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Aristeia
02-26-2006, 06:52 PM
Sure, sure. Then I suppose I'm also vulnerable to being under attack by twenty dwarves while standing on one foot under a table.

LOL. Your posts are still dull. You still shouldn't be giving out advice.

Unfortunately, all the details are there to be discovered...not explained. Go practice and think really hard about this stuff. Maybe you'll get it one day.

Ok if you prefer it in context here it is. Here's how the above looks to me. You've likened preparing for adapting to unpredictability and chaos in a fight to preparing for "being attacked by twenty dwarves while standing on one foot under a table"

This leads me to believe one of two things must be true.
a) You're simple
b) You consider unpredictability and chaos in a fighting context to be an unlikely occurance - as unlikely as your example. So unlikely that it's not worth training for.

I'm going to assume you're not simple. Which leaves us with b), which tells me you don't know a whole lot about fighting. Go and practice *fighting* with people who train to *fight* and you'll maybe get it one day.


How was that, better?

Adam Alexander
02-28-2006, 04:37 PM
Ok if you prefer it in context here it is. Here's how the above looks to me. You've likened preparing for adapting to unpredictability and chaos in a fight to preparing for "being attacked by twenty dwarves while standing on one foot under a table"

This leads me to believe one of two things must be true.
a) You're simple
b) You consider unpredictability and chaos in a fighting context to be an unlikely occurance - as unlikely as your example. So unlikely that it's not worth training for.

I'm going to assume you're not simple. Which leaves us with b), which tells me you don't know a whole lot about fighting. Go and practice *fighting* with people who train to *fight* and you'll maybe get it one day.


How was that, better?

Yes, much better.

My reason for not explicity explaining my rationale is that I'm not in the business of giving away the knowledge that I've worked long and hard for. What am I going to do? Explain a few secrets to convince you? What for? You, apparently, can't even get what I'm saying with techniques...If you can't grasp that, you definitely couldn't grasp the rest of it (grasp/believe whatever).

I figure you're either 1)not under the tutelage of a knowledgable teacher, 2)you don't put the effort into it that is needed for you to understand, or 3)you've proven yourself to your instructor to not be a suitable recipient of direction. Whether any is the case or not, I could care less, but I know I'm not going to give you what you're not getting from the proper source.


As for the "chaotic nature" of physical confrontation. I've been in plenty of situations throughout my life. Aikido's there through all of it...Even on the ground...atleast...that's my experience.

I forgot...As for "knowing someone"...Yes. Several. However, I'm anticipating this one as a set-up...so, suffice to say, the above is the response for this one also...


BTW: This is in response to you too Ignatios.

tarik
02-28-2006, 04:52 PM
My reason for not explicity explaining my rationale is that I'm not in the business of giving away the knowledge that I've worked long and hard for.

I've always found that an odd position to take although many people I know and respect take it. Anything I could possibly have in the way of knowledge is free for those interested in it, although, frankly, I don't know why anyone would be interested in anything *I* know, since I know such a small fraction right now.

However, the only productive way to interact here is to discuss and explain, and in my case, disagreements and discussions have led to many fruitful meetings and a a great deal of learning.

What am I going to do? Explain a few secrets to convince you? What for? You, apparently, can't even get what I'm saying with techniques...If you can't grasp that, you definitely couldn't grasp the rest of it (grasp/believe whatever).

Certainly sometimes giving away knowledge is useless since the person you are giving it to is not in a position to comprehend it. Sometimes it's the explanation that is lacking instead.

It's all a matter of time and perspective.

Secrets? Honestly, most of the secrets in life and the martial arts are right up front and clear as day. It's understanding them and applying to discipline to assimilate them into your existence that is tough.

Regards,

Tarik

Aristeia
02-28-2006, 06:24 PM
heh heh. There are no "secrets" in martial arts. Only good training. You've worked long and hard to get these secrets? How long was that again? I have to wonder, if your philosophy is to keep your knowledge so close to your chest and not give it away, then what are you doing on the forum. It seems you're happy to put forth very strong and some would say conceited views, but when challenged resort back to "well I'm not going to tell you because you're not worthy nyah nyah" Which is it, you want to contribute to the discussion and further knowledge or you don't.

As for knowing someone capbable of performing technique infallibly each and every time - not so much a set up. I personally think such a claim is ridiculous. But as you've previously implied that "doing" aikido properly may not be something anyone is currently capable of, I just was curious which particular sillyness was behind the latest comments - the belief that someone can be infallible, or the belief that the value of aikido lies in a faraway land no one can ever reach.

As for Aikido being present in real life situations - no doubt. We just have different ideas as to what Aikido looks like and how it should be trained.

Ron Tisdale
03-01-2006, 10:36 AM
a) have you seen each other's aikido? I was under the impression that we were going off of written descriptions, so that would not be possible. I could be mistaken; David Valedez has posted video of himself doing waza and exercises, so at least there we have something somewhat concrete to go on.

b) Jean, I still don't get your attitude sometimes...that's probably my issue, not yours.

c) Someone I respect told me once that aikido has no secrets...but some things are for personal transmission only. So in a class or one to one setting, it's not a secret. But he wouldn't discuss *some* things openly on the web, for instance.

d) It is a fine line you walk when deciding when to use that for cover, and when that is a legitimate position to take. Right now...it looks like cover.

Best,
Ron

Michael Neal
03-01-2006, 11:46 AM
as for the Pizza Parlor Guy, if you want to be able to handle a guy that big you need to build your strength pure and simple. I am able to throw someone with seionage who weighs around 300lbs by doing deadlifts on a routine basis. I am pretty sure I could have thrown him with a seionage variation called seiotoshi which requires much less strength, once on his back he would be pretty much helpless with a knee on belly pin.

all of this is theoretical of course but I have thrown someone that big before and they knew Judo

Adam Alexander
03-01-2006, 04:04 PM
heh heh. There are no "secrets" in martial arts. .

Your memory that short? I thought we just blew briefly over that one in another thread.

Only good training. You've worked long and hard to get these secrets? How long was that again? .

I'd say approximately 3,650 hrs. Give or take a couple hundred.

Approx. one quarter in mat time; a little over a quarter solo training; about half book studies.

That doesn't include time spent thinking (focusing) on techniques/movements beyond that.


I have to wonder, if your philosophy is to keep your knowledge so close to your chest and not give it away, then what are you doing on the forum. .

I offer a little guidance and a different perspective to others. Check my history.

It seems you're happy to put forth very strong and some would say conceited views, but when challenged resort back to "well I'm not going to tell you because you're not worthy nyah nyah" .

I'd say as it applies to Aikido, I'm convinced of it's potential. I'd say of myself, that of experienced enough to know that I can handle some situations. Conceited? No. That's a misperception of those "some" you refer to.

Which is it, you want to contribute to the discussion and further knowledge or you don't..

Again, check my history.

As for knowing someone capbable of performing technique infallibly each and every time - not so much a set up. I personally think such a claim is ridiculous. But as you've previously implied that "doing" aikido properly may not be something anyone is currently capable of, I just was curious which particular sillyness was behind the latest comments - the belief that someone can be infallible, or the belief that the value of aikido lies in a faraway land no one can ever reach.

Exactly, it's impossible to "know" someone could do it infallibly everytime. I figured that to be the set-up. As for the next set-up in that argument...I'll skip that one too.

Adam Alexander
03-01-2006, 04:12 PM
a) have you seen each other's aikido? I was under the impression that we were going off of written descriptions, so that would not be possible. I could be mistaken; David Valedez has posted video of himself doing waza and exercises, so at least there we have something somewhat concrete to go on.

d) It is a fine line you walk when deciding when to use that for cover, and when that is a legitimate position to take. Right now...it looks like cover.

A)We'd need to see each other's to say if our techniques were good or bad. However, I'm pretty certain that you can tell by what someone's saying if they do or don't get it.

D)That's interesting. It's just like Aikido...It looks like one thing, but it's so much more;)

James Kelly
03-01-2006, 05:47 PM
I've never heard anyone of rank say stuff like "if you miss this entry, then..." I have, often. Shihan in fact. O Sensei's Uchideshi even.

But the truth is, everyone knows that only the Pope is infallible. Paul VI decreed it so himself (I think it was Paul VI, he changed his mind a lot).

nathansnow
03-01-2006, 07:40 PM
The argument of the bigger guy always having the advantage can always be made. If in your mind, bigger is better, then you will never win. You might as well quit whatever MA you are doing and buy a hand gun and get a concealed weapons permit! If you think there is a chance, keep training and keep searching like the rest of us!!

Keith R Lee
03-01-2006, 10:07 PM
I'd say approximately 3,650 hrs. Give or take a couple hundred.

Approx. one quarter in mat time; a little over a quarter solo training; about half book studies.

That doesn't include time spent thinking (focusing) on techniques/movements beyond that.



That is a really unusual way of saying how long you've been training.

3650 hours.

1825 hours in book studies? Not sure what that's really about. I mean, I've read lots of martial arts, philosophy, and science books that have made me think different about my training, but I don't consider them "training time" per se.

So that leaves us with 1825 hours to training. And half of this is "solo" training and half "on the mat?" I presume solo training to be like kata or something done not in the dojo or gym??? Regardless, that leaves us with 912.5 hours of training time on the mat with a partner.

I'd say that a bare minimum training week would be 6 hours a week. Either 2 three hour training days, or 3 two hour training days. Also, lets presume you go to every class and never miss. That would give us 288 hours a year. Lets say you trained a little bit extra a couple times and round it up to an even 300 hours a year. (I'll admit, I'm leaving off seminars, and training on the weekends and the like, which I presume most serious Aikido/MA enthusiasts do. But I'm trying to establish a base average here.)

With that being the case: 912.5/300=3.04

Essentially, from the information you've provided us, you've spent three years on the mat. Is this exclusivly in Aikido as well? I haven't followed this thread or your posts that carefully. But from the way you seem to be acting I think that's probably the case. In my experience, three years isn't that long of a time to be training. Especially to claim to have gained some sort of proficiency in fighting/martial arts that justifies making authoritative claims.

Or maybe you've been training longer, but less frequently? But that would just make matters worse. There is of course, the claim that it is not the time but the intensity. I think it's a true statement but even with that being the case, three years (at only 6 hours a week) is still not that much time, even with intensive training.

All that's there to say: easy up on the definitive statements about something as ambiguous as fighting. Also, keep an open mind because there are some people on the board with more experience in Aikido, and other martial arts than you. A LOT more. Maybe what they have to say is worth consideration as well, y'know?

eyrie
03-01-2006, 11:09 PM
ROTFL.... when I read Keith's post and glanced a the topic title, it suddenly became clear....

Aristeia
03-02-2006, 03:12 AM
particularly in light of this I offer a little guidance and a different perspective to others.

Nope, no conceit there :-)

eyrie
03-02-2006, 04:37 AM
Oh, no, I just thought it was funny as hell, that's all.... an exaggeration of sorts. Perhaps Jean simply understated the number of hours...??? Or Keith's calculation is totally off....??? I dunno, my math stinks.... where's my calc?

If you consider this hypothesis, in Donald Norman's 1993 book "Things That Make Us Smart: Defending human attributes in the age of the machine", Addison-Wesley, he states (unscientifically and unsubstantiated!) that it takes an average person roughly 5000 hours to become proficient in some sort of manual skill of average complexity and degree of difficulty.

Let's say the person works at it for 10 hours a day, 300 days a year for 2 years, well 10x300x2=6000, so a person could quite legitimately become proficient in a manual skill within a 1.5 to 2 years. (This makes a strong case for having a year long intensive uchi deshi program...)

So the casual enthusiast working out 6 hours a week, 40 weeks a year (240 hours a year), will need just over 20-21 years to become proficient.

Let's give Jean the benefit of the doubt, let's be fair and include study time in the totality of what we do, I'd say at 3650 hours, he'd be pushing close to 15-20 years in aikido study, assuming he is a casual enthusiast without any prior experience.

I can understand if he would rather not share his "hard earned secrets", but I can't say I agree with it. I don't think that sort of attitude serves the art nor this forum. But I could be wrong.... OR maybe you need to pay him a lot of money to show you're genuine and then maybe he'll still tell you to go practice...and maybe in 10-20 years you'll get it. I dunno....

Adam Alexander
03-03-2006, 05:09 PM
I have, often. Shihan in fact. O Sensei's Uchideshi even.

But the truth is, everyone knows that only the Pope is infallible. Paul VI decreed it so himself (I think it was Paul VI, he changed his mind a lot).

Cite the source. I'm sure, by considering context, we'll find a meeting place on the issue.

No one's saying that a person is infallible. Only that infallibility is a part of a pure Aikido technique.

It's sort of like when Mike Tyson was big. Everyone I've ever known always loved to watch him fight. However, although he was in a boxing match, anyone I've heard who seemed familiar would always say that he's a "brawler, not a boxer" because he didn't demonstrate a lot of technical skill.


That is a really unusual way of saying how long you've been training.

Yeah, it is unusual. When I first started training, everyone at the lower ranks always asked "what rank are you" when they wanted to get an idea of your experience. Then, as I trained a little while, the people who seemed to grasp a little more would ask "how long have you been training." Then, after I started to watch a lot closer, I noticed a lot of people trained ten years twice a week with occasional lay-offs, while others trained five years every single day.

So, I've come to conclude that rank--because of the variety of reasons people are promoted within organizations--seems to have relatively little in regard to technical and practical significance, and length of time training in the typical number of years, for the reason stated above, means little to gauge a persons understanding, I offered a slightly better answer.

However, in reality, the question of training is simply a personal swipe. If that made a bit of difference, I could simply cite someone with a strong rep. Then, you'd shut up? I doubt it...You still wouldn't get it.

And I know you don't get it because of your lack of understanding about instruction--book or instructor--and solo training. Hmmmm I think it was K. Ueshiba who wrote that solo was necessary...but whatever, I doubt you'll get it with that either.

Just for you, I train an hour a day, nearly everyday. For between four and five years. There's been periods where I trained much more, periods--due to injury--where I've trained less...and the studying really came into play. It was dedicated Aikido for this period of time.


All that's there to say: easy up on the definitive statements about something as ambiguous as fighting. Also, keep an open mind because there are some people on the board with more experience in Aikido, and other martial arts than you. A LOT more. Maybe what they have to say is worth consideration as well, y'know?

I think I'm right about the statements on fighting. No matter what, there's a limited number of attacks and responses...we live in a finite world. So, physically, fighting isn't ambiguos--It's clear as a bell...but in the end...it's just my opinion.

On the second half of the paragraph...I'll keep an open mind to those who prove they know something. You'll notice if you check my history, there's plenty of instances of me dropping out of threads because someone said something that made sense.

You wouldn't spend much time listening to a janitor's perspective on the economy unless he demonstrated some real understanding, right? This is the same thing. When someone demo's it, I'll consider it.

Nope, no conceit there :-)

Yeah, that's really unfounded confidence: I've been training for years and I have a perspective. Or is it that I express a group of opinions that I find to be reaffirmed everytime I read something by masters?

LOL. Get over it Fooks.


OR maybe you need to pay him a lot of money to show you're genuine and then maybe he'll still tell you to go practice

They weren't handed to me on a silver platter. So, I imagine that it's not right to pass them on a silver platter. Further, they're not mine. I'd say, if anything, they're the property of my instructors...and they're the property of their instructors. I don't know why I found things out...or why any of them were kind enough to give me the guidance they did. But, I do know that it's not things to be thrown around indiscriminately.

That's why, if you read through my posts, I only cite books or interviews for guidance to others (Yeah, Fooks, quoting...Wow, how conceided.) and I always offer my rudimentary experience that started me on the path.


Honestly, this is like dealing with a bunch of catty women (no offense non-catty women). Get over it ladies. If you disagree, that's the end of it. Your experience is different.

End of story...here we go...

Aikido has been demonstrated to me and experienced by me in such a way that I recognize the principals as being capable of being applied correctly and inescapable when applied correctly.

In watching, studying (books, demos) and practicing other MAs, I've recognized that the same principals are throughout all of them.

I haven't been exposed to ALL movements or all MAs. I've been exposed enough, and have the ability to see consistencies in the, movements to lead me to believe that these things are universal.

Am I wrong? Some of you think so. That's okay. I don't think you know what you're talking about.

So what? Let's all get over it.

As stated earlier: Aikido is a platform. Is it infallibe? I believe so. You do not.

Why is there anything else to say?

Aristeia
03-03-2006, 05:50 PM
So, I've come to conclude that rank--because of the variety of reasons people are promoted within organizations--seems to have relatively little in regard to technical and practical significance, and length of time training in the typical number of years, for the reason stated above, means little to gauge a persons understanding, I offered a slightly better answer.


Anyone else get the impression Jean will change his views on this once he's got 10 years in and a black belt...

eyrie
03-04-2006, 02:47 AM
Look guys, give the man a break... he's entitled to his views and opinions as much as anyone else is.... rank has nothing to do with it, but I'm sure his attitude may change over time, as all of us do, or it won't. Either way, you can choose not to pay heed to his rantings, or you can choose to hear what he says....

* salt shaker at the ready * ;)

Adam Alexander
03-18-2006, 06:17 PM
Ohhhh, catty-women...come and feel the shame!!!

Seems "Advanced Aikido" by Phong Thong Dang and Lynn Seiser has reaffirmed my position!!!

LOL. I love to win.

Aristeia
03-19-2006, 02:15 AM
Errrm.....what is it you think you've won exactly?

James Kelly
03-19-2006, 02:20 PM
Cite the source. I'm sure, by considering context, we'll find a meeting place on the issue.

Terry Dobson Sensei
Saotome Sensei
Ikeda Sensei
Chiba Sensei
Ken Nisson Sensei
Paul Kang Sensei
Chris Jordan Sensei
Mark Adachi Sensei
Can't think of a specific time Yamada Sensei or Sugano Sensei said same, but i'd have to ask them.

Adam Alexander
03-19-2006, 05:26 PM
Terry Dobson Sensei
Saotome Sensei
Ikeda Sensei
Chiba Sensei
Ken Nisson Sensei
Paul Kang Sensei
Chris Jordan Sensei
Mark Adachi Sensei
Can't think of a specific time Yamada Sensei or Sugano Sensei said same, but i'd have to ask them.

Which book, paper, interview, etc.

The reason I say to cite the source is that I think for the most part, the topics contingent on slight variations in terms/definitions. I believe once the specific use is recognized, the case will be that we're all in agreement.

Aristeia
03-20-2006, 04:24 AM
Which book, paper, interview, etc.
.Perhaps it was actually on the mat?

Adam Alexander
03-20-2006, 12:31 PM
Perhaps it was actually on the mat?

Then I don't think it'd be suitable to cite in this instance.

James Kelly
03-20-2006, 01:03 PM
Which book, paper, interview, etc.

The reason I say to cite the source is that I think for the most part, the topics contingent on slight variations in terms/definitions. I believe once the specific use is recognized, the case will be that we're all in agreement.

No book, paper or interview - these were all 'direct transmission' aka in class on the mat.

James Kelly
03-20-2006, 01:10 PM
Then I don't think it'd be suitable to cite in this instance.
I have to disagree. Books, papers and interviews, like this forum, are all well and good, but nothing beats training with someone directly. Seeing what they’re doing, taking the ukemi and if they’re open to it, asking direct questions. In fact, I’d say that direct training trumps all other forms of transmission. Terry used to say this a lot, ‘what’s most important is that I touch you’ (or something like that).

Adam Alexander
03-20-2006, 01:37 PM
I have to disagree. Books, papers and interviews, like this forum, are all well and good, but nothing beats training with someone directly. Seeing what they're doing, taking the ukemi and if they're open to it, asking direct questions. In fact, I'd say that direct training trumps all other forms of transmission. Terry used to say this a lot, ‘what's most important is that I touch you' (or something like that).

Disagree with what? That your interpretation of what someone else said is not a suitable source for my interpretation of what was said?

I agree with the rest of what you said, but I think it's out of context.

Aristeia
03-20-2006, 03:51 PM
so to clarify Jean. When you say you've never heard anyone of rank say "if you miss that entry then....", and someone else says they have seen many people of rank make exactly that point, on the mat, as they are teaching, that that doesn't count because you can't read it? What context do you think might change "if you miss that entry" morph into something more acceptable to you?

James Kelly
03-20-2006, 04:34 PM
Every time i try to make a point, Michael makes if for me...:)

Jean – you made a statement: you’ve never heard a person of rank say such and such. All I’m saying is I have heard some very experienced aikidoka say those exact words. If you don’t think my direct experience is a suitable to cite then what’s there to talk about?

Adam Alexander
03-20-2006, 05:05 PM
Every time i try to make a point, Michael makes if for me...:)

Jean -- you made a statement: you've never heard a person of rank say such and such. All I'm saying is I have heard some very experienced aikidoka say those exact words. If you don't think my direct experience is a suitable to cite then what's there to talk about?

As I've been saying, it's an issue of context. I would venture to guess that although those individuals explicity stated that, it was while using the term "technique" in a manner that's different than how I've been using in this thread.

We all use the work "technique" in a couple different ways. I had intended on going for the point that, for simplicity sake, those people used the word "technique" in a "dojo sense."

However, in an application sense, the way I've been using for this thread, "technique" has a different meaning.

I would expect that if the folks who've said "if you miss that" would also say that "if you miss that, it's bad Aikido (or, as I would say, not Aikido)." However, that's not a discussion to be had in the dojo (I wouldn't think).

Perhaps it's my misunderstanding, but I'm under the impression that you offered your experience as it relates to the conversation. Since the discussion was--to me--more an issue of the definition of an Aikido technique and the nuances of the words, I figure the nuances of what you were reporting was of importance to the discussion.

So, to say that I said "I've never heard..." is accurate. However, the point--due to the definition I use--is different, although the words are the same.

Beyond that, I imagine there's nothing to talk about.

Aristeia
03-20-2006, 06:10 PM
Or perhaps it's possible that everyone (including Shihan) are using "technique" in the same way except for you. And in fact that your perculiar definition only arose when your argument was getting into trouble.

I mean this like me saying that I've never heard a teacher say that taking balance is a good idea. And then when you right point out that good teachers say that all the time, clarifying that by "taking balance" I mean taking ones own balance, i.e. falling over, - and so that although they may say it's a good thing that's not really what they are saying according to my definition.

Sounds a little absurd no?

Michael Douglas
03-20-2006, 06:30 PM
Excuse me Jean, can you clarify this for me ;
"No one's saying that a person is infallible. Only that infallibility is a part of a pure Aikido technique."

Do you mean to say that 'part' of 'pure' Aikido techniques are
infallible ??

Or do you mean that when an Aikido technique is done 'purely'
then it is infallible ??

Or something else.

And is this a commonly-held view ??

(Edited for quotes)

Aristeia
03-20-2006, 06:48 PM
Jean has developed an odd definition of "technique". Whereas the rest of us view things like shiho nage and irimi nage as techniques, as best as I can make out Jean's definition is something along the lines of "Aikido technique is the successful execution of aiki strategy". Note that his definition may involve more than one technique (in the traditional sense) and that it has the concept of success inbuilt as part of the definition. In otherwords it is infallible in the sense that if it fails it doesn't meet the critereia to be considered a technique. Cute huh?

James Kelly
03-20-2006, 07:37 PM
As I've been saying, it's an issue of context. I would venture to guess that although those individuals explicity stated that, it was while using the term "technique" in a manner that's different than how I've been using in this thread.

We all use the work "technique" in a couple different ways. I had intended on going for the point that, for simplicity sake, those people used the word "technique" in a "dojo sense."

However, in an application sense, the way I've been using for this thread, "technique" has a different meaning.

I would expect that if the folks who've said "if you miss that" would also say that "if you miss that, it's bad Aikido (or, as I would say, not Aikido)." However, that's not a discussion to be had in the dojo (I wouldn't think).

Jean

I'm not sure I follow your discussion about the nuances of the term technique (and I'm not sure it's relevant) but in the context I'm talking about, the word technique doesn't come up at all. It's more like, ‘Shomen-uchi comes, you irimi, you're not deep enough for irimi-nage so you move to kote-gaeshi' (or something). This isn't bad aikido and it's certainly not ‘not aikido'. It's actually the essence of the dynamic nature of aikido and I'm sure the people of rank I'm thinking of would agree. It's the back and forth, the give and take that is aikido.

Aristeia
03-20-2006, 07:53 PM
Jean

This isn't bad aikido and it's certainly not ‘not aikido'. It's actually the essence of the dynamic nature of aikido and I'm sure the people of rank I'm thinking of would agree. It's the back and forth, the give and take that is aikido.

Which is I think, how pretty much everyone would have read my original statement of

"In fact I tell my guys that it's only when they screw up and have to start bouncing between techniques that they actually start doing aikido" which started all of this.

Except of course for Jean. In fact when I go back and look at his early responses to that statement, it is clear to me that he was not then arguing from the same definition of "technique" than he is now imo

Adam Alexander
03-22-2006, 12:46 PM
Excuse me Jean, can you clarify this for me ;
"No one's saying that a person is infallible. Only that infallibility is a part of a pure Aikido technique."

Do you mean to say that 'part' of 'pure' Aikido techniques are
infallible ??

Or do you mean that when an Aikido technique is done 'purely'
then it is infallible ??

Or something else.

And is this a commonly-held view ??

(Edited for quotes)

If I understand what you're saying, then both are accurate.

On whether it's a commonly held view, I believe so. However, like so many other things in Aikido, it's rarely to never discussed...LOL. I imagine because it's a direct shot at the ego.

Adam Alexander
03-22-2006, 12:58 PM
Jean

I'm not sure I follow your discussion about the nuances of the term technique (and I'm not sure it's relevant) but in the context I'm talking about, the word technique doesn't come up at all. It's more like, ‘Shomen-uchi comes, you irimi, you're not deep enough for irimi-nage so you move to kote-gaeshi' (or something). This isn't bad aikido and it's certainly not ‘not aikido'. It's actually the essence of the dynamic nature of aikido and I'm sure the people of rank I'm thinking of would agree. It's the back and forth, the give and take that is aikido.

I would say that sh'te's perspective in this situation is what would make this good/bad/not Aikido.

As this relates to the conversation, I'd say that if you grouped the parts of your description together and called it a "technique," I would agree with you.

James Kelly
03-22-2006, 02:16 PM
Jean,

A thought about infallible aikido: I wonder if what you're seeing as infallibility is really just a matter of degrees. If a 30+ year aikido veteran does technique on me it sure looks and feels inevitable, irresistible -- perhaps even infallible. Same if I train with someone with, say, less that 10 years under their belt. But if you ask that 30 year vet how their technique works on a 40+ year vet (or better yet, watch them train together) the same exact movements with the same conditioned reflexes are woefully fallible.

And when partners are closer in experience, even if one is clearly sempai, the training becomes about adapting to unforeseen situations: you try something, it doesn't work, maybe they try a reversal, but you still have your balance, so you try something else, now it's worked. Call that whole thing a single technique if you want but I suspect you'd be in the minority.

We can talk forever about some platonic notion of ‘pure' aikido technique, but it's kind of meaningless. A technique doesn't exist unless put into the world via physical action and that has to be done by us lowly, fallible humans. Are fallible humans capable of performing infallible acts? It's long been debated but I suspect not. I've seen even superstars make the occasional mistake.

Ron Tisdale
03-22-2006, 02:25 PM
I've seen even superstars make the occasional mistake.
Yea, like taking time during an olympic final to grab your snowboard and show off!

Best,
Ron (what a way to lose the gold!)

Kevin Leavitt
03-22-2006, 02:27 PM
James I agree with your comments. It is really not about being falliable and infalliable. It is about knowledge and experiences. I am sure there are plenty of Shihans out there that I could pummel into the ground if they fought a "no rules" type fight and they chose to fight strictly (and stupidly) from an aikido paradigm. The fact that I pound them into the ground has nothing to do with the art or the artist being falliable/infalliable...but with their attitude and approach to the situation and how they respond to the situation from an ethical point of view.

Shihans and instructors have a vital role at communicating and imparting knowledge that they have learned from aikido. It is up to students to learn that knowledge if they deem it to be of some value to them. It is really that simple to me!

As a infantrymen, I don't really turn to my aikido instructors and ask them to teach me how to fight or defend myself...I really do believe I am better qualified than them to talk about or teach these subjects....but they do offer me value on a much deeper and meaningful level than the pure percieved "combat effectiveness" of aikido or of a M/A in general.

To me it is really pointless to discuss Falliability of an art based on techniques! how crazy is that!!! the falliability is that people come to the arts and believe they are learning stuff that is important, but really isn't all that important in the bigger scheme of things...and they miss the real points of why we need to study M/A and Aikido! that is where the falliability lay!

Adam Alexander
03-22-2006, 04:09 PM
A thought about infallible aikido: I wonder if what you're seeing as infallibility is really just a matter of degrees. If a 30+ year aikido veteran does technique on me it sure looks and feels inevitable, irresistible -- perhaps even infallible. Same if I train with someone with, say, less that 10 years under their belt. But if you ask that 30 year vet how their technique works on a 40+ year vet (or better yet, watch them train together) the same exact movements with the same conditioned reflexes are woefully fallible.

I'm not really talking about practitioners. It's, I believe, physics.

you try something, it doesn't work, maybe they try a reversal, but you still have your balance, so you try something else, now it's worked.

I do not believe this is consistent with your previous example. In the previous example, you said,"you're not deep enough for irimi-nage." I think that's quite different from saying "you try something, it doesn't work."

I believe any time that something "doesn't work" it's not Aikido. The circumstances dictate the technique, not a plan to react.

We can talk forever about some platonic notion of ‘pure' aikido technique, but it's kind of meaningless..

Then why did you respond? It must have some sort of meaning.

I think it's extraordinarily valuable to one's understanding of Aikido.


A technique doesn't exist unless put into the world via physical action and that has to be done by us lowly, fallible humans. Are fallible humans capable of performing infallible acts?

On a technique not existing, I totally agree. That's what I've been trying--albeit poorly--to say.

However, if I define walking, and I perform that task to meet the definition, then I have performed a "perfect" walk.

There is a definition for techniques. It is possible, I believe-- and I believe I've experienced-- perfect technique...perfect everytime, absolutely not. However, one technique doesn't have to be perfect in order that the next be perfect.

marduk
03-22-2006, 04:18 PM
Ok, look.
5 years ago I was walking out of a club with some friends when two bouncers came running out with a half uncousious guy. One bouncer threw him into the ground and proceed to beat the guy sensless.

The bouncer outweighed me by at least 50 pounds and was several inches taller than me. Big, no-neck bodybuilder type.

I pushed him off the guy and offered to call him a cab to get him out of there. The bouncer tried to grab me with one hand on the shoulder hand punch me in the face with the other. I did a big kokyunage and he sailed onto the hood of a parked car and fell on the pavement on the far side.

As I turned around expecting to get my ass kicked by the other bouncer, he only smiled and offered me a job.

You have to train with a martial intent if you want to use it as a martial art. Every day.

If you are looking for something else, that's fine, but don't try to use it as such.

Mark Freeman
03-22-2006, 04:55 PM
To me it is really pointless to discuss Falliability of an art based on techniques! how crazy is that!!! the falliability is that people come to the arts and believe they are learning stuff that is important, but really isn't all that important in the bigger scheme of things...and they miss the real points of why we need to study M/A and Aikido! that is where the falliability lay!

While I pretty much agree with your post Kevin, what are the real points of why we need to study M/A and Aikido?

regards,
Mark

Mark Freeman
03-22-2006, 04:59 PM
Ok, look.
5 years ago I was walking out of a club with some friends when two bouncers came running out with a half uncousious guy. One bouncer threw him into the ground and proceed to beat the guy sensless.

The bouncer outweighed me by at least 50 pounds and was several inches taller than me. Big, no-neck bodybuilder type.

I pushed him off the guy and offered to call him a cab to get him out of there. The bouncer tried to grab me with one hand on the shoulder hand punch me in the face with the other. I did a big kokyunage and he sailed onto the hood of a parked car and fell on the pavement on the far side.

As I turned around expecting to get my ass kicked by the other bouncer, he only smiled and offered me a job.

You have to train with a martial intent if you want to use it as a martial art. Every day.

If you are looking for something else, that's fine, but don't try to use it as such.

1, well done for coming to the aid of the poor guy being beaten up by the bouncers. I would hope someone like you was around if I were ever in such a lousy position. :cool:

2, Did you take up the offer of a job. :D

regards,
Mark

James Davis
03-23-2006, 11:05 AM
Yea, like taking time during an olympic final to grab your snowboard and show off!

Best,
Ron (what a way to lose the gold!)
I saw that one, too. She sets a great example, no? :yuck:

James Kelly
03-23-2006, 12:49 PM
I saw that one, too. She sets a great example, no? :yuck:
But here's the thing. The guy who won the gold in the snowboard cross also did a trick on the last jump, but he landed it and went on to win. No one was berating him for showing off. Motocross guys do it all the time, a little showboat for the audience. It's part of the sport. Even Jacobellis' coach didn't get on her case for styling, just for "styling too hard." So the big crime that she committed was not doing the trick, but falling.

Actually her crime was falling in front of Bob Costas who was looking for any excuse to make controversy. He called it the greatest sports gaffe of all time. Compared it to Lean Lett. She's just a 20 year old kid who was excited she was going to win gold who had a little too much adrenalin and wanted to please the crowd a little too hard... and she fell. To me, that's the nature of spectator sports.

James -- president of the leave poor Lindsey Jacobellis alone club.

James Kelly
03-23-2006, 01:24 PM
I do not believe this is consistent with your previous example. In the previous example, you said,"you're not deep enough for irimi-nage." I think that's quite different from saying "you try something, it doesn't work."They are different examples. The first is an example of something I've heard Shihan say, the second is an example of how I tend to train on a day to day basis.
I believe any time that something "doesn't work" it's not Aikido. The circumstances dictate the technique, not a plan to react.What if a technique half works. I try to throw someone in a roll, he looses his balance, falls down, but doesn't take the roll I was going for... is that not aikido? Maybe it's half aikido because it only half worked.
Then why did you respond? It must have some sort of meaning.I responded because I'm procrastinating. Any excuse a writer can use to keep from writing the thing he's supposed to be writing he will use (especially if the excuse is more writing. It looks and feels like he's working -- see, I'm putting words on the page -- but he knows in his heart he's not). So in the spirit of procrastination... I didn't say that this discussion has no meaning. I said that postulating the idea of a the perfect technique that can never be attained by humans has no meaning (I didn't realize at the time that you claim that these perfect techniques exist).
On a technique not existing, I totally agree. That's what I've been trying--albeit poorly--to say.

However, if I define walking, and I perform that task to meet the definition, then I have performed a "perfect" walk.But some walks are better than others (or is it more equal?). If I drag my feet and have bad posture and generally waste energy while walking, I'm still meeting the definition of walking (i.e. placing one foot in front of the other to achieve motion while at no time having both feet in the air), but is that a perfect walk? Hardly. I may arrive at my destination late, or more tired. I might even be injuring myself.
There is a definition for techniques. It is possible, I believe-- and I believe I've experienced-- perfect technique...perfect everytime, absolutely not. However, one technique doesn't have to be perfect in order that the next be perfect.Similarly, some techniques work better than others (take less effort, generate more power, neutralize uke's other options more thoroughly). So if techniques are on a sliding scale, there's always room at the top for one better than the last one. Saying a technique is ‘perfect' closes the scale, leaves no room for improvement.

Adam Alexander
03-25-2006, 12:30 PM
They are different examples. The first is an example of something I've heard Shihan say, the second is an example of how I tend to train on a day to day basis.

With the significance I'm placing on the definition of the word "technique" and the confusion we've all experienced with seniors giving what appears to be vague advice which later turns out to be dead-on but we couldn't grasp it at the time because we didn't understand exactly what was being said, I'd give a lot of consideration to what they're saying and what they mean...This conversation is what that's all about.

What if a technique half works. I try to throw someone in a roll, he looses his balance, falls down, but doesn't take the roll I was going for... is that not aikido? Maybe it's half aikido because it only half worked.

I don't like the use of "going" in this case.

But in any case, I'd say that it was an effective technique, but, ultimately, it wasn't Aikido. If he had tripped over something that came onto the stage, then maybe. But if uke lost his balance because of sh'te's actions, it's bad technique...Not Aikido.

(I didn't realize at the time that you claim that these perfect techniques exist).

Is there a way to type these words that is consistent with the principals of typing? If a child gets on the computer and starts banging on the keys, do we call that typing? If you type very slowly, do you tell people you can or can't type-- Would a typing expert call it typing?

But some walks are better than others (or is it more equal?).

You're assuming the definition of "walking."

Similarly, some techniques work better than others.

Techniques are suited to the situation. However, I wouldn't say that one works better than another without attaching several caveats.

Saying a technique is ‘perfect' closes the scale, leaves no room for improvement.

Nice point.

I'd say don't get too caught up in "perfect" right now.

ikkitosennomusha
03-25-2006, 01:23 PM
This is a hard topic to attack because it really could go either way. You take an experienced aikidoka weighing less than 200 llbs., I really don't see much hope for survival against a brut at 280 llbs. that is not dumb. The smaller guy better be well trained and on his toes to escape the situation. So, it can be done.

However, again, it could go either way depending on the circumstances and situation. My own personal story is that when I began aikido, I had just stopped bobuilding seriously. I had some martial experience in my past but began with a clear conscious and a clear mind. I had the temperment to be a rough-neck as well. I trained with black belts, brown belts, sensei, etc. The common truth that I kept to myself is that I could have taken them all down in a real situation. Was that my ego talking to me? No, one can tell. That was me. I have seen some big guys come in and fall. Even when I train with top notch sensei, knowing that aikido is aobut technique and not strength, I always knew I could overpower them and had to give in as to not show up the sensei. Plus, it would not be aiki of me to use brut force to muscle my way out of things. This is not aikido. So, I tried very hard not to use my strength to my advantage in a dojo situation to level the playing field and make the technique work as it was intended.

James Kelly
03-25-2006, 09:42 PM
But if uke lost his balance because of sh'te's actions, it's bad technique...Not Aikido.Did you mean to say this...?

Kevin Leavitt
03-26-2006, 04:03 PM
To respond to Mark Freeman,

Good question. (we do we study MA/Aikido) I will try and answer it without backing myself into a corner, or answering the question with a questions! :)

I think the answer is this: "It depends". Vague at best right?

Well I think people do study martial arts for many different reasons. I think what is most important is that they really, really, really understand WHY they are studying MA, and have realistic expectations about what they will get out of the study.

I will try not to be philosophic, but it is difficult I think. In the end it is happiness. To placate/address real or percieved fear may be the other one...which when done leads to happiness. Okay..enough of the philosophical stuff!

Many get involved for Self Defense. They precieve that by studying MA they will gain some degree of proficiency in this area. I'd say this is probably a big reason. People want to feel strong or empowered. I also believe this is the most irrational reason to study MA or DO arts such as aikido. If you really believe you have a reason to address Self Defense, It is better to identify the risk or exposure, and spend your time finding the best ways to address this...it does not require any formalized study of eastern MA to do this.

Many get involved for Physical Fitness. Good reason to study, IMHO.

Job: some police officers, military and other folks will come to the arts to gain skills. Most of these guys will tell you the mental aspects you gain are as important as the physical techniques if not more so!

Many get involved for the holistic stuff. Uniting Mind, body, and spirit. I go back to the happiness thing.

Many simply love the feeling they get from doing it. Again happiness, but also holistic in nature too.

Some believe that it is a good way to socialize...gain you get wrapped up into the holisitc stuff.

List could go on...many, many reasons!

The point is IMHO, that we simply need to understand WHY we study the martial arts (it may be mixed and complicated). Once we understand it, the things we concentrate on and care about will make much more sense. We will also worry less about technique and simply "be in the moment" of the study, and care more about the journey than the endstate!

These are the thoughts that come to mind right now!

Adam Alexander
03-26-2006, 04:56 PM
Did you mean to say this...?

Considering that it was in response to your 'I'm going for a throw and uke loses his balance,' do I need to respond?

James Kelly
03-27-2006, 05:32 PM
Considering that it was in response to your 'I'm going for a throw and uke loses his balance,' do I need to respond?Yes, please respond because I have no idea what you're talking about. If uke trips over something, then maybe it's aikido, if nage does something to take uke's balance then it's not aikido...? I thought the point of aikido (or part of the point) was to take uke's balance. At least that's what I've been training all these years. So in my example, I go for a throw and I succeed in kuzushi, but the throw I was going for (I'm not yet at the level where I can be totally detached from the outcome of technique so I'm still stuck in the paradigm where I'm trying for something specific) doesn't come off... so I change... do you see why I might need clarification here?

Kevin Leavitt
03-29-2006, 12:28 PM
I think you guys will argue all day long about technique and situations being defined as aikido or not.

An outsider seeing a technique may not know a damn thing about aikido and say it was Kung Fu or Tai Chi. Not to get philosophical, but...does it make him wrong because he defines it as such?

Okay. I think what is makes it aikido is that you skillfully resolve the conflict using the least possible force and attempt to reconcile as much of the situation as possible. It is not technique based!

Removing the need to validate yourself from the equation (ego) makes it possible to do this by focusing on the other person and why they feel the way they do! That would make it aikido in my book.

To me, if the guy attacked, tripped himself up, fell, and then you graciously picked him up while guarding yourself, allowing him to not be further humiliated, and walked away...to me that would be aikido!

Adam Alexander
03-29-2006, 06:57 PM
I think you guys will argue all day long about technique and situations being defined as aikido or not.

An outsider seeing a technique may not know a damn thing about aikido and say it was Kung Fu or Tai Chi. Not to get philosophical, but...does it make him wrong because he defines it as such?

Okay. I think what is makes it aikido is that you skillfully resolve the conflict using the least possible force and attempt to reconcile as much of the situation as possible. It is not technique based!

Removing the need to validate yourself from the equation (ego) makes it possible to do this by focusing on the other person and why they feel the way they do! That would make it aikido in my book.

To me, if the guy attacked, tripped himself up, fell, and then you graciously picked him up while guarding yourself, allowing him to not be further humiliated, and walked away...to me that would be aikido!

I'm not to worried about it either way. I think, for the most part, either I've gotten my point across to a couple people or I've come to recognize that they're really not at the level to understand it.

On the question of definition, it's the same as any other word: It's a method of transferring data.

Does the definition matter? Yes, because without a mutual understanding of a definition, no data can be transmitted-- Imagine what would happen if we cut the English language in half: an enormous amount of thought and the ability to convey complex ideas would be totally lost.

Personally, to find others who understand and agree with the definition I advance is important because it gives me others to communicate concepts. Without others who understand it as I do, I have no one to talk to (To the crybabies: This isn't necessarily saying that I know better than you, so don't start crying.).

Your definition of Aikido being helping a person up is valid. However, if the discussion is about technical details, then that definition wouldn't be suitable.

I think we see this a lot. One person advances some technically effective idea, and the response is something about philosophy. That's because one person's using the word one way, while the other's using it differently.

You can't communicate without understanding.

Aristeia
03-29-2006, 08:57 PM
I'm not to worried about it either way. I think, for the most part, either I've gotten my point across to a couple people or I've come to recognize that they're really not at the level to understand it.


Really? You don't account for the possibility you've been unclear?

Adam Alexander
03-30-2006, 01:34 PM
Really? You don't account for the possibility you've been unclear?

When you're ready, you'll understand.;)