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danj
11-14-2013, 07:47 PM
Hi Everyone,
I've been trying to get my head around the biomechanics of throwing for a while now. recently I've shared some of the ideas at a few dojo and it seems helpful.
It centres (no pun intended) on looking at the base of support, centre of mass and the optimum angle to apply(the toppling vector). I've put together 2 videos, the first is 10mins of your life you may never get back where i've annotated some film with commentary on a simple example, there are stick figures and some vectors, the second is some outages of free play with toppling.

Pardon my own poor posture in them , as the focus is on looking at uke. It may be helpful or not for some recent aikiweb discussions (but is sufficiently off topic i think to put separately)

Some short text and the video plugins are on
http://brisbaneaikido.com/2013/10/31/how-to-throw-someone-with-the-aid-of-some-biomechanics/

hope you like

best,
dan

sakumeikan
11-15-2013, 05:20 AM
Hi Everyone,
I've been trying to get my head around the biomechanics of throwing for a while now. recently I've shared some of the ideas at a few dojo and it seems helpful.
It centres (no pun intended) on looking at the base of support, centre of mass and the optimum angle to apply(the toppling vector). I've put together 2 videos, the first is 10mins of your life you may never get back where i've annotated some film with commentary on a simple example, there are stick figures and some vectors, the second is some outages of free play with toppling.

Pardon my own poor posture in them , as the focus is on looking at uke. It may be helpful or not for some recent aikiweb discussions (but is sufficiently off topic i think to put separately)

Some short text and the video plugins are on
http://brisbaneaikido.com/2013/10/31/how-to-throw-someone-with-the-aid-of-some-biomechanics/

hope you like

best,
dan
Dear Dan , Watched your vids . I know you mean well, but why bother spending your valuable time this way? Visit any good Judo dojo.Ask them how to apply kuzushi in 8 direction [Front /Back /Rt Side/Left side / Right front Corner/Rt rear corner/ Left Front corner /Left Rear corner.I would suggest the newbie /student would get more idea of how to unbalance /manoeuvre an object by doing the
kuzushi exercises rather than studying vectors etc.Try lifting a large fridge off the ground-King Kong cannot do that.Tilt the fridge corners and you can move it.
I have seen the same type of stuff regarding unbalancing a object using a dining room chair as a visual aid. Cheers, Joe.

lbb
11-15-2013, 09:19 AM
I would suggest the newbie /student would get more idea of how to unbalance /manoeuvre an object by doing the kuzushi exercises rather than studying vectors etc.
Well, you would, perhaps...but not everyone learns like you do. There are different learning styles, and some learn best from theory, and vector diagrams work just fine for them. I've found in coaching sports that the percentage of people who learn best that way is small relative to other learning styles...but it's not zero. So, what I'd say to Dan is that (in my experience) probably not a lot of people are going to be interested in trying to understand aikido in this theoretical way...and what I'd say to you is that for some this is the best way, so let them learn the way they learn best.

sakumeikan
11-15-2013, 01:55 PM
Well, you would, perhaps...but not everyone learns like you do. There are different learning styles, and some learn best from theory, and vector diagrams work just fine for them. I've found in coaching sports that the percentage of people who learn best that way is small relative to other learning styles...but it's not zero. So, what I'd say to Dan is that (in my experience) probably not a lot of people are going to be interested in trying to understand aikido in this theoretical way...and what I'd say to you is that for some this is the best way, so let them learn the way they learn best.

Dear Mary,
Your quite right, I prefer hands on stuff rather than get involved in scientific theories .Each to his /her own. Cheers, Joe.

robin_jet_alt
11-15-2013, 08:46 PM
I like the cartoon.

Rupert Atkinson
11-16-2013, 12:56 AM
As stated above - Judo has it well, though some Judo dojos are better than others. Anyway - just try to move a standing uke in 8 directions - front, back, left, right + four corners. Try with uke in shizen-hontai, then in right and left posture etc. Then start to apply it to Aikido. That is more or less how I started out in Aikido, which was a mix of Tomiki style, plus Kyushin (from the Kenshiro Abe line). Oh, plus Judo of course. These days I rarely, if ever, see balance taught in any kind of systematic way.

Don't usually like self-advertising but - I have a few ideas you could try here: http://discovering-aikido.com/balance.htm
(There are many more)

Krystal Locke
11-16-2013, 08:40 AM
Well, you would, perhaps...but not everyone learns like you do. There are different learning styles, and some learn best from theory, and vector diagrams work just fine for them. I've found in coaching sports that the percentage of people who learn best that way is small relative to other learning styles...but it's not zero. So, what I'd say to Dan is that (in my experience) probably not a lot of people are going to be interested in trying to understand aikido in this theoretical way...and what I'd say to you is that for some this is the best way, so let them learn the way they learn best.

Yup. I am part of that non-zero minority. My method of understanding the world I live in is a combination of direct physical experience and interpretation of my experience using rigorous scientific analysis. As Ellis Amdur just put it in his O-sensei HTBF post, the approach of an engineer rather than a romanticist.

No matter how good a person is, how long they have trained, or how little he or she understands math and science, the laws of physics as embodied in biomechanics always will be the real controlling factor in their performance.

Force does not care if the mass that is being accelerated calls what they're experiencing earth ki, ground path, or a summation of forces acting upon a structure to maintain a specific, efficient relationship between the mass's COG and its support structure. Call it what you will, the physics will always be the same, and will always work.

The way I see things, there is experience and there is analysis of that experience. Experience is just a chunk of reality. Something happened in the real world to a real object and real consequences came of it. We can record that event, we can take a very human step and try to understand that event. And problems start to creep in. Ascribing purpose and meaning to the things that happen introduces very human subjectivity, history, wants, feelings, varying levels of understanding. Describing the event in the terms of the reality that actually causes and controls the event eliminates much of that subjectivity.

What does description give us that ascription does not? Reliability, repeatability, the ability to generalize core concepts and apply them to novel events and conditions, the ability to communicate confidently and correctly about results and the means necessary for others to achieve similar results. .

Yes, of course, there still must be direct physical experience, it has to be "felt." It isn't like scientists refuse to collect data. It isn't like engineers have an allergy to setting up experiments in which they perform similar activities over and over and over and over again, trying to tweak as few variables as possible as little as possible to get the desired results. The difference is in the interpretation. Is it more correct, more accurately descriptive of reality to use a conservative, incremental, cumulative, repeatable, falsifiable method of analysis for the interpretation or to use metaphor, emotion, and borrowed jargon?

The borrowed jargon thing bothers me because it muddies the water and because it is often an attempt to legitimize rather than correct poor information. Incorrectly used scientific terms end up creating a lot of confusion and conflict.

The confusion and conflict make me want to say a couple things. If, as some of the "experiential" camp say, our aikido should be a holistic practice, why do they then so strongly reject one particular method of experiencing and evaluating our aikido, the scientific? That makes me want to say "Sorry math is hard." If it is all good, then it should be all good.

Bill Danosky
11-16-2013, 12:25 PM
Pretend there's a brick inside your abdomen about where the knot in your obi is tied. If you get your brick under your opponent's, you're probably going to get the throw.

Walter Martindale
11-16-2013, 01:37 PM
Yup. I am part of that non-zero minority. My method of understanding the world I live in is a combination of direct physical experience and interpretation of my experience using rigorous scientific analysis. As Ellis Amdur just put it in his O-sensei HTBF post, the approach of an engineer rather than a romanticist.

No matter how good a person is, how long they have trained, or how little he or she understands math and science, the laws of physics as embodied in biomechanics always will be the real controlling factor in their performance.

Force does not care if the mass that is being accelerated calls what they're experiencing earth ki, ground path, or a summation of forces acting upon a structure to maintain a specific, efficient relationship between the mass's COG and its support structure. Call it what you will, the physics will always be the same, and will always work.

The way I see things, there is experience and there is analysis of that experience. Experience is just a chunk of reality. Something happened in the real world to a real object and real consequences came of it. We can record that event, we can take a very human step and try to understand that event. And problems start to creep in. Ascribing purpose and meaning to the things that happen introduces very human subjectivity, history, wants, feelings, varying levels of understanding. Describing the event in the terms of the reality that actually causes and controls the event eliminates much of that subjectivity.

What does description give us that ascription does not? Reliability, repeatability, the ability to generalize core concepts and apply them to novel events and conditions, the ability to communicate confidently and correctly about results and the means necessary for others to achieve similar results. .

Yes, of course, there still must be direct physical experience, it has to be "felt." It isn't like scientists refuse to collect data. It isn't like engineers have an allergy to setting up experiments in which they perform similar activities over and over and over and over again, trying to tweak as few variables as possible as little as possible to get the desired results. The difference is in the interpretation. Is it more correct, more accurately descriptive of reality to use a conservative, incremental, cumulative, repeatable, falsifiable method of analysis for the interpretation or to use metaphor, emotion, and borrowed jargon?

The borrowed jargon thing bothers me because it muddies the water and because it is often an attempt to legitimize rather than correct poor information. Incorrectly used scientific terms end up creating a lot of confusion and conflict.

The confusion and conflict make me want to say a couple things. If, as some of the "experiential" camp say, our aikido should be a holistic practice, why do they then so strongly reject one particular method of experiencing and evaluating our aikido, the scientific? That makes me want to say "Sorry math is hard." If it is all good, then it should be all good.

Where's the ruddy "Like" button… Well said. At anything higher up than the quantum level, F=MA, and levers, moment arms (same thing), momentum, etc., are what really make people fall down (oh, gravity, too, but that's quantum stuff isn't it?).

hughrbeyer
11-16-2013, 04:19 PM
Sorry, Mary, Krystal, and Walter. As an engineer myself I have a great affinity for what you're saying, but in this case I think it's self-limiting--by which I mean as long as *you* constrain yourselves to understanding Aikido from this perspective, you will be limited.

The trouble is, your interpretive frame doesn't apply. The first thing any engineer should know is the limits of the utility of their tools. The scientific method is hugely powerful in the domain of controlled, repeatable experiments--outside that domain, it's a set of blinkers.

You're putting yourselves in the position of a neuroscientist trying to understand consciousness by studying brain structure and chemistry. It doesn't matter how many dendrites you map--you simply don't have the right tools to examine the phenomenon you're studying.

The human body--and the interaction between two human bodies--is sufficiently complex that its behavior is emergent, in the same way that consciousness is emergent. It can't be predicted or studied by looking at the underlying physical substrate that supports it. That's why the metaphors and imagery exist--because they get us directly to the emergent phenomenon, without worrying about the physical substrate.

Switching fields, it's like a quantum mechanics physicist telling chemists that everything they do is defined by quantum mechanics, so the entire field of chemistry is mysticism and obfuscation. That's obviously wrong--but you are making the same kind of mistake.

So, I'm sorry, but regardless of your preferred learning style, I think that in order to truly grasp some of this stuff you have to let go of physical explanations. Our physics isn't powerful enough yet; our understanding isn't complete enough. Go with the metaphors and the imagery because that really is the most direct path to truth.

--
This post brought to you by La Fin du Monde triple golden ale--possibly a little over-spiced, but quite fitting for a fall evening... when we take over Canada, let's hope they aren't bought by Budweiser.

lbb
11-16-2013, 09:10 PM
Sorry, Mary, Krystal, and Walter. As an engineer myself I have a great affinity for what you're saying, but in this case I think it's self-limiting--by which I mean as long as *you* constrain yourselves to understanding Aikido from this perspective, you will be limited.

...as will someone who learns in any other way and who constrains themselves to understanding Aikido from that perspective. The most successful learners are those who integrate multiple learning styles, not those who use any one particular style. Again, this is the all elementary coaching.

hughrbeyer
11-16-2013, 09:32 PM
No. Just not. How many great violinists learned the biomechanics of wrist, elbow, and shoulder to understand how to play? Doesn't matter even a little bit what your learning style is. This is a physical skill, not an intellectual exercise.

danj
11-16-2013, 10:42 PM
HI All,
Dropped offline for a bit and now playing catchup. Some random thoughts
I think for me what looking at the biomechanics has been most useful is in helping see things another way. Its true there is nothing new under the sun and so Kuzushi in Judo kata, sumo play, aikido kata and even the systema seminar i went to today all are ways to learn balance taking, perhaps some sometimes the packaging can get in the way and an alternate reductionist view like biomechanics can be helpful. FWIW I learnt aikiage from 2 different DR lineages, they looked different but the same principles (toppling) seemed to be there.

To follow up on Hugh's point, ultimately this thinking (biomechanics) can be limiting yes - but it can be helpful along the way in pointing the way forward. perhaps by getting the mundane mechanics out of the way, perhaps by rev elating things we don't know.

e..g the work with the pressure force plate to me was a revelation because balance was taken before uke could perceive their balance was taken. This hints at the perceptual stuff well beyond the biomechanics and says to me ...yes this is something to pursue to get a bit further. I'm not sure how a controlled experiment could be done, but it bears thinking about - in the mean time uke-nage and traditional training is that controlled experiment perhaps.

oops kids are home, time to run...

lbb
11-17-2013, 06:50 AM
No. Just not. How many great violinists learned the biomechanics of wrist, elbow, and shoulder to understand how to play? Doesn't matter even a little bit what your learning style is. This is a physical skill, not an intellectual exercise.

Wow, you're dogmatic. It must be reassuring to be so absolutely certain of what others' learning process is. :D

Seriously, Hugh, you might want to 1)listen and 2)keep an open mind. First, listen to what people are actually saying. No one has said or suggested that a physical skill can be learned purely as "an intellectual exercise"; in fact, I just said the opposite, did I not? Next, keep an open mind to the possibility that the learning process of accomplished practitioners (for example, great violinists) isn't always a simple thing, or that a casual observer sees all there is to see. I'm currently reading Cal Newport's "So Good They Can't Ignore You", which contains examples of how some highly skilled individuals developed mastery of their crafts. Understanding of theory is definitely a part of the puzzle. An even better example is the work of Ron LeMaster in the field of skiing (for example, "The Skier's Edge"). I would say that at the elite levels, skiers simply do not get any better without the kind of analysis that LeMaster does. This biomechanical model doesn't do much for me, personally, but all that this means is that it's not my favorite learning tool -- not that it's useless or that I can't/don't use it. For others to whom this type of learning is more congenial, it adds much more significantly to their learning process.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-17-2013, 06:51 AM
Go with the metaphors and the imagery because that really is the most direct path to truth.

No, not really. Metaphors and imaginery can be helpful but also they can be the most direct path to delusion.

hughrbeyer
11-17-2013, 02:37 PM
Wow, you're dogmatic. It must be reassuring to be so absolutely certain of what others' learning process is. :D

Seriously, Hugh, you might want to 1)listen and 2)keep an open mind. First, listen to what people are actually saying. No one has said or suggested that a physical skill can be learned purely as "an intellectual exercise"; in fact, I just said the opposite, did I not? Next, keep an open mind to the possibility that the learning process of accomplished practitioners (for example, great violinists) isn't always a simple thing, or that a casual observer sees all there is to see. I'm currently reading Cal Newport's "So Good They Can't Ignore You", which contains examples of how some highly skilled individuals developed mastery of their crafts. Understanding of theory is definitely a part of the puzzle. An even better example is the work of Ron LeMaster in the field of skiing (for example, "The Skier's Edge"). I would say that at the elite levels, skiers simply do not get any better without the kind of analysis that LeMaster does. This biomechanical model doesn't do much for me, personally, but all that this means is that it's not my favorite learning tool -- not that it's useless or that I can't/don't use it. For others to whom this type of learning is more congenial, it adds much more significantly to their learning process.

Y'know, dogmatic is dogmatic and wrong is wrong. Kinda hard to have an open mind about things that aren't so.

If you would listen to what I am saying, you'll find I'm not arguing about learning styles at all. Learning styles are simply not relevant here. All the music theory in the world won't help me hear a fifth when tuning a violin--and if I can hear the fifth, music theory doesn't add anything to the skill. It may make me happier, keep my interested, and feed my life in other ways--but it doesn't make me better at tuning.

And I got roused about the issue because as Demetrio's and Krystal's responses suggest, it's not just a question of analyzing a skill learned and practiced other ways. It's a way of denigrating and dismissing the learning mechanisms that actually work ("jargon", "delusion").

I'm as happy to over-intellectualize my practice as anybody, but (1) I'm not using overly simplistic models, and (2) I know very well my intellectual constructs aren't actually a guide to practice.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-17-2013, 02:56 PM
And I got roused about the issue because as Demetrio's and Krystal's responses suggest, it's not just a question of analyzing a skill learned and practiced other ways. It's a way of denigrating and dismissing the learning mechanisms that actually work ("jargon", "delusion")..

You're reading too much in my post, methinks.

Anyway. science is not your enemy.

lbb
11-17-2013, 06:44 PM
Gonna have to agree to disagree on this one, Hugh. As I see it, comprehension is part of the learning process, and mental models are part of comprehension. Personally, I think that all mental models are flawed, but if we keep that in mind, they can still be useful. In viewing these discussions, I'm constantly reminded of the blind men describing the elephant. None of us perceive it all.

Basia Halliop
11-17-2013, 06:55 PM
Two different things people seem to be arguing about - accuracy and usefulness.

Is describing balance-taking using vectors and forces correct? Yes. I completely agree on that.

Is it useful? Sometimes. Depends on the person and the situation. Sometimes understanding the theory of how something works can be helpful and can help you see what you're aiming for. However, I have to agree that it doesn't seem to be the most difficult or crucial part for most of us. Getting your own body to actually do it is much more difficult. And similarly, some of the most skilled people in many physical fields probably couldn't actually explain accurately what it is that they're doing. (E.g., how many of us can describe, correctly, why a bike stays upright when we ride it?)

I think of it as understanding with your body versus with your mind, or rather, understanding using kinesthetic and spatial processing functions of your brain rather than more abstract intellectual ones. They only help each other so much. OTOH it's not like they're 100% separate either so if someone finds it helps them to consciously analyze, why not.

Basia Halliop
11-17-2013, 07:01 PM
Besides which, sometimes understanding why something happens is just interesting. Not everything in life worth doing is 'useful'.

hughrbeyer
11-17-2013, 08:28 PM
Is describing balance-taking using vectors and forces correct? Yes. I completely agree on that.

I do not. Part of my argument is that our physical models are so crude compared to the complexity of the human body that they are, for practical purposes, incorrect and misleading.

sakumeikan
11-18-2013, 01:22 AM
Two different things people seem to be arguing about - accuracy and usefulness.

Is describing balance-taking using vectors and forces correct? Yes. I completely agree on that.

Is it useful? Sometimes. Depends on the person and the situation. Sometimes understanding the theory of how something works can be helpful and can help you see what you're aiming for. However, I have to agree that it doesn't seem to be the most difficult or crucial part for most of us. Getting your own body to actually do it is much more difficult. And similarly, some of the most skilled people in many physical fields probably couldn't actually explain accurately what it is that they're doing. (E.g., how many of us can describe, correctly, why a bike stays upright when we ride it?)

I think of it as understanding with your body versus with your mind, or rather, understanding using kinesthetic and spatial processing functions of your brain rather than more abstract intellectual ones. They only help each other so much. OTOH it's not like they're 100% separate either so if someone finds it helps them to consciously analyze, why not.
Dear Basia,
I think that while its good to know the science behind aikido, it is more important to embody the principles of the art in physical terms not just in terms of intellectual understanding.
I could for example read a book on baking a cake, understand the theory, but unless I physically try and bake a cake,I would not be a cake baker.'Doing ' is the key to learning things.Theory is great ,however doing is better.Cheers, Joe.

lbb
11-18-2013, 07:23 AM
I think that while its good to know the science behind aikido, it is more important to embody the principles of the art in physical terms not just in terms of intellectual understanding.

I think you're making the exact same mistake as Hugh -- that is, insisting that it is an either-or thing. It isn't.

Gary David
11-18-2013, 09:38 AM
Folks
Keep in mind that most folks, at least in my experience, do not visit here, most are not into biomechanics, the scientific method, they don't really hear much when you talk about destabilizing before imbalance and throwing.......and these days most of our Aikido students are kids...just do do do.

lbb
11-18-2013, 09:58 AM
Keep in mind that most folks, at least in my experience, do not visit here, most are not into biomechanics, the scientific method, they don't really hear much when you talk about destabilizing before imbalance and throwing.......

Do you really think that anyone in this conversation doesn't know that?

I'm not getting it. Again, for the nth time, I'm not "into biomechanics" either. But I really do not get the position of some of you who seem completely, obstinately against it -- at all, for anyone, at any time. Someone suggests a biomechanical model as one way of understanding aikido, and you all act as if he said that it was the only way to understand aikido, or that it was the best way for everybody, or even that it was the only way that he uses -- none of which are the case. As a result, the point of the thread has been buried under the debris of the demolished strawmen that y'all have been so gleefully pummeling.

We all see aikido differently. Not every thread will speak a language that you can understand. That's okay. Let those who do speak that language have their discussion.

Gary David
11-18-2013, 10:17 AM
Do you really think that anyone in this conversation doesn't know that?

We all see aikido differently. Not every thread will speak a language that you can understand. That's okay. Let those who do speak that language have their discussion.

OK....Really....

Most of the folks that I directly know, that I have met and crossed hands with...who know what they are talking about...don't post here. Either they are gone or never came here. These conversations are between the few that do.

That is ok...just has little affect/effect beyond here. These are personal conversations between a few. Many may read what is say though I am not sure what change effect is being had.

And to me it doesn't seem that anyone ever moves any of the others off their positions or opens the others eyes.

So have your private discussions that I can't understand.......

Rupert Atkinson
11-18-2013, 10:43 AM
I think biomechanics to be very important, and that it needs to function alongside the mind imagining things like having a brick in the abdomen (as mentioned above). Body and mind work together.

lbb
11-18-2013, 10:45 AM
So have your private discussions that I can't understand.......

For the nth + 1 time, it's not my conversation. And it's not private. If you walk by a restaurant that serves pizza, and you don't like pizza, I doubt that you would call it a "private" restaurant, or say that the food they serve is worthless to everybody, and that almost nobody likes it. Instead, you would probably shrug, say, "Not my thing, but no skin off my nose," and move on down the street, not feeling in the least slighted or annoyed at the people enjoying their pizza, and not feeling any need to evangelize them about their bad choices. I understand that aikido, and our particular take on it, matters more to most of us than our casual food choices...but sometimes I think we take it a little too seriously, if we've got issues with others' choices.

Gary David
11-18-2013, 11:06 AM
For the nth + 1 time, it's not my conversation. And it's not private. If you walk by a restaurant that serves pizza, and you don't like pizza, I doubt that you would call it a "private" restaurant, or say that the food they serve is worthless to everybody, and that almost nobody likes it. Instead, you would probably shrug, say, "Not my thing, but no skin off my nose," and move on down the street, not feeling in the least slighted or annoyed at the people enjoying their pizza, and not feeling any need to evangelize them about their bad choices. I understand that aikido, and our particular take on it, matters more to most of us than our casual food choices...but sometimes I think we take it a little too seriously, if we've got issues with others' choices.

Your are absolutely correct, it is no skin off of my nose, I have no issues with others choices.......my thought was how limited the audience is for these conversations. It seems to be the same 10 - 15 people with the same lines drawn.

You know you may be right...maybe I do evangelize at times...I don't know......i'll leave it up to your wider experiences and understanding........

Walter Martindale
11-18-2013, 11:10 AM
Well... I am into biomechanics and I know very well that with present means of measuring it's not practical to do even descriptive biomechanical studies of all of the variables. Optimizing a movement would be an immense task. Inertial characteristics of each body segment, neural transmission rates, muscle contraction rates, age-related changes in elasticity, bone density, and on, and on, and on. You could "do" a descriptive study, possibly, of someone throwing someone else using several cameras and accurately calibrated space, over top of a force platform (in 1979 this was a 30 x 60 cm bathroom scale that cost about $40,000 - hate to think what they are now).
However - just because it is difficult to study doesn't mean that biomechanics doesn't determine what happens in aikido movement - just that we don't fully understand all of it beyond what we experience.

The whole thing about the scientific method is curiosity and not accepting anything on faith - and looking for what's really happening.
IMO that is...

jonreading
11-18-2013, 12:12 PM
Dear Dan , Watched your vids . I know you mean well, but why bother spending your valuable time this way? Visit any good Judo dojo.Ask them how to apply kuzushi in 8 direction [Front /Back /Rt Side/Left side / Right front Corner/Rt rear corner/ Left Front corner /Left Rear corner.I would suggest the newbie /student would get more idea of how to unbalance /manoeuvre an object by doing the
kuzushi exercises rather than studying vectors etc.Try lifting a large fridge off the ground-King Kong cannot do that.Tilt the fridge corners and you can move it.
I have seen the same type of stuff regarding unbalancing a object using a dining room chair as a visual aid. Cheers, Joe.

I hate to admit it, and I am surprised they can even write, but the judo thugs have a great introductory system for conversations on kuzushi. Obviously, I am kidding about making fun of judo. I personally think as an introductory conversation about throwing, the concepts of kuzushi, tsukuri and kake form a great foundation for "how a throw" happens thing. I often use that foundation and the 8-directions kuzushi exercise.

I believe this perspective should be considered one of many within a teaching methodology. Kuzushi is a rather nebulous state of being, and the mechanics of achieving (and maintaining) kuzushi are rather specific to each occurrence. To that extent, basic exercises will only get you so far.

Once upon a time, basic martial concepts like kuzushi would have been implicitly understood (obtained though a previous study) by aikido students. This would leave more instructional opportunity for complicated concepts and advanced application. We have more students without this previous experience so we are left trying to develop a curriculum to cover basic concepts (or not). I made my earlier comment about judo not because we are comparing martial arts, but because judo is a martial system that spent a lot of time refining a foundational approach to a basic topic vital to success in the art. Aikido happens to have the same basic education requirement and that is why I like much of their material.

Ultimately, I think aikido is a sophisticated, complex interaction that transcends physicality. At some point, a conversation based in physical action will not encompass the entirety of the dialogue necessary to expressing aiki. I think we need to be prepared with a method of instruction that also transcends physical action. This transcendence is not unique to aikido and is found in high-level athletics.

I think as this conversation develops, it may be worthwhile to identify some elements that actually precede what we would consider "aikido" instruction. For example, I view kuzushi as a prerequisite to aikido; that is, I cannot execute an aikido through unless I have kuzushi. Morso, if I have kusushi I can execute a number of throws, including aikido throws. So for me, kuzushi is what I would define as a pre-aikido curriculum. I think sometimes we become possessive of these pre-requisite skills because other arts can "do them" (and often times do them better).

I think this outlines:
1. A basic curriculum in which there is a right and a wrong, and a progression of educational development.
2. A burden of development and an expectation of performance.

Basia Halliop
11-18-2013, 12:38 PM
For example, I view kuzushi as a prerequisite to aikido; that is, I cannot execute an aikido through unless I have kuzushi. Morso, if I have kusushi I can execute a number of throws, including aikido throws. So for me, kuzushi is what I would define as a pre-aikido curriculum.

I always thought of it the other way around - that aikido is a particular system of principles and techniques to get and keep kuzushi, and that there are other systems that are similar in some ways and different in others. Once you've got really good kuzushi it seems like that's the point where you're basically finished the technique most of the time? If you keep doing more after it's basically henka waza, isn't it?

lbb
11-18-2013, 12:44 PM
I think as this conversation develops, it may be worthwhile to identify some elements that actually precede what we would consider "aikido" instruction. For example, I view kuzushi as a prerequisite to aikido; that is, I cannot execute an aikido through unless I have kuzushi. Morso, if I have kusushi I can execute a number of throws, including aikido throws. So for me, kuzushi is what I would define as a pre-aikido curriculum. I think sometimes we become possessive of these pre-requisite skills because other arts can "do them" (and often times do them better).

This reminds me of something my sensei frequently says: "You people are in such a hurry to throw!!!" You'll have to imagine the tone of exasperation. :D

Robert Cowham
11-18-2013, 01:07 PM
There seems to be quite a lot of heat and light over not a lot of disagreement!

For my inflammable contribution, I find that a consideration of the physics involved is very useful at times. For example, lifting your own arm upwards (when on earth!) only works if there is an equal and opposite force acting on the earth through your body. Typically your feet, but it could be your bum and the chair you are sitting on. A lot of people have very little awareness of the forces being expressed in their body to do such a simple action. I personally find it very useful to dial up my attention to become more aware of these things in my own body.

The more I increase such awareness of my own body, the more easily I am aware of my partner's body during aikido techniques and how it is affecting my own posture, when their balance is compromised etc.

Equally, I find that this acute awareness of balance and force is hugely beneficial for weapons work. Most people tend to "muscle" bokken or other weapons around in space without being able to relax and feel the balance.

Having said all this, I find that various forms of imagery and mental constructs are also really effective at changing the state of my body. An image such as extending my focus out several meters from my body and imagining a sword extending to that point can make a technique work that was previously being blocked. It also works for my students regularly.

The more I teach the more I realise how other people are really strange and why can't they understand the simplest things that I have so clearly explained and demonstrated that only took me a few years or decades to understand. I regularly realise how much I must have dissappointed my own teachers on a regular basis :)

jonreading
11-18-2013, 02:26 PM
I always thought of it the other way around - that aikido is a particular system of principles and techniques to get and keep kuzushi, and that there are other systems that are similar in some ways and different in others. Once you've got really good kuzushi it seems like that's the point where you're basically finished the technique most of the time? If you keep doing more after it's basically henka waza, isn't it?

I think this is a good illustration of a mis-communication on this topic. I mean, its completely wrong to thing about kuzushi like this, but clearly you and I are imagining two different approaches (mine being right and yours being wrong). Just kidding. :)

Seriously, technically, I think you are correct. Ultimately, If I move with aiki, my partner will always be unable to affect me. I am yet undetermined if that is "kuzushi," or simply the inability to affect me. Or, if they are the same thing. But. In the context of this thread, I advocate using a basic method of understanding kuzushi, then learning aiki to achieve kuzushi, then learning waza from kuzushi. There are instructors who advocate first understanding aiki, then achieving kuzushi through aiki. Without hijacking the thread, for the moment I am adverse to this teaching order because:
1. Aiki is the devils' work
2. it is far easier to screw up aiki training than it is kuzushi training

I am open to changing my teaching style once we get a bead on the system, right now I do not think there are enough aiki people out there to roll a teaching methodology and keep the oversight intact to prevent us from screwing it up. The aiki training I have thus far experienced is difficult, frustrating and largely met with low success... While definitely the goal of my training, I concede that I first need to figure out what the f%#k is going on with my body and my partner's body. For me, that means I am starting to treat this [remedial] education as pre-aikido. Then we have our aiki training. Then we have our aiki do training.

hughrbeyer
11-18-2013, 04:08 PM
This horse is in pretty sorry shape, but just to take a last swipe at it:

I'm not opposed to physical models, I'm just opposed to believing in them. :-) Let me give you an example: if you're going to push a car everyone, from grandma to the local strongman pushing a Mac truck, will use bent arms. Yet any force/vector model would surely show that this is inefficient--that you ought to keep your arms straight, arm bones lined up with the force you're applying to the car.

Anyone want to disagree? Give me a model where that's not so? Claim that it's actually better to push with absolutely straight arms?

Okay. So if the force/vector model fails so completely in such a simple case, what hope does it have of modeling a real confrontation? Instead, y'all will go teach your students to do the equivalent of pushing with straight arms and because we're all martial artists and have checked our common sense at the door, your students will actually go out and try to do it.

So yeah, play with physical models, but when they contradict experience--your own, or as captured by hundreds of years of tradition--get very suspicious of the model, not the experience.

Jon--Fascinating insight. I've never done enough Judo to understand their approach to kuzushi. Joe C suggested in the Takahashi thread that Judo-style understanding of kuzushi was what was missing from Aikido... I'd love to hear more about that. (Or play with it tonight!)

sakumeikan
11-18-2013, 05:34 PM
This horse is in pretty sorry shape, but just to take a last swipe at it:

I'm not opposed to physical models, I'm just opposed to believing in them. :-) Let me give you an example: if you're going to push a car everyone, from grandma to the local strongman pushing a Mac truck, will use bent arms. Yet any force/vector model would surely show that this is inefficient--that you ought to keep your arms straight, arm bones lined up with the force you're applying to the car.

Anyone want to disagree? Give me a model where that's not so? Claim that it's actually better to push with absolutely straight arms?

Okay. So if the force/vector model fails so completely in such a simple case, what hope does it have of modeling a real confrontation? Instead, y'all will go teach your students to do the equivalent of pushing with straight arms and because we're all martial artists and have checked our common sense at the door, your students will actually go out and try to do it.

So yeah, play with physical models, but when they contradict experience--your own, or as captured by hundreds of years of tradition--get very suspicious of the model, not the experience.

Jon--Fascinating insight. I've never done enough Judo to understand their approach to kuzushi. Joe C suggested in the Takahashi thread that Judo-style understanding of kuzushi was what was missing from Aikido... I'd love to hear more about that. (Or play with it tonight!)
Dear Hugh,
I would not always push a car with my arms.What I might do is turn my back to the car, use the power from my legs, and thus transmit the power into the car.Or I might try and keep my arms fairly close to my body then using again the leg muscles, and keeping my body low,shove like KING KONG. Maybe the car would move then??Better still I would prefer getting a tow truck to do the job, while I grasp a coke and magnum sized doughnut.
By the way if I am JoeC see that you quote above, may I say due to the differences in posture between judo/aikido
the kuzushi may not always apply? Aikido posture means instability from a push /pull from//to the side.Judo weakness is a push /pull to the back/front due to shizentai posture .The two postures in my opinion are imo incompatible.Various other significant differences between both arts are maai, footwork,contact. limited ne waza in Aikido.Limited suwariwaza in Judo.
I do think however breaking the persons balance and keeping the person in a unbalanced state
is essential whether you do judo /aikido.If you require more info from myself or in case I have not explained things as well as I might , just holler. Cheers, Joe.

Basia Halliop
11-18-2013, 10:39 PM
OK, that's a really weird example, because I would totally push with straight arms, and I've actually used that example many times in certain techniques to explain why you should keep your arms extended, and every person I've ever used that example with has agreed that they'd push something heavy with straight arms so they could use their legs and weight. (If they didn't push directly with their shoulder or hip or back or chest, that is, which would be more likely). So the idea that for you that's a COUNTERexample is weird to say the least.

Basia Halliop
11-18-2013, 11:02 PM
Though whether it's what people instinctively do on their first try is a different question - it may well not be. Like in rock climbing where almost every new beginner wants to drag themselves up by basically doing chin ups. It sucks as a method, yet it seems to be practically an instinct, it's so common among beginners (especially if they're fit young men, who seem especially prone to forgetting they have a lower body or that not everything is best done with muscle, and for whom brute strength tends to compensate enough for terrible technique to give them a bit of success as long as they're climbing something very easy). But then beginners tend to fall off constantly and not be able to climb anything difficult, and to use a huge amount of unnecessary strength to get up.

hughrbeyer
11-18-2013, 11:20 PM
Cripes, now a New Englander is arguing with a Canadian about how to push a car. Clearly IHTBF. We'll work it out on the mat one day.

Janet Rosen
11-18-2013, 11:59 PM
Cripes, now a New Englander is arguing with a Canadian about how to push a car. Clearly IHTBF. We'll work it out on the mat one day.

Or on the hockey rink (G,D,R) :D

jonreading
11-19-2013, 08:30 AM
This reminds me of something my sensei frequently says: "You people are in such a hurry to throw!!!" You'll have to imagine the tone of exasperation. :D

I am about to equate adults with children... Sorry.

In our children's judo class, there is almost always a disconnect between kuzushi and kake. That is, a child may practice and understand kuzushi as unbalancing their partner. The child may also practice and understand a throw. They will regularly disregard the need to achieve kuzushi before attempting a throw. And they will almost certainly not associate kuzushi as part of a throw. Hence the continued practice on off-balancing, fitting and throwing.

Now I'm not saying we're children... giant, uncoordinated children who are over-focused on the waza with disregard to everything else. Not. Ever. But... It is an interesting observation...

Basia Halliop
11-19-2013, 09:21 AM
Cripes, now a New Englander is arguing with a Canadian about how to push a car. Clearly IHTBF. We'll work it out on the mat one day.

LOL, yes

Demetrio Cereijo
11-19-2013, 09:26 AM
Kuzushi without simultaneous tsukuri makes poor kake.

phitruong
11-19-2013, 10:08 AM
Kuzushi without simultaneous tsukuri makes poor kake.

don't know about kake, but i liked kale, very tasty and nutritious.

so when you folks throwing, are you throwing down or throwing up? :)

Bill Danosky
11-19-2013, 05:07 PM
.. if you're going to push a car everyone, from grandma to the local strongman pushing a Mac truck, will use bent arms. Yet any force/vector model would surely show that this is inefficient--that you ought to keep your arms straight, arm bones lined up with the force you're applying to the car.

I hope this is playing into your thought experiment- We push a car that way because it pushes back intermittently and we have to absorb that shock. Plus have a little slack to exert some extra strength at advantageous times.

Bill Danosky
11-19-2013, 05:39 PM
.. may I say due to the differences in posture between judo/aikido
the kuzushi may not always apply? Aikido posture means instability from a push /pull from//to the side.Judo weakness is a push /pull to the back/front due to shizentai posture .The two postures in my opinion are imo incompatible....

If anybody expresses doubt to me about Kamae, I generally go into a wrestler's crouch and show how similar it is. Shinzentai and Kamae are not that different, either. But many other Aikido styles don't use it, so YMMV.

Michael Varin
11-20-2013, 02:32 AM
I think as this conversation develops, it may be worthwhile to identify some elements that actually precede what we would consider "aikido" instruction. For example, I view kuzushi as a prerequisite to aikido; that is, I cannot execute an aikido through unless I have kuzushi. Morso, if I have kusushi I can execute a number of throws, including aikido throws. So for me, kuzushi is what I would define as a pre-aikido curriculum. I think sometimes we become possessive of these pre-requisite skills because other arts can "do them" (and often times do them better).

I think this outlines:
1. A basic curriculum in which there is a right and a wrong, and a progression of educational development.
2. A burden of development and an expectation of performance.

I assume you meant "throw" not "through."

The problem with this is that aiki is not only expressed in throws; it may not even be best expressed in throws. And aikido is not relegated to throwing techniques. I suppose if you do not have a good weapons practice this may be harder to discern.

Rupert Atkinson
11-20-2013, 04:25 AM
As I said above - biomechanics is a useful way to sort it all out. But if you only end up with kuzushi, tsukuri, and kake you will never get anywhere near to aiki.
Just my 2c.

Lee Salzman
11-20-2013, 05:14 AM
As I said above - biomechanics is a useful way to sort it all out. But if you only end up with kuzushi, tsukuri, and kake you will never get anywhere near to aiki.
Just my 2c.

An interesting question arises: why is that? Because all those processes are other-centric.

A simple biomechanical analogy, let us say you can, as an overly reductionist proxy for budo people, use either a heavy concrete block with an expansive base, or a plastic domino. Time for a showdown... Now throw the plastic domino at the concrete block? Which gets one knocked off its base first (no cute/clever interpretations please as this model is intentionally overly simplistic)? Throw the concrete block at the domino... who do you expect to "win" that encounter? The only thing the domino accomplishes by trying to throw the concrete block is to, well, throw itself.

The reality is, pretty much all of us are the plastic dominos. There are only a small number of people in this world who can be likened to the concrete block, and either they're Andre the Giant, or they put in an immense amount of solo body-conditioning work to make their body not unlike that concrete block, so that, when encountering all of us plastic dominos, they cut through us like we are simply not there, because really, to them, we aren't.

We don't really pay attention to the biomechanics of what happens to a fly when we swat at it, other than trying not to get bug goo all over our fingers, because really, it doesn't matter almost how we swat at the fly. One way or another it is moving, by its own initiative or by ours.

And yet, these power differentials are real, not metaphorical - such concrete monsters exist, and they started out like the plastic dominos, just like all the rest of us. There are methods for making your body on the right side of that power differential, but they require you to learn the mental/inner control knobs of your perceived body.

Finding and using those control knobs is what takes years and years of work, not digging through a physics textbook. I can think about vectors and force diagrams all I want, but if I don't put in the horrifying amount of actual work/gongfu/shugyo to figure out what mental commands I must send to, say, my pelvis to control it properly, it is all completely and utterly useless. I'll just end up one plastic domino trying to figure out how to take down another plastic domino.

The physical reasoning in the end can only make us feel better about the work we need to do, but the work we need to do has already been laid out, with clear and simple instructions, by many generations of highly skilled martial artists before us.

Basia Halliop
11-20-2013, 08:05 AM
You seem to be suggesting that basic physics would say you can't unbalance someone bigger than you who's attacking you???? I can assure you that's definitely not the case! In fact it's exactly why some of us find it interesting!

(Also I don't entirely get the point of the analogy, because if someone is an immovable concrete block, I can just walk away and I've won from my point of view. It's kind of a boring situation).

phitruong
11-20-2013, 08:47 AM
going to throw in my unsolicited random thoughts.

first, the push model with arms straight out or bend. shoulders are the weakest points for force conduction, so locked you arms straight out, would put stress on the shoulders beyond its physical design. bending arms, especially, the elbows touching the body, would distribute the forces to the body and lessen the stress at the shoulder joints. it's a sound biomechanical/physics model.

there is nothing wrong to go with both theory and applied. one approach is to trying things first then come up with theory to explain/model it. the other approach is to come up with the theory, then experiment to either prove or disprove or improve the theory. some folks like the experiment first; other folks, theory first.

me, i liked to do both, at the same time. left hand for theory, right hand for applied. waving left hand and said watch this hand, then kick with the right foot. oh wait! there supposes to be a throw somewhere in here. hey, if you kick hard enough, the other person might throw up. :D

last i checked, newtonian physics still applied on earth. i was reminded this morning in the shower, what goes up, must comes down. damn cold water!

Lee Salzman
11-20-2013, 08:58 AM
You seem to be suggesting that basic physics would say you can't unbalance someone bigger than you who's attacking you???? I can assure you that's definitely not the case! In fact it's exactly why some of us find it interesting!

(Also I don't entirely get the point of the analogy, because if someone is an immovable concrete block, I can just walk away and I've won from my point of view. It's kind of a boring situation).

I don't mean to imply that it was somehow a prescriptive method of unbalancing, rather to illustrate power differences can matter, that these power differences can be created because you have put in a lot of time solo training that someone else has not (using methods requiring little to no scientific literacy), and that pretty much all of us are starting off severely unbalanced to begin with.

So, learning first and foremost how to unbalance someone can seem rather backwards from that point of view. Learning how to not be a walking collection of imbalances can seemingly undo/invalidate many years/decades of the most well-intentioned and earnest training of most of us, because all someone has to do to point out our flaws is to come in contact with us. There really are dragons out there.

Basia Halliop
11-20-2013, 09:33 AM
To me learning not to get hurt (punched hard or arm broken or grabbed and dragged somewhere) seems like step one. No amount of training will make me immune to a single hard strike from someone 1.5 times my weight and a foot taller than me, so not getting hit seems like first priority.

Both unbalancing others and not letting them unbalance you seem like they should come lower down than that.

Thanks for explaining, though, I do agree that many of us are often very unbalanced.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-20-2013, 09:45 AM
To me learning not to get hurt (punched hard or arm broken or grabbed and dragged somewhere) seems like step one. No amount of training will make me immune to a single hard strike from someone 1.5 times my weight and a foot taller than me, so not getting hit seems like first priority.

Then you need something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54g2op_Ts2I

sakumeikan
11-20-2013, 10:19 AM
If anybody expresses doubt to me about Kamae, I generally go into a wrestler's crouch and show how similar it is. Shinzentai and Kamae are not that different, either. But many other Aikido styles don't use it, so YMMV.

Dear Bill,
Wrestlers crouch is more akin to jigotai, not shizentai.From my experience Jigotai is not applicable on Aikido.Of course some Judo masters like Kenshiro Abbe did not advocate this posture.Jigotai may well have been stolen from Sumo?? Cheers, Joe.

lbb
11-20-2013, 10:24 AM
Then you need something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54g2op_Ts2I

I want a hakama with that kind of ki power.

Walter Martindale
11-20-2013, 10:27 AM
Then you need something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54g2op_Ts2I

Amazing… Even more amazing - someone actually filmed it, AND posted it for the world to see…

Janet Rosen
11-20-2013, 11:22 AM
Then you need something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54g2op_Ts2I

[facepalm]...

Basia Halliop
11-20-2013, 12:10 PM
Yes, thanks! That's perfect, just what I need.

jonreading
11-20-2013, 12:19 PM
I don't mean to imply that it was somehow a prescriptive method of unbalancing, rather to illustrate power differences can matter, that these power differences can be created because you have put in a lot of time solo training that someone else has not (using methods requiring little to no scientific literacy), and that pretty much all of us are starting off severely unbalanced to begin with.

So, learning first and foremost how to unbalance someone can seem rather backwards from that point of view. Learning how to not be a walking collection of imbalances can seemingly undo/invalidate many years/decades of the most well-intentioned and earnest training of most of us, because all someone has to do to point out our flaws is to come in contact with us. There really are dragons out there.

Dammit. Yes. One of the reasons why I am waiting to be sold on a new teaching methodology with this stuff is for this reason... Ultimately, we are teaching people how to unbalance their partners and hoping they are athletic enough to not to be [too] unbalanced themselves in the process. Through the learning process, we correct and encourage self-evaluation and hope our students realize they are also unbalanced and consideration self-correctional behavior to be part of their instruction. Both instructional formats hoping that our students we'll get the message and become receptive to that conversation that eventually comes up... "don't try to do anything to your partner." "What? 5 years you've been showing me kata where I am instructed to do something, now you're telling me not to? F^*k this, I'm doing tai bo."

The converse of that conversation is this one... "Hi, welcome to aikido. You have terrible posture and you're one step above sloppily hurling your body in a general direction as your primary method of locomotion. For the next 5 years, we're going to concentrate on your problem areas, which seem to involve 'being'."

phitruong
11-20-2013, 12:36 PM
"don't try to do anything to your partner." "What? 5 years you've been showing me kata where I am instructed to do something, now you're telling me not to? F^*k this, I'm doing tai bo."


don't knock taibo. i was taking taibo some years ago, and the class were full with older ladies, i.e. much older than i was, and they kicked my ass. i was sucking wind after 10 min. they kept on going like energizer buny.


The converse of that conversation is this one... "Hi, welcome to aikido. You have terrible posture and you're one step above sloppily hurling your body in a general direction as your primary method of locomotion. For the next 5 years, we're going to concentrate on your problem areas, which seem to involve 'being'."

but standing around not doing much isn't sexy. you need skirts swirling, bodies flying, ki force extending, where men can be men, and women can be men, and men can be women, and dogs can be cats, and we all can hold hands singing kumbaya.

have any of you folks tip over cows before?

chillzATL
11-20-2013, 12:41 PM
Dammit. Yes. One of the reasons why I am waiting to be sold on a new teaching methodology with this stuff is for this reason... Ultimately, we are teaching people how to unbalance their partners and hoping they are athletic enough to not to be [too] unbalanced themselves in the process. Through the learning process, we correct and encourage self-evaluation and hope our students realize they are also unbalanced and consideration self-correctional behavior to be part of their instruction. Both instructional formats hoping that our students we'll get the message and become receptive to that conversation that eventually comes up... "don't try to do anything to your partner." "What? 5 years you've been showing me kata where I am instructed to do something, now you're telling me not to? F^*k this, I'm doing tai bo."

The converse of that conversation is this one... "Hi, welcome to aikido. You have terrible posture and you're one step above sloppily hurling your body in a general direction as your primary method of locomotion. For the next 5 years, we're going to concentrate on your problem areas, which seem to involve 'being'."

What if the new teaching methodology, the only one that really works for it, is to simply not teach them any ai-ki-do for the first six months or more and make them focus on retaining their balance and dealing with forces acting against it? It may well be the only way to see any appreciable change. Is anyone that wants aikido going to buy that?

Rupert Atkinson
11-20-2013, 01:26 PM
Then you need something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54g2op_Ts2I

That vid just made my day :eek:

Rupert Atkinson
11-20-2013, 03:57 PM
Here's another one - I tried to hit him myself through the screen and fell off my chair. Bust my side open - now, I'm in stitches.

Go on - try it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qb8hkTCDCn0

lbb
11-20-2013, 04:11 PM
Hey, I see a new moneymaker: "The Ki Hakama!" Janet? You in?

Lee Salzman
11-20-2013, 04:57 PM
Then you need something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54g2op_Ts2I

Now, if you think empty force gimmicks can be equated with, say...

this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kj0TgZTs2cg&t=1m33s)

or this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kj0TgZTs2cg&t=1m50s)

or this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kj0TgZTs2cg&t=2m1s)

... then you may be in the wrong forum discussing the wrong art.

RonRagusa
11-20-2013, 05:56 PM
It's not Aikido, but it sure is an example of biomechanics (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFPsvF3UOdo)in action.

Janet Rosen
11-20-2013, 06:17 PM
Hey, I see a new moneymaker: "The Ki Hakama!" Janet? You in?

I'd be too tempted to insert a water pistol or air horn or something :D

Demetrio Cereijo
11-20-2013, 06:23 PM
Now, if you think empty force gimmicks can be equated with, say...
(Shioda gozo clips)
... then you may be in the wrong forum discussing the wrong art.

Shioda is always a pleasure to watch, i.e. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fb2cZmMtMC8

But wondering ... discussing Hirosawa Shihan (http://youtu.be/LvmIaco_SUQ?t=2m35s) waza here would be a case of wrong forum wrong art too?

sakumeikan
11-20-2013, 06:39 PM
Amazing… Even more amazing - someone actually filmed it, AND posted it for the world to see…
Dear Walter,
This is grim stuff.No wonder Aikido gets a bad name when this junk is put on the net. Absolute tosh.Cheers, Joe.

Lee Salzman
11-21-2013, 03:04 AM
Shioda is always a pleasure to watch, i.e. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fb2cZmMtMC8

But wondering ... discussing Hirosawa Shihan (http://youtu.be/LvmIaco_SUQ?t=2m35s) waza here would be a case of wrong forum wrong art too?

To be absolutely direct and clear, I do not believe empty force is in any way what O'Sensei was doing, and people who peddle it - regardless of what they claim to be doing - are at best charlatans, and at worst actually believe in it themselves. That does not mean you can't cause an opponent to react before contact based on what you do, but there are sane limits to this and empty force sorts of things (endemic unfortunately to most of the ki/chi arts) are definitely outside of those sane limits. I interpreted your posting of the original link to it as some sort of unfortunate (mis-)interpretation of what I was saying earlier.

The reason I posted those Shioda videos is because he illustrated the point I was trying to make earlier, that there is an underlying quality to what he is doing that goes hidden in the techniques, but is visible (and unfortunately a bit too palpable to the uke in the last one) in those particular choice moments. Without that quality, he may as well just be flapping his arms around and people in an effort to reproduce it come up with stuff like, uh, empty force as some sort of misguided interpretation of what he was doing. There is a difference between an uke trying to get out of the way of what he knows to be truly an oncoming freight train vs. collusive movement designed to make a paper tiger look better.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-21-2013, 06:15 AM
To be absolutely direct and clear, I do not believe empty force is in any way what O'Sensei was doing
That's fine with me, even if Ueshiba sometimes did this kind of 'tricks'. Others may believe he was channeling kami, some believe he was a mentalist... there is a lot of different beliefs about what O Sensei was into.

I interpreted your posting of the original link to it as some sort of unfortunate (mis-)interpretation of what I was saying earlier.
I was addressing (in jest) Basia's post where she said 'not getting hit seems like first priority'.

PaulF
11-21-2013, 08:34 AM
Dear Bill,
Wrestlers crouch is more akin to jigotai, not shizentai.From my experience Jigotai is not applicable on Aikido.

Hi Joe

How do you pull off shihonage on someone much shorter than you without a nice deep jigotai or switching to suwari waza? My wife and I have a 16" height difference so I get stuck with this a lot :)

Cheers

Paul

phitruong
11-21-2013, 08:47 AM
How do you pull off shihonage on someone much shorter than you without a nice deep jigotai or switching to suwari waza? My wife and I have a 16" height difference so I get stuck with this a lot :)

Paul

i saw Ellis Amdur put on a shihonage to an very short uke, much shorter than him. i thought Ellis would need to get down on his stomach to do it, but he just did it. it was the smoothest shihonage that i had seen. most folks do shihonage with uke's arm stretch out or up or side way or in every direction, but Ellis's approach is like getting uke to do an arm curl. doesn't raise uke's alarm until the very end. there is also a spanking waza for stiffed back uke. :)

PaulF
11-21-2013, 09:02 AM
i saw Ellis Amdur put on a shihonage to an very short uke, much shorter than him. i thought Ellis would need to get down on his stomach to do it, but he just did it. it was the smoothest shihonage that i had seen. most folks do shihonage with uke's arm stretch out or up or side way or in every direction, but Ellis's approach is like getting uke to do an arm curl. doesn't raise uke's alarm until the very end. there is also a spanking waza for stiffed back uke. :)

Thanks Phi, trying to visualize that (not the spanking, not right now)

We're taught to try to keep hands in front of face the whole way like we're taking a panoramic photo and not give the arm back to them (to stop them turning out), I guess I could try to float her more and snap turn on the balls of my feet quicker but it just feels wrong if my hands get anywhere above or behind my head

sakumeikan
11-21-2013, 11:20 AM
Hi Joe

How do you pull off shihonage on someone much shorter than you without a nice deep jigotai or switching to suwari waza? My wife and I have a 16" height difference so I get stuck with this a lot :)

Cheers

Paul
Dear Paul,
What a lucky guy you are! A missus 16inches taller than you arel.I guess you could say you look up to her.My wife always looks down on me.
Why would you want to do shiho nage in this situation?Why not just do a waza more appropriate to the situation?cheers, Joe.

PaulF
11-21-2013, 12:06 PM
Dear Paul,
What a lucky guy you are! A missus 16inches taller than you arel.I guess you could say you look up to her.My wife always looks down on me.
Why would you want to do shiho nage in this situation?Why not just do a waza more appropriate to the situation?cheers, Joe.

:D

kata Joe, kata, the root of so many woes, there's only so long I can get away with avoiding her on the mat :straightf

to be honest I think it just amuses the powers that be to see me making an arse of myself, it's a gift that just keeps on giving :mad:

Cheers

Paul

jonreading
11-21-2013, 12:14 PM
Hi Joe

How do you pull off shihonage on someone much shorter than you without a nice deep jigotai or switching to suwari waza? My wife and I have a 16" height difference so I get stuck with this a lot :)

Cheers

Paul

Best explanation I heard about this... Aikido locks are intended to be body locks, not appendage locks. So at some point, the joint lock of shiho nage should not be limited to the arm. Once this happens, we should not be limited to the mechanical requirements of creating torsion through a largely horizontal position of the arm. Once we don't have a need to squat under a horizontal arm that is more or less only as high at the shoulder of your partner... you have more freedom for your partner to move out of your way, rather than move around your partner. Without that desperate feeling that you are going to rip off your partner's arm. Not that you can't...

Alex Megann
11-22-2013, 02:38 AM
Best explanation I heard about this... Aikido locks are intended to be body locks, not appendage locks. So at some point, the joint lock of shiho nage should not be limited to the arm. Once this happens, we should not be limited to the mechanical requirements of creating torsion through a largely horizontal position of the arm. Once we don't have a need to squat under a horizontal arm that is more or less only as high at the shoulder of your partner... you have more freedom for your partner to move out of your way, rather than move around your partner. Without that desperate feeling that you are going to rip off your partner's arm. Not that you can't...

Having struggled with shihonage for a long time, a few years ago I discovered a couple of essential things about this technique. First of all, if you have to resort to ducking under your partner's arm you have basically lost by that point. The whole technique becomes a lot easier and safer if you manipulate your partner's body before then, so that their elbow rises over your head (I like to think of the image of uke's arm making a kind of pitched roof over your head). More recently, I realised that most of shihonage is generated in the initial contact - if you get this right, this weakens your partner's frame and posture so that everything from that point follows almost effortlessly. Kanetsuka Sensei always says "attack partner's knees": when he does this to me at the start of the technique, I feel my feet become uprooted, and there is no chance to counter the technique at all.

This also, of course, helps to even out any adverse height difference between you and your partner (though I do still occasionally struggle in extreme cases!).

Alex

PaulF
11-22-2013, 04:32 AM
Thanks guys, some interesting stuff to ponder, I'll see what I can apply without getting in deep trouble with the mrs ;)