View Full Version : Why is aikido so convoluted

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09-26-2003, 01:31 PM
(ok, flame retardant suit on)
(This is a longish post BTW)

In answering Chris' "Dealing with Shoulder Strikes" post, I had to remind myself of what some of the correct technique names were. My brain is going a little fuzzy.

I went to google and typed in Kaiten Nage

First page up was this one


Ok, so far so good. Pretty much what I was after. To double check I click on the mov file from that page


Which inspires this post.

Why in gods name are there "long versions" of techniques? Historically or in modern times? Unless for the purpose of illustrating priciples (which may or may not be properly explained anyway), I can't fathom why you'd want to learn the "long version."

(Specifically, and this could be wrong)

From my perspective, after the initail contact (time index 00:00:01:07), the unbalancing triangle point point is over the left hand shoulder of the teacher. (Technically, perpendicular to her two legs). But the guy takes her the other way.

That's fine, because the force vector of her strike is along her arm. So he turns into it. It would have been much easier and quicker just to feed her arm off in the above direction, but it wouldn't be kaiten nage.

Time index 02:01 - the force vector and throw are directly in line with her arm. He's already got the lever! Just pull her forwards for chrissakes! (But again, not kaiten nage).

Instead, he brings her shoulder down, then uses that configuration to push her arm back in the direction she could have gone in anyway.

By my reckoning, there are then at least two points at which a simple, more direct version of the throw / other throw would have worked.

Now, my other question (finally)

Do you feel that learning the more complex, "long" flowing versions of the throws impedes the speed at which these throws can be applied in real life (TM), as per Chris' video example? I can't for the life of me imagine you'd be able to lead that big guy into a pretty little circle. My imagination is fairly poor, so ;-)

How is this kind of flow achieved against resisting opponents? (other than by speed, strength of suprise)?

09-26-2003, 01:32 PM
Whoops, forgot the PS

I had to change the mov file into a Mpeg file via TMPEG. For some reason, mov files are really slow for me here.

Thus, the time frames I used above might be wrong for others?

09-26-2003, 02:18 PM
Hi Bob,

As nage, I find the long forms of techniques really force me to focus on the proper fundamentals: taking uke's balance, leading his balance the whole time, having proper posture, having proper footwork, etc. When I do a short technique, I can often get away with being sloppy because things are over before uke an take advantage of my mistakes. I've had it happen that I'll throw somebody and they'll come up saying, "I felt an opening, but I couldn't take advantage of it."

This in itself isn't a bad thing, but it would be better to not have the opening. When doing the longer techniques, uke has more of a chance to feel openings and exploit them by either stopping the technique, or reversing it. This forces nage to really do the technique well.

As uke, I'm expected to be sensitive to nage's openings, give a good, committed attack, and keep it up for the duration of the technique -- these things are much harder to do during a long technique than a short one. Therefore, long techniques are excellent training for uke too.

Two final thoughts: (1) the long techniques are part of the repertoire of many styles of aikido. We might as well learn them. (2) We have found that it's easier to teach people how to shorten techniques than it is to teach them how to lengthen them. The same is true in actual encounters -- I doubt anyone has done the full kitenage throw with all the turns when attacked, but I'll bet that many have used kitenage principles while doing a much shorter throw.



Jim ashby
09-27-2003, 03:48 AM
Anyone know who the demonstrator is?

Have fun.

Peter Goldsbury
09-27-2003, 07:00 AM
Anyone know who the demonstrator is?

Have fun.
Looks like Jack Poole.

Paul Kerr
09-27-2003, 07:55 AM
Peter Goldsbury wrote:
Looks like Jack Poole

It is Jack Poole. The uke is his wife Marill. It was shot in Aikidojo Haarlem a couple of years ago.

09-28-2003, 06:35 PM
Was that technique long and flowing?

It was just slow.

From the Shodokan perspective it would have other differences besides speed and we usually don't use it to deal with shomen-uchi attacks but the technique itself is recognizable and very effective.