PDA

View Full Version : Powerful


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


Leon Aman
02-22-2006, 02:19 AM
Hi,

Normally we hear a word such as "if you can carry you suit case you can practice aikido or you don't need to be strong or powerful to practice aikido"

To have a heavy built of 200 full muscle pounds out of 5"6" in height , I have a tremendous and strong upper body strength. I do practice different martial arts and do different heavy exercises. Once or twice a week I do exercise of 50x and 6 repetitions each side a 6' feet and 3" diameter jo :crazy: (which I made it by myself) made from a hard and a heavy wood to make my wrist and arm develop strongly.

The problem is sometimes I misinterpretedly correcting of using my muscle when I'm doing a technique :( which I know I am not because I know it and I feel it. I do practice different strenuous exercises so that I cannot exert too much effort on doing any techniques.

So my question is, despite powerful is not necessary in aikido practices does this mean it is wrong to be powerful? :confused:

Leon

Mark Uttech
02-22-2006, 02:31 AM
It is not wrong to be be powerful. I think the idea is that the power comes from somewhere else.

Edwin Neal
02-22-2006, 02:46 AM
muscle power is limited... but if you combine your overt muscle power with the more subtle manners of power that aikido practice develop you will be even more powerful... you learn by aikido practice to make the most efficient use of whatever strength you have... even if you are stronger than i am if you run out of gas or waste your strength before i do then i win... this is just one aspect and there are many others to consider... maximum efficiency with minimum effort...

Dirk Hanss
02-22-2006, 06:35 AM
Sometimes for beginners, strong muscles are of disadvantage, but most good aikidoka are strong.

And afaik a staff of 6 feet is called bo.

Dirk

SeiserL
02-22-2006, 03:09 PM
I too am a big guy (6'4", 230 lbs) from a bashing background that let me utilize my "muscle" power. It has take time to learn there are many type of power and that in Aikido, IMHO "muscle" power is the least effective.

Ron Tisdale
02-22-2006, 03:20 PM
Not to mention that muscle power has this annoying habit of fading as you age.

Best,
Ron (sucks to get old)

James Davis
02-22-2006, 03:46 PM
I'm a little guy (5'6"), but I've got the earth on my side when it comes time to throw someone. :)

I don't think power is "wrong" at all. I think it is something that people work hard to acquire, and it's a tool that can be used for good or bad actions.

I don't like the idea of hitting someone to cause them damage, but if I or my family are in danger and we need to get away to survive, I will deck somebody like it aint no thang. ;)

DaveO
02-22-2006, 04:06 PM
I think that muscle power is a bit misunderstood sometimes. It has distinct advantages and disadvantages but each of those vantages are dependant on situation, use, or viewpoint.
Strong - not necessarily big - muscles are a huge advantage in a physical confrontation. They provide movement and control, this is true, but they also provide mass and protection. The upper chest for instance is protected not only by a strong bone framework; it's also covered by layers of dense, impact-absorbing muscle.
Strong muscles also aid in both speed and quickness and can provide a powerful backup to one's skill in an encounter.

All that said; physical strength has its limitations. First; the armour question: while muscle protects much of the body, it doesn't protect all. The body is covered with AVA's (anatomically vulnerable areas) that are either not covered by muscle (as in the testicles) or are themselves part of the musculature (e.g. the sternocleidomastoid or quadriceps). Next, structure: Muscles work by moving the body's framework - the skeleton. One of the reasons aikido is good against hard-stylists is that when done properly it acts against the structure; not the musculature. Big buff guys are surprisingly easy to topple, twist, bounce and otherwise discombobulate when they rely on their muscles because they forget - or don't know - this fact. Another problem is that muscles only work in one direction. If one is using muscle; he's concentrating his energy into one particular muscle group. In order to change his motion; he's going to have to release that group, reorient and fire another. For instance; witness a power puncher in a bar - he throws a great big shot; relying on strength to get that fist swinging. If the target suddenly moves; he has to check that swing, readjust, get the appropriate muscles set up again and fire another punch.

The BIG problem with muscle though is that it's largely used as a patch for improper technique. People who don't know what they're doing - or don't know enough - forget about the Big Three of defensive attack: structure, range and positioning - and try to launch attacks from wrong locations and placements. Since the attack won't work properly in this case; they use muscular strength to try to close the gap between ineffective and effective. This is where you see overreaching punches, off-balance strikes and grunting and straining through a shihonage.

Finally, muscles in aikido practice:
Bad, bad, bad. Oh; not because there's anything wrong with muscles; but because of the above point: if you're using muscles; you're doing it wrong. Remember; like any martial art aikido is a training system. That means it has a series of techniques and drills that teach specific principles of attack and defense. (Yes, aikido has attack. In fact; the majority of aikido is attack. It doesn't have true strikes, but that's not the same thing.) See; in the dojo if you're using muscle to force a technique what you're doing is trying to cheat your way through rather than do the technique properly; learning the principle it's supposed to teach.
So: Muscle - good. Has limitations.
Muscle in aikido - bad. Enforces limitations.

One more thing:
Leon said:
The problem is sometimes I misinterpretedly correcting of using my muscle when I'm doing a technique which I know I am not because I know it and I feel it. I do practice different strenuous exercises so that I cannot exert too much effort on doing any techniques.
Wow - Leon; this is a bit tricky since I'm not entirely sure what you intended to say. But it looks to me like you said you're being corrected for using muscle when you know you're not? If that's the case; boy do I know where you're coming from. This is a place where big guys really need to go slow and look closely; because we're really bad at determining when we're using muscle. We're so used to being strong we use strength by default. There is a big, big difference between using 'no muscle' and using 'less muscle'. I suspect you're using less, not none. The second quoted sentence would seem to back that up.
Leon; I strongly recommend that if you want to get away from using muscle - and trust me, you do - start practicing really, really slowly. Walk through techniques at a snail's pace; looking at every movement and seeing where you are applying muscular force to your uke. Once you do that and can point out where you're muscling uke; you'll notice your aikido taking a big jump forward.

To answer your last question; no, being powerful in the muscular sense is in no way wrong - it's very good. But by learning to use structure and not muscle, what you will be doing is learning how to get the most out of your muscles. Even when you're using every ounce of strength - for instance in a dead-lift or push - you are in fact using only a fraction of your muscle's maximum potential. Learning to use structure unlocks the rest.

Cheers!

Dave

crbateman
02-22-2006, 05:38 PM
Strength is not a disadvantage, but it is easy when training to utilize muscular strength to overcome poor technique. It is better to first gain the ability to do the technique properly with the least physical exertion possible, and then use the strength when it's needed. As a big guy, you'll encounter more problems learning to move properly if you try to muscle people around. And remember also that there are differences between strength and power.

Mark Freeman
02-23-2006, 06:21 PM
I think Dave gave an excellent view on the relative merits/drawbacks of muscle power in aikido, thanks.
I see aikido as a mind/body/spirit art that seems to have (on these fora at least ) a slightly unbalanced bias towards discussing the body, at the expense of the other two, particularly the mind. For me the 'mind/ki' in aikido is every bit as important as the body. Our bodies are useful as they are transport mechanisms for the mind, they get us to where we want to go.
Early on in my aikido practice I was asked by my teacher of my training partner "How much does his mind weigh?" "nothing i guess" was my obvious reply, "So you don't need any effort to throw him then. The mind leads the body, if you can lead his mind his body will inevitably follow, it has no choice". I struggled with this concept at first, but now it has become the central part of my exploration of aikido. No amount of physical strength is going to overcome something that isn't there, strength needs something to push against.
For me the closest I can come to describing what this feels like in action is - when you go to lean against a door and at that precise moment someone opens the door from the other side, or - you are running up a flight of stairs and you go to stand on a step that isn't there. In both cases your mind expects to feel something and it doesn't get what it expects. This is where I believe the 'power' lies in aikido. When nage knows uke's mind and respects it fully, he can enter into aiki with their mind as well as their body. This for me is where the beauty of aikido resides. Effortless technique is fantastic for both uke and nage, it is the real enjoyment of the practice for me.
So big or small, well muscled or not, my desire is to perform every technique with the absolute minimum of effort. It doesn't always work for me of course, and when I come up against a physically strong training partner and I revert to using strength, I am quickly aware that If I continue in that vein, I'll get nowhere, so I keep practicing the principles.
So training the body, nothing wrong with that, go for it, although I think flexibility is just as important as strength training, if not more so.
Training the mind is essential to progress in aikido, how can you hope to control someone elses if you can't control your own?
Then there's the Spirit.... now there's another whole thread entirely... ;)

just my 2 penneth worth

regards
Mark

Leon Aman
02-23-2006, 09:20 PM
One more thing:
Leon said:
The problem is sometimes I misinterpretedly correcting of using my muscle when I'm doing a technique which I know I am not because I know it and I feel it. I do practice different strenuous exercises so that I cannot exert too much effort on doing any techniques.

Wow - Leon; this is a bit tricky since I'm not entirely sure what you intended to say. But it looks to me like you said you're being corrected for using muscle when you know you're not? If that's the case; boy do I know where you're coming from. This is a place where big guys really need to go slow and look closely; because we're really bad at determining when we're using muscle. We're so used to being strong we use strength by default. There is a big, big difference between using 'no muscle' and using 'less muscle'. I suspect you're using less, not none. The second quoted sentence would seem to back that up.
Dave

Hi Dave I am sorry for my response, it is so delayed but thanks for calling my attention with the words I misused. I really didn't mean I am not using muscle but less muscle instead, I'm sorry if I didn't clearly explicate it.

Anyway,I understand that to be very powerful may not be very important in aikido training. What's most important is you know the proper way of executing every technique and by that you can easily neutralize or immobilize your uke without using more muscle nay strength. I have no question with that, but what I meant here is that having that characteristic (of knowing the proper way of doing any technique) plus you are also physically fit, well trained of lifting heavy objects or to bend a solid bar and so on, isn't that less exerting effort than just using the normal strength? like e.g. in doing tenchi nage, instead of using my arm by cutting my uke down in front of me, I simply use my body and shoulder (less arm)as I enter deeply and my uke just somersaults infront of me without exerting too much effort. Or like in doing koshinage isn't this more easier to execute if aside from having an awareness of executing it , you are also trained to lift heavy objects , isn't that effortless to execute such technique? That's only my point here.

Leon

PeterR
02-23-2006, 10:06 PM
I really didn't mean I am not using muscle but less muscle instead, I'm sorry if I didn't clearly explicate it.
Call it a nit-pick and maybe I lost the same point in the long posts but .......

Its not that we should use less muscle (or no muscle) but we should use what we have in a more efficient manner.

For Aikido techniques that involves particular ways of moving and a lot less tension. Smooth and fluid rather than hard and sharp (in most cases).

I like repeating that we all have muscle but in the dojo we train technique. When push comes to shove - we will have both, technique and muscle.

Certain muscles develop during training and a some extra strength and endurance training on the side is a good thing.

An unfit person will never generate powerful Aikido or at least to the level they would if they were.

asiawide
02-24-2006, 05:19 AM
Well... how strongly do Arnold Schwarzenegger or Ronnie Coleman grab his spoon and fork? Though your are building up your physical(or whatever it is...KI or spritual??) power, I bet there's no difference for your daily spoon grip. It's because you know how to grab the spoon correctly and exact amount of power needed to grab it. That's all. :)

Jaemin

ruthmc
02-24-2006, 05:32 AM
So what happens when some big chump grabs you and powers up his muscles to effectively stop you moving in any direction you try to move?

I had this happen recently, where a 4th kyu guy and I were doing a back stretch technique, and he couldn't figure it out too well, so he decided to overpower me so I couldn't even try to do it myself :freaky:

I asked him if he was going to let me do the backstretch, then sensei clapped so I turned away from him and scooted back to the side of the mat without bowing (which I know was rude, but the 4th kyu was rude first) :mad:

I know I could have gotten him to move by aiming my knee at his testicles, but that's not going to teach him not to be a jerk. I just hate it when people take advantage of my good nature on the mat like this :(

Ruth

roosvelt
02-24-2006, 07:47 AM
I asked him if he was going to let me do the backstretch, then sensei clapped so I turned away from him and scooted back to the side of the mat without bowing (which I know was rude, but the 4th kyu was rude first) :mad:

I know I could have gotten him to move by aiming my knee at his testicles



I don't think your uke was rude. He's the sincere and honest uke that is lacking in some Aikido dojo.

Your line of thinking like "knee to his fork" isn't Aikido IMHO. Your honest uke certainly wasn't a jerk.

"Ki" in Aikido isn't stressed enough in some Aikido dojo. O'sensei showed "ki" to us by demostration of several uke pushing him physically whiile he's standing/siting stil.

Leon.

Strength and powerful are good thing to have in Aikido. Muscle is only a part of the "strength". If you only demploy muscle in Aikido, you ignore the other more important element in strength. I'm student in search of acquiring the "other elements". Mike, Rob, Ellis and Ron have written quite a few posts about Ki, you may want to look it up.

Regards.

justinmaceachern
02-24-2006, 08:57 AM
IMO strength is good to have when you want to lift something or move it,but as far as aikido goes. You dont realy need strength. I am a realitivly big guy to and at first i had a problem with using technique and not strength. you have to put your strength away. If you are using strength in Aikido your doing it wrong. O'Sensei was asked once, " Are you the same man with the same power and strength as you once were?" His answer " I am still that same man with the same power, as for strength goes, as you get older eventualy you will loose your strength". This is why when you are young and healthy you must get away from using your strength pratice technique. When you get oler you wont have the stength to fall back on but technique will always be there.

roosvelt
02-24-2006, 09:32 AM
IMO strength is good to have when you want to lift something or move it,but as far as aikido goes. You dont realy need strength.



I disagree. It's misconception. When O'sensei demostrated the "jo" trick, if that's not a show of "strength", what did O'sensei try to show us?

George S. Ledyard
02-24-2006, 09:42 AM
So what happens when some big chump grabs you and powers up his muscles to effectively stop you moving in any direction you try to move?

I had this happen recently, where a 4th kyu guy and I were doing a back stretch technique, and he couldn't figure it out too well, so he decided to overpower me so I couldn't even try to do it myself :freaky:

I asked him if he was going to let me do the backstretch, then sensei clapped so I turned away from him and scooted back to the side of the mat without bowing (which I know was rude, but the 4th kyu was rude first) :mad:

I know I could have gotten him to move by aiming my knee at his testicles, but that's not going to teach him not to be a jerk. I just hate it when people take advantage of my good nature on the mat like this :(

Ruth

This is just another training opportunity... he was being a butt... you get pissed off. You are pissed, not really because he was a jerk, but because he showed you that you aren't yet as good as you'd like to be. If you were better, he wouldn't have been able to do that to you... This isn't a failing or a value judgement, it's just a statement.

He got you on two levels... first, he got you on the technical level. You couldn't move him. Depending on the level of experience you have and the relative size and strength mis-match he presented to you, that might have been completely expected.

But he also "got you" on the emotional level. You "contracted" around the emotional attack he gave you by trying to make you smaller. You got pissed off because you bought into it, you let him and now you are mad at him. You talk about people "taking advantage of your good nature". That's just a relection of your own perceived vulnerability. If you are confident and centered in yourself, his being a jerk simply means he doesn't "get it". It should have no effect on you since it has nothing to do with you.

These interactions, which we all have, are opportunities to see what we need to work on to be better.

justinmaceachern
02-24-2006, 10:15 AM
your right freemen mabey some aspecs do invole Muscle strength. So i will put my point a nother way, when doing certain techniques like irimi nage there is no use for strength. Now i am 6 foot and 245 pounds, now obiviouly if i wanted to i could put most people down with irim nage using the physical strength i have. But doint this shows nothing, but doing technique makes it "a technique worthy of a poem" Kissumara Ueshiba. you see what i am getting at. Take a nother example, there is a guy in my class, he is only 5"10 175pounds, now if he was to irimnage just using his muscles, it wouldnt happen, but if he throws tehcnique in there he will drop me.

Lorien Lowe
02-24-2006, 10:30 AM
The stronger you are, the easier it is to overpower someone using muscle without realizing that that's what you're doing.
A couple of years ago, working with a partner about 50# smaller than me, I felt like I was doing great, moving smoothly and easily, getting through the technique. Sensei clapped, we sat down, and then after the demo moved on to different partners to work some more on the same technique. This time my partner had about a foot in height and maybe the same 50# over me. I tried to do the same thing I had before, and surprise! It didn't work at all. I had been blitzing my first partner without knowing.
Larger-than-average people have a disadvantage here in that they rarely get to work with people bigger and stronger than them; they don't get to run into the brick wall of muscle that they're presenting to smaller people without even realizing it. If a big person is only using 15% of their strength, they can still totally overpower a small person, using that muscle alone, even if their technique isn't perfect. To the small person it feels like they're being treated like an inanimate object.
A good example is stick work - a big guy can come in off the street and make really satisfying whooshing sounds with their shomens right off the bat, even if their technique is horrible; a smaller person has to learn how use their power more efficiently before they can play with noise that way.

-LK

justinmaceachern
02-24-2006, 10:52 AM
Thank you Lorien, you hit it right on the head. That is exactly the point i was trying to get to. Remember everyone there is a big difference between strength and force.

Leon Aman
02-24-2006, 10:52 PM
Call it a nit-pick and maybe I lost the same point in the long posts but .......

Its not that we should use less muscle (or no muscle) but we should use what we have in a more efficient manner.


You are right peter, but that is beside the point. :)

Leon

Leon Aman
02-24-2006, 11:57 PM
Well... how strongly do Arnold Schwarzenegger or Ronnie Coleman grab his spoon and fork? Though your are building up your physical(or whatever it is...KI or spritual??) power, I bet there's no difference for your daily spoon grip. It's because you know how to grab the spoon correctly and exact amount of power needed to grab it. That's all. :)

Jaemin


Well...how strongly do Arnorld Schwarzeneger or Nicholas Cage lift a 60 lbs dumbbell :) is there any difference?. IMO to be very strong may not be important in aikido training but to some extent may somewhat be advantageous.

Leon

Leon Aman
02-25-2006, 12:37 AM
Strength and powerful are good thing to have in Aikido. Muscle is only a part of the "strength". If you only demploy muscle in Aikido, you ignore the other more important element in strength. I'm student in search of acquiring the "other elements". Mike, Rob, Ellis and Ron have written quite a few posts about Ki, you may want to look it up.

Regards.

Roosvelt,

Thank you

Leon

Mark Uttech
02-25-2006, 04:49 AM
And if we had no muscles in our legs, we would not be able to walk at all...

Leon Aman
02-25-2006, 06:40 AM
And if we had no muscles in our legs, we would not be able to walk at all...

:D

Lyle Bogin
02-25-2006, 03:41 PM
Regarding Ruth's problem, perhaps the simple answer is the guy was being a jerk. The trap of the martial arts is to start blaming yourself for other people's problems. The classic example is when a martial artists insists that the fight you got into at some point could have been avoided, essentially blaming the victim for having to defend themselves.

If the guy knew what he was doing and wanted to teach Ruth what to do, then strong arming her a bit would be appropriate, and George's response would be dead on. But that's not what he was doing.

giriasis
02-25-2006, 04:29 PM
Regarding Ruth's problem, perhaps the simple answer is the guy was being a jerk. The trap of the martial arts is to start blaming yourself for other people's problems. The classic example is when a martial artists insists that the fight you got into at some point could have been avoided, essentially blaming the victim for having to defend themselves.

If the guy knew what he was doing and wanted to teach Ruth what to do, then strong arming her a bit would be appropriate, and George's response would be dead on. But that's not what he was doing.

I'm going to second Kyle, here. If the guy did not have the intent to help her out, then he's just being a jerk. What can Ruth do to deal with someone who is just acting up? First, I know it's really hard to get over that frustration. It's also frustrating to hear from those bigger guys to tell you to not get frustrated. I'm sorry, but I don't really think they know what the big deal is.

The other response to Ruth, that I agree with, is that sometimes the bigger guys just don't realize their own strength. I will also add that even at 4th kyu he might still have fear of taking ukemi, which causes them to stiffen up and resist. They are likely not to admit that fear, but it's still in their head.

Finally, he might be testing "the effectiveness" of the technique by testing you. He sees you as smaller and more advanced and perhaps thinks you can handle it. There are times that I get this and then these guys (usually newer) get up all smiles. But most of the times these guys have real good attitudes and ask for more when they get up.

Oh, and Ruth, if you really felt he was a jerk, trust your intuition -- as that is the first line of self-defense anyway, and you don't want to unlearn that.

iron horse
02-27-2006, 02:47 AM
It seems to me that the stronger, faster, and fitter you are the better. Aikido should be powerful. And when you develop good technique you will no longer need to use your 'power'. Instead, you will use finesse. At least, that is what I am hoping ...

Mark Freeman
02-27-2006, 03:04 AM
It seems to me that the stronger, faster, and fitter you are the better. Aikido should be powerful. And when you develop good technique you will no longer need to use your 'power'. Instead, you will use finesse. At least, that is what I am hoping ...

Speed, strength, and fitness are all well and good, but if you use strength to apply technique you are not applying the technique properly. So my question is, how do you develop good technique by doing it incorrectly?
You can only do something by doing it, not by trying to do it. One of the difficulties and joys of aikido.

Finesse (nice word) needs to be built into practice from day one, IMHO slow soft practice leads to fast powerful aikido.

regards,
Mark

koz
02-27-2006, 05:47 AM
Speed, strength, and fitness are all well and good, but if you use strength to apply technique you are not applying the technique properly.

Well, aikido works against resistance. You must only use enough strength to foster that resistance.

So it's really not about using no strength but rather just the right amount and nothing more.

So my question is, how do you develop good technique by doing it incorrectly?

You develop good technique from correcting your crappy ones. :)

Finesse (nice word) needs to be built into practice from day one, IMHO slow soft practice leads to fast powerful aikido.

Yes. But slow and soft practice can also lead to slow and soft aikido. Now while that is in itself a good thing once training has come full circle (whenever that is) there are still a few steps in between.

Sometimes you just have to train like you really mean it if only to gain an understanding of the application.

justinmaceachern
02-27-2006, 06:29 AM
I have to say, I dissagree with you Ian. Just becasue guy A is srtonger, and in better physical shape and faster does not make him better. Like I said, I am 6" and 245 poounds and what you would call some what in shape :D, and i can go longer then some of the guys in my class that are regular weight lifters and cardio nuts. I believe Samuo Hung said it best when aksed about his size while entering a mixed martial arts tournament. The guy at the sign in booth asked " aren't you a little out of shape?" He replied, " nope just fat".

"It is not the size of a man the matters, its the size of his heart that counts" General Choi Hung Hi

ian
02-27-2006, 08:56 AM
Nothing wrong with strength and power. Aikido is about efficiency - using power without resistance. Thus you need to gently unbalance someone with perfect timing, then, when they can't resist, grind them into the mat.

Unfortunately in normal training this is not acceptable, since uke needs to be able to survive. Thus, do not feel that you have to be 'gentle' but realise that
i. you must not damage people
ii. that the hardest part of aikido is using timing and sensetivety correctly to unbalance your opponent

Many people may be intimidated by your size. I would advise against being over gentle - you should be relaxed but use appropriate force where necessary and when there is no ability for uke to resist. However just being 'soft' is teaching your body to do aikido in a completely incorrect way. Possibly train with larger uke if you find it difficult training with little people until you feel more confident in your technique.


My apologies to all - didn't read other posts fully.

roosvelt
02-27-2006, 12:14 PM
Oh, and Ruth, if you really felt he was a jerk, trust your intuition -- as that is the first line of self-defense anyway, and you don't want to unlearn that.

RIght. If my akido doesn't work, it must be my uke's fault for being a jerk.

If i have too many big mac and overweight, it must be Mcdonal's fault for having a store in every city. If I can't find a job, it must be the new imigrant's fault for taking my job. If I can't graduate from high school, it's teather's fault for giving hard exams.

Amelia Smith
02-27-2006, 02:18 PM
Roosvelt, I think this is a separate issue entirely. If someone really is being a jerk, they are not helping you learn. In my current definition, jerk behavior on the mat is behavior which is not merely frustrating, but also dangerous. If your training partner is being a real jerk, they're not just stopping your technique for their own ego gratification, but blithely increasing the risk of injury (so that you can't practice) which is really not helpful.

mj
02-27-2006, 03:39 PM
2 different topics here.

1) Doing Aikido against strong people.
2) Strong people doing Aikido.

Regarding 1:- obviously we all want to enjoy ourselves when we train - but enjoyment is relative. Every high grade in any art (no, I don't generalise..I've actually asked everyone in every art) will tell you that to improve you have to take the horrible practices. The ones you don't enjoy, the people who are to awkward, slow, strong, sneaky to long a reach, too low a centre or just downright humiliating. That's where the gold is, there's the mountain you keep talking about climbing is. Try, fail, try, fail, try, fail. The very definition of a good practice. "What did you learn tonight?" "I have no idea...just lots of things that don't work, but hey I narrowed it down some more." To smooth something rough takes a lot of abrasion.

(On another level we need many different kinds of practice though)

Regarding 2:- You've all got grips that could crush a cow's leg. :D

Mark Freeman
02-27-2006, 04:47 PM
2 different topics here.
1) Doing Aikido against strong people.
2) Strong people doing Aikido.

Doing aikido against strong people:-relatively difficult if you use strength ( especially if they are stronger than you), relatively easy if you are doing 'aikido'. :)

Strong people doing aikido:- relatively difficult for them if you are doing 'aikido', relatively easy for them if they do aikido rather than use their strength. ;)

regards,
Mark

DaveS
02-28-2006, 05:33 AM
Nothing wrong with strength and power. Aikido is about efficiency - using power without resistance. Thus you need to gently unbalance someone with perfect timing, then, when they can't resist, grind them into the mat.
Also speed is an important part. Using power against someone who pushes back in the opposite direction is Bad Aikido and probably not the most effective option even if you do have the strength to make it work. On the other hand (in my rather limited experience) muscle power can be useful in working with someone who resists by being very relaxed. Using shomen ate in a hikitate geiko setting, for instance, the most likely result is that uke will just step back and to the side and stay standing up. To get the technique to work, I need to (get it more accurate and) faster so that uke is moving too fast to keep his footing. GCSE physics tells me that acceleration = force / mass, so strength is definitely going to work in my favour here.

In other words, pushing against a line of very little resistance is the right thing to do, but if you've got strength on your side, you're going to move along that line a lot faster.

Many people may be intimidated by your size..
But being nage to a large uke is fantastic - you're pretty sure that you're not accidentally going to pull their arm out of its socket, and if you do the technique wrong you can tell that it hasn't worked. More than makes up for being chucked around a bit when it's your turn.

Bridge
02-28-2006, 09:08 AM
So what happens when some big chump grabs you and powers up his muscles to effectively stop you moving in any direction you try to move?

I had this happen recently, where a 4th kyu guy and I were doing a back stretch technique, and he couldn't figure it out too well, so he decided to overpower me so I couldn't even try to do it myself :freaky:

I asked him if he was going to let me do the backstretch, then sensei clapped so I turned away from him and scooted back to the side of the mat without bowing (which I know was rude, but the 4th kyu was rude first) :mad:

I know I could have gotten him to move by aiming my knee at his testicles, but that's not going to teach him not to be a jerk. I just hate it when people take advantage of my good nature on the mat like this :(

Ruth

Full sympathy from me!

I actually had a similar incident with a new guy who was mucking about wiggling and using power to show he could get out of whatever it was i was struggling to apply. He wouldn't let me just learn the technique (I was very new at the time too and given how much I struggle to pick things up...)

I did tell him I was very new too and please could he just let me practice too, but he wasn't listening. So I moved my knee to show that if he carried on being an arse I could theoretically knee him in the head.

Unfortunately, my knee moved a whole lot faster and further than I anticipated and he happened to turn to face it. He refused to get up for a while. :sorry:

A certain well know head of school of was teaching that time who instantly came rushing over to see what had happened and I got more sympathy than him!

I reckon there's a lesson there.

I felt awful.

Bridge
02-28-2006, 09:27 AM
May I also add he was 6 ft 8" and about 18 st.

I am 5 ft 6" and 10 st.

Really not fair!

Dirk Hanss
02-28-2006, 09:51 AM
May I also add he was 6 ft 8" and about 18 st.

I am 5 ft 6" and 10 st.

Really not fair!

No, not for him ;) :D

Dirk

James Davis
02-28-2006, 11:25 AM
I felt awful.

...but justified, right? :)

Don't feel awful, Bridget. He came to train in a martial art, and he knew there was risk involved...

...especially when he's acting like a jackass. :p

Josh Reyer
02-28-2006, 11:57 AM
I'm 5'10", 155-60 lb. I'm often being told in my dojo I have to adjust my aikido due to my "big" size. Boy, is that a trip.

Bridge
03-01-2006, 05:52 AM
...but justified, right? :)

Don't feel awful, Bridget. He came to train in a martial art, and he knew there was risk involved...

...especially when he's acting like a jackass. :p

I guess so.

Honest to goodness it was a complete accident. I was well embarassed too. But he stopped mucking about thereafter. :)

So perhaps Ruth should have knee'd that 4th kyu in the nuts?

ian
03-01-2006, 07:31 AM
So what happens when some big chump grabs you and powers up his muscles to effectively stop you moving in any direction you try to move?...

I know I could have gotten him to move by aiming my knee at his testicles, but that's not going to teach him not to be a jerk. Ruth

Of course, uke needs to take your experience into account for succesful training, but don't feel threatened by this person. They are giving you an opportunity to try out the aikido principles. From stationary it is very difficult to move someone. However that does not mean that you are incapacitated (indeed, they are). You can move your whole body anywhere around this point of contact, and as you say, you can move other limbs.

Always see a stationary grab as one less fist they have to hit you with! Now, if they use that to pull or push you, then you can work with it.

Although he may have been a jerk for this type of action, by not allowing him to grab in the first place, you could have generated the movement. Ueshiba said about even the strongest person being weak when you draw them out of their sphere of power i.e. timing and coordination are required. Of course, when things go stationary its more difficult, and thus atemi is useful to generate movement again (unless you are quite happy staying there unharmed, which can sometimes be OK).

From practical experience I would say that strength is of no benefit to an attacker if you are prepared to move your body. Indeed, I would say the easiest fights I have been in are those with a really big and strong opponent because they often believe that they can hold you, or destroy you with a single strike - and it just isn't true if you move properly.(I'm only little and weedy at 11 stone)

(PS I agree with Bridget, next time kick him in the nuts - its good training for both of you!) In fact, do so even before he grabs and it'll stop him thinking 2-dimensionally!

P.P.S. one of the main reasons I was attracted to aikido was a girl who must have been no more than 8 st who could throw me around like I was a leaf (of course, she was a dan grade, but is was amazing to an aikido novice and a thug like me).

Roman Kremianski
03-01-2006, 01:20 PM
I'm not speaking from any extraordinary experiance here, but I personally don't mind when people "lock-up" as described here. I think teaches you to deal with the unexpected.

Also, I think weight and power do come in handy during pins.

roosvelt
03-01-2006, 02:51 PM
If your training partner is being a real jerk, they're not just stopping your technique for their own ego gratification,




To be anble to move poeple who try to stop you IS the technique. If you can't do it, you're not doing the technique. If you think you've got the technique, but you can't move pople who try to stop you, you don't know the technique, you only know the form.

Granted, a uke should help nage to learn the "technique". Ruth was obviously a higher kyu than the 4th Kyu "jerk".

If I can't move a lower kyu uke, I usually feel ashamed of myself. I ask my sensei to demostrate the technique again. I'm not a fast learner. I still can't move some big people, I just tell them that I haven't got the technique down yet, and go easy on me.

Leon Aman
03-01-2006, 11:20 PM
RIght. If my akido doesn't work, it must be my uke's fault for being a jerk.

If i have too many big mac and overweight, it must be Mcdonal's fault for having a store in every city. If I can't find a job, it must be the new imigrant's fault for taking my job. If I can't graduate from high school, it's teather's fault for giving hard exams.

You must be kidding Roosvelt :D

leon

Leon Aman
03-02-2006, 02:29 AM
If your aikido doesn't work, it is because it doesn't work. On of a very convincing reason it is probably you didn't do it well. Failure to work your aikido technique is not an ukes fault how stupid or jerk he/she is.

As far as self responsibility is concerned, I believe everyone is 100% responsible for everything occurs in their life. If you have lot of bigmacs and is overweight , it is because you chose that to happen. If one can't find job, it is because he didn't find it yet or didn't seriously look for it. If one cant graduate from the school he is in, it is because one chose not to graduate. One may argue whether he didn't choose that consciously or else but subconsciously he did it, that's why it was appeared in his life , but of course such topic must be discussed elsewhere. :)

leon

Amelia Smith
03-02-2006, 05:22 AM
Roosvelt, you've misquoted me, leaving out the main point of the sentence. My main point there was that people should not be training in a manner that recklessly endangers their training partners.

Also, it's relatively easy to stop many/most aikido techniques if you are at all strong and know what's coming. If an uke blocks a given technique, I might not be able to continue with that same technique/strategy, but there's probably another one that will work. That's what henkawaza's all about.

ruthmc
03-02-2006, 10:24 AM
:eek: Didn't mean to open a big can with his one!

Re: Mr uncooperative 4th kyu, the technique we were doing was a back stretch. These things require a certain degree of cooperation from uke, otherwise he lands on the floor (in my experience). Then tori gets told off for throwing when it's supposed to be a back stretch :confused:

Sigh.

He didn't lock down on me, he matched my movement and blocked me at every turn. I'm not good enough to cope with this kind of attack yet. Straightforward true attacks - yeah - bring 'em on! Push-me pull-you mucking about - I have no clue. It's not an attack, there isn't enough energy to play with, and it's just frustrating. Any uke can do this to you if they know what the technique is!

My Aikido works best against a true attack where uke has a clear intent - in fact it's easy, I don't have to do much :) . As soon as uke starts being clever, twisting and turning, it seems to turn into a speed and agility contest. Then the egos come in and the Aikido blows out of the window ;)

Sure I could have kicked him, head-butted him, swept his legs, whatever. Hurting him is not the answer, that's why I didn't do it.

If I were Saotome Sensei or Endo Sensei, I'm sure I could have achieved the backstretch without any trouble. But I'm not always able to move without uke being able to feel what I'm doing, especially when doing a technique I'm not too familiar with yet.

I'm working on my invisible movement, but I'm a long way off that level of attainment at present.

But you're right, I shouldn't have allowed it to get my goat :)

Ruth

RebeccaM
03-02-2006, 12:25 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've long been under the impression that the back-stretch is just a partner stretching exercise, not a martial technique (or maybe I'm just confused because I've heard people purring while getting their backs stretched...). It sounds like this particular 4th kyu has some ego issues he needs to work on.

Mark Uttech
03-02-2006, 02:07 PM
The back stretch is an exercise, a simple exercise, and not about resistance or control.

Rupert Atkinson
03-04-2006, 02:33 AM
Done properly, the entry for a back stretch is like that for ryote-dori shiho-nage. So, it can have all the elements of good technique.

Dillon
03-07-2006, 04:51 PM
This is just another training opportunity... he was being a butt... you get pissed off. You are pissed, not really because he was a jerk, but because he showed you that you aren't yet as good as you'd like to be. If you were better, he wouldn't have been able to do that to you... This isn't a failing or a value judgement, it's just a statement.

He got you on two levels... first, he got you on the technical level. You couldn't move him. Depending on the level of experience you have and the relative size and strength mis-match he presented to you, that might have been completely expected.

But he also "got you" on the emotional level. You "contracted" around the emotional attack he gave you by trying to make you smaller. You got pissed off because you bought into it, you let him and now you are mad at him. You talk about people "taking advantage of your good nature". That's just a relection of your own perceived vulnerability. If you are confident and centered in yourself, his being a jerk simply means he doesn't "get it". It should have no effect on you since it has nothing to do with you.

These interactions, which we all have, are opportunities to see what we need to work on to be better.


I really hate quoting the entirety of a large post, but this is a great point.

It holds true regarless of Uke's intent. It's an opportunity for practice whether or not Uke's being a jerk, trying to teach you something, or stiffening from panic. Uke is actually irrelevant. For me, this sort of situation is one of the best things aikido forces me to work on. When something like this happens, it shows me that I'm off-balance or out of center, based on the fact that I get upset. If I was centered, I wouldn't be bothered. So as much as it makes me sound like a dirty hippy, I'm grateful when I get stuck like this, because it reminds me that it's not about the ego, and it forces me to acknowledge that I'm not beyond my ego, however enlightened I may have tricked myself into thinking I am ^_^