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akiy
07-14-2014, 11:31 AM
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Here's an aikido video of Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) in 1968 teaching at Aikikai Hombu Dojo.

From its description: Filmed in 1968 by Mr. Pierre Holzacker at Aikikai Hombu Dojo (Tokyo). This film was discovered in Israel in 2014 by Ms. Carole Habib - daughter of Pierre Holzacker - French Air France pilot who practiced Aikido with his wife Esther in France in the 1960'. Pierre and Esther Holzacker were students of the Late Tsuda Itsuo Sensei.

What are your thoughts on this video?

-- Jun

reza.n
07-14-2014, 12:33 PM
Those are the purest kokyuho and kokyu-nage I've ever seen.
The shiho-nage and irimi-nage which were performed by O-Sensei are just like magic and they're a true demonstration of using Ki.
Thanks for the link.

Michael Douglas
07-14-2014, 01:58 PM
Amazing.

Really.

tarik
07-14-2014, 03:17 PM
Pretty cool to see new footage.

JP3
07-14-2014, 06:42 PM
Hey, the old guy moved pretty good, huh!

Sorry, but that's what I said out loud here sitting with it blown up on my 24" screen. I just WISH I could flow like that.

Mihaly Dobroka
07-14-2014, 09:07 PM
It is very good to see a new footage of the Founder. I have heard that there are some never before seen footage in the store of Hombu Dojo too. Anyway this video of fantastic!

Thank you for sharing!

Mihaly

ze'ev erlich
07-15-2014, 03:59 AM
Please enjoy all three clips from the newly discovered film with O-Sensei:
http://budothought.blogspot.co.il/2014/07/three-new-films-of-o-sensei-discovered.html

akiy
07-15-2014, 11:04 AM
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Here is part 2.

-- Jun

David Orange
07-15-2014, 12:39 PM
What a wonderful gift. A series of close moments with O Sensei the year before he died. He's like a black hole drawing all mental energies into himself. Yet he brilliantly returns it all. The movement is so perfect and the spirit is so kind. His teaching appears deeply penetrating. It's no wonder people loved him. Even 25 years after O Sensei's death, Mochizuki sensei spoke of him with a longing reverence. This little bit of new old film is a very nice series of examples of why. Deep thanks for posting these clips.

akiy
07-16-2014, 01:20 PM
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Here is part 3 (of 3) of this series of videos of Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) in 1968 teaching at Aikikai Hombu Dojo.

From its description: Filmed in 1968 by Mr. Pierre Holzacker at Aikikai Hombu Dojo (Tokyo). This film was discovered in Israel in 2014 by Ms. Carole Habib - daughter of Pierre Holzacker - French Air France pilot who practiced Aikido with his wife Esther in France in the 1960'. Pierre and Esther Holzacker were students of the Late Tsuda Itsuo Sensei.

-- Jun

Tore Eriksson
07-17-2014, 08:05 AM
Here is part 2.

I'm struck by how similar Nishio-sensei's sword work was to what O-sensei displays in this clip.

Ellis Amdur
08-11-2014, 05:48 PM
A friend of mine, Antoine Camilleri, wrote to me regarding this set of tapes:

I'm surprised at how sprightly his footwork was at 85 yrs of age! In some instances the coiling/uncoiling of his body is very overt, even exaggerated, for teaching purposes I presume. , , , Strangely it seems to me that he was as if unaware of being caught on camera. Hence he was much more at ease and natural than what is shown on old clips, and here he seemed to be actually trying hard to teach while showing the physical art, stopping frequently to explain verbally as if punctuating a pertinent point!

Antoine makes a really good point here. Ueshiba looks more agile, in some ways, than he does in the pre-war Osaka tapes. I wonder if this is true - that, unaware of the camera, he stops posing (one has a sense that he was very aware of the cameras to the point of vanity). It underscores how fraught the idea that one can define someone's skill by what is shown in a few films. Here we see some aspects of Ueshiba's skill that are not seen in the more staged demos on film.

Ellis Amdur

ryback
08-14-2014, 10:17 PM
The footage is really valuable because it has never been seen before...
Now, this been said it is a footage that should have stayed hidden and buried.
It is very obvious that at the time O' sensei was very old (and maybe very ill also) so although he is using his ki and kokyu principles and moves rather vigorously for his age, for the most part what I see are uke falling on their own, trying to make o'sensei's life little...easier.
He should have been protected by his students and not exposed like that.
It is these kind of footage that make aikido look fake and staged and not effective.
Still, thanx for sharing...

Ellis Amdur
08-14-2014, 11:46 PM
I do not think I have ever seen a video of Ueshiba in which his uke do not "tank." You see Yonekawa Shigemi taking falls in the 1936 Osaka video that would do one of Watanabe sensei's uke proud. That's part of aikido, part of its essence. That's why Ueshiba was furious at Ohba Hideo, in the famous demonstration at the 10th anniversary of the "founding" of Manchukuo. OHba, thinking it a mark of respect, attacked for real. Per the Aikido Journal article regarding him, he stated that "Ueshiba was a little stiff but he knew then he was in the presence of a true master." What is significant is that Ueshiba was absolutely furious with him until he was mollified by the praise of a well-known naginata teacher, who, essentially said that she'd never seen something so "for real." The irony is that, despite the praise, which pleased him, that was NOT what Ueshiba wanted to do, and he continued to expect and require compliant uke throughout. To be clear - Ueshiba's aikido required compliant uke.---Ueshiba could definitely function without compliant uke, but that's what he wanted when he presented and when he taught.

Personally, I'm decades beyond watching a film of Ueshiba for martial techniques or realistic fighting simulation. I'm watching how he uses his body. His uke are simply tools for his own study. To be sure, I am uninterested with the arm-waving no-touch throws, be they done by Ueshiba or anyone else (I think the shin-taido people do it far better and more elegantly). But what he is doing when there is body contact is remarkable.

There are some moments that Ueshiba truly shows some internal strength and technique that would be something to be proud of at any age. For just one example, the hara atemi at 2:15 of the first video. There are a lot more such moments.

Ellis Amdur

Bernd Lehnen
08-15-2014, 05:59 AM
I do not think I have ever seen a video of Ueshiba in which his uke do not "tank." You see Yonekawa Shigemi taking falls in the 1936 Osaka video that would do one of Watanabe sensei's uke proud. That's part of aikido, part of its essence. That's why Ueshiba was furious at Ohba Hideo, in the famous demonstration at the 10th anniversary of the "founding" of Manchukuo. OHba, thinking it a mark of respect, attacked for real. Per the Aikido Journal article regarding him, he stated that "Ueshiba was a little stiff but he knew then he was in the presence of a true master." What is significant is that Ueshiba was absolutely furious with him until he was mollified by the praise of a well-known naginata teacher, who, essentially said that she'd never seen something so "for real." The irony is that, despite the praise, which pleased him, that was NOT what Ueshiba wanted to do, and he continued to expect and require compliant uke throughout. To be clear - Ueshiba's aikido required compliant uke.---Ueshiba could definitely function without compliant uke, but that's what he wanted when he presented and when he taught.

Personally, I'm decades beyond watching a film of Ueshiba for martial techniques or realistic fighting simulation. I'm watching how he uses his body. His uke are simply tools for his own study. To be sure, I am uninterested with the arm-waving no-touch throws, be they done by Ueshiba or anyone else (I think the shin-taido people do it far better and more elegantly). But what he is doing when there is body contact is remarkable.

There are some moments that Ueshiba truly shows some internal strength and technique that would be something to be proud of at any age. For just one example, the hare atemi at 2:15 of the first video. There are a lot more such moments.

Ellis Amdur

At long last, that's an honest view, really. Long overdue. Thank you for sharing, Ellis. Who else would have dared.
It's also how I've come to see things.

Best wishes,
Bernd

ryback
08-15-2014, 11:52 AM
I do not think I have ever seen a video of Ueshiba in which his uke do not "tank." You see Yonekawa Shigemi taking falls in the 1936 Osaka video that would do one of Watanabe sensei's uke proud. That's part of aikido, part of its essence. That's why Ueshiba was furious at Ohba Hideo, in the famous demonstration at the 10th anniversary of the "founding" of Manchukuo. OHba, thinking it a mark of respect, attacked for real. Per the Aikido Journal article regarding him, he stated that "Ueshiba was a little stiff but he knew then he was in the presence of a true master." What is significant is that Ueshiba was absolutely furious with him until he was mollified by the praise of a well-known naginata teacher, who, essentially said that she'd never seen something so "for real." The irony is that, despite the praise, which pleased him, that was NOT what Ueshiba wanted to do, and he continued to expect and require compliant uke throughout. To be clear - Ueshiba's aikido required compliant uke.---Ueshiba could definitely function without compliant uke, but that's what he wanted when he presented and when he taught.

Personally, I'm decades beyond watching a film of Ueshiba for martial techniques or realistic fighting simulation. I'm watching how he uses his body. His uke are simply tools for his own study. To be sure, I am uninterested with the arm-waving no-touch throws, be they done by Ueshiba or anyone else (I think the shin-taido people do it far better and more elegantly). But what he is doing when there is body contact is remarkable.

There are some moments that Ueshiba truly shows some internal strength and technique that would be something to be proud of at any age. For just one example, the hare atemi at 2:15 of the first video. There are a lot more such moments.

Ellis Amdur

Well, what o sensei did or didn't do, what he wanted or not does not define in any way the nature of aikido.
Aikido is Budo in it's essence and if one cannot make it work effectively then it's better to take up aerobic or dancing and forget about it.
If one watches the videos of Steven Seagal sensei, Larry Reynossa sensei or Haruo Matsuoka sensei it becomes pretty obvious that this is the effective approach to aikido. It's principles and techniques pre dated O sensei or even Sokaku Takeda by centuries and the fact that Ueshiba gave aikido it's name doesn't make him the art's creator, only a very important link in a huge lineage of warriors who happened to be the art's modern expressionist.
What is aikido's essence and what were o'sensei's choices, are two very different things.

tarik
08-15-2014, 01:03 PM
I do not think I have ever seen a video of Ueshiba in which his uke do not "tank." You see Yonekawa Shigemi taking falls in the 1936 Osaka video that would do one of Watanabe sensei's uke proud. That's part of aikido, part of its essence. That's why Ueshiba was furious at Ohba Hideo, in the famous demonstration at the 10th anniversary of the "founding" of Manchukuo. OHba, thinking it a mark of respect, attacked for real. Per the Aikido Journal article regarding him, he stated that "Ueshiba was a little stiff but he knew then he was in the presence of a true master." What is significant is that Ueshiba was absolutely furious with him until he was mollified by the praise of a well-known naginata teacher, who, essentially said that she'd never seen something so "for real." The irony is that, despite the praise, which pleased him, that was NOT what Ueshiba wanted to do, and he continued to expect and require compliant uke throughout. To be clear - Ueshiba's aikido required compliant uke.---Ueshiba could definitely function without compliant uke, but that's what he wanted when he presented and when he taught.

Personally, I'm decades beyond watching a film of Ueshiba for martial techniques or realistic fighting simulation. I'm watching how he uses his body. His uke are simply tools for his own study. To be sure, I am uninterested with the arm-waving no-touch throws, be they done by Ueshiba or anyone else (I think the shin-taido people do it far better and more elegantly). But what he is doing when there is body contact is remarkable.

There are some moments that Ueshiba truly shows some internal strength and technique that would be something to be proud of at any age. For just one example, the hara atemi at 2:15 of the first video. There are a lot more such moments.

Ellis Amdur

I agree completely with these statements.

It's not for me, but I think it's fine for people to practice this way [with compliant uke] if that's what they want to do and they admit it to themselves and their students. It's not for me simply because I think such compliant training significantly stalls or even prevents the learning of martial skill sets.

Even when training with a (relatively) more mainstream aikido group, I have never been one who thinks Ueshiba's skills were magical or greater than human (or not attained or exceeded by others), but I think what Ueshiba displays here is interesting despite the tanking uke. My only sadness is that I truly believe that one can keep increasing their skill set well into this age range if they have uke who give better feedback than simply falling down without being touched. How good would his skills have been in the training paradigm was tweaked to allow him more feedback? <shrug> It doesn't matter now.

Regards,

Tarik

Cliff Judge
08-16-2014, 05:40 AM
if that's what they want to do and they admit it to themselves and their students. It's not for me simply because I think such compliant training significantly stalls or even prevents the learning of martial skill

Some martial skill sets. Compliant ukes help considerably with others, though.

tarik
08-16-2014, 10:27 AM
Some martial skill sets. Compliant ukes help considerably with others, though.

Language is always difficult. Cooperation is not the same as compliance IMO.

It's really a whole new thread.

Let's say we want our uke to be compliant. Compliant with what? Falling down and 'respecting my ki'? Making it difficult for me to achieve a technique?

Our training goals together, or yakusoku are what we should both be "compliant" with. That should include honest feedback. One (among many) reasonable agreements should be, "if I can do it, I should" with in the rest of the agreed upon ruleset.

I don't think falling down out of respect, or because I'm afraid I'll be sandbagged and then scolded for not respecting someone's ki is a good way for me to practice. A good partner can put me down without hurting me.

Best,

kewms
08-16-2014, 12:33 PM
What are you training? If the goal is to practice a specific technique, then at the minimum uke needs to attack in a way that allows that particular technique. If the goal is to practice free movement, then uke's movement needs to be free as well. Conversely, if the goal is to learn how to move a grounded, centered opponent from a static position, then uke needs to be grounded and centered.

I always remind people that uke is studying aikido, too. If you know what technique is coming, it's not that difficult to create a situation where nage is forced to do something else. And in some circumstances that's the appropriate thing to do. But you don't learn how to fall by refusing to be thrown, and you don't learn how to feel (and ultimately reverse) a technique by preventing it from happening.

Teaching situations are different, too. If I'm trying to explain something, it helps for uke to allow me to do whatever it is. Otherwise, I get to explain where uke's openings are, or the options for henka waza if the original technique is blocked. Which is fine for my own training, but not necessarily something that I want to show in that particular class.

Katherine

NagaBaba
08-18-2014, 09:05 AM
I always remind people that uke is studying aikido, too. If you know what technique is coming, it's not that difficult to create a situation where nage is forced to do something else. And in some circumstances that's the appropriate thing to do. But you don't learn how to fall by refusing to be thrown, and you don't learn how to feel (and ultimately reverse) a technique by preventing it from happening.

Teaching situations are different, too. If I'm trying to explain something, it helps for uke to allow me to do whatever it is. Otherwise, I get to explain where uke's openings are, or the options for henka waza if the original technique is blocked. Which is fine for my own training, but not necessarily something that I want to show in that particular class.

Katherine
There are a lot of contradiction in this approach.

First, i.e. in judo competition, particularly at very high level, your adversary knows very well what are your favorite techniques(and they are 2 or 3 max) and despite of this fact, in 99% of cases, you are able to apply them successfully. So it is not a good excuse for aikidoka either, judo players fully resist and counter in every second.

Second, if your partner in aikido always falling down, you don't know what opening is. It is not theoretical concept, perception of the opening must be developed physically with the eyes and with different senses of the body and mind, and not only understood intellectually from your lecture :)

Cliff Judge
08-18-2014, 09:38 AM
Second, if your partner in aikido always falling down, you don't know what opening is. It is not theoretical concept, perception of the opening must be developed physically with the eyes and with different senses of the body and mind, and not only understood intellectually from your lecture :)

This is not true at all. Whether or not uke decides to take a fall, and no matter to what degree they resist before choosing to fall, nage can readily tell the difference between that they have caused and what uke has caused. Its not a difficult thing.

PeterR
08-18-2014, 09:54 AM
This is not true at all. Whether or not uke decides to take a fall, and no matter to what degree they resist before choosing to fall, nage can readily tell the difference between that they have caused and what uke has caused. Its not a difficult thing.

Not untrue at all either. Human nature fosters self delusion and without feed-back it is very easy to fall into that trap. I am sure that the extremes can be picked up by anyone - but there is a whole grey area.

NagaBaba
08-18-2014, 10:31 AM
This is not true at all. Whether or not uke decides to take a fall, and no matter to what degree they resist before choosing to fall, nage can readily tell the difference between that they have caused and what uke has caused. Its not a difficult thing.

Usually what you see when uke is falling by himself, nage is not getting any feedback in the moment of entering into the technique, because uke is anticipating nage movements very early and following hypothetical path of the technique without any threat from nage side.

This lack of sensory feedback is a clear source of illusion of greatness we find so often in many aikido dojo. This illusion is created because of the repeating experience - so nage affirm himself that yes, many times uke fall down in this situation so the way of executing technique must be correct.

The key moment here that was missed here is HOW / WHEN / WHERE nage has to enter into uke attack. The information needed to make correct decision must be acquired by repeated try/error process. If nage never get error message during this process(because uke is always falling by himself), he can't discover personally what opening is.

NagaBaba
08-18-2014, 10:39 AM
Another point is, when you enter into real opening, there is no resistance. To be able to discover opening, you need to experience resistance when you enter into wrong direction. So when uke is always tanking, this will be impossible. As a consequence, you may live all your life in the illusion of doing 'REAL' aikido :)

kewms
08-18-2014, 10:41 AM
There are a lot of contradiction in this approach.

First, i.e. in judo competition, particularly at very high level, your adversary knows very well what are your favorite techniques(and they are 2 or 3 max) and despite of this fact, in 99% of cases, you are able to apply them successfully. So it is not a good excuse for aikidoka either, judo players fully resist and counter in every second.

From the little bit of judo I've watched, I would say "99%" is an extreme overestimate of the number of techniques successfully applied in high level competition.

Aikido is also not a competition. In a real situation, the attacker *won't* know what you are going to do.

Second, if your partner in aikido always falling down, you don't know what opening is. It is not theoretical concept, perception of the opening must be developed physically with the eyes and with different senses of the body and mind, and not only understood intellectually from your lecture :)

Here, as in all discussions of this kind, it's necessary to consider the relative levels of the partners. Certainly yudansha should be practicing differently from beginners.

Katherine

sorokod
08-18-2014, 11:03 AM
From the little bit of judo I've watched, ...


Judoka tend to have a set of "few" strong techniques which they use repeatedly. When preparing for a competition, one makes it his business to know what those techniques are for the opponent.

Naturally different Judoka will have different "strong sets".

kewms
08-18-2014, 11:52 AM
Judoka tend to have a set of "few" strong techniques which they use repeatedly. When preparing for a competition, one makes it his business to know what those techniques are for the opponent.

Naturally different Judoka will have different "strong sets".

Right. And in what fraction of matches is one able to apply one's "strong" techniques successfully?

The few statistics I was able to find put the ippon rate at the 2012 olympics at about 30%. Presumably some additional fraction of attempts leads to partial success, meaning a score but not an ippon. Still, hardly the 99% success rate that was claimed.

(Note that a henka waza is NOT a successful application of the original technique. It's a sign that the defender's response created a different opening, which was sort of my original point.)

And, again, not a statistic that's relevant outside of competitive scenarios anyway.

Katherine

PeterR
08-18-2014, 12:12 PM
I am pretty sure you are mis-reading what Szczepan meant. I wont say 99% but if you watch these high level competitions (even quite ordinary shiai) once the judoka attempts the technique the success rate is very very high. The skill here is positioning, setting up and not committing to the technique when the time is not right. Part of the problem with Judo shiai is that it is often a waiting game - it is rarely technique on first contact.

Also I will say that no matter what the level of competition you still don't know what the Judoka will do. It could be one of his usually 3-5 known toku waza, it could be the new super secret one trained behind closed doors, or something that just was right for the situation based on years of experience. Any preparation is a matter of probabilities.

Finally - in Aikido practice we know exactly what the attacker is going to do or at least the expected attacks are very narrow. Not quite sure what was meant by "Aikido is also not a competition. In a real situation, the attacker *won't* know what you are going to do." but I do hope that it is not implying that aikido is superior in preparing you for the hypothetical real situation.

Cliff Judge
08-18-2014, 12:16 PM
Usually what you see when uke is falling by himself, nage is not getting any feedback in the moment of entering into the technique, because uke is anticipating nage movements very early and following hypothetical path of the technique without any threat from nage side.


In my opinion, to take ukemi in such a way that you perfectly fit into nage's technique such that they cannot tell the difference between what they are doing and what you are doing, is a tremensously high-level skill.

I truly believe that most people pick up a kinesthetic sense of whether they've taken uke's balance at a fairly early phase in training, probably before they intellecutally realize it. And from there it is pretty simply to tell whether they are falling away from, or resisting, or whether you've kept their balance and remain connected the whole time.

kewms
08-18-2014, 12:21 PM
I am pretty sure you are mis-reading what Szczepan meant. I wont say 99% but if you watch these high level competitions (even quite ordinary shiai) once the judoka attempts the technique the success rate is very very high. The skill here is positioning, setting up and not committing to the technique when the time is not right. Part of the problem with Judo shiai is that it is often a waiting game - it is rarely technique on first contact.

I think my point still stands. If our aikido training agreement allows uke to resist the technique, then surely it also allows uke to avoid being set up for it, too? If not, then I would expect a competent aikidoka to achieve a similarly high success rate, but then aren't we just back to kata practice?

Katherine

PeterR
08-18-2014, 12:33 PM
I think my point still stands. If our aikido training agreement allows uke to resist the technique, then surely it also allows uke to avoid being set up for it, too? If not, then I would expect a competent aikidoka to achieve a similarly high success rate, but then aren't we just back to kata practice?

Sure and in that scenario nothing will happen. There is not one technique that I know of that can not be shut down if so desired. Even resistance training has very specific rules as to what uke can or can not do.

Kata does expect uke to provide a defined level of resistance from nothing to quite intense. What kata is is predictable.

PeterR
08-18-2014, 12:55 PM
Funny how these threads evolve. In the Ueshiba clips for sure uke were diving for the old man but one would hope that lessons could still be learnt while looking closely. I personally did not see that much but that could just be me - I can be dense.

The issue becomes important if you go away from watching that clip with the impression that it is the best way to practice and develop high level skill. It is not - and I am sure a younger more robust Ueshiba would have agreed. Ukemi is a skill that goes far beyond making a pretty forward role. When to resist and how much is integral to the process.

NagaBaba
08-18-2014, 01:41 PM
From the little bit of judo I've watched, I would say "99%" is an extreme overestimate of the number of techniques successfully applied in high level competition.

Technique successfully applied doesn't mean always nippon it can be overthrow that leads to win some points.... How it is working, player try to apply his favorite techniques again and again, using preparatory strategies and tactics, ambushes and surprises...and finally, even when his opponent knows very well what is being prepared, he uses it successfully.

Why I wrote 99% - because really they only use these 2-3 favorite techniques(unless opponent make grave mistake so any technique is good, but is it exception), in many tournaments, they know them so well, they can do it perfectly.
We in aikido also are looking for perfection, hence common ground for comparing....


Aikido is also not a competition. In a real situation, the attacker *won't* know what you are going to do. .

Katherine
Please don't bring such trivial argument again, it was already deeply discussed here. Unless you can share video where you teach how to defend yourself in 'real situation' :)

NagaBaba
08-18-2014, 01:56 PM
In my opinion, to take ukemi in such a way that you perfectly fit into nage's technique such that they cannot tell the difference between what they are doing and what you are doing, is a tremensously high-level skill.


But we are not practicing aikido to get high level of fitting into nage technique, isn't it? It is other way around, we are looking to execute perfect martial technique! Otherwise you can practice dancing and still learn to fit perfectly into your partner technique :) you will not have to do any aikido....


I truly believe that most people pick up a kinesthetic sense of whether they've taken uke's balance at a fairly early phase in training, probably before they intellecutally realize it. And from there it is pretty simply to tell whether they are falling away from, or resisting, or whether you've kept their balance and remain connected the whole time.
What is my experience with aikidokas who don't use strong uke feedback, quickly they become full of themselves and very arrogant. And they always blame others when their techniques miserably fails.

NagaBaba
08-18-2014, 02:15 PM
Funny how these threads evolve. In the Ueshiba clips for sure uke were diving for the old man but one would hope that lessons could still be learnt while looking closely. I personally did not see that much but that could just be me - I can be dense.

The issue becomes important if you go away from watching that clip with the impression that it is the best way to practice and develop high level skill. It is not - and I am sure a younger more robust Ueshiba would have agreed. Ukemi is a skill that goes far beyond making a pretty forward role. When to resist and how much is integral to the process.
This is very true but many prefer to keep their illusions...
I hear some teachers saying: 'lets start from the point where O sensei arrived'.....and the result is a real disaster. They simply copy external form of movements nage and uke without any deeper understanding and ask beginners to do it :)

Simple example: in this video O sensei is teaching quite basic aspect - rhythm of technique: uke is taking one step forward and IN THE SAME TIME nage also is taking one step forward. And a technique is over. Just like cutting with a sword. Very linear move, no dancing around.

Another aspect - timing - Nage is not starting to move unless uke is in full commitment and still nage is able to finish in the same tact. This fact allows nage to 'aspire" attack and move behind attacker back.

Of course all movement are big and exaggerated - O sensei wanted to make sure that even beginners can see these aspects. Unfortunately, everybody is looking only to the uke who is falling down without touching by nage...so his message is lost.... just like in this old story about zen master showing a moon with finger - everybody look at the finger, not at the moon...

kewms
08-18-2014, 02:19 PM
Please don't bring such trivial argument again, it was already deeply discussed here. Unless you can share video where you teach how to defend yourself in 'real situation' :)

Discussed many times, but still relevant. An attacker who is expecting a particular technique will respond very differently from one who is not. Since aikido is not a competitive sport, any plausible off-mat encounter will involve an attacker who does not know what to expect. Also, since aikido is not a competitive sport, the number of potential scenarios in which aikido might be used is much larger, and the toolbox must expand appropriately. (And it is therefore much more difficult to "perfect" everything in the toolbox.)

So, again, one must ask "what are you training?" What is uke training?

Shiai is not kata. Both are valuable, especially for more advanced students. But it's necessary that both partners agree on what they are actually practicing. If we are practicing kata, then uke needs to offer an attack that allows the particular technique being demonstrated to occur. If we are practicing more freely, then uke shouldn't be shocked if nage does something unexpected.

Instead, what often happens is that uke blocks the demonstrated technique, but then acts as if nage is "cheating" by doing something else. I'm not sure how much anybody learns in that kind of situation. Uke gets to massage their own ego. Nage learns that their technique doesn't work, but doesn't learn anything that would help them improve it. Yawn.

Katherine

Cliff Judge
08-18-2014, 03:08 PM
But we are not practicing aikido to get high level of fitting into nage technique, isn't it? It is other way around, we are looking to execute perfect martial technique! Otherwise you can practice dancing and still learn to fit perfectly into your partner technique :) you will not have to do any aikido....

Well ukemi that fits into nage's technique so perfectly that nage cannot tell that uke is actually guiding themselves through the ukemi is absolutely what I would call perfect martial technique. Might be my Shinkage ryu training influencing my thinking there.


What is my experience with aikidokas who don't use strong uke feedback, quickly they become full of themselves and very arrogant. And they always blame others when their techniques miserably fails.

Most aikidoka I work with who come from training environments that insist on strong uke feedback are also full of themselves and very arrogant, but are also very stiff and don't really do aikido.

Demetrio Cereijo
08-18-2014, 03:30 PM
Considering this
What is my experience with aikidokas who don't use strong uke feedback, quickly they become full of themselves and very arrogant. And they always blame others when their techniques miserably fails.


And this
Most aikidoka I work with who come from training environments that insist on strong uke feedback are also full of themselves and very arrogant, but are also very stiff and don't really do aikido.


Then most aikidoka, regardeless of the training method followed, become arrogant and full of themselves.

Good to know.

kewms
08-18-2014, 03:58 PM
But we are not practicing aikido to get high level of fitting into nage technique, isn't it? It is other way around, we are looking to execute perfect martial technique! Otherwise you can practice dancing and still learn to fit perfectly into your partner technique :) you will not have to do any aikido....


But remember that both partners are practicing aikido. If uke "fits" with nage sufficiently well, perhaps nage is the one who ends up getting thrown....

Katherine

Gerardo Torres
08-18-2014, 05:43 PM
For the sake of discussion (and my sanity), can somebody please post a couple of video examples of "resisting" uke that leads to "effective martial training" from nage, as opposed to uke that "tanks". thx

Cliff Judge
08-19-2014, 08:56 AM
Considering this

And this

Then most aikidoka, regardeless of the training method followed, become arrogant and full of themselves.

Good to know.

Only if you buy equally into my and Saucepan's stories. :)

jonreading
08-19-2014, 10:52 AM
From the little bit of judo I've watched, I would say "99%" is an extreme overestimate of the number of techniques successfully applied in high level competition.

Aikido is also not a competition. In a real situation, the attacker *won't* know what you are going to do.

Here, as in all discussions of this kind, it's necessary to consider the relative levels of the partners. Certainly yudansha should be practicing differently from beginners.

Katherine

Couple of things I have noticed...

Judo competition is about knowing and training for your partner's strengths. Yes, there are a small number of comp techniques that usually dominate play. To the larger point, most good players have a good idea of what their competition will attempt. This training is other sport fighting, sports like baseball and [real] football and even education like spelling bees. I think the point is that maybe we should not rely so much on the idea of fairness surrounding ukes who hedge their bets.

I have some reservation with the comment, "well, sure I could stop you if I know what you're doing." Nolan Ryan can tell me he is throwing a fastball... That doesn't mean I can hit it. I think the statement is conditionally true when there is a difference of skill and the spirit of the comment is "Yes, I am better than you and I can beat you, but this isn't about me." I think we should work towards, "it doesn't matter," and eventually towards, "no, you can't."

I think the argument I feel developing from our training is that with a small amount of variation, IF I do what I am supposed to do, then my partner is very likely going to do what she is supposed to do. This would fall more into waza and less into kata.

kewms
08-19-2014, 11:34 AM
Nolan Ryan gave up 321 home runs and 3923 hits in his career. *You* might not be able to hit his fastball, but plenty of his peers could. Setting up the batter to expect a different pitch from the one actually being thrown is a substantial part of the art of pitching.

Katherine

Janet Rosen
08-19-2014, 06:24 PM
For the sake of discussion (and my sanity), can somebody please post a couple of video examples of "resisting" uke that leads to "effective martial training" from nage, as opposed to uke that "tanks". thx

:) thank you

jonreading
08-19-2014, 07:02 PM
Nolan Ryan gave up 321 home runs and 3923 hits in his career. *You* might not be able to hit his fastball, but plenty of his peers could. Setting up the batter to expect a different pitch from the one actually being thrown is a substantial part of the art of pitching.

Katherine

Interestingly,I am pretty sure Nolan Ryan's rookie year was '68. Also, I believe he has one of the lowest batting averages against a pitcher. So, from the metrics of baseball...

The point was that most of what we do is playing the percentages.

sorokod
08-20-2014, 04:07 AM
For the sake of discussion (and my sanity), can somebody please post a couple of video examples of "resisting" uke that leads to "effective martial training" from nage, as opposed to uke that "tanks". thx

I think good kaeshiwaza or shodokan tanto randori videos should help.

This is not to say that these are the only scenarios where "non tanking" is essential, just to provide visualization.

MRoh
08-20-2014, 04:28 AM
I do not think I have ever seen a video of Ueshiba in which his uke do not "tank."

Maybe that was for the purpose of demonstration.

According to what my own teacher told (who trained in hombu between '55 and '65 before he was sent to germany), there was no choice to be compliant ore not. You were thrown before you knew what happened.
He told often that he didn't know why his body began to move, nore why he landed on the ground, although he was one the best trained uke in hombu dojo at that time.

In normal training techniques were different from what was shown in demonstrations.

jonreading
08-20-2014, 09:41 AM
Just to be sure we are on the same page.. for me
"Tanking" refers to a fictitious response in which the uke [re]acts in a manner disingenuous to the nage.
"Resisting" refers to a committed [re]action from the uke oriented to prevent an outcome (nage is trying to accomplish).

As a note, the use of "tank" in this thread is somewhat different than how I use the term. I think compliant movement is a little closer to how I would describe a partner who seeks to move without consideration of her personal integrity, but rather the integrity of her partner. Cooperative movement would be the joint consideration of accomplishing a goal without regard for integrity (from either partner).

Uke waza should be a commitment:
1. to provide an sound, functional, attack that initiates connection (an would accomplish an affect if otherwise not dealt with)
2. to receive nage's movement in a manner consistent with an acceptable response to the effect of nage's movement
This gives us some freedom individually to determine what we feel is acceptable. No doubt, some of us make better choices than others. But, it does gives us the opportunity to make good choices. For example, resisting shiho nage during normal training may not be acceptable. Maybe a training opportunity turns bad and nage is close to seriously injuring uke, uke defends by resisting the technique to thwart what may have been a injurious movement. If nage jeopardizes uke, then it is acceptable for uke to respond to the effect of the movement. This is why we typically don't elevate our training to that level of risk.

When I work out with good aikido people, I can do so with less regard for my integrity because my partner inherits some responsibility to preserve it. If I give my partner my wrist to twist, I am doing so with the expectation they will not break it in the execution of technique. On the other hand, if I am working with someone who I do not think is responsible, I may not be free-giving with my trust or my integrity. I may choose to retain some ability to resist as a means of self defense. I can still take ukemi, but it is more reserved.

I would think most of O Sensei's students held a significant level of trust and respect for O Sensei to give them a high level of freedom to let O Sensei move them without the need to regard their integrity.

MRoh
08-21-2014, 07:51 AM
When I work out with good aikido people, I can do so with less regard for my integrity because my partner inherits some responsibility to preserve it.

For me, in ukemi it is neccessary to keep the responsibility and integrity almost all the time, also in the moment I "fly", but not to resist nages force (this is also a way to train "song").
Ukemi requires a high level of attention and fast reactions.
To scale down the regard for integrity is not what I do. Though I make my body permeable, I have the ambiton never to give up control ore integrity and to increase the abilities to control the forces that nage tries to effect me with. Part of it is to let loose, but to keep inner connection at the same time.
Ukemi is a very important part of the training, because when done correctly, it can condition the body.

NagaBaba
08-21-2014, 12:06 PM
Well ukemi that fits into nage's technique so perfectly that nage cannot tell that uke is actually guiding themselves through the ukemi is absolutely what I would call perfect martial technique. Might be my Shinkage ryu training influencing my thinking there.

May be you talking here about very high level of practice, but for the beginners with less than 10 years of ukemi, I find it misleading and counterproductive. The reason is a change in the general focus of practice. If your objective is to fit into nage technique, you will do it regardless what nage is doing, isn’t it? Even if his technique is not respecting martial aspects of aikido? Even if what is he doing is a complete nonsense? I can see presently quite of many people (will not list names for etiquette reason) that follow this approach and the results are disastrous from my point of view.
So this is not for me.

Most aikidoka I work with who come from training environments that insist on strong uke feedback are also full of themselves and very arrogant, but are also very stiff and don't really do aikido.
I expressed myself not well enough. I know a young adult who practice aikido, he is very talented, not only in body coordination but also in many other domains (like observation, art, music, literature etc). Of course he is able to do the aikido techniques instantly at very high level of correctness. What I can hear when somebody compliment him after watching him practice, his response is : Of course.
From one point of view he is right, he simply states the reality – his technique is excellent. But from human development point of view it is very dangerous – everything what he does is a success. So he never gets constructive negative feedback. Also because his parents are doing everything to make painless to develop his talents. So he is living in kind of illusion, and developing a conviction that his every move is right. Than one day something does seriously wrong – he has not mechanism to deal with such situation. Usual reaction is to reject the reality to maintain his comfortable life….so he can’t learn from difficult situation and provide correct solutions.

That’s why in judo they introduced sparring in the end of XIX century. This is a simple mechanism to test what you learned in cooperative way in kata and to develop automatic body answer every time you are facing a difficulty.

In aikido we don’t have sparring, if nage never face difficulty, he will not have any answer for difficulty, being it physical or non-physical.

Cliff Judge
08-21-2014, 02:32 PM
I guess my main point is that the skill of being able to "ride" nage's technique such that you give yourself to the technique, but retain control of your fall, is one of the most valuable skills Aikido training can offer.

I think the mindset that uke's job is to challenge or test nage's technique is counterproductive to developing that skill. Certainly, weak attacks that are uncommitted, and a sort of "falling away" from an unconnected nage can be counterproductive too.

About this arrogant student - is his technique actually very good? If it is then, well, that sucks for him that he has such a challenge developing humility. I'd be more concerned if he tended to resist everyone else's technique while insisting that his always work no matter what. That's a bigger concern for me - the person who refuses to let anyone else's technique work, while not caring what his partner's boundaries are when it is his turn to be nage, because he must always be correct. So he resorts to use of muscle and harder atemi than his uke may be comfortable with. This is the kind of personality I worry about in high-resistance environments.

sakumeikan
08-21-2014, 02:50 PM
May be you talking here about very high level of practice, but for the beginners with less than 10 years of ukemi, I find it misleading and counterproductive. The reason is a change in the general focus of practice. If your objective is to fit into nage technique, you will do it regardless what nage is doing, isn't it? Even if his technique is not respecting martial aspects of aikido? Even if what is he doing is a complete nonsense? I can see presently quite of many people (will not list names for etiquette reason) that follow this approach and the results are disastrous from my point of view.
So this is not for me.

I expressed myself not well enough. I know a young adult who practice aikido, he is very talented, not only in body coordination but also in many other domains (like observation, art, music, literature etc). Of course he is able to do the aikido techniques instantly at very high level of correctness. What I can hear when somebody compliment him after watching him practice, his response is : Of course.
From one point of view he is right, he simply states the reality -- his technique is excellent. But from human development point of view it is very dangerous -- everything what he does is a success. So he never gets constructive negative feedback. Also because his parents are doing everything to make painless to develop his talents. So he is living in kind of illusion, and developing a conviction that his every move is right. Than one day something does seriously wrong -- he has not mechanism to deal with such situation. Usual reaction is to reject the reality to maintain his comfortable life….so he can't learn from difficult situation and provide correct solutions.

That's why in judo they introduced sparring in the end of XIX century. This is a simple mechanism to test what you learned in cooperative way in kata and to develop automatic body answer every time you are facing a difficulty.

In aikido we don't have sparring, if nage never face difficulty, he will not have any answer for difficulty, being it physical or non-physical.
Dear Mr S,
Just because your young guy appears to be a hotshot now does not mean he will carry on being a hotshot.He might well run into someone who gives him a hard time.The guy does seem from your writing to be a tad egotistical.Maybe he needs to be taken down a peg, not in a bad way , but more to stop the guy from being big headed.He perhaps needs to acquire some humility.Modesty does not appear to be his strong point methinks. Cheers, Joe.