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NagaBaba
11-24-2011, 01:49 PM
In this topic I’d like to discuss the methods, how to take a balance of attacker in the moment of the contact. Also, he may occasionally recover his balance during the technique – what we can use to unbalance him again?

IP/IS extremists are not welcome here.

Abasan
11-24-2011, 02:07 PM
'IP/IS extremists are not welcome here.' lol... Isn't everyone here one or the other in this past year? What a resurgence I would like to add.

Back to topic, I'd like to use two main methods.

One. To shift center vertically and thereby controlling maai from a vertical space instead of the horizontal plane.

Two. To take over his space using an overt or extended kamae (not atemi in a strictest sense) as he comes intruding into your space.

Both ways can be applied for irimi or tenkan. But are shaped differently. And when I do lose control and they recover from kuzushi, which usually happens when you either stop or try to change movement yourself, then it's back to awase again before using 1 typically.

kewms
11-24-2011, 02:21 PM
How about taking balance before contact is made? Which is accomplished by moving the target after he has committed himself.

Katherine

NagaBaba
11-24-2011, 03:06 PM
How about taking balance before contact is made? Which is accomplished by moving the target after he has committed himself.

Katherine
This would be the best solution, however for most of us, mortals, unreachable with serious, difficult attack (it means also correct distans, not zombi attacking from 10 feet away).
Timespace is so very small, that human brain can't handle it normally.

SteveTrinkle
11-24-2011, 03:20 PM
.....

IP/IS extremists are not welcome here.

That seems a bit extreme... How about IP/IS moderates?

Lyle Laizure
11-24-2011, 08:14 PM
Nothing takes balance like atemi.

NagaBaba
11-24-2011, 08:37 PM
'IP/IS extremists are not welcome here.' lol... Isn't everyone here one or the other in this past year? What a resurgence I would like to add.

Back to topic, I'd like to use two main methods.

One. To shift center vertically and thereby controlling maai from a vertical space instead of the horizontal plane.

Two. To take over his space using an overt or extended kamae (not atemi in a strictest sense) as he comes intruding into your space.

Both ways can be applied for irimi or tenkan. But are shaped differently. And when I do lose control and they recover from kuzushi, which usually happens when you either stop or try to change movement yourself, then it's back to awase again before using 1 typically.

Nice.
1.Are you talking here about shifting his center or your center? Could you also explain more why you use only vertical in this case? Don't you see here a danger to ground him instead of unbalancing?

2.I don't really understand it, care to explain more?

NagaBaba
11-24-2011, 08:44 PM
Nothing takes balance like atemi.
I'm usually careful with this tool to unbalance attacker. What will you use to deliver atemi?

If you are talking here about hands, the thing is, he may know boxing better than me and will use it as an opportunity to counter.

If you are talking here about atemi with any part of nage body - it becomes very interesting, I'd like to know more how you practice it.

This approach also require regular specialized atemi training on moving targets..

NagaBaba
11-24-2011, 08:45 PM
That seems a bit extreme... How about IP/IS moderates?
Stephen, you know what I mean...

graham christian
11-24-2011, 09:02 PM
Firstly from that view consider how you would unbalance anything, be it a person, a cup, a table, whatever. I'm being serious, consider it.

Then add in the factor of it takes you realigning your position to do so and movement. If the person regains balance and you get stuck then these two basics are the starting point of study. You need to move and realign basically.

With that seen as simple as it is clearly then you can see the need to learn where to move and why.

Then you discover the whys of circular motion etc. Step by step learning. No magic.

Every point of person regained balance and stability equals point you get stuck or clash no? Well at those points motion has stopped, alignment is out.

So how to take anothers balance is all about those two factors really in essence. The rest are add ons which lead to making it even more refined.

My two cents.
G..

danj
11-24-2011, 10:04 PM
If the centre of mass moves outside the base of support someone is unbalanced - so simple yet so hard to do. Aiki is a wonderful study of the minimum energy required to do this I think

Mario Tobias
11-24-2011, 10:08 PM
For me IMHO, it is always finding the "circuit" from nage's hara to uke's hara once the engagement has started. I liken connection to flow of electricity except that in this case it is flow of controlling balance. The challenge is how to complete the hara to hara connection.

In every technique imho, you start the "circuit" from nage's hara -> nage's shoulder -> nage's elbow -> nage's wrist -> nage's fingers -> uke's fingers -> uke's elbow -> uke's shoulder -> uke's hara. It's like dominoe effect. One part that doesn't connect in the technique, you will use force to make the technique work.

If you have an "open circuit" (eg nage initially using shoulder/arm power instead of power from center to generate the initial movement) or (eg using nage's shoulder power to directly attack uke's shoulder instead of going through elbow/wrist/fingers first), then the techniques will also be forceful. Similar to the electricity analogy, the connection will be lost and there will be no "flow".

Finding the circuits in the different techniques and coordination work after discovery is the challenge and the fun of practice. BTW, this is just my way of understanding connections to help me visualize all interactions in very simple fashion as we are being taught very abstract things all the time. This would work for all attacks imho.

If uke regains balance during a technique, find another "circuit" again to connect with uke's hara to unbalance him. Isn't the goal of practice controlling your center and uke's center in the first place? The discovery is the fun part.

danj
11-24-2011, 10:40 PM
For me IMHO, it is always finding the "circuit" from nage's hara to uke's hara once the engagement has started. I liken connection to flow of electricity except that in this case it is flow of controlling balance. The challenge is how to complete the hara to hara connection.

I like the circuit idea very much for the transfer of power, its described in the biomechanics world as the 'kinetic chain' and has nice analogies/ relevance for grounding, ground power etc.. It also can be used to highlight how it can be maximised in nage and minimised in uke

bob_stra
11-25-2011, 12:14 AM
In this topic I'd like to discuss the methods, how to take a balance of attacker in the moment of the contact. Also, he may occasionally recover his balance during the technique -- what we can use to unbalance him again?


I always thought this was pretty explicative (irrespective of any judgement about the individual performers)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLB9TxuQ4kk&feature=player_embedded

bob_stra
11-25-2011, 12:38 AM
I always thought this was pretty explicative (irrespective of any judgement about the individual performers)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLB9TxuQ4kk&feature=player_embedded

Here's an old picture explanation I once drew relating to the above. It may add further detail

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a333/jeffisjeff/unbalance.jpg

sorokod
11-25-2011, 01:27 AM
I find these drawings useful as they make ideas more explicit. With sen sen no sen, I think that the relevant drawing is the first one (top left corner) but the timing of nage's entry is ahead of uke's expectation.

bob_stra
11-25-2011, 01:32 AM
I find these drawings useful as they make ideas more explicit. With sen sen no sen, I think that the relevant drawing is the first one (top left corner) but the timing of nage's entry is ahead of uke's expectation.

Great. But stuff about timing is kind of peripheral to the actual mechanics of it. Ie: discussions on sen-no-sen, go-no-sen etc can be misleading because they focus on the "when" rather then "how". The how is going to be the more important part, IMO.

sorokod
11-25-2011, 01:48 AM
For example, in Iwama style which I practice, all the kihon shomenuchi techniques are performed with the nage/tori initiating the strike. This offcourse shapes the waza to a large extent. I disagree that timing is peripheral to mechanics.

bob_stra
11-25-2011, 02:19 AM
I disagree that timing is peripheral to mechanics.

Then we disagree :) The "thing you do" (from an unbalancing him perspective) is the same if you get there first, he does, or you both do. It's not reliant on techniques; those are just nice little exclamation marks at the end.

Look at something like judo's happo-no-kuzushi (or Tomiki's judo taiso, if you prefer). You unbalance him, then do what's relevant. But you still must unbalance him *first* - it's the larger part of it. Then, depending on his reaction, you add your favourite flourish. Or you just push him over.

Actually, that reduces the entire art down to a handful of techniques (3-5), doesn't it? Kinda like "everything is ikkyo" or "it's all just koshi-waza" or "atemi is 90% of aikido". The fun stuff has already happened...so why futz around with 101 techniques?

sakumeikan
11-25-2011, 03:46 AM
In this topic I'd like to discuss the methods, how to take a balance of attacker in the moment of the contact. Also, he may occasionally recover his balance during the technique -- what we can use to unbalance him again?

IP/IS extremists are not welcome here.

Dear Szczepan,
It would suggest to me that if Uke regains his/her balance Tori has not unbalanced Uke fully in the first place.If Uke is totally unbalanced how does he /she recover?Cheers, Joe.

sakumeikan
11-25-2011, 03:59 AM
I'm usually careful with this tool to unbalance attacker. What will you use to deliver atemi?

If you are talking here about hands, the thing is, he may know boxing better than me and will use it as an opportunity to counter.

If you are talking here about atemi with any part of nage body - it becomes very interesting, I'd like to know more how you practice it.

This approach also require regular specialized atemi training on moving targets..
Dear Szczepan,
Atemi applications can be used in various ways. You can kick your uke in the leg /groin area while/ if Uke is engaging in contact.If you apply waza[irimi nage, ikkyo , nikkyo ]atemi can be applied.Shiho nage .Kaiten nage are equally vehicles for potential atemi.Personally I only use atemi [gently ] as a wake up call when my Uke is lax.I think all new students should be made aware of atemi from the outset.Too many people think aikido is flowery and defensive.This is imo a
misunderstanding.From my perspective Tori must take the initiative,not being passive.Like the saying goes 'A good offence is a good defence.'Cheers Joe.

Tim Ruijs
11-25-2011, 04:13 AM
This would be the best solution, however for most of us, mortals, unreachable with serious, difficult attack (it means also correct distans, not zombi attacking from 10 feet away).
Timespace is so very small, that human brain can't handle it normally.
Uhmmm.... that is why you practise so you do not need to think. Your visual system has been (or should be) trained to properly 'read' the distance. Kimusubi, ma ai, kino nagare all principles need to come together in that exact moment. I always interpret Aikido as to be able to do the right thing at the right time.

When your partner regains balance during a technique something went wrong in your execution (duh). Most of the time you are not 'leading' your partner sufficiently and thus your partner stops.

When you practise chudan tsuki, alternately practise with and without tanto. Distance changes only few centimeters, but you must be able to 'see' this and move accordingly. Practise such that each time there is only but an inch space between fist/tanto and you, with different partners.

Another exercise: have partner attack with bokken (shomen) and slightly move of the center/attack line and enter and put your hand on his/hers.
many, many, many more exist....

Tim Ruijs
11-25-2011, 04:58 AM
Too many people think aikido is flowery and defensive.This is imo a
misunderstanding.From my perspective Tori must take the initiative,not being passive.Like the saying goes 'A good offence is a good defence.'Cheers Joe.

Agreed. People mistake taking the initiative for offensive action. This is not true. While in Aikido you take the initiative to control the situation, you do not intend to hurt the 'other'. Whereas offensive action has the intend to be the first to hurt the other. This aspect does not always receive proper attention in practise.

danj
11-25-2011, 07:02 AM
Great. But stuff about timing is kind of peripheral to the actual mechanics of it. Ie: discussions on sen-no-sen, go-no-sen etc can be misleading because they focus on the "when" rather then "how". The how is going to be the more important part, IMO.

Early or late timing though is going to favour unbalancing uke in a particular way I imagine. Though with static practice the mechanics of the gamut of unbalancing choices can be more easily explored

Walter Martindale
11-25-2011, 07:21 AM
Enter, atemi to the occipital area. Just inside of that is area 17 of brain. Processes vision. While busy getting sight back to normal, balance is behind the action.
One suggestion

SeiserL
11-25-2011, 07:41 AM
IMHO, its like aiming a weapon, from the moment you acquire the target, you aim through the center and towards a kuzushi point way before the moment of physical contact.

Mary Eastland
11-25-2011, 07:43 AM
Atemi. Careful attention. Don't be where they think you were. I don't like the word control...I like guide better. I like to let uke find their balance lying down on the mat after they fall.

NagaBaba
11-25-2011, 07:49 AM
My comment regarding timing discussion in the context of unbalancing is that I'm working hard to improve it but it is far from decisive elements. I was a big fan of timing years ago. There are also styles aikido who base entirely their techniques only on the right timing.

What I discovered, that when I’m weak, sick, injured, tired, out of shape, very old etc my capacity of producing exact timing diminish drastically. So if the success of unbalancing depends only of right timing, under heavy circumstances I’ll be always helpless. I need my gross motor skills be very well trained to not depend only on those very sophisticated ones.

NagaBaba
11-25-2011, 07:59 AM
Dear Szczepan,
It would suggest to me that if Uke regains his/her balance Tori has not unbalanced Uke fully in the first place.If Uke is totally unbalanced how does he /she recover?Cheers, Joe.

I don't have time to discuss it in deep right know, will come back later. Only quick overview - if uke is not passive, he can regain his balance even after being totally unbalanced. That happens because nage is always making errors.
With traditional aikido practice we may have impression that every technique is successful – Uke always helps Nage more or less. But when Uke become very active, suddenly all delusions of grandeur go away and we are faced with painful reality – our techniques always sucks.

Tim Ruijs
11-25-2011, 08:13 AM
But when Uke become very active, suddenly all delusions of grandeur go away and we are faced with painful reality -- our techniques always sucks.
This is more caused by trying to execute a specific technique where the situation is not really suited rather than 'sucky' technique on its own.
Do not forget Aikido technique is for training/learning purposes. When aite quickly changes intend and/or attack the situation becomes more and more similar to actual fight. You leave the training premisses and have to adopt. Think randori: you hardly/never see yokomen kote gaeshi, shiho nage. Why is that? ...it takes took long given the speed of the attacker. You cannot match your movement with that of aite.

Chris Li
11-25-2011, 11:54 AM
I don't have time to discuss it in deep right know, will come back later. Only quick overview - if uke is not passive, he can regain his balance even after being totally unbalanced. That happens because nage is always making errors.
With traditional aikido practice we may have impression that every technique is successful -- Uke always helps Nage more or less. But when Uke become very active, suddenly all delusions of grandeur go away and we are faced with painful reality -- our techniques always sucks.

I think that most people put the cart before the horse - any technique is not going to be useful (or even possible) unless you can stand on the stable change point. I was working out with Sam Chin (http://iliqchuan.com/content/master-sam-fs-chin) when he said "You don't know where your center is - don't Aikido people talk a lot about the center?". I said "Yes, they talk a lot about the center.".

Sam, FWIW, had no problem taking anybody's balance - while maintaining his own just fine.

Anyway, the basic characteristic of the change point is that it always changes - and training to address that needs to happen before you can even think about applying a technique.

Best,

Chris

Mario Tobias
11-25-2011, 12:15 PM
My comment regarding timing discussion in the context of unbalancing is that I'm working hard to improve it but it is far from decisive elements. I was a big fan of timing years ago. There are also styles aikido who base entirely their techniques only on the right timing.

What I discovered, that when I’m weak, sick, injured, tired, out of shape, very old etc my capacity of producing exact timing diminish drastically. So if the success of unbalancing depends only of right timing, under heavy circumstances I’ll be always helpless. I need my gross motor skills be very well trained to not depend only on those very sophisticated ones.

that is why probably ikkyo is the most important and most difficult technique in aikido because it relies purely on timing. You can only make it work if the timing is perfect.

DH
11-25-2011, 04:26 PM
Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:

My comment regarding timing discussion in the context of unbalancing is that I'm working hard to improve it but it is far from decisive elements. I was a big fan of timing years ago. There are also styles aikido who base entirely their techniques only on the right timing.

What I discovered, that when I'm weak, sick, injured, tired, out of shape, very old etc my capacity of producing exact timing diminish drastically. So if the success of unbalancing depends only of right timing, under heavy circumstances I'll be always helpless. I need my gross motor skills be very well trained to not depend only on those very sophisticated ones.

that is why probably ikkyo is the most important and most difficult technique in aikido because it relies purely on timing. You can only make it work if the timing is perfect.
As a lowly kyu ranked aikido-ka I would offer that I can handle any Shihan I have met...well...actually anyone I have met in Aikido.
This is because I do NOT use timing at all. I use aiki. When the connection happens, at any point, they are controlled through aiki. I would suggest people learn more about the connections Ueshiba himself talked about that are his aikido.
Then learn about aiki.
I have found that aiki is a very good way to practice aiki-do. Most teachers I meet and do Aikido with, are quite taken at the idea of using aiki in aiki-do and other combatives.
Dan

Ueshiba forum next?

NagaBaba
11-27-2011, 07:33 PM
As a lowly kyu ranked aikido-ka I would offer that I can handle any Shihan I have met...well...actually anyone I have met in Aikido.
This is because I do NOT use timing at all. I use aiki. When the connection happens, at any point, they are controlled through aiki. I would suggest people learn more about the connections Ueshiba himself talked about that are his aikido.
Then learn about aiki.
I have found that aiki is a very good way to practice aiki-do. Most teachers I meet and do Aikido with, are quite taken at the idea of using aiki in aiki-do and other combatives.
Dan

Ueshiba forum next?
May be you didn't read my first post - please refrain in this topic from IS\IP discussion.

DH
11-27-2011, 07:59 PM
May be you didn't read my first post - please refrain in this topic from IS\IP discussion.
Okay. But without it virtually nothing else is.....aikido. No matter how hard you try to convince yourself it is.
Without IP/IS call it what you will...your just doing jujutsu. Hopefully, it's something decent.
Dan

Carsten Möllering
11-28-2011, 02:27 AM
... methods, how to take a balance of attacker in the moment of the contact.
Well, as far as I learned it, taking the balance is not an issue of timing or atemi or combine ones own movement with that of the attacker. But I learned that creating kuzushi is a matter of using what is called " atari" at us. And creating atari allmost seems to be a synonym of "making aiki".
In practice this means to have a contact somewhere between the bodies of tori and aite. Often it's hands or arms (relaxed, no grabbing, hands are open). But it is possible with every part of the body. This contact/atari effects the structure of aites body, takes his balance and make him collapse. (This is different from what some teacher do, creating contact from center to center. Even if the center/tanden is central also in this work.)
Learning to do this needs "special" excercises, not identical with the waza of aikido.

Aikido waza are one possible application of "making aiki", providing structures to use aiki in a certain way. But they themself don't teach aiki. They use it. This to me seems an important difference to other teachings of aikido a experience in some dojo.

This is - in very insufficient and a bit "helpless" words - what I learn. And I am still a beginner of this way of doing aikido.

... IP/IS extremists are not welcome here.
There is no IP/IS in the way it is meant and discussed here on aikiweb taught in our aikido. But the more you try to understand and to do it, the more you got to go and explore into yourself, your own body. What we do is clearly different from what is often discussed here. But it kind of points in the same direction: Getting aikido as a internal martial art. Which it often is not.

Kevin Leavitt
11-28-2011, 07:11 AM
My comment regarding timing discussion in the context of unbalancing is that I'm working hard to improve it but it is far from decisive elements. I was a big fan of timing years ago. There are also styles aikido who base entirely their techniques only on the right timing.

What I discovered, that when I'm weak, sick, injured, tired, out of shape, very old etc my capacity of producing exact timing diminish drastically. So if the success of unbalancing depends only of right timing, under heavy circumstances I'll be always helpless. I need my gross motor skills be very well trained to not depend only on those very sophisticated ones.

I have a big issue with timing from a realistic standpoint. One of the problems I have with TMAs in general is they are typcially practiced from a postion of prior knowledge and parity. That is, both uke and nage have equal balance and knowledge and begin the "fight" with one trying to off balance the other. The issue with this is that timing becomes a huge focus.

In reality, when dealing with Hand 2 Hand situations, someone is at a disadvantage. That is, someone has structure and the other person does not. So, if you are trying to get balance or kuzushi then it means that you don't have structure and the other person does.

So, the issue for me is a two part problem: "how do you gain back your structure when you don't have it" and Second, "then how do you take his".

Timing cannot play a big part in this equation because it is very tight and it really becomes about structure. So, first, I must gain integrity in myself, then I can worry about taking his structure.

There are alot of different mechanics that go into it, but simply there are two body crosses and a head. The lower cross at the hips and the upper cross at the shoulders, and then we have the head on the spine and were the head goes, the body must follow. Working in various planes and positions to break his spinal alignment is key. You can do this through Atemi as well.

I won't really get into the mechanics and techniques as it is much too complicated of a conversation to go into to try and discuss over the internet.

Mark Freeman
11-28-2011, 08:38 AM
Timing cannot play a big part in this equation because it is very tight and it really becomes about structure. So, first, I must gain integrity in myself, then I can worry about taking his structure.

Hi Kevin

I bolded what I think is the key phrase in you post, whether you call it 'integrity', 'mind body co-ordination', or 'aiki', if this is not in place then taking someone elses structure is going to be a matter of strength, where their balance is, a bit of technique and a bit of luck, all dependant on their skill level.

There are alot of different mechanics that go into it, but simply there are two body crosses and a head. The lower cross at the hips and the upper cross at the shoulders, and then we have the head on the spine and were the head goes, the body must follow. Working in various planes and positions to break his spinal alignment is key. You can do this through Atemi as well.

I would add, where the mind goes, the body must follow. I fully agree that the physical structure is incredibly important, but it is the mind that that leads, If I control uke's mind on contact (or preferably before), his balance can be broken before he even knows it.

I won't really get into the mechanics and techniques as it is much too complicated of a conversation to go into to try and discuss over the internet.

Ah, a wise man ;)

regards,

Mark

Mark Freeman
11-28-2011, 08:54 AM
that is why probably ikkyo is the most important and most difficult technique in aikido because it relies purely on timing. You can only make it work if the timing is perfect.

Hi Mario,

I'm not sure I can agree with the above statement, on any level. Why is it the most important? why is it the most difficult? Why does it rely purely on timing?

It is difficult for us all to comprehend aikido and as such, we can discuss it endlessly here on this site. Personally I like ikkyo, I find it really easy, of course timing is important, depending on the dynamics of the attack, but purely? surely not, there is so much more that has to be in place for the timing to be effective (distance, balance, structure, relaxation, mind, intent etc)

I don't see any of the aikido techniques/exercises as having a hierarchy of importance, they are all useful tools for practicing the principles of aikido, which I see as the raison d'etre of aikido.

I am not saying that you are wrong, as I would be interested in why you say what you say.

regards

Mark

tarik
11-28-2011, 10:39 AM
that is why probably ikkyo is the most important and most difficult technique in aikido because it relies purely on timing. You can only make it work if the timing is perfect.

"Ikkyo" can be done with any timing, sen no sen, go no sen, or sen sen no sen. Timing is merely a way of describing when, in the duration of uke's attack, tori is applying "ikkyo". The only correctness in using timing is when you are looking for a specific variation of "ikkyo" that looks a specific way in relation to a specific attack.

Best,

tarik
11-28-2011, 10:49 AM
I don't have time to discuss it in deep right know, will come back later. Only quick overview - if uke is not passive, he can regain his balance even after being totally unbalanced. That happens because nage is always making errors.

An uke (passive or not) can regain his balance because it's a totally natural thing to attempt to do. It has nothing to do with tori's errors, except in that tori should be able to prevent it through their connection. Passivity is a separate, tangentially related topic, IME, than uke's ability to recover their balance and posture.

With traditional aikido practice we may have impression that every technique is successful -- Uke always helps Nage more or less. But when Uke become very active, suddenly all delusions of grandeur go away and we are faced with painful reality -- our techniques always sucks.

In my mind, uke should be recovering naturally as it is the process of their recovery that offers tori the opportunity to effect a technique, using uke's natural recovery process. Unfortunately, our uke's are too often primed and trained to make programmed ukemi instead of a programmed recovery, with ukemi being something that just happens if tori is correctly connected and in the way of a natural recovery.

Best,

Gary David
11-28-2011, 01:50 PM
This is because I do NOT use timing at all. I use aiki. When the connection happens, at any point, they are controlled through aiki. I would suggest people learn more about the connections Ueshiba himself talked about that are his aikido. Then learn about aiki.

I have found that aiki is a very good way to practice aiki-do. Most teachers I meet and do Aikido with, are quite taken at the idea of using aiki in aiki-do and other combative s.
Dan

I agree with Dan.

Having said that...isn't the imbalance what happens as you actively complete whatever action you are taking.....don't you destabilize first? When you imbalance a body immediate signals are sent to self-correct alignment. When you destabilize without providing other signals, such as to strong a grip, that tell the uke's sub-conscience mind that something bad is about to happen then the completing action happens without any foreknowledge. You can destabilize in in number of ways, such as lifting their center, double weighting them on one side, breaking the parallels in their body, weighting them on the edges of their feet, on their toes or continuing the natural curves in their attacks...to the point of imbalance.......once there you complete your actions and they are gone. The set up can be done without aiki, but you should have it for the completing....makes things easier.....
Gary

Ken McGrew
11-28-2011, 05:05 PM
This would be the best solution, however for most of us, mortals, unreachable with serious, difficult attack (it means also correct distans, not zombi attacking from 10 feet away).
Timespace is so very small, that human brain can't handle it normally.

I think this assumption is the problem. O Sensei, for example, insisted on attacks coming from at least three steps away. His thinking, reportedly, was why let an attacker get closer than that. If someone comes in slower you can back away to maintain proper distance. At any rate, as someone closes the distance to attack they are vulnerable to a kick from Nage. That's why they have to close the distance quickly and if they are smart from a side angle. So the close in short attacks that I think you are worried about only happen when someone sucker punches you or else you are going toe to toe in order to fight them... which you should not be doing if you want to do Aikido as that's not what Aikido is good for. Ideally you want Uke to unbalance himself from the attack. There are ways to encourage this. Once off balance don't let Uke regain his or her balance. Almost all strikes will unbalance Uke at least slightly. Remember, if Uke wants to strike you she will have to come to you. Continue to move to a safe place, like the blind spot slightly behind, and Uke will have to continue to move if she wants to try to hit you. You don't have to throw Uke in one short move. You have infinite options.

The sucker punch short strike is difficult to deal with but there are ways, nonetheless, to avoid being struck, lead, and blend Uke off balance even with such a strike. It's not hypothetical. I was taught to deal with these strikes by many Sensei's over many years and continue to train in this manner with more advanced students. Body positing, timing, leaving, joining, these are always relevant and useful. If you are tempted by this difficult situation to stop the attack and then try to move or unbalance Uke, then the usual problems with not leading Uke off balance present themselves... Uke is more likely to change and escalate the attacks, Uke may be bigger/stronger and difficult to move, and Uke may have a knife in the other hand that he stabs you with. This is why failing to get off the line, however good you may be at unbalancing Uke (by whatever means), is incredibly dangerous. Once Uke is able to stop moving himself from the initial attack it becomes very easy to change. He can cut you even as he falls.

Don't give up and assume that it can't be done because you are struggling with it now. You see the vulnerabilities and therefore are able to improve. It is possible that there are things in Uke or Nage that you could correct. But it may also be that you are training correctly and simply need to stick with it longer.

NagaBaba
11-28-2011, 07:59 PM
Well, as far as I learned it, taking the balance is not an issue of timing or atemi or combine ones own movement with that of the attacker. But I learned that creating kuzushi is a matter of using what is called " atari" at us. And creating atari allmost seems to be a synonym of "making aiki".
In practice this means to have a contact somewhere between the bodies of tori and aite. Often it's hands or arms (relaxed, no grabbing, hands are open). But it is possible with every part of the body. This contact/atari effects the structure of aites body, takes his balance and make him collapse. (This is different from what some teacher do, creating contact from center to center. Even if the center/tanden is central also in this work.)
Learning to do this needs "special" excercises, not identical with the waza of aikido.

Aikido waza are one possible application of "making aiki", providing structures to use aiki in a certain way. But they themself don't teach aiki. They use it. This to me seems an important difference to other teachings of aikido a experience in some dojo.

This is - in very insufficient and a bit "helpless" words - what I learn. And I am still a beginner of this way of doing aikido.

There is no IP/IS in the way it is meant and discussed here on aikiweb taught in our aikido. But the more you try to understand and to do it, the more you got to go and explore into yourself, your own body. What we do is clearly different from what is often discussed here. But it kind of points in the same direction: Getting aikido as a internal martial art. Which it often is not.
When you mentioned atari I was curious and googled it. Now I understand from where you are coming from. In your approach uke is dressed and has to play particular role in the technique. In such conditions taking balance is a children play. And it allows you to do very sophisticated research.
However my opinion is that this approach is an illusion and dead end.

NagaBaba
11-28-2011, 08:06 PM
I have a big issue with timing from a realistic standpoint. One of the problems I have with TMAs in general is they are typcially practiced from a postion of prior knowledge and parity. That is, both uke and nage have equal balance and knowledge and begin the "fight" with one trying to off balance the other. The issue with this is that timing becomes a huge focus.

In reality, when dealing with Hand 2 Hand situations, someone is at a disadvantage. That is, someone has structure and the other person does not. So, if you are trying to get balance or kuzushi then it means that you don't have structure and the other person does.

So, the issue for me is a two part problem: "how do you gain back your structure when you don't have it" and Second, "then how do you take his".

.
I don't understand what do you mean by 'having structure' or 'not having structure'. I find it very weird wording. Universally understood word in aikido is rather 'position' 'posture' or 'alignment' of the body. If this what you mean, so I disagree completely. In Hand 2 Hand situation both ppl can have correct alignment. It is easy to see i.e. in boxing.

NagaBaba
11-28-2011, 08:13 PM
An uke (passive or not) can regain his balance because it's a totally natural thing to attempt to do.
Best,
I disagree. It is easy to experience by yourself. Practice unbalancing with first time beginner, and put him on the tatami. Nobody will regain 'naturally' his balance. They are collapsing and crashing on the mat.

In fact there is no universal definition of 'doing natural movement'. So it is useless to use it here.

NagaBaba
11-28-2011, 08:23 PM
I think this assumption is the problem. O Sensei, for example, insisted on attacks coming from at least three steps away. His thinking, reportedly, was why let an attacker get closer than that. If someone comes in slower you can back away to maintain proper distance. At any rate, as someone closes the distance to attack they are vulnerable to a kick from Nage. That's why they have to close the distance quickly and if they are smart from a side angle. So the close in short attacks that I think you are worried about only happen when someone sucker punches you or else you are going toe to toe in order to fight them... which you should not be doing if you want to do Aikido as that's not what Aikido is good for. Ideally you want Uke to unbalance himself from the attack. There are ways to encourage this. Once off balance don't let Uke regain his or her balance. Almost all strikes will unbalance Uke at least slightly. Remember, if Uke wants to strike you she will have to come to you. Continue to move to a safe place, like the blind spot slightly behind, and Uke will have to continue to move if she wants to try to hit you. You don't have to throw Uke in one short move. You have infinite options.

The sucker punch short strike is difficult to deal with but there are ways, nonetheless, to avoid being struck, lead, and blend Uke off balance even with such a strike. It's not hypothetical. I was taught to deal with these strikes by many Sensei's over many years and continue to train in this manner with more advanced students. Body positing, timing, leaving, joining, these are always relevant and useful. If you are tempted by this difficult situation to stop the attack and then try to move or unbalance Uke, then the usual problems with not leading Uke off balance present themselves... Uke is more likely to change and escalate the attacks, Uke may be bigger/stronger and difficult to move, and Uke may have a knife in the other hand that he stabs you with. This is why failing to get off the line, however good you may be at unbalancing Uke (by whatever means), is incredibly dangerous. Once Uke is able to stop moving himself from the initial attack it becomes very easy to change. He can cut you even as he falls.

Don't give up and assume that it can't be done because you are struggling with it now. You see the vulnerabilities and therefore are able to improve. It is possible that there are things in Uke or Nage that you could correct. But it may also be that you are training correctly and simply need to stick with it longer.

Good post Ken.
I also saw old video of O sensei and it is true that his ukes are attacking from very far. May be for demo purpose only, who knows.

If someone comes in slower you can back away to maintain proper distance. At any rate, as someone closes the distance to attack they are vulnerable to a kick from Nage.
You can't go back forever. And you can't limit your techniques only to kicking - we are not doing kickboxing LOL

That's why they have to close the distance quickly and if they are smart from a side angle.

Yes, such attack I'm interested to talk about unbalancing. Most experiences attackers do it that way. How will you structure a training to get your students familiar and what kind of training solution you can see?

Kevin Leavitt
11-29-2011, 12:15 AM
I don't understand what do you mean by 'having structure' or 'not having structure'. I find it very weird wording. Universally understood word in aikido is rather 'position' 'posture' or 'alignment' of the body. If this what you mean, so I disagree completely. In Hand 2 Hand situation both ppl can have correct alignment. It is easy to see i.e. in boxing.

Structure, or integrity....posture or alignment can work too I suppose, although, you can have structure or integrity and NOT have "posture" or alignment". The semantics of those two words I think don't really capture the concept as you can be odd positions.

Sure you can reach a situation in which both people have integrity and are simply "trading blows" in most H2H situations though it is typically short lived with one person getting the advantage over the other.

Of course it is easy to see in boxing...you have a ref that breaks up the fight and re-establishes the parity in the situation once it is lost by one of the fighters! Actually this is a VERY good example of what I am talking about and is really the big difference as to why MMA is vastly different (for example) than boxing. In MMA the fight is continued after structure is lost and allowed to continue until one of the opponents is no longer able to fight back, the fight stalls to a degree of bordom, or the situation becomes too dangerous in the eyes of the ref and a winner is declared.

Of course we can practice this in Aikido as well and I am sure most do to some degree. Kaeshi waza or reversals is how we do this. Uke attacks and give up structure/integrity and then works to regain it. It can involve timing, as timing is always present in any situation, however, I think timing is a minor element as to me timing implies that I am "waiting" to find a gap in nage's technique and exploit it. So to me timing is EXTERNAL to YOU and depends on nage. What is more primary is what is going on INSIDE of you and what you do with your OWN body to regain your integrity and reverse the situation. You will, at least in theory, cross through a postion where both uke and nage have reached parity, in most cases I believe it is a brief point, however sometimes it is not and it manifest as a "struggle". This is the point that most of us concentrate on reducing or avoiding as we want to be on the side of "winning" which means simply that you have broken the other guy's structure/integrity.

So when we get in that "struggle" we need something that is going to turn the tables and disrupts his "system" allowing you to gain control. and that is the essence of what we are talking about I believe is at that point in time where you need to break his structure. It can be atemi, a weapon...it can involve timing, a distraction, or you can disrupt his feedback processes through your own body, which involves various methods of reducing tension, proprioception or "shifting" etc.

Specifically, this is what will in reality, I believe, give us a distinct advantage over our opponent when all else is equal (or not equal). "all else" meaning speed, timing, weight, strength, and technical skills...things like that.

Hope this helps clarify my perspective on things!

Kevin Leavitt
11-29-2011, 12:52 AM
To make a few comments on Ken McGrew's post:

"I think this assumption is the problem. O Sensei, for example, insisted on attacks coming from at least three steps away. His thinking, reportedly, was why let an attacker get closer than that.

Correct, why would you "let" a person get any closer than this? In fact if I am in that much control of the situation I will not "let" him get even that close. The irony of the situation from a empty hand situation is that I am having to use my body to defend myself, then I am not "letting" him do anything, I do not have a choice in this situation and must deal with it and at whatever distance he is at. Rule of 21 implies that he has closed the distance, if he is 3 steps, then he is 1 step, and then no steps. We would like to think we have that much control of the situation, however in reality we don't if we are fighting. That is the whole issue I have with parity. We assume it and assume we have knowledge and theoretical control over something that in realit we probably do not.

So IMO, we need to set up our "problem sets" in which we have lost control of the situation and we don't have control at 3 steps. Simply put we are either already winning or we are losing. It is one or the other, unless it is a sport like boxing, we don't have parity. That is why they have a ref in boxing...if two boxers could maintain parity....you'd have no need for a ref!

So, your first paragraph assumes alot in the situation, IMO, that is you have that much control and knowledge. This paradigm strongly favors "timing" as a factor of success and IMO and experiences is why most martial methodlogies fail in the real world. timing is a poor strategy to rely on.

Sucker punches: it is only a sucker punch if he suprises you and punches you, otherwise it is not a sucker punch! sucker punches by definition and situation are the product of the element of suprise. That is, he has the jump on you, has used this as a tactic to achieve some degree of suprise and overwhelm you in an attempt to dominate you. How you deal with it is you either quickly establish your structure/integrity, or you don't. If he connects and knocks you out...well game over, if he doesn't...well then what do you do to turn the fight back in your favor? Timing doesn't work, ducking might by you a second, but what then.....what is your structure like? how do you follow up and close his OODA loop?

Knife: they suck, if he has one and he has closed distance and is in charge, you are going to get stabbed and stabbed probably over and over. Unfortunately, you cannot really gain control of the knife until you have disrupted his OODA process and his structure/integrity before attempting to control the knife. sure you can block and you might even get a hand on his arm to slow down the attacks, but the fact will still remain until you can go through the steps of fixing your integrity then disrupting his, you are really not going to turn the tables. So, the quicker you can do this, the better off you will be. the fact that he has a knife doesn't really change the process, it does add a degree of difficulty and of course it has upped the stakes dramatically, and yes it sucks, but you still have to go through the same process.

Getting off the line: I don't really like this paradigm as it assumes a degree of control that you may not have. In theory, yes you need to get off the line of attack, and there are probably some semantics in this statement, but I think for most we think of getting off the line as a particular movement of body position and control...the paradigm assumes too much I think for most. How do you get off the line if he is on your back? how do you get off the line if he is in the mount, how do you get off the line if he is clinching you up against the wall and stabbing you? again, in theory, yes, you want to change the angle of your defense to place his posture at a position in which he cannot effectively attack you, however, to me, we need to look at much more in the situation than an external manifestation of physical movement of "getting off the line". This IMO is why we need to consider what is going on inside ourselves, how to I quickly and intuitively move to regain my structure, then affect his and gain the advantage to control him again?

". If someone comes in slower you can back away to maintain proper distance. "

My years of experience in teaching CQB have proven this to be a fallacy. You cannot back up and maintain proper distance and be successful. Sure, you may delay the attack for a brief moment. It goes back to OODA. If you are back pedaling, then you are not in control of the fight and he is, so in order to gain control, you will eventually have to do something to disrupt his process which will involve entering his structure some how. Aikido randori also demonstrates this concept very well. Rule of 21 is all about this as well and is another way of explaining the concept. I have found it better to quickly Observe/Orient and then Decide/ACT...this translates in most cases in entering very quickly with good structure/integrity and disrupt his process. You do this by moving forward and establishing control.

Back pedaling is equal to the concept of "bargining" that is, I am trying to "by time" and delay the inevitable. Our natural instinct is to do this, especially when we are presented with a danger we have not processed. I equate this to putting your hand on a hot stove accidently, our instincts are to pull away and in that case it works, however in a fight, it typically does not, so IMO and experiences it will usually end up bad for us and a better instinct is to program ourselves to do something more "proactive" or different.

Chris Li
11-29-2011, 01:06 AM
So IMO, we need to set up our "problem sets" in which we have lost control of the situation and we don't have control at 3 steps. Simply put we are either already winning or we are losing. It is one or the other, unless it is a sport like boxing, we don't have parity. That is why they have a ref in boxing...if two boxers could maintain parity....you'd have no need for a ref!


Reminds me of when I was in Karate, years ago. I asked the instructor what would happen if we end up on the ground - the answer was "don't end up on the ground". I get the point - keep the situation where it's favorable to you - unfortunately things don't usually work out that well for me :) .

Best,

Chris

Carsten Möllering
11-29-2011, 03:15 AM
... However my opinion is that this approach is an illusion and dead end.
I am used to this opinion. I very often hear it.
I started this way of practice some six years ago. It attracted me so much, and I committed myself to it because it was the first time, someone showed me a way of aikido which didn't depend on ukes cooperation. ;)

Three thoughts:

1) You are right: uke is expected to be "answering", to be responsive, to become very flexible and soft. So tori can experience and explore his own body and the connection to uke.

2) You are wrong: uke is not made to please tori and make his waza work. On the contrary he is expected to clearly show tori his faults. And the more advanced uke and nage are, the more "heavy" uke will be.

3) I am used to practice with experienced judoka. I experienced this certain way of aikido to work on them. I could take balance, I could control them, I could throw them when I had started to change my aikido This was mostly not possible, with what I had learned and done for the first twelve years of my practice.

In conclusion:
Yes, you are right insofar as this way of practicing involves the danger to lead to a totally harmless way of aikido. :o But isn't this a danger in every style which works with kata practice?

No, you are wrong insofar as you call this way a dead end. ... :cool:

Mario Tobias
11-29-2011, 04:25 AM
Hi Mario,

I'm not sure I can agree with the above statement, on any level. Why is it the most important? why is it the most difficult? Why does it rely purely on timing?

It is difficult for us all to comprehend aikido and as such, we can discuss it endlessly here on this site. Personally I like ikkyo, I find it really easy, of course timing is important, depending on the dynamics of the attack, but purely? surely not, there is so much more that has to be in place for the timing to be effective (distance, balance, structure, relaxation, mind, intent etc)

I don't see any of the aikido techniques/exercises as having a hierarchy of importance, they are all useful tools for practicing the principles of aikido, which I see as the raison d'etre of aikido.

I am not saying that you are wrong, as I would be interested in why you say what you say.

regards

Mark

I don't fully understand ikkyo myself but just from experience and teachings of high ranking aikidoka, it is not the technique itself that is important with ikkyo but how to read intent of your partner and act on it accordingly. The principle being you are already there even before the attack has begun, but not too early. It is more the mental aspect that you are trying to hone much more than the physical. ikkyo from suwari waza is a good example of this. You dont wait for the attack to start. Looking it at this perspective, ikkyo is not that easy...It maybe easy for you but not for me.

I imagine if you are faced with an accomplished swordsman and we try ikkyo as a defense, you will get cut down. Forget about the youtube videos where a lot of aikidoka successfully use ikkyo for defense. Some of them might be legit but some not so imo. Remember you only need the farthest 3rd of the sword to kill. Only by being "ahead" of the opponent can you successfully defend. This I think can only be done by reading the person's intent. By saying that timing is not an important factor for ikkyo I disagree because ikkyo is counterintuitive...you do strong irimi directly to an attacking opponent. Be too early, you will get cut, Hesitate with the irimi and you will also get cut.

I would think Osensei put ikkyo (first teaching) as first since it is important enough to warrant it being the first to be taught?

This is just my understanding though.

Michael Varin
11-29-2011, 05:02 AM
Nice post, Mario.

I believe the point you made above is critical.

The only way to move as you describe, and be non-random, is aiki.

When facing a weapon as devastating as a sword, this skill/ability is so much more important than the "IP/IT/IS" skills that we see discussed so often on these forums (which, of course, are not unimportant in and of themselves).

Kevin Leavitt
11-29-2011, 05:20 AM
Agree, the concept of ma-ai is very important and primary focuses on timing and the ability to read subtle clues and shifts. This is a very important aspect of Aikido for sure and one that I think gets marginalized a great deal. There are many instances in which this would come into play and is important, but it also has to be backed up with stuff of alot more substance if whoever you are "reading" and "communicating with decides your "conversation" is one he wishes to change or doesn't speak your "language".

Michael Varin
11-29-2011, 05:33 AM
Agree, the concept of ma-ai is very important and primary focuses on timing and the ability to read subtle clues and shifts. This is a very important aspect of Aikido for sure and one that I think gets marginalized a great deal. There are many instances in which this would come into play and is important, but it also has to be backed up with stuff of alot more substance if whoever you are "reading" and "communicating with decides your "conversation" is one he wishes to change or doesn't speak your "language".

Great point!

Carsten Möllering
11-29-2011, 05:33 AM
... The principle being you are already there even before the attack has begun, but not too early.
This is a timing of ikkyo I am not familiar with. Why do try to be "already there even before the attack has begun"? What is the purpose?
And to you try to have this same timing also when executing other techniques?

You dont wait for the attack to start. When it is tori who iniates ukes attack this is not the same as being already there" inmy eyes?

Looking it at this perspective, ikkyo is not that easy...It maybe easy for you but not for me.

Only by being "ahead" of the opponent can you successfully defend.
I agree about tachi doir being more or less a training tool. But here also: Why do you have to be ahaed of the opponent? We don't practice this timing in tachi dori ikkyo.

I would think Osensei put ikkyo (first teaching) as first since it is important enough to warrant it being the first to be taught?
Wasn't this simply due to the Daito ryu curriculum (ippon dori being part of ikkajo)?

The only way to move as you describe, and be non-random, is aiki.
If I see it right, you understand timing as an aspect of aiki?

Michael Varin
11-29-2011, 05:43 AM
The only way to move as you describe, and be non-random, is aiki.

If I see it right, you understand timing as an aspect of aiki?

It really depends on your perspective. I can easily see why Morihei would have said timing was not a factor.

It has nothing to do with anticipating or strategizing, but there is a certain time in which you must be moving.

I think it is more of a question about what moves you.

bob_stra
11-29-2011, 09:37 AM
Well, as far as I learned it, taking the balance is not an issue of timing or atemi or combine ones own movement with that of the attacker. But I learned that creating kuzushi is a matter of using what is called " atari" at us.

Ok, but doesn't atari basically equate to Atteru, which means "match" or "win", with the idea being, by the time he gets there, you've won already? Kinda like that diagram and video I cited?

You guys know the kanji: 合ってる.

It seems like the word is being treated as a noun, like "ki" or "kokyu". But actually it is a verb, in a progressive conjugation.

合う - au "to match, to meet"
合って(い)る - atte-(i)ru "matching, meeting"

It seems like Endo-sensei was using it particularly idiomatically to indicate a certain kind of matching, perhaps an interaction with the opponent's ki, the ki "matching".

This reminds me of something I heard and saw demonstrated by an Iwama instructor in Nagoya (Takumo Sensei of Saito Hirohito's Iwama Shinshin Aiki Shurenkai). He told a student that he was doing great, but he would really improve when he grasped "awase".

Now, "awase" is written with the same kanji as "aiki", and the same kanji as "atteru": 合わせ. But while 合う is intransitive, 合わせ is transitive (in this case in a gerund form). The instructor went on to explain "awase" as (he said) Saito Morihiro used to demonstrate it.

He had the student grab his hand in morotetori, as hard as he could (as we are wont in Iwama style). With the student holding on hard, he said, "With awase, you should be able to scratch your head, and your butt." Then with a slight movement, vaguely similar to morotetori kokyuho, he reached up and scratched his head, despite the students efforts to hold his arm down. Then he brought his hand down on the same track, slightly turned his body, and scratched his rear-end. There was no straining, or muscling up; he moved his hand up as if the student wasn't there, and then back down the same way.

Working out with this exercise, it definitely reminded me of my work out with Rob John. I don't actually think Takumo-sensei is a master of internal power (though I may be wrong!), but I think what he was teaching was certainly a fundamental aspect of aikido, and if nothing else the very beginnings of internal training.

Essentially, IMO, Endo-sensei and Takumo-sensei were talking about the "ai" of aikido, what exactly it means.

Chris Li
11-29-2011, 09:54 AM
I would think Osensei put ikkyo (first teaching) as first since it is important enough to warrant it being the first to be taught?

This is just my understanding though.

Not to pick nits, but he didn't put it first - it was already there, as the first technique in the Ikajo series of Daito-ryu.

Best,

Chris

tarik
11-29-2011, 10:28 AM
I disagree. It is easy to experience by yourself. Practice unbalancing with first time beginner, and put him on the tatami. Nobody will regain 'naturally' his balance. They are collapsing and crashing on the mat.

And if your technique doesn't cause them to fall down, what do they do if you say nothing?

Even if it does cause them to fall down, what do they do next, without being prompted?

Would it be fair to describe that, if not injured, 100% of them will return to whatever perception of appropriate posture and balance that they have?

When you simply push an untrained person, even with a skillful vector that might result in a fall, after receiving the initial push (ukemi), what happens in their body, whether they fall or manage to remain upright? How do their muscles react? Is there variation? Is it predictable? Is it natural or unnatural?

In fact there is no universal definition of 'doing natural movement'. So it is useless to use it here.

I agree, without a shared definition it's difficult to have a discussion. But without an understanding of how human beings naturally (in their variations) interact with gravity all you have is some pretty dancing wherein both partners are required to do their part.

Start with a child learning to walk and observe their neuro-muscular behavior and how they deal with balance and movement in their learning process and you have a good starting place. Extend

A child can learn a lot of bad habits from the beginning, but it is clearly a natural process for a human being to attempt to recover their balance and posture (even a poor one) immediately upon losing it.

The model of ukemi that does not include that process as uke receives force is flawed, IME. Too many models teach uke to give up their posture (and often balance) in order to maintain their connection a 'look' a certain way.

Best,

Aikibu
11-29-2011, 10:57 AM
Nothing takes balance like atemi.

Word...The Trick is... to get Uke to fully commit to their attack first before applying it. Lots of folks saying that exact same thing in so many different ways and it's easy to talk the talk... but walking the walk in this regard is still the nexus of my practice after 20 years. :)

William Hazen

phitruong
11-29-2011, 06:58 PM
I also saw old video of O sensei and it is true that his ukes are attacking from very far. May be for demo purpose only, who knows.


attack from far away? that's too easy to deal with. i guess his aikido must not be very good. :)

Mario Tobias
11-30-2011, 01:53 AM
This is a timing of ikkyo I am not familiar with. Why do try to be "already there even before the attack has begun"? What is the purpose?
And to you try to have this same timing also when executing other techniques?

When it is tori who iniates ukes attack this is not the same as being already there" inmy eyes?

Looking it at this perspective, ikkyo is not that easy...It maybe easy for you but not for me.

I agree about tachi doir being more or less a training tool. But here also: Why do you have to be ahaed of the opponent? We don't practice this timing in tachi dori ikkyo.

Wasn't this simply due to the Daito ryu curriculum (ippon dori being part of ikkajo)?

If I see it right, you understand timing as an aspect of aiki?

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

This is a video of Hikitsuchi sensei, 10th dan, explaining the attack initiation for the ikkyo series as well as other principles discussed.

Carsten Möllering
11-30-2011, 01:56 AM
Ok, but doesn't atari basically equate to Atteru, which means "match" or "win", ...
The word Endo sensei uses is 当たり (from 当てる - a te ru). It is related to 当て身 (a te mi).So his is different from what Josua Reyer suggested.
When sensei talks in english he uses the words "engagement" and "connection" to translate what atari means: "... the atari of ki and ki and of body and body, the connection between ki and ki, the connection at the point of contact between body and body".

... with the idea being, by the time he gets there, you've won already?
This is not the idea of atari as it is understood in our practice. atari as far as I understand it, means that tori touches aite or is touched by aite and now uses this touch, this connection of the two bodies, to guide aite.
It's a little bit like to "chime in" the steering of aites body by touching him or by being touched by him. And we practice this beginning with static exercises. So there is no anticipating or being before.

Kinda like that diagram and video I cited?
What I see in your video is different from what I know as atari. And also your Diagram doesn't fit to my understanding of atari.
Guiding by atari can use big movements. Or can use very small or just not to be seen or felt movements.
But atari can also be used to send the energy or power of aite directly back on just the same way it came to you. This would be the above on the left side of your diagram. This feels like runnig into cotton wool. But it has an effect like walking into a wall made of granite. Both feelings at the same time.
This is because the atari is "created from inside out" and not only by the touched part of the body. It is more about on struture affecting another structure.

Ken McGrew
11-30-2011, 11:47 AM
Good post Ken.
I also saw old video of O sensei and it is true that his ukes are attacking from very far. May be for demo purpose only, who knows.

You can't go back forever. And you can't limit your techniques only to kicking - we are not doing kickboxing LOL

Yes, such attack I'm interested to talk about unbalancing. Most experiences attackers do it that way. How will you structure a training to get your students familiar and what kind of training solution you can see?

My comments were in response to your concerns as posted. My general point is that attacks come fast and hard. Otherwise run away. If you can't run away for some reason and the attacker wades in on you, kick him or strike him. If you don't know how to do that then Aikido (meaning unbalancing him with his own attack energy) is still quite possible... but will require a higher level of skill/experience. Not something you'll get overnight. Aikido is not an easy art to learn to do at the higher levels.

There is a difference between how to train beginners, how to train senior students, and how to respond in a self defense situation on the street. They are related by not always in an obvious or straightforward manner.

Beginning students should, in my view which I inherit from O Sensei via Saotome Sensei, should practice in a highly cooperative manner. This can be too cooperative. It's a thin line. But basically in a highly cooperative manner. By training this idealized way Uke helps Nage to learn to draw out of a real attacker the desired responses. It cannot be taught directly. The unity of opposites of Uke and Nage when training in a cooperative manner teaches both partners things that can't be directly taught and are hard even to put into words. This is what Saotome Sensei calls the seventh sense. Cooperative waza does not preclude the use of exercises that may be static, Etc. Beginning students need to trust the system that O Sensei developed.

Advanced students should engage in a variety of training approaches to develop different skills. They can give each other feedback about when there are weaknesses in the movement/technique. This should not take the form of resistance that leaves Uke vulnerable. Eventually students must understand weapons defense, take musu aiki, Oyo henka, reversals, and randori. All Aikido training should be leading students to handle multiple armed and unarmed attackers. Otherwise it is of very limited self defense value.

A new student in a dojo may give their balance too freely and not recover it. Or the new student may fail to follow all together. These are not the behaviors of dangerous attackers in self defense situations. If we want our bodies to respond correctly when attacked by experienced attackers, we must train with the assumption that the attacker will not make such mistakes as these which leave him completely vulnerable to counter attacks. When a real attacker fails to recover his balance, run away. When he fails to follow, stands there like a statue after attacking, either strike, throw (harder to do without energy from the attacker), or run away. If the attacker keeps or regains his balance then initiates a new attack blend and unbalance with this new attack energy, strike, or run away. There are higher levels of Aikido, which one strives towards, and then there is survival. Much of Aikido is about, as Saotome Sensei says, risk management. Or as the character Mr. Miyagi said, "best defense no be there." Aikido, generally speaking, replacing the counter strike by guiding the attacker off balance, but a failure to understand the option to strike leaves you vulnerable. At the very least it forces you to perform high level Aikido. In case of mistakes it's good to have plan b, c, and d.

danj
12-01-2011, 02:53 AM
May be you didn't read my first post - please refrain in this topic from IS\IP discussion.

"ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS" ;)

Mark Freeman
12-01-2011, 04:47 AM
"ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS" ;)

"Four legs good, two legs bad" ;)

That Orwellian quote in itself strays into forbidden IS/IP territory:)

jonreading
12-01-2011, 07:39 PM
There is a great article on irrimi from Amdur Sensei in the forums right now that I think cuts to the heart of this question. Kuzushi is achieved through irrimi. That is to say the I must always enter to connect to my parter's balance structure before I can perform waza. Kuriowa Sensei called this action "kihon" because it referred to the basic interaction of every aikido technique, "aiki". So "kihon waza" referred to the spontaneous technique resulting after a stated of aiki was established. Specify the technique and you have kata no kihon waza. I really liked the approach Kuriowa Sensei had in this regard because I think we often put the cart before the horse when we try to do technique before we are connected to our partner's balance. If we lose aiki, then we need to establish it again... with another entering move.

While not aikido, it is often easy to spot the entering movement in a good judo match - you can almost see tori's balance go out the window. If somehow tori moves his center and restructures his balance you see another entering movement (and so on). Sometimes its easier to see this transition in judo because the moves are larger and less subtle than in aikido. Eventually, I think the good judo players are simply doing aiki and you're back to having difficulty seeing what is going on.

Timing and distance are components of the entering move. However, both are based upon the attack, not the attacker. I tend to agree with Kevin on this... I would be careful to distinguish between the timing of my partner's action and the timing of the attack. Anyone who has ever heard a 5th grade musical can attest to the fact there is music on a sheet and there is music that is being played, they are not necessarily the same. I should be able to make the same technique work whether I am 3 feet away or 3 inches away (sorry, I don't know the conversions for all your metric freaks:)).

Kevin Leavitt
12-02-2011, 01:28 AM
Jon wrote:

Kuzushi is achieved through irrimi. That is to say the I must always enter to connect to my parter's balance structure before I can perform waza

and to put this in a "western" context...this also is in line with the whole OODA process that I so love to bring up every other post.

NagaBaba
12-02-2011, 11:59 AM
I just had an excellent practice with somebody, he is 6th dan. He can deliver very powerful full speed attack and still controls well his balance. Sensei called hanmi handachi yokomenuchi kotegaeshi and he was attacking me. I had to deploy all my capacities and I used my full experience, yet, I could him unbalance may be twice during 10 minutes. Of course, even in those cases, he recovered his balance immediately I couldn’t even start kotegaeshi.

I was so happy (finally I had something to work on!!), but in the same time, couldn’t find even theoretical solution. I’ve been trying irimi outside of his attacking leg – that actually was twice successful, but couldn’t maintain unbalancing. Other entry was what we call tenchi (pivot on the back foot, front foot goes back behind back foot, 45 degree out of attack line). Most of the time reception of his attack was not soft enough to ‘invite’ him to my space so he bounced back.

As we were hanmi handachi, I couldn’t enter rimi inside of his attacking leg to cut his head/center as it is possible when two ppl are standing. Being on my knees and he standing, he was much more mobile than me and I couldn’t play successfully with distance to ambush him.
Very obviously you can’t catch attacking hand neither to use vertical dimension to put him on my level….
Nice experience.

Ken McGrew
12-03-2011, 01:04 AM
Szeczepan,

I'm not sure how long you've been training, but I think maybe you should be more patient with yourself. A senior student could not be thrown by you if he didn't want to be when he knew what the technique was.

Give yourself time.

Patrick Hutchinson
12-03-2011, 08:15 AM
I believe Szeczepan holds a 5th dan. What does that tell you?

NagaBaba
12-03-2011, 08:26 AM
I believe Szeczepan holds a 5th dan. What does that tell you?

Old, very old... not much time left...

Ken McGrew
12-03-2011, 10:10 AM
I believe Szeczepan holds a 5th dan. What does that tell you?

That it's hard to throw an equally experienced Aikido artist.