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LinTal
10-02-2011, 05:22 AM
I don't get it! Really...gah!

Okay, so it seems like the higher up in rank your conversation partner is, the more they're saying that all the techniques are the same.

At first they all looked the same to me, just someone would end up flat on the ground after starting. Now they're separating a bit better for me to figure them out. So then they're supposed to mesh together again further down the track??

Please, for the love of ______, someone enlighten me! Am mightily lost.

Carsten Möllering
10-02-2011, 06:20 AM
There are very different stairs you have to go up in your life.
Steep or more flate, narrow or wide, some have very high steps, some have smaller ones, they may lead you up in spirals or straight. In a cave or medivial castle the may be slippery and "irregular".
So every stair you hav to go up in your life is different.
But once you have learned going up a stair, it is all the same.

Diana Frese
10-02-2011, 07:38 AM
Don't get me started! I used to write poetry :D

It's like the waves of the sea, the same thing, but each time a little different....

(Selin, I really hope we are still friends after this comment of mine)

I'll try to do a better reply later today, or tomorrow:)

Demetrio Cereijo
10-02-2011, 07:59 AM
"Before I studied the art, a punch to me was just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick no longer a kick. Now that I've understood the art, a punch is just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. The height of cultivation is really nothing special. It is merely simplicity; the ability to express the utmost with the minimum." - Bruce Lee

CitoMaramba
10-02-2011, 08:06 AM
Before I studied the art, a punch to me was just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick no longer a kick. Now that I've understood the art, a punch is just like a punch, a kick just like a kick.

Note that it is necessary to undergo all the stages of learning and understanding the art for this realisation to take place. And no one can do it for you but yourself.

kewms
10-02-2011, 09:14 AM
The external form of a technique may be different. The underlying principles are the same. The more experience I get, the less the differences matter.

Katherine

Tim Ruijs
10-02-2011, 09:29 AM
The comments above already describe it quite well.
When you start out you tend to look at the outer appearance of the individual techniques. You need to categorise and study the techniques and after a while you have learned to see the similarity within the techniques. Then everything is the same again, but now you understand why. Your viewing glasses have changed....

Aikirk
10-02-2011, 10:38 AM
Techniques are learned to be unlearned. First you learn the alphabet, then you may start to string together letters to make words and sentences without thinking of the letters. It's the same thing.

LinTal
10-02-2011, 04:32 PM
Thanks all.

So every stair you have to go up in your life is different.
But once you have learned going up a stair, it is all the same.

The external form of a technique may be different. The underlying principles are the same. The more experience I get, the less the differences matter.

Okay, the underlying principles are often shared... gotcha on that one. Diana, no hitman this time! :D Makes some sort of sense, much appreciated.

This makes a whole heap o' sense: Techniques are learned to be unlearned. First you learn the alphabet, then you may start to string together letters to make words and sentences without thinking of the letters. It's the same thing.

Although this one may just kill me! :
Note that it is necessary to undergo all the stages of learning and understanding the art for this realisation to take place. And no one can do it for you but yourself.

So does it change the way you even approach a problem/technique/attack?

Tim Ruijs
10-03-2011, 01:15 AM
So does it change the way you even approach a problem/technique/attack?
Yep. At first you will be distracted by the differences in technique, much like the differences in stairs as Carsten mentioned. After a while the distraction fades and you realise the technique has a purpose, again much similar to stairs.

A strike to the stomach (chudan ski), knife attack to the stomach and attack with jo to the stomach are all the same. The only thing that really changes is distance (ma ai). Once you realise this there are no longer three different techniques, but only one that is slightly adapted to distance. The outer form is off course very different, but what you do remains the same.

Mario Tobias
10-03-2011, 01:43 AM
when you start, you look at specialties in a given technique just in order to mimic it. You cant find the connections yet. A technique is different from another because from the outside it looks different.

Going up in level, you slowly start generalizing (in my case) and start understanding these general principles underlying different techniques. You combine/apply these principles no matter what technique you do.

A technique (any technique) therefore is an amalgamation of a lot of different but common general principles. The more principles applied to a technique, the more refined it is. These are demonstrated in the tiniest details of the movement.

You also begin to understand the connections between different principles.

Understand the principles to understand the technique.

mickeygelum
10-03-2011, 02:20 AM
They are like snowflakes...none are the same....

Mickey

Tim Ruijs
10-03-2011, 02:55 AM
They are like snowflakes...none are the same....


yet they are constructed by the same principles :D

JJF
10-03-2011, 03:24 AM
Funny thing... all techniques are based on the same principles and are therefore - in a way - the same. On the other hand no two techniques are alike, not even if you do the same technique twice, since there will always be small thanges in posture, energy in the attack, the contact between your feet and the ground, the slipperyness of your wrist and many many other factors.

It's like playing sheet music. A note is a note is a note, but every time you play it small variations will give the music different expresions, but when you get to a high enough level, musik boils down to a few basic principles that you must understand and live by in order to create music from the inkdots on the paper. Rythm, intonation, pauses etc.

In the end it is all about not trying to understand. Just do and enjoy - then there is a slight chance that understanding will occur at some point.. at least that's what I'm hoping for ;)

JJ

SeiserL
10-03-2011, 04:22 AM
IMHO, enlightenment and understand is sequential and only comes after the work, not before it. And then its one of those Oh-Yea Ah-Ha things before you go back into confusion working on the next step.

I didn't see the sameness either.

LinTal
10-03-2011, 05:39 AM
yet they are constructed by the same principles :D

The mind sees the logic, but the eyes...? :D

JJ that is a lovely analogy! Lynn, maybe it'll be like a Hollywood film where time slows down and the stars start shining and JJ's music comes wafting through the dojo...? :p

Shadowfax
10-03-2011, 07:46 AM
They are like snowflakes...none are the same....

Mickey

Actually they are all the same at their most basic level. Each and every one of them is nothing more than the fusion of Hydrogen and oxygen into water.

So yeah.... techniques kinda are like snowflakes. :)

Anyway to the OP. Just train. A time will come when it will start to make sense on it's own. You can't make it make sense you have to allow it to make sense if you get my meaning. I've only recently, in the past few months, begun getting glimpses of how they all relate and connect and have a sameness about them.

MM
10-03-2011, 07:30 PM
Actually they are all the same at their most basic level.


The above is actually close to what Morihei Ueshiba said. I don't have the original Japanese, but someone asked him to repeat a technique and he supposedly answered, no, they are all the same. :D Implied is the last part, "at their most basic level". Or perhaps advanced, depending on how you look at it.

Mark

JJF
10-04-2011, 12:42 AM
The mind sees the logic, but the eyes...? :D

JJ that is a lovely analogy!

Thank you - my main problem is that my 'music' tends to contain ever more percussion as I grow older ;)

Have fun

JJ

worrier
10-04-2011, 01:50 AM
There are very different stairs you have to go up in your life.
Steep or more flate, narrow or wide, some have very high steps, some have smaller ones, they may lead you up in spirals or straight. In a cave or medivial castle the may be slippery and "irregular".
So every stair you hav to go up in your life is different.
But once you have learned going up a stair, it is all the same.

I really liked this simile (or is it analogy, I'm always confused). Once you've learned the skill of doing something, it's all the same, though all the 'somethings' are different.

lbb
10-04-2011, 08:35 AM
Maybe it's worth looking at what you mean by "understanding". There's the understanding where, out of a breadth of experience, things start to fall into place. Then there's the understanding where you come upon a new thing and immediately try to wrestle it into place in some conceptual framework. The former is pretty cool when it happens, but...it happens. It's not something you do, it's something that happens in its own good time, and as Seiser sensei said, after you've done the work and got the mileage. The latter is a useful mode of thought for certain kinds of things, but IMO aikido is not one of them. Trying to enforce that kind of "understanding" on aikido is like wrestling with a giant squid: even if you think you're getting it, you're not.

Diana Frese
10-04-2011, 10:10 AM
In trying to show something about Aikido to someone from another martial art (who became shodan in that art at his next test visiting a gasshuku at his old college) I thought our own first kyu test requirements at the time provided a good overview although I wasn't qualified to give out "instant ranks" :D

The concept of showing five techniques to be done in response to each of the classic attacks was so useful that when I later called it the "tinker toy" approach (the predecessor to Lego of sorts from my own childhood several decades ago ;))

I came to Aikido from college women's judo class, where all the throws were done from the same collar and sleeve grab, and it took a while to get used to the fact that the technique names were usually four words instead of just two ;)

By the way, the example was a martial arts cultural exchange from the YMCA, Chuck and I studied each other's martial art. He learned some Aikido, I learned some Shotokan, and I ended up working for him and we later got married...:)

Diana Frese
10-04-2011, 10:15 AM
P.S. Chuck still talks about Tinker Toys years later, as a way of categorizing Aikido's many techniques and their interrelationships.

Mary Eastland
10-05-2011, 06:56 AM
That is the fun,Diane...finding the fit with each uke in a given technique. But you know that. :)

Adam Huss
10-13-2011, 09:57 PM
I would ask my instructors to provide guidance in a more concrete way in which I could learn at my current level. Its easy for someone who's been training for awhile to think and respond to questions from their own point of view, vice that of the person asking the question. An honest reply such as "I'm not really sure what that means, could you please explain why/how this works?" should be acceptable etiquette in most dojo.

Hope your training is going well!

edshockley
11-02-2011, 05:16 PM
Certain universals seem to repeat through every art and every technique.
"Either he moves, you make him move or you move yourself."
"Unsettle your partner"
"Move from your center."
Taleb Sensei used to say that there is the "martial" and "the art." That first sword cut, first contact, is simple and similar across techniques. Once you have defused the attack (true victory) then the stylistic and largely meaningless differences can emerge.

LinTal
11-02-2011, 07:10 PM
Starting with intent then.

Btw, thank you all for such beautifully sincere responses. :)
It's interesting that everyone speaks from a slightly different angle; the same and different again.