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Ari Bolden
09-11-2003, 01:12 AM
I often have students (or read threads here)ask about "what ifs" and "what if I attack like this?" questions.

My advice to them is "play around with your technique."

Go slow and be careful. Take what knowledge you have and _try_ to apply it to a kick for example (if you haven't done kicks yet). Find a grassy area and another uke and go play. It doesn't have to be in the dojo. Martial knowledge comes from practical application. You'd be surprised what you come up with.

Example: when I was a 4th kyu I wondered if yonkyo could be applied to another part of the body. I deduced that the human body is divided into regions. Why aren't legs like arms? On the mat one day, I asked my uke if I could try to apply yonkyo to his leg (just as I would his forearm. I found the pressure point on the rear side, a few inches up from his big toe. Bingo! Tap out.

Aikido is as much a system of discovery as it is a learned method.

We all have a bit of the founder in us. Go out and try.

warm regards,

Ari

Yann Golanski
09-11-2003, 03:39 AM
I am sure that many systems have different versions of Toshu or randori. The one I know best (Shodokan) has both at variable degrees of resistance and messing about. I think that Yoshinkan has a version of toshu. I wonder if it was something that was taught by O'sensei pre-war. Anyone cares to comment?

Toshu is basically playing. You start a technique or balance breaker on uke and uke is free to counter or evade. Things continues, with both uke and tori/nage/shi'te continuously swaping. Of course, it has to be done without ego and in the spirit of Aikido. You're here to learn, not to ``win by pinning your adversary''. It's great fun if done properly and shows you what works and what doesn't work for you. Hence what you need to work on.

Randori has the same feel but then the roles do not change as much. Uke should never fall for tori and at high levels should be awkward enough so that tori can learn what works for him and work on the things that do not work.

Last night, I was trying to do irimi nage against a knife attack. It just never worked. Uke just moved a little more and I could not take his balance. Hence, I need to work on my irimi nage and understand how to make it work from a straight attack -- comments and suggestions are welcome!

If uke was totaly compliant, I could have done the technique and have a false sense that I knew it and it worked. This is where, in my not so humble opinion, toshu and randori can help you improve your Aikido.

So yeah, I guess my point is I agree with Ari. ;>

sanosuke
09-11-2003, 03:45 AM
I often have students (or read threads here)ask about "what ifs" and "what if I attack like this?" questions.

My advice to them is "play around with your technique."

Go slow and be careful. Take what knowledge you have and _try_ to apply it to a kick for example (if you haven't done kicks yet). Find a grassy area and another uke and go play. It doesn't have to be in the dojo. Martial knowledge comes from practical application. You'd be surprised what you come up with.

Example: when I was a 4th kyu I wondered if yonkyo could be applied to another part of the body. I deduced that the human body is divided into regions. Why aren't legs like arms? On the mat one day, I asked my uke if I could try to apply yonkyo to his leg (just as I would his forearm. I found the pressure point on the rear side, a few inches up from his big toe. Bingo! Tap out.

Aikido is as much a system of discovery as it is a learned method.

We all have a bit of the founder in us. Go out and try.

warm regards,

Ari.

hear...hear.....

Ari Bolden
09-11-2003, 09:17 AM
Yann,

My experience for knife attacks (in the reality based sense) is this.

You must always control the uke wrist so that the knife does not cut/kill you. Some aikido techniques are not meant (IMHO) to be used against weapon attacks. Irimi when used (in the classical way) against a tski trust with knife could have dire results if done with a 'live' blade.

Any way you cut it (sorry about the pun), the irimi against tski trust will get you hurt. If fact, any time a knife is used, the expectation of getting cut should be there.

When 2 tigers fight, one is wounded and the other ends up dead. (meaning-there is always the chance of getting hurt with weapons involved, no matter how good you are).

My suggestion would be (if you still wanted to _TRY_ irimi) this:

Step to uke's outside as they thrust in.

Grab the uke's thrusting arm (lets say right) with your right hand.

Get some major kazushi (unbalancing).

Either strike (and I mean strike) the uke at the base of the back or grab the uke's ear/hair with your left hand and pull back vigorously.

When coming in with the irimi, use a lot of hips and drive the knife hand of the uke into his/her chest/neck area.

(Shock and dismay). Is this aikido?? Yes and no. This technique comes from Daito Ryu (I'm trained in Daito and Aikido) the basis for many aiki techniques.

However, I would use kotegeashi or sumiotoshi or what is called a "standing key lock" takedown.

Better yet...run from a knife, rush a gun.

Hope that helps.

Cheers!

Ari

PeterR
09-11-2003, 09:18 AM
Hi Yann;

Sorry but I have to disagree.

Toshu randori is just tanto randori without the tanto and can, like the latter, be used in shiai. And like tanto randori can be used as a training mechanism (not shiai).

Dogma is that toshu randori is more like actual fighting than tanto randori.

Dogma (2) is that to do toshu randori requires more skill than tanto randori.

I base this correction on what you have stated before not neccesarily this post.

deepsoup
09-11-2003, 11:37 AM
I agree that play is an essential tool for learning, and 'playfulness' is an essential quality in randori (Toshu randori, tanto randori, or any other kind for that matter). I'm not sure how correct the translation is, but I think most of us translate 'randori' as 'free-play' after all.

There is no more serious business than survival, and its through playing that a lion cub learns to hunt. If the cub didn't play, the lion wouldn't survive.

I'd go so far as to say that even in shiai, playfulness is crucial. We saw some pretty ugly shiai at the tournament in Leeds this year, and I think above all else that was down to the culprits' inability to play.

Apart from all that, playing is fun, and for the vast majority of us, aikido is a recreational activity, so training should be fun too.

Sean

x

ps: Yann, hows your seminar coming on? I'm surprised you haven't plugged it on the Seminars forum here. I'll definitely be along if I can make it - but I wont know until the weekend - sorry about the short notice.

shihonage
09-11-2003, 01:16 PM
Last night, I was trying to do irimi nage against a knife attack. It just never worked. Uke just moved a little more and I could not take his balance. Hence, I need to work on my irimi nage and understand how to make it work from a straight attack -- comments and suggestions are welcome!

If uke was totaly compliant, I could have done the technique and have a false sense that I knew it and it worked. This is where, in my not so humble opinion, toshu and randori can help you improve your Aikido.

So yeah, I guess my point is I agree with Ari. ;>
May I suggest you try something ?

Remember that movement in iriminage where you first block/deflect the strike ?

The moment uke attacks, you're already going into that movement, only with the full intent of going past it and punching him in the face with the same "deflecting" arm.

With correct timing, this will cause uke to see a "flash" for a split second.

At the same time as your front arm is heading toward his face, you slap away (inside, past you) his forward arm with YOUR other arm, while helping his motion toward you, and continue going forward with the "gonna hit you in the face" arm past his neck and into a direct iriminage.

L. Camejo
09-11-2003, 01:20 PM
Last night, I was trying to do irimi nage against a knife attack. It just never worked. Uke just moved a little more and I could not take his balance. Hence, I need to work on my irimi nage and understand how to make it work from a straight attack -- comments and suggestions are welcome!
Irimi nage (aigamae ate) with tanto - avoid and enter deeply on the outside, control the knife arm, keep it controlled near your hip to keep uke extended low (when you get the hand don't give it back until you are ready).

It is as important to control the head (not the collar, the head) by pulling it to your shoulder or chest and move your body (turn)from the hips, not the arms. Where the head goes, uke's body will follow - done correctly you will have the kuzushi to apply effective follow up. On finishing, never let go of the knife hand, while doing the typical irimi nage finishing entry, twist uke's knife arm towards him so that the blade points at him, not you. At the end of the throw, make sure to flick him off your hip, causing his body to spiral away from you, so that in the event that he is determined, a last ditch swing of his knife arm (while airborne) should not connect. Push away the knife hand as you do this to help rotate his body.:)

I think when dealing with weapons, don't only break balance, destroy it :).

As far as playing goes, I think it is only in unrehearsed, unplanned environments do we learn how to instinctively apply technique, positioning, kuzushi etc. as our muscles naturally understand our body placement relative to uke before the signal has time to be processed properly in the brain, allowing us to react effectively with the most applicable response for the situation. This can take place quite nicely in randori, open sparring and play like practice. It's all good in my book.

BTW Ari, I love applying yonkyo on the inner ankle as wellevileyes. Interesting effect it has on the kicker's other leg.:)

My 9cents

L.C.:ai::ki:

Ari Bolden
09-11-2003, 04:57 PM
Hey Larry...

Yes, it is fun isn't it? I decided to take up some anatomy lessons to better understand the body. I then spent some time with a buagua expert who showed me many vital body points.

Aikido can be enhanced with other studies (like anatomy, philosophy or even other martial arts).

Open your eyes and enjoy the process..

Warm Regards

Ari