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L. Camejo
11-20-2004, 06:50 PM
Hi folks,

Today an interesting phenomenon occurred to me.

Our Aikido club is a member of the local Judo association as well as J.A.A. affiliates/representatives internationally, so we have the task of giving half time demonstrations at all the local Judo tournaments since we don't compete in Judo. Today the Judo Nationals took place and we did the same, but there was a little difference at the end of this demo.

Now I have been toying with different ideas of how to increase the awareness of what Aikido competition in Shodokan looks like without actually having to host a shiai tournament, since from my experience the majority of Aikidoka (all styles) have no idea what Aikido Tanto Shiai looks like, much less other martial artists and the general public.

Today I decided to act on my thoughts and introduced what is pretty much Shodokan tanto randori (the way we practice for competition) with resistance following competition rules at the end of the demo. I let one of my students keep time while me and another went at it for a while and then switched roles by switching the tanto. The pure unexpectedness in itself was fun, knowing that one could easily be stabbed (rubber knife) in the midst of the demo (which at this point was more of a match) made it even more exhilarating.

The result afterward was interesting. It appeared that the audience and even moreso the Judoka there (especially those who also had Aikido training) were more interested in the demonstration of tanto shiai than the preformatted, choreographed, cooperative, pretty demonstration techniques (although they were wowed by a few of the high falls) that went just before.

It appears that the unstructured, semi realistic appearance of it (a guy stalking you with a knife and trying to stab you repeatedly while resisting and trying to get the knife away and counter when you engage him) gave people a more "real" if that is the word, idea of how Aikido looks when applied against someone when you are "really attacked with a knife".

I'm not claiming that tanto shiai is anything like real life here at all, what I am talking about is how things "appear" to the onlooker. But I had never experienced the post-demo reaction Iike the one I got today, especially when I previously did only cooperative technical demonstrations. The Judoka who were accustomed with resistance training and could easily understand what was being shown were extremely interested in arranging cross training schedules etc. This did not happen so much after the entirely choreographed and "pretty" demos.

Now I'm thinking of adding Toshu resistance randori to the next demo. Maybe the reason for the reaction was just the same that folks always get when they see something different for the first time. I don't know. I just wanted to throw this out there to get people's thoughts.

I know the Shodokan folks will clearly know what I am talking about when I say tanto shiai. Do you guys know of anyone else who has done this "Shiai/Resistance Randori Demo" sort of thing and what reactions they got?

Thank you for your replies.
LC:ai::ki:

jester
11-22-2004, 04:05 PM
Nice job Larry!

Randori is always exciting because anything can happen. For me, choreographed techniques just don't have the same excitement.

Yann Golanski
11-23-2004, 02:19 AM
How about you go through the steps? First, kata then free practice then hikitate then randori. Of course, you'll be exhausted by the end but that's kind of the point isn't it? *grins evilly*

mj
11-23-2004, 04:40 AM
What is interesting about the application of tanto randori in relation to other 'schools' of Aikido is the premise of being attacked, knowing who is going to do it, knowing which hand they are going to use to attack and indeed knowing the general area of the body that is going to be attacked....!

It sounds just like 'normal' Aikido but it makes you face the reality that you are just not good enough to even cope with an orange belt (4th kyu) who has his mind set on stabbing you. Indeed kyu grade Shodokanners are probably amongst the best attackers you will ever meet until you encounter the young dan grades.

For me it shows the difference between a 'linear' attack...ie a basic punch, yokomen-uchi, katate-dori or what have you (linear attacks appear in all grading formats)....and the effect that even a small amount of variation has and how it can destroy ma-ai, omote and tenkan movements and even posture. And of course geting stabbed continually doesn't help ;)

Our Shodokan club had a large influx of new members recently, one of whom was a shodan from another school of Aikido. His movement within his sphere was excellent but in his first tanto randori he just could not avoid the knife. Instead of digging down and overcoming the problem he merely left the club.

Personally I think the forms of randori and also shomen ate bring new things to my (miniscule) understanding of aikido.

**By linear, I mean a predetermined attack....you do not switch your yokomen to a gyakuyokomen, nage knows exactly what the attack will be. Not chaotic like randori is.

L. Camejo
11-23-2004, 06:16 AM
Hey Folks,

Thanks Tim, yes for a while there it was very interesting as my partner got warmed up to it and really started to give me a bit of hell and also started to counter. A quick disengage and re-enter with aigamae ate in sen timing with his thrust had him on the floor though.:p He never saw it comin'.;)

Yann: Yes, the run up to randori would have been nice. But in this demo I had 2 of my most senior students (aka demo team) out on injury (one from Judo, one from Aikido). The fitness levels of those there were good, but I don't think they (or even I for that matter) could really run through the whole setup to randori in the demo. We also had a time limit as well.

However in demos I usually just do zero resistance 3/4 to full speed techniques where Uke takes all the nice pretty ukemi and things look all graceful and the attack is predetermined. I just vary the attacks from grabs to empty handed strikes to kicks to knife to weapons in a progression. The only difference was this time I decided to do the resistance tanto randori stuff at the end. Like I said, the reason was to let people get an idea of what may be involved in an Aikido competition, since most people I've met who have not experienced it can't even fathom the concept. The Judokas loved the idea.:) I also had the announcer mention the caveat that what they were seeing was not supposed to look pretty.:) Of course after watching Judo competitions all day it was par for the course.

For me it shows the difference between a 'linear' attack...ie a basic punch, yokomen-uchi, katate-dori or what have you (linear attacks appear in all grading formats)....and the effect that even a small amount of variation has and how it can destroy ma-ai, omote and tenkan movements and even posture. And of course geting stabbed continually doesn't help

This is true and I think this is one of the reasons it was appreciated so much. With both people trying to establish his own, while breaking his partner's ma ai there was a sense of constant movement and evasion to gain an advantage, which meant if one person dropped his guard for a second the encounter could be over. I think the resistance randori allowed me to show more clearly other aspects of Aikido tactics besides the end technique like the setup of ma ai, metsuke, awareness and ability to adapt as Uke changes, kuzushi, tai sabaki etc. These can also be shown during non resistance attacks, but because it goes so smoothly and prettily the above elements are simply part of the technique and don't actually appear as distinct elements of an engagement.

Our Shodokan club had a large influx of new members recently, one of whom was a shodan from another school of Aikido. His movement within his sphere was excellent but in his first tanto randori he just could not avoid the knife. Instead of digging down and overcoming the problem he merely left the club.

This has been my experience as well sadly. Many of these dan grades come into class, do the randori, get stabbed (like the rest of us) and instead of trying to work through the difficulty wither leave or just sit it out. Sad really. I've yet to have someone from another Aikido group really take part in our resistance tanto randori.

Speaking of which, there is a slight misnomer to my thread name, since one cannot demonstrate shiai (as it is a separate and distinct thing from class training or a demo) but only what it looks like, so it should correctly read "Resistance Tanto Randori Demonstration.";)

Peace all.
LC:ai::ki:

Yann Golanski
11-23-2004, 06:36 AM
Larry,

I can see the time limit being a problem. Maybe drop teh first two and just go from hikitate (or even kakari) to randori? It's only two minutes of each -- yeah, we know how long two minutes are!

mj
11-23-2004, 06:43 AM
Our Shodokan club had a large influx of new members recently, one of whom was a shodan from another school of Aikido. His movement within his sphere was excellent but in his first tanto randori he just could not avoid the knife. Instead of digging down and overcoming the problem he merely left the club.
I was not insinuating that the guy couldn't cope or that his Aikido was no good, merely that his form of movement seemed conditioned to certain things.

Of course we all know the concept of takemusu, so you would think that all attacks would be absorbed - including the direct ts'ki used in tanto work. However, as implied by Larry, the different forms of timing become a necessary tool against a commited and knowledgeable attacker.

But the problem with this approach, as has been said...is that it loses beauty. To some people, anyway.

batemanb
11-23-2004, 07:06 AM
I was on a coaching course last year, the instructor being from the Shodokan stable. At the end of each day he ran a small workshop for an hour or so during which some of us participated in a mini tanto randori. I have to say that I enjoyed it, very challenging, very interesting, certainly an eye opener, extremely difficult trying to evade my 5th Dan uke :( .

I'm not sure that it is something I want to participate in on a weekly basis (kept snagging my fingers something rotten :(), but there is a lot of merit in doing it from time to time, and a lot can be taken from it, and it's fun :).

rgds

Bryan

L. Camejo
11-23-2004, 12:07 PM
However, as implied by Larry, the different forms of timing become a necessary tool against a commited and knowledgeable attacker.

But the problem with this approach, as has been said...is that it loses beauty. To some people, anyway.

Mark raises an interesting and important point here.

Often when I hear of folks from things like BJJ, Krav Maga or civilian self defence and combative courses saying that Aikido is not an effective martial art for self defence (or at least indicating that it may not be as effective as some of the previously mentioned training methods) they often give the reason that when they look at Aikido it appears too choreographed, pretty and graceful to be "real" and "reality based". Iow no one is that skilled to apply effective techniques against resistance in the real world and still look that good.:)

For them the reality of their training is based in struggle against a resisting attacker and being the one who uses tactics and techniques in a superior way to come out on top in the struggle. Aikido of course is about not fighting to begin with.

As is seen in the Tanto Randori we do, it looks messy, especially when the skill levels are evenly matched (does not even matter if it is Yudansha involved imo). So I think at the basic levels the messiness is an example of either your own skill level or how well you are matched by your opponent.

The beauty of this is that with constant resistance training I believe one may actually be able to achieve the level where one can apply the techniques as cleanly as one may do in non resistance freeplay and make it look beutiful too. I believe this is the level of technical mastery Ueshiba M. may have embodied and may have been referring to for the higher levels of Aikido. Effectiveness with grace in the face of resistance.

It is seen sometimes in competition and the points structure is designed to award this degree of skill - clean techniques (as may be seen in cooperative practice or kata) or "ippon" are awarded the highest points and can quickly bring a match to a close. The more often one is able to get an ippon against a really skilled, resisting opponent, the more skilled one becomes in being able to apply Aiki principles and an effective technique against resistance using that particular attack, yet maintain the grace of movement that is associated with Aikido.

Just some thoughts.
LC:ai::ki:

suniskai
11-24-2004, 06:41 AM
Hi,

I train at the same club as Mark Johnson, we had the national British kyu grade competition last weekend for kata and Randori in Wakefield, UK. The Randori was full resistance tanto randori and the competition was split into 1st and 2nd kyu, then 3rd kyu and below (male and female).
As mentioned before it was pretty messy in places, but some of the techniques applied that day were just magical to see as timing, experience and technique came together for that split second - my only complaint was that there were no action replays!.
Most of the bouts had the fairly sizeable crowd screaming and jumping about, the atmosphere was excellent and the usual complaints about referees decisions abounded - but that's another thread entirely ;)
From a personal point of view I thought I might have had a good chance to get somewhere, but lost by a point in the first round - dissapointing and annoying and irritating all at the same time, but I probably learnt more about my Aikido in those three minutes than in the last year.

Testing yourself under pressure, not only shows your technique and knowledge of Aikido, but personality traits become glaringly obvious.

What it has left me with is a doubling of desire to improve, but also to disseminate and work the detrimental bits of my personality (like patience) into something constructive. I know why I lost, but I also know how I could have won and those were the lessons from that day.

cheers

Tim

kironin
11-24-2004, 08:27 AM
Our societies and the media are saturated with sports. Getting a strong reaction from an audience is not surprising. The familiar is more understandable. Competitions can have certain benefits as well as pitfalls.

Are those the benefits that Aikido is really about is another matter.

L. Camejo
11-24-2004, 02:11 PM
I probably learnt more about my Aikido in those three minutes than in the last year.

Testing yourself under pressure, not only shows your technique and knowledge of Aikido, but personality traits become glaringly obvious.

What it has left me with is a doubling of desire to improve, but also to disseminate and work the detrimental bits of my personality (like patience) into something constructive. I know why I lost, but I also know how I could have won and those were the lessons from that day.

Hi Tim,

Happy to hear that things went well at the tournament. Hopefully one day I can make it up there and romp with you guys a bit.:) I think I may have had some contact with Martin Livingston from your group at one time as we shared web links to each other's websites.

I agree that there are times when everything comes together in harmony during shiai or tanto randori and it's as if the universe stands on its end as you are in total harmony with your opponent/partner knowing that it is not set up or choreographed but "real" so to speak. The more often we can make these occurences reality may say much for the level of our training and where we need to go next imo.

My experience from resistance practice has also been a simultaneous feeling of humbleness and a need to do better, to push the envelope and raise my level of training to an even higher level. This is a good way to not accept one's limitations and use the mind as a vehicle for transcending the basic level of one's own training. A level that can be measured to some degree through training and shiai rather than just sitting there and assuming that I know something when I may in fact know nothing (have been there a few times). This is one of the main reasons I love how we do what we do, ego is kept in check by the clear and harsh reality of what one is capable and incapable of pulling off against someone skilled and resisting.

I often say that "you never know yourself until your back's against the wall" and this goes for one's control of body, mind and emotion. What we may do when things are going well for us may be quite the opposite of what we may be capable of when things go deep south. In these times we get to shed the illusions and take a look at the real - our real selves and what we become when under severe pressure. I always hold that it's easy to be all peaceful and harmonious when there is nothing on the line and the pressure is off. So I can concur with your feelings and revelations about personality elements that show up as well. All of this is part of the Budo training imo.

As far as folks being noisy and cheering etc. and whether the benefits of competition are the benefits that Aikido is about is a matter of perception and what you see as truth I believe. I think there are as many impressions of what "the benefits of Aikido are" as there are definitions of "what is aikido."

Aikido: Tradition and the Competitive Edge by F.Shishida and T. Nariyama has a great chapter on this. It says:

If you want to discipline your body and mind through Aikido, you must not forget that winning a match is a tiny private matter even in a big tournament. The value is not recognised by the media or strangers but you can learn to understand it through your courage. In addition, our value as individuals gained through each experience of a match tends to be accepted within society, since the attitude is to try your best.

In my opinon the words in bold express very much what the benefits of Aikido are about - Discipline of body and mind, courage and trying your best in the face of an opposing force. But this is just my take.

Regarding audiences and supporters it says:

Audiences watching matches must refrain from meaningless encouragement for their players, i.e., only being noisy or expressing their feelings in unsuitable words. They tend to focus on the result, but if they understand the meaning of encouragement, they will focus on the content of the match and show their support for the players.

I think there is a lot in Aikido competition and tournaments that exist to work not only for the benefit of the participants but the spectators as well if they look closely enough. Maybe that's why they liked the demo the other day.:)

Just my few cents.

LC:ai::ki:

suniskai
11-25-2004, 06:12 AM
Competitions can have certain benefits as well as pitfalls.

Are those the benefits that Aikido is really about is another matter.

Hi Craig, I'd be interested in any pitfalls that come to mind?

As to the benefits, presumably the Sensei in whatever style understands his/her own benefits from the art or they would change style or art.
From your statement it doesn't sound as though you personally feel competition benefits Aikido? I may be wrong??

LC, excellent quotes, still to read that book, but to be boring I agree entirely with your comments. :)
Your right about Martin Livingston, as an aside he actually ended up winning the World kata championship last year with Sensei Steve (can't remember his second name) from Manchester.
I've also met a black belt from your club, I think, at a Mike McAvish course this year, can't remember his name either but just remember a real smiley fella - think he'd been on tour and just come over from a stay in Japan.

Your always welcome in Edinburgh, but in the mean time please send sunshine!

Tim

Yann Golanski
11-25-2004, 07:10 AM
Pitfall of completions are easy: ego which leads to brute strength techniques and the attitude that you _must_ win at all cost. Personally, the best randori matches I have done were the ones I have lost horribly. They taught me so much about what I needed to do to improve. Which is the whole point of randori in my not so humble opinion. But I have seen the type of players who think that if you don't win, you are rubbish. It's a power trip, it is silly and it is why so many people don't like the idea of completion.

Tim, if you want to pass my greetings to Martin please do so. Is he still on this board?

mj
11-25-2004, 01:05 PM
He will be ;)

L. Camejo
11-25-2004, 02:34 PM
Pitfall of completions are easy: ego which leads to brute strength techniques and the attitude that you _must_ win at all cost. Personally, the best randori matches I have done were the ones I have lost horribly. They taught me so much about what I needed to do to improve. Which is the whole point of randori in my not so humble opinion. But I have seen the type of players who think that if you don't win, you are rubbish. It's a power trip, it is silly and it is why so many people don't like the idea of completion.


I think this may be what Ueshiba M. was thinking as well when he heard the word "competition". Too much possiblity of creating egotistic jocks who are all about power trips and winning at all costs allowing the philosophy of Aikido to easily disappear under the desire to be the best of the best and beat down your opponent.

Of course the other side of destroying your opponent's self esteem is also there as the winner is placed on a pedestal by eager and equally blind fans and the loser fades into a state of nothingness and feelings of worthlessness. In this scenario one learns nothing about bettering his Aikido whether he "wins" or "loses" the match imo. Definately not Aikido, or at least how I understand it.

This is why I posted those quotes from Aikido: Tradition and the Competitive Edge. I think competition must work as a tool to benefit one's Aikido training and an aid in helping it to evolve. If focus turns to winning in competition alone, placing the Budo concepts of keeping respect, humility and learning from the encounter as secondary or nonexistent, then one may be a good competitor but a very poor Aikidoka, which is ultimately a failure imo as one should compete to better oneself and one's Aikido. This possibility is also addressed in the book I quoted. Even so called spectators and fans may need to be kept in check and to understand the nature of the shiai encounter and what is intended and designed to teach to those involved, so players themselves should not overly encourage this sort of iconic behaviour. Of course the reality may not always match the ideal.

The thing is though, from my experience the egotism and cockiness that we may find in competitors who win too many times can also be found in those who do not have a truthful measure of their abilities by never having experienced what may really work through some sort of competition or other objectively evaluative process. Either way one strays from the path by existing in a false reality.

The good thing is that the sheer difficulty of Aikido shiai makes it hard for one to feel supreme for too long without being taken down a few notches by someone else at some point. Great for checking the ego imo.

Just some more thoughts.
LC:ai::ki:

mj
11-25-2004, 02:49 PM
The good thing is that the sheer difficulty of Aikido shiai makes it hard for one to feel supreme for too long...
This also extends to kaeshi-waza and the effectiveness of practicing it.
Randori shows us the more natural openings after an initial attempt at an application.

akiy
11-25-2004, 06:53 PM
I think this may be what Ueshiba M. was thinking as well when he heard the word "competition".
A bit of a tangent, but here's a post from Peter Goldsbury that contains a lot of information on the founder's thoughts on "competition."

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=15050&postcount=111

-- Jun

PeterR
11-25-2004, 07:12 PM
I think, at a Mike McAvish course this year
That would be Michael McCavish. Yondan from Shodokan Honbu currently gallivanting around the world doing the odd seminar.

Good friend, crashed at his apartment many a time.

L. Camejo
11-25-2004, 08:27 PM
Thanks for the link to Peter Goldsbury's post Jun. It was very informative.

It reiterated some personal thoughts I had about the subject and clarified others. My post was more along the line of Ueshiba M.'s focus on controlling the ego and that competition may sometimes serve to fuel it instead, if done without keeping the right motivations in mind.

It would be interesting though to get the reactions of people who do sport, especially at an Olympic, Professional or World level to the concept that :

Sports are games and pastimes that do not involve the spirit. They are competitions only between physical bodies and not between souls. Thus, they are competitionsmerely for the sake of pleasure.


There may be something lost in translation, but to me that is a very myopic statement. Imo one can make any exercise or task something spiritual.

I've also met a black belt from your club, I think, at a Mike McAvish course this year, can't remember his name either but just remember a real smiley fella - think he'd been on tour and just come over from a stay in Japan.

From our dojo in Trinidad I believe there are only 3 black belts, the club founder Jerome (a Chinese looking guy, does not smile that much during training imo, he runs Sussex Sport Aikido that opened this year), Marlon Hoating (a guy of mixed/african decent who may most likely be the one you met, he is also running a dojo somewhere in the UK) and myself.

Great posts all. Keep em coming.
LC:ai::ki:

mj
11-26-2004, 03:48 AM
Sports are games and pastimes that do not involve the spirit. They are competitions only between physical bodies and not between souls. Thus, they are competitionsmerely for the sake of pleasure.
Having practiced Judo with World, Olympic, European, British (and other nationalities) and Scottish champions and medallists, I can say that this quote does not accurately reflect my experience.

Those who rise to the highest levels do so because of dedication, sacrifice and the ability to take instruction.

What is a serious competitive performer? It is someone who gives up a large part of their life, does not usually have time for a proper family relationship, does not really have a social life. They live by a diary, they have no care for gradings, they apply themselves insanely to teaching their bodies perfect technique. They seek out those with the best knowledge.

Kashiwazaki, who won the world championships at the age of 31 when everyone thought he was going to die said: They say I was world champion, but I did not feel that I was a world champion. On the day I won my fights, who is to say what would happen on another day, or on the same day if we had to do it all again?

Of course, many sportsmen are not like that. I generally find good quality martial artists to be not overly hampered with ego though. By and large they are good humoured people. Perhaps it is the lack of money ;)

L. Camejo
11-27-2004, 04:32 PM
I tend to agree with you Mark.

All of the professional and even semi professional athletes I know take their business very seriously and at some point the entire process of training, dealing with injury and other obstacles and working towards the highest goal of their chosen sport becomes more than just a physical endeavour but demands thier minds and spirits to come into play as well to persevere, fight and overcome setbacks. In many ways it brings out their warrior spirit as regards their chosen sport. In some cases it even transcends sport alone and gets into other aspects of their life, much like Budo training.

So to me as well that translated quote by Ueshiba M. is very interesting. Maybe he had a very limited view of sport or as I indicated there could have been something that I didn't get in the translation.

Regards.
LC:ai::ki:

mj
11-27-2004, 04:57 PM
... the highest goal of their chosen sport becomes more than just a physical endeavour but demands thier minds and spirits to come into play as well to persevere, fight and overcome setbacks....
:)

suniskai
11-29-2004, 04:13 PM
It's great that we're all agreeing with each other, but what about any other Aikidoka, i.e the majority who don't do Shodokan/Tomiki and who have different views on the validity of Tanto randori?

Does it potentially disagree with the principle of their style?

This is just my take on what little I know of the founder's life experience, it being one (especially as a young man) of almost constant testing with resistance from every angle, his childhood, the Japanese culture, his martial art experience, his personality and ego, life in general.
In my experience in order to know that your going with the flow, you have to have resisted it in the first place - felt the struggle and then let go. For some this may take seconds but for most of us it'll probably be at least a lifetime (if we're lucky). I believe O'Sensei did struggle and that's how he found the flow.

Tim

LC - yep, Marlon's the guy!

Yann - will do!

Bronson
11-29-2004, 04:56 PM
...what about any other Aikidoka, i.e the majority who don't do Shodokan/Tomiki

I suppose that I could give a lot of reasons why I don't want to compete in aikido. What it all really boils down to is:

competition just isn't my thing
there are no competitions in the style I was "raised" in


I've done other competitive things and most people participating in those activities did them with the mindset of using the competition as a means of improving. There were the "win at all cost" types but they were the minority and generally frowned upon, so I know that competition can be done in a way that doesn't generate a head swelled with ego....its just not what I'm looking for in my aikido training.

I really have nothing but respect for what Tomiki sensei did. He took what he learned and made it his own and did it the way he thought would be best...and he did it against a lot of opposition. I'm glad it works for the folks who like it but I'm more glad there are other ways for those of us who don't want it. I really see no reason why we can't co-exist and to be truthful I see much more derision coming from people on my side of fence than I do from yours.

Bronson

mj
11-29-2004, 06:24 PM
competition just isn't my thing

That seems to be the sticking point, eh? :)

'We' say randori but you only hear 'competition'. Just can't say anything, it cannot be discussed...because what we say and what you hear...is different, what we try to do and what you see us doing...different. You have already...a solid picture in your mind of what is being talked about (ie shiai) and your picture is so strong to your own perception...it's not actually what we do. :(

You can go into detail what you are talking about...but it is only really descriptive of what you mean.

I will tell you what randori means to me, translation-wise and personal-wise, as I have said on other forums/threads:

Randori:-finding order in chaos

To others it means trying to apply waza on people who move extremely quickly, to others it means getting under the centre of balance, to others it could mean finding your rhythm with someone who will use every trick possible(feigning injury, deception, subterfuge, emotion, friendliness, someone-is-behind-me-I-can-only-move-in-certain-directions, 4 timing points)....and whatever....

you only see a hunt for medals...which just now seems to me to be a denial of your own competitiveness...do you not turn up each time to overcome your failures? Do you not cajole and punish and tease and compliment and encourage and reassure and PUSH those around you?

I do, and I hope only to train amongst those who also do.

Bronson
11-29-2004, 11:52 PM
'We' say randori but you only hear 'competition'.

Oops, my mistake. I thought I was responding to a question about people in styles other than Shodokan feelings about competition. When I went back and read it it did indeed state tanto randori...my apologies.

You're right in that I don't really have a clear picture of what Shodokan tanto randori is all about. I've only seen video clips and as a side note those clips were in a shiai setting.

Really as far as I can see the big thorn that sticks in a lot of aikido people's sides about the system that Tomiki Sensei built is the competition aspect. Which is too bad really. I don't have anything against the idea of shiai or full resistance randori, especially when its done in the manner that has been described to me here on AikiWeb by some other Shodokan folks. Neither of them are, again, not what I'm after.

you only see a hunt for medals...

Well, I guess you've got me all figured out. Just for the record, no I don't.

Really I think we agree a lot more than disagree. I'm probably one of the most open-minded aiki-fruities your likely to find on the subject :D

which just now seems to me to be a denial of your own competitiveness...

Oh, I'll never deny my own competitiveness. It's quite strong and thriving ;)

do you not turn up each time to overcome your failures? Do you not cajole and punish and tease and compliment and encourage and reassure and PUSH those around you?

I do, and I hope only to train amongst those who also do.

Again, I think we agree more than disagree.

Bronson

mj
11-30-2004, 04:33 AM
Again, I think we agree more than disagree.

Bronson

Of course. And I was wrong to go on about randori/competition. The fact is that at early levels, there is no difference in the mind of the practitioner between the two. (That is not addressed to you, I am talking about beginners).

L. Camejo
11-30-2004, 10:37 AM
So, regarding the original question: Has any of the other Shodokan instructors (or anyone else) ever done this sort of resistance type pracitce during a demo?

LC:ai::ki:

PeterR
11-30-2004, 06:22 PM
Yes

kironin
12-02-2004, 01:36 PM
It's great that we're all agreeing with each other, but what about any other Aikidoka, i.e the majority who don't do Shodokan/Tomiki and who have different views on the validity of Tanto randori?

Does it potentially disagree with the principle of their style?



Forget other styles of Aikido. There are organizations led by students of Tomiki Sensei that strongly believe that Tanto randori especially when it comes to competitions is not valid and not the original intent that Tomiki Sensei had.

I don't know which side to believe, but I have heard quite different stories from non-Shodokan Tomiki-lineage students. They strongly believe it is the wrong direction.

The point is that Shodokan party line isn't necessarily the same as the original intention that Tomiki Sensei had. Good to keep in mind when discussing Tanto compeitions with those not in a Tomiki lineage.

I would reply more but I am swamped with work.
sorry.
:(

PeterR
12-02-2004, 06:25 PM
Who Craig?

Name a name of a student who spent any signifigant time with Tomiki who states that the incorporation of Shiai was not his original intent.

I know derivative organizations that don't do Shiai based on their own choices. They tend to be concentrated in your neck of the woods and are fragments of one man's organization. A man who does not fit the above description - at least to the point of being able to tell what Tomiki's true intent was.

I tend to shy away from Shiai myself although I want and need to do more randori. Shiai in Shodokan is an option usually done by university age students. It never was the primary direction of Shodokan but Tomiki was active until his death developing it and the randori method in general. Shiai and randori has not changed (some slight rules changes) much since then.



Forget other styles of Aikido. There are organizations led by students of Tomiki Sensei that strongly believe that Tanto randori especially when it comes to competitions is not valid and not the original intent that Tomiki Sensei had.

I don't know which side to believe, but I have heard quite different stories from non-Shodokan Tomiki-lineage students. They strongly believe it is the wrong direction.

The point is that Shodokan party line isn't necessarily the same as the original intention that Tomiki Sensei had. Good to keep in mind when discussing Tanto compeitions with those not in a Tomiki lineage.

I would reply more but I am swamped with work.
sorry.
:(

L. Camejo
12-02-2004, 08:02 PM
Forget other styles of Aikido. There are organizations led by students of Tomiki Sensei that strongly believe that Tanto randori especially when it comes to competitions is not valid and not the original intent that Tomiki Sensei had.

Sorry Craig but this is BS if I ever heard it. Imho of course:). The particular methods of practicing the randori no kata, kuzushi practice, tsukuri, tai sabaki, ma ai, me tsuke - pretty much the entire core, foundation and grading requirements from Kyu to Dan levels of Tomiki's syllabus (which these other groups don't actually follow mind you) are designed to be effective against an attacker with a knife who is intent on resisting. These groups have their views on competition which they may have chosen to leave out of their practice, and like other elements and flavours of Aikido that is fine, but it is their choice, not as a result of Tomiki's teaching and concepts.

One of Tomiki's missions was to have Aikido stand side by side as a "modern" Budo next to Judo and Kendo and this included an approach to the training as physical education with a systematic method of teaching, training and measuring/testing one's abilities. Tanto randori and shiai are integral to his core concept, so is toshu.

I don't know which side to believe, but I have heard quite different stories from non-Shodokan Tomiki-lineage students. They strongly believe it is the wrong direction.

And their belief is just that - a belief. They are welcome to believe what they want but this has nothing to do with what Tomiki wanted which was pretty clearly defined. Before one follows somebody else's beliefs one should read the books that Tomiki himself have written.

The point is that Shodokan party line isn't necessarily the same as the original intention that Tomiki Sensei had.

According to whom? Tomiki taught certain people in the U.S. in an effort to promote his new system of randori. Instead they took from Tomiki what was useful to them (especially the theories on kuzushi) and tailored the training to suit their needs of a mainly self defence art and removed the competition aspects from the concept and "created" a new style. If they followed Tomiki's original intention they wouldn't have to do all that cutting and pasting.

Just what I understand from Tomiki's writings and from interacting with his direct students and their direct students in both the U.S. and Japan. :D

LC:ai::ki: