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akiy
10-30-2013, 12:13 PM
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Here is Christian Tissier (7th dan, Aikikai) demonstrating at the 2013 Sportaccord World Combat Games in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

What are your thoughts on his demonstration?

-- Jun

TokyoZeplin
10-30-2013, 12:44 PM
Looks fantastic, but not really the sort of demonstration that I personally like.
Purely for what I'm looking for, I wish the Uke's had been a bit better, and the entire thing had been a little less stop-motion'ish. For instance, at 3 minutes (exactly) into the demonstration, when Uke attacks, after the blow is blocked, they stop for about a second, before moving onwards.
But I'm not entirely sure under what circumstances the demonstration was held, and what expectations were, so whatever.

sakumeikan
10-30-2013, 02:10 PM
Hi,
Lovely choreography.Personally I think its like watching paint dry. Does nothing for me. Sorry!! Cheers, Joe.

Janet Rosen
10-30-2013, 02:47 PM
Hi,
Lovely choreography.Personally I think its like watching paint dry. Does nothing for me. Sorry!! Cheers, Joe.

I kind of feel the same way. It's the kind of demo that is good in a dojo setting where you want to show idealized forms (kata - nage and uke roles) for students to emulate. But to show off the art and have an uke who is willing to stand, frozen in space, during the technical transitions rather than continually turn towards nage to at least try to continue to attack makes it look like a dance. I'm NOT talking about uke resisting or doing kaeshiwaza, just looking as alive and connected and moving as nage is.

robin_jet_alt
10-30-2013, 03:09 PM
It looks like he has injured his right knee. I wonder what effect that had on the demonstration, apart from making some of those pins ineffective.

James Sawers
10-30-2013, 03:20 PM
Very nice demonstration........wish mine would go half as well......

sakumeikan
10-30-2013, 07:27 PM
I kind of feel the same way. It's the kind of demo that is good in a dojo setting where you want to show idealized forms (kata - nage and uke roles) for students to emulate. But to show off the art and have an uke who is willing to stand, frozen in space, during the technical transitions rather than continually turn towards nage to at least try to continue to attack makes it look like a dance. I'm NOT talking about uke resisting or doing kaeshiwaza, just looking as alive and connected and moving as nage is.

Dear Janet,
Nice to note we appear to have a similar viewpoint.I have seen many of Mr Tissier's demos and quite frankly there are much of a sameness.I even think the gent with the grey hair is a longstanding uke for Tissier Sensei.I do not see any MARTIAL applications in his work.Neither did I see any real commitment to give a genuine attack.It reminded me of an old flicker instructions you got in the old days , where you flicked the pages and the figures seemed to move.It was for the first part a series of srop /start waza.I reckon Tissier Sensei didnt even break sweat nere .Too clinical by half.Reminded me of a Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers dance.I guess I will be seen as a heretic or worse , but you call the shots as you see them.So whether people agree with me or not, I stand by viewpoint.Cheers, Joe.

Janet Rosen
10-30-2013, 08:36 PM
Reminded me of a Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers dance.

Nah, those two always showed proper connection and flow :)

Carsten M÷llering
10-31-2013, 04:59 AM
I wish the Uke's had been a bit better, ...Bruno Gonzales, godan, is a longterm student of Christian Tissier. He is one of the assistant teachers in his d˘j˘. So be it considered bad or good by us onlookers it is at least exactly the way his ukemi is expected to be by his teacher.
If you check out the Demonstrations of Christian Tissier at Paris Bercy you will see Gonzales giving ukemi in a different way.

... the entire thing had been a little less stop-motion'ish. Do you see a difference between the first part (osae waza) and the second part (nage waza), well, and also part three and four? Or do you see this stop-motion throughout the whole demonstration?

But I'm not entirely sure under what circumstances the demonstration was held, and what expectations were, so whatever.Tissier is showing what can be called "didactical forms" in allmost every demonstration.
Having studied his style for some yeas the structure of his demo is familiar to me. It's not random but shows how he is teaching aikid˘. The stops at certain (not random) points in the technique are a tool, that is used by tori to controll position, posture, connection ... by himself. To do the transitions in katamae waza very precise is considered to be crucial in this way of aikid˘.

... good in a dojo setting where you want to show idealized forms (kata - nage and uke roles) for students to emulate. This describes very nice what Tissier is trying to do. And not only in the first part. He often states that what he shows and teaches openly should allways considered to be didactical forms.
He explicetly doesn't show "free movement" or "applied technique".

... an uke who is willing to stand, frozen in space, during the technical transitions rather than continually turn towards nage to at least try to continue to attack ...
1. As I said those hold-on-positions are not random, but clearly defined positions. When you execute the waza in one flow there will be a transition of hands, controll by tori etc. but there will (should) be no "freedom" for uke. Uke will (should) be controlled the whole way through. The stops are made to work on those transitions.
So for the purpose of working on those key positions uke is required to not do "non-kata-moves". So tori has not to react to whatever behaviour, but can work the form. Obiously this requiremt is usually needed only during the first stages of learning. (see point 3.)

2. You may notice that there is a difference between the omote waza and the ura waza. In ura waza, when uke is expected to come to tori, the halts are far less extreme - if they exis at all (watch out ikkyo and nikyo ura) then for omote waza where tori is expected to work towards uke.

3. Having said all that: I recommend to try out an advanced student of this way of practice. It is the aim of this stop-motion-tool to control uke clearly even during the halt of the technique. For to learn to be able to do the trasitions of the katama waza not only because of speed and movement, but technically. So, if this method works out fine uke will finally not be able to "turn towards nage to at least try to continue to attack" because tori is able to controll him even during those halts of technique and doing the transitions needed for the katame waza.

... makes it look like a dance. Well, Tissier often speaks about the "agreements" we make for being able to learn aikid˘. End˘ simply calls it "kata". ;-)

It looks like he has injured his right knee. I wonder what effect that had on the demonstration, ... Tissier's knee was injured some years ago. Someone was thrown full force into his 's knee from the side. He managed to get back on the tatami, but never recoverd from that incident.
Watching him, you may sometimes recognize that his steps are not allways so precise like they used to be. And sometimes he is equilibrium is not as good as it could or should be.
But this is not the reason for the way he shows aikid˘ that is discussed here. It's a problem apart from his teaching method or understanding of demonstration.

I do not see any MARTIAL applications in his work.As I said above: Tissier often states that he does not show what he understands as "martial applications" openly. So one can like this attitude or not, but to look for martial application in demonstrations (or the theaching) of Tissier means to put wrong expections on his demos.
His more dynamic demonstrations in former times are often misunderstood to show martial effectiveness. As far as I understand him that's not true. It is just his way of ki no nagare.

You sometimes can get a glimps of what Tissier understands (and practices) concerning martial spirit and effectiveness, when you see him doing the swordwork he adapted from Inaba sensei. Above all when he corrects and teaches his near students to become more "sharp". When he underlines this using body movemen, aikid˘ movement. Very interesting!

... Tissier Sensei didnt even break sweat nere .... This made me grin: This can be a sign of uncommitted practice, but can also be a sign of very advanced practice.

Nah, those two always showed proper connection and flowQuite a number of students who follow Tissier where led to Argentine tango via aikid˘ ...

sakumeikan
10-31-2013, 05:50 AM
Bruno Gonzales, godan, is a longterm student of Christian Tissier. He is one of the assistant teachers in his d˘j˘. So be it considered bad or good by us onlookers it is at least exactly the way his ukemi is expected to be by his teacher.
If you check out the Demonstrations of Christian Tissier at Paris Bercy you will see Gonzales giving ukemi in a different way.

Do you see a difference between the first part (osae waza) and the second part (nage waza), well, and also part three and four? Or do you see this stop-motion throughout the whole demonstration?

Tissier is showing what can be called "didactical forms" in allmost every demonstration.
Having studied his style for some yeas the structure of his demo is familiar to me. It's not random but shows how he is teaching aikid˘. The stops at certain (not random) points in the technique are a tool, that is used by tori to controll position, posture, connection ... by himself. To do the transitions in katamae waza very precise is considered to be crucial in this way of aikid˘.

This describes very nice what Tissier is trying to do. And not only in the first part. He often states that what he shows and teaches openly should allways considered to be didactical forms.
He explicetly doesn't show "free movement" or "applied technique".

1. As I said those hold-on-positions are not random, but clearly defined positions. When you execute the waza in one flow there will be a transition of hands, controll by tori etc. but there will (should) be no "freedom" for uke. Uke will (should) be controlled the whole way through. The stops are made to work on those transitions.
So for the purpose of working on those key positions uke is required to not do "non-kata-moves". So tori has not to react to whatever behaviour, but can work the form. Obiously this requiremt is usually needed only during the first stages of learning. (see point 3.)

2. You may notice that there is a difference between the omote waza and the ura waza. In ura waza, when uke is expected to come to tori, the halts are far less extreme - if they exis at all (watch out ikkyo and nikyo ura) then for omote waza where tori is expected to work towards uke.

3. Having said all that: I recommend to try out an advanced student of this way of practice. It is the aim of this stop-motion-tool to control uke clearly even during the halt of the technique. For to learn to be able to do the trasitions of the katama waza not only because of speed and movement, but technically. So, if this method works out fine uke will finally not be able to "turn towards nage to at least try to continue to attack" because tori is able to controll him even during those halts of technique and doing the transitions needed for the katame waza.

Well, Tissier often speaks about the "agreements" we make for being able to learn aikid˘. End˘ simply calls it "kata". ;-)

Tissier's knee was injured some years ago. Someone was thrown full force into his 's knee from the side. He managed to get back on the tatami, but never recoverd from that incident.
Watching him, you may sometimes recognize that his steps are not allways so precise like they used to be. And sometimes he is equilibrium is not as good as it could or should be.
But this is not the reason for the way he shows aikid˘ that is discussed here. It's a problem apart from his teaching method or understanding of demonstration.

As I said above: Tissier often states that he does not show what he understands as "martial applications" openly. So one can like this attitude or not, but to look for martial application in demonstrations (or the theaching) of Tissier means to put wrong expections on his demos.
His more dynamic demonstrations in former times are often misunderstood to show martial effectiveness. As far as I understand him that's not true. It is just his way of ki no nagare.

You sometimes can get a glimps of what Tissier understands (and practices) concerning martial spirit and effectiveness, when you see him doing the swordwork he adapted from Inaba sensei. Above all when he corrects and teaches his near students to become more "sharp". When he underlines this using body movemen, aikid˘ movement. Very interesting!

This made me grin: This can be a sign of uncommitted practice, but can also be a sign of very advanced practice.

Quite a number of students who follow Tissier where led to Argentine tango via aikid˘ ...
Dear Carsten,
You mention swordwork, pray may I ask, wherein the vid is there any swordwork?You make a good case for Mr Tissier's demo , are you by chance in the legal profession?Maybe next demo Tissier Sensei will get his Aikido Argentine Tango exponents do assist him?Myself, I like this dance.Maybe if I was at the demo[should there be one ] I would probably like the tango section much better than his demo.Glad my whimsical comment about Tissier Sensei not breaking sweat /or his coiffure remaining perfectly in place,made you smile.I must however state that Tissier Sensei should qualify for the best dressed man in aikido 2013.He does cut a dashing figure.Wish I knew his tailor.My own style of dress is quite dowdy/shabby in comparison.Must ask if he puts his old gear in a charity box[might pick up a bargain]??Cheers, Joe

SteliosPapadakis
10-31-2013, 08:39 AM
Star! :)

Janet Rosen
10-31-2013, 01:29 PM
Bruno Gonzales, godan, is a longterm student of Christian Tissier. He is one of the assistant teachers in his d˘j˘. So be it considered bad or good by us onlookers it is at least exactly the way his ukemi is expected to be by his teacher.
If you check out the Demonstrations of Christian Tissier at Paris Bercy you will see Gonzales giving ukemi in a different way...

Thank you for clarification of his explicit approach and goals. Helpful info.

robin_jet_alt
10-31-2013, 09:04 PM
Tissier's knee was injured some years ago. Someone was thrown full force into his 's knee from the side. He managed to get back on the tatami, but never recoverd from that incident.
Watching him, you may sometimes recognize that his steps are not allways so precise like they used to be. And sometimes he is equilibrium is not as good as it could or should be.
But this is not the reason for the way he shows aikid˘ that is discussed here. It's a problem apart from his teaching method or understanding of demonstration.


It's sad that his knee still inhibits him so much.

I wasn't making the same criticism as the others. The main thing that stood out to me was his obvious discomfort and inability to bend that knee. Apart from that, I am a fan of Tissier.

Adam Huss
10-31-2013, 10:25 PM
I've never been a huge fan of Tissier Sensei's aikido, but I did like this demonstration. It showed a maturity of technique in its movement and presentation. I enjoyed that he was trying to demonstrate proper form, good fundamental technique, and control.

chillzATL
11-01-2013, 09:25 AM
Does anyone have a link to an aikido demonstration that is markedly different from this one or most every other aikido demo I've ever seen?

Andy Kazama
11-01-2013, 10:41 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8J5EMD6N-cA

DanielR
11-01-2013, 01:45 PM
Thank you, Carsten, for taking the time to address the criticism in this thread.

Having been exposed to a fair number of practitioners in this and related lineages, my take on the demo is that Tissier Sensei chose to demonstrate a few very specific points of his very specific style. Within these parameters, it is a beautiful, precise demo, as his and his senior students' demos usually are.

chillzATL
11-01-2013, 04:02 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8J5EMD6N-cA

eh, not so different really...

sakumeikan
11-01-2013, 06:52 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8J5EMD6N-cA

Hi, Andy,
So happy you picked HenryEllis Sensei's favourite video clip.He will be over the moon watching this. Cheers, Joe.

Keith Larman
11-01-2013, 07:18 PM
Ya know, some love to complain incessantly about why folk don't post video. I really don't wonder about it anymore.

Lord help me I hope I'm never so popular folk start video taping me. Put one in the back of the melon now, it would be so much less painful.

RonRagusa
11-01-2013, 10:32 PM
Lord help me I hope I'm never so popular folk start video taping me. Put one in the back of the melon now, it would be so much less painful.

And yet you publish photos of the absolutely beautiful work you do on edged weapons. Those photos speak of precision of execution and painstaking attention to detail. I would be surprised if your Aikido did not reflect those same qualities. And how could something like that be unpleasant to see?

Ron

Basia Halliop
11-02-2013, 04:19 PM
Personally I quite enjoyed watching it. I've never taken a class from him but the demo makes me see how he might be good at teaching - it feels very controlled and smooth (even with the pauses) and deliberate, and it seemed to me like he was emphasizing the basic principles in each technique. And I like that his demo focused a lot on simple techniques and kata.

Basia Halliop
11-02-2013, 04:52 PM
And yet you publish photos of the absolutely beautiful work you do on edged weapons. Those photos speak of precision of execution and painstaking attention to detail. I would be surprised if your Aikido did not reflect those same qualities. And how could something like that be unpleasant to see?

Ron

Well, one person's precise and detailed is another's robotic and dead. We all value different things and strive for different things, and put various things we value in a different order of priority. So he's right, it's basically inevitable that any video demo that one person sees as an ideal will be seen by at least one other person as a perfect example of what not to do (I have never yet seen a counterexample to this) or even as 'what's wrong with a lot of aikido today'. I have no idea if there's any solution to that, as just praising everything you see or never talking about things you don't like would probably be even worse.

But it does mean that it's a rare person who will post videos. The other reason is that in most cases it makes more sense to seek comments from people whose aikido you specifically admire or wish to emulate, rather than from people you've never even trained with and who for all you know are trying to do something different than you are anyway.

David Yap
11-05-2013, 11:34 AM
eh, not so different really...

No, this is very far off. Very BIG movements and incomplete spirals and...uke already initiating the fall or roll even before the nage has taken his balance. One of my 3rd Dan kohai (from another dojo) does that all the time and irritates the hell out of me. When I questioned him on his ukemi, he said, "what's the difference? The result is ending up on the mats anyway".

Gerardo Torres
11-05-2013, 04:36 PM
Hey I'm no particular fan of Tissier, but I find it hilarious how overly critical (and cultish) are some aikidoka towards other styles (as Keith said, no wonder some don't post videos). Anything that does not fall within one of their favorite shihan or styles, they immediately reduce it to twirling ribbons and dancing. All organizational aikido is more or less working with the same information, attributes and flaws, including trained compliant uke. Some commentators need to buy mirrors...

SteliosPapadakis
11-07-2013, 03:06 AM
Hey I'm no particular fan of Tissier, but I find it hilarious how overly critical (and cultish) are some aikidoka towards other styles (as Keith said, no wonder some don't post videos). Anything that does not fall within one of their favorite shihan or styles, they immediately reduce it to twirling ribbons and dancing. All organizational aikido is more or less working with the same information, attributes and flaws, including trained compliant uke. Some commentators need to buy mirrors...

Very well put.
:)

lbb
11-07-2013, 07:45 AM
Well, one person's precise and detailed is another's robotic and dead. We all value different things and strive for different things, and put various things we value in a different order of priority. So he's right, it's basically inevitable that any video demo that one person sees as an ideal will be seen by at least one other person as a perfect example of what not to do (I have never yet seen a counterexample to this) or even as 'what's wrong with a lot of aikido today'. I have no idea if there's any solution to that, as just praising everything you see or never talking about things you don't like would probably be even worse.

The solution is to say (ideally just to yourself) "I don't get it." Let me say that again, with the emphasis where it belongs: "I don't get it." Or perhaps, "I don't get it yet." Just because one doesn't see the value in something at first glance, doesn't mean that no value exists. But people would rather issue snap judgments than exercise patience and consider the possibility that the deficiency may be in their understanding, rather than in the thing that they don't understand the first nanosecond they look at it. If I hadn't been willing to say "I don't get it yet", I would have quit aikido the first day.

Keith Larman
11-07-2013, 08:41 AM
And yet you publish photos of the absolutely beautiful work you do on edged weapons. Those photos speak of precision of execution and painstaking attention to detail. I would be surprised if your Aikido did not reflect those same qualities. And how could something like that be unpleasant to see?

Ron
Thanks for the kind words, Ron. I wandered away from this thread deciding I really didn't need to engage further in some of the discussion.

Frankly the work in polishing Japanese style swords has helped me also realize the fact that *nothing* is perfect. Nothing. Well, almost nothing -- I saw a modern piece by Ono Yoshimitsu and spent an hour by myself with good lighting and my jeweler's magnifiers and I couldn't find a freaking mistake anywhere in the blade, not by the smith and not by the polisher (Fujishiro would be my guess on the polisher). Damn. That bugged me.

But my point is that what one sees as perfect almost always has flaws somewhere. I can guarantee you that a smith like Ono probably looks at his sword and grouses "next time I'll do that differently". Same with the polisher telling himself next time he'll shift that one transition a half mm forward next time with a 1% change in the angle. It's really about how closely you look.

So to be honest my Aikido is messy to me. And my practice is really much like polishing in my mind. Each day working to refine, each day working to make things just a little more crisp. Each day trying to find that essence and allowing it to be seen.

WRT guys like Tissier and his style of demonstration I'm reminded that there are multiple styles of polishing. An older style (sashikomi) was more subdued, more subtle, and was geared towards letting the blade show what it was without as much "adjustment" by the polisher. The more modern style, kesho, is really a product of modern times, a product of having the luxury of taking as long as possible but also trying to present the same basic things, but to make things stand out more, to balance things, to allow an educated person to study the blade in the very same way but with the togishi (polisher) in essence saying "here, look at this and look at how wonderful that is -- and don't miss this activity over here." People will argue without resolution about which is "better" or more appropriate. The funny thing for me is that if I don't notice the polish but can see in to the blade, I really don't care how the polisher approached it. Two means to building a "lens" to view in to the work of the smith. To "see" the very soul of the steel. Two ways, two purposes in a manner of speaking, both perfectly legit.

More people here would benefit greatly if they could take that lesson to heart. Honestly I think Mary M's post touches on it as well. See past the polish because the polish is there *only* to allow you to "look in". Demonstrations are the same in my mind. Different means of showing something about how they train and what they do. But in the case of swords the "best" polish is the one you don't notice because you're seeing in to the blade. And the polish can be redone. The blade, however, remains the same, and is that mystery underneath that you will hopefully never fully appreciate. But with each look maybe you get something more you weren't able (or ready) to see before.

Keith Larman
11-07-2013, 08:44 AM
Oh, and the sword I"m talking about was a Yamatorige by Ono Yoshimitsu. It was about to be delivered to the person who commissioned it. If memory serves the price tag on that one was $75,000 USD. No, that is not a typo.

sakumeikan
11-07-2013, 09:48 AM
Thanks for the kind words, Ron. I wandered away from this thread deciding I really didn't need to engage further in some of the discussion.

Frankly the work in polishing Japanese style swords has helped me also realize the fact that *nothing* is perfect. Nothing. Well, almost nothing -- I saw a modern piece by Ono Yoshimitsu and spent an hour by myself with good lighting and my jeweler's magnifiers and I couldn't find a freaking mistake anywhere in the blade, not by the smith and not by the polisher (Fujishiro would be my guess on the polisher). Damn. That bugged me.

But my point is that what one sees as perfect almost always has flaws somewhere. I can guarantee you that a smith like Ono probably looks at his sword and grouses "next time I'll do that differently". Same with the polisher telling himself next time he'll shift that one transition a half mm forward next time with a 1% change in the angle. It's really about how closely you look.

So to be honest my Aikido is messy to me. And my practice is really much like polishing in my mind. Each day working to refine, each day working to make things just a little more crisp. Each day trying to find that essence and allowing it to be seen.

WRT guys like Tissier and his style of demonstration I'm reminded that there are multiple styles of polishing. An older style (sashikomi) was more subdued, more subtle, and was geared towards letting the blade show what it was without as much "adjustment" by the polisher. The more modern style, kesho, is really a product of modern times, a product of having the luxury of taking as long as possible but also trying to present the same basic things, but to make things stand out more, to balance things, to allow an educated person to study the blade in the very same way but with the togishi (polisher) in essence saying "here, look at this and look at how wonderful that is -- and don't miss this activity over here." People will argue without resolution about which is "better" or more appropriate. The funny thing for me is that if I don't notice the polish but can see in to the blade, I really don't care how the polisher approached it. Two means to building a "lens" to view in to the work of the smith. To "see" the very soul of the steel. Two ways, two purposes in a manner of speaking, both perfectly legit.

More people here would benefit greatly if they could take that lesson to heart. Honestly I think Mary M's post touches on it as well. See past the polish because the polish is there *only* to allow you to "look in". Demonstrations are the same in my mind. Different means of showing something about how they train and what they do. But in the case of swords the "best" polish is the one you don't notice because you're seeing in to the blade. And the polish can be redone. The blade, however, remains the same, and is that mystery underneath that you will hopefully never fully appreciate. But with each look maybe you get something more you weren't able (or ready) to see before.
Dear Keith,
I know next to nothing about sword making.However regardless of how well the sword looks or how well it is polished, if the sword fails to cut through an object it is in my mind just a gret looking ornament.On the other hand if the sword is well made, well polished and can cut, great.
What is the point I am making here? The point I am hoping to express is this.A demo can look good , it can be fancy etc but could the person who is demoing, do the business?I rarely see videos which give me a sense of any martial content.I like a bit of spice now and again.Some Aikido demos are a bit bland for my tastebuds. Cheers, Joe.

Basia Halliop
11-07-2013, 11:18 AM
OTOH, if someone posts a video presumably it's for the purposes of discussion, isn't it? And it's hard to imagine a very interesting discussion where everyone completely agrees. So I'm not sure where the balance is, or what the ideal video discussion would look like.

Basia Halliop
11-07-2013, 11:37 AM
Dear Keith,
I rarely see videos which give me a sense of any martial content.I like a bit of spice now and again.Some Aikido demos are a bit bland for my tastebuds. Cheers, Joe.

So do you associate 'spice' with martial content? It's interesting, because that's quite different from what I think of as 'martial' or as 'effective'. When I think 'effective' some of the things (certainly not all) that I think of are if nage is leaving openings, if nage keeps him or herself continually in an advantageous position, if uke is off balance, etc. And sometimes it's actually easier to see if someone's doing those things if they demonstrate a bit slower so they can't hide flaws... So some of the demos that have an 'artificial' looking style seem to me to actually have a lot of solid substance underneath.

I have seen videos marketed as 'more martial' or 'street version' where all it seemed to mean was that techniques were done quickly and joint locks were taken past the point of pain. But uke was actually on balance, and positioned right in front of nage where they could punch nage in the face if they were fast enough - it was just who was faster. So despite the 'violent' outward appearance, it seemed less 'martially effective' to me.

lbb
11-07-2013, 12:13 PM
OTOH, if someone posts a video presumably it's for the purposes of discussion, isn't it? And it's hard to imagine a very interesting discussion where everyone completely agrees. So I'm not sure where the balance is, or what the ideal video discussion would look like.

Knee-jerk condemnation, automatic disparagement of what's different merely because it's different, soapboxing...none of these are discussion. None of these have anything to do with discussion. Discussion of a video would have, as a minimum requirement, a full watching of the video with an open and nonjudgmental mind. There are all kinds of reasons why someone might not want to do that, or be able to do that, and not all of them are bad reasons. But whatever the reason, if you don't start with an open and informed mind, you're not qualified to participate in a discussion.

Basia Halliop
11-07-2013, 12:19 PM
Then again, on yet another hand, another aspect of 'effectiveness' is dealing with the unexpected. Ukes who attack in ways you didn't expect, who counterattack in ways that weren't planned ahead of time. Which is valuable in training but I don't see so often in demos (I don't often see it in either the demos I like or in the ones I don't like).

Maybe it's the nature of demos, that they're something that's planned, and it's pretty hard to plan a surprise? Or it's just not what people demoing see as the purpose of a demo?

RonRagusa
11-07-2013, 01:28 PM
But my point is that what one sees as perfect almost always has flaws somewhere. I can guarantee you that a smith like Ono probably looks at his sword and grouses "next time I'll do that differently". Same with the polisher telling himself next time he'll shift that one transition a half mm forward next time with a 1% change in the angle. It's really about how closely you look.

With respect to my painting, although I'm strictly a hobbyist, I always walk away from a finished work noticing the imperfections and where the changing of a brush stroke here or there would have yielded, to my eye at least, a more polished result. Heaven forbid I ever crank out the perfect piece; for then I shall have to spend the rest of my life trying to duplicate the feat.

... my Aikido ... practice is really much like polishing in my mind. Each day working to refine, each day working to make things just a little more crisp. Each day trying to find that essence and allowing it to be seen.

Pretty much sums up why I just keep coming back for more and more.

WRT guys like Tissier and his style of demonstration I'm reminded that there are multiple styles of polishing. An older style (sashikomi) was more subdued, more subtle, and was geared towards letting the blade show what it was without as much "adjustment" by the polisher. The more modern style, kesho, is really a product of modern times, a product of having the luxury of taking as long as possible but also trying to present the same basic things, but to make things stand out more, to balance things, to allow an educated person to study the blade in the very same way but with the togishi (polisher) in essence saying "here, look at this and look at how wonderful that is -- and don't miss this activity over here." People will argue without resolution about which is "better" or more appropriate. The funny thing for me is that if I don't notice the polish but can see in to the blade, I really don't care how the polisher approached it. Two means to building a "lens" to view in to the work of the smith. To "see" the very soul of the steel. Two ways, two purposes in a manner of speaking, both perfectly legit.

More people here would benefit greatly if they could take that lesson to heart. Honestly I think Mary M's post touches on it as well. See past the polish because the polish is there *only* to allow you to "look in". Demonstrations are the same in my mind. Different means of showing something about how they train and what they do. But in the case of swords the "best" polish is the one you don't notice because you're seeing in to the blade. And the polish can be redone. The blade, however, remains the same, and is that mystery underneath that you will hopefully never fully appreciate. But with each look maybe you get something more you weren't able (or ready) to see before.

Nice.

Ron

sakumeikan
11-08-2013, 03:48 AM
So do you associate 'spice' with martial content? It's interesting, because that's quite different from what I think of as 'martial' or as 'effective'. When I think 'effective' some of the things (certainly not all) that I think of are if nage is leaving openings, if nage keeps him or herself continually in an advantageous position, if uke is off balance, etc. And sometimes it's actually easier to see if someone's doing those things if they demonstrate a bit slower so they can't hide flaws... So some of the demos that have an 'artificial' looking style seem to me to actually have a lot of solid substance underneath.

I have seen videos marketed as 'more martial' or 'street version' where all it seemed to mean was that techniques were done quickly and joint locks were taken past the point of pain. But uke was actually on balance, and positioned right in front of nage where they could punch nage in the face if they were fast enough - it was just who was faster. So despite the 'violent' outward appearance, it seemed less 'martially effective' to me.
Dear Basia,
I am not an advocate of rough and ready Aikido where the person does the type of thing you indicate in your last paragraph.At the same time I do not like videos where the person demonstrating makes
aikido look a bit dancelike.What I like to see his a skilled person applying waza which is effective,
and you can see a martial aspect to the work.Hope that explains my viewpoint.Cheers, Joe.

Dazzler
11-08-2013, 04:55 AM
Hey I'm no particular fan of Tissier, but I find it hilarious how overly critical (and cultish) are some aikidoka towards other styles (as Keith said, no wonder some don't post videos). Anything that does not fall within one of their favorite shihan or styles, they immediately reduce it to twirling ribbons and dancing. All organizational aikido is more or less working with the same information, attributes and flaws, including trained compliant uke. Some commentators need to buy mirrors...

Seconded.

BAP
11-10-2013, 11:52 AM
I as a general rule enjoy watching the videos of Mr. Tissier, both from his seminars and his demos. His teaching is informative (especially when in english) and his demos entertaining.

Basia Halliop
11-10-2013, 08:44 PM
What I like to see his a skilled person applying waza which is effective,
and you can see a martial aspect to the work.Hope that explains my viewpoint.Cheers, Joe.

To be honest it doesn't really... We all want to see someone skilled doing something effective. But everyone seems to have a different idea of what that looks like. Same with 'a martial aspect'. They are very non-descriptive terms; they don't help you visualize anything unless you already know what the person means. Which I guess is why people are drawn to posting videos in the first place.

Walter Martindale
11-11-2013, 08:09 AM
What Mary said… When I coach and someone says "I can't do that" my reply is - "You more than likely can do it, you just haven't learned how yet."

Gary David
11-11-2013, 09:40 AM
Vogue, Shimmy, Shag, Bunny Hop, Shuffle, Mambo, Frug, Disco, Cotillion, Chicken, Swing, Waltz, Two Step, Zumba, Boggie, Tango, Salsa, Zydeco........are just a few of the thousands of dances around....they are all dance. Aikido has numerous subsets and thousands of individual approaches......they are all Aikido.

Just go with....
Gary

Keith Larman
11-11-2013, 11:12 AM
Dear Keith,
I know next to nothing about sword making.However regardless of how well the sword looks or how well it is polished, if the sword fails to cut through an object it is in my mind just a gret looking ornament.On the other hand if the sword is well made, well polished and can cut, great.
What is the point I am making here? The point I am hoping to express is this.A demo can look good , it can be fancy etc but could the person who is demoing, do the business?I rarely see videos which give me a sense of any martial content.I like a bit of spice now and again.Some Aikido demos are a bit bland for my tastebuds. Cheers, Joe.

Sorry, took a break from here for a while.

Honestly I get what you're saying. And to some extent I do agree. However, I'm no where near as authoritative about it nor do I feel it's all that big a deal. The reason is quite simple -- back to my sword analogy and your discussion as well, I can go to the local walmart and pick up a machete for under $10 that cuts really, really well. Or give me about 10 minutes in my workshop with some of my stuff and I'll get it so freaking sharp it'll cut you if you look at it wrong. And I know many martial artists in the sword world who have cheap, crappy swords that cut well, but all the refinement, the balance, all the fine details of both the art and the object as a cultural artifact are totally missing. And many of those things related to how well the sword endures under use over time, about how easily remounted the piece will be, about how the sword can be preserved with new koshirae made easily and effectively, about how the sword will cut not only tatami or maybe bamboo, but would have lasted on a battlefield centuries ago. Maybe during edo when there was relative peace and the blades had a certain configuration more atuned to an opponent wearing simple clothing. Or maybe an earlier time when encountering some types of armor might be expected. Or during the invading Mongol times when they had to deal with horses as well (think about those gigantic naginata and what they'd do to a horses leg. The point I'm trying to make here is that the sword itself evolved, changed, morphed and even our understanding of "what it is for" changed considerably over time. And if your intent was going up against a fully armored Mongol on horseback your idea of how things should be, how you should do them, etc. will vary from a single ronin walking down the dusty path coming across another intent on doing a bad thing.

I get that there comes a point when aspects of the larger picture seem to vanish completely. Extreme stuff like idiots shooting ki balls out their hands -- yeah, gotcha there. But Aikido has evolved in many *different* directions including some really large movement styles, some really small styles, some really hard styles, some really soft styles, and a 1000 other variations thereof. Of course no one is going to be all things to all people (which I think is what screws up many). But I'm perfectly content to allow for variation and accept that within each art there is some sort of consistency of purpose, of training, of meaning. Sort of like a default operating system within which it becomes easier to understand these things. So if I look at videos of stuff I tend to remind myself that maybe I just don't get the bigger picture. Or that their goals include things that don't necessarily resonate with me. Me, I want effective waza. No question. I push myself and I push my students. I enjoy screwing up because it shows what I need to work on. But I can grasp the concept that maybe I don't understand the fuller picture of what others do. Or that even if I do understand what they're doing, the overall balance of things may not be the balance I'd choose.

I know you don't see martial effectiveness there. However, I think he'd probably be perfectly capable of putting a world of hurt on many folk. Maybe not in the way or to the extent you or I might want for ourselves, but I imagine he's perfectly happy with what he's doing and why.

I know may lament the fact that Aikido became about a lot more than "just" martial arts in many corners. For better or worse that is what happened.

I have no real conclusion or summary to this ramble of mine. It just is what it is I suppose. Shrug.

sakumeikan
11-11-2013, 12:45 PM
To be honest it doesn't really... We all want to see someone skilled doing something effective. But everyone seems to have a different idea of what that looks like. Same with 'a martial aspect'. They are very non-descriptive terms; they don't help you visualize anything unless you already know what the person means. Which I guess is why people are drawn to posting videos in the first place.

Dear Basia,
Refer to the earlier video of Chiba Sensei posted recently for my view of a martial approach. What do you mean by an non descriptive term?I would have thought I explained exactly what I meant.Need any further clarification of what I consider martial having hopefully viewed the vid?? Cheers, Joe.

Carsten M÷llering
11-12-2013, 04:44 AM
Refer to the earlier video of Chiba Sensei posted recently for my view of a martial approach. I'm sure from experience, you can have the sound of one clapping hand during a Seminar with Tissier. And other interesting things. (ahhh I didn't wash my left cheek since End˘ senslei slapped me in the face some weeks ago. I loved it! :D )
This may be interesting while teaching (or figthing), but where is the point in it during a demonstration? How can a martial approach be shown when perfoming kata, i.e. tori and uke both know what will happen and both try to show clean techniques?

Basia Halliop
11-12-2013, 11:08 AM
Dear Basia,
Refer to the earlier video of Chiba Sensei posted recently for my view of a martial approach. What do you mean by an non descriptive term?I would have thought I explained exactly what I meant.Need any further clarification of what I consider martial having hopefully viewed the vid?? Cheers, Joe.

You mean the one where he slaps the uke who left himself open? So one aspect of 'martial' would be taking advantage of mistakes that your partner makes? Although this does not always apply in a planned demo of kata, IMO, unless you make intentional mistakes. Though sometimes the opportunity comes up by chance, I guess.

I don't find 'martial' to be descriptive. It's more a goal or a value than a description of the actual movement or interaction, and everyone seems to have a different opinion on what 'martial' actual is in terms of techniques, training methods, positioning, what to do and what not to do, etc.

When I say descriptive, I find more specific things far more descriptive, like 'keeping uke's centre of gravity physically unbalanced' or 'using atemi when the partner leaves an opening to do so', or 'uke doing kaeshi waza every time they can rather than doing planned kata', or 'applying pins more quickly,' or 'uke attacking without overextending or physically unbalancing their body', etc. Not necessarily saying those things are my own definition of martial, by the way, just that they're examples of phrases I find more descriptive.

Robert Cowham
11-14-2013, 12:46 PM
I found it an interesting change in style from many of Tissier sensei's more "obviously flashy" demos. I am interested to see how his aikido changes as he gets older.

aiki-jujutsuka
12-10-2013, 07:04 AM
Hey I'm no particular fan of Tissier, but I find it hilarious how overly critical (and cultish) are some aikidoka towards other styles (as Keith said, no wonder some don't post videos). Anything that does not fall within one of their favorite shihan or styles, they immediately reduce it to twirling ribbons and dancing. All organizational aikido is more or less working with the same information, attributes and flaws, including trained compliant uke. Some commentators need to buy mirrors...

Well put; incidently, I experienced a little of that back in England.

edshockley
05-10-2014, 04:01 PM
My own sicknesses (stroke/aphasic/cubital tunnel) was before Sensei Tissier. Sensei Henry Smith (6th dan) showed me many things that I could do so that I could get better. I couldn't talk at all...see the right side of me...walk...write...but he told me about seven or eight of the great Senseis who all somehow got better.. Many of my friends, from Aikido of Philadelphia, learned that I could not read letters. ("a", "b"...) It was not from Aikido. (My father died when he was only forty-four) A very good Sensei (and friends) Asim Nichols 4th Dan saw me for the first time. I really did aikido again for the first time. (Sensei Nizan 6th dan, Sensei Johnson 3th dan and Sensei Holt saw me as well). It still is far from over but I know that aikido is why I get better.

sakumeikan
05-10-2014, 07:44 PM
My own sicknesses (stroke/aphasic/cubital tunnel) was before Sensei Tissier. Sensei Henry Smith (6th dan) showed me many things that I could do so that I could get better. I couldn't talk at all...see the right side of me...walk...write...but he told me about seven or eight of the great Senseis who all somehow got better.. Many of my friends, from Aikido of Philadelphia, learned that I could not read letters. ("a", "b"...) It was not from Aikido. (My father died when he was only forty-four) A very good Sensei (and friends) Asim Nichols 4th Dan saw me for the first time. I really did aikido again for the first time. (Sensei Nizan 6th dan, Sensei Johnson 3th dan and Sensei Holt saw me as well). It still is far from over but I know that aikido is why I get better.
Dear Mr Shockley,
Dear Ed, may I say that I would probably get something from your aikido that I would value more than from many others should I ever see your work?To battle against ill health and still forge ahead in aikido in my mind shows true valour, courage and dedication.I do hope you regain you health.You are indeed also fortunate to have instructors who seem to support you in your efforts.I thank them for doing so.Please take care of yourself, enjoy your aikido journey.Very best regards, let the forum know how you get on with your training. Warmest regards, yours sincerely, Joe.

Ethan Weisgard
05-11-2014, 08:32 AM
I have great respect for Tissier Sensei. Having had the honor of spending time with him during the IAF congress in Tokyo, I found him to be a very friendly person, treating all around him with courtesy and respect - a true gentleman. I enjoy watching his aikido very much. He moves with power and grace.
As others have pointed out - performing at demos is a special situation. I think each performer makes a choice as to what it is that one wants to show to the audience. When Tissier Sensei performs at this event shown on the video, to me he is doing a kind of instructional demonstration, stopping sometimes along the way to show control, and performing the techniques at a speed where one can, as onlooker, enjoy the beauty of the movements. If you are doing the techniques to show their martial effectiveness there are certain aspects that come into play. One is, that when done at realistic speed, there is no time to really ensure uke's safety. Another is that it is very difficult to see the beauty of the technique. So in my opinion, Tissier Sensei has chosen to demonstrate his aikido in a way that allows the audience to enjoy the movements and structure of the techniques. I am sure that he is quite capable of demonstrating his aikido in a much more martial form, but has chosen not to.

One question for those out there who know more about Tissier Sensei than I: could you please explain about the special form of bow that he does? I am not familiar with this form.

In Aiki,
Ethan

Robert Cowham
05-11-2014, 06:16 PM
Frankly the work in polishing Japanese style swords has helped me also realize the fact that *nothing* is perfect. Nothing. Well, almost nothing -- I saw a modern piece by Ono Yoshimitsu and spent an hour by myself with good lighting and my jeweler's magnifiers and I couldn't find a freaking mistake anywhere in the blade, not by the smith and not by the polisher (Fujishiro would be my guess on the polisher). Damn. That bugged me.

Off topic perhaps, but I was fortunate enough to be introduced by Inaba Minoru sensei in March to Miyairi Norihiro, Nagano prefecture Living Treasure and (like Ono Yoshimitsu) Mukansa (above competition) swordsmith. Our group was shown by him both how to appreciate swords and he also demonstrated to us a couple of "folds" in his forge. Absolutely fascinating.

Robert Cowham
05-11-2014, 06:21 PM
One question for those out there who know more about Tissier Sensei than I: could you please explain about the special form of bow that he does? I am not familiar with this form.
I believe that this is solely due to injury to his knee. Unfortunate, but he carries on. Other sensei perform only standing bows for similar reasons.

Carsten M÷llering
05-12-2014, 12:56 AM
I believe that this is solely due to injury to his knee.Yes.

Ethan Weisgard
05-14-2014, 11:33 AM
Thank you for explaining the situation for me. I am glad to see that Tissier Sensei is still training, even with the injured knee. I have great respect for him as a fine person as well as a great aikido Sensei.

In Aiki,
Ethan