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Mihaly Dobroka
05-12-2014, 11:02 PM
Kanaya Shihan's Aikido:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nREGkrE2dzU&list=UUksUlSPmWMWgkqAobsoXRkQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXUpsRr_ggs&list=UUksUlSPmWMWgkqAobsoXRkQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyY2GzodprI&list=UUksUlSPmWMWgkqAobsoXRkQ

He started Aikido 43 years ago in Iwama Aikido style and also trained in the Iwama Dojo many times under Saito Morihiro sensei. He wanted to do Aikido as the Founder did on his last years and practiced with most of the direct students of the Founder, such as Sunadomri Kanshu, Sasaki Masando, Yamaguchi Seigo, Watanabe Nobuyuki, Endo Seishiro and so on.
Now he is a 6th dan Aikikai Shihan of Aomori Prefecture Aikido Union and frequently travel to South-Korea and Hong-Kong to teach Aikido seminars.

What are your thoughts on his Aikido?

Mihaly

Robert Cowham
05-13-2014, 04:19 PM
Presuming that's you as uke - you are very flexible!

As to Kanaya sensei, it would be interesting to feel some of the lighter/no touch stuff going on - difficult to make a judgement from video.

sakumeikan
05-13-2014, 05:28 PM
Dear Mihaly,
Another example of no touch aikido a la Watanabe Sensei.I must confess I do not like this type of aikido.I will say that Uke[you?] are very flexible.I guess I would have to experience the waza to gauge whether the waza has substance or whatever.Call me a sceptic if you wish.Nice of you to post this for our edification/enjoyment.Cheers, Joe.

asiawide
05-13-2014, 08:02 PM
He visited Korea many times. I didn't have a chance to join his seminar. Here is another short clip of him taken in Korea.

http://youtu.be/A14-zuTu0RM

It doesn't matter whether it's real or fake as long as me and other didn't experience him. I'm more interested in how he developed his skill.

Jaemin

sakumeikan
05-14-2014, 12:50 AM
He visited Korea many times. I didn't have a chance to join his seminar. Here is another short clip of him taken in Korea.

http://youtu.be/A14-zuTu0RM

It doesn't matter whether it's real or fake as long as me and other didn't experience him. I'm more interested in how he developed his skill.

Jaemin

Dear Jaemin, I do not quite understand what you state in the last few sentences of your blog.Are you saying that as long as the gentleman does not use you and the other students it would be ok regardless whether the waza was real or fake?In my book the waza should be real.Why would you or anyone else want to be interested in how the instructor developed his skills if by chance [and I am not saying the aikido shown is phony ] is fake?Maybe you could enlighten me here and explain further what you mean?Hope you are well, Cheers, Joe.

asiawide
05-14-2014, 03:14 AM
Dear Jaemin, I do not quite understand what you state in the last few sentences of your blog.Are you saying that as long as the gentleman does not use you and the other students it would be ok regardless whether the waza was real or fake?In my book the waza should be real.Why would you or anyone else want to be interested in how the instructor developed his skills if by chance [and I am not saying the aikido shown is phony ] is fake?Maybe you could enlighten me here and explain further what you mean?Hope you are well, Cheers, Joe.

Hi,

We don't know whether it's real or fake. Maybe it looks so but when I showed even All Nippon Aikido demo to my friends, 99% of them say, 'ugh... is it real?' I mean we have no benefit here by talking whether it's real or fake.

My assumption is that it's not fake but the uke is just compliant, especially the shihan moves from static position so easily in the video. And my peers who experienced him said he's good. Second hand experience but much closer to me than watching youtube video. Then I'm interested in how he trained himself for doing it.

Thanks,
Jaemin

Alec Corper
05-14-2014, 04:04 AM
SSDD

sakumeikan
05-14-2014, 05:46 AM
Hi,

We don't know whether it's real or fake. Maybe it looks so but when I showed even All Nippon Aikido demo to my friends, 99% of them say, 'ugh... is it real?' I mean we have no benefit here by talking whether it's real or fake.

My assumption is that it's not fake but the uke is just compliant, especially the shihan moves from static position so easily in the video. And my peers who experienced him said he's good. Second hand experience but much closer to me than watching youtube video. Then I'm interested in how he trained himself for doing it.

Thanks,
Jaemin

Dear Jaemin,
Like you say without actually trainin with Kanaya Sensei we can only surmise whether he has a compliant uke or his waza is real/fake.Al we can do is watch the clip.I think the Uke is very compliant.I view this demo with a bit of scepticism.Even Yamaguchi Sensei did not present his waza in this manner. Kanaja Sensei seems to me to be an advocate for what one might call the soft/no contact style of Aikido. Cheers, Joe.

hughrbeyer
05-14-2014, 07:50 AM
I'd love to know if he does the giant wind-up for demonstration purposes, to try to show what's really going on, or if he's depending on it. I'm inclined to think the former.

The thing about causing uke to lock up looks a lot like stuff Okamoto does, which makes me wonder where he learned it. I'm skeptical of it too, and it makes me suspicious of the rest of the video. But Okamoto has the respect of people I trust, so I wouldn't reject it out of hand.

kfa4303
05-14-2014, 01:38 PM
Dear Mihaly,
Another example of no touch aikido a la Watanabe Sensei.I must confess I do not like this type of aikido.I will say that Uke[you?] are very flexible.I guess I would have to experience the waza to gauge whether the waza has substance or whatever.Call me a sceptic if you wish.Nice of you to post this for our edification/enjoyment.Cheers, Joe.

I couldn't agree more. Sadly, it's this sort of "no touch", woo-woo nonsense that gives Aikido a bad name. You can't move something without touching it in some form or fashion. The principals of Newtonian motion apply to all objects in the universe at all times. They're not just a suggestions, they're the law. Just like gravity.

Mario Tobias
05-14-2014, 11:31 PM
I havn't trained with this sensei yet but his actions look credible. We shouldn't dismiss it because it looks fake. I think we need to be open to what true aikido offers us. This is because I believe there is true aikido and there is typical aikido which 99.9% of us practice. In typical aikido we have our own notions (most likely misguided) of what aikido forms should be and look like but IMHO these outer forms are just offering us a hint/glimpse for what aikido truly is and in my opinon not aikido (YET). It is also my belief that 99.9% of us do not actually understand what aikido really is and only a handful of people do know. Even Osensei acknowledges during the end of his days that he's only begun to understand what aikido truly is. What does he mean when he says this and what then was he doing 60 years before? I think this was not out of humility but his understanding that there was much much more to aikido.

Hikitsuchi-sensei which I think is 10th dan? also does this no-touch aikido but surprisingly, if you understand some of his principles, these no touch techniques are actually reproducible through experimentation with non compliant ukes. Shioda-sensei's minimalist aikido is also another proof since it looks magical. I personally have thrown ukes around with a twist of the hara or a wrist. Not sure if it's real but I do know is that ukes were non compliant.

Not opening up to the possibilities means that one's aikido will just plateau and be ordinary as the 99.9% of us.

There are a lot of mysteries in this world which cannot be explained. Osensei, hikitsuchi sensei, shioda sensei, Kyuzo Mifune(god of judo) are some of these mysteries we need to understand. If we argue that we can explain aikido and know what aikido truly is, why isn't everybody as good as these people? What I can confidently say is that the difference between them and the rest of us is that they were open to the possiblities and they have made what seemed impossible, possible.

sakumeikan
05-15-2014, 07:27 AM
I havn't trained with this sensei yet but his actions look credible. We shouldn't dismiss it because it looks fake. I think we need to be open to what true aikido offers us. This is because I believe there is true aikido and there is typical aikido which 99.9% of us practice. In typical aikido we have our own notions (most likely misguided) of what aikido forms should be and look like but IMHO these outer forms are just offering us a hint/glimpse for what aikido truly is and in my opinon not aikido (YET). It is also my belief that 99.9% of us do not actually understand what aikido really is and only a handful of people do know. Even Osensei acknowledges during the end of his days that he's only begun to understand what aikido truly is. What does he mean when he says this and what then was he doing 60 years before? I think this was not out of humility but his understanding that there was much much more to aikido.

Hikitsuchi-sensei which I think is 10th dan? also does this no-touch aikido but surprisingly, if you understand some of his principles, these no touch techniques are actually reproducible through experimentation with non compliant ukes. Shioda-sensei's minimalist aikido is also another proof since it looks magical. I personally have thrown ukes around with a twist of the hara or a wrist. Not sure if it's real but I do know is that ukes were non compliant.

Not opening up to the possibilities means that one's aikido will just plateau and be ordinary as the 99.9% of us.

There are a lot of mysteries in this world which cannot be explained. Osensei, hikitsuchi sensei, shioda sensei, Kyuzo Mifune(god of judo) are some of these mysteries we need to understand. If we argue that we can explain aikido and know what aikido truly is, why isn't everybody as good as these people? What I can confidently say is that the difference between them and the rest of us is that they were open to the possiblities and they have made what seemed impossible, possible.

Dear Mario. 5
There are many reasons why the 99.9% of people practicing aikido in your opinion do not grasp or 'understand what aikido is '.
Most people do not do Aikido as a full time job.Most people do not have drive or a anxious to learn aikido.In my opinion most people simply view aikido as a pastime /hobby /keep fit.
There is also the question of who thee average person trains under.How many studeents for example have access to high level instructors? How many students have had first hand hands on experience with O Sensei's Uchi Deshi ?How many people can train each /every day , attend courses, live in a dojo as an uchideshi, and train for 3/5 hrs each day?This is the type of training only a few people will do.Even if you are a pro Aikidoka, you are normally teaching students, not quite the same as getting a hard time from a senior.
The men you use as a yardstick did aikido /judo full time.They had the drive to push their bodies to the limit. These men came from a different breed of men.Nowadays the society we live in has changed .People nowadays have more options. Fitness clubs/MMA, yoga etc all have an impact on Aikido recruitment of new blood.
Aikido in many cases has been diluted. Some people promoting Aikido now seem to be promoting Aikido unlike any other type of Aikido I have ever seen in over 40years studying Aikido.Funnily enough ribbon /ki / ballroom dancers collect students in droves while the 'non dancers'
instructor usually have very few students.
Aikido for me come down to a few basic things.You need to be hungry for knowledge.You need to train diligently with the best instructor/s you can find.You have to [regrettably }on occasion put your domestic affairs to one side and put your responsibilities as a teacher/student first.Not everyone wants to do this.Pain /sacrifice and monetary issues make Aikido for most a hard road.I am open minded as the next person, but if /when I see Aikido being performed in a manner which defies logic.eg throwing Ukes from a distance without touch, watching /hearing long debates about Ki power and chit chat about mystic stuff I tend to get a headache or I go and have a beer.
Cheers, Joe.

Cliff Judge
05-15-2014, 09:45 AM
I think these videos are great. Excellent expression of Aiki. There are places that seem a bit clumsy but places where it is just brilliant. The ukemi is really good here, uke is moving smoothly and responsively to what the instructor is doing, and the instructor is able to guide him with clean, smooth movements and fit right in.

Okay so, the rest of you. Question. I really don't understand this. Why do people see demonstrations like this and say things like "that isn't real" or "how can that be real?" What do you even mean by real? Do you mean like, this is something the instructor could do to a burglar or mugger? I think that's what you mean, but it is so obviously not meant to be a practical application to me.

When I see something like this, it is obviously a demonstration of principle. He's saying, "when this kind of energy comes, you move like this, and shape it this way, and you want this general kind of thing to happen. See, the energy moves this way."

This is exactly what you see Ueshiba, Horikawa, etc doing in videos. It's not an application, it's not even a training exercise, it's supposed to provide an image for students to pick up on, so they can "steal the technique". Mirror neurons, people. Presumably uke gets to feel something interesting as well that he can go chew on.

From everything I have read this is how Takeda taught, though he had kata that he passed on directly to his close students - kata which were designed to teach aiki principles and were not applications. This is how Osensei taught as well.

Now personally, I think it takes a certain kind of personality to teach this way, I can understand if you don't see that in yourself or you worry that it is not valuable to your students, and you prefer "more practical" or "less collusive" training. But IMO that attitude moves you more towards jujutsu and away from Aiki. I actually fall somewhere in the middle personally - I think watching this kind of demonstration is only valuable if it is integrated with clearly structured training drills and less cooperative practice.

I am just saying, you really need to recognize what this is before you judge its "realness". And IMO, this is the tradition right here, this is what Takeda and Osensei were both doing when they got on the mat with a bunch of students who came to see the amazing mystical aiki.

NagaBaba
05-15-2014, 10:03 AM
What are your thoughts on his Aikido?

Mihaly

This is pure nonsense. The guy is neglecting almost all martial principles. Another aiki bunny example, don't waste your time watching these videos.
Run away without looking back.

Gerardo Torres
05-15-2014, 01:16 PM
I'd love to know if he does the giant wind-up for demonstration purposes, to try to show what's really going on, or if he's depending on it. I'm inclined to think the former.

The thing about causing uke to lock up looks a lot like stuff Okamoto does, which makes me wonder where he learned it. I'm skeptical of it too, and it makes me suspicious of the rest of the video. But Okamoto has the respect of people I trust, so I wouldn't reject it out of hand.
Yeah I'm with Hugh here. I'd need more (first-hand) information before forming a final opiinion. Having felt a student of Okamoto, some seemingly 'fake' skills can be very real and martially impressive.

There are some aikido sensei who train similarly to the Kanaya videos. From what I've experienced in students, there are some short-term benefits to training like this -- relaxation, flexibility, 'sensitivity'. And it can also be a lot of fun. That said I think it's a limited training model for learning high-level skills, what with the uke being conditioned to compromise their own structure even before contact is made (is an uke really sensitive if he reacts equally dramatically to touch or no touch input, or just assuming a role?). And there's always the danger of external mimicry of the teacher's mannerisms without really getting the 'meat' of it, but that's probably true of any aikido style.

sadams122
05-16-2014, 02:38 AM
Not to judge, his stuff looks nice but would like to see it with an uke with more intent than a moth; a more balanced demonstration of his art...

sakumeikan
05-16-2014, 11:01 AM
Not to judge, his stuff looks nice but would like to see it with an uke with more intent than a moth; a more balanced demonstration of his art...
HI Stephen,
Would not like to bet against the moth if the moth got a bit angry.My old judo teacher used to say some guys could not throw a fly with its legs tied. Been to Hilo a few years ago, saw a dojo on Hilo.Wish I could have met you guys.Nice place.I think I bought some chocolate ther or was it a big chasm like the Grand Canyon I saw?Visited Lahaina, Hilo,Honolulu, Escondido.Like the place .Only disappointment I never me Steve McGarret.[Hawaii 50]Jack Lord.Cheers, Joe

sakumeikan
05-16-2014, 11:12 AM
This is pure nonsense. The guy is neglecting almost all martial principles. Another aiki bunny example, don't waste your time watching these videos.
Run away without looking back.
Dear Naga Baba,
Did you not perceive the exceptional Ki power shown here?The flow of Ki made Niagara Falls look like a tap that needed a new washer. Uke could have given a display of a one man aikido demo .Great stuff, all done with not a bead of sweat or a hair out of place.How is this feat done I ask myself?If anyone cares to tell me how this skill can be acquired send your replies to me on a 20$ note.Credit card donations not accepted. Cheers, Joe.

Cliff Judge
05-16-2014, 04:01 PM
Do you guys feel the same way about Osensei when you watch him on video? Really seems like the same kinda thing to me, not a demonstration of "what I can do" but rather a demonstration of "the movement of aiki" or something like that. Something more abstract.

sakumeikan
05-16-2014, 05:45 PM
Do you guys feel the same way about Osensei when you watch him on video? Really seems like the same kinda thing to me, not a demonstration of "what I can do" but rather a demonstration of "the movement of aiki" or something like that. Something more abstract.
Hi Cliff,
Short answer -NO. Cheers, Joe.

RonRagusa
05-16-2014, 11:08 PM
How is this feat done I ask myself?If anyone cares to tell me how this skill can be acquired send your replies to me on a 20$ note.Credit card donations not accepted. Cheers, Joe.

No one can tell you how it's done Joe. You have to be on the receiving end in order to feel his stuff (or lack of same). If your question was meant more than tongue-in-cheek, perhaps you can look him up if he's ever in your neighborhood and experience him yourself. Coming from a skeptic, your reaction to his abilities would make for an interesting read.

Ron

sakumeikan
05-17-2014, 02:40 AM
No one can tell you how it's done Joe. You have to be on the receiving end in order to feel his stuff (or lack of same). If your question was meant more than tongue-in-cheek, perhaps you can look him up if he's ever in your neighborhood and experience him yourself. Coming from a skeptic, your reaction to his abilities would make for an interesting read.

Ron
Hi Mr Ragusa/Ron,
I do agree that you have to experience the waza in a hands on situation.Unfortunately what we have here is a video,You see the form but this I agree does not reveal the essence of the stuff.I can only judge from the video.I may well be wrong.I do occasionally write with a very large tongue in my cheek.
If indeed Kanaya Sensei visited my area the N.E. of England I would certainly consider meeting him and finding out first hand how he does his Aikido.If indeed he was an excellent Aikidoka [which he might well be ]I am perfectly willingl to eat my trilby,suitably seasoned with salt and pepper.
I take it that you have experience of being Uke for Kanaya Sensei?Maybe you might care to share your experiences with others on this Forum? All the Best, Joe A.K.A Doubting Thomas.

Carsten Möllering
05-17-2014, 03:05 AM
How is this feat done I ask myself?There are some teachers around who could help you answer your question. Yamashima sensei, Endō sensei or Ikeda sensei e.g., all visit Europe on a regular base so you might be able to grab one of them. :p

But as far as I know, this guy has a profound background in Iwama ryū and used to practice with the late Saito sensei? So maybe first you should find some qualified teacher of Iwama ryū to work on the basics for some years ... ;)

What are your thoughts on his Aikido?Looks familiar. :cool:

Riai Maori
05-17-2014, 04:48 AM
There are some teachers around who could help you answer your question. Yamashima sensei, Endō sensei or Ikeda sensei e.g., all visit Europe on a regular base so you might be able to grab one of them. :p

But as far as I know, this guy has a profound background in Iwama ryū and used to practice with the late Saito sensei? So maybe first you should find some qualified teacher of Iwama ryū to work on the basics for some years ... ;)

Looks familiar. :cool:

Is this advice from your first hand knowledge whilst being uke with the Aikido teachers you have mentioned?:confused:

Cliff Judge
05-17-2014, 07:16 AM
Hi Cliff,
Short answer -NO. Cheers, Joe.

But this is these are the same kind of demo as those.

RonRagusa
05-17-2014, 08:49 AM
I take it that you have experience of being Uke for Kanaya Sensei?Maybe you might care to share your experiences with others on this Forum? All the Best, Joe A.K.A Doubting Thomas.

Sorry Joe, I do not have any experience with Kanaya Sensei. I have, over the years, experienced others who display an amount of power that seems out of proportion relative to size and muscle mass. People who are able to apply power and control that requires very little in the way of movement. I would add that I don't buy into the whole no touch, action-at-a-distance throwing thing. I'm not sure what ideas or principles are being demonstrated, but none of that stuff has ever been applied to me by anyone I have ever trained under or with.

'Nuf said, off to class.

Ron

NagaBaba
05-17-2014, 09:03 PM
Dear Naga Baba,
Did you not perceive the exceptional Ki power shown here?The flow of Ki made Niagara Falls look like a tap that needed a new washer. Uke could have given a display of a one man aikido demo .Great stuff, all done with not a bead of sweat or a hair out of place.How is this feat done I ask myself?If anyone cares to tell me how this skill can be acquired send your replies to me on a 20$ note.Credit card donations not accepted. Cheers, Joe.
Hi Joe,
Now when talk about it....new washer could do a job :)

NagaBaba
05-17-2014, 09:08 PM
Do you guys feel the same way about Osensei when you watch him on video? Really seems like the same kinda thing to me, not a demonstration of "what I can do" but rather a demonstration of "the movement of aiki" or something like that. Something more abstract.
No.
Once you practice enough, you can distinguish easily pretenders.

Cliff Judge
05-18-2014, 08:15 PM
No.
Once you practice enough, you can distinguish easily pretenders.

So when a teacher has enough magical Aikido power they can make an uke do a big deep back bend that is impossible for them to resist? Because all good demos involve uke actively resisting the teacher's technique?

sakumeikan
05-19-2014, 06:04 AM
So when a teacher has enough magical Aikido power they can make an uke do a big deep back bend that is impossible for them to resist? Because all good demos involve uke actively resisting the teacher's technique?

Hi Cliff,
If indeed the Uke {prior to applying his acrobatic skills] is actively endeavouring to maintain his balance it would appear the answer to both your questions is Yes.I must confess however that I still view this video with increasing scepticism.Cheers, Joe

Cliff Judge
05-19-2014, 08:47 AM
Hi Cliff,
If indeed the Uke {prior to applying his acrobatic skills] is actively endeavouring to maintain his balance it would appear the answer to both your questions is Yes.I must confess however that I still view this video with increasing scepticism.Cheers, Joe

I don't believe I have seen many demos that are good by your definition, including Osensei.

jonreading
05-19-2014, 08:54 AM
Ryne Sandberg (Hall of Fame second baseman for the Chicago Cubs), once said that he could move on the play when the pitcher threw the ball. He could tell by the location of the pitch and the position of the swing where the hit ball was going.

I am not unfamiliar with the feeling of oppression by good aikido that directs movement. I would tend to agree that I was unable to see some of the queues that would indicate aiki as I understand it, or the power to solicit compliance. Not to say it doesn't exist, but it is not easy to find if it does.

I have a history of complaining about aikido videos and I'll continue my complaint here. This video represents one of two things: 1. a level of aiki so high as to be practically invisible to observe; 2. the absence of aiki and thus invisible. I am giving the benefit of doubt to say Kanaya Shihan has some experience with aiki.

If the level of aiki is so high as not to be observed by video, why record it? This is more a criticism of the format in which the video is intended to be deceiving (a magic trick). Couple that with an uke who is cooperatively providing energy and the demo is more magic show and less practical. For someone who has been on the receiving end of sensei, that is fine; for the remaining 99.98% of us, we have a video with a trick and no education to recreate the trick ourselves..

Aiki does crazy stupid things and makes what we do look unreal. Videos that do not support a logical methodology of observing the cause of stupidity, or reproducing the stupidity are limited in their role as an educational tool.

Back to the question, sometimes it is entertaining to publish something like this - it is not intended to contain educational material, nor is it intended to persuade viewers of it truthfulness. In fact, part of the mystery is not knowing. Why else would we watch Chris Angel eat a scorpion and then pull it out of his pants pocket?

The original post did not publish any information about the purpose of the video, possibly for a reason. I think if we knew the intention of the video, we could possibly be more critical in providing feedback. I'm up for a good mystery anytime, but it's nice to know if I am looking at a mystery...

Cliff Judge
05-19-2014, 09:26 AM
What if this demo has nothing to do with the teacher demonstrating what he can compel someone to do? What if the uke is not only being compliant, but is being as compliant as he possibly can - which is quite a feat, actually, I don't think I could bend back as far as he does in some places here.

is it that we don't like to see demonstrations that are not application, or do we not understand what they are?

jonreading
05-19-2014, 10:41 AM
What if this demo has nothing to do with the teacher demonstrating what he can compel someone to do? What if the uke is not only being compliant, but is being as compliant as he possibly can - which is quite a feat, actually, I don't think I could bend back as far as he does in some places here.

is it that we don't like to see demonstrations that are not application, or do we not understand what they are?

In my last sentence, I mentioned that I like a mystery when that genre meets my expectation. If I were to watch a romantic comedy when I expected to see a mystery I would probably be disappointed in a similar vein. Worse, if it was a movie with Kate Hudson or Drew Berrymore. Seriously.

For me, the off-putting thing about this video collection is the absence of perspective and expectation. I don't think the demonstration is the issue, it's the lack of perspective in which to frame the demonstration. For example, if your ascertaining that this video is actually an athletic display of ukemi, then the expectation shifts from demonstrating aiki to demonstrating ukemi and the need to express and demonstrate aiki is less important, possibly explaining the perception that some posts have observed.

To your second question, if education is not the intention, how could you hold a viewer to the expectation of understanding the material? This is exactly how a magic trick works, right? A magic trick is based on ignorance of the viewer, not complexity of the trick. It is that we do not understand what is being conveyed.

Nolan Ryan was the greatest pitcher to play baseball. But if I were to illustrate his career from the perspective of his batting average that would portray a different picture. I am waiting to see what picture the demo is trying to paint before deciding the effectiveness of it.

sakumeikan
05-19-2014, 06:02 PM
There are some teachers around who could help you answer your question. Yamashima sensei, Endō sensei or Ikeda sensei e.g., all visit Europe on a regular base so you might be able to grab one of them. :p

But as far as I know, this guy has a profound background in Iwama ryū and used to practice with the late Saito sensei? So maybe first you should find some qualified teacher of Iwama ryū to work on the basics for some years ... ;)

Looks familiar. :cool:

Dear Carsten,Your suggestion that I should seek out an Iwama Ryu instructor to help me learn the basics for a few years is advice well meant by your goodself. However I have trained under Shihan like Shibata, Murashige, Kanai,Tamura,Miyamoto , Kanetsuka, Yamaguchi , and other Shihan such asJuba Nour Bill Smith, Tony Cassells, Chris Mooney , Mike Flynn,Terry Ezra, GordonJones.etc .You might know a few of these sensei???My main teacher over the last 4 decades has been Chiba Sensei.Thanks for your advice , however as I am a 6th Dan Shihan,[not self promoted by the way ]I think I will give your suggestion a miss thank you very much.Cheers, Joe.

sakumeikan
05-19-2014, 06:18 PM
[QUOTE=Cliff Judge;337088]I don't believe I have seen many demos that are good by your definition, including Osensei.[/QUOTE
Dear Cliff,
How do you know what my definition of a good demo is? I assume you like the Kanaya Sensei demo.Thats ok by me. i have on the basis of a video stated it is not my cup of tea.I also stated if you have taken time to read my comments regarding this demo, I said that the only way you could really tell would be to experience the Waza in a hands on situation.We can only speculate whether the Aikido herein is genuine.We cannot be absolute here unless we/you /I have personal direct experience .I could be wrong in my own assessment of the video.Cheers, Joe.

Carsten Möllering
05-20-2014, 05:39 AM
However I have trained under Shihan like ...I know.
My main teacher over the last 4 decades has been Chiba Sensei.I'm aware of that.
... I am a 6th Dan Shihan,...Yes. I know.

I think I will give your suggestion a miss ...I didn't expext, you would and didn't mean my advice too serious ... ;)

... well ...

I never practiced with this teacher. But as I said, I think I recognize a lot of what he is doing. I remember Ikeda Hiroshi sensei teaching similar guiding-before-pyhsical-contact-stuff. The third video shows some of the basic exercises, Endō sensei teaches. (And wich I try to teach in my classes.) Guiding and controlling uke by weird and playfull ways of contact I remember as a speciality of Yamashima sensei.

Also when I read, that Kanaya sensei originally was a committed student of Iwama ryū and used to practice with Saito sensei and only after having practiced this for a period of time changed to a more soft understanding of keiko, this remembered me of the biography of my sempai, our shihan - and also me myself: Studying clear basics for a long time. And then changing to a certain, more soft way, that is built on those basics.

So, when you asked "How is this feat done ...?" I felt 'provoked' to answer you - with a wink.
No offence ...

sakumeikan
05-20-2014, 08:14 AM
I know.
I'm aware of that.
Yes. I know.

I didn't expext, you would and didn't mean my advice too serious ... ;)

... well ...

I never practiced with this teacher. But as I said, I think I recognize a lot of what he is doing. I remember Ikeda Hiroshi sensei teaching similar guiding-before-pyhsical-contact-stuff. The third video shows some of the basic exercises, Endō sensei teaches. (And wich I try to teach in my classes.) Guiding and controlling uke by weird and playfull ways of contact I remember as a speciality of Yamashima sensei.

Also when I read, that Kanaya sensei originally was a committed student of Iwama ryū and used to practice with Saito sensei and only after having practiced this for a period of time changed to a more soft understanding of keiko, this remembered me of the biography of my sempai, our shihan - and also me myself: Studying clear basics for a long time. And then changing to a certain, more soft way, that is built on those basics.

So, when you asked "How is this feat done ...?" I felt 'provoked' to answer you - with a wink.
No offence ...
Dear Carsten,
In my reply to you I was being a little naughty.I decided to post the info [which I already knew you knew ] to have a little dig at you.Not in a malicious way I hasten to ad, just a bit of fun.In no way was your advice [Iwama Ryu bit ] offensive .I knew your were pulling my leg.
As it happens , perhaps due to the my maturity [age related] I am no longer the proverbial bull in the china shop.When I was much younger I was not averse to using what physical power I had.Now I try and get the same result being less energetic and I tend to find I need to become more efficient rather than rely on sheer brute force.I can understand this may well be the motivation of Kanaya Sensei.It would be good to find out more of his thoughts on the subject if possible.
So Carsten, have a nice day,Cheers, Joe.

Chris Raihl
05-21-2014, 04:34 PM
Sorry for my level of ignorance; but if this student of Iwama Ryu has these abilities, and if said abilities can be learned; why have we not seen Morihiro Saito Sensei demonstrate them? Or are we to assume this sensei has somehow surpassed the skill of Saito Sensei and that of Witt Sensei?

hughrbeyer
05-22-2014, 10:43 AM
Would it be surprising, or terrible, if he had? We should all strive to surpass our teachers...

Cliff Judge
05-22-2014, 10:47 AM
What if he is not demonstrating "abilities." What if Saito Sensei was not really doing that either?

Carsten Möllering
05-22-2014, 11:12 AM
I think this is simply about changing one's way of practice, not about surpassing someone.

As I repeatedly said, I don't see any "magical" abilities here, no mysteries. He is not throwing ki-balls or something like that. He is simply guiding uke by moving himself. Also these no-touch things are only a small part of what is shown in the video.

Alltogether I have to admit, I don't see why this is such an issue here? I know stuff like this simply as one aspect of what is taught by a whole lot of teachers.
Is this really so unusual for some of you - even for those whoe are practicing for such a long time ... - or am I getting something wrong?

As far as uke is concerned: There are certain teachers and schools who teach ukemi by bridging. Over here this is especially popular within the Tendōryū. And there are simply some aikidōka who like to do ukemi this way. I myself don't think this to be a clever position. So I think, it is not something tori does, but a certain way this uke reacts. No miracle here also.

Chris Raihl
05-22-2014, 11:15 AM
So far the response has been as follows;

1/ It is possible he surpassed Saito Sensei and other esteemed 7th Dan Shihans

2/ Nothing unusual here - throwing someone who has intent for harm without touching is usual and not a big deal.

Ok I got it now, sorry for my ignorance.

Cliff Judge
05-22-2014, 01:14 PM
Alltogether I have to admit, I don't see why this is such an issue here? I know stuff like this simply as one aspect of what is taught by a whole lot of teachers.
Is this really so unusual for some of you - even for those whoe are practicing for such a long time ... - or am I getting something wrong?

As far as uke is concerned: There are certain teachers and schools who teach ukemi by bridging. Over here this is especially popular within the Tendōryū. And there are simply some aikidōka who like to do ukemi this way. I myself don't think this to be a clever position. So I think, it is not something tori does, but a certain way this uke reacts. No miracle here also.

As I have said a couple of times in this thread, I think this kind of demo is about showing something abstract. A technique executed at speed may look like a very linear application of force, while the teacher is actually doing something subtle, so they slow everything down and expand it out so you can see that it's a rather more helical movement. Unless the teacher explicitly states that they are showing an application that should work on an unwilling partner, I assume it is not a demonstration of an application.

And the students, I think, cluelessly believe the teacher is demonstrating a skill, or something that can be "made to happen" without the cooperation of an uke. So then further down the line they naturally believe their teacher can actually do these things, while other teachers making the same type of demo are fake. Perhaps the teachers do or don't help this delusional process along by sucking up the admiration or just refusing to actually tell the students that.

Another problem is that there is a matter of degrees here. What is the difference between allowing your instructor to bend you all the way backwards when you could probably try to roll or turn away, and kicking your feet up into the air so you go flying at the end of a kote-gaeshi or irimi-nage, when you might be able to do something else that would allow you to keep your posture? Why hold on to a wrist that you know is going to perform a technique?

NagaBaba
05-22-2014, 01:30 PM
2/ Nothing unusual here - throwing someone who has intent for harm without touching is usual and not a big deal.

Ok I got it now, sorry for my ignorance.
There is no intent to harm. No intent exist here at all....

Cliff Judge
05-22-2014, 01:50 PM
There is no intent to harm. No intent exist here at all....

Nor in any martial arts training that sane people engage in.

Chris Raihl
05-22-2014, 02:29 PM
As we are splitting hairs allow me to correct myself please;

I should have used the term " train with Vigor" or "train with intent" ( as in intent to teach, intent to learn, intent to be taught etc")

Cliff Judge
05-22-2014, 03:17 PM
I should have used the term " train with Vigor" or "train with intent" ( as in intent to teach, intent to learn, intent to be taught etc")

Well I agree that I don't see a lot of vigor in these videos. Is it always necessary for the instructor to demonstrate with vigor, do you think, or is it ever okay to slow things down and do them with larger movements if you've got something you want to teach?

hughrbeyer
05-25-2014, 09:28 AM
I'm reminded of the story about O-Sensei doing a demo and choosing a high-ranked student to be uke, and that student deciding that attacking sincerely meant attacking full-force, with everything he had. The result being that O-Sensei had to do his techniques for real, and he later bawled the uke out because he wasn't able to show things the way he wanted to show them.

So even O-Sensei, apparently, was interested in showing aspects of his art which were hard or impossible to see in a (more) real self-defense situation. The attacks had to be dialed back a bit in order for him to show them.

Which suggests that in demos like the one in the OP, we shouldn't just be looking for street-fighting level of self defense. If the teacher is actually trying to show something, perhaps some level of collusion is necessary--even if the 'collusion' is just an agreement that the attacks will be less than full-on.

sorokod
05-25-2014, 11:39 AM
Which suggests that in demos like the one in the OP, we shouldn't just be looking for street-fighting level of self defense. If the teacher is actually trying to show something, perhaps some level of collusion is necessary--even if the 'collusion' is just an agreement that the attacks will be less than full-on.

With the general agreement that the demonstrated is not "street-fighting level of self defines", will not stop a burglar and, in my opinion, will not be able to subdue an upset toddler - what is being demonstrated? I am looking for something more substential then general statements about "principals" and "flow of energy".

PeterR
05-25-2014, 12:19 PM
I'm reminded of the story about O-Sensei doing a demo and choosing a high-ranked student to be uke, and that student deciding that attacking sincerely meant attacking full-force, with everything he had. The result being that O-Sensei had to do his techniques for real, and he later bawled the uke out because he wasn't able to show things the way he wanted to show them.

So even O-Sensei, apparently, was interested in showing aspects of his art which were hard or impossible to see in a (more) real self-defense situation. The attacks had to be dialed back a bit in order for him to show them.

Which suggests that in demos like the one in the OP, we shouldn't just be looking for street-fighting level of self defense. If the teacher is actually trying to show something, perhaps some level of collusion is necessary--even if the 'collusion' is just an agreement that the attacks will be less than full-on.

That would be Ohba (those damm Judo guys again) who commented afterwards the Ueshiba was a little stiff. Ohba acknowledged Ueshiba's mastery afterwards as did at least one of the observers, the latter going a long way to calming Ueshiba down. I really don't think that Ueshiba was trying to show anything other than his skill in the most favorable light and an unpredictable uke certainly doesn't help. I never actually understood from any of the stories whether the type of attack was unplanned or just the level of force but I am sure it was not an expectation of tanking that changed. This was a long time before Ueshiba reached an age where this was expected to be done.

The relationship between uke and tori in the video is far from that situation but I do find may observations a little hypocritical. Condemnation seeing it on one hand and refusing to see it on the other. It is (to paraphrase another poster) not my cup of tea but I do see good demonstration of control through body positioning. Putting your body in a position where uke must overextend or pull up short is an art form in itself and very hard to accomplish.

Cliff Judge
05-26-2014, 02:36 PM
With the general agreement that the demonstrated is not "street-fighting level of self defines", will not stop a burglar and, in my opinion, will not be able to subdue an upset toddler - what is being demonstrated? I am looking for something more substential then general statements about "principals" and "flow of energy".

You are interested in knowing what is being demonstrated, but not if it is what is actually being demonstrated?

sorokod
05-27-2014, 01:51 AM
I am interested in your opinion on both.

PeterR
06-03-2014, 04:16 AM
That would be Ohba (those damm Judo guys again) who commented afterwards the Ueshiba was a little stiff. Ohba acknowledged Ueshiba's mastery afterwards as did at least one of the observers, the latter going a long way to calming Ueshiba down. I really don't think that Ueshiba was trying to show anything other than his skill in the most favorable light and an unpredictable uke certainly doesn't help. I never actually understood from any of the stories whether the type of attack was unplanned or just the level of force but I am sure it was not an expectation of tanking that changed. This was a long time before Ueshiba reached an age where this was expected to be done.

The relationship between uke and tori in the video is far from that situation but I do find may observations a little hypocritical. Condemnation seeing it on one hand and refusing to see it on the other. It is (to paraphrase another poster) not my cup of tea but I do see good demonstration of control through body positioning. Putting your body in a position where uke must overextend or pull up short is an art form in itself and very hard to accomplish.

Answering my own post (bad) but this was posted on a Tomiki aikido study group page https://vimeo.com/97201380 and shows a very interesting demo with a flavor far removed from much of what we see today. This is something we could use a return to - less compliant uke's - techniques that actually look like they are working.

Cliff Judge
06-03-2014, 09:56 AM
Answering my own post (bad) but this was posted on a Tomiki aikido study group page https://vimeo.com/97201380 and shows a very interesting demo with a flavor far removed from much of what we see today. This is something we could use a return to - less compliant uke's - techniques that actually look like they are working.

These are certainly more lively, serious attacks. The initial timing and spacing seems to be entirely unplanned. I think this is one of the best ways to do regular training.

But as far as demonstration goes - whether embu or more of a "lecture" such as a shihan might do at a seminar - I think there are issues.

First of all, the students are going to see technique, technique technique. They are going to break off and practice the arm bar, or the choke, or the leg sweep. If the teacher is trying to get them to shift their weight a certain way, or take their uke's balance in a certain way, he is going to have to deal with the fact that most people on the mat are not going to be listening to him. This is a problem, and I believe that the type of "that would never actually work" demo we are debating in this thread is the solution that has evolved.

Second, less of a concern perhaps, but I am still seeing the uke in this 1956 Tomiki video throwing one attack and then hanging out and waiting to get thrown / dealt with. Tomiki is not waiting around very long and acting like he somehow stunned uke into hanging out, but uke is still doing one attack, then expecting to get thrown. He is not engaging as a fighter would. Obviously this is still a demonstration and not a match, but I am just saying, people from fighting arts that don't like kata are still going to gripe about that. It's not truly getting away from "compliant uke syndrome" if you think that's a problem.

PeterR
06-03-2014, 10:10 AM
A demo will always demand a certain compliance/cooperation between uke and tori. That is a given.

How much we should expect and be happy with - is another question.

RonRagusa
06-03-2014, 10:15 AM
These are certainly more lively, serious attacks. The initial timing and spacing seems to be entirely unplanned.

The attacks are faster, yes. Serious? Since uke doesn't follow up with anything after each grab and over commits to each strike, I don't think so. And the timing and spacing are totally left up to uke since nage just stands there until uke has launched his attack despite the fact that uke plainly intends to do something more than just shake hands. Uke's body language and movement clearly foreshadow his intent.

Ron

PeterR
06-03-2014, 10:29 AM
Well if it isn't clear - this is the Kodokan Goshin Jutsu kata being demonstrated.

Being a kata there is a defined role for uke and tori - it is not a fight.

Chris Raihl
06-03-2014, 11:14 AM
Answering my own post (bad) but this was posted on a Tomiki aikido study group page https://vimeo.com/97201380 and shows a very interesting demo with a flavor far removed from much of what we see today. This is something we could use a return to - less compliant uke's - techniques that actually look like they are working.

This video is fantastic - I had not seen this video before. Thanks for posting it.

I do not see a problem with an attack and waiting for the technique to be demonstrated. For the purpose of education it is important to have the Uke receive the technique as it were. What this video shows however is the mechanic and physics of the technique being applied with "intent". Both parties benefit from this type of training as do we from being able to enjoy it decades later.

Carsten Möllering
06-03-2014, 11:23 AM
Being a kata there is a defined role for uke and tori - it is not a fight.So what is the difference you want to point out in regard to the video that startedt this thread?
Sorry, but I didn't get your point here.

PeterR
06-03-2014, 11:38 AM
So what is the difference you want to point out in regard to the video that startedt this thread?
Sorry, but I didn't get your point here.

Well the thread has evolved so perhaps the connection is not so direct between the videos at the beginning- but I think the degree of uke compliance is the most telling. The feeling I get with the Tomiki video is that uke is being done rather than uke doing. My general opinion is that with many demonstrations uke is working too hard to make tori look good.

NagaBaba
06-03-2014, 01:02 PM
The attacks are faster, yes. Serious? Since uke doesn't follow up with anything after each grab and over commits to each strike, I don't think so. And the timing and spacing are totally left up to uke since nage just stands there until uke has launched his attack despite the fact that uke plainly intends to do something more than just shake hands. Uke's body language and movement clearly foreshadow his intent.

Ron

Even if you addressed some good points, on that kind of attacks nage has to do some work to throw or control attacker, and not any amount of mysterious aiki bunny hands waving will help much LOL

I'd love to see all you KI masters with uke like that :) Immediately all Ki myths would fall down with big noise...

Carsten Möllering
06-03-2014, 01:42 PM
The feeling I get with the Tomiki video is that uke is being done rather than uke doing. My general opinion is that with many demonstrations uke is working too hard to make tori look good.Ahh thank, get what you mean, it figures.

This ist really, really interesting!!!
My impression - it's just me an my horizon and just my impression - is exactly the other way round!

In the goshin jutsu no kata I see an uke who adapt to the needs of tori, so he can perform the kata in a good way.
In the videos that started the thread I see an uke who does not know, what will happen and who has to be (and is) moved by tori.

Interesting! Thank you for posting and commenting the Tomiki vid!

RonRagusa
06-03-2014, 02:30 PM
I'd love to see all you KI masters with uke like that :)

You might want to drop the "you" from the above sentence. I'm not and have never claimed to be a "KI" master, whatever that may be.

Ron

NagaBaba
06-03-2014, 02:52 PM
You might want to drop the "you" from the above sentence. I'm not and have never claimed to be a "KI" master, whatever that may be.

Ron
Sure, it was not addressed to you personally.

RonRagusa
06-03-2014, 02:57 PM
Sure, it was not addressed to you personally.

Thanks for the clarification Szczepan.

Ron

Cliff Judge
06-04-2014, 01:08 PM
The Goshin Jutsu kata have always seemed quirky to me. Uke is not propelling himself along according o what tori is doing, no. But in some of the kata there is this one-two thing where tori will take uke's balance, then extend him out. That seems like an opening to me. The koryu jujutsu I have trained in tends to not have that, it will be one complex movement.

sorokod
06-05-2014, 04:44 AM
Another demo, this is Saito Morihiro sensei doing a "lecture" style presentation the subject beeing Irimi. The ukes cooperate fully by taking morotedori, katatedori, ryotedori etc... to facilitate the demonstration. This doesn't take away from the sharpness, severity and martial integrity of the presentation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxMJeZp1SvQ

MRoh
06-05-2014, 07:18 AM
My general opinion is that with many demonstrations uke is working too hard to make tori look good.

In the entrying videos you can see a uke, who is bothering to follow toris movement and to hold the contact in a very limber way, not everybody is able to do it like this. So his reaction is one part due to his flexibility. On the other Hand he is is well-rehearsed to the movements of his teacher, so there will be no real surprising actions for him.

If uke is compliant in this special way, tori can do things that make the demonstration look like it does, but to move uke in this way with little or no effort is also not so easy as it looks like.
Its just a kind of practice that helps to achieve body skills, not a demonstration of magical power.
Wheather tori could do it in the same way with a stiff and uncompliant uke, is not really important, of course he couldn't. Maybe he would impress uke in some way, but it certainly wouldn't look like it does in the video.

It is not easy to compare this with the tomiki-video, but in this one tori has to deal with real attacking force, whereas in the first Videos uke does nothing than react to toris movements.

PeterR
06-05-2014, 07:53 AM
In the entrying videos you can see a uke, who is bothering to follow toris movement and to hold the contact in a very limber way, not everybody is able to do it like this. So his reaction is one part due to his flexibility. On the other Hand he is is well-rehearsed to the movements of his teacher, so there will be no real surprising actions for him.

If uke is compliant in this special way, tori can do things that make the demonstration look like it does, but to move uke in this way with little or no effort is also not so easy as it looks like.
Its just a kind of practice that helps to achieve body skills, not a demonstration of magical power.
Wheather tori could do it in the same way with a stiff and uncompliant uke, is not really important, of course he couldn't. Maybe he would impress uke in some way, but it certainly wouldn't look like it does in the video.

It is not easy to compare this with the tomiki-video, but in this one tori has to deal with real attacking force, whereas in the first Videos uke does nothing than react to toris movements.

Markus;

If you read back to my first posting on the vids I say pretty much the same thing. I see value in that sort of demonstration and training and my real problem is for those that see compliance on one hand and say how terrible it is and then refuse to see it elsewhere. The truth is I saw the Tomiki video and wanted to post it somewhere, anywhere, and this thread seemed like a good choice.

In both cases, uke has a role to play and success in my opinion is when it does not appear to be contrived. If uke looks like he is working too hard to make tori look good - then something is wrong. The Tomiki video shows, again in my opinion, a good example of where uke not being too obvious. Although if one looks hard, and as other people have pointed out, there are instances where he cold have done better. I thought the ushiro-ate was an obvious fall for example.

MRoh
06-05-2014, 08:35 AM
In both cases, uke has a role to play and success in my opinion is when it does not appear to be contrived. If uke looks like he is working too hard to make tori look good - then something is wrong.

In the case that somebody wants to show that he can fight or control an offender, I agree completely.

But success measures according to what you want to present. If you want to show good movements, you depend on your Partner. So if I don't know the Intention, I can't assess what I see.
I only can say wheather I like it or not.

PeterR
06-05-2014, 09:16 AM
But success measures according to what you want to present. If you want to show good movements, you depend on your Partner.
Ah but then it becomes dance. :D

MRoh
06-05-2014, 09:53 AM
Ah but then it becomes dance. :D

Yes it may look like, but dancing requires hard and intesive bodytraining also.

So one can practice different forms, the one for real fighting, and the other for training the body-skills that are needed.
We have in our training this differentiation, forms that can build up the connections in the body and open the Joints which are influenced by masmichi noros kinomichi, and forms for real application.
If you see only the "dancing-forms", you will see only half and get a limited impression.
Of course some people say it's dance, but our teacher takes it as a compliment, because it means for him we have a high quality of movement.

Cliff Judge
06-05-2014, 01:31 PM
Another demo, this is Saito Morihiro sensei doing a "lecture" style presentation the subject beeing Irimi. The ukes cooperate fully by taking morotedori, katatedori, ryotedori etc... to facilitate the demonstration. This doesn't take away from the sharpness, severity and martial integrity of the presentation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxMJeZp1SvQ

What is really so different between this demo and the ones of Kanaya Sensei?

Saito Sensei's ukes do not fully resist him. They do not let go of him. They don't try to reorganize themselves - which I admit is a rather silly thought.

One thing that I see time and time again in Saito Sensei videos is his uke kicking their legs up into the air to take a fall.

I believe that they do these things because they are taking part in a demonstration or teaching, and they in fact are offering themselves to Sensei so that he can clearly show the principal he is trying to illustrate. And because he wouldn't call them up if they acted as a real person would who was really trying to attack him, it would be rude and selfish and pointless. There is also the fact that it might hurt quite a bit more to not get yourself into a proper fall when Saito Sensei drops his weight on you...but that's assuming you've held on to him when he starts moving.

Anyway, to me that's pretty much the same interaction as what the original videos were showing.

Cliff Judge
06-05-2014, 01:36 PM
Ah but then it becomes dance. :D

Lately I have been enjoying this aspect of Aikido the most, when I can get it.

RonRagusa
06-05-2014, 02:20 PM
Another demo, this is Saito Morihiro sensei doing a "lecture" style presentation the subject beeing Irimi. The ukes cooperate fully by taking morotedori, katatedori, ryotedori etc... to facilitate the demonstration. This doesn't take away from the sharpness, severity and martial integrity of the presentation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxMJeZp1SvQ

Sharpness... yes, severity... yes. Martial integrity? By what criteria are you judging the martial integrity of what's being shown in that demo? The ukes don't resist, they don't follow up their attacks, they over commit. It seems that you are equating martial integrity with the fact that Saito sensei is throwing his ukes with a lot of force.

I understand that it's a demonstration but so is what's being shown in the OP's videos. It's too bad we can't hear what Kanaya Shihan is saying; context might make the images more meaningful. In any event, both the Kanaya and Saito videos have in common: they are demonstrations and the ukes are clearly cooperating with their teachers. I think it's equally obvious that both teachers are presenting different ideas and using Aikido as a vehicle to illustrate their thoughts.

Ron

PeterR
06-05-2014, 02:22 PM
Lately I have been enjoying this aspect of Aikido the most, when I can get it.

Wasn't Bruce Lee big on ballroom dancing?

I've used the dance analogy many times to get a point across - usually about zanshin.

Carl Thompson
06-05-2014, 04:57 PM
The ukes don't resist, they don't follow up their attacks, they over commit. It seems that you are equating martial integrity with the fact that Saito sensei is throwing his ukes with a lot of force.

Can the ukes really resist or follow up their attacks? I never trained with Saito Sensei, but from what I can tell, the ukes are getting launched despite requisite resistance and readiness to counter. I also don't get what you're saying about over-commitment in attacks. By the end of the clip, it is Saito who is initiating the technique, before they can even start an attack. At the beginning they are showing kotai-form with the morote-dori. At worst I'd say one uke accidentally leans forward a bit too much to make it harder for Saito (dangerous for the uke, since he's open to a strike). Later, they progress to ryutai-form. I know Saito did lots of training for proper attacks and not over-committing was included as part of the drill for kokyu (for example, if you miss, you should never be off-balance if you're using kokyu).

It looks to me like "proper" resistance (http://www.iwama-aikido.com/archive/resist.html) would be futile at any stage here while what was shown in the Kanaya video would fall apart if he were grabbed the same way by either of Saito's uke.

The dance-like, cooperative practice in the Kanaya video would not cultivate the same martial principles that were shown in the Saito video.

hughrbeyer
06-05-2014, 09:56 PM
...One thing that I see time and time again in Saito Sensei videos is his uke kicking their legs up into the air to take a fall.

Let me kick off this remark for my response, since it illustrates a point I want to make.

I've found myself "kicking up my legs" when taking ukemi from my sensei, and it's not to make him look good. It's because he's drawn me out and I know, from bitter experience, that the next move is a fist to the face. The most important thing in my mind at that point is to get my face out of range. Letting go isn't an option--his fist is already moving face-ward. So the flashy ukemi is really just self-defense--it's just that since the fist-to-the-face movement is never completed, it looks like compliance.

It is true that there's a social compact here. I deliver one attack, with full intent, and I protect myself after the attack. I don't deliver a second followup attack (as a boxer would); I don't go all rigid and block tori's response (because that would leave me open in a million ways, but tori would have to alter his technique which does not make for a clean demo or clean practice); and I don't just noodle out of there (which is martially stupid).

So the question Cliff raised is very much on point--if uke delivers an attack and then just hangs out waiting for tori's response, that's not good. Perhaps tori, for demo purposes, is separating the initial de-ai from the technique which follows. Fine, but I'd prefer to see uke visibly off-balance at that point. (Again, the social compact is that uke does not shuffle their feet to correct their balance, or do other moves that would not be possible at real speed.) I don't see that in these videos.

At the other end of the spectrum, the initial Kanaya videos show uke off balance from the first moment--sometimes before. Maybe uke is tanking. Maybe uke is responding flexibly to what tori is doing. Maybe uke is sensitive enough to respond before tori makes contact. I dunno, that's the limitation of video.

My bet is that Kanaya is showing some real skill and exaggerating it for the camera. He's taking what's really internal and making it external so people can see it--which, paradoxically, means it's no longer real. And his uke is showing some skill in being able to stay connected in even totally compromised positions, even though again it's exaggerated for the cameras. The danger for both is that they get so enamored of the exaggeration that they mistake it for the real thing.

[This post brought to you by Green Flash Brewing Company Trippel Ale. Any grammatical or spelling errors, or logical inconsistencies, or general incoherence are the entire responsibility of Green Flash Brewing.]

hughrbeyer
06-05-2014, 10:03 PM
P.S. Aargh, once again bit by the forum's pagination. I blame it on Green Flash. Just to say I think Carl's points are very well taken also, especially the progression from kotai to ryutai. Where we differ is that I think the original video shows enough hints of advanced, real skill that I think they've moved beyond kotai, but that's a guess. Saito Sensei's demonstration of the progression is valuable.

sorokod
06-06-2014, 05:52 AM
Sharpness... yes, severity... yes. Martial integrity? By what criteria are you judging the martial integrity of what's being shown in that demo? The ukes don't resist, they don't follow up their attacks, they over commit. It seems that you are equating martial integrity with the fact that Saito sensei is throwing his ukes with a lot of force.

I understand that it's a demonstration but so is what's being shown in the OP's videos. It's too bad we can't hear what Kanaya Shihan is saying; context might make the images more meaningful. In any event, both the Kanaya and Saito videos have in common: they are demonstrations and the ukes are clearly cooperating with their teachers. I think it's equally obvious that both teachers are presenting different ideas and using Aikido as a vehicle to illustrate their thoughts.

Ron

By what criteria are you judging the martial integrity of what's being shown in that demo?

The following works for me.

In a physical conflict, the sides attempt to achieve a goal while minimising damage, this imposes constraints on what is reasonable and possible.

Having integrity is to recognise and operate within those constraints.

I understand that it's a demonstration but so is what's being shown in the OP's videos

That is true, in the same sense that a meal at McDonalds and a meal in a Michelin stared restaurant are both meals.

Cliff Judge
06-06-2014, 09:18 AM
The dance-like, cooperative practice in the Kanaya video would not cultivate the same martial principles that were shown in the Saito video.

Why do you call that "practice"?

Cliff Judge
06-06-2014, 09:25 AM
My bet is that Kanaya is showing some real skill and exaggerating it for the camera. He's taking what's really internal and making it external so people can see it

In my opinion, this is exactly what Aikido is and what it is best at. That's why I think these demos are pretty good.

Carsten Möllering
06-07-2014, 05:21 AM
It seems to me we simply have different images of what aikidō is and as a consequence what it should look like.
- So, I like the most forms of aikidō that looke like kind of taijiquan or qigong or yoga. Something like that: Smooth, gentle, calm. Showing movement and stillness as one, the work of in and yo, tanden, aiki within tori ... things like that.
So Saito sensei or the Tomiki video simply don't match my - not saying the - image of aikidō that is in me and what I am striving for.

Also we seem to have different images of what "martial" means therefor do not agree about how it can be spotted watching an embu.
- I know from experience that this soft and tender way of connecting to a struggling, fighting opponent can actually bring him to the ground against his will. And I know this not only from playing around in the dōjō. In my case being very small and not very strong, it even works more reliable then other methods. So maybe I indentify certain things as "martial" that others don't

Finally I think we have different oppinions of the relevance of that martial aspect besides the other facets of aikidō.
- For me by now it is most important to see a spiritual dimension when a teacher demonstrates. I expect not to see only his physical body, but also his energetic and his spiritual body. I try to get which feeling his embu creates in me: Does it make me calm and centered or does he bring my qi up or disperse it?
To me the martial aspect of aikidō is not the only aspect. And - at least currently - not the most important.

Lately I have been enjoying this aspect of Aikido the most, when I can get it.
Yes!

mjhacker
05-02-2017, 09:36 AM
I used to train regularly with Kanaya-san back in the late 80s and early 90s, usually at his home dojo on his property or at the Hachinohe Budokan (which was conveniently located directly across the street from my then-girlfriend's apartment). To say that what he's doing in this videos is very (very) different from what I remember of him would be an understatement.

The best way I could describe the Kanaya-san of that time is as an unmovable side of beef. He had arms like my legs and there was almost nothing a 20-something year old me could do to get him to move. I find the change in his approach interesting.

I haven't seen or spoken to Kanaya-san since about 1993. While I don't get back to Japan much these days (let alone Aomori-ken), I'd love to reconnect with him and chat someday. If you see or talk to him, please send him my regards. It's hard to imagine he could forget the only red-haired Japanese speaking white boy in Aomori-ken, but it's entirely possible. I think I still have a picture somewhere in the Ippai Mori Dojo with his (then-little) kids riding on my shoulders.