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I have been asked many times by friends and family what makes Aikido different from other martial arts and two stories that I have heard in the last 24 hours seem to say it well. The first story was imparted to my sons cub troop by sensei during a seminar we were doing for them. It goes roughly like this.
A Karate martial artist, a Tai kwon do martial artist, a Judo martial artist, and an Aikido martial artist were standing at the bottom of a hill. A bolder was rolling down the hill for which the Karate martial artist punched and shattered it into dust. Another bolder rolling down the hill was kicked by the Tai Kwon Do martial artist and also was reduced to dust. Another bolder rolling toward the Judo martial artist was picked up and thrown by him. And the Aikido martial artist merely moved out of the way of the bolder rolling towards him. Of course sensei told it much better but you get the gist of the story. At any rate I thought it was a very good comparative parable.
The second story wasn't a story at all, but rather a similarity that Kensho Furuya Sensei was using to describe the difference between DO and JUTSU. This could apply to any martial art but I think it fits well to why and how most Aikidoka train.
He likened Jutsu to cursive writing and Do to calligraphy. One can apply Justu or the technique to make it work as a martial art just as one can write cursively to be understood. It is not difficult to understand a technique enough to apply it i
Ok, now my dojo mates have shed a little more light on the Oroshi, Gaeshi thing I posted in "I just found out". It turns out that with reference to the Japanese language they mean exactly the same thing. However, to satisfy the need for us North Americans to verbally differentiate the physical differences in the techniques, these are the Japanese terms we use. So in this case I really wasn't incorrect in using those terms.
Testing was briefly brought up tonight and even though it might feel nice to have that next rank under my belt (excuse the pun), and put behind me, I am not feeling like I am ready. I don't want a kyu rank that doesn't match my abilities. Also, I don't want to obtain my next rank and, due to my changed work situation, not be able to train as much as I have been. (Which isn't enough now). I am referring to the change from night shift to the afternoon shift at work that will take place in a couple of weeks. Once I start working the afternoon shift the only time I will be able to train is Wednesday's and every second Saturday.
I think the reduced mat time will not only cause me to slow my refinement of the techniques, it will take Sensei a longer time for him to impart these subtle refinements. Even though I will not stop trying to refine my technique, I think I will have to shift my focus more to the conditioning aspect of training in order for me to feel like I'm getting the most out of my training. This is not to say that I haven't been g
After a post by Jamie I decided that it might be prudent to copy this journal to a file on my computer and save it to disc just in case something happens to Jun's server and all this work is lost. While I was doing this I noticed that there were a lot of spelling, and some grammer mistakes. Now I know that my spelling is pretty bad, but after spell checking this journal I realize that my spelling is atrocious.
To the people who actually read my drivel I apologize perfusely. I will take better care in the future by typing the journal on a word program first to spell and grammer check it.
I also noticed that on a few occations I was refering to the shiho-nage throw as kote-oroshi. I was also spelling a lot of the Japanese terms incorrectly. I intend on remedying this by refering to the proper spelling in books such as "Aikido Exercises for Teaching and Training" and "The Dynamic Sphere".
It is unfortunate that I can't go back and correct the mistakes I made in this copy of the journal. At least I now know what my mistakes are and I can learn from them to improve my journal entries in the future. A lot like Aikido training isn't it?
I just found out last class that kote-oroshi and kote-gaeshi are the same thing. Up till then I was under the impression that the difference was the direction that the torque of the wrist was applied. ie oroshi would be the wrist bent so fingers are pointing just outside the fore arm to cause uke to sit to ushiro-ukemi. Where gaeshi would be rotating the wrist to twist the fore arm to cause uke to go head over tea kettle break fall ukemi. (hows that for a technical term)
So those reading my last post wondering what the heck I was talking about I hope this explains it. If there are Japanese terms that differentiate what I have described above, by all means make comment.
Took both kids to the dojo to train today. I think that my daughter has finally decided that martial arts in general is not for her. She likes the idea of haveing a martial skill but only wants to put half her heart into it. That's fine with me. After three trips to the dojo she now has enough information to make an informed decision.
My son on the other hand. HOLY SMOKES! He's taking to Aikido like a duck to water. He seems to be eating up every aspect of it from dojo etiquette to Ki exersizes and tests to kokyu-nage. Speaking of kokyu-nage, I showed him katate-kosa-tori kokyu-nage for the first time. I was worried that it wasn't going to be easy due to our size difference, but he picked up the basic movements so well that he's quite capable of preforming the technique with surprisingly little cooperation on my part as uke.
Another one we have been working on is mune-tsuki kote-oroshi. He is really getting the basic technique down well. He now tenkans so that we are back to back with very good foot work. he "picks up the quarter" from his knees rather that his back, so he is well balanced for the throw. last but not least, he is realizing the difference between kote-oroshi and kote-gaeshi and the difference in ukemi it produces.
Even though we worked mostly on kote-oroshi I told him to throw me kote-gaeshi a couple of times, being mindful of not "cranking" the throw, but rather guiding my momentum into the throw. I gave him an idea of what I meant
For the last couple of weeks I haven't been able to physicaly train so I have been reflecting on the psycological aspects of Aikido. One of the things I have been thinking about, and ultimately aspireing to, was the spliting of the mind.
When I was first introduced to this concept it was the idea that during some techniques it is necessary to split the mind of the uke in order to make the technique work as in Kokyo dosa or the heaven and earth throw. But recently I have come to realize that not only do I have to split ukes mind in some cases, I have to split my mind as well, and always.
What I mean by this is I have to split my mind to coordinate my right hand with my left hand. Then I have to split it again to coordinate my hands with my feet. Then I have to split it again to make my apendages work from my center. Then yet again to control my instinct to tense up while preforming a physical throw. Add to that the need to control my breathing, connect to uke's center, be aware of my surroundings, and extend Ki, my mind is now split in quite a few directions.
Of course I'm incapable of spitting my mind in that many directions. I'm still having trouble with two. I see other Aikidoka that seem to have this ability and am inspired to know that it is possible. At least to the extent that these Aikidoka can do it. I can't help wonder at the point when one is able to think about, and control all these things simultaniously, is this the point this person becomes en