understand his point. You didn't say that it was because he wasn't taking a dive for htem. You said that "they couldn't move him". There's a huge difference there. I've only been at this a short time, but I find it rather easy to shut someone down if I choose too. It's just not all that surprising to me and hearing someone say "you're not being a good uke" because you're using something that you know, which they don't know, to keep them from moving you, just doesn't set off any alarms for me.

Basically yes. I just don't see that behavior as being "the model". Hell, to be honest, that type of going through the motions is what I was brought up calling bad aikido. You fix it by conditioning people to give good, honest attacks. To feel for when their balance is being taken and when it's being given back. Feel for when there is a conneciton and when there is none. If your skill level is higher than theirs, you give them just enough so that they can push themselves just a little, but succeed and continue to improve. If they've done all of those things through the course of the kata/technique, you should fall as a result. There is none of this falling just to fall nonsense. IS or not, that alone makes aikido better, something that can be used. When you add in the IS training skills and imiproved focus and understanding, then I believe it can be a perfectly fine "way" for training those skills. Which is what I think Ueshiba wanted. What he did not want was all the going through the motions.

Because when you put two people in front of each other and say "You, try your hardest to throw him" and "you, try your hardest to keep from being thrown", then it is going to become a competition. I see no problem with that on its own, but in the context of aikido as we know it, I'm not so sure. IMO Ueshiba condemned competition for safety reasons. You put people of varying skill levels together, some with real skills, some with a hint of them and some with none at all and tell them to work on these techniques, some of which can very easily cause injury, you're setting the stage for problems when you also tell them to resist at all costs. The first time a semi-noob goes to shihonage a full-noob and full-noob just doesn't know enough to know that he's in no position to keep resisisting, POP, shoulder/elbow = gone.

Sure you can separate classes by experience or something, but it just becomes a stream of workarounds to get around the fact that this wasn't meant to be a fighting system. A martial system, martial skills, budo, sure, but fighting? Nah, I don't buy it. IMO I think Ueshiba wanted a system to develop the body skills in a safe and fun way. Once you had them, if you wanted to go test yourself, go for it, but that's not what his art was about so I see no need to go full bore into changing the art into something it was never intended to be. Fixing it to make it what it was supposed to be though, I'm all for that.

Sorry for the delay Jason, here I go:

1) If Ueshiba had skill, and Im sure he did, him throwing his students the way he did was a result of an aiki connection. Sure, some take dramatic falls, so as to make their teacher look better, but that's a different story. Ueshiba was known to go to the Kodokan and take on the Judo players. I wouldn't rule out the occurence of freestyle grappling on the basis that you just saw Ueshiba perform in a way in line with the "modern ukemi model" in some old videos.

2) That's exactly the failure of the modern ukemi model, Jason. If you failed to throw a resisting partner, in reality, your aikido sucks because you've failed to make an aiki connection with the uke. But the modern ukemi model allows us to say "oh he's a bad uke because he's resisting". You're basically denying the reality of your lack of skill.

3) Good honest attacks means that the uke must know how to attack while in balance. From what I see in videos, those who attack essentially bleed out power and unbalance themselves. Do they mean it? Who knows. I reckon it's because their body is unconnected that they cannot maintain connection/balance while they are delivering attacks. I see what you're saying, but figuring out aiki connection in the technique paradigm is the slowboat to China, especially for a nage and an uke who are both unconnected. It's better to build up the body that expresses aiki, and then have your uke attack you as well with a connected body and to stay connected. Depending on who has stronger connection, one will overcome the other. But two people sustaining a connected body while delivering an attack or receiving will necessitate non-cooperation.

4) Like I said, before, competition is a very loaded word and it is related to the notion of Budo. We all think Budo is a path we take to cultivate character and virtue, but that's because we're understanding that from a Western hermeneutic. Budo was meant to cultivate and virtue, but in the context of an imperialistic and militaristic Japan. Budo was a mechanism to make its adherents fully loyal to Japan and the emperor and also to help them be good soldiers in Japan's mission to rule Asia. In a sense, competition was not really embraced because perhaps it represented the Western notion of an "individual" coming out on top--which imperial, ultranationalistic Japan resented because they wanted to go back to an old Japan untouched by foreign influences--and it was never really the purpose of Budo to prepare free-thinking, ambitious individuals. That's why Ueshiba did not embrace competition. The old man himself was known to break his students arms during demonstrations. As for the noob resisting a shihonage when he is already being unbalanced, then his shoulder getting popped is what he deserves. In other words if you are already unbalanced, you can't resist a technique that's in motion (and this bespeaks the power of aiki, because people don't really realize aiki is being applied on them and they can't figure out why they are being thrown, locked, stopped, etc.). Nobody would do such a stupid ass thing. But the set up for a shihonage? Im gonna resist that. The nage will have to figure out and be smart on how to take my balance. I used to do aikido and I had to quit aikido to figure out and how to take people's balance for me to then apply technique. I'm still on that journey, but don't think I will ever go back to aikido. If the training culture involves peeps playing with dynamic, internal energies, then there will be an understanding on the nage part to build up his body so that he can cleanly use those energies to properly take in the force, get under the guy, take his balance, and apply the technique which the uke won't be able to resist because he doesn't have his balance. However, in most aikido dojos, you don't have this kind of practise. Most people have inherited the current ukemi model to the point where they don't question why people take falls for each other and so when you resist, you're thought of as an asshole or too stiff or whatever.

5) Personally I think teaching bodyskills through techniques is flawed. The core of aikido should of course be solo training, but as far as paired practise goes, it should be aiki age. And everything else is a permutation of aiki-age in which we explore principles in aiki-age.

Im lacking sleep here so forgive me if I am not making any sense.

robin_jet_alt
08-23-2011, 08:17 PM
When did this thread morph into a discussion of safe ukemi, resistance, and the responsibility of nage to protect uke?

Anyway, I'm going to jump on my soapbox for a minute, and do a little comparison of 2 dojos that I am familiar with.

Dojo 1:
This sensei is very careful to instruct nage to be careful with uke and not to put the technique on too hard or beyond uke's ability to handle. He would lecture the students on a daily basis and his students followed his advice conscientiously.

Over a 4 year period this dojo experienced 1 dislocated collar bone, 1 severely damaged ankle, and 1 guy who broke his 2nd, 3rd, and 4th metacarpals in a horrific injury. Apart from this, there were a number of smaller injuries.

Dojo 2:
This dojo has a bit of a reputation for being rough. Sensei rarely talks about nage's responsibility to protect uke. At a seminar, a student from Dojo 1 paired with a student of Dojo 2 and genuinely thought that this person was trying to seriously injure him. However, the sensei at dojo 1 focuses on teaching good safe ukemi, and drills it in to his students at every practice.

At this dojo, there were no injuries greater than a stubbed toe and mat burn over the same period.

So, which of the 2 is a safer place to train? Which has done more to fulfill their duty of care to Uke?

chillzATL
08-23-2011, 10:22 PM
Sorry for the delay Jason, here I go:

1) If Ueshiba had skill, and Im sure he did, him throwing his students the way he did was a result of an aiki connection. Sure, some take dramatic falls, so as to make their teacher look better, but that's a different story. Ueshiba was known to go to the Kodokan and take on the Judo players. I wouldn't rule out the occurence of freestyle grappling on the basis that you just saw Ueshiba perform in a way in line with the "modern ukemi model" in some old videos.

I don't really disagree with anything you're saying, except that you have this collection of students, going back to Inoue even, who all are highly regarded as having skills yet nobody brings something that important forward? They all brought forward essentially the same system. Most of them had some sort of solo exercises as well, which we know are important, yet no need for some freestyle grappling apart from one? Which in that case even the freestyle doesn't seem to have produced anything after him. Shioda even talks about going out on the town "to test himself". If it was frequent enough wouldn't there be some stories about the guys nobody could beat? It's a hard sell that these seemingly intelligent budo men were doing something with any regularity and didn't feel the need to include it in what they taught. The bouncing ball of logic indicates that what they were doing was very similar to what we're doing now, only with a lot more honesty and a hell of a lot better understanding of what's going on under the hood.

Oh and the stories of Ueshiba at the kodokan. I've never heard one of these that made it sound like this was training for him. This was play time, a result of the training, but even for him, it didn't exist "in house" in that form. It's like me spending years obsessively perfecting a unique golf swing that allows me an insane level of power and ball control and for kicks I show up at the local country club and shred everyone there, then go home and continue working on this swing in private.

2) That's exactly the failure of the modern ukemi model, Jason. If you failed to throw a resisting partner, in reality, your aikido sucks because you've failed to make an aiki connection with the uke. But the modern ukemi model allows us to say "oh he's a bad uke because he's resisting". You're basically denying the reality of your lack of skill.

My only point was that it doesnt' surprise me. You are talking about the uninitiated. IMO a smart person with even a small amount of skill could do some interesting things to someone who, IS skills apart, lacks good technique and enough strength to apply it. As an example, and I know this will sound...odd to some people.. but anyway. I will often grab my wife by the wrist and tell her to pull her hand away, break my grip. I don't tense up, clamp down or really attempt to hold her, I just relax, connect my body and focus on connecting to her center and either pushing or pulling her to keep her always a little off balance with my center. Considering the amount of "force" that i'm using to hold her wrist, she could easily wrench her wrist free, but that connection and constant nudging of her center keeps her unable to apply that strength. It drives her crazy, but fortunately she doesn't mind entertaining my weirdness... anyway, Someone with more strength could simply overpower my current skill level. That I know. Those Tomiki guys simply lack the skill and strength to overpower what Rob has, but I don't really care about that. I want to fix that, but again, I think that fix is in improved understanding of what's going on under the hood.

3) Good honest attacks means that the uke must know how to attack while in balance. From what I see in videos, those who attack essentially bleed out power and unbalance themselves. Do they mean it? Who knows. I reckon it's because their body is unconnected that they cannot maintain connection/balance while they are delivering attacks. I see what you're saying, but figuring out aiki connection in the technique paradigm is the slowboat to China, especially for a nage and an uke who are both unconnected. It's better to build up the body that expresses aiki, and then have your uke attack you as well with a connected body and to stay connected. Depending on who has stronger connection, one will overcome the other. But two people sustaining a connected body while delivering an attack or receiving will necessitate non-cooperation.

I agree completely! I just don't see the techniques that way any more. They're just various shapes of force exchange, which interestingly enough closely mimic the way humans often engage each other, but essentially just forces. When our local IS group gets together we'll do some grappling type exercises, where the object is to catch the other persons center and take their balance. It's a two way, back and forth exchange and it's an honest game if you want to call it that, but it only goes so far. Nobody is getting taken down all the way, though in some cases I'm sure they could have been, but it isn't needed, the point was proven. You keep going and continue to use that as an opportunity to both test and improve yourself. I believe all the various IS systems these days have similar drills. Why can't aikido be just like that? What makes the force exchanges in aikido any less potentially honest than any of these sorts of drills or paired exercises? Again, it seems to be how it (and DR) was transmitted, only with the real understanding and focus being reserved for a select few.

4) Like I said, before, competition is a very loaded word and it is related to the notion of Budo. We all think Budo is a path we take to cultivate character and virtue, but that's because we're understanding that from a Western hermeneutic. Budo was meant to cultivate and virtue, but in the context of an imperialistic and militaristic Japan. Budo was a mechanism to make its adherents fully loyal to Japan and the emperor and also to help them be good soldiers in Japan's mission to rule Asia. In a sense, competition was not really embraced because perhaps it represented the Western notion of an "individual" coming out on top--which imperial, ultranationalistic Japan resented because they wanted to go back to an old Japan untouched by foreign influences--and it was never really the purpose of Budo to prepare free-thinking, ambitious individuals. That's why Ueshiba did not embrace competition. The old man himself was known to break his students arms during demonstrations. As for the noob resisting a shihonage when he is already being unbalanced, then his shoulder getting popped is what he deserves. In other words if you are already unbalanced, you can't resist a technique that's in motion (and this bespeaks the power of aiki, because people don't really realize aiki is being applied on them and they can't figure out why they are being thrown, locked, stopped, etc.). Nobody would do such a stupid ass thing. But the set up for a shihonage? Im gonna resist that. The nage will have to figure out and be smart on how to take my balance. I used to do aikido and I had to quit aikido to figure out and how to take people's balance for me to then apply technique. I'm still on that journey, but don't think I will ever go back to aikido. If the training culture involves peeps playing with dynamic, internal energies, then there will be an understanding on the nage part to build up his body so that he can cleanly use those energies to properly take in the force, get under the guy, take his balance, and apply the technique which the uke won't be able to resist because he doesn't have his balance. However, in most aikido dojos, you don't have this kind of practise. Most people have inherited the current ukemi model to the point where they don't question why people take falls for each other and so when you resist, you're thought of as an asshole or too stiff or whatever.

see I honestly don't think we're disagreeing on anything here. I really don't. I mean on some level I think that what you want simply is not what aikido is or was intended to be, period. which is perfectly cool and something I understand completely. I personally like aikido for what I think it was supposed to be and that is more movement practice than fighting practice. I like it even more knowing that the skills being trained are real and that anyone who devlops them in aikido should be able to go outside of it and start figuring out how to apply them, but if they don't care to do that, that's cool too, but at the end of the day you still know the skills are real, true budo if you will.

I could really go on about this, more than I already have, which probably seems crazy. My interest in aikido as IS training system only increases as I put in more time and continue to work on developing the skills. Thanks for the discussion so far, I've enjoyed it.

chillzATL
08-23-2011, 10:25 PM
When did this thread morph into a discussion of safe ukemi, resistance, and the responsibility of nage to protect uke?

Anyway, I'm going to jump on my soapbox for a minute, and do a little comparison of 2 dojos that I am familiar with.

Dojo 1:
This sensei is very careful to instruct nage to be careful with uke and not to put the technique on too hard or beyond uke's ability to handle. He would lecture the students on a daily basis and his students followed his advice conscientiously.

Over a 4 year period this dojo experienced 1 dislocated collar bone, 1 severely damaged ankle, and 1 guy who broke his 2nd, 3rd, and 4th metacarpals in a horrific injury. Apart from this, there were a number of smaller injuries.

Dojo 2:
This dojo has a bit of a reputation for being rough. Sensei rarely talks about nage's responsibility to protect uke. At a seminar, a student from Dojo 1 paired with a student of Dojo 2 and genuinely thought that this person was trying to seriously injure him. However, the sensei at dojo 1 focuses on teaching good safe ukemi, and drills it in to his students at every practice.

At this dojo, there were no injuries greater than a stubbed toe and mat burn over the same period.

So, which of the 2 is a safer place to train? Which has done more to fulfill their duty of care to Uke?

Sorry I think we hijacked the thread a little.

Dojo #2 by far. It's uke's responsiblity to protect uke, though control on nage's part is still demanded.

robin_jet_alt
08-24-2011, 01:17 AM
Dojo #2 by far. It's uke's responsiblity to protect uke, though control on nage's part is still demanded.

It's true that it's uke's responsibility to protect themselves, but I think it's also sensei's responsibility to give uke the tools to protect themselves.

Gerardo Torres
08-24-2011, 05:32 PM
Show me a student who blames his teacher or whatever and I'll show you a bad student.
"Blame the teacher"? You're introducing a false dilemma here. Many of the problems some people see with modern aikido stem right from when Ueshiba was alive (he saw it and proclaimed it himself), so he'd be the one to blame if that were the goal (but what's the point of doing that now?). Some problems in aikido are endemic. The current revisionist efforts have little or nothing to do with blaming a person or group, or quitting. It's about improving and correcting the current body of knowledge so the next generation of aikidoka grows stronger, not weaker. The whole "bad student" guilt trip, "it's all there", "we already do that", etc., might be an effective strategy to preserve a cult, but given enough time it's an approach that would kill any form of Budo as each generation of "good students (blind followers)" grows weaker than the last. Even some koryu bujutsu need to continuously go back and review the source material to make sure nothing gets lost or watered down, and is not uncommon to help grow stronger practitioners through adaptation (new methods).

Yes I have the knowledge and experience to measure.
That would imply you know about things like 6-directions, elbow power, etc. The record shows that you don't have enough understanding of those things. Therefore you can't make a value judgement on the educated ones who understand and train those things and can link them to Ueshiba's aikido.

Firstly, if the teacher could do what they were after then all that they want is there if they are a good student.
What if I wanted something in addition to what my teacher does? Can I stay and enrich my home dojo experience with training done outside? Does that make me a "bad student"? Then every single art founder and exceptional exponent was a "bad student" according to you.
If it wasn't there in the first place then they were stupid staying there looking for it. Once again a bad student. It's not the teachers fault.
Logical fallacy. Logical fallacy. Logical fallacy.

If you want to learn O'Senseis Aikido then you would have to understand what he said and how to apply that. It's a journey not a five minute exercise where if you don't get it you blame.

That's the first truth you would have to accept. Then you would see that if you don't want to do it as a lifelong exercise then it is not O'Senseis Aikido you are after but don't worry because there is plenty of Aikido that will suit your needs. (when I say you it's general)

He who does this doesn't blame he learns and if necessary moves on. I'm afraid it is that simple.

This is how I see it, if you see it differently then that's fine by me.
You keep making the same false claims (sprinkled with the usual condescending "lecturing" tone): that people are not trying hard enough ("bad students"), that they are leaving their arts, etc., based on nothing but speculation since you lack exposure to these practitioners and the material they are studying, as well as ignore direct statements to the contrary. Furthermore, you're unwilling and/or unable to discuss the possibility that the current aikido body of knowledge (all of it, all styles) is due for a revision to bring it back to its roots. I see the written and physical evidence, that's fine by me.

Oh one last thing. Modern versus old. What old method of teaching? Does that mean some methods are outdated? As far as I know the 'old' in fact 'standard' way of teaching in the martial arts for the serious student was the uchideshi method. Is that what the people you refer to do?
It has nothing to do with being uchideshi or sotodeshi. Perhaps lecture less, study more is in order?

Lorel Latorilla
08-24-2011, 11:00 PM
"Blame the teacher"? You're introducing a false dilemma here. Many of the problems some people see with modern aikido stem right from when Ueshiba was alive (he saw it and proclaimed it himself), so he'd be the one to blame if that were the goal (but what's the point of doing that now?). Some problems in aikido are endemic. The current revisionist efforts have little or nothing to do with blaming a person or group, or quitting. It's about improving and correcting the current body of knowledge so the next generation of aikidoka grows stronger, not weaker. The whole "bad student" guilt trip, "it's all there", "we already do that", etc., might be an effective strategy to preserve a cult, but given enough time it's an approach that would kill any form of Budo as each generation of "good students (blind followers)" grows weaker than the last. Even some koryu bujutsu need to continuously go back and review the source material to make sure nothing gets lost or watered down, and is not uncommon to help grow stronger practitioners through adaptation (new methods).

That would imply you know about things like 6-directions, elbow power, etc. The record shows that you don't have enough understanding of those things. Therefore you can't make a value judgement on the educated ones who understand and train those things and can link them to Ueshiba's aikido.

What if I wanted something in addition to what my teacher does? Can I stay and enrich my home dojo experience with training done outside? Does that make me a "bad student"? Then every single art founder and exceptional exponent was a "bad student" according to you.

Logical fallacy. Logical fallacy. Logical fallacy.

You keep making the same false claims (sprinkled with the usual condescending "lecturing" tone): that people are not trying hard enough ("bad students"), that they are leaving their arts, etc., based on nothing but speculation since you lack exposure to these practitioners and the material they are studying, as well as ignore direct statements to the contrary. Furthermore, you're unwilling and/or unable to discuss the possibility that the current aikido body of knowledge (all of it, all styles) is due for a revision to bring it back to its roots. I see the written and physical evidence, that's fine by me.

It has nothing to do with being uchideshi or sotodeshi. Perhaps lecture less, study more is in order?

No offense dude, but you are gonna waste your time here. I predict that he is gonna read your comments, completely overlook what you're saying, maybe saya few things that will twist your words so that he can go on about his "harmony" and "you need to learn what Ueshiba said". Just a warning.

graham christian
08-25-2011, 01:56 AM
"Blame the teacher"? You're introducing a false dilemma here. Many of the problems some people see with modern aikido stem right from when Ueshiba was alive (he saw it and proclaimed it himself), so he'd be the one to blame if that were the goal (but what's the point of doing that now?). Some problems in aikido are endemic. The current revisionist efforts have little or nothing to do with blaming a person or group, or quitting. It's about improving and correcting the current body of knowledge so the next generation of aikidoka grows stronger, not weaker. The whole "bad student" guilt trip, "it's all there", "we already do that", etc., might be an effective strategy to preserve a cult, but given enough time it's an approach that would kill any form of Budo as each generation of "good students (blind followers)" grows weaker than the last. Even some koryu bujutsu need to continuously go back and review the source material to make sure nothing gets lost or watered down, and is not uncommon to help grow stronger practitioners through adaptation (new methods).

That would imply you know about things like 6-directions, elbow power, etc. The record shows that you don't have enough understanding of those things. Therefore you can't make a value judgement on the educated ones who understand and train those things and can link them to Ueshiba's aikido.

What if I wanted something in addition to what my teacher does? Can I stay and enrich my home dojo experience with training done outside? Does that make me a "bad student"? Then every single art founder and exceptional exponent was a "bad student" according to you.

Logical fallacy. Logical fallacy. Logical fallacy.

You keep making the same false claims (sprinkled with the usual condescending "lecturing" tone): that people are not trying hard enough ("bad students"), that they are leaving their arts, etc., based on nothing but speculation since you lack exposure to these practitioners and the material they are studying, as well as ignore direct statements to the contrary. Furthermore, you're unwilling and/or unable to discuss the possibility that the current aikido body of knowledge (all of it, all styles) is due for a revision to bring it back to its roots. I see the written and physical evidence, that's fine by me.

It has nothing to do with being uchideshi or sotodeshi. Perhaps lecture less, study more is in order?

Alas Gerardo.
Such misunderstanding of what I said. A bad student is someone not trying hard enough? That's not my definition, must be yours. You can have your view on things that's fine by me but as usual trying to say things about me is the mark of a person who has nothing of use to say and what is said is usually backwards.

Let's take eight directions shall we? I introduced the term into the thread. Others questioned what I meant. I gave some outline. They didn't understand, they didn't know about it. Thus they conclude I must mean x, y and z. No, it means they don't understand and don't want to. They hadn't learned that aspect of Aikido and by the sound of it nor have you. Or am I wrong?

My experience and judgement never fails me in practice so comparing that to your opinion, well, say no more.

Your question of what if you want something in addition to what your teacher teaches is hardly an example against what I said it just shows your misunderstanding once again. I said if the teacher doesn't teach what your looking for you are stupid staying there looking for it. Also in your example you are not blaming that teacher are you? Your merely looking for something in addition.

How does any of that equal an art founder?

I keep making claims people aren't trying hard enough? What a crazy thing to say. I claim they are leaving their arts? Another crazy thing to say. I do recall certain people making those kinds of statements but never me my friend.

I'll end as I started. Alas.

Regards.G.

DH
08-25-2011, 08:45 AM
Deleted

Gerardo Torres
08-25-2011, 12:23 PM
Graham, I've been reading Aikiweb for 10 years and you're easily the most intellectually dishonest poster I've encountered. You are insulting my intelligence (and that of others) so there's no point to any conversation with you.

graham christian
08-25-2011, 12:43 PM
Graham, I've been reading Aikiweb for 10 years and you're easily the most intellectually dishonest poster I've encountered. You are insulting my intelligence (and that of others) so there's no point to any conversation with you.

Intellectually dishonest. That sounds good. As I've said before I'm not an intellectual. I'm just one of those dumb ones who can do what they say.

Enjoy your intellect.

I insult no one. I know nothing about you thus I state nothing about you or insult you. I address views not people. Maybe that's not intellectual, if so then I'm glad it isn't.

I can just imagine an army of intellectuals on the battle field. A scary thought. ha, ha.

Regards.G.

graham christian
08-25-2011, 12:50 PM
Deleted

Hi Dan. Just saw you wrote and deleted. I assume it was following my post. Feel free to comment, i'm not offended. In fact I look forward to the day we agree on something.

If it wasn't to do with it then I still look forward to that day.

Regards.G.

Walter Martindale
08-25-2011, 01:27 PM
It's true that it's uke's responsibility to protect themselves, but I think it's also sensei's responsibility to give uke the tools to protect themselves.

I agree... In my work, I tell people it's their responsibility to steer the boat and keep safe, and it's my responsibility to make sure they know how...

On the mats (not at work) it's my responsibility to look after myself, it's also my partner's responsibility to look after him/herself, and it's each of our responsibility to quickly become aware of the partner's limitations so we don't harm them during training.

It's the sensei's responsibility to guide our development of those skills.

Cheers,
Walter

DH
08-26-2011, 09:07 AM
Hi Dan. Just saw you wrote and deleted. I assume it was following my post. Feel free to comment, i'm not offended. In fact I look forward to the day we agree on something.

If it wasn't to do with it then I still look forward to that day.

Regards.G.
I don't care if you are offended or not. You're not worth talking to.
Leave me alone.
Dan

mrlizard123
08-26-2011, 09:57 AM
Let's take eight directions shall we? I introduced the term into the thread. Others questioned what I meant. I gave some outline. They didn't understand, they didn't know about it. Thus they conclude I must mean x, y and z.

As I recall from the post "Moving with your center" plenty of people understood what you meant by eight directions.

If you want an example of being dishonest in your posting you could examine your suggestion that you were presenting information that confounded everyone when, in fact, it's easily verifiable that such confusion was not actually manifested in reality in the manner you suggest.

It could be considered quite insulting to suggest people do not understand a concept when it's clearly not the case.

A better approach might be to discuss the topic at hand rather than people's (apparent) inability to comprehend.

Just popped in to say hello and couldn't resist sticking my oar in :) (smiley face makes everything ok...)

graham christian
08-26-2011, 01:24 PM
As I recall from the post "Moving with your center" plenty of people understood what you meant by eight directions.

If you want an example of being dishonest in your posting you could examine your suggestion that you were presenting information that confounded everyone when, in fact, it's easily verifiable that such confusion was not actually manifested in reality in the manner you suggest.

It could be considered quite insulting to suggest people do not understand a concept when it's clearly not the case.

A better approach might be to discuss the topic at hand rather than people's (apparent) inability to comprehend.

Just popped in to say hello and couldn't resist sticking my oar in :) (smiley face makes everything ok...)

Ha, ha. Nice try Rich. Obviously i'm not talking about anyone who did understand am I. Those who dismissed it, contradicted it, changed it to six directions etc and lack of spherical dimention obviously didn't understand.

Regards.G.

Janet Rosen
08-26-2011, 03:05 PM
Maybe a person who is consistently misunderstood by so many has a basic communication problem...just a suggestion....

graham christian
08-26-2011, 03:44 PM
Maybe a person who is consistently misunderstood by so many has a basic communication problem...just a suggestion....

Maybe so. I doubt it though. They just can't accept certain opinions of mine. Even worse that I may know more than them on certain points. Heaven forbid.

Maybe a person or group of persons who continuously attack lack a certain something.

But he who attacks has already lost.

This is a place for giving views is it not? You can challenge a view, share a view, contest a view, many things.

Or you can attack the person with the view or twist what they are saying. Mmm not too bright.

Still, I can still communicate to those people and remain calm or humorous for the most part but sorry I can't do their thinking for them.

Regards G.

hughrbeyer
08-26-2011, 04:12 PM
My experience and judgement never fails me in practice...

:D :) :D :) :D

graham christian
08-26-2011, 04:14 PM
:D :) :D :) :D

Your point is?

Daniel Kati
04-18-2012, 11:22 AM
Hi Everybody,

my name's Daniel Kati. I regularly train under Maekawa Nobuo sensei, so you can call me a tree-hugger fantasy cultist ;)

I first met sensei in 2007, on his first seminar in Hungary. We didn't know much about him. At that time we mostly practiced big circle aikido, so we were really surprised how he was able to throw everybody easily with small, yet dinamic movements. We were not his students, still it worked on all of us.
He made a very deep impression on us, not only for his technical, but also for his personal qualities. He was very humble and straightforward, and he was teaching in a clear, understandable way. A few of us decided to train using his method, and started to regularly inviting him. This continues till today, sensei just left Hungary two weeks ago.

When those videos were placed on Youtube, we were very surprised, as we never experienced something like this with sensei. He did strange things using his small, soft, almost unpercieveable movements, but we never remained immobile after he stopped to work on us.

Please let me share my thoughts on the videos based on what I've learned from Maekawa sensei during the last 5 years:

1, Maekawa sensei has a small association in Brasil. As you can see on the clips, the record was taken in a large training hall, on a huge open seminar with more then 100 attendees from different aikido organizations. The people on the video who are becoming statues are not his students. Some of them are Yoshinkan, some of them from other organizations. So you cannot say that those are his followers trained to freeze.

2, A lot of people here mentioned in their posts that those people got frozen only because they believe they got frozen, that this is only like an illusion they believe in. I think they are perfectly right. Sensei very often emphasized, that it is important to "take partner's mind", and how to move the body in a way that is not percievable by the partner. However, this is like hypnosis. Some people are not really sensitive to that, while some people are very-very easy to be hypnotized.

Are those people over-sensitive? Yes. Did sensei trained them to be like that? No. Did they want to become like statues? Who knows?

Actually, he never tought ukemi or how we should react to any technique. He never blamed the uke if the connection was occasionly lost after the attack. Instead, he always emphasised that it's tori's task to keep the contact, not uke's.

It was also mentioned, that most soft-style instructors are going back to hard waza when they face a challenge. I also tried to withstand and test sensei's technique during the second time he was in Hungary. I failed. However, let's say this doesn't count, as I'm a tree-hugger fantasy cultist. Let me recount two occasions I witnessed.
Once sensei asked for an ushiro attack during a seminar demonstration. He usually works from ushiro ryotedori, so this is most probably what he expected. Instead of that, the uke got him in ushiro hagaijime (bearhug from behind), and lifted him up in the air. Sensei immediately made a small body movement which brought the uke to the floor.
Another time he was grabbed hard by a very strong outsider, who was very sceptic. It was hanmi handachi, and the attack was ryotedori. I saw that sensei didn't do the technique he was demonstrating, but he did a different one instead. But he didn't try the original technique at all.
During the years, I never saw him bringing somebody down using pain or a hit in the face. He always used aiki, let it be stiff people with hard attacks, girls with extremely soft attacks, people who didn't do any martial arts before, less trained people, well trained people. It is true, that sometimes he used bigger, more visible movements and sometimes smaller, quicker, almost unpercievable ones. But he prefers smaller movements on stronger, trained people who attack quickly.

What amazes me is that he is always able to percieve what is the perfect, working technique for an attack. I've never seen him trying something on somebody that doesn't have any effect.

I really admire sensei and feel lucky to be able to train with him. If you have any further questions on him, please feel free to ask.

ewolput
04-18-2012, 12:21 PM
Hi Everybody,

my name's Daniel Kati. I regularly train under Maekawa Nobuo sensei

I first met sensei in 2007, on his first seminar in Hungary. .

Hi,
can you explain us what you learned on a the technical side in those 5 yrs.
Just curious,
Eddy

Abasan
04-19-2012, 12:56 AM
Not that my opinion matters, but I'd be happy to attend his seminars given a chance. He is not alone doing this, and since I don't think these people have ever met...

What I'd like to see is 5-10 years down the road, the people laughing at these teachers today, change their view of their own volition. it's happened before.

But by all means, expose them as charlatans if you can.

Daniel Kati
04-19-2012, 07:52 AM
Not that my opinion matters, but I'd be happy to attend his seminars

given a chance. He is not alone doing this, and since I don't think these people have ever

met...

What I'd like to see is 5-10 years down the road, the people laughing at these teachers today,

change their view of their own volition. it's happened before.

But by all means, expose them as charlatans if you can.

Dear Ahmad,

I see your sensei, Imanul Hakim has a similar style:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffaDom0NQ74

I personally like the movements of your sensei, it's very fluid, soft, he keeps a good position

and has a good control of the uke. I'm almost sure that he learned Daito ryu as well.

Maekawa sensei is making seminars in Korea, and sometimes in Okinawa as well. Those are the

nearest places to Malaysia where you are able to meet him. You need to search for Meikakukai if you are looking for contact information.

Hi,
can you explain us what you learned on a the technical side in those 5 yrs.
Just curious,
Eddy

There are a lot of things I don't yet understand from his teachings. I will try to explain what I think, but it my understanding may be incorrect. However, I will do my best. Basically, the training style may be very much like that of Okamoto Seigo. Most techniques are done in seiza, and the two basic principles behind all techniques are aiki age and aiki sage. You can find plenty of clips about those two principles and their training methods on Youtube.
The first important goal of the training is to build an "aiki body", a solid, yet soft body structure which is able to accept incoming energy and return it into the attacker using a circular motion. We start to practice both people sitting in seiza, practicing ryotedori aiki age and ryotedori aiki sage. Then we switch to hanmi handachi, doing various unbalancing excercises using circular motions, then we do the same in standing position, without steps. Then we start to make techinques with steps, sometimes adding jujutsu elements. At this stage the techniques are like those you know from aikido, with principles added you learnt in the previous stages. It's like growing up as a child. First you learn to sit, then you learn to stand, and only after that you learn to walk. It's a very natural process, and I think it's also very effective.
During training it is always emphasized to move in a way that is difficult to percieve by the attacker. We should try to avoid to move the point of contact at the first stage of the technique, but move our bodies behind our around the contact point. The more basic movements consist of bigger movements, and while you progress those become smaller and smaller and quicker and quicker. There are also teachings regarding breathing. At a very high level those circular movements become so small that they are almost point-like, and not really possible to see, but still have the same effect.
There is also a play with the timing, depending in which phase of the attack the contact is made.
Performed on a high level, it may look like magic or fake, but those are actually very consciously and accurately performed movements with very good timing. Because it is very difficult to the uke to percieve what is actually done to him, the results can sometimes be very extreme, as if you don't know what's done on you, you cannot take proper ukemi or continue attacking.

You can see a sample of the techniques he teaches on our homepage:
http://www.aikido-meikakukai.hu/media/videos.php

Alex Megann
04-19-2012, 10:24 AM
Dear Ahmad,

I see your sensei, Imanul Hakim has a similar style:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffaDom0NQ74



Just wondering - is imanul Hakim a student of Yoshinobu Takeda?

Alex

Abasan
04-19-2012, 10:53 AM
Just wondering - is imanul Hakim a student of Yoshinobu Takeda?

Alex

Alex, Takeda Sensei is one of my sensei's teacher yes.

Daniel, gee that's the first time someone actually googled my Sensei off me. Well Japan is not really a hop skip away from my place but I'll be there this September, although I don't think I'll get the chance to attend his seminar in Okinawa then. That's fine really, maybe I'll meet a senior student of his by chance instead...