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Nafis Zahir
03-10-2004, 02:31 AM
I went to a dojo that taught the Iwama Style. The whole time I was there, we were always taught that our way was the right way and we always shown why techniques done in others ways were wrong, ineffective, and most of all, not traditional. Now I am in the Aikikai and learning that there are many different variations to techniques and they all have their advantages. I'm never told that the way I used to do a technique was wrong, but that it was just different. I've also found that I sometime have to do a technique differently, depending on who I'm doing it to. (i.e. someone bigger, stronger, or real flexible) But is this okay? Should we vary our techniques, or should learn to do the technique where as we can do it to whomever without having to vary them? Chiba Sensei once said at a seminar, that we shouldn't get locked in to doing a technique one way. We should always search for a better way. However, Chiba Sensei can do nikkyo to anyone and alot of aikidoka can't, even though they've been training for a long time. I would like to get everyone's opinion on this one. Train hard!

Yann Golanski
03-10-2004, 04:17 AM
"My style is better than your style because my sensei is so hard he chews small rocks for breakfast..."

*sigh* There is no wrong or right in techniques just things that work for you and don't work for you. For some people, Aikido really works and they thrive on it for others they find it ineffective and stupid. If one form was magical and worked 100% for all nage on all uke whatever their resistence, we'll all be learning that one true magical path and ignoring the rest!

I would say that Aikido consists of about 20 basic techniques which can be applied in hundreds of ways depending on nage and uke. If nage is 7 feet tall and uke is 4, I can hardly go getdan ate, but once the roles are swaped it's a different story.

Of course, that's a very Shodokan view...

happysod
03-10-2004, 07:01 AM
There is no wrong or right in techniques just things that work for you and don't work for you Going to nit-pick here yann, there are some technique variations that will never work unless the uke is so compliant you may as well breath on them to make them fall over (ok, after a good night out, this may be possible...)

Greg Jennings
03-10-2004, 07:32 AM
I went to a dojo that taught the Iwama Style.
As we've discussed, that's debatable.
The whole time I was there, we were always taught that our way was the right way and we always shown why techniques done in others ways were wrong, ineffective, and most of all, not traditional.
Ego and marketing.

That said, there is a sort of *right* way to do the Iwama basic forms. That doesn't mean that there is one right way, ultimately, to do the technique.

The kotai/katai (rigid) form is only the first step. Then there is the yawara-tai, ryu-tai and, finally the kitai or "takemusu aiki" level.

It's in the final stage that one liberates the form. Shu-ha-ri.

If anyone doesn't understand that it's a four-step evoluntionarly process, they don't understand diddly about the Iwama pedagogical method.
Now I am in the Aikikai and learning that there are many different variations to techniques and they all have their advantages. I'm never told that the way I used to do a technique was wrong, but that it was just different.
You now train in a school that doesn't have a structured, 4-step learning process. It's a more unstructured, holistic method based on individual discovery. There's nothing better or worse about it. It's just a different path up the mountain.
I've also found that I sometime have to do a technique differently, depending on who I'm doing it to. (i.e. someone bigger, stronger, or real flexible) But is this okay? Should we vary our techniques, or should learn to do the technique where as we can do it to whomever without having to vary them?
I can always create a situation where you will have to vary or that the technique won't work at all. It's just that in early training, students don't have any foundation for what they need to vary for what dimension of change.

In most aikido schools, one learns the foundation and the freedom all at the same time.

In other schools, Iwama, Yoshinkan, Shodokan, etc. One has a basic form that one learns to give one the foundation. The freedom comes later. OK, there are little parts of it along the way, but I'm talking about the big area under the curve, not the tails.

In the final analysis, who gives a rip? My first instructor summed it up nicely "Just shut up and train". He meant that it was tha we were training that mattered, not what we were training in.
Chiba Sensei once said at a seminar, that we shouldn't get locked in to doing a technique one way. We should always search for a better way. However, Chiba Sensei can do nikkyo to anyone and alot of aikidoka can't, even though they've been training for a long time.
None of us are Chiba Sensei...

Regards,

crand32100
03-10-2004, 08:22 AM
Just be glad that you practice aikido. In my experience aikido people are more liberal with people that have practiced in different places. I did wing chun for a little while and my experience is that different teachers of this are rediculous about criticizing all your former teachers. They couldn't even agree about how they want to spell wing chun.

Martial arts are like little religions. Everyone has an epiphany and wants to become an evangelist of their truth. I'm quite guilty of this myself. We all are. My advise, and this is just me preaching, is to make whatever you want to learn your own. Don't worry about everyone else. If someone someday really likes what you do, maybe they'll ask you. Until then, keep working on you.

Fausto
03-10-2004, 01:05 PM
There is no wrong or right way to do a technique there are just differents ways of doing it, some may be more effective than others depending on nage's and uke's body.

Usually when a Sensei tells me that the way I do something is dead wrong but the way they do it is ABSOLUTELY RIGHT I leave and never go back to that dojo because nothing and nobody posses the absolut truth.

DarkShodan
03-10-2004, 01:54 PM
I hear you talkin' brother! I travel several times a year and try to practice wherever I may roam. (insert Metalica song here) Anyway, I visited a dojo a few years ago in California that was Iwama style. Myself being Aikikai I said to myself who cares, it's all good. Being a rather large school in the SF area, there were many top rank instructors there. They could tell immediately I was Aikikai style. This would be one of the few times I actually felt 'snubbed' by other students. I was embarrassed. After class one of the students gave me an article about how Iwama style is superior to Aikikai, how Aikido evolved from the barbaric Aikikai to the civilized Iwama style we have today. I was truly offended and never to return to that dojo. I have practiced many styles of Aikido; Aikikai, Iwama, Ki, Yoshinkan, they all have something to teach and I will always be willing to learn. We teach variations in techniques at our own dojo. The exact same technique may not work all the time even on the same person. Nage might not be where he intended and may need to adjust. I have many screw drivers in my tool box. Functionally they are all the same, but I have different sizes and colors depending on what I am doing. You're Aikido tool box should be the same. Same technique with many styles and colors depending on the circumstance.

Martial arts are indeed a lot like religion. I have chosen my path but I don't mind sharing in yours if I feel I can learn something from it. Especially if it involves holidays, gift giving, parties, and feasts with lots of food and alcohol!

:D

mantis
03-10-2004, 05:25 PM
There are wrong ways to do a technique if that technique doesn't follow your styles basic principles.

Kote gaeshi is a perfect example. I learned it one way when i studies jujitsu (jujitsu was based on pain), and another at my aikido school (based on kuzushi with no pain).

to do it the jujitsu way will work, but it is "WRONG" to do it that way in my aikido school where pain is frowned upon.

notice i said "in my school". if i am attacked, and I do kote-gaeshi and it works, well then whatever way i did it wasn't wrong at all.

different schools emphasize different underlying principles. so if other ways are said to be wrong, then find out why. it might conflict with your schools methods.

that being said, Ego and marketing can also come into play like Greg mentioned.

what reason did your 'Iwama" style instructor give for your technique to be wrong?

DCP
03-10-2004, 05:49 PM
Yes, there are incorrect ways of doing techniques. When uke can take your head off or put his fist through your rib cage, I think these are inappropriate variations (yes, I'm being difficult, but there is truth in it . . .)

PeterR
03-10-2004, 06:47 PM
Going to nit-pick here yann, there are some technique variations that will never work unless the uke is so compliant you may as well breath on them to make them fall over (ok, after a good night out, this may be possible...)
There is no wrong or right in techniques just things that work for you and don't work for you
As Yann pointed out its a Shodokan way of thinking and our randori form keeps us honest. When he is talking about working for you he is not talking about compliantukes.

Kensai
03-11-2004, 10:08 AM
In my foolishness I do 2 styles of Aikido...

Mainly Ki Aikido but also BAB Aikido (which I think is more Aikikai).

Anyway, bottom line is that they are the same and different. When I am on one mat I do one thing and when I'm on another I do their thing. When in Rome and all that.

I dont think there's a right way, just a different way.

I just like getting thrown, the hows and the whys just aint important to me.

Regards,

happysod
03-11-2004, 10:23 AM
Shodokan way of thinking and our randori form keeps us honest Peter, you're gonna have to stop these shodokan commercials or I'll just have to use my unusually large ki blast on ya :D

On a more serious note, I agree randori is a very good test, but I've still seen rather iffy techniques in randori which did, dare I say it, intimate an element of compliance on uke's part... That is why I wanted the qualification (anyway, hadn't managed to disagree with Yann yet and felt it was time)

L. Camejo
03-11-2004, 02:06 PM
On a more serious note, I agree randori is a very good test, but I've still seen rather iffy techniques in randori which did, dare I say it, intimate an element of compliance on uke's part... That is why I wanted the qualification (anyway, hadn't managed to disagree with Yann yet and felt it was time)
To risk another Shodokan commercial:cool:. Iffy techniques of any form tend not to survive in "Shodokan Randori":) simply because your partner is intent on shutting down or countering your technique at every available opportunity from Kuzushi to Kake.

I guess this may be part of why techs like shi ho nage are rarely seen when I do randori.:p The counter is just too easy imo so I don't risk it most times, unless it's practically given to me.

I think there are "correct" and "incorrect" ways of doing technique, but this may have more to do with the situation/environment etc. in which the technique is done rather than which style/shihan says that "this is the one true way." Much of the techs I teach in self defence classes are often quicker, sharper, less movement involved variations of their Aikido kata counterparts.

Just my thoughts.

L.C.:ai::ki:

PeterR
03-11-2004, 06:59 PM
I guess this may be part of why techs like shi ho nage are rarely seen when I do randori.:p The counter is just too easy imo so I don't risk it most times, unless it's practically given to me.
You just haven't seen Nishi sensei - one of Nariyama Shihas's best deshi ever. It's not exactly kata form but he has a wicked tenkai kotegaishi ( shihonage) in randori.

ikkitosennomusha
03-11-2004, 09:42 PM
Hi unto all!

To change from one technique to another is called "Henka-waza", changing technique. From my experience this is not excouraged until around 4th kyu until some great absorbtion of kihon waza has undertaken. Henka waza is a semi-advanced concept. Mastering henka waza takes experience and time. But like some things, it will happend. An example may be that you find it necessary to go from a sankyo to a kokyunage.

I may dissapoint some if not all by saying that I do not favor the shodokan style from which, I believe, is based on the Kenji Tomiki teachings. I have my opinions about Tomiki-ryu and I will keep them to myself.

I do not like to categorize aikido as being "hard" or "soft" but if I had to say, I came from an extremely hard background in aikido. Toyoda-shihan and Kobayashi-shihan and their top students and particularly hard in flavor. I could tell stories about this, but why?

Brad Medling

L. Camejo
03-12-2004, 09:20 AM
You just haven't seen Nishi sensei - one of Nariyama Shihas's best deshi ever. It's not exactly kata form but he has a wicked tenkai kotegaishi ( shihonage) in randori.
Hehe, I'd bet Peter,

My post just indicated how lacking MY tenkai kotegaeshi is:). Also being the tallest person in the dojo most times does not help when your shorter partner is just waiting for that Ushiro Ate opening :). More practice for me as usual.:p I do get off a nice shi ho nage that "does not exactly conform to kata specifications" when practicing with my more experienced ppl though, y'know the ones who can do the kotegaeshi ukemi from shi ho nage cuz they have no other choice.:dead:

Brad: Everyone is privy to his/her own opinions, but I think saying that one does not approve of something and then decide to not give a reason defeats the purpose of making the statement to begin with. If your feelings are such that you don't want to explain them, then how does stating your disapproval alone aid in the learning process of those viewing and participating in the thread?

As far as Henka waza goes, I have had a couple beginners who have shocked some of my more experienced members in how quickly they naturally find counters to some techniques, without having been taught them previously.

Adaptation to a quickly and constantly changing position is basically what it's about, and there are those that may just have a talent for it from doing things that increase body and situational awareness, such as dance for example. I specifically remember a latin dancer who turned a shi ho nage around on someone by "dancing" out of it and then copying the technique after only a couple classes. Of course, a perfect techinque leaves no openings, so it's all a learning process.

I wil agree however, that to "master" it, there must be a sound grounding in kihon, but this does not mean that one may not be able to do it at a very basic level.

Just my 1/2 cent.

L.C.:ai::ki:

aikidocapecod
03-12-2004, 10:15 AM
I remember reading something O'Sensei said once....though this is not a direct quote as I do not have the reading material in front of me.....

He said, "Do not try to exactly copy what I do. Take what you learn here and make it your own".

To me that means a technique can be done many ways. As was said earlier....some will work and some will not. But I have found that when I do a technique poorly it will never work...no matter how compliant Uke is!!

Also....Aikido would be very very boring if all Aikidoka the world over did each technique exactly the same way....

Yann Golanski
03-12-2004, 10:19 AM
Ian, we didn't disagree: you just clarified what I was thinking. *grin*

Shihonage is one of my favorite techniques and I _do_ pull it off with some ease during randori. Sure, it does not work all the time and I've ended on my back as uke ushiro ate me but most of the time, uke falls.

Irimi nage is one of those technique I love but cannot manage in randori for the life of me. Probably because I don't understand it as well as I should. Any idea from as to how to improve it on resisting targets?

William Westdyke
03-12-2004, 11:24 AM
Try the direct Irimi Nage. I'm bad with Japanese words so I will just describe it. Get to uke's back. (IE. any irimi nage) and without spinning preform it by stepping through and to the back of uke. Taught correctly this technique works on just about anyone who commits to a strike or wrist grab. I also has 2 particularly nice benefits. It's hard to counter because adjustment is so easy and its fast leaving uke little time to react before he/she hits the ground.

William

Fausto
03-12-2004, 12:22 PM
What I was trying to say is that sometimes even if your technique is done in a correct way because you have control under uke some Senseis tell you that it is wrong and they show you how they do it and tell you "the only way to do it is this"....

mantis
03-12-2004, 12:34 PM
I may dissapoint some if not all by saying that I do not favor the shodokan style from which, I believe, is based on the Kenji Tomiki teachings. I have my opinions about Tomiki-ryu and I will keep them to myself.
Why put the bait in the water if you don't want to catch any fish?

L. Camejo
03-12-2004, 12:40 PM
Irimi nage is one of those technique I love but cannot manage in randori for the life of me. Probably because I don't understand it as well as I should. Any idea from as to how to improve it on resisting targets?
Yann, I've got 2 words for you - body mechanics :).

Aigamae ate works very well for me in randori, probably for the same reasons that tenkai kotegaeshi does not work so well:).

The easiest form of it to get off in randori is with sen timing imo (iow let em run into the technique as they enter to attack), but if you can't get that here's a general rule I follow -

1) After avoiding don't do too deep of a kuuzushi by leveraging the arm, as this may cause Uke to over extend forward, causing you to do more work to carry him backward with the technique, a light reactive posture break tends to work better, using Uke's natural desire to regain balance against him. Iow, engage the lead hand lightly and only slightly break posture forwards. This is shown in the randori no kata videos by Nariyama pretty much.

2) Apply sho tei to the chin or forearm along the line of the jaw to leverage the head backwards to the point where the spine starts to lock out. Iow Uke's head should be extended so far back that he almost looks like a letter "C" in profile. Keeping this backward posture break, do a strong irimi with the leg that is nearer to Uke (normally this is done tsugi ashi). This technique should throw Uke backwards.

3)In the event that there is resistance to the backward posture break in 2, immediately turn Uke's head so that it moves straight down your centre line, or even across the front of your body (almost over your hip). What this does is increase the amount of energy that is applied toward the ground on Uke's weak line, causing him to fall across your front instead of backwards as happens most time.

Hope these help. Of course if Uke is still resisting, a switch to Ushiro Ate always works :).

L.C.:ai::ki:

ikkitosennomusha
03-12-2004, 02:12 PM
Brad: Everyone is privy to his/her own opinions, but I think saying that one does not approve of something and then decide to not give a reason defeats the purpose of making the statement to begin with. If your feelings are such that you don't want to explain them, then how does stating your disapproval alone aid in the learning process of those viewing and participating in the thread?

As far as Henka waza goes, I have had a couple beginners who have shocked some of my more experienced members in how quickly they naturally find counters to some techniques, without having been taught them previously.

Adaptation to a quickly and constantly changing position is basically what it's about, and there are those that may just have a talent for it from doing things that increase body and situational awareness, such as dance for example. I specifically remember a latin dancer who turned a shi ho nage around on someone by "dancing" out of it and then copying the technique after only a couple classes. Of course, a perfect techinque leaves no openings, so it's all a learning process.

I wil agree however, that to "master" it, there must be a sound grounding in kihon, but this does not mean that one may not be able to do it at a very basic level.

Just my 1/2 cent.

L.C.:ai::ki:
Hi Larry!

Excellent comments. Excuse me for not being thorough. I didn't realize anyone would care for my opinion. So here it is.

Yes, I have seen beginners attempt henka waza but with no mastery. I don't consider one really doing it until it is obvious that the technique flows with the concept. But in general, yes there have been beginners to do it.

Why I am not in favor of Tomiki-yru? Well, I guess to each his own but for me, I don't like it. I guess it is preference as I was born in an aikikai-type system where the atmosphere is serious and severe in flavor.

We approach aikido as each moment is a life or death situation. It is my humble opinion that aikido was not meant to be a sport. It was meant for real life aspects. I have delt with a little Tomiki-ryu in my life and it just was not for me. I seemed to be a brut in comparison.

I guess this gets down to the nitty gritty of what we want out of aikido. For me, it is a life lesson to cultivate the inner self. I want it to be as effective on the street as it is in the dojo and for this, you have to maintain that life or death atmosphere I talked about.

Most dojos I travel to check do not have this attitude. Therefore it is no wonder I hear comments like "That technique is practical in dojo but not on the street". Why are they saying that? Because the manner in which they practice them will not make it happen on the street. Things like ryotetori kokyunage seems to be for aesthetic purposes only to some. But if you practice with sincereity and severity, it has its place and time in the realm of practicality. Granted it may not be the first instant response but under the right conditions could be perfect.

There are other minor subtlties not worth mentioning but basically I just like the ideology where I was molded. Don't get me wrong, I broke that mold and tried new things. I am only interested in focusing on aiki-principles and training where it is taught to live by these for life purposes and in the event you might have to use it, as I have had to do.

Best reagards,

Brad Medling

Ron Tisdale
03-12-2004, 03:20 PM
"That technique is practical in dojo but not on the street".
Interesting. Some would say that resistant randori is the only way to know whether or not the above is true. Resistant randori being a hallmark of shodokan aikido, and all. Not so much sport...at least from what I've heard and read.

Ron

ikkitosennomusha
03-12-2004, 05:55 PM
Interesting. Some would say that resistant randori is the only way to know whether or not the above is true. Resistant randori being a hallmark of shodokan aikido, and all. Not so much sport...at least from what I've heard and read.

Ron
Hi Ron!

Well, there should be no concept of "resistant randori". Why? It shoud be randori which means to "seize chaos". Therefore it is implied that resistance already exists. In other words, randori should be real with honest attacks, period!

In Tomiki-ryu, the sport is to see how clean one's technique is during a predetermined attack and also with their katas. I could be wrong as this aspect might have changed since I last came into contact with it but this is what I observed during my very brief stint with this art.

Brad Medling

L. Camejo
03-14-2004, 07:51 AM
Why I am not in favor of Tomiki-yru? Well, I guess to each his own but for me, I don't like it. I guess it is preference as I was born in an aikikai-type system where the atmosphere is serious and severe in flavor.
Interesting comments.

First off, there are schools of Aikido that follow Tomiki's concepts that are not Shodokan, hence the reason why the Shodokan folks here tend to specifically use the name, so do the Fugakukai folks, the Jiyushinkai folks etc. So saying Tomiki-Ryu is a bit vague in determining the style you may have seen / encountered. Also, as I may have said elsewhere, I'd be pretty myopic to judge an entire style by how one particular dojo trains. In fact I am happy that I did not judge Ki Aikido, Aikikai and Yoshinkai by everything I saw in the dojos I trained at, else by now I'd be a real Style Nazi:).
We approach aikido as each moment is a life or death situation. It is my humble opinion that aikido was not meant to be a sport. It was meant for real life aspects. I have delt with a little Tomiki-ryu in my life and it just was not for me. I seemed to be a brut in comparison.
I agree that it may not be for you, and that's cool. This is why we have so many flavours of Aikido. Ron was correct imo when he said that resistance training and not sport tends to be more indicative of the training system. Kuzushi to me is probably the mainstay of any "Shodokan" technique, which means that nothing is given to you, the Tori MUST break the balance of Uke for anything to work. There are many Shodokan senseis who utilise the resistance-training methodology designed for sport and competition and utilise it for other aspects of the training, including the life or death stuff you talk about. Even though Shodokan has a sport aspect, it is no game.
I guess this gets down to the nitty gritty of what we want out of aikido. For me, it is a life lesson to cultivate the inner self. I want it to be as effective on the street as it is in the dojo and for this, you have to maintain that life or death atmosphere I talked about.
Agreed, but training is training, the dojo is not the street and unless you intend to kill your Uke there must be application of technique at all levels of the force continuum. The degree of aggression determines the degree of response. I often indicate this to my students - in training we are cooperating to learn from each other, even if there is resistance, the spirit of mutual protection always applies. I also tell them when forced to fight, fight to win. I do not believe that a true life or death scenario can be recreated in an environment as protected as a dojo. This is not to say that we can't train to come as close as possible to it. Even Navy Seal instructors reiterate to their trainees that they can't fire live ammo at them in training, so they'll do everything else they can to create the necessary mindset and try to shut them down psychologically and physically. To me, our training follows the same principle, but at a lesser extent.
Most dojos I travel to check do not have this attitude. Therefore it is no wonder I hear comments like "That technique is practical in dojo but not on the street". Why are they saying that? Because the manner in which they practice them will not make it happen on the street. Things like ryotetori kokyunage seems to be for aesthetic purposes only to some. But if you practice with sincereity and severity, it has its place and time in the realm of practicality. Granted it may not be the first instant response but under the right conditions could be perfect.
Those who have been in real life and death situations or trained with a person intent on shutting you down one way or another knows that looking for perfect conditions to apply technique can be a mistake. Often we have to create our own openings to make technique work and there is always the possibility that the aggressor can do something out of the ordinary in real life. But then again, this depends on what one view as real. Personally I have seen many good things in other styles of Aikido and I strive to use the good things I have seen to better my own practice. Sadly though, these things often tend to be more in the body mechanics, mental extension, or technical variation department, rather than the area of technical integrity under stress.

However, I would not judge the entire style by what I see in one dojo, as everyone's Aikido is personal, different and is influenced by individual personality, body type etc.

Just my few cents. The views expressed here are my own regarding my experiences in training. They may not be reflective of the mindset of all who practice the style.

Onegaishimasu

L.C.:ai::ki:

L. Camejo
03-14-2004, 08:04 AM
Hi Ron!

Well, there should be no concept of "resistant randori". Why? It shoud be randori which means to "seize chaos". Therefore it is implied that resistance already exists. In other words, randori should be real with honest attacks, period!
This is truly correct, the question is how many dojos train in this manner on a regular basis. Resistance may be implied, but I am pretty sure it does not exist more often than it does in Aikido training. Probably for good reason, else many of us would not be able to learn to get a single technique right as a beginner.:) Personally I have yet to meet someone from Aikikai or any other style that can stand up to resistance randori in my class. This of course is from my experience alone, it is in no way indicative of Aikikai training systems etc.
In Tomiki-ryu, the sport is to see how clean one's technique is during a predetermined attack and also with their katas. I could be wrong as this aspect might have changed since I last came into contact with it but this is what I observed during my very brief stint with this art.
Well Aikikai (and most other Aikido) kata training also revolves around a predetermined attack. This is probably where Tomiki got it from. Kata is the practice of technical form with a cooperative Uke, 2 people working together to understand and internalise the technique. It is in randori that the attack is unknown. Does anyone here practice in a dojo where the attack is not known before the technique is practiced? Except during randori?

As far as competition goes, like any sort of competition that involves someone striking another, there must be an agreed upon standard as to what constitutes a "point scoring attack". This is the same in karate, tae kwon do etc. However, this does not mean that all training is done utilising only one predetermined attack. This is the realm of competition training alone, which very few dojo may engage in for every class all the time. It sounds like the dojo you visited were training for competition when you visited, hence the focus on competition based randori alone, because this is all you are referring to. There are many other aspects of Shodokan training.

L.C.:ai::ki:h

PeterPhilippson
03-14-2004, 01:42 PM
Does anyone here practice in a dojo where the attack is not known before the technique is practiced? Except during randori?

L.C.:ai::ki:h
We have in our organisation, Lancashire Aikikai, a number of different options leading to randori. One is where uke has a choice of two possible attacks. One is where the attacks come one after another rather than together, possibly in a line rather than a circle. Usually this is where tori is doing kokyu throws.

Yours in aiki,

Peter

ikkitosennomusha
03-14-2004, 01:54 PM
Great comments from all! Althought I have never trained in Yoshinkan (Gozo Shioda-shihan) I like their ethics regadring their effort constantly achieve real and applicable aikido. Has anyone ever train this? Is this how it is?

I am used to completly unknown attacks starting in jiyu-waza which is like a mini-randori. Only difference is that in randori, there are just more people.

Brad Medling

L. Camejo
03-15-2004, 09:57 AM
We have in our organisation, Lancashire Aikikai, a number of different options leading to randori. One is where uke has a choice of two possible attacks. One is where the attacks come one after another rather than together, possibly in a line rather than a circle. Usually this is where tori is doing kokyu throws.

Yours in aiki,

Peter
We have similar methods Peter.

But the question was whether the practice you outlined above is done as "kata" practice, i.e. where you are practising and understanding the basic form of the technique, or in a more free-play environment, as you say, leading up to randori. In our lingo what you describe above is a form of randori, which we have as well, a series of free practices that lead up to multiple attacker or single attacker resistance randori.

My point was that when we are learning technique (i.e. kata based practice), there tends to be an agreement as to which technique is going to be done and which attack is going to be given. It is only as we enter free practice (what I refer to as randori, others may call jiyu waza I think), do we tend to mix up the attacks, add multiple attackers etc.

Back to Nafis' original post though - I think understanding the approach of different Aikido schools towards different techniques is a great benefit of cross training within Aikido. There is so much to learn out there on so many levels.

L.C.:ai::ki:

ikkitosennomusha
03-15-2004, 10:01 AM
Hi Larry!

You made an interesting closing statement and I agree. Although I have posted that I don't prefer Tomiki-ryu, that is not to say that I did not take away some knowledge that I did not know before!

Brad Medling

L. Camejo
03-15-2004, 10:46 AM
Hi Larry!

You made an interesting closing statement and I agree. Although I have posted that I don't prefer Tomiki-ryu, that is not to say that I did not take away some knowledge that I did not know before!

Brad Medling
Well said. Afaik there is only one Aikido, just many different points of view.

It's all good.

L.C.:ai::ki:

Ron Tisdale
03-15-2004, 10:58 AM
Has anyone ever train this?
Yes.
Is this how it is?
I like it. I'd say that achieving real and applicable aikido is indeed a goal. How you define 'real and applicable' may vary.

Ron

mantis
03-15-2004, 11:00 AM
Well Aikikai (and most other Aikido) kata training also revolves around a predetermined attack. This is probably where Tomiki got it from.

Mr. Tomiki got his ideas about kata and randori from Jigoro Kano (the founder of JUDO). He wanted to have a systematic approach, and teach it as "modern physical training". He thought that (like Judo) it needed competition to reach a greater amount of people.

L. Camejo
03-15-2004, 12:21 PM
Mr. Tomiki got his ideas about kata and randori from Jigoro Kano (the founder of JUDO). He wanted to have a systematic approach, and teach it as "modern physical training". He thought that (like Judo) it needed competition to reach a greater amount of people.
.....among other things.

The method of using cooperative kata practice to learn technique is prevalent in Aikido, Jujutsu, Kendo, Judo, etc. It is a way of learning. So to be precise in my quoted post, Tomiki got his concepts from Aikido and Judo (after all he was an instructor at Aikikai Honbu during Ueshiba M.'s lifetime, not to mention his first 8th Dan.) Many people are of the opinion that Tomiki wanted to redesign Aikido to fall into Judo principles. I don't think this was the case, as the principles of the two were essentially the same long before Tomiki came along.

However the need for competition was seen as the way to measure the efficacy of one's kata learnt technique in a more objective manner as we can see here (http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/en/kyogi1.html) - Kata are one part of budo where techniques must be learned. However, we are unable to train hard against someone competitively as in a match situation where we can polish up our techniques and spirit. In particular, we can objectify our true ability and aim to improve.

In the past, objective testing was done in combat. Similar to the drive that made Judo and Kendo competitive systems, there was a need to preserve the old techniques while still being able to safely practice them in a manner that would work with an attacker who had the free will to be uncooperative.

Imho the desire to reach a greater number of people was a secondary objective. The need to not fall into the trap of BS-ing ourselves about our abilities was the greater drive imho.

Gambatte.

L.C.:ai::ki:

PeterR
03-15-2004, 05:33 PM
Imho the desire to reach a greater number of people was a secondary objective. The need to not fall into the trap of BS-ing ourselves about our abilities was the greater drive imho.
He called it painting the eye on a paper tiger. I've always like that image.

mantis
03-15-2004, 06:03 PM
Many people are of the opinion that Tomiki wanted to redesign Aikido to fall into Judo principles.
From what I have read and heard, he did. He wrote a book called "JUDO & AIKIDO" in 1956, stating just that.

Chapter 4 is entitled:

"Explanations of Aikido Teqhniques According to the Principles of Judo"

a later quote:

"the author endeavored to explain the techniques of aikido by classifying and arranging them according to the principles of Judo. By way of conclusion he must now touch upon the techniques of randori (free style exercise) which are important as methods of practice. At present, these methods are being followed only in Waseda University"

His new method of teaching was not accepted at the Hombu dojo, although as you stated he did in fact teach there.

ikkitosennomusha
03-15-2004, 06:07 PM
Hi Peter!

Off the subject, Wow! I check out the dojo pic opn your site and I must say I am highly impressed with the training area! Look out randori!

The only times I ever get to train in a place like that is when I go to a seminar! Usually it has been on a decrepid 30' x 20' space.

Brad Medling

PeterR
03-15-2004, 06:44 PM
James - there is a difference between Explaining Aikido with Judo Principles and redesigning Aikido. One thing about Tomiki K. is that, althought he was way up there in both Judo and Aikido, he kept the practice quite separate. When you do Judo you do Judo, when you do Aikido you do Aikido. Mochizuki M. on the other hand made much more effort to integrate the two in day to day practice.
From what I have read and heard, he did. He wrote a book called "JUDO & AIKIDO" in 1956, stating just that.

Chapter 4 is entitled:

"Explanations of Aikido Teqhniques According to the Principles of Judo"

a later quote:

"the author endeavored to explain the techniques of aikido by classifying and arranging them according to the principles of Judo. By way of conclusion he must now touch upon the techniques of randori (free style exercise) which are important as methods of practice. At present, these methods are being followed only in Waseda University"

His new method of teaching was not accepted at the Hombu dojo, although as you stated he did in fact teach there.
There are a lot of training methods that were not accepted at Honbu. Honbu did one thing, the late Saito M. did something else. Same could be said for Shioda S. and any number of the top deshi of Ueshiba M.. As long as Tomiki K. was part of the Aikikai, and as far as I understood he never left, his randori method was part of that organization. More to the point, certain Shihan that were not students of Tomiki K. did adopt his randori method for certain students. I was working with a man once who when I found out what style of Aikido I did started telling me stories of learning the randori method while at University under Kobayashi Shihan of the Osaka Aikikai.

One thing that is very noticable is the variation of teaching and technique within the Aikikai - styles founded by specific deshi tend to be much more strongly defined.

L. Camejo
03-15-2004, 07:04 PM
Thanks for the assists Peter. Got tired of repeating things already said about Tomiki on these forums. :)

I love that "painting the eye on a paper tiger" image myself.

Hope training is going well for you and the guys in Himeji.

L.C.:ai::ki:

mantis
03-15-2004, 07:26 PM
I wasn't even sure i should put a reply to Larry's post, because I think my reply was a little nitpicky, but the reason I did was because when I trained at a few Aikikai dojos, I couldn't understand what they were doing with all of the circular motions and redirections.

The Aikido methods I learned were really linear and more direct. It didn't rely on the redirection of power the same way. I studied some Judo, and felt that it was more similar to that.

The Koryu katas seem to encompass the circular motions more, and focus more on kneeling techniques than the basic 17.

For me re-designing Aikido, or re-designing the training methods seem to go hand in hand. I had read that O'Sensei didn't approve of Tomiki Sensei's derivations, and said it wasn't even Aikido anymore.

I see a point in your and Larry's posts, but I think what Tomiki Sensei did for his style is a dramatic diversion from the other styles that I've been exposed to.

PeterR
03-15-2004, 07:51 PM
I wasn't even sure i should put a reply to Larry's post, because I think my reply was a little nitpicky, but the reason I did was because when I trained at a few Aikikai dojos, I couldn't understand what they were doing with all of the circular motions and redirections.
Yes I have gone into certain Aikikai dojos where the linear movements were pretty intact. Yoshinkan Aikido is also known for a more linear style. The growing emphasis of large circular movements happened towards the end of Ueshiba M.'s life and much of it had more to do with Honbu under his son than Ueshiba M. himself. Again look at Iwama. Basically this is not a Tomiki inovation but the older way of doing things.
I had read that O'Sensei didn't approve of Tomiki Sensei's derivations, and said it wasn't even Aikido anymore.
Without a doubt Ueshiba M. was worried about the incorportation of Shiai and its potential for Kousou - but as was stated quite recently he pointedly avoided condeming Shiai. The quote where he specifically disagreed over one of Tomiki's developements (not Aiki) was the Aiki Taiso - the solo exercises he developed during his detention. Tomiki called them something else. I think its a great diservice that a quote in one context is applied to another.
I see a point in your and Larry's posts, but I think what Tomiki Sensei did for his style is a dramatic diversion from the other styles that I've been exposed to.
Shodokan is certainly different from the bulk of Aikikai you see today - so I see your point. Kenji Tomiki is on record disapproving the direction Honbu dojo was going (he was not alone in this regard). In some ways he was more of a traditionalist, in others innovative.

ikkitosennomusha
03-15-2004, 08:05 PM
Peter:

Your closing statement is particularly true. When I trained with Kobayashi-shihan, it was a refreshing awakening! He did things so different than anything I had seen previously. From the way he warmed us up, ki exercises (very circular), to the jo katas he taught and how to handle, hold the jo. It was all different! He knows what he is doing. He single handedly was able to break me through a plateau in 5 days where I had been stuck for a year! He truely is a teacher of teachers!

Kobayashi-shihan got me in a state to react without thought, where the subconscience takes over the conscience instantaneously. What a great man. He maybe spoke two sentences of englsih but somehow we communicated. Bare in mind he is maybe around 5' and he threw 7' cromagnum guys aorund like twizzler sticks!

Toyoda-shihan's technique was particularly circular as well. I remember being a 6th kyu in a seminar and he called me out 3 times to demonstrate techniques. One was kotegaeishi. Some if not most people haphazzardly remain on the same plane in a linear fashion when they tenkan. This movement should be very dynamic and circular.

Brad Medling

mantis
03-15-2004, 11:17 PM
Peter, informative reply. thanks for the insight.

PeterR
03-15-2004, 11:38 PM
Peter, informative reply. thanks for the insight.
No problem James - Kenji Tomiki's ideas and by extention Shodokan Aikido are often misunderstood. Mostly by outsiders who latch on to one aspect and abscribe great importance to it but also sometimes from Tomiki Aikido people themselves.

It's why I keep popping up like burnt toast - not for advertisement as certain people (waves at Ian) would suggest. :p

I understand from your post that you do Shodokan or Tomiki Aikido - can I ask where?

PeterR
03-16-2004, 01:08 AM
For me re-designing Aikido, or re-designing the training methods seem to go hand in hand.
In my coffee permeated state I missed that very interesting statement.

Its pretty much a given that Ueshiba M. had no training method even during the period of his prime. It was the deshi that developed their own training methods that they used for their students. Shodokan and Yoshinkan are known for highly refined methods but name your deshi you will find a relatively unique methodology.

Having fun with your statement I know but since they invented training methods does that mean they re-invented Aikido?

L. Camejo
03-16-2004, 06:46 AM
Good to get another Shodokan perspective on this thread. As usual, Peter and I are on the same wavelength with these concepts. Luckily I didn't have to type it this time :).

From my training in different styles I have gotten some interesting insights into the evolution of Aikido from those who trained with Ueshiba M. in the earlier stages to those who trained nearer to his death. Though there may be variations in how techniques are done, how the training methodology is created and the sort of basics focused upon - in the end the core principles are the same.

I guess this is why I am often amazed when I meet other Aikidoka who tend to really go to town on technical variations that I may find minor. To me a kotegaeshi done following certain principles is still kotegaeshi. It's appearance however may be different due to the circumstances of the particular attack, but in the end it's still kotegaeshi.

Just some thoughts.

L.C.:ai::ki:

happysod
03-16-2004, 08:33 AM
(waves at Peter as he scuttles off to talk to the other Shodokan menace) Larry, agree with you up to a point. I'm presuming here that you mean if it's recognisably kotegaeshi, does it matter how you got there? (ignore rest of post if wrong).

However, your intent of use for the kotegaeshi is just a technical difference but does have a big difference on how you approach it.

We broadly split the throws into sweeps (large movements, tip of triangle stuff) and overloading (where specific joints are targeted, often the leading knee or ankle). Kotegaeshi can be used as both, but your body movements are quite different depending on which you're going for (assuming the attack gives you a choice). In addition, while the kotegaeshi is recognisable in each type, the shape of the uke's body (just prior to splat) is sufficiently different for us to make the distinction.

L. Camejo
03-16-2004, 09:03 AM
We broadly split the throws into sweeps (large movements, tip of triangle stuff) and overloading (where specific joints are targeted, often the leading knee or ankle). Kotegaeshi can be used as both, but your body movements are quite different depending on which you're going for (assuming the attack gives you a choice). In addition, while the kotegaeshi is recognisable in each type, the shape of the uke's body (just prior to splat) is sufficiently different for us to make the distinction.
Exactly. We speakin' the same language.:)

All of the options you outlined above have certain common underlying principles in how they are done, i.e. tai sabaki, kuzushi, body alignment and coordinated application of power. Although in the different scenarios the kotegaeshi would look and feel differently, the principles underlying all are basically the same, even if applied in different ways, orders etc.

I guess what I was alluding to is to look at a kotegaeshi from different perspectives within Aikido (i.e. different styles, approaches etc.) one should be able to pick out certain common factors in all, especially in the event that the same attack is used, even though the appearance may be different.

The techinque itself may become different in principle however if one is looking at an aigamae katate dori kotegaeshi done by an Aikidoka and then look at the same technique appplied from the same attack but being done by say.... a Shaolin Kung Fu practitioner. Iow, both are wrist locks (or wrist folds/returns), but what tends to keep things the same under a particular MA (like Aikido) is the use of common underlying principles and motivations in a same or similar manner while applying the technique.

Just an observation of mine is all. A matter of the principles used as against the appearance of those principles when manifested.

L.C.:ai::ki:
(AKA Shodokan Menace #2):p

Yann Golanski
03-16-2004, 09:32 AM
Larry, if you are the Shodokan menace #2 and Peter is #1, then what are the rest of us?...

When I was training with some ju-jutsu guys -- both aiki ju-jutsu and some other school -- they both had the kotegaeshi thrown/pin. It was done somewhat differently from the Shodokan way but it was still recognisable as such. When I started Aikikai, the whole technique was once more different but still the same.

What matters to me is the underlying principles of the technique and how I can apply them so that I can make it work. Besides, what works for me may not work for a 4 feet tall girl. I'd rather she learned something she could use rather than mimic me -- or any other teacher she has.

mantis
03-16-2004, 09:56 AM
Having fun with your statement I know but since they invented training methods does that mean they re-invented Aikido?
Interesting point. Keeping with that same thought, where do we draw the line as to how far we can go before something gets re-invented?

happysod
03-16-2004, 10:09 AM
Larry, if you are the Shodokan menace #2 and Peter is #1, then what are the rest of us?... Yann, trust me I've played with making up collective nouns for the various styles... perhaps one for the humour thread if anyone's interested?

James, I think you have to go back to Larry's point regarding principles. Step outside what is seen as the principles behind aikido (both martially and philosophically) then you've crossed over to a new ma. The problem is getting a concensus on what the principles actually are (and can you bend them?)

PS to be really picky, I'm going to take issue with the word re-invent and insist on either redefine, reassess or rediscover as I was always taught re-inventing anything was a no no and showed poor knowledge of the subject.

L. Camejo
03-16-2004, 10:19 AM
Ok Yann. You can be Shodokan Menace #3 and Sean can be #4 :p.

Of course we must ask permission from "the Godfather" the Don himself Peter. :D

As far as your post goes, I totally agree.

L.C.:ai::ki:

Shodokan Menace #2

Aiki Mafia;)

Yann Golanski
03-16-2004, 10:59 AM
Ian, go for it! As long as the rule is: you have to be funny and not insulting -- yeah, yeah yeah, I know that most of you will assume that but remember this is the Internet where _anybody_ can posts.

Larry: Aiki Mafia: The Shodokan Menace. Definitely sounds like a film. Maybe we should phone Seagal and ask him if he would fund it. After all, he has connections to both Aikido and the mafia ... </bad joke>

BTW, Sean you coming up to York this Wednesday with Scott?

Ron Tisdale
03-16-2004, 11:45 AM
Peter speaking to a reluctant uke...
I'ma gonna maka you a shihonage you can notta refuse...

PeterR
03-16-2004, 06:18 PM
:D