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pezalinski
12-07-2004, 02:23 PM
I've experienced the "no- touch" throw. Frequently.... Having someone closeline you during a "freight-train" iriminage is not something you'd care to repeat. Was that "ki" I felt, as I took ukemi rather than the envisioned trachiotomy, or just body-memory? I can tell you it sure isn't a pre-concieved reaction to the technique. But he didn't touch me - and I flew.

Joe Hodges
12-07-2004, 04:12 PM
I've experienced the "no- touch" throw. Frequently.... Having someone closeline you during a "freight-train" iriminage is not something you'd care to repeat. Was that "ki" I felt, as I took ukemi rather than the envisioned trachiotomy, or just body-memory? I can tell you it sure isn't a pre-concieved reaction to the technique. But he didn't touch me - and I flew.
Precisely!

David_francis
12-07-2004, 05:35 PM
By any chance did your sensei shout kamehameha! when he threw a ki blast at you? :D

siwilson
12-07-2004, 06:24 PM
I've experienced the "no- touch" throw. Frequently.... Having someone closeline you during a "freight-train" iriminage is not something you'd care to repeat. Was that "ki" I felt, as I took ukemi rather than the envisioned trachiotomy, or just body-memory? I can tell you it sure isn't a pre-concieved reaction to the technique. But he didn't touch me - and I flew.

Errr, no! He didn't throw you!

You attacked and he wasn't there. You fell over!

:rolleyes:

Bronson
12-08-2004, 03:39 AM
I saw a really nice no touch throw on a sandan test once. The uke was nage's big brother who practices the AAA version of aikido. When nage's open palm came flying into uke's face the ki projection was so strong that it shot uke straight down into the ground. Or, uke was really convinced that his younger brother was gonna plow him one and did what he could to avoid getting a broken nose...which was fall.

Same same in my book.

Bronson

mriehle
12-08-2004, 10:46 AM
Was that "ki" I felt, as I took ukemi rather than the envisioned trachiotomy, or just body-memory?

Yes.

That's the real problem with the idea of a long-distance ki blast. Ki doesn't exist in a vacuum and, IMO, involves nearly as much psychology as it does energy or physics.

The psychology of someone keying on you from across the room is very different from the psychology of someone throwing a hand in your face as you come barrelling toward them at top speed. You can "feel" both in an almost tangible way, but your reaction is bound to be different.

Mind you, the "keying" thing should be taken seriously. Try keying on a rottweiller if you don't believe me. On second thought, don't. You may not believe it works, but the dog will and I don't want to hear about it when said dog attacks you. Maybe try it on a toy poodle.

All this being said, there is a story that Koichi Tohei Sensei told about one of his students and a soda can that is a classic illustration of why ki is not magic. I actually heard him tell the story and it's one of the stories he told that stuck with me. Every time I get tempted to think of ki as magic, I just remember the story.

lwoodcock
12-08-2004, 12:27 PM
All this being said, there is a story that Koichi Tohei Sensei told about one of his students and a soda can that is a classic illustration of why ki is not magic.

Oh you can't just leave it like that. Tell the story! :)

Lan Powers
12-08-2004, 11:12 PM
Yes, please do.
Lan

mriehle
12-09-2004, 12:26 AM
Oh fine, I'll tell the story. But I really believe it's out there on the web somewhere already. And it was thirty years ago when I heard it, so it's likely I'll get some details wrong. That being said:

Tohei Sensei was traveling by train with some students. I gather the trip got a little tedious and people were looking for things to do. Tohei Sensei walked in on one enterprising student who was sitting quietly at a table staring at a soda can.

He sat there, staring intently and every now and again he'd jerk his head to one side. He continued this for a while apparently unaware that Tohei Sensei was watching him.

Finally, Tohei Sensei asked him what he was doing.

"I'm trying to move the can with my ki", came the reply.

Tohei responded that it was very easy to do so and offered to demonstrate. The young man got up from his chair, Tohei Sensei sat down and began staring at the soda can. After a few minutes he reached out with one hand, picked up the can and moved it to one side.

"But I was trying to move it with my ki!", the student protested.

"The ki does not exist without the body. My hand moved because of my ki and moved the can.", replied Tohei and walked away.

Now, I have to tell you that when Tohei Sensei told this story he was quite animated in the telling. He was clearly amused by the incident.

rachel
12-09-2004, 01:51 PM
You people are silly, and you watch way too much Dragonball Z. :p

As for the no touch throws, I've definately experienced them. It's definately not a long distance thing. You fall to avoid being hit, pretty simple. I remember doing iriminage with my sister not long ago, (she's ikkyu.) It was fantastic! She just did the motion of the technique and her ki (and movement, me being scared...) made me fall, hard.

For ANON- You should investigate the other dojos and instructors in the area. If there is a legitimate Sensei nearby who is currently not offering classes, speak to him/her, maybe you can start some, or get private lessons. As for your current dojo, I recommend leaving politely, even if you do think the Sensei is a total nut job.

If you can't find a suitable dojo, pick up and move! ;)

siwilson
12-09-2004, 02:41 PM
They are not throws!!!!! You fall over or flip yourself, but to throw someone requires you to move them, not them move themself!!!!!

No touch throws don't exist!!!!!

The only way you can make me change my mind is for me to stand still and do nothing and for you to,ahem, throw me, without touching me!!!!!!

Rocky Izumi
12-09-2004, 03:09 PM
No touch throws don't exist!!!!!

The only way you can make me change my mind is for me to stand still and do nothing and for you to,ahem, throw me, without touching me!!!!!!

Bet I can do it (as he picks up a good sized rock from the ground). Watch how you word things. Hee hee hee.
Rock

wendyrowe
12-09-2004, 03:16 PM
They are not throws!!!!! You fall over or flip yourself, but to throw someone requires you to move them, not them move themself!!!!!

That's just semantics. If it looks, walks and quacks like a duck, I have no problem in calling it a duck.

I've taken ukemi early to avoid a disastrous fall from a very fast attack, but I don't consider that a no-touch throw. But this is the sort I've experienced:
...someone throwing a hand in your face as you come barrelling toward them at top speed...

You're bracing yourself in reaction to the hand, so you're leaning forward to compensate; then all of a sudden the hand is removed fast without making contact and you fall forward just as you would have if uke had reversed hands and clocked you from behind. My balance is taken absolutely and I wind up on the floor just as if I'd been thrown by one of uke's arms on the reversal.

Bronson
12-09-2004, 04:06 PM
They are not throws!!!!! You fall over or flip yourself, but to throw someone requires you to move them, not them move themself!!!!!

But they fell because of something nage did. So nage's action was required to create the situation where uke falls.

It's like me saying that if you flick your fingers at my eyes and I flinch, that because you didn't actually touch me you didn't really make me move....I did it myself.

Bronson

siwilson
12-09-2004, 04:10 PM
But they fell because of something nage did. So nage's action was required to create the situation where uke falls.

It's like me saying that if you flick your fingers at my eyes and I flinch, that because you didn't actually touch me you didn't really make me move....I did it myself.

Bronson

You said it mate - "they fell"!

Bronson
12-09-2004, 04:28 PM
But would they fall without the presence of nage's action?

Bronson

siwilson
12-09-2004, 04:31 PM
But would they fall without the presence of nage's action?

Bronson

Would they fall if they did different Aikido (or didn't do any Aikido)?

Rocky Izumi
12-09-2004, 05:01 PM
Hey this is neat. It is starting to sound like a Zen koan.

What is the nature of the ukemi before a person is thrown? What is the intent of the uke if that person falls without without nage making a motion?

Hee hee hee
Rock

siwilson
12-09-2004, 05:09 PM
OK, to the woolly Ki/No touch throw people out there!!!! Can you pick up a pencil without touching it?

cguzik
12-09-2004, 05:45 PM
I can pick up a pen by letting go of it. By causing potential energy to build inside the spring, when I let go of it (at which point I am no longer touching it) it throws itself.

Whether you say I threw it or caused it to throw itself doesn't matter.

Because the pen is an inanimate object, you do have to touch it to build the potential energy in the spring. Since your partner has intention and is animate, you can facilitate that same effect without actually touching them.

I have to say that the best aikido I've ever felt is when I cannot quite say whether it was me or my partner that caused the throw to happen. Does it matter who did it?

akiy
12-09-2004, 05:48 PM
Fodder:

Do you think "no touch" throws in aikido are fake? - 11/17/2001
http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=86

-- Jun

stuartjvnorton
12-09-2004, 05:56 PM
OK, to the woolly Ki/No touch throw people out there!!!! Can you pick up a pencil without touching it?


For the "no touch pencil pickup", that would be the Force you're using, not ki.

ryujin
12-09-2004, 06:14 PM
Hey this is neat. It is starting to sound like a Zen koan.

So if a person is thrown in the woods and there was no one around to throw him was it a no touch throw? :D

stuartjvnorton
12-09-2004, 06:28 PM
So if a person is thrown in the woods and there was no one around to throw him was it a no touch throw? :D


lol you know Si's gonna jump all over that one... :-)


Stu (advocate of the Big Touch Throw(TM)) :dead:

tedehara
12-09-2004, 06:46 PM
I was watching some old film from Aiki News. It showed the founder in his 80's. About 30-45% of the throws he was doing were no touch throws. He had this one technique where he would go down a line of seiza sitting students. As they rose to grab him as he walked by, he would do a no touch throw on them. He would walk down the whole line like this.

If all this is on film from the founder, why do people still deny the existence of a no touch technique? I just don't get it.
:confused: confused

Joe Bowen
12-09-2004, 08:40 PM
I don't know if any of you have seen any of the Aikikai All Japan Aikido Demonstrations. If you haven't you should their all pretty interesting. There is one individual in particular, whose name escapes me, but I and a few friends have affectionately nicknamed "the Walrus" :D due to his prodigious mustache, who routinely demonstrates "no touch" throws and manipulations of his uke. I'm not sure how much of what he does is "Ki projection" or just ingrained response on the part of his uke, but some of it is actually amusing to watch. From my own personal experience, any time I've been thrown Nage is always right next to me. Most of the time I'm avoiding an obviously painful atemi. On a few occasions, I don't really know if I had been touched or not, as I'm not really sure what happened.
If you have the opportunity check out the All Japan Aikido Demonstrations, they are pretty good...

joe

maikerus
12-09-2004, 09:34 PM
Sorry...can't see this no touch throw stuff. Uke falling to protect themselves is not a throw. That's like saying that jumping out of the way of a falling tree or jumping back from a sprinkler system that suddenly turns on are no touch throws.

As si says. Throw me without touching me (or shooting or throwing things at me) from a distance when I am standing there then I might believe it. Of course...I might just think its a hallucination. <wry grin>

If no-touch throws are just making your flinch or avoid being hit by falling then take the mystic out of it. That's working with reflex and is perfectly valid. Just don't try and turn it into magic.

Just one guys opinion...but I have to back Si on this.

--Michael

siwilson
12-09-2004, 10:09 PM
So if a person is thrown in the woods and there was no one around to throw him was it a no touch throw? :D

lol you know Si's gonna jump all over that one... :)

Stu (advocate of the Big Touch Throw(TM)) :dead:

I can't be bothered! :rolleyes: :)

siwilson
12-09-2004, 10:11 PM
I was watching some old film from Aiki News. It showed the founder in his 80's. About 30-45% of the throws he was doing were no touch throws. He had this one technique where he would go down a line of seiza sitting students. As they rose to grab him as he walked by, he would do a no touch throw on them. He would walk down the whole line like this.

If all this is on film from the founder, why do people still deny the existence of a no touch technique? I just don't get it.
:confused: confused

:rolleyes:

siwilson
12-09-2004, 10:14 PM
I don't know if any of you have seen any of the Aikikai All Japan Aikido Demonstrations. If you haven't you should their all pretty interesting. There is one individual in particular, whose name escapes me, but I and a few friends have affectionately nicknamed "the Walrus" :D due to his prodigious mustache, who routinely demonstrates "no touch" throws and manipulations of his uke. I'm not sure how much of what he does is "Ki projection" or just ingrained response on the part of his uke, but some of it is actually amusing to watch. From my own personal experience, any time I've been thrown Nage is always right next to me. Most of the time I'm avoiding an obviously painful atemi. On a few occasions, I don't really know if I had been touched or not, as I'm not really sure what happened.
If you have the opportunity check out the All Japan Aikido Demonstrations, they are pretty good...

joe

Ingrained response on the part of his uke! :rolleyes:

siwilson
12-09-2004, 10:16 PM
Sorry...can't see this no touch throw stuff. Uke falling to protect themselves is not a throw. That's like saying that jumping out of the way of a falling tree or jumping back from a sprinkler system that suddenly turns on are no touch throws.

As si says. Throw me without touching me (or shooting or throwing things at me) from a distance when I am standing there then I might believe it. Of course...I might just think its a hallucination. <wry grin>

If no-touch throws are just making your flinch or avoid being hit by falling then take the mystic out of it. That's working with reflex and is perfectly valid. Just don't try and turn it into magic.

Just one guys opinion...but I have to back Si on this.

--Michael

Ditto!

Does the plane throw the Sky Diver?

:freaky:

saltlakeaiki
12-10-2004, 01:44 AM
I don't know if any of you have seen any of the Aikikai All Japan Aikido Demonstrations. If you haven't you should their all pretty interesting. There is one individual in particular, whose name escapes me, but I and a few friends have affectionately nicknamed "the Walrus" :D due to his prodigious mustache, who routinely demonstrates "no touch" throws and manipulations of his uke.The guy in question is Nobuyuki Watanabe Sensei (8-dan). Last I knew he teaches on Saturday afternoons at Hombu. Yes, his display is rather impressive :) I'll tell you an interesting story: I was at a seminar several years ago and met a very nice guy from Spain who was in the country visiting. He had been training at Hombu and was very skeptical of Watanabe Sensei. He told me that he decided he would put Sensei to the test, and somehow he managed to get himself called to take uke for zagi shomenuchi. He brazenly bonked Sensei on the head when he tried to do his usual no-touch throw. After that Sensei switched to normal aikido :) This is the story the Spanish guy told me anyway. What's interesting is why Watanabe Sensei would call on someone he doesn't know if it really is a case of "well-trained" ukes :confused:

For my part, I'm willing to believe in the possibility of no-touch throw in principle, although I've never experienced what I think it would be. And I've never had the guts to try to take ukemi for Watanabe :D

Wynand van Dyk
12-10-2004, 01:46 AM
Fodder:

Do you think "no touch" throws in aikido are fake? - 11/17/2001
http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=86

-- Jun

I dont think "FAKE" or "NOT FAKE" covers all the possible answers to this one. As far as my opinion goes, when people claim they can "no-touch" throw you through some metaphysical means they are lying or ignorant. We should all endeavour to educate the ignorant and punish the stupid (there is a difference).

When people claim they can throw you by triggering some self-preservation instinct in you through some psychological means (eg: utterly convincing atemi to the nose unless you duck below it and "throw" yourself, letting you believe you can grab their wrist and then pulling it just out of your reach at the last minute causing you to lose balance and fall) then I am more than willing to believe them.

People can convince themselves and others of amazing things, however, as soon as someone claims abilities that are supernatural or metaphysical it is an instant indicator that this person is either ignorant of physics / psychology or willfully trying to deceive you.

PeterR
12-10-2004, 02:35 AM
Hypnotists will pepper an audience with their own people and test their volunteer subjects usually with a non-spectacular test (IE. no great failure). Choose susceptible subjects, convince them its possible, and away you go. I would be crass enough to say that Watanabe forgot to perform the simple test.
The guy in question is Nobuyuki Watanabe Sensei (8-dan). Last I knew he teaches on Saturday afternoons at Hombu. Yes, his display is rather impressive :) I'll tell you an interesting story: I was at a seminar several years ago and met a very nice guy from Spain who was in the country visiting. He had been training at Hombu and was very skeptical of Watanabe Sensei. He told me that he decided he would put Sensei to the test, and somehow he managed to get himself called to take uke for zagi shomenuchi. He brazenly bonked Sensei on the head when he tried to do his usual no-touch throw. After that Sensei switched to normal aikido :) This is the story the Spanish guy told me anyway. What's interesting is why Watanabe Sensei would call on someone he doesn't know if it really is a case of "well-trained" ukes :confused:

For my part, I'm willing to believe in the possibility of no-touch throw in principle, although I've never experienced what I think it would be. And I've never had the guts to try to take ukemi for Watanabe :D
Only one time has someone thrown me without touching and that was a wonderful Aikido teacher named Serge in Quebec City. He moved, I reacted, he didn't touch me but I was on the ground. Both our timings were superb.

wendyrowe
12-10-2004, 02:56 AM
... As far as my opinion goes, when people claim they can "no-touch" throw you through some metaphysical means they are lying or ignorant....

Sounds like there are possibly four schools of thought on "No Touch Throws"

1. They exist and are metaphysical ki extensions
2. They don't exist and anyone who says they do is a credulous fool
3. They exist and are caused by good ol' Newton's Laws reactions
4. See #3 above, but that's not a throw

Did I miss any?

I'm glad my earlier post made it clear that I'm a Type 3 and not a Type 1.

Bronson
12-10-2004, 03:06 AM
When people claim they can throw you by triggering some self-preservation instinct in you through some psychological means (eg: utterly convincing atemi to the nose unless you duck below it and "throw" yourself, letting you believe you can grab their wrist and then pulling it just out of your reach at the last minute causing you to lose balance and fall) then I am more than willing to believe them.

This is what I would call a no-touch throw.

Would they fall if they did different Aikido (or didn't do any Aikido)? [/QUOTE]

One of my old housemates did. But he did the one thing that most outside people don't do when they ask to see some aikido...he actually attacked, with his center commited behind it. (scared me more than him I think)

If no-touch throws are just making your flinch or avoid being hit by falling then take the mystic out of it. That's working with reflex and is perfectly valid. Just don't try and turn it into magic.

To me this is what a no-touch throw is. I hope I didn't give the impression of some magical ability. Even being solidly in the ki camp I disagree with the mystification of it. No magic. Timing + ma ai + position + posture + attitude + centerdness + controlled relaxation + breathing + a host of other stuff I'm too tired to think of right now = ki (in my opinion)

Bronson

Eriksen
12-10-2004, 05:42 AM
If no-touch throws are just making your flinch or avoid being hit by falling then take the mystic out of it. That's working with reflex and is perfectly valid. Just don't try and turn it into magic.

Si and Michael...

It seems to me that the vast majority of posters in this thread (and on Aikiweb in general) are saying exactly that! Ki is NOT magic and noone claims it is!
On the contrary, several posters have gone out of their way to explain to you that no-touch throws (in their interpretation) are 'simply' a matter of causing a reflex reaction (by use of superb timing), causing uke to... well, throw himself, fall over, whatever you wish to call it. If nage hadn't utilised his timing to cause this reflex reaction in uke, the effect - the fall - would not have occurred, hence people tend to call this a 'throw'. As someone else pointed out, you are forcing the discussion with semantics.

As an equally semantic side note, at my dojo we rarely use the term 'throw' at all. We say we try to 'guide uke to the ground' (which, of course, can be done more or less rapidly/forcefully :D )

Anyway, the major notion of ki today comes from Tohei sensei and his Ki-society, also according to standard Yoshinkan ridicule of other, less macho styles (ki-blasts etc.). Tohei himself has on countless occasions specified that the ki used in aikido is NOT magic. This has also been pointed out in this very thread. Have you not read these posts?

siwilson
12-10-2004, 07:11 AM
Every one, but it is not a throw. To call it a throw confuses the matter.

Rocky Izumi
12-10-2004, 08:49 AM
Sounds like there are possibly four schools of thought on "No Touch Throws"

1. They exist and are metaphysical ki extensions
2. They don't exist and anyone who says they do is a credulous fool
3. They exist and are caused by good ol' Newton's Laws reactions
4. See #3 above, but that's not a throw

Did I miss any?

I'm glad my earlier post made it clear that I'm a Type 3 and not a Type 1.

5. It all depends on the uke and what they believe, not what nage believes -- harmony -- sometimes harmony is an atemi, sometimes it is a rock, sometimes a .45. And sometimes it is nothing more than the wind blowing through the trees.

Rock

MaryKaye
12-10-2004, 10:40 AM
If you define "throw" to mean "contacting uke's body in a way that makes him fall" then these things are not throws. It's just a language game, though.

When we study them, it's generally in the context of a whole family of techniques, most of which involve contact. I find it impossible to think of the no-touch member of the family as a fundamentally different animal than the others. Nage does almost exactly the same things. Uke falls a little harder. So I use the word "throw" because it seems silly to have two words for basically one technique.

The important practical question has to be "would this work on an untrained opponent?" Reynosa sensei, who has a very martial style, showed me a no-touch throw and said "You might call this ki, but personally I think that either uke goes down or I'm going to rearrange his face." I suspect an untrained opponent is more likely to fall into the "rearrange his face" option--I've gotten hit by intended no-touch throws, because I'm not as alert as I might be--but that works, too.

As for throwing someone no-touch who is standing still, it's pretty hard to throw someone who is standing still even if you are allowed to touch him, and you have to start (as far as I know) by making him move, say with an atemi. So I don't see any reason to expect you could do this, but I also don't see what difference it makes. If someone isn't moving, why are you fighting him?

Mary Kaye

rob_liberti
12-10-2004, 11:41 AM
I do believe in natural magic. I don't think someone can point at me from across the room while I'm attacking and cause me to take ukemi.

That said, I do believe you can work with the energy to a degree (I think some healing can be done in that manner) but not to the degree of launching an attacker by pointing at them from across the room.

Regardless, I've experienced the feeling of attacking someone who disappeared on me. Five different people have been able to mess with my "tracking system" well enough that I actually had to turn my head quickly to try to relocate them. That's always a weird feeling and sometimes you just kind of want to roll at that point just to kind of reset yourself. I'm curious as to what other people's experiences are with nage moving so well that they disappeared to you as the uke. Any advice on how to do it or how to better deal with it?

Rob

George S. Ledyard
12-10-2004, 12:21 PM
People can convince themselves and others of amazing things, however, as soon as someone claims abilities that are supernatural or metaphysical it is an instant indicator that this person is either ignorant of physics / psychology or willfully trying to deceive you.

I have a VERY hard time with the super rationalists. If you can't put a guage on it and measure it, it doesn't exist. We have inherited tens of thousands of years of spiritual teachings which in the space of a hundred years we are managing to lose almost entirely (in some cases attempting to ressurect them out of context in various silly New Age forms) because we have this idea that if we can't hitch folks up to a machine and measure it, if it isn't observable in a physical sense then it's not there. This attitude simply ignores the depth and beauty of spiritual practices which have been evident in virtually every culture in the world for as far back as we can go.

Now I am not saying that the touchless throw is magic or supernatural. But this kind of technique does require impeccable connection between the uke and the nage. When this results in a technique of this type it is a truly wondrous thing as it feels quite effortless to both partners, you find yourself flying through the air and you don't necessarily know why. This is aiki, the action of the physical and the Mind together. This is not explainable in terms of physics or math because it is an experience.

Viktor Frankl developed the practice of Logotherapy based in his observations that Man's essential drive was to try to give meaning (Logos) to what he saw around him and what he experienced. This is a core need for human beings. What science has failed to understand that scientific explanation and mathemetical certainty have little to do with how we experience "meaning". Meaning is how we relate to something, what it does for us and to us when we experience it. For some rare individuals, the equations of a scientific explanation of a given phenomena have meaning for them. Those equations can be experienced as elegant, beautiful, amazing, etc. But for the vast majority of human beings a scientific explanation has almost nothing to do with it's meaning for them.

The most perfect Aikido technique I ever did was during a randori with the teens in my advanced kids class. I had just thrown one uke and I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye as another uke came in from my blind side. I spun, raising my hands towards what I sensed would be his center. My hands didn't touch him or if they did it was so light I didn't feel it. The next thing I knew my uke was flying horizontally past me it eye level and landed quite a ways away. I looked at him and asked "What was THAT?" He replied that he had absolutely no idea what had just happened. Niether did I. I couldn't duplicate that technique if you offered me money.

An attempt to explain this away as some sort of collusion between the uke and nage, to look at the lack of explanation as indicating some sort of fakery is to divest the occurrence of its essential meaning. The total connection between the two partners that produced this one technique was a marvel in itself and has nothing to do with that type of explanation. I am completely uninterested in doing an Aikido in which this type of occurrence can't happen because of an attachment to rational, scientific, process. In some cases that type of explanation takes away meaning rather than providing it.

Rocky Izumi
12-10-2004, 12:45 PM
Tai-Ki-Ken

Rock

kironin
12-10-2004, 01:06 PM
I have to say that the best aikido I've ever felt is when I cannot quite say whether it was me or my partner that caused the throw to happen. Does it matter who did it?


This is the heart of the matter and where good no-touch throws are coming from.

You can practice the mechanics of a no-touch throw which is kata just like any other cooperative training one does. When it comes to doing it for real, it is the ultimate test of an honest moment. There's a reason the no-touch throws I know have not so nice touch versions.

In freestyle, if you are applying nikyo on someone, and you don't do it quite so well, but you make up for it with strength to force it and the person goes down. Perhaps the uke knows but it is not so apparent to others.

on the other hand, in your apply a no-touch throw and your kokyu is not quite right and you don't capture uke's mind, everyone is going to know you did not get it right. :D

pencils don't have a neuromotor system

kironin
12-10-2004, 01:46 PM
The most perfect Aikido technique I ever did was during a randori with the teens in my advanced kids class. I had just thrown one uke and I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye as another uke came in from my blind side. I spun, raising my hands towards what I sensed would be his center. My hands didn't touch him or if they did it was so light I didn't feel it. The next thing I knew my uke was flying horizontally past me it eye level and landed quite a ways away. I looked at him and asked "What was THAT?" He replied that he had absolutely no idea what had just happened. Niether did I. I couldn't duplicate that technique if you offered me money.



A honest moment.

For the record, in the Ki Society we understand this very well. No touch throw practice is really is about increasing the probability of the non-duplicatible moment occuring by gaining a better understanding of the timing involved and the mental relationship between nage and uke.

We focus a lot in all the techniques we do on the principle of leading the uke's mind and their body will follow. So it is really just a natural extension of that principle.

aikidocapecod
12-10-2004, 02:18 PM
Some believe in the term "no-touch" others assume that if there is no contact, there is no throw.
I have been taught that first contact is not Uke touching nage physically, but nage's mind making contact with uke's mind. And I think this mind set is not solely owned by Ki-Aikido.
I, as uke, have attacked nage with a very honest but "in-control" attack and have found myself flat on the mat and never touched.
Nage leads my attack to a point where I find myself on the edge of balance and then a wave of the hand at my face forces me to move into a space where I have no balance...and the mat gracefully greets me.

Did nage touch me....no. Did nage throw me..most definately. If I were in the dojo alone throwing a punch at an imaginary nage, I would not fall as there is no possibility of a counter attack to cause me to lose my balance. But an Aikidoka that can lead an attack to a place where uke had no intentions of going....a no touch throw can result.

Just my opinion and also observation.

senshincenter
12-10-2004, 02:39 PM
It seems that folks here would allow for that moment in training when uke, as part of ukemi, find themselves reacting in one way that could be described as the result of "no-touch" throw. (i.e. moving so as not to be struck fully, etc.) To be sure, some folks have some reason to disqualify this from being a throw since uke’s training and/or sense of (learned) spontaneity is playing such a prominent role. Other folks seem to want to broaden the definition and understanding of ki to include both unlearned spontaneities and learned spontaneities.

In either case, what seems constant is that folks are often describing an uke that is in some sense charging at nage. However, this is not the only place that “no-touch” throws occur in the Aikido world. Rather, I would suggest that this scenario of the charging uke (or charging nage) was brought up precisely because it is the place at which “no-touch” throws become their most reasonable. If we consider all of the other places where no-touch throws are posited, I am not so sure this debate would be so two-sided. For example, a person already mentioned Watanabe – at the All Japan Aikido Demonstration. If you have not seen these demonstrations, basically, Watanabe points cues and directions at an uke that is standing in front of him (not charging him in the least). The act between Watanabe (nage) and his uke are more akin to how a poodle trainer acts with his poodle (literally) while doing a circus act than anything that could resemble some of the scenarios offered here thus far. We are talking about merely looking (in an exaggerated fashion) and/or pointing and having uke do flips, twists, and turns from a standstill and from about three feet away. Another similar case is that of Yamano – at the same demonstrations. You can see a clip of Yamano at AikidoJournal.com (see video page 6 if you are a subscriber).

What about these cases? Are these legitimate throws and/or reactions? And what of no-touch throws being performed in the same manner as the clips described above but being executed by folks that have only trained three years, one year, one month, one week? Are these still throws? Are these still legitimate psychological reactions to the possibility of being struck in the face? Or are these type of things things we should be cautious about?

kironin
12-10-2004, 03:16 PM
example, a person already mentioned Watanabe -- at the All Japan Aikido Demonstration. If you have not seen these demonstrations, basically, Watanabe points cues and directions at an uke that is standing in front of him (not charging him in the least). The act between Watanabe (nage) and his uke are more akin to how a poodle trainer acts with his poodle (literally) while doing a circus act than anything that could resemble some of the scenarios offered here thus far. We are talking about merely looking (in an exaggerated fashion) and/or pointing and having uke do flips, twists, and turns from a standstill and from about three feet away. Another similar case is that of Yamano -- at the same demonstrations. You can see a clip of Yamano at AikidoJournal.com (see video page 6 if you are a subscriber).

What about these cases? ...Or are these type of things things we should be cautious about?


Be cautious about everything. Have an open but critical mind.

that said, it's not exactly my cup of tea given my awareness of just how hard it for human beings in a group to go counter to the group dynamic.
Also knowing that the 10th dan head of my organization has never nor has his students that I respect ever behaved that way or dealt with ukes in that fashion.

I don't think a charging uke is necessary to bring off a no-touch throw, but a strong connection is. Without engaging maai, I don't believe a strong connection is possible unless you want to invoke the supernatural.

Why do people continue to profess a beilief that the universe began 6.000 years ago in the middle stone age ?

Rocky Izumi
12-10-2004, 04:28 PM
I watched a Kendo match between two hachi dan once. The came together in chudan and just stood there with the points of their shinai almost touching. There was barely any movement by either one but we were enthralled. At the end when the judge called hikiwake, the entire stadium jumped up and cheered wildly. It was the best match of the day!
As I stood there cheering, the person I had dragged there with me looked up and said "What happened? Why is everyone cheering? What was that all about?" I responded "Didn't you see that great battle? It was marvelous! I have never seen two guys fight like that!" He said "What fight? They were just standing there."
I realized then that my friend had never done Kendo. He couldn't see the great battle that was taking place between the spirit or Ki of the two people. When one would extend his Ki and try to climb over the other's spirit, the other would respond with a counter. The fight was all between the spirit of the two Kendoists, their shinai hardly moved at all. In Kendo, like in war, you have to destroy the spirit of the other person before you attack if you want a successful attack. At the level of those two fighters who were exceedingly well-matched, the fight was all in the spirit. Is it real? Well, it does take effort. The keikogi of the two fighters turned black with sweat as they fought. Does it work? Well, consider how difficult it is to defeat your teacher even as you get better than him or her. They have a spiritual advantage because you already have some doubts about whether you can beat them. It is all summed up in the saying from Kendo -- Ki-Ken-Tai (Spirit, Sword, Body). All have to become one to do good Kendo. The Ki is an important part of doing something just as is the body and the sword. You can't separate them and talk about doing something with each separately. Kendo, Aikido, Karate, Judo, No-touch throws, it is all the same.

Rock

George S. Ledyard
12-10-2004, 06:04 PM
If you have not seen these demonstrations, basically, Watanabe points cues and directions at an uke that is standing in front of him (not charging him in the least). The act between Watanabe (nage) and his uke are more akin to how a poodle trainer acts with his poodle (literally) while doing a circus act than anything that could resemble some of the scenarios offered here thus far. We are talking about merely looking (in an exaggerated fashion) and/or pointing and having uke do flips, twists, and turns from a standstill and from about three feet away. Another similar case is that of Yamano -- at the same demonstrations. You can see a clip of Yamano at AikidoJournal.com (see video page 6 if you are a subscriber).

What about these cases? Are these legitimate throws and/or reactions? And what of no-touch throws being performed in the same manner as the clips described above but being executed by folks that have only trained three years, one year, one month, one week? Are these still throws? Are these still legitimate psychological reactions to the possibility of being struck in the face? Or are these type of things things we should be cautious about?

For technique to have validityit is the coming together of a number of factors or principles. Ma-ai (critical distance), de-ai (critical instant), suki (opening), etc. When you are watching an extreme example of energy throws such as what Watanabe Sensei does, you aren't seeing great Aikido, rather you are seeing great personal power. A man's ability to get a group of people to collectively suspend their normal reactions and instaed act as trained.

Doing this requires the suspension of the most elemental rules of ukemi. The uke's job is to go forward towards the nage's center until he is thrown or pinned. In the process he is to do his best to maintain his balance and to protect his openings.

If the nage throws an atemi it is uke's job to deflect it or block it if he can, if he can't he needs to vacate. For an atemi to strike there must be a suki (opening). This opening must exist in two dimensions, the physical and the mental. For example, if you are going to cut me with your sword you need to see an opening such as a kamae that provides the physical target for an attack i.e. gedan. However, if you mistake the physical opening for the true opening you will be cut down instantly because what allows you to actually strike that target which seems open is a mental opening which would keep me from reacting to the attack.

That opening is only a true opening if you are at a distance at which you can move in and cut me before I can react. That means the proper spacing and it means that I have to be caught for an instant mentaly unconnected.

In the case of these energy throws from across the mat, the uke has been trained to suspend all of the martial components of his training. These guys exhibit only one of the principles which make a real etchnique and that is the physical opening or suki. If their teacher perceives a suki, they react as if that were sufficient to cause them to vacate the space they are in. Simply being touched by the nage's attention... This is totally bogus.

Just because your opponent can perceive your opening doesn't mean he has you yet. He needs to be able to move into that opening and take your center in the time before you can close the opening. Throws from across the mat have no ma-ai as an active principle.

A true touchless throw is done just fast enough that you can't stop it and just slow enough that you can perceive it and take the fall. The energy of the technique (mental perception and physical energy) must be place in the space which uke needs to be in in order to complete his attack just before he gets to that spot in space and time.

Of course the opponent's attention and his intention are tangible, you can feel them at a distance. But that doesn't mean that you need to react to them until the other factors dictate that you must. Training people this way makes them hyper sensitive to shifts in the energy and attention of the partner. This sensitivity is taken to an extreme at which it totally out of balance with the other factors that make up a technique. Training this way loses any and all relationship to Budo, it is a bad form of contact improv without the contact.

senshincenter
12-10-2004, 07:46 PM
I'm not so sure we can draw this line clearly between "great personal power/acting as trained" and "exhibiting only one principle that make a real technique." In both cases, one is dealing with a choreography that is more given than not - even if it is solely given in a social contract that now goes unsaid. That is to say, in both cases there is a great deal of "editing" (i.e. acting as trained) of the valid martial setting. The nature of this editing, once allowed, makes it difficult, in my opinion, to say "up to here it is okay, but after this it is totally bogus."

While it may be true that suki are as much physical as they are mental - or perhaps even more mental than physical (if we want to say that) - it is in such cases that are being described here that suki are only present by or via a training or an editing. Folks are not so much sensitive to things like atemi and/or suki as they are sensitive to where atemi and suki are supposed to be according to the choreography. People are not so sensitive to the energy that is potentially there as they are sensitive to their choreographed reaction as delineated by the social contract that now goes unsaid. We can clearly see this in such cases whenever uke goes (as contracted) but goes the wrong way (not as planned by the contract). This makes such throws highly conditional. To be sure, all throws are conditional - we have to allow for that. However, saying that throws are conditional does not mean that we have to say that throws should be (or can be) conditional according to a training and/or an editing of what is martially viable. For that reason, personally, I cannot consider my throws viable if they can only work on folks that are trained to allow them to work or folks that I can have great personal power over in order that they act as trained or folks that have gained a great sensitivity to the choreography upon which we work. Martial tactics should be a little more universal - in my opinion.

I would say, if one is going to allow for a Watanabe to have "great power" (as oppose to noting that his uke just have great weakness), one is going to have to allow all such "trained responses" to be the result of the same "great power" - the same great power that is not great Aikido. But do we really want to suggest that? Are we not saving too much that we should do away with when we attempt to save such demonstrations as "great power" and not as "great weakness?" (assuming I'm correct in suggesting we cannot so easily draw a line between these two variations on the same type of practice)

Rocky Izumi
12-10-2004, 09:50 PM
Of course the opponent's attention and his intention are tangible, you can feel them at a distance. But that doesn't mean that you need to react to them until the other factors dictate that you must. Training people this way makes them hyper sensitive to shifts in the energy and attention of the partner. This sensitivity is taken to an extreme at which it totally out of balance with the other factors that make up a technique. Training this way loses any and all relationship to Budo, it is a bad form of contact improv without the contact.

I have to disagree with you here George. You have to be very sensitive to it to know when to attack. A lack of attention or seeing the intent of a person allows you to see the opening for the attack. If I am doing Shomenuchi Ikkyo, I want to be able to see when my shomenuchi is going to be able to enter or if uke will raise his arm in a block so that I can do the ikkyo. It also allows you to break the other's spirit before attacking so that you can be more sure that your attack is successful. The physical attack is only the kime if the tsukuri of the mind is successful. Of course, to be truly successful in the attack, there can be no tsukuri, kake, or kime -- just one flow at the instant of breaking the other's spirit -- ki no nagare.

Rock

senshincenter
12-10-2004, 11:17 PM
But this sensitivity is not martial. That is to say it is not the kind of awareness that comes from being in the moment and yet not being attached to it. It only appears to be of that nature. If anything, what it resembles most, as far as sensitivity is concerned, is the acquired skill to read cues that you see in horses that participate in dressage. Sorry, there's no real subtle or polite way of saying that, but I'm wishing to denote that we are not so much dealing with sensitivity in the broader martial sense as we are dealing with sensitivity to a given culture (mode of training).

A case of point: I have see the current Aikikai Doshu perform Irimi Nage. His uke's go into this huge kuzushi with the near flick of his wrist, they come up (always the same way at the same time), and they go "no touch" under his arm - in a way that could easily be described as not wishing to be struck by the arm in question. Right after that demonstration, he came up against an uke that for reasons of age and lack of flexibility could do no such ukemi. The result: The uke ran into the arm (at quite a slow speed), and as a result it was the Aikikai Doshu who bounced off of his uke as he attempted with all of his might to engage his deltoid in an attempt to salvage the throw. For me, this kind of stuff, when it doesn't go quite right, and a different picture is revealed, make such understandings of "no touch" difficult to swallow whenever we posit them as natural and not cultural.

Rocky Izumi
12-11-2004, 03:29 PM
But this sensitivity is not martial. That is to say it is not the kind of awareness that comes from being in the moment and yet not being attached to it. It only appears to be of that nature. If anything, what it resembles most, as far as sensitivity is concerned, is the acquired skill to read cues that you see in horses that participate in dressage. Sorry, there's no real subtle or polite way of saying that, but I'm wishing to denote that we are not so much dealing with sensitivity in the broader martial sense as we are dealing with sensitivity to a given culture (mode of training).

Again, I have to disagree that it really doesn't matter where you get the cues if your attack is successful. The cues help determine when and how you will attack (and sometimes who). If you read the cues right, your attack will be successful. So why would this not be martial in its aspect? If you attack with intent to do damage or control, is that not martial? Doing an ai-uchi as in a Yokomenuchi Shihonage, you often read the intent of the attacker so that you can use the opening that is created during the attack to strike the attacker down or, if they block your Yokomenuchi, to do a shihonage. My Yokomenuchi is meant to strike the other person in the head, neck or collar bone to stop their attack. Is the intent there not martial? If I see the opponent hesitate for a moment and I attack with a Shomenuchi and go into Uke tobi nage or Kokyunage or Sankyo when they block it, is the intent there not martial? My intent there is to bonk the opponent in the head good and hard. Is that not martial?

Rock



Rock

George S. Ledyard
12-11-2004, 10:37 PM
I have to disagree with you here George. You have to be very sensitive to it to know when to attack. A lack of attention or seeing the intent of a person allows you to see the opening for the attack. If I am doing Shomenuchi Ikkyo, I want to be able to see when my shomenuchi is going to be able to enter or if uke will raise his arm in a block so that I can do the ikkyo. It also allows you to break the other's spirit before attacking so that you can be more sure that your attack is successful. The physical attack is only the kime if the tsukuri of the mind is successful. Of course, to be truly successful in the attack, there can be no tsukuri, kake, or kime -- just one flow at the instant of breaking the other's spirit -- ki no nagare.

Rock

Hi Rock and David,
It's not that this kind of sensitivity isn't martial, it's that this kind of reaction isn't martial. In the Kendo example cited by Rocky, those masters got to that level by fighting thousands of matches. From the very beginning they were encouraged to attack, attack, attack, At the beginning of their careers, they'd attack and get demolished by their seniors. Over time they would develop the speed, power, and intention that they start winning. Eventually, they'd shift more and more to the level at which things became more mental and less physical until the type of match you described could take place.

This isn't going to happen with the type of "training" described in the Watanabe Sensei example. In fact those students are systematically being trained not to attack or to hesitate. I did some classical martial arts under Ellis Amdur Sensei for a few years, nothing big deal but very educational for me. One of the things I noted that I've thought about a great deal is that many of the forms in the Toda Ha Buko Ryu Naginata for instance, end in ai-uchi. I didn’t really get at first why we were training not to "win". After all, in Aikido ai-uchi was usually considered a mistake.

Over time, I came to realize that it wasn't that we were training not to win but rather we were training not to be attached to the outcome. It was crucial that the attack be delivered with such clarity that it simply couldn't be defeated. If one is thinking defensively, one can't attack with this clear commitment.

Yamaoka Tesshu's sword style, the Mu To Ryu, supposedly had no defensive techniques for this reason. Training was all about attack, attack, attack, until ones spirit was so strong that he could overwhelm any opponent. At that point one has developed the ability to perhaps win without fighting since any opponent would sense the clarity and strength of ones intention and decide not to attack rather than be defeated. In other words you win with the Mind. There are plenty of examples of O-Sensei doing this.

One of the things that people either misunderstand or aren't aware of is the extent to which we operate on an underlying assumption in Aikido. It's very much like Philosophy in which the Philosopher needs to start with an assumption like "Man is a rational being." in order to create a logically coherent system of thought.

In Aikido the fundamental assumption that causes most of the complex interactions between the uke and the nage is that the Uke WANTS TO LIVE THROUGH THE INTERACTION. He not only initiates the attack, but as nage adjusts, executes atemi, changes position, the uke is trained to protect himself, close his openings if possible and if not he takes his fall or accepts a lock. He doesn't force his partner into the position in which he must be debilitated to be defeated. This is, of course, an assumption and does not deal with the real life possibility that the attacker may not care if he survives the attack. As we see every day in the news it may be that the attacker merely wants to kill us and doesn’t care if he survives. In fact he might seek death and will not do anything in his own defense as long as he can take his enemy with him.

Since we aren't competing in most styles of Aikido, normally an uke gets almost no experience learning to attack by discerning when the nage is "open". If I were called on to attack Saotome Sensei I would do so whether or not he was open. Only occasionally was it considered proper to try to really get him by waiting for the true opening. Most of the time we attack even when we feel that the opening isn't really there. We come to expect that we won't hit our partners. In fact you can see this happen occasionally in which someone does succeed in striking his partner and he hurts his own hand due to incorrect striking technique. We are so used to not hitting that hitting is a surprise.

In my own training and that of my students I’ve tried to remedy this to some extent by working with the fukuro shinai. Some simple exercises in which the partner will counter you unless you attack just at the right moment. This has helped quite a bit but it is still an area in Aikido in which folks are generally weak.

So, while it is important to have a great sensitivity to the awareness of the partner, it can’t be something that conditions hesitation. The instant you commit, you are stuck with it. Even if the opponent perceives and attacks your suki you have to continue the attack. Any defense must be part of the attack or you will be defeated. The flip side of this is true as well; once we commit to a defensive move we must be fully committed or it will fail. We must be willing to step right into the oncoming attack and then execute our technique. Any thought of escape or evasion will leave us open to a counter. Even if the attacker tries to change what he is doing in mid movement, the sensitivity we re talking about is to perceive the change and cause an instant adjustment but it should not alter our commitment. This is why I believe that the kind of “sensitivity training” done by Watanabe Sensei is detrimental to developing a good martial artist.

That said, Watanabe Sensei is quite capable of doing the type of “touchless” throw which the folks on the forum have generally conceded is more real. I had the great fortune to take ukemi for him for an entire class when I visited the Honbu dojo back in the eighties. I attacked him all out and he had a wonderful time playing with me. His timing is impeccable.

Goetz Taubert
12-12-2004, 05:22 AM
There is a nice picture of Nishino (Kozo) performing a no touch throw against several "attackers" (I posted already in a former thread).

Go to

http://nishinojuku.com/english/e_keyword/e_key_top.html

and click on the bar with "taiki" to see the picture.

It's very interesting to see, that his standing postion is upright, open and extended. So he is very inviting position could be nicely and savely attacked by at least half of the group.

Greetings Goetz

senshincenter
12-12-2004, 06:35 AM
Hi George,

Thanks for replying.

Not trying to be a smart-ass, I think I can say that contrary to an earlier comment you made, there does seem to be a rationale behind "no touch" throws for you as well (i.e. we should not fault the super rationalists for holding one responsible rationally). I say that only to be able to suggest that we may simply have to agree to disagree -- that we hold two different rationales by which we come to understand what is "martial," and also by which we come to delineate "no touch" throws in one way and not another.

I think for me, at a gut level, this difference stood out early on. When you described a situation that had occurred with your student, your rationale allowed the "mystery" of the event to not only mark the validity of what had occurred but also even, in a way, to mark what all else could have occurred (meaning, how else one could have defined it) as inferior in some way. I, having had that experience several times myself (and I think we all have). Yet, by my own rationale I am pressed to understand such occurrences as those moments when a student has allowed the training culture to become subconscious and has not maintained the necessary level of self-reflection necessary to place such indoctrinations on the side of what we should not do. By my own rationale, while there may be mysteries to Aikido, while there may be things that are more than the physical world, there is no mystery that can contradict the physical world (hence why we have and offer rationales).

"No touch" throws, for me, are not martial because they exist primarily in or through the culture of Aikido. While at one time that culture may have had a great deal to do with learning curves and/or safety issues, a culture that now supports a "no touch" throw feeds its own self (and thus feeds off of its own self). By that, I mean to say, such a culture is now not only one step removed from martial reality, it is now two steps removed, and worse, it is often quite satisfied (if not more satisfied) with being removed as such. Such a culture no longer requires a martial reality to provide support -- it now supports its own self. When the training culture has reached this point, concerning "no touch" throws, it is the fulcrum (which most often is what allows for a throw to occur) of the tactical architecture, not the lever as one would think, that is not of the natural world. Touch or no touch, without the artificial fulcrum, the throw would not exist. The fulcrum is artificial because it is created by the training culture (e.g. uke's trained reaction). The fulcrum is created by a training culture that has through a lack of self-reflection come to be located in the subconscious and that from there comes to lose its sense of being artificial (of being cultural) and thus comes to be experienced as "real." This process, which we must be on guard against, is a natural occurrence whenever one adopts (which one must) a training method. Hence, it is what we must be on guard against -- in my opinion. Folks ranging from Bruce Lee to the Ch'an masters of old have offered this caveat.

As a training culture comes to relate to its own self more directly than it does to the martial reality it was supposed to abstractly represent, our practicality in that reality is exponentially reduced ad infinitum. For example, because there exists a great intimacy between the lever and the fulcrum, once the fulcrum is artificially created, the lever need not be real either (hence what I described in an earlier post regarding the Aikikai Doshu). For me, what keeps this process unnoticed, what allows us not to follow the ancient caveats that accompany training with forms, are things like the positing of mysteries that are supposed to be beyond the physical world (i.e. the physical sciences), and/or (worse) in contradiction of the physical world. (i.e. see the link provided above on "taiki")

For me, there seems to be a way to create training cultures that can abstractly represent things like martial reality without having such cultures come to dominate and then negate that reality. In particular, there seems to be a way for us to make our own fulcrums as is martially intended and necessary without entering into the cultural act of discovering how we can generate fulcrums without realizing we are generating them ourselves. For me, the things we would want to acquire through our training, like the aforementioned sensitivity, must come more from that martial reality than they do from a training culture -- otherwise they are not real -- not real in the sense of not be applicable outside of the training culture. As an example, please see the following clip.

Many folks pass under that arm in Tsuki Tenchi-Nage. In fact, many of my students try to pass under that arm themselves. If they pass under it completely, by my rationale, they are sensitive to the training culture but not the martial reality that is supporting that training culture. If they hit my arm and get knocked out, they will still fall (since the fulcrums and levers are created by my person and the architecture I am employing), but they will equally not be sensitive to that martial reality that is supporting a training culture; they will merely be a victim of that support the martial reality is offering to the training culture. But if they commit to their attack as fully as the architecture is allowing, if they open up to the fulcrum that is being located in their center, and if they sense when Yang can no longer be Yang, but is now Yin, then they are developing a sensitivity that is more martial than cultural. Hence, when my students dive under my arm before the fulcrum is created in their center via my te-sabaki and tai-sabaki (i.e. the inside koshi), I say, "Nope, too early." By my rationale, I do not register it as a "no touch" throw. When they get hit in the face and knocked flat on their back and require that I reduce my rate and degree of penetration, I say, "Nope, too late." In this way, little by little they are calibrated to a level of sensitivity that they can actually use outside of the training culture itself. This is of course only the extension of the rationale I have chosen to adopt as my own. It's hardly universal and I do not wish to suggest it as such and/or to suggest that it should be.

http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/vids/tenchinage.html

George S. Ledyard
12-12-2004, 08:14 AM
. By my own rationale, while there may be mysteries to Aikido, while there may be things that are more than the physical world, there is no mystery that can contradict the physical world (hence why we have and offer rationales).

It is axiomatic, at least in Aikido as outlined by the Founder, that there is something beyond just the physical world hence, Body - Mind - Spirit. Science has been excellent in dealing with the first, dealing somewhat with the second and pretty much not at all with the third.

I have never suggested that any "mystery" contradicts a natural law. O-Sensei stated quite clearly that the same laws that govern the Universe govern Aikido movements. Yet right here we find one of the key elements which demonstrate the nature of the Spiritual process in Aikido. As we have already stated, it is impossible to violate a natural law. You couldn't if you wanted to. So why do we have trouble with our technique? Why isn't every throw perfect already?

It is because of our ignorance of the fact that we are already in accord with this natural law that we try to act in ways that are not. Just as in Buddhism when we talk about the fact that an individual technically doesn't get Enlightened; he is already Enlightened and it is simply his ignorance which keeps him from realizing this fact. We are absolutely and inextricably bound by the laws that govern the Universe (O-Sensei would say the Way of the Kami) but we act "as if" we weren't and this causes our difficulties. On the physical level in our technique it is the attempt to go against these laws that produces resistance in a technique. Where does the impetus to go against these laws come from? it is the Mind / Spirit. The Mind / Spirit controls the Body. So Aikido training is really about training the Mind / Spirit as much as training the Body because it is the ignorance on this level which is causing us to be out of harmony.

If you take this into the realm of what is martial and what is not, you find that rationality has almost nothing to do with fighting. You can use rationality to design a system for training, you can use rationality to explain why and how techniques work. In the very beginning stages of training rationality is useful to understand how ones attempts at technique compare with the model being presented. But once the actual combat is on, it is virtually all intuitive rather than rational. The rational function is simply not fast enough to process at the speed required for effective action and reaction in the martial dimension.

"No touch" throws, for me, are not martial because they exist primarily in or through the culture of Aikido. While at one time that culture may have had a great deal to do with learning curves and/or safety issues, a culture that now supports a "no touch" throw feeds its own self (and thus feeds off of its own self).

I thought that I was pretty much saying the same thing as you are here, at least when I talked about the extreme version of this type of technique / ukemi done by practitioners such as Watanabe Sensei or Rev Kiochi Barrish.

But in the form of "touch-less throw" as I was taught by Saotome Sensei it is simply a matter of fly or be hit. Yes, that is a response which pretty much exists within Aikido (although you'd find that the Systema folks do get this concept and use it extensively) but that doesn't mean it isn't martial. I fact, I would say that in my experience, the folks that train this way are amongst the most martially oriented of the Aikido people I encounter.

We take the fall when our partner owns the space into which we need to move in order to complete our attack. There's nothing mysterious here in terms of concept. It allows my partner to be very martial and run the energy of a technique as a strike without my getting injured. What can be mysterious is the level of connection required to be able to consistently do this. Ki musubi is not a scientific concept which can be measured. It can only be experienced by the partners although an experienced onlooker can perceive it as well as in Rocky's recounting of the Kendo match.

I am not at all saying that rationality isn't important in our training. I think I am one of the more analytical teachers I know. I have fairly detailed explanations for all sorts of processes which govern the interactions between the partners / opponents in our art. It's just that, as in Buddhism, these explanations are on some level just Upaya. They help us to point our training in the right direction and to repeatedly double check to see if the direction is correct but they ultimately don't have much at all to do with the "doing" aspect of the art. There is much in this realm that can be experienced as wondrous and mysterious without any implication that what we are talking about is irrational or counter-rational; it's just non-rational.

senshincenter
12-12-2004, 10:01 AM
I can see what you are saying. I've seen the ukemi you describe; I've even been trained to take it as well. However, where I'm at now, I'm very critical of this type of ukemi (and thus this type of nage), because of how much it relies upon Aikido culture. It is an ukemi that provides more than it receives and not just in some cases, but in all cases.

For me, the relationship between a provided fulcrum and weak levers is too statistically inter-related to dismiss and to then go on saying that some folks that do no-touch are wrong and others are okay (by the same standards). Now I'm not saying you are suggesting that, however I am saying that for many folks (even very high ranking teachers) the sensitivity you are describing only masks a great ruse we should be concerned with uncovering (see last post). The practical end result of the ruse in the cases you are holding up is that most often folks go flying when in fact nage lacks the necessary base of support, the necessary body alignment, the necessary back-up mass, the necessary depth of penetration, etc., (according to nearly every other martial art and/or fighting system the world over) to create any kind of geometry or physical conditions for falling and/or flying topsy-turvy. While the rhetoric is rightly posited as "move out of the way or get hit" the reality of the situation actually warrants "why not get hit -- who cares if you smack me with that little back of hand wrist flip?" These back of the hand wrist flips are not being done only by low ranking practitioners. Nor are they only being done by the high-ranking teachers mentioned thus far in the thread. They are being done by a great many high ranking teachers who are spouting "move out of the way or get hit." In those cases, it is offered as a warning toward self-preservation -- only it's not the body that is being preserved -- it's the delusion that one actually had a reason to get out of the way. Now, I am positive that this is not your Aikido, but surely you must see that your exact discourse is the same exact discourse that folks of this nature make use of. Why or how does that happen (rhetorical question)? Because of how easily it lends itself to a lack of unaccountability. Where does that come from (rhetorical question)? It comes from positions that hold that there is something "beyond." To be sure, there is, there has to be -- that's why we train. However, when you say that fighting has almost nothing to do with rationality, and though I know you mean to speak of the experience itself, you are saying the same exact thing as the person that also means to say that a fight takes place beyond the physical world and our physical understanding of that world. Here when you write the following, again I know you are speaking of the in-the-moment experience:

"The most perfect Aikido technique I ever did was during a randori with the teens in my advanced kids class. I had just thrown one uke and I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye as another uke came in from my blind side. I spun, raising my hands towards what I sensed would be his center. My hands didn't touch him or if they did it was so light I didn't feel it. The next thing I knew my uke was flying horizontally past me it eye level and landed quite a ways away. I looked at him and asked "What was THAT?" He replied that he had absolutely no idea what had just happened. Niether did I."

But it SOUNDS LIKE someone that is suggesting that such an event occurred outside of a physical geometry of falling. But we know why he fell/flew. He had momentum,/inertia, a lever was made use of, a fulcrum was present, his line of gravity traveled outside of his base of support, etc. -- he fell/flew. Once you have this, the rest is easy, isn't it? I mean, of course, we are not always aware of everything we do under spontaneous conditions, but we should be able to analyze the situation enough to determine whether we threw our uke or whether they threw themselves -- whether what happened was martial (real) or whether it was cultural. For me, at such times, it is not required that I start speaking about the limitations of the physical world or our experience of the physical world, or our perception of the physical world -- though to be sure these things are all relevant. It's just that they are not thereby impotent; such that I am left only with a mystery and a wide open door for uke that do more providing then receiving.

It's just a training slant -- my position. Thank you for bothering to reply.

Rocky Izumi
12-12-2004, 10:44 AM
Thanks. George. I understand your point, and it is well taken.

I also so David's point but don't necessarily agree.

By the way, the answer to my questions were no, no, no, and no. I believe that martiality is in the spirit or the practice and not in the intent of practice. A martial spirit is like my Kendo student who came to me with hydrocephalus and spina bifida to an extremen degree so that he could not walk normally. He practiced with a martial spirit so that now you wouldn't know of his "disabilities" and coaches kendo for a girl's school in Okinawa. A martial spirit is like that of my son who practiced his cuts until the skin of his hands all pealed off and only stopped to ask if he was doing it right and have me yell at him to clean up the floor of his blood before some slipped on it. A martial spirit is like one of my students who did his gokkyu test after I immobilized one arm that had just been broken during practice, and passed. A martial spirit is like that of the young girl I watched doing Cha-no-yu serenly for a large public demonstration only to learn that she had broken her foot the day before.

You can take any one of these people and if you attack them you will never defeat them -- kill them maybe -- but not defeat them. That is, to me, martial spirit. And it is training for that martial spirit which makes an art martial. To me, it doesn't matter if the training is Kendo or Aikido or Cha-no-Yu or Ikebana. That is why for the samurai, Bun-Bu-Ryodo, was important. It didn't matter if the training was of the fine arts. If that training was done with a martial spirit, for them, it was still part of their martial training.

I think where George and I ended up getting confused with each other is that in my dojos, I expect nage to initiate all attacks, at least after Nikkyu level. So, for Shomenuchi Ikkyo, Nage initiates by attacking with Shomenuchi and continues (henkawaza) to Ikkyo. The same goes with most of the techniques. This may be an anathema to some of you more polite people but sorry, that is the way my Shihans taught me and expect me to grade anyone in the higher Yudansha levels (Sandan and Yondan). Either nage initiates or it is done as ai-uchi so that nage is not sitting there waiting for an attack. Sometimes the attack is only in spirit and not in body so it may look like uke is attacking first but nage is still initiating so that uke MUST attack or respond in some other way. Rather than waiting to control after uke has started, nage begins before uke can think -- Katsu Haya Hi -- and is still susceptible to attack. If uke is good, they will try and attack before nage. It then becomes a battle of spirits to see whose is stronger. If they are equal, it should end up in ai-uchi.

Granted, it is difficult for mudansha and impossible for shoshinsha to practice this way so, in the beginning, allow them to have the uke attack and nage defend. This is just kata training, not waza training. As you learn and strengthen both your reading of and use of your ki, you can then get into waza training (I think in what Larry Camejo and others call randori practice -- not the way I use the term but sounds okay to me).

What others consider martial training may be different and I am willing to accept that. I also understand that many others would never have nage attack (I've been criticised in my own Federation and own ryu for that but I take my orders from my Shihan, not my federation). It all depends on how you look at Aikido and what you want from it. That is the wonderfulness of having so many different style, instructors, ryus, and whatnot -- requisite variety. You can choose what type of Aikido you want by changing jobs and moving to a place where you can practice the way you want and what you want. Yes, I have heard there are people who have said "I can't move because I have a job and a family here." This is always the problem isn't it? To balance your life and needs? Time to make choices.

Rock

JasonFDeLucia
12-12-2004, 07:40 PM
I've experienced the "no- touch" throw. Frequently.... Having someone closeline you during a "freight-train" iriminage is not something you'd care to repeat. Was that "ki" I felt, as I took ukemi rather than the envisioned trachiotomy, or just body-memory? I can tell you it sure isn't a pre-concieved reaction to the technique. But he didn't touch me - and I flew.
yes i'll bet you find in randori as the match wears on the frequency a lead reaction of this type spontaneously appears due to consistantly deepening the angle of entry coupled with involuntary reflex .people who see the films of mr.ueshiba and think it's fake just don't understand.

bryce_montgomery
12-14-2004, 03:29 PM
Tohei Sensei was traveling by train with some students. I gather the trip got a little tedious and people were looking for things to do. Tohei Sensei walked in on one enterprising student who was sitting quietly at a table staring at a soda can....My hand moved because of my ki and moved the can.", replied Tohei and walked away.

Thank you.

Dario Rosati
12-14-2004, 05:41 PM
I've experienced the "no- touch" throw.

Quoting others, you've experienced no thouch ukemi... not a "throw".
If you think ki or whatever leads to no touch throws, you should consider the fact that any inanimate object would have ki because can "throw" you with no touch... but inanimate objects haven't ki.
Haven't you ever avoided a colliding object by pure reflexes "throwing" yourself on the ground or on the side? You don't need to be trained in aikido to try do that, or to be aware of concepts about ki.
When a certain level of speed/danger is involved, your brain didn't care if the object is a tori or a falling rock or a cruising vehicle... you simply (try) to dodge, even falling, if necessary, because in the end, you want to preserve yourself, aikidoka or not.

Plus, as you said, you're trained and are a thinking being, not an inanimated object... and expected what was coming, more or less.
A "no touch throw" would be invariant by who or what is thrown... and so a new counterexample is born: take an untrained person or an unanimated object, and no matter tori's rank/ki level, he will collide with "uke".

That's all... unless you do a fallback on a semantic or philosophical level of what is ki as said by others... and I think the Toei story whipes out any doubt: ki moves your body, and YOUR BODY makes uke's body slam himself into the mat, touch or no touch, exactly as an incoming 1000 tons rock would, touch or no touch.

All, of course, IMHO; I feel ki exists, but it is nowhere near to a thing able to "throw" anything. Bodies throw bodies, period; and since a body can throw himself... the "magic" is explained :)

Bye!

P.S.

Why everyone has

Re: Sensei is a nutball and I had enough.

in the subject? :D A subliminal message? ;)

csinca
12-14-2004, 06:12 PM
I just fell out of my chair, did one of you guys throw me?

NagaBaba
12-14-2004, 10:18 PM
Oh my god. I couldn't imagine that in XXI c. there are ppl who still believe in No Touch Throws. Is it kind of religion? You believers go against any boxer and try throwing him like that. He has very martial reactions. He is very sensitive. He knows perfectly all kind of timings, changing distance, and how to protect himself. He is your perfect uke. Don't need to develop hyper sophisticated theories. Just do it physically on him. Don't be shy, hit him with all your KI power, this guys are use to get hit to the face. They are real deal. Simply go to nearest gym and ask for sparring.

After, when you wake up from KO, think about your KI power.

Rocky Izumi
12-14-2004, 10:37 PM
Oh my god. I couldn't imagine that in XXI c. there are ppl who still believe in No Touch Throws. Is it kind of religion? You believers go against any boxer and try throwing him like that. He has very martial reactions. He is very sensitive. He knows perfectly all kind of timings, changing distance, and how to protect himself. He is your perfect uke. Don't need to develop hyper sophisticated theories. Just do it physically on him. Don't be shy, hit him with all your KI power, this guys are use to get hit to the face. They are real deal. Simply go to nearest gym and ask for sparring.

After, when you wake up from KO, think about your KI power.

Interesting idea. Back when I boxed a lot and coached boxing, I used to have my sparring partner jab me in the forehead about 30-50 times to train myself and the people I coached to not flinch and not instinctively close our eyes when the hit came. That way, we would block and counter, rather than flinching or accidentally back away from the attack. Even though I don't go on one side or the other of this interesting argument, I have to point out from experience that you have to train yourself to not react from a punch or even a threat of a punch by trying only to to evade or block but to evade/block and counter. I am afraid that this one example doesn't really cut the mustard regarding involuntary reaction to a threat of a strike. It is the training that allows the boxer to not react to only evade/block a punch but to evade/block and counter. That 30-50 consecutive jabs in the forehead really helps to retrain yourself to react differently. But then, that may be the reason I now see double all the time and can't remember my kid's names very well. Uh, what were we talking about anyway?

Who am I? Where am I? What am I doing here?

The punch drunk Rock
Who needs rum?!!! I'm drunk already!

bryce_montgomery
12-15-2004, 12:07 AM
I just fell out of my chair, did one of you guys throw me?

My bad :D *snickers as he starts his onslaught*

Couldn't resist... :rolleyes:

Bryce

mriehle
12-15-2004, 01:22 AM
Okay, so I've experienced this No Touch Aikido stuff. Heck, I've even done it a couple of times. The problem is that to a lot of people "No Touch" means "No Connection". No Connection Aikido just isn't possible. Really. It won't work. It can't. It would violate all kinds of natural laws.

But a connection can be made without touching.

I think George Ledyard hit it on the head when he was talking about assumptions. No touch throws rely on uke being very focused on his "task". When I've succeeded in throwing someone using something like this it was because they were so focused on the attack that I just lead them right into falling. Any no touch Aikido works on the assumption that uke is that focused.

An attacker may well be that focused. Really. I don't think it's a great idea to count on it. But I do think it's a good idea to be able to take advantage of it when it happens. IME, the attacker who is that focused tends to be someone who is very invested in the attack on some emotional level (usually anger) and isn't considering consequences. They also, IME, are often people you don't really want to allow the opportunity to get a good grasp of any kind on you.

An attacker may not be that focused. If the attacker is looking for openings in your technique to take advantage of, you're probably not going to be doing no touch throws without a healthy helping of dumb luck. Well, the caveat there is that you could still lead them into falling by giving them the appearance of an opening to follow. Maybe. If they catch on, though, you're in trouble.

Regardless, no lead is possible if nage hasn't allowed a connection. Or made one. Timing matters, spacing matters, attitude matters. Connection matters.

You can split hairs and say "this is not a throw", but even a lot of touching throws in Aikido are more about leading the person into a fall than pushing or pulling them down. It's a fairly picayune difference IMO.

Now, all this being said, I've seen some no touch "throws" that were definitely not throws at all. Hypnotism, maybe. I could buy that under the circumstances. But there was no other connection involved. No leading anyone into falling.

Part of the problem with this stuff is that there is subtle psychology involved as well as physics. That makes it possible for charlatans to fool people for a while, sometimes. It also makes it possible for honest people to fool themselves. Heck, even when we get it right I think it's pretty easy to get lazy and lose the "touch" without even realizing it's happening.

George S. Ledyard
12-15-2004, 03:59 AM
Oh my god. I couldn't imagine that in XXI c. there are ppl who still believe in No Touch Throws. Is it kind of religion? You believers go against any boxer and try throwing him like that. He has very martial reactions. He is very sensitive. He knows perfectly all kind of timings, changing distance, and how to protect himself. He is your perfect uke. Don't need to develop hyper sophisticated theories. Just do it physically on him. Don't be shy, hit him with all your KI power, this guys are use to get hit to the face. They are real deal. Simply go to nearest gym and ask for sparring.

After, when you wake up from KO, think about your KI power.

Of course, when you have done such a good job training yourself not to respond to taking a hit, then let's assume the strike could be a shot to the throat or a thrust to the eyes. Perhaps the hand has a knife in it... Things get alot different when you can't afford to take even one "hit"..

All this "no holds barred" "reality fighting" is sport, no more realistic than what we do in Aikido. When you take out the potentially deadly component of Budo in order to make fighting in to a sport, you necessarily give an advantage to folks who are stronger and who can absorb more punishment.

Try training with some knife fighters... they are far more responsive and fluid. Folks who take great pride in how hard it is to throw them are dead in a real martial encounter.

The one touch throw isn't some sort of magic., it's an ukemi choice. It allows nage to play with some potentially injurious atemi waza and not hurt the uke. It's about pointing out an opening, or suki, but having the result be something more positive than smashing someones face in. It's a perfect example of taking something destructive and changing it to something creative and beneficial and that makes it good Aikido.The "touchless throw" is a form of very fast and energetic communication between the uke and the nage and has almost nothing to do with "fighting". Someone wants to fight, I'll be happy to execute the "with touch throw" on their face. But as part of the practice of the art, I'll stick to the less rough version.

Goetz Taubert
12-15-2004, 03:53 PM
"Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
Oh my god. I couldn't imagine that in XXI c. there are ppl who still believe in No Touch Throws. Is it kind of religion?"

Yes it is a religion!
For devotional picture please got to
http://nishinojuku.com/english/e_keyword/e_key_top.html

klick on "Taiki"
and wait for the picture zoom up.

Amen

Goetz

senshincenter
12-15-2004, 04:19 PM
"it's an ukemi choice" and "part of the practice of the art"


I think this is the point I was attempting to make (i.e. that such “throws” are cultural/that's its a training slant or a training perspective). I am sorry George but I am not sure how these two quotes fit in with the rest of the posts you made in this thread. Perhaps you can demonstrate the consistency I seem to be missing a bit more.

As for it being a training slant: Not everyone trains like this - a lot of folks think one should, a lot of folks think one shouldn't. Some folks take it to the “extreme,” some folks make allowances for some versions of this, etc. However, when such “throws” occur, there is no big mystery at work. They do not occur because of some mystery that lays outside of the choices we ourselves make in regard to how we construct our training cultures. That said, while a lot of folks would say that a "no touch" throw is a form of "very fast and energetic communication," I would like to remind us of the obvious: making contact (in contrast) does not mean that one no longer has a very fast and energetic form of communication. We make contact all the time in Aikido training and energetic communication or connection is always an assumed ideal of that type of training. So why choose no contact over contact? What is the supposed advantage of choosing that type of training over contact training? In answering that, I think we have to allow that training will most likely have to include both – but that we should place dominance upon having contact, that “no contact” should be something like the “lesser of two evils.” I think this is a stark difference to upholding “no touch” as some sort of ideal and/or as some sort of apex of the art, of Budo, of aiki, of spiritual realization, or of any other like category we wish to honor.

Also, let us not forget that training need not only take place at the extremes of touch. We do not have to force ourselves to train only at the level of having no contact or at a level of where we knock our uke out (i.e. unconscious) via an atemi. There is a lot of middle ground in between in which to work - ground upon which the art and our practice can thrive as it comes to firmly embed itself in a sense of reality that is more marked by clarity than by concessional and/or sympathetic (in the Frazerian sense) logic.

To save folks an extra step, I’ll repost the links here:

In this first case, I am attempting to provide an example of where contact is made but no one is knocked out. For me, this is the middle ground I attempt to stay in – that space between actually fighting and merely having a cultural experience. It is the last rep in the clip – the Tenchi Nage executed against the Gedan Tsuki – where I attempt to demonstrate this middle ground.

http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/vids/tenchinage.html

I offer the following clip as an example of choosing the “lesser of two evils.” In the practice, I am forced to choose between puncturing my uke or not working on the correct space/time of using uke’s inertia to feed the generated force at the end of my jo. In this training session, I felt it beneficial to have uke get the target out of the way while I worked on the correct timing for maximum force at impact (i.e. striking uke in the midst of his attack – not after its completion). However, as you can read in the clip description, the back breakfall is totally understood as a training allowance. It is not a throw. And even though it is an expected allowance (since we are doing Kihon Waza), I do not take advantage of it by adopting a physical architecture that could not support a full penetration of a real target. Still, deep down, I hated training that way, and I had to “bark” at my students so that they do not disengage from their attack too early (and thus deliver no forward momentum and/or penetration in their jo tsuki). This I do/did because I felt we were treading off what is ideal, we were solely in the desert of limited possibilities concerning how to confront the realities of what we are doing (martial) with the realities of training (learning/studying).

http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/vids/kaeshiuchi.html

Mark Jakabcsin
12-15-2004, 04:54 PM
Ki - not sure what that is, nor do I spend any time thinking about it. Heck it doesn't even belong in this discussion in my opinion.

No touch throws - happen, on occassion. Reaction to a perceived force or threat, followed by a counter reaction when the orginal perceived threat is realized to not exist, this creates a chain reaction of events which CAN weaken uke to the point of falling or the simple addition of another perceived threat to knock him to the ground without touch. No big deal, although not easy nor reliable. Note the reaction and counter reactions become larger and more violent the more dangerous the encounter, hence the problem with training these in the sterile safe dojo. Likewise this illustrates the importance that when creating a threat or force you wish uke to perceive, it MUST be a REAL, although at a speed and angle that allows uke to perceive the threat/force and react. Note, if/when uke doesn't react the threat/force should physically affect uke, i.e. he doesn't move he gets hit, if that was the threat. Waving a hand in uke's face isn't a real threat, it's simply a wave.

One of the biggest problems with this type of work is that not everyone perceives a threat/force the same way, nor do they react to a threat/force the same way, hence it can get a little tricky.

In short this type of work is interesting to play with because it helps one understand how the attacker's mind and body work/link and how to manipulate that link. This knowledge is directly related to the hands on techniques of aikido and other MA's. Understand how to create a chain reaction in uke and you have found a big key to understanding how to move someone.

mark j.

kironin
12-15-2004, 05:35 PM
To save folks an extra step, I'll repost the links here:

In this first case, I am attempting to provide an example of where contact is made but no one is knocked out. For me, this is the middle ground I attempt to stay in -- that space between actually fighting and merely having a cultural experience. It is the last rep in the clip -- the Tenchi Nage executed against the Gedan Tsuki -- where I attempt to demonstrate this middle ground.

http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/vids/tenchinage.html

I offer the following clip as an example of choosing the "lesser of two evils." In the practice, I am forced to choose between puncturing my uke or not working on the correct space/time of using uke's inertia to feed the generated force at the end of my jo. In this training session, I felt it beneficial to have uke get the target out of the way while I worked on the correct timing for maximum force at impact (i.e. striking uke in the midst of his attack -- not after its completion). However, as you can read in the clip description, the back breakfall is totally understood as a training allowance. It is not a throw. And even though it is an expected allowance (since we are doing Kihon Waza), I do not take advantage of it by adopting a physical architecture that could not support a full penetration of a real target. Still, deep down, I hated training that way, and I had to "bark" at my students so that they do not disengage from their attack too early (and thus deliver no forward momentum and/or penetration in their jo tsuki). This I do/did because I felt we were treading off what is ideal, we were solely in the desert of limited possibilities concerning how to confront the realities of what we are doing (martial) with the realities of training (learning/studying).
http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/vids/kaeshiuchi.html


With all due respect, because I do respect that you put video examples up about what you are talking about, but what you are discussing here and what is shown in the videos has just about zero relevance to actual no-touch throws.

neither the middle ground or bailing out early (and in the second video - frame by frame - uke is clearly falling away as nage is drawing the jo backwards) will give you any clue. I would hate training that way too. To be clear, this first clip is pretty standard decent stuff I see people doing in aikikai dojos and nage has nice crisp movement with his jo. But none of it approaches the kind of training needed to get the timing and engagement needed to bring off an honest no-touch throw so I am not at all surprised by the scepticism exhibited on this thread.

senshincenter
12-15-2004, 06:30 PM
Mark – I think this is a very good point:

"One of the biggest problems with this type of work is that not everyone perceives a threat/force the same way, nor do they react to a threat/force the same way, hence it can get a little tricky."

Craig -

Thanks for replying. That was my point though in the second clip. I was not trying to suggest that what was on the second clip (i.e. Kaeshi-uchi) was a “no touch” throw. Quite the opposite, I was saying that what was on the video was NOT a no touch throw - that it was not a throw at all - that it was just my uke trying not to get hit in the ribs by the jo.

The "middle ground" that I suggested was possible is seen in the last rep of the first clip - in the Gedan Tsuki Tenchi Nage. I suggest it is a middle ground because I'm making contact with my right arm at uke's face (vs. no contact) but uke is not being knocked out because through ukemi he is disseminating much of the energy away from the point of actual contact (vs. getting knocked out). I suggested it could represent a middle ground between knocking our uke out and/or not touching them at all.

You are right about the skepticism though. Moreover, I concede that my own subjective experience is undoubtedly playing some sort of role in what I am thinking. I have never witnessed or experienced first hand nor heard second hand via a person I am intimate with and respect of a “no touch” throw that was not a mere product of a training culture and nothing more. So yes, that has to be playing a part in what I am saying.

One thing though - interesting point... It was Gaku Homma, in an article I read some time ago but cannot recall the title off the top of my head, who first posited the position that George gave early on in regards to folks like Watanabe (i.e. that a kind of ki/power was at work in how Watanabe got everyone to behave/respond accordingly, etc.). Homma was using this rationale as a way to more properly understand how Osensei was able to throw his uchideshi without touching them in his later years. The undertone of the article was on how these were not really throws but were really manifestations of great power and ki. So here is a guy (i.e. Homma) coming out of a training environment that today many folks look back to as the ideal of "no touch" throws and he too is having to rework an understanding of throwing, of power, and of ki, because the simple clear-cut answer and the clarity of martial reality is not working well enough semiotically. We also have the above story accredited to Tohei - a story that seems to fly in the face of at least the general public's position regarding the man and his understanding of Ki. I mention these things because while it may be the case that none of us can escape our own subjectivity, it is not a given thereby that what we have not experienced is by default legitimate, valid, or true. It may equally be that our own subjectivity has rightly pegged something as highly worthy of skepticism. I think we have to allow for both possibilities. Thanks for reminding me of the other side of things.

david

Jerry Miller
12-15-2004, 10:40 PM
OK, I have a question. Let's say that you are practicing a technique by yourself. There is no uke. Just like shadow boxing. You fall down. Is that a reversal? :confused:
:ai: :ki: :do:

NagaBaba
12-15-2004, 11:40 PM
Of course, when you have done such a good job training yourself not to respond to taking a hit, then let's assume the strike could be a shot to the throat or a thrust to the eyes.
Yeah, right. Uke is attacking by prearranged attack and you strike him to the throat or a thrust to the eyes. And of course, he has no right to strike you back, to evade/block and counter...... :(
Do you understand what do you propose? :-O

Anyway, I gave example of boxer only to illustrate, that this entire atemi thing to initiate no touch throw is silly and naive. I never thought about real fight context.

Doing action to create reaction is judo principle not aikido.

wendyrowe
12-16-2004, 05:46 AM
...You are right about the skepticism though. Moreover, I concede that my own subjective experience is undoubtedly playing some sort of role in what I am thinking. I have never witnessed or experienced first hand nor heard second hand via a person I am intimate with and respect of a "no touch" throw that was not a mere product of a training culture and nothing more. So yes, that has to be playing a part in what I am saying....

I think that's the crux of the matter right there. I'm still skeptical of some supposed "no touch throws"; but I have been on the receiving end more than once and have seen others on the receiving end of what I consider a real (pure physics, not conditioning-induced) "no touch throw." In every case, it was in randori (1 on 1) rather than ordinary practice and was definitely because of the timing and full engagement.

Example (this happened in FAR less than the time it'll take you to read it): I entered toward Sensei. He countered by coming at me with what looked like irimi nage where the arm was going to catch me across the neck. I instinctively braced myself by leaning forward (not ridiculously far, just enough to counterbalance against the force of the contact) so I wouldn't fall over backwards if it hit me before I could complete my evasive maneuver. Instead of making contact, Sensei raised his arm so it missed me by going over my head. Braced against a force that was not there, I fell forward because I lost my balance -- and I was falling before I took ukemi, so I know it wasn't that I took ukemi to avoid get clotheslined. If I hadn't leaned forward, he surely would have made contact and I surely would have fallen over backwards.

I'm sure I had the wide-eyed look of surprise I've seen on people in the same situation.

deepsoup
12-16-2004, 09:30 AM
Doing action to create reaction is judo principle not aikido.
Judo principle, aikido principle, same thing.

Sean
x

jonreading
12-16-2004, 12:43 PM
I think that you need to separate what a throw is to understand this thread. I don't believe in the "touchless throw" because it is a contradiction of terms (oxymoron). There seems to be a pretty gray area on what is considered a "throw."

To me, a throw is physically moving an object through contact; regardless of the force expended in the action. Whether a person or a sack of potatos, grab it and heave it; there you go, a good ol' fashioned throw. That said, I do believe that uke can be "thrown" without contact. To me, that kind of "throw" is more a decision by uke to reduce the possibilty of injury or to retreat from a failed encounter; ukemi.

Good uke often realize the suki exposed during an attack and protect those openings. I have seen many good uke "throw" themselves to avoid a dangerous atemi or awkward fall. To me, this is good ukewaza, but not necessarily a "throw." Sometimes, a good nage will remove all other avenues of retreat except ukemi; to me, this is good nagewaza, but not necessarily a "throw."

I think the concepts sometimes overlap and that may be the point of confusion. What do you call the result when nage does what he/she is supposed to do and uke does what he/she is supposed to do? I don't know, but I am not sure a "touchless throw" is the right term.

Bronson
12-16-2004, 02:23 PM
What do you call the result when nage does what he/she is supposed to do and uke does what he/she is supposed to do?

Let's call it Vinnie...or Gustav that's a cool name :D

Bronson

kironin
12-16-2004, 05:33 PM
Anyway, I gave example of boxer only to illustrate, that this entire atemi thing to initiate no touch throw is silly and naive.

It's only silly and naive if that's the only thing in your toolbox. All you have done is suggest what could happen if you are dealing with someone who is technically better at their game than you are at yours. :rolleyes:
I wouldn't give you any better odds of "try throwing" the boxer with an iriminage than I would a no-touch throw.

Doing action to create reaction is judo principle not aikido.

now that is silly and naive.

kironin
12-16-2004, 06:48 PM
You are right about the skepticism though. Moreover, I concede that my own subjective experience is undoubtedly playing some sort of role in what I am thinking. I have never witnessed or experienced first hand nor heard second hand via a person I am intimate with and respect of a "no touch" throw that was not a mere product of a training culture and nothing more. So yes, that has to be playing a part in what I am saying.
[/BLOCK]

I would like to point out that learning to do effective "no-touch" throws requires a heightened awareness of your training culture. It's really no different than the awareness you need to have when you are doing throws that make contact. It's a matter of degree. If success in what you are doing is a mere product of a training culture and nothing more, than in either case touch or no-touch you are still unconsciously incompetent. I would suggest that if a student doesn't believe an aikido waza works the way he is being taught he is unlikely to be willing to go through possibly very frustrating stages of learning to reach at least conscious competence in that waza. It really doesn't matter if this is ikkyo or a no-touch kokyu. A full cup prevents understanding. It is good to have skepticism because it is necessary to honest training but it's also important to keep collecting data so that growth is possible.

[BLOCK] We also have the above story accredited to Tohei - a story that seems to fly in the face of at least the general public's position regarding the man and his understanding of Ki. I mention these things because while it may be the case that none of us can escape our own subjectivity,

I have heard many versions of that story about Tohei Sensei though I admit it's the first time I have heard involving a Soda can, usually it's a salt shaker. I think Jay Gluck retells it in his book and I think Tohei Sensei retells it in his book "Aikido in daily life" top make a point. For Tohei sensei, the point is that ki flows from you when your mind and body move as one. To atempt to move something that is physical with an act that is only mental makes no sense. When your mind and body move as one, it is possible to move an inanimate object only by physcial contact because it has no mind. But for a human being to do this requires coordination of the mental with the physical. When your mind and body move as one, it is possible to throw a human being by making contact with and leading their mind via their senses. It may or may not involve the sense of touch.

escape you own subjectivity to what ? where ? I doubt that's possible.
One time you make contact and with no effort uke flys away as a result of your mind and body moving as one, another time you don't make contact and with no effort uke flys away as a result of your mind and body moving as one. A day later, what is left is memories filtered through our perseceptions.

NagaBaba
12-16-2004, 10:10 PM
Judo principle, aikido principle, same thing.

Sean
x
yes!!! Also judo, aikido, same thing. In fact, all MA same thing. http://www.sheknows.com/graphics/emoticons/clap.gif http://www.sheknows.com/graphics/emoticons/rofl3.gif http://www.sheknows.com/graphics/emoticons/rofl3.gif http://www.sheknows.com/graphics/emoticons/rofl3.gif

NagaBaba
12-16-2004, 10:21 PM
It's only silly and naive if that's the only thing in your toolbox. All you have done is suggest what could happen if you are dealing with someone who is technically better at their game than you are at yours. :rolleyes:
I wouldn't give you any better odds of "try throwing" the boxer with an iriminage than I would a no-touch throw.

Iriminage is based on physical principles. It will work on everyone, regardless of his psychical conditioning. No touch throw will work only on aikidoka who is drilled to tank, to throw himself. No other person, out of aikido dojo(new age aiki fruity dojo) will do it. http://sheknows.com/graphics/emoticons/santa1.gif

George S. Ledyard
12-16-2004, 11:45 PM
I don't know what folks thought the "no touch throw" was but it has nothing to do with fighting other than the same timing and spacing as needed to deliver an effective strike. David's point that it has to do with conditioned response on the part of the uke is absolutely correct. Is that a problem? Did someone think they were going to throw car jackers and muggers with a "no touch" throw? Of course it only works with a trained uke.

The no-touch throw is part of the art of Aikido as done by the Founder. O-Sensei used it, Osawa sensei did, the Ni Dai Doshu did, Yamaguchi Sensei did... the two Tenth dans from our tradition did (Tohei and Hikitsuchi Sensei). My own teachers do. I think I'll base my idea of what Aikido technique is and is not on these "Aiki Fruities". I figure I'm in good company.

senshincenter
12-17-2004, 03:16 AM
Well in the end, regardless of what one ends up doing or not doing, I think it is a good thing and a good time when training slants come together and rub shoulders. So I would just like to say thanks to all involved - Thank you.

david

PeterR
12-17-2004, 03:24 AM
Well Sean grew up in the Shodokan family. He can't help but express Tomiki's views especially with regard to Judo and Aikido. It really does make a lot of sense when you read the articles and study the system.
yes!!! Also judo, aikido, same thing. In fact, all MA same thing. http://www.sheknows.com/graphics/emoticons/clap.gif http://www.sheknows.com/graphics/emoticons/rofl3.gif http://www.sheknows.com/graphics/emoticons/rofl3.gif http://www.sheknows.com/graphics/emoticons/rofl3.gif

maikerus
12-17-2004, 03:39 AM
I don't know what folks thought the "no touch throw" was but it has nothing to do with fighting other than the same timing and spacing as needed to deliver an effective strike. David's point that it has to do with conditioned response on the part of the uke is absolutely correct. Is that a problem? Did someone think they were going to throw car jackers and muggers with a "no touch" throw? Of course it only works with a trained uke.

Back at the beginning of this thread I argued that it was a mistake to call this a no-touch-throw because throwing wasn't involved, but it was a matter of reflex akin to jumping out of the way of a speeding car.

People said that that argument was "just semantics" and that *everyone* understood that it was based on guiding and reflex and making uke believe they were going to be hit and it was nothing mystical.

However, I think in this case it might be important to consider semantics and to rethink the name of this phenomon. If word gets out to the uninitiated out there that we can do no-touch-throws then they *will* think that we do mean that we can "throw car jackers and muggers with a 'no touch' throw". Sometimes we have to consider who we are communicating to and what the words we use will mean to them.

Amongst ourselves, if we agree that a no-touch-throw is a throw using a conditioned reflex on the part of uke so that they fall without us physicall touching them...that's okay. But lets not call it a no-touch-throw to the media or someone else who isn't in the know.

And if this is what we all agree a no-touch-throw is, then what do we tell the people who say they can feel the ki coming off a clenched fist and that's why they fall?

Language is a difficult enough way of communicating without specifically defining terms that have many interpretations.

Just a thought,

--Michael

Bronson
12-17-2004, 04:08 AM
what do we tell the people who say they can feel the ki coming off a clenched fist and that's why they fall?

Tell 'em it's just Gustav :D

Bronson

happysod
12-17-2004, 05:10 AM
Bronson, I think you're being sexist - I prefer Lucy. The you could have terminology such as "I've been Lucyed", "I did a good Lucy yesterday" etc. Much more in keeping with my aiki-fruity ways I feel.

Michael, I can see your point about semantics, but if you head down the root of trying to have all terminology transparent to the totally clueless, you'll just end up with a rather clunky and inelegant dictionary (which will have numerous abridged/different versions depending on the dojo)

While I'm all for describing terms if asked, I see no reason to change how I say something for the theoretical outsider to aikido. If someone isn't even interested enough to ask the obvious questions, I'm not really going to factor them into my thoughts.

kironin
12-17-2004, 07:28 AM
David's point that it has to do with conditioned response on the part of the uke is absolutely correct. Is that a problem? Did someone think they were going to throw car jackers and muggers with a "no touch" throw? Of course it only works with a trained uke.

This is where I fundamentally disagree.

If we had a long discussion on this, I think it would come down to that I really don't make a distinction between touch and no-touch. I am connecting and leading the uke/attackers mind in either case. If actual physical contact is made is not really material to me as long as the result is the same. I have engaged them in movement that results in loss of balance.

From my point of view to say no-touch only works with a trained uke is ultimately saying all aikido waza only works with a trained uke. The principles are not changed only the probability of no contact occurring changes outside the dojo, but then so does the probability of any waza happening the same way as it occurs in the dojo.

I appreciate David and others who are willing to at least have a discussion.

As to being greatly concerned about what the public thinks, well the media is hardly beating down my door. There was a silly show recently. I think it was Buffy the vampire slayer rerun where she was being tested on her Aikido and Jujutsu moves, what followed was all punch/kick bad kung fu.
Given that level of confusion, I am not going to lose sleep over terminology. All terminology requires explanation in the context of training. Those looking for the mystical are going to find some group that will give it to them be it Yellow Bamboo or the guy in China Bill Moyer's devoted a show to or something else.

NagaBaba
12-17-2004, 09:15 AM
Is that a problem?
Yes, it is. Tori doesn’t need to have ANY skills, he will simply put hand in front of uke face, from any distance, and uke will fall down like crazy. Why study complicated aikido techniques 30 or 50 years?

The no-touch throw is part of the art of Aikido as done by the Founder.
So any fresh beginner 5 th kyu can throw like that 6 th dan? Or 1 dan will do his randori against 10-20 attackers and throw them without touching?

These are results of your approach. I think that common sense and credibility aikido as MA is lost somewhere.

MaryKaye
12-17-2004, 12:26 PM
So any fresh beginner 5 th kyu can throw like that 6 th dan? Or 1 dan will do his randori against 10-20 attackers and throw them without touching?

Isn't this a bit of a straw man? I mean, I don't hear any of the practicioners who argue that no-touch throws exist arguing that they require no skill or training--quite the reverse. Are you arguing with someone else who's not here?

In our last seminar the seminar sensei unexpectedly put a no-touch into a series of touch throws and his uke fell. He showed what he'd done and asked us to try. I had the same uke to work with, conditioned reflexes and all. I tried to do the same moves, and I was not very successfull (one maybe and a lot of definite no's). It was clear from sensei's and my partner's commentary that there were a number of deficiencies in my technique--same as my touch throws.

The two things my teachers have consistently said are "This is hard" and "Don't count on it in a fight." No claims of martial effectiveness. We practice them because they offer some insight into timing, projection, and connection, and I think that's true.

I'm reluctant to not call them "throws" because the dividing line can be so thin. In Mary Heiny sensei's recent seminar she was doing the same move over and over, but due to differences in uke's speed and energy it was sometimes touching him and sometimes not. The dynamic looked, to my novice eyes, extremely similar both ways. I think you would need calipers to say for sure which were which; and is there really that much difference between a "touch" throw that involves fleeting fingertip contact and a "no-touch" throw? So it seems unreasonable to me to insist that they have different terms. I am not going to say to Heiny sensei "I'm not sure if you threw me or not." Of course she did.

And if she is an aiky-fruity it's company I would be deeply honored to keep.

Mary Kaye

senshincenter
12-17-2004, 06:13 PM
This may be a new thread – sorry if we all end up thinking that…

Well George and Mary have both offered the supporting position of "being in good company." It is a reasonable viewpoint (at least at a common sense level – which is an important level of understanding), and it is definitely part of traditional martial arts training. That is to say, the defaulting of one's own position to a place of doubt, skepticism, or to a place of withholding, etc., for the sake of adopting and/or reflecting upon the viewpoint of one deemed more wise, more skilled, more mature, etc., is always going to be a part of training in the martial arts. However, hearing this position twice here brought something to mind.

Many times in these threads we hear talk of Aikido's degeneration, etc. Usually such talks center on the issue of martial practicality - in particular, the lack thereof. As for degeneration, I think we should realize two aspects central to its probability. First, degeneration, especially in mentor-based pedagogies like Budo/Aikido, is not something that only occurs because of a lack of investment by the learning disciple. At some level, perhaps at a very significant level, the fault of degeneration rests on the mentors of such learning systems. And, second, when speaking of degeneration, we must note that degeneration must always be preceded by a source capable of such decline. When I thought about these two aspects of degeneration, I began to see the supporting positions of “good company” (i.e. mentors who function with a system that is in a state of degeneration) and of “historical precedent” as if not problematic then certainly unworthy of the a priori validity normally afforded to common sense.

For me, things become even more problematic by the fact that the latest posts that made use of the supporting positions of “good company” and of “historical precedent,” also made disclaimers that posited “no touch” throws as exempt from martial (“real” “fighting” “outside of training environments”, etc.) critiques. For me the proximity (even the discursive proximity) of mentors that may be responsible for the degeneration of the art away from martial applicability, to tactics that are historically precedent but that may very well be the potential source for a degeneration away from martial effectiveness, to disclaimers making certain tactics valid but exempt from martial criticisms, is cause for alarm – not cause to let the dust settle where it will. In other words, the proximity of these three things is more reason to ask more questions. The proximity of these things is not any kind of answer. It is not really the kind of thing needed to put this issue to rest – in my opinion.

So I went back and looked at the Asahi film of Osensei. Forgetting for the moment all the unsupportable divisions one might like to make regarding the evolution or the devolution of the art, in that film, in the body art section, Osensei only performs two clear-cut “no touch” throws. Two more are questionable – it is not clear whether contact was made. Going ahead and granting all four as “no touch” throws, these four throws occurred within an ocean of full-contact throws. Yet, today, this ratio of touch to no-touch is no longer held up by folks that comfortably practice “no touch” throws. I would suggest something has changed in the training ethos – regardless of there being historical precedent or not. People may be doing the same thing (i.e. a no touch throw), but in many other ways, people are not doing the same thing (i.e. doing way more no touch throws than full-contact throws). This latter difference may be at the heart of the art’s degeneration regarding martial applicability. Most folks that do demonstrations of “no touch” throws, in my experience, do a ratio that is quite opposite to the Osensei ratio of the Asahi film. We can even see this ratio alteration in the Osensei of later years – particularly when he was on occasion training in Tokyo (not so much when he was training in Iwama). We have to ask then: Are we putting ourselves in good company and/or demonstrating historical precedent when we do no touch throws or are we merely a cog in the overall degeneration of the art?

Another difference between the Asahi film’s “no touch” throws and the demos of today or of the older Osensei demos in Tokyo is that it is not uke that causes the miss by taking ukemi. The four no-touch throws in the Asahi film are not of the “get out of the way or get hit” type. It is clearly the case that Osensei lifts his arm well over uke’s head. In this case, we are not looking at an accidental miss on nage’s part, nor are we looking at a deviation on uke’s part. Rather, by going over the head of uke, Osensei is causing uke’s center of gravity to go up – traveling from the hara to somewhere in the upper chest. This happens because of uke’s attachment to the limb in question (for whatever reason). Being attached to the limb in question, uke follows the limb up and over his head with his gaze, then his head, then his neck, and eventually his upper chest, but he is doing this at a time that his inertia is having his lower body (i.e. the portion of his mass that is below his center of gravity) continue forward. Carry this physics through to its conclusion and eventually uke’s line of gravity falls outside of his base of support behind him – hence the back breakfall.

I would have to say that this IS a no touch throw – which is contrary to what I have been saying up to now (i.e. that no such throws exist). However, the martial effectiveness of such a throw may still lay in a training culture (which is also something I have been saying). This is because it may still be the culture that is causing the attachment to the arm that is leading uke’s center of gravity up his body, etc., to the fall. Osensei’s arm in question is pretty well telegraphed, and I’m not sure that an experienced fighter would rather choose to follow it than take advantage of the huge openings created by nage in trying to draw the attacker’s attention to it.

Let me sum things up a bit: This type throw as seen in the Asahi film is a throw. It is also a no-touch throw. Yet is it very different from any “no touch” throw I have seen at the All Japan Demonstrations, or by any high-ranking instructor (even those mentioned, Saotome, Ikeda, Aikikai Doshu, Tohei, Heiny, etc.) It is also extremely different from the “get out of the way or get hit” variations that have also been offered here in this thread. However, it is very much dependent upon uke’s attachment to the limb in question – such that he/she is neither aware of the prime opportunity for counter-attack that he/she has skipped over in favor of following the arm up and back, nor is uke aware of the continuing effect their forward inertia is having upon their equilibrium. While I can say that some attackers may very well do such a thing, it is probably true that more uke will do it than more attackers will. Maybe that is why Osensei only demonstrates it four times out of about a hundred throws.

wendyrowe
12-17-2004, 08:25 PM
...Another difference between the Asahi film's "no touch" throws and the demos of today or of the older Osensei demos in Tokyo is that it is not uke that causes the miss by taking ukemi. The four no-touch throws in the Asahi film are not of the "get out of the way or get hit" type. It is clearly the case that Osensei lifts his arm well over uke's head. In this case, we are not looking at an accidental miss on nage's part, nor are we looking at a deviation on uke's part. Rather, by going over the head of uke, Osensei is causing uke's center of gravity to go up -- traveling from the hara to somewhere in the upper chest. This happens because of uke's attachment to the limb in question (for whatever reason). Being attached to the limb in question, uke follows the limb up and over his head with his gaze, then his head, then his neck, and eventually his upper chest, but he is doing this at a time that his inertia is having his lower body (i.e. the portion of his mass that is below his center of gravity) continue forward. Carry this physics through to its conclusion and eventually uke's line of gravity falls outside of his base of support behind him -- hence the back breakfall.

I would have to say that this IS a no touch throw...

BINGO!! I'd been starting to feel like no matter what I said, people weren't going to understand the no-touch throw I described here as having experienced and seen with Sensei Jason. This is EXACTLY it! The only difference in our explanations is that David says uke's center rises because "for whatever reason" uke is "attached to the limb in question"; but when I was that uke, as I said in my description it felt like I fell backwards because I had adjusted my stance expecting to get hit by the arm that wound up missing me intentionally.

Thank you, David, for the research and detailed explanation.

senshincenter
12-17-2004, 10:11 PM
Wendy,

Yes, it was a back breakfall in the video - uke fell backwards (meaning "belly up”). What rises is uke's "center of gravity," which causes uke's "line of gravity" to move outside of uke's "base of support." Since uke's inertia is traveling forward along the sagittal plane, uke's feet eventually end up further along that plane sooner than uke's head - the result is the back breakfall. So maybe this is just what you experienced - if I understand you correctly.

More elaboration:

I feel I must point out that in the throw, uke never adjusted their stance, or their attack in an attempt not to be struck and/or to not fall. Uke's attention is clearly led upwards by nage in the attempt to make uke's center of gravity travel upwards in their body and therefore make it lag in relation to the mass that is under the center of gravity. This causes the head to pull on the feet and thus this causes the feet to lift. Gravity finishes what the rising "center of gravity" and forward inertia began - uke falls - yet uke is still traveling in his initial forward direction. For example, he doesn't step back with his foot in order to lower himself into the back breakfall - at no point is he going backwards.

In addition, I would not say that those uke felt for one second that Osensei was going to hit them with that arm. I say this because there are countless other times when Osensei creates the same physical geometry by actively striking their face and/or by placing their head through full-contact behind their feet without them flinching an inch, looking upward, and/or going backwards. They are not looking up, etc., because they are avoiding the arm – they are looking up because they are “captured” by the arm.

I imagine the throw was a throw that was based in the "ura" aspect to the standard versions of various irimi nage. I'm sure the uke were aware of such a throw and of such aspects to their training, such that they knew that it was part of their responsibility as uke to "become attached to the arm." I am not saying that their reaction was choreographed but that their attachment to the arm was culturally orchestrated. Central to that orchestration, I feel, was the fact that nage's arm is not to be touched for the throw to be successful. This I say because it is clear from a biomechanical point of view that the arm is not in an architectural position worthy of addressing uke's forward mass and/or momentum. As an "ura-aspect-based" throw, the arm is meant only to "touch" uke's attention - not uke's body. It is also meant to "touch" uke's forward inertia - which is also an "invisible" and/or "ura" energy/entity. These three things have to go together: no contact, capturing uke's attention, and the presence of forward inertia. This, in my opinion, is very different from an uke that goes under nage's arm to not get hit, etc. From what I can observe from Osensei's throw in this film, and different from what we see folks doing today, should uke make contact with nage's arm, the arm continues to lift up and over uke's head, not in order to miss, but in the sole attempt to continue to draw uke's center of gravity up by drawing his attention upward - allowing inertia and then gravity to do its thing.

As a manifestation of an ura-based-aspect of irimi nage, I imagine that the throw was marked highly by its rarity and not by its physical difficulty. Its rarity, and hence it's small ratio to other throws, comes not from how hard it is to execute the throw but from how seldom such an attacker might be allowed to have his attention drawn out thusly. The skill aspect of this throw comes not from the difficulty in generating the physical geometry but from the subtly of acquiring the equally ura aspects of being able to "read" the immaturity of an attacker's spirit and being able to capitalize upon the immaturity of the attacker's spirit spiritually. In other words, the throw requires great weakness in the attacker's spirit - or in the ura aspect of his attack. This should not be a surprising fact since any throw first requires a suki in the attack. As a physical suki creates space for a physical counter-attack (omote), a spiritual suki creates space for a ura-based counter as well. In that sense, I would testify that Osensei's uke in the video do not come in with weak spirits, so I would say that at some level, at an ura level, there is still some orchestration occurring. It occurs for the sense of fulfilling that aspect of that particular training culture. I do not think therefore that there is any mystery as far as the uke are concerned in regards to what Osensei is attempting to do and/or how or why they are falling.

This for me remains tricky ground. You of course would like to practice such things in order to acquire and capitalize upon the skills of sensing an attacker's weak spirit in such a way. However, I would suggest that there are other means where these same things can be achieved - particularly in any kind of spontaneous training environment. I would rather acquire them (i.e. addressing the attacker at the ura level of their being) there. There, the reading of uke's spirit and capitalizing of uke's spiritual weaknesses can remain martial. There, the manifestation of such things can remain viable without orchestration. There, the manifestation of such things can remain rare as their exact duplication is resisted by the specificity of their own given space and time. There, uke (one's students, my students) is being cultivated to reconcile such spiritual weaknesses so that they do not and/or cannot have their spirit so easily drawn out. For me, practicing no touch throws and feeling we are in good company and/or feeling we are allied with historical precedent because Osensei practiced such throws in this film is something I reject (personally). I can understand them, I can witness them, I can decipher the false examples from the legitimate ones, etc. Yet, here I choose to see them as something we should reject (because of how they are practiced today). Personally, I turn from this path and choose to understand it as one of the potential sources for the arts degeneration and place responsibility, not glory, upon the Founder’s shoulder’s for not getting all of his “uchideshi” to understand exactly what he was trying to do. When in his old age he let one of the current shihan (then young) go under his arm in attempt to duplicate the same throw he (i.e. Osensei) did in the Asahi film, rather than smiling and laughing and feeling invincible, he should have slapped the crap out of those uke for being so weak and shallow in their understanding of what he was doing. Wow! Can you imagine the positive effect that slap might have had in regards to Aikido's current martial status?! Camera present or not, perhaps even more important that the camera was present, he should have yelled his ass off at those guys for ducking under his arm and lowering themselves and falling backwards for no freaking reason.

That is why, for now at least, I chose to constructively admonish my students for having such a weak spirit that I would be able to lead it away from their best interest. I would not chalk such throws up to mysteries and/or to any great skill – only to great weaknesses in the spirit of my attacker. Thus it is a thing I as an instructor should work to cultivate more out of my student than I should work to capitalize upon. That way, and here's the heresay, I will do what Osensei should have done but didn't.

Sometimes, heresay can be a very positive force.

Rocky Izumi
12-17-2004, 11:00 PM
Hey, I just watched my mailbox do a no-touch throw on my mailman. After hitting the ground with his butt I ran over to see a 10 inch centipede come crawling out of the mailbox. I asked if he got bit but the mailman said it didn't touch him. Well, maybe it was the centipede and not the mailbox. It looked like the mailbox did it. Well, on the other hand, I guess the mailman was touching the mailbox. Ah, semantics are getting the better of me. So, did my mailbox throw the mailman or was it my ki from 50 feet away? Or was it the centipede that was in the box. Ah, I got it now. The centipede is the ki of the mailbox. Well, a shot of rum fixed the mailman. Fixed me too. Now to find that centipede and fix it with the rum.

Rock

MaryKaye
12-18-2004, 12:23 AM
David,

I've heard these arguments--put in their most blunt form "Your style is unmartial, therefore evil"--before, and spent some time chewing over them.

At this point they do not seem to be any use to me in improving my aikido; they're just a way for people to (try to) intimidate me away from the path and teachers I've chosen.

I'm a novice. My choice of teachers may be bad; my choice of styles may be bad. I try to deal with this by training widely so that I see the alternatives. Mary Heiny sensei, for example, doesn't teach within my tradition; I sought her out so that I could see what her aikido was like.

Of course I may be wrong to be impressed. We all know beginners are sometimes impressed by unsound flashy stuff. But ultimately I have to take responsibility for my own path, and that's going to mean testing my teachers against my own aspirations, not someone else's. Martial effectiveness narrowly defined is not my core goal. I feel afraid to say that because such statements are usually met with derision (phrases like "degeneration of aikido" come to mind) but that doesn't change the basic fact, and I am certainly not practicing with sincerity if I pretend to different goals than I really have.

Also, if I don't have enough experience to evaluate peoples' aikido when I can see, hear, and feel it, I certainly can't accurately evaluate verbal claims about what is martially effective and what is not.

So I think this is "agree to differ." And a good thing, too, because if you took out of Ki Society praxis every technique that fundamentally depends on "leading uke's mind" you wouldn't be removing just the no-touch throws but around half of the touch throws as well (thinking particularly here of shomenuchi kokyunage, our iriminage replacement and the bane of my last kyu tests). Wouldn't be much left, really.

You essentially claim "spiritual weakness" as a result of certain training methodologies, but looking at myself and my progress, looking at my fellow students and my teachers, I just don't agree.

Mary Kaye

senshincenter
12-18-2004, 02:34 AM
Hi Mary,

Thanks for replying.

Yes, I think you are right - about choosing a course of action, having one's own goals, and being responsible toward those things. I think what you wrote is very well thought out and that capacity to think things out (if you will allow me to say) will always serve you well. No need to agree with me and/or to take anything I write serious enough to question the sound wisdom you are following all on your own. Please don't take my position as in any way trying to condition your own - I'm really just thinking aloud. I think you not only have a right to disagree, but that you may actually be right in disagreeing. After all, it's your Aikido - not mine. Keep it up!

Thanks for sharing,
david

Rocky Izumi
12-18-2004, 07:42 AM
Well, I am going study under my mailbox. I was impressed with that no-touch throw. Now, all I have to figure out is how to puke up a 10 inch centipede each time someone attacks. If I could only find that centipede and pickle it in the rum here. At least the rum would make it palatable and too drunk to bite me.

Rock

arderljohn
12-18-2004, 07:38 PM
yahhhhh!!!! one big blow of opponents bad breath! yes, thats no touch throw. :D

tedehara
12-19-2004, 12:26 PM
Yes, it is. Tori doesn't need to have ANY skills, he will simply put hand in front of uke face, from any distance, and uke will fall down like crazy. Why study complicated aikido techniques 30 or 50 years?

So any fresh beginner 5 th kyu can throw like that 6 th dan? Or 1 dan will do his randori against 10-20 attackers and throw them without touching?

These are results of your approach. I think that common sense and credibility aikido as MA is lost somewhere.
From e-budo.com (http://www.e-budo.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=27463&perpage=15&pagenumber=3)
...Szczepan is a gadfly, by nature rude. But unlike other madmen we've had on these fora, he's to the point and...God love him, concise....
Welcome Szczepan to AikiWeb. Your reputation precedes you.
;)

NagaBaba
12-20-2004, 09:32 PM
Welcome Szczepan to AikiWeb. Your reputation precedes you.
;)
You know, Ted, cross posting is against netiquette :p

Bad Ted, bad.......

NagaBaba
12-20-2004, 09:38 PM
Well Sean grew up in the Shodokan family. He can't help but express Tomiki's views especially with regard to Judo and Aikido. It really does make a lot of sense when you read the articles and study the system.
I respect VERY much judo in many aspects, Peter. Also spirituel. I advice may ppl to cross train in judo.

But aikido isn't judo, apples are not oranges.

deepsoup
12-21-2004, 08:33 PM
But aikido isn't judo, apples are not oranges.
Aikido and judo are not apples and oranges.
More like Cox's and Granny Smiths. One is green and shiny, one is sort of orangey red, and at the core they're pretty much identical.

Sean
x

PeterR
12-21-2004, 10:04 PM
Aikido and judo are not apples and oranges.
More like Cox's and Granny Smiths. One is green and shiny, one is sort of orangey red, and at the core they're pretty much identical.
This ones for Szczepan - so there. :p

I'll remember that Sean. :D

xuzen
12-21-2004, 11:39 PM
Aikido and judo are not apples and oranges.
More like Cox's and Granny Smiths. One is green and shiny, one is sort of orangey red, and at the core they're pretty much identical.

Sean
x

I'll second and drink to that, Sean. Very nicely said.

Boon

batemanb
12-22-2004, 02:32 AM
From e-budo.com (http://www.e-budo.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=27463&perpage=15&pagenumber=3)

Welcome Szczepan to AikiWeb. Your reputation precedes you.
;)

He's been here a long time, that's why most of us have him on our ignore lists ;)









Just kidding :D

vvariaga
12-23-2004, 03:00 AM
i've not heard this "soda can" story before please, if you will, tell it.

batemanb
12-23-2004, 03:15 AM
It's on the first page of this thread

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=89338&highlight=tohei+ki#post89338


rgds

xuzen
12-29-2004, 02:47 AM
Hmm wrt no touch throw...

I have just watched Lord of The Ring: The Fellowship of the Ring on DVD again yesterday. In one scene Gandalf and Saruman was battling it out in The tower of Ortanc, Isengard. Gandalf was thrown repeatedly to the floor, slammed against the wall by the power of Saruman's wizadry. Can this be qualified as no touch throw on Saruman's part?

Boon.

P/S I'd vote a absolute YES that that is a classical no touch throw.

PeterR
12-29-2004, 02:52 AM
Nah Gandalf was just clumsy.

eyrie
01-05-2005, 12:43 AM
Judo principle, aikido principle, same thing.

Sean
x

Actually, that would be Newton's Law of Physics...
:straightf

purplesaxark
01-14-2005, 11:20 PM
ok, i don't know how all this messaging stuff works here but as far as no touch throws your all way off. first of all they do exist. second of all it is not at all what you think. no, nothing telekinetic. not,a forced duck out of the way is not a throw.
really, it's more of a leading their mind morw than they are aware they are being led and it takes skill. if you are running and grabbing for my hand and i can keep it just out of your grip and you get so focused on my hand that you don't even realizing you are going to lose your balance they you fall. other than that i have seen a good ,wel placed,kia or shout, halfway thru a technique buckle someone's knees. that was cool to see.that is it. don't look any further. it isn't there. sorry.

purplesaxark
01-14-2005, 11:23 PM
aikido and judo are not very much alike. they work on 2 completely different principals. if your aikido is like judo it is NOT aikido. sorry. take off the hakama and just muscle someone to the ground but don't call it aikido.!

PeterR
01-15-2005, 12:32 AM
Steven - I suggest you don't know good Judo.

mikeg
01-15-2005, 01:11 AM
aikido and judo are not very much alike. they work on 2 completely different principals. if your aikido is like judo it is NOT aikido. sorry. take off the hakama and just muscle someone to the ground but don't call it aikido.!
To quote Monty Python, "An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a definite proposition ... contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of anything the other person says."

So how are they completely different? I'm an expert in neither, but, as I understand it, aikido and judo each aim to rob an uke of stability by redirecting uke's force rather than opposing it outright. It seems to me that they'll share many principles even if they use different techniques.

mriehle
01-15-2005, 12:35 PM
it's more of a leading their mind morw than they are aware they are being led and it takes skill.

Hmmm.... :rolleyes:

Without going back through and reviewing all the messages myself I could be mistaken, but...

I'm fairly certain that I was not the only person in the thread to have said essentially this. I know that I said something like this early on in the thread. I feel like it was comments like mine that actually got this thread started as a spin-off from another thread.

:( :confused: :ai: :ki: :do:

mriehle
01-15-2005, 12:49 PM
aikido and judo are not very much alike. they work on 2 completely different principals.

So how are they completely different? [...snip...] It seems to me that they'll share many principles even if they use different techniques.

How's this for a completely ridiculous way to look at it:

You're both right and you're both wrong.

I'm not an expert in Judo, but you don't grow up with a dad like mine (who is) and not have some understanding of how Judo works.

So, they work on exactly the same principles. You know, that Newton thing someone else mentioned. Fascinating how it keeps popping up in martial arts practice. You just can't escape physics. It's almost like it's an inherent part of the universe or something.

They look and work completely differently. This is a function of technique in applying the same fundamental principles, though, and at higher levels the differences start to become increasingly obscure.

The real difference is attitude. If you believe that Judo is not about competition first and foremost you just aren't paying attention. Aikido should never be (okay, sometimes it is anyway, but let's keep things at the level of ideals here for a moment).

You're not going to see No Touch throws in Judo, because of the competitiveness. It's difficult, off the top of my head, to explain why, but it's obvious if you ever work with a reasonably accomplished judoka. A start would be that a No Touch throw does, in fact, rely on leading your partner and in a competitive situation your partner will be - by definition - on alert for that kind of leading. This is different from the so-called "street conflict" in that the more impromptu nature of the latter tends to lead to more committed, less cautious attacks that are often actually easier to defend against (although, it's not uncommon for mistakes to be more costly, knives and stuff affect this, you know).

darin
01-16-2005, 10:54 AM
Would come in handy if you have to train with a nose picker, someone who sweats like a bastard or has a cold and is coughing and sneezing all the time. Let us not forget those people who do not wash their hands after going to the toilet or have been eating and come to class with sauce all over themselves. Anyone ever met someone who does all of the above?

Derukugi
12-27-2005, 09:36 AM
"No touch throws"? If we are talking about the same footage (the clips called "Aikido classics" or something like that), he is walking around with his hand held up.

phoebus
12-27-2005, 03:19 PM
I haven't seen a no touch throw first hand so far...
Only on some videos with O-Sensei, people falling
all around, without him touching anything ;)

Derukugi
12-27-2005, 08:42 PM
Yeah. They call that "en randori" in Korindo. Everybody does ukemi, and Ueshiba stands in the middle, with his hand held up. Not to knock anything, but I can do that...
Sometimes people should tone down the hype a bit, really.

Amir Krause
12-28-2005, 10:35 AM
Yeah. They call that "en randori" in Korindo. Everybody does ukemi, and Ueshiba stands in the middle, with his hand held up. Not to knock anything, but I can do that...
Sometimes people should tone down the hype a bit, really.

Would you mind explaining the connection between "en Randori" in Korindo Aikido and a video with Ueshiba ? :confused:

It is true that while practicing "en Randori" at some stages one can sense a technique before it happens and should choose to fall rather then let tori force him down. This is a wise behavior on Uke side for this type of practice, though not for all types of practice. Since developing sensitivity is one of the purposes of "en Randori" and once you feel a technique before it is applied, one can counter it in a flowing manner rather then use force to object to it.

But the above description has nothing to do with the concept of "No Touch Throws", Tori has every intention to perform a full technique and touch Uke, Uke decides to breakfall before the touch occurs, but Uke would have to fall from the technique if he waited a moment longer.

Amir

MaryKaye
12-28-2005, 05:56 PM
My head instructor, demonstrating a point to another student, threw me tenchinage a couple of times. As near as I can work out, I managed to actually catch her hands once, and I just missed once, but the outcome was so similar that the student watching saw two instances of the same throw.

I had certainly expected to get her hands and was startled to find myself on the mat without having succeeded. I had thought of no-touch tenchinage in terms of ducking or flinching, but wasn't aware of doing so here--it was all leading.

In watching Mary Heiny sensei demonstrate I felt I was seeing the same thing--the boundary between touch and no-touch versions of the same technique was so fine that I really could not tell which was which, though presumably her uke knew.

Very cool experiences, both of them.

Mary Kaye

Ellis Amdur
12-29-2005, 08:36 PM
The problem is that aikido students are the very last to know if a "no-touch" throw works. One becomes so conditioned to taking ukemi that one reacts "as if" one has to. A year ago, I was teaching a seminar and during a break I grabbed one of the super-good uke and really started to let go. By the end, I was throwing him with my fingerprints (almost "no touch") and I was thinking, "damn I'm getting pretty good." Went back to my Araki-ryu dojo and tried the same thing, and my guy just stood there looking at me, kinda puzzled. Can a "no-touch" throw produce the same effect on someone from another fighting system, particularly one that has no ukemi similar to aikido? Or on a beginner?

Best

MaryKaye
12-30-2005, 01:32 AM
One thing with beginners, though: not only will they not flinch from a no-touch, they won't necessarily flinch (or block) from a full-on strike to the face either. Being a novice and from a schol that does not emphasize atemi, I have painfully proved this to myself many times. My Aikikai friends wonder why I let them hit me....

If the reflexes that make the no-touch throw work are the same reflexes that keep you from getting slugged when the strike is just a hair more emphatic, I'd expect the technique to work on anyone with reasonable training in not getting hit. But I am nowhere near good enough yet to experiment with this as nage. My practical research is limited to taking the occasional fist in the face....

I do know that if I go into a no-touch expecting to be thrown, I take crappy ukemi--it looks fake and contrived and is also generally painful. The only thing that works is to put the technique completely out of my mind and try to hit or grab nage; it's up to them to show the throw. Or hit me, if that's how it works out.

The practical thing I have learned from this, something I never expected, is "So he hit me, big deal." All my life I thought this was a really big deal, and that change in attitude is probably more important than any technique I've learned. For this I am grateful to all the Aikikai people who inadvertantly hit me, and especially to that one yudansha (you know who you are) who didn't apologize but just looked at me as if to say, "You knew there was an atemi in that technique, what did you *think* would happen?" A priceless lesson.

Mary Kaye

George S. Ledyard
12-30-2005, 04:13 AM
The problem is that aikido students are the very last to know if a "no-touch" throw works. One becomes so conditioned to taking ukemi that one reacts "as if" one has to. A year ago, I was teaching a seminar and during a break I grabbed one of the super-good uke and really started to let go. By the end, I was throwing him with my fingerprints (almost "no touch") and I was thinking, "damn I'm getting pretty good." Went back to my Araki-ryu dojo and tried the same thing, and my guy just stood there looking at me, kinda puzzled. Can a "no-touch" throw produce the same effect on someone from another fighting system, particularly one that has no ukemi similar to aikido? Or on a beginner?

Best
The "no-touch throw" isn't waza, it's an investigation of principle. The so-called "no touch throw" is simply a form of communication between the uke and the nage. It "works" on someone "taking ukemi". The "critical instant" (de-ai) and "critical distance" (ma-ai) represent that instant in time and space at which you own the space in which the uke needs to be to continue his attack. This is the instant at which you could strike him. The Aikido uke acknowledges that you own that space by vacating and taking his fall.

If the uke could have blocked the technique or avoided it, it isn't a real "no-touch throw". The way that most people are doing ukemi in Aikido will not result in anyone being able to tell the difference between when the nage "owns" the critical space at the critical instant and when he doesn't. But that doesn't mean the concept isn't valid.

No one goes into a martial interaction thinking he's going to do a "no-touch throw", at least not if he knows anything at all about fighting. In a "real" confrontation that technique is about atemi. It requires proper placement, proper execution along with an understanding of the timing required. Aikido practice normally focuses on the timing - spacing aspect of the interaction but is woefully lacking in focus on the technical side of executing the atemi. This is a gap in knowledge that must be addressed by anyone wishing to actually have defensive capability with his Aikido.

This doesn't mean that the whole concept isn't worth while. From an aiki standpoint, the timing - spacing aspect of a strike is the most important aspect in that one can have the most powerful strike in the world and know all the vital spots to target and not be able to utilize that ability due to not getting the timing -spacing aspect under control. It's just one aspect of Aikido training which differs from other martial arts. It's one of the ways in which we take something that is designed to be destructive and make it into something creative.

It just needs to be done better than most Aikido folks are apt to do it. The attacks need to be better and the ukes need to be taught to defend their openings (suki) if they can rather than simply taking a fall because someone directed their attention in their direction. It is also important not to confuse Aikido ukes with Araki Ryu partners, neither one functions very well in the other's domain.

DH
12-30-2005, 07:32 AM
Ellis's anecdotal response has more depth than its given credence for.

Disparity of responses of Ukes from Aikido to Araki ryu make sense if one is doing a "thing."
I would not be happy trying to Marengue with someone insisting on doing swing. But then again we are dancing not fighting.
When does conflict resolution come in?

I think the deeper meaning behind Ellis's reply is what and where is Uke's center at any given moment that he would somehow "fall down."
When you punch-where is this connection moment where you would fall down without being touched.
When you throw someone where is this connection moment where your center is so compromised that you would fall down if they didn't occupy that space.
Why would a human being attack anyone or anything in such a manner?
In falling down why is the receiver who apparently --for lack of a better word, lost his balance- not kicking the legs out from under the do-er or kicking him in some fashion like many grade school children naturally do?
It certainly is valid to ask since we are not doing swing dancing or salsa.
At some point we have to agree to go beyond agreement of the thing in order to learn things.
Training to not take Ukemi and to remain standing with a very good attachment to the ground pretty much blows up most arts "responses."
Its just isn't as much fun. Ya don't get much "air time."
In the same vein of receiving...when do you begn training to just stand there when someone tries to lock you out instead of "taking" a throw? All the mechanics for being unlockable are in Aikido in the first place why "take" anything from anyone? To protect what?
Why Ukemi?
In the first place.

Cheers
Dan

MM
12-30-2005, 07:42 AM
I think that for the most part, the "no touch" throws can be broken down into two catagories. What I mean by "for the most part" is that these are the majority of "no touch" throws done in Aikido.

1. Walking in the woods, you are going down a hill and suddenly, a branch is coming straight at your eye. Physically and instinctively, you react. Your body goes backwards. Unfortunately, your feet aren't on stable ground, you were in mid-step and with your body reacting backwards, you fall on your rear. In the dojo, this would be like a hand in the face.

2. You start to walk through an open doorway. You're in a hurry and aren't paying attention to where you are going. Someone suddenly appears out of the corner of your eye and he/she is headed straight for the doorway. You react instinctively because you believe that they will be exactly right where you wanted to be - in the doorway. Only, you feel that this person is going to be there a micro-second before you. So, you reverse your momentum, except part of your body is still going forward. Your shoulders are out of line with your hips and feet. In most circumstances, you would be able to recover, but this one time, you can't and you fall. In the dojo this would be like a really good irimi from nage.

One is the physical aspect of a no-touch throw. Two is the psychological aspect of a no-touch throw. (Not to get into the arguments of what constitutes a "throw")

Are there other variations? I believe there are and I think that it involves some of the higher end Aikido skills. No experience in them, just a belief. And in Aikido, it's a lifelong path of learning, so who knows what I'll end up experiencing.

Mark

DH
12-30-2005, 08:23 AM
1. Walking in the woods, you are going down a hill and suddenly, a branch is coming straight at your eye. Physically and instinctively, you react. Your body goes backwards. Unfortunately, your feet aren't on stable ground, you were in mid-step and with your body reacting backwards, you fall on your rear. In the dojo, this would be like a hand in the face.


Why on earth would you choose to fall down as any reaction to a punch?



2. You start to walk through an open doorway. You're in a hurry and aren't paying attention to where you are going. Someone suddenly appears out of the corner of your eye and he/she is headed straight for the doorway. You react instinctively because you believe that they will be exactly right where you wanted to be - in the doorway. Only, you feel that this person is going to be there a micro-second before you. So, you reverse your momentum, except part of your body is still going forward. Your shoulders are out of line with your hips and feet. In most circumstances, you would be able to recover, but this one time, you can't and you fall. In the dojo this would be like a really good irimi from nage.

Are you referring to your body involuntarily falling down from an unknown source of impetus?
Or in its conditioned and trained response to take ukemi in agreeing with that impetus?
Are these things universal motor and receptor nerve responses?
What if my trained response was to remain balanced from various impetus from all angles and punch or throw back in reply. Where would the "no-touch" flinch response come in then and how would it cause my body to want to fall down?
I think you will find that my points for conditioned response VS actual response are valid if you cross train with other fighters. Mind you I am not saying right or wrong, good or bad. Some things are art specific and a hell of a lot of fun-and aint nothing wrong with that. Its just knowing what a hell of a lot of fun is and what exactly art specific and conditioned response means VS real conflict resolution. Many guys know the difference real well.. train it. and still just have fun as well.

Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
12-30-2005, 09:05 AM
The "no-touch throw" isn't waza, it's an investigation of principle. And waza isn't??? If the uke could have blocked the technique or avoided it, it isn't a real "no-touch throw". Uh oh.... that's a paraphrase of the guy who sold the Emperor his new clothes, isn't it? Ellis, you wouldn't know fine raiments if you saw them!!!!

Seriously though, there's a good and a bad side to a lot of these practices. A lot of the Aikido we see is full of "no touch throws", for all practical purposes. And as Ellis noted, a lot of that stuff doesn't pan out in the real world AND it leads many, many Aikidoists into a confusing mindset that has little to do with reality (and yes, I know a lot of Aikidoists are not the slightest interested in reality).

Interestingly enough, the idea of "no touch throws" has a lot to do with the western perception of the woo-woo stuff about ki/qi. Originally the woo-woo stuff about "lin kong jin" or "empty force" was simply about "no touch throws". It was a study in itself of making slight moves at just the right time that would cause an opponent to react in such a way that he threw himself, defeated himself, put himself into a bad position, etc. These controls using the right gestures at the right moment were "no touch" or "controls from a distance". Some of the Chinese "distance throws" have been usurped by 'emitted qi' practitioners, but in reality unless someone is psychologically susceptible, the 'emitted qi' stuff doesn't do much of anything (the stunning thing though is how many people are susceptible to these feelings/suggestions).

The point I was trying to get around to making was that this area of study is one that adds confusion to the whole "ki" scenario. In other words, Ellis, your suggestion that people go look for the ki training methods is great, but there's this whole mindset that confuses "no touch throws", "lin kong jin", etc., in with the serious stuff you're talking about on Aikido Journal at the moment and thereby confuses it. I.e., it's probably worthwhile to make sure the 'no touch' and woo-woo stuff is clearly separated from the other discussion, at least in my opinion.

FWIW

Mike

MM
12-30-2005, 09:55 AM
Why on earth would you choose to fall down as any reaction to a punch?


LOL! Barring some very detailed strategic moves, I'd say that no one would choose to fall down as a reaction. But we aren't talking about choosing. At least I wasn't. :) I was referring to ingrained reactions.

I grew up in the woods. I grew up running through the woods. Those around me grew up in the woods and none of us studied martial arts. But when a branch appears out of nowhere, pointed at your eye, and you're moving forward ... well, the body does some wondrously, quick things. Like the upper body jerking backwards away from said pointy stick in eye while the legs and arms don't get the message (or if they did, they're being slow to respond) and suddenly you find yourself in a precarious position. Yeah, sometimes you recover, but sometimes you don't. The latter usually ends up with you on your rear. Consciously, you don't choose to end up there. Of course, you'd rather block. But the option just isn't there at that point in time because your body did things simultaneously on its own. Maybe after years and years of training, you won't do that. Maybe not. But, it really is like suddenly having a hand coming towards your face in the dojo. Sometimes you can recover, sometimes the hand connects (and you either recover or don't), and sometimes the hand doesn't connect at all (and you either recover or don't).


Are you referring to your body involuntarily falling down from an unknown source of impetus?
Or in its conditioned and trained response to take ukemi in agreeing with that impetus?
Are these things universal motor and receptor nerve responses?


I'm talking about universal human responses according to the laws of physics. No two bodies can occupy the exact same space at the exact same time. So, if a body is going to be in the exact same space that you wish to occupy in the exact same time that you wish to occupy, one of the bodies has to be moved elsewhere before that conjunction occurs. While you might wish fervently that your body be the one to occupy that space, if the other body is there just a microsecond before yours, your body can adjust subconsciously before the crash occurs. (On the other hand, you might not react and you just might collide with the other body, but I'm not talking about that situation) So, when your body reacts, at times it won't react together. The shoulders, hips, and feet get out of alignment. And at times, it is enough to let gravity do some work and you find yourself on your rear.


What if my trained response was to remain balanced from various impetus from all angles and punch or throw back in reply. Where would the "no-touch" flinch response come in then and how would it cause my body to want to fall down?


Well, like I said. Every situation will not present an occurance of one falling down without being touched. In fact, it's usually rare. Typically, one will do something else. Training helps. But, if you say that your training allows you to remain balanced from every encounter, from every impetus, from all angles, and that your training allows you to punch or throw back in every reply ... hmmm ... some great training. :) Personally, I don't believe in every, all, ever, never, etc. I've seen too many instances of higher level martial artists making mistakes. We're all too human.


I think you will find that my points for conditioned response VS actual response are valid if you cross train with other fighters. Mind you I am not saying right or wrong, good or bad. Some things are art specific and a hell of a lot of fun-and aint nothing wrong with that.


Oh, I agree here. In fact, I say that the responses in an Aikido Dojo are choreographed. However, they are done that way for safety. We learn to roll and fall a certain way. When we are presented with an option, we learn to roll or fall for safety.

But, what I'm presenting here isn't about *how* we fall, but *why*. If you are standing on the train track with a train speeding towards you, you have basically two options. Stay or get off the tracks. Now, if you move off the tracks and step onto a patch of ice, you have two options. Recover without falling or recover with a fall.

In regards to the falling -- The *how* we recover with a fall is ingrained training according to the martial art. The why we fall is because of the laws of physics. Feet going one way, upper body going another, and gravity affecting everything. You will fall, that is a given. No one can fly. But, you can apply that situation to training in a dojo. If you properly unbalance someone and let gravity do its work, there will be a fall.

I don't know about most Aikido dojos and how they do the "no touch" Aikido. I just know about what I've experienced. I'd venture to say that some no touch throws are merely people falling down. Just as I'd venture to say that some no touch throws were perfectly timed and executed and are valid.

This is all regarding throws that can be defined according to physics and how the human body reacts, bends, twists, recovers, etc. I haven't touched upon "no touch" throws that are defined in the spiritual aspect of Aikido. No, that one I'll leave for others to do. :)

Mark

wendyrowe
12-31-2005, 01:14 PM
How about the one where your attacker's arm is coming at you for irimi nage so you (instinctively, it feels like to me) brace yourself by shifting your weight further forward to avoid being offbalanced when you counter -- but suddenly he changes his arm's trajectory and brings it up over your head and without the arm making the expected you fall forward because your solo weight is too far forward? I class that as a "no touch throw." Do you? The companion "throw" is when you're so sure the irimi nage is unavoidable that you commit to ukemi backwards and when the arm goes over your head it's still too late for you to stop the fall. This second one seems more like avoiding the eye-poking branch in the woods.

MM
12-31-2005, 05:06 PM
How about the one where your attacker's arm is coming at you for irimi nage so you (instinctively, it feels like to me) brace yourself by shifting your weight further forward to avoid being offbalanced when you counter -- but suddenly he changes his arm's trajectory and brings it up over your head and without the arm making the expected you fall forward because your solo weight is too far forward? I class that as a "no touch throw." Do you? The companion "throw" is when you're so sure the irimi nage is unavoidable that you commit to ukemi backwards and when the arm goes over your head it's still too late for you to stop the fall. This second one seems more like avoiding the eye-poking branch in the woods.

For me, if at any point, one can recover in any way, shape, or form, then I don't classify it as a "no touch" throw. To me, just thinking that the irimi nage is unavoidable means that it can be avoided. Anytime that uke commits to ukemi, then it can be avoided. Ukemi, in my veiw, isn't something to take. Ukemi is something that one uses when one has no other options and it is something used instinctively, not something one commits to.

But, everyone views Aikido differently. Each person's Aikido is their own, so I can only say how I view things and how I am as an Aikidoka. :)

Mark

DH
12-31-2005, 10:11 PM
What if there was no Uke?
What if the other guy is fully trained, in balance and a fighter and has -no interest-in "taking" technique?
Where would this enable a no touch throw?

I think all things considered it is an artiface or conditioned responses among people who do not show adequate training in martial skills in the first place.

Cheers
Dan

Brion Toss
01-01-2006, 08:17 PM
What if there was no Uke?
What if the other guy is fully trained, in balance and a fighter and has -no interest-in "taking" technique?
Where would this enable a no touch throw?

I think all things considered it is an artiface or conditioned responses among people who do not show adequate training in martial skills in the first place.

Cheers
Dan


Hello,
I think you might have answered your own question there; someone who is fully trained, in balance, and a fighter will indeed have no interest in taking technique, and I expect that this will be true whether one is talking tree nage or irimi nage. But as I understand it, the execution of an Aikido technique is predicated on taking uke's balance, at least a little, in the first place. If I step up to a trained, balanced fighter and try a throw, it isn't likely to come out well for me. If, on the other hand, the fighter is unbalanced, and if I can maintain that state, there's a chance for the technique, touch in all likelihood, no touch a possibility.
Granted, the better one's training, the less likely it is that one will be unbalanced, or stay that way for long. But on the other hand, I tend to see Aikido techniques as having been evolved to deal with trained, balanced fighters — the art is far too detailed, places far too much emphasis on covering openings, maintaining contact, being prepared to flow with unexpected developments, to be meant for untrained, unbalanced people. And as uke, on the rare occasions I have felt something that could be called a no-touch throw, it wasn't so much that I was in the thrall of some mysterious ki tractor beam as that, given the precise trajectory of some incoming hand or arm, and given my own trajectory, the proper thing to do was to fall down, to avoid a worse option. And in every case, my balance was of course already compromised to some degree.
Looking at it another way, let's have a spectrum of throws, with Really, Really Touch (RRT) at one end, and No Touch (NT) at the other. A basic RRT throw might involve swinging a cricket bat at someone's head. No co-operation or conditioned reflex or lost balance required on uke's part. Somewhere further along the spectrum there'll be a Touch Kind of Hard (TKH) throw, in which uke has been softened up with what people at our dojo like to call "hematemi," or atemi that leaves bruises. If one can land enough of those, without getting similarly treated, uke's training and balance are more susceptible to our technique. We will still need to be quick and skillful, but we have compromised uke.
And so on, with the things that create openings for us getting subtler and subtler, until all the sudden you are in NT territory. Maybe there is a level at which that stops happening, maybe not. But it is clear to me that, given sufficient skill, some people can fight circles around others, apparently doing very little while their opponent flails away. An NT throw seems like a logical extension of skill, even if most of the throws that have been described as such are conditioned response matters.
Yours,
Brion Toss

MaryKaye
01-02-2006, 04:24 PM
I am thinking that jo-nage would be an interesting laboratory for exploring this, because you can give uke a clear goal that does not involve taking ukemi--either "Grab the jo with both hands and take it away from nage" or "Grab the jo with both hands and throw nage with it."

In my limited experience with this, uke can do things to greatly decrease the chance that she is thrown (and make no-touch almost impossible) but they also decrease the chance that she gets the jo. Strategy on nage's part involves letting uke think that she *can* get the jo when in fact it is not quite possible; both the touch and no-touch throws flow from there, depending on whether uke lunges out of balance and catches it, or just misses.

I like this one particularly because it is symmetrical--once both people have their hands on the jo, who's to say whose jo it is?--so it seems easier to break out of the "uke is here to fall" mindset.

Mary Kaye

Brion Toss
01-02-2006, 05:31 PM
I would add a third category: "Grab the jo with both hands or get hit with it." This attitude tends to assure sincere ukemi, and should cause nage to be more sincere also, i.e. to offer the jo in an inviting way, but then to maneuver to take uke's balance, whether or not the jo is grabbed, while also getting in a position to strike. Encouraging uke to grab, and then to hang on by making a possible strike evident is what makes a throw possible.
Yours,
Brion Toss

Edwin Neal
01-10-2006, 10:48 PM
sometimes this in depth overly intelectual analysis gives me a head ache...
the best no touch throw i ever saw was by a bullfighter who to my knowledge did not study aikido... bull came charging in, bullfighter executed perfectly timed tenkan, bull plows face first into the dirt... viola no touch throw... i believe we can agree that the bull was not faking it for the bullfighters benefit (okay maybe someone will :confused: )
i likewise saw a no touch in a kyu level randoori when one mid level kyu charged forward the nage let loose an amazing (really intense loud and unexpected) kiai right in their face ... scared the you know what out of uke ... involuntary reflex, flinch or startle, fall down ... not mysterious or magical just fortunate...

Mark Freeman
01-11-2006, 09:54 AM
sometimes this in depth overly intelectual analysis gives me a head ache...


Me too, I have just read all 6 pages of the thread!

For those who believe that no touch 'throws' are nonsense or impossible, maybe they've never been on the recieving end of one. I wonder if their mind would be changed if they experienced one or would they still hang on to their old certainties. Plenty of people have posted sound explanations as to how and why they exist, they are not magic or mystical. Mind you, offering proof in no way gaurantees acceptance. Showing fossil records to a creationist rarely gains acceptance of the facts.

When I see total non acceptance of something that some of us practice, I wonder about the 'beginners mind' so often talked about. In my early days of practice I watched the same footage of O Sensei as was mentioned earlier. I was completely wide eyed and in awe, but I knew that I wanted to be a part of the training that one day might see me doing/recieving the same/similar.
Luckily, my Sensei has over 50 years of practice under his belt and regularly demonstrates touchless 'throws' at the same time he is the first to point out that we must look for the truth in the movement and all that that entails - co-ordination, balance, relaxation, non-contention, extended mind etc etc. He berates any uke that launches themselves into the air, or 'throws' themselves when not necessary.
I love being on the recieving end of this 'type' of Aikido, it is dynamic and 'pain free'. Whenever I practice with people who choose to use physical effort and force, they can 'throw' me, but I rarely stand up with the same smile that accompanies the effortless throw.

At the end of the day, I don't practice to be effective in a so called 'real world' fight. I know that if I was attacked 'on the street' my assailant is unlikely to 'follow' like an aikidoka, so expecting to perform touchless throws on him would be 'weird'. However, if by position, attitude, words, I could convince him that an attack may not be in his best interest, then I may not have thrown him but the attack may have been converted without 'touch'.

Cheers,

Mark

roosvelt
01-11-2006, 02:17 PM
For those who believe that no touch 'throws' are nonsense or impossible, maybe they've never been on the recieving end of one. I wonder if their mind would be changed if they experienced one or would they still hang on to their old certainties.
:
:
:

At the end of the day, I don't practice to be effective in a so called 'real world' fight. I know that if I was attacked 'on the street' my assailant is unlikely to 'follow' like an aikidoka, so expecting to perform touchless throws on him would be 'weird'. However, if by position, attitude, words, I could convince him that an attack may not be in his best interest, then I may not have thrown him but the attack may have been converted without 'touch'.

Cheers,

Mark

With a big automatic gun, I can "no touch throw" a dozen of people at same time. So what does that prove?

It's more like "no touch fall" than "no touch throw".

Mark Freeman
01-12-2006, 02:13 AM
With a big automatic gun, I can "no touch throw" a dozen of people at same time. So what does that prove?

It's more like "no touch fall" than "no touch throw".

Not a believer then, eh?

Edwin Neal
01-12-2006, 12:52 PM
for roosvelt ... a throw happens when someone attacks and YOU use a technique that causes them to hit (fall to) the ground for a no touch the technique is one of timeing and evasion and leading and unbalancing oohh and probably some other things too... does that help???

p.s. gun waza is considered ki extension and no touch...;-)

roosvelt
01-13-2006, 07:45 PM
In the classic experiment, a bell is ringed before feeding a dog. After a while, upon hearing the bell, the dog will drool saliva even without seeing the food.

whenever I see a aikidoda fall like a leave when his sensei waving the arm, the picture of a drooling dog appears in my mind.

Edwin Neal
01-13-2006, 08:36 PM
i totally agree roosvelt that aint aikido that is trained poodles for me too...

xuzen
01-14-2006, 01:05 AM
The problem is that aikido students are the very last to know if a "no-touch" throw works. One becomes so conditioned to taking ukemi that one reacts "as if" one has to. A year ago, I was teaching a seminar and during a break I grabbed one of the super-good uke and really started to let go. By the end, I was throwing him with my fingerprints (almost "no touch") and I was thinking, "damn I'm getting pretty good." Went back to my Araki-ryu dojo and tried the same thing, and my guy just stood there looking at me, kinda puzzled. Can a "no-touch" throw produce the same effect on someone from another fighting system, particularly one that has no ukemi similar to aikido? Or on a beginner?Best

I am guilty of such as well. I will flinch and do a koho ukemi whenever my sensei does his trade-mark nodo-tsuki (actually his nasty variation of irimi tsuki) in class. It is a learned response. I am not stupid and it is better to take the koho ukemi than get a nasty sore throat the next day. I guess I am guilty of being a "trained poodle" :sorry:

Once, I was sucker punched with a straight jab to my face by a non-aikido practitioner and to my surprise, my instinctive response was not to flinch, but to slip pass the jab and executed a beautiful irimi tsuki (shomen-ate).

The opponent was slammed on the mat but he manage to do a proper koho ukemi (He is a judo guy). After that he got up, slightly dazed and said that luckily he knows ukemi, or else, that technique was a nasty SOB. I can bet you a million dollar, he will flinch or just fall down the next time he sees that technique again... resulting in another trained "poodle" responding to a no-touch throw.

Back to the question of no touch throw. IMO, it will not work on someone who is naive to it. You need to "convince" them of the existence of no-touch throw.

Ossu!

Edwin Neal
01-14-2006, 01:25 AM
ukemi helps your defense if you learn the proper responses ie instead of watching your arm break you react with a sutemi... true that some people turn into trained poodles, but if you trust your ukemi you learn to take more force from nage and still not be injured by harsh waza... kind of like rolling with a punch...

Mark Freeman
01-15-2006, 09:20 AM
Roosvelt wrote

In the classic experiment, a bell is ringed before feeding a dog. After a while, upon hearing the bell, the dog will drool saliva even without seeing the food.

whenever I see a aikidoda fall like a leave when his sensei waving the arm, the picture of a drooling dog appears in my mind.

If I for one minute think that you are refering to to me (as I am one of those who practices with a teacher who can perform no touch throws) as a Pavlov's dog, I would respectfully ask you to go and think before you make such statements.
My teacher has spent 50 years perfecting his Aikido and do you think that he wants to practice with a pool of trained dogs that he can make jump around on his command?? No. he wants strong commited uke's who can attack with commitment and total co-ordination, so that he in turn can
polish his own practice. I personally have only been training for 13 years, some of his students hav been with him for 30+ years I know how good these students are. I totally resent the implication that I or they are like trained poodles.

It has already been pointed out that OSensei performed many of this type of throw on film and easily available. George has given long and detailed explanations as to what and how they happen.

What is wrong with you guys, do you think that O'Sensei trained a load of poodles to be his students, get a grip, open your minds.

No one is implying you can just pick any person up and throw them without touching them. But if your aikido practice does not embrace this high level experience then you are the unfortunate one.

i totally agree roosvelt that aint aikido that is trained poodles for me too...
See above

Edwin Neal
01-15-2006, 05:46 PM
I believe in no touch throws, however

I do not believe they can be taught ie and now class let me demonstrate this secret "no touch" technique...

no touch happens as a result of properly executed techniques ie blending timing evasion etc...

i have seen Osensei on films its not magic or faking... it is technique executed with aiki

trained poodle aikido happens when someone IS faking either nage or uke or both...

anyone offended by anything written on an open public forum should consider why they are so easily manipulated by the words of a complete stranger...

no touch throw...

Mark Freeman
01-16-2006, 04:33 AM
I do not believe they can be taught ie and now class let me demonstrate this secret "no touch" technique...
Hi Edwin, agreed, but the skill needed to be able to execute it has to be learned, and how does that skill come about, but from someone teaching you, and you practicing (maybe for years) the technique?
no touch happens as a result of properly executed techniques ie blending timing evasion etc...
Absolutely
trained poodle aikido happens when someone IS faking either nage or uke or both...
I agree with you here as well, fake aikido is no aikido, neither of us wants to be part of this. However teaching and practice involves many different aspects, and it is unreasonable to expect students to practice in a life or death state, so there is always a level of 'not-real-ness' going on.
anyone offended by anything written on an open public forum should consider why they are so easily manipulated by the words of a complete stranger...
Point taken, I realised afterwards, that I probably shouldn't have replied to such a crass analogy, however, I can always accept that non aikido folk often look on from the outside, and are sceptical of the 'reality' of what is happening when they see aikido. I'm just a bit surprised when that same level of comment ( here I refer to the pavlov's dog analogy )is displayed by someone from within the practicing community, given that so much information on the subject had already been posted, and moving images of the founder are so freely available.

I'll get back in my box :blush:

regards, Mark

roosvelt
01-16-2006, 01:04 PM
No one is implying you can just pick any person up and throw them without touching them.



Why not? If the "no touch throw" works on touch and highly "skilled" aikidoda, why doesn't it work on a layman?

wendyrowe
01-16-2006, 01:45 PM
Why not? If the "no touch throw" works on touch and highly "skilled" aikidoda, why doesn't it work on a layman?
I (still) think it depends on which type of "no touch throw" you're talking about. If it's the kind where someone takes ukemi rather than getting a fist in the eye or swordhand to the throat or somesuch, that person has to believe in the danger or he won't take the ukemi. So that means it's got to be a skilled aikidoka, someone with some athletic ability/sense who can see the danger, or a total chicken who's going to duck as soon as he seems anything coming (the latter I listed for the sake of completeness, not because I think there are lots of them or that they should "count" when you're looking for real no-touch throws). It only works if the attacks are committed, but I *THINK* it would victimize aikidoka and non-aikidoka alike since it's the committed coming-at-each-other that's a prerequisite, not foreknowledge of the arriving technique.

But if it's my favorite kind, the rarely encountered one you have to experience to believe in since otherwise you'll think it's a "trained poodle" or a klutzy student, is when you adjust your balance to be in position for the attack that is heading towards you like a speeding locomotive, but it suddenly veers off and just isn't there and you are unable to compensate fast enough to keep from falling down -- say, an irimi nage heading your way too fast to escape so you plan to intercept and stick yourself to him and counter, but the entering arm abruptly veers over your head and you fall over because you'd set yourself in a position that would keep you stable with your centers joined...but they're not.

roosvelt
01-16-2006, 03:12 PM
I (still) think it depends on which type of "no touch throw" you're talking about. If it's the kind where someone takes ukemi rather than getting a fist in the eye or swordhand to the throat or somesuch, that person has to believe in the danger or he won't take the ukemi. So that means it's got to be a skilled aikidoka, someone with some athletic ability/sense who can see the danger, or a total chicken who's going to duck as soon as he seems anything coming (the latter I listed for the sake of completeness, not because I think there are lots of them or that they should "count" when you're looking for real no-touch throws). It only works if the attacks are committed, but I *THINK* it would victimize aikidoka and non-aikidoka alike since it's the committed coming-at-each-other that's a prerequisite, not foreknowledge of the arriving technique.

But if it's my favorite kind, the rarely encountered one you have to experience to believe in since otherwise you'll think it's a "trained poodle" or a klutzy student, is when you adjust your balance to be in position for the attack that is heading towards you like a speeding locomotive, but it suddenly veers off and just isn't there and you are unable to compensate fast enough to keep from falling down -- say, an irimi nage heading your way too fast to escape so you plan to intercept and stick yourself to him and counter, but the entering arm abruptly veers over your head and you fall over because you'd set yourself in a position that would keep you stable with your centers joined...but they're not.

1. fall down to avoid damage.

2. loose your own balance and fall.

Do I get it right?

wendyrowe
01-16-2006, 03:28 PM
1. fall down to avoid damage.

2. loose your own balance and fall.

Do I get it right?
Yeah -- but your summary sounds like it's all about

1. Wimp!
2. Klutz!

and there's more to it than that.

Mark Freeman
01-16-2006, 04:59 PM
Why not? If the "no touch throw" works on touch and highly "skilled" aikidoda, why doesn't it work on a layman?

Simple, because what most of us are talking and agreeing about here is something that happens in aikido with trained individuals, and has been explained to you in more than one post. If a layman were to attack with real commitment and the nage were to perform his defence with the sort of power that causes a trained aikidoka to ukemi out of without 'touch', the layman would sustain damage to some degree, simple, simple and simple again. That's why, no magic just plain simple ordinary mechanics - get out of the way - ok don't get out of the way not ok.
If you still feel that getting out of the way of a possible leathal strike is for wimps and poodles, then so be it, I will bow out of this discussion and go and practice with my fellow dogs, we enjoy ourselves doing what we do, thanks. :D

roosvelt
01-16-2006, 11:43 PM
Simple,

:
:
the layman would sustain damage to some degree, simple, simple and simple again. That's why, no magic just plain simple ordinary mechanics - get out of the way - ok don't get out of the way not ok.
If you still feel that getting out of the way of a possible leathal strike



"leathal strike"? You scared me. I'd better run and hide.

If high level of aikido is simple mechanics and "leathal" strike, what happened to the harmony I've been hearing about in aikido.

I think we should call it quit. With open mind, I wanted to know what's behind the magic "no touch throw". So far, the answers have been dispointing.

You won.No more "leathal" strikes, OK?

Edwin Neal
01-17-2006, 12:24 AM
If my actions cause you to "wimp out" and fall down... no touch throw...
If my actions cause you to "klutz out" and fall down... no touch throw...

if you need it explained in still simpler terms... i'll try but how much simpler can it get...

Edwin Neal
01-17-2006, 12:26 AM
oh and for the record ... no touch throws USUALLY work better on an untrained person...

PeterR
01-17-2006, 12:30 AM
I think we should call it quit. With open mind, I wanted to know what's behind the magic "no touch throw". So far, the answers have been dispointing.
So you are looking for magic where there is none. No wonder you are disappointed.

I've heard of teachers that demonstrate "choreographed" no-touch throws but I've never seen them. Perhaps an urban legend.

A few times I've lost my balance quite spectacularily avoiding a strike that came out of no where. They occured in punch kick arts that I did as well as Aikido and not once was it planned (most were during sparing). I've even managed to pull off a couple myself under similar circumstance to everyone's amusement. But as Dan points out why would anyone put themselves in a position where they would give up their balance. A boxer will tell you its all in the set-up. You need to get you opponent moving in a way that you can take advantage of.

The harmony you seek is the relationship between the two opponents - each reacting to each other - the dominant individual reacting less and if he is really good controlling the weaker's reactions.

Don't believe in potentially lethal strikes? Hmmm - open up an anatomy book sometime. They are even easier to comprehend than no touch throws.

Ron Tisdale
01-17-2006, 08:28 AM
Easier to comprehend, but extremely hard to do. The human body can take an amazing amount of punishment before quitting. I've seen video of backyard wrestling where someone lifted a person up in the air, turned them over and slammed them down on concrete on their head. The slammee simply shook himself, got up, and kept fighting. I thought sure from what I saw that his neck would be broken.

Sometimes 'lethal' just don't happen. Doesn't mean it can't or won't some other times.

Best,
Ron

roosvelt
01-17-2006, 09:54 AM
If my actions cause you to "wimp out" and fall down... no touch throw...
If my actions cause you to "klutz out" and fall down... no touch throw...

if you need it explained in still simpler terms... i'll try but how much simpler can it get...

If i wave a gun at you, and say "get down to the floor", you fall to ground... no touch throw.

Is that simple?

Edwin Neal
01-17-2006, 10:44 AM
No because you are using a gun not aikido (or some other MA)
now i think you're just being stupid and argumentative...

wendyrowe
01-17-2006, 10:55 AM
If i wave a gun at you, and say "get down to the floor", you fall to ground... no touch throw.

Is that simple?
The inference from your example is that a no touch throw is psychology; but as some of us here who have experienced them have been saying, for one type of no touch throw at least (most recently described by Peter Rehse), it's physics not psychology.

roosvelt
01-17-2006, 12:58 PM
The inference from your example is that a no touch throw is psychology; but as some of us here who have experienced them have been saying, for one type of no touch throw at least (most recently described by Peter Rehse), it's physics not psychology.

That's where I get confused. "no touch throw is physical". It voids any physics law that I know of.

Let's drop the discussion. I don't see any more value to continue since no new arguement being presented.

Bronson
01-17-2006, 02:46 PM
It voids any physics law that I know of.

I'm no student of physics but isn't there one that says something like: "a body in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force"?

This would describe one of the best no-touch throws I've seen. It was during a major league baseball game. The pitcher hit the batter with the ball the batter rushed the pitcher and tried to punch him in the head. Just when the punch should have connected the pitcher ducked and the batter went tumbling down the back of the pitcher's mound.

Bronson

roosvelt
01-17-2006, 03:24 PM
I'm no student of physics but isn't there one that says something like: "a body in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force"?

This would describe one of the best no-touch throws I've seen. It was during a major league baseball game. The pitcher hit the batter with the ball the batter rushed the pitcher and tried to punch him in the head. Just when the punch should have connected the pitcher ducked and the batter went tumbling down the back of the pitcher's mound.

Bronson

1. fall down to avoid damage.

2. loose your own balance and fall.

2 in this case. end of discussion.

purplesaxark
02-05-2011, 12:26 AM
Steven - I suggest you don't know good Judo.
Well, I have worked out in Judo with an Olympic gold medalist.
No I don't study Judo but I have studies a lot about it and had some classes. It isn't Aikido. Sorry. Its push when pulled, pull when pushed. Aikido is turn when pushed, enter when pulled. We do things in harmony. Like pins and mat holds are in harmony with the body. Judo does not.
So I am not completely ignorant of Judo. Perhaps you have not studied Aikido very long.

Marie Noelle Fequiere
02-05-2011, 07:52 PM
This reminds me of something funny that happened to me one day when I had less than a year of training. It was randori day. As a novice, I only had one opponent. So at one point, Sempai attacked, and I did what Sensei always tells us not to do: I expected a particular technique, a shomen, and I started to counter with irimi nage. As I was raising my hand, I realized that the attack was not a shomen at all. It was a front kick. Surprised, I slightly changed my hand's trajectory, and Sempai suddenly saw it coming right at his face. Or, more exactly, he's face was coming straight at my open hand. So he had a reflex: he jerked his head backward, while his hips were still pushing forward into the kick. Well, guess what happened? Sempai fell without my ever touching him.
Of course, there is such a thing as the no touch throw! :cool:

Andrew Macdonald
02-05-2011, 11:02 PM
no touch throws or not, if you have been conditioned to throw yourself on the ground as a reaction to anything coming towards you before contact has been made, then you are really practicing a dangerous habit

Mark Freeman
02-06-2011, 05:22 AM
no touch throws or not, if you have been conditioned to throw yourself on the ground as a reaction to anything coming towards you before contact has been made, then you are really practicing a dangerous habit

It seems in the 5 years that this thread has been hibernating, that opinions about 'no touch throws' have remained static.

I guess they are either seen as false, fake, stupid or dangerous, be the nay sayers. Or they are seen as an integral part of serious aikido practice.

What I would suggest to those who don't 'believe' in them is to watch a number of vids on Ueshiba, see them happening then ask the question, why?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoDK3XuvZWw&feature=related

If they were good enough for Ueshiba and his uke's, then they are good enough for me.

It seems to me that there may be aikido students out there whose teachers have not attained a high enough personal level ofnaikido to be able to reproduce some of what Ueshiba was showing. Maybe it's not their fault, maybe their own teachers either didn't have it themselves or they did and they were in effective in teaching it. It seems from the debates about IS/IP/aiki, that there is a fair degree of lack out there in the wide world of aikido.

No touch throws are not the be all and end all of aikido, just an aspect of practice that is manifested by power, timing, intent, connection, following, leading, and a desire to continue through to a natural conclusion and be able to get up and attack again.

If you've never been on the end of one, shame, they are great to experience, I always get back up on my feet with a smile on my face:).

regards,

Mark

Randall Lim
02-06-2011, 05:37 AM
"leathal strike"? You scared me. I'd better run and hide.

If high level of aikido is simple mechanics and "leathal" strike, what happened to the harmony I've been hearing about in aikido.

I think we should call it quit. With open mind, I wanted to know what's behind the magic "no touch throw". So far, the answers have been dispointing.

You won.No more "leathal" strikes, OK?

I suppose a "no-touch throw" is possible when Uke is fully committed in his attack, and Nage lures & leads him to the point when whenever contact is about to be made, Uke's balance is broken.

mathewjgano
02-06-2011, 11:50 AM
While there were definately some additional dynamics at play when O Sensei did them, I first learned about no-touch throws as a kid when I learned that even the smallest dude (myself) could scare someone into over-reacting, usually by threatening the eyes.
I can see how if we view going to the ground quickly as a bad thing we might view no-touch-like movements as always being weak, but I think it has its place in practical practice, particularly when we consider the use of swords where being touched means being cut. Dropping/self-throwing probably shouldn't be the first choice, but it shouldn't be completely removed from the list of possibilities either.
Also, for whatever it's worth, Steven, the person you're replying to has a pretty darn good Aikido pedigree as far as I can tell. Perhaps you guys were talking past each other those few years ago, but having trained with him, I tend to regard anything he says as pretty darn well-informed.

Mark Freeman
02-06-2011, 03:27 PM
I suppose a "no-touch throw" is possible when Uke is fully committed in his attack, and Nage lures & leads him to the point when whenever contact is about to be made, Uke's balance is broken.

Hi Randall,

Uke does need to be fully committed in his attack. Uke is lead by nage, the point where I differ from you description is that balance is not necessarily broken. I think it is possible to uke through a complete exercise without losing balance. I think it is possible to roll out forwards or backwards without having 'broken' anything. If and only if, the nage applies all of the principles inherent in aikido, the uke follows through the attack and is lead to a roll or avoiding manoeuver (and a possible atemi) simply to maintain co-ordination

That's my take on it anyway.

regards,

Mark

Demetrio Cereijo
02-06-2011, 03:51 PM
What I would suggest to those who don't 'believe' in them is to watch a number of vids on Ueshiba, see them happening then ask the question, why?

From Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2009 June; 6(2): 175–183.

Philosophy, Psychology, Physics and Practice of Ki (http://downloads.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2009/814972.pdf)

Mark Freeman
02-06-2011, 03:59 PM
From Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2009 June; 6(2): 175–183.

Philosophy, Psychology, Physics and Practice of Ki (http://downloads.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2009/814972.pdf)

Hi Demitrio,

thanks for that, I will print that out, it looks like a fascinating read, appreciated.

regards,

Mark

Demetrio Cereijo
02-06-2011, 05:44 PM
The Nishino mentioned in the article is this gentleman:

Bio:http://www.nishinojuku.com/english/e_profile/e_pro_top.html

Video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GmXEYGqfIU

Marie Noelle Fequiere
02-06-2011, 06:10 PM
no touch throws or not, if you have been conditioned to throw yourself on the ground as a reaction to anything coming towards you before contact has been made, then you are really practicing a dangerous habit

I totally agree with this, Andrew. Where did you read this story about someone throwing themselves on the ground?
My point is that a no touch throw can happen with a little help from the element of surprise, a natural reflex and simple body mechanics. Sempai was standing on one leg, and busy throwing his hips forward when a simple reflex forced his head back. Just try to keep your balance like that.
And guess what? I was never able to repeat this accidental performance because after that day, everybody was waiting for it.

Mark Freeman
02-06-2011, 06:42 PM
The Nishino mentioned in the article is this gentleman:

Bio:http://www.nishinojuku.com/english/e_profile/e_pro_top.html

Video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GmXEYGqfIU

Hi Demitrio,

having just watched a portion of the youtube video, I think I might save my printer ink. Much of what I saw was just mind bogglingly fake looking. I know there are some things in this world that HTBF, but to see the nonsense on that vid doesn't make me want to explore any writing that this chap put's his name to.
I have taken part in some of the ki exercise type demos that my teacher gives as learning tools, and I know what it is to be thrown by ki and ki alone. I am also aware of the true action of a proper uke, take the throw, get up, and come again. The ukes in that video looked like they were puppet idiots on strings. Either I am being completely cynical or those guys are on another planet.

Also in his biog it is unclear as to how long he spent practicing to become a 'master' at both aikido 'and' kung fu? He must have got all his amazing powers from the kung fu guy, because he didn't learn them from Ueshiba Jnr as he was the one to engineer Tohei out for daring to teach ki-development at all.

I will give the writing a chance, but that vid turned me off. I practice ki-aikido with dedication and sincerity, that vid gives any practice of ki a bad name.

regards,

Mark

graham christian
02-06-2011, 09:34 PM
Hi Randall,

Uke does need to be fully committed in his attack. Uke is lead by nage, the point where I differ from you description is that balance is not necessarily broken. I think it is possible to uke through a complete exercise without losing balance. I think it is possible to roll out forwards or backwards without having 'broken' anything. If and only if, the nage applies all of the principles inherent in aikido, the uke follows through the attack and is lead to a roll or avoiding manoeuver (and a possible atemi) simply to maintain co-ordination

That's my take on it anyway.

regards,

Mark

Hi Mark. Just read this thread. I agree with what you say here. There are two ways that I am aware of through experiencing and doing. One is as you say by applying the principles inherent in Aikido but through excellent timing and leading. The second is pure kokyu nage. In both cases there is no uke performing some kind of gyratory puppet dance.
Regards.G.

Mark Freeman
02-07-2011, 03:53 AM
Sempai was standing on one leg, and busy throwing his hips forward when a simple reflex forced his head back. Just try to keep your balance like that.



Hi Marie,

I can't imagine what was going on there. Why would someone be standing on one leg busily throwing their hips forward? There is something lacking in the description, for it to make sense (to me anyway). Please could you elaborate.

regards

Mark

Demetrio Cereijo
02-07-2011, 04:13 AM
I have taken part in some of the ki exercise type demos that my teacher gives as learning tools, and I know what it is to be thrown by ki and ki alone. I am also aware of the true action of a proper uke, take the throw, get up, and come again. The ukes in that video looked like they were puppet idiots on strings. Either I am being completely cynical or those guys are on another planet.

Well, I suppose you have seen demos of Watanabe Nobuyuki (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaLmelkgyrw) (starting at 0:50) or Takeda Nobuyoshi (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oE_9wSirYsg) (starting at 1:50) Shihan, both highly regarded Hombu masters. Their uke don't look very different from Nishino ones.

Also in his biog it is unclear as to how long he spent practicing to become a 'master' at both aikido 'and' kung fu? He must have got all his amazing powers from the kung fu guy, because he didn't learn them from Ueshiba Jnr as he was the one to engineer Tohei out for daring to teach ki-development at all.
What can be read in this ebudo post (http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showpost.php?p=407360&postcount=5) is Nishino got his 5th dan in about 5 years of practise and his kungfu master was Kenichi Sawai (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIWjWhsNJkg), who also was friend and big influence in Mas Oyama, Kyokushin Karate founder. Sawai was not a "ki bunny".

OTOH, is suspect the karate master mentioned in the article as able to perform toate is Shintaido founder Hiroyuki Aoki, who was a disciple of Shigeru Egami (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shigeru_Egami), Karate legend who studied with Noriaki Inoue (O Sensei's nephew).

Mark Freeman
02-07-2011, 05:34 AM
Well, I suppose you have seen demos of Watanabe Nobuyuki (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaLmelkgyrw) (starting at 0:50) or Takeda Nobuyoshi (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oE_9wSirYsg) (starting at 1:50) Shihan, both highly regarded Hombu masters. Their uke don't look very different from Nishino ones.

I'm not sure how highly regarded they are.
I was aware of Watanabe and in the main I can see what he is doing and see that his ukes are following his ki in a very sensitive and 'trained' way. I like this sort of sensitive practice for the sake of practice, however, I think the uke's start to get over enthusiastic in their responses to some of what he is doing.
The same with Takeda, his uke's were more like I was describing in my earlier post and nowhere near as daft as the white clad Nishino puppet dancers.

What can be read in this ebudo post (http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showpost.php?p=407360&postcount=5) is Nishino got his 5th dan in about 5 years of practise and his kungfu master was Kenichi Sawai (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIWjWhsNJkg), who also was friend and big influence in Mas Oyama, Kyokushin Karate founder. Sawai was not a "ki bunny".

A 5th Dan in 4-5 years, in his 50's crikey I am impressed, for most mortals that is just not possible. Again I must be either too cynical or I am losing the plot. On seeing his vid he doesn't seem to have much variety to his movement or technique, just some very very co-operative ukes.

He has a 'breathing method' to sell - his says that cultivation of ki is all from the breathing and nothing to do with the mind. Personally I think he is wrong on that count, but to each his own, eh?

OTOH, is suspect the karate master mentioned in the article as able to perform toate is Shintaido founder Hiroyuki Aoki, who was a disciple of Shigeru Egami (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shigeru_Egami), Karate legend who studied with Noriaki Inoue (O Sensei's nephew).

I'll do some research when I get some time, thanks for the pointers.

What is your take on this Demetrio, you've provided the source material, but what is your opinion?

In my experience, it is easy to get caught up in believing what you want to believe, simply because it makes life easy for you, this I am guilty of as much as the next man. Ki development and practice is a reality for me and has been for a long while. I am acutely aware though, of keeping it real, I know what is practice, and what is 'in the real world - on the street stuff'. My goal is to search for the truth in each encounter, what is happening and what is not.

The Nishio puppet dancers, look to me as if they are suffering from a collective mass delusion. I would only retract that statement if I met the man in person and he could make me writhe around like an idiot on the floor. If he could do it I would probably want to become a student of his on the spot. Till then I'll stick with my own teacher and draw on his 55 years of experience as my guide.

regards,

Mark

kewms
02-07-2011, 10:46 AM
Hi Marie,

I can't imagine what was going on there. Why would someone be standing on one leg busily throwing their hips forward? There is something lacking in the description, for it to make sense (to me anyway). Please could you elaborate.


The simple act of taking a step will put a person on one leg and drive their hips forward. If the space where their head wants to be is suddenly occupied by a solid object -- like a fist -- falling down is a pretty common result.

IMO, though, no touch throws are overrated. They depend on uke's sensitivity and self-preservation instinct, meaning they don't work as well on people in whom those traits are less well-developed. That doesn't mean they're "fake" -- the underlying technique works fine -- just that the "no touch" aspect might be hard to duplicate under less controlled circumstances.

Katherine

Mike Sigman
02-07-2011, 11:06 AM
IMO, though, no touch throws are overrated. They depend on uke's sensitivity and self-preservation instinct, meaning they don't work as well on people in whom those traits are less well-developed. That doesn't mean they're "fake" -- the underlying technique works fine -- just that the "no touch" aspect might be hard to duplicate under less controlled circumstances.
NT throws also depend upon getting an attacker to commit himself in a certain direction. To commit his "ki", in other words. That sort of skill of feinting, etc., was a viable area of study in ancient times (as a facet of the whole of martial arts). It wasn't meant to be a "woo woo" thing. And yes, it's hard to duplicate without a lot of practice, etc., and no it's not infallible, just as any technique is not infallible.

2 cents.

Mike Sigman

mathewjgano
02-07-2011, 11:08 AM
...having just watched a portion of the youtube video...

That first bit was very much like the Yellow Bamboo vids I've seen. It's one thing to throw yourself, it's another to run backwards for 100 feet before falling down and acting like you got hit by a wayward tree.
The stuff at the end of the vid was a bit more interesting, although I'm not in much of a position to judge one way or another. It looked a bit more practical though.

Mark Freeman
02-07-2011, 11:44 AM
The simple act of taking a step will put a person on one leg and drive their hips forward. If the space where their head wants to be is suddenly occupied by a solid object -- like a fist -- falling down is a pretty common result.

IMO, though, no touch throws are overrated. They depend on uke's sensitivity and self-preservation instinct, meaning they don't work as well on people in whom those traits are less well-developed. That doesn't mean they're "fake" -- the underlying technique works fine -- just that the "no touch" aspect might be hard to duplicate under less controlled circumstances.

Katherine

Hi Katherine,

why rate them at all, they are just a part of the totality of aikido practice, they require uke to play a part of course. The also require good timing, extension, intent, connection etc.
One is unlikely to get a 'no touch' moment out of someone who is not quick enough to avoid a strike, the inevitable 'touch' is going to happen.

I don't understand why they generate so much negative airtime, apart from when they are bordering on the ridiculous as per the Nishino clips shown above.

regards,

Mark

kewms
02-07-2011, 12:16 PM
I don't understand why they generate so much negative airtime, apart from when they are bordering on the ridiculous as per the Nishino clips shown above.

Two reasons. First, you have ridiculous examples held up (in some quarters) as the height of aikido excellence. And second, the atemis used to effect the throw often don't scare anyone except aikidoka. So a karateka watches a no touch throw and thinks to himself "why on earth would I throw myself on the floor to avoid *that.*"

Katherine

mathewjgano
02-07-2011, 12:21 PM
Two reasons. First, you have ridiculous examples held up (in some quarters) as the height of aikido excellence. And second, the atemis used to effect the throw often don't scare anyone except aikidoka. So a karateka watches a no touch throw and thinks to himself "why on earth would I throw myself on the floor to avoid *that.*"

Katherine

Of course then we have the thread which is dedicated to the idea that very good stuff can look ridiculous, so to the uninitiated, it's doubly difficult to tell which is which.

Janet Rosen
02-07-2011, 03:56 PM
Of course then we have the thread which is dedicated to the idea that very good stuff can look ridiculous, so to the uninitiated, it's doubly difficult to tell which is which.

Which is why I rarely look at ANYbody's videos....

Mark Gibbons
02-07-2011, 04:36 PM
... And second, the atemis used to effect the throw often don't scare anyone except aikidoka. So a karateka watches a no touch throw and thinks to himself "why on earth would I throw myself on the floor to avoid *that.*"

Katherine

I've accidently hurt people by hitting their fist with my head. Bare fist vs boney skull is a chancy thing.

Mark

Mark Freeman
02-07-2011, 05:12 PM
Which is why I rarely look at ANYbody's videos....

Hi Janet,

shame, because there is some really good stuff out there amongst all the mediocre masses.

for instance:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ye5DC7sVTw&feature=related

Not aikido, but a real master of his art nonetheless, well worth a few minutes of anyones time.:)

regards

Mark

Janet Rosen
02-07-2011, 05:28 PM
for instance:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ye5DC7sVTw&feature=related

Not aikido, but a real master of his art nonetheless, well worth a few minutes of anyones time.:)


Mark, I actually know this footage from some time ago when Peter the Budobum sent me the link. It is truly lovely.

Randall Lim
02-08-2011, 01:15 AM
Hi Randall,

Uke does need to be fully committed in his attack. Uke is lead by nage, the point where I differ from you description is that balance is not necessarily broken. I think it is possible to uke through a complete exercise without losing balance. I think it is possible to roll out forwards or backwards without having 'broken' anything. If and only if, the nage applies all of the principles inherent in aikido, the uke follows through the attack and is lead to a roll or avoiding manoeuver (and a possible atemi) simply to maintain co-ordination

That's my take on it anyway.

regards,

Mark

Hi Mark!

OK. Maybe I have phrased it not too accurately.

What I meant was:
"no touch to the point when Nage feels the need to take a fall"
(for whatever reasons, be it self-protection or tipping of balance).

Randall

Mark Freeman
02-08-2011, 06:46 AM
I've accidently hurt people by hitting their fist with my head. Bare fist vs boney skull is a chancy thing.

Mark

Hi Mark,

the early 'bare knuckle' pugilists knew this only too well. The introduction of boxing gloves to the sport lead to the increase in brain related damage to boxers, as it no longer became damaging to hit a head with a fist!

regards,

Mark

Mark Freeman
02-08-2011, 07:08 AM
Two reasons. First, you have ridiculous examples held up (in some quarters) as the height of aikido excellence. And second, the atemis used to effect the throw often don't scare anyone except aikidoka. So a karateka watches a no touch throw and thinks to himself "why on earth would I throw myself on the floor to avoid *that.*"

Katherine

Hi Katherine,

could you give some examples of the 'riduculous examples' and who holds them up as the height of aikido excellence?

I agree, to someone trained in a striking art, many aikido atemi will look suspect. Conversely to someone trained in aikido, giving your opponent a foot to play with while you are standing on one leg, raises some questions also.

Every art has its limitations and questionable practices.

No touch throws will continue to generate plenty of positive and negative opinions.

I think they have a valid part to play in aikido practice, as long as they are a result of honest work and not some delusional BS as can be found out there.

regards

Mark

Marie Noelle Fequiere
02-08-2011, 02:04 PM
Hi Marie,

I can't imagine what was going on there. Why would someone be standing on one leg busily throwing their hips forward? There is something lacking in the description, for it to make sense (to me anyway). Please could you elaborate.

regards

Mark

Well, Sempai was executing a front kick. Since Aikido techniques require moving in just as soon as the attacker budges, I was near him before he had a chance to bring his kicking foot down.
And when you do a front kick, pushing the hips forward adds both distance and power to the kick.

Mark Freeman
02-08-2011, 02:25 PM
Well, Sempai was executing a front kick. Since Aikido techniques require moving in just as soon as the attacker budges, I was near him before he had a chance to bring his kicking foot down.
And when you do a front kick, pushing the hips forward adds both distance and power to the kick.

Hi Marie,

that makes perfect sense to me now:)

It also makes me never want to front kick someone who might know how to deal with a kick!

We practice with this type of attack sometimes and the ukemi out of some of the exercises is can be a bit hairy!

thanks for clarifying,

regards,

Mark

Marie Noelle Fequiere
02-11-2011, 07:06 AM
Hi Marie,

that makes perfect sense to me now:)

It also makes me never want to front kick someone who might know how to deal with a kick!

Mark

:D

Keith Burnikell
02-13-2011, 02:06 PM
Nagababa might enjoy this:

Here's a real life story as I remember it was told to me by one of my teachers. He was a participant. 'Uke' was not compliant nor an aikidoka.

Location: Dairy Queen.
Said teacher has received his order on a tray and turns around and is sucker punched (the why is irrelevant). Instructor quickly recovers and moves out of harms way as best he can. He's a big guy and first punch wasn't the one stop blow the 'uke' thought it would be. Food is now on the floor.

Instructor is unhappy and prepped for the follow-up attack.
Attack comes in the form of a full punch to the face...gamenuchi???

Instructor performs Gyaku Game Ate. Perform is perhaps too light a word. Execute might be better. Execute implies serious intent.
For those unfamiliar with the technique it involves a blinding fast knife hand strike to the eyes & subsequent neck manipulation while 'uke's momentum carries him forward.

To the best of my knowledge the eye contact never occurred. 'Uke' perceived the intent of the knife hand and reflexively jerked backwards.

Consequence from this 'no touch throw' was devastating. As my instructor drove away from the incident the Dairy Queen patrons were still gathered in a circle over an unconscious 'uke'.

Remember, uke was non-compliant and not an aikidoka. When asked, my instructor replied that he never knew what technique he intended to do (i.e. non rehearsed) but that he was fully committed to do something. He was totally committed to action; which kind was irrelevant to him. That level of intent was easily perceived by 'uke' once put into action.

No touch throw outside an Aikido dojo!!!!

David Orange
02-15-2011, 04:24 PM
The Nishino mentioned in the article is this gentleman:

Bio:http://www.nishinojuku.com/english/e_profile/e_pro_top.html

Video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GmXEYGqfIU

That's pretty impressive to me despite some of the outlandish behavior of the ukes. However, we should remember that those folks are all probably hyperventilated from a lot of that breathing practice, possibly to the point of giddiness.

Anyway, that Taiki exercise was one of the first things I learned in yoseikan aikido, in 1974/75. That's one I've done lots of. Seeing how they're applying it and considering that Nishino trained with O Sensei, Tohei and Saito as well as with the founder of Yichuan, I'm not inclined to dismiss the videos. He looks like he could put most people down on contact.

As for no-touch throws, I think the important point is that we shouldn't expect them to work and so shouldn't consider them a main intent. I've had a few happen very naturally over the years. Once, when a judo-experienced woman started to attack me with shomen uchi. Just as she was about to attack, I scooted back 18 inches or so--just enough to spoil her distance. So she scooted up 18 inches and reset, but just when she was about to attack, I scooted back 18 inches. This time, she moved up 18 inches and instantly launched her shomen uchi and I did what I learned as the "aiki drop," in front of her feet and she just sailed over my head. It was really funny because it was as if she'd been shot from a slingshot. Whe I moved back, I felt our ma-ai sort of "stretch" and when she moved up, it relaxed. And when I moved back again, it stretched again and when she attacked, it was with the impetus of that "stretchy" attachment between us. A weird feeling, but very fun and memorable, though I couldn't necessarily replicate it.

Another time, a guy gave me a pretty strong front kick and I just opened in nagashi tai sabaki and he just flew right past me and landed behind where I had been standing.

I saw a similar thing in a kyokushin tournament once: one guy kicked for the other guy's head but the other guy just bobbed a bit. The kick missed his head by a couple of inches and the kicker came off his ground foot and spun in the air like a barrel before he hit the ground on the other side of the guy he was trying to kick.

So I'd say no-touch throws are a real thrill to see and a bigger thrill to do, but mostly because the "real thing" is so rare, arising from the perfect conditions of a single moment. I don't think you can force it and I don't think it's good practice to try to hard to achieve it. Kihon waza is a better place to focus.

Best to all.

David

Mark Freeman
02-15-2011, 05:22 PM
That's pretty impressive to me despite some of the outlandish behavior of the ukes. However, we should remember that those folks are all probably hyperventilated from a lot of that breathing practice, possibly to the point of giddiness.

Hi David,

unfortunately, for me the completely ridiculous behaviour of the ukes, takes away all creditability of what the chap is doing. There is no way on this earth that the ukes are being honest or in any way real. If you are throwing ukes who are as high as kites through hyperventilation, what sort of demo is that?:confused:

Anyway, that Taiki exercise was one of the first things I learned in yoseikan aikido, in 1974/75. That's one I've done lots of. Seeing how they're applying it and considering that Nishino trained with O Sensei, Tohei and Saito as well as with the founder of Yichuan, I'm not inclined to dismiss the videos. He looks like he could put most people down on contact.

I haven't spent the time to fully research Mr Nishino, but from the biog that Demetrio provided it says that he trained for a few years with K. Ueshiba. I stand to be corrected as I am a bit lazy on the research front. And if anyone has felt Mr Nishino's power, please let me know. I just can't get past the bizarre antics of the white clad ukes, it is just wrong to pose this as something genuine. - If it is, and can be proven as such, I will quite happily eat my hakama!

The demo where they are all in a line, one behind the other, I have been in a similar line with about 20 other dan grades and felt what it is like for my teacher to send a shot of ki right down the middle of the line. an interesting sensation I can tell you. everyone ends up moving backwards fairly rapidly, trying not to tread on each others toes:) , the momentum is there for a while and we all manage to regain composure before too long. Any one can be shown how to move a line of people with ease fairly quickly, it's not rocket science or magic. Relaxation, extension of ki, same old stuff etc. My teacher also trained with Tohei Sensei, I don't belive that Tohei ever demonstrated anything like what Mr Nishio was doing, so he must have gained the superpowers somewhere else.

Ki development exercises are one thing, Ki Demos like the one in the clip are not the same thing

Maybe you are more open minded than me, I just can't buy what I see. And, I could be completely wrong.

As for no touch throws? gotta love em, if they are real!

regards

Mark

David Orange
02-15-2011, 05:54 PM
...unfortunately, for me the completely ridiculous behaviour of the ukes, takes away all creditability of what the chap is doing. There is no way on this earth that the ukes are being honest or in any way real. If you are throwing ukes who are as high as kites through hyperventilation, what sort of demo is that?:confused:

Well, they weren't all that way. There were some pretty strong-looking people in some of those demos and they weren't laughing or going weird distances. He just sent them straight back and down.

And if anyone has felt Mr Nishino's power, please let me know. I just can't get past the bizarre antics of the white clad ukes, it is just wrong to pose this as something genuine. - If it is, and can be proven as such, I will quite happily eat my hakama!

I guess it's the same for anyone. It would be good to hear of someone who has experienced what he can do, but usually, you just have to go meet the guy to see if he's real.

The demo where they are all in a line, one behind the other, I have been in a similar line with about 20 other dan grades and felt what it is like for my teacher to send a shot of ki right down the middle of the line. an interesting sensation I can tell you. everyone ends up moving backwards fairly rapidly, trying not to tread on each others toes:) , the momentum is there for a while and we all manage to regain composure before too long. Any one can be shown how to move a line of people with ease fairly quickly, it's not rocket science or magic. Relaxation, extension of ki, same old stuff etc. My teacher also trained with Tohei Sensei, I don't belive that Tohei ever demonstrated anything like what Mr Nishio was doing, so he must have gained the superpowers somewhere else.

I didn't see him do much of anything but that taiki opening, find their weak point and send them hurtling back into it. In fact, all he did looked very simple. Of course, what the ukes did is another story, but as has been said so often, bad ukes make it hard to tell how much real power a guy has.

I will say I'd like to meet him and feel that, though most likely, he'd put you with one of those very muscular students for awhile....

Best to you.

David

Mark Freeman
02-15-2011, 06:19 PM
I guess it's the same for anyone. It would be good to hear of someone who has experienced what he can do, but usually, you just have to go meet the guy to see if he's real.


Hi David,

there must be someone here who has felt him? I can't say that I would travel very far to see what someone has, if there are no credible voices to vouch for him. If he has the goods, great, I'd like to feel it, and learn from it.

I was standing next to Mike S when he squared up shouder to shoulder with a guy at the seminar, he did a power release that sent the guy back a dozen or so feet. Lovely to see and completely real, the uke kept his balance, kept his mind forward and recovered to walk forward with a big grin on his chops. That was real.

If the uke is being honest, then it's likely to be real.

regards

Mark

Demetrio Cereijo
02-16-2011, 03:59 AM
Hi Mark,

I'm still "investigating" Nishino, so I don't have reached any conclusion. However, maybe the name Kenji Tokitsu (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenji_Tokitsu), rings a bell.

Anyway, Tokitsu has written about his 4 years experience training with Nishino. IIRC Tokitsu stated Nishino's qigong method has value but there was also a lot of collusive behaviour (unconscious-cultural based-whatever) in Nishino's disciples.

Mark Freeman
02-16-2011, 05:27 AM
Hi Mark,

I'm still "investigating" Nishino, so I don't have reached any conclusion. However, maybe the name Kenji Tokitsu (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenji_Tokitsu), rings a bell.

Anyway, Tokitsu has written about his 4 years experience training with Nishino. IIRC Tokitsu stated Nishino's qigong method has value but there was also a lot of collusive behaviour (unconscious-cultural based-whatever) in Nishino's disciples.

Hi Demetrio,

I have spent a bit more time reading up on this interesting character.He may well have something, but I'm not sure quite what it is, I clipped this from the article I was reading:

(i) At his school, Nishino practices Taiki with several hundred students each day. He does this once with each student everyday (except for new students who have not practiced for 6 months). If he uses his own energy to knock down or throw several hundred students, he must be exhausted. However, after finishing this within 2–3 h, he seems to be not tired. This fact suggests that opponents used their own energy. (ii) The experience of most of the students has been that when they started learning the Nishino Breathing Method, they did not respond much to Nishino's Ki. They just walked back several steps or fell down. However, after practicing it for from several months to a few years, many of them began to respond more vigorously. It may be that the sensitivity of the student toward Nishino's Ki increases with the practice time, and therefore, the more one practices, the more he/she responds. Again, this supports the notion that the students move with their own energy when they receive Ki from Nishino.

For me the crux of all of this is in the bolded section. The students have to learn to be able to react like they do.

Personally, I'll stick with what I've got. Only time will tell if the breathing method he has developed will increase his lifespan by the factor that he claims. I wouldn't want to learn a breathing method that taught me how to be less centred and co-ordinated (which is what I witness from his students), even if it did extend my life by some years.

Interesting stuff, though.

regards

Mark
p.s. also from the same article:
At the age of 50, he decided to search for the secrets of the Japanese martial art called Aikido. He quickly became a 7th degree blackbelt and trained many students as an Aikido master. Combining all of his experiences, namely western medicine, western ballet and Japanese martial art, and through his continuous search for the secrets and beauty of the human body, he developed the Nishino Breathing Method.

How is this possible??:confused:

David Orange
02-16-2011, 08:53 AM
For me the crux of all of this is in the bolded section. The students have to learn to be able to react like they do.

In that regard, it's not too far from the Dillman stuff, but I do believe there is a core or very hard reality in what Nishino is doing. I can't begin to imagine what the crazy-looking students are doing, or why, but I did see some people who looked both very strong and very centered. But what do you see in an ordinary aikido school? In some cases, you don't even see one person who looks like he really has any idea about aikido. In some, you see two or three and the rest are just going through motions. It's rare to see a school where very individual is both technically skilled and mentally focused.

But it does appear to me that Nishino and several of his students have some awesome power. It would be interesting to meet him and see.

One other point: ballet is one of the most grueling physical pursuits you can find. Ever check out the legs on Mikhail Baryshnikhov? I think O Sensei and Tohei would have been very impressed by his abilities at 50... But I agree that we need to know more.

Best to you.

David

Mark Freeman
02-16-2011, 02:30 PM
In that regard, it's not too far from the Dillman stuff, but I do believe there is a core or very hard reality in what Nishino is doing. I can't begin to imagine what the crazy-looking students are doing, or why, but I did see some people who looked both very strong and very centered. But what do you see in an ordinary aikido school? In some cases, you don't even see one person who looks like he really has any idea about aikido. In some, you see two or three and the rest are just going through motions. It's rare to see a school where very individual is both technically skilled and mentally focused.

But it does appear to me that Nishino and several of his students have some awesome power. It would be interesting to meet him and see.

One other point: ballet is one of the most grueling physical pursuits you can find. Ever check out the legs on Mikhail Baryshnikhov? I think O Sensei and Tohei would have been very impressed by his abilities at 50... But I agree that we need to know more.

Best to you.

David

Hi David,

I will remain an open minded sceptic;)

regards

Mark
p.s. My daughter is a professional dancer, I appreciate the gruelling nature of their training. Ballet in particular is probably the hardest of all.

grondahl
02-16-2011, 03:15 PM
From an old thread:
One of my seniors in Japan (a 5th dan whom I'd describe as a "slab of beef") went to Tokyo to feel the 'ki' of Nishino Kozo [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GmXEYGqfIU].

When Nishino waved his hands without effect, my friend was scolded and told that he needed to train more in order to become sensitive to Nishino's energy.

What I don't understand is why anyone would want to practice any sort of martial art, the efficacy of which is based on the attacker's 'sensitivity.'

I find this to be sadly common when an art is nage/tori-centric.

Tenyu
02-16-2011, 04:33 PM
The Nishino mentioned in the article is this gentleman:

Bio:http://www.nishinojuku.com/english/e_profile/e_pro_top.html

Video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GmXEYGqfIU

I honestly didn't know Jedis were real. His midi-chlorian count looks higher than Skywalker's.

http://www.soul-source.co.uk/soulforum/public/style_emoticons/default/ph34r.gif

graham christian
02-16-2011, 07:24 PM
Very funny. For me this falls under mesmerism or hypnotism if you like. More to do with the power of suggestion and nothing to do with Ki.
Regards.G.

David Orange
02-16-2011, 07:48 PM
Very funny. For me this falls under mesmerism or hypnotism if you like. More to do with the power of suggestion and nothing to do with Ki.

Have you ever tried that Taiki exercise they do?

Granted, the uke reactions are often screwy, but I tried all four of the breathing methods he outlines and find them very interesting and expect that they're really good for ki development. And I have a lot of experience with the Taiki, though I'm sure he puts another emphasis on it. But I wonder how most people would do if they actually touched hands with Nishino or some of his top people? I think most people would really be surprised.

Peter Grondahl's quote from Michael Hacker is interesting, but it's a quote of a quote from a third person's experience and there's too much I don't know about what happened for me to be able to draw solid conclusions. I'd certainly be disappointed if he told me it depended on my sensitivity. I don't want anything that only works on people who are sensitive to it.

But it's really strange that you have this opinion of Nishino based on the video when most commenters here have had almost the same reaction to your videos. I'm willing to imagine that you're teaching something useful in those videos but I actually think that I'm seeing a bad misrepresentation of aikido. It actually looks less believable to me than the Nishino videos. Can you imagine that?

Not trying to insult you, but it seems that that's what 99% of responders have been telling you from the first clip you posted.

I guess I have to meet both Nishino and you.

Best to you.

David

graham christian
02-16-2011, 09:55 PM
Have you ever tried that Taiki exercise they do?

Granted, the uke reactions are often screwy, but I tried all four of the breathing methods he outlines and find them very interesting and expect that they're really good for ki development. And I have a lot of experience with the Taiki, though I'm sure he puts another emphasis on it. But I wonder how most people would do if they actually touched hands with Nishino or some of his top people? I think most people would really be surprised.

Peter Grondahl's quote from Michael Hacker is interesting, but it's a quote of a quote from a third person's experience and there's too much I don't know about what happened for me to be able to draw solid conclusions. I'd certainly be disappointed if he told me it depended on my sensitivity. I don't want anything that only works on people who are sensitive to it.

But it's really strange that you have this opinion of Nishino based on the video when most commenters here have had almost the same reaction to your videos. I'm willing to imagine that you're teaching something useful in those videos but I actually think that I'm seeing a bad misrepresentation of aikido. It actually looks less believable to me than the Nishino videos. Can you imagine that?

Not trying to insult you, but it seems that that's what 99% of responders have been telling you from the first clip you posted.

I guess I have to meet both Nishino and you.

Best to you.

David

David, I've never done Taiki. Which exercise do you mean. The breathing?

I have however met a few Taichi teachers, some good and some who tell you what you should do and feel. Likewise I have met many reiki healers who tell you what you should be feeling. You could call that no touch healing.

The funny thing is I can see and feel the difference and so on personal experience can tell you many are to do with the power of suggestion. No Ki. In fact you can get a reiki practitioners certificate after a couple of weekends.

I'm glad you find it strange me saying this it'll give you food for thought.

I am fully aware of the feeling of being led by Ki, of having someone lead your mind, of when I have center and when it's disrupted, and most variations. I have experienced it and understand it therefore to a great degree can recognise it.

Don't know about your maths but the majority of people who post on here may have experienced it sometimes, and you yourself have done some by all accounts, but the majority don't do it so how can they recognise it?

When O'Sensei says things like non-resistance and Saitome sensei says similar I wonder what most folks are hearing. There are folks who explain the Ki side of things and the harmony side of things quite well and yet the majority of posters seem to dismiss or politely acknowledge and then get back to arguing. Then blame the teachers for not teaching properly.

Wendy palmer did a good column on this kind of thing called 'soft power' so I would imagine those looking for this missing part of Aikido would run and queue up to learn from her. Mmmm. I doubt that happened.

Everyone shouts about hard training and I agree but not with what the majority call hard training. It is hard to even look at what non-resistance means apparently. If you non-resist then obviously you cannot go against for against is resistance. If you are doing something TO an opponent then you are against. Now if getting the reality of non-resistance is so hard then the continued practice of it apparently would make most of you feint.

Let's take our friend tenyu as an example. Everyone against. No non-resistance, no Aikido. Blind. They fail to realize that if you accept and non-resist then the person whoever it is will then open up and tell you their views and if they are crazy they will thus expose themselves. By resisting you just give them power.

Unfortunately those who don't jump on the bandwagon are seen as agreeing with. As I said, blind. The blind leading the blind.

To me Kiatsu is far greater than looking impressive bouncing someone around yet what would you see if you watched me do it? Nothing. In fact I am not impressed by seeing anyone bounce someone around for I know by personal experience most couldnt bounce the majority of my students around because they are too centered.

So why should I worry about it? I don't judge myself by fame or even fancy impressive technique and looking the part. All image. I judge myself by how well my students are doing in applying the principles to Aikido and to their own lives and every win for them is a win for me.

The challenge of harmonizing completely with one is greater than the challenge of throwing many.

Regards.G.

David Orange
02-16-2011, 10:41 PM
David, I've never done Taiki. Which exercise do you mean. The breathing?

Taiki is the push-hands sort of exercise they do, where nage absorbs uke's push by turning the hips and shoulder to roll the push off, then pushes into uke, who in turn rolls it off. That was one of the first exercises I learned in yoseikan aikido and it was presented as a ki exercise. So if Nishino learned directly from O Sensei, he must have gotten the taiki there. It's a lot of fun when the partner is a very strong person.

I'm glad you find it strange me saying this it'll give you food for thought.

Oh, I already feel like I'm learning a lesson, all right.

When O'Sensei says things like non-resistance and Saitome sensei says similar I wonder what most folks are hearing. There are folks who explain the Ki side of things and the harmony side of things quite well and yet the majority of posters seem to dismiss or politely acknowledge and then get back to arguing. Then blame the teachers for not teaching properly.

I believe from what I've read that most people think that resistance is forbidden. This results in a practice where uke falls no matter what kind of goofy technique nage applies. My own understanding is that nage does nothing to go against uke's efforts but that if uke can feel anything in nage to resist, he should resist it. Because if uke can feel the technique at all, what he actually feels is nage's resistance. And the only way I know of to make nage feel how he is resisting uke is for uke to give him resistance. Then nage can feel what he's doing wrong and can gradually work it out. But if uke never resists, he's really lying to nage and allowing nage to lie to himself, believing that he's so non-resistant even though uke can feel the awkward and counter-spiritedness in nage's technique. But nage should not resist uke at all.

Still, aikido has to relate to real human experience and the fact is, when someone attacks you physically, he means to give you hell. So I think uke ought to give a pretty good representation of that strength when he attacks, if only as a sort of inoculation of nage against the time when he meets a real attacker. In a situation like that, limp, formless and SLOW responses are worthless. Although aikido is ultimately formless, when it manifests, it appears with sharp form and zanshin. So training without good katachi and zanshin are NOT aikido. So it's just as bad to have really "no resistance" in training as it is to go to the other extreme and practice cruel and damaging technique.

Everyone shouts about hard training and I agree but not with what the majority call hard training. It is hard to even look at what non-resistance means apparently. If you non-resist then obviously you cannot go against for against is resistance. If you are doing something TO an opponent then you are against. Now if getting the reality of non-resistance is so hard then the continued practice of it apparently would make most of you feint.

Practicing without form and without zanshin are really quite different from "getting to the reality of non-resistance" because you can't reach very deep with it. Especially done slowly all the time. Tai Chi is done very slowly in practice, but a good tai chi practitioner feels the resistance of the very air. And when they apply technique in self defense it's incredibly fast. Also, when the practice together, there are slow movements, but when someone actually applies a technique, it's like a tiger pouncing.

The only way to ferret out the deep resistance in yourself is hard, fast, resistant training. Because you can think you've shed it and you can manifest it well when no one is putting on any pressure and everyone is going slowly and falling at the slightest touch. When the pressure is on, the deep, inner resistance becomes clear.

I'm afraid if something is going to make anyone faint, it's going to be your students fainting when they run up against someone who proactively means to do them harm.

Let's take our friend tenyu as an example. Everyone against. No non-resistance, no Aikido. Blind.

I'm not against Tenyu. Sometimes the only thing you can do to help a person is to flatly tell them they are going the wrong way. Sure, the world is round and they may eventually follow their path back to the right way, but it's 20000 miles that way and only a couple of feet if you just go the right way from the start.

They fail to realize that if you accept and non-resist then the person whoever it is will then open up and tell you their views and if they are crazy they will thus expose themselves.

Tenyu opened up and expressed his views from the first post on this thread. He's already exposed himself, non-resistance or not.

Unfortunately those who don't jump on the bandwagon are seen as agreeing with. As I said, blind. The blind leading the blind.

Is that it, really? Or is it a case that you're actually resisting what everyone else is doing? I think if you get into a heavy situation with a skilled fighter, you'll quickly find yourself unable to continue with non-resistance because you train with no form and without living energy. Abstraction is fine in its place, but ten to fifteen minutes of that twice a year is more than enough. If you train like that all the time, you're just going to hurt your students.

To me Kiatsu is far greater than looking impressive bouncing someone around yet what would you see if you watched me do it? Nothing. In fact I am not impressed by seeing anyone bounce someone around for I know by personal experience most couldnt bounce the majority of my students around because they are too centered.

I'm only impressed by bouncing people if the bouncee looks skilled and serious and delivers a powerful attack. And if a bunch of people are standing around and slowly going through some motions that don't even look like aikido and have none of the spirit of the masters like O Sensei or even Kisshomaru, I find it even less interesting and less convincing. I seriously hesitate to call that aikido.

So why should I worry about it? I don't judge myself by fame or even fancy impressive technique and looking the part. All image.

So you think that O Sensei, Saito Sensei, Shioda Sensei, Tohei Sensei, Tadashi Abe Sensei, Abbe Sensei, Mochizuki Sensei and all the others were doing something just for looks? They taught aikido and taught how it was to be taught. I don't think they are "all image," by any means.

I judge myself by how well my students are doing in applying the principles to Aikido and to their own lives and every win for them is a win for me.

But how do you know they can really apply those principles with training such as you've shown us? 39 years of training in many arts and with all manner of teachers tells me that you're missing the big boat and I find it ironic that you can comment on Nishino as you did.

The challenge of harmonizing completely with one is greater than the challenge of throwing many.


Great platitude, but does it really have any meaning? If you can't apply that harmony when someone is coming to seriously hurt you, isn't it just words? And I seriously worry about where you're leading your students with the kind of training you've shown us.

Best wishes.

David

kewms
02-16-2011, 11:44 PM
When O'Sensei says things like non-resistance and Saitome sensei says similar I wonder what most folks are hearing. There are folks who explain the Ki side of things and the harmony side of things quite well and yet the majority of posters seem to dismiss or politely acknowledge and then get back to arguing. Then blame the teachers for not teaching properly.

Have you ever actually put your hands on Saotome Sensei? It's like bouncing off a brick wall.

The challenge is to understand how you can *both* be completely soft and non-resistant *and* bounce people as if they've hit a wall. Lots of people can do one or the other; very few can do both.

Katherine

graham christian
02-17-2011, 12:15 AM
Taiki is the push-hands sort of exercise they do, where nage absorbs uke's push by turning the hips and shoulder to roll the push off, then pushes into uke, who in turn rolls it off. That was one of the first exercises I learned in yoseikan aikido and it was presented as a ki exercise. So if Nishino learned directly from O Sensei, he must have gotten the taiki there. It's a lot of fun when the partner is a very strong person.

Oh, I already feel like I'm learning a lesson, all right.

I believe from what I've read that most people think that resistance is forbidden. This results in a practice where uke falls no matter what kind of goofy technique nage applies. My own understanding is that nage does nothing to go against uke's efforts but that if uke can feel anything in nage to resist, he should resist it. Because if uke can feel the technique at all, what he actually feels is nage's resistance. And the only way I know of to make nage feel how he is resisting uke is for uke to give him resistance. Then nage can feel what he's doing wrong and can gradually work it out. But if uke never resists, he's really lying to nage and allowing nage to lie to himself, believing that he's so non-resistant even though uke can feel the awkward and counter-spiritedness in nage's technique. But nage should not resist uke at all.

Still, aikido has to relate to real human experience and the fact is, when someone attacks you physically, he means to give you hell. So I think uke ought to give a pretty good representation of that strength when he attacks, if only as a sort of inoculation of nage against the time when he meets a real attacker. In a situation like that, limp, formless and SLOW responses are worthless. Although aikido is ultimately formless, when it manifests, it appears with sharp form and zanshin. So training without good katachi and zanshin are NOT aikido. So it's just as bad to have really "no resistance" in training as it is to go to the other extreme and practice cruel and damaging technique.

Practicing without form and without zanshin are really quite different from "getting to the reality of non-resistance" because you can't reach very deep with it. Especially done slowly all the time. Tai Chi is done very slowly in practice, but a good tai chi practitioner feels the resistance of the very air. And when they apply technique in self defense it's incredibly fast. Also, when the practice together, there are slow movements, but when someone actually applies a technique, it's like a tiger pouncing.

The only way to ferret out the deep resistance in yourself is hard, fast, resistant training. Because you can think you've shed it and you can manifest it well when no one is putting on any pressure and everyone is going slowly and falling at the slightest touch. When the pressure is on, the deep, inner resistance becomes clear.

I'm afraid if something is going to make anyone faint, it's going to be your students fainting when they run up against someone who proactively means to do them harm.

I'm not against Tenyu. Sometimes the only thing you can do to help a person is to flatly tell them they are going the wrong way. Sure, the world is round and they may eventually follow their path back to the right way, but it's 20000 miles that way and only a couple of feet if you just go the right way from the start.

Tenyu opened up and expressed his views from the first post on this thread. He's already exposed himself, non-resistance or not.

Is that it, really? Or is it a case that you're actually resisting what everyone else is doing? I think if you get into a heavy situation with a skilled fighter, you'll quickly find yourself unable to continue with non-resistance because you train with no form and without living energy. Abstraction is fine in its place, but ten to fifteen minutes of that twice a year is more than enough. If you train like that all the time, you're just going to hurt your students.

I'm only impressed by bouncing people if the bouncee looks skilled and serious and delivers a powerful attack. And if a bunch of people are standing around and slowly going through some motions that don't even look like aikido and have none of the spirit of the masters like O Sensei or even Kisshomaru, I find it even less interesting and less convincing. I seriously hesitate to call that aikido.

So you think that O Sensei, Saito Sensei, Shioda Sensei, Tohei Sensei, Tadashi Abe Sensei, Abbe Sensei, Mochizuki Sensei and all the others were doing something just for looks? They taught aikido and taught how it was to be taught. I don't think they are "all image," by any means.

But how do you know they can really apply those principles with training such as you've shown us? 39 years of training in many arts and with all manner of teachers tells me that you're missing the big boat and I find it ironic that you can comment on Nishino as you did.

Great platitude, but does it really have any meaning? If you can't apply that harmony when someone is coming to seriously hurt you, isn't it just words? And I seriously worry about where you're leading your students with the kind of training you've shown us.

Best wishes.

David

David. You misunderstand me. Non- resistance. I agree that nage should non-resist and that is what I meant. Now, when you say uke should resist any resistance he feels in nage I understand what your saying but respectfully disagree which doesn't mean uke does nothing. It means that if uke is attacking for real with nonresistance and thus feels resistance in nage he should ATTACK that resistance. This is subtly different than what your saying. THIS is what I mean.

Why does this sublety make the difference? Well it works both ways. If the nage resists he gets hit or baulked in his trying to do the technique. If on the other hand the uke resists then he goes down hard. I say attacking through in this manner is the ukes protection.

Of course ukes also attack like a madman or whatever to represent various situations as well, but uke let alone nage soon find out the difference.

Why mention zanshin? Zanshin is also to do with non-resistance. I'd like to see you resist and at the same time be aware.

Next, I disagree once again about your view on ferreting out your deep resistance by hard fast resistive training. In fact I would say it's almost exactly the opposite. I would say that to ferret out your resistance the only way is through non-resistve(soft) varied speed training.

Don't twist what I say into the old masters doing it for image thank you.

Now asking me how I know my students apply the principles I teach? Wow! What a silly question.

Applying that harmony in all situations is precisely the practice and the discipline so what's with the if you cant?

Anyway, that's enough to and fro for me. If you don't understand or agree with what I say it's fine by me but either way therefore not worth pursuing.

Regards. G.

sakumeikan
02-17-2011, 04:20 AM
Hi Mark,

I'm still "investigating" Nishino, so I don't have reached any conclusion. However, maybe the name Kenji Tokitsu (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenji_Tokitsu), rings a bell.

Anyway, Tokitsu has written about his 4 years experience training with Nishino. IIRC Tokitsu stated Nishino's qigong method has value but there was also a lot of collusive behaviour (unconscious-cultural based-whatever) in Nishino's disciples.
Why not say plainly that the ukes are jumping?Nishino may well be ok at some stuff related to qi kung but Aikido ?-he is more like a circus magic act-pretty but an illusion.

Demetrio Cereijo
02-17-2011, 05:14 AM
Why not say plainly that the ukes are jumping?Nishino may well be ok at some stuff related to qi kung but Aikido ?-he is more like a circus magic act-pretty but an illusion.

Tatemae

grondahl
02-17-2011, 05:36 AM
I wonder what it is in aikido and related arts that seem to lead to the cult-like behavior? It´s almost as if aikido-training in itself is having a delusional effect on the human psyche.

Budo as way of regression instead of progression. Lies instead of truth?.

David Orange
02-17-2011, 07:27 AM
I wonder what it is in aikido and related arts that seem to lead to the cult-like behavior? It´s almost as if aikido-training in itself is having a delusional effect on the human psyche.

Budo as way of regression instead of progression. Lies instead of truth?.

It's not just aikido, by any means. Look at the karate world. And on this forum we recently had a young man telling us that his George Dillman karate has somehow become aikijujutsu.

And consider the kung fu cults that abound.

I'd say it's anything where one person tells a bunch of others (who are paying to be there) what to do. Where one person controls something (in this case rank) that the others all desperately want. Or if not rank, some mystique of esoteric knowledge.

Best to you.

David

sakumeikan
02-17-2011, 09:26 AM
Tatemae
Dear Demetrio,
As I stated in my blog why not speak plainly? I note the brevity of your blog. However without resorting to analysing Japanese concepts why not just in idiot proof statements[I am a bit dull at times] just say what you mean in simple non Japanese terms.May I also state I am not xenophobic?
Cheers, Joe.

sakumeikan
02-17-2011, 09:34 AM
I wonder what it is in aikido and related arts that seem to lead to the cult-like behavior? It´s almost as if aikido-training in itself is having a delusional effect on the human psyche.

Budo as way of regression instead of progression. Lies instead of truth?.

You have asked what is it about Aikido and related arts that make people take leave of their senses or judgement.Answer is really simple, lack of common sense and an ability to be self deluded.
A bit like the Emperors New Clothes in the fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson.Some people will swallow any junk tossed their way. Pretty sad . No wonder Aikido takes a battering when there are some guys doing rubbish and promoting themselves in places like You Tube as MASTERS.

Demetrio Cereijo
02-17-2011, 09:50 AM
Dear Demetrio,
As I stated in my blog why not speak plainly? I note the brevity of your blog. However without resorting to analysing Japanese concepts why not just in idiot proof statements[I am a bit dull at times] just say what you mean in simple non Japanese terms.May I also state I am not xenophobic?
Cheers, Joe.

Hi Joe,

Tokitsu being japanese, and former student of Nishino, makes him follow the uses of japanese 'politeness' at least in his published writings.

Plus, this is an Aikido forum. Statements about 7th dan Aikido masters have to be done in a very diplomatic fashion.

grondahl
02-17-2011, 09:56 AM
Some of the nonsense on youtube actually represents "masters" of aikido. If being an Aikikai 8 dan shihan doesn´t make you a master, what does?

You have asked what is it about Aikido and related arts that make people take leave of their senses or judgement.Answer is really simple, lack of common sense and an ability to be self deluded.
A bit like the Emperors New Clothes in the fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson.Some people will swallow any junk tossed their way. Pretty sad . No wonder Aikido takes a battering when there are some guys doing rubbish and promoting themselves in places like You Tube as MASTERS.

Janet Rosen
02-17-2011, 10:20 AM
You have asked what is it about Aikido and related arts that make people take leave of their senses or judgement.Answer is really simple, lack of common sense and an ability to be self deluded.

As Katherine and I noted some years ago in a Mirror column, when you tell people entering the dojo they are special because they are practicing a spiritual art created by a genius it sort of sets up a prediliction for enhanced self-esteem that may not mesh with reality....
http://www.aikiweb.com/columns/themirror/2005_05.html

Diana Frese
02-17-2011, 11:40 AM
My experience in Aikido is rather old, but I just have to say something. Although I've been on hiatus for a long time, I still intend to get back to it. I married someone from another martial art who was also interested in Aikido, but don't get me wrong that wasn't the only reason.... and we have promised to re start training this year more than the occasional of other years.

In the dojo I attended in the late sixties we heard about and saw no touch throws from Tohei Koichi Sensei (one was called Obake Nage or Ghost Throw) who visited and I'm sure there were others.

For example in the late seventies, Hikitsuchi Sensei when he visited NY, New Haven and Washington mentioned techniques where one would not be touched by even one finger of the attacker (kind of a literal translation of the Japanese he used to make the point of the attacker not touching him)

So through the years in Aikido this type of thing was tried from time to time by people I knew even myself occasionally, probably, whether actually no touch I think the concept was the same, I called them informally "instant banana peel" Aikido was always fascinating to me and still is.

I noticed Nobuyuki Watanabe Sensei mentioned earlier in this thread but the You Tube video from I think it was 2006 wouldn't play so I looked on the right sidebar for another one. Last night I played one from 1987 All Japan Expo, I think it was, because Watanabe Sensei was one of my teachers years ago. I took his regular class and also Sunday, you could practice seven days if you paid a little extra for the Sunday.

They were great classes and he had great patience. I was happy to be in a class where the pace was such that I could learn something, because of the timing it wasn't too crowded.

Imagine how I felt seeing the demo and that was made over twenty years ago. Yes the no touch throws are real. I'm not saying I can really do them, but I have to speak up about it.
It's all about leading in that demo. There are other ways, I'm sure but I think the no touch part is just part of Aikido as it is, and as it was always supposed to be. It's what happens in the moment that happens to be appropriate when it happens.

Perhaps someone will agree, take that thought and express it better than I.

graham christian
02-17-2011, 01:19 PM
Have you ever actually put your hands on Saotome Sensei? It's like bouncing off a brick wall.

The challenge is to understand how you can *both* be completely soft and non-resistant *and* bounce people as if they've hit a wall. Lots of people can do one or the other; very few can do both.

Katherine

Hi Katherine.
No I have never met Saotome Sensei and he is one of the few I fully agree with judged by what he says.

That explanation of it's like boucing off a wall I fully understand, I have experienced it and students say that to me when I demonstrate what I call Koshi.

In fact I used to get that response especially from other Aikidoka who had done years of Aikido but not much to do with Ki or advanced developement of center. So I put it down to them just needing to practice more center and get more reality on it. However, the times when students said it to me and I then looked to see what it was I was doing that had such a dramatic effect at first had me confused.

All I could see on self inspection was that I was doing 'nothing' and when I did that they said it's like they were running into a brick wall. So at first I could do it but couldn't word or understand exactly what this doing 'nothing' was for it was definitely something to them but FELT like nothing to me.

O.K. So I discovered it's different to center, different to kokyu, different to Hara, and so as I said I found it more to do with Koshi. Having said that then IF you move that AGAINST the opponent then they BOUNCE off.

This looks impressive and dynamic, good. However my perameters in Aikido is there is no against so I don't use it that way if I can find a more harmonious thing to do with it. All the principles are of course interdependant rather than exclusive.

As I've repeatedly stated on this forum I have no interest in anyone who wants to impress or be able to do these type of things so that they can bounce people around, throw people with one finger etc. Even if their purpose is to be able to do to others because 'if someone attacks you then.....' No. Go elsewhere. I only teach who wants to learn how to Harmonize. Self developement.

In my view that is the message given by Saotome, O'Sensei and many great teachers. The fact that it is via doing a martial art is what throws most people and so don't make sense to many but to me it makes it all the more fascinating for you are studying the art of 'no-fighting,' learning the principles of 'no fighting' by putting yourself in an art of fighting. A great test and learning playground.

Regards.G.

sakumeikan
02-17-2011, 01:20 PM
Hi Joe,

Tokitsu being japanese, and former student of Nishino, makes him follow the uses of japanese 'politeness' at least in his published writings.

Plus, this is an Aikido forum. Statements about 7th dan Aikido masters have to be done in a very diplomatic fashion.
Demetrio,
I am not specifically relating my comments to this particular blogNeither am I saying that all 7yh /8th dans are suspect.All I am saying is this , use common sense .Nishino s Uke flew away from him.Maybe they were flight pioneers related to Louis Bleriot or Charles Lindbergh?

Demetrio Cereijo
02-17-2011, 01:35 PM
Joe,

That is strength, boy! That is power! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pria9I-Ms4E)

sakumeikan
02-18-2011, 04:07 AM
Joe,

That is strength, boy! That is power! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pria9I-Ms4E)

That was James Earl Jones an actor .He was imo outclassed as an actor by the Nishino Sensei acrobatic team.Joe.

Nicholas Eschenbruch
02-18-2011, 04:31 AM
As Katherine and I noted some years ago in a Mirror column, when you tell people entering the dojo they are special because they are practicing a spiritual art created by a genius it sort of sets up a prediliction for enhanced self-esteem that may not mesh with reality....
http://www.aikiweb.com/columns/themirror/2005_05.html

Att he risk of being OT... that is an excellent article, summing up a lot of important stuff very precisely in just a few paragraphs! Thanks!

sakumeikan
02-19-2011, 11:33 AM
Yeah, right. Uke is attacking by prearranged attack and you strike him to the throat or a thrust to the eyes. And of course, he has no right to strike you back, to evade/block and counter...... :(
Do you understand what do you propose? :-O

Anyway, I gave example of boxer only to illustrate, that this entire atemi thing to initiate no touch throw is silly and naive. I never thought about real fight context.

Doing action to create reaction is judo principle not aikido.
Dear Szczepan,
Doing an action to create a reaction is a perfectly sound Aikido principle. For example if you break someones balance in one direction, the reaction of uke will be to regain posture iopposite direction.You can use this reaction as a tool .
Also in basic waza you by the nature of you posture etc in a sense creates a condition which determines how uke will respond.
Is this not creating a reaction? Cheers, Joe.

graham christian
02-21-2011, 12:42 AM
Couldn't resist putting a bit of reality in here especially for the hard headed macho physical is the answer brigade.

Has anything ever scared you and made you jump? Have you ever seen anyone feint due to something happening? (even the sight of blood for some) Have you ever seen anyone throw themselves or jump out of the way of some perceived danger only to be embarassed when they notice what it was?

Even in boxing you have boxers jumping out of the way or moving, ducking quickly from a perceived threat only to be surprised when they find it was a feint and now theyre knocked out.

I think if you ever see a ghost you'll be gone quick time in more ways than one.

These are all in life examples and yet carry in them the principles which guide this topic.

Now as Aikido is a way of doing this not through fear etc. then I'll leave you with this last question. Ever met a woman(or visa versa for women or....) that made you weak at the knees?

Regards.G.

Bratislav
02-21-2011, 04:15 PM
No touch throws.... This is for suckers :)

jeremymcmillan
04-07-2011, 09:38 AM
If you think Ki is a magical force, then you have fallen for some depiction of Ki which is NOT consistent with Aikido. Ki is the combination of intent focus and neuromuscular coordination in harmony. I'll accept the magic of Ki only as the kind of magic demonstrated and taught by Penn and Teller.

So, for the pencil trick challenge, I propose something like this: atemi with two hands to your eyes until you blink, and then I'd kiai as one hand sneaks down to pick up the pencil and deposit neatly in your shirt pocket before both hands tap your temples and withdraw. I'm not a magician, who is a PERFORMER of magic, but I do understand how magic really works, and it is totally about harmonizing with the audience, stealing their focus, and making room to facilitate the technical details... where else have I seen that?

jeremymcmillan
04-07-2011, 10:22 AM
Throwing uke just means moving uke sufficiently away from uke's own center (imaginary plumb line from uke's hara). That lowers the bar for some ways of throwing uke to just making uke move away from his/her center.

Atemi can sometimes move uke. Some people like to make a false distinction about whether nage moved uke with atemi or whether uke moved himself/herself. If you insist on sharpening that distinction, then you have failed to understand the "Ai" in "Aikido."

Conceded: every uke and every throw is different. In some situations no-touch throws are impossible. Only fools and philosophers talk about what is impossible in any and all situations.

Mark Harrington
04-12-2011, 09:38 PM
Ditto!

Does the plane throw the Sky Diver?

:freaky:

I would say that the plane, by lifting the skydiver to a higher altitude, imparts energy to the skydiver. That potential energy becomes kinetic energy when the skydiver jumps. Since the plane is not alive, it doesn't throw the skydiver, in this case the skydiver does throw himself using the energy imparted by the plane.

Mark Peckett
04-14-2011, 11:17 AM
I would say that the plane, by lifting the skydiver to a higher altitude, imparts energy to the skydiver. That potential energy becomes kinetic energy when the skydiver jumps. Since the plane is not alive, it doesn't throw the skydiver, in this case the skydiver does throw himself using the energy imparted by the plane.

Plus, the sky diver actively colludes in being thrown.