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11-07-2002, 11:33 AM
Since my other question (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2854) that I posed here seems to have been a flop, I thought I'd try again with a different question.

When and how does the notion of creativity manifest itself for you in aikido?

-- Jun

11-13-2002, 02:34 PM
No thoughts?

-- Jun

Peter Goldsbury
11-13-2002, 04:59 PM
Taking ukemi from a shihan like the late Yamaguchi Seigo Sensei.

Sometimes shihans will do a technique, allow the partner to take ukemi, stand up, recover and then make another attack.

Yamaguchi Sensei's aikido was much more open-ended and fluid. As you were coming out of one technique, the opening for the next was already there. You had the fleeting choice of seizing the opening, or exploring other possibilities. In either case, a new and usually unexpected technique would result, and another opening... And so on for a number of minutes.

Best regards,

12-11-2002, 09:32 PM
Yes, Yamaguchi was amazing. Peter, you were fortunate to spend so much time with him.

Randori is where I find the most creativity, in my technique, and in other's expression as well. Randori is a mode of communication, much like karate's kumite, or kendo or judo's shiai. No two people express themselves in quite the same way. No two "conversations" are ever quite the same. It is most enlightening to observe and analyze the exchange (the conversation), but it's ever so much better to be a part of it.

07-11-2004, 07:58 PM
Good lord man, what a question.

Even as beginners walking through the door we should be creative, precisely when at the same time we should set aside all preconceived notions to be ready to receive.

As teachers, creativity takes on, like, seven new mantles:

Do we teach as we were taught? If so, precisely why?

If we have misgivings about the way we were taught, are they the products of the teaching method, or of us ourselves? And in what proportions?

Should we try to improve on the way in which we were taught, to make instruction more efficient?

Should we incorporate exercises which, though not in any established curriculum, bring out aspects of aikido not usually taught in drill form?

It is self-evident that creativity is in itself a good, as long as it is reined in with the criterion of efficient and right teaching. But given that (albeit nebulous) criterion, all creative hell breaks loose. The best teachers are Michelangelos in their way.

Rocky Izumi
11-23-2004, 10:00 PM
The Shihans keep telling me that by the time you are Sandan, you should be doing your own style of Aikido.

Rupert Atkinson
09-12-2005, 09:36 PM
As a teacher I am always looking for new methods to teach. We have been working with strong static attacks for awhile and now, we are slowly moving on to adding movement. What I am talking about is not quite the 'standard' practice (no doubt some will claim it is standard in their dojos). Usually, with strong static practice uke just grabs firmly and waits for the technique to be done on him, sometimes even resisting what tori tries to do. Now, I am asking ukes to not wait. Instead, they grab and do something, and they do that something very forcefully. For example, if uke grabs katate ushiro eri-dori then since it looks a little like the beginning of irimi-nage then uke grabs strongly and makes a short forceful irimi-nage type taisabaki. At first, it might seem like we are practising counters - and indeed it maybe so - but rather, I am insisting on a strong attack with purpose from uke.

There are various means to work with in terms of response and an important one is time. So, I divide it into three: late time, same time, and early time. Late time means tori's response is a little late and uke practically has him - but not quite, a little room remains and certain techniques emerge. Same time means tori moves with uke's attack and interestingly, different natural responses occur. Early time means tori begins just before uke grabs, except that uke doesn't know it, and again, a different set of natural responses occur. In one sense, you could call the above counters to irimi-nage but what I am after is more out of uke - I want uke to grab and do something. If it is morote-dori, for example, uke grabs and pushes uke down something like ikkyo - and if he can he does, until tori figures out what to do - and so in that sense, I don't really see it as practising counters but rather as defending against slightly more realistic or forceful attacks. Think about it, when you grab each other in Judo you do not wait around for the other guy to do something as though it is his turn. It is both your turns - both tori and uke should have true purpose.

Mark Uttech
09-15-2005, 04:12 AM
From time to time, right in the middle of class, as techniques build on techniques, something new and 'creative' appears. This is usually acknowledged by a pause, and a bow to the shomen. In gassho.

R.A. Robertson
09-16-2005, 01:35 PM
When and how does the notion of creativity manifest itself for you in aikido?

-- Jun[/QUOTE]

Self defense is ultimately an improvisatory skill. This has to be emphasized from the beginning. Even so, any creative or improvisational discipline has certain formalisms which facilitate creativity. This is true in music, dance, visual arts, comedy, and it is true in budo. So form and freedom of expression go hand in hand, and must not be allowed to be in conflict.

Degrees of creativity should be present in any activity. Bursts of creativity tend to manifest where mistakes are made, when we are surprised or momentarily confounded. When we become accustomed to patterns, creativity tends to be latent, but this is a natural part of the process. When our habituated patterns no longer make sense, then new patterns can emerge or old patterns will coalesce into a richer field of possibility. Old patterns may stop making sense either from the tedium of repetition, or from sudden confrontation where the circumstances do not fit the expected pattern.

Randori and jyuwaza are supposed to provide environments for this stressing of patterns, but really, one can have an "aha!" moment from within the confines of the most rigorous kata just as easily.

Finally, I hope we can recognize that true creativity is happening with greater frequency among beginners than with advanced students. What beginners create may not appear to us as innovative or brilliant as what advanced students are capable of, but nevertheless, by the very nature of being a beginner, we are forced to find our own creative solutions to overwhelming information and stimulation.