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ian 07-11-2006 05:09 AM

intuition vs. speed
 
Reflect (if you will ;) ) on kote-gashi. In aikido we tend to step out of the way and draw the opponent through and then throw.

Noticeably in other martial arts this is often done with a smaller movement where the hips (but not the feet) move, the wrist is grabbed and forcibly bent back. Indeed, if the feet move, it is usually a single step to enable a sweep.

Even in Kung-fu there is less foot movement than aikido. It strikes me (pardon the pun) we are far more dependent on intuition to enable us to make the movement as it is slower to move your whole body than it is just to stay planted and twist the hips. The later technique being much faster (and also much quicker to learn).

Now I would agree that the aikido movement is far more advantagous (esp. in mutliple attack situations and in retaining balance), but at beginning level, and from a practical stand-point, surely more speed can be developed using the latter technique? i.e. I could well believe that a top martial artist would tend towards the whole body movement, but those students who aren't full time - surely its more advantageous training with the latter method?

What are your feelings?

dps 07-11-2006 05:27 AM

Re: intuition vs. speed
 
http://www.shodokan.ch/en/index.html
Technical Reference
Kihon Randori no Kata - 17hon
Tekubi waza #12

Kote gaeshi as practiced in Shodokan Aikido is much tighter than Aikikai Aikido. Sometimes we practice it without the foot movements and just twisting the hips as you describe. :)

philipsmith 07-11-2006 05:36 AM

Re: intuition vs. speed
 
Ian,

what you're talking about is what sports scientists and coaches sometimes call "speed of anticipatation".
What this means is that the performer (in this case Tori) picks up small visual cues from the opponents posture, eye direction, hand position and so on and his or her response is based on these rather than the actual movement.This enables an apparent reduction in reaction times and therefore a more effective rsponse.

A good example of this is the return of a tennis serve.
In the recent mens final at Wimbledon Roger Federer could be seen running around the serve in order to make the shot on his forehand rather than his backhand. The ball is travelling at around 150 kilometers per hour at this point and so travels between players in a shorter time that it is physiologically possible to react. What Federer (and all world class performers do) is pick up on the visual cues mentioned above so that he can move before the ball is struck.

In my own opinion this is actually how O Sensei managed to "dodge bullets" as described in the Art of Peace (I think) and continue to perform well into old age - something that is often ascribed to Ki.

grondahl 07-11-2006 05:50 AM

Re: intuition vs. speed
 
In my line of aikido: "Iwama style" there are several variations of "normal" waza such as ex: yokomenuchi kotegeashi omote, iriminage omote, ryo kata dori kokyunage where you dont move your feet, just the hips.
The hips move as normal but in a smaller more compact way, therefore I canīt se any difference between small, movements and little mobility and "aikido movement". Itīs the same, just a more advanced version.

Amir Krause 07-11-2006 07:18 AM

Re: intuition vs. speed
 
In Korindo Aikido many technique variations require one step, and the rest is completed based on very sophisticated hip movement. I do not think this is easier for the beginners, if anything, it is much harder, since beginners normally learn from the outside in, e.g. from hands and feet to the center. Beginners find it much easier to perform several more steps then to use their hips. And as a matter of fact, we often use longer variations for teaching them, which are then cut down to minimal movement as they progress on.

The step is often the evasion, often taken towards Uke. In most cases, even when one does not step, he should stay out of the line of the attack. The hip movement is sufficiently strong to base the technique on it without any stepping.
As far as I have seen in other M.A. they have similar approaches with regards to staying out of the line of the attack, based on the foot work and anticipation of the enemy, or if you would prefer, a much shorter mental reaction time (opposed to muscular and neural response times).

The sophisticated hips movement is taught in Korindo by practicing the 8 Tai-Sabaki step types developed by Hirai.

Amir

Ron Tisdale 07-11-2006 08:42 AM

Re: intuition vs. speed
 
Nice thread. I like watching really advanced people throw in jiyu waza and randori...rarely do they step step step throw...it's almost always one step entry and throw at the same time. Sometimes the evasions are used for multiples...but ususally one step entry and cut for the throw.

Best,
Ron

SeiserL 07-11-2006 09:13 AM

Re: intuition vs. speed
 
Quote:

Ian Dodkins wrote:
What are your feelings?

My thought, its not "vs".

Intuition "and" speed = timing.

IMHO, timing is very important.

ian 07-11-2006 10:15 AM

Re: intuition vs. speed
 
Thanks folks - very interesting feedback, esp. speed of anticipation reply. Maybe I'm just lazy and I want to do the minimum effort and the slowest speed ;)

DonMagee 07-11-2006 10:35 AM

Re: intuition vs. speed
 
Quote:

Lynn Seiser wrote:
My thought, its not "vs".

Intuition "and" speed = timing.

IMHO, timing is very important.

A very important point. A lot of people forget that strength, speed, intelligence, and intuition are all very important assets in martial arts. Each trait alone has major flaws, but together they blend into skill.

John Boswell 07-11-2006 10:57 AM

Re: intuition vs. speed
 
Quote:

Ian Dodkins wrote:
Thanks folks - very interesting feedback, esp. speed of anticipation reply. Maybe I'm just lazy and I want to do the minimum effort and the slowest speed ;)

There is a reason aikido is called a "martial art:" It is Martial.

If you think about it, we train to handle a physical confrontation (and various reasons) but the physical brings about many things. In a real fight situation, you'll have an adrinaline rush going, the need to calm yourself and focus on center so you don't loose your ability to see the situation for what it is, awareness of your environment, ability to counter the unknown because you don't know what is coming your way yet.

When you train, it is no time to be "lazy" or to have a desire to use "minimum effort" at ANY speed. When life comes at you and you need to react in a martial way, YOU BETTER BE READY! You need to develop the desire to look for openings, anticipate attacks, see the signs of agression before the agression ever confronts you... and act on your personal knowledge of how to handle the situation.

People train in various martial arts for many different reasons. Personally, I train in aikido for Control. I know if things ever get out of hand around me, there is a fight or attack of somekind, I want to be able to take control of the situation so no one gets hurt. If you are in aikido for fun, for rank or to just hang out with your friends... then intuition and speed don't really matter, now do they?

Sorry if I sound rude, but I take aikido very seriously. Yes, it's fun and I do enjoy it and hanging with friends and even getting rank. But when a friend throws a punch, even in fun... on or off the mat, I take it seriously.

Getting back to the original question about getting off line or just turning the hips, etc. Full or Part-time students still need to learn the basics. It may take longer depending on how much time you have to give the mat, but better to learn it right the first time, refine your skills and pick up the pace down the road. There is no "short cut" to Skill.

(boy, am I nasty today or what??? :confused: :blush: :yuck: )

John Boswell 07-11-2006 10:58 AM

Re: intuition vs. speed
 
Quote:

Don Magee wrote:
A very important point. A lot of people forget that strength, speed, intelligence, and intuition are all very important assets in martial arts. Each trait alone has major flaws, but together they blend into skill.


VERY well said. ;)

jonreading 07-11-2006 12:13 PM

Re: intuition vs. speed
 
Mechanics is a fundemental concept in aikido. There is a relationship between mechanical efficiency and effort that is stressed in aikido (think of a pulley system used to lift heavy objects as an example of mechanical strength). Greater mechanical efficiency requires less effort. Why use one pulley to lift a heavy load if I could use two? Why not move my feet if I can significantly reduce effort by doing so? For a peaceful bunch, we spend a significant amount of time arguing that using muscle is better than using mechanics. Of course, we also chastize people for having "bad energy"... I digress.

The most common reason for not moving (or "lazy" movement) is bad timing. Timing is a window of opportunity that provides the optimum results for an action. When our brain makes a complex calculation that we cannot explain, we call it "intuition." Intuition is nothing more than a guess that we cannot logically explain, our "gut" feeling. Don't mystify intuition; it is a natural function of your brain.

So how can you develop intuition? Practice. Your body needs to collect information necessary to making better timing judgements and that can only be done by practice.

Erick Mead 07-11-2006 01:14 PM

Re: intuition vs. speed
 
Quote:

Amir Krause wrote:
In Korindo Aikido many technique variations require one step, and the rest is completed based on very sophisticated hip movement.

This provoked some thoughts I have been working on that were sufficently OT that I thought I would move my points to a another thread.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...986#post146986

Carry on, otherwise.

dps 07-11-2006 01:49 PM

Re: intuition vs. speed
 
Quote:

Jon Reading wrote:
Mechanics is a fundemental concept in aikido. There is a relationship between mechanical efficiency and effort that is stressed in aikido (think of a pulley system used to lift heavy objects as an example of mechanical strength). Greater mechanical efficiency requires less effort. Why use one pulley to lift a heavy load if I could use two? Why not move my feet if I can significantly reduce effort by doing so?

With correct timing there is no need for mechanical strength, no lifting, pushing, pulling, no need for extra pulleys. Nage should not feel any resistance from uke. Less movement for same results requires less energy and greater efficiency.

Amir Krause 07-12-2006 09:18 AM

Re: intuition vs. speed
 
Quote:

When you train, it is no time to be "lazy" or to have a desire to use "minimum effort" at ANY speed.
I was often told many inventions were the result of laziness. One wishes to use the least possible amount of force, in minimal time, and get the best result. It is not laziness of the mind we seek, but rather the tendency of the body to do act in a minimal manner and still achieve the goals we seek.
One should not confuse this with laziness in the general sense nor with being un-martial. Quite the contrary, this is a wish to be most efficient.

If one can generate more then sufficient force with less steps, this would mean shorter action time, and it is always preferable (martially speaking). Of course, if you base the force on your arm muscles, you are likely to find it will not suffice against stronger\larger people. And it would require you to be hard, thus not soft, not receptive to the hints that allow the premature intuition and not harmonious. Therefore, the movement in Korindo is not based on arms strength. The movement in Korindo is based upon proper body movement that can provide the same effects and even better ones from your body, without additional steps. Our center can move somewhat even without our feet, at high levels in Korindo Aikido, this movement is all that is necessary for generation of power and for changing Mae and staying outside the attack, with very easily attainable Kuzushi. This type of smaller circle movements based action enables faster action time, with similar results.

Obviously, this requires a lot of practice. As I have written previously. This type movement is being taught in Korindo Aikido from day one. We practice it via 8 specific movement types known as the Korindo Tai-Sabaki. This practice is one of the pillars of Korindo Aikido training, and is done in almost every practice.

And as far as intuition, I would like to repeat the previous suggestion - practice, and then, practice a little more. Examine dynamic situations (Uke attacks you with a movement, even if he only wishes to grab you), And Uke should not act as a robot, and should vary the attack tempo all the time.

Amir

Erick Mead 07-12-2006 11:45 AM

Re: intuition vs. speed
 
Quote:

Amir Krause wrote:
I was often told many inventions were the result of laziness.

"I am NOT lazy -- I am ... efficient."

MaryKaye 07-12-2006 12:26 PM

Re: intuition vs. speed
 
I train a lot with a six-year-old who has forced me to think about this technique differently. He has the fastest punch in the West and consistently hits me. If I increase ma'ai to a "safe" distance for my reaction speed, he feels too far away and wanders off. (Hey, he's six....) The only comfort is, I'm not the only one who has this problem--it was funny watching our top-ranking teenager tangle with this kid.

The only way I can succeed with him, at his chosen ma'ai, is if I am moving as soon as he is moving, which means I have to *know* when he is going to move.

To me that's the time-critical part of the technique. Once I have my hands on him, I have plenty of time--I don't need to do the no-step version (we teach that, too) to save time over the three-step version, because by that point I have some control. When I screw up, it's much earlier, before contact. That's the part where I need to shorten my reaction time.

Mary Kaye

David Orange 07-19-2006 12:01 PM

Re: intuition vs. speed
 
Quote:

Ian Dodkins wrote:
I would agree that the aikido movement is far more advantagous (esp. in mutliple attack situations and in retaining balance), but at beginning level, and from a practical stand-point, surely more speed can be developed using the latter technique? i.e. I could well believe that a top martial artist would tend towards the whole body movement, but those students who aren't full time - surely its more advantageous training with the latter method?

This is the kind of thing that doesn't matter if the attacks are unarmed or unrealistic. But if the attacker is using a sword, all those "stand in one spot and fight" types are going to be split down the middle. Make the effort from the beginning to develop proper technique and it will not fail you. Shortcuts will get you lost, if not killed.

Best wishes,

David

David Orange 07-19-2006 05:05 PM

Re: intuition vs. speed
 
Quote:

David Orange wrote:
This is the kind of thing that doesn't matter if the attacks are unarmed or unrealistic. But if the attacker is using a sword, all those "stand in one spot and fight" types are going to be split down the middle. Make the effort from the beginning to develop proper technique and it will not fail you. Shortcuts will get you lost, if not killed.

Best wishes,

David

What I meant to say is that aikido is designed to avoid SWORD attacks first and foremost. Everything we do unarmed is based on what we do when the attacker has a sword.

If you develop something good against an unarmed attacker, it may be worth nothing at all when the attacker has a sword.

I don't know how much most modern aikidoka practice for sword avoidance, but that is the real essence of aikido technique. It is illusion to develop anything else.

Best to you,

David

shadowedge 07-20-2006 05:50 AM

Re: intuition vs. speed
 
IMHO, all techniques learned, make room for improvization when it comes to different situations... I guess we as Martial Artists have to learn how to apply the arts in diveverse ways, allowing for flexibility in application ne? :)

Amir Krause 07-20-2006 09:00 AM

Re: intuition vs. speed
 
Quote:

David Orange wrote:
This is the kind of thing that doesn't matter if the attacks are unarmed or unrealistic. But if the attacker is using a sword, all those "stand in one spot and fight" types are going to be split down the middle. Make the effort from the beginning to develop proper technique and it will not fail you. Shortcuts will get you lost, if not killed.

Best wishes,

David

I am not an expert swordsman. When I saw our Shihan, who learned most of his weapons work in Koryu styles, I found his movement to be much smaller then most.

Sword avoidence at expert levels is something you do not see until after the fact, when the sword is down and you find out it did not reach the target, while the "target" is hitting you, seemingly without any movement. Large movements would get you cut while moving, the edge of the sword is much faster then you are, and the mae is such that if you intuit and move, the sword attack can be modified to adjust for it, that is unless you hit a very narrow timing window and keep your movement as small as possible.



Amir

George S. Ledyard 07-20-2006 09:49 AM

Re: intuition vs. speed
 
Quote:

Lynn Seiser wrote:
My thought, its not "vs".

Intuition "and" speed = timing.

IMHO, timing is very important.

Actually, and I consider this to be an Aikido Koan, O-Sensei stated that it wasn't about timing. I can give my own take on what he meant but this is a work in process. I have experienced it but can't say I have "mastered" it.

The Mind moves before the body. In other words your Mind decides to strike before the body manifests the movement of the Mind physically. If you want to execute a technique like ikkyo, you must enter in to take the center. This isn't that hard at the typical speed that most Aikido people attack. But as you train with people who are capable of great speed in their attacks, the window of opportunity for ones entry gets smaller and smaller. There is a point at which "reaction", ie. starting ones movement as a reaction to the attack becomes impossible as there simply isn't enough time.

If, however, you place your attention on the opponent / partner and touch him with your intention, it's as if the entry already pre-exists in your Mind and you simply have to allow it to actualize physically. In other words the entry is already a reality in your Mind, before you move. When you can do this, you start to feel like there simply is no speed that the attacker can acheive that gets him ahead of you because you have already done it on some level.

Doing this shifts your perception of time. You start to see the opponent's movements as being rather slow, even when they are objectively very fast. Ushiro Kenji Sensei, the Karate teacher appearing as guest instructor for the second time at Rocky Mountain Summer Camp talks about this at length. He talks about having your Mind on the "inside" or the "outside". I have interpreted this as inside his ma-ai or outside. Anyway, it has changed my Aikido entirely both in terms of my ability to enter when attacked and to execute my attacks.

Since O-Sensei looked at everything from a mystical standpoint in which there really is no separation between attacker and defender, they are one and the same, then one can't talk about action and re-action. Timing is a concept which is essentially relative. It deals with "when" relative to something else. I would suggest taking a look at replacing the concept of "when" and replacing it with the concept of "already" and see how that changes things.

Ron Tisdale 07-20-2006 10:54 AM

Re: intuition vs. speed
 
Nce post George. The problem for me is that I still work in the realm of timing...and I still stink at it...

Best,
Ron

Mark Freeman 07-20-2006 11:01 AM

Re: intuition vs. speed
 
Good post George, thanks.

I agree fully with what you write, my own teacher speaks at length about this very subject. I think it goes some way towards explaining the sheer length of time it takes to be really good at aikido. Working on a purely physical level aikido is limited, working on the mind level of which you speak, it is virtually limitless?

I have had the 'glimpses' of the union with the attackers mind, I train to have more.

regards,

Mark

George S. Ledyard 07-20-2006 12:32 PM

Re: intuition vs. speed
 
Quote:

Ron Tisdale wrote:
Nce post George. The problem for me is that I still work in the realm of timing...and I still stink at it...

Best,
Ron

Frankly, I think that this stuff is easier to get at, at least it was for me, via the sword. That may be because there isn't anyone I train with who is so highly ranked in karate or some empty hand style that they are fast enough to force me to discover these elements. But I have several students who are studying kenjutsu with Relnick Sensei. My Assistant Chief Instructor is really excellent, a true swordsman, which I am not. If I play with him, I have to use all of this or hee is apt to get me.

My partner, Genie Rivers, is a former national championship fencer. She and I have talked about this at length and she did exactly the same types of things. She once defeated the women's junior chapion by simply walking forward holding her epee out in front of her and backing the girl off the strip repeatedly. She ended up throwing down her sword and crying she was so frustrated.

You can see Ushiro Sensei do this. He projects his intention outwards and then moves forward in an instant to the spot at which he now owns the space between you. There simply is no forward movement you can make to attack him without being struck yourself. It's as if he has joined his will to yours and you can't act separately any more. He actually won a full contact bout in Europe by doing this to a Kung Fu guy and backing him off the mat repeatedly. The guy wasn't able to throw a punch.

Anyway, now that I understand what i am trying to do I can also do it with my empty hand but I still tend to refine my understanding with the sword first and then apply what I know to my emptyhand. It may be just how I process.


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