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Michael Varin
02-21-2006, 06:32 PM
A recent thread, "Regarding grabs in aikido," has produced some divergent and strongly opinioned views. For me it has sparked curiosity. Why were those particular techniques (attacks included) chosen to form the body of aikido?

As for the grabs, David Valadez and a few others mentioned that the attacks are merely energy prints. Some others suggested they were ways that beginners could be exposed to aikido before moving on to advanced applications. Others suggested "practical" applications such as grapplers bridging the gap, or Chris Hein's idea that the grabs are to restrict another's use of weapons.

What about the techniques? Ikkyo, nikyo, sankyo, yonkyo, gokyo, rokkyo, kote gaeshi, shiho nage, irimi nage, kaiten nage, koshi nage, juji nage, kokyu nage. Why do they exist? What was their intended use? Why spend so much time training them only to eschew them for kickboxing and grappling methods?

I realize that there may be some speculation here. That's fine. If any of you have researched this subject and can provide references that's great, too.

I am no expert on daito ryu, but I think we can all agree that it served as the technical inspiration for aikido. I recently read an interview stating that daito ryu is an ancient and classical samurai system of jujutsu and self-defense against single and multiple, armed and unarmed attackers. Maybe a look at history can provide a clearer picture.

I believe that these techniques were developed for a reason. What is that reason?

Michael

eyrie
02-21-2006, 07:08 PM
I don't think it is so much the techniques, or rather, the form of the techniques themselves that are the discriminating factor.

Of the 6 pins/controls, all of them, except yonkyo, is common to many martial arts. Likewise, the general form of kote gaeshi, shiho nage, koshi nage, juji nage, irimi nage, and kaiten nage are common to many martial arts, albeit, performed quite differently.

kokyu nage is the odd one out, although there are similarities in the internal CMAs.

Notwithstanding the fact that the technical basis *may* have been initially derived from its DTR parentage, I believe the difference lies in the way the techniques have been adapted (evolved?) in aikido training.

Personally, I believe that the techniques, as they are (meant to be?) practiced in aikido, is kiko (qigong training). This belief has been corroborated by several senior practitioners (not all were necessarily aikido practitioners) I have spoken to and exchanged ideas with, but it remains largely my personal beliefs and YMMV.

ChrisHein
02-21-2006, 07:17 PM
Good Idea Michael.


Looking at these techniques, the majority of them (Ikkyo, nikyo, sankyo, yonkyo, gokyo, rokkyo, kote gaishi, shiho nage, kaiten nage, juji nage,) have to do with controlling or using a arm/hand to apply the device. Only two real exceptions being Kokyu nage (some variations also use an arm) and Irimi Nage, both of these are throws done basically side by side, and separate the lower half of the ukes body for the upper half. This makes Aikido's technical syllabus very heavy on arm/hand techniques, and very light on any of the many other types of techniques. This would suggest that Aikido has an agenda with the arm/hand, my belief is that this is because you are support to be controlling an armed person, and the most efficient way to do that is to first control the arm/hand, and then controlling the body through the appendage.

In other unarmed systems there is a great deal of time spent on techniques that relate to the core of the body instead of the appendage. In styles like Greco-Roman or judo, you see lots of techniques focusing on the core of the body, not the hands. In Judo we see lots of leg attacks, and sweeps, but we don't see any of these in Aikido. In western wrestling styles the objective is to use the whole of your body to pin the whole of your opponents body, with little regard to the arms/hands themselves (with the exception of using them as a bridge to get to the core of the body).

With a little bit of attention to the techniques and attacks Aikido enlists, you can see an over kill of arm/hand techniques then one might expect from an unarmed system. However for an armed system these techniques are vital, and techniques involving only the core of the body dangerous.

-Chris Hein

Meynard
02-21-2006, 07:40 PM
Michael,

The easiest way to think about the "why" of these techniques is to imagine you or your opponent as being armed with a blade.

Edwin Neal
02-21-2006, 07:45 PM
in judo and wrestling there are no strikes so you can ignore the hands/arms... they are sports... aikido deals with armed attackers and unarmed attackers that can use arm/hand/weapons to strike you... thus it has a little concentration on hand/arm/weapon control/technique... however even these techniques control the body through the 'handle' much like arm drags and grips in wrestling and judo... the argument that because of the emphasis on arm techniques it must be a weapon art is simply ridiculous... Jiu Jitsu has TONS of arm techniques, not just submissions... almost all require some sort of grip of the arms, from sweeps to passes to escapes... is jiu jitsu then a weapons based art? this is like looking at the cart from the rear and saying it pushes the horse...

Ketsan
02-21-2006, 07:51 PM
From what I've read about classical Ju-jitsu I should imagine that most of the submissions (I include kote gaeshi in this) were intended either to break a limb (especially the sword arm) prior to a throw or as they are now to restrain an attacker and/or place him in a position which allowed you to finish him off with a tanto, yoroi doshi or whatever you had to hand.

The throws, in their original form, were probably designed to drop uke on his neck and kill him outright or again place him in a position where his sword arm could be restrained allowing you to finish him off.

Often to achieve this it was nessecary to make sure your opponent couldn't take ukemi and one way of achieving this is to tangle his arms up (juji nage style) before throwing him.

eyrie
02-21-2006, 07:51 PM
Well, the weapon is really an extension of the hand, and by extension, an extension of the body. How the body moves is what's important. Not the hand or the weapon.

Meynard
02-21-2006, 07:53 PM
Edwin,

There are many forms of jiu jitsu some have different emphasis since it has different origins.

The technical syllabus that aikido came from was on a type of jiu jitsu that was part of a weapon based martial art system. Thus the different emphasis.

Jiu Jitsu as you know today is more of a blend of different jiu jitsu methods rather being part of complete martial arts system based on the used of weapons.

Edwin Neal
02-21-2006, 07:54 PM
Meynard said,
The easiest way to think about the "why" of these techniques is to imagine you or your opponent as being armed with a blade.

still ridiculous... you don't need a weapon to justify... just the hand grab/strike is justification enough... the 'classic' waza ie Ikkyo, Nikkyo etc. are principles as well as techniques... consider them as specific techniques AND as drills that improve your body mechanics/feeling/awareness for martial situation... ever used ikkyo on the ground or kokyu nage or sankyo??? of course you have... although you may not have made the connection yet... look at the kimura... looks like an ude osae/ikkyo to me... Osensei showed us a book... you have to open it and read the fine print...

Edwin Neal
02-21-2006, 07:56 PM
all i am saying is that saying it is just a weapon art is wrong... it is both since JJ clearly is as well...

Edwin Neal
02-21-2006, 07:57 PM
Well, the weapon is really an extension of the hand, and by extension, an extension of the body. How the body moves is what's important. Not the hand or the weapon.

well said Ignatius...

Meynard
02-21-2006, 08:00 PM
Edwin,

I didn't say "justify"...

I said to understand the "why".

Also I never said it's just a weapon art. Aikido is an empty hand weapon based martial art however ineffective it. That is its origin.

It's too bad that so much of it is lost.

xuzen
02-21-2006, 09:05 PM
I read sometime ago, a new student asked a aikido teacher are there any specific technique in the aikido armamentarium to deal with boxing, muay thai, wrestling etc.

He answered, "I don't know, samurai did not box nor wrestle."

This brings to attention this: Samurai are warriors and their job is to wage war for their overlords. As a professional soldier, what is the best way to dispatch an opponent? Weapons of course. Bow and arrow for ranged attack, naginata, katana for close quarter combat, tanto and jujutsu as a back up weapon if something should go wrong.

Wrestling/newaza? Unlikely their main strategy; at most basic and rudimentary knowledge, just enough for them to get up, regain weapon and re-convince battle.

Also, boxing or muay thai type kicks are mute for them. These guys are heavily armoured... it is not going to be effective on them. OTOH, kansetsu-waza to prevent deployment of above mentioned weapon; nage-waza to fell an enemy followed by weapon deployment are IMO more useful strategy.

With these in mind, I think I do agree with Chris Hein and similar thinking posters that aikido, or rather its parent art Daito-ryu, are weapon derived art.

Boon.

Edwin Neal
02-21-2006, 09:51 PM
"I don't know, samurai did not box nor wrestle."??? Wrong answer... they did both... they just called them by japanese names...

Xu...so samurai always wore armor and were on a bloody battlefield 24/7??? this is silly... aikido was derived from various Jiujitsu that were meant to address the battlefield AND everything else including striking, kicking and groundwork... do the research... you can find scrolls that show 'non-battlefield/fully armored' applications... the arts were equally weapon and empty hand... anything else would just be dumb... that is the "why" and it justifies BOTH weapons and empty hand... It must also be effective otherwise why did it survive? Why would you practice something that is not effective???

It is necessary to develop a strategy that utilizes all the physical conditions and elements that are directly at hand. The best strategy relies upon an unlimited set of responses.
Osensei


PS. Perhaps english is not your primary language, Meynard?... 'empty hand weapon based martial art' this makes no sense... it is self contradictory... if it is empty hand then it is not weapon based, and if it is weapon based it is not empty hand... it can be BOTH an empty hand and a weapon based martial art equally... but combining the terms cancels each other out...

eyrie
02-21-2006, 10:11 PM
While non-factual statements and opinions may be inevitable, I don't think it necessarily helps the discussion, particularly when such conjecture has no basis in factual evidence.

Does anyone claiming that aikido is an "empty-hand weapons based/derived" art have any factual evidence to that effect?

Meynard
02-21-2006, 11:02 PM
Edwin,

It makes perfect sense. It's not my fault that you're having a hard time with the idea.

Weapon based means it has roots in the use of weapons.

Eyrie,

Yes. You are welcome to my training sessions in Long Beach and I'll be more than happy to show you.

xuzen
02-21-2006, 11:15 PM
I don't know, samurai did not box nor wrestle."??? Wrong answer... they did both... they just called them by japanese names...
Xu...so samurai always wore armor and were on a bloody battlefield 24/7??? this is silly... aikido was derived from various Jujutsu that were meant to address the battlefield AND everything else including striking, kicking and groundwork... do the research... you can find scrolls that show 'non-battlefield/fully armored' applications... the arts were equally weapon and empty hand... anything else would just be dumb... that is the "why" and it justifies BOTH weapons and empty hand... It must also be effective otherwise why did it survive? Why would you practice something that is not effective???

Chill Edwin. Aiki-jutsu, jujutsu and similar type arts are no doubt applicable in weapon and weaponless situation. My point is that if you look at aikido from the point of a weapon based scenario, you see the connection to the technique more relevantly. Again, I reiterate, despite this weapon art derived ancestry, I never doubt that its applicability in an hand to hand combat scenario.

Again, I must add, I personally never doubt the art that I practice as ineffective, I maybe ineffective perhaps (trying hard to be put on humble demeanour while typing this sentence :straightf ) , but I never doubt the art's effectiveness.

Boon.

Edwin Neal
02-21-2006, 11:33 PM
it makes sense that aikido has roots in BOTH weapons AND empty hand arts... Osensei studied both armed and unarmed arts and synthesized aikido from both... historical evidence supports this veiw... my sensei's and others such as Stanley Pranin and John Stevens have done the research and wrote at great length on this... but what you say does not make sense, and is in fact contrary to people who i am sure have more experience and authority to say just what aikido is and is not... if you can provide evidence to support your claim then do so, until then your words are empty... where do you train in Long Beach? does your dojo have a webpage?

eyrie
02-22-2006, 12:04 AM
Nope, I'm still not getting any factual evidence other than anecdotal statements to the effect that aikido is based on weapons or is rooted in the use of weapons. What documentary proof do you have that aikido is based on weapons or that the empty handed forms are derived from weapons movement?

And, no, you showing me is not factual proof. That you can demonstrate the nexus between weapons use and empty handed forms, I do not doubt. Heck, I've done arnis and karate and I can also show you how empty handed movement transposes to weapons movement and vice versa, but there is a big difference in making a statement to the effect that arnis (or karate) is a weapons based art, as opposed to saying that arnis (or karate) can be applied with or without weapons.

Unfortunately, I think you're missing the point. If you so boldly state that an art is based on, rooted in the use of, or derived from a weapons system, then where is the factual evidence and documented proof of such statement. Nowhere have I read that it is. Prove me otherwise. ;)

Meynard
02-22-2006, 12:13 AM
You don't have to believe me. Do a search on google.

Edwin Neal
02-22-2006, 12:16 AM
Xu see Ignatius post... just claiming that it is derived from a weapon art doesn't cut it... DRAJJ is an empty hand art... jujitsu is empty hand... while some of the footwork is like sword and spear arts, and the application of the joint locks are similar to cutting with a sword... the locks are clearly derived from jujitsu... an empty hand art... for defense against armed and unarmed attackers... no proof has been offered to support the weapons based origin...

Meynard
02-22-2006, 12:25 AM
What kind of proof do you need?

Is it really that hard to understand or are aikido people just super dense?

eyrie
02-22-2006, 12:32 AM
You don't have to believe me. Do a search on google.

Well, I would seriously doubt the authenticity and quality of whatever information is out there on the Internet. In case you hadn't realized, Google isn't exactly "research", at least not in the academic sense.... ;)

Well, OK, point out the links which purport or support this fact and what is the authencity of its source.

Edwin Neal
02-22-2006, 12:38 AM
something like "aikido is based on a weapon based art and here is a link to a site, article, column that has documentation, shows clearly the influence of this weapon based art, or Osensei says, and a quote that supports this line of reasoning etc... how about something like that... just tell me how you arrived at the conclusion that aikido is based upon a weapon art that has been adapted for empty hand application... IF your conclusion is correct, then a whole lot of people of some noteworthiness in the aikido world have been really confused for a long time...
You don't have a dojo? so how is it that you study aikido? with whom have you studied? for how long? as these things are not in your profile any statements you make are viewed with some skepticism...

ChrisHein
02-22-2006, 01:04 AM
something like "aikido is based on a weapon based art and here is a link to a site, article, column that has documentation, shows clearly the influence of this weapon based art, or Osensei says, and a quote that supports this line of reasoning etc... how about something like that... just tell me how you arrived at the conclusion that aikido is based upon a weapon art that has been adapted for empty hand application... IF your conclusion is correct, then a whole lot of people of some noteworthiness in the aikido world have been really confused for a long time...
You don't have a dojo? so how is it that you study aikido? with whom have you studied? for how long? as these things are not in your profile any statements you make are viewed with some skepticism...


Edwin, I'm really starting to doubt if you have ever read anything about Aikido, the founder, or Japanese history......

I think Meynard has probably forgotten more about martial arts then you have ever learned. He has studied with some of the best martial artists alive.

-Chris Hein

Edwin Neal
02-22-2006, 01:21 AM
doubt all you want... my lineage is solid... who are these 'best martial artists alive'?... why not put them in his profile? I began my study of aikido IN JAPAN under Parker shihan, and Terada shihan of the Yoshinkan, and have studied with many other great teachers... i will trust their opinions over your unsupported sophomoric claims any day... we are not talking about 'martial arts', but about the lack of ANY substantiating evidence to support the position that aikido was derived from a weapons based art and applied to empty hand techniques... try to keep up and stay on topic rather than feeble attempts to disparage my arguments by thinly veiled personal attacks... although this does seem to be your 'tokui waza'...

eyrie
02-22-2006, 01:28 AM
It's not about understanding what someone (of high martial repute) is saying, nor is it about believing what they say is true. It's about putting forth an argument or assertion, and backing that up with researched facts and quotes from published sources.

If you make a statement asserting a position, then you ought to have some facts to back up your assertion, and not expect people to believe you, just coz you sez so. Or get personal if they don't. :)

ChrisHein
02-22-2006, 01:29 AM
Not everyone needs to go about yelling like a braggart.

I don't think anyone who knows the history of Aikido and Sokaku Takada would doubt the link to weapons, have you ever read anything about Aikido?

-Chris Hein

Edwin Neal
02-22-2006, 01:54 AM
Michael Varin asked,
"Why were those particular techniques (attacks included) chosen to form the body of aikido?"

back on topic... i believe IMHO that these waza have two aspects... first they are effective 'general' attacks/defenses that allow for some amount of flexibility in application to more specific attacks/defense... from the one, many... so to speak... secondly they are general principles that can be applied across the entire spectrum of martial techniques including specific striking, clinch and ground applications... the "universal applicability" of the techniques and principles of Aikido dawned on me long ago, and has been reinforced by cross training and study of other martial arts... i consider aikido a meta martial art... kind of a graduate school for martial artists... when i was in college i was still relatively new to aikido and the martial arts, but i signed up for a class in Shotokan Karate as a phys. ed. class... after the first class the instructor asked me "how long have you studied Karate?" i said this was my first class... he was astounded because he said i looked like i had studied for at least a year or so more or less... i told him i just watched him and emulated what he did... as we talked and he found out i also studied aikido we both agreed that was probably the reason that i seemed to 'get' it much easier than the other students... now this is just a very basic example of how aikido can help relate or complement another art... i had another epiphany in a Modern Arnis seminar with the late Remy Presas... it seemed as if everything he showed was aikido, and the way he explained was like an echo of my sensei's words... the Guro and several senior students at the school noted that i had a good 'flow'... again this is probably because of my aikido study... this is the heart of Osensei's art... aiki... harmony... having a 'universal spirit'...

Edwin Neal
02-22-2006, 02:18 AM
"I don't think anyone who knows the history of Aikido and Sokaku Takada would doubt the link to weapons..."

we don't doubt a link to weapons, but to the AS YET UNSUSTANTIATED claim that aikido was derived from a weapons based art and applied to empty hand techniques... when in fact all the evidence and research implies that most of the waza are in fact jujutsu based... and jujutsu is an unarmed system for dealing with armed and unarmed attackers... NOT a weapon based art...

from wikipedia (although it is by no means the definative source it is quick...)
Jujutsu (also jujitsu, ju jutsu, ju jitsu, or jiu jitsu; from the Japanese 柔術 jūjutsu "flexible/gentle/yielding/compliant Art") is a Japanese martial art that is principally based on grappling and joint lock techniques, though it also includes basic strikes and sweeps as well as varying degrees of ground fighting.

Jujutsu can trace its roots back to the early unarmed styles that where popular among the Samurai. Early martial arts were often categorized narrowly; kenjutsu for sword-fencing, naginata-jutsu for the glaive, and JuJitsu for unarmed. There where many styles of jujitsu with diffrent areas of emphasis such as purely empty-hand fighting in others it was a system of unarmed methods of dealing with an enemy who was armed. JuJitsu much like Karate and Kung-Fu is a very general term and is not limited to only one fixed set of techniques.

from the Aikiwiki on this site (certainly THE definative source!)
On the technical side, aikido is rooted in several styles of jujitsu (from which modern judo is also derived), in particular daitoryu-(aiki)jujitsu?, as well as sword and (possibly) spear fighting arts. Oversimplifying somewhat, we may say that aikido takes the joint locks and throws from jujitsu and combines them with the body movements of sword and spear fighting. However, it may be that many aikido techniques were the result of the founder’s own innovation.

so feel free to find some evidence that shows how a system of joint locks and throws that derives from Daito Ryu JUJUTSU is derived from a weapons based art... until then your strident claims with no substantiation are just wind...

Michael Varin
02-22-2006, 04:16 AM
Hey guys,

I have been looking for some of my older aikido books hoping to find some historical information that relates to the questions that have been brought up. I haven't gotten very far, but the first book that I looked at did have some interesting insights. This is probably not definitive, but it is from recognized sources and in print. I believe that Saito studied with Ueshiba for the longest time and was his most devout student, and Stanley Pranin is a well known aikido/daito ryu historian who is fluent in Japanese.

"In the early 1960's, even though the Founder was still enjoying good health, he did not teach weapons or basic taijutsu techniques anywhere other than Iwama. His teaching elsewhere consisted mainly of demonstration-like performances with little explanation. This is why my aikido was misunderstood …" Morihiro Saito (Commentary on Budo, p. 9, 1999)

"Surprising to some will be the large number of techniques included in Budo that are performed with weapons." Stanley Pranin (Commentary on Budo, p. 25, 1999)

"Ueshiba's fascination and experimentation with weapons training lasted most of his martial career. His training with the sword and the staff, in particular, heavily influenced his understanding of the martial principles of body movement (taisabaki), entering (irimi), combative distance (maai), and timing." Stanley Pranin (Commentary on Budo, p. 31, 1999)

The book is basically Ueshiba's 1938 book Budo with commentary from Saito and Pranin.

I'll see what else I can dig up.

Michael

Josh Reyer
02-22-2006, 07:02 AM
Might I suggest you fellows hop on over to Aikido Journal and read some of Ellis Amdur's past blog entries? Particularly "Aikido is Three Peaches, parts I, II, and III.

eyrie
02-22-2006, 07:11 AM
Michael, do you have an ISBN for this?

What I have is a John Stevens' 1991 version of what is claimed to be a translation of the 1938 Budo. In it there is nothing to suggest "the large number of techniques included in Budo that are performed with weapons". Nor is there any suggestion that Ueshiba's aikido is weapons based.

In fact, the introduction by Kishomaru states clearly that "this led him... to break away from the conventions of Yagyu-ryu and Daito-ryu jujutsu, and to develop his own original approach, using applied principles and technique together, to break down the barrier between mind, spirit and
body."

In the actual translated text on (section 5) p35, titled "Hand Techniques":
The hands, feet, and hips must be centred and function as one...

But nothing in Stan Pranin's commentary detracts from my earlier post regarding weapons as an extension of the body. The principles of weapons based movement is the same as empty hand movement, and does not imply that aikido is an empty-hand system derived from weapons movements.

Many arts which are primarily empty-handed systems, such as karate, understand the use of weapons as extensions of the body. Likewise with primarily weapons-based arts, such as arnis, understand that the principles of combative movement have universal application to both armed and unarmed modalities.

I'd be interested to see what else you can dig up.

ian
02-22-2006, 07:45 AM
There are relationships between all techniques, and the techniques have been arrived at independently in different martial arts (cf. western martial arts). There may be 'new' techniques, but these are just variations on the main theme. Aikido contains the main techniques. Interestingly, they also blend from one to another, so to say - 'this is irimi-nage' whilst 'this is tenchi-nage' is really missing the point that they are very similar and there can be an inbetween technique. Thus, there are not 'lots of techniques', there is only one. Comapre with music - we learn seperate notes, but scales are just used for practise; to play a song there is often a movement from one note to another (e.g. sliding) and the harmonies and changes using a certain rythm is the real objective.

Josh Reyer
02-22-2006, 10:26 AM
Michael, do you have an ISBN for this?


ISBN: 4900586560

It's available here (http://www.aikidojournal.com/catalog/productdetails.php?code=tase)

Again, I suggest folks check out Mr. Amdur's blogs, in particular

Fighting on Your Knees? Part 1 (http://www.aikidojournal.com/index.php?id=67)

Fighting on Your Knees - Part 2 (http://www.aikidojournal.com/index.php?id=69)

Fighting on Your Knees - Part 3 (http://www.aikidojournal.com/index.php?id=74)

These deal with exactly the subject of this discussion: how much is Daitou-ryuu (and thus Aikido) weapons-derived?

Meynard
02-22-2006, 10:39 AM
Edwin,

Samurai were professional warriors

Professional warriors use weapons in the performance of their duties

For a professional warrior the ability to use weapons well was of high importance because they have to contend with other professional warriors using weapons.

Emptyhand skills were secondary. It was used when they had no other choice such as losing, breaking, or otherwise being unable to access a weapon.

As a back up to the inability to use a weapon for some reason or another professional warriors also learned emptyhand skills.

Some mixed grappling or striking arts with unrelated methods and techniques to their repertoire of combat ability.

Some developed a more efficient method and series of techniques using the principles and mechanics that they already train in their use of weapons. This method in fact simplifies training since there's no longer the need train separate methods of combat, training in one area enhances the other. This is indeed a more efficient way.

eyrie
02-22-2006, 06:10 PM
Whilst the evolution of empty-handed forms from weapons-based forms is highly plausible, given the historical and cultural contexts, it does not account for the fact that there are stark similarities in - at least the main technical repertoire of - aikido, and certainly Edo-jujitsu, and to a lesser extent Okinawan karate, with the older Chinese art of seizing and grappling (qinna).

Given the potential for cross-fertilization thru trade and migration between Japan and China (and Okinawa) during that period, it is highly likely that the inspiration for incremental change to unarmed combat developments came by way of merchant seamen and Buddhist monks from the mainland.

Unless of course one is suggesting that since people didn't know how to fight unarmed, they learnt to arm themselves, and then (for the reasons suggested by Ellis Amdur) proceeded to re-develop unarmed combat from what they learnt of armed combat?

ChrisHein
02-22-2006, 07:08 PM
Unless of course one is suggesting that since people didn't know how to fight unarmed, they learnt to arm themselves, and then (for the reasons suggested by Ellis Amdur) proceeded to re-develop unarmed combat from what they learnt of armed combat?


I think people learned back in the caveman days that arming yourself was superior to not arming yourself. Contrary to what popular movies and television might tell you, if you are going to be in a serious life or death situation you want to be armed. Unarmed means of combat probably come from youthful bravado, mating rituals, and the need to sort out the alpha in the tribe. Real fighting (armed) and social hierarchy fighting (unarmed) have probably always coexisted, but are two distinctly different things.

-Chris Hein

eyrie
02-22-2006, 07:47 PM
Let's just try to stick to the following arguments... ;)

That:
1. Aikido is derived primarily from Daito-ryu.
2. Daito-ryu is derived from jujitsu and kenjutsu.
3. Therefore Aikido is derived from weapons.

The issues I see with this argument is:
1. It discounts the evolution of jujitsu from unarmed grappling arts, specifically those from the Chinese mainland.
2. It discounts the similarities of techniques between various armed and unarmed east asian and western arts (some of which were derived independently).
3. It discounts the equal likelihood of evolution of armed combat from unarmed combat.

Ketsan
02-22-2006, 09:02 PM
Umm is it not the case that in application a samurai would be using Ken-jitsu and Ju-jitsu at the same time, in fact I think the author of "Classical Fighting arts of Japan" states that Ju-jitsu ryuha would often teach Ken-jitsu on the side and certainly the book is littered with pictures ju-jitsu being done by fully armed and armoured people, blurring the distinction between ken-jitsu and ju-jitsu still futher.

Of the photographs the one I found most interesting is a sequence where two armoured samurai have locked swords, the one on the right kicks the other one over and makes shomen utchi, which is parried. The Samurai on the floor then trips the one standing up, rolls into a kneeling position and dispatches his opponent with a sword thrust into the neck.

Imagine doing shomen utchi irime nage with uke holding a bokken and you holding a wakizashi and I think we're closer to reality than the stereotype of two samurai using ken-jitsu until one looses his sword at which point he uses ju-jitsu to defend himself.
In fact the author of the above book states on page 55 "Ju-jitsu should not be defined as a weaponless art". So to say that Aikido is a weaponless art is somewhat shady in my opinion because in effect you're saying it's an unarmed art full of armed techniques.

The ISBN number is 4-7700-2619-6 if anyone is interested.

eyrie
02-22-2006, 09:41 PM
Other evidence suggests that pre-Edo, training in unarmed combat arts were subordinate to armed combat, the situation being reversed in the post-Edo era.

Just to muddy the waters, here's a different perspective. Several authors make reference to the Kojiki in which the first record of unarmed combat appears in the form of a wrestling bout, perhaps the precursor to sumo, from which jujitsu is purported to have been derived from.

And another, a quote from G. Koizumi, Kodokan 7th dan in Darrell M. Craig's "Japan's Ultimate Martial Art - Jujitsu before 1882...":


As to the origin of Ju Jutsu, there are several opinions, but they are found to be mere assumptions based on narratives relating to the founding of certain schools, or some incidental records or illustrations found in the ancient manuscripts not only in Japan but in China, Persia, Germany and Egypt. There is no record by which the origins of Ju Jutsu can be definitively established. It would, however, be rational to assume that ever since the creation with the instinct of self-preservation, man has had to fight for existence, and was inspired to deelop an art or skill to implement the body mechanism for this purpose. In such efforts, the development may have taken various courses according to the condition of life or tribal circumstance, but the object and mechanics of the body being common, the results could not have been so very different from each other. No doubt this is the reason for finding records relating to the practice of arts similar to Ju Jutsu in various parts of the world, and also for the lack of records of its origins.

xuzen
02-22-2006, 10:39 PM
Nope, I'm still not getting any factual evidence other than anecdotal statements to the effect that aikido is based on weapons or is rooted in the use of weapons. What documentary proof do you have that aikido is based on weapons or that the empty handed forms are derived from weapons movement?


Ask and ye shall get:

Fact #1: Sokaku Takeda (credited as the modern father of Daito-ryu) taught both Daito-ryu Aiki Jujutsu and Onoha Itto-ryu (This is a koryu kenjutsu school). Extracted from Aikido: Tradition and the Competitive Edge by F. Shisida and T. Nariyama ISBN 0-9647083-2-9 pg 233

Fact #2: Morihei Ueshiba (undisputed founder of aikido) among other thing studied Yagyu Shinkage-ryu (This is also a koryu kenjutsu school) from Kosaburo Gejo. Pls note that M. Ueshiba learned the concept of maai from the lessons learned in this particular field of study. Extracted from Aikido: Tradition and the Competitive Edge by F. Shisida and T. Nariyama ISBN 0-9647083-2-9 pg 23

In this sense, it is quite clear to me that founding father of modern aikido were essentially also swordsman, and it is not surprising to me that aikido borrowed heavily the fundamentals of the sword or weapon. I doubt that aikido is a pure jujutsu art, Vis-a-vis Kito Ryu or Tenjin-Shinyo-ryu the parent art of Kano's jujutsu.

Not convince yet?

Here are more…

"… Aikido is the physical manifestation of the fundamental principles of the sword."

"Well, aikido is not like Judo which first involves physical contact and grappling before moving on to the technique stage. Rather, it is a martial art that relies on timing and body movement at the instant of contact to defeat the opponent. This is precisely the fundamental of the sword."

"Ueshiba Sensei himself was a master of the sword. I believe that he studied both Kashima Shinto Ryu and Yagyu Shinkage ryu ans as he formulated Aikido, he also attained a high degree of skill with the sword."

"Thus, we can see that the body movement of Aikido can be applied to the sword just as they are."

"The body movements of Aikido assume the use of real swords and conform to time-honoured martial techniques."

All the above paraphrase extracted from Aikido Shugyo by Gozo Shioda ISBN 0-9687791-2-3 pg 130-136

I fail to see how some forumers fail to see the close relationship aikido has with the sword/weapon; whilst insisting that it is a jujutsu art. I see the relationship, my teacher sees it, and my teacher's teacher, i.e., Gozo Shioda see it.

<In irritating Bart Simpson voice>… Eyrie, eat my short! :D

To Edwin, you claim to derived your lineage from Mr. Terada and Mr. A. Parker, clearly two very distinguished aikidoka from the Yoshinkan lineage, however your view is not consistent with the founder's school of thoughts. Could it be that in your study of other Martial arts, has clouded your judgment?

Boon.

eyrie
02-22-2006, 11:18 PM
From Ellis Amdur's blog @ http://www.aikidojournal.com/index.php?id=74:

As for Ono-ha Itto-ryu, it was that it was not really associated with DR until modern times - AFTER Takeda Sokaku. So although they may be the king and queen of a matched suit in some modern groups, but they weren't in the old days. Ono-ha Itto-ryu is specific to DR descended through Tokimune, and please correct me if I am wrong, but he did not learn much of his DR from his father - he learned from his mother, Sue, and from others, if I have read my AJ correctly.


If Daito-ryu was already based on sword techniques, why did Tokimune feel it necessary to tack on Ona-ha Itto ryu as a subsidiary/complementary art?

Secondly, why did Kishomaru make that statement I referenced in post #33?

Likewise, how do you account for the fact that the majority of the pins and throws in aikido, have stark similarities with other non-Japanese unarmed arts????

PS: My views on aikido are clearly listed in post #2.

Meynard
02-22-2006, 11:40 PM
The issues I see with this argument is:
1. It discounts the evolution of jujitsu from unarmed grappling arts, specifically those from the Chinese mainland.
2. It discounts the similarities of techniques between various armed and unarmed east asian and western arts (some of which were derived independently).
3. It discounts the equal likelihood of evolution of armed combat from unarmed combat.

1. It doesn't discount anything that's just another subject altogether.

2. It doesn't discount that either that's also another topic altogether.

3. Not at all. You simply need to go deeper into the history of combat. That's not within the scope of this topic.

Okay think about this since you're trying to go back to the beginning of combat arts development.

A. The human animal is basically a primate. The human animal is a natural grappler not a striker. Early proto human striking would be similar to how modern apes would strike, basically slapping and hammering down. Not unlike fights between untrained guys. First move is to circle or gauge for away to make contact. The initial flailing, pushing and grabbing eventually leads to clinching and grappling (wrestling). You've all seen fights back in high school, I assume.

B. Early humans figured that they can multiply their force by using tools. A club would be a good example. Imagine yourself as an early human holding that club in your hand and you're about to get assaulted. In the initial contact of the fight you swing your club and end the fight without having to clinch or grapple. The natural grappler figured out the advantage of striking. Wasn't it Ueshiba who said something like aikido is 90% atemi or something? hhhmmm... my percentage could be wrong, I don't remember exactly. Weapon based martial arts have a large amount striking and depending on style also have a large amount grappling. This is grappling that is not like wrestling, but grappling that deals with incapacitating the limbs especially the joints, Chin Na (grasping and locking).

C. When you're dealing with weapons and have to deal with the initial contact in weapon to weapon fighting the first thing you need to consider is entry techniques. I remember someone posting here somewhere about Ueshiba being interviewed and he commented how irimi (entry) is of paramount importance. hhhmmm....

D.When someone is swinging a weapon, a club as per the last example you as the defender would need to figure out how to take the club away so as to remove the advantage that your opponent has. If I knew that a weapon gives me advantage I would also make sure to have a way to keep my weapon. This is pretty much universal among humans regardless of where they are in the world. Humans everywhere faced the same problems and figured out similar solutions. They also figured that in striking the earth never misses. So, throws became a good strategy.

E. After several thousand years of trial and error, the methods evolved and stable strategies survived while others fell by the way side. Someone smart figured out how to integrate all these together into a teachable system. Then he taught it to his children and it became a family system of personal combat based on the use of weapons because weapons provided a great advantage. More than likely this system never left the immediate family. One must keep every advantage he has over his neighbors who one day may become his enemy.

F. It's simple evolution. Some evolutionary branches fade and disappear. Some with more stable strategies continue to thrive and adapt as the world changed. The methods of aikido are the way it is because it came from an evolutionary branch that came from the use of weapons. Using a weapon in combat is a stable strategy.

I know of Silat and Kali masters who keep their methods secret even though they teach their art publicly. In Thailand this was also the way among the krus and ajarns. The Chinese system is no different. It's easy to show the outward applications of techniques, but showing the training method that leads to mastery is another thing.

Do you think Ueshiba would just give his methods away? I certainly wouldn't. Why these techniques? The meaning wasn't revealed. I suspect like all warriors the old man was a bit paranoid about losing his advantage.

PeterR
02-22-2006, 11:48 PM
Well you can selectively pick and choose - in context and out - guessing and guessing again.

Tokimune Takeda did accompany his father on his travels over a 6 year period. He also talks about training while Ueshiba was a student with his father.
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=226&highlight=tokimune

As to the question at hand Tokimune Takeda addresses it specifically here.
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=390&highlight=tokimune

Meynard
02-22-2006, 11:54 PM
If Daito-ryu was already based on sword techniques, why did Tokimune feel it necessary to tack on Ona-ha Itto ryu as a subsidiary/complementary art?

Perhaps he simply didn't get the complete method from his father. It happens.

A simple partial deletion of training methods has a big impact.

eyrie
02-23-2006, 12:25 AM
I think the similarities of general technical forms with other martial arts are somewhat relevant to the discussion, since we're discussing the rationale for inclusion of the base techniques listed. Recall that the topic is "Why these techniques?".

OK, let's assume that whatever percentage (70, 80, 90?) of aikido is atemi. If aikido is indeed based on sword movements, then cutting, slashing and thrusting movements would predominate - which I would generally agree it does. From the percussive impact perspective, this is mostly hidden or implied in aikido generally. One would think that this would be openly taught in aikido, as it is with other empty-handed arts such as kempo or karate, especially if the composition of aikido supposedly consisted of whatever percentage of atemi?

But that still does not reconcile, for me at least, how one could conceivably arrive at the point where if the techniques are generally similar in other unarmed arts, how these techniques are based on sword movements.

Don't get me wrong, I can see how aikido's specific technical executions relate to sword movements, but it does not explain how these base techniques in its common form are also derived from sword movements.

Am I being clear? I'm trying to make a subtle distinction here.

xuzen
02-23-2006, 12:27 AM
Well you can selectively pick and choose - in context and out - guessing and guessing again.

Tokimune Takeda did accompany his father on his travels over a 6 year period. He also talks about training while Ueshiba was a student with his father.
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=226&highlight=tokimune

As to the question at hand Tokimune Takeda addresses it specifically here.
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=390&highlight=tokimune

Thank you PeterR-san. Those were gems of an article. Again the evidence seem to favour that aikido lineage is closer to kenjutsu roots than some had argued against in this forum. I wonder how much more evidence is needed to convince the naysayers? Or maybe they are argumentative for the sake of argument?

PeterR
02-23-2006, 12:28 AM
Not sure he did - his father's kenjutsu background was Ona-ha Itto ryu. Any evidence that Tokimune took a different approach than his old man?

ChrisHein
02-23-2006, 12:57 AM
Not really sure this is on topic, but I'll tell you what I think,

"OK, let's assume that whatever percentage (70, 80, 90?) of aikido is atemi. If aikido is indeed based on sword movements, then cutting, slashing and thrusting movements would predominate - which I would generally agree it does. From the percussive impact perspective, this is mostly hidden or implied in aikido generally. One would think that this would be openly taught in aikido, as it is with other empty-handed arts such as kempo or karate, especially if the composition of aikido supposedly consisted of whatever percentage of atemi?"-Ignatius Teo


"Well, aikido is not like Judo which first involves physical contact and grappling before moving on to the technique stage. Rather, it is a martial art that relies on timing and body movement at the instant of contact to defeat the opponent. This is precisely the fundamental of the sword."-Shioda, by way of Boon



Basically this is what I was trying to tell some folks a few months back ( AikiWeb Aikido Forums > General >atemi is 90% of Aikido). Atemi, does not mean punch, it does not mean kick, it does not mean hand strike, it means for something to go through space and strike another body. Arrows make atemi, swords make Atemi, baseballs make atemi.

Shioda said it nicely there, that Aikido isn't dependent on the principal of Jiu, it's not something that requires physical force to move you, but in fact a principal that involves timing, timing in relation to another's actions.

It is clear to me that O-sensei was truly trying to develop and work with the principal of "Aiki" in his system; but what was he most proficient at? A weapons system, so that's what he used to explore "Aiki", if he was a dance teacher the techniques of Aikido might resemble the "cha-cha" but what he was most proficient at was the methods of armed combat. This, to me, means that Aikido is a weapons system (technically) focused on the use of the principal of Aiki.

-Chris Hein

PeterR
02-23-2006, 01:24 AM
Don't get me wrong, I can see how aikido's specific technical executions relate to sword movements, but it does not explain how these base techniques in its common form are also derived from sword movements.

Am I being clear? I'm trying to make a subtle distinction here.
Ah subtle - sometimes I'm not so good at subtle. :D

I'm going to move away from Daito-ryu toward the Aikido I know which is probably intermediate between what Ueshiba learned from Takeda to what he died with.

I see Aikido specific techniques as those employed in closing the distance and hence distinct from pure grappling techniques. Using that definition you will still see similar techniques to the ones you see in Judo and other grappling styles but still different in subtle ways with respect to timing and how kuzushi is manifested.

The old teachers including Takeda, Ueshiba and the pre-war students such as Shioda, Tomiki all seemed to relate the more aiki techniques to the sword. I would say more by way of analogy rather than origin but still to a point where the way the techniques are performed are heavily influenced (use of tegatana for example).

The analogy is quite easy to understand since both Aikido and Kenjutsu are based on rapid closing of distance and the execution of technique before coming to grips.

As an aside I don't think Budo Renshu was a compilation of all Aikido techniques or its theory. Just like weapons work in Shodokan Aikido is left till after Nidan - Budo Renshu may reflect a stage in training.

eyrie
02-23-2006, 02:17 AM
Well, he was also proficient in a number of other arts (both armed and unarmed), but IIRC, he was purported to have said that Sokaku "opened his eyes to budo", which typically says nothing really.

I think we can safely assume that timing (usually in relation to something/someone else) is fundamental to everything - all martial arts included. Ever mis-time a judo/jujitsu throw? Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that the tempo of aikido may be different and may be more akin to weapons-based arts. ;)

As for ma-ai and kuzushi, well, that's fundamental to many arts as well, the latter being more pronounced in throwing arts.

Back on topic.... I don't think we are debating that aikido has (some?) roots in weapons arts. I'm not totally opposed to the idea that the technical changes to aikido waza may have been influenced by weapons, but I think what we are debating why these techniques in particular.

Edwin Neal
02-23-2006, 02:31 AM
i am not arguing that there is a link between aikido and weapons... that is understood from aikiken and aikijo... it is also generally accepted that taisabaki and maai principles are from and developed by weapons... in Budo there are several instances where waza against an armed attacker is demonstrated... there is one section of sword vs sword, but the majority is empty hand waza... no one is challenging the fact that samurai were armed and this was their primary area of expertise, but certainly they also studied empty hand arts Yagyu Ryu is the example here while primarily kenjutsu they also have a area of study of empty hand jujutsu in their curriculum... the issue of which is better or more real, armed combat or unarmed combat, is not the point both were trained for and happened... no one is disputing the facts that Takeda and Osensei studied BOTH DRjujutsu and forms of kenjutsu... no one is disputing that the body movements and maai were derived from kenjutsu and yarijutsu, but the locks and throws are specifically jujutsu empty hand forms... again i accept a 'close relationship' with weapons arts, but it is clear that the empty hand waza of aikido were not taken from weapons arts and adapted to empty hand... they were in fact empty hand forms from jujutsu applied to empty hand forms in aikido... body movement assuredly comes from weapon arts... jointlocks and throws clearly do not... thus aikido is an empty hand AND a weapons based art that is based on techniques and principles from BOTH empty hand and weapon arts... joint lock, throws and principles from empty hand... body movements and principles from weapons arts... no evidence or argument presented has shown specifically how weapon techniques were adapted and made into joint locks and throws in aikido... thus aikido is not a weapon based art...

PeterR
02-23-2006, 03:03 AM
Well, he was also proficient in a number of other arts (both armed and unarmed), but IIRC, he was purported to have said that Sokaku "opened his eyes to budo", which typically says nothing really.

How proficient is debateable.

I think we can safely assume that timing (usually in relation to something/someone else) is fundamental to everything - all martial arts included. Ever mis-time a judo/jujitsu throw? Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that the tempo of aikido may be different and may be more akin to weapons-based arts. ;)

As for ma-ai and kuzushi, well, that's fundamental to many arts as well, the latter being more pronounced in throwing arts.


Is how I write so obtuse? I said but still different in subtle ways with respect to timing and how kuzushi is manifested which is basically what you just re-hashed. Never suggested that the grappling arts don't require either.


Back on topic.... I don't think we are debating that aikido has (some?) roots in weapons arts. I'm not totally opposed to the idea that the technical changes to aikido waza may have been influenced by weapons, but I think what we are debating why these techniques in particular.
Well you have to excuse thread drift for that. We are always our parent's children - I don't think there was ever a conscious decision to include or exclude this set of techniques either by Ueshiba with respect to what he learned from Takeda or up and down the line of transmission. The process was probably much more organic.

eyrie
02-23-2006, 03:16 AM
Sorry Peter, I was actually responding to Chris. ;)

But since you mentioned it, what subtle ways and differences are there in your opinion?

Yes, how proficient is debatable... IIRC, he did study Yagyu-ryu kenjutsu - to what degree of proficiency is debatable too, since that is not recorded or mentioned in detail other than a passing mention.

I'm suggesting that (the general form of) the techniques are more or less universal, with the exception of maybe yonkyo and kokyu nage (which may be reasonably presumed to be an artifact of Daito-ryu). I also think the inclusion of such techniques were deliberate firstly due to their universality as well as the manner in which they were "modified".

xuzen
02-23-2006, 03:49 AM
i am not arguing that there is a link between aikido and weapons... that is understood from aiki-ken and aiki-jo... it is also generally accepted that tai-sabaki and maai principles are from and developed by weapons... in Budo there are several instances where waza against an armed attacker is demonstrated... there is one section of sword vs sword, but the majority is empty hand waza... no one is challenging the fact that samurai were armed and this was their primary area of expertise, but certainly they also studied empty hand arts Yagyu Ryu is the example here while primarily kenjutsu they also have a area of study of empty hand jujutsu in their curriculum... the issue of which is better or more real, armed combat or unarmed combat, is not the point both were trained for and happened... no one is disputing the facts that Takeda and Osensei studied BOTH DRjujutsu and forms of kenjutsu... no one is disputing that the body movements and maai were derived from kenjutsu and yari-jutsu, but the locks and throws are specifically jujutsu empty hand forms... again i accept a 'close relationship' with weapons arts, but it is clear that the empty hand waza of aikido were not taken from weapons arts and adapted to empty hand... they were in fact empty hand forms from jujutsu applied to empty hand forms in aikido... body movement assuredly comes from weapon arts... joint-locks and throws clearly do not... thus aikido is an empty hand AND a weapons based art that is based on techniques and principles from BOTH empty hand and weapon arts... joint lock, throws and principles from empty hand... body movements and principles from weapons arts... no evidence or argument presented has shown specifically how weapon techniques were adapted and made into joint locks and throws in aikido... thus aikido is not a weapon based art...

OK, Edwin, let me get your points straight:

1) You do not argue, therefore agree that there is a link between weapon and aikido as per aiki-ken and aiki-jo
2) You agree that tai sabaki and maai are from weapon art
3) You agree that Takeda and Osensei are experienced swordsman
4) You accept close relationship between aikido and weapon arts
5) The only point that you disagree is that aikido joint locks and throws are jujutsu derived; hence you disagree totally that aikido is a weapon derived art. (You are a nit picker!)

With 4 points you saying aye and only on one single point you disagree, I think you are nit picking and argumentative for the sake of argument.

Documentation and proof were called by the naysayer to support the argument. They were given by me, and further supported by PeterR's post #45 (I wonder if you did read the link on the post? Very good article actually)

So far, Kancho Shioda viewed that aikido and sword are inseparable. Tokimune Takeda, the scion and heir to Sokaku Takeda also held a similar view. So far two very distinguish and influential people wrt aikido are in agreement with the concept that aikido is a weapon derived art.

Let me be a sport. You argue that aikido is not a weapon based art… kindly show me documented and substantiated proof like what I did previously.

You mentioned your lineage to be that of Yoshinkan and yet your views are different from the conventional school of thoughts. I really wonder if you did indeed learn anything about aikido. Or maybe you did indeed learn, but choose to be nit picking and argumentative for the sake of arguing.

Boon.

PeterR
02-23-2006, 03:50 AM
Ignatius;

Ok this is evolving nicely - sort of like the techniques in my mind.

Several members here remember Peter Boylan who was a Judoka and sword guy who liked to say that all techniques found in Aikido can be found in Judo (http://www.aikiweb.com/general/boylan1.html) and by extension most other Japanese grappling arts and beyond. We had some interesting talks when we got together and got me to start looking around. I suspect this observation also includes Yonkyo and Kokyu nage (any and all definitions) but will bow to greater expertise especially with the latter.

My point is not denying that but through what eyes the masters of Aikido and Daito Ryu saw their art.

By subtle differences in timing and kuzushi I really don't mean anything mysterious or mystical but really just a function of how the bodies are moving in relationship to each other during the engagement. A function of necessity brought about by proximity, how solid a grip you have, your opponent has, and so on. Part of my fascination with Aikido is its dynamic nature - far more than the relatively locked down feel I get doing Judo much as I'd like it to approach that of Mifune or Kano.

Dirk Hanss
02-23-2006, 03:57 AM
Good Idea Michael.


Looking at these techniques, the majority of them (Ikkyo, nikyo, sankyo, yonkyo, gokyo, rokkyo, kote gaishi, shiho nage, kaiten nage, juji nage,) have to do with controlling or using a arm/hand to apply the device. Only two real exceptions being Kokyu nage (some variations also use an arm) and Irimi Nage, both of these are throws done basically side by side, and separate the lower half of the ukes body for the upper half. This makes Aikido's technical syllabus very heavy on arm/hand techniques, and very light on any of the many other types of techniques. This would suggest that Aikido has an agenda with the arm/hand, my belief is that this is because you are support to be controlling an armed person, and the most efficient way to do that is to first control the arm/hand, and then controlling the body through the appendage.

In other unarmed systems there is a great deal of time spent on techniques that relate to the core of the body instead of the appendage. In styles like Greco-Roman or judo, you see lots of techniques focusing on the core of the body, not the hands. In Judo we see lots of leg attacks, and sweeps, but we don't see any of these in Aikido. In western wrestling styles the objective is to use the whole of your body to pin the whole of your opponents body, with little regard to the arms/hands themselves (with the exception of using them as a bridge to get to the core of the body).

With a little bit of attention to the techniques and attacks Aikido enlists, you can see an over kill of arm/hand techniques then one might expect from an unarmed system. However for an armed system these techniques are vital, and techniques involving only the core of the body dangerous.

-Chris Hein
Chris, I guess your description is right in where the techniques come from. My sensei always tells us: "you still try to control the arm/hand/wrist. You did not understand. The arm is only an extension, not your opponent. You have to control the body, not the arm. Your focus has to be on the whole opponent - or even better on yourself (next step - empty)."
So the techniques are all designed to control the body, always in mind that your opponent might have a weapon, which you probably just did not see. And when you master this, you can start to perceive and control your partners mind. You can do this with all standard techniques, but this is the stage, when kokyu nage really works. technically it is between a threat and a feint. But if it just threatening, it does not work, when the agggressor is not used to it and he will die. If it just a feint it does not work, if the agressor is not silly enough.If you really feel the "vibrations" of the opponents power, you can always change in a way that it works.

I can not yet, unfortunately.

The major reason , why these techniques you might detect in a lecture from O Sensei. "If you die, your life is lost and you did not reach the goal, if the enenmy dies, you are a murder and your karma is lost. The result is the same."
Quite freely quoted and I do not want too much on quotes. My opinion is just that those techniques are chosen, to protect yourself and your opponent - and not only as training partner, but aas a principle idea. Nevertheless aikido training could in most schools focus more on punches and kicks as "aiki principle". As a beginner ("shodan means beginner") you can use them to control - if you beat them down, it might be useful, but yu still need some partners - and when you are at an advanced level, you really have the choice not to strike, but protect your partner.

That is the humble opinion of a pre-beginner (3rd kyu).


Regards Dirk

eyrie
02-23-2006, 04:02 AM
No, Boon, Edwin took issue with the claim that aikido is an empty-handed art derived from weapons-based arts, as did I. I think we are both in agreement that some elements of weapons movements can be found in aikido, but for the main part, the techniques we are discussing are primarily found in jujitsu, which implies that jujitsu is also a weapons derived art - which may or may not be the case, more likely not, given the probable connection to qinna.

Meynard makes a very interesting case for evolutionary development of all martial arts from a weapons perspective. I think the idea has merit given the strategic rationale of military advantage, as well as from a survival instinct perspective.

So I don't think either of us are necessarily nitpicking, or being argumentative for the sake of being argumentative. It is a fine point, which is easy to miss. ;)

Edwin Neal
02-23-2006, 04:28 AM
"hence you disagree totally that aikido is a weapon derived art. (You are a nit picker!)"

wrong, i disagree that aikido is totally a weapon derived art... i have claimed it is both weapon based and empty hand based art... the waza are not weapon techniques that were morphed into empty hand techniques... this is the point i totally disagree with

"So far, Kancho Shioda viewed that aikido and sword are inseparable. Tokimune Takeda, the scion and heir to Sokaku Takeda also held a similar view. So far two very distinguish and influential people wrt aikido are in agreement with the concept that aikido is a weapon derived art. "

the views expressed by these notables in no way "means" that aikido is a weapon derived art or that they would agree with that assertion... they hold the reasonable view that there are indeed weapon aspects to aikido, but this does not imply that it is weapon based art morphed into empty hand techniques... indeed as i have continued to state it is both a weapon based and empty hand based art... aspects of each have been used and applied to the art of aikido as a whole...

eyrie
02-23-2006, 04:28 AM
...By subtle differences in timing and kuzushi I really don't mean anything mysterious or mystical but really just a function of how the bodies are moving in relationship to each other during the engagement. A function of necessity brought about by proximity, how solid a grip you have, your opponent has, and so on. Part of my fascination with Aikido is its dynamic nature - far more than the relatively locked down feel I get doing Judo much as I'd like it to approach that of Mifune or Kano.

Differences in training methodology aside, what you really mean by subtle differences in timing is really the difference in tempo - which is one reason why aikido doesn't work as well when you have a non-aikidoka (or raw beginners) as a uke who is unfamiliar with the tempo. Not because their timing is off or mis-cued, but because their tempo is start-stop-start, rather than a continuous flow of fast-slow-fast.

As for differences in kuzushi, well, there's only so many ways (11?) to break someone's balance. The subtlety lies in the use of pivot points, fulcrums and levers, whereas aikido relies mostly on directional changes to a body in motion, and less on the use of the former, although the opportunities are there to exploit if and when the situation dictates.

As far as proximity goes, there is no real difference whether the attacker is armed or not, the commonality of approach is to get in so close that you're in the spot where uke's body is about to move into. Although in jujitsu, the saying is "no gaps" between you and uke, whereas in aikido, it is much more lax, due to the dynamic nature of uke's movement. Again it mostly comes down to differences in training approach. But the general principles are the same.

Is that how you understand the "differences"?

Michael Varin
02-23-2006, 04:56 AM
The reason that I asked the initial questions is that I see an increasing number of people adding or adapting techniques from other arts to make aikido "effective." If your view of aikido is that it is only the way of aiki, that it has no distinctive appearance, then there is nothing wrong with this approach. After all, aiki can be applied to any situation. All you would be doing then is explicitly stating what any high level practitioner of most arts is seeking to attain. Anyone who saw Roy Jones Jr. in his prime would have to say he had true mastery of aiki.

My original questions were about the techniques of aikido. Why do they exist? What was their intended use? Why spend so much time training them only to eschew them for kickboxing and grappling methods?

Speaking of jujutsu as an empty-hand system, if you watch recent UFC programs you will notice that that stand-up striking and ground-and-pound are the most efficient and effective methods. While a particular style of jujutsu educated people about the realities of one-on-one empty-hand fighting, it no longer dominates; not even close. What is the purpose of the techniques if they are merely an annoyance that the savvy fighter has to learn to defend against?

If a possibility existed that one of the fighters could pull out a knife do you think the savvy fighter would continue to view ground-and-pound as a wise strategy?

How does the presence of a weapon shape a system? Attacking with it, defending against one, taking one away, trying to keep yours, struggling over one. If a system considers the presence of a weapon, is it a weapon based system?

I used to practice kickboxing. It does not consider weapons. You learn blocks and covers that would lead to serious injury against a knife or club and certainly be fatal against a sword. Aikido has no blocks. Why use aikido's sword stance if the 45 degree stance is proven to generate more power and provide greater access to your weapons (hands/feet)?

By the way, there is nothing wrong with learning kickboxing and grappling. They are valuable skills to have.

Dirk,

Thanks for the post. I'd like to point out that the techniques of judo don't have to harm your opponent, and are probably safer (for them) than aikido's techniques.

Michael

Edwin Neal
02-23-2006, 06:23 AM
Michael, the principle of takemusu aiki means IMHO that there is no 'technique' that is excluded in aikido... the 'core' traditional waza are techniques that are really principles that are fundamental to aikido and other martial arts... i do not eschew aikido techniques/principles, i apply them to kickboxing and grappling...
your view of UFC is somewhat narrow... stand up is atemi waza jujutsu/aikido... ground is takedown/throws again jujtsu/aikido... pound is more atemi waza... it is still about the total range of fighting these are addressed by jujutsu and aikido... if you included the use of weapons many so called ground and pounders would learn jujutsu/aikido to address them... any system that is not 'sport' oriented must address the use of weapons both offensively and defensively... IMO an art is weapon based if its primary emphasis is on the use of weapons... kendo, kenjutsu, fencing, arnis, archery, yarijutsu, and naginatajutsu are examples of weapon based arts... most arts are Both empty hand and weapon based arts... as they split the emphasis between empty hand and weapon in some porportion... Yagyu Ryu is both, but primarily kenjutsu with some jujutsu to a lesser extent... aikido is both, but primarily empty hand with some aikiken and aikijo... things like boxing, kickboxing, savate, wrestling, and sport judo/jujutsu are empty hand as they use no weapons...
the issue that many are still debating revolves around the idea that aikido empty hand techniques were derived from weapon techniques that were in some way morphed to be applied empty handed... this i hold to be incorrect... the empty hand came first, techniques were used empty handed, weapons were made to be used by and extensions of the hands, therefore all weapon arts may be said to derive from the use of the empty hand, but the use of the empty hand may not be said to have derived from the use of weapons... this is like saying the cart is pushing the horse...

Meynard
02-23-2006, 11:32 AM
Weapon based means the root of the art comes from the use of weapons. The methods, mechanics, techniques, principles, strategies, and tactics were derived from the use of weapons.

Josh Reyer
02-23-2006, 11:42 AM
Basically this is what I was trying to tell some folks a few months back ( AikiWeb Aikido Forums > General >atemi is 90% of Aikido). Atemi, does not mean punch, it does not mean kick, it does not mean hand strike, it means for something to go through space and strike another body. Arrows make atemi, swords make Atemi, baseballs make atemi.


As atemi is a term specific to jujutsu, and derived arts, every definition I've found of it refers to using the body to strike.

Koujien:

柔道で、拳(こぶし)・肘(ひじ)・足先などで相手の急所を突き、または打つ技。危険な技なので、乱取りや試合では禁止。

In judo, a technique of thrusting or striking an opponent's vital points with the fist, knee, or the foot.

Daijirin:

柔道で、こぶし・ひじ・つま先などで相手の急所を突き、または打って相手を制する技。乱取りや試合では禁止されている。

In judo, a technique of controlling an opponent by thrusting or striking an opponent's vital points with the fist, knee, or toes.

Wikipedia (http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%BD%93%E3%81%A6%E8%BA%AB):

当身(あてみ)もしくは当身技(あてみわざ) とは、日本古来から伝承される古武術や武道で「突く・殴る・打つ・蹴る・当てる」の技の総称である。

Atemi, or atemiwaza, is a generic term for techniques of thrusting, punching, hitting, kicking, and striking in old bujutsu and budo traditionally coming down from olden times in Japan.

My feeling is that the "mi" of atemi, like in the words 四つ身 yotsumi, 差し身 sashimi*, and 捨て身 sutemi, describes not the opponent's body, but rather one's own.

*Not to be confused with 刺身 - raw fish!

Meynard
02-23-2006, 11:47 AM
My original questions were about the techniques of aikido. Why do they exist? What was their intended use?

1. weapons use allow for a greater advantage, it's a stable strategy.
2. disarming a weapon user is very important.
3. weapons user don't want to be disarmed.
4. it's good to have a weapon. weapon = advantage
5. it's bad not to have a weapon. no weapon = disadvantage
6. the goal is to have an advantage or level out the playing field
7. go get a weapon or disarm the weapon user.

And repeat...

1. weapon user don't want to be disarmed
2. weapons use allow for a greater advantage

Techniques and methods developed to solve this problem. That is why aikido techniques exist. They were intended to solve this problem.

Ron Tisdale
02-23-2006, 12:05 PM
My original questions were about the techniques of aikido. Why do they exist?

I don't think anyone can answer this. Why does anything or anyone exist?

what was their intended use?

Perhaps to train the body, mind, spirit? To train for what would be the follow up question. Universal harmony? I don't know. But I do enjoy the feeling a productive keiko gives me. That heavy/light coordinated, flexible feeling.


Why spend so much time training them only to eschew them for kickboxing and grappling methods?
It is funny how all the fancy movements in many arts come down to kickboxing and grappling in a ring/sporting environment. And often in self-defense environments if I am truthful. But to be completely honest, I think we give up to easily sometimes on arts like aikido.

Best,
Ron (just because it's hard, doesn't mean we shouldn't make our best effort)

Meynard
02-23-2006, 12:12 PM
Why do they exist...

To ensure survival especially in armed conflicts.

ChrisHein
02-23-2006, 12:20 PM
The arm is only an extension, not your opponent. You have to control the body, not the arm. Your focus has to be on the whole opponent - or even better on yourself (next step - empty)."


Dirk,
I believe your objective in any fight is going to be to control your opponent (rendering him unconscious, pining him, killing him, making him lose heart). In general the best way to do this is to control the core of his body (I'd say head to hips) controlling the body is done in unarmed styles by going straight to the core, taking hold of it (the core) and taking control of him. Now this is not a sound Idea in an armed system, if you go for the core and ignore the armed hand, you will be stabbed, however if you grab the armed hand and ignore the body, you will not control your opponent. This is why I believer Aikido techniques forgo the approach of unarmed systems (attacking the core with little regard to the hands) and instead chose to control the core via the arm/hand.

Josh Reyer,
I may stand corrected, I don't speak Japanese. I'll have to dig out the information I found months ago, I was pretty sure what I got from the definition I saw was that atemi could be any object flying through space striking another body. Thanx for the post.


-Chris Hein

Edwin Neal
02-23-2006, 04:13 PM
This is why I believer Aikido techniques forgo the approach of unarmed systems (attacking the core with little regard to the hands) and instead chose to control the core via the arm/hand.

unarmed systems ignore the hands at their peril... understand that the hand is considered the FIRST weapon, and is just as deadly as the tools that are generally called weapons... but the hand wields the weapon... traditional systems of jujutsu including aikido, do not ignore the hands for the fact that they CAN stike, empty or with weapon this is an aspect of combat/self defense that must be addressed since any strike, indeed every strike MUST be considered deadly, sports that limit or eliminate 'strikes' over look this because well it's a sport, strikes are against the rules...

Meynard...
Weapon based means the root of the art comes from the use of weapons. The methods, mechanics, techniques, principles, strategies, and tactics were derived from the use of weapons.

weapons based means they use weapons...The methods, mechanics, techniques, principles, strategies, and tactics were derived FOR the use of weapons...

ChrisHein
02-23-2006, 05:00 PM
Edwin,
Yet again your lack of experience is telling,
in a sound clinch, the type used in unarmed systems the hand is generally kept in enough check that it cannot cause vital damage (this is what I ment by "little regard"), the advantage of these clinch types (example bear hug, boxers clinch, rear headlock, rear waist lock) is that they connect more surely to the core of your opponents body, however the disadvantage is that they leave enough space for an armed hand to cause great damage. This is different then Aikido's approach, which is to solidly control the armed hand, and take a less powerful connection to the core of the body. If Aikido was truly an unarmed systems I think we would see these common types of holds, and not consistently see holds addressing the arm as a way to connect tot he core.

Strikes are not against the rules in many of the "sport" forms I have been in, and if you fought in one of these “sport” forms I’m sure that you would understand that the amount of damage you take from someone trying to strike you while you have them in a sound clinch hold, is negligible, but if they had a weapon it would probably be enough kill you. I do however agree with you that sport is different then real fight (where for example I would pull out a knife and be done with you).

We can keep arguing this all day, but I think I've stated my position, if you can't understand, or don't choose to understand that's fine by me.

-Chris Hein

Meynard
02-23-2006, 05:16 PM
:confused: jeez... I've never interacted with a more thick skulled human being in my life. I'm done with this forum. :rolleyes:

eyrie
02-23-2006, 05:54 PM
I think it would be more accurate (and reasonable) to say that unarmed combat evolved out of necessity to disarm or deal with an armed attacker. So in order to construct an unarmed system predicated on an armed attack, one must necessarily begin with how an armed attacker would move. Thus the starting point would be the principles, strategies, tactics, techniques and mechanics (in that order), of armed assaults. The end point would be a codified set of unarmed responses against an armed assailant.

I think this is what Meynard is getting at.

But the mental and philosophical leap from aikido itself being derived from the use of weapons is something I am not comfortable with. Because, what this suggests is that the principles, strategies, tactics, techniques and mechanics of aikido (or other unarmed combat system) is based on the principles, strategies, tactics, techniques and mechanics of weapons use.

The keywords being "based on" and "derived from" - which suggests that weapons use came first, ignoring the probability that unarmed conflict (perhaps in the form of rudimentary striking and grappling) is in all likelihood the real precursor to the necessity of taking to arms, in order to afford one with a physical and psychological advantage of a weapon.

On one hand, it is conceivable and reasonable to assume that the use of weaponry evolved from simple household and hunting implements. But on the other hand, what would drive someone to resort to the use of a weapon in a conflict with another? The answer, I think, lies in warfare.

However, this does not address Michael's questions as to why the particular techniques of ikkyo-rokkyo, tenchi-nage, shiho-nage, irimi-nage, kaiten-nage, koshi-nage and kokyu-nage, were included in aikido? Why do these techniques form the basis of the majority of aikido training?

I believe the answer lies in the universal nature of these techniques - that these techniques contain the fundamental, core principles of aikido, from which all other applications flow.

That these techniques can be found in other unarmed systems is no accident, nor coincidental. There's only so many ways the human body can move and so many ways in which joints can be bent, twisted and broken.

eyrie
02-23-2006, 06:01 PM
:confused: jeez... I've never interacted with a more thick skulled human being in my life. I'm done with this forum. :rolleyes:

And your ability to effectively communicate your ideas has absolutely nothing to do with someone else's lack of understanding, of course.... ;)

Edwin Neal
02-23-2006, 06:28 PM
'in a sound clinch, the type used in unarmed systems the hand is generally kept in enough check that it cannot cause vital damage'

'I'm sure that you would understand that the amount of damage you take from someone trying to strike you while you have them in a sound clinch hold, is negligible,'

in a clinch... eye gouges certainly nasty though probably not fatal... crushing the trachea possibly fatal... strongly twisting the neck/head, breaking the neck possiby fatal... repeated heavy blows to the skull possibly fracturing and possibly death... crack/break ribs punctured lungs possible death... the hands are in fact deadly weapons must be defended against just as strongly or possibly more so than weapons because of the flexibility/utility of the hand to apply in many different ways...

'Strikes are not against the rules in many of the "sport" forms I have been in, and if you fought in one of these "sport" forms...'

strikes are not permited in Judo, sport jujutsu/grappling, and wrestling... even the sports that do allow strikes do not allow all types of strike... i have fought in these formats as well as amatuer karate, kung fu, boxing, MMA, and vale tudo rules... they do allow strikes, and even the sports that do allow strikes do not allow all types of strike.. for example the UFC rules are as follows... note rules # 2, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 18, and 19... all brought to you by the lowly hand that is disregarded as a 'weapon' because it capable of only 'negligable damage'... clearly YOUR inexperience is showing

Fouls: [Top]
1. Butting with the head.
2. Eye gouging of any kind.
3. Biting.
4. Hair pulling.
5. Fish hooking.
6. Groin attacks of any kind.
7. Putting a finger into any orifice or into any cut or laceration on an opponent.
8. Small joint manipulation.
9. Striking to the spine or the back of the head.
10. Striking downward using the point of the elbow.
11. Throat strikes of any kind, including, without limitation, grabbing the trachea.
12. Clawing, pinching or twisting the flesh.
13. Grabbing the clavicle.
14. Kicking the head of a grounded opponent.
15. Kneeing the head of a grounded opponent.
16. Stomping a grounded opponent.
17. Kicking to the kidney with the heel.
18. Spiking an opponent to the canvas on his head or neck.
19. Throwing an opponent out of the ring or fenced area.
20. Holding the shorts or gloves of an opponent.
21. Spitting at an opponent.
22. Engaging in an unsportsmanlike conduct that causes an injury to an opponent.
23. Holding the ropes or the fence.
24. Using abusive language in the ring or fenced area.
25. Attacking an opponent on or during the break.
26. Attacking an opponent who is under the care of the referee.
27. Attacking an opponent after the bell has sounded the end of the period of unarmed combat.
28. Flagrantly disregarding the instructions of the referee.
29. Timidity, including, without limitation, avoiding contact with an opponent, intentionally or consistently dropping the mouthpiece or faking an injury.
30. Interference by the corner.
31. Throwing in the towel during competition.


'if they had a weapon it would probably be enough kill you...'

I totally agree with you Chris... i just include one more weapon to the list it's called a hand... maybe you have seen one or two?

'The original intent of bujutsu was to kill an enemy with one blow; since all techniques can be lethal, observe the instructor's directions and do not engage in contests of strength.'
Osensei

Meynard
02-23-2006, 06:38 PM
It's difficult to make people understand especially if they just simply don't want to understand what's being said and take a contratrian attitude in order prevent a shift their martial arts paradigm.

Just read my post again.

Edwin Neal
02-23-2006, 06:54 PM
your ideas are unsound and unsupported by facts... you have not yet provided any serious example of a weapon technique that has been adapted to be applied empty handed... quite the opposite is in fact the view of scholars of the martial arts... empty hand techniques have been adapted to utilize a weapon... you make vaugue and clearly wrong headed assertions, as some sort of aikido dogma, and then when the flaws and fallacies of your cherished 'philosophy' are shown to be untenable you resort to personal attacks rather than address the flaws with sound examples and arguments... you call people inexperienced? this proves your point how? i understand what you are saying, but it simply does not compute!!! the facts, history, and even the very definition of the terms you use are clearly beyond your experience to analyze, and objectively draw conclusions from... why do you cling to this view in the face of the facts... are you getting defensive in order to prevent a shift in YOUR martial arts paradigm???

eyrie
02-23-2006, 07:32 PM
It's difficult to make people understand especially if they just simply don't want to understand what's being said and take a contratrian attitude in order prevent a shift their martial arts paradigm.

Just read my post again.

And the aiki response would be....???? :uch:

Thankfully, I'm not your student....for fear that I might be too thick to understand.... :sorry:

:D

Meynard
02-23-2006, 07:51 PM
uhuh... I see that I've completely wasted my time. :crazy:

eyrie
02-23-2006, 08:11 PM
Well, not really, you posited some interesting ideas - which made me go look up the evolution of unarmed combat and weaponry.... so it wasn't a total waste of your time.... ;)

W^2
02-23-2006, 08:37 PM
Hello Everyone,

My post relates to the original question -- why these techniques? I'd like to address what constitutes a 'weapon' first, beginning with the word as defined by Merriam-webster:

Main Entry: 1weap•on
Pronunciation: 'we-p&n
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English wepen, from Old English w[AE]pen; akin to Old High German wAffan weapon, Old Norse vApn
1 : something (as a club, knife, or gun) used to injure, defeat, or destroy
2 : a means of contending against another


So, just about anything can be used as a weapon. For instance, an aluminum soda can is designed to be a 'beverage delivery system' for the erstwhile consumer, but if you tear the bottom off of an empty can it may be utilized as an improvised edged weapon. [Fanatical] Ideologies are another example of weaponry utilized in terrorism and psychological warfare, which brings us to a central point: what constitutes a weapon is an individualized mental perception, because without a brain with which to perceive, you couldn’t contend with anyone. So, by definition, anything that could possibly be used as a means of contending against another is a weapon, and therefore, all martial arts are ‘weapons’ based…

Why these techniques? Because there are those who believe that they embody the central principles that make Aikido a dynamic, unique, useful martial art, and a worthwhile subject for further study.

In addition, Patrick Cassidy Sensei once described the progression in Aikido, and I paraphrase here, as ‘first you learn Tai Sabaki (about your body/yourself), then Kokyu Ho (body-mind-breath coordination – body/self), then Ki No Musubi (connecting to your partners energy – external environment/others). So, Tai Sabaki and Kokyu Ho + Ki No Musubi = Awase (blending energy – extending your sphere of influence).

So, learning the core waza in the beginning teaches us about ourselves, then about how we relate to others, and then how we influence others, and so on…

Employing weapons such as the Jo and Bokken in training helps to illustrate and magnify the central principles of Aikido by changing the Maai – the movement is made larger and more idealized.

Of course, this is just my personal, heuristic perspective, but I hope someone finds it helpful.

Domo Arigato Gozaimashita!

Ward^2

ChrisHein
02-23-2006, 09:47 PM
First off, let me just say thank you "ward ward"; back on track!

While I agree, with what I believe you are saying, that these are the techniques we use to explore Aikido, because learning Aiki is the true nature of Aikido. I think what Michael is asking is why did O-sensei choose these techniques (Ikkyo, nikyo sankyo etc.) to explore Aikido, and further what relevance do these techniques hold.

I am of the opinion that O-sensei chose these techniques because they are what he and his students knew when he started his huge and final exploration into Aiki (these techniques being a common ground to use for exploration, and something that he knew well), and these techniques are directly from and not developed beyond a weapons system.

Now as to your analogy of people being weapons, I would also agree, I would call a navy seal a weapon, I would call an special forces agent a weapon, but in the context of this conversation, I am talking about a weapon specifically carried in the hand, a weapon that gives a distinct mechanical advantage that an empty hand alone does not have.

-Chris Hein
I think hearing from other people who are reading this is nice, the conversation is getting a little stale.

eyrie
02-23-2006, 10:11 PM
Well, Chris, you seem to be repeating the same old stale mantra yourself. ;)

What I'm interested in hearing from others is why only one of the 30 techniques in ikkajo ended up being ikkyo. Likewise with the other 5 "pins".... ditto with the other techniques in the 2700+ in the Daito-ryu curriculum.

PeterR
02-23-2006, 10:53 PM
Just a different classification scheme - one that I understand originated from Ueshiba M.'s students rather than the old man himself.

One man's technique is another man's variation.

CNYMike
02-23-2006, 11:02 PM
A recent thread, "Regarding grabs in aikido," has produced some divergent and strongly opinioned views. For me it has sparked curiosity. Why were those particular techniques (attacks included) chosen to form the body of aikido?

As for the grabs, David Valadez and a few others mentioned that the attacks are merely energy prints. Some others suggested they were ways that beginners could be exposed to aikido before moving on to advanced applications. Others suggested "practical" applications such as grapplers bridging the gap, or Chris Hein's idea that the grabs are to restrict another's use of weapons.


My Kali instructor has said that every self defense system in the world has defenses against grabs. In fact, he likes to demonstrate a response to what we would call kosa dori that leads to a variation of juji garame if the other person strikes. Ac a week or two ago we playe with a knife disarm that felt a lot like sankyo; he admitted, "That one is very Aikido-like."

I also think grabs are taught first to make life easier for beginners. Katate dori, for instance, whether in gyaku hanmi or ai hnmi, is pretty simple and straight forward. But things like morote dori, kata dori-<strike> are a bit more complicated and potentially confusing. A sword disarm .... that is a scenario you simply do not want to be in! I think the progression is that the attacks get progressively worse. That's why you have hanmi hantachi, where uke stands and nage sits. Nage is starting out in a prtty bad spot.


What about the techniques? Ikkyo, nikyo, sankyo, yonkyo, gokyo, rokkyo, kote gaeshi, shiho nage, irimi nage, kaiten nage, koshi nage, juji nage, kokyu nage. Why do they exist? What was their intended use? .....

To throw someone down and/or to restrain them without doing serious harm The founders of the jujutsu systems that preceeded Aikido had that constraint on them, and they had to work with the body mechanics from swordsmanship.


Why spend so much time training them only to eschew them for kickboxing and grappling methods?


Becuase you like the art? Because you think those techniques would be good additions to your tool box? Because some people have used them in real life? Not me, but you have seen the testimonials in the threads that come up. Lots of reasons.

I see all of the above as options for empty hand combat. They aren't necessarliy mutually exlcusive, just possibilities.

Edwin Neal
02-23-2006, 11:14 PM
good points Michael

eyrie
02-23-2006, 11:26 PM
Just a different classification scheme - one that I understand originated from Ueshiba M.'s students rather than the old man himself.

One man's technique is another man's variation.

I suspect that ikkyo, the aikido version of ippondori, is a single idea, concept, or principle that encompasses the 30 techniques in ikkajo. IOW, perhaps once one understands the fundamental principle of ikkyo, the other 29 techniques become variations of the (1st) principle. (Sorry, couldn't resist the pun)...

Thoughts?