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Chris Li
03-25-2012, 02:56 AM
Interesting tidbit - pointed out by one of my guys.

He was looking through "Budo: Teachings of the Founder of Aikido" (the John Stevens translation), and mentioned that he couldn't find any mention of "Elbow Power".

So I looked through the original Japanese and sure enough there was:

第四十九 臂力の養成
"49. Elbow Power Development"

The translation in "Budo: Teachings of the Founder of Aikido":

"49. Developing Arm Power"

:confused:

Best,

Chris

gregstec
03-25-2012, 08:44 AM
Well, I guess the elbow is part of the arm, but there is a big difference ;)

Interesting that there is no description or picture of the "Arm Power" - just a notation that it is "to be imparted by oral instruction" What does the original have to say about #49 ?

Greg

gregstec
03-25-2012, 09:02 AM
Just noticed in Saito's edition of Budo (pages 162 and 163) he shows Morotedori kokyuho as an example of "Elbow Power" and also states there are other practices to develop elbow power besides this techniques - so, it looks like the translators of that book got it right.

Greg

sakumeikan
03-25-2012, 11:17 AM
Dear All, \
I may well be mistaken but there is information and video material related to developing elbow power in Yoshinkan aikido .As the earlier article stated Saito Sensei also mentions /illustrates usage of elbow power in his Aikido volumes. Cheers, Joe.

sakumeikan
03-25-2012, 11:19 AM
Just noticed in Saito's edition of Budo (pages 162 and 163) he shows Morotedori kokyuho as an example of "Elbow Power" and also states there are other practices to develop elbow power besides this techniques - so, it looks like the translators of that book got it right.

Greg

Dear Greg, Thanks for quoting pages in Saito Sensei volume.Cant quite remember the vol no.Was it volume one?? Cheers, Joe

Chris Li
03-25-2012, 11:36 AM
Well, I guess the elbow is part of the arm, but there is a big difference ;)

Interesting that there is no description or picture of the "Arm Power" - just a notation that it is "to be imparted by oral instruction" What does the original have to say about #49 ?

Greg

It has the secret ;)

Actually it says the same thing :(

Best,

Chris

gregstec
03-25-2012, 11:36 AM
Dear Greg, Thanks for quoting pages in Saito Sensei volume.Cant quite remember the vol no.Was it volume one?? Cheers, Joe

Hi Joe, I was not quoting any of Saito's Training volumes, but Saito's edition of Ueshiba's book Budo, which was translated by Tanaka and Pranin and included the original Japanese as well as Saito's own description and pictures of the techniques, etc.

Hope that helps

Greg

DH
03-25-2012, 02:27 PM
Elbow power comes straight from Daito ryu-though it is interesting to note how many in that art have no idea what it means either. It also has a history in the ICMA. When trained properly it is part of a foundational body skill that *defines* both arts for their power and aiki and in fact while having nothing at all to do with the elbow it is expressed there as part of a whole. It has a direct connection to sword as well.

Oddly I keep meeting teacher after teacher, shihan after shihan, who, well....uhm....probably read John Stevens work and were also white guys training under Japanese...hence, like John, have no real knowledge of these very important foundational teachings in their own arts. For that reason I am not inclined to either explain or debate people who continue to demonstrate no real ability or understanding -beyond their ability to write well and debate on the internet. Face to face, for some odd, inexplicable reason...tends to open their ears, and allow us to reach an understanding-meaning they learn some dramatic truths contained in their arts foundation, heretofore not revealed to them.

Once again, once they are taught, I know of no teacher who would ever go back to doing aikido, Daito ryu, or Koryu the way they did it before. Elbow power is extremely potent in demonstrating power and or aiki. I have not see its real depth demonstrated by any Shihan in either art and the sword work is completelty bereft of any understanding of it. On the whole what is shown is always a partial understanding demonstrated in a limited fashion. Oh well.

Thankfully, teachers around the world are now training the arts foundation again. In time Ueshiba's art will return to its former power.
Dan

sakumeikan
03-25-2012, 02:36 PM
Hi Joe, I was not quoting any of Saito's Training volumes, but Saito's edition of Ueshiba's book Budo, which was translated by Tanaka and Pranin and included the original Japanese as well as Saito's own description and pictures of the techniques, etc.

Hope that helps

Greg

Dear Greg,
Possible the same quote /article in both books. I have the 5 volumes of Saito Sensei ,Heart and Appearance ,Saito Sensei again/ Budo and the line drawings of waza in a early volume of O Sensei.This last one is unlike most of the later stuff.Maybe Daito Ryu based? Have not got it at my hand right now so I forget the full title-maybe Budo Renshu??
Cheers, Joe.?

DH
03-25-2012, 03:58 PM
Dear Greg,
Possible the same quote /article in both books. I have the 5 volumes of Saito Sensei ,Heart and Appearance ,Saito Sensei again/ Budo and the line drawings of waza in a early volume of O Sensei.This last one is unlike most of the later stuff.Maybe Daito Ryu based? Have not got it at my hand right now so I forget the full title-maybe Budo Renshu??
Cheers, Joe.?
In my opinion both Shioda's and Saitos books are meaningless *when it comes to the topic of elbow power.* I am not saying the books have no value. They are just irrelevant and have no real value for what elbow power is. They are a discussion of some rather cooperative jujutsu. Shioda did allude to some very interesting things, but then left it and delivered...nothing. Who know's why.
Dan

gregstec
03-25-2012, 04:14 PM
Dear Greg,
Possible the same quote /article in both books. I have the 5 volumes of Saito Sensei ,Heart and Appearance ,Saito Sensei again/ Budo and the line drawings of waza in a early volume of O Sensei.This last one is unlike most of the later stuff.Maybe Daito Ryu based? Have not got it at my hand right now so I forget the full title-maybe Budo Renshu??
Cheers, Joe.?

Hi Joe, there really is not much in the book I referenced other than Saito's use of the term "Elbow Power" instead of "Arm Power" that Stevens used in his translation for the same part of the original Budo book by Ueshiba. And as Dan already mentioned, the technique Saito used in his book is simply a jujutsu movement using the elbow as a point of contact; this is not what Ueshiba meant as elbow power nor what Dan is talking about either.

Greg

gregstec
03-25-2012, 04:55 PM
Just a little Clarafication- morotedori kokyuho could be a good tech to practice elbow power if performed with the proper intent

Greg

HL1978
03-25-2012, 10:38 PM
I assume this is the same sort of thing that the Aunkai refers to as "hiji kara saki", given Akuzawa sensei's exposure to daito ryu?

I can't really explain what Akuzawa Sensei means by that term, other than translating it as "elbow on out.". All i know about the elbows is that they are always pulled downwards towards the ground and kept inwards. This along with the shoulders kind of being pulled down, seems to bypass activating the shoulders.

Chris Li
03-25-2012, 10:58 PM
I assume this is the same sort of thing that the Aunkai refers to as "hiji kara saki", given Akuzawa sensei's exposure to daito ryu?

I can't really explain what Akuzawa Sensei means by that term, other than translating it as "elbow on out.". All i know about the elbows is that they are always pulled downwards towards the ground and kept inwards. This along with the shoulders kind of being pulled down, seems to bypass activating the shoulders.

As I understand it, that came direct from Sagawa.

Best,

Chris

Alic
03-26-2012, 02:47 AM
Erm... I may be wrong but... when I read the course manual for Yoshinkan Aikido, one of our basic movements, the six kihon dozas, is called elbow power.

In Japanese it is written exactly as in the original japanese: hiriki no yosei. Now, from a video of Inoue-sensei I've watch a while back, I remember him saying that the forms of hiriki was different in Aikido vs. Daito-ryu, in that Daito-ryu actually used more raw arm power than Aikido's version, which requires less effort to perform. Each has it's own advantage and disadvantages, so one isn't really better than the other, but they ultimately do the same thing: build timing, coordinated movements, and centreline power (chushin ryoku).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Wm5JexTT9g&list=UU51K0gzdK4asqlcHOSxoN1A&index=36&feature=plcp

here's the video. Hopefully you more qualified folks can find out more from this.

DH
03-26-2012, 11:43 AM
Erm... I may be wrong but... when I read the course manual for Yoshinkan Aikido, one of our basic movements, the six kihon dozas, is called elbow power.

In Japanese it is written exactly as in the original japanese: hiriki no yosei. Now, from a video of Inoue-sensei I've watch a while back, I remember him saying that the forms of hiriki was different in hvs. Daito-ryu, in that Daito-ryu actually used more raw arm power than Aikido's version, which requires less effort to perform. Each has it's own advantage and disadvantages, so one isn't really better than the other, but they ultimately do the same thing: build timing, coordinated movements, and centreline power (chushin ryoku).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Wm5JexTT9g&list=UU51K0gzdK4asqlcHOSxoN1A&index=36&feature=plcp

here's the video. Hopefully you more qualified folks can find out more from this.
That's too bad, as it is never going to get you where you could go. This is what I mean by
"potentials" with aiki and how Kata based budo in general ruins it. It is so limited that you end up taking truly profound teachings and watch them get reduced to near useless, stylized movement. It's why the Japanese never did well on their own turf and only proceeded to lose ground when they started freestyle MMA fighting in Japan. They couldn't adapt. It's the same with IP/aiki. The really profound stuff only comes about by resistence. Unfortunately the arts that have it are all kata based.
Now you have supposedly "Expert" teachers running around and demonstrating inadequately developed body skills, while teaching in broken English with seminar attendees thinking this is deep stuff! At any point in time they could be stopped, and also could be shown a far...far.. better way to accomplish what they are shooting for. In this case I'd bet you anything he would never, on any day, go back to what he is doing in that video once he was taught the body skill behind elbow power. Oh well!
For my part I watch video after video and wonder whether they themselves ever got it, or whether they are just hiding it as it is startling obvious that...that..ain't it. In some cases you see their body disconnect and fail, but in others they are connected and move well, but their connection is not fully developed to where it could be. In either case it sure isn't helping the students is it? Thankfully, we are now helping ourselves; with better information and better teaching models.
Dan

chillzATL
03-26-2012, 12:02 PM
The really profound stuff only comes about by resistence. Unfortunately the arts that have it are all kata based.

That's probably why Ueshiba prefered gardening and working the earth in his later years. I enjoy aikido dojo training and the IS oriented paired practice when I can get it, but I've yet to "feel" anything from either that's on the same level as what I get from applying that way of moving to good, hard garden work.

DH
03-26-2012, 12:15 PM
That's probably why Ueshiba prefered gardening and working the earth in his later years. I enjoy aikido dojo training and the IS oriented paired practice when I can get it, but I've yet to "feel" anything from either that's on the same level as what I get from applying that way of moving to good, hard garden work.
Yard work has decent IP benefits, but spear and pole shaking is better.
I think the best stuff comes from solo and then paired training with someone who is developed themselves for a plethera of reasons. Kata is kindergarten level stuff for IP/aiki-which elbow power is an expression of- that will forever be limited due to the limitations of that venue. IME, it actually prevents serious development.
Dan

Keith Larman
03-26-2012, 12:21 PM
Yeah, I've been experimenting with resistance bands set up all over the place. Changing angles, directions, etc. really messes with my ability to keep "things together". I'm was also surprised at how tiring it is, albeit in a weirdly different way. Then practice with my suburito. Then some kettlebell work daily, but that's physical therapy for a damaged back although I find I can do things differently and start feeling them differently. Then after a while I started to feel like the whole world can be a gigantic playground. Hanging on some stuff, pulling on others, pushing in to a door jamb feeling the connection from toes to hand, etc. I sometimes actually do feel like a kid in a toy store. With free toys. It has been fun...

I just tell my wife I'm doing modified pilates to keep my damaged lumbar spine healthy. "Riiiiight..." she says as she walks away.

Gardening just leaves me crippled with back pain. Still haven't figured out how to do much of that without paying for it later.

Oh, and forgot to add, a couple new students who are willing to let me experiment and grab/pull/hand/drag me around. They haven't been "biased" yet by too much ukemi training and they're willing to push me to failure. Love it...

Aikibu
03-26-2012, 12:22 PM
Well...(sounding like a broken record) We have an Elbow Kata... Six basic movements with the Elbow a beginner must master to improve in rank. I know it's not along the lines of IMA...but all our techniques (Weapons and Empty Hand) focus allot on the "elbow" and "feeling it" during the execution of any movement. It seems to make a big difference. :)

William Hazen

Keith Larman
03-26-2012, 12:26 PM
Yard work has decent IP benefits, but spear and pole shaking is better.
I think the best stuff comes from solo and then paired training with someone who is developed themselves for a plethera of reasons. Kata is kindergarten level stuff for IP/aiki-which elbow power is an expression of- that will forever be limited due to the limitations of that venue. IME, it actually prevents serious development.
Dan

Next time you're in town we need to talk about that. I picked up a pole per your specs. I can do a bit, but I'm sure the issue here is one of form at this point so I don't spend much time at all working on it. Since it also makes my back flare up later. So next time you're in town I hope you'll have time to cover that in a little detail. I'll even bring my "Lowes Hardware Martial Arts Training Pole" ;)

The wife saw that sitting outside. "Now what the *hell* is that for?" So I told her. I'm outside beating a tree with a bokken and jo, rubber tubes here and there, me pushing on the door jambs, me having the kid randomly try to push me over (think Kato in the Pink Panther movies -- it's fun having a kid). Now that I think about my wife walks away from me a lot with that head shaking thing. :D

Alic
03-26-2012, 12:31 PM
Erm... Dan, that's Inoue Kyoichi hanshi 10th dan. He's one of the most powerful masters of Yoshinkan, and one of the original uchi-deshi's of Shioda Gozo. He was Yoshinkan's 2nd kancho, and was the chief Aikido instructor of Tokyo Metropolitan Police. In terms of expertise, no one questioned him. Please do your research before critizing a grandmaster.

Inoue sensei helped Shioda sensei formulate the kihon doza, which was based heavily upon the basic movements as taught by O-sensei. These are the crown jewel of Yoshinkan and the foundational movements of our techniques. We practice them until they're ingrained in our reflexes, and these movements will bleed into the techniques, which contains all of the motions. Shioda kancho has once said that to improve quickly, just do all the movements 1000 times a day.

I know it looks robotic and cumbersome, but remember that this holds true for all of Yoshinkan, and yet Yoshinkan is acknowledged by the Tokyo riot police as their required martial art. I've felt both the power that comes from these movements as demonstrated by my sensei, and my own improvements as I trained with them.

I highly encourage you to try them out before saying they're useless. These movements help focus your centreline and reduce floppy movements, and just training for a month should show visible improvements to your Aikido.

My interest is in whether or not Yoshinkan's hiriki no yosei is at all similar to the one described in O-sensei's book. Since Shioda Gozo was training with O-sensei at the very beginning of Aikido, and definately learned the original elbow power development, he must've incorporated them into the hiriki no yosei of Yoshinkan.

DH
03-26-2012, 12:38 PM
Well...(sounding like a broken record) We have an Elbow Kata... Six basic movements with the Elbow a beginner must master to improve in rank. I know it's not along the lines of IMA...but all our techniques (Weapons and Empty Hand) focus allot on the "elbow" and "feeling it" during the execution of any movement. It seems to make a big difference. :)

William Hazen
Well sure. Basic Japanese models-(meaning lacking real information) if trained well will help to a degree to get the focus off the shoulder. However, the real information is part of a deeper process from internal to external that blows the lid off of conventional budo movement to the point that those same Japanese shihan couldn't touch someone who knows this well. You'd walk right through them.

It's only magnified with weapons, but I have never seen the completeness of the skill in any Japanese teachers movement. I think the Japanese Nage/uke model has severely hampered real progress.
Dan

Lorel Latorilla
03-26-2012, 01:10 PM
Shioda kancho has once said that to improve quickly, just do all the movements 1000 times a day.



This is NOT the way to do it. For me this leads to sloppy, unmindful practise that creates bad habits and a sense of "wow I did the kata 1000 times! I must be becoming a master soon!"--horrible combination. The way to do it is to do obviously repeat and drill things (to ingrain the skills) but in a MINDFUL way. Of course, this all really depends on the training methodology and how well the teacher articulates the bodyskill concepts in the training methodology.

DH
03-26-2012, 01:20 PM
Erm... Dan, that's Inoue Kyoichi hanshi 10th dan. He's one of the most powerful masters of Yoshinkan, and one of the original uchi-deshi's of Shioda Gozo. He was Yoshinkan's 2nd kancho, and was the chief Aikido instructor of Tokyo Metropolitan Police. In terms of expertise, no one questioned him. Please do your research before critizing a grandmaster.

Inoue sensei helped Shioda sensei formulate the kihon doza, which was based heavily upon the basic movements as taught by O-sensei. These are the crown jewel of Yoshinkan and the foundational movements of our techniques. We practice them until they're ingrained in our reflexes, and these movements will bleed into the techniques, which contains all of the motions. Shioda kancho has once said that to improve quickly, just do all the movements 1000 times a day.

I know it looks robotic and cumbersome, but remember that this holds true for all of Yoshinkan, and yet Yoshinkan is acknowledged by the Tokyo riot police as their required martial art. I've felt both the power that comes from these movements as demonstrated by my sensei, and my own improvements as I trained with them.

I highly encourage you to try them out before saying they're useless. These movements help focus your centreline and reduce floppy movements, and just training for a month should show visible improvements to your Aikido.

My interest is in whether or not Yoshinkan's hiriki no yosei is at all similar to the one described in O-sensei's book. Since Shioda Gozo was training with O-sensei at the very beginning of Aikido, and definately learned the original elbow power development, he must've incorporated them into the hiriki no yosei of Yoshinkan.
I know -exactly- who he is. and what those are. I see flaws and always have seen flaws in them. In fact I can point them out and correct them and have done so and shown a better way. His movement lacks the conditioning of both Ueshiba and Shioda needed to do even the limited expression in that kata. There are others here beside me who see it as well.
I am not looking at how robotic in nature. That's kata, and that's okay. There are tell tale indicators for things that are not there and failures in the movements.
Why can't you see those?
In terms of expertise, no one questioned him. Please do your research before critizing a grandmaster.
I accept your standard. Do your own.
Let me ask you:
1. When do you "trust" in others?
2. How do you trust in others?
3. How do you vet the opinions of others?
4. Rank?
5. Actual skill?
6. Reputation with 40 years of cooperating uke in kata demonstrations?
7. Or reputation from standing in rooms with adversarial people bent on taking you apart and never succeeding?
8. How about fighting....with aiki?

There will always be teachers who critique other methods-that is NOT criticizing the teacher. Why do you think there are so many methods of aikido? There is NO disrespect on my end. NONE.
What you are really saying is who am I to critique him.
I am routinely cautioned not to tell the truth, to either avoid or lie about what I see, and down play what I have done and can do. Why? Because people are sensitive to the truth about their teachers and the arts. And pick any art, it isn't just about Aikido.
What does that say?
The truth is there are men who can literally take apart some of the most famous Japanese bad-asses out there-by using the aiki from Ueshiba's aikido. If that shocks you I can only say that when discussing deeper training, true power and aiki... you might be in for some serious awakenings long past any one particular master class teacher or any one art.

For a positive spin...look a it this way.
What if the aiki...in Ueshiba's aikido could actually be world class powerful and take apart most methods in traditional budo and you could learn it in a relatively short time frame?
What if...the best method to learn was from.......Westerners and not the Japanese?
Dan

Eric Joyce
03-26-2012, 01:26 PM
Erm... Dan, that's Inoue Kyoichi hanshi 10th dan. He's one of the most powerful masters of Yoshinkan, and one of the original uchi-deshi's of Shioda Gozo. He was Yoshinkan's 2nd kancho, and was the chief Aikido instructor of Tokyo Metropolitan Police. In terms of expertise, no one questioned him. Please do your research before critizing a grandmaster.

Inoue sensei helped Shioda sensei formulate the kihon doza, which was based heavily upon the basic movements as taught by O-sensei. These are the crown jewel of Yoshinkan and the foundational movements of our techniques. We practice them until they're ingrained in our reflexes, and these movements will bleed into the techniques, which contains all of the motions. Shioda kancho has once said that to improve quickly, just do all the movements 1000 times a day.

I know it looks robotic and cumbersome, but remember that this holds true for all of Yoshinkan, and yet Yoshinkan is acknowledged by the Tokyo riot police as their required martial art. I've felt both the power that comes from these movements as demonstrated by my sensei, and my own improvements as I trained with them.

I highly encourage you to try them out before saying they're useless. These movements help focus your centreline and reduce floppy movements, and just training for a month should show visible improvements to your Aikido.

My interest is in whether or not Yoshinkan's hiriki no yosei is at all similar to the one described in O-sensei's book. Since Shioda Gozo was training with O-sensei at the very beginning of Aikido, and definately learned the original elbow power development, he must've incorporated them into the hiriki no yosei of Yoshinkan.

Hi Alic,

I am a former Yoshinkan practioneer and have done the basic kihon dosa many, many times. After working with Sensei Popkin, hopefully Dan in the very near future, research and working with others, the kihon dosa within the Yoshinkan...specifically the hiriki no yosei movements...do not help in developing that IP or IS. They help with doing Yoshinkan Aikido movements, but it really ends there IMHO.

Aikibu
03-26-2012, 01:51 PM
Well sure. Basic Japanese models-(meaning lacking real information) if trained well will help to a degree to get the focus off the shoulder. However, the real information is part of a deeper process from internal to external that blows the lid off of conventional budo movement to the point that those same Japanese shihan couldn't touch someone who knows this well. You'd walk right through them.

It's only magnified with weapons, but I have never seen the completeness of the skill in any Japanese teachers movement. I think the Japanese Nage/uke model has severely hampered real progress.
Dan

Thanks Dan...I have certainly reached a plateau in my training and I don't like our Iaido very much... which has caused me to be frowned upon within our small community.

Hopefully one of these days I'll meet someone like you Dan who'll motivate me to jump off the edge and leap into a better paradigm.

In the meantime mindful solo practice and the occasional randori session will have to do. I am watching our Art get all fluffy-ed out( Just my opinion please do not take offense Nishio Ryu practitioners) with new "wrinkles" as Nishio Shihan Senior Students make their own impression. What I would give to see some of the more solid Shihan like Tanaka Sensei come and visit. Oh Well. :)

William Hazen

chillzATL
03-26-2012, 01:59 PM
Yard work has decent IP benefits, but spear and pole shaking is better.
I think the best stuff comes from solo and then paired training with someone who is developed themselves for a plethera of reasons. Kata is kindergarten level stuff for IP/aiki-which elbow power is an expression of- that will forever be limited due to the limitations of that venue. IME, it actually prevents serious development.
Dan

I really just see it as general conditioning right now. Some things have a pole shaking feel to me more than others. For instance, post hole diggers and from this past weekend, swinging a pick axe for hours on end. Definintely different, but similar in some ways. Other things seem to provide different conditioning. Throwing 60lb bags of top soil and gravel on my shoulders and moving them from place to place. You quickly feel how the shoulders can raise/tense to support that load and how the lower back, hips/kua, etc start to tense up and kick in when fatigue sets in. When you relax all that stuff out of the way and just let it pass through you, it's stupidly easy to do and takes very little muscle as we commonly think about it. One of the most interesting things to me was the sensation in the feet and the stability that resulted from keeping that pressure in one part of the foot vs. another. One part I felt extremely stable and connected to the ground and the other my feet felt loose, unstable and disconnected from the rest of me. That particular feeling in the feet is something that I've been thinking about a lot when I train in general, so it stood out to me.

chillzATL
03-26-2012, 02:39 PM
Gardening just leaves me crippled with back pain. Still haven't figured out how to do much of that without paying for it later.

I've had some pretty serious lower back issues since I was 17, two years into aikido, and they have plagued me for decades now. Since I started this type of training, I've seen the single biggest improvement in general comfort level since the problems started. It certainly was not an overnight thing, but now that I've gotten to a point that I allow my body to carry itself in the same way that I use it when I'm doing the training, it's made a pretty amazing difference. I spent all day yesterday moving heavy lumber and bags of soil and then digging holes for raised gardens with a shovel and pick axe and I have no ill effects. A year or two ago I probably would have had to take today off after that, if I made it through the day to begin with.

Henrypsim
03-30-2012, 06:45 PM
Thanks Dan...I have certainly reached a plateau in my training and I don't like our Iaido very much... which has caused me to be frowned upon within our small community.

Hopefully one of these days I'll meet someone like you Dan who'll motivate me to jump off the edge and leap into a better paradigm.

In the meantime mindful solo practice and the occasional randori session will have to do. I am watching our Art get all fluffy-ed out( Just my opinion please do not take offense Nishio Ryu practitioners) with new "wrinkles" as Nishio Shihan Senior Students make their own impression. What I would give to see some of the more solid Shihan like Tanaka Sensei come and visit. Oh Well. :)

William Hazen

Uh-Oh........another Aikido heretic in the making. Now I know for sure I am not alone.

Abasan
03-31-2012, 01:24 AM
I really just see it as general conditioning right now. Some things have a pole shaking feel to me more than others. For instance, post hole diggers and from this past weekend, swinging a pick axe for hours on end. Definintely different, but similar in some ways. Other things seem to provide different conditioning. Throwing 60lb bags of top soil and gravel on my shoulders and moving them from place to place. You quickly feel how the shoulders can raise/tense to support that load and how the lower back, hips/kua, etc start to tense up and kick in when fatigue sets in. When you relax all that stuff out of the way and just let it pass through you, it's stupidly easy to do and takes very little muscle as we commonly think about it. One of the most interesting things to me was the sensation in the feet and the stability that resulted from keeping that pressure in one part of the foot vs. another. One part I felt extremely stable and connected to the ground and the other my feet felt loose, unstable and disconnected from the rest of me. That particular feeling in the feet is something that I've been thinking about a lot when I train in general, so it stood out to me.

Jason, how do you deal with the physical compaction of the spine with those drop loads on your shoulders? Or does the act of passing through to the ground, actually involves extension of body alignment such that it naturally averts the compaction the spine?

Henrypsim
03-31-2012, 01:52 PM
I know -exactly- who he is. and what those are. I see flaws and always have seen flaws in them. In fact I can point them out and correct them and have done so and shown a better way. His movement lacks the conditioning of both Ueshiba and Shioda needed to do even the limited expression in that kata. There are others here beside me who see it as well.
I am not looking at how robotic in nature. That's kata, and that's okay. There are tell tale indicators for things that are not there and failures in the movements.
Why can't you see those?

I accept your standard. Do your own.
Let me ask you:
1. When do you "trust" in others?
2. How do you trust in others?
3. How do you vet the opinions of others?
4. Rank?
5. Actual skill?
6. Reputation with 40 years of cooperating uke in kata demonstrations?
7. Or reputation from standing in rooms with adversarial people bent on taking you apart and never succeeding?
8. How about fighting....with aiki?

There will always be teachers who critique other methods-that is NOT criticizing the teacher. Why do you think there are so many methods of aikido? There is NO disrespect on my end. NONE.
What you are really saying is who am I to critique him.
I am routinely cautioned not to tell the truth, to either avoid or lie about what I see, and down play what I have done and can do. Why? Because people are sensitive to the truth about their teachers and the arts. And pick any art, it isn't just about Aikido.
What does that say?
The truth is there are men who can literally take apart some of the most famous Japanese bad-asses out there-by using the aiki from Ueshiba's aikido. If that shocks you I can only say that when discussing deeper training, true power and aiki... you might be in for some serious awakenings long past any one particular master class teacher or any one art.

For a positive spin...look a it this way.
What if the aiki...in Ueshiba's aikido could actually be world class powerful and take apart most methods in traditional budo and you could learn it in a relatively short time frame?
What if...the best method to learn was from.......Westerners and not the Japanese?
Dan

I am certain that O-Sensei's vision will prevail someday. Thanks Dan. Unfortunately from what I have seen and experience in this few days, I doubt I will see it in my life time. O-Sensei might not agree with your last sentence (he is after all, Janpanese) but I am sure he is smiling and winking at you right now.

Lorel Latorilla
04-01-2012, 10:06 AM
I am certain that O-Sensei's vision will prevail someday. Thanks Dan. Unfortunately from what I have seen and experience in this few days, I doubt I will see it in my life time. O-Sensei might not agree with your last sentence (he is after all, Janpanese) but I am sure he is smiling and winking at you right now.

Honestly, I would love for anyone to explain to me how the Japanese way of doing things is better than the Western way. Really.

Aikibu
04-01-2012, 11:10 AM
Honestly, I would love for anyone to explain to me how the Japanese way of doing things is better than the Western way. Really.

Why does it always have to be a zero sum premise is what I want to know....Both approaches have good and bad paradigms...

In nature it's all about sorting adapting and blending "approaches" to "life"... I think they call it "evolution".

IMHO who's to say O'Sensei did not want Aikido to emulate nature and evolve? :)

No ones running around with Samurai Swords ready to cut down evildoers at a moments notice these days.

William Hazen.

Lorel Latorilla
04-01-2012, 11:20 PM
Why does it always have to be a zero sum premise is what I want to know....Both approaches have good and bad paradigms...

In nature it's all about sorting adapting and blending "approaches" to "life"... I think they call it "evolution".

IMHO who's to say O'Sensei did not want Aikido to emulate nature and evolve? :)

No ones running around with Samurai Swords ready to cut down evildoers at a moments notice these days.

William Hazen.

Right, "evolution", "progression", "adapting", "blending"--all of which the Japanese method is incapable of doing.

robin_jet_alt
04-02-2012, 12:13 AM
Right, "evolution", "progression", "adapting", "blending"--all of which the Japanese method is incapable of doing.

How long have you been in Japan Lorel? Over the years I lived there, I went through phases of thinking like that. After about 2 years I got quite negative... Anyway, I don't think it is quite that cut and dried.

Ellis Amdur
04-02-2012, 01:45 AM
Right, "evolution", "progression", "adapting", "blending"--all of which the Japanese method is incapable of doing.

10,000+ ryu in the Edo period, each with significant differences. Daito-ryu, a clear development/progression/adaptation of jujutsu. Judo - - - Kendo - Jukendo from jukenjutsu. Tatei (stage fighting from kenjutsu). ETc.

Oh, and modern aikido, a divergence from the aikido of Ueshiba Morihei, taking it away from a conservative, religiously clotted, hermetic pursuit open only to a few into a modern activity that affects the life of millions.

Within aikido - Tomiki aikido, Yoshinkan, Tohei . . .

Ironically, those who are espousing an alleged "return" to the aikido of Ueshiba Morihei (or at least, a "return" to the kind of body education and function that he allegedly demonstrated - <note: I'm one of them, sort of>) are, actually espousing a conservative movement.

In fact, one might say, those Japanese are too damn progressive.

Ellis Amdur

Lorel Latorilla
04-02-2012, 02:54 AM
Let me explain myself here.

Robin, I have been here for 5 years now, almost. I do not think "negatively", but critically. I wince at the notion of the Japanese method being "progressive" or "evolving", which I think has not been defined here. That is why I asked for an explanation or evidence as to how it is. I appreciate the your patronizing comment though.

Ellis,
Good points. Although I am hypothesizing that the innovations and progressions that occured during the Edo period, etc. were birthed out of necessity of war. And I question whether Tohei, Shioda, Tomiki, etc. had truly made innovations in Ueshiba's art. Did it really improve upon his art? Did those systems make the principles of aikido much more easier attain or did it move away from those principles and were they built upon more superior principles? And were these principles taught in a way that they were adapted to more "modern" demands? My definition of "innovation" and "progression" rest upon these these two ideas.

Now, talking about "elbow power" and internal strength, do traditional Japanese martial artists learning the Japnese way really have a "progressive" method and can they rival some of the methods that some westerners are teaching now? If the principal is "elbow" power, how does the focus on waza and the paired practise system existing in most traditional Japanese systems help me learn "elbow" power in a way will help me protect myself on the "streets" and help me refine those methods based on these principles of elbow power to adapt to modern day versions of pressure testing (i.e., MMA, Dog Brother stick fighting, etc.)? If practising waza in pairs (waza, not exercises that focus on body development like agete, push out in aunkai, etc.) can be a detriment to developing core skills and to help me prepare for more pressured environments, can it be said that this system is "progressive" or "evolving"?

chillzATL
04-02-2012, 07:53 AM
Jason, how do you deal with the physical compaction of the spine with those drop loads on your shoulders? Or does the act of passing through to the ground, actually involves extension of body alignment such that it naturally averts the compaction the spine?

I can't really answer that on any technical level, but it just doesn't seem to be a problem for me at this point. Early on, when I first started doing this, and had to really work at relaxing my lower back (due to the back injuries), I would definitely feel that my lower back was being strained (not in a bad way, more like worked hard) when I would consciously relax my lower back/spine and do things. That fatigue seems to have passed and I guess that my body has just adjusted and gotten stronger. I would think at this point if it were going to impact my spine in a negative way, I'd be feeling it by now, but the exact opposite has been the case. My lower back feels better and stronger now than it has at any point in the last 15-20 years.

My guess, and this is only a guess, is that it has a similar effect as focused lower back stretching, inversion, etc, in that it allows increased blood flow into that area of my back, which helps. I also think that the compaction gets regulated by the body as you get better at relaxing those big muscles and letting the less prominent muscles get stronger and handle the load. It probably wouldn't be good to just jump in and try relaxing your lower back with a big load on your shoulders, but much like any sort of weight training, you build up and increase and get stronger as a result.

Aikibu
04-02-2012, 10:39 AM
10,000+ ryu in the Edo period, each with significant differences. Daito-ryu, a clear development/progression/adaptation of jujutsu. Judo - - - Kendo - Jukendo from jukenjutsu. Tatei (stage fighting from kenjutsu). ETc.

Oh, and modern aikido, a divergence from the aikido of Ueshiba Morihei, taking it away from a conservative, religiously clotted, hermetic pursuit open only to a few into a modern activity that affects the life of millions.

Within aikido - Tomiki aikido, Yoshinkan, Tohei . . .

Ironically, those who are espousing an alleged "return" to the aikido of Ueshiba Morihei (or at least, a "return" to the kind of body education and function that he allegedly demonstrated - <note: I'm one of them, sort of>) are, actually espousing a conservative movement.

In fact, one might say, those Japanese are too damn progressive.

Ellis Amdur

Word...Well said. :)

William Hazen

Aikibu
04-02-2012, 11:18 AM
Right, "evolution", "progression", "adapting", "blending"--all of which the Japanese method is incapable of doing.

With all due respect Lorel...Isn't Akuzawa Minoru Japanese? :)

William Hazen

thisisnotreal
04-02-2012, 11:48 AM
Honestly, I would love for anyone to explain to me how the Japanese way of doing things is better than the Western way. Really.

By 'ritualizing' certain elements
-lend a certain dignity & depth to the otherwise 'mundane'
-inherent recognition of the beauty & elegance of said mundane elements.
-beauty in the aesthetic. space and time to study and appreciate.. 'built-in'

Lorel Latorilla
04-02-2012, 11:52 AM
With all due respect Lorel...Isn't Akuzawa Minoru Japanese? :)

William Hazen

Yes, but what he's doing does not characterize the conventional Japanese method. Meaning he is focussed on principal and does not flood the students with waza. Paired practise is based on the foundation of building and reinforcing the correct body frame for marial movement. Although that has changed, and I have not been practising with the Aunkai peeps in awhile, so what I said might be an inaccurate description of what they are doing today.

Demetrio Cereijo
04-02-2012, 12:37 PM
Although I am hypothesizing that the innovations and progressions that occured during the Edo period, etc. were birthed out of necessity of war.
Totally wrong.

Lorel Latorilla
04-02-2012, 12:50 PM
Totally wrong.

Care to expand?

Aikibu
04-02-2012, 01:14 PM
Yes, but what he's doing does not characterize the conventional Japanese method. Meaning he is focussed on principal and does not flood the students with waza. Paired practise is based on the foundation of building and reinforcing the correct body frame for marial movement. Although that has changed, and I have not been practising with the Aunkai peeps in awhile, so what I said might be an inaccurate description of what they are doing today.

Well you can correct me if I am wrong but Koryu and Gendai Martial Concepts did not evolve in a vacuum but were themselves an evolution of older Martial Arts...He may be going "back to the future" but I believe my point that Japanese Martial Arts can "evolve" and that Japanese Shihan are also incremental in this evolution proves my original point that this evolution is not a zero sum equation. :)

One could only speculate how O'Sensei might feel about this but I don't think he would be completely unhappy about it.

William Hazen

Demetrio Cereijo
04-02-2012, 01:47 PM
Edo Era was very peaceful. Martial ryu proliferation was caused by the serious limitations imposed by the shogunate to call bs on what was taught as martial arts. Most of the innovation and evolution was developing flowery technique and kata dancing because the Sengoku Era "put up or shut up" was deemed as barbarical and improper. Nihil novum sub sole.

See for instance:

Ronald Dore. Education in Tokugawa Japan. Routledge Library Editions: Japan, Taylor & Francis, 2010 p 151-152
Thomas A. Green and Joseph R. Svinth, Ed. Martial Arts of the World - An Encyclopedia of History and Innovation. ABC-CLIO 2010. p 599
G. Cameron Hurst. Armed Martial Arts of Japan, Yale Univ. Press 1988, p. 73
Anshin, Anatoliy. The Intangible Warrior Culture of Japan: Bodily Practices, Mental Attitudes, and Values of the Two-sworded men from the Fifteenth to the Twenty-first Centuries, Humanities & Social Sciences, Australian Defence Force Academy, UNSW. pp 85

Lorel Latorilla
04-02-2012, 01:49 PM
Well you can correct me if I am wrong but Koryu and Gendai Martial Concepts did not evolve in a vacuum but were themselves an evolution of older Martial Arts...He may be going "back to the future" but I believe my point that Japanese Martial Arts can "evolve" and that Japanese Shihan are also incremental in this evolution proves my original point that this evolution is not a zero sum equation. :)

One could only speculate how O'Sensei might feel about this but I don't think he would be completely unhappy about it.

William Hazen

Honestly, I would love to see Japanese shihan do the same things some Westerners/unconventional Asian martial artists are doing and evolve their systems to meet "modern" demands.

My point is that I don't see it at all.

Lorel Latorilla
04-02-2012, 01:52 PM
Edo Era was very peaceful. Martial ryu proliferation was caused by the serious limitations imposed by the shogunate to call bs on what was taught as martial arts. Most of the innovation and evolution was developing flowery technique and kata dancing because the Sengoku Era "put up or shut up" was deemed as barbarical and improper. Nihil novum sub sole.

See for instance:

Ronald Dore. Education in Tokugawa Japan. Routledge Library Editions: Japan, Taylor & Francis, 2010 p 151-152
Thomas A. Green and Joseph R. Svinth, Ed. Martial Arts of the World - An Encyclopedia of History and Innovation. ABC-CLIO 2010. p 599
G. Cameron Hurst. Armed Martial Arts of Japan, Yale Univ. Press 1988, p. 73
Anshin, Anatoliy. The Intangible Warrior Culture of Japan: Bodily Practices, Mental Attitudes, and Values of the Two-sworded men from the Fifteenth to the Twenty-first Centuries, Humanities & Social Sciences, Australian Defence Force Academy, UNSW. pp 85

OK, I guess I am corrected. I guess "flowery" technique and kata dancing is not really the "innovation" or "progression" that I'm looking for.

robin_jet_alt
04-02-2012, 06:44 PM
Let me explain myself here.

Robin, I have been here for 5 years now, almost. I do not think "negatively", but critically. I wince at the notion of the Japanese method being "progressive" or "evolving", which I think has not been defined here. That is why I asked for an explanation or evidence as to how it is. I appreciate the your patronizing comment though.



Sorry Lorel. I didn't mean to be patronizing. It is just that I recognize that I went through a few phases where I was very "anti-japanese". You are right in a lot of ways, but I also agree with Ellis and William. There is a weird dichotomy to Japanese progressiveness that is hard for me to pin down.

robin_jet_alt
04-02-2012, 06:47 PM
Yes, but what he's doing does not characterize the conventional Japanese method. Meaning he is focussed on principal and does not flood the students with waza. Paired practise is based on the foundation of building and reinforcing the correct body frame for marial movement. Although that has changed, and I have not been practising with the Aunkai peeps in awhile, so what I said might be an inaccurate description of what they are doing today.

So the Japanese method doesn't work, but when the Japanese use a method that does work, it isn't "the Japanese method" because it works, and by definition the Japanese method doesn't work? This is giving me a headache.

Lorel Latorilla
04-03-2012, 12:18 AM
So the Japanese method doesn't work, but when the Japanese use a method that does work, it isn't "the Japanese method" because it works, and by definition the Japanese method doesn't work? This is giving me a headache.

Let me put it this way. When I think of the "Japanese method", I think of traditional budo, which consists a large number of people practising in pairs, practising a large number of waza, without a clear articulation of what the foundational principals are, and consequently leading the practitioners clueless as to what skills they are trying to gain. You then mix in the fact that most training is done under co-operation and none of there is no frame or leverage or concept of playing in non-co-operation and then going outside the dojo and practising with people who are trained to pick you apart. You then mix in the fact that since you do not have a clear articulation of what skills you are attain, you do not have a system with which you can refine your skills that can help you improve your chances against those who are trained to pick you apart. You do not have a system with which you can train intelligently. After you consider all this, then I guess you can understand why I say "the Japanese method" doesn't work. You also consider how institutionalized modern budo is, and you mix in the saving face and the egos, then you can understand why I don't think the Japanese method won't "evolve" or "adapt".

Ellis Amdur
04-03-2012, 03:33 AM
Lorei - that is not the traditional Japanese method. That is a modern adaptation for large groups - hence, progressive.

Demetrio - Edo Era was very peaceful. Martial ryu proliferation was caused by the serious limitations imposed by the shogunate to call bs on what was taught as martial arts. Most of the innovation and evolution was developing flowery technique and kata dancing because the Sengoku Era "put up or shut up" was deemed as barbarical and improper. Nihil novum sub sole.


Not exactly. Actually, many of the most powerful ryu were birthed in the Edo period. I've never seen "kata dancing," actually. And of the extant koryu, very little "flowery technque." Unfortunately, many of the writers have merely "run with" some of Donn Draeger's perspectives, and amplified them far beyond what he said, generalizing things with TSKSR as the baseline from which all that followed degenerated.

And there was a LOT of put-up or shut-up in the Edo period.

Here's something more accurate - and actually more interesting.

Most Sengoku period ryu were closer to practical - none were probably military arts in their pure form. They utilized combative training to hone an officer class (the vast majority of fighters in the Sengoku period were peasants who got spears and practiced basic tactics in unison, much like any military. It is also probable that some of these early skills had rudiments of internal training, but the influx of information on that subject really occurred at the very end of the Sengoku period and early Edo. Then again, just because a ryu doesn't have something in this generation doesn't mean they didn't have it in a previous one (reference Kito-ryu in HIPS, for one example).

As the Edo period progressed, YES, there were restrictions of all kinds. But more important to the development of the ryu, they PROGRESSIVELY reworked the older styles to adapt to the kind of combat they really had to be concerned about - duels. Therefore, the great schools of mid-Edo were primarily dueling skills. It was at this time that "a thousand flowers bloomed," - where sogo bujutsu, with a lot of weapons, fissioned in to ryu specializing in one or two.

Interestingly, when this fissioning occurred, techniques became more sophisticated (for better and for worse), just like boxing technique took a leap, when they eliminated cross-buttock and other hip throws (which led to the development of the hook punch, which wasn't even considered earlier, as round-house punches were countered with throws.

When this fissioning occurred, guess what - there was far more concentration on subtleties - among them Internal Training.

It is very likely that IT went far back in time - for example, there is some evidence that the roots of what became Daito-ryu were already in the Kyo-hachi ryu which developed into Chujo ryu - Toda-ryu - Itto-ryu (hello - Daito-ryu). There are, according to one practitioner/scholar I consulted certain terms that are common to every ryu that emanated from the Kyo-hachi-ryu line (btw - their patron saint is Kiichi Hogen).

Lorei, back to you. Traditional Japanese pedagogy is small groups or one-on-one, the higher levels taught either directly or in steal-this-technique fashion. But it worked for hundreds of years.

Takeda Sokaku, fwiw, was a progressive innovator, who in many ways, broke the classical model of teaching.

And finally, Akuzawa is, in many ways, VERY traditional in his approach - he's merely open about what went on behind close doors.

Ellis Amdur

Lorel Latorilla
04-03-2012, 05:42 AM
Lorei - that is not the traditional Japanese method. That is a modern adaptation for large groups - hence, progressive.

Demetrio -

Not exactly. Actually, many of the most powerful ryu were birthed in the Edo period. I've never seen "kata dancing," actually. And of the extant koryu, very little "flowery technque." Unfortunately, many of the writers have merely "run with" some of Donn Draeger's perspectives, and amplified them far beyond what he said, generalizing things with TSKSR as the baseline from which all that followed degenerated.

And there was a LOT of put-up or shut-up in the Edo period.

Here's something more accurate - and actually more interesting.

Most Sengoku period ryu were closer to practical - none were probably military arts in their pure form. They utilized combative training to hone an officer class (the vast majority of fighters in the Sengoku period were peasants who got spears and practiced basic tactics in unison, much like any military. It is also probable that some of these early skills had rudiments of internal training, but the influx of information on that subject really occurred at the very end of the Sengoku period and early Edo. Then again, just because a ryu doesn't have something in this generation doesn't mean they didn't have it in a previous one (reference Kito-ryu in HIPS, for one example).

As the Edo period progressed, YES, there were restrictions of all kinds. But more important to the development of the ryu, they PROGRESSIVELY reworked the older styles to adapt to the kind of combat they really had to be concerned about - duels. Therefore, the great schools of mid-Edo were primarily dueling skills. It was at this time that "a thousand flowers bloomed," - where sogo bujutsu, with a lot of weapons, fissioned in to ryu specializing in one or two.

Interestingly, when this fissioning occurred, techniques became more sophisticated (for better and for worse), just like boxing technique took a leap, when they eliminated cross-buttock and other hip throws (which led to the development of the hook punch, which wasn't even considered earlier, as round-house punches were countered with throws.

When this fissioning occurred, guess what - there was far more concentration on subtleties - among them Internal Training.

It is very likely that IT went far back in time - for example, there is some evidence that the roots of what became Daito-ryu were already in the Kyo-hachi ryu which developed into Chujo ryu - Toda-ryu - Itto-ryu (hello - Daito-ryu). There are, according to one practitioner/scholar I consulted certain terms that are common to every ryu that emanated from the Kyo-hachi-ryu line (btw - their patron saint is Kiichi Hogen).

Lorei, back to you. Traditional Japanese pedagogy is small groups or one-on-one, the higher levels taught either directly or in steal-this-technique fashion. But it worked for hundreds of years.

Takeda Sokaku, fwiw, was a progressive innovator, who in many ways, broke the classical model of teaching.

And finally, Akuzawa is, in many ways, VERY traditional in his approach - he's merely open about what went on behind close doors.

Ellis Amdur

Hi Ellis,

Great post and I can also count on you to school me and help me refine my definitions. I guess it comes down to whether "current" pedagogical models in Japanese budo are capable of change and whether it is a clearly defined pedagogy that articulates foundational skills/principals and that makes the transmission of knowledge more efficient. Secondly, I will leave up to those who are in koryu or who have practised in small groups the higher level skills and have experience training with Westerners who are a bit innovative in articulating training concepts to decide whether the steal-this-technique or other koryu teaching styles are better than the methods of some Westerners or not.

Lorel

p.s.--It's Lorel, not Lorei. :)

sakumeikan
04-03-2012, 06:11 AM
Let me put it this way. When I think of the "Japanese method", I think of traditional budo, which consists a large number of people practising in pairs, practising a large number of waza, without a clear articulation of what the foundational principals are, and consequently leading the practitioners clueless as to what skills they are trying to gain. You then mix in the fact that most training is done under co-operation and none of there is no frame or leverage or concept of playing in non-co-operation and then going outside the dojo and practising with people who are trained to pick you apart. You then mix in the fact that since you do not have a clear articulation of what skills you are attain, you do not have a system with which you can refine your skills that can help you improve your chances against those who are trained to pick you apart. You do not have a system with which you can train intelligently. After you consider all this, then I guess you can understand why I say "the Japanese method" doesn't work. You also consider how institutionalized modern budo is, and you mix in the saving face and the egos, then you can understand why I don't think the Japanese method won't "evolve" or "adapt".

Dear Lorei.
Speaking for myself I can tell you categorically your comments concerning lack of understanding of foundational principles and of aikido and the notion that somehow we/I am clueless is imo nonsense.My teacher is constantly evolving and expressing clearly the underlying principles behind aikido.Perhaps in your case you do not have the benefit of a teacher such as my own?As far as my getting picked apart by others as you put it, I dont think so. Cheers, Joe.

Lorel Latorilla
04-03-2012, 08:30 AM
Dear Lorei.
Speaking for myself I can tell you categorically your comments concerning lack of understanding of foundational principles and of aikido and the notion that somehow we/I am clueless is imo nonsense.My teacher is constantly evolving and expressing clearly the underlying principles behind aikido.Perhaps in your case you do not have the benefit of a teacher such as my own?As far as my getting picked apart by others as you put it, I dont think so. Cheers, Joe.

OK Joe. Good luck with your training.

Bye.

sakumeikan
04-03-2012, 09:22 AM
OK Joe. Good luck with your training.

Bye.
Dear Lorel,
Thank you for your kid regards .May I respond to you accordingly? Bye Bye, Joe.

Chris Li
04-03-2012, 10:19 AM
When this fissioning occurred, guess what - there was far more concentration on subtleties - among them Internal Training.

It is very likely that IT went far back in time - for example, there is some evidence that the roots of what became Daito-ryu were already in the Kyo-hachi ryu which developed into Chujo ryu - Toda-ryu - Itto-ryu (hello - Daito-ryu). There are, according to one practitioner/scholar I consulted certain terms that are common to every ryu that emanated from the Kyo-hachi-ryu line (btw - their patron saint is Kiichi Hogen).


---Obligatory plug for "Kiichi Hogen and the Secret of Aikido (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/archive/2012-02-22/kiichi-hogen-and-the-secret-of-aikido)". :D

Best,

Chris

Abasan
04-04-2012, 10:05 AM
I can't really answer that on any technical level, but it just doesn't seem to be a problem for me at this point. Early on, when I first started doing this, and had to really work at relaxing my lower back (due to the back injuries), I would definitely feel that my lower back was being strained (not in a bad way, more like worked hard) when I would consciously relax my lower back/spine and do things. That fatigue seems to have passed and I guess that my body has just adjusted and gotten stronger. I would think at this point if it were going to impact my spine in a negative way, I'd be feeling it by now, but the exact opposite has been the case. My lower back feels better and stronger now than it has at any point in the last 15-20 years.

My guess, and this is only a guess, is that it has a similar effect as focused lower back stretching, inversion, etc, in that it allows increased blood flow into that area of my back, which helps. I also think that the compaction gets regulated by the body as you get better at relaxing those big muscles and letting the less prominent muscles get stronger and handle the load. It probably wouldn't be good to just jump in and try relaxing your lower back with a big load on your shoulders, but much like any sort of weight training, you build up and increase and get stronger as a result.

Funnily enough I had a recent reoccurrence of back pain inherited from 20 years ago, basically a spinal Protusion in the lower lumbar. As it gets more and more painful I find myself doing less and less ukemi. And classes have now gone down to twice a week. It's not getting better, and I'd be kidding I didn't think it's getting worst.

Confounding myself trying to figure out what's wrong I decided to restart gym work which I abandon upon advise of my Sensei and Silat teacher. Well two days on the elliptical and weights have resulted in diminished pain. Thus I agree that the exercise and loading of weights does strengthen the body.

Now... Wouldn't it be a surprise that all the exercises you guys are doing in developing fascia, grounding etc... Really was as simple as making your body used to taking lateral loads rather then generic strength training. And that's all it takes for people to do amazing stuff with their bodies. Specialize muscular training and unified usage of those muscles.

chillzATL
04-05-2012, 09:26 AM
Now... Wouldn't it be a surprise that all the exercises you guys are doing in developing fascia, grounding etc... Really was as simple as making your body used to taking lateral loads rather then generic strength training. And that's all it takes for people to do amazing stuff with their bodies. Specialize muscular training and unified usage of those muscles.

well, IMO, that actually IS a part of it, but certainly not all of it. Internal strength is like ogres, lots of layers. The reason so much is made by IS people about starting slow with super low resistance and building up is because you have to strengthen and condition all those little muscles (and chains) under the big muscles . The only way to do that is to avoid using the big muscles so that the little muscles can get the workout. If you try to do too much too fast, the big muscles just kick in on their own and it becomes a normal old workout. So much of strength generation and our ability to resist forces is about maximizing the friction between our feet (or body) and the ground and something about using those little muscles allows forces to pass through the body more cleanly, increasing that friction, vs. pushing from the shoulders or resisting by tighting up the chest/shoulders/back and locking the frame in an attempt to get more friction to the feet that way.

gregstec
04-05-2012, 09:51 AM
well, IMO, that actually IS a part of it, but certainly not all of it. Internal strength is like ogres, lots of layers. The reason so much is made by IS people about starting slow with super low resistance and building up is because you have to strengthen and condition all those little muscles (and chains) under the big muscles . The only way to do that is to avoid using the big muscles so that the little muscles can get the workout. If you try to do too much too fast, the big muscles just kick in on their own and it becomes a normal old workout. So much of strength generation and our ability to resist forces is about maximizing the friction between our feet (or body) and the ground and something about using those little muscles allows forces to pass through the body more cleanly, increasing that friction, vs. pushing from the shoulders or resisting by tighting up the chest/shoulders/back and locking the frame in an attempt to get more friction to the feet that way.

"Little muscles" is a new term to me - care to elaborate on them, a little ? :)

Thanks

Greg

chillzATL
04-05-2012, 10:06 AM
"Little muscles" is a new term to me - care to elaborate on them, a little ? :)

Thanks

Greg

oh you know what I mean Greg. :)

You've got those "big" sexy muscles that you flex in the mirror every morning and then the ones that you don't really see that actually hold you together and do all the "little work" that we don't really think about, but are pretty important when it comes to keeping us upright and mobile.

gregstec
04-05-2012, 10:28 AM
oh you know what I mean Greg. :)

You've got those "big" sexy muscles that you flex in the mirror every morning and then the ones that you don't really see that actually hold you together and do all the "little work" that we don't really think about, but are pretty important when it comes to keeping us upright and mobile.

Oh, those little muscles - yeah, I know of them - but I don't think of them with energy absorption and projection, I think more whole body fascia connections for that :)

Greg

chillzATL
04-05-2012, 10:42 AM
Oh, those little muscles - yeah, I know of them - but I don't think of them with energy absorption and projection, I think more whole body fascia connections for that :)

Greg

same thing really, more or less. Note I mentioned layers and as such, tried to avoid going into uber detail about those layers. I was just trying to get a point across, not write a book :)

Abasan
04-05-2012, 11:45 AM
Point made. Interesting take on things. What I would love to see would be a pure Aiki mentalist next to an IS specialist try things out with each other. One day maybe.

DH
04-05-2012, 12:10 PM
Point made. Interesting take on things. What I would love to see would be a pure Aiki mentalist next to an IS specialist try things out with each other. One day maybe.
Do you think it hasn't happened?
No contest.
IS, which is foundationally mental work.... wins hands down. I would love to meet the Aikido or Daito ryu Shihan (who doesn't cross train) capable of withstanding what someone versed in IS...and...using it freestyle, could bring to a mat. I don't think they would stand a chance. But that's okay, there are other, standards in play-such as preserving a tradition. Not everyone got the chance to go out and experiment, explore and create. The good news is that todays budo is so open and friendly compared to the past, that everyone can meet and train. Innovators can share and traditionalists can share and both can have fun learning.
I think this might be one of the best times to do Budo.
Dan

gregstec
04-05-2012, 12:50 PM
same thing really, more or less. Note I mentioned layers and as such, tried to avoid going into uber detail about those layers. I was just trying to get a point across, not write a book :)

I understand, I just like to avoid the use of the term muscle when thinking or doing any Internal stuff - IMO, if you think it, it will engage, and I don't want muscle engagement at that time :)

Greg

chillzATL
04-05-2012, 02:54 PM
Point made. Interesting take on things. What I would love to see would be a pure Aiki mentalist next to an IS specialist try things out with each other. One day maybe.

what do you mean by aiki mentalist?

Abasan
04-06-2012, 06:50 AM
Do you think it hasn't happened?
No contest.
IS, which is foundationally mental work.... wins hands down. I would love to meet the Aikido or Daito ryu Shihan (who doesn't cross train) capable of withstanding what someone versed in IS...and...using it freestyle, could bring to a mat. I don't think they would stand a chance. But that's okay, there are other, standards in play-such as preserving a tradition. Not everyone got the chance to go out and experiment, explore and create. The good news is that todays budo is so open and friendly compared to the past, that everyone can meet and train. Innovators can share and traditionalists can share and both can have fun learning.
I think this might be one of the best times to do Budo.
Dan

Dan, I've no idea if it has happened or not. On the other side of the scale I know of Aiki mentalists (for everyone's sake let me just say what I mean when I coined this word. Aiki mentalist here means, someone who practices Aiki from a transition of physical principles to Aiki principles. The training of which emphasizes center, extension of ki, relaxation, chushin, enshin, shuchu, awase, musubi and the ilk. Where they gradually lessen their physical manipulation, graduating to ki and later to mind and spirit. Most of anyone will not believe anything pass physical manipulation, maybe some would accept ki, but generally most will discount mind and spirit right away. Thus I coin Aiki mentalist. Not so much that they do not have sound physical skills, just that their inclination now would be on the mind and spirit side) who have been confronted by martial artists of calibre, active duty soldiers, and ppl like that, and have been able to do what they claim they can do.

As for them meeting IS specialists, no they haven't but I wish they would. It's something that I'd really really hope will happen one day. Because I truly believe it'll be a great learning experience for everybody not a proving contest.

Maybe when Dan pops by our corner of the world I could arrange some hand talking. Who knows right? Regardless I'd still attend your seminar if I ever got the chance. Just like I'll attend a Systema seminar anytime they come over here or when I'm abroad, or liq yi quan for that matter, and any Silat sessions especially maenpo'esque. I just want to understand and improve myself that's all. You guys can keep your trademarks, patents and branding cause it's no use to me. Some can tattoo aikido all over his head, and it still doesn't mean he knows squat about it after all.

Chillzatl, I hope you got that definition up there.

Abasan
04-06-2012, 07:05 AM
And ok let me put it out in the open before everyone jump in at once.

He's background is Aikido, coming from Yoshinkan, Aikikai, ..., shin shin toitsu,...,Aikikai.
The ... Period would be where I think he learned DR from one of the current living teachers. My memory is bad, it could be Sagawa.

He made a point that without DR it would have been really2 hard to understand Aiki. But, as he meets more and more teachers within the Aikikai circle who demonstrate their own understanding of Aiki, things that they rarely if ever display in public, he has come to believe that the Aiki of Aikido is different than in DR and the ryu before.

Also, it's hard to learn. Of his hundreds of students, only two have shown measurable competency in Aiki. The rest of the yudanshas are able to do some tricks, but not all and not necessarily well. They still are a damn sight better than a lot of ppl I see on the mat today but hey, relative I guess.

So, I know you keep saying what you are teaching is easy to learn Dan. Maybe you've figured out a good way to teach and all that. For one thing though, if DR teaches Aiki and it was that easy to learn, one would have expected that DR schools would be filled with Aiki masters today. Sadly that ain't the case. Most are still doing their physical thingey. There, I've gone and done it. Flay me why don't you.

gregstec
04-06-2012, 07:46 AM
And ok let me put it out in the open before everyone jump in at once.

He's background is Aikido, coming from Yoshinkan, Aikikai, ..., shin shin toitsu,...,Aikikai.
The ... Period would be where I think he learned DR from one of the current living teachers. My memory is bad, it could be Sagawa.

He made a point that without DR it would have been really2 hard to understand Aiki. But, as he meets more and more teachers within the Aikikai circle who demonstrate their own understanding of Aiki, things that they rarely if ever display in public, he has come to believe that the Aiki of Aikido is different than in DR and the ryu before.

Also, it's hard to learn. Of his hundreds of students, only two have shown measurable competency in Aiki. The rest of the yudanshas are able to do some tricks, but not all and not necessarily well. They still are a damn sight better than a lot of ppl I see on the mat today but hey, relative I guess.

So, I know you keep saying what you are teaching is easy to learn Dan. Maybe you've figured out a good way to teach and all that. For one thing though, if DR teaches Aiki and it was that easy to learn, one would have expected that DR schools would be filled with Aiki masters today. Sadly that ain't the case. Most are still doing their physical thingey. There, I've gone and done it. Flay me why don't you.

I don't believe that anyone (including Dan) has said DR teaches aiki - of course, there can be aiki in DR as well as in Aikido. Problem is, aiki is as lacking in most DR as well as most Aikido; and I believe Dan has said that before.

Greg

phitruong
04-06-2012, 07:56 AM
what do you mean by aiki mentalist?

crazy aikidoka? nut job in funny skirt? :)

DH
04-06-2012, 08:03 AM
Dan, I've no idea if it has happened or not. On the other side of the scale I know of Aiki mentalists (for everyone's sake let me just say what I mean when I coined this word. Aiki mentalist here means, someone who practices Aiki from a transition of physical principles to Aiki principles. The training of which emphasizes center, extension of ki, relaxation, chushin, enshin, shuchu, awase, musubi and the ilk. Where they gradually lessen their physical manipulation, graduating to ki and later to mind and spirit. Most of anyone will not believe anything pass physical manipulation, maybe some would accept ki, but generally most will discount mind and spirit right away. Thus I coin Aiki mentalist. Not so much that they do not have sound physical skills, just that their inclination now would be on the mind and spirit side) who have been confronted by martial artists of calibre, active duty soldiers, and ppl like that, and have been able to do what they claim they can do.

As for them meeting IS specialists, no they haven't but I wish they would. It's something that I'd really really hope will happen one day. Because I truly believe it'll be a great learning experience for everybody not a proving contest.

Maybe when Dan pops by our corner of the world I could arrange some hand talking. Who knows right? Regardless I'd still attend your seminar if I ever got the chance. Just like I'll attend a Systema seminar anytime they come over here or when I'm abroad, or liq yi quan for that matter, and any Silat sessions especially maenpo'esque. I just want to understand and improve myself that's all. You guys can keep your trademarks, patents and branding cause it's no use to me. Some can tattoo aikido all over his head, and it still doesn't mean he knows squat about it after all.

I think you missed my point.
It has happened on many levels and many, many times. And IP/aiki wins. I have no doubt that your Aikido teacher, like so many before him... would be just another statistic.
If I ever find significant IP or aiki development in anyone in Aikido or Daito ryu I will shout it from the roof tops. For me, that will be a great find and a great day!!! It seems counter productive to just sit quietly, or to lie, when everyone I meet is incapable of demonstrating either IP or aiki to any serious degree. In my world view, these arts needs to be fixed, and that is what I am trying to help do. In the end it will handed off to the arts teachers to do the heavy lifting.

As for systema; five of its higher level teachers were incapable of stopping well developed IP/aiki in open rooms with dozens watching and have told Vlad just that. We have a good reputation among Systema schools not just for what we can do but for openly stating how highly we regard Systema. I think the world of systema as a whole system. It is larger than one one one combatives and offeres so much, but I think our method of movement is superior for one on one combatives.

While I have had invites to Japan, China, and the land of Oz I have no intentions of going. So they fly here. So, I can't ever see myself in your neck of the woods You would be smart to check out Sam Chin as well.
Dan

DH
04-06-2012, 08:19 AM
And ok let me put it out in the open before everyone jump in at once.
He's background is Aikido, coming from Yoshinkan, Aikikai, ..., shin shin toitsu,...,Aikikai.
The ... Period would be where I think he learned DR from one of the current living teachers. My memory is bad, it could be Sagawa.

He made a point that without DR it would have been really2 hard to understand Aiki. But, as he meets more and more teachers within the Aikikai circle who demonstrate their own understanding of Aiki, things that they rarely if ever display in public, he has come to believe that the Aiki of Aikido is different than in DR and the ryu before.

Also, it's hard to learn. Of his hundreds of students, only two have shown measurable competency in Aiki. The rest of the yudanshas are able to do some tricks, but not all and not necessarily well. They still are a damn sight better than a lot of ppl I see on the mat today but hey, relative I guess.

So, I know you keep saying what you are teaching is easy to learn Dan. Maybe you've figured out a good way to teach and all that. For one thing though, if DR teaches Aiki and it was that easy to learn, one would have expected that DR schools would be filled with Aiki masters today. Sadly that ain't the case. Most are still doing their physical thingey. There, I've gone and done it. Flay me why don't you.
Well, I won't flay you!
I have been consistent since the Aikido list days; from then to now and round the world and on video I keep waiting and hoping to meet anyone in either art, with significant development.

Couple of points
1. I absolutely do not believe that DR teaches Aiki to just anyone, and further there is no way you are ever going to find the fullness of IP/aiki in DR. There are significant reasons as to why.
2. I never said what I teach is easy. It is just easier and far more consistent than doing kata's for twenty years, getting crappy instruction and hoping for the best. You don't have to take my word for it, there are over a thousand people who are investing themselves in my methods because they are simply getting better results than by following the Japanese Shihans.
And before you flay me....remember I don't want anyone to leave aikido or Daito ryu, but rather to stay and build them up and force them to live up to their promise of being among the most powerful arts the world has seen. We gave the Japanese teachers a chance, they screwed it up. We need to teach ourselves. It's the one chance the art has to move forward, by being fixed from without and then from within.
Dan

Abasan
04-06-2012, 09:39 PM
Fair enough. The world is a big place. Maybe one day we'll meet and I can learn something from you.

DH
04-08-2012, 01:49 AM
Funnily enough I had a recent reoccurrence of back pain inherited from 20 years ago, basically a spinal Protusion in the lower lumbar. As it gets more and more painful I find myself doing less and less ukemi. And classes have now gone down to twice a week. It's not getting better, and I'd be kidding I didn't think it's getting worst.

Confounding myself trying to figure out what's wrong I decided to restart gym work which I abandon upon advise of my Sensei and Silat teacher. Well two days on the elliptical and weights have resulted in diminished pain. Thus I agree that the exercise and loading of weights does strengthen the body.
Ukemi is bad for your body. Period. Learning it is smart, continuing to taka falls your whole life is not good for your body. It will not teach your aiki. It will not teach you internal power, you do not need to fall down to "feel your teacher" and learn the waza.
You can learn power and aiki and how to use it, without falling down at all. And in the process some of the damage will be reversed through training the body correctly.
I continue to prove all of the above, (and not just talk about it) ...month after month as I meet so many of the damaged teachers and players.
Now... Wouldn't it be a surprise that all the exercises you guys are doing in developing fascia, grounding etc... Really was as simple as making your body used to taking lateral loads rather then generic strength training. And that's all it takes for people to do amazing stuff with their bodies. Specialize muscular training and unified usage of those muscles.
Well, the very nature of the question defines the lack of understanding of what it is we do. Taking lateral loads is nursury school and just one of many benefits of proper training. It is far deeper than that and broaches the topic of the connection between internal strength....and Aiki.
Dan

Abasan
04-08-2012, 05:02 AM
Ukemi is bad for your body. Period. Learning it is smart, continuing to taka falls your whole life is not good for your body. It will not teach your aiki. It will not teach you internal power, you do not need to fall down to "feel your teacher" and learn the waza.
You can learn power and aiki and how to use it, without falling down at all. And in the process some of the damage will be reversed through training the body correctly.
I continue to prove all of the above, (and not just talk about it) ...month after month as I meet so many of the damaged teachers and players.

Well, the very nature of the question defines the lack of understanding of what it is we do. Taking lateral loads is nursury school and just one of many benefits of proper training. It is far deeper than that and broaches the topic of the connection between internal strength....and Aiki.
Dan

See that's where I think differently, but I don't have facts to prove this just observation.

1st, ukemi is bad for you only if it's done improperly. I think people with good ukemi can last their lifetime on the mat without getting injury and pain. It's just when we make mistakes and go rigid, or resist, or try too hard that we get injuries. Relaxed ukemi and we can see quite a few old sensei's taking this still, allows them to train well without pain even today. Movement from the center and a relaxed body almost always result in better ukemi. And we can see this not just in aikido, but in Systema, in kobudo, in wushu, in Silat. And I don't know for how long, but in Parkour you see crazy ukemi that did not just come over night, but through intense physical training and good technique. Anyone doing what they do without those two ingredients would certainly get injured if not fatally, quite seriously.

2. I still see internal strength as different to Aiki. In my limited exposure, I feel internal strength as 'internalized power' which is atypical of Chinese soft arts. Whereas Aiki as something which occurs from outside. In effect, internal skill is you and Aiki is others...

Kevin Leavitt
04-08-2012, 05:25 AM
Show me someone doing park our in there 50s or 60s. I'm with Dan on this one. I'm decent at ukemi, but don't see the point on doing it as it jacks me up and don't see where it is necessary to learn anything of value at this point.

Joe Bowen
04-08-2012, 06:10 AM
Show me someone doing park our in there 50s or 60s. I'm with Dan on this one. I'm decent at ukemi, but don't see the point on doing it as it jacks me up and don't see where it is necessary to learn anything of value at this point.

Off topic so forgive the digression, but Kobayashi Yasuo Sensei is in his 70's and still takes koshinage ukemi, as well as doing some of the most effortless suwari waza I've seen. I'd say I have to agree w/ Abasan, about the Ukemi bit.

I'm also a bit confused by the varying definitions relating to IS & AIKI. are they the same, related or different?

Joe

DH
04-08-2012, 08:11 AM
Off topic so forgive the digression, but Kobayashi Yasuo Sensei is in his 70's and still takes koshinage ukemi, as well as doing some of the most effortless suwari waza I've seen. I'd say I have to agree w/ Abasan, about the Ukemi bit.

I'm also a bit confused by the varying definitions relating to IS & AIKI. are they the same, related or different?

Joe
Well, I've met too many, read the stories of too many, felt too many teachers and students with wrecked bodies to agree with you. Shoulders, a mess, backs a mess, knees a mess, a couple with hip problems.
If you want to argue percentages, it still doesn't change the model, the percentages would tell you that repeated falls -no matter how good you think you are-are not good for you. Then again, so says every PT and sport therapist I know, and for some strange reason the ones who were damaged know as well.
Dan

sakumeikan
04-08-2012, 08:13 AM
Dear All,
I take the view that having a good ukemi is vital and useful to be able to do. I also think that it is not always the case that you have to use ukemi in training.i think knowing both methods is good .DH makes the point that you can feel your partners power or lack of without doing a ukemi. Until very recently I used to take ukemi, I have cut back on this and rarely do I breakfall. This does not stop me from feeling my partners kokyu./kuzushi. If you take someone with a bad back and throw the person around I do not think the back problem will improve.On the other hand stretching and assisting your partner in a controlled manner can in some cases prove beneficial.I try and utilise ukemi more than falling ,more like body conditioning .My view is both D,H. and the other contributors viewpoints have merit.
Cheers, Joe.

sakumeikan
04-08-2012, 08:23 AM
Well, I've met too many, read the stories of too many, felt too many teachers and students with wrecked bodies to agree with you. Shoulders, a mess, backs a mess, knees a mess, a couple with hip problems.
If you want to argue percentages, it still doesn't change the model, the percentages would tell you that repeated falls -no matter how good you think you are-are not good for you. Then again, so says every PT and sport therapist I know, and for some strange reason the ones who were damaged know as well.
Dan

Dear Dan
Taking years of impact doing ukemi can certainly injure or damage your body.Knees /shoulders and hip s are usually the areas that cause pain. Suwariwaza in particular does your knees in.The occasional Shiho Nage wrenched shoulder/elbow joint also can be a pain[literally].Your body has to last you the rest of your life, so you have to use your head and look for ways of lessening the chances of damage to your body.Of course the young turks think they will be the same at 75 as they are at 20 years old. In their dreams . Hope you are well.Happy Easter to one and all. Cheers, Joe.

Abasan
04-08-2012, 08:24 PM
Dear All,
I take the view that having a good ukemi is vital and useful to be able to do. I also think that it is not always the case that you have to use ukemi in training.i think knowing both methods is good .DH makes the point that you can feel your partners power or lack of without doing a ukemi. Until very recently I used to take ukemi, I have cut back on this and rarely do I breakfall. This does not stop me from feeling my partners kokyu./kuzushi. If you take someone with a bad back and throw the person around I do not think the back problem will improve.On the other hand stretching and assisting your partner in a controlled manner can in some cases prove beneficial.I try and utilise ukemi more than falling ,more like body conditioning .My view is both D,H. and the other contributors viewpoints have merit.
Cheers, Joe.

I agree with that statement though. That you can feel kuzushi and cause It without having to complete a full ukemi. On the other hand some moves just completely takes you off your legs that there is no other option but to take ukemi to save yourself. The only other option is to hang on for dear life and resist which is far worst for the body to my mind.

Still I can see merits of not having to throw your body around. The only possible negative might be nage won't have any practice of following through his techniques and that might cause problems later.

And I guess you won't Parkourists in their 60s anytime soon. You need a certain amount of daredevil and couldn't care less attitude to do what they do, and a healing ability close to teens to get back up after fails. And yes, there are plenty of fails for every successful video you see out there. In fact that's why there's kind of a split in ideology for the founders of Parkour and modern practitioners. They just wanted a way to move smoothly and effortlessly across an urban terrain...

As a way to get back to topic, perhaps that's why so many of us remain clueless on how to do Aikido. Because we still don't get what Osensei was thinking when he started it. Maybe a fresh and different outlook could open our eyes a bit... Thrivemovement.com

Chris Li
04-08-2012, 09:07 PM
I agree with that statement though. That you can feel kuzushi and cause It without having to complete a full ukemi. On the other hand some moves just completely takes you off your legs that there is no other option but to take ukemi to save yourself. The only other option is to hang on for dear life and resist which is far worst for the body to my mind.


If this is true (that "The only other option is to hang on for dear life and resist which is far worst for the body to my mind") then the assertion that Aikido can or is meant to control the attacker without injury is completely false.

If the assertion that Aikido can or is meant to control the attacker without injury is not false, then you shouldn't have to be able to take ukemi in order to have a technique performed on you.

Which one is it?

And if it's a training method - than what does it train?

Best,

Chris

sorokod
04-09-2012, 02:14 AM
If this is true (that "The only other option is to hang on for dear life and resist which is far worst for the body to my mind") then the assertion that Aikido can or is meant to control the attacker without injury is completely false.

I think that more accurately it can be said that "An Aikido practitioner can control the attacker without injury". If a practitioner is at a level where such a choice actually can be made, then that is all there is to it, just a choice.

Chris Li
04-09-2012, 02:24 AM
I think that more accurately it can be said that "An Aikido practitioner can control the attacker without injury". If a practitioner is at a level where such a choice actually can be made, then that is all there is to it, just a choice.

OK, if "An Aikido practitioner can control the attacker without injury" then there is no need for ukemi. And if that's the goal (I'm not saying that it is, or should be, just IF), then why are you training people to throw in such a way that ukemi is necessary - since that is contrary to the stated goal.

Best,

Chris

sorokod
04-09-2012, 02:47 AM
OK, if "An Aikido practitioner can control the attacker without injury" then there is no need for ukemi. And if that's the goal (I'm not saying that it is, or should be, just IF), then why are you training people to throw in such a way that ukemi is necessary - since that is contrary to the stated goal.

Best,

Chris

Personally I am not sure that this is a goal. As to being able to control without hurting your attacker under extreme conditions, I believe that the moral ability to reject damaging him/her must be backed by a technical ability to do the same - hence the training.

osaya
04-09-2012, 02:52 AM
While I have had invites to Japan, China, and the land of Oz I have no intentions of going. So they fly here.

Why not? :dead: Is it more of 'not now', or 'never ever'?

I just attended Bill Gleason's seminar in Canberra (Australia) last weekend, and he spoke very highly of you when I had a chance to speak to him on the side.

Is there anyone down this corner of the world that you are aware of that has trained with you, or at least that you reckon has decent IS skills to learn from?

Thanks Dan.

Chris Li
04-09-2012, 02:58 AM
Why not? :dead: Is it more of 'not now', or 'never ever'?

I just attended Bill Gleason's seminar in Canberra (Australia) last weekend, and he spoke very highly of you when I had a chance to speak to him on the side.

Is there anyone down this corner of the world that you are aware of that has trained with you, or at least that you reckon has decent IS skills to learn from?

Thanks Dan.

I think he's just too busy these days - Hawaii's not that far from Australia...

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
04-09-2012, 03:02 AM
Personally I am not sure that this is a goal. As to being able to control without hurting your attacker under extreme conditions, I believe that the moral ability to reject damaging him/her must be backed by a technical ability to do the same - hence the training.

I think that there's a real question as to whether or not that technical ability ever comes to pass (at least in the context of the big throws that are a staple of almost every Aikido dojo) - even the direct students of Ueshiba often mentioned how scary it was to take ukemi for him, and that was in a controlled situation with people who knew how to protect themselves.

OTOH, if people take ukemi instead of being injured - doesn't that condition your body (the thrower) in the wrong way?

Best,

Chris

Alec Corper
04-09-2012, 03:06 AM
Actually I don't think the goal of Aikido is to control the attacker without injury, that is just a hippy philosophy that was grafted onto the art by post WW2 public relations, compounded by misunderstandings and poor translations of deeper philosophies. The consequences of an attack are determined by the intent of the attacker meeting a correctly trained body. Wether we are talking takemusu aikido or Aiki in it's truest sense, the response has no time or space for choices. If there is an
ethical imperative, it is to do no more harm than necessary to stop the attack. Once again the choice is the attackers. Correct training in any genuine martial art allows for escalation on the force continuum according to the rebound or absorption of incoming energy.

Henrypsim
04-09-2012, 03:15 AM
Why not? :dead: Is it more of 'not now', or 'never ever'?

I just attended Bill Gleason's seminar in Canberra (Australia) last weekend, and he spoke very highly of you when I had a chance to speak to him on the side.

Is there anyone down this corner of the world that you are aware of that has trained with you, or at least that you reckon has decent IS skills to learn from?

Thanks Dan.

I think the Aikido world is beginning to realize what was truly missing in Aikido as O-sensei envisioned it. Someday, it will be spread throughout the Aikido world. So, please be patient. Most Aikidoka in Hawaii still not realize how lucky we are to have Dan coming here consistantly. When we have seminars here with Dan, people came from Japan and the mainland to attend. Why not consider coming over here for a vacation during our seminar time frame. Just a suggestion.

sorokod
04-09-2012, 03:18 AM
I think that there's a real question as to whether or not that technical ability ever comes to pass (at least in the context of the big throws that are a staple of almost every Aikido dojo) - even the direct students of Ueshiba often mentioned how scary it was to take ukemi for him, and that was in a controlled situation with people who knew how to protect themselves.

OTOH, if people take ukemi instead of being injured - doesn't that condition your body (the thrower) in the wrong way?

Best,

Chris

I didn't understand your first point could you elaborate?

As to the second, if one takes ukemi, then it was given as an option ( perhaps unintentionally :-) ) by the thrower. Allowing ukemi is the kind of choice I had in mind.

Alec Corper
04-09-2012, 03:59 AM
The teachings of Takuan concerning katsujinken and satsujinken also filtered into all Japanese bujutsu and flavored the emerging idea of Budo as a path of self realization. They are not two different swords, they are one and the same. In both Kashima and KSR there are techniques that involve placing the blade on the side of the attackers throat. The choice to advance or stop is the attackers. This concept is in accordance technically and spiritually with "Divine Will" as expressed in some of the doka.

sorokod
04-09-2012, 07:35 AM
In both Kashima and KSR there are techniques that involve placing the blade on the side of the attackers throat. The choice to advance or stop is the attackers

Thus the moral and psychological burden of killing is relived. How does this relate to unarmed conflict?

Alec Corper
04-09-2012, 08:16 AM
Without giving a long winded explanation here are a few ways to look at this. Push on a door as hard as you can, have someone open it from the other side. See how far and how hard you fall. You did it, the door simply stopped resisting you. When you make tenkan in any technique you are no longer there, the only reason 99% of the time, that people spin round is if they are still attacking you, stop and drop, kokyunage nage, they fall you don' throw. Apply nikkyo correctly, no pain for uke, down on one knee, ask them to stand up, pain begins if you maintain your structure. These are superficial examples but give an idea. At deeper levels we would be talking about yamabiko and transparent power.

Chris Li
04-09-2012, 10:14 AM
I didn't understand your first point could you elaborate?

As to the second, if one takes ukemi, then it was given as an option ( perhaps unintentionally :-) ) by the thrower. Allowing ukemi is the kind of choice I had in mind.

My point was, I'm not sure that technical ability really gets to the point where you can control a resistant attacker without injury.

If they have to take ukemi than it's not a real choice, is it? Because they require a specialized skill that most people don't possess.

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
04-09-2012, 10:15 AM
Actually I don't think the goal of Aikido is to control the attacker without injury, that is just a hippy philosophy that was grafted onto the art by post WW2 public relations, compounded by misunderstandings and poor translations of deeper philosophies. The consequences of an attack are determined by the intent of the attacker meeting a correctly trained body. Wether we are talking takemusu aikido or Aiki in it's truest sense, the response has no time or space for choices. If there is an
ethical imperative, it is to do no more harm than necessary to stop the attack. Once again the choice is the attackers. Correct training in any genuine martial art allows for escalation on the force continuum according to the rebound or absorption of incoming energy.

Oh, I don't think so either - but that's the usual line...

Best,

Chris

sorokod
04-09-2012, 12:55 PM
My point was, I'm not sure that technical ability really gets to the point where you can control a resistant attacker without injury.

If they have to take ukemi than it's not a real choice, is it? Because they require a specialized skill that most people don't possess.

Best,

Chris

Me neither and as for the determined attacker with bad ukemi skills - they are beyond salvation :-) The nage may give them a choice between bad and worse.

Abasan
04-09-2012, 01:03 PM
If this is true (that "The only other option is to hang on for dear life and resist which is far worst for the body to my mind") then the assertion that Aikido can or is meant to control the attacker without injury is completely false.

If the assertion that Aikido can or is meant to control the attacker without injury is not false, then you shouldn't have to be able to take ukemi in order to have a technique performed on you.

Which one is it?

And if it's a training method - than what does it train?

Best,

Chris

I've never heard of the assertion that an Aikido practitioner can control an attacker without injury. Yes not withstanding Osensei did his best not to injure guests in his demo, his own students suffered injuries when they failed to take proper ukemi from him.

Good aikido does not force injury on uke. It just returns the amount of force the attacker used in his attack. And if uke cannot do ukemi well, that force may graduate to something that is dangerous as we increase our intensity. Nage's only being nice when he slows down your attack.

Case in point is Ikkyo. There any number of ways to take ukemi from one. But if uke thinks that the choice of ukemi is his, then he'll be in for surprise when someone who really knows his Ikkyo lets go one time. Or better yet iriminage. Everyone things hmm, back fall or flip yeah? Until the guy lets rip and you find him doing a hula hoop with your neck, and your legs are making circles... Or bounces you of the ground and you find yourself flying forwards with your legs in front of you.

In all cases when I find myself unable to choose an ukemi, I just pray that my body would do something right when I hit the mat. It's always a happy feeling to find myself still alive after one of those. But in all those events, never have I felt nage was out to hurt me or throw me. It always felt like I got caught in a whirlwind and was loosed after a time... Does that make sense? The hurricane's not out to get you... You just happen to be on its path.

Chris Li
04-09-2012, 01:19 PM
I've never heard of the assertion that an Aikido practitioner can control an attacker without injury. Yes not withstanding Osensei did his best not to injure guests in his demo, his own students suffered injuries when they failed to take proper ukemi from him.

Good aikido does not force injury on uke. It just returns the amount of force the attacker used in his attack. And if uke cannot do ukemi well, that force may graduate to something that is dangerous as we increase our intensity. Nage's only being nice when he slows down your attack.

Case in point is Ikkyo. There any number of ways to take ukemi from one. But if uke thinks that the choice of ukemi is his, then he'll be in for surprise when someone who really knows his Ikkyo lets go one time. Or better yet iriminage. Everyone things hmm, back fall or flip yeah? Until the guy lets rip and you find him doing a hula hoop with your neck, and your legs are making circles... Or bounces you of the ground and you find yourself flying forwards with your legs in front of you.

In all cases when I find myself unable to choose an ukemi, I just pray that my body would do something right when I hit the mat. It's always a happy feeling to find myself still alive after one of those. But in all those events, never have I felt nage was out to hurt me or throw me. It always felt like I got caught in a whirlwind and was loosed after a time... Does that make sense? The hurricane's not out to get you... You just happen to be on its path.

I don't know where you've been, it's even on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aikido), and it even used to be on the Aikikai Hombu home page, before they rewrote their description. Also see the old Koichi Tohei description in "Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere".

Anyway, if the choice it "take ukemi or be injured" then I think that the average person will end up being injured (since they have no idea how to take ukemi). I don't necessarily have a problem with that - but it vastly changes the dynamic. The standard way of training while taking ukemi trains the nage's body to expect a situation that - just doesn't occur.

Best,

Chris

Gary David
04-09-2012, 02:18 PM
Just a few thoughts here based on my experiences........



Good aikido does not force injury on uke. It just returns the amount of force the attacker used in his attack. And if uke cannot do ukemi well, that force may graduate to something that is dangerous as we increase our intensity. Nage's only being nice when he slows down your attack.

In the cooperative training environment that prevails with most Aikido I think that your idea of good Aikido is the stretch goal.....the ideal..... one that is still way beyond most of us. In a non-training environment the variables are so numerous that the timing of the ensuing events may preclude any idea of "helping" the attacker through it.

Talking injuries, most of those I received in the cooperative training environment came as a result of errors on the part of nage in form, method, understanding the where on the mat, understanding their own bodies and skills and stuff like that. I have had both shoulders separated (minor) with the right one more than once. All of the times because I was loaded up and had no place to go but down....they collapsed, they threw into space to small to land, they shorted me...... I quite taking falls a long time ago....hips, lower back and other areas told me to give it up.


In all cases when I find myself unable to choose an ukemi, I just pray that my body would do something right when I hit the mat. It's always a happy feeling to find myself still alive after one of those. But in all those events, never have I felt nage was out to hurt me or throw me. It always felt like I got caught in a whirlwind and was loosed after a time... Does that make sense? The hurricane's not out to get you... You just happen to be on its path.

Way back most ukemi I took in seminar settings was still a cooperative environment for the most part with the instructors teaching....not always with the individuals traveling with they though. There were a couple of these Shihan whose general attitude was one of demand compliance. You always made sure they beat up their personal uke first so you knew what was coming.....then if he got to you,,,you stayed ahead of him enough as to not get hurt and to not make him look bad........

Gary

Rob Watson
04-09-2012, 03:32 PM
I think that there's a real question as to whether or not that technical ability ever comes to pass (at least in the context of the big throws that are a staple of almost every Aikido dojo) - even the direct students of Ueshiba often mentioned how scary it was to take ukemi for him, and that was in a controlled situation with people who knew how to protect themselves.

OTOH, if people take ukemi instead of being injured - doesn't that condition your body (the thrower) in the wrong way?

Best,

Chris

Bubbling from the old memory banks is a quote (paraphrased) from M. Saito to the point that when aikido is done properly there is no opportunity for ukemi. That leaves only the injury or the kind heart of the aikidoka to permit ukemi. Seems ukemi is a training tool (which requires nages permission to use) to prevent a trail of wrecked partners as opposed to an actual method or unique element of aikido.

Chris Li
04-09-2012, 03:42 PM
Bubbling from the old memory banks is a quote (paraphrased) from M. Saito to the point that when aikido is done properly there is no opportunity for ukemi. That leaves only the injury or the kind heart of the aikidoka to permit ukemi. Seems ukemi is a training tool (which requires nages permission to use) to prevent a trail of wrecked partners as opposed to an actual method or unique element of aikido.

I agree with that - but in that case, isn't it conditioning your body in the wrong way?

Best,

Chris

DH
04-09-2012, 04:33 PM
Bubbling from the old memory banks is a quote (paraphrased) from M. Saito to the point that when aikido is done properly there is no opportunity for ukemi. That leaves only the injury or the kind heart of the aikidoka to permit ukemi. Seems ukemi is a training tool (which requires nages permission to use) to prevent a trail of wrecked partners as opposed to an actual method or unique element of aikido.
Wasn't it Saotome who said that no one could throw Tohei?
Wasn't the same thing said about Mochizuki and Shioda and Sugino?
Were they not doing aikido.....when they stopped aikido teachers?
Well...dozens of Japanese and Western Shihan later- I have never met anyone who could throw me or others who train this way.
Perhaps Chris is right, that learning the conditioning we now know many of them trained in, cancels everything out and you sort of just fall down for people because they truly have no ability to throw you. But wait, wait...where did they learn that....where did I learn it? Not by taking Ukemi.

Dan

Rob Watson
04-09-2012, 07:08 PM
I agree with that - but in that case, isn't it conditioning your body in the wrong way?

Best,

Chris

You mean taking ukemi as opposed to being left a broken crumpled heap ... I don't think either leads very far.

Being able to have someone with real power throw you and being able to land safely is a pretty handy skill irrespective of its questionable utility in developing real power.

The only skill I've personally ever developed from ukemi is knowing when someone really throws me versus giving it away ... didn't really need much skill for that - but they never would have tried to really throw me unless they knew I could take the fall! Guess I never trained with anyone that didn't care enough about me to throw me without regard for my safety.

Chris Li
04-09-2012, 07:18 PM
You mean taking ukemi as opposed to being left a broken crumpled heap ... I don't think either leads very far.

Either way is not so good for me :) - but I think that the same really holds true for the nage. It's like punching something that always moves - you're in for a big change when you start in on the heavy bag.

Being able to have someone with real power throw you and being able to land safely is a pretty handy skill irrespective of its questionable utility in developing real power.

Nice to have - but is it worth the price for people who aren't really planning to go into that situation?

Best,

Chris

DH
04-09-2012, 07:40 PM
You mean taking ukemi as opposed to being left a broken crumpled heap ... I don't think either leads very far.

Being able to have someone with real power throw you and being able to land safely is a pretty handy skill irrespective of its questionable utility in developing real power.

The only skill I've personally ever developed from ukemi is knowing when someone really throws me versus giving it away ... didn't really need much skill for that - but they never would have tried to really throw me unless they knew I could take the fall! Guess I never trained with anyone that didn't care enough about me to throw me without regard for my safety.
That's actually a good point Rob. Just remember that many of us do other things as well where that is not a prerequisite. There are many Martial arts where you need to protect yourself. Oddly IMO those people have a tendency to actually get hurt less. Many have agreed on that in the past. To be sure there are positives and negatives in cooperative and non cooperative practices.
Dan

Rob Watson
04-09-2012, 07:42 PM
Not by taking Ukemi.

Dan

Right, no skill in ukemi is required to fall for someone when they can't really throw in the first place. Sempai says ... sensei says ... plain old fashioned conditioning (in the psychological sense like the drooling dogs).

That is why I really like Sunday free practice or after class free practice - no free falls then.

chillzATL
04-09-2012, 08:02 PM
Right, no skill in ukemi is required to fall for someone when they can't really throw in the first place. Sempai says ... sensei says ... plain old fashioned conditioning (in the psychological sense like the drooling dogs).

That is why I really like Sunday free practice or after class free practice - no free falls then.

and isn't that how it's supposed to be, internal or external? You progress, you get stronger, you get better and it gets harder for everyone to make those things happen? If you manage to put it all together or uke just isn't strong enough to provide much resistance, how is ukemi NOT the end result? Obviously if you don't put it all together and can't maintain proper control through the technique it stops, you say "ah, almost got you" and you do it again and again and again and again. Uke and nage using the same body training (edit: and sensitivity) to both attack and execute technique, resisting, improving, getting better. A kata based, semi-alive and hopefully internal equivalent to 20 reps on the ab machine, rowing machine and leg machine rolled into one... kinda...

Abasan
04-09-2012, 08:04 PM
I think there is a difference in training goals and methods here.

Quite simply there are quite a few shihans here who will demonstrate that they can't be thrown by the likes of us. That's simple enough, you don't need to be a shihan to not get thrown, anyone can do it. Just don't attack wholeheartedly. Keep something in reserve and you're not likely to be thrown by almost all aikidoka. For them you 'allow' the throw to happen by 'giving' your energy through.

Until of course you seek to learn more than monkey see, monkey do. This is where you learn to connect to uke irrespective of his intention to connect with you. Very difficult and in my mind very special knowledge because if you're training for real encounters you are expecting that attackers have every intent of attacking you.

So if the intent to attack is there, that's good enough. It's sort of between the two extremes mentioned above. That's where most of us should be practicing at. Uke attacks any which way he likes, nage responds in a very general way using the principles learned from kihon waza, I.e. not the techniques per se but what was behind the techniques.

Chris,
Yes I don't mean I haven't come across it. The first book I read, dynamic sphere made it it's selling point, and that's our usual spiel in my first aikido club which was shin shin toitsu based. Early on, that understanding was simple enough to get the message across that aikido is different then other arts. But then as you go deeper, and you learn more, you know that there a whole lot more shades of grey Than there is black and white.

It's just that I don't abide by it, I mean don't believe it. It's not what my Sensei will teach nor what some other sensei's teach at least whom I came across.

Abasan
04-09-2012, 08:10 PM
Ah..forget it, every time I write something it doesn't really convey what I actually mean to say. There are just too many different concepts at play especially when we are trying to generalize dojo practice, reality practice and active prove me you are right practice.

And I'm not there yet, not close to where I should be to answer all that with full responsibility and conviction. Only representing one dimension, where I personally have felt the after effects and in limited capacity be able to reproduce it. Thus I don't think I can be qualified to answer anything in this discussion.

That's why I'd really just like to meet up one day and train with you guys. So I can feel what you guys are talking about on the mat. Maybe in Hawaii eh when Dan comes around again. I just hope the TSA louts there haven't been reading what I wrote on FB about their exploits.

Chris Li
04-09-2012, 08:18 PM
That's why I'd really just like to meet up one day and train with you guys. So I can feel what you guys are talking about on the mat. Maybe in Hawaii eh when Dan comes around again. I just hope the TSA louts there haven't been reading what I wrote on FB about their exploits.

We always have a blast! Hope to meet you sometime.

Best,

Chris

DH
04-09-2012, 08:41 PM
I think there is a difference in training goals and methods here.
Quite simply there are quite a few shihans here who will demonstrate that they can't be thrown by the likes of us. That's simple enough, you don't need to be a shihan to not get thrown, anyone can do it. Just don't attack wholeheartedly. Keep something in reserve and you're not likely to be thrown by almost all aikidoka. For them you 'allow' the throw to happen by 'giving' your energy through.

Well sir, I don't mean to be disrespectful but if I or a few others I know, ever commitedly attacked an Aikido Shihan and did not keep something in reserve it would all be over very quickly, and I would not be thrown. Quite honestly I don't think you really understand what is going on here and the amount of shear soft power and aiki that is being discussed. No harm no foul. Where would you ever get to see it?
I think meeting would be a good beginning to establish a dialogue of the potentials that are out there in other sectors that are just now coming back into Aikido. That way you know what we are talking about.

Chris is right. We laugh continually, do not take ourselves too seriously and just have too much fun.

Dan

bob_stra
04-10-2012, 10:59 AM
Ukemi is bad for your body. Period. Learning it is smart, continuing to taka falls your whole life is not good for your body. It will not teach your aiki. It will not teach you internal power, you do not need to fall down to "feel your teacher" and learn the waza.
You can learn power and aiki and how to use it, without falling down at all. And in the process some of the damage will be reversed through training the body correctly.
I continue to prove all of the above, (and not just talk about it) ...month after month as I meet so many of the damaged teachers and players.

Well, the very nature of the question defines the lack of understanding of what it is we do. Taking lateral loads is nursury school and just one of many benefits of proper training. It is far deeper than that and broaches the topic of the connection between internal strength....and Aiki.
Dan

Interesting. I note that no one has really discussed 'what is elbow power' in this thread.

As a historical tidbit, there is a concept of "hiji no ri" or "elbow power" (perhaps more accurately, 'the principle of the elbow') in Judo. An aquientance of mine (who's trained with both Sam Chin and Akuzawa, as well as being Dan ranked in Tomiki aikido) has mentioned that 'elbow management' is a hot topic in those arts. Considering something like Wing Chun (which seems to have a very interesting way of using the elbows / arms), I think something like this might be a fruitful discussion.

In regards to Ukemi; it's my understanding that certain hard chi-gung exercises involve hitting oneself (lightly!) in order to 'spread the chi'. Actually, if you think about it, something like a side-break fall could serve a similar body conditioning purpose. I also realize that Kuroda has an interesting article on the use of ukemi (or rather, ukimi) and how it relates to his internal training.

In other words, ukemi training (as it is, without turning into bogyo) might serve a good purpose

$0.02

DH
04-10-2012, 11:34 AM
Interesting. I note that no one has really discussed 'what is elbow power' in this thread.

As a historical tidbit, there is a concept of "hiji no ri" or "elbow power" (perhaps more accurately, 'the principle of the elbow') in Judo. An aquientance of mine (who's trained with both Sam Chin and Akuzawa, as well as being Dan ranked in Tomiki aikido) has mentioned that 'elbow management' is a hot topic in those arts. Considering something like Wing Chun (which seems to have a very interesting way of using the elbows / arms), I think something like this might be a fruitful discussion.
Not really
I tried discussing it once and left some descriptions and hints on the table. No one really got it and responded with anything substantial, and to date I haven't seen a real description of;
What it is
How it works
Why it has such a profound meaning in aiki arts

I have no more interesting in arguing about it, so I just do it in person.

In regards to Ukemi; it's my understanding that certain hard chi-gung exercises involve hitting oneself (lightly!) in order to 'spread the chi'.
There are some very well respected Internal guys who don't think much of that model and claim it isn't necessary. I think it does and there are ways to incorporate it in training to toughen you without doing damage
Actually, if you think about it, something like a side-break fall could serve a similar body conditioning purpose. I also realize that Kuroda has an interesting article on the use of ukemi (or rather, ukimi) and how it relates to his internal training.
In other words, ukemi training (as it is, without turning into bogyo) might serve a good purpose
$0.02
I disagree with Kuroda about a number of things Kuroda does-including his much vaunted weapon work. As I described right here years ago, I later found out it did in fact fail to demonstrate power when put to the test. And yes...I know some big names love his stuff. But those big names don't see what I see and nor can do what I do. And I think he is wrong about Ukemi as well and that can be proved as well.
This is either a deep topic or it isn't, and if it is deep, than it is complex, and if that is the case than there people who have developed certain parts and pieces, and others who are, well, more complete. We are engaging in a process, sometimes a very surprising one, at founding out just who is who. This is far more accepted, even expected, in the Chinese arts more than the Japanese. Sometimes it doesn't make people feel comfortable, but I think that in the end, truth does that. It also leads us into new realizations and understandings in our training that will lead us forward.
Dan

bob_stra
04-10-2012, 12:03 PM
Not really
I tried discussing it once and left some descriptions and hints on the table. No one really got it and responded with anything substantial, and to date I haven't seen a real description of;
What it is
How it works
Why it has such a profound meaning in aiki arts

I have no more interesting in arguing about it, so I just do it in person.


That's fine. Can you cite the thread; I'd like to read it.


There are some very well respected Internal guys who don't think much of that model and claim it isn't necessary. I think it does and there are ways to incorporate it in training to toughen you without doing damage


Well, sure. It represents one of the fundamental differences between 'hard' and 'soft' approaches, right?

I haven't done any in-depth historical study (Chris has maybe), but perhaps ukemi has changed over the lifetime of aikido. It could be conceivable that "slapping as conditioning" was one of the original uses, (bearing in mind that the IS influence into JMA's might not necessarily be via the soft routes)

I think I saw Tohei (?) write that the end result of extensive aikido training is meant to be a pliable, responsive and injury resistant body; something like ukemi could very nicely fit that role if done in moderation. In which case, ukemi is not so much useless as it is fundamental body conditioning.


I disagree with Kuroda about a number of things Kuroda does-including his much vaunted weapon work. As I described right here years ago, I later found out it did in fact fail to demonstrate power when put to the test. And yes...I know some big names love his stuff. But those big names don't see what I see and nor can do what I do. And I think he is wrong about Ukemi as well and that can be proved as well.


Well, my understanding is that Kuroda's interest in 'ukimi' (floating body) has some cross over to the kinds of power generation seen in his empty hands work. Certainly, the idea that 'you throw as if you were generating ukemi' isn't new.

Do you dispute the general idea or Kuroda in specific, and why (specifically)?

For reference's sake, here's the essay and video -



Pranin: Then it was after that experience that you began training exchanges with Kono Sensei.

Kuroda Sensei: That started about one year after I first met Kono Sensei. At that time my biggest weak point was jujutsu. I just did the movements of the kata sequentially and my uke would take the falls.

However, when I listened to my grandfather's old students talk, they would laugh and tell me this story: "It was during the war and we didn't practice jujutsu very much, but we did do a little. On those occasions, even if we were merely doing kata we thought that it would not be fun to be thrown by girls. So we tried to resist, but we were easily thrown. Then Sensei would say to us, ‘You shouldn't use power!'"

Looking back now, I realize that I trained stiffly, but even still, I was at least conscious of trying to be soft because I saw the soft ukemi [falls] of my seniors. However, no matter how aware of the problem I was, I remained stiff, even though I was trying to be soft and not use power, because my partner and I were both rigid.

Kono Sensei was the one who made me realize that. The difference between being soft and merely not using power is seen when the time comes to try to move and the technique either works or it doesn't. Also, you really have to train seriously over a period of time in order to become soft when not using power. You can't do it all at once.

Kono Sensei showed me several kirikuzushi techniques each time he came to the dojo. In these techniques he allows himself to be grabbed with two hands and I even had him teach them to my students. Later, after hearing my story about my grandfather taking forward falls thirty-six times on the length of one tatami mat, he said that he first began training with the goal of taking two falls.

When he told me this over the phone, following his lead, I began the same training. When I tried at that time it still took about seventy percent of the length of the tatami for me to fall, just as it had until that time. The only hint I had was the words of my grandfather I had heard as a boy. He said, "Roll forward and try to put your head into your crotch!" Is it that easy to put your head into your crotch? Since he was not talking about having a particular degree of body flexibility, I couldn't figure out how to roll.

Once, when I was absent from the dojo, my grandfather became disgusted at the sight of my students doing stiff jujutsu training and he showed them how to roll, saying that they could not even roll properly. On that occasion, it seems that my grandfather, who was dressed in a heavy-quilt garment, happened to take a fall. When I asked my students how he rolled they just said that they didn't know and so I had no clue. All they said was that he needed only a distance of about twelve inches to do the roll.

At that point I gave up on trying to learn this short forward roll. In order to roll forward thirty-six times in the space of one tatami, you almost have to end up in the same place each time you roll. Even though he was an old man and started from a standing position, he rolled in a space of about twelve inches in a way that was impossible to perceive with the eyes.

Kono Sensei, who is not a member of this dojo, was trying to learn this sort of lofty technique and he actually started to train. I remember at that time my eyes being opened too. Also, I think that on that occasion, when my eyes were opened to basic ukemi, I first began to reconsider jujutsu, which had been until then my weak point.

I recorded my progress in this ukemi over a period of time on videotape. I have fond recollections of my improvement. After beginning around the start of May 1988, when I could do two forward rolls, it went quickly: May 26–three times; May 29–four times; May 31–six times. Then, in June, the pace was as follows: June 3–eight times; June 9–twelve times; June 12–eighteen times; June 14–thirty-seven times; June 19–forty-three times. I don't roll in this ukemi. My leg doesn't strike the floor either. I came to understand gradually after I tried to do it.


http://www.dojoofthefourwinds.com/kuroda.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwHX6kR_Se0

DH
04-10-2012, 12:39 PM
Hi Bob
I have to run but I will answer later.
FWIW, I was NOT.....NOT... talking about Kuroda's art. All of our arts have good and not so good stuff in them. I was referring to IS and what he does with weapons and jujutsu that I have seen. That is a much more narrow discussion and I don't want people getting the mistaken impression that I think his entire art is no good-please!!. That is most certainly NOT how I feel.
Dan
That's fine. Can you cite the thread; I'd like to read it.

Well, sure. It represents one of the fundamental differences between 'hard' and 'soft' approaches, right?

I haven't done any in-depth historical study (Chris has maybe), but perhaps ukemi has changed over the lifetime of aikido. It could be conceivable that "slapping as conditioning" was one of the original uses, (bearing in mind that the IS influence into JMA's might not necessarily be via the soft routes)

I think I saw Tohei (?) write that the end result of extensive aikido training is meant to be a pliable, responsive and injury resistant body; something like ukemi could very nicely fit that role if done in moderation. In which case, ukemi is not so much useless as it is fundamental body conditioning.

Well, my understanding is that Kuroda's interest in 'ukimi' (floating body) has some cross over to the kinds of power generation seen in his empty hands work. Certainly, the idea that 'you throw as if you were generating ukemi' isn't new.

Do you dispute the general idea or Kuroda in specific, and why (specifically)?

For reference's sake, here's the essay and video -

http://www.dojoofthefourwinds.com/kuroda.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwHX6kR_Se0

bob_stra
04-10-2012, 12:50 PM
Sure thing Dan; I look forward to reading your thoughts and replies to questions. It could be a productive exchange.

tombuchanan
04-11-2012, 03:20 AM
Interesting. I note that no one has really discussed 'what is elbow power' in this thread.

As a historical tidbit, there is a concept of "hiji no ri" or "elbow power" (perhaps more accurately, 'the principle of the elbow') in Judo. An aquientance of mine (who's trained with both Sam Chin and Akuzawa, as well as being Dan ranked in Tomiki aikido) has mentioned that 'elbow management' is a hot topic in those arts. Considering something like Wing Chun (which seems to have a very interesting way of using the elbows / arms), I think something like this might be a fruitful discussion.

In regards to Ukemi; it's my understanding that certain hard chi-gung exercises involve hitting oneself (lightly!) in order to 'spread the chi'. Actually, if you think about it, something like a side-break fall could serve a similar body conditioning purpose. I also realize that Kuroda has an interesting article on the use of ukemi (or rather, ukimi) and how it relates to his internal training.

In other words, ukemi training (as it is, without turning into bogyo) might serve a good purpose

$0.02

Off (on?) topic, I noticed that I have gotten more out of my training recently by focusing on the elbow and forgetting about the center for a while. Stuff like..

1.) Initiating a movement by pulling down on my sternum/collarbone seems to pull my elbows onto my spine/center. On a good day, this bypasses the shoulder almost completely. The resulting power seems to use the elbow as the focal point.

2.) An added benefit is the ability to more easily dissolve resistance through the elbow - back - hip - foot connection to the ground. I'm not any stronger, I just let their resistance "slide" through to the ground and keep moving forward.

3.) Maintaining a slight tug on the elbows keeps them attached to the spine. Pushing and pulling is subsequently anchored to the frame and results in substantially more force being generated.

4.) Forgetting the hand and initiating movement with the elbow seems to both avoid resistance and allow for an increased range of motion.

5.) Rotating the shoulder and elbow in opposite directions makes #4 just a little easier.

In the context of this thread, what are the objectives of "Elbow Power"? Any examples? Video (i.e., we are trying to do this)?

Lee Salzman
04-11-2012, 05:15 AM
Off (on?) topic, I noticed that I have gotten more out of my training recently by focusing on the elbow and forgetting about the center for a while. Stuff like..

1.) Initiating a movement by pulling down on my sternum/collarbone seems to pull my elbows onto my spine/center. On a good day, this bypasses the shoulder almost completely. The resulting power seems to use the elbow as the focal point.

2.) An added benefit is the ability to more easily dissolve resistance through the elbow - back - hip - foot connection to the ground. I'm not any stronger, I just let their resistance "slide" through to the ground and keep moving forward.

3.) Maintaining a slight tug on the elbows keeps them attached to the spine. Pushing and pulling is subsequently anchored to the frame and results in substantially more force being generated.

4.) Forgetting the hand and initiating movement with the elbow seems to both avoid resistance and allow for an increased range of motion.

5.) Rotating the shoulder and elbow in opposite directions makes #4 just a little easier.

In the context of this thread, what are the objectives of "Elbow Power"? Any examples? Video (i.e., we are trying to do this)?

I think the first thing to establish is: does elbow power really have anything to do with the elbow, in the same sense we might ask does asagao really refer to the practice of gardening or just making funny hand shapes? It would seem they are pointing at larger concepts through suggestive means.

Abasan
04-11-2012, 05:31 AM
I donno, in my mind I don't think that elbow power actually refers to power in the elbows. More like how the elbow is positioned to the body and uke. And how to move it.

I've read shioda's total aikido a couple of times, and I'm not sure if he's talking about the same thing.

Lee Salzman
04-11-2012, 05:46 AM
I donno, in my mind I don't think that elbow power actually refers to power in the elbows. More like how the elbow is positioned to the body and uke. And how to move it.

I've read shioda's total aikido a couple of times, and I'm not sure if he's talking about the same thing.

Wouldn't that be the same fixation, saying that it is not about the power of the elbows, and yet still just saying that if you put your elbow here or there relative to this or that and move it this way it is powerful or not in some way? Could we rather posit knee power? Toe power? Finger power? Knuckle power? Hip bone power? What is so conspicuous about the elbow here that you wish to grant it special status?

greenapple
04-11-2012, 10:18 AM
you might find it interesting about how this well known Wing Chun Master explains the idea or concept of Elbow Power
http://youtu.be/DiUp3gKlJEg

bob_stra
04-12-2012, 01:19 AM
you might find it interesting about how this well known Wing Chun Master explains the idea or concept of Elbow Power
http://youtu.be/DiUp3gKlJEg

I liked it. As is usual with these clips, there's a lot of 'reading between the lines' that needs to go on. For example, here's another (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1rjNnhUUCc) cute one by the same guy. Watch what he does....and compare it to how some of it's translated :hypno:

I did a quick search here and found this previous thread (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20105&page=2) that discusses elbow power. I think that's pretty congruent to what I've heard and seen elsewhere, though I'm sure there's more to it. I still like this as a cutest example (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6XvxnXFrog) of elbow power, though :D

gregstec
04-12-2012, 09:10 AM
you might find it interesting about how this well known Wing Chun Master explains the idea or concept of Elbow Power
http://youtu.be/DiUp3gKlJEg

Some very good IS/IP concepts shown in that video :)

Greg

Abasan
04-12-2012, 09:44 AM
Wouldn't that be the same fixation, saying that it is not about the power of the elbows, and yet still just saying that if you put your elbow here or there relative to this or that and move it this way it is powerful or not in some way? Could we rather posit knee power? Toe power? Finger power? Knuckle power? Hip bone power? What is so conspicuous about the elbow here that you wish to grant it special status?

I don't know what you're trying to say... Maybe you should ask the heir apparent to shioda, inoue Sensei.

MM
04-12-2012, 09:47 AM
Some very good IS/IP concepts shown in that video :)

Greg

Hi Greg,

I didn't really see them. Can you expand on what you saw? I didnt understand him, but there wasn't anything, that I heard, in the translation that shed light on IS/IP concepts.

Mark

gregstec
04-12-2012, 10:02 AM
Hi Greg,

I didn't really see them. Can you expand on what you saw? I didnt understand him, but there wasn't anything, that I heard, in the translation that shed light on IS/IP concepts.

Mark

Really? go back, look AND listen and it is very evident to me he is talking about not using physical strength as well as keeping a whole body connection in movement of the arm without shoulder involvement along with some points on circular movement and not linear movement, etc. All aspects of IS/IP, IMO.

Greg

MM
04-12-2012, 10:06 AM
Really? go back, look AND listen and it is very evident to me he is talking about not using physical strength as well as keeping a whole body connection in movement of the arm without shoulder involvement along with some points on circular movement and not linear movement, etc. All aspects of IS/IP, IMO.

Greg

I hear that in judo, BJJ. Are you saying they are good examples of IS/IP?

gregstec
04-12-2012, 10:23 AM
I hear that in judo, BJJ. Are you saying they are good examples of IS/IP?

They are core components of all IS/IP. However, not all IS/IP is created equal - and there are other things that can enhance the level of IS/IP such as the spirals in aiki - but we are not talking about aiki here, just one form of IS/IP - aiki creates IS/IP, but not all IS/IP has aiki :)

Greg

MM
04-12-2012, 11:50 AM
They are core components of all IS/IP. However, not all IS/IP is created equal - and there are other things that can enhance the level of IS/IP such as the spirals in aiki - but we are not talking about aiki here, just one form of IS/IP - aiki creates IS/IP, but not all IS/IP has aiki :)

Greg

I disagree. And I don't think that what that video is showing is the same as aikido elbow power. But that's my opinion.

gregstec
04-12-2012, 11:59 AM
I disagree. And I don't think that what that video is showing is the same as aikido elbow power. But that's my opinion.

I never said it was representative of elbow power - just said it had some good concept points for IS/IP - simple as that; nothing more and nothing less.

MM
04-12-2012, 12:34 PM
I never said it was representative of elbow power - just said it had some good concept points for IS/IP - simple as that; nothing more and nothing less.

I disagree that what is shown is "good concepts" for the IS/IP we usually talk about. I also disagree that what is shown on the video is "core components" of the IS/IP we usually talk about.

I did put "and" after I disagreed. :). Didn't mean to imply you said it.

gregstec
04-12-2012, 02:16 PM
I disagree that what is shown is "good concepts" for the IS/IP we usually talk about. I also disagree that what is shown on the video is "core components" of the IS/IP we usually talk about.

.

I know that "we" talk about a lot more things with our aiki development under Dan - but some of those basic things talked about in that video are part of what we do - I just thought it was nice to see some points coming out from a different source; Chinese of course. I have been looking into Sam Chin's stuff, Yiquan, and some Chen Taiqiquan looking for commonalities with Dan's methods and it is always good when I come across some no matter how basic, so I just point them out :)


I did put "and" after I disagreed. :). Didn't mean to imply you said it

Well, as an aspiring author, I would think you would be more aware of how your writings would be interpreted by us lay people - besides, don't you have a book to write, AND to do work on your new job :D

Best

Greg

MM
04-12-2012, 02:58 PM
but some of those basic things talked about in that video are part of what we do

Best

Greg

Might be just me, but I don't think I do what they're talking about in that video. That's not how I look at my training. Anyway, too far off topic.

Elbow power in aikido, to me, is something different than what's in that video.

Lee Salzman
04-13-2012, 04:35 AM
Might be just me, but I don't think I do what they're talking about in that video. That's not how I look at my training. Anyway, too far off topic.

Elbow power in aikido, to me, is something different than what's in that video.

Now the great unlikely-to-ever-be-fulfilled mission of this thread is: can you tell us, to some degree, why it is different or what it is that makes elbow power in aikido different from that? I realize some people wish to keep cards close to their chest, but throw us a few bones, or bone shavings even.

Nicholas Eschenbruch
04-13-2012, 05:23 AM
Now the great unlikely-to-ever-be-fulfilled mission of this thread is: can you tell us, to some degree, why it is different or what it is that makes elbow power in aikido different from that? I realize some people wish to keep cards close to their chest, but throw us a few bones, or bone shavings even.

:) Made me smile. Come on Mark. We will ask the Big One if you dont tell us. :D

phitruong
04-13-2012, 08:15 AM
Now the great unlikely-to-ever-be-fulfilled mission of this thread is: can you tell us, to some degree, why it is different or what it is that makes elbow power in aikido different from that? I realize some people wish to keep cards close to their chest, but throw us a few bones, or bone shavings even.

maybe the aikido elbow has more humor in its bone. it might be more standup than others. :)

Lee Salzman
04-13-2012, 08:23 AM
maybe the aikido elbow has more humor in its bone. it might be more standup than others. :)

If by humor(s) we are talking stuff like black bile, phlegm, etc., sure. Not so sure about the other type of humor these days. :)

Rob Watson
04-13-2012, 11:19 AM
maybe the aikido elbow has more humor in its bone. it might be more standup than others. :)

Elbow .... humor .... humerus ... hmmmm.

Mario Tobias
04-13-2012, 04:21 PM
Elbow power? I think it's just basic physics.

If in katatedori or any wrist grabs like morotedori, the wrist is your axis and the forearm the lever. Wrist grabs will be considered a class 1 type lever if you want to displace uke with minimal power and maximum carrying effect. It just so happens that the optimal lever fulcrum is from the elbow to the wrist. Nothing mystical about it. And as Endo sensei said, do not try to move what cannot be moved.

Cheers,

bob_stra
04-13-2012, 04:35 PM
Now the great unlikely-to-ever-be-fulfilled mission of this thread is: can you tell us, to some degree, why it is different or what it is that makes elbow power in aikido different from that? I realize some people wish to keep cards close to their chest, but throw us a few bones, or bone shavings even.

I think the videos I cited (as opposed to the one cited by Andy, which seems to be the 'bone of contention (har!)) might have been a little clearer. IMHO.

On the other hand, I'm interested to know what Mark, Greg and Dan mean by 'elbow power'. It seems it means something else to them?

gregstec
04-14-2012, 08:21 AM
I think the videos I cited (as opposed to the one cited by Andy, which seems to be the 'bone of contention (har!)) might have been a little clearer. IMHO.

On the other hand, I'm interested to know what Mark, Greg and Dan mean by 'elbow power'. It seems it means something else to them?

More info on Elbow Power can be found in this previous thread: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20105

I am not sure what else can be said other than Elbow Power can mean various things to various people based on the context of how the term is used; and that does not mean others are wrong in their own environment, it just means it is not right for in the context of Aiki. Just to sum up some points for aiki: the concept of elbow power is more than a simple movement of the elbow to get in a better leverage position to effect a throw. There is a mental component that controls internal energy that leads a physically movement; there is whole body connection where when one thing moves, all things move; and there is a union of opposing forces set up by internal spirals where the elbow becomes a point within a whole body spiral that effects anything that connects with the body. As Dan said, it is not just about the elbow, the aiki concept of elbow power can occur in any part of a connected body. Sorry, this may not be the well detailed road map everyone was looking for, but there is just so much going with the concept, that online discussion is pretty much useless, and an in person hands on demo says it all in a few seconds.

Just my opinion, and of course, YMMV

Greg

tombuchanan
04-14-2012, 11:23 PM
Now the great unlikely-to-ever-be-fulfilled mission of this thread is: can you tell us, to some degree, why it is different or what it is that makes elbow power in aikido different from that? I realize some people wish to keep cards close to their chest, but throw us a few bones, or bone shavings even.

Exactly, sometimes I can't tell if this is a,

1.) Forum where people exchange ideas (e.g., I was trying this -- we learned something else, someone makes a suggestion, that helps, thanks..) :)

or,

2.) A bad game of hangman (I was trying this -- you were?, why?, seriously!?**!, , zOMG not even close, your teacher has been lying to you, and they lie to everyone else except your worst enemy and your ex-wife, all ur base r belong to us..you have no chance to survive make your time.. HA HA HA HA) :) :)

Lee Salzman
04-15-2012, 01:53 AM
More info on Elbow Power can be found in this previous thread: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20105

I am not sure what else can be said other than Elbow Power can mean various things to various people based on the context of how the term is used; and that does not mean others are wrong in their own environment, it just means it is not right for in the context of Aiki. Just to sum up some points for aiki: the concept of elbow power is more than a simple movement of the elbow to get in a better leverage position to effect a throw. There is a mental component that controls internal energy that leads a physically movement; there is whole body connection where when one thing moves, all things move; and there is a union of opposing forces set up by internal spirals where the elbow becomes a point within a whole body spiral that effects anything that connects with the body. As Dan said, it is not just about the elbow, the aiki concept of elbow power can occur in any part of a connected body. Sorry, this may not be the well detailed road map everyone was looking for, but there is just so much going with the concept, that online discussion is pretty much useless, and an in person hands on demo says it all in a few seconds.

Just my opinion, and of course, YMMV

Greg

I am not sure saying the term could mean various things to various people does us any more good than allowing people to present pineapples as apples, because they both have the word apple in them. We're talking about apples here, well, elbow power ones. And we mean a specific variety, the aiki one. Trying to be too charitable isn't going to help the discussion when we want to ferret out a specific idea.

All the same, thanks for providing your definition of elbow power, though, because if someone had just come out and said this clearly in the beginning of the thread a lot of confusion could have been eliminated. No one expects a roadmap either, but at the same time I get frustrated by how we always seem to treat these topics as somehow impossible to discuss at all, when you just clearly discussed it here in reasonable terms. Somehow I think this is more of a social trend than a real limitation of the subject matter.

Chris Li
04-15-2012, 02:06 AM
I am not sure saying the term could mean various things to various people does us any more good than allowing people to present pineapples as apples, because they both have the word apple in them. We're talking about apples here, well, elbow power ones. And we mean a specific variety, the aiki one. Trying to be too charitable isn't going to help the discussion when we want to ferret out a specific idea.

All the same, thanks for providing your definition of elbow power, though, because if someone had just come out and said this clearly in the beginning of the thread a lot of confusion could have been eliminated. No one expects a roadmap either, but at the same time I get frustrated by how we always seem to treat these topics as somehow impossible to discuss at all, when you just clearly discussed it here in reasonable terms. Somehow I think this is more of a social trend than a real limitation of the subject matter.

You have to realize that most of the people discussing here (myself included) are real beginners in this stuff, and are cautious about how to express it in a way that is not completely misleading. Even for those who have a shared frame of reference, discussing these things can be quite difficult - it's almost impossible outside of that frame of reference.

For that reason, I generally try to stay out of any "how to do" stuff, unless I know that I'm talking to someone who has a similar frame of reference to discuss those things.

Also for that reason, the blog discussions (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/) all stay away from any really practical discussions, and I've tried to focus on just pointing out some of the deeper linkages and possibilities with the hope that some people will find it all interesting enough to pursue it further in their own training.

Best,

Chris

gregstec
04-15-2012, 09:47 AM
What Chris said :)

Greg

bob_stra
04-16-2012, 05:01 AM
More info on Elbow Power can be found in this previous thread: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20105


Hi Greg

If you take a look, you can see I cited that thread myself in my initial post. I also provided a video as a further example.

My interest was to get an explanation of "dual opposing spirals". I'm not an expert, so this idea of dual spirals seems a bit confusing to me. What are they and how does one create them? If you guys are claiming they're important to elbow power - and that aikido elbow power is different to what's been cited so far - Id like to know more about it.

Lee Salzman
04-16-2012, 06:13 AM
Hi Greg

If you take a look, you can see I cited that thread myself in my initial post. I also provided a video as a further example.

My interest was to get an explanation of "dual opposing spirals". I'm not an expert, so this idea of dual spirals seems a bit confusing to me. What are they and how does one create them? If you guys are claiming they're important to elbow power - and that aikido elbow power is different to what's been cited so far - Id like to know more about it.

This was an image Tom Campbell linked to in a thread in the NTMA sections that didn't really show what the spirals were, but it at least showed where they are, maybe it helps somewhat:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=448&d=1201930190

gregstec
04-16-2012, 08:14 AM
Hi Greg

If you take a look, you can see I cited that thread myself in my initial post. I also provided a video as a further example.

My interest was to get an explanation of "dual opposing spirals". I'm not an expert, so this idea of dual spirals seems a bit confusing to me. What are they and how does one create them? If you guys are claiming they're important to elbow power - and that aikido elbow power is different to what's been cited so far - Id like to know more about it.

Take a look at the video in the thread linked below - the split being talked about is comprised of dual opposing spirals with one going up and the other going down at the same time - the energies behind the movements should be spiraling and not linear. This is the best I can do without a face to face - sorry.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21189

Greg

p.s. the guy in the video does not talk about spirals - IMO, he may or he may not be applying spiral energy in his splitting, but the opposing movment of up an down is present at the same time.

bernardkwan
04-16-2012, 10:28 PM
Interesting tidbit - pointed out by one of my guys.

He was looking through "Budo: Teachings of the Founder of Aikido" (the John Stevens translation), and mentioned that he couldn't find any mention of "Elbow Power".

So I looked through the original Japanese and sure enough there was:

第四十九 臂力の養成
"49. Elbow Power Development"

The translation in "Budo: Teachings of the Founder of Aikido":

"49. Developing Arm Power"



Hi Chris -

I am not a Stevens Fan nor to discuss the "how" of IS but isn't the appropriate Kanji for elbow - 肘 and not 臂? 臂 refers to the arm, and usually the upper arm (biceps and triceps). Nowhere in Classical Chinese or Chinese Medicine on which Classical Japanese / Kanpo is based would 臂 refer to the elbow.

To paraphrase Freud - sometimes a banana is just a banana...and not all references are to sex / IS

Chris Li
04-16-2012, 10:39 PM
Hey Bernard,

This is a tricky one - you're right, in Chinese it would refer to the arm, not the elbow. However, the meaning shifts in Japanese usage, where it takes on the meaning of "elbow".

Case in point - Yoshinkan, which uses the same Kanji in 臂力の養成, but translates it as "Elbow Power Development" - and Gozo Shioda was actively training at the time that "Budo" was written.

Best,

Chris

bernardkwan
04-16-2012, 10:43 PM
Great thanks for the clarification.

JimClark
04-18-2012, 10:44 PM
Some very good IS/IP concepts shown in that video :)

Greg

I started reading this thread because of the title, but I haven't seen anyone actually explain or show a demonstration of what they are defining as elbow power. I have been training in Hung Fa Yi Wing Chun alone with my Aikido training for the last 4years. HFY has this concept of elbow power/energy as a fundamental part of the art. They also use wrist energy and other things depending on range and situation. It is quite simple to understand and has transformed my Aikido. It's all about physics, body alignment and structure with proper intent. I can now see and feel for myself why techniques succeed or fail based on simple geometry. I've been to a number of seminars outside my area since learning this stuff and I find myself easily moving uke's around that I used to have trouble with.

I have no idea what Dan does, but I took a short class with Popkin Sensei recently. I found many of his principles to be identical or nearly so to the HFY concepts, and shared that with him then. He has good stuff, but I'm getting very similar concepts in my HFY training and have limited time so I can't really explore that right now with my schedule.

Cheers,
Jim

DH
04-19-2012, 08:14 AM
I started reading this thread because of the title, but I haven't seen anyone actually explain or show a demonstration of what they are defining as elbow power. I have been training in Hung Fa Yi Wing Chun alone with my Aikido training for the last 4years. HFY has this concept of elbow power/energy as a fundamental part of the art. They also use wrist energy and other things depending on range and situation. It is quite simple to understand and has transformed my Aikido. It's all about physics, body alignment and structure with proper intent. I can now see and feel for myself why techniques succeed or fail based on simple geometry. I've been to a number of seminars outside my area since learning this stuff and I find myself easily moving uke's around that I used to have trouble with.

I have no idea what Dan does, but I took a short class with Popkin Sensei recently. I found many of his principles to be identical or nearly so to the HFY concepts, and shared that with him then. He has good stuff, but I'm getting very similar concepts in my HFY training and have limited time so I can't really explore that right now with my schedule.

Cheers,
Jim
Hello Jim
Elbow power as "a principle" or a technique is not what we do. It is imbedded in a type of movement we utilize, so that elbow power is not something you need to think about it....it happens. I could say the same thing with our knees.
As has been pointed out; various higher level arts have similar theories. I think the most strident failure is folks not understanding In yo ho (yin yang method) and intent, so they end up mimicing movement they see, without ever attaining the power and softness therein.

From what I have seen of Hung ga Yi your use of the body and arm as a frame would pretty much nullify what we are trying to accomplish. Of course there are other similar things as in all arts. I think it would be better to look at a combination of Koryu, Chen taiji and FMA to relate to what we do. Elbow is not independent from the body- to the wrist- to the hand. Everything works in a series of three from feet to finger.
Dan

JimClark
04-19-2012, 06:52 PM
Hello Jim
...
As has been pointed out; various higher level arts have similar theories. I think the most strident failure is folks not understanding In yo ho (yin yang method) and intent, so they end up mimicing movement they see, without ever attaining the power and ...
Dan

Please excuse my ignorance but what exactly do you mean by yin yang method?

Hello Jim
...From what I have seen of Hung ga Yi your use of the body and arm as a frame would pretty much nullify what we are trying to accomplish. Of course there are other similar things as in all arts. I think it would be better to look at a combination of Koryu, Chen taiji and FMA to relate to what we do. Elbow is not independent from the body- to the wrist- to the hand. Everything works in a series of three from feet to finger.
Dan

What do you mean by nullify? That what you do is completely the opposite of HFY concept? Have you studied HFY somewhere or just done research/reading? Like any art, it has to be felt to be truly understood. However, understanding the HFY concepts have helped me see structural flaws in video of many different arts on YouTube. (which is not surprising given the wide range of examples online)

Is your practice similar to what Popkin Sensei is doing, or different? I will have another chance to train with him soon in Arizona which I plan on taking advantage of.

Cheers.
Jim

DH
04-20-2012, 09:52 AM
Please excuse my ignorance but what exactly do you mean by yin yang method?
What do you mean by nullify? That what you do is completely the opposite of HFY concept? Have you studied HFY somewhere or just done research/reading? Like any art, it has to be felt to be truly understood. However, understanding the HFY concepts have helped me see structural flaws in video of many different arts on YouTube. (which is not surprising given the wide range of examples online)

Is your practice similar to what Popkin Sensei is doing, or different? I will have another chance to train with him soon in Arizona which I plan on taking advantage of.
Cheers.
Jim
Hi Jim
As you noted.... "understanding the HFY concepts have helped me see structural flaws in video of many different arts on YouTube"
I would agree. What a person knows can greatly enhance or seriously limit their ability "to see" martial movement. That said, seeing a system that remains fairly consistent, player to player allows someone to see their methods and what they are trying to achieve in doing them.

As for HFY
No, I am not being that definitive. I was discussing a body movement quality and where it would leave openings. From what I have seen, all arts have them so it isn't a singular event or negative on your art. It's all of our arts. Yet another reason MMA is such a sound practice. I think of it as each art being a deep well we drink from, then we make our own expression...good or bad.

Yin yang is too complicated to discuss on the web. As a model, and where and how it effects everything it is difficult enough to demonstrate in person. Once it is more completely understood, you see why and how "no force" can be a reality no matter where the body is touched. Many times what is perceived as "power" actually...never was. It just feels that way to the person trying to get in,

I haven't seen or felt Howard's expression of his training with me, or Gleasons, or anyone else's in their arts yet. We don't really discuss individual arts when we get together. For some reason though, I would suspect many are on the same page in many areas. You have to remember I advocate FOR the arts. I hope we maintain them and deepen them. But that is their job, not mine. In fact, I cannot do what they are attempting and deeply invested in. I am an MMA guy. Bill will look me me right in the eye and say...this or that..is his that he formed from training with me. I just say...Yes sir!! So...I think you should ask them!! :cool:

Dan

patrick de block
04-21-2012, 02:08 AM
... Elbow is not independent from the body- to the wrist- to the hand. Everything works in a series of three from feet to finger.
Dan

Something like Chen Zhonghua explains in one of his 'Energy Aligment' DVD's using the elbow as an example?

bob_stra
04-22-2012, 04:20 AM
Here's an interesting, Aikido-specific reference to Elbow power (including an exercise) from Alex Essani

Aikido, Iron Balls and Elbow Power (http://books.google.com.au/books?id=vGwag9r2sVYC&pg=PA40&dq=Happy+Buddha+Exercise&hl=en&sa=X&ei=08mTT8CBEumKmQX_h9H_AQ&ved=0CEQQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Happy%20Buddha%20Exercise&f=false)

Also Here (http://www.aikido-koteikan.co.uk/?page_id=1651)

Notice that the exercise seems to involve balancing a weight in such a manner that the local arm musculature isn't unduly responsible for holding the weight. This would be in-line (pardon the pun) with the video clips I posted from CMA. Of course, Essani's take isn't necessarily definitive nor mandated by heaven, but it's at least something substantive and congruent.

Dan, now that you seem to be back online: do you have any further comments re: posts #115 (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=307319&postcount=115) and #117 (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=307326&postcount=117)

HL1978
04-22-2012, 07:14 PM
So what are peoples thoughts on using the elbow? Is the power expressed from the elbow rather than the hand? Is it an intention thing? Clearly there are positions with the elbows that are more structurally sound, but I don't think thats what is mean't by elbow power is it?

Kind of seems like everyone is struggling around in the dark to me.

Mario Tobias
04-23-2012, 01:18 AM
looks like the secret is just within the lowly kokyuho and tai no henko exercises. very basic but also very misunderstood. the lines of power are either vertical or horizontal to uke/nage.

Phil Van Treese
05-01-2012, 01:55 PM
In Tomiki, "elbow power" is called "Hiriki" and moves up the center of an opponent. We always do Hiriki in class and it shows when my students go to seminars of a different style. Coupled with the movement of hiriki is the use and movement of the wrist. Sounds simple but it isn't.

Chris Li
05-01-2012, 02:09 PM
In Tomiki, "elbow power" is called "Hiriki" and moves up the center of an opponent. We always do Hiriki in class and it shows when my students go to seminars of a different style. Coupled with the movement of hiriki is the use and movement of the wrist. Sounds simple but it isn't.

Which brings us neatly back to the original post:

Interesting tidbit - pointed out by one of my guys.

He was looking through "Budo: Teachings of the Founder of Aikido" (the John Stevens translation), and mentioned that he couldn't find any mention of "Elbow Power".

So I looked through the original Japanese and sure enough there was:

第四十九 臂力の養成
"49. Elbow Power Development"

The translation in "Budo: Teachings of the Founder of Aikido":

"49. Developing Arm Power"

:confused:


So...Kenji Tomiki and Gozo Shioda both translated "Hiriki" as "Elbow Power" - but we see that not only has it mostly vanished as a core concept from modern Aikido, but what is usually considered the canonical translation is...wrong.

Isn't that interesting? :D

Best,

Chris

roadtoad
05-01-2012, 02:29 PM
osensei said that three aikitaisos taught all of aikido, tai no henko, morotedori kokuho, and kokyu dosa.
You will never see Saito doing morotedori kokuho correctly, unless you have a clip before 1963, when I learned it from him, his knees went bad after that, and he could no longer execute the throw correctly.
Even the video of 'Iwama 1964', doesn't show him doing that technique correctly, his knees were already that bad.
On the second part of the throw, you have to place your forward leg behind yourself, and lower only your elbow, this is the meaning of 'elbow power', But no video exists of the technique being done properly, to my knowledge.

MM
05-01-2012, 03:11 PM
osensei said that three aikitaisos taught all of aikido, tai no henko, morotedori kokuho, and kokyu dosa.
You will never see Saito doing morotedori kokuho correctly, unless you have a clip before 1963, when I learned it from him, his knees went bad after that, and he could no longer execute the throw correctly.
Even the video of 'Iwama 1964', doesn't show him doing that technique correctly, his knees were already that bad.
On the second part of the throw, you have to place your forward leg behind yourself, and lower only your elbow, this is the meaning of 'elbow power', But no video exists of the technique being done properly, to my knowledge.

Elbow Power has absolutely nothing to do with techiques. Nor would you see elbow power on video. Ueshiba had it, Tomiki had it, Shioda had it. Show me on video where.

roadtoad
05-01-2012, 08:27 PM
didn't I just say that: ' there is no video that shows it'?

MM
05-02-2012, 07:02 AM
didn't I just say that: ' there is no video that shows it'?

No. You said that elbow power was a technique, a way of physically placing the elbow in a certain position. That is incorrect. Elbow power is an internal concept/principle, not an external technique, not a specific placement of the elbow.

DH
05-02-2012, 03:17 PM
No. You said that elbow power was a technique, a way of physically placing the elbow in a certain position. That is incorrect. Elbow power is an internal concept/principle, not an external technique, not a specific placement of the elbow.
+1
And as such...you can teach it, in detail and it takes an incredible amount of work to make it work.
Dan

patrick de block
05-03-2012, 12:37 PM
No video, but a picture from HIPS by Ellis Amdur on page 45 (Hisa Takuma) and also next page: Shi, Ki and Ryoku.

Rob Watson
05-03-2012, 12:56 PM
didn't I just say that: ' there is no video that shows it'?

How 'bout posting a vid of you doing it the way Saito showed you so we all know how to do it right? That would be quite a community service!

Edgecrusher
05-23-2012, 07:59 AM
Hiriki is quite powerful and very effective. We practice it constantly and make sure our newer students understand it's importance when doing techniques.

Anthony Loeppert
05-28-2012, 10:18 PM
How 'bout posting a vid of you doing it the way Saito showed you so we all know how to do it right? That would be quite a community service!

Does aikiweb have a emoticon for crickets chirping?

mrlizard123
05-31-2012, 09:12 AM
Does aikiweb have a emoticon for crickets chirping?
No but...

http://www.radswiki.net/main/images/2/2f/Tumbleweed.gif

DH
05-31-2012, 10:17 AM
No but...

http://www.radswiki.net/main/images/2/2f/Tumbleweed.gif
Rich! Excellent. You found a way for you and Ben's wit to make it on the internet. Wait...no...don't do that!
Dan

Michael Varin
05-31-2012, 10:50 PM
Ughck :yuck:

It might've been nice if anyone actually discussed what they thought "elbow power" is, the significance of it, or how to develop it.

HL1978
06-01-2012, 08:31 AM
Ughck :yuck:

It might've been nice if anyone actually discussed what they thought "elbow power" is, the significance of it, or how to develop it.

its buzzword bingo........