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thomas_dixon
11-18-2004, 05:41 AM
To me it's kind of difficult to go from a linear ideal martial art to a flowing one. Like Karate to FMAs or Aikido. I'm having some issues with flowing with attacks instead of blocking them on instinct, and I was wondering if anyone knew of any techniques (that can be done solo) that could help practice flowing with attacks. Thanks in advance :)

Michael Cardwell
11-18-2004, 06:37 AM
Yes, stand in traffic and face oncoming cars, if you try to block them you will regret it, so you will be forced to blend around the cars, it is a flawless technique( unless someone opens their car door ). :uch:

p.s. he he. not trying to belittle your valid question or poke fun at you, just thought blending with traffic was funny. :D

thomas_dixon
11-18-2004, 07:33 AM
I had some difficulty blending with traffic...it seems that I can't run 55 mph in order to blend with said traffic :(

Michael Cardwell
11-18-2004, 07:48 AM
No no, just stand still and let them come to you, then at the right moment, turn and let them go by. The faster they move the less you have to. He he, car waza. :straightf

thomas_dixon
11-18-2004, 08:18 AM
*grabs the car mirror in Car Waza*

*drops the mirror and runs*

I hope that lexus wasn't new....

Kevin Masters
11-18-2004, 08:25 AM
So, you're basically telling the guy, "go play in traffic"?

Ach, do you have little brothers? :D

-Kev

Michael Cardwell
11-18-2004, 08:39 AM
No, I am the youngest of my family. Thats what I was told growing up, and I turned out OK. blubber drool giggle. Now to the bat cave, fat man. :crazy:

Michael Cardwell
11-18-2004, 09:53 AM
*grabs the car mirror in Car Waza*

*drops the mirror and runs*

I hope that lexus wasn't new....


Good job on figuring out such an advanced technique so quickly Thomas. The good old mirror removel technique. Running is a good idea at that point, but you might try this different technique, called: GrabAPassingTruckAndCatchALiftOutOfThereWhileHiding. :)

MaryKaye
11-18-2004, 10:03 AM
In between playing in traffic....

My teachers seem to have two suggestions for this. One is working hard on the solo exercises (Ki Society has a set of about 20) to get them ingrained. A lot of them turn out to model responses to attacks. Maybe your dojo has something similar? Paired drills like the one we call tenkan and I think other schools call tai no henko are also good. Basically, you create a situation where there is no ordinary attack to react to, and try to lock in the desired set of movements there before going back to the excitement of an attack.

The other suggestion is to take a throw that's giving you trouble, and just practice the initial entry over and over and over with a partner. Some schools do not like to break down throws and always do them to completion, but if you are fighting with a particular aspect I think it's helpful to isolate it. Immediate repetition makes it easier to catch what's wrong and fix it; if you go on to a throw and pin, your head fills with different issues and they drive out the improvement you're working on so you'll just make the same mistake again. (At least I do.) Also, you can do more entries in the same amount of time and without wearing out your uke.

We have been doing just the entry and initial wrist control of kata tori nikyo two to three classes a week, fifteen or twenty minutes at a time, for the past month. It's maddening, but it sure does help.

Mary Kaye

p00kiethebear
11-18-2004, 10:04 AM
At least he didn't tell him to go blend with trains. :dead:

Like all things. Flow takes time. Practicing moves like tenkan by yourself will help alot. It's something that i've been really pounding on myself about. I've noticed i've gotten in the habbit of doing some of my techniques stacato like counted kata. Just another thing to fix in pursuit of perfection.

thomas_dixon
11-18-2004, 11:29 PM
Thanks, I'll try it out (except blending with trains and pickups) and see what turns up :)

ruthmc
11-19-2004, 04:02 AM
Find a friendly dog or cat. Get them to chase something on a string. Your job is to stay ahead of their pounce (attack) on the object at the end of the string. You can move your arm (and therefore the string) forward, sideways, or up, practising blending in different directions.

Have fun!

Ruth

Michael Cardwell
11-19-2004, 05:33 AM
At least he didn't tell him to go blend with trains. :dead: .

Funny you should mention trains, I just barely got back from a seminar were the sensei used the blending with a train and letting it pass you by, instead of standing in front of it and blocking and dieing method. No joke. Perhaps that is why I thought of the blending with traffic joke, I had it on the mind.


But seriously Thomas, if I can be serious, I suggest taking up dance, that should help you develop flow and timing, and give you practice moving another person. I have been meaning to do the same for a while now.

thomas_dixon
11-19-2004, 06:35 AM
Funny you should mention trains, I just barely got back from a seminar were the sensei used the blending with a train and letting it pass you by, instead of standing in front of it and blocking and dieing method. No joke. Perhaps that is why I thought of the blending with traffic joke, I had it on the mind.


But seriously Thomas, if I can be serious, I suggest taking up dance, that should help you develop flow and timing, and give you practice moving another person. I have been meaning to do the same for a while now.

Me? Dance? I'll think about it. as long as it's not Ballet, we're cool.

Find a friendly dog or cat. Get them to chase something on a string. Your job is to stay ahead of their pounce (attack) on the object at the end of the string. You can move your arm (and therefore the string) forward, sideways, or up, practising blending in different directions.

Have fun!

Ruth

Awesome idea

csinca
11-19-2004, 10:29 AM
Michael's suggestion is a great one. A few years ago most of my dojo took up swing dancing to learn to loosen up and flow. You learn to relax and move with someone else. The guys get to learn how to lead a persons movement.

We did have one irimi nage and one kote happen on the dance floor but both women were caught before they hit the ground. It's funny the habits we create!

Chris

SeiserL
11-19-2004, 01:15 PM
In FMA/JKD we used to shadow box and rhythm train. Turn on some good music and Tenkan to the beat. Visualize an attack coming at you an get off the line and Tenkan. As the music changes beat, go with it, counter beat, etc.

Jill N
11-19-2004, 04:12 PM
Play around with a medicine ball- get the feel of letting it go where it wants to go before you change direction. If you have kids, you might have a swing in the back yard. Get it swinging, and tenkan to get off line and blend with the motion. Run around with your dog, try to keep the leash just slightly loose at all times. Practice blending smoothly with traffic instead of running up behind the front car, or holding a line of traffic back behind you.

e ya later
Jill.

grondahl
11-20-2004, 07:14 AM
Capoeria should be a nice alternative. Rhythmic flow, while still aware of openings. A martial dance, and you get to do acrobatics to.

thomas_dixon
11-20-2004, 07:36 AM
Wow, thanks for all your replies. Working with my dog helped a lot, when he didn't grab it pull like crazy :x

As for Tenkan, I honestly don't know how to do this technique...Any videos, etc. showing me would be nice. :)

Capoeria would be nice, but theres no schools near here :(

SeiserL
11-20-2004, 02:45 PM
As for Tenkan, I honestly don't know how to do this technique.(

Basic footwork. Step and turn 180-degress. Keep hands in front on your centerline with elbows down. Move body as a single unity.

thomas_dixon
11-20-2004, 04:43 PM
Ohhh thanks :) *tenkan*

mriehle
11-20-2004, 05:06 PM
But seriously Thomas, if I can be serious, I suggest taking up dance, that should help you develop flow and timing, and give you practice moving another person. I have been meaning to do the same for a while now.

Why not just dance?

Turn on some music (I find trance music works well) and just do Aikido movements to the beat. First just work on going through the motions of techniques, then try to go from one technique to another. Keep up with the music.

Okay, yes, it isn't quite as simple as this, but with a little practice you can treat some of your Aikido movements as dance steps and then take it back to when you are actually doing Aikido. It's kind of astounding how much difference it makes.

Then try it with a partner. Just do the "dance" without trying to throw each other. The first challenge is likely to be just moving together without the attack/technique convention and still keep it all Aikido movements.

Larry Feldman
11-20-2004, 06:02 PM
In addition to Ki exercises, you should try to practice footwork drills if you teacher uses any.
I believe Richard Moon has a DVD out which tries to teach blending 'aiki dance' type stuff. He is based in the San Francisco area and his DVD may help.

thomas_dixon
11-21-2004, 05:35 AM
I guess I could try doing everything to music. We usually practice to music anyway :)

Mark Balogh
11-22-2004, 09:41 AM
Fill your lungs beforehand and execute one full technique, with one whole breath. :)

sharonbader
11-22-2004, 12:17 PM
Mountain Biking teaches flow, you don't want to ride into a tree either.

One exercise we have done is to do iriminage, while Tori executes the technique, uke is required to follow JUST infront of Tori's movement.

Tori controls the speed.

thomas_dixon
11-22-2004, 10:39 PM
I live in florida.....

(we have no mountains)

^_^

giriasis
11-23-2004, 12:24 AM
I live in florida.....

(we have no mountains)

^_^

Unless you consider our landfills...and well... the fake orange blossom scent to cover the stench makes you want to :crazy:

Go with the flow and eat more fiber. Things move on a regular basis then. ;)

Peter Seth
11-23-2004, 07:05 AM
Forget techniques, they just spoil the flow! The 'flow IS aikido. Techniques are just the 'full stop'(period) at the end of flow and they will just 'appear' as you move through your flow, so 'flow can be terminated in a technique at any time and when the most suitable technique 'appears'. as for practicing flow, there are many ways, EG: hold a piece of paper and ask your partner to get hold of it - you then move slightly ahead (in Tai Sabaki) of his movements to prevent him grasping it.
Personally I let a partner grasp my index finger and tell him to break it. I then move ahead of him trying to avoid the discomfort (you also have to use 'Te sabaki' to lead and redirect your partners energy). This is only a short duration exercise but when you become reasonably fluid at it, it can be used as a good demonstration tool.
Pete

Kevin Masters
11-23-2004, 07:45 AM
I live in florida.....

(we have no mountains)

^_^


I used to live in FL. Sure you have mountains!

Mount Dora, Mount Plymouth... Montverde, Monticello...
:D


-Kevin.
Missing FL now that hurricane season is over and frost season is on up in the Catskill Mountains.

thomas_dixon
11-23-2004, 08:38 AM
I used to live in FL. Sure you have mountains!

Mount Dora, Mount Plymouth... Montverde, Monticello...
:D


-Kevin.
Missing FL now that hurricane season is over and frost season is on up in the Catskill Mountains.

I live by cocoa, florida. Far EC.

rachel
11-23-2004, 11:18 AM
A few people within this thread have mentioned dance. I can say that personally, I've experienced this working! About five years ago, I took up ballet, jazz, tap, modern and ballroom dance. I (and others) began to notice my Aikido steadily improving. Now I am a swing dance instructor. Swing dance has great exercises for partner work, I recomend it.

As for Aikido practice by yourself, I (like a few other people have done) recommend practicing basic movements that later become components of your techniques.
Try some of the following:
Irimi - sliding entering movement
Tenkan - two steps (one foreward, and one backwards = turning you 1880 degrees)
Tenshin - one step off the line, step backward at a 45 degree angle with the other foot

There are many other things you can do, such as independant (warm-up) exercises, like sai undou and irimi undou, if those are things that your dojo practices.

Also, don't forget that you can 'run-through' techniques without a partner. In my opinion, this is a rather advanced concept and difficult thing to do. It's good practice. If you do any weapons training, you can find a great rhythm in that. If you have a partner to practice with sometimes, you can do the blending timing of a shomen-uchi (head strike) attack multiple times, and the timing will come.

I was speaking with one of my Sensei at Hombu Dojo just the other day about how difficult blending is, and how timing is the hardest thing for a lot of people. It comes with time and practice.

Good luck! :)

thomas_dixon
11-24-2004, 07:15 PM
Thanks :) Thats reassuring :)