View Full Version : What are you working on?
So, what are you working on these days in your aikido practice?
06-27-2000, 11:49 PM
I'm working on doing just one thing and giving it my full attention and then the next thing....
This question gets asked a lot where I do my thing and I'm always consternated because most of the time I don't have anything. Everyone else always seems to though.
Tonight I did have something and it was dealing with my own worst critic.
Tomorrow who can say.
Just an aside but maybe we should work on having fun?
That was another one that came up tonight. It was a busy night for me.
[Edited by Erik on June 28, 2000 at 03:45pm]
06-28-2000, 07:03 AM
Lots and lots of Kokyo-ho. Lots. Some other forms for developing the centre too. And slightly longer ago, tenkan. (Very slowly while somebody tries to jerk you off balance with a morotedori) And the rest.
In class, whatever Shihan schedules for that night, anything from all irimi, all tenkan, camp debriefing (we just had our gasshuku), and whatever else Shihan and the sensei for that night decides. Outside of class, I like to do Ibuki-no-ho, bokken cuts (I love kenjutsu, but there are no dojo in my area), and I read as many Aikido books as possible.
06-28-2000, 11:36 AM
moving from center, especially during cuts. plays into your balance issue, Jun, though I like a more dynamic balance (how can you be balanced if you are falling over? dynamic balance!)
As people may have guessed from my Balance (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=70) thread, I've been thinking about balance, both in myself and my partner's, especially during movement.
This whole kuzushi thing is a lot harder than it seems... (Duh.)
06-28-2000, 06:26 PM
I train with a teacher who has changed affiliations in the not-too-distant past, and it is really cool trying to see what part of what I believed I understood from the past "style" translates to the current "style", and what part may have actually been a wrong understanding on my part.
These are both valid and good "styles" of Aikido, they just diverge at the point of emphasis. A close look reveals some really cool similarities. Fortunately, the current "style" is familiar to me, so it's not much of a sales job to be done on me; there are some for whom it is a major shift, though, and it is really interesting to watch the struggle to "believe".
I have been blessed to train with a lot of people who have had good, but very different teachers. I have seen what is (I think) right in an awful lot of supposedly radically different "systems". To think that Osensei spawned all of these (right, in my opinion) versions says volumes on what an incredible person and martial artist he was. I hope to die an old man doing the Aikido of Ueshiba Osensei. (It'd be a nice change from some of the crap I do these days:;)).
George S. Ledyard
06-29-2000, 05:05 AM
Originally posted by akiy
So, what are you working on these days in your aikido practice?
Recently my focus has been on staying in the “neutral” space that exists before you manifest a technique or rather before a technique manifests itself. The idea here comes from my thinking about what constitutes a balanced center. Balance means that your “out” is in balance with your “in”, your up with your down etc. That balance is moveable. You can in fact be moving around at will in different directions and have that balance intact.
William Gleason sensei when he was at our dojo pointed out that Yamaguchi sensei always maintained that a technique should require no more effort than simply allowing the weight of your arms to fall naturally. I had been working on that for couple of years and as an extension of that practice discovered that to accomplish that I needed to “do” less. The more I “did” less, the more I found this place that was very strong and centered that pre-existed the point at which the “doing” of the technique started.
The next thing I discovered was that the longer I waited to commence the “doing” of the technique, the harder it was for the partner to beat the technique. I had been sort of aware of the fact that if you waited longer to execute a technique the partner had less time to counter but lately I have come to realize that this isn’t exactly why the concept works (it isn’t the main factor).
The analogy I use now is that of a scales (like the scales of Justice). If everything on either side of the scale is equal, then you have a balanced state. Anything that effects either side of the scale changes the balance creating an imbalance. So what I am working on is maintaining that balance when I engage my partner. That place is the state of complete potential from which I am free to do anything because I haven’t begun doing anything. When I connect with a partner physically, the balance of the scale is effected by exactly what and how much the partner is doing. Technique is simply a matter of restoring the balance. The key here is that if you approach technique this way, you don’t create the technique but rather the partner essentially creates the technique. O-Sensei said that the Kami created his technique, this is my attempt to get at that idea.
What makes that technique un-counterable is that whatever the partner does is creating the technique so if he changes what he is doing in order to counter, it simply manifests the technique differently. This allows one to drop any “investment” in the success of a technique; it doesn’t matter. There is just the flow of maintaining the balance. That in turn allows you to relax the doing of the technique to the point where you really can do quite powerful technique in a completely relaxed manner.
That said, this is not an easy thing to do. I am more aware than ever of the thousand small ways in which we try to make the technique happen ourselves. If the partner is good and you are training sincerely so that if you make a mistake he doesn’t just give you the technique but rather stops or counters you, you find that it is precisely these little things that you insist on “doing” that create the openings for counters. It isn’t your partner that beats your technique it is you who beat your technique. Very interesting practice.
06-29-2000, 08:44 AM
Ha - in my dojo, I mostly say - Don't do anything - and - Nothing works!
I hope to die an old man doing the Aikido of Ueshiba Osensei. (It'd be a nice change from some of the crap I do these days:;)).
Really? I hope to die doing my own aikido...
06-29-2000, 09:01 AM
Hmmmm..... I hope never to die.... ;)
06-29-2000, 09:22 AM
Right now, I'm stumbling around doing my own Aikido. I think that when I really understand the principles I'll get closer to Osensei's Aikido than I am today. I think his is a bit closer to true than mine. At least at this point.
I don't want to do an imitation of Osensei, I want to get to his understanding of what makes it work, and I think at that level it starts to get much more like his than mine. Think of all of the offshoots and realize they each are doing an imitation of Osensei at some point in his development. How cool would it be to get past style, right to principle?
I'm not eager to die either, but when I get old (as opposed to the sprung, I mean spring chicken I am today), that'll be soon enough. And every day they come up with more ways to put that off.....
One thing that I've noticed with all of the people I've seen who studied with the founder is that they all look pretty different from one another, even those who studied at around the same time. None of them look like the founder in my eyes, really.
My feeling is that this is because they're doing what they can do well -- their own aikido.
It may be a silly question, but why was the founder so good at aikido? I think he was good at it because he defined what was good "aikido" by doing what he was good at doing and calling it such.
Yes, I think that in moving along in our aikido path that it's inevitable that we start embodying the same principles as those who went before us. But, I don't think it's necessary to do aikido that looks like that old guy with the bushy eyebrows and long white beard...
Any way, these are just my own thoughts. I don't think we're too far off in what we're saying; probably more in how we're saying it.
06-29-2000, 06:21 PM
I think some of those really good people are doing Osensei's Aikido (at least more so than me at this point), it probably SHOULDN'T look much like his to be closer to BEing his. Know what I'm at here?
Yeah, we're very close to saying the same thing.
06-29-2000, 10:52 PM
I am a student and the 4 highest student iranking student in my class (rank but it does not mean i am the 4th best student) i am a 7 kyu. I do anything form helping the little kids with falling, rolling, and bacics, to help the better tories be better by being a good uke and learn Behind the back throws (ursiro waza sp?) and left hand chest grab. today i helped new kids roll
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