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Should we do more of the blending techniques like the one called sticky hands to help those who are doing bumper car blending?
Since I tried sticky hands a couple of years ago I thought - yes, this would be great for aikido. It increasingly seems to me that aikido (in the way it is taught at present) is a young martial art, and maybe doesn't have the benefit of specific excercises and conditioning which many other martial arts have developed. It is almost as if Ueshiba showed us what to do, but not how to do it.
I think the bokken work is useful to develop blending (which, after all, is all about precise timing). However, do you think there are any other excercises which could be applied from other martial arts (and from anywhere) to improve particular aspects of aikido, and should aikido be more structured in the way it is taught? (yep, I know I've sneaked 2 questions in).
11-04-2002, 11:48 AM
The Aiki-Taiso are a great way to learn the basic movements found in Aikido waza.
Yoshinkan Aikido Kihon dosa is another good one for getting your hips and grounding in line.
11-04-2002, 06:17 PM
...I think the bokken work is useful to develop blending (which, after all, is all about precise timing). ...Ian
Absolutely agree especially kumitachi and awase.
11-05-2002, 08:46 AM
we do some sticky hands work in both taijutsu and techniques with the hanbo. It REALLY gives you feel benefits with uke.
11-06-2002, 09:31 AM
To add to the statement on Yoshinkan Kihon Dosa and Aiki Taiso, there is an exercise like sticky hands done in Shodokan Aikido.
It is called Tegatana Awase and deals with developing receptiveness to slight variations in your partner's movements, blending/mirroring those movements with your own body and maintaining ma ai throughout the exercise. This exercise is also great for developing metsuke as well.
Unlike sticky hands which use mainly the hands and forearm from close range however, this exercise uses the whole body moving together, so proper unsoku (foot movememnt) is also important. It resembles awase with bokken, but using the handblade (tegatana) instead.
My 2 cents.
11-22-2002, 02:54 PM
It depends on your teacher.
Most of the time, the class has enough trouble keeping up with basic techniques, but every so often I have seen some of my old friends intoduced into Aikido with shadows relating to their original roots. Somtimes the teacher explains the true roots of practice, and other times we just do what is shown by the teacher.
In either case, the intent of practice comes away with the same lesson. Whether it is hidden within Aiki-jo, Aiki-ken, or hand to hand practice, your observation skills will teach you most of what you need to know.
If you are watching, then you will see that the hand and eye coordination has given way to connecting on a higher conscious level beyond your everyday hand and eye practice.
Do I like these kind of drills?
11-22-2002, 10:29 PM
What about kokyu ho? I believe the breathing methods are used to help us understand and feel blending aswell.
we do some sticky hands work in both taijutsu and techniques with the hanbo.
Excuse my ignorance, but what's a hanbo?
11-23-2002, 05:47 PM
I love to see a smattering of different things blended into AiKiDo, especially if it is done without losing the emphasis on the AiKiDo basics and the flow of class that I've become accustomed to and addicted to. On the other hand, there have been a number of things taught by different AiKiDo sensei's that have been called pushing hands that were very different from what I've come to think of as pushing hands. This may be because different Tai Chi styles teach different things, but I believe that's not the reason.
Softness in Tai Chi and in AiKiDo (in my experience) are two very different things. In principle, it felt to me like in Tai Chi when someone pushes on my shoulder, my shoulder moves but my center stays put. On the other hand, in AiKiDo when someone pushes on my shoulder, my shoulder moves and so does the rest of my body. Of course, each art has some of both, but if I had to charicature the difference that would be it.
When we borrow from other arts, it is good to pay attention to what we have kept from them and what we have changed.
11-23-2002, 06:26 PM
Opher, this difference sounds very interesting. Do you experience separate qualities in the push, or is it you as a reciever who has your mind set on other things in the tso different settings?
Hi Opher, I don't know that much about tai-chi, but it seems with a lot of these chinese martial arts (including many other forms of kung fu), an important principle is grounding. Thus there are many stances and instead of moving the feet, they will only do a step or so (at the most). I think that maybe why the shoulder would move instead of the entire body.
P.S. I liked your phrase at the end - I was reading an extract from Kanos Kodokan Judo; very interesting stuff about how he tested the different jujutsu techniques going around at the time. Also, happened to read about the Gracie's testing for the moves in their BJJ. I wonder whether many of the techniques that have been considered poor utility (and sometimes are by different people in aikido) depend more on how they are done, or what the purpose is, rather than on any absolute measure of effectiveness. Also makes you realise that all martial artists are constantly striving to develop something 'useful' out of something that could have so many variations as to make it potentially useless.
11-24-2002, 02:30 PM
Thus there are many stances and instead of moving the feet, they will only do a step or so (at the most). I think that maybe why the shoulder would move instead of the entire body.That may have something to do with it. Certainly, it seemed like we were training to separate the movements of the different extremities from the center and from each other, and then to tie them all back in again so that the movement became one. It often felt like my body was one of those flip-book dolls that has a different head, shoulder, belly and feet and you can dress them in a funny combination of costumes.
As far as the pushing goes, it felt sort of the same to me. Of course, they trained pushes starting well off of center (so that it was relatively easy to let the pushed part go and move the center only marginally). As the pushes moved closer in towards the center, figuring out how to relax and disconnect became quite challening.
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