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Paula Lydon
02-06-2004, 02:20 PM
~~Hi All! I'm sitting at work bored and got to wondering what areas of focus in training others might be working on. For myself, I'm interested in that instant of contact, how you can control the situation from the beginning with the correct combination of principles. A flash of tension, instantly relaxing, dropping weight, leading uke, spiraling up, down, here and there. Many times I don't quite pull off the right combination and end up with some pretty strange movements. Or the initial movement is perfect and then I get lost as to what to do next. Most amusing sometimes.
~~Anyway, I'm pretending we're all sitting around having a drink and discussing what we're working on or what fascinates us about training in Aikido. Cheers!

Wayne
02-06-2004, 03:25 PM
I am still finding value in just practicing what my instructors are demonstrating. In the past six months I have become much more aware that "something" is wrong and sometimes I even know what it is. In solo practice with other senior students I have been finding value in the many more subtle things (i.e. foot placement, vertical posture, leading uke, relaxation) that improve my technique.

Our dojo is also in the midst of a beginner class. I am finding value in helping newbies by demonstrating (as well as I can, anyway) proper movement.

Happy training!

Wayne

(wishing he had discovered Aikido while in Boulder in the mid-1980's)

DGLinden
02-06-2004, 03:42 PM
Good idea for a thread. It puts me in mind of Hooker Sensei and his 'Year to do what he wants for himself'. He still has a few months to go.

For myself, I have been focusing on teaching the basic eight principles. Ki, Timing, Strategy, establishing the Nexus (or joining), Triangulation, Center, leading uke to his Break Point, and understanding where each of the seven intersect in the eight, Technique.

It is an interesting challenge to define each where they take over the moment and where each gives way to the next because they are so fluid and fully integrated into the practiced movement. But, that's what we are doing.

Next?

Thalib
02-06-2004, 04:30 PM
Wow... those are a lot to focus on.

I used to have a lot of those in my mind, but now I'm focusing on keeping my center/balance.

Janet Rosen
02-06-2004, 05:31 PM
Connection, feeling my partner.

Karen Wolek
02-06-2004, 06:45 PM
Everything?

I've only been doing Aikido for 16 months. I focus on whatever I'm told to focus on during that class.

Not a very fun answer, I guess!

Lan Powers
02-06-2004, 10:04 PM
Working almost exclusively for the last few weeks on being a good uke for one of my sempai who is up for his shodan test soon.

Committed attacks,real intent, controlled force (landing the strike when able, but minimal force)......last few nights kept in mind the idea of not just "flowing" with the technique he applies, but not to fight either......ie:make him "take" my balance.

Made the other class when he worked on weapns kata a real treat !I got to be nage, for a while with other students :-)

Lan

Bronson
02-07-2004, 01:27 AM
I was thinking about this just the other day. I don't focus on anything in particular. I just keep training and the things I need to work on eventually kinda work themselves out.

That's the best way I can explain it :confused:

Bronson

taras
02-07-2004, 02:00 AM
Staying centered while executing techniques correctly, and just staying centered in general.

Anders Bjonback
02-07-2004, 04:12 PM
Affecting the other person's center, staying relaxed but awake, and positioning. With bokken, I'm focusing trying to make a decent cut, awareness, and adjusting my eyes so I take everything in rather than focusing on the other person's weapon. Starting this morning, I'm also trying to maintain contact with my weapon, and not be lazy about holding it.

Especially with randori, I'm working on maintaining my awareness. All too often, my awareness goes too internal, and for a small period of time, I'm not reacting to what's going on, which is generally a bad thing with four to six ukes trying to hit you.

I'm also working on my ukemi, maintaining connection and going into a smooth roll. I'm trying out this different way of rolling out of kotagaishi, but doing it badly has messed up my knees and hips a couple of times. So I'll continue to carefully practice it until I don't do it badly. Since my rolls are becoming a little too sideways or at least not staying on the line, I'm working on being aware of where I want to go, staying oriented.

So basically: awareness, spacial orientation and positioning, connection, affecting center, relaxation and ukemi.

Jeanne Shepard
02-07-2004, 05:30 PM
Working on being engaged, (connected) before starting a technique. (hard to do when uke is really moving!)

Jeanne

Nick Simpson
02-08-2004, 08:39 AM
At the minute Im focusing on being the best uke possible as my sensei is preparing for his sandan test.

Rachael
02-08-2004, 11:32 AM
I'm working on ukemi at the moment and also on keeping balanced.

heck, in class I'm working on whatever Sensei tells me to work on!! :D

indomaresa
02-08-2004, 01:07 PM
trying to unlock my concentration, which only appears when I'm cornered or under pressure.

during regular training my mind wonders here and there. too much beginner's mind maybe? any ideas?

Anders Bjonback
02-08-2004, 05:31 PM
Marisa--well, it's good that it appears when you're under pressure. One thing I do is try to make everything I do more deliberate. My training partner can usually tell when I'm spacing out as nage or uke.
But I think that the hard part, though, is that true concentration, or open, undistracted awareness, seems to only arise naturally.

----

...I think that what I'm focusing on in my training changes from week to week. But one thing I'm always working on is making sure my foot is pointing in the direction I'm bending my knee, not bending it in ways that could cause long-term damage. I don't want a repeat of my last summer vacation, training all the time but practically being unable to stand up out of a low chair because of pain.

PeterR
02-08-2004, 08:03 PM
My focus

Thalib
02-08-2004, 09:37 PM
I need to work on my humility.. been feeling arrogant lately...

adriangan
02-09-2004, 03:53 AM
right now, i'm focusing on ukemi and proper form

markwalsh
02-09-2004, 06:53 AM
About to go snowbaording (dude), so concentarting on taking ukemi with a plank nailed to my feet. Alps sensei does some big throws.

Ted Marr
02-09-2004, 08:12 AM
Extention. It seems like half of my problems these days come back to my desire to have the technique be "small"

SeiserL
02-09-2004, 09:09 AM
Always trying to just focus on physical, mental, and spiritual basics.

garytan
02-09-2004, 01:56 PM
Right now, I'm focusing on irimi, breaking partner's balance and trying to grasp the concept of center.

Also, relaxation - especially not using shoulder strength.

Anders - good point about the putting the feet in good position, I think I've tweaked my right knee quite a bit. I'll keep that in mind.

Amassus
02-09-2004, 05:50 PM
For me it would have to be extension but keeping my own balance at the same time.

I'm still trying to speed up my techniques as well. Must slow down and take the time to see how I am affecting uke.

jk
02-09-2004, 09:12 PM
Kuchi waza. Shoulder sprain is taking way too long to heal.

Thalib
02-09-2004, 10:29 PM
Kuchi waza. Shoulder sprain is taking way too long to heal.
What do you with this waza?

Talk your partner into submission?

sanosuke
02-09-2004, 10:59 PM
need to work on the connection, staying off the mat for one week straight makes my feeling on connectivity dull.

sanosuke
02-10-2004, 12:16 AM
I need to work on my humility.. been feeling arrogant lately...
careful, man. remember 'too much aikido makes you arrogant'.

jk
02-10-2004, 04:23 AM
What do you with this waza?

Talk your partner into submission?
Yeah. I read them passages from Dynamic Sphere...they're usually comatose within 30 seconds. ;)

MaryKaye
02-10-2004, 10:35 AM
My ambition is to progress from "I don't know what to do, so I stand there staring at uke" to "I don't know what to do, but some throw or other happens." Had one or two of those last night--I was pleased.

My training partners were very forgiving of the occasional unexpected zenpo-nage or kokyunage when they thought we were doing alternate ikkyo and shihonage, bless their hearts.

I also aspire to do forward rolls slow and kneeling as well as I do them fast and standing; and to be able to consistently do back rolls from standing or throws and not dither about which foot is which.

Mary Kaye

Ghost Fox
02-13-2004, 07:26 AM
1. Perfecting my Aikido Posture and alignment - I still have a habit of looking down during a technique, year of living in Brooklyn I guess. I also let my hand go off the center line to often.

2. Touch Time - Trying to capture and blend with uke's energy at the moment of contact.

3. Hesitation - I tend to place a small pauses at the end of my technique right before I throw. I think it arises from a desire not to hurt uke or do something wrong.

4. Sinking - I tend not to bent at the knees enough, and sometimes have trouble dropping my center. I think this has a lot to do with number 1.

---

I think a lot of these things revolve around my own self doubts with regards to my training and myself. Funny how our conditionings/issues follow us on the mat.

JessePasley
02-14-2004, 08:24 AM
Right now I'm mostly focusing on chasing fast, boozing women. It's quickly becoming apparent that the secret involves the correct mixture of flakey eyebrow movement, riding custom made bicycles, and TSUKURI.

Okay, am I going to far?

With Aikido specifically, it mostly comes down to continuing to learn the basic movements...but I'm quickly noticing that the core principles of movement are limited in number, but nearly limitless in their application. One drill I especially liked was working different variations of oshi taoshi in relation to uke's movement. Same old move...if you could do one decently the other variations came pretty quickly. Once I have down most of the basic movements, the SOURCE OF ULTIMATE POWER WILL BE WITHIN MY GRASP.

Toodles.

George S. Ledyard
02-18-2004, 12:23 AM
~~Hi All! I'm sitting at work bored and got to wondering what areas of focus in training others might be working on. For myself, I'm interested in that instant of contact, how you can control the situation from the beginning with the correct combination of principles. A flash of tension, instantly relaxing, dropping weight, leading uke, spiraling up, down, here and there. Many times I don't quite pull off the right combination and end up with some pretty strange movements. Or the initial movement is perfect and then I get lost as to what to do next. Most amusing sometimes.

~~Anyway, I'm pretending we're all sitting around having a drink and discussing what we're working on or what fascinates us about training in Aikido. Cheers!
I am working on the same thing. Katsu Hayabi or "instant victory". Catch their center the moment we physically touch. Even better if I've caught their mind before that.

The Expo was inspiring, and I hope for Aikido people humbling, as some of the best aiki being done was by non-aiki instructors namely Kuroda, Vasiliev, and Ushiro. And some of the least aiki work was done by some Aikido folks.

Kuroda Sensei talked about whole body movement, Ushiro Sensei about "zero power", Vladimir was as relaxed as you will ever see. I have been trying for some time to get my technique to relax, to remove the tension from it. Gleason Sensei has said that his teacher, Yamaguchi Sensei, taught that no technique should take more effort than simply resting your arms on your opponent (partner). Saotome Sensei has been doing much the same thing for some time, simply resting a hand on your shoulder and breaking your balance without you feeling any actual pressure.

For me things are just now starting to come together a bit. It's much like riding a bike, before you know how it seems impossible but once you get it, it is not only simple but it is in your body and you'll never forget how. The rate of change seems exponential. I can feel everything I have been doing change as my mind comprehends what my body should and should not be doing. What I am doing now bears almost no resemblance to what I was doing five years ago. But there is so much farther to go... it doesn't help that the very folks I am trying to emulate keep getting better... Ikeda Sensei was here at our dojo this past weekend and his technique is so refined at this point. It's hard to even see what he is doing unless you already understand it. Just wonderful.

I had set myself a quota of gaining understanding of at least one each year of the spirals he runs at the instant of contact but this year that "exponential change" I was referring to made several come together for me, in fact I was able to see that they weren't even separate movements at all but were really the same. But of course reality set in shortly thereafter with one I've been trying to get for years now and am still not getting. No observable effect on my partner at all. Oh well, maybe next year...

Paula Lydon
02-18-2004, 07:58 AM
~~Hi George! Yes, I too find working with aforementioned instructors both humbling and inspiring. Also agree 100% on your views concerning presence(or lack thereof)of aiki at the Expo. Quite an eye opener for me. I put up a post just after call 'Aikido in the way of aiki' or something like that. Deffinately those 3 gentlemen you mentioned!

See you on the mat.

mantis
02-29-2004, 02:14 AM
I've always focused on being a good uke, and probably always will.

certain techniques happen only when uke does a particular thing (like pulling instead of pushing etc.) training isn't randori, so uke must do the correct reaction to a particular technique or that technique won't take place.

i often find that beginner uke's aren't really sure of WHY a technique works for a particular reaction. if they learn why early on, then their fundamentals will be very strong.

Tom Wolowiec
02-29-2004, 08:36 PM
What do you with this waza?

Talk your partner into submission?
Kiss of death. ;)

cbrf4zr2
03-01-2004, 09:59 AM
Currently I'm trying to not think about what I am doing. My first Kyu test has been put on hold for about a year due to a couple of things, so in essence I've been prepping for Shodan for about a year. The first Kyu test (in my opinion) is just a formality at this point. My biggest problem that I have and I want to elimninate is not thinking about what I am going to do in randori or jiyu waza. When I'm attacked, I don't want to think "OK, I'm going to do kotagaeshi this time," or "I'll to koshinage this time." I want to be able to just let everything happen. Although I think most of that is because I'm required to show a specified number of techniques for a certain attack, and I need to know what I'm doing do I don't just perform 18 variations of sankyo every time :)

In the past 4 months, I've been given the responsibility of teaching my own class, which had made me see a lot of things I never saw while just doing technique. Now I am also focusing on picking up the nuances of certain techiniques while watching the lower ranks. An angle change here, rotate the hips a little more there, hit uke with a baseball bat as atemi. You know, those subtle things :cool:

So right now my focus is to learn everything so I don't have to think about it or remember it - and it just happens.