PDA

View Full Version : Taigi


Please visit our sponsor:
 

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


IrimiTom
06-20-2002, 03:58 PM
Can someone in Ki Society tell me what Taigi (and Taigi competitions) are?

Kami
06-27-2002, 06:43 PM
Hello!

Where are the ki-folks here to answer Irimi Tom and myself?
Competition is competition, be it shiai or kata. Tohei Sensei was previously against competition in Aikido. Does Taigi means he changed his mind or does he thinks Taigi is not competition in spite of the name ("Taigi competition")?
Really trying to understand :ai:

tedehara
06-28-2002, 05:06 PM
Originally posted by Kami
Hello!

Where are the ki-folks here to answer Irimi Tom and myself?
Probably training for their next Taigi contest. :D

Competition is competition, be it shiai or kata. Tohei Sensei was previously against competition in Aikido. Does Taigi means he changed his mind or does he thinks Taigi is not competition in spite of the name ("Taigi competition")?
Really trying to understand :ai:
I really can't say if Tohei Sensei changed his mind or even what he's thinking. :confused:
What I can do is give you is some info on taigi.
from Ki Society USA - Taigi (http://ki-aikido.net/TAIGI/Taigi.html)
Taigi have been practiced in Japan since 1978. Taigi is based on the traditional movements of Aikido, and is used as an exercise and expression of Ki movement through a series of techniques with a partner. They are judged by balance, rhythm, and grace of dynamic motion. There are a total of 30 Taigi, 29 of them have been practiced in individual dojos across the US. They have become one of the core parts of training for Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido, a.k.a. Ki Aikido.
Taigi were developed by Koichi Tohei Sensei, the founder of Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido. They have been taught in Ki Society dojos in Japan for many years and they have held yearly Taigi competitions as part of their training. In 1996 the first International Taigi Competition was held in Japan with students from all over the world.

If you're interested here is a list of taigi techniques (http://ki-aikido.net/TAIGI/TaigiList.html).

In a taigi competition everyone works as a pair. Uke and nage comprise a team. The average taigi is from one attack and six different techniques are done, both on the left and right side. Both uke and nage work together to get as many points from the judges as they can. The performance of taigi shows largeness of forms and the rhythmic flow of movement as well as mind/body coordination.

Performance is determined in several ways. The nage is tested in a manner similar to ki testing after performing the taigi. The taigi is timed by a timekeeper. The timekeeper will start the clock when the pair bows in and stops it when the pair bows out. The time varies depending on what taigi you are doing. The pair will have plus or minus two seconds leeway. You actually have to do the taigi twice. Once to get through all the testing and timing, then again for judging on form and movement.

Some people say that a taigi contest is competitive, others say it isn't. It is competitive in that you are judged on performance. It is not competitive in that you are not competing with your training partner for points. In a Tomiki contest nage and uke are scored separately. If a knife attack succeeds, the attacker/uke gets the points.

While the average taigi is six different techniques done on both sides (e.g. twelve throws) from one attack (like katate-tori), there are also taigi which use weapons. Weapon taking as well as throwing with a weapon are also different taigi. Also included in taigi are the Ki Society's weapons katas using bokken and jo.

Now I believe, everyone does one basic taigi, then they do whatever taigi they want to perform. They have various categories and by the end of the contest, there are many different prizes that are given out, not just to the best uke or nage or uke/nage team.

I've only seen one competition years ago in St. Louis. There is a national competition in the USA and an international one in Japan.

Kami
06-28-2002, 07:06 PM
Originally posted by tedehara
Some people say that a taigi contest is competitive, others say it isn't. It is competitive in that you are judged on performance. It is not competitive in that you are not competing with your training partner for points.

KAMI : Thank you very much for an educated answer.
I have just a last question : In Taigi competition, is there a winner and a loser, a winning team and a losing team? Is there a champion team, based on who's best?
Still curious

PeterR
06-28-2002, 09:47 PM
Originally posted by tedehara
In a Tomiki contest nage and uke are scored separately.
Actually no - in embu they are judged as a pair.

Anyway if a competition is defined as something where prizes are given out for best performance than all major branches of Aikido hold them.

I found the taigi I have seen interesting. There certainly is a different feel to them than let's say Shodokan enbu - but it is kata all the same.

Does someone know the root meaning of taigi?

akiy
06-28-2002, 10:16 PM
Originally posted by PeterR
Does someone know the root meaning of taigi?
You mean the characters themselves? As far as I could find, the "tai" basically means "body" (as in shizentai) and the "gi" is the same character as "waza."

Chris? Any correction or further information?

-- Jun

PeterR
06-28-2002, 10:28 PM
Thanks - I guessed about the tai but had no clue about the gi. I wonder if the choice of name has to do with the intent as I perceived it. It seemed alot less martial than Shodokan Embu.

Originally posted by akiy
You mean the characters themselves? As far as I could find, the "tai" basically means "body" (as in shizentai) and the "gi" is the same character as "waza."

Chris Li
06-28-2002, 10:54 PM
Originally posted by akiy

You mean the characters themselves? As far as I could find, the "tai" basically means "body" (as in shizentai) and the "gi" is the same character as "waza."

Chris? Any correction or further information?

-- Jun

Those are the characters all right. In non-Aikido parlance "taigi" is sort of a generic term referring to any physical competitive sport or competition (including things like wrestling and boxing).

I don't know how Tohei meant it...

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
06-28-2002, 11:03 PM
As an aside to the thread, in "Aikido Ichiro" there are two sections devoted exclusively to discussing the issue of Aikido and competition. K. Ueshiba admits that there are certain advantages but also gives his reasons for being against competition in Aikido. It's pretty interesting, and a fairly balanced (it seemed to me) discussion of the issue. In a nutshell, his opinion was that competition would lead to a gradual technical degradation of the art.

Best,

Chris

tedehara
06-28-2002, 11:09 PM
Originally posted by PeterR

Actually no - in embu they are judged as a pair.

Anyway if a competition is defined as something where prizes are given out for best performance than all major branches of Aikido hold them.

I found the taigi I have seen interesting. There certainly is a different feel to them than let's say Shodokan enbu - but it is kata all the same.

Does someone know the root meaning of taigi?
Some Tomiki people told me they both received separate scores. What do you mean by embu?

Why do you say "...all major branches of aikido hold them."?

As for the root meaning of taigi, I heard something, but I don't know if it's true. Email me and since you're in Japan, you might be able to find out for the both of us.

Kami
Prizes are given to the people/pairs that have the most points in a category. The best uke, the best nage, the best uke/nage pair, etc. are figured out by the point totals the judges have given them. Sort of like a gymnastics match.

PeterR
06-29-2002, 12:56 AM
Originally posted by tedehara
Some Tomiki people told me they both received separate scores. What do you mean by embu?

Embu like Taigi is a kata based paired competition. You are confusing shiai with embu. In the former case, with both tanto and toshu forms, points are awarded to either competitor. Due to the nature of shiai there is no uke and no tori and therefore, when you mention these roles, you can only be talking about enbu. In that case they are judged as a pair.
Originally posted by tedehara
Why do you say "...all major branches of aikido hold them."?

Because they do. Aikiaki, Yoshinkan, Yoseikan, Ki Society, Shodokan all have held embu events where prizes are given out. That last Shodokan enbu event I attended in Japan actually had a couple of Aikikai groups and several of the judges were from Aikikai. Nothing is absolute.
Originally posted by tedehara
As for the root meaning of taigi, I heard something, but I don't know if it's true.

Send it privately if you wish but that is what these forums are for. Qualify the statement and there should be no problems.

PeterR
06-29-2002, 01:14 AM
Originally posted by Chris Li K. Ueshiba admits that there are certain advantages but also gives his reasons for being against competition in Aikido.

In a nutshell, his opinion was that competition would lead to a gradual technical degradation of the art.
Seems to me there is quite a bit of technical degredation even without competition. :(

I would agree that, if all that was practiced were preparation for a limited set of kata sets and/or shiai, there would be a technical degredation. I would even go so far as to say that it would be quite rapid.

Besides the fact that there is free-style enbu the false assumption is that the bulk of training is preparation for competition. Not speaking for Ki society here but I would think that their training is also not limited to taigi preparation. Defined kata, whose execution can be compared, I believe can go a long way to maintaining technical integrety by providing a core for expansion.

Ah well different opinions.

Chris Li
06-29-2002, 02:03 AM
Originally posted by PeterR

Seems to me there is quite a bit of technical degredation even without competition. :(


Of course. What I liked about his discussion of the issue was that he didn't present it as an absolute - he went through the various arguments and stated his opinion, but phrased it as an opinion rather than an absolute (as too often happens in the martial arts). If it were an easy answer I suppose that everybody would be doing the same thing.



I would agree that, if all that was practiced were preparation for a limited set of kata sets and/or shiai, there would be a technical degredation. I would even go so far as to say that it would be quite rapid.

Many people say that this is what happened to Judo. I got the feeling that he thought the temptation was too dangerous.


Besides the fact that there is free-style enbu the false assumption is that the bulk of training is preparation for competition. Not speaking for Ki society here but I would think that their training is also not limited to taigi preparation. Defined kata, whose execution can be compared, I believe can go a long way to maintaining technical integrety by providing a core for expansion.

As above - I think that he felt there is a temptation to train "just a little bit more" for competition until the competitive sections start to take over. The fact that Shodokan is not really popular as a sport (as Judo is) is probably one of the things that is keeping it in balance. Hopefully ESPN won't pick up on it :).

Interestingly, Yukiyoshi Sagawa used very similar arguments in "Tomei na Chikara" ("Transparent Power") when explaining why he refused to give demonstrations. Basically his opinion was that there is a temptation to modify your training for the purpose of giving a demonstration that leads to a technical degradation of the art - basically the same temptations that K. Ueshiba was talking about with regards to competition. Of course, he was unusually reclusive even among the really traditional groups. While I wouldn't state it as an absolute, the more demonstrations I see the more I tend to think that he was making a valid point.


Ah well different opinions.

It depends upon the person, too, I think. For me, it is often easier to not do something at all then to do just a little bit - for example, I have no problem not eating that slice of chocolate cake, but once I have just a couple of bites it's hard to keep from eating the whole thing. Of course, that doesn't apply to everybody, that's just my personal psychology. Understanding that to be the case I either don't eat the cake at all or resign myself to gorging on chocolate cake (which has its advantages too!).

Best,

Chris

PeterR
06-29-2002, 03:07 AM
Originally posted by Chris Li Of course. What I liked about his discussion of the issue was that he didn't present it as an absolute - he went through the various arguments and stated his opinion, but phrased it as an opinion rather than an absolute (as too often happens in the martial arts). If it were an easy answer I suppose that everybody would be doing the same thing.

The reasonable argument is usually far more successful than the absolute.
Originally posted by Chris Li Many people say that this is what happened to Judo. I got the feeling that he thought the temptation was too dangerous.

Understandable - I sure wouldn't want Tomiki Aikido to go the same way although right now I am having fun with Judo too.

You know I rarely compete although I do randori. Just doesn't interest me personally but than I am past the young buck stage. I just posted on another thread concerning Budo and the importance of overcoming fear. Might have some bearing on this thread also although I am sorry it seems we are hijacking the original topic. I'll happily switch this to the other thread.

tedehara
06-30-2002, 09:16 AM
Originally posted by PeterR
Embu like Taigi is a kata based paired competition. You are confusing shiai with embu. In the former case, with both tanto and toshu forms, points are awarded to either competitor. Due to the nature of shiai there is no uke and no tori and therefore, when you mention these roles, you can only be talking about enbu. In that case they are judged as a pair.

Because they do. Aikiaki, Yoshinkan, Yoseikan, Ki Society, Shodokan all have held embu events where prizes are given out. That last Shodokan enbu event I attended in Japan actually had a couple of Aikikai groups and several of the judges were from Aikikai. Nothing is absolute.

Send it privately if you wish but that is what these forums are for. Qualify the statement and there should be no problems.
I've never heard of an enbu event before. I don't think anything like that are held in the USA. :(

Since your email is turned off, I can't send you anything, so I might as well post it here. I heard that taigi can be translated to mean "form". However the most common usage of the word taigi isn't in martial arts, but appears in Japanese pillow books. Since I can't find any in Chicago, I was wondering if you could look this up for me. Just tell the salesperson that you're researching a martial arts topic for someone in the US. :D

I'm not kidding! That's what I heard about the word taigi.

Please let me know what you discover.

For those who are interested, here is a quote from Koichi Kaishiwaya Sensei, Chief Instructor Ki Society USA about taigi. This is taken from Jun's interview (http://www.aikiweb.com/interviews/kashiwaya1200.html) with him that is on this web site.

KK: My personal understanding is that Taigi was not originally formed as competition. Tohei sensei designed the forms as a gift for his instructors so they wouldn't "screw up" [laughs] during a demonstration.

At the time, most of his students were pretty young and going through training kind of like in a military boot camp. We learned a lot from Tohei sensei in a short period of time and we were able do the techniques pretty well -- one by one. But, in a situation like a demonstration, because the range of techniques were not that "well digested," it became difficult. Tohei sensei gave us a tool -- the taigi -- for us to use as a sort of guidance so we wouldn't feel like we were getting lost. With this repertoire under our belt, we would feel more comfortable giving a demonstration.

The people he was teaching was really close in training with him -- we understood the basics really well with him. We were able to see him doing these forms at demonstrations and we started noticing patterns that he was doing. He formalized these forms a little bit later.

Later, he watched his students carefully and found that his students were not doing the forms correctly. That's why he came up with the idea of competiion so that we can polish what we were doing so we didn't just plainly look alike.

A long time ago, companies like Honda were content at making passenger cars for people like you and me to drive. But, they then started entering auto racing like the Formula One. This was not due to their wanting to make their passenger cars be able to drive at a high speed like 200 miles per hour through the city. Rather, they used the racing track as a sort of laboratory or a polishing stone to create better technologies that they could then put back into their passenger cars to make them into safer, higher efficiency, more ecological cars.

In a way, the taigi competition is like a Formula One racing track. The students are not there to just "win" the competition but to use it as a way to further polish his or her techniques. Tohei sensei always paid close attention to how people were competing -- what was working and what wasn't. Shallow practice would show up as people just having technical form only. But, through taigi, people could refine their mind and body coordination.

What goes on in the Taigi are not necessarily "street" applications. Tohei sensei did show us those kinds of things -- arresting techniques or how to deal with a very aggressive person. But, that's not necessarily what we have to teach but for us to know in case we need to teach it. We, as teachers, are expected to deal with a wide range of students with different backgrounds. I may end up teaching a police officer or a prison guard. But that's not something, I think, that needs to be taught to everyone. A police officer may need to know something that a civilian does not. A prison guard may be restrictions on what they are able to do, so they may be taught something else.

In regular practice, there's no need to focus on any specialized way. Regular practice is mainly geared toward mind and body coordination.

But, there's a difference between teaching, say, a baseball player and teaching a sumo wrestler. Teaching these kinds of people was to Tohei sensei a sort of a personal hobby. [Laughs.] He's not teaching baseball to a baseball player or sumo to a sumo wrestler. When he would have time and they would ask him about things, he would teach them about mind and body coordination.

Chris Li
06-30-2002, 04:39 PM
Originally posted by tedehara

Since your email is turned off, I can't send you anything, so I might as well post it here. I heard that taigi can be translated to mean "form". However the most common usage of the word taigi isn't in martial arts, but appears in Japanese pillow books. Since I can't find any in Chicago, I was wondering if you could look this up for me. Just tell the salesperson that you're researching a martial arts topic for someone in the US. :D

I'm not kidding! That's what I heard about the word taigi.

Please let me know what you discover.


Hmm, I haven't heard that one myself, but it may be slang...

I haven't really come across a translation as "form" either, although it may be a more specialized interpretation. The two main Japanese language dictionaries I checked (sort of the equivalent of Webster's or the OED) both give the definition as I stated above - that is, referring to a physical competitive sport or competition (wrestling, boxing, sumo, etc.). By Occam's razor it seems to me that this is the most likely meaning that Tohei was thinking of when he set it up with later "interpretations" being read into the term later on (maybe by people uncomfortable with the "competitive" implications of the term) - but you never know :) .

Best,

Chris

PeterR
06-30-2002, 07:44 PM
Originally posted by tedehara

I've never heard of an enbu event before. I don't think anything like that are held in the USA. :(
Ted
Embu=Taigi Different names for essentially the same thing.

I'll go with Chris on the definitions.

Chris Li
06-30-2002, 09:37 PM
Originally posted by PeterR

Ted
Embu=Taigi Different names for essentially the same thing.


FWIW, "enbu" (or "embu", depending how you like your romaji) in a non-Shodokan context is what in the Aikikai would be called a "demonstration". For example:

40th All Japan Aikido Demonstration

would be

Dai 40 kai zen-nihon Aikido Enbu Taikai

In this case "en" is "perform" or "enact", and "bu" is the same as in "budo".

Which is probably more than anybody really wanted to know... :) .

Best,

Chris

PeterR
07-01-2002, 12:50 AM
Originally posted by Chris Li
FWIW, "enbu" (or "embu", depending how you like your romaji) in a non-Shodokan context is what in the Aikikai would be called a "demonstration".
Just to be clear though - I did mean in the Shodokan context. Prizes/trophies were awarded.

Lars
07-19-2005, 04:34 PM
There are several things wrong with the translations of Japanese here. First of all, you must understand that japans language has changed dramatically the last few decades, because of the introduction of pop culture and the English language, and i don't just mean new "buzz words" and the like, I mean the language, grammar, syntax etc. has all changed. A man who left Japan 40 or 50 years ago, would have a hard time understanding the spoken language in Japan today.

Also the meaning of the Japanese word changes, depending on the syntax. Taigi as in "old Japanese" means "Tai"="Great" and "Gi" means a "natural path to follow or the natural/logical choice to make" note: Not as in "Do" ="way"

Hence taigi means "great natural path" or "great natural choice"
Also note Japanese loses a lot in the translation, especially when translated into English.

and there has been talk about "competition forms" in shinshin toitso aikido, but i belive all have been from outside the ki no kenkyukai h.q. to my knowledge there is no competition in Toheis organization.

Lars
07-19-2005, 04:58 PM
Also you have to be carefull when refering to taigi as a "form", since as soon as you practise a "form" your DO becomes static and not flowing, wich is something very esential to ki-aikido if not all aikido arts. There has been some change from Kenjiro Yoshigasaki Sensei, placing more weight on Tsuzukiwaza, witch are more random and flowing (Tsuzuki =continuing).

akiy
07-19-2005, 05:02 PM
Also the meaning of the Japanese word changes, depending on the syntax. Taigi as in "old Japanese" means "Tai"="Great" and "Gi" means a "natural path to follow or the natural/logical choice to make"
Exactly which kanji are you referring to here?
and there has been talk about "competition forms" in shinshin toitso aikido, but i belive all have been from outside the ki no kenkyukai h.q. to my knowledge there is no competition in Toheis organization.
If you go to the official Ki Society website (http://www.ki-society.or.jp/english/) in Japan, you'll note that it contains information regarding their results of their third International Taigi competition (http://www.ki-society.or.jp/english/1-51.html).

-- Jun

Chris Li
07-19-2005, 05:50 PM
There are several things wrong with the translations of Japanese here. First of all, you must understand that japans language has changed dramatically the last few decades, because of the introduction of pop culture and the English language, and i don't just mean new "buzz words" and the like, I mean the language, grammar, syntax etc. has all changed. A man who left Japan 40 or 50 years ago, would have a hard time understanding the spoken language in Japan today.

Also the meaning of the Japanese word changes, depending on the syntax. Taigi as in "old Japanese" means "Tai"="Great" and "Gi" means a "natural path to follow or the natural/logical choice to make" note: Not as in "Do" ="way"

Hence taigi means "great natural path" or "great natural choice"
Also note Japanese loses a lot in the translation, especially when translated into English.

and there has been talk about "competition forms" in shinshin toitso aikido, but i belive all have been from outside the ki no kenkyukai h.q. to my knowledge there is no competition in Toheis organization.

There is always new slang and idiom in any language, but the language hasn't changed all that much in only 50 years - any modern Japanese, for example, can understand the Japanese in pre-war movies without a problem.

In any case, the kanji that you're thinking of are not the ones that are being used for "taigi" in Japan. Those characters are as translated above by Jun.

And yes, there are definitely taigi competitions in the Ki Society.

Best,

Chris