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NagaBaba
11-24-2011, 02:39 PM
99.99% attackers in aikido don’t know how to deliver a difficult attack. They do so called ‘zombie attack’. It is not worth for me nor to discuss it, nor practice it.

However sometimes we can meet somebody who really knows how to attack. He usually has a background in street fighting or competition oriented sparring and matches.

In such very rare and precious cases it is virtually impossible or most difficult to do any technique, due to lack of clear commitment. Of course such commitment exists, otherwise the effect of attack would be null, but it is very well hidden until last moment, and last for very, very short time. Immediately after successful attack he disengages looking for next opportunity to attack.

How you deal with such situation? I mean how to discover the moment he decides to attack? And how to extend this short time when he is well engaged? Any particular training methods?

Please refrain from this nonsense IP/IS discussion..

Russ Q
11-24-2011, 03:00 PM
This an interesting question Mr. S. I have no answer but am curious as to what you're finding works for you.....

Cheers,

Russ

Abasan
11-24-2011, 03:26 PM
Why do you play into his game? When you confront his attack your mind is now locked up.

I guess for the majority of us, we should utilise sen sen no sen here. At least until we can cultivate the aikido mind and spirit.

NagaBaba
11-24-2011, 03:59 PM
Why do you play into his game? When you confront his attack your mind is now locked up.

I guess for the majority of us, we should utilise sen sen no sen here. At least until we can cultivate the aikido mind and spirit.
but O sensei said there is no sen sen no sen in aikido....

sorokod
11-24-2011, 05:18 PM
but O sensei said there is no sen sen no sen in aikido....

He might have been rejecting the dualistic aspect of the confrontation; me beating the opponent with early timing vs not allowing the attack to happen in the first place and in that sense not participating in the game.

But then O sensei said many things and in Japanese too :-)

Mark Mueller
11-24-2011, 06:48 PM
You look for the advantageous line. You re-define the line of attack.

graham christian
11-24-2011, 07:19 PM
but O sensei said there is no sen sen no sen in aikido....

Ultimately maybe, but many descriptions he gave come from such. In fact that is a very high level of operation in it'self.

You sound defeated before you begin alreadt saying how dangerouse such an opponent is.

Just get reality on the above first. Getting good at it gives you much more time, a second becomes a long time. You are with completely so no prediction necessary. Then there is the factor involved of actually welcoming the attack. Presenting an irresistable opening for the attacker.

Watch a video of Hikitsuchi who emphasized these things in Aikido.

Ultimately your talking kokyu but just leave that as my view for now.

Anyway, how was your trip to Hawaii? Do any Aikido there?

Regards.G.

Ketsan
11-24-2011, 07:44 PM
99.99% attackers in aikido don't know how to deliver a difficult attack. They do so called ‘zombie attack'. It is not worth for me nor to discuss it, nor practice it.

However sometimes we can meet somebody who really knows how to attack. He usually has a background in street fighting or competition oriented sparring and matches.

In such very rare and precious cases it is virtually impossible or most difficult to do any technique, due to lack of clear commitment. Of course such commitment exists, otherwise the effect of attack would be null, but it is very well hidden until last moment, and last for very, very short time. Immediately after successful attack he disengages looking for next opportunity to attack.

How you deal with such situation? I mean how to discover the moment he decides to attack? And how to extend this short time when he is well engaged? Any particular training methods?

Please refrain from this nonsense IP/IS discussion..

Is there a practical difference between a good attack and a bad attack if neither hits? If uke makes a good shomen uchi do we find we can't enter in? If it is a bad shomen uchi does this also stop us entering in? No. If quality of technique is affected by the quality uke's attack then uke is in control; they can choose to defend themselves by making a bad attack knowing that it will foul up tori's technique.

When I spar in karate or kick boxing, as I do now and then, I just watch and wait and whatever he does I enter in. They make a kick, I push them over, they make a punch and I charge in. They're too busy making the strike to do much about my irimi. They're fixated on hitting me; their mind has stopped and so has their body.

The key to this, as I see it, is to train the mind. One has to be able to calmly stand and watch the strike coming in until it hits. When this can be done with detachment and indifference I find that there is an aweful lot of time to do something about the strike and so your timing improves. This is my experience anyway. If one tries not to get hit then one ends up doing things to avoid getting hit and so one is not concentrating on defeating the opponent which is the most certain way of not getting hit.
One must not become fixated on the attack; Takuan talks about this extensively in The Unfettered Mind and it's a staple of stories from sword schools that students are beaten until they stop defending themselves and only then are they allowed to even touch a sword. Throw all thought of the attack away otherwise the mind gets stuck on it, throw away all concern for yourself and all the fear that goes with it; body follows mind and you end up reacting to the attack rather than being proactive so your mind must not be fixated on the attack.

The quality and form of the attack is then even more meaningless; it simply becomes the opening needed to allow irimi. Smarter fighters then try to move back and a good shove at this moment is most effective.

graham christian
11-24-2011, 08:07 PM
99.99% attackers in aikido don't know how to deliver a difficult attack. They do so called ‘zombie attack'. It is not worth for me nor to discuss it, nor practice it.

However sometimes we can meet somebody who really knows how to attack. He usually has a background in street fighting or competition oriented sparring and matches.

In such very rare and precious cases it is virtually impossible or most difficult to do any technique, due to lack of clear commitment. Of course such commitment exists, otherwise the effect of attack would be null, but it is very well hidden until last moment, and last for very, very short time. Immediately after successful attack he disengages looking for next opportunity to attack.

How you deal with such situation? I mean how to discover the moment he decides to attack? And how to extend this short time when he is well engaged? Any particular training methods?

Please refrain from this nonsense IP/IS discussion..

O.k. so your asking for some possible training methods basically. I do one outside of the box so to speak but I think it may fit you although it does depend on you being quite good at Aikido in the first place.

When someone asks me to try Aikido against what they do and the usual what if questions I usually say I don't know what I'd do if and then qualify it with but I do know I'll do Aikido.

So then I would say, well let's practice what you do and I'll try to do what your doing. So as with a guy of boxing pedigree lately we started sparring boxing wise. Now I am not a boxer and he knows this but I'll tell you what I do. I tune in to the way of boxing. There he is in front of me moving and swaying etc. and I join in like a mirror. Not copying exactly what he does but mirroring the types of motion and movements. One thing I have nice and real is the concept of ma-ai though and the usual result is the other commenting on the surprisingly good movement for a person who doesn't do what they do. So that's the first thing.

Secondly in this situation I have already said how I should easily be beaten, that's not a mind game, I expect to be. I should be actually.

So why? Because I want to experience what they are doing. Thus I have something to look at now from an Aikido perspective and look for what would probably work were I to revert to Aikido.

That's the way I study these things, it's all good prtactice. The solution always comes from principle rather than technique. So you build an awareness of what principle best fits types of situations.

So to finish the story we then went on to me using Aikido. Let's just say he was shocked.

So back to something you can practice if you like and find out if it helps you.

Center line. That verticle line running the length of your body. Practice the following: Face the opponent but have in your mind that you are merely that line. No more, no less. A verticle line that whilst staying verticle can nonetheless move easily.

Now from this view you must know that the only thing you are defending is your center line, not your body. I'll say no more. Try it, you might like it.

Regards.G.

NagaBaba
11-24-2011, 09:59 PM
He might have been rejecting the dualistic aspect of the confrontation; me beating the opponent with early timing vs not allowing the attack to happen in the first place and in that sense not participating in the game.
Yes, I was thinking about it last few years. It is very clear to me he rejected dualistic aspect not only confrontation but whole 'reality' how we perceive it. What is not clear, how to achieve it using aikido practice.
I see a great difficulty of learning how to not allow the attack and still practice a waza :) Also taking in consideration above, if we use early or late timing, how it is helping to achieve in more advances stage "not allowing the attack to happen"?


But then O sensei said many things and in Japanese too :-)
It is quite clear we don't want to go in this direction in our discussion :)

NagaBaba
11-24-2011, 10:02 PM
You look for the advantageous line. You re-define the line of attack.
I don't understand it - would you like to explain please?

NagaBaba
11-24-2011, 10:07 PM
Anyway, how was your trip to Hawaii? Do any Aikido there?

Regards.G.
Hawaii is absolutely beautiful place for vacation. Splendid. Fantastic.So interesting in many aspects.
No, no aikido, I did with Chris and his students some kind of exercises.

NagaBaba
11-24-2011, 10:17 PM
Is there a practical difference between a good attack and a bad attack if neither hits? If uke makes a good shomen uchi do we find we can't enter in? If it is a bad shomen uchi does this also stop us entering in? No. If quality of technique is affected by the quality uke's attack then uke is in control; they can choose to defend themselves by making a bad attack knowing that it will foul up tori's technique.

When I spar in karate or kick boxing, as I do now and then, I just watch and wait and whatever he does I enter in. They make a kick, I push them over, they make a punch and I charge in. They're too busy making the strike to do much about my irimi. They're fixated on hitting me; their mind has stopped and so has their body.

The key to this, as I see it, is to train the mind. One has to be able to calmly stand and watch the strike coming in until it hits. When this can be done with detachment and indifference I find that there is an aweful lot of time to do something about the strike and so your timing improves. This is my experience anyway. If one tries not to get hit then one ends up doing things to avoid getting hit and so one is not concentrating on defeating the opponent which is the most certain way of not getting hit.
One must not become fixated on the attack; Takuan talks about this extensively in The Unfettered Mind and it's a staple of stories from sword schools that students are beaten until they stop defending themselves and only then are they allowed to even touch a sword. Throw all thought of the attack away otherwise the mind gets stuck on it, throw away all concern for yourself and all the fear that goes with it; body follows mind and you end up reacting to the attack rather than being proactive so your mind must not be fixated on the attack.

The quality and form of the attack is then even more meaningless; it simply becomes the opening needed to allow irimi. Smarter fighters then try to move back and a good shove at this moment is most effective.

oouuuuuuuhhoouuu what a nice post! let me think about it for a while... in the meantime, if commitment is an opening, how this state of mind allows to enlarge this opening?

graham christian
11-24-2011, 10:18 PM
Hawaii is absolutely beautiful place for vacation. Splendid. Fantastic.So interesting in many aspects.
No, no aikido, I did with Chris and his students some kind of exercises.

Nice.

G.

NagaBaba
11-24-2011, 10:21 PM
So back to something you can practice if you like and find out if it helps you.

Center line. That verticle line running the length of your body. Practice the following: Face the opponent but have in your mind that you are merely that line. No more, no less. A verticle line that whilst staying verticle can nonetheless move easily.

Now from this view you must know that the only thing you are defending is your center line, not your body. I'll say no more. Try it, you might like it.

Regards.G.
but Graham, how it helps to make attacker commit more?

graham christian
11-24-2011, 11:14 PM
but Graham, how it helps to make attacker commit more?

What it does first and foremost is teach you to stop worrying about being hit. You will discover that by seeing yourself as center line only it's easy to move for a line doesn't have to move far for something to miss it.

This in turn makes you not worry about the rest of your body and thus it relaxes and you actually become more focussed.

To the opponent, what does he see? What does he think he should see? In fact what does he expect to see?

So in fact it now appears to the opponent that the target is just plum ready to be hit, it attracts him to do so.

It's not so easy to explain in words is it?

Put it this way. You are trying to hit me in the ribs or head with your right hand or hook. You are observing that target area and so quite tuned into it and can see and feel it's ready to move if you try. Me, if playing this game am aware of the threat to the target area and have it primed ready to move or receive impact.

Now, what if I'm not playing this game. I'm leaving it there not ready to move or receive impact for it is of no concern to me. I know if I move center line it will follow so why worry about it. Thus it appears to the attacker it's unguarde and ready for the hitting.

It's a discipline, a skill, a practice. That's my attempt at putting it into words. It is something you can test for yourself though even slowly just to see the difference.

You can stand in front of someone and ask them to hit you in the shoulder for example purely as a slow or medium paced or fast test, however you please. Now you can practice two things and compare.

The firdt one is to focus on moving your shoulder out of the way as he strikes, from close to you by the way, not from two steps away.

You will find you go into the mind set of one of those slap the hand before you can move it games.

O.k. Now try the same from the discipline of I am now going to focus not on the shoilder but only on center line. Thus, as it is not center line being aimed for in this case then it is the focus of merely turning center line thus the body turns and the shoulder turns out of the way. You don't have to move your feet just for the experiment but you can let them move as you see fit or is natural to the exercise.

So one is focussing on moving shoulder out of the way and the other is focussing on turning center line with no regard to shoulder.

On seeing and feeling the difference then also enquire of the person doing it what it felt like to him. Was one somehow different to the other for him. So don't tell him beforehand what you are doing. Then you will get an unbiased assessment.

Regards.G.

Eva Antonia
11-25-2011, 03:47 AM
Hi,

being a long-time zombie-attacker myself, I started karate to improve my attacks (thinking that tsuki is the most important and realistic attack and that my tsuki sucks especially). Karate is fun, and if I attack better, then this should also reflect on my aikido.

Sadly, it doesn't (yet). There are still some essential things I miss if someone attacks me with a real tsuki.

Among the zombie attacks, I have most problem with this sort of hybrid shomen-yokomen uchi. But then this is again more MY problem than the attacker's. It means that I am not flexible enough to adapt my response to an attack that is not really clear in aikido terms. But if you were attacked in the street, no thug would think of the difference between shomen and yokomen, he would just want to slap me in my face or hit me with his knife. And probably he would do it with a wrong distance.

However, if ever I get to the level of becoming a teacher, I'd focus more on attacks. I'd like to teach, if ever I get there, how to attack efficiently so that the person attacked wouldn't nourish the illusion that he is able to defend himself efficiently, only because he can do this against the zombie attacks. Instead, maybe he would learn one day how to defend himself against a realistic attack. I'd encourage students to cross-training, or I'd invite people from other martial arts to the dojo in order to have some exchange and get more realistic about our own limitations (and improve them). But all these are dreams for the future. Yesterday I got stuck on performing ikkyo on a nice and clearly delivered yokomen uchi, so there is still a long way to go.

Best regards,

Eva

Dazzler
11-25-2011, 04:23 AM
How you deal with such situation? I mean how to discover the moment he decides to attack? And how to extend this short time when he is well engaged? Any particular training methods?

.

How to deal? In the dojo....the best I can. If I struggle and screw up. Well....it was a good attack....better luck next time.

Outside of the dojo...I don't wait for the attack.....I prempt it. I hit first.

How to discover the moment before the attack? ....any training methods?

Yes - It helps to train against these good attacks ....but if they are really good its really hard ...I think you know this or you wouldn't be asking ....but for real results you need to nip it in the bud...act early, recognise the conversation spiralling downhill and disengage appropriately....or not.

Basically - Study people. Watch conversations, watch how violence begins and escalates. Practice dialogue...Argue with someone, study the body, how conversation works? trigger points, fence breaks....all with the aim of knowing just how people act on the way to that point where they decide the right thing to do is to hit you.

There's a section of humanity that will just walk up and shank someone while smiling at them...or from behind. Apart from not being there there is no obvious way to deal with this...its just bad luck ...maybe have a blood oath with a friend to take retribution for you, but thats about it.

Theres also professional violence - the military guys and police may have differing views.

But for the other stuff...read up on this guy and his genre...... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoff_Thompson_%28writer%29

Best regards

D

Mark Freeman
11-25-2011, 04:30 AM
99.99% attackers in aikido don't know how to deliver a difficult attack.

Nothing like a sweeping generalisation to get a good discussion going, eh?

Dazzler
11-25-2011, 04:34 AM
Nothing like a sweeping generalisation to get a good discussion going, eh? ha ha...I was going to use 99.9 % to exclude psychopaths in my post...but it slipped away in the excitement of pressing the submit reply button!

Mark Freeman
11-25-2011, 04:51 AM
ha ha...I was going to use 99.9 % to exclude psychopaths in my post...but it slipped away in the excitement of pressing the submit reply button!

:D See how your carefully trained responses can just evaporate, when the adrenalin takes over!:D

Dazzler
11-25-2011, 04:57 AM
:D See how your carefully trained responses can just evaporate, when the adrenalin takes over!:D

Carefully trained? me...hell, I'm just a beginner....Geoff Thompsons the man.

Anyway ...not sure I should be talking to you...we might blow our cover as IP/IS terrorists!

sakumeikan
11-25-2011, 06:47 AM
Carefully trained? me...hell, I'm just a beginner....Geoff Thompsons the man.

Anyway ...not sure I should be talking to you...we might blow our cover as IP/IS terrorists!

Daren,
Dont know about you being an IP/Is terrorist.You terrify me. Cheers, Joe http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/images/icons/icon7.gif

Dazzler
11-25-2011, 07:22 AM
Daren,
Dont know about you being an IP/Is terrorist.You terrify me. Cheers, Joe http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/images/icons/icon7.gif

ha ha - I terrify myself joe...shouldn't be allowed near a keyboard really,,,, I hear you were quite a formidable uke 'back in the day'..before you became the fine gentleman you are today - so perhaps its me that should be terrified of you.

Good to see you here as always.

D

danj
11-25-2011, 07:58 AM
Also taking in consideration above, if we use early or late timing, how it is helping to achieve in more advances stage "not allowing the attack to happen"?


This is a nice way to push the kata to understanding aiki a bit better, from there hopefully some new understanding/insights emerge

SeiserL
11-25-2011, 08:45 AM
Perhaps the problem isn't in the commitment of the attack (agreed - very rare), but the commitment and confidence in your response.

When you find those of us who do know how to strike, don't critique or criticize us. Stay open and train hard.

Marc Abrams
11-25-2011, 09:13 AM
Your quandary is explored and answers are immediately relevant at each and every Ushiro Sensei seminar. Most Aikidoka would be incapable of dealing with the nature and kind of attacks that Ushiro Sensei's students offer up. If you want to see how to make waza work with committed, sincere, genuine attacks, come on down Szczepan and experience it first hand. Then again, you will then also have to deal with the kind of stuff that you don't personally believe in as well ;) .

Marc Abrams

Ketsan
11-25-2011, 09:28 AM
oouuuuuuuhhoouuu what a nice post! let me think about it for a while... in the meantime, if commitment is an opening, how this state of mind allows to enlarge this opening?

The opening doesn't need to be enlarged; the opening is the attack. Think of it this way: if you're facing uke and you're in kamae you're pretty much ready for whatever uke does, this is the point of kamae, you're neutral and uncommitted and so you can attack and defend at will. The moment you move to attack your capacity for defence is gone because you are mentally and physically committed to the attack.

The problem in martial arts is that often the mind is left untrained so when the punch is coming in we get caught up in protecting ourselves and not getting hit and in Aikido terms this means that we get stuck and held at bay unable to make our irimi movement. I don't think I'm saying anything contraversial when I say that without irimi there is no Aikido.

I think that most of the time when we hear about Aikido not working it's not a technical issue, it's a psychological one. It's not a case of enlarging the opening or of needing a commited attack, it's being in state of mind that allows you to enter in when someone is trying to punch you in the face.

Occasionally you see Aikidoka v other arts and you see it where the Aikidoka just stands there while the opponent throws strikes. If the opponent made shomen uchi they would probably stand there too. I'm sure if you put them in an Aikido dojo and tell them to make ikkyo from shomen uchi they enter in before uke can strike. If uke was planning a shomen, cross, jab combination they'd never have a chance to excute it before tori took them down, even if the shomen was short and fast.

If we then take the Aikidoka and throw jodan tsuki at them they have no issue with that either, they're straight in like a shot. Throw a jab at them and they block it, cover up, move back. They have pleanty of time to react and react successfully in that they don't get hit but they react with fear rather than with aggression. So the opening is big enough but Aikidoka are just not psychologically prepared, on the whole, to exploit it.

Chris Li
11-25-2011, 11:59 AM
99.99% attackers in aikido don't know how to deliver a difficult attack. They do so called ‘zombie attack'. It is not worth for me nor to discuss it, nor practice it.

However sometimes we can meet somebody who really knows how to attack. He usually has a background in street fighting or competition oriented sparring and matches.

In such very rare and precious cases it is virtually impossible or most difficult to do any technique, due to lack of clear commitment. Of course such commitment exists, otherwise the effect of attack would be null, but it is very well hidden until last moment, and last for very, very short time. Immediately after successful attack he disengages looking for next opportunity to attack.

How you deal with such situation? I mean how to discover the moment he decides to attack? And how to extend this short time when he is well engaged? Any particular training methods?

Please refrain from this nonsense IP/IS discussion..

As I see it - "commitment" is a red herring - it doesn't have much to do with whether or not an attack can be handled or not. The real problem is that most Aikido folks deliberately (but perhaps unknowingly) train to tense and weight their attack in such a way that they are easily throwable (I just heard a shihan from hombu specifically tell people to attack that way). It's not necessarily a bad thing - for training, but it shouldn't be done unless it is being done intentionally, for a specific purpose. Otherwise, you're conditioning yourself to be throwable - not such a great idea.

People who are better at attacking won't usually double weight themselves for you, so it's probably going to be pretty difficult to get that nice clean technique off the first attack.

The particular training methods ought to be...Aikido - if they aren't, then something wrong :) .

Best,

Chris

Abasan
11-27-2011, 01:25 AM
The issue isn't commitment to the attack, it's commited to attacking. In Aikido training all we expect of uke is to commit to that attack, first and last. If it so happens nage wasn't able to harmonize the first time, but didn't die from the first attack, uke should make his 'final' attack again.

If we have uke committed to fighting... Then I guess it'll be different. Sometimes the encounter is over from the get go but uke still fights on oblivious to the fact. By then, if it hasn't already degenerated into a sparring session, it would inevitably lead to one with both uke and nage busy trying to do something to one another.

It's a fine line indeed to accepting an attack and initiating one of your own. So much depends on your ability to blend with uke's energy that sometimes it seems easier to just attack his being instead. Wrong... And can only get you so far.

Kevin Leavitt
11-27-2011, 06:22 PM
Your quandary is explored and answers are immediately relevant at each and every Ushiro Sensei seminar. Most Aikidoka would be incapable of dealing with the nature and kind of attacks that Ushiro Sensei's students offer up. If you want to see how to make waza work with committed, sincere, genuine attacks, come on down Szczepan and experience it first hand. Then again, you will then also have to deal with the kind of stuff that you don't personally believe in as well ;) .

Marc Abrams

One thing I noted about Ushiro in the limited time I spent with him is he has a good understanding of OODA. When he attacks, he takes away your ability to move or escape and you are constantly trying to re-orient to get to a place where you can get out from under his attack. In most cases, even if you attack first, as you know, he has already placed you at a disadvantage before you even launch...you hesitate because he has already disrupted your attack, if you continue you will run into a brick wall for sure.

So, for me, a what we typically call a "committed attack" is committed, but unalive. that is...it lacks any substance to do anything of great consequence. an alive attack has something behind it and it has nothing to do with the speed or force or strength of the attack. an alive attack changes the situation and forces you to have to do something different than what you might have intended to do. This is why you need structure...good structure.

In all my experiences training for alive attacks, they are very hard to get out of the way of and you pretty much have to use your frame of structure to absorb the attack and disapate the force in such a way that you can use it to gain control of the situation.

The principle of OODA really dictates this. The irony to me is if it is a good attack and an alive attack...you simply cannot "move off the line" or side step it, or blend with it...you must accept it and the energy in it and then attempt to gain control.

Again, this is if the attack is alive or real. For me, I am either in control of the fight and uke is backpedaling, or I am not. If I am in control, uke is behind me and cannot launch a good attack, if I am behind and uke is attack...then a good attack means I am NOT in control and uke can effectively attack me. A good attack means I must deal with what he is going to me first.

Hope this make sense.

NagaBaba
11-28-2011, 07:43 PM
Perhaps the problem isn't in the commitment of the attack (agreed - very rare), but the commitment and confidence in your response.

When you find those of us who do know how to strike, don't critique or criticize us. Stay open and train hard.
I agree with statement "commitment and confidence in your response". However it is not enough to say 'train hard". To develop such confidence when facing minimum commitment from attacker, we should be able to have a very precise set of drills. I've never seen such systematical approach in any aikido training. That's the reason for my question.

If ultimate goal of practice is to be able to respond spontaneously to any situational scenario, and we constantly train only one case - strongly committed attack - we will never reach such goal even with very hard training.

NagaBaba
11-28-2011, 07:54 PM
So the opening is big enough but Aikidoka are just not psychologically prepared, on the whole, to exploit it.

I somehow agree and disagree. Aikidoka are not only not psychologically prepared, but also from technical point of view they often don't any idea what happens AFTER they enter\irimi into attack. Such scenario with uke alive (means i.e. bouncing and disengaging only to re-attack) is never done.

On the other hand, a simple irimi is often not sophisticated enough as a solution. Advanced attacker will early see the intent of entry and will modify his behavior. Here I agree with Dazzler that we have to carefully study peoples behavior in different situations do develop our eyes. I strongly believe that aikidoka must become a master of reading body language as a first step to his mind training.

NagaBaba
11-28-2011, 07:59 PM
As I see it - "commitment" is a red herring - it doesn't have much to do with whether or not an attack can be handled or not. The real problem is that most Aikido folks deliberately (but perhaps unknowingly) train to tense and weight their attack in such a way that they are easily throwable (I just heard a shihan from hombu specifically tell people to attack that way). It's not necessarily a bad thing - for training, but it shouldn't be done unless it is being done intentionally, for a specific purpose. Otherwise, you're conditioning yourself to be throwable - not such a great idea.

People who are better at attacking won't usually double weight themselves for you, so it's probably going to be pretty difficult to get that nice clean technique off the first attack.

The particular training methods ought to be...Aikido - if they aren't, then something wrong :) .

Best,

Chris

May be I didn't formulated question clear enough - how to deal with the attacks where attacker is committing only real minimum and if attack is not successful disengage immediately? I'd like to discuss very concrete training methods to face such situation.

NagaBaba
11-28-2011, 08:02 PM
Your quandary is explored and answers are immediately relevant at each and every Ushiro Sensei seminar. Most Aikidoka would be incapable of dealing with the nature and kind of attacks that Ushiro Sensei's students offer up. If you want to see how to make waza work with committed, sincere, genuine attacks, come on down Szczepan and experience it first hand. Then again, you will then also have to deal with the kind of stuff that you don't personally believe in as well ;) .

Marc Abrams
I think you misunderstood my question. I'd like you describe me how to make waza work with very small committed, but correct attacks. Good attacker will not commit too much, do you agree?

Chris Li
11-28-2011, 08:04 PM
May be I didn't formulated question clear enough - how to deal with the attacks where attacker is committing only real minimum and if attack is not successful disengage immediately? I'd like to discuss very concrete training methods to face such situation.

I got it - it's just by "committed" most Aikido folks mean that silly haymaker kind of attack that's so easy to deal with.

Like anything else - you work up to it, in stages, in controlled situations. Chinese arts have been doing that kind of thing with push hands of various types for...a long time.

Of course, the training method is going to look a little different from conventional Aikido.:)

Best,

Chris

graham christian
11-28-2011, 08:11 PM
I somehow agree and disagree. Aikidoka are not only not psychologically prepared, but also from technical point of view they often don't any idea what happens AFTER they enter\irimi into attack. Such scenario with uke alive (means i.e. bouncing and disengaging only to re-attack) is never done.

On the other hand, a simple irimi is often not sophisticated enough as a solution. Advanced attacker will early see the intent of entry and will modify his behavior. Here I agree with Dazzler that we have to carefully study peoples behavior in different situations do develop our eyes. I strongly believe that aikidoka must become a master of reading body language as a first step to his mind training.

Hi. My rule in Aikido is to let the attack or even 'make' the attack happen.

Based on this rule; the attacker only readjusts or pulls away because you tried to stop them or interfere.

Allowing the commitment of the attacker to take place is the key.

Another point is that there is a reason for the type of attacks in Aikido and this reason needs thinking about and clearing in your mind before you can understand why? Maybe I'll start a thread on this for I haven't seen anyone explain it to my satisfaction yet.

Reading body language is one way of putting it so I agree there for in 'alive' attacks that's the main thing, however there is a process to do first before you can move correctly in that situation wouldn't you say?

Regards.G.

Budogirl
11-28-2011, 08:41 PM
Why not share what you know with your partner to get the kind of attack you seek?

This may not apply to you, but I hear many more experienced aikido practitioners complain about poor attacks (teachers/instructors included), but very rarely are students shown what a "committed" attack is.

A productive outcome for all involved.

I come from the school of training (in all arts I've tried) that there is no such thing as a poor attack, but rather a poor response.

my two bits.

Marc Abrams
11-28-2011, 09:02 PM
I think you misunderstood my question. I'd like you describe me how to make waza work with very small committed, but correct attacks. Good attacker will not commit too much, do you agree?

Too generalized a question. When you talk about small committed, correct attacks, are you referring to in-close striking and grappling? Waza is simply the end point of a number of processes. My invitation to you was sincere and I think that you can easily understand how to enter, without colliding in order to execute techniques after spending a weekend playing with Ushiro Sensei. I look at waza as kata. Proper practice which emphasizes the development of underlying principles enables a person to be able to become increasingly capable of managing ones' self amidst conflict. When you get too caught up in trying to make your waza work, you are already behind.

Marc Abrams

NagaBaba
11-28-2011, 09:26 PM
Of course, the training method is going to look a little different from conventional Aikido.:)

Best,

Chris

Some details?

NagaBaba
11-28-2011, 09:28 PM
Hi. My rule in Aikido is to let the attack or even 'make' the attack happen.
Regards.G.
Now we are getting closer. How do you 'make' the attack happen?

NagaBaba
11-28-2011, 09:31 PM
Why not share what you know with your partner to get the kind of attack you seek?

This may not apply to you, but I hear many more experienced aikido practitioners complain about poor attacks (teachers/instructors included), but very rarely are students shown what a "committed" attack is.

A productive outcome for all involved.

I come from the school of training (in all arts I've tried) that there is no such thing as a poor attack, but rather a poor response.

my two bits.
Hi Dena,
hahaha, I share it without hesitation, no prob. That is why almost everybody hate practice with me :) almost because exceptionally JO likes it :confused:

graham christian
11-28-2011, 09:32 PM
May be I didn't formulated question clear enough - how to deal with the attacks where attacker is committing only real minimum and if attack is not successful disengage immediately? I'd like to discuss very concrete training methods to face such situation.

Here's two concrete things for you. Ma-ai and entering. There is no such thing as an attacker who doesn't do a committed attack is there? He may be searching and prodding as you say but he is waiting for that moment when he commits to the strike or grab.

Practice keeping ma-ai and it will have no effect this 'real minimum' situation. Do it as a discipline, don't try to grab etc' just keep ma-ai. Then he will have to commit to get you.

Meanwhile, if the attack is so 'real minimum; and you notice this whilst keeping ma ai then you can commit, enter and take over. Another discipline. How and when to enter.

Ma- ai and entering. Two things to practice related to and vital to the subject of commitment. A process once again. no short cuts.

If you get very good then the concept of entering equals game over. Now that's commitment.

Regards.G.

NagaBaba
11-28-2011, 09:33 PM
Too generalized a question. When you talk about small committed, correct attacks, are you referring to in-close striking and grappling? Waza is simply the end point of a number of processes. My invitation to you was sincere and I think that you can easily understand how to enter, without colliding in order to execute techniques after spending a weekend playing with Ushiro Sensei. I look at waza as kata. Proper practice which emphasizes the development of underlying principles enables a person to be able to become increasingly capable of managing ones' self amidst conflict. When you get too caught up in trying to make your waza work, you are already behind.

Marc Abrams
Marc, I appreciate your invitation, but I'm a busy person for the moment. But !!! I can have few minutes to read your description here :D

graham christian
11-28-2011, 09:55 PM
Now we are getting closer. How do you 'make' the attack happen?

By understanding non- disturbance, letting go, principles like this.

Someone punches or kicks or rushes to grab. You apply what I call aiki and that is motion. You move in such a way that it allows the attack to happen. You don't try to stop it or go against it. This is mind and body together.

Tai sabaki and tenkan for example are motions designed for this purpose. Motion without resistance.

Now mind. If you have fighting mind then mind is against, ready to counter, to stop, to interfere. No, you must have mind of allow, welcome, invite.

That's the discipline of mind needed for the normal 'mind' is not so disciplined and reacts against automatically.

You can even test what I say as a drill with a partner. Something I do as a drill but don't know how many others do so I can only speak for myself.

You get nage and uke facing each other with uke ready to attack tsuki, or whatever, it doesn't matter really.

Now the drill is that uke must not attack if he feels he isn't welcome.

This is one frustrating and harsh drill but essential in my way of doing things. You see if the attacker feels the least be wary he has the right not to attack. Thus it is down to nage to control his own mind and feeling towards the attacker. When an attacker feels he can safely strike he commits, that's the hard simplicity.

Thus the concept of leading the attacker takes on a different meaning for if you are causing him to attack and move in accordance, motion, the you are actually cause and he is effect.

Thus you are harmonizing with the attack and yet in control. Aikido.

Regards.G.

Ketsan
11-28-2011, 10:50 PM
I somehow agree and disagree. Aikidoka are not only not psychologically prepared, but also from technical point of view they often don't any idea what happens AFTER they enter\irimi into attack. Such scenario with uke alive (means i.e. bouncing and disengaging only to re-attack) is never done.

On the other hand, a simple irimi is often not sophisticated enough as a solution. Advanced attacker will early see the intent of entry and will modify his behavior. Here I agree with Dazzler that we have to carefully study peoples behavior in different situations do develop our eyes. I strongly believe that aikidoka must become a master of reading body language as a first step to his mind training.

There shouldn't really be much of an after the irimi. The entire point of Aikido, as I see it, is to break balance on contact. That's the foundation, if that's not being consistently achieved then the Aikidoka really needs to make an exhaustive study of it. The most sophisticated part of Aikido is the irimi movement because that's where, pace the ISers, that's where the Aiki is.

The worst case senario is that you mistime your irimi or get caught out by a feint and they back off, in which case you chase after them. If they're going back I don't let them pause to get a base to strike me from. I can do Aikido on the run, few people can effectively strike on the run.

As it is I don't find that even quite skilled martial artists read what's going on. Aikido's approach is just too unique. I can't think of another art where people respond to a strike by moving forward, except maybe BJJ and their method of entry is different although the principle of kuzushi on contact is still there.

Ketsan
11-28-2011, 10:51 PM
Now we are getting closer. How do you 'make' the attack happen?

You leave an opening.

Chris Li
11-28-2011, 11:05 PM
Some details?

Well, that's really an entire curriculum, isn't it? If there were a couple of quick tips for unbalancing - everybody would be able to do it...

Take a look at I Liq Chuan (http://iliqchuan.com/) - I'm not comparing it to Aikido, but you can see a good example of a well thought out curriculum that builds those kinds of skills in a consistent manner.

Best,

Chris

Michael Varin
11-29-2011, 05:44 AM
Great thread. Alex, Kevin and Graham all bring up good points.

I think that a big part of the "problem" is that because we don't train against "alive" attacks, we don't learn to recognize the moment of commitment.

Ironically, I believe, this is what aiki is all about, and yet, the way in which most aikido is practiced ensures that one will almost never encounter an opportunity to train it.

Too often, uke commits himself to being thrown or facilitating the technique. There is no problem with this per se. It is probably a necessary part of training. The problem is that aikidoists seldom go beyond this point, which is, frankly, a very basic level.

May be I didn't formulated question clear enough - how to deal with the attacks where attacker is committing only real minimum and if attack is not successful disengage immediately? I'd like to discuss very concrete training methods to face such situation.

Understood.

On the other hand, a simple irimi is often not sophisticated enough as a solution. Advanced attacker will early see the intent of entry and will modify his behavior.

This is an obvious point, but one that I am only recently beginning to actually experience, ki musubi and awase must be constantly happening in each moment. This is not a do it once and you are done type of interaction.

How to do it? I honestly can't tell you.

Start looking for it, and then do it. I still cannot do it consistently, but I can notice it, and do it more frequently now than I could three months ago.

The entire point of Aikido, as I see it, is to break balance on contact. That's the foundation, if that's not being consistently achieved then the Aikidoka really needs to make an exhaustive study of it.

I agree that this should be studied, but determining the outcome before contact is the point of aiki.

In all my experiences training for alive attacks, they are very hard to get out of the way of and you pretty much have to use your frame of structure to absorb the attack and disapate the force in such a way that you can use it to gain control of the situation.

The principle of OODA really dictates this. The irony to me is if it is a good attack and an alive attack...you simply cannot "move off the line" or side step it, or blend with it...you must accept it and the energy in it and then attempt to gain control.

Again, this is if the attack is alive or real. For me, I am either in control of the fight and uke is backpedaling, or I am not. If I am in control, uke is behind me and cannot launch a good attack, if I am behind and uke is attack...then a good attack means I am NOT in control and uke can effectively attack me. A good attack means I must deal with what he is going to me first.


Again, this is where aiki comes in. You "control' the fight by following uke's intention and commitment, but being with his action. It is not about attacking or defending, just appropriateness.

It is the essence of the true counter puncher.

Kevin Leavitt
11-29-2011, 06:52 AM
The appropriateness I think comes from experiences. You need to put yourself in the contraints of the "problem" and work through your solutions in order to develop the appropriate response.

It goes back to your earlier statement that Aikidoka seldom practice things beyond "this point".

Marc Abrams
11-29-2011, 08:24 AM
Marc, I appreciate your invitation, but I'm a busy person for the moment. But !!! I can have few minutes to read your description here :D

Szczepan:

I love it when Nishio Sensei would talk about static practice as not being budo. Controlling your space is a critical component. When a person has entered this space they need to address something that is welcoming them to that space ;) . Imaizumi Sensei speaks about this when he says that if you move properly, you do not need technique. Based upon how the person has responded to your "greeting" will provide you with information as to where to go from there. When there is a tie-up, like in wrestling, you still need to control your space through posture and stuff that you write off as esoteric. When the person attempts to apply force, the force is redirected in such a manner that it causes the attacker to become off-balanced, stuck, etc. and then you should have enough information to know where to go from there. How is that for a start?

Marc Abrams

Abasan
11-29-2011, 07:01 PM
but O sensei said there is no sen sen no sen in aikido....

Exactly, that's why I said 'majority of us'. Until you get the aikido spirit that is.

The aikido spirit cannot utilize sen sen no sen. It's acceptance is not waiting to respond either.

phitruong
11-29-2011, 07:16 PM
The aikido spirit cannot utilize sen sen no sen. It's acceptance is not waiting to respond either.

that made no sense! :D

i thought the aikido spirit is screaming your bloody head off, then drill the other bugger into the floor, take his money, then go and have a peace and quiet dinner with beer and/or wine and/or member of the opposite sex and/or same sex. oh wait! that's just the normal spirit, but i think aikido spirit should be the same. :)

phitruong
11-29-2011, 07:34 PM
personally, i just move in and if the other person has not attack, i would initiate the attack. sort of hit first, hit later, and when the other bugger is down, hit some more. oh wait! this is aikido right? we are not suppose to attack first. damn! i knew it was a bad idea to take up aikido! i should have taken up yoga; at least i'd be wearing leotard (instead of this funny looking skirt) and be surrounded with nice looking women in leotard. :)

Abasan
11-30-2011, 11:16 AM
Yeah well we can't all be Ghandi... Oh wait, I mean the other bald old man...

kewms
12-02-2011, 06:09 PM
May be I didn't formulated question clear enough - how to deal with the attacks where attacker is committing only real minimum and if attack is not successful disengage immediately? I'd like to discuss very concrete training methods to face such situation.

Teach such attacks in the dojo. Expect students to attack in that way. Welcome and encourage new students with experience in other arts. Never, ever, chastise an uke who succeeds in hitting his partner, even if it was you who got hit.

Really it's that simple, and that difficult.

If someone trains for years and years against ridiculously overcommitted attacks, they will have a lot of trouble handling real attacks. If they see real attacks from day one, they will see such attacks as "normal."

No, of course this doesn't mean that uke should always be trying to take nage's head off. Karateka learn how to attack slowly, but correctly, so why can't we?

Katherine

NagaBaba
12-05-2011, 10:25 AM
Teach such attacks in the dojo. Expect students to attack in that way.
Katherine

Hi Katherine,
Yes, I have been doing it last few years. I'm asking here for input from others, who want to share their experience.

Kevin Leavitt
12-05-2011, 02:40 PM
I really think this is THE most difficult aspect of ANY martial art. you have to assume away SO much of the reality when training with attacks. A lot gets lost in translation. I was running a class friday using four ounce gloves and teaching my guys how to deal with attacks from the guard (ground and pound). You have to agree to a level of force and the guy getting hit has to realize that the punches are being pulled.

Setting up the boundaries and conditions takes a great deal of experience and IMO it is an "Art" in and of itself to coach attacks and keep the conditions such that it achieves the desired results of the exercise/training.

If you overwhelm a new student with too much before they are mentally and physically ready and have developed some baseline skills to react...then you are really wasting your time.

Conversely if you don't train this at all and put on some good "combat pressure" and make it uncomfortable and ALIVE at some point...your students are never going really learn much IMO.

Rupert Atkinson
12-07-2011, 03:04 PM
OK - I'll bite ... as I think I am of the same mind.


How you deal with such situation? I mean how to discover the moment he decides to attack? And how to extend this short time when he is well engaged? Any particular training methods?
Please refrain from this nonsense IP/IS discussion..

First, I guess most of my thoughts are here.

http://discovering-aikido.com/attack.htm

Scroll down just beyond half-way for some particular training methods labelled: Pratical Ideas 1, 2, 3, 4.

You might like them, you might hate them. I have had a lot of fun with some of these.

Rupert Atkinson
12-07-2011, 03:16 PM
I think you misunderstood my question. I'd like you describe me how to make waza work with very small committed, but correct attacks. Good attacker will not commit too much, do you agree?

If you 'move' your intent towards him, either physically or mentally but prefereably both, he will respond. You skill is determined by how you deal with that response. All you can do in training is to set up situations that allow it to happen so you can train and develop it. That is what 'training' means, afterall.

Michael Varin
12-08-2011, 01:23 PM
First, I guess most of my thoughts are here.

http://discovering-aikido.com/attack.htm

Scroll down just beyond half-way for some particular training methods labelled: Pratical Ideas 1, 2, 3, 4.

You might like them, you might hate them. I have had a lot of fun with some of these.

Rupert,

Thank you for that link.

I enjoyed reading it.

I agree with much of what you wrote. I also learned a few things or reconsidered things that I "already knew". . . Which is always a good thing to do.