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Star Dragon
11-02-2015, 11:34 AM
Hi people,

Recently, I was thinking about the optimal way of doing Ikkyo. Or Ikkajo, or Ude-osae, or the straight arm bar, as it is called in various martial arts. I don't mean to limit this discussion to the way it's done in Aikido. If possible, I would like to see this technique considered in more universal terms, on the level what works best given the human anatomy. I imagine that some of you might have some knowledge of Jiu-jitsu and other arts that use arm locks.

Let's start with the method to control uke's elbow, as there are different takes on how to go about doing that. Aikidoka will generally apply their sword hand to uke's elbow. But does this still work when we are already in a position with uke's arm right in front of us touching our body, with no room for our "unbendable arm"?

Other styles use the part of the forearm below the elbow to press a point above uke's elbow joint; some even strike the area by the bottom of the fist (the so called hammerfist); some go for the triceps tendon or even the shoulder instead.

Did any of you ever study and compare such different ways of getting this basic arm bar on?

One common form is to push the elbow towards uke's head first. I have only seen that in Aikido so far. What's the merit of doing that? Surely, it's a way to break uke's balance. In Aikido Toho Iai it is said however that this method has no relation to sword fighting and actually endangers tori as there would be plenty of opportunity for uke to hit tori meanwhile.

Please give me your thoughts and experiences on initiating this technique.

Cliff Judge
11-02-2015, 01:00 PM
The arm bar is the least important part of ikkyo or whatever you call it. If you want to know what is the most effective way, its whatever you can do to take uke's balance as soon as you touch, or before.

kewms
11-02-2015, 01:42 PM
I think if you're thinking of ikkyo as an armbar, rather than a center control, you're probably defining it too narrowly. Once you have uke in a sufficiently compromised position, you can do whatever you want to his elbow.

Katherine

robin_jet_alt
11-02-2015, 03:27 PM
I agree with the above points. Both ways that you described are ineffective.

rugwithlegs
11-02-2015, 03:37 PM
In Daito Ryu, Ikkajo is a list of 30ish techniques. Most look like the core movement is similar to the Ki Society Ikkyo Undo. I give myself permission to make a wedge shape to attack the center.

I believe John Stevens translated the one phrases as "Iriminage and Shihonage take ten years to master all the variations, Ikkyo takes your whole life."

I learned Shomenuchi Ikkyo Omote as come in as the hand is raising and help the elbow up over Uke's eye socket. Almost felt like a palm strike. Shomenuchi Ikkyo hamni handachi, Sensei told me it was the inspiration for the dokka, "you must stare death in the face and receive 99% of the attack." No footwork, just lead it in and down. Now, my teacher tells me to end close and lead out. I used to be told to cut and then step in to sweep or strike.

When I look at Budo, in the 1930s it seems Ikkyo had a much broader definition than my 5th kyu test did.

It's an interesting question.

mathewjgano
11-02-2015, 06:38 PM
My sense of ikkyo is pretty limited compared to most, but here are three example I particularly like and try to emulate, the last one being from my own teacher.

Shibata Sensei
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4oAP8w_FZE
Gleason Sensei
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCr_-Sewj-8
Barrish Sensei
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uvrq-fPXDiE

robin_jet_alt
11-02-2015, 09:29 PM
My sense of ikkyo is pretty limited compared to most, but here are three example I particularly like and try to emulate, the last one being from my own teacher.

Shibata Sensei
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4oAP8w_FZE
Gleason Sensei
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCr_-Sewj-8
Barrish Sensei
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uvrq-fPXDiE

Thanks for that. Bill Gleeson's version is very similar to what I have been learning, but I think all 3 videos have something to offer. Definitely worth checking out.

Star Dragon
11-03-2015, 01:13 AM
The arm bar is the least important part of ikkyo or whatever you call it. If you want to know what is the most effective way, its whatever you can do to take uke's balance as soon as you touch, or before.

I think if you're thinking of ikkyo as an armbar, rather than a center control, you're probably defining it too narrowly. Once you have uke in a sufficiently compromised position, you can do whatever you want to his elbow.

Katherine

Alright, from your replies I gather that breaking the uke's balance is the crucial issue here. I also understand that this can be done in more ways than one.

robin_jet_alt
11-03-2015, 01:21 AM
Alright, from your replies I gather that breaking the uke's balance is the crucial issue here. I also understand that this can be done in more ways than one.

That's true, but the arm is not the key to any of them. Sure, you can hurt the arm using pressure points etc., but at the end of the day, that isn't a particularly effective technique. As a matter of fact, as a mechanical arm-bar, ikkyo is a highly ineffective technique. To me, that is a clue that it isn't supposed to be a mechanical arm bar.

Star Dragon
11-03-2015, 01:27 AM
My sense of ikkyo is pretty limited compared to most, but here are three example I particularly like and try to emulate, the last one being from my own teacher.

Shibata Sensei
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4oAP8w_FZE
Gleason Sensei
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCr_-Sewj-8
Barrish Sensei
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uvrq-fPXDiE

Thanks for sharing. A few comments.

Shibata's considerations are probably significant on an abstract level, but I am not sure if/how this would translate to a self-defence situation which would obviously start out very differently. Unlikely that the opponent would offer you a tegatana to tinker with.

Gleason doesn't look like he is really controlling uke sufficiently. He would better move in closer. If his uke were non-compliant, he would be in trouble. Imho.

I find Barrish's small movement approach rather convincing. Wham, down uke goes. Your teacher seems to take a fairly realistic approach (as evident not least from the BOB dummy standing near the mat ;)). I like this guy.

Tim Ruijs
11-03-2015, 05:09 AM
When trying to use the arm to achieve ikkyo, you are basically trying to "bend the unbendable arm". That is no good.
Lately we have been studying the Ikkyo curve (George Ledyard) and combined with how you need to position your arms (body) on the inside of this curve (Gleason) which was very revealing :D
Eventually we translated that to 'our form' of Nobuyoshi Tamura.

Star Dragon
11-03-2015, 05:11 AM
I tried to post a reply to Matthew (a comment on his three videos) several hours ago, but I got a message that it needs to be approved by a moderator or something like that. I hope it will show up soon...

jonreading
11-03-2015, 11:39 AM
From my perspective, ikkyo is not an arm bar. Most of our kansetsu waza are not "locks" in the sense that our goal is not to isolate the joint and damage it. Most joint locks, like an arm bar, isolate the joint to prevent the body from defending it. That component is not necessary in aikido; some instructors may even advocate that is how you better control the body, by allowing it to move in defense of the joint being attacked - this is compliance technique.

Is this ikkyo?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5IcDZQCMls
my vote is, yes.

Erick Mead
11-03-2015, 01:29 PM
Ikkyo is a control of center by cutting -- and it is a tai jutsu analogue of sword engagement in at least three basic variations:

1) Kiri-otoshi
2) Suri-otoshi
3) Suri-age

Most of what is done as "basic" ikkyo omote is in the mode of 2. 3 is the entry mode of ikkyo ura. 1 is seen in a standing "draw" cut ikkyo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WNXeXMMqKU

YMMV :)

Cliff Judge
11-03-2015, 01:30 PM
In Daito Ryu, Ikkajo is a list of 30ish techniques. Most look like the core movement is similar to the Ki Society Ikkyo Undo. I give myself permission to make a wedge shape to attack the center.

There are some technical aspects shared by Aikido's ikkyo and really a whole bunch of different Daito ryu kata in the Hiden Mokuroku, they aren't all in the Ikkajo set.

I firmly believe ikkyo is derived from Daito ryu's first kata, Ippon Dori.

Here is what Ippon Dori is all about. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHWT6q2PLi8)

The "metaplot" of this kata is that you are being attacked by a guy who has his sword out, and he means to cut you straight in half. You enter as he lifts his sword and take his balance as you touch him. You need to be early enough that you aren't pushing uke back up - if you are late, you do the ura version.

You don't need to keep the aiki on as you take uke down - if you get uke in the right spot with timing / kiai / chutzpah, then its your fault if they get enough room to maneuver out of the pin. But, I think Aikido's ikkyo evolved out of explorations of how to keep the aiki connection the entire time.

Though I think the original kata - at least the way we do it in the main school - really is hugely valuable in terms of teaching how to GET IN THERE before that sword comes down. I guess that principle is generally subsumed under the study of "irimi" in Aikido. Its very "this is the most important principle of the art and you are shown it in the very first kata"-ish.

(And fwiw, Saotome Sensei has said that "ikkyo means first movement." That implies that the entry is the most important thing in ikkyo, as it is in ippon dori.)

People don't tend to perform shomenuchi like they are really trying to cut you in half among the people I do Aikido with, its more like a kendo cut what we do. So you can't get in before the strike starts to come down, because it never went up high enough, and if you try to get in physically its clashy / impactful and doesn't result in a good Aikido technique. BUT - training ippon dori teaches you to enter "energetically" as Ledyard Sensei might say, and that can really change the way you do ikkyo.

P.S. When practicing Ippon Dori I have found that the sweet spot where you snag uke is on the "ikkyo curve" that has been mentioned in this thread.

rugwithlegs
11-03-2015, 03:05 PM
Thanks for posting that! Very cool clip. Kondo Sensei and Daito Ryu have important insights for Aikido people.

You're right, there are two ways to move the shoulder to extremes - one that come to an Ikkyo-Yonkyo direction, and the other that leads to Shihonage/Kotegaeshi-ish angles, so many arts figured that out and there are many ways to make this happen not just one kata. In terms of defining Ikkyo and the Yoshinkan Ikkajo, I am not certain if the name hardens back to our roots. Ikkyo is now one thing, with a hugely broad level of applicability.

But, like the OP noted, I was first told do an arm bar in my first class, and trained for years before the "Thing One" name became so nebulous.

One blog by Patrick Parker talked about the difference between the First Thing and the One Thing. I started in an association that had me do Ikkyo to Yonkyo for every test, I now train in one where 5th kyu is one Ikkyo, nikyo appears on the fourth kyu test, etc. I feel my shoulders were healthier to have regular stretching of all the above compared to the beginners I see now getting no Sankyo for a year, then several Sankyo techniques for one test. I do pull away from the idea of First and chronology. I don't consider Yonkyo to be something that should wait until after Ikkyo, Nikyo, Sankyo.

robin_jet_alt
11-03-2015, 03:30 PM
Is this ikkyo?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5IcDZQCMls
my vote is, yes.

Absolutely!!!!

phitruong
11-03-2015, 05:08 PM
Is this ikkyo?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5IcDZQCMls
my vote is, yes.

nope! not ikkyo! that's taiji! a bunch of aikido heathens! they wore silk pajamas to a fight! didn't even have the decency to put on a skirt! come one, eveyone in aikido knows that you can't do effective ikkyo without a skirt.

here is another aikido heathen who even suggested to do ikkyo on the way down https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ba6NShe6ak (start around 19m or so). although he didn't tell you the secret of his approach, that in order for it to work, you have to sing "all about that bass" while performing the technique. don't take my words for it. try it out and put the video on youtube. :D

you know that ikkyo curve(s) also run along the hip bones?

Star Dragon
11-03-2015, 05:34 PM
My sense of ikkyo is pretty limited compared to most, but here are three example I particularly like and try to emulate, the last one being from my own teacher.

Shibata Sensei
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4oAP8w_FZE
Gleason Sensei
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCr_-Sewj-8
Barrish Sensei
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uvrq-fPXDiE

Alright. Looks like my first reply to this vanished in the infinity of cyber space. Never mind. Here's another.

Shibata Sensei: He looks like he is sharing a real secret. Something of great importance. Alas, I don't get it. But after all, in a real situation, it's unlikely that I would be crossing hand-swords with my friendly attacker anyway.

Gleason Sensei: Imho, he neglects controlling his uke properly, doing things like moving in closer, getting the arm straight and the elbow locked etc. If uke weren't compliant, Gleason would be in trouble.

Barrish Sensei: His small circle approach makes a lot of sense to me. Wham, down uke goes! He keeps making jokes while teaching, that means he is relaxed, and relaxation equals power, in Aikido and elsewhere. Plus he has a BOB (dummy for striking practice) standing nearby, so I take it, he has a realistic aporoach to martial arts. I like this guy.

No offence to the others, but art for art's sake is one thing, going martial another. To each their own.

robin_jet_alt
11-03-2015, 06:03 PM
Gleason Sensei: Imho, he neglects controlling his uke properly, doing things like moving in closer, getting the arm straight and the elbow locked etc. If uke weren't compliant, Gleason would be in trouble.


That's what I'm trying to tell you. Things like getting the arm straight and the elbow locked are not what makes ikkyo effective, and they are, in and of themselves, ineffective. I think you are barking up the wrong tree. Look at the Ellis Amdur video that Phi posted, which talks about achieving kuzushi on contact. That is really the key to Ikkyo for me, and that is what Gleason is doing.

For what it's worth, I have received ikkyo for Gleason sensei (just once - I'm not a regular student or anything) and I can vouch for it's effectiveness.

kewms
11-03-2015, 06:35 PM
Gleason Sensei: Imho, he neglects controlling his uke properly, doing things like moving in closer, getting the arm straight and the elbow locked etc. If uke weren't compliant, Gleason would be in trouble.

Suggest you find your first opportunity to get on the mat with Gleason Sensei, and take it. Until then, suggest you refrain from commenting about his technique.

Katherine

mathewjgano
11-03-2015, 07:02 PM
Alright. Looks like my first reply to this vanished in the infinity of cyber space. Never mind. Here's another.

Shibata Sensei: He looks like he is sharing a real secret. Something of great importance. Alas, I don't get it. But after all, in a real situation, it's unlikely that I would be crossing hand-swords with my friendly attacker anyway.

Gleason Sensei: Imho, he neglects controlling his uke properly, doing things like moving in closer, getting the arm straight and the elbow locked etc. If uke weren't compliant, Gleason would be in trouble.

Barrish Sensei: His small circle approach makes a lot of sense to me. Wham, down uke goes! He keeps making jokes while teaching, that means he is relaxed, and relaxation equals power, in Aikido and elsewhere. Plus he has a BOB (dummy for striking practice) standing nearby, so I take it, he has a realistic aporoach to martial arts. I like this guy.

No offence to the others, but art for art's sake is one thing, going martial another. To each their own.
My sense of these videos is that they are primarily illustrating a method of entering/displacing/balance-taking...demos, more than anything else. How practical they would be against x,y, or z, opponent, I couldn't say.

I've never practiced with Gleason Sensei, but my understanding is that his method is pretty focused on controlling the center of aite/uke on contact, as Robin mentioned. I believe the same could be described of Shibata Sensei and Barrish Sensei (this was at a seminar he did at another dojo, so the BOB isn't his), but not having experienced anyone other than Barrish Sensei, it's hard for me to compare. I posted the videos because visually they demonstrate qualities I think I can see with regard to that idea of softness and kuzushi on contact, and have a strong focus on that moment of "de ai" as my teacher describes it.

Rupert Atkinson
11-03-2015, 07:21 PM
For me, I like to think that the aim is to do an arm bar or arm lock. Actually, waki-gatame is one of my favourite waza. But, uke does not allow that. He bends his elbow slightly - but not in a stiff way, rather in a sort of squidgy soft bendable way - to protect himself. Then, to deal with that, we, as tori, have to roll his elbow over and voila, the ikkyo shape appears. I always think in practical terms. If someone gives me a soft arm I just lock it out straight away and take advantage (while telling them to maintain it in a more undendable squidgy way next time). Further, more for self-defence, if ikkyo fails due to excessive resistance or my bad technique, I slip past and enter waki-gatame which works great against resistance, they hit the floor, and then I proceed with ikkyo ... only because someone told me to do ikkyo ... Again, for me practicallity must always coexist or linger hidden alongside Aikido perfection.

Star Dragon
11-04-2015, 03:21 PM
That's true, but the arm is not the key to any of them. Sure, you can hurt the arm using pressure points etc., but at the end of the day, that isn't a particularly effective technique. As a matter of fact, as a mechanical arm-bar, ikkyo is a highly ineffective technique. To me, that is a clue that it isn't supposed to be a mechanical arm bar.

I have seen armbars accomplished in no time using Triple Heater 10, 11 and 12, specifically.

Star Dragon
11-04-2015, 03:29 PM
Ikkyo is a control of center by cutting -- and it is a tai jutsu analogue of sword engagement in at least three basic variations:

1) Kiri-otoshi
2) Suri-otoshi
3) Suri-age

Most of what is done as "basic" ikkyo omote is in the mode of 2. 3 is the entry mode of ikkyo ura. 1 is seen in a standing "draw" cut ikkyo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WNXeXMMqKU

YMMV :)

We might add that Taiji also employs a variation of Ikkyo designed to get the opponent completely under control - at least long enough for a knock-out blow to be delivered. :D

Star Dragon
11-04-2015, 03:49 PM
There are some technical aspects shared by Aikido's ikkyo and really a whole bunch of different Daito ryu kata in the Hiden Mokuroku, they aren't all in the Ikkajo set.

I firmly believe ikkyo is derived from Daito ryu's first kata, Ippon Dori.

Here is what Ippon Dori is all about. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHWT6q2PLi8)

The "metaplot" of this kata is that you are being attacked by a guy who has his sword out, and he means to cut you straight in half. You enter as he lifts his sword and take his balance as you touch him. You need to be early enough that you aren't pushing uke back up - if you are late, you do the ura version.

You don't need to keep the aiki on as you take uke down - if you get uke in the right spot with timing / kiai / chutzpah, then its your fault if they get enough room to maneuver out of the pin. But, I think Aikido's ikkyo evolved out of explorations of how to keep the aiki connection the entire time.

Though I think the original kata - at least the way we do it in the main school - really is hugely valuable in terms of teaching how to GET IN THERE before that sword comes down. I guess that principle is generally subsumed under the study of "irimi" in Aikido. Its very "this is the most important principle of the art and you are shown it in the very first kata"-ish.

(And fwiw, Saotome Sensei has said that "ikkyo means first movement." That implies that the entry is the most important thing in ikkyo, as it is in ippon dori.)

People don't tend to perform shomenuchi like they are really trying to cut you in half among the people I do Aikido with, its more like a kendo cut what we do. So you can't get in before the strike starts to come down, because it never went up high enough, and if you try to get in physically its clashy / impactful and doesn't result in a good Aikido technique. BUT - training ippon dori teaches you to enter "energetically" as Ledyard Sensei might say, and that can really change the way you do ikkyo.

I would say, intercepting a raised arm the way your typical shomen-uchi ikkyo requires is not likely to happen in a realistic attack. Entering "energetically" - that sounds interesting, however.

P.S. When practicing Ippon Dori I have found that the sweet spot where you snag uke is on the "ikkyo curve" that has been mentioned in this thread.

Could you elaborate on this, please?

Star Dragon
11-04-2015, 04:04 PM
nope! not ikkyo! that's taiji! a bunch of aikido heathens! they wore silk pajamas to a fight! didn't even have the decency to put on a skirt! come one, eveyone in aikido knows that you can't do effective ikkyo without a skirt.

here is another aikido heathen who even suggested to do ikkyo on the way down https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ba6NShe6ak (start around 19m or so). although he didn't tell you the secret of his approach, that in order for it to work, you have to sing "all about that bass" while performing the technique. don't take my words for it. try it out and put the video on youtube. :D

you know that ikkyo curve(s) also run along the hip bones?

Interesting video. I will watch this in full when I find the time.

PeterR
11-04-2015, 04:17 PM
For me, I like to think that the aim is to do an arm bar or arm lock. Actually, waki-gatame is one of my favourite waza. But, uke does not allow that. He bends his elbow slightly - but not in a stiff way, rather in a sort of squidgy soft bendable way - to protect himself. Then, to deal with that, we, as tori, have to roll his elbow over and voila, the ikkyo shape appears. I always think in practical terms. If someone gives me a soft arm I just lock it out straight away and take advantage (while telling them to maintain it in a more undendable squidgy way next time). Further, more for self-defence, if ikkyo fails due to excessive resistance or my bad technique, I slip past and enter waki-gatame which works great against resistance, they hit the floor, and then I proceed with ikkyo ... only because someone told me to do ikkyo ... Again, for me practicallity must always coexist or linger hidden alongside Aikido perfection.

Rupert I like this. My approach is almost directly opposite to this in that I teach waki as a variation of oshitaoshi. Where the latter attacks close to the center, waki moves away. But your locking/unlocking arm idea is something I can use. Waki is my second favourite technique - ushiro my first.

Star Dragon
11-04-2015, 04:23 PM
Suggest you find your first opportunity to get on the mat with Gleason Sensei, and take it. Until then, suggest you refrain from commenting about his technique.

Katherine

My purpose here is not to critisize any individual practitioners but to openly discuss different ways of doing the technique. Of course, you are free to question my conclusions, just like I question much of Aikido as commonly taught regarding its practicality. Not applying a proper arm bar with ikkyo belongs into that category.

Star Dragon
11-04-2015, 04:32 PM
For me, I like to think that the aim is to do an arm bar or arm lock.

Thanks. Nice to hear somebody agree with me on this.

Actually, waki-gatame is one of my favourite waza. But, uke does not allow that. He bends his elbow slightly - but not in a stiff way, rather in a sort of squidgy soft bendable way - to protect himself. Then, to deal with that, we, as tori, have to roll his elbow over and voila, the ikkyo shape appears. I always think in practical terms. If someone gives me a soft arm I just lock it out straight away and take advantage (while telling them to maintain it in a more undendable squidgy way next time). Further, more for self-defence, if ikkyo fails due to excessive resistance or my bad technique, I slip past and enter waki-gatame which works great against resistance, they hit the floor, and then I proceed with ikkyo ... only because someone told me to do ikkyo ... Again, for me practicallity must always coexist or linger hidden alongside Aikido perfection.

Otherwise those who claim that by Aikido you can't fight your way out of a wet paper bag must be right.

kewms
11-04-2015, 04:57 PM
My purpose here is not to critisize any individual practitioners but to openly discuss different ways of doing the technique. Of course, you are free to question my conclusions, just like I question much of Aikido as commonly taught regarding its practicality. Not applying a proper arm bar with ikkyo belongs into that category.

As others in this thread have repeatedly noted, it's not accurate to consider ikkyo as exclusively an armbar technique. When a well-respected teacher performs the technique in a way that appears ineffective to you, that might be an excellent opportunity to expand your understanding.

With regard to Gleason Sensei specifically, I have to admit to being biased. I trained at his dojo for many years, and have worked with the specific partner shown in this video many times. Let's just say that your claim that he is "in trouble" in this video reflects a profound ignorance of what is actually going on.

Katherine

robin_jet_alt
11-04-2015, 05:26 PM
I have seen armbars accomplished in no time using Triple Heater 10, 11 and 12, specifically.

I'm not saying that it is not possible to control people with an armbar. Just that aikido's ikkyo is not a very good armbar. To quote Bill Gleason - "Aikido without aiki is just bad jujustu." If you are going to learn jujutsu, surely you would want it to be good jujutsu, and I don't think aikido really meets that requirement.

Cliff Judge
11-04-2015, 06:55 PM
I would say, intercepting a raised arm the way your typical shomen-uchi ikkyo requires is not likely to happen in a realistic attack. Entering "energetically" - that sounds interesting, however.

In terms of the classical Japanese model that Daito ryu is built on, that's entirely irrelevant. The question is whether its a good kata - does it continue to provide deeper challenges over years of practice, and does it install general skills that can be accessed in many different scenarios without thought. YMMV when it comes to Aikido on the other hand.

Star Dragon
11-05-2015, 02:04 AM
As others in this thread have repeatedly noted, it's not accurate to consider ikkyo as exclusively an armbar technique. When a well-respected teacher performs the technique in a way that appears ineffective to you, that might be an excellent opportunity to expand your understanding.

With regard to Gleason Sensei specifically, I have to admit to being biased. I trained at his dojo for many years, and have worked with the specific partner shown in this video many times. Let's just say that your claim that he is "in trouble" in this video reflects a profound ignorance of what is actually going on.

Katherine

I said I think he would be in trouble if the uke was non-compliant. This is certainly not due to a lack of skill on Gleason's part, rather to how he chooses to apply his skill. His aim here seems to be different from mine, which is to neutralize the threat that the opponent poses as quickly and effectively as possible. Like many an Aikido practitioners, Gleason appears to emphasize "playing" with motion. So he transitions from ikkyo to kote-gaeshi without real necessity. While teaching this, I would emphasize that it is recommendable only under certain special circumstances, mostly if the uke manages to get out of the original arm lock. Okay, that's also a way to counteract the lack of control that I supposedly observed, but it is a wasted and risky motion from a martial perspective.

Star Dragon
11-05-2015, 02:20 AM
I'm not saying that it is not possible to control people with an armbar. Just that aikido's ikkyo is not a very good armbar. To quote Bill Gleason - "Aikido without aiki is just bad jujustu." If you are going to learn jujutsu, surely you would want it to be good jujutsu, and I don't think aikido really meets that requirement.

I am not surprised that Gleason Sensei said this. And rather than taking the aiki out of ikkyo, I am interested in applying it to its full potential as to enhance the technique. The result should be the same as when using this technique in the Ju-jutsu fashion, but it should be achieved with less resistance and effort.

If ikkyo is not a good armbar, what is it? Just a way to unbalance the opponent? To what end?

And isn't there a thing called Aiki-(ju-)jutsu?

Star Dragon
11-05-2015, 02:59 AM
In terms of the classical Japanese model that Daito ryu is built on, that's entirely irrelevant. The question is whether its a good kata - does it continue to provide deeper challenges over years of practice, and does it install general skills that can be accessed in many different scenarios without thought.

Well, I can see that even the most flowery techniques will help improve things like alignment, balance, fluidity of motion etc. Alas, they ingrain methods that would be suicidal in a martial sense at the same time - and you fight the way you train.

YMMV when it comes to Aikido on the other hand.

If anything, Daito-ryu should have the more sound methods - martially speaking.

Rupert Atkinson
11-05-2015, 03:35 AM
I should add, I really like and do all the fluffy versions and try to add aiki to what I do, but at any and every point in any technique, not only ikkyo, lurking behind should be latent power, either soft or hard, preferably soft, in reserve.

jonreading
11-05-2015, 08:49 AM
I am not surprised that Gleason Sensei said this. And rather than taking the aiki out of ikkyo, I am interested in applying it to its full potential as to enhance the technique. The result should be the same as when using this technique in the Ju-jutsu fashion, but it should be achieved with less resistance and effort.

If ikkyo is not a good armbar, what is it? Just a way to unbalance the opponent? To what end?

And isn't there a thing called Aiki-(ju-)jutsu?

As an introspective questions, what do you think good jujutsu is? Or good judo? Techniques from these arts are also soft and powerful. Heck, one of judo's matra's is maximum efficiency with minimum effort. Good jujutsu is nothing to sneeze at, nor good karate, judo, etc. They all have armbars, too. So what makes ikkyo different?

As something of an elaboration to my earlier comment, aiki is what makes us different. Why is ikkyo not just an armbar (ikkajo)? Because we don't limit it to being an armbar. Rupert brought up a good point that I think we sometimes miss in our ikkyo - if uke does not defend the arm, we isolate it and apply an armbar. If uke defends the arm, our techniques moves through the arm and into the body. The scenario should be that uke is not presented with an opportunity to escape regardless of what she does. To put terms on other arts, the movement improves our position regardless of aite's response.

Aiki is what unbalances our partner. Kuzushi on contact and all that. Victory in an instant, blah blah blah. Ikkyo is not just an arm bar because it has aiki. So in some sense, think of it as armbar+. But because we move with aiki, we also don't actually need the "joint lock" component. The joint lock happens if uke is unable to actually defend the arm (for whatever reason).

Demetrio Cereijo
11-05-2015, 10:18 AM
Good JJ?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDVO9kXu5Lc

Start at 1:45

kewms
11-05-2015, 11:10 AM
I said I think he would be in trouble if the uke was non-compliant. This is certainly not due to a lack of skill on Gleason's part, rather to how he chooses to apply his skill. His aim here seems to be different from mine, which is to neutralize the threat that the opponent poses as quickly and effectively as possible. Like many an Aikido practitioners, Gleason appears to emphasize "playing" with motion. So he transitions from ikkyo to kote-gaeshi without real necessity. While teaching this, I would emphasize that it is recommendable only under certain special circumstances, mostly if the uke manages to get out of the original arm lock. Okay, that's also a way to counteract the lack of control that I supposedly observed, but it is a wasted and risky motion from a martial perspective.

Well, sure. He's teaching a class, not taking down a mugger. I think he'd be the first to agree that practical applications don't look like kihon waza.

I still think you're mistaken about his "lack of control," though. "Playing" with motion in this way requires more control of uke, not less.

Katherine

jonreading
11-05-2015, 11:56 AM
Good JJ?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDVO9kXu5Lc

Start at 1:45

Yes. Roy Dean does a lot with the elbow/back connection in his arm controls, too.

https://youtu.be/gc5YRdv-wSw
Nothing like a little arm control...

I think a critical component of the mechanics of ikkyo (i.e. body control through the arm) is breaking the connection between the elbow and the lat. muscle group. You see that in a lot of groundwork, from positional defense to holds (like kata katame). Standing kumi kata, too...

Not aiki, but good enough to eat my lunch...

Hilary
11-05-2015, 12:16 PM
"from your replies I gather that breaking the uke's balance is the crucial issue here."

Kind of clear you don't understand kuzushi or its benefits. This statement alone, and certainly in concert with the technique centrism, indicates your level of understanding.

It is a rather sad state of affairs that Kathryn has to state the obvious in the comment just above, for it is not obvious, apparently, to all.

Rupert Atkinson
11-05-2015, 04:55 PM
Good JJ?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDVO9kXu5Lc

Start at 1:45

That is not Jujutsu. It is wrestling with a keikogi.

robin_jet_alt
11-05-2015, 04:56 PM
"from your replies I gather that breaking the uke's balance is the crucial issue here."

Kind of clear you don't understand kuzushi or its benefits. This statement alone, and certainly in concert with the technique centrism, indicates your level of understanding.

It is a rather sad state of affairs that Kathryn has to state the obvious in the comment just above, for it is not obvious, apparently, to all.

I agree. I give up. We are obviously speaking different languages. Do what you like.

PeterR
11-05-2015, 05:28 PM
Talk about circling the wagons.

Star Dragon
11-06-2015, 04:13 AM
As an introspective questions, what do you think good jujutsu is? Or good judo? Techniques from these arts are also soft and powerful. Heck, one of judo's matra's is maximum efficiency with minimum effort. Good jujutsu is nothing to sneeze at, nor good karate, judo, etc. They all have armbars, too. So what makes ikkyo different?

One of the differences is that, doing an armbar in Ju-jutsu or Karate, you might hit the elbow joint, potentially breaking it. Aikido's approach is generally more subtle.

As something of an elaboration to my earlier comment, aiki is what makes us different. Why is ikkyo not just an armbar (ikkajo)? Because we don't limit it to being an armbar. Rupert brought up a good point that I think we sometimes miss in our ikkyo - if uke does not defend the arm, we isolate it and apply an armbar. If uke defends the arm, our techniques moves through the arm and into the body. The scenario should be that uke is not presented with an opportunity to escape regardless of what she does. To put terms on other arts, the movement improves our position regardless of aite's response.

Excellent. To flow from one thing to another, rather than trying to force it, is certainly a basic principle of Aikido. Talking about the case at hand (no pun intended), what might we go into if we can't get the armbar on?

Aiki is what unbalances our partner. Kuzushi on contact and all that. Victory in an instant, blah blah blah. Ikkyo is not just an arm bar because it has aiki. So in some sense, think of it as armbar+. But because we move with aiki, we also don't actually need the "joint lock" component. The joint lock happens if uke is unable to actually defend the arm (for whatever reason).

I would still look at it the other way around though: We try to get the joint lock on first but move on to something else if uke resists our attempt.

Star Dragon
11-06-2015, 04:25 AM
"from your replies I gather that breaking the uke's balance is the crucial issue here."

Kind of clear you don't understand kuzushi or its benefits. This statement alone, and certainly in concert with the technique centrism, indicates your level of understanding.

It is a rather sad state of affairs that Kathryn has to state the obvious in the comment just above, for it is not obvious, apparently, to all.

Actually, Aikido constitutes a smaller part of my martial arts background. What is a rather sad state of affairs is that I can't ask what may be obvious to advanced practitioners without inviting this sort of comment. I came to this forum to learn things.

Star Dragon
11-06-2015, 04:29 AM
I agree. I give up. We are obviously speaking different languages.

Wenn du meinst.

Do what you like.

What else am I supposed to do?

Star Dragon
11-06-2015, 04:31 AM
Talk about circling the wagons.

The way of harmony? :D

Peter Goldsbury
11-06-2015, 05:59 AM
Actually, Aikido constitutes a smaller part of my martial arts background. What is a rather sad state of affairs is that I can't ask what may be obvious to advanced practitioners without inviting this sort of comment. I came to this forum to learn things.

Hello.

I sympathize with you, but this is what happens when you, anyone, attempt(s) to discuss techniques (waza) in an Internet discussion forum. There are so many different assumptions behind the views expressed here that finding any common ground is next to impossible. I think there are various reasons for this, but it would cause too much thread drift to examine them here.

Cliff Judge
11-06-2015, 06:59 AM
Generally speaking, "oh you guys must be doing something other than a martial art" is hard on an internet thread among Aikido people from different backgrounds.

Walter Martindale
11-06-2015, 07:57 AM
Ikkyo... Well... One sensei of mine described the finishing movement of ikkyo omote as using the arm somewhat like a "push broom" - with uke's head being the sweeping part of the broom - elbow controlled and locked straight, used as a push-tool to get uke to the mat, head first.

At one seminar, the late Kawahara Yukio shihan showed us that 'in the old days' ikkyo could be finished off with uke pinned to the floor via the elbow, and the elbow dislocated with a strong lift of the wrist. No.. he didn't actually break uke's arm, but showed the possibility.

I've attended seminars presented by Kawahara (d), Masuda, Ichihashi (d), and Takase, all of whom have (had) slightly different versions of ikkyo, but in common to all was the sense that you don't hurt your training partners - in fact you try to protect them (Masuda is quite emphatic about that) - but that there are definite ways to hurt someone if you need to.

kewms
11-06-2015, 11:29 AM
Actually, Aikido constitutes a smaller part of my martial arts background. What is a rather sad state of affairs is that I can't ask what may be obvious to advanced practitioners without inviting this sort of comment. I came to this forum to learn things.

Honestly, you'll learn more if you avoid the forum and spend the time on the mat with good teachers instead. Verbal discussions of body-based phenomena are always challenging, even more so when the subject matter is as subtle as the connections between uke and nage in ikkyo. (Or any other technique.)

Katherine

kewms
11-06-2015, 11:41 AM
Excellent. To flow from one thing to another, rather than trying to force it, is certainly a basic principle of Aikido. Talking about the case at hand (no pun intended), what might we go into if we can't get the armbar on?

Pretty much any other technique in aikido. Certainly nikkyo, sankyo, yonkyo can all be seen as variations of ikkyo, but irimi nage is right there, too. Kotegaeshi and shihonage are a little more difficult -- they have sort of "reverse ikkyo" shapes -- but you'll get there pretty easily if uke tries to drop his elbow. Hip throws? There's a whole library of koshinage variations that take ikkyo as the starting point. And so on...

You might find it helpful to think of aikido techniques not as a library of "things to do to uke," but as a collection of kata for studying different aspects of body movement and aiki. Which is not to say that aikido doesn't have practical applications -- if you think someone like Gleason Sensei is an easy target you are a fool -- but "fighting" and physical self-defense are not its primary focus.

Katherine

Star Dragon
11-06-2015, 11:42 AM
Ikkyo... Well... One sensei of mine described the finishing movement of ikkyo omote as using the arm somewhat like a "push broom" - with uke's head being the sweeping part of the broom - elbow controlled and locked straight, used as a push-tool to get uke to the mat, head first.

At one seminar, the late Kawahara Yukio shihan showed us that 'in the old days' ikkyo could be finished off with uke pinned to the floor via the elbow, and the elbow dislocated with a strong lift of the wrist. No.. he didn't actually break uke's arm, but showed the possibility.

I've attended seminars presented by Kawahara (d), Masuda, Ichihashi (d), and Takase, all of whom have (had) slightly different versions of ikkyo, but in common to all was the sense that you don't hurt your training partners - in fact you try to protect them (Masuda is quite emphatic about that) - but that there are definite ways to hurt someone if you need to.

In Yamashina, Kyoto, we practised a variation without pinning the arm to the floor but resting it on one's own thigh in a half-kneeling stance, bending and twisting uke's hand, and pushing their arm forward by one's whole body while the free hand was exerting pressure on the shoulder. Let me tell you this was a quick way to force uke into submission, otherwise the shoulder joint would have been dislocated. You sound like you may have practised a similar technique, except that you were pinning the elbow to the floor rather than the shoulder.

mathewjgano
11-06-2015, 12:19 PM
Again to stress my ignorance, I'm just offering whatever I can here. Please anyone correct me where I seem to be wrong. Also, my understanding of my own school's methods is somewhat limited, so please take whatever assertions I make with a grain of salt.

Let's start with the method to control uke's elbow, as there are different takes on how to go about doing that. Aikidoka will generally apply their sword hand to uke's elbow. But does this still work when we are already in a position with uke's arm right in front of us touching our body, with no room for our "unbendable arm"?

My understanding is that unbendable arm isn't a stiff-arm, so it doesn't necessarily have to be straight/at full extension, if that's what you mean with this question. If I'm remembering correctly, at my school we apply pressure to the medial epicondyle to help induce rotation to pitch the head/upper body forward. This doesn't so much lock the elbow as it does tip aite/uke forward off their base, allowing for the throw or pin. So in this sense, it doesn't feel like controlling the elbow so much as also controlling the elbow along with the arm and hips. However, if my control of uke's balance isn't very good, I'm using that tegatana at the elbow as a fulcrum while drawing uke's arm away from their body. In retrospect I might see where you're coming from with regard to arm bar now, since I'm trying to create enough outward extension of the arm to gain control of the hips...though not necessarily locking it; to then move through for a pin or throw.

One common form is to push the elbow towards uke's head first. I have only seen that in Aikido so far. What's the merit of doing that? Surely, it's a way to break uke's balance. In Aikido Toho Iai it is said however that this method has no relation to sword fighting and actually endangers tori as there would be plenty of opportunity for uke to hit tori meanwhile.

My limited understanding is that once you have sufficient control of the arm to lift and push the elbow toward uke's head, you're ideally floating part of the hip, which diminishes uke's power for one thing, but also controlling the upper spine by pressing the arm/elbow against it. If it's not "clean," uke can rotate and enter with the free arm, but if you have control of the spine and hips, they're bound in place more or less. One of my personal checks for practicing ikkyo is to ask my partner if he or she can touch me with their other arm. They usually can make the motion, but because I have the initiative, I can usually make a slight ushiro/backward movement creating a better "corner" that they have to move around to get me, or, slightly worse case scenario, drop the "ikkyo-ed" arm into the oncoming "tag," using it as a shield.
Of course, all much easier said than done, but this is my experience, limited though it may be.

Hilary
11-06-2015, 12:31 PM
It is not that you ask the question, it is that you are claiming ignorance while assuming experiential authority.

You state you have studied with various and sundry senseis (as well as other arts), yet when you discuss sensei Gleason’s video you do not seem to understand the simple context of teaching a principle in a class. He is working on a level of body mechanics, the value of which, you do not seem to perceive or understand. The irony of claiming Bill Gleason not effective is kind of saying Keith Richards can’t jam.

“he neglects controlling his uke properly”…

Since he is demonstrating redirecting incoming force and kuzushi on contact, he is dispensing with the rest of the control and takedown, and focusing on that element of the pedagogy; with all your martial experience is that not clear to you? Have you not seen this in all your dojo’s, both aikido and other arts? So when you make statements like this we tend to lump you into the “my monkey claw of death” beats your “spleen exploding pinky strike” level of martial awareness.

“Not applying a proper arm bar with ikkyo belongs into that category”

Ikkyo is not an arm bar, certainly not an arm bar as is taught in either Tang Soo Do, Shaolin Kempo or a handful of Krav Maga classes. FYI gokkyu (as taught in our flavor of Aikido) is much closer to the aforementioned arm bars, but still not the same. So telling me my car is not a pickup truck and stating that lack of a tailgate renders my car ineffective at moving people is vaguely annoying.

In principle we have been taught to lock the wrist, to lock the elbow to move the shoulder to control the center. Advanced application is often a dynamic contact lock to use uke’s own momentum and tension/tensegrity as part of the lock (rather than having to grab and twist). The key to making it effective is the initial kuzushi which breaks uke’s structure/balance and stops further attack by destabilizing their base, even if only momentarily; from any angle, from any attack.

“His aim here seems to be different from mine, which is to neutralize the threat that the opponent
poses as quickly and effectively as possible.”

Unbalancing your opponent leaves you with a world of options. You seem to have the illusion that in the real world your techniques will work perfectly the first time and undoubtedly render your opponent powerless in the blink of an eye. Since combat is all about movement, initiative, and spontaneous adaptation, understanding movement and flow at an autonomous level allows one to shift to solution B, C, and D…when your first action didn’t go quite as expected (for whatever reason). So the kotogaishe is a “oh and while you are here you have many options available including this”, this is not kata.

I suppose I am somewhat at fault for criticizing technique centrism in the techniques sub forum…mea culpa. But technique is only the starting point in this art. Again it is not that you asked these questions, it is that, rather clumsily, you criticized the orchestra rehearing stanzas 35 and 36 for not finishing the symphony. That does not require any significantly advanced knowledge to discern, merely sometime on the matt in any normal dojo.

Keep asking questions, but I do suggest that you move off of technique as your focus and start working to understand the underlying principles and make them part of your everyday movement; this is the path to effectivity.

mathewjgano
11-06-2015, 01:25 PM
Keep asking questions, but I do suggest that you move off of technique as your focus and start working to understand the underlying principles and make them part of your everyday movement; this is the path to effectivity.

What is the purpose of a "Techniques" forum, though, if not to address the forms the principles create?

Cliff Judge
11-06-2015, 01:35 PM
In Yamashina, Kyoto, we practised a variation without pinning the arm to the floor but resting it on one's own thigh in a half-kneeling stance, bending and twisting uke's hand, and pushing their arm forward by one's whole body while the free hand was exerting pressure on the shoulder. Let me tell you this was a quick way to force uke into submission, otherwise the shoulder joint would have been dislocated. You sound like you may have practised a similar technique, except that you were pinning the elbow to the floor rather than the shoulder.

Be careful about thinking of that type of pin - any pin in Aikido really - as a submission pin. The thing that is IMO the original technique is only meant to provide nage with a moment during which he or she can deploy a weapon to finish uke.

Play around with someone who trains Systema frequently and you will be aghast at how pins that only hold one arm down can be escaped from. Submission requires control of more of the body.

Erick Mead
11-06-2015, 01:37 PM
There are so many different assumptions behind the views expressed here that finding any common ground is next to impossible. I think there are various reasons for this, but it would cause too much thread drift to examine them here. Traditional terms of art are mostly used as idiosyncratic totemic labels of what each writer already thinks about a topic. So, these conceptual terms in their typical usage cannot really form the basis for clear discussion about what we ought to know and ought to think about the actual subject they purport to describe. The collapse into meaningless contests of perception and authority ensues -- a tiresome game with little resolution.

The resistance to grounding discussions in objective biology and mechanics seems born of equal parts romanticism, exoticism and possibly obscurantism. IHTBF is fine -- but language about real things at high levels ought to denote transferable concepts describing what is felt and done. Our language better serve us that way than just as verbal symbols for the team jerseys.

For this reason, I ground my points about the basic movements of ikkyo in the sword awase, which are fairly objective, plainly demonstrable and easily related to the empty-handed waza. Did it last night for our class, in fact. Added a related kuzushi exercise. Good class.

mathewjgano
11-06-2015, 01:45 PM
...with no room for our "unbendable arm"?


...Just realized this could also mean no room for our arm at all: I would guess to use the torso to walk into the place where the tegatana would be.

Cliff Judge
11-06-2015, 01:46 PM
Is this ikkyo?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5IcDZQCMls
my vote is, yes.

I was watching this a bit last night, Jon, and I am curious what you think is ikkyo about this. There are a couple of things I am curious about:

- on the face of it, this would seem to be a cycling exchange of ikkyos that fail.
- this lacks the rising and falling type of movement pattern, I think. The spiraling seems to be mostly horizontal.

Ellis's video was also rather horizontal, though I think the up part happens before contact with uke. What I recall him saying about the general movement patterns in Aikido was that ikkyo was rising and falling.

And yes, I have heard about ikkyo curves around the hips but I am not sure I am willing to call those "ikkyo curves". I guess I basically feel like ikkyo leads with rising and has lateral movement as a secondary thing (maybe in Billspeak I could say I feel the water dragon is more important than the fire dragon in ikkyo.)

Hilary
11-06-2015, 02:14 PM
What is the purpose of a "Techniques" forum, though, if not to address the forms the principles create?

Well I did admit to that in the post above, once again oops. However, in the end, reliance on technique alone is one of the reasons we constantly get the "effectiveness" question. The overarching focus on an ever expanding menu of techniques, in the absence of kuzushi and body skills, is why sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

Without turning this into another long post, perhaps it is time we stop divorcing kuzushi and body skills from the technique. I expect the separation of the two has mostly to do with “you have to learn the gross movements first” approach to learning (not unreasonable at all), and the body skills take longer, are harder to learn, and not as much fun.

More directly I consider kuzushi to be fundamentally part of the technique, but often it is not taught that way. How many times have you stood there as uke with nage cranking on your wrist while you are balanced and grounded (I am talking yudansha not just kyus).

From personal experience I did not start to become “effective” until I shifted my focus from technique to kuzushi. Once that happened, uke was compromised and whatever technique(s) that was appropriate seemed to present itself for the taking, no tactical thought required.

But enough of that, as I am causing thread drift I will respectfully bow out.

phitruong
11-06-2015, 02:24 PM
My limited understanding is that once you have sufficient control of the arm to lift and push the elbow toward uke's head, you're ideally floating part of the hip, which diminishes uke's power for one thing, but also controlling the upper spine by pressing the arm/elbow against it. If it's not "clean," uke can rotate and enter with the free arm, but if you have control of the spine and hips, they're bound in place more or less. One of my personal checks for practicing ikkyo is to ask my partner if he or she can touch me with their other arm. They usually can make the motion, but because I have the initiative, I can usually make a slight ushiro/backward movement creating a better "corner" that they have to move around to get me, or, slightly worse case scenario, drop the "ikkyo-ed" arm into the oncoming "tag," using it as a shield.


Matthew, might want to think of uke throwing back fist and/or kick to your ribs or your leading knee. and extreme from uke would be scissor kicks. uke can sacrifice his/her arm to get you.

phitruong
11-06-2015, 02:34 PM
- on the face of it, this would seem to be a cycling exchange of ikkyos that fail.
- this lacks the rising and falling type of movement pattern, I think. The spiraling seems to be mostly horizontal.


The push-hand model isn't the same as the aikido nage-uke model. the push-hand model assumes that the other person has similar skill and tries to get you as you try to get him. if another person applies ikkyo on you, it's your part of the learning to neutralize it and return the favor. we don't do no stinking ukemi!

as far as the rising and failing go, didn't you see their spleens and kidneys bouncing up and down doing the river dance? you need to look harder. What is one of Ikeda sensei favorite saying, "move your inside"?


And yes, I have heard about ikkyo curves around the hips but I am not sure I am willing to call those "ikkyo curves". I guess I basically feel like ikkyo leads with rising and has lateral movement as a secondary thing (maybe in Billspeak I could say I feel the water dragon is more important than the fire dragon in ikkyo.)

i don't call "around the hips" the ikkyo curve either, especially around the missus, unless i want a can of whoopass. and please, no water dragon around the hips region. :D

mathewjgano
11-06-2015, 02:45 PM
Matthew, might want to think of uke throwing back fist and/or kick to your ribs or your leading knee. and extreme from uke would be scissor kicks. uke can sacrifice his/her arm to get you.

Good points! Thank you, Phi!

But enough of that, as I am causing thread drift I will respectfully bow out.

Well, I've certainly "helped" in adding to it. I deeply agree with you about not divorcing kuzushi/body skills from the techniques. I don't know much, but I do believe they're at the heart of the matter, so I can see why it would be important to reinforce their role.
Take care,
Matt

Star Dragon
11-06-2015, 03:13 PM
I can tell that some of you find my approach to this thread rather confusing, and obviously some misunderstandings have occurred. It might help if I tell you something about where I come from and what my aims are. I have practised various martial arts over the last few decades. My training in Aikido was fairly intense, but even though I greatly enjoyed it, it didn't last very long. It took place in different schools, both in Japan and in Switzerland. I eventually had to stop it, due to changing circumstances. That happened around 25 years ago.

I am currently training two other martial arts, one of which requires a degree of individual creativity. So, among other things, I am integrating some of the basic Aikido I once learned into my practice. In this context, I am trying to clarify, extend and enhance certain things.

It is possible that one day I will take up Aikido per say again, but that would probably mean cutting down on the other arts I am involved with. That's not where I am right now.

I sometimes question what martial artists (including myself!) are doing, but this is not meant to ridicule any practitioners, and I am sorry if that is the impression some of you have got. What I am hoping for here is a comparative technical discussion that some of you might take something away from as well. Several things that I heard so far gave me food for thought, and I appreciate all of you sharing your knowledge and views, whether I agree with them or not.

rugwithlegs
11-06-2015, 06:44 PM
Well, the thread is labeled divergent approaches. There are many different ways, and not really in conflict with each other. "Many right ways, just many, many wrong ways." Defining Ikkajo historically is also not as clear cut as "arm bar."

Effectiveness is not really a useful discussion when we cannot even see each other.

kewms
11-06-2015, 07:41 PM
...Just realized this could also mean no room for our arm at all: I would guess to use the torso to walk into the place where the tegatana would be.

Yup. I've been on the receiving end of some quite effective ikkyos where the contact with my elbow was my partner's torso or upper thigh. There are also some fun variations involving a knee to the chest or a kick in the face with the inside leg. The ikkyo-to-koshinage variations have lots of atemi with the free ("elbow") hand to help make space to get the hips in.

All of which are sort of pointless to discuss without video or hands-on demonstrations, but so it goes.

Katherine

Peter Goldsbury
11-07-2015, 02:11 AM
What is the purpose of a "Techniques" forum, though, if not to address the forms the principles create?

Hello Matthew,

Well I suppose a Technique forum exists partly because Jun wants to run a comprehensive forum. However, it does not follow that discussions about techniques in such a forum are beneficial, or even useful.

Having read through the forum, I can see and acknowledge that some of the variations that posters have mentioned are, yes, all 1kyou. If you think of the waza as a set of stages from before the initial contact till after the final pin, there are so many ways of getting from the beginning to the end. I have had a succession of teachers in the years I have been training, including a good few years with Gleason's own teacher, and I know all the variations discussed. I also have my own preferred way of executing the waza. But I think you can see this only in the dojo, with partners or opponents who do, or do not, cooperate.

mathewjgano
11-07-2015, 07:08 PM
Hello Matthew,

Well I suppose a Technique forum exists partly because Jun wants to run a comprehensive forum. However, it does not follow that discussions about techniques in such a forum are beneficial, or even useful.

Having read through the forum, I can see and acknowledge that some of the variations that posters have mentioned are, yes, all 1kyou. If you think of the waza as a set of stages from before the initial contact till after the final pin, there are so many ways of getting from the beginning to the end. I have had a succession of teachers in the years I have been training, including a good few years with Gleason's own teacher, and I know all the variations discussed. I also have my own preferred way of executing the waza. But I think you can see this only in the dojo, with partners or opponents who do, or do not, cooperate.

Hi Prof. Goldsbury,
Thank you for the comments! I do not think it necessarily follows that discussion about technique is useful, but I'm open to the idea that discussion can inspire attention to different aspects while doing actual practice later (hopefully not in a way that interrupts what one's teacher is trying to convey). I think the best anyone can do is try to describe their own experiences and points of focus and hope it somehow sparks a useful idea in someone else...I feel like it might be good to have rules similar to the IHTBF column applied to something as subjective and varied as techniques.
Take care,
Matthew

Peter Goldsbury
11-08-2015, 02:28 AM
Hi Prof. Goldsbury,
Thank you for the comments! I do not think it necessarily follows that discussion about technique is useful, but I'm open to the idea that discussion can inspire attention to different aspects while doing actual practice later (hopefully not in a way that interrupts what one's teacher is trying to convey). I think the best anyone can do is try to describe their own experiences and points of focus and hope it somehow sparks a useful idea in someone else...I feel like it might be good to have rules similar to the IHTBF column applied to something as subjective and varied as techniques.
Take care,
Matthew

Hello Matthew,

Sure, but I have not seen your own teacher, or Mr Gleason, or Mr Tissier coming on here to explain their waza. To me, this speaks volumes.

mathewjgano
11-08-2015, 11:02 AM
Hello Matthew,

Sure, but I have not seen your own teacher, or Mr Gleason, or Mr Tissier coming on here to explain their waza. To me, this speaks volumes.

I see your point. Thank you, Prof. Goldsbury.

jonreading
11-09-2015, 08:32 AM
I was watching this a bit last night, Jon, and I am curious what you think is ikkyo about this. There are a couple of things I am curious about:

- on the face of it, this would seem to be a cycling exchange of ikkyos that fail.
- this lacks the rising and falling type of movement pattern, I think. The spiraling seems to be mostly horizontal.

Ellis's video was also rather horizontal, though I think the up part happens before contact with uke. What I recall him saying about the general movement patterns in Aikido was that ikkyo was rising and falling.

And yes, I have heard about ikkyo curves around the hips but I am not sure I am willing to call those "ikkyo curves". I guess I basically feel like ikkyo leads with rising and has lateral movement as a secondary thing (maybe in Billspeak I could say I feel the water dragon is more important than the fire dragon in ikkyo.)

Phi's touched on a couple of the points I would raise, but here are my thoughts:
1. This is a push-hands exercise, so you're not going to see the desire to apply kansetsu waza in the same way we do; although, the end of the video shows what could have been happening the whole time. From this perspective, yes, you are seeing a model where both partners are actually trying to apply the arm control, with one partner succeeding, the other defending/countering.
2. I can't speak for the Chinese arts. Having done the exercise, I would say that there is vertical force, both up and down. Because the movement is internal, it is very difficult to see - your best glimpse is around 1:05 when that power directs down.
3. There is a dialog that all forces should be represented within you. This does not necessarily require a partner, nor does it need to be physically demonstrated. Spiral movement should have three axial forces (6 directions). That is a different movement that the plane on which the spiral moves. Think gyroscope spinning, but also moving on a flat surface - 2 distinct "movements".

Also, a core mechanic in this video is that the arm control is crossing the centerline and breaking the elbow/back connection. Chicken-winging, as it were. The aikido shape tends to break the elbow/back connection with a vertical move, but it can be broke down in a variety of ways. The video Demetrio posted demonstrated the same lateral power line break and the subsequent video I posted also has a lateral power line break. Altough, we often use the lateral line break with our entering moves like irrimi nage or irrimi tenkan movements.

Summing up (for me), this shape has similar core mechanics to ikkyo, it controls the body (regardless of the arm) and it includes arm control. They are completely wearing the wrong type of pajamas, though...
FWIW

Cliff Judge
11-09-2015, 09:40 AM
They definitely look pretty comfy.

jonreading
11-09-2015, 10:17 AM
They definitely look pretty comfy.

I am not sure to what this refers. The idea that crossing hands with Chen Xiaowang is "comfy" is probably laughably untrue. He is considered by many to be one of the best representations of Chinese internal power and skill. I am not sure this looks any different than any number of our exercises performed in a demonstration setting.

Not to drift the thread, but only to point out that we maybe don't know ikkyo outside our kata. Having had this type of ikkyo applied to me, scary is an appropriate word.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-09-2015, 10:20 AM
we maybe don't know enough about ikkyo to know what it looks like outside our kata.
Maybe?

rugwithlegs
11-09-2015, 10:33 AM
I have a small background in the Chinese arts.

The armbar is similar to a basic Ikkyo. I like the push hands practices because there is a definite sense of wanting to feel if the lock is there or not. The one partner is not already committed to falling no matter what, the other is not locked into the same technique regardless of the movement. At least, in theory - some are just doing a circle regardless.

What I do appreciate is that they do break down variations in terms of "energies." In Baguazhang, the Heaven Palm expands outward, while the Earth Palm coils and receives, the Fire Yin Palm sharply pulses straight down, etc. in Taiji, Roll Back or Pull Down can both become arm bars. Really, what looks like a punch can be locking an arm to control the spine and/or break the elbow simultaneously. Taiji talks about 13 separate energies represented by the 8 rig Rams and the five elements, which are usually combined. Xinyiquan has a different five element theory, and also a bunch of animals of which the numbers have changed over time. As crazy and esoteric as it sounds, their language is useful in this regard. I don't know the Japanese terms for such differences.

So, let's restrict the idea to an arm bar with the elbow on top anyway. No, that's not all Ikkyo is.

One of the original variations mentioned I believe was that some don't grab the elbow with the hand but use the forearm instead. Try a Tanto Nage version with the elbow hand holding a knife or something (I bring old cell phones or teddy bears to class). I need to use my forearm to control the elbow. Put the knife in my other hand, and I use the top of my thigh on that side to pin the arm.

Star Dragon
11-10-2015, 02:11 AM
I have a small background in the Chinese arts.

The armbar is similar to a basic Ikkyo. I like the push hands practices because there is a definite sense of wanting to feel if the lock is there or not. The one partner is not already committed to falling no matter what, the other is not locked into the same technique regardless of the movement. At least, in theory - some are just doing a circle regardless.

What I do appreciate is that they do break down variations in terms of "energies." In Baguazhang, the Heaven Palm expands outward, while the Earth Palm coils and receives, the Fire Yin Palm sharply pulses straight down, etc. in Taiji, Roll Back or Pull Down can both become arm bars. Really, what looks like a punch can be locking an arm to control the spine and/or break the elbow simultaneously. Taiji talks about 13 separate energies represented by the 8 rig Rams and the five elements, which are usually combined. Xinyiquan has a different five element theory, and also a bunch of animals of which the numbers have changed over time. As crazy and esoteric as it sounds, their language is useful in this regard. I don't know the Japanese terms for such differences.

In double push hands (as taught by Erle Montaigue), there is actually an armbar (version "forearm on elbow") implied every time one of the partners is doing the active or pushing part. But it happens in such a hidden and flowing manner that it's hard to discern.

An explicit ikkyo type of move can occur when one of the partners senses an opening in the other one's movement, as can be seen on this video from 4:45 on:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJpYt0a5D3Q

So, let's restrict the idea to an arm bar with the elbow on top anyway. No, that's not all Ikkyo is.

One of the original variations mentioned I believe was that some don't grab the elbow with the hand but use the forearm instead. Try a Tanto Nage version with the elbow hand holding a knife or something (I bring old cell phones or teddy bears to class). I need to use my forearm to control the elbow. Put the knife in my other hand, and I use the top of my thigh on that side to pin the arm.

By Tanto Nage, do you mean something like this?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEZP9jbSTFs&feature=youtu.be

rugwithlegs
11-10-2015, 06:54 AM
By Tanto Nage, do you mean something like this?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEZP9jbSTFs&feature=youtu.be[/QUOTE]

Yes. It's a practice that seems to be mostly Tomiki/Shodokan Aikido, but the second doshu did reference this as a practice. They are not doing Ikkyo the way I prefer to. Any time with tegatana can be spent holding a tool, especially when we're not using our fingers to control Uke. At least, how I've come to approach it.

http://john-hillson.blogspot.com/2015/08/tanto-nage.html

kewms
11-10-2015, 10:56 AM
Interesting. Thank you for posting. -- Katherine

Star Dragon
11-10-2015, 12:57 PM
One practitioner who looks with critical eyes at what is common practice in many dojos is Stanley Pranin. Here he is talking about how to make katate dori ikkyo functional:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQbksdv7KIs

phitruong
11-11-2015, 04:31 PM
Also, a core mechanic in this video is that the arm control is crossing the centerline and breaking the elbow/back connection. Chicken-winging, as it were. The aikido shape tends to break the elbow/back connection with a vertical move, but it can be broke down in a variety of ways.

i see your video and raise you another https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynnjx8wY1n0
i liked the kick to the leg. i liked WHJ, at the very least he skipped the silk pajamas. Saotome sensei did similar thing right after he mentioned that aikido folks don't know how to use legs. wouldn't want to get hit by either one. would make for a very bad day.

JP3
11-13-2015, 06:23 PM
My comment is regarding: ..."actually endangers tori as there would be plenty of opportunity for uke to hit tori meanwhile."

If by the push up over the head, one keeps the elbow directly above (vertical) above the wrist, uke's movement naturally turns the shoulder girdle to face away from tori.... it's very difficult, very painful if not impossible to do without injury, to strike with the other side hand at tori while the arm/wrist/hand iis held this way,.

And... I'd say that ikkyo isn't an "armbar," at all, really. But that's probably just me.

Michael Douglas
11-14-2015, 02:01 PM
This ;
And... I'd say that ikkyo isn't an "armbar," at all, really. But that's probably just me.
I'm sure the majority would agree on that,
it's been said already.
(Also ... Ikkyo is an attack in the first incarnation by Ueshiba ... right?)

Cliff Judge
11-14-2015, 02:29 PM
This ;

I'm sure the majority would agree on that,
it's been said already.
(Also ... Ikkyo is an attack in the first incarnation by Ueshiba ... right?)

It's an attack in all incarnations that are done properly.

Cromwell
11-15-2015, 04:19 AM
One hand on the wrist and the other on the elbow.

The rest is how you got the arm in the first place.

Ikyo easy to get...a life time to master.

Cromwell
11-15-2015, 06:11 AM
Another one for ikyo. Cut from the top yet only grab low.