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akiy
11-27-2016, 01:49 AM
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Here is a video of a demonstration by Christian Tissier (8th dan, Circle Tissier; Paris, France) at the 12th International Aikido Federation Congress in Gunma, Japan in 2016.

What are your thoughts on this demonstration?

-- Jun

Mary Eastland
11-27-2016, 10:43 AM
The demo would be more dynamic if the ukes had a little pep. I understand it is a demonstration. The ukes don't seem interested in continuing the attack. They just seem to follow along languidly.

Carsten Möllering
11-28-2016, 03:50 AM
The ukes don't seem interested in continuing the attack. They just seem to follow along languidly.What do you mean with "continuing the attack"?

Demetrio Cereijo
11-28-2016, 06:12 AM
Less flowery than his older demos, I like more this one.

Mary Eastland
11-28-2016, 07:08 AM
I mean continuing to follow and trying to find him after he turns or retreats. I also mean having a little life and enthusiasm.

Mary Eastland
11-28-2016, 07:09 AM
I touched on it it my last blog post. :D

Carsten Möllering
11-29-2016, 04:26 AM
I mean continuing to follow and trying to find him after he turns or retreats. I also mean having a little life and enthusiasm.Not sure, but it seems that your understanding of ukemi is different from his.

RonRagusa
11-29-2016, 06:37 AM
Not sure, but it seems that your understanding of ukemi is different from his.

His attackers hit, stop and wait to be thrown. It's especially evident during the yokomen uchi shihonage portion of the demo. If I'm your uke when you move to avoid or engage my attack by turning, entering, retreating or whatever, I'm not going to just stand around waiting for you to throw me. Once you move I'm going to hunt you down and continue attacking. I'll continue attacking until you take my balance and execute the technique.

Ron

Demetrio Cereijo
11-29-2016, 06:43 AM
Something like this?
https://www.facebook.com/berkshirehillsaikido/videos/vb.170274403034245/1039384319456578/?type=2&theater

Carsten Möllering
11-29-2016, 07:26 AM
If I'm your uke ...As I thought: Different kind of ukemi ...

His attackers hit, stop and wait to be thrown. It's especially evident during the yokomen uchi shihonage portion of the demo.
... until you take my balance and execute the technique ..Hm, did you ever have the feeling that he "left you alone" during these "pauses" when you practiced with him (or an advanced student of him)? It is my experience that there is a continuing kuzushi also in these "pauses".
After watching the video that Demtrio posted I think your approach to aikidō is different from what Christian tries to do. So for me it seems hard to compare both ways

MRoh
11-29-2016, 09:08 AM
What are your thoughts on this demonstration?


In some situations I have the feeling he was not as controlled as usual.

Nicholas Eschenbruch
11-29-2016, 02:33 PM
Carsten, seems to me his ukes really spend a lot of time waiting here, and they do not seem to be too much under his control while they do it. Not sure that is a style of ukemi, or what that style would be good for, but of course everything can be explained away eventually. People from three "styles" seem to have agreed here so far that was maybe was not his best day, or demo mode...

Or, to frame it in a more productive way: why would anybody keep contact if they do not intend to follow up?

Carsten Möllering
11-29-2016, 03:28 PM
... maybe was not his best day ... Yes. His knee was bad. You actually see him limp.
And also his shoulder was very bad. He canceled all his seminars because of a shoulder surgery. This enbu was on of his last actions before that.
Nevertheless ... ... seems to me his ukes really spend a lot of time waiting here ...
Not sure that is a style of ukemi, or what that style would be good for, ... ... you will find this phenomenon being discussed here very often, with regard to videos of Christian Tissier.
So while the performance of Christian may be not that good during this enbu due to injuries, it is still a certain way of ukemi that is at least different from what Mary and Ron expect their uke to do.

The why/how/when of these "pauses", even is usually addressed during our grading preparation seminars.

And you may remember that Yamguchi sensei was "accused" to have ruined the aikidō in an irrecoverable way? One reason for that was the ukemi, he demanded: He clearly did not want uke to follow or to move by himself or to "hunt" tori "down and continue attacking".
Endō sensei still get's mad when he sees that: "Why do you move by yourself?!?"

In a nutshell: uke is not that much an attacker, but is more a mere feedback for tori.

RonRagusa
11-29-2016, 03:59 PM
The why/how/when of these "pauses", even is usually addressed during our grading preparation seminars.

Can you elaborate on the 'why/how/when of these "pauses"', Carsten? I'm interested in the rationale.

Endō sensei still get's mad when he sees that: "Why do you move by yourself?!?"

My short answer would be that I move because I can.

In a nutshell: uke is not that much an attacker, but is more a mere feedback for tori.

Now that is an interesting role assignment for uke. Is that the sole role for uke in your Aikido? Does uke ever pressure tori so that tori can experience dealing with increasing amounts of force in order to develop a stronger center and a more coordinated mind/body?

Ron

MRoh
11-29-2016, 04:30 PM
I'll continue attacking until you take my balance and execute the technique.

That's not attacking, that's just following and keeping contact.
Basically there is no difference in both concepts, but the training mode is different.
This "following" is similar to what O Senseis ukes did , but they did not do it by their own decision. My teacher said, his body was running when he attacked him because it was like an undertow, but he himself did not unterstand why he had to follow.

RonRagusa
11-29-2016, 05:12 PM
That's not attacking, that's just following and keeping contact.

Well, not quite. If I'm working with one of my advanced students I'll attack, say with a yokomen uchi, and, if permitted, I'll keep attacking with yokomen until I'm thrown. This kind of pressure testing is a normal part of our training. With less advanced students I'll appropriately mitigate my attack.

Ron

shuckser
11-29-2016, 05:24 PM
Tissier ukes always move if there is an opening, but only if exploiting it doesn't also open themselves up.

The resulting "martial stalemate" (or "pause" as we're calling it here) is something Tissier calls "equalising".

Here's the same concept (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wATDno7_sk&index=3&list=PLeRNnLZQTBc62yUjGO7UKUG6c4Rsc4GFd) as it applies to Katate dori Tenkan ho (subtitles available).

MRoh
11-30-2016, 05:39 AM
I'll keep attacking with yokomen until I'm thrown. This kind of pressure testing is a normal part of our training.

I wouldn't call this an attack, because a yokomen strike least only a short moment, and in reality you have to deal with what you get in this moment. A strike is a strike, and it can't b e extended.
What you describe is to stretch the time slot, thats not real attacking, its a way to give your students a chance to practice.

Carsten Möllering
12-06-2016, 07:16 AM
Can you elaborate on the 'why/how/when of these "pauses", Carsten? I'm interested in the rationale.As far as I understand it, it is about learning the construction/architecture/structure of a certain technique.
There are different parts to be distinguished: The entry, the leading of uke, the throw, e.g. . The "pauses" mark (can mark) the transition from one part to the next.
Tey have a certain place, a certain way of contact ... to serve as tools to check one's way through the construction of a certain technique.
When I stille used to practice with Christian Tissier, he allways emphasized, that during embu he usually tries to show what and how he is teaching.

I myself don't practice this way but follow Endō Seishiro shihan. There are no such "pauses". But like Christian Endō shihan also only teaches kata.... I move because I can.It's the role of uke to show whether he is controlled or not. But this still happens within kata.
It's the task of tori to controll uke in a way he can't move by himself, but is moved by tori.

Now that is an interesting role assignment for uke. Is that the sole role for uke in your Aikido? Does uke ever pressure tori so that tori can experience dealing with increasing amounts of force in order to develop a stronger center and a more coordinated mind/body?Uke pressures tori /can pressure tori by modifying the strength of his attack.
If the attack is yokomen uchi,the attack is yokomen uchi, Nothing more, nothing less.

We have jiuy waza (defined attack, free waza) and randori (free attack, free waza). And we do a lot of free playing around with no fixed roles. But when practicing kata, we practice kata.

Could I clarify and answer your questions?

RonRagusa
12-08-2016, 09:59 PM
As far as I understand it, it is about learning the construction/architecture/structure of a certain technique.
There are different parts to be distinguished: The entry, the leading of uke, the throw, e.g. . The "pauses" mark (can mark) the transition from one part to the next.
Tey have a certain place, a certain way of contact ... to serve as tools to check one's way through the construction of a certain technique.
When I stille used to practice with Christian Tissier, he allways emphasized, that during embu he usually tries to show what and how he is teaching.

Ok, I get that. I'll do that myself on occasion when teaching beginners something they haven't seen before. Generally though, I want my students to experience technique as something that grows naturally out of the interaction between uke and nage; especially when the students are advanced. For that to happen I need them moving.

It's the role of uke to show whether he is controlled or not. But this still happens within kata.

It's the task of tori to controll uke in a way he can't move by himself, but is moved by tori.

The word control here gets a little sketchy. I'm assuming, and please correct me if I'm wrong, that you're referring to physical control of uke by nage. Physically controlling uke is something I don't do. I look to control our interaction in such a way that uke is led along a path that will result in his balance being compromised to the point where he has no choice but to fall. Uke appears to have freedom of movement, but it's mostly an illusion. I control our common center and define the paths he can follow.

When I watch videos of Endo Shihan, especially the more recent ones (here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpDcNdB_r80) and here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nzK06quX3g) for example) it's pretty apparent, to me anyway, that he's controlling the interaction and not the person.

Uke pressures tori /can pressure tori by modifying the strength of his attack.
If the attack is yokomen uchi,the attack is yokomen uchi, Nothing more, nothing less.

That's one form of pressure, yes. What I was getting at was a form of dynamic pressure that exploits nage's vulnerability when he either fails to engage uke properly from the outset or allows uke to control the interaction by nage failing to control their common center as the interaction progresses. When dynamic pressure is a tool available to uke, nage must maintain mind/body coordination throughout in order to keep from getting "run over".

This can be very useful in kata training when practice of a technique by rote can lead nage's mind to wander and disrupt mind/body coordination.

Could I clarify and answer your questions?

Thanks for the detailed reply. I like to get insight into how other practitioners approach their training. Most illuminating.

Ron

shuckser
12-11-2016, 04:59 PM
Or, to frame it in a more productive way: why would anybody keep contact if they do not intend to follow up?Another reason to keep contact is if you feel "under threat" by Tori. This is not necessarily to avoid an aggression, but if Uke feels that losing contact might reveal an opening, then staying in contact keeps them "in the loop".

Of course, "following up" is the ideal for the role, but if doing so would be suicide, or if breaking contact would also be suicide, this is when you see a pause in the movement. In other words, Uke is not the only one who is able to give pressure to the other, and it is a focus of Tissier's teaching to develop this sensation in both roles.

This is the trouble with Aikido videos in general. Just because a movement stops on camera, doesn't mean there isn't something going on at the point of contact.

The way I understand Tissier's kata is like this: Each is made up of a series of "points" where it is possible to either "destroy or forgive" Uke, and these points are where it is possible for Tori to "pause" the technique. It is then Tori's "choice to forgive" (ie; by moving in a way that offers a new opening) that allows the kata to progress. To show a flowing technique then, Tori moves slightly ahead of Uke just before reaching each "point".

So each kata then is a series of very short martial engagements that happen to move from one to another by the mercy of Tori.

As technical as this all sounds (and Tissier is nothing of not a technician) it's also rather integral to his interpretation of the philosophy of Aikido too: Uke expresses their capacity for aggression. Tori expresses their capacity for clemency. Both sides of humanity are expressed, but the violence of the situation is diffused.

But all this is just my own interpretation, and I'm not so experienced. So if I've got it all upside down, well, I spend half my time that way anyway. :D

Nicholas Eschenbruch
12-12-2016, 02:01 PM
Carsten, thanks for turning my grumpy comments into productive discourse :-)

Conan, yes, I sort of know that, but I must say precisely that understanding of "chess with people" is something I have found it difficult to be passionate about ever since my first course with a Tissier student 20 years ago. But I am sure it works for some, and certainly for Tissier himself. I doubt it is really useful unless, like him, one has a really thorough grounding in more confrontational arts. Just my 2 c.

Carsten Möllering
12-20-2016, 07:32 AM
... I want my students to experience technique as something that grows naturally out of the interaction between uke and nage ...This is something we try to accomplish during jiyu waza or randori. Jiyu waza can actually feel a lot like playing around sometimes. It's meant to be spontanous, flowing naturally.
But when practicing kata - which we do most of the time - it feels more like creating the form from what circumstances ever. The more advanced the more tori will be able to bring a certain form to live not depending on ukes behaviour.
The form is preexisting, i.e. it exists Independent of the interaction between uke an nage. And so it can be created anyway.

I'm assuming, and please correct me if I'm wrong, that you're referring to physical control of uke by nage. Yes, you got me right.

... I control our common center ...Neither Christian Tissier nor Endō sensei have the concept of creating a common center.

When I watch videos of Endo Shihan, ... it's pretty apparent, to me anyway, that he's controlling the interaction and not the person.Being able to controll the person is required for being able to controll the interaction.
So learning to controll the person of uke is the main part of senseis technical teaching. He even has developed a canon of certain exercises to teach exactly that.

Umh ... uke is not thrown by guiding him along a way that makes him eventually fall. But is made to collapse by breaking his ballance inside of his body.
Endō sensei calls it sometimes "emptying his ki" or "letting his mind go blank". Actually you disturb the structure of his body in a way that he can't reorganize himself.
Christian Tissier in former times called it to make oneself the center of uke.

What I was getting at was a form of dynamic pressure that exploits nage's vulnerability when ... If experienced enough we do show openings or failure to our partner by countering his technique.
But our practice is not about fightingh back and forth. It's more a spirit of "ikken hissatsu". So if uke is able to counter, he will not "attack further"and give more pressure or whatever, but will simply bring tori to the ground.
We called it a change of roles: uke is becoming tori then and now it's on him to finish with one "strike".

aikistudent
12-20-2016, 01:34 PM
Excellent technique, great flow of movement, interesting to watch.
Thanks for the video.

shuckser
12-20-2016, 01:37 PM
Neither Christian Tissier nor Endō sensei have the concept of creating a common center.Perhaps he meant something like the Axis of Action (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DV78wSejs3s)?

Carsten Möllering
12-20-2016, 02:03 PM
Perhaps he meant something like the Axis of Action (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DV78wSejs3s)?As far as I understand it - and think to have experienced it - these concepts are different.
Isn't Christian trying to "unite" the axis of tori and the axis of action to be able to move the axis of uke - who can't manipulate the axis of action anymore since tori has "united" with it?
Or more simple - like Bodo describes it in his book: tori is becoming the center of the movement of both partners.

RonRagusa
12-20-2016, 10:00 PM
But when practicing kata - which we do most of the time - it feels more like creating the form from what circumstances ever. The more advanced the more tori will be able to bring a certain form to live not depending on ukes behaviour.

What you seem to be saying is that uke, at least when training with an advanced nage, is pretty much just a backdrop upon which nage creates the form of the kata being practiced. Sort of like Newton's idea that space is just a backdrop upon which the events of the universe are played out over time.

The way I've been looking at it of late revolves around the idea that the form is created by both uke and nage moving in conjunction with one another. Aikido happens when uke and nage come together in diametric opposition and create the form of a technique. You can look at it as the emergence of a harmonious form from the interaction of two people possessing conflicting intents.

This type of practice is applicable to both kata and randori.

The form is preexisting, i.e. it exists Independent of the interaction between uke an nage. And so it can be created anyway...

...Being able to controll the person is required for being able to controll the interaction.
So learning to controll the person of uke is the main part of senseis technical teaching. He even has developed a canon of certain exercises to teach exactly that.

Umh ... uke is not thrown by guiding him along a way that makes him eventually fall. But is made to collapse by breaking his ballance inside of his body.
Endō sensei calls it sometimes "emptying his ki" or "letting his mind go blank". Actually you disturb the structure of his body in a way that he can't reorganize himself.
Christian Tissier in former times called it to make oneself the center of uke.

I agree that we disagree here. And I don't mean that in a right/wrong context; only that I experience Aikido quite differently from what you're describing. I agree with O Sensei that there are "many paths to the top of Mt. Fuji". And I appreciate that you've taken the time to elucidate your approach. Metaphorical differences aside, I think what I'm doing and working towards is more akin to what I see in Endo's Aikido than what I see in Tissier's Aikido.

If experienced enough we do show openings or failure to our partner by countering his technique.
But our practice is not about fightingh back and forth. It's more a spirit of "ikken hissatsu". So if uke is able to counter, he will not "attack further"and give more pressure or whatever, but will simply bring tori to the ground.
We called it a change of roles: uke is becoming tori then and now it's on him to finish with one "strike".

When I exploit nage's vulnerability (rarely, and only with advanced students in kata practice) via the dynamic pressure of a continued attack it's for nage's benefit. The added pressure is designed to push nage slightly beyond his or her mind/body comfort zone in order to strengthen mind/body coordination. We also have a grappling exercise where there are no fixed roles and both participants are constantly shifting back and forth as they each look for a throw to emerge.

Ron

shuckser
12-21-2016, 12:34 PM
I think what I'm doing and working towards is more akin to what I see in Endo's Aikido than what I see in Tissier's Aikido.Tissier's teaching is very methodical. The Kata itself is broken up into "static" and "dynamic" versions.

When static, Uke is a relaxed mannequin. Articulation, balance, lines and angles can be isolated.
When dynamic, Uke responds in a martially aware manner, moving to keep up with Tori with the idea of eventually trying to overtake.

In the static cases, he emphasises that neither Tori nor Uke should move in ways that cannot be reproduced "in action" (ie; at full speed.) In other words, respect the speed you work at -- if you practice slowly, slow your reactions also. Because of this it should eventually be natural to switch between both static and dynamic practice as the movement stops and starts, and this can be seen in the video at the top of the thread in the "pauses".

Following on from Carsten's point, at a certain level having Uke "follow for the sake of it" is discouraged in favour of them looking to either show or exploit openings in the manner of Kaishi waza, so long as the movement does not open themselves up also. I think Tissier's "equalising (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wATDno7_sk)" exercise is how he introduces and later builds on this idea. (Please note I'm not saying that you endorse "for the sake of it" following, but following without purpose is an easy habit to get into in Aikido.)

Based on this, I think that Endo tends to work mostly in what Tissier would call the "dynamic" mode, which is of course much more interesting to higher level practitioners.

RonRagusa
12-21-2016, 06:25 PM
Or more simple - like Bodo describes it in his book: tori is becoming the center of the movement of both partners.

That's somewhat analogous to what I refer to as nage occupying the common center between uke and nage. Find it, feel it, occupy it, control it. Once you do that it's no longer necessary to physically make uke do anything. It's the point of safety ("Vanquish your foes by always keeping yourself in a safe and unassailable position" - O Sensei) for nage. For uke to continue attacking it's necessary for him to seek nage out; who, if he's properly controlling the common center will no longer be there. The actual throw happens when nage takes uke's balance as uke moves into the void created by nage.

Meh, it's easier to demonstrate it than describe it.

Ron

RonRagusa
12-21-2016, 06:37 PM
Following on from Carsten's point, at a certain level having Uke "follow for the sake of it" is discouraged in favour of them looking to either show or exploit openings in the manner of Kaishi waza, so long as the movement does not open themselves up also. I think Tissier's "equalising (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wATDno7_sk)" exercise is how he introduces and later builds on this idea. (Please note I'm not saying that you endorse "for the sake of it" following, but following without purpose is an easy habit to get into in Aikido.)

In the context we are using it, employing the word "following" is a misnomer. The purpose of "following" is as you noted above; "to either show or exploit openings...", or as we like to say, continuing the attack. Note that it's a form of practice, an exercise primarily for uke, that serves multiple purposes. It's not meant to replace existing forms of training but makes a nice addition to them.

Ron

sorokod
12-22-2016, 11:53 AM
Meh, it's easier to demonstrate it than describe it.

Ron

Perhaps one of the videos on your site ( https://www.facebook.com/pg/berkshirehillsaikido/videos/?ref=page_internal ) demonstrates this approach?

Carsten Möllering
12-27-2016, 03:17 PM
... The actual throw happens when nage takes uke's balance as uke moves into the void created by nage.Although these things are indeed hard to describe your words tell me, that there seems to be a fundamental difference between the way you make a throw happen and the way I learn it from Endō sensei and from Christian Tissier.

We don't create a void into which uke is moving and thus falling. We don't work with the space between and around tori and uke.
But we work with the body structure of uke. A bodily connection, called "atari", is established between tori and uke. And via atari we manipulate uke's body structure and disturb it to create kuzushi.
Although it is an exaggeration this way of throwing works without tori moving his feet at all.