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ian
10-31-2005, 08:51 AM
This is related to previous threads (resulting that it was difficult to determine if Ueshiba was influenced by Chinese martial arts). BUT what wasn't solved is a pertinent question arising from these discussions:

- Can the study of chinese martial arts directly benefit aikido?

I propose that what Ueshiba was doing in aikido was not necessarily what he was teaching externally, and that internal aspects are poorly represented in aikido. Anecdotal evidence supporting this is from two instructors who trained under Ueshiba. One asked Ueshiba why they couldn't do it like him, and he replied 'because you don't understand yin and yang' and another stated that Ueshiba did not really teach what he knew.

I suggest that the internal practices of ki development (which in my experience are NOT included in ki-aikido) were practicsed by ueshiba but not his students, just as tai-chi was originally taught to the ruling class without the underlying internal practise.

IMHO chi-gung practices like 'holding the balloon' are useful for aikido (esp. understanding kokyu-nage, and having relaxed arms whilst they are raised). In aikido you hear instructors saying; use kokyu power, relax your shoulders, use your ki, use your centre yet very rarely are we told how to achieve this practically. Conversely in chinese martial arts (at least in tai-chi and chi-gung) there are specific breathing practices to develop chi/ki, to relax, to blend etc. If ki is such a large part of aikido, why are we not directly training to develop it?

This is not to say aikido is rubbish - I presonally think the 1 year in aikido is practically more useful than 1 year in tai-chi. However, are we missing something?!

grondahl
10-31-2005, 09:19 AM
Ian, I guess that you already have read Ellis Amdurs blog "Hidden in plain sight" over at Aikidojournal.com and the following discussions (165 replys last time i checked)?

Kokyo development:
Personally I think this is the primary benifits of morote dori kokyo ho and suburi-training. (Tom Yawata stated on the discussion following the "Hidden..." that morote dori kokyo-ho as done in Iwama-style aikido has striking similarities to Yoshinkans exercises that aim to develop elbow power (Hiriki no yosei?) )

But then again, I´m a noob.

Training in chinese arts: It could certainly be beneficial for ones development in aikido, but if I had a choice I would rather seek an opportunity to train in Daito Ryu since it seems that it contains quite a bit of internal training.

roosvelt
10-31-2005, 10:55 AM
This is related to previous threads (resulting that it was difficult to determine if Ueshiba was influenced by Chinese martial arts). BUT what wasn't solved is a pertinent question arising from these discussions:

- Can the study of chinese martial arts directly benefit aikido?



Definitely. But the problem is from who you can learn the Chinese martial arts.

If you think Aikido is not very effective in teaching the "internal power", I believe it's worse in Chinese martial art.

I think only a few person who actually accquired the "internal power". And it may not be good to your health. I think O'sensei once said if he hadn't learned how to dodge bullet, he might have lived longer. So they don't really want to teach.

Another posibility is that those who achieved that level don't know how to get there. They can only teach you what they've done, but they don't really know which part of the excercise is essential.

ian
10-31-2005, 12:24 PM
Interesting feed-back. I'd certainly say suburi has increased hand-centre coordination and ability to drop the centre. Also, I have heard of problems of people incorrectly using internal practises (a friend had kidney trouble after doing chi-gung one time, and the alternative therapist spotted it immediately); generally you need a very skilled teacher.

As an aside - I have been reading the tai-chi classics, and if there was ever anything that was appropriate to aikido it is these.

Ben Joiner
10-31-2005, 12:31 PM
Interesting thread, what are the tai-chi classics?

Kevin Leavitt
10-31-2005, 01:05 PM
As a student of statistics, i'd say the good ole bell curve and pareto principle would apply to Martial arts as well. out of 100 students, 80% will simply "not get it". The other 20% will grasp the concepts, and maybe one or two can acheive a level considered "mastery". However, it would be very few that could/would acheive the level of enlightment or understanding that some one of O'sensei's.

I'd say even if you had the right art that had all the right exercises, AND had the master himself, then maybe one out of 1000 would even get close to replicating that level of performance or mastery!

Certainly I'd say the Chinese arts have something to offer. If nothing else a different perspective. You can't be clubbed over the head enough with the same concepts and different methodologies! Something just might click for you in a different art!

Chuck.Gordon
10-31-2005, 01:20 PM
Ian asks:
>Can the study of chinese martial arts directly benefit aikido?

No.

j0nharris
10-31-2005, 02:55 PM
I've been studying Aikido for a little over 10 years, & fell in with an excellent Tai Chi instructor about 4 1/2 years ago - very meticulous in body movement for the forms.
I would have to say that tai chi has definitely helped me in my Aikido, and the other way around, too. It also helps that we do some Tai Chi technique, as well, & not just the forms.
Tai Chi movement is from the center, as is Aikido, & doing it slowly without resistance helps focus on relaxation while moving, similar to doing weapons suburi or kihon paired practice to get the body/footwork correct before moving into the awase foms for kumi tachi.
It took a couple of years for me to see the benefit to my movement on the mat, but it's definitely there.
Having learned to relax & sit into my qua makes a big difference in how well I can blend on the mat, too, without getting out of my center too often.

justinc
10-31-2005, 03:49 PM
I feel it helps greatly, particularly in the area of developing better centering and balance. The exercises are typically quite different, but if you keep in mind the principles they are teaching and how they relate to the same principles in Aikido, you'll gain a great benefit from them. They are also really handy for when you travel a lot like me, and can't get down to the local dojo to train. The single person exercises and the forms help continue to train your basic principles without needing a partner.

Dirk Hanss
10-31-2005, 05:59 PM
Saotome said recently that his aikido definitely benefits from sewing. That fine needlework improves his sensitivity he needs for takemusu aiki. Playing guitar or other instruments could help as well.

So probably any similar art could support aikido, even Chinese paintings or Chinese pottery.

Maybe that is not what you were looking for.

In beginner classes we did a lot of tai chi to improve our balance and the feeling for where you are and where you are moving to.

So if you ask if your personal aikido would benefit from other (martial) arts, it is just like the cross-traing questions and Chinese arts are not better by themselves as other martial art.

And if you ask if the aikido techniques should be improved applying principles or techniques of (Chinese) MA, I would say, not necessarily, but you can develop your own aikido. If you are good enough and your aikido is convincing, that might change aikido in total, or just create yet another organisation ;)

Kind regards Dirk

Janet Rosen
10-31-2005, 06:30 PM
There are aikido instructors who do emphasize the internal.

Devon Natario
10-31-2005, 07:16 PM
I can only hope that some of you see this and understand it.

Aikido is the study or practice of harmonizing energy.

If you can feel your opponents energy than manipulation is simple.

This means that is you practice with a partner over and over and over again, you are going to learn to feel their energy. Now continue this in other arts. Feel their energy. Not everyone on the street is going to come at you Aikido style. So now that times have long passed, it is time to apply Aiki in other ways.

Learn how to relax and empty yourself and trust in the techniques even in Karate, Kung-Fu, etc etc. It doesnt matter what you take, it will improve your Aikido. Why? Because you are responding to an attack.

How many kicks do you respond to in Aikido? Should you practice that more? How many times have you had to respond to a single or double leg takedown? How many times have you had to try to blend to a Muay Thai style kick? How many times have you tried your Aikido on a boxer? How many times have you used your Aikido outside of Aikido?

My personal belief is that you train your Aikido in every way possible. Staying in parameters only leaves you in a confined space of learning.

Why did Ueshiba travel to learn? To get outside of the box. You should take his example and run with it. It worked for him, and it will continue to work for everyone that is in search for knowledge.

It is the students that think they have found everything they are looking for that will not go any further than they are now.

Many Aikidoist look to Ueshiba's example in Aikido, but they leave out his example in the overall martial arts world. Be like him, learn everything you can.

George S. Ledyard
10-31-2005, 07:21 PM
Ones Aikido practice can benefit from almost any training one does... Chinese arts, Aiki-jutsu, Systema, Iaido, Kenjutsu, etc. It just depends on what your prioities are? Do you train in another art simply to make your Aikido better or are you training to master the other form?

I think that at some point one makes ones choices and then tries to take his art out to the limit. Just because one "masters" one style, that does not mean one has mastered all. Many of the senior Americans in Japanese martial arts started in Aikido but chose to do other styles eventually. This gives them a unique insight into Aikido from their special perspectives but it doesn't mean they operate at the highest levels of Aikido. A kobudo man is a kobudo man not an Aikido man.

As Ellis Amdur Sensei once said, you tend to "become" the style you train in, although he certainly meant having given that style a whole hearted commitment. Do enough T'ai Chi and you are a T'ai Chi practitioner, even though you might have started in Aikido. Do both equally and I am not sure that you get to the depths of either... just my own supposition.

Mike Fugate
11-01-2005, 12:02 AM
I think that just because you "know" the techniques in Aikido doesnt mean you "understand" what they truly are or where they come from. Many people who practice Kata, could never explain what they are doing, and the few who could tell only a few of those would be able to explain the orgins and applications. In Chinese Kung Fu, it is very addaptible to situations, it flows, much like the philosophy of Aikido. I study O-Mei Kung Fu, along with Shorei Goju-ryu Karate and Aikido. It isnt a separate practice and study but it is all together. Being a Kung Fu artist, I have been able to pick up Aikido without as much difficulty as I have doing the Kung Fu techniques. Styles like Eagle Claw, and Dragon are remarkably close to Aikido, for they offer joint manipulation, energy redirection, and internal power. Do I think Aikido can bennift from Chinese Arts? No, I think Aikido is a beautiful art and is fine the way it is, but I think the practitioner can bennifit.
You must not worry about what style you are going to use, that is where I used to mess up all the time, it is until I just "flow" as Bruce Lee stated, that I begin to realize techniques arising that I didnt even mean to do....it just happens. Many of times strikes do fly, blocks are executed only to be turned right into what many would consider an AIkido move,,,,to me it is doing what must be done. I would have to say the fluidity of Kung Fu, and the walking techniques is what has abled me to pick up Aikido techniques the way I have. The internal practices are Extremely important too, to me the Shaolin practices of this has been the most helpfull to me, and the most complete. :ki:

ian
11-01-2005, 04:08 AM
I don't agree that cross-training per se compliments aikido. I've done some karate, tang-soo-do and judo and I believe none of them helped to improve blending or my aikido (except for being able to see what other people may do). I think this is for the same reason Ueshiba forbade competition - many martial arts encourage a struggle, and the use of force over skill development. Indeed, if the connection is not seen, you are effectively just training in seperate martial arts. For example, I don't think I'd ever be able to get to the skill level where I was using my centre for sewing in such a way that it improved my sensetivity in aikido. However, I'd agree, that we have to 'look out the box'.

Thanks for all the replies - I shall carry on training and reflecting! (and practising my chi-gung!)

Ian

ian
11-01-2005, 06:57 AM
My apologies - almost forgot. One of you wanted info on the tai-chi classics.

Its nice to buy a book:
(many out there, I've only read this, which is pretty good:)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1570627495/qid=1130849779/sr=8-4/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i4_xgl/026-3477834-8743635


and there are copies on the internet:

http://www.egreenway.com/taichichuan/classics.htm

http://scheele.org/lee/classics.html#expositions

http://www.karott.com/taichi/resources/classics.asp

Upyu
11-01-2005, 05:10 PM
The guy I study under here in Tokyo doesn't teach a specific style persay, although what he does smacks of chinese internal arts and Japanese Koryu training.

That said, it's been two years since I started training under him, and in that time I've been able to progress to the point where I can use what Tom Yawata (from the Aikidojournal blog) terms hiriki, or Kokyu paths (sans the breath work).

Anyways I was able to step on the mat at the Tokyo branch of the Tomiki Aikido place here and execute their moves with no prior instruction in Aikido. If you understand that principal of "Kokyu" path, and the "ire-kae" footwork that's prevalent in JMA and CMA (especially hsing-i) then most of the moves are fairly self-explanatory. (Most of them thought I had several years Daitoryu or Aikido training...lol)

On a more personal note, I was kind of dissapointed to see that the Tomiki Aikido peeps here in Tokyo had more or less no knowledge of Kokyu-power and were trying to execute the moves using timing/simple leverage/ w/ applied brute force.

When one of their black belts couldn't throw me, he asked me to stop "resisting" and to "uke" properly...which was kind of ironic cuz I was "uke"ing him, he just wasn't doing "kuzushi" properly :-p

More telling was the fact that when I asked the head instructor some point blank biomechanical related questions about Kokyu-paths he basically gave me a deer in the headlights look..

Before anyone gets offended, I just want to say that I didn't give this example to say that Tomiki Aikido blows or Aikido blows, you should study CMA etc...

Really this could have gone either way. It depends on how well the instructor has a grasp on these basic concepts and whether he can teach them. If he does, then there's no real need to cross train in CMA. (i.e. if I had a rockin Aikido teacher who understood the concepts, and how to teach them, I could have just as well done the opposite and schooled a bunch of CMA people at push hands after studying aikido)

The Tomiki class students I encountered, most likely, will never really get any of this stuff, if only because of the way that they train(And I must say their curriculum sucked...or rather the way they carried it out) But that's a direct result of incompetance on the instructor's level, no more no less.

Btw, I'll be the first to say that CMA instructors that can perform this stuff are rare in Japan and the States(and for that matter China ^^; ). Even rarer are instructors that can teach it to their students. I've been lucky in that I've been able to meet several teachers that're both (For those willing to try new things, Sam Chin in NY is the bomb.. can both use and teach these key concepts).

Just my two cents

aikigirl10
11-01-2005, 05:35 PM
- Can the study of chinese martial arts directly benefit aikido?


YES

PeterR
11-01-2005, 07:15 PM
So John who was the Tomiki instructor. Frankly speaking kuzushi is the bread and butter of Tomiki Aikido and resistance is a present to some of these guys. Unless of course you were doing kata training where the level and type of resistance is very specific - stepping outside of that your first time in is well ...

Secondly - Tomiki people do their kokyu training through drills such as kiriki no yosie and shote-awase. We use quite specific terms and descriptions. If you come in using jargon foreign to the practice they know - well my response would be less polite than the deer in the headlights but that's just me.

I have my own ideas what constitutes good Aikido - could your instructor throw me with his pinky if I approached him with the same attititude you seem to have displayed.

PeterR
11-01-2005, 07:18 PM
With respect to the question at hand. I think cross training between arts tends to focus your training within your own art. New or different ways of looking at the same thing often help clarify what is already there.

So yes exposure to Chinese arts could probably help my own Aikido. Not so sure about improving Aikido in general.

xuzen
11-01-2005, 08:39 PM
Can aikido benefit from Chinese art?
My take is no. My own understanding is that Chinese art are too complicated and flowery in contrast to aikido. I see aikido movement as very much derived from Kenjutsu; its movement is precise, minimalist and economical. Ever see how a Chinese jian or dao performer do their routine? It is so different from a kenjutsu practitioner isn't it. So my take is that.... NO, they are too different in philosophy, style, skill set and mentality to be of mutually beneficial. I would view them separately as two distinct art.

However, as Ian point out wrt to kokyu, ki and internal power, I think such things exist in both arts; aikido and Chinese kung fu. As a matter of fact, internal power also exist in Indian martial art, Russian sambo, Greek Pankratian, BJJ, GrecoRoman Wrestling, Synchronized swimming, Figure Skating....etc etc. It is how it is been taught or emphasizes that differs between the various art.

Boon.

Upyu
11-01-2005, 09:20 PM
Can aikido benefit from Chinese art?
My take is no. My own understanding is that Chinese art are too complicated and flowery in contrast to aikido. I see aikido movement as very much derived from Kenjutsu; its movement is precise, minimalist and economical. Ever see how a Chinese jian or dao performer do their routine? It is so different from a kenjutsu practitioner isn't it. So my take is that.... NO, they are too different in philosophy, style, skill set and mentality to be of mutually beneficial. I would view them separately as two distinct art.


They are but they aren't ;)

Ever seen Hsing-i/Xin-i or other related fist styles performed?
I think you'll find most good CMA is minamalist in training :D
Anything else is simply an expression of the "core concepts" to make things more interesting for the outsider, or just confuse them(Plenty of that in the JMA & CMA world).

"they are too different in philosophy, style, skill set and mentality to be of mutually beneficial"

Dunno about that. For those interested I suggest reading the blog by Ellis on aikidojournal.com
Ueshiba's "flip" in thinking which he alludes to in his esoteric babblings is pretttty similar in essence to what the old school chinese teachers talk about.
Come to think of it, both sides of the fence get overtly verbose and "flowery" when describing the same stuff ;)

Another thing to think about, we only have two arms and two legs, a head and maybe sometimes a brain.
There's only a limited number of ways you can use the body effeciently, and the philosophies that accompany this "use" of the body are only so many. ( I think)

David Yap
11-01-2005, 10:03 PM
...snip...
However, as Ian point out wrt to kokyu, ki and internal power, I think such things exist in both arts; aikido and Chinese kung fu. As a matter of fact, internal power also exist in Indian martial art, Russian sambo, Greek Pankratian, BJJ, GrecoRoman Wrestling, Synchronized swimming, Figure Skating....etc etc. It is how it is been taught or emphasizes that differs between the various art.

Boon.

Hi Boon,

First you said NO and then you qualified with a "yes"... :D

Happy holidays

David Y

PeterR
11-01-2005, 10:12 PM
Hi David;

Did he really? The way I read his convulutions is that you can't bring something to an art that is already there AND the arts (I think he was overgeneralizing) are so different that one way of teaching or emphasis can't help the other.

I tend to disagree with the latter in that we often get stuck trying to learn something one way and exposure to a different approach might give that ah ha moment that we needed.

xuzen
11-01-2005, 10:19 PM
Hi Boon,

First you said NO and then you qualified with a "yes"... :D

Happy holidays

David Y

Ah yes, Happy Holidays to you too. For those uninformed, it is long public holiday in Malaysia (1 week). Coincidently, Deepawali (a Hindu festival) and Aidilfirti (a Muslim festival) are just only a day apart, creating a long and well look-forward public holiday.

Boon.

Upyu
11-02-2005, 06:48 AM
So John who was the Tomiki instructor. Frankly speaking kuzushi is the bread and butter of Tomiki Aikido and resistance is a present to some of these guys. Unless of course you were doing kata training where the level and type of resistance is very specific - stepping outside of that your first time in is well ...

Secondly - Tomiki people do their kokyu training through drills such as kiriki no yosie and shote-awase. We use quite specific terms and descriptions. If you come in using jargon foreign to the practice they know - well my response would be less polite than the deer in the headlights but that's just me.

I have my own ideas what constitutes good Aikido - could your instructor throw me with his pinky if I approached him with the same attititude you seem to have displayed.

Alright Peter, sorry if I offended you, and I kind of specifically omitted several other experiences that made me rather inclined not to go back.

The way the tanto exercise was being performed comes to mind. I was continuously told to "thrust" a certain way so as to completely throw myself off balance. If I thrust keeping my structure intact, well let's just say I kept on being "corrected" to do a "proper" tsuki ;) (Because my partner couldn't get a proper throw off, and yes I realize that's kind of "rude" being the first time and all, but my experience is that if the students are taught well, this kind of hiccup shouldn't present a problem)

Btw, I recognized where they trained the Kokyu skills.
But I also noticed that most of them (as far as I could feel) weren't using that.
During the shote-awase drill, everyone, including the female and male blackbelt (cant speak for the instructor since I didnt do it with him) was just pushing from their feet and lower back. (The old "koshi kara koshi kara" push)
And that's definitely not the same feel as having "kokyu" no chikara.
And the instructor even made clear that it wasn't a big part in their practice.

As for the resistance part, most of it was like I said, brute force. If you develop structure, no matter the style, that resistance will feel well, different. And it was just the typical push/pull using muscular force with a good dose of posture thrown in.

Btw, not to sound like a broken record I'm not dissing Shodokan. Just that particular experience I had at that particular branch. To the instructor's benefit , I didn't get to touch hands with him so I don't know how much he has. I do know that some of his senior student's didn't have "it" though. That much was plain. It's not a diss just an observation.

The teacher's name I forgot, but if you look up the Tokyo Branch of the Shodokan, he would be the head instructor. He's a 4th dan I think.

The deer in the headlights phrase might have been excesive. For what it's worth, I did use objective ways to describe what I was getting at, and he still didn't understand what I was talking about. And pretty much anyone that has these skills would most likely understand what I was talking about. It's just the nature of how it works. Some things are universal across styles.

Anyways, I know I came across a little harsh, but I heartily suggest you drop by sometime when you're in Tokyo. And while it might sound like a bold statement, yea Akuzawa would probably be able to throw you with his pinky even if you showed 10 times the mild attitude I showed here (no limitations on how you test him) ;)

But that's something you should probably determine yourself.

Btw, no hard feelings, alright?
If you make it out here, the first three rounds are on me!
Especially since I was the one shooting my mouth off :-p

PeterR
11-02-2005, 08:35 PM
There are several Tomiki Clubs in the Tokyo area some better than others. I still would like to know which one - Tokyo Branch says nothing.

guest89893
11-02-2005, 09:20 PM
Ones Aikido practice can benefit from almost any training one does... Chinese arts, Aiki-jutsu, Systema, Iaido, Kenjutsu, etc. It just depends on what your priorities are? Do you train in another art simply to make your Aikido better or are you training to master the other form?

I think that at some point one makes ones choices and then tries to take his art out to the limit. Just because one "masters" one style, that does not mean one has mastered all. Many of the senior Americans in Japanese martial arts started in Aikido but chose to do other styles eventually. This gives them a unique insight into Aikido from their special perspectives but it doesn't mean they operate at the highest levels of Aikido. A kobudo man is a kobudo man not an Aikido man.

As Ellis Amdur Sensei once said, you tend to "become" the style you train in, although he certainly meant having given that style a whole hearted commitment. Do enough T'ai Chi and you are a T'ai Chi practitioner, even though you might have started in Aikido. Do both equally and I am not sure that you get to the depths of either... just my own supposition.

Hi George,
These are valid points. But one can also look at cross-training as similar to playing guitar. I have reached a certain level in playing -let's say rock- but I know I can be even better but nothing I have been doing seems to make that leap. So I look, listen, learn other styles such as classical, jazz, or blues. With my perspective focused on improving as a rock guitarist, That would be the key. I see students who are cross training and they seem more of an amalgamation than someone making a leap in Aikido. But always focusing on how to improve your Aikido changes the paradigm - or so it seems to me. IMHO.
Best,
Gene

PeterR
11-02-2005, 09:30 PM
During the shote-awase drill, everyone, including the female and male blackbelt (cant speak for the instructor since I didnt do it with him) was just pushing from their feet and lower back. (The old "koshi kara koshi kara" push) And that's definitely not the same feel as having "kokyu" no chikara. And the instructor even made clear that it wasn't a big part in their practice.

I've also got to say that it isn't a big part of the practice at least its part of many aspects that are designed to come together in a final form. The end result may not be the end result of what you or your arts training goals are - and this is always a danger when applying critique. Using the koshi is a physical practice that is emphasized in that particular drill.


As for the resistance part, most of it was like I said, brute force. If you develop structure, no matter the style, that resistance will feel well, different. And it was just the typical push/pull using muscular force with a good dose of posture thrown in.
You seem to have covered a lot in one lesson. Good Shodokan people don't overuse muscle in their resistance and over-extended tanto thrusts aren't taught either. Did you participate in randori?

Upyu
11-02-2005, 09:48 PM
There are several Tomiki Clubs in the Tokyo area some better than others. I still would like to know which one - Tokyo Branch says nothing.

Really?? Well it's the one that meets in 吉祥寺 (Kichijouji) on Fridays 7pm. It's on the Shodokan website :)

http://www.shodokanmusashino.com/
is their site, since you asked.

Rob

Upyu
11-02-2005, 10:02 PM
I've also got to say that it isn't a big part of the practice at least its part of many aspects that are designed to come together in a final form. The end result may not be the end result of what you or your arts training goals are - and this is always a danger when applying critique. Using the koshi is a physical practice that is emphasized in that particular drill.


You seem to have covered a lot in one lesson. Good Shodokan people don't overuse muscle in their resistance and over-extended tanto thrusts aren't taught either. Did you participate in randori?

They did both Kata and light Randori, and especially in Kata they tried to "correct" me into doing a tsuki that well, compromised my balance. If I did a tsuki that kept my structure, they would try and correct it. Wanted me to do it with a fumikomi step (which I'm pretty sure I know why it's there, but I get the feeling most of them were doing it just for the sake of doing it) which would compromise my balance.

Btw, the whole over use of muscle, I don't mean to say that they were trying to bulldoze me, but there was a lot of extraneous exertion, that wasn't "張り" either. Just an observation.

"The end result may not be the end result of what you or your arts training goals are - and this is always a danger when applying critique"
Can you define what the end result is? (And I don't mean this in a challenging way, I'm just curious what your definition of the end result is)

"Using the koshi is a physical practice that is emphasized in that particular drill"
Alright, fair enough, but can you tell me what the end goal of that is?


But I have to be honest Peter, all that aside,
I've touched people with skill in both JMA and CMA, and all had a certain overriding "feel" to them. Anyone that's handled all sorts of high level people outside their own field as well would know what I'm talking about ;)
And the people I did touch didn't have it.

But we could bicker on and on, about this, so like I said, the fastest way to put your questions to rest would be to drop by if you're ever in Tokyo. :)
All this stuff is really pointless, the differences need to be felt. It's hard to convey this stuff in words.

PeterR
11-02-2005, 10:19 PM
That's Sato's club and he is very good both in kata and randori - I've seen him dominate people twice his size in full resistance shiai using perfect timing and resistance. I would class him as one of the best young Aikidoka around. It's also a very young club being formed only a few years ago. He was actually deshi to Nariyama Shihan while I went through my kyu grades in that dojo so personally I owe him a lot. I also consider him very friendly and very competent.

Sorry you did not have a good experience there but I think there was an opportunity missed.

Upyu
11-02-2005, 10:31 PM
Like I said,
I can't speak for Sato, since I didn't get to touch him ;)
It seemed like he could handle himself pretty well within those contexts.

But I'll also say this, and this is my own observation, not a fact.
I've seen good boxers, and muay thai people dominate with precision timing, resistance, and footwork.
And all of Sato's techniques were done using that. Nothing more, nothing less. The "it" I was talking about goes beyond just that. And it didn't look like Sato had much either, what can I say. But I'll eat my own words and say that looks can be deceptive. :uch:
But the fact that none of the students had any of that skill said enough for me.

Btw, Sato, and all of his other students were extremely nice people, but skills are skills, don't take it personal. ;)

PeterR
11-02-2005, 10:52 PM
Ok I'll leave it at that except to say "it" for us is measurable and based on performance. The ability to execute aiki techniques under pressure. Perhaps this is the different goals previously alluded to.

Upyu
11-02-2005, 11:13 PM
Not to drive this off topic, but is it fair to say then the goal is just to be able to execute those particular techniques under pressure??

I think we're talking about different "it"s.
The "it" I was referring to was, groundpathing skills, abillity to connect to the person's center, and create kuzushi by using the groundpath, kokyu path, jin whatever you want to call it.

That would explain the gap really.
In which case I kinda understand why the rest of the Aikido community consider Shodokan a different beast. (Not saying that that's good nor bad tho ;)

PeterR
11-03-2005, 12:01 AM
How the aiki techniques are applied in a technically sense has not changed from what Tomiki learned directly from Ueshiba. How it is described is somewhat different there being a concerted effort to rationalize but the line of evolution is still direct.

The problem with using an art form outside of Aikido is that the further away you get from a common source the greater the divergence in meaning, emphasis and intent. Considering that other styles of Aikido also developed a curriculum/rationalization there can even be a problem within Aikido. This is even more so within the family of Daito-ryu (Aikido being part of that), what you are practicing (I don't know the background), and the broader world of Japanese martial arts. You mentioned your school as being more like Koryu - you are aware how varied and broad these schools are? Many don't even consider Kokyo.

When we go further a field into the CMA the problem is compounded. The Chinese mean this - therefore the Japanese mean this too is not necessarily the case. Considering the attempts to force the issue (round pegs, square holes) the difficulty is obvious to me.

The question is how does an Aikidoist look at the problem - not how a CMAist thinks Aikido should look at the problem.

Upyu
11-03-2005, 12:17 AM
"The problem with using an art form outside of Aikido is that the further away you get from a common source the greater the divergence in meaning, emphasis and intent. "

Well I guess I'm a little different in that Akuzawa's stuff sits outside, all of the stuff you mentioned before, but is included at the same time.

And yes I realize that the Koryu stuff is varied, but most of the high level peeps (and this is according to other people as well) have a similar feel. They just use it differently ;)

If that feel isn't there, well, I could be PC and say they're just different, or I could be blatant and say their skill isn't that high/ they never got it (pretty common even in japan).

Could you describe the meaning, emphasis, and intent of Aikido as you understand it? And how it differs from other forms of IMA?

While there's slight variations, I don't think the differences are nearly as big as people make them out to be.
And that's an opinoin that I've run into from other experienced Aikidoka as well. :p

But whatever dude, get your ass over here some day,
Seriously, it's not a challenge, I'd love to compare notes ;)

A lot of the Shodokan exercises that were done that day were interesting (excluding the execution), and I'd love to get a feel for how they're really performed :)

PeterR
11-03-2005, 12:27 AM
A lot of the Shodokan exercises that were done that day were interesting (excluding the execution), and I'd love to get a feel for how they're really performed :)
Sato would have been a far better example than I.

David Yap
11-07-2005, 01:24 AM
Hi David;

Did he really? The way I read his convulutions is that you can't bring something to an art that is already there ...

Hi Peter,

I was merely responding to subject title. In order to benefit, one must/should must come to an understanding of his training and practice. To benefit from another MA, one has to partake by training and research. IMO, the subject matter should be aptly titled, "Can aikido practitioner benefit from Chinese arts?".

One of my teachers said that "his aikido" is ever evolving. What does he mean by this? His understanding of the principles keep changing or just his preference of doing a technique (say, ikkyo) using handwork or footwork keeps changing. If after twenty years of practice, he still could not figure out the underlying principles, then the gods of MA help us (his students) all. BTW, he is also a CMA practitioner ;)

Best training

David Y

PeterR
11-07-2005, 01:51 AM
Hi Peter,

I was merely responding to subject title.

I thought you were responding to Xuzen.

In order to benefit, one must/should must come to an understanding of his training and practice. To benefit from another MA, one has to partake by training and research.

For sure - with a major problem arising from layering on your own preconceptions.

IMO, the subject matter should be aptly titled, "Can aikido practitioner benefit from Chinese arts?".
We agree here completely and if you read my previous posts in this thread my answer is a clear yes.

One of my teachers said that "his aikido" is ever evolving. What does he mean by this? His understanding of the principles keep changing or just his preference of doing a technique (say, ikkyo) using handwork or footwork keeps changing. If after twenty years of practice, he still could not figure out the underlying principles, then the gods of MA help us (his students) all. BTW, he is also a CMA practitioner ;)

One would hope that all of our Aikido evolves - certainly my own understanding, emphasis, and frustrations have changed. I came to Aikido with certain preconceptions from previous (non Aikido) training and altered views based on Shodokan Aikido training, training in other styles of Aikido and in other forms of Budo. I wont say that the underlying principles changed but my appreciation of the nuances sure did. I have no doubt that will change/evolve again.

I have no problem with CMA My two best students have a CMA background with one getting ready to leave me in a few months for an extended (at least six months) period in China with a teacher he knows and has trained with. We were in fact talking about me joining him for a time. Again any cross-training will have benefit to your core art for a wide variety of reasons.

Mike Fugate
11-07-2005, 04:14 AM
A follow up on what I said before....I think it mainly depends on who you are learning a CMA from. But authenitc Chinese Kung Fu would with out a doubt help anyone who practiced it understand what ever else MA's they did. See the problem is that too many have the WROND idea of what CMA really are...here is a great quote from Shaolin a long time ago....An old philosophical quote from Shaolin states, “Perceive the way of nature and no force can harm you. Do not meet a wave head on avoid it. You do not have to stop force, it is easier to redirect it. Learn more ways to preserve rather than to destroy. Avoid rather then check, check rather then hurt, hurt rather than maim, maim rather than kill, for all life is precious and can never be replaced.” Within this statement lies all the answers one would ever need to become an effective martial artist. As simple as it may sound, it is more true and effective when practiced than anything known to man, yet hardly any martial art schools ever teach this anymore. Why? Answer: Because the teachings of old, have been lost. Aikido, for one is a very similar art to Kung Fu. Its principles are based on the Shaolin philosophy stated earlier. It is an art of harmony, rather than punching and kicking they blend with their attackers energy and use it against them. While in Kung Fu there are punches and kicks, one has the option of doing both redirecting or if needed meet the force head on. After all, the arts do come from Kung Fu in the first place. :ki:

David Yap
11-07-2005, 11:06 PM
Hi Peter,


For sure - with a major problem arising from layering on your own preconceptions.

This, IMO, depends on the individual. For those with no budo training goals, they probably wouldn't know the problem and they probably don't give a damn - the happy moron syndrome. They get annoyed and blamed the uke when they could not get a technique through. On the contrary, the serious MA would analyze and look for that missing factor (peculiar in his art) that would have made the technique work. To do that, one has to discard some preconceptions. When I first started to train aikido, my posture, footwork and manner of attacks were very karate-based and the instructor told me to "empty the cup". I did but I realized later that I need not "throw the baby along with the bath water". Here, I am not talking about using karate techniques in aikido or vice versa. The arts teach us to learn about our own body; the limitations - what it can or cannot do, the amount of pain one can take and how it react to the senses. Physical techniques are confined to the rules and spiritual guidance of the arts of fighting "The Do" - karate techniques in a karate dojo, judo techniques in judo dojo and aikido techniques. Appreciation/understanding of biomechanics and mental reaction is common to all arts. The objective is how one can put this understanding into use within the defined rules. This draws the line between cross-training and MMA.

One would hope that all of our Aikido evolves - certainly my own understanding, emphasis, and frustrations have changed. I came to Aikido with certain preconceptions from previous (non Aikido) training and altered views based on Shodokan Aikido training, training in other styles of Aikido and in other forms of Budo. I wont say that the underlying principles changed but my appreciation of the nuances sure did. I have no doubt that will change/evolve again.

I hope so too. It has been said "change is inevitable but growth is optional". I think for those who have not stopped learning, the line should aptly read, "growth is inevitable, change is optional". It is given that change may not be equal to better. I have seen some instructors (whose "aikido is ever evolving") evolving from "minimum effort, maximum effect" to "over effort, minimum/no effect". To them, the changes were better; to me, sad.

Rgds

David Y