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lars beyer
10-14-2012, 12:28 PM
In my view "aiki" and technique or waza are two seperate themes, but I strongly believe the one leads to the other just like being young has got nothing to do with being old but still there is a clean connection in the sence that the one leads to the other- I guess..?

Why should we distinguish between the two and whats the purpose of that ?

Any thoughts on this anyone ?

Cheers
Lars

DH
10-14-2012, 12:57 PM
In my view "aiki" and technique or waza are two seperate themes, but I strongly believe the one leads to the other just like being young has got nothing to do with being old but still there is a clean connection in the sence that the one leads to the other- I guess..?

Why should we distinguish between the two and whats the purpose of that ?

Any thoughts on this anyone ?

Cheers
Lars
"I move and techniques are born." Ueshiba.
"Aiki, in me, before Aiki between thee and me." Harden

Most people have no idea how to produce the actual "aiki" that Takeda and Ueshiba were doing and why the above quotes makes so much sense and are the same thing. It is a 180 deg turn around from the way most people even see their art. As I said back on the aikido list "It's full speed ...in the wrong direction." So.....the modern approach substitutes movement and waza to cover their structural flaws and openings.
Ueshiba, Takeda, Sagawa all knew and explained that:
Aiki begins inside you.... not between two.
The modern approach, by its very nature "depends' on the two!!
Another way to look at it is:
The old way is movement of energy
The new way is the energy of movement.

I am taking Jun's and other folks advice these days and spending an effort to explain why, instead of just being critical of the modern approach. Most everyone keeps pointing to the old way and bragging on the skills of Ueshiba and his prewar people without considering those same peoples approach to do what they did.
Dan

Mario Tobias
10-14-2012, 01:13 PM
waza is the reality, aiki is the mystery

waza will give you very small hints how aiki works

gregstec
10-14-2012, 01:20 PM
"I move and techniques are born." Ueshiba.
"Aiki, in me, before Aiki between thee and me." Harden

Most people have no idea how to produce the actual "aiki" that Takeda and Ueshiba were doing and why the above quotes makes so much sense and are the same thing. It is a 180 deg turn around from the way most people even see their art. As I said back on the aikido list "It's full speed ...in the wrong direction." So.....the modern approach substitutes movement and waza to cover their structural flaws and openings.
Ueshiba, Takeda, Sagawa all knew and explained that:
Aiki begins inside you.... not between two.
The modern approach, by its very nature "depends' on the two!!
Another way to look at it is:
The old way is movement of energy
The new way is the energy of movement.

I am taking Jun's and other folks advice these days and spending an effort to explain why, instead of just being critical of the modern approach. Most everyone keeps pointing to the old way and bragging on the skills of Ueshiba and his prewar people without considering those same peoples approach to do what they did.
Dan

Now where have i heard that before -:D

Greg

DH
10-14-2012, 01:23 PM
waza is the reality, aiki is the mystery

waza will give you very small hints how aiki works
VERY small hints
Ueshiba had an extensive solo training regimen
So did Shirata-Kisshomaru banned it
So did Takeda
Takeda said never teach white people, and only teach one or two per generation.
So did Sagawa
As Sagawa noted:
"Aiki is about training the body, only a fool thinks you can get it from practicing waza."
Here we are decades later.............mostly westerners....talking about aiki from waza.

Okay...who do we want to feel like?
What did THEY do?
They each had a solo training regimen....why?
What did it do?
Dan

DH
10-14-2012, 01:26 PM
Now where have i heard that before -:D

Greg
;) :D
Cool how so many different quotes-spanning eras and cultures...all fit.
Almost like they involved the same type of work!!

Dan

lars beyer
10-14-2012, 01:26 PM
O´sensei was one of a kind and so was the other geniouses of aikido.
Wery few of us will ever be able to reach their level for many very good reasons.
This doesn´t make aikido useless I feel.

My question still stands: What´s the purpose of distinguishing between aiki and waza ?

graham christian
10-14-2012, 01:32 PM
Aiki is the state or condition and waza is the motion, the 'do'.

Peace.G.

gregstec
10-14-2012, 01:46 PM
;) :D
Cool how so many different quotes-spanning eras and cultures...all fit.
Almost like they involved the same type of work!!

Dan

Very true - however, I really like this one so much I put it in my signature line because it comes directly to the core of why movement focused training fails for development of internal skills; the focus needs to be the energy :)

Greg

lars beyer
10-14-2012, 01:50 PM
Very true - however, I really like this one so much I put it in my signature line because it comes directly to the core of why movement focused training fails for development of internal skills; the focus needs to be the energy :)

Greg

Still my questions stand, so what will it be ? Answers or not ?
:-)

gregstec
10-14-2012, 02:06 PM
Still my questions stand, so what will it be ? Answers or not ?
:-)

OK, fair enough - IMO, you can have waza without aiki and you can have waza with aiki - waza will not create aiki, but aiki can create waza.

lars beyer
10-14-2012, 02:17 PM
OK, fair enough - IMO, you can have waza without aiki and you can have waza with aiki - waza will not create aiki, but aiki can create waza.

Assuming you are a white belt 6´th kyu, how do you even begin to understand aikido if there is no waza and only aiki ?
Waza leads to aiki and aiki leads to new realizations thus new techniques. That´s life.
:-)

gregstec
10-14-2012, 02:54 PM
Assuming you are a white belt 6´th kyu, how do you even begin to understand aikido if there is no waza and only aiki ?
Waza leads to aiki and aiki leads to new realizations thus new techniques. That´s life.
:-)

Never said there is no waza - did say that waza will not develop aiki, but waza can (and should) be used to help understand the effectiveness of aiki. Aiki development is separate from learning waza forms - however, they can be brought together as long you understand the relationship between them; which waza leading to aiki is not one of them, IMO.

Greg

lars beyer
10-14-2012, 03:09 PM
Never said there is no waza - did say that waza will not develop aiki, but waza can (and should) be used to help understand the effectiveness of aiki. Aiki development is separate from learning waza forms - however, they can be brought together as long you understand the relationship between them; which waza leading to aiki is not one of them, IMO.

Greg

Youre right, there is allways waza and whether or not it develops understanding of or the ability to develop aiki is the same to me.
The buttomline is that waza is indistutable in terms of learning aikido and so is aiki in terms of enhancing your training over time. Afterall were all doing aikiDO- no ?
Cheers,
Lars

graham christian
10-14-2012, 03:12 PM
Correct motion helps you develop correct condition and correct condition helps you develope correct motion. Interdependent.

Peace.G.

Lee Salzman
10-14-2012, 03:17 PM
Assuming you are a white belt 6´th kyu, how do you even begin to understand aikido if there is no waza and only aiki ?
Waza leads to aiki and aiki leads to new realizations thus new techniques. That´s life.
:-)

The grand irony of this is it is all backwards, it's sort of like asking: If you've never done math, how can you even begin to understand math if there is no calculus and only learning how to count or do arithmetic? Do we expect people to critique Shakespeare when the only words they yet know are Mommy and Daddy? Look at how most Chinese martial arts conducts learning: body skills, how to move, are primary. Only once the body understands how to move, so that the students' mind is not scattered in a hundred directions just trying to take a step, just trying to hold a defensive stance, just trying to throw a punch, etc. do you even begin to learn to techniques, to learn to fight, etc. I'm not just talking about how to do irimi or tenkan, or how to take a fall, I am talking about how to move, like everything down to the way you wiggle your toes or point your fingers. When that is at a subconscious level done correct, then you do waza. That is a process that by itself takes years. Why is it that aikido has decided it is proper to go the other way, trying to teach waza when a beginner can't even stand upright in-place correctly?

lars beyer
10-14-2012, 03:35 PM
The grand irony of this is it is all backwards, it's sort of like asking: If you've never done math, how can you even begin to understand math if there is no calculus and only learning how to count or do arithmetic? Look at how most Chinese martial arts conducts learning: body skills, how to move, are primary. Only once the body understands how to move, so that the students' mind is not scattered in a hundred directions just trying to take a step, just trying to hold a defensive stance, just trying to throw a punch, etc. do you even begin to learn to techniques, to learn to fight, etc. I'm not just talking about how to do irimi or tenkan, or how to take a fall, I am talking about how to move, like everything down to the way you wiggle your toes or point your fingers. When that is at a subconscious level done correct, then you do waza. Why is it that aikido has decided it is proper to go the other way, trying to teach waza when a beginner can't even stand upright in-place correctly?

I like your observations.
From my experience it´s possible to learn techniques- maybe not perfect the first couple of years-
but gradually over time all the small adjustments you are talking about falls into place.
In a way I feel basic understanding of our motory skills from the outset are more important than understanding aiki from the outset.
Sooner or later awase will emerge by itself as a consequence of training.
I don´t believe awase is something that can be taught and learned in 6-12 months.

gregstec
10-14-2012, 04:03 PM
Youre right, there is allways waza and whether or not it develops understanding of or the ability to develop aiki is the same to me.
The buttomline is that waza is indistutable in terms of learning aikido and so is aiki in terms of enhancing your training over time. Afterall were all doing aikiDO- no ?
Cheers,
Lars

The real bottom line here is that your view of aikl and my view of what it is are very different - based on that fact, your statements make no sense to me and mine no sense to you - :)

Greg

lars beyer
10-14-2012, 04:09 PM
The real bottom line here is that your view of aikl and my view of what it is are very different - based on that fact, your statements make no sense to me and mine no sense to you - :)

Greg

Maybe, maybe not. Who knows ? Maybe I understand more than you assume and vice versa ?
:D

Chris Li
10-14-2012, 04:25 PM
Assuming you are a white belt 6�th kyu, how do you even begin to understand aikido if there is no waza and only aiki ?
Waza leads to aiki and aiki leads to new realizations thus new techniques. That�s life.
:-)

Actually, I've found that people who haven't burned in the wrong habits over the years with repetitive kata practice actually tend to do somewhat better picking this stuff up.

"Waza leads to aiki", in theory, in practice I think it's very difficult for most people to extract the principles from the morass.

Best,

Chris

lars beyer
10-14-2012, 04:35 PM
Actually, I've found that people who haven't burned in the wrong habits over the years with repetitive kata practice actually tend to do somewhat better picking this stuff up.

"Waza leads to aiki", in theory, in practice I think it's very difficult for most people to extract the principles from the morass.

Best,

Chris

Well, you may be right, but then again you may be wrong.. I have a hard time figuring out how to apply constants and fit generalisations to aikido practitioneers.. But from a personal perspective I speak like I do because my first teacher taught me there was no technique and only aiki for 4 years. Then i decided to move dojo and learning technique all the irrational stuff slowly gathered itself to give meaning- but only through UNLEARNING bad posture and bad movement- that took about 3 years.
Thats why for me there is no such thing as no waza.
And still I believe aiki is equally important- when youre ready for it !
But I also feel that if you only learn aiki and poor posture and bad movement from the beginning your aikido will surely suck.
Please bear in mind this is my PERSONAL opinion and not ANYBODY elses !
:)
Lars

Chris Li
10-14-2012, 04:50 PM
Well, you may be right, but then again you may be wrong.. I have a hard time figuring out how to apply constants and fit generalisations to aikido practitioneers.. But from a personal perspective I speak like I do because my first teacher taught me there was no technique and only aiki for 4 years. Then i decided to move dojo and learning technique all the irrational stuff slowly gathered itself to give meaning- but only through UNLEARNING bad posture and bad movement- that took about 3 years.
Thats why for me there is no such thing as no waza.
And still I believe aiki is equally important- when youre ready for it !
But I also feel that if you only learn aiki and poor posture and bad movement from the beginning your aikido will surely suck.
Please bear in mind this is my PERSONAL opinion and not ANYBODY elses !
:)
Lars

If you had bad posture and bad movement then...either you weren't leaning Aiki or your definition of Aiki is different then mine.

Best,

Chris

lars beyer
10-14-2012, 04:52 PM
If you had bad posture and bad movement then...either you weren't leaning Aiki or your definition of Aiki is different then mine.

Best,

Chris

Like I said,l I don´t really have a big thing for generalisations or people who won´t discuss from a level eyed position.

Chris Li
10-14-2012, 04:55 PM
Like I said,l I don�t really have a big thing for generalisations or people who won�t discuss from a level eyed position.

It's not a generalization - in my definition of Aiki posture will be corrected inherently - no way around it.

Best,

Chris

lars beyer
10-14-2012, 05:07 PM
It's not a generalization - in my definition of Aiki posture will be corrected inherently - no way around it.

Best,

Chris

What is our definition of "aiki posture" ?

Chris Li
10-14-2012, 05:11 PM
What is our definition of "aiki posture" ?

You're mis-reading it - it should be "in my definition of aiki, posture is inherent". I wrote a little bit about it here (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/archive/2012-04-01/aikido-without-peace-or-harmony).

Best,

Chris

DH
10-14-2012, 05:15 PM
But I also feel that if you only learn aiki and poor posture and bad movement from the beginning your aikido will surely suck.
Please bear in mind this is my PERSONAL opinion and not ANYBODY elses !
:)
Lars
Well...for me that doesn't make sense...to my experience.
1. Virtually all of the people I have ever met in your art were taught through waza.
2. Every single one of them suffer from an array of structural flaws.
3. Every single one of them learned to fix them through Aiki and not waza.
4. Structural flaws are not standing up straight. You can have great structure and be fluid and dodging head strikes while bobbing and weaving. If you fight even a moderately skilled fighter while standing vertical...well...it won't last long. :eek:

Structure is a complicated thing. Having structure that will sustain itself by producing soft power in a formless state is a learned skill requiring much training.
Dan

Mary Eastland
10-14-2012, 05:59 PM
Waza practiced with a partner using mind, body coordination creats Aikido. Technique practiced against a partner is waza.

For me, this is what makes Aikido different from other practices.

Blending, acceptance of what is, adjusting ourselves requires another person.

SteveTrinkle
10-14-2012, 06:01 PM
Aiki is the state or condition and waza is the motion, the 'do'.

Peace.G.
nah waza is not the "do"sic, the dou ororor "path is the ongoingsearch for aiki

graham christian
10-14-2012, 07:20 PM
nah waza is not the "do"sic, the dou ororor "path is the ongoingsearch for aiki

To me Aikido is the path of peace. Hence the actions of divine techniques. The way of the way.

Peace.G.

gregstec
10-14-2012, 07:28 PM
Maybe, maybe not. Who knows ? Maybe I understand more than you assume and vice versa ?
:D

Well, if that were truly the case, you would understand what some of us are saying and you would not be asking the questions that you are :)

Greg

graham christian
10-14-2012, 08:26 PM
I think Lars asked for peoples opinions and levels of understanding and got them so was actually very successful.

Not all questions are based having little personal understanding.

Peace.G.

wxyzabc
10-14-2012, 09:33 PM
"my first teacher taught me there was no technique and only aiki for 4 years"

Anyone who say there is no technique is imho completely wrong or we would just stand there and not move at all wouldn't we? Aiki on it's own is as "useless" as waza on it's own...together one leading to the other..now that's a different thing. I can stand and do aiki all day with no one to practise with..and often have, and I can still call it aikido but it's a lonely endeavor that very few will support. Actually do this in Japan and you will be pushed out/away very quickly I can guarantee you that.

In the end we can go do whatever, but if the basic techniques of irimi nage etc are somewhat lacking we move away from what aikido is and was even in Ueshiba's day. Most videos will show Ueshiba practising basic waza or sitting by quite happily and watching others do the same.
(yes one day he got upset...we know :rolleyes: )

There's nothing wrong with good technique..nothing at all.

Have fun...that's what's most important : )

Lee

DH
10-14-2012, 10:19 PM
Aiki on it's own is not useless. It is exceedingly potent. You can have your opinion; it will last as long as you facing someone who gets what the founder...and now a number of his peers were referring to.
This is what I mean by internet ....debates. I would love to meet .....anyone.......please....anyone who can support their opinion on these matters in person like I have been expected to.
You keep failing, and to a man having to change your views and there is an endless number of people all lined behind you...not listening, not registering the thousands before you....and just line up to repeat the same process.
Aiki is not blending in external movement of joined centers like that. That idea is a modern corruption. Aiki is about changing your own body to make a powerfully balanced dynamically stable platform that neutralizes and controls and leads on contact.
THAT is why Ueshiba said When I move my body-techniques are created.
Dan

wxyzabc
10-14-2012, 10:51 PM
Well hello

That's quite a strong reply to someone you've never met to be fair. How would you know whether I understand Ueshibas way or not?. Did you read my post correctly?

If anyone wants to come practise with me I'd be very happy btw.....how about you Dan? I live in a very quiet place and could do with someone who knows what they're doing to work with. Japan's very nice at this time of year..up in Karuizawa it's sunny everyday at the moment but beautifully cool : )

All the best

Lee

mathewjgano
10-15-2012, 12:42 AM
Aiki on it's own is as "useless" as waza on it's own...

For your meaning, would it be accurate to substitute the term "aiki" with "principles" and "waza" with "form?"
In other words, when hypothetically all we have are principles and no form, the principles might be described as not actuated; there's no actual manifestation. If hypothetically we're just using form without the principles, we're creating a cheap or hollow imitation.
Is this what you mean?

mathewjgano
10-15-2012, 01:06 AM
Aiki is not blending in external movement of joined centers like that. That idea is a modern corruption. Aiki is about changing your own body to make a powerfully balanced dynamically stable platform that neutralizes and controls and leads on contact.
THAT is why Ueshiba said When I move my body-techniques are created.
Dan

Hi Dan,
I was going to ask how this would translate into dealing with an incoming strike to the head, which I assumed you would respond to with an external movement or "waza" (though of course driven by internal movement), but then I thought of the systema striking exercises I've seen where people practice (I think) how to neutralize the incoming force in a relaxed way. Does that more or less represent an answer to my question? ...I assume because the head has so litte tissue compared to the torso it wouldn't be able to neutralize/direct the force into the ground as well. Am I in the right ball park?
Also, would it be fair to say your understanding of aiki is that it is an "internal" practice, but that most Aikido practicioners are doing an external practice? And that while external arts can produce a strong capable fighting body (when practiced with adequate "fight" pressures), internal arts are superior?
Hope all is well!
p.s. I dont know if these questions seem useful or not...I'm just trying to "refresh" my approach to these conversations and establish a kind of baseline for that. Any thoughts you'd be willing to share would be appreciated!

aiki-jujutsuka
10-15-2012, 02:07 AM
looking at this from a Daito Ryu perspective for a second, I've found Katsuyuki Kondo's video on 'What is Aiki?' Vol 1 very useful for me as an AJJ practitioner. He very clearly demonstrates the difference Aiki makes to the traditional Daito-Ryu Jujutsu techniques. I guess from a beginners point of view (as expressed in the dvd) Aiki is primarily about taking posture in order to create a more effective technique, one that is less reliant on strength.

wxyzabc
10-15-2012, 04:14 AM
Hya Matthew

Probably bad wording on my part there..sorry.
What I mean to say is that although a lot is possible with err "aiki", if we are practising "aikido" then it may be better to maintain key fundamentals such as basic waza as practised by everyone too.
I can often do away with waza altogether and take people out, as can others...but it becomes formless, fluid and is not recognised as the aikido we know....and some people do get upset ^^
Some only do kata etc that leads to a certain development but they lack a lot/true aiki...and when they don't have good basic technique..well it just feels bad to be honest.
People with some development can easily forget the huge work it takes though and what is involved...'todays a new day and I'm king' can result if people aren't careful. It's difficult to generalize though as there are so many levels and most people don't/haven't met.
But in the end people can and have had a good time...entirely suitably in todays day and age just practising waza and doing it well. Its not a bad thing imho and can be enough for a lot. Not many will be standing on the battlefield eh ^^
There's something for everyone... but if you don't have good anything..then well that's not so good ^^

Lee
p.s. what I should say about kata etc is that it's good for those that practise a lot...some university students here in Japan that do that are really good..especially the girls. Most are once a week, tired company guys and that just doesn't work very well imho

oisin bourke
10-15-2012, 07:11 AM
p.s. what I should say about kata etc is that it's good for those that practise a lot...some university students here in Japan that do that are really good..especially the girls. Most are once a week, tired company guys and that just doesn't work very well imho

That"s an interesting debate in itself: Can the method of learning Budo through pure Kata survive in Japan? As far as I can see, after university, people just don"t have the time and energy to devote to
mastering budo via this method anymore. Those that hope to make a living from teching budo in Japan have to teach kids pretty much full time. Nothing wrong with that, but they can"t transmit the deeper stuff. They also can"t grow and challenge themselves so much. I think Budo (and many other traditional arts) are in serious trouble in Japan. The model will have to change.People don"t have the time and money to follow the ways anymore.

aiki-jujutsuka
10-15-2012, 07:31 AM
That"s an interesting debate in itself: Can the method of learning Budo through pure Kata survive in Japan? As far as I can see, after university, people just don"t have the time and energy to devote to
mastering budo via this method anymore. Those that hope to make a living from teching budo in Japan have to teach kids pretty much full time. Nothing wrong with that, but they can"t transmit the deeper stuff. They also can"t grow and challenge themselves so much. I think Budo (and many other traditional arts) are in serious trouble in Japan. The model will have to change.People don"t have the time and money to follow the ways anymore.

could you elaborate on this? How is Kata taught in Japan? How do you see the model changing?

MM
10-15-2012, 08:08 AM
O´sensei was one of a kind and so was the other geniouses of aikido.
Wery few of us will ever be able to reach their level for many very good reasons.
This doesn´t make aikido useless I feel.

My question still stands: What´s the purpose of distinguishing between aiki and waza ?

and

Youre right, there is allways waza and whether or not it develops understanding of or the ability to develop aiki is the same to me.
The buttomline is that waza is indistutable in terms of learning aikido and so is aiki in terms of enhancing your training over time. Afterall were all doing aikiDO- no ?
Cheers,
Lars

Sokaku Takeda taught a group of men (who all lived near each other) who went on to become well known (not famous) for their martial skills. Sagawa, Horikawa, Yoshida, Ueshiba. Ueshiba become the most famous of them, however, each were peers. Horikawa is on video doing the very same push test that Ueshiba did. All were known to have unnatural power. They each, in turn, created other martial artists known for being very different from the normal. Ueshiba turned out more than the others did. Tomiki, Shirata, Mochizuki, Shioda, etc. Definitely not "one of a kind" here.

As for reaching their level ... see below.

aiki and waza.

Sagawa, Horikawa, Ueshiba: My art is formless.

1. Morihei Ueshiba: Never did the same technique twice. Ueshiba did not catalogue techniques.
2. Kisshomaru Ueshiba: Catalogued techniques into a syllabus and concentrated on that. Stated that it should only take 2-3 years to learn them.

Who's aikido are you learning? 1 or 2?

1. Morihei Ueshiba: It was very common for Ueshiba to have his students push on him. (Remember, Ueshiba stated that Tenryu couldn't push him over because Ueshiba knew the secret of aiki.)
2. Kisshomaru Ueshiba: Practice was about learning techniques.

Who's aikido are you learning? 1 or 2?

1. Morihei Ueshiba: Taught Daito ryu and from that time, produced Shioda, Shirata, Mochizuki, Tomiki, etc, who all stood out as aikido greats.
2. Kisshomaru Ueshiba: Taught Modern Aikido and from that time, produced ...

Who's aikido are you learning? 1 or 2?

Per Dan, earlier:
1. Morihei Ueshiba: Had an extensive solo training regimen. So did Shirata.
1. Kisshomaru Ueshiba: Banned it.

Who's aikido are you learning? 1 or 2?

1. Morihei Ueshiba: Taught Daito ryu and in 5-10 years passed on enough training to create aikido giants like Shioda, Shirata, Mochizuki, Tomiki, etc.
2. Kisshomaru Ueshiba: Taught in Tokyo and in 40 + years passed on enough training to create what aikido giants?

Who's aikido are you learning? 1 or 2?

So, is waza indisputable to learning the way of aiki? If we look to the other aiki greats such as Sagawa and Horikawa and compare them to Ueshiba, we find they all pretty much said the same thing. Their art was formless and aiki was a body changing method not based upon techniques. Ueshiba would look at sword kata and say, in aiki, we do it this way. Meaning that when you have an aiki-changed body, you move and do things differently than all the other martial artists. Even your techniques are different.

Now, going back to Greg's post, "you can have waza without aiki and you can have waza with aiki - waza will not create aiki, but aiki can create waza", you can see that from Tokyo (in general), there were all kinds of waza without aiki. Doing techniques for 40 + years has not produced people with the skills of the aiki greats. However, when Shirata showed up, everyone knew he was different. His aiki created techniques.

If you were born blind and never saw the moon, you would have no idea what it was. If people started putting a softball in your hand and telling you it was exactly like the moon, you would begin to think that the moon was like the softball. After 40 years of never seeing the moon and endlessly handlling the softball like millions of other blind people, you would not believe anyone else who told you the moon was different. Once you had your eyes opened (to true budo) and someone points to the moon, you see the moon for what it truly is.

Of course, all IMO,
Mark

wxyzabc
10-15-2012, 08:33 AM
Well the simple answer is...my own.

True we may follow in others footsteps to a certain degree but all things and people are not equal..there are too many varients..body type..religious/spiritual practises to say I am doing the same as another. I can go to a shrine/mountain and get in big trouble with all kinds of stuff...others maybe can't (and trust me you wouldn't want too ^^)
Only a fool would say that everyone in Honbu is doing Kishomaru's aikido and same for someone saying they do exactly the same as Ueshiba.

What's it to you anyway Mark? I don't worry too much about what others are doing : )

Kindest regards

Lee

chillzATL
10-15-2012, 09:44 AM
IMO the techniques of aikido are nothing more than paired exercises or drills to test the body conditioning and skill usage that are the root of aiki.

Tengu859
10-15-2012, 10:01 AM
Hello,

I'm begining to think Takeda was right...only one or two people a generation.

Take Care All,

ChrisW

PS It's amazing that so much information is presented on a silverplatter for the taking.

MM
10-15-2012, 10:08 AM
Only a fool would say that everyone in Honbu is doing Kishomaru's aikido and same for someone saying they do exactly the same as Ueshiba.

What's it to you anyway Mark? I don't worry too much about what others are doing : )

Kindest regards

Lee

By Kisshomaru, I mean under his direction. True enough that there were many different "variants" to the aikido in Tokyo, however, for the most part, it was all under the direction of Kisshomaru (early on, also Tohei). And, in general, all leading to Modern Aikido. Modern Aikido does not equate to Ueshiba's aikido.

Speaking of variants, why was there different training done at Tokyo honbu than at personal, private dojos of some of the instructors? Why was some of the training banned at Tokyo honbu?

What is it to me? I think that Modern Aikido has taken the spiritual ideals from Morihei Ueshiba and gone beyond his dreams. Modern Aikido has broadened the spiritual and made it available to the world. In that, I think Kisshomaru did very well. However, what did not get passed along (again, in general) was the martial skills of Ueshiba, namely aiki. So, I think people should know the truth so that they can make an educated decision about what aikido they wish to study. Both have their place in the world. Both can coexist. Only one, though, is martially exceptional. And that one, aiki, can also infuse spirituality to make it better.

If you do not understand the core of the art, if the core of the art is withheld, if the truth of the art is not passed along ... why should the students trust the Keepers of the tradition? But if you don't know that the core, the secret, the truth has been withheld, you are blind to the moon.

oisin bourke
10-15-2012, 10:17 AM
could you elaborate on this? How is Kata taught in Japan? How do you see the model changing?

As taught anywhere else, only more so:)

It"s an excellent teaching method IMO, and there"s a lot more to it than many are giving credit for, but to fully benefit, it takes a long period of dedicated training. Turning up to a dojo off and on for twenty years doesn"t really work in this model,and this is increasingly what people in Japan do. The whole country is burning itself with overwork.It"s like Lee said: dojos are full of either kids or tired old men with little time on their hands.

Ironically, people outside Japan have more time and energy to dedicate to this model.

Personally, for arts to survive in Japan there needs to be a return a return to older times: People trained intensively in an art for maybe five to eight years, like an apprenticeship. THen you get a licence, or a grade and off you go and set up on your own. If you were happy just going to practice, you didn"t get a license because you didn"t need one.

Also, the paired Kata (I believe) was always expected to be augmented by training in a solo
art: hence the number of martial artists who trained in calligraphy, zen, tea ceremony etc.
People aren"t cross practicing like this so much either any more, because of work/study, and the fact that these arts have become very expensive and sectarian. Basically, people can only afford take up one art, in terms of time, money and emotional commitment.

lars beyer
10-15-2012, 10:35 AM
Interresting comments, and I appreciate that you take your time to answer some of my questions guys even I don´t understand all of them ofcourse.
Anyway !
Let´s assume waza is pointless in developing aiki, then what in your opinion does it take to develop aiki ?

mathewjgano
10-15-2012, 11:04 AM
Hya Matthew

Probably bad wording on my part there..sorry.
What I mean to say is that although a lot is possible with err "aiki", if we are practising "aikido" then it may be better to maintain key fundamentals such as basic waza as practised by everyone too.
I can often do away with waza altogether and take people out, as can others...but it becomes formless, fluid and is not recognised as the aikido we know....and some people do get upset ^^
Some only do kata etc that leads to a certain development but they lack a lot/true aiki...and when they don't have good basic technique..well it just feels bad to be honest.
People with some development can easily forget the huge work it takes though and what is involved...'todays a new day and I'm king' can result if people aren't careful. It's difficult to generalize though as there are so many levels and most people don't/haven't met.
But in the end people can and have had a good time...entirely suitably in todays day and age just practising waza and doing it well. Its not a bad thing imho and can be enough for a lot. Not many will be standing on the battlefield eh ^^
There's something for everyone... but if you don't have good anything..then well that's not so good ^^

Lee
p.s. what I should say about kata etc is that it's good for those that practise a lot...some university students here in Japan that do that are really good..especially the girls. Most are once a week, tired company guys and that just doesn't work very well imho

Hi Lee,
Thank you for the clarification! I doubt you used bad wording...when I get on AikiWeb my brain tends to over think things and sometimes very obvious things just fly right past me. I think I understand your meaning better now though.

When I first trained in Aikido I noticed the fluidity of my movements got a lot better when I started doing solo kata. Now, I'm returning to my training in a more serious way, but I only train about once a week. To augment this I'm practicing solo kata each evening at home. For me right now, still having a very low level of understanding of things, the kata form of practice is a way of exploring how my body feels in different movements and stances, which makes me think of what was said about waza being a paried way of testing the roots of aiki. It does seem to help when I find myself on the mat, but without the checks from people who know better than me I do find myself practicing some bad habits.
...All part of the process I reckon...and it is a fun and frustrating process!:D
Thanks again!
Take care,
Matt

Tengu859
10-15-2012, 11:27 AM
Interresting comments, and I appreciate that you take your time to answer some of my questions guys even I don´t understand all of them ofcourse.
Anyway !
Let´s assume waza is pointless in developing aiki, then what in your opinion does it take to develop aiki ?

Proper solo training...then testing yourself. :0)

Take Care,

ChrisW

jonreading
10-15-2012, 01:05 PM
In my view "aiki" and technique or waza are two seperate themes, but I strongly believe the one leads to the other just like being young has got nothing to do with being old but still there is a clean connection in the sence that the one leads to the other- I guess..?

Why should we distinguish between the two and whats the purpose of that ?

Any thoughts on this anyone ?

Cheers
Lars
Aiki is an understanding of interaction. Waza is an expression of that understanding.

There absolutely should be a distinction between aiki and waza. While several others have brought it up, I believe Shioda and Kuriowa both were quoted in Aikido Journal as differentiating between kihon waza and kata no kihon waza.

I believe what we are actually talking about is kata, not waza. Kata is form and our techniques are kata. Aiki is the understanding of how that form works [with your partner]. Waza would imply the spontaneous or natural occurring application of form within an interaction.

For me, I believe that aiki is not some complicated thing (doing it maybe...). I try to distinguish between form and exercise because of purpose. I typically use exercises to study interactive response. I will use form to reinforce structure and coordination.

gregstec
10-15-2012, 03:39 PM
Hello,

I'm begining to think Takeda was right...only one or two people a generation.

Take Care All,

ChrisW

PS It's amazing that so much information is presented on a silverplatter for the taking.

Maybe that is because he found out that only one or two people were willing to listen and put in the work :D

Greg

Tengu859
10-15-2012, 04:06 PM
Maybe that is because he found out that only one or two people were willing to listen and put in the work :D

Greg

Sadly for me, it's easy to talk the talk...I think I'll shut up from now on. Alas, at times I can't resist(I'm weak)!!! I'm a social animal(sometimes)!!! :0)

Take Care,

ChrisW

lars beyer
10-15-2012, 04:46 PM
Thanks for the input folks, I guess I got what I asked for. :D
Cheers
Lars

gregstec
10-15-2012, 06:05 PM
Sadly for me, it's easy to talk the talk...I think I'll shut up from now on. Alas, at times I can't resist(I'm weak)!!! I'm a social animal(sometimes)!!! :0)

Take Care,

ChrisW

I like your stuff - keep it up :)

wxyzabc
10-15-2012, 06:17 PM
By Kisshomaru, I mean under his direction. True enough that there were many different "variants" to the aikido in Tokyo, however, for the most part, it was all under the direction of Kisshomaru (early on, also Tohei). And, in general, all leading to Modern Aikido. Modern Aikido does not equate to Ueshiba's aikido.

Speaking of variants, why was there different training done at Tokyo honbu than at personal, private dojos of some of the instructors? Why was some of the training banned at Tokyo honbu?

What is it to me? I think that Modern Aikido has taken the spiritual ideals from Morihei Ueshiba and gone beyond his dreams. Modern Aikido has broadened the spiritual and made it available to the world. In that, I think Kisshomaru did very well. However, what did not get passed along (again, in general) was the martial skills of Ueshiba, namely aiki. So, I think people should know the truth so that they can make an educated decision about what aikido they wish to study. Both have their place in the world. Both can coexist. Only one, though, is martially exceptional. And that one, aiki, can also infuse spirituality to make it better.

If you do not understand the core of the art, if the core of the art is withheld, if the truth of the art is not passed along ... why should the students trust the Keepers of the tradition? But if you don't know that the core, the secret, the truth has been withheld, you are blind to the moon.

Well one thing for modern aikido is it doesn't lead to....abnormality
The other can damage people in ways I won't go into here...then it will be very hard to find someone to fix you....take care.

Lee

Tengu859
10-15-2012, 09:51 PM
I like your stuff - keep it up :)

Greg,

Please don't encourage me...I'm basically an Aiki-clown!!! I love this stuff so
much, my mouth sometimes goes faster then my aikiage!!! ;0)

Take Care,

ChrisW

PS Sorry guys for using the forum for my selfish need for attention. I'll go back to the peanut gallery now... :0(

Mario Tobias
10-16-2012, 05:43 AM
For your meaning, would it be accurate to substitute the term "aiki" with "principles" and "waza" with "form?"
In other words, when hypothetically all we have are principles and no form, the principles might be described as not actuated; there's no actual manifestation. If hypothetically we're just using form without the principles, we're creating a cheap or hollow imitation.
Is this what you mean?

I think the substitution is accurate. They say aikido has 3000 techniques. My theory is that there are only a handful of aiki principles out there. Waza is therefore a permutation of different principles combined together to make the 3000. Although the outside form looks different for different techniques, these are just made up from the same underlying principles. IMHO, the goal therefore is not to concentrate on mastering different waza but to understand the common underlying principles for these. 2 techniques may look different in form but the principle is the same.

Rupert Atkinson
10-16-2012, 06:21 AM
I have seen all sorts. Here are some of my observations - of course - every case is different. I have seen no structure - Ki aikido in the UK (just what I saw). Teachers were great, students struggled becuase they had no structure. Yoshinkan - too much structure, not enough flow - and when they flow, they are flowing through their rigid structure, if you know what I mean. I did Yoshinkan for awhile and really liked it - it improved my structure. But you can have too much of a good thing. Well - there you have opposite ends of the spectrum. Another extreme is to simply stay in one school. Each school typically has one view. Many teachers have one good quirk and it is done/taught to death. You need to get about and look around further afield. So what do I think?

1 I think students should be taught all the waza until they know all the waza. If you can't get through that in a couple of years then something is wrong.
2 At the same time, lots of kokyu-ho and kokyu-nage.
3 Also, the notion of aiki should be taught right from the start. Thing is, no one knows what it is, so, all you get is waza forever. However, at least, if you do #1 and #2 you will be ready for #3 when you find the right teacher.

One idea - aiki-age is done well by lots of people. Tori riases his arm and moves uke. That's it. You need to research this and be able to do it from any position and any direction, not just 'up'. 99% of people just do it 'up' because it is called aiki-age (= aiki-up). But to be able to do it well you need to figure out why it works. Then, it will become a principle you own.

danj
10-17-2012, 05:40 AM
From a skill acquisition point of view drills or blocked learning (such as structured solo waza in a class context) is very good at translating/ developing skills quickly to a certain point. However the learned skills tend not to be so robust under pressure and can lead to a false sense of confidence/ complacency and can actually go backwards. Ways around this are to introduce a random element (randoori, sparring etc), stress testing (such as the uke nage dynamic and other less traditional methods) and feedback (auditory, visual and kinesthetic) be it self feedback or external/internal feedback.

In the traditional context the arts seem to already cover many of the bases in developing and honing skills. Wether through solo drills using a partner for feedback (ki testing, resistive load on ikkyo/funakogi and some of the IS exercises that develop self feedback maybe? (that s a question 'cause i don't know enough to comment), the kata of aikido where uke (uke is teacher says nishioka sensei) provides the variability, stress testing through connection and randomness in free play.

A recent interesting example for me was at our national seminar where the application of happo waza (8 directions) was explored with multiple uke, it saw relatively experienced aikidoka tripping over their feet and not knowing which way to turn, this despite doing the happo waza 4 times a class, 2 times a week 50 weeks of the year, it was an interesting example of the traps of blocked learning.

I would see waza as a1st approximation of aiki, paired practice as examples of aiki that might allow one to discover aiki in time - get the odd glimpse.

hmm a few broard brush strokes and generalisations..apologies in advance

best,
dan

Rob Watson
10-17-2012, 11:46 AM
A recent interesting example for me was at our national seminar where the application of happo waza (8 directions) was explored with multiple uke, it saw relatively experienced aikidoka tripping over their feet and not knowing which way to turn, this despite doing the happo waza 4 times a class, 2 times a week 50 weeks of the year, it was an interesting example of the traps of blocked learning.

I would see waza as a1st approximation of aiki, paired practice as examples of aiki that might allow one to discover aiki in time - get the odd glimpse.

This is quite common and one of my major gripes. For example teach/learn the 20 jo suburi (Saito method). Then string the suburi together into the 31 or 13 kata and folks fall apart - work 'ti they get it. Then 13 or 31 paired practice - fall apart again - 'til the rework and learn it anew. Same for the kumijo. Now drop them into a more or less free style interaction and they fall apart again.

Even folks that are really good at awase or ki no nagare forms of the 13, 31 or kumijo when placed in an unstructured freestyle arena don't comport so well. What are we learning in such a format - patterns of movement but not how to move. Very frustrating.

Kind of the crux of the waza vs aiki thingy.

lars beyer
10-17-2012, 03:45 PM
This is quite common and one of my major gripes. For example teach/learn the 20 jo suburi (Saito method). Then string the suburi together into the 31 or 13 kata and folks fall apart - work 'ti they get it. Then 13 or 31 paired practice - fall apart again - 'til the rework and learn it anew. Same for the kumijo. Now drop them into a more or less free style interaction and they fall apart again.

Even folks that are really good at awase or ki no nagare forms of the 13, 31 or kumijo when placed in an unstructured freestyle arena don't comport so well. What are we learning in such a format - patterns of movement but not how to move. Very frustrating.

Kind of the crux of the waza vs aiki thingy.

Maybe some more freestyle training outside of regular class with your favourite training partner(s) would help ? Problem is finding a hole in the calender but if were into it that shouldn´t be a problem I guess.
Personally I feel good about my sensei´s Aikido so needless to say that doesn´t imply others shouldn´t have their own opinion on the matter..Thats life.
If we don´t like what we do we should find something else to do.
Regards
Lars

danj
10-17-2012, 04:47 PM
This is quite common and one of my major gripes. For example teach/learn the 20 jo suburi (Saito method). Then string the suburi together into the 31 or 13 kata and folks fall apart - work 'ti they get it. Then 13 or 31 paired practice - fall apart again - 'til the rework and learn it anew. Same for the kumijo. Now drop them into a more or less free style interaction and they fall apart again.

Even folks that are really good at awase or ki no nagare forms of the 13, 31 or kumijo when placed in an unstructured freestyle arena don't comport so well. What are we learning in such a format - patterns of movement but not how to move. Very frustrating.

Kind of the crux of the waza vs aiki thingy.

Thanks for sharing, good to know my school is not the only out on a limb
Yeah I was disappointed too at first, then i realised that all the blocked vs random learning research shows is that perhaps the usual training method of focus on drill based waza and kihon at a certain point is counterproductive. Luckily we have the other methods to fix it up (ki no nagare) and beyond.

sakumeikan
10-17-2012, 06:21 PM
I think the substitution is accurate. They say aikido has 3000 techniques. My theory is that there are only a handful of aiki principles out there. Waza is therefore a permutation of different principles combined together to make the 3000. Although the outside form looks different for different techniques, these are just made up from the same underlying principles. IMHO, the goal therefore is not to concentrate on mastering different waza but to understand the common underlying principles for these. 2 techniques may look different in form but the principle is the same.

Mario,
I agree.Joe.

Rupert Atkinson
10-17-2012, 08:46 PM
Fall apart? Well, I don't think it was ever intended to be whatever 'together' might mean. Katas - such as the Jo kata - are just collections of ideas/principles. If you don't suss out what they are and then take the principles on board by practising them in other contexts then all you have is the form. How could you possibly expect to be able to use a Jo in combat by just practising kata? Of course, that is all they give us, and so, with that in mind, it is up to us to go figure out what to do with these new principles we discover.

...Then string the suburi together into the 31 or 13 kata and folks fall apart - work 'ti they get it. Then 13 or 31 paired practice - fall apart again - 'til the rework and learn it anew. Same for the kumijo. Now drop them into a more or less free style interaction and they fall apart again.
Kind of the crux of the waza vs aiki thingy.

lars beyer
10-18-2012, 05:23 PM
If you had bad posture and bad movement then...either you weren't leaning Aiki or your definition of Aiki is different then mine.

Best,

Chris

I had bad posture because I was lifting many heavy objects when I was young. Aikido changed it for the better. Later on a xin yi professor told me my posture was sort of allright.. sort of.. he said. He corrected it into "half monkey stance". It was at a seminar.
To my untrained eye it looks like the stance you, Dan and others take during your seminars pushing on eachothers arms and chests and knees. I use the half monkey stance sometimes for keeping the balance on the bus or the train. Sometimes I use hanmi, sometimes both alternating.
To my eye it doesn´t look like O´sensei is using the half monkey stance in the 1935 Asahi news film or Shirata sensei`s video of prewar aikibudo techniques.

I don´t know how to describe aiki and I don´t have a definition of aiki.
I wouldn´t even know how to use it if I had it. Maybe I would use it for keeping my balance in the company of others- on a bus or a train commuting to and from work

Chris Li
10-18-2012, 07:12 PM
I had bad posture because I was lifting many heavy objects when I was young. Aikido changed it for the better. Later on a xin yi professor told me my posture was sort of allright.. sort of.. he said. He corrected it into "half monkey stance". It was at a seminar.
To my untrained eye it looks like the stance you, Dan and others take during your seminars pushing on eachothers arms and chests and knees. I use the half monkey stance sometimes for keeping the balance on the bus or the train. Sometimes I use hanmi, sometimes both alternating.
To my eye it doesn�t look like O�sensei is using the half monkey stance in the 1935 Asahi news film or Shirata sensei`s video of prewar aikibudo techniques.

I don�t know how to describe aiki and I don�t have a definition of aiki.
I wouldn�t even know how to use it if I had it. Maybe I would use it for keeping my balance in the company of others- on a bus or a train commuting to and from work

No, we're all monkey! :D

Actually, that's just some training exercises, I wouldn't take that as a canonical posture.

In any case, if you don't know what Aiki is or how to describe it, then how do you know that's what you were taught, and how are you able to comment on it?

Best,

Chris

grondahl
10-19-2012, 04:40 AM
Fall apart? Well, I don't think it was ever intended to be whatever 'together' might mean. Katas - such as the Jo kata - are just collections of ideas/principles. If you don't suss out what they are and then take the principles on board by practising them in other contexts then all you have is the form. How could you possibly expect to be able to use a Jo in combat by just practising kata? Of course, that is all they give us, and so, with that in mind, it is up to us to go figure out what to do with these new principles we discover.

I dont think that Rob was thinking of "using a Jo in combat" when talking about fall apart but rather the way that aikiken/aikijo is designed to instill a specific way to move, and it´s that specific way of moving that falls apart. Does a boxer stop moving like boxer under pressure?

lars beyer
10-19-2012, 10:08 AM
No, we're all monkey! :D

Actually, that's just some training exercises, I wouldn't take that as a canonical posture.

In any case, if you don't know what Aiki is or how to describe it, then how do you know that's what you were taught, and how are you able to comment on it?

Best,

Chris

Well, I´ll say were all human and may have something in common with monkeys.
I comment because I am curious and because I feel it concerns me.
Chers
Lars

Rob Watson
10-19-2012, 12:29 PM
Fall apart? Well, I don't think it was ever intended to be whatever 'together' might mean. Katas - such as the Jo kata - are just collections of ideas/principles. If you don't suss out what they are and then take the principles on board by practising them in other contexts then all you have is the form. How could you possibly expect to be able to use a Jo in combat by just practising kata? Of course, that is all they give us, and so, with that in mind, it is up to us to go figure out what to do with these new principles we discover.

I dont think that Rob was thinking of "using a Jo in combat" when talking about fall apart but rather the way that aikiken/aikijo is designed to instill a specific way to move, and it´s that specific way of moving that falls apart. Does a boxer stop moving like boxer under pressure?

Well, yes and no. I mean, martial arts are not for reading tea leaves. Kata is an established vehicle to transmit hard earned lessons from combat. Certainly kata alone cannot convey the complete lesson. Lesson learned in kata are a foundation to build upon.

Working the progression from suburi to kata to paired practice in ki no nagare mode and then randori (honestly how many actually practice randori with weapons or completely unstructured freestyle with weapons) and finding a distinct lack of continuity in tranferable skills leaves large questions in my mind.

On the other hand learning specific methods of body conditioning as a foundation there is an ever increasingly obvious transfer of skills so I find less need to study waza and more need to rebuild the foundation to achieve the 'aiki that make waza just appear'. I already know plenty of waza that I know works considerably less effectively that I believe is should and I do not see more practice of said waza as an efficient means to improvement. The more I concentrate efforts on body conditioning to create aiki the waza does actually become more effective and efficient.

Waza is not useless ... I just do not find it enough to further me along my journey.

Rupert Atkinson
10-19-2012, 09:11 PM
Well, yes and no. I mean, martial arts are not for reading tea leaves. Kata is an established vehicle to transmit hard earned lessons from combat. Certainly kata alone cannot convey the complete lesson. Lesson learned in kata are a foundation to build upon.

Working the progression from suburi to kata to paired practice in ki no nagare mode and then randori (honestly how many actually practice randori with weapons or completely unstructured freestyle with weapons) and finding a distinct lack of continuity in tranferable skills leaves large questions in my mind.

On the other hand learning specific methods of body conditioning as a foundation there is an ever increasingly obvious transfer of skills so I find less need to study waza and more need to rebuild the foundation to achieve the 'aiki that make waza just appear'. I already know plenty of waza that I know works considerably less effectively that I believe is should and I do not see more practice of said waza as an efficient means to improvement. The more I concentrate efforts on body conditioning to create aiki the waza does actually become more effective and efficient.

Waza is not useless ... I just do not find it enough to further me along my journey.

I agree with all you said. That's just how I see it.