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Kensai
12-21-2003, 09:21 AM
Aikido in general does preach that it trains you to react 'naturally'.

When observing an animal of the same spieces in the wild it can be noted that when they fight they all fight the same way. Its primarily instinctive and to a lesser degree taught.

When watching apparently un-trained Humans fight, they fight in a similar manor. They throw some sloppy punchs and then grapple.

Surely it would be more natural for us to learn to punch hard (which some of us do) and grapple well, than leaning Irimi or Tenkan...?

Just a thought I've been having.

Nacho_mx
12-21-2003, 10:16 AM
Perhaps what we mean is that by conditioning the body and the mind, the movements should become second nature, our reactions more controlled yet they should feel natural, relaxed, even instinctive. Aikido derived from techniques designed to deal with trained and armed individuals, but they should also work against untrained agressors.

Peter Boylan
12-21-2003, 12:49 PM
What we practice is not natural at all. Anything that takes this much time, effort, and reprogramming of our instictual responses is certainly not natural. What it is, is optimal. We learn to use our bodies in the optimal manner, so it looks natural, but it isn't.

tedehara
12-21-2003, 12:59 PM
Aikido in general does preach that it trains you to react 'naturally'.

When observing an animal of the same spieces in the wild it can be noted that when they fight they all fight the same way. Its primarily instinctive and to a lesser degree taught.

When watching apparently un-trained Humans fight, they fight in a similar manor. They throw some sloppy punchs and then grapple.

Surely it would be more natural for us to learn to punch hard (which some of us do) and grapple well, than leaning Irimi or Tenkan...?

Just a thought I've been having.While I've been told about the naturalness of Aikido. I'm presently concluding that the movements are not natural at all. I'm thinking especially of the movements developed by Ki No Kenkyu Kai (Ki Society H.Q.). Not only are these movements subtle, but can't be taught immediately to beginners because you come into direct conflict if done "naturally".

I think Aikido is not developing a natural movement, but learning a trained movement. After all, the better Aikidoists are those who have trained for awhile.

If you learn how to move from your center, you punches should be very hard, since your whole body should be behind the punch, not just your arm. As for grappling, well... that's what Aikido is. It's catagorized as a grappling art.

Goetz Taubert
12-21-2003, 05:00 PM
Maybe the proposal of Chris Gee is problematic in different basic assumtions.

Movement in aikido is natural, but it takes long time to get back to your very nature. Remember how strong a baby can hold your finger or how loud it can cry without getting tired. So what the techniquies have been developed for, is to find your way back to your very nature (one aspect may be to rest fearless, another to be able to control the conflict an to guide it, next would be spritual developement).

Maybe basic assumptions about what is natural are wrong too.

I.e. animals have a large variety of threatening und bluffing skills, and they use it - if it's possible - to avoid injuries.

If you want to fight someone, it's natural to me to do this at the lowest possible risk for myself. So grappling and full body contact should be avoided unless I'm in a superior position. If I want to stay at low risk, I will have to attack vital points immediately an rude while resting on the save side. So this would be natural, if I wanted to kill someone.

Maybe assumptions on Aikido-techniques are one-sided. Aikido-technique is not thought as a reaction to an already ongoing attack. This would be fairly too late with an skilled attacker. Aikido is to develope an attracking force, that allows to beginn, to guide and to determin the attack. This allows you to leave the "natural deadly"-line in conflict and to make things reach a good end.

In many posts there is the idea of "reaction" represented. Maybe that's the reason why technical details are diskussed so much and are overemphasized. If the idea is to await the attack then there are lots of thousands of ways of attack which have to be covered by counter(aikido)technique.

So in this logic it's natural for me, why Chris is proposing, wheather it would be more appropriate to first give a strong punch and step aside afterwards. Unfortunately this is not the principle of Aikido anymore.

And in this point there maybe a real gap is developing between reaction-based aikido-schools and attracking-force-based schools.

JW
12-21-2003, 05:28 PM
Maybe the "natural way for conflict to be cleanly and peacefully resolved" is not natural for humans.

Maybe aikido movements are natural from an ego-less conflict-resolving point of view, but maybe what is natural for humans is conflict-propagation and escalation and the pursuit of dominance.

In other words WE as people have to learn something to do aikido, but that doesn't mean that in some sense it isn't natural. One could think of training as overcoming an inhibition.
--JW

akiy
12-23-2003, 10:36 AM
Perhaps relatedly, I just asked the following poll:

"How natural are the technique movements in aikido to you?"

http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=197

-- Jun

zachbiesanz
12-23-2003, 04:14 PM
I recently attended a seminar conducted by Mitsuge Saotome where he lectured for a bit about the use of natural movements in aikido. He said that the motion a person makes to waft smoke out of his or her face is the same motion we should use for the deflection of punches, for example. The point was that moving naturally allows us to move quickly and efficiently.

Also, I've often heard that if you know how to walk, you already know half of aikido. We do some funny things sometimes, but very little is that unnatural.

Chuck Clark
12-23-2003, 05:48 PM
We need to define how we're using the word "natural" in relation to: physical movement, conscious intent, subconscious intent, reflex or reaction with regard to how we choose to deal with conflict, etc.

Movement should be "natural" as in the example of waving our hand to get rid of smoke in our face or shooing a fly away from our ear, etc. This sort of movement is usually bio-mechanically efficient and seemingly without concious thought. Our budo fundamentals can become similar in nature after long and proper practice.

Whether the way of practicing and doing aikido in the manner that our seniors have talked about that expresses Ueshiba Morihei's intent is "natural" to human beings as a way to resolve conflict is another question.

Most people that I have encountered in my life that are not trained in budo respond to percieved conflict by pushing against force with more force trying to overcome it. Whether this is natural or learned in our early experience is debatable.

I suspect that most babies come out of the birth canal pushing and kicking instead of blending/matching with their surroundings. I have seen nine births in my life and they were all this way. I've had several Physicians as students over the years and they have agreed with me. I would like to hear from others that have lots of experience.

I think we need to LEARN how to respond to conflict in ethical, equitable ways that are more efficient than overcoming force with opposing superior force.

This is a very interesting question to me. Thanks.

Safe and Joyful Holiday Season,