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Chad Sloman
02-19-2004, 06:58 AM
I've noticed a lot of discussion regarding "competition" in aikido. I don't pretend to know anything about tomiki or shodokan aikido as the only exposure I have to it is on aikiweb (thanks Jun) and I don't think we have anything like that in my area. I am very interested in it though. My question is though how do you guys really compete without really hurting each other. I mean countering or struggling against somebodys technique would seem to me to be very dangerous. I mean I'm a bigger guy and I really try hard not to muscle my technique but if I'm applying a kote gaeshi to somebody and they are really giving me resistance and we are competing then I could probably break somebodys wrist easily if I really put my weight and muscle into it. I guess I just don't know what kind of rules you have and where do you draw the line and stop.

Jack Robertson
02-19-2004, 11:41 AM
Good question!

I'd like to know also.

Hmm, but I have heard about there being competitions that involve disarming someone with a foam knife. If that's the case, how do people score points?

PeterR
02-19-2004, 06:59 PM
The rules can be found at here (http://www.tomiki.org).

There is both tanto and toshu randori. In the former case one is given a tanto with which points can be scored for good strikes and the other tries to avoid and apply techniques - of course tanto can counter with techniques of his own and both can resist to the best of their abilities. After an alloted time - tanto is exchanged. In toshu randori - much harder to do in my opinion - both are unarmed.

As far as wrist breaks and the like - one has to know when to bail.

Chris Birke
02-19-2004, 09:43 PM
Ahhh.... To hear an Aikido Sensei say "-real techniques survive in competition!" It makes me so... happy! *tears up*

Yann Golanski
02-20-2004, 03:21 AM
I think that to most Shodokan folks competition means "to strive consciously or unconsciously for an objective " which in most cases is getting better at Aikido. The alternate meaning of competition (as in rivalry) is not part of what I understand as randori.

Aikido offers us a vaste array of techniques that can be used to kill, main or dispose of our attacker/partner as we see fit. Just as an example, shihonage can be used to break uke's shoulder, elbow and wrist in one move. Or it can be used to throw uke into a nice and safe ushiro ukemi. You, as tori/nage/sh'te get to decide what to do.

In Aikido, we (generally?) strive to be in harmony with our uke and that applies in competition as well. Uke is going to resist but it's our job as tori to take care of them. Tori is responsable for the well being of uke whatever the style, training or even fighting.

Hence we must make sure that balance breakers are applied correctly. Once balance is gone, throwning uke is really easy.

Of course, uke knows all the techniques tori does. He knows when a kotegeashi is going to hurt and how to get out of it -- ukemi does mean escape after all!

In my eight years of doing randori, the biggest injury I got was getting clawed by someone who had sharp nails. I ended up bleeding a little and had to stop because none of the plasters would stay on! The biggest injury I saw was a bloody lip at the world championship. Sure accidents do happen but there are just that: accidents.

BTW, that's one of the reason we don't wear hakama when we are doing randori. It adds a level of danger that is not necessary. Well, according to Tomiki-sensei and Nariyama-sensei.

crand32100
02-20-2004, 11:52 AM
So how do you practice harmony and compete at the same time? Seems pretty rediculous to me.

aikidocapecod
02-20-2004, 12:28 PM
Thank you Tyler,

I am very surprised that serious Aikidoka would wish to compete. That is against everything O'Sensei taught. But, to each their own desires.

The only competition I ever find concerning Aikido is within myself to become a better student of an art that is rooted in being on a path of harmony....

But...that is just one person's opinion...

Ron Tisdale
02-20-2004, 12:37 PM
So how do you practice harmony and compete at the same time? Seems pretty rediculous to me.
from www.dictionary.com:

Harmony;

Agreement in feeling or opinion; accord: live in harmony.

A pleasing combination of elements in a whole: color harmony; the order and harmony of the universe. See Synonyms at proportion.

Competition;

The act of competing, as for profit or a prize; rivalry.

A test of skill or ability; a contest: a skating competition.

Rivalry between two or more businesses striving for the same customer or market.

A competitor: The competition has cornered the market.

Ecology. The simultaneous demand by two or more organisms for limited environmental resources, such as nutrients, living space, or light.

I think the earlier posters have made it pretty clear that they do not consider competion to be 'rivalry', but rather, 'A test of skill or ability'. In other words, both participants strive as best they can to test themselves. In some styles of aikido, this test is more internal, in some styles, it is external.

If we see harmony as 'A pleasing combination of elements in a whole', there is nothing here that is contradictory to a 'test of skill or ability'. In fact, the statement
So how do you practice harmony and compete at the same time? Seems pretty rediculous to me.
seems more lacking in harmony to me than competition. And I don't even compete in the manner discussed in this thread.

You could even say that someone who fosters 'competition' between different styles of aikido is the most 'dis-harmonious' of all.

Ron

aikidocapecod
02-20-2004, 12:52 PM
You make your point well Ron. As I said in my post, I voiced my own opinion. When I train, I never try to overcome my partner, rather I try to control my own person and space.

If competition is what one needs to "test" their own capabilities, then that is their right.

akiy
02-20-2004, 12:59 PM
from www.dictionary.com:

Harmony;

Agreement in feeling or opinion; accord: live in harmony.
[snip]
Competition;

The act of competing, as for profit or a prize; rivalry.
The etymology of the word "compete" is interesting; it comes from the Latin competere or com- together + petere to seek...

-- Jun

Ron Tisdale
02-20-2004, 01:01 PM
When I train, I never try to overcome my partner, rather I try to control my own person and space.
Hi Larry,

I like the way you state your objective during training. I have a training partner that I sometimes do a more 'competitive' randori with privately. I think your description of your training would apply very well to what each of us tries to do...we just drop the defined roles of uke and shite, slow down, and if we find ourselves speeding up or getting sloppy, we stop and take a break. Kinda competitive, and yet very harmonious. We haven't been injured doing this. But we did get injured sometimes in normal 'harmonious' practice. I separated his shoulder once. Go figure...

Ron (BAD shite)

Ron Tisdale
02-20-2004, 01:03 PM
Thanks Jun...that's exactly what I was trying to get at!

Ron (see what happens when we 'seek together'?)

:)

aikidocapecod
02-20-2004, 01:06 PM
One other thought on Aikido and competition...

I have read a lot of books about O'Sensei...

He never wanted competition in Aikido...

That was enough for me

crand32100
02-20-2004, 01:07 PM
Ron,

My practice right now is about studying balance. I have come to believe that this whole aikido thing is about balance. As a result, my practice is not based on what happens to the other guy. Right now this is working really well for me. Coming from this point of view, I can't see any point to competition. Don't we demonstrate our skill and ability during testing anyway? That's my point of view and it's right for me.

It's perfectly fine and natural for people to want to test their skill and ability in the public showcase. I was involved in competitive athletics for may years. The only thing that I can say about it is that when the ideas of winning and losing come into play, there are always casualties- even if it's chess or figure skating. Such is life, but that doesn't mean that I have to support it.

Ron Tisdale
02-20-2004, 01:33 PM
I have read a lot of books about O'Sensei...

He never wanted competition in Aikido...

That was enough for me
I've read a lot as well. It was one of his top students that introduced the methods. And that top student never separated from the Aikikai until ***after*** Ueshiba's death. It was the 2nd Doshu who seemed to bring about that separation, not Ueshiba.

I don't want to convince you that competition is the best way to go...just make you more aware that the common arguements that you hear are not so clear cut. Personally, I'm not into the competition thing so much myself...but I do understand the advantages it can bring, if done well.

Ron

Ron Tisdale
02-20-2004, 01:41 PM
Ron,

My practice right now is about studying balance. I have come to believe that this whole aikido thing is about balance. As a result, my practice is not based on what happens to the other guy.
Well, both Daito ryu and Aikido are said to be about 'breaking the opponant's balance at first contact'. So, I'd say that you have half the equation by maintaining your own balance, and that is a good place to start. But as a martial art, for aikido to suceed, you also have to focus on uke, and their balance, in my opinion (and many others seem to agree). At some point, whether practicing a 'soft' style or a 'hard' style, a competitive style or a non-competitive style, you will have to focus on what happens to 'the other guy'. Otherwise you'll just be dancing. Perhaps badly...
Right now this is working really well for me.
Glad to hear it...the most important thing is to enjoy your practice, whatever your chosen method.
Coming from this point of view, I can't see any point to competition. Don't we demonstrate our skill and ability during testing anyway? That's my point of view and it's right for me.
Thats great...but that's not the impression that your first post gave...is it?
The only thing that I can say about it is that when the ideas of winning and losing come into play, there are always casualties- even if it's chess or figure skating. Such is life, but that doesn't mean that I have to support it.
That's right...don't support it...do what you find benefits you...but you are the one who brought up harmony. Go back and read your post...does it sound harmonious to you? And yet the posts from those supporting competition in aikido sound very harmonious...competition seems to be working very well for them...

Ron

akiy
02-20-2004, 01:44 PM
One other thought on Aikido and competition...

I have read a lot of books about O'Sensei...

He never wanted competition in Aikido...
Here are some interesting thoughts from Peter Goldsbury on what the founder said about "competition."

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=10426#post10426

In a nutshell, it seems as though the founder used the Japanese term for "rivalry" (kyousou) rather than "game/match" (shiai) when putting down "competition."

-- Jun

aikidocapecod
02-20-2004, 02:10 PM
In saotome Sensei's book

AIKIDO and the HARMONY OF NATURE

There is a section near the end of the book entitled Rules of Training.

Rule 4 states

There will be no competition on the mat. The purpose of Aikido is not in fighting and defeating an enemy, but in fighting and defeating your own aggresive instincts.

Perhaps this is where I got the idea that O'Sensei discouraged any competition in Aikido.

Ron Tisdale
02-20-2004, 02:18 PM
Hi Larry,

if you read the thread Jun provided in the link...you will see your question is fully addressed.
1. The character is also used by the Founder in his rules for practice, but in the context it clearly means 'contests of strength'.
Peter Goldsbury is really an asset to these boards.

Ron

aikidocapecod
02-20-2004, 02:21 PM
I did read it and it was very informative. I was merely pointing out the error I made in stating it was O'Sensei that said no competition in Aikido. It was Saotome that said it.

Ron Tisdale
02-20-2004, 02:28 PM
The 'rules for practice' come from a book 'Budo' that was written by Ueshiba in the pre-war years. So Saotome probably included them in his book as a quote, or reference. The debate wouldn't be about if Ueshiba Sensei said it...the debate would be about the translation and context.

Gotta go home for the weekend, but it was good chatting with you...I don't speak pc on the weekends...I train! :)

Ron

aikidocapecod
02-20-2004, 02:30 PM
Happy Weekend to you Ron....

As always....this is a great place to exchange thoughts and learn...

Kensai
02-20-2004, 04:38 PM
'One other thought on Aikido and competition...

I have read a lot of books about O'Sensei...

He never wanted competition in Aikido...

That was enough for me'

Larry, as much as I try to understand your point I fail to grasp what you are getting at.

I'm not into creating icon's. O Sensei Ueshiba is indeed a great man, a fanatistic philiosopher and a powerful martial artist. But I'm not O Sensei, I never will be and more to the point I dont want to be.

What works for him is perhaps not what I want. I dont practice Tomiki, infact I practice both Ki and Aikikai. However I would never dream of saying that Tomiki is wrong.

Undoubtably Kenji Tomiki is a powerful martial artist. Some would say that sport is against the Aiki principles, I dont think so personally but some do. How is cultivating the spirit wrong? Are you saying that Judo is anyless Budo?

Kancho actually KILLED people to test his art, how would you judge that? It seems to pale the sport aspect doesn't it?

Would you say that because Yoshinkan doesnt contain sport but yet is founded by a murderer is any better?

Is this what O Sensei wanted?

Not sure about Tohei's record, I know that he ended a few Judo careers. So crippling people is BETTER than adding a sport aspect?

Is this what O Sensei wanted?

Chida Sensei is known for randomly breaking limbs.

Is this what O Sensei wanted?

Of any of the oringal uchi deshi, Tomiki was probably the most sqeeky clean. If any of the Aikido styles were to be judged on their morality and sticking to O Sensei's words of harmony and non violence Shodokan has the MOST harmonous history.

The bottom line is that ALL the Uchideshi never stayed true to O Sensei. They created their own Aikido, Aikido is about personallity. Its not restricted to form or rules and as such has a wide bearth of diversity and beauty. To cast one as less than the others is foolish, to judge on difference is foolish.

O Sensei changed Daito Ryu and 'evolved' his Aikido, his students did the same. I'm glad they did so.

Regards,

Chris.

aikidocapecod
02-20-2004, 06:19 PM
I would never say that what I believe is the way it should be...I said that is was good enough for me. And I meant just that. If others choose to train in Aikido to compete, then that is their way. I choose not to do so.

I never said it was wrong...just that it is not for me....

But the debate continues...and this is a good thing!!!

Chad Sloman
02-21-2004, 12:36 AM
I guess I started this thread with some trepidation because I was afraid it was going to turn into another "my kung fu is better than your kung fu" flame war, but really I have seen that this has been a really hot topic for a while and really I just wanted to get some more information out there for myself and others. Uneducated arguments are so embarrassing.

It seems to me that the biggest argument out there against aikido and its efficacy is that we don't train against resistant partners. BJJ people often say that aikido is inferior for this reason. They claim that they have different levels of resistance in their training and that's how they know that their system works.

I don't know about you, but I don't want my aikido to turn into a dance, and I strive not to. But I do believe that there is some truth to this argument as some of our styles don't really have a mechanism for trying our techniques on resistant partners. Now we do have randori and jiyu waza drills but they are really far and few between, and not really part of the kyu rank curriculum.

In karate, we spar, sometimes light contact, sometimes heavy but we do it in class often. I like it because it makes me think on my feet and helps to teach distance and timing. I don't know about you but the first few times I did jiyu waza or randori, I got that "deer in headlights" look on my face and froze up, just because I wasn't used to it.

Although I don't necessarily think that we need competition in aikido to give prizes/trophies/etc for winners of bouts, I do like the fact that shodokan aikido does give a little more reality to their training. Personally, I do constantly pursue efficacy in my technique in real life, and I know that not everybody practices aikido for this reason.

I hope that someday I may be able to train with some shodokan folks as I'll probably be able to learn a lot. It seems to me that all of our different styles are not due to disagreements/differences between our shihan (Tohei, Tomiki, Saito, Shioda, etc.) and O'Sensei, but rather they all just took their favorite aspect of O'Sensei's teaching and focused on that. IMHO all of these styles are still in the vein of aiki and all still exemplify the martial genius of O'Sensei.

mantis
02-24-2004, 02:00 PM
I practice tomiki aikido, but we don't do any competition like other styles. We do have a form of randori, (similar to the concept of judo randori, but much slower), that teaches about off balance, and flowing into a technique, rather than making a technique happen.

A lot of the time, I've found that if you try to make a technique happen, it fails due to timing issues. What this randori teaches it to wait for the technique to happen naturally with a minimum amount of energy put out.

ones ability to flow into technique after technique will become automatic, which is what needs to happen if it is to become an effective martial art.

stuartjvnorton
02-24-2004, 05:54 PM
There will be no competition on the mat. The purpose of Aikido is not in fighting and defeating an enemy, but in fighting and defeating your own aggresive instincts.

Perhaps this is where I got the idea that O'Sensei discouraged any competition in Aikido.
"Competition" as in a contrived situation bound by a set of rules where the aim is to score points, or "competition" as in a selfish desire to make yourself feel worthwhile at someone else's expense?

PeterR
02-24-2004, 07:03 PM
"Competition" as in a contrived situation bound by a set of rules where the aim is to score points, or "competition" as in a selfish desire to make yourself feel worthwhile at someone else's expense?
Probably both of the above but it has been pointed out several times that neither is the aim of Tomiki's Aikido.

If the central aim of Tomiki's teachings was to make a sport out of Aikido one could say something but it is not. Shiai is both a training mechanism and an opportunity to develop many positive attributes.

Ueshiba M. talked many times of the need to avoid kyousou (see Jun's post above). From what I understand he pointedly avoided condemning shiai but did believe the latter provided a pitfall for the former. It is however very easy to say we don't do Shiai therefore there is no Kyousou here - all the while not seeing the monkey on your own back.

Notice by the by that there are more people supporting Tomiki's viewpoint in this thread (not necessarily agreeing with it) that don't do Tomiki Aikido than actual Shodokan (Tomiki) people. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Kyri Honigh
02-24-2004, 10:23 PM
Hi

I also think competition in any martial art has certain advantages over the non-competitive ones. Training with a partner resisting your technique will surely give you a realistic image of what you can or can't do. But in Judo for example a lot of techniques have been banned. So even through competition you can't go all out. Also Aikido is different from sports because of the rei aspect i believe. I just hate it when in Judo competitions or UFC matches, the victor stands around and poses instead of first honoring his opponent, the loser, who taught him something new. I think its just best when u pick someone from your aikido class and after keiko u guys go at it. Just nice and simple and unprofessional. Trophies just get to you, they always do.

Budd
02-25-2004, 10:35 AM
While I've never trained in Shodokan, let me just add my virtual tip-of-the-hat in respect and admiration for the type of practice that happens on the mat. I hope to get to experience it someday in person.

stuartjvnorton
02-25-2004, 04:02 PM
Probably both of the above but it has been pointed out several times that neither is the aim of Tomiki's Aikido.

If the central aim of Tomiki's teachings was to make a sport out of Aikido one could say something but it is not. Shiai is both a training mechanism and an opportunity to develop many positive attributes.

Ueshiba M. talked many times of the need to avoid kyousou (see Jun's post above). From what I understand he pointedly avoided condemning shiai but did believe the latter provided a pitfall for the former. It is however very easy to say we don't do Shiai therefore there is no Kyousou here - all the while not seeing the monkey on your own back.

Notice by the by that there are more people supporting Tomiki's viewpoint in this thread (not necessarily agreeing with it) that don't do Tomiki Aikido than actual Shodokan (Tomiki) people. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.
Hi Peter,

I'm not not sure if I was overly clear before.

My first one about scoring points implied no judgement either way. It was really just describing the format of training.

The second one was the dangerous one & can occur anywhere, any time.

They are sometimes combined, but that's the person and not the practice.

I personally support the concept of shiai as a valuable training tool & wish we did some of it in Yoshinkan, but I can also see the dangers for those who get too caught up in the competitive aspect to be careful.

mantis
02-25-2004, 05:46 PM
Peter Rehse: I have seen the video about tomiki aikido by AikiNews. it shows some tanto competitions on it.

are these good examples of what it looks like? not to open up a can of worms but to me it looks like there is a lot of force with very little technique being used.

PeterR
02-25-2004, 05:57 PM
Peter Rehse: I have seen the video about tomiki aikido by AikiNews. it shows some tanto competitions on it.

are these good examples of what it looks like? not to open up a can of worms but to me it looks like there is a lot of force with very little technique being used.
I was also surprised by the quality of those matches. Apparently at that event there were far better examples. Those videos were taken by non-Shodokan people for a non-Shodokan product.

That said - another way of looking at it is that you can see how difficult it is to apply kata perfect technique under trying circumstance.

Take my word for it - when timing and kuzushi are spot on it is beautiful.

mantis
02-26-2004, 09:41 AM
Do you have any mpegs online from your dojo?

also, Will there be a Koryu Kata book put out by the Shodokan?

thanks

Gilles D'Hoker
02-26-2004, 10:09 AM
I didn't even know there was a competition style of Aikido... One shihonage and the opponent's arm would be dislocated!!

I also believe that Osensei Did not like competition in aikido.

willy_lee
02-26-2004, 12:55 PM
also, Will there be a Koryu Kata book put out by the Shodokan?
isn't there already a few? Just did an aikiweb book review search for "koryu" and found 4....

(well, one was a Jiyushinkan book, so not strictly the same as Shodokan)

=wl

L. Camejo
02-26-2004, 01:11 PM
I didn't even know there was a competition style of Aikido... One shihonage and the opponent's arm would be dislocated!!
The above is a response I typically get from practitioners of other Aikido styles who hear about or see Shodokan for the first time.

I see Peter has been holding his own pretty well so far, so nothing to add just yet. But to give folks an idea of how the techniques may be applied in competition, you can check out the "Randori no Kata" animations on my site here - http://www.ttac.0catch.com/animtech.htm - as one may see, techniques like Shi ho nage (Tenkai Kotegaeshi) are used in a way to allow the joint to stretch (instead of dislocating) while still being able to throw by using correct tsukuri and kuzushi.

As far as Ueshiba M. and competition goes - if one is attempting to create a training system for an effective martial art, some objective evaluation of ability is necessary, be it competition or some other form of "pressure testing".

Just a few thoughts.

L.C.:ai::ki:

L. Camejo
02-26-2004, 01:17 PM
As far as the Koryu no kata goes (Peter and maybe Sean can correct me here) I think Shodokan Honbu only focuses on the Koryu Dai San, aka the Goshin no Kata.

So I'm not sure if Shodokan in Japan would release a book on all the Koryu no kata, which tends to be performed by other groups who had a strong Tomiki/Obha influence such as the British Aikido Association etc. As far as I know there have been books on the koryu no kata written by Dr. Lee Ah Loi and another recent one written by Neil saunders which is supposed to have lots of pictures.

Of course I may be wrong, this is just from what I've heard being said.

L.C.:ai::ki:

PeterR
02-26-2004, 06:26 PM
Hi Larry

Basically Shodokan is Koryu Dai San and Dai Yon - the latter being the Nage no Kate Omote and Ura plus 11. As you know the Nage no Kata Omote is part of the sankyu requirements, Ura is Nikyu. The 11 can be used by those with a really good excuse instead of randori at Nidan.

Between Yondan and Nanadan there are 50 techniques of the Goshin Ho (defense applications?). I know I've done them all but have no idea about the order. Don't even want to think about it at this point.

The other Koryu sets Ichi, Ni, Go and Rokku are basically the stringing of techniqes togeather with no particular thought as to system. Most you see in the Goshin Ho.

PeterR
02-26-2004, 06:28 PM
Do you have any mpegs online from your dojo?

also, Will there be a Koryu Kata book put out by the Shodokan?

thanks
There are adequet books already out there. The video is for limited circulation - sorry.

As for mpegs - one of my students has a 7 MEG clip from the last Kansai championship - he needs someone to host it. Any offers.

Chris Birke
02-27-2004, 02:58 AM
I can't host it (yet, at least), but I'd love to see it. Can you send it to me? Drop me an email! cbirke(@)gladstone(.)uoregon(.)edu

L. Camejo
02-27-2004, 08:02 AM
Peter, I'll be glad to host it, can add it to the other mpegs on my site, and those average 5 megs so it should be no problem.

Just e-mail or PM me and let me know.

Thanks for the clarification on the Koryu no kata and the Dan syllabus stuff. Been asking my instructor to give me some more info on the entire Nage no kata (as done for dan grades), but he says that I have no reason to avoid randori at grading - which is true, but you know me - inquiring minds wanna know :). Especially for my older students as well, they tend to feel really out of place when we do full randori. I try to keep it at hikitategeiko for them.

Like you, I'm more worried about getting my Goshin no kata crisper and the tanto element down pat for my next grade, rather than even thinking about the Goshin ho. It's great to look at though.

L.C.:ai::ki:

Budd
02-27-2004, 09:46 AM
Hi Peter,

I can also host the clip. Just PM me or have your student do it on the other site.

Thanks.

PeterR
02-28-2004, 03:10 AM
Loads of offers - Jesse will pick and choose. It should be up soon.

Kensai
02-29-2004, 04:03 AM
Hey Peter, could you start a thread when the clip is up?

markwalsh
02-29-2004, 05:06 PM
Honest observations of an Aikikai student after taking part in several Shodokan/Tomiki seminars and watching the world championships in Leeds last year:

- Tomiki aikidoka are really quick on their feet!

- But they have holes in technique that atemi fit nicely into (if you can catch them).

- Its an interesting reality check for traditional practitioners to train with them.

- The rubber tantos look like dildos. Fact.

- The techniques appears sloppy during competition and very "un aiki".

- But high ranking Shodokan teachers look very similar to Aikikai teachers while demonstrating form (I'm told the top sensei is a 5th dan Aikikai too).

- They don't seem any less spiritually advanced than Aikikai practitioners despite the competition! The teachers I've met have if anything been less arrogant then many in the Aikikai, and God knows how competitive non competitive Aikido can be.

- But the manner of some of the British contestants during the world championships was fairly embarrassing.

These are just things that a few friends and I commented on from a fairly limited set of observations. You can't begin sentences with buts either, but I don't think I'm speaking out of mine in this instance.

Terss
03-03-2004, 09:31 PM
For yet another opinion:

I believe that Aikido is first and foremost a martial art. To master any MA one has to try to train for strength, flexibility, awareness, and calm (among other things). In my opinion, any martial art would simply be a set of moves programmed into your mind unless you trained yourself to think on your feet.

At least for me, this doesn't mean competition. It doesn't mean winning or losing or beating someone else. It means putting myself into the situation where I have to decide for myself what to do and how to do it. Over time, such exposure to a resistive uke will strengthen my training by making Aikido not a conscious thought or decision, but a reflex. One that, hopefully, will never be fully tested.

There are always those who do want competition in the sense of winners and losers. Although I mean no offense to anyone, I honestly don't think that is the right way to train. Sports are for that kind of thing and, I believe, Aikido is not a sport.

One should train with a resistive uke at least once and a while - you'll learn about your weaknesses as well as strengths, but only in order to achieve the true goal of a martial artist: to strengthen yourself. MAs, in my opinion, are more about training physically in order to improve spiritually and mentally. And no one should have superiority be the goal of their training.

PeterR
03-04-2004, 12:16 AM
As Peter prepares to mash Mark into the ground, develop scathing rebuttals and sneering asides.
Honest observations of an Aikikai student after taking part in several Shodokan/Tomiki seminars and watching the world championships in Leeds last year:
Good for you, just as Shodokan people should also get around.
Tomiki aikidoka are really quick on their feet!
Most of us cross-train in tap dancing.
But they have holes in technique that atemi fit nicely into (if you can catch them).
This is worth discussing some - see the end of post.
Its an interesting reality check for traditional practitioners to train with them.
Of course.
The rubber tantos look like dildos. Fact.
True - if one has ever seen the cover of the Japanese version of the Shishida Nariyama book you can see why we turn beet red at the very mention of the similarity. Rumor has it the change to a two tone variety of tanto had a lot to do with this um mistaken impression.
The techniques appears sloppy during competition and very "un aiki".
It can and it shouldn't. The top Japanese guys are absolutely beautiful to watch with respect to kuzushi and timing. I have noticed this happens more often than not when you have two skilled people going at it but if one uses muscle then the other is almost forced to degenerate. Same comments about Leeds was made here.
But high ranking Shodokan teachers look very similar to Aikikai teachers while demonstrating form (I'm told the top sensei is a 5th dan Aikikai too).
Nariyama Shihan spent six years as uchideshi to Kobayashi H. Shihan in the real sense of the word. He got his 5th Dan Aikikai from him quite awhile ago. I understand (not from Nariyama Shihan directly) that he is now 6th Dan across the board (two major Aikido groups plus Judo). Of course the only thing that really counts is his position within Shodokan. Still it is no surprise. Both Tomiki and Kobayashi were major students of Ueshiba M. - it would be a surprise if Nariyama Shihan and his students didn't.
They don't seem any less spiritually advanced than Aikikai practitioners despite the competition! The teachers I've met have if anything been less arrogant then many in the Aikikai, and God knows how competitive non competitive Aikido can be.
Bite your tongue and pass me the boar haunch. I'll wrestle you for desert.
But the manner of some of the British contestants during the world championships was fairly embarrassing.
It was noted.
These are just things that a few friends and I commented on from a fairly limited set of observations. You can't begin sentences with buts either, but I don't think I'm speaking out of mine in this instance.
Fair evaluation.

When you are talking about holes for atemi in technique - do you mean in kata or in randori. In randori you can see quite a bit but it is the nature of the beast. Randori is not real fighting but a training method for Aiki techniques. You can actually say the same thing for Judo randori. Visions of lacing the guy have traveled through my head numerous times - usually when I was not doing a good job with Aikido techniques.

Kata when done right should have no holes although when you do watch some of them you feel like saying but what if tori did that. Then of course it would not be kata but jiyuwaza.

paw
03-04-2004, 05:20 AM
Kristen,
I believe that Aikido is first and foremost a martial art.
It means putting myself into the situation where I have to decide for myself what to do and how to do it.

Given these two statements, I suggest changing:
One should train with a resistive uke at least once and a while -

I cannot disagree strongly enough. If you want to perform well when you have a resistive uke, you need to practice with a resistive uke as much as possible, not every once in a while.

In the same way, if you want to be a lawyer, you practice law, not watching one of the many lawyer television shows that are on. And to carry the lawyer analogy further, if you desire to be a good lawyer in family law, you would do well do spend much of your time practicing family law.

To my way of thinking, having a "resistive uke" does not demand or imply competition, but neither does it exclude it.


Regards,

Paul

edited for spelling

PeterR
03-04-2004, 05:37 AM
To my way of thinking, having a "resistive uke" does not demand or imply competition, but neither does it exclude it.
Hi Paul can we play with this a bit.

I consider resistance training competitive by definition. You can adjust the level/intensity of your attempt to shut the person down but you are trying to stop the execution of technique while doing the same yourself but you are still trying to dominate the situation. If you toss that completely out the window than you are not doing resistive training.

A strong, solid grip, during the execution of a particular technique, is really not the same thing. These function more on forcing Nage to understand the mechanics of the technique.

We don't do really as much of the latter as say some Iwama stylists do and considering Aikido's strength is in its dynamic nature I am not sure how valuable too much of it is.

paw
03-04-2004, 07:12 AM
Peter,
I consider resistance training competitive by definition.

I'd agree completely.

But, from reading this thread, I'm inclined to think that some folks have a knee-jerk reaction to "competition" or "randori" (as judo players would use the word, not multiple attack), so I tried to draw a separation between "word" and "thing". As long as it's true resistance training, I don't care what it's called so long as it's done and done regularly (my expectations are every class for at least 1/4 to 1/3 the class length).

Anyhoo, my point to Kristen was you have to do a specific activity to develop skill at that specific activity. If you want skill when dealing with a resistant uke, you need to train with a resistant uke as much as possible.
A strong, solid grip, during the execution of a particular technique, is really not the same thing. ... considering Aikido's strength is in its dynamic nature I am not sure how valuable too much of it is.
Again, I agree.

Regards,

Paul

JasonFDeLucia
03-05-2004, 06:54 PM
I've noticed a lot of discussion regarding "competition" in aikido. I don't pretend to know anything about tomiki or shodokan aikido as the only exposure I have to it is on aikiweb (thanks Jun) and I don't think we have anything like that in my area. I am very interested in it though. My question is though how do you guys really compete without really hurting each other. I mean countering or struggling against somebodys technique would seem to me to be very dangerous. I mean I'm a bigger guy and I really try hard not to muscle my technique but if I'm applying a kote gaeshi to somebody and they are really giving me resistance and we are competing then I could probably break somebodys wrist easily if I really put my weight and muscle into it. I guess I just don't know what kind of rules you have and where do you draw the line and stop.
the line gets drawn on your partners respect to logic .if it is on good enough he or she will yeild or tap .injury is not so common as you think .every one has to go to work the next day.

JasonFDeLucia
03-05-2004, 06:59 PM
The rules can be found at here (http://www.tomiki.org).

There is both tanto and toshu randori. In the former case one is given a tanto with which points can be scored for good strikes and the other tries to avoid and apply techniques - of course tanto can counter with techniques of his own and both can resist to the best of their abilities. After an alloted time - tanto is exchanged. In toshu randori - much harder to do in my opinion - both are unarmed.

As far as wrist breaks and the like - one has to know when to bail.
i just responded to the same one without knowing you said it first