PDA

View Full Version : Striking all along ( Wrong. Apologies.)


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


earnest aikidoka
10-02-2015, 10:36 AM
I refer to my previous thread regarding aikido as a striking art. I was wrong.

Wrong on the basis that while aikido is not a grappling art. It is a striking art. This is because, like most martial artists would say, striking and grappling are concepts for competitive fighting or sport-based combat.

Aikido is a traditional art, or more specifically, has roots to traditional martial arts.

And traditionally, combat involves weaponry of a sort. Either the art utilizes weaponry, or deals with opponent wielding weaponry, or both.

Therefore, aikido is an art of weapons. And to understand Aikido and its effects, one should train with a blade in one hand.

Apologies for my previous misconceptions.

lbb
10-02-2015, 11:23 AM
The elephant is very like a spear...

PeterR
10-02-2015, 01:15 PM
The elephant is very like a spear...

:D

kewms
10-02-2015, 01:48 PM
Would you care to share what brought you to this change of heart?

Katherine

Erick Mead
10-02-2015, 02:33 PM
And to understand Aikido and its effects, one should train with a blade in one hand. Most errors in applying aikido are improved or corrected by the student answering two questions:

"Where is your blade?' and "Where are you cutting?"

Gary David
10-02-2015, 02:41 PM
Folks
Most of you are not old enough to remember Felix the Cat and his magic bag of tricks. The bag could be shaped into anything Felix needed to do whatever he needed to do. For each of us our Aikido should be like Felix's bag.....shape it into whatever you need and adapt that bag to the circumstances and environment around you at any given moment.
Gary

rugwithlegs
10-02-2015, 03:25 PM
While the connection to the tools is important, I am reminded of a book, "Living the Martial Way." The author made the point that learning striking but refusing to learn grappling, or claiming that one could strike so well that they never needed to learn how to grapple - the author said this was like a modern soldier refusing to learn to use a rifle because they knew how to use a hand grenade.

Weapons practice itself is more branded than our empty hand. Saito, Nishio, Chiba, Kanai, many others - weapons are connected to their personal empty hand. The weapons work seems much more codified for different systems.

earnest aikidoka
10-02-2015, 05:54 PM
Would you care to share what brought you to this change of heart?

Katherine

Aikido is still striking, don't misunderstand that. But striking as I previously defined it was striking on a competitive basis. Traditional combat involved heavy armor and weaponry that would have required a different method of striking. One that involves having a heavier weapon in one's hand, rather than a boxing glove. It's still striking in a sense, but I must be strict with myself, if I am to expect the same in others. Therefore, I was wrong.

earnest aikidoka
10-02-2015, 05:57 PM
Most errors in applying aikido are improved or corrected by the student answering two questions:

"Where is your blade?' and "Where are you cutting?"

Would I be wrong to reply, "Anywhere which can possibly hold a blade," and "anywhere which a blade can cut"?

kewms
10-02-2015, 06:00 PM
Would I be wrong to reply, "Anywhere which can possibly hold a blade," and "anywhere which a blade can cut"?

Yes. To cut (or strike) effectively, you need to have a specific target in mind. If you can't say what that target is in a specific instance, then you aren't really cutting (or striking).

Katherine

earnest aikidoka
10-02-2015, 06:44 PM
Yes. To cut (or strike) effectively, you need to have a specific target in mind. If you can't say what that target is in a specific instance, then you aren't really cutting (or striking).

Katherine

Firstly. that was a joke.

Secondly, in the midst of pitched battle, against a fully armored warrior and aiming for a target the size of a china cup saucer, and pressed for time because you never know when the next guy is coming to take your head while you are trying to find the saucer. Can you expect to have a specific target in mind?

A duel is even worse. The other guy has the same weapon as you, do you not think that he would know where he could be cut and take precautions? To aim for a specific target then would make you predictable, and shortly dead.

In which case, my serious answer would be;

"where is my blade? It is in the mind."

"Where do I cut? Where the mind is weakest."

In my opinion of course.

kewms
10-02-2015, 07:06 PM
Firstly. that was a joke.

Secondly, in the midst of pitched battle, against a fully armored warrior and aiming for a target the size of a china cup saucer, and pressed for time because you never know when the next guy is coming to take your head while you are trying to find the saucer. Can you expect to have a specific target in mind?

A duel is even worse. The other guy has the same weapon as you, do you not think that he would know where he could be cut and take precautions? To aim for a specific target then would make you predictable, and shortly dead.

I'm sorry, but you aren't making any sense.

If the only gap in a suit of armor is a target the size of a saucer, how could you possibly hit it *without* having that specific target in mind?

Yes, of course your opponent knows where his potential openings are and tries to defend them. But trying to cut where there is no opening is pointless.

So sure, "cut where the mind is weakest" is fine as a general principle. But when your teacher asks, in mid-cut, what you thought your target was, I'm guessing that's not the answer he's looking for.

Katherine

Cliff Judge
10-02-2015, 08:25 PM
Aikido is still striking, don't misunderstand that. But striking as I previously defined it was striking on a competitive basis. Traditional combat involved heavy armor and weaponry that would have required a different method of striking. One that involves having a heavier weapon in one's hand, rather than a boxing glove. It's still striking in a sense, but I must be strict with myself, if I am to expect the same in others. Therefore, I was wrong.

You are actually onto something, but you need to get your head around more Japanese history. The oldest koryu were founded in those days, but there were 286-odd years of almost no armored battle during which koryu was always trying to justify itself by harkening back to an obsolete age.

earnest aikidoka
10-03-2015, 05:08 AM
I'm sorry, but you aren't making any sense.

If the only gap in a suit of armor is a target the size of a saucer, how could you possibly hit it *without* having that specific target in mind?

Yes, of course your opponent knows where his potential openings are and tries to defend them. But trying to cut where there is no opening is pointless.

So sure, "cut where the mind is weakest" is fine as a general principle. But when your teacher asks, in mid-cut, what you thought your target was, I'm guessing that's not the answer he's looking for.

Katherine

Pick up a bokken and try and cut your sensei. That's the best way to get the idea I would think.

earnest aikidoka
10-03-2015, 05:11 AM
You are actually onto something, but you need to get your head around more Japanese history. The oldest koryu were founded in those days, but there were 286-odd years of almost no armored battle during which koryu was always trying to justify itself by harkening back to an obsolete age.

Agreed. The history is sketchy on my part, but one can't deny that weaponry was a big part of historical combat, so when considering a traditional art or koryu, the weaponry should thus be a consideration that takes precedence over bare-hands.

rugwithlegs
10-03-2015, 10:55 AM
Aikido is still striking, don't misunderstand that. But striking as I previously defined it was striking on a competitive basis. Traditional combat involved heavy armor and weaponry that would have required a different method of striking. One that involves having a heavier weapon in one's hand, rather than a boxing glove. It's still striking in a sense, but I must be strict with myself, if I am to expect the same in others. Therefore, I was wrong.

There are several ways of using anatomy to generate power. If I understand you correctly, then absolutely a boxing jab is very different from swinging a sword which had more in common with swinging an axe or a hammer. Applied to empty hand, this type of strike can create different opportunities from a jab. Swords can slice, cut, pierce, chop. The weight and length of a sword or jo creates it's own momentum. The sword edge needs to be the contact surface to cut, so we have to be aware of the slightest movement in our wrists.

The Jo doesn't require this awareness of the edge because it is an impact weapon. With rare exceptions, the sword and jo are used with two hands working closely in concert - koryu jo allows for more distance and separation of the hands.

Tanto can allow for complete separation of the hands, and the Tanto doesn't create it's own momentum like a longer weapon. The power comes back from human structure instead of a longer weapon where you need to relax and let it fall into your hands for more power. Timing is different, and more like empty hand timing with a very short weapon. Tanto I think compliments many of the more modern empty hand techniques.

I believe the Chinese martial arts distinguish between 83ish separate forms of martial power. Focus on sword work can inform empty hand, but our three weapons do inform empty hand a little differently and other tools maybe need other understanding.

O Sensei wrote about an unlimited set of responses being the best strategy, so I don't encourage focus on a singular definition. We do have different forms of power generation. Always good to focus on one and learn it well than learn a dozen things shallowly.

kewms
10-03-2015, 10:58 AM
Pick up a bokken and try and cut your sensei. That's the best way to get the idea I would think.

I have. That's how I know how important it is to have a target.

Katherine

Cliff Judge
10-03-2015, 12:38 PM
I tend to agree with the theory that Aikido shomenuchi represents a straight cut with a sword.

jurasketu
10-03-2015, 03:58 PM
I often tell new students and children to imagine they have a bottle in their hand for the shomenuchi and yokomenuchi attacks. This helps give them the understanding that we are simulating weapon attacks. It then makes a lot more sense to avoid the attack with blending movement rather trying to block with your arms, hands or head.

In the children classes that I teach, I spend time every week having them (without doing technique) avoid and enter against a shinai shomenuchi or munetski attack. I think it helps drill into them the concept of getting out of the way, positioning and to treat all attacks as though there might be a weapon - blunt or bladed. If anything, I think that is the most important skill I'm teaching the children.

Janet Rosen
10-03-2015, 04:55 PM
In the children classes that I teach, I spend time every week having them (without doing technique) avoid and enter against a shinai shomenuchi or munetski attack. I think it helps drill into them the concept of getting out of the way, positioning and to treat all attacks as though there might be a weapon - blunt or bladed. If anything, I think that is the most important skill I'm teaching the children.

Those who teach our kids' classes do the same thing :)

Cliff Judge
10-04-2015, 06:53 PM
The act of trying to break a bottle on someone's head is an entirely different use of the physical body than the act of making a full-power straight cut, with a sword, on someone. Just wanted to point that out. It's somewhat interesting to think about. It is likely that the differences in the attacks mean that the technique teaches different things to nage. But what does that mean, and how important is it?

phitruong
10-05-2015, 08:10 AM
The act of trying to break a bottle on someone's head is an entirely different use of the physical body than the act of making a full-power straight cut, with a sword, on someone. Just wanted to point that out. It's somewhat interesting to think about. It is likely that the differences in the attacks mean that the technique teaches different things to nage. But what does that mean, and how important is it?

not bottle. folding chair! don't any of you watch WWE or WWF or whatever they called themselves these days? years ago, we hung a folding chair on the weapon rack, in front of the shomen. Our sensei bowed in and saw the folding chair and laughed pretty hard. we also hung spatula on the weapon rack too. vicious weapon, the spatula. spatula take away techniques involved lots of flying pancakes and sticky maple syrup. :D

phitruong
10-05-2015, 08:27 AM
Pick up a bokken and try and cut your sensei. That's the best way to get the idea I would think.

if you know who's her sensei, then that statement is hilarious, in so many way. :D

and yes, i took up my bokken against her sensei many times, and died in more ways than i could count.

dps
10-05-2015, 08:56 AM
The weight and length of a sword or jo creates it's own momentum.

Momentum taken from Wikipedia: Momentum: is the product of the mass and velocity of an object.

The sword or jo does not generate its own momentum, the momentum is generated by the person holding the sword or jo.

dps

Erick Mead
10-05-2015, 09:24 AM
Would I be wrong to reply, "Anywhere which can possibly hold a blade," and "anywhere which a blade can cut"?
You would be entirely correct.

The problem usually lies in seeing that there is a way that the blade is being held in the engagement in question -- and a way that it is cutting throughout the engagement.

Erick Mead
10-05-2015, 10:18 AM
Momentum taken from Wikipedia: Momentum: is the product of the mass and velocity of an object.

The sword or jo does not generate its own momentum, the momentum is generated by the person holding the sword or jo.

Velocity and mass are really analytic quantities, and not primary quantities -- momentum is the primary quantity. We know this because when either one is zero -- momentum is not really zero, even if we treat it that way for purpose of analysis.

Light has zero mass but has momentum, and can change the velocity of mass, and thus transfer its momentum. Inertia is simply resting momentum. Resting mass resists change in relative velocity but really is just the aspect of momentum at zero relative velocity. Sometimes reduction to analytic components makes sense-- sometimes it doesn't. The important thing is never to mistake the ruler for the world you mean to measure.

There are two basic ways to cut in terms of momentum transfer (though in variations). One way cuts in-phase with the blade -- stopping a forward rotation of the core and letting the angular momentum transfer and concentrate at the monouchi. The other way is out of phase with the cut, where the core counter-rotates to the rotation of the blade, but in stopping the core, propagation of the angular momentum to the monouchi is basically the same.

In nukitsuke, these are seen, respectively, in typical Tanimura-ha and Shimomura-ha (a gross simplification, I am aware). The same is true in variations of tai-jutsu. However, most people approach this with a natural bias toward the in-phase forms. It is fun to find the complement in the form where you can -- and usually makes people go --"Hm."

The point about analytic quantities applies here, because if you just think in terms of adding velocity it will seem confusing -- but in conserving momentum it is perfectly sensible. In terms of velocity it seems like you should "force the blade" to add "speed"(or "force")-- when in terms of conserving angular momentum you should just let the blade do its thing with the momentum it has been given, and just let the shortening arc of cut concentrate its angular momentum at the cut. You can't add any more "force" than that.

kewms
10-05-2015, 11:48 AM
Momentum taken from Wikipedia: Momentum: is the product of the mass and velocity of an object.

The sword or jo does not generate its own momentum, the momentum is generated by the person holding the sword or jo.

dps

There's also gravity to consider.

As well as the fact that a sword or jo has considerable length, and therefore angular momentum around whatever the fulcrum happens to be (usually the hands).

Katherine

Erick Mead
10-05-2015, 12:14 PM
... give them the understanding that we are simulating weapon attacks. It then makes a lot more sense to avoid the attack with blending movement rather trying to block with your arms, hands or head.

In the children classes that I teach, I spend time every week having them (without doing technique) avoid and enter against a shinai shomenuchi or munetski attack. I think it helps drill into them the concept of getting out of the way, positioning and to treat all attacks as though there might be a weapon - blunt or bladed.

To quibble. "Avoiding" an attack is -- IMO -- not practically possible. Predators take prey unawares -- it's just what they do. There is no avoiding an attack because practically speaking an attack is well-begun before the would-be victim is aware of beginning. "Engaging" the attack on the other hand, can occur at any point before impact, where avoiding the attack may simply be impossible. Evasion largely means getting cut, just a bit later.

I try to teach the concept of engaging in shear -- as with blades -- they come into instantaneous and yet sliding contact and yet never really collide with one another -- like scissors, they are in constant sliding contact and one never cuts the other.

Same principle works in tai-jutsu -- because when the monouchi is over my head -- I can touch his hand. Tegatana to tegatana. With irimi-tenkan -- that weapon he thought he had is no longer the relevant point of the engagement. His tegatana becomes mine to cut with.

What began as go no sen from my perspective -- on contact becomes sensen no sen from his perspective. In other words, as O Sensei said, "I am already behind him." In another sense, he began with his sphere of control encompassed by his weapon, whereas I began with my sphere of control encompassing him -- because HE is my weapon -- against himself.

Suriage. Suriotoshi. Kiriage. Kiriotoshi. These engagements of the attack all work, blade or no blade.

jurasketu
10-05-2015, 12:48 PM
To quibble. "Avoiding" an attack is -- IMO -- not practically possible. Predators take prey unawares -- it's just what they do. There is no avoiding an attack because practically speaking an attack is well-begun before the would-be victim is aware of beginning. "Engaging" the attack on the other hand, can occur at any point before impact, where avoiding the attack may simply be impossible. Evasion largely means getting cut, just a bit later.

I think you might be confusing evade with avoid.

I am not teaching "evasion". I specifically said "avoid and enter" which is what I teach. Once you enter you can do something which may be to continue past and run like hell or disrupt/disable the opponent. In some situations, pure evasion may work because of the particular tableau (furniture, doors) and the ability to obtain/draw a weapon.

If you don't actually *avoid* an attack, you are likely *damaged* and your chances of survival are greatly diminished.

jurasketu
10-05-2015, 12:54 PM
I choose bottle/club because I'm simply trying to drill the concept of simulated weapons strikes into rookies. Addressing the full complexity of weapons and strikes can be pretty confusing. Blades don't need squat for momentum to be effective. It is just that speed of attack is generally important to seize the initiative and overcome defenses.

Momentum is not the only factor in the effectiveness of a strike. A nerf ball and a steel ball with the same mass thrown at the same velocity are not equally effective. Same momentum, vastly different result. But if you get out of the way - neither are effective.

jonreading
10-06-2015, 09:08 AM
I think the idea of tegatana and the concept of matching a weapons strike to an empty-hand strike is fairly complex. I want to be careful not to imply a couple of classes get you straightened out on that issue. This is actually pretty tough to accomplish, requires significant training just in that aspect and there are still weapons people who struggle to do this. Most aikido is even more removed from that practice.

Most of us are not competent at "cutting" in a practical sense. Applied cutting, waza with shinken and all the other aspects of weapons-based work are not in our wheel house. We can individualize our training to include that extra-curricular activity, but I generally believe that we could use a little more practice understanding what "tegatana" really means and where the power of our dojo strikes is generated. It becomes pretty obvious when you work out with someone skilled with weapons. After all, "move like you're cutting with a sword" is a staple response right up there with "relax."

As an interesting point removed from the effect of cutting, I think the idea of aiki-weapons is to generate aiki through a conduit (the weapon). Aiki sword does not contend with the cutting effect of sword arts, it contends with the ability to express aiki, even through a weapon, to disrupt your partner on contact. To express aiki with a weapon would be a high-level accomplishment. It wasn't that O Sensei was a better swordsman than other good swordsmen, it was that he could express aiki through his sword and that was something his opponents couldn't work around. To think about the effect of "cutting" with your hand may not be the best way to think about the exercise. Maybe, its better to think about expressing aiki into your hands, from there working on the ability to express aiki into weapon in your hand. The path of your movement mimics an effective path of a weapon. The argument being that if you can't put aiki in your hands (or feet or whatever), you certainly aren't putting it into a weapon. If you don't have aiki in your weapon, you're not doing aiki-weapons. Of course, if you have aiki in your hands and feet (or elbows, or knees), you can strike with aiki.

Cliff Judge
10-06-2015, 10:24 AM
Seems to me that, of the footage we have available of Osensei doing aiki sword, stuff where he "takes uke's balance on contact" is not as common as the "is not there when uke cuts, and he has cut uke" type of waza.

jonreading
10-06-2015, 11:24 AM
Seems to me that, of the footage we have available of Osensei doing aiki sword, stuff where he "takes uke's balance on contact" is not as common as the "is not there when uke cuts, and he has cut uke" type of waza.

Prove to me those two things can't be the same.

jonreading
10-06-2015, 11:49 AM
https://youtu.be/BuM6gSrkJW8
I like this video because you can see weapons and empty-hand together. I think looking for a visibly unbalanced uke is not going to illustrate what is going on; O Sensei is throwing his partners without the visible unbalance. He also demonstrates some movements when he starts and some movements when he responds, so you have a collection of interaction that transcends the "who goes first?" chronology question. For me, this means the ideas of "cutting first" or "moving first" are less relevant than cutting [with aiki] or moving [with aiki].

kewms
10-06-2015, 11:58 AM
Seems to me that, of the footage we have available of Osensei doing aiki sword, stuff where he "takes uke's balance on contact" is not as common as the "is not there when uke cuts, and he has cut uke" type of waza.

What Jon said.

Also, taking a good swordsman's balance through blade-to-blade contact is pretty difficult, since it requires that *he* maintain his half of the sword-to-body connection. One of the fundamentals of swordsmanship is the ability to disconnect from a failed cut so that you can recover as quickly and safely as possible. "Uke gets cut" seems a much more likely outcome to me than "uke loses balance."

(Not that it matters much from uke's point of view. Dead is dead.)

Katherine

Cliff Judge
10-06-2015, 01:04 PM
Prove to me those two things can't be the same.

I am not interested in attempting that.

You can achieve the latter goal by many other means than creating aiki though.

https://youtu.be/BuM6gSrkJW8
I like this video because you can see weapons and empty-hand together.

He does all of four kumitachi in this whole clip.

Here's a good one. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H43vA8ksrgE)

And here's a clip of Shioda doing stuff that looks essentially the same to me. (https://youtu.be/aqK8p_NQV8U?t=1m8s)

mathewjgano
10-06-2015, 01:54 PM
...in the midst of pitched battle, against a fully armored warrior and aiming for a target the size of a china cup saucer, and pressed for time because you never know when the next guy is coming to take your head while you are trying to find the saucer. Can you expect to have a specific target in mind?

A duel is even worse. The other guy has the same weapon as you, do you not think that he would know where he could be cut and take precautions? To aim for a specific target then would make you predictable, and shortly dead.

In which case, my serious answer would be;

"where is my blade? It is in the mind."

"Where do I cut? Where the mind is weakest."

In my opinion of course.
I think there's a distinction to be made for having a target and overcommitting to "a" target. The targets present themselves as the flow of movement unfolds. In a sense, I would guess that we ought have multiple targets at the same time, and it's a matter of finding our way to one or more of them, through the manipulation of other targets (targets we're not trying to cut so much as get to move out of our way).

kewms
10-06-2015, 02:01 PM
I think there's a distinction to be made for having a target and overcommitting to "a" target. The targets present themselves as the flow of movement unfolds. In a sense, I would guess that we ought have multiple targets at the same time, and it's a matter of finding our way to one or more of them, through the manipulation of other targets (targets we're not trying to cut so much as get to move out of our way).

Yes. Well put.

At the moment of cutting, it is necessary to have a specific target to cut effectively. Exactly what that target is cannot be predetermined, however, but must evolve from the flow of the encounter.

How much time between identifying the target and actually cutting it? That depends on the skill of the swordsman.

Katherine

Cliff Judge
10-06-2015, 03:35 PM
Yes! Absolutely, always pick a target. :)

FOCUS ALL OF YOUR INTENT ON THE TARGET. :D :D :D

PeterR
10-06-2015, 03:49 PM
So speaking of pitched battles - who else has seen the new Macbeth.