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WantToSpeakOut
05-19-2005, 11:29 AM
Hi all,

sorry got a bit of a rant to get over: -

a bit of background - I've been doing aikido for about 2 years now, twice a week 2-3 hours a session at what I have found out is deemed to be a fairly physical type of aikido. Pre-war aikido seems to be how it is generally described. Since starting I've been absolutely hooked and can see that the people who have been doing it for 10 years plus have actually got some skill which I respect.

I recently attended a seminar where various different styles were on show and one of the styles was what I have heard being described on these forums as a very aiki-fruity style. The uke literally ran around the sensei and threw himself on the floor without being touched (looked impressive uke'ing skills) When we had to go and practice what we had been shown we (some aikidoka I don't know) didn't really know what to do as it seemed very unnatural to grab someones hand once they had turned a certain amount and as for falling over without being touched it just seemed a little ridiculous. There didn't seem to be any skill we were supposed to be learning, balance, tenkan, etc, from this exercise , it really was being presented as a defensive technique. So we tried to practice this technique but then started practicing a little more how we were used to until a woman from the style we were trying came over and said that we were *not* doing what we had been shown, and she should know cos she was a sixth dan shihan in that style. I thought ok I'll ignore the pomposity and ask how the technique should be done as I thought I was obviously missing something. She demonstrated on one of her regulars and again offered her hand spun around and then moved her arm back towards uke at which point they fell over. It seemed like the uke had to know what to do in order for this technique to work.

In a separate incident one of the guys from our club had brought his brother who has been doing karate for about 5 years but only done aikido a few times was shown the same technique by the same woman. He asked her how exactly she would take him to the ground without touching him and was told that she would do it because she was a sixth dan.

Well after a few demonstrations of techniques I left the mat in frustration cos I couldn't see at all what it was I was supposed to be learning. I then watched what everyone else was doing and the technique of the members of the style being demonstrated looked extremely bad - but who am I to judge having only done it for 2 years although I would say that I would gladly go up against any of the people from that club and they can do their worst on me cos it just didn't look like a martial art.

Now I understand that aikido has branched and changed in the short years since it was invented, but I felt outraged that what I saw could even be called aikido. I have no doubt that the people practicing that art were not learning a martial art and were deluding themselves if they thought they were gaining any practical self-defense skills. Now what they do and think is up to them, makes no difference to me, but why are they allowed to call it aikido and why can I not say openly that I consider it to not be aikido and why is it in the aikido world that we consider criticism of our art to be untenable? And why also do we not have to 'prove' our art works? It seems that we hide behind a screen self-denial which allows poor practice to proliferate. In Shugyo Aikido Sensei Shioda went out to prove to himself that aikido worked in the real world, and although Osensei said his students shouldn't do this he didn't castigate Shioda for his actions. Similarly Takeshi Abe went out and polished his technique in real fights. I sense that behaving like this would be absolutely frowned upon by current day practitioners but I think that by not allowing criticism that we only allow these frauds to continue.

To find myself lumped in with these people who are not practicing a *martial* art and not able to say who they are and what I think of them seems a great shame. I can't think of many other fields of human endeavour where people can make claims and not have to back them up. In other fields it *is* possible to criticise and ask for proof but not in aikido it seems and that is a shame.

ok rant over. Just had to get it off my chest. I realise that nothing will change and I should just get on with my own practice. Thank you for listening.

Mark Uttech
06-09-2005, 06:18 AM
wow. I am grateful that I never had those types of experiences. I am grateful that early on I learned that "to question effectiveness is to kill effectiveness". That was nearly 21 years ago. And I am grateful that study/teaching/training continues. Everyday begins with gassho.

ian
06-09-2005, 08:09 AM
I understand your frustration Mr/Miss "wanttospeak out". However I have trained with instructors in the past and thought their aikido was rubbish, only later to understand what they were actually teaching was more realistic (since the effectiveness in a dojo is only has a partial relation to effectiveness in real combat). Also, many people viewing Ueshiba (inc. Gozo Shioda) thought it was fake until they actually tried to attack him. It's also very easy to think other clubs are 'worse' than yours if you have constant justification of the technique from your instructor or you don't understand different training methods.

Unfortunately I believe that many aikido clubs do gentle aikido because they think 'aikido is being gentle', whereas other clubs think 'aikido has to be hard to be effective', whereas really the point is just being effective and blending with their attacker.

However, do not despair! The main thing is that you are critically appraising aikido and developing what is effective for YOU. Aikidoka must be like thiefs - we just steal that which is useful to us and discard the rubbish (although we need some degree of faith in our instructor initially to have the time to understand their training method - and we also need to remember that we rarely have the benefit of experience or real combat to test the assumptions which are made when arguing about technique).

Don't worry about other club's poor aikido; ensure you are happy with your instructor and make sure you are developing. Often it is a case of 'when the student is ready the master appears' (i.e. not understanding a form of training because we haven't developed enough to understand it) - but the only way to differentiate that is to explore aikido critically and come to your own decisions. If Ueshiba was not of that character he would still be doing Ju-jitsu.

Good luck with the rest of your training!

dan guthrie
06-09-2005, 08:27 AM
Unfortunately I believe that many aikido clubs do gentle aikido because they think 'aikido is being gentle', whereas other clubs think 'aikido has to be hard to be effective', whereas really the point is just being effective and blending with their attacker.

However, do not despair! The main thing is that you are critically appraising aikido and developing what is effective for YOU. Aikidoka must be like thieves - we just steal that which is useful to us and discard the rubbish (although we need some degree of faith in our instructor initially to have the time to understand their training method).

I'm at two years, also, and I think this is a great condensation of my attitude. It took me a long time to accept the idea that "cherry picking" my own Aikido was acceptable.
The more willing I have been to be selective of what I learn, however, the broader my needs and interests have become. Trusting your sensei and sempai, especially when they seem to be going completely off-track, has led to most of my improvement.
Wantospeak, if you stay with Aikido long enough you'll see the value in "fruity" Aikido. You may not want to use gentler techniques but cross training with other styles is like using new condiments on your hamburger. In my oh so humble opinion.

Greg Jennings
06-09-2005, 08:56 AM
At about 2 years, my instructor told me, in a very nice way "The best advice I can give you is to shut up and just train". The 10 years since have deepened my appreciation for his wisdom.

Regards,

aikidoc
06-09-2005, 08:57 AM
Ah! The dilemma of the no touch throws. Do they work? In my opinion, only if the attacker is truly giving an honest attack and the nage is able to effectively blend with the energy of the attack and connect with the uke in such a fashion to break uke's balance. So when practicing this, it is obvious it will look fake because the uke knows what you are going to do and could easily counter it.

At a recent seminar, taking ukemi for the shihan I was thrown without actually grabbing him. Why because he was able to effectively deal with my grab in such a manner it caused me to lose my balance. From the sidelines, I'm sure this looks fake. However, to me my balance was effectively taken causing me to go down. There is a lot involved in such throws: timing, committed attack, etc.

Sometimes when learning something it is necessary to try what is shown and see where it leads you-you can then accept it or dismiss it or realize maybe you don't fully understand what is going on.

I agree with you on the martial effectiveness issue. This shihan always wants a strong attack-he keeps telling everyone to grab harder. He is able to easily do the techniques on big guys weighing probably over a 100 pounds more than he does.

I did one time train in a school where the students would ask you to attack them and then it would be done very softly-the problem was they couldn't make the techniques work. The instructor could. Why? He took the balance whereas his students did not. Even though it was soft-he would taken your center.

Just some thoughts. Don't dismiss all of the softer or no touch stuff. Saying I can do it because I'm a 6th dan though is totally meaningless. A better explanation of what was going on would have been much more productive.

Qatana
06-09-2005, 10:34 AM
I have been training a little over two years. Six weeks ago I was able to throw a 1st kyu who is twice my size without touching him. Twice. I simply showed him where I needed him to go, and there he went! (of course I don't know HOW I did it, but I did it!)
This guy will not budge for me if I am not doing correct technique.ANd probably wouldn't have happened if we weren't connected well on what I have to call an "energetic" level,
But telling someone "I can do it because I am a 6 dan" is pretentious and egotistical, to say the least.

senshincenter
06-09-2005, 10:59 AM
A student of mine had a similar encounter when she went to visit another dojo that belonged to a line that traced itself up to a very prominent early Aikido shihan (who was also quite known for this take on things). The dojo itself was ran by a prominent instructor of that line. They were doing irimi nage. My student raised a similar question concerning the geometry being used to achieve the fall, etc. The answer she received: The attacker falls down because they get dizzy.

doh!

Sometimes there is more to see, but sometimes one is seeing everything just fine. Because it's hard to tell sometimes, it's best to keep on training but not at the sake of losing one's critical mind. My advice, train AND continue to question. Don't let one get in the way of the other, and don't require one to disappear so that the other one can exist. Learn to let one nourish the other, learn to let one be nourished by the other.

mj
06-09-2005, 11:57 AM
... The answer she received: The attacker falls down because they get dizzy.
:D

NagaBaba
06-09-2005, 03:12 PM
ok rant over. Just had to get it off my chest. I realise that nothing will change and I should just get on with my own practice. Thank you for listening.
no, it was very important experience. Now you know for sure what kind of practice is to avoid. Don't waste you precious time for this fantasy. "No touch throws" don't exist, it is all fake. Simply forget about it and continue your strong, solid practice.

jon
06-09-2005, 04:11 PM
Here is what gets the flags popping up all over the place in my skeptical head. This is done in an entertaining and amusing way.

This post sure sounds as if it is coming from the camp that believes everyone else except their camp, are dancing plush toy Aikidoka. The real Aikidoka mud wrestling and don't drink light beer because that is what makes you a real Aikidoka.

I love the idea presented here that one experience at one "place" where one club has a class makes aikido unconvincing. Yet, it doesn't make pre-war Aikido...er...Daito ryu......shhhhh...your didn't hear me say that...unconvincing as well?

I love that fact that everyone from this club that was unconvincing and frustrating was...SATAN! Oh my what a Linda Blair experience it must have been to have a 6th dan woman there! Even more horrible she had the juevos rancheros to correct someone from what is "described as pre-war Aikido." This is what I hear in my head as I read it, "How absurd! we know how it is done!"

It's that more than a bit rude to have such an attitude of "don't instruct me, I know how it is done." I would think so. This is why, when a person voluntarily come a class to accept instruction taught by someone else and refuses to do it as demonstrated. But rather, does it in the way they they think it should be done, after two years of training. The way the two years of training was presented I got the feeling that mean more in dog years. Then complains about it on the net that it is frustrating and unconvincing. That is just ill-mannered, and rude. Especially with having a prejudice and poor disposition against the style, "I have heard being described on these forums as a very aiki-fruity style."

Let's take the last quote an look at it, what keys me in is the words "these forums." This is a forum. What other forums are there that described this style as "aiki-fruity"? It would have been nice if a link was provided on this forum where that term was used. I am not sure if we are to believe that everyone describes this style as "aiki-fruity"? In my head there waves a huge red flag with skull and cross bones on it.

It seems the complaint is that there wasn't enough blood and guts spilled on the mat. No broken bones, no chick fights, no dueling banjos, and no mud wrestling. That people where merely running around the Sensei and "falling over without being touched..." And yes, these people falling down when not doing it correctly, do they need to buy that DVD and learn proper ukemi?

I am fully aware of the buzz on another Aikido board. But, does it have to come here? It is well discussed over there and frankly it is about main stream Aikido, it is a wee-wee fight among like minds. I wonder what is really coming off someone's chest, or is it merely dropping off a dead horse.

jon
06-09-2005, 04:15 PM
and frankly it is about main stream Aikido

Since I can't edit, here is a correction.

"and frankly it is NOT about main stream Aikido"

I think this is a very important point to be corrected for clearity.

L. Camejo
06-09-2005, 05:17 PM
Aikido mud wrestling? Where do I sign up?:D Almost as good as Aiki cheerleaders.;)

As far as the term Aiki fruity goes I know I use it on other forums like AJ and Budoseek just off the top of my head, and I'm not sure I'm the only one who does either. And yes they are often annoying.:p But one needs to practice tolerance in MA in my opinion or at least try to.:evileyes:

Having experienced similar sentiments from some about "I am 6th Dan so that is supposed to mean I know what I am talking about", I can understand the original poster's frustration. They tend to leave me alone however as soon as I bring up the topic of resistance-based tanto randori.:)

I'm not saying that the person did not earn their rank and skirt, but from experience those who are quick to flash rank as their only claim to authority tend not to have the skills to back it up in a errr... more spontaneous and objective environment.;)

But these encounters are learning experiences. At seminars one attempts to try new things. Sometimes the experience can expand our knowledge, sometimes it can make us really appreciate the way in which we usually train.

Just a few thoughts.
LC:ai::ki:

Hagen Seibert
06-09-2005, 05:35 PM
Because it's hard to tell sometimes, it's best to keep on training but not at the sake of losing one's critical mind. My advice, train AND continue to question. Don't let one get in the way of the other, and don't require one to disappear so that the other one can exist.

wise words !
I´ll remember it for my students.
thanks & regards

MaryKaye
06-09-2005, 06:26 PM
The senior person pulling rank was being pretty rude. On the other hand, it's generally accepted that coming to a seminar and doing something other than making a sincere effort to learn what's being taught is quite rude, too. In any case, once you've found out you don't care for the style, it would be polite not to attend any more such seminars.

I would strongly, strongly advise not getting caught up in the idea "How other people do their Aikido influences the value or validity of my Aikido." Since you cannot change how other people do their Aikido very much (if at all) this will just cause you untold amounts of frustration and unhappiness. Instead, rejoice in having a school and style which suit you very well, and enjoy them to the max; and let the aiki-fruities do the same.

If someone comes to you and says "Anonymous, we need to set up a commission to decide which aikido schools shall be accredited, and we want you to lead it"--*then* you need to form opinions on the validity of everyone else's aikido. Till then, you only need to form them on the place(s) you actually train.

(Don't care too much about what the fruities may think of you, either. It really does not matter.)

Mary Kaye

jon
06-09-2005, 07:38 PM
Having experienced similar sentiments from some about "I am 6th Dan so that is supposed to mean I know what I am talking about", I can understand the original poster's frustration.

I'm not saying that the person did not earn their rank and skirt, but from experience those who are quick to flash rank as their only claim to authority tend not to have the skills to back it up in a errr... more spontaneous and objective environment.


I see where your getting at. But, are we give the poster instant credibility- believe his side? I am not into instant coffee or instant credibility per the net. I wasn't there, therefore, I can't assume the female 6th dan wasn't anything but polite. This is based on the tone of the post. It is evident the poster had pre-judged the class before going into it, and carried that through out the time the poster was at the class. Based on the tone and style of the post, I have to give the benefit of doubt that it didn't go down exactly as the poster states. I would hedge my bets that the female 6th dan, if she was pulling rank or had an attitude it was because she had possible cause. For example, possible previous rude behavior and/or attitude displayed by the poster at the time of the class, incited her to take control of the situation. Or she was misinterpreted due to the poster's prejudices evident in the poster's post against the class and woman. He was too shakes short of calling her a bitch in his post.

People for get how hard it is to train people and be open in a public venue who really are not there to give you a fair shot. It is also very difficult to teach other and be concerned with others there to learn when someone is disruptive and rude. Who are not really there to give other then to give you grief. Remember the poster saying he thought of the style as "aiki-fruti." He already formed a negative opinion of this class BEFORE hand based on what he read on the forums.

When your are trying to teach a class whether you are the world's best or worst out of consideration for the other attendees you must have to take control of the situation and let them know who is boss, or 86 the person. It is sad that such disciplinary behavior needs to take place.

Nothing is learned from this. It bothers me the poster's tone and style is on the edge of slander, and ridicule. I am sure this poster has posted non-anonymously on other forums that agrees with him. Is there benefit to anyone by posting such a post here anonymously? Is this a legitimate concern?

I don't care how bad or good the class was. If someone's arm got broke, yes. If some was subjected to abuse or hazing, it is a legitimate concern. There is a whole truck load of other legitimate concerns. But, my style is better then yours, well this is just not one of those legitimate concerns. Let's get the dead horse...er...I mean donkey....out of the street. There is no need to beat it. :)

stuartjvnorton
06-09-2005, 08:40 PM
Hmm, I don't know Jon.

If he was being a snot about it as you suggest, then surely it's better to just give 'em a whiff of grapeshot than flash your Deputy Dawg badge around?

Charlie
06-09-2005, 09:48 PM
...and one of the styles was what I have heard being described on these forums as a very aiki-fruity style...

Doesn't sound preconceived to me...They didn't call it aiki-fruity - others did.

jon
06-09-2005, 10:49 PM
Doesn't sound preconceived to me...They didn't call it aiki-fruity - others did

Hmm, I don't know Jon.

If he was being a snot about it as you suggest, then surely it's better to just give 'em a whiff of grapeshot than flash your Deputy Dawg badge around?

He could have flashed, and he just didn't tell us. The story is very one sided and opinionated. My vote is we are feeding a troll. Who has violated the forum rules.

His post is full of condescending remarks and sarcasms. He puts down all those who practice this style, what he terms as aiki-fruity style. It is clear he is not the author of this term, but he sure does support in a very condescending and sarcastic manner in his post. It is clear just by the fact he used the term in the first place. Very poor taste.

This appears after an introductory paragraph which sets the following up:

what I have heard being described on these forums as a very aiki-fruity style. The uke literally ran around the sensei and threw himself on the floor without being touched (looked impressive uke'ing skills) When we had to go and practice what we had been shown we (some aikidoka I don't know) didn't really know what to do as it seemed very unnatural to grab someones hand once they had turned a certain amount and as for falling over without being touched it just seemed a little ridiculous. There didn't seem to be any skill we were supposed to be learning,

I think this says it all about the intent of the poster. Booooo, Hisssss.

Charlie
06-10-2005, 12:25 AM
...He could have flashed, and he just didn't tell us. The story is very one sided and opinionated. My vote is we are feeding a troll. Who has violated the forum rules...

But of course he is!!! Sounds like he is conveying his story/experience. How can it be anything other than opinionated? I Don't recall the use of any names or identifiers other than "aiki-fruity".

xuzen
06-10-2005, 06:37 AM
I recently attended a seminar where various different styles were on show and one of the styles was what I have heard being described on these forums as a very aiki-fruity style. The uke literally ran around the sensei and threw himself on the floor without being touched (looked impressive uke'ing skills)


Ooi,

Is that you Si Wilson posting incognito? Sounds like your experience to me... :D :D :D

Boon.

Dazzler
06-10-2005, 06:41 AM
I believe I was on the course and saw the demonstrations...I may have even met the 6th dan "Sensei" on the day.....she introduced herself as "Sensei X"...which I found a bit odd.

But no matter.

The aikido described wasn't particularly for me...but the pre-war aikido option wasn't particularly for me either.

I went for the experience - to meet people and check out what they had to offer.

What does it matter what people think? If your aikido is good then it is good. If it isn't it isn't. If you feel that what you are doing is right then carry on and to hell with everyone else.

Its not worth being 'outraged' over. Be outraged over starving millions, happy slapping, inner city crime or other real issues.

If the aikido referred to was not for you then don't do it. Carry on with your own practice. You'll probably never share a mat with the instructor ever again so why stress about it?

And check out Greg Jennings post above...

just my thoughts

D

john.burn
06-10-2005, 07:12 AM
I wasn't at the event that I think you're referring to but I think I know from your description who you mean! One of our instructors had a similar experience with said person. He was attacking / grabbing ryotedori and came in as normal for this grab - just before he connected with her she let out a wail of some sort to which he asked what she was doing. Her reply? She was extending her Ki and he should fly away and allow himself to be thrown by the energy. His reply? Not really repeatable here... :D

bcole23
06-10-2005, 08:00 AM
I've heard stories of people who, when doing randori at a seminar, berate their ukes if they actually grab or hit them.
ex:
"What are you doing!?"
"Katate dori..."
"You're not supposed to grab me"
"........."


"........."


"......um...okaaay."

On the other side of the coin, I was at a seminar in Salt Lake City and was doing a very shortened tsuki irimi nage with a small woman who probably weighed all of 130 lbs. After the initial warm up, I really honestly tried to knock her block off, with her consent of course, and her timing and positioning were very good. She never touched me and I hit the mat every time. I've practiced with people from the aforementioned style but never anyone like a 6th dan. This girl was not from that stlye.

In my opinion, the "aiki-fruity" style is a valid one, however, it seems to me that it's like trying to learn analytical algebra or calculus before learning basic math. It would be much more difficult, IMO, to get to that ideal following that path, but without first hand experience training in that style, it's really all just conjecture anyways.

As always, it's better to just be true to yourself and train hard. :D

ian
06-10-2005, 09:00 AM
At about 2 years, my instructor told me, in a very nice way "The best advice I can give you is to shut up and just train". The 10 years since have deepened my appreciation for his wisdom.

Regards,

Hi Greg. I hope you don't think that I don't completely agree with this - dissention has to be silent. You go to a course or visit an instructor and learn what you can. If you feel there is nothing to learn there you say to yourself afterwards - I'll leave that for now. If you have no faith in the effectiveness of something after a considerable time, you either need to test that faith, or work out why, or find a training method you believe in. Otherwise we are just copying and not understanding.

P.S. I like this 'my style is better than yours' banter. Although much of it is probably rubbish, I believe that (outside the dojo) we should discuss these things seriously and try to resolve what is evidently at the base of some very major difference in aikido.

I think it is a very dire problem in aikido that the only (ethical) way to test it is by being attacked for real (since, mostly, we acknowledge competitions as being unrealistic). Maybe that is why, as serious aikidoka, we should welcome real attacks, as an opportunity to test the validity of our assumptions!

Yann Golanski
06-10-2005, 09:28 AM
I think it is a very dire problem in aikido that the only (ethical) way to test it is by being attacked for real (since, mostly, we acknowledge competitions as being unrealistic). Maybe that is why, as serious aikidoka, we should welcome real attacks, as an opportunity to test the validity of our assumptions!

I somewhat disagree here. *shocker*

Yes, competition is not combat (or should not be combat) but it is not as unrealistic as just kata work. In a sense, I view competition as a safe model for a fight. The Resistance element adds a level of realism that cannot be there in kata work. The will of uke is to make sure tori does not get away with anything short of a good technique. Even the army and marines in the US use games and competition to train for combat.

I remember one of my classes at Uni. It was thermodynamics. We were calculating the time it would take for a chicken to cook in an oven. We assume a perfectly spherical and homogeneous chicken... and got pretty close to the answer provided by hundreds of years of practice by house-wives, chefs and other cooks. *grin*

Sometimes a model is the best thing you can do...

BTW: getting into a fight to test your Aikido is dump. A knife wound
can kill you, paralyse you or do a whole array of things you __really__ do not want done to your body. I'm not even going to go to potential trauma for loved ones, friends and family...

/in haste...

jon
06-10-2005, 01:34 PM
Welcoming real attacks...hmmm...I think you would have bodies plied up outside the dojo. You would also need to have a dream team of lawyers.

What martial art trains using real attacks...really?

The pendulum swings both ways. Aikido is criticized for being full of estrogen filled Easter Bunnies who freak because they get scratched by a finger nail. This is done by those extremists who have no realistic perception of life, who are clearly not living in reality. But rather living on a testerone driven key board high and have watched too many episodes of Samurai Jack which they fancy themselves as.

That is to say you have to look at the source that proclaim realistic attacks. Are the extremist who call for realism that of those I mentioned, who simply are attacking those Aikidoka they deem as aiki bunnies, or fruity. Because they feel superiority over others?

Rational thinking tells us we should pass on this idea of realistic attacks. Also, does everyone know what entails a realistic attack. 2. Is everyone capable of making realistic attacks with equal intent lover and over again in a training session? 3. Who is willing to allow themselves to make realistic attacks and accept the realistic consequences resulting from a realistically employed technique? We are wired to protect ourselves from injury. 4) if I am going to commit a real attack am not going to role play. Or make a non-verbal contract of what type of attack I will commit as an Ukei. Assuming we are in the dojo, and not in the street where I can drive down the Tori.

When we bring the term realistic attack in to the light of reason we see that it isn't all that possible. That what is over-hype termed of a realistic attack is really in truth no more then a more committed attack.

Any attack in the dojo is artificial whether you give it your all or not. Because you are there in the dojo to train, and not kill each.

jon
06-10-2005, 02:03 PM
So then the dilemma is if the dojo can't provide a realistic environment then of course the street should be the place to get a realistic attack, and what no better place then prison. If you want constance reallistic attacks. We all know practice makes perfect. In prison you can get that all the time. You would be extending your practice times.

Most of us practice 2-5 times a week at several hours per session. Most realistic fights last between seconds and a few minutes on the street. And of course there is always the risk of injury every time you fight. That would mean you would have to be picking a hell of a lot of fights 2-5 times a week. If you have been on the street you know that it takes a lot of effort to keep this up over a period of years if your body can handle the plethora of injury sustained- at the early part of the learning curve. We are not even talking law suits, arrests, medical bills, facing guns, and cars. So prison is logically the best place to get realistic attacks. There is a medical clinic on site. Constant fighting abundant where you can count on the attacks to always be real. No effort in looking for a fight constantly- you know picking a fight you know you're going to win. No guns, just shanks, and plenty of big ugly guys to always fight to benchmark your skill. No law suits in prison, no arrests because your already in prison. No worries if the other guy has a gun, and you can always practice your randori realistically with a whole bunch of guys who really want to kill you or hurt you, or...well you know ...umm..role play.... It is the ideal place, prison is.

Prison then, is ideal for getting a realistic attack. Everything else is for wussies and estrogen filled aiki-bunnies who don't get real attacks in their dojos...right?

Can you feel the sarcasm?

There is always two exterems, and most of us are some where in between. When it comes to realistic attacks you really have to be off-center to want that. What most people really need to make Aikido work for them is a ukei/training partner who is honest committed to training. Not a so called realistic attack.

Ketsan
06-10-2005, 03:47 PM
I'm 3rd kyu, my Aikido couldn't move someone my weight, although in the dojo I can throw really big people.

James Young
06-10-2005, 03:51 PM
It seems to me when people say they want to practice with realistic attacks, they don't necessarily mean real attacks. As others mentioned the latter doesn't necessarily accommodate for safety of the practicioners, but you can have attacks with the realistic speed and intent (i.e. not going to stop short of the target, etc.) of real attacks and still practice with an accpetable degree of safety.

Kevin Leavitt
06-10-2005, 05:15 PM
what is the fascination about training with "realistic" attacks? What is a "realistic attack".

I train soldiers in the Army Combatives program, if anyone has a need to train with realistic attacks it would be my guys!

While we probably train a little harder, and more physical than some out there...and we don't have to worry too much about being sued or liability issues...you'd be suprised about how easy we train 90% of the time.

Why? It is pretty easy to hit someone, and hits and strikes don't tend to be overly effective means of immobilizing someone. It is a skill that most people already know how to do. They ability to control someone and then be able to strike or hit them once they are controlled.

Therefore, we tend to practice what you would call BJJ 90% of the time.

Also, you have to remember, most of us are never alone. The guy that wins the fight is the guy whose buddy shows up next, preferably with a weapon.

I think a realistic attack does not have to mean sparring like a boxer etc. In reality you get ambushed, subdued, then damaged by strikes, kicks or weapons. To train this way is simply impossible to learn anything of value.

You have to learn principles of retaiining or regaining your center, balance, and dominance of the situation above anything else. Arts like aikido and BJJ do a good job of doing this.

Going fast and out of control does not create the environment that is conducive for learning this. therefore, dojos create control measures and rules which allow for the principles to be taught.

Realistic fight training would be 1. learn to recognize the risk factors and avoidance of situations 2. always have friends, law enforcement, or other such people around. 3. Be able to walk away or cross the street to create the space necessary for egress. 4. if you can't avoid such risky situations, carry weapons that give you an advantage. 5. If you don't have a weapon, find one.

I don't believe realistic fighting has much to do with empty ahnd martial arts to be quite honest. Sure it can give you skills, but there are much better uses of your time and efforts if you are truly in it for self defense and realistic fighting...but then again, that might depend on your definition of realistic fighitng...mine is that someone wants to seriously harm me or kill me. I don't rely to my years of empty hand training to protect me in that respect.

Lorien Lowe
06-11-2005, 05:50 PM
Just because someone wasn't touched in the demo dosen't mean they're never touched - I've taken enough stinging whaps (in a loving, teacherly fashion, of course) in the face that I eventually learned to get the h&!! outof the way when I see a sensei setting up for an atemi - with the consequence that the atemi isn't completely thrown. Maybe it looks fake to someone who dosen't know what's going on.

To the original poster, I would say don't judge anyone's aikido until *you* have taken ukemi for them.

To Jon - I don't think this is a troll's thread (it was explicitely described as a *rant* to begin with), and I didn't pick up overt sexism. Describing the teacher as female came across to me as just a description of the teacher, not as 'female and therefore not to be taken seriously'.

jon
06-11-2005, 06:37 PM
Lorien Lowe,

Point acknowledged on the troll. I can see a core of concern that has me on the edge of if the person is a troll or not. You might be right. That is why I wasn't too quick to pick apart the post.

Here is where the cinch strap is pulled too tight, and sent me bucking if anyone is interested FWIW.


The post is vague. But not too vague. I can guess what style and what female and what place the poster is talking about. And I do have reservations and prejudices of my own concerning the event and some people attending, I felt the post was going about it the wrong way; starting a fire.

If a person has a criticism of an event or person or place, name it, them, and the place. Discuss it in a respectable manner. We have enough of that in other forums to entertain us, where bashing vs. discussion takes place. There is just not enough posts that aren't so emotionally loaded, where you can't professionally discuss it.

That is my burr under my blanket as well, whether the poster was accurate or not, the real discussion gets swept aside as the emotional tone signals it's time to bash because the author is pissed off. Discussing the concern professionally provides an education, clam heads, and credible results either way. It just irritates me when a post ( which happens so many times :( is aimed just at bashing someone or something regardless if the concerns are valid or not, for the soul purpose to blow off steam. It plagues the net.

What I suggest to the post is if the situation is valid to calm down first, think things out and think things through, and then post in a polite, reasonable and professional manner the concerns. But, as it currently sounds the poster sounds as if he can't take instruction from a woman ( with attitude or not ), and his style is better then theirs. Hence, is the poster's purpose for posting to get sympathy from the board. If that is the case, I have the world's smallest violin play a song just for him. I hope that isn't the case. :)

stuartjvnorton
06-12-2005, 12:06 AM
He could have flashed, and he just didn't tell us. The story is very one sided and opinionated. My vote is we are feeding a troll.

I meant the 6th dan was flashing the badge, not the original poster.
If he was being an ass, then said 6th dan should have put him down with a good old-fashioned big hit (lovingly administered, naturally). She doesn't have to blitz him, give him just enough to show she could give him more if she felt like it.

Gives the poster (who seems to think that being associated with aiki-fruities makes him less of a death-commando: whatever) something to think about and that's that.

Instead, she hid behind the rank. Shouldn't have been necessary.

Questioner
06-13-2005, 03:13 AM
Ok, so you´re at a seminar and you don´t get / enjoy what the instructor is teaching. Maybe it all just seems totally silly to you. You have several options:

1. Stay off the tatami during that session.
2. Stay on and try to practise sincerely .
3. Stay on and mess about, having a laugh.

However, you do not have the option of getting frustrated and blaming that instructor for your lack of understanding - that is your problem.

Train or don´t train.

Whining is pointless.

Q

Adam Alexander
06-13-2005, 02:07 PM
Just my two cents (from a Shioda Sensei lineage):

1)You never really understand a technique until you practice it...a lot!!

I wouldn't hate on the fruities--even if they're weird, Aikikai people I've known think we're weird for making so much noise when we roll. I think they're weird because they don't make noise when they roll:)

2) Other arts think we're weird for using cooperative ukes.

Aren't you experiencing the same thing?--hating because their ukes are too pliable?

Again, there's reason for their way as much as there's a reason for our Shumatsu-dosa.

3)Sure, she was rude to you.

I used to work with a guy who did that...and he was a total aiki-hack. He couldn't understand a technique if you put the principles and applications on a chalk-board. Amazing, he'd talk smack about Aikido--how techniques wouldn't work...and then spend half of the hour nit-picking my technique (you know, twenty corrections per technique).

I don't blame you for having a problem with her. However, I offer this...If everyone called you fruity, wouldn't you be defensive?

We see this with Aikidoka all the time. Everyone's concerned with the "effectiveness" of Aikido techniques.

She's just extreme.

Hope your next seminar gives you as much experience as that one did.

WantToSpeakOut
06-14-2005, 08:55 AM
First time I've looked back at this thread as I thought it wouldn't generate much response, but as it has I thought I'd better reply to some of what has been said.

To Mark - good job O'Sensei did question effectiveness of technique

To Ian - thanks for that. I realise that my own aikido is really what I should be concentrating on, and in fact apart from writing the initial post that is what I have done and intend to do.

To Dan - good points that I agree with. Some exercises are not designed as actual combat moves designed to teach a specific point. we do that all the time in class.

To Greg - aye I'm with you there

To John - thanks for that. I agree that you can take someone's balance without touching them, in fact I've even done it to someone who attacked off balance and I stepped out of the way and they fell over - nice. The no-touch throw we were shown was in no way like this in that you had to throw yourself on the ground at the correct time. Nage could have done the move without uke's involvement.

To Jo - It was the "shihan's" attitude which made me even more dismissive of the style. I genuinely asked for some more explanation when she approached as I knew myself I didn't have a clue what I was supposed to be learning but the attitude was one of "I'm a higher grade, you do it like this" and I *still* didn't know what I was supposed to be doing.

To David - thank you for that. I shall try to continue to train and question

To Szczepan - thanks for the support

to "jon" - hmm seemed to have touched a nerve there. I have to say that I'm not involved in any other forums - only lurk here. Not wanting to start anything - no hidden agendas - just wanted to say what I felt after attending a seminar. The only place I've ever seen the term fruity applied to aikido is on this forum. I wanted to try and use a term which was less disrespectful than some I've heard of. at the end of the day I found the aikido shown unconvincing and the shihan arrogant. The fact that she was a she is neither here nor there.

to Larry - I agree that it's in the technique and not the rank.

To Mary - I think I tried to say originally that I realise that it's just a rant of mine and that it won't change anything. It's a free world and people can do what they want I just thought I could get off my chest what I felt - which I did nicely, and I will take your advice and not get too caught up in what other people consider aikido - good advice, thank you

to "jon" - oh dear.

to Charles - thanks for the support

to "jon" - more oh dear

to Xu - nope afraid it's not si wilson here - although as I'm posting anonymously you'll never know :-)

to Darren - yeah I was just letting off some steam. I'd never witnessed anything like this so I guess the next time it won't be as much of an eye opener. Brilliant seminar though (well I've only been to two so who am I to say)

to John - that sounds like the shihan I met!

to Brandon - from what I've read about various martial arts there seems to be two ways of approaching the ability to fight well - from an internal self development path such as tai-chi to an external self develop patch such as karate. Both paths ultimately leading to the same end point. However I reckon alot of tai-chi practitioners are never going to reach a good level of fighting abiilty because a) they don't want to, and b) it's hard to find a tai-chi teacher who teaches it like that. Whereas the karate person has more chance of reaching the fighting ability. I guess I think that the style of aikido I saw demonstrated was like more tai-chi. Howver not many tai-chi students would argue that what they were learning was not improving their fighting ability whereas students of this type of aikido *would* argue with that. Overall though I will jsut get on and train hard myself

to Ian - I have to agree that the testing of effectiveness as the only way of testing effectiveness - if you catch my drift

to Yann - I don't think I ever want to be in a real fight as I'm to old and have avoided them for too long to start now. Seems that O'Sensei's direct students thought it was a good idea though. I'm not suggesting anyone should go out and do that but I do think that if that's the way someone wants to test that what they've learned works then that is the only way to do it. At least have some boundaries and do it in the dojo - say single attacker no weapons - off the top of my head.

to "jon" - I have to disagree with you about realistic attacks. O'Sensei gained knowledge through real fights are you saying he would have done just as well only training in a dojo?

to James - yes I agree

to Kevin - agreed that training purely realistically it's going to take a lot of time and luck to get good, hence alll the other training besides "realistic" attacks. But at the end of the day isn't that what you're training for.

to Lorien - thanks for noticing that I tried to be as least offensive as I could but still express what I felt. Her being female was not the issue at all. I would have loved to take ukemi with her but she seemed only prepared to work with willing partners. Agreed about getting out of the way though!

to "jon" - my initial post *was* my attempt to politely express what I felt. I didn't name names or places as that is specifically not allowed on this forum - I've seen Jun asking people not to do this a few times. Not really sure what I expected or why I wrote it apart from "here's what another aikidoka thinks". I wasn't impressed by either the arts shown or the students and I was annoyed that I just couldn't come out and say what I thought in an open forum. Bit like not being able to say that a flim I have seen is crap for reasons a, b , c. I can't seem to do that to aikido without seeming like a woman hating troll!

to "questioner" - yes I know ... should have just kept my mouth shut and got on with it - don't worry will do in the future.

to jean - the more I do aikido the more I feel like I know nothing about it! I don't hate "fruities" at all - just don't think what they're doing is particularly martial. But that's too general as I've only seen one group who I would apply that term to maybe I should qualify the statement and say that I've only seen one group who I thought were not martial and that was at that seminar. And yes I'm afraid she was rude. In my opinion it was because her tecnique was not able to do the talking for her but that's only my opinion. But like you say it was a learning experience and I have to thank her for that.


Well thank you all for posting - I really wasn't expecting so much as I clearly stated that it was a rant - apologies to anyone who got upset it was not my intention to do that.

Lesson learned - train harder

cheers

ian
06-14-2005, 09:26 AM
The Resistance element adds a level of realism that cannot be there in kata work ...Even the army and marines in the US use games and competition to train for combat...BTW: getting into a fight to test your Aikido is dump. A knife wound can kill you, paralyse you or do a whole array of things you __really__ do not want done to your body....

I see your point and agree to some extent. Although I think different training methods are always good to try out, IMO training 'against resistance' excessively is generally poor training because you are training to force a technique through whereas really you should have a larger focus (if you focus on e.g. the wrist, it is easy to get battered by the opponents other limbs) and also you are training yourself to fight the resistance rather than use it. Generally in our club we train to change technique if sufficient resistance is applied, not to try and force a technique on in which they know what you are trying to do (which I don't actually believe is really possible with someone stronger than you). This is not to say the attacks shouldn't be very forceful.

The military (and the police) do train against resistance to some extent, but they also do suprising little unarmed self-defence (at least in the UK - & I don't know about special forces). They are really just learning techniques. I do see aikido as a step beyond that. We learn techniques, but we are training to be fluid and responsive and to be able to change and adapt whenever resistance is encountered.

Agree with your point about getting into fights, but I just think the psychology of real combat and of competition are just very different.

L. Camejo
06-14-2005, 04:35 PM
We learn techniques, but we are training to be fluid and responsive and to be able to change and adapt whenever resistance is encountered.

Afaik this is exactly what "resistance training" in Aikido is supposed to do. If one is fighting the resistance then they are doing something else or extremely poor Aikido.

Also there are a few psychological and physiological (at least internally) commonalities between competition and combat. Much has to do with how the human self operates when under severe pressure of intense, unexpected resistance and or a threat of endangerment situation.

LC:ai::ki:

aikigirl10
06-14-2005, 08:37 PM
maybe the sensei you visited was only doing the technique in this manner, in order for the students to get the form down. And then later you could apply force to the technique , in order to make it effective.

Just a thought -Paige

senshincenter
06-14-2005, 09:10 PM
Look, differences exist in the art. I do not think anyone would disagree with that. However, accepting the position that there are differences implies that we should not look to ignore them. If we note difference but seeing nothing worthy of contrast and/or of comparison, then it might as well be as if we were to say we are all doing the same thing - though we know we are not.

Someone sees someone soft and someone else sees someone hard, it is not in anyone's interest to say that such things do not exist and/or to say that there are no differences worthy of mention and/or to say that they all lead to the same place. In the same way, it seems out of place to me to say that a person from one variation of the art “has to” or “should” look to see something that is common between the soft version he/she is looking at and the hard version he/she is practicing. Sure, expect such a practitioner to be polite – to not be insulting or rude within the given environment – but do not seek to kill the difference that is very real and that is a very huge part of understanding the variation of the art he/she is opting to train in.

This, I feel, is especially true for a person of two years training. Training is about the long haul – as you all know. If at two years worth of training a person gains more insight into his/her own "hard" version of Aikido by contrasting it against something he/she saw in a "soft" version of Aikido - and if that contrast sparks emotions that lead to and generate motivation, commitment, and investment - I say "Good!" That is what is supposed to happen. Contrast is one very important way of gaining insight into one’s own art or one’s on slant on one’s own art. If, and I use that word cautiously here, one is setting out to find the great “oneness” of every art and/or of at least every slant of this art of ours, that is something for the practitioner that has learned his/her own particular slant fully or at least fully enough to actually begin to see it in other places. It is not a thing for a beginner.

For me, what is a significant issue here, and what seems to be skirted by those that have posted to suggest that the original poster was somehow mistaken in what he saw, is the flashing of rank. The only kind of person that I know that attempts to explain things from the fallacy of authority is the kind of person who is not capable of explaining things themselves. The two go hand in hand. If you know what you are doing – you do it. If you know what you are talking about – you talk about it. If you do not know what you are doing and/or if you do not know what you are talking about, and if you want to maintain yourself as an authority, you have to find your “authority” outside of yourself – in this case, on one’s waist. To ask that such a person should be given the benefit of the doubt is to ask a lot – especially of a new person in the art. New Aikido students should learn that one’s authority comes only from within. Anything that compromises that life lesson should be contrasted as something “wrong” or “less.” If it is not, such a beginner will only turn out to be another person that wears his/her Aikido – not a person that has understood the depth of his/her art nor the depth of his/her being.

My opinion,
dmv

philipsmith
06-15-2005, 03:45 AM
I have been following this thread with some interest and have decided to add my observations.

Its interesting that the original poster has come in for a lot of criticism. In my experience even people who do not practice Aikido can make a judgement about the effectiveness and qualityof what they are seeing. The comparison would be if we see a world class football (soccer to our American friends) player perform we can make a judgement although we may not be players ourselves.

Secondly I find the instructors reaction telling. Again experience tells me that most instructors would have asked the student to take ukeme, made an effective technique and then explained why they weren't doing it that way. Usually if they don't do that it's because they can't.

When I am taking seminars, particularly for a different association I choose the biggest, strongest uke I can find for the first technique. This usually gets the class "on my side" and they tend to be more receptive to me when I use a more gentle approach later on.

As a finishing aside, I was practising on a friends class some years ago. She was teaching a bunch of beginners ai-hamni Nikkyo and one of the guys (about 19 very macho) decided that it was totally ineffective. She asked me to take ukeme for schomen-uchi while explaining that this what the present technique progressed to; and used him as uke to very slowly apply the basic technique (explaining all of the time that resistance only leads to pain) and his expression as the technique immobilised him and hurt was a joy to behold.

There was no damage no "posturing" and no lecturing but that guy became her biggest advocate thereafter.

Just one soultion and opinion.

"jon"
06-15-2005, 11:19 AM
to "jon" - I have to disagree with you about realistic attacks. Osensei gained knowledge through real fights are you saying he would have done just as well only training in a dojo?.

It wasn't a nerve you hit. After re-reading your first post, and then your second post there are lots of flags that go off in my head. I now tend to think the experienced you described was very one side as you presented it. I sense a bit of trollish posting when I compare your posts. It seems your first post indicates a male phrasing and tone, the second post switches to lean toward a female tone and phrasing. The latter tone tends to give more credibility.

I think the whole purpose of your posts is to promote "my Aikido is better then yours." Those who don't compete are arrogant wimps and those who train "realistically," "like me" are the real deal.

Over the years there has been several movements in Aikido that have divided people, and to change how Aikido is looked at. The first was the idea that Daito ryu was the soul contributer and influence of Aikido. The second and the most recent movement driven by some who practice other arts besides Aikido, say Aikidokas don't train realistically, they don't compete, and they "cooperate" thus these Aiki fruits or other such nice names are deficient. Because, they don't view such things as if it where the invention of fire, like those who don't train exclusively in Aikido. I think you are from the latter camp. Which explains your anonymity.

See, for the most part most of the members here don't feel either movements are so important. They don't support such movements as another board and those members do. This my explain why you posted on here and not in the general forum.

Per your quote, I am no expert on the life of Osensei. I wasn't fortunate to meet him or speak to him when he was alive about his life and Aikido. Therefore, what I know of his life I don't recall any of his "real" fights. I know he was a WWII POW captured in China. I will suspect he was engaged in combat, and will presume that it was a fire fight, and not hand to hand combat. Please tell me the events you are referring which Osensei engaged in fights that gained him the knowledge you speak of. I would love to hear those factual events where Osensei was in a fight(s), especially after him his enlightening experience after him coming home from the war that lay the keystone of Aikido as a non-violent art. We know the stories of Takeda. Is that who your are confusing Osensei with?

Takeda thought of himself as a Samurai, which I see no reason why he wouldn't be considered such. The time of his birth was a time of the Samurai, he was raised to be a Samurai by Samurai in a noted Samurai family. Takeda unfortunately was caught between time. He did kill men by the sword, and kill and injure with his martial arts skills including what he taught Osensei. Takeda did have "realistic" fighting experience, but it was different then the experience of Osensei in WWII. Takeda lived a violent life, and paid for it in his health and physically, his mental state; always on the defensive, concerned when and by whom would he be attacked by, mostly those seeking revenge. He suffered socially in the way people looked at him and treated him, and how he treated other people. Takeda wasn't a fighter, he was a man that used his martial skills in life and death situations. Takeda was instructed initially on how to use a sword, and other weapons, and empty hand techniques way before he used them to save his life or rid criminals from a community.
I think you are confusing the two, Osensei and Takeda, as well as what it means to be realistic.


BTW, where and how do you think Osensei learned his skills from Takeda ( or anyone else) while Osensei and his sensei's where in a bar fights? I don't think Osensei learned on the run, getting beat up until he learned something. I don't think it was a trial by fire learning experience. He obviously learned conventionally either in a dojo and or seminars, probably much like what most Aikidoka of today; a waza is demonstrated and then practiced by cooperating training partners. Not by thugs who are uncooperative and their "realistic" goal is to put you into the hospital every time they see you. You need to be taught what to do before you do it. And having someone constantly pummel you in the name of "realistic" training doesn't get you anywhere and hurts you. You have to be trained, in a pro-learning cooperative environment lending itself to succeed developing skills, that are called on when if faced with a situation that calls on your skills. Pseudo life and death mentality, aka competition, is an optional and unrealistic bench mark, a disposable questionable litmus test, not the whole enchilada. Shsssh. this is what you should be frustrating you is that you got suckered into that "what we do is realistic" myth. What should be unconvincing is not Aikido but buying into your posts. My opinion.

Ron Tisdale
06-15-2005, 12:30 PM
The first was the idea that Daito ryu was the soul contributer and influence of Aikido.

I haven't heard that. What I have heard is that the empty hand techniques of Aikido can be traced exactly back to .... Guess what? Daito ryu. So far, no evidence to the contrary has been posted. Stan Pranin has done a great deal of research in this area...the time for debate is basically over. There are many many different influences on the weapons work, some from Ueshiba's time, some since then. But the empty hand techniques; ikkajo, nikkajo, sankajo, yonkajo, shihonage...these are clearly from the Daito ryu syllibus...there is no factual way to deny it.

Best,
Ron

jon
06-15-2005, 01:24 PM
haven't heard that. What I have heard is that the empty hand techniques of Aikido can be traced exactly back to ....Daito ryu


Your Off Topic....

BTW, that is want I was getting at concerning empty hand techniques. The readership is well versed in Aikido they don't need to be spoon feed, nor do we have to dicker over semantics. It is always interesting then things people [i]heard[/] vs. what is fact. Please lets stay on topic. Your issues are for another thread.

Ron Tisdale
06-15-2005, 01:28 PM
My issues are for any thread I please. You don't own the forum, nor do you control my response. I'll state the facts as I see them, when and where I please.

I especially do not take direction from anonymous entities on an internet forum.

Best,
Ron

senshincenter
06-15-2005, 05:34 PM
Good posts Ron. Well said.

"Jon," while it may not be too relative to the thread, you might also want to check out AikidoJournal.com to get a more accurate understanding of Osensei's history. Your take on things could be called very romantic. Moreover, it is undoubtedly underlying your interpretation of the first post -- so maybe it is relative, though it should not be.

Here is a story I feel IS relative to the "rank" flashing element of this thread…

When I was living in Japan a friend of mine from the States took advantage of the opportunity of having a place to stay and a guide to show him around, etc., and so he came to visit me. Late in his visit, after joining me in my weekly training circuit of attending four to five dojo -- which is what one has to do in order to train daily on a regular basis -- I took him with me to a new dojo. Another friend I met recently trained there and he suggested that we should come to train and to join him and other members for a beer and some food afterwards. As it turned out, this dojo was ran by one of the senior students of the Shihan that ran our (my main) dojo -- so it was a very familiar style.

By this time, I had already pretty much gotten used to that strange irony that marks all of Japanese Aikido (for me). I am referring to the end-result that comes from the strange proximity that exists between how much significance is given to rank and how much "leeway" is taken with the notion that "shodan" can literally be understood as "beginner level." In other words, you got many folks with high rank, but with no skill, who make a big deal out of high rank. (Note: I am speaking generally here, and I am basing this on my experience. And though my experience and my interpretation of that experience has been in agreement with everyone else I know that has trained in Japan [both Japanese and foreign alike], if you got a different interpretation based upon a different experience -- more power to you. I would actually be quite happy to hear that there is some place somewhere in Japan where these elements are not all related in the way that I have described them here.)

So we go to this new friend's dojo. We start to train -- we were doing Sumi-otoshi from Tachi-waza Katate-dori. Very basic. My friend from the States and I are in hakama. He is a Nidan under Chiba Sensei. I am an Ikkyu under my Shihan in Kyoto. I am wearing a hakama because I was afforded the privilege due to the fact that I traveled with our other Shihan (our dojo had two) to be his Uke for seminars, demonstrations, etc. What I did not notice at first was that this dojo not only lined up according to rank at the beginning of class but they also trained according to rank -- such that the highest rank was always training closest to the Shomen and lower ranks, in sequential order, trained further from the Shomen.

As it turned out, I was training with the second highest rank in the dojo, and my friend was training with the highest ranked person from that dojo. So we are doing Sumi-otoshi and my friend's Uke just starts resisting his technique. The guy was obviously tired and probably was not too used to getting tired out by any "kohai." So he starts blocking my friend's technique in the most obvious and grievous of ways. However, my friend is over six feet tall and this guy is just your average middle-aged Japanese salary man. His resistance was really no resistance at all. My friend gave him the courtesy of allowing him to set up better for the breakfall, (not a thing commonly done in Chiba's culture among yudansha) assuming that that was his reason for resisting the technique. With the added opening my friend provided him with for the purposes of getting back in the technique, the guy only took a more solid base from which to offer more resistance. After that, my friend just proceeded to throw him anyways -- it was not a big deal for him. The guy goes flying through the air against his will and against his every hope. Bam!

He does not land so smoothly -- as one would imagine for anyone that is too attached to the ground in his or her mind when being required to take a breakfall. He gets up all pissed-off and starts yelling at my friend in Japanese. Only my friend does not speak Japanese. He starts looking at me to translate. I tell me friend, "He wants to know your rank" -- leaving out all the other insults and objections. My friend looks at him and says, "Ni-dan." Then the guys starts speaking in broken English, "Me, san-dan. You, ni-dan. You don't throw me like that -- very rude!" Then he says basically the same thing in Japanese for me to translate to my friend. I did.

My friend did not say anything back to him. Though we sure talked about it a lot on the train ride back home. We thought he was lame; that he is missing the big picture; that that kind of stuff should not be recognized or supported directly or indirectly by any Aikido institution; etc. However, there my friend simply silently bowed and went on to find another partner after allowing this "san-dan" to play his games for the rest of the pairing. As it turns out, the guy bows to me to partner with him next. We are still working on the same technique. Sure enough -- he does the same thing. However, before he could get whatever it was he was trying to get from such action, I simply took his energy into a Kokyu-nage in the other direction and sent him flying through the air. Bam! He gets up all sore -- rubbing his hip and he asks in Japanese, "What is your rank?" I tell him, "Ikkyu." He say, "No, you are not Ikkyu, you are Yon-dan."

This is how I see this whole thing: The guy was lame when he used his rank to feel superior to another, and the guy remained lame when he opted to use his rank to humble himself before another. For me, it is like this: If you understand the Way, rank is meaningless. If rank carries meaning for you, the kind that you can actually encase your own identity within and/or by which you can come to relate to others through, then you cannot possibly understand the Way. To be sure, it is always wise to not veer too far away from the insights that come to us from understanding all points of view as relative. However, if in doing so we violate some basic universal principles, we will not be doing anyone any good -- least of all ourselves.

Before one starts suggesting that there was something at the seminar worthy of learning but that was being missed because someone was too blinded by their own point of view, let us acknowledge that in all probability there was probably not anything worthy of learning being presented there. Or, if we really want to stick to the position that there is always something to learn, no matter where we are or who we are dealing with, then let us say that at best one was looking at a negative lesson -- a way how not to be. To be direct: When one offers their rank as an explanation for anything, what one should most of all seek to understand in such action is not something that may be hidden from view because of one's own subjectivity. Rather, one should seek to learn what is staring at you right in the face, waiting for you right there on the surface. One should seek to learn how not to become such a person. This is the important lesson that one, by all means, should not miss.

dmv

jon
06-15-2005, 10:33 PM
Good posts Ron. Well said.

"Jon," while it may not be too relative to the thread, you might also want to check out AikidoJournal.com to get a more accurate understanding of Osensei's history. Your take on things could be called very romantic. Moreover, it is undoubtedly underlying your interpretation of the first post -- so maybe it is relative, though it should not be.



You must have misread my post or inadvertently read into it. I thought I clearly stated, I wasn't sure of Osensei's history. Followed by my request for any factual events that support the idea that "Osensei gained knowledge through real fights."

In other words, details of the combative encounters with empty hand techniques which Osensei was involved in, dates, places, people. Not like that he dodge bullets. More like what we know of Takeda and the life and death conflicts he was in. For instance, the time he was almost killed by a group of construction workers. A very well known and proved event.

Osensei must have known 100s of techniques, did he use each and every technique countless times in countless fights to gain the knowledge that WantToSpeakOut (WTSO) suggested? I am assuming that "knowledge" is the result of effectiveness and mechanics of technique. WTSO isn't all that clear.

Would it be possible for a Osensei to do such things as that of Takeda? Well, when compared to Takeda, a man, who probably [i]did[/did] gain much of his "knowledge" as are result of his tumultuous life-style and experiences in life and death bouts through out most of his adult life, would make sense. Yet, Takeda also incipiently learned his skills in a dojo or instruction in a cooperative environment, before he used them to save his life or end others. No one put a sword in Takeda's hand first then send him into to battle without formal instruction. No one handed him a sword when he was not trained in it to go down and challenge the best swordsman you can find, and then cut him down in the street, without formal instruction. Takeda was first instructed formally techniques with someone who cooperated.

Osensei on the other hand, also wasn't told to go out and fight for your life without martial training. That would have been inept and inaccurate to think that way. Takeda taught him then he worked with cooperative students of different builds and stature also there to learn what Takeda offered. Takeda didn't have Osensei on his first, second, third, hundredth day experience of go out get in a street brawl with local thugs and brigands. At a lesser degree, try and break Osensei's training partners into little pieces either. WTSO, said isn't all that accurate or feasible. Talk about trolling...I mean...romanticizing, WTSO is a good example.

If WTSO had said it was Takeda who gained knowledge through real fights, the argument would have been stronger. But not completely true. I am not criticizing either man, I am pointing out the life of a person who just doesn't pay lip service or markets what it means to be in realistic situations. Each man took different paths, Osensei's is markedly different then the unrestrained fighting life of Takeda. Both men refined their skill teaching others in a dojo, demonstrating or teaching at seminars. Both men worked with cooperative people when first learning their art. That is a part of the learning process, as seen in centuries of martial ways and martial arts instruction. It's called practice.

This is the point I was getting at and mentioning how unreasonable WTSO statement was. I you can see, I think you misread me or something. I am not romanticizing by any ways or means at all. I just want WTSO to back up with supportive details the ambiguous statement he made. Call it protocol. It is all just another indicator that leans me toward the idea that WTSO took a possible actual experience and used it to get an emotional response and push an agenda, consciously or not.

:(

senshincenter
06-16-2005, 03:29 AM
The issues I feel are easily noted as inaccurate and that I feel are also supporting your interpretation of the first post - seeing it as "trolling," etc. - pertain to Osensei's involvement in WWII and also the supposed effect and/or centrality of his "enlightenment" experience as something relative to the "non-violent" nature of the art. You commented upon these things regardless of you stating you are no expert regarding Osensei's history. To explain further, what I call "romantic" is the position (one held by many folks) that once there was this violent art, and then Osensei had his enlightenment experience, and then he saw the error of violence, and thus went on to create a non-violent art. It's the whole "genius cult" thing or the whole notion that history is loaded with eruptions of uniqueness that come to mark "beginnings," etc. It not seeing the fiction for what it is - a fabrication put to political use. All "beginnings" are fictions - they are a blinding of the totality of related facts so that things come to appear in one way and not in another.

For me, that party line came from somewhere else - even if it can trace itself back to something Osensei may have said. A big piece of supporting evidence is this for me. In the radio interview Osensei gave late in his life, he was giving his usual spiel from "Takemusu Aiki," and at some point well into the monologue Osensei was delivering, at a point that the radio announcer was seriously (and obviously) lost, he, the announcer, reads an obviously prepared question: "So, isn't it true that there are no attacks in Aikido?" What does Osensei do? Does he say "Yes, that is true." Nope - he says, after laughing at the ridiculousness of the question, (paraphrasing) "Aikido is the harmony of all things. To say that Aikido can be only this or cannot be that - to say it can be only one side of a given dualism - is to deny its harmonious nature - of course there are attacks in Aikido."

Where did the announcer get that prepared question? Obviously he obtained the information via some means, but equally obviously it did not come for Osensei. My guess, some folks, folks in position enough to inform the announcer either professionally and/or incidentally, were touting such a perspective (i.e. there are no attacks in Aikido/Aikido is a non-violent art). For many folks, that perspective has gone on to become gospel. However, was it the position of Osensei or was it the position of folks in power that just used the cultural capital of Osensei "as Founder" to gain the power to determine the party line? I believe it was the latter, but regardless of one's take, one shouldn't act like this history has been decided upon once and for all. It has not - it is still very much up in the air.

My suggestion is caution, and to return to the threads topic.

Ron Tisdale
06-16-2005, 08:40 AM
Hi David. Another great post. And I think you put the question of 'attacks in aikido' in the best perspective I have ever read.

Thanks,
Ron

senshincenter
06-16-2005, 10:09 AM
Hi Ron,

Or at least Osensei put it the best way. :-) (can't really take credit for it)

take care,
david

jon
06-16-2005, 11:05 AM
It is of my opinion of WTSO he/she is bashing in a round about way on those who practice post-war Aikido through an experience WTSO had. WTSO is pushing an agenda that isn't mainstream Aikido. I wouldn't take WTSO experience seriously, or with much concern. We all conflict with people on the mat. Personality issues arise, people have different intentions, and a host of other things. You are not going to like everyone you ever come in contact or train with on the mat, deserved or not. It is a part of training. You are also not always going to be convinced of everything you see or experience on the mat, or that of other styles. I personally don't think it is anyone's business what people do on the mat. Each dojo is unique in some respect, interpreting and practicing Aikido as they think best. They should be allowed to do what they do. There is too much Romanticism, sensei worship, and I am better then you ( usually now by keyboard warriors) in the martial arts. There is too much politics, and too much opinion and gossip. Most of all there are far too many cliques and agendas. There are too many people part in the act of sophomoric Internet dojo bashing. Which all points to people who are not focused on Aikido, but rather themselves. If Aikido has a problem, this is surely a consideration and gets my vote.



Dave and Ron,

If you two want to take this thread OT and not make it its own thread, fine by me. If you want to turn this on me by saying I know nothing about Aikido and supporting WTSO that is fine by mean. I can't change your opinions of me by wasting my time on that road. I got other roads to waste time on [friendly chuckle]. Do what you feel you need to do.

Ron Tisdale
06-16-2005, 11:13 AM
Already did that. My best to you, Jerry.

Ron

senshincenter
06-16-2005, 06:21 PM
Dave and Ron,

If you two want to take this thread OT and not make it its own thread, fine by me. If you want to turn this on me by saying I know nothing about Aikido and supporting WTSO that is fine by mean. I can't change your opinions of me by wasting my time on that road. I got other roads to waste time on [friendly chuckle]. Do what you feel you need to do.


"Jon,"

I don't think anyone is "turning on you." This is just a discussion - one made up of different points of view. No one is "attacking" anyone. In addition, I would never say you no nothing about Aikido or that whatever you know amounts to nothing.

Please, keep your perspective and please keep your intent to present it as freely as you have been doing. It's great, and it is definitely adding to the thread.

Forums are about people and ideas (mostly ideas) coming together. We don't need to change anyone here, and so we shouldn't feel pressured to do that - nor should we feel a sense of failure when it appears that we are not doing that. We all just share what we share. Sometimes we have things confirmed. Sometimes we come to reflect upon what we know. Sometimes we come to new ways of thinking. Sometimes things go in one ear and out the other. Therefore, I suggest one stick to the grand scheme of things and seek to maintain a healthy distance between one's person and one's ideas as they come to be presented and interpreted on the Internet. This is one way of making sure that trolls don't exist (i.e. do not produce the effect in us by which they are defined) - which seems to be important to you.

Back on topic: Perhaps you can do me the favor of speaking more on the recently raised issue of "rank flashing" as a substitute for clear presentation and/or explanation. I would like to hear your take on that.

Thanks in advance,
dmv

Jon
06-16-2005, 08:56 PM
Dave,

Gentlemen to Gentlemen, thanks. I better understand where your at. Your explanation and effort has not been wasted.

To honor you request. Flashing rank...a temporary affect or humbling experience depending on perspective, and whether I deserve it or not. :) It is not something I lose sleep over or allow to disturb me. It is equally important for me to maintain balance and harmony, and not let me ego go unchecked to throw me off in those type of situations. I keep in mind I came to them, they didn't come to me. I keep to that mentally. There is no reason of me to be disrespectful, and forget my manners deserving of someone flashing rank or not if they are hosting instructional seminar. I have to also put myself in their shoes. Doing instructional seminars is a risk that opens you to being challenged and criticized. If you are doing something that is at the center of controversy, or is different, you always have a number of people criticizing you and challenging at any and all opportunities. It is understandable that you may be defensively flashing rank to squelch disruptive trouble makers, and not allow them to derail the class with their antics. It maybe justifiable in some cases to flash rank as a defensive tactic to keep control of the class, and insure a pleasurable experience of the others who are sincere. Point is every story has two sides.

Or if it is a person's personality then it is a temporary manageable experience that should be taken with a grain of salt. If not then the angst person who is put out by the situation so much so they carry it with them must realize they need to work on their ego. I stress that strongly to those who have only been training for a couple of years and where flashed rank by someone who has trained longer. You can't get enough practice in humility.

jon
06-16-2005, 09:01 PM
I will assume WTSO wasn't wearing a white belt. I have seen high ranking Aikido with more experience then I could hope for where white belts even at Aikido seminars of another style.

senshincenter
06-17-2005, 11:06 PM
To be sure, it is indeed wise to remember that there are two sides to everything. However, equally wise, it is important to remember that to every two sides there is but one center. In my opinion, at the center of what may be either an act of foolish pride and/or an act to inspire humility lies a fetishizing of rank. To bypass explanation, or demonstration, and/or any other true testament of one's inner being and thus one's capacity to make sense, and to instead posit rank as the ultimate form of "upaya," is to give to rank an unreasonable and excessive amount of attention or reverence. More than that, because rank is never a true testament of a human's inner being, it is to pretend or to be misled into believing that rank is capable of inspiring proper human virtues (such as humility). At its best then, I would propose that such action never really does inspire a true humility. Rather, its only capacity is to inspire a false humility and/or the kind of "humility" that one actually comes to take pride in (ironically). That is to say, rather than cultivating a true openness of the human soul, the fetishizing of rank can only inspire in us a more close-minded pride. It forces us to come to the world according to categories that are at best completely arbitrary and thus often without merit. If someone has higher rank, we will shut up and listen, but only by the force of an inner repression to gain more pride by feigning humility under these "proper" conditions. If someone has lower rank, that pride goes on to expect the same kind of repression from the person of lower rank -- a kind of forced inner repression that is wrongly motored by a pride in one's "humility." As a result, when such a repression is not present in another, such a fetishization of rank causes us to feel insulted and then equally pressured to inspire or force the same fetishization that we have within in the Other.

On the surface, while the fetishization of rank may appear useful and/or practical, at a spiritual level, at the level of human virtue, it is completely without merit. The kind of "humility" it may produce comes with too huge a price. It is too thoroughly tied to notions of ego, and pride, and also too tied to one's will to power, to provide any of the actual insights that may come to us from being open in both heart and mind. To truly open the heart/mind of another, to truly inspire humility in someone else, their heart/mind must be exposed to a heart/mind that is already thus -- already open, not guarded. Therefore, we cannot offer up as a motivator for humility a fetishization of arbitrary distinctions. When faced with closed-mindedness, we should not inspire or expect more close-mindedness from ourselves and/or the other person. Rather, when faced with closed-mindedness, if the cultivation of humility is truly one's aim, and/or if gaining the benefits of humility are one's aim, then rather than being guarded and/or seeking to be protected by the powers afforded to us by our institutions, we should rather seek to expose ourselves. To do that, we cannot make more of what is around our waist than what is in our bodies, or in our hearts, or in our spirits, or in our souls.

Rank should never be fetishized.

My opinion,
dmv

Jeanne Shepard
06-18-2005, 06:34 PM
Leave fetishizing for shoes.

Jeanne

senshincenter
06-18-2005, 07:16 PM
lol

Jeanne Shepard
06-19-2005, 08:57 PM
Making people helpless with laughter! My favorite technique! Now you are at my mercy!

Jeanne

senshincenter
06-19-2005, 09:24 PM
I guess that is true - especially if you got some spiked heels on. :-)

Janet Rosen
06-19-2005, 11:58 PM
a couple of us have been threatening to attend post-seminar dinners in heels, hakama, and corset. hasn't happened yet....hmmm...maybe the next aikido-l or aikiweb seminar?

Ron Tisdale
06-20-2005, 08:17 AM
In These shoes? I don't think so...

Ron :)

Jeanne Shepard
06-20-2005, 08:00 PM
Ron, we need to get you a corset...

Jeanne

maikerus
06-20-2005, 08:04 PM
Ron, we need to get you a corset...

Jeanne

Don't forget to take pictures!!!!!! :D

--Michael :cool:

Ron Tisdale
06-21-2005, 08:10 AM
:) Hey! I'm not THAT chubby! [sucking in gut]...

R :)

Lawrence Brindisi
03-02-2006, 12:11 AM
Greetings.

it's nice to know that there are critical students in aikido. but no matter, just remember that combat effectiveness of aikido can not be measured even in actual combat. effectiveness of aikido can be felt by the PERSON himself. why? cuz i've been stuying aikido for 10 years now and STILL haven't been to any scuffles... really. but before that i've been a 'bad boy' so to speak.

anyways, bottom line is: remember the principle of the three (3) warriors, the good, the real, and the true. and once you've found out its essence, the effectiveness of aikido is clearly seen.

"let's hold hands and together climb mt. fuji"

Michael O'Brien
03-02-2006, 03:54 PM
a couple of us have been threatening to attend post-seminar dinners in heels, hakama, and corset. hasn't happened yet....hmmm...maybe the next aikido-l or aikiweb seminar?
How do I get an invite to that dinner? ;)

pezalinski
03-03-2006, 03:27 PM
"Shut up and train!" and then have a beer (or the beverage of your choice) afterwards. Isn't that what aikido is all about? ;)

If an aikido technique is effective, it can be demonstrated to be effective. Period. No ifs, ands or buts. It either works, or it doesn't. Understanding HOW it works is another topic for discussion.... but you really have to feel the technique, and the attack, to be a part of the conversation.

If you don't understand the demonstration, ask respectfully and politely for personal instruction. If, even after personal instruction, you still don't get it -- shut up and train, something else is coming along sooner or later that you WILL get.

Akira Tohei once said, "When the fruit is ripe, you can eat it."

Aikidokakakakaaaa
03-08-2006, 11:48 AM
http://i2.tinypic.com/qzhymg.jpg

Mark Freeman
03-08-2006, 12:50 PM
http://i2.tinypic.com/qzhymg.jpg

:D :D

Ronin74
03-09-2006, 07:14 AM
Here's the thing, The telegraphed lunge punch defended by a wrist grab looks pathetic to anyone that has ever been in a real fight. No one cares what principles you think you are developing, the stuff doesnt work when the chips are down.

Mary Eastland
03-09-2006, 07:19 AM
Here's the thing, The telegraphed lunge punch defended by a wrist grab looks pathetic to anyone that has ever been in a real fight. No one cares what principles you think you are developing, the stuff doesnt work when the chips are down.

So....... go train in something else.
Mary

Aiki LV
03-09-2006, 03:19 PM
Here's the thing, The telegraphed lunge punch defended by a wrist grab looks pathetic to anyone that has ever been in a real fight. No one cares what principles you think you are developing, the stuff doesn't work when the chips are down.

I have no problem with people having a different opinion, but this has to be one of the most over simplified statements I've ever heard. I think it is pretty obvious what you're intention is here. If I was someone who had never trained in aikido before that is what I would say too out of pure ignorance. Anyone who has been chucked on their butt by someone who knows what they are doing would disagree. I'd like to thank you for that over simplified and purposefully degrading post. Even though I don't always see eye to eye with other martial artists I would not go so far as to be intentionally rude or insulting about the art they practice. I think you show your true character when you say No one cares what principles you think you are developing. See that is what separates people like you, you might not care about principles both physically and otherwise, but many of us do. I'm sorry you have such a large chip on your shoulder. ;) GOOD LUCK TO YOU!

Ron Tisdale
03-09-2006, 03:33 PM
I should hate myself for responding to this, but...

Here's the thing, The telegraphed lunge punch defended by a wrist grab looks pathetic to anyone that has ever been in a real fight. No one cares what principles you think you are developing, the stuff doesnt work when the chips are down.

uh huh...yeah...that's why you are posting annonymously, right? It's because of those 'lunge punches'... ;)

Michael O'Brien
03-09-2006, 04:46 PM
Here's the thing, The telegraphed lunge punch defended by a wrist grab looks pathetic to anyone that has ever been in a real fight. No one cares what principles you think you are developing, the stuff doesnt work when the chips are down.
Here's the other thing, if you are learning your techniques correctly then when someone throws a punch you have moved either inside or outside and put yourself into a position where you control their centerline.

Then even if you miss the "wrist grab" you are in position for any number of techniques.

We were working on this today actually. Control the centerline first when the attack comes and then do whatever technique works rather than trying to force a particular technique. :D

Mark Freeman
03-09-2006, 07:09 PM
I should hate myself for responding to this, but...

Don't be so hard on yourself Ron, we all still think you are a good person ;)

XWF
03-09-2006, 10:45 PM
Ok, so you´re at a seminar and you don´t get / enjoy what the instructor is teaching. Maybe it all just seems totally silly to you. You have several options:

1. Stay off the tatami during that session.
2. Stay on and try to practise sincerely .
3. Stay on and mess about, having a laugh.

However, you do not have the option of getting frustrated and blaming that instructor for your lack of understanding - that is your problem.

Train or don´t train.

Whining is pointless.

Q

I like option #3.

xuzen
03-09-2006, 11:14 PM
Here's the thing, The telegraphed lunge punch defended by a wrist grab looks pathetic to anyone that has ever been in a real fight. No one cares what principles you think you are developing, the stuff doesnt work when the chips are down.

Geez, mummy, can i grab the wrist? Huh? can I? can I? Please mummy, please? I wanna GRAB THE WRIST (TM)!

Nick Simpson
03-10-2006, 08:10 AM
Xu, it's therapy time again...

James Davis
03-10-2006, 04:49 PM
Here's the thing, The telegraphed lunge punch defended by a wrist grab looks pathetic to anyone that has ever been in a real fight. No one cares what principles you think you are developing, the stuff doesnt work when the chips are down.
Whether the punch is speedy or not, GET OUT OF THE WAY! Instead of trying to grab their wrist, go for the shoulder; once you have your hand on the shoulder, it should be (relatively) easy to find their wrist. Throughout all of your technique, you should be MOVING.

Admittedly, seeing someone slooowly throw a punch and have their wrist grabbed on the second try by someone with poor timing can look pretty sorry...

...but you have to start somewhere. Some of the people that walk through the door of your dojo will be out of shape or klutzy, or have no experience with fighting at all. If you don't work with them, they probably won't get a chance to improve.

CaseyD
03-11-2006, 10:37 AM
Here's the thing, The telegraphed lunge punch defended by a wrist grab looks pathetic to anyone that has ever been in a real fight. No one cares what principles you think you are developing, the stuff doesnt work when the chips are down.

So quit aikido and try something that you find more practical. The people in these forums want to discuss aikido not try to convince skeptics.

koyo
03-12-2006, 06:01 AM
Hi Aikidoka
I have been training for forty plus years and have had the privilage of seeing aikido before it was influenced for better or worse by we westerners. Perhaps the best advise I was ever given was. DO NOT CHANGE THE ART TO SUIT YOUR EXPECTATIONS LET THE ART CHANGE YOU. Proper training should leave you with a peaceful compasionate nature that you emanate off the mat and a very pragmatic and effective fighting art when needed. TRAIN HARD FIGHT EASY.

KOYO

Strike N. Grapple
03-12-2006, 12:45 PM
I find myself frustrated to no end at aikido seminars these days. They're often overcrowded, many people are trying to quickly determine a pecking order by figuring out what rank you are and there's rarely time to work on much stuff at any kind of indepth level.

I've attended a few seminars of late with names that I really respect and would no doubt more greatly enjoy were there time to actually train stuff with them that wasn't based on just the "Try this combo" or "This is how I'd deal with a tackle/punch/kick" (nevermind training the body skills and delivery system is where it's at to gain those skills).

In many cases, if there were a few of us around to try these things against progressive resistance, especially in an aikido context, once we got past the "rank doesn't equate to skill" nonsense, I think people would really begin to learn something. Sadly, without such training, it's reduced to lots of people going post-seminar "Oh yeah, I've always done it that way" or "Yes, my skill is much better", even when demonstrated next-to-squat when they were on the mat.

So, I think for the time being, I'm done with seminars. I'm going to continue to train with the people that I enjoy in smaller settings. People that will test me, not let me get away with things because of perceived skill or "teacher" status. I'll go visit and play with the rough guys from other styles for periodical reality checks, because unfortunately, I am one of those guys that needs to be able to test my aikido to make sure it will work on SKILLED/TRAINED people from other systems that don't necessarily know the correct/acceptible ukemi.

I'm gradually accepting my own status as an elitist/snob, which is probably not good for my character or "spirit", but I'm getting less inclined in my advancing years to maintain the "training as group hug to support the existing status quo" that I see becoming more and more the norm.

Best to everybody . . .

NagaBaba
03-12-2006, 09:35 PM
I find myself frustrated to no end at aikido seminars these days. They're often overcrowded, many people are trying to quickly determine a pecking order by figuring out what rank you are and there's rarely time to work on much stuff at any kind of indepth level. .
IMO seminars are not to learn technical details or deep study. Such things you can do back home with your own instructor.
Seminars, particulary with shihans are to show you in what direction your study must go. For effective training you need some kind of general "structure", and they provide it.

I'll go visit and play with the rough guys from other styles for periodical reality checks, because unfortunately, I am one of those guys that needs to be able to test my aikido to make sure it will work on SKILLED/TRAINED people from other systems that don't necessarily know the correct/acceptible ukemi.
More I train; more I'm convinced it has very limited utility for aikido training. For such tests you need to establish some kind of rules, and such rules will deform transmission from Founder. As you don’t really know Founder intentions, which are behind every technique, your own judgment (choice of rules) will overwrite his idea.
If you don’t care about Founder, that will be another story, but you’d better not call it aikido.

Ron Tisdale
03-13-2006, 08:16 AM
Hi Strike and Grapple,

I suggest you attend one of Ellis Amdur's seminars. I found that the two I attended cut through the BS you mentioned, and provide the opportunities you are seeking. There is a review of the last of his seminars I attended on this forum.

Best,
Ron

Aikidokakakakaa
03-13-2006, 02:31 PM
Train or don´t train.

Whining is pointless.

Q
That's right! We won't listen to your dissenting. Aikido is fixed and we are all your seniors both morally and intellectually because we have dedicated even more time than you to not questioning the art.

dps
04-17-2006, 11:56 PM
I may be a little late with this post but I just joined this website.
I have seen film of Osensei demonstrating the no touch techniques.
My second sensei had a fairly hard style but would occasionally
demonstrate a no touch technique and describe it as leading your uke's
mind. I think it is a matter of timing your movement with your uke's
movement when uke attacks. We practiced this slowly at first to learn
the flow of the movement and when the attack from uke was faster it
is more effective. Nothing mystical or magical about it.

Kevin Leavitt
04-18-2006, 02:19 AM
sometimes perception or expectations are all that is needed to influence the actions of others!