Gashuko and Deja Vu
Just returned from Wakayama where the spring Gashuko was held. Missed the last two years, forgot how enjoyable they are.
Serious drawback is that there are a lot of people, many come down from Tokyo. Of course the intent is not to come away with deep meaningful Aikido insights but it is a major bonding experience. I was a good boy so my headache was manageable the next day - we did have a few casualties during the following morning training. A few conspicuous absences also.
Training wise Nariyama likes to take us through basics but always tosses in something that does not normally get covered. Gives us something to work on over the next few months - important for the Dan grades who don't expect to grade in the next little while.
The Deja vu?? Well its the pressure points. Maybe Nariyama reads these forums - who knows but time was reserved for them. Dillman's big claim is that these are secret and not taught especially to foreign scum. This of course is bull - no big secrets - although the more obscure and questionable might not be given a lot of time.
Monday is a holiday here which is just as well. Recovery is in progress.
Re: Gashuko and Deja Vu
Sound like a blast. All the best for a swift recovery! :)
Over here in the UK, we British Shodokan types (and a posse coming over from Switzerland) are getting ready for our annual course in Skenfrith, a very attractive part of South Wales, at the start of June.
Last year it had to be hastily re-located into town because of the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease that effectively closed down a lot of the British countryside. So it'll be especially good to be back.
We're particularly fortunate this year to have Michael MacCavish coming over from Honbu as a visiting instructor. I'm looking forward to a little hard work, a lot of fun and possibly a nice steep learning curve!
Re: Re: Gashuko and Deja Vu
Michael is a good friend of mine. You could also say that in the nebulous organization of Shodokan Honbu its his wing that I was under during my Mudansha days (still am). There are sempai, Sempai, and SEMPAI. I can explain that more if your interested.
Michael is an instructor at Shodokan Honbu - this goes beyond just rank. What it means is he not only knows technique but knows the way Nariyama wants it taught. More important for you guys he gives a very good class. Good, enjoyable Budo.
I know I don't have to ask but treat him well, watch closely and listen carefully.
I think you have a misconception of pressure points.
Most knowledgeable sensei's do not talk about pressure points with everyone they meet on the street, or every student.
Most people do not talk about the actual use of pressure points unless they are exchanging techniques they have within their practice.
Westerners were taught blocks, while advance students are taught that the same moves are strikes to the opponents body. Depending on the teacher and their perception of what the student will use the knowledge for, the statement of not teaching foreign scum could be relevant to some people?
There is a fact that the people most knowledgeable to pressure points are healers, too. Just like learning the many variations and ways people can screw up Aikido, so too are these variations less likely to work without knowledge of what meridian a pressure point is on, the angle/direction needed to affect it, and what type of movement, rub/strike/push, will activate it?
My concern is that we use pressure points that either are stumbled upon by executing a technique, or are shown how to inflict pain with a technique but we do not understand the bodys connection to these nerve endings in relation to our health or ill health when practicing Aikido?
Every single pain submission in every martial art can be tracked to a pressure point, meridian, and bodily organ connected to that meridian.
Hey, there are still people smoking and drinking who believe smoking will not give them cancer, and alcohol doesn't kill brain cells or cause internal organ damage? Maybe they are part of the small percentage who will live past seventy years of age?
I do believe that the more you know about pressure points and how to use them, the more sensei's who know something from experience will open up about this subject.
I can show you all the techniques I know, but understanding how and when to use them is a moral judgement of character I must make when I do so? Every teacher makes this decision sooner or later, this could be the only hidden agenda to any secret technique?
We all know that certain grasps, movements, and submissions are more effective when grabs are done a particular way, bodys move in a particular manner, and submissions are performed by twisting body parts in the correct manner. Effectiveness is attributed to technique and years of practice ... but little movements, positioning, and watching your teachers proficiency reveals many of the little details needed ...
It just so happens that George Dillman is within a karate system that I came from, but I believe even without his guidance I would have found pressure points anyway.
It really doesn't matter if you remain opposed to the term pressure points, the pain submission you display by "tapping out" for your partner to release you is the only proof you need about pressure points.
Knowledge to find other ways to use them, or understand them ... that will be up to you.
Some teachers pursue this, some do not.
So far ten of my Aikido friends are pursueing this area of study.
In two years that will be one hundred people.
Will one of them be you?
Re: Re: Re: Gashuko and Deja Vu
The course runs for four days, and I've a feeling I'll need a little time to recover afterwards too. :)
(As to the "SEMPAI" thing, I think I have some idea where you're coming from, I've heard quite a few stories from Scott, and various of my sempai who've spent time at Honbu.)
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